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Conclusion of Book 2 My reason for writing about this war at such length, was the advisability, or rather necessity, in view of the general purpose of my history, of making clear the relations existing between Macedonia and Greece at a time which coincides with the period of which I am about to treat. Just about the same time, by the death of Euergetes,B. C. 284-280. B. C. 224-220. Ptolemy Philopator succeeded to the throne of Egypt. At the same period died Seleucus, son of that Seleucus who had the double surnames of Callinicus and Pogon: he was succeeded on the throne of Syria by his brother Antiochus. The deaths of these three sovereigns—Antigonus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus—fell in the same Olympiad, as was the case with the three immediate successors to Alexander the Great,—Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus,— for the latter all died in the 124th Olympiad, and the former in the 139th. I may now fitly close this book. I have completed the introduction and laid the foundation on which
Hannibal Attacks the Vaccaei Next summer he set out on another expedition against the Vaccaei, in which he took Salmantica by B. C. 220 Hannibal attacks the Vaccaei. assault, but only succeeded in storming Arbucala, owing to the size of the town and the number and valour of its inhabitants, after a laborious siege. After this he suddenly found himself in a position of very great danger on his return march: being set upon by the Carpesii, the strongest tribe in those parts, who were joined also by neighbouring tribes, incited principally by refugees of the Olcades, but roused also to great wrath by those who escaped from Salmantica. If the Carthaginians had been compelled to give these people regular battle, there can be no doubt that they would have been defeated: but as it was, Hannibal, with admirable skill and caution, slowly retreated until he had put the Tagus between himself and the enemy; and thus giving battle at the crossing of the stream, supported by it and the elephants,
Bad Strategy of Aratus But the leaders of the Achaeans, on learning the The battle of Caphyae, B. C. 220. arrival of the Aetolians, adopted a course of proceeding quite unsurpassable for folly. They left the territory of Cleitor and encamped at Caphyae; but the Aetolians marching from Methydrium past the city of Orchomenus, they led the Achaean troops into the plain of Caphyae, and there drew them up for battle, with the river which flows through that plain protecting their front. The difficulty of the ground between them and their enemy, for there were besides the river a number of ditches not easily crossed,Caphyae was on a small plain, which was subject to inundations from the lake of Orchomenus; the ditches here mentioned appear to be those dug to drain this district. They were in the time of Pausanias superseded by a high dyke, from the inner side of which ran the River Tragus (Tara). Pausan. 8, 23, 2. and the show of readiness on the part of the Achaeans for the engagement, ca
Aratus is Denounced and Defends Himself A few days after the events just narrated the ordinary Midsummer, B. C. 220. meeting of the Achaean federal assembly took place, and Aratus was bitterly denounced, publicly as well as privately, as indisputably responsible for this disaster; and the anger of the general public was still further roused and embittered by the invectives of his political opponents. It was shown to every one's satisfaction that Aratus had been guilty of four flagrant errors. His first was that, having taken office before his predecessor's time was legally at an end, he had availed himself of a time properly belonging to another to engage in the sort of enterprise in which he was conscious of having often failed. Attacked at the Achaean Congress, Aratus successfully defends himself. His second and graver error was the disbanding the Achaeans, while the Aetolians were still in the middle of the Peloponnese; especially as he had been well aware beforehand that Scopas a