Both armies advanced to the fray in high spirits and the forces were
disposed in the following manner. On the Boeotian side, the Thebans were drawn up on the right
wing, the Orchomenians on the left, and the centre of the line was made up of the other
Boeotians; the first line of the whole army was formed of what they called "charioteers and
a select group of three hundred. The Athenians were forced to
engage the enemy while still marshalling their army.
conflict ensued and at first the Athenian cavalry, fighting brilliantly, compelled the opposing
cavalry to flee; but later, after the infantry had become engaged, the Athenians who were
opposed to the Thebans were overpowered and put to flight, although the remaining Athenians
overcame the other Boeotians, slew great numbers of them, and pursued them for some distance.
But the Thebans, whose bodily strength was superior, turned
back from the pursuit, and falling on the pursuing Athenians forced them to flee; and since
they had won a conspicuous victory,2
they gained for themselves great
fame for valour.
Of the Athenians some fled for refuge to
Oropus and others to Delium
; certain of them made for
the sea and the Athenian ships; still others scattered this way and that, as chance dictated.
When night fell, the Boeotian dead were not in excess of five hundred, the Athenian many times
However, if night had not intervened, most of the Athenians would have
perished, for it broke the drive of the pursuers and brought safety to those in flight.
Even so the multitude of the slain was so great that from the
proceeds of the booty the Thebans not only constructed the great colonnade in their
market-place but also embellished it with bronze statues, and their temples and the colonnades
in the market-place they covered with bronze by the armour from the booty which they nailed to
them; furthermore, it was with this money that they instituted the festival called Delia
After the battle the Boeotians
launched assaults upon Delium
and took the place by
; of the garrison of Delium
the larger number died fighting gallantly and two hundred
were taken prisoner; the rest fled for safety to the ships and were transported with the other
refugees to Attica
. Thus the Athenians, who devised a
plot against the Boeotians, were involved in the disaster we have described.