At dead of night Pyrrhus came up to the walls of the city, and finding that the gate called Diamperes had been thrown open for them by Aristeas, was undiscovered long enough for his Gauls to enter the city and take possession of the marketplace. But the gate would not admit his elephants, and therefore the towers had to be taken off their backs and put on again when the animals were inside, in darkness and confusion. This caused delay, and the Argives, taking tile alarm, ran up to the Aspis and other strong places of the city, and sending to Antigonus called upon him for help.
Antigonus marched up close to the city, and lying in wait there himself, sent his generals and his son inside with a considerable relief-force. Areus also came, with a thousand Cretans and Spartans (the most lightly armed). All these troops united in an assault upon the Gauls and threw them into great confusion. And Pyrrhus, who now entered the city with shouts and cries by way of Cylarabis,1
noticed that the Gauls did not answer his men with any vigour or courage, and therefore conjectured that their response was that of men confounded and in distress.
Accordingly, he led on faster, pushing along the horsemen in front of him, who were making their way with difficulty among the water-conduits, of which the city is full, and were in peril of their lives from them. And now, in this night-battle, there was great uncertainty as to what commands were given and how the commands were carried out; men straggled and lost their way among the narrow streets, and generalship was of no avail owing to the darkness, confused shouting, and confined spaces; both parties therefore were unable to accomplish anything and waited for the day.
But when at last it began to grow light, the sight of the Aspis filled with armed enemies greatly disturbed Pyrrhus; moreover, among the numerous votive-offerings in the market-place he caught sight of a wolf and bull in bronze, represented as closing with one another in battle, and he was dumbfounded, for he called to mind an ancient oracle regarding himself which declared that it was fated for him to die when he saw a wolf fighting with a bull.
Now, the Argives say that these figures were set up in their market-place as memorials of an ancient event. Namely, when Danaüs first landed in the country, near Pyramia in the district of Thyreatis, and was on his way to Argos, he saw a wolf fighting with a bull; and conceiving that he himself was represented by the wolf (since both were strangers and were attacking the natives), he watched the battle to its end, and when the wolf had prevailed, paid his vows to Apollo Lyceius (the wolf-god), attacked the city, and was victorious, after Gelanor, who was at that time king of Argos, had been driven out by a faction. This, then, was the significance of the dedication.2