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Lycurgus Returns to Sparta

Just at the beginning of this summer, while Agetas
B.C. 217. Greece. Return of Lycurgus to Sparta. He projects an invasion of Messenia.
was Strategus of the Aetolians, and when Aratus had just become Strategus of the Achaean league,—at which point we broke off in our history of the Social war,1—Lycurgus of Sparta returned home from Aetolia. The Ephors had discovered that the charge on which he had been banished was false; and had accordingly sent for him back, and recalled him from exile. He at once began making an arrangement with Pyrrhias the Aetolian, who happened at the time to be commander in Elis, for an invasion of Messenia. Now, when Aratas came into office, he found the mercenary army of the league in a state of complete demoralisation, and the cities very slack to pay the tax for their support, owing to the bad and spiritless manner in which his predecessor Eperatus had managed the affairs of the league.
The preparations of Aratus.
He, however, exhorted the members of the league to reform, and obtained a decree dealing with this matter; and then threw himself with energy into the preparations for the war. The decree passed by the Achaeans ordered the maintenance of eight thousand mercenary infantry and five hundred horse, together with three thousand Achaean infantry and three hundred horse, enrolled in the usual way; and that of these latter five hundred foot and fifty horse were to be brazen-shield men from Megalopolis, and the same number of Argives. It ordered also that three ships should be manned to cruise off Acte and in the Argolic gulf, and three off Patrae and Dyme, and in the sea there.

1 See ante, ch. 30. Agetas had been elected Aetolian Strategus in the autumn of 218 B.C., Aratus Achaean Strategus in the early summer of B.C. 217.

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