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Xenoetas Has Early Success

On one side of the entrance to this pass lies a place called Brochi, on the other Gerrha, which leave but a narrow space between them. After a march of several days through this canon, and subduing the towns that lay along it, Antiochus arrived at Gerrha. Finding that Theodotus the Aetolian had already occupied Gerrha and Brochi, and had secured the narrow road by the lakes with ditches and palisades and a proper disposition of guards, the king at first tried to carry the pass by force; but after sustaining more loss than he inflicted, and finding that Theodotus remained still stanch, he gave up the attempt. In the midst of these difficulties news was brought that Xenoetas had suffered a total defeat and that Molon was in possession of all the upper country: he therefore abandoned his foreign expedition and started to relieve his own dominions.

The fact was that when the general Xenoetas had been despatched with absolute powers, as I have before

Xenoetas at first successful.
stated, his unexpected elevation caused him to treat his friends with haughtiness and his enemies with overweening temerity. His first move however was sufficiently prudent. He marched to Seleucia, and after sending for Diogenes the governor of Susiana, and Pythiades the commander in the Persian Gulf, he led out his forces and encamped with the river Tigris protecting his front. But there he was visited by many men from Molon's camp, who swam across the river and assured him that, if he would only cross the Tigris, the whole of Molon's army would declare for him; for the common soldiers were jealous of Molon and warmly disposed towards the king. Xenoetas was encouraged by these statements to attempt the passage of the Tigris. He made a feint of bridging the river at a spot where it is divided by an island; but as he was getting nothing ready for such an operation, Molon took no notice of his pretended move; while he was really occupied in collecting boats and getting them ready with every possible care. Then having selected the most courageous men, horse and foot, from his entire army, he left Zeuxis and Pythiades in charge of his camp, and marched up stream at night about eighty stades above Molon's camp; and having got his force safely over in boats, encamped them before daybreak in an excellent position, nearly surrounded by the river, and covered where there was no river by marshes and swamps.

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