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During these proceedings in Italy, Perseus could not make up his mind to carry out his project of gaining Gentius, king of the Illyrians, as an ally, as he would have to spend money in so doing.  But when he found that the Romans had cleared the passes and that the supreme crisis of the war was at hand, he felt that this business ought not to be put off any longer. Through Hippias, who acted for him, he agreed to pay a sum of 300 silver talents on condition that hostages were exchanged on both sides.  Pantauchus, one of his closest friends, was sent to complete the transaction. Pantauchus met the Illyrian king at Meteon in the district of Libea, and there he received the king's sworn word and the hostages.  Gentius sent as his representative a man called Olympius to claim from Perseus his sworn word and the hostages. Men were sent with him to receive the money, and at the suggestion of Pantauchus, Parmenio and Morcus were selected to accompany them to Rhodes.  Their instructions were not to go to Rhodes till they had received the king's sworn word and the hostages, as at the request of both kings the Rhodians might be induced to declare war against Rome.  The adhesion of that nation, whose naval reputation was then at its height, would, it was supposed, leave the Romans no hope of victory either on sea or land.  Perseus went from his camp by the Elpeus with all his cavalry, and met the Illyrians at Dium.  There, with the cavalry drawn up all round them, the contracting parties ratified the covenant between them, Perseus thinking that their presence at this solemn ratification would give them fresh courage.  Then the hostages were exchanged in the sight of all; those who were to receive the money were then sent to the royal treasury at Pella; those who were to accompany the Illyrian envoys to Rhodes received instructions to embark at Thessalonica.  Metrodorus, who had recently come from Rhodes, was there, and he asserted on the authority of Dinon and Polyaratus, leading men in the city, that the Rhodians were prepared for war. He was appointed head of the joint Macedonian and Illyrian legation.
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