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History of The Peloponnesian War - Book IV   


Stand your ground therefore when they advance, and again wait your
opportunity to retire in good order, and you will reach a place of
safety all the sooner, and will know for ever afterwards that rabble
such as these, to those who sustain their first attack, do but show
off their courage by threats of the terrible things that they are
going to do, at a distance, but with those who give way to them are
quick enough to display their heroism in pursuit when they can do so
without danger."
With this brief address Brasidas began to lead off his army.
Seeing this, the barbarians came on with much shouting and hubbub,
thinking that he was flying and that they would overtake him and cut
him off. But wherever they charged they found the young men ready to
dash out against them, while Brasidas with his picked company
sustained their onset. Thus the Peloponnesians withstood the first
attack, to the surprise of the enemy, and afterwards received and
repulsed them as fast as they came on, retiring as soon as their
opponents became quiet. The main body of the barbarians ceased
therefore to molest the Hellenes with Brasidas in the open country,
and leaving behind a certain number to harass their march, the rest
went on after the flying Macedonians, slaying those with whom they
came up, and so arrived in time to occupy the narrow pass between
two hills that leads into the country of Arrhabaeus. They knew that
this was the only way by which Brasidas could retreat, and now
proceeded to surround him just as he entered the most impracticable
part of the road, in order to cut him off.
Brasidas, perceiving their intention, told his three hundred to
run on without order, each as quickly as he could, to the hill which
seemed easiest to take, and to try to dislodge the barbarians
already there, before they should be joined by the main body closing
round him. These attacked and overpowered the party upon the hill, and
the main army of the Hellenes now advanced with less difficulty
towards it- the barbarians being terrified at seeing their men on
that side driven from the height and no longer following the main
body, who, they considered, had gained the frontier and made good
their escape. The heights once gained, Brasidas now proceeded more
securely, and the same day arrived at Arnisa, the first town in the
dominions of Perdiccas. The soldiers, enraged at the desertion of
the Macedonians, vented their rage on all their yokes of oxen which
they found on the road, and on any baggage which had tumbled off (as
might easily happen in the panic of a night retreat), by unyoking
and cutting down the cattle and taking the baggage for themselves.
From this moment Perdiccas began to regard Brasidas as an enemy and to
feel against the Peloponnesians a hatred which could not be
congenial to the adversary of the Athenians. However, he departed from
his natural interests and made it his endeavour to come to terms
with the latter and to get rid of the former.
On his return from Macedonia to Torone, Brasidas found the Athenians
already masters of Mende, and remained quiet where he was, thinking it
now out of his power to cross over into Pallene and assist the
Mendaeans, but he kept good watch over Torone. For about the same time
as the campaign in Lyncus, the Athenians sailed upon the expedition
which we left them preparing against Mende and Scione, with fifty
ships, ten of which were Chians, one thousand Athenian heavy
infantry and six hundred archers, one hundred Thracian mercenaries and
some targeteers drawn from their allies in the neighbourhood, under
the command of Nicias, son of Niceratus, and Nicostratus, son of
Diitrephes. Weighing from Potidaea, the fleet came to land opposite
the temple of Poseidon, and proceeded against Mende; the men of
which town, reinforced by three hundred Scionaeans, with their
Peloponnesian auxiliaries, seven hundred heavy infantry in all,
under Polydamidas, they found encamped upon a strong hill outside
the city. These Nicias, with one hundred and twenty light-armed
Methonaeans, sixty picked men from the Athenian heavy infantry, and
all the archers, tried to reach by a path running up the hill, but

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