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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 nauseam. 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.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 32.19
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