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When Stratocles was archon in Athens, in Rome in place of consuls three military tribunes were elected, Lucius Furius, Spurius Pinarius, and Gaius Metellus.2 This year the Athenians chose Demosthenes general and sent him forth with thirty ships and an adequate body of soldiers. He added to his force fifteen ships from the Cercyraeans and soldiers from the Cephallenians, Acarnanians, and the Messenians in Naupactus, and then sailed to Leucas. After ravaging the territory of the Leucadians he sailed to Aetolia and plundered many of its villages. But the Aetolians rallied to oppose him and there was a battle in which the Athenians were defeated, whereupon they withdrew to Naupactus. [2] The Aetolians, elated by their victory, after adding to their army three thousand Lacedaemonian soldiers, marched upon Naupactus, which was inhabited at the time by Messenians, but were beaten off. [3] After this they marched upon the city called Molycria3 and captured it. But the Athenian general, Demosthenes, being concerned lest the Aetolians should reduce by siege Naupactus also, summoned a thousand hoplites from Acarnania and sent them to Naupactus. [4] And Demosthenes, while tarrying in Acarnania, fell in with a thousand Ambraciotes, who were encamped there, and joining battle with them he destroyed nearly the entire force. And when the men of Ambracia came out against him en masse, again Demosthenes slew the larger number of them, so that their city became almost uninhabited. [5] Demosthenes then believed that he should take Ambracia by storm, hoping that he would have an easy conquest because the city had no one to defend it. But the Acarnanians, fearing lest, if the Athenians became masters of the city, they should be harder neighbours to deal with than the Ambraciotes, refused to follow him. [6] And since they were thus in disagreement, the Acarnanians came to terms with the Ambraciotes and concluded with them a peace of one hundred years, while Demosthenes, being left in the lurch by the Acarnanians, sailed back with his twenty ships to Athens. The Ambraciotes, who had experienced a great disaster, sent for a garrison of Lacedaemonians, since they stood in fear of the Athenians.

1 425 B.C.

2 These names are badly confused. They should be L. Pinarius Mamercinus Rufus, L. Furius Medullinus Fusus, and Sp. Postumius Albus Regillensis.

3 About five miles south-west of Naupactus.

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    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 9.75
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