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Aristaenus's Attitude to Rome

Aristaenus used to defend his policy before the Achaeans
The view of Aristaenus on the right attitude towards Rome.
by some such arguments as these: "It was impossible to maintain the Roman friendship by holding out the spear and the herald's staff together. If we have the resolution to withstand them face to face, and can do so, well and good. But if Philopoemen himself does not venture to assert this,1 . . . why should we lose what is possible in striving for the impossible? There are but two marks that every policy must aim at—honour and expediency. Those to whom honour is a possible attainment should stick to that, if they have political wisdom; those to whom it is not must take refuge in expediency. To miss both is the surest proof of unwisdom: and the men to do that are clearly those who, while ostensibly consenting to obey orders, carry them out with reluctance and hesitation. Therefore we must either show that we are strong enough to refuse obedience, or, if we dare not venture even to suggest that, we must give a ready submission to orders."

1 Something is lost from the text.

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