This ruined the cause of Greece, at a time when she was still able in some way or other to recover from her grievous plight and escape Macedonian greed and insolence. For Aratus (whether it was through distrust and fear of Cleomenes, or because he envied the king his unlooked for success, and thought it a terrible thing after three and thirty years of leadership to have his own fame and power stripped from him by an upstart of a young man,
and the authority taken over in a cause which he himself had built up and controlled for so long a time), in the first place tried to force the Achaeans aside and hinder their purpose; but when they paid no heed to him in their consternation at the daring spirit of Cleomenes, but actually saw justice in the demands of the Lacedaemonians, who were seeking to restore the Peloponnesus to its ancient status,
Aratus took a step which would have been unmeet for any Greek to take, but was most shameful for him and most unworthy of his career as soldier and statesman. For he invited Antigonus into Greece and filled the Peloponnesus with Macedonians, whom he himself had driven out of Peloponnesus when, as a young man, he delivered Acrocorinthus from their power1
-he who had incurred the suspicion and hostility of all the reigning kings, and of this very Antigonus had said countless evil things in the commentaries which he left behind him.
And still, though he had incurred many hardships and dangers in behalf of Athens, as he says himself, in order that the city might be set free from its garrison of Macedonians, he afterwards brought these Macedonians, under arms, into his own country and into his own home; aye, even into the apartments of his women;2
but he would not consent that the man who was a descendant of Heracles and king of Sparta, and was seeking to bring its ancient polity, now like a decadent moody, back again to that restrained and Dorian law and life which Lycurgus had instituted, should be entitled leader of Sicyon and Tritaea.
Instead of this, to avoid the Spartan barley-bread and short-cloak, and the most dreadful of the evils for which he denounced Cleomenes, namely, abolition of wealth and restoration of poverty, he cast himself and all Achaea down before a diadem, a purple robe, Macedonians, and oriental behests. And that he might not be thought to obey Cleomenes, he offered sacrifices to Antigonus and sang paeans himself, with a garland on his head, in praise of a man who was far gone with consumption.
I write this, however, not with any desire to denounce Aratus, for in many ways he was a true Greek and a great one, but out of pity for the weakness of human nature, which, even in characters so notably disposed towards excellence, cannot produce a nobility that is free from blame.