The other peoples of the Achaeans, when called on to vote, approved by immediate decree the alliance with Attalus and the Rhodians;
the treaty with the Romans, since it could not be ratified except [p. 225]
by vote of the people,1
was postponed to the time2
when ambassadors could be sent to Rome;
for the present, it was voted that three commissioners should be sent to Lucius Quinctius and that all the army of the Achaeans should be moved to Corinth, since Quinctius was now besieging the city itself after his capture of Cenchreae.
They now encamped in the vicinity of the gate which leads to Sicyon; the Romans were operating on the side towards Cenchreae, Attalus, having led his army across the Isthmus, from the direction of Lechaeum, the port on the other sea,3
conducting the siege at first without much energy, since they hoped for dissension within between the citizens and the royal garrison.
When they proved completely harmonious, the Macedonians conducting the defence as if it were of their common fatherland, the Corinthians permitting Androsthenes, the commander of the garrison, to exercise his authority over them as if he were a citizen and their elected general, thenceforth all the hope of the besiegers rested in their own strength, their weapons, and their siegeworks.
From all sides, though the task was difficult, they moved their mounds towards the walls.
On the side where the Romans were attacking the battering-ram had destroyed part of the wall; when the Macedonians rushed to defend this place with their arms, because it was without protection, a desperate battle took place between them and the Romans.
And at first the Romans were easily repulsed by superior numbers; then, summoning reinforcements of the Achaeans and the troops of Attalus, they restored equality, and there seemed no doubt that the Macedonians and Greeks would be easily [p. 227]
There was a great host of Italian deserters, -4
some from Hannibal's army who had followed Philip from fear of punishment by the Romans, some naval allies who had recently deserted the fleet and come over in the hope of more highly-rewarded service;5
their hopelessness regarding immunity, if the Romans conquered, inspired them to courage or rather to frenzy.
On the side toward Sicyon is a promontory, sacred to the Juno whom they call Acraea,6
and rising high into the air; thence the distance to Corinth is about seven miles.
Thither Philocles, also a prefect of the king, brought fifteen hundred soldiers through Boeotia. Vessels from Corinth were at hand to transport the force thus arriving to Lechaeum. Attalus urged that the works be burned and the siege immediately abandoned; Quinctius persisted more stubbornly in his undertaking.
He too, when he saw the royal guards stationed before all the gates, and perceived that their sallies could not be easily resisted, went over to the opinion of Attalus. And so, with their design unaccomplished, after sending the Achaeans home they returned to their ships.
Attalus proceeded to Piraeus, the Romans to Corcyra.