On the hither side of the river Audena, Quintus Mucius made war on those who had wasted the lands of Luna and Pisae: and having reduced them all to subjection, he took away their arms from them. On account of these services, performed under the conduct and auspices of the two consuls, the senate voted a thanksgiving for three days, and sacrifices of forty victims. The commotions which broke out in Gaul and Liguria, at the beginning of this year, were thus speedily sup- [p. 1941]
pressed, without any great difficulty; but the apprehensions of the public, respecting a war with Macedon, still continued. For Perseus laboured to embroil the Bastarnians with the Dardanians; and the ambassadors, sent to examine into the state of affairs in Macedon, returned to Rome, and brought certain information that hostilities had commenced in Dardania.
At the same time came envoys from king Perseus, to plead in excuse that neither had the Bastarnians been invited by him, nor had they done any thing at his instigation. The senate neither acquitted the king of the imputation, nor urged it against him; they only ordered him to be warned to be very careful to show, that he considered the treaty between him and the Romans as inviolable.
The Dardanians, perceiving that the Bastarnians, so far from quitting their country, as they had hoped, became daily more troublesome, as they were supported by the neighbouring Thracians and Scordiscians, thinking it necessary to make some effort against them, though without any reasonable prospect of success, assembled together in arms from all quarters, at the town that was nearest to the camp of the Bastarnians. It was now winter, and they chose that season of the year, as supposing that the Thracians and Scordiscians would return to their own countries.
As soon as they heard that these were gone, and the Bastarnians left by themselves, they divided their forces into two parts, that one might march openly along the straight road to attack the enemy; and that the other, going round through a wood, which lay out of sight, might assault them on the rear. But, before these could arrive at the enemy's post, the fight commenced, and the Dardanians were beaten, and pursued to the town, which was about twelve miles from the Bastarnian camp. The victors immediately invested the city, not doubting that, on the day following, either the enemy would surrender it from fear, or they might take it by storm. Meanwhile the other body of Dardanians, which had gone round, not having heard of the defeat of their countrymen, easily
possessed themselves of the camp of the Bastarnians, which had been left without a guard.
The Bastarnians, thus deprived of all their provisions and warlike stores, which were in their camp, and having no means of re- placing them in a hostile country, and at that unfavourable season, resolved to return to their native home. Having [p. 1942]therefore retreated to the Danube, they found it, to their great joy, covered with ice, so thick as to seem capable of sustaining any weight. But when the entire body of men and cattle, hastening on, and crowding together, pressed on it at the same time, the ice, splitting under the immense weight, suddenly parted, and being overcome and broken up, left in the middle of the water the entire army which it had supported so long.
Most of them were immediately swallow- ed in the eddies of the river. The fragments of the broken ice passed over many of them in their attempt to swim and drown- ed them. A few out of the entire nation with difficulty escaped to either bank, with their persons severely crushed. About this time, Antiochus, son to Antiochus the Great, who had been for a long time a hostage at Rome, came into possession of the kingdom of Syria, on the death of his brother Seleucus.
For Seleucus, whom the Greeks call Phi- lopator, after having received the kingdom of Syria, which had been greatly debilitated by the misfortunes of his father, during an idle reign of twelve years never distinguished by any memorable enterprise at all, called home from Rome this his younger brother, sending, in his stead, his own son Demen- lius, according to the terms of the treaty, which allowed the changing of the hostages from time to time. Antiochus had but just reached Athens on his way, when Seleucus was murdered, in consequence of a conspiracy formed by Helio- dorus, one of the nobles. Eumenes and Attalus expelled him aiming at the crown, and put Antiochus in possession of it, and valued it highly that they had bound him to them by this so important a favour. They now began to harbour some jealousy of the Romans, on account of several trifling causes of disgust. Antiochus, having gained the kingdom by their aid, was received by the people with such transports of joy, that they gave him the surname of Epiphanes, or Rising Star, because when aliens to the royal blood were about to seize the throne, he appeared like a propitious star, to assert his hereditary right.
He was not deficient in capacity or vigour of mind to make figure in war; but he was so perverse and indiscreet in the whole tenor of his con- duct and behaviour, that they soon changed the surname which they had given him, and instead of Epiphanes, called him Epimanes or Madman. For often having gone forth [p. 1943]from the palace without the knowledge of his servants, with one or two attendants, crowned with roses, and dressed in robes embroidered with gold, he used to go through the city, sometimes striking those that he met with stones that he carried under his arms; sometimes, on the other hand, throwing money among the mob, and shouting out, “Let him take to whom fortune shall give.” But at another time he used to go through the workshops of the goldsmiths, and engravers and other artisans, arguing vainly concerning the art of each: at another time he engaged in conversation in public with any of the plebeian she met: again, wandering around the common taverns, he indulged in potations with foreigners and strangers of the lowest grade.
If by chance he had learned that any young men were celebrating an un- timely banquet, he himself at once came upon them suddenly, with a glass and a concert, revelling and wantoning, so that most of them, struck with terror at the strangeness of the matter, fled away, and the remainder were silent in fear. It is ascertained also that, in the public baths, he used to bathe with the mob. As however there he was in the habit of using the most precious unguents, they report that a plebeian one day said to him: “You are happy, O king: you savour of perfumes of the highest value.”
To whom Antiochus, delighted at his words, said, “I will immediately make you so happy, that you will confess that you are sated:” and immediately ordered a large pot of most valuable unguent to be poured on his head, so that, the floor being drenched with it, both the others began to fall on the slippery surface, and the king himself, laughing heartily, came to the ground.
20. Lastly, having assumed the Roman gown instead of his royal robes, he used to go about the market-place, as he had seen done by the candidates for office at Rome, saluting and embracing each of the plebeians; soliciting at one time for the aedileship, at another for the plebeian tri- buneship, until at last he obtained the office by the suffrages of the people, and then, according to the Roman