Not much later Marcus Aurelius Cotta, [p. 443]
representing Lucius Scipio, came with the ambassadors1
of King Antiochus, and King Eumenes and the Rhodians arrived in Rome.
Cotta first in the senate and then before the assembly by order of the senate described what had occurred in Asia. A period of thanksgiving was then proclaimed for three days and forty full-grown victims were ordered sacrificed. Then first of all Eumenes was granted an audience by the senate.
When he had briefly thanked the Fathers because they had rescued him and his brother from siege and saved his kingdom from the violence of Antiochus, and then congratulated them because success had attended their efforts on land and sea and because they had driven
King Antiochus, defeated, routed and stripped of his camp, first out of Europe and then out of Asia on this side of the Taurus mountains, he said next that he preferred that they should hear of his own services from their own commanders and legates than from his relation of them.
All applauded this, and bade him lay aside his modesty in this respect and say himself what he thought should properly be given him by the senate and the Roman people:
the senate, they said, would act with greater readiness and greater generosity, if it were possible, in accordance with his merits;
to this the king replied that if a choice of rewards were offered him by others, he would have been glad, if only the privilege of consulting the Roman senate were granted him, to enjoy the advice of that most distinguished body, that he might not seem either to have conceived immoderate ambitions or to have stated them with too little restraint;
but in fact, since they themselves were planning to give something to him, so much the more should [p. 445]
their generosity to him and his brothers be controlled2
by their own judgment.
The Fathers were not deterred by these words from urging him to speak, and when the argument had continued for some time between generosity on one side and modesty on the other, between men who were leaving the decision to one another with a suavity not more equal in both than difficult to modify, Eumenes left the temple.
The senate remained unaltered in the same determination, to the point of saying that it seemed unreasonable that the king should not know with what hopes and aspirations he had come; he himself knew best what was suitable for his kingdom; he was far better acquainted with Asia than the senate; he should therefore be recalled and compelled to say what he wished and what were his opinions.