War Against Attalus Prevented
BEFORE spring this year the Senate, after hearing the report
B. C. 155. The Roman legate Publius Lentulus, and Athenaeus, brother of Attalus, reach Rome and declare the truth.
of Publius Lentulus and his colleagues, who had
just reached Rome from Asia, in the business
of king Prusias, called in Athenaeus also,
brother of king Attalus. The matter, however,
did not need many words: the Senate promptly
appointed Gaius Claudius Cento, Lucius Hortensius, and Gaius Arunculeius, to accompany Athenaeus
home, with instructions to prevent Prusias from waging war
Also Xeno of Aegium and Telecles of Tegea arrived as
Another embassy in behalf of the Achaean detenus.
ambassadors from the Achaeans in behalf of the
Achaean detenus. After the delivery of their
speech, on the question being put to the vote,
the Senators only refused the release of the accused persons
by a very narrow majority.
It fails by the action of the praetor, who, by putting the question simply "yes" or "no" for release, forced the party who were for postponing it to vote "no."
The man who
really prevented the release from being carried
was Aulus Postumius, who was praetor, and as
such presided in the Senate on that occasion.
Three alternatives were proposed—one for
an absolute release, another for an absolute
refusal, and a third for a postponement of the
release for the present. The largest numbers
were for the first of these three; but Postumius left out the
third, and put the two first to the vote together, release or no
release; the result was that those who were originally for the
postponement transferred their votes to the party that were
against the release, and thus gave a majority against release. . . .
Release of Achaeans Refused
When the ambassadors returned to Achaia with the news
that the restoration of all the detenus had been only lost in
the Senate by a narrow majority, the people
becoming hopeful and elated sent Telecles of
Megalopolis and Anaxidamus on a fresh mission
The Achaeans are encouraged to try again.
That was the state of things in the Peloponnese. . . .
Character of Aristocrates
Aristocrates, the general of the Rhodians, was in appearance a man of mark and striking ability; and
Aristocrates proves a failure in the war with Crete.
the Rhodians, judging from this, believed that
they had in him a thoroughly adequate leader
and guide in the war.2
But they were disappointed in their expectations: for when he came to the test of
experience, like spurious coin when brought to the furnace, he
was shown to be a man of quite a different sort. And this
was proved by actual facts. . . .
Suicide of Archias
[Demetrius] offered him five hundred talents if he would
surrender Cyprus to him, with other similar advantages and
honours from himself if he would do him this service. . . .
Archias, therefore, wishing to betray Cyprus to Demetrius,
and being caught in the act and led off to stand his trial,
hanged himself with one of the ropes of the awnings in the
court. For it is a true proverb that led by their desires "the
reckonings of the vain are vain." This man, for instance,
imagining that he was going to get five hundred talents, lost
what he had already, and his life into the bargain. . . .
The Prienians Refuse to Give Orophernes' Funds to Ariarathes
About this time an unexpected misfortune befell the
Honesty of the people of Priene (in Caria) in preserving the money deposited by Orophernes.
people of Priene. They had received a deposit
of four hundred talents from Orophernes when he
got possession of the kingdom; and subsequently
when Ariarathes recovered his dominion he
demanded the money of them. But they acted
like honest men, in my opinion, in declaring
that they would deliver it to no one as long as Orophernes
was alive, except to the person who deposited it with them;
while Ariarathes was thought by many to be committing a
breach of equity in demanding a deposit made by another.
However, up to this point, one might perhaps pardon his
making the attempt, because he looked upon the money as
belonging to his own kingdom; but to push his anger and
imperious determination as much farther as he did seems
utterly unjustifiable. At the period I refer to, then, he sent
troops to pillage the territory of Priene, Attalus assisting and
urging him on from the private grudge which he entertained
towards the Prienians. After losing many slaves and cattle,
some of them being slaughtered close to the city itself, the
Prienians, unable to defend themselves, first sent an embassy
to the Rhodians, and eventually appealed for protection to
Rome. . . .
But he would not listen to the proposal. So it came about
that the Prienians, who had great hopes from the possession of
so large a sum of money, found themselves entirely disappointed. For they repaid Orophernes his deposit, and,
thanks to this same deposit, were unjustly exposed to severe
damage at the hands of Ariarathes. . . .
Marseilles Complains about the Ligurians
This year there came ambassadors also from the people of
B. C. 155. The Ligurians harass Marseilles and besiege Antibes and Nice.
Marseilles, who had long been suffering from the
Ligurians, and at that time were being closely
invested by them, while their cities of Antipolis
and Nicaea were also subjected to a siege.
They, therefore, sent ambassadors to Rome to
represent the state of things and beg for help. On their
being admitted, the Senate decided to send legates to see
personally what was going on, and to endeavour by persuasion
to correct the injurious proceedings of the barbarians. . . .
The peaceful mission failed, and the consul Opimius subdued
the Oxybii, a Ligurian tribe, in arms, B. C. 154. Livy, Ep. 47.
The Ligurians, Ptolemies, And Prusias
At the same time as the Senate despatched Opimius to
B. C. 154. Coss. Q. Opimius, L. Postumius Albinus. Ptolemy Physcon charges his brother with inciting a plot against his life.
the war with the Oxybii, Ptolemy the younger
arrived at Rome; and being admitted to the
Senate brought an accusation against his brother,
laying on him the blame of the attack against
his life. He showed the scars of his wounds,
and speaking with all the bitterness which
they seemed to suggest, moved his hearers
to pity him; and when Neolaidas and
Andromachus also came on behalf of the elder
Ptolemy, to answer the charges brought by his
brother, the Senate refused even to listen to
their pleas, having been entirely prepossessed by
the accusations of the younger.
The Senate refues to hear the ambassadors of Ptolemy Philometor,
and send commissioners to restore Physcon to Cyprus.
They commanded them to
leave Rome at once; while they assigned five
commissioners to the younger, headed by
Gnaeus Merula and Lucius Thermus, with a
quinquereme for each commissioner, and
ordered them to restore Ptolemy (Physcon) to Cyprus; and
at the same time sent a circular to their allies in Greece and
Asia, granting permission to them to assist in the restoration
of Ptolemy. . . .
The Senate Appoints Commissioners to Stop the War
When the commissioners under Hortensius and
Prusias having refused obedience to the former commission (see supra, ch. 1), a new commission is sent out with peremptory orders.
Arunculeius returned from Pergamum, and reported Prusias's disregard of the orders of the
Senate; and how by an act of treachery he had
besieged them and Attalus in Pergamum,3
had given rein to every kind of violence and
lawlessness: the Senate, enraged and offended
at what had happened, immediately appointed
ten commissioners, headed by Lucius Anicius,
Gaius Fannius, and Quintus Fabius Maximus, and sent them
out with instructions to put an end to the war, and compel
Prusias to indemnify Attalus for the injuries received by him
during the war. . . .
The Ligurians Resist Roman Intervention
On the complaint of the ambassadors of Marseilles as
The Ligurians prevent the commissioners from landing, and wound Flaminius who had already landed, and drive him to his ship.
to their injuries sustained at the hands of the
Ligurians, the Senate at once appointed a
commission, consisting of Flaminius, Popilius
Laenas, and Lucius Pupius, who sailed with the
envoys of Marseilles, and landed in the territory
of the Oxybii at the town of Aegitna. The
Ligurians, hearing that they were come to bid
them raise the siege, descended upon them as they lay at anchor,
and prevented the rest from disembarking; but finding Flaminius
already disembarked and his baggage landed, they began by
ordering him to leave the country, and on his refusal they began
to plunder his baggage. His slaves and freedmen resisting this,
and trying to prevent them, they began to use violence and
attacked them with their weapons. When Flaminius came to
the rescue of his men they wounded him, and killed two of
his servants, and chased the rest down to their ship, so that
Flaminius only escaped with his life by cutting away the hawsers
War ordered with the Oxybii and Deciatae, B. C. 154.
He was conveyed to Marseilles and his wound
attended to with all possible care; but when the
Senate was informed of the transaction, it immediately ordered one of the consuls, Quintus
Opimius, to lead an army against the Oxybii and Deciatae.4
Having collected his army at Placentia, Quintus
Opimius orders his soldiers to join at Placentia, and marches into Gaul,
Opimius marched over the Apennines and
arrived in the territory of the Oxybii; and, pitching his camp on the river Apro, awaited the
enemy, being informed that they were mustering
their forces and were eager to give him battle.
he advanced to Aegitna, where the ambassadors
had been outraged, took the city by assault, and
sold its inhabitants as slaves, sending the ringleaders in the
outrage to Rome in chains. Having done this, he went to
meet the enemy. The Oxybii, convinced that their violence
to the ambassadors admitted of no terms being granted them,
with all the courage of desperation, and excited to the highest
pitch of furious enthusiasm, did not wait to be joined
by the Deciatae, but, having collected to the number of about
four thousand, rushed to the attack upon their
and defeats the Oxybii and Deciatae.
Quintus was somewhat dismayed at
the boldness of their attack, and at the
desperate fury of the barbarians; but was encouraged by
observing that the enemy were advancing in complete
disorder, for he was an experienced soldier and a man
of great natural sagacity. He therefore drew out his men,
and, after a suitable harangue, advanced at a slow pace
towards the enemy. His charge was delivered with great
vigour: he quickly repulsed the enemy, killed a great many of
them, and forced the rest into headlong flight. Meanwhile,
the Deciatae had mustered their forces, and appeared on the
ground intending to fight side by side with the Oxybii; but
finding themselves too late for the battle, they received the
fugitives in their ranks, and after a short time charged the
Romans with great fury and enthusiasm; but being worsted in
the engagement, they immediately all surrendered themselves
and their city at discretion to the Romans. Having thus become
masters of these tribes, Opimius delivered over their territory
on the spot to the people of Marseilles, and for the future forced
the Ligurians to give hostages at certain fixed intervals to the
Marsilians. He then deprived the tribes that had fought with
them of their arms, and divided his army among
the cities there for the winter, and himself took
up his winter quarters in the country.
Opimius winters in Gaul, B. C. 154-153.
the war had a conclusion as rapid as its commencement. . . .
Roman Commissioners Visit Attalus and Prusias
All the previous winter Attalus had been busy collecting
The commissioners visit Attalus and Prusias early in B. C. 154.
a large army, Ariarathes and Mithridates having
sent him a force of cavalry and infantry, in
accordance with the terms of their alliance with
him. While he was still engaged in these preparations the ten commissioners arrived from
Rome: who, after meeting and conferring with him at Cadi
about the business, started to visit Prusias, to whom on meeting him they explained the orders of the Senate in terms of
serious warning. Prusias at once yielded to some of the
injunctions, but refused to submit to the greater part. The
Romans grew angry, renounced his friendship
and alliance, and one and all started to return
Prusias will not yield till too late.
Thereupon Prusias repented; followed them a certain distance with vehement entreaties; but,
failing to gain any concession, left them in a state of great
doubt and embarrassment.
The Romans promote a combination against Prusias.
The Romans, on their return to
Attalus, bade him station himself with his army
on his own frontier, and not to begin the war
himself, but to provide for the security of the
towns and villages in his territory: while they
divided themselves, one party sailing home with all speed to
announce to the Senate the disobedience of Prusias; another
departing for Ionia; and a third to the Hellespont and the
ports about Byzantium, all with one and the same purpose,
namely, to detach the inhabitants from friendship and alliance
with Prusias, and to persuade them to adhere to Attalus and
assist him to the best of their power. . . .
Roman Envoys Make Peace Between Prusias and Attalus
At the same time Athenaeus set sail with eighty
Summer of B. C. 154. Attalus's brother Athenaeus harasses the coast of Prusias's kingdom.
decked ships, of which five were quadriremes
sent by the Rhodians for the Cretan war, twenty
from Cyzicus, twenty-seven Attalus's own, and
the rest contributed by the other allies. Having
sailed to the Hellespont, and reached the cities
subject to Prusias, he made frequent descents
upon the coast, and greatly harassed the country. But when
the Senate heard the report of the commissioners who had
returned from Prusias, they immediately despatched three
new ones, Appius Claudius, Lucius Oppius, and Aulus Postumius: who, on arriving in Asia, put an end to the war by
bringing the two kings to make peace, on condition of Prusias
at once handing over to Attalus twenty decked ships, and
paying him five hundred talents in twenty years, both retaining
the territory which they had at the commencement of the
war. Farther, that Prusias should make good the damage
done to the inhabitants of Methymna, Aegae, Cymae, Heracleia, by a payment of a hundred talents to those towns.
The treaty having been drawn out in writing on those terms,
Attalus withdrew his army and navy to his own country. Such
are the particulars of the events which took place in the
quarrel between Attalus and Prusias. . . .
Another Embassy from Achaia
An embassy again coming to Rome from
B. C. 153. Another fruitless embassy from Achaia.
Achaia in behalf of the detenus, the Senate
voted to make no change. . . .
War Between Rhodes and Crete
Heracleides came to Rome in the
Heracleides brings to Rome Laodice, daughter of Antiochus Epiphanes, and his supposed son Alexander Balas.
middle of summer, bringing Laodice and Alexander, and stayed there a long time, employing
all the arts of cunning and corruption to win
the support of the Senate. . . .
Astymedes of Rhodes being appointed ambassador and
navarch at the same time, came forward immediately and
addressed the Senate on the war with Crete.
The quarrel of Rhodes and Crete.
The Senate listened with attention, and immediately appointed Quintus at the head of a
commission to put an end to the war. . . .
Crete and Rhodes Ask the Achaeans for Help
This year the Cretans sent Antiphatas, son of Telamnestus of Gortyn, with envoys to the Achaeans asking for help, and the Rhodians sent Theophanes
The Achaeans decline to help either Rhodes or Crete, although inclined to support Rhodes.
with a similar mission. The Congress of the
Achaeans was that year at Corinth: and on each
body of ambassadors pleading their respective causes, the
assembled people were more inclined towards
the Rhodians, from respect to the reputation of
their state, and the general character of their
policy and statesmen. When Antiphatas saw this, he wished
to come forward to make another speech; and, having obtained
permission from the Strategus to do so, he spoke in weightier
and more exalted terms than might be expected from a Cretan;
for, in fact, the young man was in no way of the ordinary
Cretan type, but had shunned the characteristic principles of
his countrymen. Accordingly the Achaeans received his plain
speaking with favour; and still more for the sake of his father
Telamnestus, who had taken a spirited part with them at the
head of five hundred Cretans in their war against Nabis.
However, none the less for that, after listening to him they
were still inclined to aid the Rhodians, until Callicrates
of Leontium stood up and said that they ought not to go to
war in favour of either, or to send aid to either of the two
peoples without the consent of the Romans. This argument
decided them in favour of non-intervention. . . .
Unreasonable Actions of the Rhodians
Dispirited with the course things were taking, the
Rhodians entered upon some measures and designs which were
strange and unreasonable. In fact, they were much in the
same state as men suffering from chronic diseases. It
frequently happens that such men, when, in spite of following
all the rules of medicine and obeying the prescriptions of the
doctors, they are unable to make any advance towards improvement, give up all such efforts in despair, and either listen
wholly to priests and seers, or try every sort of charm or
amulet. So it was with the Rhodians. When their hopes
were baffled in every direction, they were reduced to listen to
every kind of suggestion, and to magnify and accept every
kind of chance. Nor was this unnatural. For when nothing
dictated by reason proves successful, and yet some action or
another must necessarily be pushed on, there is no alternative
but to try something which does not depend on reason. The
Rhodians, having come to this dilemma, acted accordingly;
and, among other things that were in defiance of reason, reelected as their archon a man of whom they disapproved. . . .
Many different embassies having come to Rome,
B.C. 152. Visit of the young Attalus, son of the late king Eumenes.
the Senate admitted Attalus,5
son of king
Eumenes I. For he had arrived at Rome at
this time, still quite a young boy, to be introduced to the Senate, and to renew in his
person the ancestral friendship and connexion
with the Romans.
Demetrius, son of Ariarathes VI.
After a kindly reception by the Senate and
his father's friends, and after receiving the answer which he
desired, and such honours as suited his time of life, he returned
to his native land, meeting with a warm and liberal reception
in all the Greek cities through which he passed on his return
journey. Demetrius also came at this time, and,
after receiving a fairly good reception for a boy,
Then Heracleides entered the Senate, bringing Laodice and
Laodice and Alexander Balas. See ch. 15.
Alexander with him. The youthful Alexander
first addressed the Senate, and begged the
Romans "to remember their friendship and
alliance with his father Antiochus, and if possible to assist
him to recover his kingdom; or if they could not do that, at
least to give him leave to return home, and not to hinder
those who wished to assist him in recovering his ancestral
crown." Heracleides then took up the word, and, after
delivering a lengthy encomium on Antiochus, came to the
same point, namely, that they ought in justice to grant the
young prince and Laodice leave to return and claim their own,
as they were the true-born children of Antiochus. Soberminded
people were not all attracted by any of these arguments.
The Senate's decree in favour of Alexander and Laodice.
They understood the meaning of this theatrical
exhibition, and made no secret of their distaste for Heracleides.
But the majority had fallen under the spell of Heracleides's
cunning, and were induced to pass the following decree:
"Alexander and Laodice, children of a king,
our friend and ally, appeared before the Senate
and stated their case; and the Senate gave them
authority to return to the kingdom of their forefathers; and help, in accordance with their request, is hereby
decreed to them." Seizing on this pretext, Heracleides immediately began hiring mercenaries, and calling on some men of
high position to assist him. He accordingly went to Ephesus
and devoted himself to the preparations for his attempt.6
. . .
Demetrius, who, when residing as a hostage at Rome,
had fled and become king in Syria, was a man
so much addicted to drunkenness that he spent
the greater part of the day in drinking. . . .
The Multitude Will Act on its Feelings
When once the multitude feel the impulse to violent
love or hatred of any one, any pretext is good enough for
indulging their feelings. . . .
However, I am afraid I may fall under the common
dilemma, "Which is the greater fool, the man who milks a
he-goat, or the man who holds a sieve to catch the milk?"
For I seem to be doing something of this sort in arguing and
writing an essay on what every one acknowledges to be false.
It is, then, waste time to speak of such things, unless one cares
to write down dreams, or look at dreams with one's eyes
open. . . .