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Antiochus and Ptolemy Appeal to Rome

WHEN the war between the kings Antiochus and Ptolemy1 for the possession of Coele-Syria had just begun, Meleager, Sosiphanes, and Heracleides came as ambassadors from Antiochus, and Timotheos and Damon from Ptolemy. The one actually in possession of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia was Antiochus; for ever since his father's victory over the generals of Ptolemy at Panium2 all those districts had been subject to the Syrian kings. Antiochus, accordingly, regarding the right of conquest as the strongest and most honourable of all claims, was now eager to defend these places as unquestionably belonging to himself: while Ptolemy, conceiving that the late king Antiochus had unjustly taken advantage of his father's orphan condition to wrest the cities in Coele-Syria from him, was resolved not to acquiesce in his possession of them. Therefore Meleager and his colleagues came to Rome with instructions to protest before the Senate that Ptolemy had, in breach of all equity, attacked him first; while Timotheos and Damon came to renew their master's friendship with the Romans, and to offer their mediation for putting an end to the war with Perseus; but, above all, to watch the communications made by Meleager's embassy. As to putting an end to the war, by the advice of Marcus Aemilius they did not venture to speak of it; but after formally renewing the friendly relations between Ptolemy and Rome, and receiving a favourable answer, they returned to Alexandria. To Meleager and his colleagues the Senate answered that Quintus Marcius should be commissioned to write to Ptolemy on the subject, as he should think it most to the interest of Rome and his own honour. Thus was the business settled for the time. . . .

1 Antiochus IV. Epiphanes, B. C. 175-164; Ptolemy VI. Philometor,

B. C. 169, Antiochus and Ptolemy both appeal to Rome on the subject of Coele-Syria.
B. C. 181-146.

2 See 16, 18.

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