Demetrius, however, was not cowed, but declared that not even if he should lose ten thousand battles like that at Ipsus would he consent to pay for the privilege of having Seleucus as a son-in-law. Then he strengthened his cities with garrisons, while he himself, learning that Lachares had usurped sovereign power over the Athenians in consequence of their dissensions, thought to appear upon the scene and make an easy capture of the city. So he crossed the sea in safety with a great fleet,1
but as he was sailing along the coast of Attica he encountered a storm in which most of his ships were lost and a great number of men perished with them.
He himself, however, escaped alive, and began a petty war against the Athenians. But since he could accomplish nothing, he sent men to collect another fleet for him, while he himself passed on into Peloponnesus and laid siege to Messene. Here, in an attack upon the walls, he came near losing his life; for a missile from a catapult struck him in the face and passed through his jaw into his mouth.
But he recovered, and after restoring to their allegiance certain cities which had revolted from him, he invaded Attica again, got Eleusis and Rhamnus into his power, and ravaged the country. He also seized a ship laden with grain for Athens, and hung its supercargo and its master. All other ships were thus frightened into turning back, and famine became acute in the city, where, besides lack of food, there was dearth also of other things. At any rate, a bushel of salt sold there for forty drachmas, and a peck of wheat was worth three hundred.
A slight respite was afforded the Athenians by the appearance off Aegina to a hundred and fifty ships which Ptolemy sent to assist them. Then numerous ships came to Demetrius from Peloponnesus, and many from Cyprus, so that his entire assemblage numbered three hundred, in consequence of which the ships of Ptolemy put off to sea in flight, and Lachares the tyrant abandoned the city and ran away.