The consuls had accomplished for the state [p. 365]
during this year nothing which is particularly worth1
mentioning. It was considered more useful to the state that the thoroughly aroused Ligurians should be restrained and calmed.
While war with Macedonia was awaited, Issaean envoys brought suspicion also on Gentius, king of the Illyrians, both by complaining that he had ravaged their territory, and also by reporting that the Illyrian king was in harmony with the Macedonian; that they were concerting plans for war against the Romans;
and that Illyrian spies, ostensibly an embassy, had been sent to Rome at Perseus' suggestion to get information of what was going forward.2
These Illyrians were called before the senate: when they said that they had been sent by the king as envoys to clear him of any charges which might be brought by the Issaeans, they were asked why in that case they had not approached a magistrate, in order to receive lodging and official entertainment3
according to custom, and indeed in order that their arrival and their purpose might be known.
When they hesitated in their answer, they were bidden to leave the senate-house; the senate refused to reply, as they would to envoys, to men who had not requested to be presented to the senate.
It was decided to send envoys to the king to inform him of the complaints made by Rome's allies, with the message that the senate considered that he was acting unjustly in not refraining from wrong to these allies of theirs.
On this embassy were sent Aulus Terentius Varro, Gaius Plaetorius and Gaius Cicereius.
From Asia the envoys, who had been sent round to the several allied kings,4
returned and reported that [p. 367]
they had met Eumenes at Aegina, Antiochus in5
Syria and Ptolemy at Alexandria. All had received overtures from the embassies of Perseus but remained nobly loyal and had promised to accomplish everything which the Roman people might command.
The envoys had also visited the allied city-states; they had found all of them loyal except Rhodes, which was wavering and steeped in Perseus' plots. Envoys of Rhodes had come to Rome to clear the city of the charges which they knew were generally being bandied about;
however, it was decided not to hold a meeting of the senate for them until the new consuls should have entered on their office.