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29. For their expenses became heavier and heavier as the war grew in extent, and at the same time their sources of revenue were drying up.

And so, being in extreme want of money, and desirous to economise, they at once sent away1 the Thracians who came too late for Demosthenes, ordering Diitrephes to convey them home, but, as they must needs sail through the Euripus, to employ them in any way which he could against the enemy. [2] He landed them at Tanagra and there made a hasty raid; [3] in the evening he sailed from Chalcis in Euboea across the Euripus, and disembarking his troops in Boeotia led them against the town of Mycalessus. He passed the night unperceived at the temple of Hermes, which is distant from Mycalessus about two miles, and at the dawn of day he assaulted and captured the city, which is not large. The inhabitants were taken off their guard; for they never imagined that an enemy would come and attack them at so great a distance from the sea. The walls were weak, and in some places had fallen down; [4] in others they were built low; while the citizens, in their sense of security, had left their gates open. The Thracians dashed into the town, sacked the houses and temples, and slaughtered the inhabitants. They spared neither old nor young, but cut down, one after another, all whom they met, the women and children, the very beasts of burden, and every living thing which they saw.2 For the Thracians, when they dare, can be as bloody as the worst barbarians3. [5] There in Mycalessus the wildest panic ensued, and destruction in every form was rife. They even fell upon a boys' school, the largest in the place, which the children had just entered, and massacred them every one. No calamity could be worse than this, touching as it did the whole city, none was ever so sudden or so terrible.

1 The Thracians are sent home by the Athenians, who cannot Being desired to do what mischief they can by the way they sack Mycalessus. The pathetic tale of its sufferings moves Thucydides to pity.

2 Or, 'For the Thracians, like all very barbarous tribes, are most bloody when they are least afraid.'

3 Or, 'For the Thracians, like all very barbarous tribes, are most bloody when they are least afraid.'

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