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The Sack of Sardis

When Lagoras and his party had made all their
The town of Sardis entered and sacked.
preparations, as soon as the moon set, they came stealthily to the foot of the cliffs with their scaling ladders, and ensconced themselves under a certain overhanging rock. When day broke, and the picket as usual broke up from that spot; and the king in the ordinary way told off some men to take their usual posts, and led the main body on to the hippodrome and drew them up; at first no one suspected what was going on. But when two ladders were fixed, and Dionysius led the way up one, and Lagoras up the other, there was excitement and a stir throughout the camp. For while the climbing party were not visible to the people in the town, or to Achaeus in the citadel, because of the beetling brow of the rock, their bold and adventurous ascent was in full view of the camp; which accordingly was divided in feeling between astonishment at the strangeness of the spectacle, and a nervous horror of what was going to happen next, all standing dumb with exulting wonder. Observing the excitement in the camp, and wishing to divert the attention both of his own men and of those in the city from what was going on, the king ordered an advance; and delivered an attack upon the gates on the other side of the town, called the Persian gates. Seeing from the citadel the unwonted stir in the camp, Achaeus was for some time at a loss to know what to do, being puzzled to account for it, and quite unable to see what was taking place. However he despatched a force to oppose the enemy at the gate; whose assistance was slow in arriving, because they had to descend from the citadel by a narrow and precipitous path. But Aribazus, the commandant of the town, went unsuspiciously to the gates on which he saw Antiochus advancing; and caused some of his men to mount the wall, and sent others out through the gate, with orders to hinder the approaching enemies, and come to close quarters with them.

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