True, the leader is then on the left, but instead of thinking this a disadvantage, they regard it as a positive advantage at times. For should the enemy attempt a flanking movement he would try to encircle them, not on the exposed but on the protected side.1 If, however, it seems better for any reason that the leader should be on the right wing, the left wing wheels, and the army counter-marches by ranks until the leader is on the right, and the rear of the column on the left.
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Constitution of the Lacedaemonians
1 i.e., this was the regular plan, because each of two battle lines advancing to meet one another always tended to converge to the right. See Thucydides, 5.71.
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