While the Scipios were still making their preparations, Livius, who had charge of the coast defence of Italy and who had been chosen the successor of Atilius, with his own coast-guard ships and some contributed by the Carthaginians and other allies, sailed for the Piræus. Receiving there the fleet from Atilius he set sail with eighty-one decked ships, Eumenes following with fifty of his own, one-half of which had decks. They put in at Phocæa, a place belonging to Antiochus, but which received them from fear, and on the following day they sailed out for a naval engagement. Polyxenidas, commanding the fleet of Antiochus, met them with 200 ships much lighter than those opposed to him, which was a great advantage to him, since the Romans were not yet experienced in nautical affairs. Seeing two Carthaginian ships sailing in front, he sent three of his own against them and took them, but found them empty, the crews having leaped overboard. Livius dashed angrily at the three with his flag-ship, much in advance of the rest of the fleet. The enemy being three to one grappled him contemptuously with iron hooks, and when the ships were fastened together the battle was fought as though it were on land. The Romans, being much superior in valor, sprang upon the enemy's ships, overpowered them, and returned, bringing back two ships captured simultaneously by one. This was the prelude to the naval engagement. When the fleets came together the Romans had the best of it by reason of their bodily strength and bravery, but on account of the unwieldy size of their ships they could not capture the enemy, who got away with their nimble craft, and, by rapid flight, took refuge in Ephesus. The Romans repaired to Chios, where twenty-seven Rhodian ships joined them as allies. When Antiochus received the news of this naval fight, he sent Hannibal to Syria to fit out another fleet from Phœnicia and Cilicia. When he was returning with it the Rhodians drove him into Pamphylia, captured some of his ships, and blockaded the rest.