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The Two Armies Line Up

The sight of these preparations decided Antigonus not to make an immediate attack upon the position, or rashly hazard an engagement. He pitched his camp a short distance from it, covering his front by the stream called Gorgylus, and there remained for some days; informing himself by reconnaisances of the peculiarities of the ground and the character of the troops, and at the same time endeavouring by feigned movements to elicit the intentions of the enemy. But he could never find an unguarded point, or one where the troops were not entirely on the alert, for Cleomenes was always ready at a moment's notice to be at any point that was attacked. He therefore gave up all thoughts of attacking the position; and finally an understanding was come to between him and Cleomenes to bring the matter to the decision of battle. And, indeed, Fortune had there brought into competition two commanders equally endowed by nature with military skill. To face the division of the enemy on Evas Antigonus stationed his Macedonian hoplites with brazen shields, and the Illyrians, drawn up in alternate lines, under the command of Alexander, son of Acmetus, and Demetrius of Pharos, respectively. Behind them he placed the Acarnanians and Cretans, and behind them again were two thousand Achaeans to act as a reserve. His cavalry, on the banks of the river Oenous, were posted opposite the enemy's cavalry, under the command of Alexander, and flanked by a thousand Achaean infantry and the same number of Megalopolitans. Antigonus himself determined to lead his mercenaries and Macedonian troops in person against the division on Olympus commanded by Cleomenes. Owing to the narrowness of the ground, the Macedonians were arranged in a double phalanx, one close behind the other, while the mercenaries were placed in front of them. It was arranged that the Illyrians, who had bivouacked in full order during the previous night along the river Gorgylus, close to the foot of Evas, were to begin their assault on the hill when they saw a flag of linen raised from the direction of Olympus; and that the Megalopolitans and cavalry should do the same when the king raised a scarlet flag.

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