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M. Valerius Laevinus had been holding private interviews with some of the leading Aetolians with the view of ascertaining their political leanings. It was arranged that a meeting of their national council should be convened to meet him, and thither he proceeded with some fast-sailing vessels.  He commenced his address to the assembly by alluding to the captures of Syracuse and Capua as instances of the success which had attended the arms of Rome in Sicily and Italy, and then proceeded: "It is the practice of the Romans, a practice handed down from their ancestors, to cultivate the friendship of other nations; some of them they have received into citizenship on the same footing as themselves;  others they have allowed to remain under such favourable conditions that they preferred alliance to full citizenship.  You, Aetolians, will be held in all the greater honour because you will have been the first of all the oversea nations to establish friendly relations with us.  Philip and the Macedonians you find to be troublesome neighbours; I have already dealt a fatal blow to their ambitions and aggressiveness, and I shall reduce them to such a pass that they will not only evacuate those cities which they have wrested from you, but will have enough to do to defend Macedonia itself.  The Acarnanians, too, whose secession from your league you feel so keenly, I shall bring back to the old terms by which your rights and suzerainty over them were guaranteed."  These assertions and promises of the Roman commander were supported by Scopas, the chief magistrate of Aetolia at the time, and by Dorimachus, a leading man amongst them, both of whom from their official position spoke with authority. They were less reserved, and adopted a more confident tone as they extolled the power and greatness of Rome.  What weighed most, however, with the Assembly was the hope of becoming masters of Acarnania.  The terms on which they were to become the friends and allies of Rome were reduced to writing and an additional clause was inserted that if it was their will and pleasure the Eleans and Lacedaemonians as well as Attalus, Pleuratus and Scerdilaedus might be included in the treaty.  Attalus was king of Pergamum in Asia Minor; Pleuratus, king of the Thracians; Scerdilaedus, king of the Illyrians. The Aetolians were at once to commence war with Philip on land, and the Roman general would assist them with not less than twenty-five quinqueremes.  The territories, buildings and walls of all the cities as far as Corcyra were to become the property of the Aetolians, all the other booty was to go to the Romans, who were also to be responsible for Acarnania passing under the dominion of the Aetolians.  Should the Aetolians make peace with Philip, one of the conditions was to be that he would abstain from hostilities against Rome and her allies and dependencies.  Similarly, if the Romans made a treaty with him it was to be a provision that he should not be allowed to make war upon the Aetolians and their allies.  These were the agreed conditions, and after a lapse of two years, copies of the treaty were deposited by the Aetolians at Olympia, and by the Romans in the Capitol, in order that the sacred memorials round them might be a perpetual witness to their obligation.  The reason for this delay was that the Aetolian envoys had been detained for a considerable time in Rome. No time, however, was lost in commencing hostilities, and Laevinus attacked Zacynthus. This is a small island adjacent to Aetolia, and it contains one city of the same name as the island; this city, with the exception of its citadel, Laevinus captured. He also took two cities belonging to the Acarnanians-Oeniadae and Nasos-and handed them over to the Aetolians.  After this he withdrew to Corcyra, feeling satisfied that Philip had enough on his hands with the war on his frontiers to prevent him from thinking about Italy and the Carthaginians and his compact with Hannibal.
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