As far as the abolition of the laws is concerned, I consider that the tyrants took away their ancient laws from the Lacedaemonians; that we did not [p. 337]
take from them what they did not possess, but gave2
them our own laws;
I believe, too, that the measures we took were not for the disadvantage of the Lacedaemonian state, since we made it part of our League and united it with us, so that there was one body and one council for the whole Peloponnesus. Then and then only, in my judgment, if we ourselves lived under one code and imposed another upon them, would they be able to complain and feel indignant that their status was unfair.
“I know, Appius Claudius, that the speech that I have thus far delivered is neither that of allies in the presence of allies nor that of a free people, but in reality that of slaves arguing before their masters. For if those words of the herald, with which you Romans ordered the Achaeans first of all to be free,3
were not a mere sham, if the treaty was in fact valid, if the alliance and friendship are being impartially observed, why do I not ask what you Romans did when you took Capua, as you demand an explanation of what we Achaeans did when the Lacedaemonians were conquered in war?4
Some of them, let us assume, were killed by us: what of it? Did you not behead Campanian senators? But, you say, we tore down their walls: you destroyed, not the walls alone, but the city, the farm lands. The treaty, you say, looks as if it were between equals: in fact, among the Achaeans liberty is a thing bestowed as a favour, among the Romans it amounts even to sovereignty.5
I know this, Appius, and if I should [p. 339]
not I do not object; but at any rate I beg you, no6
matter how great the difference may be between the Romans and the Achaeans, not to permit your enemies and ours to be on an equal footing before you with us, your allies, or rather on a better footing. For we brought it about that they were equal when we gave them our laws, when we made them members of the Achaean League. That is too little for the conquered which is sufficient for the conquerors; enemies demand more than allies possess!
Those things which were made sanctified and sacred by oath, by written records7
carved on stone for eternal preservation, they are trying, by making us perjurers, to destroy. Indeed we respect you, Romans, and, if you wish it so, we even fear you; but still more do we both respect and fear the immortal gods.”8
Lycortas was heard with applause on the part of the majority, and all said that he had spoken in a manner consistent with the dignity of his office, so that it was readily apparent that by a soft answer the Romans could not maintain their position. Then Appius said that he earnestly advised the Achaeans to come to terms while it was still possible to do so of their own free will, lest presently they be forced to take the same action against their will and under compulsion.
This speech was received with a general groan, but it made the Achaeans fear to refuse what [p. 341]
They requested only this, that the9
Romans should make such changes as seemed proper to them regarding the Lacedaemonians and should not involve the Achaeans in the religious difficulty of making void what they had ratified by oath.10
Only the vote of condemnation which had recently been passed on Areus and Alcibiades was repealed.
XXXVIII. At Rome, in the beginning of this year, when the question of the provinces for the consuls and praetors came up, the Ligurians were decreed to the consuls, since there was war nowhere else. Of the praetors, Gaius Decimius Flavus received the civil jurisdiction, Publius Cornelius Cethegus that between citizens and aliens, Gaius Sempronius Blaesus Sicily, Quintus Naevius Matho Sardinia and the additional task of investigating cases of poisoning, Aulus Terentius Varro Nearer Spain, Publius Sempronius Longus Farther Spain. From these two provinces at about the same time came the lieutenants, Lucius Juventius Talna and Titus Quinctilius Varus, who, after informing the senate how great a war had now been finished in Spain, asked at the same time that by reason of such victories honour should be paid to the immortal gods and that the praetors should be permitted to bring home their armies.11
A thanksgiving for two days was decreed: as to bringing back the legions, they ordered that the question should be brought up anew when the matter of troops for the consuls and praetors was discussed. A few days later the consuls were assigned, for service against the Ligurians, two legions each, which had been under the command of Appius Claudius and Marcus Sempronius. With respect to the Spanish armies, great strife arose between the new praetors and the [p. 343]
friends of the absent, Calpurnius and Quinctius.12
Each side had tribunes of the people, each a consul. The one side threatened that they would veto a decree of the senate if they should vote that the armies should be brought home: the others, that if this veto should be used they would permit no other decree to be passed.13
In the end the influence of the absent praetors proved unavailing, and a decree of the senate was passed that the praetors should enlist four thousand Roman infantry, three hundred cavalry, and of the allies of the Latin confederacy five thousand infantry and five hundred cavalry, whom they should take with them to Spain.
When they had assigned these four thousand to the legions, in proportion as they numbered more than five thousand infantry and three hundred cavalry per legion, they should discharge the surplus; first, those who had completed their terms of service, second, those individuals whose conspicuous services Calpurnius and Quinctius had enjoyed in the battle.