About the same time ambassadors came also from Tralles and from Magnesia which is on the Meander river and from Ephesus to surrender their cities.
Polyxenidas had left Ephesus when he heard of the battle, and having sailed with the fleet as far as Patara in Lycia, in fear of the guard of Rhodian ships which were at Megiste, he disembarked with a few men and made his way by land to Syria.
The cities of Asia entrusted themselves to the good faith of the consul and the dominion of the Roman people. The consul was now at Sardis; thither too came Publius Scipio from Elaea, as soon as he could stand the hardships of the journey.
About the same time a herald from Antiochus, through the mediation of Publius Scipio, asked and obtained from the consul permission for the king to send ambassadors.
A few days later Zeuxis, who had been governor of Lycia, and Antipater, the son of his brother, arrived.
First meeting Eumenes, who, they thought, on account of their ancient quarrels, would be particularly opposed to peace, and finding him more favourably disposed towards peace than either they or the king had expected, they next interviewed Publius Scipio and through him the consul;
and at their request they were received by a full council at which to announce their errand, and Zeuxis spoke thus: “We do not ourselves have anything to say so much as we ask of you, Romans, by what atonement we can expiate the error of the king and obtain peace and pardon from the conquerors.
In your extreme generosity you have always pardoned defeated kings and [p. 423]
peoples; with how much greater magnanimity and1
with inclinations how much more peaceful should you act in this victory which has made you masters of the world?
Laying aside now quarrels with all mortals, you, like the gods, should consider and spare the human race.” Even before the ambassadors arrived it had been decided what to reply. It was agreed that Africanus should answer.
He is reported to have spoken to this effect: “Out of such things as were under the control of the immortal gods, we Romans have those things which the gods have given us;
but our souls, which are subject to the will of our minds, we have kept and still keep unchanged in every kind of fortune, and neither has prosperity puffed them up nor has adversity depressed them.
As proof of this, to omit all else, I should cite to you your Hannibal as witness if I could not cite yourselves.
After we crossed the Hellespont, before we set eyes on the king's camp or beheld his battle-line, when Mars was approachable to both sides and the outcome of the war undetermined, when you raised the question of terms of peace, we offered conditions, as equals to equals, and these same conditions we now propose as victors to vanquished: keep your hands off Europe; withdraw from all Asia on this side of the Taurus mountains.
Then, for the expenses incurred in the war, you will pay fifteen thousand Euboean talents,2
five hundred now, twenty-five hundred when the senate and the Roman people shall have ratified this treaty, then one thousand talents annually for twelve years. To Eumenes too it is our pleasure that four hundred talents be paid and the balance of the grain [p. 425]
which is due his father.
When we have made this3
agreement, in order that we may hold it as certain that you will carry it out, there will be some guarantee if you give us twenty hostages of our selection;
but never will it be quite clear to us that the Roman people is at peace in any place where Hannibal shall be; him we demand before all else.4
Thoas the Aetolian, too, provoker of the Aetolian war, who by your confidence in them armed you and by their confidence in you armed them against us, you will surrender, and with him Mnasilochus the Acarnanian5
and Philo and Eubulidas of Chalcis.6
It will be in a worse plight that the king will make peace because he makes it later than he could have done. If he delays now, let him know that the majesty of kings falls with greater difficulty from the topmost point to the middle than it is hurled from the middle to the lowest point.” The ambassadors from the king had been sent with instructions authorizing them to accept any proffer of peace; and so it was decided that ambassadors should be sent to Rome.
The consul divided his army to winter at Magnesia on the Meander and at Tralles and at Ephesus. A few days later the hostages were delivered by the king to the consul at Ephesus and the envoys who were to go to Rome arrived.
Eumenes also set out [p. 427]
for Rome at the same time as the ambassadors of the7
They were followed by embassies of all the peoples of Asia.