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When Lysistratus was archon at Athens, civil strife arose among the Romans, one party thinking there should be consuls, others that military tribunes should be chosen. For a time then anarchy supervened on civil strife, later they decided to choose six military tribunes, and those elected were Lucius Aemilius, Gaius Verginius, Servius Sulpicius, Lucius Quintius, Gaius Cornelius, and Gaius Valerius. [2] During their term of office Polydorus of Pherae the ruler of Thessaly was poisoned by Alexander2 his nephew, who had challenged him to a drinking bout, and the nephew Alexander succeeded to the rule as overlord and held it for eleven years. Having acquired the rule illegally and by force, he administered it consistently with the policy he had chosen to follow. For while the rulers before him had treated the peoples with moderation and were therefore loved, he was hated for his violent and severe rule.3 [3] Accordingly, in fear of his lawlessness, some Larissaeans, called Aleuadae4 because of their noble descent, conspired together to overthrow the overlordship. Journeying from Larissa to Macedonia, they prevailed upon the King Alexander to join them in overthrowing the tyrant. [4] But while they were occupied with these matters, Alexander of Pherae, learning of the preparations against him, gathered such men as were conveniently situated for the campaign, intending to give battle in Macedonia. But the Macedonian king, accompanied by refugees from Larissa, anticipated the enemy by invading Larissa with the army, and having been secretly admitted by the Larissaeans within the fortifications, he mastered the city with the exception of the citadel. [5] Later he took the citadel by siege, and, having also won the city of Crannon, at first covenanted to restore the cities to the Thessalians, but then, in contempt of public opinion, he brought into them garrisons of considerable strength and held the cities himself.5 Alexander of Pherae, hotly pursued and alarmed at the same time, returned to Pherae.

Such was the state of affairs in Thessaly.

1 369/8 B.C.

2 According to Xen. Hell. 6.4.33, Polydorus and Polyphron, brothers of Jason, succeeded Jason; Polyphron slew Polydorus and was himself slain by Alexander, son of Polydorus, the next year (Xen. Hell. 6.4.34). For Alexander's death see Book 16.14.1.

3 Xenophon attests the cruel character of his rule (Xen. Hell. 6.4.35 ff.).

4 Supposedly descended from Aleuas, a Heraclid, the Aleuadae formed two branches: the Aleuadae of Larissa and the Scopadae of Crannon. They were the great aristocrats of Thessalian society.

5 See chap. 67.4.

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