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Opening of the Social War

This decree was made in the first year of the
B. C. 220.
140th Olympiad, and with it began the so-called Social war, the commencement of which was thoroughly justifiable and a natural consequence of the injurious acts of the Aetolians. The first step of the congress was to send commissioners at once to the several allies, that the decree having been confirmed by as many as possible, all might join in this national war. Philip also sent a declaratory letter to the Aetolians, in order that, if they had any justification to put forward on the points alleged against them, they might even at that late hour meet and settle the controversy by conference: "but if they supposed that they were, with no public declaration of war, to sack and plunder, without the injured parties retaliating, on pain of being considered, if they did so, to have commenced hostilities, they were the most simple people in the world." On the receipt of this letter the Aetolian magistrates, thinking that Philip would never come, named a day on which they would meet him at Rhium. When they were informed, however, that he had actually arrived there, they sent a despatch informing him that they were not competent, before the meeting of the Aetolian assembly, to settle any public matter on their own authority. But when the Achaeans met at the usual federal assembly, they ratified the decree, and published a proclamation authorising reprisals upon the Aetolians. And when King Philip appeared before the council at Aegium, and informed them at length of all that had taken place, they received his speech with warmth, and formally renewed with him personally the friendship which had existed between his ancestors and themselves.
Autumn, B.C. 220.

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SYLAE
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