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Capture of Seleucia

Antiochus first tried sending messages to the magistrates of Seleucia, offering money and other rewards on condition of having the city surrendered without fighting. And though he failed to persuade the chief authorities, he corrupted some of the subordinate commanders; and relying on them, he made preparations to assault the town on the sea-ward side with the men of his fleet, and on the land side with his soldiers. He divided his forces therefore into three parts, and addressed suitable words of exhortation to them, causing a herald to proclaim a promise to men and officers alike of great gifts and crowns that should be bestowed for gallantry in action. To the division under Zeuxis he entrusted the attack upon the gate leading to Antioch; to Hermogenes that upon the walls near the temple of Castor and Pollux; and to Ardys and Diognetus the assault upon the docks and the lower town: in accordance with his understanding with his partisans in the town, whereby it had been agreed that, if he could carry the lower town by assault, the city also should then be put into his hands. When the signal was given, a vigorous and determined assault was begun simultaneously at all these points: though that made by Ardys and Diognetus was by far the most daring; for the other points did not admit of any assault at all by means of scaling ladders, nor could be carried except by the men climbing up on their hands and knees; while at the docks and lower town it was possible to apply scaling ladders and fix them firmly and safely against the walls. The naval contingent therefore having fixed their ladders on the docks, and the division of Ardys theirs upon the lower town, a violent effort was made to carry the walls: and the garrison of the upper town being prevented from coming to the assistance of these places, because the city was being assaulted at every other point at the same time, Ardys was not long before he captured the lower town. No sooner had this fallen, than the subordinate officers who had been corrupted hurried to the commander-in-chief Leontius, and urged that he ought to send ambassadors to Antiochus, and make terms with him, before the city was taken by storm. Knowing nothing about the treason of these officers, but alarmed by their consternation, Leontius sent commissioners to the king to make terms for the safety of all within the city.

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