The Library of History

Page 232

Page 232 him. He fought with an high Resolution, and made great Slaughter amongst the Greeks; but the Lacedemonians stoutly stood their Ground, contemning all Danger, and destroy'd likewise Multitudes of the Barbarians, who (as long as Mardonius was in the Head of the Army) bore the Brunt with great Courage; but as soon as he fell (valiantly behaving himself) and that they discern'd the choice of the Army with him, were all either kill'd or wounded, their Hearts fail'd, and they betook themselves to Flight, and were as hotly pursu'd by the Grecians; however the most of them got within the Timber Wall. The rest (being Grecians that sided with Mardonius) fled to, and shelter'd themselves within the Walls of Thebes. The Remainder of the Army, to the number of Forty Thousand and upwards, fled another way, with Artabazus (a Man of great account amongst the Persians) who came with them back by a shorter Cut into Phocis.

This Dispersion of the Persians caus'd the Forces of the Grecians likewise to be scatter'd, and divided into several Parties; for the Athenians, Plateans and Thespians fiercely pursued those that fled to Thebes. The Corinthians, Sicyonians and Philasians, and some few others, follow'd close upon the back of those that fled with Artabazus. The Lacedemonians with the rest of the Army, besieged and assaulted those that were forc'd within the Wall. The Thebans receiving those that fled, issu'd forth, and join'd with them against the Athenians their Pursuers; upon which there was a fierce and bloody Fight before the City Walls, the Thebans bravely standing to it, so that many were kill'd on both sides. But at length the Athenian Courage drave the Thebans back into the City.

Then the Athenians march'd back to the Lacedemonian Camp, and join'd with them in assaulting the Persians within the Wall; where the Fight was maintain'd with great Obstinacy on both sides; the Barbarians on the one Hand, within a place of Strength defending themselves with great Courage, and the Grecians on the other, with all their Might, endeavouring to force the Wall, the Fight was pursu'd without regard or fear of Death; so that many were wounded, and great numbers, with Showers of Darts were there Slain. But neither the Wall, though strongly Fortify'd, nor the number of the Barbarians could withstand the fierce Assault of the Grecians, but whatever was in their way, they bore down all before them. The Grecian Generals, the Lacedemonians and Athenians out of Emulation and desire of Glory, strove to exceed each other, encouraged both by their former Victories, and prickt forward by their own natural Valour. At length the Persians Camp was entred and taken by Storm; and though the Barbarians cried for Quarter, yet they found no Mercy. For Pausanias consider'd the great number of the Enemy, insomuch as he was afraid lest through their Number (which far exceeded the Grecians) some unexpected and suddain Mischief should happen, and therefore commanded that they should take no Prisoners. Whereupon an incredible Slaughter was made in a short time, and was scarce ended, when more than an Hundred Thousand were already put to the Sword.

When the Battel was ended, the Grecians apply'd themselves to the Burying of their Dead, which were above Ten Thousand. Then they divided the Spoil amongst the Souldiers, and appointed Judgment to be given concerning every thing that was done with more than ordinary Valour and Courage in that War. By the Decree of Charitides, amongst the Cities, the greatest Honour was attributed to Sparta; and amongst the Men to Pausanias.

In the mean time Artabazus with swift Marches pass'd through Phocis into Macedonia, with those Forty Thousand Persians that fled with him, and brought them all over safe into Asia. The Grecians dedicated a Tenth of the Spoils, and made thereof a Tripode of Gold, and placed it in the Temple of Delphos, and engraved upon it this Elogy;

The stout Defenders of Great Greece this gave,
From Bondage when its Cities they did save.

And another was Engraven by the common Consent of all, to the Honour of those Lacedemonians who died at Thermopyle, in these Words—

Bibliotheca Historica

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