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Nabis Finds a Pretext for War

The rest of his conduct was on a par with this beginning.
The beginning of the war between Nabis and the Achaeans.
He made common cause with the Cretan pirates, and kept temple-breakers, highway-robbers, and murderers all over the Peloponnese; and as he shared in the profits of their nefarious trades, he allowed them to use Sparta as their base of operations. Moreover, about this time some visitors from Boeotia, who happened to be staying at Lacedaemon, enticed one of his grooms to make off with them, taking a certain white horse which was considered the finest in the royal stud. They were pursued by a party sent by Nabis as far as Megalopolis, where the tyrants found the horse and groom, and took them off without any one interfering. But they then laid hands on the Boeotians, who at first demanded to be taken before the magistrate; but as no attention was paid to the demand, one of them shouted out "Help!" Upon a crowd of the people of the place collecting and protesting that the men should be taken before the magistrate, Nabis's party were obliged to let them go and retire. Nabis, however, had been long looking out for a ground of complaint and a reasonable pretext for a quarrel, and having seized on this one, he harried the cattle belonging to Proagoras and some others; which was a commencement of the war.1 . . .

1 These raids on the territory of Megalopolis, however, did not lead to open war till B.C. 202. See 16, 16.

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202 BC (1)
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    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 33-34, commentary, 34.32
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