This year, when the ambassadors of the Aquileians demanded that the number of the colonists should be increased, one thousand five hundred families were enrolled by a decree of the senate; and Titus Annius Luscus, Publius Decius Subulo, and Marcus Cornelius Cethegus, were appointed commissioners to conduct them.
During the same year, Caius Popilius and Cneius Octavius, who had been sent ambassadors into Greece, read, first at Thebes, and afterwards carried about to all the other states of Peloponnesus, a decree, ordering, that “no person should furnish the Roman magistrates with any thing for the use of the war, except what the senate should determine.”
This afforded the allies a pleasing confidence, with regard to the future also, that they would be relieved from the heavy burdens and expenses, by which they were exhausted, in consequence of the various demands of those magistrates.
In the council of Achaia, held at Aegium, the ambassadors spoke, and were heard with sentiments of mutual esteem and affection; and then, leaving that faithful nation in confident assurance of lasting prosperity, they crossed over to Aetolia.
No civil war had yet broke out in that country; but all places were full of suspicion and mutual recrimination.
The ambassadors having demanded hostages on account of these disputes, set out from this place to Acarnania, without putting an end to the evil.
The Acarnanians gave to the ambassadors an audience of their general council at Thyrium. Here, too, there was a struggle between opposite factions; some of the nobles required that garrisons might be placed in their cities, to protect them against the madness of those who were endeavouring to bring the nation over to the Macedonians;
and others objected to the measure, lest peaceful and allied cities should receive such an insult, as was usually offered only to towns taken in war, or engaged in hostilities.
Their objection was reckoned reasonable. The ambassadors returned to Larissa, to Hostilius, for by him they had been sent.
He kept Octavius with him, and sent Popilius, with about a thousand soldiers, into winter quarters at Ambracia.