The Freedom of Greece
Upon this decree being published in Greece, it created
Objections of the Aetolians.
a feeling of confidence and gratification in all
the communities except the Aetolians. These
last were annoyed at not getting all they expected, and attempted to run down the decree by saying that
it was mere words, without anything practical in it; and they
based upon the clauses of the decree itself some such arguments as follow, by way of disquieting those who would listen
to them. They said "That there were two distinct clauses in
the decree relating to the cities garrisoned by Philip: one
ordering him to remove those garrisons and to hand over the
cities to the Romans; the other bidding him withdraw his
garrisons and set the cities free. Those that were to be set
free were definitely named, and they were towns in Asia; and
it was plain, therefore, that those which were to be handed
over to the Romans were those in Europe, namely, Oreus,
Eretria, Chalcis, Demetrias, and Corinth. Hence it was
plain that the Romans were receiving the 'fetters of Greece'
from the hands of Philip, and that the Greeks were getting,
not freedom, but a change of masters."
These arguments of the Aetolians were repeated ad
But, meanwhile, Flamininus left Elateia with the
The commissioners sit at Corinth, and declare all Greek cities free, except the Acrocorinthus, Demetrias, and Chalcis.
ten commissioners, and having crossed to Anticyra, sailed
straight to Corinth, and there sat in council with the commissioners, and considered the whole settlement to be made.
But as the adverse comments of the Aetolians
obtained wide currency, and were accepted by
some, Flamininus was forced to enter upon
many elaborate arguments in the meetings of
the commission, trying to convince the commissioners that if they wished to acquire unalloyed praise from the Greeks, and to establish
firmly in the minds of all that they had originally come into
the country not to gain any advantage for Rome, but simply
to secure the freedom of Greece, they must abandon every
district and free all the cities now garrisoned by Philip. But
this was just the point in dispute among the commissioners;
for, as to all other cities, a decision had been definitely arrived
at in Rome, and the ten commissioners had express instructions; but about Chalcis, Corinth, and Demetrias they had
been allowed a discretion on account of Antiochus, in order
that they might take such measures as they thought best from
a view of actual events. For it was notorious that this king
had for some time past been meditating an interference in
Europe. However, as far as Corinth was concerned, Flamininus prevailed on the commissioners to free it at once and
restore it to the Achaean league, from respect to the terms of
the original agreement; but he retained the Acrocorinthus,
Demetrias, and Chalcis.