Dismissing the meeting and sending envoys to Eposognatus, who alone of the chiefs had both remained loyal to Eumenes and refused to aid Antiochus against the Romans, he moved his camp. The first day he marched to the Alander river, the second to the village which they call Tyscon.
When ambassadors from the people of Oroanda had come there asking friendship, he demanded of them two hundred talents and granted them permission to report this at home.
Then the consul proceeded to lead the army towards Plitê; next he encamped at Alyatti. There the messengers sent to Eposognatus returned, accompanied by ambassadors of [p. 63]
that chief, who asked him not to make war upon the1
Tectosagi; Eposognatus himself, they said, would go to that tribe and persuade them to do what was ordered.
Granting this favour to the chief, he began to lead the army through the district which is called Axylon. It derives its name from the fact it not only produces no wood at all but not even thorns or any other food for fire; they use cow-dung in place of wood.2
While the Romans were encamped near Cuballum, a fortress of Galatia, the enemy's cavalry appeared with great uproar, and not only threw the Roman outguards into confusion by their unexpected attack, but even killed some men.
When this disorder was reported in the camp, the Roman cavalry, pouring in haste from all the gates, repulsed and routed the Gauls and killed a considerable number in their flight. Thenceforth the consul, since he realized that he had now encountered the enemy, marched with scouts sent in advance and his column carefully formed.
And when, marching without interruption, he had reached the Sangarius river, he determined to build a bridge, since there was nowhere a way to cross it by fording.
The Sangarius river, flowing from Mount Adoreus through Phrygia, is joined near Bithynia by the river Thymbres; thence, enlarged by the doubling of its waters, it flows through Bithynia and discharges into the Propontis,3
being, however, not so remarkable for its size as because it furnishes the inhabitants with vast quantities of fish.
When they had finished the bridge and crossed the river and were marching along the bank, Galli
of the Great Mother from Pessinus [p. 65]
wearing their ritual ornaments and5
prophesying in their frenzied chants that the goddess was granting to the Romans the way of war and victory and dominion over this region. The consul said that he accepted the omen and encamped on that very spot.
Next day he moved to Gordium. This is not indeed a large town, but is a market visited and frequented more than is usually the case with an inland city.
It has three seas about equidistant from it, the Hellespont, the sea at Sinope and the shores of the opposite sea where the Cilicians of the coast dwell;
besides, it adjoins the borders of several strong states, and their mutual needs concentrated their intercourse at this place especially. At this time the Romans found it deserted by the flight of the inhabitants, but likewise filled with abundance of all things.
While he was maintaining a base there, ambassadors from Eposognatus came reporting that his visit to the chiefs of the Gauls had won no fair response;
from the villages and farms in the plains they were moving in large numbers, accompanied by their wives and children, driving ahead of them and
carrying what they could carry and drive,6
and were making for the Olympus mountain, that thence they might maintain themselves by arms and by the situation of the place.