In Achaea a hearing before the council was granted the representatives of Antiochus and the Aetolians
in the presence of Titus Quinctius at Aegium. The ambassador of Antiochus was heard before the Aetolians.
He, a boaster like most who are maintained by a king's power, filled seas and lands with an empty sound of words: an uncountable number of cavalry was crossing the Hellespont into Europe, partly equipped with breastplates —these they call the cataphracti
—partly those who use arrows from horseback, and as a result of which there is no protection against them, since they aimed quite accurately backwards while fleeing on their horses.
Although by these forces of cavalry the armies even of all Europe, collected in one body, could be overwhelmed, he added army after army of infantry, and he
caused terror when they heard names of tribes besides, scarcely known by name, talking of Dahae,1
Medes, Elymaeans and Cadusians.
As to the naval [p. 139]
forces, moreover, which no harbours in Greece could2
shelter, the right wing was held by men of Sidon and Tyre, the left by Aradii and Sidetes from Pamphylia, which races none had ever equalled either in skill or in courage in naval combat.
At this time to speak of money, at this time to speak of other equipment for war, he said was useless: they themselves were aware that the kingdoms of Asia had always been rich in gold. Therefore the Romans would not have to do with Philip or Hannibal, the one the chief of a single state, the other confined only within the bounds of the Macedonian kingdom, but with the mighty lord of all Asia and part of Europe.
Nevertheless, although he came from the farthest parts of the east to liberate Greece, he demanded nothing of the Achaeans by which their loyalty to the Romans, who had priority as allies and friends, would be diminished: for he did not ask that they should take up arms on his side against the Romans, but that they should ally themselves with neither side.
Let them wish for peace for both parties, as was befitting the friends of both; let them take no part in war.
About the same request was made by the Aetolian ambassador Archidamus, that they maintain peace, which was the easiest and safest course, and as onlookers at the war let them await the outcome of others' destinies without any risk to their own cause.
Then he was carried away by the vehemence of his language to the point of insulting now the Romans generally, now Quinctius himself specifically, calling them ingrates and taunting him with the remark
that not only the victory over Philip but Quinctius' own safety had been gained by the valour of the Aetolians, and when, he demanded, had Quinctius ever performed the functions of a commander?
Taking auspices and sacrificing and performing vows3
like a poor sacrificing priest —thus had he seen Quinctius in the battle, while he himself was exposing his person in behalf of Quinctius to the weapons of the enemy.4