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Machatas Proposes Foreign War to Quell Domestic Strife

When Machatas heard what had happened at Sparta,
Spartans attack Argos, and proclaim war with the Achaeans.
he returned thither and urged the Ephors and kings to go to war with the Achaeans; arguing that that was the only way of stopping the ambition of the party in Sparta who were doing all they could to break up the alliance with the Aetolians, or of the party in Aetolia who were co-operating with them. Having obtained the consent of the Ephors and kings, Machatas returned home with a success secured him by the blindness of his partisans in Sparta; while Lycurgus with the army and certain others of the citizens invaded the Argive territory, the inhabitants being quite unprepared for an attack, owing to the existing settlement. By a sudden assault he seized Polichna, Prasiae, Leucae, and Cyphanta, but was repulsed at Glympes and Zarax. After these achievements of their king, the Lacedaemonians proclaimed a licence of reprisal against the Achaeans. With the Eleans also Machatas was successful in persuading them, by the same arguments as he had used at Sparta, to go to war with the Achaeans.

The unexpected success of these intrigues caused the Aetolians to enter upon the war with high spirits. But it was quite the contrary with the Achaeans: for Philip, on whom their hopes rested, was still busy with his preparations; the Epirotes were hesitating about going to war, and the Messenians were entirely passive; and meantime the Aetolians, aided by the blind policy of the Eleans and Lacedaemonians, were threatening them with actual war on every side.

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