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The distance he had to march annoyed the king and he advanced his camp to Mopselus. The Romans, having cut all the standing corn round Crannon, moved into the district of Phalanna.  The king learnt from a deserter that the Romans were dispersed over the country, cutting the corn, without any remaining on guard. He started off with 1000 cavalry and 2000 Thracian and Cretan light infantry. Marching with the utmost possible speed he attacked the Romans when they were least expecting it.  Nearly 1000 carts most of them loaded, were captured with their teams, and also 600 prisoners taken. He gave the plunder to the Cretans to escort back to their camp.  Then he recalled the cavalry and the rest of the infantry, who were everywhere slaughtering the enemy, [5??] and led them against the nearest detachment who were on guard, thinking to overwhelm them without much trouble.  A military tribune, L. Pomponius, was in command of the detachment and withdrew his men, who were dismayed by the sudden appearance of the enemy, to a hill near by, to serve as a defensive position since he was inferior in numbers and strength. Here he made his soldiers close up in a circular formation, with their shields touching one another, so that they might be protected from the arrows and javelins.  Perseus surrounded the hill with his troops and ordered one body to attempt the ascent of the hill and come to close quarters with the enemy, whilst the others discharged their missiles from a distance.  The Romans were in very great danger, for they could not fight in close order against those who were struggling up the hill, and if they left their ranks and ran forward they were exposed to the javelins and arrows. They suffered mainly from the cestrosphendons, a novel kind of weapon invented during the war.  It consisted of a pointed iron head two palms long, fastened to a shaft made of pinewood, nine inches long and as thick as a man's finger.  Round the shaft three feathers were fastened as in the case of arrows, and the sling was held by two thongs, one shorter than the other. When the missile was poised in the centre of the sling, the slinger whirled it round with great force and it flew out like a leaden bullet.  Many of the soldiers were wounded by these and by missiles of all kinds, and they were becoming so exhausted that they were hardly capable of holding their weapons. Seeing this, the king urged them to surrender and pledged his word for their safety and promised to reward them. Not a single man had any thought of surrender. They had made up their minds to die, when an unlooked-for gleam of hope appeared.  Some of the foragers, who had fled to the camp, informed the consul that the detachment on guard was surrounded. Alarmed for the safety of so many fellow-citizens-there were about 800, all Romans-he sallied forth from the camp with a force of cavalry and infantry, including the new reinforcement of Numidian horse and foot, as well as the elephants. The order was given to the military tribunes to follow with the legionaries.  Bringing up the velites to stiffen the auxiliary light infantry, he went forward to the hill. Eumenes, Attalus and Misagenes, the Numidian leader, rode by his side.
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