Antiochus Epiphanes In Egypt
While Antiochus was occupying Egypt,1
he was visited
The Greek envoys visit Antiochus and endeavour to make peace.
by the Greek envoys sent to conclude terms of
peace. He received them courteously, devoted
the first day to giving them a splendid entertainment, and on the next granted them an
interview, and bade them deliver their instructions. The first to speak were the Achaeans, the next the
Athenian Demaratus, and after him Eudemus of Miletus. And
as the occasion and subject of their speeches were the same,
the substance of them was also nearly identical.
They all laid
the blame of what had occurred on Eulaeus, and
referring to Ptolemy's youth and his relationship
to himself, they intreated the king to lay aside his anger.
Thereupon Antiochus, after acknowledging the general truth
of their remarks, and even supporting them by
additional arguments of his own, entered upon
a defence of the justice of his original demands.
He attempted to establish the claim of the king of Syria on
Coele-Syria, "Insisting upon the fact that Antigonus, the
founder of the Syrian kingdom, exercised authority in that
country; and referring to the formal cession of it to Seleucus,2
after the death of Antigonus, by the sovereigns of Macedonia.
Next he dwelt on the last conquest of it by his father
Antiochus; and finally he denied that any such agreement
was made between the late king Ptolemy and his father as
the Alexandrian ministers asserted, to the effect that Ptolemy
was to take Coele-Syria as a dowry when he married Cleopatra,
the mother of the present king." Having by these arguments
not only persuaded himself, but the envoys also,
of the justice of his claim, he sailed down the
river to Naucratis.
Antiochus occupies Naucratis and thence advances to Alexandria.
There he treated the inhabitants with humanity, and gave each of the Greeks
living there a gold piece, and then advanced
towards Alexandria. He told the envoys that he would give
them an answer on the return of Aristeides and Thesis, whom
he had sent on a mission to Ptolemy; and he wished, he said,
that the Greek envoys should all be cognisant and witnesses of
their report. . . .