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Commerce with his daughter-in-law (a subject of the greatest grief to him) and which, however, he had not once hinted to his son; from the consideration, that it would not be of service to him to inform him of his ignominy, as it was not in his power to rea.
As it was impossible but this rupture must make some noise, Philip, whom the greatest crimes now cost nothing, resolved to rid himself of a trouble. some censor, whose very absence reproached all his irregularities. Aratus's great reputation, and the respect paid to his virtue, would not suffer Philip to employ open force and violence; and therefore he charged Taurion, one of his confidents, to dispatch him secretly during his absence. His horrid command was obeyed; for Taurion having insinuated himself into Aratus's familiarity and friendship, invited him several times to dinner, and at one of them poisoned him; not with a violent and immediate poison, but with one of those which lights up a slow fire in the body, consumes it by insensible degrees, and is the more dangerous, as it gives less notice.
Aratus knew very well the cause of his illness ; but as complaints would not be of any service to him, he bore it patiently, without once murmuring, as a common and natural disease. One day only, happening to spit blood before a friend who was in the room with him, and seeing that his friend was surprised, he said, “ Behold, my dear Cephalon, the fruits of royal friendship.” He died in this manner at Ægium, being then captain-general for the seventeenth time.
The Achæans would have him buried in the place where he died, and were preparing such a magnificent mausoleum to his memory as might be worthy his great services. But the Sicyonians obtained that honour. for their city, where Aratus was born; and changing their mourning to festivity, crowned with chaplets of flowers, and clothed in white robes, they
went and fetched the corpse from Ægium, and car. ried it in pomp to Sicyon, dancing before it, and singing hymns and odes in honour of the deceased. They made choice of the highest part of the city, where they buried him as the founder and preserver of it, which place was afterwards called Aratium. In Plutarch's time, that is, about three hundred years after, two solemn sacrifices were offered him annually: the first, on the day that he freed the city from the yoke of tyranny, which sacrifice was called Soteria: and the other on his birth-day. During the sacrifice, choirs of music sung odes to the lyre; and the chief chorister, at the head of the young men and children, walked in procession round the altar. The senate, crowned with chaplets of flowers, and a great part of the inhabitants, followed this procession.
It must be owned that Aratus was one of the greatest men of his time, and may be considered, in some measure, as one of the founders of the commonwealth of Achaia: it was he at least who brought it to the form and splendour it preserved so long afterwards, and by which it became one of the most powerful states of Greece. However, he committed a considerable error, in calling in to the assistance of that commonwealth the kings of Ma. cedonia, who made themselves masters and tyrants of it; and this, as we have before observed, was an effect of his jealousy of the great Cleomenes king of Sparta.
lie was fully punished for it, by the manner in which Philip treated him. Aratus his son met with a still more deplorable fate: for that prince, being become completely wicked, says Plutarch, and who affected to add outrage to cruelty, got rid of him, not by mortal poisons, but by those which destroy reason, and craze the brain; and by that means made him commit such abominable actions, as would have re. flected eternal infamy on bim, had they been done voluntarily, and when he was in his senses: losco
much that, though he was at that time very young and in the bloom of life, his death was considered, not as a misfortune with regard to himself, but as the remedy and period of his miseries.
* About this time Philip engaged in a successful expedition against the Illyrians. He had long desired to possess himself of Lissus; but believed it would be impossible for him ever to take the castle, which was so happily situated and so strongly fortified that it was thought impregnable. Finding that force would not prevail, he had recourse to stratagem. The city was separated from the castle by a little valley; in that he observed a spot covered with trees, and very fit to conceal an ambuscade. Here he posted the flower of his troops. The next day he assaulted another part of the city. The inhabitants, who were very numerous, defended themselves with great bravery; and, for some time, the success was equal on both sides. At last they made a furious sally, and charged the besiegers with great vigour. The garrison of the castle, seeing Philip retire fighting, imagined they should infallibly defeat him; and being desirous of sharing in the plunder, most of them came out, and joined the inhabitants. In the mean time, the soldiers who lay in ambuscade attacked the castle, and carried it without great resistance. And now, the signal agreed upon being made, the fugitives faced about, and pursued the inhabitants as far as the city, which surrendered a few days after.
• M. Valerius Levinus, as prætor, had been al. A. M. lotted Greece and Macedonia for his province. He 3793. was very sensible that, in order to lessen the forces Ant. J.C. of Philip, it would be absolutely necessary to bring over some of his allies (of whom the Ætolians were the most powerful) from his interest. He therefore began by sounding, in private conferences, the disposition of the chiefs of the latter people; and,
Polyb. I. viii. p. 519-521.
• Liv. 1, xxvi. n. 24–36.
after having assured himself of them, he went to the general assembly. There, after expatiating on the Aourishing state of the Romans, and proved it by their taking of Syracuse in Sicily, and Capua in Italy, he extolled the great generosity with which the Romans behaved towards their allies, and their constant fidelity. He added that the Ætolians might expect to meet with so much the better treatment from the Romans, as they would be the first people in that part of the world who should have concluded an alliance with them. That Philip and the Macedonians were dangerous neighbours, whose power would, in all probability, be of the most fatal consequence to them. That the Romans had already humbled their pride, and would oblige them, not only to give up such fortresses as they had taken from the Ætolians, but even give them cause to fear for their own countries. That with regard to the Acarnanians, who had broke with the Ætolians, the Romans would force them to return to their alliance, on the same conditions which had been prescribed to them when they were admitted into it; or, in case of their refusal, would make them submit to the Ætolians by force of arms.
Scopas, who was at that time chief magistrate of the Ætolian state ; and Dorimachus, who, of all the citizens, had the greatest credit and authority; strongly enforced the arguments and promises of the prætor, and said many more advantageous things of the grandeur and power of the Romans, because they were not obliged to speak as modestly on those topics as Valerius Levinus; and the people would be more inclined to believe them than a foreigner, who spoke for the interests of his country. The circumstance which affected them most was, the hopes of their possessing themselves of Acarnania. Accordingly the treaty was concluded between the Romans and the Ætolians. The people of Elis, of Lace. dæmonia, Attalus king of Pergamus, Pleuratus king of Thrace, and Scerdiledes of Illyria, were left at
liberty to accede to this treaty, on the same conditions, if they thought proper. The conditions were, " That the Ætolians should declare war as soon as
possible against Philip : That the Romans should « furnish them, at least, twenty-five gallies, quin
queremes, or of five benches of oars: That such “ cities as should be taken from Ætolia, as far as the “ island of * Corcyra, should be possessed by the « Ætolians, and all the spoils and captives by the
Romans: that the Romans should aid the Æto“ lians in making themselves masters of Acar56 nania: that the Ætolians should not be al. “ lowed to conclude a peace with Philip, but upon “ condition that he should be obliged to withdraw “ his troops out of the territories of the Romans, " and those of their allies; nor the Romans with
Philip, but on the same terms." Immediately hostilities commenced. Philip was dispossessed of some cities, after which Levinus retired to Corcyra; fully persuaded that the king had so much business, and so many enemies, upon his hands, that he would have no time to think of Italy or Hannibal,
Philip was now in winter-quarters at Pella, when advice was brought him of the new treaty of the Ætolians. To be the sooner able to march out against them, he endeavoured to settle the affairs of Macedonia, and to secure it from any invasions of its neighbours. Scopas, on the other side, makes preparations for carrying on the war against the Acarnanians, who, though they saw it would be absolutely impossible for them to oppose, at one and the same time, two such powerful states as the Ætolians and Romans, yet they took up arms out of despair, rather than from prudential motives, and resolved to sell their lives as dear as possible. Ac. cordingly, having sent into Epirus, which lay very near them, their wives, children, and the old men