Great Sea-fight Off Chios Between Philip and the Allied Fleets of Attalus and Rhodes, B. C. 201
As the siege was not going on favourably for him, and
Philip failing to take Chios sails off to Samos.
the enemy were blockading him with an increasing number of decked vessels, he felt
uncertain and uneasy as to the result. But
as the state of affairs left him no choice, he suddenly put to
sea quite unexpectedly to the enemy; for Attalus expected that
he would persist in pushing on the mines he had commenced.
But Philip was especially keen to make his putting to sea a
surprise, because he thought that he would thus be able to outstrip the enemy, and complete the rest of his passage along
the coast to Samos in security.
Attalus and Theophiliscus follow him.
But he was much
disappointed in his calculations; for Attalus and
Theophiliscus (of Rhodes), directly they saw him
putting to sea, lost no time in taking action. And although,
from their previous conviction that Philip meant to stay where
he was, they were not in a position to put to sea quite simultaneously, still by a vigorous use of their oars they managed to
overtake him, and attacked,—Attalus the enemy's right wing,
which was his leading squadron, and Theophiliscus his left. Thus
intercepted and surrounded, Philip gave the signal to the ships
of his right wing, ordering them to turn their prows towards
the enemy and engage them boldly; while he himself retreated
under cover of the smaller islands, which lay in the way, with
some light galleys, and thence watched the result of the battle.
The whole number of ships engaged were, on Philip's side, fiftythree decked, accompanied by some undecked vessels, and galleys
and beaked ships to the number of one hundred and fifty; for
he had not been able to fit out all his ships in Samos. On
the side of the enemy there were sixty-five decked vessels,
besides those which came from Byzantium, and along with
them nine triemioliae
(light-decked vessels), and three triremes.