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As Cleomenes was seeking divination at Delphi, the oracle responded that he would take Argos. When he came with Spartans to the river Erasinus, which is said to flow from the StymphalianThe Stymphalian lake, near the base of Cyllene, discharges itself into a cavern at the foot of a cliff; the river which reappears near Argos (the Erasinus) has been generally identified with this stream. lake (this lake issues into a cleft out of sight and reappears at Argos, and from that place onwards the stream is called by the Argives Erasinus）—when Cleomenes came to this river he offered sacrifices to it. The omens were in no way favorable for his crossing, so he said that he honored the Erasinus for not betraying its countrymen, but even so the Argives would not go unscathed. Then he withdrew and led his army seaward to Thyrea, where he sacrificed a bull to the sea and carried his men on shipboard to the region of Tiryns and to Naupli
The Argives heard of this and came to the coast to do battle with him. When they had come near Tiryns and were at the place called Hesipeia, they encamped opposite the Lacedaemonians, leaving only a little space between the armies. There the Argives had no fear of fair fighting, but rather of being captured by a trick. This was the affair referred to by that oracle which the Pythian priestess gave to the Argives and Milesians in common, which ran thus: When the female defeats the maleThis would be fulfilled by a victory of the female *spa/rth over the male *)argos. And drives him away, winning glory in Argos, She will make many Argive women tear their cheeks. As someday one of men to come will say: The dread thrice-coiled serpent died tamed by the spear. All these things coming together spread fear among the Argives. Therefore they resolved to defend themselves by making use of the enemies' herald, and they performed their resolve in this way: whenever the Spartan herald signalled an
But Argos was so wholly deprived of men that their slaves took possession of all affairs, ruling and governing until the sons of the slain men grew up. Then they recovered Argos for themselves and cast out the slaves; when they were driven out, the slaves took possession of Tiryns by force. For a while they were at peace with each other; but then there came to the slaves a prophet, Cleander, a man of Phigalea in Arcadia by birth; he persuaded the slaves to attack their masters. From that time there was a long-lasting war between them, until with difficulty the Argives got the upper hand.About 468, apparently.