Successes of Titus Quintius Flamininus against Philip: and of his brother Lucius, with the fleet, assisted by Attalus and the Rhodians. Treaty of friendship with the Achæans. Conspiracy of the slaves discovered, and suppressed. The number of the prætors augmented to six. Defeat of the Insubrian Gauls by Cornelius Cethegus. Treaty of friendship with Nabis, tyrant of Lacedæmon. Capture of several cities in Macedonia.
Y.R.553. 199.I. The consuls and prætors entering into office on the ides of March cast lots for the provinces. Italy fell to Lucius Cornelius Lentulus, Macedonia to Publius Villius. Of the prætors, the city jurisdiction fell to Lucius Quinctius, Ariminum to Cneius Bæbius, Sicily to Lucius Valerius, Sardinia to Lucius Villius. The consul, Lentulus, was ordered to levy new legions; Villius to receive the army from Publius Sulpicius; and, to complete its number, power was given him to raise as many men as he thought proper. To the prætor Bæbius were decreed the legions, which Caius Aurelius, late consul, had commanded, with directions that he should keep them in their present situation, until the consul should come with the new army to supply their place; and that, on his arriving in Gaul, all the soldiers who had served out their time should be sent home, except five thousand of the allies, which would be sufficient to protect the province round Ariminum. The command was continued to the prætors of the former year; to Cneius Sergius, that he might superintend the distribution of land to the soldiers, who had served for many years in Spain, Sicily and Sardinia; to Quintus Minucius, that he might finish the inquiries concerning the conspiracies in Bruttium, which, while prætor, he had managed with care and fidelity. That he should also send to Locri, to suffer punishment, those who had been convicted of sacrilege, and who were then in chains at Rome; taking care, at the same time, that whatever had been carried away from the temple of Proserpine should be replaced, and proper atonement made. The Latine festival was repeated in pursuance of a decree of the pontiffs, because ambassadors from Ardea had complained to the senate, that, during the said solemnity they had not been supplied with meat as usual. From Suessa an account was brought, that two of the gates, and the wall between them, were struck with lightning. Messengers from Formiæ related, that the temple of Jupiter was also struck by lightning; from Ostia, likewise, news came of the like accident having happened to the temple of Jupiter there; it was said, too, that the temples of Apollo and Sancus, at Veliternum, were struck in like manner, and that in the temple of Hercules, hair grew on the statue. A letter was received from Quintus Minucius, proprætor, from Bruttium, that a foal had been born with five feet, and three chickens with three feet each. Afterwards a letter was brought from Macedonia, from Publius Sulpicius, proconsul, in which, among other matters, it was mentioned, that a laurel tree had sprung up on the poop of a ship of war. On occasion of the former prodigies, the senate had voted, that the consuls should offer sacrifices, with the greater victims, to such gods as they thought proper. On account of the last prodigy, alone, the aruspices were called before the senate, and, in pursuance of their answer, the people were ordered by proclamation to perform a supplication for one day, and worship was solemnized at all the shrines.
II. This year, the Carthaginians brought to Rome the first payment of the silver, imposed on them as a tribute; and the quæstors having reported, that it was not of the proper standard, and that, on the assay, it wanted a fourth part, they borrowed money at Rome, and made up the deficiency. On their requesting that the senate would be pleased to order their hostages to be restored to them, a hundred were given up, with assurances in regard to the rest, if they continued to observe the treaty. They then farther requested, that the remaining hostages might be removed from Norba, where they were ill accommodated, to some other place, and they were permitted to remove to Signia and Terentinum. The request of the people of Gades was likewise complied with: that a governor should not be sent to their city; being contrary to their stipulation with Lucius Marcius Septimus, when they came under the protection of the Roman people. Deputies from Narnia complaining, that they had not their due number of settlers, and that several who were not of their community, had crept in among them, and assumed the privileges of colonists, Lucius Cornelius, consul, was ordere to appoint three commissioners to adjust those matters. The three appointed were Publius and Sextus Ælius, both surnamed Pætus; and Gaius Cornelius Lentulus. The favour granted to the Narnians, of filling up their number of colonists, was refused to the people of Cossa, who applied for it.
III. The consuls, having finished the business that was to be done at Rome, set out for their provinces. Publius Villius, on coming into Macedonia, found the soldiers in a violent mutiny, signs of which had appeared some time before. There were two thousand concerned in it. These troops, after Hannibal was vanquished, had been transported from Africa to Sicily, and in about a year after, into Macedonia, as volunteers; they denied, however, that this was done with their consent, affirming, that “they had been put on board the ships, by the tribunes, contrary to their remonstrances; but, in what manner soever they had become engaged in that service, whether by compulsion or not, the time of it was now expired, and it was reasonable that some end should be put to their toils. For many years they had not seen Italy, but had grown old under arms in Sicily, Africa, and Macedonia; they were now, in short, worn out with labour and fatigue, and had lost the best part of their blood by the many wounds which they had received.” The consul told them, that “the grounds on which they demanded their discharge, appeared to him to be reasonable, if the demand had been made in a moderate manner; but that neither on that, nor on any other grounds, could mutiny ever be justified. Wherefore, if they were contented to adhere to their standards, and obey orders, he would write to the senate concerning their release; and that what they desired would more easily be obtained by modest behaviour than by turbulence.”
IV. At this time, Philip was pushing on the siege of Thaumaci, with the utmost vigour, by means of mounds and engines, and was ready to bring up the ram to the walls, when he was obliged to relinquish the undertaking by the sudden arrival of the Ætolians, who, under the command of Archidamus, having made their way into the town between the posts of the Macedonians, never ceased, day or night, making continual sallies, sometimes against the guards, sometimes against the works. They were at the same time favoured by the nature of the place: for Thaumaci stands near the road from Thermopylæ, and the Malian bay, through Lamia, on a lofty eminence, hanging immediately over the narrow pass called Cæle.* After passing through the craggy grounds of Thessaly, the roads are rendered intricate by the windings of the valleys, and on the near approach to the city, such an immense plain opens at once to view, like a vast sea, that the eye can scarcely reach the bounds of the expanse beneath. From this surprising prospect it was called Thaumaci.† The city itself is secured, not only by the height of its situation, but by its standing on a rock, from the sides of which, all round, the projecting parts had been pared off. In consequence of these difficulties, and the prize not appearing sufficient to recompense so much toil and danger, Philip desisted from the attempt. The winter also was approaching; he therefore retired from thence, and led back his troops into winter-quarters, in Macedonia.
V. There, whilst others, glad of any interval of rest, consigned both body and mind to repose, Philip, in proportion as the season of the year had relieved him from the incessant fatigues of marching and fighting, found his care and anxiety increase the more, when he turned his thoughts towards the general issue of the war. He dreaded, not only his enemies, who pressed him hard by land and sea, but also the dispositions, sometimes of his allies, at others of his own subjects. The former, he thought, might be induced, by hopes of friendship with the Romans, to change sides, and the Macedonians themselves be seized with a desire of innovation. Wherefore, he despatched ambassadors to the Achæans, both to require their oath, (for it had been made an article of their agreement that they should take an oath of fidelity to Philip every year,) and at the same time to restore to them Orchomenos, Heræa, and Triphylia. To the Megalopolitans, he delivered up Aliphera; which city, they insisted, had never belonged to Triphylia, but ought to be restored to them, having been one of those that were incorporated by the council of the Arcadians for the founding of Megalopolis. These measures had the desired effect of strengthening his connection with the Achæans. The affections of the Macedonians he conciliated by his treatment of Heraclides: for finding that, from having countenanced this man, he had incurred the general displeasure of his subjects, he charged him with a number of crimes, and threw him into chains, to the great joy of the people. In his preparations for war, he exerted the most vigorous efforts; exercised both the Macedonian and mercenary troops in arms, and, in the beginning of spring, sent Athenagoras, with all the foreign auxiliaries and light troops, through Epirus into Chaonia, to seize the pass at Antigonia, which the Greeks call Stena. He followed, in a few days, with the heavy troops; and, having viewed every situation in the country, he judged that the most advantageous post for fortifying himself was on the river Aous. This river runs in a narrow vale, between two mountains, one of which the natives call the river Asnaus, affording a passage of very little breadth along the bank. He ordered Athenagoras, with the light infantry, to take possession of Asnaus, and to fortify it. His own camp he pitched on Æropus. Those places, where the rocks were steep, were defended by guards of a few soldiers only; the less secure he strengthened, some with trenches, some with ramparts, and others with towers. A great number of engines, also, were disposed in proper places, that, by means of weapons thrown from these, they might keep the enemy at a distance. The royal pavilion was pitched on the outside of the rampart, on the most conspicuous eminence, in order, by this show of confidence, to dishearten the foe, and raise the hopes of his own men.
VI. The consul received intelligence from Charopus of Epirus, that the King, with his army, had posted himself in this pass. As soon, therefore, as the spring began to open, he left Corcyra, where he had passed the winter, and, sailing over to the continent, led on his army. When he came within about five miles of the King’s camp, leaving the legions in a strong post, he went forward in person with some light troops, to view the nature of the country; and on the day following, held a council, in order to determine whether he should, notwithstanding the great labour and danger to be encountered, attempt a passage through the defiles occupied by the enemy, or lead round his forces by the same road through which Sulpicius had penetrated into Macedonia the year before. The deliberations on this question had lasted several days, when news arrived, that Titus Quintius had been elected consul; that he had obtained, by lot, Macedonia, as his province; and that, hastening his journey, he had already come over to Corcyra. Valerius Antias says, that Villius marched into the defile, and that, as he could not proceed straight forward, because every pass was occupied by the King, he followed the course of a valley, through the middle of which the river Aous flows, and having hastily constructed a bridge, passed over to the bank, where the King lay, and fought a battle with him: that the King was routed and driven out of his camp; that twelve thousand Macedonians were killed, and two thousand two hundred taken, together with a hundred and thirty-two military standards, and two hundred and thirty horses. He adds, that, during the battle, a temple was vowed to Jupiter in case of success. The other historians, both Greek and Latin, (all those at least whose accounts I have read,) affirm, that nothing memorable was done by Villius, and that Titus Quintius the consul, who succeeded him, found that no progress whatever had been made in the business of the war.
VII. During the time of these transactions in Macedonia, the other consul, Lucius Lentulus, who had staid at Rome, held an assembly for the election of censors. Out of many illustrious men who stood candidates, were chosen Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus and Publius Ælius Pætus. These, acting together with the most perfect harmony, read the list of the senate, without passing a censure on any one member; they also let to farm the port-duties at Capua, and those at the fort of Puteoli, situate where the city now stands; enrolling for this latter place three hundred colonists, that being the number fixed by the senate; they also sold the lands of Capua, which lie at the foot of Mount Tifata. About the same time, Lucius Manlius Acidinus, on his return from Spain, was hindered from entering the city in ovation by Marcus Portius Læca, plebeian tribune, notwithstanding he had obtained permission of the senate: coming, then, into the city, in a private character, he conveyed to the treasury one thousand two hundred pounds weight of silver, and about thirty pounds weight of gold. During this year, Cneius Bæbius Tamphilus, who had succeeded to the government of the province of Gaul, in the room of Caius Aurelius, consul of the year preceding, having, without proper caution, entered the territories of the Insubrian Gauls, was, with almost the whole of his army, attacked at disadvantage and overthrown. He lost above six thousand six hundred men — a severe blow from an enemy who had for some time ceased to be considered as being formidable. This event called away the consul, Lucius Lentulus, from the city; who, arriving in the province, which was in general confusion, and taking the command of the army, which he found dispirited by its defeat, severely reprimanded the prætor, and ordered him to quit the province, and return to Rome. Neither did the consul himself perform any considerable service, being called home to preside at the elections, which were obstructed by Marcus Fulvius and Manius Curius, plebeian tribunes, who wished to hinder Titus Quintius Flamininus from standing candidate for the consulship, after passing through the office of quæstor. They alleged, that “the ædileship and prætorship were now held in contempt, and that the nobility did not make their way to the consulship through the regular gradations of offices; but, passing over the intermediate steps, pushed at once from the lowest to the highest.” From a dispute in the Field of Mars, the affair was brought before the senate, where it was voted, “that when a person sued for any post, which by the laws he was permitted to hold, the people had the right of choosing whoever they thought proper.” To this decision of the senate, the tribunes submitted, and thereupon Sextus Ælius Pætus and Titus Quintius Flamininus were elected. Then was held the election of prætors. The persons chosen were Lucius Cornelius Merula, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, Marcus Porcius Cato, and Caius Helvius, who had been plebeian ædiles. These repeated the plebeian games, and, on occasion of the games, celebrated a feast of Jupiter. The curule ædiles also, Caius Valerius Flaccus, who was flamen of Jupiter, and Caius Cornelius Cethegus, celebrated the Roman games with great magnificence. Servius and Caius Sulpicius Galba, pontiffs, died this year; in their room, in the college, were substituted Marcus Æmilius Lepidus and Cneius Cornelius Scipio.
Y.R.554. 198.VIII. The new consuls, Sextus Ælius Pætus and Titus Quintius Flamininus, on assuming the administration, convened the senate in the Capitol and the Fathers decreed, that “the consuls should settle between themselves, or cast lots for the provinces, Macedonia and Italy. That he to whom Macedonia fell should enlist, as a supplement to the legions, three thousand Roman footmen, and three hundred horse, and also five thousand footmen, and five hundred horsemen of the Latine confederates.” The army assigned to the other consul, was to consist entirely of new-raised men. Lucius Lentulus, consul of the preceding year, was continued in command, and was ordered not to depart from the province, nor to remove the old army, until the consul should arrive with the new legions. The consuls cast lots for the provinces, and Italy fell to Ælius, Macedonia to Quintius. Of the prætors, the lots gave to Lucius Cornelius Merula the city jurisdiction; to Marcus Claudius, Sicily; to Marcus Porcius, Sardinia; and to Caius Helvius, Gaul. The levying of troops was then begun, for, besides the consular armies, they had been ordered also to enlist men for the prætors: for Marcellus, in Sicily, four thousand foot and three hundred horse of the Latine confederates; for Cato, in Sardinia, three thousand foot and two hundred horse of the same country; with directions, that both these prætors, on their arrival in their provinces, should disband the veterans, both foot and horse. The consuls then introduced to the senate ambassadors from King Attalus. These, after representing that their King gave every assistance to the Roman arms on land and sea, with his fleet and all his forces, and had hitherto executed, with zeal and alacrity, every order of the consuls, added, that “they feared it would not be in his power to continue so to do, as he was much embarrassed by Antiochus, who had invaded his kingdom, when the sea and land forces, which might have defended it, were removed to a distance. That Attalus, therefore, entreated the Conscript Fathers, if they chose to employ his army and navy in the Macedonian war, then to send a body of forces to protect his territories; or if that were not agreeable, to allow him to go home for that purpose, with his fleet and troops.” The following answer was ordered to be given to the ambassadors: that “the senate retained a due sense of Attalus’s friendship in aiding the Roman commanders with his fleet and other forces. That they would neither send succours to Attalus, against Antiochus, the ally and friend of the Roman people; nor would they detain the troops, which he had sent to their assistance, to his inconvenience. That it was ever a constant rule with the Roman people, to use the aid of others, so far only, as was agreeable to the will of those who gave it; and even to leave those who were so inclined, at full liberty to determine, when that assistance should commence, and when it should cease. That they would send ambassadors to Antiochus; to represent to him, that Attalus, with his fleet and army, were, at the present, employed by the Roman people, against Philip their common enemy; and that they would request Antiochus, to leave the dominions of Attalus unmolested, and to refrain from all hostilities; for that it was much to be wished, that kings, who were allies and friends to the Roman people, should maintain friendship between themselves also.”
IX. When the consul Titus Quintius had finished the levies, in making which he chose principally such as had served in Spain or Africa, that is, soldiers of approved courage, and when hastening to set forward to his province, he was delayed by reports of prodigies, and the expiations of them necessary to be performed. There had been struck by lightning the public road at Veii, a temple of Jupiter at Lanuvium, a temple of Hercules at Ardea, with a wall and towers at Capua, also the edifice which is called Alba. At Arretium, the sky appeared as on fire; at Velitræ, the earth, to the extent of three acres, sunk down, so as to form a vast chasm. From Suessa Aurunca, an account was brought of a lamb born with two heads; from Sinuessa, of a swine with a human head. On occasion of these ill omens, a supplication of one day’s continuance was performed; the consuls employed themselves diligently in the worship of the gods, and as soon as these were appeased, set out for their provinces. Ælius, accompanied by Caius Helvius, prætor, went into Gaul, where he put under the command of the prætor the army which he received from Lucius Lentulus and which he ought to have disbanded, intending to carry on his own operations with the new troops, which he had brought with him; but he effected nothing worth recording. The other consul, Titus Quintius, setting sail from Brundusium earlier than had been usual with former consuls, reached Corcyra, with eight thousand foot and eight hundred horse. From this place, he passed over, in a quinquereme, to the nearest part of Epirus, and proceeded, by long journies, to the Roman camp. Here he dismissed Villius; and waiting a few days, until the forces from Corcyra should come up and join him, held a council, to determine whether he should endeavour to force his way straight forward through the camp of the enemy; or whether, without attempting an enterprise of so great difficulty and danger, he should not rather take a circuitous and safe road, so as to penetrate into Macedonia by the country of the Dassaretians and Lycus. The latter plan would have been adopted, had he not feared that, in removing to a greater distance from the sea, the enemy might slip out of his hands; and that if the King should resolve to secure himself in the woods and wilds, as he had done before, the summer might be spun out without any thing being effected. It was therefore determined, be the event what it might, to attack the enemy in their present post, disadvantageous as it would seem to an assailant. But it was easier to resolve on this measure, than to devise any safe or certain method of accomplishing it.
X. Forty days were passed in view of the enemy, without making any kind of effort. Hence Philip conceived hopes of bringing about a treaty of peace, through the mediation of the people of Epirus; and a council, which was held for the purpose, having appointed Pausanias the prætor, and Alexander the master of the horse, as negotiators, they brought the consul and the King to a conference, on the banks of the river Aous, where the channel was narrowest. The sum of the consul’s demands was, that the King should withdraw his troops from the territories of the several states; that to those, whose lands and cities he had plundered, he should restore such of their effects as could be found; and that the value of the rest should be estimated by a fair arbitration. Philip answered, that “the cases of the several states differed widely from each other. That such as he himself had seized on, he would set at liberty; but he would not divest himself of the hereditary and just possessions which had been conveyed down to him from his ancestors. If those, with whom hostilities had been carried on, complained of any losses in the war, he was ready to submit the matter to the arbitration of any state with whom both parties were at peace.” To this the consul replied, that “the business required neither judge nor arbitrator: for who did not see clearly that every injurious consequence of the war was to be imputed to the first aggressor? And in this case Philip, unprovoked by any, had first commenced hostilities against all.” When they next began to treat of those nations which were to be set at liberty, the consul named, first, the Thessalians: on which the King indignantly exclaimed — “What harsher terms, Titus Quintius, could you impose on me, if I were vanquished?” With these words he retired hastily from the conference, and they were prevented only by the river which separated them, from assaulting each other with missile weapons. On the following day many skirmishes took place between parties sallying from the outposts, in a plain sufficiently wide for the purpose. Afterwards the King’s troops drew back into narrow and rocky places, whither the Romans, keenly eager for fighting, penetrated also. These had in their favour order and military discipline, while their arms were of a kind well calculated for pressing close on the Macedonians, who had, indeed, the advantage of ground, with balistas and catapultas disposed on almost every rock as on walls. After many wounds given and received on both sides, and numbers being slain, as in a regular engagement, darkness put an end to the fight.
XL. While matters were in this state, a herdsman, sent by Charopus, prince of the Epirots, was brought to the consul. He said, that “being accustomed to feed his herd in the forest, then occupied by the King’s camp, he knew every winding and path in the neighbouring mountains; and that, if the consul thought proper to send some troops with him, he would lead them by a road, neither dangerous nor difficult, to a spot over the enemy’s head.” Charopus sent a message to the Roman, to give just so much credit to this man’s account, as should still leave every thing in his own power, and as little as possible in that of the other. Though the consul rather wished than dared to give the intelligence full belief, and though his emotions of joy were strongly checked by fear, yet being moved by the confidence due to Charopus, he resolved to put to trial the favourable offer. In order to prevent all suspicion of the matter, during the two following days he carried on attacks against the enemy without intermission, drawing out troops against them in every quarter, and sending up fresh men to relieve the wearied. Then, selecting four thousand foot and three hundred horse, he put them under the command of a military tribune, with directions to advance the horse as far as the nature of the ground allowed; and when they came to places impassable to cavalry, then to post them in some plain; that the infantry should proceed by the road which the guide would show, and that when, according to his promise, they arrived on the height over the enemy’s head, then they should give a signal by smoke, but raise no shout, until the tribune should have reason to think that, in consequence of the signal received from him, the battle was begun. He ordered that the troops should march by night (the moon shining through the whole of it), and employ the day in taking food and rest. The most liberal promises were made to the guide, provided he fulfilled his engagement; he bound him nevertheless, and delivered him to the tribune. Having thus sent off this detachment, the Roman general exerted redoubled vigour in every part to make himself master of the posts of the enemy.
XII. On the third day, the Roman party made the signal by smoke, to notify that they had gained possession of the eminence to which they had been directed; and then the consul, dividing his forces into three parts, marched up with the main strength of his army, through a valley in the middle, and made the wings on right and left advance to the camp of the enemy. Nor did these betray any want of spirit, but came out briskly to meet him. The Roman soldiers, in the ardour of their courage, long maintained the fight on the outside of their works, for they had no small superiority in bravery, in skill, and in the nature of their arms: but when the King’s troops, after many of them were wounded and slain, retreated into places secured either by intrenchments or situation, the danger reverted on the Romans, who pushed forward, inconsiderately, into disadvantageous grounds and defiles, out of which a retreat was difficult. Nor would they have extricated themselves without suffering for their rashness, had not the Macedonians, first, by a shout heard on their rear, and then by an attack begun on that quarter, been utterly dismayed and confounded at the unthought-of danger. Some betook themselves to a hasty flight: some keeping their stand, rather because they could find no way for flight, than that they possessed spirit to support the engagement, were cut off by the Romans, who pressed them hard both on front and rear. Their army might have been entirely destroyed, had the victors continued their pursuit of the fugitives; but the cavalry were obstructed by the narrowness of the passes and the ruggedness of the ground; and the infantry, by the weight of their armour. The King at first fled with precipitation, without looking behind him; but afterwards when he had proceeded as far as five miles, he began from recollecting the unevenness of the road, to suspect, (what was really the case,) that the enemy could not follow him; and halting, he despatched his attendants through all the hills and valleys to collect the stragglers together. His loss was not more than two thousand men. The rest of his army coming to one spot, as if they had followed some signal, marched off, in a compact body, toward Thessaly. The Romans, after having pursued the enemy as far as they could with safety, killing such as they overtook, and despoiling the slain, seized and plundered the King’s camp; to which, even when there were no troops to oppose them, they could not easily make their way. The following night they were lodged within their own trenches.
XIII. Next day, the consul pursued the enemy through the same defiles, following the course of the river as it winds through the valleys. The King came first to the Camp of Pyrrhus, a place so called in Triphylia, a district of Melotis; and on the following day, by a very long march, his fears urging him on, he reached Mount Lingos. This ridge of mountains belongs to Epirus, and stretches along between Macedonia and Thessaly; the side next to Thessaly faces the east, that next to Macedonia the north. These hills are thickly clad with woods, and on their summits have open plains and springs of water. Here Philip remained encamped for several days, being unable to determine whether he should continue his retreat, until he arrived in his own dominions, or whether he might venture back into Thessaly. At length, he resolved to direct his route into Thessaly; and, going by the shortest roads to Tricca, he made hasty excursions from thence, to all the cities within his reach. The inhabitants who were able to accompany him, he carried away from their habitations, and burned the towns, allowing the owners to take with them such of their effects as they were able to carry; the rest became the prey of the soldiers; nor was there any kind of cruelty which they could have suffered from an enemy, that they did not suffer from these their confederates. The infliction of such hardships was irksome to Philip, even while he authorised it; but as the country was soon to become the property of the foe, he wished to rescue out of it their persons at least. In this manner were ravaged the towns of Phacium, Iresia, Euhydrium, Eretria, and Palæphatus. On his coming to Pheræ, the gates were shut against him, and as it would necessarily occasion a considerable delay, if he attempted to take it by force, and as he could not spare time, he dropped the design, and crossed over the mountains into Macedonia: for he had received intelligence, that the Ætolians too were marching towards him. These, on hearing of the battle fought on the banks of the river Aous, first laid waste the nearest tracts round Sperchia, and Long Come, as it is called, and then, passing over into Thessaly, got possession of Cymine and Angea at the first assault. From Metropolis, they were repulsed by the inhabitants, who, while a part of their army was plundering the country, assembled in a body to defend the city. Afterwards, making an attempt on Callithere, they were attacked by the townsmen in a like manner; but withstood their onset with more steadiness, drove back into the town the party which had sallied, and content with that success, as they had scarcely any prospect of taking the place by storm, retired. They then took by assault and sacked the towns of Theuma and Calathas. Achorræ, they gained by surrender. Xyniæ, through similar apprehensions, was abandoned by the inhabitants. These, having forsaken their homes, and going together in a body, fell in with a party of Athamanians employed in protecting their foragers; all of whom, an irregular and unarmed multitude, incapable of any resistance, were put to the sword by the troops. The deserted town of Xyniæ was plundered. The Ætolians then took Cyphara, a fort conveniently situated on the confines of Dolopia. All this the Ætolians performed within the space of a few days.
XIV. Amynander and the Athamanians, when they heard of the victory obtained by the Romans, continued not inactive. Amynander, having little confidence in his own troops, requested aid from the consul; and then advancing towards Gomphi, he stormed on his march a place called Pheca, situate between that town and the narrow pass which separates Thessaly from Athamania. He then attacked Gomphi, and though the inhabitants defended it for several days with the utmost vigour, yet, as soon as he had raised the scaling-laders to the walls, the same apprehensions which had operated on others, made them capitulate. This capture of Gomphi spread the greatest consternation among the Thessalians: their fortresses of Argenta, Pherinus, Thimarus, Lisinæ, Stimon, and Lampsus, surrendered, one after another, with several other garrisons equally inconsiderable. While the Athamanians and Ætolians, delivered from fear of the Macedonians, converted to their own profit the fruits of another’s victory; and Thessaly, ravaged by three armies at once, knew not which to believe its foe or its friend; the consul marched on, through the pass which the enemy’s flight had left open, into the country of Epirus. Though he well knew which party the Epirots, excepting their prince Charopus, were disposed to favour, yet as he saw, that even from the motive of atoning for past behaviour, they obeyed his orders with diligence, he regulated his treatment of them by the standard of their present rather than of their former temper, and by this readiness to pardon, conciliated their affection for the future. Then, sending orders to Corcyra, for the transport ships to come into the Ambracian bay, he advanced by moderate marches, and on the fourth day pitched his camp on Mount Cercetius. Hither he ordered Amynander to come with his auxiliary troops; not so much because he wanted such addition of his forces, as with design to use them as guides into Thessaly. With the same purpose, many volunteers of the Epirots, also, were admitted into the corps of auxiliaries.
XV. Of the cities of Thessaly, the first which he attacked, was Phaleria. The garrison here consisted of two thousand Macedonians, who made at first a most vigorous resistance, availing themselves, to the utmost, of every advantage that their arms and works could afford. The assault was carried on, without intermission or relaxation, either by day or by night, because the consul thought that it would have a powerful effect on the spirits of the rest of the Thessalians, if the first who made trial of the Roman strength were unable to withstand it; and this at the same time subdued the obstinacy of the Macedonians. On the reduction of Phaleria, deputies came from Metropolis and Piera, surrendering those cities. To them, on their petition, pardon was granted: Phaleria was sacked, and burned. He then proceeded to Æginium; but finding this place so circumstanced, that, even with a moderate garrison, it was safe; after discharging a few weapons against the nearest advanced guard, he directed his march towards the territory of Gomphi; and thence, into the plains of Thessaly. His army was now in want of every thing, because he had spared the lands of the Epirots; he therefore despatched messengers to learn whether the transports had reached Leucas and the Ambracian bay; sending the cohorts, in turn, to Ambracia for corn. Now the road from Gomphi to Ambracia, although difficult and embarrassed, is very short: so that in a few days provisions were brought up from the sea in abundance. He then marched to Atrax, which is about ten miles from Larissa, on the river Peneus. The inhabitants came originally from Perrhæbia. The Thessalians, here, were not in the least alarmed at the first coming of the Romans; and Philip, although he durst not himself advance into Thessaly, yet, keeping his station in the vale of Tempe, whenever any place was attempted by the enemy, he sent up reinforcements as occasioned required.
XVI. About the time that Quintius first pitched his camp opposite to Philip’s, and at the entrance of Epirus; Lucius, the consul’s brother, whom the senate had commissioned both to the naval command and to the government of the coast, sailed over with two quinqueremes to Corcyra; and when he learned that the fleet had departed thence, thinking any delay improper, he followed, and overtook it at the island of Zama. Here he dismissed Lucius Apustius, in whose room he had been appointed, and then proceeded to Malea, but at a slow rate, being obliged, for the most part, to tow the vessels which accompanied him with provisions. From Malea, after ordering the rest to follow with all possible expedition, himself, with three light quinqueremes, hastened forward to the Piræeus, and took under his command the ships left there by Lucius Apustius, lieutenant-general, for the protection of Athens. At the same time, two fleets set sail from Asia; one of twenty-four quinqueremes, under King Attalus; the other belonging to the Rhodians, consisting of twenty decked ships, and commanded by Agesimbrotus. These fleets, joining near the island of Andros, sailed for Eubœa, to reach which place they had only to cross a narrow channel. They first ravaged the lands belonging to Carystus; but, judging that city too strong, in consequence of a reinforcement hastily sent from Chalcis, they bent their course to Eretria. Lucius Quintius also, on hearing of the arrival of King Attalus, came thither with the ships which had lain at the Piræeus; having left orders, that his own ships should, as they arrived, follow him to Eubœa. The siege of Eretria was now pushed forward with the utmost vigour; for the three combined fleets carried machines and engines, of all sorts, for the demolition of towns, and the adjacent country offered abundance of timber for the construction of new works. At the beginning the townsmen defended themselves with a good degree of spirit; afterwards, when they felt the effects of fatigue, a great many being likewise wounded, and a part of the wall demolished by the enemy’s works, they became disposed to capitulate. But they had a garrison of Macedonians, of whom they stood in no less dread than of the Romans; and Philocles, the King’s general, sent frequent messages from Chalcis, that he would bring them succour in due time, if they could hold out the siege. The hope of this, in conjunction with their fears, obliged them to protract the time longer than was consistent either with their wishes or their strength. However, having learned soon after, that Philocles had been repulsed in the attempt, and forced to fly back, in disorder, to Chalcis, they instantly sent deputies to Attalus, to beg pardon and protection. While intent on the prospect of peace, they remitted their diligence in the duties of war, and kept armed guards in that quarter only, where the breach had been made in the wall, neglecting all the rest; Quintius made an assault by night on the side where it was least apprehended, and carried the town by scalade. The townsmen, with their wives and children, fled into the citadel, but soon after surrendered themselves prisoners. The quantity of money, of gold, and silver, taken, was not great. Of statues and pictures, the works of ancient artists, and other ornaments of that kind, a greater number was found than could be expected, either from the size of the city, or its opulence in other particulars.
XVII. The design on Carystus was then resumed, and the fleets sailed thither; on which the whole body of the inhabitants, before the troops were disembarked, deserted the city, and fled into the citadel, whence they sent deputies to beg protection from the Roman general. To the townspeople life and liberty were immediately granted; and it was ordered, that the Macedonians should pay a ransom of three hundred drachmas* a head, deliver up their arms, and quit the country. After being thus ransomed, they were transported, unarmed, to Bœotia. The combined fleets having, in the space of a few days, taken these two important cities of Eubœa, sailed round Sunium, a promontory of Attica, and steered their course to Cenchreæ, the grand mart of the Corinthians. In the mean time, the consul found the siege of Atrax more tedious than he had imagined, the enemy making an unexpected resistance. He had supposed that the whole of the trouble would be in demolishing the wall, and that if he could once open a passage for his soldiers into the city, the consequence would then be, the flight and slaughter of the enemy, as usually happens on the capture of towns. But when, on a breach being made in the wall by the rams, and when the soldiers, by mounting over the ruins, had entered the place, this proved only the beginning, as it were, of an unusual and fresh labour. For the Macedonians in garrison, who were both chosen men and many in number, supposing that they would be entitled to extraordinary honour if they should maintain the defence of the city by means of arms and courage, rather than by the help of walls, formed themselves in a compact body, strengthening their line by an uncommon number of files in depth. These, when they saw the Romans entering by the breaches, drove them back, so that they were entangled among the rubbish, and with difficulty could effect a retreat. This gave the consul great uneasiness; for he considered such a disgrace, not merely as it retarded the reduction of a single city, but as likely to affect materially the whole process of the war, which in general depends much on the influence of events in themselves unimportant. Having therefore cleared the ground about the half ruined wall, he brought up a tower of extraordinary height, consisting of many stories, and which carried a great number of soldiers. He likewise sent up the cohorts in strong bodies, one after another, to force their way, if possible, through the wedge of the Macedonians, which is called a phalanx. But in such a confined space, (for the wall was thrown down to no great extent,) the enemy had the advantage, both in the kind of weapons which they used, and in the manner of fighting. When the Macedonians, in close array, stretched out before them their long spears against the target fence, and which was formed by the close position of their antagonists’ shields, and when the Romans, after discharging their javelins without effect, drew their swords, these could neither press on to a closer combat, nor cut off the heads of the spears; and if they did cut or break off any, the shaft being sharp at the part where it was broken, filled up its place among the points of those which were unbroken, in a kind of palisade. Besides this, the parts of the wall still standing covered safely the flanks of the Macedonians, who were not obliged, either in retreating or in advancing to an attack, to pass through a long space, which generally occasions disorder in the ranks. An accidental circumstance also helped to confirm their courage: for as the tower was moved along a bank not sufficiently compacted, one of the wheels sinking into a rut, made the tower lean in such a manner that it appeared to the enemy as if falling, and threw the soldiers posted on it into consternation and affright.
XVIII. As none of his attempts met any success, the consul was very unwilling to allow the difference between the two kinds of soldiery and their weapons to be manifested in such trials; at the same time, he could neither see any prospect of reducing the place speedily, nor any means of subsisting in winter, at such a distance from the sea, and in a country desolated by the calamities of war. He therefore raised the siege; and as, along the whole coast of Acarnania and Ætolia, there was no port capable of containing all the transports that brought supplies to the army, nor any place which afforded lodgings to the legions, he pitched on Anticyra, in Phocis, on the Corinthian gulf, as most commodiously situated for his purpose. There the legions would be at no great distance from Thessaly, and the places belonging to the enemy; while they would have in front Peloponnesus separated from them by a narrow sea; on their rear, Ætolia and Acarnania; and on their sides, Locris and Bœotia. Phanotea and Phocis he took without difficulty, at the first assault. The siege of Anticyra gave him not much delay. Then Ambrysus and Hyampolis were taken. Daulis, being situated on a lofty eminence, could not be reduced either by scalade or works: he therefore provoked the garrison, by missile weapons, to make sallies from out the town. Then by flying at one time, pursuing at another, and engaging in slight skirmishes, he led them into such a degree of carelessness, and such a contempt of him, that at length the Romans, mixing with them as they ran back, entered by the gates, and stormed the town. Six other fortresses in Phocis, of little consequence, came into his hands, through fear rather than by force of arms. Elatia shut its gates, and the inhabitants seemed determined not to admit within their walls either the army or general of the Romans, unless compelled by force.
XIX. While the consul was employed in the siege of Elatia, a prospect opened to him of effecting a business of much more importance: of being able to prevail on the Achæans to renounce their alliance with Philip, and attach themselves to the Romans. Cycliades, the head of the faction that favoured the interest of Philip, they had now banished; and Aristænus, who wished for a union between his countrymen and the Romans, was prætor. The Roman fleet, with Attalus and the Rhodians, lay at Cenchreæ, and were preparing to lay siege to Corinth with their whole combined force. The consul therefore judged it prudent, that, before they entered on that affair, ambassadors should be sent to the Achæan state, with assurances, that, if they came over from the King to the side of the Romans, the latter would consign Corinth to them, and annex it to the old confederacy of their nation. Accordingly, by the consul’s direction, ambassadors were sent to the Achæans, by his brother Lucius Quintius, by Attalus, and by the Rhodians and Athenians — a general assembly being summoned to meet at Sicyon to give them audience. Now the minds of the Achæans laboured with a complication of difficulties. They feared the Lacedæmonians, their constant and inveterate enemies; they dreaded the arms of the Romans; they were under obligations to the Macedonians, for services both of ancient and of recent date; but the King himself, on account of his perfidy and cruelty, they looked upon with jealous fear, and, not judging from the behaviour which he then assumed for the time, they knew that, on the conclusion of the war, they should find him a more tyrannic master. So that every one of them was not only at a loss what opinion he should support in the senate of his own particular state, or in the general diets of the nation; but, even when they deliberated within themselves, they could not, with any certainty, determine what they ought to wish, or what to prefer. Such was the unsettled state of mind of the members of the assembly, when the ambassadors were introduced to audience. The Roman ambassador, Lucius Calpurnius, spoke first; next the ambassadors of King Attalus; after them, those of the Rhodians; and then Philip’s. The Athenians were heard the last, that they might refute the discourses of the Macedonians. These inveighed against the King with the greatest acrimony of any, for no others had suffered from him so many and so severe hardships. So great a number of speeches succeeding each other, took up the whole of the day; and about sunset, the council was adjourned.
XX. Next day the council met again; and when the magistrates, according to the custom of the Greeks, gave leave, by their herald, to any person who chose to deliver his sentiments, not one stood forth; but they sat a long time, looking on each other in silence. It was no wonder, that men, revolving in their minds matters of such contradictory natures, and who found themselves puzzled and confounded, should be involved in additional perplexity by the speeches continued through the whole preceding day; in which the difficulties, on all sides, were brought into view, and stated in their full force. At length Aristænus, the prætor of the Achæans, not to dismiss the council without any business being introduced, said; —“Achæans, where are now those violent disputes, in which, at your feasts and meetings, whenever mention was made of Philip and the Romans, you scarcely refrained from blows? Now, in a general assembly, summoned on that single business, when you have heard the arguments of the ambassadors on both sides; when the magistrates demand your opinions; when the herald calls you to declare your sentiments, you are struck dumb. Although your concern for the common safety be insufficient for determining the matter, cannot the party zeal which has attached you to one side or the other, extort a word from any one of you? especially when none is so blind as not to perceive, that the time for declaring and recommending what each either wishes or thinks most adviseable, must be at the present moment; that is, before we make any decree. When a decree shall be once passed, every man, even such as at first may have disapproved the measure, must then support it as good and salutary.” These persuasions of the prætor, so far from prevailing on any one person to declare his opinion, did not excite, in all that numerous assembly, collected out of so many states, so much as a murmur or a whisper.
XXI. Then the prætor, Aristænus, proceeded thus:—“Chiefs of Achæa, you are not more at a loss what advice to give, than you are for words to deliver it in; but every one is unwilling to promote the interest of the public at the risk of danger to himself. Were I in a private character, perhaps I too should be silent; but, as prætor, it is my duty to declare, that I see evidently, either that the ambassadors ought to have been refused an audience of the council, or that they ought not to be dismissed from it without an answer. Yet, how can I give them an answer, unless by a decree of yours? And, since not one of you who have been called to this assembly either chooses or dares to make known his sentiments, let us examine (as if they were opinions proposed to our consideration) the speeches of the ambassadors delivered yesterday; supposing, for a moment, the speakers not to have required what was useful to themselves, but to have recommended what they thought most conducive to our advantage. The Romans, the Rhodians, and Attalus, request an alliance and friendship with us; and they demand to be assisted in the war which they are now engaged in against Philip. Philip reminds us of our league with him, and of the obligation of our oath; he requires, only, that we declare ourselves on his side; and says, he will be satisfied if we do not intermeddle in the operations of the war. Who is there so short-sighted as not to perceive the reason why those who are not yet our allies, require more than he who is? This arises not from modesty in Philip, nor from the want of it in the Romans. The Achæan harbours show what it is, which, while it bestows confidence to requisitions on one side, precludes it on the other. We see nothing belonging to Philip but his ambassador: the Roman fleet lies at Cenchreæ, exhibiting to our view the spoils of the cities of Eubœa. We behold the consul and his legions, at the distance of a small tract of sea, over-running Phocis and Locris. You were surprised at Philip’s ambassador, Cleomedon, showing such diffidence yesterday in his application to us to take arms on the side of the King against the Romans. But if we, in pursuance of the same treaty and oath, the obligation of which he inculcated on us, were to ask of him, that Philip should protect us, both from Nabis and his Lacedæmonians, and also from the Romans, he would be utterly unable to find, not only a force for the purpose, but even an answer to return. As much so in truth as was Philip himself, who endeavoured, by promises of waging war against Nabis, to draw away our youth into Eubœa: but finding that we would neither decree such assistance to him, nor choose to be embroiled with Rome, forgot that alliance, on which he now lays such stress, and left us to the Lacedæmonians, to be spoiled and plundered. Besides, to me the arguments of Cleomedon appeared utterly inconsistent. He made light of the war with the Romans; and asserted, that the issue of it would be similar to that of the former, which they waged against Philip. If such be the case, why does he, at a distance, solicit our assistance; rather than come hither in person, and defend us, his old allies, both from Nabis and from the Romans? Us, do I say? Why, then, has he suffered Eretria and Carystus to be taken? Why, so many cities of Thessaly? Why Locris and Phocis? Why does he at present suffer Elatia to be besieged? Did he, either through compulsion, or fear, or choice, quit the streights of Epirus, and those impregnable fastnesses on the river Aous; and why, abandoning the possession of the pass, did he retire into his own kingdom? If, of his own will, he gave up so many allies to the ravages of the enemy, what objection can he make to these allies, after his example, taking care of themselves? If through fear, he ought to pardon the like fear in us. If his retreat was in consequence of a defeat, let me ask you, Cleomedon, shall we, Achæans, be able to withstand the Roman arms, which you, Macedonians, have not withstood? Are we to give credit to your assertion, that the Romans do not employ, in the present war, greater forces or greater strength than they did in the former, or are we to regard the real facts? In the first instance, they aided the Ætolians with a fleet; they sent not to the war either a consul as commander, or a consular army. The maritime cities of Philip’s allies were in terror and confusion; but the inland places so secure against the Roman arms, that Philip ravaged the country of the Ætolians, while they in vain implored succour from those arms. Whereas, in the present case, the Romans, after bringing to a final conclusion the Punic war, which, raging for sixteen years in the bowels, as it were, of Italy, had given them abundance of trouble, sent not auxiliaries to the Ætolians in their quarrels, but, being themselves principals, made a hostile invasion on Macedonia with land and sea forces at once. Their third consul is now pushing forward the war with the utmost vigour. Sulpicius, engaging the King within the territory of Macedonia itself, routed and utterly defeated him; and afterwards despoiled the most opulent part of his kingdom. Then, again, when he was in possession of the streight of Epirus, where, from the nature of the ground, his fortifications, and the strength of his army, he thought himself secure, Quintius drove him out of his camp; pursued him, as he fled into Thessaly; and, almost in the view of Philip himself, stormed the royal garrisons, and the cities of his allies. Supposing that there were no truth in what the Athenian ambassadors mentioned yesterday, respecting the cruelty, avarice, and lust of the King; supposing the crimes committed, in the country of Attica, against the gods, celestial and infernal, concerned us not at all; that we had less to complain of than what the people of Cyus and Abydus, who are far distant from us, have endured: let us then, if you please, forget even our own wounds; let the murders and ravages committed at Messena, and in the heart of Peloponnesus, the killing of his host Garitenes, at Cyparissia, in the midst of a feast, in contempt of all laws divine and human; the murder of the two Aratuses, of Sicyon, father and son, though he was wont to call the unfortunate old man his parent; his carrying away the son’s wife into Macedonia for the gratification of his vicious appetites, and all his violations of virgins and matrons; — let all these, I say, be forgotten; let all be consigned to oblivion. Let us suppose our business were not with Philip, through dread of whose cruelty you are all thus struck dumb; for what other cause could keep you silent, when you have been summoned to a council? Let us imagine that we are treating with Antigonus, a prince of the greatest mildness and equity, to whose kindness we have all been highly indebted; would he require us to perform, what at the time was impossible? Peloponnesus is a peninsula, united to the continent by a narrow isthmus, particularly exposed and open to the attacks of naval armaments. Now, if a hundred decked ships, and fifty lighter open ones, and thirty Issean barks, shall begin to lay waste our coasts, and attack the cities which stand exposed, almost on the very shore; shall we then retreat into the inland towns, as if we were not afflicted with an intestine war, though in truth it is rankling in our very bowels? When Nabis and the Lacedæmonians by land, and the Roman fleet by sea, shall press us, where must I implore the support due from the King’s alliance; where the succours of the Macedonians? Shall we ourselves, with our own arms, defend, again the Roman forces, the cities that will be attacked? Truly, in the former war, we defended Dymæ excellently well! The calamities of others afford us abundant examples; let us not seek to render ourselves an example to the rest. Do not, because the Romans voluntarily desire your friendship, contemn that which you ought to have prayed for, nay, laboured with all your might to obtain. But, it is insinuated, that they are impelled by fear, in a country to which they are strangers; and that, wishing to shelter themselves under your assistance, they have recourse to your alliance in the hope of being admitted into your harbours, and of there finding supplies of provisions. Now, at sea, they are absolute masters; and instantly reduce to subjection every place at which they land. What they request, they have power to enforce. Because they wish to treat you with tenderness, they do not allow you take steps that must lead you to ruin. Cleomedon lately pointed out, as the middle and safest way, to maintain a neutrality; but that is not a middle way; it is no way. For, besides the necessity of either embracing or rejecting the Roman alliance, what other consequence can ensue from such conduct, than that, while we show no steady attachment to either side, as if we waited the event with design to adapt our counsels to fortune, we shall become the prey of the conqueror? Contemn not, then, when it is offered to your acceptance, what you ought to have solicited with your warmest prayers. The free option between the two, which you have this day, you will not always have. The same opportunity will not last long, nor will it frequently recur. You have long wished to deliver yourselves out of the hands of Philip, although you have not dared to make the attempt. Those have now crossed the sea, with large fleets and armies, who are able to set you at liberty, without any trouble or danger to yourselves. If you reject such allies, the soundness of your understandings may be called in question; but you must unavoidably have to deal with them, either as friends or foes.”
XXII. This speech of the prætor was followed by a general murmur; some declaring their approbation, and others sharply rebuking those who did so. And now, not only individuals, but whole states engaged in altercation; and at length the magistrates, called Demiurguses,* who are ten in number, took up the dispute with as much warmth as the multitude. Five of them declared, that they would propose the question concerning an alliance with Rome, and would take the votes on it; while five insisted, that there was a law, by which the magistrates were prohibited from proposing, and the council from decreeing, any thing injurious to the alliance with Philip. This day, also, was spent in contention, and there remained now but one day more of the regular time of sitting; for, according to the rule, the decree must be passed on the third day: and, as that approached, the zeal of the parties was kindled into such a flame, that scarcely did parents refrain from offering violence to their own sons. There was present a man of Pellene, named Rhisiasus, whose son, Memnon, was a demiurgus, and was of that party which opposed the reading of the decree, and taking the votes. This man, for a long time, entreated his son to allow the Achæans to take proper measures for their common safety, and not, by his obstinacy, to bring ruin on the whole nation; but, finding that his entreaties had no effect, he swore that he would treat him, not as a son, but as an enemy, and would put him to death with his own hand. By these threats he forced him, next day, to join the party that voted for the question being proposed. These, having now become the majority, proposed the question accordingly, while almost every one of the states, openly approving the measure, showed plainly on which side they would vote. Whereupon the Dymæans, Megalopolitans, with several of the Argives, rose up, and withdrew from the council; which step excited neither wonder nor disapprobation. For when, in the memory of their grandfathers, the Megalopolitans had been expelled their country by the Lacedæmonians, Antigonus had reinstated them in their native residence; and, at a later period, when Dymæ was taken and sacked by the Roman troops, Philip ordered that the inhabitants, wherever they were in servitude, should be ransomed, and not only restored them to their liberty, but their country. As to the Argives, besides believing that the royal family of Macedonia derived its origin from them, the greater part were attached to Philip by personal acts of kindness and familiar friendship. For these reasons, when the council appeared disposed to order an alliance to be concluded with Rome, they withdrew; and their secession was readily excused, in consideration of the many and recent obligations by which they were bound to the King of Macedon.
XXIII. The rest of the Achæan states, on their opinions being demanded, ratified, by an immediate decree, the alliance with Attalus and the Rhodians. That with the Romans, as it could not be perfected without an order of the people, they deferred until such time as they could hear from Rome. For the present, it was resolved, that three ambassadors should be sent to Lucius Quintius; and that the whole force of the Achæans should be brought up to Corinth, which city Quintius, after taking Cenchreæ, was then besieging. The Achæans accordingly pitched their camp opposite to the gate that leads to Sicyon. The Romans made their approaches on the side of the city which faces Cenchreæ; Attalus having drawn his army across the isthmus, towards Lechæum, the port on the opposite sea. At first, they did not push forward their operations with any great degree of vigour, because they had hopes of a dissension breaking out between the townsmen and the King’s troops. But afterwards, learning that they all co-operated with unanimity; that the Macedonians exerted themselves as if in defence of their native country; and that the Corinthians submitted to the orders of Androsthenes, commander of the garrison, as if he were their contryman, elected by their own suffrages, and invested with legal authority: the assailants had no other hopes but in force, arms, and their works. They therefore brought up their mounds to the walls, though by very difficult approaches. On that side where the Romans attacked, their ram demolished a considerable part of the wall; and the Macedonians, having run together to defend the place thus stripped of its works, a furious conflict ensued. At first, by reason of the enemy’s superiority in number, the Romans were quickly repulsed; but being joined by the auxiliary troops of Attalus and the Achæans, they restored the fight to an equality; so that there was no doubt of their easily driving the Macedonians and Greeks from their ground, but that there were in the town a great multitude of Italian deserters; some of whom having been in Hannibal’s army, had, through fear of being punished by the Romans, followed Philip; others, having been sailors, had lately quitted the fleets, in hopes of more honourable employment: despair of safety, therefore, in case of the Romans getting the better, inflamed these to a degree, which might rather be called madness than courage. Opposite to Sicyon is the promontory of Juno Acræa, as she is called, stretching out into the main, the passage to Corinth being about seven miles. To this place Philocles, one of the King’s generals, led, through Bœotia, fifteen hundred soldiers; and there were barks from Corinth ready to take these troops on board, and carry them over to Lechæum. Attalus, on this, advised to burn the works, and raise the siege immediately: Quintius was inclined to persevere in the attempt. However, when he saw the King’s troops posted at all the gates, and that the sallies of the besieged could not easily be withstood, he came over to the opinion of Attalus. Thus baffled in their design, they dismissed the Achæans, and returned to their ships. Attalus steered to Piræeus, the Romans to Corcyra.
XXIV. While the naval forces were thus employed, the consul, having encamped before Elatia, in Phocis, first endeavoured, by conferring with the principal inhabitants, to bring them over, and by their means to effect his purpose; but on their answering that they had nothing in their power, because the King’s troops were more numerous and stronger than the townsmen, he assaulted the city on all sides at once with arms and engines. A battering ram shattered a part of the wall that reached from one tower to another, and this falling with a prodigious noise and crash, left much of the town exposed. On this a Roman cohort made an assault through the breach, while at the same time the townsmen, quitting their several posts, ran together from all parts to the endangered place. Others of the Romans climbed over the ruins of the wall, and brought up scaling-ladders to the parts that were standing. As the conflict attracted the eyes and attention of the enemy to one particular spot, the walls were scaled in several places, by which means the soldiers easily entered the town. The noise and tumult which ensued so terrified the enemy, that, quitting the place, which they had crowded together to defend, they all fled in a panic to the citadel, accompanied by the unarmed multitude. The consul, having thus become master of the town, gave it up to be plundered, and then sent a message into the citadel, offering the King’s troops their lives, on condition of their laying down their arms, and departing. To the Elatians he offered their liberty; which terms being agreed to, in a few days after he got possession of the citadel.
XXV. In consequence of Philocles, the King’s general, coming into Achaia, not only Corinth was delivered from the siege, but the city of Argos was betrayed into his hands by some of the principal inhabitants, after they had first sounded the minds of the populace. They had a custom, that, on the first day of assembly, their prætors, for the omen’s sake, should pronounce the names Jupiter, Apollo, and Hercules; in addition to which, a rule had been made, that, along with these, they should join the name of King Philip. After the conclusion of the alliance with the Romans, the herald omitted so to honour him; on which a murmur spread through the multitude, and they soon became clamorous, calling out for the name of Philip, and insisting that the respect, due by law, should be paid as before; which at length being complied with, universal approbation ensued. On the encouragement afforded by this favourable disposition, Philocles was invited, who seized in the night a strong post called Larissa, seated on a hill which overhangs the city, and in which he placed a garrison. At the dawn of day, however, and as he was proceeding in order of battle to the Forum, at the foot of the hill he was met by a line of troops, drawn up to oppose him. This was a body of Achæans, lately posted there, consisting of about five hundred young men, selected out of all the states. Their commander was Ænesidemus, of Dymæ. The King’s general sent a person to recommend to them to evacuate the city, because they were not a match for the townsmen alone, who favoured the cause of Philip; much less when these were joined by the Macedonians, whom even the Romans had not withstood at Corinth. This at first had no effect, either on the commander, or his men; and when they, soon after, perceived the Argives also in arms, coming, in a great body, from the opposite side, and threatening them with destruction, they yet seemed determined to run every hazard, if their leader would persevere. But Ænesidemus, unwilling that the flower of the Achæan youth should be lost, together with the city, made terms with Philocles, that they should have liberty to retire, while himself remained armed with a few of his dependents, and without even stirring from his station. To a person, sent by Philocles to enquire what he meant, he only answered, standing with his shield held out before him, that he meant to die in arms in defence of the city intrusted to his charge. Philocles then ordered some Thracians to throw their javelins at him and his attendants; and they were, every man of them, slain. Thus, notwithstanding the alliance concluded by the Achæans with the Romans, two of their cities, and those of the greatest consequence, Argos and Corinth, were still in the hands of Philip. Such were the services performed in that campaign by the land and sea forces of Rome employed in Greece.
XXVI. In Gaul, the consul Sextus Ælius did nothing worth mention, though he had two armies in the province: one, which he had retained under their standards, although it ought to have been disbanded; and of this, which had served under Lucius Cornelius, proconsul, he had given the command to Caius Helvius, the prætor: the other he had brought with him. He spent nearly the whole summer in compelling the people of Cremona and Placentia to return to their colonies, from whence they had been driven to various places by the calamities of war. While Gaul, beyond expectation, remained quiet through the whole year, an insurrection of the slaves was very near taking place in the neighbourhood of the city. The hostages, given by the Carthaginians, were kept in custody at Setia: as they were the children of the principal families, they were attended by a great multitude of slaves; to this number, many were added, in consequence of the late African war, and by the Setians themselves having bought, from among the spoil, several of those which had been captured. Having conspired together, they sent some of their number to engage in the cause their fellows of the country round Setia, with those at Norba and Circeii. When every thing was fully prepared, they determined, during the games which were soon to be solemnized at the first-mentioned place, to attack the people while intent on the show, and, putting them to death, to make themselves masters of the city in the sudden confusion; and then to seize on Norba and Circeii. Information of this atrocious plot was brought to Rome, to Lucius Cornelius Merula, the city prætor. Two slaves came to him before day, and disclosed the whole proceedings and intentions of the conspirators. The prætor, ordering them to be guarded in his own house, summoned a meeting of the senate; and having laid before them the information of the discoverers, he was ordered to go himself to the spot, and examine into, and crush, the conspiracy. Setting out, accordingly, with five lieutenant-generals, he compelled such as he found in the country, to take the military oath, to arm, and follow him. Having by this tumultuary kind of levy armed about two thousand men, before it was possible to guess his destination, he came to Setia. There the leaders of the conspiracy were instantly apprehended; on which, the remainder fled from the city; but parties were sent through the country to search them out. The services of the two who made the discovery, and of one free person employed, were highly meritorious. The senate ordered a present to the latter of a hundred thousand asses;* to the slaves, twenty-five thousand asses† each, and their freedom. The price was paid to their owners out of the treasury. Not long after, intelligence was received, that others, out of the remaining spirit of the conspiracy, had formed a design of seizing Præneste. The prætor, Lucius Cornelius, went thither, and inflicted punishment on near five hundred persons concerned in that wicked scheme. The public were under apprehensions, that the Carthaginian hostages and prisoners fomented these plots: watches were, therefore, kept at Rome in all the streets, which the inferior magistrates were ordered to go round and inspect; while the triumvirs of the prison, called the Quarry, were to keep a stricter guard than usual. Circular letters were also sent, by the prætor, to all the Latine states, directing that the hostages should be confined within doors, and not at any time allowed the liberty of going into public; and that the prisoners should be kept bound with fetters, of not less than ten pounds weight, and confined in the common jail.
XXVII. In this year, ambassadors from King Attalus made an offering, in the Capitol, of a golden crown of two hundred and fifty-six pounds weight, and returned thanks to the senate, because Antiochus, complying with the requisitions of the Romans, had withdrawn his troops out of Attalus’s territories. During this summer, two hundred horsemen, ten elephants, and two hundred thousand pecks of wheat, were furnished by King Masinissa to the army in Greece. From Sicily also, and Sardinia, large supplies of provisions were sent, with clothing for the troops. Sicily was then governed by Marcus Marcellus, Sardinia by Marcus Porcius Cato, a man of acknowledged integrity and purity of conduct, but deemed too severe in punishing usury. He drove the usurers entirely out of the island; and restricted or abolished the contributions, usually paid by the allies, for maintaining the dignity of the prætors. The consul, Sextus Ælius, coming home from Gaul to Rome to hold the elections, elected consuls, Caius Cornelius Cethegus, and Quintus Minucius Rufus. Two days after, was held the election of prætors; and this year, for the first time, six prætors were appointed, in consequence of the increase of the provinces, and the extension of the bounds of the empire. The persons elected were Lucius Manlius Vulso, Caius Sempronius Tuditanus, Marcus Sergius Silus, Marcus Helvius, Marcus Minucius Rufus, and Lucius Atilius. Of these Sempronius and Helvius were, at the time, plebeian ædiles. The curule ædiles were, Quintus Minucius Thermus, and Tiberius Sempronius Longus. The Roman games were four times repeated during this year.
XXVIII. When the new consuls, Caius Cornelius and Quintus Minucius, entered into office, the chief busines was, the adjusting of the provinces of the consuls and prætors.Y.R.555. 197. Those of the prætors were the first settled, because that could be done by the lots. The city jurisdiction fell to Sergius; the foreign to Minucius; Atilius obtained Sardinia; Manlius, Sicily; Sempronius the Hither Spain, and Helvius the Farther. When the consuls were preparing to cast lots for Italy and Macedonia, Lucius Oppius and Quintus Fulvius, plebeian tribunes, objected to their proceeding, alleging, that, “Macedonia was a very distant province, and that the principal cause which had hitherto retarded the progress of the war, was, that when it was scarcely entered upon, and just at the commencement of operations, the former consul was always recalled. This was the fourth year, since the declaration of war against Macedonia. The greater part of one year, Sulpicius spent in seeking the King and his army; Villius, on the point of engaging the enemy, was recalled. Quintius was detained at Rome, for the greater part of his year, by business respecting religion; nevertheless, he had so conducted affairs, that had he come earlier into the province, or had the cold season been at a greater distance, he might have put an end to hostilities. He was then just going into winter-quarters; but, by all accounts, he had brought the war into such a state, that if he were not prevented by a successor, there was a reasonable prospect of being able to put an end to it, in the course of the ensuing summer.” By such arguments the tribunes so far prevailed, that the consuls declared, that they would abide by the directions of the senate, if the cavillers would agree to do the same. Both parties having, accordingly, referred the determination entirely to those magistrates, a decree was passed, appointing the two consuls to the government of the province of Italy. Titus Quintius was continued in command, until a successor should be found. To each, two legions were decreed; and they were ordered, with these, to carry on the war with the Cisalpine Gauls, who had revolted from the Romans. A reinforcement of five thousand foot and three hundred horse was ordered to be sent into Macedonia to Quintius, together with three thousand seamen. Lucius Quintius Flamininus was continued in the command of the fleet. To each of the prætors, for the two Spains, were granted eight thousand foot, of the allies and Latines, and four hundred horse; and they were ordered to discharge the veteran troops in their provinces, and also to fix the bounds which should divide the hither from the farther province. Two additional lieutenant-generals were sent to the army in Macedonia, Publius Sulpicius and Publius Villius, who had-been consuls in that province.
XXIX. It was thought necessary, that before the consuls and prætors went abroad, some prodigies should be expiated. For the temples of Vulcan and Summanus*; at Rome, and a wall and a gate at Fregellæ, had been struck by lightning. At Frusino, during the night, a light like day shone out. At Asculum, a lamb was born with two heads and five feet. At Formiæ, two wolves entering the town tore several persons who fell in their way; and, at Rome, a wolf made its way, not only into the city, but into the Capitol. Caius Acilius, plebeian tribune, caused an order to be passed, that five colonies should be led out to the sea-coast; two to the mouths of the rivers Vulturnus and Liternus; one to Puteoli, and one to the fort of Salernum. To these was added Buxentum. To each colony three hundred families were ordered to be sent. The commissioners appointed to make the settlements, who were to hold the office for three years, were Marcus Servilius Geminus, Quintus Minucius Thermus, and Tiberius Sempronius Longus. As soon as the levies, and such other business, religious and civil, as required their personal attendance, was finished, the consuls set out for Gaul. Cornelius took the direct road towards the Insubrians, who were then in arms, and had been joined by the Cænomanians. Quintus Minucius turned his route to the left side of Italy, and leading away his army to the lower sea, to Genoa, opened the campaign with an invasion of Liguria. Two towns, Clastidium and Litubium, both belonging to the Ligurians, and two states of the same nation, Celela and Cerdicium, surrendered to him. And now, all the states on this side of the Po, except the Boians among the Gauls, and the Ilvatians among the Ligurians, were reduced to submission: no less, it is said, than fifteen towns and twenty thousand men. He then led his legions into the territory of the Boians.
XXX. The Boian army had, not very long before, crossed the Po, and joined the Insubrians and Cænomanians; for, having heard that the consuls intended to act with their forces united, they wished to increase their own strength by this junction. But when information reached them, that one of the consuls was ravaging the country of the Boians, a dispute instantly arose. The Boians demanded, that all, in conjunction, should carry succour to those who were attacked; while the Isubrians positively refused to leave their country defenceless. In consequence of this dissension, the armies separated; the Boians went to defend their own territory, and the Insubrians, with the Cænomanians, encamped on the banks of the river Mincius. About five miles below this spot, the consul Cornelius pitched his camp close to the same river. Sending emissaries hence into the villages of the Cænomanians, and Brixia, the capital of their tribe, he learned with certainty that their young men had taken arms without the approbation of the elders; and that the Cænomanians had not joined in the revolt of the Insubrians, by any authority from the state. On which he invited to him the principal of the natives, and endeavoured to contrive and concert with them the means of inducing the younger Cænomanians to forsake the party of the Insubrians; and either to march away and return home, or to come over to the side of the Romans. This he was not able to effect; but so far, he received solemn assurances that, in case of a battle, they would either stand inactive, or, should any occasion offer, would even assist the Romans. The Insubrians knew not that such an agreement had been concluded, but they harboured in their minds some kind of suspicion, that the fidelity of their confederates was wavering. Wherefore, in forming their troops for battle, not daring to intrust either wing to them, lest, if they should treacherously give ground, they might cause a total defeat, they placed them in reserve behind the line. At the beginning of the fight, the consul vowed a temple to Juno Sospita, provided the enemy should, on that day, be routed and driven from the field; on which the soldiers raised a shout, declaring, that they would ensure to their commander the completion of his vow, and at the same time attacked the enemy. The Insubrians did not stand even the first onset. Some writers affirm, that the Cænomanians, falling on their rear, during the heat of the engagement, caused as much disorder there as prevailed in their front; and that, thus assailed on both sides, thirty-five thousand of them were slain, five thousand seven hundred taken prisoners, among whom was Hamilcar, a Carthaginian general, the original cause of the war; and that a hundred and thirty military standards, and above two hundred wagons were taken. On this, the towns, which had joined in the revolt, surrendered to the Romans.
XXXI. The other consul, Minucius, had at first spread his troops through the territory of the Boians, committing violent depredations everywhere; but afterwards, when that people left the Insubrians, and came home to defend their own property, he kept his men within their camp, expecting to come to an engagement with the enemy. Nor would the Boians have declined a battle, if their spirits had not been depressed, by hearing of the defeat of the Insubrians. This so deeply affected them, that, deserting their commander and their camp, they dispersed themselves through the several towns, each wishing to take care of his own effects. Thus they obliged the enemy to alter their mode of carrying on the war: for, no longer hoping to decide the matter by a single battle, he began again to lay waste the lands, burn the houses, and storm the villages. At this time, Clastidium was burned, and the legions were led thence against the Ilvatian Ligurians, who alone refused to submit. That state, also, on learning that the Insubrians had been defeated in battle, and the Boians so terrified that they had not dared to risk an engagement, made a submission. Letters from the consuls, containing accounts of their successes, came from Gaul to Rome at the same time. Marcus Sergius, city prætor, read them in the senate, and afterwards, by direction of the Fathers, in an assembly of the people; on which a supplication, of four days continuance, was decreed. — By this time the winter had begun.
XXXII. During the winter, while Titus Quintius, after the reduction of Elatia, had his troops cantoned in Phocis and Locris, a violent dissension broke out at Opus. One faction invited to their assistance the Ætolians, who were nearest at hand: the other the Romans. The Ætolians arrived first; but the other party, which was the more powerful, refused them admittance, and, despatching a courier to the Roman general, held the citadel until he arrived. The citadel was possessed by a garrison belonging to the King, and they could not be prevailed on to give it up, either by the threats of the people of Opus, or by the commands of the Roman consul. What prevented their being immediately attacked, was, the arrival of an envoy from the King, to solicit the appointing of a time and place for a conference. This request was readily complied with; not that Quintius did not wish to see war concluded under his own auspices, partly by arms, and partly by negotiation: for he knew not, yet, whether one of the new consuls would be sent to take the government in his room, or whether he should be continued in the command; a point which he had charged his friends and relations to labour with all their might. But he thought that a conference would answer this purpose: that it would put it in his power to give matters a turn towards war, in case he remained in the province, or towards peace, if he were to be removed. They chose for the meeting a part of the sea-shore, in the Malian gulph, near Nicæa. Thither Philip came from Demetrias, with five barks and one ship of war: he was accompanied by some principal Macedonians, and an Achæan exile, named Cycliades, a man of considerable note. With the Roman general, were King Amynander, Dionysidorus, ambassador from King Attalus, Agesimbrotus, commander of the Rhodian fleet, Phæneas, prætor of the Ætolians, and two Achæans, Aristenus and Xenophon. Attended by these, the Roman general advanced to the brink of the shore, and the King came forward to the prow of his vessel, as it lay at anchor; when the former said, “If you will come on the shore, we shall converse with greater ease.” This the King refused; and on Quintius asking him, “Whom do you fear?” With the haughty spirit of royalty, he replied, “Fear I have none, but of the immortal gods; but I have no confidence in the faith of those whom I see about you, and least of all in the Ætolians.” “That danger,” said the Roman, “is equal in all cases; when men confer with an enemy, no confidence subsists.” “But, Titus Quintius,” replied the King, “if treachery be intended, the prizes of perfidy are not equal: Philip and Phæneas. For it will not be so difficult for the Ætolians to find another prætor, as for the Macedonians to find another King in my place.”— Silence then ensued.
XXXIII. The Roman expected that he, who solicited the conference, should open it; and the King thought, that he who was to prescribe, not he who received, terms of peace, ought to begin the conference. At length the Roman said, that “his discourse should be very simple; for he would only mention those articles, without which no pacification could be admitted. These were, that the King should withdraw his garrisons from all the cities of Greece. That he should deliver up to the allies of the Roman people the prisoners and deserters; should restore to the Romans those places in Illyricum of which he had possessed himself by force, since the peace concluded in Epirus; and to Ptolemy, King of Egypt, the cities which he had seized since the death of Ptolemy Philopator. These were the terms which he required, on behalf of himself and the Roman people: but it was proper that the demands of the allies, also, should be heard.” The ambassador of King Attalus demanded “restitution of the ships and prisoners, taken in the sea-fight at Cius; and that Nicephorium, and the temple of Venus, which Philip had pillaged and defaced, should be put in a state of thorough repair.” The Rhodians laid claim to Peræa, a tract on the continent, lying opposite to their island, which from early times had been under their jurisdiction; and they required, that “the garrison should be withdrawn from Tassus, Bargylii, and Euroma, and from Sestus and Abydus on the Hellespont; that Perinthus should be restored to the Byzantians, in right of their ancient title, and that all the sea-port towns and harbours of Asia should be free.” The Achæans asserted their right to Corinth and Argos. Phæneas nearly repeated the demands made by the Romans, that the troops should withdraw out of Greece, and the Ætolians be put in possession of the cities which had formerly been under their dominion. He was followed by Alexander, a man of eminence among this people, and, considering his country, not uneloquent. He said, that “he had long kept silence, not because he expected that any business would be effected in that conference, but because he was unwilling to interrupt any of the allies in their discourse.” He asserted, that “Philip had neither treated of peace with sincerity; nor waged war with courage, at any time: that in negotiating, he was insidious and fraudulent: while in war he never fought on equal ground, nor engaged in regular battles; but, skulking about, burned and pillaged towns, and, when likely to be vanquished, destroyed the prizes of victory. But not in that manner did the ancient kings of Macedon behave; they decided the fate of the war in the field, and spared the towns as far as they were able, in order to possess the more opulent empire. For what sort of conduct was it to destroy the objects, for the possession of which the contest was waged, and thereby leave nothing to himself but fighting? Philip had, in the last year, desolated more cities of his allies in Thessaly, than all the enemies that Thessaly ever had. On the Ætolians themselves, he had made greater depredations, when he was in alliance with them, than since he became their enemy. He had seized on Lysimachia, after dislodging the prætor and garrison of the Ætolians. Cius also, a city belonging to their government, he razed from the foundation. With the same injustice, he held possession of Thebes in Pthiotis, of Echinus, Larissa, and Pharsalus.”
XXXIV. Philip, provoked by this discourse of Alexander, pushed his ship nearer to the land, that he might be the better heard, and began to speak with much violence, particularly against the Ætolians. But Phæneas, interrupting him, said that “the business depended not upon words; he must either conquer in war, or submit to his superiors.” “That, indeed, is evident,” said Philip, “even to the blind,” sneering at Phæneas, who had a disorder in his eyes: for he was naturally fonder of such pleasantries than became a king; and, even in the midst of serious business, he indulged a turn to ridicule farther than was decent. He then expressed great indignation at the “Ætolians assuming as much importance as the Romans, and insisting on his evacuating Greece; people who knew not even its boundaries. For, of Ætolia itself, a large proportion, consisting of the Agræans, Apodeotians, and Amphilochians, was no part of Greece. — Have they just ground of complaint against me, for not refraining from war with their allies, when themselves, from the earliest period, follow, as an established rule, the practice of suffering their young men to carry arms against those allies, withholding only the public authority of the state: while very frequently contending armies have Ætolian auxiliaries on both sides. I did not seize on Cius by force, but assisted my friend and ally, Prussias, who was besieging it, and Lysimachia I rescued from the Thracians. But since necessity diverted my attention from the guarding of it to this present war, the Thracians have possession of it. So much for the Ætolians. To Attalus, and the Rhodians, I in justice owe nothing; for not to me, but to themselves, is the commencement of hostilities to be attributed. However, out of respect to the Romans, I will restore Peræa to the Rhodians, and to Attalus his ships, and such prisoners as can be found. As to what concerns Nicephorum, and the temple of Venus, what other answer can I make to those who require their restoration, than what I should make in case of woods and groves cut down: that, as the only way of restoring them, I will take on myself the trouble and expense of planting, since it is thought fit that, between kings, such kinds of demands should be made and answered.” The last part of his speech was directed to the Achæans, wherein he enumerated, first, the kindnesses of Antigonus; then, his own towards their nation, desiring them to consider the decrees themselves had passed concerning him, which comprehended every kind of honour, divine and human; and to these he added their late decree, by which they had confirmed the resolution of deserting him. He inveighed bitterly against their perfidy, but told them, that nevertheless he would give them back Argos. “With regard to Corinth, he would consult with the Roman general; and would, at the same time, inquire from him, whether he demanded, only, that he (Philip) should evacuate those cities, which, being captured by himself, were held by the right of war; or those, also, which he had received from his ancestors.”
XXXV. The Achæans and Ætolians were preparing to answer, but as the sun was near setting, the conference was adjourned to the next day; and Philip returned to his station whence he came, the Romans and allies to their camp. On the following day, Quintius repaired to Nicæa, which was the place agreed on, at the appointed time; but neither Philip, nor any message from him, came for several hours. At length, when they began to despair of his coming, his ships suddenly appeared. He said, that “the terms enjoined were so severe and humiliating, that, not knowing what to determine, he had spent the day in deliberation.” But the general opinion was, that he had purposely delayed the business, that the Achæans and Ætolians might not have time to answer him: and this opinion he himself confirmed, by desiring, in order to avoid altercation, and to bring the affair to some conclusion, that the others should retire, and leave him to converse with the Roman general. For some time, this was not admitted, lest the allies should appear to be excluded from the conference. Afterwards, on his persisting in his desire, the Roman general, with the consent of all, taking with him Appius Claudius, a military tribune, advanced to the brink of the coast, and the rest retired. The King, with the two persons whom he had brought the day before, came on shore, where they conversed a considerable time in private. What account of their proceedings Philip gave to his people is not well known: what Quintius told the allies was, that “Philip was willing to cede to the Romans the whole coast of Illyricum, and to give up the deserters and prisoners, if there were any. That he consented to restore to Attalus his ships, and the seamen taken with them; and to the Rhodians the tract which they call Peræa. That he refused to evacuate Iassus and Bargylii. To the Ætolians he was ready to restore Pharsalus and Larissa; Thebes he would keep: and that he would give back to the Achæans the possession, not only of Argos, but of Corinth also.” This arrangement pleased none of the parties; neither those to whom the concessions were to be made, nor those to whom they were refused; “for on that plan,” they said, “more would be lost than gained; nor could the grounds of contention ever be removed, but by his utterly evacuating every part of Greece.”
XXXVI. These expressions, delivered with eagerness and vehemence by every one in the assembly, reached the ears of Philip, though he stood at a distance. He therefore requested of Quintius, that the whole business might be deferred until the next day; and then he would, positively, either prevail on the allies to accede to his proposals, or suffer himself to be prevailed on to accede to theirs. The shore at Thronium was appointed for their meeting, and all the parties assembled there early. Philip began with entreating Quintius, and all who were present, not to harbour such sentiments as must tend to obstruct a pacification; and then desired time, while he could send ambassadors to Rome, to the senate, declaring, that “he would either obtain a peace on the terms mentioned, or would accept whatever terms the senate should prescribe.” None approved of this; they said, he only sought a delay, and leisure to collect his strength. But Quintius observed, “that such an objection would have been well founded, if it were then summer, and a season fit for action; as matters stood, and the winter being just at hand, nothing would be lost by allowing him time to send ambassadors. For, without the authority of the senate, no agreement which they might conclude with the King would be valid; and besides, they would by this means have an opportunity, while the winter itself would necessarily cause a suspension of arms, to learn what terms were likely to be approved by the senate.” The other chiefs of the allies came over to this opinion: and a cessation of hostilities for two months being granted, they resolved that each of their states should send an ambassador with the necessary information to the senate, and in order that it should not be deceived by the misrepresentations of Philip. To the above convention was added an article, that all the King’s troops should be immediately withdrawn from Phocis and Locris. With the ambassadors of the allies, Quintius sent Amynander, King of Athamania; and, to add a degree of splendour to the embassy, a deputation from himself, composed of Quintius Fabius, the son of his wife’s sister, Quintus Fulvius, and Appius Claudius.
XXXVII. On their arrival at Rome, the ambassadors of the allies were admitted to audience before those of the King. Their discourse, in general, was filled up with invectives against Philip. What produced the greatest effect on the minds of the senate, was, that, by pointing out the relative situations of the lands and seas, in that part of the world, they made it manifest to every one, that if the King held Demetrias in Thessaly, Chalcis in Eubœa, and Corinth in Achaia, Greece could not be free; and they added, that Philip himself, with not more insolence than truth, used to call these the fetters of Greece. The King’s ambassadors were then introduced, and, when they were beginning a long harangue, they were stopped by a short question, Whether he was willing to yield up the three above mentioned cities? They answered, that they had received no specific instructions on that head: on which they were dismissed, without having made any progress towards a peace. Full authority was given to Quintius to determine every thing relative to war and peace. As this demonstrated, clearly, that the senate were not weary of the war, so he who was more earnestly desirous of conquest than of peace, never afterwards consented to a conference with Philip; and even gave him notice, that he would not admit any embassy from him, unless it came with information that his troops were retiring from Greece.
XXXVIII. Philip now perceived that he must decide the matter by arms, and collect his strength about him from all quarters. Being particularly uneasy in respect to the cities of Achaia, a country so distant from him, and also of Argos, even more, indeed, than of Corinth, he resolved, as the most adviseable method, to put the former into the hands of Nabis, tyrant of Lacedæmon, in trust as it were, on the terms, that if he should prove successful in the war, Nabis should redeliver it to him; if any misfortune should happen, he should keep it himself. Accordingly, he wrote to Philocles, who had the command in Corinth and Argos, to have a meeting with the tyrant. Philocles, besides coming with a valuable present, added to that pledge of future friendship between the King and the tyrant, that it was Philip’s wish to unite his daughters in marriage to the sons of Nabis. The tyrant, at first, refused to receive the city on any other terms, than that of being invited by a decree of the Argives themselves: but afterwards, hearing that in a full assembly they had treated his name not only with scorn, but even with abhorrence, he thought he had now a sufficient excuse for plundering them, and he accordingly desired Philip to give him possession of the place. Nabis was admitted into the city in the night, without the privity of any of the inhabitants, and, at the first light, seized on the higher parts of it, and shut the gates. A few of the principal people having made their escape, during the first confusion, the properties of all who were absent were seized as booty: those who were present, were stripped of their gold and silver, and loaded with exorbitant contributions. Such as paid these readily were discharged, without personal insult and laceration of their bodies; but such as were suspected of hiding or reserving any of their effects, were mangled and tortured like slaves. He then summoned an assembly, in which he proposed the passing of two laws; one for an abolition of debts, the other for a distribution of the land, in shares, to each man — two firebrands in the hands of the enemies of government, for inflaming the populace against the higher ranks.
XXXIX. The tyrant, when he had the city of Argos in his power, never considering from whom, or on what conditions he had received it, sent ambassadors to Elatia, to Quintius, and to Attalus, in his winter-quarters at Ægina, to tell them, that “he was in possession of Argos; and that if Quintius would come hither, and consult with him, he had no doubt but that every thing might be adjusted between them.” Quintius, glad of an opportunity of depriving Philip of that strong hold, along with the rest, consented to come; accordingly, sending a message to Attalus, to leave Ægina, and meet him at Sicyon, he set sail from Anticyra with ten quinqueremes, which his brother Lucius Quintius happened to bring a little before from his winter station at Corcyra, and passed over to Sicyon. Attalus was there before him, who, representing that the tyrant ought to come to the Roman general, not the general to the tyrant, brought Quintius over to his opinion, which was, that he should not enter the city of Argos. Not far from it, however, was a place called Mycenica; and there the parties agreed to meet. Quintius came, with his brother and a few military tribunes; Attalus, with his royal retinue; and Nicostratus, the prætor of the Achæans, with a few of the auxiliary officers: and they there found Nabis waiting with his whole army. He advanced, armed and attended by his guards, almost to the middle of the interjacent plain; Quintius, unarmed, with his brother and two military tribunes; the King was accompanied by one of his nobles, and the prætor of the Achæans unarmed likewise. The tyrant, when he saw the King and the Roman general unarmed, opened the conference, with apologizing for having come to the meeting armed himself, and surrounded with armed men. “He had no apprehensions,” he said, “from them; but only from the Argive exiles.” When they then began to treat of the terms, on which friendship was to be established between them, the Roman made two demands: one, that the Lacedæmonian should conclude a peace with the Achæans; the other, that he should send him aid against Philip. He promised the aid required; but, instead of a peace with the Achæans, a cessation of hostilities was obtained, to last until the war with Philip should be ended.
XL. A debate, concerning the Argives also, was set on foot by King Attalus, who charged Nabis with holding their city by force, which was put into his hands by the treachery of Philocles; while Nabis insisted, that he had been invited by the Argives themselves to afford them protection. The King required a general assembly of the Argives to be convened, that the truth of that matter might be known. To this the tyrant did not object; but the King alleged, that the Lacedæmonian troops ought to be withdrawn from the city, in order to render the assembly free; and that the people should be left at liberty to declare their real sentiments. This was refused, and the debate produced no effect. To the Roman general, six hundred Cretans were given by Nabis, who agreed with the prætor of the Achæans to a cessation of arms for four months, and then the conference broke up. Quintius proceeded to Corinth, advancing to the gates with the cohort of Cretans, in order to shew Philocles, the governor of the city, that the tyrant had deserted the cause of Philip. Philocles, came out to confer with the Roman general; and, on the latter exhorting him to change sides immediately, and surrender the city, he answered in such a manner, as showed an inclination rather to defer, than to refuse the matter. From Corinth, Quintius sailed over to Anticyra, and sent his brother thence, to sound the disposition of the people of Acarnania. Attalus went from Argos to Sicyon. Here, on one side, the state added new honours to those formerly paid to the King; and, on the other, the King, besides having on a former occasion redeemed for them, at a vast expence, a piece of land sacred to Apollo, unwilling to pass by the city of his friends and allies without a token of munificence, made them a present of ten talents of silver*, and ten thousand bushels of corn, and then returned to Cenchreæ to his fleet. Nabis, leaving a strong garrison at Argos, returned to Lacedæmon; and, as he himself had pillaged the men, he sent his wife to Argos to pillage the women. She invited to her house, sometimes singly, and sometimes in numbers, all the females of distinction who were related to each other: and partly by fair speeches, partly by threats, stripped them, not only of their gold, but, at last, even of their garments, and every article of dress.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:57