Cassius Dio
Roman History


Fragments of Book XVIII



As long as the struggle with the Carthaginians was at its height, they treated Philip with consideration, even though his attitude toward them was not one of friendliness; for they wished to prevent him from combining with the Carthaginians or making an expedition into Italy. But as soon as they were at peace with Carthage, they no longer hesitated, but embarked upon open warfare with him, charging him with many injuries. Accordingly, they sent envoys to him, and when he complied with none of their demands, declared war. They took as a pretext his attack upon the Greeks, but their real reason was irritation at his general behaviour and a determination to forestall him, so that he should not be able to enslave Greece and make an expedition against Italy after the manner of Pyrrhus. And having declared war, they not only made thorough preparations in other respects, but also associated with Sulpicius Galba Lucius Apustius as admiral of the fleet. Now Galba after crossing the Ionian Gulf was sick for some time; and accordingly the admiral just mentioned and the lieutenant, Claudius Cento, took charge of the whole force. Cento with the aid of the fleet rescued Athens, which was being besieged by the Macedonians, and sacked Chalcis, which was occupied by the same enemy. Meanwhile Philip marched against Athens, but Cento, returning, drove him back for the time being, and also repulsed him again on the occasion of a subsequent assault. Apustius, while Philip was busy with Greece, had invaded Macedonia, and was plundering the country as well as subduing garrisons and cities. For these reasons Philip was at his wit's end, and for a time rushed about hither and thither, defending now one place and now another. This he did until his own country came to be severely harried by Apustius,

Zonaras, cont.
Tzetzes in Lycophr. Alex. 1128
and the Dardanians, who dwell above the Illyrians and the Macedonians,
I found the Dardanians to be a race dwelling above the Illyrians and the Macedonians.

were injuring the part of Macedonia close to their borders, and some Illyrians, together with Amynander, king of the Athamanians, a Thessalian tribe, though they had previously been his allies, now transferred themselves to the Roman side. In view of all this he became suspicious of the loyalty of the Aetolians and feared for his interests at home, and he hastened thither with the larger part of his army. Apustius, apprised of his approach, retired; for by this time it was winter.

Galba, on recovering from his illness, made ready a still larger force and at the beginning of spring hastened into Macedonia.


... And they delayed for several days, not meeting in battle array, but engaging in skirmishes and encounters with the light-armed troops and the cavalry. The Romans, for their part, were eager to join battle with all speed; for their force was a strong one and they had few provisions, and consequently they would often advance even to the foe's palisade. Philip, on the other hand, was weaker in point of armed followers, but his supply of provisions was better than theirs because his own country was close by; so he waited, expecting to wear them out without a conflict, and if he had possessed self-control, he certainly would have accomplished something. As it was, he became contemptuous of the Romans, thinking that they feared him, because they had transferred their camp to a certain place from which they could get food more readily; he thereupon attacked them unexpectedly while they were engaged in plundering and managed to kill a few. On perceiving this, Galba made a sortie from the camp, attacked him while off his guard and slew many more in his turn. Philip, defeated and also wounded, no longer held his ground, but after arranging a truce of some days, ostensibly for the taking up and burial of the dead, he withdrew on the very first night. Galba, however, did not follow him up; for being short of provisions, ignorant of the country, and in particular not knowing his adversary's strength, he feared that if he advanced incautiously anywhere he might come to grief. For these reasons he was unwilling to proceed farther, but retired with his men to Apollonia. During this time Apustius with the Rhodians and with Attalus cruised about and subjugated many of the islands ...

... the Insubres were stirred up. Hamilcar, a Carthaginian, who had served with Mago and had remained unnoticed in those regions, had been keeping quiet for the time being, satisfied if only he might elude discovery; but as soon as the Macedonian war broke out, he caused the Gauls to revolt from the Romans. Then with the rebels he made an expedition against the Ligurians and won over some of them also; later they had a battle with the praetor Lucius Furius, were defeated, and sent envoys asking for peace. The Ligurians obtained this ..... he thought he ought to be granted a triumph, and many arguments were presented on both sides. Some, especially in view of the animosity shown by Aurelius, eagerly furthered his cause, magnifying his victory, and citing many precedents. Others declared he had contended with the consul's troops and had no independent authority of his own; and furthermore they even demanded an explanation from him for his failure to carry out his instructions. However, he won his triumph, which he celebrated before Aurelius returned (?).

Vermina ... from the ...

When the two leaders drew near each other they pitched camp opposite each other and engaged in skirmishes with the cavalry and light-armed troops. But when the Romans transferred their camp to a certain place from which they could get food more easily, Philip thought they had shifted their position out of fear of him; therefore he attacked them unexpectedly while they were engaged in plundering and killed a few of them. Galba, on perceiving this, made a sortie from the camp, attacked him and slew many more in his turn. Philip, then, defeated and wounded, withdrew at nightfall. Galba, however, did not follow him up, but retired to Apollonia. Apustius with the Rhodians and with Attalus cruised about and subjugated many of the islands.

About the same time Hamilcar, a Carthaginian who had served with Mago in Italy and had remained there unnoticed, keeping quiet for the time being, caused the Gauls, as soon as the Macedonian war broke out, to revolt from the Romans; then with the rebels he made an expedition against the Ligurians and won over some of them also. They fought with Lucius Furius the praetor, were defeated, and sent envoys regarding peace. The Ligurians obtained this, but it was not granted to the others. Instead, Aurelius the consul, who was jealous of the praetor's victory, conducted a retaliatory campaign against them.

The following year a great deal of havoc was caused by Hamilcar and the Gauls. They conquered the praetor Gnaeus Baebius, overran the territory which was in alliance with the Romans, besieged Placentia, and after capturing it razed it to the ground.

To return to the campaign in Greece and Macedonia — Publius Villius the consul was encamped opposite Philip, who had previously occupied the passes of Epirus, through which are the approaches to Macedonia. Philip had extended a wall across the entire space between the mountains and held a formidable position, but the consul Titus Flamininus at the end of winter got around the wall with a few followers by a narrow path. And appearing suddenly on higher ground, he terrified Philip, who thought that the whole army of Titus had got inside the pass. Hence he fell back into Macedonia at once. The consul did not pursue him, but won over the cities in Epirus. He also went into Thessaly and detached a good part of it from Philip, and then retired into Phocis and Boeotia. While he was besieging Elatea his brother Lucius Flamininus in company with Attalus and the Rhodians was subjugating the islands. Finally, after the capture of Cenchreae, they learned that envoys had been sent to the Achaeans to see about an alliance, and they despatched some themselves in turn, the Athenians also joining the embassy. And at first the opinions of the Achaeans were divided, some wishing to vote an alliance with Philip and some with the Romans; eventually, however, they voted assistance to the latter. And they joined in an expedition against Corinth, where they succeeded in demolishing portions of the wall, but retired after losses suffered through sorties on the part of the citizens.

Then Philip, fearing that many cities might be taken, made overtures to the consul regarding peace. The latter accepted his proposals and they and their allies met together; but nothing was accomplished except that permission was granted Philip to send envoys to Rome. Nor was anything effected there either. For when the Greeks insisted that he depart from Corinth and Chalcis and from Demetrias in Thessaly, the envoys of Philip said they had received no instructions on this point; and they departed without accomplishing anything.

The people of Rome voted to Flamininus the command in Greece for another year and also committed to his charge the campaign against Philip. Accordingly, since he was to remain at his post, he set about preparing for war, the more readily because the Lacedemonian tyrant, Nabis, although a friend of Philip, from whom he had received Argos, had made peace with him. It was because Philip was unable to look after so many districts at once and because he feared the city might be seized by the Romans that he had entrusted Argos to Nabis, to be restored again.

In a campaign of the consul Aelius Paetus against the Gauls many perished on both sides in the conflicts, and no advantage was gained. Furthermore, the Carthaginian hostages, together with the slaves accompanying them and the captives who had been sold to various persons, had the hardihood to take possession of the several cities in which they were living; but after slaughtering many of the native population they were overthrown by the praetor Cornelius Lentulus before they had done any more mischief. The Gauls, however, elated by their successes, and aware of the fact that the Romans were paying only slight heed to the war against them, prepared to march upon Rome itself. The Romans consequently became afraid and sent both the consuls, Cornelius Cethegus and Minucius Rufus, against the Gauls. The consuls parted company and each ravaged a different district; accordingly the enemy also divided forces to meet them. One band under Hamilcar encountered Cethegus and was defeated; the rest upon learning of this became faint-hearted and would no longer face Rufus, and he consequently overran the country at will. Those who had fought against Cethegus then made peace, while the remainder still continued under arms.

At this time Flamininus in company with Attalus reduced the whole of Boeotia. Attalus, however, expired of old age in the midst of a speech which he was making to the people there; and Flamininus went into Thessaly, where he came into collision with Philip. It was only a cavalry skirmish in which they engaged, for the ground was not suitable for a battle on a larger scale; hence both withdrew. And having reached a certain hill, the top ridge of which is called Dog's Head [Cynoscephalê], they encamped, one on one side, the other on the other. Here they fought with their entire armies, and would have separated with the contest undecided, had not the Aetolians caused the Romans to prevail.


Philip after his defeat made overtures to Flamininus. And the latter, however eagerly he coveted Macedonia also and desired to follow up his present good fortune to the utmost, nevertheless made a truce. This was due to his fear that if Philip were out of the way, the Greeks might recover their ancient spirit and no longer pay court to the Romans, that the Aetolians, already filled with great boastfulness because they had contributed the largest share to the victory, might become more troublesome to them, and that Antiochus might, as was reported, come to Europe and form an alliance with Philip.

So Philip was defeated and fled, and afterward, learning that Larissa and the neighbouring cities had chosen the side of the victors, he made overtures to Flamininus. And the latter made a truce after Philip had given money and hostages, among them his own son Demetrius, and had sent out envoys to Rome in regard to peace.

During the period of these campaigns Androsthenes also had been vanquished by the Achaeans and had lost Corinth. And Lucius Flamininus, who was in charge of the fleet, when he could not persuade the Acarnanians to refrain from allying themselves with Philip, besieged and captured Leucas; later they learned of Philip's defeat, and he secured their submission with greater ease.

Thus was the Macedonian war terminated, and the people of Rome very readily became reconciled with Philip upon the following terms. He must restore the captives and deserters; give up all his elephants and triremes except five (including the flag-ship, a vessel of sixteen banks); pay an indemnity, part at once, the rest in definite instalments; be king of Macedonia alone; keep not more than five thousand soldiers, and not make war with anybody outside his own country. The rest of the cities situated in Asia and Europe which had previously been subject to him they set free.

The consuls waged once more with the Gauls a war not unfraught with difficulties, yet in spite of all they subdued this people too.

Porcius Cato, upon being chosen consul, gained back Spain, which had been almost entirely alienated. He was a man who surpassed those of his age in every virtue. Now after the defeat inflicted upon the Romans at Cannae a law had been passed to the effect that women should not wear gold nor be carried in chairs, nor make use at all of embroidered raiment; and the people were now deliberating as to whether they ought to abolish this law. And on this subject Cato delivered a speech in which he urged that the law ought to remain in force, and closed with these words: "Let the women, then, be adorned not with gold nor precious stones, nor with bright and transparent raiment, but with modesty, with love of husband, love of children, persuasion, moderation, with the established laws, with our arms, our victories, our trophies." Lucius Valerius, a tribune, spoke in opposition to Cato, urging that the old-time ornaments should be restored to the women. And after addressing the people at length on the subject he then directed his remarks to Cato, exclaiming: "As for you, Cato, if you are displeased at women's ornaments and wish to do something magnificent and befitting a philosopher, suppose you clip their hair close all around and put on them short frocks and tunics with one shoulder; yes, by Jove, and suppose you give them armour and mount them on horses and, if you like, take them to Spain; and let us bring them in here too, so that they may take part in our assemblies." Valerius said this in jest, but the women, hearing him,— for many of them were hanging about near the Forum, curious to know how the affair would come out,— rushed into the assembly, denouncing the law; and when, accordingly, it was speedily repealed, they straightway put on some ornaments there in the assembly, and went out dancing.

Cato sailed away and reached Spain, where he learned that all the inhabitants as far as the Iberus had united in order to wage war against him in a body. After organizing his army he attacked and defeated them and forced them to submit to him, since they feared that otherwise they might lose their cities at a single stroke. At the time he did them no harm, but later, when some of them incurred his suspicion, he deprived them all of their arms and caused the natives themselves to tear down their own walls. For he sent letters in all directions with orders that they should be delivered to everybody on the same day; and in these he commanded the people to raze their walls immediately, threatening the disobedient with death. The officials upon reading the letters thought in each case that message had been written to them alone, and without taking time for deliberation they all threw down their walls.

Cato now crossed the Iberus, and though he did not dare to contend with the Celtiberian allies of the enemy on account of their number, yet he handled them in marvellous fashion, now persuading them by a gift of larger pay to change front and join him, now admonishing them to return home, and sometimes even announcing a battle with them for a stated day. The result was that they broke up into separate factions and became so fearful that they no longer ventured to fight with him.

Thayer's Note:

something magnificent and befitting a philosopher: Every item of this agenda is now the law in several Western countries, if some only recently; in the United States, these measures were for the most part enacted in my own lifetime.