While this was going on, Antiochus had left Alexandria after an unsuccessful trial of the fortifications and had taken control of the rest of Egypt. He left at Memphis the elder Ptolemy1
whose claim to the throne he was pretending to support with his army, in order that he might attack the winner presently, and led his army off into Syria.
Ptolemy was well aware of this ulterior motive too, and thought that, as long as his younger brother was cowed by fear of a siege, he might be restored to Alexandria [p. 279]
with the aid of his sister and without opposition on2
the part of his brother's friends.
He therefore kept sending, first to his sister, then to his brother and his friends, until he made an amicable settlement with them.
Suspicion was directed against Antiochus because, though he had turned over the rest of Egypt to Ptolemy, he had left a strong garrison at Pelusium.
It was evident that the key to Egypt was in Antiochus' hands, so that he could reinvade it when he wished. The upshot of a civil war between the brothers would be that the winner, worn out by the struggle, would be no match for Antiochus.
This wise reasoning by the elder brother was gratefully accepted by the younger brother and his associates; the sister gave much assistance not only by her advice, but by her entreaties.
Accordingly, peace was made by general agreement, and the elder Ptolemy returned to Alexandria, without opposition even on the part of the mob,3
which had suffered throughout the war from a scarcity of all supplies not only during the siege, but after the enemy had left the walls, because nothing came in from Egypt.
It would have been in order for Antiochus to rejoice at this conclusion had he led his army into Egypt for the purpose of restoring Ptolemy —the specious plea that he had employed in statements to all the states of Asia and Greece either when he received embassies or sent out messages. But he was so incensed that he prepared for war against the two brothers with much more urgency and bitterness than against the one.
He immediately sent a fleet to Cyprus; and in early spring4
he himself advanced [p. 281]
with his army into Hollow Syria on his way to Egypt.5
Near Rhinocolura envoys from Ptolemy met him, offering thanks for his assistance in recovering Ptolemy's ancestral throne and requesting that he should not undo his act of kindness and rather say what he wanted done than shift from ally to enemy and act by force of arms. Antiochus replied that he would recall his fleet and lead back his army on no other terms than the cession to him of all Cyprus, Pelusium, and the region which lies around the Pelusian mouth of the Nile.
He also named a day before which he must receive the report of the execution of his terms.