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Philip's Aetolian Campaign

When he heard what had happened in Macedonia, and
Ambracus taken.
had thus paid on the spot for the selfishness and folly of the Epirotes, Philip proceeded to besiege Ambracus. By an energetic use of earthworks, and other siege operations, he quickly terrified the people into submission, and the place surrendered after a delay of forty days in all. He let the garrison, consisting of five hundred Aetolians, depart on fixed conditions, and gratified the cupidity of the Epirotes by handing over Ambracus to them; while he himself set his army in motion, and marched by way of Charadra, being anxious to cross the Ambracian gulf where it is narrowest, that is to say, near the Acarnanian temple called Actium. For this gulf is a branch of the Sicilian sea between Epirus and Acarnania, with a very narrow opening of less than five stades, but expanding as it extends inland to a breadth of a hundred stades; while the length of the whole arm from the open sea is about three hundred stades. It forms the boundary between Epirus on the north and Acarnania on the south. Philip, therefore, having got his army across this entrance of the gulf, and advanced through Acarnania, came to the city of Phoeteiae, which belonged to the Aetolians;1 having, during his march, been joined by an Acarnanian force of two thousand foot and two hundred horse.
Philip enters Aetolia; takes Phoeteiae.
Encamping under the walls of this town, and making energetic and formidable assaults upon it during two days, it was surrendered to him on terms, and the Aetolian garrison were dismissed on parole. Next night, however, five hundred other Aetolians, believing the town still untaken, came to its relief; whose arrival being ascertained beforehand by the king, he stationed some men in ambush at certain convenient spots, and slew most of the new-comers and captured all but a very few of the rest. After these events, he distributed a month's rations of corn among his men from what had been captured, for a large store was found collected at Phoeteiae, and then continued his advance into the territory of Stratus. At about ten stades from that town he pitched his camp on the banks of the river Achelous; and from that began laying waste the country without resistance, none of the enemy venturing out to attack him.

1 Though it was in the territory of Acarnania (Steph. Byz.)

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Acarnania (Greece) (4)
Epirus (Greece) (2)
Macedonia (Macedonia) (1)
Charadra (1)
Aetolia (Greece) (1)
Actium (Greece) (1)

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 33-34, commentary, 33.17
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 43-44, commentary, 43.21
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), A´CTIUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), STRATUS
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