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The Third Macedonian War
Mylae, the next town he came to, was so strongly fortified that confidence in the impregnability of their walls made the townsmen defiant; they were not content to close their gates to the king, they even hurled taunts and insults upon him and the Macedonians.  This made their enemy all the more furious in the assault, and the citizens, despairing of pardon, were all the more resolute in their defence.  So for three days the city was attacked, with the utmost determination on both sides. The vast numbers of the Macedonians made it easy for them to take their turn in the fighting; the same defenders had to guard the walls night and day, and were becoming exhausted not only by their many wounds, but also by want of sleep and incessant exertion.  On the fourth day, while the scaling-ladders were being raised against the walls and the gate was being attacked with greater violence than usual, the townsmen, after driving the danger from the walls, ran down to defend the gate and made a sudden sortie.  This was due more to impetuosity and rage than to any well-grounded confidence in their strength and, reduced as they were in numbers and with weary and worn-out bodies, they were repulsed by the enemy who was fresh and vigorous.  They turned and fled, and in their flight through the open gate let in the enemy. In this way the city was taken and sacked; even the free population, as many as survived, were sold as slaves. After wrecking and burning most of the city, Perseus marched on to Phalanna, and on the following day arrived at Gyrto.  On learning that T. Minucius Rufus and the Thessalian captain-general Hippias had entered this place with a body of troops he did not even attempt an assault, but marched past it and captured Elatia and Gonnus, the inhabitants being utterly dismayed by his unlooked-for appearance.  Both towns are situated at the entrance to the Vale of Tempe, Gonnus lying further within. He garrisoned it with a strong force of infantry and cavalry, and in addition left it defended with a triple moat and rampart.  Marching on to Sycurium he decided to await the enemy there and ordered the army to collect corn in all parts of the hostile territory.  Sycurium is at the foot of Mount Ossa on the south side, it overlooks the plains of Thessaly; behind it lie Macedonia and Magnesia. In addition to these advantages it possesses a perfectly healthy climate and a perennial supply of water which flows [11??] in abundance from the many springs round.
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