Phaselis stands on the confines of Lycia and Pamphylia; it projects far into the sea, and is the first land seen by persons coming from Cilicia to Rhodes, and from hence ships can be seen at a great distance. For this reason, chiefly, this place was made choice of, that they may lie in the way of the enemy's fleet.
But in consequence of the unwholesomeness of the place, and of the season of the year, (for it was now the middle of summer,) and of the unusual stench, diseases began to spread with violence, particularly among the rowers, an event which they did not foresee.
And having [p. 1679]
left the place from fear of this pestilence, when they were sailing by the Pamphylian bay, their fleet putting into port
at the river Eurymedon, they hear from the people of Aspendus, that the enemy are now at Sida.
The king's fleet had been the slower in its passage, the season of the Etesiae being opposed to them, for this is the periodical time for the northwest winds. The Rhodians had thirty-two quadriremes and four triremes. In the king's fleet were thirty-seven ships of the larger rates; among which were three of seven, and four of six banks of oars; and besides these, ten triremes.
They discovered too, from some watch-tower, that the Rhodians were at hand. Both fleets, at the dawn of the next day, moved out of port, as if resolved to come to an immediate engagement; and, as soon as the Rhodians passed the promontory that stretches into the deep from Sida, they descried the enemy, and were observed by them.
On the king's side, Hannibal had the command of the left squadron, which stretched away seaward; Apollonius, one of the nobles, had the command of the right, and they had their ships already formed in a line a-head.
The Rhodians approached in a long line. First was the admiral's ship, with Eudamus in it; Chariclitus brought up the rear; and Pamphilidas commanded the centre division.
When Eudamus saw the enemy's line formed and ready for battle, he pushed out towards the main, ordering the ships that followed to form, regularly, as they came up, in line of battle.
This caused confusion at first; for he had not stretched out to the main far enough for the line of all the ships to form in the direction of the land, and he himself hurrying on with precipitation, with only five ships, engaged with Hannibal; the rest, having received orders to form their line, did not come up.
The rear division had no room left for it next to the land; and, while they were in disorder, the fight was already begun on the right against Hannibal.