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Continued Decline of Boeotia

Such were, briefly, the steps in the degeneracy of
Demetrius II. B. C. 239-229.
Boeotia. Immediately after the battle just mentioned they abandoned the Achaeans and joined the Aetolians.1 But on the latter presently going to war with Philip's father Demetrius, they once more abandoned the Aetolians; and upon Demetrius entering Boeotia with an army, without attempting resistance they submitted completely to the Macedonians. But as a spark of their ancestral glory still survived, there were found some who disliked the existing settlement and the complete subservience to Macedonia: and they accordingly maintained a violent opposition to the policy of Ascondas and Neon, the ancestors of Brachylles, who were the most prominent in the party which favoured Macedonia.
The rise of the house of Neon.
However, the party of Ascondas eventually prevailed, owing to the following circumstance. Antigonus (Doson), who, after the death of Demetrius, was Philip's guardian, happened to be sailing on some business along the coast of Boeotia; when off Larymna he was surprised by a sudden ebb of the tide, and his ships were left high and dry. Now just at that time a rumour had been spread that Antigonus meant to make a raid upon the country; and therefore Neon, who was Hipparch at the time, was patrolling the country at the head of all the Boeotian cavalry to protect it, and came upon Antigonus in this helpless and embarrassed position: and having it thus in his power to inflict a serious blow upon the Macedonians, much to their surprise he resolved to spare them. His conduct in so doing was approved by the other Boeotians, but was not at all pleasing to the Thebans. Antigonus, however, when the tide flowed again and his ships floated, proceeded to complete the voyage to Asia on which he was bound, with deep gratitude to Neon for having abstained from attacking him in his awkward position.
B. C. 222.
Accordingly, when at a subsequent period he conquered the Spartan Cleomenes and became master of Lacedaemon, he left Brachylles in charge of the town, by way of paying him for the kindness done him by his father Neon. This proved to be the beginning of a great rise in importance of the family of Brachylles. But this was not all that Antigonus did for him: from that time forward either he personally, or king Philip, continually supported him with money and influence; so that before long this family entirely overpowered the political party opposed to them in Thebes, and forced all the citizens, with very few exceptions, to join the party of Macedonia. Such was the origin of the political adherence to Macedonia of the family of Neon, and of its rise to prosperity.

1 προσένειμαν Αἰτώλοις τὸ ἔθνος, cp. 2, 43. Some have thought that a regular political union with the Aetolian League is meant. But the spirit of the narrative seems to point rather to an alliance.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 33-34, commentary, 33.1
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  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), HERES
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