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Such was the speech. At its close they all again prostrated themselves, waving their suppliant olive branches to and fro. At last they rose and left the senate-house.  Then the senators were asked to state their view. The bitterest opponents of the Rhodians were those who as consuls or praetors or staff officers had taken part in the war.  The one who did most to help them was M. Porcius Cato, who though naturally stern and inflexible acted on this occasion the part of a lenient and conciliatory senator.  I will not insert a specimen of his fluency and eloquence by transcribing his speech, it is extant in the Fifth Book of his Origines. The reply made to the Rhodians was to the effect that they would neither be declared enemies nor allowed to remain as allies.  The leaders of the deputation were Philocrates and Astymedes. Some of the delegates decided to accompany Philocrates back to Rhodes with the report of the proceedings, others elected to remain in Rome with Astymedes so that they could find out what was going on and inform their countrymen.  For the time being they were only required to withdraw their governors from Lycia and Caria. This would in itself have created a painful impression, but as they were relieved from the apprehension of a worse evil, that of war, the announcement was received with joy.  They at once decreed a crown of 20,000 gold pieces in value and sent it to Theaetetus, the commandant of the fleet, for him to carry it to Rome. They wished him to press for an alliance with Rome, but in such a way that the terms would not be submitted to the people, nor reduced to writing, because in case he was unsuccessful the failure would be all the more humiliating.  It was the sole prerogative of the commandant of the fleet to act in these matters without any formal decree being made.  For all those years they had maintained friendly relations with Rome without binding themselves by an express treaty of alliance, their only reason being that they did not wish to preclude the kings from all hopes of their assistance should it ever be needed, nor themselves from the advantage to be derived from the bounty and good fortune of those monarchs.  Under present circumstances it seemed especially desirable that an alliance should be formed, not to give them additional security against other nations-for they feared none but the Romans-but to make them less suspected by the Romans themselves.  Just at this time the Caunians revolted from them and the Mylasensians seized the towns of the Euromensians.  The Rhodian government was not so broken in spirit as not to become aware that if Lycia and Caria had been taken from them by Rome the other subject countries would either win their freedom by revolt or be seized by their neighbours, and they themselves would be shut up in a small and unfertile island which was quite incapable of supporting the population of so large a city. A body of troops was accordingly despatched to the disaffected districts and reduced the Caunians to submission, though they had summoned help from the Cibyratae.  They also defeated in an action near Orthosia the Mylasensians and Alabandians who had joined forces to wrest from them the province of Euromos.
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