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Philip Advances Southward

The peoples of Dyme, Pharae, and Tritaea having been worsted in their attempt to relieve the country, and afraid of what would happen from this capture of the fort, first sent messengers to the Strategus, Aratus, to inform him of what had happened and to ask for aid, and afterwards a formal embassy with the same request.
Inactivity of Aratus. Dyme, Pharae, and Tritaea separate from the league.
But Aratus was unable to get the mercenaries together, because in the Cleomenic war the Achaeans had failed to pay some of the wages of the hired troops: and his entire policy and management of the whole war was in a word without spirit or nerve. Accordingly Lycurgus seized the Athenaeum of Megalopolis, and Euripidas followed up his former successes by taking Gortyna1 in the territory of Telphusa. But the people of Dyme, Pharae, and Tritaea, despairing of assistance from the Strategus, came to a mutual agreement to cease paying the common contribution to the Achaean league, and to collect a mercenary army on their own account, three hundred infantry and fifty horse; and to secure the country by their means. In this action they were considered to have shown a prudent regard for their own interests, but not for those of the community at large; for they were thought to have set an evil example, and supplied a precedent to those whose wish it was to break up the league. But in fact the chief blame for their proceeding must rightfully be assigned to the Strategus, who pursued such a dilatory policy, and slighted or wholly rejected the prayers for help which reached him from time to time. For as long as he has any hope, from relations and allies, any man who is in danger will cling to them; but when in his distress he has to give up that hope, he is forced to help himself the best way he can. Wherefore we must not find fault with the people of Tritaea, Pharae, and Dyme for having mercenaries on their own account, when the chief magistrate of the league hesitated to act: but some blame does attach to them for renouncing the joint contribution. They certainly were not bound to neglect to secure their own safety by every opportunity and means in their power; but they were bound at the same time to keep up their just dues to the league: especially as the recovery of such payment was perfectly secured to them by the common laws; and most of all because they had been the originators of the Achaean confederacy.2

1 Gortyna or Gortys is an emendation of Reiske for Gorgus, which is not known. Gortys is mentioned by Pausanias, 5, 7, 1; 8, 27, 4; 8, 28, 1; it was on the river Bouphagus, and in the time of Pausanias was a mere village.

2 See 2, 41. We have no hint, as far as I know, of the circumstances under which such recovery would take place. We may conjecture from this passage that it would be on showing that losses had been sustained by reason of a failure of the league to give protection.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), THELPU´SA
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (3):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.27.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.7.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.28.1
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