And so it was that he assisted Tiberius Sempronius the consul in subduing the regions in Thrace and on the Danube, acting as his ambassador; and as legionary tribune under Manius Acilius, he marched into Greece against Antiochus the Great, who gave the Romans more to fear than any man after Hannibal For he won back almost all of Seleucus Nicator's former dominions in Asia, reduced to subjection many warlike nations of Barbarians, and was eager to engage the Romans, whom he deemed the only worthy foemen left for him.
So he crossed into Greece with an army, making the freeing of the Greeks a specious ground for war. This they did not need at all, since they had recently been made free and independent of Philip and the Macedonians by grace of the Romans. Greece was at once a stormy sea of hopes and fears, being corrupted by her demagogues with expectations of royal bounty.
Accordingly, Manius sent envoys to the several cities. Most of those which were unsettled in their allegiance Titus Flamininus restrained without ado, and quieted down, as I have written in his Life
but Corinth, Patrae, and Aegium were brought over to Rome by Cato.
He also spent much time at Athens. And we are told that a certain speech of his is extant, which he addressed to the Athenian people in Greek, declaring that he admired the virtues of the ancient Athenians, and was glad to behold a city so beautiful and grand as theirs. But this is not true. On the contrary, he dealt with the Athenians through an interpreter. He could have spoken to them directly, but he always clung to his native ways, and mocked at those who were lost in admiration of anything that was Greek.
For instance, he poked fun at Postumius Albinus, who wrote a history in Greek, and asked the indulgence of his readers. Cato said they might have shown him indulgence had he undertaken his task in consequence of a compulsory vote of the Amphictyonic Assembly. Moreover, he says the Athenians were astonished at the speed and pungency of his discourse. For what he himself set forth with brevity, the interpreter would repeat to them at great length and with many words; and on the whole he thought the words of the Greeks were born on their lips, but those of the Romans in their hearts.