When the season again favoured an incursion into the enemy's country,
Agesilaüs gave out that he would march into Lydia, and this time he was not trying to deceive Tisaphernes. That satrap, however, utterly deluded himself, in that he disbelieved Agesilaüs because of his former trick, and thought that now, at any rate, the king would attack Caria, although it was ill-suited for cavalry, and he was far inferior in that arm of the service.
But Agesilaüs, as he had given out that he would do, marched into the plain of Sardis, and then Tisaphernes was forced to hasten thither from Caria with aid and relief; and riding through the plain with his cavalry, he cut off many straggling plunderers there. Agesilaüs, accordingly, reflecting that the enemy's infantry had not yet come up, while his own forces were complete, made haste to give battle.
He mingled his light-armed infantry with his horsemen, and ordered them to charge at full speed and assault the enemy, while he himself at once led up his men-at-arms. The Barbarians were put to flight, and the Greeks, following close upon them, took their camp and slew many of them. As a result of this battle, the Greeks could not only harry the country of the King without fear, but had the satisfaction of seeing due punishment inflicted upon Tisaphernes, an abominable man, and most hateful to the Greek race.
For the King at once sent Tithraustes after him, who cut off his head, and asked Agesilaüs to make terms and sail back home, offering him money at the hands of envoys. But Agesilaüs answered that it was for his city to make peace, and that for his own part, he took more pleasure in enriching his soldiers than in getting rich himself; moreover, the Greeks, he said, thought it honourable to take, not gifts, but spoils, from their enemies.
Nevertheless, desiring to gratify Tithraustes, because he had punished Tisaphernes, that common enemy of the Greeks, he led his army back into Phrygia, taking thirty talents from the viceroy to cover the expenses of the march.
On the road he received a dispatch-roll from the magistrates at home, which bade him assume control of the navy as well as of the army.
This was an honour which no one ever received but Agesilaüs. And he was confessedly the greatest and most illustrious man of his time, as Theopompus also has somewhere said, although he prided himself more on his virtues than on his high command.
But in putting Peisander in charge of the navy at this time, he was thought to have made a mistake; for there were older and more competent men to be had, and yet he gave the admiralty to him, not out of regard for the public good, but in recognition of the claims of relationship and to gratify his wife, who was a sister of Peisander.