By this accession of strength the praetor was encouraged [p. 2069]
to lay siege to Cassandrea.
This city was built by king Cassander, in the pass which connects the territory of Pallene with the rest of Macedonia.
It is bounded on one side by the Toronaean, on another by the Macedonian Sea; for it stands on a neck of land which stretches into the ocean, and rises in the part opposite Magnesia to a height equal to that of Mount Athos, forming two unequal promontories, the larger called Posideum, the smaller Canastraeum.
The besiegers formed their attacks on two different sides; the Roman general, at a place called Clitae, drew a trench from the Macedonian to the Toronaean Sea, to which he added pointed palisades, to cut off the communication; while on the other side is the Euripus, where Eumenes carried on his attack.
The Romans underwent a vast deal of labour in filling up a trench, which Perseus had recently dug in the way; and on the praetor inquiring where the earth that had been taken out of it was thrown, as he saw no heaps of it any where, some arches were shown him that were closed up with it, not of equal thickness with the old wall, but with a single row of brick.
On this, he formed the design of opening a way into the city, by breaking through that wall; and he hoped to be able to escape observation, if, by assaulting another part by scalade, and raising a tumult there, he could divert the attention of the besieged to the defence of the place attacked.
There were in garrison at Cassandrea, besides the younger inhabitants, who formed no contemptible body, eight hundred Agrians and two thousand Illyrians from Penestia, sent thither by Pleuratus, each being a warlike race. While these were busy in defending the walls, and the Romans using their utmost efforts to scale them, in an instant of time the arches were broken through, and the city laid open;
and if those who made this irruption had been armed, they must have immediately become masters of the town.
When the soldiers were told that this work was accomplished, they were so elated with joy, that they raised a sudden shout, expecting to force their way in, some in one part, and others in another.