Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK XXXV. - The History of Rome, Vol. 5
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BOOK XXXV. - Titus Livius (Livy), The History of Rome, Vol. 5 [10 AD]
The History of Rome by Titus Livius. Translated from the Original with Notes and Illustrations by George Baker, A.M.. First American, from the Last London Edition, in Six Volumes (New York: Peter A. Mesier et al., 1823). Vol. 5.
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Publius Scipio Africanus sent ambassador to Antiochus; has a conversation with Hannibal at Ephesus. Preparations of the Romans for war with Antiochus. Nabis, the tyrant of Lacedæmon, instigated by the Ætolians, makes war on the Achæans; is put to death by a party of the Ætolians. The Ætolians, violating the treaty of friendship with the Romans, invite Antiochus, who comes, with a small force, into Greece, and, in conjunction with them, takes several towns, and the whole island of Èubœa. The Achæans declare war against Antiochus and the Ætolians.
Y. R. 559
II. At the time when these occurrences happened in Spain, Caius Flaminius, the prætor, had not yet set out from Rome: therefore, he and his friends took pains to represent, in the strongest colours, both the successes and the misfortunes experienced there; and he laboured to persuade the senate, that, as a very formidable war had blazed out in his province, and he was likely to receive from Sextus Digitius a very small remnant of an army, and that, too, terrified and disheartened, they ought to decree one of the city legions to him, in order that, when he should have united to it the soldiers levied by himself, pursuant to decree, he might select from the whole number three thousand five hundred foot, and three hundred horse. He said, that “with such a legion as that (for very little confidence could be placed on the troops of Sextus Digitius), he should be able to manage the war.” But the elder part of the senate insisted, that “decrees of the senate ought not to be passed on every groundless rumour, fabricated by private persons for the purpose of humouring magistrates; and that no intelligence should be deemed authentic, except it were either written by the prætors, from their provinces, or brought by their deputies. If there was a tumultuous commotion in Spain, they advised a vote, that tumultuary soldiers should be levied by the prætor in some other country than Italy.” The senate’s intention was, that such description of men should be raised in Spain. Valerius Antias says, that Caius Flaminius sailed to Sicily for the purpose of levying troops, and that, on his voyage thence to Spain, being driven by a storm to Africa, he enlisted there many stragglers who had belonged to the army of Publius Africanus; and that, to the levies made in those two provinces, he added a third in Spain.
III. In Italy the war, commenced by the Ligurians, grew daily more formidable. They now invested Pisæ, with an army of forty thousand men; for multitudes flocked to them continually, led by the favourable reports of their proceedings, and the expectation of booty. The consul, Minucius, came to Aretium, on the day which he had fixed for the assembling of the troops. Thence he led them, in order of battle, towards Pisæ; and though the enemy had removed their camp to the other side of the river at the distance of no more than three miles from the place, the consul marched into the city, which evidently owed its preservation to his coming. Next day, he also encamped on the opposite shore, about a mile from the enemy; and by sending out parties from that post, to attack those of the enemy, protected the lands of the allies from their depredations. He did not think it prudent to hazard a general engagement, because his troops were raw, composed of many different kinds of men, and not yet sufficiently acquainted with each other, to act together with confidence. The Ligurians depended so much on their numbers, that they not only came out and offered battle, willing to risk every thing on the issue of it; while from their superfluity of men, they sent out many parties along the frontiers, to plunder; and whenever a large quantity of cattle, and other prey was collected, there was an escort, always in readiness, to convey it into their forts and towns.
IV. While the operations remained at a stand, at Pisæ, the other consul, Lucius Cornelius Merula, led his army through the extreme borders of the Ligurians, into the territory of the Boians, where the mode of proceeding was quite the reverse of that which took place in the war of Liguria. The consul offered battle, the enemy refused to fight; and the Romans, when they could not urge them to it, went out in parties to plunder, while the Boians chose to let their country be utterly wasted with fire and sword, without opposition, rather than venture an engagement in defence of it. When the ravage was completed, the consul quitted the enemy’s lands, and marched towards Mutina, in a careless manner, as through a tract where no hostility was to be apprehended. The Boians, when they learned that the Roman had withdrawn beyond their frontiers, followed him as secretly as possible, watching an opportunity for an ambuscade; and having gone by his camp in the night, took possession of a defile through which the Romans were to pass. But they were not able to effect this without being discovered; and the consul, who usually began his march late in the night, now waited until day, lest, in the disorderly fight likely to ensue, darkness might increase the confusion; and, though he did not stir before it was light, yet he sent forward a troop of horse to explore the country. On receiving intelligence from them of the number and situation of the enemy, he ordered the baggage to be heaped together in the centre, and the veterans to throw up a rampart round it; and then, with the rest of the army in order of battle, he advanced towards the enemy. The Gauls did the same, when they found that their stratagem was detected, and that they were to engage in a fair and regular battle, where success must depend on valour alone.
V. The battle began about the second hour. The left brigade of the allies, and the extraordinaries, formed the first line, and were commanded by two lieutenants-general, of consular dignity, Marcus Marcellus, and Tiberius Sempronius, who had been consul the year before. The present consul was sometimes employed in the front of the line, sometimes in keeping back the legions in reserve, that they might not, through eagerness for fighting, come up to the attack, until they received the signal. He ordered the two Minuciuses, Quintus and Publius, military tribunes, to lead off the cavalry of the legions into open ground, at some distance from the line; and “when he should give them the signal, to charge the enemy through the clear space.” While he was thus employed, a message came from Tiberius Sempronius Longus, that the extraordinaries could not support the onset of the Gauls; that great numbers had already fallen; and that partly through weariness, partly through fear, the ardour of the survivors was much abated. He recommended it, therefore, to the consul, if he thought proper, to send up one or other of the two legions, before the army suffered disgrace. The second legion was accordingly sent, and the extraordinaries were ordered to retire. By the legion coming up, with its men fresh, and the ranks complete in their numbers, the fight was renewed with vigour. The left wing was withdrawn out of the action, and the right took its place, in the van. The intense heat of the sun discomposed the Gauls, whose bodies were very ill qualified to endure it: nevertheless, keeping their ranks close, and leaning sometimes on each other, sometimes on their bucklers, they withstood the attack of the Romans; which, when the consul observed, in order to break their ranks, he ordered Caius Livius Salinator, commander of the allied cavalry, to charge them at full speed, and the legionary cavalry to remain in reserve. This shock of the cavalry first confused and disordered, and at length entirely broke the line of the Gauls; yet it did not make them fly. That was prevented by their officers, who, when they quitted their posts, struck them on the back with their spears, and compelled them to return to their ranks: but the allied cavalry, riding in among them, did not suffer them to recover their order. The consul exhorted his soldiers to “continue their efforts a little longer for victory was within their reach; to press the enemy, while they saw them disordered and dismayed; for, if they were suffered to recover their ranks, they would enter on a fresh battle, the success of which must be uncertain.” He ordered the standard-bearers to advance with the standards, and then, all exerting themselves at once, they at length forced the enemy to give way. As soon as they turned their backs, and fled precipitately on every side, the legionary cavalry was sent in pursuit of them. On that day, fourteen thousand of the Boians were slain; one thousand and ninety-two taken; as were seven hundred and twenty-one horsemen, and three of their commanders, with two hundred and twelve military standards, and sixty-three chariots. Nor did the Romans gain the victory without loss of blood: of themselves, or their allies, were lost above five thousand men, twenty-three centurions, four præfects of the allies, and two military tribunes of the second legion, Marcus Genucius and Marcus Marcius.
VI. Letters from both the consuls arrived at Rome, nearly at the same time. That of Lucius Cornelius gave an account of the battle fought with the Boians, at Mutina; that of Quintus Minucius, from Pisæ, mentioned, that “the holding of the elections had fallen to his lot, but that affairs in Liguria were in such a critical posture, that he could not leave that country without bringing ruin on the allies, and material injury on the commonwealth. He therefore advised, that if the senate thought proper, they should direct his colleague, (as in his province the fate of the war was determined,) to repair to Rome to hold the elections. He said, if Cornelius should object to this, because that employment had not fallen to his lot, he would certainly do whatever the senate should order; but he begged them to consider carefully, whether it would not be less injurious to the public, that an interregnum should take place, than that the province should be left by him in such a state.” The senate gave directions to Caius Scribonius to send two deputies, of senatorian rank, to the consul, Lucius Cornelius, to communicate to him the letter, sent by his colleague to the senate, and to acquaint him, that if he did not come to Rome to elect new magistrates, the senate were resolved, rather than Quintius Minucius should be called away from a war, in which no progress had been made, to suffer an interregnum to take place. The deputies sent, brought back his answer, that he would come to Rome, to elect new magistrates. The letter of Lucius Cornelius, which contained an account of the battle with the Boians, occasioned a debate in the senate; for Marcus Claudius, lieutenant-general, in private letters to many of the members, had written, “that they might thank the fortune of the Roman people, and the bravery of the soldiers, for the success of their arms. That the conduct of the consul had been the cause of a great many men being lost, and of the enemy’s army, which might have been entirely cut off, making its escape. That what made the loss of men the greater, was, the reinforcements, necessary to support them when distressed, coming up too late from the reserve; and that, what enabled the enemy to slip out of their hands, was, the signal being given too tardily to the legionary cavalry, and their not being allowed to pursue the fugitives.” It was agreed, that no resolution should be hastily passed on the subject; and the business was accordingly adjourned until there should be a fuller meeting.
VII. Another concern demanded their attention. The public was heavily distressed by usurious practices; and although avarice had been restricted by many laws, respecting usury, yet these had been evaded by a fraudulent artifice, of transferring the securities to subjects of some of the allied states, who were not bound by those laws, by which means usurers, freed from all restraint, overwhelmed their debtors under accumulated loads. On considering of the best method for putting a stop to this evil, the senate decreed, that a certain day should be fixed on for it: the next approaching festival of the infernal deities; and that any of the allies who should, from that day, lend money to the Roman citizens, should register the transaction; and that all proceedings respecting such money, lent after that day, should be regulated by the laws of whichever of the two states the debtor should choose. In some time after, when the great amount of debt, contracted through this kind of fraud, was discovered, by means of the registries, Marcus Sempronius, plebeian tribune, by direction of the senate, proposed to the people, and the people ordered, that all proceedings relative to money lent, between Roman citizens and subjects of any of the allied states, or Latine confederacy, should be regulated by the same laws as those wherein both parties were Roman citizens. Such were the transactions in Italy, civil and military. In Spain, the war was far from being so formidable, as the exaggerations of report had represented it. In hither Spain, Caius Flaminius took the town of Ilucia, in the country of the Oretanians, and then marched his army into winter-quarters. Several engagements took place during the winter, but none deserving of particular mention, the adversaries being rather bands of robbers, than regular soldiers; and yet the success was various, and some men were lost. More important services were performed by Marcus Fulvius. He fought a pitched battle, near the town of Toletum, against the Vaccæans, Vectonians, and Celtiberians; routed and dispersed their combined forces, and took prisoner their king, Hilermus.
VIII. While this passed in Spain, the day of election drawing near, Lucius Cornelius, consul, left Marcus Claudius, lieutenant-general, in command of the army, and came to Rome. After representing in the senate the services which he had performed, and the present state of the province, he expostulated with the Conscript Fathers on their not having ordered a thanksgiving to the immortal gods, when so great a war was so happily terminated by one successful battle: and then demanded, that the same might be decreed, and also a triumph to himself. But, before the question was put, Quintus Metellus, who had been consul and dictator, said, that “letters had been brought, at the same time from the consul, Lucius Cornelius, to the senate, and from Marcus Marcellus, to a great part of the senators; which letters contradicted each other, and for that reason the consideration of the business had been adjourned, in order that it might be debated when the writers of those letters should be present. He had expected, therefore, that the consul, who knew that the lieutenant-general had written something to his disadvantage, would, when he was coming home, have brought him to Rome; especially, as the command of the army would, with more propriety, have been committed to Tiberius Sempronius, who was already invested with authority, than to the lieutenant-general. As the case stood at present, it appeared as if the latter was kept out of the way, designedly, lest he might assert, in person, the same things which he had written in his letters; and, face to face, either substantiate his charges, or if his allegations were ill founded, be convicted of misrepresentation, so that the truth would be clearly discovered. For this reason he was of opinion, that the senate should not, at present, assent to either of the decrees demanded by the consul.” The latter, nevertheless, persisted in putting the question, on a thanksgiving being ordered, and himself allowed to ride into the city in triumph; but two plebeian tribunes, Marcus and Caius Titinius, declared, that they would enter their protest, if the senate passed any decree on the subject.
IX. In the preceding year, Sextus Ælius Pætus, and Caius Cornelius Cethegus, were created censors. Cornelius now closed the lustrum. The number of citizens rated, was an hundred and forty-three thousand seven hundred and four. Extraordinary quantities of rain fell in this year, and the Tiber overflowed the lower parts of the city; by which inundation some buildings near the Flumentan gate were laid in ruins. The Cœlimontan gate was struck by lightning, as was the wall on each side of it, in several places. At Aricia, Lanuvium, and on the Aventine, showers of stones fell. From Capua, a report was brought that a very large swarm of wasps flew into the Forum, and pitched on the temple of Mars; that they had been carefully collected and burnt. On account of these prodigies, the duumvirs were ordered to consult the books; the nine days’ festival was celebrated, a supplication proclaimed, and the city purified. At the same time. Marcus Portius Cato dedicated a chapel to Maiden Victory, near the temple of Victory, two years after he had vowed it. During this year, a Latine colony was established in the Thurian territory, by commissioners appointed for the purpose, Cneius Manlius Vulso, Lucius Apustius Fullo, and Quintus Ælius Tubero, who had proposed the order for its settlement. There went out thither, three thousand foot and three hundred horsemen; a very small number in proportion to the quantity of land lying waste. Thirty acres might have been given to each footman, and sixty to a horseman; but, by the advice of Apustius, a third part was reserved, that they might afterwards, when they should judge proper, send out thither a new colony. The footmen received twenty acres each, the horsemen forty.
X. The year was now near a close, and with regard to the election of consuls, the heat of competition was kindled to a degree beyond what was ever known before. The candidates, both patrician and plebeian, were many and powerful: Publius Cornelius Scipio, son to Cneius, and who had lately come home from Spain, where he had gained great honour by his exploits; Lucius Quintius Flamininus, who had commanded the fleet in Greece, and Cneius Manlius Vulso: these were the patricians. Then there were, of plebeian rank, Caius Lælius, Cneius Domitius, Caius Livius Salinator, and Manius Acilius. The eyes of all men were turned on Quintius and Cornelius; for, being both patricians, they sued for one place; and they were both of them recommended by high and recent renown in war. Above every thing else, the brothers of the candidates, the two most illustrious generals of the age, increased the violence of the struggle. Scipio’s fame was the more splendid, and in proportion to its greater splendour, the more obnoxious to envy. Quintius’s was the more recent, as he had triumphed in the course of that very same year. Besides, the former had now, for almost ten years, been continually in people’s sight; which circumstance, by the mere satiety which it creates, diminishes the reverence felt for great characters. He had been a second time consul, after the final defeat of Hannibal, and also censor. All Quintius’s claims to the favour of the public were fresh and new; since his triumph, he had neither asked nor received any thing from the people; “he solicited,” he said, “in favour of his own brother, not of a half brother; in favour of his lieutenant-general, and partner in the administration of the war; his brother having conducted the operations by sea, while he did the same on land.” Such were the arguments by which he carried his point. His brother was preferred to the brother of Africanus, though supported by the whole Cornelian family, and while one of the same family presided at the election, and notwithstanding the very honourable testimony given by the senate, in his favour, when they judged him to be the best man in the state; and as such, appointed him to receive the Idæan Mother into the city, when she was brought from Pessinus. Lucius Quintius and Cneius Domitius Ahenobarbus were elected consuls; so that, not even with respect to the plebeian consul, could Africanus prevail; for he employed his interest in favour of Caius Lælius. Next day were elected prætors, Lucius Scribonius Libo, Marcus Fulvius Centumalus, Aulus Atilius Serranus, Marcus Bæbius Tamphilus, Lucius Valerius Tappus, and Quintus Salonius Sarra. The ædiles of this year, Marcus Æmilius Lepidus and Lucius Æmilius Paulus, distinguished themselves highly: they prosecuted to conviction many of the farmers of the public pastures, and with the money accruing from the fines, placed gilded shields in the upper part of the temple of Jupiter. They built one colonnade on the outside of the gate Tergemina, to which they added a wharf on the Tiber; and another, reaching from the Frontinal gate to the altar of Mars, to serve as a passage into the field of Mars.
XI. For a long time, nothing worth recording had occurred in Liguria; but, towards the end of this year, the Roman affairs there were twice brought into great peril; for the consul’s camp being assaulted, was, with difficulty, saved from falling into the enemy’s hands; and a short time after, as the Roman army was marching through a defile, the Ligurians seized on the opening through which they were to pass. The consul, when he found that passage stopped up, faced about, resolved to return by the way he came: but the entrance behind, also, was occupied by a party of the enemy, and the disaster of Caudium not only occurred to the memory of the Romans, but was, in a manner, represented to their eyes. The consul had, among his auxiliary troops, about eight hundred Numidian horsemen, whose commanding officer undertook to force a passage with his troops, on whichever side the consul should choose. He only desired to be told on which part the greater number of villages lay; for, on them he meant to make an attack; and the first thing he intended doing, was to set fire to the houses, in order that the alarm which this should occasion, might induce the Ligurians to quit their posts in the defile, and hasten to different quarters to the relief of their friends. The consul highly commended his zeal, and gave him assurance of ample rewards. The Numidians mounted their horses, and began to ride up to the advanced posts of the enemy, but without making any attack. Nothing could appear, on the first view, more contemptible. Both men and horses were of a small size, and thin make, the riders unaccoutred, and unarmed, excepting that they carried javelins in their hands; and the horses without bridles, and awkward in their gait, running with their necks stiff, and their heads stretched out. The contempt, conceived from their appearance, they took pains to increase; sometimes falling from their horses, and making themselves objects of derision and ridicule. The consequence was, that the enemy, who at first had been alert, and ready on their posts, in case of an attack, now, for the most part, laid aside their arms, and sitting down, amused themselves with looking at them. The Numidians often rode up, then gallopped back, but still contrived to get nearer to the pass, as if they were unable to manage their horses, and were carried away against their will. At last, setting spurs to them, they broke out through the midst of the enemy’s posts, and, getting into the open country, set fire to all the houses near the road. The nearest village was soon in flames, while they ravaged all around with fire and sword. At first, the sight of the smoke, then the shouts of the affrighted inhabitants, at last the old people and children, who fled for shelter, created great disorder in the camp. In consequence of which the whole of their army, without plan, and without command, ran off, each to take care of his own; the camp was in a moment deserted; and the consul, delivered from the blockade, made good his march to the place whither he intended to go.
XII. But neither the Boians nor the Spaniards, though professed enemies at that time, were such bitter and inveterate foes to the Romans as the nation of the Ætolians. These, after the departure of the Roman armies from Greece, had, for some time, entertained hopes, that Antiochus would come and take possession of Europe, without opposition; and that neither Philip nor Nabis would continue quiet. But, seeing no active measures, begun, in any quarter, they resolved, lest their designs might be damped by delay, to set on foot some plan of disturbance; and, with this view, they summoned a general assembly at Naupactum. Here Thoas, their prætor, after complaining of the injurious behaviour of the Romans, and the present state of Ætolia, and asserting, that, “of all the nations and states of Greece, they were treated with the greatest indifference, after the victory which they themselves had been the means of obtaining,” moved, that ambassadors should be sent to each of the kings; not only to sound their dispositions, but, by such incentives as suited the temper of each, to urge them to a war with Rome. Damocritus was sent to Nabis, Nicander to Philip, and Dicæarchus, the prætor’s brother, to Antiochus. To the Lacedæmonian tyrant, Damocritus represented that, “by the maritime cities being taken from him, his government was left quite destitude of strength; for from them he used to draw supplies of soldiers, as well as of ships and seamen. He was now pent up, almost within the walls of his capital, while he saw the Achæans domineering over the whole Peloponnesus. Never would he have another opportunity of recovering his rights, if he neglected to improve the one that now offered. There was no Roman army in Greece, nor would the Romans deem Gythium, or the other towns on the coast of Laconia, sufficient cause for transporting their legions a second time into that country.” These arguments were used for the purpose of provoking the passions of Nabis; in order that, when Antiochus should come into Greece, the other, conscious of having infringed the treaty of amity with Rome, by injuries offered to its allies, might unite himself with him. Nicander endeavoured to rouse Philip, by arguments somewhat similar; and he had more copious matter for discourse, as the king had been degraded from a more elevated state than the tyrant, and had sustained greater losses. Besides these topics, he introduced the ancient renown of the Macedonian kings, and the victorious arms of that nation, displayed through every quarter of the globe. “The plan which he proposed,” he said, “was free from any danger, either in the commencement, or in the issue. For he did not advise that Philip should stir, until Antiochus should have come into Greece, with an army; and, considering that, without the aid of Antiochus, he had maintained a war so long against the combined forces of the Romans and Ætolians, with what possible force could the Romans withstand him, when joined by Antiochus, and supported by the aid of the Ætolians, who, on the former occasion, were more dangerous enemies than the Romans?” He added the circumstance of Hannibal being general; “a man born a foe to the Romans, who had slain greater numbers, both of their commanders and soldiers, than were left surviving.” Such were the incitements held out to Philip by Nicander. Dicæarchus addressed other arguments to Antiochus. In the first place, he told him, that “although the Romans reaped the spoils of Philip, the honour of the victory over him was due to the Ætolians; that, to the Ætolians alone, the Romans were obliged, for having gained admittance into Greece, and that the same people supplied them with the strength which enabled them to conquer.” He next set forth the numerous forces, both horse and foot, which they were willing to furnish to Antiochus, for the purpose of the war; what quarters they would assign to his land-forces, what harbours for his ships. He then asserted whatever falsehoods he pleased, respecting Philip and Nabis; that “both were ready to recommence hostilities, and would greedily lay hold on the first opportunity of recovering what they had lost in war.” Thus did the Ætolians labour, in every part of the world, to stir up war against the Romans. Of the kings, however, one refused to engage in the business, and the other engaged in it too late.
XIII. Nabis immediately despatched emissaries, through all the towns on the coast, to sow dissensions among the inhabitants: some of the men in power he brought over to his party, by presents; others, who more firmly adhered to the alliance with Rome he put to death. The charge of protecting all the Lacedæmonians, on the coast, had been committed by Titus Quintius to the Achæans; they, therefore instantly sent ambassadors to the tyrant, to remind him of his treaty with the Romans, and to warn him against violating a peace which he had so earnestly sued for. They also sent succours to Gythium, which he had already besieged, and ambassadors to Rome, to make known these transactions. King Antiochus having, this winter, solemnized the nuptials of his daughter, with Ptolemy, king of Egypt, at Raphia, in Phœnicia, returned thence to Antioch, and came, towards the end of the season, through Cilicia; after passing mount Taurus, to the city of Ephesus. Early in the spring, he sent his son Antiochus thence into Syria, to guard the remote frontiers of his dominions, lest, during his absence, any commotion might arise behind him; and then, he marched himself, with all his land-forces, to attack the Pisidians, inhabiting the country near Sida. At this time, Publius Sulpicius and Publius Villius, the Roman ambassadors, who were sent to Antiochus, as above mentioned, having received orders to wait on Eumenes, first came to Elæa, and thence went up to Pergamus, where that monarch kept his court. Eumenes was very desirous of war being undertaken against Antiochus, for he thought, that if peace continued, a king, so much superior in power, would be a troublesome neighbour; but that, in case of hostilities, he would prove no more a match for the Romans, than Philip had been; and that either he would be entirely removed out of the way, or, should peace be granted to him, after a defeat, he (Eumenes) might reasonably expect, that a great deal of what should be taken from Antiochus, would fall to his own share; so that, in future, he might be very well able to defend himself against him, without any aid from his ally; and even if any misfortune were to happen, it would be better for him, in conjunction with the Romans, to undergo any turn of fortune, than, standing alone, either suffer himself to be ruled by Antiochus, or, on refusal, be compelled to submission by force of arms. Therefore, with all his influence, and every argument which he could devise, he urged the Romans to a war.
XIV. Sulpicius, falling sick, staid at Pergamus. Villius, on hearing that the king was carrying on war in Pisidia, went on to Ephesus, and during a few days, that he halted in that city, took pains to procure frequent interviews with Hannibal, who happened to be there at the time. His design was, merely, to discover his intentions, if possible, and to remove his apprehensions of danger threatening him from the Romans. No other business, of any kind, was mentioned at these meetings; yet they, accidentally, produced an important consequence, as effectually, as if it had been intentionally sought; the lowering Hannibal in the esteem of the king, and rendering him more obnoxious to suspicion, in every matter. Claudius, following the history, written in Greek by Acilius, says, that Publius Africanus was employed in this embassy, and that it was he who conversed with Hannibal at Ephesus. He even relates one of their conversations, in which Scipio asked Hannibal “what man it was, whom he thought the greatest captain?” who answered, “Alexander, king of Macedonia; because, with a small band, he defeated armies whose numbers were beyond reckoning; and because he carried his victorious arms through the remotest boundaries of the world, the merely visiting of which would be a task which no other man could hope to accomplish.” Scipio then asked, “to whom he gave the second place?” and he replied, “to Pyrrhus; for he first taught the method of encamping; and besides, no one ever showed more exquisite judgment, in choosing his ground, and disposing his posts; while he also possessed the art of conciliating esteem to such a degree, that the nations of Italy wished him, though a foreign prince, to hold the sovereignty among them, rather than the Romans, who had so long possessed the dominion of that part of the world.” On his proceeding to ask, “the name of him whom he esteemed the third?” Hannibal replied, “myself, beyond doubt.” On this Scipio, smiling, said “What would you have said if you had conquered me?” “Then,” replied the other, “I would have placed Hannibal, not only before Alexander and Pyrrhus, but before every other commander that ever lived.” This answer, conveying, with a turn of Punic artifice, an indirect compliment, and an unexpected kind of flattery, was highly grateful to Scipio, as it set him apart from the crowd of commanders, beyond competition, as if his abilities were not to be estimated.
XV. From Ephesus, Villius proceeded to Apamea, whither Antiochus, on hearing of the coming of the Roman delegates, came to meet him. In this congress, at Apamea, the debates were similar to those which passed at Rome, between Quintius and the king’s ambassadors; and the conferences were broken off, by news arriving of the death of Antiochus the king’s son, who, as just now mentioned, had been sent into Syria. This youth was greatly lamented and regretted at court; for he had given such specimens of his character, as afforded evident proof, that, had a longer life been allotted him, he would have displayed the talents of a great and just prince. The more he was beloved and esteemed by all, the stronger were the suspicions excited by his death; that his father, thinking that his heir shared too largely of the public favour, while he himself was declining in old age, had him taken off by poison, by some eunuchs, a kind of people, who recommend themselves to kings, by the perpetration of such foul deeds. People mentioned also, as another motive for that clandestine act of villainy, that, as he had given Lysimachia to his son Seleucus, he had no establishment of the like kind, which he could give to Antiochus, for the purpose of banishing him also to a distance, under pretext of doing him honour. Nevertheless, an appearance of deep mourning was maintained in the court for several days; and the Roman ambassador, lest his presence at that time might be troublesome, retired to Pergamus. The king, dropping the prosecution of the war which he had begun, went back to Ephesus; and there keeping himself shut up in the palace, under colour of grief, held secret consultations with a person called Minio, who was his principal favourite. Minio was utterly ignorant of the state of all foreign nations; and, accordingly, estimating the strength of the king from his successes in Syria or Asia, he was confident that Antiochus had superiority from the merits of his cause, and that the demands of the Romans were highly unreasonable; imagining also, that he would prove the more powerful in war. As the king wished to avoid farther debate with the envoys, either because he had found no advantage to result from the former conference, or because he was too much discomposed by recent grief, Minio undertook to say whatever was requisite for his interest, and persuaded him to invite for the purpose the ambassadors from Pergamus.
XVI. By this time Sulpicius had recovered his health; both himself and Villius, therefore, came to Ephesus. Minio apologized for the king not being present, and the business was entered upon. Then Minio in a studied speech, said, “I find, Romans, that you profess very specious intentions, (the liberating of the Grecian states,) but your actions do not accord with your words. You lay down one rule for Antiochus, and follow another yourselves. For, how are the inhabitants of Smyrna and Lampsacus better entitled to the character of Greeks, than the Neapolitans, Rhegians, and Tarentines, from whom you exact tribute, and ships, in pursuance of a treaty? Why do you send yearly to Syracuse, and other Grecian cities of Sicily, a prætor, vested with sovereign power, and attended by his rods and axes? You can, certainly, allege no other reason than this, that, having conquered them in war, you imposed these terms on them. Admit, then, on the part of Antiochus, the same reason with respect to Smyrna and Lampsacus, and the cities belonging to Ionia and Æolia. Conquered by his ancestors, they were subjected to tribute and taxes, and he only reclaims an ancient right. Answer him on these heads, if you mean a fair discussion and do not merely seek a pretence for war.” Sulpicius answered, “Antiochus has shown some modesty in choosing, that, since no other arguments could be produced in his favour, any other person should utter these rather than himself. For, what similarity is there in the cases of those states which you have brought into comparison? From the Rhegians, Neapolitans, and Tarentines, we require what they owe us by treaty, in virtue of a right invariably exercised, in one uniform course, since they first came under our power; a right always asserted, and never intermitted. Now can you assert, that as these states have, neither of themselves, or through any other, ever refused conforming to the treaty, so the Asiatic states, since they once came under the power of Antiochus’s ancestors, have been held in uninterrupted possession by your reigning kings; and that some of them have not been subject to the dominion of Philip, some to that of Ptolemy; and that others have not for many years maintained themselves in a state of independence; their title to which was not called in question? For, if the circumstance of their having been once subject to a foreigner, when crushed under the severity of the times, conveys a right to enforce that subjection again, after a lapse of so many generations, what can be said of our having delivered Greece from Philip, but that we have laboured in vain; and that his successors may reclaim Corinth, Chalcis, Demetrias, and the whole nation of Thessaly? But why do I plead the cause of those states, which it would be fitter that both we and the king should hear pleaded by themselves?”
XVII. He then desired, that the deputies of those states should be called, for they had been prepared beforehand, and kept in readiness, by Eumenes, who reckoned, that every share of strength that should be taken away from Antiochus, would become an accession to his own kingdom. Many of them were introduced; and, while each enforced his own complaints, and sometimes demands, some reasonable, many unreasonable, they changed the debate into a mere altercation. The ambassadors, therefore, without conceding or carrying any one point, returned to Rome, and left every thing in the same unsettled state, in which they found it. On their departure the king held a council, on the subject of a war with Rome, in which all the members vied with each other in the violence of their harangues; for every one thought, that the greater acrimony he showed toward the Romans, the greater share of favour he might expect to obtain. One inveighed against the insolence of their demands, in which they presume to impose terms on Antiochus, the greatest king in Asia, as they would on the vanquished Nabis. “Although to Nabis they left absolute power over his own country, and its capital, Lacedæmon, yet they insist on the impropriety of Smyrna and Lampsacus yielding obedience to Antiochus.”—Others said, that “to so great a monarch, those cities were but a trivial ground of war, scarcely worth mention; but unjust pretensions to authority were always urged, at first, in matters of little consequence, unless indeed, it could be supposed, that the Persians, when they demanded earth and water from the Lacedæmonians, stood in need of a morsel of the one or a draught of the other. The proceedings of the Romans, respecting the two cities, were meant as a trial of the same sort. The rest of the states, when they saw that two had shaken off the yoke, would go over to the party of that nation which professed the patronage of liberty. If freedom was not actually preferable to servitude, yet the hope of bettering their circumstances by a change, was more flattering to every one than any present situation.”
XVIII. There was, in the council, an Acarnanian named Alexander, who had formerly been a friend of Philip, but had lately left him to follow the more opulent court of Antiochus. This man, being well skilled in the affairs of Greece, and not unacquainted with the Romans, was admitted by the king into such a degree of intimacy, that he shared even in his secret counsels. As if the question to be considered were not, whether there should be war or not, but where, and in what manner, it should be carried on, he affirmed, that “he saw an assured prospect of victory, provided the king would pass into Europe, and choose some part of Greece for the seat of war. In the first place, the Ætolians, who lived in the centre of Greece, would be found in arms, ready to take the lead in the most perilous operations. Then, in the two extremities of Greece, Nabis, on the side of Peloponnesus, would put every thing in motion, to recover the city of Argos, and the maritime cities, from which he had been expelled by the Romans, and pent up within the walls of Lacedæmon: while on the side of Macedonia, Philip would be ready for the field the moment he heard the alarm sounded. He knew,” he said, “his spirit, he knew his temper; he knew that, (as is the case with wild beasts, confined by bars or chains,) for a long time past, the most violent rage had been boiling in his breast. He remembered also, how often, during the war, that prince had prayed to all the gods to grant him Antiochus as an assistant; and, if that prayer were now heard with favour, he would not hesitate an instant to resume his arms. It was only requisite that there should be no delay, no procrastination; for success depended chiefly on securing beforehand, commodious posts and proper allies: besides, Hannibal ought to be sent immediately into Africa, in order to distract the attention of the Romans.”
XIX. Hannibal was not called to this consultation, because the king had harboured suspicions of him on account of his conferences with Villius, and had not since shown him any mark of regard. This affront, at first, he bore in silence; but afterwards thought it better to take some proper opportunity to inquire the reason of the king’s suddenly withdrawing his favour, and to clear himself of blame. Without any preface, he asked the cause of the king’s displeasure; and on being told it, said, “Antiochus, when I was yet an infant, my father Hamilcar, at a time when he was offering sacrifice, brought me up to the altars, and made me take an oath, that I never would be a friend to the Roman people. Under the obligation of this oath, I carried arms against them for thirty-six years; this oath, on peace being made, drove me out of my country, and brought me an exile to your court: and this oath shall guide me, should you disappoint my hopes, until I traverse every quarter of the globe, where I can understand that there is either strength or arms, to find out enemies to the Romans. If, therefore, your courtiers have conceived the idea of ingratiating themselves with you, by insinuating suspicions of me, let them seek some other means of advancing their own reputation, rather than the depressing of mine. I hate, and am hated by, the Romans. That I speak the truth in this, my father Hamilcar, and the gods are witnesses. Whenever, therefore, you shall employ your thoughts on a plan of waging war with Rome, consider Hannibal as one of your firmest friends. If circumstances force you to adopt peaceful measures, on such a subject employ some other counsellor.” This discourse affected the king much, and even reconciled him to Hannibal. The resolution of the council, at their breaking up, was, that the war should be undertaken.
Y. R. 560.
XXI. The prætors, Fulvius and Scribonius, whose province was the administration of justice, at Rome, were charged to provide an hundred quinqueremes, besides the fleet which Atilius was to command. Before the consul and prætors set out for their provinces a supplication was performed on account of some prodigies. A report was brought from Picenum, that a goat had produced six kids at a birth. It was said that a boy was born at Arretium who had but one hand; that, at Amiternum, a shower of earth fell; a gate and wall at Formiæ were struck by lightning; and, what was more alarming than all, an ox, belonging to the consul Cneius Domitius, spoke these words,—“Rome, take care of thyself.” To expiate the other prodigies, a supplication was performed; the ox was ordered by the aruspices to be carefully preserved and fed. The Tiber, pouring into the city with more destructive violence than last year, swept away two bridges, and many buildings, particularly about the Flumentan gate. A huge rock, loosened from its seat, either by the rains, or by an earthquake, so slight that no other effect of it was perceived, tumbled down from the capitol into the Jugarian street, and buried many people under it. In the country, many parts of which were overflowed, much cattle was carried away, and many houses thrown down. Previous to the arrival of the consul, Lucius Quintius, in his province, Quintus Minucius fought a pitched battle with the Ligurians, in the territory of Pisæ, slew nine thousand of the enemy, and, putting the rest to flight, drove them within their works, which were assaulted and defended with obstinate valour until night came on. During the night, the Ligurians stole away unobserved; and, at the first dawn, the Romans took possession of their deserted camp, where the quantity of booty was the less, because it was a frequent practice with the enemy to send home the spoil taken in the country. Minucius, after this, allowed them no respite. From the territory of Pisæ, he marched into that of the Ligurians, and, with fire and sword, utterly destroyed their forts and towns, where the Roman soldiers were abundantly enriched with the spoils which the enemy had collected in Etruria and sent home.
XXII. About this time, the ambassadors, who had been sent to the kings, returned to Rome. As they brought no information of such a nature as called for any immediate declaration of war, (except against the Lacedæmonian tyrant, whom the Achæan ambassadors also represented as ravaging the sea-coast of Laconia, in breach of treaty,) Atilius, the prætor, was sent with the fleet to Greece, for the protection of the allies. It was resolved, that, as there was nothing to be apprehended from Antiochus at present, both the consuls should go to their provinces; and, accordingly, Domitius marched into the country of the Boians, by the shorter road, through Arminum, and Quintius through Liguria. The two armies of the consuls, proceeding by these different routes, spread devastation wide over the enemy’s country. In consequence of which, first, a few of their horsemen, with their commanders, then their whole senate, and, at last, all who possessed either property or dignity, to the number of one thousand five hundred, came over, and joined the consuls. In both Spains, likewise, success attended the Roman arms during this year. For, in one, Caius Flaminius, after a seige, took Litabrum, a strong and opulent city, and made prisoner Corribilo, a powerful chieftain; and, in the other, Marcus Fulvius, proconsul, fought two battles, with two armies of the enemy, and was victorious in both. He captured Vescelia and Holo, towns belonging to the Spaniards, with many of their forts, and others voluntarily submitted to him. Then, advancing into the territory of Oretum, and having, there also, taken two cities, Noliba and Cusibis, he proceeded to the river Tagus. Here stood Toletum, a small city, but strong from its situation. While he was besieging this place, a numerous army of Vectonians came to relieve their friends in the town, but he overthrew them in a general engagement, and, after their defeat, took Toletum by means of his works.
XXIII. At this juncture, the wars, in which they were actually engaged, caused not so great anxiety in the minds of the senate, as the expectation of one with Antiochus. For although, through their ambassadors, they had, from time to time, made careful inquiries into every particular, yet rumours, rashly propagated, without authentic foundation, intermixed many falsehoods with the truth. Among the rest, a report was spread, that Antiochus intended, as soon as he should come into Ætolia, to send a fleet immediately to Sicily. The senate, therefore, though they had already despatched the prætor, Atilius, with a squadron to the Ionian sea, yet, considering that not only a military force, but also the influence of characters entitled to respect, would be necessary towards securing the attachment of the allies, they sent into Greece, in quality of ambassadors, Titus Quintius, Caius Octavius, Cneius Servilius, and Publius Villius; at the same time ordering, in their decree, that Marcus Bæbius should lead forward his legions from Bruttium to Tarentum and Brundusium, so that, if occasion required, he might transport them thence into Macedonia. They also ordered, that Marcus Fulvius, prætor, should send a fleet of thirty ships to protect the coast of Sicily; and that, whoever had the direction of that fleet, should be invested with the authority of a commander in chief. To this commission was appointed Lucius Oppius Salinator, who had been plebeian ædile the year before. They likewise determined, that the same prætor should write to his colleague, Lucius Valerius, that “there was reason to apprehend that the ships of king Antiochus would pass over from Ætolia to Sicily; for which reason the senate judged it proper, that in addition to the army, which he then had, he should enlist tumultuary soldiers, to the number of twelve thousand foot, and four hundred horse, which might enable him to defend that coast of his province which lay next to Greece.” These troops the prætor collected, not only out of Sicily, but from the circumjacent islands; placing strong garrisons in all the towns on the coast opposite to Greece. The rumours already current, were, in some degree, confirmed by the arrival of Attalus, the brother of Eumenes; for he brought intelligence, that king Antiochus had crossed the Hellespont with his army, and that the Ætolians were putting themselves into such a posture, that, when he arrived, he expected to find them in arms. Thanks were given to Eumenes, in his absence, and to Attalus, who was present; and an order was passed, that the latter should be furnished with a house, and every accommodation; that he should be presented with two horses, two suits of horseman’s armour, vases of silver to an hundred pounds weight, and of gold to twenty pounds.
XXIV. As accounts were continually arriving, that the war was on the point of breaking out, it was judged expedient that consuls should be elected as soon as possible. Wherefore the senate passed a decree, that the prætor, Marcus Fulvius, should instantly despatch a letter to the consul, informing him, that it was the will of the senate that he should leave the command of the province and army to his lieutenants-general, and return to Rome; and that, when on the road, he should send on before him an edict appointing the day for the election of consuls. The consul complied with the letter; and, having sent forward the edict, arrived at Rome. There was, this year also, a warm competition, three patricians suing for one place: Publius Cornelius Scipio, son to Cneius, who had suffered a disappointment the year before: Lucius Cornelius Scipio, and Cneius Manlius Vulso. The consulship was conferred on Publius Scipio, that it might appear that the honour had only been delayed, and not refused, to a person of such character. The plebeian colleague, joined with him, was Manius Acilius Glabrio. Next day were created prætors, Lucius Æmilius Paulus, Marcus Æmilius Lepidus, Marcus Junius Brutus, Aulus Cornelius Mammula, Caius Livius, and Lucius Oppius; the two last, both of them, surnamed Salinator. This was the same Oppius who had conducted the fleet of thirty ships to Sicily. While the new magistrates were settling the distribution of their provinces, orders were despatched to Marcus Bæbius, to pass over, with all his forces, from Brundusium to Epirus, and to keep the army stationed near Apollonia; and Marcus Fulvius, city prætor, was commissioned to build fifty new quinqueremes.
XXV. Such were the precautions taken by the Roman people to guard against every attempt of Antiochus. At this time, Nabis did not disavow his hostile intentions, but, with his utmost force, carried on the siege of Gythium; and, being incensed against the Achæans, for having sent succours to the besieged, he ravaged their lands. The Achæans would not presume to engage in war, until their ambassadors should come back from Rome, and acquaint them with the sentiments of the senate; but as soon as these returned, they summoned a council at Sicyon, and also sent deputies to Titus Quintius to ask his advice. In the council, all the members were inclined to vote for an immediate declaration of war; but a letter from Titus Quintius, in which he recommended waiting for the Roman prætor, and fleet, caused some hesitation. While many of the members persisted in their first opinion, and others arguing that they ought to follow the counsel of the person to whom they of themselves had applied for advice, the generality waited to hear the sentiments of Philopæmen. He was prætor of Achæa at the time, and surpassed all his contemporaries both in wisdom and influence. He first observed, that “it was a wise rule, established among the Achæans, that their prætor, when he proposed a question concerning war, should not himself have a vote:” and then he desired them to “fix their determination among themselves as soon as possible;” assuring them, that “their prætor would faithfully and carefully carry their decrees into execution; and would use his best endeavours, that, as far as depended on human prudence, they should not repent of them, whether they were for peace or war.” These words conveyed a more efficacious incitement to war, than if, by openly arguing in favour of it, he had betrayed an ambition to distinguish himself in command. War was therefore unanimously resolved on: the time and mode of conducting it, were left entirely to the prætor. Philopæmen’s own judgment, indeed, besides its being the opinion of Quintius, pointed it out as best to wait for the Roman fleet, which might succour Gythium by sea; but he feared that the business would not endure delay, and that not only Gythium, but the party which had been sent to its aid, would fall into the hands of the enemy, and therefore he drew out what ships the Achæans had.
XXVI. The tyrant also, with the view of cutting off any supplies that might be brought to the besieged by sea, had fitted out a small squadron, consisting of only three ships of war, with some barks and cutters, as his former fleet had been given up to the Romans, according to the treaty. In order to try the activity of these vessels, as they were then new, and to have every thing in fit condition for a battle, he put out to sea every day, and exercised both the rowers and marines in mock fights; for he thought that all his hopes of succeeding in the siege depended on his preventing any succours being brought to them by ships. The prætor of the Achæans, in respect of skill for conducting operations on land, was equal to any of the most celebrated commanders both in capacity and experience, yet with naval affairs he was quite unacquainted. Being an inhabitant of Arcadia, an inland country, he was even ignorant in foreign affairs, excepting that he had once served in Crete as commander of a body of auxiliaries. There was an old ship of four banks of oars, which had been taken eighty years before, as it was conveying Nicæa, the wife of Craterus, from Naupactum to Corinth. Led by the reputation of this ship, for it had been reckoned a remarkably fine vessel when in the king’s fleet, he ordered it, though now quite rotten, and falling asunder through age, to be brought out from Ægium. The fleet sailed with this ship at its head, Tiso of Patræ, the commander, being on board it, when the ships of the Lacedæmonians from Gythium came within view. At the first shock, against a new and firm vessel, that old one, which before admitted the water through every joint, was shattered to pieces, and the whole crew were made prisoners. On the loss of the commander’s ship, the rest of the fleet fled as fast as their oars could carry them. Philopæmen himself made his escape in a light advice-boat, nor did he stop his flight until he arrived at Patræ. This untoward event did not in the least damp the spirit of a man so well versed in military affairs, and who had experienced so many vicissitudes of fortune. On the contrary, as he had failed of success in the naval line, in which he had no experience, he even conceived, thence, the greater hopes of succeeding in another, wherein he had acquired knowledge; and he affirmed, that he would quickly put an end to the tyrant’s rejoicing.
XXVII. Nabis, elated by this adventure, and confident that he had not now any danger to apprehend from the sea, resolved to shut up the passages on the land also, by parties stationed in proper posts. With this view, he drew off a third part of his forces from the siege of Gythium, and encamped them at Bææ, a place which commands both Leucæ and Acriæ, on the road by which he supposed the enemy’s army would advance. While he lay on this station, where very few of his men had tents, (the generality of them having formed huts of reeds interwoven, and which they covered with leaves of trees, to serve as a defence from the weather,) Philopæmen, before he came within sight, resolved to surprise him by an attack of such a kind as he did not expect. He drew together a number of small ships in a remote creek, on the coast of the territory of Argos, and embarked on board them a body of soldiers, mostly targeteers, furnished with slings, javelins, and other light kinds of weapons. He then coasted along the shore, until he came to a promontory near Nabis’s post. Here he landed; and made his way, by night, through paths with which he was well acquainted, to Bææ. He found the sentinels fast asleep, for they had not conceived the least apprehension of an enemy being near, and he immediately set fire to the huts in every part of the camp. Great numbers perished in the flames, before they could discover the enemy’s arrival, and those who did discover it could give no assistance; so that nearly the whole was destroyed by fire and sword. From both these means of destruction, however, a very small number made their escape, and fled to the principal camp before Gythium. Philopæmen having, by this blow, given a severe check to the presumption of the enemy, led on his forces to ravage the district of Tripolis, a part of the Lacedæmonian territory, lying next to the frontiers of Megalopolis; and, carrying off thence a vast number of men and cattle, withdrew, before the tyrant could send a force from Gythium to protect the country. He then collected his whole force at Tegea, to which place he summoned a council of the Achæans and their allies; at which were present, also, deputies from the Epirots and Acarnanians. Here it was resolved, that, as the minds of his men were now sufficiently recovered from the shame of the disgrace suffered at sea, and those of the enemy dispirited, he should march directly to Lacedæmon; for that was judged to be the only effectual means to draw off the enemy from the siege of Gythium. On entering their country, he encamped the first day at Caryæ, and on that very day, Gythium was taken. Ignorant of that event, Philopæmen advanced to the Barbosthenes, a mountain ten miles from Lacedæmon. On the other side, Nabis, after taking possession of Gythium, set out at the head of a body of light troops; marched hastily by Lacedæmon; and seized on a place called the Camp of Pyrrhus, which post he believed the Achæans intended to occupy. From thence, he proceeded to meet the enemy. The latter, being obliged, by the narrowness of the road, to extend their train to a great length, occupied a space of almost five miles. The cavalry, and the greatest part of the auxiliaries, covered the rear, Philopæmen expecting that the tyrant would attack him, on that quarter, with his mercenary troops, in whom he placed his principal confidence. Two unforeseen circumstances at once filled him with uneasiness: one, the post at which he aimed being preoccupied; the other, the enemy having met him in front, where, as the road lay through very uneven ground, he did not see how the battalions could advance without the support of the light troops.
XXVIII. Philopæmen was possessed of an admirable degree of skill and experience in conducting a march, and choosing his station; having made these points his principal study, not only in times of war, but likewise during peace. Whenever, in travelling, he came to a defile where the passage was difficult, it was his practice, first, to examine the nature of the ground on every side. When journeying alone, he meditated within himself; if he had company, he asked them, “if an enemy should appear in that place, what would be the proper method of proceeding; what, if they should attack him in front; what, if on this flank or on that; what, if on the rear? For he might happen to meet them while his men were formed with a regular front; or when they were in the loose order of march, fit only for the road.” He would proceed to examine, either in his own mind, or by asking questions, “what ground he ought to choose; what number of soldiers; or what kind of arms (which was a very material point) he ought to employ; where he should deposit the baggage, where the soldiers’ necessaries, where the unarmed multitude; what number and what kind of troops he should appoint to guard them, and whether it would be better to prosecute his march as intended, or to return back by the way he came; what spot, also, he should choose for his camp; what space he should inclose within the lines; where he could be conveniently supplied with water; where a sufficiency of forage and wood could be had; which would be his safest road on decamping next day, and in what form the army should march.” In such studies and inquiries he had, from his early years, so frequently exercised his thoughts, that on any emergency of the kind occurring, no expedient that could be devised was new to him. On this occasion, he first ordered the army to halt; then sent forward, to the van, the auxiliary Cretans, and the horsemen called Tarentines, each leading two spare horses; and, ordering the rest of the cavalry to follow, he seized on a rock which stood over a rivulet, from which he might be supplied with water. Here he collected together all the baggage, with all the suttlers and followers of the army, placing a guard of soldiers round them; and then he fortified his camp, as the nature of the place required. The pitching of tents in such rugged and uneven ground was a difficult task. The enemy were distant not more than five hundred paces. Both drew water from the same rivulet, under escorts of light troops; but, before any skirmish took place, as usual, between men encamped so near to each other, night came on. It was evident, however, that they must, unavoidably, fight next day at the rivulet, in support of the watering parties. Wherefore, during the night, Philopæmen concealed, in a valley remote from the view of the enemy, as great a number of targeteers as could conveniently lie in the place.
XXIX. At break of day, the Cretan light infantry, and the Tarentine horse, began an engagement on the bank of the rivulet. Latemnastus, a Cretan, commanded his countrymen; Lycortas, of Megalopolis, the cavalry. The enemy’s watering party, also, was guarded by Cretan auxiliaries, and Tarentine horsemen. The fight was, for a considerable time, doubtful, as the troops on both sides were of the same kind, and armed alike; but, as the contest advanced, the tyrant’s auxiliaries gained an advantage, both by their superiority of numbers, and because Philopæmen had given directions to his officers, that, after maintaining the contest for a short time, they should betake themselves to flight, and draw the enemy on to the place of the ambuscade. The latter, pursuing the runaways in disorderly haste, through the valley, were most of them wounded and slain, before they discovered their concealed foe. The targeteers had posted themselves in such order, as far as the breadth of the valley allowed, that they easily gave a passage to their flying friends, through openings in their ranks; then starting up themselves, hale, fresh, and in regular order, they briskly attacked the enemy, whose ranks were broken, who were scattered in confusion, and were, besides, exhausted with fatigue and wounds. This decided the victory: the tyrant’s troops instantly turned their backs, and flying with much more precipitation than they had pursued, were driven into their camp. Great numbers were killed and taken in the pursuit; and the consternation would have spread through the camp also, had not Philopæmen ordered a retreat to be sounded: for he dreaded the ground, (which was rough, and dangerous to advance on without caution,) more than he did the enemy. Judging, both from the issue of the battle, and from the disposition of the enemy’s leader, that he was not a little dismayed, he sent to him one of the auxiliary soldiers in the character of a deserter, to assure him positively, that the Achæans had resolved to advance, next day, to the river Eurotas, which runs almost close to the walls, in order to cut off the tyrant’s retreat to the city, and to prevent any provisions being brought thence to the camp; and that they intended, at the same time, to try whether any could be prevailed on to desert his cause. Although the deserter did not gain implicit credit, yet he afforded Nabis’s captain, who was full of apprehensions, a plausible pretext for leaving his camp. On the day following, he ordered Pythagoras, with the auxiliaries and cavalry, to mount guard before the rampart; and then, marching out himself with the main body of the army, as if intending to offer battle, he ordered them to return with all haste to the city.
XXX. When Philopæmen saw their army marching precipitately through a narrow and steep road, he sent all his cavalry, together with the Cretan auxiliaries, against the guard of the enemy, stationed in the front of their camp. These, seeing their adversaries approach, and perceiving that their friends had abandoned them, at first attempted to retreat within their works; but then, observing the whole force of the Achæans advancing in order of battle, they were seized with fear, lest together with the camp itself, they might be taken; they resolved therefore to follow the body of their army, which, by this time, had proceeded to a considerable distance. Immediately the targeteers of the Achæans assailed the camp, and the rest set out in pursuit of the enemy. The road was such, that a body of men, even when undisturbed by any fear of a foe, could not without difficulty, make its way through it. But when an attack was made on their rear, and the shouts of terror, raised by the affrighted troops behind, reached to the van, they threw down their arms, and fled different ways into the adjacent woods. In an instant of time, the way was stopped up with heaps of weapons, particularly spears, which falling mostly with their points toward the pursuers, formed a kind of palisade across the road. Philopæmen ordered the auxiliaries to push forward in pursuit of the enemy, who would find it a difficult matter, the horsemen particularly, to continue their flight; while he himself led away the heavy troops through more open ground to the river Eurotas. There he pitched his camp a little before sunset, and waited for the light troops, which he had sent in chase of the enemy. These arrived at the first watch, and brought intelligence, that Nabis, with a few attendants, had made his way into the city, and that the rest of his army, unarmed and dispersed, were straggling through all parts of the woods; whereupon, he ordered them to refresh themselves, while he himself chose out a party of men, who having come earlier into camp, were, by this time, both recruited by food and rest; and, ordering them to carry nothing with them but their swords, he marched them out directly, and posted them in the roads which led from two of the gates, one towards Pheræ, the other towards the Barbosthenes: for he supposed, that through these the flying enemy would endeavour to make their retreat. Nor was he disappointed therein; for the Lacedæmonians, as long as any light remained, retreated through the centre of the woods in the most retired paths. As soon as it grew dusk, and they saw lights in the enemy’s camp, they kept themselves concealed from view; but, having passed it by, they then thought that all was safe, and came down into the open roads, where they were intercepted by the parties lying in wait; and such numbers of them were killed and taken, that, of the whole army, scarcely a fourth part effected their escape. As Nabis was now pent up within the city, Philopæmen employed the greatest part of thirty succeeding days in ravaging the lands of the Lacedæmonians; and then, after greatly reducing, and almost annihilating, the strength of the tyrant, he returned home, while the Achæans extolled him as equal in the merit of his services, to the Roman general, or, so far as regarded the war with Lacedæmon, even superior.
XXXI. While the Achæans and the tyrant were carrying on the war in this manner, the Roman ambassadors made a circuit through the cities of the allies; for they feared, lest the Ætolians might seduce some of them to join the party of Antiochus. They took but little pains, in their applications to the Achæans; because, knowing their animosity against Nabis, they thought that they might be safely relied on with regard to other matters. They went first to Athens, thence to Chalcis, thence to Thessaly; and, after addressing proper exhortations to the Thessalians, in a full assembly, they directed their route to Demetrias, to which place a council of the Magnetians was summoned. Their negotiation here required more address; for a great many of the leading men were disaffected to the Romans, and entirely devoted to the interests of Antiochus and the Ætolians; because, at the time when accounts were received that Philip’s son, who was an hostage, would be restored to him, and the tribute imposed on him remitted, among other groundless reports it had been given out, that the Romans intended to put him again in possession of Demetrias. Rather than that should take place, Eurylochus, a deputy of the Magnetians, and others of that faction, wished for a total change of measures to be effected by the coming of Antiochus and the Ætolians. In opposition to those it was necessary to reason in such a manner, that, in dispelling their mistaken fear, the ambassadors should not, by cutting off his hopes at once, give any disgust to Philip, whose friendship was of greater moment, on any occasion, than that of the Magnetians. They only observed to the assembly. that, “as Greece in general was under an obligation to the Romans for their kindness in restoring its liberty, so was their state in particular. For there had not only been a garrison of Macedonians in their capital, but a palace had been built in it, that they might have a master continually before their eyes. But all that had been done would be of no effect if the Ætolians should bring thither Antiochus, and settle him in the abode of Philip, so that a new and unknown king should be set over them, in the place of an old one, with whom they were long acquainted.” Their chief magistrate is styled Magnetarch. This office was then held by Eurylochus, who, assuming confidence from his high station, openly declared, that he, and the Magnetians, saw no reason to dissemble their having heard the common report about the restoration of Demetrias to Philip; to prevent which, the Magnetians were bound to use every effort, however hazardous; and, in the eagerness of discourse, he was carried to such an inconsiderate length, as to throw out, that “at that very time, Demetrias was only free in appearance; and that, in reality, all things were directed by the will of the Romans.” These words excited a general murmur in the assembly, some of whom showed their approbation, others expressed indignation at his presumption, in uttering such an expression. As to Quintius, he was so inflamed with anger, that, raising his hands towards heaven, he invoked the gods to witness the ungrateful and perfidious disposition of the Magnetians. This struck terror into the whole assembly; and one of the deputies, named Zeno, who had acquired a great degree of influence, by his judicious course of conduct in life, and by having been always an avowed supporter of the interest of the Romans, with tears besought Quintius, and the other ambassadors, “not to impute to the state the madness of an individual. Every man,” he said, “was answerable for his own absurdities. As to the Magnetians, they were indebted to Titus Quintius and the Roman people, not only for liberty but for every thing that mankind hold valuable, or sacred. By their kindness, they were in the enjoyment of every blessing for which they could ever petition the immortal gods; and if struck with phrenzy, they would sooner vent their fury on their own persons, than violate the friendship with Rome.”
XXXII. His entreaties were seconded by the prayers of the whole assembly: on which Eurylochus retired hastily from the council, and, passing through private streets, fled away into Ætolia. As to the Ætolians, they now gave plain indications of their intention to revolt, which became more evident every day; and it happened, that, at this very time, Thoas, one of their leading men, whom they had sent to Antiochus, returned, and brought back with him an ambassador from the king, named Menippus. These two, before the council met to give them audience, filled every one’s ears with pompous accounts of the naval and land forces that were coming; “a vast army,” they said, “of horse and foot was on its march, accompanied by elephants from India; and besides, they were bringing such a quantity of gold and silver, as was sufficient to purchase the Romans themselves:” which latter circumstance, they knew, would influence the multitude, more than any thing else. It was easy to foresee, what effects these reports would produce in the council; for the Roman ambassadors received information of the arrival of those men, and of all their proceedings. A rupture, indeed, was almost unavoidable, yet Quintius thought it advisable, that some ambassadors of the allies should be present in that council, who might remind the Ætolians of their alliance with Rome, and who might have the courage to speak with freedom in opposition to the king’s ambassador. The Athenians seemed to be the best qualified for this purpose, by reason of the high reputation of their state, and also from an amity long subsisting between them and the Ætolians. Quintius, therefore, requested of them to send ambassadors to the Panætolic council. At the first meeting, Thoas made a report of the business of his embassy. After him, Menippus was introduced, who said, that “it would have been happy for all the Greeks, residing both in Greece and Asia, if Antiochus could have taken a part in their affairs, while the power of Philip was yet unbroken; for then every one would have had what of right belonged to him, and the whole would not have come under the dominion and absolute disposal of the Romans. But even as matters stand at present,” said he, “provided you have constancy enough to carry into effect the measures which you have adopted, Antiochus will be able, with the assistance of the gods, and the alliance of the Ætolians, to reinstate the affairs of Greece in their former rank of dignity, notwithstanding the low condition to which they have been reduced. But this dignity consists in a state of freedom supported by its own strength, and not dependent on the will of another.” The Athenians, who were permitted to deliver their sentiments next after the king’s ambassadors, avoiding all mention of Antiochus, reminded the Ætolians of their alliance with Rome, and the benefits conferred by Titus Quintius on the whole body of Greece; and recommended to them, “not inconsiderately, to break off that connection by too hasty counsels; observing, that passionate and adventurous schemes, however flattering at first view, prove difficult in the execution, and disastrous in the issue: that, as the Roman ambassadors, and, among them, Titus Quintius, were within a small distance, it would be better, before any violent step was taken, to discuss, in amicable conference, any matters in dispute, than to rouse Europe and Asia to a dreadful war.”
XXXIII. The multitude, ever fond of novelty, warmly espoused the cause of Antiochus, and gave their opinion, that the Romans should not even be admitted into the council; but by the influence chiefly of the elder members, a vote was passed, that the council should give audience to the Romans. On being acquainted, by the Athenians, with this determination, Quintius resolved on going into Ætolia; for he thought that, “either he should be able to effect some change in their designs; or that it would be manifest to all mankind, that the blame of the war would lie on the Ætolians, and that the Romans would be warranted to take arms by justice, and, in a manner, by necessity.” On arriving there, Quintius, in his discourse to the council, began with the first formation of the alliance between the Romans and the Ætolians, and enumerated the many transgressions of the terms of the treaty, of which the latter had been guilty. He then enlarged a little on the rights of the states concerned in the dispute, and added, that, “notwithstanding, if they thought that they had any reasonable demand to make, it would surely be infinitely better to send ambassadors to Rome, whether they chose to argue the case, or to make a request to the senate, than that the Roman people should enter the lists with Antiochus, while the Ætolians acted as marshals of the field, an event which would cause a great convulsion in the affairs of the world, and the utter ruin of Greece.” He concluded with asserting, that “no people would feel the fatal consequences of such a war sooner than the first promoters of it.” This prediction of the Roman was disregarded. Thoas, and others of the same faction, were then heard, with general approbation; and they prevailed so far, that, without adjourning the meeting, or waiting for the absence of the Romans, the assembly passed a decree, that Antiochus should be invited to vindicate the liberty of Greece, and decide the dispute between the Ætolians and the Romans. To the insolence of this decree, their prætor, Damocratus, added a personal affront: for, on Quintius asking him for a copy of the decree, without any respect to the dignity of the person to whom he spoke, he told him, that “he had, at present, more pressing business to despatch; but he would shortly give him the decree, and an answer, in Italy, from his camp on the banks of the Tiber.” Such was the degree of madness which possessed, at that time, both the nation of the Ætolians, and their magistrates.
XXXIV. Quintius, and the ambassadors, returned to Corinth. The Ætolians, that they might not appear to depend merely on Antiochus, and to sit inactive, waiting for his arrival, though they did not, after the departure of the Romans, hold a general diet of the nation, yet endeavoured, by their Apocleti, (a more confidential council, composed of persons selected from the rest) to devise schemes for setting Greece in commotion. They were sensible, that in the several states the principal people, particularly those of the best characters, were disposed to maintain the Roman alliance, and well pleased with the present state of affairs; but that the populace, and especially such as were in needy circumstances, wished for a general revolution. The Ætolians, at one day’s sitting, formed a scheme, the very conception of which argued, not only boldness, but impudence,—being no less than the making themselves masters of Demetrias, Chalcis, and Lacedæmon. One of their principal men was sent to each of these places; Thoas to Chalcis, Alexamenus to Lacedæmon, Diocles to Demetrias. This last was assisted by the exile Eurylochus, whose flight, and the cause of it, have been mentioned above, and who had no other prospect of being restored to his country. Eurylochus, by letter, instructed his friends and relations, and those of his own faction, to order his wife and children to assume a mourning dress; and, holding the badges of supplicants, to go into a full assembly, and to beseech each individual, and the whole body, not to suffer a man, who was innocent and uncondemned, to grow old in exile. The simple and unsuspecting were moved by compassion; the ill-disposed and seditious, by the hope of seeing all things thrown into confusion, in consequence of the tumults which the Ætolians would excite; and every one voted for his being recalled. These preparatory measures being effected, Diocles, at that time general of the horse, with all the cavalry, set out, under pretext of escorting to his home the exile, who was his guest. Having, during that day and the following night, marched an extraordinary length of way, and arrived within six miles of the city at the first dawn, he chose out three troops, at the head of which he went on, before the rest of the cavalry, whom he ordered to follow. When he came near the gate, he made all his men dismount, and lead their horses by the reins, without keeping their ranks, but like travellers on a journey, in order that they might appear to be the retinue of the general, rather than a military force. Here he left one troop at the gate, lest the cavalry, who were coming up, might be shut out: and then holding Eurylochus by the hand, conducted him to his house through the middle of the city and the Forum, and through crowds who met and congratulated him. In a little time the city was filled with horsemen, and convenient posts were seized; and then parties were sent to the houses of persons of the opposite faction, to put them to death. In this manner Demetrias fell into the hands of the Ætolians.
XXXV. The plan to be executed at Lacedæmon was, not to attempt the city by force, but to entrap the tyrant by stratagem. For though he had been stripped of the maritime towns by the Romans, and afterwards shut up within the walls of his city by the Achæans, they supposed that whoever took the first opportunity of killing him, would engross the whole thanks of the Lacedæmonians. The pretence which they had for sending to him, was, that he had long solicited assistance from them, since, by their advice, he had renewed the war. A thousand foot were put under the command of Alexamenus, with thirty horsemen, chosen from among the youth. These received a charge from Damocritus, the prætor, in the select council of the nation, mentioned above, “not to suppose that they were sent to act against the Achæans; or even on other business, which any might think he had discovered from his own conjectures. Whatever sudden enterprise circumstances might direct Alexamenus to undertake, that (however unexpected, rash, or daring) they were to hold themselves in readiness to execute with implicit obedience; and should understand that to be the matter, for the sole purpose of effecting which they had been sent abroad.” With these men, thus pre-instructed, Alexamenus came to the tyrant, and at his first arrival filled him with very flattering hopes; telling him, that “Antiochus had already come over into Europe; that he would shortly be in Greece, and would cover the lands and seas with men and arms: that the Romans would find that they had not Philip to deal with: that the numbers of the horsemen, footmen, and ships, could not be reckoned; and that the train of elephants, by their mere appearance, would effectually daunt the enemy; that the Ætolians were resolved to come to Lacedæmon with their entire force, whenever occasion required; but that they wished to show the king, on his arrival, a numerous body of troops: that Nabis himself, likewise, ought to take care not to suffer his soldiers to be enervated by inaction, and by spending their time in houses; but to lead them out, and make them perform their evolutions under arms, which, while it exercised their bodies, would also rouse their courage: that the labour would become lighter by practice, and might even be rendered not unpleasing by the affability and kindness of their commander.” Thenceforward, the troops used frequently to be drawn out under the walls of the city, in a plain near the river Eurotas. The tyrant’s life-guards were generally posted in the centre. He himself, attended by three horsemen at the most, of whom Alexamenus was commonly one, rode about in front, and went to view both wings to their extremities. On the right wing were the Ætolians; both those who had been before in his army as auxiliaries, and the thousand who came with Alexamenus. Alexamenus made it his custom to ride about with Nabis through a few of the ranks, making such remarks as he thought proper; then to join his own troops in the right wing, and presently after, as if having given the necessary orders, to return to the tyrant. But, on the day which he had fixed for the perpetration of the deed of death, after accompanying the tyrant for a little time, he withdrew to his own soldiers, and addressed the horsemen, sent from home with him, in these words: “Young men, you are now to perform, and that with boldness and resolution, the business which you were ordered to execute at my command. Have your courage and your hands ready, that none may fail to second me in whatever he sees me attempt. If any one shall hesitate, and let any scheme of his own interfere with mine, that man most certainly shall never return to his home.” Horror seized them all, and they well remembered the charge which they had received at setting out. Nabis was now coming from the left wing. Alexamenus ordered his horsemen to rest their lances, and keep their eyes fixed on him; and in the meantime he himself re-collected his spirits from the hurry into which they had been thrown by the thoughts of such a desperate attempt. As soon as the tyrant came near, he charged him; and driving his spear through his horse, brought the rider to the ground. All the horsemen aimed their lances at him as he lay, and after many ineffectual strokes against his coat of mail, their points at length penetrated his body, so that, before relief could be sent from the centre, he expired.
XXXVI. Alexamenus, with all the Ætolians, hastened away to seize on the palace. Nabis’s life-guards were at first struck with horror and dismay, the act being perpetrated before their eyes; then, when they observed the Ætolian troops leaving the place, they gathered round the tyrant’s body, where it was left, forming, instead of avengers of his death, a mere groupe of spectators. Nor would any one have stirred, if Alexamenus had immediately called the people to an assembly, there made a speech suitable to the occasion, and afterwards kept a good number of Ætolians in arms, without offering to commit any act of violence. Instead of which, by a fatality which ought to attend all designs founded in treachery, every step was taken that could tend to hasten the destruction of the actors in this villainous enterprise. The commander, shut up in the palace, wasted a day and a night in searching out the tyrant’s treasures; and the Ætolians, as if they had stormed the city, of which they wished to be thought the deliverers, betook themselves to plunder. The insolence of their behaviour, and, at the same time, contempt of their numbers, gave the Lacedæmonians courage to assemble in a body, when some said, that they ought to drive out the Ætolians, and resume their liberty which had been ravished from them at the very time when it seemed to be restored; others, that, for the sake of appearance, they ought to associate with them some one of the royal family, to give authority to their proceedings. There was a very young boy, of that family, named Laconicus, who had been educated with the tyrant’s children; him they mounted on a horse, and taking arms, slew all the Ætolians whom they met straggling through the city. They then assaulted the palace, where they killed Alexamenus, who, with a small party attempted resistance. Others of the Ætolians, who had collected together round the Chalciæcon, that is, the brazen temple of Minerva, were cut to pieces. A few, throwing away their arms, fled, some to Tegea, others to Megalopolis where they were seized by the magistrates, and sold as slaves. Philopæmen, as soon as he heard of the murder of the tyrant, went to Lacedæmon, where, finding all in confusion and consternation, he called together the principal inhabitants, to whom he addressed a discourse, (such as ought to have been made by Alexamenus,) which had so great an effect, that the Lacedæmonians joined the confederacy of the Achæans. To this they were the more easily persuaded, because, at that very juncture, Aulus Atilius happened to arrive at Gythium with twenty-four quinqueremes.
XXXVII. Meanwhile, Thoas, in his attempt on Chalcis, was not near so fortunate as Eurylochus had been in getting possession of Demetrias; although (by the intervention of Euthymidas, a man of considerable consequence, who, after the arrival of Titus Quintius and the ambassadors, had been banished by those who adhered to the Roman alliance; and also of Herodorus, who was a merchant of Cios, and who, by means of his wealth, possessed a powerful influence at Chalcis,) he had engaged a party, composed of Euthymidas’s faction, to betray the city into his hands. Euthymidas went from Athens, where he had fixed his residence, first to Thebes, and thence to Salganea; Herodorus to Thronium. At a small distance, on the Malian bay, Thoas had two thousand foot and two hundred horse, with thirty light transport ships. With these vessels, carrying six hundred footmen, Herodorus was ordered to sail to the island of Atalanta, that, as soon as he should perceive the land-forces approaching Aulis and the Euripus, he might pass over to Chalcis; to which place Thoas himself led the rest of his forces, marching mostly by night, and with all possible expedition.
XXXVIII. Mictio and Xenoclides, who were now, since the banishment of Euthymidas, at the head of affairs in that city, either of themselves suspected the matter, or received some information of it, and were at first so greatly terrified, that they saw no prospect of safety but in flight; but afterwards, when their fright subsided, and they considered that, by such a step, they would betray and desert not only their country, but the Roman alliance, they struck out the following plan. It happened that, at that very time, there was a solemn anniversary festival, celebrated at Eretria, in honour of Diana Amarynthis, which was always attended by great numbers, not only of the natives but also of the Carystians: thither they sent envoys to beseech the Eretrians and Carystians, “as having been born in the same isle, to compassionate their situation; and, at the same time, to show their regard to the friendship of Rome: not to suffer Chalcis to become the property of the Ætolians, who, if they once got that city into their power would soon possess themselves of all Eubœa: and to remind them, that they had found the Macedonians grievous masters, but that the Ætolians would be much more intolerable.” Those states were influenced chiefly by motives respecting the Romans, as they had lately experienced both the bravery in war, and the justice and liberality in success, which characterised that people. Both states, therefore, armed, and sent the main strength of their young men. To these the people of Chalcis entrusted the defence of the walls, and they themselves, with their whole force crossed the Euripes, and encamped at Salganea. From that place they despatched first a herald, and afterwards, ambassadors, to ask the Ætolians, for what word or act of theirs, friends and allies came thus to attack them. Thoas, commander of the Ætolians, answered, that “he came not to attack them, but to deliver them from the Romans: that they were fettered at present with a brighter chain indeed, but a much heavier one, than when they had a Macedonian garrison in their citadel.” The men of Chalcis replied, that “they were neither under bondage, nor in need of protection.” The ambassadors then withdrew from the meeting, and returned to their countrymen. Thoas and the Ætolians, (who had no other hopes than in a sudden surprise, and were by no means in a capacity to undertake a regular war, and the siege of a city so well secured against any attack from the land or the sea,) returned home. Euthymidas, on hearing that his countrymen were encamped at Salganea, and that the Ætolians had retired, went back from Thebes to Athens. Herodorus, after waiting several days at Atalanta, attentively watching for the concerted signal in vain, sent an advice-boat to learn the cause of the delay; and, understanding that the enterprise was abandoned by his associates, returned to Thronium.
XXXIX. Quintius, being informed of these proceedings, came with the fleet from Corinth, and met Eumenes, in the Euripus of Chalcis. It was agreed between them, that king Eumenes should leave there five hundred of his soldiers, as a garrison to the city, and should go himself to Athens. Quintius proceeded to Demetrias, as he had purposed from the first, hoping that the relief of Chalcis would prove a strong inducement to the Magnetians to renew the alliance with Rome. And, in order that such of them as favoured his views might have some support at hand, he wrote to Eunomus, prætor of the Thessalians, to arm the youth of his nation; sending Villius forward to Demetrias, to sound the inclinations of the people: for he was determined not to take any step in the business, unless a considerable number of them were disposed to revive the former treaty of amity. Villius, in a ship of five banks of oars, came to the mouth of the harbour, and the whole multitude of the Magnetians hastened out thither. Villius then asked, whether they chose that he should consider himself as having come to friends, or to enemies? Eurylochus, the Magnetarch, answered, that “he had come to friends: but desired him not to enter the harbour, but to suffer the Magnetians to live in freedom and harmony; and not to attempt, under the show of friendly converse, to seduce the minds of the populace.” Then followed an altercation, not a conference, the Roman upbraiding the Magnetians with ingratitude, and forewarning them of the calamities impending over them; the multitude, on the other side, clamorously reproaching him, and reviling, sometimes the senate, sometimes Quintius. Villius, therefore, unable to effect any part of his business, went back to Quintius, who despatched orders to the Thessalian prætor, to lead his troops home, while himself returned by sea to Corinth.
XL. I have let the affairs of Greece, blended with those of Rome, carry me away, as it were, out of the course; not that they were in themselves deserving of a recital, but because they gave rise to a war with Antiochus. After the consular election, for thence I digressed, the consuls, Lucius Quintius and Cneius Domitius repaired to their provinces, Quintius to Liguria, Domitius against the Boians. These latter kept themselves quiet; nay, the senators with their children, and the commanding officers of the cavalry, with their troops, amounting in all to one thousand five hundred, surrendered to the consul. The other consul laid waste the country of the Ligurians to a wide extent, and took some forts; in which expeditions he not only acquired booty of all sorts, together with many prisoners, but he also recovered several of his countrymen, and of the allies, who had been in the hands of the enemy. In this year a colony was settled at Vibo, in pursuance of a decree of the senate and an order of the people; three thousand seven hundred footmen, and three hundred horsemen, went out thither, conducted by the commissioners Quintus Nævius, Marcus Minucius, and Marcus Furius Crassipes. Fifteen acres of ground were assigned to each footman, double that quantity to a horseman. This land had been last in possession of the Bruttians, who had taken it from the Greeks. About this time two dreadful alarms happened at Rome, one of which continued long, but produced less mischief than the other. An earthquake lasted through thirty-eight days; during all which time there was a total cessation of business, so strong were people’s anxiety and fears. On account of this event, a supplication was performed of three days continuance. The other was not a mere fright, but attended with the loss of many lives. In consequence of a fire breaking out in the cattle market, the conflagration, among the houses near to the Tiber, continued through all that day and the following night, and all the shops with wares of very great value, were reduced to ashes.
XLI. The year was now almost at an end, while the rumours of impending hostility, and consequently, the anxiety of the senate, daily increased. They therefore set about adjusting the provinces of the magistrates elect, in order that they might all be the more attentive in their several departments. They decreed, that those of the consuls should be Italy, and whatever other place the senate should vote, for every one knew that a war against Antiochus was now a settled point. That he, to whose lot the latter province fell, should have under his command,—of Roman citizens, four thousand foot and three hundred horse; and of the Latine confederates, six thousand foot and four hundred horse. The consul, Lucius Quintius, was ordered to levy these troops, that the new consul might have nothing to prevent his proceeding immediately to any place which the senate should appoint. Concerning the provinces of the prætors, also, it was decreed, that the first lot should comprehend the two jurisdictions, both that between natives, and that between them and foreigners; the second should be Bruttium; the third, the fleet; to sail wherever the senate should direct; the fourth Sicily, the fifth Sardinia; the sixth farther Spain. An order was also given to the consul Lucius Quintius, to levy two new legions of Roman citizens, and of the allies and Latines twenty thousand foot and eight hundred horse. This army they assigned to the prætor to whom should fall the province of Bruttium. Two temples were dedicated this year to Jupiter in the capitol; one of which had been vowed by Lucius Furius Purpureo, when prætor, during the Gallic war; the other by the same, when consul. Quintus Marcius Ralla, duumvir, dedicated both. Many severe sentences were passed this year on usurers, who were prosecuted by the curule ædiles, Marcus Tuccius and Publius Junius Brutus. Out of the fines imposed on those who were convicted, gilded chariots, with four horses, were placed in the recess of Jupiter’s temple in the capitol, over the canopy of the shrine, and also twelve gilded bucklers. The same ædiles built a portico on the outside of the Triple Gate, in the Carpenters-Square.
XLII. While the Romans were busily employed in preparing for a new war, Antiochus, on his part, was not idle. He was detained some time by three cities, Smyrna, Alexandria in Troas, and Lampsacus, which hitherto he had not been able either to reduce by force, or to persuade into a treaty of amity; and he was unwilling, on going into Europe, to leave these as enemies. The difficulty of forming a fixed determination respecting Hannibal occasioned him further delay. First, the open ships, which the king was to have sent with him to Africa, were not readily fitted out; and, afterwards doubts were raised, whether he ought to be sent at all. This was owing chiefly to Thoas, the Ætolian; who, after setting all Greece in commotion, came with the account of Demetrias being in the hands of his countrymen; and as he had, by false representations concerning the king, and multiplying in his assertions, the numbers of his forces, exalted the expectations of many in Greece; so now, by the same artifices, he puffed up the hopes of the king; telling him, that “every one, with earnest wishes, longed for his coming; and, that, wherever they got a view of the royal fleet, they would all run down to the shore to welcome him.” He even had the audacity to attempt altering the king’s judgment respecting Hannibal, when it was nearly settled. For he alleged, that, “the flect ought not to be weakened by sending away any part of it, but that, if ships must be sent, no person was less fit for the command than Hannibal; for he was an exile, and a Carthaginian; to whom his own circumstances, or his disposition, might daily suggest a thousand new schemes. Then, as to his military fame, which, like a large dowry, recommended him to notice, it was too splendid for an officer acting under Antiochus. The king ought to be the grand object of view; the king ought to appear the sole leader, the sole commander. If Hannibal should lose a fleet or an army, the amount of the damage would be the same as if the loss were incurred by any other general; but should success be obtained, all the honour would be ascribed to Hannibal. Besides, if the war should prove so fortunate as to terminate finally in the defeat of the Romans, could it be expected that Hannibal would live under a king; subject, in short, to an individual: he who could not brook subjection to the government of his own country? His conduct, from early youth, had been of a very different cast: for he was a man who grasped at nothing less than the dominion of the world. It was therefore not likely that, in his maturer age he would be able to endure a master. The king wanted not Hannibal as a general: as an attendant and a counsellor in the business of the war, he might properly employ him. A moderate use of such abilities would be neither unprofitable nor dangerous: but, if advantages of the highest nature were sought through him, the probable consequences would be the destruction both of the agent and the employer.”
XLIII. There are no dispositions more prone to envy than those of persons whose mental qualifications are inferior to their birth and rank in life; such always harbour an antipathy to merit, as a treasure in which they cannot share. The design of the expedition, to be commanded by Hannibal, the only one thought of that could be of use, in the beginning of the war, was immediately laid aside. The king, highly flattered by the defection of Demetrias from the Romans to the Ætolians, resolved to pass into Greece without farther delay. Before the fleet weighed anchor, he went up from the shore to Ilium, to offer sacrifice to Minerva. Immediately on his return, he set sail with forty decked ships and sixty open ones, followed by two hundred transports, laden with provisions and warlike stores. He first touched at the island of Imbrus; thence he passed over to Sciathus; whence, after collecting the ships which had been separated during the voyage, he proceeded to Pteleum, the nearest part of the continent. Here, Eurylochus the Magnetarch, and other principal Magnetians from Demetrias, met him. Being greatly gratified by their numerous appearance, he carried his fleet the next day into the harbour of their city. At a small distance from the town he landed his forces, which consisted of ten thousand foot, five hundred horse, and six elephants; a force scarcely sufficient to take possession of Greece if there were to be no foreign opposition, much less to withstand the armies of Rome. The Ætolians, as soon as they were informed of Antiochus’s arrival at Demetrias, convened a general council, and passed a decree, inviting him into their country. The king had already left Demetrias, (for he knew that such a decree was to be passed,) and had advanced as far as Phalera on the Malian bay. Here the decree was presented to him, and then he proceeded to Lamia, where he was received by the populace with marks of the warmest attachment, with clapping of hands and shouting, and other signs by which the vulgar express extravagant joy.
XLIV. When he came to the place where the council sat, he was introduced by Phæneas, the prætor, and other persons of eminence, who, with difficulty, made way for him through the crowd. Then, silence being ordered, the king addressed himself to the assembly. He began with accounting for his having come with a force, so much smaller than every one had hoped and expected. “That,” he said, “ought to be deemed the strongest proof of the warmth of his good will towards them; because, though he was not sufficiently prepared in any particular, and though the season was yet too early for sailing, he had, without hesitation, complied with the call of their ambassadors, and had believed, that, when the Ætolians should see him among them, they would be satisfied, that in him, even if he were unattended, they might be sure of every kind of support. But he would also abundantly fulfil the hopes of those, whose expectations seemed at present to be disappointed. For, as soon as the season of the year rendered navigation safe, he would cover all Greece with arms, men, and horses, and all its coasts with fleets. He would spare neither expense, nor labour, nor danger, until he should remove the Roman yoke from their necks, and render Greece really free, and the Ætolians the first among its states. That, together with the armies, stores of all kinds were to come from Asia. For the present, the Ætolians ought to take care that his men might be properly supplied with corn, and other accommodations, at reasonable rates.”
XLV. Such was the purport of the king’s discourse, which was received with universal approbation, and he then withdrew. After his departure, a warm debate ensued between two of the Ætolian chiefs, Phæneas and Thoas. Phæneas declared his opinion, that it would be better to employ Antiochus, as a mediator of peace, and an umpire respecting the matters in dispute with the Roman people, than as leader in a war. That “his presence, and his dignified station, would impress the Romans with awe, more powerfully than his arms. That in many cases, men, for the sake of avoiding war, remit pretensions, which force and arms would never compel them to forego.” Thoas, on the other hand, insisted, that “Phæneas’s motive was not a love of peace, but a wish to embarrass them in their preparations for war, with the view that, through the tediousness of the proceedings, the king’s vigour might be relaxed, and the Romans gain time to put themselves in readiness. That they had abundant proof from experience, after so many embassies sent to Rome, and so many conferences with Quintius in person, that nothing reasonable could ever be obtained from the Romans in the way of negotiation; and that they would not, until every hope of that sort was out of sight, have implored the aid of Antiochus. That, as he had appeared among them sooner than any had expected, they ought not to sink into indolence, but rather to petition the king, that, since he had come in person, which was the great point of all, to support the rights of Greece, he would also send for his fleets and armies. For the king, at the head of an army, might obtain something; but, without that, could have very little influence with the Romans, either in the cause of the Ætolians, or even in his own.” This opinion was adopted, and the council voted, that the title of general should be conferred on the king. They also nominated thirty of their number, as a council, with whom he might deliberate on business, when he should think proper. The council was then broken up, and all went home to their respective states.
XLVI. Next day, the king held a consultation with their select council, respecting the most eligible place for beginning his operations. They judged it best to make the first trial on Chalcis, which had lately been attempted, in vain, by the Ætolians; and they thought that the business required rather expedition than any great exertion or preparation. Accordingly the king, with a thousand foot, who had followed him from Demetrias, took his route through Phocis; and the Ætolian chiefs, going by another road, met, at Cheronæa, a small number of their young men, whom they had called to arms, and thence, in ten decked ships, proceeded after him. Antiochus pitched his camp at Salganea, while himself, with the Ætolian chiefs, crossed the Euripus in the ships. When he had advanced a little way from the harbour, the magistrates, and other chief men of Chalcis, came out before their gate. A small number, from each side, met to confer together. The Ætolians warmly recommended to the others, “without violating the friendship subsisting between them and the Romans, to receive the king also, as a friend and ally. For his coming into Europe was not for the purpose of making war, but of vindicating the liberty of Greece; and of vindicating it in reality, not in words and pretence merely, as the Romans had done. Nothing could be more advantageous to the states of Greece, than to possess the friendship of both those powers; as they would then be always secure against ill-treatment from either, under the guaranty and protection of the other. If they refused to receive the king, they ought to consider the immediate difficulties which they must encounter: the aid of the Romans being far distant, and Antiochus, whom with their own strength they could not possibly resist in character of an enemy at their gates.” To this Mictio, one of the Chalcian deputies, answered, that “he wondered who those people were, for the vindicating of whose liberty Antiochus had left his own kingdom, and come over into Europe. For his part, he knew not any state in Greece which either was awed by a garrison, or paid tribute to the Romans, or was bound by a disadvantageous treaty, and obliged to submit to terms which it did not like. The people of Chalcis, therefore, stood not in need, either of any assertor of their liberty, which they already enjoyed, or of any armed protector; since, through the kindness of the Roman people, they were in possession of both liberty and peace. They did not slight the friendship of the king, nor that of the Ætolians themselves. The first instance of friendship, therefore, that they could give, would be to quit the island and go home; for, as to themselves, they were fully determined, not only not to admit them within their walls, but not even to agree to any alliance, but with the approbation of the Romans.”
XLVII. When an account of this conference was brought to the king, at the ships, where he had staid, he resolved for the present to return to Demetrias; for he had not with him a sufficient number of men to attempt any thing by force. At Demetrias, he held another consulation with the Ætolians, to determine what was next to be done, as their first effort had proved fruitless. It was agreed that they should make trial of the Bœotians, Achæans, and Amynander, king of Athamania. The Bœotian nation they believed to be disaffected to the Romans, ever since the death of Brachyllas, and the consequences which attend it. Philopæmen, chief of the Achæans, they supposed to hate, and be hated by, Quintius, in consequence of a rivalship for fame in the war of Laconia. Amynander had married Apamia, daughter of a Megalopolitan, called Alexander, who, pretending to be descended from Alexander the Great, had given the names of Philip and Alexander to his two sons, and that of Apamia to his daughter; and when she was raised to distinction, by her marriage to the king, Philip, the elder of her brothers, followed her into Athamania. This man, who was naturally vain, the Ætolians and Antiochus persuaded to hope, that, as he was really of the royal family, he should be put in possession of the kingdom of Macedonia, on condition of his prevailing on Amynander and the Athamanians to join Antiochus; and these empty promises produced the intended effect, not only on Philip, but likewise on Amynander.
XLVIII. In Achaia, the ambassadors of Antiochus, and the Ætolians, were admitted to an audience of the council at Ægium, in the presence of Titus Quintius. The ambassador of Antiochus was heard prior to the Ætolians. He, with all that pomp and parade, which is common among those who are maintained in the courts of kings, covered, as far as the empty sound of words could go, both lands and seas with forces. He said, that “an innumerable body of cavalry was coming over the Hellespont into Europe; some of them cased in coats of mail, whom they call Cataphracti, others discharging arrows on horseback; and, what rendered it impossible to guard against them, shooting with the surest aim even when their backs were turned, and their horses in full gallop. To this army of cavalry, sufficient to crush the forces of all Europe, collected into one body,” he added another of infantry of many times its number; and to terrify them, repeated the names of nations scarcely ever heard of before: talking of Dahans, Medes, Elymæans, and Cadusians. “As to the naval forces, no harbours in Greece were capable of containing them; the right squadron was composed of Sidonians and Tyrians; the left of Aradians and Sidetians, from Pamphylia,—nations which none others had ever equalled, either in courage, or skill in sea affairs. Then, as to money, and other requisites for the support of war, it was needless for him to speak. They themselves knew, that the kingdoms of Asia had always abounded in gold. The Romans, therefore, had not now to deal with Philip, or with Hannibal; the one a principal member of a commonwealth, the other confined merely to the limits of the kingdom of Macedonia: but with the great monarch of all Asia, and part of Europe. Nevertheless, though he had come to the remotest bounds of the East to give freedom to Greece, he did not demand any thing from the Achæans, that could injure the fidelity of their engagements with the Romans, their former friends and allies. For he did not require them to take arms on his side against them; but only, that they should not join themselves to either party. That, as became common friends, they should wish for peace to both parties, and not intermeddle in the war.” Archidamus, ambassador of the Ætolians, made nearly the same request: that, as was their easiest and safest way, they should stand neuter; and, as mere spectators of the war, wait for the issue, which would affect only the interest of others, while their own affairs were exposed to no manner of hazard. He afterwards allowed himself to be transported into such intemperance of language, as to utter invectives, sometimes against the Romans in general, sometimes against Quintius himself in particular; charging them with ingratitude, and upbraiding them, as being indebted to the valour of the Ætolians, not only for the victory over Philip, but even for their preservation; for, “by their exertions, both Quintius himself and his army had been saved. What duty of a commander had he ever discharged? He used to see him, indeed, in the field, taking auspices; sacrificing and offering vows, like an insignificant soothsaying priest; while he himself was, in his defence, exposing his person to the weapons of the enemy.”
XLIX. To this Quintius replied, that “Archidamus had calculated his discourse for the numerous auditors, rather than for the persons to whom it was particularly addressed. For the Achæans very well knew, that the bold spirit of the Ætolians consisted entirely in words, not in deeds; and was more displayed in their councils and assemblies than in the field He had therefore been indifferent concerning the sentiments of the Achæans, to whom he and his countrymen were conscious that they were thoroughly known; and studied to recommend himself to the king’s ambassadors, and, through them, to their absent master. But, if any person had been hitherto ignorant of the cause which had effected a junction between Antiochus and the Ætolians, it was easy to discover it from the language of their ambassadors. By the false representations made by both parties, and boasts of strength which neither possessed, they mutually puffed up each other, and were themselves puffed up with vain expectations: one party talking of Philip being vanquished by them, the Romans being protected by their valour, and the rest of what you have just heard; and that you, and the other states and nations, would follow their lead. The king, on the other side, boasting of clouds of horsemen and footmen, and covering the seas with his fleets. Their representations,” he added, “are exceedingly like a supper that I remember at the house of my host at Chalcis, who is both a man of worth, and an excellent conductor of a feast. He gave a cheerful entertainment to a party of us at midsummer; and on our wondering how he could, at that time of the year, procure such plenty and variety of game, he, not being so vain-glorious as these men, told us, with a pleasant smile, that the variety was owing to the dressing, and that what appeared to be the flesh of many different wild animals, was entirely of tame swine. This may be aptly applied to the forces of the king, so ostentatiously displayed a while ago; that those men, in various kinds of armour, and nations, whose names were never mentioned before, Dahans and Medes, and Cadusians, and Elymæans, are nothing more than Syrians, a race possessed of such grovelling souls, as to be much fitter for slaves than for soldiers. I wish, Achæans, that I could exhibit to your view the rapid excursions of this mighty monarch from Demetrias; first, to Lamia, to the council of the Ætolians: then to Chalcis. I would show you, in the royal camp, about the number of two small legions, and these incomplete. You should see the king, now, in a manner begging corn from the Ætolians, to be measured out to his soldiers; then, striving to borrow money at interest to pay them; again, standing at the gates of Chalcis; and presently, on being refused admittance, returning thence into Ætolia, without having effected any thing, except indeed the taking a peep at Aulis and the Euripus. Both have been duped: Antiochus by the Ætolians, and the Ætolians by the king’s vain and empty boastings. For which reason, you ought to be the more on your guard against their deceptions, and rather to confide in the tried and approved fidelity of the Romans. For, with respect to a neutrality, which they recommend as your wisest plan, nothing, in fact, can be more contrary to your interest: for the inevitable consequence must be, that, without gaining thanks or esteem from either, you will become a prey to the conqueror.”
L. His arguments, in opposition to both, were deemed conclusive; and there was no difficulty in bringing an audience, prepossessed in his favour, to give their approbation to his discourse. In fact, there was no debate or doubt started, but all concurred in voting, that the nation of the Achæans would treat, as their friends or foes, those who were judged to be such by the Roman people, and in ordering war to be declared against both Antiochus and the Ætolians. They also, by the direction of Quintius, sent immediate succours of five hundred men to Chalcis, and five hundred to the Piræus; for affairs at Athens were in a state, not far from a civil war, in consequence of the endeavours, used by some, to seduce the venal populace, by hopes of largesses, to take part with Antiochus. But at length Quintius was called thither by those who were of the Roman party; and Apollodorus, the principal adviser of a revolt, being publicly charged therewith by one Leon, was condemned and driven into exile. Thus, from the Achæans also, the king’s embassy returned with a discouraging answer. The Bœotians made no explicit declaration; they only said, that “when Antiochus should come into Bœotia, they would then deliberate on the measures proper to be pursued.” When Antiochus heard, that both the Achæans and king Eumenes had sent reinforcements to Chalcis, he resolved to act with the utmost expedition, that his troops might get the start of them, and, if possible, intercept the others as they came; and he sent thither Menippus, with about three thousand soldiers, and Polyxenidas with the whole fleet. In a few days after, he marched himself, at the head of six thousand of his own soldiers, and a smaller number of Ætolians, as many as could be collected in haste, out of those who were at Lamia. The five hundred Achæans, and a small party sent by king Eumenes, being guided by Xenoclides, of Chalcis, (the roads being yet open,) crossed the Euripus, and arrived at Chalcis in safety. The Roman soldiers, who were likewise about five hundred, came, after Menippus had fixed his camp under Salganea, at Hermæus, the place of passage from Bœotia to the island of Eubœa. They had with them Mictio, who had been sent express from Chalcis to Quintius, to solicit the reinforcement; and when he perceived that the passes were blocked up by the enemy, he quitted the road to Aulis, and turned away to Delium, with intent to pass over thence to Eubœa.
LI. Delium is a temple of Apollo, standing over the sea, five miles distant from Tanagra; and the passage thence, to the nearest part of Eubœa, is less than four miles. As they were in this sacred building and grove, sanctified with all that religious awe and those privileges which belong to temples, called by the Greeks asylums, (war not being yet either proclaimed, or so far commenced as that they had heard of swords being drawn, or blood shed any where,) the soldiers, in perfect tranquillity, amused themselves, some with viewing the temple and groves; others with walking about, unarmed, on the strand; and a great part had gone different ways in quest of wood and forage; when on a sudden, Menippus attacked them in that scattered condition, slew many, and took fifty of them prisoners. Very few made their escape, among whom was Mictio, who was received on board a small trading vessel. Though this event caused much grief to Quintius and the Romans, on account of the loss of their men, yet it tended greatly to the justification of their cause in making war on Antiochus. Antiochus, when arrived with his army so near as Aulis, sent again to Chalcis a deputation, composed partly of his own people, and partly of Ætolians, to treat on the same grounds as before, but with heavier denunciations of vengeance: and, notwithstanding all the efforts of Mictio and Xenoclides to the contrary, he carried his point, and the gates were opened to him. Those who adhered to the Roman interest, on the approach of the king, withdrew from the city. The soldiers of the Achæans, and Eumenes, held Salganea; and the few Romans who had escaped, raised, for the security of the place, a little fort on the Euripus. Menippus laid siege to Salganea, and the king himself to the fort. The Achæans and Eumenes’ soldiers first surrendered, on the terms of being allowed to retire in safety. The Romans defended their fortress with more obstinacy. But even these, when they found themselves completely invested both by land and sea, and saw the machines and engines prepared for an assault, could hold out no longer. The king, having thus got possession of the capital of Eubœa, the other cities of the island did not even attempt resistance; and he seemed to himself to have signalized the commencement of the war by an important acquisition, in having brought under his power so great an island, and so many cities so conveniently situated.