previous next
112. Meanwhile the reinforcement from the city of Ambracia had reached Idomenè, which is the1 name of two lofty peaks. The higher of the two had been already occupied unobserved at nightfall by the troops which Demosthenes had sent forward; of the lower the Ambraciots first obtrained possession and encamped there. [2] As soon as it was dark, after supper, Demosthenes advanced with the rest of his army, himself leading half of them towards the pass between the mountains, while the rest made their way through the Amphilochian hills. [3] At the first dawn of day he fell upon the Ambraciots, who were still half-asleep, and so far from knowing anything of what had happened that they imagined his troops to be their own comrades. [4] For Demosthenes had taken care to place the Messenians in the first rank and desired them to speak to the enemy in their own Doric dialect, thereby putting the sentinels off their guard; and as it was still dark, their appearance could not be distinguished. [5] So they fell upon the Ambraciots and routed them. Most of them were slain on the spot; the remainder fled over the mountains. [6] But the paths were beset; the Amphilochians were lightly-armed, and in their own country which they knew, while their enemies were heavy-armed and the country was strange to them. And so, not knowing which way to turn, they fell into ravines and into ambuscades which had been set for them, and perished. [7] Every means of escape was tried. Some even fled to the sea which was not far distant, and seeing the Athenian ships which were sailing by while the action was taking place, swam out to them, thinking in the terror of the moment that they had better be killed, if die they must, by the Athenians in the ships than by their barbarous and detested enemies the Amphilochians. [8] So the Ambraciots were cut to pieces, and but few out of many returned home to their city. The Acarnanians, having despoiled the dead and raised trophies, returned to Argos.

1 Demosthenes, having sent on forces which occupy the hill opposite to that whereon the Ambraciots are encamped at Idomenè, surprises and routs them.

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 Notes (Charles F. Smith, 1894)
load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant, 1909)
load focus Greek (1942)
load focus English (Thomas Hobbes, 1843)
load focus English (1910)
hide References (56 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: