To carry out the social revolution in Sparta, Cleomenes had had to secure the support of the army, starting the war against the Achaean league, for a question of borders with Megalopolis. The war, though with varying success, had on the whole been advantageous and glorious for Sparta. The Achaean league, well organized politically, was in fact militarily weak, and the man himself who was at its head, Aratus, as much as he was a political expert and astute conspirator, was so inept was a man of war. And now, when the reform had taken place, Cleomenes, to consolidate it, prepared to fight with even greater vigor. And again the Achaeans could not resist his offensive onslaught; near Megalopoli Arato was defeated and Lydia, the ancient tyrant of Megalopolis, the best officer of the league, fell fighting (226). Under the impression of defeats the Achaeans bowed to thoughts of peace. On the other hand, Cleomenes did not want to shatter the league or even interfere in its internal affairs; he only asked to be recognized as its hegemon. So suddenly Sparta would have regained the dominance of the Peloponnese, lost with the battle of Leuctra. Abandoned to their forces alone, not rescued by the Aetolians, jealous by the progress of the Achaean league and hostile, the Achaeans, if they did not want to give up the anti-Macedonia policy followed up to now, had no other way than to fold. The union of Achaia with Sparta would have restored ancient efficiency to the Peloponnese. But perhaps with little advantage of Greece, two powers having arisen in the north, Aetolia and Macedonia, which, even if separated, they were able to counterbalance the new Spartan hegemony, and certainly would not have submitted to it and could not coexist with it peacefully. But these thoughts did not upset Aratus and the Achaeans, when they had to deal with Cleomenes, yes, beyond and more than the usual ambitions or the usual particularism, the terror of the social revolution. Because the less well-off classes, tired of economic oppression, were inspired by the Spartan example and looked to Cleomenes as a savior. This induced the Achaeans to break off the negotiations. The war parched; Cleomenes occupied Argos, took Corinth, and even besieged Sicyon. And now, reduced to the extreme, the Achaeans undid the work they had worked on with such tenacity for thirty years, they recalled the Macedonians to the Peloponnese, accepting their hegemony. With its own strength, because the scarce financial aid of Ptolemy Philadelphus and Ptolemy Evergete is hardly to be taken into account, Greece had managed to free itself almost entirely from Macedonian dominance, not fighting against Macedonia torn apart by internal struggles of the time of Cassander. and Demetrio Poliorcete, but against Macedonia reorganized and firmly held in hand by Antigono Gonata and Demetrio l’Etolico. What had failed the Hellenic leagues of Demosthenes had been achieved by the new federal states of Aetolia and Achaia, which had been able to overcome the particularities of the citizens and had helped themselves to the powerful republican awakening, with which Greece had reacted to absolutism. of monarchs and the will of tyrants. Now the Macedonians, excluded from Greece, did not return there by force of their own, but called by the Greeks themselves as arbiters of their dissensions. They called them to you, because, if they had been able to overcome citizen selfishness, they had not been able to overcome, as ancient civilization never knew, class selfishness. And yet the danger, which made the Peloponnesian property classes tremble, was more apparent than real. In fact, Cleomenes was not an idealist revolutionary who cared about the interests of the dispossessed, inside or outside the terms of his homeland. He had made a new division of land in Laconia, because it was the only way to give Sparta more soldiers; and on the other hand he had believed he was thus restoring the constitution of Lycurgus. Outside, the proletariat, which had hoped for a social revolution from him, soon had to be deceived. He was not even a politician with a broad vision, like Demosthenes, who thought of ensuring the freedom of the fatherland through the freedom of all Greeks; like Lysander and Agesilaus, Cleomenes was concerned only with the power of Sparta. And precisely for this reason, when Antigonus Dosone brought his fierce Macedonians to the Peloponnese, the renewed Spartan power collapsed, as it had collapsed in the face of Epaminondas. Not only were all the new conquests quickly lost, but with the decisive victory of Sellasia (222) Antigonus opened the way to Laconia and, while Cleomenes fled, occupied Sparta; the first time that Sparta was occupied by enemy troops. Cleomenes’ reforms were quickly abolished, and with them the dream of renewed Spartan power fell. Now, called by the Peloponnesians, sustained by the sympathy of the possessing classes, throughout the peninsula and in Sparta itself, where the opponents of the revolution returned to power, Antigonus was truly the hegemon, in a very different meaning than Philip or Alexander. He organized all his Greek allies into a vast symmachy, which renewed and in many respects surpassed the Corinthian league of Philip, Alexander and Demetrius Poliorcete, introducing the spirit of the Hellenic league of Demosthenes. While the Corinthian league had mainly embraced individual cities, the new league mainly embraced federal states, some of which were very considerable in size and power, such as Achaia and Epirus. It also included Thessaly, Euboea, eastern Locride, Phocis, Boeotia, free Acarnania and finally Sparta, deprived of its kings. Unlike the Corinthian league, while in that almost all the Greeks had coercively joined and yearned for liberation, here all, or almost all, had freely joined it, recognizing that the protection of Macedonian power was necessary. And while the Corinthian league had been a larva under which Philip and Alexander had disguised their will to dominate, now the federation was anything but a mere tool in the hands of the hegemon, it was, under Macedonian hegemony, a union of free peoples. Unilateral ordinances, such as those of Alexander, for divine honors and for the return of exiles, would have been unthinkable. So much blood had not been shed in vain, and Macedonia and most of Greece were finally pressed together in an organism, which conciliated in the most perfect way that until then he was successful authority and freedom, an organism which was, in itself and in the energies with which it was animated, a new creation. Would it have been vital? The future of the nation depended on this. On the other hand, a force undermined him internally, the class egoism, which had too much influenced his constitution and strangled his energies, the importance of which could have been measured by the cleomenic war itself. And from the outside he was endangered by the jealousy and aversion of the major power of central Greece, the Aetolian League. Also very harmful was remaining outside Athens, which, paying attention to the interests of the moment and failing to overcome particularistic selfishness, continued to isolate itself from Greek politics and did not give the league the moral leaven of its glorious traditions. The untimely death of Antigono Dosone, who had returned to Macedonia, had won another victory over the barbarians (221-220) was also critical to the league. He was succeeded by the seventeen year old son of Demetrius, Philip V. According to Thedresswizard, the Romans took advantage of this to intervene again against the Illyrians (219), who, confident in the resurgence of Macedonian power, had raised their heads. Now, without the Macedonians being able to prevent it, the Romans regulated the affairs of southern Illyria on their own behalf, and consolidated their dominion on the shores of modern-day Albania with great advantage for the future. And the Aetolians in their turn, or the men who directed the Aetolian policy, Scopa and Dorimachus, believed the time had come to intrude on the Peloponnese and to provoke the Achaean league into war, which they thought they could easily overwhelm, if Macedonia was not ready to help it. Once again particularism was attacking national unity in Greece, already on the way to being constituted, precisely in the years in which, once the Greeks of the West fell under Roman domination, the danger of an intervention by Rome in the ‘Orient. The disintegrating work was therefore begun by the Aetolians, the same ones in which the Romans later found effective, if not fully aware, collaborators, in subjecting Greece to their own dominance. Remained behind in civilization, accustomed to using systems in international relations that seemed barbaric to the more advanced Greeks, the Aetolians had in front of the other Greeks usually followed a selfish and scarce ideals policy. They had been unscrupulous friends of Antigono Gonata when he had instituted tyranny in every part of Greece, and when in the Cremonides war he had bloody tamed the league formed between Sparta and Athens for freedom. So now, without anyone threatening them, without any ideal reason, they were trying to upset for their own profit the equilibrium they had laboriously achieved in the Peloponnese. In defense of his Achaean allies, Philip ran up, as was his duty and his interest, and by resolution of the Sanhedrin the war against the Aetolians began, which was called the social war of the Achaeans. It was fought as a whole to the advantage of the Confederates, whose forces were far superior to those of the Aetolians; the Aetolians lost all possessions they had in the Peloponnese and also lost some ground in central Greece and Thessaly. But despite the willing activity of Philip mediocrely direct, both in military respect and in political respect, the war did not give the results it could have. It left the Aetolians humiliated and angered, but not tamed, and prepared them to be the allies of any adversary of symmetry. The echo of the huge battles that were fought in Italy between the Romans and the Carthaginians led Philip to accept the peace of Naupatto (217) on the basis ofuti possidetis. He wanted his hands free to intervene in the great conflict between the western republics; and he did not think himself, and his allies did not think, too loyal to the interests of the moment in their deliberation, that it would then have been possible to weaken the Aetolian league and wrest from it its primacy in amphitionism, its instrument of dominance in central Greece thus securing a decisive influence on the fate of the West thanks to the consolidated Greek-Macedonian unity. Furthermore, peace recognized the separation of Sparta from symmetry, a serious damage that could easily be avoided. Sparta was in fact from then on a thorn in the side of the Achaean league and, despite the reunion of almost the entire Peloponnese in the league, that impotence of the Peloponnesians, outside their borders, which, desired and implemented by Epaminondas, was renewed.