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Caecilius In the Achaean Assembly

Having thus finished their deliberations, the assembly
Winter of B. C. 185.
broke up and the people separated to their several cities. But subsequently, while the (Nemean) games were in course of celebration, Quintus Caecilius arrived from Macedonia, on his way back from the embassy which he had been conducting to Philip. Aristaenus having called a meeting of the league magistrates in Argos, Quintus attended and upbraided them for having exceeded justice in the harshness and severity with which they had treated the Lacedaemonians, and urged them strongly to repair the error. Aristaenus said not a word, showing clearly by his silence that he disapproved of what had been done and agreed with the words of Caecilius. But Diophanes of Megalopolis, who was more of a soldier than a statesman, stood up to speak, and so far from offering any defence of the Achaeans, suggested to Caecilius, from hostility to Philopoemen, another charge that might be brought against them. For he said that "the Lacedaemonians were not the only people who had been badly treated; the Messenians had been so also." There were as a fact some controversies going on among the Messenians, in regard to the decree of Flamininus concerning the exiles, and the execution of it by Philopoemen: and Caecilius, thinking that he now had a party among the Achaeans themselves of the same opinion as himself, expressed still greater anger at the hesitation on the part of the assembled magistrates in obeying his orders. However, when Philopoemen, Lycortas, and Archon argued long and elaborately to prove that what had been done at Sparta was right, and advantageous to the Lacedaemonians themselves more than to any one else, and that it was impossible to disturb any existing arrangements without violating justice to man and piety to the gods, they came to the decision that they would maintain them, and give an answer to that effect to the Roman legate. Seeing what the disposition of the magistrates was, Caecilius demanded that the public assembly should be summoned, to which the Achaean magistrates demanded to see the instructions which he had from the Senate on these points: and when he gave no answer to this demand, they said that they would not summon the assembly for him, as their laws forbade them to do so unless a man brought written instructions from the Senate, stating the subject on which they were to summon it. Caecilius was so angry at this uncompromising opposition to his orders, that he refused to receive his answer from the magistrates, and so departed without any answer at all. The Achaeans laid the blame both of the former visit of Marcus Fulvius and the present one of Caecilius on Aristaenus and Diophanes, on the ground that they had invited them on account of their political opposition to Philopoemen; and accordingly the general public felt a certain suspicion of these two men. Such was the state of the—Peloponnese. . . .

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