previous next
[18] On the following day at daybreak he was offering sacrifices in front of the army; and seeing that troops were gathering from the city of the Mantineans on the mountains which were above the rear of his army, he decided that he must lead his men out of the valley with all possible speed. Now he feared that if he led the way himself, the enemy would fall upon his rear; accordingly, while keeping quiet and presenting his front toward the enemy, he ordered the men at the rear to face about to the right and march along behind the phalanx toward him. And in this manner he was at the same time leading them out of the narrow valley and making the phalanx continually stronger.1

1 The scene is a long, narrow valley. The rear (οὐρά) of the Lacedaemonian line is at the head of the valley, while the van, where Agesilaus has his position, is at the opening of the valley into the plain. The enemy are gathering upon the hills on one side of the valley. Agesilaus first faces his troops toward the enemy (τὰ ὅπλα...φαίνων). The marching line is thus transformed, technically, into a “phalanx,” or line of battle. Then, by the ἀναστροφή (see note on ii. 21), the οὐρά, i.e., the original rear of the marching line, is folded back and gradually drawn out, “behind the phalanx,” to the open end of the valley. The entire army now marches out into the plain. There the process just described is reversed, so bringing the line back to its original form.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1900)
hide References (2 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: