Quinctius and the ambassadors returned to Corinth. Then, as each message came from Antiochus, that the Aetolians might not seem to be doing nothing on their own account, but to be sitting still waiting
for the coming of the king,1
they held indeed no meeting of the entire people [p. 101]
after the dismissal of the Romans, but through the2 apocletes
—so they call their inner council: it consists of selected persons —they considered the question in what manner revolutions might be caused in all Greece.
It was evident to all that in the cities the leading men and all the aristocracy3
were in favour of the Roman alliance and were pleased with the present state of affairs, while the multitude and those whose affairs were not in the best condition desired a complete change.
The Aetolians formed a plan not only bold but even shameless, both in its character and in its expectations, of seizing Demetrias, Chalcis,4
One of their chiefs was sent to each city, Thoas to Chalcis, Alexamenus to Lacedaemon, Diocles to Demetrias.
The last was aided by the exile Eurylochus, of whose flight and its cause I have spoken above,5
because he had no other hope of restoration to his home.
Prompted by the letters of Eurylochus, his relatives and friends and those who belonged to the same party summoned his children and wife, dressed in mourning garb and carrying the badges of suppliants, into a crowded assembly, beseeching one and all not to permit a man, innocent and unjudged, to grow old in exile. And simpleminded men were moved by pity and wicked and seditious men by the hope of causing confusion by [p. 103]
means of an Aetolian uprising.
Thus each man for6
himself favoured a vote of recall.
After these preliminaries Diodes with all the cavalry —and he was then the commander of the cavalry —setting out on the pretext of conducting home his exiled friend, completing a long march by day and night, when he was six miles from the city, at daybreak led the way with three picked troops, ordering the rest of the cavalry to follow.
When he was near the gate he ordered them all to dismount and to lead their horses by the reins, breaking ranks just as if on a journey, that they might appear to be the commander's escort rather than an organized guard.
Then, leaving one troop at the gate, that the cavalry in the rear might not be shut out, he conducted Eurylochus through the centre of the city and through the market-place, clasping him by the hand, while many men came up and congratulated him.
Presently the city was full of troopers and the strategic points were occupied; then soldiers were sent to the houses to kill the leaders of the opposing party. Thus Demetrias fell into the possession of the Aetolians.