189-188 BC )

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, p. 25, n. 26 ).

      This inscription on the base of a Roman general's statue, discovered at Delphi, Greece, and reported in 1920, gives the Roman Senate's reply, incorporated in a letter, to an embassy from Delphi about the murder of an earlier delegation, which was intercepted on its homeward journey by Aetolians, who were opposed apparently to the favorable concessions obtained by the Delphians. Since among these concessions was the right to expel from Delphi resident aliens, who in the Delphians' opinion were personae non gratae, it may have been that the Aetolians saw in this a gesture against themselves and, therefore, prevented temporarily and by murder the delivery of the decrees.


      The Roman consul Gaius Livius, son of Marcus, and the plebeian tribunes and the Senate to the magistrates and the city of Delphi, greetings.
      The envoys sent by you, Herys, son of Eudorus, and Damosthenes, son of Archelas, presented your letters and spoke in conformity with the matters recorded in them with all zeal, omitting nothing of respect. They reported why you celebrated the gymnastic contest and the sacrifice on our behalf.
      And the Senate both paid attention and, concerning the former envoys, Boulon, Thrasycles, Orestas, who had come to us, but who had perished on their homeward return, voted to write to Marcus Fulvius, our proconsul, that he should provide that, whenever the affairs in the vicinity of Same result favorably for us, he shall search for the wrongdoers and that he should provide that they shall receive due punishment and that all the envoys' possessions shall be restored to their kin.
      It was voted also to write to the Aetolians about the wrongs perpetrated in your territory, that now they should search for and restore to you all the things that were taken away and that for the future this should not happen again.
      And concerning persons dwelling in Delphi : the Senate ordered you to have the power to expel those persons whom you wish and to let dwell among you those persons who are acceptable to the Delphian League.
      The decisions given to the earlier envoys, who came to us from you, we delivered to them, even as they asked us.
      And for the future we shall ever try to be always responsible for some good for the Delphians, both because of the god and of you and because it is our ancestral custom both to reverence the gods and to honor them as being the causes of all good things.