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NABIS.

with the Romans we are not informed, but we find him included as one of the allies of the Romans in the treaty made between them and Philip in the year b. c. 204. (Liv. xxix. 12.) The impunity ^with which Nabis pursued the course which has been described for two or three years encouraged him to form greater projects. An opportunity soon presented itself. Some Boeotians induced one of the grooms of Nabis to abscond with them, carrying off the most valuable of his horses. The fugitives wefe pursued, and overtaken at Megalo­polis. The pursuers were allowed to carry off the horses and groom ; but when they attempted to lay hands on the Boeotians also, they were hindered by the people and magistrates of the town, and compelled to quit it. Nabis seized upon this as a pretext for making inroads into the territory of Megalopolis. These he followed up by seizing the city of Messene, though he was at the time in alliance with the Messenians. (Polyb. xvi. 13.) Philopoemen, by his private influence, collected the forces of Megalopolis, and marched to Messene, upon which Nabis evacuated the town, and hastily returned into Laconia (in the latter part of b. c. 202, or the beginning of b, c. 201). In b. c. 201 Philopoemen became Achaean praetor, and in the third year of his office he collected the forces of the Achaean league with the greatest possible secresy at Tegea, drew the mercenaries of Nabis into an ambush on the borders of Laconia, at a place called Scotitas, and defeated them with great slaughter. For the rest of the year Nabis was compelled to keep within his own borders. (Polyb. xiii. 8, xvi. 36, 37 ; Paus. iv. 29. § 10, viii. 50. § 5.) As soon as Philopoemen was replaced by other and inferior leaders, Nabis renewed his attacks upon Megalopolis, and, according to Plutarch (PMfop. p. 363), reduced them to such distress, that they were compelled to sow corn in the streets of their city, to avoid starvation. It was at this juncture, when the Achaean army had been disbanded, and .tne contingents had not been fixed for the different states, that Philip undertook to repel Nabis, on condition that the Achaeans would help him to de­fend Corinth and some other places. As his object was evidently to involve the Achaeans in his con­test with the Romans, his offer was prudently de­clined, and the assembly at which it was made was dismissed, after a decree had been passed for levying troops against Nabis. (Liv. xxxi. 25.) Philip now (b.c. 198), finding it inconvenient to defend Argos himself, instructed Philocles to give up the custody of the city to Nabis, who, after having betrayed the people into an open expression of the hatred they felt towards him, was admitted t>y night into the city. He forthwith proceeded to extort the money of the citizens by means similar to those which he had found so successful at Sparta; and then, to secure the support of at least one portion of the community, he proposed a decree for the cancelling of debts, and for a fresh partition of the lands. (Liv. xxxii. 38, &c.) Having pro­cured an interview with Flamininus and Attalus, he agreed to grant a truce for four months to the Achaeans, and placed a body of his Cretans at the disposal of Flamininus. He then returned to .Sparta, leaving a garrison in Argos, and sent his wife Apega in his place. She seems to have been a fit helpmate for her husband, whom she even 'outdid at Argos, robbing and spoiling the women of the city in much the same fashion as her husband

NABIS.

had robbed the men. (Polyb. xvii. 17; Liv. xxxiL 40.)

Upon the representations of the commissioners employed in settling the affairs of Greece after the conclusion of the war with Philip, the Roman senate took into consideration the question of peace or war with Nabis, and finally referred the matter to Flamininus. He laid it before a congress of the allies at Corinth when war was unanimously de­creed. Pythagoras, who was at once brother-in-law and son-in-law of Nabis, and was in command at Argos, prevented the Romans from getting the city into their possession without a siege; and Flamininus, by the advice of Aristaenus, chose rather to carry the war into Laconia. With a powerful force he descended to the banks of the Eurotas. Nabis strengthened the defences of Sparta, and struck terror into his subjects by the sanguinary execution of eighty suspected citizens. His troops sustained some losses in engagements with the enemy, and Gythium, the arsenal of Sparta, was taken. Nabis, though reinforced by Pythagoras, was fain to solicit an interview with Flamininus. A conference ensued which lasted two days, a long account of which is given by Livy (xxxiv. 30—33). A truce was granted, that Nabis might consult his friends, and Flamininus his allies. The latter could only be induced to consent to peace at all by the representations which Flamininus made to them of the magnitude of the contributions which he should be obliged to lay upon them for the expenses of the war. The terms offered were such as Nabis refused to accept, and the negotiations were broken off. But being more closely pressed by the besieging army, and the city having been nearly carried by assault, Nabis was compelled to implore peace, which was granted on the former conditions, according to which he was to evacuate all the places he held beyond Laconia, to give up to the Romans the ports of Laconia, and the whole of his navy, to confine himself to Laconia, to give up to the exiles their wives and children, and pay 500 talents. This treaty was ratified by the Roman senate ; and amongst other hostages, Armenas, the son of Nabis, was sent to Rome, where he died some time after. The Argives, meantime, had expelled the garrison of Nabis from their city, b. c. 195. (Liv. xxxiv. 33—43 ; Polyb. xx. 13.)

When the Aetolians, after the departure of Flamininus from Greece, were endeavouring to re­kindle the flames of war, they incited Nabis to commence hostilities. He immediately began to make attempts upon the maritime towns of La­conia. The Achaeans, who Jiad been constituted the protectors of them, sent to Rome. Directions were given by the senate to the praetor, Atilius, to repel the aggressions of Nabis ; but before his arrival it was deemed necessary by the Achaeans, who were again headed by Philopoemen, at once to relieve Gythium. The attempts of Philopoemen to effect this by sea failed, to some extent, from his having placed his admiral, Tiso, on board a large ship which was utterly unseaworthy, and went to pieces at the first shock; and notwithstanding a favourable diversion by land, Gythium was taken by Nabis, and Philopoemen retired to Tegea. On re-entering Laconia, he was surprised by Nabis ; but through his skilful conduct, the forces of the tyrant were defeated with great slaughter, and Philopoemen ravaged Laconia unmolested for thirty

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