“But then, Achaeans, the abolition of the laws and ancient discipline of Lycurgus, with the demolition of the walls, are unquestionably your acts:
now how can both these charges be brought forward by the same persons, since the walls of Lacedaemon were built, not by Lycurgus, but a few years ago, for the purpose of subverting the discipline of Lycurgus?
The tyrants erected them lately as a fortress and defence for themselves, not for the state; and if Lycurgus should rise this day from the dead, he would rejoice at their ruins, and would say that he now acknowledged his country, and ancient Sparta.
You ought not to have waited for Philopœmen, or the Achaeans; you should have removed and razed, with your own hands, every vestige of tyranny; for these were the foul scars of slavery.
And as during almost eight hundred years, while ye were without walls, ye were free, and for some time even chiefs of Greece; so, after being bound with walls, as with fetters, you were slaves for one hundred years.
As to what concerns the abrogating their laws, I conceive that the tyrants took away the ancient laws of Lacedaemon, and that we did not deprive them of their [p. 1833]
own laws which they did not possess, but gave them ours;
nor did we neglect the interests of their state, when we made it a member of our council, and incorporated it with ourselves, so that the whole Peloponnesus should form one body and one council.
If we were living under laws different from what we imposed on them, in that case I think they might complain of being treated unfairly, and consequently be displeased.
I know, Appius Claudius, that the kind of discourse which I have hitherto used is not proper either for allies, addressing their allies, or for an independent nation; but, in truth, for slaves pleading before their masters.
For if the herald's proclamation, in which you ordered the Achaeans, first of all the states of Greece, to be free, was any thing more than empty sound; if the treaty be valid, if the alliance and friendship be maintained on equal terms, why do not I inquire what you Romans did, on the taking of Capua, as well as you demand what we, the Achaeans, did towards the Lacedaemonians, when we conquered them in war? Some persons were killed, suppose, by us.
What! did not you behead the Campanian senators? We demolished their walls: you not only destroyed the walls, but you took the city and the lands.
But you say, the treaty is on equal terms only in appearance, but, in reality, the Achaeans possess a precarious state of freedom, while the Romans enjoy supreme power.
I am sensible of it, Appius; and if I ought not, I do not remonstrate;
but, I beseech you, let the difference between the Romans and Achaeans be as great as it may, not to place people, who are foes to both, on an equal footing with us, your allies, or even on a better.
For, as to setting them on an equality, that we ourselves have done, when we gave them our own laws, when we made them members of the Achaean council. Vanquished, —they are not content with what satisfies their conquerors; foes, —they demand more than allies enjoy.
What we have ratified by our oaths, what we have consecrated as inviolable to eternal remembrance, by records engraved in stone, they want to abolish, and to load us with perjury.
Romans, for you we have high respect; and, if such is your wish, dread also; but we more respect and dread the the immortal gods.” He was heard with general approbation, and all declared that he had spoken as became the dignity of his office; so that it was easily seen, that the Romans could [p. 1834]
not support their ascendency by acting gently.
Appius then said, that "he earnestly recommended it to the Achaeans to conciliate friendship, while it was in their power to act voluntarily; lest they might presently do so unwillingly and by compulsion.
"These words were heard by all with grief, but inspired them with fear of refusing compliance.
They only requested the Romans “to make such alterations respecting the Lacedaemonians as they should judge proper, and not ininvolve the Achaeans in the guilt of annulling what they had sanctioned with their oaths.”
Nothing more was done, only the sentence lately passed on Areus and Alcibiades was reversed.