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On their return to Rome, Marcius and Atilius reported the results of their mission to the senate in the Capitol. The thing for which they took most credit to themselves was the way in which they had hoodwinked the king by holding out hopes of peace.  He was so fully provided with all the means of war, whilst they themselves had nothing ready, that all the strategic positions could have been occupied by him before their armies had landed in Greece.  The interval of the armistice, however, would place them on equal terms, he would no longer have the advantage of preparation, the Romans would begin the war better equipped in every way. They had also succeeded by a clever stroke in breaking up the national council of Boeotia, they could never again be united in support of the Macedonians.  A good many of the senators approved of these proceedings as showing very skilful management.  The elder senators, however, and others who had not forgotten the moral standards of earlier days, said that they failed to recognise anything of the Roman character in these negotiations. "Our ancestors," they said, "did not conduct their wars by lurking in ambush and making attacks at night, nor by feigning flight and then turning back upon the enemy when he was off his guard.  They did not pride themselves on cunning more than on true courage, it was their custom to declare war before commencing it, sometimes even to give the enemy notice of the time and place where they would fight. This sense of honour made them warn Pyrrhus against his physician, who was [7??] plotting against his life, it made them hand over to the Faliscans as a prisoner the betrayer of their children.  This is the true Roman spirit, there is nothing here of the cunning of the Carthaginians or the cleverness of the Greeks, who pride themselves more in deceiving an enemy than in overcoming him in fair fight. Occasionally more can be gained for the time being by craft than by courage, but it is only when you have forced your enemy to confess that he has been overcome not by cleverness nor by accident, but after a fair trial of strength where the rules of war are properly observed-it is only then that his spirit is broken and his defeat a lasting one."  Such were the views of the older senators, who regarded the new policy with disfavour, but the majority preferred expediency to honour and signified their approval of what Marcius had done.  It was decided that he should be sent back to Greece with the fifty quinqueremes, and should be at full liberty to act as he thought best in the interest of the republic. A. Atilius was also sent to occupy Larisa in Thessaly, as there was the danger of Perseus sending a garrison there on the expiration of the armistice, and so keeping the capital of Thessaly under his power.  Atilius sent for 2000 infantry from the army of Cnaeus Sicinius to hold the city.  P. Lentulus, who had returned from Achaia, was supplied with 300 Italian troops to look after Thebes and overawe Boeotia.
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