By D. V. Grammenos
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Extra info for The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
He was, however, protected by the clemency and generosity of the league; and, much to his own surprise, was left unmolested. 19 All these favours he immediately forgot, as soon as his hopes were a little raised by the Cleomenic war; and at a crisis of the utmost importance he withdrew his native city, as well as his own personal adhesion, from the league, and attached them to its enemies. For such an act of treason what he deserved was not to be racked under cover of night at Cenchreae, and then put to death, as Phylarchus says: he ought to have been taken from city to city in the Peloponnese, and to have ended his life only after exemplary torture in each of them.
First of all, they allowed their territory to be at the mercy of Cleomenes, and then consented to be entirely deprived of their city, rather than be false to the league: and, finally, in spite of an unexpected chance of recovering it, they deliberately preferred the loss of their territory, the tombs of their ancestors, their temples, their homes and property, of everything in fact which men value most, to forfeiting their faith to their allies. No nobler action has ever been, or ever will be performed; none to which an historian could better draw his reader’s attention.
He regarded it also as eminently favourable to his policy, that the people of Megalopolis were so eager to use the Achaean league as the channel of communication with Antigonus. For his first object was if possible to do without this assistance; but if he were compelled to have recourse to it, he wished that the invitation should not be sent through himself personally, but that it should rather come from the Achaeans as a nation. For he feared that, if the king came, and conquered Cleomenes and the Lacedaemonians in the war, and should then adopt any policy hostile to the interests of the national constitution, he would have himself by general consent to bear the blame of the result: while Antigonus would be justified, by the injury which had been inflicted on the royal house of Macedonia in the matter of the Acrocorinthus.