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27. Now, the season of the year was early summer, the month of Thargelion was drawing to a close, and the summer solstice was near;1 the river exhaled a thick mist which at first hid the plain in darkness, and nothing could be seen in the enemy's camp, only an inarticulate and confused noise made its way up to the hill, showing that the vast host was moving forward. [2] But after the Corinthians had ascended the hill, where they stopped, laid down their shields, and rested themselves, the sun was passing the meridian and drawing the vapours on high, the thick haze moved in masses towards the heights and hung in clouds about the mountain summits, while the regions below cleared up, the Crimesus came into view, and the enemy were seen crossing it, in the van their four-horse chariots formidably arrayed for battle, and behind these ten thousand men-at-arms with white shields. [3] These the Corinthians conjectured to be Carthaginians, from the splendour of their armour and the slowness and good order of their march. After these the other nations streamed on and were making the crossing in tumultuous confusion. Then Timoleon, noticing that the river was putting it in their power to cut off and engage with whatever numbers of the enemy they themselves desired, and bidding his soldiers observe that the phalanx of the enemy was sundered by the river, since some of them had already crossed, while others were about to do so, [4] ordered Demaretus to take the horsemen and fall upon the Carthaginians and throw their ranks into confusion before their array was yet formed. Then he himself, descending into the plain, assigned the wings to the other Sicilian Greeks, uniting a few of his mercenaries with each wing, while he took the Syracusans and the best fighters among his mercenaries under his own command in the centre. Then he waited a little while, watching what his horsemen would do, [5] and when he saw that they were unable to come to close quarters with the Carthaginians on account of the chariots which coursed up and down in front of their lines, but were forced to wheel about continually that their ranks might not be broken, and to make their charges in quick succession after facing about again, he took up his shield and shouted to his infantrymen to follow and be of good courage; and his voice seemed stronger than usual and more than human, whether it was from emotion that he made it so loud, in view of the struggle and the enthusiasm which it inspired, or whether, as most felt at the time, some deity joined in his utterance. [6] Then, his men re-echoing his shout, and begging him to lead them on without delay, he signalled to his horsemen to ride along outside and past the line of chariots and attack the enemy on the flank, while he himself made his vanguard lock their shields in close array, ordered the trumpet to sound the charge, and fell upon the Carthaginians.

1 It was early in June, 339 B.C.

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