As soon as the enemy were well in sight, Philopoemen
went down the ranks of the phalanx, and addressed to them an
exhortation which, though short, clearly pointed out to them
the nature of the battle in which they were engaged. But
most of what he said was rendered inaudible by the answering
shouts of the troops. The affection and confidence of the
men rose to such a pitch of enthusiasm and zeal that they
seemed to be almost acting under a divine inspiration, as
they cried out to him to lead them on and fear nothing.
However he tried, when he could get the opportunity, to
make this much clear to them, that the battle on the one
side was to establish a shameful and ignominious servitude,
on the other to vindicate an ever-memorable and glorious
Machanidas at first looked as though he meant to attack the
The attack of Machanidas.
enemy's right wing in column; but when he got
within moderate distance he deployed into line
by the right, and by this extension movement
made his right wing cover the same amount of ground as the
left wing of the Achaeans, and fixed his catapults in front of
the whole force at intervals. Philopoemen understood that
the enemy's plan was, by pouring volleys from the catapults
into his phalanx, to throw the ranks into confusion: he therefore gave him no time or interval of repose, but opened the
engagement by a vigorous charge of his Tarentines1
to the temple of Poseidon, where the ground
was flat and suitable for cavalry.
The battle begun by light-cavalry charges.
Machanidas was constrained to follow suit by
sending his Tarentines forward also.