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This discourse won all the common people over to the party of Agis, but the rich men ranged themselves under Leonidas, and intreated him not to abandon them: they likewise addressed themselves to the senators, who had the principal power in this affair, as they alone were qualified to examine all proposals, before they could be received and confirmed by the people'; and their solicitations were so effectual, that those who had opposed the decree of Agis, carried their point by an unanimous concurrence of voices : upon which Lysander, who still continued in his employment, immediately determined to proceed against Leonidas, in virtue of an ancient law, by which “ each descendant from Her“ cules was prohibited from espousing any foreign

woman; and which made it death for any Spartan " to settle among strangers.” Sufficient proofs of delinquency in these particulars were produced against Leonidas, and Cleombrotus was prevailed upon, at the same time, to assist in the prosecution, and demand the crown, as being himself of the royal race, and the son-in-law of Leonidas.

Leonidas was so confounded at this proceeding, and so apprehensive of the event, that he took sanc. tuary in the temple of Minerva called Chalcioicos; upon which the wife of Cleonbrotus separated herself from her husband, and became a supplicant for her father. Leonidas was summoned to appear; but as he refused to render obedience in that particular, he was divested of his royalty, and it was then transferred to his son-in-law Cleombrotus.

Lysander quitted his employment about the close of these transactions, the usual time for holding it being then expired. The new Ephori took this opportunity to commence a prosecution against him, and Mandroclides, for having voted for the abolition of debts, and a new distribution of lands, contrary to the laws. Lysander and Mandroclides, finding themselves in danger of being condemned, persuaded the two kings, that if they would only be united with

each other, they would have no cause to be disquieted by any decrees of the Ephori, who were privileged indeed to decide between them, when they were divided in their sentiments, but had no right to interpose in their affairs, when they concurred in the same opinions.

The two kings, in order to improve this remonstrance, entered the assembly, where they compelled the Ephori to quit their seats, and substituted others in their stead, one of whom was Agesilaus. They then caused a band of young men to arm themselves, and gave orders for releasing the prisoners; in a word, they rendered themselves very formidable to their enemies, who now expected to be put to the sword: but not one person was killed on this occasion; and when Agis even knew that Agesilaus intended to cause Leonidas to be assassinated, in his retreat to Tegæa, he ordered him to be safely conducted thither by a sufficient guard.

When the affair was on the point of being absolutely concluded without any opposition, so great was the terror which then prevailed, it was suddenly obstructed by a single man. Agesilaus had one of the largest and best estates in the whole country, and at the same time was deeply involved in debt: but as he was incapable of paying his creditors, and had no inclination to incorporate his estate into the cominon property, he represented to Agis, that the change would be too great and violent, and even too dangerous, should they attempt to carry their two points at the same time; namely, the abolition of debts, and the distribution of lands; whereas, if they began with gaining over the landed proprietors, by the annihilation of debts, it would be easy for them to accomplish the partition of lands. The specious turn of this reasoning ensnared Agis, and even Lysander himself was won over to this expedient by the artifice of Agesilaus; in consequence of which all contracts and obligations were taken from the several creditors, and carried into the public

place, where they were piled into a large heap, and burned to ashes. As soon as the flames mounted into the air, the tich men and bankers, who had lent their money, returned home extremely dejected, and Agesilaus cried with an insulting air, “ That he had never seen so fine and clear a fire before.”

The people, immediately after this transaction, demanded a distribution of the lands, and each of the kings gave orders for its accomplishment; but Agesilaus still continued to start fresh difficulties, and found out a variety of new pretexts, to prevent the execution of that affair; by which means he gained time, till Agis was obliged to take the field at the head of an army. For the Achæans, who were in alliance with the Lacedæmonians, had sent to demand their assistance against the Ætolians, who threatened an irruption into the territories of the Megareans in Peloponnesus.

Aratus, who was then general of the Achæans, had already assembled his troops to oppose the enemy, and had also written to the Ephori, who, upon receipt of his letters, immediately sent Agis to their assistance. This prince set out with all possible expedition, and the soldiers testified an incrcdible joy, at their marching under his command. The generality of them were young men,

low circumstances of life, who now saw themselves discharged from all their debts, and free, and also in expectation of sharing the lands, at their return from this expedition; for which reasons they testified the utmost affection for Agis. The cities were charmed to see these troops pass through Peloponnesus, without committing the least disorder: and so quietly, that the sound of their march was hardly to be distinguished. The Greeks were entirely surprised, and made the following reflection :.“ What admirable discipline and order must formerly have been observed by the armies of Lacedæmon, when they were commanded by Agesilaus, Lysander, or the ancient Leonidas; as they even discover at

in very

this time so much awe and respect for their general, though younger than any soldier in his camp!”

Agis 'joined Aratus, near Corinth, at the very time when he was deliberating in a council of war, whether he should hazard a battle, and in what manner he should dispose his troops. Agis declared for a battle, and thought it not adviseable to allow the enemies a passage into Peloponnesus; but added at the same time, that he intended to act as Aratus should judge proper, as he was the older officer of the two, and general of the Achæans, whereas he himself was only general of the auxiliary troops; and was not come thither to exercise any command over the league, but only to engage the enemy in conjunction with them, for whose assistance he had been sent. The officers of Aratus, instead of treating him with so much deference as Agis had expressed, took the liberty to reproach hin in sharp terms, for his disinclination to a battle; ascribing that to timidity, which, in reality, was the effect of prudence. But the vain fear of false infamy did not make him abandon his wise view for the public good. He justified his conduct by the memoirs he writ on that occasion; wherein he observes, that as the husbandmen had already carried in their harvest, and gathered in all the fruits of the season, he judged it more adviseable to let the enemy advance into the country, than to hazard an unnecessary battle at that juncture, when the welfare of the whole league lay at stake. When he had determined not to enter upon action, he dismissed his allies, after he had bestowed the greatest commendations upon them; and Agis, who was astonished at his conduct, set out for Sparta with his troops.

The Ætolians entered Peloponnesus without any obstruction, and in their march seized the city of Pellene, where their troops, who were intent on nothing but plunder, immediately dispersed themselves

u Plut. in Arat. p. 1041.

up and down, without the least order, and began to contend with each other for the spoils. Aratus, informed of these proceedings, would not suffer so favourable an opportunity to escape him. He then ceased to be the same man, and, without losing a moment's time, or waiting till all his troops had joined him, advanced with those he then had against the enemy, who were become weak even by their victory: he attacked them in the very place they had so lately taken, and forced them to abandon it, after having lost seven hundred men. This action did him great honour, and changed the injurious reproaches he had patiently suffered into the highest applauses and panegyric.

Several states and princes having now entered into a confederacy against the Achæans, Aratus endeayoured to contract a friendship and alliance with the Ætolians, in which he easily succeeded; for a peace was not only concluded between them, but he also effectually negociated an offensive and defensive league, between the two nations of Ætolia and Achæa.

Agis, when he arrived at Sparta, found a great A.M. change in the state of affairs. Agesilaus, who was

3760. one of the Ephori, being no longer restrained by fear Ant. J. C. as formerly, and entirely intent upon the gratification of his avarice, comınitted the greatest violence and injustice. When he found himself universally detested, he raised and maintained a body of troops, who served him as a guard when he went to the senate; and caused a report to be spread, that he intended to continue in his office the succeeding year. His enemies, in order to elude the calamities with which they were threatened, caused Leonidas to be sent for in the most public manner from Tegæa, and replaced him upon the throne, to the general satisfaction of the people, who were greatly irritated to see themselves abused in the hopes they had enter

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* Plut. in Agid. p. 802-804.

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