Molon Withdraws Toward Media
When Molon learnt what had taken place, he sent his
cavalry, under the idea that they would easily stop those who
were actually crossing, and ride down those who had already
crossed. But as soon as they got near Xenoetas's force, their
ignorance of the ground proved fatal to them without any
enemy to attack them; for they got immersed by their own
weight, and sinking in the lakes were all rendered useless,
while many of them actually lost their lives. Xenoetas, however, feeling sure that if he only approached, Molon's forces
would all desert to him, advanced along the bank of the river and
pitched a camp close to the enemy. Thereupon Molon, either
as a stratagem, or because he really felt some doubt of the
fidelity of his men, and was afraid that some of Xenoetas's
expectations might be fulfilled, left his baggage in his camp
and started under cover of night in the direction of Media.
Xenoetas, imagining that Molon had fled in terror at his approach,
and because he distrusted the fidelity of his own troops, first
attacked and took the enemy's camp, and then sent for his own
cavalry and their baggage from the camp of Zeuxis. He next
summoned the soldiers to a meeting, and told them that they
should feel encouraged and hopeful now that Molon had fled.
With this preface, he ordered them all to attend to their bodily
wants and refresh themselves; as he intended without delay to
go in pursuit of the enemy early next morning.