After an interval of one day, the king, resolving to make an attack with all his forces of cavalry and light-armed infantry, had, during the night, placed in ambush, in a
convenient place between the two camps, a body of targeteers, whom they call Peltastae, and given orders to Athenagoras and the cavalry, if they found they had the advantage in the open fight, to pursue their success; if otherwise, that they should [p. 1378]
retreat leisurely, and by that means draw on the enemy to the place where the ambush lay.
The cavalry accordingly did retreat; but the officers of the body of targeteers, by bringing forward their men before the time, and not waiting for the signal, as they ought, lost an opportunity of performing considerable service. The Romans, having gained the victory in open fight, and also escaped the danger of the ambuscade, retired to their camp.
Next day the consul marched out with all his forces, and offered battle, placing his elephants in the front of the foremost battalions. Of this resource the Romans then for the first time availed themselves; having a number of them which had been taken in the Punic war.
Finding that the enemy kept himself quiet behind his intrenchments, he advanced close up to them, upbraiding him with cowardice; and as, notwithstanding, no opportunity of an engagement was afforded, the consul, considering how dangerous foraging must be while the camps lay so near each other, where the cavalry were ready at any moment to attack the soldiers, when dispersed through the country, removed his camp to a place called Ortholophus, distant about eight miles,
where by reason of the intervening distance he could forage with more safety.
While the Romans were collecting corn in the adjacent fields, the king kept his men within the trenches, in order to increase both the negligence and confidence of the enemy. But, when he saw them scattered, he set out with all his cavalry, and the auxiliary Cretans, and marching with such speed that
the swiftest footmen could, by running, but just keep up with the horse, he planted his standards between the camp of the Romans and their foragers. Then, dividing the forces, he sent one part of them in quest of the marauders, with orders to leave not one alive; with the other, he himself halted, and placed guards on the roads through which the enemy seemed likely to fly back to their camp.
And now carnage and flight prevailed in all directions, and no intelligence of the misfortune had yet reached the Roman camp, because those who fled towards the camp fell in
with the guards, which the king had stationed to intercept them, and greater numbers were slain by those who were placed in the roads, than by those who had been sent out to attack them.
At length, a few effected their escape, through the midst of the enemy's posts, but were so filled with terror, that they ex- [p. 1379]
cited a general consternation in the camp, rather than brought intelligible information.