When they heard these words, as from a father's lips, tears of joy dropped from every eye, so that they even interrupted him in the midst of his speech.
For a while there was the murmur of those who approved his words and of those who urged one another to let that utterance sink into the mind and heart as if it had been spoken by an oracle.
Then, [p. 547]
when they had become silent, he asked them that1
any Roman citizens who might be in slavery in their states should be sought out and sent to him in Thessaly; it was unbecoming even for themselves that the liberators should be slaves in the land they had set free.
All cried out that they owed him thanks for this too, among other things, because he had reminded them to perform so just and necessary an obligation.
There was a great number of them, captives in the Punic War, whom Hannibal had sold when they were not ransomed by their relatives.
It is an indication of their number that Polybius writes that this cost the Achaeans one hundred talents, although they had fixed the price per head to be paid to their owners at five hundred denarii.
On that basis Achaea had one thousand two hundred.
Calculate now, in proportion to this, how many there probably were in all Greece.
The meeting had not been dismissed when they saw the garrison coming down from Acrocorinthus, marching towards the gate, and departing.
The commander followed their column with all the assembly attending him and proclaiming him
their preserver and liberator, and when he had taken leave of them and dismissed them he returned to Elatia over the same route by which he had come.
Thence he sent his lieutenant Appius Claudius away with all his troops, with orders to march through Thessaly and Epirus to Oricum and await him there, for it was his intention to transport the army thence to Italy.
He also wrote to his brother Lucius Quinctius, his lieutenant and commander of the fleet, to assemble there transports from all the coast of Greece.