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Condition of Megalopolis

After adjusting these matters, he settled in accordance with the decree of the league the intestine disputes at Megalopolis. For it happened that the people of this town having been recently deprived of their country by Cleomenes,1 and, to use a common expression, shaken to their foundations, were in absolute want of many things, and ill-provided with all: for they persisted in maintaining their usual scale of living, while their means both public and private were entirely crippled. The consequence was that the town was filled with disputes, jealousies, and mutual hatred; which is ever the case, both with states and individuals, when means fall short of desires. The first controversy was about the walling of the town,—one party maintaining that the limits of the city should be contracted to a size admitting of being completely walled and guarded at a time of danger; for that in the late occasion it was its size and unguarded state which had caused their disaster. In addition to this it was maintained by this party that the landowners should contribute the third part of their land to provide for the enrolment of new citizens. The other party rejected the notion of contracting the limits of the city and would not consent to contribute a third part of their lands. But the most serious controversy of all was in regard to the laws draughted for them by Prytanis, an eminent Peripatetic philosopher, whom Antigonus Doson appointed to draw them up a constitution. In this distracted state of politics, Aratus intervened with all the earnestness he could command, and succeeded in pacifying the heated feelings of the citizens. The terms on which the controversies were settled were engraved on a column, and set up near the altar of Vesta in the Homarium.2

1 See 2, 61-4. B.C. 222.

2 See 2, 39.

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    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 32.22
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