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
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
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
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,
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
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
the commissioners reached their destination at Chalcis, where the
earlier events narrated in the following extracts occurred (Livy, 42, 36
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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. . . .