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Disingenuous Policy of the Spartans

Meanwhile, the time of the annual election having come round, the Aetolians elected Scopas as their Strategus, the man who had been the moving spirit in all these acts of violence.
Scopas elected Aetolian Strategus.
I am at a loss for fitting terms to describe such a public policy. To pass a decree against going to war,1 and yet to go on an actual expedition in force and pillage their neighbours' territories: not to punish one of those responsible for this: but on the contrary to elect as Strategi and bestow honours on the leaders in these transactions,—this seems to me to involve the grossest disingenuousness. I can find no word which better describes such a treacherous policy; and I will quote two instances to show what I mean by it.
B. C. 382.
When Phoebidas treacherously seized the Cadmeia, the Lacedaemonians fined the guilty general but declined to withdraw the garrison, on the ground that the wrong was fully atoned for by the punishment of the perpetrator of it: though their plain duty was to have done the reverse, for it was the latter which was of importance to the Thebans.
B. C. 387.
Again this same people published a proclamation giving the various cities freedom and autonomy in accordance with the terms of the peace of Antalcidas, and yet did not withdraw their Harmosts from the cities.
B. C. 385.
Again, having driven the Mantineans from their home, who were at the time their friends and allies, they denied that they were doing any wrong, inasmuch as they removed them from one city and settled them in several. But indeed a man is a fool, as much as a knave, if he imagines that, because he shuts his own eyes, his neighbours cannot see. Their fondness for such tortuous policy proved however, both to the Lacedaemonians and Aetolians, the source of the greatest disasters; and it is not one which should commend itself to the imitation either of individuals or states, if they are well advised.

King Philip, then, after his interview with the Achaean assembly, started with his army on the way to Macedonia, in all haste to make preparations for war; leaving a pleasant impression in the minds of all the Greeks: for the nature of the decree, which I have mentioned as having been passed by him,2 gave them good hopes of finding him a man of moderate temper and royal magnanimity.

1 See ch. 15.

2 See ch. 24.

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