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[14] Hannibal replied, "It is not difficult to reduce the Thessalians either now or at the end of winter, if you wish. Exhausted by much suffering they will change now to you, and again to the Romans, if any misfortune befalls you. We have come here without any army of our own, trusting to the Ætolians, who said that the Lacedæmonians and Philip would join us. Of these I hear that the Lacedæmonians are as hostile to us as the Achæans are, and as for Philip I do not see him here helping you, although he can turn the scale of this war for whichever side he favors. I hold the same opinion as before, that you should call in an army from Asia as quickly as possible and not put any reliance on Amynander or the Ætolians. When your army comes, carry the war into Italy so that they may be distracted by evils at home, and thus harm you as little as possible, and make no advance movement for fear of what may befall themselves. The plan I spoke of before is no longer available, but you ought to employ half of your fleet in ravaging the shores of Italy and keep the other half lying in wait for opportunities, while you station yourself with all your land forces at some point in Greece near to Italy, making a feint of invasion and invading it at any time if you can. Try by every means to make an alliance with Philip, because he can be of the greatest service to whichever side he espouses. If he will not consent, send your son Seleucus against him by way of Thrace so that Philip likewise may be distracted by troubles at home, and prevented from furnishing aid to the enemy." Such were the counsels of Hannibal, and they were the best of all that were offered; but, moved by jealousy of his reputation and judgment, the other counsellors, and the king himself no less, cast them all aside lest Hannibal should seem to excel them in generalship, and lest the glory of the exploits should be his -- except that Polyxenidas was sent to Asia to bring an army.
Y.R. 563

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