Achaeus and Prusias I. of Bithynia
The Byzantines took steps of a similar nature, by
sending to Attalus and Achaeus begging for their assistance.
For his part Attalus was ready enough to give it: but his
importance was small, because he had been reduced within the
limits of his ancestral dominions by Achaeus. But Achaeus,
who exercised dominion throughout Asia
on this side Taurus,
and had recently established his regal power, promised assistance;
and his attitude roused high hopes in the minds of the
Byzantines, and corresponding depression in those of the Rhodians and Prusias.
Achaeus was a relation of
the Antiochus who had just succeeded to the
kingdom of Syria
; and he became possessed of the dominion
I have mentioned through the following circumstances.
After the death of Seleucus, father of the above-named
Antiochus, and the succession of his eldest son
Seleucus to the throne, Achaeus accompanied
the latter in an expedition over Mount Taurus, about two years
before the period of which we are speaking.1
For as soon as
Seleucus the younger had succeeded to the kingdom he learnt
that Attalus had already reduced all Asia
on this side of Taurus
under his power; and being accordingly eager to support his
own rights, he crossed Taurus with a large army. There he
was treacherously assassinated by Apaturius the Gaul
Nicanor. Achaeus, in right of his relationship, promptly
revenged his murder by killing Nicanor and Apaturius; and
taking supreme command of the army and administration,
conducted it with wisdom and integrity. For the opportunity
was a convenient one, and the feeling of the common soldiers
was all in favour of his assuming the crown; yet he refused to
do so, and preserving the royal title for Antiochus the younger,
son of Seleucus, went on energetically with the expedition, and
the recovery of the whole of the territory this side Taurus.
Meeting however with unexpected success,—for he shut up
Attalus within the walls of Pergamus
and became master of all
the rest of the country,—he was puffed up by his good fortune,
and at once swerved from his straightforward course of policy.
He assumed the diadem, adopted the title of king, and was at
this time the most powerful and formidable of all the kings
and princes this side Taurus. This was the man on whose
help the Byzantines relied when they undertook the war
against the Rhodians and Prusias.