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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 217

59. Thus having spoken he led on the Persians at a run, after they had crossed the Asopos, on the track of the Hellenes, supposing that these were running away from him; and he directed his attack upon the Lacedemonians and Tegeans only, for the Athenians, whose march was towards the plain, he did not see by reason of the hills. Then the rest of the commanders of the Barbarian divisions, seeing that the Persians had started to pursue the Hellenes, forthwith all raised the signals for battle and began to pursue, each as fast as they could, not arranged in any order or succession of post..

60. These then were coming on with shouting and confused numbers, thinking to make short work of 64 the Hellenes; and Pausanias, when the cavalry began to attack, sent to the Athenians a horseman and said thus: "Athenians, now that the greatest contest is set before us, namely that which has for its issue the freedom or the slavery of Hellas, we have been deserted by our allies, we Lacedemonians and ye Athenians, seeing that they have run away during the night that is past. Now therefore it is determined what we must do upon this, namely that we must defend ourselves and protect one another as best we may. If then the cavalry had set forth to attack you at the first, we and the Tegeans, who with us refuse to betray the cause of Hellas, should have been bound to go to your help; but as it is, since the whole body has come against us, it is right that ye should come to that portion of the army which is hardest pressed, to give aid. If however anything has happened to you which makes it impossible for you to come to our help, then do us a kindness by sending to us the archers; and we know that ye have been in the course of this present war by far the most zealous of all, so that ye will listen to our request in this matter also.".

61. When the Athenians heard this they were desirous to come to their help and to assist them as much as possible; and as they were already going, they were attacked by those of the Hellenes on the side of the king who had been ranged opposite to them, so that they were no longer able to come to the help of the Lacedemonians, for the force that was attacking them gave them much trouble. Thus the Lacedemonians and Tegeans were left alone, being in number, together with light-armed men, the former fifty thousand and the Tegeans three thousand; for these were not parted at all from the Lacedemonians: and they began to offer sacrifice, meaning to engage battle with Mardonios and the force which had come against them. Then since their offerings did not prove favourable, and many of them were being slain during this time and many more wounded,—for the Persians had made a palisade of their wicker-work shields 65 and were discharging their arrows in great multitude and without sparing,—Pausanias, seeing that the Spartans were hard pressed and that the offerings did not prove favourable, fixed his gaze upon the temple of Hera of the Plataians and called upon the goddess to help, praying that they might by no means be cheated of their hope:.


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