Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK XLIV. - The History of Rome, Vol. 6
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BOOK XLIV. - Titus Livius (Livy), The History of Rome, Vol. 6 [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. 6.
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Quintus Marcius Philippus, consul, with much difficulty, penetrates into Macedonia, and takes several cities. The Rhodians send an embassy to Rome, threatening to aid Perseus, unless the Romans made peace with him. Lucius Æmilius Paullus, consul, sent against Perseus, defeats him, and reduces all Macedonia to subjection. Before the engagement, Caius Sulpitius Gallus, a military tribune, foretells an eclipse of the moon, and warns the soldiers not to be alarmed at that phenomenon Gentius, King of Illyria, vanquished by Anicius, prætor, and sent prisoner, together with his wife and children, to Rome. Ambassadors from Ptolemy and Cleopatra, King and Queen of Egypt, complain of Antiochus making war upon them. Perseus, not paying Eumenes, King of Pergamus, and Gentius, King of Illyria, the money he had promised them for their assistance, is deserted by them.
II. Having animated his soldiers by such exhortations, he began to consult on a general plan of operations for the campaign; being joined by the prætor Caius Marcius, who, after receiving the command of the fleet, came thither from Chalcis. It was resolved not to waste time, by delaying longer in Thessaly; but to decamp immediately, and advance into Macedonia; and that the prætor should exert himself to the utmost, that the fleet might appear, at the same time, on the enemy’s coasts. The prætor then took his leave; and the consul ordering the soldiers to carry a month’s provisions, struck his tents, on the tenth day after he received the command of the army, and, putting the troops in motion, marched until night. Before he proceeded, he called together his guides, and ordered them to explain, in the presence of the council, by what road each of them proposed to lead him; then, desiring them to withdraw, he asked the opinion of the council, as to what route he should prefer. Some advised the road through Pythium; others, that over the Cambunian mountains, where the consul Hostilius had marched the year before; while others, again, preferred that which passed by the side of the lake Ascuris. There was yet before him a considerable length of way, which led alike towards all of these; the farther consideration of this matter was therefore postponed until they should encamp near the place where the roads diverged. He then marched into Perrhæbia, and posted himself between Azorus and Doliche, in order to consider again which was the preferable road. In the mean-time, Perseus, understanding that the enemy was marching towards him, but unable to guess what route he might take, resolved to secure all the passes. To the top of the Cambunian mountains, called by the natives Volustana, he sent ten thousand light infantry, under the command of Asclepiodotus; ordering Hippias, with a detachment of twelve thousand Macedonians, to guard the pass called Lapathus, near a fort which stood over the lake Ascuris. He himself, with the rest of his forces, lay for some time in camp at Dius; but afterwards, as if he had lost the use of his judgment, and was incapable of forming any plan, he used to gallop along the coast, with a party of light horse, sometimes to Heracleus, sometimes to Phila, and then return with the same speed to Dius.
III. By this time the consul had determined to march through the pass near Octolophus, where, as we have mentioned, the camp of Philip formerly stood. But he deemed it prudent to dispatch before him four thousand men, to secure such places as might be useful: the command of this party was given to Marcus Claudius, and Quintus Marcius, the consul’s son. The main body followed close after, but the road was so steep, rough, and craggy, that the advanced party of light troops, with great difficulty, effected in two days a march of fifteen miles; they then encamped on a spot called the tower of Eudieru. Next day they advanced seven miles; and, having seized on a hill, at a small distance from the enemy’s camp, sent back a message to the consul, that “they had arrived within sight of the enemy; and had taken post in a place which was safe and convenient in every respect; urging him to join them with all possible speed.” This message came to the consul at the lake Ascuris, at a time when he was full of anxiety, on account of the badness of the road into which he had brought the army, and for the fate of the small force he had sent forward among the poats of the enemy. His spirits were therefore greatly revived; and, soon effecting a junction of all his forces, he pitched his camp on the side of the hill that had been seized, where the ground was the most commodious. This hill was so high as to afford a wide-extended prospect, presenting to their eyes, at one view, not only the enemy’s camp, which was little more than a mile distant, but the whole extent of territory to Dius and Phila, together with a large tract of the sea coast; circumstances which greatly enlivened the courage of the soldiers, giving them so near a view of the grand theatre of the war, of all the King’s forces, and of the country of the enemy. So highly were they animated, that they pressed the consul to lead them on directly; but, after the fatigue that they had suffered on the road, one day was set apart for repose. On the third day, the consul, leaving one half of his troops to guard the camp, marched against the enemy.
IV. Hippias had been sent by the King, a short time before, to maintain that pass; and having employed himself, since he first saw the Roman camp on the hill, in preparing his men’s minds for a battle, he now went forth to meet the consul’s army as it advanced. The Romans came out to battle with light armour, as did the Macedonians; light troops being the fittest for the kind of fight in which they were about to engage. As soon as they met, therefore, they instantly discharged their javelins, and many wounds were given and received on both sides in a disorderly kind of conflict; but few of either party were killed. This only roused their courage for the following day, when they would have engaged with more numerous forces, and with greater animosity, had there been room to form a line; but the summit of the mountain was contracted into a ridge so narrow, as scarcely to allow space for three files in front; so that the greater part, especially such as carried heavy arms, stood mere spectators of the fight. The light troops even ran through the hollows of the hill, and attacked the flanks of the enemy; never considering either the advantage or disadvantage of the ground, provided they could but come to action. That day, too, greater numbers were wounded than killed, and night put a stop to the dispute. The Roman general was greatly at a loss how to proceed on the third day; for to remain on that naked hill was impossible, and he could not return without disgrace, and even danger, if the Macedonian, with the advantage of the ground, should press on his troops in their retreat: he had, therefore, no other plan left than to persevere in his bold attempt, which sometimes, in the issue, proves the wisest course. He had, in fact, brought himself into such a situation, that if he had had to deal with an enemy, like the ancient kings of Macedon, he might have suffered a very severe defeat. But while the King, with his horsemen, ran up and down the shore at Dius; and, though almost within hearing of the shout and noise of twelve thousand of his forces, who were engaged, neither sent up fresh men to relieve the weary, nor, what was most material, appeared himself in the action; the Roman general, notwithstanding that he was above sixty years old, and unwieldy through corpulency, performed actively every duty of a commander. He persisted with extraordinary resolution in his bold undertaking; and, leaving Popillius to guard the summit, marched across, through places which would have been impassable, if he had not sent forward a party to open a road. Attalus and Misagenes, with the auxiliary troops of their own nations, were ordered to protect them, while clearing the way through the forests. He himself, keeping the cavalry and baggage before him, closed the rear with the legions.
V. In descending the mountain, the men suffered inexpressible fatigue, besides the frequent falling of the cattle and their loads, so that, before they had advanced quite four miles, they began to think that their most eligible plan would be to return, if possible, by the way they came. The elephants caused almost as much confusion among the troops as an enemy could; for, when they came to impassable steeps, they threw off their riders, and set up such a hideous roar, as spread terror through all, especially among the horses, until a method was contrived for bringing them down. They fastened in the earth, some way from the top, two long strong posts, distant from each other a little more than the breadth of the animal, on which were fastened beams thirty feet long, which stretched across the precipice, by means of which they formed a kind of bridge, and covered it with earth; a little lower, another; then a third bridge, with several others one after another, where steeps were found. The elephant walked forward on solid footing; but, before he came to the end, the posts underneath were cut, and the bridge falling, obliged him to slide down gently to the beginning of the next bridge, which some of them performed standing, others on their haunches. When they arrived at the level of another bridge, they were again carried down, by its falling in like manner; and this operation was repeated until they came to more level ground. The Romans advanced that day scarcely more than seven miles; and even of this journey little was performed on foot. Their method of proceeding in general was rolling themselves down, together with their arms and baggage, by which they were severely hurt; insomuch, that even their commander, who led them such a march, did not deny, but that the whole army might have been cut off by a small party. During the night, they arrived at a small plain; but, as it was hemmed in on every side, they could not immediately discover whether it was a place of danger or not. However, as they had, beyond their expectation, at length found good footing, they judged it necessary to wait, during the next day, in that deep valley for Popillius, and the forces left behind with him; who, though the enemy gave them no disturbance, suffered severely from the difficulties of the ground,—almost, indeed, as if they had been harassed by an enemy. These having joined the main body, the whole proceeded, on the third day, through a pass called by the natives Callipeuce. The road before them was not more easy than what they had passed; but experience had taught them to surmount the difficulties, while they were supported by more comfortable hopes, as they saw no enemy any where, and as they were coming nearer to the sea. On the fourth day, they marched down into the plains, where they pitched their camp of infantry between Heracleus and Libethrus, the greater part being posted on hills, the rest occupying a valley and part of the plain where the cavalry encamped.
VI. The King, it is said, was bathing, when he was informed of the enemy’s approach; on hearing which, he started up from his seat, in a fright, crying out, that he was conquered without a battle; he then rushed out, and afterwards continued in a state of such perturbation, that he could neither give any orders, nor form any plan, but what his fears dictated, and even these he frequently altered. Of his two most intimate friends, he sent Nicias to Pella, where his treasure was lodged, with orders to throw all that he found there into the sea, and Andronicus to Thessalonica, to burn the dock-yards. At the same time he recalled Hippias and Asclepiodotus from the places which they had been appointed to guard, and opened every pass to the Romans. He went himself to Dius, where, collecting all the golden statues, that they might not fall a prey to the enemy, he put them on board the fleet, which he ordered to remove with all speed to Pydna. This behaviour of Perseus was the cause, that the conduct of the consul, in venturing into a situation out of which he could not retreat without the enemy’s permission, although it might have been deemed rash and inconsiderate, yet carried, in fact, the appearance of judicious boldness. For there were only two passes through which the Romans could remove from their present situation: one through Tempe into Thessaly, the other by Dius into Macedonia; and both these were occupied by parties of the King’s troops. So that if an intrepid commander had, only for ten days, maintained his ground, without yielding to the first appearance of the Romans’ approach, they could neither have retreated by Tempe, nor have had any road open for the conveyance of provisions from thence. For Tempe is a pass of such a nature, that, supposing no obstruction given by an enemy, it is difficult to get through it; being so narrow, for the length of five miles, that there is barely room for a loaded horse to pass: the precipices, also, on both sides are so abrupt, that is scarcely possible to look down from them, without a degree of dizziness of the eyes and head; while the horror of the scene is increased by the roaring and depth of the river Peneus flowing through the middle of the glen. This defile, in its nature so dangerous, had, for its security, four parties of the King’s troops, stationed in different places: one near Gonnus, at the first entrance; another in an impregnable fortress at Condylos; a third near Lapathus, in a place called Charax: and the fourth on the road itself, about midway, where the valley is narrowest, and which might have been easily defended, even by half a score men. All possibility either of retreating, or of receiving provisions through Tempe, being cut off, the Romans, in order to return, must have crossed over the same mountains from which they came down; but, even though they might have been able to effect this by passing unobserved, they never could have accomplished it openly, and while the enemy kept possession of the heights; and, besides, the difficulties which they had already experienced would have precluded every hope of the kind. In this situation, to which want of caution had brought them, they would have no other plan left than to force their way into Macedonia, through the midst of the enemy posted at Dius; and, if the gods had not deprived the King of his understanding, this would have been extremely difficult. For the space between the foot of Mount Olympus and the sea is not much more than a mile in breadth; one half of which is taken up by the mouth of the river Baphirus, which forms a large morass, and, of the remaining plain, a great share is occupied by the town and the temple of Jupiter; the rest, being a very small space, might have been shut up with a trench and rampart of no great length; or, so great was the plenty of stones and timber on the spot, that a wall might have been drawn across, and towers erected. But the King’s judgment was so entirely blinded by the sudden fright, that he reflected not upon any one of these circumstances; on the contrary he evacuated all his strong posts, leaving them open to the enemy, and fled back to Pydna.
VII. The consul, perceiving that the enemy’s total want of courage and conduct presented him a most favourable prospect, not only of safety, but of success, sent back a messenger to Larissa, with orders to Spurius Lucretius to seize on the deserted forts about Tempe; then, sending forward Popillius, to examine all the passes round Dius, and learning that all was clear, he marched in two days to that town, ordering the camp to be pitched under the walls of the temple, that no violation might be offered to that sacred place. He went himself into the city; and seeing it, though not large, yet highly ornamented with public buildings and abundance of statues, and remarkably well fortified, he could scarcely believe that a place of such importance had been abandoned, without a design to cover some stratagem. He waited, therefore, one day, to examine all the country round; then he decamped; and, supposing that he should find plenty of corn in his way, advanced to a river called the Mitys. On the day following, continuing his march, he received the voluntary surrender of the city of Agassa; whereupon, in order to gain the good opinion of the rest of the Macedonians, he contented himself with receiving hostages, assuring the inhabitants, that he would leave them their city without a garrison, and that they should live free from taxes, and under their own laws. Proceeding thence one day’s march, he encamped at the river Ascordus; but, finding that the farther he removed from Thessaly, the greater was the scarcity of every thing, he returned to Dius; which clearly demonstrated how much he must have suffered if he had been shut out from an intercourse with Thessaly, since he found it unsafe to go to any great distance from it. Perseus, having drawn all his forces into one body, and assembled all his generals, reprimanded severely the commanders of the garrisons, and particularly Hippias, and Asclepiodotus: asserting, that they had betrayed to the Romans the keys of Macedonia; although, in fact, no one deserved more justly to be blamed for it than himself. The consul, on seeing the fleet at sea, conceived hopes that they were coming with provisions, for every article had now become very dear and very scarce: but when the ships came into harbour, he was informed, that the transports had been left behind at Magnesia. He was then under great perplexity to determine what measures to take; so hard did he find it to struggle with the difficulties of his situation, though not aggravated by any effort of the enemy; when, very seasonably, a letter arrived from Lucretius, acquainting him that he was in possession of all the forts about Tempe and Phila, and had found in them great plenty of corn and other necessaries.
VIII. This news highly rejoiced the consul; and he immediately removed his quarters from Dius to Phila, in order to strengthen that post, and, at the same time, to distribute corn to the soldiers, on the spot, as the carriage of it thence would be tedious. That march gave rise to opinions not at all favourable to his reputation: some said that he retired from the enemy through fear; because, if he had staid, he must have risked a battle: others, that, not considering the daily changes produced by fortune in the affairs of war, he had let slip out of his hands, advantages which threw themselves in his way, and which, in all probability, he could never regain. For, by giving up the possession of Dius, he at once roused the enemy to action; who at length saw the necessity of endeavouring to recover what he had lost before, through his own fault. On hearing of the consul’s departure, therefore, Perseus marched back to Dius, repaired whatever had been destroyed by the Romans, rebuilt the battlements which they had thrown down, strengthened the fortifications all around, and then pitched his camp within five miles of the city, on the hither bank of Enipeus, making use of the river, the passage of which was extremely difficult, as a defence to his post. The Enipeus, which rises in a valley of Mount Olympus, is a small stream during the summer, but is raised by the winter rains to a violent torrent, when, as it runs over the rocks, it forms furious eddies, and, by sweeping away the earth at the bottom into the sea, makes very deep gulphs, while the sinking of the middle of the channel renders the banks both high and steep. By the help of this river, Perseus thought that he might impede the march of the enemy, and perhaps prevent his proceeding any farther during the remainder of the summer. In the mean time, the consul sent Popillius, with two thousand men, against Heracleus, about five miles from Phila, midway between Dius and Tempe, and which stands on a steep rock hanging over the river.
IX. Popillius, before he attacked the town, sent to recommend to the magistrates, rather to try the honour and clemency of the Romans than their power; but this advice was totally disregarded, the fires in the King’s camp on the Enipeus being now within their sight. The attack was then commenced by assaults, and with works and machines, as well on the side facing the sea (for the ships had been brought up close to the shore), as on land. A party of Roman youths actually gained possession of the lowest part of the wall, by turning to the purposes of war a kind of sport which they were accustomed to practise in the circus. In those times, when the present extravagant fashion of filling the area with beasts of every kind was yet unknown, it was customary to contrive various kinds of amusements; for when one chariot race and one set of tumblers were exhibited, both the performances scarcely filled up the space of an hour. Among other diversions, the directors of the games used to introduce about sixty young men in arms, sometimes more, whose performances were partly a representation of troops going through the military exercise, and partly a display of more accurate skill than appeared in the practice of soldiers, and which approached nearer to the mode of fighting used by gladiators. After performing various evolutions, they formed in a square body, with their shields raised over their heads, and closed together, the foremost standing upright, the next stooping a little, the third and fourth lines more and more, and so on, until the hindmost rested on their knees, thus composing a covering in the shape of a tortoise-shell, and sloping, like the roof a house. Then two armed men, who stood at the distance of about fifty feet, ran forward, and after some menacing flourishes of their arms, mounted over the closed shields, from the bottom to the top of this roof; and, treading as steadily as if on solid ground, sometimes paraded along the extreme edges of it, as if repelling an enemy, and sometimes engaged each other on the middle of it. On the present occasion they raised the like against a part of the wall, and the soldiers, standing thereon, mounted, until they were as high as the defendants on the battlements; these they soon beat off, and the soldiers of two companies climbed over into the town. The only difference between this and the playful contrivance was, that here the outside men in the front and in the two flanks, did not raise their shields over their heads, lest they should expose their bodies, but held them before them, as in battle; so that the weapons thrown at them, from the walls, as they advanced, did them no injury, while those that were poured in showers on the roof slided down the smooth slope to the bottom, without doing any mischief. When Heracleus was taken, the consul removed his quarters thither, as if he intended to besiege Dius; and, after driving the King thence, to advance to Pieria. But seeing it time to prepare quarters for the winter, he ordered roads to be made for the conveyance of provisions from Thessaly, and proper places to be chosen for storehouses; also huts to be built, where the people employed in bringing the provisions might lodge.
X. Perseus, having at length recovered his spirits, after the panic with which he had been seized, began to wish that obedience had not been paid to the orders which he had given in his fright, to throw the treasures at Pella into the sea, and to burn the naval arsenals at Thessalonica. Andronicus, indeed, whom he had sent to Thessalonica, deferred the execution of his order, leaving him time for repentance, which accordingly took place; but Nicias, less provident, threw into the sea what treasure he found at Pella: his error, however, turned to be not without remedy, inasmuch as the greatest part of that treasure was brought up again by divers. Nevertheless, Perseus was so very much ashamed of his terror on the occasion, that he caused the divers to be privately put to death, together with Andronicus and Nicias, that there might be no living witness of such dastardly conduct. In the mean time, Caius Marcius, with the fleet, sailed from Heracleus to Thessalonica. Landing his men, he made wide depredations on the country; and, when the troops from the city came out against him, he defeated them in several actions, and drove them back in dismay within their walls. He even alarmed the city itself; but the townsmen, erecting engines of every kind, wounded, with stones thrown from them, not only such as straggled carelessly near the walls, but even those who were on board the ships. He therefore re-embarked his troops; and, giving up the design of besieging Thessalonica, proceeded thence to Ænia, fifteen miles distant, situated opposite to Pydna, in a fertile country. After ravaging the lands in that quarter, he coasted along the shore until he arrived at Antigonea. Here his troops landed, and for some time carried their depredations through all the country round, putting a great deal of booty on board the ships; but afterwards, a party of Macedonians, consisting of foot and horse intermixed, fell upon them as they straggled, put them to a precipitate flight, and, pursuing them to the shore, killed near five hundred, and took as many prisoners. Extreme necessity, on finding themselves hindered from regaining their vessels, roused the courage of the Roman soldiers, filling them with despair of any other means of safety than by resistance, and with indignation at their disgrace. They renewed the fight on the shore, assisted by the seamen; and here about two hundred Macedonians were killed, and a like number taken. From Antigonea the fleet sailed on to the district of Pallene, where a descent was made for the purpose of plundering. This district belonged to the territory of Cassandrea, and was by far the most plentiful of any at which they had yet touched on the coast. There they were met by King Eumenes, who came from Elea with twenty decked ships; and King Prusias also sent five of the like kind thither.
XI. Such a large accession of strength encouraged the prætor to lay siege to Cassandrea. This city was built by King Cassander, in the pass which connects the territory of Pallene with the rest of Macedonia. It is washed on one side by the Toronæan, on another by the Macedonian sea; for it stands on a neck of land which stretches into the ocean, and rises in the part opposite Magnesia, to a height equal to that of Mount Athos, forming two unequal promontories, the larger called Posideum, the smaller Canastræum. The besiegers formed their attacks on two different sides: the Roman general, at a place called Clitæ, drew a trench from the Macedonian to the Toronæan sea, to which he added pointed palisades, to cut off the communication; while, on the other side, next to the Euripus, Eumenes carried on his attack. The Romans underwent a vast deal of labour in filling up a trench, which Perseus had dug in the way; and, on the prætor inquiring where the earth that had been taken out of it was thrown, as he saw no heaps of it any where, some arches were shown him that were closed up with it, not of equal thickness with the old wall, but with a single row of brick. On this, he formed the design of opening a way into the city, by breaking through that wall; and he hoped to be able to effect this before it should be discovered, if, by assaulting another part by scalade, and raising a tumult there, he could divert the attention of the besieged to the defence of the place attacked. There were in garrison at Cassandrea, besides the younger inhabitants, who formed no contemptible body, eight hundred Agrians and two thousand Illyrians from Penestia, sent thither by Pleuratus, and the men of both countries were remarkably warlike. While these were busy in defending the walls, and the Romans using their utmost efforts to scale them, in an instant of time the arches were broken down, and the city laid open; and if those who effected this had been armed, they must have immediately become masters of the town. When the soldiers were told that this work was accomplished, they were so elated with joy, that they raised a sudden shout, expecting to force their way in at several different places.
XII. At first the enemy wondered what this sudden shout could mean; but when Pytho and Philip, the commanders of the garrison, were told that the city was laid open, they concluded that every advantage resulting from that event would be in favour of whichever party should make the first charge; and, therefore, they sallied out, with a strong body of Agrians and Illyrians, who, while the Romans were coming together from various parts, and endeavouring to form their battalions to march into the city, attacked them thus disordered and irregular: and, quickly routing them, drove them to the trench, into which they were tumbled, in heaps, one over another. About six hundred were killed in this action, and almost every one that was found between the wall and the trench was wounded. The blow meditated by the prætor, having thus recoiled on himself, damped his spirit for any other attempts; and, as Eumenes made little or no progress, though he carried on his operations both by land and sea, they concurred in a resolution to strengthen their guards, in order to prevent the introduction of any reinforcement from Macedonia; and, since they had not succeeded by assault, to carry on the siege by regular approaches. While they were adjusting matters, according to this plan, ten barks, belonging to Perseus, sent from Thessalonica, with a chosen body of Gallic auxiliaries, observing the enemy’s ships lying at anchor in the road, took advantage of the darkness of the night, and, keeping as close to the shore as possible, in a single line, effected their passage to the city. Intelligence of this new addition of force obliged both the Romans and Eumenes to raise the siege. They then sailed round the promontory, and brought the fleet into the harbour of Toron. This town, also, they intended to besiege; but, perceiving that it had a strong garrison to defend it, they dropped the design, and proceeded to Demetrias. When they approached this place, they saw the fortifications fully manned, they therefore sailed on, and brought the fleet into harbour at Iolcos, intending, after ravaging the country there, to proceed to the siege of Demetrias.
XIII. In the mean time, the consul, not to lie inactive, sent Marcus Popillius, with five thousand men, to reduce the city of Melibœa. This city stands at the foot of Mount Ossa, where it stretches out into Thessaly, and is very advantageously situated for commanding Demetrias. The towns-people were terrified by the approach of the enemy; but, soon recovering from the fright occasioned by the unexpectedness of the event, they ran hastily in arms to the gates and walls, to those parts where they apprehended an attack; so as to cut off from the enemy all hope of taking the place by an immediate assault. The Romans, therefore, made preparations for a siege, and began their works for making the approaches. When Perseus was informed of this, and that the fleet lay at Iolcos, intending to proceed thence to attack Demetrias, he sent Euphranor, one of his generals, with two thousand chosen men, to Melibœa. His orders were, that, if he could compel the Romans to retire from before the place, he should then march secretly into Demetrias, before the enemy should bring up their troops from Iolcos. As soon as the force employed against Melibœa beheld him on the high grounds, they abandoned their works in great consternation, and set them on fire. Thus was Melibœa relieved, and Euphranor marched instantly to Demetrias. His arrival gave the townsmen full confidence that they should be able, not only to defend their walls, but to protect their lands, also, from depredations; and they made several irruptions on the straggling parties of the plunderers, not without success. However, the prætor and the King rode round the walls to view the situation of the city, and try whether they might attempt it on any side, either by storm or works. It was reported, that some overtures of friendship between Eumenes and Perseus were here agitated, through Cydas, a Cretan, and Antimachus, governor of Demetrias. It is certain, that the armies retired from Demetrias. Eumenes sailed to the consul; and, after congratulating him on his success in penetrating into Macedonia, went home to Pergamus. Marcus Figulus, the prætor, sent part of his fleet to winter at Sciathus, and with the remainder repaired to Orenm in Eubœa; judging that the most convenient place for sending supplies to the armies in Macedonia and Thessaly. There are very different accounts given respecting King Eumenes: if Valerius Antias is to be believed, he neither gave any assistance with his fleet to the prætor, though often solicited by letters; nor did he part with the consul in good humour, being offended at not being permitted to lie in the same camp with him; he says, too, that he could not be prevailed on even to leave the Gallic horsemen that he had brought with him. But his brother Attalus remained with the consul, and in the constant tenor of his conduct evinced a sincere attachment and an extraordinary degree of zeal and activity in the service.
XIV. While the war was proceeding thus in Macedonia, ambassadors came to Rome, from a chieftain of the Gauls beyond the Alps, whose name is said to have been Balanos, but of what tribe is not mentioned. They brought an offer of assistance towards the war in Macedonia. The senate returned him thanks, and sent him presents,—a golden chain of two pounds weight, golden bowls to the amount of four pounds, a horse completely caparisoned, and a suit of horseman’s armour. Afterwards, the Gauls, ambassadors from Pamphylia, brought into the senate-house a golden crown, of the value of twenty thousand Philippics, and requested permission to deposit it, as an offering, in the shrine of Jupiter supremely good and great, and to offer sacrifice in the Capitol, which was granted. The said ambassadors having expressed a wish to renew the treaty of friendship, a gracious answer was given, and a present was made to each of two thousand asses* . Then audience was given to the ambassadors of King Prusias; and, a little after, to those of the Rhodians. The subject of both these embassies was the same, but their manner of treating it was widely different. The purpose of both was, to effect a peace with King Perseus. The address of Prusias consisted of intreaties rather than demands; for he declared, that “he had hitherto supported the cause of the Romans, and would continue to support it. But, on Perseus sending ambassadors to him, on the subject of putting an end to the war with Rome, he had promised them to become a mediator with the senate:” and he requested that, “if they could prevail on themselves to lay aside their resentment, they would allow him some share of merit in the re-establishment of peace.” Such was the discourse of the King’s ambassadors. The Rhodians, after ostentatiously recounting their many services to the Roman people, and arrogating to themselves rather the greater share of its successes, particularly in the case of King Antiochus, proceeded in this manner; that, “at a time when peace subsisted between the Macedonians and Romans, they likewise commenced a friendship with King Perseus, which they had, since, unwillingly broken, without having any reason to complain of him, but merely because it was the desire of the Romans to draw them into a confederacy in the war. For three years past, they felt many inconveniencies from the war. In consequence of the interruption of commerce, and the loss of their port duties and provisions, their island was distressed by a general scarcity. When their countrymen could no longer suffer this, they had sent other ambassadors into Macedonia, to Perseus, to warn him that it was the wish of the Rhodians that he should conclude a peace with the Romans, and had sent them to Rome with the same message. The Rhodians would afterwards consider what measures they should judge proper to be taken against either party that should obstruct a pacification.” I am convinced that no person, even at the present time, can hear or read such expressions without indignation; we may, then, easily judge what emotions they produced in the minds of the senators.
XV. According to the account of Claudius, no answer was given; and the senate only directed a decree to be read, by which the Roman people ordered that the Carians and Lycians should enjoy independence; and that a letter should be sent immediately to each of those nations, acquainting them therewith. On hearing which, the principal ambassador, whose arrogant demeanour, just before, seemed to hold the senate in contempt, sunk into abject despondency. Other writers say, that an answer was given to this effect: “That, at the commencement of the present war, the Roman people had learned, from unquestionable authority, that the Rhodians, in concert with King Perseus, had formed secret machinations against their commonwealth; and that, if that matter had been doubtful hitherto, the words of their ambassadors, just now, had reduced it to a certainty; as, in general, treachery, though at first sufficiently cautious, yet, in the end, betrays itself. The Rhodians, by their messengers, had acted the part of arbiters of war and peace throughout the world: at their nod the Romans must take up arms and lay them down; and must soon appeal, not to the gods, but to the Rhodians, for their sanction of treaties. And was this indeed the case; that, unless their orders were obeyed, and the armies withdrawn from Macedonia, they would consider what measures they should take? What the Rhodians might determine, they themselves knew best; but the Roman people, as soon as the conquest of Perseus should be completed, an event which they hoped was at no great distance, would most certainly consider how to make due retribution to each state, according to its deserts in the course of the war.” Nevertheless the usual presents of two thousand asses each were sent to the ambassadors, which they did not accept.
XVI. Then were read letters from the consul Quintus Marcius, informing the senate, that “he had passed the mountains, and penetrated into Macedonia; that the prætor had collected there, and procured from other places, stores of provisions for the approaching winter; and that he had bought from the Epirots twenty thousand measures of wheat, ten thousand of barley, the price of which he desired might be paid to their ambassadors in Rome: that clothing for the troops must be sent from Rome; and that he wanted about two hundred horses, which he wished to be Numidian; where he was, he could procure none.” The senate decreed, that every thing should be done as desired in the consul’s letter. The prætor, Caius Sulpicius, agreed with contractors for conveying into Macedonia six thousand gowns, thirty thousand tunics, and the horses, all which were to be approved by the consul; and he paid the Epirot ambassadors the price of the corn. He then introduced to the senate, Onesimus, son of Pytho, a Macedonian of distinction. He had always advised the King to peaceable measures, and recommended to him, that, as his father Philip had, to the last day of his life, made it an established rule to read over, twice every day, the treaty concluded with the Romans, so he should, if not daily, yet frequently, observe the same practice. Finding that he could not dissuade him from war, he at first absented himself on various pretences, that he might not be present at proceedings which he could not approve. But at last, having discovered that suspicions were harboured against him, and hints thrown out of charging him with treason, he went over to the Romans, and was of great service to the consul. When he was introduced into the senate-house, he mentioned these circumstances, and the senate thereupon decreed that he should be enrolled in the number of their allies; that ample accommodations should be provided for him; also, a grant of two hundred acres of land, in that part of the Tarentine territory which was the public property of the Roman people; with a house in Tarentum. The charge of executing all which was committed to Caius Decimius, the prætor. On the ides of December, the censors performed the general survey with more severity than usual. A great many were deprived of their horses, among whom was Publius Rutilius, who, when tribune of the people, had carried on a violent prosecution against them; he was, besides, degraded from his tribe, and disfranchised. In pursuance of a decree of the senate, one half of the taxes of that year was paid by the quæstors into the hands of the censors, to defray the expenses of public works. Tiberius Sempronius, out of the money assigned to him, purchased for the public, the house of Publius Africanus, behind the old house, near the statue of Vertumnus, with the butchers’ stalls and shops adjoining; where he built the public court-house, afterwards called the Sempronian.
XVII. The end of the year now approached, and people’s thoughts were so deeply engaged by the war in Macedonia, that the general topic of their conversation was, what consuls they should choose, to bring that war, at length, to a conclusion. The senate, therefore, passed an order, that Cneius Servilius should come home, to hold the elections. Sulpicius, the prætor, sent the order of the senate to the consul; and, in a few days after, read his answer in public, wherein he promised to be in the city before themissing text * * day ofmissing text * * *. The consul came in due time, and the election was finished on the day appointed. The consuls chosen were, Lucius Æmilius Paullus, a second time, fourteen years after his first consulship, and Caius Licinius Crassus. Next day, the following were appointed prætors: Cneius Bæbius Tamphilus, Lucius Anicius Gallus, Cneius Octavius, Publius Fonteius Balbus, Marcus Æbutius Elva, and Caius Papirius Carbo. The senate’s anxiety about the Macedonian war stimulated them to more than ordinary expedition in all their proceedings; they therefore ordered, that the magistrates elect should immediately cast lots for their provinces, that it might be known which consul was to have the command in Macedonia, and which prætor that of the fleet; in order that they might, without loss of time, consider and prepare whatever was requisite for the service, and consult the senate on any point where their direction was necessary. They voted, that, “on the magistrates coming into office, the Latine festival should be celebrated as early as the rules of religion permitted; and that the consul, who was to go into Macedonia, should not be detained on account of it.” When these orders were passed, Italy and Macedonia were named as the provinces for the consuls; and for the prætors, besides the two jurisdictions in the city, the fleet, Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia. As to the consuls, Macedonia fell to Æmilius, Italy to Licinius. Of the prætors, Cneius Bæbius got the city jurisdiction; Lucius Anicius the foreign, under a rule to go wherever the senate should direct; Cneius Octavius, the fleet; Publius Fonteius, Spain; Marcus Æbutius, Sicily; and Caius Papirius, Sardinia.
XVIII. It immediately became evident to all, that the conduct of Lucius Æmilius, in the prosecution of the war, would not be deficient in vigour; for, besides the well-known energy of his character, his thoughts were turned, with unremitting attention, solely on the business relative to that war. In the first place, he requested the senate to send commissioners into Macedonia, to review the armies and the fleet, and to bring authentic information respecting the wants both of the land and sea forces; to make what discoveries they could respecting the state of the King’s forces; and to learn how much of the country was in our power, how much in that of the enemy; whether the Romans were still encamped among the woods and mountains, or had got clear of all the difficult passes, and were come down into the plains; who were faithful allies to us, who were doubtful, and ready to join either party that fortune favoured, and who were avowed enemies; what store of provisions was prepared, and whence new supplies might be brought by land carriage, whence by the fleet; and what progress had been made during the last campaign, either on land or sea. For he thought, that, by gaining a thorough knowledge of all these particulars, the plans for future proceedings might be constructed on sure grounds. The senate directed the consul Cneius Servilius to send as commissioners, into Macedonia, such persons as should be approved of by Lucius Æmilius. Cneius Domitius Ahenobarbus, Aulus Licinius Nerva, and Lucius Bæbius, were commissioned accordingly, and they began their journey two days after. Towards the close of this year it was reported that two showers of stones had fallen, one in the territory of Rome, the other in that of Veii; and the nine days solemnity was performed. Of the priests, died this year, Publius Quintilius Varus, flamen of Mars, and Marcus Claudius Marcellus, decemvir, in whose room was substituted Cneius Octavius. It has been remarked, as an instance of the increasing magnificence of the times, that, in the Circensian games, exhibited by Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica and Publius Lentulus, curule ædiles, sixty-three panthers, with forty bears and elephants, made a part of the show.
XX. These ambassadors set out, within three days, in company with those of Alexandria; and, on the last day of the feast of Minerva, the commissioners arrived from Macedonia. Their coming had been so impatiently wished for, that, if it had not been very late in the day, the consuls would have assembled the senate immediately. Next day the senate met, and received the report of the commissioners. They stated, that “the army had been led through pathless and difficult wilds into Macedonia, with more risk than advantage: that Pieria, to which its march had been directed, was then possessed by the King; and the two camps so close to each other, as to be separated only by the river Enipeus: that the King was not disposed to fight, nor was our general strong enough to compel him; and, besides, that the severity of the winter had interrupted all military operations: that the soldiers were maintained in idleness, and had not corn sufficient for more than six days: that the force of the Macedonians was said to mount to thirty thousand effective men: that if Appius Claudius had a sufficient force at Lychnidus; the King might be perplexed by his standing between two enemies; but that, as the case stood, both Appius, and the troops under his command, were in the utmost danger, unless either a regular army were speedily sent thither, or they were removed thence. From the camp,” they stated that “they had gone to the fleet; where they learned, that many of the seamen had perished by sickness; that others, particularly such as came from Sicily, had gone off to their own homes; and that the ships were in want of men, while those who were on board had neither pay nor clothing: that Eumenes and his fleet, as if driven thither accidentally, had both come and gone away without any apparent reason; nor did the intentions of that King seem to be thoroughly settled.” While their report stated every particular in the conduct of Eumenes as dubious, it represented Attalus as steady and faithful in the highest degree.
XXI. After the commissioners were heard, Lucius Æmilius said, that he then proposed for consideration the business of the war; and the senate decreed, that “tribunes for eight legions should be appointed, half by the consuls, and half by the people; but that none should be named for that year who had not held some office of magistracy: that, out of all the military tribunes, Lucius Æmilius should select such as he chose for the two legions that were to serve in Macedonia; and that, as soon as the Latine festival should be finished, the said consul, with the prætor Cneius Octavius, to whose lot the fleet had fallen, should repair to that province.” To these was added a third, Lucius Anicius, the prætor who had the foreign jurisdiction; for it was resolved that he should succeed Appius Claudius in the province of Illyria, near Lychnidus. The charge of raising recruits was laid on the consul Caius Licinius, who was ordered to enlist, of Roman citizens, seven thousand foot and two hundred horse, and to demand, from the Latine confederates, seven thousand foot and four hundred horse; and also to write to Cneius Servilius, governor of Gaul, to raise there six hundred horse. This force he was ordered to send, with all expedition, into Macedonia, to his colleague. It was resolved, that there should be no more than two legions in that province, but that their numbers should be filled up so as that each should contain six thousand foot and three hundred horse; and that the rest of the foot and horse should be placed in the different garrisons; that such men as were unfit for service should be discharged, and that the allies should be obliged to raise another body of ten thousand foot, and eight hundred horse. These were assigned as a reinforcement to Anicius, in addition to the two legions which he was ordered to carry into Illyria, consisting each of five thousand two hundred foot, and three hundred horse; and five thousand seamen were raised for the fleet. The consul Licinius was ordered to employ two legions in the service of his province, and to add to them ten thousand foot and six hundred horse of the allies.
XXII. When the senate had passed these decrees, the consul Lucius Æmilius went out from the senate-house into the assembly of the people, whom he addressed in a discourse to this effect: “Romans, I think I have perceived that your congratulations, on my obtaining, by lot, the province of Macedonia, were warmer than either when I was saluted consul, or on the day of my commencement in office; for which I can assign no other reason, than your having conceived an opinion, that I shall be able to bring the war with Perseus, which has been long protracted, to a conclusion becoming the majesty of the Roman people. I trust, that the gods also have favoured this disposal of the lots, and will give me their aid. That some of these consequences will ensue, I have reason to believe; that the rest will, I have grounds to expect. One thing I know, and take upon me to affirm, with certainty; which is, that I will endeavour, by every exertion in my power, that the hope which you have conceived of me may not be frustrated. Every thing necessary for the service, the senate has ordered; and, as it has been resolved, that I am to go abroad immediately, and I do not wish to delay; my colleague, Caius Licinius, whose excellent character you well know, will forward every measure with as much zeal, as if he himself were to carry on that war. I request, that full credit may be given to whatever I shall write to you, or to the senate; but that you will not encourage the propagation of rumours unsupported by authority. For, as the practice is at present, (and I have observed it to be uncommonly frequent, since this year began,) no man can so entirely divest himself of all regard to common fame, as not to let his spirits be damped. In every circle, and, truly, at every table, there are people who lead armies into Macedonia; who know where the camp ought to be placed; what posts ought to be occupied by troops; when and through what pass that territory should be entered; where magazines should be formed; how provisions should be conveyed by land and sea; and when it is proper to engage the enemy, when to lie quiet. And they not only determine what is best to be done, but, if any thing is done, in any other manner than what they have pointed out, they arraign the consul, as if he were on trial before them. These are great impediments to those who have the management of affairs; for every one cannot encounter injurious reports with the same constancy and firmness of mind as Fabius did, who chose to let his own ability be questioned through the folly of the people, rather than to mismanage the public business with a high reputation. I am not one of those who think that commanders ought at no time to receive advice; on the contrary, I should deem that man more proud than wise, who regulated every proceeding by the standard of his own single judgment. What then is my opinion? That commanders should be counselled, chiefly, by persons of known talent; by those who have made the art of war their particular study, and whose knowledge is derived from experience; from those who are present at the scene of action, who see the country, who see the enemy; who see the advantages that occasions offer, and who, like people embarked in the same ship, are sharers of the danger. If, therefore, any one thinks himself qualified to give advice respecting the war which I am to conduct, which may prove advantageous to the public, let him not refuse his assistance to the state, but let him come with me into Macedonia. He shall be furnished with a ship, a horse, a tent; even his travelling charges shall be defrayed. But if he thinks this too much trouble, and prefers the repose of a city life to the toils of war, let him not, on land, assume the office of a pilot. The city, in itself, furnishes abundance of topics for conversation; let it confine its passion for talking within its own precincts, and rest assured, that we shall pay no attention to any councils, but such as shall be framed within our camp.” Soon after this speech, the Latine festival being celebrated on the day before the calends of April, and the sacrifice on the mount affording favourable omens, the consul, and Cneius Octavius, the prætor, set out directly for Macedonia. Some writers mention, that the consul, at his departure, was escorted by multitudes unusually numerous; and that people, with confident hope, presaged a conclusion of the Macedonian war, and the speedy return of the consul, to a glorious triumph.
XXIII. During these occurrences in Italy, Perseus, though he could not, at first, prevail on himself to complete the design which he had projected, of attaching to his party Gentius, King of Illyria, on account of the money which would be demanded for it; yet, when he found, that the Romans had penetrated through the difficult passes, and that the final determination of the war drew near, resolved to defer it no longer, and having, by his ambassador Hippias, consented to pay three thousand talents of silver,* provided hostages were given on both sides; he now sent Pantauchus, one of his most trusty friends, to conclude the business. Pantauchus met the Illyrian King at Medeo, in the province of Labeas, and there received his oath and the hostages. Gentius likewise sent an ambassador, named Olympio, to require an oath and hostages from Perseus. Together with him, came persons to receive the money; and, by the advice of Pantauchus, to go to Rhodes, with ambassadors from Macedonia. For this purpose, Parmenio and Morcus were appointed. Their instructions were, first, to receive the King’s oath, the hostages, and money; and then to proceed to Rhodes; and it was hoped, that, by the joint influence of the two Kings, the Rhodians might be prevailed upon to declare war against Rome, and that, if they were joined by that state, which was acknowledged to hold the first rank as a maritime power, the Romans would be precluded from every prospect of success, either on land or sea. On hearing of the approach of the Illyrians, Perseus marched at the head of all his cavalry, from his camp on the Enipeus, and met them at Dius. There the articles agreed on were executed in the presence of the troops, who were drawn up in a circle for the purpose; for the King chose that they should be witness to the ratification of the treaty with Gentius, supposing that this event would add greatly to their confidence of success. The hostages were given and taken in the sight of all; those who were to receive the money, were sent to Pella, where the King’s treasure lay; and the persons who were to go to Rhodes, with the Illyrian ambassadors, were ordered to take ship at Thessalonica. There was present one Metrodorus, who had lately come from Rhodes, and who, on the authority of Dinon and Polyaratus, two principal members of that state, affirmed, that the Rhodians were ready to join in the war; he was set at the head of the joint embassy.
XXIV. At this time Perseus sent ambassadors to Eumenes and Antiochus, charged with the same message to both, which was such as the state of affairs might seem to suggest: that “a free state, and a king, were, in their natures, hostile to each other. That the practice of the Roman people was, to attack kings, singly, one after another; and, what was more shameful, to work the destruction of them, by the power of other kings. Thus, his father was overpowered by the aid of Attalus; and by the assistance of Eumenes, and of his father Philip, in part, Antiochus was vanquished; and now, both Eumenes and Prusias were armed against himself. If the regal power should be abolished in Macedonia; the next, in their way, would be Asia, which they had already rendered, in part, their own, under the pretence of liberating the states; and next to that lay Syria. Already Prusias was honoured by them far beyond Eumenes; and already Antiochus, in the moment of victory, was forbid to touch Egypt, the prize of his arms.” He desired each of them to “consider these matters seriously; and to guard against future contingencies, either by compelling the Romans to make peace with him, or, if they should persist in such an unjust war, by treating them as common enemies.” The message to Antiochus was sent openly; the ambassador to Eumenes went under the pretence of ransoming prisoners. But some more secret business was transacted between them, which, in addition to the jealousy and distrust already conceived by the Romans against Eumenes, brought on him charges of a heavier nature. For they considered him as a traitor, and nearly as an enemy, while the two Kings laboured to overreach each other in schemes of fraud and avarice. There was a Cretan, Called Cydas, an intimate of Eumenes; this man had formerly conferred, at Amphipolis, with one Chimarus, a countryman of his own, serving in the army of Perseus; and he, afterwards, had one meeting with Menecrates, and another with Archidamus, both officers under the King at Demetrias, close under the wall of the town. Cryphon, too, who was sent on that business, had, before that, executed two embassies to the same Eumenes. These conferences and embassies were notorious; but what the subject of them was, or what agreement had taken place between the Kings, remained a secret.
XXV. Now the truth of the matter was this: Eumenes neither wished success to Perseus, nor intended to employ his arms against him; and his ill-will arose, not so much from the enmity which they inherited from their fathers, as from the personal quarrels which had broken out between themselves. The jealousy of the two Kings was not so moderate, that Eumenes could, with patience, have seen Perseus acquiring so vast a share of power and of fame as must fall to his lot, if he conquered the Romans. Besides which, he saw that Perseus, from the commencement of the war, had tried every means which he could devise to bring about a peace; and every day, as the danger approached nearer, his wishes for it grew stronger; insomuch, that all his thoughts and actions were directed to that alone. He considered too, that as the war had been protracted beyond the expectations of the Romans, their commanders and senate would not be averse from putting an end to it, attended as it was with so great inconvenience and difficulty. Having discovered this inclination in both parties, he concluded, that, from the disgust of the stronger party, and the fears of the weaker, a pacification would probably ensue in the ordinary course of things; and therefore he wished to act in such a manner, as might enable him to assume to himself the merit of having effected a reconciliation. He therefore, sometimes, laboured to stipulate for a consideration for not affording assistance to the Romans, either on sea or land; at other times, for bringing about a peace with them. He demanded, for not interfering in the war, one thousand talents* ; for effecting a peace, one thousand five hundred† ; and for his sincerity in either case, he professed himself willing, not only to make oath, but to give hostages also. Perseus, stimulated by his fears, showed the greatest readiness in the beginning of the negotiation, and treated on the article respecting the hostages; when it was agreed, that, on their being received, they should be sent to Crete. But when the sum required came to be mentioned, there he hesitated; remarking that, in the case of kings of their high character, one, at least, of the considerations was too mean and sordid, both with respect to the giver, and still more so with respect to the receiver. He was sufficiently inclined to purchase a peace with Rome, but declined paying the money until the business should be concluded; proposing to lodge it, in the mean time, in the temple of Samothrace. As that island was under his own dominion, Eumenes said, that the money might as well be at Pella; and he struggled hard to obtain some part of it at the present. Thus, after all their endeavours to circumvent each other, they gained nothing but disgrace.
XXVI. This was not the only business which Perseus left unfinished from motives of avarice. It is seen that, for a small sum of money, he might have procured, through Eumenes, a secure peace, well purchased even with half of his kingdom; while, if defrauded, he might have exposed him to public view, as an enemy laden with the hire of treachery, and drawn upon him the just resentment of the Romans. It was from the same disposition that the alliance of King Gentius, when just brought to a conclusion, with the assistance of a large army of Gauls, who had penetrated through Illyria, and offered themselves to him, were lost: of these, came ten thousand horsemen, and the same number of footmen. The practice of the latter was to keep pace with the horses in their movements, and when any of the riders fell to mount in their place and carry on the fight. They had stipulated, that each horseman should receive, in immediate payment, ten golden philippicks, each footman five, and their commander one thousand. Perseus went from his camp on the Enipeus with half of his forces to meet them; and issued orders through the towns and villages near the road, to prepare provisions, so that they might have plenty of corn, wine, and cattle. He brought with him some horses, trappings, and cloaks, for presents to the chiefs; and a small quantity of gold to be divided among a few; for the multitude, he supposed, might be amused with hopes. He advanced as far as the city of Almana, and encamped on the bank of the river Axius, at which time the army of the Gauls lay near Desudaba, in Mædica, waiting for the promised hire. Thither he sent Antigonus, one of his nobles, with directions, that the said army should remove their camp to Bylazor, a place in Pæonia, and that their chiefs should come to him. They were at this time seventy-five miles distant from the river Axius, and the King’s camp. Antigonus, in his message, told them what great plenty of every thing was provided on the road by the King’s directions, and what presents of apparel, money, and horses he intended for them on their arrival. They answered, that they would judge of those things when they saw them; at the same time asking him, whether, according to their stipulation for immediate payment, he had brought with him the gold which was to be distributed to each footman and horseman? To this no direct answer was given, on which Clondicus, their prince, said, “Go back, then, and tell your King, that, until they receive the gold and the hostages, the Gauls will never move one step farther.” The King, on receipt of this declaration, called a council: and, as it was very plain what advice all the members would give; he, being a better guardian of his money than of his kingdom, began to descant on the perfidy and savage behaviour of the Gauls. “The disasters,” he said, “of many states demonstrated, that it would be dangerous to admit such a multitude into Macedonia, lest they might feel such allies more troublesome than their Roman enemies. Five thousand horsemen would be enough for them to employ in the war, and that number they need not be afraid to receive.”
XXVII. Every one understood him; but as none had the courage to declare their opinion, when asked, Antigonus was sent again, with a message, that the King chose to employ only five thousand horsemen, and set no value on the rest of their number. When the Barbarians heard this, they began to murmur, and show a great deal of anger at being brought so far from home; but Clondicus again asked him, whether he would pay even the five thousand, the hire agreed on. To this question, too, he received only evasive answers; on which the Gauls, dismissing the insidious envoy unhurt, which was what he himself had scarcely hoped, returned home to the Danube, after utterly wasting such lands of Thrace as lay near their road. Now, had this body of troops, while the King lay quiet on the Enipeus, been led, through the passes of Perrhæbia, into Thessaly, it might not only have stripped that country so bare, that the Romans could not expect supplies from thence; but might even have destroyed the cities themselves, while Perseus, by detaining his enemy at the river, would have put it out of their power to succour their allies. This done, the Romans had even found it difficult enough to take care of themselves, since they could neither stay where they were, after losing Thessaly, whence their army drew sustenance, nor move forward, as the camp of the Macedonians stood in their way. By this error, Perseus enlivened the hopes of the Romans, and damped not a little those of the Macedonians, who had placed much of their dependence on the prospect of that reinforcement. Through the same love of riches, he alienated King Gentius from his interest. When he paid, at Pella, three hundred talents to the persons sent by Gentius, he allowed them to seal up the money. He then ordered the talents to be carried to Pantauchus, and which he desired should be given immediately to the King. His people, who had charge of the money, sealed with the seals of the Illyrians, had directions to proceed by short journies, and when they should come to the bounds of Macedonia to halt there, and wait for a message from him. Gentius, having received this small portion of the money, and being incessantly urged by Pantauchus to commence hostilities against the Romans, threw into custody Marcus Perperna, and Lucius Petillius, who happened to come at that time as ambassadors. As soon as Perseus heard this, thinking that the Illyrian had now laid himself under a necessity of waging war with the Romans at least, he sent to recall his money-carriers, as if to make a saving for the Romans, and that their booty, on his being conquered, might be as great as possible. Cryphon, too, returned from Eumenes, without having succeeded in any of his secret negociations. The parties themselves had mentioned publicly, that the business of the prisoners was concluded, and Eumenes, to elude suspicion, informed the consul that it was so.
XXVIII. Upon the return of Cryphon from Eumenes, Perseus, disappointed in his hopes from that quarter, sent Antenor and Callippus, the commanders of his fleet, with forty barks, to which were added five heavy gallies, to Tenedos, that, spreading among the islands of the Cyclades, they might protect the vessels sailing to Macedonia with corn. This squadron, setting sail from Cassandrea, steered, first, to the harbour at the foot of Mount Athos, and crossing over thence, with mild weather, to Tenedos, found lying in the harbour a number of Rhodian undecked ships, under the command of Eudamus; these they did not offer to molest, but, after conversing with their officers in friendly terms, suffered them to pursue their course. Then, learning that, on the other side of the island, fifty transports of their own were shut up by a squadron of Eumenes, commanded by Damius, which lay in the mouth of the harbour, they sailed round with all haste; and the enemy’s ships retiring, through fear, they sent on the transports to Macedonia, under convoy of ten barks, which had orders to return to Tenedos as soon as they saw them safe. Accordingly, on the ninth day after, they rejoined the fleet, then lying at Sigeum. From thence they sailed over to Subota, an island between Elea and Athos. The next day, after the fleet had reached Subota, it happened that thirty-five vessels, of the kind called horse-transports, sent by Eumenes to Attalus, and which had sailed from Elea, with Gallic horsemen and their horses, were steering towards Phanæ, a promontory of Chios, from whence they intended to cross over to Macedonia. A signal being given to Antenor, from a post of observation, that these ships were passing along the main, he left Subota, and met them between Cape Erythræ and Chios, where the strait is narrowest. Eumenes’ officers could with difficulty believe, that a Macedonian fleet was cruising in that sea; they imagined that they were Romans, or that Attalus, or some people sent home by him from the Roman camp, were on their way to Pergamus. But when, on their nearer approach, the shape of the vessels was plainly perceived, and when the briskness of their rowing, and their prows being directed straight against the others, proved that they were enemies, dismay seized all on board; for they had no hope of being able to make resistance, their ships being of an unwieldy kind, and the Gauls, even when left quiet, ill able to live at sea. Some, who were nearest to the shore of the continent, swam to Erythræ; some, crowding all their sail, ran the ships aground near Chios; and, leaving their horses behind, fled thither in haste. The barks, however, effected a landing nearer to the city, where the access was more convenient, but the Macedonians overtook and put to the sword the flying Gauls, some on the road, and some before the gate, where they were refused entrance; for the people had shut it, not knowing who they were that fled, or who that pursued. About eight hundred Gauls were killed, and two hundred made prisoners. Of the horses, some were lost in the sea, by the ships being wrecked, and others were ham-strung by the Macedonians on the shore. Antenor ordered the same ten barks, which he had employed before, to carry twenty horses of extraordinary beauty, with the prisoners, to Thessalonica, and to return to the fleet as speedily as possible; saying, that he would wait for them at Phanæ. The fleet staid three days at Chios, and then proceeded to Phanæ; where being joined by the ten barks, sooner than was expected, they set sail, and crossed the Ægean sea to Delos.
XXIX. About this time the Roman ambassadors, Caius Popillius, Caius Decimius, and Caius Hostilius, having sailed from Chalcis with three quinqueremes, arrived at Delos, and found there forty Macedonian barks, and five quinqueremes belonging to Eumenes. The sacred character of the island secured all parties from any kind of violence; so that the Roman and Macedonian seamen, and those of Eumenes, used to meet promiscuously in Apollo’s fane. Antenor, the commander of Perseus’s fleet, having learned, by signals from his watch-posts, that several transport ships were passing by at sea, went himself in pursuit with one half of his barks, (sending the other half to cruise among the Cyclades,) and sunk or plundered every ship he met with. Popillius and Eumenes assisted as many as they were able during the day; but, in the night, the Macedonians, sailing out, generally with two or three vessels, passed unseen. About this time, ambassadors from Macedonia and Illyria came together to Rhodes. The attention paid to them was the greater, in consequence of their squadron cruising freely among the Cyclades, and over all the Ægean sea, and likewise on account of the junction of Perseus and Gentius, and of the report of a great body of Gauls, both horse and foot, being on their march, in aid of those Kings. Dinon and Polyaratus, the warm partizans of Perseus, now took fresh courage, and the Rhodians not only gave a favourable answer to the ambassadors, but declared publicly, that “they would put an end to the war by their own influence; and, therefore, desired the Kings to dispose themselves to accede to an accommodation.”
XXX. It was now the beginning of spring, and the new commanders had arrived in their provinces; the consul Æmilius in Macedonia, Octavius at Oreum, where the fleet lay, and Anicius in Illyria, to carry on the war against Gentius. This prince, who was the son of Pleuratus, King of Illyria, and his Queen Eurydice, had two brothers, one called Plator, by both parents, the other Caravantius, by the same mother only. From the latter, as descended of ignoble ancestors, on his father’s side, he apprehended no competition; but, in order to secure himself on the throne, he had put to death Plator, and two of his most active friends, Etritus and Epicadus. It was rumoured, that he was actuated by jealousy towards his surviving brother, who had concluded a treaty of marriage with Etula, the daughter of Honurius, prince of the Dardanians, supposing him to intend, by that match, to engage that nation in his interest; and this supposition was rendered the more probable by Gentius marrying her, after the death of Plator. From this time, when he was delivered from the fear of his brother, his treatment of his subjects became highly oppressive, and the natural violence of his temper was inflamed by an immoderate use of wine. Having been prevailed on, as was mentioned above, to go to war with the Romans, he collected all his forces, amounting to fifteen thousand men, at Lissus. From thence, detaching his brother, with one thousand foot and fifty horse, to reduce, either by force or terror, the province of Cavia, he marched himself to Bassania, a city five miles distant from Lissus. As the inhabitants were in alliance with Rome, he first sent emissaries to sound their intentions, who found them determined rather to endure a siege than surrender. In Caira, the people of the town of Burnium cheerfully opened their gates to Caravantius, on his arrival; but another town, called Caravantis, refused him admittance. He spread depredations over their lands, but many of his straggling soldiers were killed by parties of the peasants. By this time Appius Claudius, having joined to his former force some bodies of auxiliaries, composed of Bulinians, Apollonians, and Dyrrhachians, had left his winter quarters, and was encamped near the river Genusus. Having heard of the treaty between Perseus and Gentius, and being highly provoked at the ill treatment offered by the latter to the ambassadors, he declared his determination to employ his army against him. The prætor Anicius, who was now at Apollonia, being informed of what passed in Illyria, dispatched a letter to Appius, desiring him to wait for him at the Genusus; and, in three days after, he arrived in the camp. Having added to the auxiliary troops, which he then had, two thousand foot and two hundred horse of the Parthinians, (the foot commanded by Epicadus, and the horse by Agalsus,) he prepared to march into Illyria, where his principal object at present was, the raising the siege of Basania. But his enterprise was retarded by an account brought him, of the seacoast being ravaged by a number of the enemy’s barks. These were eighty vessels, which, by the advice of Pantauchus, Gentius had sent to waste the lands of the Dyrrachians and Apollonians. The Roman fleet was then lying near Apollonia. Anicius hastily repaired thither, soon overtook the Illyrian plunderers, brought them to an engagement, and, defeating them with very little trouble, took many of their ships, and compelled the rest to retire to Illyria. Returning thence to the camp at the Genusus, he hastened to the relief of Bassania. Gentius did not wait the prætor’s coming; but, raising the siege, retired to Scodra with such precipitate haste, that he left part of his army behind. This was a large body of forces, which, if their courage had been supported by the presence of their commander, might have given some check to the Romans; but, as he had forsaken them, they surrendered.
XXXI. The cities of that country, one after another, followed the example; their own inclinations being encouraged by the justice and clemency which the Roman prætor showed to all. The army then advanced to Scodra, which was the most important place in the hands of the enemy, not merely because Gentius had chosen it for the metropolis of his kingdom, but because it has by far the strongest fortifications of any in the territory of the Labeatians, and is of very difficult access. Two sides of it are defended by two rivers; the eastern side, by the Clausula; and the western, by the Barbana, which rises out of the lake Labeatus. These two rivers, uniting their streams, fall into the river Oriuns, which, running down from Mount Scodrus, and being augmented by many others, empties itself into the Adriatic sea. Mount Scodrus is much the highest hill in all that country; at its foot, towards the east, lies Dardania; towards the south, Macedonia; and towards the west, Illyria. Notwithstanding that the town was so strong, from the nature of its situation, and was garrisoned by the whole force of the Illyrian nation, with the King himself at their head, yet the Roman prætor, encouraged by the happy success of his first enterprises, and hoping that things would proceed in the same train in which they had hitherto gone, and thinking also that a sudden alarm might have a powerful effect, advanced to the walls with his troops in order of battle. But, if the garrison had kept their gates shut, and manned the walls and the towers of the gates with soldiers, they might have repulsed the Romans, and baffled all their attempts; instead of which they marched out of the town, and, on equal ground, commenced a battle with more courage than they supported it: for, being forced to give way, they crowded on one another in their retreat, and above two hundred having fallen in the very entrance of the gate, the rest were so terrified, that Gentius immediately dispatched Teuticus and Bellus, two of the first men of the nation, to the prætor, to beg a truce, in order to gain time to deliberate on the state of his affairs. He was allowed three days for the purpose, and, as the Roman camp was about five hundred paces from the city, he went on board a ship, and sailed up the river Barbana, into the lake of Labeatus, as if in search of a retired place, where he might hold his councils; but, as afterwards appeared, he was led by a groundless report, that his brother Caravantius was coming, with many thousands of soldiers collected in the country, to which he had been sent. This rumour dying away, on the third day he sailed down the river to Scodra; and, after sending forward messengers, to request an interview with the prætor, and obtaining his consent, came into the camp. He began his discourse with reproaches against himself, for the folly of his conduct; then descended to tears and prayers, and falling at the prætor’s knees, gave himself up into his power. He was at first desired to keep up his spirits, and was even invited to supper? he was allowed to go back into the city to his people, and, for that day, was entertained by the prætor with every mark of respect. On the day following, he was delivered into custody, to Caius Cassius, a military tribune, to which unhappy situation he had let himself be reduced for a consideration of ten talents, scarcely the hire of a party of gladiators.
XXXII. The first thing Anicius did, after taking possession of Scodra, was, to order the ambassadors Petillius and Perperna, to be sought for and brought to him; and he enabled them to appear again with a proper degree of splendour. He then immediately dispatched Perperna to seize the King’s friends and relations; who, hastening to Medeo, a city of Labeatia, conducted to the camp at Scodra, Etleva, the King’s consort; his brother Caravantius; with his two sons, Scerdiletus and Pleuratus. Anicius, having brought the Illyrian war to a conclusion within thirty days, sent Perperna to Rome with the news of his success; and, in a few days after, King Gentius himself, with his mother, queen, children, and brother, and other Illyrians of distinction. It was a singular circumstance respecting this war, that people in Rome received an account of its being finished, before they knew it was begun. Perseus, in the mean time, laboured under dreadful apprehensions, on account of the approach, both of the new consul Æmilius, whose threatenings, as he heard, were highly alarming, and also of the prætor Octavius: for he dreaded the Roman fleet, and the danger which threatened the sea coast, no less than he did the army. Eumenes and Athenagoras commanded at Thessalonica, with a small garrison of two thousand targeteers. Thither he sent Androcles, as governor, and ordered him to keep the troops encamped close by the naval arsenals. He ordered one thousand horse, under Antigonus, to Ænia, to guard the seacoast; directing them, whenever they should hear of the enemy’s fleet approaching the shore in any part, instantly to hasten thither, to protect the country people. Five thousand Macedonians were sent to garrison the mountains Pythium and Petra, commanded by Histiæus, Theogenes, and Milo. After making these detachments, he set about fortifying the bank of the river Enipeus, for the channel being nearly dry, the passage was practicable; and, in order that all the men might apply themselves to this work, the women were obliged to bring provisions from the neighbouring cities into the camp. He ordered the soldiers to fetch timber from the woods which were not far distant, and erected on the bank such formidable works, strengthened with towers and engines, as he trusted would effectually bar the passage against any effort of the Romans. On the other side, the more diligence and caution Paullus saw the Macedonians use, the more assiduously did he study to devise some means of frustrating those hopes, which the enemy had not without reason conceived. But he suffered immediate distress from the scarcity of water, the river furnishing but little, and that putrid, in the part contiguous to the sea.
XXXIII.The consul, after searching in every place in the neighbourhood for water, and being told that none could be found, at last ordered the water-carriers to attend him to the shore, which was not three hundred paces distant, and there to dig holes in several places, not far from each other. The great height of the mountains gave him reason to suppose that they contained in their bowels several bodies of water, the branches of which made their way under ground to the sea, and mixed with its waters; and this appeared the more probable, as they discharged no streams above ground. Scarcely was the surface of the sand removed, when springs began to boil up, small at first and muddy, but in a little time they threw out clear water in great plenty, as if through the favourable interference of the gods. This circumstance added greatly to the reputation and influence of the general in the minds of the soldiers. He then ordered them to get ready their arms; and went himself, with the tribunes and first centurions, to examine the river, in hopes of finding a passage, where the descent would be easy, and where the ascending the other bank would be least difficult. After taking a sufficient view of these matters, he made it his first care to provide, that, in the movements of the army, every thing should be done regularly, and without noise, at the first order and beck of the general. Though notice was proclaimed of what was to be done, every one did not distinctly hear; and, as the orders received were not clear, some did more than was ordered, while others did less; while dissonant shouts were raised in every quarter, insomuch that the enemy knew sooner than the soldiers themselves, what was intended. He therefore directed, that the military tribune should communicate, secretly, to the first centurion of the legion, then he to the next, and that so on, in order that each should tell the next to him in rank, what was requisite to be done, whether the instructions were to be conveyed from front to rear, or from rear to front. According to a practice lately introduced, the centinels carried shields to their posts; this he forbade; for as a centinel did not go to fight, but to watch, he had no occasion for arms; it was his duty, when he perceived an enemy approaching, to retire, and to give the alarm. They used to stand with their helmets on, and their shields erected on the ground before them; when tired, they leaned on their spears; or laying their heads on the edge of their shields, stood dosing in such a manner, that from the glittering of their arms they could be seen afar off by the enemy, while themselves could see nothing. He likewise altered the practice of the advanced guards. Formerly, the guards were kept on duty through the whole day, all under arms, the horsemen with their horses bridled; and when this happened in summer, under a continual scorching sun, both men and horses were so much exhausted by the heat and the languor contracted in so many hours, that very often, when attacked by fresh troops, a small number was able to get the better of a much superior one. He therefore ordered, that the party which mounted guard in the morning, should be relieved at noon by another, which was to do the duty for the rest of the day; by which means they would never be in danger of the like easy defeat.
XXXIV. Æmilius, after publishing, in a general assembly, his orders for these regulations, added observations, of the same purport with those contained in the speech which he had made in the city, that “it was the business of the commander, alone, to consider what was proper to be done, sometimes singly, sometimes in conjunction with those whom he should call to council; and that such as were not called, ought not to pronounce judgment on affairs either in public or in private. That it was a soldier’s business to attend to these three things,—his body, that he may keep it in perfect strength and agility; his armour, that it may be always in good order; with his stores of all kinds, so as to be ready in case of a sudden order; and to rest assured, that all other matters relating to him will be directed by the immortal gods and his captain. That in any army, where the soldiers formed plans, and that the chief was called, first one way, then another, by the voice of the idle multitude, nothing could ever succeed. For his part,” he declared, that “he would take care, as was the duty of a general, to afford them occasion of acting with success. On their part, they were to make no inquiries whatever as to his designs; but when the signal was given, to discharge the duty of a soldier.” Having thus admonished them, he dismissed the assembly, while the veterans themselves acknowledged, that on that day, for the first time, they had, like recruits, been taught the business of a soldier. Nor did they, by such expressions only, demonstrate their high approbation of the consul’s discourse; but the effect of it on their behaviour was immediate. In the whole camp, not one person was to be seen idle; some were employed in sharpening their weapons; others in scouring their helmets and cheek-pieces, their shields and breast-plates; some fitted their armour to their bodies, and tried how well they could move their limbs under it; some brandished their spears, others flourished their swords, and tried the points; so that it could be easily perceived that their intention was, whenever they should come to battle, to finish the war at once, either by a glorious victory, or an honourable death. On the other side, when Perseus saw that, in consequence of the arrival of the consul, and of the opening of the spring, all was motion and bustle among the Romans; and that their general had pitched his camp on the opposite bank of the Enipeus, where he employed himself busily, sometimes in going round and examining all his works, with a view of finding some place where he might pass the river; and sometimes in preparing every thing requisite for attack or defence; he exerted himself, no less diligently on his part, to rouse the courage of his soldiers, and add strength to his defences, as if he expected an immediate engagement. However,though both parties were full of ardour, they lay a long time very near each other without any action.
XXXV.In the mean time, news was received that King Gentius had been defeated, in Illyria, by the prætor Anicius; and that himself, his family, and his whole kingdom, were in the hands of the commonwealth; which event greatly raised the spirits of the Romans, and struck no small degree of terror into the Macedonians and their King. At first, Perseus endeavoured to suppress the intelligence, and sent messengers to Pantauchus, who was on his way from that country, forbidding him to come near the camp; but some of his people had already seen certain boys carried away among the Illyrian hostages: and it is certain that the more pains there are used to conceal any circumstances, the more readily they are divulged, through the talkative disposition of people employed in the courts of kings. About this time, ambassadors came to the camp from Rhodes, with the same message which had excited so much resentment in the Roman senate. It was now heard by the council with much greater indignation than at Rome; some even advised that they should be instantly driven out of the camp; but the consul said, that he would give them an answer in fifteen days. But still, to show how little regard was paid to the mediation of the Rhodians, he began to consult on the plan of his future operations. Some, particularly the younger officers, advised to force their way across the Enipeus, and through the enemy’s works. “When they should advance in close order and make an assault, the Macedonians,” they said, “would never be able to withstand them. They had been, last year, beaten out of many fortresses much higher and better fortified, and furnished with much stronger garrisons.” Others recommended, that Octavius, with the fleet, should sail to Thessalonica; and, by committing depredations on the sea-coast, make it necessary for the King to divide his forces; so that, when, on the appearance of another enemy behind him, he should turn about to protect the interior part of the kingdom, he would be forced to leave a passage over the Enipeus open in some place or other. The consul himself was of opinion, that the nature of the bank, and the works erected on it, presented insuperable difficulties; and, besides its being every where furnished with engines, he had been informed, that the enemy were remarkable for using missile weapons with uncommon skill, and that their aim was almost certain. The consul’s judgment leaned quite another way; as soon, therefore, as the council broke up, he sent for Schœnus and Menophilus, Perrhæbian merchants, whom he knew to be men of probity and good sense, and examined them in private about the nature of the passes leading into Perrhæbia. They told him, that the places themselves were not difficult; but that they were occupied by parties of the King’s troops; from which he conceived hopes of being able to beat off those parties, by making a sudden attack with a strong force in the night, when they were off their guard. For he considered that “javelins, and arrows, and other missile weapons, were useless at such a season; since, when combatants closed together in a throng, the business must depend on the sword, in the exercise of which the Romans had a decided superiority.” He resolved to employ those two men as guides; and, sending for the prætor Octavius, explained to him what he intended, ordering him to sail directly with the fleet to Heracleus, and to have in readiness there, ten days’ provisions for one thousand men. He then sent Publius Scipio Nasica, and Quintus Fabius Maximus, his own son, with five thousand chosen men, to Heracleus, as if they were to embark in the fleet, to ravage the coast of the interior parts of Macedonia, as had been proposed in the council. He told them, in private, that there were provisions prepared for them on board, so that they should have no delay. He then ordered the guides to divide the road in such a manner, that they might attack Pythium at the fourth watch on the third day. He himself, on the day following, in order to confine the King’s attention from the view of distant matters, attacked his advanced guards in the middle of the channel of the river, where the fight was maintained by the light infantry on both sides, for the bottom was so uneven, that heavy arms could not be used. The slope of each bank was three hundred paces long, and the breadth of the channel, which was of various depths, somewhat more than a mile. In this middle space the fight was carried on, while the King on one side, and the consul, with his legions on the other, stood spectators on the ramparts of their camps. At a distance, the King’s troops had the advantage in fighting with missile weapons; but in close fight the Roman soldier was more steady, and was better defended, either with a target or a Ligurian buckler. About noon, the consul ordered the signal of retreat to be given, and thus the battle ended for that day, after considerable numbers had fallen on both sides. Next morning at sunrise, the fight was renewed with greater fury, as their passions had been irritated by the former contest; but the Romans were dreadfully annoyed, not only by those with whom they were immediately engaged; but much more by the multitudes that stood posted in the towers, with missiles of every sort, particularly stones; so that whenever they advanced towards the enemy’s bank, the weapons thrown from the engines reached even the hindmost of their men. The consul’s loss on this occasion was much greater than before; and, somewhat later in the day, he called off his men from the fight. On the third day he declined fighting, and moved down to the lowest side of the camp, as if intending to attempt a passage through an intrenchment which stretched down to the sea.
XXXVI. Perseus, who did not extend his cares beyond the objects that lay before his eyes, bent all his thoughts and exertions to stop the progress of the enemy in the quarter where he lay. In the mean time, Publius Nasica, with the detachment under his command, punctually executed the consul’s orders. Arriving at the appointed hour at Pythium, he soon dislodged the guard, which was commanded by Milo, Histiæus, and Theogenes, and pursued them down into the plains. This event threw Perseus into the greatest perplexity, for as the road was now open, he had reason to fear being surrounded. After long deliberation, he determined to give battle; and, drawing back to Pydna, chose a very advantageous position, and made the most prudent dispositions for ensuring success. Æmilius, being rejoined by the party under Nasica, marched directly against the enemy; and, on coming within sight, was not a little surprised at the formidable appearance of their army, in respect of their numbers, and the strength of the men, as well as the judicious order in which it was formed. The season of the year was a little after the summer solstice; the time of the day was approaching towards noon; and his march had been incommoded by great quantities of dust, and the increasing heat of the sun. Lassitude and thirst were already felt, and both would certainly be aggravated by mid-day coming on. He resolved, therefore, not to expose his men in that condition to an enemy, fresh and in full vigour; but so great was the ardour for battle on both sides, that the general had occasion for as much art to elude the wishes of his own men, as those of the enemy. He urged the tribunes to hasten the forming of the troops, went himself round the ranks, and with exhortations inflamed their courage. At first, they called to him for the signal, briskly; but afterwards, as the heat increased, their looks became less lively, and their voices fainter, while many stood resting on their shields, or leaning on their javelins. He then, without farther disguise, ordered the foremost ranks to measure out the front of a camp, and store the baggage; on seeing which, the soldiers openly showed themselves rejoiced at not having been compelled to fight, when they were wearied with marching, and with the scorching heat. Immediately about the general, were the lieutenants-general, and the commanders of the foreign troops; among others Attalus, who when they thought that the consul intended to fight, (for even to them he did not disclose his intention of delaying,) had all approved the measure. On this sudden alteration of his plan, while all the rest were silent, Nasica alone ventured to advise the consul, not to let slip from his hands, by shunning a battle, an enemy, who had baffled former commanders in the same way. “There was reason to fear,” he said, “that he would march off in the night; and then he must be pursued with extreme toil and danger, into the heart of Macedonia; and the troops must be led about, as under former generals, wandering through the glens and forests of the Macedonian mountains. He therefore earnestly recommended to attack the enemy while he had him in an open plain, and not to lose so fair an opportunity, of obtaining a victory, as now presented itself.” The consul, not in the least offended at the liberty, taken by a youth of his distinguished character, in offering his advice, answered: “Nasica, I once thought as you do now; hereafter you will come to think as I do. By long experience in war, I have learned when it is proper to fight, when to abstain from fighting. It would not be right in me, at present, standing at the head of the troops, to explain to you the causes that render it better to rest to-day. Ask my reasons some other time. At present you will acquiesce in the judgment of an old commander.” The youth was silent, concluding that the consul certainly saw some objections to fighting, which did not appear to him.
XXXVII. Paullus, as soon as he saw the camp marked out, and the baggage laid up, drew off, first, the veterans from the rear line, then the first-rank men, while the spear-men stood in the front, lest the enemy might make any attempt; and lastly, the spear-men, beginning at the right wing, and leading them away, gradually, by single companies. Thus were the infantry drawn off without tumult; and, in the mean time, the cavalry and light infantry faced the enemy; nor were the cavalry recalled from their station, until the rampart and trench were finished. The King, though he was disposed to have given battle that day, was yet satisfied; since his men knew, that the delay was owing to the enemy; and he led back his troops to their station. When the fortifications of the Roman camp were finished, Caius Sulpicius Gallus, a military tribune of the second legion, who had been prætor the year before, with the consul’s permission collected the soldiers in assembly, and gave them notice, lest they should any of them consider the matter as a prodigy, that, “on the following night, the moon would be eclipsed, from the second hour to the fourth.” He mentioned that, “as this happened in the course of nature, at stated times, it could be known, and foretold. As, therefore, they did not wonder at the regular rising and setting of the sun and moon, or at the moon’s sometimes shining with a full orb, and sometimes in its wane, showing only small horns, so neither ought they to construe as a portent, its being obscured, when covered with the shadow of the earth.” On the night preceding the day before the nones of September, at the hour mentioned, the eclipse took place. The Roman soldiers thought the wisdom of Gallus almost divine; but the Macedonians were shocked, as at a dismal prodigy, foreboding the fall of their kingdom and the ruin of their nation; nor did their soothsayers explain it otherwise. Their camp was filled with shouting and yelling, until the moon, emerging, sent forth its light. Both armies had been so eager for an engagement, that, next day, both the King and the consul were censured by many of their respective men for having separated without a battle. The King could readily excuse himself, not only as the enemy had led back his troops into camp; but, also, as he had posted his men on ground of such a nature, that the phalanx (which even a small inequality of surface renders useless) could not advance on it. The consul, besides, appearing to have neglected an opportunity of fighting, and to have given the enemy room to go off in the night, if he were so inclined, was thought to waste time at the present, under pretence of offering sacrifice, though the signal had been displayed, at the first light, for going out to the field. At last, about the third hour, the sacrifices being duly performed, he summoned a council, and there, too, he was deemed by several to spin out in talking, and unseasonable consultation, the time that ought to be employed in action; but, after many discourses of this sort had passed, the consul addressed them in a speech of the following purport.
XXXVIII. “Publius Nasica, a youth of uncommon merit, was the only one of those who were for immediate fight, that disclosed his sentiments to me; and even he was afterwards silent, appearing to have come over to my opinion. Some others have thought proper, rather to cavil at their general’s conduct in his absence, than to offer advice in his presence. Now I shall, without the least reluctance, make known to you, Publius Nasica, and to any who, with less openness, entertained the same opinion with you, my reasons for deferring an engagement. For, so far am I from being sorry for having rested yesterday, that I am convinced that by that means I preserved the army. Whoever now thinks otherwise, let him come forward, if he pleases, and take with me a review of the numerous advantages that were on the enemy’s side, and the disadvantages on ours. In the first place, how far they surpass us in numbers, I am sure not one of you was at any time ignorant; and yesterday you had ocular demonstration, when their line was drawn out. Of our small force, a fourth part had been left to guard the baggage; and you know that they are not the worst of the soldiers who are left on that duty. But can we believe it a matter of little moment, that, with the blessing of the gods, we shall this day, if judged proper, or to-morrow at farthest, march to battle out of this our own camp, where we have lodged last night? Is there no difference, whether you order a soldier to take arms in his own tent, when he has not suffered any fatigue, either from a long march or laborious work; after he has enjoyed his natural rest, and is fresh; so as to lead him into the field vigorous both in body and mind; or whether, when he is wearied by such a march, or fatigued with carrying a load; while he is wet with sweat, and while his throat is parched with thirst, and his mouth and eyes filled with dust, you expose him, under a scorching noon-day sun, to an enemy who has had full repose, and who brings into the battle his strength unimpaired by any previous cause? Is there any (I appeal to the gods) so dastardly, that, if matched in this manner, he would not overcome the bravest man? We must consider, that the enemy had, quite at their leisure, formed their line of battle; had recruited their spirits, and were standing in regular order; whereas we must have formed our line in hurry and confusion, and have engaged before the proper dispositions were completed.
XXXIX. “But, to drop the consideration of the unavoidable irregularity and disorder of our line, should we have had a camp fortified, a watering-place provided, and the passage to it secured by troops, with a thorough knowledge of all the country round; or should we have been without any one spot of our own, except the naked field on which we fought? Your fathers considered a fortified camp as a harbour of safety, in all emergencies; out of which they were to march to battle, and in which, after being tossed in the storm of the fight, they had a safe retreat. For that reason, besides inclosing it with works, they strengthened it farther with a numerous guard; for any general who lost his camp, though he should have been victorious in the field, yet was deemed vanquished. A camp is a residence for the victorious, a refuge for the conquered. How many armies, after being worsted in the field, and driven within their ramparts, have, at their own time, and sometimes the next moment, sallied out and defeated their victors? This military settlement is another native country to the soldier: the rampart is as the wall of his city, and his own tent his habitation and his home. Should we have fought, while in that unsettled state, and without quarters prepared; to what place, in case of being beaten, were we to retire? In opposition to these considerations of the difficulties and impediments to the fighting at that time, one argument is urged. What, if the enemy had marched off in the course of last night? What immense fatigue, it is observed, must have been undergone in pursuing him to the remotest parts of Macedonia? But, for my part, I take it as a certainty, that if he had had any intention of retreating, he would neither have waited, nor drawn out his troops to battle. For, how much easier could he have gone off, while we were at a great distance, than now, when we are close at his back? Nor could he go unobserved either by day or by night. What could be more desirable to us, who were obliged to attack their camp, defended as it was by a very high bank of a river, and inclosed likewise with a rampart and a number of towers, than that they should quit their fortifications, and, marching off with haste, give us an opportunity of attacking their rear in an open plain? These were my reasons for deferring a battle from yesterday to this day. For I am myself as much inclined to fight as any; and for that reason, as the way to come at the enemy over the river Enipeus was stopped, I have opened a new way, by dislodging the enemy’s guards from another pass. Nor will I rest until the war is ended.”
XL. When he ceased speaking, all remained silent; for some were convinced by his arguments, and the rest were unwilling to find any fault with the proceeding, since any advantage then overlooked could not now be regained. Even on that day, neither the King nor the consul was desirous of engaging; not the King, because he had not the same prospect as the day before, of fighting men who were fatigued after their march, were hurried in forming their line, and not completely marshalled; nor the consul, because, in his new camp, no collection was yet made of wood or forage, to bring which from the adjacent country a great number of his men had been sent from the camp. But, though it was not the wish of either of the commanders, fortune, whose power is not to be controlled by human schemes, brought about a battle. Somewhat nearer to the Macedonian than the Roman camp was a river, not very large, from which both parties supplied themselves with water; and that this might be done with safety, guards were stationed on each bank. On the Roman side were two cohorts, a Marucinian and a Pelignian, with two troops of Samnite horse, commanded by a lieutenant-general, Marcus Sergius Silus; and in the front of the camp there was posted another guard, under Caius Cluvius, lieutenant-general, composed of three cohorts, a Firmian, a Vestinian, and a Cremonian; besides two troops of horse, a Placentine and an Æsernian. While all was quiet at the river, neither party disturbing the other, about the fourth hour, a horse, breaking loose from those who had the care of him, ran off towards the farther bank, and three Roman soldiers followed him through the water, which reached as high as their knees. At the same time two Thracians endeavoured to bring the horse from the middle of the channel to their own bank; but the Romans slew one of them, and, having recovered the animal, retired to their post. On the enemy’s bank there was a body of eight hundred Thracians, of whom a few, at first enraged at their countryman being killed before their eyes, crossed the river in pursuit of his slayers; in a little time some more, and at last, all of them passed over, and attacked the Roman guard on the other side. Reinforcements hastened to both parties, and the affair soon became so serious, that the commanders were obliged to risk a general engagement. In the army of the Macedonians there were two phalanxes; the men of one were called Leucaspides, those of the other Aglaspides, or Chalcaspides; there was also a body of targeteers, formed in the same manner, and carrying the same kind of long spears, but lighter armed in other respects. These three bodies withstood, for a long time, every effort of the Romans; the targeteers even compelled the Pelignian battalions to retire, which alarmed and provoked Æmilius to such a degree that he tore his robe. At length, observing that the compact order of the phalanx was not every where unbroken, the variation of the ground and of their motions necessarily causing some intervals in their ranks, he ordered his men to watch attentively, and wherever they could discern the least opening in the phalanx, to force themselves in, with all their might, and strive to divide it as much as possible. As soon as he had issued this order, he put himself at the head of one of the legions, and led it on to battle.
XLI. The troops were deeply impressed with sentiments of respect, when they considered the high dignity of his office, his own personal renown, and, above all, his age; for, though more than sixty years old, he discharged every obligation of youth, taking on himself the principal share both of the labour and danger. His legion filled up the space between the targeteers and another phalanx, and thus disunited the enemy’s line. Behind him were the targeteers, and his front faced the shielded phalanx of Aglaspides. Lucius Albinus, a man of consular rank, was ordered to lead on the second legion against the phalanx of the Leucaspides, which formed the centre of the Macedonian line. On the right wing, where the fight began, at the river, the elephants were brought forward, with a cohort of allied cavalry; and these latter were the first who made any of the Macedonians turn their backs. For as new contrivances make an important figure in words, but on being put in practice ofttimes prove vain and ineffectual, so on that occasion the elephants in the line of battle were a mere name, without the least use. Their attack was followed by the Latine allies, who forced the enemy’s left wing to give way. In the centre, the second legion dispersed the phalanx, nor was there any more evident cause of the victory that followed, than there being many distinct fights, which first disordered that body, by throwing it into irregular motions, and at last quite broke it. For, while it preserves its compact order, and presents a front bristled with extended spears, its strength is irresistible; but if, by separate attacks on various parts of it, the men are once forced to turn about their spears, which, on account of their length and weight, are too unwieldy to be easily moved, they are embarrassed; and, if they are alarmed by any assault on the flank or rear, fall into irretrievable disorder. This was the case now, when they were obliged to oppose the Romans, who, in small parties, and with their line broken into numerous divisions, assailed them in many places at once; and, when any opening was made, worked themselves into the vacant spaces. But had they advanced with their entire line, straight against the phalanx, when in its regular order, the fate of the Pelignians would have been theirs, who, in the beginning of the battle, incautiously engaged the targeteers; being run through by the spears, and unable to withstand such a firm body.
XLII. But though the Macedonian infantry were cut to pieces on all sides, except those who threw away their arms and fled, the cavalry quitted the field with scarcely any loss. The King himself was the first in flight. With the sacred squadrons of horse he took the road to Pella, and was quickly followed by Cotys and the Odrysian cavalry. The rest of the cavalry, likewise, went off with full ranks; because, as the line of infantry stood in the way, the enemy remained to put them to the sword, and did not think of pursuing the others. For a long time, the men of the phalanx were cut off, in front, on the flanks, and on the rear; at last, such as could avoid the enemy’s hands, fled unarmed towards the sea; some even ran into the water, and, stretching out their hands to those on board the fleet, humbly begged their lives. Boats coming from all the ships, they supposed that it was meant to take them in; whereupon, advancing farther into the water, so that some of them even swam, they supplicated aid. But they soon found themselves treated as enemies by the boats; on which such as were able regained the land, where they met their death in a more dreadful way; for the elephants, which their riders had driven down to the shore, trod them under foot, and crushed them in pieces. It was generally acknowledged, that the Macedonians never lost so great a number of men in any battle; for their killed amounted to twenty thousand; six thousand, who made their escape from the field to Pydna, fell alive into the hands of the Romans, and five thousand were taken straggling through the country. Of the victorious army there fell not more than one hundred; the greater part of whom were Pelignians; but a much greater number were wounded. If the battle had been begun earlier, so that the conquerors might have had daylight enough for a pursuit, all the troops of the vanquished must have been utterly destroyed. As it happened, the approach of night both screened the fugitives, and made the Romans unwilling to follow them through an unknown country.
XLIII. Perseus, in his flight as far as the Pierian wood, kept up a military appearance, being attended by a numerous body of horse, together with his royal retinue; but, when he came into the thicket, and when darkness came on, he turned out of the main path, with a very few, in whom he placed the greatest confidence. The horsemen, abandoned by their leader, dispersed, and returned to their respective homes; some of whom made their way to Pella, quicker than Perseus himself, because they went by the straight and open road. The King, embarrassed by his fears, and the many difficulties which he met with on the way, did not arrive till near midnight. He was met at the palace by Euctus, governor of Pella, and the royal pages; but of all his friends, who had escaped from the battle by various chances, not one would come near him, though they were repeatedly sent for. Only three persons accompanied him in his flight; Evander, a Cretan; Neon, a Bœotian; and Archidamus, an Ætolian. With these he continued his retreat, at the fourth watch; for he began to fear, lest those who had refused to obey his summons, might, presently, attempt something more audacious. He had an escort of about five hundred Cretans. He took the road to Amphipolis; leaving Pella in the night, and hastening to get over the river Axius before day, as he thought that the difficulty in passing it would deter the Romans from farther pursuit.
XLIV. The consul returned victorious to his camp; but his joy was much allayed by concern for his younger son. This was Publius Scipio, who afterwards acquired the title of Africanus by the destruction of Carthage; he was, by birth, the son of the consul Paullus, and, by adoption, the grandson of the elder Africanus. He was then only in the seventeenth year of his age, which circumstance heightened his father’s anxiety; for, pursuing the enemy with eagerness, he had been carried away by the crowd to a distant part. He returned late in the evening, however; and then, the consul having received him in safety, felt unmixed joy for the very important victory. When the news of the battle reached Amphipolis, the matrons ran together to the temple of Diana, whom they style Tauropolos, to implore her aid. Diodorus, who was governor of the city, fearing lest the Thracians, of whom there were two thousand in garrison, might, during the confusion, plunder the city, contrived to receive in the middle of the Forum a letter, from the hands of a person whom he had employed for the purpose, and instructed to personate a courier. The contents of it were, that “the Romans had put in their fleet at Emathia, and were ravaging the territory round; and that the governors of Emathia besought him to send a reinforcement, which might enable them to repel the ravagers.” After reading this, he desired the Thracians to march to the relief of the coast, telling them, as an encouragement, that the Romans being dispersed through the country, they might easily kill many of them, and gain a large booty. He affected not to believe the report of the defeat, alleging that, if it were true, many would have come from the place of action. Having, on this pretence, sent the Thracians out of the town, he no sooner saw them pass the river Strymon, than he shut the gates.
XLV. On the third day after the battle, Perseus arrived at Amphipolis, and sent thence to Paullus suppliant ambassadors, with the wand of peace. In the mean time, Hippias, Milo, and Pantauchus, whom the King esteemed his best friends, went themselves to the consul, and surrendered to the Romans the city of Berœa, to which they had fled after the battle; and several other cities, struck with fear, prepared to follow the example. The consul dispatched to Rome, with letters and the news of his victory, his son Quintus Fabius, Lucius Lentulus, and Quintus Metellus. He gave to his infantry the spoils of the enemy who were slain, and to his cavalry, the plunder of the circumjacent country, provided, however, that they did not stay out of the camp longer than two nights. He then removed towards Pydna. Berœa, Thessalonica, and Pella, and indeed almost every city in Macedonia, successively surrendered within two days. From Pydna, which was the nearest, no deputation had yet been sent; the confused multitude, made up of many different nations, with the numbers who had been obliged to fly thither from the field, put it out of the power of the inhabitants to form or unite in any design; the gates, too, were not only shut, but closed up with walls. Milo and Pantauchus were sent to confer, under the wall, with Solon, who commanded in the place. By his means the crowd of military people were sent away, the town was surrendered, and given up to the soldiers to be plundered. Perseus, after making a single effort to procure assistance, by sending an embassy to the Bisaltians, but without effect, came forth into a general assembly, bringing with him his son Philip, in order to encourage the Amphipolitans themselves, and to raise the spirits of those horse and foot soldiers who had either constantly accompanied him, or had happened to fly to the same place. But, though he made several attempts to speak, he was always stopped by his tears; so that, finding himself unable to proceed, he told Evander, the Cretan, what he wished to have laid before the people, and came down from the tribunal. Although the multitude, on seeing the King in so melancholy a situation, and observing him weep in that affecting manner, had joined their plaints with his, yet they refused to listen to the discourse of Evander; and some, from the middle of the assembly, had the assurance to interrupt him, exclaiming, “Depart to some other place; that the few of us, who are left alive, may not be destroyed on your account.” Their daring opposition stopped Evander’s mouth. The King retired to his palace; and, causing his treasures to be put on board some barks which lay in the Strymon, went down himself to the river. The Thracians would not venture to trust themselves on board, but went off to their own homes, as did the rest of the soldiers; the Cretans only following the money, in hopes of a share: but, as any distribution of it among them would probably raise more discontent than gratitude, fifty talents* were laid on the bank, for them to seize as each might be able. After this scramble, they went on board; yet in such hurry and disorder, that they sunk one of the barks in the mouth of the river by the weight of the numbers which crowded into it. They arrived that day at Galepsus, and the next at Samothrace, to which they were bound. Thither, it is said, the king carried with him two thousand talents.†
XLVI. Paullus sent officers to hold the government of the several cities which had surrendered; lest, at a time when peace was but newly restored, the conquered might suffer any ill treatment. He detained the ambassadors of Perseus; and, as he had not yet been informed of his flight, detached Publius Nasica, with a small party of horse and foot, to Amphipolis, both that he might lay waste the country of Sintice, and be ready to obstruct every effort of the King. In the mean time, Melibœa was taken and sacked by Cneius Octavius. At Æginium, which Cneius Anicius, a lieutenant-general, had been ordered to attack, two hundred men were lost by a sally made from the town; for it was not known that the war was at an end. The consul, quitting Pydna, arrived, with his whole army, on the second day at Pella; and, pitching his camp at the distance of a mile from it, remained in that station for several days. These he employed in taking a full view of the situation of the city; and he perceived that it was chosen to be the capital of the kingdom, not without good reason. It stands on a hill which faces the south-west, and is surrounded by morasses, formed by stagnant waters from the adjacent lakes, so deep as to be impassable either in winter or summer. In the part of the morass nearest to the city the citadel rises up like an island, being built on a mound of earth formed with immense labour, so as to be capable of supporting the wall, and secure against any injury from the surrounding moisture. At a distance it seems to join the city rampart, but is divided from it by a river, and which has a bridge over it; so that if the King chooses to confine any person within it, there is no way for an escape except by that bridge, which can be guarded with great ease. This was the depository of the royal treasure; but, at that time, there was nothing found there but the three hundred talents which had been sent to King Gentius, and afterwards brought back. While the consul halted at Pella, he gave audience to a great number of embassies, which came with congratulations, especially out of Thessaly. Then, receiving intelligence that Perseus had passed over to Samothrace, he left Pella, and after four days’ march, arrived at Amphipolis. Here the whole multitude poured out of the town to meet him; a plain demonstration that the people considered themselves not as bereft of a good and just king, but as delivered from a haughty overbearing tyrant. The consul, after a short delay, proceeded, in pursuit of Perseus, into the province of Odomantice, and encamped at Siræ.
[*]6l. 9s. 2d.
[†]387.48[Editor: illegible number]l.