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The Greek Prisoners In Italy

The Aetolians had been accustomed to get their livelihood from plundering and such like lawless
The disturbed state of Aetolia
occupations; and as long as they were permitted to plunder and loot the Greeks, they got all they required from them, regarding every country as that of an enemy. But subsequently, when the Romans obtained the supremacy, they were prevented from this means of support, and accordingly turned upon each other. Even before this, in their civil war, there was no horror which they did not commit; and a little earlier still they had had a taste of mutual slaughter in the massacres at Arsinoe;1 they were, therefore, ready for anything, and their minds were so infuriated that they would not allow their magistrates to have even a voice in their business. Aetolia, accordingly, was a scene of turbulence, lawlessness, and blood: nothing they undertook was done on any calculation or fixed plan; everything was conducted at haphazard and in confusion, as though a hurricane had burst upon them. . . .

1 Called by Polybius in previous books Conope, 4, 64: 5, 6. Its name was changed to Arsinoe, from its having been rebuilt and enlarged by Arsinoe, sister and wife of Ptolemy Philadelphus (Strabo, 10.2.22). It was on the east bank of the Achelous. Its modern name is Angelokastro. The civil war in Aetolia alluded to here is mentioned in Livy, 41, 25 (B. C. 174). This particular massacre appears to have taken place in B. C. 168-167. Livy (45, 28) narrates that Aemilius was met during his Greek tour in B. C. 167 by a crowd of Aetolians, in a miserable state of destitution, who informed him that five hundred and fifty Aetolian nobles had been massacred by Lyciscus and Tisippus, besides many driven into exile, and that the goods of both had been confiscated.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, book 45, commentary, 45.13
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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (3):
    • Strabo, Geography, 10.2.22
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 45, 28
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 41, 25
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