The Teans, when the plundering was going on before their eyes, sent envoys with fillets and badges of suppliants to the Romans.
When they tried to clear the state of any deed or word unfriendly to the Romans, he both charged them with aiding the fleet of the enemy with provisions and reminded them how much wine they had promised Polyxenidas; if they would give the Romans the same amount, he would [p. 373]
recall his men from plundering; if not, he would1
treat them as enemies.
When the envoys had taken back this threatening answer, the people was summoned to an assembly by the magistrates to consult as to what they should do.
On that day, as it happened, Polyxenidas with the royal fleet left Colophon, and when he heard that the Romans had moved from Samos, had pursued the pirates to Myonnesus, and were devastating the fields of the Teans, while the ships lay in the harbour of Geraestus, he himself dropped anchor
opposite Myonnesus in a concealed harbour of an island —the sailors call it Macris.
Thence, reconnoitring at close range to see what the enemy was doing, he at first was very hopeful that as he had defeated the Rhodians at Samos by blockading the passage out of the harbour, so he would capture the Roman fleet.
The nature of the place is not unlike: the headlands coming together close the harbour so that with difficulty two ships at a time can pass through.
Polyxenidas then conceived the design of occupying the exit by night, and with ten ships standing off each promontory, which could attack from both flanks the sides of the ships as they came out, and of landing armed men from the rest of the fleet, as he had done at Panhormus, to attack the enemy by land and sea at once.
This plan would not have failed had not the Romans, when the Teans had promised to do as they had been ordered, thought it more convenient to move the fleet around to the port which lies in front of the city, to receive the supplies.
Also Eudamus the Rhodian is said to have called attention to a fault of the other harbour, when by chance two ships had broken their oars, entangled in the narrow entrance;
and among other things the praetor was induced to2
transfer the fleet by the fact that there was danger from the land, since Antiochus had his base at no great distance away.