Then, in distress at this state of affairs, while the seer slew victim after victim, Pausanias turned his face, all tears, toward the Heraeum, and with hands uplifted prayed Cithaeronian Hera and the other gods of the Plataean land that, if it was not the lot of the Hellenes to be victorious, they might at least do great deeds before they fell, and show to a certainty that their enemies had marched out against men who were brave and who knew how to fight.
While Pausanias was thus calling on the gods, right in the midst of his prayers, the sacrifices showed themselves propitious and the seer announced victory. Word was at once passed all along the line to set themselves in motion against the enemy, and the phalanx suddenly had the look of a fierce beast bristling up to defend itself. The Barbarians then got assurance that their contest was to be with men who would fight to the death.
Therefore they made a rampart of their wicker targets and shot their arrows into the ranks of the Lacedaemonians. These, however, kept their shields closely locked together as they advanced, fell upon their foemen, tore away their wicker targets, and then, smiting the Persians in face and breast with their long spears, they slew many, who nevertheless did great deeds of courage before they fell. For they grasped the long spears with their naked hands, fractured them for the most part, and then took to short-range fighting with a will, plying their daggers and scimetars, tearing away their enemies' shields, and locking them in close embrace; and so they held out a long time.
The Athenians, meanwhile, were quietly awaiting the Lacedaemonians. But when the shouts of those engaged in battle fell loud upon their ears, and there came, as they say, a messenger from Pausanias telling them what was happening, they set out with speed to aid him. However, as they were advancing through the plain to his aid, the Medising Hellenes bore down upon them.
Then Aristides, to begin with, when he saw them, went far forward and shouted to them, invoking the gods of Hellas, that they refrain from battle, and oppose not nor hinder those who were bearing aid to men standing in the van of danger for the sake of Hellas. But as soon as he saw that they paid no heed to him, and were arrayed for battle, then he turned aside from rendering aid where he had proposed, and engaged with these, though they were about fifty thousand in number.
But the greater part of them at once gave way and withdrew, especially as the Barbarians had also retired, and the battle is said to have been fought chiefly with the Thebans, whose foremost and most influential men were at that time very eagerly Medising, and carried with them the multitude, not of choice, but at the bidding of the few.