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A Speech of Polybius

Very soon after these events, and when Archon had made
Embassy from Attalus to the Achaeans desiring the restoration of the honours formally decreed to his brother Eumenes, See 27, 18.
up his mind that the Achaeans must take active part with Rome and her allies, it happened most conveniently that Attalus made his proposal to him and found him ready to accept it. Archon at once eagerly promised his support to Attalus's request: and when thereupon that prince's envoys appeared at the next congress, and addressed the Achaeans about the restoration of king Eumenes's honours, begging them to do this for the sake of Attalus, the people did not show clearly what their feeling was, but a good many rose to speak against the proposal from many various motives. Those who were originally the advisers of the honours being paid to the king were now desirous to confirm the wisdom of their own policy; while those who had private reasons for animosity against the king thought this a good opportunity for revenging themselves upon him; while others again, from spite against those who supported him, were determined that Attalus should not obtain his request. Archon, however, the Strategus, rose to support the envoys,—for it was a matter that called for an expression of opinion from the Strategus,— but after a few words he stood down, afraid of being thought to be giving his advice from interested motives and the hope of making money, because he had spent a large sum on his office. Amidst a general feeling of doubt and hesitation, Polybius rose and delivered a long speech. But that part of it which best fell in with the feelings of the populace was that in which he showed that "The original decree of the Achaeans in regard to these honours enacted that such honours as were improper and contrary to law were to be abolished, but not all honours by any means.
Speech of Polybius.
That Sosigenes and Diopeithes and their colleagues, however, who were at the time judges, and for private reasons personally hostile to Eumenes, seized the opportunity of overturning all the erections put up in honour of the king; and in doing so had gone beyond the meaning of the decree of the Achaeans, and beyond the powers entrusted to them, and, what was worst of all, beyond the demands of justice and right. For the Achaeans had not resolved upon doing away with the honours of Eumenes on the ground of having received any injury at his hands; but had taken offence at his making demands beyond what his services warranted, and had accordingly voted to remove everything that seemed excessive. As then these judges had overthrown these honours, because they had a greater regard for the gratification of their private enmity than for the honour of the Achaeans, so the Achaeans, from the conviction that duty and honour must be their highest consideration, were bound to correct the error of the judges, and the unjustifiable insult inflicted upon Eumenes: especially as, in doing so, they would not be bestowing this favour on Eumenes only, but on his brother Attalus also." The assembly having expressed their agreement with this speech, a decree was written out ordering the magistrates to restore all the honours of king Eumenes, except such as were dishonourable to the Achaean league or contrary to their law. It was thus, and at this time, that Attalus secured the reversal of the insult to his brother Eumenes in regard to the honours once given him in the Peloponnese. . . .
Early in B. C. 169,1 after taking Hyscana in Illyria, Perseus advances to Stubera, and thence sends envoys to king Genthius at Lissus. Livy, 43, 19.

1 The expedition of Perseus into Illyricum apparently took place late in the year B.C. 170 and in the first month of B.C. 169. Livy, 43, 18-20.

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  • Commentary references to this page (3):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 32.19
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.12
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.30
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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 43, 18
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 43, 19
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