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[22] and when the flanks of the square drew apart again, they would fill up the space between the wings, by companies in case this space was rather narrow, by platoons in case it was broader, or, if it was very broad, by squads1—the idea being, to have the gap filled up in any event.

1 The squad, or quarter company, consisting of 25 men (i.e. 24 the leader), normally marched three abreast, i.e. with a front of three and a depth of eight. The company might be formed in any one of three ways: (a) one squad front and four deep, (b) two squads front and two deep, or (c) four squads front and one deep. Three companies ranged alongside one another in formation (a) would thus have a front of three squads or nine men, in formation (b) a front of eighteen men, and in formation (c) a front of thirty-six men. It is these three dispositions of the three special companies at the front of the square which Xenophon terms, respectively, “by companies,” “by platoons,” and “by squads.”

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