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
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
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.
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.