The first day on which they entered the territory of the enemy they spent in devastation. On the next day, drawing up a battle-line, they approached the city, after sending the cavalry in advance; it was to ride up to the gates and provoke the Aetolians, a race of men alert for sallies.
They did not know that Sulpicius with fifteen ships had crossed over from Naupactus to Cyllene, and landing four thousand armed men had entered Elis in the dead of night, so that the column [p. 341]
should not be seen.
Consequently the surprise1
inspired great alarm, when they had recognized Roman standards and arms among the Aetolians and Eleans.
And at first the king had wished to recall his men; then, on seeing his own men hard pressed by the battle already begun between the Aetolians and the Tralles, an Illyrian race, the king also with his cavalry charged a Roman cohort.
There his horse was run through by a javelin and threw the king sprawling over his head, whereupon a fierce battle was kindled on both sides, as the Romans made an attack upon the king and at the same time the king's guards tried to protect him.
Conspicuous was his own fighting also, although he had been forced to go into battle on foot among horsemen. Then, when the combat was now one-sided and many were falling and being wounded around him, he was seized by his men, was lifted upon another horse, and fled.
On that day he pitched camp five miles from the city of Elis. The next day he led out all his troops to a neighbouring fortress of the Eleans —they call it Pyrgus —into which he had heard that a great number of rustics, together with their flocks, had been driven by the fear of being robbed.
That unorganized and unarmed multitude he at once captured in the first panic as he came up. And by that booty he had made good the disgrace he had suffered at Elis.
As he was dividing the booty and the captives —there were in fact four thousand persons and about twenty thousand cattle of every [p. 343]
kind —came the news from Macedonia that one2
Aëropus by bribing the commander of the citadel and garrison had captured Lychnidus,3
was holding some villages of the Dassaretii and also stirring up the Dardani.
Consequently the king, dropping the Achaean and Aetolian war, but still leaving twenty-five hundred armed men of every sort with Menippus and Polyphantas as commanders to defend his allies,
setting out from Dymae, made his way through Achaia and Boeotia and Euboea in ten day's marches to Demetrias4