Summary Based on Livy
THE only fragment we possess of the nineteenth book of Polybius is a
statement quoted by Plutarch as to M. Porcius Cato, to the effect that by
his orders the walls of all the numerous Spanish cities north of the Baetis
were dismantled on the same day. Cato was in Spain B. C. 195. The
means taken by him to secure this simultaneous destruction of fortifications
are told by Frontinus, Strateg, 1, 1, 1
We thus lose the history of the years B. C. 195, 194, 193; as well as
the greater part of that of B. C. 192, 191, contained in the early part of
book 20, of which only a few fragments remain. Livy, however, has
evidently translated from Polybius in his history of these years, and a
brief abstract of events in Greece may help the reader in following the
fragmentary book which follows with more interest.
B. C. 195: Lucius Valerius Flaccus, M. Porcius Cato, Coss.
Flamininus's imperium is extended for this year, because of the danger
from Antiochus and Nabis. The Aetolians, still discontented, push their
demand for Pharsalus and Leucas, and are referred by the Senate back to
Flamininus. The latter summons a conference of Greek states at Corinth,
and a war is decreed against Nabis, the Aetolians still expressing their dislike of Roman interference. The levies are collected; Argos is freed
from Nabis; Sparta all but taken; and Nabis forced to submit to most
humiliating terms: the Aetolians again objecting to his being allowed to
remain at Sparta on any terms at all. In this year also legates from
Antiochus visit Flamininus, but are referred to the Senate.
B. C. 194: Publius Cornelius Scipio II., Tiberius Sempronius Longus, Coss.
Flamininus leaves Greece after a speech at Corinth to the assembled
league advising internal peace and loyalty to Rome, and enters Rome in
triumph. There is a time of comparative tranquillity in Greece.
B. C. 193: L. Cornelius Merula, Q. Minucius Thermus, Coss.
The legates from Antiochus are sent back with the final answer that,
unless the king abstains from entering Europe in arms, the Romans will
free the Asiatic Greek cities from him. Roman legates, P. Sulpicius, P.
Villius, P. Aelius, are sent to him. Hannibal arrives at the court of
Antiochus, and urges him to resist; and the Aetolians urge the same
course, trying also to stir up Nabis and Philip of Macedon. Antiochus
accordingly will give the Roman envoys no satisfactory answer.
B. C. 192: L. Quintius Flamininus, Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, Coss.
The Romans therefore prepare for war. A fleet under the praetor
Atilius is sent against Nabis: commissioners are sent into Greece—T.
Quintius Flamininius, C. Octavius, Cn. Servilius, P. Villius—early in
the year: M. Baebius is ordered to hold his army in readiness at Brundisium. Then news is brought to Rome by Attalus of Pergamum
(brother of king Eumenes) that Antiochus has crossed the Hellespont,
and the Aetolians on the point of joining him. Therefore Baebius is
ordered to transport his army to Apollonia.
Meanwhile Nabis takes advantage of the alarm caused by Antiochus
to move. He besieges Gythium, and ravages the Achaean territory.
The league, under Philopoemen, proclaim war against him, and, after
losing an unimportant naval battle, decisively defeat him on land and shut
him up in Sparta.
The Aetolians now formally vote to call in Antiochus, "to liberate
Greece and arbitrate between them and Rome." They occupy Demetrias;
and kill Nabis by a stratagem. Whereupon Philopoemen annexes Sparta
to the Achaean league. Later in the year Antiochus meets the assembly
of the Aetolians at Lamia in Thessaly, is proclaimed "Strategus"; and
after a vain attempt to conciliate the Achaeans seizes Chalcis, where he
winters, and marries a young wife.
B. C. 191: P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica, M. Acilius Glabrio, Coss.
The Romans declare war with Antiochus. Manius Acilius is selected
to go to Greece, where he takes over the army of Baebius, and after taking
many towns in Thessaly meets and defeats Antiochus at Thermopylae;
where the Aetolian league did after all little service to the king, who
retires to Ephesus.
See Livy, 34, 43
. See also Plutarch, Philopoemen,
Appian, Syriacae, 6—21.