Besides this, they were also somewhat encouraged by the oracle which was reported — that the Lacedaemonians were destined to be defeated at the spot where stood the monument of the virgins, who are said to have killed themselves because they had been violated by certain Lacedaemonians. The Thebans accordingly decorated this monument before the battle. Furthermore, reports were brought to them1
from the city that all the temples were opening of themselves, and that the priestesses said that the gods revealed victory. And the messengers reported that from the Heracleium the arms also had disappeared, indicating that Heracles had gone forth to the battle. Some, to be sure, say that all these things were but devices of the leaders.