Philip, when marching down into Greece, for these reasons, was met at the city Lamia by the Aetolians, under the command of Pyrrhias, who had been created praetor that year jointly with Attalus, who was absent.
They had with them also auxiliaries from Attalus, and about a thousand men sent from the Roman fleet by Publius Sulpicius. Against this general and these forces, Philip fought twice successfully, and slew full a thousand of his enemies in each battle. Whence, as the Aetolians were compelled by fear to keep themselves under the walls of Lamia, Philip led back his army to Phalara. This place is situated in the Malian bay, and was formerly thickly inhabited on account of its excellent harbour, the safe anchorage in its neighbourhood, and other conveniences of sea and land.
Hither came ambassadors from Ptolemy, king of Egypt, the Rhodians, Athenians, and Chians, to put a stop to hostilities between the Aetolians and Philip.
The Aetolians also called in one of their neighbours as a mediator, Amynander, king of the Athamanians.
But all these were less concerned for the Aetolians, whose arrogance of disposition exceeded that of any other nation of Greece, than lest Philip and his empire, which was likely to prove injurious to the cause of liberty, should be intermixed with the affairs of Greece. The deliberations concerning a peace were put off, to a council of the Achaeans, for which a place and certain day were fixed upon; for the mean time a true of thirty days was obtained.
The king, setting out thence, went through Thessaly and Bœotia to Chalcis in Eubœa, to prevent Attalus, who he
heard was about to come to Eubœa with a fleet, from entering the harbours and approaching the coasts.
Leaving a force to oppose Attalus, in case he should cross over in the mean time, he set out thence with a small body of cavalry and light-armed troops, and came to Argos.
Here the superintendence of the Heraean and Nemaean games having been conferred upon him by the suffrages of the people, because the kings of the Macedonians trace their origin from that state, after completing the Heraean games, he set out directly after the celebration for Aegium, to the council of allies, fixed some time before.
Here measures were proposed [p. 1134]
for putting an end to the Aetolian war, in order that neither the Romans nor Attalus might have a pretext for entering Greece; but they were all upset by the Aetolians, before the period of the truce had
scarcely expired, after they heard that Attalus had arrived at Aegina, and that a Roman fleet was stationed at Naupactus.
For when called into the council of the Achaeans, where the same embassies were present which had negotiated for peace at Phalara, they at first complained of some trifling acts committed during the period of the truce, contrary to the faith of the convention;
but at last they asserted, that it was impossible the war could be terminated unless the Achaeans gave back Pylus to the Messenians, unless Atintania was restored to the Romans, and Ardyaea to Scerdilaedus and Pleuratus.
But Philip, conceiving it an indignity that the vanquished should presumptuously dictate terms to him the victor, said, “that he did not before either listen to proposals for peace, or agree to a truce, from any hope he entertained that the Aetolians would remain quiet, but in order that he might have all the allies as witnesses that he was desirous of peace, and that they were the occasion of this war.”
Thus, without effecting a peace, he dismissed the council; and leaving four thousand troops for the protection of the Achaeans, and receiving five men of war, with which, if he could
have joined them to the fleet of the Carthaginians lately sent to him, and the ships which were coming from Bithynia, from king Prusias, he had resolved to challenge the Romans, who had long been masters of the sea in that quarter, to a naval battle, the king himself went back from the congress to Argos;
for now the time for celebrating the Nemaean games was approaching, which he wished to be celebrated in his presence.