During these occurrences in Italy, Perseus, though he [p. 2082]
could not, at first, prevail on himself to complete the design which he had projected, of attaching to himself Gentius, king of Illyria, on account of the money which would be demanded for it;
yet, when he found that the Romans had penetrated the passes, and that the final crisis of the war drew near, resolved to defer it no longer, and having, by his ambassador Hippias, consented to pay three thousand talents of silver,1
provided hostages were given on both sides; he now sent Pantauchus, one of his most trusty friends, to conclude the business.
Pantauchus met the Illyrian king at Meteo, in the province of Labeas, and there received from the king his oath and the hostages. Gentius likewise sent an ambassador, named Olympio, to require an oath and hostages from Perseus.
Together with him, were sent persons to receive the money; and by the advice of Pantauchus, to go to Rhodes, with ambassadors from Macedonia. Parmenio and Morcus were appointed.
Their instructions were, first, to receive the king's oath, the hostages, and money; and then to proceed to Rhodes; and it was hoped, that, by the name of the two kings, the Rhodians might be incited to a war against Rome, and that the union of that state, which alone at
that time possessed naval glory, would leave the Romans no prospect of success, either on land or sea.
As the Illyrians approached, Perseus marched with all his cavalry, from his camp on the Enipeus, and met them at Dium. There the articles agreed on were executed;
a body of cavalry having been drawn up around, whom the king chose should be witness to the treaty of alliance made with Gentius, supposing that this event would add greatly to their confidence.
The hostages were given and taken in the sight of all; those who were to receive the money were sent to Pella, where the king's treasure lay; and the persons who were to go to Rhodes, with the Illyrian ambassadors, were ordered to take ship at Thessalonica.
There was present one Metrodorus, who had lately come from Rhodes, and who, on the authority of Dinon and Polyaratus, two principal members of that state, affirmed, that the Rhodians were prepared for the war; he was appointed head of the joint embassy with the Illyrians.