Having spoken thus amid loud applause from all, the king left the meeting.
After the withdrawal of the king an argument arose between two chiefs of the Aetolians, Phaeneas and Thoas.
Phaeneas thought that they should use Antiochus as a restorer of peace and as an arbitrator in those matters which were in dispute with the Roman people rather than as a leader in war:
his arrival and his majesty would be more effectual than arms in causing the Romans to observe moderation; men, to avoid the necessity of fighting, would make many voluntary concessions which they could not be compelled to make by war and arms.
Thoas asserted that Phaeneas was not interested in peace but was trying to delay preparations for war, that through weariness the energy of the king might relax and also that the Romans might have time for preparation:
it was well established by sending so many embassies to Rome and holding so many conferences with Quinctius himself, that no justice could be obtained from the Romans, nor would they have asked aid from Antiochus if all hope had not been lost.1
Since this aid had arrived sooner than anyone expected, there should be, he said, no diminution of effort, but rather the king should be asked, since he had come in person as the avenger of Greece, which was the all-important thing, to summon also his military and naval forces.
The king in arms would obtain something; unarmed, he would not have the slightest influence with the Romans, either for the [p. 133]
Aetolians or even for himself.
This opinion prevailed,2
and they voted that the king should be named commander-in-chief and chose thirty of the leaders with whom, if he wished, he could consult.