Antiochus went himself into Bœotia, holding out ostensibly those causes of resentment against the Romans which I have already mentioned, —the death of Brachyllas, and the attack made by Quinctius on Coronea, on account of the massacre of the Roman soldiers;
while the real ones were, that the former excellent policy of that nation, with respect both [p. 1613]
to public and private concerns, had, for several generations, been on the decline; and that great numbers were in such circumstances, that they could not long subsist without some change in affairs.
Through multitudes of the principal Bœotians, who every where flocked out to meet him, he arrived at Thebes. There, notwithstanding that he had (both at Delium, by the attack made on the Roman troops, and also at Chalcis) already commenced hostilities, by enterprises of neither a trifling nor of a dubious nature, yet, in a general council of the nation, he delivered a speech of the same import with that which he delivered in the first conference at Chalcis, and that used by his ambassadors in the council of the Achaeans;
that “what he required of them was, to form a league of friendship with him, not to declare war against the Romans.” But not a man among them was ignorant of his meaning.
However, a decree, disguised under a slight covering of words, was passed in his favour against the Romans.
After securing this nation also on his side, he returned to Chalcis; and, having despatched letters, summoning the chief Aetolians to meet him at Demetrias, that he might deliberate with them on the general plan of operations, he came thither with his ships on the day appointed for the council.
Amynander, likewise, was called from Athamania to the consultation; and Hannibal the Carthaginian, who, for a long time before, had not been asked to attend, was present at this assembly.
The subject of their deliberation was in reference to the Thessalian nation; and every one present was of opinion, that their concurrence ought to be sought.
The only points on which opinions differed were, that some thought the attempt ought to be made immediately; while others judged it better to defer it for the winter season, which was then about half spent, until the beginning of spring.
Some advised to send ambassadors only; others, that the king should go at the head of all his forces, and if they hesitated, terrify them into compliance.