While this was going on in Italy, Antiochus1
at Ephesus was quite free from concern as to the Roman war, on the ground that the Romans would not cross to Asia; and this sense of security was given to him by most of his friends either through error or in flattery.
Hannibal alone, whose influence with the king was at that time perhaps at its greatest, said that he was more surprised that the Romans were not already in Asia than doubtful that they would come;
it was a shorter crossing from Greece to Asia than from Italy to Greece, and Antiochus was a far more powerful motive than the Aetolians; nor were Roman arms less powerful on sea than land.
For a long time their fleet had been around Malea; he had recently heard that a new fleet and a [p. 275]
new commander to carry on the war had come from2
Antiochus, then, should cease to seek peace for himself —a vain hope.
In Asia and for Asia itself there would soon be war on land and sea between him and the Romans, and either the Romans, seeking dominion over the world, would lose it or he himself would lose his kingdom.
He alone seemed both to foresee the truth and to declare it loyally. So the king himself, with the ships that were ready and equipped, set out for the Chersonesus to strengthen those regions with garrisons if perchance the Romans should come by land;
the rest of the fleet he ordered Polyxenidas to refit and launch; scouting cruisers he sent among the islands to reconnoitre everywhere.