There other messengers met him, bringing news of a greater inroad: that the Dardanians pouring into Macedonia were already holding Orestis1
and had come down into the Argestaean Plain; and that it was currently reported among the barbarians that Philip had been slain.
On that raid in which he fought near Sicyon2
with men who were ravaging the country, he was dashed against a tree by his charging horse, and broke off one of the two horns of his helmet against a projecting branch.
It was found by a certain Aetolian and carried into Aetolia to Scerdilaedus, who was acquainted with the ornament of the helmet,
and this spread abroad the report that the king had been slain.
After the departure of the king from Achaia, Sulpicius went with his fleet to Aegina3
and joined Attalus. The Achaeans fought a successful engagement with the Aetolians and Eleans not far from Messene.
King Attalus and Publius Sulpicius spent the winter at Aegina. [p. 345]
At the end of this year Titus Quinctius, the consul,4
after naming Titus Manlius Torquatus dictator for the purpose of holding elections and games, died of his wound.
Some relate that he died at Tarentum, others in Campania. So two consuls —and this had happened in no previous war —losing their lives without a notable battle, had left the state as it were bereft. The dictator Manlius named Gaius Servilius, then a curule aedile, as master of the horse.
The senate on the first day on which it sat ordered the dictator to conduct the great games5
which Marcus Aemilius, the city praetor, had conducted in the consulship of Gaius Flaminius and Gnaeus Servilius and had vowed for the fifth year thereafter.6
At this time the dictator conducted the games and also vowed them for the succeeding lustrum.
But inasmuch as two consular armies were so near the enemy without their commanders, the senate and the people, neglecting everything else, were possessed by one particular concern —to elect consuls at the first possible moment, and to elect especially men whose courage was quite safe against the Carthaginian wiles.
Not only throughout that war, they said, had the over-hasty, fiery temperament of the generals proved ruinous, but in that very year the consuls in their excessive eagerness to engage with the enemy had fallen unawares into a trap.
But, they added, the immortal gods, taking pity upon the Roman people, had spared the innocent armies, and had punished the rashness of the consuls by the loss of their own lives.