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Prusias Refuses To Help Antiochus

On his arrival at Sardis after this expedition, Antiochus
Prusias, king of Bithynia.
at once sent to Prusias to urge him to an alliance. Now in former times Prusias had by no means been disinclined to join Antiochus, because he was much alarmed lest the Romans should cross over to Asia for the purpose of putting down all crowned heads. But the perusal of a letter received from Lucius and Publius Scipio had served to a great extent to relieve his anxiety, and give him a tolerably correct forecast of the result of the war.
Letter of the Scipios to Prusias.
For the Scipios had put the case with great clearness in their letter, and had supported their assertions by numerous proofs. They entered not only upon a defence of the policy adopted by themselves, but of that also of the Roman people generally; by which they showed that, so far from depriving any of the existing kings of their sovereignties, they had themselves been the authors in some cases of their establishment, in others of the extension of their powers and the large increase of their dominions. To prove this they quoted the instances of Andobales and Colichas in Iberia, of Massanissa in Libya, and of Pleuratus in Illyria, all of whom they said they had raised from petty and insignificant princes to the position of undisputed royalty. They further mentioned the cases of Philip and Nabis in Greece. As to Philip, they had conquered him in war and reduced him to the necessity of giving hostages and paying tribute: yet, after receiving a slight proof of his good disposition, they had restored his son and the young men who were hostages with him, had remitted the tribute, and given him back several of the towns that had been taken in the course of war. While as for Nabis, though they might have utterly destroyed him, they had not done so, but had spared him, tyrant as he was, on receiving the usual security for his good faith. With these facts before his eyes they urged Prusias in their letter not to be in any fear for his kingdom, but to adopt the Roman alliance without misgiving, for he would never have reason to regret his choice. This letter worked an entire change in the feelings of Prusias; and when, besides, Caius Livius and the other legates arrived at his court, after conversation with them, he entirely relinquished all ideas of looking for support from Antiochus. Foiled, therefore, of hope in this quarter, Antiochus retired to Ephesus: and being convinced on reflection that the only way of preventing the transport of the enemy's army, and in fact of repelling an invasion of Asia at all, was to keep a firm mastery of the sea, he determined to fight a naval battle and leave the issue of the struggle to be decided by his success in that. . . .

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