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[4] But since it proved too hard a task to break the Theban front, they were forced to do what at the outset they were loth to do. They opened their ranks and let the enemy pass through, and then, when these had got clear, and were already marching in looser array, the Spartans followed on the run and smote them on the flanks. They could not, however, put them to rout, but the Thebans withdrew to Mount Helicon, 1 greatly elated over the battle, in which, as they reasoned, their own contingent had been undefeated.

1 From the slopes of which they had advanced to the battle.

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