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After listening to these statements made by men of such weight and judgment, who, moreover, had made their report after personal investigation, the senate were [2??] of opinion that though the policy to be pursued towards Antiochus was the more important question before them, still, as the king, whatever his reason might be, had retired into Syria, it seemed better to consider first what to do about the tyrant.  After a lengthy discussion as to whether there were sufficient grounds for a formal declaration of war or whether it would be enough to leave it to T. Quinctius to act, as far as Nabis was concerned, in whatever way he thought best in the interests of the State, the matter was finally left in his hands.  Whether they took prompt steps or whether they delayed action it did not seem to them to be of vital importance to the commonwealth.  A much more pressing question was what Hannibal and Carthage were likely to do in case of war with Antiochus. The members of the party opposed to Hannibal were constantly writing to their friends in Rome.  According to their account, messengers and letters were being sent by Hannibal to Antiochus and emissaries from the king were holding secret conferences with him. Just as there were wild beasts which no skill could tame, so this man was untamable and implacable.  He complained that his countrymen were becoming enervated through ease and self-indulgence, and slumbering in indolence and sloth, and said that nothing could rouse them but the clash of arms.  People were all the more ready to believe these assertions when they remembered that it was this man who was responsible for the beginning quite as much as for the conduct of the late war. His recent action had also called forth strong resentment amongst many of the magnates.
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