In this book of Syrian history I have told how the Romans came into possession of Syria, and how they brought it to its present condition. It will not be amiss to tell how the Macedonians, who ruled Syria before the Romans, acquired the same country. After the Persians, Alexander became the sovereign of Syria as well as of all other peoples whom he found. He died leaving one son very small and
another yet unborn. The Macedonians, who were loyal to
the race of Philip, chose Ardiæus, the brother of Alexander, as king during the minority of Alexander's sons, although he was considered to be hardly of sound mind, and they changed his name from Ardiæus to Philip. They also kept careful guard over the wife, who was enceinte. Meanwhile Alexander's friends continued in charge of the conquered nations, divided into satrapies, which Perdiccas parcelled among them by the authority of King Philip. Not long afterward, when the true kings died, these satraps became kings. The first satrap of Syria was Laomednon of Mitylene, who derived his authority from Perdiccas and from Antipater, who succeeded the latter as prime minister. To this Laomedon, Ptolemy, the satrap of Egypt, came with a fleet and offered him a large sum of money if he would hand over Syria to him, because it was well situated for defending Egypt and for attacking Cyprus. When Laomedon refused Ptolemy seized him. Laomedon bribed his guards and escaped to Alcetas in Caria. Thus Ptolemy ruled Syria for a while, left a garrison there, and returned to Egypt.