The Return From Thermus
To return then to Philip. Taking with him as much
The return of Philip from Thermus.
booty living and dead as he could, he started
from Thermus, returning by the same road as
that by which he had come; putting the booty
and heavy-armed infantry in the van, and reserving the
Acarnanians and mercenaries to bring up the rear. He was
in great haste to get through the difficult passes, because he
expected that the Aetolians, relying on the security of their
strongholds, would harass his rear. And this in fact promptly
took place: for a body of Aetolians, that had collected to the
number of nearly three thousand for the defence of the
country, under the command of Alexander of Trichonium,
hovered about, concealing themselves in certain secret hiding-places, and not venturing to approach as long as Philip was
on the high ground; but as soon as he got his rear-guard in
motion they promptly threw themselves into Thermus and
began harassing the hindermost of the enemy's column. The
rear being thus thrown into confusion, the attacks and charges
of the Aetolians became more and more furious, encouraged
by the nature of the ground. But Philip had foreseen this
danger, and had provided for it, by stationing his Illyrians
and his best peltasts under cover of a certain hill on the
descent. These men suddenly fell upon the advanced bodies
of the enemy as they were charging; whereupon the rest of
the Aetolian army fled in headlong haste over a wild and
trackless country, with a loss of a hundred and thirty killed, and
about the same number taken prisoners.
This success relieved
his rear; which, after burning Pamphium, accomplished the
passage of the narrow gorge with rapidity and safety, and
effected a junction with the Macedonians near
Matape, at which place Philip had pitched a
camp and was waiting for his rear-guard to come up.
day, after levelling Metape to the ground, he advanced to the
city called Acrae
; next day to Conope, ravaging
the country as he passed, and there encamped
for the night.
On the next he marched along the Achelous as
far as Stratus; there he crossed the river, and,
having halted his men out of range, endeavoured
to tempt the garrison outside the walls; for he had been informed that two thousand Aetolian
infantry and about four hundred horse, with five hundred Cretans, had collected into Stratus.
But when no one ventured out, he renewed his march, and
ordered his van to advance towards Limnaea and the ships.