Antiochus, after he lost the hope of an alliance with Prusias, went from Sardis to Ephesus, to review the fleet which was fitted out, and lay there ready, for several months;
rather because he saw it impossible, with his land forces, to make any stand against the Roman army and its commanders, the two Scipios, than that his naval force by itself had ever been tried by him successfully, or afforded at this juncture any great or well-grounded confidence.
Yet there was an incentive to hope on the present occasion; for he had heard that a large portion of the Rhodian fleet was at Patara, and that king Eumenes had gone to the Hellespont, with all his ships, to meet the consul. Besides, the destruction of the Rhodian fleet at Samos, on an opportunity prepared by treachery, inspired some degree of confidence.
Relying on these things, he sent Polyxenidas with orders to try, at all events, the fortune of a naval engagement; while he himself marched his land forces to Notium.
This town, which belongs to Colophon, stands close to the sea, and is distant about two miles from Old Colophon.
He wished to get this city into his power, because it was so near to Ephesus that nothing could be done there, on sea or land, that was not open to the view of the Colophonians, and, through them, instantly made known to the Romans; and he had no doubt that the latter, having heard of the siege, would bring their fleet from Samos to the relief of an ally, which would give Polyxenidas an opportunity of coming to action.
He therefore began to lay regular siege to the city, making his approaches at the same time on the two sides next the sea; in both places he joined his engines and mounds to the wall, and brought up the rams under covered galleries.
By which dangers the Colophonians being terrified, sent en- voys to Lucius Aemilius, at Samos, imploring the protection of the praetor and people of Rome.
His lying so long inactive at Samos offended Aemilius, thinking nothing more improbable than that Polyxenidas, whom he had twice challenged in vain to fight, should ever offer him battle;
and he considered it as dishonourable, that the fleet of Eumenes should assist the consul in conveying the legions into Asia, that he should be fettered by bearing to the besieged Colophon an assistance destined to have an uncertain end.
Eudamus, the Rhodian, (who had before prevailed upon him to stay at Samos, when he wished to go to the Hellespont,)
with all the other officers, pressed him to comply, representing “how much more eligible it would be, either to relieve confederates
from a siege, or to vanquish that fleet which he had vanquished before, and to take from the enemy the entire possession of the sea, than, deserting his allies, and delivering Asia to Antiochus by land and sea, to depart from his own part of the war to the Hellespont, when the fleet of Eumenes was sufficient for that station.”