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Antiochus Marches Through Mesopotamia

When Antiochus had reached the Euphrates, and had
B. C. 221-220. Antiochus advances through Mesopotamia.
taken over the force stationed there, he once more started on his march and got as far as Antioch, in Mygdonia, about mid-winter, and there remained until the worst of the winter should be over. Thence after a stay of forty days he advanced to Libba. Molon was now in the neighbourhood of Babylon: and Antiochus consulted his council as to the route to be pursued, the tactics to be adopted, and the source from which provisions could best be obtained for his army on the march in their expedition against Molon. The proposal of Hermeias was to march along the Tigris, with this river, and the Lycus and Caprus, on their flank. Zeuxis, having the fate of Epigenes before his eyes, was in a state of painful doubt whether to speak his real opinion or no; but as the mistake involved in the advice of Hermeias was flagrant, he at last mustered courage to advise that the Tigris should be crossed; alleging as a reason the general difficulty of the road along the river: especially from the fact that, after a considerable march, the last six days of which would be through a desert, they would reach what was called the "King's Dyke," which it would be impossible to cross if they found it invested by the enemy; while a retirement by a second march through the wilderness would be manifestly dangerous, especially as their provisions would be sure to be running short. On the other hand he showed that if they crossed the Tigris it was evident the Apolloniates would repent of their treason and join the king; for even as it was they had submitted to Molon, not from choice, but under compulsion and terror; and the fertility of their soil promised abundance of provisions for the troops. But his most weighty argument was that by their thus acting Molon would be cut off from a return to Media, and from drawing supplies from that country, and would thereby be compelled to risk a general action: or, if he refused to do so, his troops would promptly fix their hopes upon the king.

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  • Cross-references to this page (5):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), APOLLO´NIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CAPRUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), LIBA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), NISIBIS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ZA´BATUS
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