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54. About the same time the Lacedaemonians with their whole force, under the command of king Agis the son of Archidamus, likewise made an expedition. They marched as far as Leuctra, a place on their own frontier in the direction of Mount Lycaeum. No one, not even the cities whence the troops came, knew whither the expedition was going. [2] But at the frontier the sacrifices1 proved unfavourable; so they returned, and sent word to their allies that, when the coming month was over, which was Carneus, a month held sacred by the Dorians, they should prepare for an expedition. [3] When they had retreated, the Argives, setting out on the twentyseventh day of the month before Carneus, and continuing the observance of this day during the whole time of the expedition, invaded and devastated the territory of Epidaurus. [4] The Epidaurians summoned their allies, but some of them refused to come, pleading the sanctity of the month; others came as far as the frontier of Epidauria and there stopped.

1 The Lacedaemonians intending to make war upon Argos are deterred by the sacrifices and the sacred month. The latter obligation is evaded by the Argives, who go on with the expedition against Epidaurus

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