The moment for beginning the battle had come: the
signal was given to the Illyrians, and the word passed by the
officers to their men to do their duty, and in a moment they
started into view of the enemy and began assaulting the hill.
But the light-armed troops who were
stationed with Cleomenes's cavalry, observing
that the Achaean lines were not covered by any other troops
behind them, charged them on the rear; and thus reduced the
division while endeavouring to carry the hill of Evas to a state of
great peril,—being met as they were on their front by Eucleidas
from the top of the hill, and being charged
and vigorously attacked by the light-armed
mercenaries on their rear.
Philopoemen's presence of mind.
It was at this point
that Philopoemen of Megalopolis
, with a clear understanding
of the situation and a foresight of what would happen,
vainly endeavoured to point out the certain result to his
superior officers. They disregarded him for his want of
experience in command and his extreme youth; and, accordingly he acted for himself, and cheering on the men of his
own city, made a vigorous charge on the enemy. This effected
a diversion; for the light-armed mercenaries, who were engaged
in harassing the rear of the party ascending Evas, hearing the
shouting and seeing the cavalry engaged, abandoned their
attack upon this party and hurried back to their original position to render assistance to the cavalry. The result was that
the division of Illyrians, Macedonians, and the rest who were
advancing with them, no longer had their attention diverted by
an attack upon their rear, and so continued their advance
upon the enemy with high spirits and renewed confidence. And
this afterwards caused it to be acknowledged that to Philopoemen was due the honour of the success against Eucleidas.