And now the ten commissioners, who had been sent to Titus by the senate, advised him to give the rest of the Greeks their freedom, but to retain Corinth, Chalcis, and Demetrias under garrisons, as a safeguard against Antiochus. Thereupon the Aetolians stirred up the cities with the most vociferous denunciations, ordering Titus to strike off the shackles of Greece (for that is what Philip was wont to call these three cities),
and asking the Greeks whether they were glad to have a fetter now which was smoother than the one they had worn before, but heavier; and whether they admired Titus as a benefactor because he had unshackled the foot of Greece and put a collar round her neck. Titus was troubled and distressed at this, and by labouring with the commission finally persuaded it to free these cities also from their garrisons, in order that his gift to the Greeks might be whole and entire.
Accordingly, at the Isthmian games, where a great throng of people were sitting in the stadium and watching the athletic contests (since, indeed, after many years Greece had at last ceased from wars waged in hopes of freedom, and was now holding festival in time of assured peace), the trumpet signalled a general silence,
and the herald, coming forward into the midst of the spectators, made proclamation that the Roman senate and Titus Quintius Flamininus proconsular general, having conquered King Philip and the Macedonians, restored to freedom, without garrisons and without imposts, and to the enjoyment of their ancient laws, the Corinthians, the Locrians, the Phocians, the Euboeans, the Achaeans of Phthiotis, the Magnesians, the Thessalians, and the Perrhaebians. At first, then, the proclamation was by no means generally or distinctly heard, but there was a confused and tumultuous movement in the stadium of people who wondered what had been said, and asked one another questions about it, and called out to have the proclamation made again;
but when silence had been restored, and the herald in tones that were louder than before and reached the ears of all, had recited the proclamation, a shout of joy arose, so incredibly loud that it reached the sea. The whole audience rose to their feet, and no heed was paid to the contending athletes, but all were eager to spring forward and greet and hail the saviour and champion of Greece.
And that which is often said of the volume and power of the human voice was then apparent to the eye. For ravens which chanced to be flying overhead fell down into the stadium. The cause of this was the rupture of the air; for when the voice is borne aloft loud and strong, the air is rent asunder by it and will not support flying creatures, but lets them fall, as if they were over a vacuum, unless, indeed, they are transfixed by a sort of blow, as of a weapon, and fall down dead.1
It is possible, too, that in such cases there is a whirling motion of the air, which becomes like a waterspout at sea with a refluent flow of the surges caused by their very volume.