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Some refugees from Chalcis who had been expelled by the king's adherents reported that the place could be seized without any serious [2??] resistance, for as there was no enemy to be feared in the neighbourhood the Macedonians were strolling about everywhere, and the townsmen, trusting to the Macedonians for protection, made no attempt to guard the city.  On this information C. Claudius proceeded to Chalcis, and although he reached Sunium early enough to allow of his entering the strait of Euboea the same day, he kept his fleet at anchor till nightfall that his approach might not be observed. As soon as it was dark he sailed on over a calm sea and reached Chalcis a little before dawn.  He selected the least populous part of the city for his attempt, and finding the guards at some points asleep and other places without any guard at all, he directed a small body of soldiers to place their scaling-ladders against the nearest tower, which was taken with the wall on either side of it.  Then they advanced along the wall to where the buildings were numerous, killing the guards [6??] on their way, till they reached the gate which they broke down and so admitted the main body of troops. Dispersing in all directions they filled the city with tumult, and, to add to the confusion, the buildings round the forum were set on fire.  They burnt the king's granaries and the arsenal with an immense number of military engines and artillery.  This was followed by an indiscriminate slaughter of those who offered resistance and those who tried to escape, and at last every man capable of bearing arms was either killed or put to flight. Amongst the former was Sopater, an Acarnanian, the commandant of the garrison. All the plunder was collected in the forum and then placed on board the ships.  The gaol too was broken open by the Rhodians, and the prisoners of war whom Philip had immured there as being the safest place of custody were released.  After the statues of the king had been thrown down and mutilated the signal for embarkation was given, and they sailed back to the Piraeus.  Had there been a sufficient force of Roman soldiery to allow of Chalcis being occupied without interfering with the protection of Athens, Chalcis and the Euripus would have been wrested from the king; a most important success at the very outset of the war.  For the Euripus is the key to Greece by sea as the pass of Thermopylae is by land.
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