Perseus, having at length recovered his spirits, after the panic with which he had been seized, began to wish that obedience had not been paid to the orders which he had given in his fright, to throw the treasures at Pella into the sea, and to burn the naval arsenals at Thessalonica.
Andronicus, indeed, whom he had sent to Thessalonica, had spun out the
time, leaving him time for repentance, which actually took place; but Nicias, less provident, threw into the sea [p. 2068]
what money he found at Pella.
He seems, however, to have fallen into a mistake which was not without remedy, inasmuch as the greatest part of that treasure was brought up again by divers. Nevertheless, such shame did the king feel for his terror on the occasion, that he caused the divers to be privately put to death, together with Andronicus and Nicias, that there might be no living witnesses of so preposterous an order.
In the mean time, Caius Marcius, with the fleet, sailed from Heracleum to Thessalonica. Landing his men, he made wide depredations on the country; and when the troops from the city came out against him, he defeated them in several actions, and drove them back in dismay within their walls.
He even alarmed the city itself; but the townsmen, erecting engines of every kind, wounded, with stones thrown from them, not only such as straggled carelessly near the walls, but even those who were on board the ships.
He therefore re-embarked his troops; and giving up the design of besieging Thessalonica, proceeded thence to Aenia, fifteen miles distant, situated opposite to Pydna, in a fertile country. After ravaging the lands in that quarter, he coasted along the shore until he arrived at Antigonea.
Here his troops landed, and for some time carried their depredations through all the country round, putting a great deal of booty on board the ships;
but afterwards a party of Macedonians, consisting of foot and horse intermixed, fell upon them as they straggled, and, pursuing them as they fled to the shore, killed near five hundred, and took as many prisoners.
Extreme necessity, on finding themselves hindered from safely regaining their vessels, roused the courage of the Roman soldiers, at once with despair of any other means of safety, (than by resistance,) and also with indignation.
They renewed the fight on the shore, and those who were on board assisted them; and here about two hundred Macedonians were killed, and a like number taken. From Antigonea the fleet sailed on to the district of Pallene, where a descent was made for the purpose of plundering.
This district belonged to the territory of Cassandrea, and was by far the most plentiful of any at which they had yet touched on the coast. There they were met by king Eumenes, who came from Elea with twenty decked ships; and king Prusias also sent thither five ships of war.