Page images

Sect. III. Various expeditions of Philip against

the enemies of the Achæans. Apelles, his prime minister, abuses his confidence in an extraordinary munner. Philip makes an inroad into Ætolia. Therme taken at the first assault. Excesses of Philip's soldiers in that city. Prudent retreat of that prince. Tumults in the camp. Punishment of those who had occasioned them. Inroad of Philipinto Laconia. The conspirators form new cabals. Punishment inflicted on them. A peace is proposed between Philip and the Achæans on one side, and the Ætolians on the other, which

at last is concluded. We have already related, that Philip king of Macedon, being called in by the Achæans to their aid, was come to Corinth, where their general assembly was held, and that there war had been unanimously declared against the Ætolians. The king returned afterwards to Macedonia, to make the necessary preparations for carrying on the war.

Philip brought over Scerdiledes to the alliance with the Achæans. He was, as has been observed, a petty king of Illyria. The Ætolians, whose ally he was, had broke their engagements with him, by refusing to give him a certain share of the spoils they had made at the taking of Cynethium, accord. ing to the articles agreed upon between thein. Philip embraced with joy this opportunity of revenging their perfidy.

· Demetrius of Pharos joined also with Philip. We have already seen that the Romans, in whose favour he had declared at first, had bestowed on him several of the cities they had conquered in Illyria. As the chief revenue of those petty princes had

9 Polyb. 1. iv. p. 294-306. Polyb. 1. iii. p. 171-174. Lib. iv. p. 285–305-330.

consisted hitherto in the spoils they got from their neighbours ; when the Romaus were removed, lie could not forbear plundering the cities and territories subject to them. Besides, Demetrius, as well as Scerdiledes, had sailed, on the same design, beyond the city of Issus; which was a direct infraction of the chief article of the treaty, concluded with queen Teuta. For these reasons the Romans declared war against Demetrius. Accordingly Æmilius attacked him with great vigour, dispossessed him of his strongest fortresses, and besieged him in Pharos, from whence he escaped with the utmost difficulty. The city surrendered to the Romans. Demetrius, being dispossessed of all his dominions, fled to Philip, who received him with open arms. This offended the Romans very much, who thereupon sent ambasdors to him, demanding Demetrius to be delivered up However Philip, who revolved at that time the design which broke out soon after, paid no regard to their demand, and Demetrius spent the remainder of his days with that monarch. He was a valiant and bold man, but at the same time rash and inconsiderate in his enterprises; and his courage was entirely void of prudence and judgment.

The Achæans, being on the point of engaging in a considerable war, sent to their allies. The Acara nanians joined them very cheerfully, though at their great danger, as they lay nearest the Ætolians, and consequently were most exposed to the inroads of that people.

Polybius praises their fidelity exceedingly.

The people of Epirus did not show so much good will, and seemed desirous of continuing neuter: Nevertheless, they engaged in the war a little after.

Deputies were also sent to king Ptolemy, to desire him not to assist the Ætolians either with troops or money.

The Messenians, for whose sake that war had been

s Liv. 1. xxij. 1. 33.

first begun, no way answered the hopes which had been naturally entertained, viz. of their employing their whole force to carry it on.

The Lacedæmonians had declared at first for the Achæans; but the contrary faction caused the de. eree to be reversed, and they joined the Ætolians. It was on this occasion, as I have said before, that Agesipolis and Lycurgus were elected kings of Sparta

Aratus the younger, son of the great Aratus, was at that time supreme magistrate of the Achæans, and Scopas was the same over the Ætolians.

Philip marched from Macedonia with fifteen thousand foot and eight hundred horse. Having crossed Thessaly, he arrived in Epirus. Had he marched directly to the Ætolians, he would have come upon them unawares, and have defeated them: but, at the request of the Epirots, he laid siege to Ambracia, which employed him forty days, and gave the enemy time to prepare for, and wait bis coming up. They did more. Scopas, at the head of a body of Ætolians, advanced into Macedonia, made dreadful havoc, and returned in a very short time laden with spoils, which did him prodigious honour, and greatly animated his forces. However

, this did not hinder Philip from entering Ætolia, and seizing on a great number of important fortresses. He would have entirely conquered it, had not the news he received, that the Dardanians* intended to make an inroad into his kingdom, obliged him to return thither. At his departure, he promised the ambassadors of the Achæans to return soon to their assistance. His sudden arrival disconcerted the Dar. danians, and put a stop to their enterprise. He then returned to Thessaly, with an intention to pass the rest of the summer in Larissa.

"In the mean time Dorimachus, whom the Æto

· Polyb. 1. iv. p. 325-330. u Polyb. I. iv. p. 330-336. * These people were neighbours of Macedonia, on the north of that kingdom.

lians had just before rominated their general, entered Epirus, laid waste all the open country, and did not spare even the teniple of Dodona.

Philip, though it was now the depth of winter, having left Larissa, arrived at Corinth, without any one's having had the least notice of his march. He there ordered the elder Aratus to attend hiin, and by a letter to his son, who commanded the forces this year, gave him orders whither to march them. Caphyia was to be the rendezvous. Euripidas, who knew nothing of Philip's arrival, was then marching a detachment of above two thousand natives of Elis, to lay waste the territory of Sicyone. They fell into the hands of Philip, and and all except an hundred were either killed or taken prisoners.

The king, having joined Aratus the younger with his forces, at the rendezvous appointed, marched towards Psophis*, in order to besiege it. This was a very daring attempt; for the city was thought al. most impregnable, as well from its natural situation, as from the fortifications which had been added to it. It being the depth of winter, the inhabitants were of opinion that no one would, or even could, attack them: Philip, however, did it with success; for, first the city, and afterwards the citadel, surrendered, after making some resistance. As they were very far from expecting to be besieged, the want of ammunition and provisions very much facilitated the taking of that city. Philip gave it very generously to the Achæans, to whom it was of the most signal service; assuring them that there was nothing he desired more than to oblige them; and to give them the strongest proofs of his zeal and affection for their interest. A prince who acts in this manner is truly great, and does honour to the royal dignity.

From thence, after possessing himself of some other cities, which he also gave to his allies, he marched to Elis, in order to lay it waste.

It was

[blocks in formation]

very rich and populous, and the inhabitants of the country were in a flourishing condition. Formerly this territory had been accounted sacred, on account of the Olympic games solemnized there every four years; and all the nations of Greece had agreed not to infest or carry war into it. But the Eleans had themselves been the occasion of their losing that privilege, because, like other states, they had engaged in the wars of Greece. Here Philip got a very considerable booty, with which he enriched his troops, after which he retired to Olympia.

* Among the several courtiers of king Philip, Apelles held the chief rank, and had a great ascen. dant over his sovereign, whose governor he had been: but, as generally happens on these occasions, he very much abused his power, which he employed wholly in oppressing particular persons and states. He had taken it into his head, to reduce the Achæans to the same condition in which Thessaly was at that time; that is, to subject them absolutely to the commands of the ministers of Macedonia, by leaving them only the name and a yain shadow of liberty, and to accustom them to the yoke, he spared them no kind of injurious treatment. Aratus complained of this to Philip, who was highly exasperated upon that account; and accordingly assured him, he would give such orders, that nothing of that kind should happen for the future. Accordingly, he enjoined Apelles never to lay any commands on the Achæans, but in concert with their general. This was behaving with an indolent tenderness towards a statesman, who having so shamefully abused his master's confidence, had therefore deserved to be entirely disgraced. The Achæans, overjoyed at the favour which Philip showed them, and with the orders he had given for their peace and security, were continually bestowing the highest encomiuins on that prince, and extolling his exalted qualities. And, indeed, he possessed all

* Polyb. 1. iv. p. 338, 339.

« PreviousContinue »