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Offers of Eumenes and Seleucus Declined

The next subject introduced for debate was that of king Ptolemy. The ambassadors who had been on the mission to Ptolemy were called forward, and Lycortas, acting as spokesman, began by stating how they had interchanged oaths of alliance with the king; and next announced that they brought a present from the king to the Achaean league of six thousand stands of arms for peltasts, and two thousand talents in bronze coinage.
Ptolemy. The speech of Lycortas.
He added a panegyric on the king, and finished his speech by a brief reference to the goodwill and active benevolence of the king towards the Achaeans.
A mistake discovered.
Upon this the Strategus of the Achaeans, Aristaenus, stood up and asked Lycortas and his colleagues in the embassy to Ptolemy "which alliance it was that he had thus renewed?"

No one answering the question, but all the assembly beginning to converse with each other, the Council chamber was filled with confusion. The cause of this absurd state of things was this. There had been several treaties of alliance formed between the Achaeans and Ptolemy's kingdom, as widely different in their provision as in the circumstances which gave rise to them: but neither had Ptolemy's envoy made any distinction when arranging for the renewal, merely speaking in general terms on the matter, nor had the ambassadors sent from Achaia; but they had interchanged the oaths on the assumption of there being but one treaty. The result was, that, on the Strategus quoting all the treaties, and pointing out in detail the differences between them, which turned out to be important, the assembly demanded to know which it was that it was renewing. And when no one was able to explain, not even Philopoemen himself, who had been in office when the renewal was made, nor Lycortas and his colleagues who had been on the mission to Alexandria, these men all began to be regarded as careless in conducting the business of the league; while Aristaenus acquired great reputation as being the only man who knew what he was talking about; and finally, the assembly refused to allow the ratification, voting on account of this blunder that the business should be postponed.

Then the ambassadors from Seleucus entered with their

Offer of Seleucus.
proposal. The Achaeans, however, voted to renew the friendship with Seleucus, but to decline for the present the gift of the ships.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 31.50
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