at the beginning of spring called out the army and encamped within the
borders of the Lacedaemonians, and then sent ambassadors to demand the men responsible for the revolt and to promise that the state should be at peace if they did this and that those men should suffer no injury without the opportunity to plead their cause in court.
The rest kept silent from fear; those whom he had demanded by name declared that they would go on receipt from the ambassadors of a guaranty that they should suffer no violence until they had pleaded their cause.
Other well-known men also went with them, both to support them as private citizens and because they knew that their case affected the public interest.
Under no other circumstances had the Achaeans taken Lacedaemonian exiles with them to the frontiers,2
because it was obvious that nothing would offend so much the feelings of the state; on this occasion practically the whole of the advance troops of the army consisted of exiles.
They formed in a body and met the Lacedaemonians as they came to the gates of the camp; and at first they assailed them with insults and then, as a quarrel broke out and passions were aroused, the most impetuous of the exiles attacked the Lacedaemonians.
When they appealed to the gods and the pledges of the ambassadors, both the ambassadors and the praetor were trying to push the mob aside and to protect the Lacedaemonians and to restrain some who were already binding them with chains.
The crowd grew as the [p. 111]
excitement increased; and first the Achaeans rushed3
up to see the sight;
then the exiles began bitterly to proclaim what they had suffered and to beg for aid, at the same time asserting that they would never have such an opportunity if they let this one slip; the treaty, they said, which had been ratified with religious sanction on the Capitoline, at Olympia, and on the Acropolis at Athens, had been made void by those men;4
before they were bound anew by another treaty they urged that the guilty should be punished.
Then the multitude, inflamed by these words, at the call of one man, who shouted out that they should strike, began to throw stones. And so seventeen of those who had been put into chains in the excitement were killed.5
The next day sixty-three were arrested whom the praetor had protected against violence, not because he was concerned for their safety but because he did not wish them to be killed without pleading their cause, becoming the victims of an angry mob, and when they had spoken briefly to hostile ears all were condemned and handed over for execution.