Gaius Livius with two Roman quinqueremes and four Rhodian quadriremes and two undecked ships from Zmyrna was sent to Lycia, with orders to visit Rhodes first and inform them of the whole plan. The cities which he passed, Miletus, Myndus, Halicarnassus, Cnidus, Cos, willingly executed his orders.
When he came to Rhodes, at the same time he both explained for what purpose he was sent and asked their advice.
With the approval of all and the addition of three quadriremes to the fleet which he had, he sailed to Patara.
At first a favourable breeze bore them towards the city itself, and they hoped that they would accomplish something by causing a sudden panic; after the wind changed and the sea began to be tossed about with waves rolling this way and that, they did indeed win to the land by the use of [p. 337]
their oars despite the wind;
but they could neither1
find safe anchorage near the city nor stand off shore before the entrance to the harbour in deep water since the sea was rough and night was coming on.
Passing the walls they made for the port of Phoenicus, less than two miles distant from there, which was sheltered for the ships from the violence of the sea;
but high cliffs towering above it threatened it, and these the citizens, joining the troops of the king whom they had as a garrison, quickly seized.
Against them Livius, although the country was uneven and difficult to traverse, sent the auxiliaries from Issa and the light-armed young men from Zmyrna.
These, as long as there was a harassing attack with missiles, at the beginning, with small raids against parties of a few men rather than a regular engagement, sustained the contest;
when larger numbers were rushing out of the city and now the whole population was pouring forth, fear struck Livius lest the auxiliaries should be surrounded and even the ships endangered from the shore.
So he led out to the fight not only the marines but also the naval allies and even the throng of rowers, using whatever weapons each could find.
Then also there was a battle of uncertain issue, and not only were some soldiers lost, but Lucius Apustius fell in this desultory fighting; finally, however, the Lycians were routed and put to flight and driven into the city, and the Romans, having won a victory not without bloodshed, returned to their ships.
Then he set out for the gulf of Telmessus, which touches Caria on one side and Lycia on the [p. 339]
other, and giving up any design of further action2
against Patara, the Rhodians were sent home and Livius, skirting Asia, crossed to Greece, in order that after conferring
with the Scipios, who were then around Thessaly, he might cross to Italy.