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The History Of Herodotus Volume 2 of 2

Page: 219

66. Thus far then had this battle proceeded: but Artabazos the son of Pharnakes had been displeased at the very first because Mardonios remained behind after the king was gone; and afterwards he had been bringing forward objections continually and doing nothing, but had urged them always not to fight a battle: and for himself he acted as follows, not being pleased with the things which were being done by Mardonios.—The men of whom Artabazos was commander (and he had with him no small force but one which was in number as much as four myriads 72 of men), these, when the fighting began, being well aware what the issue of the battle would be, he led carefully, 73 having first given orders that all should go by the way which he should lead them and at the same pace at which they should see him go. Having given these orders he led his troops on pretence of taking them into battle; and when he was well on his way, he saw the Persians already taking flight. Then he no longer led his men in the same order as before, but set off at a run, taking flight by the quickest way not to the palisade nor yet to the wall of the Thebans, but towards Phokis, desiring as quickly as possible to reach the Hellespont..

67. These, I say, were thus directing their march: and in the meantime, while the other Hellenes who were on the side of the king were purposely slack in the fight, 74 the Boeotians fought with the Athenians for a long space; for those of the Thebans who took the side of the Medes had no small zeal for the cause, and they fought and were not slack, so that three hundred of them, the first and best of all, fell there by the hands of the Athenians: and when these also turned to flight, they fled to Thebes, not to the same place as the Persians: and the main body of the other allies fled without having fought constantly with any one or displayed any deeds of valour..

68. And this is an additional proof to me that all the fortunes of the Barbarians depended upon the Persians, namely that at that time these men fled before they had even engaged with the enemy, because they saw the Persians doing so. Thus all were in flight except only the cavalry, including also that of the Boeotians; and this rendered service to the fugitives by constantly keeping close to the enemy and separating the fugitives of their own side from the Hellenes..

69. The victors then were coming after the troops of Xerxes, both pursuing them and slaughtering them; and during the time when this panic arose, the report was brought to the other Hellenes who had posted themselves about the temple of Hera and had been absent from the battle, that a battle had taken place and that the troops of Pausanias were gaining the victory. When they heard this, then without ranging themselves in any order the Corinthians and those near them turned to go by the skirts of the mountain and by the low hills along the way which led straight up to the temple of Demeter, while the Megarians and Phliasians and those near them went by the plain along the smoothest way. When however the Megarians and Phliasians came near to the enemy, the cavalry of the Thebans caught sight of them from a distance hurrying along without any order, and rode up to attack them, the commander of the cavalry being Asopodoros the son of Timander; and having fallen upon them they slew six hundred of them, and the rest they pursued and drove to Kithairon.


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