81.The Acarnanians seeing a great army by land was entered their country already and expecting the enemy also by sea, joined not to succour Stratus but guarded everyone his own and sent for aid to Phormio.But he answered them that since there was a fleet to be set forth from Corinth, he could not leave Naupactus without a guard.
The Peloponnesians and their confederates, with their army divided into three, marched on towards the city of the Stratians to the end that, being encamped near it, if they yielded not on parley, they might presently assault the walls.
So they went on, the Chaonians and other barbarians in the middle, the Leucadians and Anactorians and such others as were with these on the right hand, and Cnemus with the Peloponnesians and Ambraciotes on the left, each army at great distance and sometimes out of sight of one another.
The Grecians in their march kept their order and went warily on till they had gotten a convenient place to encamp in.But the Chaonians, confident of themselves and by the inhabitants of that continent accounted most warlike, had not the patience to take in any ground for a camp but carried furiously on together with the rest of the barbarians, thought to have taken the town by their clamour and to have the action ascribed only to themselves.
But they of Stratus, aware of this whilst they were yet in their way and imagining if they could overcome these thus divided from the other two armies, that the Grecians also would be the less forward to come on, placed divers ambushes not far from the city and, when the enemies approached, fell upon them both from the city and from the ambushes at once and, putting them into affright, slew many of the Chaonians upon the place;
and the rest of the barbarians, seeing these to shrink, stayed no longer but fled outright.
Neither of the Grecian armies had knowledge of this skirmish because they were gone so far before to choose (as they then thought) a commodious place to pitch in.
But when the barbarians came back upon them running, they received them and joining both camps together stirred no more for that day.And the Stratians assaulted them not, for want of the aid of the rest of the Acarnanians, but used their slings against them and troubled them much that way (for without their men of arms there was no stirring for them);and in this kind the Acarnanians are held excellent.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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