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The Athenians Intercede for the Aetolians

While Amphissa was still being besieged by Manius
Spring of B. C. 190. Coss. L. Cornelius Scipio, C. Laelius.
Acilius, the Athenians, hearing at that time both of the distress of the Amphissians and of the arrival of Publius Scipio, despatched Echedemus and others on an embassy to him, with instructions to pay their respects to both Lucius and Publius Scipio, and at the same time to try what could be done to get peace for the Aetolians.
P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus in Greece as legatus to his brother Lucius.(March.)
On their arrival, Publius welcomed them gladly and treated them with great courtesy; because he saw that they would be of assistance to him in carrying out his plans. For he was very desirous of effecting a settlement in Aetolia on good terms; but had resolved that, if the Aetolians refused to comply, he would at all hazards relinquish that business for the present, and cross to Asia: for he was well aware that the ultimate object of the war and of the entire expedition was not to reduce the Aetolian nation to obedience, but to conquer Antiochus and take possession of Asia. Therefore, directly the Athenians mentioned the pacification, he accepted their suggestion with eagerness, and bade them sound the Aetolians also. Accordingly, Echedemus and his colleagues, having sent a preliminary deputation to Hypata, presently followed in person, and entered into a discussion with the Aetolian magistrates on the subject of a pacification.
Aetolian envoys visit the consuls.
They, too, readily acquiesced in the suggestion, and certain envoys were appointed to meet the Romans. They found Publius and the army encamped sixty stades from Amphissa, and there discoursed at great length on their previous services to Rome. Publius Scipio adopted in reply a still milder and more conciliatory style, quoting his own conduct in Iberia and Libya, and explaining how he had treated all who in those countries had confided to his honour: and finally expressing an opinion that they had better put themselves in his hands. At first, all who were present felt very sanguine that the pacification was about to be accomplished. But when, in answer to the Aetolian demand to know on what terms they were to make the peace, Lucius Scipio explained that they had two alternatives—to submit their entire case unconditionally to the arbitrament of Rome, or to pay a thousand talents down and to make an offensive and defensive alliance with her—the Aetolians present were thrown into the state of the most painful perplexity at the inconsistency of this announcement with the previous talk: but finally they said that they would consult the Aetolians on the terms imposed.

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