About this time Cneius Servilius Caepio, Appius Claudius Centho, and Titus Annius Luscus, who had been sent ambassadors to Macedonia, to demand restitution and renounce the king's friendship, returned, and inflamed to a still greater degree the senate, already predisposed to hostilities against Perseus, by relating, in order, what they had seen and heard.
They said, that “through all the cities of Macedonia they saw preparations for war, carried on with the utmost diligence.
When they arrived at the residence of the king, they were refused admission to him for many days; at last, when, despairing of a conference, they were just setting out, then at length they were called back from their journey and brought before him.
That the leading subjects in their discourse were, the treaty concluded with Philip, and, after his father's death, renewed with himself; in which he was expressly prohibited from carrying his arms beyond his own dominions, and, likewise, from making war on the allies of the Roman people. They then laid before him, in order, the true and well-authenticated accounts which they themselves had lately heard from Eumenes, in the senate.
They took notice, besides, of his having held a secret consultation, in Samothracia, with ambassadors from the states of Asia;
and told him, that the senate thought proper that satisfaction should be given for these injuries, as well as restitution,
to them and their allies, of their property, which he held contrary to the [p. 1982]
tenor of the treaty.
On this the king, being inflamed, spoke at first harshly, frequently upbraiding the Romans with pride and avarice, and with ambassadors coming one after another to pry into his words and actions; and with thinking proper that he should speak and do all things in compliance with their nod and order.
After speaking a long time with great loudness and violence, he ordered them to return the next day, for he intended to give his answer in writing. Then the written answer was given to them;
of which the purport was, that the treaty concluded with his father in no respect concerned him; that he had suffered it to be renewed, not because he approved of it, but because, being so lately come to the throne, he had to endure every thing.
If they chose to form a new engagement with him, they ought first to agree on the terms; if they could bring themselves to make a treaty on an equal footing, he would consider what was to be done on his part, and he was convinced that they would provide for the interests of their own state. After this, he hastily turned away, and they were desired to quit the palace.
They then declared, that they renounced his friendship and alliance; at which he was highly exasperated, stopped, and with a loud voice charged them to quit his dominions within three days. They departed accordingly; and neither on their coming, nor while they staid, was any kind of attention or hospitality shown them.”
The Thessalian and Aetolian ambassadors were then admitted to audience. It pleased the senate, that a letter should be sent to the consuls, directing, that whichever
of them was most able should come to Rome to elect magistrates, in order that they might know what commanders the state was about to employ.