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This webpage reproduces a Book of
The Histories


published in Vol. VI
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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(Vol. VI) Polybius
The Histories

 p3  Fragments of Book XXVIII

I. Affairs of Italy

Embassies from Antiochus and Ptolemy

1 1 After the war concerning Coele-Syria between Antiochus and Ptolemy had already begun, envoys arrived at Rome, Meleager, Sosiphanes, and Heracleidesº on the part of Antiochus, and Timotheus and Damon on that of Ptolemy. 2 At this time Antiochus was in possession of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia. 3 For ever since the father of this King Antiochus had defeated Ptolemy's generals in the battle at the Panium,​1 all the above districts yielded obedience to the kings of Syria. 4 Therefore Antiochus, thinking that possession by force of arms was the surest and best, was struggling to defend the country as one belonging to him, 5 while Ptolemy, conceiving that the former Antiochus had unjustly profited by the orphanhood of his father to deprive him of the cities of Coele-Syria, was not disposed to abandon these places to Antiochus. Meleager and his colleagues came therefore with instructions to protest to the  p5 senate that Ptolemy in defiance of all right had taken up arms first; 7 while Timotheus and Damon were instructed to renew kindly relations with Rome, and to make an end to the war with Perseus, but chiefly to watch the audiences given to Meleager. 8 About terms of peace with Antiochus they did not venture to speak, acting on the advice of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus; but, after renewing relations of friendship and receiving a favourable answer to their requests, they returned to Alexandria. 9 The senate replied to Meleager and his colleague that they would charge Quintus Marcius to write about the matter to Ptolemy as he thought best on his own authority. This was the way that the matter was arranged for the present.

Embassy from Rhodes

2 1 At this period towards the end of summer Hagesilochus, Nicagoras, and Nicander arrived as envoys from Rhodes 2 to renew friendly relations and obtain permission to export cornº and also to defend their town from the false accusations brought against it. 3 For there was at this time acute civil discord in Rhodes, Agathagetus, Philophron, Rhodophon, and Theaedetus resting all their hopes on Rome while Deinon and Polyaratus relied on Perseus and Macedonia. 4 The consequence was that there were frequent debates about their affairs; and, as the discussions were so prolonged, there was plenty of material for those who wished to vamp up accusations against the town. 5 The senate, however, pretended now to be ignorant of all this, although well knowing  p7 the condition of affairs in Rhodes; but they gave them leave to export a hundred thousand medimni of corn from Sicily. The senate, after thus dealing separately with the Rhodian embassy, replied in similar terms to all the envoys from the rest of Greece, who confined themselves to the same subject. 8 Such was the state of affairs in Italy.

II. The War with Perseus

Action of the Romans in Achaea, Aetolia, and Acarnania

(Cp. Livy XLIII.17)

3 1 Aulus Hostilius Mancinus the proconsul, who was at the time wintering in Thessaly, sent as legates to Greece Gaius Popilius and Gnaeus Octavius. 2 They first came to Thebes, where they thanked the Thebans and urged them to maintain their loyalty to Rome. 3 After this, visiting the Peloponnesian cities, they attempted to convince the inhabitants of the leniency and kindness of the senate, quoting the recent decrees; 4 and they also indicated in their speeches that they knew who were those in each city who withdrew from taking part in public affairs, as well as who were the active and zealous men. 5 It was evident to all that they were just as much displeased with the former 6 as with their open opponents; and in consequence they created a general state of anxiety and doubt as to how one ought to act or to speak so as to make oneself agreeable under present circumstances. 7 It was said that, upon the Achaean Assembly meeting, Popilius and his colleague had  p9 decided to accuse Lycortas, Archon, and Polybius before it and prove that they were the opponents of the Roman party and were keeping quiet at present, not because they were naturally disposed to do so, but because they were watching the progress of events and waiting for a favourable opportunity to act. 9 They did not, however, venture to do so, as they had no plausible pretext for attacking the above statesmen. 9 So that when the Achaean senate met at Aegium they addressed a few words of cordial greeting to them and took ship for Aetolia.

4 1 Here again, upon the Aetolian Assembly meeting at Thermum they appeared before it and spoke in an encouraging and kind manner, the most important part of their speech being a request that the Aetolians should give them hostages. 3 When they descended from the tribune, Proandrus rose and expressed a wish to refer to certain good offices that he had done the Romans and to denounce those who traduced him. 4 Popilius now rose again, and, though he well knew that this man was ill-disposed to the Romans, still thanked him and concurred in all he had said. 6 The next speaker to come forward was Lyciscus, who accused no one by name but many by implication. 6 For he said that the Romans had acted well in deporting the ringleaders (meaning Eupolemus and Nicander) to Rome; 7 but that their supporters and abettors still remained in Aetolia, and should all meet with the same treatment, unless they gave up their children  p11 to the Romans as hostages. 8 He laid particular stress on the cases of Archedamus and Pantaleon, 9 and when he had left the tribune Pantaleon got up and, after a few reproachful words concerning Lyciscus, in which he said that his flattery of the ruling power was shameless and servile, went on to speak of Thoas who he considered was a man who had secured credence for the accusations he brought against Archedamus and himself owing to the fact that there was not supposed to be any quarrel between them. Reminding them of what had occurred during the war with Antiochus, and rebuking Thoas for his ingratitude, in that when he was given up to the Romans, he had been unexpectedly saved by the intervention of himself and Nicander as envoys, he soon incited the people not only to hoot down Thoas when he wished to speak, but to cast stones at him with one accord. 13 When this happened Popilius, after briefly rebuking the people for stoning Thoas, at once left with his colleague for Acarnania, saying nothing further about the hostages; Aetolia remaining full of mutual suspicion and utter disorder.

5 1 In Acarnania, when their Assembly met at Thyreum, Aeschrion, Glaucus, and Chremas, who were of the Roman party, begged Popilius and his colleague to establish garrisons in Acarnania; 2 for there were those among them who were falling away towards Perseus and Macedonia. 3 Diogenes, however, gave contrary advice. He said that no garrison should be introduced into any city; for that was the procedure in the case of peoples who had been  p13 enemies of the Romans, 4 and who had been subdued by them; but as the Acarnanians had done no wrong, they did not in any way deserve to be forced to accept garrisons. 5 Chremas and Glaucus, he said, were desirous of establishing their own power, and therefore falsely accused their political rivals, and wished to introduce a garrison which would lend its help to the execution of their ambitious projects. 6 After these speeches the legates, seeing that the idea of garrisons was not acceptable to the populace, and wishing to act in accordance with the purpose of the senate, accepted the advice of Diogenes, and, after an expression of thanks, left for Larisa to rejoin the proconsul.

Policy of the Achaeans

6 1 The Greeks​2 (sic) thought that this embassy was worthy of attention. 2 Associating therefore with themselves those who were in general sympathy with their policy, these being Arcesilaus and Ariston of Megalopolis, Stratius of Tritaea, Xenon of Patrae, and Apollonidas of Sicyon, they discussed the situation. Lycortas held to his original opinion, judging that they should neither give any active aid either to Perseus or to the Romans nor offer any opposition to either side. To render help to the Romans he considered disadvantageous to all the Greeks, as he foresaw how very strong the victors in the war would be, while he thought it dangerous to act against Rome, since at a previous period they had braved many of the most distinguished Romans about affairs of state. 6 Apollonidas and Stratius did not think  p15 they should take any special action against Rome, but they said that those Achaeans who were ready to make the plunge, trying to ingratiate themselves personally with the Romans by their public action, in defiance of law and contrary to the public interest, should be prevented and boldly confronted. 7 Archon advised them to act as circumstances enjoined, and neither give their enemies any pretext for accusing them nor allow themselves to be reduced to the same state as Nicander, who, even before he experienced the weight of the Roman power, found himself in the utmost distress. 8 Polybius, Arcesilaus, Ariston, and Xenon shared this opinion. 9 It was therefore decided that Archon should at once proceed to take up his duties as strategus and Polybius as hipparch.

7 1 Just after this decision had been taken, and when it was clear that Archon was determined to act with the Romans and their friends, it happened by mere chance that Attalus addressed himself to this statesman who was quite ready to listen to him, and gladly promised to help him to obtain what he requested. 3 When the envoys he had sent appeared at the first session of the Assembly, and spoke to the Achaeans about the restitution of the honours conferred on Eumenes, begging them to do this as a favour to Attalus, it was not clear what view the people took; but many speakers got up to oppose the motion on various grounds. 5 First of all the original authors of the revocation of the honours were anxious to get their opinion confirmed, while others who  p17 had special grievances against the king thought this a good opportunity of expressing their resentment, and some out of a mere grudge against his supporters did all in their power to defeat the project of Attalus. 6 Archon rose to speak on behalf of the envoys, as the situation was such as to call for an expression of opinion by the strategus; but after quite a short speech he left as he was careful not to be thought to give advice for the sake of some personal gain, having spent a considerable sum of money during his term of office. 8 Much hesitation now prevailed; and Polybius rose and spoke at some length, for the most part in favour of the opinion of the majority, quoting the original decree of the Achaeans about the honours, in which it was written that the improper and illegal honours should be revoked, but not by any means all honours. 9 But Sosigenes and Diopeithes he said, who were at that time judges, and had some private differences with Eumenes, availed themselves of this pretext to subvert all the honours conferred on the king, and had done this in defiance of the decree of the Achaeans and in excess of the authority given them, and, what was most important, in violation of justice and right. 11 For the Achaeans had not decided to cancel the honours of Eumenes because he had injured them in any way but, taking offence at his having demanded higher honours than his services merited, had voted to deprive him of those which were in excess. 12 He said, therefore, that as the judges, setting their own enmity before the dignity of the Achaeans, had subverted all the honours; so  p19 the Achaeans should now, considering their own obligation and propriety of conduct to be the most important thing, correct the error of the judges, and in general the foolish treatment that Eumenes had met with; especially as they would not in doing so be granting this as a special favour to Eumenes, but to his brother Attalus. 14 The people approved this speech, and a decree was made enjoining that all the honours conferred on King Eumenes should be restored, except those which either contained anything that did not become the Achaean League or anything illegal. 15 It was in this manner and at this time that Attalus set right the foolish mistake that had been made regarding the honours conferred on his brother Eumenes in the Peloponnesus.

Negotiations of Perseus with Genthius

(Cp. Livy XLIII.19.12‑20.4)

8 1 Perseus sent Pleuratus the Illyrian, who had taken refuge with him, and Adaeus of Beroea, as envoys to King Genthius, 2 with instructions to announce to him what had happened in the war he was engaged in against the Romans and Dardanians, and for the present at least with the Epirots and Illyrians; and to solicit him to enter into an alliance with himself and the Macedonians. 3 The envoys, crossing Mount Scardus, journeyed through the so‑called Desert Illyria, which not many years previously had been depopulated by the Macedonians in order to make it difficult for the Dardanians to invade Illyria and Macedonia. 4 Traversing this district, and enduring great hardships on the journey, they reached  p21 Scodra; and, learning that Genthius was staying in Lissus, sent a message to him. 5 Genthius at once sent for them, and they conversed with him on the matters covered by their instructions. 6 Genthius did not seem to be averse to making friendship with Perseus; but he excused himself from complying at once with their request on the ground of his want of resources and the impossibility of undertaking a war against Rome without money. 7 Adaeus and his colleague, on receiving this answer, returned. 8 Perseus, on arriving at Styberra, sold the booty, and rested his army waiting for the return of the envoys. 9 Upon their arrival, after hearing the answer of Genthius, he once more dispatched Adaeus, accompanied by Glaucias, one of his bodyguard, and again by Pleuratus owing to his knowledge of the Illyrian language, with the same instructions as before, just as if Genthius had not expressly indicated what he was in need of, and what must be done before he would consent to the request. 11 Upon their departure the king left with his army and marched towards Hyscana.

(Cp. Livy XLIII.23.8)

9 1 At this time the envoys sent to Genthius returned, having achieved nothing more than on their first visit, and having nothing further to report; 2 as Genthius maintained the same attitude, being ready to join Perseus, but saying that he stood in need of money. 3 Perseus, paying little heed to them, now sent Hippias to establish a definite agreement, but omitted the all-important matter, saying  p23 that if he . . . he would make Genthius well disposed. 4 One doubts if one should attribute such conduct to mere thoughtlessness or to bewitchment. I think it appears to have been bewitchment, when men who aspire to venture much and run the risk of their lives, neglect the all-important matter in their enterprises, although they clearly see it and have the power to do it. 5 For had Perseus at that period been willing to advance money to whole states and individually to kings and statesmen — I do not say on a lavish scale, as his resources enabled him to do, but only in moderate amounts — no intelligent man I suppose 6 would dispute that all the Greeks and all the kings, or at least the most of them, would have failed to withstand the temptation. 7 Instead of taking that course, by which either, if completely victorious, he would have created a splendid empire, or, if defeated, would have exposed many to the same ruin as himself, 8 he took the opposite one, owing to which quite a few of the Greeks went wrong in their calculations when the time for action came.

Perseus blames his General

(Cp. Livy XLIV.7)

10 1 Perseus, on his total defeat blamed Hippias for the invasion of Macedonia by the Romans. But to me it seems to be an easy thing to blame others and detect the faults of our neighbours, but the most difficult thing in life to do all that is possible oneself and know one's situation: and in this Perseus failed.

The Testudo

(Suid.; cp. Livy XLIV.9.8)

11 1 Heracleium was taken in a peculiar manner. The town had a low wall of no great extent on one side, and to attack this the Romans employed three picked maniples. 2 The men of the first held their shields over their heads, and closed up, so that, owing to the density of the bucklers, it became like a tiled roof. The other two in succession . . .

A close‑up of a stone relief showing a group of about sixteen ancient Roman soldiers advancing almost completely covered by their shields held tightly massed over their heads. It is a depiction of the military formation called the testudo.
A close‑up of a tiled roof showing ten ranks of imbricated semicylindrical tiles.
as depicted on Trajan's Column
2c A.D.
Tile roof, central Italy
June 2001

III. Affairs of Greece

Embassy of Polybius to the Consul

12 1 When Perseus had made up his mind to enter Thessaly with his army, and every one expected a decisive engagement, Archon resolved to rebut the suspicions and accusations of the Romans by positive action this time. 2 He therefore introduced in the Achaean Assembly a decree enjoining that they should march to Thessaly in full force and unreservedly join the Romans. 3 The decree having been passed, they further decreed that Archon should occupy himself with the collection of their forces and the preparations for the expedition, and they decided to send envoys to the consul in Thessaly conveying the purpose of their decree and asking when and where their army should join him. 4 As envoys they at once appointed Polybius and others, and strictly enjoined Polybius, if the consul approved of the advent of the army, to send back his colleagues at once to inform them, so that they should not be behindhand; 5 and meanwhile to look to it that the  p27 army might find markets in all the towns it passed through and that the men should be in no want of provisions. 6 The envoys hereupon left with those instructions. 7 They also appointed Telocritus as their envoy to Attalus bearing the decree about the restitution of the honours of Eumenes; 8 and when it reached their ears at the same time that the Anacleteria, the festival usually celebrated upon kings coming of age, had been celebrated in honour of King Ptolemy, thinking that they ought to notice the event, 9 they voted to send envoys to him to renew the friendly relations which had existed between the League and the kingdom of Egypt, and at once nominated Alcithus and Pasiadas.

13 1 Polybius and his colleagues, on finding that the Romans had moved out of Thessaly and were encamped in Perrhaebia between Azorium and Doliche, 2 deferred the interview owing to the critical state of affairs, but shared in the danger of the invasion of Macedonia. 3 But when the Roman army had come down to the district of Heracleium, and they deemed it time for the interview, as the general seemed to have accomplished the chief part of his task, 4 they at once, when they had an opportunity, presented the decree to Marcius, and informed him of the determination of the Achaeans to send their total force to share with him in the struggles and dangers of the war. In addition they pointed out to him that all communications and commands which had reached the Achaeans from the Romans during  p29 the present war had been duly complied with. 5 Marcius, while highly gratified by the proposal of the Achaeans, relieved them of the suffering and expense, as under present circumstances he was in no want of the assistance of the allies. 6 Hereupon the other envoys returned to Achaea; but Polybius remained and assisted in the campaign, until Marcius, on hearing that Appius Cento was asking the Achaeans to send him five thousand men to Epirus, dispatched Polybius, begging him to see that the soldiers were not given and no such useless outlay inflicted on the Achaeans, as Appius had no sound reason for such a demand. 8 It is difficult to say whether he acted thus out of regard for the Achaeans, or from the wish to keep Appius idle. 9 Polybius, in any case, returned to Peloponnesus, and finding that the letter from Epirus had already arrived, and that shortly afterwards the Achaean Assembly had met at Sicyon, was faced by a most difficult problem. 10 For when a resolution was moved about Cento's demand for troops, he thought it by no means proper to reveal the private instructions that Marcius had given him; while on the other hand to oppose openly the project of sending assistance was an exceedingly hazardous course to take. 11 In this difficult and complicated situation he called to his help for the present the senatus-consultum which enjoined that no one should attend to requests made by commanders, unless they were acting by a decree of the senate, 12 there being no addition to this effect  p31 in the letter. He managed therefore to have the matter referred to the consul, and through the intervention of the latter, to relieve the League of this expense, which amounted to more than a hundred and twenty full talents. 14 But he furnished those who wished to accuse him to Appius with a good pretext in having thus put a stop to his plan of procuring assistance.

Affairs in Crete

14 1 The people of Cydonia at this time committed a shocking act of treachery universally condemned. 2 For although many such things have happened in Crete, what was done then was thought to surpass all other instances of their habitual ferocity. 3 For while they were not only friends with the Apolloniats, but united with them in one community, and shared with them in general all the rights observed by men, there being a sworn treaty to this effect deposited in the temple of Idaean Zeus, they treacherously seized on the city, killing the men, laying violent hands on all property, and dividing among themselves and keeping the women and children, and the city with its territory.

15 1 In Crete the people of Cydonia, standing in fear of the Gortynians, because in the previous year they had very nearly run the risk of losing their city owing to the attempt on the part of Nothocrates to seize it, now sent envoys to Eumenes, asking for help according to the terms of their alliance. 2 The king, appointing Leon to command a force of  p33 three hundred men, dispatched them at once. 3 Upon their arrival the Cydoniats gave up the keys of the gates to Leon and placed their city entirely in his hands.

Affairs of Rhodes

16 1 In Rhodes the spirit of faction was growing ever more violent. 2 For when they heard of the senatus-consultum, in which they were instructed to pay no further attention to the orders of Roman generals, but only to the decrees of the senate itself, and when the majority approved of this wise action of the senate, Philophron and Theaedetus seized on this pretext to pursue their policy, saying that envoys should be sent to the senate, to Quintus Marcius Philippus, the consul, and to Gaius Marcius Figulus the commander of the fleet; for by this time it was already known which of the designated magistrates in Rome would be coming to Grecian parts. The proposal was applauded, although there was some opposition; and at the beginning of summer there were sent to Rome three envoys, Hagesilochus the son of Hagesias, Nicagoras, and Nicander, and to the consul and the commander of the fleet three others, Hagepolis, Ariston, and Pasicrates, with instructions to renew kindly relations with Rome and to defend Rhodes from the charges brought by some against her, Hagesilochus and his colleagues being also charged to obtain permission to export corn from other parts. 9 I have already reported in the section dealing with Italian affairs their speech to the senate, and the answer they received from it; and how after the kindest possible  p35 reception they returned. 10 As regards this matter it serves some purpose to remind my readers frequently, as indeed I attempt to do, that I am often compelled to report the interviews and proceedings of embassies before announcing the circumstances of their appointment and dispatch. 11 For as, in narrating in their proper order the events of each year, I attempt to comprise under a separate heading the events that happened in each country in that year, it is evident that this must sometimes occur in my work.

17 1 Hagepolis and his colleagues, on reaching Quintus Marcellus, whom they found encamped in Macedonia near Heracleium, addressed him according to their instructions. 2 After hearing what they said, he replied that not only did he not pay any attention to such accusations, but he would beg them also not to listen to anybody who ventured to speak against Rome; and in addition to this he used many kind phrases, 3 writing in the same terms to the people of Rhodes. 4 The whole tenour of his reply charmed and touched Hagepolis profoundly; and afterwards Marcius, taking him aside, said he wondered why the Rhodians made no attempt to put an end to the present war between Antiochus and Ptolemy, as it was their business to do so if anyone's. 5 Now it is a question whether he did this because he was apprehensive lest Antiochus should conquer Alexandria, and they should find in him a new and formidable adversary — 6 for the war about Coele-Syria was already in progress — supposing that the war with Perseus lasted long; 7 or whether, seeing that this latter war was on the brink of being decided, as the Roman legions were already encamped in  p37 Macedonia, and hoping for a favourable issue, 8 he wished to stimulate the Rhodians to try to mediate in the war, and by this action to give the Romans a plausible pretext for treating them in any way they thought fit. It is not easy to say definitely which was his reason, 9 but I am induced to think it was the latter, judging from what soon afterwards happened to Rhodes. 10 But Hagepolis and his colleagues at once proceeded to meet Gaius Marcius, and, having met with a reception even more markedly kind than that given them by Quintus Marcius, delivered an account of their mission, in which it appeared that both the commanders had vied with each other in the kindness of their language and the favourableness of their replies, the expectations of all the Rhodians were raised to a high pitch; of all, I say, but not in the same manner. 12 For those whose views were sound were highly pleased at the kindness of the Romans; but the agitators and malignants reckoned among themselves that this excessive kindness was a sign that the Romans were afraid of the dangers that encompassed them, and that things were not going with them as well as they had expected. 13 And when Hagepolis happened to mention confidentially to some of his friends that he had received private instructions from Marcius to suggest to the Rhodian senate the wisdom of bringing the war (in Syria) to an end, then Deinon and his party definitely concluded that the Romans were in extreme danger. 15 The Rhodians now sent an embassy to Alexandria for the purpose of putting an end to this war between Antiochus and Ptolemy.

 p39  IV. The War between Antiochus IV and Ptolemy Philometor

18 1 King Antiochus was both energetic, daring in design, and worthy of the royal dignity, except as regards his management of the campaign near Pelusium.

19 1 After Antiochus had partially occupied Egypt Comanus and Cineas sitting in council with King Ptolemy decided to draw up a list of councillors from the most distinguished captains, who should consider the situation. 2 The first decision of this council was to send the Greek envoys then present at Alexandria to Antiochus to negotiate for peace. 3 There were then present two missions from the Achaeans, one consisting of Alcithus of Aegium, son of Xenophon, and Pasiadas, which had come to renew friendly relations, and another on the subject of the games held in honour of Antigonus Doson. 4 There was also an embassy from Athens headed by Demaratus about a present, and there were two sacred missions, one headed by Callias the pancratiast on the subject of the Panathenaean games, and another, the manager and spokesman of which was Cleostratus, about the mysteries. 5 Eudemus and Hicesius had come from Miletus, and Apollonides and Apollonius from Clazomenae. 6 King Ptolemy also sent to represent him Tlepolemus and Ptolemaeus the rhetorician. 7 These all sailed up the river to meet Antiochus.

 p41  20 1 At the time when Antiochus occupied Egypt, those of the envoys from Greece who were sent to make peace joined him. Giving them a kind reception he entertained them splendidly on the first occasion of his meeting them, and on the second granted them an audience, and bade them tell him what their instructions were. 3 The first to speak were the envoys from Achaea, the next was Demaratus from Athens, and after him Eudemus of Miletus. 4 As they all spoke in allusion to the same circumstances and on the same subject, the particulars of all the speeches were very similar. 5 They all ascribed the fault for what had happened to Eulaeus, and, pleading Ptolemy's kinship with the king and his youth, attempted to appease the wrath of Antiochus. 6 The king accepted all these pleas, even attaching greater weight to them than they did, but began to speak about his original rights, attempting to convince them that the district of Coele-Syria was the property of the kings of Syria, laying especial stress on the conquests of Antigonus, the first occupant of the throne of Syria, and mentioning the grant made to Seleucus by the kings of Macedonia after the death of Antigonus. Further he rested his case on the occupation of the country by his father Antiochus after a war; 9 and finally denied the existence of the agreement stated by those in Alexandria to have been made between his father and the Ptolemy  p43 recently deceased, by which the latter should receive Coele-Syria as a dowry when he married Cleopatra, the mother of the present king. 10 After speaking in this sense, and convincing not only himself but his auditors that he was right, he crossed to Naucratis. 11 After showing kindness to the people there, and making a present of a gold stater to each of the Greek residents, he advanced towards Alexandria. 12 He promised to reply to the envoys when Aristeides and Theris had returned to him. 13 He said he had dispatched them to Ptolemy, and he wished the envoys from Greece to be cognisant and witnesses of everything.

21 1 Eulaeus the eunuch persuaded Ptolemy to take all his money with him, abandon his kingdom to the enemy, and retire to Samothrace. 2 Who, reflecting on this, would not acknowledge that evil company does the greatest possible harm to men? 3 For a prince, standing in no immediate danger and so far removed from his enemies, not to take any steps to fulfil his duty, especially as he commanded such great resources, and ruled over so great a country and so vast a population, but to yield up at once without a single effort such a splendid and prosperous kingdom, can only be described as the act of one whose mind is effeminate and utterly corrupted. 4 Had Ptolemy been such a man by nature, we should have put the blame on nature and not accused anyone but himself. 5 But since by his subsequent  p45 actions, Nature defended herself by showing Ptolemy to have been a man who was fairly steadfast and brave when in danger, it is evident that we should attribute to the eunuch and association with him his cowardice on this occasion and his haste to retire to Samothrace.

22 1 Antiochus, after abandoning the siege of Alexandria, sent envoys to Rome. 2 Their names were Meleager, Sosiphanes, and Heraclides. 3 He had collected a hundred and fifty talents, fifty for a present to the Romans and the rest for gifts to some of the Greek cities.

23 1 During these days Praxon and others arrived at Alexandria from Rhodes, charged to attempt to make peace, and soon after proceeded to the camp of Antiochus. 2 At his audience he spoke at length, alleging the friendly feeling of his own country to both the kingdoms, the family ties which united both kings and the interest that both had in coming to terms. 3 The king interrupted the envoy in his speech, telling him that there was no need of many words; 4 for the kingdom belonged to the other Ptolemy, with whom he had long ago come to terms, and who was his friend. And, as the Alexandrians now wished to recall him, Antiochus would not prevent it. 5 And in fact he acted so.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 See XVI.18.

2 The epitomator should have said "Lycortas, his party."

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Page updated: 29 Mar 22