4. A man of Leontium in Achaia, who plays a somewhat disreputable part in the history of the Achaean league.
By a decree of the Aclhaeans, solemnly recorded in B. C. 181, Lacedaemon had been received into their confederacy and the restoration of all Lacedaemonian exiles had been provided for, with the exception of those who had repaid with ingratitude their previous restoration by the Achaeans. The Romans, however, had sent to urge the recall of these men, and in the debate in the assembly on this question, B. C. 179, Callicrates contended, in opposition to Lycortas, that the requisition should be complied with, openly maintaining, that neither law, nor solemn record, nor anything else, should be more regarded than the will of Rome.
The assembly, however, favoured the view of Lycortas, and appointed ambassadors, of whom Callicrates was one, to lay it before the Roman senate.
But he grievously abused his trust, and instigated the Romans to sap the independence of his country by giving their support in every city to the Roman or antinational party. Returning home with letters from the senate, pressing the recall of the exiles, and highly commendatory of himself, he was made general of the league, and used all his influence thenceforth for the furtherance of the Roman cause. (Plb. 25.1
.) In B. C. 174 he successfully resisted the proposal of Xenarchus, who was at that time general, for an alliance with Perseus. (Liv. 41.23
.) Early in B. C. 168 he opposed the motion of Lycortas and his party for sending aid to the two Ptolemies (Philometor and Physcon) against Antiochus Epiphanes, recommending instead, that they should endeavour to mediate between the contending parties; and he carried his point by introducing a letter from Q. Marcius, the Roman consul, in which the same course was urged. (Plb. 29.8
.) On the conquest of Macedonia by the Romans, B. C. 168, more than 1000 of the chief Achaeans, pointed out by Callicrates as having favoured the cause of Perseus, were apprehended and sent to Rome, to be tried, as it was pretended, before the senate. Among these was Polybius, the historian; and he was also one of the survivors, who, after a detention of 17 years, were permitted to return to their country. (Plb. 30.10
; Liv. 45.31
; Paus. 7.10
The baseness of Callicrates was visited on his head,--if, indeed, such a man could feel such a punishment, --in the intense hatred of his countrymen. Men deemed it pollution to use the same bath with him, and the very boys in the streets threw in his teeth the name of traitor. (Plb. 30.20
.) In B. C. 153 he dissuaded the league from taking any part in the war of the Rhodians against Crete, on the ground that it did not befit them to go to war at all without the sanction of the Romans. (Plb. 33.15
.) Three years after this, B. C. 150, Menalcidas, then general of the league, having been bribed by the Oropians with 10 talents to aid them against the Athenians, from whose garrison in their town they had received injury, engaged Callicrates in the same cause by the promise of half the sum.
The payment, however, he evaded, and Callicrates retaliated on Menalcidas by a capital charge; but Menalcidas escaped the danger through the favour of Diaeus, his successor in the office of general, whom he bribed with three talents. In B. C. 149, Callicrates was sent as ambassador to Rome with Diaeus, to oppose the Spartan exiles, whose blanishllellt Diaeus had procured, and who hoped to be restored by the senate. Callicrates, however, died at Rhodes, where they had touched on their way; "his death," says Pausanias "being, for aught I know, a clear gain to his country." (Paus. 7.11