The Rhodians Try To Excuse Themselves
After receiving the above answer Philocrates and his
Dismayed by this answer the Rhodians endeavour to propitiate the Senate. Livy, 45, 25.
colleagues immediately started home; but Astymedes and his fellows stayed where they were and
kept on the watch, that no report or observation
against their country might be made unknown
to them. But when this answer of the Senate
was reported at Rhodes, the people, considering
themselves relieved of the worst fear—that, namely, of war—
made light of the rest, though extremely unfavourable. So true
it ever is that a dread of worse makes men forget lighter misfortunes. They immediately voted a complimentary crown
worth ten thousand gold pieces1
to Rome, and appointed
Theaetetus at once envoy and navarch to convey it at the beginning of summer, accompanied by an embassy under Rhodophon,
to attempt in every possible way to make an alliance
with the Romans. They acted thus because they wished that,
if the embassy failed by an adverse answer at Rome, the failure
might take place without the people having passed a formal
decree, the attempt being made solely on the initiative of the
navarch, and the navarch having by the law power to act in
such a case.
The astuteness of the Rhodian policy.
For the fact was that the republic
of Rhodes had been administered with such
consummate statesmanship, that, though it had
for nearly a hundred and forty years been engaged in conjunction with Rome in actions of the greatest importance and
glory, it had never yet made an alliance with her. Nor
ought I to omit stating the reason of this policy of the
Rhodians. They wished that no ruler or prince should be
entirely without hope of gaining their support or alliance; and
they therefore did not choose to bind or hamper themselves
beforehand with oaths and treaties; but, by remaining uncommitted, to be able to avail themselves of all advantages as they
arose. But on this occasion they were much bent upon
securing this mark of honour from Rome, not because they
were anxious for the alliance, or because they were afraid of
any one else at the time except the Romans, but because they
wished, by giving an air of special importance to their design,
to remove the suspicions of such as were inclined to entertain
unfavourable thoughts of their state.
Caunus, in Peraea, and Mylassa, in Caria, revolt.
For immediately after
the return of the ambassadors under Theaetetus,
the Caunians revolted and the Mylassians seized
on the cities in Euromus. And about the same
time the Roman Senate published a decree declaring all
Carians and Lycians free who had been assigned to the Rhodians
after the war with Antiochus.
The Senate declare Caria and Lycia free. See 2, 25.
The Caunian and
Mylassian revolts were speedily put down by
the Rhodians; for they compelled the Caunians,
by sending Lycus with a body of soldiers, to
return to their allegiance, though the people of Cibyra had
come to their assistance; and in an expedition into Euromus
they conquered the Mylassians and Alabandians in the field,
these two peoples having combined their forces to attack
Orthosia. But when the decree concerning the Lycians and
Carians was announced they were once more in a state of
dismay, fearing that their gift of the crown had proved in
vain, as well as their hopes of an alliance. . . .