The Aetolians legitimized and tightened their control of Delphi through their self-declared role in the repulse of the Gauls from the sanctuary.(1) In commemoration of their alleged heroics they reorganized the annual Amphictionic festival of thanksgiving into an Aetolian penteteric festival in 246/5.(2)
Five decrees have been associated with the Aetolian establishment of the penteteric Soteria.(3) Elwyn ("Inviolability") has demonstrated that four use common language and phrasing (Actes 21-24), whereas Actes 25 (Smyrna) is unique in its wording.(4) Moreover, the inclusion of the Smyrnan decree among those of 246/5 creates serious chronological difficulties.
The Aetolian version of the repulse of the Gauls is reflected in the recognition decrees for the first celebration of the Aetolian penteteric Soteria in 245.(18) These decrees are dated to 246/5 by the Athenian archon of the same year, Polyeuktos, who is mentioned in the Athenian recognition decree.(19) The provenance of Actes 21-24 suggests that the Aetolians issued a Panhellenic invitation: Athens, Chios, Tenos, and a Cycladic island.
In the letter of invitation which sought Panhellenic participation for the first penteteric festival of the Soteria, Aetolian propaganda apparently emphasized the Aetolian role in the defense of the sanctuary in 279 against the Gallic forces and diminished or eliminated the divine elements of the older diplomatic tradition which are present in the other evidence on the invasion, both literary and epigraphical.