". .. is. Whether we have done wrong is so far unproved, but we are already suffering all the penalties and disgrace. In former times, after the defeat of Carthage, when Philip or Antiochus had been subdued, on our arrival in Rome we came from public entertainment to the senate-house to offer you our congratulations, gentlemen of the senate, and from the senate-house we mounted to the Capitol, bearing gifts to your gods.
Today from a mean inn, having hardly found shelter for pay and all but ordered like enemies to remain outside the city, we Rhodians in this mourning garb enter the senate-house of Rome —we
to whom you lately presented the provinces of Lycia and Caria, who received from you the most unstinted rewards and honours.
"You are bidding the Macedonians and Illyrians be independent, we hear, though they were slaves before they waged war against you-nor are we jealous of anyone's good fortune, nay rather we recognize the mercy of the Roman People; and will you transform us Rhodians from allies into enemies — [p. 317]
us, who have been no worse than inactive in this war?1
Surely you are the same Romans who boast that your wars are favoured of Fortune because they are just, nor do you exult as much in the outcome, because you conquer, as in the beginning, because you never undertake war without good cause.
The siege of Messana in Sicily made the Carthaginians your enemies, the siege of Athens, the attempted enslavement of Greece and the aid given Hannibal in money and troops made Philip your foe.2
Antiochus was summoned at the initiative of the Aetolians, your enemies; he crossed in person with his fleet to Greece; he seized Demetrias, Chalcis, and the pass of Thermopylae, and sought to cast you out of the tenure of your empire.
With Perseus, your reason for war was the assault upon your allies, or the murder of princes and chiefs of nations or peoples.3
Under what heading, pray, shall our downfall be placed, if we are to perish? For the present I am not separating the case for the city from Polyaratus and Dinon, our fellow-citizens, and from those whom we brought to hand over to you. If all we Rhodians were equally guilty, what would be the charge against us in this war?
It would be that we took the side of Perseus and as we took a stand for you in the wars with Antiochus and with Philip against those kings, so now we sided with the king against you.
How we are accustomed to help our allies, and how vigorously we enter into a war, you may ask Gaius Livius,4
or [p. 319]
Lucius Aemilius Regillus, who commanded your5
fleets in Asia.
Never did your ships enter battle without ours. We fought independently first at Samos, and again off Pamphylia against the command of Hannibal;
this victory gives us the more pride because, undismayed by the terrible catastrophe by which we had lost in the defeat at Samos a large part of our fleet and a splendid group of young men,6
we dared to go out again to meet the king's fleet as it approached from Syria.
These matters I have mentioned not for the sake of boasting, for indeed our present fortune does not permit that, but to make it clear how the Rhodians are accustomed to aid their allies.