While the Romans were concentrating on the preparations for the new war, there was no idleness on the part of Antiochus either.
Three cities were detaining him, Zmyrna and Alexandria Troas and Lampsacus,1
which he had up to that time been able neither to take by assault nor to win over to friendship by negotiations, nor was he willing to leave them in his rear when he crossed to Greece. The question of Hannibal also detained him.
And at first the open ships which he had planned to send with him to Africa were delayed;
then the question whether he should be sent at all was raised, particularly by Thoas the Aetolian, who, after everything [p. 125]
in Greece had been thrown into confusion, brought2
word that Demetrias was in his power, and with lies like those about the king, with which, multiplying his forces in his harangues, he had roused the passions of many in Greece, he excited the hopes of the king also:
the prayers of all were calling him, there would be a rush to the shore from which they could catch glimpses of the royal fleet. This same man dared to try to change the king's decision about Hannibal, now almost fully determined.
For he said that part of the ships should by no means be detached from the royal fleet, nor, if ships should be sent, was any man less fit than Hannibal to be placed in command:
he was an exile and a Carthaginian, to whom either his own luck or his wit could suggest
a thousand new schemes a day,3
and Hannibal's military fame endowed him with a distinction which was out of place in a mere officer of a king.
The king, he said, ought to be the centre of interest, ought to be regarded as the single leader, the single general. If Hannibal should lose a fleet or an army, the loss would be the same as if they were lost by any other leader;
if any success were attained, to Hannibal, not to Antiochus, would the credit accrue; but if in the whole war the fortune of conquering the Romans should be vouchsafed
them, what hope was there that Hannibal would live under a king, subject to an individual, when he had practically failed to endure the rule of his own country?
He had not conducted himself from youth up, cherishing in his hopes and thoughts the sovereignty of the world, in such a way that in his old age he would be ready, as it seemed, to suffer a master. The king, he concluded, had no need of Hannibal as a commander; as a companion [p. 127]
and as an adviser he could use such a man for the4
A moderate employment of such talents would be neither dangerous nor unprofitable;
if the greatest use of them were made, it would ruin both the giver and the receiver.