Polybius' Accounts of the Feud Between Lycia and Rhodes


Polybius, Histories
Book 22

Quarrel Between Lycians and Rhodians

A quarrel arose between the Lycians and Rhodians from the following causes. When the ten commissioners were employed in the settlement of Asia, they were visited by Theaetetus and Philophron on a mission from Rhodes, demanding that Lycia and Caria should be given to them in return for the goodwill and zeal displayed by them in the war with Antiochus. At the same time Hipparchus and Satyrus came from Ilium begging, on the ground of their kindred with the Lycians, that the latter should receive pardon for their transgressions. The commissioners listened to these pleadings, and tried to do what they could to satisfy both. For the sake of the people of Ilium, they inflicted no severity on the Lycians, but gratified the Rhodians by presenting them with the sovereignty over that people. This decision was the origin of a serious division and controversy between the Lycians and Rhodians. For the envoys of Ilium visited the Lycian cities, giving out that they had succeeded in pacifying the Roman anger, and that they owed their liberty to them; while Theaetetus and his colleague took back word to their countrymen that Lycia and all Caria south of the Maeander had been given as a free gift by the Romans to Rhodes. Presently an embassy came from Lycia to Rhodes desiring an alliance; while the Rhodians on their part had elected certain of their citizens to go to Lycia and give orders to the several cities as to what they were to do. They were thus entirely at cross purposes, and for some time the cause of the misunderstanding was not generally intelligible. But when the Lycian ambassadors appeared in the assembly and began talking about an alliance, and Pothion the Prytanis rose after them and explained the different ideas which the two people entertained on the subject, and moreover, sternly rebuked the Lycian envoys, the latter declared that they would endure anything rather than be subject to the Rhodians...

 

Polybius, Histories
Book 25

The Lycians Revolt Again

When the envoys from Rome reached Rhodes and announced the decrees of the Senate, there was a great excitement in the island, and much confused discussion among the leading politicians. They were much annoyed at the allegation that the Lycians had not been given them as a gift but as allies; for having just satisfied themselves that the Lycian war was successfully concluded, they saw the commencement of fresh trouble for themselves growing up. For no sooner had the Romans arrived and made this announcement to the Rhodians, than the Lycians began a fresh revolt, and showed a determination of fighting to the last extremity for autonomy and freedom. However, after hearing the Roman envoys, the Rhodians made up their minds that the Romans had been deceived by the Lycians, and forthwith appointed Lycophron to lead an embassy to offer an explanation to the Senate. And the state of affairs was such that there was momentary expectation of a fresh rising of the Lycians...