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Hieronymus Decides For War

When they heard of this, the Romans sent legates to him
The Romans again remonstrate. Another scene at the Council.
again, protesting against his violation of the treaty made with his forefathers. Hieronymus thereupon summoned a meeting of his council and consulted them as to what he was to do. The native members of it kept silent, because they feared the folly of their ruler. Aristomachus of Corinth, Damippus of Sparta, Autonous of Thessaly advised that he should abide by the treaty with Rome. Andranodorus alone urged that he should not let the opportunity slip; and affirmed that the present was the only chance of establishing his rule over Sicily. After the delivery of this speech, the king asked Hippocrates and his brother what they thought, and upon their answering, "The same as Andranodorus," the deliberation was concluded in that sense. Thus, then, war with Rome had been decided upon: but while the king was anxious to be thought to have given an adroit answer to the ambassadors, he committed himself to such an utter absurdity as to make it certain that he would not only fail to conciliate the Romans, but would inevitably offend them violently. For he said that he would abide by the treaty, firstly, if the Romans would repay all the gold they had received from his grandfather Hiero; and secondly, if they would return the corn and other presents which they had received from him from the first day of their intercourse with him; and thirdly, if they would acknowledge all Sicily east of the Himera to be Syracusan territory.
War with Rome decided upon.
At these propositions of course the ambassadors and council separated; and from that time forth Hieronymus began pushing on his preparations for war with energy: collected and armed his forces, and got ready the other necessary provisions. . . .

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