When Philip saw that the decision must be reached on the battlefield and that he must [p. 267]
collect around himself forces from every quarter, -1
especially concerned about the cities of Achaea, a region far away from him, and yet more concerned about Argos than Corinth, it seemed the best plan to commit Argos on deposit, as it were, to Nabis, the tyrant of the Lacedaemonians, with the provision that he would restore it to him if victorious, but that Nabis himself should keep it if misfortune should come, and he wrote to Philocles, who was in charge of Corinth and Argos, that he should have an interview with the tyrant.
Philocles, apart from the fact that he was already coming bringing gifts, added as a pledge of future friendship between the king and the tyrant, that the king wished to unite his daughters in marriage with the sons of Nabis.
The tyrant at first refused to accept the city on any other terms than an invitation to assist the city, proffered by a decree of the Argives themselves;
later, when he heard them mentioning the name of tyrant in a crowded assembly not only with scorn but even with cursing, he, thinking that he had found a cause for despoiling them, bade Philocles deliver the city to him when he pleased.
The tyrant was admitted to the city at night, without the knowledge of anyone; when day came all the commanding sites were in his hands and the gates were closed.
A few of the leading men got away in the first confusion and their property was plundered in their absence; the gold and silver of those who remained was appropriated and heavy fines imposed upon them.
Those who paid promptly were let go without insult or bodily injury; those who were suspected of concealing or holding back assets were punished and tortured like slaves.
Then he called an assembly and proposed measures, [p. 269]
one for the cancellation of debts,2
the other for a3
distribution of land to individuals, thus lighting two torches with which revolutionists could inflame the commons against the nobility.