Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/74

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



favourable for cavalry evolutions. In the life of Miltiades, which is usually cited as the production of Cornelius Nepos, but which I believe to be of no authority whatever, it is said that Miltiades protected his flanks from the enemy's horse by an abattis of felled trees. While he was on the high ground he would not have required this defence, and it is not likely that the Persians would have allowed him to erect it on the plain.

Bishop Thirlwall calls our attention to a passage in Suidas, where the proverb Χώρις ίππείς is said to have originated from some Ionian Greeks who were serving compulsorily in the army of Datis, contriving to inform Miltiades that the Persian cavalry had gone away, whereupon Miltiades immediately joined battle and gained the victory. There may probably be a gleam of truth in this legend. If Datis's cavalry was numerous, as the abundant pastures of Eubœa were close at hand, the Persian general, when he thought, from the inaction of his enemy, that they did not mean to come down from the heights and give battle, might naturally send the larger part of his horse back across the channel to the neighbourhood of Eretria, where he had already left a detachment, and where his military stores must have been deposited. The knowledge of such a move-