he heard that Machanidas, alarmed by the report of his coming, had fled back to Sparta. Thereupon the king went to Aegium for the council of the Achaeans, at the same time thinking that there he would find the Carthaginian fleet which he had summoned that he might be able to accomplish something by sea as well.
A few days earlier the Carthaginians had crossed over to the Oxēae,2
and then had made for the Acarnanian ports, on hearing that Attalus and the Romans had set sail from Oreum. They were afraid they might be pursued and overpowered inside of Rhium,3
the narrows, that is, of the Gulf of Corinth.
VIII. Philip was sorry indeed and vexed that, although he had himself made rapid marches in every direction, nevertheless he had not met a single situation at the right moment, and that fortune had mocked his speed by whisking everything out of his sight.
In the council, however, concealing his vexation, he made a proud speech, calling gods and men [p. 33]
to witness that at no place or time had he failed to4
hasten with all possible speed to any place where the din of enemies' arms had been heard.
But it could scarcely be made out, he said, whether his audacity in carrying on the war was the greater, or his enemies' eagerness to run away. So from Opus Attalus had slipped out of his hands, so had Sulpicius from Chalcis, so in those very days had Machanidas.
But not always was flight successful, nor must that be accounted a difficult war in which you are the victor if you have merely made contact with the enemy. What was of most significance, he said, he had the confession of his enemies that they were by no means his equals.
Soon he would likewise have no uncertain victory, and they would fight against him with a result no better than they had hoped.
The allies rejoiced when they listened to the king. Thereupon he delivered Heraea and Triphylia5
to the Achaeans, but restored Aliphēra6
to Megalopolis, because the citizens of the latter gave sufficient proofs that it had belonged to their territory.
Then on receiving ships-they were three quadriremes and as many biremes-from the Achaeans, he sailed over to Anticyra.7
From there he set sail with seven quinqueremes and more than twenty light vessels previously sent by him into the Gulf of Corinth to be added to the Carthaginian fleet, and made a landing at [p. 35]
in Aetolia and near Eupalium.
not surprise the Aetolians, for all the men who were either on the farms or in the nearest strongholds, Potidania10
and Apollonia, fled into the forests and the mountains. Sheep and goats which in their haste could not be driven away were seized and loaded on the ships.
With these and the rest of the booty Nicias, chief magistrate of the Achaeans, was sent to Aegium; and when the king had reached Corinth, he ordered his land forces to march from there overland across Boeotia.
He himself sailing from Cenchreae along the coast of Attica round Sunium, almost through the midst of enemy fleets, came to Chalcis. Then, after praising their loyalty and courage, in that neither fear nor hope had swayed their spirit, and encouraging them to remain his allies with the same steadfastness for the future, if they preferred their own lot to that of the men of Oreum and Opus, he sailed from Chalcis to Oreum.
Then entrusting the government and defence of the city to leading citizens who had preferred to flee after the capture of the city rather than to surrender to the Romans, he himself crossed over from Euboea to Demetrias, from which he had first set out to bring aid to his allies.
he then laid down the keels of a hundred war-ships and brought together a great number of ship-carpenters to complete the task. Having done so, inasmuch as peaceful conditions had been produced in Greece both by the departure of Attalus and by the timely aid which he [p. 37]
had himself borne to his distressed allies, he withdrew12
into his own kingdom in order to wage war against the Dardanians.13