However, as he gave these orders in the
moment of the onset, and at short notice, it so happened that Aristocles and
Hipponoidas would not move over, for which offence they were afterwards
banished from Sparta, as having been guilty of cowardice; and the enemy meanwhile closed before the Sciritae （whom Agis on
seeing that the two companies did not move over ordered to return to their
place） had time to fill up the breach in question.
Now it was, however, that the Lacedaemonians, utterly worsted in respect of
skill, showed themselves as superior in point of courage.
As soon as they came to close quarters with the enemy, the Mantinean right
broke their Sciritae and Brasideans, and bursting in with their allies and
the thousand picked Argives into the unclosed breach in their line cut up
and surrounded the Lacedaemonians, and drove them in full rout to the
wagons, slaying some of the older men on guard there.
But the Lacedaemonians, worsted in this part of the field, with the rest of
their army, and especially the center, where the three hundred knights, as
they are called, fought round King Agis, fell on the older men of the
Argives and the five companies so named, and on the Cleonaeans, the Orneans,
and the Athenians next them, and instantly routed them; the greater number not even waiting to strike a blow, but giving way the
moment that they came on, some even being trodden under foot, in their fear
of being overtaken by their assailants.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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