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Polybius, Histories, book 2, Unification of the Peloponnese (search)
Unification of the Peloponnese When at length, however, the country did obtain leaders of sufficient ability, it quickly manifested its intrinsic excellence by the accomplishment of that most glorious achievement,—the union of the Peloponnese. The originator of this policy in the first instance was Aratus of Sicyon; its active promotion and consummation was due to Philopoemen of Megalopolis; while Lycortas and his party must be looked upon as the authors of the permanence which it enjoyed. The actual achievements of these several statesmen I shall narrate in their proper places: but while deferring a more detailed account of the other two, I think it will be right to briefly record here, as well as in a future portion of my work, the political measures of Aratus, because he has left a record of them himself in an admirably honest and lucid book of commentaries. I think the easiest method for myself, and most intelligible to my readers, will be to start from the period of the restorat
Polybius, Histories, book 2, Death of Demetrius (search)
the policy which they had all along maintained. Demetrius. B. C. 239-229. For the despots in the Peloponnese were in despair at the death of Demetrius. It was the loss to them of their chief supporter and paymaster. And now Aratus was for ever impressing upon them that they ought to abdicate, holding out rewards and honours for those of them who consented, and threatening those who refused with still greater vengeance from the Achaeans. There was therefore a general movement among them to voluntarily restore their several states to freedom and to join the league. I ought however to say that Ludiades of Megalopolis, in the lifetime of Demetrius, of his own deliberate choice, and foreseeing with great shrewdness and good sense what was going to happen, had abdicated his sovereignty and become a citizen of the national league. His example was followed by Aristomachus, tyrant of Argos, Xeno of Hermione, and Cleonymus of Phlius, who all likewise abdicated and joined the democratic league.
Polybius, Histories, book 2, Intrigues of the Aetolians (search)
ne them no wrong: yet they now allowed themselves to be treated with such treachery, and submitted without remonstrance to the loss of the most important towns, solely with the view of creating in Cleomenes a formidable antagonist to the Achaeans. These facts were not lost upon Aratus and the other officers of the league: and they resolved that, without taking the initiative in going to war with any one, they would resist the attempts of the Lacedaemonians. Such was their determination, and for a time they persisted in it: but immediately afterwards Cleomenes began to build the hostile fort in the territory of Megalopolis, called the Athenaeum,Near Bellina, a town on the north-west frontier of Laconia, which had long been a subject of dispute between Sparta and the Achaeans. Plutarch Arat. 4; Pausan. 8.35.4. and showed an undisguised and bitter hostility. Aratus and his colleagues accordingly summoned a meeting of the league, and it was decided to proclaim war openly against Sparta.
Polybius, Histories, book 2, Aratus Involves Megalopolis (search)
Aratus Involves Megalopolis It did not escape the observation of Aratus that the people of Megalopolis would be more ready than others to seek the protection of Antigonus, and the hopes of safety offered by Macedonia; for their neighbourhood to Sparta exposed them to attack before the other states; while they were unable to get thPhilip, son of Amyntas. Philip II. in the Peloponnese, B. C. 338. He therefore imparted his general design under pledge of secrecy to Nicophanes and Cercidas of Megalopolis, who were family friends of his own and of a character suited to the undertaking; and by their means experienced no difficulty in inducing the people of MegalopMegalopolis to send envoys to the league, to advise that an application for help should be made to Antigonus. Nicophanes and Cercidas were themselves selected to go on this mission to the league, and thence, if their view was accepted, to Antigonus. The league consented to allow the people of Megalopolis to send the mission; and according
Polybius, Histories, book 2, Antigonus Doson Will Help the League (search)
been put by Aratus with equal sincerity and ability: and after listening to them, he eagerly took the first necessary step by writing a letter to the people of Megalopolis with an offer of assistance, on condition that such a measure should receive the consent of the Achaeans. When Nicophanes and Cercidas returned home and delivered this despatch from the king, reporting at the same time his other expressions of goodwill and zeal in the cause, the spirits of the people of Megalopolis were greatly elated; and they were all eagerness to attend the meeting of the league, and urge that measures should be taken to secure the alliance of Antigonus, and to put thnd the king completely alienated from himself, as the Aetolians hoped he would be. He regarded it also as eminently favourable to his policy, that the people of Megalopolis were so eager to use the Achaean league as the channel of communication with Antigonus. For his first object was if possible to do without this assistance; but
Polybius, Histories, book 2, The Achaeans Must Appeal to Antigonus (search)
onian policy of Aratus, helps Cleomenes. friendship, began to furnish Cleomenes with supplies,—which he did with a view of setting him up as a foil to Antigonus, thinking the Lacedaemonians offered him better hopes than the Achaeans of being able to thwart the policy of the Macedonian kings.; and when the Achaeans themselves had suffered three defeats,—one at Lycaeum in an engagement with Cleomenes whom they had met on a march; and again in a pitched battle at Ladocaea in the territory of Megalopolis, in which Lydiades fell; and a third time decisively at a place called Hecatomboeum in the territory of Dyme where their whole forces had been engaged,—after these misfortunes, no further delay was possible, and they were compelled by the force of circumstances to appeal unanimously to Antigonus. Thereupon Aratus sent his son to Antigonus, and ratified the terms of the subvention. The great difficulty was this: it was believed to be certain that the king would send no assistance, except o<
Polybius, Histories, book 2, Antigonus Doson Appointed Generalissimo (search)
d took over the Acrocorinthus; and, without wasting time there, pushed on in his enterprise and entered Argos. He only stayed there long enough to compliment the Argives on their conduct, and to provide for the security of the city; and then immediately starting again directed his march towards Arcadia; and after ejecting. the garrisons from the posts which had been fortified by Cleomenes in the territories of Aegys and Belmina, and, putting those strongholds in the hands of the people of Megalopolis, he went to Aegium to attend the meeting of the Achaean league. There he made a statement of his own proceedings, and consulted with the meeting as to the measures to be taken in the future. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the allied army, and went into winter quarters at Sicyon and Corinth. At the approach of spring he broke up his camp and gotB. C. 223. Recovery of Tegea. on the march. On the third day he arrived at Tegea, and being joined there by the Achaean forces, he proceed
Polybius, Histories, book 2, Capture of Megalopolis (search)
Capture of Megalopolis But Cleomenes was on the alert. He saw that the Macedonians in the army of Antigonus had been sent home; and that the king and his mercenaries in Aegium were three days' march from Megalopolis; and this latter town he well knMegalopolis; and this latter town he well knew to be difficult to guard, owing to its great extent, and the sparseness of its inhabitants; and, moreover, that it was just then being kept with even greater carelessness than usual, owing to Antigonus being in the country; and what was more imponumber of its men of military age had fallen at the battles of Lycaeum and Ladoceia. There happened to be residing in Megalopolis some Messenian exiles; by whose help he managed, under cover of night, to get within the walls without being detected.o preclude the least hope that it might ever be restored. The reason of his acting in this manner was, I believe, that Megalopolis and Stymphalus were the only towns in which, during the vicissitudes of that period, he never succeeded in obtaining a
Polybius, Histories, book 2, The Loyalty of the Megalopolitans (search)
The Loyalty of the Megalopolitans There is another illustration of this writer's manner Megalopolis to be found in his treatment of the cases of Mantinea and Megalopolis. The misfortunes of the former he has depicted with his usual exaggeration andMegalopolis. The misfortunes of the former he has depicted with his usual exaggeration and picturesqueness: apparently from the notion, that it is the peculiar function of an historian to select for special mention only such actions as are conspicuously bad. But about the noble conduct of the Megalopolitans at that same period he has note magnanimity and moderation of Cleomenes towards his enemies. Nay, he has gone farther, and told us how the people of Megalopolis would not allow the letter to be read to the end, and were not far from stoning the bearers of it. Thus much he does y, and a siege of their town, we give not only praise but active gratitude: what must be our estimate of the people of Megalopolis? Must it not be of the most exalted character? First of all, they allowed their territory to be at the mercy of Cleome
Polybius, Histories, book 2, The Wealth of Megalopolis (search)
The Wealth of Megalopolis He does, however, state in the course of his narrative that, from the spoils of Megalopolis, six thousand talents fell to the Lacedaemonians, of which two thousand, according to custom, were given to Cleomenes. This shows, to begin with, an astounding ignorance of the ordinary facts as to the resources ofMegalopolis, six thousand talents fell to the Lacedaemonians, of which two thousand, according to custom, were given to Cleomenes. This shows, to begin with, an astounding ignorance of the ordinary facts as to the resources of Greece: a knowledge which above all others should be possessed by historians. I am not of course now speaking of the period in which the Peloponnese had been ruined by the Macedonian kings, and still more completely by a long continuance of intestine struggles; but of our own times, in which it is believed, by the establishment ofhe Peloponnese is not far wide of the mark. But at this period the most exaggerated estimate could scarcely give more than three hundred talents, as coming from Megalopolis itself; for it is acknowledged that most of the inhabitants, free and slaves, escaped to Messene. But the strongest confirmation of my words is the case of Mant
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