previous next
The events of the years B.C. 174, 173, 172, which gradually led up to the war with Perseus, to be described in the twenty-seventh book, were briefly these:—

In B.C. 174 Perseus forced the Dolopes, who had appealed against him to Rome, to submit to his authority. After this successful expedition he marched through Central and Northern Greece, visiting Delphi, where he stayed three days, Phthiotid Achaia, and Thessaly. He carefully abstained from inflicting any damage in the districts through which he passed, and tried to gain the confidence of the various states. In the same year he made friendly advances to the Achaeans, who had forbidden any Lacedaemonian to enter their territory, by offering to restore their fugitive slaves. But in spite of the exertions of Xenarchus the Strategus, the Achaeans refuse to make any change (Livy, 41, 22-24).

The same year saw also commotions in Aetolia, which were settled by five Roman commissioners: and in Crete, on the old score of the status of the Lycians. Q. Minucius was sent to settle this also (Livy, 41, 25).

In B. C. 173 Perseus entered on still more active intrigues in Greece, and in spite of the wildest scandals that were afloat as to his tyranny, he gained a powerful hold in Aetolia, Thessaly, and Perrhaebia. The Senate accordingly sent Marcellus to Aetolia and Achaia, and App. Claudius to Thessaly, to inquire into the facts; and a commission of five into Macedonia, with directions to proceed afterwards to Alexandria (Livy, 42, 5, 6).

In B. C. 172 king Eumenes visited Rome and urged the Senate to take measures in time to counteract the attempts of Perseus; warning them that he had already obtained strong hold upon the Boeotians and Aetolians, and had an inexhaustible recruiting ground in Thrace. That everywhere he had secured the death or exile of the partisans of Rome, and was overrunning in arms Thessaly and Perrhaebia (Livy, 42, 11-13).

The Senate, already inclined to listen to these representations, was still more inclined to do so by the defiant tone of Harpalus, the representative of king Perseus; by the attempted assassination of Eumenes by emissaries of Perseus at Delphi on his home journey; by receiving a report from Greece from C. Valerius confirming the speech of Eumenes; and lastly by the confession of one L. Rammius of Brundisium, that he had been requested to poison certain Roman envoys who were accustomed to stay at his house on their journeys to and from Macedonia and Greece (Livy, 42, 15-17).

War was now determined on for the next year, and the praetor ordered to enroll troops. And Eumenes also, now recovered from the wounds of the assassins, made preparations to join in the struggle (Livy, 42, 18-27).

In B. C. 171, fresh legions having been enrolled, and an army of sixteen thousand infantry and eight hundred cavalry ordered to Macedonia, envoys appeared from Perseus demanding the reason. The Senate would not allow them to enter the Pomoerium, but received them in the temple of Bellona: and after listening to a report from Sp. Cavilius that Perseus had, among other acts of hostility, taken cities in Thessaly and entered Perrhaebia in arms, the Senate answered the Macedonian envoys that any complaint they had to make must be made to the consul, P. Licinius, who would presently be in Macedonia, but that they must not come into Italy again (Livy, 42, 36).

A few days afterwards five commissioners were sent into Greece, who distributed the districts to be visited among themselves: Servius and Publius Lentulus and Lucius Decimius were to go to Cephallenia, the Peloponnese, and the west coast generally; Q. Marcius and Aulus Atilius to Epirus, Aetolia, Thessaly, and thence to Boeotia and Euboea, where they were to meet the Lentuli. Meanwhile a letter from Perseus, demanding the cause of their coming and of the presence of troops in Macedonia, was received and left unanswered. After visiting the districts assigned to them, in the course of doing which Marcius and Atilius had met Perseus on the river Peneus, and granted him a truce to enable him to send envoys to Rome (Marcius knowing well that the Romans were not yet fully prepared for war1 the commissioners reached their destination at Chalcis, where the earlier events narrated in the following extracts occurred (Livy, 42, 36-43).

Affairs In Boeotia: The War with Perseus

AT this time Lases and Callias arrived at the head of
B. C. 171. Coss. P. Licinius Crassus C. Cassius Longinus.
an embassy from the Thespians, and Ismenias2
The Roman commissioners at Chalcis: ambassadors from Thespiae and Neon of Boeotia.
from Neon. Lases and his colleagues offered to put their city wholly into the hands of the Romans; Ismenias proposed to submit all the cities of Boeotia as one nation to the discretion of the commissioners. But this latter proposal was diametrically opposed to the policy of Marcius and his colleagues. What suited that policy best was to split up Boeotia into separate cities: and they therefore received Lases and his party, as well as the envoys from Chaeronea and Lebadea, and all who came from single cities, with great favour and lavish courtesy; but treated Ismenias with ostentatious neglect and coldness. Some of the exiles3 also attacked Ismenias and were very near stoning him to death, and would have done so if he had not saved himself by taking refuge through the door4 of the chamber where the commissioners were sitting. At the same period there were disturbances and party contests at Thebes.
One party were for committing the town unconditionally to Rome; but the Coroneans and Haliartians flocked to Thebes and vehemently maintained that they ought to maintain the alliance with Perseus. For a time neither of the two parties showed any disposition to give in to each other; but when Olympichus of Coronea set the example of changing sides and asserting that they ought to cleave to the Romans, a great change and revolution came over the feelings of the populace. First, they compelled Dicetas to go on an embassy to Marcius and the other commissioners to excuse them for their alliance with Perseus. Next, they expelled Neon and Hippias, crowding to their houses, and bidding them go and make their own defence for the terms that they had made; for they were the men who had negotiated the alliance. When these men had left the town, the people immediately collected into the assembly and first voted honours and gifts to the Romans, and then ordered the magistrates to push on the alliance. Last of all they appointed ambassadors to hand over the city to the Romans and to restore their exiles.

Romans and Perseus Try to Secure Greece

Whilst these things were being accomplished at Thebes,
The cause of the exiles' triumph at Chalcis.
the exiles in Chalcis appointed Pompides to state their grievances against Ismenias, Neon, and Dicetas. The bad policy of these men being manifest, and the Romans lending their support to the exiles, Hippias and his party were rendered so odious that they were in danger of falling victims to the fury of the populace, until the Romans, by checking the assaults of the mob, secured them a certain degree of safety.

When the Theban envoys arrived, bringing with them to

Dissolution of the Boeotian league, B. C. 171.
the commissioners the decrees and honours I have mentioned, a rapid change passed over the face of things in each of the towns, for they were separated by a very narrow interval from each other. The commissioners with Marcius received the Theban envoys, complimented their town and counselled them to restore the exiles, and bade the several towns send embassies to Rome submitting themselves individually and unreservedly to the protection of the Romans. Their policy, therefore, of splitting up the league of the Boeotian towns, and of destroying the popularity of the Macedonian royal house with the Boeotian populace having thus completely succeeded, the commissioners sent for Servius Lentulus from Argos, and leaving him in charge at Chalcis went themselves to the Peloponnese; while Neon a few days afterwards retired to Macedonia; and Ismenias and Dicetas, being thrown at once into prison, shortly afterwards put an end to their lives. Thus it came about that the Boeotians, who had for a long period of years, and through many strange vicissitudes, maintained a national league, by now rashly and inconsiderately adopting the cause of Perseus, and giving way to an outburst of unreasoning excitement, were entirely disintegrated and split up into separate cities.

When Aulus and Marcius arrived at Argos, after communication with the council of the Achaean league,

The Commissioners in the Peloponnese.
they called upon Archon the Strategus to despatch a thousand men to Chalcis, to garrison the town until the arrival of the Romans; an order which Archon readily obeyed. Having thus settled affairs in Greece during the winter, and met Publius Lentulus and his two colleagues, the commissioners sailed back to Rome. . . .

Rhodes Prepares to Assist Rome

Meanwhile Tiberius Claudius and Aulus Postumius
The Rhodians prepare to co-operate with Rome.
had been engaged on a visitation of the islands and Greek cities in Asia, and had spent the longest time in Rhodes; though the Rhodians at that time did not require any supervision, for the prytanis that year was Agesilochus, a man of high rank, who had once been on an embassy to Rome. Even before the legates came, as soon as it became clear that the Romans intended to go to war with Perseus he had urged his people to throw in their fortunes with those of Rome; and, among other things, had counselled them to repair forty ships, in order that, if any occasion for using them should arise, it should not find them still in the midst of preparations, but ready to answer to the call and to carry out their resolve at once. By stating these facts to the Roman envoys, and showing them the preparations visibly progressing, he let them return to Rome in a high state of satisfaction with Rhodes. . . .

Perseus Sends a Statement to the Greeks

After the conferences had been held between the Roman
Perseus sends a circular despatch to the Greek States.
envoys and the Greeks, Perseus drew up a despatch containing a statement of his case, and the arguments employed on either side; partly from an idea that he would thus be shown to have the superiority of right on his side, and partly because he wished to test the feelings of the several states. Copies of this despatch he sent to the other states by his ordinary letter-carriers; but to Rhodes he sent also Antenor and Philip as ambassadors, who, on their arrival in the island, handed over the document to the magistrates, and a few days afterwards entered the Council chamber and urged the Rhodians "To remain neutral for the present and watch what happened; and, if the Romans attacked Perseus in violation of the treaty, to endeavour to mediate. For this was the interest of all, and pre-eminently of the Rhodians, who more than most peoples desired equality and freedom of speech, and were ever the protectors, not only of their own liberty, but of that of the rest of Greece also; and therefore ought to be proportionally careful to provide and guard against a policy of an opposite tendency." These and similar arguments of the envoys found favour with the Rhodian people. But, as they were already pledged to an attitude of friendship to Rome, the influence of the upper classes so far prevailed that, though a friendly reception was given to the Macedonian envoys, they demanded in their formal answer that Perseus should not ask them to take any measure which would involve the appearance of hostility to Rome. Antenor and his colleagues would not accept this reply, but with thanks for the kindness of their general reception, sailed back to Macedonia. . . .

Perseus Sends Alexander to Boeotia

Being informed that some of the cities of Boeotia remained faithful to him, Perseus sent Alexander
Mission of Perseus to Boeotia.
on a mission to them. On his arrival in Boeotia, Alexander was obliged to abstain from visiting any of the cities except Coronea, Thisbae,5 and Haliartus, finding that they offered him no facilities for securing close relations. But he entered those three towns and exhorted their inhabitants to cling to their loyalty to the Macedonians. They received his words with enthusiasm, and voted to send ambassadors to Macedonia.
Truce made with Q. Marcius. See Livy, 42. 43. B. C. 171.
Alexander accordingly returned to the king and reported the state of things in Boeotia. A short time afterwards the ambassadors arrived, desiring the king to send aid to the cities which favoured the Macedonian cause; for the Thebans were oppressing them severely, because they would not agree with them and side with Rome, But Perseus replied that he was precluded by the truce from sending any aid to any one; but he begged them to resist the Thebans to the best of their power, and yet not to go to war with the Romans, but to remain neutral. . . .

The Boeotians and Rhodians

When the report of the commissioners from Asia concerning Rhodes and the other states had been
War is decided upon at the expiration of the truce.
at Rome, the Senate called in the ambassadors of Perseus, Solon and Hippias: who endeavoured to argue the whole case and to deprecate the anger of the Senate; and particularly to defend their master on the subject of the attempt upon the life of Eumenes.
Attempted assassination of Eumenes at Delphi. Livy, 42, 16, B. C. 172.
When they had finished all they had to urge, the Senate, which had all the while been resolved on war, bade them depart forthwith from Rome; and ordered all other Macedonians also that happened to be staying in the country to quit Italy within thirty days. The Senate then called upon the Consuls to act at once and see that they moved in good time. . . .

War With Perseus Begun

Caius Lucretius6 being at anchor off Cephallenia, wrote a letter to the Rhodians, requesting them to despatch some ships, and entrusted the letter to a certain trainer named Socrates.
The Romanising party.
The Macedonian party
This letter arrived at Rhodes in the second six months of the Prytany of Stratocles. When the question came on for discussion, Agathagetus, Rhodophon, Astymedes, and many others were for sending the ships and taking part in the war from the first, without any further pretence; but Deinon and Polyaratus, though really displeased at the favour already shown to Rome, now for the present used the case of Eumenes as their pretext, and began by that means to alienate the feelings of the populace.
Jealousy of Eumenes.
There had in fact been a long standing feeling of suspicion and dislike in the minds of the Rhodians against Eumenes, dating from the time of his war with Pharnaces; when, upon king Eumenes blockading the entrance of the Hellespont to prevent ships sailing into the Pontus, the Rhodians had interfered with his design and thwarted him. This ill-feeling had again been recently exasperated during the Lycian war on the question of certain forts, and a strip of territory on the frontier of the Rhodian Peraea, which was being damaged by some of Eumenes's subjects. These incidents taken together made the Rhodians ready to listen to anything against the king. Seizing on this pretext, the party of Deinon tried to discredit the despatch, asserting that it did not come from the Romans but from Eumenes, who wished to involve them on any possible pretext in a war, and bring expense and perfectly unnecessary suffering upon the people. In support of their contention they put forward the fact that the man who brought the letter was some obscure trainer or another; and asserted that the Romans were not accustomed to employ such messengers, but were rather inclined to act with unnecessary care and dignity in the despatch of such missives. When they said this they were perfectly aware that the letter had really been written by Lucretius: their object was to persuade the Rhodian people to do nothing for the Romans readily, but rather to perpetually make difficulties, and thus give occasions for offence and displeasure to crop up between the two nations. For their deliberate purpose was to alienate Rhodes from the Roman friendship, and to join it to that of Perseus, by every means in their power. Their motives for thus clinging to Perseus were that Polyaratus, who was ostentatious and vain, had become heavily in debt; and that Deinon, who was avaricious and unscrupulous, had from the first relied on increasing his wealth by getting presents from princes and kings. These speeches having been delivered, the Prytanis Stratocles rose, and, after inveighing at some length against Perseus, and speaking with equal warmth in praise of the Romans, induced the people to confirm the decree for the despatch of the ships. Forthwith six quadriremes were prepared, five of which were sent to Chalcis under the command of Timagoras, and the other under the command of another Timagoras to Tenedos. This latter commander fell in at Tenedos with Diophanes, who had been despatched by Perseus to Antiochus, and captured both him and his crew. All such allies as arrived with offers of help by sea Lucretius thanked warmly, but excused from taking part in this service, observing that the Romans had no need of naval support. . . .

Perseus now collected a large army at Citium, thirty-nine thousand foot and four thousand horse, and advanced through the north of Thessaly taking many towns, and finally taking up his quarters at Sicyrium, at the foot of Mount Ossa. The Roman consul, P. Licinius, marched from the south-west through Gomphi, and thence to Larisa, where he crossed the river Peneus. After some cavalry skirmishes, which were generally favourable to the king, Perseus advanced nearer to the Roman camp, and a more important battle was fought, in which the king again scored a considerable success with his cavalry and light-armed troops. The Romans lost two hundred cavalry killed and as many prisoners and two thousand infantry, while Perseus only had twenty cavalry and forty infantry killed. He did not, however, follow up the victory sufficiently to inflict a crushing blow upon the Roman army; and though the Consul withdrew to the south of the Peneus, after some days' reflection the king made proposals of peace. See Livy, 42, 51-62. B. C. 171 (summer).

Perseus Summons a Council

After the Macedonian victory Perseus summoned
After beating the Roman cavalry on the Peneus, and obliging Licinius to retire south of the river, Perseus endeavours to make terms.
his Council, when some of his friends expressed an opinion that he ought to send an embassy to the Roman general, to signify his readiness even now to pay the Romans the same amount of tribute as his father had formerly undertaken to pay when beaten in war, and to evacuate the same places. "For if," they argued, "the Romans accept the terms the war will be ended in a manner honourable to the king after his victory in the field; and the Romans, after this taste of Macedonian valour, will be much more careful in the future not to impose an unjust or harsh burden upon the Macedonians. And if, on the other hand, in spite of the past, they prove obstinate and refuse to accept them, the anger of heaven will with justice fall on them; while the king by his moderation will gain the support of Gods and men alike." The majority of his friends held this view, and Perseus expressing his assent to it, Pantauchus, son of Balacrus, and Midon of Beroea, were forthwith sent as ambassadors to Licinius.
The Romans are inexorable.
On their arrival, Licinius summoned his Council, and the ambassadors having stated their proposals in accordance with their instructions, Pantauchus and his colleague were requested to withdraw, and they deliberated on the proposition thus made to them. They decided unanimously to return as stern an answer as possible. For this is a peculiarity of the Romans, which they have inherited from their ancestors, and are continually displaying,—to show themselves most peremptory and imperious in the presence of defeat, and most moderate when successful: a very noble peculiarity, as every one will acknowledge; but whether it be feasible under certain circumstances may be doubted. However that may be, on the present occasion they made answer that Perseus must submit without reserve himself, and give the Senate full power to take whatever measures it might think good concerning Macedonia and all in it. On this being communicated to Pantauchus and Midon, they returned and informed Perseus and his friends; some of whom were roused to anger at this astonishing display of haughtiness, and advised Perseus to send no more embassies or messages about anything whatever. Perseus, however, was not the man to take such a line. He sent again and again to Licinius, with continually enhanced offers, and promising a larger and larger sum of money. But as nothing that he could do had any effect, and as his friends found fault with him, and told him that, though he had won a victory, he was acting like one who had been defeated and lost all, he was at length compelled to renounce the sending of embassies, and remove his camp back to Sicyrium.
Perseus returns to Sicyrium.
Such was the position of the campaign. . . .

Moral Effect of Perseus's Successes

When the report of the favourable result for Perseus of
The effect of the success of Perseus upon the Greeks.
the cavalry engagement, and of the victory of the Macedonians, spread through Greece, the inclination of the populace to the cause of Perseus blazed out like a fire, most of them having up to that time concealed their real feelings. Their conduct, to my mind, was like what one sees at gymnastic contests. When some obscure and far inferior combatant descends into the arena with a famous champion reputed to be invincible, the spectators immediately bestow their favour upon the weaker of the two, and try to keep up his spirits by applause, and eagerly second his efforts by their enthusiasm. And if he succeeds so far as even to touch the face of his opponent, and make a mark to prove the blow, the whole of the spectators again show themselves on his side. Sometimes they even jeer at his antagonist: not because they dislike or undervalue him, but because their sympathies are roused by the unexpected, and they are naturally inclined to take the weaker side. But if any one checks them at the right moment, they are quick to change and see their mistake. And this is what Cleitomachus is said to have done.
A scene at Olympia.
He had the character of being an invincible athlete, and, as his reputation was spread all over the world, King Ptolemy is said to have been inspired with the ambition of putting an end to it. He therefore had Aristonicus the boxer, who was thought to have unusual physical capabilities for that kind of thing trained with extraordinary care, and sent to Greece. When he appeared on the arena at Olympia a great number of the spectators, it seems, immediately showed their favour for him, and cheered him on, being rejoiced that some one should have had the courage to make some sort of stand against Cleitomachus. But when, as the fight went on, he showed that he was a match for his antagonist, and even gave him a well-placed wound, there was a general clapping of hands, and the popular enthusiasm showed itself loudly on his side, the spectators calling out to Aristonicus to keep up his spirits. Thereupon they say that Cleitomachus stepped aside, and after waiting a short time to recover his breath, turned to the crowd and asked them "Why, they cheered Aristonicus, and supported him all they could? Had they detected him in playing foul in the combat? Or were they not aware that Cleitomachus was at that moment fighting for the honour of Greece, Aristonicus for that of king Ptolemy? Would they prefer an Egyptian to carry off the crown by beating Greeks, or that a Theban and Boeotian should be proclaimed victor in boxing over all comers?" Upon this speech of Cleitomachus, they say that such a revulsion of feeling came over the spectators, that Aristonicus in his turn was conquered more by the display of popular feeling than by Cleitomachus.

The Unthinking Multitude

What happened in the case of Perseus in regard to the feeling of the multitude was very similar to this. For if any one had pulled them up and asked them plainly, in so many words, whether they wished such great power to fall to one man, and were desirous of trying the effect of an utterly irresponsible despotism, I presume that they would have promptly bethought themselves, recanted all they had said, and gone to the other extreme of feeling. Or if some one had briefly recalled to their recollection all the tyrannical acts of the royal house of Macedonia from which the Greeks had suffered, and all the benefits they had received from the Romans, I imagine they would have at once and decisively changed their minds. However, for the present, at the first burst of thoughtless enthusiasm, the people showed unmistakable signs of joy at the news, being delighted at the unlooked-for appearance of a champion able to cope with Rome. I say this much to prevent any one, in ignorance of human nature, from bringing a rash charge of ingratitude against the Greeks for the feelings which they displayed at that time. . . .

Invention of the Cestros

The cestros was a novel invention, made during the war
A new kind of missile used in the army of Perseus.
with Perseus. This weapon consisted of an iron bolt two palms long, half of which was spike, and half a tube for the reception of the wooden shaft which was fixed into the tube, and measured a span in length and a finger-breadth in diameter. At the middle point of the shaft three wooden "plumes" were morticed in. The sling had thongs of unequal length, and on the leather between them the missile was loosely set. When the sling was being swung round, with the two thongs taut, the missile kept its place; but when the slinger let go one of the thongs, it flew from the leather like a leaden bullet, and was projected from the sling with such force as to inflict a very grievous wound upon any one whom it hit.7

Character of Cotys

Cotys was a man of distinguished appearance and of
Character of Cotys, king of the Odrysae, an ally of Perseus.
great ability in military affairs, and besides, quite unlike a Thracian in character. For he was of sober habits, and gave evidence of a gentleness of temper and a steadiness of disposition worthy of a man of gentle birth. . . .

Indecisive Result of the First Campaign

Ptolemy, the general serving in Cyprus, was by no
A prudent governor of Cyprus. See above, bk. 18, ch. 55.
means like an Egyptian, but was a man of sense and administrative ability. He received the governorship of the island when the king of Egypt was quite a child, and devoted himself with great zeal to the collection of money, refusing payments of any kind to any one, though he was often asked for them by the king's agents, and subjected to bitter abuse for refusing to part with any. But when the king came of age he made up a large sum and sent it to Alexandria, so that both king Ptolemy himself and his courtiers expressed their approval of his previous parsimony and determination not to part with any money. . . .

The battle on the Peneus was followed by other engagements of no great importance; and finally Perseus returned to Macedonia, and the Romans went into winter quarters in various towns in Thessaly, without a decisive blow having been struck on either side. Winter of B.C. 171-170. Livy, 42, 64-67.

Dispute at Rhodes

Just about the time when Perseus retired for the
Winter of B. C. 171-170. Dispute at Rhodes as to the release of Diophanes, the envoy of Perseus, captured at Tenedos. See ch. 7.
winter from the Roman war, Antenor arrived at Rhodes from him, to negotiate for the ransom of Diophanes and those who were on board with him. Thereupon there arose a great dispute among the statesmen as to what course they ought to take. Philophron, Theaetetus, and their party were against entering into such an arrangement on any terms; Deinon and Polyaratus and their party were for doing so. Finally they did enter upon an arrangement with Perseus for their redemption. . . .

Charops of Epirus

Cephalus came [to Pella] from Epirus. He had long
What induced the leading men in Epirus to join Perseus.
been connected by friendship with the royal house of Macedonia, but was now compelled by the force of circumstances to embrace the side of Perseus, the cause of which was as follows: There was a certain Epirote named Charops, a man of high character, and well disposed to Rome, who, when Philip was holding the passes into Epirus, was the cause of his being driven from the country, and of Titus Flamininus conquering Epirus and Macedonia. Charops had a son named Machatus, who had a son also named Charops. Machatus having died when this son was quite a youth, the elder Charops sent his grandson with a suitable retinue to Rome to learn to speak and read Latin. In the course of time the young man returned home, having made many intimate friendships at Rome.
The elder Charops then died, and the young man, being of a restless and designing character, began giving himself airs and attacking the distinguished men in the country. At first he was not much noticed, Antinous and Cephalus, his superiors in age and reputation, managing public affairs as they thought right. But when the war with Perseus broke out, the young man at once began laying information against these statesmen at Rome, grounding his accusations on their former intimacy with the Macedonian royal family; and by watching everything they said or did, and putting the worst construction on it, suppressing some facts and adding others, he succeeded in getting his accusations against them believed. Now Cephalus had always shown good sense and consistency, and at the present crisis had adhered to a course of the highest wisdom. He had begun by praying heaven that the war might not take place, or the question come to the arbitrament of arms; but when the war was actually begun, he was for performing all treaty obligations towards Rome, but for not going a step beyond this, or showing any unbecoming subservience or officiousness. When Charops then vehemently accused Cephalus at Rome, and represented everything that happened contrary to the wishes of the Romans as malice prepense on his part, at first he and others like him thought little of the matter, being not conscious of entertaining any designs hostile to Rome.
Aetolian leaders arrested.
But when they saw Hippolochus, Nicander, and Lochagus arrested without cause, and conveyed to Rome after the cavalry battle, and that the accusations made against them by Lyciscus were believed,—Lyciscus being a leader of the same party in Aetolia as Charops was in Epirus,—they at length began to be anxious about what would happen, and to consider their position. They resolved therefore to try every possible means to prevent themselves from being similarly arrested without trial and carried to Rome, owing to the slanders of Charops. It was thus that Cephalus and his friends were compelled, contrary to their original policy, to embrace the cause of Perseus. . . .

Plot to Kidnap a Roman Consul

Theodotus and Philostratus committed an act of flagrant impiety and treachery.
Coss. A. Hostilius Mancinus, A. Atilius Serranus, B. C. 170. Attempt of two Molossian leaders to seize the consul.
They learnt that the Roman consul Aulus Hostilius was on his way to Thessaly to join the army; and thinking that, if they could deliver Aulus to Perseus, they would have given the latter the strongest possible proof of their devotion, and have done the greatest possible damage to the Romans at this crisis, they wrote urgently to Perseus to make haste. The king was desirous of advancing at once and joining them; but he was hindered by the fact that the Molossians had seized the bridge over the Aous, and was obliged to give them battle first. Now it chanced that Aulus had arrived at Phanota,8 and put up at the house of Nestor the Cropian,9 and thus gave his enemies an excellent opportunity; and had not fortune interfered on his behalf, I do not think that he would have escaped. But, in fact, Nestor providentially suspected what was brewing, and compelled him to change his quarters for the night to the house of a neighbour. Accordingly he gave up the idea of going by land through Epirus, and, having sailed to Anticyra,10 thence made his way into Thessaly. . . .

Pharnaces, King of Pontus

Pharnaces was the worst of all his predecessors on the throne. . . .

Attalus Wants his Brother's Honours Restored

While Attalus was spending the winter in Elateia (in
Attalus desires that his brother Eumenes should be restored to honour in the Peloponnese.
Phocis), knowing that his brother Eumenes was annoyed in the highest possible degree at the splendid honours which had been awarded to him having been annulled by a public decree of the Peloponnesians, though he concealed his annoyance from every one,—he took upon himself to send messages to certain of the Achaeans, urging that not only the statues of honour, but the complimentary inscriptions also, which had been placed in his brother's honour, should be restored. His motive in acting thus was the belief that he could give his brother no greater gratification, and at the same time would display to the Greeks by this act his own brotherly affection and generosity.11 . . .

Antiochus Protests Ptolemy's War Plans

When Antiochus saw that the government of Alexandria was openly making preparations for a war
Preparations for the attack upon Coele-Syria by the ministers of Ptolemy Philometor.
of annexation in Coele-Syria, he sent Meleager at the head of an embassy to Rome, with instructions to inform the Senate of the fact, and to protest that Ptolemy was attacking him without the least justification. . . .

The Need of Promptness and Persistence

In all human affairs perhaps one ought to regulate every undertaking by considerations of time; but this is especially true in war, in which a moment makes all the difference between success and failure, and to miss this is the most fatal of errors. . . .

Many men desire honour, but it is only the few who venture to attempt it; and of those who do so, it is rare to find any that have the resolution to persevere to the end. . . .

1 Marcius on his return to Rome gloried in having thus deceived the king and gained time for preparations at Rome, but his action was repudiated by the Senate. Livy, 42, 47.

2 Ismenias had just been elected Strategus of Boeotia; but the party who had supported a rival candidate had in revenge obtained a decree of the league banishing the Boeotarchs from all the Boeotian cities. They had, however been received at Thespiae, whence they were recalled to Thebes and reinstated by a reaction in popular feeling. Then they obtained another decree banishing the twelve men who, though not in office, had convened the league assembly; and Ismenias as Strategus sentenced them to the loss of all rights in their absence. These are the "exiles" here meant (Livy, 42, 43). Who Neon was is not certain; but we find in the next chapter that he had been a leader in the Macedonising party at Thebes, perhaps a son of Brachylles, whose father's name was Neon (see 20, 5). He was captured in B.C. 167 and put to death by the Romans (Livy, 45, 31).

3 See note 2, page 356.

4 τὰ δίθυρα, Livy (42, 44) says in tribunal legatorum, and Casaubon contents himself with the same word. Schweighaeuser translates it podium, as if a "raised platfrom" on which the commissioners sat was meant. I think it is used in the natural sense of a "door" leading into the hall in which they were sitting, and into which Ismenias fied for refuge. Livy used tribunal from the ideas of his age as to the construction of such a building.

5 The text has Θήβας, which is inconsistent with what follows as to the Thebans. An inscription found on the site of Thisbae supplies the correction of an error as old as Livy (42, 46, 47). See Hicks's G. I. p. 330.

6 Gaius Lucretius had seen naval service as duumvir navalis on the coast

Politics at Rhodes.
of Liguria in B. C. 181. Livy, 40, 26. He was now (B. C. 171) Praetor, his provincia being the fleet, and commanded 40 quinqueremes. Id. 42, 48.

7 Livy, who translates this passage, calls the missile a cestrosphendona (42, 65).

8 In Phocis. The name was variously given as Phanoteis, Phanote, Phanota (Steph. Byz.

9 Schweighaeuser seems to regard this as a second name. But the Greeks seldom had such, and it is more likely the designation of some unknown locality. There was an Attic deme named Cropia, and therefore the name is a recognised one (Steph. Byz.) Gronovius conjectured Ὀρωπίῳ "of Oropus."

10 Apparently the Anticyra on the Sperchius, on the borders of Achaia Phthiotis.

11 Hence Attalus obtained the name of Philadelphus. The origin of Eumenes's loss of popularity in the Peloponnese is referred to in 28, 7, but no adequate cause is alleged. A reference to Achaia in his speech at Rome was not perhaps altogether friendly (Livy, 42, 12), and we shall see that he was afterwards suspected of intriguing with Perseus; but if this extract is rightly placed, it can hardly be on this latter ground that the Achaeans had renounced him.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
171 BC (5)
181 BC (1)
172 BC (1)
170 BC (1)
167 BC (1)
hide References (2 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: