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Message to Antigonus Doson from Aratus

The points suggested by Aratus for the envoy to dwell
The message to Antigonus Doson.
on were "the scope and object of the understanding between the Aetolians and Cleomenes, and the necessity of caution on the part primarily of the Achaeans, but still more even on that of Antigonus himself: first, because the Achaeans plainly could not resist the attack of both; and, secondly, because if the Aetolians and Cleomenes conquered them, any man of sense could easily see that they would not be satisfied or stop there. For the encroaching spirit of the Aetolians, far from being content to be confined by the boundaries of the Peloponnese, would find even those of Greece too narrow for them. Again, the ambition of Cleomenes was at present directed to the supremacy in the Peloponnese: but this obtained, he would promptly aim at that of all Greece, in which it would be impossible for him to succeed without first crushing the government of Macedonia. They were, therefore, to urge him to consider, with a view to the future, which of the two courses would be the more to his own interests,—to fight for supremacy in Greece in conjunction with the Achaeans and Boeotians against Cleomenes in the Peloponnese; or to abandon the most powerful race, and to stake the Macedonian empire on a battle in Thessaly, against a combined force of Aetolians and Boeotians, with the Achaeans and Lacedaemonians to boot. If the Aetolians, from regard to the goodwill shown them by the Achaeans in the time of Demetrius, were to pretend to be anxious to keep the peace as they were at present doing, they were to assert that the Achaeans were ready to engage Cleomenes by themselves; and if fortune declared in their favour they would want no assistance from any one: but if fortune went against them, and the Aetolians joined in the attack, they begged him to watch the course of events, that he might not let things go too far, but might aid the Peloponnesians while they were still capable of being saved. He had no need to be anxious about the good faith or gratitude of the Achaeans: when the time for action came, Aratus pledged himself to find guarantees which would be satisfactory to both parties; and similarly would himself indicate the moment at which the aid should be given."

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