At the beginning of the summer in which these1
events took place2
Publius Sulpicius, the proconsul, and King Attalus, after wintering at Aegina, as has been stated above,3
sailed across to Lemnus with their combined fleets, twenty-five Roman and thirty-five royal quinqueremes.
And Philip, to be prepared for every effort of the enemy, whether he must be met on land or on sea, came down himself to the sea at Demetrias4
and appointed a day for the army to assemble at Larisa. From his allies all around deputations gathered at Demetrias on the first report of the king's coming.
For the Aetolians in consequence of their alliance with the Romans, and particularly after the arrival of Attalus,
had been emboldened and were laying waste their neighbours' lands. And not only were the Acarnanians and Boeotians and the
inhabitants of Euboea greatly alarmed but also the Achaeans, who in addition to the Aetolian war were further terrified by Machanidas,5
tyrant of Sparta, who had pitched his camp not far from the Argive frontier. All these delegations stated the dangers impending by land and sea for their several cities and were imploring the aid of the king.
Even from his own kingdom the report was of no peaceful conditions: that Scerdilaedus and Pleuratus had taken the field;
also that of the Thracians the Maedi6
in particular were ready to invade the nearest part of Macedonia if some distant war should [p. 19]
engage the king's attention.
In fact the Boeotians7
and inland Greek states reported that the pass of Thermopylae,8
where a narrow entrance hems in the road, was being closed with a ditch and an earthwork by the Aetolians, that it might not allow Philip a passage in order to defend the cities of his allies.
Even a general lacking in spirit might have been aroused by so many alarms from all sides. Philip sent the deputations away with a promise that he would lend aid to them all as time and circumstances might permit.
As the urgency of the moment required, he sent to Peparēthus a garrison for the city,9
from which had come the news that Attalus, sending his fleet over from Lemnus, had ravaged all the country round the city.
Philip sent Polyphantas with a force of moderate size into Boeotia; also one of his own generals, Menippus, to Chalcis with a thousand peltasts, whose shield is not unlike the caetra.
Five hundred of the Agrianes10
were added, to enable Menippus to protect all parts of the island. The king himself set out for Scotussa and ordered that the Macedonian troops should march across from Larisa to the same place.
There the report reached him that a council had been appointed for the Aetolians at Heraclēa,11
King Attalus would attend for a consultation on the issues of the war.
To break up this gathering by his sudden arrival Philip led his men by forced marches to Heraclēa. He arrived indeed after the [p. 21]
council had been dismissed; but he destroyed crops12
which were now almost ripe, especially along the Gulf of the Aenianes,13
and led his troops back to Scotussa.
There he left the whole army and with his cohort of guards returned to Demetrias. From there, in order that he might meet every movement of his enemies, he sent men into Phocis and Euboea and to Peparethus, to select heights from which signal fires might be visible.
For himself he placed a watch-tower on Mount Tisaeus,14
whose peak rises to a great height, so that by fires15
on distant heights he might in an instant receive a message as to where his enemies were active.
The Roman commander and King Attalus crossed from Peparethus to Nicaea.16
From there they sailed over to Euboea in their fleet and to the city of Oreum,17
which is the first of the cities of Euboea situated on the left as one coming from the Gulf of Demetrias steers towards Chalcis and the Euripus.
Between Attalus and Sulpicius it was agreed that the Romans should attack from the sea, the king's forces from the land.