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At this stage of the struggle they say that a great light flamed out from Eleusis, and an echoing cry filled the Thriasian plain down to the sea, as of multitudes of men together conducting the mystic Iacchus in procession. Then out of the shouting throng a cloud seemed to lift itself slowly from the earth, pass out seawards, and settle down upon the triremes. Others fancied they saw apparitions and shapes of armed men coming from Aegina with their hands stretched out to protect the Hellenic triremes. These, they conjectured, were the Aeacidae, who had been prayerfully invoked before the battle to come to their aid.1 [2]

Now the first man to capture an enemy's ship was Lycomedes, an Athenian captain, who cut off its figure-head and dedicated it to Apollo the Laurel-bearer at Phlya. Then the rest, put on an equality in numbers with their foes, because the Barbarians had to attack them by detachments in the narrow strait and so ran foul of one another, routed them, though they resisted till the evening drew on, and thus ‘bore away,’ as Simonides says,2 ‘that fair and notorious victory, than which no more brilliant exploit was ever performed upon the sea, either by Hellenes or Barbarians, through the manly valor and common ardor of all who fought their ships, but through the clever judgment of Themistocles.’

1 Hdt. 8.64

2 Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graeci, iii&44 p. 423.

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