« PreviousContinue »
seeing Areus and Alcibiades, whom they had just before condemned to die, arrive with the commissioners, they naturally supposed that the inquiry which was going to be made would be no way favourable to them.
Appius then told them that the senate had been deeply affected with the complaints of the Lacedæmonians, and could not but disapprove of every thing which had been done with respect to them: the murther of those who, on the promise which Philopoemen had made them, had come to plead their cause ; the demolition of the walls of Sparta ; the abolition of the laws and institutions of Lycurgus, which had spread the fame of that city throughout the world, and made it flourish for several ages.
Lycortas, both as president of the council, and as being of the same opinion with Philopamen, the author of whatever had been transacted against Lacedæ-monia, undertook to answer Appius. He showed first, that as the Lacedæmonians had attacked the exiles, contrary to the tenor of the treaty, which expressly forbid them to make any attempt against the maritime cities; these exiles, in the absence of the Romans, could have recourse only to the Achæan league, which could not be justly accused for having assisted them to the utmost of their power, in so urgent a necessity. That with regard to the massacre which Appius laid to their charge, they ought not to be accused for it, but the exiles, who were then headed by Areus and Alcibiades; and who, by their own immediate impulse, and without being authorized by the Achæans, had fallen with the utmost fury and violence on those whom they considered the authors of their banishment, and to whom the rest of the calamities they had suffered were owing. “ However (added Lycortas) it is pretended that
we cannot but own that we were the cause of “ the abolition of Lycurgus's laws, and the de“ molition of the walls of Sparta. This, indeed, “ is a real fact; but then how can this double years
objection be made to us at the same time? The
walls in question were not built by Lycurgus, “ but by tyrants, who erected them some few " ago, not for the security of the city but for “ their own safety, and to enable themselves to “ abolish, with impunity, the discipline and regu“ lations so happily established by that wise legisla
tor. Were it possible for him to rise now from “ the grave, he would be overjoyed to see those “ walls destroyed, and say that he now recog“ nizes his native country and ancient Sparta. You “ should not, О citizens of Sparta, have waited for “ Philopomen or the Achæans; but ought your“ selves to have pulled down those walls with your
own hands, and destroyed even the slightest trace “ of tyranny. These were a kind of ignominious “ scars of your slavery: and, after having main“ tained your liberties and privileges during almost
eight hundred years; and been for some time the
sovereigns of Greece, without the support and « assistance of walls ; they, within these hundred
years, have become the instruments of your sla“ very, and in a manner, your shackles and fetters. “ With respect to the ancient laws of Lycurgus,
they were suppressed by the tyrants; and we have
only substituted our own, by putting you upon a 56 level with us in all things."
Addressing himself afterwards to Appius, “I can“ not forbear owning (says he) that the words I have “ hitherto spoken, were not as from one ally to “ another; nor of a free nation, but as slaves who “ speak to their master. For, in fine, if the voice “ of the herald, who proclaimed us to be free in « the front of the Grecian states, was not a vain “ and empty ceremony; if the treaty concluded at “ that time be real and solid; if you are desirous of
sincerely preserving an alliance and friendship with “ us; on what can that infinite disparity which you
suppose to be between you Romans and us “ Achæans be grounded ? I do not inquire into
" the treatment which Capua met with, after you " had taken that city: why then do you examine “ into our usage of the Lacedæmonians, after we “ had conquered them? Some of them were killed: “ and I will suppose that it was by us. But did
not you strike off the heads of several Campanian
senators ? We levelled the walls of Sparta with “ the ground; but as for you, Romans, you not
only dispossessed the Campanians of their walls, “ but of their city and lands. To this I know you “ will reply, that the equality expressed in the trea“ ties between the Romans and Achæans is merely “ specious, and a bare form of words: that we really " have but a precarious and transmitted liberty, but " that the Romans are the primary source of autho“ rity and empire. Of this, Appius, I am but too " sensible.
However, since we must submit to " this, I intreat you at least, how wide a difference
soever you may set between yourselves and us,
not to put your enemies and our own upon a “ level with us, who are your allies; especially, not " to show them better treatment than you do to us.
* They require us, by forswearing ourselves, to dis“ solve and annul all we have enacted by oath ; and “ to revoke that, which by being written in our “ records, and engraved on marble, in order to pre
serve the remembrance of it for ever, is become " a sacred monument, which it is not lawful for us “ to violate. We revere you, O Romans; and if you “ will have it so, we also fear you : but then we think " it glorious to have a greater reverence and fear for “ the immortal gods."
The greatest part of the assembly applauded this speech, and all were unanimous in their opinion, that he had spoken like a true magistrate; it was therefore necessary for the Romans to act with vigour, or resolve to lose their authority. Appius, without descending to particulars, advised them, whilst they still enjoyed their freedom, and had not received any orders, to make a merit, with regard to the
Romans, of enacting of their own accord what might afterwards be enjoined them. They were grieved at these words; but were instructed by them, not to persist obstinately in the refusal of what should be demanded. All they therefore desired was, that the Romans would decree whatever they pleased with regard to Sparta; but not oblige the Achæans to break their oath, by annulling their decree themselves. As to the sentence that was just before passed against Areus and Alcibiades, it was 'immediately repealed.
The Romans pronounced judgment the year following. The chief articles of the ordinance were, that those persons who had been condemned by the Achæans should be recalled and restored; that all sentences relating to this affair should be repealed, and that Sparta should continue a member of the Achæan league. "Pausanias adds an article not taken notice of by Livy, that the walls which had been demolished should be rebuilt. Q. Marcius was appointed commissary to settle the affairs of Macedon, and those of Peloponnesus, where great feuds and disturbances subsisted, especially between the Achæans on one side, and the Messenians and Lacedæmonians on the other. They all had sent ambassadors to Rome: but it does not appear that the senate was in any great haste to put an end to their differences. The answer they made to the Lacedæmonians was, that the Romans were determined not to trouble themselves any further about their affairs. The Achæans demanded aid. of the Romans against the Messenians, pursuant to the treaty; or at least, not to suffer arms or provisions to be transported out of Italy, 'to the latter people. It was answered them, that when any cities broke their alliance with the Achæans, the senate did not think itself obliged to enter into those disputes; for that this would open a door to ruptures and
I Liv. 1. xxxviii, n. 48. m In Achaic. p. 414. * Polyb, in Logat. c. li.
divisions, and even, in some measure, give a sanction to them.
In these proceedings appears the artful and jealous policy of the Romans, which tended solely to weaken Philip and the Achæans, of whose power they were jealous; and who covered their ambitious designs with the specious pretence of succouring the weak and oppressed.
Sect. X. Philopamen besieges Messene. He is
taken prisoner, and put to death by the Messenians. Messene surrendered to the Achaans. The splendid funeral procession of Philopo meni, whose ashes are carried to Megalopolis. Sequel of the affair relating to the Spartan exiles. The death of Ptolemy Epiphanes, who is succeeded by Philometor his son.
•DINOCRATES the Messenian, who had a particular A. M. enmity to Philopoemen, had drawn off Messene from 3821. the Achæan league; and was meditating how he Ant. J.C. might best seize upon a considerable post, called Corone, near that city. Philopamen, then seventy years of age, and generalissimo of the Achæans for the eighth time, was then sick. However, the instant the news of this was brought him, he set out, notwithstanding his indisposition, made a forced march and advanced towards Messene with a small body of forces, consisting of the flower of the Megalopolitan youth. Dinocrates, who had marched out against him, was soon put to flight: but five hundred troopers, who guarded the open country of Messene, happening to come up and re-inforce him, he faced about and routed Philopainen. This general, who was solicitous of nothing but to save the gallant youths who had followed him in this expedi
Liv. I. xxxix. n. 43. Plut. in Philop. p. 366-368. Polyb. in Legat. c. lii. liii.