In the same year, because, in consequence of the inquiries made by the consul Postumius, a large portion of the lands of Campania, which had been usurped by private persons indiscriminately, in various parts, had been recovered to the public, Marcus Lucretius, plebeian tribune, published a proposal for an order of the people, that the censors should let the Campanian land to farm;
a measure which had been omitted during so many years, since the taking of Capua, that the greediness of individuals might have clear room to work in.
After war, though not yet proclaimed, had been resolved on, while the senate was anxious to know which of the several kings would espouse their cause, and which that of Perseus, ambassadors came to Rome from Ariarathes, bringing with them his younger son.
The purport of their message was, that “the king had sent his son to be educated at Rome, in order that he might even from childhood be acquainted with the manners and the persons of the Romans;
and he requested, that they would allow him to be not only under the protection of his particular friends, but likewise the care, and in some measure the guardianship, of the public.”
This embassy was highly pleasing to the senate; and they ordered, that Cneius Sicinius, the praetor, should hire a furnished house for the accommodation of the young prince and his attendants. Then that which they sought was given to ambassadors of the Thracians, who were disputing among themselves, and requesting the friendship and alliance of the Roman people, and presents of the amount of two thousand asses1
were sent to each; for the Romans were rejoiced that these states were gained as [p. 1977]
allies, the more so, as they lay at the back of Macedon.
But, in order to acquire a clear knowledge of every thing in Asia and in the islands, they sent ambasadors, Tiberius Claudius Nero and Marcus Decimus, with orders to go to Crete
and Rhodes, to renew the treaties of friendship, and at the same time to observe whether the affections of the allies had been tampered with by Perseus.