FRAGMENTA LIBRI XXXI
1. Ὅτι ὁ Ἀντίοχος τὴν ἀρχὴν ἐσεμνύνετο λέγων οὐ τῆς κατ᾿ Αἴγυπτον βασιλείας ἑαυτὸν ἐπιθυμοῦντα παρεσκευάσθαι μεγάλας δυνάμεις εἰς τὸν πόλεμον, ἀλλὰ τῷ πρεσβυτέρῳ Πτολεμαίῳ βούλεσθαι συγκατασκευάσαι τὴν πατρῴαν ἀρχήν. οὐ μὴν τό γε ἀληθὲς οὕτως εἶχεν, ἀλλὰ διαγωνοθετῶν τὰ μειράκια διελάμβανε μεγάλην1 χάριτος ἀφορμὴν παρέχων ἀκονιτὶ κυριεύσειν τῆς Αἰγύπτου. τῆς γὰρ τύχης αὐτοῦ τὴν προαίρεσιν ἐξελεγχούσης καὶ τὴν προειρημένην πρόφασιν ἀφαιρούσης φανερὸς ἐγένετο τῶν πολλῶν ὢν2 βασιλέων οἳ τοῦ λυσιτελοῦς οὐδὲν τῶν καλῶν προὐργιαίτερον τίθενται.
2. Ὅτι ἀπαντήσασι τὸν Ἀντίοχον τοῖς Ῥωμαίοις, κἀκείνου3 μακρόθεν ἅμα τῇ φωνῇ4 ἀσπαζομένου καὶ τὴν δεξιὰν ἐκτείνοντος, ὁ μὲν Ποπίλλιος5 πρόχειρον ἔχων τὸ βυβλίον ἐν ᾧ τὸ τῆς συγκλήτου δόγμα κατεκεχώριστο προέτεινε καὶ αὐτὸν ἐκέλευσεν ἀναγνῶναι τὸν Ἀντίοχον· τοῦτο δὲ ἔδοξε
Fragments of Book XXXI
1. Antiochus at first put up a fine front, asserting 169/8 b.c. that no thought of taking the throne of Egypt lay behind his extensive military preparations, and that his only motive was to assist the elder Ptolemy1 in securing the position that was his by right of inheritance. This was by no means true; on the contrary, he conceived that by presiding over a dispute between the youths and so making an investment in goodwill he should conquer Egypt without a blow. But when Fortune put his professions to the test and deprived him of the pretext he had alleged, he stood revealed as one of the many princes who count no point of honour more important than gain.
2. As the Romans approached, Antiochus, after 168 b.c. greeting them verbally from a distance, stretched out his hand in welcome. Popillius,2 however, who had in readiness the document in which the senate’s decree was recorded, held it out and ordered Antiochus to read it. His purpose in acting thus, it was thought,
- 1Ptolemy VI Philometor. After his capture by Antiochus Epiphanes, in the Sixth Syrian War, the Alexandrians proclaimed his brother Ptolemy Euergetes, nicknamed Physcon, king. The two brothers were soon reconciled, and for some five years ruled as joint kings. With the present passage cp. Polybius, 29. 26.
- 2C. Popillius Laenas, sent out by the senate to bring the war in Egypt to an end. The encounter took place at Eleusis, a suburb of Alexandria. See Polybius, 29. 2 and 27.