Accordingly, while this great force, the like of which no man had possessed since Alexander, was getting under way against Asia, the three kings, Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus, formed a league against Demetrius. Next, they sent a joint embassy to Pyrrhus, urging him to attack Macedonia, and not to regard a truce by which Demetrius had not given him the privilege of having no war made upon him, but had taken for himself the privilege of making war first on the enemy of his choice.
Pyrrhus granted their requests, and a great war encompassed Demetrius before his preparations were completed. For at one and the same time1
Ptolemy sailed to Greece with a great fleet and tried to bring it to revolt, while Lysimachus invaded Macedonia from Thrace, and Pyrrhus from the neighbouring Epeirus, and both plundered the land. But Demetrius left his son in charge of Greece, while he himself, hastening to the rescue of Macedonia, set out first against Lysimachus. But tidings came to him that Pyrrhus had taken Beroea.
The report quickly came to the ears of the Macedonians, and then Demetrius could no longer maintain discipline, but his camp was full of lamentations and tears, coupled with wrathful execrations against himself, and the soldiers would not hold together, but insisted on going away, ostensibly to their homes, but in reality to Lysimachus.
Demetrius therefore determined to put as much distance as possible between himself and Lysimachus, and to turn his arms against Pyrrhus; for Lysimachus, as he thought, was a fellow-countryman and congenial to many of the Macedonians because of Alexander; while Pyrrhus was a new-comer and a foreigner, and would not be preferred by them before himself.
In these calculations, however, he was greatly deceived. For he drew nigh and pitched his camp by that of Pyrrhus; but his soldiers had always admired that leader's brilliant exploits in arms, and from of old they had been wont to consider the man who was mightiest in arms as also the most kingly; besides this, they now learned that Pyrrhus treated his prisoners of war with mildness, and since they were seeking to be rid of Demetrius whether it took them to Pyrrhus or to another, they kept deserting him, at first secretly and in small companies. Then the whole camp was in open agitation and disorder,
and at last some of the soldiers ventured to go to Demetrius, bidding him to go away and save himself; for the Macedonians, they said, were tired of waging war in support of his luxurious way of living. Demetrius thought this very moderate language compared with the harshness of the rest; so he went to his tent, and, as if he had been an actor and not a real king, put on a dark cloak in place of his stage-robes of royalty, and stole away unnoticed.
Most of the soldiers at once fell to pillaging and tearing down his tent, and fought with one another for the spoils; but Pyrrhus came up, mastered the camp without a blow, and took possession of it. And all Macedonia was divided between Pyrrhus and Lysimachus, after Demetrius had reigned over it securely for seven years.2