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.