In those days in which Philip was in Achaia, Philocles, one of the king's generals, marching from Eubœa with two thousand Thracians and Macedonians, in order to lay waste the territories of the Athenians, crossed the forest of Cithaeron opposite to Eleusis.
Despatching half of his troops, [p. 1367]
to make depredations in all parts of the country, he himself lay concealed with the remainder in a place convenient for an ambush;
in order that, if any attack should be made from the fort at Eleusis on his men employed in plundering, he might suddenly fall upon the enemy unawares, and while they were in disorder.
His stratagem did not escape discovery: wherefore, calling back the soldiers, who had gone different ways in pursuit of booty, and drawing them up in order, he advanced to assault the fort at Eleusis; but being repulsed from thence with many wounds, he formed a junction with Philip on his return from Achaia.
The storming of this fort was also attempted by the king in person: but the Roman ships coming from Piraeeus, and a body of forces thrown into the fort, compelled him to relinquish the design.
On this the king, dividing his army, sent Philocles with one part to Athens, and went himself with the other to Piraeeus; that, while his general, by advancing to the walls and threatening an assault, might keep the Athenians within the city, he might be able to make himself master of the harbour, when left with only a slight garrison.
But he found the attack of Piraeeus no less difficult than that of Eleusis, the same persons for the most part acting in its defence. He therefore hastily led his troops to Athens, and being repulsed by a sudden sally of both foot
and horse, who engaged him in the narrow ground, enclosed by the half-ruined wall, which, with two arms, joins Piraeeus to Athens, he desisted from the assault of the city, and, dividing his forces again with Philocles, set out to complete the devastation of the country.
As, in his former ravages, he had employed himself in levelling the sepulchres round the city, so now, not to leave any thing
unviolated, he ordered the temples of the gods, of which they had one consecrated in every village, to be demolished and burned.
The country of Attica afforded ample matter for the exercise of this barbarous rage: being highly embellished with works of that kind, having plenty of indigenous marble, and abounding with artists of exquisite ingenuity.
Nor was he satisfied with merely destroying the temples themselves, and overthrowing the images, but he ordered even the stones to be broken, lest, remaining whole, they should give stateliness to the ruins;
and then, his rage not being satiated, but no object remaining on which it could be exercised, he retired [p. 1368]
from the country of the enemy into Bœotia, without having performed in Greece any thing else worth mention.