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The Romans again despatched a senator to Greece. His name was Gallus, and his instructions were to arbitrate between the Lacedaemonians and the Argives in the case of a disputed piece of territory. This Gallus on many occasions behaved towards the Greek race with great arrogance, both in word and deed, while he made a complete mock of the Lacedaemonians and Argives. These states had reached the highest degree of renown, and in a famous war of old had poured out their blood like water because of a dispute about boundaries, while later Philip, the son of Amyntas, had acted as arbitrator to settle their differences; yet now Gallus disdained to arbitrate in person, and entrusted the decision to Callicrates, the most abominable wretch in all Greece. There also came to Gallus the Aetolians living at Pleuron, who wished to detach themselves from the Achaean confederacy. Gallus allowed them to send on their own an embassy to Rome, and the Romans allowed them to secede from the Achaean League.
There also arrived in Greece the envoys despatched from Rome to arbitrate between the Lacedaemonians and the Achaeans, among them being Orestes. He invited to visit him the magistrates in each of the Greek cities, along with Diaeus. When they arrived at his lodging, he proceeded to disclose to them the whole story, that the Roman senate decreed that neither the Lacedaemonians nor yet Corinth itself should belong to the Achaean League, and that Argos, Heracleia by Mount Oeta and the Arcadian Orchomenus should be released from the Achaean confederacy. For they were not, he said, related at all to the Achaeans, and but late-comers to the League. The magistrates of the Achaeans did not wait for Orestes to conclude, but while he was yet speaking ran out of the house and summoned the Achaeans to an assembly. When the Achaeans heard the decision of the Romans, they at once turned against the Spartans who happened to be then residing in Corinth, and arrested every one, not only those whom they
The Romans, learning the news from the envoys sent to Greece and from the despatches of Metellus, decided that the Achaeans were in the wrong, and they ordered Mummius, the consul elected for that year, to lead a fleet with a land force against them. As soon as Metellus learned that Mummius and his army were comingThe reading of t
t Kayser's emendation, a)fi/coito, is right. to fight the Achaeans, he was full of enthusiasm to bring the war to a conclusion without help before Mummius reached Greece.
So he despatched envoys to the Achaeans, bidding them release from the League the Lacedaemonians and the other states mentioned in the order of the Romans, promi Metellus there. To such a depth of terror did he sink that brighter hopes were not suggested even by the spot itself, the site of the Lacedaemonian effort to save Greece480 B.C., and of the no less glorious exploit of the Athenians against the Gauls279 B.C..
Critolaus and the Achaeans took to flight, but at a short distance from S
It was at this time that Greece was struck with universal and utter prostration, although parts of it from the beginning had suffered ruin and devastation at the hand of heaven. Argos, a city that reached the zenith of its power in the days of the heroes, as they are called, was deserted by its good fortune at the Dorian revolution. The people of Attica, reviving after the Peloponnesian war and the plague, raised themselves again only to be struck down a few years later by the ascendancy of Mace
ies a strathgo/s could have—disloyalty and corruptibility as well as cowardice. of its generals.
At a later time, when the Roman imperial power devolved upon Nero, he gave to the Roman people the very prosperous island of Sardinia in exchange for Greece, and then bestowed upon the latter complete freedom. When I considered this act of Nero it struck me how true is the remark of Plato, the son of Ariston, who says that the greatest and most daring crimes are committed, not by ordinary men, but by