The Byzantines Institute a Toll
Now this exaction by the Byzantines of a duty upon
The Byzantines levy a toll.
goods brought from the Pontus
, being a
heavy loss and burden to everybody, was
universally regarded as a grievance; and accordingly an appeal from all those engaged in the trade was
made to the Rhodians, as acknowledged masters of the sea:
and it was from this circumstance that the war originated of
which I am about to speak.
For the Rhodians, roused to action by the loss incurred
The Rhodians declare war, B. C. 220.
by themselves, as well as that of their
neighbours, at first joined their allies in an
embassy to Byzantium
, and demanded the
abolition of the impost. The Byzantines refused compliance, being persuaded that they were in the right by the
arguments advanced by their chief magistrates, Hecatorus and
Olympidorus, in their interview with the ambassadors. The
Rhodian envoys accordingly departed without effecting their
object. But upon their return home, war was at once voted
on these grounds; and messengers were
immediately despatched to Prusias. inviting his co-operation in
the war: for they knew that Prusias was from various causes
incensed with the Byzantines.