But the capture of Heraclea finally broke the spirit
of the Aetolians, and a few days after they had sent ambassadors to Asia to renew the war and summon the king, they laid aside their warlike designs and sent delegates to the consul to beg for peace.
The consul broke in when they had begun to speak, saying that he had more important matters to attend to, and ordered them to return to Hypata, granting them a truce of ten days and sending Lucius Valerius Flaccus with them, telling them to state to him the matters they had planned to discuss with himself and anything else they desired.
When they reached Hypata the chiefs of the Aetolians held a meeting with Flaccus, considering in what manner they should plead with the consul.
They were preparing to begin with their ancient treaty relations and their services to the Roman people, when Flaccus bade them cease to mention what they had themselves violated and broken;
a confession of wrongdoing would avail them more and a speech devoted entirely to prayers; for not on their own cause but on the clemency of the Roman people did their hopes of safety depend;
he too would support them if they should plead like suppliants both before the consul and with the senate at Rome; for there too ambassadors should be sent.
This [p. 239]
seemed to all of them the only way to safety, that1
they should entrust themselves to the good faith of the Romans; for that by so doing they would at once render the Romans ashamed to do violence to suppliants and themselves no less be absolutely free should fortune offer them anything better.