While Antiochus was in camp at Pherae, where the Aetolians and Amynander had joined him, ambassadors from Larisa came asking for what deed or word of the Thessalians he was assailing them with war, and likewise asking
that he should [p. 183]
withdraw his army and discuss with them through1
ambassadors whatever seemed to him worth considering.
At the same time they sent five hundred armed men under command of Hippolochus as a garrison for Pherae; they were prevented from entering, all the roads being now blocked by the king's forces, and retired to Scotusa.
The king responded mildly to the ambassadors of the Larisaeans, that he had entered Thessaly not to make war but to defend and assure the liberty of the Thessalians.
A delegate was sent to conduct similar negotiations with the people of Pherae; giving him no answer, the Pheraeans themselves sent to the king Pausanias, their chief magistrate.
When he had with a good deal of vigour presented certain arguments not unlike those which, in a similar situation, had been used on behalf of the Chalcidians in the conference at the strait of Euripus,2
the king, bidding
them again and again to ponder and not to adopt any plan of which, while being too cautious and thoughtful for the future, they would at once repent, dismissed him.
When this mission was reported at Pherae, they did not even for a brief period doubt that they should, for the sake of their loyalty to the Romans, endure whatever the fortune of war might bring.
And so both the Pheraeans were preparing with all their might to defend their city and the king was attempting to assault the town from every side at once, and, since he clearly understood —for there was no question about it —that
it depended on the fate of this city which he attacked first, whether he should thenceforth be either scorned or feared by the whole nation of the Thessalians, he brought every form of terror to bear from all sides [p. 185]
upon the besieged.
The first brunt of the attack3
they bore with sufficient resolution; then, when many of the defenders had fallen or were wounded, their courage began to fail.
Recalled then by the reproofs of their captains to persevere in their purpose, leaving the outer line of wall as their strength was now diminishing, they retired into the inner quarter of the city, which was surrounded by a rampart less long than the other; finally, overcome by their misfortunes and feeling that no quarter would be given by the conqueror if they were taken fighting, they surrendered. Then the king without delay, while the terror was still new, sent four thousand troops to Scotusa.
There was no delay there in surrendering when they considered the recent case of the Pheraeans, who had finally, conquered by their ills, done what they had at first tenaciously refused to do; with the city itself Hippolochus and the garrison of Larisaeans were surrendered.
All were released without injury by the king, because this act, in the king's opinion, would have
great weight in winning the sympathies of the Larisaeans.