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The Revenge of Dorimachus

The Strategus of the Aetolians at that time was Ariston;
Dorimachus becomes practically Strategus of Aetolia, B. C. 221.
but being from physical infirmities unable to serve in the field, and being a kinsman of Dorimachus and Scopas, he had somehow or another surrendered his whole authority to the former. In his public capacity Dorimachus could not venture to urge the Aetolians to undertake the Messenian war, because he had no reasonable pretext for so doing: the origin of his wish being, as everybody well knew, the wrongs committed by himself and the bitter gibe which they had brought upon him. He therefore gave up the idea of publicly advocating the war, but tried privately to induce Scopas to join in the intrigue against the Messenians.
He induces Scopas to go to war with Messenia, Epirus, Achaia, Acarnania, and Macedonia.
He pointed out that there was now no danger from the side of Macedonia owing to the youth of the king (Philip being then only seventeen years old); that the Lacedaemonians were alienated from the Messenians; and that they possessed the affection and alliance of the Eleans; and these circumstances taken together would make an invasion of Messenia perfectly safe. But the argument most truly Aetolian which he used was to put before him that a great booty was to be got from Messenia, because it was entirely unguarded, and had alone, of all the Peloponnesian districts, remained unravaged throughout the Cleomenic war. And, to sum up all, he argued that such a move would secure them great popularity with the Aetolians generally. And if the Achaeans were to try to hinder their march through the country, they would not be able to complain if they retaliated: and if, on the other hand, they did not stir, would be no hindrance to their enterprise. Besides, he affirmed that they would have plenty of pretext against the Messenians; for they had long been in the position of aggressors by promising the Achaeans and Macedonians to join their alliance.

By these, and similar arguments to the same effect, he roused such a strong feeling in the minds of Scopas and his friends, that, without waiting for a meeting of the Aetolian federal assembly, and without communicating with the Apocleti, or taking any of the proper constitutional steps, of their own mere impulse and opinion they committed acts of hostility simultaneously against Messenia, Epirus, Achaia, Acarnania, and Macedonia.

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221 BC (1)
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