"The farther Antiochus should be removed, the more uncontrollable would be the rule of the Gauls in Asia, and all the lands on this side of the ridges of Taurus you would have added to Gallic territory, not to your own.
Grant, if you will, that what my opponents say is true; but even on one occasion,1
Delphi, the common oracle of the human race, the navel of the world, the Gauls despoiled, and the Romans did not on that account declare or wage a war upon them.
For my part, I thought that there was some difference between that time, when Greece and Asia were not yet under your control and sway, as regards your interest and concern in what
was happening in those lands, and this time, when you have fixed the Taurus mountain as the boundary of the Roman empire, when you bestow liberty and immunity upon cities, increase the territory of some, deprive others of their lands, impose tribute upon others, enlarge, diminish, give, take away kingdoms, and deem it your responsibility that they shall have peace on land and sea.
Or, [p. 167]
supposing that Antiochus had not withdrawn his2
garrisons, which remained peacefully in their citadels, would you consider that Asia had not been set free; but, on the other hand, should the armies of the Gauls be wandering at will, would these gifts which you have presented to King Eumenes have been assured, would liberty have been assured to the cities?
But why do I argue as if I had made the Gauls our enemies, not found them so?
I appeal to you, Lucius Scipio (and when I succeeded to your authority I prayed to the immortal gods, and not in vain, for your valour and good fortune), to you, Publius Scipio, who had the rank of lieutenant but the authority of a colleague both with your brother the consul and with the army, to say whether you know that in the army of Antiochus there were legions of Gauls,3
whether you saw them in the line of battle, stationed on both flanks —for
this was their strength, as it seemed4
—whether you fought with them as with lawful enemies, slew them, and carried off their spoils.
But yet, they say, it Was with Antiochus and not with the Gauls that both the senate had decreed and the assembly had ordered. war. But at the same time, in my judgment, they had decreed and ordered war with those who were within his ranks;
of those, with the exception of Antiochus, with whom Scipio had contracted a peace and with whom you had expressly ordered that a treaty be made, all were enemies who bore arms against us in the cause of Antiochus.5
Although the Gauls [p. 169]
before all were in this class and certain chiefs and6
nevertheless I both negotiated for peace with the others, compelling them, in keeping with the dignity of your empire, to atone for their sins,8
and tried the sentiments of the Gauls, in the hope that perhaps their native fierceness could be softened, and, after I saw that they were untamed and intractable, then at length I decided that I must restrain them by force of arms.
"Now, since I have answered the charge that I initiated the war, I must render account for its conduct.
In this I for my part should trust my own cause even if I were pleading, not before the Roman, but before the Carthaginian senate, where commanders are said to be crucified if they have conducted a campaign with successful result but defective policy;9
but in this state, which, in initiating and carrying out every action, calls upon the gods, for the reason that it exposes to the criticism of no man those actions which the gods have sanctioned, and which includes among its formal phrases, when it decrees a thanksgiving or a triumph, 'because he has conducted the affairs of the state well and successfully,' if I should be unwilling to speak, if I considered it overbearing and presumptuous
to exult in our valour, if in recognition of the good fortune of myself and my army, in that we overthrew so great a nation with no loss of soldiers, I demanded that honour should be paid to
the immortal gods and that I myself might in triumph mount to the Capitoline, whence I set out after duly announcing [p. 171]
my vows, would you refuse this to me as well as to10
the immortal gods?11