The Roman provinces nearest to Egypt were Cilicia and Syria, countries
situated on the eastern and northeastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea,
north of Judea. The forces stationed in these provinces would be, of
course, the most convenient for furnishing the necessary troops for the
expedition. The province of Cilicia was under the command of the consul
Lentulus. Lentulus was at this time at Rome; he had repaired to the
capital for some temporary purpose, leaving his province and the troops
stationed there under the command, for the time, of a sort of lieutenant
general named Gabinius. It was concluded that this Lentulus, with his
Syrian forces, should undertake the task of reinstating Ptolemy on his
throne.

While these plans and arrangements were yet immature, a circumstance
occurred which threatened, for a time, wholly to defeat them. It seems
that when Cleopatra's father first left Egypt, he had caused a report to
be circulated there that he had been killed in the revolt. The object of
this stratagem was to cover and conceal his flight. The government of
Berenice soon discovered the truth, and learned that the fugitive had
gone in the direction of Rome. They immediately inferred that he was
going to appeal to the Roman people for aid, and they determined that,
if that were the case, the Roman people, before deciding in his favor,
should have the opportunity to hear their side of the story as well as
his. They accordingly made preparations at once for sending a very
imposing embassage to Rome. The deputation consisted of more than a
hundred persons. The object of Berenice's government in sending so large
a number was not only to evince their respect for the Roman people, and
their sense of the magnitude of the question at issue, but also to guard
against any efforts that Ptolemy might make to intercept the embassage
on the way, or to buy off the members of it by bribes. The number,
however large as it was, proved insufficient to accomplish this purpose.
The whole Roman world was at this time in such a condition of disorder
and violence, in the hands of the desperate and reckless military
leaders who then bore sway, that there were everywhere abundant
facilities for the commission of any conceivable crime. Ptolemy
contrived, with the assistance of the fierce partisans who had espoused
his cause, and who were deeply interested in his success on account of
the rewards which were promised them, to waylay and destroy a large
proportion of this company before they reached Rome. Some were
assassinated; some were poisoned; some were tampered with and bought off
by bribes. A small remnant reached Rome; but they were so intimidated by
the dangers which surrounded them, that they did not dare to take any
public action in respect to the business which had been committed to
their charge. Ptolemy began to congratulate himself on having completely
circumvented his daughter in her efforts to protect herself against his
designs.

[...]
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