Theodotus Proposes to Help Antiochus
The king accepted the proposal and agreed to grant
safety to all in the town who were free, amounting to six
thousand souls. And when he took over the town, he not
only spared the free, but also recalled those of the inhabitants
who had been exiled; and restored to them their citizenship
and property; while he secured the harbour and citadel with
While still engaged in this business, he received a letter
Theodotus turns against Ptolemy. See ch. 46.
from Theodotus offering to put Coele-Syria
into his hands, and inviting him to come
thither with all speed. This letter caused
him great embarrassment and doubt as to what he ought
to do, and how best to take advantage of the offer. This
Theodotus was an Aetolian who, as I have already narrated,
had rendered important services to Ptolemy's kingdom: for
which, far from being reckoned deserving of gratitude, he had
been in imminent danger of his life, just about the time of the
expedition of Antiochus against Molon. Thereupon conceiving a contempt for Ptolemy, and a distrust of his courtiers,
he seized upon Ptolemais
with his own hands, and upon Tyre
the agency of Panaetolus, and made haste to invite Antiochus.
Postponing therefore his expedition against Achaeus, and regarding everything else as of secondary importance, Antiochus
started with his army by the same route as he had come.
After passing the canon called Marsyas, he encamped near
Gerrha, close to the lake which lies between the two mountains.
Hearing there that Ptolemy's general Nicolaus was besieging
Theodotus in Ptolemais
, he left his heavy-armed troops
behind with orders to their leaders to besiege Brochi,—the
stronghold which commands the road along the lake,—and
led his light-armed troops forward himself, with the intention
of raising the siege of Ptolemais
. But Nicolaus had already
got intelligence of the king's approach; and had accordingly
retired from Ptolemais
himself, and sent forward Diogoras the
Cretan and Dorymenes the Aetolian to occupy the passes at
. The king therefore attacked these men, and having
easily routed them took up a position near the pass.