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Arguments For and Against Admitting Sparta

The Messenians were reduced by their own folly to
Abia, Thuria, and Pharae make a separate league.
the brink of ruin, but were restored to their former position in the league by the magnanimity of Lycortas and the Achaeans. But the towns of Abia, Thuria, and Pharae during these transactions abandoned their connection with Messene, and, setting up a pillar engraved with a treaty of alliance between themselves, formed a separate league. When the Romans were informed that the Messenian war had turned out successfully for the Achaeans, without taking any account of their previous declaration they gave a different answer to the same ambassadors, asserting that they had taken measures to prevent any one from conveying arms or corn from Italy into Messene. By this they showed clearly that, so far from avoiding or disregarding the affairs of foreign nations not directly concerning themselves, they were, on the contrary, annoyed at everything not being referred to them and carried out in accordance with their opinion.

When the ambassadors arrived in Sparta with their answer,

Achaean meeting at Sicyon.
the Achaean Strategus as soon as he had settled the Messenian business, summoned a congress at Sicyon, and on its assembling, proposed a resolution for the reception of Sparta into the league, alleging that "The Romans had declined the arbitration which had previously been offered to them in regard to this city,—for they had answered that they had now no concern with any of the affairs of Sparta. Those, however, at present in power at Sparta were desirous of being admitted to the privileges of the league. Therefore he advised that they should admit the town; for this would be advantageous in two ways: first, because they would be thus admitting men who had remained unshaken in their loyalty to the league; and secondly, because they would not be admitting those of the old exiles, who had behaved with ingratitude and impiety towards them, to any share of their privileges; but by confirming the measures of those who had excluded them, would at the same time be showing, with God's help, due gratitude to the latter." With these words Lycortas exhorted the Achaeans to receive the city of Sparta into the league. But Diophanes and some others attempted to put in a word for the exiles, and urged the Achaeans "Not to join in pressing heavily upon these banished men; and not to be influenced by a mere handful of men to strengthen the hands of those who had impiously and lawlessly expelled them from their country."

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