previous next

Lycurgus Goes Out to Resist

Leaving directions with his officers and friends as to the coming engagement, Lycurgus himself left Sparta and occupied the ground near the Menelaïum, with as many as two thousand men. He agreed with the officers in the town that they should watch carefully, in order that, whenever he raised the signal, they might lead out their troops from the town at several points at once, and draw them up facing the Eurotas, at the spot where it is nearest the town. Such were the measures and designs of Lycurgus and the Lacedaemonians.

But lest ignorance of the locality should render my story

Value of local knowledge.
unintelligible and vague, I must describe its natural features and general position: following my practice throughout this work of drawing out the analogies and likenesses between places which are unknown and those already known and described. For seeing that in war, whether by sea or land, it is the difference of position which generally is the cause of failure; and since I wish all to know, not so much what happened, as how it happened, I must not pass over local description in detailing events of any sort, least of all in such as relate to war: and I must not shrink from using as landmarks, at one time harbours and seas and islands, at another temples, mountains, or local names; or, finally, variations in the aspect of the heaven, these being of the most universal application throughout the world. For it is thus, and thus only, that it is possible, as I have said, to bring my readers to a conception of an unknown scene.

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 (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: