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Apparently the wagon bearing Masistius' body was drawn along a road behind the Greek lines, i. e. from Erythrae towards Plataea, though Macan, believing that the Greeks were still in column in the pass, thinks it went up the road through the pass to the rear.

ἐπικαταβῆναι. They moved towards Plataea, but also forwards down into the plain. H. does not understand at all the importance of this movement; by it the Greeks assumed the offensive and tried to provoke a battle. Yet if they really hoped to turn the Persian right by forcing the passage of the Asopus (Grundy, p. 473; Munro, J. H. S. xxiv. 158), this advance into the plain was absurdly rash in face of the superior Persian cavalry. Cf. App. XXII. 5.

Γαργαφίης ... Ἀνδροκράτεος. We cannot be certain that the two points given are intended to mark the extreme limits of the Greek position, though the spring Gargaphia is clearly held by the Spartans (49. 3), the right wing of the army (28. 2), and the precinct of Androcrates, a Plataean hero (Plut. Arist. 11), very probably defines the position of the left wing. Neither spring nor precinct can be identified with certainty. Woodhouse (J. H. S. xviii. 37-8) still maintains that Apotripi, the traditional site, is the true Gargaphia, but Grundy (p. 465 n.) and Munro (J. H. S. xxiv. 159) seem right in preferring Leake's Gargaphia, a more abundant spring in a much more conspicuous position. The heroon of Androcrates is placed by Grundy (466 f.) within three-quarters of a mile of Plataea, to the right of the road to Thebes (cf. Thuc. iii. 24). Munro (l. c.) and Macan follow Woodhouse (J. H. S. xviii. 38-40) in placing it at the church of St. John, a conspicuous site (cf. Plut. Arist. 11), and therefore preferable. They believe that Thucydides (l. c.) is distinguishing two roads to Thebes, which passed to the right and the left of the shrine.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plutarch, Aristeides, 11
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.24
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