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The Spartan Ambassadors

The next ambassadors called in were the Lacedaemonians.
The four Spartan embassies. 1. Lysis, for the men banished by Nabis. 2. Areus and Alcibiades.
Of these there were four distinct factions. Lysis and his colleagues represented the old exiles, and their contention was that they ought to have back the possessions from which they had originally been driven. Areus and Alcibiades, on the contrary, contended that they should receive the value of a talent from their original property, and divide the rest among deserving citizens.
3. Serippus.
pleaded that things should be left in exactly the state in which they were when they formerly belonged to the Achaean league.
4. Chaeron, for the recent exiles,
Lastly, Chaeron and his colleagues represented those who had been condemned to death or exile by the votes of the Achaean league, and demanded their own recall and the restoration of the constitution. These all delivered speeches against the Achaeans in conformity with their several objects. The Senate, finding itself unable to come to a clear decision on these particular controversies, appointed a committee of investigation, consisting of the three who had already been on a mission to the Peloponnese on these matters, namely Titus Flamininus, Q. Caecilius, and Appius Claudius Pulcher.1 After long discussions before this committee it was unanimously decided that the exiles and the condemned were to be recalled, and that the city should remain a member of the Achaean league.
Decision of the IIIviri.
But as to the property, whether the exiles were each to select a talent's worth from what had been theirs [or to receive it all back], on this point they continued to dispute. That they might not, however, have to begin the whole controversy afresh [the committee] caused the points agreed upon to be reduced to writing, to which all affixed their seals. But the committee, also wishing to include the Achaeans in the agreement, called in Xenarchus and his colleagues, who were at that time on a mission from the Achaeans, to renew their alliance with Rome, and at the same time to give an eye to their controversy with the Lacedaemonians. These men, being unexpectedly asked whether they consented to the terms contained in the written document, were somewhat at a loss what to answer. For they did not approve of the restoration of the exiles and the condemned persons, as being contrary to the decree of the league, and the contents of the tablet on which that decree was engraved; and yet they approved of the document as a whole, because it contained the clause providing that Sparta should remain a member of the league. Finally, however, partly from this difficulty, and partly from awe of the Roman commissioners, they affixed their seal. The Senate, therefore, selected Quintus Marcius to go as legate to settle the affairs of Macedonia and the Peloponnese. . . .

1 There is some loss in the text as to these names. The last is mentioned on a Greek embassy in 22, 16. See also the index. Livy, 39, 41, says nothing of this committee of three.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 39-40, commentary, 39.29
  • Cross-references to this page (4):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 41
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