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Perseus Sends a Statement to the Greeks

After the conferences had been held between the Roman
Perseus sends a circular despatch to the Greek States.
envoys and the Greeks, Perseus drew up a despatch containing a statement of his case, and the arguments employed on either side; partly from an idea that he would thus be shown to have the superiority of right on his side, and partly because he wished to test the feelings of the several states. Copies of this despatch he sent to the other states by his ordinary letter-carriers; but to Rhodes he sent also Antenor and Philip as ambassadors, who, on their arrival in the island, handed over the document to the magistrates, and a few days afterwards entered the Council chamber and urged the Rhodians "To remain neutral for the present and watch what happened; and, if the Romans attacked Perseus in violation of the treaty, to endeavour to mediate. For this was the interest of all, and pre-eminently of the Rhodians, who more than most peoples desired equality and freedom of speech, and were ever the protectors, not only of their own liberty, but of that of the rest of Greece also; and therefore ought to be proportionally careful to provide and guard against a policy of an opposite tendency." These and similar arguments of the envoys found favour with the Rhodian people. But, as they were already pledged to an attitude of friendship to Rome, the influence of the upper classes so far prevailed that, though a friendly reception was given to the Macedonian envoys, they demanded in their formal answer that Perseus should not ask them to take any measure which would involve the appearance of hostility to Rome. Antenor and his colleagues would not accept this reply, but with thanks for the kindness of their general reception, sailed back to Macedonia. . . .

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.45
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