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Antiochus Advances Against Molon

The suggestion of Zeuxis being approved, the army was
Antiochus crosses the Tigris.
immediately arranged in three divisions, and got across with the baggage at three points in the river. Thence they marched in the direction of Dura, where they quickly caused the siege of the citadel to be raised, which was being invested at the time by some of Molon's officers; and thence, after a march of eight successive days, they crossed the mountain called Oreicum and arrived at Apollonia.

Meanwhile Molon had heard of the king's arrival, and not feeling confidence in the inhabitants of Susiana and Babylonia, because he had conquered them so recently and by surprise, fearing also to be cut off from a retreat to Media, he determined to throw a bridge over the Tigris and get his army across; being eager if it were possible to secure the mountain district of Apollonia, because he had great confidence in his corps of slingers called Cyrtii. He carried out his resolution, and was pushing forward in an unbroken series of forced marches.

Molon also crosses the Tigris.
Thus it came about that, just as he was entering the district of Apollonia, the king at the head of his whole army was marching out. The advanced guard of skirmishers of the two armies fell in with each other on some high ground, and at first engaged and made trial of each other's strength; but upon the main armies on either side coming on to the ground, they separated. For the present both retired to their respective entrenchments, and encamped at a distance of forty stades from each other. When night had fallen, Molon reflected that there was some risk and disadvantage in a battle by broad daylight and in the open field between rebels and their sovereign, and he determined therefore to attack Antiochus by night.
Abortive attempt of Molon to make a night attack on the king.
Selecting the best and most vigorous of his soldiers, he made a considerable detour, with the object of making his attack from higher ground. But having learnt during his march that ten young men had deserted in a body to the king, he gave up his design, and facing right about returned in haste to his own entrenchment where he arrived about daybreak. His arrival caused a panic in the army; for the troops in the camp, startled out of their sleep by the arrival of the returning men, were very near rushing out of the lines.

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Tigris (3)
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