Fired by these patriotic songs, and by the stirring music the lame schoolmaster played, the Spartans fought better than ever before, overcame the Messenians, and came home in triumph with their prisoners, among whom was the brave Aristomenes.
As it was then usual to put all prisoners of war to death, the Spartans threw all the Messenians down into a horrible pit called the Ceadas. This was a dark hole of great depth, and its sides were all covered with jagged rocks, against which the prisoners were dashed to pieces long before they reached the bottom.
The Messenians were cast into this place one after another, Aristomenes being thrown in last of all, so that he might have the sorrow of seeing his companions die. Of course, this was very cruel, but the Spartans had been brought up to think this mode of getting rid of their enemies quite right; and when they had thus killed them, they cheerfully went back to the city and celebrated their victory.