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The Treatment of Mantinea

Now the people of Mantinea had in the first instance
B. C. 227.
abandoned the league, and voluntarily submitted, first to the Aetolians, and afterwards to Cleomenes. Being therefore, in accordance with this policy, members of the Lacedaemonian community, in the fourth year before the coming of Antigonus, their city was forcibly taken possession of by the Achaeans owing to the skilful plotting of Aratus. But on that occasion, so far from being subjected to any severity for their act of treason, it became a matter of general remark how promptly the feelings of the conquerors and the conquered underwent a revolution. As soon as he had got possession of the town, Aratus issued orders to his own men that no one was to lay a finger on anything that did not belong to him; and then, having summoned the Mantineans to a meeting, he bade them be of good cheer, and stay in their own houses; for that, as long as they remained members of the league, their safety was secured. On their part, the Mantineans, surprised at this unlooked - for prospect of safety, immediately experienced a universal revulsion of feeling. The very men against whom they had a little while before been engaged in a war, in which they had seen many of their kinsfolk killed, and no small number grievously wounded, they now received into their houses, and entertained as their guests, interchanging every imaginable kindness with them. And naturally so. For I believe that there never were men who met with more kindly foes, or came out of a struggle with what seemed the most dreadful disasters more scatheless, than did the Mantineans, owing to the humanity of Aratus and the Achaeans towards them.

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    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 32.5
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