Disingenuous Policy of the Spartans
Meanwhile, the time of the annual election having
come round, the Aetolians elected Scopas as
their Strategus, the man who had been the
moving spirit in all these acts of violence.
Scopas elected Aetolian Strategus.
I am at a loss
for fitting terms to describe such a public
policy. To pass a decree against going to war,1
and yet to go
on an actual expedition in force and pillage their neighbours'
territories: not to punish one of those responsible for this: but
on the contrary to elect as Strategi and bestow honours on the
leaders in these transactions,—this seems to me to involve the
grossest disingenuousness. I can find no word which better
describes such a treacherous policy; and I will quote two instances to show
what I mean by it.
When Phoebidas treacherously seized the Cadmeia, the Lacedaemonians
fined the guilty general but declined to withdraw the garrison, on the ground that the wrong was fully
atoned for by the punishment of the perpetrator of it: though
their plain duty was to have done the reverse, for it was the
latter which was of importance to the Thebans.
same people published a proclamation giving the various
cities freedom and autonomy in accordance
with the terms of the peace of Antalcidas, and
yet did not withdraw their Harmosts from the cities.
having driven the Mantineans from their
home, who were at the time their friends
and allies, they denied that they were doing any wrong,
inasmuch as they removed them from one city and settled
them in several. But indeed a man is a fool, as much as a
knave, if he imagines that, because he shuts his own eyes,
his neighbours cannot see. Their fondness for such tortuous policy proved however, both to the Lacedaemonians and
Aetolians, the source of the greatest disasters; and it is not
one which should commend itself to the imitation either of
individuals or states, if they are well advised.
King Philip, then, after his interview with the Achaean
assembly, started with his army on the way to Macedonia
all haste to make preparations for war; leaving a pleasant impression in the minds of all the Greeks: for the nature of the
decree, which I have mentioned as having been passed by him,2
gave them good hopes of finding him a man of moderate
temper and royal magnanimity.