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The Achaeans Defeated

Naturally the result of the engagement was in harmony with such a beginning. For when the lightarmed troops approached, the Aetolian cavalry retired in good order up the hill, being anxious to effect a junction with their own infantry. But Aratus, having an imperfect view of what was going on, and making a bad conjecture of what would happen next, no sooner saw the cavalry retiring, than, hoping that they were in absolute flight, he sent forward the heavy-armed troops of his two wings, with orders to join and support the advanced guard of their light-armed troops; while he himself, with his remaining forces, executed a flank movement, and led his men on at the double. But the Aetolian cavalry had now cleared the plain, and, having effected the junction with their infantry, drew up under cover of the hill; massed the infantry on their flanks; and called to them to stand by them: the infantry themselves showing great promptness in answering to their shouts, and in coming to their relief, as the several companies arrived. Thinking themselves now sufficiently strong in numbers, they closed their ranks, and charged the advanced guard of Achaean cavalry and light-armed troops; and being superior in number, and having the advantage of charging from higher ground, after a long struggle, they finally turned their opponents to flight: whose flight involved that of the heavy-armed troops also which were coming to their relief. For the latter were advancing in separate detachments in loose order, and, either in dismay at what was happening, or upon meeting their flying comrades on their retreat, were compelled to follow their example: the result being that, whereas the number of those actually defeated on the field was less than five hundred, the number that fled was more than two thousand. Taught by experience what to do, the Aetolians followed behind them with round after round of loud and boisterous shouts. The Achaeans at first retreated in good order and without danger, because they were retiring upon their heavy-armed troops, whom they imagined to be in a place of safety on their original ground; but when they saw that these too had abandoned their position of safety, and were marching in a long straggling line, some of them immediately broke off from the main body and sought refuge in various towns in the neighbourhood; while others, meeting the phalanx as it was coming up to their relief, proved to be quite sufficient, without the presence of an enemy, to strike fear into it and force it into headlong flight. They directed their flight, as I said, to the towns of the neighbourhood. Orchomenus and Caphyae, which were close by, saved large numbers of them: and if this had not been the case, they would in all probability have been annihilated by this unlooked-for catastrophe. Such was the result of the engagement at Caphyae.

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