War in Crete
AT this time the Cnosians, in alliance with the
B. C. 165. War in Crete of Cnosus and Gortyn against Rhaucus.
Gortynians, made war upon the Rhaucians, and
swore a mutual oath that they would not end
the war until they had taken Rhaucus.
But when the Rhodians received the decree regarding
The Rhodians are again refused an alliance.
Caunus, and saw that the anger of the Romans
was not abating, after having scrupulously carried
out the orders contained in the Senate's replies,
they forthwith sent Aristotle at the head of an embassy to
Rome, with instructions to make another attempt to secure the
alliance. They arrived in Rome at the height of summer, and,
having been admitted to the Senate, at once declared how
their people had obeyed the Senate's orders, and pleaded for
the alliance, using a great variety of arguments in a speech of
considerable length. But the Senate returned them a reply in
which, without a word about their friendship, they said that, as
to the alliance, it was not proper for them to grant the Rhodians
this favour at present. . . .
Gauls in Asia Granted Autonomy
To the ambassadors of the Gauls in Asia they granted
Autonomy to Galatia on conditions.
autonomy, on condition that they remained
within their dwellings, and went on no warlike
expeditions beyond their own frontiers. . . .
Grand Festival At Daphne
When this same king (Antiochus Epiphanes) heard of the
The grand festival held by Antiochus Epiphanes at Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, sacred to Apollo.
games in Macedonia held by the Roman proconsul Aemilius
Paulus, wishing to out do Paulus by the splendour of his
liberality, he sent envoys to the several cities
announcing games to be held by him at
Daphne; and it became the rage in Greece
to attend them. The public ceremonies began
with a procession composed as follows: first
came some men armed in the Roman fashion, with their
coats made of chain armour, five thousand in the prime of
life. Next came five thousand Mysians, who were followed
by three thousand Cilicians armed like light infantry, and
wearing gold crowns. Next to them came three thousand
Thracians and five thousand Gauls. They were followed by
twenty-thousand Macedonians, and five thousand armed with
brass shields, and others with silver shields, who were followed
by two hundred and forty pairs of gladiators. Behind these
were a thousand Nisaean cavalry and three thousand native
horsemen, most of whom had gold plumes and gold crowns,
the rest having them of silver. Next to them came what are
called "companion cavalry," to the number of a thousand,
closely followed by the corps of king's "friends" of about the
same number, who were again followed by a thousand picked
men; next to whom came the Agema or guard, which was
considered the flower of the cavalry, and numbered about a
thousand. Next came the "cataphract" cavalry, both men
and horses acquiring that name from the nature of their
panoply; they numbered fifteen hundred. All the above men
had purple surcoats, in many cases embroidered with gold and
heraldic designs. And behind them came a hundred six-horsed,
and forty four-horsed chariots; a chariot drawn by four elephants
and another by two; and then thirty-six elephants in single file
with all their furniture on.
The rest of the procession was almost beyond description,
but I must give a summary account of it. It consisted of
eight hundred young men wearing gold crowns, about a thousand
fine oxen, foreign delegates to the number of nearly three
hundred, and eight hundred ivory tusks. The number of
images of the gods it is impossible to tell completely: for representations of every god or demigod
or hero accepted by mankind were carried there, some gilded and others adorned with
gold-embroidered robes; and the myths, belonging to each,
according to accepted tradition, were represented by the most
costly symbols. Behind them were carried representations of
Night and Day, Earth, Heaven, Morning and Noon. The best
idea that I can give of the amount of gold and silver plate is this:
One of the king's friends, Dionysius his secretary, had a thousand
boys in the procession carrying silver vessels, none of which
weighed less than a thousand drachmae;1
and by their side
walked six hundred young slaves of the king holding gold
vessels. There were also two hundred women sprinkling unguents from gold boxes; and after them came eighty women
sitting in litters with gold feet, and five hundred in litters with
silver feet, all adorned with great costliness. These were the
most remarkable features of the procession.
The King's Behavior at the Festival
The festival, including the gladiatorial shows and hunting,
lasted thirty days, in the course of which there was continual
round of spectacles. During the first five of these everybody
in the gymnasium anointed himself with oil scented with
saffron in gold vessels, of which there were fifteen, and the
same number scented with cinnamon and nard. On the
following days other vessels were brought in scented with
fenugreek, marjoram, and lily, all of extraordinary fragrancy.
Public banquets were also given, at which couches were prepared, sometimes for a thousand and sometimes for fifteen
hundred, with the utmost splendour and costliness.
The whole of the arrangements were made personally by the
king. He rode on an inferior horse by the side of the procession, ordering one part to advance, and another to halt, as
occasion required; so that, if his diadem had been removed,
no one would have believed that he was the king and the master
of all; for his appearance was not equal to that of a moderately
good servant. At the feasts also he stood himself at the
entrance, and admitted some and assigned others their places;
he personally ushered in the servants bringing the dishes; and
walking about among the company sometimes sat down and
sometimes lay down on the couches. Sometimes he would
jump up, lay down the morsel of food or the cup that he was
raising to his lips, and go to another part of the hall; and
walking among the guests acknowledge the compliment, as
now one and now another pledged him in wine, or jest at any
recitations that might be going on. And when the festivity
had gone on for a long time, and a good many of the guests had
departed, the king was carried in by the mummers, completely
shrouded in a robe, and laid upon the ground, as though he
were one of the actors; then, at the signal given by the music,
he leapt up, stripped, and began to dance with the jesters; so
that all the guests were scandalised and retired. In fact every
one who attended the festival, when they saw the extraordinary
wealth which was displayed at it, the arrangements made in the
processions and games, and the scale of the splendour on which
the whole was managed, were struck with amazement and
wonder both at the king and the greatness of his kingdom:
but when they fixed their eyes on the man himself, and the
contemptible conduct to which he condescended, they could
scarcely believe that so much excellence and baseness could
exist in one and the same breast.2
. . .
Roman Envoys Come to Antioch
After the completion of the festival, the envoys with
Roman envoys at Antioch. Antiochus affects extreme cordiality.
Tiberius Gracchus arrived, who had been sent
from Rome to investigate the state of affairs in
Syria. Antiochus received them with such tact
and with so many expressions of kindness, that
Tiberius not only had no suspicion that he was meditating any
active step, or cherishing any sinister feeling on account of what
had happened at Alexandria, but was even induced by the extraordinary kindness of his reception to discredit those who made
any such suggestion. For, besides other courtesies, the king
gave up his own hall for the use of the envoys, and almost his
crown in appearance; although his true sentiments were not at
all of this kind, and he was on the contrary profoundly incensed
with the Romans. . . .
Complaints Against Eumenes
A large number of ambassadors from various quarters having arrived at Rome, the most important of which
B. C. 164. Complaints against Eumenes at Rome from Prusias of Bithynia, and other part of Asia.
were those with Astymedes from Rhodes, Eureus
Anaxidamus and Satyrus from the Achaeans,
and those with Pytho from Prusias,—the Senate
gave audience to these last. The ambassadors
from Prusias complained of king Eumenes,
alleging that he had taken certain places belonging to their
country, and had not in any sense evacuated Galatia, or obeyed
the decrees of the Senate; but had been supporting all who
favoured himself, and depressing in every possible way those
who wished to shape their policy in accordance with the
Senate's decrees. There were also some ambassadors from
certain towns in Asia, who accused the king on the grounds of
his intimate association with Antiochus.
The Senate's policy in Galatia.
The Senate listened
to the accusers, and neither rejected their accusations nor
openly expressed its own opinion; but acted with close reserve,
thoroughly distrusting both Eumenes and Antiochus: and meanwhile contented itself by continually supporting Galatia and contriving some
fresh security for its freedom.
Failure of the mission of Gracchus.
But the envoys under Tiberius
Gracchus, on their return from their mission, had
no clearer idea themselves in regard to Eumenes
and Antiochus than before they left Rome, nor
could they give the Senate one either. So completely had the
kings hoodwinked them by the cordiality of their reception.
The Achaean Prisoners Detained
The Senate next called in the Rhodians and heard
Rhodians appeal against the injury done to their trade, B. C. 165.
what they had to say. When Astymedes entered,
he adopted a more moderate and more effective
line of argument than on his former embassy. He
omitted the invectives against others, and took
the humble tone of men who are being flogged, begging to be forgiven, and declaring that his country had suffered sufficient
punishment, and a more severe one than its crime deserved.
then he went briefly through the list of the Rhodian
losses. "First, they have lost Lycia and Caria,
which had already cost them a large sum of
money, having been forced to support three wars against them;
while at the present moment they have been deprived of a considerable revenue which they used to draw from those countries.
But perhaps," he added, "this is as it should be: you gave
them to our people as a free gift, because you regarded us
with favour; and in now recalling your gift, because you suspect
and are at variance with us, you may seem only to be acting
reasonably. But Caunus, at any rate, we purchased from
Ptolemy's officers for two hundred talents; and Stratoniceia we
received as a great favour from Antiochus, son of Seleucus;
and from those two towns our people had a revenue of a
hundred and twenty talents a year. All these sources of revenue
we have surrendered, in our submission to your injunctions.
From which it appears that you have imposed a heavier
penalty on the Rhodians for one act of folly, than on the
Macedonians that have been continually at war with you. But
the greatest disaster of all to our State is that the revenue
from its harbour has been abolished by your making Delos a
free port; and by your depriving our people of that independence by which the harbour, as well as other interests of the
States, were maintained in suitable dignity.3
And it is easy
to satisfy yourselves of the truth of my words. Our revenue
from harbour dues amounted in past years to one million
drachmae, from which you have now taken one hundred
and fifty thousand; so that it is only too true, gentlemen of Rome, that your anger has affected the resources
of the country. Now, if the mistake committed, and the
alienation from Rome, had been shared in by the entire
people, you might perhaps have seemed to be acting rightly
in maintaining a lasting and irreconcilable anger against
us; but if the fact is made clear to you that it was an exceedingly small number who shared in this foolish policy, and that
these have all been put to death by this very people itself,
why still be irreconcilable to those who are in no respect
guilty? Especially when to every one else you are reputed
to exhibit the highest possible clemency and magnanimity.
Wherefore, gentlemen, our people having lost their revenues,
their freedom of debate, and their position of independence, in
defence of which in time past they have been ever willing to
make any sacrifices, now beg and beseech you all, as having
been smitten sufficiently, to relax your anger, and to be reconciled and make this alliance with them: that it may be made
manifest to all the world that you have put away your anger
against Rhodes, and have returned to your old feelings and
friendship towards them." Such among others were the
words of Astymedes.
The Senate is mollified by this speech and by
He was thought to have
spoken much to the point in the circumstances;
but what helped the Rhodians to the alliance
more than anything else was the recent return
of the embassy under Tiberius Gracchus.
the report of Gracchus, and grants the alliance.
he gave evidence, in the first place, that the
Rhodians had obeyed all the decrees of the Senate; and in
the next place, that the men who were the authors of their
hostile policy had all been condemned to death; and by this
testimony overcame all opposition, and secured the alliance
between Rome and Rhodes. . . .
Envoys from Achaia in the Senate
After an interval the envoys of the Achaeans were
B. C. 165. Embassy from Achaia asking for the trial or release of
the Achaean détenus, who to the number of over 1000
had been summoned to Italy in B. C. 167. See 30, 13. Pausan. 7.10.11.
admitted with instructions conformable to the
last reply received, which was to the effect that
"The Senate were surprised that they should
apply to them for a decision on matters which they
had already decided for themselves." Accordingly another embassy under Eureas now appeared
to explain that "The league had neither heard
the defence of the accused persons, nor given
any decision whatever concerning them; but
wished the Senate to take measures in regard
to these men, that they might have a trial and not perish
uncondemned. They begged that, if possible, the Senate
should itself conduct the investigation, and declare who are the
persons guilty of those charges; but, if its variety of business
made it impossible to do this itself, that it should intrust the
business to the Achaeans, who would show by their treatment
of the guilty their detestation of their crime." The Senate
recognised that the tone of the embassy was in conformity
with its own injunctions, but still felt embarrassed how to act.
Both courses were open to objection. To judge the case of
the men was, it thought, not a task it ought to undertake; and
to release them without any trial at all evidently involved ruin
to the friends of Rome. In this strait the Senate, wishing
to take all hope from the Achaean people of the restitution of
the men who were detained, in order that they might obey
without a murmur Callicrates in Achaia, and in the other
states those who sided with Rome, wrote the following answer:
"We do not consider it advisable either for ourselves or
for your nationalities that these men should return home."
The publication of this answer not only reduced the men who
had been summoned to Italy to complete despair and dejection, but was regarded by all Greeks as a common sorrow, for
it seemed to take away all hope of restoration from these
unfortunate men. When it was announced in Greece the
people were quite crushed, and a kind of desperation invaded the minds of all; but Charops and Callicrates, and
all who shared their policy, were once more in high
spirits. . . .
The Senate Suspicious of Eumenes and Antiochus
Tiberius Gracchus, partly by force and partly by persuasion, reduced the Cammani to obedience to
Reduction of the Cammani in Cappadocia.
Rome. . . .
A large number of embassies having come to
Rome, the Senate gave a reply to Attalus and Athenaeus. For
Prusias, not content with earnestly pressing his accusations himself against Eumenes and Attalus, had also instigated the Gauls
and Selgians (in Pisidia), and many others in Asia, to adopt
the same policy; consequently king Eumenes had sent his
brothers to defend him against the accusations thus brought.
On their admission to the Senate they were thought to have
made a satisfactory defence against all accusers; and finally
returned to Asia, after not only rebutting the accusations,
but with marks of special honour. The Senate, however, did
not altogether cease to be suspicious of Eumenes and Antiochus.
They sent Gaius Sulpicius and Manius Sergius as envoys to
investigate the state of Greece; to decide the question of
territory that had arisen between Megalopolis and the Lacedaemonians; but, above all, to give attention to the proceedings
of Antiochus and Eumenes, and to discover whether any
warlike preparations were being made by either of them, or any
combination being formed between them against Rome. . . .
Sulpicius Gallus Investigates Eumenes
Besides his other follies, Gaius Sulpicius Gallus, on
The mission, Sulpicius Gallus in Asia; he collects facts against Eumenes.
arriving in Asia, put up notices in the most
important cities, ordering any one who wished
to bring any accusation against king Eumenes
to meet him at Sardis within a specified time.
He then went to Sardis, and, taking his seat in
the Gymnasium, gave audience for ten days to those who had
such accusations to make: admitting every kind of foul and
abusive language against the king, and, generally, making the
most of every fact and every accusation; for he was frantic
and inveterate in his hatred of Eumenes. . . .
But the harder the Romans appeared to bear upon Eumenes,
the more popular did he become in Greece, from the natural
tendency of mankind to feel for the side that is oppressed. . . .
Death of Antiochus Epiphanes
In Syria king Antiochus, wishing to enrich himself,
B. C. 164. Death of Antiochus Epiphanes on his return from Susiana. See 26, 1.
determined on an armed attack upon the temple
of Artemis, in Elymais. But having arrived in
this country and failed in his purpose, because
the native barbarians resisted his lawless attempt,
he died in the course of his return at Tabae, in
Persia, driven mad, as some say, by some manifestations of
divine wrath in the course of his wicked attempt upon this
temple. . . .
Antiochus Epiphanes left a son and daughter; the former,
nine years old, was called Antiochus Eupator, and succeeded to the
kingdom, Lysias acting as his guardian. Demetrius, his cousin,
son of Seleucus Philopator, being at Rome as a hostage in place of
the late Antiochus Epiphanes, endeavoured to persuade the Senate
to make him king of Syria instead of the boy.
Demetrius son of Seleucus
Demetrius, son of Seleucus, who had been long
Demetrius, son of Seleucus, and grandson of Antiochus the Great, wishes to be restored to the kingdom of Syria.
detained at Rome as an hostage, had been for
some time past of opinion that his detention
was unjust. He had been given by his father
Seleucus as a pledge of his good faith; but,
when Antiochus (Epiphanes) succeeded to the
throne, he considered that he ought not to be a
hostage in behalf of that monarch's children. However, up to
this time he kept quiet, especially as he was unable, being still
a mere boy, to do anything. But now, being in the very prime
of youthful manhood, he entered the Senate and made a speech:
demanding that the Romans should restore him to his kingdom, which belonged to him by a far better right than to the
children of Antiochus. He entered at great length upon
arguments to the same effect, affirming that Rome was his
country and the nurse of his youth; that the sons of the
Senators were all to him as brothers, and the Senators as
fathers, because he had come to Rome a child, and was then
twenty-three years old.4
All who heard him were disposed in
their hearts to take his part: the Senate however, as a body
voted to detain Demetrius, and to assist in securing the crown
for the boy left by the late king. Their motive in thus acting
was, it seems to me, a mistrust inspired by the vigorous time
of life to which Demetrius had attained, and an opinion that
the youth and weakness of the boy who had succeeded to the
kingdom were more to their interest. And this was presently
A Syrian commission appointed.
For they appointed Gnaeus
Octavius, Spurius Lucretius, and Lucius Aurelius as commissioners to arrange the affairs of
the kingdom in accordance with the will of the Senate, on the
ground that no one would resist their injunctions, the king
being a mere child, and the nobles being quite satisfied at the
government not being given to Demetrius, for that was what
they had been most expecting. Gnaeus and his colleagues therefore started with instructions, first of all to burn the decked ships,
next to hamstring the elephants, and generally to weaken the
forces of the kingdom.
The commissioners are also to visit Galatia, Cappadocia, and Alexandria.
They were also charged
with the additional task of making an inspection of Macedonia; for the Macedonians, unaccustomed to democracy and a government
by popular assembly, were splitting up into
Gnaeus and his colleagues were also to
inspect the state of Galatia and of the kingdom of Ariarathes.
After a time the further task was imposed on them, by despatch
from the Senate, of reconciling as well as they could the two
kings in Alexandria. . . .
Ariarathes of Cappadocia
While this was going on at Rome, envoys from the
Missions to Ariarathes, king of
city, under Marcus Junius, had arrived to
arbitrate on the disputes between the Gauls
and king Ariarathes.
Cappadocia, in regard to the encroachments of the Gauls.
For the Trocmi, having
found themselves unable to annex any portion
of Cappadocia by their unaided efforts, and
having been promptly foiled in their audacious
sought refuge with the Romans, and endeavoured
to bring Ariarathes into discredit there. On this account an
embassy under M. Junius was sent to Cappadocia. The
king gave them a satisfactory account of the affair, treated
them with great courtesy, and sent them away loud in his
praises. And when subsequently Gnaeus Octavius and
Spurius Lucretius arrived, and again addressed the king on
the subject of his controversies with the Gauls, after a brief
conversation on that subject, and saying that he would
acquiesce in their decision without difficulty, he
directed the rest of his remarks to the state of
Syria, being aware that Octavius and his
colleagues were going thither.
Ariarathes warns Octavius of the dangerous state of Syria.
out to them the unsettled state of the kingdom and the unprincipled character of the men at the head of affairs there;
and added that he would escort them with an army, and
remain on the watch for all emergencies, until they returned
from Syria in safety. Gnaeus and his colleagues acknowleged
the king's kindness and zeal, but said that for the present
they did not need the escort: on a future occasion, however,
if need should arise, they would let him know without delay;
for they considered him as one of the true friends of Rome. . . .
Ariarathes died soon after this embassy, and was succeeded by
his son Ariarathes Philopator. B. C. 164. Livy, Ep. 46.
Ambassadors from Ariarathes to Rome
About this time ambassadors arrived from Ariarathes,
B. C. 163. Ariarathes Philopator continues his father's policy of friendship with Rome.
who had recently succeeded to the kingdom of
Cappadocia, to renew the existing friendship
and alliance with Rome, and in general to
exhort the Senate to accept the king's affection
and goodwill, which he entertained, both in their
private and public capacity, for all the Romans.
The Senate, on hearing this, acceded to the request for the
renewal of the friendship and alliance, and graciously acknowledged
the general amity of the king. The chief reason for
this warmth on the part of the Senate was the report of the
envoys under Tiberius, who, when sent to inspect the state of
Cappadocia, had returned full of the praises of the late king
and of his kingdom generally. It was on the credit of this
report that the Senate received the ambassadors of Ariarathes
graciously, and acknowledged the goodwill of the king. . . .
Rhodes Asks Rome for Calynda
Having somewhat recovered from their previous
The Rhodians ask for Calynda in Caria, and for the retention of private property in Caria and Lycia.
disaster, the Rhodians sent Cleagoras with
ambassadors to Rome to ask that Calynda
should be ceded to them, and to petition the
Senate that those of their citizens who had properties in Lycia and Caria might be allowed to
retain them as before.
A colossal statue of Rome.
They had also voted
to raise a colossal statue of the Roman people,
thirty cubits high, to be set up in the temple
of Athene. . . .
Rhodes Assists Calynda
The Calyndians having broken off from Caunus, and
The Rhodians undertake the protection of Calynda.
the Caunians being about to besiege Calynda,
the Calyndians first called in the aid of the
Cnidians; and, on their sending the required
support, they held out against their enemies for a time: but
becoming alarmed as to what would happen, they sent an
embassy to Rhodes, putting themselves and their city in its
hands. Thereupon the Rhodians sent a naval and military
force to their relief, forced the Caunians to raise the siege,
and took over the city. . . .
The Two Ptolemies
When Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia, had received his
Ariarathes's joy at the favourable answer from Rome.
ambassadors on their return from Rome, judging from the answers they brought that his
kingdom was secured, because he had gained
the goodwill of Rome, he offered a thank-offering to the gods
for what had happened, and entertained his nobles at a feast.
He then sent ambassadors to Lysias in Antioch, desiring to
be allowed to bring away the bones of his sister
He recovers the ashes of his mother and sister from Antioch.
He determined not to say a word
of blame as to the crime that had been committed, lest he should irritate Lysias, and so
fail to effect his present object, though he was in fact greatly
incensed at it. He gave his envoys therefore instructions
couched in terms of courteous request. Lysias and his friends
acceded to his wishes; and the bones having been conveyed
to Cappadocia, the king received them in great state, and
buried them next the tomb of his father with affectionate
reverence. . . .7
Artaxias wished to kill a man, but on the remonstrances of
The influence of good men, Artaxias of Armenia. See 25, 2.
Ariarathes did not do so, and held him on the
contrary in higher respect than ever. So decisive is the influence of justice, and of the
opinions and advice of good men, that they
often prove the salvation of foes as well as of
friends, and change their whole characters for the better. . . .
Good looks are a better introduction than any letter. . . .
The quarrels of the two kings of Egypt, Ptolemy VI.
Philometor and Euergetes II. (or Ptolemy VII.) Physcon. The
former had been expelled by the latter, and had taken refuge in
Cyprus, but had been restored by a popular outbreak in his
favour, and under the authority of Commissioners sent from
Rome, B. C. 164. (Livy, Ep. 46. Diod. Sic. fr. xi.) Fresh
quarrels however broke out, in the course of which Physcon was
much worsted by his brother, (Diod. Sic. fr. of 31), and at length it
was arranged that one should reign in Egypt the other in Cyrene.
B. C. 162. (Livy, Ep. 47.)
The Murder of Octavius
After the Ptolemies had made their partition of the
B. C. 162. Euergetes II. (Ptolemy Physcon), who had Cyrene as his share, asks for Cyprus.
kingdom, the younger brother arrived in Rome
desiring to set aside the division made between
himself and his brother, on the ground that he had
not acceded to the arrangement voluntarily, but
under compulsion, and yielding to the force of
circumstances. He therefore begged the Senate
to assign Cyprus to his portion; for, even if that were done, he
should still have a much poorer share than his
The members of the Commission
Canuleius and Quintus supported
Menyllus, the ambassador of the elder Ptolemy,
by protesting that "the younger Ptolemy owed
his possession of Cyrene and his very life to
them, so deep was the anger and hatred of the common
people to him8
; and that, accordingly, he had been only too
glad to receive the government of Cyrene, which he had
not hoped for or expected; and had exchanged oaths with
his brother with the customary sacrifices."
who had been in Egypt support the elder brother.
To this Ptolemy
gave a positive denial: and the Senate, seeing that the division
was clearly an unequal one, and at the same time wishing
that, as the brothers themselves were the authors of the
division being made at all, it should be effected in a manner
advantageous to Rome, granted the petition of
the younger Ptolemy with a view to their own
The Senate decide in favour of Physcon.
Measures of this class are very frequent
among the Romans, by which they avail themselves with profound policy of the mistakes of others to augment and
strengthen their own empire, under the guise of granting
favours and benefiting those who commit the errors. On this
principle they acted now.
The object of the Senate is to divide and weaken Egypt.
They saw how great
the power of the Egyptian kingdom was; and
fearing lest, if it ever chanced to obtain a competent head, he would grow too proud, they appointed Titus Torquatus and Gnaeus Merula to establish
Ptolemy Physcon in Cyprus, and thus to carry out their own
policy while satisfying his. These commissioners were accordingly at once despatched with instructions to reconcile the
brothers to each other, and to secure Cyprus to the younger. . . .
When the Roman commissioners (see ch. 12) arrived in
Syria, and began carrying out their orders, by burning the ships
and killing the elephants, the popular fury could not be restrained;
and Gnaeus Octavius was assassinated in the gymnasium at
Laodicea by a man named Leptines. Lysias did his best to
appease the anger of the Romans, by giving Octavius honourable
burial, and by sending an embassy to Rome to protest his
innocence. Appian, Syr. 46.
Demetrius Appeals Again to the Senate
News having come to Rome of the disaster by which
B. C. 162. The Senate pay little attention to Lysias's excuses.
Gnaeus Octavius lost his life, ambassadors also
arrived from king Antiochus, sent by Lysias,
who vehemently protested that the king's
friends had had no part in the crime. But the
Senate showed scant attention to the envoys, not wishing to
make any open declaration on the subject or to allow their
opinion to become public in any way.
But Demetrius was much excited by the news, and immediately summoned Polybius to an interview,
Demetrius thinks there is again a chance for him. Polybius advises, "act for yourself."
consulted him as to whether he should once
more bring his claims before the Senate. Polybius advised him "not to stumble twice on the
same stone," but to depend upon himself and
venture something worthy of a king; and he
pointed out to him that the present state of affairs offered him
many opportunities. Demetrius understood the hint, but said
nothing at the time; but a short while afterwards consulted
Apollonius one of his intimate friends, on the same subject.
He however again appeals to the Senate.
This man, being simple minded and very young,
advised him to make another trial of the
Senate. "He was convinced," he said, "that,
since it had deprived him of his kingdom without any just
excuse, it would at least release him from his position of
hostage; for it was absurd that, when the boy Antiochus had
succeeded to the kingdom in Syria, Demetrius should be a
hostage for him." Persuaded by these arguments he once
more obtained a hearing of the Senate, and claimed to be
relieved of his obligations as a hostage, since they had decided
to secure the kingdom to Antiochus.
though he pleaded his cause with many arguments, the Senate remained fixed in the same
resolve as before. And that was only what was to be expected. For they had not, on the former occasion, adjudged
the continuance of the kingdom to the child on the ground
that the claim of Demetrius was not just, but because it was
advantageous to Rome that it should be so; and as the circumstances remained precisely the same, it was only natural
that the policy of the Senate should remain unchanged also.
Demetrius Plans To Leave Rome
Demetrius having thus delivered himself in vain of his
swan's song, his last appeal, and becoming convinced that
Polybius had given him good advice, repented of what he had
done. But he was naturally of a lofty spirit, and possessed
sufficient daring to carry out his resolutions. He promptly
called Diodorus, who had recently arrived from Syria, to his
aid, and confided his secret purpose to him. Diodorus had
had the charge of Demetrius as a child, and was a man of
considerable adroitness, who had besides made a careful
inspection of the state of affairs in Syria. He now pointed out
to Demetrius that "The confusion caused by the murder of
Octavius,—the people mistrusting Lysias, and Lysias mistrusting the people, while the Senate was convinced that the
lawless murder of their envoy really originated with the
king's friends,—presented a most excellent opportunity for
his appearing on the scene: for the people there would
promptly transfer the crown to him, even though he were to
arrive attended by but one slave; while the Senate would
not venture to give any further assistance or support to Lysias
after such an abominable crime.
Demetrius resolves to escape from Rome, and again consults Polybius.
Finally, it was quite possible
for them to leave Rome undetected, without any
one having any idea of his intention." This course
being resolved upon, Demetrius sent for Polybius, and telling him what he was going to do,
begged him to lend his assistance, and to join him in contriving
to manage his escape.
There happened to be at Rome a certain Menyllus of
Menyllus of Alabanda (in Caria) helps him by hiring a vessel.
Alabanda, on a mission from the elder Ptolemy
to confront and answer the younger before the
Senate. Between this man and Polybius there
was a strong friendship and confidence, and
Polybius therefore thought him just the man for the purpose
in hand. He accordingly introduced him with all speed to
Demetrius, and with warm expressions of regard. Being
trusted with the secret, Menyllus undertook to have the necessary
ship in readiness, and to see that everything required for the
voyage was prepared. Having found a Carthaginian vessel
anchored at the mouth of the Tiber, which had been on sacred
service, he chartered it. (These vessels are carefully selected
at Carthage, to convey the offerings sent by the Carthaginians
to their ancestral gods at Tyre.) He made no secret about
it, but chartered the vessel for his own return voyage; and
therefore was able to make his arrangements for provisions also
without exciting suspicion, talking openly with the sailors and
making an appointment with them.
Demetrius Plans His Escape
When the shipmaster had everything ready, and nothing
Preparations for the flight.
remained except for Demetrius to do his part, he
sent Diodorus to Syria to gather information, and
to watch the disposition of the people there.
His foster-brother Apollonius took part in this expedition;
and Demetrius also confided his secret to the two brothers
of Apollonius, Meleager and Menestheus, but to no one else
of all his suite, though that was numerous. These three
brothers were the sons of the Apollonius who occupied so
important a position at the court of Seleucus, but who had
removed to Miletus at the accession of Antiochus Epiphanes.
As the day agreed upon with the sailors approached, it was
arranged that one of his friends should give an entertainment
to serve as an excuse for Demetrius going out. For it was
impossible that he should sup at home; as it was his constant
habit, when he did so, to invite all his suite.
Polybius sends a warning to Demetrius.
Those who were in
the secret were to leave the house after supper and go to the
ship, taking one slave each with them; the rest they had sent
on to Anagnia, saying that they would follow next
day. It happened that at this time Polybius was
ill and confined to his bed; but he was kept acquainted with all that was going on by constant communications
from Menyllus. He was therefore exceedingly anxious, knowing Demetrius to be fond of conviviality and full of youthful
wilfulness, lest, by the entertainment being unduly prolonged,
some difficulty should arise from over-indulgence in wine to
prevent his getting away. He therefore wrote and sealed a
small tablet; and just as it was getting dusk sent a servant of
his own, with orders to ask for Demetrius's cupbearer and give
him the tablet, without saying who he was or from whom he
came, and to bid the cupbearer to give it to Demetrius to read
at once. His orders were carried out, and Demetrius read
the tablet, which contained the following apophthegms9
“"The ready hand bears off the sluggard's prize."
“"Night favours all, but more the daring heart."
“"Be bold: front danger: strike! then lose or win,
Care not, so you be true unto yourself."
“"Cool head and wise distrust are wisdom's sinews."
As soon as Demetrius had read these lines, he understood their purport, and from whom they came;
Demetrius takes the hint, and the voyage is safely begun.
and at once pretending that he felt sick, he left
the banquet escorted by his friends. Arrived
at his lodging, he sent away those of his servants
who were not suited to his purpose to Anagnia, ordering them
to take the hunting nets and hounds and meet him at Cerceii,
where it had been his constant custom to go boar hunting,
which, in fact, was the origin of his intimacy with Polybius.
He then imparted his plan to Nicanor and his immediate
friends, and urged them to share his prospects. They all consented with enthusiasm; whereupon he bade them return to
their own lodgings, and arrange with their servants to go before
daybreak to Anagnia and meet them at Cerceii, while they got
travelling clothes and returned to him, telling their domestics
that they would join them, accompanied by Demetrius, in the
course of the next day at Cerceii. Everything having been
done in accordance with this order, he and his friends went to
Ostia, at the mouth of the Tiber, by night. Menyllus preceded
them and had a conversation with the sailors; telling them
that orders had arrived from the king which made it necessary
for him to remain at Rome for the present, and to send some
of the most trustworthy of his young men to his Majesty, to
inform him of what had been done about his brother. He
should not, therefore, he said, go on board himself; but the
young men who were to sail would come about midnight. The
shipmasters made no difficulty about it, as the passage money
for which they had originally bargained was in their hands;
and they had long made all their preparations for sailing, when
Demetrius and his friends arrived about the third watch.
There were altogether eight of them, besides five slaves and
three boys. Menyllus entered into conversation with them,
showed them the provisions in store for the voyage, and commended them earnestly to the care of the shipmaster and
crew. They then went on board, and the pilot weighed anchor
and started just as day was breaking, having absolutely no
idea of the real state of the case, but believing that he was
conveying some soldiers from Menyllus to Ptolemy.
No One Notices Demetrius's Absence
At Rome, during the whole of the following day, no one
The absence of Demetrius is not ascertained in Rome until the fourth day.
was likely to make any inquiry for Demetrius
or those who had gone with him. For those
of his household who stayed in the city supposed him to have gone to Cerceii; and those
at Anagnia were expecting him to come there
too. The flight from Rome, therefore, was entirely unremarked;
until one of his slaves, having been flogged at Anagnia, ran off
to Cerceii, expecting to find Demetrius there; and not finding
him, ran back again to Rome, hoping to meet him on
the road. But as he failed to meet him anywhere, he went and
informed his friends in Rome and the members of his household who had been left behind in his house. But it was not
until the fourth day after his start that, Demetrius being looked
for in vain, the truth was suspected.
The Senate is summoned, but decides not to attempt pursuit.
fifth the Senate was hastily summoned to consider the matter, when Demetrius had already
cleared the Straits of Messina. The Senate
gave up all idea of pursuit: both because they imagined that
he had got a long start on the voyage (for the wind was in his
favour), and because they foresaw that, though they might wish
to hinder him, they would be unable to do so.
Commissioners appointed for Greece and Asia, B. C. 162.
But some few days afterwards they appointed
Tiberius Gracchus, Lucius Lentulus, and Servilius Glaucia as commissioners: first to inspect
the state of Greece; and, next, to cross to Asia and watch the
result of Demetrius's attempt, and examine the policy adopted
by the other kings, and arbitrate on their controversies with
the Gauls. Such were the events in Italy this year. . . .
Demetrius expecting the arrival of the commissioner who
was to be sent to him. . . .
Decadence at Rome
The dissoluteness of the young men in Rome had
Cato on the growth of luxury.
grown to such a height, and broke out in such
extravagances, that there were many instances of
men purchasing a jar of Pontic salt-fish for three
In reference to which Marcus Porcius
Cato once said to the people in indignation, that no better
proof could be shown of the degeneracy of the state than that
should fetch more than a farm, and a jar
of salt-fish more than a carter. . . .
The Rhodians Lapse in Dignity
The Rhodians, though in other respects maintaining
The Rhodians accept money to pay their school masters, B. C. 162.
the dignity of their state, made in my opinion a
slight lapse at this period. They had received two
hundred and eighty thousand medimni of corn
from Eumenes, that its value might be invested
and the interest devoted to pay the fees of the tutors and schoolmasters of their sons. One might accept this from friends in a case
of financial embarrassment, as one might in private life, rather
than allow children to remain uneducated for want of means;
but where means are abundant a man would rather do anything than allow the schoolmaster's fee to be supplied by a
joint contribution from his friends. And in proportion as a
state should hold higher notions than an individual, so ought
governments to be more jealous of their dignity than private
men, and above all a Rhodian government, considering the
wealth of the country and its high pretensions. . . .
The Two Ptolemies
After this the younger Ptolemy arrived in Greece with
Ptolemy Physcon returning with the commissioners, collects mercenaries in Greece, but is persuaded to disband them, B. C. 162.
the Roman commissioners, and began collecting
a formidable army of mercenaries, among whom
he enlisted Damasippus the Macedonian, who,
after murdering the members of the council at
Phacus, fled with his wife and children from
Macedonia, and after reaching Peraea, opposite
Rhodes, and being entertained by the people
there, determined to sail to Cyprus. But when Torquatus and his
colleagues saw that Ptolemy had collected a formidable corps of
mercenaries, they reminded him of their commission, which
was to restore him "without a war," and at last persuaded him
to go as far as Side (in Pamphylia), and there disband his
mercenaries, give up his idea of invading Cyprus, and meet
them on the frontiers of Cyrene.
He, however, takes about 100 Cretans back with him to Africa.
Meanwhile, they said that
they would sail to Alexandria, and induce the king to consent
to their demands, and would meet him on the
frontiers, bringing the other king with them.
younger Ptolemy was persuaded by these arguments, gave up the attack upon Cyprus, dismissed the mercenaries, and first sailed to Crete, accompanied
by Damasippus and Gnaeus Merula, one of
the commissioners; and, after enlisting about a
thousand soldiers in Crete, put to sea and crossed to Libya,
landing at Apis.
Ptolemy Physcon Invades Cyrene
Meanwhile Torquatus had crossed to Alexandria and
Ptolemy Physcon invades the dominions of his brother.
was trying to induce the elder Ptolemy to be
reconciled to his brother, and yield Cyprus to
him. But Ptolemy, by alternate promises and
refusals and the like, managed to waste the
time, while the younger king lay encamped with his thousand
Cretans at Apis in Libya, according to his agreement. Becoming thoroughly irritated at receiving no intelligence, he first
sent Gnaeus Merula to Alexandria, hoping by this means to
bring Torquatus and those with him to the place of meeting.
But Merula was like the others in protracting the business:
forty days passed without a word of intelligence, and the king
was in despair. The fact was that the elder king, by using
every kind of flattery, had won the commissioners over, and
was keeping them by him, rather against their will than with it.
Moreover, at this time the younger Ptolemy was informed that
the people of Cyrene had revolted, that the cities were
conspiring with them, and that Ptolemy Sympetesis had also
taken their side. This man was an Egyptian by birth, and
had been left by the king in charge of his whole kingdom when
he was going on his journey to Rome. When the king was
informed of this, and learned presently that the Cyreneans were
encamped in the open country, afraid lest, in his desire to add
Cyprus to his dominions, he might lose Cyrene also, he threw
everything else aside and marched towards Cyrene. When he
came to what is called the Great Slope, he found the Libyans
and Cyreneans occupying the pass. Ptolemy was alarmed at
this: but, putting half his forces on board boats, he ordered
them to sail beyond the difficult ground, and show themselves
on the rear of the enemy; while with the other half he marched
up in their front and tried to carry the pass. The Libyans being
panic-stricken at this double attack on front and rear, and
abandoning their position, Ptolemy not only got possession of
the pass, but also of Tetrapyrgia, which lay immediately below
it, in which there was an abundant supply of water. Thence
he crossed the desert in seven days, the forces under
Mochyrinus coasting along parallel to his line of march. The
Cyreneans were encamped eight thousand five hundred strong,
eight thousand infantry and five hundred cavalry: for having
satisfied themselves as to the character of Ptolemy from his
conduct at Alexandria, and seeing that his government and
policy generally were those of a tyrant rather than a king, they
could not endure the idea of becoming his subjects, but were
determined to venture everything in their desire for freedom.
And at last he was beaten. . . .
Gnaeus Merula Comes to Rome
At this time Gnaeus Merula also came from Alexandria,
The Roman commission fails to secure peace between the brothers.
informing the king (Physcon) that his brother
would consent to none of the proposals, but
maintained that they ought to abide by the
original agreements. On hearing this, Physcon
selected the brothers Comanus and Ptolemy12
to go as ambassadors to Rome with Gnaeus, and inform the
Senate of his brother's selfish and haughty behaviour. At the
same time the elder Ptolemy sent away Titus Torquatus also
without having attained the object of his mission. Such was
the state of things in Alexandria and Cyrene. . . .