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The date fixed for the Isthmian Games was now close at hand. These Games always drew vast crowds, owing partly to the innate love of the nation for a spectacle in which they watched contests of every kind, competitions [2??] of artistic skill, and trials of strength and speed, and partly owing to the fact that its situation between two seas made it the common emporium of Greece and Asia, where supplies were to be obtained of everything necessary or useful to man.  But on this occasion it was not the usual attractions alone that drew the people from every part of Greece; they were in a state of keen expectancy, wondering what would be the future position of the country, and what fortune awaited themselves. All sorts of conjectures were formed and openly expressed as to what the Romans would do, but hardly anybody persuaded himself that they would withdraw from Greece altogether.  When the spectators had taken their seats, a herald, accompanied by a trumpeter, stepped forward into the middle of the arena, where the Games are usually opened by the customary formalities, and after a blast from the trumpet had produced silence, made the following announcement:  "THE SENATE OF ROME AND T. QUINCTIUS, THEIR GENERAL, HAVING CONQUERED KING PHILIP AND THE MACEDONIANS DO NOW DECREE AND ORDAIN THAT THESE STATES SHALL BE FREE, SHALL BE RELEASED FROM THE PAYMENT OF TRIBUTE, AND SHALL LIVE UNDER THEIR OWN LAWS, NAMELY THE CORINTHIANS; [6??] THE PHOCIANS; ALL THE LOCRIANS TOGETHER WITH THE ISLAND OF EUBOEA; THE MAGNESIANS; THE THESSALIANS; THE PERRHAEBIANS, AND THE ACHAEANS OF PHTHIOTIS." This list comprised all those States which had been under the sway of Philip.  When the herald had finished his proclamation the feeling of joy was too great for men to take it all in. They hardly ventured to trust their ears, and gazed wonderingly on one another, as though it were an empty dream.  Not trusting their ears, they asked those nearest how their own interests were affected, and as everyone was eager not only to hear but also to see the man who had proclaimed their freedom, the herald was recalled and repeated his message.  Then they realised that the joyful news was true, and from the applause and cheers which arose it was perfectly evident that none of life's blessings was dearer to the multitude than liberty.  The Games were then hurried through; no man's eyes or ears were any longer fixed on them, so completely had the one master joy supplanted all other pleasurable sensations.
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