Meanwhile a sedition broke out at Phocaea, in consequence of some endeavouring to bring over the multitude to the party of Antiochus.
The winter quarters of the ships were burdensome: the tribute was burdensome, because five hundred gowns with five hundred tunics were exacted from them:
the scarcity of corn was also galling, on account of which the ships also and garrison of Rome evacuated the place.
The faction which laboured in their assemblies to draw the commonalty over to Antiochus, was now freed from all apprehension: the senate, and higher ranks, were of opinion that they should persevere in the alliance with Rome.
But the advisers of a revolt had greater influence with the multitude. The Rhodians, the earlier in proportion to their having been too late in the former summer, sent in the vernal equinox, as commander of their fleet, with thirty-six ships, the same Pausistratus.
At this time Livius, with thirty ships and seven quadriremes, which king Eumenes had brought with him, was on his passage from Canae to the Hellespont, in order to prepare every thing necessary for the transportation of the army, which he expected to come by land.
He first brought his fleet into the harbour called the Achaean; whence he went up to Ilium, and having offered sacrifice to Minerva, gave a kind reception to the embassies from the states in the neighbourhood, from Elaeus, Dardanum, and Rhetaeum, surrendering their respective states to him.
Then he sailed to the entrance of the Hellespont; and, leaving ten ships stationed opposite to Abydos, he crossed over to Europe with the rest of the fleet, to attack Sestos. As the troops were advancing up to the walls, first of all inspired priests of Cybele,1
in their solemn dress, met them before the gate.
These said, that, “by order of the mother of the gods, they, [p. 1665]
the immediate servants of the goddess, were come to pray the Roman commander to spare the walls and the city.”
None of them was injured; and, presently, the whole senate and the magistrates came out to surrender the place.
The fleet then sailed over to Abydos; where when, their minds being sounded by conferences, no peaceable answer was given, they prepared themselves for a siege.