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From Ephesus Villius went on to Apamea. On being informed of the Roman commissioner's arrival, Antiochus proceeded thither also.  The conversations between them were almost on the same lines as those which Quinctius had held with the king's envoys in Rome The conference was broken off in consequence of intelligence received of the death of the king's son, who, as already stated, had been sent to Syria.  There was great mourning in the court, and the young man's loss was deeply regretted. He had already given proof of such qualities that it was certain, if his life had been spared, he would have shown himself a great and just monarch. The more universally he had made himself beloved, the stronger the suspicions which were felt about his death.  The king, it was said, looked upon the heir-apparent as a menace to his old age, and so had him taken off by poison through the agency of certain eunuchs, a class of men whose services kings are glad to employ in crimes of this kind.  Another motive which was attributed to the king strengthened this suspicion, for as he had given Lysimachia to his son Seleucus he had no similar residence to which he could remove Antiochus under presence of conferring an honour upon him.  The court, however, presented all the outward signs of mourning for several days, and the Roman commissioner, not wishing to be in the way at such an unseasonable time, withdrew to Pergamum.  The king abandoned the war which he had begun and returned to Ephesus. There, with his palace closed on account of the mourning, he held secret counsels with his favourite courtier, a man called Minnio.  Minnio, utterly ignorant of the outside world and measuring the king's power by his campaigns in Syria and Asia, was fully convinced that Antiochus would prove no less superior to the Romans in war than he was in the justice of his cause, as the demands of the Romans were unjustifiable.  As the king avoided all further discussion with the commissioners, either because he found that nothing was to be gained from them or owing to the depression due to his recent bereavement, Minnio said that he would act as spokesman on the king's behalf, and induced Antiochus to invite the commissioners up from Pergamum. Sulpicius had now recovered, so they both proceeded to Ephesus.
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