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Aristides at once informed the generals of the Greeks of what might be

expected on the morrow, and preparations were made accordingly for the

coming battle. Still, with the morning dawn, each army hesitated to make

the onset. Finally the Persian cavalry began the fight, and succeeded in

cutting off the Greeks from the fountain of Gargaphia, which supplied the

camp with water. This was the only important movement of the day.

With the coming of night Pausanias gave orders for the Greeks to fall

back a mile and a half to a position which he considered more favorable

for the battle. This change of position, however, was not accomplished

without considerable confusion and dispute among the officers of the

allied army. On seeing the Spartans in full retreat-a sight not often

witnessed by a Persian general-Mardonius at once gave orders for pursuit.

The Persians dashed across the Asopus, ascended the hill recently

occupied by the Greeks, and fell upon the Lacedaemonians, hastily but

steadily deployed into line of battle. The onset made but little

impression on the Greeks, and as soon as the front line of the Persians

had recoiled from the shock, Pausanias gave the order to charge. The

fighting became at once general and desperate. The Persians exhibited

unusual valor. They flung themselves with reckless courage upon the

spears of the Spartans, only to be transfixed by the thousand. The

invincible Lacedaemonian phalanx moved forward like an avalanche in its

work of destruction. It seemed a huge beast fortified on every side with

bristling quills, urging its way now to the right and now to the left,

trampling in the bloody dust the mangled bodies of the barbarians.

Mardonius attempted in vain to stay the battle. At the head of his body-

guard of a thousand men, he fought with conspicuous bravery until he was

pierced with a Grecian dart and fell dead from his charger. It was the

signal of the rout.

The Persians, long accustomed to attribute victory and defeat to their

leader, broke and fled beyond the Asopus. So rapidly had the work of

destruction been accomplished by the allied army that a