Perseus, placing a garrison in Uscana, carried away to Stubera the whole multitude of prisoners, almost equal to his army in number.
He then distributed the Romans, who amounted to four thousand, besides officers, among several cities, to be kept in custody; and, having sold the Uscanians and Illyrians, led back his army to Penestia, to reduce the city of Oaeneus:
the town is advantageously situated in other respects, and besides, in that direction there is a passage into the country of the Labeatians, where Gentius was king.
As he passed by a fort, named Draudacum, which was full of men, one of the persons, well acquainted with the country, told him that “there was no use in taking Oaeneus unless he had Draudacum in his power; for the latter was situated more advantageously in every respect.”
When his army was brought against it, the garrison surrendered unanimously and at once. Encouraged by the surrender of this place, which was earlier than he hoped, and perceiving what terrors his march diffused, by taking advantage of the like fears, he reduced eleven other forts to submission.
Against a very few he had occasion to use force; the rest submitted voluntarily; among whom one thousand five hundred Roman soldiers were taken, who had been divided among the Roman garrisons.
Carvilius Spoletinus was very serviceable to him in his conferences with the garrison, by declaring that no severity had been shown to his own party. At length he arrived at Oaeneus, which could not be taken without a regular siege. The town possessed a much greater number of young men than the others, and was strong in its fortifications.
It was enclosed on one side by a river called Artatus, and on another by a very high mountain of difficult access; these circumstances gave the inhabitants courage to make resistance.
Perseus, having drawn lines of circumvallation, began, on the higher ground, to raise a mound, which he intended should [p. 2053]
exceed the wall in height.
By the time that this work was completed, the besieged, in their many actions, when sallying out to defend their works, or to obstruct those of the enemy, had lost great numbers by various chances; while the survivors were rendered useless by wounds, and by continual labour both in the day and night.
As soon as the mound was brought close to the wall, the royal cohort (the men of which are called Nicators) rushed from it into the town, while an assault was made by scalade in many places at once.
All the males, who had reached the age of puberty, were put to the sword, their wives and children were thrown into confinement, and every thing else was given as booty to the soldiers.
Returning thence victorious to Stubera, he sent, as ambassadors to Gentius, —Pleuratus, an Illyrian, who lived in exile at his court, and Adaeus, a Macedonian, from Berœa.
He gave them instructions to represent his exploits against the Romans and Dardanians during the preceding summer and winter, and to add the recent operations of his winter campaign in Illyria, and to exhort Gentius to unite with him and the Macedonians in a treaty of friendship.