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Not far from there lay the town of Uscana; its territory mostly lay in Perseus' dominions. It had a population of 10,000 and a small detachment of Cretans was garrisoned there to protect it.  A secret message was sent to Claudius assuring him that if he would approach the city there were men ready to betray it to him, and it would be worth his while to do so, as he would be able to enrich not only himself and his friends but his soldiers also with the plunder.  The prospect thus held out to his avaricious disposition so blinded him that he did not detain a single person amongst those who came with the message, nor did he demand hostages as a security against treachery, nor did he send anyone to ascertain the facts, nor did he insist upon an oath to guarantee the good faith of those who made the offer.  He simply advanced upon the appointed day to a spot within twelve miles of the city where he encamped. At the first watch he went forward, leaving about 1000 men to guard the camp.  His troops reached the city in no proper formation, spread out in a long column, and few in number, having become separated from one another through losing their way in the darkness of the night. Their carelessness increased when they saw no armed men on the walls. As soon, however, as they came within range, a sortie was made simultaneously from two gates. Above the shouts of those who were sallying forth a horrible din arose from the walls, women yelling and banging brazen vessels, whilst the air resounded with the discordant cries of a rabble of townsfolk and slaves.  These appalling sights and sounds, multiplied in all directions, so unnerved the Romans that they could not withstand the first onset which burst upon them like a storm. More were killed in flight than in actual fighting, barely 2000 men, including Claudius himself, gained their camp.  The distance they had to cover made it all the easier for the enemy to overtake them, wearied as they were.  Appius did not even stay in his camp to rally the fugitives as they came in, though this would have saved many who were straggling through the fields. He at once took the remnant of his force back to Lychnidus.
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