The Spartan Ambassadors
The next ambassadors called in were the Lacedaemonians.
The four Spartan embassies. 1. Lysis, for the men banished by Nabis. 2. Areus and Alcibiades.
Of these there were four distinct factions.
Lysis and his colleagues represented the old
exiles, and their contention was that they ought
to have back the possessions from which they
had originally been driven. Areus and Alcibiades, on the contrary, contended that they
should receive the value of a talent from their original property, and divide the rest among deserving citizens.
pleaded that things should be left in exactly the
state in which they were when they formerly
belonged to the Achaean league.
4. Chaeron, for the recent exiles,
Lastly, Chaeron and his
colleagues represented those who had been
condemned to death or exile by the votes of
the Achaean league, and demanded their own
recall and the restoration of the constitution. These all
delivered speeches against the Achaeans in conformity with
their several objects. The Senate, finding itself unable to
come to a clear decision on these particular controversies,
appointed a committee of investigation, consisting of the three
who had already been on a mission to the Peloponnese on
these matters, namely Titus Flamininus, Q. Caecilius, and
Appius Claudius Pulcher.1
After long discussions before
this committee it was unanimously decided that
the exiles and the condemned were to be recalled, and that the city should remain a
member of the Achaean league.
But as to the property,
whether the exiles were each to select a talent's worth from
what had been theirs [or to receive it all back], on this point
they continued to dispute. That they might not, however,
have to begin the whole controversy afresh [the committee]
caused the points agreed upon to be reduced to writing, to
which all affixed their seals. But the committee, also wishing
to include the Achaeans in the agreement, called in Xenarchus
and his colleagues, who were at that time on a mission from
the Achaeans, to renew their alliance with Rome, and at the
same time to give an eye to their controversy with the Lacedaemonians. These men, being unexpectedly asked whether
they consented to the terms contained in the written document, were somewhat at a loss what to answer. For they did
not approve of the restoration of the exiles and the condemned persons, as being contrary to the decree of the league,
and the contents of the tablet on which that decree was engraved; and yet they approved of the document as a whole,
because it contained the clause providing that Sparta should
remain a member of the league. Finally, however, partly
from this difficulty, and partly from awe of the Roman commissioners, they affixed their seal. The Senate, therefore,
selected Quintus Marcius to go as legate to settle the affairs
of Macedonia and the Peloponnese. . . .