The consul Lucius Cornelius, having finished what was necessary to be done at Rome, gave public notice, in an assembly of the people, that the soldiers, whom he himself had enlisted for a reinforcement, and those who were in Bruttium with Aulus Cornelius, proprietor, should all meet him at Brundusium on the ides of July.
He likewise appointed three lieutenants-general, Sextus Digitius, Lucius Apustius, and Caius Fabricius Luscinus; who were to bring together ships from all parts of the sea-coast to Brundusium; and now, every thing being ready, he set out from the city in his military robe of state.
About five thousand volunteers of the Romans and allies, who had served out their campaigns, under the command of Publius Africanus, attended the consul at his departure, and gave in their names.
At the time in which the consul set out to the war during the celebration of the Apollinarian games, on the fifth day before the ides of July, though the sky was serene, the light was obscured in the middle of the day, when the moon passed beneath the orb of the sun.
L. Aemilius Regillus, to whom the sea had fallen as his province, set out at the same time. To Lucius Aurunculeius this business was assigned by the senate, that he should build thirty quinqueremes and twenty triremes, because there was a report that Antiochus, since the engagement at sea, was fitting out a much larger fleet.
The Aetolians, after the ambassadors brought back word from Rome that there was no hope of peace, although their whole seacoast, which was opposite to Peloponnesus, was ravaged by the Achaeans, regarding the danger more than their losses, seized on Mount Corax, in order to shut up the pass against the Romans;
for they had no doubt that they would return in the beginning of spring to the siege of Naupactum.
It appeared better to Acilius, who knew that this was expected, to attempt a thing that was not anticipated, and to lay [p. 1660]
siege to Lamia; for the garrison had been reduced by Philip almost to a state of desperation;
and being then off their guard, because they feared no such attempt, might be surprised by himself.
Marching from Elatia, he formed his first encampment in the enemy's country, on the banks of the river Sperchius, and decamping thence in the night, he at break of day attacked the town with a line of troops that encircled it.