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Defeat of the Lacedaemonians

Meanwhile the Achaean general was doing all he could to rally the mercenaries, addressing the officers by name, and urging them to stand; but when he saw that they were hopelessly beaten, he did not run away in a panic nor give up the battle in despair, but, withdrawing under cover of his phalanx, waited until the enemy had passed him in their pursuit, and left the ground on which the fighting had taken place empty, and then immediately gave the word to the front companies of the phalanx to wheel to the left, and advance at the double, without breaking their ranks. He thus swiftly occupied the ground abandoned by his mercenaries, and at once cut off the pursuers from returning, and got on higher ground than the enemy's right wing. He exhorted the men to keep up their courage, and remain where they were, until he gave the word for a general advance; and he ordered Polybius of Megalopolis1 to collect such of the Illyrians and body armour men and mercenaries as remained behind and had not taken part in the flight, and form a reserve on the flank of the phalanx, to keep a look-out against the return of the pursuers.
The fight at the dyke.
Thereupon the Lacedaemonians, excited by the victory gained by the light-armed contingent, without waiting for the word of command, brought their sarissae to the charge and rushed upon the enemy. But when in the course of their advance they reached the edge of the dyke, being unable at that point to change their purpose and retreat when at such close quarters with the enemy, and partly because they did not consider the dyke a serious obstacle, as the slope down to it was very gradual, and it was entirely without water or underwood growing in it, they continued their advance through it without stopping to think.

1 See on 27, 4.

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