A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

(Ἀλέξανδρος), surnamed ISIUS, the chief commander of the Aetolians, was a man of considerable ability and eloquence for an Aetolian. (Liv. 32.33; Plb. 17.3, &c.) In B. C. 198 he was present at a colloquy held at Nicaea on the Maliac gulf, and spoke against Philip III. of Macedonia, saying that the king ought to be compelled to quit Greece, and to restore to the Aetolians the towns which had formerly been subject to them. Philip, indignant at such a demand being made by an Aetolian, answered him in a speech from his ship. (Liv. 32.34.) Soon after this meeting, he was sent as ambassador of the Aetolians to Rome, where, together with other envoys, he was to treat with the senate about peace, but at the same time to bring accusations against Philip. (Plb. 17.10.) In B. C. 197, Alexander again took part in a meeting, at which T. Quinctius Flamininus with his allies and king Philip were present, and at which peace with Philip was discussed. Alexander dissuaded his friends from any peaceful arrangement with Philip. (Plb. 18.19, &c.; Appian, Maced. 7.1.) In B. C. 195, when a congress of all the Greek states that were allied with Rome was convoked by T. Quinctius Flamininus at Corinth, for the purpose of considering the war that was to be undertaken against Nabis, Alexander spoke against the Athenians, and also insinuated that the Romans were acting fraudulently towards Greece. (Liv. 34.23.) When in B. C. 189 M. Fulvius Nobilior, after his victory over Antiochus, was expected to march into Aetolia, the Aetolians sent envoys to Athens and Rhodes; and Alexander Isius, together with Phaneas and Lycopus, were sent to Rome to sue for peace. Alexander, now an old man, was at the head of the embassy; but he and his colleagues were made prisoners in Cephalenia by the Epeirots, for the purpose of extorting a heavy ransom. Alexander, however, although he was very wealthy, refused to pay it, and was accordingly kept in captivity for some days, after which he was liberated, at the command of the Romans, without any ransom. (Plb. 22.9.)