Philip began his discourse also with complaints, that he might maintain the appearance of an accuser rather than of a defendant. He complained that “the Thessalians had taken by force of arms, Menelais in Dolopia, a town belonging to his dominions; likewise, Petra in Pieria was taken by the same Thessalians and the Perrhaebians;
that they had reduced under their government Xyniae, which unquestionably belonged to Aetolia; and that Parachelois, which was under Athamania, was, without any just claim, subjected to the jurisdiction of the Thessalians.
As to the charges brought against him, concerning an ambush laid for ambassadors, and of sea-ports being frequented or deserted, the one was quite ridiculous, (as if he were
to account for what harbours merchants or sailors should frequent,) and the other the constant tenor of his conduct rejected with scorn.
During a number of years, ambassadors had never ceased carrying complaints against him, sometimes to the Roman generals, at others to Rome to the senate. Which of them had ever been injured, even in words?
They said, indeed, that an ambush was once laid for some who were going to Quintius, but they are silent in regard to consequences. Such were the accusations of men searching for false imputations, because they had no truth on their side.”
He said, that “the Thessalians, insolently and wantonly, abused the indulgence of the Roman people, too greedily drinking, as it were, strong draughts of liberty after a long thirst;
and thus, in the manner of slaves lately set free, made trial of their voices and tongues, and prided themselves in invectives and railings against their masters.”
Then, hurried on by passion, he added, that “his sun had not set yet;” which expression, not only the Thessalians, but the Romans also, took as a menace to themselves; and when a murmur of displeasure followed his words, and was at length hushed, he replied to the ambassadors
of the Perrhaebians and Athamanians, “that the cases of the cities of which they had spoken were the same. The consul Acilius and the Romans gave them to him, when they were the property of enemies.
If the donors chose to resume what they had given, he knew he must submit, but in that case they would, for the gratification of inconstant and unprofitable allies, do injury to a more useful and more faithful friend.
For no favour produced less permanent gratitude than the gift of liberty, [p. 1820]
especially among people who were ready to corrupt it by using it badly.”
After examining the merits of the cause, the ambassadors pronounced their judgment, that “the Macedonian garrisons should be withdrawn from the cities in question, and that the kingdom of Macedonia should be limited by its ancient boundaries.
That with regard to the injuries which both parties complained of being done to them, it would be requisite to institute some compact for the attainment of justice, in order to decide the controversies between those states and the Macedonians.”