Phaselis is on the border of Lycia and Pamphylia; it projects far into the deep, and is the first land sighted by travellers who are going to Rhodes from Cilicia and it allows ships to be sighted from afar.
For that reason especially the place was chosen, so that they might be ready to meet the hostile fleet; but, and this they had not foreseen, on account both of the unhealthy country and of the time of year —for it was midsummer —besides, from the unaccustomed odour, diseases began to spread generally, especially among the rowers.
In fear of this epidemic, they went on, and when they were sailing past the gulf of Pamphylia, putting in at the mouth of the river Eurymedon, they learned from the people of Aspendus that the enemy was off Sida.
The king's navy had sailed rather slowly by [p. 357]
reason of the unfavourable season of the etesian1
gales, which is, as it were, allotted to2
winds from the north-west.
There were thirty-two3
Rhodian quadriremes and four triremes; the royal fleet consisted of thirty-seven ships of larger size; among them they had three of seven banks of oars and four of six. Besides these there were ten triremes.
And they saw from a certain watch-tower that the enemy was close at hand. At daybreak next day both fleets moved out of port as if to fight that day; and after the Rhodians had passed the promontory which juts out from Sida into the sea, they were seen by the enemy and sighted them as well.
On the side of the king's fleet, on the left flank, which extended into open water, Hannibal was in command; on the right, Apollonius, one of the nobles; and already they had the ships formed in a straight line.
The Rhodians were approaching in a long column; first was the flagship of Eudamus; Chariclitus brought up the rear; Pamphilidas was in command of the centre of the fleet.
When Eudamus saw the enemy arrayed and ready to engage, he too sailed out into deep water and directed the following ships, keeping their relative positions to one another, to form in a straight line.
This order at first produced confusion; for he had not gone far enough out to sea to permit the array of all the ships to form in line toward the shore,4 [p. 359]
and in his excessive haste, with only five ships,5
he encountered Hannibal; the rest, because they had been ordered to form in line, did not follow.
There was no room left on the land side for the tail of the column; while they were entangled with one another the battle with Hannibal was already begun on the right flank.