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got near to Thermopylæ, most of the Greeks did not interfere with their onward march, remembering how badly handled they had formerly been by Alexander and Philip, and how subsequently Antipater and Cassander had nearly ruined Greece ; so that, on account of their weakness, they did not consider it disgraceful individually that a general defense should be abandoned.
But the Athenians, although they had suffered more than any other of the Greeks during the long Macedonian war, and had had great losses in battles, yet resolved to go forth to Thermopylæ with those of the Greeks who volunteered, having chosen this Callippus as their General. And having occupied the narrowest pass they endeavored to bar the passage of the barbarians into Greece. But the Celts having discovered the same defile by which Ephialtes the Trachinian had formerly conducted the Persians, and having routed those of the Phocians who were posted there in battle array, crossed Mount Eta unbeknown to the Greeks. Then it was that the Athenians displayed themselves to the Greeks as most worthy, by their brave defense against the barbarians, being taken both in front and flank. But those suffered most that were in their ships, inasmuch as the Lamiac Gulf was full of mud near Thermopylæ ; the explanation is, as it seems to me, that here warm springs have their outlet into the sea. Here therefore they suffered much. For, having taken on board their comrades, they were obliged to sail over mud in vessels heavy with men and armor.
Thus did the Athenians endeavor to save the Greeks in the manner I have described. But the Galati having got inside Pylæ, and not caring to take the other fortified towns, were most anxious to plunder the treasures of the god at Delphi. And the people of Delphi, and those of the Phocians who dwelt in the cities round Parnassus, drew up in battle array against them. A contingency of the Ætolians also arrived : and
you must know that at that era the Ætolians were eminent for manly vigor.
And when the armies engaged not only did lightnings dismay the Galati, and fragments of rock coming down on them from Parnassus, but three mighty warriors pressed them hard, - two, they say, came from the Hyperboreans, Hyperochus and Amadocus, and the third was Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles. And in consequence of this aid the Delphians offer sacrifice to Pyrrhus, though before they held his tomb in dishonor as that of an enemy:
But the greater part of the Galati having crossed into Asia Minor in their ships, ravaged its maritime parts. And some time afterwards the inhabitants of Pergamum, which in old times was called Teuthrania, drove the Galati from the sea into the region now called Galatia. They lived in the region east of the river Sangarius, having captured Ancyra, a city of the Phrygians which Midas the son of Gordias had formerly built. And the anchor which Midas found was still, even in my time, in the temple of Zeus, and the well shown which was called Midas' well : which Midas, they say, poured wine into that he might capture Silenus. As well as Ancyra they captured Pessinus near the mountain Agdistis, where they say Atte was buried. And the people of Pergamum have spoils of the Galati, and there is a painting of their action with the Galati. And the region which the people of Pergamum inhabit was in old times, they say, sacred to the Cabiri.
The first expedition of the Celts beyond their borders was under Cambaules : but when they got as far as Thrace on that occasion they did not dare to go any further, recognizing that they were too few in number to cope with the Greeks. But on the second expedition, egged on by those who had formed part of the army of Cambaules, who had tasted the sweets of plunder and were enamored of the gains of looting, a large army of both infantry and cavalry mustered together. This army the commanders divided into three parts, and each marched into a different district. Cerethrius was to march against the Thracians and the Triballi: Brennus and Acichorius were to lead their division into Pæonia : and Bolgius was to march against the Macedonians and Illyrians. This last fought a battle against Ptolemy, king of the Macedonians, who had treacherously slain Seleucus the son of Antiochus (though he had been a suppliant at his court), and was nicknamed Lightning on account of his audacity. In this battle Ptolemy fell, and with him no small part of the Macedonians : but the Celts durst not adventure any further into Greece, and so this second expedition returned home again.
Thereupon Brennus urgently pressed upon the general assemblies, and upon each individual chieftain of the Galati, the advantages of invading Greece, pointing out her weak state at that period, and the immense wealth of her community, her votive offerings in the temples, her quantity of silver and gold. He succeeded in persuading the Galati to invade Greece once more, and among other chieftains he chose Acichorius once more as his colleague. The army mustered 152,000 foot and 20,400 horse. Such at least was the fighting force of the cavalry, for its real number was 61,200 : as each horse soldier had two servants, who themselves were excellent cavalry also and mounted. For the custom of the Galati in an engagement was that these servants should remain in the rear close at hand, and if a horse was killed they supplied a fresh one, and if the rider was killed one of them took his place, and if he too was killed, then the third took his place. And if one of the masters was only wounded, then one of his servants removed him to the camp, and the other took his place in the battle. In this custom, I think the Galati imitated the 10,000 Persians, called The Immortals. But the difference was that The Immortals were a reserve force only used at the end of an action, whereas the Galati used these reserves as wanted all through the action. This mode of fighting they called Trimarcisia in their dialect for the Celts called a horse marca. Such was the force, such the intentions, with which Brennus marched into Greece.
The Greeks for their part, though very dejected, were induced to fight bravely for their country by the very urgency of the peril. For they saw that at the present crisis it was not merely their liberty that was at stake, as at the time of the Persian invasion, but that, even if they granted land and water to the enemy, they would have no future security. For they still remembered the former irruption of the Galati into Macedonia and Thrace and Pæonia, and their recent outrages in Thessaly had been reported to them. It was the universal opinion therefore, both with individuals and states, that they must either die or conquer.
It will not be without instruction to compare the numbers of those who fought against Xerxes at Thermopylæ with those who fought now against the Galati. The Greeks that marched against the Mede were as follows : 300 Lacedæmonians only under Leonidas, 500 from Tegea, 500 from Mantinea, 120 Arcadians from Orchomenus, 1000 from the other towns of Arcadia, 80 from Mycenæ, 200 from Phlius, 400 from Corinth, 700 Bæotians from Thespia and 400 from Thebes. And 1000 Phocians guarded the pass at Mount Eta, who must be added to the Greek contingent. As to the Locrians under Mount Cnemis Herodotus has not mentioned their precise number; he only says they came from all the towns. But we may conjecture
their number pretty accurately : for the Athenians at Marathon, including slaves and non-combatants, were not more than 9000 : so that the fighting force of Locrians at Thermopylæ could not be more than 6000. Thus the whole force employed against the Persians would be 11,200. Nor did all of these stay all the time under arms at Thermopylæ, for except the men from Lacedæmon and Thespia and Mycenæ they waited not to see the issue of the fight. And now against these barbarians who had crossed the ocean the following Greeks banded themselves at Thermopylæ : 10,000 heavy-armed infantry and 500 horse from Beotia, under the Bæotarchs Cephisodotus and Thearidas and Diogenes and Lysander: 500 cavalry and 3000 foot from Phocis, under Critobulus and Antiochus : 700 Locrians, all infantry, from the island Atalanta, under the command of Midias : 400 heavy-armed infantry of the Megarians, their cavalry under the command of Megareus : of the Ætolians, who formed the largest and most formidable contingent, the number of their horse is not recorded, but their light-armed troops were 90, and their heavy-armed 7000: and the Ætolians were under the command of Polyarchus and Polyphron and Lacrates. And the Athenians were under Callippus the son of Merocles, as I have before stated, and consisted of all the triremes that were seaworthy, and 500 horse, and 1000 foot, and because of their ancient renown they were in command of the whole allied army. And some mercenary troops were sent by various kings, as 500 from Macedonia, and 500 from Asia; those that were sent by Antigonus were led by Aristodemus the Macedonian, and those that were sent by Antiochus were led by Telesarchus, as also some Syrians from Asia situated by the river Orontes.
When these Greeks, thus banded together at Thermopylæ, heard that the army of the Galati was already in the neighborhood of Magnesia and Phthiotis, they determined to send about 1000 picked light-armed soldiers and a troop of horse to the river Sperchius, to prevent the barbarians crossing the river without a struggle. And they went and destroyed the bridges, and encamped by the river. Now Brennus was by no means devoid of intelligence, and for a barbarian no mean strategist. Accordingly on the following night without any delay he sent 10,000 of his troops, who could swim and were remarkably tall, - and all the Celts are remarkably tall men, — down the river to cross it not at the ordinary fords, but at a part of the river where it was less rapid, and marshy, and diffused itself more over the plain, so that the Greeks should not be able to notice their crossing over. They crossed over accordingly, swimming over the marshy part of the river, and using the shields of their country as a sort of raft, while the tallest of them could ford the river. When the Greeks at the Sperchius noticed that part of the barbarians had crossed over, they returned at once to the main army.
Brennus next ordered those who dwelt near the Maliac Bay to throw bridges over the Sperchius : which they did quickly, standing greatly in dread of him, and being very desirous that the barbarians should depart and not injure them by a long stay in their part of the country. Then Brennus passed his army across these bridges, and marched for Heraclea. And though they did not capture it, the Galati ravaged the country, and slew the men that were left in the fields. The year before the Ætolians had compelled the people of Heraclea to join the Ætolian League, and now they protected Heraclea just as if it was their own. That is why Brennus did not capture it; but he paid no great attention to it, his only anxiety being to dislodge the enemy from the passes, and get into Greece by Thermopylæ.
He advanced therefore from Heraclea, and learning from deserters that a strong force from all the Greek cities was concentrated at Thermopylæ, he despised his enemy, and the following day at daybreak opened battle, having no Greek seer with him, or any priests of his own country, if indeed the Celts practice divination. Thereupon the Greeks advanced silently and in good order: and when the two armies engaged, the infantry were careful not to break their line, and the lightarmed troops keeping their ground discharged their darts, arrows, and slings at the barbarians. The cavalry on both sides was useless, not only from the narrowness of the pass, but also from the smooth and slippery and rocky nature of the ground, intersected also throughout by various mountain streams. The armor of the Galati was inferior, for their only defensive armor was the shield used in their country, and moreover they were less experienced in the art of war. But they fought like wild beasts, with rage and fury and headlong inconsiderate valor : and, whether hacked about by swords and battle-axes, or pierced with darts and javelins, desisted not from their furious attacks till bereft of life. Some even plucked out of their wounds the weapons with which they had been wounded, and hurled them