Antiochus and Ptolemy Appeal to Rome
WHEN the war between the kings Antiochus and Ptolemy1
for the possession of Coele-Syria had just
begun, Meleager, Sosiphanes, and Heracleides
came as ambassadors from Antiochus, and
Timotheos and Damon from Ptolemy. The
one actually in possession of Coele-Syria and
Phoenicia was Antiochus; for ever since his father's victory
over the generals of Ptolemy at Panium2
all those districts had
been subject to the Syrian kings. Antiochus, accordingly,
regarding the right of conquest as the strongest and most
honourable of all claims, was now eager to defend these places
as unquestionably belonging to himself: while Ptolemy, conceiving that the late king Antiochus had unjustly taken
advantage of his father's orphan condition to wrest the cities in
Coele-Syria from him, was resolved not to acquiesce in his
possession of them. Therefore Meleager and his colleagues
came to Rome with instructions to protest before the Senate
that Ptolemy had, in breach of all equity, attacked him first;
while Timotheos and Damon came to renew their master's
friendship with the Romans, and to offer their mediation for
putting an end to the war with Perseus; but, above all, to
watch the communications made by Meleager's embassy. As
to putting an end to the war, by the advice of Marcus
Aemilius they did not venture to speak of it; but after formally renewing the friendly relations between Ptolemy and Rome,
and receiving a favourable answer, they returned to Alexandria. To Meleager and his colleagues the Senate answered
that Quintus Marcius should be commissioned to write to
Ptolemy on the subject, as he should think it most to the
interest of Rome and his own honour. Thus was the business
settled for the time. . . .
Embassy from Rhodes
About this time there came also ambassadors from the
The Rhodians ask for license to import corn.
Rhodians towards the end of summer, Agesilochus, Nicagoras, and Nicander. The objects
of their mission were to renew the friendship
of Rhodes and Rome; to obtain a license for importing
corn from the Roman dominions; and to defend their
state from certain charges that had been brought against
it. For there were most violent party contests going on in
Rhodes: Agathagetus, Philophron, Rhodophon, and Theaetetus resting all their hopes on the Romans, and Deinon and
Polyaratus on Perseus and the Macedonians; and as these
divisions gave rise to frequent debates in the course of their
public business, and many contradictory expressions were
used in their deliberations, plenty of opportunities were
afforded to those who wished to make up stories against the
state. On this occasion, however, the Senate affected to be
ignorant of all this, though perfectly acquainted with what
went on in the island, and granted them a license to import
one hundred thousand medimini of corn from Sicily. This
answer was given by the Senate to the Rhodians separately.
Audience was then given collectively to all the envoys from
the rest of Greece that were united in the same policy. . . .
Pressure Put On Achaia and Aetolia
Aulus being thus Proconsul, and wintering in Thessaly
B. C. 169. Aulus Hostilius, in Greece with proconsular authority,
sends Popilius and Octavius to visit the Greek towns and read the decree of the Senate.
with the army, sent Gaius Popilius and Gnaeus
Octavius to visit certain places in Greece.
They first came to Thebes, where, after speaking
in complimentary terms of the Thebans, they exhorted them to maintain their good disposition
towards Rome. They then went a round of
the cities in the Peloponnese, and endeavoured
to convince the people of the clemency and
humanity of the Senate by producing the3
which I recently mentioned.
They visit the Peloponnese, and express
some dissatisfaction at the backward policy of certain Achaeans.
At the same time they
made it clearly understood that the Senate was
aware who in the several states were hanging
back and trying to evade their obligations, and
who were forward and zealous; and they let it be
seen that they were as much displeased with those
who thus hung back as with those who openly
took the opposite side. This brought hesitation and doubt to
the minds of the people at large, as to how to frame their
words and actions so as to exactly suit the necessities of the
Lycortas, Archon, and Polybius are supposed to be particularly aimed at.
Gaius and Gnaeus were reported to have resolved, as
soon as the Achaean congress was assembled, to accuse Lycortas, Archon, and Polybius, and to point out
that they were opposed to the policy of Rome;
and were at the present moment refraining from
active measures, not because that was their
genuine inclination, but because they were watching the turn of events, and waiting their opportunity. They did
not, however, venture to do this, because they had no wellfounded pretext for attacking these men. Accordingly, when
met at Aegium, after delivering a speech of mingled
compliments and exhortation, they took ship for Aetolia.
Discussion of the Aetolian Congress
The Aetolian congress being summoned to meet them
at Thermum, they came before the assembled
people, and again delivered a speech in which
expressions of benevolence were mixed with
Various Aetolians accuse each other.
But the real cause of summoning the congress
was to announce that the Aetolians must give
hostages. On their leaving the speakers' platform, Proandrus stood forward and desired
leave to mention certain services performed by himself to the
Romans, and to denounce those who accused
Gaius thereupon rose; and, though he well
knew that Proandrus was opposed to Rome, he paid him some
compliments, and acknowledged the truth of everything he
After this, Lyciscus stood forward,
and, without accusing any one person by name,
yet cast suspicion on a great many. For he said that "The
Romans had been quite right to arrest the ringleaders and
take them to Rome" (whereby he meant Eupolemus, Nicander, and the rest): "but members of their party still remained
in Aetolia, all of whom ought to meet with the same correction,
unless they gave up their children as hostages to the Romans."
In these words he meant to point especially to Archedamus
and Pantaleon; and, accordingly, when he retired, Pantaleon
stood up, and, after a brief denunciation of
Lyciscus for his shameless and despicable flattery
of the stronger side, turned to Thoas, conceiving him to be the
man whose accusations of himself obtained the greater credit
from the fact that he had never been supposed to be at enmity with him. He reminded Thoas first of the events in
the time of Antiochus; and then reproached him for ingratitude to himself, because, when he had been surrendered to
Rome, he obtained an unexpected release at the intercession
of Nicander and himself. He ended by calling upon the
Aetolians, not only to hoot Thoas down if he tried to speak,
but to join with one accord in stoning him.
This was done;
and Gaius, after administering a brief reproof
to the Aetolians for stoning Thoas, departed
with his colleague to Acarnania, without any more being said
about hostages. Aetolia, however, was filled with mutual
suspicions and violent factions.
Lycortas Advises Neutrality
In Acarnania the assembly was held at Thurium, at
which Aeschrion, Glaucus, and Chremes, who were all partisans of Rome, begged Gaius and Gnaeus to
place a garrison in Acarnania; for they had
among them certain persons who were for putting the
country in the hands of Perseus and the Macedonians. The
advice of Diogenes was the opposite. "A garrison," he
said, "ought not to be put into any of their cities, for that
was what was done to those who had been at war with
Rome and had been beaten; whereas the Acarnanians had
done no wrong, and did not deserve in any respect to have
a garrison thrust upon them. Chremes and Glaucus and
their partisans were slandering their political opponents, and
desired to bring in a garrison which would support their selfseeking
policy, in order to establish their own tyrannical
power." After these speeches, Gaius and his colleague, seeing
that the populace disliked the idea of having garrisons, and
wishing to follow the line of policy marked out by the Senate,
expressed their adherence to the view of Diogenes; and departed to join the Proconsul at Larisa, after paying some
compliments to the Acarnanians. . . .
Council of the Achaeans
The Greeks made up their minds that this embassy
Meeting of Achaean statesmen to consider their policy, B. C. 169
required much consideration on their part.
They therefore called to council such men as
were of one mind in other political questions,—
Arcesilaus and Ariston of Megalopolis, Stratius
of Tritaea, Xenon of Patrae and Apollonides of
Lycortas is for complete neutrality.
But Lycortas stood firm to his original
view: which was that they should send no help
to either Perseus or Rome in any way, nor, on
the other hand, take part against either. For he held that
co-operation with either would be disadvantageous to the
Greeks at large, because he foresaw the overwhelming power
which the successful nation would possess; while active
hostility, he thought, would be dangerous, because they had
already in former times been in opposition to many of the
most illustrious Romans in their state policy.
Apollonides and Stratius for suppressing rash declarations for Rome, and yet not openly opposing her.
and Stratius did not recommend open and
avowed hostility to Rome, but thought that
"Those who were for plunging headlong into
the contest, and wished to use the action
of the nation to secure their own personal
favour at Rome, ought to be put down and
The Strategus Archon is for bending to the storm, and acting frankly for Rome.
Archon said that "They must yield to
circumstances, and not give their personal
enemies a handle for accusations; nor allow
themselves to fall into the same misfortune as
Nicander, who, before he had learnt what the
power of Rome really was, had met with the
gravest calamities." With this last view, Polyaenus, Arcesilaus, Ariston, and Xenon agreed. It was thereupon decided
that Archon should go without delay to his duties
as Strategus, and Polybius to those of Hipparch.
A Speech of Polybius
Very soon after these events, and when Archon had made
Embassy from Attalus to the Achaeans desiring the restoration
of the honours formally decreed to his brother Eumenes, See 27, 18.
up his mind that the Achaeans must take active
part with Rome and her allies, it happened most
conveniently that Attalus made his proposal to
him and found him ready to accept it. Archon
at once eagerly promised his support to Attalus's
request: and when thereupon that prince's envoys
appeared at the next congress, and addressed
the Achaeans about the restoration of king Eumenes's honours,
begging them to do this for the sake of Attalus, the people did
not show clearly what their feeling was, but a good many rose
to speak against the proposal from many various motives.
Those who were originally the advisers of the honours being
paid to the king were now desirous to confirm the wisdom of
their own policy; while those who had private reasons for
animosity against the king thought this a good opportunity
for revenging themselves upon him; while others again, from
spite against those who supported him, were determined that
Attalus should not obtain his request. Archon, however, the
Strategus, rose to support the envoys,—for it was a matter
that called for an expression of opinion from the Strategus,—
but after a few words he stood down, afraid of being thought
to be giving his advice from interested motives and the hope
of making money, because he had spent a large sum on his
office. Amidst a general feeling of doubt and hesitation,
Polybius rose and delivered a long speech. But that part of it
which best fell in with the feelings of the populace was that in
which he showed that "The original decree of the
Achaeans in regard to these honours enacted that
such honours as were improper and contrary to law
were to be abolished, but not all
honours by any means.
Sosigenes and Diopeithes and their colleagues, however, who
were at the time judges, and for private reasons personally hostile
to Eumenes, seized the opportunity of overturning all the erections put up in honour of the king; and in doing so had gone
beyond the meaning of the decree of the Achaeans, and beyond
the powers entrusted to them, and, what was worst of all, beyond the demands of justice and right. For the Achaeans
had not resolved upon doing away with the honours of
Eumenes on the ground of having received any injury at his
hands; but had taken offence at his making demands beyond
what his services warranted, and had accordingly voted to
remove everything that seemed excessive. As then these
judges had overthrown these honours, because they had a greater
regard for the gratification of their private enmity than for the
honour of the Achaeans, so the Achaeans, from the conviction
that duty and honour must be their highest consideration, were
bound to correct the error of the judges, and the unjustifiable
insult inflicted upon Eumenes: especially as, in doing so, they
would not be bestowing this favour on Eumenes only, but on
his brother Attalus also." The assembly having expressed their
agreement with this speech, a decree was written out ordering
the magistrates to restore all the honours of king Eumenes,
except such as were dishonourable to the Achaean league or
contrary to their law. It was thus, and at this time, that
Attalus secured the reversal of the insult to his brother
Eumenes in regard to the honours once given him in the
Peloponnese. . . .
Early in B. C. 169,5 after taking
Hyscana in Illyria, Perseus advances to Stubera, and thence sends envoys to king Genthius at Lissus. Livy, 43, 19.
Perseus Sends Pleuratus to Genthius
Perseus sent Pleuratus the Illyrian, an exile living at his
court, and Adaeus of Beroea on a mission to
king Genthius, with instructions to inform him
of what he had achieved in his war with the
Romans, Dardani, Epirotes, and Illyrians up to
the present time; and to urge him to make a
friendship and alliance with him in Macedonia.
These envoys journeyed beyond Mount Scardus,
through Illyria Deserta, as it is called,—a region
a short time back depopulated by the Macedonians, in order
to make an invasion of Illyria and Macedonia difficult for the
Dardani. Their journey through this region was accompanied
by much suffering; but they reached Scodra, and being there
informed that Genthius was at Lissus, they sent a message to
him. He promptly responded: and having been admitted to an
interview with him, they discussed the business
to which their instructions referred.
had no wish to forfeit the friendship of Perseus;
but he alleged want of means as an excuse for not complying
with the request at once, and his inability to undertake a war
with Rome without money. With this answer, Adaeus and his
colleagues returned home. Meanwhile Perseus arrived at
Stubera, and sold the booty and gave his army a rest while
waiting for the return of Pleuratus and Adaeus.
A second mission to Genthius.
arrival with the answer from Genthius, he immediately sent another mission, consisting again of
Adaeus, Glaucias, one of his body-guards, and
the Illyrian (Pleuratus) also, because he knew the Illyrian language, with the same instructions as before: on the ground that
Genthius had not stated distinctly what he
wanted, and what would enable him to consent
to the proposals.
Perseus goes back to Hyscana in Illyria.
When these envoys had
started the king himself removed with his army to Hyscana.6
. . .
Unwise Parsimony of Perseus
The ambassador sent to Genthius returned without
Genthius being unpersuaded by the second mission, Perseus sends a third, but still without offering money.
having accomplished anything more than the
previous envoys, and without any fresh answer;
for Genthius remained of the same mind,—
willing to join with Perseus in his war, but professing to be in want of money. Perseus disregarded the hint, and sent another mission
under Hippias to conclude the treaty, without taking any notice
of the main point, while professing a wish to do whatever
Genthius wished. It is not easy to decide whether to ascribe
such conduct to mere folly, or to a spiritual delusion. For my
part, I am inclined to regard it as a sheer spiritual delusion when
men aim at bold enterprises, and risk their life, and yet neglect the most important point in their plans, though they see it
all the time and have the power to execute it.
The dislike of Perseus to give money turned out happily for Greece.
For I do not think it will be denied by any
man of reflection that, had Perseus at that time
been willing to make grants of money either to
states as such, or individually to kings and
statesmen, I do not say on a great scale, but even to a moderate extent, they would all—Greeks and kings alike—have
yielded to the temptation. As it was, he happily did not take
that course, which would have given him, if successful, an
overweening supremacy; or, if unsuccessful, would have involved many others in his disaster. But he took the opposite
course: which resulted in confining the numbers of the Greeks
who adopted the unwise policy at this crisis to very narrow
limits. . . .
[Perseus now returned from Stubera to Hyscana, and after a vain
attempt upon Stratus in Aetolia, retired into Macedonia for the rest of the
winter. In the early spring of B. C. 169 Q. Marcius Philippus began his
advance upon Macedonia from his permanent camp in Perrhaebia. Perseus stationed Asclepiodotus
and Hippias to defend two passes of the Cambunian mountains, while he himself held Dium, which commanded the
coast road from Thessaly into Macedonia. Marcius however, after only a
rather severe skirmish with the light-armed troops of Hippias, effected the
passage of the mountains and descended upon Dium. The king was taken
by surprise: he had not secured the pass of Tempe, which would have cut
off the Romans from retreat; and he now hastily retired to Pydna. Q.
Marcius occupied Dium, but after a short stay there retired upon Phila, to
get provisions and secure the coast road. Whereupon Perseus reoccupied
Dium, and contemplated staying there to the end of the summer. Q.
Marcius took Heracleum, which was between Phila and Dium, and made
preparations for a second advance on Dium. But the winter (B. C. 169-168) was now approaching, and he contented himself with seeing that the
roads through Thessaly were put in a proper state for the conveyance of
provisions. Livy, 43, 19-23
; 44, 1-9
Perseus Blames Hippias for the Failure
Having been completely worsted on the entrance of the
Perseus lays the blame of his failure on his generals. Livy, 44, 8.
Romans into Macedonia, Perseus found fault
with Hippias. But in my opinion it is easy to
find fault with others and to see their mistakes,
but it is the hardest thing in the world to do
everything that can be done one's self, and to
be thoroughly acquainted with one's own affairs. And Perseus
was now an instance in point. . . .
Heracleum Captured by the Testudo
The capture of Heracleum was effected in a very
peculiar manner. The city wall at one part
and for a short distance was low. The Romans
attacked with three picked maniples: and the first made a
protection for their heads by locking their shields together
over them so closely, that they presented the appearance of a
sloping tiled roof. . . .
This manœuvre the Romans used also in mock fights. . . .
While C. Marcius Figulus, the praetor, was engaged in
Chalcidice, Q. Marcius sent M. Popilius to besiege Meliboea in
Magnesia. Perseus sent Euphranor to relieve it, and, if he
succeeded, to enter Demetrias. This he did, and was not
attacked at the latter place by Popilius or Eumenes—scandal
saying that the latter was in secret communication with Perseus.
Livy, 44, 10-13, B. C. 169.
Achaean Aid To Rome Declined
Upon Perseus designing to come into Thessaly and
The Achaeans decide to cooperate actively with the Romans in Thessaly.
there decide the war by a general engagement,
as he probably would have done, Archon and his
colleagues resolved to defend themselves against
the suspicions and slanders that had been
thrown upon them, by taking some practical
steps. They therefore brought a decree before the Achaean
congress, ordering an advance into Thessaly, with the full force
of the league, to co-operate energetically with the Romans. The
decree being confirmed, the Achaeans also voted that Archon
should superintend the collection of the army and the necessary
preparations for the expedition, and should also send envoys to
the Consul in Thessaly, to communicate to him the decree of
the Achaeans, and to ask when and where their
army was to join him.
Polybius sent to the Consul.
Polybius and others
were forthwith appointed, and strictly instructed
that, if the Consul approved of the army joining him, they
should at once send some messengers to communicate the fact,
that they might not be too late on the field; and meanwhile,
that Polybius himself should see that the whole army found
provisions in the various cities through which it was to pass,
and that the soldiers should have no lack of any necessaries.
With these instructions the envoys started. The Achaeans
also appointed Telocritus to conduct an embassy to Attalus,
bearing the decree concerning the restoration of the honours
Ptolemy Physcon celebrates his anacleteria.
And as news arrived about the
same time that king Ptolemy had just celebrated
the usual ceremony when the
kings come of age, they voted to send some ambassadors to
confirm the friendly relations existing between the league and
the kingdom of Egypt, and thereupon appointed Alcithus and
Pasiadas for this duty.
Marcius Declines Assistance from the Achaeans
Polybius and his colleagues found the Romans moved
from Thessaly, and encamped in Perrhaebia,
between Azorium and Doliche. They therefore
postponed communication with the Consul,
owing to the critical nature of the occasion, but shared in the
dangers of the invasion of Macedonia.
When the Roman army
at length reached the district of Heracleum, it
seemed the right moment for their interview
with Q. Marcius, because he considered that the
most serious part of his undertaking was accomplished. The
Achaean envoys therefore took the opportunity of presenting
the decree to Marcius, and declaring the intention of the
Achaeans, to the effect that they wished with their full force to
take part in his contests and dangers.
Q. Marcius declines the offered army of Achaeans.
In addition to this they
demonstrated to him that every command of
the Romans, whether sent by letter or messenger,
had been during the present war accepted by
the Achaeans without dispute. Marcius acknowledged with
great warmth the good feeling of the Achaeans, but excused
them from taking part in his labours and expenses, as there
was no longer any need for the assistance of allies.
Appius Claudius Cento defeated at Hyscana in B. C. 170. Livy, 43, 10.
ambassadors accordingly returned home; but Polybius stayed
there and took part in the campaign, until
Marcius, hearing that Appius Cento asked for five
thousand Achaean soldiers to be sent to Epirus,
despatched Polybius with orders to prevent the
soldiers being granted, or such a heavy expense being causelessly imposed on the Achaeans; for Appius had no reason
whatever for asking for these soldiers. Whether he did this
from consideration for the Achaeans, or from a desire to prevent
Appius from obtaining any success, it is difficult to say. Polybius, however, returned to the Peloponnese and found that the
letter from Epirus had arrived, and that the Achaean congress
had been soon afterwards assembled at Sicyon. He was
therefore in a situation of great embarrassment. When Cento's
demand of soldiers was brought before the Congress he did
not think it by any means proper to reveal the charge which
Q. Marcius had given him privately: and on the other hand to
oppose the demand, without some clear pretext, was exceedingly
In this difficult and delicate position he called to
his aid the decree of the Roman Senate, forbidding compliance with the written demands of
commanders unless made in accordance with its
own decree, Now, no mention of such a decree occurred in the
despatch from Appius. By this argument he prevailed with the
people to refer the matter to the Consul, and by his means to
get the nation relieved of an expense which would amount to
over a hundred and twenty talents. Still he gave a great
handle to those who wished to denounce him to Appius, as
having thwarted his design of obtaining a reinforcement. . . .
Treachery of the Cydonians
The people of Cydon at this time committed a shocking act of indisputable treachery. Though
Crete. The Cydonians attack and take Apollonia near Cnossus.
many such have occurred in Crete, yet this
appeared to go beyond them all. For though
they were bound to Apollonia, not only by the ties
of friendship, but by those of common institutions
also, and in fact by everything which mankind regard as sacred,
and though these obligations were confirmed by a sworn treaty
engraved and preserved in the temple of Idaean Zeus, yet they
treacherously seized Apollonia, put the men to the sword,
plundered the property, and divided among themselves the
women, children, city, and territory. . . .
The Cydonians Ask Help from Eumenes
Afraid of the Gortynians, because they had narrowly
escaped losing their city in the previous year
by an attack led by Nothocrates, the Cydonians
sent envoys to Eumenes demanding his assistance in virtue of their alliance with him. The king selected
Leon and some soldiers, and sent them in haste to Crete; and
on their arrival the Cydonians delivered the keys of their city
to Leon, and put the town entirely in his hands. . . .
Dissensions In Crete and Rhodes
The factions in Rhodes kept continually becoming
The Rhodians determine to send a mission to Rome, B.C. 170.
more and more violent. For when the decree
of the Senate, directing that they should no
longer conform to the demands of the military
magistrates but only to those contained in the
Senate's decrees, was communicated to them, and the people at
large expressed satisfaction at the care of the Senate for their interests; Philophron and Theaetetus seized the occasion to carry
out their policy further, declaring that they ought to send envoys
to the Senate, and to Q. Marcius Philippus the Consul, and
Gaius Marcius Figulus, the commander of the fleet. For it
was by that time known to everybody which of the magistrates
designate in Rome were to come to Greece.
was loudly applauded, though some dissent was
expressed: and at the beginning of the summer
Agesilochus, son of Hegesias, and Nicagoras, son of Nicander,
were sent to Rome; Agepolis, Ariston, and Pancrates to the
Consul and commander of the fleet, with instructions to renew
the friendship of the Cretans with Rome, and to make their
defence against the accusations that were being uttered against
their state; while Agesilochus and his colleagues were at the
same time to make a proposal about a license to export corn
from the Roman dominions. The speech made by these
envoys to the Senate, and the reply made by the Senate, and
the successful termination of their mission, I
have already mentioned in the section devoted
to Italian affairs.
But it is useful to repeat such points, as I
am careful to do, because I am obliged frequently to record
the actual negotiations of ambassadors before mentioning the
circumstances attending their appointment and despatch.
For since I am recording under each year the contemporary
events in several countries, and endeavouring to take a summary review of them all together at the end, this must of necessity form a feature in my history.
Antiochus Invades Egypt
Agepolis and his colleagues found Q. Marcius himself
The envoys visit Q. Marcius Philippus at Heracleum.
encamped near Heracleum in Macedonia, and
delivered their commission to him there. In
answer, he said that "He himself paid no attention to those calumnies, and advised them not
to pay any to those who ventured to speak against Rome."
He added many other expressions of kindness, and even wrote
them in a despatch to the people of Rhodes.
Why do not the Rhodians stop the war between Antiochus and Ptolemy?
much charmed by his whole reception; and observing this, the
Consul took him aside and said to him privately that "He
wondered at the Rhodians not trying to put an
end to the war,7
which it would be eminently in
their interests to do." Did the Consul act
thus because he was suspicious of Antiochus,
and was afraid, if he conquered Alexandria, that
he would prove a formidable second enemy to themselves, seeing
that the war with Perseus was becoming protracted, and the war
for Coele-Syria had already broken out? Or was it because he
saw that the war with Perseus was all but decided, now that
the Roman legions had entered Macedonia, and because he
had confident hopes of its result; and therefore wished, by
instigating the Rhodians to interfere between the kings, to give
the Romans a pretext for taking any measures they might
think good concerning them? It would not be easy to say
for certain; but I am inclined to believe that it was the latter,
judging from what shortly afterwards happened to the Rhodians.
However, Agepolis and his colleagues immediately afterwards
proceeded to visit Gaius Marcius Figulus: and, having received
from him still more extraordinary marks of favour than from
Quintus Marcius, returned with all speed to Rhodes. When
they received the report of the embassy, and knew that the
two commanders had vied with each other in
warmth, both by word of mouth and in their
formal answers, the Rhodians were universally
elated and filled with pleasing expectation.
Effect of the warm reception of their ambassadors on the Rhodians.
not all in the same spirit: the sober-minded
were delighted at the good feeling of the Romans towards
them; but the restless and fractious calculated in their own
minds that this excessive complaisance was a sign that the
Romans were alarmed at the dangers in which they found
themselves, and at their success not having answered to their
expectations. But when Agepolis communicated to his friends
that he had a private message from Q.
They endeavour to make peace between Antiochus Epiphanes and Ptolemy Physcon.
to the Cretan Council about putting an end to
the war (in Syria), then Deinon and his friends
felt fully convinced that the Romans were in a
great strait; and they accordingly sent envoys
also to Alexandria to put an end to the war
then existing between Antiochus and Ptolemy. . . .
Ptolemy Epiphanes, who died B.C. 181, left two sons, Ptolemy
Philometor and Ptolemy Physcon, and a daughter, Cleopatra, by
his wife Cleopatra, sister of Antiochus Epiphanes. After the
death of Ptolemy's mother Cleopatra, his ministers, Eulaeus and
Lenaeus, engaged in a war with Antiochus for the recovery of
Coele-Syria and Phoenicia, which had been taken by Antiochus
the Great, and which they alleged had been assigned as a dower
to the late Cleopatra. Their war was singularly unsuccessful.
Antiochus Epiphanes defeated their troops at Pelusium, took
young Ptolemy Philometor captive, and advanced as far as
Memphis. Thereupon Ptolemy Physcon assumed the royal title
at Alexandria as Euergetes II., and sent envoys to Antiochus at
Memphis. Antiochus, however, treated Ptolemy Philometor with
kindness, established him as king at Memphis, and advanced to
Naucratis, and thence to Alexandria, which he besieged on the
pretext of re-establishing Philometor. B.C. 171. See infra,
bk. 29. ch. 23.
Antiochus IV. Epiphanes
King Antiochus was a man of ability in the field and
Character of Antiochus IV. (Epiphanes).
daring in design, and showed himself worthy
of the royal name, except in regard to his
manœuvres at Pelusium. . . .
Envoys Sent to Antiochus
When Antiochus was actually in occupation of Egypt,
Comanus and Cineas, Physcon's ministers, determine to send embassies to Antiochus, B. C. 169.
Comanus and Cineas, after consultation with
king Ptolemy Physcon, determined upon summoning a conference of the most distinguished
Egyptian nobles to consult about the danger
which threatened them. The first resolution
the conference came to was to send the Greek
envoys who were then at Alexandria as envoys to Antiochus
to conclude a pacification. There were at that time in the
country two embassies from the Achaean league, one which
had been sent to renew the alliance between the league and
Egypt, and which was composed of Alcithus of Aegium, son of
Xenephon, and Pasiodes, and another sent to give notice of
the festival of the Antigoneia.8
There was also an embassy
from Athens led by Demaratus on the subject of some
present, and two sacred embassies, one in connexion with the
Panathenaea under the presidency of Callias the pancratiast,
and the other on the subject of the mysteries, of which
Cleostratus was the active member and spokesman. There
were also there Eudemus and Hicesius from Miletus, and
Apollonides and Apollonius from Clazomenae. The king
also sent with them Tlepolemus and Ptolemy the rhetorician
as envoys. These men accordingly sailed up the river to meet
Antiochus. . . .
Antiochus Epiphanes In Egypt
While Antiochus was occupying Egypt,9
he was visited
The Greek envoys visit Antiochus and endeavour to make peace.
by the Greek envoys sent to conclude terms of
peace. He received them courteously, devoted
the first day to giving them a splendid entertainment, and on the next granted them an
interview, and bade them deliver their instructions. The first to speak were the Achaeans, the next the
Athenian Demaratus, and after him Eudemus of Miletus. And
as the occasion and subject of their speeches were the same,
the substance of them was also nearly identical.
They all laid
the blame of what had occurred on Eulaeus, and
referring to Ptolemy's youth and his relationship
to himself, they intreated the king to lay aside his anger.
Thereupon Antiochus, after acknowledging the general truth
of their remarks, and even supporting them by
additional arguments of his own, entered upon
a defence of the justice of his original demands.
He attempted to establish the claim of the king of Syria on
Coele-Syria, "Insisting upon the fact that Antigonus, the
founder of the Syrian kingdom, exercised authority in that
country; and referring to the formal cession of it to Seleucus,10
after the death of Antigonus, by the sovereigns of Macedonia.
Next he dwelt on the last conquest of it by his father
Antiochus; and finally he denied that any such agreement
was made between the late king Ptolemy and his father as
the Alexandrian ministers asserted, to the effect that Ptolemy
was to take Coele-Syria as a dowry when he married Cleopatra,
the mother of the present king." Having by these arguments
not only persuaded himself, but the envoys also,
of the justice of his claim, he sailed down the
river to Naucratis.
Antiochus occupies Naucratis and thence advances to Alexandria.
There he treated the inhabitants with humanity, and gave each of the Greeks
living there a gold piece, and then advanced
towards Alexandria. He told the envoys that he would give
them an answer on the return of Aristeides and Thesis, whom
he had sent on a mission to Ptolemy; and he wished, he said,
that the Greek envoys should all be cognisant and witnesses of
their report. . . .
Eulaeus Convinces Ptolemy to Give Up the Kingdom
The eunuch Eulaeus persuaded Ptolemy to collect his
The evil influence of Eulaeus upon Ptolemy Philometor. He advises him to yield to Antiochus and retire to Samothrace.
money, give up his kingdom to his enemies,
and retire to Samothrace. This will be to any
one who reflects upon it a convincing proof of
the supreme mischief done by evil companions
of boyhood. That a monarch so entirely out of
reach of personal danger and so far removed
from his enemies, should not make one effort to
save his honour, while in possession too of such
abundant resources, and master over such wide territory and
such numerous subjects, but should at once without a blow
surrender a most splendid and wealthy kingdom,—is not this
the sign of a spirit utterly effeminate and corrupted? And if
this had been Ptolemy's natural character, we must have laid
the blame upon nature and not upon any external influence.
But since by his subsequent achievements his natural character
has vindicated itself, by proving Ptolemy to be sufficiently
resolute and courageous in the hour of danger, we may clearly,
without any improbability, attribute to this eunuch, and his companionship with the king in his boyhood, the ignoble spirit
displayed by him on that occasion, and his idea of going to
Samothrace. . . .
Antiochus Leaves Alexandria
After raising the siege of Alexandria, Antiochus sent
Antiochus leaves Alexandria for a time, being met by some Roman envoys. See 29, 25.
envoys to Rome, whose names were Meleager,
Sosiphanes, and Heracleides, agreeing to pay one
hundred and fifty talents, fifty as a complimentary present to the Romans, and the rest as a gift
to be divided among certain cities in Greece. . . .
Envoys from Rhodes to Antiochus
In the course of these same days envoys sailed in from
Envoys from Rhodes visit Antiochus in his camp not far from Alexandria.
Rhodes to Alexandria, headed by Pration, to negotiate a pacification; and a few days afterwards
presented themselves at the camp of Antiochus.
Admitted to an interview, they argued at considerable length, mentioning their own country's
friendly feelings to both kingdoms, and the ties of blood
existing between the two kings themselves, and the advantage
which a peace would be to both. But the king interrupted
the envoy in the middle of his speech by saying that there
was no need of much talking, for the kingdom belonged to the
elder Ptolemy, and with him he had long ago made terms, and
they were friends, and if the people wished now to recall
him Antiochus would not prevent them. And he kept his word. . . .