previous next

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 decree 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 times.
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 the council4 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
The legates in Aetolia.
at Thermum, they came before the assembled people, and again delivered a speech in which expressions of benevolence were mixed with exhortations.
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 him.
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 had said.
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.
Thoas stoned.
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 Sicyon.
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.
Apollonides 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 boldly resisted."
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.
Polybius 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.
Speech of Polybius.
That 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.
Genthius temporises.
Genthius 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.
On their 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
The testudo. Livy, 44, 9.
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 of Eumenes.
Ptolemy Physcon celebrates his anacleteria.
And as news arrived about the same time that king Ptolemy had just celebrated his anacleteria, 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
Summer of B. C. 169.
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.
Autumn of B. C. 169.
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.
The other 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 dangerous.
See above, p. 372.
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.
B.C. 169.
The proposal 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.
See supra, ch. 2.
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?
Agepolis was 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.
But 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.
Marcius 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.
Their arguments.
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.
Reply of Antiochus.
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. . . .

1 Antiochus IV. Epiphanes, B. C. 175-164; Ptolemy VI. Philometor,

B. C. 169, Antiochus and Ptolemy both appeal to Rome on the subject of Coele-Syria.
B. C. 181-146.

2 See 16, 18.

3 The decree referred to is given in Livy, 43, 17. "No one shall supply any war material to the Roman magistrates other than that which the Senate has decreed." This had been extracted from the Senate by vehement complaints reaching Rome of the cruel extortions of the Roman officers in the previous two years.

4 Polybius seems to mean the smaller council, not the public assembly, though Livy evidently understood the latter (43, 47).

5 The expedition of Perseus into Illyricum apparently took place late in the year B.C. 170 and in the first month of B.C. 169. Livy, 43, 18-20.

6 Hyscana, or Uscana, a town of the Illyrian tribe Penestae.

7 That is, the war between Antiochus and Ptolemy.

8 The Antigoneia was a festival established in honour of Antigonus Doson, who had been a benefactor of the Achaeans. In 30, 23, it is mentioned as being celebrated in Sicyon. The benefactions of this Macedonian king to the Achaeans are mentioned by Pausanias (8, 8, 12).

9 See 27, 19; 18, 1, 17.

10 Seleucus Nicanor, B. C. 306-280.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
169 BC (11)
170 BC (3)
181 BC (1)
171 BC (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: