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,1
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.