In Achaia, the ambassadors of Antiochus and the Aetolians were admitted to an audience of the council
at Aegium, in the presence of Titus Quinctius. The ambassador of Antiochus was heard prior to the Aetolians.
He, with all that pomp and parade which is common among those who are maintained by the wealth of kings, covered, as far as the empty sound of words could go, both lands and seas (with forces). He said, that “an innumerable body of cavalry was coming over the Hellespont into Europe; some of them cased in coats of mail, whom they call Cataphracti; others discharging arrows on horseback;
and, what rendered it impossible to guard against them, shooting with the surest aim even when their backs were turned, and their horses in full retreat.
To this army of cavalry, sufficient to crush the forces of all Europe, collected into one body,” he added another of infantry of many times its number; and to terrify them, repeated the names of nations scarcely ever heard of before: talking of Dahans, Medes, Elymaeans, and Cadusians.
“As to the naval forces, no harbours in Greece were capable of containing them; the right squadron was composed of Sidonians and Tyrians; the left of Aradians and Sidetians, from Pamphylia, —nations which none others had ever equalled, either in courage, or skill in sea affairs.
Then, as to money, and other requisites for the support of war, it was needless for [p. 1603]
him to speak. They themselves knew, that the kingdoms of Asia had always abounded in gold. The Romans, therefore, had not now to deal with Philip, or with Hannibal; the one a principal member of a commonwealth, the other confined merely to the limits of the kingdom of Macedonia; but with the great monarch of all Asia, and part of Europe.
Nevertheless, though he had come from the remotest bounds of the East to give freedom to Greece, he did not demand any thing from the Achaeans, that could injure the fidelity of their engagements with the Romans, their former friends and allies.
For he did not require them to take arms on his side against them; but only, that they should not join themselves to either party. That, as became common friends, they should wish for peace to both parties, and not intermeddle in the war.”
Archidamus, ambassador of the Aetolians, made nearly the same request: that, as was their easiest and safest way, they should stand neuter; and, as mere spectators of the war, wait for the decision of the fortunes of others, without any hazard to their own interests.
He afterwards was betrayed, by the intemperance of language, into invectives, sometimes against the Romans in general, sometimes against Quinctius himself in particular;
charging them with ingratitude, and upbraiding them, as being indebted to the valour of the Aetolians, not only for the victory over Philip, but even for their preservation; for, “by their exertions, both Quinctius himself and his army had been saved. What duty of a commander had he ever discharged?
He used to see him, indeed, in the field, taking auspices; sacrificing, and offering vows, like an insignificant soothsaying priest; while he himself was, in his defence, exposing his person to the weapons of the enemy.”