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Demetrius Fortifies Dimale

While this was taking place, Demetrius, discovering
Illyrian war, B. C. 219.
the intentions of Rome, threw a sufficient garrison into Dimale and victualled it in proportion. In the other towns he put those who were opposed to him to death, and placed the chief power in the hands of his own partisans; and selecting six thousand of the bravest of his subjects, quartered them in Pharos. When the Consul arrived in Illyria with his army, he found the enemies of Rome confident in the strength of Dimale and the elaborate preparations in it, and encouraged to resistance by their belief in its impregnability; he determined, therefore, to attack that town first, in order to strike terror into the enemy. Accordingly, after addressing an exhortation to the several officers of the legions, and throwing up siege works at several points, he began the siege in form. In seven days he took the town by assault, which so dismayed the enemy, that envoys immediately appeared from all the towns, surrendering themselves unconditionally to the protection of Rome. The Consul accepted their submission: and after imposing such conditions as appeared suitable to the several cases, he sailed to Pharos to attack Demetrius himself. Being informed that the city there was strongly fortified, thronged with excellent soldiers, and well-furnished with provisions and all other munitions of war, he began to entertain misgivings that the siege would be long and difficult; and therefore, with a view to these difficulties, he adopted on the spur of the moment the following strategem. He crossed to the island by night with his whole army. The greater part of it he disembarked at a spot where the ground was well-wooded and low; while with only twenty ships he sailed at daybreak to the harbour nearest the town. The smallness of the number of the ships moved only the contempt of Demetrius when he saw them, and he immediately marched out of the town down to the harbour to oppose the landing of the enemy.

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