But the arrival of Philocles, the king's prefect, in Achaea not only raised the siege of Corinth, but brought about the betrayal of the city of Argos to Philocles through the agency of certain chief men, after the sentiments of the commons had first been tested.
It was the custom on assembly-days that at the beginning the presiding officers should pronounce, as an auspicious act, the names of Zeus, Apollo, and Heracles; and the custom was extended by a decree that King Philip's name should be joined to these.
But because, after the alliance was made with the Romans, the herald did not add his name to the others, a shout first
rose from the crowd, then an uproar, as his partisans supplied the name [p. 231]
of Philip and ordered that the legal honour be paid1
him, until with roars of applause his name was read.
With the confidence inspired by this show of loyalty, Philocles was summoned and occupied by night a hill overhanging the city —they call this citadel Larisa —and leaving a guard there he marched in embattled array at daybreak towards the marketplace which lies at the foot of the citadel, where the battle-line from the other side was drawn up to meet him.
This was a force of Achaeans, recently placed there, about five hundred youths chosen from all the cities; Aenesidemus of Dymae was in command.
A herald was sent to them by the king's prefect, to order them to leave the city: he reminded them that they were no match for the citizens, who sided with the Macedonians, even by themselves, and still less after their junction with the Macedonians, whose attack at Corinth not even the Romans had withstood; but at first he influenced neither commander nor soldiers;
a little later, when they saw the Argives too in arms, coming from the opposite direction in a strong column, and realized that their destruction was certain, they still seemed ready to suffer any fate, if their leader had been more stubborn.
Aenesidemus, rather than lose the flower of the Achaean fighting men along with the city, having made a pact with Philocles that the men should be allowed to depart, himself with a few clients refused to leave the spot where he had taken his armed stand.
Philocles sent to ask him what he meant. Without moving at all, with his buckler held out in front of him, he replied that he proposed to die under arms, in defence of the city entrusted to him. Then by order of the prefect javelins were thrown by the Thracians and all were [p. 233]
And after the alliance between the Achaeans2
and the Romans had been agreed upon, these two most celebrated cities, Argos and Corinth, were in the hands of the king.
This is the record of the Romans' campaign in Greece, conducted during that summer on land and sea.