In a short time after, Marcus Aurelius Cotta, deputy from Lucius Scipio, with ambassadors from king Antiochus and king Eumenes, and the Rhodian delegates, arrived at Rome.
Cotta, first in the senate, and then by their order in the assembly of the people, stated the services which were performed in Asia. Then a supplication for three days was decreed, and forty victims of the greater kinds ordered to be sacrificed. Then audience was given first to Eumenes.
He, when he had briefly returned thanks to the senate, “because they had relieved him and his brother from a siege, and protected his kingdom from the unjust attacks of Antiochus;”
and had congratulated them “because they had carried on affairs successfully by sea and land, and because they had utterly routed, driven out of his camp, and expelled king Antiochus, first from Europe, and then from all Asia on this side of Mount Taurus;”
then said “he preferred that they should learn his own deserts from their generals and deputies, rather than from his mouth.”
All being pleased with his discourse, and desiring him to tell frankly, bashfulness being for the present laid aside, “what recompence he thought proper to be given by the senate and people of Rome;” assuring him that “the senate were inclined to act with greater zeal and more abundant liberality, if possible, according to his deserts.”
To this the king answered, “if the choice of rewards were offered him by others, if only permission to consult the Roman senate were given to him, he would have availed himself of the advice of that most noble body, lest he might appear to have been either immoderate in his desires or shameless in his requests.
But now, when they themselves were the donors, it was much more proper that their munificence towards him and his brothers should be regulated by their own judgment.”
The senate were not discouraged by this answer from desiring him to speak; and when there had been a long contest of kindness on one side, and reserve on the other, whilst they deferred to one another with a politeness not more mutual than insuperable, Eumenes departed from the senate-house.
The senate persisted in their resolution so far as to say, “that it was [p. 1710]
absurd that the king should not know with what hopes or request he came. That he himself best knew what would be suitable to his own dominions. He was much better acquainted with Asia than were the senate. That he ought to be called back and compelled to state what were his wishes and sentiments.”