he said, “Has it perhaps escaped you, Manius Acilius, what you are doing, or, since you see it clearly, do you not think that it has a great deal to do with our ultimate policy?”
He had worked the consul up to a high pitch of wonder, and he asked, “Why not explain what you mean?” Then Quinctius replied: “Do you not see that you, after defeating Antiochus, are wasting time by besieging two cities, although now the year of your command is almost ended, but that Philip, who had not set eyes on the battle-line or the standards of the enemy, has already joined to himself, not cities alone, but so many nations —Athamania,
Perrhaebia, Aperantia, Dolopia —and that as rewards for your victory you possess as yet not even two cities, while Philip has so many peoples of Greece? Yet it is not [p. 257]
so much to our interest that the power and strength2
of the Aetolians should be diminished as that Philip should not grow beyond measure.”
XXXV. The consul agreed with this, but shame, if he should withdraw before finishing what he had begun, came over him. The whole decision was then referred to Quinctius. He went back again to the section of the walls where the Aetolians had harangued him a little while before.
When with greater fervour they begged him to have compassion on the Aetolian people, he ordered some of them to come out to him. Phaeneas himself and other chiefs at once came out. As they threw themselves at his feet, he said, “Your plight makes me restrain both my wrath and my language.
Those things have happened which I told you in the beginning would happen, and not even this is left to you, that they may seem to have happened to the undeserving; yet I, appointed by some destiny for the cherishing of Greece, shall not cease to do good even to ungrateful men. Send ambassadors to the consul to ask for a truce for such a space of time that you may send delegates to Rome through whom you may put your case before the senate; I shall be with the consul to support and defend your cause.”
So they did as Quinctius had suggested, nor did the consul reject the embassy; granting them a truce for a definite period, in which the embassy could report back from Rome, he raised the siege and sent the army back to Phocis.
The consul with Titus Quinctius crossed to Aegium to the Achaean council.
There the debate concerned the Eleans and the restoration of the Spartan exiles; neither question was settled, because the Achaeans wished the case of the exiles left as a means [p. 259]
of gaining favour for themselves; while the Eleans3
preferred that they be united with the Achaean League on their own initiative rather than under pressure from the Romans.
Ambassadors from the Epirotes came to the consul; it was clear that they had not observed the treaty of alliance with true fidelity; yet they had sent no troops to Antiochus; they were accused of having aided him with money; they did not even themselves deny that they had sent ambassadors to him.4
When they asked that they be permitted to remain in their old status of friendship, the consul replied that he did not yet know whether to reckon them among enemies or among defeated foes; the senate would be the judge of that; he was referring the whole question of their status to Rome; for that purpose he granted them a truce for ninety days.
The Epirotes sent to Rome and appealed to the senate. When they enumerated hostile acts which they had not performed rather than cleared themselves of the charges made against them, a reply was given them from which they could seem to have obtained forgiveness, not to have established their case. Ambassadors from King Philip also were at this time presented to the senate with congratulations on the victory. Their request that they be allowed to sacrifice on the Capitoline and to deposit a gift of gold in the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus was granted by the senate.5
A golden crown of one hundred pounds' weight was placed there. Not only was a gracious response given to the ambassadors of the king, but also Demetrius, the son of Philip, who was a hostage at Rome,6
was handed over to the ambassadors to be restored to his father.
The war which was waged [p. 261]
with King Antiochus in Greece by Manius Acilius7
the consul came thus to an end.