To which demands the ambassadors having made no reply, both because they were severe, and because they knew the spirit of their country to be unbroken and changeable, returned home, that they might again and again, while the thing was undecided, consult the praetor and chiefs as to what was to be done.
They were received with clamour and reproaches, and were asked “how long would they protract the matter, though commanded to bring with them a peace of some kind or other?” But as they were going back to Ambracia, they were caught in an ambuscade, laid near the road by the Acarnanians, with whom they were at war, and carried to Thyrium to be confined.
The delay arising from this incident interrupted the negotiations.
When the ambassadors of the Athenians and Rhodians, who had come to intercede for them, were now with the consul, Amynander also, king of Athamania, having obtained a safe-conduct, had come into the Roman camp, being more concerned for the city of Ambracia, where he had spent the greatest part of his exile, than for the nation of the Aetolians.
When the consul was informed by them of the accident which had befallen the ambassadors, he ordered them to be brought from Thyrium; and on their arrival they began to treat concerning peace.
Amynander, as that was his [p. 1731]
principal object, laboured assiduously to persuade the Ambracians to capitulate.
When he made but little progress in this, while he was coming under the walls and conferring with their chiefs, he at last, with the consul's permission, went into the city; where, partly by arguments, partly by entreaties, he prevailed on them to surrender themselves to the Romans.
Caius Valerius, the son of Laevinus, who was the first that had made a treaty of alliance with that nation, the brother of the consul, born of the same mother, eminently aided the Aetolians.
The Ambracians, having first stipulated that they might send away the auxiliary Aetolians in safety, opened their gates. Then the Aetolians stipulated that “they should pay five hundred Euboic talents,1
two hundred of this sum at present, and three hundred at six equal annual payments; that they should deliver up to the Romans the prisoners and deserters;
that they should not subject any city to their jurisdiction, which, since the first coming of Titus Quintius into Greece, had either been taken by the arms of the Romans, or voluntarily entered into alliance with them: and that the island of Cephallenia should be excluded from the treaty.”
Although these terms were more moderate than they themselves had expected, yet the Aetolians begged permission to lay them before the council, which request was granted. A short discussion about the cities engaged the council.
Since they had been for some time under their laws, they bore with pain that they should be torn off, as it were, from their body. However, they unanimously voted that the terms of peace should be accepted. The Ambracians presented the consul with a golden crown of one hundred and fifty pounds' weight.
The brazen and marble statues and paintings, with which Ambracia was more richly decorated than any other city in that country, since it was the royal residence of Pyrrhus, were all removed and carried away;
but nothing else was injured or even touched.