And since he was now of an altogether harsh disposition, owing to the melancholy which persisted into his old age, he stirred up the ephors, and persuaded them to fit out an expedition against the Thebans; and assuming the command, he set out on the campaign.1
Afterwards the ephors sent out Pausanias the king also with an army.
Now it was the plan that Pausanias should make a circuit by the way of Mount Cithaeron, and then invade Boeotia, while Lysander marched through Phocis to meet him, with a large force. He took the city of Orchomenus, which came over to him of its own accord, and assaulted and plundered Lebadeia. Then he sent a letter to Pausanias, bidding him move from Plataea and join forces with him at Haliartus, and promising that he himself would be before the walls of Haliartus at break of day. This letter was brought to Thebes by some scouts, into whose hands its bearer fell.
The Thebans therefore entrusted their city to a force of Athenians which had come to their aid, while they themselves set out early in the night, and succeeded in reaching Haliartus a little before Lysander, and a considerable part of them entered the city. Lysander at first decided to post his army on a hill and wait for Pausanias; then, as the day advanced, being unable to remain inactive, he took his arms, encouraged his allies, and led them along the road in column towards the wall of the city.
But those of the Thebans who had remained outside, taking the city on their left, advanced upon the rear of their enemy, at the spring called Cissusa. Here, as the story goes, his nurses bathed the infant Dionysus after his birth for the water has the color and sparkle of wine, is clear, and very pleasant to the taste. And not far away the Cretan storax-shrub grows in profusion, which the Haliartians regard as a proof that Rhadamanthus once dwelt there; and they show his tomb, which they call AIea.
And near by is also the memorial of Alcmene; for she was buried there, as they say, having lived with Rhadamanthus after the death of Amphitryon.
But the Thebans inside the city, drawn up in battle array with the Haliartians, kept quiet for some time; when, however, they saw Lysander with his foremost troops approaching the wall, they suddenly threw open the gate and fell upon them, and killed Lysander himself with his soothsayer, and a few of the rest; for the greater part of them fled swiftly hack to the main body.
And when the Thebans made no halt, but pressed hard upon them, the whole force turned to the hills in flight, and a thousand of them were slain. Three hundred of the Thebans also lost their lives by pursuing their enemies into rough and dangerous places. These had been accused of favouring the Spartan cause, and in their eagerness to clear themselves of this charge in the eyes of their fellow-citizens, they exposed themselves needlessly in the pursuit, and so threw away their lives.2