When Antigonus died and Demetrius succeeded to the throne,1
Aratus was all the more bent upon getting Athens, and wholly despised the Macedonians. And so, after he had been overcome in a battle at Phylacia by Bithys the general of Demetrius, and reports were rife, one that he had been captured, and another that he was dead,
Diogenes, the guardian of the Peiraeus, sent a letter to Corinth ordering the Achaeans to quit the city, since Aratus had been killed; but when the letter arrived at Corinth, Aratus chanced to be there in person, and so the messengers of Diogenes, after furnishing much diversion and laughter, went away. Moreover, the king himself sent a ship from Macedonia, on which Aratus was to be brought to him in chains.
And the Athenians, carrying their flattery of the Macedonians to the highest pitch of levity, crowned themselves with garlands as soon as they heard that Aratus was dead. Therefore he was wroth, and at once made an expedition against them, and advanced as far as the Academy; then he listened to their entreaties and did them no harm.
So the Athenians came to recognize the excellence of his character, and when, upon the death of Demetrius,2
they set out to regain their freedom, they called upon him.
Then Aratus, although another was at that time general of the Achaeans, and he himself was confined to his bed by a long sickness, nevertheless was carried in a litter to help the city in its time of need, and joined in persuading Diogenes, the commander of the garrison, to give up the Peiraeus, Munychia, Salamis, and Sunium to the Athenians for a hundred and fifty talents, twenty of which Aratus contributed himself.
Moreover, Aegina and Hermione at once came over to the Achaeans, and the greater part of Arcadia joined their league. And since the Macedonians were busy with certain neighbouring and adjacent wars, and the Aetolians were in alliance with the Achaeans, the power of the Achaean League was greatly increased.