Caius Livius was sent to Lycia, with two Roman quinqueremes, four Rhodian quadriremes, and two open vessels of Smyrna; being ordered to proceed, first, to Rhodes, and to communicate all his designs to the government there.
The states which he passed in his way, Miletus, Myndus, Halicarnassus, Cnidus, and Cous, diligently executed his orders.
When he came to Rhodes, he explained, to the persons in authority, the business on which he was sent, and, at the same [p. 1672]
time, desired their opinion. All approving his design, and three quadriremes being added to that fleet which he had, he set sail for Patara.
The wind being favourable at first, carried them very near the city, and they were in hopes of effecting something by surprise. After that, the wind veering, the sea had begun to roll in heavy waves, they persevered at their oars until they reached the land;
but there was no safe anchorage there, nor could they ride in the road, as the sea was rough, and night was coming on.
They, therefore, sailed past the city, to the port of Phœnicus, which was not quite two miles distant, and which afforded shelter from the violence of the waves, but high cliffs overlooked it, which the towns-people, joined by the king's troops which were in garrison, immediately seized.
Livius, though the landing-places were rugged and difficult, sent against them a party of the auxiliaries, composed of Issaeans, and light infantry of Smyrna.
These (whilst they were skirmishing with missile weapons, and in slight attacks on the few who were there at first, rather than engaging in battle) supported the contest sufficiently well.
After that greater numbers flocked thither from the city, and at length, the whole multitude pouring
out, fear seized Livius, not only that the auxiliaries might be cut off, but that the ships would be in danger from the land. In consequence he led out to the engagement, not only the soldiers, but the marines, and even the crowd of rowers, armed with such weapons as each could find.
After all, however, the fight was doubtful; and, besides a considerable number of soldiers, Lucius Apustius fell in this disorderly combat.
At last, the Lycians were routed, and driven within their gates; and the Romans, with a bloody victory, returned to their ships.
They then proceeded to the gulf of Telmissus, which washes Caria on one side, and Lycia on the other, where all thoughts of any further attempt on Patara were laid aside, the Rhodians were sent home, and Livius, sailing along the coast of Asia, crossed over to Greece, that he might have a meeting with the Scipios, who were
at that time in Thessaly, and then take his passage to Italy.