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1 Crevier supplement: Then he pleaded Masinissa's cause concerning the land and towns, which, according to the complaint of the Carthaginians, were wrested from them by [p. 2032]him; and the question was debated with great warmth between the prince and the Carthaginian ambassadors. We have not ascertained what were the arguments brought forward by both parties, or what was the reply given by the senate. However this contest ceased, and seemed to slumber for several years: it was subsequently renewed, and burst forth into the flames of that war which was undertaken by the Carthaginians against Masinissa, necessarily waged against Rome, and terminated only by the downfal of Carthage.  We find, in the annals of this year, that a son was born of a virgin, while she was under the strict guardianship of her parents, and by the order of the soothsayers was conveyed to a desert island. The elections were held by Caius Cassius the consul, in which Aulus Hosti- lius Mancinus and Aulus Atilius Serranus were appointed consuls. Then Marcus Raecius, Quintus Maenius, Lucius Flatensius, Quintus Aelius Paetus, Titus Manlius Torquatus, and Caius Hostilius, were elected praetors. Italy and Mace- don are declared the consular provinces. Italy fell to Atilius, and Macedon to Hostilius. With regard to the praetors, Raecius obtained by lot the city jurisdiction, Maenius the foreign. The fleet, together with the sea-coast of Greece, fell to Hortensius. The rest of the praetorian provinces were, without doubt, those of the former year, viz. Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia. But what praetors obtained the command in each cannot be ascer- tained, in consequence of the silence of the ancient records. In the mean time Publius Licinius, as if he were sent to wage war not against Perseus, but the Greeks, turned the rage of war, so ineffectual against the real enemy, towards wretches who were unable to cope with him, and took by storm and plundered in a most merciless manner several cities in Bœotia, in which he was passing the winter.  When the Coroneans, who were the most ill-used, threw themselves on the protection of the senate, that august body decreed that the captives who had been sold should be restored to freedom. Lucretius the praetor, who had the command of the fleet, imitated, or rather sur- passed, the cruelty and avarice of the consul; he was oppres- sive to the allies, despicable in the sight of the enemy. Since Perseus, by a sudden attack on the fleet stationed at Oreum, took twenty transports laden with corn, sunk the rest of them, and even made himself master of four galleys of five banks of oars. Matters were successfully managed by Perseus in Thrace [p. 2033]also, where he made a diversion in that country in favour of Cotys against the forces of Atlesbis and Corragus. Nor truly was Cotys false to his own interests, as he was a man inde- fatigable in war, and pre-eminent in council, a Thracian by birth alone, not by his habits; for he was singularly sober and temperate, and, besides, quite amiable, owing to his mercy and moderation. The tide of war flowed on in favour of Perseus. For at this time the nation of the Epirotes also passed over to his party, by the advice of Cephalus, who however was induced to revolt more by necessity, than his own free will.  He was a man of remarkable prudence and firmness, and even then influenced by the best of feelings. For he had prayed to the immortal gods that war might never break out between the Romans and Perseus, and that they might never come to a decisive struggle. For he had determined, when the war broke out, to aid the Romans according to the written articles of the treaty, but to do nothing further than the conditions of that treaty demanded, and not to be complaisant in a servile or disgraceful manner. These plans were confounded by one Charopus, the grandson of that Charopus who opened the pass at the river Arus to Titus Quinctius, in the war against Philip; this Charopus was a worthless flatterer of those in power, and a strange adept at forging calumnies against men of the best character.  He was educated at Rome, having been sent there by his grandfather, in order that he might learn tho- roughly the Roman language and literature. Owing to this he became acquainted with, and dear to, very many of the Romans; and yet, after his return home, as he was naturally of a fickle and depraved disposition, and besides inspired with confidence, owing to his intimacy with the Roman nobles, he was constantly sneering at the leading men of the state. At first he was despised by all, nor was any regard paid to his allegations. But after the war with Perseus broke out, and suspicions were rife throughout Greece, as many openly pro- fessed their zeal for Perseus, and still more felt it in secret, Charopus never ceased accusing before the Romans those who were invested with authority among the Epirotes. The intimate connexion that Cephalus, and the others who adopted that line of politics, had formerly with the kings of Macedon, gave a specious appearance and false colouring to his calumnies. Already, in truth, by malignantly prying into all their acts [p. 2034]and words, and putting the worst construction on them, and by falsifying the truth by adding and subtracting whatever he chose, he was succeeding in having his accusations believed. Nor however were Cephalus, and those who had been the asso- ciates of his designs in the management of the republic, moved by these allegations, since they relied on the full consciousness of unsullied fidelity towards the Romans. But when they perceived that the Romans lent an ear to these calumnies, and that some of the Aetolian nobles, whom the calumnies of slan- derers had rendered objects of suspicion as well as themselves, were taken away to Rome, then at length they believed it neces- sary to provide for the safety of themselves and their property. And they, when no other resource than the king's friendship suggested itself to them, were compelled to form an alliance with Perseus, and give their nation into his hands. Aulus Hostilius and Aulus Atilius, the consuls, having entered on their office at Rome, and having performed such religious and political acts as are usually executed by the consuls in and around the city, set out for their provinces. Hostilius, to whose lot Macedon had fallen, when he was hastening into Thessaly, to join the army there, entered Epirus, which had not yet openly revolted, and was very near falling into the hands of Perseus.  For one Theodotus and Philostratus, under the im- pression that, if they would deliver him up to the thing, they would receive great favour from Perseus; and, besides, would strike a very severe blow against the Romans at the time, sent letters to the king, desiring him to come up with all the speed he could. And were it not that Perseus was retained by delay, thrown in his way by the Molossians, at the passage of the river Lous, and that the consul, being informed of his danger, had changed his intended route, there was not a possibility of his escaping. Therefore, having left Epirus, he sailed to Anticyra, and from the latter place proceeded to Thessaly. Having received the command of the army there, he marched at once against the enemy. But he was not a whit more suc- cessful in the operations of the war than his predecessor. For having engaged in battle with the king, he was beaten, and when at first he attempted to force his way through Elimea, and afterwards to march secretly through Thessaly, he was compelled to desist from his useless attempts, as Perseus anticipated all his manœuvres. Nor did Hortensius the [p. 2035]proctor, to whom the fleet had fallen, carry on any of his operations with sufficient skill or success, for none of his acts deserves better to be remembered than his cruel and perfidious plundering of the city of the Abdertes, when they endeavoured to avert, by entreaty, the intolerable burdens imposed on them. Perseus, therefore, now despising the Romans, as if he were completely at leisure and disengaged, made an incursion, for the purpose of gaining a fresh wreath of laurel, against the Dardanians, and having slain ten thousand of the barbarians, bore away great booty.
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