All this was accomplished within ten days after his arrival at Pherae, and going to Crannon with his entire army he captured it as soon as he reached it.
Then he took Cierium and Metropolis1
and the forts around them; and everything in that region except Atrax and Gyrto was in his power.
Then he decided to attack Larisa, thinking that either from the fear inspired by the capture of the other towns or by their gratitude at the release of their garrison or from the example of so many other states that had submitted they would not continue long in their stubborn [p. 187]
Ordering the elephants to be driven2
before the standards to inspire fear, he marched up to the town in a hollow square, so that the thoughts of a great part of the Larisaeans wavered doubtfully between immediate fear of the enemy and respect for their distant allies.
About the same time Amynander with all the youth of the Athamanes took possession of Pellinacium, and Menippus with three thousand Aetolian infantry and two hundred cavalry marched into Perrhaebia, took Malloea and Cyretiae by storm and laid waste the fields of Tripolis.
Having done all this with speed, they returned to the king at Larisa; they arrived there while he was considering what he should do about Larisa.
There opinions turned different ways, some urging that they ought to employ force and not to delay assaulting with siege-works and artillery from all sides at once, upon the walls of a town lying in a plain open and level to approach from any direction, others reminding him now that the strength of
this city was by no means to be compared with that of Pherae, now that it was winter and a time unsuited to all military operations and particularly to the siege and storming of cities.
While the king was wavering between hope and fear, ambassadors from Pharsalus, who by chance had come-to surrender their city, gave him new courage.
In the meantime Marcus Baebius had met Philip in the country of the Dassaretii, and as a result of the agreement of the two he sent Appius Claudius to the defence of Larisa, and he came by forced marching through Macedonia to the ridge of mountains3
which lies above Gonni.
The town of Gonni is twenty miles from Larisa, situated at the very entrance to the defile which [p. 189]
they call Tempe. When he had laid out a camp4
there too large in proportion to the size of his force and built more fires than were necessary for practical purposes, he created in the enemy the impression he had desired, that the whole Roman army with King Philip was there.
So the king, using as a pretext to his men the approach of winter, delayed only one day and retired from Larisa and withdrew to Demetrias, and the Aetolians and Athamanes returned to their own countries.
Although Appius saw that the siege had been raised, which had been the purpose of his coming, he yet went down to Larisa to reassure the minds of the allies for the future; and there was double joy, both because the enemy had left their country and
because they saw a Roman garrison within the walls.