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This webpage reproduces a portion of
The Library of History

Diodorus Siculus

published in Vol. X
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1954

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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(Vol. X) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

(Book XX, continued)

 p337  73 1 When this year had passed, Coroebus became archon in Athens, and in Rome Quintus Marcius and Publius Cornelius succeeded to the consulship.1 While these held office King Antigonus, the younger of whose sons, Phoenix,2 had died, buried this son with royal honours; and, after summoning Demetrius from Cyprus, he collected his forces in Antigonia.3 He had decided to make a campaign against Egypt. 2 So he himself took command of the land army and advanced through Coelê Syria with more than eighty thousand foot soldiers, about eight thousand horsemen, and eighty-three elephants. Giving the fleet to Demetrius, he ordered him to follow along the coast in contact with the army as it advanced. In all there had been made ready a hundred and fifty warships and a hundred transports in which a large stock of ordnance was being conveyed. 3 When the pilots thought it necessary to heed the setting of the  p339 Pleiades,4 which was expected to take place after eight days, Antigonus censured them as men afraid of danger; but he himself, since he was encamped at Gaza and was eager to forestall the preparations of Ptolemy, ordered his soldiers to provide themselves with ten days' rations, and loaded on the camels, which had been gathered together by the Arabs, one hundred and thirty thousand measures of grain and a good stock of fodder for the beasts; and, carrying his ordnance in waggons, he advanced through the wilderness with great hardship because many places in the region were swampy, particularly near the spot called Barathra.5

74 1 As for Demetrius, after setting sail from Gaza about midnight, since the weather at first was calm for several days, he had his transports towed by the swifter ships; then the setting of the Pleiades overtook them and a north wind arose, so that many of the quadriremes were driven dangerously by the storm to Raphia,6 a city which affords no anchorage and is surrounded by shoals. 2 Of the ships that were carrying his ordnance, some were overwhelmed by the storm and destroyed, and others ran back to Gaza; but pressing on with the strongest of the ships he held his course as far as Casium.7 3 This place is not very distant from the Nile, but it has no harbour and in the stormy season it is impossible to make a landing here. They were therefore compelled to cast their anchors and ride the waves at a distance  p341 of about two stades8a from the land, where they were at once encompassed by many dangers; for since the surf was breaking rather heavily, there was danger that the ships would founder with their crews, and since the shore was harbourless and in enemy hands, the ships could neither approach without danger, nor could the men swim ashore, and what was worst of all, the water for drinking had given out and they were reduced to such straits that, if the storm had continued for a single day more, all would have perished of thirst. 4 When all were in despair and already expecting death, the wind fell, and the army of Antigonus came up and camped near the fleet. 5 They therefore left the ships and recuperated in the camp while waiting for those vessels that had become separated. In this exposure to the waves three of the quinqueremes were lost, but some of the men from these swam to the shore. Then Antigonus led his army nearer to the Nile and camped at a distance of two stades8b from the river.

75 1 Ptolemy, who had occupied in advance the most strategic points with trustworthy garrisons, sent men in small boats, ordering them to approach the landing-place and proclaim that he would pay a premium to any who deserted Antigonus, two minae to each of the ordinary soldiers and one talent to each man who had been assigned to a position of command. 2 When proclamations to that effect had been made, an urge to change sides fell upon the mercenaries of Antigonus, and it transpired that many even of their officers were inclined for one reason or another  p343 to desire a change. 3 But when many were going over to Ptolemy, Antigonus, stationing bowmen, slingers, and many of his catapults on the edge of the river, drove back those who were drawing near in their punts; and he captured some of the deserters and tortured them frightfully, wishing to intimidate any who were contemplating such an attempt as this. 4 After adding to his force the ships that were late in arriving, he sailed to the place called Pseudostomon,9 believing that he would be able to disembark some of the soldiers there. But when he found at that place a strong garrison and was held in check by bolts and other missiles of every kind, he sailed away as night was closing in. 5 Then giving orders to the pilots to follow the ship of the general, keeping their eyes fixed on its light, he sailed to the mouth of the Nile called Phatniticum; but when day came, since many of the ships had missed their course, he was forced to wait for these and to send out the swiftest of those that had followed him to search for them.

76 1 Since this caused considerable delay, Ptolemy, hearing of the arrival of the enemy, came quickly to reinforce his men and after drawing up his army, stationed it along the shore; but Demetrius, having failed to make this landing also and hearing that the adjacent coast was naturally fortified by swamps and marshes, retraced his course with his whole fleet. 2 Then a strong north wind burst upon them and the billows rose high; and three of his quadriremes and in the same way some of the transports were cast  p345 violently upon the land by the waves and came into the possession of Ptolemy; but the other ships, whose crews had kept them from the shore by main force, reached the camp of Antigonus in safety. 3 Since Ptolemy, however, had already occupied every landing-place along the river with strong guards, since many river boats had been made ready for him, and since all of these were equipped with ordnance of every kind and with men to use it, Antigonus was in no little difficulty; 4 for his naval force was of no use to him since the Pelusiac mouth of the Nile had been occupied in advance by the enemy, and his land forces found their advance thwarted since they were checked by the width of the river, and what was of greatest importance, as many days had passed, food for the men and fodder for the beasts were falling short. 5 Since, then, his forces for these reasons were disheartened, Antigonus called together the army and its leaders and laid before them the question whether it was better to remain and continue the war or to return for the present to Syria and later make a campaign with more complete preparation and at the time at which the Nile was supposed to be lowest. 6 When all inclined toward the quickest possible withdrawal, he commanded the soldiers to break camp and speedily returned to Syria, the whole fleet coasting along beside him. After the departure of the enemy Ptolemy rejoiced greatly; and, when he had made a thank-offering to the gods, he entertained his friends lavishly. 7 He also wrote to Seleucus, Lysimachus, and Cassander about his successes and about the large number of men who had deserted to  p347 him; and he himself, having finished the second struggle for Egypt10 and convinced that the country was his as a prize of war, returned to Alexandria.11

77 1 While these events were taking place, Dionysius, the tyrant of Heraclea Pontica, died after having ruled for thirty-two years;12 and his sons, Oxathras and Clearchus, succeeding to the tyranny, ruled for seventeen years.

In Sicily13 Agathocles visited the cities that were subject to him, making them secure with garrisons and exacting money from them; for he was taking extreme precautions lest, because of the misfortunes that had befallen him, the Sicilian Greeks should make an effort to gain their independence. 2 Indeed at that very time Pasiphilus the general, having heard of the murder of Agathocles' sons and of his reverses in Libya, regarded the tyrant with contempt; and, deserting to Deinocrates and establishing friendship with him, he both kept a firm grip on the cities which had been entrusted to him and by alluring the minds of his soldiers with hopes alienated them from the tyrant. 3 Agathocles, now that his hopes were being curtailed in every quarter, was so cast down in spirit that he sent an embassy to Deinocrates and invited him to make a treaty on these terms: that, on the one hand, got should withdraw from his position as tyrant and restore Syracuse to its citizens, and Deinocrates should no longer be an exile, and that, on the other hand, there should be given to  p349 Agathocles two designated fortresses, Therma and Cephaloedium, together with their territories.

78 1 One might with good reason express wonder at this point that Agathocles, who had shown himself resolute in every other situation and had never lost confidence in himself when his prospects were at their lowest, at this time became a coward and without a fight abandoned to his enemies the tyranny for the sake of which he had previously fought many great battles, and what was the most unaccountable of all, that while he was master of Syracuse and of the other cities and had possession of ships and wealth and an army commensurate with these, he lost all power of calculating chances, recalling not one of the experiences of the tyrant Dionysius. 2 For instance, when that tyrant had been driven into a situation that was confessedly desperate and when, because of the greatness of the impending dangers, he had given up hope of retaining his throne and was about to ride out from Syracuse into voluntary exile, Heloris, the eldest of his friends, opposing his impulse, said, "Dionysius, tyranny is a good winding-sheet." 3 And similarly his brother-in‑law, Megacles, spoke his mind to Dionysius, saying that the man who was being expelled from a tyranny ought to make his exit dragged by the leg and not to depart of his own free choice.14 Encouraged by these exhortations, Dionysius firmly faced all the emergencies that seemed formidable, and not only made his dominion greater, but when he himself had grown old amid its blessings, he left to his sons the greatest empire of Europe.

79 1 Agathocles, however, buoyed up by no such  p351 consideration and failing to test his mortal hopes by experience, was on the point of abandoning his empire, great as it was, on these terms. But as it happened, the treaty never went into effect, ratified indeed by the policy of Agathocles, but not accepted because of the ambition of Deinocrates. 2 The latter, having set his heart upon sole rule, was hostile to the democracy in Syracuse and was well pleased with the position of leadership that he himself then had; for he commanded more than twenty thousand foot soldiers, three thousand horsemen, and many great cities, so that, although he was called general of the exiles, he really possessed the authority of a king, his power being absolute. 3 But if he should return to Syracuse, it would inevitably be his lot to be a private citizen and be numbered as one of the many, since independence loves equality; and in the elections he might be defeated by any chance demagogue, since the crowd is opposed to the supremacy of men who are outspoken. Thus Agathocles might justly be said to have deserted his post as tyrant, and Deinocrates might be regarded as responsible for the later successes of the dynast. 4 For Deinocrates, when Agathocles kept sending embassies to discuss the terms of peace and begging him to grant the two fortresses in which he might end his days, always trumped up specious excuses by which he cut off any hope of a treaty, now insisting that Agathocles should leave Sicily, and now demanding his children as hostages. 5 When Agathocles discovered his purpose, he sent to the exiles and accused Deinocrates  p353 of hindering them from gaining their independence, and to the Carthaginians he sent envoys and made peace with them on terms such that the Phoenicians should regain all the cities which had formerly been subject to them, and in return for them he received from the Carthaginians gold to the value of three hundred talents of silver (or, as Timaeus says, one hundred and fifty), and two hundred thousand measures of grain.15

And affairs in Sicily were in this condition.

80 1 In Italy the Samnites took Sora and Calatia, cities that were allied to the Romans, and enslaved the inhabitants;16 and the consuls with strong armies invaded Iapygia and camped near Silvium.17 This city was garrisoned by the Samnites, and the Romans began a siege which lasted a considerable number of days. 2 Capturing the city by storm, they took prisoner more than five thousand persons and collected a considerable amount of booty besides. 3 When they had finished with this, they invaded the country of the Samnites, cutting down the trees and destroying every district. For the Romans, who had for many years been fighting the Samnites for the primacy, hoped that if they deprived the enemy of their property in the country, it would force them to submit to the stronger. 4 For this reason they devoted  p355 five months to the ruining of the enemy's land; and they burned nearly all the farm-buildings and laid waste the land, destroying everything that could produce cultivated fruit. Thereafter they declared war on the Anagnitae, who were acting unjustly, and taking Frusino they distributed the land.18

81 1 When this year had passed, Euxenippus became archon in Athens, and in Rome Lucius Postumius and Tiberius Minucius were consuls.19 While these held office war arose between the Rhodians and Antigonus for some such reasons as these.20 2 The city of the Rhodians, which was strong in sea power and was the best governed city of the Greeks, was a prize eagerly sought after by the dynasts and kings, each of them striving to add her to his alliance. Seeing far in advance what was advantageous and establishing friendship with each of the dynasts separately, Rhodes took no part in their wars with each other. 3 As a result she was honoured by each of them with regal gifts and, while enjoying peace for a long time, made great steps forward. In fact she advanced to such strength that in behalf of the Greeks she by herself undertook her war against the pirates and purged the seas of these evil-doers; and Alexander, the most powerful of men known to memory, honouring Rhodes above all cities, both deposited there the  p357 testament21 disposing of his whole realm and in other ways showed admiration for her and promoted her to a commanding position. 4 At any rate, the Rhodians, having established pacts of friendship with all the rulers, carefully avoided giving legitimate grounds for complaint; but in displaying goodwill they inclined chiefly toward Ptolemy, for it happened that most of their revenues were due to the merchants who sailed to Egypt, and that in general the city drew its food supply from that kingdom.

82 1 Because Antigonus knew this and was intent on separating the Rhodians from their connection with Ptolemy, he first sent out envoys to them at the time when he was fighting with Ptolemy for Cyprus and asked him to ally themselves with him and to dispatch ships in company with Demetrius;22 2 and when they did not consent, he dispatched one of his generals with ships, ordering him to bring to land any merchants sailing to Egypt from Rhodes and to seize their cargoes. When this general was driven off by the Rhodians, Antigonus, declaring that they were authors of an unjust war, threatened to lay siege to the city with strong forces. The Rhodians, however, first voted great honours for him; and, sending envoys, they begged him not to force the city to rush into the war against Ptolemy contrary to their treaties. 3 But then, when the king answered rather harshly and sent his son Demetrius with an army and siege equipment, they were so  p359 frightened by the superior power of the king that at first they sent to Demetrius, saying that they would join Antigonus in the war with Ptolemy, but when Demetrius demanded as hostages a hundred of the noblest citizens and ordered also that his fleet should be received in their harbours, concluding that he was plotting against the city, they made ready for war. 4 Demetrius, gathering all his forces in the harbour at Loryma,23 made his fleet ready for the attack on Rhodes. He had two hundred warships of all sizes and more than one hundred and seventy auxiliary vessels; on these were transported not quite forty thousand soldiers besides the cavalry and the pirates who were his allies. There was also an ample supply of ordnance of all sorts and a large provision of all the things necessary for a siege. 5 In addition there accompanied him almost a thousand privately owned ships, which belonged to those who were engaged in trade; for since the land of the Thracians had been unplundered for many years, there had gathered together from all quarters a host of those who were accustomed to consider the misfortunes of men at war a means of enriching themselves.

83 1 And so Demetrius, having drawn up his fleet as if for a naval battle in a way to inspire panic, sent forward his warships, which had on their prows the catapults for bolts three spans in length;24 and he had the transports for men and horses follow, towed by the ships that used oarsmen; and last of all came  p361 also the cargo-ships of the pirates and of the merchants and traders, which as we have already said, were exceedingly numerous, so that the whole space between the island and the opposite shore was seen to be filled with his vessels, which brought great fear and panic to those who were watching from the city. 2 For the soldiers of the Rhodians, occupying their several positions on the walls, were awaiting the approach of the hostile fleet, and the old men and women were looking on from their homes, since the city is shaped like a theatre;25 and all, being terror-stricken at the magnitude of the fleet and the gleam of the shining armour, were not a little anxious about the final outcome. 3 Then Demetrius sailed to the island; and after disembarking his army, he took position near the city, setting up his camp out of range of missiles. He at once sent out fit and proper men from the pirates and others to plunder the island both by land and by sea. 4 He also cut down the trees in the region near by and destroyed the farm buildings, and with this material he fortified the camp, surrounding it with a triple palisade and with great, close-set stockades, so that the loss suffered by the enemy became a protection for his own men. After this, using the whole army and the crews, he in a few days closed with a mole the space between the city and the exit, and made a port large enough for his ships.

84 1 For a time the Rhodians kept sending envoys and asking him to do nothing irreparable against the  p363 city; but as no one paid any heed to these, they gave up hope of a truce and sent envoys to Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander, begging them to give aid and saying that the city was fighting the war on their behalf. 2 As to the metics and aliens who dwelt in the city, to those who wished they gave permission to join them in the fighting and the others who were of no service they sent forth from the city, partly as a precaution against scarcity of supplies, and partly that there might be no one to become dissatisfied with the situation and try to betray the city. When they made a count of those who were able to fight, they found that there were about six thousand citizens and as many as a thousand metics and aliens. 3 They voted also to buy from their masters any slaves who proved themselves brave men in the battle, and to emancipate and enfranchise them. And they also wrote another decree, that the bodies of those who fell in the war should be given public burial and, further, that their parents and children should be maintained, receiving their support from the public treasury, that their unmarried daughters should be given dowries at the public cost, and that their sons on reaching manhood should be crowned in the theatre at the Dionysia and given a full suit of armour. 4 When by these measures they had roused the spirits of all to endure the battles with courage, they also made what preparation was possible in regard to other matters. Since the whole people was of one mind, the rich contributed money, the craftsmen gave their skilled services for the preparation of the arms, and  p365 every man was active, each striving in a spirit of rivalry to surpass the others. 5 Consequently, some were busy with the catapults and ballistae, others with the preparation of other equipment, some were repairing any ruined portions of the walls, and very many were carrying stones to the walls and stacking them. They even sent out three of their swiftest ships against the enemy and the merchant ships which brought provisions to him. 6 These ships on appearing unexpectedly sank many vessels belonging to merchants who had sailed for the purpose of plundering the land for their own profit, and even hauled not a few ships up on the beach and burned them. As for the prisoners, those who could pay a ransom they took into the city, for the Rhodians had made an agreement with Demetrius that each should pay the other a thousand drachmae as ransom for a free man and five hundred for a slave.

85 1 Demetrius, who had an ample supply of everything required for setting up his engines of war, began to prepare two penthouses, one for the ballistae, the other for the catapults, each of them firmly mounted on two cargo vessels fastened together,26 and two towers of four storeys, exceeding in height the towers of the harbour, each of them mounted upon two ships of the same size and fastened there in such a way that as the towers advanced the support on each side upheld an equal weight. 2 He also prepared  p367 a floating boom of squared logs studded with spikes,27 in order that as this was floated forward it might prevent the enemy from sailing up and ramming the ships that were carrying the engines of war. 3 In the interval while these were receiving their finishing touches, he collected the strongest of the light craft, fortified them with planks, provided them with ports that could be closed, and placed upon them those of the catapults for bolts three palms long which had the longest range and the men to work them properly, and also Cretan archers; then, sending the boats within range, he shot down the men of the city who were building higher the walls along the harbour.

4 When the Rhodians saw that the entire attack of Demetrius was aimed against the harbour, they themselves also took measures for its security. They placed two machines28 on the mole and three upon freighters near the boom of the small harbour; in these they mounted a large number of catapults and ballistae of all sizes, in order that if the enemy should disembark soldiers on the mole or should advance his machines, he might be thwarted in his design by this means. They also placed on such cargo ships as were at anchor in the harbour platforms suitable for the catapults that were to be mounted on them.

86 1 After both sides had made their preparations in this way, Demetrius at first endeavoured to bring his engines of war against the harbour, but he was prevented when too rough a sea arose; later on,  p369 however, taking advantage of calm weather at night, he sailed in secretly, and after seizing the end of the mole of the great harbour he at once fortified the place, cutting it off with walls of planks and stones, and landed there four hundred soldiers and a supply of ordnance of all kinds. This point was five plethra29 distant from the city walls. 2 Then at daybreak he brought his engines into the harbour with the sound of trumpets and with shouts; and with the lighter catapults, which had a long range, he drove back those who were constructing the wall along the harbour, and with the ballistae he shook or destroyed the engines of the enemy and the wall across the mole, for it was weak and low at this time. 3 But since those from the city also fought stoutly, during that whole day both sides continued to inflict and suffer severe losses; and when night was already closing in, Demetrius by means of towboats drew his engines back out of range. The Rhodians, however, filled light boats with dry pitchy wood and placed fire in them; at first they went in pursuit and, drawing near to the engines of the enemy, lighted the wood, but afterwards, repelled by the floating boom and by the missiles, they were forced to withdraw. 4 As the fire gained force a few put it out and sailed back with their boats, but most of them plunged into the sea as their boats were consumed. On the following day Demetrius made a similar attack by sea, but he also gave orders to assail the city at the same time by land from all sides with shouts and sound of trumpet  p371 in order to throw the Rhodians into an agony of terror because of the many distractions.

87 1 After carrying on this kind of siege warfare for eight days, Demetrius shattered the engines of war upon the mole by means of his heavy ballistae and weakened the curtain of the cross-wall together with the towers themselves. Some of his soldiers also occupied a part of the fortifications along the harbour; the Rhodians rallying their forces joined battle against these, and now that they outnumbered the enemy, they killed some and forced the rest to withdraw. The men of the city were aided by the ruggedness of the shore along the wall, for many large rocks lay close together beside the structure outside of the wall. 2 Of the ships which had conveyed these soldiers no small number ran aground in their ignorance; and the Rhodians at once, after stripping off the beaks, threw dry pitchy wood into the ships and burned them. While the Rhodians were so occupied, the soldiers of Demetrius sailing up on every side placed ladders against the walls and pressed on more strongly, and the troops who were attacking from the land also joined in the struggle from every side and raised the battle cry in unison. 3 Then indeed, since many had recklessly risked their lives, and a good number had mounted the walls, a mighty battle arose, those on the outside trying to force their way in and those in the city coming to the defence with one accord. Finally, as the Rhodians contended furiously, some of the men who had mounted were thrown down and others were wounded and captured, among whom were some of their most distinguished leaders. 4 Since such losses had befallen those who  p373 fought from the outside, Demetrius withdrew his engines of war to his own harbour30 and repaired the ships and engines that had been damaged; and the Rhodians buried those of their citizens who had perished, dedicated to the gods the arms of the enemy and the beaks of the ships, and rebuilt the parts of the wall that had been overthrown by the ballistae.

88 1 After Demetrius had spent seven days on the repair of his engines and ships and had made all his preparations for the siege, he again attacked the harbour; for his whole effort centred upon capturing this and shutting off the people of the city from their grain supplies. 2 When he was within range, with the fire-arrows, of which he had many, he made an account on the ships of the Rhodians that lay at anchor, with his ballistae he shook the walls, and with his catapults he cut down any who showed themselves. 3 Then when the attack had become continuous and terrifying, the Rhodian ship-captains, after a fierce struggle to save their ships, put out the fire-arrows, and the magistrates, since the harbour was in danger of being taken, summoned the noblest citizens to undergo the perils of war for the sake of the common safety. 4 When many responded with alacrity, they manned the three staunchest ships with picked men, whom they instructed to try to sink with their rams the ships that carried the engines of the enemy. 5 These men, accordingly, pushed forward although missiles in large numbers were speeding against them; and at first they broke through the iron studded boom, and then by delivering repeated blows with  p375 their rams upon the ships and filling them with water, they overthrew two of the engines; but when the third was drawn back with ropes by the men of Demetrius, the Rhodians, encouraged by their successes, pressed on into the battle more boldly than was prudent. 6 And so, when many large ships crowded around them and the sides of their own ships had been shattered in many places by the rams, the admiral Execestus, the trierarch, and some others were disabled by wounds and captured; and as the rest of its crew jumped into the sea and swam to their own fellows, one of the ships came into the possession of Demetrius; but the other ships escaped from the battle. 7 When the naval battle had turned out in this way, Demetrius constructed another machine three times the size of the former in height and width; but while he was bringing this up to the harbour, a violent storm from the south sprang up, which swept over the ships that were anchored and overthrew the engine. And at this very time the Rhodians, shrewdly availing themselves of the situation, opened a gate and sallied out upon those who had occupied the mole. 8 A severe battle ensued lasting for a long time; and since Demetrius could not send reinforcements because of the storm, and the Rhodians, on the other hand, were fighting in relays, the king's men were forced to lay down their arms and surrender, in number above four hundred. 9 After the Rhodians had gained these advantages there sailed in as allies for the city one hundred and fifty soldiers from the Cnossians and more than five hundred from Ptolemy,  p377 some of whom were Rhodians serving as mercenaries in the king's army.

This was the state of the siege of Rhodes.31

89 1 In Sicily Agathocles,32 since he had been unable to make terms with Deinocrates and the exiles, took the field against them with what forces he had, believing that it was necessary for him to fight a battle with them and stake everything on the result. Not more than five thousand foot soldiers followed him and horsemen to the number of eight hundred. 2 Deinocrates and the exiles, when they saw the move made by the enemy, gladly came out to meet him in battle, being many times as strong; for their foot soldiers came to more than twenty-five thousand and their cavalry to not less than three thousand. When the armies had encamped opposite each other near the place called Torgium,33 and then were drawn up against each other in battle array, for a short time there was a stubborn battle because of the eagerness of both sides; but then some of those who were at odds with Deinocrates, more than two thousand in number, went over to the tyrant and were responsible for the defeat of the exiles. 3 For those who were with Agathocles gained much more confidence, and those who were fighting on the side of Deinocrates were dismayed and, overestimating the number of the deserters, broke into flight. Then Agathocles, after pursuing them for a certain distance and refraining from slaughter, sent envoys to the defeated and asked them to put an end to the quarrel and return  p379 to their native cities; for, he said, they had found by experience that the exiles would never be able to prevail in a battle with him, seeing that even on this occasion, although they were many times more numerous, they had been defeated. 4 Of the exiles, all the horsemen survived the fight and came safe into Ambicae;34 but as for the foot soldiers, although some escaped when night came on, most of them after occupying a hill made terms with Agathocles, for they had lost hope of victory by fighting and longed for their relatives and friends and for their fatherland and its comforts. 5 Now when they had received pledges of good faith and had come down from the hill-fort, such as it was, Agathocles took their arms; and then, stationing his army about them, he shot them all down, their number being about seven thousand, as Timaeus says, but as some have written, about four thousand. Indeed, this tyrant always scorned faith and his oaths; and he maintained his own power, not by the strength of his armed forces but by the weakness of his subjects, fearing his allies more than his enemies.

90 1 When he had destroyed in this manner the army that had been arrayed against him, Agathocles received any exiles who survived and, making terms with Deinocrates, appointed him general over part of his army and continued to entrust the most important matters to him. In this connection one might well wonder why Agathocles, who was suspicious of everyone and never completely trusted anybody, continued his friendship with Deinocrates alone until death. 2 But Deinocrates, after betraying his allies, seized and slew Pasiphilus in Gela and handed the  p381 strongholds and the cities to Agathocles, spending two years in the delivery of the enemy.35

3 In Italy36 the Romans defeated the Paeligni and took their land, and to some of those who seemed well disposed toward Rome, they granted citizenship. Thereafter, since the Samnites were plundering Falernitis,37 the consuls took the field against them, and in the battle that followed the Romans were victorious. 4 They took twenty standards and made prisoners of more than two thousand soldiers. The consuls at once took the city of Bola, but Gellius Gaius, the leader of the Samnites, appeared with six thousand soldiers. A hard fought battle took place in which Gellius himself was made prisoner, and of the other Samnites most were cut down but some were captured alive. The consuls, taking advantage of such victories, recovered those allied cities that had been captured: Sora, Harpina, and Serennia.38

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Coroebus was archon in 306/5. Livy, 9.42.10, gives the consuls for 306 B.C. as P. Cornelius Arvina and Q. Marcius Tremulus. The Capitoline Fasti are fragmentary for a period of some 40 years beginning at this point.

2 An error by Diodorus or a copyist for Philip: cp. chap. 19.5; Plutarch, Demetrius, 2.1.

3 Continued from chap. 53. For the following campaign cp. Plutarch, Demetrius, 19.1‑2; Pausanias, 1.6.6.

4 About November 1.

5 Literally "Pits," a region of quicksands between the Sirbonian Lake and the Mediterranean. Cp. Books 1.30.1‑9, and 16.46.4‑5, for accounts of the dangers of this region.

6 A day's march south of Gaza.

7 Probably at the western end of the Sirbonian Lake. For the dangers from storms on this coast cp. Strabo, 16.2.26 (p758).

8a 8b A little less than ¼ mile.

9 Literally, "False Mouth."

10 Cp. Book 18.33‑35.

11 It is probably in the winter after this campaign that Ptolemy assumed the diadem and the royal title; cp. chap. 53.3, and note. The narrative is continued in chap. 81.

12 Cp. Book 16.88.5.

13 Continued from chap. 72.5.

14 In Book 14.8.4‑6 the words of Heloris are given as here; but the advice here assigned to Megacles is there put in the mouth of the historian Philistus.

15 Cp. Justin, 22.8.15. The narrative is continued in chap. 89.

16 Cp.  Livy 9.43.1. The narrative is continued from chap. 44.9.

17 Strabo, 6.3.8 (p283), places Silvium on the frontier between Apulia and Iapygia.

18 Anagnia was the chief city of the Hernici. Livy, 9.43, places the victory over the Hernici in this year but the confiscation of the land of Frusino three years later (10.1.3). The narrative is continued in chap. 90.3.

19 Euxenippus was archon in 305/4 B.C. Livy, 9.44.2, gives as the consuls of 305 B.C., L. Postumius and T. Minucius; but a fragment of the Fasti Capitolini supports Diodorus in the praenomen of the last-named.

20 The narrative is continued from chap. 76. For the Rhodian campaign cp. Plutarch, Demetrius, 21‑22.

21 Alexander entrusted certain memoranda to Craterus (Book 18.4.1), but these were not a will, and Diodorus' narrative of the events following Alexander's death assumes that no will existed.

22 Cp. chap. 46.6. In 315 B.C. Rhodes had built warships for Antigonus from timber that he furnished (Book 19.57.4; 58.5); and in 313 B.C. she had furnished 10 ships for the campaign to free Greece (Book 19.77.2).

23 Loryma is in Caria about twenty miles distant from Rhodes.

24 For the use of catapults on ships cp. Tarn, Hellenistic Military and Naval Developments, 120‑121.

25 Cp. Book 19.45.3.

26 Or, reading καὶ κατεζευγμένας: "mounted on two cargo vessels and fastened securely."

27 Or, reading ἐπὶ τετραπέδον ξύλον καθηλωμένον: "a floating palisade fastened with spikes to squared logs."

28 Probably penthouses or sheds.

29 About 500 feet.

30 Cp. chap. 83.4.

31 Continued in chap. 91.

32 Continued from chap. 79.

33 The exact position is unknown.

34 Or Ambycae. The place is unknown.

35 Continued in chap. 101.

36 Continued from chap. 80. Cp. Livy, 9.44.

37 The Ager Falernus is in northern Campania, a little to the west of the Ager Stellatinus where Livy places these Samnite raids.

38 Livy (9.44) places three battles in this year, the first indecisive, the other two decisive Roman victories with 21 standards captured in one and 26 in the other. According to him Bovianum (not Bola, which is unknown) was captured after the second battle (not between them), the Samnite leader is named Statius Gellius (not Gellius Gaius), and the three cities recovered are Sora, Arpinum, and Cesennia (or Censennia). Diodorus returns to Italian affairs in chap. 101.5.

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Page updated: 5 Aug 16