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.
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THE SYRIAN WARS
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