After this assembly the soldiers were dismissed, and before they saw to their bodily needs they made ready their armour and arms.
At daybreak the battle-signal was displayed and the consul deployed his forces on a narrow front, according to the nature and limits of the position. When the king saw the standards of the enemy he too led out his troops. Part of his light-armed troops he placed before the rampart in the front line, then he drew up the main body of the Macedonians,1
whom they call sarisophori,2
as a bulwark around the fortification itself.
Next to them on the left flank he placed a detachment of dart-throwers and archers and slingers at the very base of the mountain, to harass the exposed flank of the enemy from the higher ground.
On the right, next to the Macedonians, at the very end of the fortification, where the ground, impassable as far as the sea, closed it in with swampy mud and quicksands, he stationed the elephants with their usual guard and behind them the cavalry; then, a short distance to the rear, the rest of his troops in [p. 215]
the second line.
The Macedonians standing in front3
of the rampart at first easily held off the Romans, who were trying the approaches from every direction, with much assistance from those who from the higher ground were hurling a veritable cloud of missiles from their slings as well as darts and arrows at the same time;
then, as a greater and more irresistible pressure was placed upon them by the enemy, driven from their places they gradually withdrew their ranks and fell back inside the fortifications; thence from the rampart they almost made another rampart of the spears held out in front of them.
And the height of the rampart was so moderate that it both offered its defenders higher ground from which to fight and held the enemy within thrusting-distance below them on account of the length of the spears.
Many who rashly drew near the rampart were run through; and either they would have withdrawn with their task unaccomplished or more would have perished had not Marcus Porcius, having dislodged the Aetolians from the heights of Callidromum and killed a large part of them —for he had caught them off their guard and many of them asleep —shown himself on the hill which overlooked the camp.4