Manius Acilius Glabrio, consul, aided by King Philip, defeats Antiochus at Thermopylæ, and drives him out of Greece; reduces the Ætolians to sue for peace. Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica reduces the Boian Gauls to submission. Sea-fight between the Roman fleet and that of Antiochus, in which the Romans are victorious.
Y. R. 561.
191.I.Publius Cornelius Scipio, son of Cneius, and Manius Acilius Glabrio, consuls on their assuming the administration, were ordered by the senate, before they settled any thing respecting their provinces, to perform sacrifices, with victims of the greater kinds, at all the shrines where the lectisternium was usually celebrated for the greater part of the year; and to offer prayers, that the business which the state had in contemplation, concerning a new war, might terminate prosperously and happily for the senate and people of Rome. At every one of those sacrifices, appearances were favourable, and the propitious omens were found in the first victims. Accordingly, the haruspices gave this answer:— That, by this war, the boundaries of the Roman empire would be enlarged; and that victory and triumph were portended. When this answer was reported, the senate, having their minds now freed from every religious scruple, ordered this question to be proposed to the people: “Was it their will, and did they order, that war should be undertaken against king Antiochus, and all who should join his party?” And that, if that order passed, then the consuls were, if they thought proper, to lay the business entire before the senate. Publius Cornelius got the order passed; and then the senate decreed, that the consuls should cast lots for the provinces of Italy and Greece; that he, to whose lot Greece fell, should, in addition to the number of soldiers enlisted and raised from the allies by Quintius for that province, pursuant to a decree of the senate, take under his command that army, which, in the preceding year, Marcus Bæbius, prætor, had, by order of the senate, carried over to Macedonia. Permission was also granted him, to receive succours from the allies, out of Italy, if circumstances should so require, provided their number did not exceed five thousand. It was resolved, that Lucius Quintius, consul of the former year, should be commissioned as lieutenant-general in that war. The other consul, to whom Italy fell, was ordered to carry on the war with the Boians, with whichever he should choose of the two armies commanded by the consuls of the last year; and to send the other to Rome; and these were ordered to be the city legions, and ready to march to whatever place the senate should direct.
II. Things being thus adjusted in the senate, excepting the assignment of his particular province to each of the magistrates, the consuls were ordered to cast lots. Greece fell to Acilius, Italy to Cornelius. The lot of each being now determined, the senate passed a decree, that “inasmuch as the Roman people had ordered war to be declared against king Antiochus, and those who were under his government, the consuls should command a supplication to be performed, on account of that business; and that Manius Acilius, consul, should vow the great games to Jupiter, and offerings at all the shrines.” This vow was made by the consul in these words, which were dictated by Publius Licinius, chief pontiff: “If the war, which the people has ordered to be undertaken against king Antiochus, shall be concluded agreeably to the wishes of the senate and people of Rome, then, O Jupiter, the Roman people will, through ten successive days, exhibit the great games in honour of thee, and offerings shall be presented at all the shrines, of such value as the senate shall direct. Whatever magistrate shall celebrate those games, and at whatever time and place, let the celebration be deemed proper, and the offerings rightly and duly made.” The two consuls then proclaimed a supplication for two days. When the consuls had determined their provinces by lots, the prætors, likewise, immediately cast lots for theirs. The two civil jurisdictions fell to Marcus Junius Brutus; Bruttium, to Aulus Cornelius Mammula; Sicily, to Marcus Æmilius Lepidus; Sardinia, to Lucius Oppius Salinator: the fleet, to Caius Livius Salinator; and farther Spain, to Lucius Æmilius Paullus. The troops for these were settled thus:— to Aulus Cornelius were assigned the new soldiers, raised last year by Lucius Quintius, consul, pursuant to the senate’s decree; and he was ordered to defend the whole coast near Tarentum and Brundusium. Lucius Æmilius Paullus was directed to take with him into farther Spain, (to fill up the numbers of the army, which he was to receive from Marcus Fulvius, pro-prætor,) three thousand new raised foot, and three hundred horse, of whom two-thirds should be Latine allies, and the other third Roman citizens. An equal reinforcement was sent to hither Spain, to Caius Flaminius, who was continued in command. Marcus Æmilius Lepidus was ordered to receive both the province and army from Lucius Valerius, whom he was to succeed, and, if he thought proper, to retain Lucius Valerius, as proprætor, in the province, which he was to divide with him in such a manner, that one division should reach from Agrigentum to Pachynum, and the other from Pachynum to Tyndarium, the sea-coasts whereof Lucius Valerius was to protect with a fleet of twenty ships of war. The same prætor received a charge to levy two tenths of corn, and to take care that it should be carried to the coast, and thence conveyed into Greece. Lucius Oppius was likewise commanded to levy a second tenth in Sardinia; but with directions that it should be transported, not into Greece, but to Rome. Caius Livius, the prætor, whose lot was the command of the fleet, was ordered to sail directly to Greece with thirty ships, which were ready, and to receive the other fleet from Atilius. The prætor Marcus Junius was commissioned to refit and arm the old ships which were in the dock-yards; and, for the manning of these, to enlist the sons of freemen as seamen.
III. Commissaries were sent into Africa, three to Carthage, and a like number to Numidia, to procure corn to be carried into Greece; for which the Roman people were to pay the value. And so particularly attentive was the state to the making of every preparation and provision necessary for the carrying on of this war, that the consul, Publius Cornelius, published an edict, that “no senator, nor any who had the privilege of giving an opinion in the senate, nor any of the inferior magistrates, should go so far from the city of Rome as that they could not return the same day; and that not more than five of the senators should be absent at the same time.” The exertions of the prætor, Caius Livius, in fitting out the fleet, were for some time retarded by a dispute which arose with the maritime colonies. For, when he insisted on their manning the ships, they appealed to the tribunes of the people, by whom the cause was referred to the senate. The senate, without one dissenting voice, resolved, that those colonies were not entitled to exemption from the sea-service. The colonies which disputed this point with the prætor were, Ostia, Fregenæ, Castrumnovum, Pyrgi, Antium, Tarracina, Minturnæ, and Sinuessa. The consul, Manius Acilius, then, by direction of the senate, consulted the college of heralds, “whether a declaration of war should be made to Antiochus in person, or whether it would be sufficient to declare it at some of his garrison towns; whether they directed a separate declaration against the Ætolians, and whether their alliance and friendship ought not to be renounced before war was declared.” The heralds answered, that “they had given their judgment before, when they were consulted respecting Philip, that it was of no consequence whether the declaration were made to himself in person, or at one of his garrisons. That, in their opinion, friendship had been already renounced; because, after their ambassadors had so often demanded restitution, the Ætolians had not thought proper to make either restitution or apology. That these, by their own act, had made a declaration of war against themselves, when they seized, by force, Demetrias, a city in alliance with Rome; when they laid siege to Chalcis by land and sea; and brought king Antiochus into Europe, to make war on the Romans.” Every preparatory measure being now completed, the consul Manius Acilius issued an edict, that “the soldiers enlisted or raised from among the allies by Titus Quintius, and who were under orders to go with him to his province; as, likewise, the military tribunes of the first and third legions, should assemble at Brundusium, on the ides of May.”* He himself, on the fifth before the nones of May,† set out from the city in his military robe of command. The prætors, likewise, departed for their respective provinces.
IV. A little before this time, ambassadors came to Rome from the two kings, Philip of Macedonia, and Ptolemy of Egypt, offering aid of men, money, and corn, towards the support of the war. From Ptolemy was brought a thousand pounds weight of gold, and twenty thousand pounds weight of silver. None of this was accepted. Thanks were returned to the kings. Both of them offered to come, with their whole force, into Ætolia. Ptolemy was excused from that trouble; and Philip’s ambassadors were answered, that the senate and people of Rome would consider it as a kindness if he lent his assistance to the consul Manius Acilius. Ambassadors came, likewise, from the Carthaginians, and from king Masinissa. The Carthaginians made an offer of sending a thousand pecks* of wheat, and five hundred thousand of barley to the army, and half that quantity to Rome, which they requested the Romans to accept from them as a present. They also offered to fit out a fleet at their own expense, and to give in, immediately, the whole amount of the annual tribute-money which they were bound to pay for many years to come. The ambassadors of Masinissa promised, that their king should send five hundred thousand pecks of wheat, and three hundred thousand of barley, to the army in Greece, and three hundred thousand of wheat, and two hundred and fifty thousand of barley, to Rome; also five hundred horse, and twenty elephants, to the consul Acilius. The answer given to both, with regard to the corn, was, that the Roman people would make use of it, provided they would receive payment for the same. With regard to the fleet offered by the Carthaginians, no more was accepted than such ships as they owed by treaty; and, as to the money, they were told, that none would be taken before the regular days of payment.
V. While affairs at Rome proceeded in this manner, Antiochus, during the winter season at Chalcis, endeavoured to bring over several of the states by ambassadors sent among them; while many of their own accord sent deputies to him; as the Epirots, by the general voice of the nation, and the Eleans from Peloponnesus. The Eleans requested aid against the Achæans; for they supposed, that, since the war had been declared against Antiochus contrary to their judgment, the Achæans would first turn their arms against them. One thousand foot were sent to them, under the command of Euphanes, a Cretan. The embassy of the Epirots showed no mark whatever of a liberal or candid disposition. They wished to ingratiate themselves with the king; but, at the same time, to avoid giving cause of displeasure to the Romans. They requested him, “not hastily, to make them a party in the dispute, exposed, as they were, opposite to Italy, and in the front of Greece, where they must necessarily undergo the first assaults of the Romans. If he himself, with his land and sea-forces, could take charge of Epirus, the inhabitants would joyfully receive him in all their ports and cities. But if circumstances allowed him not to do that, then they earnestly entreated him not to subject them, naked and defenceless, to the arms of the Romans.” Their intention in sending him this message evidently was, that if he declined going into Epirus, which they rather supposed would be the case, they stood clear of all blame with regard to the Romans, while they sufficiently recommended themselves to the king by their willingness to receive him on his coming; and that, on the other hand, if he should come, even then they were not without hopes of being pardoned by the Romans, for having yielded to the strength of a prince who was in the heart of their country, without waiting for succour from them, who were so far distant. To this evasive embassy, as he did not readily think of a proper answer, he replied, that he would send ambassadors to confer upon such matters as were of common concernment both to him and them.
VI. Antiochus went himself into Bœotia, where the ostensible causes held out, for the public resentment to the Romans were those already mentioned: the death of Brachyllas, and the attack made by Quintius on Coronea, on account of the massacre of the Roman soldiers; while the real ones were, that the former excellent policy of that nation, with respect both to public and private concerns, had, for several geerations, been on the decline; and that great numbers were in such circumstances, that they could not long subsist without some change in affairs. Through multitudes of the principal Bœotians, who every where flocked out to meet him, he arrived at Thebes. There, notwithstanding that he had (both at Delium, by the attack made on the Roman troops, and also at Chalcis) already commenced hostilities, by enterprises of neither a trifling nor of a dubious nature, yet in a general council of the nation, he delivered a speech of the same import with that which he delivered in the first conference at Chalcis, and that used by his ambassadors in the council of the Achæans; that “what he required of them was, to form a league of friendship with him, not to declare war against the Romans.” But not a man among them was ignorant of his meaning. However, a decree, disguised under a slight covering of words, was passed in his favour against the Romans. After securing this nation also on his side, he returned to Chalcis; and, having despatched letters summoning the chief Ætolians to meet him at Demetrias, that he might deliberate with them on the general plan of operations, he went thither by sea. Amynander, likewise, was called from Athamania to the consultation; and Hannibal, who for a long time before, had not been asked to attend, was present at this assembly. The subject of their deliberation was, the mode of conduct proper to be pursued towards the Thessalian nation; and every one present was of opinion, that it was necessary to obtain their concurrence. The only points on which opinions differed were, that some thought the attempt ought to be made immediately; while others judged it better to defer it for the winter season, which was then about half spent, until the beginning of spring. Some advised to send ambassadors; others, that the king should go at the head of all his forces, and, if they hesitated, terrify them into compliance.
VII. Although the present debate turned chiefly on these points, Hannibal, being called on by name to give his opinion, led the king, and those who were present, into the consideration of the general conduct of the war, by a speech to this effect:—“If I had been employed in your councils since we came first into Greece, when you were consulting about Eubœa, the Achæans, and Bœotia, I would have offered the same advice which I shall offer you this day, when your thoughts are employed about the Thessalians. My opinion is, that, above all things, Philip and the Macedonians should, by some means or other, be engaged to act as confederates in this war. For, as to Eubœa, as well as the Bœotians and Thessalians, is it not perfectly clear, that, having no strength of their own, they will ever court the power that is present; and will make use of the same fear, which governs their councils, as an argument for obtaining pardon? That, as soon as they shall see a Roman army in Greece they will change sides, and attach themselves to that government, to which they have been accustomed? Nor are they to blame, if, when the Romans were at so great a distance, they did not choose to try your force, and that of your army, who were on the spot. How much more advisable, therefore, and more advantageous would it be, to unite Philip to us, than these; as, if he once embarks in the cause, he will have no room for retreat, and as he will bring with him such a force, as will not only be an accession to a power at war with Rome, but was able, lately, of itself, to withstand the Romans? With such an ally, (I wish to speak without offence,) how could I harbour a doubt about the issue? When I should see the very persons who enabled the Romans to overcome Philip, now ready to act against them? The Ætolians, who, as all agree, conquered Philip, will fight in conjunction with Philip against the Romans. Amynander and the Athamanian nation, who, next to the Ætolians, performed the greatest services in that war, will stand on our side. The Macedonian, at the time when you remained inactive, sustained the whole burden of the war. Now, you and he, two of the greatest kings, will, with the force of Asia and Europe, wage war against one state; which, to say nothing of my own contests with them, either prosperous or adverse, was certainly, in the memory of our fathers, unequal to a dispute with a single king of Epirus; what then, I say, must it be in competition with you two? But it may be asked, what circumstances, induce me to believe that Philip may be brought to an union with us? First, common utility; which is the strongest cement of union; and next, my reliance, Ætolians, on your veracity. For Thoas, your ambassador, among the other arguments which he used to urge, for the purpose of drawing Antiochus into Greece, always laid particular stress on this assertion; that Philip expressed extreme indignation at being reduced to the condition of a slave under the appearance of conditions of peace; comparing the king’s anger to that of a wild beast chained, or shut up, and wishing to break the bars that confined it. Now, if his temper of mind is such, let us loose his chains, let us break these bars, that he may vent, upon the common foe, this anger so long pent up. But should our embassy fail of producing any effect on him, let us then take care, that if we cannot unite him to ourselves, he may not be united to our enemies. Your son, Seleucus, is at Lysimachia; and if, with the army which he has there, he shall pass through Thrace, and once begin to make depredations on the nearest parts of Macedonia, he will effectually divert Philip from carrying aid to the Romans, and will oblige him to endeavour, in the first place, to protect his own dominions. Thus much respecting Philip. With regard to the general plan of the war, you have, from the beginning, been acquainted with my sentiments; and if my advice had been listened to, the Romans would not now hear that Chalcis in Eubœa was taken, and a fort on the Euripus reduced; but that Etruria, and the whole coast of Liguria and Cisalpine Gaul, were in a blaze of war; and, what would strike more terror into them thau all, that Hannibal was in Italy. Even as matters stand at present, I recommend it to you, to call home all your land and sea forces; let store-ships with provisions follow the fleet: for, as we are here too few for the exigences of the war, so are we too many for the scanty supplies of necessaries. When you shall have collected together the whole of your force, you will divide the fleet, and keep one division stationed at Corcyra, that the Romans may not have a clear and safe passage; and the other you will send to the coast of Italy, opposite Sardinia and Africa; while you yourself, with all the land forces, will proceed to the territory of Byllium. In this position you will hold the command of all Greece; you will give the Romans reason to think, that you intend to sail over to Italy; and you will be in readiness so to do, if occasion require. This is my advice: and though I may not be the most skilful in every kind of wartare, yet surely I must be allowed to have learned, in a long series of both good and bad fortune, how to wage war against the Romans. For the execution of the measures which I have advised, I offer you my most faithful and zealous endeavours. Whatever plan you shall prefer, may the gods grant it their approbation.”
VIII. Such, nearly, was the counsel given by Hannibal, which the hearers commended indeed at the time, but never carried into effect. For not one article of it was executed, except the sending Polyxenidas to bring over the fleet and army from Asia. Ambassadors were sent to Larissa, to the diet of the Thessalians. The Ætolians and Amynander appointed a day for the assembling of their troops at Pheræ, and the king, with his forces, came thither immediately. While he waited there for Amynander and the Ætolians, he sent Philip, the Megalopolitan, with two thousand men, to collect the bones of the Macedonians round Cynoscephalæ, where had been fought the battle which decided the war with king Philip; being advised to this, either in order to gain favour with the Macedonians, and draw their displeasure on the king for having left his soldiers unburied: or having of himself, through the spirit of vain-glory incident to kings, conceived such a design — splendid, indeed, in appearance, but really insignificant. There is a mount there formed of the bones which had been scattered about, and were then collected into one heap. Although this step procured him no thanks from the Macedonians, yet it excited the heaviest displeasure of Philip; in consequence of which, he, who had hitherto intended to regulate his counsels by the fortune of events, now sent instantly a messenger to the proprætor, Marcus Bæbius, to inform him that “Antiochus had made an irruption into Thessaly; and to request of Bæbius, if he thought proper, to move out of his winter-quarters; which if he did, he himself would advance to meet him, that they might consider together what was proper to be done.”
IX. While Antiochus lay encamped near Pheræ, where the Ætolians and Amynander had joined him, ambassadors came to him from Larissa, desiring to know on account of what acts or words of theirs, he had made war on the Thessalians; at the same time requesting him to withdraw his army; and, if he had conceived any reason of disagreement, to discuss it amicably by commissioners. In the mean time, they sent five hundred soldiers, under the command of Hippolochus, to re-inforce Pheræ; but these, being debarred of access by the king’s troops, who blocked up all the roads, retired to Scotussa. The king answered the Larissan ambassadors in mild terms, that “he came into their country, not with a design of making war, but of protecting and establishing the liberty of the Thessalians.” He sent a person to make a similar declaration to the people of Pheræ, who, without giving him any answer, sent to the king, in quality of ambassador, Pausanias, the first magistrate of their state. He offered remonstrances of a similar kind with those which had been urged in behalf of the people of Chalcis, at the first conference, on the streight of the Euripus, as the cases were similar, and he even proceeded to a greater degree of boldness; on which the king desired that they would consider seriously, before they adopted a resolution, which, while they were over-cautious and provident of futurity, would give them immediate cause of repentance; and then dismissed him. When the Pheræans were acquainted with the result of this embassy, without the smallest hesitation, they determined to endure whatever the fortune of war might bring on them, rather than violate their engagements with the Romans. They accordingly exerted their utmost efforts to provide for the defence of the place, while the king, on his part, resolved to assail the walls on every side at once; and considering, what was evidently the case, that it depended on the fate of this city, the first which he had besieged, whether he should for the future be despised, or dreaded, by the whole nation of the Thessalians, he put in practice, every where, all possible means of striking them with terror. The first fury of the assault they supported with great firmness; but in some time, great numbers of their men being either slain or wounded, their resolution began to fail. However, they were soon so far reanimated by the rebukes of their leaders, as to resolve on persevering in their resistance; and having abandoned the exterior circle of the wall, for the defence of which their numbers were now insufficient, they withdrew to the interior part of the city, round which had been raised a fortification of less extent. At last, being overcome by distresses of every kind, and fearing that, if they were taken by storm, they might meet no mercy from the conqueror, they capitulated. The king then lost no time; but, while the alarm was fresh, sent four thousand men against Scotussa, which surrendered without delay, the garrison taking warning from the recent example of those in Pheræ; who, notwithstanding their obstinate refusal at first, were at length compelled by sufferings to submit. Together with the town, Hippolochus and the Larissan garrison were yielded to him, all of whom he dismissed unhurt; hoping that such behaviour would operate powerfully towards conciliating the esteem of the Larissans.
X. Having accomplished all this within the space of ten days after his arrival at Pheræ, he marched, with his whole force, to Cranon, which submitted on his first approach. He then took Cypæra and Metropolis, and the forts in their neighbourhood; and now every town, in all that tract, was in his power, except Atrax and Gyrton. He next resolved to lay siege to Larissa, for he hoped that (either through dread inspired by the storming of the other towns, or in consideration of his kindness in dismissing the troops of their garrison, or being led by the example of so many cities surrendering themselves,) they would now lay aside their obstinacy. Having ordered the elephants to advance in front of the battalions, for the purpose of striking terror, he approached the city with his army in order of battle; which had such an effect on a great number of the Larissans, that they became irresolute and perplexed, between their fears of the enemy at their gates, and their respect for their distant allies. Meantime, Amynander, with the Athamanian troops, seized on Pellinæus, while Menippus, with three thousand Ætolian foot and two hundred horse, marched into Perrhæbia, where he took Mallæa and Cyretia by assault, and ravaged the lands of Tripolis. After executing these enterprises with despatch, they marched back to Larissa, where they joined the king, just when he was holding a council on the method of proceeding with regard to that place. On this occasion there were opposite opinions: for some thought that force should be applied; that there was no time to be lost, but that the walls should be immediately attacked with works and machines on all sides at once; especially as the city stood in a plain, the entrances open, and the approaches every where level. While others represented at one time the strength of the city, greater beyond comparison than that of Pheræ; at another, the approach of the winter season, unfit for any operation of war, much more so for besieging and assaulting cities. While the king’s judgment hung in suspense between hope and fear, his courage was raised by ambassadors happening to arrive just at the time from Pharsalus, to make surrender of the same. In the meantime Marcus Bæbius had a meeting with Philip in Dassaretia, and, in conformity to their joint opinion, sent Appius Claudius to re-inforce Larissa, who, making long marches through Macedonia, arrived at that summit of the mountains which overhang Gonni. The town of Gonni is twenty miles distant from Larissa, standing at the opening of the valley called Tempe. Here, by enlarging the extent of his camp beyond what his numbers required, and kindling more fires than were necessary, he imposed on the enemy the opinion which he wished, that the whole Roman army was there, and king Philip along with them. Antiochus, therefore, pretending the near approach of winter as his motive, staid but one day longer, then withdrew from Larissa, and returned to Demetrias. The Ætolians and Athamanians retired to their respective countries. Appius, although he saw that, by the siege being raised, the purpose of his commission was fulfilled, yet resolved to go down to Larissa, to strengthen the resolution of the allies against future contingences. Thus the Larissans enjoyed a twofold happiness, from the departure of the enemy out of their country, and from seeing a Roman garrison in their city.
XI. Antiochus went from Demetrias to Chalcis; where he became captivated with a young woman, daughter of Cleoptolemus. Her father was unwilling to enter into a connexion which might probably involve him in difficulties, until at length, by messages, and afterwards by personal importunities, he gained his consent; and then he celebrated his nuptials in the same manner as if it were a time of profound peace. Forgetting the two important undertakings in which he was engaged — the war with Rome, and the liberating of Greece — he banished every thought of business from his mind, and spent the remainder of winter in feasting and carousals; and when fatigued, rather than cloyed, with these, in sleep. The same spirit of dissipation seized all his officers, who commanded in the several winter-quarters, particularly those stationed in Bœotia, and even the common men abandoned themselves to the same indulgences; not one of whom ever put on his armour, or kept watch or guard, or did any part of the duty or business of a soldier. This was carried to such a length, that when, in the beginning of spring, the king came through Phocis to Cheronæa, where he had appointed the general assembly of all the troops, he perceived at once that the discipline of the army during the winter had not been more rigid than that of their commander. He ordered Alexander, an Acarnanian, and Menippus, a Macedonian, to lead his forces thence to Stratum, in Ætolia; and he himself, after offering sacrifice to Apollo at Delphi, proceeded to Naupactum. After holding a council of the chiefs of Ætolia; he went by the road which leads by Chalcis and Lysimachia to Stratum, to meet his army which was coming along the Malian bay. Mnesilochus, a man of distinction among the Acarnanians, being bribed by many presents, not only laboured himself to dispose that nation in favour of the king, but had brought to a concurrence in the design, their prætor, Clytus, who was at the time invested with the highest authority. This latter, finding that the people of Leucas, the capital of Acarnania, could not be easily prevailed on to violate their former engagements, because they were afraid of the Roman fleets, one under Atilius, and another at Cephallenia, practised an artifice against them. He observed in the council, that the inland parts of Acarnania should be guarded from danger, and that all who were able to bear arms ought to march out to Medio and Thurium, to prevent those places from being seized by Antiochus, or the Ætolians; on which some said, that there was no occasion to call out all the people in that hasty manner, for a body of five hundred men would be sufficient for the purpose. Having got this number of soldiers at his disposal, he placed three hundred in garrison at Medio, and two hundred at Thurium, with the design that they should fall into the hands of the king, and serve hereafter as hostages.
XII. At this time, ambassadors from the king came to Medio, whose proposal being heard, the assembly began to consider what answer to give: when some advised to adhere to the alliance with Rome, and others, not to reject the friendship of the king; but Clitus offered an opinion, which seemed to take a middle course between the other two, and which was therefore adopted. It was, that ambassadors would be sent to the king, to request of him to allow the people of Medio to deliberate on a subject of such great importance in a general assembly of the Acarnanians. Care was taken that this embassy should be composed of Mnesilochus, and some others of his faction, who, sending a private message to the king to bring up his army, wasted time on purpose, so that they had scarcely set out, when Antiochus appeared in the territory, and presently at the gates of the city; and, while those who were not concerned in the plot, were all in hurry and confusion, and hastily called the young men to arms, he was conducted into the place by Clitus and Mnesilochus. One party of the citizens now joined him through inclination, and those who were of different sentiments were compelled by fear to attend him. He then calmed their apprehensions by a discourse full of mildness; and his clemency being reported abroad, several of the states of Acarnania, in hopes of meeting the same treatment, went over to his side. From Medio he went to Thurium, whither he had sent on before him the same Mnesilochus, and his colleagues in the embassy. But the detection of the treachery practised at Medio rendered the Thurians more cautious, not more timid. They answered him explicitly, that they would form no new alliance without the approbation of the Romans; they then shut their gates, and posted soldiers on the walls. Most seasonably for confirming the resolution of the Acarnanians, Cneius Octavius, being sent by Quintus, and having received a party of men and a few ships from Aulus Postumius, whom Atilius had appointed his lieutenant to command at Cephallenia, arrived at Leucas, and filled the allies with the strongest hopes; assuring them, that the consul Manius Acilius had already crossed the sea with his legions, and that the Roman forces were encamped in Thessaly. As the season of the year, which was by this time favourable for sailing, strengthened the credibility of this report, the king, after placing a garrison in Medio, and some other towns of Acarnania, retired from Thurium, and taking his route through the cities of Ætolia and Phocis, returned to Chalcis.
XIII. Marcus Bæbius and king Philip, after the meeting which they had in the winter in Dassaretia, when they sent Appius Claudius into Thessaly to raise the siege of Larissa, had returned to winter quarters, the season not being sufficiently advanced for entering on action, but now, in the beginning of spring, they united their forces, and marched into Thessaly. Antiochus was then in Acarnania. As soon as they entered that country, Philip laid siege to Mallæa, in the territory of Perrhæbia, and Bæbius, to Phacium. This town of Phacium he took almost at the first attempt, and then reduced Phæstus with as little delay. After this, he retired to Atrax; and having seized on Cyretiæ and Phricium, and placed garrisons in the places which he had reduced, he again joined Philip, who was carrying on the siege of Mallæa. On the arrival of the Roman army, the garrison, either awed by its strength, or hoping for pardon, surrendered themselves, and the combined forces marched, in one body, to recover the towns which had been seized by the Athamanians. These were Æginium, Ericinum, Gomphi, Silana, Tricca, Melibæa, and Phaloria. Then they invested Pellinæum, where Philip of Megalopolis was in garrison, with five hundred foot and forty horse; but before they made an assault, they sent a person to warn Philip, not to expose himself to the last extremities; to which he answered, with much confidence, that he could entrust himself either to the Romans or the Thessalians, but never would put himself in the power of the Macedonian. The confederate commanders now saw that they must have recourse to force, and thought that Limnæa might be attacked at the same time; it was therefore agreed, that the king should go against Limnæa, while Bæbius staid to carry on the siege of Pellinæum.
XIV. It happened that, just at this time, the consul, Manius Acilius, having crossed the sea with twenty thousand foot, two thousand horse, and fifteen elephants, ordered some military tribunes, chosen for the purpose, to lead the infantry to Larissa, and he himself with the cavalry came to Limnæa, to Philip. Immediately on the consul’s arrival, the town capitulated, and the king’s garrison, together with the Athamanians, were delivered up. From Limnæa the consul went to Pellinæum. Here the Athamanians surrendered first, and afterwards Philip of Megalopolis. King Philip, happening to meet the latter as he was coming out from the town, ordered his attendants, in derision, to salute him with the title of king; and he himself, coming up to him, with a sneer, highly unbecoming his own exalted station, accosted him by the name of brother. He was brought before the consul, who ordered him to be kept in confinement, and soon after sent him to Rome in chains. All the rest of the Athamanians, together with the soldiers of king Antiochus, who had been in garrison in the towns which surrendered about that time, were delivered over to Philip. They amounted to three thousand men. The consul went thence to Larissa, in order to hold a consultation on the general plan of operations; and, on his way, was met by ambassadors from Pieria and Metropolis, with the surrender of those cities. Philip treated the captured, particularly the Athamanians, with great kindness, in expectation of gaining, through them, the favour of their countrymen; and having hence conceived hopes of getting Athamania into his possession, he first sent forward the prisoners to their respective states, and then marched his army thither. The representations given by these of the king’s clemency and generosity towards them, operated strongly on the minds of the people; and Amynander, who, by his presence, had retained many in obedience, through the respect paid to his dignity, began now to dread that he might be delivered up to Philip, who had been long his professed enemy, or to the Romans, who were justly incensed against him for his late defection. He therefore, with his wife and children, quitted the kingdom, and retired to Ambracia. Thus all Athamania came under the authority and dominion of Philip. The consul delayed a few days at Larissa, for the purpose chiefly of refreshing the horses, which, by the voyage first, and marching afterwards, had been much harassed and fatigued; and when he had renewed the vigour of his army by a moderate share of rest, he marched to Cranon. On his way, Pharsalus, Scotussa, and Pheræ were surrendered to him, together with the garrisons placed in them by Antiochus. He asked these men, whether any of them chose to remain with him; and one thousand having declared themselves willing, he gave them to Philip; the rest he sent back, unarmed, to Demetrias. After this he took Proerna, and the forts adjacent; and then marched forwards toward the Malian bay. When he drew near to the pass on which Thaumaci is situated, all the young men of that place took arms, and, quitting the town, placed themselves in ambush in the woods adjoining the roads, and thence, with the advantage of higher ground, made attacks on the Roman troops as they marched. The consul first sent people to talk with them, and warn them to desist from such a mad proceeding; but, finding that they persisted in their undertaking, he sent round a tribune, with two companies of soldiers, to cut off the retreat of the men in arms, and took possession of the defenceless city. On this, the parties in ambush, hearing from behind the shouts occasioned by that event, fled homeward from all parts of the woods, but were intercepted and cut to pieces. From Thaumaci the consul came, on the second day, to the riven Sperchius, and, sending out parties, laid waste the country of the Hypatæans.
XV. During these transactions, Antiochus was at Chalcis, and now, perceiving that he had gained nothing from Greece to recompense his trouble, except pleasing winter-quarters and a disgraceful marriage, he warmly blamed Thoas, and the fallacious promises of the Ætolians, while he admired Hannibal as a man endowed not only with wisdom, but with a kind of prophetic skill, which had enabled him to foretel all that had come to pass. However, that he might not contribute to the failure of his inconsiderate enterprise by his own inactivity, he sent requisitions to the Ætolians, to arm all their young men, and assemble in a body. He went himself immediately into their country, at the head of about ten thousand foot, (the number having been filled up out of the troops which had come after him from Asia,) and five hundred horse. Their assembly on this occasion was far less numerous than ever before, none attending but the chiefs with a few of their vassals. These affirmed that they had, with the utmost diligence, tried every method to bring into the field as great a number as possible out of their respective states, but had not been able, either by argument, persuasion, or authority, to overcome the general aversion to the service. Being disappointed thus on all sides, both by his own people, who delayed in Asia, and by his allies, who did not fulfil those engagements by which they had prevailed on him to comply with their invitation, the king retired beyond the pass of Thermopylæ. A range of mountains here divides Greece in the same manner as Italy is divided by the ridge of the Appennines. Outside the streight of Thermopylæ, towards the north, lie Epirus, Perrhæbia, Magnesia, Thessaly, the Achæan Phthiothis, and the Malian bay; on the inside, towards the south, the greater part of Ætolia, Acarnania, Phocis, Locris, Bœotia, and the adjacent island of Eubœa, the territory of Attica, which stretches out like a promontory into the sea, and behind that, the Peloponnesus. This range of mountains, which extends from Leucas and the sea on the west, through Ætolia, to the opposite sea on the east, is so closely covered with thickets and craggy rocks, that, not to speak of an army, even persons lightly equipped for travelling, can with difficulty find paths through which they can pass. The hills at the eastern extremity are called Œta, and the highest of them Callidromus, in a valley, at the foot of which, reaching to the Malian bay, is a passage not broader than sixty paces. This is the only military road, by which an army can be led, even supposing no opposition. The place is, therefore, called Pylæ, the gate; and by some, on account of a warm spring, rising just at the entrance of it, Thermopylæ. It is rendered famous by the glorious stand made there by a party of Lacedæmonians against the Persians, and by their still more glorious death.
XVI. With a very inferior portion of spirit, Antiochus now pitched his camp within the inclosures of this pass, the difficulties of which he increased by raising fortifications, and when he had completely strengthened every part with a double rampart and trench, and, wherever it seemed requisite, with a wall formed of the stones which lay scattered about in abundance, being very confident that the Roman army would never attempt to force a passage there, he sent away one-half of the four thousand Ætolians, the number that had joined him, to garrison Heraclea, which stood opposite the entrance of the defile, and the other half to Hypata; for he concluded, that the consul would undoubtedly attack Heraclea, and he received accounts from many hands, of depredations committed on the country round Hypata. The consul, after ravaging the lands of Hypata first, and then those of Heraclea, in both which places the Ætolian detachments proved useless, encamped opposite to the king, in the very entrance of the pass, near the warm springs; both parties of the Ætolians shutting themselves up in Heraclea. Antiochus, who, before he saw the enemy, thought every spot perfectly well fortified, and secured by guards, now began to apprehend, that the Romans might discover some paths among the hills above, through which they could make their way; for he had heard that the Lacedæmonians formerly had been surrounded in that manner by the Persians, and Philip lately by the Romans themselves. He therefore despatched a messenger to the Ætolians at Heraclea, desiring them to afford him so much assistance, at least in the war, as to seize and secure the tops of the hills, so as to put it out of the power of the Romans to pass them. The delivery of this message raised a dissension among the Ætolians: some insisted that they ought to obey the king’s orders, and go where he desired; others that they ought to lie still at Heraclea, and wait the issue, be it what it might; for if the king should be defeated by the consul, their forces would be fresh, and in readiness to carry succour to their own states in the neighbourhood; and if he were victorious, they could pursue the Romans, while scattered in their flight. Each party not only adhered positively to its own plan, but even carried it into execution; two thousand lay still at Heraclea; and two thousand, divided into three parties, took possession of the summits called Callidromus, Rhoduntia, and Tichiuns.
XVII. When the consul saw that the heights were possessed by the Ætolians, he sent against those posts two men of consular rank, who acted as lieutenants-general, with two thousand chosen troops; — Lucius Valerius Flaccus against Rhoduntia and Tichiuns, and Marcus Porcius Cato against Callidromus. Then, before he led on his forces against the enemy, he called them to an assembly, employing a short exhortation to this effect: “Soldiers, I see that the greater part of you, who are present, of all ranks, are men who served in this same province, under the conduct and auspices of Titus Quintius. I therefore wish to remind you, that, in the Macedonian war, the pass at the river Aous was much more difficult than this before us. For this is only a gate, a single passage, formed as it were by nature; every other in the whole tract, between the two seas, being utterly impracticable. In the former case, there were stronger fortifications, and more advantageously situated. The enemy’s army was both more numerous, and composed of very superior men: for they were Macedonians, Thracians and Illyrians — people remarkable for the ferocity of their courage; your present opponents are Syrians, and Asiatic Greeks, the most unsteady of men, and born slaves. The commander, there, was a king of extraordinary warlike abilities, improved by practice from his early youth, in wars against his neighbours, the Thracians and Illyrians, and all the adjoining nations. The king, with whom we have now to deal, is one, who, (to say nothing of his former life, after coming over from Asia into Europe to make war on the Roman people,) has, during the whole length of the winter, accomplished no more memorable exploit, than the taking a wife, to gratify his amorous inclinations, out of a private house, and a family obscure even among its neighbours: and now, this newly-married man. after indulging in the luxury of nuptial feasts, comes out to fight. His chief reliance was on the strength of the Ætolians — a nation of all others, the most faithless and ungrateful, as you have formerly experienced, and as Antiochus now experiences. For they neither joined him with the great numbers that were promised, nor could they be kept in the field; and besides, they are now in a state of dissension among themselves. Although they demanded to be intrusted with the defence of Hypata and Heraclea, yet they defended neither; but one half of them fled to the tops of the mountains, while the others shut themselves up in Heraclea. The king himself, plainly confessing, that so far from daring to meet us in battle on the level plain, he durst not even encamp in open ground, has abandoned all that tract in front, which he boasted of having taken from us and Philip, and has hid himself behind the rocks, not even appearing in the opening of the pass, as it is said the Lacedæmonians did formerly, but drawing back his camp within the streight. Does not this demonstrate just the same degree of fear as if he had shut himself up within the walls of a city to stand a siege? But neither shall the streights protect Antiochus, nor the hills which they have seized, the Ætolians. Sufficient care and precaution has been used on every quarter, that you shall have nothing to contend with in the fight, but the enemy himself. On your parts, you have to consider, that you are not fighting merely for the liberty of Greece; although, were that all, it would be an achievement highly meritorious to deliver that country now from Antiochus and the Ætolians, which you formerly delivered from Philip; and that the wealth in the king’s camp will not be the whole prize of your labour; but that the great collection of stores, daily expected from Ephesus, will likewise become your prey; and also, that you will open a way for the Roman power into Asia, and Syria, and all the most opulent realms to the extremity of the East. What then must be the consequence, but that, from Gades to the Red Sea,* we shall have no limit but the ocean, which encircles the whole orb of the earth; and that all mankind shall regard the Roman name with a degree of veneration next to that which they pay to the divinities? For the attainment of prizes of such magnitude, be ready to exert a spirit adequate to the occasion, that, to-morrow, with the aid of the gods, we may decide the matter in the field.”
XVIII. After this discourse he dismissed the soldiers, who, before they went to their repast, got ready their armour and weapons. At the first dawn, the signal of battle being displayed, the consul formed his troops with a narrow front, adapted to the nature and the straitness of the ground. When the king saw the enemy’s standards in motion, he likewise drew out his forces. He placed in the van, before the rampart, a part of his light-infantry; and behind them, as a support, close to the fortifications, the main strength of his Macedonians, whom they call Sarissophori, spearmen. On the left wing of these, at the foot of the mountain, he posted a body of javelin-bearers, archers, and slingers; that from the higher ground they might annoy the naked flank of the enemy: and on the right of the Macedonians, to the extremity of the works, where the deep morasses and quicksands, stretching thence to the sea, render the place impassable, the elephants with their usual guard in the rear of them, the cavalry; and then, with a moderate interval between, the rest of his forces as a second line. The Macedonians, posted before the rampart, for some time easily withstood the efforts which the Romans made every where to force a passage; for they received great assistance from those who poured down from the higher ground a shower of leaden balls from their slings, and of arrows, and javelins, all together. But afterwards, the enemy pressing on with greater and now irresistible force, they were obliged to give ground, and, filing off from the rear, retire within the fortification. Here, by extending their spears before them, they formed as it were a second rampart, for the rampart itself was of such a moderate height, that while its defenders enjoyed the advantage of the higher ground, they, at the same time, by the length of their spears, had the enemy within reach underneath. Many of the assailants, inconsiderately approaching the work, were run through the body; and they must either have abandoned the attempt and retreated, or have lost very great numbers, had not Marcus Porcius come from the summit of Callidromus, whence he had dislodged the Ætolians, after killing the greater part of them. These he had surprised, quite unprepared, and mostly asleep, and now he appeared on the hill which overlooked the camp. Flaccus had not met the same good fortune at Tichiuns and Rhoduntia; having failed in his attempts to approach those fastnesses.
XIX. The Macedonians, and others, in the king’s camp, as long as, on account of the distance, they could distinguish nothing more than a body of men in motion, thought they were the Ætolians, who, on seeing the fight, were coming to their aid. But when, on a nearer view, they knew the standards and arms, and thence discovered their mistake, they were all instantly seized with such a panic, that they threw down their arms and fled. The pursuit was somewhat retarded by the fortifications, and by the narrowness of the valley, through which the troops had to pass, and, above all, by the elephants being on the rear of the flying enemy, so that it was with difficulty that the infantry could make their way. This, indeed, the cavalry could by no means do, their horses being so frightened, that they threw one another into greater confusion than would be occasioned by a battle. The plundering of the camp, also, caused a considerable delay. But, notwithstanding all this, the Romans pursued the enemy that day as far as Scarphia, killing and taking on the way great numbers both of men and horses, and also killing such of the elephants as they could not secure; and then they returned to their post. This had been attacked, during the time of the action, by the Ætolians quartered at Heraclea; but the enterprise, which certainly showed no want of boldness, was not attended with any success. The consul, at the third watch of the following night, sent forward his cavalry in pursuit of the enemy; and, as soon as day appeared, set out at the head of the legions. The king had got far before him, for he fled with the utmost speed, and never halted until he came to Elatia. There he first endeavoured to collect the scattered remains of his army; and then with a very small body of half-armed men, he continued his retreat to Chalcis. The Roman cavalry did not overtake the king himself at Elatia; but they cut off a great part of his soldiers, who either halted through weariness, or wandered out of the way through mistake, as they fled without guides through unknown roads, so that, out of the whole army, not one escaped, except five hundred, who kept close about the king; and even of the ten thousand men, whom, on the authority of Polybius, we have mentioned as brought over by the king from Asia, a very trifling number got off. But what shall we say to the account given by Valerius Antias, that there were in the king’s army sixty thousand men, of whom forty thousand fell, and above five thousand were taken, with two hundred and thirty military standards? Of the Romans were slain in the action itself an hundred and fifty; and of the party that defended the camp against the assault of the Ætolians, not more than fifty.
XX. As the consul marched through Phocis and Bœotia, the revolted states, conscious of their demerits, and dreading lest they should be exposed as enemics to the ravages of the soldiers, presented themselves at the gates of their cities, with the badges of suppliants; but the army proceeded, during the whole time, just as if they were in the country of friends, without offering violence of any sort, until they reached the territory of Coronea. Here a statue of king Antiochus, standing in the temple of Minerva Itonia, kindled such violent resentment, that permission was given to the soldiers to plunder the surrounding lands. But the reflection quickly occurred, that, as the statue had been erected by a general vote of all the Bœotian states, it was unreasonable to resent it on the single district of Coronea. The soldiers were therefore immediately recalled, and the depredations stopped. The Bœotians were only reprimanded for their ungrateful behaviour to the Romans in return for great obligations, so recently conferred. At the very time when the battle was fought, ten ships belonging to the king, with their commander Isidorus, lay at anchor near Thronium, in the Malian bay. To them Alexander of Acarnania, being grievously wounded, made his escape, and gave an account of the unfortunate issue of the battle; on which the fleet, alarmed at the immediate danger, sailed away in haste to Cenæus in Eubœa. There Alexander died, and was buried. Three other ships, which came from Asia to the same port, on hearing the disaster which had befallen the army, returned to Ephesus. Isidorus sailed over from Cæneus to Demetrias, supposing that the king might perhaps have directed his flight thither. About this time, Aulus Atilius, commander of the Roman fleet, intercepted a large convoy of provisions going to the king, just as they had passed the streight at the island of Andros; some of the ships he sunk, and took many others. Those who were in the rear tacked about and steered back to Asia. Atilius, with the captured vessels in his train, sailed back to Piræeus, his former station, and distributed a vast quantity of corn among the Athenians, and the other allies in that quarter.
XXI. Antiochus, quitting Chalcis before the consul arrived there, first sailed to Tenus, and thence passed over to Ephesus. When the consul came to Chalcis, the gates were open to receive him; for Aristoteles, who commanded for the king, on hearing of his approach, had withdrawn from the city. The rest of the cities of Eubœa also submitted without opposition; and peace being restored all over the island, within the space of a few days, without inflicting punishment on any; the army, which had acquired much higher praise for moderation after victory, than even for the attainment of it, marched back to Thermopylæ. From this place, the consul despatched Marcus Cato to Rome, that the senate and people might learn what had passed from unquestionable authority. He set sail from Creusa, a sea-port belonging to the Thespians, seated at the bottom of the Corinthian gulf, and steered to Petræ in Achaia. From Petræ, he coasted along the shores of Ætolia and Acarnania, as far as Corcyra, and thence he passed over to Hydruntum in Italy. Proceeding hence, with rapid expedition, by land, he arrived on the fifth day at Rome. Having come into the city before day, he went on, directly from the gate, to Marcus Junius, the prætor, who, at the first dawn, assembled the senate. Here, Lucius Cornelius Scipio, who had been despatched by the consul several days before Cato, and on his arrival had heard that the latter had outstripped him, and was then in the senate, came in, just as he was giving a recital of the transactions. The two lieutenants-general were then, by order of the senate, conducted to the assembly of the people, where they gave the same account, as in the senate, of the services performed in Ætolia. Hereupon a decree was passed, that a supplication, of three days’ continuance, should be performed; and that the prætor should offer sacrifice to such of the gods as his judgment should direct, with forty victims of the larger kinds. About the same time, Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, who, two years before, had gone into farther Spain, in the office of prætor, went through the city in ovation. He carried in the procession an hundred and thirty thousand silver denariuses,* and, besides the coin, twelve thousand pounds weight of silver, and an hundred and twenty-seven pounds weight of gold.
XXII. The consul Acilius sent on, from Thermopylæ, a message to the Ætolians in Heraclea, warning them, “then at least, after the experience which they had of the emptiness of the king’s professions, to return to a proper way of thinking; and, by surrendering Heraclea, to endeavour to procure, from the senate, a pardon for their past madness, or error, if they rather chose so to call it;” and he observed that “other Grecian states also had, during the present war, revolted from the Romans, to whom they were under the highest obligations, but that, inasmuch as, after the flight of the king, whose presence had inspired that confidence which led them astray from their duty, they had not added obstinacy to their other crimes, they were re-admitted into friendship. In like manner, although the Ætolians had not followed the king’s lead, but had invited him, and had been principals in the war, not auxiliaries; nevertheless, if they could prevail on themselves to show a proper sense of their misconduct, they might still ensure their safety.” Their answer showed nothing like a pacific disposition; wherefore, seeing that the business must be determined by force of arms, and that, notwithstanding the defeat of the king, the war of Ætolia was as far from a conclusion as ever, Acilius led up his army from Thermopylæ to Heraclea, and, on the same day, rode on horseback entirely round the walls, in order to discover the strength of the city. Heraclea is situated at the foot of mount Oeta; the town itself is in the plain, but has a citadel overlooking it, which stands on an eminence of considerable height, terminated on all sides by precipices. Having examined every part which he wished to see, the consul determined to make the assault in four places at once. On the side next the river Asophus, where is also the Gymnasium, he gave the direction of the works to Lucius Valerius. He assigned to Tiberius Sempronius Longus, the attack of a part of the suburbs, which was as thickly inhabited as the city itself. He appointed Marcus Bæbius to act on the side opposite the Malian bay, where the access was far from easy; and Appius Claudius, on the side next to another rivulet, called Melas, the black, opposite to the temple of Diana. These exerted themselves with such vigorous emulation, that within a few days the towers, rams, and other machines used in the besieging of towns, were all completed. The lands round Heraclea, naturally marshy, and abounding with tall trees, furnished timber in abundance for every kind of work; and then, as the Ætolians had fled into the city, the deserted suburbs supplied not only beams and boards, but also bricks and mortar, and stones of every size for all their various occasions.
XXIII. The Romans carried on their approaches by means of works more than of personal exertions; the Ætolians maintained their defence by dint of arms. For when the walls were shaken by the ram, they did not, as is usual, intercept and turn aside the strokes by the help of nooses formed on ropes, but sallied out in large armed bodies, with parties carrying fire, in order to burn the machines. They had likewise arched passages through the parapet, for the purpose of making sallies; and when they built up the wall anew, in the room of any part that was demolished, they left a great number of these sally ports, that they might rush out in many places at once. In several days, at the beginning, while their strength was unimpaired, they carried on this practice in numerous parties, and with much spirit; but then, both their numbers and spirit daily decreased. For though they had a multiplicity of difficulties to struggle with, what above all things utterly consumed their vigour, was the want of sleep, as the Romans, having plenty of men, relieved each other regularly in their posts; while among the Ætolians, their numbers being small, the same persons were obliged to toil on without intermission. During a space of twenty-four days, they were kept day and night in one continued course of unremitting exertion, against the attacks carried on by the enemy in four different quarters at once; so that they never had an hour’s respite from action. When the consul, from computing the time, and from the reports of deserters, judged that the Ætolians were thoroughly fatigued, he adopted the following plan. At midnight he gave the signal of retreat, and drawing off all his men at once from the assault, kept them quiet in the camp until the third hour of the next day. The attacks were then renewed, and continued until midnight, when they ceased, until the third hour of the day following. The Ætolians imagined that the Romans suspended the attack from the same cause by which they felt themselves distressed — excessive fatigue. As soon, therefore, as the signal of retreat was given to the Romans, as if themselves were thereby recalled from duty, every one gladly retired from his post, nor did they again appear in arms on the walls before the third hour of the day.
XXIV. The consul having put a stop to the assault at midnight, renewed it on three of the sides, at the fourth watch, with the utmost vigour; ordering Tiberius Sempronius, on the fourth, to keep his party alert, and ready to obey his signal; for he concluded assuredly, that, in the tumult by night, the enemy would all run to those quarters where they heard the shouts. Of the Ætolians, such as had gone to rest, with difficulty roused their bodies from sleep, exhausted, as they were, with fatigue and watching; and such as were still awake, ran, in the dark, to the places where they heard the noise of fighting. Meanwhile the Romans endeavoured to climb over the ruins of the walls, through the breaches; in others, strove to scale the walls with ladders; while the Ætolians hastened to defend the parts attacked. In one quarter, where the buildings stood outside the city, there was neither attack nor defence; but a party stood ready, waiting for the signal to make an attack, but there was none within to oppose them. The day now began to dawn, and the consul gave the signal; on which the party, without any opposition, made their way into the town; some through breaches, others scaling the walls where they were entire. As soon as the Ætolians heard them raise the shout, which denoted the place being taken, they every where forsook their posts, and fled into the citadel. The victors sacked the city; the consul having given permission, not for the sake of gratifying resentment or animosity, but that the soldiers, after having been restrained from plunder in so many captured cities, might at last, in some one place, enjoy the fruits of victory. About mid-day he recalled the troops; and, dividing them into two parts, ordered one to be led round by the foot of the mountain to a rock, which was of equal height with the citadel, and seemed as if it had been broken off from it, leaving a hollow between; but the summits of these eminences are so nearly contiguous, that weapons may be thrown into the citadel from their tops. With the other half of the troops the consul intended to march up from the city to the citadel, as soon as he should receive a signal from those who were to mount the rock on the farther side. The Ætolians in the citadel could not support the shout of the party which had seized the rock, and the consequent attack of the Romans from the city; for their courage was now broken, and the place was by no means in a condition to hold out a siege of any continuance; the women, children, and great numbers of other helpless people, being crowded together in a fort, which was scarce capable of containing, much less of affording protection to, such a multitude. On the first assault, therefore, they laid down their arms, and submitted. Among the rest was delivered up Damocritus, chief magistrate of the Ætolians, who at the beginning of the war, when Titus Quintius asked for a copy of the decree, passed by the Ætolians for inviting Antiochus, told him, that “in Italy, when the Ætolians were encamped there, it should be delivered to him.” This presumptuous insolence of his enhanced the satisfaction which the victors felt at his being put into their hands.
XXV. At the same time, while the Romans were employed in the reduction of Heraclea, Philip, by concert, besieged Lamia. He had had an interview with the consul, as he was returning from Bœotia, at Thermopylæ, whither he came to congratulate him and the Roman people on their successes, and to apologize for his not having taken an active part in the war, being prevented by sickness; and then they went from thence, by different routes, to lay siege to the two cities at once. The distance between these places is about seven miles; and as Lamia stands on high ground, and has an open prospect on that side particularly, the distance seems very short, and every thing that passes can be seen from thence. The Romans and Macedonians, with all the emulation of competitors for a prize, employed the utmost exertions, both night and day, either in the works or in fighting; but the Macedonians encountered greater difficulty, on this account, that the Romans made their approaches by mounds, covered galleries, and other works, which were all above ground; whereas the Macedonians worked under ground by mines, and, in that stony soil, often met a flinty rock, which iron could not penetrate. The king, seeing that little progress could be made in that way, endeavoured, by reasoning with the principal inhabitants, to prevail on them to surrender the place; for he was fully persuaded, that if Heraclea should be taken first, the Lamians would then choose to surrender to the Romans rather than to him; and that the consul would take to himself the merit of relieving them from a siege Nor was he mistaken in that opinion; for no sooner was Heraclea reduced, than a message came to him to raise the siege; because “it was more reasonable that the Roman soldiers, who had fought the Ætolians in the field, should reap the fruits of the victory.” Thus was Lamia relieved, and the misfortune of a neighbouring city proved the means of its escaping a like disaster.
XXVI. A few days before the capture of Heraclea, the Ætolians, having assembled a council at Hypata, sent ambassadors to Antiochus, among whom was Thoas, who had visited him before in the same capacity. Their instructions were, in the first place, to request the king again to assemble his land and marine forces, and come into Greece; and, in the next place, if it should be inconvenient to him to leave home, then to send them supplies of men and money. They were to remind him, that “it concerned his dignity and his honour, not to abandon his allies; and it likewise concerned the safety of his kingdom not to leave the Romans at full leisure, after ruining the nation of the Ætolians, to carry their whole force into Asia.” Their remonstrances were well founded, and therefore made the deeper impression on the king; in consequence of which, he immediately supplied the ambassadors with the money requisite for the exigences of the war, and assured them that he would send them succours both of troops and ships. He kept with him Thoas, who was not unwilling to stay, as he hoped that his presence might accelerate the performance of the king’s promises.
XXVII. But the loss of Heraclea entirely broke the spirits of the Ætolians; insomuch, that within a few days after they had sent ambassadors into Asia for the purpose of renewing the war, and inviting the king, they threw aside all thoughts of fighting, and despatched deputies to the consul to sue for peace. When these began to speak, the consul, interrupting them, said, that he had other business to attend to at present; and, ordering them to return to Hypata, granted them a truce for ten days, sending with them Lucius Valerius Flaccus, to whom, he desired, whatever business they intended to have proposed to himself might be communicated, with any other that they thought proper. On their arrival at Hypata, the chiefs of the Ætolians held a consultation, at which Flaccus was present, on the method to be used in treating with the consul. They showed an inclination to begin with setting forth the ancient treaties, and the services which they had performed to the Roman people; on which Flaccus desired them to “speak no more of treaties, which they themselves had violated and annulled.” He told them, that “they might expect more advantage from an acknowledgment of their fault, and submissive entreaty. For their hopes of safety rested not on the merits of their cause, but on the clemency of the Roman people. That, if they acted in a suppliant manner, he would himself be a solicitor in their favour, both with the consul and with the senate at Rome; for thither also they must send ambassadors.” This appeared to all the only way to safety: “to submit themselves entirely to the faith of the Romans. For, in that case, the latter would be ashamed to do injury to suppliants; while themselves would, nevertheless, retain the power of consulting their own interest, should fortune offer any thing more advantageous.”
XXVIII. When they came into the consul’s presence, Phæneas, who was at the head of the embassy, made a long speech, in which he endeavoured, by a variety of pathetic representations, to mitigate the wrath of the conqueror; and he concluded with saying, that “the Ætolians surrendered themselves, and all belonging to them, to the faith of the Roman people.” The consul, on hearing this, said, “Ætolians, consider well whether you will yield on these terms:” and then Phæneas produced the decree, in which the conditions were expressly mentioned. “Since then,” said the consul, “you submit in this manner, I demand that, without delay, you deliver up to me Dicæarchus your countryman, Menetas the Epirot,” who had with an armed force, entered Naupactum, and compelled the inhabitants to abandon the cause of Rome, “and also Amynander, with the Athamanian chiefs, by whose advice you revolted from us.” Phæneas, scarcely waiting until the Roman had done speaking, answered — “We surrendered ourselves, not into slavery, but to your faith; and I take it for granted, that, from not being sufficiently acquainted with us, you fall into the mistake of commanding what is inconsistent with the practice of the Greeks.” “Nor, in truth,” replied the consul, “do I much concern myself, at present, what the Ætolians may think conformable to the practice of the Greeks; while I, conformably to the practice of the Romans, exercise authority over men, who just now surrendered themselves by a decree of their own, and were, before that, conquered by my arms. Wherefore, unless my commands are quickly complied with, I order that you be put in chains!” At the same time he ordered chains to be brought forth, and the lictors to surround the ambassadors. This effectually subdued the arrogance of Phæneas, and the other Ætolians; and, at length, they became sensible of their situation. Phæneas then said, that “as to himself and his countrymen there present, they knew that his commands must be obeyed: but it was necessary that a council of the Ætolians should meet, to pass decrees accordingly; and that, for that purpose, he requested a suspension of arms for ten days.” At the intercession of Flaccus this was granted, and the Ætolians returned to Hypata. When Phæneas related here, in the select council, called Apocleti, the orders which they had received, and the treatment which they had narrowly escaped; although the melancholy condition to which they were reduced, drew forth the deepest lamentations from the members present, nevertheless they were of opinion, that the conqueror must be obeyed, and that the Ætolians should be summoned, from all their towns, to a general assembly.
XXIX. But when the assembled multitude heard the same account, they were so highly exasperated, both by the harshness of the order, and the indignity offered, that, even if they had been in a pacific temper before, the violent impulse of anger which they then felt, would have been sufficient to rouse them to war. There occurred, beside, the difficulty of executing the orders, for, “how was it possible for them, for instance, to deliver up king Amynander?” It happened also, that a favourable prospect seemed to open to them; for Nicander, returning from king Antiochus at that juncture, filled the minds of the people with unfounded assurances, that immense preparations for war were going on both by land and sea. This man, after finishing the business of his embassy, set out on his return to Ætolia; and, on the twelfth day after he embarked, reached Phalara, on the Malian bay. Having conveyed thence, to Lamia, the money that he had brought, he, with a few light troops, directed, in the evening, his course towards Hypata, by known paths, through the country which lay between the Roman and Macedonian camps. Here he fell in with an advanced guard of the Macedonians, and was conducted to the king, who had not yet risen from dinner. Philip, being told of his coming, received him as a guest, not an enemy; desired him to take a seat, and a share of the entertainment; and afterwards, when he dismissed the rest, detained him alone, and told him, that he had nothing to fear for himself. He censured severely the conduct of the Ætolians, in bringing, first the Romans, and afterwards Antiochus, into Greece; designs which originated in a want of judgment, and always fell heavy on their own heads. But “he would forget,” he said, “all past transactions, which it was easier to blame than to amend; nor would he act in such a manner as to appear to insult their misfortunes. On the other hand, it would become the Ætolians to lay aside, at length, their animosity towards him; and it would become Nicander himself, in his private capacity, to remember that day, on which he was to be indebted to him for his preservation.” He then gave him an escort to a place of safety; and Nicander arrived at Hypata, while his countrymen were consulting about the peace with Rome.
XXX. Manius Acilius having sold, or given to the soldiers, the booty found near Heraclea, and having learned that the councils adopted at Hypata were not of a pacific nature, but that the Ætolians had hastily assembled at Naupactum, with intention to make a stand there against all their adversaries, sent forward Appius Claudius, with four thousand men, to seize the tops of the hills, where the passes were difficult; and he himself, ascending mount Oeta, offered sacrifice to Hercules in the spot called Pyra,* because there the mortal part of that demi-god was burned. He then set out with the main body of the army, and marched all the rest of the way with tolerable ease and expedition. But when they came to Corax, a very high mountain between Callipolis and Naupactum, great numbers of the beasts of burden, together with their loads, tumbled down the precipices, by which many of the men were hurt. This clearly showed an extraordinary degree of negligence in the enemy, who had not secured the pass by a guard, and which must have greatly incommoded the Romans; for, even as the case was, the army suffered considerably. Hence he marched down to Naupactum; and having erected a fort against the citadel, he invested the other parts of the city, dividing his forces according to the situation of the walls. Nor was this siege likely to prove less difficult and laborious than that of Heraclea.
XXXI. At the same time, the Achæans laid siege to Messene, in Peloponnesus, because it refused to become a member of their body: for the two states of Messene and Elis were unconnected with the Achæan confederacy, and favoured the designs of the Ætolians. However the Eleans, after Antiochus had been driven out of Greece, answered the deputies, sent by the Achæans, with more moderation: that “when the king’s troops were removed, they would consider what part they should take.” But the Messenians had dismissed the deputies without an answer, and prepared for war. Alarmed, afterwards, at the danger of their situation, when they saw the enemy ravaging their country without control, and pitching their camp almost at their gates, they sent deputies to Chalcis, to Titus Quintius, the author of their liberty, to acquaint him, that “the Messenians were willing, both to open their gates, and surrender their city to the Romans, but not to the Achæans.” On hearing this, Quintius immediately set out, and despatched from Megalopolis a messenger to Diophanes, prætor of the Achæans, requiring him to draw off his army instantly from Messene, and to come to him. Diophanes obeyed the order; raising the siege, he hastened forward himself before the army and met Quintius near Andania, a small town between Megalopolis and Messene. When he began to explain the reasons for commencing the siege, Quintius, gently reproving him for undertaking a business of that importance without consulting him, ordered him to disband his forces, and not to disturb a peace which had been established on terms highly beneficial to all. He commanded the Messenians to recal the exiles, and to unite themselves to the confederacy of the Achæans; and if there were any particulars to which they chose to object, or any precautions judged requisite against future contingencies, they might apply to him at Corinth. He then gave directions to Diophanes, to convene immediately a general council of the Achæans, that he might settle some business with them.
XXXII. In this assembly, he complained of their having acquired possession of the Island of Zacynthus by unfair means, and demanded that it should be restored to the Romans. Zacynthus had formerly belonged to Philip, king of Macedonia, and he had made it over to Amynander, in requital of his having given him leave to march an army, through Athamania, into the upper part of Ætolia, on that expedition wherein he reduced the Ætolians to despair, and compelled them to sue for peace. Amynander gave the government of the island to Philip, the Megalopolitan; and afterwards, during the war in which he acted in conjunction with Antiochus against the Romans, having called out Philip to a command in the field, he sent as his successor, Hierocles, of Agrigentum. This man, after the defeat of Antiochus at Thermopylæ, and the expulsion of Amynander from Athamania by Philip, sent emissaries of his own accord to Diophanes, prætor of the Achæans; and having bargained for a sum money, put the Achæans in possession of the island. This acquisition, made during the war, the Romans claimed as their own; for they said, that “it was not for Diphanes and the Achæans, that the consul Manius Acilius, and the Roman legions, fought at Thermopylæ.” Diophanes, in answer, sometimes apologized for himself and his nation; sometimes insisted on the justice of the proceeding. But several of the Achæans testified that they had, from the beginning, disapproved of that business, and they now blamed the obstinacy of the prætor. Pursuant to their advice, a decree was made, that the affair should be left entirely to the disposal of Titus Quintius. As Quintius was severe to such as made opposition, so, when complied with, he was easily appeased. Laying aside, therefore, every thing stern in his voice and looks, he said — “If, Achæans, I thought the possession of that island advantageous to you, I would be the first to advise the senate and people of Rome to leave it in your hands. But as I see that a tortoise, when collected within its natural covering, is safe against blows of any kind, and whenever it thrusts out any of its members, it feels whatever it has thus uncovered, weak and liable to every injury, so you, Achæans, being inclosed on all sides by the sea, can easily unite among yourselves, and maintain by that union all that is comprehended within the limits of Peloponnesus; but whenever, through ambition of enlarging your possessions, you overstep these limits, then all that you hold beyond them is naked, and exposed to every attack.” The whole assembly declaring their assent, and Diophanes not daring to give farther opposition, Zacynthus was ceded to the Romans.
XXXIII. When the consul was on his march to Naupactum, king Philip proposed, that if it was agreeable to him, he would, in the mean time, retake those cities that had revolted from their alliance with Rome. Having obtained permission so to do, he, about this time, marched his army to Demetrias, where he knew that great distraction prevailed: for the garrison, being destitute of all hope of succour since they were abandoned by Antiochus, and having no reliance on the Ætolians, daily and nightly expected the arrival of Philip or the Romans, whom they had most reason to dread, as these were more justly incensed against them. There was, in the place, an irregular multitude of the king’s soldiers, a few of whom had been at first stationed there as a garrison, but the greater part had fled thither after the defeat of his army, most of them without arms, and without either strength or courage sufficient to sustain a siege. Wherefore, on Philip’s sending on messengers, to offer them hopes of favourable terms, they answered, that their gates were open for the king. On his first entrance, several of the chiefs left the city; Eurylochus killed himself. The soldiers of Antiochus, in conformity to a stipulation, were escorted, through Macedonia and Thrace, by a body of Macedonians, and conducted to Lysimachia. There were, also, a few ships at Demetrias, under the command of Isidorus, which, together with their commander, were dismissed. Philip then reduced Dolopia, Aperantia, and several cities of Perrhæbia.
XXXIV. While Philip was thus employed, Titus Quintius, after receiving from the Achæan council the cession of Zacynthus, crossed over to Naupactum, which had stood a siege of near two months, but was now reduced to a desperate condition: and it was supposed, that if it should be taken by storm, the whole nation of the Ætolians would be sunk thereby in utter destruction. But, although he had good reason to be angry with the Ætolians, from the recollection, that they alone had attempted to depreciate his merits, when he was giving liberty to Greece; and had refused to pay any regard to his advice, when he endeavoured, by forewarning them of the events which had since occurred, to deter them from their mad undertaking: nevertheless, thinking it particularly incumbent on him, who had asserted the freedom of the country, to prevent any of its states from being entirely subverted, he first walked about near the walls, that he might be easily known by the Ætolians. He was quickly distinguished by the first advanced guards, and the news spread from rank to rank, that Quintius was there. On this, the people from all sides ran to the walls, and eagerly stretching out their hands, all in one joint cry, besought Quintius, by name, to assist and save them. Although he was much affected by these entreaties, yet for that time he made signs with his hand, that they were to expect no assistance from him. However, when he met the consul, he accosted him thus:—“Manius Acilius, are you unapprised of what is passing; or do you know it, and think it immaterial to the interest of the commonwealth?” These words raising the consul’s curiosity, he requested him to explain what he meant. Quintius then said — “Do you not see that, since the defeat of Antiochus, you have been wasting time in besieging two cities, though the year of your command is near expiring; but that Philip, who never faced the enemy, or even saw their standards, has annexed to his dominions such a number, not only of cities, but of nations — Athamania, Perrhæbia, Aperantia, Dolopia? But, surely, we are not so deeply interested in diminishing the strength and resources of the Ætolians, as in hindering those of Philip from being augmented beyond measure; and in you, and your soldiers, not having yet gained, to reward your victory, as many towns as Philip has gained Grecian states.”
XXXV. The consul assented to the justness of his remarks, but was ashamed to let himself be foiled in his attempt, and to raise the siege. At length, the matter was left entirely to the management of Quintius. He went again to that part of the wall, whence the Ætolians had called to him a little before, and on their entreating him now, with still greater earnestness, to take compassion on the nation of the Ætolians, he desired that some of them might come out to him. Accordingly, Phæneas himself, with some others of the principal men, instantly came, and threw themselves at his feet. He then said — “Your condition causes me to restrain my resentment and my reproofs. The events which I foretold, have come to pass, and you have not even so much consolation left, as the reflection, that you have not deserved what has fallen upon you. Nevertheless, since fate has, in some manner, destined me to the office of cherishing the interests of Greece, I will not cease to show kindness, even to the unthankful. Send a suppliant embassy to the consul, and let them petition him for a suspension of hostilities, for so long a time as will allow you to send ambassadors to Rome, to surrender yourselves to the will of the senate. I will intercede, and plead in your favour with the consul.” They did as Quintius directed; nor did the consul reject their application. He granted them a truce for a certain time, until an account might be brought from Rome of the result of their embassy; and then, raising the siege, he sent his army into Phocis. The consul, with Titus Quintius, crossed over thence to Ægium, to confer with the council of the Achæans, where the business of the Eleans was introduced, and also a proposal of restoring the Lacedæmonian exiles. But neither was carried into execution, because the Achæans chose to reserve to themselves the merit of effecting the latter; and the Eleans preferred being united to the Achæan confederacy by a voluntary act of their own, rather than through the mediation of the Romans. Ambassadors came hither to the consul from the Epirots, who, it was well known, had not fulfilled with sincerity the engagements to which they were bound by the treaty of alliance. Although they had not furnished Antiochus with any soldiers, yet they were charged with having assisted him with money; and they did not disavow the having sent ambassadors to him. They requested that they might be permitted to continue on the former footing of friendship. To which the consul answered, that “he did not yet know whether he was to consider them as friends or foes. The senate must be the judge of that matter. He would therefore take no step in the business, but leave it to be determined at Rome; and for that purpose he granted them a truce of ninety days.” When the Epirots, who were sent to Rome, addressed the senate, they rather enumerated hostile acts which they had not committed, than cleared themselves of those laid to their charge; and they received an answer of such a kind, as showed that they had rather obtained pardon than proved their innocence. About the same time ambassadors from king Philip were introduced to the senate, and presented his congratulations on their late successes. They asked leave to sacrifice in the capitol, and to deposit an offering of gold in the temple of Jupiter supremely good and great. This was granted by the senate, and they presented a golden crown of an hundred pounds weight. The senate not only answered the ambassadors with kindness, but gave them Demetrius, Philip’s son, who was at Rome as an hostage, to be conducted home to his father. — Such was the conclusion of the war waged in Greece by the consul Manius Acilius against Antiochus.
XXXVI. The other consul, Publius Cornclius Scipio, to whose lot the province of Gaul had fallen, before he set out to take the field against the Boians, demanded of the senate, by a decree, to order him money for the exhibition of games which, when acting as proprætor in Spain, he had vowed at a critical time of a battle. His demand was deemed unprecedented and unreasonable, and they therefore voted, that “whatever games he had vowed, on his own single judgment, without consulting the senate, he should celebrate out of the spoils, if he had reserved any for the purpose; otherwise, at his own expense.” Accordingly, Publius Cornelius exhibited those games through the space of ten days. About this time, the temple of the great Idæan Mother was dedicated; which deity, on her being brought from Asia, in the consulate of Publius Cornelius Scipio, afterwards surnamed Africanus, and Publius Licinius, the above-mentioned Publius Cornelius had conducted from the sea-side to the Palatine. In pursuance of a decree of the senate, Marcus Livius and Caius Claudius, censors, in the consulate of Marcus Cornelius and Publius Sempronius, had contracted with builders to erect the goddess’s temple; and, thirteen years after that, it was dedicated by Marcus Junius Brutus, and games were celebrated on occasion of its dedication: in which, according to the account of Valerius Antias, dramatic entertainments were, for the first time, introduced into the Megalesian games. Likewise, Caius Licinius Lucullus, being appointed duumvir, dedicated the temple of Youth in the great Circus. This temple had been vowed sixteen years before by Marcus Livius, consul, on the day whereon he cut off Hasdrubal and his army; and the same person, when censor, in the consulate of Marcus Cornelius and Publius Sempronius, had contracted for the building of it. Games were also exhibited on occasion of this consecration, and every thing was performed with the greater degree of religious zeal, on account of the impending war with Antiochus.
XXXVII. At the beginning of the year in which those transactions passed, after Manius Acilius had gone to open the campaign, and while the other consul, Publius Cornelius, yet remained in Rome, two tame oxen, it is said, climbed up by ladders on the titles of a house in the Carinæ. The haruspices ordered them to be burned alive, and their ashes to be thrown into the Tiber. It was reported, that several showers of stones had fallen at Tarracina and Amiternum; that, at Minturnæ, the temple of Jupiter, and the shops round the Forum, were struck by lightning; that, at Vulturnum, in the mouth of the river, two ships were struck by lightning, and burnt to ashes. On occasion of these prodigies, the decemvirs, being ordered by a decree of the senate to consult the Sibylline books, declared, that “a fast ought to be instituted in honour of Ceres, and the same observed every fifth year; that the nine days’ worship ought to be solemnized, and a supplication for one day; and that, when employed in the supplication, the people should wear garlands on their heads; also, that the consul Publius Cornelius should sacrifice to such deities, and with such victims, as the decemvirs should direct.” When he had used every means to avert the wrath of the gods, by duly fulfilling vows, and expiating prodigies, the consul went to his province; and, ordering the proconsul Cneius Domitius to disband his army, and go home to Rome, he marched his own legions into the territory of the Boians.
XXXVIII. Nearly at the same time, the Ligurians, having collected an army under the sanction of their devoting law, made an unexpected attack, in the night, on the camp of the proconsul Quintus Minucius. Minucius kept his troops, until daylight, drawn up within the rampart, and watchful to prevent the enemy from scaling any part of the fortifications. At the first light, he made a sally by two gates at once: but the Ligurians did not, as he had expected, give way to his first onset; on the contrary, they maintained a dubious contest for more than two hours. At last, as supplies of troops continually came out from the camp, and fresh men took the places of those who were wearied in the fight, the Ligurians, who besides other hardships, felt a great loss of strength from the want of sleep, after a severe struggle betook themselves to flight. Above four thousand of the enemy were killed; the Romans and allies lost not quite three hundred. About two months after this, the consul Publius Cornelius fought a pitched battle with the army of the Boians with extraordinary success. Valerius Antias affirms, that twenty-eight thousand of the enemy were slain, and three thousand four hundred taken, with an hundred and twenty-four military standards, one thousand two hundred and thirty horses, and two hundred and forty seven wagons; and that of the conquerors, there fell one thousand four hundred and eighty-four. Though we may not entirely credit this writer with respect to the numbers, as he always exaggerates most extravagantly, yet it is certain that the victory on this occasion was very complete; because the enemy’s camp was taken, while immediately after the battle, the Boians surrendered themselves; and because a supplication was decreed by the senate on account of it, and victims of the greater kinds were sacrificed.
XXXIX. The consul Publius Cornelius, having received hostages from the Boians, punished them so far as to appropriate almost one half of their lands for the use of the Roman people, and into which they might afterwards, if they chose, send colonies. Then, returning home in full confidence of a triumph, he dismissed his troops, and ordered them to attend on the day of his rejoicing at Rome. The next day after his arrival, he held a meeting of the senate, in the temple of Bellona; and, after recounting his services, demanded permission to ride through the city in triumph. Publius Sempronius Blæsus, tribune of the people, advised, that “the honour of a triumph should not be refused to Scipio, but postponed. Wars of the Ligurians,” he said, “were always united with wars of the Gauls; for these nations lying so near, sent mutual assistance to each other. If Publius Scipio, after subduing the Boians in battle, had either gone himself, with his victorious army, into the country of the Ligurians, or sent a part of his forces to Quintus Minucius, who was detained there, now the third year, by a war, of which the issue was still uncertain, that with the Ligurians might have been brought to an end: instead of which, he had, in order to procure a full attendance on his triumph, brought home the troops, who might have performed most material services to the state; and might do so still, if the senate thought proper, by deferring this token of victory, to redeem the omission occasioned by haste to obtain distinction. If they would order the consul to return with his legions into his province, and to give his assistance towards subduing the Ligurians, (for, unless these were reduced under the dominion and jurisdiction of the Roman people, neither would the Boians ever remain quiet,) there must be either peace or war with both. When the Ligurians should be subdued, Publius Cornelius, in quality of proconsul, might triumph, a few months later, as had been the case of many, who did not attain that honour until the expiration of their office.”
XL. To this the consul answered, that “neither had the province of Liguria fallen to his lot, nor had he waged war with the Ligurians, nor did he demand a triumph over them. He confidently hoped, that in a short time, Quintus Minucius, after completing their reduction, would demand and obtain a well deserved triumph. For his part, he demanded that note of celebrity from having vanquished the Boian Gauls, whom he had driven out of their camp; of whose whole nation he had received an absolute submission within two days after the fight; and from whom he had brought home hostages to secure peace in future. But there was another circumstance, of much greater magnitude: he had slain in battle so great a number of Gauls, that no commander, before him, could say that he ever met in the field so many thousands, at least of the Boians. Out of fifty thousand men, more than one half were killed; and many thousands made prisoners; so that the Boians had now remaining only old men and boys. Could it, then, be a matter of surprise to any one, that a victorious army, which had not left one enemy in the province, should come to Rome to attend the triumph of their consul? And if the senate should choose to employ the services of these troops in another province also — of the two kinds of treatment, which, could it be supposed, would make them enter on a new course of danger and fatigue with the greater alacrity; the paying them the reward of their former toils and dangers without defalcation; or, the sending them away, with the shadow instead of the substance, after their first hopes had terminated in disappointment? As to what concerned himself personally, he had acquired a stock of glory sufficient for his whole life, on that day, when the senate adjudged him to be the best man in the state, and commissioned him to give a reception to the Idæan Mother. With this inscription, (though neither consulship nor triumph were added,) the statue of Publius Scipio Nasica would be sufficiently honoured and dignified.” The senate not only gave their unanimous vote for the solicited honour, but by their influence prevailed on the tribune to desist from his intention of protesting against it. Publius Cornelius, consul, triumphed over the Boians. In this procession he carried, on Gallic wagons, arms, standards, and spoils of all sorts; the brazen utensils of the Gauls; and, together with the prisoners of distinction, he led a train of captured horses. He deposited in the treasury a thousand four hundred and seventy golden chains; and besides these, two hundred and forty-five pounds weight of gold; two thousand three hundred and forty pounds weight of silver, some unwrought, and some formed in vessels of the Gallic fashion, not without beauty; and two hundred and thirty-three thousand denariuses.* To the soldiers, who followed his chariot, he distributed three hundred and twenty-five asses† each, double to a centurion, triple to a horseman. Next day, he summoned an assembly, and after expatiating on his own services and the ill-treatment shown him by the tribune, who wanted to entangle him in a war which did not belong to him, in order to defraud him of the fruits of his success, he absolved the soldiers of their oath, and discharged them.
XLI. While this passed in Italy, Antiochus was at Ephesus, devested of all concern respecting the war with Rome, as supposing that the Romans had no intention of coming into Asia; into which state of security he was lulled by the erroneous opinions or the flattering representations of the greater part of his friends. Hannibal alone, whose judgment was, at that time, the most highly respected by the king, declared, that “he rather wondered the Romans were not already in Asia, than entertained a doubt of their coming. The passage was easier from Greece to Asia, than from Italy to Greece, and Antiochus was a much more inviting object than the Ætolians. For the Roman wars were not less powerful on sea, than on land. Their fleet had long been at Malea, and he had heard that a reinforcement of ships and a new commander had lately come from Italy, with intent to enter on action. He therefore advised Antiochus not to form to himself vain hopes of peace. He must necessarily in a short time maintain a contest with the Romans both by sea and land; in Asia, and for Asia itself; and must either wrest the power out of hands that grasped at the empire of the world, or lose his own dominions.” Hannibal seemed to be the only person who had judgment to foresee, and sincerity to foretel, what was to happen. The king, therefore, with the ships which were in readiness, sailed to the Chersonesus, in order to secure the places there with garrisons, lest the Romans should happen to come by land. He left orders with Polyxenidas to fit out the rest of the fleet, and put to sea; and sent out advice-boats among the islands to procure intelligence of every thing that was passing.
XLII. When Caius Livius, commander of the Roman fleet, sailed with fifty decked ships from Rome, he went to Neapolis, where he had appointed the rendezvous of the undecked ships, which were due by treaty from the allies on that coast; and thence he proceeded to Sicily, where, as he sailed through the streight beyond Messana, he was joined by six Carthaginian ships, sent to his assistance; and then, having collected the vessels due from the Rhegians, Locrians, and other allies, who were bound by the same conditions, he purified the fleet at Lacinium, and put forth into the open sea. On his arrival at Corcyra, which was the first Grecian country where he touched, inquiring about the state of the war, (for the commotions in Greece were not yet entirely composed,) and about the Roman fleet, he was told, that the consul and the king were posted at the pass of Thermopylæ, and that the fleet lay at Pyræeus: on which, judging expedition necessary on every account, he sailed directly forward to Peloponnesus. Having on his passage ravaged Samos and Zacynthus, because they favoured the party of the Ætolians, he bent his course to Malea: and, meeting very favourable weather, arrived in a few days at Pyræeus, where he joined the old fleet. At Scyllæum he was met by king Eumenes, with three ships, who had long hesitated at Ægina whether he should go home to defend his own kingdom, on hearing that Antiochus was preparing both marine and land forces at Ephesus; or whether he should unite himself inseparably to the Romans, on whose destiny his own depended. Aulus Atilius, having delivered to his successor twenty-five decked ships, left Pyræeus, and sailed for Rome. Livius, with eighty-one beaked ships, beside many others of inferior rates, some of which were open and furnished with beaks, others without beaks, fit for advice boats, crossed over to Delos.
XLIII. At this time, the consul Acilius was engaged in the siege of Naupactum. Livius was detained several days at Delos by contrary winds, for that tract among the Cyclades, which are separated in some places by larger streights, in others by smaller, is remarkably subject to storms. Polyxenidas, receiving intelligence from his scout-ships, which he had stationed in various places, that the Roman fleet lay at Delos, sent off an express to the king, who, quitting the business in which he was employed in Hellespontus, and taking with him all the ships of war, returned to Ephesus with all possible speed, and instantly called a council, to determine whether he should risk an engagement at sea. Polyxenidas affirmed, that “it was particularly requisite so to do, before the fleet of Eumenes and the Rhodian ships should join the Romans; in which case, even, they would scarcely be inferior in number, and in every other particular would have a great superiority, by reason of the agility of their vessels, and a variety of favourable circumstances. For the Roman ships, being unskilfully constructed, were slow in their motions, and, besides that, as they were coming to an enemy’s coast, they would be heavily laden with provisions: whereas their own, leaving none but friends in all the countries round, would have nothing on board but men and arms. They would, also, have a great advantage in their knowledge of the sea, of the adjacent lands, and of the winds; of all which the Romans, being ignorant, would find themselves much distressed.” Every one was convinced by his arguments, especially as the same person who gave the advice, was also to carry it into execution. Two days only were passed in making preparations: and on the third, setting sail with an hundred ships, of which seventy had decks, and the rest were open, but all of the smaller rates, they steered their course to Phocæa. The king, as he did not intend to be present in the naval combat, on hearing that the Roman fleet was approaching, withdrew to Magnesia, near Sipylus, to collect his land-forces, while his ships proceeded to Cyssus, a port of Erythræa, where it was supposed they might with more convenience wait for the enemy. The Romans, as soon as the north wind, which had held for several days, ceased, sailed from Delos to Phanæ, a port in Chios, opposite the Ægian sea. They afterwards brought round the fleet to the city of Chios, and having taken in provisions there, sailed over to Phocæa. Eumenes, who had gone to join his fleet at Elæa, returned a few days after, with twenty-four decked ships, and a greater number of open ones, to Phocæa, where he found the Romans, who were fitting and preparing themselves for a sea-fight. The fleet, which now consisted of an hundred and five decked ships, and about fifty open ones, on setting sail, was for some time driven forcibly towards the land, by a north wind blowing across its course. The ships were thereby obliged to go, for the most part singly, one after another, in a thin line; afterwards, when the violence of the wind abated, they endeavoured to stretch over to the harbour of Corycus, beyond Cyssus.
XLIV. When Polyxenidas heard that the enemy were approaching, rejoiced at an opportunity of engaging them, he drew out the left squadron towards the open sea; at the same time ordering the commanders of the ships to extend the right division towards the land; and then advanced to the fight, with his fleet in a regular line of battle a-head. The Roman commander, on seeing this, furled his sails, lowered his masts, and, at the same time adjusting his rigging, waited for the ships which were coming up. There were now about thirty in the line; and in order that his left squadron might form a front in like direction, he hoisted his top-sails, and stretched out into the deep, ordering the others to push forward, between him and the land, against the right squadron of the enemy. Eumenes brought up the rear; who, as soon as he saw the bustle of taking down the rigging begin, likewise led on his division with all possible speed. All their ships were by this time in sight; two Carthaginians, however, which advanced before the Romans, were attacked by three belonging to the king. As the numbers were unequal, two of the king’s ships fell upon one, and, in the first place, swept away the oars from both its sides; the armed mariners then boarded, and killing some of the crew, and driving others into the sea, took the ship. The one which had engaged in an equal contest, on seeing her companion taken, lest she should be surrounded by the three, fled back to the fleet. Livius, fired with indignation, bore down against the enemy. The two which had overpowered the Carthaginian ship, in hopes of the same success against this one, advanced to the attack, on which he ordered the rowers on both sides to plunge their oars in the water, in order to hold the ship steady, and to throw grappling irons into the enemy’s vessels as they came up. Having, by these means, rendered the business something like a fight on land, he desired his men to act with the courage of Romans, and to consider that their adversaries were the slaves of a king. Accordingly, this single ship now defeated and captured the two, with more ease than the two had before taken one. By this time the entire fleets were engaged and intermixed with each other. Eumenes, who had come up last, and after the battle was begun, when he saw the left squadron of the enemy thrown into disorder by Livius, directed his own attack against their right, where the contest was yet equal.
XLV. In a short time, the left squadron began to fly: for Polyxenidas, perceiving that he was evidently overmatched with respect to the bravery of the men, hoisted his top-sails, and got away; and, quickly after those who were engaged with Eumenes near the land, did the same. The Romans and Eumenes pursued with much perseverance, as long as the rowers were able to hold out, and they had any prospect of annoying the rear of the enemy: but, finding that the latter, by reason of the lightness and fleetness of their ships, baffled every effort that could be made by their’s loaded as they were with provisions, they at length desisted, having taken thirteen ships, together with the soldiers and rowers, and sunk ten. Of the Roman fleet, only the one Carthaginian ship, which, at the beginning of the action, had been attacked by two, was lost Polyxenidas continued his flight, until he got into the harbour of Ephesus. The Romans staid, during the remainder of that day, in the port from which the king’s fleet had sailed out, and, on the day following, proceeded in the pursuit. About midway, they were met by twenty-five Rhodian decked ships, commanded by Pausistratus; and, in conjunction with these, followed the runaways to Ephesus, where they stood for some time, in order of battle, before the mouth of the harbour. Having thus extorted from the enemy a full confession of their being defeated, the Romans sent home the Rhodians and Eumenes, and steered their course to Chios. When they had passed Phænicus, a port of Erythræa, they cast anchor for the night; and, proceeding next day to the island, came up to the city itself. After halting here a few days, for the purpose chiefly of refreshing the rowers, they sailed over to Phocæa. Here they left four quinqueremes for the defence of the city, while the rest of the fleet proceeded to Canæ, where, as the winter now approached, the ships were hauled on shore, and surrounded with a trench and rampart. At the close of the year, the elections were held at Rome, in which were chosen consuls, Lucius Cornelius Scipio and Caius Lælius, from whom all men expected the conclusion of the war with Antiochus. Next day were elected prætors, Marcus Tuccius, Lucius Aurunculeius; Cneius Fulvius, Lucius Æmilius, Publius Junius, and Caius Atinius Labeo.
* 15th May
† 3d May
* Here is, doubtless, some word dropped in the original, so small a quantity could never have been deemed an object for one powerful state to offer to another Commentators suppose it to have been one hundred thousand.
* The ancients supposed the earth to have a flat circular surface, round the extremity of which flowed a body of water, called by them the Ocean. The eastern quarter of the ocean they called the Red Sea, from the ruddy colour of the rising sun.
* 4.097 l. 16s. 4d
* The funeral pile.
* 7.523l. 16s. 2d.
† 1l. 4s. 2d 1-2
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:10