I shall pause in my narrative to introduce aFirst digression on the Roman Constitution.
disquisition upon the Roman Constitution, in
which I shall show that its peculiar character
contributed largely to their success, not only in
reducing all Italy to their authority, and in acquiring a
supremacy over the Iberians and Gauls besides, but also at
last, after their conquest of Carthage, to their conceiving the
idea of universal dominion.
Along with this I shall introduce anotherSecond on Hiero of Syracuse.
digression on the fall of Hiero of Syracuse.
After these digressions will come the disturbances in5. The attempted partition of the dominions of Ptolemy Epiphanes, B. C. 204.
Egypt; how, after the death of King Ptolemy,
Antiochus and Philip entered into a compact
for the partition of the dominions of that
monarch's infant son. I shall describe their
treacherous dealings, Philip laying hands upon
the islands of the Aegean, and Caria and Samos, Antiochus
upon Coele-Syria and Phoenicia.
force against Coele-Syria, with orders to occupy the
passes and to keep the road open for him.
The situation of Seleucia and the natural features of the
surrounding country are of this kind. The city
stands on the sea coast between Cilicia and
Phoenicia; and has close to it a very great
mountain called Coryphaeus, which on the west is washed by
the last waves of the sea which lies between Cyprus and
Phoenicia; while its eastern slopes overlook the territories of
Antioch and Seleucia. It is on Phoenicia; while its eastern slopes overlook the territories of
Antioch and Seleucia. It is on the southern skirt of this
mountain that the town of Seleucia lies, separated from it by
a deep and difficult ravine. The town extends down to the
sea in a straggling line broken by irregularities of the soil, and
is surrounded on most parts by cliffs and precipitous rocks.
On the side facing the sea, where the ground is level, stand
the market-places, and the lower town strongly walled. Similarly
the whole of the main town has been fortified by walls of a
costly construction, and splendidly de
Polybius, Histories, book 5, Antiochus Puts his Troops in Winter Quarters (search)
Antiochus Puts his Troops in Winter Quarters
Meanwhile Antiochus had been engaged in the
Negotiations at Memphis, B. C. 219-218.
siege of Dura:Two different towns of this name have already been mentioned (ch. 48,
52). This Dura appears to be in Phoenicia; but nothing is known of it. but the strength of the
place and the support given it by Nicolaus
prevented him from effecting anything; and as
the winter was closing in, he agreed with the ambassadors of
Ptolemy to a suspension of hostilities foeir winter quarters; and from that time forth took
no pains to keep the mass of his army under discipline, being
persuaded that the business would not call for any more
fighting; because he was already master of some portions of
Coele-Syria and Phoenicia, and expected to secure the rest by
voluntary submission or by diplomacy: for Ptolemy, he believed,
would not venture upon a general engagement. This opinion
was shared also by the ambassadors: because Sosibius fixing
his residence at Memphis c
, B. C. 323-285.He asserted that the original occupation of the country
by Antigonus the One-eyed, and the royal authority exercised
over it by Seleucus,Seleucus I., B. C. 306-280. Antigonus, the One-eyed, in B. C. 318,
occupied Coele-Syria and Phoenicia after a victory over Perdiccas. Diodor.
Sic. 18, 43. constituted an absolutely decisive and
equitable claim, in virtue of which Coele-Syria
belonged of right to himself and not to
Ptolemy; for Ptolemy I. went to war with
Antigonus with the viewn of these places in the reign of
Ptolemy, son of Lagus; and tried to show that Ptolemy had
joined Seleucus in the war on the understanding that he was
to invest Seleucus with the government of the whole of Asia,
but was to take Coele-Syria and Phoenicia for himself.
Such were the arguments brought forward by the two
contracting parties in the course of the embassies and counterembassies and conferences. There was no prospect, however,
of arriving at any result, because the controversy was cond
Polybius, Histories, book 5, A Year's Truce Between Antiochus and Ptolemy (search)
e-Syria, he was by no means indisposed to peace; but even more
inclined to it than he ought to have been: influenced in that
direction by the habitual effeminacy and corruption of his
manner of life. Accordingly, when Antipater and his colleague
arrived, after some little bluster and vituperation of Antiochus
for what had taken place, he agreed to a truce for a year. He
sent Sosibius back with the ambassadors to ratify the treaty:
while he himself, after remaining three months in Syria and
Phoenicia, and settling the towns, left Andromachus of
Aspendus as governor of this district, and started with his
sister and friends for Alexandria: having brought the war to a
conclusion in a way that surprised his subjects, when they
contrasted it with the principles on which he spent he rest of
his life. Antiochus after exchanging ratifications of the treaty
with Sosibius, employed himself in making preparations for
attacking Achaeus, as he had originally begun doing. Such
was the political situ
s deceived.Achaeus was convinced by the
answers returned by Arianus, and still more
by the cipher of Nicomachus and Melancomas; gave his
answer; and sent Arianus back with it without delay. This
kind of communication was repeated more than once: and at
last Achaeus entrusted himself without reserve to Nicomachus,
there being absolutely no other hope of saving himself left
remaining, and bade him send Bolis with Arianus on a certain
moonless night, promising to place himself in their hands.
The idea of Achaeus was, first of all, to escape his immediate
danger; and then by a circuitous route to make his way into
Syria. For he entertained very great hopes that, if he appeared
suddenly and unexpectedly to the Syrians, while Antiochus
was still lingering about Sardis, he would be able to stir up a
great movement, and meet with a cordial reception from the
people of Antioch, Coele-Syria, and Phoenicia.
With such expectations and calculations Achaeus was
waiting for the appearance of Bolis.