While the consul was besieging Elatia, -1
there came the gleam of hope of a greater achievement, the winning over of the Achaeans from alliance with the king to friendship with the Romans.
They had expelled Cycliadas,2
the leader of the faction inclined to favour Philip; Aristaenus, who wished the state to join the Romans, was the president.
The Roman fleet with Attalus and the Rhodians lay at Cenchreae, preparing for a concerted attack on Corinth.
He therefore thought it best, before they undertook this task, to send ambassadors to the Achaean people, promising that if they would turn from the king to the Romans, they would reunite Corinth to the ancient council of the people.
By the authority of the consul, delegates were sent to the Achaeans by his brother Lucius Quinctius, Attalus, the Rhodians, and the Athenians.
An audience was granted them at Sicyon. But the state of mind among the Achaeans was complex.
The Spartan Nabis, a dangerous and ever-present enemy, terrified them; the Roman arms were a menace; to the Macedonians they were bound by acts of kindness both old and new; the king himself they looked on with suspicion, for his cruelty and treachery, and, not
judging by what he was doing at that time, to suit the occasion, they saw that he would be a harsher master after the war.
They not only did not know what opinion each one would express in the senate of his own state or in the common councils of the people,
but were not very clear as to what they would want or desire as they considered the matter in their own thoughts. The opportunity was offered the ambassadors to speak to an audience in this state of uncertainty.
The Roman delegate, [p. 209]
Lucius Calpurnius, was first heard, then the ambassadors3
of King Attalus, and after them the Rhodians; next the representatives of Philip were given audience, and finally the Athenians were heard, that they might refute the Macedonian arguments.
They assailed the king in quite the fiercest terms, for no others had suffered so much or so grievously.
And this meeting was dismissed at sunset, the whole day having been consumed by the set speeches of so many ambassadors.