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.On assuming office the new consuls convened the senate in the Capitol, and it was decreed that the consuls might either arrange between themselves about the two provinces of Macedonia and Italy, or they might ballot for them.  The one to whom Macedonia fell was to raise 3000 Roman infantry and 300 cavalry in order to bring the legions up to their proper strength, and also 5000 men from the Latins and the allies and 500 cavalry.  The army for the other consul was to be an entirely new one. L. Lentulus, the consul of the previous year, had his command extended and he received orders not to leave his province or bring away his veteran army until the consul arrived with the new legions.  The result of the balloting was that Italy fell to Aelius and Macedonia to Quinctius.  Amongst the praetors, L. Cornelius Merula received the jurisdiction in the City; M. Claudius, Sicily; M. Porcius, Sardinia, and C. Helvius, Gaul.  The enrolment of troops followed, for in addition to the consular armies the praetors were required to levy forces.  Marcellus enlisted 4000 Latin and allied infantry and 300 cavalry for service in Sicily, Cato raised 2000 foot and 200 horse of the same class for Sardinia, so that both these praetors on reaching their provinces might disband the old cavalry and infantry.  When these dispositions were completed, the consuls introduced a mission from Attalus to the senate. They announced that the king was assisting Rome with the whole of [9??] his military and naval strength and had up to that day done his utmost to carry out faithfully the behests of the Roman consuls, but he feared that he would not be at liberty to do this any longer; Antiochus had invaded his kingdom while it was left defenceless both by sea and land.  He therefore requested the senate, if they wished to avail themselves of his fleet and his services in the Macedonian war, that either they themselves would send a force to protect his kingdom, or if they did not wish to do so, that they would allow him to return home and defend his dominions with his fleet and the rest of his forces.  The senate instructed the consuls to convey the following reply to the delegates: "The assistance which King Attalus has given the Roman commanders with his fleet and other forces has been very gratifying to the senate.  They will not themselves send assistance to Attalus against Antiochus since he is on terms of alliance and friendship with Rome, nor will they detain the auxiliaries which Attalus is furnishing longer than suits the king's convenience.  When the Romans have made use of the resources of others they have always left liberty of action to others.  If any wish to render active assistance to the Romans, it rests with them to take the first step as it does to take the last.  The senate will send envoys to Antiochus to inform him that the Roman people are making use of Attalus' ships and men against their common enemy, Philip, and Antiochus will give gratification to the senate if he desists from hostilities and leaves Attalus' dominions alone.  It is only just and right that monarchs who are allies and friends of Rome should also keep the peace towards each other."
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