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other, that Ptolemy had made a descent on Cyprus, and conquered all the island, except Salamina, where the mother of Demetrius, with his wife and children, had retired; and that the king of Egypt carried on the siege of that city with great vigor. Demetrius left all to fly to their assistance, but was soon informed that the place had surrendered. Ptolemy had the generosity to give the mother, wife, and children of his enemy, their liberty without any ransom, and to dismiss them with all their attendants and effects. He even made them magnificent presents at their departure, which he accompanied with all imaginable marks of honour.
The loss of Cyprus was soon succeeded by that of Tyre and Sidon; and Seleucus dispossessed him of Cilicia on another side. Thus, in a very short time, he saw himself divested of all his dominions, without any resource or hopes for the future.
DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TWO SONS OF CASSANDER. DEMETRIUS PROCLAIMED KING OF MACEDONIA.
No prince was ever obnoxious to greater vicissitudes of fortune, or ever experienced more sudden changes, than Demetrius. He exposed himself to these events by his imprudence, amusing himself with inconsiderable conquests, while he abandoned his provinces to the first invader. His greatest successes were immediately followed by his being dispossessed of all his dominions, and almost reduced to despair, when suddenly an unexpected resource offered itself from a quarter he had not the least room to expect it.
In the quarrel between the two sons of Cassander for the crown, Thessalonica their mother, favoured Alexander, who was the youngest; which so enraged Antipater, the eldest son, that he killed her with his own hands, though she conjured him, by the breasts which had nourished him, to spare her life. Alexander, in order to avenge this unnatural barbarity, solicited the assistance of Pyrrhus and Demetrius. Pyrrhus arrived the first, and made himself master of several cities in Macedonia, part of which he retained as a compensation for the aid he had given Alexander; and he returned to his own dominions, after he had reconciled the two brothers. Demetrius made his approach at the same instant, upon which Alexander advanced to meet him; and testified, at the interview between them, all imaginable gratitude and friendship; but represented to him, at the same time, that the state of his affairs was changed, and that he no longer had any need of his assistance. Demetrius was displeased with this compliment, whilst Alexander, who dreaded the greatness of his power, was apprehensive of subjecting himself to a master, should he admit him into his dominions. They, however, conversed together with an external air of friendship, and entertained each other with reciprocal feasts, till at last Demetrius, upon some intelligence, either true or contrived, that Alexander intended to destroy him, prevented the execution of that design, and killed him. This murder armed the Macedonians against him at first, but when he had acquainted them with all the particulars that occasioned his conduct, the aversion they entertained for Antipater, the infamous murderer of his own mother,
PA. M. 3710. Ant. J. C. 294. Plut. in Demetr. p. 905, in Pyrrh. p. 386. Justin. 1. xvi, c. 1.
induced them to declare for Demetrius, and they accordingly proclaimed him king of Macedonia. Demetrius possessed this crown for the space of seven years, and Antipater fled into Thrace, where he did not long survive the loss of his kingdom.
One of the branches of the royal family of Philip, king of Macedonia, became entirely extinct by the death of Thessalonica and her two sons; as the other branch from Alexander the Great had before by the death of the young Alexander and Hercules, his two sons. Thus these two princes, who by their unjust wars had spread desolation through so many provinces, and destroyed such a number of royal families, experienced, by a just decree of Providence, the same calamities in their own families, as they had occasioned to others. Philip and Alexander, with their wives and all their descendants, perished by violent deaths.
Much about this time Seleucus built the city of Seleucia on the banks of the Tigris, and at the distance of forty miles from Babylon. It became very populous in a short time, and Pliny tells us it was inhabited by six hundred thousand persons. The dikes of the Euphrates being broken down, spread such an inundation over the country, and the branch of that river, which passed through Babylon, was sunk so low by this evacuation, as to be rendered unnavigable, by which means that city became so incommodious, that as soon as Seleucia was built, all its inhabitants withdrew thither. This circumstance prepared the way for the accomplishment of that celebrated prophecy of Isaiah, who, at a time when this city was in the
9 A. M. 3711. Ant. J. C. 293. Strab. 1. xvi. p. 738, et 743. Plin. I vi. c. 26.
most flourishing condition, had foretold, that it should one day become entirely desert and uninhabited. 'I have observed elsewhere by what manner and degrees this prediction was fully accomplished.
'Simon, sirnamed the Just, and high priest of the Jews, died at the close of the ninth year of his pontificate, and left a young son, named Onias. As he was of too tender an age to take upon himself the exercise of that dignity, it was consigned to Eleazar the brother of Simon, who discharged the function of it for the space of fifteen years.
I here pass over some events of small importance, and proceed to Demetrius, who believing himself sufficiently settled in Greece and Macedonia, began to make great preparations, for regaining the empire of his father in Asia. With this view he raised an army of above an hundred thousand men, and fitted out a fleet of five hundred sail; in a word, so great an armament had never been seen, since the time of Alexander the Great. Demetrius animated the workmen by his presence and instructions, visited them in person, directed them how to act, and even assisted them in their labours. The number of his galleys and their extraordinary dimensions, created an universal astonishment; for ships of six, and even five benches of oars, had never been seen till then; and Ptolemy Philopator did not build one of forty benches till
Vol. II. At the taking of Babylon by Cyrus.
* A. M. 3712. Ant. J. C. 292. Joseph. Antiq. I. xii. c. 2.
A. M. 3716. Ant. J. C. 288. Plut. in Demetr. p. 909, et in Pyrrh. p. 386. Justin. 1. xvi. c. 2.
many years after this period; but then it was only for pomp and ostentation, whereas those which Demetrius built were extremely useful in battle, and more admirable for their lightness and agility than their grandeur and magnificence.
▾ Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Seleucus, receiving intelligence of these formidable preparations of Demetrius, immediately caught the alarm; and in order to frustrate their effect, renewed their alliance, in which they likewise engaged Pyrrhus king of Epirus; in consequence of which, when Lysimachus began to invade Macedonia on one side, Pyrrhus was carrying on the same operations on the other. Demetrius, who was then making preparations in Greece for his intended expedition into Asia, advanced with all speed to defend his own dominions; but before he was able to arrive there, Pyrrhus had taken Berea, one of the most considerable cities in Macedonia, where he found the wives, children, and effects of a great number of soldiers belonging to Demetrius. This news caused so great a disorder in the army of that prince, that a considerable part of his troops absolutely refused to follow him, and declared, with an air of mutiny and sedition, that they would return to defend their families and effects. In a word, things were carried to such an extremity, that Demetrius, perceiving he no longer had any influence over them, fled to Greece in the disguise
This galley was 280 cubits, about 420 feet, in length, 28 cubits, 72 feet, from the keel to the top of the poop It carried 400 sailors, besides 4000 rowers, and near 3000 soldiers, who were disposed in the spaces between the rowers, and on the lower deck. Plut. in the life of Demetr.
A. M. 3717. Ant. J. C. 287.