Antiochus Takes More Towns
Thereupon Antiochus got his army on the march, and,
The advance of Antiochus continued.
arriving at Sidon
, encamped under its wall. He
did not however venture to attempt the town,
because of the vast stores it contained and the
number of its ordinary inhabitants, as well as of the refugees
who had collected there.
He therefore broke up his camp
again, and continued his march towards Philoteria: ordering Diognetus his navarch to sail back
with his ships to Tyre
. Now Philoteria is situated right upon
the shores of the lake into which the river Jordan
itself, and from which it issues out again into the plains
. The surrender of these two cities
to him encouraged him to prosecute his further designs;
because the country subject to them was easily
able to supply his whole army with provisions,
and everything necessary for the campaign in abundance.
Having therefore secured them by garrisons, he crossed the
mountain chain and arrived at Atabyrium, which
is situated upon a rounded hill, the ascent of
which is more than fifteen stades long. But on this occasion
he managed to take it by an ambuscade and stratagem. He
induced the men of the town to come out to a skirmish, and
enticed their leading columns to a considerable distance; then
his troops suddenly turned from their pretended flight, and
those who were concealed rising from their ambush, he attacked
and killed a large number of the enemy; and finally, by
pursuing close upon their heels, and thus creating a panic in
the town before he reached it, he carried it as he had done
others by assault. At this juncture Ceraeas, one of Ptolemy's
At this juncture Ceraeas, one of Ptolemy's
officers, deserted to Antiochus, whose distinguished reception caused great excitement in
the minds of many other of the enemy's officers.
At any rate, not long afterwards, Hippolochus of Thessaly
joined Antiochus with four hundred cavalry of
Ptolemy's army. Having therefore secured Atabyrium also with a garrison, Antiochus started
once more and took over Pella
, Camus, and Gephrus.