113.On the following day there arrived a herald from the Ambraciots who had escaped out
of1 Olpae to the Agraeans.He came to recover the bodies of the dead who had been slain subsequently to the first
engagement, when, unprotected by the treaty, they tried to get out of Olpae in company
with the Mantineans and others protected by it.
The herald saw the arms of the Ambraciot troops from the city and wondered at the
number of them; he knew nothing of the later disaster, and he imagined that
they belonged to his own division of the army.
Some one present thought that the herald had come from the army defeated at
Idomenè, and asked why he looked so astonished, and how many of their men had
fallen; he replied, 'about two hundred2 '; whereupon the other rejoined, 'These which you see are not the arms of two
hundred men, but of more than a thousand.'
The herald replied, 'Then they cannot be the arms of our men.'The other answered, 'They must be, if you were fighting yesterday at
Idomenè.''But yesterday we did not fight at all; it was the day before, in the retreat.''All I know is that we fought yesterday with these men, who were marching to your aid
When the herald heard these words, and knew that the army coming from the city had
perished, he uttered a cry of anguish, and, overwhelmed by the greatness of the blow,
went away at once without doing his errand, no longer caring to demand the dead.
And indeed in the whole war no such calamity happened within so few days to any
Hellenic state3.I have not ventured to set down the number of those who fell, for the loss would appear
incredible when compared with the size of the city.Of this I am certain, that if the Acarnanians had been willing to destroy Ambracia as
Demosthenes and the Athenians desired, they might have taken it at the first onset.But they were afraid that the Athenians, if they once got possession of the place,
would be more troublesome neighbours than the Ambraciots4.
Despair of the herald who came from the fugitive Ambraciots when he heard of the
second and greater defeat.
An XML version of this text is available for download,
with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted
changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.