Crimes of Aristomachus
But this shows that we ought not to be indignant if
a man reaps as he has sown; but rather if he is allowed to
end his days in peace, without experiencing such retribution
at all. Nor ought we to accuse Antigonus or Aratus of crime,
for having racked and put to death a tyrant whom they had
captured in war: to have killed and wreaked vengeance on
whom, even in time of peace, would have brought praise and
honour to the doers from all right-minded persons.
But when, in addition to these crimes, he was guilty also of
treachery to the league, what shall we say that he deserved?
The facts of the case are these. He abdicated his sovereignty
shortly before, finding himself in difficulties, owing to
the state of affairs brought on by the death of Demetrius. He
was, however, protected by the clemency and generosity of the
league; and, much to his own surprise, was left unmolested.
For the Achaean government not only secured him an
indemnity for all crimes committed by him while despot, but
admitted him as a member of the league, and invested him
with the highest office in it,—that, namely, of Commander-in-Chief and
All these favours he immediately forgot,
as soon as his hopes were a little raised by the Cleomenic war;
and at a crisis of the utmost importance he withdrew his
native city, as well as his own personal adhesion, from the
league, and attached them to its enemies. For such an act
of treason what he deserved was not to be racked under cover
of night at Cenchreae, and then put to death, as Phylarchus
says: he ought to have been taken from city to city in the
, and to have ended his life only after exemplary
torture in each of them. And yet the only severity that this
guilty wretch had to endure was to be drowned in the sea by
order of the officers at Cenchreae.