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At daybreak the Cretan light infantry and the Tarentines commenced an action on the river bank; Telemnastus of Crete commanding his countrymen, and Lycortas of Megalopolis the cavalry.  The enemy, too, had Cretan auxiliaries and Tarentine horse covering their watering-parties, and as the same class of troops were fighting with the same weapons on either side the issue was for some time doubtful.  As the action proceeded the tyrant's troops proved superior owing to their numbers, and moreover Philopoemen had instructed his officers to offer only a slight resistance and then pretend to flee and so draw the enemy on to the spot where his ambush was set. As the enemy became disordered in the pursuit, a great many were killed and wounded before they caught sight of their hidden foe.  The caetrati were crouching in the best formation that the narrow space admitted of, and the intervals between their companies allowed their own fugitives to pass through.  Then they sprang up fresh and vigorous, in perfect order, to attack an enemy who, scattered in disorderly pursuit, were also exhausted by the strain of fighting and the wounds which many of them had received.  The result was decisive, the soldiers of the tyrant turned and fled at a much greater speed than when they were the pursuers, and were driven into their camp.  Many were killed or made prisoners in the flight, and the camp itself would have been in great danger had not Philopoemen sounded the "retire." He feared the broken ground, so dangerous to any who advanced without caution, more than he feared the enemy.  From his knowledge of the tyrant's character Philopoemen guessed what a state of alarm he would be in after this battle and sent one of his men to him in the guise of a deserter.  This man told him that he had found out that the Achaeans intended to advance the following day to the Eurotas-this river almost washes the walls of Lacedaemon-in order to intercept him and prevent him from withdrawing into the city and also stop supplies from being conveyed from the city to the camp.  They also, he told him, were going to try and create a rising against him amongst the citizens. Though the deserter's story was not fully accepted it afforded the tyrant, now thoroughly frightened, a plausible excuse for quitting his present position.  He gave Pythagoras instructions to remain the next day on guard before the camp with the cavalry and auxiliaries [12??] whilst he himself, with the main strength of his army, marched out as though for action and gave the standard-bearers orders to quicken their pace and make for the city.
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