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Illyrian War Successfully Finished

A violent struggle at once began: and, as it went on,
Capture of Pharos.
division after division of the troops in the city came down to support him, until at length the whole force had poured out to take part in the engagement. The Romans who had landed in the night arrived at the critical moment, after a march by an obscure route; and seizing a strong position on some rising ground between the city and the harbour, efficiently cut off from the city the troops that had sallied out. When Demetrius became aware of what had taken place, he desisted from opposing the disembarkation; and having rallied his men and addressed the ranks, he put them in motion, with the resolution of fighting a pitched battle with the troops on the hill. When the Romans saw the Illyrian advance being made in good order and with great spirit, they formed their ranks and charged furiously. At the same moment the Roman troops which had just effected their landing, seeing what was going on, charged the enemy on the rear, who being thus attacked on both sides, were thrown into great disorder and confusion. The result was that, finding both his van and his rear in difficulties, Demetrius fled. Some of his men retreated towards the city; but most of them escaped by bye-paths into various parts of the island. Demetrius himself made his way to some galleys which he kept at anchor at a solitary point on the coast, with a view to every contingency; and going on board, he sailed away at nightfall, and arrived unexpectedly at the court of King Philip, where he passed the remainder of his life:—a man whose undoubted boldness and courage were unsupported by either prudence or judgment. His end was of a piece with the whole tenor of his life; for while endeavouring at the instigation of Philip to seize Messene, he exposed himself during the battle with a careless rashness which cost him his life; of which I shall speak in detail when I come to that period.

The Consul Aemilius having thus taken Pharos at a blow, levelled the city to the ground; and then having become master of all Illyria, and having ordered all its affairs as he thought right, returned towards the end of the summer to Rome, where he celebrated a triumph amid expressions of unmixed approval; for people considered that he had managed this business with great prudence and even greater courage.

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    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 31.31
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