League Against Ptolemy Epiphanes
Is it not astonishing that while Ptolemy Philopator
was alive and did not need such assistance, these two kings
Shameless ambition of Philip and Antiochus.
were ready with offers of aid, but that as soon as he was dead,
leaving his heir a mere child, whose kingdom
they were bound by the ties of nature to have
defended, they then egged each other on to
adopt the policy of partitioning the boy's kingdom between
themselves, and getting rid entirely of the heir; and that too
without putting forward any decent pretext to cover their
iniquity, but acting so shamelessly, and so like beasts of prey,
that one can only compare their habits to those ascribed to
fishes, among which, though they may be of the same species,
the destruction of the smaller is the food and sustenance of
the larger. This treaty of theirs shows, as though in a mirror,
the impiety to heaven and cruelty to man of these two
kings, as well as their unbounded ambition. However, if a
man were disposed to find fault with Fortune for her administration of human affairs, he might fairly become reconciled to
her in this case; for she brought upon those monarchs the
punishment they so well deserved, and by the signal example
she made of them taught posterity a lesson in righteousness.
For while they were engaged in acts of treachery against each
other, and in dismembering the child's kingdom in their own
interests, she brought the Romans upon them, and the very
measures which they had lawlessly designed against another,
she justly and properly carried out against them.
For both of
them, being promptly beaten in the field, were
not only prevented from gratifying their desire
for the dominions of another, but were themselves made tributary and forced to obey orders from Rome.
Finally, within a very short time Fortune restored the kingdom
of Ptolemy to prosperity; while as to the dynasties and successors of these two monarchs, she either utterly abolished and
destroyed them, or involved them in misfortunes which were
little short of that. . . .