Eumenes Prevented from Visiting Rome
Just as he had got his answer, news came that
To prevent a visit from Eumenes the Senate pass a decree forbidding all kings to visit Rome.
Eumenes was on his way. This caused the
Senators much embarrassment. They were
thoroughly incensed with him, and were entirely fixed in their sentiments towards him;
and yet they did not wish to betray themselves.
For having proclaimed to all the world that
this king was their foremost and most esteemed friend, if they
now admitted him to an interview and allowed him to plead
his cause, they must either, by answering as they really thought
and in harmony with their sentiments, signalise their own
folly in having marked out such a man in past times for
special honour; or if, in deference to appearances, they gave
him a friendly answer, they must disregard truth and the
interests of their country. Therefore, as both these methods of
proceeding could have consequences of a disagreeable nature,
they hit upon the following solution of the difficulty.
Eumenes stopped at Brundisium.
ground of a general dislike of the visits of kings, they published
a decree that "no king was to visit Rome." Having been
informed subsequently that Eumenes had landed
at Brundisium in Italy, they sent the quaestor to
convey the decree to him, and to bid him to
communicate with himself if he wanted anything from the
Senate; or, if he did not want anything, to bid him depart at
the earliest possible opportunity from Italy. When the
quaestor met the king and informed him of the decree, the
latter, thoroughly understanding the intention of the Senate,
said not a single word, except that "he wanted nothing."
This is the way in which Eumenes was prevented from
coming to Rome. And it was not the only important
result of this decree. For the Gauls were at that time threatening the kingdom of Eumenes; and it was soon made
apparent that by this repulse the king's allies were all greatly
depressed, while the Gauls were doubly encouraged to press
on the war. And it was in fact their desire to humiliate him
in every possible way that induced the Senate to adopt this
These things were going on at the
beginning of the winter: but to all other ambassadors who arrived—and there was no city
or prince or king who had not at that time sent an embassy
of congratulation—the Senate returned a gracious and friendly
answer, except to the Rhodians; and these they dismissed
with displeasure, and with ambiguous declarations as to the
future. As to the Athenians again the Senate hesitated. . . .