Violent Policy of Critolaus
And when some of the Gerusia wished to check him,
Critolaus carries his point, and induces the Achaeans to pro-
and restrain him from the use of such expressions, he ordered the soldiers surrounding him
to retire, and stood up fronting his opponents,
and bade any one of them come up to him,
come near him, or venture to touch his chlamys.
And, finally, he said that "He had restrained
himself now for a long time; but would endure
it no longer, and must speak his mind.
claim war against the Lacedaemonians.
The people to fear
were not Lacedaemonians or Romans, but the traitors among
themselves who co-operated with their foes: for there were
some who cared more for Romans and Lacedaemonians than
for their own country." He added, as a confirmation of his
words, that Evagoras of Aegium and Stratius of Tritaea
betrayed to Gnaeus Papirius and his fellow-commissioners all
the secret proceedings in the meetings of the magistrates.
And when Stratius acknowledged that he had had interviews
with those men, and should do so again, as they were friends
and allies, but asserted that he had told them nothing of what
was said in the meetings of the magistrates, some few believed
him, but the majority accepted the accusation as true. And
so Critolaus, having inflamed the people by his accusations
against these men, induced the Achaeans once more to decree a
war which was nominally against the Lacedaemonians, but in
effect was against the Romans; and he got another decree
added, which was a violation of the constitution, namely, that
whomsoever they should elect as Strategi should have absolute
power in carrying on the war. He thus got for himself something like a despotism.
Having carried these measures, he began intriguing to
The Roman envoys retire from Corinth.
bring on an outbreak and cause an attack upon
the Roman envoys. He had no pretext for
doing this; but adopted a course which, of all
possible courses, offends most flagrantly against the laws of
gods and man. The envoys, however, separated; Gnaeus
Papirius went to Athens and thence to Sparta to watch the
turn of events; Aulus Gabinius went to Naupactus; and the
other two remained at Athens, waiting for the arrival of Caecilius Metellus. This was the state of things in the Peloponnese. . .