Cneius Manlius, the consul, arrived in Asia, and Quintus Fabius Labeo, the praetor, reached the fleet, nearly at the same time.
The consul did not want reasons for war against the Gauls; the sea was subjected to the Romans since the conquest of Antiochus. It appeared best to Quintus Fabius, considering to what thing in particular he should apply himself, lest he might seem to have had a province in which there was no employment, to sail over to the island of Crete.
The Cydonians were engaged in war against the Gortynians and Gnossians; and a great number of Roman and Italian captives were said to be in slavery in different parts of the island.
Having sailed with the fleet from Ephesus, as soon as he touched the shore of Crete, he despatched orders to all the states to cease from hostilities, and to search each of them for the captives in its own cities and territory, and bring them to him; also, to send ambassadors to him, to treat of matters belonging alike to the Romans and Cretans.
These orders had little influence on the Cretans. Excepting the Gortynians, none of them restored the captives.
Valerius Antias relates, that as many as four thousand captives were restored out of the whole island, because the Cretans feared his threats of war; and that this was deemed a sufficient reason for Fabius obtaining from the senate a naval triumph, although he performed no other exploit.
From Crete Fabius returned to Ephesus: having despatched three ships from the latter place to the coast of Thrace, he ordered the garrisons of Antiochus to be withdrawn from Aenos and Maronea, that these cities might be left at liberty.