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Lyciscus Replies To Chlaeneas

After him the ambassador of the Acarnanians, Lyciscus, came forward: and at first he paused, seeing the multitude talking to each other about the last speech; but when at last silence was obtained, he began his speech as follows:—

"I and my colleagues, men of Sparta, have been sent to

Speech of Lyciscus, envoy from Acarnania, which country was to fall to the Aetolians by the proposed new treaty. See Livy, 26, 24.
you by the common league of the Acarnanians; and as we have always shared in the same prospects as the Macedonians, we consider that this mission also is common to us and them. For just as on the field of war, owing to the superiority and magnitude of the Macedonian, force, our safety is involved in their valour; so, in the controversies of diplomacy, our interests are inseparable from the rights of the Macedonians. Now Chlaeneas in the peroration of his address gave a summary of the obligations existing between the Aetolians and yourselves. For he said, If subsequent to your making the alliance with them any fresh injury or offence had been committed by Aetolians, or any kindness done by Macedonians, the present proposal ought properly to be discussed as a fresh start; but that if, nothing of the sort having taken place, we believe that by quoting the services of Antigonus, and your former decrees, we shall be able to annul existing oaths and treaties, we are the greatest simpletons in the world.' To this I reply by acknowledging that I must indeed be the most foolish of men, and that the arguments I am about to put forward are indeed futile, if, as he maintains, nothing fresh has happened, and Greek affairs are in precisely the same position as before. But if exactly the reverse be the case, as I shall clearly prove in the course of my speech,—then I imagine that I shall be shown to give you some salutary advice, and Chlaeneas to be quite in the wrong. We are come, then, expressly because we are convinced that it is needful for us to speak on this very point: namely, to point out to you that it is at once your duty and your interest, after hearing of the evils threatening Greece, to adopt if possible a policy excellent and worthy of yourselves by uniting your prospects with ours; or if that cannot be, at least to abstain from this movement for the present.

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    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 26, 24
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