The most popular of the festivals, the famous spectacle of the Nemean Games, which had been omitted at the usual time because of the misfortunes of war, was now, on the arrival of the Roman army and commander, proclaimed by the joyful citizens, who had chosen the general himself to preside at the games.
There were many things which added to their joy: those of their countrymen had been brought back from Lacedaemon, who had been taken there by Pythagoras recently and by Nabis earlier;
the men had come back who had escaped after the discovery of the conspiracy1
by Pythagoras and after the executions had begun; they saw liberty recovered after a long interval,2
and they beheld the authors of that liberty, —the Romans, whose cause for warring with the tyrant they had themselves been.
Moreover, the freedom of the Argives was proclaimed by the voice of the herald on the very day of the Nemean Games. As regards the Achaeans, whatever joy the restoration of Argos to the common council of Achaea brought to them was rendered incomplete to the same degree by the fact that Lacedaemon was left enslaved, with the tyrant close at hand;
the Aetolians, too, attacked the position of affairs at all their meetings: with Philip, they said, there had been no cessation from war until he had evacuated all the cities of Greece;
Sparta was abandoned to the tyrant, and its legal king, though [p. 527]
in the Roman camp, and other citizens of the highest3
station, would live in exile; the Roman army had become the ready agent of Nabis' despotism.
From Argos Quinctius led his troops back to Elatia, whence he had set out to the Spartan war.
There are some4
who say that the tyrant fought the war, not by making sallies from the town,
but by placing his camp face to face with the Roman, and that after long delay, because he was waiting for aid from the Aetolians, he was in the end compelled to fight in battle array when the Romans attacked his foragers;
defeated in that battle and expelled from his camp, he asked for peace, after fourteen thousand of his men had been killed and more than four thousand captured.