But, despite so many disasters, the spirit of freedom was still alive in Greece. It had established itself, almost inadvertently, in the northern canton of the Peloponnese, Achaia, where the Achaean cities, starting from 281-280, had gradually organized themselves into a solid federal state, constituted on the example of that that on the other side of the Corinthian gulf had formed the nearby Aetolians. Antigonus probably ascribed only very little importance to this fact; but the fact acquired a completely new importance when the young Aratus, a Sycionian belonging to a family who had had dominion in Sicyon, killed the tyrant who then ruled over it in the name of Antigonus, re-established republican institutions in his homeland. This too might have seemed a trivial accident, one of the common events of the turbulent Greek life of that time. But it turned into a decisive event in Greek history, when Aratus, overcoming the prejudices of autonomous municipalism, united Sicyon to the Achaean league and made it cease to be a simple cantonal league. With this he made himself the ideal leader of the league and began that expansion by which, little by little, he incorporated the whole of the Peloponnese and became the greatest Hellenic power. But this only took place through successive stages and in the midst of serious and growing difficulties. The content and purpose of the whole first part of Arato’s political life was the ruthless struggle against the tyrants, which was identified with the struggle against Macedonia. He found at first an ally in Alexander, son of Craterus, governor of the Greek possessions of Antigonus and particularly of Corinth and Chalcis. The rebellion of Alexander was a very serious blow for Macedonia, because it was thus separated from its Peloponnesian friends and allies. And even when the death of Alexander allowed Antigonus to regain the very important possession of Corinth, it was only a passing advantage. Arato with the help of the Corinthian republicans managed to occupy the city and the fortress of Acrocorinth by surprise in 242. At the same time the Achaean league extended to Megara and part of the Argolis. It was a serious misfortune for the Macedonian domination in the Peloponnese. At the same time, we do not know exactly among which specific contingencies, the Macedonian dominance in the Aegean sea suffered a serious blow by Egypt. So, when Antigonus died, around 240, if the work of Macedonian reorganization had been fully successful, his Greek policy, despite the land victories of the Cremonides war and his maritime victory of Kos, could be said to have entirely failed. The Aetolians had taken advantage of his friendship to extend their power, subjecting Boeotia to their dominance with the victory of Chaeronea (245), so that in central Greece, beyond Euboea, only the feeble support of Athens remained for Antigonus. And in the Peloponnese his allies were defenseless in the face of the expansion of Achaia promoted by Aratus.
According to Sportsqna, the policy of Antigonus’s successor, Demetrius called the Aetolian, was necessarily different from that of his father. Macedonia, to which its barbarian neighbors created ever greater difficulties, had not, left to itself, sufficient strength to maintain alongside its terrestrial supremacy that maritime supremacy, which it had not had at the time of Philip. Demetrius therefore let the Macedonian army decay and turned his efforts both to the defense against the barbarians, in particular the Dardani and the Illyrians, and to the struggle for terrestrial hegemony in Greece. In this struggle from then on Macedonia was opposed only very softly by the Ptolemies, so for that general weakening of Egyptian politics which began to manifest itself under the apparent prosperity after the first years of the third Ptolemy, Evergete, as for the decay of the Macedonian army which allowed the Ptolemies to consolidate, without the need for further efforts, their dominance over the Aegean. But also, to renew the attempt at terrestrial hegemony in Greece, Demetrius abandoned his father’s policy. He realized that for this purpose it was better for him to weaken the dominance acquired by the Aetolians in central Greece, trying first of all to open up the steps that led there and gather around him the discontents that the Aetolian expansion had created. After breaking the unnatural alliance with the Aetolians, he found the two major republican leagues of Greece, the etolian and the acaixian, tightened against him. Thus broke out that violent war against the Aetolians and the Achaeans, which from him took the name of Demetrian warfare. acaic. Thus broke out that violent war against the Aetolians and the Achaeans, which from him took the name of Demetrian warfare. acaic. Thus broke out that violent war against the Aetolians and the Achaeans, which from him took the name of Demetrian warfare.