Philip Decides to Fight at Sea
Having passed this decree, the Achaeans dispersed to
The king prepares to carry on the war by sea.
their various cities. And now the king's forces
mustered again from their winter quarters; and
after deliberations with his friends, Philip
decided to transfer the war to the sea. For he had become
convinced that it was only by so doing that he would himself
be able to surprise the enemy at all points at once, and would
best deprive them of the opportunity of coming to each others'
relief; as they were widely scattered, and each would be in
alarm for their own safety, because the approach of an enemy
by sea is so silent and rapid. For he was at war with three
separate nations,—Aetolians, Lacedaemonians, and Eleans.
Having arrived at this decision, he ordered the ships of
the Achaeans as well as his own to muster at Lechaeum; and
there he made continual experiments in practising the soldiers
of the phalanx to the use of the oar. The Macedonians
answered to his instructions with ready enthusiasm; for they
are in fact the most gallant soldiers on the field of battle, the
promptest to undertake service at sea if need be, and the
most laborious workers at digging trenches, making palisades,
and all such engineering work, in the world: just such as
Hesiod describes the Aeacidae to be
“"Joying in war as in a feast."
The king, then, and the main body of the Macedonian army,
remained in Corinth
, busied with these practisings and preparations for taking the sea.
Fresh intrigue of Apelles.
Apelles, being neither able to retain an ascendency over Philip, nor to submit to the loss of influence which
resulted from this disregard, entered into a conspiracy with
Leontius and Megaleas, by which it was agreed that these two
men should stay on the spot and damage the king's service by
deliberate neglect; while he went to Chalcis
, and contrived
that no supplies should be brought the king from thence for the
promotion of his designs. Having made this arrangement and
mischievous stipulation with these two men, Apelles set out
, having found some false pretexts to satisfy the king
as to his departure. And while protracting his stay there, he
carried out his sworn agreement with such determination, that,
as all men obeyed him because of this former credit, the king was
at last reduced by want of money to pawn some of the silverplate used at his own table,
to carry on his affairs.
Philip starts on his naval expedition, B. C. 218.
However, when the ships were all collected, and
the Macedonian soldiers already well trained to
the oar; the king, giving out rations of corn and pay to the
army, put to sea, and arrived at Patrae
on the second day, with
six thousand Macedonians and twelve hundred mercenaries.