Here he was met by other messengers with intelligence of still greater commotions; that the Dardanians, having poured into Macedonia, were in possession of Orestis, and had descended into the Argestaean plain; and that there was a general report among the barbarians that Philip was slain.
In that expedition in which he fought with the plundering party near Sicyon, being carried by the fury of his horse against a tree, he broke off the extremity of one of the horns of his helmet against a projecting branch;
which being found by a certain Aetolian and carried into Aetolia to Scerdilaedus, who knew it to be the ornament of his helmet, spread the report that the king was killed.
After the king had departed from Achaea, Sulpicius, going to Aegina with his fleet, formed a junction with Attalus.
The Achaeans fought successfully with the Aetolians and Eleans not far from Messene. King Attalus and Publius Sulpicius wintered at Aegina.
In the close of this year Titus Quinctius Crispinus, the consul, after having nominated Titus Manlius Torquatus dictator for the purpose of holding the election and celebrating the games, died of his wound.
Some say that he died at Tarentum, others in Campania. The death of the two consuls, who were slain without having fought any memorable battle, a coincidence which had never occurred in any former war, had left the commonwealth in a manner orphan. The dictator, Manlius, appointed as his master of the horse Caius Servilius, then curule aedile.
On the first day of its meeting the senate ordered the dictator to celebrate the great games which Marcus Aemilius, the city praetor, had celebrated in the consulship of Caius Flaminius and Cneius Servilius, and had vowed to be repeated after five years. The dictator then both performed the games and vowed them for the following lustrum.
But as the two consular armies without commanders were so near the enemy, disregarding every thing else, one especial care engrossed the fathers and the people, that of creating the consuls as soon as possible; and that they might create those in preference whose valour was least in danger from Carthaginian treachery;
since, through the whole period of the war, the precipitate and hot tempers of their generals had been detrimental, and this very year the consuls had fallen [p. 1138]
into a snare for which they were not prepared, in consequence of their excessive eagerness to engage the enemy, but the immortal gods, in pity to
the Roman name, had spared the unoffending armies, and doomed the consuls to expiate their temerity with their own lives.