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Sparta Should Have Allied Herself with the Macedonians

"Of Antigonus I will only make mention so far, as to avoid appearing to despise what was done, or to treat as unimportant so great an undertaking. For my part I think that history does not contain the record of a more admirable service than that which Antigonus performed for you: indeed it appears to me to be unsurpassable. And the following facts will show this. Antigonus went to war with you and conquered you in a pitched battle. By force of arms he became master of your territory and city at once. He might have exercised all the rights of war upon you: but he was so far from inflicting any hardships upon you, that, besides other benefits, he expelled your tyrant and restored your laws and ancestral constitution. In return for which, in the national assemblies, calling the Greeks to witness your words, you proclaimed Antigonus your benefactor and preserver.

"What then ought to have been your policy? I will speak what I really think, gentlemen of Sparta: and you will I am sure bear with me. For I shall do this now from no wish to go out of my way to bring railing accusations against you, but under the pressure of circumstances, and for the common good. What then am I to say? This: that both in the late war you ought to have allied yourselves not with Aetolians but with Macedonians; and now again, in answer to these invitations, you ought to join Philip rather than the former people. But, it may be objected, you will be breaking a treaty. Which will be the graver breach of right on your part,—to neglect a private arrangement made with Aetolians, or one that has been inscribed on a column and solemnly consecrated in the sight of all Greece? On what ground are you so careful of breaking faith with this people, from whom you have never received any favour, while you pay no heed to Philip and the Macedonians, to whom you owe even the very power of deliberating to-day? Do you regard it as a duty to keep faith with friends? Yet it is not so much a point of conscience to confirm written pledges of faith, as it is a violation of conscience to go to war with those who preserved you: and this is what, in the present instance, the Aetolians are come to demand of you.

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