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Affairs In Boeotia: The War with Perseus

AT this time Lases and Callias arrived at the head of
B. C. 171. Coss. P. Licinius Crassus C. Cassius Longinus.
an embassy from the Thespians, and Ismenias1
The Roman commissioners at Chalcis: ambassadors from Thespiae and Neon of Boeotia.
from Neon. Lases and his colleagues offered to put their city wholly into the hands of the Romans; Ismenias proposed to submit all the cities of Boeotia as one nation to the discretion of the commissioners. But this latter proposal was diametrically opposed to the policy of Marcius and his colleagues. What suited that policy best was to split up Boeotia into separate cities: and they therefore received Lases and his party, as well as the envoys from Chaeronea and Lebadea, and all who came from single cities, with great favour and lavish courtesy; but treated Ismenias with ostentatious neglect and coldness. Some of the exiles2 also attacked Ismenias and were very near stoning him to death, and would have done so if he had not saved himself by taking refuge through the door3 of the chamber where the commissioners were sitting. At the same period there were disturbances and party contests at Thebes.
One party were for committing the town unconditionally to Rome; but the Coroneans and Haliartians flocked to Thebes and vehemently maintained that they ought to maintain the alliance with Perseus. For a time neither of the two parties showed any disposition to give in to each other; but when Olympichus of Coronea set the example of changing sides and asserting that they ought to cleave to the Romans, a great change and revolution came over the feelings of the populace. First, they compelled Dicetas to go on an embassy to Marcius and the other commissioners to excuse them for their alliance with Perseus. Next, they expelled Neon and Hippias, crowding to their houses, and bidding them go and make their own defence for the terms that they had made; for they were the men who had negotiated the alliance. When these men had left the town, the people immediately collected into the assembly and first voted honours and gifts to the Romans, and then ordered the magistrates to push on the alliance. Last of all they appointed ambassadors to hand over the city to the Romans and to restore their exiles.

1 Ismenias had just been elected Strategus of Boeotia; but the party who had supported a rival candidate had in revenge obtained a decree of the league banishing the Boeotarchs from all the Boeotian cities. They had, however been received at Thespiae, whence they were recalled to Thebes and reinstated by a reaction in popular feeling. Then they obtained another decree banishing the twelve men who, though not in office, had convened the league assembly; and Ismenias as Strategus sentenced them to the loss of all rights in their absence. These are the "exiles" here meant (Livy, 42, 43). Who Neon was is not certain; but we find in the next chapter that he had been a leader in the Macedonising party at Thebes, perhaps a son of Brachylles, whose father's name was Neon (see 20, 5). He was captured in B.C. 167 and put to death by the Romans (Livy, 45, 31).

2 See note 2, page 356.

3 τὰ δίθυρα, Livy (42, 44) says in tribunal legatorum, and Casaubon contents himself with the same word. Schweighaeuser translates it podium, as if a "raised platfrom" on which the commissioners sat was meant. I think it is used in the natural sense of a "door" leading into the hall in which they were sitting, and into which Ismenias fied for refuge. Livy used tribunal from the ideas of his age as to the construction of such a building.

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  • Commentary references to this page (5):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.38
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.43
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.63
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.pos=76
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, book 45, commentary, 45.31
  • Cross-references to this page (8):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (3):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 45, 31
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 42, 43
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 42, 44
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