[37.39]When the consul saw that he declined to give battle, he summoned a council of war for the next day to decide what he was to do if Antiochus did not give them the opportunity of fighting. Winter, he said, was coming on; either he would have to keep the soldiers in their tents or else, if he wished to go into winter quarters, operations would have to be suspended till the summer. For none of their enemies did the Romans ever feel greater contempt. From all sides they called upon him to lead them out to battle and to take full advantage of the ardour of the soldiers. If the enemy would not come out, they were ready to charge over the fosses and rampart and rush the camp, for it was not as though they had to fight with so many thousands of men, but rather to slaughter so many thousands of cattle. Cn. Domitius was sent to reconnoitre the ground and find out at what point the enemy's rampart could be best approached, and after he had brought definite and complete information it was decided to move the camp on the morrow nearer the enemy. On the third day the standards were advanced into the middle of the plain and the line formed. Antiochus, on his side, felt that he ought not to hesitate any longer lest he should depress the spirits of his own men and raise the hopes of the enemy by declining battle. He led his forces out just far enough from his camp to make it appear that he intended to fight.
The Roman army was practically uniform as regards both the men and their equipment; there were two Roman legions and two of Latins and allies, each containing 5000 men. The Romans occupied the centre, the Latins the wings. The standards of the hastati were in front, then came those of the principes, and last of all the triarii. Beyond these, whom we may call the regulars, the consul drew up on his right, level with them, the auxiliary troops of Eumenes who were incorporated with the Achaean caetrati, amounting to about 3000 men; beyond them again were stationed nearly 3000 cavalry, 800 of which were furnished by Eumenes, the rest being Romans. Outside these were posted the Trallian and Cretan horse, each body numbering 500 troopers. The left wing was not considered to need so much support as it rested on the river and was protected by the precipitous banks; four squadrons of cavalry, however, were lined up at that end. This was the total strength which the Romans brought into the field. In addition to these, however, there was a mixed force of Macedonians and Thracians, 2000 in all, who had followed as volunteers; they were left to guard the camp. The sixteen elephants were placed in reserve behind the triarii; they could not possibly stand against the king's elephants, of which there were fifty-four, and the African elephants are no match for the Indian elephants even when the numbers are equal, for the latter are much larger and fight with more determination.
[37.40]The king's army was a motley force drawn from many nations and presented the greatest dissimilarity both in the men and their equipment. There were 16,000 infantry in the Macedonian fashion. known as the "phalanx." These formed the centre, and their front consisted of ten divisions; between each division stood two elephants. They were thirty-two ranks deep. This was the main strength of the king's army and it presented a most formidable appearance, especially with the elephants towering high above the men. The effect was heightened by the frontlets and crests on the animals, and the towers on their backs on which stood the drivers, each accompanied by four soldiers. On the right of the phalanx Antiochus stationed 1500 Gallograeci infantry, and with them were linked up 3000 cavalry, clad in mail armour and known as "cataphracti." These were supported by the "agema," another body of cavalry numbering about 1000; they were a select force, consisting of Medes and men drawn from many tribes in that part of the world. Behind these in support were sixteen elephants. The line was continued by the royal cohort called "argyraspides" from the kind of shield they carried. Then came the Dahae, mounted archers, 1200 strong; then 3ooo light infantry, half of them Cretans and half Tralles. Beyond these again were 2500 Mysian bowmen, and at the end of the line a mixed force of Cyrtian slingers and Elymaean archers.
On the left of the phalanx were 1500 Gallograeci infantry and 2000 Cappadocian, similarly armed and sent by Ariarathes, next to whom were posted a miscellaneous force numbering 2700. Then came 3000 cataphracti and the king's personal cavalry, 1000 strong, with somewhat slighter protection for themselves and their horses, but otherwise closely resembling the cataphracti, made up mostly of Syrians with an admixture of Phrygians and Lydians. In front of this mass of cavalry were scythe chariots and the camels which they call dromedaries. Seated on these were Arabian archers provided with narrow swords four cubits long so that they could reach the enemy from the height on which they were perched. Beyond them again a mass of troops corresponding to those on the right wing, first Tarentines, then 2500 Gallograeci cavalry, 1000 newly enlisted Cretans, 1500 Carians and Cilicians similarly armed, and the same number of Tralles. Then came 4000 caetrati, Pisidians, Pamphylians and Lydians, next to these Cyrtian and Elymaean troops equal in number to those on the right wing, and finally sixteen elephants a short distance away.
[37.41]The king commanded the right in person, the left he placed in charge of his son Seleucus and his nephew Antipater. The centre was entrusted to three commanders, Minnio, Zeuxis and Philip; the latter was the master of the elephants. The morning haze, which as the day advanced lifted into clouds, obscured the atmosphere, and then a drizzling rain coming with the south wind wetted everything. This did not inconvenience the Romans much, but it was a serious disadvantage to the king's troops. As the Roman line was of only moderate length, the indistinctness of the light did not obstruct the view over the whole of it, and as it consisted almost entirely of heavy-armed troops, the fine rain had no effect on their weapons which were swords and javelins. The king's line, on the other hand, was of such an enormous length that it was impossible to see the wings from the centre, let alone the fact that the extremes of the line were out of sight of each other, and the wetting mist relaxed their bows and slings and the thongs of their missile spears. Antiochus trusted to his scythe chariots to throw the enemy ranks into utter confusion, but they only turned the danger against their own side. These chariots were armed in the following manner: On either side of the pole where the yoke-bar was fastened spikes were fixed which projected forward like horns, ten cubits long, so as to pierce anything that came in their way, and at each end of the yoke-bar two scythes projected, one on a level with the bar so as to cut off sideways anything it came against, the other turned towards the ground to catch those lying down or trying to get under it. Similarly two scythes pointing in opposite directions to each end of the axis of the wheels.
The chariots thus armed were stationed, as I have already said, in front of the line for had they been in the rear or the centre they must have been driven through their own men. When he saw this, Eumenes, who was quite familiar with their mode of fighting, and knew how much their assistance would be worth when once the horses were terrified, ordered the Cretan archers, the slingers and javelin men, in conjunction with some troops of cavalry, to run forward, not in close order but as loosely as possible, and discharge their missiles simultaneously from every side. What with the wounds inflicted by the missiles and the wild shouts of the assailants, this tempestuous onslaught so scared the horses that they started to gallop wildly about the field as though without bit or bridle. The light infantry and slingers and the active Cretans easily avoided them when they dashed towards them, and the cavalry increased the confusion and panic by affrighting the horses and even the camels, and to this was added the shouts of those who had not gone into action. The chariots were driven off the field, and now that this silly show was got rid of the signal was given, and both sides closed in a regular battle.
[37.42]These useless shams, however, were soon to prove the cause of a real disaster. The auxiliary troops who were posted in reserve next to them were so demoralised by the panic and confusion of the chariots that they took to flight and exposed the whole line as far as the cataphracti. Now that the reserves were broken the Roman horse made a charge against these, and many of them did not await even the first shock, some were routed, others owing to the weight of their mail armour were caught and killed. Then the remainder of the left wing entirely gave way, and when the auxiliaries who were stationed between the cavalry and the phalanx were thrown into disorder the demoralisation reached the centre. Here the ranks were broken and they were prevented from using their extraordinarily long spears-the Macedonians call them "sarisae" - by their own comrades who ran back for shelter amongst them. Whilst they were in this disorder the Romans advanced against them and discharged their javelins. Even the elephants posted between the divisions of the phalanx did not deter them, accustomed as they were in the African wars to evade the charge of the beast and attack its sides with their javelins or, if they could get nearer to it, hamstring it with their swords. The centre front was now almost entirely beaten down and the reserves, having been outflanked, were being cut down from the rear. At this juncture the Romans heard in another part of the field the cries of their own men in flight, almost at the very gates of their camp. Antiochus from his position on his right wing had noticed that the Romans, trusting to the protection of the river, had only four squadrons of cavalry in position there, and these, keeping in touch with their infantry. had left the bank of the river exposed. He attacked this part of the line with his auxiliaries and cataphracti, and not only forced back their front, but wheeling round along the river, pressed on their flank until the cavalry were put to flight and the infantry, who were next to them, were driven with them in headlong flight to their camp.
[37.43]The camp was in charge of a military tribune, M. Aemilius, son of the M. Lepidus who a few years later was made Pontifex Maximus. When he saw the fugitives coming towards the camp he met them with the whole of the camp guard and ordered them to stop, then, reproving them sharply for their cowardly and disgraceful flight, he insisted on their returning to the battle and warned them that if they did not obey him they would rush blindly on to their ruin. Finally he gave his own men the order to cut down those who first came up and drive the crowd which followed them back against the enemy with their swords. The greater fear overcame the less. The danger which threatened them on either hand brought them to a halt, then they went back to the fighting. Aemilius with his camp guard - there were 2000 of them, brave soldiers - offered a firm resistance to the king who was in eager pursuit, and Attalus, who was on the Roman right where the enemy had been put to flight at the first onset, seeing the plight of his men and the tumult round the camp, came up at the moment with 200 cavalry. When Antiochus found that the men whose backs he had seen just before were now resuming the struggle, and that another mass of soldiery was collecting from the camp and from the field, he turned his horse's head and fled. Thus the Romans were victorious on both wings. Making their way through the heaps of dead which were lying most thickly in the centre, where the courage of the enemy's finest troops and the weight of their armour alike prevented flight, they went on to plunder the camp. The cavalry of Eumenes led the way, followed by the rest of the mounted troops, in pursuing the enemy over the whole plain and killing the hindmost as they came up to them. Still more havoc was wrought among the fugitives by the chariots and elephants and camels which were mixed up with them; they were not only trampled to death by the animals, but having lost all formation they stumbled like blind men over one another. There was a frightful carnage in the camp, almost more than in the battle. The first fugitives fled mostly in this direction and the camp guard, trusting to their support, fought all the more determinedly in front of their lines. The Romans, who expected to take the gates and the rampart, were held up here for some time, and when at last they did break through the defence they inflicted in their rage all the heavier slaughter.
[37.44]It is stated that 50,000 infantry were killed on that day and 3000 of the cavalry; 1500 were made prisoners and 15 elephants captured with their drivers. Many of the Romans were wounded, but there actually fell not more than 300 infantry, 24 cavalry and 25 of the army of Eumenes. After plundering the enemy's camp the Romans returned to their own with a large amount of booty; the next day they despoiled the bodies of those killed and collected the prisoners. Delegates came from Thyatira and Magnesia ad Sipylum to make the surrender of their cities. Antiochus, accompanied in his flight from the field by a small number of his men, and joined by more on the road, arrived at Sardis about midnight with a fairly numerous body of troops. On learning that his son Seleucus with some of his friends had gone as far as Apamea, he too, with his wife and daughter, started for the same city, after handing over the defence of Sardis to Xenon and appointing Timon governor of Lydia. The townsmen and the soldiers in the citadel ignored their authority and mutually agreed to send delegates to the consul.