UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
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