This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The heralds of victory travelled to Rome with the utmost possible speed, but on their arrival they found that the rejoicings over it had forestalled them.  Four days after the battle, while the Games were going on in the Campus Martius, a whispered rumour suddenly spread amongst the whole concourse of spectators to the effect that a battle had taken place in Macedonia resulting in the utter defeat of the king.  Then the rumour grew louder until at last cheers and applause arose as though definite tidings of victory had been brought to them. The magistrates were taken by surprise and enquired who had started this sudden outburst of joy.  As no one could be found the excitement produced by what they had taken for a certainty calmed down, but still they were convinced that it was a happy omen, which was subsequently verified by the arrival of the authentic messengers.  They were delighted quite as much at their prognostications proving true as at the victory itself.  A second outburst amongst the crowd in the Circus is recorded. On 17th September, the second day of the Roman Games, whilst the consul was mounting the stand to start the chariots, a despatch-bearer who said that he had come from Macedonia handed him a despatch wreathed in laurel.  After the chariots were started he mounted his own and, riding across the course to the raised benches where the spectators were seated, held up the laurelled despatch for the people to see. On catching sight of it, the populace, regardless of the races, ran down into the middle of the Circus.  The consul called the senate together there and after obtaining their sanction, read the despatch to the onlookers in their seats. He announced that his colleague Lucius Aemilius had fought a decisive battle with Perseus, that the Macedonian army had been routed and cut to pieces, that the king with [9??] a few of his followers was a fugitive, and that all the cities of Macedonia had passed under the power of Rome.  On hearing this, cheers and frantic applause broke out; most of the men deserted the Games and went home to carry the joyful news to their wives and children.  This was thirteen days after the battle had been fought in Macedonia.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.