At this Hegesianax hesitated, and could not deny that it was more honourable to go out under the banner of liberty than of slavery, and Publius Sulpicius, the eldest of the ten commissioners, said: “Why not stop beating around the bush?
Choose one of the two conditions so clearly stated by Quinctius a while ago, or cease to talk of friendship.” “But we,” replied Menippus, “have neither the desire nor the authority to make any settlement by which the power of Antiochus will be diminished.”
The next day, when Quinctius had brought into the senate all the embassies from
Greece and Asia, that they might know what was the attitude of the Roman people and what that of Antiochus towards the cities of Greece, he set forth both the king's [p. 569]
demands and his own:
he bade them carry word1
back to their states that with the same courage and the same fidelity with which the Roman people had won their liberty from Philip, they would win it from Antiochus if he did not retire from Europe.
Then Menippus began to beg both Quinctius and the Fathers not to make a hasty decision, as a result of which they would throw the whole world into confusion;
let them both take for themselves and grant to the king time to consider; that he would be enabled to do so when the terms had been reported to him, and would either win some concession or else yield for the sake of peace. Accordingly the whole matter was postponed.
It was decided to send to the king the same ambassadors who had met him at Lysimachia, namely, Publius Sulpicius, Publius Villius, and Publius Aelius.2