Consequently, as Philip was coming down into Greece, the Aetolians encountered him at the city of Lamia, their general being Pyrrhias, who along with the absent Attalus had been elected praetor1
for that year.
They had with them auxiliary troops from Attalus and also about a thousand men sent by Publius Sulpicius from the Roman fleet. Against this general and these forces [p. 333]
Philip fought twice with success. In each battle he2
slew fully a thousand of the enemy. Then, while the Aetolians, constrained by fear, remained inside the walls of the city of Lamia, Philip led his army back to Phalara. The place is on the Maliac Gulf,3
and was formerly populous on account of its remarkable harbour and safe roadsteads on this side and that and other advantages from the sea and the land.
To that place came ambassadors from Ptolemy, King of Egypt, and from the Rhodians and Athenians and Chians, in order to bring to an end the war between Philip and the Aetolians.
A peacemaker from their neighbours also was brought in by the Aetolians, Amynander, King of the Athamanians.
For all of them, however, it was not so much solicitude for the Aetolians, a race more warlike than comports with the character of Greeks, as it was the fear lest Philip and his kingdom might become involved in the affairs of Greece and become a menace to freedom.
As for the peace, consideration was postponed until the council of the Achaeans, and for that council a place and also a fixed date were appointed. Meantime a truce for thirty days was obtained.
Setting out from thence4
King Philip came by way of Thessaly and Boeotia to Chalcis in Euboea, in order that he might prevent Attalus, who, he had heard, was about to make for Euboea with a fleet, from using the harbours and from landing on the shore.
And then, leaving a garrison against Attalus, in case he should cross over in the meantime, he set out himself with a few horsemen and light-armed and came to Argos.
There the direction of the games in honour of Hera and of the Nemean Games5
was conferred upon him by vote of [p. 335]
the people, because the kings of the Macedonians6
claim that they sprang from that city. When the Heraea were over, immediately after the games he left for Aegium and the long since appointed council of his allies.
There they discussed the termination of the Aetolian war, that neither the Romans nor Attalus might have reason to enter Greece.
But all such plans, though the time of the truce had scarcely elapsed, were thrown into confusion by the Aetolians, when they heard that Attalus had reached Aegina7
and also that a Roman fleet was lying at Naupactus.
For on being called into the council of the Achaeans, in which were also present the embassies which at Phalara had spoken on behalf of peace, they at first complained of certain small breaches of the agreement committed during the truce.
Finally they asserted that the war could not be brought to an end unless the Achaeans should restore Pylus to the Messenians, and Atintania should be returned to the Romans, and the Ardiaei to Scerdilaedus and Pleuratus.8
Philip, who thought it a perfect outrage for the vanquished actually to offer terms to him, the victor, said that on the former occasion also it was not with any hope that the Aetolians would keep quiet that he had either listened to pleas for peace or agreed to a truce, but in order to have all the allies witnesses that he had sought a ground for peace, the Aetolians a ground for war.
So, with peace unachieved, he dismissed the council, leaving four thousand armed men to protect the Achaeans and receiving five warships from them.
He had decided that, if he should add these to the Carthaginian fleet lately sent to him, and to the ships that were coming from Bithynia from King Prusias, he would attack the [p. 337]
Romans, who had long commanded the sea in that9
region, in a naval battle.
As for himself, he returned from that council to Argos; for the time of the Nemean Games was at hand, and he wished them to be more festive because of his presence.