Quinctius made a short march the next day, the soldiers carrying the stockade with them, so that he was ready
to fortify a camp in any place, and when he had halted about six miles from Pherae, he sent out patrols to find out in what part of Thessaly the king was and what he was doing.
The king was near Larisa. Being now informed that the Roman had moved from Thebes to Pherae and desiring, for his part, to end the struggle at once, he began to march towards the enemy and encamped about four miles from Pherae.
Thence next day both sides sent out light troops to seize the hills overlooking the town, and these, when they were about equidistant from the ridge which was to be occupied, came to
a halt as soon as they espied one another, waiting quietly for the runners whom they had sent back to camp to ask what they were to do, since the enemy had unexpectedly been met.
And on that day indeed they were withdrawn to camp without starting a battle; on the next day there was a cavalry engagement around the same hills, in which, mainly through the help of the Aetolians, [p. 291]
the king's forces were defeated and driven back to1
Both sides were greatly hindered in the action by the fact that the country was covered with many trees and gardens, as in suburban districts, while the roads were bordered with hedges and in some places entirely closed.
Both commanders therefore reached the same decision, to retire from this country, and as if by agreement both marched in the direction of Scotusa, Philip hoping to find food there, the Roman by his advance to destroy the enemy's grain-supply.
The two columns marched the whole day, nowhere seeing one another, since there was a continuous range of hills between them. The Romans encamped near Eretria in Phthiotis, Philip on the river Onchestus.
Nor did either army know for certain where the
enemy was, even the following day, though Philip encamped near Melambium, as they call it, in the country of Scotusa, and the Romans around Thetideum, in the territory of Pharsalia.
The third day a heavy rain, followed by a fog dark as night, kept the Romans in camp in fear of an ambuscade.