In the mean time an ambassador came from Antiochus to the camp, —Heraclides, a Byzantian, having mandates concerning peace.
The delay and tardiness of the Romans gave him great hope that this might be attained; for he had imagined, that as soon as they set foot in Asia, they would advance in a rapid march against the king.
He resolved, however, not to address himself to the consul until he had first applied to Publius Scipio, and instructions to that effect were given him by the king. In him he had the greatest [p. 1691]
hope, besides that his greatness of soul, and the fulness of his glory, tended very much to make him inclined to peace, and
it was known to all nations what sort of a conqueror he had been, both in Spain and afterwards in Africa; and also because his son was then a prisoner with Antiochus.
Where, and when, and by what accident he became a prisoner, is, like very many other things, not ascertained among writers. Some say, that in the beginning of the war, as he was going from Chalcis to Oreum, he was intercepted by some of the king's ships;
others, that after the army came into Asia, he was sent with a troop of Fregellans to Antiochus's camp, to gain intelligence; that on the cavalry sallying out against him, he retreated, and having fallen from his horse in the confusion, he was, together with two horsemen, overpowered, and thus conducted to the king.
This however is fully ascertained, that if peace had still subsisted with the Romans, and likewise a personal friendship between the king and the Scipios, the young man could not have been treated and courted with greater kindness than he was.
When the ambassador, for these reasons, had waited the arrival of Publius Scipio, as soon as he came he applied to the consul, and requested that he should hear his instructions.