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17. From Lebadeia and the cave of Trophonius favourable utterances and oracles announcing victory were now sent out to the Romans. Of these the inhabitants of the country have more to say; but Sulla himself has written in the tenth book of his Memoirs, how Quintus Titius, a prominent man among the Romans doing business in Greece, came to him immediately after he had won his victory at Chaeroneia,1 with tidings that Trophonius predicted for him a second battle and victory in that neighbourhood within a short time.2 [2] And after him, a legionary soldier, Salvenius by name, brought him from the god a statement of the issue which affairs in Italy were going to have. But both agreed about the source of their oracle; for they said they had beheld one who in beauty and majesty was like unto Olympian Jove.

[3] Sulla now crossed the Assus, and after advancing to the foot of Mount Hedylium, encamped over against Archela[uuml ]s, who had thrown up strong entrenchments between Mounts Acontium and Hedylium, at the so-called Assian plain. The spot in which he encamped, moreover, is to this day called Archela[uuml ]s, after him. After one day's respite, Sulla left Murena behind with one legion and two cohorts, to obstruct the enemy if they attempted to draw up their forces, while he himself held sacrifices on the banks of the Cephisus, [4] and, when the rites were over, moved on towards Chaeroneia, to pick up the forces stationed there, and to reconnoitre Thurium, as it is called, which had been already occupied by the enemy. This is a conical-shaped hill with a craggy peak (we call it Orthopagus), and at its foot is the river Molus and a temple of Apollo Thurius. The god got this surname from Thuro, the mother of Chaeron, who was founder of Chaeroneia, according to tradition. [5] But some say that the cow which was given by Apollo to Cadmus as his guide, appeared there, and that the place was named as it is from her, ‘thor’ being the Phoenician word for cow.

As Sulla drew near to Chaeroneia, the tribune who had been stationed in the city, with his men in full armour, came to meet him, carrying a wreath of laurel. [6] After Sulla had accepted this, greeted the soldiers, and animated them for the coming danger, two men of Chaeroneia accosted him, Homolo[iuml ]chus and Anaxidamus, and engaged to cut off the troops in possession of Thurium if he would give them a few soldiers; for there was a path out of sight of the Barbarians, leading from the so-called Petrachus along past the Museum to that part of Thurium which was over their heads, and by taking this path it would not be difficult, they said, to fall upon them and either stone them to death from above, or force them into the plain. [7] After Gabinius had borne testimony to the men's courage and fidelity, Sulla ordered them to make the attempt, while he himself proceeded to form his line of battle, and to dispose his cavalry on either wing, taking command of the right himself, and assigning the left to Murena.3 His lieutenants, Galba and Hortensius, with cohorts of reserves, stationed themselves on the heights in the rear, to guard against attacks on the flanks. For the enemy were observed to be making their wing flexible and light for evolution with large bodies of horse and light infantry, purposing to extend it and envelop the Romans.

1 As described in chapter xix.

2 Near Orchomenus, as described in chapter xxi.

3 Cf. chapter xvii. 3. Archela[uuml ]s had followed Sulla towards Chaeroneia.. leaving Murena free to join his chief.

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