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The Aetolians Seek a Truce

When the Romans took Heracleia, Phaeneas the
Heracleia Trachinia taken by Acilius after the battle of Thermopylae. B. C. 191.
Aetolian Strategus, in view of the danger threatening Aetolia, and seeing what would happen to the other towns, determined to send an embassy to Manius Acilius to demand a truce and treaty of peace. With this purpose he despatched Archidamus, Pantaleon and Chalesus, who on meeting the Roman consul were intending to enter upon a long argument, but were interrupted in the middle of their speech and prevented from finishing it.
Embassy of the Aetolians.
For Acilius remarked that "For the present he had no leisure to attend to them, being much engaged with the distribution of the spoils of Heracleia: he would, however, grant a ten days' truce and send Lucius Valerius Flaccus with them, with instructions as to what he was to say." The truce being thus made, and Valerius having come to Hypata, a lengthened discussion took place on the state of affairs. The Aetolians sought to establish their case by referring to their previous services to Rome. But Valerius cut this line of argument short by saying that "Such justification did not apply to the present circumstances; for as these old friendly relations had been broken off by them, and the existing hostility was owing entirely to the Aetolians themselves, the services of the past could be of no assistance to them in the present. They must therefore abandon all idea of justification, and adopt a tone of supplication, and beseech the consul's pardon for their transgressions." After a long discussion on various details, the Aetolians eventually decided to leave the whole matter to Acilius, and commit themselves without reserve to the good faith of the Romans. They had no comprehension of what this really involved; but they were misled by the word "faith" into supposing that the Romans would thereby be more inclined to grant them terms. But with the Romans for a man "to commit himself to their good faith" is held to be equivalent to "surrendering unconditionally."

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