On this contest, between the two most powerful people in the world, all kings and nations had fixed their attention.
Among them Philip, king of the Macedonians, regarded it with greater anxiety, in proportion as he was nearer to Italy, and because he was separated from it only by the Ionian Sea.
When he first heard that Hannibal had crossed the Alps, as he was rejoiced that a war had arisen between the Romans and the Carthaginians, so while their strength was yet undetermined, he felt doubtful which he should rather wish to [p. 876]
But after the third battle had been fought, and the third victory had been on the side of the Carthaginians, he inclined to fortune, and sent ambassadors to Hannibal. These, avoiding the harbours of Brundusium and Tarentum, because they were occupied by guards of Roman ships, landed at the temple of Juno Lacinia.
Thence passing through Apulia, on their way to Capua, they fell in with the Roman troops stationed to protect the country, and were conveyed to Marcus Valerius Laevinus, the praetor, who lay encamped in the neighbourhood of Luceria.
Here Xenophanes, who was at the head of the embassy, fearlessly stated, that he was sent by King Philip to conclude a treaty of alliance and friendship with the Roman people, and that he had commissions to the Roman consuls, senate, and people.
The praetor, highly delighted with this new alliance with a distinguished potentate, amidst the desertions of her old allies, courteously entertained these enemies as guests, and furnished them with persons to accompany them carefully to point out the roads, and inform
them what places, and what passes, the Romans or the enemy occupied.
Xenophanes passing through the Roman troops came into Campania, whence, by the shortest way, he entered the camp of Hannibal, and concluded a treaty of alliance and friendship with him on the following terms:
That “King Philip, with as large a fleet as he could, (and it was thought he could make one of two hundred ships,) should pass over into Italy, and lay waste the sea-coast, that he should carry on the war by land and sea with all his might;
when the war was concluded, that all Italy, with the city of Rome itself, should be the property of the Carthaginians and Hannibal, and that all the booty should be given up to Hannibal.
That when Italy was completely subdued they should sail into Greece, and carry on war with such nations as the king pleased. That the cities on the continent and the islands which border on Macedonia, should belong to Philip, and his dominions.”