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Scipio Scorns Antiochus's Secret Proposal

Having at length got a suitable opportunity, he disclosed
The secret offers of Antiochus to Publius Scipio.
to him the offers with which he was charged. These were that the king would first restore his son without ransom, who had been taken prisoner in the early part of the war; and was prepared, secondly, to pay him any sum of money he might name, and thenceforth share with him the wealth of his kingdom, if he would only support the acceptance of the terms offered by the king. Publius replied that the promise as to his son he accepted, and would feel under an obligation to the king if he fulfilled it; but as to the rest he assured him that the king, among his other delusions, was under a complete mistake as to the course demanded by his own interests.
Scipio's reply.
"For if he had made these offers while still master of Lysimacheia and the entrance into the Chersonese, he would at once have got what he asked: and so too, even after evacuating these places, if he had appeared with his army at the Hellespont and shown that he meant to prevent our crossing, and then had sent his envoys, he might even thus have obtained his demands. But when he comes with his proposals of equitable terms, after allowing our troops to set foot in Asia, and having so not only submitted to the bridle, but allowed the rider to mount, he must expect to fail and be disappointed of his hopes. Therefore, I advise him to adopt wiser measures, and look at the facts in their true light. In return for his promise in regard to my son, I will give him a hint which is well worth the favour he offers me: make any concession, do anything, rather than fight with the Romans." With this answer Heracleides returned and told the king everything. And Antiochus, considering that no severer terms could be imposed on him if he were beaten in the field, abandoned all idea of negotiation, and began making preparations of all sorts and in every direction for the battle. . . .

Antiochus sent Scipio's son back. The decisive battle took place in the neighbourhood of Thyatira, and proved a decisive victory for the Romans. This was in the late autumn of B. C. 190. See Livy, 37, 38-44.

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    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 37, 38
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