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Dēlion


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Precinct and temple of Apollo on the NE coast of Boeotia, where the Boeotians defeated the Athenians in 424 bc. The Athenians, with 7,000 hoplites and some cavalry, but no proper light troops, had fortified the precinct and were caught returning to Attica by a Boeotian army also of 7,000 hoplites, but with more than 10,000 light troops, 500 peltasts, and some cavalry. The battle provides the first example of the Boeotian tactic of deploying hoplites in a deep phalanx—here the Thebans (see thebes ) on the right were 25 deep, whereas the Athenians were only eight deep. The Thebans defeated the Athenian left, and although the Athenian right was at first successful, it fled in panic at the sudden appearance of Boeotian cavalry, sent round behind a hill to support their left. Athenian losses, at over 14 per cent, were perhaps the heaviest ever suffered by a hoplite army.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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