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The Rhodians Try To Excuse Themselves

After receiving the above answer Philocrates and his
Dismayed by this answer the Rhodians endeavour to propitiate the Senate. Livy, 45, 25.
colleagues immediately started home; but Astymedes and his fellows stayed where they were and kept on the watch, that no report or observation against their country might be made unknown to them. But when this answer of the Senate was reported at Rhodes, the people, considering themselves relieved of the worst fear—that, namely, of war— made light of the rest, though extremely unfavourable. So true it ever is that a dread of worse makes men forget lighter misfortunes. They immediately voted a complimentary crown worth ten thousand gold pieces1 to Rome, and appointed Theaetetus at once envoy and navarch to convey it at the beginning of summer, accompanied by an embassy under Rhodophon, to attempt in every possible way to make an alliance with the Romans. They acted thus because they wished that, if the embassy failed by an adverse answer at Rome, the failure might take place without the people having passed a formal decree, the attempt being made solely on the initiative of the navarch, and the navarch having by the law power to act in such a case.
The astuteness of the Rhodian policy.
For the fact was that the republic of Rhodes had been administered with such consummate statesmanship, that, though it had for nearly a hundred and forty years been engaged in conjunction with Rome in actions of the greatest importance and glory, it had never yet made an alliance with her. Nor ought I to omit stating the reason of this policy of the Rhodians. They wished that no ruler or prince should be entirely without hope of gaining their support or alliance; and they therefore did not choose to bind or hamper themselves beforehand with oaths and treaties; but, by remaining uncommitted, to be able to avail themselves of all advantages as they arose. But on this occasion they were much bent upon securing this mark of honour from Rome, not because they were anxious for the alliance, or because they were afraid of any one else at the time except the Romans, but because they wished, by giving an air of special importance to their design, to remove the suspicions of such as were inclined to entertain unfavourable thoughts of their state.
Caunus, in Peraea, and Mylassa, in Caria, revolt.
For immediately after the return of the ambassadors under Theaetetus, the Caunians revolted and the Mylassians seized on the cities in Euromus. And about the same time the Roman Senate published a decree declaring all Carians and Lycians free who had been assigned to the Rhodians after the war with Antiochus.
The Senate declare Caria and Lycia free. See 2, 25.
The Caunian and Mylassian revolts were speedily put down by the Rhodians; for they compelled the Caunians, by sending Lycus with a body of soldiers, to return to their allegiance, though the people of Cibyra had come to their assistance; and in an expedition into Euromus they conquered the Mylassians and Alabandians in the field, these two peoples having combined their forces to attack Orthosia. But when the decree concerning the Lycians and Carians was announced they were once more in a state of dismay, fearing that their gift of the crown had proved in vain, as well as their hopes of an alliance. . . .

1 Livy says viginti millia. By χρυσοῦς Polybius appears to mean "staters," worth about 20 drachmae (20 francs). This would give a rough value of the present as £8000, or on Livy's computation twice that amount.

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hide References (9 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, book 45, commentary, 45.25
  • Cross-references to this page (7):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SOCII
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CA´RIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), MYLASSA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ORTHO´SIA
    • Smith's Bio, Lycus
    • Smith's Bio, Philo'crates
    • Smith's Bio, Theaete'tus
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 45, 25
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