Philip, so as to assume the pose of the accuser rather than the accused, himself began with complaints, alleging that the Thessalians had seized by force of arms Menelais in Dolopia, which had belonged to his kingdom; similarly, Petra in Pieria had been taken by the same Thessalians and the Perrhaebians.
Xyniae indeed, which was certainly an Aetolian town, they had annexed as their own; and Paracheloïs, which was under Athamania, had been made Thessalian under no rule of law.
Now as to the charges which they had made against him regarding the ambushing of ambassadors and the frequenting or deserting of maritime harbours, the one, he said, was nonsense, that he should be accountable for what
harbours merchants or sailors would seek, the other was inconsistent with his character.
It was so many years now that ambassadors had never stopped going now to Roman commanders, now to the senate in Rome, carrying charges against him: who of these, he asked, had ever been harmed even by word? They said that once ambassadors going to Quinctius had been ambushed; but what had happened to them they did not add.
These were the allegations of men seeking some false charge to make, since they had nothing true to say.
Arrogantly and excessively did the Thessalians1
misuse the indulgence of the Roman people, as if after a long thirst they drank too greedily a draught of pure freedom: thus, like slaves suddenly set free contrary to their expectations, they were trying out their freedom of voice and tongue and were making a show of themselves by attacking and insulting their masters.
Carried away by anger, he added that the sun of all his days had not yet set.2
This remark not only the Thessalians took as a. threat against them, but the Romans also. And when after this speech a roar of protest began and was finally quieted, he replied next to the Perrhaebians and the Athamanians, that the status of the cities about which they were arguing was the same.
He claimed that the consul Acilius and the Romans had given them to him because they were on the side of the enemy.
If they who had given them wished to take away their gift, he was aware, he said, that he would have to yield;
but they would be doing an injury to a better and more loyal friend to gratify fickle and useless allies. For nothing was gratitude less enduring than for liberty, especially when bestowed upon men who are certain to spoil it by misuse.
Having heard the case, the commissioners gave judgment that it was their pleasure that the Macedonian garrisons should be withdrawn from these cities and that the kingdom should be reduced to the ancient boundaries of Macedonia.3
Regarding the injuries which they complained of as committed by both sides, they would have to determine the rule of procedure to be followed, so as to know in what manner to settle the disputes between these peoples and the Macedonians. [p. 301]