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The Siege of Abydos

Having then invested Abydos partly by a palisade and
Siege of Abydos.
partly by an earthwork, Philip began blockading it by land and sea together. This siege was not at all remarkable for the extent of the machinery employed, or the ingenuity displayed in those works on which besiegers and besieged are wont to exhaust all their invention and skill against each other; but still it deserves, if any ever did, to be remembered and recorded for the noble spirit and extraordinary gallantry exhibited by the besieged. At first, feeling full confidence in themselves, the inhabitants of Abydos maintained a courageous resistance to the attempts of Philip; struck and dislodged some of his engines, which he brought against their walls by sea, with stones from their catapults, and destroyed others by fire, and with such fierceness, that the enemy were barely able to drag their ships out of danger. Against the siege operations on land, too, up to a certain point they offered an undaunted resistance, not at all despairing of ultimately overpowering the enemy. But when their outer wall was undermined and fell, and when moreover the Macedonians by means of these same mines were approaching the inner wall, which had been erected by the besieged to cover the breach: then at length they send Iphiades and Pantacnotus as ambassadors, with an offer to Philip that he should take over the city, on condition of letting the soldiers from Rhodes and Attalus depart under a truce; and of permitting all free persons to depart as they could, and wherever each might choose, with the clothes that each was wearing. But on Philip bidding them "surrender at discretion or fight like men," the ambassadors returned to the town.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 31.17
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