Corinth was agreed upon as the place where the hostages should be lodged. Marcellus crossed over from Delphi, and the Aetolian council, into Peloponnesus, where he had summoned a diet of the Achaeans.
There, by the praises which he bestowed on that nation, for having resolutely maintained their old decree, which prohibited the admission of the Macedonian kings within the limits of their territories, he manifested the inveterate hatred of the Romans towards Perseus;
and this hatred broke out into effect the sooner, in consequence of king Eumenes coming to Rome, and bringing with
him a written statement of the preparations made for war, which he had drawn up, after a full inquiry into every particular. Five ambassadors were now sent to the king, in order to take a view of affairs in Macedon.
The same were ordered to proceed to Alexandria to Ptolemy, to renew the treaty of friendship. These were Caius Valerius, Cneius Lutatius Cerco, Quintus Baebius Sulca, Marcus Cornelius Mammula, and Marcus Caecilius Denter.
About the same time, came ambassadors from king Antiochus; and the principal of them, called Apollonius, being admitted to an audience of the senate, presented, on behalf of his king, many and reasonable apologies for paying the tribute later than the day appointed.
“He now brought,” he said, “the whole of [p. 1964]
it, that the king might require no favour except the delay of time. He brought besides a present of gold vases, in weight five hundred pounds.
Antiochus requested, that the treaty of alliance and amity, which had been made with his father, might be renewed with him; and that the Roman people might demand from him every service which might be required from a king who was a good and faithful ally: that he would never be remiss in the performance of any duty.
Such had been the kindness of the senate towards him when he was at Rome, such the courtesy of the young men, that, among all ranks of men, he was treated as a sovereign, not as a hostage.”
A gracious answer was returned to the ambassadors, and Aulus Atilius, city praetor, was ordered to renew with Antiochus the alliance formerly made with his father. The city quaestors received the tribute, and the censors the golden vases; and the business of placing them in whatever temples they should judge proper, was assigned to them.
One hundred thousand asses1
were presented to the ambassador, and a house at the public cost was given him for his accommodation, and it was ordered that his expenses should be paid as long as he would remain in Italy.
The ambassadors, who had been in Syria, represented him as standing in the highest degree of favour with the king, and a very warm friend to the Roman people.