During this period the fury of the Aetolians, being turned against themselves, seemed likely to cause the total extinction of that nation by the massacres of the contending parties.
Then both parties, being wearied, sent ambassadors to Rome, and also opened a negotiation between themselves for the restoration of concord: but this was broken off by an act of barbarity, which revived their old quarrels.
When a return to their country had been promised to the exiles from Hypata, who were of the faction of Proxenus, and the public faith had been pledged to them by Eupolemus, the chief man of the state; eighty persons of distinction, whom even Eupolemus, among the rest of the multitude, had gone forth to meet on their return, though they were received with kind salutation, and right hands were pledged to them, were butchered on entering the gate, though they implored in vain
the honour that [p. 1953]
had been pledged, and the gods the witnesses of the transaction.
On this the war blazed out anew, with greater fury than ever. Caius Valerius Laevinus, Appius Claudius Pulcher, Caius Memmius, Marcus Popilius, and Lucius Canuleius, being sent as ambassadors by the senate, arrived in that country.
When the deputies from both parties pleaded their respective causes with great energy, Proxenus appeared to have greatly the advantage as well in the justice of his cause as in eloquence; a few days after, he was poisoned by his wife Orthobula, who being convicted of the crime, went into banishment.
The same madness was wasting the Cretans also; but, on the arrival of Quintus Minucius, lieutenant-general, who was sent with ten ships to quiet their contentions, the inhabitants had some prospect of peace; however, they only concluded a suspension of arms for six months, after which the war was again renewed with much greater violence.
About this time, the Lycians, too, were harassed in war by the Rhodians. But the wars of foreign nations among themselves, or the several methods in which they were conducted, it is not my business to detail; since I have a task of more than sufficient weight in writing the deeds performed by the Roman people.