UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
their liberties. As soon as quiet was restored. Demetrius proceeded to
Cyprus, which was now occupied by the forces and partisans of Ptolemy,
and laid siege to Salamis, the capital of the island. The Egyptian ruler
came out with a large squadron to the relief of the city; but in a
severe naval battle he was so completely defeated that he could offer no
further resistance to the progress of his enemy. Salamis and the
other towns of the island surrendered, and were transferred to
Antigonus, in whose name Demetrius made the conquest.
The blow inflicted on Ptolemy in his unfortunate naval battle suggested
to Antigonus the invasion of Egypt. With a powerful army of ninety
thousand men and eighty elephants he marched through Syria to the coast,
and then embarked for the mouth of the Nile. A storm, however, shattered
the squadron, and on arriving in Egypt he found a united people and a
country rendered almost impregnable by the skill and energy of his
Such was the aspect of affairs that he was obliged to adopt the
humiliating expedient of retreating without striking a blow. In order,
however, to redeem his reputation, he directed his flotilla to the
island of Rhodes, and undertook the subjugation of the capital city. For
more than a year Demetrius beat about the ramparts with every species of
enginery known to the military skill of the times; but the Rhodians,
assisted by Ptolemy, held out against him, until at last he was obliged
(B. C. 305) to abandon the siege and grant to Rhodes her independence.
Notwithstanding these reverses to his arms, Antigonus still indulged the
ambitious project of regaining all the dominions of the Empire. He
looked to the subjugation of Egypt, Macedonia, and the East. So
aggressive were his movements that the former league of Seleucus,
Ptolemy and Lysimachus against him was renewed, and both parties
prepared for war. Seleucus entered Cappadocia with twenty thousand men,
and the leaders came from the West to join his forces. It was now B.C.
301, and another crisis had arrived in the history of the nations
subdued by Alexander. Antigonus and Demetrius, at the head of their
army, met the allies at the little village of IPSUS, and here the
decisive battle was fought. Antigonus was slain. His army was routed;
and Demetrius barely escaped with eight thousand men. A new division of
territory followed; Coele-Syria and Palestine fell to Ptolemy; the
larger part of Asia Minor to Lysimachus. Antioch became the capital.
In this strait of his affairs, Demetrius was suddenly relieved by
fortune. Seleucus, now jealous of the growing power of Lysimachus, came
to the rescue and formed an alliance with Demetrius by marrying his
daughter Stratonice. The father, whose political estate was thus
unexpectedly improved, at once resumed the aggressive, retook Cilicia
from Lysimachus, and, in B. C. 295, made a successful invasion of
Greece. In the next year he was declared king of Macedon, an incentive
thereto being his marriage with Phila, the daughter of Antipater.
As soon as he was well seated in authority Demetrius renewed those
visionary schemes which his father had entertained even to the day of
his death. The son was equally ambitious, and would make good his claims
to universal dominion. He accordingly organized a powerful army with a
view to entering upon a career of conquest. At the outset he was
opposed by Lysimachus and Ptolemy. While his attention was directed to
these __________________________________________ 1 It was in
commemoration of the aid given to the Rhodians by Ptolemy in this
memorable siege that they conferred on him the title of Soter, or
Savior-a title more generous than just; for it was to their own heroism
that they owed their deliverance.