During this same period while Philip was in Achaea, his prefect Philocles left Euboea with two thousand Thracians and Macedonians to plunder the territory of the Athenians in the region of Eleusis, and crossed the pass of Cithaeron.
Sending half his force to plunder far and wide through the country, he with the rest made camp secretly in a suitable place for an ambuscade, that, if an attack were made by the Eleusinians from the citadel
upon his foragers, he might fall upon the enemy suddenly and unexpectedly as they were dispersed.
His ambush did not go undetected. So recalling the troops that had gone forth to forage and forming them for battle, he set out for Eleusis to assault the citadel, but was repulsed from there with many casualties and joined Philip on his return from Achaea.
An attack on the same fortress was attempted by the king as well; but Roman ships arriving from the Piraeus and the garrison admitted into the city compelled him to abandon his undertaking.
The king then divided his army and sent Philocles to Athens with half of them and himself proceeding to Piraeus, in the hope that while Philocles was keeping the Athenians within the city by approaching the walls and threatening an attack, the opportunity might be offered himself of taking Piraeus, left with a small guard.
But, with practically the same defenders, the capture [p. 79]
of Piraeus was in no wise easier for him than that1
of Eleusis. Suddenly he marched from Piraeus to Athens.
Driven thence by a sudden sally of cavalry and infantry in the narrow space between the half-ruined walls2
which with their two arms join Piraeus and Athens, he gave up the attempt on the city and, again dividing
his force with Philocles and setting out to plunder the country districts, while he had devoted his former raid to destroying the tombs around the city, that he might leave nothing inviolate, he ordered the temples
of the gods which the Athenians had consecrated in all the demes to be torn down and burned;
and the land of Attica, with its wonderful adornment of works of art and its abundance of native marble and the skill of its artists offered material for his rage.
For he was not satisfied merely to destroy the temples and statues themselves, but even ordered the separate stones to be broken up, lest they be left whole upon the piles of ruins.
And after his wrath, or rather objects on which to expend his wrath, had been exhausted, he retired from the enemy's country to Boeotia, and did nothing else worth mentioning in Greece.