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Lycortas

*Luko/rtas), of Megalopolis, was the father of Tolybius, the historian, and the close friend of Philopoemen, to whose policy, prudent at once and patriotic, we find him adhering throughout. In B. C. 189, he was sent as ambassador to Rome, with his rival Diophanes, to receive the senate's decision on the question of the war which 1000 the Achaean League had declared against Lacedaemon; and, while Diophanes expressed his willingness to leave every thing to the senate, Lycortas urged the right of the league to free and independent action. (Liv. 38.30-34.) In B. C. 186, he was one of the three ambassadors sent to Ptolemy V. (Epiphanes), to effect a new alliance between Egypt and the Achaeans; but, at an assembly held at Megalopolis in the next year, when Aristaenus was strategus, neither Lycortas and his colleagues nor the Egyptian envoys, who had accompanied them from Ptolemy's court, could specify which of the several treaties made in former times with Egypt had now been renewed; and Lycortas accordingly incurred much blame and furnished a triumph to the party of Aristaenus. (Pol. 23.1, 7, 9.) In the same year (185), Philopoemen and Lycortas defended successfully, at Argos, the treatment of the Lacedaemonians by the Achaeans, which had been censured by Caecilius Metellus; and, when Appius Claudius was sent from Rome, in B. C. 184, to settle the question, Lycortas, now general of the league, again contended that the Achaeans were justified in the mode in which they had dealt with Lacedaemon: but he did not carry his point with Appius. (Pol. 22.23, 23.1, 7, 10, 11, 12, 24.4; Liv. 39.33, 35-37, 48; Plut. Phil. 16, 17; Paus. 7.9.) In B. C. 183, when Deinocrates and his party had withdrawn Messenia from the league, Lycortas was sent against them by the aged Philopoemen, but was unable to force his way through the passes into Messenia. Being, however, made general of the league, on the death of Philopoemen, at the end of the same year or the beginning of 182, he invaded Messenia and took full vengeance on the chief authors of Philopoemen's murder. [DEINOCRATES; PHILOPOEMEN.] Soon after Messenia was re-admitted into the league, and Lycortas, at the same time, urged successfully against Diophanes the re-admission of Lacedaemon also. (Pol. 24.12, 25.1; 2, Spic. Rel. 24.2, 3; Plut. Phil. 18-21; Paus. 4.29; Liv. 39.48-50; Just. 32.1.) In B. C. 180, Lycortas, together with his son Polybius, and Aratus (son of the famous general of the same name), was again appointed ambassador to Ptolemy Epiphanes, who had made the most friendly advances to the Achaeans; but the intelligence of the king's death prevented the embassy from being sent. (Pol. 25.7.) In B. C. 179, when Hyperbatus was general of the league, Lycortas spoke strongly against compliance with the requisition of the Romans for the recal of all the Lacedaemonian exiles without exception. On this occasion he was opposed to Callicrates and Hyperbatus; and, of course, he became more and more an object of dislike and suspicion to the Romans. He adhered, however, firmly to the moderate policy which he had adopted from the first; and, when the war between Rome and Perseus broke out, he recommended the Achaeans to preserve a strict neutrality. (Pol. 26.1, &c., 28.3, 6.) In B. C. 168, we find him proposing, in opposition again to Callicrates and Hyperbatus, to send aid to the two Ptolemies (Philometor and Physcon), who had asked for a force, with Lycortas for general, against Antiochus Epiphanes; but his motion was unsuccessful. From this period we hear no more of him. Had he been alive in B. C. 167, he would doubtless have been among the Achaeans who were apprehended and sent to Rome after the conquest of Macedonia: but his son Polybius makes no mention of him, nor even alludes to him, as one of the prisoners in question. We may, therefore, perhaps infer that he was by that time dead. (Pol. 29.8-10; see above, vol. i. p. 569b; Clint. F. H. vol. iii. pp. 318, 386.)

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