113.The next day there came a herald from those Ambraciotes which fled from Olpae into Agrais to demand leave to carry away the bodies of those dead which were slain after the first battle, when without truce they went away together with the Mantineans and with those that had truce.
But when the herald saw the armours of those Ambraciotes that came from the city, he wondered at the number, for he knew nothing of this last blow but thought they had been armours of those with them.
Then one asked him what he wondered at and how many he thought were slain;for he that asked him the question thought, on the other side, that he had been a herald sent from those at Idomene.And he answered, about two hundred.Then he that asked replied and said: ‘Then these are not the armours of them, but of above a thousand.’
‘Then,’ said he again, ‘they belong not to them that were in battle with us.’ The other answered: ‘Yes, if you fought yesterday in Idomene.’ ‘But we fought not yesterday at all, but the other day in our retreat.’ ‘But we yet fought yesterday with those Ambraciotes that came from the city to aid the rest.’
When the herald heard that and knew that the aid from the city was defeated, he burst out into Aimees, and astonished with the greatness of the present loss, forthwith went his way without his errand and required the dead bodies no farther.
For this loss was greater than, in the like number of days, happened to any one city of Greece in all this war.I have not written the number of the slain because it was said to be such as is incredible for the quantity of the city.But this I know: that if the Acarnanians and Amphilochians, as Demosthenes and the Athenians would have had them, would have subdued Ambracia, they might have done it even with the shout of their voices.But they feared now that if the Athenians possessed it, they would prove more troublesome neighbours unto them than the other.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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