Demetrius Appeals Again to the Senate
News having come to Rome of the disaster by which
B. C. 162. The Senate pay little attention to Lysias's excuses.
Gnaeus Octavius lost his life, ambassadors also
arrived from king Antiochus, sent by Lysias,
who vehemently protested that the king's
friends had had no part in the crime. But the
Senate showed scant attention to the envoys, not wishing to
make any open declaration on the subject or to allow their
opinion to become public in any way.
But Demetrius was much excited by the news, and immediately summoned Polybius to an interview,
Demetrius thinks there is again a chance for him. Polybius advises, "act for yourself."
consulted him as to whether he should once
more bring his claims before the Senate. Polybius advised him "not to stumble twice on the
same stone," but to depend upon himself and
venture something worthy of a king; and he
pointed out to him that the present state of affairs offered him
many opportunities. Demetrius understood the hint, but said
nothing at the time; but a short while afterwards consulted
Apollonius one of his intimate friends, on the same subject.
He however again appeals to the Senate.
This man, being simple minded and very young,
advised him to make another trial of the
Senate. "He was convinced," he said, "that,
since it had deprived him of his kingdom without any just
excuse, it would at least release him from his position of
hostage; for it was absurd that, when the boy Antiochus had
succeeded to the kingdom in Syria, Demetrius should be a
hostage for him." Persuaded by these arguments he once
more obtained a hearing of the Senate, and claimed to be
relieved of his obligations as a hostage, since they had decided
to secure the kingdom to Antiochus.
though he pleaded his cause with many arguments, the Senate remained fixed in the same
resolve as before. And that was only what was to be expected. For they had not, on the former occasion, adjudged
the continuance of the kingdom to the child on the ground
that the claim of Demetrius was not just, but because it was
advantageous to Rome that it should be so; and as the circumstances remained precisely the same, it was only natural
that the policy of the Senate should remain unchanged also.