Book 32: The Second Macedonian War
[32.1]The consuls and praetors went into office on March 15 and at once balloted for their commands. Italy fell to L. Lentulus and Macedonia to P. Villius. The praetors were distributed as follows: L. Quinctius received the City jurisdiction; Cn. Baebius, Ariminum; L. Valerius, Sicily; L. Villius, Sardinia. The consul Lentulus received instructions to raise fresh legions; Villius took over the army from P. Sulpicius and it was left to him to bring it up to whatever strength he thought necessary. The legions which C. Aurelius had commanded as consul were assigned to Baebius on the understanding that he was to retain them until the consul relieved him with his new army, and on his arrival all the time-expired soldiers were to be sent home. Out of the allied contingent only 5000 men were kept on active service, a sufficient number, it was thought, to hold the country round Ariminum. Two of the former praetors had their commands extended - C. Sergius, for the purpose of allotting the land to the soldiers who had been serving for many years in Spain, and Q. Minucius in order that he might complete the investigation of the conspiracies in Bruttium which he had been hitherto conducting so carefully and impartially. Those who had been convicted of the sacrilege and sent in chains to Rome he was to send to Locri for execution, and he was also to see that what had been abstracted from Proserpine's shrine was replaced with the due expiatory rites. In consequence of complaints made by representatives from Ardea that the customary portions of the victims sacrificed on the Alban Mount had not been given to that city, the pontiffs decreed that the Latin Festival should be held afresh. Reports came from Suessa that two of the city gates and the wall between them had been struck by lightning. Messengers from Formiae announced that the same thing had happened to the temple of Jupiter there, others from Ostia reported that the temple of Jupiter there also had been struck, others again from Velitrae brought word that the temples of Apollo and Sancus had been struck, and that hair had appeared on the statue in the temple of Hercules. Q. Minucius, the propraetor in Bruttium, wrote to say that a foal had been born with five feet, and three chickens with three feet each. A despatch was received from P. Sulpicius, the proconsul in Macedonia, in which among other things he stated that laurel leaves had shot forth on the stern of a warship. In the case of the other portents the senate decided that the consuls should sacrifice full-grown victims to those deities who they thought ought to receive them, but with regard to the last-mentioned portent the haruspices were called into the senate to advise. In accordance with their directions a day of special intercessions was ordered and prayers and sacrifices were offered at all the shrines.
[32.2]This year the Carthaginians conveyed to Rome the first instalment of the war indemnity. It was paid in silver and the quaestors reported that it was not up to standard value, and on assaying it found that one-fourth was alloy. The Carthaginians made up the deficiency by borrowing money in Rome. They petitioned the senate to allow their hostages to be restored, and a hundred were given back to them. Hopes were held out of the restoration of the remainder if Carthage was true to her obligations. A further request which they put forward was that the hostages who were still detained might be moved from Norba where they were very uncomfortable, and placed elsewhere. It was agreed that they should be removed to Signia and Ferentinum. A deputation from Gades came with a request that no prefect might be sent there, as this would be in contravention of the agreement made with L. Marcius Septimus when they placed themselves under the protection of Rome. Their request was granted. Delegates also came from Narnia who stated that their colony was short of its proper number and that some of inferior status had found their way amongst them, and were giving themselves out to be colonists. The consul L. Cornelius was instructed to appoint three commissioners to deal with the case. Those appointed were the two Aelii - Publius and Sextus, both of whom had the cognomen of Paetus - and Cn. Cornelius Lentulus. The colonists at Cosa also requested an augmentation of their number, but their request was refused.
[32.3]After despatching the necessary business in Rome the consuls left for their respective provinces. On his arrival in Macedonia, P. Villius was confronted by a serious mutiny amongst the troops, which had not been checked at the beginning, though they had for some time been seething with irritation. These were the 2000 who, after Hannibal's final defeat had been transferred from Africa to Sicily and then in less than a year to Macedonia. They were regarded as volunteers but they maintained that they had been taken there without their consent, they had been placed on board by the tribunes in spite of their protests. But in any case, whether their service was compulsory or voluntary they claimed that they had served their time and that it was only right that they should be discharged. They had not seen Italy for many years, they had spent the best years of their life under arms in Sicily and Africa and Macedonia, and now they were worn out with their toils and hardships, their many wounds had drained their blood. The consul told them that if they asked for their release in a proper way there was reasonable ground for granting it, but that did not justify them nor would anything else justify them in breaking out into mutiny. If therefore they were willing to remain with the standards and obey orders he would write to the senate about disbanding them. They would be much more likely to attain their object by moderation than by contumacy.
[32.4]At this time Philip was pressing the siege of Thaumaci with the utmost energy. His mounds were completed and his vineae in full working order and he was on the point of bringing his battering-rams up to the walls when the sudden arrival of a body of Aetolians compelled him to desist. Under the leadership of Archidamus they made their way through the Macedonian guard and entered the town. Day and night they made constant sorties, at one time attacking the outposts, at another, the siege-works of the Macedonians. The nature of the country helped them. To one approaching Thaumaci from the south by Thermopylae and round the Malian Gulf and through the country of Lamia, the place stands out on a height overlooking what they call Thessalia Coele. When you have made your way by winding paths over the broken ground and come up to the city itself, the whole plain of Thessaly suddenly stretches out before you like a vast sea beyond the limits of vision. From the wonderful view which it affords comes its name of Thaumaci. The city was protected not only by its elevated position but also by the precipitous sides of the height on which it stood. In the face of these difficulties Philip did not think its capture worth all the toil and danger involved and accordingly gave up the task. The winter had already begun when he withdrew from the place and returned to his winter quarters.
[32.5]Everybody else made the most of the short rest allowed in seeking relaxation for mind and body, but the respite which Philip gained from the ceaseless strain of marches and battles only left him the more free for anxious thought as he contemplated the issues of the war as a whole. He viewed with alarm the enemy who was pressing on him by land and sea, and he felt grave misgivings as to the intentions of his allies and even of his own subjects, lest the former should prove false to him in the hope of gaining the friendship of Rome and the latter break out in insurrection against his rule. To make sure of the Achaeans he sent envoys to require them to renew the oath of fidelity which they had undertaken to renew annually, and also to announce his intention of restoring to the Achaeans the cities of Orchomenos and Heraea and the district of Triphylia and to the Megalopolitans the city of Aliphera, as they maintained that it had never belonged to Triphylia, but was one of the places from which by direction of the council of the Arcadians the population had been drawn to found Megalopolis, and therefore it ought to be restored to them. By adopting this course he sought to consolidate his alliance with the Achaeans. His hold upon his own subjects was strengthened by the action he took in the case of Heraclides. He had made a friend of this man, but when he saw that he was making himself intensely disliked, and that many charges had been brought against him, he threw him into prison to the great joy of the Macedonians. His preparations for war were as carefully and thoroughly made as any he had ever made before. He constantly exercised the Macedonians and mercenary troops and at the commencement of the spring he sent Athenagoras with all the foreign auxiliaries and light infantry through Epirus into Chaonia to seize the pass at Antigonea, which the Greeks call Stena. A few days later he followed with the heavy troops, and after surveying all the positions in the country he considered that the most suitable place for an entrenched camp was one before the river Aous. This runs through a narrow ravine between two mountains which bear the local names of Meropus and Asnaus, and affords a very narrow path along its bank. He gave orders to Athenagoras to occupy Asnaus with his light infantry and intrench himself; and he himself fixed his camp on Meropus. Where there were precipitous cliffs, small outposts mounted guard, the more accessible parts he fortified with fosse or rampart or towers. A large quantity of artillery was disposed in suitable places to keep the enemy at a distance by missiles. The king's tent was pitched on a most conspicuous height in front of the lines to overawe the enemy and to give his own men confidence.
[32.6].The consul had wintered in Corcyra, and on receiving intelligence through Charops, an Epirote, as to the pass which the king and his army had occupied, he sailed across to the mainland at the opening of the spring and at once marched towards the enemy. When he was about five miles from the king's camp he left the legions in an entrenched position and went forward with some light troops to reconnoitre. The following day he held a council of war to decide whether he should attempt to force the pass in spite of the immense difficulty and danger to be faced, or whether he should lead his force round by the same route which Sulpicius had taken the year before, when he invaded Macedonia. This question had been debated for several days when a messenger came to report the election of T. Quinctius to the consulship and the assignment to him of Macedonia as his province, and the fact that he was hastening to take possession of his province and had already reached Corcyra. According to Valerius Antias, Villius, finding a frontal attack impossible as every approach was blocked by the king's troops, entered the ravine and marched along the river. Hastily throwing a bridge across to the other side where the king's troops lay, he crossed over and attacked; the king's army were routed and put to flight and despoiled of their camp. 12,000 of the enemy were killed in the battle, 2200 prisoners taken, 132 standards and 230 horses captured. All the Greek and Latin writers, so far as I have consulted them, say that nothing noteworthy was done by Villius and that the consul who succeeded him took over the whole war from the outset.
[32.7].During these occurrences in Macedonia the other consul, L. Lentulus, who had remained in Rome, conducted the election of censors. Amidst several candidates of distinction the choice of the electors fell upon P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus and P. Aelius Paetus. They worked together in perfect harmony, and revised the roll of the senate without disqualifying a single member. They also leased out to contractors the customs dues at Capua and Puteoli and the harbour dues at the Castra Hannibalis, where a town now stands. Here they sent 300 colonists - the number fixed by the senate - and also sold the land belonging to Capua which lay at the foot of Mount Tifata. L. Manlius Acidinus, who left Spain about this time, was prevented by P. Porcius, a tribune of the plebs, from enjoying an ovation on his return, though the senate had granted it to him. He entered the City in an unofficial capacity, and brought into the treasury 1200 pounds' weight of silver and 30 pounds of gold. During the year Cn. Baebius Tamphilus, who had succeeded C. Aurelius in the command in Gaul, invaded the country of the Insubrian Gauls, but owing to his want of caution he was surprised, and very nearly lost the whole of his army. His actual losses amounted to 6700 men, and this great defeat occurred in a quarter which was no longer a cause of apprehension. This incident called L. Lentulus out of the City. As soon as he reached the province, which was filled with disturbance, he took over the command of the demoralised army and after severely censuring the praetor ordered him to quit the province and go back to Rome. The consul himself, however, did nothing of any importance, as he was recalled to Rome to conduct the elections. These were delayed by two of the tribunes of the plebs, M. Fulvius and Manius Curius, who would not allow T. Quinctius Flamininus to be a candidate for the consulship as he was only quaestor at the time. They alleged that the offices of aedile and praetor were now looked down upon, the nobility did not rise through the successive posts of honour before trying for the consulship and so give proof of their efficiency, but passing over the intermediate steps made the highest immediately follow the lowest. The question passed from the Campus Martius to the senate, who passed a resolution to the effect that when any one was a candidate for an office of dignity which he might lawfully hold, it was right in such a case that the people should have the power to elect whom they would. The tribunes deferred to the authority of the senate. The consuls elected were Sex. Aelius Paetus and T. Quinctius Flamininus. At the subsequent election of praetors the following were returned: L. Cornelius Merula, M. Claudius Marcellus, M. Porcius Cato and C. Helvius. These had been plebeian aediles, and exhibited the Plebeian Games and celebrated the festival of Jupiter. The curule aediles - C. Valerius Flaccus, one of the Flamens of Jupiter, and C. Cornelius Cethegus - celebrated the Roman Games with great splendour. Two pontiffs - both members of the house of the Sulpicii, Servius and Caius - died this year. Their places were filled up by M. Aemilius Lepidus and Cnaeus Cornelius Scipio.
[32.8].On assuming office the new consuls convened the senate in the Capitol, and it was decreed that the consuls might either arrange between themselves about the two provinces of Macedonia and Italy, or they might ballot for them. The one to whom Macedonia fell was to raise 3000 Roman infantry and 300 cavalry in order to bring the legions up to their proper strength, and also 5000 men from the Latins and the allies and 500 cavalry. The army for the other consul was to be an entirely new one. L. Lentulus, the consul of the previous year, had his command extended and he received orders not to leave his province or bring away his veteran army until the consul arrived with the new legions. The result of the balloting was that Italy fell to Aelius and Macedonia to Quinctius. Amongst the praetors, L. Cornelius Merula received the jurisdiction in the City; M. Claudius, Sicily; M. Porcius, Sardinia, and C. Helvius, Gaul. The enrolment of troops followed, for in addition to the consular armies the praetors were required to levy forces. Marcellus enlisted 4000 Latin and allied infantry and 300 cavalry for service in Sicily, Cato raised 2000 foot and 200 horse of the same class for Sardinia, so that both these praetors on reaching their provinces might disband the old cavalry and infantry. When these dispositions were completed, the consuls introduced a mission from Attalus to the senate. They announced that the king was assisting Rome with the whole of his military and naval strength and had up to that day done his utmost to carry out faithfully the behests of the Roman consuls, but he feared that he would not be at liberty to do this any longer; Antiochus had invaded his kingdom while it was left defenceless both by sea and land. He therefore requested the senate, if they wished to avail themselves of his fleet and his services in the Macedonian war, that either they themselves would send a force to protect his kingdom, or if they did not wish to do so, that they would allow him to return home and defend his dominions with his fleet and the rest of his forces. The senate instructed the consuls to convey the following reply to the delegates: "The assistance which King Attalus has given the Roman commanders with his fleet and other forces has been very gratifying to the senate. They will not themselves send assistance to Attalus against Antiochus since he is on terms of alliance and friendship with Rome, nor will they detain the auxiliaries which Attalus is furnishing longer than suits the king's convenience. When the Romans have made use of the resources of others they have always left liberty of action to others. If any wish to render active assistance to the Romans, it rests with them to take the first step as it does to take the last. The senate will send envoys to Antiochus to inform him that the Roman people are making use of Attalus' ships and men against their common enemy, Philip, and Antiochus will give gratification to the senate if he desists from hostilities and leaves Attalus' dominions alone. It is only just and right that monarchs who are allies and friends of Rome should also keep the peace towards each other."
[32.9]The consul T. Quinctius, in raising troops, took care to choose mainly those who had done good service in Spain or in Africa and who were men of tried courage. Anxious as he was to go to his province, he was delayed in Rome by the announcement of portents and the necessity of expiating them. Several places had been struck by lightning - the high road at Veii, the forum and the temple of Jupiter at Lanuvium, the temple of Hercules at Ardea, and at Capua walls and towers and the temple called Alba. At Arretium the sky appeared to be on fire. At Velitrae the earth subsided over a space of three jugera, leaving a huge chasm. At Suessa it was reported that a lamb had been born with two heads, and at Sinuessa a pig with a human head. In consequence of these portents a day of special intercessions was proclaimed and the consuls arranged for the prayers and sacrifices. After thus placating the gods the consuls left for their respective provinces. Aelius took the praetor Helvius with him into Gaul and handed over to him the army which he had received from L. Lentulus, to be disbanded, whilst he himself prepared to continue the war with the legions he brought with him. He did not however do anything worth recording. The other consul, T. Quinctius, left Brundisium earlier than his predecessors had been in the habit of doing and sailed for Corcyra with an army of 8000 infantry and 800 cavalry. From there he crossed over in a quinquereme to the nearest part of the coast of Epirus, and proceeded by forced marches to the Roman camp. He sent Villius home and then waited a few days until his troops which were following him from Corcyra joined him. Meanwhile he held a council of war on the question whether he should march straight to the enemy's lines and force them, or whether, without attempting a task of such difficulty and danger, it would not be better to make a safe circuit through the Dessaretii and the country of Lyncus and enter Macedonia from that side. The latter proposal would have been adopted had not Quinctius feared that if he moved further from the sea his enemy might slip out of his hands, and seek safety as he had done before in forests and deserts, in which case the summer would be gone without any decisive result being arrived at. It was decided, therefore, in any case to attack the enemy where he was, in spite of the unfavourable ground over which the attack had to be made. But it was easier to decide that an attack should be made than to form a clear idea of how it should be made. For forty days they remained inactive in full view of the enemy.
[32.10]This led Philip to hope that he might arrange a peace through the mediation of the Epirotes. A national council was held at which Pausanias, their captain-general, and Alexander, the commander of their cavalry, were chosen to undertake the task, and they arranged a conference between the king and the consul at a point where the Aous contracts to its narrowest width. The sum and substance of the consul's demands were that the king should withdraw his garrisons from the various States, that he should restore to those of them whose cities and fields he had plundered all that they could recover, and make compensation for the rest upon a fair valuation. In reply Philip asserted that the cities were differently circumstanced. Those which he had himself taken he would liberate, but as to those which had been bequeathed to him by his predecessors he would not give up what he had inherited as his lawful possession. If any of the States with whom he had been at war made complaint of the losses they had sustained he would submit the question to arbitration before any neutral nation whom they chose. To this the consul replied that in this matter at all events there was no need whatever for any arbitration, for who could fail to see that the responsibility for all wrongs lay with the aggressor, and in every case Philip had been the aggressor without having received any provocation? The discussion then turned upon the question, which communities were to be liberated. The consul mentioned the Thessalians to begin with. Philip was so furious at this suggestion that he exclaimed, "What heavier condition, T. Quinctius, could you impose upon a defeated foe?" and with these words hastily left the conference. It was with difficulty that the two armies were prevented from fighting with missiles, separated as they were by the breadth of the river. The next day the patrols on either side engaged in numerous skirmishes over the broad plain between the camps. Then the king's troops retired and the Romans in their eagerness for battle followed them on to confined and broken ground. They had the advantage in their order and discipline and in the nature of their armour which afforded protection to the whole person; the Macedonians were helped by the strength of their position, which enabled catapults and ballistae to be posted on almost every rock as though on a city wall. After many on both sides had been wounded and some had even fallen as in a regular battle, night put an end to the fighting.
[32.11]At this juncture a shepherd was brought to the consul who had been sent by Charopus, the leading man in Epirus. He said that he had been in the habit of pasturing his flock in the defile which was then occupied by the king's camp, and knew every track and turn on the mountains. If the consul cared to send a party with him he would lead them by a route which was not difficult or dangerous to a place where they would be over the enemy's head. On hearing this the consul sent to Charopus to find out whether he thought that the rustic was to be trusted in a matter of such importance. Charopus sent back word that he might trust him so far as to keep everything in his own hands, and not be at the mercy of his guide. Whilst wishing rather than daring to trust the man, and with mingled feelings of joy and fear, he was so far swayed by the authority of Charopus as to try the chance which offered. In order to dispel all suspicion of his intended movement, he kept up continuously, for two days, attacks upon every part of the enemy's position, bringing up fresh forces to relieve those who were worn out with fighting. In the meantime he selected 4000 infantry and 300 cavalry and placed this picked force in charge of a military tribune with orders to take the cavalry as far as the ground allowed, and when it became impassable for mounted men he was to post them somewhere on level ground; the infantry were to follow the path indicated by the guide. When, as he promised, they reached a position above the enemy they were to give a signal by smoke and not raise the battle-shout until the consul had received the signal and could judge that the battle had begun. The consul ordered them to march by night - it happened to be moonlight all night - and to take their food and rest in the daytime. The guide was promised a very large reward if he proved faithful, he was, however, bound before being handed over to the tribune. After despatching this force the Roman commander subjected the Macedonian outposts to more vigorous pressure on all sides.
[32.12]The detached force reached the height which was their objective on the third day, and signalled by a column of smoke that they had seized and were holding it. Thereupon the consul, having formed his army into three divisions, advanced up the bottom of the ravine with his main strength and sent his right and left wings against the camp. The enemy showed no less alertness in meeting the attack. Eager to come to blows they moved out of their lines, and as long as they fought in the open, the Romans were vastly superior in courage and training and arms. But after losing many men in killed and wounded the king's troops retired upon positions strongly fortified or naturally secure, and then it was the turn of the Romans to be in difficulties, as they were advancing over dangerous ground where the narrow space made retreat almost impossible. Nor would they have been able to retire without paying heavily for their rashness had not the Macedonians heard shouts and found that a battle had begun in their rear. This unforeseen danger drove them frantic with terror, some fled in disorder, others who stood their ground, not so much because they had the courage to fight, as because there was no place for escape, were surrounded by the enemy who were pressing on in front and rear. The whole army might have been annihilated had the victors been able to keep up the pursuit, but the cavalry were hampered by the rough and confined ground and the infantry by the weight of their armour. The king galloped off the field without looking behind him. After he had ridden some five miles, and rightly suspected from the nature of the country that the enemy would find it impossible to follow him, he came to a halt on some rising ground and sent his escort in all directions over hill and dale to rally his scattered troops. Out of the whole force his losses did not amount to more than 2000, and all the rest, as if in obedience to a signal, collected together and marched off in a strong column for Thessaly. After continuing the pursuit as far as they could with safety, cutting down the fugitives and despoiling the dead, they plundered the king's camp which even in the absence of defenders was difficult to approach. During the night they remained in camp, and the next day the consul followed the enemy through the gorge at the bottom of which the river wound its way.
[32.13]On the first day of his retreat the king reached a place called Pyrrhus' Camp in Molossian Triphylia. The next day he gained the Lycnon range, a tremendous march for his army, but their fears urged them on. This range is in Epirus and divides it from Macedonia on the north and Thessaly on the east. The mountain sides are clothed with dense forests and the summits form a wide table-land with perennial streams. Here the king remained encamped for several days, unable to make up his mind whether to go straight back to his kingdom or whether it would be possible for him first to make an incursion into Thessaly. He decided to march his army down into Thessaly and proceeded by the nearest route to Tricca, from which place he visited the surrounding cities in rapid succession. The men who were able to follow him were compelled to quit their homes and the towns were burnt. All the property they could carry with them they were allowed to take away, the rest became the booty of the soldiers. There was no cruelty that they could have suffered from an enemy greater than that which they experienced from their allies. These measures were extremely distasteful to Philip, but as the country would soon be in possession of the enemy he was determined to keep the persons, at all events, of his allies out of their hands. The towns which were thus devastated were Phacium, Iresiae, Euhydrium, Eretria and Palaepharsalus. At Pherae the gates were closed against him, and as a siege would have caused considerable delay and he had no time to lose, he gave up the attempt and marched into Macedonia.
His retreat was hastened by the news of the approach of the Aetolians. When they heard of the battle which had taken place near the Aous, the Aetolians ravaged the country nearest to them round Sperchiae, and Macra Come, as it is called, and then crossing the frontiers of Thessaly they gained possession of Cymene and Angea at the first assault. Whilst they were devastating the fields round Metropolis the townsmen who had mustered in force to defend their walls inflicted a repulse upon them. In an attack upon Callithera they met with similar resistance, but after an obstinate struggle they drove the defenders back within their walls. As there was no hope whatever of their effecting the capture of the place, they had to content themselves with this success. They next attacked the villages of Theuma and Celathara, which they plundered. Acharrae they gained by surrender; at Xyniae the terrified peasants fled and after thus abandoning their homes fell in with a detachment of Aetolians who were marching to Thaumaci to protect their foragers. The unarmed and helpless crowd were slaughtered by the armed soldiery and the abandoned Xyniae was sacked. Then the Aetolians took Cyphaera, a stronghold commanding Dolopia. These successful operations were rapidly carried out in a few days.
[32.14]Amynander and the Athamanians, on hearing of the Roman victory, did not remain inactive. As he felt little confidence in his soldiers Amynander begged the consul to lend him a small detachment with which to attack Gomphi. He began by seizing Phaeca, a place lying between Gomphi and the pass over Pindus which divides Athamania from Thessaly. Then he marched to the attack on Gomphi. For several days the inhabitants defended their city most vigorously, but when the scaling-ladders were at last placed against the walls their fears drove them to surrender. The fall of Gomphi created the liveliest alarm throughout Thessaly. The garrisons of Argenta, Pherinium, Timarum, Ligynae, Stimo and Lampsus surrendered in rapid succession together with other unimportant fortified posts in the neighbourhood. Whilst the Athamanians and the Aetolians, delivered from the Macedonian peril, were thus making their gain out of the victory which others had won, and Thessaly, doubtful whom to count as friend or foe, was being devastated by three armies at once, the consul marched through the defile which the flight of the enemy had left open to him and entered the country of Epirus. He knew perfectly well which side the Epirotes, with the exception of Charopas, had favoured, but as he saw that they were anxious to repair their past mistakes by doing their utmost to carry out his commands, he measured them by their present rather than their former attitude, and through his clemency and readiness to forgive he secured their attachment for the future. After despatching instructions to Corcyra for the transports to come into the Ambracian Gulf he advanced by easy stages for four days and fixed his camp at the foot of the Cercetian range of mountains. Amynander was requested to bring up his troops to the same place, not so much because his assistance was required as because the consul wished to have them as his guides into Thessaly. Most of the Epirotes were allowed to volunteer for service also.
[32.15]The first Thessalian city to be attacked was Phalorium. It was garrisoned by 2000 Macedonians, and as far as arms and fortifications could protect them they offered a most determined resistance. The consul believed that failure to withstand the Roman arms in this first instance would decide the attitude of the Thessalians generally, and he pressed the attack day and night without intermission. At last the resolution of the Macedonians was overcome and Phalorium was taken. On this envoys came from Metropolis and Cierium to surrender their cities and to ask that their offence might be condoned. Their request was granted, but Phalorium was sacked and burnt. He then advanced against Aeginium, but when he saw that the place was practically impregnable even with a small force to defend it, he contented himself with discharging a few missiles on the nearest outpost and diverted his march toward, Gomphi. As he had spared the fields of the Epirotes his army was now without the necessaries of life, and on his descent into the plain of Thessaly he sent to find out whether the transports had reached Leucas or the Ambracian Gulf, and then despatched bodies of troops one after another in turn to Ambracia to procure corn. Though the route from Gomphi to Ambracia is a difficult and awkward one, it is very short, and in a few days the camp was replenished with stores of all kinds which had been brought up from the coast. His next objective was Atrax. This city lies on the Peneus about ten miles from Larissa and was founded by emigrants from Perrhaebia. The Thessalians felt no alarm at the appearance of the Romans, and Philip himself did not venture to advance into Thessaly but remained encamped in Tempe, so that he could send help as occasion required to any place attempted by the Romans.
[32.16]Just about the time when the consul began his campaign against Philip by fixing his camp in the pass leading from Epirus, his brother L. Quinctius, to whom the senate had entrusted the charge of the fleet and the command of the coast-line, sailed to Corcyra with two quinqueremes. When he heard that the fleet had left, he decided to lose no time and followed it up to the island of Zama. Here he sent back Lucius Apustius, whom he had succeeded, and went on to Malea. The voyage was a slow one, the vessels which were accompanying him, laden with provisions, having mostly to be taken in tow. From Malea he proceeded with three swift quinqueremes to the Piraeus, leaving orders for the rest of the fleet to follow him as quickly as they could, and here he took over the ships which had been left by L. Apustius for the protection of Athens. At the same time two fleets sailed from Asia, one of twenty-three quinqueremes with Attalus, the other a Rhodian fleet of twenty decked ships, under Agesimbrotus. These fleets united off Andros and from there sailed to Euboea, which is only separated by a narrow strait. They began by laving waste the fields of the Carystians, but when Carystus was strengthened by reinforcements which were hurried up they sailed away to Eretria. On hearing that Attalus had arrived there, L. Quinctius proceeded thither with the squadron in the Piraeus after leaving orders for the rest of his fleet as they arrived to sail for Euboea.
A very fierce attack on Eretria now commenced. The vessels in the three fleets carried all kinds of siege engines and artillery, and the country around afforded an abundant supply of timber for the construction of fresh works. At first the townsmen defended themselves with considerable energy, but they gradually became worn out and many were wounded, and when they saw a portion of the walls levelled by the enemy's machines, they began to think about surrendering. But the garrison consisted of Macedonians and the townsmen were as much afraid of these as they were of the Romans. Philocles, Philip's lieutenant, also sent word that he would come to their assistance in time if they would hold out. Thus their hopes and fears constrained them to lengthen out the time beyond either their wishes or their strength. At last they heard that Philocles had been defeated and was in hasty flight to Chalcis, and they at once sent spokesmen to Attalus to ask for mercy and protection. Hoping for peace they slackened their defence and contented themselves with guarding that part where the wall had been levelled. Quinctius, however, delivered an assault by night in the quarter where they least expected it and captured the city. The whole of the townsmen with their wives and children took refuge in the citadel and finally surrendered. There was not much gold and silver, but the statues and pictures by old-time artists and similar objects were discovered in greater quantities than might have been expected from the size and wealth of the city.
[32.17]Carystus was the next place to be attacked. Here before the troops were landed the entire population abandoned the city and took refuge in the citadel. Then they sent envoys to make terms with the Roman general. The townsmen were at once granted life and liberty; the Macedonians were allowed to depart after giving up their arms and paying a sum equivalent to 300 drachmae per man. After ransoming themselves at this sum they departed for Boeotia. After thus, within a few days, capturing two important cities in Euboea, the fleets rounded Sunium, a promontory in Attica, and brought up at Cenchreae, the commercial port of Corinth. Meanwhile the consul had on his hands a siege which proved to be more tedious and costly than any one anticipated, and the defence was conducted in a way he was quite unprepared for. He took it for granted that all his efforts would be devoted to the demolition of the walls and when once he had opened the way into the city the flight and slaughter of the enemy would follow as they usually do when cities are taken by assault. But after a portion of the wall had been battered down by the rams and the soldiers began to march over the debris into the city they found themselves at the beginning of a fresh task. The Macedonian garrison, a large body of picked men, considered it a special distinction to defend the city by their arms and courage rather than by walls, and they formed in close order, their front resting on a column of unusual depth. As soon as they saw the Romans clambering over the ruins of the wall they drove them back over ground covered with obstacles and ill-adapted for retirement.
The consul was intensely mortified, for he looked upon this humiliating repulse as not only helping to prolong the siege of one solitary city, but also as likely to influence the future course of the war which, in his opinion, depended to a great extent upon unimportant incidents. After clearing the ground where the shattered wall lay in heaps he brought up a movable tower of immense height carrying a large number of men on its numerous stages, and sent on cohort after cohort to break through, if possible, the massed body of Macedonians, which they call the phalanx. But in the narrow space - for the breach in the wall was by no means a wide one - the kind of weapon he used and his style of fighting gave the enemy an advantage. When the serried Macedonian ranks presented their enormously long spears it was like a shield-wall, and when the Romans after fruitlessly hurling their javelins, drew their swords they could not get to close quarters, nor could they hack off the spear-heads; if they did succeed in cutting or breaking any off, the splintered shafts kept their places amongst the points of the uninjured ones and the palisade remained unbroken. Another thing which helped the enemy was the protection of their flanks by that part of the wall which was sound; they had not to attack or retire over a wide stretch of ground, which generally disorders the ranks. An accident which happened to the tower gave them still greater confidence. As it was being moved over ground not thoroughly beaten down, one of the wheels sank in and gave the tower such a list that it seemed to the enemy to be falling over.
[32.18]Though he was making no progress, what vexed the consul most was that he was allowing a comparison to be made between the tactics and weapons of the contending armies; he recognised that there was no near prospect of a successful assault, and no means of wintering so far from the sea in a country utterly wasted by the ravages of war, and under these circumstances he raised the siege. There was no harbour on the whole of the Acarnanian and Aetolian coast-line which would admit all the transports employed in provisioning the troops and at the same time furnish covered winter-quarters for the legionaries. Anticyra in Phocis, facing the Corinthian Gulf, seemed the most suitable place, as it was not far from Thessaly and the positions held by the enemy, and only separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strip of sea. There he would have Aetolia and Acarnania behind him, and Locris and Boeotia on either side of him. Phanotea in Phocis was taken without any fighting; Anticyra only made a brief resistance; the captures of Ambrysus and Hyampolis speedily followed. Owing to the position of Daulis on a lofty hill, its capture could not be effected by escalade or direct assault. By harassing the defending garrison with missiles and, when they made sorties, skirmishing against them, alternately advancing and retiring without attempting anything decisive, he brought them to such a pitch of carelessness and contempt for their opponents that when they retired within their gates the Romans rushed in with them and took the place by storm. Other unimportant strongholds fell into Roman hands more through fear than through force of arms. Elatea closed its gates against him and there seemed little probability of its admitting either a Roman general or a Roman army unless it were compelled to do so by force.
[32.19]While the consul was engaged in the siege of Elatea, the hope of achieving a greater success brightened before him, namely, of inducing the Achaeans to abandon their alliance with Philip and enter into friendly relations with Rome. Cycliadas, the leader of the Macedonian party, had been expelled, and Aristaenus, a favourer of the Roman alliance, was chief magistrate. The Roman fleet in conjunction with those of Attalus and Rhodes were anchored at Cenchreae, preparing to make a joint attack on Corinth. The consul thought that, before commencing operations, it would be better to send an embassy to the Achaeans and give an undertaking that if they would abandon the king and go over to the Romans, Corinth should be incorporated in the Achaean league. At the consul's suggestion, envoys were accordingly sent by his brother Lucius, and by Attalus, the Rhodians and the Athenians. A meeting of the council was convened at Sicyon. The Achaeans, however, were far from clear as to what course they ought to pursue. They were in fear of Nabis the Lacedaemonian, their dangerous and relentless enemy, they dreaded the arms of Rome, and they were under many obligations to the Macedonians for their kind services both in bygone years and recently. But the king himself they viewed with suspicion on account of his faithlessness and cruelty; his action at the time they attached no importance to, and saw clearly that after the war he would be more of a tyrant than ever. They were quite at a loss what view to express, either in the senates of their respective States or in the general council of the League; even when thinking the matter over by themselves, they could not make up their minds as to what it was they really wanted or what was best for them. Whilst the councillors were in this state of indecision the envoys were introduced and requested to state their case. The Roman envoy, L. Calpurnius, was the first to speak. He was followed by the representatives of King Attalus, and then came the delegates from Rhodes. The emissaries of Philip were the next to speak, and the Athenians came last of all, that they might reply to the Macedonians. These last attacked the king with almost greater bitterness than any of the others, for none had suffered more or undergone such harsh treatment. The whole day was taken up with the continuous speeches of all these deputations, and at sunset the council broke up.
[32.20]The next day they were called together again. When, in accordance with Greek usage, the usher announced that the magistrates gave permission to speak to any one who wished to lay his views before the council, there was a long silence, each looking for some one else to speak. Nor was this surprising, when men who had been turning over in their minds proposals flatly opposed to each other until their brains had come to a standstill, were still further bewildered by speeches lasting the whole day through, in which the difficulties on both sides were set forth in tones of warning. At last, Aristaenus, the president, determined not to adjourn the council without discussion, said: "Where, Achaeans, are those lively disputes which go on at your dinner-tables and at the street corners, in which whenever Philip or the Romans are mentioned you can scarcely keep your hands off each other? Now, in a council convened for this special purpose, when you have heard the representatives of both sides, when the magistrates submit the question to discussion, when the usher invites you to express your views, you have become dumb. If care for the common safety fails to do so, cannot the party spirit which makes you take one side or the other, extort a word from any one? especially as no one is so dense as not to see that this is the moment, before any decree is passed, for speaking and advocating the course which commends itself to any one as the best. When a decree has once been made, every one will have to uphold it as a good and salutary measure, even those who previously opposed it." This appeal from the president not only failed to induce a single speaker to come forward, it did not even call forth a single cheer or murmur in that great assembly, where so many States were represented.
[32.21]Then Aristaenus resumed: "Leaders of the Achaeans, you are not lacking in counsel any more than you are in the power of speech, but each of you is unwilling to endanger his own safety in consulting for the safety of all. Possibly I, too, should keep silence, were I only a private citizen, but as it is, I see that either the president ought not to have introduced the envoys into the council, or after he had introduced them they ought not to be dismissed without some reply being made to them. But how can I give them any reply except in accordance with the decree which you make? And since none of you who have been summoned to this council is willing or has the courage to express his opinion, let us examine the speeches which the envoys delivered yesterday as though they were made by members of this council, let us regard them not as making selfish demands in their own interest, but as recommending a policy which they believe to be advantageous to us. The Romans, the Rhodians and Attalus all ask for our alliance and friendship and consider that it is only just and right that we should give them assistance in the war they are waging against Philip. Philip, on the other hand, reminds us of the fact that we are his allies and have pledged our oath to him. At one time he demands our active support, at another he assures us that he is content for us to remain neutral. Has it not occurred to any one why those who are not yet our allies ask more from us than those who are our allies? This is not due to excess of modesty in Philip or to the lack of it in the Romans. It is the fortune of war which imparts confidence to the demands of one side and takes it away from those of the other. As far as Philip is concerned we see nothing belonging to him except his envoy. As for the Romans, their fleet lies at Cenchreae, laden with the spoils of the cities of Euboea, and we see the consul with his legions overrunning Phocis and Locris which are only separated from us by a narrow strip of sea. Do you wonder why Philip's envoy, Cleomedon, spoke in so diffident a tone when he urged us to take up arms against the Romans on behalf of his king? He impressed upon us the sanctity of the same treaty and oath, but if we were to ask of him, by virtue of the same treaty and oath, that Philip should defend us from Nabis and the Lacedaemonians, he would not be able to find a force adequate for our protection or even an answer to our request, any more than Philip himself could have done last year. For when he attempted to draw our fighting-men away into Euboea by promising that he would make war on Nabis, and saw that we would not sanction such an employment of our soldiers or allow ourselves to be involved in a war with Rome, he forgot all about the treaty which he is now making so much of, and left us to be despoiled and wasted by Nabis and the Lacedaemonians.
To me, indeed, the arguments that Cleomedon used appeared inconsistent with each other. He made light of a war with Rome and said that the issue would be the same as that of the former war. If so, then why does Philip keep away and ask for our assistance instead of coming in person and protecting us from Nabis and the Romans? 'Us,' do I say? Why, if this be so, did he allow Eretria and Carystus to be taken? why, all those cities in Thessaly? why, Locris and Phocis? Why is he allowing Elatea to be attacked now? Why did he evacuate the passes leading into Epirus and the unsurmountable barriers commanding the river Aous? And when he had abandoned them, why did he march off into the heart of his kingdom? If he deliberately left his allies to the mercies of their enemies how can he object to these allies taking measures for their own safety? If his action was dictated by fear he must pardon us for our fears. If he retreated because he was worsted shall we Achaeans, Cleomedon, withstand the arms of Rome when you Macedonians could not withstand them? You tell us that the Romans are not in greater strength or employing greater forces in this war than in the last one; are we to take your word for it, rather than look at the actual facts? On that occasion they only sent their fleet to help the Aetolians; they did not put a consul in command nor did they employ a consular army. The maritime cities belonging to Philip's allies were in a state of consternation and alarm, but the inland districts were so safe from the arms of Rome that Philip laid waste the land of the Aetolians while they were vainly imploring the Romans for help. Now, however, the Romans have brought the war with Carthage to a close, that war which for sixteen years they have had to endure, whilst it preyed, so to speak, on the vitals of Italy, and they have not simply sent a detachment to aid the Aetolians, they have themselves assumed command of the war and are attacking Macedonia by land and sea. Their third consul is now conducting operations with the utmost energy. Sulpicius met the king in Macedonia itself, routed him, put him to flight, and ravaged the richest part of his realm, and now, when he was holding the passes which form the key of Epirus, secured as he thought by his positions, his fortified lines and his army, Quinctius has deprived him of his camp, pursued him as he fled into Thessaly, stormed the cities of his allies and driven out his garrisons almost within sight of Philip himself.
Suppose there is no truth in what the Athenian delegate has said about the king's brutality and greed and lust, suppose that the crimes committed in Attica against all the gods, supernal and infernal, do not concern us, still less the sufferings of Chios and Abydos, which are a long way off; let us forget our own wounds, the robberies and murders at Messene in the heart of the Peloponnesus, the king's assassination of his host almost at the banquet-table, the deaths of the two Arati of Sicyon, father and son - the king was in the habit of speaking of the hapless old man as though he were his father - the abduction of the son's wife into Macedonia as a victim to Philip's lusts, and all the other outrages on matrons and maids - let all these be consigned to oblivion. Let us even imagine that we have not to do with Philip whose cruelty has struck you dumb (for what other reason can there be for you who have been summoned to the council keeping silence?), but with Antigonus, a gentle and just-minded monarch who has been the greatest benefactor to us all. Do you suppose that he would demand of us that we should do what cannot possibly be done? The Peloponnesus, remember, is a peninsula connected with the mainland by the narrow strip of land called the Isthmus, open and exposed above all to a naval attack. If a fleet of 100 decked ships and 50 undecked ships with lighter draught, and 30 Isaean cutters should begin to ravage our coast and attack the cities which stand exposed almost on the shore, we should, I suppose, withdraw into the inland cities just as if we were not caught by the flames of a war within our frontiers which is fastening upon our vitals. When Nabis and the Lacedaemonians are pressing us by land and the Roman fleet by sea, from what quarter am I to appeal to our alliance with the king and implore the Macedonians to help us? Shall we protect with our own arms the threatened cities against the Romans? How splendidly we protected Dymae in the last war! The disasters of others afford ample warning to us, let us not seek how we may become a warning to others.
Because the Romans are asking for your friendship voluntarily, take care that you do not disdain what you ought to have desired and done your best to obtain. Do you imagine that they are entrapped in a strange land and driven by their fears into wishing to lurk under the shadow of your assistance and seek the refuge of an alliance with you in order that they may have the entry of your harbours and make use of your supplies? The sea is under their control, whatever shores they visit they at once bring under their dominion, what they deign to ask for they can obtain by force. It is because they wish to spare you that they do not allow you to take a step which would destroy you. As to the middle course which Cleomedon pointed out as the safest, namely, that you should keep quiet and abstain from hostilities, that is not a middle course, it is no course at all. We have either to accept or reject the proferred alliance with Rome; otherwise we shall win the gratitude of neither side, but like men who wait upon the event, leave our policy at the mercy of Fortune, and what is this but to become a prey of the conqueror? What you ought to have sought with the utmost solicitude is now spontaneously offered; beware lest you scorn the offer. Either alternative is open to you today, it will not be open always. The opportunity will not long remain, nor will it often recur. For a long time you have wished rather than ventured to free yourselves from Philip. The men who would win your liberty for you without any risk or effort on your part have crossed the seas with mighty fleets and armies. If you reject their alliance you are hardly in your right senses, but you will be compelled to have them as either friends or enemies."
[32.22]At the close of the president's speech a hum of voices ran through the assembly, some approving, others fiercely attacking those who approved. Soon not only individual members but the collective representatives of each State were engaged in mutual altercations, and at last the chief magistrates of the League, the damiurgi as they are called, ten in number, were disputing with quite as much heat as the rest of the assembly. Five of them declared that they would submit a proposal for alliance with Rome and take the votes on it; the other five protested that it was forbidden by law for the magistrates to propose or for the council to adopt any resolution adverse to the existing alliance with Philip. So the second day was wasted in wrangling. Only one day now remained for the legal session of the council, for the law required its decree to be made on the third day. As the time approached, party feeling ran so high that fathers could hardly keep their hands off their children. Risias, a delegate from Pallene, had a son called Memnon who was one of the damiurgi who were opposed to the resolution being moved and voted upon. For a long time he appealed to his son to permit the Achaeans to take measures for their common safety and not by his obstinacy bring ruin on the whole nation. When he found that his appeal had no effect he swore that he would count him not as a son but as an enemy and would put him to death with his own hand. The threat proved effectual and the next day Memnon joined those who were in favour of the resolution. As they were now in a majority they put the resolution amidst the unmistakable approval of almost all the States, a clear indication of what the final decision would be. Before it was actually carried, the representatives of Dymae and Megalopolis and some of those from Argos rose and left the council. This did not occasion surprise or disapproval considering the position in which they were placed. The Megalopolitans after being expelled by the Lacedaemonians in the days of their grandfathers had been reinstated by Antigonus. Dymae had been taken and sacked by the Romans and the inhabitants sold into slavery, and Philip had issued orders for them to be ransomed wherever they could be found, and had restored them to liberty and to their city. The Argives, who believed that the kings of Macedonia had sprung from them, had, most of them, been long attached to Philip by ties of personal friendship. For these reasons they withdrew from the council when it showed itself in favour of making an alliance with Rome, and their secession was considered excusable in view of the great obligations they were under for the kindness recently shown to them.
[32.23]On being called upon to vote, the remaining Achaean States desired the immediate conclusion of an alliance with Attalus and the Rhodians. As an alliance with Rome could not be made without a resolution of the Roman people the question was adjourned until envoys could be sent there. Meantime it was decided that three representatives should be sent to L. Quinctius and that the whole of the Achaean army should be brought up to Corinth as Quinctius had already begun to attack the city, now that he had taken Cenchreae. The Achaeans fixed their camp in the direction of the gate which leads to Sicyon, the Romans on the other side of the city which looks towards Cenetreae, Attalus brought his army through the Isthmus and attacked the city on the side of Lechaeum, the port on the Gulf of Corinth. At first the attack did not show much spirit, as hopes were entertained of internal discord between the townsmen and Philip's garrison. When however it was seen that all were at one in meeting the assault, the Macedonians as energetic as though they were defending their native soil, the Corinthians obeying the orders of Androsthenes, the commandant, as loyally as though he were a fellow-citizen, placed in command by themselves, then the assailants placed all their hopes in their arms and their siege-works. In spite of the difficulties of approach, mounds were built up against the walls on all side. On the side where the Romans were working, the battering-rams had destroyed some part of the wall and the Macedonians came up in force to defend the breach. A furious conflict began and the Romans were easily driven out by the overwhelming numbers of the defenders. Then the Achaeans and Attalus came up in support and made the contest a more equal one. and it seemed pretty certain that they would not have much difficulty in forcing the Macedonians and the Greeks to give way. There was a large body of Italian deserters, consisting partly of those from Hannibal's army who had entered Philip's service to escape punishment at the hands of the Romans and partly of seamen who had left the fleet for the prospect of the more respectable military life. These men, despairing of their lives in case the Romans conquered, were inflamed with madness more than with courage. Opposite Sicyon lies the promontory of Acraean Juno, as she is called, which juts out into the sea; the distance across from Corinth is about seven miles. To this point Philocles, one of the king's generals, brought a force of 1500 men through Boeotia. Vessels from Corinth were in readiness to carry this detachment to Lechaeum. Attalus advised that the siege should be raised at once and the siege-works burnt, but the Roman commander showed great resolution and was for persisting in the attempt. When however he saw Philip's troops strongly posted in front of all the gates and realised that it would be difficult to withstand their attacks in case they made sorties, he fell in with Attalus' view. The operation was accordingly abandoned and the Achaeans were sent home. The rest of the troops re-embarked, Attalus sailed for the Piraeus and the Romans for Corcyra.
[32.24]While the naval forces were thus engaged, the consul encamped before Elatea in Phocis. He began by inviting the leading citizens to a conference and tried to induce them to surrender, but they told him that matters were not in their hands, the king's troops were stronger and more numerous than the townsmen. On this he proceeded to attack the city on all sides with arms and siege artillery. After the battering-rams had been brought up, a length of wall between two towers was thrown down with a terrific crash and roar, leaving the city exposed. A Roman cohort at once advanced through the opening thus made, and the defenders leaving their different posts rushed from all parts of the city to the threatened spot. Whilst the Romans were clambering over the ruins of the wall others were fixing their scaling-ladders against the walls which were still standing, and the attention of the enemy being diverted in one direction, walls in other parts were successfully scaled and the assailants descended into the city. The noise of the tumult so terrified the enemy that they left the place which they had been so vigorously defending and fled every one to the citadel, followed by crowds of non-combatants. Having thus gained possession of the city, the consul gave it up to plunder. He then sent a message to those in the citadel promising to spare the lives of Philip's troops if they gave up their arms, and also to restore to the Elateans their freedom. When the necessary guarantees had been given, he secured the citadel after a few days.
[32.25]The appearance of Philocles in Achaia not only raised the siege of Corinth but brought about the loss of Argos, which was betrayed by the leaders of the city acting with the full concurrence of the population. It was customary with them on the day of the elections for the presiding magistrates, as an omen of good fortunes, to commence the proceedings by uttering the names of Jupiter, Apollo and Hercules, and a law had been made ordering Philip's name to be added. After the alliance with Rome had been made the usher did not add his name and the people broke out into angry murmurs, and soon shouts were heard demanding the restoration of Philip's name and the honours which were his by law, till at last the name was uttered amidst tremendous cheers. Replying upon this proof of his popularity, Philip's partisans invited Philocles, and during the night he seized a hill which commanded the city; the stronghold was called Larissa.. Posting a detachment there, he marched down in order of battle to the forum which lay at the foot of the hill. Here he found a body of troops drawn up to dispute his progress. It was an Achaean force which had recently been thrown into the city, consisting of 500 men selected from all the cities under the command of Aenesidemus of Dymae. Philocles sent a spokesman to them, bidding them evacuate the place, since they were no match even for the Macedonian supporters in the town, still less so now that they had the Macedonians with them, those Macedonians against whom even the Romans could not make a stand at Corinth. At first his warning made no impression on either the commander or his men, but soon afterwards when they saw a large body of Argives in arms marching against them from another side, they saw that their fate was sealed, though had their commander persisted in his defence of the place they were evidently prepared to fight to the death. Aenesidemus, however, was unwilling that the flower of the Achaean soldiery should be lost together with the city, and he came to an understanding with Philocles that they should be allowed to depart. He himself, however, remained standing under arms together with a few of his personal followers. Philocles sent to ask him what his intention was, and without moving a step and holding his shield in front of him he replied that he would die fighting in defence of the city entrusted to him. The general then ordered the Thracians to shower their darts upon them, and the whole party were killed. Thus, even after the alliance between the Achaeans and the Romans had been cemented two of the most important cities, Argos and Corinth, were in the king's hands. Such were the operations of the naval and military forces of Rome, during this summer, in Greece.
[32.26]In Gaul nothing of any importance was accomplished by the consul Sex. Aelius, though he had two armies in the province. He retained the one which L. Cornelius had commanded and which ought to have been disbanded, and placed C. Helvius in command of it, the other army he brought with him into the province. Almost the whole of his year of office was spent in compelling the former inhabitants of Cremona and Placentia to return to the homes from which they had been dispersed by the accidents of war. While things were unexpectedly quiet in Gaul this year, the districts round the City very nearly became the scene of a rising among the slaves. The Carthaginian hostages were under guard at Setia. As children of the nobility they were attended by a large body of slaves whose numbers had been swelled by many whom the Setians themselves had purchased from among the prisoners taken in the recent war in Africa. When they had set their conspiracy on foot they sent some of their number to gain over the slaves in the country round Setia and then in the districts of Norba and Cerceii. Their preparations being now sufficiently advanced they arranged to seize the opportunity of the Games which were shortly to take place at Setia and attack the people while their attention was absorbed in the spectacle. Then in the midst of the excitement and bloodshed the slaves were to seize Setia and then secure Norba and Cerceii.
Information of this monstrous affair was brought to Rome and laid before L. Cornelius, the City praetor. Two slaves came to him before daybreak and gave him a full account of what had been done and what was contemplated. After issuing instructions for them to be detained in his house he convened the senate and communicated the intelligence which the informers had brought. He received instructions to start off at once to investigate and crush the conspiracy. Accompanied by five assessors he compelled all whom he found in the fields to take the military oath, arm themselves and follow him. In this informal levy he collected an armed force of about 2000 men with which he reached Setia, all of them being perfectly ignorant of his destination. Here he promptly seized the ringleaders, and this led to a general flight of slaves from the town. Parties were sent through the fields to hunt them down. . . . . The service rendered by the two slaves who gave the information and by one who was a freeman was of the utmost value. To the latter the senate ordered a gratuity of 100,000 ases, to each of the slaves 5000 ases and their liberty, the owners being compensated out of the public treasury. Not long afterwards news arrived that some slaves, the remains of that conspiracy, were intending to seize Praeneste. L. Cornelius proceeded thither and inflicted punishment on nearly 2000 who had been involved in the plot. Fears were entertained by the citizens lest the Carthaginian hostages and prisoners of war should have been prime movers in the affair. Strict watch was accordingly kept in Rome in all the different wards, the subordinate magistrates were required to visit the posts and the superintendents of gaols were to see that the public prison at the quarries was more strictly guarded. Instructions were also sent by the praetor to the Latin communities for the hostages to be kept in privacy and not allowed to appear in public; the prisoners were to be manacled with fetters not less than ten pounds in weight, and not to be confined in custody anywhere but in the State prisons.
[32.27]During the year a delegation from King Attalus deposited in the Capitol a golden crown weighing 246 pounds. They also tendered his thanks to the senate for the intervention of the Roman envoys, as owing to their representations Antiochus had withdrawn his army from Attalus' territories. In the course of the summer 200 mounted men, 10 elephants and 200,000 modii of wheat were sent by Masinissa to the army in Greece. From Sicily and Sardinia also a large quantity of provisions and clothing were despatched for the army. M. Marcellus was administering Sicily; M. Porcius Cato, Sardinia. The latter was a man of integrity and blameless life, but was considered somewhat too severe in his repression of usury. The moneylenders were banished from the island, and the sums which the inhabitants had contributed towards keeping up the state and dignity of the praetors were either cut down or totally abolished. The consul Sex. Aelius came back from Gaul to conduct the elections; C. Cornelius Cethegus and Q. Minucius Rufus were the new consuls. Two days later followed the election of praetors. In consequence of the increase in the provinces and the extension of the dominion of Rome, six praetors were elected this year for the first time, viz., L. Manlius Volso, C. Sempronius Tuditanus, M. Sergius Silus, M. Helvius, M. Minucius Rufus and L. Atilius. Amongst these Sempronius and Helvius were the plebeian aediles; the curule aediles were Q. Minucius Thermus and Tiberius Sempronius Longus. The Roman Games were celebrated four times during the year.
[32.28]The first business before the new consuls was the settlement of the provinces both praetorian and consular. As the praetors' spheres of administration could be determined by ballot they were the first to be dealt with. The City jurisdiction fell to Sergius, the alien jurisdiction to Minucius; Atilius drew Sardinia; Manlius, Sicily; Sempronius, Hither Spain; and Helvius, Further Spain. Whilst the consuls were arranging to ballot for Italy and Macedonia, two of the tribunes of the plebs, L. Oppius and Q. Fulvius, objected to their doing so. Macedonia, they alleged, was a distant province, and nothing up to that time had stood in the way of a successful war more than the fact that when operations had hardly commenced the former consul was always recalled just as he was opening his campaign. This was the fourth year since war had been declared against Macedonia. Sempronius had spent most of the year in trying to find the king and his army. Villius had actually come into touch with the enemy but was recalled before any decisive action had been fought. Quinctius had been detained in Rome for the greater part of the year by matters connected with religion, but had he reached his province earlier or had the winter begun later his conduct of affairs showed that he could have brought the war to a close. He had now almost gone into winter quarters, but it was asserted that he had given such a complexion to the war that if his successor did not interfere with him he would finish it in the summer. By using language of this kind they so far succeeded that the consuls promised to accept the decision of the senate if the tribunes would do the same. As both parties left the senate free to act, a decree was made that Italy should be administered by both consuls and T. Quinctius confirmed in his command until such time as the senate should appoint his successor. Each of the consuls had two legions assigned to him, and with these they were to carry on the war against the Cis-Alpine Gauls who had revolted from Rome. Reinforcements were also voted for Quinctius to be employed against Macedonia, comprising 6000 foot and 300 horse and also 3000 seamen. L. Q. Flamininus retained his place as commander of the fleet. Each of the praetors who were to act in Spain received 8000 infantry furnished by the Latins and allies and 400 cavalry; these were to take the place of the old army which was to be sent home. They were also to determine the boundaries of the two provinces of Hither and Further Spain. P. Sulpicius and P. Villius who had formerly been in Macedonia as consuls were appointed to Quinctius' staff.
[32.29]Before the consuls and praetors left for their respective provinces steps were taken to expiate various portents which had been announced. The temples of Vulcan and Summanus in Rome and one of the gates with a portion of the wall at Fregellae were struck by lightning; at Frusino the sky became lit up during the night; at Aesula a two-headed lamb with five feet was born; at Formiae two wolves entered the town and mauled several people who fell in their way; at Rome a wolf entered the City and even made his way into the Capitol. C. Atinius, one of the tribunes of the plebs, carried a proposal for founding five colonies on the coast, two at the mouths of the Volturnus and Liternus, one at Puteoli, one at the Castrum Salerni, and finally Buxentum. It was decided that each colony should consist of 300 households, and three commissioners were appointed to supervise the settlement. They were to hold office for three years. The commissioners were M. Servilius Geminus, Q. Minucius Thermus and Tiberius Sempronius Longus. When they had raised the required force and completed all the necessary business, both sacred and secular, both the consuls left for Gaul. Cornelius took the direct road to the Insubres, who in conjunction with the Cenomani were in arms; Q. Minucius bent his course to the left side of Italy towards the Adriatic, and marching his army to Genua began operations in the direction of Liguria. Two fortified towns, Clastidium and Litubium, both belonging to the Ligurians, and two of their communities, the Celeiates and the Cerdiciates, surrendered. All the tribes on this side the Po were now reduced except the Boii in Gaul and the Ilvates in Liguria. It was stated that 15 fortified towns and 20,000 men surrendered.
[32.30]From there he led his legions into the country of the Boii, whose army had not long before crossed the Po. They had heard that the consuls intended to attack with their united legions, and in order that they too might consolidate their strength by union they had formed a junction with the Insubres and Cenomani. When a report reached them that one of the consuls was firing the fields of the Boii, a sharp difference of opinion arose; the Boii demanded that all should render assistance to those who were hard pressed, the Insubres declared that they would not leave their own country defenceless. Their forces were accordingly divided; the Boii went off to protect their country, the Insubres and Cenomani took up a position on the bank of the Mincius. On the same river, two miles lower down, Cornelius fixed his camp. From there he sent to make enquiries in Brixia, their capital. and in their villages, and from what he learnt he was quite satisfied that it was not with the sanction of their elders that the younger men had taken up arms, nor had the national council authorised any assistance being given to the revolted Insubrians. On learning this he invited their chiefs to a conference and tried to induce them to break with the Insubres and either return home or go over to the Romans. He was unable to gain their consent to the latter proposal, but they gave him assurances that they would take no part in the fighting, unless occasion should arise, in which case they would assist the Romans. The Insubres were kept in ignorance of this compact, but they felt somewhat suspicious as to the intentions of their allies, and in forming their line they did not venture to entrust them with a position on either wing lest they should abandon their ground through treachery and involve the whole army in disaster. They were accordingly stationed in the rear as a reserve. At the outset of the battle the consul vowed a temple to Juno Sospita in case the enemy were routed that day, and the shouts of the soldiers assured their commander that they would enable him to fulfil his vow. Then they charged, and the Insubres did not stand against the first shock. Some authors say that the Cenomani attacked them from behind while the battle was going on and that the twofold attack threw them into complete disorder, 35,000 men being killed and 5200 made prisoners, including the Carthaginian general Hamilcar, the prime instigator of the war. 130 standards were taken and numerous wagons. Those of the Gauls who had followed the Insubres in their revolt surrendered to the Romans.
[32.31]The consul Minucius had carried his plundering expeditions throughout the country of the Boii, but when he heard that they had deserted the Insubres and returned to defend their country, he kept within his camp, intending to meet them in a general engagement. The Boii would not have declined battle if the news of the defeat of the Insubrians had not broken their spirit. They abandoned their leader and their camp and dispersed to their villages, each man prepared to defend his own property. This made their antagonist change his plans, for as there was no longer any hope of forcing decision in a single action he resumed the plundering of their fields, and burnt their villages and farms. It was at this time that Clastidium was burnt. The Ilvates were now the only Ligurian tribe which had not submitted, and he led the legion against them. They too, however, surrendered when the had learnt the defeat of the Insubrians and also that the Boii were so discouraged that they would not venture to hazard an engagement. The despatches from the two consuls announcing their successes reached Rome about the same time. The City praetor, M. Sergius, read them in the senate and was authorised by that body to read them in the Assembly. A four days' thanksgiving was ordered.
[32.32]Winter had now set in and T. Quinctius, after the capture of Elatea, had quartered his troops in Phocis and Locris. Political dissensions broke out in Opus, the one party summoned the Aetolians, who were the nearer, to their aid, the other party called in the Romans. The Aetolians were the first to arrive on the scene, but the other party, the wealthier and more influential one, refused them admittance and after despatching a message to the Roman general held the city pending his arrival. The citadel was garrisoned by Philip's troops and neither the threats of the Opuntians nor the authoritative tone of the Roman commander availed to turn them out. The place would have been attacked at once had not a herald arrived from the king asking for a place and time to be appointed for an interview. After considerable hesitation the request was granted. Quinctius' reluctance was not due to his not wishing to have the credit of bringing the war to a close by arms and by negotiations, for he did not yet know whether one of the new consuls might not be sent out as his successor or whether he would be continued in his command, a decision which he had charged his friends and relations to do their utmost to secure. He thought, however, that a conference would suit his purpose and leave him at liberty to turn it in favour of war if he remained in command, or of peace if he had to leave.
They selected a spot on the shore of the Maliac Gulf near Nicaea. The king proceeded thither from Demetrias in a war-vessel escorted by five swift barques. He was accompanied by some of the Macedonian magnates and also by a distinguished Aetolian refugee, named Cycliadas. With the Roman commander were King Amynander. Dionysodorus, one of Attalus' staff, Agesimbrotus, commandant of the Rhodian fleet, Phaeneas, the chief magistrate of the Aetolians, and two Achaeans, Aristaenus and Xenophon. Surrounded by this group of notables the Roman general advanced to the edge of the beach, and on the king coming forward to the head of his ship, which was lying at anchor, he called out to him, "If you would step ashore we should both address and hear one another more comfortably." The king refused to do this, on which Quinctius asked, "What on earth are you afraid of ? "In a proud and kingly tone Philip replied, "I fear no one but the immortal gods; but I do not trust all those I see about, and least of all the Aetolians." "That," answered Quinctius, "is a danger to which all who go into conference with an enemy are equally exposed, if, that is, no faith is kept." "Yes, T. Quinctius," was Philip's rejoinder "but the rewards of treachery, should any be meditated, are not the same for both sides; Philip and Phaeneas are not equal in value. The Aetolians would not find it so difficult to substitute another magistrate, as the Macedonians would to replace their king." After this no more was said.
[32.33]The Roman commander thought it only right that the one who had asked for the conference should begin the conversation, the king considered that the discussion should be opened by the men who proposed terms of peace, not by the one who was to accept them. Thereupon the Roman observed that what he had to say would be quite simple and straightforward; he should merely state those conditions without which peace would be impossible. "The king must withdraw his garrisons from all the cities in Greece; the prisoners and deserters must be handed back to the allies of Rome; those places in Illyria which he had seized after the conclusion of peace in Epirus must be restored to Rome; the cities which he had taken forcible possession of after the death of Ptolemy Philopator must be given back to Ptolemy, the king of Egypt. These," he said, "are my conditions and those of the people of Rome, but it is right and proper that the demands of our allies should also be heard." The representative of King Attalus demanded the restoration of the ships and prisoners that had been taken in the sea-fight off Chius, and also that the Nicephorium and the temple of Venus which the king had plundered and desolated should be restored to their former condition. The Rhodians demanded the cession of Peraea, a district on the mainland opposite their island and formerly under their sway, and insisted upon the withdrawal of Philip's garrisons from Iasos, Bargyliae and Euromus, as well as from Sestos and Abydos on the Hellespont, the restoration of Perinthus to the Byzantines with the re-establishment of their old political relations and the freedom of all the markets and ports in Asia. Phaeneas, as representing the Aetolians, demanded, almost in the same terms as the Romans, the evacuation of Greece and the restoration of the cities which had formerly been under the rule of the Aetolians.
He was followed by a leading Aetolian, named Alexander, who was, for an Aetolian, an eloquent speaker. He had long remained silent, he said, not because he thought that the conference would lead to any result, but simply because he did not want to interrupt any of the speakers who represented his allies. "Philip," he continued, "is not straightforward in discussing terms of peace nor has he shown true courage in the way he has conducted war. In negotiation he is deceitful and tricky, in war he does not encounter his enemy on fair ground or fight a set battle. He keeps out of his adversary's way, plunders and burns his cities, and when vanquished destroys what should be the prizes of the victors. The former kings of Macedonia did not behave in this way; they trusted to their battle-line, and spared the cities as far as possible that their dominions might be all the richer. What sort of policy is that of destroying the very things which a man is fighting to secure, and leaving nothing for himself but the mere war? Last year Philip laid waste more cities in Thessaly, though they belonged to his allies, than any enemy that Thessaly ever had. Even from us Aetolians he has taken more cities since he became our ally than he did while he was our enemy. He seized Lysimachia after expelling the Aetolian garrison and its commandant; in the same way he completely destroyed Cius, a member of our league. By similar treachery he is now master of Thebes, Phthiae, Echinus. Larisa and Pharsalus."
[32.34]Stung by Alexander's speech, Philip moved his ship nearer to the land in order that he might be better heard, and commenced a speech mainly directed against the Aetolians. He was, however, hotly interrupted at the outset by Phaeneas, who exclaimed: "Matters are not to be settled by words. Either you must conquer in war or you must obey those who are better than you." "That," replied Philip, "is obvious, even to a blind man" - a mocking allusion to Phaeneas' defective vision. He was by nature more given to jesting than a king ought to be, and even in the midst of serious business did not sufficiently restrain his laughter. He went on to express his indignation at the Aetolians ordering him, just as if they were Romans, to evacuate Greece, when they could not tell within what boundaries Greece lies. Even in Aetolia itself the Agraei, the Apodoti and the Amphilochi, who form a considerable part of its population, are not included in Greece. "Have they," he continued, "any right to complain of my not leaving their allies alone, when they themselves keep up the ancient custom, as though it were a legal obligation, of allowing their younger men to bear arms against their own allies, the sanction of their government alone wanting? Thus it very frequently happens that opposing armies have contingents drawn from Aetolia on both sides. As to Cius, I did not actually storm it, but I lent assistance to Prusias, my ally and friend, in his attack on the place. Lysimachia I claimed from the Thracians, but as I had to give my whole attention to this war and was unable to guard it, the Thracians still hold it.
So much for the Aetolians. With regard to Attalus and the Rhodians, in strict justice I owe them nothing, for the war was started not by me but by them. Still, to show my esteem for the Romans, I will restore Peraea to the Rhodians and the. ships to Attalus with all the prisoners that can be found. Touching the restoration of the Nicephorium and the temple of Venus, what reply can I give to this demand further than to say that I will undertake the care and expense of replanting - the only way in which woods and groves that have been cut down can be restored - since such demands it is the pleasure of kings to make and grant to each other?" The close of his speech was a reply to the Achaeans. After enumerating the services rendered to that nation, first by Antigonus and then by himself, he ordered the decrees to be read, which they had passed in his favour, showering upon him all honours human and divine, and then confronted them with the one they had lately passed in which they resolved to break with him. Whilst bitterly reproaching them for their faithlessness, he nevertheless promised to restore Argos to them. The position of Corinth he should discuss with the Roman general, and he should at the same time ask him whether he thought it fair that he should renounce all claim to the cities which he had himself captured and held by the rights of war, and even to those which he had inherited from his ancestors.
[32.35]The Achaeans and the Aetolians were preparing to reply, but as it was almost sunset the conference was adjourned to the morrow. Philip returned to his anchorage and the Romans and allies to their camps. Nicaea had been fixed upon for the next meeting and Quinctius arrived there punctually on the following day, but there was no Philip anywhere, nor did any message arrive from him for several hours. At last, when they had given up all hope of his coming, his ships suddenly appeared. He explained that as such heavy and humiliating demands were made upon him and he was at a loss how to act, he had spent the day in deliberation. It was generally believed that he had purposely delayed the proceedings till late in the day in order that no time might be left for the Achaeans and Aetolians to make their reply. This suspicion was confirmed when he requested that, in order to avoid waste of time in recriminations and bring the matter to a final issue, the others might be allowed to withdraw, and he and the Roman general left to confer together. At first this was demurred to, as it would look as if the allies were shut out from the conference, but as he persisted in his demand, it was agreed to by all that the others should withdraw and the Roman commander accompanied by a military tribune, Appius Claudius, should go forward to the edge of the beach whilst the king attended by two of his suite came ashore. There they conversed for some time in private. It is not known what report of the interview Philip gave to his people, but the statement which Quinctius made to the allies was to the effect that Philip was prepared to cede to the Romans the whole of the Illyrian coast and deliver up the refugees and any prisoners there might be; to return to Attalus his ships and their captured crews; to restore to the Rhodians the district they call Peraea, but he would not evacuate Iasos and Bargyliae; to the Aetolians he would restore Pharsalus and Larisa but not Thebes; to the Achaeans he would cede not only Argos but Corinth as well. Not one of the parties concerned was satisfied with these proposals, for they said that they were losing more than they were gaining, and unless Philip withdrew his garrisons from the whole of Greece, grounds of quarrel would never be wanting.
[32.36]All the members of the council were loud in their protests and remonstrances, and the noise reached Philip who was standing at some distance. He asked Quinctius to postpone the whole business till the next day; he was quite certain that either he would bring them over to his view, or fall in with theirs. The sea-shore at Thronium was fixed upon for the conference and they assembled there at an early hour. Philip began by urging Quinctius and all who were present not to insist upon destroying all hopes of peace. He then asked for time to enable him to send ambassadors to the Roman senate, he would either obtain peace on the terms he proposed or accept whatever conditions the senate offered. This suggestion met with no acceptance whatever, they said that his only object was to gain time to collect his forces. Quinctius observed that this might have been true it if had been summer, and the season suitable for a campaign, but as winter was now closing in nothing would be lost by allowing him sufficient time to send his ambassadors. No agreement that he might have made with the king would be valid without the ratification of the senate, and whilst the winter necessarily put a stop to military operations, it would be possible to find what conditions of peace the senate would sanction. The rest of the negotiators fell in with this view and a two months' armistice was arranged. The different States decided to send each one envoy to lay the facts before the senate so that they might not be misled by Philip's false statements. It was further agreed that before the armistice could come into force, the king's garrisons must be withdrawn from Phocis and Locris. To give greater importance to the mission Quinctius sent in company with them Amynander, king of the Athamanians, Q. Fabius, his sister-in-law's son, Q. Fulvius and Appius Claudius.
[32.37]On their arrival in Rome the delegates of the allies were received in audience before those from Philip. Their address to the senate was mainly taken up with personal attacks on the king, but what weighed most with the senate was their description of that part of the world and the distribution of sea and land. From this they showed clearly that as long as Philip held Demetrias in Thessaly, Chalcis in Euboea, and Corinth in Achaia Greece could not be free; Philip himself with as much truth as insolence called these the fetters of Greece. The king's envoys were then introduced and had commenced a somewhat lengthy address when they were interrupted by the pointed question: "Is he prepared to evacuate those three cities?" They replied that they were not mentioned in their instructions. On this they were dismissed and the negotiations broken off, the question of peace or war being left entirely to Quinctius. As it was quite evident that the senate were not averse from war, and as Quinctius himself was more anxious for victory than for peace, he refused any further interview with Philip, and said that he would not admit any envoys from him unless they came to announce that he was withdrawing entirely from Greece.
[32.38]When Philip saw that matters must be decided on the battlefield, he called in his forces from all quarters. His main anxiety was about the cities in Achaia, which were so far away, and he was more uneasy about Argos than about Corinth. He thought the best course would be to place it in the hands of Nabis, the tyrant of Lacedaemon, as a deposit to be restored to him should he be victorious, or should he meet with reverses to remain under the tyrant's rule. He wrote to Philocles, who was governor of Corinth and Argos, bidding him discuss the matter with Nabis. Philocles took a present with him, and as a further pledge of future friendship between the king and the tyrant he informed Nabis that Philip wished to form a matrimonial alliance between his daughters and Nabis' sons. At first the tyrant refused to accept the city unless the Argives themselves, by a formal decree, summoned him to their assistance. When, however, he heard that at a crowded meeting of their Assembly the Argives were pouring contempt and even execration on his name, he considered that he had got a sufficient justification for plundering them and he told Philocles that he might deliver up the city whenever he chose. The tyrant was admitted into the place in the night without arousing any suspicion; at daybreak all the commanding positions were occupied and the gates closed. A few of the principal citizens had escaped at the beginning of the tumult and their property was seized; those who still remained had all their gold and silver taken away and very heavy fines were imposed upon them. Those who paid up promptly were dismissed without insult or injury, those who were suspected of concealing or withholding anything were flogged and tortured like slaves. A meeting of their Assembly was then summoned in which he promulgated two measures, one for the cancelling of debts and another for the division of land - two firebrands with which the revolutionaries were to inflame the lower classes against the aristocracy.
[32.39]When the city of the Argives was once in his power, the tyrant no longer troubled himself about the man who had made it over to him or the conditions on which he had accepted it. He despatched emissaries to Quinctius in Elatea and to Attalus who was wintering in Aegina, to inform them that he was master of Argos. They were also to intimate to Quinctius that if he would come to Argos, Nabis felt confident that a complete understanding would be arrived at. Quinctius' policy was to deprive Philip of all support, and he consented to visit Nabis, and at the same time sent word to Attalus to meet him in Sicyon. Just at this time his brother Lucius happened to bring up ten triremes from his winter quarters at Corcyra, and with these Quinctius sailed from Anticyra to Sicyon. Attalus was already there, and when they met he remarked that the tyrant ought to go to the Roman commander and not the Roman commander to the tyrant. Quinctius agreed with him, and declined to enter Argos. Not far from that city is a place called Mycenica, and this was decided upon as the scene of the conference. Quinctius went with his brother and a few military tribunes, Attalus was attended by his suite, Nicostratus the chief magistrate of the Achaeans was also present with representatives of the allied States. They found Nabis waiting for them with the whole of his force. He marched almost to the middle of the space separating the two camps, fully armed and escorted by an armed bodyguard; Quinctius unarmed, and the king also unarmed and accompanied by Nicostratus and one of his suite, came forward to meet him. Nabis began by apologising for having come to the conference in arms and with an armed escort, though he saw that the king and the Roman commander were unarmed. He was not afraid, he said, of them, but of the refugees from Argos. Then they began to discuss the terms on which friendly relations might be established. The Romans made two demands: first, that Nabis should put a stop to hostilities against the Achaeans and, secondly, that he should furnish assistance against Philip. This he promised to furnish; instead of a definite peace, an armistice was arranged with the Achaeans, to remain in force until the war with Philip was over.
[32.40]Attalus then opened a discussion on the question of Argos, which he contended had been treacherously betrayed by Philocles and was now forcibly retained by Nabis. Nabis replied that he had been invited by the Argives to go to their defence. Attalus insisted upon a meeting of the Argive Assembly being summoned in order that the truth might be ascertained. The tyrant raised no objection to this, but when the king declared that the troops ought to be withdrawn from the city and the Assembly left at liberty, without any Lacedaemonian being present, to state what the Argives really wanted, Nabis refused to withdraw his men. The discussion led to no result. A force of 600 Cretans was furnished by the tyrant to the Romans, and an armistice for four months arranged between Nicostratus the Achaean president and the tyrant of the Lacedaemonians, after which the conference broke up. From there Quinctius proceeded to Corinth and marched up to the gate with the Cretan cohort in order that Philocles, the commandant, might see that Nabis had broken with Philip. Philocles had an interview with the Roman general who pressed him to change sides at once and surrender the city, and in his reply he gave the impression of postponing rather than refusing compliance. From Corinth Quinctius went on to Anticyra and sent his brother to learn the attitude of the Acarnanians. From Argos Attalus proceeded to Sicyon, and this city paid him still greater honour than they had done before, whilst he on his part determined not to pass by his allies and friends without some token of his generosity. He had previously secured for them at considerable cost some land which was consecrated to Apollo, and now he made them a gift of ten talents of silver and a thousand medimni of corn. He then resumed to his ships at Cenchreae. Nabis, too, went back to Lacedaemon, after leaving a strong garrison at Argos. He had despoiled the men and now he sent his wife there to despoil the women. She invited the ladies of rank to her house, sometimes alone, sometimes in family parties, and in this way succeeded by blandishments and threats in getting from them not only their gold but even their wardrobes and all their finery.
End of Book 32
Copyright (c) 1996 by Bruce J. Butterfield.
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