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On his arrival Flamininus sacked Eretria, defeating the Macedonians who were defending it. He then marched against Corinth, which was held by Philip with a garrison, and sat down to besiege it, while at the same time he sent to the Achaeans and bade them come to Corinth with an army, if they desired to be called allies of Rome and at the same time to show their goodwill to Greece.

[2] But the Achaeans greatly blamed Flamininus himself, and Otilius before him, for their savage treatment of ancient Greek cities which had done the Romans no harm, and were subject to the Macedonians against their will. They foresaw too that the Romans were coming to impose their domination both on Achaeans and on the rest of Greece, merely in fact to take the place of Philip and the Macedonians. At the meeting of the League many opposite views were put forward, but at last the Roman party prevailed, and the Achaeans joined Flamininus in besieging Corinth.

[3] On being delivered from the Macedonians the Corinthians at once joined the Achaean League; they had joined it on a previous occasion, when the Sicyonians under Aratus drove all the garrison out of Acrocorinth, killing Persaeus, who had been placed in command of the garrison by Antigonus. Hereafter the Achaeans were called allies of the Romans, and in all respects right zealous allies they proved themselves to be. They followed the Romans to Macedonia against Philip; they took part in the campaign against the Aetolians; thirdly they fought side by side with the Romans against the Syrians under Antiochus.


All that the Achaeans did against the Macedonians or the host of the Syrians they did because of their friendship to the Romans; but against the Aetolians they had a long standing private quarrel to settle. When the tyranny of Nabis in Sparta was put down, a tyranny marked by extreme ferocity, the affairs of Lacedaemon at once caught the attention of the Achaeans.

[5] At this time the Achaeans brought the Lacedaemonians into the Achaean confederacy, exacted from them the strictest justice, and razed the walls of Sparta to the ground. These had been built at haphazard at the time of the invasion of Demetrius, and afterwards of the Epeirots under Pyrrhus, but under the tyranny of Nabis they had been strengthened to the greatest possible degree of safety. So the Achaeans destroyed the walls of Sparta, and also repealed the laws of Lycurgus that dealt with the training of the youths, at the same time ordering the youths to be trained after the Achaean method.

[6] I shall treat of this more fully in my account of Arcadia.1 The Lacedaemonians, deeply offended by the ordinances of the Achaeans, fled to Metellus and the other commissioners who had come from Rome. They had come, not at all to bring war upon Philip and the Macedonians, as peace had already been made between Philip and the Romans, but to judge the charges brought against Philip by the Thessalians and certain Epeirots.

[7] In actual fact Philip himself and the Macedonian ascendancy had been put down by the Romans; Philip fighting against the Romans under Flamininus was worsted at the place called Dog's Heads2, where in spite of his desperate efforts Philip was so severely defeated in the encounter that he lost the greater part of his army and agreed with the Romans to evacuate all the cities in Greece that he had captured and forced to submit.

[8] By prayers of all sorts, however, and by vast expenditure he secured from the Romans a nominal peace. The history of Macedonia, the power she won under Philip the son of Amyntas, and her fall under the later Philip, were foretold by the inspired Sibyl. This was her oracle:—

[9] “Ye Macedonians, boasting of your Argive kings,
To you the reign of a Philip will be both good and evil.
The first will make you kings over cities and peoples;
The younger will lose all the honor,
Defeated by men from west and east.
”Now those who destroyed the Macedonian empire were the Romans, dwelling in the west of Europe, and among the allies fighting on their side was Attalus . . . who also commanded the army from Mysia, a land lying under the rising sun.

1 See Paus. 8.51.

2 197 B.C.

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 32.15
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 32.18
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