A Rapid March To Thermus
Leontius saw that it was likely that the king would attain
Leontius tries to hinder the march.
his object, and the Aetolians be unable to
resist him, for the double reason of the speed
and unexpectedness of the Macedonian attack,
and of his having gone to Thermus; for the Aetolians would
never suppose him likely to venture to expose himself so
rashly, seeing the strongly fortified nature of the country,
and would therefore be sure to be caught off their guard and
wholly unprepared for the danger. Clinging still to his
purpose, therefore, he advised the king to encamp on the
Achelous, and rest his army after their night's march; being
anxious to give the Aetolians a short respite to make preparations
for their defence. But Aratus, seeing clearly that the
opportunity for action was fleeting, and that Leontius was
plainly trying to hinder their success, conjured Philip not to
let slip the opportunity by delaying.
The king was now thoroughly annoyed with Leontius: and
The king crosses the Achelous and advances against Thermus.
accepting the advice of Aratus, continued his
march without interruption; and, after crossing
the Achelous, advanced rapidly upon Thermus,
plundering and devastating the country as he
went, and marching so as to keep Stratus, Agrinium, and
Thestia on his left, Conope, Lysimachia, Trichonium, and
Phytaeum on his right. Arrived at the town of Metapa, which
is on the borders of the Trichonian Lake, and close to the
narrow pass along it, about sixty stades from Thermus, he
found it abandoned by the Aetolians, and occupied it with a
detachment of five hundred men, with a view of its serving as
a fortress to secure both ends of the pass: for the whole shore
of the lake is mountainous and rugged, closely fringed with
forest, and therefore affording but a narrow and difficult path.
He now arranged his order of march, putting the mercenaries
in the van, next them the Illyrians, and then the peltasts and
the men of the phalanx, and thus advanced through the pass;
his rear protected by the Cretans: while the Thracians and
light-armed troops took a different line of country, parallel to
his own, and kept up with him on his right: his left being
secured by the lake for nearly thirty stades.