71.Whilst they were yet marching up, Agis, the king thought of this course.All armies do thus.In the conflict they extend their right wing so as it cometh in upon the flank of the left wing of the enemy: and this happeneth for that every one, through fear, seeketh all he can to cover his unarmed side with the shield of him that standeth next to him on his right hand, conceiving that to be so locked together is their best defence.The beginning hereof is in the leader of the first file on the right hand, who ever striving to shift his unarmed side from the enemy, the rest upon like fear follow after.And at this time, the Mantineans in the right wing had far encompassed the Sciritae;
and the Lacedaemonians on the other side, and the Tegeats, were come in yet further upon the flank of the Athenians, by as much as they had the greater army.
Wherefore Agis, fearing lest his left wing should be encompassed, and supposing the Mantineans to be come in far, signified unto the Sciritae and Brasideians to draw out part of their bands, and therewith to equalise their left wing to the right wing of the Mantineans;and into the void space he commanded to come up Hipponoidas and Aristocles, two colonels, with their bands out of the right wing, and to fall in there and make up the breach, conceiving that more than enough would still be remaining in their right wing, and that the left wing opposed to the Mantineans would be the stronger.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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