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Every detail of these transactions was known to the king: who, while sending frequent threatening messages to Achaeus, was now concentrating all his efforts on the preparations for the war against Ptolemy.
War with Ptolemy B. C. 219.
Having accordingly mustered his forces at Apameia just before spring, he summoned his friends to advise with him as to the invasion of Coele-Syria. After many suggestions had been made in respect to this undertaking, touching the nature of the country, the military preparation required, and the assistance to be rendered by the fleet,—Apollophanes of Seleucia, whom I mentioned before, put an abrupt end to all these suggestions by remarking that "it was folly to desire Coele-Syria and to march against that, while they allowed Seleucia to be held by Ptolemy, which was the capital, and so to speak, the very inner shrine of the king's realm.
Apollophanes advises that they begin by taking Seleucia.
Besides the disgrace to the kingdom which its occupation by the Egyptian monarchs involved, it was a position of the greatest practical importance, as a most admirable base of operations. Occupied by the enemy it was of the utmost hindrance to all the king's designs; for in whatever direction he might have it in his mind to move his forces, his own country, owing to the fear of danger from this place, would need as much care and precaution as the preparations against his foreign enemies. Once taken, on the other hand, not only would it perfectly secure the safety of the home district, but was also capable of rendering effective aid to the king's other designs and undertakings, whether by land or sea, owing to its commanding situation." His words carried conviction to the minds of all, and it was resolved that the capture of the town should be their first step. For Seleucia was still held by a garrison for the Egyptian kings; and had been so since the time of Ptolemy Euergetes, who took it when he invaded Syria to revenge the murder of Berenice.

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