By chance one of Antiochus's soldiers, when he had come to Samos on account of private business, being seized as a spy, is brought to Panormus to the admiral.
This man, it is uncertain whether through fear or treachery towards his countrymen, disclosed all things to him, inquiring what was going on at Ephesus:
that the fleet lay in harbour, fully equipped and ready for sea; that all the rowers had been sent to Magnesia (at Sipylus); that very few of the ships had been hauled on land; that the docks were shut, and that never was the business of the fleet conducted with greater diligence. But the mind of Pausistratus, prepossessed by misplaced confidence and vain hopes, caused these things not to be attended to as true.
Polyxenidas, having fully adjusted all his measures, having called in the rowers from Magnesia, and launched hastily the ships that were in dock, by night, after wasting the day not so much in preparation as because he was unwilling that
the fleet should be seen going to sea, set sail after sun-set with seventy decked ships, and, the wind being contrary, put into the harbour of Pygelia before daylight. Where when he had rested during the day, for the same reason as before, he passed over in the night to the nearest part of the Samian territory.
From this place, having ordered a certain Nicander, a chief pirate, to sail with five decked ships to Palinurus, and thence to lead his armed men by the shortest road through the fields towards Panor- [p. 1667]
mus, and so to come behind the enemy;
he himself, in the mean time, with his fleet in two divisions, in order that it might command the mouth of the harbour on both sides, proceeded to Panormus.
Pausistratus was at first confused for a little, as the thing was unexpected; but afterwards, being an old soldier, having quickly regained his courage, and judging that the enemy would be more easily repelled by land than by sea, he marched his armed forces in two bodies to the promontories, which, by their heads projecting into the deep, formed the harbour; under the impression that he could easily repel the enemy by weapons on both sides, from the two promontories.
When the sight of Nicander on the land had disconcerted this undertaking, having suddenly changed his design, he ordered all to go on board the ships.
Then truly a great confusion arose among soldiers and sailors alike, and a sort of flight to the ships took place, when they perceived themselves surrounded by land and sea at the same time. Pausistratus supposed that the only way of safety was to force through the narrow entrance of the port, and push out into the open sea; and after that he saw his men embarked, ordering the rest to follow, he himself the first, with ship urged vigorously by the oars, pressed to the mouth of the harbour.
Just as his ship was clearing the entrance, Polyxenidas, with three quinqueremes, surrounded it.
The vessel, shattered by their beaks, sunk; the crew were overwhelmed with weapons, and, among them, Pausistratus, fighting gallantly, was slain. Of the rest of the ships, some were taken outside of the harbour, some within, and others by Nicander, while they were putting off from the shore.
Only five Rhodian and two Coan ships effected an escape, a passage being made for them through the thick of the enemy, by the terror of shining flames; for they carried before them, on two poles projecting from their prows, a great quantity of fire contained in iron vessels.
The galleys of Erythrae, after meeting not far from Samos the Rhodian ships, then flying, which they were coming to succour, bore away to the Romans in the direction of the Hellespont.
About the same time, Seleucus got possession of Phocaea by treachery, one gate being opened by the sentinels. Cyme, with the other cities on that coast, revolted to him through fear.