Machatas Proposes Foreign War to Quell Domestic Strife
When Machatas heard what had happened at Sparta
Spartans attack Argos, and proclaim war with the Achaeans.
he returned thither and urged the Ephors and
kings to go to war with the Achaeans; arguing
that that was the only way of stopping the ambition of the party in Sparta
who were doing
all they could to break up the alliance with the Aetolians, or
of the party in Aetolia
who were co-operating with them.
Having obtained the consent of the Ephors and kings,
Machatas returned home with a success secured him by the
blindness of his partisans in Sparta
; while Lycurgus with the
army and certain others of the citizens invaded the Argive
territory, the inhabitants being quite unprepared for an attack,
owing to the existing settlement. By a sudden assault he
seized Polichna, Prasiae, Leucae, and Cyphanta, but was
repulsed at Glympes and Zarax
. After these achievements of
their king, the Lacedaemonians proclaimed a licence of reprisal against the Achaeans. With the Eleans also Machatas
was successful in persuading them, by the same arguments as
he had used at Sparta
, to go to war with the Achaeans.
The unexpected success of these intrigues caused the
Aetolians to enter upon the war with high spirits. But it was
quite the contrary with the Achaeans: for Philip, on whom
their hopes rested, was still busy with his preparations; the
Epirotes were hesitating about going to war, and the Messenians were entirely passive; and meantime the Aetolians, aided
by the blind policy of the Eleans and Lacedaemonians, were
threatening them with actual war on every side.