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Lycortas Defeats Messene

Lycortas the Achaean Strategus crushed the spirits of
Lycortas, the successor of Philopoemen, compels the Messenians to sue for peace, B. C. 183-182.
the Messenians in the war. Up to this time the populace at Messene had been afraid of their magistrates; but now at length, relying on the protection of the enemy, some of them plucked up courage to break silence and to say that the time was come to send an embassy to negotiate a peace. Deinocrates and his colleagues, being no longer able to face the people under this storm of popular odium, yielded to circumstances and retired to their own houses. Thereupon the people, acting under the advice of the older men, and especially under that of Epaenetus and Apollodorus, the ambassadors from Boeotia,—who, having arrived some time before to negotiate a peace, happened fortunately to be at that time at Messene,—appointed and despatched envoys, begging forgiveness for their transgressions. The Achaean Strategus, having summoned his colleagues1 to council, and given the envoys a hearing, answered that "There was but one way in which the Messenians could reconcile themselves to the league, and that was by at once surrendering to him the authors of the revolt and of the murder of Philopoemen, leave the rest to the authority of the league assembly, and at once receive a garrison into their citadel." When this message was announced to the Messenian populace, those who had long been bitterly opposed to the authors of the war were ready enough to surrender them and to arrest them; while the rest, being persuaded that they would not be severely dealt with by the Achaeans, readily consented to submit the general question to the decision of the assembly. But what chiefly induced them to unanimously accept the proposal was, that they in fact had no choice in the matter. The Strategus accordingly at once took over the citadel and marched his peltasts into it; and then, taking some picked troops with him, entered the city; and having summoned a meeting of the people, addressed them in terms befitting the occasion, promising that "they would never have reason to repent having committed themselves to the honour of the Achaeans."
Summer B. C. 182.
The general question of what was to be done he thus referred to the league,—for it happened conveniently that the Achaeans were just then reassembling at Megalopolis for the second Congress,2—but of those who were guilty of the disturbances, he ordered all such as were actually implicated in the summary execution of Philopoemen to put an end to their own lives. . . .

1 That is the ten Demiurgi.

2 The second congress of the year seems to mean not that held for election of the Strategus for the next year, which met about 12th May, but the second regular meeting in August.

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182 BC (2)
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