There was no sign of the end. At length the general of the Messenian contingent came to Cleon1
and Demosthenes and told them that the army was throwing away its pains, but if they would give him some archers and light-armed troops and let him find a path by which he might get round in the rear of the Lacedaemonians, he thought that he could force the approach.
Having obtained his request he started from a point out of sight of the enemy, and making his way wherever the broken ground afforded a footing and where the cliff was so steep that no guards had been set, he and his men with great difficulty got round unseen and suddenly appeared on the summit in their rear, striking panic into the astonished enemy and redoubling the courage of his own friends who were watching for his reappearance.
The Lacedaemonians were now assailed on both sides, and to compare a smaller thing to a greater, were in the same case with their own countrymen at Thermopylae. For as they perished when the Persians found a way round by the path, so now the besieged garrison were attacked on both sides, and no longer resisted. The disparity of numbers, and the failure of bodily strength arising from want of food, compelled them to fall back, and the Athenians were at length masters of the approaches.