But though a massacre was made of the infantry on all sides, except those who threw away their arms and fled, the cavalry quitted the field with scarcely any loss.
The king himself was the first in flight. With the sacred squadrons of horse he took the road to Pella, and was quickly followed by [p. 2110]
Cotys and the Odrysian cavalry.
The other wings of the Macedonians, likewise, went off with full ranks: because, as the line of infantry stood in the way, the slaughter of them detained the conquerors, and made them careless of pursuing the cavalry.
For a long time, the men of the phalanx were cut off, in front, on the flanks, and on the rear; at last, such as could avoid the enemy's hands, fled unarmed towards the sea; some even ran into the water, and, stretching out their hands to those on board the fleet, humbly begged their lives.
And when they saw boats coming from all the ships, supposing that they were coming to take them in rather than to slay them, advanced farther into the water, so that some of them even swam.
But, when they were cut to pieces as enemies by the boats, such as were able regained the land by swimming back, where they met with a more dreadful death; for the elephants, which their riders had driven down to the shore, trod them under foot, and crushed them in pieces.
It was generally acknowledged, that the Macedonians never lost so great a number of men in any battle with the Romans; for their killed amounted to twenty thousand; six thousand, who made their escape from the field to Pydna, fell alive into the hands of the Romans, and five thousand were taken straggling through the country.
Of the victorious army there fell not more than one hundred, the greater part of whom were Pelignians; but a much greater number were wounded.
If the battle had been begun earlier, so that the conquerors might have had daylight enough for a pursuit, all their troops must have been utterly destroyed. As it happened, the approach of night both screened the fugitives, and made the Romans unwilling to follow them through an unknown country.