Thus, sitting in sight of the enemy, they had1
wasted forty days without attempting anything. And so Philip was encouraged to try peace proposals through the mediation of the people of
Epirus, and, after a council had been called, Pausanias the praetor and Alexander the master of the horse,2
chosen for the purpose, brought the consul and the king together in a conference at the point where the river Aous is confined within its narrowest course.
The substance of the consul's demands was this: The king should withdraw his garrisons from the cities; he should restore what property was recoverable to those whose lands and towns he had ravaged; a valuation should be made of the rest by an impartial board.
Philip replied that the status of the several cities was not uniform: those which he had himself captured, he would set free; of those which he had received from his forefathers he would not surrender his hereditary and lawful possession.
If these states with which he had fought complained of any losses due to war, he would submit to arbiters chosen by them from nations with which both parties were at peace.
The consul responded that for this purpose there was no need of any arbiter or umpire: for to whom was it not evident that he who had been the aggressor in war inflicted the injury, and that Philip, attacked by none, had first waged war on all?
Then, when they came to discuss what states were to be set free, the consul named the Thessalians before all the rest. At this the king became so incensed with rage that he exclaimed, “What heavier command, Titus Quinctius, could you lay upon a beaten foe?”
and so rushed from the conference; and he was with difficulty restrained from beginning the [p. 183]
battle with missiles, since they were separated by3
the intervening river.
The next day, in consequence of sallies from the outposts, there were numerous slight skirmishes in the plain, which afforded ample space for them;
then, as the royal forces withdrew to the steep and rugged hillsides, the Romans too, carried away by their zest for combat, forced their way to the same places.
On their side were the advantages of order and discipline and armour adapted to affording protection to the wearer; on the enemy's, the terrain and the catapults and ballistae ranged on almost all the cliffs as along a wall.
When many had been wounded on both sides, and a considerable number had even fallen, as in a regular engagement, night put an end to the fighting.