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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 218

62, and while he was yet calling upon her thus, the Tegeans started forward before them and advanced against the Barbarians, and forthwith after the prayer of Pausanias the offerings proved favourable for the Lacedemonians as they sacrificed. So when this at length came to pass, then they also advanced against the Persians; and the Persians put away their bows and came against them. Then first there was fighting about the wicker-work shields, and when these had been overturned, after that the fighting was fierce by the side of the temple of Demeter, and so continued for a long time, until at last they came to justling; for the Barbarians would take hold of the spears and break them off. Now in courage and in strength the Persians were not inferior to the others, but they were without defensive armour, 66 and moreover they were unversed in war and unequal to their opponents in skill; and they would dart out one at a time or in groups of about ten together, some more and some less, and fall upon the Spartans and perish..

63. In the place where Mardonios himself was, riding on a white horse and having about him the thousand best men of the Persians chosen out from the rest, here, I say, they pressed upon their opponents most of all: and so long as Mardonios survived, they held out against them, and defending themselves they cast down many of the Lacedemonians; but when Mardonios was slain and the men who were ranged about his person, which was the strongest portion of the whole army, had fallen, then the others too turned and gave way before the Lacedemonians; for their manner of dress, without defensive armour, was a very great cause of destruction to them, since in truth they were contending light-armed against hoplites..

64. Then the satisfaction for the murder of Leonidas was paid by Mardonios according to the oracle given to the Spartans, 67 and the most famous victory of all those about which we have knowledge was gained by Pausanias the son of Cleombrotos, the son of Anaxandrides; of his ancestors above this the names have been given for Leonidas, 68 since, as it happens, they are the same for both. Now Mardonios was slain by Arimnestos, 69 a man of consideration in Sparta, who afterwards, when the Median wars were over, with three hundred men fought a battle against the whole army of the Messenians, then at war with the Lacedemonians, at Stenycleros, and both he was slain and also the three hundred..

65. When the Persians were turned to flight at Plataia by the Lacedemonians, they fled in disorder to their own camp and to the palisade which they had made in the Theban territory: 70 and it is a marvel to me that, whereas they fought by the side of the sacred grove of Demeter, not one of the Persians was found to have entered the enclosure or to have been slain within it, but round about the temple in the unconsecrated ground fell the greater number of the slain. I suppose (if one ought to suppose anything about divine things) that the goddess herself refused to receive them, because they had set fire to the temple, that is to say the "palace" 71 at Eleusis.


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