Histories: Capture of Megalopolis


Κατὰ δὲ τοὺς καιροὺς τούτους συνθεωρῶν ὁ Κλεομένης τὰς μὲν δυνάμεις διαφειμένας, τὸν δ᾽ Ἀντίγονον μετὰ τῶν μισθοφόρων ἐν Αἰγίῳ διατρίβοντα καὶ τριῶν ἡμερῶν ὁδὸν ἀφεστῶτα τῆς Μεγάλης πόλεως, τὴν δὲ πόλιν ταύτην εἰδὼς δυσφύλακτον οὖσαν διὰ τὸ μέγεθος καὶ τὴν ἐρημίαν, τότε δὲ καὶ ῥᾳθύμως τηρουμένην διὰ τὴν Ἀντιγόνου παρουσίαν, τὸ δὲ μέγιστον, ἀπολωλότας τοὺς πλείστους τῶν ἐν ταῖς ἡλικίαις ἔν τε τῇ περὶ τὸ Λύκαιον καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα τῇ περὶ Λαδόκεια μάχῃ, λαβὼν συνεργούς τινας τῶν ἐκ Μεσσήνης φυγάδων, οἳ διατρίβοντες ἐτύγχανον ἐν τῇ Μεγάλῃ πόλει, παρεισῆλθε διὰ τούτων λάθρᾳ νυκτὸς ἐντὸς τῶν τειχῶν.
But Cleomenes was on the alert. He saw that the Macedonians in the army of Antigonus had been sent home; and that the king and his mercenaries in Aegium were three days' march from Megalopolis; and this latter town he well knew to be difficult to guard, owing to its great extent, and the sparseness of its inhabitants; and, moreover, that it was just then being kept with even greater carelessness than usual, owing to Antigonus being in the country; and what was more important than anything else, he knew that the larger number of its men of military age had fallen at the battles of Lycaeum and Ladoceia. There happened to be residing in Megalopolis some Messenian exiles; by whose help he managed, under cover of night, to get within the walls without being detected.