Book 33: The Second Macedonian War
[33.1]The above-described events took place in the winter. At the commencement of spring Quinctius, anxious to make the Boeotians, who were uncertain which side to take, into a Roman dependency, summoned Attalus to Elatia, and marching through Phocis fixed his camp at a point five miles from Thebes, the Boeotian capital. The following day, escorted by a single maniple and accompanied by Attalus and the various deputations who had flocked to him from all quarters, he proceeded to the city. The hastati of the legion, numbering 2000 men, were ordered to follow him at a distance of one mile. About half-way he was met by Antiphilus, the captain-general of the Boeotians; the population of the city were on the walls, anxiously watching the approach of the Roman general and the king. They saw few arms and few soldiers with them, the hastati, who were following a mile behind, were hidden by the windings of the road and the undulating nature of the terrain. As he came nearer to the city he slackened his pace, as though he were saluting the crowds who had come out to meet him, but really to allow the hastati to catch him up. The townsfolk pushing along in a mass in front of the lictor did not see the armed column which had hurried up until they reached the general's quarters. Then they were utterly dismayed, as they believed that the city had been betrayed and captured through the treachery of Antiphilus. It was quite clear that the Council of Boeotia which was summoned for the next day would have no chance of unfettered deliberation. They concealed their vexation, since to have exhibited it would have been useless and dangerous.
[33.2]Attalus was the first to speak in the council. He began by recounting the services which he had rendered to Greece as a whole and in particular to the Boeotians. But he was too old and infirm to stand the strain of public speaking, and suddenly became silent and fell down. Whilst they were removing the king, who had lost the use of one side, the proceedings were suspended. Aristaenus, the chief magistrate of the Achaeans, was the next to speak, and he spoke with all the more weight because he gave the Boeotians the same advice which he had given to the Achaeans. Quinctius himself added a few remarks, in which he dwelt more upon the good faith of the Romans and their sense of honour than upon their arms and resources. Dicaearchus of Plataea next brought forward a motion in favour of alliance with Rome. When its terms had been recited no one ventured to oppose it, consequently it was passed by the unanimous vote of the cities of Boeotia. After the council broke up Quinctius only stayed in Thebes as long as Attalus' sudden attack made it necessary, and as soon as he saw that there was no immediate danger to life but only powerlessness in the limbs, he left him to undergo the necessary treatment and returned to Elatia. The Boeotians, like the Achaeans before them, were thus admitted as allies, and as he was leaving everything behind in peaceful security, he was able to devote all his thoughts to Philip and the means of bringing the war to a close.
[33.3]After his envoys had returned from their fruitless mission to Rome, Philip decided to raise troops in every town in his kingdom. Owing to the perpetual wars which had for so many generations drained the manhood of Macedonia there was a serious lack of men of military age, and under Philip's own rule vast numbers had perished in the naval battles against the Rhodians and Attalus and in the campaigns against the Romans. Under these circumstances he even enrolled youths of sixteen and recalled to the colours men who had served their time, provided they had any stamina left. After his army was brought up to its proper strength he concentrated the whole of his forces at Dium and formed a standing camp there in which he drilled and exercised his soldiers day by day whilst waiting for the enemy. During this time Quinctius left Elatia and marched by way of Thronium and Scarphea to Thermopylae. The Aetolian Council had been summoned to meet at Heraclea to decide the strength of the contingent which was to follow the Roman general to war, and he waited at Thermopylae for a couple of days to learn the result. When he had been informed of their decision he started, and marching past Xyniae fixed his camp where the frontiers of Acarnania and Thessaly meet. Here he waited for the Aetolian contingent, who came up without any loss of time under the command of Phaeneas. They numbered 600 infantry and 400 cavalry. To remove any doubt as to why he had waited he resumed his march as soon as they arrived. On his advance through Phthiotis he was joined by 500 Cretans from Gortynium and 300 Apollonians, armed like the Cretans, and not long after by Amynander with 1200 Athamanian infantry. As soon as Philip ascertained that the Romans had started from Elatia he realised that a struggle lay before him which would decide the fate of his kingdom, and he thought it well to address words of encouragement to his soldiers. After repeating the familiar phrases about the virtues of their ancestors and the military reputation of the Macedonians, he dwelt more especially on the considerations which tended to depress their courage and then on those from which they ought to derive consolation and hope.
[33.4]Against the three defeats sustained by the Macedonian phalanx at the Aous he set the repulse of the Romans at Atrax. On the former occasion, when they failed to maintain their hold on the pass leading into Epirus, he pointed out that the fault lay, first, with those who had been careless in their outpost duties and then in the behaviour of the light infantry and the mercenaries in the actual battle. But the Macedonian phalanx stood its ground, and on favourable ground and in a fair field would always remain unbeaten. The phalanx consisted of 16,000 men, the flower of the military strength of his dominions. There were in addition 2000 caetrati, whom they call " peltasts," and contingents of the same strength were furnished by the Thracians and by the Trallians, an Illyrian tribe. Besides these there were about 1500 hired troops drawn from various nationalities. and a body of cavalry numbering 2000 troopers. With this force the king awaited his enemies. The Roman army was almost equal in numbers, in cavalry alone were they superior, owing to the accession of the Aetolians.
[33.5]Quinctius had been led to hope that Thebes in Phthiotis would be betrayed to him by Timon, the first man in the city, and accordingly he marched thither. He rode up to the walls with a small body of cavalry and light infantry, but his expectations were so far frustrated by a sortie from the city that he would have been in imminent danger had not infantry and cavalry from the camp come to his assistance in time. When he found that his hopes were illusory and that there was no prospect of their being realised he desisted from any further attempt for the time. Definite information having reached him, however, that the king was now in Thessaly, though his exact whereabouts was unknown, he sent his men into the fields round to cut down and prepare stakes for a stockade. Both the Macedonians and the Greeks made use of stockades, but they did not adapt their materials either for convenience in carrying or for defensive strength. The trees they cut down were too large and too branching for the soldiery to carry together with their arms, and when they had put them in position and fenced their camp with them the demolition of their rampart was an easy matter. The large trunks stood up apart from one another and the numerous stout branches afforded a good hold, so that two, or at the most three, men by pulling together would bring a tree down, making at once a gap as wide as a gate, and there was nothing at hand with which to block the opening. On the other hand, the stakes which the Romans cut were light and generally forked with three, or at the most four, branches, so that, with his arms slung at his back, the Roman soldier could carry several of them together comfortably. Then again they fix them so close together in the ground and interlace the branches in such a way that it is impossible to discover to which particular tree any of the outside branches belong, and these are made so sharp and so closely intertwined that there is no room left for inserting the hand, nothing can be got hold of to be dragged away, nor if there were would the enemy succeed in doing so because the branches are hooked together like the links of a chain. If one happens to be pulled out, it leaves only a small opening and it is very easy to put another in its place.
[33.6]Quinctius resumed his march on the following day, but as the soldiers were carrying the timber for a stockade, so that they might be ready to form an entrenched camp anywhere, the day's march was not a long one. The position he selected was about six miles from Pherae, and after fixing his camp he sent out reconnoitring parties to find out in what part of Thessaly the enemy was, and what were his intentions. Philip was in the neighbourhood of Larisa and had already received information that the Romans had left Thebes for Pherae. He, too, was anxious to bring matters to a decision and determined to make straight for the enemy, and finally fixed his camp some four miles from Pherae. The next day light infantry from both sides moved out to seize some hills which commanded the city, but when they caught sight of one another they halted and sent to their respective camps for instructions as to what they were to do now that they had come unexpectedly upon the enemy. As they awaited their return without moving the day passed without any fighting and these detachments were recalled to camp. The next day there was a cavalry action near those hills, in which Philip's troops were routed and driven back to their camp; a success in which the Aetolians had the greatest share. Both sides were greatly hampered in their movements by the nature of the ground, which was thickly planted with trees, and by the gardens which are usually found in suburban districts, the roads being enclosed between walls and in some cases blocked. Both commanders alike determined to get out of the neighbourhood, and as though by mutual agreement they both made for Scotusa: Philip, in the hope of obtaining a supply of corn there; Quinctius, with the intention of forestalling his adversary and destroying his corn. The armies marched the whole day without once getting sight of each other owing to a continuous range of hills which lay between them. The Romans encamped at Eretria in Phthiotis, Philip fixed his camp by the river Onchestus. The next day Philip encamped at Melambium in the territory of Scotusa and Quinctius at Thetideum in the neighbourhood of Pharsalia, but not even then did either side know for certain where their enemy was. The third day heavy clouds came up, followed by a darkness as black as night which kept the Romans in their camp for fear of a surprise attack.
[33.7]Eager to press on, Philip was not in the least deterred by the clouds which had descended to the earth after the rain, and he ordered the standard-bearers to march out. But so thick a fog had blotted out the daylight that the standard-bearers could not see their way, nor could the men see their standards. Misled by the confused shouts, the column was thrown into as great disorder as if it had lost its way in a night march. When they had surmounted the range of hills called Cynoscephalae, where they left a strong force of infantry and cavalry in occupation, they formed their camp. The Roman general was still in camp at Thetideum; he sent out, however, ten squadrons of cavalry and a thousand velites to reconnoitre and warned them to be on their guard against an ambuscade, which owing to the darkened daylight might not be detected even in open country. When they reached the heights where the enemy were posted both sides stood stock-still as though paralysed by mutual fear. As soon as their alarm at the unexpected sight subsided they sent messages to their generals in camp and did not hesitate any longer to engage. The action was begun by the advanced patrols, and then as the supports came up the fighting became general. The Romans were by no means a match for their opponents, and they sent message after message to their general to inform him that they were being overpowered. A reinforcement of 500 cavalry and 2000 infantry, mostly Aetolians, under two military tribunes, was hastily despatched and restored the battle, which was going against the Romans. This turn of fortune threw the Macedonians into difficulties and they sent to their king for help. But as owing to the darkness a battle was the last thing he had looked for on that day, and as a large number of men of all ranks had been sent out to forage, he was for a considerable time at a loss what to do. The messages became more and more importunate, and as the fog had now cleared away and revealed the situation of the Macedonians who had been driven to the topmost height and were finding more safety in their position than in their arms, Philip felt that he ought to risk a general and decisive engagement rather than let a part of his force be lost through want of support. Accordingly he sent Athenagoras, the commander of the mercenaries, with the whole of the foreign contingent, except the Thracians, and also the Macedonian and Thessalian cavalry. Their appearance resulted in the Romans being dislodged from the hill and compelled to retreat to lower ground. That they were not driven in disorderly flight was mainly owing to the Aetolian cavalry, which at that time was the best in Greece, though in infantry they were inferior to their neighbours.
[33.8]This affair was reported to the king as a more important success than the facts warranted. Messenger after messenger ran back from the field shouting that the Romans were in flight, and though the king, reluctant and hesitating, declared that the action had been begun rashly and that neither the time nor the place suited him, he was at last driven into bringing the whole of his forces into the field. The Roman commander did the same, more because no other course was open to him than because he wished to seize the opportunity of a battle. He posted the elephants in front of his right wing, which he kept in reserve; the left, with the whole of the light infantry, he led in person against the enemy. As they advanced he reminded them that they were going to fight with the same Macedonians as those whom in spite of the difficult ground they had driven out of the pass leading into Epirus, protected though they were by the mountains and the river, and had thoroughly defeated; the same as those whom they had vanquished under P. Sulpicius when they tried to stop their march on Eordaea. The kingdom of Macedonia, he declared, stood by its prestige, not by its strength, and even its prestige had at last disappeared. By this time he had come up to his detachments who were standing at the bottom of the valley. They at once renewed the fight and by a fierce attack compelled the enemy to give ground. Philip with his caetrati and the infantry of his right wing, the finest body in his army, which they call "the phalanx," went at the enemy almost at a run; Nicanor, one of his courtiers, was ordered to follow at once with the rest of his force. As soon as he reached the top of the hill and saw a few of the enemy's bodies and weapons lying about, he concluded that there had been a battle there and that the Romans had been repulsed, and when he further saw that fighting was going on near the enemy's camp he was in a state of great exultation. Soon, however, when his men came back in flight and it was his turn to be alarmed, he was for a few moments anxiously debating whether he ought not to recall his troops to camp. Then, as the enemy were approaching, and especially as his own men were being cut down as they fled and could not be saved unless they were defended by fresh troops, and also as retreat was no longer safe, he found himself compelled to take the supreme risk, though half his force had not yet come up. The cavalry and light infantry who had been in action he stationed on his right; the caetrati and the men of the phalanx were ordered to lay aside their spears, the length of which only embarrassed them, and make use of their swords. To prevent his line from being quickly broken he halved the front and gave twice the depth to the files, so that the depth might be greater than the width. He also ordered the ranks to close up so that man might be in touch with man and arms with arms.
[33.9]After the Roman troops who had been engaged had retired through the intervals between the leading maniples, Quinctius ordered the trumpets to sound the advance. Seldom, it is said, has such a battle-shout been raised at the beginning of an action, for both armies happened to shout at the same moment, not only those actually engaged, but even the Roman reserves and the Macedonians who were just then appearing on the field. On the right the king, aided mainly by the higher ground on which he was fighting, had the advantage. On the left, where that part of the phalanx which formed the rear was only just coming up, all was confusion and disorder. The centre stood and looked on as though it were watching a fight in which it had no concern. The newly-arrived part of the phalanx, in column instead of in line of battle, in marching rather than in fighting formation, had hardly reached the crest of the hill. Though Quinctius saw that his men were giving ground on the left he sent the elephants against these unformed troops and followed up with a charge, rightly judging that the rout of a part would involve the rest. The result was not long in doubt; the Macedonians in front, terrified by the animals, instantly turned tail, and when these were repulsed the rest followed them. One of the military tribunes, seeing the position, suddenly made up his mind what to do, and leaving that part of his line which was undoubtedly winning, wheeled round with twenty maniples and attacked the enemy's right from behind. No army when attacked in the rear can fail to be shaken, but the inevitable confusion was increased by the inability of the Macedonian phalanx, a heavy and immobile formation, to face round on a new front. To make matters worse, they were at a serious disadvantage from the ground, for in following their repulsed enemy down the hill they had left the height for the enemy to make use of in his enveloping movement. Assailed on both sides they lost heavily, and in a short time they flung away their arms and took to flight.
[33.10]With a small body of horse and foot Philip occupied the highest point on the hills in order to see what fortune his left wing had met with. When he became aware of their disorderly flight and saw the Roman standards and arms flashing on all the hills he too left the field. Quinctius, who was pressing on the retiring foe, saw the Macedonians suddenly holding their spears upright, and as he was doubtful as to what they intended by this unfamiliar maneuver he held up the pursuit for a few minutes. On learning that it was the Macedonian signal of surrender, he made up his mind to spare them. The soldiers, however, unaware that the enemy were no longer resisting and ignorant of their general's intention, commenced an attack upon them, and when those in front had been cut down the rest scattered in flight. Philip himself rode off at a hard gallop in the direction of Tempe and drew rein at Gomphi, where he remained for a day to pick up any survivors from the battle. The Romans broke into the hostile camp in hopes of plunder, but they found that it had to a large extent been cleared out by the Aetolians. 8000 of the enemy perished that day; 5000 were made prisoners. Of the victors about 700 fell. If we are to believe Valerius, who is given to boundless exaggeration, 40,000 of the enemy were killed and - here his invention is not so wild - 5700 made prisoners and 249 standards captured. Claudius too writes that 32,000 of the enemy were killed and 4300 made prisoners. We have taken the smaller number, not because it is the smaller, but because we have followed Polybius, who is no untrustworthy authority on Roman history especially when the scene of it is in Greece.
[33.11]After collecting together the fugitives who had been scattered in the various stages of the battle and had followed him in his flight, Philip despatched men to burn his papers at Larisa, that they might not fall into the enemy's hands, and then retreated into Macedonia. Quinctius sold some of the prisoners and a part of the booty and gave the rest to the soldiers, after which he proceeded to Larisa, not knowing for certain in what direction the king had gone or what movements he was contemplating. Whilst he was there a herald arrived from the king ostensibly to ask for an armistice for the purpose of burying those who had fallen in the battle, but really to ask for permission to open negotiations for peace. Both requests were granted by the Roman general, who also sent a message to the king bidding him not to lose heart. This gave great offence to the Aetolians, who were intensely mortified and said that the commander had been changed by his victory. Before the battle, so they alleged, he used to consult his allies on all matters great and small, but now they were excluded from all his counsels; he was acting solely on his own judgment. He was looking out for an opportunity of ingratiating himself personally with Philip so that after the Aetolians had borne the whole burden of the hardships and sufferings of the war the Roman might secure for himself all the credit and advantages of peace. As a matter of fact Quinctius certainly did show the Aetolians less consideration, but they were quite ignorant of his reason for treating them with neglect. They believed that he was looking for bribes from Philip, though he was a man who never yielded to the temptation of money; but it was not without good reason that he was disgusted with the Aetolians for their insatiable appetite for plunder and their arrogance in claiming for themselves the credit of the victory, a piece of vanity which offended all men's ears. Besides, if Philip were out of the way and the kingdom of Macedonia hopelessly crushed he recognised that the Aetolians must be regarded as the dominant power in Greece. Dictated by these considerations his conduct was deliberately designed to humiliate and belittle them in the eyes of Greece.
[33.12]The enemy were granted a fifteen days' armistice and arrangements were made for a conference with Philip. Before the date fixed for it Quinctius called his allies into consultation and laid before them the conditions of peace which he thought ought to be imposed. Amynander briefly stated his view, which was that the terms should be such that Greece should be sufficiently strong, even in the absence of the Romans, to protect her liberty and prevent the peace from being broken. The Aetolians spoke in a more vindictive tone. After a brief allusion to the correctness of Quinctius' attitude in calling in those who had been his allies in war to advise with him on the question of peace, they went on to assure him that he was totally mistaken if he supposed that he would leave either peace with Rome or liberty for Greece on a sure basis unless Philip were either put to death or expelled from his kingdom. Either of these alternatives was easy for him if he chose to make full use of his victory. Quinctius replied that in uttering these sentiments the Aetolians were losing sight of the settled policy of Rome and convicting themselves of inconsistency. In all the former councils and conferences when discussing the question of peace they had never advocated the destruction of Macedonia, and the Romans, whose policy from the earliest times had been to show mercy to the conquered, had furnished a conspicuous proof of this in the peace which had been granted to Hannibal and the Carthaginians. Leaving the Carthaginians, however, out of account, how often had he himself had conferences with Philip? But never had the question of his abdication been raised. Had his defeat in battle made the war one of extermination? "An enemy in arms one is bound to meet with ruthless hostility; towards the conquered the greatest minds show the greatest clemency. You think that kings of Macedon are a danger to the liberties of Greece. If that nation and kingdom were swept away, Thracians, Illyrians, Gauls, savage and barbarous tribes, would pour into Macedonia and then into Greece. Do not, by removing the danger closest to you, open the door to greater and more serious ones." Here he was interrupted by Phaeneas, the president of the Aetolian league, who solemnly declared amid great excitement that if Philip escaped then, he would soon prove a still more dangerous enemy. "Cease your uproar," said Quinctius, "when we have to deliberate. Peace will not be settled upon such terms as to make it possible to recommence war."
[33.13]The council broke up, and on the morrow Philip went to the spot fixed for the conference, which was in the pass leading into Tempe. The day following a meeting of the Romans and all their allies was convened, before which he appeared. He showed great prudence in deliberately abstaining from any allusion to those conditions which were regarded as essential, instead of letting them be forced from him in the discussion. All the concessions which in the former conference the Romans had insisted upon or the allies had demanded he said he would agree to, everything else he would leave to the decision of the senate. This would seem to have precluded any further demands even from those most hostile to him, and yet Phaeneas broke the general silence by asking, "What? Philip! Do you at last restore to us Larisa, Cremaste, Echinus and Phthiotic Thebes?" On Philip replying that he placed no difficulty in the way of their resuming possession of these places, a dispute arose between Quinctius and the Aetolians over Thebes. Quinctius asserted that it belonged to Rome by the right of war, for before the war broke out he marched there and invited the citizens to enter into friendly relations with him, and whilst they were at full liberty to abandon Philip they preferred his allegiance to that of the Romans. Phaeneas retorted that it was only just and equitable, considering the part they had taken in the war, that all which the Aetolians possessed before the war should be restored to them. It was provided by treaty from the very first that the spoils of war, including all movable goods and all livestock and prisoners, should go to the Romans; the conquered cities and territories to the Aetolians. "You yourselves," replied Quinctius, "broke that treaty when you left us and made peace with Philip. If it were still in force, it would only apply to the cities which have been captured; the cities of Thessaly have passed into our power of their own free will." This declaration was approved by all the allies, but created a bitter feeling amongst the Aetolians at the time, and soon led to a war which proved most disastrous to them. It was agreed that Philip should give up his son Demetrius and some of "the friends of the king" as hostages and also pay an indemnity of 200 talents. With regard to the other matters, he was to send an embassy to Rome and a four months' truce was granted him to enable him to do so. In case the senate declined to grant terms of peace the agreement was to be cancelled and the hostages and money returned to Philip. The main reason for Quinctius desiring an early peace is alleged to have been the warlike designs of Antiochus and his threatened invasion of Europe.
[33.14]At this very time, and according to some accounts on the very day on which the battle of Cynoscephalae was fought, the Achaeans routed Androsthenes, one of Philip's generals, in a pitched battle at Corinth. Philip intended to hold that city as a menace to the States of Greece, and after inviting the leading citizens to a conference on the pretext of settling what force of cavalry the Corinthians could furnish for the war, he had detained them all as hostages. The force in occupation consisted of 500 Macedonians and 800 auxiliaries of various nationalities. In addition to these he had sent 1000 Macedonians and 1200 Illyrians and also Thracian and Cretan contingents (these tribes fought on both sides), amounting to 800 in all. There were in addition 1000 heavy-armed troops, consisting of Boeotians, Thessalians and Acarnanians. A draft from Corinth itself made up the whole force to 6000 men, and Androsthenes felt himself strong enough to give battle. The Achaean captain-general, Nicostratus, was at Sicyon with 2000 infantry and 200 cavalry, but seeing that he was inferior in both the number and the quality of his troops, he did not venture outside the walls. The king's troops overran and ravaged the territories of Pellene, Phlius and Cleonae. At last, to show their contempt for the timidity of their enemy, they invaded the territory of Sicyon and, sailing along the Achaean seaboard, harried and wasted the land. Their confidence, as is usually the case, made them careless, and their raids were conducted with an absence of all precautions. Seeing a possibility of a successful surprise attack, Nicostratus sent secret information to all the cities round as to what force each city should contribute and on what day they should all muster at Apelaurus, a place in Stymphalia. All being in readiness on the appointed day he made a night march through the district of Phlius to Cleonae, no one knowing what his object was. He had with him 5000 infantry, of which . . . were light-armed troops, and also 300 cavalry. With this force he waited for the return of the scouting patrols whom he had sent out to ascertain in what direction the enemy had dispersed themselves.
[33.15]Androsthenes, in perfect ignorance of all this, marched out from Corinth and encamped by the Nemea, a stream which divides the territory of Corinth from that of Sicyon. Here, leaving half his army in camp, he formed the other half and the whole of the cavalry into three divisions and ordered them to make simultaneous raids in the territories of Pellene, Sicyon and Phlius. The three divisions marched off on their separate errands. As soon as intelligence of this was brought to Nicostratus at Cleonae, he promptly sent a strong detachment of mercenaries to seize the pass leading to Corinth. He followed with his army in two columns, the cavalry forming an advanced guard. In one column marched the mercenaries and light infantry; in the other the hoplites, the main strength of all Greek armies. When they were not far from the hostile camp some of the Thracians began to attack the parties of the enemy scattered in the fields. The camp was filled with sudden alarm and the commander was surprised and bewildered. He had never seen the enemy, unless it were a few here and there on the hills before Sicyon, as they did not venture on the lower ground, and he never supposed that they would leave their position at Cleonae and take the aggressive against him. The dispersed parties were recalled to camp by sound of trumpet, and, ordering the soldiers to seize their arms with all speed, he hurried out, of the camp with a weak force and formed his line on the river bank. The other troops had hardly had time to collect and form, and did not withstand the first charge, but the Macedonians, who formed the bulk of the fighting line, made the victory for a long time doubtful. At length, with their flank exposed by the flight of the rest of the army and subjected to two separate attacks from the light infantry on their flank and the hoplites and heavy armed on their front, they began to give ground, and, as the pressure increased, turned and fled. The greater number flung away their arms and, abandoning all hope of holding their camp, made for Corinth. Against these Nicostratus sent his mercenaries in pursuit, and despatched the cavalry and Thracian auxiliaries to attack the plundering parties round Sicyon. Here too there was great slaughter, almost more, in fact, than in the actual battle. Some who had been ravaging the country round Pellene and Phlius were returning to camp, in no military formation and unaware of all that had happened, when they fell in with the enemy patrols where they had expected to find their own. Others, seeing men running in all directions, suspected what had happened and fled with such precipitation that they lost themselves and even the peasantry were able to cut them off. 1500 men fell on that day and 300 prisoners were secured. The whole of Achaia was delivered from a great fear.
[33.16]Acarnania was the only Greek State that still adhered to the Macedonian alliance. Before the battle of Cynoscephalae L. Quinctius had invited their chiefs to a conference at Corcyra, where he induced them to take the first step towards a change of policy. The two main reasons for their fidelity were their innate sense of loyalty and their fear and dislike of the Aetolians. A national council was convened at Leucas. It was by no means generally attended, nor did those who were present agree as to the course to be pursued. The leaders, however, including the presiding magistrate, succeeded in getting a party motion carried in favour of an alliance with Rome. The cities which had not sent representatives resented this strongly, and amidst the national excitement two of their leading men, Androcles and Echedemus, emissaries of Philip, had sufficient influence not only to obtain the cancelling of the decree, but even to secure the condemnation of its authors, Archelaus and Bianor, on a charge of treason and the dismissal from office of Zeuxidas, who as president had allowed the motion to be put. The condemned men took a hazardous but, as events turned out, a successful step. Their friends advised them to bow to circumstances and go to the Romans at Corcyra, but they resolved to present themselves before the people and either calm the popular indignation or submit to whatever fortune might have in store for them. When they entered the crowded council chamber there were at first murmurs of astonishment, but soon the respect inspired by the high position they once held and the compassion felt for their present misfortunes evoked silent sympathy. Permission having been given them to speak, they at first adopted a suppliant tone, but when it came to meeting the charges against them they defended themselves with all the confidence of innocent men, and at last they ventured to complain mildly of the treatment they had received and remonstrated against the injustice and cruelty which had been meted out to them. The feelings of their audience were so stirred that all the decrees made against them were rescinded by a large majority. Nevertheless it was decided to go back to the alliance with Philip and renounce friendly relations with Rome.
[33.17]These decrees were passed at Leucas, the capital of Acarnania and the seat of the national council. When this sudden change of feeling was reported to Flamininus at Corcyra, he at once set sail for Leucas and brought up at a spot called the Heraeum. He then advanced towards the city with every description of artillery and siege engines, thinking that at the first shock of alarm the defenders would lose heart. As soon as he saw that there were no signs of their asking for peace he began to set up the vineae and towers and bring the battering-rams up to the walls. Acarnania as a whole lies between Aetolia and Epirus and looks westward towards the Sicilian Sea. Leucadia, which is now an island separated from Acarnania by a canal of moderate depth, was then a peninsula, connected with the western shore of Acarnania by a narrow isthmus half a mile long, and at no point more than 120 paces broad. The city of Leucas is situated at the head of this isthmus, resting on a hill which faces eastward towards Acarnania; the lowest part of the city lies on the sea front and is level. This makes it open to attack both by land and sea, for the shallow waters are more like a lagoon than like the sea, and the soil of the surrounding plain can easily be thrown up for lines of investment and siege works. Many parts of the wall were in consequence undermined or shaken down by the battering-rams. But the advantage which the situation of the city gave to the assailants was counterbalanced by the indomitable spirit of the defenders. Ever on the alert, night and day they repaired the shattered walls, barricaded the breaches, made constant sorties and defended their walls by arms more than their walls defended them. The siege would have been protracted longer than the Romans anticipated had not some refugees of Italian nationality who were living in Leucas admitted soldiers from the citadel. Once admitted, they ran down with great tumult from the higher ground and found the Leucadians drawn up in battle formation in the forum, who offered a stout resistance. In the meanwhile the walls had in many places been successfully escaladed, and over the heaps of stones and debris a way was made into the city. By this time the general himself had enveloped the combatants with considerable force, and whilst some perished between the two bodies of assailants others threw down their arms and surrendered. A few days later, on hearing of the battle of Cynoscephalae; the whole of Acarnania submitted to the Roman general.
[33.18]In every direction alike Philip's fortunes were sinking. Just at this time the Rhodians determined to win back from him the district on the mainland known as Peraea, which had been held by their forefathers. An expedition was despatched under the command of Pausistratus, consisting of 1300 Achaean infantry and about 1800 miscellaneous troops drawn from various nations - Gauls and Pisuetae; Nisuetae, Tamians and Trahi from Africa, and Laudicenes from Asia. With this force Pausistratus seized Tendeba, an extremely advantageous position situated in the territory of Stratonice, the king's troops who had held it being unaware of his advance. Here he was joined by a body of 1000 Achaean infantry and 400 cavalry specially raised for this campaign. They were commanded by Theoxenus. Dinocrates, one of the king's lieutenants, marched to Tendeba with a view of recovering the place, and from there to Astragon, another fortified position in the same district. All the scattered garrisons were recalled, and with these and a contingent of Thessalians from Stratonice itself he went on to Abanda where the enemy lay. The Rhodians were quite ready for battle, and as the camps lay near one another they at once took the field. Dinocrates posted his 500 Macedonians on his right and the Agrianians on his left, and formed his centre from the troops of the various garrisons, mostly Carians, whilst the flanks were covered by the Macedonian horse and the Cretan and Thracian irregulars. The Rhodians had the Achaeans on their right and a picked force of mercenaries on their left; the centre was held by a mixed force drawn from several nationalities; their cavalry and such light infantry as they had protected their flanks.
On that day the two armies only stood on the banks of the stream, which was then running low, and after discharging a few missiles at each other returned to camp. The following day they were marshalled in the same order, and the action which followed was a much more keenly contested one than might have been expected from the numbers engaged. There were not more than 3000 infantry and about 100 cavalry on each side, but they were fairly matched not only in numbers and equipment, but also in courage and tenacity. The battle was begun by the Achaeans, who crossed the rivulet and attacked the Agrianians, and they were followed by the whole line, who went over the brook at the double. For a long time the struggle remained doubtful, till the Achaeans, who numbered . . ., compelled the 400 to give ground. With the enemy's left pushed back, they concentrated their attack on his right. As long as the Macedonian ranks were unbroken and the phalanx kept its close formation they could not be moved, but when their left was exposed and they tried to bring their spears round to face the enemy who were making a flank attack, they at once got into confusion and fell foul of one another, then they turned and at last, flinging away their arms, broke into headlong flight. The fugitives made for Bargyliae, and Dinocrates also fled thither. The Rhodians kept up the pursuit for the remainder of the day and then returned to camp. Had they gone on to Stratonice straight from the battle-field the city would in all probability have been taken, but they lost the chance of doing this by wasting their time in recovering the fortified posts and villages in Peraea. During this interval those in command at Stratonice regained their courage, and before long Dinocrates with the survivors from the battle entered the place. The city was subsequently besieged and assaulted, but all to no purpose, nor could it be secured until some years later, when it was made over to the Rhodians by Antiochus. These incidents occurred almost simultaneously in Thessaly, Achaia and Asia.
[33.19]Emboldened by the successive Macedonian defeats, the Dardanians began to lay waste the northern part of the realm. Although Philip had almost the whole world against him and Fortune was driving him and his people out of every place in turn, he felt that to be expelled from Macedonia itself would be worse than death. No sooner, therefore, did he hear of the Dardanian invasion than he hurriedly levied troops in all the cities of his kingdom and with a force of 6000 infantry and 500 cavalry he came upon the enemy unexpectedly near Stobi in Paeonia. A great many men fell in the battle, a greater number amongst the fields, where they were dispersed in the hope of plunder. Where there was no obstacle to flight they were in no mood to risk the chance of a battle, and so they retired within their own borders. The success of this expedition, so different from the state of things elsewhere, revived the spirits of his men. After this he returned to Thessalonica. The close of the Punic War took place at a favourable moment, for it removed the danger of having a second war on hand at the same time, namely the war against Philip. Still more opportune was the victory over Philip at a time when Antiochus was already taking hostile action from Syria. Not only was it easier to meet each singly than if they had joined forces, but Spain was giving trouble at the same time and a warlike movement on a large scale was taking place in that country. During the previous summer Antiochus had reduced all the cities in Coelo-Syria which had been under Ptolemy's sway, and though he had now withdrawn into winter quarters he displayed as great activity as he had done during the summer. He had called up the whole strength of his kingdom and had amassed enormous forces, both military and naval. At the commencement of spring he had sent his two sons, Ardys and Mithridates, with an army to Sardis with instructions to wait for him there whilst he started by sea with a fleet of a hundred decked ships and two hundred smaller vessels, including swift pinnaces and Cyprian barques. His object was twofold: to attempt the reduction of the cities along the whole coastline of Cilicia, Lycia and Caria which owed allegiance to Ptolemy, and also to assist Philip - the war with him was not over - both by land and sea.
[33.20]The Rhodians have given many splendid proofs of their courage in maintaining their loyalty to Rome and in defending the liberties of Greece, but never did they afford a finer instance of it than at this time. Undismayed by the vastness of the impending war they sent a message to the king forbidding him to sail beyond the promontory of Chelidonia in Cilicia, a place rendered famous by its being mentioned in an ancient treaty between the Athenians and the kings of Persia. If he did not keep his fleet and his forces within that limit, they informed him that they should oppose him, not because of any personal enmity to him, but because they would not allow him to join forces with Philip and so hinder the Romans in their work of liberating Greece. Antiochus was at the time investing Coracesium. He had so far secured Zephyrium, Soli, Aphrodisias and Corycus, and after rounding Anemurium - another Cilician headland - had captured Selinus. All these towns and other fortified places on this coast had submitted to him either voluntarily or under the stress of fear, but Coracesium unexpectedly shut its gates against him. During this delay the Rhodian envoys obtained an audience of him. The tenor of their instructions was of a nature to rouse the king's wrath, but he curbed his anger and told them that he should send envoys to Rhodes with instructions to renew the old ties which he and his ancestors had formed with that State, and also to reassure them as to the object of his approach, which would bring no injury or loss either to them or to their allies. The embassy which he had sent to Rome had just returned, and as the issue of the war with Philip was still uncertain the senate had wisely given them a favourable reception. Antiochus alleged the gracious reply of the senate and the resolution they passed, so complimentary to him, as a proof that he had no intention of breaking off his friendly relations with Rome. Whilst the king's envoys were urging these considerations in a meeting of the citizens of Rhodes, news came that the war had been brought to a close at Cynoscephalae. On receipt of this intelligence the Rhodians, having nothing more to fear from Philip, abandoned their design of opposing Antiochus with their fleet. They did not, however, abandon the other object, the defence of the liberties of the States in alliance with Ptolemy which Antiochus was now threatening. To some they gave active assistance, others they forewarned of the movements of the enemy; it was thus that Caunos, Myndus, Halicarnassus and Samos owed their liberty to Rhodes. It is not worth while to go in detail into the events which happened in this part of the world, seeing that it is almost beyond my powers to deal with those especially connected with the war with Rome.
[33.21]It was at this time that Attalus, who owing to his illness had been carried from Thebes to Pergamum, died there in his seventy-second year after a reign of forty-four years. Beyond his wealth Fortune had bestowed nothing on this man which could lead him to hope that he would ever be king. But by making a wise use of his riches and at the same time employing them on a magnificent scale he gradually began to be regarded, first in his own estimation and then in the eyes of his friends, as not unworthy of the crown. In one decisive battle he defeated the Gauls - a nation all the more dreaded because they had migrated into Asia comparatively recently - and after this victory he assumed the royal title and ever after justified it by a corresponding greatness of soul. He governed his subjects with absolute justice and showed exceptional loyalty to his allies; affectionate towards his wife and his children, four of whom survived him, he was considerate and generous to his friends and left his kingdom so settled and secure that the possession of it descended to the third generation of his posterity. This was the state of things in Greece, Asia and Macedonia, when just as the campaign against Philip was brought to a close and before peace had been definitely established a serious war broke out in Further Spain. M. Helvius was administering the province, and he wrote to the senate to inform them that the tribal chiefs Culchas and Luxinius were in arms. Fifteen fortified towns were taking part with Culchas, whilst Luxinius was supported by the strong cities of Carmo and Bardo, the Malacini and Sexetani on the coast and the whole of Baeturia. In addition to these the tribes which had not yet disclosed their intentions were prepared to rise as soon as their neighbours moved. After M. Sergius, the city praetor, had read this despatch in the senate a decree was passed ordering that after the new praetors were elected the one who obtained Spain as his province should as soon as possible ask for the senate's instructions as to the military operations there.
[33.22]The consuls arrived in Rome both at the same time and convened the senate at the temple of Bellona. On their demanding a triumph for their military successes, they were opposed by two of the tribunes of the plebs, who insisted on the proposal being submitted to the House by each consul separately. They would not permit a joint proposal to be made on the ground that in that case equal honours would be conferred when the services were far from equal. Q. Minucius replied that Italy had been assigned to them both and he and his colleague had conducted their operations with one mind and one policy. C. Cornelius added that when the Boii crossed the Po to assist the Insubres and the Cenomanni it was through his colleague's action in laying waste their fields and villages that they were compelled to return and defend their own country. The tribunes admitted that the achievements of C. Cethegus were such that there could be no more hesitation about according him a triumph than about paying honours to the immortal gods. Neither Cethegus, however, nor any other citizen possessed so much influence and power that he could, after obtaining a well-deserved triumph for himself, grant the same honour to a colleague who did not deserve it, and whose request for it was an affront. Q. Minucius, they declared, had fought some insignificant actions, hardly worth talking about, amongst the Ligurians and had lost a large number of men in Gaul. Two military tribunes, T. Juventius and Cneius Ligurius, both attached to the fourth legion, had fallen in an unsuccessful battle in company with many other brave men, both citizens and allies. A few towns and villages had ostensibly surrendered for the time being, without giving any guarantee of good faith. These altercations between the consuls and the tribunes took up two days. At last the pertinacity of the tribunes won the day and the consuls submitted their requests separately.
[33.23]A triumph was unanimously decreed to C. Cethegus. His popularity was still further enhanced by delegates from Cremona and Placentia, who gratefully described how he had delivered them from the horrors of a siege, and in the case of most of those who had fallen into the enemy's hands from actual slavery. Q. Minucius put his motion merely tentatively, and on finding the whole senate opposed to him gave out that by virtue of his rights as consul, and in accordance with the precedent set by many illustrious men, he should triumph on the Alban Mount. C. Cethegus celebrated his triumph while he was still in office. Many military standards were carried in the procession, many spoils in captured wagons and many noble Gauls were led before his chariot. Some authorities aver that the Carthaginian general Hamilcar was amongst them. But the eyes of all were turned chiefly to a crowd of colonists from Cremona and Placentia who followed the consul's chariot wearing the cap of liberty. The amount of specie carried in the procession was 237,500 ases and 79,000 silver denarii. Each of the soldiers received a bonus of 70 ases and double the amount was given to each centurion and horseman. Q. Minucius celebrated his victories over the Ligurians and the Boii on the Alban Mount. Though this triumph was less of a distinction than the other in respect of the scene and glory of his achievements, and though everybody was aware that its cost was not defrayed from the public treasury, still it about equalled it in the number of standards and wagons and spoils. Even the amount of money almost reached the same figure; there were 254,000 ases and 53,200 silver denarii. He gave to each of his soldiers the same sums as his colleague had given
[33.24]After the triumph came the elections. The new consuls were L. Furius Purpurio and M. Claudius Marcellus. The praetors elected the day following were Q. Fabius Buteo, Tiberius Sempronius Longus, Q. Minucius Thermus, Manius Acilius Glabrio, L. Apustius Fullo and C. Laelius. About the end of the year despatches arrived from T. Quinctius stating that he had fought a pitched battle with Philip in Thessaly, and that the enemy had been routed and put to flight. These despatches were read by Sergius first in the senate and then, with the sanction of the senate, at a meeting of the citizens. A five days' thanksgiving was appointed for this success. The joint delegation from T. Quinctius and Philip arrived soon afterwards. The Macedonians were conducted to the Government building in the Campus Martius, where they were accommodated as guests of the State. The senate received them in audience in the temple of Bellona; no long speeches were made, for the delegates simply stated that the king was prepared to act in accordance with the wishes of the senate. Following the traditional usage, ten commissioners were appointed to advise with T. Quinctius as to the terms on which peace was to be granted to Philip, and a clause was added to the decree providing that among the members of the commission should be included P. Sulpicius and P. Villius, to whom Macedonia had been assigned as their province when they were consuls. On the same day a petition was presented by the inhabitants of Cosa praying that their numbers might be enlarged, and an order was made for a thousand fresh colonists to be enrolled, no one to be included in the number who had been an enemy alien since the consulship of P. Cornelius and Tiberius Sempronius.
[33.25]The Roman Games in the Circus Maximus and the scenic plays on the stage were exhibited by the curule aediles, P. Cornelius Scipio and Cneius Manlius Vulso, on a more splendid scale than usual, and amid greater hilarity on the part of the spectators owing to the recent successes in the field. Three times they were repeated in every detail. The Plebeian Games were repeated seven times. The latter were exhibited by Manius Acilius Glabrio and C. Laelius, and out of the proceeds of fines they set up bronze statues of Ceres, Liber and Libera. The first business before the new consuls, L. Furius and M. Claudius Marcellus, after taking office was the allotment of the provinces. The senate was preparing to decree Italy as the province for both, but the consuls tried hard to get Macedonia allotted as well as Italy. Marcellus, who was the more anxious of the two to obtain Macedonia, declared that the peace with Philip was illusory and that if the Roman army were withdrawn he would resume hostilities. This made the senate hesitate in coming to a decision, and the consul would probably have gained his point had not two tribunes of the plebs, Q. Marcius Ralla and C. Atinius Labeo, threatened to interpose their veto unless the plebs were first consulted as to whether it was their will and pleasure that peace should be made with Philip. The question was submitted to the plebs in the Capitol, and the whole of the thirty-five tribes voted in the affirmative. The satisfaction felt at the peaceful settlement with Macedonia was all the more welcome owing to the gloomy news from Spain and the publication of a despatch stating that the proconsul, C. Sempronius Tuditanus, acting in Hither Spain had been defeated and his army routed and put to flight. Many men of high rank had fallen in the battle, and Tuditanus himself was seriously wounded and died soon after being carried off the field. Italy was assigned to both the consuls as their province, together with the legions which the previous consuls had had, and they were to raise four new legions, two to garrison the City and two to be at the disposal of the senate. T. Quinctius Flamininus was to remain in his province with the army which he had, and the previous extension of his command was deemed sufficient.
[33.26]The praetors next balloted for their provinces. L. Apustius Fullo obtained the City jurisdiction, M. Acilius Glabrio the jurisdiction in causes between citizens and aliens. Q. Fabius Buteo received Further Spain and Q. Minucius Thermus, Hither Spain. C. Laelius was allotted Sicily and Tiberius Sempronius Longus, Sardinia. The consuls were ordered to furnish the two praetors who were to proceed to Spain with one legion each from the four new legions they were raising and also 4000 allied infantry and 300 cavalry. These two praetors were ordered to proceed to their provinces at the earliest possible moment. The Spanish war, which was practically a fresh war, because the natives had resorted to arms on their own account without any Carthaginian army or general to support them, broke out five years after the former war had been brought to a close simultaneously with the Punic War. Before the praetors started for Spain, or the consuls left the City, they were charged with the expiation of the various portents that had been announced. P. Villius, a Roman knight who was on his way to the Sabine country, was killed, together with his horse, by a flash of lightning. The temple of Ferona near Capenae was similarly struck. At the temple of Moneta two spear-heads burst into flame. A wolf entered the City through the Porta Esquilina, the busiest part of the City, and ran down to the Forum; it then ran through the Tuscan and Cermalian wards, and finally escaped through the Porta Capena almost untouched. These portents were expiated by the sacrifice of full-grown victims.
[33.27]During this interval Cneius Cornelius Blasio, who had administered Hither Spain before Tuditanus, was authorised by the senate to enter the City in ovation. Before him were borne 1515 pounds of gold and 20,000 of silver, and also 34,500 silver denarii. L. Stertinius, who made no effort to obtain a triumph, brought away from Further Spain 50,000 pounds of silver for the public treasury, and with the proceeds from the sale of the spoil he erected two gateways in the Forum Boarium in front of the temples of Fortuna and Mater Matuta, and one in the Circus Maximus. On these three structures he placed gilded statues. The above were the principal events during the winter. T. Quinctius was in winter quarters at Elatia. Amidst the numerous requests which he received from the friendly States was one from the Boeotians begging that, those of their countrymen who had been fighting for Philip might be restored to them. Quinctius readily granted their request, not because he thought that they deserved it, but because he was anxious, in view of Antiochus' suspicious movements, to win the support and sympathy of the Grecian States. After they had been restored it became at once apparent how little gratitude he had evoked among the Boeotians, for they sent delegates to thank Philip for the return of their countrymen, as though it were he who had made the concession and not Quinctius and the Romans. And at the next election they chose a person called Brachylles as the Boeotarch, for no other reason than because he had commanded the Boeotian contingent which had served under Philip, thus passing over men like Zeuxippus and Pisistratus and others who had brought about the alliance with Rome. Annoyed as these men were at the time, they were still more apprehensive as to the future, for if these things could go on while a Roman army was lying almost at their gates, what would happen to them, they asked, when the Romans had left for Italy and Philip was close at hand to help his friends and take his revenge upon his opponents?
[33.28]As Brachylles was the main supporter of the king they determined to get rid of him while the arms of Rome were in their neighbourhood. The hour chosen was when he was returning from a State banquet in a state of intoxication, escorted by an effeminate crew who had been carousing in the banquet hall. He was set upon by six armed men, three of whom were Italians and three Aetolians, and killed on the spot. His companions fled screaming for help, and the whole city was thrown into uproar, men running in all directions with lanterns and torches. The assassins had meanwhile escaped through the nearest gate. At daybreak the next morning the population gathered in the theatre in such numbers as to give the appearance of a formal assembly convened by edict or by the public crier. Openly all men were saying that he had been murdered by his retinue and the dissolute wretches who accompanied him, but in their hearts they fixed upon Zeuxippus as the instigator of the crime. For the time being, however, it was decided that those who had been with him should be arrested and examined under torture. While search was being made for them Zeuxippus, determined to clear himself of any suspicion of complicity, came calm and undismayed into the gathering and said that people were mistaken who supposed that such an atrocious murder could have been committed by such effeminate creatures. He adduced many strong arguments to support this view, and some who heard him were convinced that if he were an accomplice he would never have appeared before the people or made any allusion to the murder when no one had challenged him to do so. Others were quite certain that by thus unblushingly meeting the charge he was endeavouring to divert suspicion from himself. After a short time those who were really innocent were put to the torture, and though they themselves knew nothing about it they treated the universal opinion as though it amounted to proof and named Zeuxippus and Pisistratus without alleging any evidence as to their actually knowing what had happened. Zeuxippus, however, with a person called Stratonidas escaped by night to Tanagra, fearing his own conscience more than the statements of men who were unconscious of the true state of the case. Pisistratus paid no regard to the informers and remained in Thebes.
Zeuxippus had a slave with him who had acted as messenger and intermediary all through the affair. Pisistratus was afraid that this man might turn informer, and it was through this very fear that the slave was compelled to make the disclosure. He sent a letter to Zeuxippus warning him to do away with the slave as he was privy to all they had done, and he did not believe him to be so capable of concealing the thing as he had been of carrying it out. The bearer was ordered to give the letter to Zeuxippus as soon as possible, and as he had no opportunity of giving it at once he handed it to this very slave, whom he regarded as the most faithful of all to his master, telling him at the same time that it was from Pisistratus about a matter which greatly concerned Zeuxippus. The slave assured the bearer that he would deliver it forthwith, but being conscience stricken he opened it, and after reading it through fled to Thebes and laid the evidence before the magistrates. Warned by the flight of the slave, Zeuxippus withdrew to Anthedon, as he considered that a safer place to live in. Pisistratus and the others were examined under torture and afterwards executed.
[33.29]This murder roused Thebes and the whole of Boeotia to an intensely bitter hatred against the Romans; they were quite convinced that Zeuxippus, the foremost man amongst them, would not have been a party to such a crime if he had not been countenanced by the Roman general. To go to war was impossible; they had neither forces nor a leader, but they did the next thing to it, they took to brigandage and assassination. They made away with soldiers who were billeted on them, and others on furlough who were going about on various errands in their winter quarters. Some were caught in the high roads by men who lay in wait for them, others were led on false pretences to lonely inns and then seized and murdered. These crimes were committed from greed quite as much as from hatred, because the men carried silver in their belts for making purchases. As more and more men were amongst the missing every day, the whole of Boeotia acquired an evil reputation, and the men were more afraid to go outside their camp than if they had been in an enemy's country. On this, Quinctius sent officers to the different cities to investigate the murders. Most of them were found to have been committed round Lake Copais; here bodies were dug out of the mud and recovered from the shallows with stones or amphorae fastened to them, to sink them deeper by their weight. Many murders also took place at Acraephia and Coronea. Quinctius issued orders for those who were guilty to be given up to him, and he levied a fine of 500 talents upon the Boeotians for the 500 soldiers who had been murdered.
Neither of these orders was complied with. The cities simply excused themselves by saying that their government had not sanctioned any of these deeds. Quinctius thereupon sent a deputation to visit Athens and Achaia and explain to them that it was in a just and holy cause that he was going to punish the Boeotians by arms. Appius Claudius received orders to march to Acraephia with half the force, and he himself with the other half invested Coronea after laving waste the country round. All the country through which the two divisions advanced from Elatia was devastated. The Boeotians, completely cowed by the losses they were sustaining and seeing fear and flight everywhere, sent envoys, but as they were not admitted into the camp, the Athenian and Achaean envoys came to their support. The mediation of the Achaeans was the more effectual of the two, because in case they failed to obtain peace for the Boeotians they were resolved to fight by the side of the Romans. Through their representations, the Boeotians were allowed to approach the Roman general and lay their case before him. Peace was granted them on condition that they surrendered the guilty parties and paid a fine of 30 talents, and the siege was raised.
[33.30]A few days later the ten commissioners arrived from Rome. On their advice peace was granted to Philip on the following terms: All the Greek communities in Europe and Asia were to be free and independent; Philip was to withdraw his garrisons from those which had been under his rule and after their evacuation hand them over to the Romans before the date fixed for the Isthmian Games. He was also to withdraw his garrisons from the following cities in Asia: Euromus, Pedasae, Bargyliae, Iasos, Myrina, Abydos, Thasos and Perinthus, for it was decided that these too should be free. With regard to the freedom of Cios, Quinctius undertook to communicate the decision of the senate and the commissioners to Prusias, King of Bithynia. The king was also to restore all prisoners and deserters to the Romans, and all his decked ships, save five, were to be surrendered, but he could retain his royal galley, which was all but unmanageable owing to its size and was propelled by sixteen banks of oars. His army was never to exceed 5000 men and he was not allowed to have a single elephant, nor was he permitted to make war beyond his frontiers without the express sanction of the senate. The indemnity which he was required to pay amounted to 1000 talents, half of it to be paid at once and the remainder in ten annual instalments. Valerius Antias asserts that an annual tribute of 4000 lbs. of silver was imposed on the king for ten years. Claudius says that the annual tribute amounted to 4200 lbs. of silver and extended over thirty years, with an immediate payment of 2000 lbs. He also says that an additional clause in the treaty expressly provided that Philip should not make war upon Eumenes, who had succeeded his father Attalus upon the throne. As a guarantee of the observance of these conditions hostages were taken by the Romans, amongst whom was Philip's son, Demetrius. Valerius Antias further states that the island of Aegina and the elephants were given to Attalus, and that Stratonice and the other cities in Caria which Philip had held were given to the Rhodians, and the islands of Lemnos, Imbros, Delos and Scyros to the Athenians.
[33.31]Almost all the States of Greece welcomed peace on these terms. The Aetolians formed a solitary exception. They did not venture upon open opposition, but they criticised the commissioners' decision bitterly in private. It was, they said, a mere form of words vaguely suggesting the delusive image of pretended liberty. Why, they asked, were some cities to be given to the Romans without being named, and others which were named to retain their freedom, unless it was thought that the cities in Asia might be safely left free because of their remoteness, whilst those in Greece which are not even named might be appropriated, viz. Corinth, Chalcis, Oreus, together with Eretria and Demetrias? Nor was this charge altogether groundless, for there was much hesitation as to three of those cities. In the decree of the senate which the commissioners had brought with them the rest of the cities in Greece and Asia were unequivocally declared free, but in the case of Corinth, Chalcis and Demetrias the commissioners were instructed to do and determine as the interests of the commonwealth and the circumstances of the time and their own sense of duty required. It was Antiochus they had in their minds; they were convinced that as soon as he deemed his strength adequate he would invade Europe, and they did not intend to leave it open to him to occupy cities which would form such favourable bases of operations. Quinctius proceeded with the ten commissioners to Anticyra, and from there sailed across to Corinth. Here the commissioners discussed for days the measures for securing the freedom of Greece. Again and again Quinctius urged that the whole of Greece must be declared free if they wanted to stop the tongues of the Achaeans and inspire all with a true affection for Rome and an appreciation of her greatness - if, in fact, they desired to convince the Greeks that they had crossed the seas with the sole purpose of winning their freedom and not of transferring Philip's dominion over them to themselves. The commissioners took no exception to his insistence on making the cities free, but they argued that it would be safer for the cities themselves to remain for a time under the protection of Roman garrisons rather than have to accept Antiochus as their master in the place of Philip. At last they came to a decision; the city of Corinth was to be restored to the Achaeans, but a garrison was to be placed in Acrocorinthus, and Chalcis and Demetrias were to be retained until the menace of Antiochus was removed.
[33.32]The date fixed for the Isthmian Games was now close at hand. These Games always drew vast crowds, owing partly to the innate love of the nation for a spectacle in which they watched contests of every kind, competitions of artistic skill, and trials of strength and speed, and partly owing to the fact that its situation between two seas made it the common emporium of Greece and Asia, where supplies were to be obtained of everything necessary or useful to man. But on this occasion it was not the usual attractions alone that drew the people from every part of Greece; they were in a state of keen expectancy, wondering what would be the future position of the country, and what fortune awaited themselves. All sorts of conjectures were formed and openly expressed as to what the Romans would do, but hardly anybody persuaded himself that they would withdraw from Greece altogether.
When the spectators had taken their seats, a herald, accompanied by a trumpeter, stepped forward into the middle of the arena, where the Games are usually opened by the customary formalities, and after a blast from the trumpet had produced silence, made the following announcement: "THE SENATE OF ROME AND T. QUINCTIUS, THEIR GENERAL, HAVING CONQUERED KING PHILIP AND THE MACEDONIANS DO NOW DECREE AND ORDAIN THAT THESE STATES SHALL BE FREE, SHALL BE RELEASED FROM THE PAYMENT OF TRIBUTE, AND SHALL LIVE UNDER THEIR OWN LAWS, NAMELY THE CORINTHIANS; THE PHOCIANS; ALL THE LOCRIANS TOGETHER WITH THE ISLAND OF EUBOEA; THE MAGNESIANS; THE THESSALIANS; THE PERRHAEBIANS, AND THE ACHAEANS OF PHTHIOTIS." This list comprised all those States which had been under the sway of Philip. When the herald had finished his proclamation the feeling of joy was too great for men to take it all in. They hardly ventured to trust their ears, and gazed wonderingly on one another, as though it were an empty dream. Not trusting their ears, they asked those nearest how their own interests were affected, and as everyone was eager not only to hear but also to see the man who had proclaimed their freedom, the herald was recalled and repeated his message. Then they realised that the joyful news was true, and from the applause and cheers which arose it was perfectly evident that none of life's blessings was dearer to the multitude than liberty. The Games were then hurried through; no man's eyes or ears were any longer fixed on them, so completely had the one master joy supplanted all other pleasurable sensations.
[33.33]At the close of the Games, almost the entire assemblage ran to the spot where the Roman general was seated, and the rush of the crowd who were trying to touch his hand and throw garlands and ribbons became almost dangerous. He was about thirty-three years old at the time, and not only the robustness of his manhood but the delight of reaping such a harvest of glory gave him strength. The universal rejoicing was not simply a temporary excitement; for many days it found expression in thoughts and words of gratitude. "There is," people said, "one nation which at its own cost, through its own exertions, at its own risk has gone to war on behalf of the liberty of others. It renders this service not to those across its frontiers, or to the peoples of neighbouring States or to those who dwell on the same mainland, but it crosses the seas in order that nowhere in the wide world may injustice and tyranny exist, but that right and equity and law may be everywhere supreme. By this single proclamation of the herald all the cities in Greece and Asia recover their liberty. To have formed this design shows a daring spirit; to have brought it to fulfilment is a proof of exceptional courage and extraordinary good fortune."
[33.34]Immediately after the Isthmian Games Quinctius and the ten commissioners gave audience to the ambassadors from the different monarchs and self-governing communities. The first to be heard were those from Antiochus. They spoke to very much the same effect as they had before spoken in Rome, making insincere and empty professions of friendship, but they did not receive the same ambiguous answer as on the former occasion, when the business with Philip was not yet settled. Antiochus was openly and unequivocally warned to evacuate all the cities in Asia which had belonged to either Philip or Ptolemy, to leave the free States alone, and never to make aggressions on them, as all the cities through the length and breadth of Greece must continue to enjoy peace and liberty. He was especially warned not to lead his forces into Europe or go there himself. On the dismissal of the king's ambassadors a convention of those from the different cities and States was held and the proceedings were expedited by the reading out of the names in the decree of the ten commissioners. The people of Orestis, a district in Macedonia, had their old constitution restored to them as a reward for having been the first to revolt from Philip. The Magnetes, the Perrhaebians and the Dolopians were also declared free. The Thessalians received their freedom and also a grant of the Achaean portion of Phthiotis exclusive of Thebes and Pharsalus. The demand of the Aetolians that Pharsalus and Leucas should be restored to them in accordance with treaty rights was referred to the senate, but the commissioners acting under the authority of their decree united Phocis and Locris thus reverting to the former state of things. Corinth, Triphylia and Heraea - also in the Peloponnesus - were restored to the Achaean league. The commissioners intended to make a grant of Oreus and Eretria to Eumenes, Attalus' son, but as Quinctius raised objections this one point was left to the decision of the senate, and that body declared these places and also Carystus to be free cities. Lychnis and Parthus were given to Pleuratus; both these Illyrian cities had been subject to Philip. Amynander was told to keep the forts which he had taken from Philip during the war.
[33.35]After the convention had broken up the commissioners divided amongst themselves the work that lay before them and separated, each proceeding to effect the liberty of the cities within his own district. P. Lentulus went to Bargyliae; L. Stertinius to Hephaestia, Thasos and the cities in Thrace; P. Villius and L. Terentius went to interview Antiochus; and Cn. Cornelius visited Philip. After settling minor points in accordance with his instructions, he asked the king whether he would listen patiently to advice that might be not only useful to him but salutary as well. Philip replied that he should be grateful for any suggestion he might make which would be to his interest. Cornelius then strongly urged him, now that he had obtained peace, to send a mission to Rome to establish relations of friendship and alliance. By doing this he would remove, in case of any hostile movement on the part of Antiochus, the possibility of appearing to be waiting for an opportunity of recommencing hostilities. This meeting with Philip took place at Tempe. He assured Cornelius that he would send delegates forthwith, and Cornelius then went on to Thermopylae, where what was called the Pylaic council - a gathering from all parts of Greece - met on stated days. He appeared before the council, and urged the Aetolians especially to continue staunch and loyal friends to Rome. Some of their leaders mildly remonstrated against the change in the feelings of the Romans towards them since their victory; others took a much stronger line and declared that without the aid of the Aetolians Philip could not have been vanquished, nor could the Romans ever have landed in Greece. To prevent matters from coming to an open quarrel, the Roman commander abstained from replying to these charges and simply assured them that if they would send an embassy to Rome they would gain everything that was fair and reasonable. On his authority, therefore, they passed a resolution that a mission should be despatched. Such were the incidents that marked the close of the war with Philip.
[33.36]Whilst these events were happening in Greece and Macedonia and Asia, Etruria very nearly became the scene of war owing to a conspiracy of the slaves. For the purpose of investigating and crushing this movement, Manius Acilius Glabrio, to whom as praetor the mixed jurisdiction over citizens and aliens had been assigned, was sent into Etruria with one of the two legions stationed in the City. A body of the conspirators was defeated in open battle and many of them were killed or taken prisoners; the ringleaders were scourged and crucified; the others sent back to their masters. The consuls left for their provinces. Marcellus entered the territory of the Boii, and whilst he was entrenching his camp on some rising ground, his men worn out with marching all day long, Corolamus, one of the Boian chiefs, attacked him with a large force and killed as many as 3000. Several men of high rank fell in this tumultuary battle; amongst them Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus and M. Junius Silanus, prefects of the allies, and two military tribunes in the second legion - M. Ogulnius and P. Claudius. The Romans, however, succeeded by great exertions in completing their lines and held the camp against the attacks of the enemy, which his initial success rendered all the more fierce. Marcellus remained in his camp for some time, in order that his wounded might be cured and that his men might have time to recover their spirits after such heavy losses.
The Boians, quite incapable of supporting the weariness of delay, dispersed everywhere to their villages and strongholds. Suddenly Marcellus crossed the Po and invaded the Comum territory, where the Insubres had induced the natives to take up arms and were now encamped. The Boian Gauls, full of confidence after the recent fight, joined battle with him while he was actually on the march, and at first attacked with such violence that they forced the front ranks to give way. Fearing that if they once began to give ground it might end in a complete repulse, Marcellus brought up a cohort of Marsians and launched all the troops of the Latin cavalry against the enemy. After they had by successive charges held up the determined onset of the Gauls the rest of the Roman line recovered its steadiness and resisted all attempts to break it. At last they took the offensive in a furious charge which the Gauls were unable to stand; they turned and fled in disorder. According to Valerius Antias over 40,000 men were killed in that battle, 801 standards captured, together with 732 wagons and a large number of gold chains. Claudius tells us that one of these, a very heavy one, was deposited as an offering in the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol. The Gaulish camp was stormed and plundered on the same day as the battle took place, and a few days later the town of Comum was captured. Subsequently twenty-eight fortified places went over to the consul. It is a question amongst the various historians whether it was against the Boii or the Insubres that the consul marched in the first place, and whether he wiped out his unsuccessful action by a successful one afterwards or whether the victory at Comum was marred by his later disaster amongst the Boii.
[33.37]Soon after these instances of Fortune's caprice, the other consul, L. Furius Purpurio, invaded the Boian territory from the Sapinian canton in Umbria. He was approaching the fortress of Mutelus, but fearing that he might be cut off by the Boii and Ligurians, he led his army back over the way he had come, and by making a wide detour through open and therefore safe country ultimately joined his colleague. With their united armies they traversed the Boian country as far as the town of Felsina, systematically plundering as they advanced. That place, with all the fortified positions in the country round, surrendered, as did most of the tribe; the younger men remained in arms for the sake of plunder and had retreated into the depths of the forest. Then the two armies advanced against the Ligurians. The Boii, who were still in arms, expected that as they were supposed to be a long way off the Roman army would be more careless in keeping its formation on the march, and they followed it through secret paths in the forest with the intention of making a surprise attack. As they did not catch it up, they suddenly crossed the Po in ships and devastated the lands of the Laevi and Libui. On their way back along the Ligurian frontier they fell in with the Roman armies whilst they were loaded with plunder. The battle began more quickly and more furiously than if the time and place had previously been determined and all preparations made for battle. Here was a striking instance of the way in which passion stimulates courage, for the Romans were so determined to kill rather than simply to win a victory that they left hardly a man alive to carry the news of the battle. When the despatch announcing this success reached Rome a three days' thanksgiving was ordered for the victory. Marcellus arrived in Rome soon afterwards and a triumph was unanimously accorded to him by the senate. He celebrated his triumph over the Insubres and the Comensians while still in office. The anticipation of a triumph over the Boii he resigned to his colleague, because he personally had been unsuccessful against them, only in conjunction with his colleague had he been victorious. A large amount of spoil was carried in the wagons taken from the enemy, including numerous standards. The specie amounted to 320,000 ases and 234,000 silver denarii. Each legionary received a gratuity of 80 ases; the cavalry and centurions each three times as much.
[33.38].During this year Antiochus, who had spent the winter in Ephesus, endeavoured to reduce all the cities in Asia to their old condition of dependence. With the exception of Smyrna and Lampsacus, he thought that they would all accept the yoke without difficulty, since they either lay in open level country or were weakly defended by their walls and their soldiery. Smyrna and Lampsacus asserted their right to be free and there was danger, should their claim be allowed, of other cities in Aeolis and Ionia following the example of Smyrna, and those on the Hellespont the example of Lampsacus. Accordingly he despatched a force from Ephesus to invest Smyrna and ordered the troops in Abydos to march to Lampsacus, only a small detachment being left to hold the place. But it was not only the threat of arms that he made use of, he sent envoys to make friendly overtures to the citizens, and whilst gently rebuking their rashness and obstinacy lead them to hope that in a short time they would have what they wanted. It was, however, perfectly clear to them and to all the world that they would enjoy their liberty as the free gift of the king and not because they had seized a favourable opportunity of winning it. They told the envoys in reply that Antiochus must be neither surprised nor angry if they did not patiently resign themselves to the indefinite postponement of their hopes of liberty.
At the beginning of spring he set sail from Ephesus for the Hellespont and ordered his land army to proceed from Abydos to the Chersonese. He united his naval and military powers at Madytos, a city in the Chersonese, and as they had shut their gates against him he completely invested the place, and was on the point of bringing up his siege engines when the city surrendered. The fear which Antiochus thus inspired led the inhabitants of Sestos and the other cities in the Chersonese to make a voluntary surrender. His next objective was Lysimachia. When he arrived here with the whole of his land and sea forces he found the place deserted and little more than a heap of ruins, for some years previously the Thracians had captured and plundered the city and then burnt it. Finding it in this condition, Antiochus was seized by a desire to restore a city of such celebrity and so favourably situated, and he at once set about the various tasks which this involved. The houses and walls were rebuilt, some of the former inhabitants who had been made slaves were ransomed, others who were scattered as refugees throughout the Chersonese and the shores of the Hellespont were discovered and brought together, and new colonists were attracted by the prospect of the advantages they would receive. In fact every method was adopted of repopulating the city. To remove at the same time all apprehensions of trouble from the Thracians he proceeded with one half of his army to devastate the neighbouring districts of Thrace, the other half and all the ships' crews he left to go on with the work of restoration.
[33.39]Very shortly after this L. Cornelius, who had been sent by the senate to settle the differences between Antiochus and Ptolemy, made a halt at Selymbria, and three of the ten commissioners went to Lysimachia: P. Lentulus from Bargyliae, P. Villius and L. Terentius from Thasos. They were joined there by L. Cornelius from Selymbria, and a few days later by Antiochus, who returned from Thrace. The first meeting with the commissioners and the invitation which Antiochus gave them were kindly and hospitable, but when it came to discussing their instructions and the position of affairs in Asia a good deal of temper was shown on both sides. The Romans told Antiochus plainly that everything he had done since his fleet set sail from Syria met with the disapproval of the senate and they considered it right that all the cities which had been subject to Ptolemy should be restored to him. With regard to those cities which had formed part of Philip's possessions and which while he was preoccupied with the war against Rome Antiochus had seized the opportunity of appropriating himself, it was simply intolerable that after the Romans had sustained such risks and hardships by sea and land for all those years Antiochus should carry off the prizes of war. Granting that it was possible for the Romans to take no notice of his appearance in Asia as being no concern of theirs, what about his entrance into Europe with the whole of his army and navy? What difference was there between that and an open declaration of war against Rome? Even if he had landed in Italy he would say that he did not mean war, but the Romans were not going to wait until he was in a position to do that.
[33.40]In his reply Antiochus expressed his surprise that the Romans should go so carefully into the question as to what Antiochus ought to do, whilst they never stopped to consider what limits were to be set to their own advance by land and sea. Asia was no concern of the senate, and they had no more right to ask what Antiochus was doing in Asia than he had to ask what the Roman people were doing in Italy. As for Ptolemy and their complaint that he had appropriated his cities, he and Ptolemy were on perfectly friendly terms and arrangements were being made for them to be connected by marriage shortly. He had not sought to take advantage of Philip's misfortunes nor had he come into Europe with any hostile intent against the Romans. After the defeat of Lysimachus all that belonged to him passed by the right of war to Seleucus, and therefore he counted it part of his dominion. Ptolemy, and after him Philip, alienated some of these places at a time when his (Antiochus') ancestors were devoting their care and attention to other matters. Could there be a shadow of doubt that the Chersonese and that part of Thrace which lies round Lysimachia once belonged to Lysimachus? To recover the ancient right over these was the object of his coming and also to rebuild from its foundations the city of Lysimachia, which had been destroyed by the Thracians, in order that his son Seleucus might have it as the seat of empire.
[33.41]After this discussion had been going on for some days, an unauthenticated rumour reached them that Ptolemy was dead. This prevented any decision from being arrived at; both parties pretended that they had heard nothing about it, and L. Cornelius, whose mission extended to both Antiochus and Ptolemy, asked for a short adjournment to allow of his obtaining an interview with Ptolemy. His object was to land in Egypt before the new occupant of the throne could initiate any change of policy. Antiochus, on the other hand, felt certain that if he took possession of Egypt at once it would be his own, and so, taking his leave of the Roman commissioners and leaving his son to complete the restoration of Lysimachia, he sailed with the whole of his fleet to Ephesus. From there he despatched envoys to Quinctius to lull his suspicion and to assure him that he was not contemplating any new departure. Coasting along the Asiatic shores he reached Patarae in Lycia and there he learnt that Ptolemy was alive. He now abandoned all intention of sailing to Egypt, but continued his voyage as far as Cyprus. When he had rounded the promontory of Chelidoniae he was for some time delayed in Pamphylia near the river Eurymedon by a mutiny amongst the crews. After continuing his voyage as far as the co-called "heads" of the river Saros he was overtaken by a terrible storm which engulfed nearly the whole of his fleet. Many of the ships were wrecked, many ran aground, a large number foundered so suddenly that none could swim to land. There was a very great loss of life; not only nameless crowds of sailors and soldiers, but many distinguished men, friends of the king, were amongst the victims. Antiochus collected the remains of his shattered fleet, but as he was in no condition to make an attempt on Cyprus he returned to Seleucia, much poorer in men and material resources than when he started on his expedition. Here he had the ships beached, for winter was close at hand, after which he went to Antioch for the winter. Such was the position of affairs with regard to the two monarchs.
[33.42]This year for the first time three epulones were appointed, namely C. Licinius Lucullus, one of the tribunes of the plebs who had got the law passed under which they were appointed, and with him P. Manlius and P. Portius Laeca. They were allowed by law to wear the toga praetexta like the priests. But a serious dispute broke out this year between the whole body of priests and the City quaestors, Q. Fabius Labeo and P. Aurelius. The senate had decided that the last repayment of the money subscribed for the Punic War should be made to those who had contributed and money was needed for the purpose. As the augurs and pontiffs had not made any contribution during the war, the quaestors demanded payment from them. They appealed in vain to the tribunes of the plebs, and were compelled to pay their quota for every year of the war. Two pontiffs died during the year; they were succeeded by the consul, M. Marcellus, in place of C. Sempronius Tuditanus, who had died while acting as praetor in Spain, and L. Valerius Flaccus in place of M. Cornelius Cethegus. The augur Q. Fabius Maximus also died while quite young, before he could hold any magistracy; no successor was appointed during the year.
The consular elections were conducted by M. Marcellus; the new consuls were L. Valerius Flaccus and M. Porcius Cato. The praetors elected were Cn. Manlius Volso, Ap. Claudius Nero P. Porcius Laeca, C. Fabricius Luscinus, C. Atinius Labeo and P. Manlius. The curule aediles, M. Fulvius Nobilior and C. Flaminius, sold during the year a million modii of wheat to the people at two ases the modius. This wheat was sent by the Sicilians out of regard to C. Flaminius and in honour of his father's memory. The Roman Games were celebrated with great splendour and repeated on three different days. The plebeian aediles, Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus and C. Scribonius Curio, brought several farmers of State lands before the popular tribunal; three of these were convicted, and out of the fines imposed they built a temple to Faunus on the Island. The Plebeian Games lasted two days and there was the usual banquet.
[33.43]On March 15, the day when they entered upon office, the new consuls consulted the senate as to the allocation of provinces. The senate decided that since the war in Spain was spreading to such a serious extent as to require the presence of a consul and a consular army, Hither Spain should be one of the two consular provinces. The consuls were instructed to come to a mutual arrangement or else ballot for that province and Italy. Whichever of them drew Spain was to take with him two legions, 15,000 allied infantry and 800 cavalry and a fleet of 20 ships of war. The other consul was to raise two legions; that was looked upon as sufficient to hold Gaul after the crushing blow dealt to the Insubres and the Boii the previous year. Cato drew Spain, Valerius Italy. The praetors now balloted for their provinces. C. Fabricius Luscinus received the City jurisdiction; C. Atinius Labeo the jurisdiction over aliens; Cn. Manlius Volso, Sicily; Ap. Claudius Nero, Further Spain; P. Porcius Laeca, Pisae, in order to threaten the Ligurians from the rear. P. Manlius was assigned to the consul to assist him in Hither Spain. Owing to the suspicious attitude of Antiochus and of the Aetolians, and also of Nabis and the Lacedaemonians, T. Quinctius was continued in his command with the two legions he had had before. Any reinforcements required to bring them up to full strength were to be raised by the consuls and despatched to Macedonia. In addition to the legion which Q. Fabius had had, Appius Claudius was authorised to raise 2000 infantry and 200 cavalry. The same number of infantry and cavalry were assigned to P. Manlius for employment in Hither Spain as well as the legion which had served under the praetor Q. Minucius. Out of the army in Gaul 10,000 infantry and 500 cavalry were decreed to P. Portius Laeca to operate in Etruria round Pisae. Tiberius Sempronius Longus had his command in Sardinia extended.
[33.44]Such was the distribution of the provinces. Before the consuls left the City they were required, in accordance with a decree of the pontiffs, to proclaim a Sacred Spring. This was in fulfilment of a vow made by the praetor A. Cornelius Mammula at the desire of the senate and by order of the people twenty-one years previously in the consulship of Cn. Servilius and C. Flaminius. C. Claudius Pulcher, the son of Appius, was at the same time appointed augur in place of Q. Fabius Maximus, who had died the year before. Whilst general surprise was felt that nothing was being done about the war which had broken out in Spain, a despatch arrived from Q. Minucius announcing that he had successfully engaged the Spanish generals Budar and Baesadines, and that the enemy had lost 12,000 men, Budar being made prisoner and the rest routed and put to flight. When the despatch was read less apprehension was felt about the two Spains, where a very serious war had been anticipated. The general anxiety now centered on Antiochus, especially after the return of the ten commissioners. After giving their report on the negotiations with Philip and the terms on which peace had been made with him, they made it evident that a war on at least as great a scale with Antiochus was imminent. He had, so they informed the senate, landed in Europe with an enormous fleet and a splendid army, and if his attention had not been diverted by a groundless hope based upon a still more groundless rumour, to the invasion of Egypt, Greece would very soon have been in the blaze of war. Even the Aetolians, a nation naturally restless and now intensely embittered against the Romans, would no longer remain quiet. And there was another most formidable mischief with its roots in the very vitals of Greece - Nabis, who was for the time being tyrant of Lacedaemon, but who if he were allowed would soon become tyrant of the whole of Greece, a man who in greed and brutality rivalled the most notorious tyrants in history. If, after the Roman armies had been carried back to Italy, he were allowed to hold Argos as a stronghold threatening the whole of the Peloponnese, the deliverance of Greece from Philip would have been effected in vain; in any case instead of a distant monarch as their lord they would have a tyrant at their doors.
[33.45]After listening to these statements made by men of such weight and judgment, who, moreover, had made their report after personal investigation, the senate were of opinion that though the policy to be pursued towards Antiochus was the more important question before them, still, as the king, whatever his reason might be, had retired into Syria, it seemed better to consider first what to do about the tyrant. After a lengthy discussion as to whether there were sufficient grounds for a formal declaration of war or whether it would be enough to leave it to T. Quinctius to act, as far as Nabis was concerned, in whatever way he thought best in the interests of the State, the matter was finally left in his hands. Whether they took prompt steps or whether they delayed action it did not seem to them to be of vital importance to the commonwealth. A much more pressing question was what Hannibal and Carthage were likely to do in case of war with Antiochus. The members of the party opposed to Hannibal were constantly writing to their friends in Rome. According to their account, messengers and letters were being sent by Hannibal to Antiochus and emissaries from the king were holding secret conferences with him. Just as there were wild beasts which no skill could tame, so this man was untamable and implacable. He complained that his countrymen were becoming enervated through ease and self-indulgence, and slumbering in indolence and sloth, and said that nothing could rouse them but the clash of arms. People were all the more ready to believe these assertions when they remembered that it was this man who was responsible for the beginning quite as much as for the conduct of the late war. His recent action had also called forth strong resentment amongst many of the magnates.
[33.46]The order of judges exercised supreme power in Carthage at that time, owing mainly to the fact that they held office for life. The property, reputation and life of everyone were in their power. Whoever offended one of the order had an enemy in every member, and when the judges were hostile there was always a prosecutor to be found amongst them. Whilst these men were exercising this unbridled despotism, for they used their power without any regard to the rights of their fellow-citizens, Hannibal, who had been appointed one of the presiding magistrates, ordered the quaestor to be summoned before him. The quaestor paid no attention to the summons; he belonged to the opposite party and, moreover, as the quaestors were generally advanced to the all-powerful order of judges he gave himself the airs of a man who was sure of promotion. Resenting this indignity Hannibal sent an officer to arrest the quaestor, and after he was brought into the assembly Hannibal denounced not only the quaestor but the whole of the judicial order, whose insolence and excessive power utterly subverted the laws and the authority of the magistrates who had to enforce them. When he saw that his words were making a favourable impression and that the insolence and tyranny of that order were recognised as dangerous to the liberty of the meanest citizen, he at once proposed and carried a law enacting that the judges should be elected annually and that none should hold office for two consecutive years. Whatever popularity, however, he gained amongst the masses by his action was counterbalanced by the offence given to a large number of the aristocracy. A further step which he took in the public interest aroused intense hostility to him personally. The public revenues were being frittered away, partly through careless management and partly through being fraudulently appropriated by some of the political leaders and superior magistrates. The result was that there was not money enough to meet the annual payment of the indemnity to Rome, and there seemed every likelihood of a heavy tax being imposed upon the individual citizens.
[33.47]When Hannibal had informed himself as to the amount of the national income from all sources, the objects for which calls upon it were made, what proportion was absorbed by the regular needs of the State and how much had been embezzled, he stated publicly in the assembly that if the balance were called up the government would be rich enough to meet the demands of Rome without any tax falling on individual citizens. And he was as good as his word. Those who had for years been battening on their pilferings from the national treasury were as furious as if it was the seizure of their personal property and not the forcible recovery of what they had stolen that was contemplated. In their rage they began to urge on the Romans, who were on their own account looking out for an opportunity of visiting their hate upon him. For a long time this policy found an opponent in P. Scipio Africanus. He considered it quite beneath the dignity of the Roman people to support the attacks of Hannibal's accusers or to allow the authority of the government to be mixed up with the party politics of Carthage, or not content with having defeated Hannibal in open war to treat him as though he were a criminal against whom they were to appear as prosecutors. At last, however, his opponents carried their point and delegates were sent to Carthage to point out to the senate there that Hannibal was concerting plans with Antiochus for commencing war. Cn. Servilius, M. Claudius Marcellus and Q. Terentius Culleo formed the delegation. On their arrival in Carthage they were advised by Hannibal's enemies to give out that people who asked the reason of their coming should be told that they had come to adjust the differences between Masinissa and the government of Carthage. This explanation was generally believed. Hannibal alone was not deceived, he knew that he was the object at which the Romans were aiming, and that the underlying motive of the peace with Carthage was that he might be left as the sole victim of their undying hostility. He decided to bow before the storm, and after making every preparation for flight he showed himself during the day in the forum to allay suspicion and as soon as it was dark he went in his official dress to the gate, accompanied by two attendants who were unaware of his design.
[33.48]When the horses which he had ordered were ready, he rode during the night to Byzacium - the name of a country district - and the next day reached his castle on the coast between Acylla and Thapsus. There a ship was awaiting him, prepared for immediate departure. It was in this way that Hannibal withdrew from Africa, the country for whose misfortunes he had felt much more pity than for his own. That same day he landed in the island of Cercina. Here he found some Phoenician merchant ships lying in the harbour, and on his leaving his vessel there was a general rush to greet him. In reply to inquiries he gave out that he was on a mission to Tyre. Fearing, however, that one or other of these ships might leave in the night for Thapsus or Hadrumetum and report his appearance in Cercina, he ordered preparations for a sacrifice to be prepared and the ships' captains to be invited to the solemnity. He also gave directions for the sails and yards to be collected from the ships that they might serve as awnings to shade them at their feast, as it happened to be the middle of the summer. The entertainment was as sumptuous as time and circumstances permitted, and the conviviality was prolonged far into the night, much wine being consumed. As soon as he had an opportunity of escaping the observation of those in the harbour Hannibal set sail. The rest were all asleep and it was not till late the next day that they rose from their torpor, stupid with the effects of intoxication, and then had to spend several hours in getting the tackle of their vessels back into its place. At Hannibal's house in Carthage the usual crowd had collected in large numbers in the vestibule. When it became generally known that he was not to be found, the crowd surged into the forum demanding the appearance of their foremost citizen. Some, guessing the truth, suggested that he had fled, others - and these were the loudest and most numerous - said that he had been put to death through Roman treachery, and you might note the different expressions in their faces, as would be expected in a city torn by violent political partisanship. Then came the news that he had been seen in Cercina.
[33.49]The Roman delegates informed the council of Carthage that the senate had definitely ascertained that it was mainly at Hannibal's instigation that Philip had made war on Rome, and now letters and messengers were being despatched to Antiochus and the Aetolians, and plans had been formed for driving Carthage into revolt. It was to Antiochus that he had gone, and nowhere else, and he would never rest until he had stirred up war throughout the whole world. If the Carthaginians wanted to satisfy the Roman people that none of his proceedings was in accordance with their wishes or sanctioned by their government, they must see that he did not go unpunished. The Carthaginians replied that they would do whatever the Romans thought right. After a fair voyage Hannibal reached Tyre, and the founders of Carthage welcomed as from a second fatherland the man who had achieved every possible distinction. After a short stay here he continued his voyage to Antiochia. Here he heard that the king had left for Asia, and he had an interview with his son, who was at the time celebrating the Games at Daphne, and who gave him a most friendly welcome. Anxious to lose no time he at once resumed his voyage and found the king at Ephesus, still unable to make up his mind on the question of war with Rome. Hannibal's arrival was not the least important factor in bringing him to a decision. The Aetolians, too, were now growing averse from their alliance with Rome. They had sent a mission to Rome to demand the restitution of Pharsalus, Leucas and certain other cities under the terms of the former treaty, and the senate referred them to Quinctius.
End of Book 33
Copyright (c) 1996 by Bruce J. Butterfield.
No Restrictions for Non-Commercial use