By Polybius; Shuckburgh, Evelyn S. (trans.)

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Extra info for The histories of Polybius : book two, translated by Evelyn S. Shuckburgh

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If the Aetolians, from regard to the goodwill shown them by the Achaeans in the time of Demetrius, were to pretend to be anxious to keep the peace as they were at present doing, they were to assert that the Achaeans were ready to engage Cleomenes by themselves; and if fortune declared in their favour they would want no assistance from any one: but if fortune went against them, and the Aetolians joined in the attack, they begged him to watch the course of events, that he might not let things go too far, but might aid the Peloponnesians while they were still capable of being saved.

As though victory were assured, he kept his original position on the summit of the hill, with the view of catching the enemy at as great an elevation as possible, that their flight might be all the longer over steep and precipitous ground. The result, as might have been anticipated, was exactly the reverse. For he left himself no place of retreat, and by allowing the enemy to reach his position, unharmed and in unbroken order, he was placed at the disadvantage of having to give them battle on the very summit of the hill; and so, as soon as he was forced b the weight of their heavy armour and their close order to give any ground, it was immediately occupied by the Illyrians; while his own men were obliged to take lower ground, because they had no space for manoeuvring on the top.

For as the devastation of the country went on, crowds began to collect and abuse Antigonus: but like a wise general and king, he refused to allow any consideration to outweigh that of sound strategy, and persisted in remaining inactive. Accordingly Cleomenes, in pursuance of his plan, having terrified his enemies and inspired courage in his own army for the coming struggle, returned home unmolested. 65. Summer having now come, and the Macedonian and Achaean soldiers having assembled from their winter quarters, Antigonus moved his army, along with his allies, into Laconia.

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The histories of Polybius : book two, translated by Evelyn S. Shuckburgh by Polybius; Shuckburgh, Evelyn S. (trans.)


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