The Ancient Library

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thither. Flamininus accompanied by the ten com­missioners entered the assembly, and, at his com­mand, a herald, in the name of the Roman senate, . proclaimed the freedom and independence of Greece. The joy and enthusiasm at this unexpected decla­ration was beyond all description : the throngs of people that crowded around Flamininus to catch a sight of their liberator or touch his garment were so enormous, that even his life was endangered.

When the festive days were over, Flamininus and the ten commissioners set about settling the Affairs of Greece, especially of those districts and towns which had till then been occupied by the Macedonians. Thessaly was divided into four separate states, — Magnesia, Perrhaebia, Dolopia, and Thessaliotis : the Aetolians received back Am-braeia, Phocis, and Locris ; they claimed more, but they were referred to the Roman senate, and the senate again referred them to Flamininus, so that they were obliged to acquiesce in his decision. The Achaeans received all the Macedonian possessions in Peloponnesus, and, as a particular favour towards Athens, Flamininus extended her dominions also.

The peace thus established in Greece by the vic­tory over Macedonia did not last long, for the al­liance of the Romans with Nabis was as disagree­able to the Romans as it was disgraceful, and in the spring of b.c. 195 Flamininus was invested with full power by the Roman senate to act towards Nabis as he might think proper. He forthwith con­voked a meeting of the Greeks at Corinth. All were delighted at the hope of getting rid of this monster of a tyrant, and it was only the Aetolians who again gave vent to their hostile feelings towards the Ro­mans. But the war against Nabis was decreed, and after receiving reinforcements from the Achaeans, Philip, Eumenes of Pergamus, and the Rhodians, Flamininus marched to Argos, the Lacedaemonian garrison of which was commanded by Pythagoras, the .brother-in-law of Nabis. As. the people of Argos, being kept down by the strong garrison, did not rise in a body against their oppressors, Flami­ninus resolved to leave Argos and march into Laconia. Nabis, although his army was inferior to that of his opponents, made preparations for a most vigorous defence. Two battles were fought under the walls of Sparta, in which Nabis was beaten; but Flamininus abstained from besieging the tyrant in his own capital; he ravaged the country and endeavoured to cut off the supplies. With the assistance of his brother Lucius he took the populous and strongly fortified town of Gy thium. The unexpected fall of this place convinced Nabis that he could not hold out much longer, and he sued for peace. Flamininus, who feared lest a successor should be sent into his province, was not disinclined to come to some arrangement with Nabis. His allies, on the other hand, urged the necessity of exterminating his tyranny completely ; but the Romans looked at the state of things in a different light, and probably thought Nabis an useful check upon the Achaeans ; Flamininus, therefore, with­out openly opposing his allies, brought them round to his .views by various considerations. But the terms on which peace was offered to Nabis .were rejected, and Flamininus now advanced .against Sparta and tried to take the place by assault; and, as he was on the point of making a second attempt, in which Sparta would probably have fallen into his hands, Nabis again began to negotiate for peace, and was glad to obtain it on the terms he had be-



fore rejected. The Argives, who had heard of the probable reduction of Sparta, had expelled their Spartan garrison. Flamininus now went to Argos, attended the celebration of the Nemean games, and proclaimed the freedom of Argos, which was made over to the Achaeans.

In the winter following Flamininus exerted him­self, as he had done hitherto, in restoring the in­ternal peace and welfare of Greece, for there can be no doubt that he loved the Greeks, and it was his noble ambition to be their benefactor, and wherever his actions appear at variance with this object, he was under the influence of the policy of his coun­try. The wisdom of several of his arrangements is attested by their long duration. In order to refute the malignant insinuations of the Aetolians, Fla­mininus prevailed upon the Roman senate to with­draw the Roman garrisons from Acrocorinthus, Chalcis, Demetrias, and the other Greek towns, be­fore his departure from the country. When the affairs of Greece were thus satisfactorily settled, he convoked, in the spring ofs. c. 194, an assembly of the Greeks at Corinth, to take leave of his be­loved people. He parted from them like a father from his children, exhorting them to use their free­dom wisely, and to remain faithful to Rome. Be­fore he left he performed another act of humanity which history ought not to pass over. During the Hannibalian war a number of Romans had been taken prisoners, and, as the republic refused to ransom them, they were sold as slaves, and many of them had been bought by the Greeks. Flami­ninus now prevailed on the Roman senate to grant him a sum of money for the purpose of purchasing the liberty of those men. On his return to Rome, he celebrated a magnificent triumph which lasted for three days.

Soon after the Romans had quitted Greece, An-tiochus of Syria, and Nabis of Sparta, were insti­gated by the Aetolians to take up arms against Rome. Nabis did not require much persuasion. He besieged Gythium, which was occupied by the Achaeans. The Roman senate, which was in­formed of every thing that was going on in Greece, sent a fleet under C. Atilius, b.c. 192, and an embassy, headed by Flamininus, who had more influence there than any one else, and who was to exercise it, partly to keep up the good understandr ing with the allies of Rome, and partly to mai;e new friends. He arrived in Greece before Atilius, arid advised the 'Greeks not to undertake any thing before the arrival of the Roman fleet,. But as the danger which threatened Gythiuin required quick action, the war against Nabis was decreed. The tyrant was reduced to the last extremity, and Philopoemen had it in his power to decide his downfall by one more blow, but it was prevented by Flamininus, partly from the same political mo­tives which had before induced him to spare Nabis, and partly because his ambition was wounded by the dislike with which the Greeks had regarded and still regarded the peace which he had concluded with Nabis. Flamininus was invested with full power ; and he might have de­stroyed the evil at once at its root, but he pre­ferred carrying out the scheme of the Roman po­licy : Philopoemen was checked in his' progress, and obliged to conclude a truce with Nabis. An-tiochus was now making serious preparations to cross over, into Greece ; and Flamininus, by va­rious favourable promises, induced Philip of Mace-

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