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Greece: Murder of Brachylles

After the battle of Cynoscephalae, as Flamininus was
Philip allows his Boeotian followers to return home.
wintering at Elateia, the Boeotians, being anxious to recover their citizens who had served in Philip's army, sent an embassy to Flamininus to try and secure their safety. Wishing to encourage the loyalty of the Boeotians to himself, because he was already anxious as to the action of Antiochus, he readily assented to their petition. These men were promptly restored from Macedonia, and one of them named Brachylles the Boeotians at once elected Boeotarch; and in a similar spirit honoured and promoted, as much as before, such of the others as were thought to be well disposed to the royal house of Macedonia.
Zeuxippus and Peisistratus, heads of the Romanising party, determine to get rid of Brachylles, B. C. 196.
They also sent an embassy to Philip to thank him for the return of the young men, thus derogating from the favour done them by Flamininus,—a measure highly disquieting to Zeuxippus and Peisistratus, and all who were regarded as partisans of Rome; because they foresaw what would happen to themselves and their families, knowing quite well that if the Romans quitted Greece, and Philip remained closely supporting the political party opposed to themselves, it would be unsafe for them to remain citizens of Boeotia. They therefore agreed among themselves to send an embassy to Flamininus in Elateia: and having obtained an interview with him, they made a lengthy and elaborate statement on this subject, describing the state of popular feeling which was now adverse to themselves, and discanting on the untrustworthiness of democratic assemblies. And finally, they ventured to say that "Unless they could overawe the common people by getting rid of Brachylles, there could be no security for the party in favour of Rome as soon as the legions departed." After listening to these arguments Flamininus replied that "He would not personally take any part in such a measure, but he would not hinder those who wished to do so." Finally, he bade them speak to Alexamenus the Strategus of the Aetolians. Zeuxippus and his colleagues accepted the suggestion, and communicated with Alexamenus, who at once consented; and agreeing to carry out their proposal sent three Aetolians and three Italians, all young men, to assassinate Brachylles. . . .

There is no more terrible witness, or more

Zeuxippus condemned by his own conscience. See Livy, 33, 28.
formidable accuser, than the conscience which resides in each man's breast. . . .

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196 BC (1)
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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 33-34, commentary, 33.28
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 35.47
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 33, 28
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