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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. . .

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