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After the recital of the customary prayers in the Capitol P. Sulpicius was invested by his lictors with the paludamentum and left the City for Brundisium.  Here he incorporated into his legions the veterans who had volunteered out of the African army, and also selected the vessels out of the fleet under Cn. Cornelius. Then he set sail, and the next day he landed in, Greece.  Here he was met by an embassy from Athens who begged him to raise the siege which that city was undergoing. C. Claudius Cento was at once despatched thither with 20 warships and 1000 men.  The king was not personally directing the siege, he was just then attacking Abydos, after trying his strength in naval encounters with the Rhodians and with Attalus, and in neither battle had he been successful.  But his was not a nature to accept defeat quietly, and now that he had leagued himself with Antiochus, king of Syria, he was more determined on war than ever. They had agreed to divide the rich kingdom of Egypt between them, and on hearing of the death of Ptolemy they both prepared to attack it.  The Athenians, who retain nothing of their ancient greatness but their pride, had become involved in hostilities with Philip through a quite unimportant incident.  During the celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries two young Acarnanians who had not been initiated entered the temple of Ceres with the rest of the crowd, quite unaware of the sacrilegious nature of their action.  They were betrayed by the silly questions which they asked, and were brought before the temple authorities. Though it was quite evident that they had sinned in ignorance, they were put to death as though guilty of a horrible crime.  The Acarnanians reported this hostile and barbarous act to Philip and obtained his consent to their making war on Athens supported by a Macedonian contingent. Their army began by laying the land of Attica waste with fire and sword, after which they returned to Acarnania with plunder of every description.  So far there was only anger and exasperation on both sides, subsequently, by a decree of the citizens, Athens made a formal declaration of war.  For when King Attalus and the Rhodians who were following up Philip in his retreat to Macedonia had reached Aegina, the king sailed across to the Piraeus for the purpose of renewing and confirming his alliance with the Athenians.  The whole body of the citizens came out to meet him with their wives and children; the priests in their sacred robes received him as he entered the city; even the gods themselves were almost summoned from their shrines to welcome him.
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