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Debate In the Congress At Tempe

Flamininus here took up the argument, and said that
Reply of Flamininus.
"Alexander was mistaken not only as to the policy of Rome, but also as to the object which he proposed to himself, and above all as to the true interests of Greece. For it was not the Roman way to utterly destroy those with whom they had been at open war. A proof of his assertion might be found in the war with Hannibal and the Carthaginians; for though the Romans had received the severest provocation at their hands, and afterwards had it in their power to do absolutely what they pleased to them, yet they had adopted no extreme measures against the Carthaginians. For his part, moreover, he had never entertained the idea that it was necessary to wage an inexpiable war with Philip; but on the contrary had been prepared before the battle to come to terms with him, if he would have submitted to the Roman demands. He was surprised, therefore, that those who had taken part in the former peace conference should now adopt a tone of such irreconcilable hostility. Have we not conquered? (say they). Yes, but this is the most senseless of arguments. For brave men, when actually at war, should be terrible and full of fire; when beaten, undaunted and courageous; when victorious, on the other hand, moderate, placable, and humane. But your present advice is the reverse of all this. Yet, in truth, to the Greeks themselves it is greatly to their interest that Macedonia should be humbled, but not at all so that she should be destroyed. For it might chance thereby that they would experience the barbarity of Thracians and Gauls, as has been the case more than once already." He then added that" the final decision of himself and Roman colleagues was, that, if Philip would consent to fulfil all the conditions formerly enjoined by the allies, they would grant him peace, subject, of course, to the approval of the Senate: and that the Aetolians were free to take what measures they chose for themselves." Upon Phaeneas attempting to reply that "Everything done hitherto went for nothing; for if Philip managed to extricate himself from his present difficulties, he would at once find some other occasion for hostilities,"—Flamininus sprang at once from his seat, and said, with some heat, "Cease this trifling, Phaeneas! For I will so settle the terms of the peace that Philip will be unable, even if he wished it, to molest the Greeks."

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