When the Aetolian ambassadors were brought to an audience of the senate, although their cause and their circumstances required, that they, by an ample confession, should suppliantly seek pardon for what was either their misfortune
or their fault, yet having begun with enumerating their services to the Roman people, and talking reproachfully of their own valour in the war with Philip, they offended the ears of the senators by the insolence of their discourse.
By calling up old and forgotten matters, they brought the affair to this, that the memory of many more injuries than services done by that nation occurred to the minds of the senate; and that they, who needed compassion, provoked anger and hatred.
They were asked by one senator whether they yielded the disposal of themselves to the Roman people; then, by another, whether they would have the same allies and enemies as the Roman people: when they gave no answer, they were ordered to withdraw from the senate-house.
The whole senate then, almost with one voice, cried out, that “the Aetolians were still entirely devoted to Antiochus; and that on that solitary hope their spirits depended. Wherefore the war ought to be carried on against such decided enemies, and their haughty spirits tamed.”
Another circumstance inflamed the resentment of the senate, because that, in the very moment in which they were soliciting peace from the Romans, they were making war on Dolopia and Athamania.
A decree of the senate was passed, on the motion of Manius Acilius, who had defeated Antiochus and the Aetolians, that “the Aetolian ambassadors should be ordered to leave the city that day, and [p. 1707]
to quit Italy within fifteen days.”
Aulius Terentius Varro was appointed to escort them on the road; and a threatening notice was given to them, that, “if any embassy from the Aetolians should thenceforth come to Rome, unless with the permission of the general who might be in command of that province, and with a Roman deputy, all such would be treated as enemies.” —In this manner were the Aetolians dis- missed.