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Strength and Weakness of Aratus

This being the time, according to their laws, for the
The Achaean league decide to assist the Messenians.
meeting of the Achaean federal assembly, the members arrived at Aegium. When the assembly met, the deputies from Patrae and Pharae made a formal statement of the injuries inflicted upon their territories during the passage of the Aetolians: an embassy from Messenia also appeared, begging for their assistance on the ground that the treatment from which they were suffering was unjust and in defiance of treaty. When these statements were heard, great indignation was felt at the wrongs of Patrae and Pharae, and great sympathy for the misfortunes of the Messenians. But it was regarded as especially outrageous that the Aetolians should have ventured to enter Achaia with an army, contrary to treaty, without obtaining or even asking for permission from any one to pass through the country. Roused to indignation by all these considerations, the assembly voted to give assistance to the Messenians: that the Strategus should summon a general levy of the Achaean arms: and that whatever was decided by this levy, when it met, should be done. Now Timoxenus, the existing Strategus, was just on the point of quitting office, and felt besides small confidence in the Achaeans, because martial exercise had been allowed to fall into neglect among them; he therefore shrank from undertaking the expedition, or from even summoning the popular levy.
B. C. 222-221.
The fact was that, after the expulsion of Cleomenes, King of Sparta, the Peloponnesians, weary of the wars that had taken place, and trusting to the peaceful arrangement that had been come to, neglected all warlike preparations. Aratus, however, indignant and incensed at the audacity of the Aetolians, was not inclined to take things so calmly, for he had in fact a grudge of long standing against these people. Wherefore he was for instantly summoning the Achaeans to an armed levy, and was all eagerness to attack the Aetolians.
Aratus becomes Strategus of the Achaean league, B. C. 220 (May-June).
Eventually he took over from Timoxenus the seal of the league, five days before the proper time, and wrote to the various cities summoning a meeting in arms of all those who were of the military age, at Megalopolis. But the peculiar character of this man, I think, makes it proper for me to give a brief preliminary sketch of him.

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220 BC (1)
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    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 32.20
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