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Callicrates Sent to Rome

This year the Achaean Strategus Hyperbatus brought
B. C. 180. Debate in the Achaean assembly on the Roman despatch.
before the assembly the question of the letter from Rome as to the recall of the Lacedaemonian exiles. Lycortas and his party recommended that no change should be made, on the ground that "The Romans had only acted as they were bound to do in listening to the petition of men who, on the face of it, were deprived of their rights, so far as that petition seemed reasonable; but when they were convinced that of a petition some points were impossible, and others such as to inflict great disgrace and damage upon their friends, it had never been their custom to insist upon them peremptorily, or force their adoption. So in this case also, if it were shown to them that the Achaeans by obeying their letter would be breaking their oaths, their laws, and the provisions engraved on the tablets, the very bonds of our league, they will retract their orders, and will admit that we are right to hesitate and to ask to be excused from carrying out its injunctions." Such was the speech of Lycortas. But Hyperbatus and Callicrates advised submission to the letter, and that they should hold its authority superior to law or tablet or anything else. Such being the division of opinion, the Achaeans voted to send ambassadors to the Senate, to put before it the points contained in the speech of Lycortas. Callicrates of Leontium, Lydiades of Megalopolis, and Aratus of Sicyon were forthwith nominated for this mission, and were despatched with instructions to this effect. But on their arrival at Rome Callicrates went before the Senate, and, so far from addressing it in accordance with his instructions, he on the contrary entered upon an elaborate denunciation of his political opponents; and, not contented with that, he undertook to rebuke the Senate itself.

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