Renewal of the war with Philip, King of Macedon. Successes of Publius Sulpicius, consul, who had the conduct of that war. The Abydenians, besieged by Philip, put themselves to death, together with their wives and children. Lucius Furius, prætor, defeats the Insubrian Gauls who had revolted, and Hamilcar who stirred up the insurrection is slain, with thirty-five thousand men. Farther operations of Sulpicius, Attalus, and the Rhodians, against Philip.
Y.R.551. 201.I. I FEEL a degree of pleasure in having come to the end of the Punic war, as if myself had borne a share of the toil and danger. For though it ill becomes a person who has ventured to promise an entire history of all the Roman affairs, to be fatigued by any particular parts of so extensible a work; yet when I reflect that sixty-three years, (for so many there are from the first Punic war to the end of the second,) have filled up as many volumes for me, as the four hundred and eighty-seven years, from the building of the city to the consulates of Appius Claudius, who first made war on the Carthaginians; I plainly perceive that, like those who are tempted by the shallows near the shore, to walk into the sea, the farther I advance, I am carried into the greater depth and abyss as it were; and that my work rather increases on my hands, than diminishes, as I expected it would, by the first parts being completed. The peace with Carthage was quickly followed by a war with Macedonia; a war, not to be compared to the former, indeed, either in danger, or in the abilities of the commander, or the valour of the soldiers; but rather more remarkable with regard to the renown of their former Kings, the ancient fame of that nation, and the vast extent of their empire, which formerly comprehended a large part of Europe, and the greater part of Asia. The contest with Philip, which had begun about ten years before, had been intermitted for the three last years; the Ætolians having been the occasion both of the commencement and of the cessation of hostilities. The Romans being now disengaged from all employment, and being incensed against Philip, on account both of his infringing the peace with regard to the Ætolians, and the other allies in those parts, and also on account of his having lately sent aid of men and money into Africa, to Hannibal and the Carthaginians, were excited to a renewal of the war by the entreaties of the Athenians, whose country he had ravaged, and shut up the inhabitants within the walls of the city.
II. About the same time, ambassadors arrived both from King Attalus, and from the Rhodians, with information that the Macedonian was tampering with the states of Asia. To these embassies an answer was given, that the senate would give attention to the affairs of Asia. The determination with regard to the making war on him, was left open to the consuls, who were then in their provinces. In the mean time, three ambassadors were sent to Ptolemy, King of Egypt, namely, Caius Claudius Nero, Marcus Æmilius Lepidus, and Publius Sempronius Tuditanus, to announce their conquest of Hannibal and the Carthaginians, to give thanks to the King for his faithful adherence to his engagements in the time of their distress, when even the nearest allies of the Romans abandoned them, and to request, that, if they should be compelled by ill-treatment to break with Philip, he would preserve the same disposition towards the Roman people. In Gaul, about this time, the consul Publius Ælius, having heard, that, before his arrival, the Boians had made inroads on the territories of the allies, levied two occasional legions on account of this disturbance; and adding to them four cohorts from his own army, ordered Caius Oppius, the præfect, to march with this tumultuary band through Umbria (which is called the Sappinian district), and to invade the territories of the Boians; leading his own troops thither openly, over the mountains which lay in the way. Oppius, on entering the same, for some time committed depredations with good success and safety. But afterwards, having pitched on a place near a fort called Mutilum, convenient enough for cutting down the corn which was now ripe, and setting out, without having acquired a knowledge of the country, and without establishing armed posts, of sufficient strength to protect those who were unarmed and intent on their work, he was suddenly surrounded, together with his foragers, and attacked by the Gauls. On this, even those who were furnished with weapons, struck with dismay, betook themselves to flight. Seven thousand men, dispersed through the cornfields, were put to the sword, among whom was the commander himself, Caius Oppius. The rest were driven in confusion into the camp, from whence, in consequence of a resolution there formed, they set out on the following night, without any particular commander; and, leaving behind a great part of their baggage, made their way through woods almost impassable, to the consul, who returned to Rome without having performed any thing in his province worth notice, except that he ravaged the lands of the Boians, and made a treaty with the Ingaunian Ligurians.
III. The first time he assembled the senate, it was unanimously ordered that he should propose no other business before that which related to Philip, and the complaints of the allies; it was of course immediately taken into consideration, and in full meeting decreed, that Publius Ælius, consul, should send such person as he might think proper, vested with command, to receive the fleet which Cneius Octavius was bringing home from Sicily, and pass over to Macedonia. Accordingly, Marcus Valerius Lævinus, proprætor, was sent; and, receiving thirty-eight ships from Cneius Octavius near Vibo, he sailed to Macedonia, where, being met by Marcus Aurelius, the ambassador, and informed what numerous forces and what large fleets the King had prepared, and how busily he was employed in prevailing on divers states to join him, applying to some in person, to others by agents, not only through all the cities of the continent, but even in the islands, Lævinus was convinced from this, that the war required vigorous exertions on the side of the Romans; for, should they be dilatory, Philip might be encouraged to attempt an enterprise like to that which had been formerly undertaken by Pyrrhus, who possessed not such large dominions. He therefore desired Aurelius to convey this intelligence, by letter, to the consuls and to the senate.
IV. Towards the end of this year the senate, taking into consideration the lands to be given to the veteran soldiers, who, under the conduct and auspices of Publius Scipio, had finished the war in Africa, decreed, that Marcus Tunius, prætor of the city, should, if he thought proper, appoint ten commissioners to survey, and distribute among them, that part of the Samnite and Apulian lands which was the property of the Roman people. For this purpose were appointed, Publius Servilius, Quintus Cæcilius Metellus, Caius and Marcus Servilius, both surnamed Geminus, Lucius and Aulus Hostilius Cato, Publius Villius Tappulus, Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, Publius Ælius Pætus, and Quintus Flaminius. At the same time, Publius Ælius presiding at the election of consuls, Publius Sulpicius Galba, and Caius Aurelius Cotta, were elected. Then were chosen prætors, Quintus Minucius Rufus, Lucius Furius Purpureo, Quintus Fulvius Gillo, Cneius Sergius Plancus. The Roman stage-games were exhibited, in a sumptuous and elegant manner, by the curule ædiles, Lucius Valerius Flaccus, and Lucius Quintius Flamininus, and repeated for two days; and a vast quantity of corn, which Scipio had sent from Africa, was distributed by them to the people, with strict impartiality, and general satisfaction, at the rate of four asses a peck. The plebeian games were thrice repeated entire by the plebeian ædiles, Lucius Apustius Fullo, and Quintus Minucius Rufus; the latter of whom was, from the ædileship, elected prætor. There was also a feast of Jove on occasion of the games.
Y.R. 552. 200.V. In the year five hundred and fifty-two from the building of the city, Publius Sulpicius Galba, and Caius Aurelius, being consuls, within a few months after the conclusion of the peace with the Carthaginians, war began against King Philip. This was the first business introduced by the consul, Publius Sulpicius, on the ides of March, the day on which, in those times, the consuls entered into office; and the senate decreed, that the consuls should perform sacrifices with the greater victims, to such gods as they should judge proper, with prayers to this purpose — that “the business which the senate and people of Rome had then under deliberation, concerning the state, and the entering on a new war, might be attended with success and prosperity to the Roman people, the allies, and the Latine confederacy;” and that, after the sacrifices and prayers, they should consult the senate on the state of public affairs, and the provinces. At this time, very opportunely for promoting a war, the letters were brought from Marcus Aurelius the ambassador, and Marcus Valerius Lævinus, proprætor. An embassy, likewise, arrived from the Athenians, to acquaint them, that the King was approaching their frontiers, and that in a short time, not only their lands, but their city also, must fall into his hands, unless they received aid from the Romans. When the consuls had made their report, that the sacrifices had been duly performed, and that the gods had accepted their prayers; that the aruspices had declared that the entrails showed good omens, and that enlargement of territory, victory and triumph were portended; the letters of Valerius and Aurelius were read, and audience given to the ambassadors of the Athenians. After which, a decree of the senate was passed, that thanks should be given to their allies, because, though long solicited, they had not been prevailed upon, even by dread of a siege, to depart from their engagements. With regard to sending assistance to them, they resolved, that an answer should be given as soon as the consuls should have cast lots for the provinces; and when the consul, to whose lot Macedonia fell, should have proposed to the people, to declare war against Philip, King of the Macedonians.
VI. The province of Macedonia fell by lot to Publius Sulpicius: and he proposed to the people to declare, “that they chose and ordered, that on account of the injuries and hostilities committed against the allies of the Roman people, war should be proclaimed against King Philip, and the Macedonians under his government.” The province of Italy fell to the lot of the other consul, Aurelius. The prætors then cast lots: to Cneius Sergius Plancus fell the city jurisdiction; to Quintus Fulvius Gillo, Sicily: to Quintus Minucius Rufus, Bruttium; and to Lucius Furius Purpureo, Gaul. At the first meeting of the people, the proposal concerning the Macedonian war was rejected by almost all the tribes. This was occasioned partly by the people’s own inclinations, who, wearied by the length and severity of the late war, longed to be freed from toils and dangers, and partly by Quintus Bæbius, tribune of the people, who, pursuing the old practice of criminating the patricians, charged them with multiplying wars one after another, so that the people could never enjoy peace. This proceeding gave great offence to the patricians, and the tribune was severely reprehended in the senate, where all earnestly recommended it to the consul, to call a new assembly for passing the proposal; to rebuke the backwardness of the people, and to prove to them how highly detrimental and dishonourable it would be to decline engaging in that war.
VII. The consul having assembled the people in the field of Mars, before he called upon the centuries to give their votes, required their attention, and addressed them thus: “Citizens, you seem to me not to understand that the question before you is not, whether you choose to have peace or war; for Philip, having already commenced hostilities with a formidable force, both on land and sea, allows you not that option. The question is, whether you choose to transport your legions to Macedonia, or to suffer the enemy to come into Italy? How important the difference is between these two cases, if you knew it not before, you have sufficiently learned in the late Punic war. For who entertains a doubt, but if, when the Saguntines were besieged and implored our protection, we had assisted them with vigour, as our fathers did the Mamertines, we should have averted the whole weight of the war upon Spain, which, by our dilatory proceedings, we suffered to our extreme loss to fall upon Italy? Nor does it admit a doubt, that what confined this same Philip in Macedonia, (after he had entered into an engagement with Hannibal, by ambassadors and letters, to cross over into Italy,) was our sending Lævinus with a fleet to carry the war home to him. And what we did at that time, when we had Hannibal to contend with in Italy, do we hesitate to do now, after Hannibal has been expelled Italy, and the Carthaginians subdued. Suppose for an instant, that we allow the King to experience the same inactivity on our part, while he is taking Athens, as Hannibal found while he was taking Saguntum: it will not be in the fifth month, as the Carthaginian came from Saguntum, but on the fifth day after the Macedonian sets sail from Corinth, that he will arrive in Italy. Perhaps you may not consider Philip as equal to Hannibal; or the Macedonians to the Carthaginians: certainly, however, you will allow him equal to Pyrrhus. Equal, do I say? what a vast superiority has the one man over the other; the one nation over the other? Epirus ever was, and is at this day, deemed but an inconsiderable accession to the kingdom of Macedonia. Philip has the entire Peloponnesus under his dominion, even Argos itself, not more celebrated for its ancient glory, than for the death of Pyrrhus. Now compare our situation. How much more flourishing was Italy when Pyrrhus attacked it? how much greater its strength, possessing so many commanders, so many armies, which the Punic war afterwards consumed? yet was he able to give it a violent shock, and advanced victorious almost to the gates of Rome: and not the Tarentines only, and the inhabitants of that tract of Italy which they call the greater Greece, whom you may suppose to have been led by the similarity of language and name, but the Lucanian, the Bruttian, and the Samnite, revolted from us. Do you believe that these would continue quiet and faithful, if Philip should come over to Italy, because they continued faithful afterwards, and during the Punic war? Be assured those states will never fail to revolt from us, except when there is no one to whom they can go over. If you had disapproved of a Roman army passing into Africa, you would this day have had Hannibal and the Carthaginians to contend with in Italy. Let Macedonia rather than Italy, be the seat of war. Let the cities and lands of the enemy be wasted with fire and sword. We have already found by experience, that our arms are more powerful and more successful abroad than at home. Go, and give your voices, with the blessing of the gods; and what the senate have voted, do you ratify by your order. This resolution is recommended to you, not only by your consul, but even by the immortal gods themselves; who, when I offered sacrifice, and prayed that the issue of this war might be happy and prosperous to me and to the senate, to you and the allies and Latine confederates, granted every omen of success and happiness.”
VIII. After this speech of Sulpicius, being sent to give their votes, they declared for the war as he had proposed. On which, in pursuance of a decree of the senate, a supplication for three days was proclaimed by the consuls; and prayers were offered to the gods at all the shrines, that the war which the people had ordered against Philip might be attended with success and prosperity. The consul Sulpicius, enquiring of the heralds, whether they would direct the declaration of the war against King Philip to be made to himself in person; or whether it would be sufficient to publish it in the nearest garrison, within the frontiers of his kingdom, they answered, that either would do. The consul received authority from the senate to send any person whom he thought proper, not being a senator, as ambassador, to denounce war against the King. They then proceeded to arrange the armies for the consuls and prætors. The consuls were ordered to levy two legions, and to disband the veteran troops. Sulpicius, to whom the management of this new and highly important war had been decreed, was allowed permission to carry with him as many volunteers as he could procure out of the army which Publius Scipio had brought home from Africa; but he was not empowered to compel any veteran soldier to attend him. They ordered that the consul should give to the prætors, Lucius Furius Purpureo, and Quintus Minucius Rufus, five thousand of the allies of the Latine confederacy; with which forces they should hold, one, the province of Gaul, the other, Bruttium. Quintus Fulvius Gillo was ordered, in like manner, to select out of the army which Publius Ælius, late consul, had commanded, such as had been the shortest time in the service, until he also made up five thousand of the allies and Latine confederates, for guarding his province of Sicily. To Marcus Valerius Falto, who, during the former year, had held the province of Campania, as prætor, the command was continued for a year; in order that he might go over, in quality of proprætor, to Sardinia, and choose out of the army there five thousand of the allies of the Latine confederacy, who also had been the shortest time in the service. The consuls were at the same time ordered to levy two legions for the city, which might be sent wherever occasion should require; as there were many states in Italy infected with an attachment to the Carthaginians, which they had formed during the war, and, in consequence, swelling with resentment. The state was to employ during that year six Roman legions.
IX. In the midst of the preparations for war, ambassadors came from King Ptolemy, with the following message:— that “the Athenians had petitioned the King for aid against Philip; but that although they were their common allies, yet the King would not, without the direction of the Roman people, send either fleet or army into Greece, for the purpose of defending or attacking any person. That he would remain quiet in his kingdom, if the Romans were at leisure to protect their allies; or, if more agreeable to them to be at rest, would himself send such aid as should effectually secure Athens against Philip.” Thanks were returned to the King by the senate, and this answer: that “it was the intention of the Roman people to protect their allies; that if they should have occasion for any assistance towards carrying on the war, they would acquaint the King; and that they were fully sensible, that, in the power of his kingdom, their state had a sure and faithful resource.” Presents were then, by order of the senate, sent to the ambassadors, of five thousand asses* to each. While the consuls were employed in levying troops, and making other necessary preparations, the people, prone to religious observances, especially at the beginning of new wars, after supplications had been already performed, and prayers offered up at all the shrines, lest any thing should be omitted that had ever been practised, ordered, that the consul who was to have the province of Macedonia, should vow games, and a present to Jove. Licinius, the chief pontiff, occasioned some delay in the performance of it, alleging, that “he could not properly frame the vow, unless the money to discharge it were specified. For as the sum to be named could not be applied to the uses of the war, it should be immediately set apart, and not to be intermixed with other money; and that, unless this were done, the vow could not be fulfilled.” Although the objection, and the person who proposed it, were both of weight, yet the consul was ordered to consult the college of pontiffs, whether a vow could not be undertaken without specifying the amount to discharge it? The pontiffs determined, that it could; and that it would be even more in order, to do it in that way. The consul, therefore, repeating after the chief pontiff, made the vow in the same words in which those made for five years of safety used to be expressed; only that he engaged to perform the games, and make the offerings, at such expense as the senate should direct by their vote, at the time when the vow was to be put in act. Before this, the great games, so often vowed, were constantly rated at a certain expense: this was the first time that the sum was not specified.
X. While every one’s attention was turned to the Macedonian war, and at a time when people apprehended nothing less, a sudden account was brought of an inroad made by the Gauls. The Insubrians, Cænomanians and Boians, having been joined by the Salyans, Ilvatians, and other Ligurian states, and putting themselves under the command of Hamilcar, a Carthaginian, who, having been in the army of Hasdrubal, had remained in those parts, had fallen upon Placentia; and, after plundering the city, and, in their rage, burning a great part of it, leaving scarcely two thousand men among the flames and ruins, passed the Po, and advanced to plunder Cremona. The news of the calamity, which had fallen on a city in their neighbourhood, having reached thither, the inhabitants had time to shut their gates, and place guards on the walls, that they might, at least, try the event of a siege, and send messengers to the Roman prætor. Lucius Furius Purpureo, who had then the command of the province, had, in pursuance of the decree of the senate, disbanded the army, excepting five thousand of the allies and Latine confederates; and had halted, with these troops, in the nearest district of the province about Ariminum. He immediately informed the senate, by letter, of the subsisting tumult. That, “of the two colonies which had escaped the general wreck in the dreadful storm of the Punic war, one was taken and sacked by the present enemy, and the other besieged. Nor was his army capable of affording sufficient protection to the distressed colonists, unless he chose to expose five thousand allies to be slaughtered by forty thousand invaders (for so many there were in arms); and by such a loss, on his side, to augment their courage, already elated on having destroyed one Roman colony.”
XI. On reading this letter it was decreed, that the consul Aurelius should order the army which he had appointed to assemble on a certain day in Etruria, to attend him on the same day at Ariminum; and should either go in person, if the public business would permit, to suppress the tumult of the Gauls, or write to the prætor Lucius Furius, that, as soon as the legions from Etruria came to him, he should send five thousand of the allies to guard that place in the mean time, and should himself proceed to relieve the colony from the siege. It was also decreed, that ambassadors should be sent to Carthage, and also into Numidia to Masinissa: to Carthage, to tell that people that “their countryman, Hamilcar, having been left in Gaul, (either with a part of the army formerly commanded by Hasdrubal, or with that of Mago — they did not with certainty know which,) was waging war, contrary to the treaty. That he had raised forces from among the Gauls and Ligurians, and persuaded them to take arms against Rome. That, if they chose a continuance of peace, they must recall him, and give him up to the Roman people.” They were ordered at the same time to tell them, that “all the deserters had not been produced; that a great part of them were said to appear openly in Carthage, who ought to be sought after, and surrendered according to the treaty.” This was the message they were to deliver to the Carthaginians. To Masinissa, they were charged with congratulations, on his “having not only recovered the kingdom of his father, but enlarged it by the acquisition of the most flourishing part of Syphax’s territories.” They were ordered also to acquaint him, that “the Romans had entered into a war against Philip, because he had given aid to the Carthaginians, while, by the injuries which he offered to the allies of the Roman people, he had obliged them to send fleets and armies into Greece, at a time when the flames of war spread over all Italy; and that by thus making them separate their forces, had been the principal cause of their being so late in passing over to Africa: and to request him to send some Numidian horsemen to assist in that war.” Ample presents were given them to be carried to the King: vases of gold and silver, a purple robe, and a tunic adorned with palms of purple, an ivory sceptre, and a robe of state, with a curule chair. They were also directed to assure him, that if he deemed any thing farther requisite to confirm and enlarge his kingdom, the Roman people, in return for his good services, would exert their utmost zeal to effect it. At this time, too, the senate was addressed by ambassadors from Vermina, son of Syphax, apologizing for his mistaken conduct, on account of his youth and want of judgment, and throwing all the blame on the deceitful policy of the Carthaginians: adding, that “as Masinissa had from an enemy become a friend to the Romans, so Vermina would also use his best endeavours that he should not be outdone in offices of friendship to the Roman people, either by Masinissa, or by any other; and requesting that he might receive from the senate, the title of king, friend and ally.” The answer given to these ambassadors was, that “not only his father Syphax, from a friend and ally, had on a sudden, without any reason, become an enemy to the Roman people, but that he himself had made his first essay of manhood in bearing arms against them. He must, therefore, sue to the Roman people for peace, before he could expect to be acknowledged king, ally, and friend; that it was the practice of that people to bestow the honour of such title, in return for great services performed by kings towards them; that the Roman ambassadors would soon be in Africa, to whom the senate would give instructions to regulate conditions of peace with Vermina, as he should submit the terms entirely to the will of the Roman people; and that, if he wished that any thing should be added, left out, or altered, he must make a second application to the senate.” The ambassadors sent to Africa on those affairs were Caius Terentius Varro, Publius Lucretius, and Cneius Octavius, each of whom had a quinquereme assigned him.
XII. A letter was then read in the senate, from Quintus Minucius, the prætor, who held the province of Bruttium, that “the money had been privately carried off by night out of the treasury of Proserpine at Locri; and that there were no traces which could direct to the discovery of the guilty persons.” The senate was highly incensed at finding that the practice of sacrilege continued, and that even the fate of Pleminius, an example so recent and so conspicuous both of the guilt and of the punishment, did not deter from it. They ordered the consul, Cneius Aurelius, to signify to the prætor in Bruttium, that “it was the pleasure of the senate, that an inquiry be made concerning the robbery of the treasury, according to the method used by Marcus Pomponius, prætor, three years before; that the money which could be discovered should be restored, and any deficiency be made up; and that, if he thought proper, atonements should be made for the purpose of expiating the violation of the temple, in the manner formerly prescribed by the pontiffs.” At the same time, also, accounts were brought of many prodigies happening in several places. It was said, that in Lucania the sky had been seen in a blaze; that at Privernum, in clear weather, the sun had been of a red colour during a whole day; that at Lanuvium, in the temple of Juno Sospita, a very loud bustling noise had been heard in the night. Besides, monstrous births of animals were related to have occurred in many places: in the country of the Sabines, an infant was born whose sex could not be distinguished; and another was found sixteen years old, whose sex also was doubtful. At Frusino a lamb was born with a swine’s head; at Sinuessa, a pig with a human head; and in Lucania, in the land belonging to the state, a foal with five feet. All these were considered as horrid and abominable, and as if nature were straying from her course in confounding the different species. Above all, the people were particularly shocked at the hermaphrodites, which were ordered to be immediately thrown into the sea, as had been lately done with a production of the same monstrous kind, in the consulate of Caius Claudius and Marcus Livius. Not satisfied with this, they ordered the decemvirs to inspect the books in regard to that progidy; and the decemvirs, from the books, directed the same religious ceremonies which had been performed on an occasion of the same kind. They ordered, besides, an hymn to be sung through the city by thrice nine virgins, and an offering to be made to Imperial Juno. The consul, Caius Aurelius, took care that all these matters were performed according to the direction of the decemvirs. The hymn was composed by Publius Licinius Tegula, as a similar one had been, in the memory of their fathers, by Livius.
XIII. All religious scruples were fully removed by expiations; at Locri, too, the affair of the sacrilege had been thoroughly investigated by Quintus Minucius, and the money replaced in the treasury out of the effects of the guilty. When the consuls wished to set out to their provinces, a number of private persons, to whom the third payment became due, that year, of the money which they had lent to the public in the consulate of Marcus Valerius and Marcus Claudius, applied to the senate. The consuls, however, having declared that the treasury being scarcely sufficient for the exigencies of a new war, in which a great fleet and great armies must be employed, there were no means of paying them at present. The senate could not avoid being affected by their complaints, in which they alleged that “if the state intended to use, for the purposes of the Macedonian war, the money which had been lent for the Punic war, as one war constantly arose after another, what would be the issue, but that, in return for their kind assistance to the public, their property would be confiscated, as if they had been guilty of some crime?” The demands of the private creditors being equitable, and the state being in no capacity of discharging the debt, they determined to pursue a middle course between equity and convenience; and accordingly they decreed, that “whereas many of them mentioned that lands were frequently exposed to sale, and that they themselves wished to become purchasers: they should, therefore, have liberty to purchase any belonging to the public, and which lay within fifty miles of the city. That the consuls should make a valuation of these, and impose on each acre a quit-rent of one as, as an acknowledgment that the land was the property of the public, in order that when the people should become able to pay, if any one chose rather to have the money than the land, he might restore it.” The private creditors accepted the terms with joy; and that land was called Trientius and Tabulius, because it was given in lieu of the third part of their money.
XIV. Publius Sulpicius, after making his vows in the Capitol, set out from the city in his robes of war, attended by his lictors, and arrived at Brundusium; where, having formed into legions the veteran soldiers of the African army who were willing to follow him, and chosen his number of ships out of the fleet of the late consul, Cornelius, he set sail, and next day arrived in Macedonia. There he was met by ambassadors from the Athenians, entreating him to relieve their city from the siege. Immediately, Caius Claudius Centho was despatched to Athens, with twenty ships of war, and a small body of land forces. For it was not the King himself who carried on the siege of Athens; he was at that time intently occupied in besieging Abydus, after having tried his strength at sea against Attalus, and against the Rhodians, without meeting success in either engagement. But, besides the natural presumptuousness of his temper, he acquired confidence from a treaty which he had formed with Antiochus, King of Syria, in which they had divided the wealth of Egypt between them; an object which, on hearing of the death of Ptolemy, they were both eager to secure. As to the Athenians, they had entangled themselves in a war with Philip on too trifling an occasion, and at a time when they retained nothing of their ancient dignity but pride. During the celebration of the mysteries, two young men of Acarnania, who were not initiated, unapprised of its being an offence against religion, entered the temple of Ceres along with the rest of the crowd: their discourse quickly betrayed them, by their asking questions which discovered their ignorance; whereupon, being carried before the presidents of the temple, although it was evident that they went in through mistake, yet they were put to death, as if for a heinous crime. The Acarnanian nation made complaint to Philip of this barbarous and hostile act, and prevailed on him to grant them some aid of Macedonian soldiers, and to allow them to make war on the Athenians. At first this army, after ravaging the lands of Attica with fire and sword, retired to Acarnania with booty of all kinds. This was the first provocation to hostilities. The Athenians afterwards, on their side, entered into a regular war, and proclaimed it by order of the state. For King Attalus and the Rhodians, having come to Ægina in pursuit of Philip, who was retiring to Macedonia, the King crossed over to Piræeus, for the purpose of renewing and strengthening the alliance between him and the Athenians. On entering the city, he was received by the whole inhabitants, who poured forth with their wives and children to meet him; by the priests, with their emblems of religion; and in a manner by the gods themselves, called forth from their abodes.
XV. Immediately the people were summoned to an assembly, that the King might treat with them in person on such subjects as he chose; but afterwards it was judged more suitable to his dignity to explain his sentiments in writing, than, being present, to be forced to blush, either at the recital of his extraordinary favours to the state, or at the immoderate applause of the multitude, which would overwhelm his modesty with acclamations, and other signs of approbation. In the letter which he sent, and which was read to the assembly, was contained, first, a recapitulation of the several acts of kindness which he had shown to the Athenian state, as his ally; then, of the actions which he had performed against Philip; and lastly, an exhortation to “enter immediately on the war; while they had him (Attalus), the Rhodians, and the Romans also to assist them;” not omitting to warn them, that “if they were backward now, they would hereafter wish, in vain, for the opportunity which they neglected.” They then gave audience to the ambassadors of the Rhodians, to whom they were under a recent obligation for having retaken, and sent home, four of their ships of war, which had been lately seized by the Macedonians. War was determined upon against Philip with universal consent. Unbounded honours were conferred on King Attalus, and then on the Rhodians. At that time, mention was made of adding a tribe, which they were to call Attalis, to the ten ancient tribes; the Rhodian state was presented with a golden crown, as an acknowledgment of its bravery, and the inhabitants with the freedom of Athens, in like manner as Rhodes had formerly honoured that people. After this, King Attalus returned to Ægina, where his fleet lay. From Ægina, the Rhodians sailed to Cia, and thence to Rhodes, steering their course among the islands, all of which they brought to join in the alliance, except Andros, Paros, and Cythnus, which were held by Macedonian garrisons. Attalus, having sent messengers to Ætolia, and expecting ambassadors from thence, was detained at Ægina, for some time, in a state of inaction; failing also in his endeavours to excite the Ætolians to arms, for they were rejoiced at having made peace with Macedon on any terms. Had Attalus and the Rhodians pressed Philip vigorously, they might have acquired the illustrious title of the deliverers of Greece, but by suffering him to pass over again into Hellespontus, and to strengthen himself by seizing the advantageous posts in Greece, they increased the difficulties of the war, and yielded up to the Romans the glory of having conducted and finished it.
XVI. Philip acted with a spirit more becoming a king; for, though he had found himself unequal to the forces of Attalus and the Rhodians, yet he was not dismayed, even by the prospect of an approaching war with the Romans. Sending Philocles, one of his generals, with two thousand foot and two hundred horse, to ravage the lands of the Athenians, he gave the command of his fleet to Heraclides, with orders to sail to Maronea, and marched thither himself by land, with two thousand foot, lightly equipped, and two hundred horse. Maronea he took at the first assault; and, afterwards, with a good deal of trouble, got possession of Ænus, which was at last betrayed to him by Ganymede, who commanded there for Ptolemy. He then seized on other forts, Cypselus, Doriscos, and Serrheus; and, advancing from thence to the Chersonesus, received Elæus and Allopeconnesus, which were surrendered by the inhabitants. Callipolis also, and Madytos, were given up to him, with several forts of but little consequence. The people of Abydus shut their gates against him, not suffering even his ambassadors to enter the place. The siege of this city detained Philip a long time; and it might have been relieved, if Attalus and the Rhodians had acted with any vigour. The King sent only three hundred men for a garrison, and the Rhodians one quadrireme from their fleet, although it was lying idle at Tenedos: and, afterwards, when the besieged could with difficulty hold out any longer, Attalus, going over in person, did nothing more than show them some hope of relief being near, giving not any real assistance to these his allies either by land or sea.
XVII. At first the people of Abydus, by means of engines placed along the walls, not only prevented the approaches by land, but annoyed the enemy’s ships in their station. Afterwards a part of the wall being thrown down, and the assailants having penetrated, by mines, to an inner wall, which had been hastily raised to oppose their entrance, the besieged sent ambassadors to the King to treat of terms of capitulation. They demanded permission to send away the Rhodian quadrireme, with the crew, and the troops of Attalus in the garrison; and that they themselves might depart from the city, each with one suit of apparel; but Philip’s answer afforded no hopes of accommodation, unless they surrendered at discretion. When this was reported by their ambassadors, it so exasperated them, rousing at the same time their indignation and despair, that, seized with the same kind of fury which had possessed the Saguntines, they ordered all the matrons to be shut up in the temple of Diana, and the free-born youths and virgins, and even the infants with their nurses, in the place of exercise; the gold and silver to be carried into the Forum; their valuable garments to be put on board the Rhodian ship, and another from Cyzicum, which lay in the harbour; the priests and victims to be brought, and altars to be erected in the midst. There they appointed a select number, who, as soon as they should see the army of their friends cut off in defending the breach, were instantly to slay their wives and children; to throw into the sea the gold, silver, and apparel that was on board the ships, and to set fire to the buildings, public and private: and to the performance of this deed they were bound by an oath, the priests repeating before them the verses of execration. Those who were of an age capable of fighting then swore to continue the battle till they fell, unless victorious. These, regardful of the gods by whom they had sworn, maintained their ground with such obstinacy, that although the night would soon have put a stop to the fight, yet the King, terrified by their fury, first drew off his forces. The chief inhabitants, to whom the more shocking part of the plan had been given in charge, seeing that few survived the battle, and that these were exhausted by fatigue and wounds, sent the priests (having their heads bound with the fillets of suppliants,) at the dawn of the next day, to surrender the city to Philip.
XVIII. Before the surrender, one of the Roman ambassadors who had been sent to Alexandria, Marcus Æmilius, being the youngest of them, in pursuance of a resolution which the three had jointly formed, on hearing of the present siege, came to Philip, and complained of his having made war on Attalus and the Rhodians; and particularly of the attack on Abydus, in which he was then employed: and on Philip’s saying that he had been forced into the war by Attalus and the Rhodians commencing hostilities against him — “Did the people of Abydus, too,” said he, “commence hostilities against you?” To him, who was unaccustomed to hear truth, this language seemed too arrogant to be used to a king, and he answered — “Your youth, the beauty of your form, and, above all, the name of Roman, render you too presumptuous. However, my first desire is, that you would observe the treaties, and continue in peace with me; but if you begin an attack, I am, on my part, determined to prove that the kingdom, and name, of the Macedonians is not less formidable in war than that of the Romans.” Having dismissed the ambassadors in this manner, Philip got possession of the gold and silver which had been thrown together in a heap, but was disappointed of his booty with respect to prisoners: for such violent frenzy had seized the multitude, that, on a sudden, taking up a persuasion that they were guilty of treachery towards those who had fallen in the battle, and upbraiding one another with perjury, especially the priests, who would surrender alive to the enemy those persons whom they themselves had devoted, they all at once ran different ways to put their wives and children to death; and then they put an end to their own lives by every possible method. The King, astonished at their madness, restrained the violence of his soldiers, and said, that “he would allow the people of Abydus three days to die in;” and, during this space, the vanquished perpetrated more deeds of cruelty on themselves, than the enraged conquerors would have committed; nor did any one of them come into the enemy’s hands alive, except such as were in chains, or under some other insuperable restraint. Philip, leaving a garrison in Abydus, returned to his kingdom; and, just when he had been encouraged by the destruction of the people of Abydus, to proceed in the war against Rome, as Hannibal had been by the destruction of Saguntum, he was met by couriers with intelligence, that the consul was already in Epyrus, and had drawn his land forces to Apollonia, and his fleet to Corcyra, into winter-quarters.
XIX. In the mean time, the ambassadors who had been sent into Africa, on the affair of Hamilcar, the leader of the Gallic army, received from the Carthaginians this answer: that “it was not in their power to do more than to inflict on him the punishment of exile, and to confiscate his effects: that they had delivered up all the deserters and fugitives, whom, on a diligent inquiry, they had been able to discover, and would send ambassadors to Rome, to satisfy the senate on that head.” They sent two hundred thousand measures of wheat to Rome, and the same quantity to the army in Macedonia. From thence the ambassadors proceeded into Numidia, to the kings; delivered to Masinissa the presents and the message according to their instructions, and out of two thousand Numidian horsemen, which he offered, accepted one thousand. Masinissa superintended in person the embarkation of these, and sent them, with two hundred thousand measures of wheat, and the same quantity of barley, into Macedonia. The third commission which they had to execute was with Vermina. He advanced to meet them, as far as the utmost limits of his kingdom, and left it to themselves to prescribe such conditions of peace as they thought proper, declaring, that “he should consider any peace with the Roman people as just and advantageous.” The terms were then settled, and he was ordered to send ambassadors to Rome to procure a ratification of the treaty.
XX. About the same time, Lucius Cornelius Lentulus, proconsul, came home from Spain; and having laid before the senate an account of his brave and successful conduct, during the course of many years, demanded that he might be allowed to enter the city in triumph. The senate, on this, gave their opinion, that “his services were, indeed, deserving of a triumph; but that they had no precedent left them by their ancestors, of any person enjoying a triumph, who was not, at the time of performing the service, on account of which he claimed that honour, either dictator, consul, or prætor; that he had held the province of Spain in quality of proconsul, and not of consul, or prætor.” They determined, however, that he might enter the city in ovation. Against this, Tiberius Sempronius Longus, tribune of the people, protested, alleging, that such proceedings would be no less unprecedented, and contrary to the practice of their ancestors, than the other; but, overcome at length by the unanimous desire of the senate, the tribune withdrew his opposition, and Lucius Lentulus entered the city in ovation. He carried to the treasury, forty-four thousand pounds weight of silver, and two thousand four hundred pounds weight of gold. To each of the soldiers he distributed, of the spoil, one hundred and twenty asses.*
XXI. The consular army had, by this time, removed from Arretium to Ariminum, and the five thousand Latine confederates had gone from Gaul into Etruria. Lucius Furius, therefore, advanced from Ariminum, by forced marches, against the Gauls, who were then besieging Cremona, and pitched his camp at the distance of one mile and a half from the enemy. Furius had an excellent opportunity of striking an important blow, had he, without halting, led his troops directly to attack their camp; they were scattered and dispersed through the country; and the guard, which they had left, was very insufficient; but he was apprehensive that his men were too much fatigued by their hasty march. The Gauls recalled from the fields by the shouts of their party, returned to the camp without seizing the booty within their reach, and, next day, marched out to offer battle; the Roman did not decline the combat, but had scarcely time to make the necessary dispositions, so rapidly did the enemy advance to the fight. The right brigade (for he had the troops of the allies divided into brigades) was placed in the first line, the two Roman legions in reserve. Marcus Furius was at the head of the right brigade, Marcus Cæcilius of the legions, and Lucius Valerius Flaccus of the cavalry: these were all lieutenant-generals. Two other lieutenant-generals, Cneius Lætorius and Publius Titinnius, the prætor kept near himself, that, with their assistance, he might observe, and take proper measures against any sudden attack. At first, the Gauls, bending their whole force to one point, were in hopes of being able to overwhelm, and trample under foot, the right brigade, which was in the van; but not succeeding, they endeavoured to turn round the flanks, and to surround their enemy’s line, which, considering the multitude of their forces, and the small number of the others, seemed easy to be done. On observing this, the prætor, in order to extend his own line, brought up the two legions from the reserve, and placed them on the right and left of the brigade which was engaged in the van; vowing a temple to Jupiter, if he should on that day prove victorious. To Lucius Valerius he gave orders, to make the horsemen of the two legions on one flank, and the cavalry of the allies on the other, charge the wings of the enemy, and not suffer them to come round to his rear. At the same time, observing that the centre of their line was weakened, from having extended the wings, he directed his men to make an attack there in close order, and to break through their ranks. The wings were routed by the cavalry, and, at the same time, the centre by the foot. Being worsted in all parts with great slaughter, the Gauls quickly turned their backs, and fled to their camp in hurry and confusion. The cavalry pursued them; and the legions, coming up in a short time after, assaulted the camp, from whence there did not escape so many as six thousand men. There were slain and taken above thirty-five thousand, with eighty standards, and above two hundred Gallic wagons laden with booty of all kinds. Hamilcar, the Carthaginian general, fell that day, and three distinguished generals of the Gauls. The prisoners taken at Placentia, to the number of two thousand free-men, were restored to the colony.
XXII. This was an important victory, and caused great joy at Rome. On receipt of the prætor’s letter, a supplication for three days was decreed. In that battle, there fell of the Romans and allies two thousand, most of them in the right brigade, against which, in the first onset, the most violent efforts of the enemy had been directed. Although the prætor had brought the war almost to a conclusion, yet the consul, Cneius Aurelius, having finished the business which required his attendance at Rome, set out for Gaul, and received the victorious army from the prætor. The other consul arriving in his province towards the end of autumn, passed the winter in the neighbourhood of Apollonia. Caius Claudius, and the Roman triremes which had been sent to Athens from the fleet that was laid up at Corcyra, as was mentioned above, arriving at Piræeus, greatly revived the hopes of their allies, who were beginning to give way to despair. Their arrival not only put a stop to the inroads by land, which used to be made from Corinth through Megara, but so terrified the pirates from Chalcis, who had been accustomed to infest both the Athenian sea and coast, that they dared not venture round the promontory of Sunium, nor even trust themselves out of the streights of the Euripus. In addition to these came three quadriremes from Rhodes, the Athenians having three open ships, which they had equipped for the protection of their lands on the coast. While Claudius thought, that if he were able with his fleet to give security to the Athenians, it was as much as could be expected at present, Fortune threw in his way an opportunity of accomplishing an enterprise of greater moment.
XXIII. Some exiles driven from Chalcis, by ill-treatment received from the King’s party, brought intelligence, that the place might be taken without even a contest; for the Macedonians, being under no immediate apprehension from an enemy, were straying idly about the country; and the townsmen, depending on the Macedonian garrison, neglected the guard of the city. Claudius, in consequence of this, set out, and though he arrived at Sunium early enough to have sailed forward to the entrance of the streight of Eubœa, yet fearing that, on doubling the promontory, he might be descried by the enemy, he lay by with the fleet until night. As soon as it grew dark he began to move, and, favoured by a calm, arrived at Chalcis a little before day; and then, approaching the city, on a side where it was thinly inhabited, with a small party of soldiers, and by means of scaling ladders, he got possession of the nearest tower, and the wall on each side. Finding in some places the guards asleep, and other parts left without any watch, they advanced to the more populous parts of the town, and having slain the sentinels, and broken open a gate, they gave an entrance to the main body of the troops. These immediately spread themselves through all parts of the city, and increased the tumult by setting fire to the buildings round the Forum, by which means both the granaries belonging to the King, and his armory, with a vast store of machines and engines, were reduced to ashes. Then commenced a general slaughter of those who fled, as well as of those who made resistance; and after having either put to the sword or driven out every one who was of an age fit to bear arms, (Sopater also, the Acarnanian, who commanded the garrison, being slain,) they first collected all the spoil in the Forum, and then carried it on board the ships. The prison, too, was forced open by the Rhodians, and those whom Philip had shut up there, were set at liberty. They next pulled down and mutilated the statues of the King; and then, on a signal being given for a retreat, reimbarked and returned to Piræeus, from whence they had set out. If there had been a sufficient number of Roman soldiers to have kept possession of Chalcis, without stripping Athens of a proper garrison, that city and the command of the Euripus would have been a most important advantage at the commencement of the war: for as the pass of Thermopylæ is the principal barrier of Greece by land, so is the streight of the Euripus by sea.
XXIV. Philip was then at Demetrias, and as soon as the news arrived there of the calamity which had befallen the city of his allies, although it was too late to carry assistance to those who were already ruined, yet anxious to accomplish what was next to assistance, revenge, he set out instantly with five thousand foot lightly equipped, and three hundred horse. With a speed almost equal to that of racing, he hastened to Chalcis, not doubting but that he should be able to surprise the Romans. Finding himself disappointed, and that his coming answered no other end than to give him a melancholy view of the smoking ruins of that friendly city, (so few being left, that they were scarcely sufficient to bury those who had fallen by the sword of the enemy,) with the same rapid haste which he had used in coming, he crossed the Euripus by the bridge, and led his troops through Bœotia to Athens, in hopes that a similar attempt might be attended by a similar issue. And he would have succeeded, had not a scout (one of those whom the Greeks call day-runners,* because they run through a journey of great length in one day,) descrying from his post of observation the King’s army in its march, set out at midnight, and arrived before them at Athens. The same sleep, and the same negligence, prevailed there which had proved the ruin of Chalcis a few days before. Roused, however, by the alarming intelligence, the prætor of the Athenians, and Dioxippus, commander of a cohort of mercenary auxiliaries, called the soldiers together in the Forum, and ordered the trumpets to sound an alarm from the citadel, that all might be informed of the approach of the enemy. On which the people ran from all quarters to the gates, and afterwards to the walls. In a few hours after, and still some time before day, Philip approached the city, and observing a great number of lights, and hearing the noise of the men hurrying to and fro, as usual on such an alarm, he halted his troops, and ordered them to sit down and take some rest; resolving to use open force, since his design of surprise had not succeeded. Accordingly he advanced on the side of Dipylos, or the double gate, which being the principal entrance of the city is somewhat larger and wider than the rest. Both within and without the streets are wide, so that the townsmen could form their troops from the Forum to the gate, while on the outside, a road of about a mile in length, leading to the school of the academy, afforded open room to the foot and horse of the enemy. The Athenians, who had formed their troops within the gate, marched out with Attalus’s garrison, and the cohort of Dioxippus, along that road. This Philip observed, and thinking that he had the enemy in his power, and might now satisfy his revenge in their destruction, and which he had long wished for, (being more incensed against them than any of the Grecian states,) he exhorted his men to keep their eyes on him during the fight, and to take notice, that wherever the King was, there the standards and the army ought to be. He then spurred on his horse, animated not only with resentment, but with a desire of gaining honour, reckoning it a glorious opportunity of displaying his prowess, in the view of an immense crowd which covered the walls, many of them for the purpose of beholding the engagement. Advancing far before the line, and, with a small body of horse, rushing into the midst of the enemy, he inspired his men with great ardour, and the Athenians with terror. Having wounded many with his own hand, both in close fight and with missive weapons, and driven them back within the gate, he still pursued them closely; and having made greater slaughter among them while embarrassed in the narrow pass, rash as the attempt was, he yet retired unmolested: because those who were in the towers withheld their weapons lest they should hit their friends, who were mingled in confusion among their enemies. The Athenians, after this, confining their troops within the walls, Philip sounded a retreat, and pitched his camp at Cynosarges, a temple of Hercules, and a school surrounded by a grove. But Cynosarges, and Lycæum, and whatever was sacred or pleasant in the neighbourhood of the city, he burned to the ground, and levelled, not only the houses, but sepulchres, paying no regard, in the violence of his rage, to any privilege either of men or gods.
XXV. Next day, the gates having at first been shut, and afterwards suddenly thrown open, in consequence of a body of Attalus’s troops from Ægina, and the Romans from Piræeus, having entered the city, the King removed his camp to the distance of about three miles. From thence he proceeded to Eleusis, in hopes of suprising the temple, and a fort which overlooks and surrounds it; but, finding that the guards were attentive, and that the fleet was coming from Piræeus to support them, he laid aside the design, and led his troops, first to Megara, and then to Corinth; where, on hearing that the council of the Achæans was then sitting at Argos, he went and joined the assembly, to the surprise of that people. They were at the time employed in forming measures for a war against Nabis, tyrant of the Lacedæmonians; who (observing, on the command being transferred from Philopæmen to Cycliadas, a general much inferior to him, that the confederates of the Achæans were falling off,) had renewed the war, and besides ravaging the territories of his neighbours, was become formidable even to the cities. While they were deliberating what number of men should be raised out of each of the states to oppose this enemy, Philip promised that he would relieve them from all anxiety, as far as concerned Nabis and the Lacedæmonians; and that he would not only secure the lands of their allies from devastation, but transfer the whole terror of the war on Laconia itself, by leading his army thither instantly. This discourse being received with general approbation, he added — “It is but reasonable, however, that while I am employed in protecting your property by my arms, my own should not be exposed without defence; therefore, if you think proper, provide such a number of troops as will be sufficient to secure Orcus, Chalcis, and Corinth; that my affairs, being in a state of safety behind me, I may proceed, without distraction, to attack Nabis and the Lacedæmonians.” The Achæans were not ignorant of the tendency of these kind promises, and his offer of assistance against the Lacedæmonians, and that his view was to draw the Achæan youth out of Peloponnesus as hostages, that he might have it in his power to embroil the nation in a war with the Romans. Cycliades, prætor, thinking that it would answer no purpose to expose his scheme by argument, said nothing more than that it was not allowable, according to the laws of the Achæans, to take any matter into consideration except that on which they had been called together: and the decree for levying an army against Nabis being passed, he dismissed the assembly, after having presided in it with much resolution and public spirit, although, until that day, he had been reckoned a partizan of the King. Philip, grievously disappointed, after having collected a few voluntary soldiers, returned to Corinth, and from thence into the territories of Athens.
XXVI. While Philip was in Achaia, Philocles, one of the generals, marching from Eubœa with two thousand Thracians and Macedonians, intending to lay waste the territories of the Athenians, crossed the forest of Cithæron, opposite to Eleusis. Despatching half of his troops, to make depredations in all parts of the country, he lay concealed with the remainder in a place convenient for an ambush; in order that if any attack should be made from the fort at Eleusis on his men employed in plundering, he might suddenly fall upon the enemy unawares, and while they were in disorder. His stratagem did not escape discovery: wherefore, calling back the soldiers, who had gone different ways in pursuit of booty, and drawing them up in order, he advanced to assault the fort at Eleusis; but being repulsed from thence with many wounds, he joined Philip on his return from Achaia, who was also induced to a similar attempt: but the Roman ships coming from Piræeus, and a body of forces being thrown into the fort, he was compelled to relinquish the design. On this the King, dividing his army, sent Philocles with one part to Athens, and went himself with the other to Piræeus; that, while his general, by advancing to the walls and threatening an assault, should keep the Athenians within the city, he might be able to make himself master of the harbour, which he supposed would be left with only a slight garrison. But he found the attack of Piræeus no less difficult than that of Eleusis, the same persons acting in its defence. He therefore hastily led his troops to Athens, and being repulsed by a sudden sally of both foot and horse, who engaged him in the narrow ground, inclosed by the half-ruined wall, which, with two arms, joins Piræeus to Athens, he laid aside the scheme of attacking the city, and, dividing his forces again with Philocles, set out to complete the devastation of the country. As, in his former ravages, he had employed himself in levelling the sepulchres round the city, so now, not to leave any thing unviolated, he ordered the temples of the gods, of which they had one consecrated in every village, to be demolished and burned. The country of Attica afforded ample matter for the exercise of this barbarous rage: for it was highly embellished with works of that kind, having plenty of marble, and abounding with artists of exquisite ingenuity. Nor was he satisfied with merely destroying the temples themselves, and overthrowing the images, but he ordered even the stones to be broken, lest, remaining whole, they should give a degree of grandeur to the ruins; and then, his rage not being satiated, but no object remaining on which it could be exercised, he retired from Bœotia, without having performed in Greece any thing else worth mention.
XXVII. The consul, Sulpicius, who was at that time encamped on the river Apsus, between Apollonia and Dyrrachium, having ordered Lucius Apustius, lieutenant-general, thither, sent him with part of the forces to lay waste the enemy’s country. Apustius, after ravaging the frontiers of Macedonia, and having, at the first assault, taken the forts of Corragos, Gerrunios, and Orgessos, came to Antipatria, a city situated in a narrow vale; where, at first inviting the leading men to a conference, he endeavoured to prevail on them to put themselves under the protection of the Romans; but finding that from confidence in the size, fortifications and situation of their city, they paid no regard to his discourse, he attacked the place by force of arms, and took it by assault: then, putting all the young men to the sword, and giving up the entire spoil to his soldiers, he razed the walls, and burned the buildings. This proceeding spread such terror, that Codrion, a strong and well-fortified town, surrendered to the Romans without a struggle. Leaving a garrison there, he took Ilion by force, a name better known than the town, on account of that of the same denomination in Asia. As the lieutenant-general was returning to the consul with a great quantity of spoil, Athenagoras, one of the King’s generals, falling on his rear, in its passage over a river, threw it into disorder. On hearing the shouting and tumult, Apustius rode back in full speed, ordered the troops to face about, and drew them up in order, with the baggage in the centre. The King’s troops could not support the onset of the Roman soldiers: so that many of them were slain, and more made prisoners. The lieutenant-general having brought back the army without loss, to the consul, was ordered to return immediately to the fleet.
XXVIII. The war commencing thus brilliantly with this successful expedition, several petty kings and princes, whose dominions bordered on Macedonia, came to the Roman camp: Pleuratus, son of Scerdilædus, and Amynander, King of the Athamanians; and from the Dardanians, Bato, son of Longarus. This Longarus had, in his own quarrel, supported a war against Demetrius, father of Philip. To their offers of aid, the consul answered, that he would make use of the assistance of the Dardanians, and of Pleuratus, when he should lead his troops into Macedonia. To Amynander he allotted the part of exciting the Ætolians to war. To the ambassadors of Attalus, (for they also had come at the same time,) he gave directions that the King should wait at Ægina, where he wintered, for the arrival of the Roman fleet; and when joined by that, he should, as before, harass Philip by such enterprises as he could undertake by sea. To the Rhodians, also, an embassy was sent, to engage them to contribute their share towards carrying on the war. Nor was Philip, who had by this time arrived in Macedonia, remiss in his preparations for the campaign. He sent his son Perseus, then very young, with part of his forces to block up the pass near Pelagonia; appointing persons out of the number of his friends to attend him, and direct his unexperienced age. Sciathus and Peparethus, no inconsiderable cities, he demolished, fearing they might fall a prey to the enemy’s fleet; despatching at the same time ambassadors to the Ætolians, lest that restless nation might change sides on the arrival of the Romans.
XXIX. The assembly of the Ætolians, which they call Panætolium, was to meet on a certain day. In order to be present at this, the King’s ambassadors hastened their journey, and Lucius Furius Purpureo also arrived, being sent in like capacity by the consul. Ambassadors from Athens, likewise, came to this assembly. The Macedonians were first heard, as with them the latest treaty had been made; and they declared, that “as no change of circumstances had occurred, they had nothing new to introduce; for the same reasons which had induced the Ætolians to make peace with Philip, after experiencing the unprofitableness of an alliance with the Romans, should engage them to deserve it, now that it was established. Do you rather choose,” said one of the ambassadors, “to imitate the inconsistency, or levity, shall I call it, of the Romans, who ordered this answer to be given to your ambassadors at Rome: ‘Why, Ætolians, do you apply to us, when without our approbation you have made peace with Philip?’ Yet these same people now require, that you should, in conjunction with them, wage war against Philip. Formerly, too, it was pretended that they took arms on your account, and in your defence against Philip: now they do not allow you to continue at peace with him. To assist Messana, they first embarked for Sicily; and a second time, to vindicate the liberty of Syracuse, oppressed by the Carthaginians. Both Messana and Syracuse, and all Sicily, they hold in their own possession, and have reduced it into a tributary province under their axes and rods. You imagine, perhaps, that in the same manner as you hold an assembly at Naupactus, according to your own laws, under magistrates of your own appointment, at liberty to choose allies and enemies, and to have peace or war at your own option, so the assembly of the states of Sicily is summoned to Syracuse, or Messana, or Lilybæum. No, a Roman prætor presides at the meeting; at his command they assemble; they behold him, attended by his lictors, seated on a lofty throne, issuing his haughty edicts. His rods are ready for their backs, his axes for their necks, and every year they are allotted a different master. Neither ought they, nor can they, wonder at this, when they see all the cities of Italy, bending under the same yoke — Rhegium, Tarentum, Capua, not to mention those in their own neighbourhood, out of the ruins of which their city of Rome grew into power. Capua indeed subsists, the grave and monument of the Campanian people, who were either cut off, or driven into banishment; the mutilated carcase of a city, without senate, without commons, without magistrates; a sort of prodigy, the leaving which to be inhabited in this manner, showed more cruelty than if it had been razed to the ground. If foreigners, who are separated from us to a greater distance by their language, manners, and laws, than by the length of sea and land, are allowed to get footing here, it is madness to hope that any thing will continue in its present state. Does your liberty appear to be in any degree of danger from the government of Philip, who, at a time when he was justly incensed, demanded nothing more of you than peace; and at present requires no more than the observance of the peace which ye agreed to? Accustom foreign legions to these countries, and receive the yoke; too late and in vain, will you look for an alliance with Philip, when you will have become a property of the Romans. Trifling causes occasionally unite and disunite the Ætolians, Acarnanians, and Macedonians, men speaking the same language. With foreigners, with barbarians, all Greeks have, and ever will have, eternal war: because they are enemies by nature, which is always the same, and not from causes which change with the times. I conclude my discourse with the same argument with which I began. Three years since, the same persons, assembled in this same place, determined on peace with the same Philip, contrary to the inclinations of the same Romans, who now wish that the peace should be broken, after it has been adjusted and ratified. In the subject of your deliberation, fortune has made no change; why you should make any, I do not see.”
XXX. Next, after the Macedonians, with the consent and at the desire of the Romans, the Athenians were introduced; who, having suffered grievously, could, with the greater justice, inveigh against the cruelty and inhumanity of the King. They represented, in a deplorable light, the miserable devastation and ruin of their country; adding, that, “they did not complain on account of having, from an enemy, suffered hostile treatment; for there were certain rights of war, according to which, as it was just to act, so it was just to endue. Their crops being burned, their houses demolished, their men and cattle carried off as spoil, were to be considered, rather as misfortunes to the sufferer, than as ill-treatment. But of this they had good reason to complain, that he who called the Romans foreigners and barbarians, had so atrociously violated, himself, all rights both divine and human, as, in his former inroad, to have waged an impious war against the infernal gods, in the latter against those above. That every sepulchre and monument within their country was demolished, the graves torn open, and the bones left uncovered. There had been several temples, which in former times, when their ancestors dwelt in the country in their separate districts, had been consecrated in each of their little forts and villages, and which, even after they were incorporated into one city, they did not neglect or forsake. Every one of these sacred edifices had Philip destroyed by fire, and left the images of the gods lying scorched and mutilated among the prostrated pillars of the temples. Such as he had rendered the country of Attica, formerly opulent, and adorned with improvements, such, if he were suffered, would he render Ætolia and every part of Greece. That Athens, also, would have been reduced to the same ruinous state, if the Romans had not come to its relief: for he had shewn the same wicked rage against the gods, who are the guardians of the city, and Minerva who presides over the citadel; the same against the temple of Ceres at Eleusis; the same against Jupiter and Minerva at Piræeus. In a word, having been repelled by force of arms, not only from their temples, but even from their walls, he had vented his fury on those sacred edifices, which had no defence but in the respect due to religion. They therefore entreated and besought the Ætolians, that, compassionating the Athenians, and following the guidance of the gods, and, under them, of the Romans, who, next to the gods, possessed the greatest power, they would take part in the war.”
XXXI. The Roman ambassador then addressed them to this purport: “The Macedonians, first, and, afterwards, the Athenians, have obliged me to change entirely the method of my discourse. For, on the one hand, the Macedonians, by introducing charges against the Romans, when I had come prepared to make complaint of the injuries committed by Philip against so many cities in alliance with us, have obliged me to think of defence rather than accusation; and, on the other hand, after the relation given by the Athenians, of his inhuman and impious crimes against the gods both celestial and infernal, what room is there left for me, or any other, to make any addition to the charge? You are to suppose, that the same complaints are made by the Cianians, Abydenians, Æneans, Maronites, Thasians, Parians, Samians, Larissenians, Messenians, on the side of Achaia; and complaints, still heavier and more grievous, by those whom he had it more in his power to injure. For as to those proceedings which he censures in us, if they are not found highly meritorious, let them not be defended. He has objected to us, Rhegium, and Capua, and Syracuse. As to Rhegium, during the war with Pyrrhus, a legion which, at the earnest request of the Rhegians themselves, we had sent thither as a garrison, wickedly possessed themselves of the city which they had been sent to defend. Did we then approve of that deed? or did we exert the force of our arms against that guilty legion, until we reduced them under our power; and then, after making them give satisfaction to the allies, by their stripes and the loss of their heads, restore to the Rhegians their city, their lands, and all their effects, together with their liberty and laws? To the Syracusans, when oppressed (and, to add to the indignity, by foreign tyrants), we lent assistance; and after enduring great fatigues in carrying on the siege of so strong a city, both by land and sea, for almost three years, (although the Syracusans themselves chose to continue in slavery to the tyrants, rather than to trust to us,) yet, becoming masters of the place, and by exertion of the same force setting it at liberty, we restored it to the inhabitants. At the same time, we do not deny that Sicily is our province, and that the states which sided with the Carthaginians, and, in conjunction with them, waged war against us, pay us tribute and taxes; on the contrary, we wish that you and all nations should know, that the condition of each is such as it has deserved at our hands: and ought we to repent of the punishment inflicted on the Campanians, of which even they themselves cannot complain? These men, after we had on their account carried on war against the Samnites for near seventy years, with great losses on our side; had united them to ourselves, first by treaty, and then by intermarriages, and the consequent affinities; and lastly, by admitting them to a participation of the rights of our state, yet in the time of our adversity, were the first of all the states of Italy which revolted to Hannibal, after basely putting our garrison to death, and afterwards, through resentment at being besieged by us, sent Hannibal to attack Rome. If neither their city nor one man of them had been left remaining, who could take offence, or consider them as treated with more severity than they had deserved? From consciousness of guilt, greater numbers of them perished by their own hands, than by the punishments inflicted by us. And while from the rest we took away the town and the lands, still we left them a place to dwell in, we suffered the city which partook not of the guilt to stand uninjured; so that there is not visible this day, any trace of its having been besieged or taken. But why do I speak of Capua, when even to vanquished Carthage we granted peace and liberty. The greatest danger is, that by our too great readiness to pardon such, we may encourage others to try the fortune of war against us. Let so much suffice in our defence, and against Philip, whose domestic crimes, whose parricides and murders of his relations and friends, and whose lust, more disgraceful to human nature, if possible, than his cruelty, you, as being nearer to Macedonia, are better acquainted with. As to what concerns you, Ætolians, we entered into a war with Philip on your account: you made peace with him without consulting us. Perhaps you will say, that while we were occupied in the Punic war, you were constrained by fear to accept terms of pacification, from him who possessed superior power; and that on our side, pressed by more urgent affairs, we suspended our operations in a war which you had laid aside. At present, as we, having, by the favour of the gods, brought the Punic war to a conclusion, have fallen on Macedonia with the whole weight of our power, so you have an opportunity offered you of regaining a place in our friendship and alliance, unless you choose to perish with Philip, rather than to conquer with the Romans.”
XXXII. After this discourse of the ambassador, the inclinations of all leaning towards the Romans, Damocritus, prætor of the Ætolians, (who, it was reported, had received money from the King,) without seeming to favour either party, said — that, “in consultations wherein the public safety was deeply interested, nothing was so injurious as haste. That repentance, indeed, generally followed, and that quickly, but yet too late and unavailing; because designs carried on with precipitation could not be recalled, nor matters brought back to their original state. The time, however, for determining the point under consideration, which, for his part, he thought should not be too early, might yet immediately be fixed in this manner. As it had been provided by the laws, that no determination should be made concerning peace or war, except in the Panætolic or Pylaic councils; let them immediately pass a decree, that the prætor, when he chooses to treat of either, may have full authority to summon a council; and that whatever shall be then debated and decreed, shall be, to all intents and purposes, legal and valid, as if it had been transacted in the Panætolic or Pylaic assembly.” And thus dismissing the ambassadors, without coming to any resolution, he said, that therein he acted most prudently for the interest of the state; for the Ætolians would have it in their power to join in alliance with whichever of the parties should be more successful in the war. Nothing further was done in the assembly.
XXXIII. Meanwhile Philip was making vigorous preparations for carrying on the war both by sea and land. His naval forces he drew together at Demetrias in Thessaly; supposing that Attalus, and the Roman fleet, would move from Ægina in the beginning of the spring. He gave the command of the fleet and of the sea-coast to Heraclides, to whom he had formerly intrusted it. The equipment of the land forces he took care of in person; and thought that he had deprived the Romans of two powerful auxiliaries, the Ætolians on the one side, and the Dardanians on the other, by making his son Perseus block up the pass at Pelagonia. The consul was employed, not in preparations, but in the operations of war. He led his army through the country of the Dassaretians, leaving the corn untouched, which he had brought from his winter quarters, for the fields afforded supplies sufficient for the consumption of the troops. The towns and villages surrendered to him, some through inclination, others through fear; some were taken by assault, others were found deserted, the barbarians flying to the neighbouring mountains. He fixed a standing camp at Lycus near the river Beous, and from thence sent to bring in corn from the magazines of the Dassaretians. Philip saw the whole country filled with consternation, and not knowing the designs of the consul, he sent a party of horse to discover his route. Sulpicius was in the same state of uncertainty; he knew that the King had moved from his winter quarters, but in what direction he had proceeded, he knew not: he also had sent horsemen to gain intelligence. These two parties having set out from opposite quarters, after wandering a long time among the Dassaretians, through unknown roads, fell at length into the same road. Neither doubted, as soon as the noise of men and horses was heard at a distance, that an enemy approached: therefore, before they came within sight of each other, they got their arms in readiness, and the moment they met, both hastened eagerly to engage. As they happened to be nearly equal in number and valour, being picked men on both sides, they fought during several hours with vigour, until fatigue, both of men and horses, put an end to the fight, without deciding the victory. Of the Macedonians, there fell forty horsemen; of the Romans, thirty-five. Still, however, neither party was able to carry back any certain information in what quarter the camp of his enemy lay. But this was soon made known to them by deserters; of whom, either through restlessness, or the prospect of reward, a sufficient number are found, in every war, to discover the affairs of the contending parties.
XXXIV. Philip, judging that it would tend considerably towards conciliating the affections of his men, and induce them to face danger more readily on his account, if he bestowed some pains on the burial of the horsemen, who fell in that expedition, ordered them to be conveyed into the camp, in order that all might be spectators of the honours paid them at their funeral. Nothing is so uncertain, or so difficult to form a judgment of, as the minds of the multitude. The very measures which seem calculated to increase their alacrity, in exertions of every sort, often inspire them with fear and timidity. Accordingly those, who, being always accustomed to fight with Greeks and Illyrians, had only seen wounds made with javelins and arrows, seldom even by lances, came to behold bodies dismembered by the Spanish sword, some with their arms lopped off, or, the neck entirely cut through, heads severed from the trunk, and the bowels laid open, with other shocking circumstances which the present warfare had wrought: they therefore perceived, with horror, against what weapons and what men they were to fight. Even the King himself was seized with apprehensions, having never yet engaged the Romans in a regular battle. Wherefore, recalling his son, and the guard posted at the pass of Pelagonia, in order to strengthen his army by the addition of those troops, he thereby opened a passage into Macedonia for Pleuratus and the Dardanians. Then, taking deserters for guides, he marched towards the enemy with twenty thousand foot and four thousand horse, and, at the distance of somewhat more than two hundred paces from the Roman camp, and near Ithacus, he fortified a hill with a trench and rampart. From this place, taking a view of the Roman station, in the valley beneath, he is said to have been struck with admiration, both at the general appearance of the camp, and the regular disposition of each particular part, distinguished by the order of the tents, and the intervals of the passages, and to have declared, that, certainly, that was not a camp of barbarians. For two days, the consul and the King, each waiting for the other’s making some attempt, kept their troops within the ramparts. On the third day, the Roman led out all his forces, and offered battle.
XXXV. But the King, not daring to risk so hastily a general engagement, sent four hundred Trallians, who are a tribe of the Illyrians, as we have said in another place, and three hundred Cretans; adding to this body of infantry an equal number of horse, under the command of Athenagoras, one of his nobles honoured with the purple, to make an attack on the enemy’s cavalry. When these troops arrived within a little more than five hundred paces, the Romans sent out the light-infantry, and two cohorts of horse, that both cavalry and infantry might be equal in number to the Macedonians. The King’s troops expected that the method of fighting would be such as they had been accustomed to; that the horsemen, pursuing and retreating alternately, would at one time use their weapons, at another turn their backs; that the agility of the Illyrians would be serviceable for excursions and sudden attacks, and the Cretans might discharge their arrows as they advanced eagerly to the charge. But this plan of fighting was entirely disconcerted by the manner in which the Romans made their onset, which was not more brisk than it was obstinate: for the light-infantry, as if in a general line of battle, after discharging their javelins, carried on a close fight with their swords; and the horsemen, when they had once made a charge, stopping their horses, fought, some on horseback, while others dismounted and intermixed themselves with the foot. By this means neither were the King’s cavalry, who were unaccustomed to a steady fight, a match for the others; nor were the infantry, who were unacquainted with any other mode of fighting but that of skirmishing and irregular attacks, and were besides but half covered with the kind of harness which they used, at all equal to the Roman infantry, who carried a sword and buckler, and were furnished with proper armour, both to defend themselves, and to annoy the enemy: nor did they sustain the combat, but fled to their camp, trusting entirely to their speed for safety.
XXXVI. After an interval of one day, the King, resolving to make an attack with all his cavalry and light-armed infantry, had, during the night, placed in ambush, in a convenient place between the two camps, a body of targeteers, whom they call Peltastæ, and given orders to Athenagoras and the cavalry, if they found they had the advantage in the open fight, to pursue success; if not, that they should retreat leisurely, and by that means draw on the enemy to the place where the ambush lay. The cavalry accordingly did retreat; but the officers of the body of targeteers, by bringing forward their men before the time, and not waiting for the signal, as they ought, lost an opportunity of performing considerable service. The Romans, having gained the victory in open fight, and also escaped the danger of the ambuscade, retired to their camp. Next day the consul marched out with all his forces, and offered battle, placing his elephants (which had been taken in the Punic war) in the front of the foremost battalions, and which was the first time that the Romans made use of those creatures in the field. Finding that the King kept himself quiet behind his entrenchments, he advanced close up to them, upbraiding him with cowardice; and as, notwithstanding, he still declined an engagement, the consul, considering how dangerous foraging must be while the camps lay so near each other, where the soldiers, dispersed through the country, were liable to be suddenly attacked by the horse, removed his camp to a place called Octolophus, distant about eight miles, where he could forage with more safety. While the Romans were collecting corn in the adjacent fields, the King kept his men within the trenches, in order to increase both the negligence and confidence of the enemy. But, when he saw them scattered, he set out with all his cavalry, and the auxiliary Cretans, and marching with such speed that the swiftest footmen could, by running, but just keep up with the horse, he took post between the camp of the Romans and their foragers. Then, dividing the forces, he sent one part of them in quest of the marauders, with orders to give no quarter; with the other, he himself halted, and placed guards on the roads through which he supposed the enemy would fly back to their camp. The slaughter and flight of the provisioning party had continued for some time on all sides, and no intelligence of the misfortune had yet reached the Roman camp, because those who fled towards the camp, fell in with the guards, which the King had stationed to intercept them, and greater numbers were slain by those who were placed in the roads, than by those who had been sent out to attack them. At length, a few effected their escape, through the midst of the enemy’s posts, but were so filled with terror, that they excited a general consternation in the camp, without being able to give any certain account of what was going on.
XXXVII. The consul, ordering the cavalry to carry aid to those who were in danger, in the best manner they could, drew out the legions from the camp, and led them in order of battle towards the enemy. The cavalry, taking different ways through the fields, missed the road, being deceived by the various shouts raised in several quarters. Some of them met with the enemy, and battles began in many places at once. The hottest part of the action was at the station where the King commanded; for the guard there was, in numbers both of horse and foot, almost a complete army; and, as they were posted on the middle road, the greatest number of the Romans fell in with them. The Macedonians had also the advantage in this, that the King himself was present to encourage them; and the Cretan auxiliaries, fighting in good order, and in a state of preparation, against troops disordered and irregular, wounded many at a distance, where no such danger was apprehended. If they had acted with prudence in the pursuit, they would have secured an advantage of great importance, not only in regard to the glory of the present contest, but to the general interest of the war; but, greedy of slaughter, and following with too much eagerness, they fell in with the advanced cohorts of the Romans under the military tribunes. The horsemen who were flying, as soon as they saw the ensigns of their friends, faced about against the enemy, now in disorder; so that in a moment’s time the fortune of the battle was changed, those now turning their backs, who had lately been the pursuers. Many were slain in close fight, many in the pursuit: nor was it by the sword alone that they perished; several being driven into morasses were, together with their horses, swallowed up in the deep mud. The King himself was in danger; for his horse falling, in consequence of a wound, threw him headlong to the ground, and he very narrowly escaped being overpowered before he could recover his feet. He owed his safety to a trooper, who instantly leaped from his horse, on which he mounted the affrighted King; himself, as he could not run so fast as to keep up with the horsemen, was slain by the enemy, who had collected about the place where Philip fell. The King, in his desperate flight, rode about among the morasses, some of which were easily passed, and others not; at length, when most men despaired of his ever returning, he arrived in safety at his camp. Two hundred Macedonian horsemen perished in that action; about one hundred were taken: eighty horses, richly caparisoned, were led off the field; at the same time the spoils of arms were also carried off.
XXXVIII. Some have found fault with the King, as guilty of rashness on that day; and with the consul, as not having pushed with spirit the advantage which he had gained. For Philip, they say, on his part, ought to have avoided coming to action, knowing that in a few days, the enemy, having exhausted all the adjacent country, must be reduced to the extremity of want; and that the consul, after having routed the Macedonian cavalry and light-infantry, and nearly taken the King himself, ought to have led on his troops directly to the enemy’s camp, where, dismayed as they were, they could have made no stand, and that he might have finished the war in a moment’s time. This, like most other matters, was easier in speculation than in practice. For, if the King had brought his infantry into the engagement, then, indeed, during the tumult, and while vanquished and struck with dismay, they fled from the field into their entrenchments, (and even continued their flight from thence on seeing the victorious enemy mounting the ramparts,) the King’s camp might have fallen into the Romans’ possession. But as the infantry had remained in the camp, fresh and free from fatigue, with outposts before the gates, and guards properly disposed, what would he have gained in having imitated the rashness of which the King had just now been guilty, by pursuing the routed horse? On the other side, the King’s first plan of an attack on the foragers, while dispersed through the fields, was not injudicious, could he have satisfied himself with a moderate degree of success: and it is the less surprising, that he should have made a trial of fortune, as there was a report, that Pleuratus and the Dardaniaus had marched with very numerous forces, and had already passed into Macedonia; so that if he should be surrounded on all sides, there was reason to think that the Roman might put an end to the war without stirring from his seat. Philip, however, considered, that after his cavalry had been defeated in two engagements, he could with much less safety continue in the same post; accordingly, wishing to remove from thence, and, at the same time, to keep the enemy in ignorance of his design, he sent a herald to the consul a little before sunset, to demand a truce for the purpose of burying the horsemen; and thus imposing on him, he began his march in silence, about the second watch, leaving a number of fires in all parts of his camp.
XXXIX. The consul had already retired to take refreshment, when he was told that the herald had arrived, and on what business; he gave him no other answer, than that he should be admitted to an audience early the next morning: by which means, Philip gained what he wanted — the length of that night, and part of the following day, during which he might march his troops beyond the enemy’s reach. He directed his route towards the mountains, a road which he knew the Romans with their heavy baggage would not attempt. The consul, having at the first light, dismissed the herald, with a grant of a truce, in a short time after discovered that the enemy had gone off; but not knowing what course to take in pursuit of them, he remained in the same camp for several days, which he employed in collecting forage. He then marched to Stubera, and brought thither, from Pelagonia, the corn that was in the fields. From thence he advanced to Pellina, not having yet discovered to what quarter the Macedonian had bent his course. Philip having at first fixed his camp at Bryanium, marched thence through cross-roads, and gave a sudden alarm to the enemy. The Romans, on this, removed from Pellina, and pitched their camp near the river Osphagus. The King also sat down at a small distance, forming his entrenchment on the bank of the river Erigonus. Having there received certain information, that the Romans intended to proceed to Eordæa, he marched away before them, in order to take possession of the defiles, and prevent the enemy from making their way, where the roads are confined in narrow streights. There, with much labour, he fortified some places with a rampart, others with a trench, others with stones heaped up, instead of walls, others with trees laid across, according as the situation required, or as materials lay convenient; and thus a road, in its own nature difficult, he rendered, as he imagined, impregnable by the works which he drew across every pass. The adjoining ground being mostly covered with woods, was exceedingly incommodious to the phalanx of the Macedonians, which is of no manner of use, except when they extend their very long spears before their shields, forming as it were a palisade; to perform which, they require an open plain. The Thracians, too, were embarrassed by their lances, which also are of a great length, and were entangled among the branches that stood in their way on every side. The body of Cretans alone was not unserviceable; and yet even these, though in case of an attack made on them, they could to good purpose discharge their arrows against the horses or riders, where they were open to a wound, yet against the Roman shields they could do nothing, because they had neither strength sufficient to pierce through them, nor was there any part exposed at which they could aim. Perceiving, therefore, that kind of weapon to be useless, they annoyed the enemy with stones, which lay in plenty in all parts of the valley: the strokes made by these on their shields, with greater noise than injury, for a short time retarded the advance of the Romans; but quickly learning to despise these weapons also, some closing their shields in form of a tortoise, forced their way through the enemy in front; others having, by a short circuit, gained the summit of the hill, dislodged the dismayed Macedonians from their guards and posts, and even slew the greater part of them, the difficulties of the ground preventing their escape.
XL. Thus, with less opposition than they had expected to meet, they passed the defiles, and came to Eordæa; then, having laid waste the whole country, the consul withdrew into Elimea. From thence he made an irruption into Orestis, and laid siege to the city Celetrum, situated in a peninsula: a lake surrounds the walls; and there is but one entrance from the main land along a narrow isthmus. Relying on their situation, the townsmen at first shut the gates, and refused to submit; but afterwards, when they saw the troops in motion, and advancing under cover of their closed shields, and the isthmus covered by the enemy marching in, their courage failed them, and they surrendered without hazarding a struggle. From Celetrum he advanced into the country of the Dassaretians, took the city Pelium by storm, carried off the slaves with the rest of the spoil, and discharging the freemen without ransom, restored the city to them, after placing a strong garrison in it, for it lay very conveniently for making inroads into Macedonia. Having thus carried devastation through the enemy’s country, the consul led back his forces into those parts, which were already reduced to obedience near Apollonia, from whence, at the beginning of the campaign, he had set out to begin his operations. Philip’s attention had been drawn to other quarters by the Ætolians, Athamanians, and Dardanians: so many were the wars that started up on different sides of him. Against the Dardanians, who were now retiring out of Macedonia, he sent Athenagoras with the light-infantry and the greater part of the cavalry, and ordered him to hang on their rear as they retreated; and, by cutting off their hindmost troops, make them more cautious for the future of leading out their armies from home. As to the Ætolians, Damocritus, their prætor, the same who at Naupactum had persuaded them to defer passing a decree concerning the war, had in the next meeting roused them to arms, after hearing of the battle between the cavalry at Octolophus; the irruption of the Dardanians and of Pleuratus, with the Illyrians, into Macedonia; of the arrival of the Roman fleet, too, at Oreus; and that Macedonia, besides being beset on all sides by so many nations, was in danger of being invested by sea also.
XLI. These reasons had brought back Damocritus and the Ætolians to the interest of the Romans. Marching out, therefore, in conjunction wiih Amynander, King of the Athamanians, they laid siege to Cercinium. The inhabitants here had shut their gates, whether of their own choice or by compulsion is unknown, as they had a garrison of the King’s troops. However, in a few days, Cercinium was taken and burned; and after great slaughter had been made, those who survived, both free men and slaves, were carried off amongst other spoil. This caused such terror, as made all those who dwelt round the lake Bæbis, abandon their cities and fly to the mountains; and the Ætolians not finding booty, turned away from thence, and proceeded into Perrhæbia. There they took Cyretiæ by storm, and sacked it without mercy. The inhabitants of Mallœa making a voluntary submission, were received into alliance. From Perrhæbia, Amynander advised to march to Gomphi, because that city lies close to Athamania, and there was reason to think that it might be reduced without any great difficulty. But the Ætolians, for the sake of plunder, directed their march to the rich plains of Thessaly, Amynander following, though he did not approve either of their careless method of carrying on their depredations, or of their pitching their camp in any place where chance directed, without choice, and without taking any care to fortify it. Therefore, lest their rashness and negligence might be the cause of some misfortune to himself and his troops, when he saw them forming their camp in low grounds, under the city Phecadus, he took possession, with his own troops, of an eminence about five hundred paces distant, which could be rendered secure by a slight fortification. The Ætolians seemed to have forgotton that they were in an enemy’s country, excepting that they continued to plunder, some straggling in small parties without arms, others spending whole days and nights in drinking and sleeping in the camp, neglecting even to fix guards, when Philip unexpectedly came upon them. His approach being announced by those who had fled out of the fields in a fright, threw Damocritus and the rest of the officers into great confusion. It happened to be mid-day, and when most of the men after a hearty meal lay fast asleep. Their officers roused them, however, as fast as possible; ordered them to take arms; despatched some to recall those who were straggling through the fields in search of plunder, and so violent was their hurry, that many of the horsemen went out without their swords, and but few of them put on their corslets. After marching out in this precipitate manner, (the whole horse and foot not amounting to six hundred,) they met the King’s cavalry, superior in number, in spirit, and in arms. They were, therefore, routed at the first charge; and having scarcely attempted resistance, returned to the camp in shameful flight. Several were slain; and some taken, having been cut off from the main body of the runaways.
XLII. Philip, when his troops had advanced almost to the rampart, ordered a retreat to be sounded, because both men and horses were fatigued, not so much by the action, as by the length of their march, and the extraordinary celerity with which they had made it. He therefore despatched the horsemen by troops, and the companies of light-infantry in turn, for water; after which they took refreshment. The rest he kept on guard, under arms, waiting for the main body of the infantry, which had marched with less expedition, on account of the weight of their armour. As soon as these arrived, they also were ordered to fix their standards, and, laying down their arms before them, to take food in haste; sending two, or at most three, out of each company, to provide water. In the mean time, the cavalry and light infantry stood in order, and ready, in case the enemy should make any motion. The Ætolians, as if resolved to defend their fortifications, (the multitude which had been scattered about the fields having, by this time, returned to the camp,) posted bodies of armed men at the gates, and on the rampart, and from this safe situation looked with a degree of confidence on the enemy, as long as they continued quiet. But, as soon as the troops of the Macedonians began to move, and to advance to the rampart, in order of battle, and ready for an assault, they all quickly abandoned their posts, and fled through the opposite part of the camp, to the eminence where the Athamanians were stationed. During their flight in this confusion, many of the Ætolians were slain, and many made prisoners. Philip doubted not, that, had there been day-light enough remaining, he should have been able to make himself master of the camp of the Athamanians also; but the day being spent in the fight, and in plundering the camp afterwards, he sat down under the eminence, in the adjacent plain, determined to attack the enemy at the first dawn. But the Ætolians, under the same apprehensions which had made them desert their camp, dispersed, and fled during the following night. Amynander was of the greatest service; for, by his directions, the Athamanians, who were acquainted with the roads, conducted them into Ætolia, whilst the Macedonians pursued them over the highest mountains, through unknown paths. In this disorderly flight, a few, missing their way, fell into the hands of the Macedonian horsemen, whom Philip, at the first light, on seeing the eminence abandoned, had sent to infest on their march.
XLIII. About the same time, also, Athenagoras, one of the King’s generals, overtaking the Dardanians in their retreat homeward, at first threw their rear into disorder: but these unexpectedly facing about, and forming their line, the fight became like a regular engagement. When the Dardanians began again to advance, the Macedonian cavalry and light-infantry harassed those who had no troops of that kind to aid them, and were, besides, burdened with unwieldy arms. The ground, too, favoured the assailants; very few were slain, but many wounded; none were taken, because they rarely quit their ranks, but both fight and retreat in a close body. Thus Philip, having checked the proceedings of those two nations by these well-timed expeditions, gained reparation for the damages sustained from the operations of the Romans; the enterprise being as spirited as the issue was successful. An accidental occurrence lessened the number of his enemies on the side of Ætolia. Scopas, a man of considerable influence in his own country, having been sent from Alexandria by King Ptolemy, with a great sum of gold, hired, and carried away to Egypt, six thousand foot, and some horse; nor would he have suffered one of the young Ætolians to remain at home, had not Damocritus, (it is not easy to say, whether out of zeal for the good of the nation, or out of opposition to Scopas, for not having secured his interest by presents,) by sometimes reminding them of the war with which they were threatened, at other times, of the solitary state in which their country would be left, detained some of them. Such were the actions of the Romans, and of Philip, during that summer.
XLIV. In the beginning of the same summer, the fleet under Lucius Apustius, lieutenant-general, setting sail from Corcyra, and passing by Malea, formed a junction with King Attalus, off Scyllæum, which lies in the district of Hermione. The Athenian state, which had for a long time, through fear, restrained their animosity against Philip within some bounds, assuming confidence from the support now afforded them, gave full scope to it without any reserve. There are never wanting in that city, orators, who are ready on every occasion to inflame the people; a kind of men, who, in all free states, and more particularly in that of Athens, where eloquence flourishes in the highest degree, are maintained by the favour of the multitude. These immediately proposed a decree, and the commons passed it, that “all the statues and images of Philip, with their inscriptions, and likewise those of all his ancestors of both sexes, should be removed and defaced; that the festival days, solemnities, and priests, which had been instituted in honour of him or them, should all be abolished; and that even the ground where any such statue had been set up, and inscribed with his name, should be held abominable.” And it was resolved, that, “for the future, nothing which ought to be erected or dedicated in a place of purity, should be there erected; that the public priests, as often as they should pray for the people of Athens, for their allies, armies, and fleets, so often should they utter curses and execrations against Philip, his offspring, his kingdom, his forces by sea and land, and the whole race and name of the Macedonians.” It was added to the decree, that, “if any person in future should make any proposal tending to throw disgrace and ignominy on Philip, the people of Athens would ratify it in its fullest extent: if, on the contrary, any one should, by word or deed, endeavour to lessen his ignominy, or to do him honour, that whoever slew such person should be justified in so doing.” Lastly, a clause was annexed, that “all the decrees, formerly passed against the Pisistratidæ, should be in full force against Philip.” Thus the Athenians waged war against Philip with writings and with words, in which alone their power consists.
XLV. Attalus and the Romans, having, from Hermione, proceeded first to Piræeus, and staid there a few days, after being loaded with decrees of the Athenians, (in which the honours paid to their allies were as extravagant as the expressions of their resentment against their enemy had been,) sailed to Andros, and, coming to an anchor in the harbour called Gaureleos, sent persons to sound the inclinations of the townsmen, whether they chose voluntarily to surrender, rather than run the hazard of an assault. On their answering, that they were not at their own disposal, the citadel being possessed by the King’s troops, Attalus and the Roman lieutenant-general, landing their forces, with every thing requisite for attacking towns, made their approaches to the city on different sides. The Roman ensigns and arms, which they had never seen before, together with the spirit of the soldiers, so briskly approaching the walls, were particularly terrifying to the Greeks, insomuch that they immediately fled into the citadel, leaving the city in the power of the enemy. After holding out for two days in the citadel, relying more on the strength of the place than on their arms, on the third both they and the garrison capitulated, on condition of their being transported to Delium in Bœotia, and being each of them allowed a single suit of apparel. The island was yielded up by the Romans to King Attalus; the spoil, and the ornaments of the city, they themselves carried off. Attalus, desirous that the island, of which he had got possession, might not be quite deserted, persuaded almost all the Macedonians, and several of the Andrians, to remain there: and, in some time after, those who, according to the capitulation, had been transported to Delium, were induced to return from thence by the promises made them by the King, in which they were disposed the more readily to confide, by the ardent affection which they felt for their native country. From Andros the combined army passed over to Cythnus: there they spent several days, to no purpose, in attempting to get possession of the city; when, at length, finding it scarcely worth the trouble, they departed. At Prasiæ, a place on the main land of Attica, twenty barks of the Issæans joined the Roman fleet. These were sent to ravage the lands of the Carystians, the rest of the fleet lying at Geræstus, a noted harbour in Eubœa, until their return from Carystus: on which, setting sail altogether, and steering their course through the open sea, until they passed by Scyrus, they arrived at the island Icus. Being detained there for a few days by a violent northerly wind, as soon as it abated, they passed over to Sciathus, a city which had been lately plundered and desolated by Philip. The soldiers, spreading themselves over the country, brought back to the ships corn and many other kinds of provisions. Plunder there was none, nor had the Greeks deserved to be plundered. Directing their course to Cassandrea, they first came to Mendis, a village on the coast of that state; and, intending from thence to double the promontory, and bring round the fleet to the very walls of the city, they were near being buried in the waves by a furious storm. However, after being dispersed, and a great part of the ships having lost their rigging, they escaped on shore. This storm at sea was an omen of the kind of success which they were to meet on land: for, after collecting their vessels together, and landing their forces, having made an assault on the city, they were repulsed with considerable loss, there being a strong garrison of the King’s troops in the place. Being thus obliged to retreat without accomplishing their design, they passed over to Canastrum in Pallene, and from thence, doubling the promontory of Torona, conducted the fleet to Acanthus. There they first laid waste the country, then stormed the city itself, and plundered it. They proceeded no farther, for their ships were now heavily laden with booty, but went back to Sciathus, and from Sciathus to Eubœa, whence they had first set out.
XLVI. Leaving the fleet there, they entered the Malian bay with ten light ships, in order to confer with the Ætolians on the method of conducting the war. Sipyrrhicas, the Ætolian, was at the head of the embassy that came to Heraclea, to hold a consultation with the King and the Roman lieutenant-general. They demanded of Attalus, that, in pursuance of the treaty, he should supply them with one thousand soldiers, which number he had engaged for on condition of their taking part in the war against Philip. This was refused to the Ætolians, because, on their part, they had formerly showed themselves unwilling to march out to ravage Macedonia, at a time when Philip, being employed near Pergamus in destroying by fire every thing sacred and profane, they might have compelled him to retire from thence, in order to preserve his own territories. Thus, instead of aid, the Ætolians were dismissed with hopes, the Romans making them large promises. Apustius and Attalus returned to their ships, where they began to concert measures for the siege of Oreus. This city was well secured by fortifications; and also, since the attempt formerly made on it, by a strong garrison. After the taking of Andros, the combined fleet had been joined by twenty Rhodian ships, all decked vessels, under the command of Agesimbrotus. This squadron they sent to cruise off Zelasium, a promontory of Isthmia, very conveniently situate beyond Demetrias, in order that, if the ships of the Macedonians should attempt to come out, they might be at hand to oppose them. Heraclides, the King’s admiral, kept his fleet there, rather with a view of laying hold of any advantage which the negligence of the enemy might afford him, than with a design of employing open force. The Romans and King Attalus carried on their attacks against Oreus on different sides; the Romans against the citadel next to the sea, the King’s troops against the lower part of the town, lying between the two citadels, where the city is also divided by a wall. As their posts were different, so were their methods of attack: the Romans made their approaches by means of covered galleries, some carried by men, others moving on wheels, applying also the ram to the walls; the King’s troops, by throwing in weapons with the balista, catapulta, and every other kind of engine. They cast stones also of immense weight, formed mines, and made use of every expedient, which, on trial, had been found useful in the former siege. On the other side, the Macedonian garrison, in the town and the citadels, was not only more numerous than on the former occasion, but exerted themselves with greater spirit, in consequence of the reprimands which they had received from the King for their former misconduct, and also from remembrance both of his threats and promises with regard to their future behaviour; so that there was very little hope of its being speedily taken. The lieutenant-general thought, that, in the mean time, some other business might be accomplished; wherefore, leaving such a number of men as seemed sufficient to finish the works, he passed over to the nearest part of the continent, and, arriving unexpectedly, made himself master of Larissa, except the citadel — not that celebrated city in Thessaly, but another, which they call Cremaste. Attalus also surprised Ægeleos, where nothing was less apprehended than such an enterprise during the siege of another city. The works at Oreus had now began to take effect, while the garrison within were almost spent with unremitted toil (keeping watch both by day and night), and also with wounds. Part of the wall being loosened by the strokes of the ram, had fallen down in many places; and the Romans, during the night, broke into the citadel through the breach which lay over the harbour. Attalus, likewise, at the first light, on a signal given from the citadel by the Romans, assaulted the city on his side, where a great part of the walls had been levelled: on which the garrison and townsmen fled into the other citadel, and even that they surrendered in two days after. The city fell to the King, the prisoners to the Romans.
XLVII. The autumnal equinox now approached, and the Eubœan gulf, called Cœla, is reckoned dangerous by mariners. Choosing, therefore, to remove thence before the winter storms came on, they returned to Piræeus, from whence they had set out for the campaign. Apustius, leaving there thirty ships, sailed by Malea to Corcyra. The King was delayed during the celebration of the mysteries of Ceres, immediately after which he also retired into Asia, sending home Agesimbrotus and the Rhodians. Such, during that summer, were the proceedings, by sea and land, of the Roman consul and lieutenant-general, aided by Attalus and the Rhodians, against Philip and his allies. The other consul, Caius Aurelius, on coming into his province, and finding the war there already brought to a conclusion, did not dissemble his resentment against the prætor, for having proceeded to action in his absence: wherefore, sending him away to Etruria, he led on the legions into the enemy’s country, where their operations, having no other object than booty, produced more of it than glory. Lucius Furius, finding nothing in Etruria that could give him employment, and at the same time fired with ambition of obtaining a triumph for his success against the Gauls, which he knew would be more easily accomplished in the absence of the consul, who envied and was enraged against him, came to Rome unexpectedly, and called a meeting of the senate in the temple of Bellona; where, after making a recital of the services which he had performed, he demanded to be allowed to enter the city in triumph.
XLVIII. A great part of the senate, induced by their regard for him, and the importance of his services, showed an inclination to grant his request. The elder part refused to agree to such grant, both “because the army, with which he had acted, belonged to another; and because he had left his province through an ambitious desire of snatching that opportunity of procuring a triumph — a conduct altogether unprecedented.” The senators of consular rank particularly insisted, that “he ought to have waited for the consul; for that he might, by pitching his camp near the city, and thereby securing the colony without coming to an engagement, have protracted the affair until his arrival; and that what the prætor had not done, the senate ought to do: they should wait for the consul. After hearing the business discussed by the consul and prætor in their presence, they would be able, on better grounds, to form a judgment on the case.” Great part were of opinion, that they ought to consider nothing but the service performed, and whether he had performed it while in office, and under his own auspices. For, “when of two colonies, which had been opposed, as barriers, to restrain the tumultuous inroads of the Gauls, one had been already sacked and burned, the flames being ready to spread (as if from an adjoining house) to the other, which lay so near, what ought the prætor to have done? If it was improper to enter on any action without the consul, then the senate had acted wrong in giving the army to the prætor; because, if they chose that the business should be performed, not under the prætor’s auspices, but the consul’s, they might have limited the decree in such a manner, that not the prætor, but the consul, should have the management of it: or else the consul had acted wrong, who, after ordering the army to remove from Etruria into Gaul, did not meet it at Ariminum, in order to be present at operations, which were not allowed to be performed without him. But the exigencies of war do not wait for the delays and procrastinations of commanders; and battles must be sometimes fought, not because commanders choose it, but because the enemy compels it. The fight itself, and the issue of the fight, is what ought to be regarded now. The enemy were routed and slain, their camp taken and plundered, the colony relieved from a siege, the prisoners taken from the other colony recovered and restored to their friends, and an end put to the war in one battle. And not only men rejoiced at this victory, but the immortal gods also had supplications paid to them, for the space of three days, on account of the business of the state having been wisely and successfully, not rashly and unfortunately, conducted by Lucius Furius, prætor. Besides the Gallic wars were, by some fatality, destined to the Furian family.”
XLIX. By means of discourses of this kind, made by him and his friends, the interest of the prætor, who was present, prevailed over the respect due to the dignity of the absent consul, and the majority decreed a triumph to Lucius Furius. Lucius Furius, prætor, during his office, triumphed over the Gauls. He carried into the treasury three hundred and twenty thousand asses,* and one hundred and seventy thousand pounds weight of silver. There were neither any prisoners led before his chariot, nor spoils carried before him, nor did any soldiers follow him. It appeared that every thing, except the victory, belonged to the consul. Publius Scipio then celebrated, in a magnificent manner, the games which he had vowed when consul in Africa; and with respect to the lands for his soldiers, it was decreed, that whatever number of years each of them had served in Spain or in Africa, he should, for every year, receive two acres; and that ten commissioners should make the distribution. Three commissioners were then appointed to fill up the number of colonists at Venusia, because the strength of that colony had been reduced in the war with Hannibal: Caius Terentius Varro, Titus Quintius Flamininus, Publius Cornelius, son of Cneius Scipio, were the commissioners who enrolled the colonists for Venusia. During the same year, Caius Cornelius Cethegus, who, in the quality of proconsul, commanded in Spain, routed a numerous army of the enemy in the territory of Sedeta; in which battle, it is said, that fifteen thousand Spaniards were slain, and seventy-eight military standards taken. The consul, Caius Aurelius, on returning from his province to Rome, to hold the elections, made heavy complaints, not on the subject on which they had supposed he would, that the senate had not waited for his coming, nor allowed him an opportunity of arguing the matter with the prætor; but, that “the senate had decreed a triumph in such a manner, without hearing the report of any one of those who were present at the operations of the war, except the person who was to enjoy the triumph: that their ancestors had made it a rule that the lieutenant-generals, the military tribunes, the centurions, and even the soldiers, should be present at the same, for this reason, that the reality of his exploits, to whom so high an honour was paid, might be publicly ascertained. Now, of that army which fought with the Gauls, had any one soldier, or even a soldier’s servant, been present, of whom the senate could inquire concerning the truth or falsehood of the prætor’s narrative?” He then appointed a day for the elections, at which were chosen consuls, Lucius Cornelius Lentulus and Publius Villius Tappulus. The prætors were then appointed, Lucius Quintius Flamininus, Lucius Valerius Flaccus, Lucius Villius Tappulus, and Cneius Bæbius Tamphilus.
L. During that year, provisions were remarkably cheap. The curule ædiles, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, and Sextus Ælius Pætus, distributed among the people a vast quantity of corn, brought from Africa, at the rate of two asses a peck. They also celebrated the Roman games in a magnificent manner, repeating them a second day; and erected in the treasury five brazen statues out of the money paid as fines. The plebeian games were thrice repeated entire, by the ædiles, Lucius Terentius Massa, and Cneius Bæbius Tamphilus, who was elected prætor. There were also funeral games exhibited that year in the Forum, for the space of four days, on occasion of the death of Marcus Valerius Lævinus, by his sons Publius and Marcus, who gave also a show of gladiators, in which twenty-five pairs fought. Marcus Aurelius Cotta, one of the ten commissioners for keeping the books of the Sibyl, died, and Manius Acilius Glabrio was substituted in his room. It happened that both the curule ædiles, lately chosen, were persons who could not immediately undertake the office: for Caius Cornelius Cethegus was absent when he was elected, being then commander in Spain; and Caius Valerius Flaccus, who was present, being flamen Dialis, could not take the oath of observing the laws; and no person was allowed to hold any office longer than five days without taking the oath. Flaccus petitioned to be excused from complying with the law, on which the senate decreed, that if the ædile produced a person approved of by the connuls, who would take the oath for him, the consuls, if they thought proper, should make application to the tribunes, that it might be proposed to the people. Lucius Valerius Flaccus, prætor elect, was produced to swear for his brother. The tribunes proposed to the commons, and the commons ordered, that this should be as effectual as if the ædile himself had sworn. With regard to the other ædile, likewise, an order of the commons was made. On the tribunes putting the question, what two persons they chose should go and take the command of the armies in Spain, in order that Caius Cornelius, curule ædile, might come home to execute his office, and that Lucius Manlius Acidinus might leave that province, where he had continued many years; the commons ordered Cneius Cornelius Lentulus, and Lucius Stertinius, proconsuls, to command in Spain.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:57