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The Murderers of Brachylles

In Boeotia, after the formation of the treaty between
The effect of the collapse of Antiochus upon Boeotia.
Rome and Antiochus, the hopes of the whole revolutionary party were destroyed. Politics therefore began to assume a new aspect; and whereas the administration of justice among them had been postponed for nearly the last twenty years, voices began to make themselves heard in the cities to the effect that "there ought to be an end and settlement of their mutual disputes." But after considerable controversy on this point, because the discontented were more numerous than the wealthy, the following circumstance occurred which helped accidently to support the party of order.
Resistance to the recall of Zeuxippus.
Titus Flamininus had for some time past been zealously working in Rome to secure the restoration of Zeuxippus to Boeotia, because he had found him serviceable on many occasions during the wars with Antiochus and Philip. And just at this time he had induced the Senate to send a despatch to the Boeotians ordering them to recall Zeuxippus and his fellow exiles. When this despatch arrived, the Boeotians, fearing that, if these men were restored, they would become detached from their good understanding with Macedonia, determined that the legal sentence upon Zeuxippus and the rest should be publicly proclaimed,1 which they had formerly drawn up against them.
See 18, 43. Livy 33, 28.
Thus they condemned them on two charges, first, of sacrilege for having stripped off the silver from the plated table of Zeus, and, secondly, of murder for having killed Brachylles. Having made this arrangement, they assumed that they need pay no further attention to the despatch of the Senate, but contented themselves with sending Callicritus and others to Rome with the message that they were unable to rescind what had been settled by their laws. Zeuxippus having sent an embassy to the Senate at the same time, the Romans wrote to the Aetolians and Achaeans an account of the attitude assumed by the Boeotians, and ordered them to restore Zeuxippus to his country. The Achaeans refrained from invading the country with an army, but selected some ambassadors to go and persuade the Boeotians to obey the orders from Rome; and also to settle the legal disputes existing between them and the Achaeans, on the same principles as they conducted the administration of justice at home: for it happened that there were some controversies between the two nations that had been dragging on for a long time. On receiving this message the Boeotians, whose Strategus was then Hippias, promised at the moment that they would do what was demanded of them, but shortly afterwards neglected it at every point. Therefore, when Hippias had laid down his office and Alcetas had succeeded him, Philopoemen gave all who chose license to make reprisals on the territories of the Boeotians; which proved the beginning of a serious quarrel between the two nations. For on the cattle of Myrrichus and Simon being driven off,2 and a struggle arising over this transaction, the contest soon ceased to be political, and became the beginning and prelude of open war. If indeed the Senate had persisted in carrying out the restoration of Zeuxippus, war would quickly have been kindled; but as it maintained silence on the subject, the Megareans were induced by an embassy proposing terms to stop the reprisals. . . .3

1 Some words are lost from the text describing their method of procedure.

2 Some words are lost in the text which would more fully explain the transaction.

3 Some words are lost in the text which would more fully explain the transaction.

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    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 33, 28
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