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Battle of Pydna

An eclipse of the moon occurring, the report went abroad, and was believed by many, that it signified an eclipse of the king. And this circumstance raised the spirits of the Romans and depressed those of the Macedonians. So true is the common saying that "war has many a groundless scare."1 . . .

Perseus finding himself thus on the point of being outflanked retired on Pydna, near which town Aemilius Paulus, after considerable delay, about midsummer inflicted a crushing defeat upon him. Perseus fled to Amphipolis, and thence to Samothrace, where he was captured by Paulus and taken to Rome to adorn his triumph, and afterwards allowed to live as a private person at Alba. This was the end of the Macedonian kingdom. (Livy, 44, 36-43; 45, 1-8. Plutarch, Aemil. 16-23.)

1 The Roman was saved from a scare by the eclipse being foretold by Gaius Sulpicius Gallus, famous for his knowledge of Greek literature and astronomy. He is represented by Cicero as explaining the celestial globe (sphaera) which Marcellus brought from Syracuse. He was consul in B. C. 166. Livy, 44, 37; Cicero, Brut. § 78; de Repub. 1, § 21.

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166 BC (1)
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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (5):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 45, 1
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 44, 36
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 44, 37
    • Cicero, De Republica, 1.21
    • Plutarch, Aemilius Paullus, 16
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