There have been some who accused the king of rashness and others the consul of lack of energy on that day:
Philip, they said, should have remained quiet, knowing that in a few days the enemy would be reduced to extreme need by the consumption of all the grain in the adjacent country, while the consul, after routing the enemy's cavalry and light infantry and almost capturing the king himself, should have immediately attacked the enemy's camp;
for the enemy, dismayed as they were, would not have awaited his onslaught, and the war could have been finished at one stroke.
This, as usual, was easier to say than to do. For if the king had made his attack with all his infantry in addition, perhaps in the confusion, when they were all rushing, beaten and panic-stricken, from the battle-field into the camp, if they had at once fled before a conquering foe that was overrunning the defences, the king might have been driven from his camp;
but since his entire infantry had remained in camp, with outposts [p. 113]
and patrols stationed before the gates, what could1
he have accomplished, except to imitate the rashness of the king, who had a little before pursued the scattered and fleeing cavalry?
Nor would there be any criticism even of the king's original plan, of attacking the foragers scattered over the fields, had he limited his objective to success in this attack.
It is less strange, too, that he tempted fortune in this way, because there was a report that Pleuratus and the Dardani had already left home with great forces and had invaded Macedonia;
and if he were surrounded by these encircling forces, it might well be believed that the Roman could end the war by sitting still.
So Philip, thinking it far less safe to remain in the same camp after two cavalry defeats, wanting to withdraw from there and to escape detection while so doing, at sunset sent a herald to the consul to ask a truce for burying
the cavalrymen, and eluding the enemy stole away silently during the second watch, leaving numerous fires burning throughout the camp.