BOOK XX - The Library of History

Bibliotheca historica
The first five books

Page 688


Antigonus his March into Egypt. A Tempest near Raphia, where he lost some of his Ships. He returns into Syria. Dinocrates prevails in Sicily. Agathocles is willing to resign his Government; but Dinocrates stands off. What was done in Italy. Antigonus his War with the Rhodians. Rhodes besieg'd by Demetrius. Agathocles routs Dinocrates his great Army with a few Men. His Cruelty to those that submitted upon Terms, where he butchers Seven thousand. Dinocrates in Favour with Agathocles, and betrays all the Confederates. What was done in Italy.

THE Year following Corybus was chief Magistrate at Athens, and Quintus Martius and Publius Cornelius were created Consuls at Rome. About that time King Antigonus buri'd his youngest Son with Royal Pomp and Splendour; and calling home Demetrius out of Cyprus, commanded his whole Army to meet at his new City Antigonia, for he purpos'd to march from thence into Aegypt: Wherefore leading the Foot himself, he pass'd through Coelo-Syria, having an Army of Fourscore thousand Foot, and above Eight thousand Horse, and Fourscore and three Elephants: He made Demetrius Admiral of his Fleet, giving him order to keep close to the Shoar in sight of the Land-Army, having in all a Hundred and fifty fighting Ships, and a Hundred more of Burden, wherein was an infinite store of Arms of all sorts: And when the Pilots told him, That they were to stay till the setting of the Seven Stars, which would be the Eighth Day from thence, he condemn'd them for being too Timorous. Coming to Gaza, and purposing to fall upon Ptolemy before he was provided for him, he commanded his Soldiers to take with them Ten Days Victual; and getting together Camels out of Arabia, he loaded on them a Hundred and thirty thousand Bushels of Wheat, and infinite store of Hay upon other Beasts of Carriage; and carrying his Munition on Carts, went through the Desart, not without some Trouble to the Army; for that they met with sundry Fens and dirty Places by the way, especially about the Place call'd Barathra. Demetrius loosing from Gaza in the dead of Night, was for many Days together becalm'd; so that the lighter Ships were fain to tow the Ships of Burden after them with Ropes. But after this, and as soon as the Seven Stars were set, a Northerly Wind arose, and fell upon them, with which many of the Ships with four Tire of Oars apiece were driven on shoar near to the City Rhaphia, where was no commodious Landing for them: But of those which carry'd the Artillery, some of them were sunk, and the rest recover'd Gaza again. Yet some of the best of them bare up, and came under the Promontory of Cassius: That Foreland is not far distant from the River Nile, but is no place fit for Shipping; especially if any Tempest be, there is no coming near it: Wherefore every Ship dropping two Anchors apiece, two Furlongs off from Land, were fain to ride it out in a huge Sea in the midst of a Thousand Dangers; for the Fury of the Waves was such, that the great Danger was, lest both Men and Ships should sink down together; and because there was no fit Landing place, and likewise for that the Shoar was guarded by the Enemy, the Vessels could neither make to Land, nor any swim out without extream Hazard: But that which was most grievous, was, That they had spent all their fresh Water, and were Reduc'd to that extremity of Want, that had the Tempest lasted but one day longer, they must all necessarily have perish'd for very Thirst. But in this great Extremity of theirs, and when they expected nothing but Death, the Storm ceas'd; Antigonus with his Army coming to the place, there encamp'd, and the weather-beaten Men came ashoar and refresh'd themselves in the Camp, and waited for the Ships that were separated from them by the Storm. Nevertheless there were lost in this Tempest Three Ships of Five Tires of Oars apiece, out of which some Men escap'd alive to Land. For hence Antigonus remov'd, and sate down with his Army Two Furlongs off from the River Nile. But Ptolemy having Mann'd all the Bank of the River with strong Garisons, sent some in River-Boats, with Commands, that going as near the further Bank as safely they could, they should there proclaim, That if any of Antigonus his Army would come to him, he would give him, if a common Soldier Two Minas, if a Captain a Talent. No sooner was this Proclamation made, but a Multitude of Antigonus his Men, which serv'd him for Pay, grew very desirous to be gone; yea, and some of his Captains too, for that and some other Reasons, had a mind to go also. But when Antigonus perceiv'd, that a multitude of his Men were flying away from him,

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