This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Whilst the Romans were devoting attention to preparations for a fresh war, Antiochus for his part was by no means idle.  He was, however, detained in Asia by three cities, Smyrna, Alexandria Troas and Lampsacus, none of which he had been able to become master of either by force or by persuasion, and he did not wish to leave them in his rear during his invasion of Europe. A further cause of delay was his uncertainty about Hannibal.  The undecked ships with which he had intended to send Hannibal to Africa were not ready, and then the question was raised, mainly by Thoas, whether he ought to be sent at all.  Thoas asserted that the whole of Greece was in a state of unrest and that Demetrias had passed into his hands. The lies about the king and the wild exaggerations as to the forces which Antiochus possessed with which he had excited many minds in Greece he now employed to feed the king's hopes.  He told him that all were praying for him to come; there would be a universal rush to the shore from which they had caught the first glimpse of the royal fleet.  He actually ventured to disturb the judgment which the king had now without a shadow of doubt formed of Hannibal and gave it as his opinion that no ships ought to be detached from the king's fleet, or if any were sent Hannibal was the very last person who ought to be in command of them.  He was a banished man and a Carthaginian to whom his fortunes or his imagination suggested a thousand fresh prospects every day.  Then, again, the military reputation which led to Hannibal's being sought after like a woman with a rich dowry was too great for any who was only officer in the king's service; the king ought to be the central figure, the sole leader the sole commander.  If Hannibal were to lose a fleet or an army the loss would be just as great as if they were lost under any other leader, but if any success were gained the glory of it would go to Hannibal and not to Antiochus.  Supposing that they were fortunate enough to inflict a decisive defeat on the Romans and win the war, how [11??] could they hope that Hannibal would live quietly under a monarch, under one man's rule, after he had been unable to bear the restraints imposed by the laws of his own country? His youthful aspirations and his hopes of winning world-wide dominion had not fitted him to endure a master in his old age.  There was no necessity for the king to give Hannibal a command, he might find him employment as a member of his suite and an adviser on matters concerning the war.  A moderate demand upon such abilities as his would be neither dangerous nor useless; but if the highest services he could render were called for, they would prove too burdensome both for him who rendered them and him who accepted them.  Such were the arguments which Thoas used.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.