Philip, angered at Alexander's speech, moved his ship nearer the shore, that he might be heard more clearly.
When he had begun to reply, especially to the Aetolians, Phaeneas rudely interrupted him, saying that the decision did not turn on words: Philip must either conquer in battle or obey his betters.
“That is clear,” retorted Philip, “even to a blind man,” making jest of Phaeneas' affliction of the eyes; he was, it must be admitted, more facetious by nature than becomes a king, and not even in serious business did he refrain from jesting.
Then he began to complain that the Aetolians, like the Romans, ordered him to retire from Greece, although they could not say within what boundaries Greece lay; for in Aetolia itself, the Agraei, the Apodoti, the Amphilochi, who comprise a great part of the country, were not in Greece.
“Or,” he asked, “do they have just ground for complaint that I have not kept my hands off their allies, when they themselves have long observed this custom as an established practice, of allowing their own young men to fight against their allies, official sanction being merely withheld, and opposing battle-lines will very often both contain Aetolian auxiliaries?
I did not capture Cios, but I aided my ally and friend Prusias1
who was [p. 259]
besieging it; also, I rescued Lysimachia from the2
Thracians, but, because necessity diverted me from guarding it to this war, the Thracians hold it.
So much for the Aetolians; but to Attalus and the Rhodians I owe nothing justly; for the beginning of the war was their act, not mine; however, to do honour to the Romans, I shall restore Peraea## to the Rhodians and to Attalus the ships and such prisoners as can be found.
Now as to the restoration of the Nicephorium and the temple of Venus, what reply can I make to
those who demand that they be restored, except that (and
in this way alone can woods and groves cut down be restored) I shall take upon myself the responsibility and cost of planting —since this is the sort of thing that kings are pleased to ask and reply to one another.”
The rest of his speech was directed to the Achaeans, in which he recounted first the services of Antigonus to the people and then his own, bade that their decrees be read, which included all honours, divine and human, and taunted them with their most recent decree, in which they repudiated the alliance with him;
and after violently assailing their perfidy, he said that he would nevertheless give back Argos to them; regarding Corinth, he would confer with the Roman commander and ascertain from him
at the same time whether he thought it proper that he evacuate those cities which he himself had captured and which he held by right of conquest, or those also which he had inherited from his sires.