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History (2)
   Battles (2)

History (2)

 Battles

THYREA (Ancient city) ASTROS

Battle of Thyrea, Alcenor & Chromios, Othryades
Now at this very time the Spartans themselves were feuding with the Argives over the country called Thyrea; for this was a part of the Argive territory which the Lacedaemonians had cut off and occupied. (All the land towards the west, as far as Malea, belonged then to the Argives, and not only the mainland, but the island of Cythera and the other islands.) The Argives came out to save their territory from being cut off, then after debate the two armies agreed that three hundred of each side should fight, and whichever party won would possess the land. The rest of each army was to go away to its own country and not be present at the battle, since, if the armies remained on the field, the men of either party might render assistance to their comrades if they saw them losing. Having agreed, the armies drew off, and picked men of each side remained and fought. Neither could gain advantage in the battle; at last, only three out of the six hundred were left, Alcenor and Chromios of the Argives, Othryades of the Lacedaemonians: these three were left alive at nightfall. Then the two Argives, believing themselves victors, ran to Argos; but Othryades the Lacedaemonian, after stripping the Argive dead and taking the arms to his camp, waited at his position. On the second day both armies came to learn the issue. For a while both claimed the victory, the Argives arguing that more of their men had survived, the Lacedaemonians showing that the Argives had fled, while their man had stood his ground and stripped the enemy dead. At last from arguing they fell to fighting; many of both sides fell, but the Lacedaemonians gained the victory. The Argives, who before had worn their hair long by fixed custom, shaved their heads ever after and made a law, with a curse added to it, that no Argive grow his hair, and no Argive woman wear gold, until they recovered Thyreae; and the Lacedaemonians made a contrary law, that they wear their hair long ever after; for until now they had not worn it so. Othryades, the lone survivor of the three hundred, was ashamed, it is said, to return to Sparta after all the men of his company had been killed, and killed himself on the spot at Thyreae.

This extract is from: Herodotus. The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920), Cambridge. Harvard University Press. Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Herodotus, The Histories (ed. A. D. Godley, 1920)
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=... English
Between Lacedaemonians and Argives
Thyrea was disputed by both the Argives and the Lacedaemonians, with battles and arbitrations (Paus. 2.38.5, 3.7.5, 10.9.12). The Lacedaemonians once gave it to the Aeginetans who had been sent away by the Athenians (Paus. 2.29.5, 2.38.5).
Perseus: Pausanias, Description of Greece, Corinth
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=... EnglishPerseus: Pausanias, Description of Greece, Laconia
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=... EnglishPerseus: Pausanias, Description of Greece, Phocis and Ozolian Locri
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=... EnglishPerseus: Pausanias, Description of Greece, Corinth
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=... English

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