Meanwhile Agesilaus was hurrying from Asia to the rescue; and when he was at Amphipolis, Dercylidas brought him word that this time the1
Lacedaemonians were victorious, and that only eight of them had been killed, but of the enemy a vast number; he made it known to him, however, that not a few of the allies of the Lacedaemonians had also fallen.
And when Agesilaus asked: “Would it not be advantageous, Dercylidas, if the cities which are sending their troops with us should learn of the victory as speedily as possible?” Dercylidas replied: “It is certainly likely that they would be in better spirits if they heard of this.” “Then are not you the man who could report it best, since you were present at the battle?” And Dercylidas, glad to hear this, for he was always fond of travel, replied: “If you should so order.” “Well, I do,” said Agesilaus, “and I bid you announce, further, that if the present undertaking also turns out well, we shall come back again, even as we said.”
Accordingly Dercylidas set out at once for the Hellespont.
And Agesilaus, passing through Macedonia, arrived in Thessaly. Then the Larisaeans, Crannonians, Scotussaeans, and Pharsalians, who were allies of the Boeotians, and in fact all the Thessalians except those of them who chanced at that time to be exiles, followed after him and kept molesting him.
And for a time he led the army in a hollow square, with one half of the horsemen in front and the other half at the rear; but when the Thessalians, by charging upon those who were behind, kept interfering with his progress, he sent along to the rear the vanguard of horsemen also, except those about his own person.
Now when the two forces had formed in line of battle against one another, the Thessalians, thinking that it was not expedient to engage as cavalry in a battle with hoplites, turned2
round and slowly retired.
And the Greeks very cautiously followed them. Agesilaus, however, perceiving the mistakes which each side was making, sent the very stalwart horsemen who were about his person and ordered them not only to give word to the others to pursue with all speed, but to do likewise themselves, and not to give the Thessalians a chance to face round again.
And when the Thessalians saw them rushing upon them unexpectedly, some of them fled, others turned about, and others, in trying to do this, were captured while their horses were turned half round.
But Polycharmus the Pharsalian, who was the commander of the cavalry, turned round and fell fighting, together with those about him. When this happened, there followed a headlong flight on the part of the Thessalians, so that some of them were killed and others were captured. At all events they did not stop until they had arrived at Mount Narthacium.
On that day, accordingly, Agesilaus set up a trophy between Pras and Narthacium and remained on the field of battle, greatly pleased with his exploit, in that he had been victorious, over the people who pride themselves particularly upon their horsemanship, with the cavalry that he had himself gathered together. And on the following day he crossed the Achaean mountains of Phthia and marched on through a friendly country all the rest of the way, even to the boundaries of the Boeotians.
When he was at the entrance to Boeotia, the sun seemed to appear crescent-shaped, and word was brought to him that the Lacedaemonians had been defeated in the naval battle and the admiral, Peisander,3
had been killed. It was also stated in what way the battle had been fought.
For it was near4
Cnidos that the fleets sailed against one another, and Pharnabazus, who was admiral, was with the Phoenician ships, while Conon5
with the Greek fleet was posted in front of him.
And when Peisander, in spite of his ships being clearly fewer than the Greek ships under Conon, had formed his line of battle against them, his allies on the left wing immediately fled, and he himself, after coming to close encounter with the enemy, was driven ashore, his trireme damaged by the enemy's beaks; and all the others who were driven ashore abandoned their ships and made their escape as best they could to Cnidos, but he fell fighting on board his ship.
Now Agesilaus, on learning these things, at first was overcome with sorrow; but when he had considered that the most of his troops were the sort of men to share gladly in good fortune if good fortune came, but that if they saw anything unpleasant, they were under no compulsion to share in it,6
—thereupon, changing the report, he said that word had come that Peisander was dead, but victorious in the naval battle.
And at the moment of saying these things he offered sacrifice as if for good news, and sent around to many people portions of the victims which had been offered; so that when a skirmish with the enemy took place, the troops of Agesilaus won the day in consequence of the report that the Lacedaemonians were victorious in the naval battle.
Those who were now drawn up against Agesilaus were the Boeotians, Athenians, Argives, Corinthians, Aenianians, Euboeans, and both7
the Locrian peoples; while with Agesilaus was a regiment of Lacedaemonians which had crossed over from Corinth, half8
of the regiment from Orchomenus, furthermore the emancipated Helots from Lacedaemon who had made the expedition with him, besides these the foreign contingent which Herippidas commanded, and, furthermore, the troops from the Greek cities in Asia and from all those cities in Europe which he had brought over as he passed through them; and from the immediate neighbourhood there came to him hoplites of the Orchomenians and Phocians. As for peltasts, those with Agesilaus were far more numerous; on the other hand, the horsemen of either side were about equal in number.
This, then, was the force on both sides; and I will also describe the battle, and how it proved to be like no other of the battles of our time. They met on the plain of Coronea, those with Agesilaus coming from the Cephisus, and those with the Thebans from Mount Helicon. And Agesilaus occupied the right wing of the army under his command, while the Orchomenians were at the extreme end of his left wing. On the other side, the Thebans themselves were on the right and the Argives occupied their left wing.
Now as the opposing armies were coming together, there was deep silence for a time in both lines; but when they were distant from one another about a stadium, the Thebans raised the war-cry and rushed to close quarters on the run. When, however, the distance between the armies was still about three plethra, the troops whom Herippidas commanded, and with them the Ionians, Aeolians, and Hellespontines, ran forth in their turn from the phalanx of Agesilaus, and the whole mass joined in the charge and, when they came within spear thrust, put to flight the force in their front. As for the Argives, they9
did not await the attack of the forces of Agesilaus, but fled to Mount Helicon.
Thereupon some of the mercenaries were already garlanding Agesilaus, when a man brought him word that the Thebans had cut their way through the Orchomenians and were in among the baggage train. And he immediately wheeled his phalanx and led the advance against them; but the Thebans on their side, when they saw that their allies had taken refuge at Mount Helicon, wishing to break through to join their own friends, massed themselves together and came on stoutly.
At this point one may unquestionably call Agesilaus courageous; at least he certainly did not choose the safest course. For while he might have let the men pass by who were trying to break through and then have followed them and overcome those in the rear, he did not do this, but crashed against the Thebans front to front; and setting shields against shields they shoved, fought, killed, and were killed. Finally, some of the Thebans broke through and reached Mount Helicon, but many were killed while making their way thither.
Now when the victory had fallen to Agesilaus and he himself had been carried, wounded, to the phalanx, some of the horsemen rode up and told him that about eighty of the enemy, still armed, had taken shelter in the temple of Athena, and asked him what they should do. And he, although he had received many wounds, nevertheless did not forget the deity, but ordered them to allow these men to go away whithersoever they wished, and would permit them to commit no wrong. Then—it was already late—they took dinner and lay down to rest.
And in the morning10
Agesilaus gave orders that Gylis, the polemarch, should draw up the army in line of battle and set up a trophy, that all should deck themselves with garlands in honour of the god,11
and that all the flute-players should play. And they did these things. The Thebans, however, sent heralds asking to bury their dead under a truce. In this way, accordingly, the truce was made, and Agesilaus went to Delphi and offered to the god a tithe of the amount derived from his booty, an offering of not less than one hundred talents; but Gylis, the polemarch, withdrew with the army to Phocis and from there made an invasion of Locris.
And for most of the day the soldiers busied themselves in carrying off portable property and provisions from the villages; but when it was towards evening and they were withdrawing, the Lacedaemonians being in the rear, the Locrians followed after them throwing stones and javelins. And when the Lacedaemonians, turning about and setting out in pursuit, had struck down some of them, after that, although the Locrians no longer followed in their rear, they threw missiles upon them from the heights upon their right.
Then the Lacedaemonians again undertook to pursue them, even up the slope; but since darkness was coming on and, as they were retiring from the pursuit, some of them fell on account of the roughness of the country, others because they could not see what was ahead of them, and still others from the missiles of the enemy, under these circumstances Gylis, the polemarch, and Pelles, one of his comrades, were slain, and in all about eighteen of the Spartiatae, some by being stoned to death, some by javelin12
wounds. And if some of those who were in the camp at dinner had not come to their aid, all of them would have been in danger of perishing.