For the first three days the king was unable to make
Thebes is taken, its inhabitants enslaved, and its name changed to Philippopolis.
any progress in bringing his machines against
the town, owing to the gallant and even desperate defence which the garrison opposed to him.
But when the continual skirmishing, and the
volleys of missiles, had began to tell upon the
defenders, and some of them were killed and others disabled by wounds; the defence becoming a little slacker, the
Macedonians began sinking mines, and at last after nine days'
work reached the walls. They then carried on the work by
relays, so as never to leave it off day or night: and thus in three
days had undermined and underpinned two hundred feet of
the wall. The props, however, proved too weak to support
the weight, and gave way; so that the wall fell without the
Macedonians having the trouble of setting fire to them.
When they had worked energetically at clearing the debris, and
had made every preparation for entering by the breach, and
were just on the point of carrying it, the Thebans in a panic
surrendered the town. The security which this achievement
of Philip's gave to Magnesia
Aetolians of a rich field for plunder; and demonstrated to his
army that he had been justified in putting Leontius to death,
for his deliberate treachery in the previous siege of Palae.
Having thus become master of Thebes
he sold its existing
inhabitants into slavery, and drafting in some Macedonian
settlers changed its name to Philippopolis
Just as the king had finished the settlement of Thebes
ambassadors once more came from Chios
and King Ptolemy to negotiate terms of peace. He answered
them in much the same terms as he had the former,1
was not averse to peace; and bade them go and find out
what the feelings of the Aetolians were. Meanwhile he himself cared little about making peace, but continued steadily
to prosecute his designs.