Aemilius sent to Pergamus for Eumenes, and desiring the Rhodians to be present, held a council on the message. The Rhodians were not averse to a pacification; but Eumenes affirmed that “it was not honourable to treat of peace at that time, nor could an end be put to the thing.
For,” said he, “how can we, shut up as we are, within our walls, and besieged, with honour accept terms of peace? Or to whom shall that treaty be valid, which we shall conclude, without the presence of the consul, without a vote of the senate, and without an order of the Roman people?
For, let me ask, supposing the matter concluded by you, would you immediately go home to Italy, and carry away your fleet and army, or would you wait to know the consul's determination on the case; what the senate should decree, or the people order?
It remains therefore that you must stay in Asia, that your troops being led back again into winter quarters, the war being given over, must exhaust the allies in furnishing provisions;
and then, if it seem fit to those who have the power of determining, we must begin the whole war anew, which we are able, with the aid of the gods, to finish before winter, if no relaxation from our present vigorous movements is made by delay.”
This opinion prevailed; and the answer given to Antiochus was, that they could not treat of peace before the arrival of the consul.
Antiochus, peace being tried for in vain, ravaged, first, the territory of Elaea, then that of Pergamus; and, leaving there his son Seleucus, marched in a hostile manner to Adramyttium, whence he proceeded to a rich tract of country called the Plain of Thebes, a city celebrated in one of Homer's poems; and in no other place in Asia did the king's soldiers find such a plenty of booty.
At the same time, Aemilius and Eumenes also, sailing round with the fleet, came to Adramyttium, to protect the city.