EARLY in the spring which succeeded the winter in which these transactions took place, the consul, Quintus Marcius Philippus, set out from Rome, with five thousand men, whom he was to carry over to reinforce his legions, and arrived at Brundusium. Marcus Popilius, of consular rank, and other young men of equal dignity, accompanied him, in the capacity of military tribunes for the legions in Macedonia.
Nearly at the same time, Caius Marcius Figulus, the praetor, whose province was the fleet, came to Brundusium; and, both sailing from Italy, made Corcyra on the second day, and Actium, a port of Acarnania, on the third.
The consul, then, disembarking at Ambracia, proceeded towards Thessaly by land. The praetor, doubling Cape Leucate, sailed into the gulf of Corinth; then, leaving his ships at Creusa, he went by land also through the middle of Bœotia, and, by a quick journey of one day, came to the fleet at Chalcis.
Aulus Hostilius at that time lay encamped in Thessaly, near Palaepharsalus; and though he had performed no warlike act of any consequence, yet he had reformed his troops from a state of dissolute licentiousness, and brought them to exact military discipline; had [p. 2058]
faithfully consulted the interest of the allies, and defended them from every kind of injury.
On hearing of his successor's approach, he carefully inspected the arms, men, and horses; and then, with the army in complete order, he marched out to meet the consul. Their first meeting was such as became their own dignity and the Roman character; and in transacting business afterwards, they preserved the greatest harmony and propriety.1
The proconsul, addressing himself to the troops, exhorted them to behave with courage, and with due respect to the orders of their commander. He then recommended them, in warm terms, to the consul, and, as
soon as he had despatched the necessary affairs, set off for Rome.2
A few days after, the consul
made a speech to his soldiers, which began with the unnatural
murder which Perseus had perpetrated on his brother, and meditated against his father; he then mentioned “his acquisition of the kingdom by nefarious practices; his poisonings and murders; his abominable attempt to
assassinate Eumenes; the injuries he had committed against the Roman people; and his plundering the cities of their allies, in violation of the treaty.” “How detestable such proceedings were in the sight of the gods, Perseus would feel,” he said, “in the issue of his
affairs; for the gods always favoured righteous and honourable dealings; by means of which the Roman people had risen to so great an exaltation.” He next compared the strength of the Roman people, which now embraced the whole world, with that of Macedonia, and the armies of the one with those of the
other; and then added, “How much more powerful armies of Philip and Antiochus had been conquered by forces not more numerous than the present!”