was at that time besieging Thaumaci with the greatest energy, using terraces and mantlets, and was on the point of using his battering-ram against the walls;
but he was compelled to give up his enterprise by the sudden attack of the Aetolians, who, under the command of Archidamus, slipped through the screen of Macedonian patrols into the city, and never, either by night or day, ceased making sallies, now against the Macedonian outposts, now [p. 163]
against their siege-works. The nature of the place, -2
too, aided them.
For Thaumaci lies high above the road as you come from Pylae and the Malian Gulf by way of Lamia, on the very pass, overlooking what they call Hollow Thessaly;
the country is rough as you pass through, over roads that wind their way through twisting valleys, and when you reach the city, suddenly the whole plain spreads out before you like an expanse of open sea, so that you can hardly measure with your eyes the fields beneath you.
From this marvellous sight is derived the name “Thaumaci.”3
The city is defended both by its lofty site and by the fact that it lies on cliffs with steep descents on all sides.
These difficulties, together with the fact that it was scarcely a due reward for so much effort and risk, induced Philip to abandon his design.
Winter, too, was now at hand when he retired from there and led his troops into winter quarters in Macedonia.