Philip, provoked by this discourse of
Alexander, pushed his ship nearer to the land, that he might be the better heard, and began to speak with much violence, particularly against the Aetolians. But Phaeneas, interrupting him, said that “the business depended not upon words; he must either conquer in war, or submit to his superiors.”
“That, indeed, is evident,” said Philip, “even to the blind,” reflecting on Phaeneas, who had a disorder in his eyes: for he was naturally fonder of such pleasantries than became a king; and even in the midst of serious business, did not sufficiently restrain [p. 1434]
himself from ridicule.
He then began to express great indignation at the “Aetolians assuming as much importance as the Romans, and insisting on his evacuating Greece; people who could not even tell what were its boundaries. For, of Aetolia itself, a large proportion, consisting of the Agraeans, Apodeotians, and Amphilochians, was no part of Greece.
Have they just ground of complaint against me for not refraining from war with their allies, when themselves, from the earliest period, follow, as an established rule, the practice of suffering their young men to carry arms against those allies, withholding only the public authority of the state; while very frequently contending armies have Aetolian auxiliaries on both sides?
I did not seize on Cius by force, but assisted my friend and ally, Prussias, who was besieging it, and Lysimachia I rescued from the Thracians. But since necessity diverted my attention from the guarding of it to this present war, the Thracians have possession of it. So much for the Aetolians.
To Attalus and the Rhodians I in justice owe nothing; for not to me, but to themselves, is the commencement of hostilities to be attributed. However, out of respect to the Romans, I will restore Peraea to the Rhodians, and to Attalus his ships, and such prisoners as can be found.
As to what concerns Nicephorium, and the temple of Venus, what other answer can I make to those
who require their restoration, than that I will take on myself the trouble and expense of replanting them —the
only way in which woods and groves which have been cut down can be restored, —since it is thought fit that, between kings, such kinds of demands should be made and answered.”
The last part of his speech was directed to the Achaeans, wherein he enumerated, first, the kindnesses of Antigonus; then, his own towards their nation, desiring them to consider the decrees themselves had passed concerning him, which comprehended every kind of honour, divine and human; and to these he added their late decree, by which they had confirmed the resolution of deserting him.
He inveighed bitterly against their perfidy, but told them, that nevertheless he would give them back Argos. “With regard to Corinth, he would consult with the Roman general;
and would, at the same time, inquire from him, whether he thought it right, that he (Philip) should evacuate only those cities which, being captured by himself, were [p. 1435]
held by the right of war; or those, also, which he had received from his ancestors.”