This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
As soon as they caught sight of the leading files of their comrades, the spirits of the Romans revived from the depths of despair.  Perseus should have made up his mind after capturing and killing several of the foragers to content himself with this chance success, and not wasted time in beleaguering the detachment.  Or if he did attempt that he ought to have left the field while he could do so safely, as he knew he had no heavy infantry with him. Elated with his success he waited till the enemy appeared, and then sent a hurried message to bring up the phalanx.  It was too late to do this now. The phalanx, hastily brought into action and disarranged by the speed of its advance, had to meet troops in proper formation and ready for battle.  The consul, who was first on the ground, at once engaged the enemy. For a short time the Macedonians held their own, but they were completely outmatched, and with a loss of 300 infantry and 24 of the select cavalry of the "sacred cohort," including their commander Antimachus, they attempted to leave the field.  But there was almost more turmoil on their return march than in the battle itself. The phalanx, called up so hurriedly, marched off with equal haste, but where the road narrowed they met the troop of prisoners and the carts loaded with corn, and were brought to a standstill.  There was great excitement and uproar; no one would wait until the troops of the phalanx could make their way through; the soldiers threw the carts over the cliff, the only way of clearing the road, and the animals were lashed till they charged madly among the crowd.  Hardly had they got clear of the column of prisoners when they met the king and his discomfited cavalry, who shouted to them to face about and march back. This created a commotion almost as great as the crash of a falling house; if the enemy had continued the pursuit and ventured into the pass, there might have been a terrible disaster.  The consul, satisfied with this slight success, recalled the detachment from the hill and returned to camp. According to some authorities, a great battle was fought that day, 8000 of the enemy slain, amongst them two of the king's generals, Sopater and Antipater, 2800 made prisoners, and 27 military standards captured.  Nor was the victory a bloodless one. Above 4300 fell in the consul's army, and 5 standards belonging to the left wing lost.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.