Having then dismissed the assembly, and having despatched ambassadors to Eposognatus, (who alone of all the petty princes had remained in friendship with Eumenes, and refused to assist Antiochus against the Romans,) he proceeded on his march. He came the first day to the river Alander, and the next to a village called Tyscos.
When ambassadors of the Oroandensians had come to that place, seeking amity, two hundred talents1
were levied on them; and on their requesting that they might bear this announcement home, permission to do so was given.
The consul then led the army to Plitendos; then the Roman camp was pitched at Alyatti. The persons sent to Eposognatus returned to him here, and with them ambassadors from that chieftain, who entreated him not to make war on the Tolistoboians, for that Eposognatus himself would go among that people and persuade them to submit. This request of the prince was complied with.
The army then began to march through the country called Axylos:2
which derives its name from the nature of the place; for it not only does not produce timber, but not even brambles, or any species of fire-wood. The inhabitants, [p. 1742]
instead of wood, use cow dung. While the Romans were encamped at Cuballum, a fort of Gallograecia, the enemy's cavalry appeared with great tumult.
They not only disordered by their sudden charge the advanced guards of the Romans, but killed several of the men; and when this alarm was spread to the camp, the Roman cavalry, pouring out hastily by all the gates, routed and dispersed the Gauls, and killed many as they fled.
The consul, now perceiving that he had reached the enemy's country, marched henceforth exploring his route and carefully bringing up his rear.
When by continued marches he had arrived at the river Sangarius, he set about constructing a bridge, because no where was there a passage by a ford. The Sangarius, running from the mountain of Adoreus, through Phrygia, joins the river Thymbris at the confines of Bithynia.
After doubling its quantity of water by this junction, it proceeds in a more copious stream through Bithynia, and empties itself into the Euxine Sea. Yet it is not so remarkable for the size of its current, as for the vast quantity of fish which it supplies to the people in its vicinity.
When the bridge was finished, and the army had passed the river, as they were marching along the bank, the Gallic priests of the Great Mother, coming from Pessinus with the symbols of their office, met them; who, in inspired rhymes, foretold that the goddess would grant the Romans a safe passage, success in the war, and the empire over that country. When the consul had said that he embraced the omen, he pitched his camp on that very spot.
On the following day he arrived at Gordium.
This is not a large town, but a mart more frequented and noted than an inland town generally is. It has three seas nearly at equal distances from it, that at the Hellespont, that at Sinope, and that at the shore of the opposite coast, in which the maritime Cilicians dwell.
It is also contiguous to the borders of many and great nations, the commerce of which has been centred by mutual convenience principally in this place. The Romans found the town deserted owing to the flight of the inhabitants, yet at the same time filled with plenty of every thing.
While they halted here, ambassadors came from Eposognatus, with information that “he had applied to the petty princes of the Gauls, and had been unable to bring them to reason;
that they were removing in crowds from the villages and lands in the open [p. 1743]
and, with their wives and children, carrying and driving whatever could be carried or driven, were going to Mount Olympus, that there they might defend themselves by their arms and the nature of the ground.”