And when he had crossed the Hellespont and was marching through Thrace,
he made no requests of any of the Barbarians, but sent envoys to each people asking whether he should traverse their country as a friend or as a foe. All the rest, accordingly, received him as a friend and assisted him on his way, as they were severally able; but the people called Trallians, to whom even Xerxes gave gifts, as we are told, demanded of Agesilaüs as a price for his passage a hundred talents of silver and as many women.
But he answered them with scorn, asking why, then, they did not come at once to get their price; and marched forward, and finding them drawn up for battle, engaged them, routed them, and slew many of them. He sent his usual enquiry forward to the king of the Macedonians also, who answered that he would deliberate upon it.
‘Let him deliberate, then,’ said Agesilaüs,
‘but we will march on.’ In amazement therefore at his boldness, and in fear, the Macedonian king gave orders to let him pass as a friend.
Since the Thessalians were in alliance with his enemies, he ravaged their country. But to the city of Larissa he sent Xenocles and Scythes, hoping to secure its friendship. His ambassadors, however, were arrested and kept in close custody, whereupon the rest of his command were indignant, and thought that Agesilaüs ought to encamp about Larissa and lay siege to it. But he declared that the capture of all Thessaly would not compensate him for the loss of either one of his men, and made terms with the enemy in order to get them back.
And perhaps we need not wonder at such conduct in Agesilaüs, since when he learned that a great battle had been fought near Corinth,
and that men of the highest repute had suddenly been taken off, and that although few Spartans altogether had been killed, the loss of their enemies was very heavy, he was not seen to be rejoiced or elated, but fetched a deep groan and said:
‘Alas for Hellas, which has by her own hands destroyed so many brave men! Had they lived, they could have conquered in battle all the Barbarians in the world.’
However, when the Pharsalians annoyed him and harassed his army, he ordered five hundred horsemen which he led in person to attack them, routed them, and set up a trophy at the foot of mount Narthacium. This victory gave him special pleasure, because with horsemen of his own mustering and training, and with no other force, he had conquered those whose chief pride was placed in their cavalry.