Antiochus invades Greece -- Amynander, King of the Athamanes, joins him -- Hannihal repeats his Advice -- The Romans prepare for War -- Philip joins the Romans
Antiochus, on his return from Pisidia to Ephesus, entered upon the business with the Roman ambassadors and promised to leave the Rhodians, the Byzantines, the Cyzicans, and the other Greeks of Asia free and independent if the Romans would make a treaty with him, but he would not release the tolians and the Ionians, since they had long been accustomed to obey the barbarian kings of Asia. The Roman ambassadors came to no agreement with him -- in fact, they had not come to make an agreement, but to find out his purposes. So they returned to Rome. There-upon an tolian embassy came to Antiochus, of which Thoas was the principal member, offering him the command of the tolian forces and urging him to embark for Greece at once, as everything was in readiness there. They would not allow him to wait for the army that was coming from upper Asia, but by exaggerating the strength of the tolians and promising the alliance of the Lacedmonians and of Philip of Macedon in addition, who was angry with the Romans, they urged his crossing. He assembled his forces very hastily, nor did even the news of his son's death in Syria delay him at all. He sailed to Euba with 10,000 men, who were all that he had in hand at the time. He took possession of the whole island, which surrendered to him through fear. Michithio, one of his generals, fell upon the Romans at Delium (a place sacred to Apollo), killed some of them, and took the rest prisoners.
Amynander, king of the Athamanes, leagued himself with Antiochus for the following reason. A certain Macedonian, named Alexander, who had been educated at Megalopolis and admitted to citizenship there, pretended that he was a descendant of Alexander the Great, and to make people believe his fables he named his two sons Philip and Alexander and his daughter Apama. The latter he betrothed to Amynander. Her brother Philip conducted her to the nuptial ceremony, and when he saw that Amynander was weak and inexperienced he remained there and took charge of the government by virtue of this connection. By holding out to this Philip the hope that he would restore his ancestral kingdom of Macedonia to him, Antiochus secured the alliance of the Athamanes. He secured that of the Thebans also by going to Thebes and making a speech to the people. He was emboldened to enter upon this great war relying most rashly on the Thebans, Amynander, and the tolians, and he made a reconnoissance of Thessaly to determine whether he should invade it at once or after the winter had passed. As Hannibal expressed no opinion on the subject, Antiochus, before coming to a decision, asked him his thought.
Hannibal replied, "It is not difficult to reduce the Thessalians either now or at the end of winter, if you wish. Exhausted by much suffering they will change now to you, and again to the Romans, if any misfortune befalls you. We have come here without any army of our own, trusting to the tolians, who said that the Lacedmonians and Philip would join us. Of these I hear that the Lacedmonians are as hostile to us as the Achans are, and as for Philip I do not see him here helping you, although he can turn the scale of this war for whichever side he favors. I hold the same opinion as before, that you should call in an army from Asia as quickly as possible and not put any reliance on Amynander or the tolians. When your army comes, carry the war into Italy so that they may be distracted by evils at home, and thus harm you as little as possible, and make no advance movement for fear of what may befall themselves. The plan I spoke of before is no longer available, but you ought to employ half of your fleet in ravaging the shores of Italy and keep the other half lying in wait for opportunities, while you station yourself with all your land forces at some point in Greece near to Italy, making a feint of invasion and invading it at any time if you can. Try by every means to make an alliance with Philip, because he can be of the greatest service to whichever side he espouses. If he will not consent, send your son Seleucus against him by way of Thrace so that Philip likewise may be distracted by troubles at home, and prevented from furnishing aid to the enemy." Such were the counsels of Hannibal, and they were the best of all that were offered; but, moved by jealousy of his reputation and judgment, the other counsellors, and the king himself no less, cast them all aside lest Hannibal should seem to excel them in generalship, and lest the glory of the exploits should be his -- except that Polyxenidas was sent to Asia to bring an army.
When the Romans heard of the irruption of Antiochus into Greece and the killing and capture of Romans at Delium, they declared war. In this way the war between them, which had been smouldering a long time, first actually broke out. So great was the dominion of Antiochus, ruler of many powerful nations of upper Asia, and of all but a few on the sea-coast, who had now invaded Europe; so formidable was his reputation and so complete his preparation, so many and so famous had been his exploits against other peoples, from which he had earned the title of Great, that the Romans anticipated that this war would be long and severe for them. They had their suspicions also of Philip of Macedon, whom they had lately conquered, and of the Carthaginians also, lest they should prove false to the treaty because Hannibal was cooperating with Antiochus. Other subject peoples were under suspicion lest revolution should break out among them in consequence of the fame of Antiochus. For these reasons they sent forces into all the provinces to watch them without provoking hostilities. With them were sent commanders called six-axe men (prtors), so called because the consuls 502 had twelve bundles of rods and axes (as the kings before them had), whereas the prtors had only half the dignity of the consuls and half the number of insignia of office. As in cases of great peril they showed their anxiety for Italy also, lest there should be some weakening or revolt against them there. They sent a large force of infantry to Tarentum to guard against an attack in that quarter, and also a fleet to patrol the coast. So great was the alarm caused by Antiochus at first. When everything appertaining to the government at home was arranged, they raised an army to serve against Antiochus, 20,000 from the city and double that number from the allies, to cross the Adriatic in the early spring. Thus they employed the whole winter in making preparations for war.
Antiochus marched against the Thessalians and came to Cynoscephal, where the Macedonians had been defeated by the Romans, and finding the remains of the dead still unburied, gave them a magnificent funeral. Thus he curried favor with the Macedonians and accused Philip before them of leaving unburied those who had fallen in his service. Until now Philip had been wavering and in doubt which side he should espouse, but when he heard of this he joined the Romans at once. He invited Bbius, their nearest general, to a rendezvous and gave pledges anew of faithful alliance against Antiochus. Bbius praised him for this, and felt emboldened to send Appius Claudius straightway with 2000 foot through Macedonia into Thessaly. When Appius arrived at Tempe and from that point saw Antiochus besieging Larissa, he kindled a large number of fires to conceal the smallness of his force. Antiochus thought that Bbius and Philip had arrived, and became panic-stricken, abandoned the siege on a pretext of bad weather, and retreated to Chalcis. There he fell in love with a pretty girl, and, although he was above fifty years of age and was supporting the burden of so great a war, he celebrated his nuptials with her, gave a public festival, and allowed his army to spend the whole winter in idleness and luxury. When spring came he made a descent upon Acarnania, where he perceived that idleness had unfitted his army for every kind of duty. Then he repented himself Of his marriage and his public festival. Nevertheless he reduced a part of Acarnania and was besieging the rest of its strongholds when he learned that the Romans were making a passage of the Adriatic. Then at once he returned to Chalcis.