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Antiochus Attempts to Complete his Conquest

The approach of spring found both sides weary of
Renewal of hostilities, B. C. 218.
negotiations, and with no prospect of coming to a conclusion. Antiochus therefore began collecting his forces, with a view of making an invasion by land and sea, and completing his conquest of Coele-Syria. On his part Ptolemy gave the supreme management of the war to Nicolaus, sent abundant provisions to Gaza, and despatched land and sea forces. The arrival of these reinforcements gave Nicolaus courage to enter upon the war: the commander of the navy promptly co-operating with him in carrying out all his orders. This admiral was Perigenes, whom Ptolemy sent out in command of the fleet, consisting of thirty fully-decked ships and more than four thousand ships of burden. Nicolaus was by birth an Aetolian, and was the boldest and most experienced officer in the service of Ptolemy. With one division of his army he hastened to seize the pass at Platanus; with the rest, which he personally commanded, he occupied the environs of Porphyrion; and there prepared to resist the invasion of the king: the fleet being also anchored close to him.

Meanwhile Antiochus had advanced as far as Marathus.

Antiochus marches to Beirut.
On his way he had received a deputation of Aradians, asking for an alliance; and had not only granted their request, but had put an end to a quarrel which they had amongst themselves, by reconciling those of them who lived on the island with those who lived on the mainland. Starting from Marathus he entered the enemy's country near the promontory called Theoprosopon, and advanced to Berytus, having seized Botrys on his way, and burnt Trieres and Calamus. From Berytus he sent forward Nicarchus and Theodotus with orders to secure the difficult passes near the river Lycus; while he himself set his army in motion and encamped near the river Damuras: Diognetus, the commander of his navy, coasting along parallel with him all the while. Thence once more, taking with him the divisions commanded by Theodotus and Nicarchus, which were the light troops of the army, he set out to reconnoitre the pass occupied already by Nicolaus. After thoroughly surveying the nature of the ground, he retired to his camp for that day. But on the next, leaving his heavy-armed troops in the charge of Nicarchus, he set out with the rest of his forces to execute his design.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (8):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), BOTRYS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), GAZA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PLA´TANUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PORPHY´REON
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TAMYRAS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TRIE´RES
    • Smith's Bio, Nicola'us
    • Smith's Bio, Peri'genes
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