During these transactions in Peloponnesus, from which my narration digressed, the return of Demetrius with the ambassadors into Macedonia, affected people's minds in various manners.
The generality of the Macedonians, whom the apprehension of an impending war with the Romans had struck with terror, looked with the highest esteem on Demetrius, as the promoter of peace; and, at the same time, with confident hope, destined for him the throne, after the demise of his father.
They argued, that “although he was younger than Perseus, yet he was born of a wife, and the other of a concubine; that the latter, born of a mother who prostituted her person, had no likeness to any particular father, whereas the former had a striking resemblance of Philip.
Besides it was probable that the Romans would place him on the throne of his father, as Perseus had no pretensions to their favour.” Such was the conversation of people in general.
Fear tortured Perseus, lest his age alone might not sufficiently secure his interest, his brother having the advantage of him in every [p. 1850]
while Philip himself, believing that it would scarcely rest with his decision which of them he should leave heir to his dominions, began to think that his younger son encroached on him more than he could wish.
He was sometimes displeased at the numerous attendance of the Macedonians round Demetrius, and chagrined at perceiving that there was a second court during his own life-time.
The young prince no doubt came home much elevated in his own estimation, elated with the honours paid him by the senate, and their having conceded to him, what they had refused to his father;
insomuch that every mention of the Romans, whatever degree of respect it procured him from the rest of the Macedonians, created an equal degree of envy, not only in the breast of his brother, but also in that of his father;
especially after the Roman ambassadors arrived, and the king was obliged to evacuate Thrace, to withdraw his garrisons, and to perform the other articles, either according to the decisions of the former ambassadors or the late regulations made by the senate.
But all this he did with great reluctance, and even with anguish of mind, the more on this account, because he saw his son more frequently in company with them than with himself; nevertheless, to avoid giving any pretence for an immediate commencement of hostilities, he acted submissively towards the Romans.
Thinking it necessary to turn away their thoughts from a suspicion of any such designs, he led an army into the heart of Thrace, against the Odrysians, Dantheletians, and Bessians.
He took the city of Philoppopolis, after it was deserted by the inhabitants, who fled with their families to the tops of the nearest mountains; and, by wasting the country, reduced the barbarians living in the plains to submission.
Then leaving a garrison in Philoppopolis, which was soon after expelled by the Odrysians, he began to build a town in Deuriopus. This is a district of Paeonia, near the river Erigonus, which, flowing from Illyricum through Paeonia, falls into the river Axius.
Not far from the old city of Stobae he built his new one, which he ordered to be called Perseis, that this honour might be conferred on his eldest son.