As is usual in an unexpected affair, great consternation and tumult ensued; yet the besieged, with greater resolution than any one could suppose them capable of under such a sudden alarm, when the men fought, and the women brought weapons of every kind, and stones, to the walls, defended the city for that day, although the scaling ladders were raised against the walls.
About mid-day, Acilius, the signal for retreat being given, drew off his men to their camp. After their bodies were refreshed by food and rest, before he dismissed the meeting in the Praetorium, he gave them notice, “to be ready and under arms before day; and that they were not to return to their tents until the city should be taken.”
Next day, at the same hour as before, having began the assault in a greater number of places, as not only the strength, but also the weapons, and above all, the courage of the garrison began to fail, he took the town in the space of a few hours.
One half of the spoil found there was sold in parcels; the other was divided among the soldiers; and a council was held to determine what he should next undertake. No one approved of going against Naupactum, while the pass at Corax was occupied by the Aetolians. That, however, the summer campaign might not be an idle one, and that the Aetolians might not through his supineness possess the peace that they could not obtain from the senate, Acilius resolved to besiege Amphissa; his army was led thither from Heraclea by Œta.
Having encamped under the walls, he proceeded to attack the town, not by general assault, as at Lamia, but by regular approaches. The ram was brought up to the walls in many places at once; and though these were shaken by it, yet the townsmen never attempted to provide or contrive any sort of defence against such a description of mechanism.
All their hope was in arms and courage. By frequent sallies they much annoyed not only the advanced guards of the Romans, but even those who were employed at the works and machines. [p. 1661]