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When Perseus heard that the Aetolians were approaching, he raised the siege of the city which he was attacking and, after devastating their fields, left Amphilochia and returned to Macedonia.  The Aetolians, too, were called away by the ravages which were being committed on their sea-board. Pleuratus, king of the Illyrians, had sailed into the Gulf of Corinth with sixty ships, reinforced by the Aetolian vessels from Patrae, and was devastating the maritime districts of Aetolia.  A force of 1000 Aetolians was despatched against him and by taking direct roads they were able to meet him at [4??] whatever point his fleet had, in its cruising in and out of the indented coast, tried to effect a landing. At Ambracia the Romans had battered down the walls in several places and partially laid bare the city, but they could not force their way into it.  As fast as the wall was destroyed a new one was raised in its place and the citizens stood in arms on the fallen masonry to bar all approach.  Finding that he was making very little progress by direct assault, the consul decided to construct a secret passage underground after first covering the place whence it started with vineae. Working day and night they succeeded for a considerable time in escaping the observation of the enemy, not only whilst they were digging but also whilst carrying away the earth.  Suddenly the sight of a conspicuous mound of soil gave the townsmen an indication of what was going on. To avert the danger of the wall being undermined and a way into the city being thrown open, they began to run a trench inside the wall in the direction of the place covered with vineae.  When they had excavated as low as the bottom of the secret passage would probably be, they remained perfectly silent, and by placing their ears [9??] against different places in the side of the trench they caught the sound of the enemy diggers. As soon as they heard this they broke through straight into the tunnel.  There was no difficulty in doing this, for they quickly found themselves in an open space where the wall had been underpinned with timber props by the enemy.1 As the trench and tunnel now opened into one another the two parties of diggers commenced a fight with their digging tools. Very soon armed bodies came up on both sides and an underground battle began in the dark.  The besieged closed up the tunnel in one place by stretching a screen of goats' hair across and improvising barricades, and they adopted a novel device against the enemy which was small but effective. A hole was bored through the bottom of a cask in which an iron pipe was inserted. and an iron cover perforated with several holes was prepared to fit the other end. The cask was then filled with light feathers, the cover fastened on, and through the holes some long spears-the so-called "sarissae"-were inserted to keep off the enemy.  The cask was now placed with its head towards the tunnel and a light was placed amongst the feathers which were blown into a blaze by a pair of smith's bellows inserted in the pipe.  The tunnel was soon filled with a dense smoke, rendered all the more pungent from the horrid smell of the burning feathers, and hardly a man could endure it.
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