CHAPTER IISends an Embassy to Rome -- Hannibal's Advice to Antiochus -- Hannibal sends a Messenger to Carthage -- Roman Ambassadors meet Hannibal at Ephesus -- Colloquy between Hannibal and Scipio Africanus -- The Place of Hannibal's Death
 Then Antiochus went down to the Hellespont and crossed over to Chersonesus and possessed himself of a large part of Thrace by conquest or surrender. He freed the Greeks who were under subjection to the Thracians, and conciliated the Byzantines in many ways, because their city was admirably situated at the outlet of the Euxine Sea. By gifts and by fear of his warlike preparations he brought the Galatians into his alliance, because he considered them formidable by reason of their bodily size. Then he went back to Ephesus and sent as ambassadors to Rome Lysias, Hegesianax, and Menippus. They were sent really to find out the intentions of the Senate, but for the sake of appearances Menippus said, "King Antiochus, while strongly desirous of the friendship of the Romans and willing to be their ally if they wish, is surprised that they urge him to give up the cities of Ionia and to remit tribute for certain states, and not to interfere with certain of the affairs of Asia and to leave Thrace alone, though it has always belonged to his ancestors. Yours are not the exhortations of friends, but resemble orders given by victors to the vanquished." The Senate, perceiving that the embassy had come to make a test of their disposition, replied curtly, "If Antiochus will leave the Greeks in Asia free and independent, and keep away from Europe, he can be the friend of the Roman people if he desires." Such was the answer of the Romans, and they gave no reason for their rejoinder.  As Antiochus intended to invade Greece first and thence begin his war against the Romans, he communicated his design to Hannibal. The latter said that as Greece had been wasted for a long time, the task would be easy; but that wars which were waged at home were the hard ones to bear, by reason of the scarcity which they caused, and that those which took place in foreign territory were much easier to endure. Antiochus could never vanquish the Romans in Greece, where they would have plenty of home-grown corn and all needed material. Hannibal urged him to occupy some part of Italy and make his base of operations there, so that the Romans might be weakened both at home and abroad. "I have had experience of Italy," he said, "and with 10,000 men I can occupy some convenient place and write to my friends in Carthage to stir up the people to revolt. As they are already discontented with their condition, and harbor ill-will toward the Romans, they will be filled with courage and hope if they hear that I am ravaging Italy again." Antiochus listened eagerly to this advice, and as he considered a Carthaginian accession a great advantage (as it would have been) for his war, directed him to write to his friends at once.  Hannibal did not write the letters, since he did not consider it yet safe to do so, as the Romans were searching out everything and the war was not yet openly declared, and he had many opponents in Carthage, and the city had no fixed or sound policy, -- the very lack of which caused its destruction, not long afterward. But he sent Aristo, a Tyrian merchant, to his friends, on the pretext of trading, to tell them that when he should invade Italy they should rouse Carthage to avenge her wrongs. Aristo did this, but when Hannibal's enemies learned that he was in the city they raised a tumult as though a revolution was impending, and searched everywhere to find him. In order that Hannibal's friends might not be particularly accused, he posted letters in front of the senate-chamber secretly by night, saying that Hannibal exhorted the whole senate to rescue the country with the help of Antiochus. Having done this he sailed away. In the morning the friends of Hannibal were relieved of their fears by this afterthought of Aristo, which implied that he had been sent to the whole senate. The city was filled with all kinds of tumult, the people feeling bitterly toward the Romans, but despairing of accomplishing anything indirectly. Such was the situation of affairs in Carthage.