In the mean time, Caius Lucretius, the praetor and naval commander at Cephallenia, having ordered his brother, Marcus Lucretius, to conduct the fleet along the coast of Malea to Chalcis, went himself on board a trireme, and sailed to the Corinthian gulf, that he might as early as possible put the affairs of Bœotia on a proper footing;
but the voyage proved tedious to him, particularly from the weak state of his health.
Marcus Lucretius, on his arrival at Chalcis, when he heard that Haliartus was besieged by Publius Lentulus, sent a messenger to him, with an order, in the praetor's name, to retire from the place.
The lieutenant-general, who had undertaken this enterprise with Bœotian troops, raised out of the party that sided with the Romans, retired from the walls.
But the raising of this siege only made room for a new one: for Marcus Lucretius immediately invested Haliartus with troops from on board the fleet, amounting to ten thousand effective men, and who were joined by two thousand of the [p. 2015]
forces of king Eumenes, who were under Athenaeus.
Just when they were preparing for an assault, the praetor came up from Creusa. At the same time, ships sent by the allies arrived at Chalcis: two Carthaginian quinqueremes, two triremes from Heraclea in Pontus, four from Chalcedon, a like number from Samos, and also five quinqueremes from Rhodes.
The praetor sent back these to the allies, because there was no where a naval war. Quintus Marcius also came to Chalcis with his ships, having taken Alope, and laid siege to Larissa, called likewise Cremaste.
While such was the state of affairs in Bœotia, Perseus, when, as has been mentioned, he lay encamped at Sycurium, after collecting the corn from all the adjacent parts, sent a detachment to ravage the lands of the Pheraeans;
hoping that the Romans might be drawn away from their camp to succour the cities of their allies, and then be caught at a disadvantage.
And when he saw that they were not put in motion by this disorderly expedition, he distributed all the booty, consisting mostly of cattle of all kinds, among the soldiers, that they might feast themselves with plenty. The prisoners he kept.