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Title: Plutarch's Lives, Volume II
Author: Plutarch, 46-120?
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Plutarch's Lives, Volume II" ***

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_Late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge_



_Formerly Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge_






[_Reprinted from Stereotype plates_.]


  LIFE OF PELOPIDAS                               1
  LIFE OF MARCELLUS                              34
  LIFE OF ARISTEIDES                             67
  LIFE OF MARCUS CATO                            98
  LIFE OF PHILOPŒMEN                            134
  LIFE OF TITUS FLAMININUS                      154
  LIFE OF PYRRHUS                               180
  LIFE OF CAIUS MARIUS (_By G. Long_.)          221
  LIFE OF LYSANDER                              285
  LIFE OF SULLA (_By G. Long_.)                 317
  LIFE OF KIMON                                 391
  LIFE OF LUCULLUS (_By G. Long_.)              414



I. Cato the elder, speaking to some persons who were praising a man of
reckless daring and audacity in war, observed that there is a
difference between a man's setting a high value on courage, and
setting a low value on his own life--and rightly. For a daring soldier
in the army of Antigonus, but of broken and ill health, being asked by
the king the reason of his paleness, confessed that he was suffering
from some secret disorder. When then the king, anxious for him,
charged his physicians to use the greatest care in their treatment, if
a cure were possible, at length this brave fellow, being restored to
health, was no longer fond of peril and furious in battle, so that
Antigonus reproved him, and expressed surprise at the change. The man
made no secret of his reason, but answered: "My, king, you have made
me less warlike by freeing me from those miseries on account of which
I used to hold my life cheap." And the Sybarite seems to have spoken
to the same effect about the Spartans, when he said that "they do no
great thing by dying in the wars in order to escape from such labours
and such a mode of life as theirs." However, no wonder if the
Sybarites, effete with luxurious debauchery, thought men mad who
despised death for love of honour and noble emulation; whereas the
Lacedæmonians were enabled by their valour both to live and to die
with pleasure, as the elegy shows, which runs thus:

    "'Twas not that life or death itself was good,
    That these heroic spirits shed their blood:
    This was their aim, and this their latest cry,
    'Let us preserve our honour, live or die.'"

For neither is avoidance of death blameable, if a man does not cling
to his life from dishonourable motives; nor is exposure to peril
honourable, if it springs from carelessness of life. For this reason
Homer always brings the most daring and warlike heroes into battle
well and beautifully armed, and the Greek lawgivers punish the man who
throws away his shield, but not him who throws away his sword or
spear, showing that it is each man's duty to take more care that he
does not receive hurt himself, than to hurt the enemy, especially if
he be the chief of an army or city.

II. For if, as Iphikrates defined it, the light troops resemble the
hands, the cavalry the feet, the main body the breast and trunk, and
the general the head, then it would appear that he, if he runs into
danger and shows personal daring, risks not only his own life, but
that of all those whose safety depends upon him; and _vice versâ_.
Wherefore Kallikratidas, although otherwise a great man, yet did not
make a good answer to the soothsayer; for when he begged him to beware
of death, which was presaged by the sacrifices, he replied that Sparta
had more men besides himself. No doubt, in fighting either by sea or
land[1] Kallikratidas only counted for one, but as a general, he
combined in his own person the strength of all the rest, so that he by
whose death so many perished, was indeed more than one. A better
answer was that of old Antigonus, who, as he was about to begin a
sea-fight off Andros, some one having said that the enemy's fleet was
the more numerous, asked, "And for how many do you count
_me_?"--setting a high value, as is due, upon a skilful and brave
leader, whose first duty is to keep safe him who preserves all the

So Timotheus said well, when Chares was displaying to the Athenians
the wounds on his body, and his shield pierced by a dart. "Now I,"
said he, "when I was besieging Samos, was quite ashamed if an arrow
fell near me, thinking that I was exposing myself more boyishly than
was fitting for the general and leader of so important a force." In
cases where the personal risk of the general is of great moment to
his army, then he must fight and expose himself without stint, and
disregard those who say that a general should die of old age, or at
any rate, when an old man. But where the gain is small in case of
success, while failure ruins everything, no one demands that the work
of the common soldier be performed at the risk of the general's life.

These prefatory remarks occurred to me in writing the Lives of
Pelopidas and Marcellus, great men who fell in a manner scarce worthy
of themselves: for being both of them most stout in battle, and having
each illustrated his country by splendid campaigns, against, too, the
most terrible antagonists--the one, as we read, having routed
Hannibal, who before was invincible, and the other having in a pitched
battle conquered the Lacedæmonians, the ruling state by sea and
land--yet they without any consideration endangered themselves and
flung away their lives just at the time when there was special need
for such men to live and command. And on this account I have drawn a
parallel between their lives, tracing out the points of resemblance
between them.

III. The family of Pelopidas, the son of Hippokles, was an honourable
one at Thebes, as likewise was that of Epameinondas. Bred in great
affluence, and having early succeeded to a splendid inheritance, he
showed eagerness to relieve the deserving poor, that he might prove
that he had become the master, not the servant of his riches. In most
cases, Aristotle observes, men either do not use their wealth through
narrow-mindedness, or else abuse it through extravagance, and the one
class are always the slaves of their pleasures, the other of their

Now, while all other persons gratefully made use of Pelopidas's
liberality and kindness, Epameinondas alone could not be induced to
share his wealth; he thereupon shared the other's poverty, priding
himself on simplicity of dress and plainness of food, endurance of
fatigue, and thoroughness in the performance of military service; like
Kapaneus, in Euripides, who "had plenty of wealth, but was far from
proud on account of his wealth," for he felt ashamed to be seen using
more bodily luxuries than the poorest Theban citizen. Epameinondas,
whose poverty was hereditary, made it lighter and more easily borne
by the practice of philosophy, and by choosing from the beginning a
single life; while Pelopidas made a brilliant marriage and had
children born to him, yet, in spite of this, diminished his fortune by
disregard of money-making and by giving up all his time to the service
of his country. And when his friends blamed him, and said that he was
treating lightly a necessary of life, the possession of money,
"Necessary, indeed," he answered, "for Nikodemus here," pointing to a
man who was a cripple and blind.

IV. They were both alike in nobleness of spirit, save that Pelopidas
took more pleasure in bodily exercise, and Epameinondas in learning,
and that the one in his leisure time frequented the palæstra and the
hunting field, while the other would listen to and discuss philosophy.
And though they have both many titles to glory, yet judicious persons
think nothing so much to their credit as that their friendship should
have remained from beginning to end unimpaired through so many
important crises, campaigns, and administrations. For any one who
considers the administrations of Aristeides and Themistokles, and
Kimon and Perikles, and Nikias and Alkibiades, how full they were of
mutual enmity, distrust, and jealousy, and then contrasts them with
the kindness and respect shown by Pelopidas to Epameinondas, will
pronounce with truth these men to have really been colleagues in
government and war rather than those who were constantly struggling to
get the better of one another instead of the enemy. The true cause of
this was their virtue, guided by which they sought no glory or gain
for themselves from their deeds, from which envious rivalry always
results, but both, inflamed by a noble desire to see their country
reach its climax of power and renown in their own time, used one
another's successes for this purpose as if they were their own. Not
but what most people think that their closest friendship arose from
the campaign of Mantinea, which they made with a contingent sent from
Thebes to serve with the Lacedæmonians, who were then their friends
and allies. Stationed together in the ranks,[2] and fighting against
the Arcadians, when the wing of the Lacedæmonian army in which they
were gave way, and many took to flight, they closed up together and
beat off their assailants. Pelopidas, having received seven wounds in
front, fell down upon a heap of slain, friends and enemies together;
but Epameinondas, though he thought him desperately[3] hurt, ran
forward and stood in defence of his body and arms, risking his life
alone against a multitude, determined to die rather than leave
Pelopidas lying there. He too was in evil plight, with a spear wound
in the breast, and a sword-cut on the arm, when Agesipolis, the
Spartan king, came to the rescue from the other wing, and most
unexpectedly saved the lives of both.

V. After this, the Spartans behaved towards Thebes outwardly as
friends and allies, but really viewed with suspicion the spirit and
strength of that state. They especially disliked the club presided
over by Ismenias and Androkleides, of which Pelopidas was a member, as
being of democratic and revolutionary principles. Consequently Archias
and Leontidas[4] and Philippus, men of the aristocratic party, wealthy
and unscrupulous, persuaded Phœbidas, a Laconian who was passing
through the town with an armed force, to seize the Kadmeia[5] by
surprise, and, banishing the party that opposed them, establish an
aristocratic oligarchy which would be subservient to Sparta.

He was persuaded to do this, and attacked the unsuspecting Thebans
during the feast of Thesmophoria. When he gained possession of the
height, Ismenias was seized and conveyed to Lacedæmon, and there not
long afterwards made away with. Pelopidas, Pherenikus, and
Androkleides, with many others, went into exile and were outlawed by
proclamation. Epameinondas stayed at home disregarded, not being
thought to be a man of action, because of his philosophical habits,
nor a man of any power, because of his poverty.

VI. When the Lacedæmonians removed Phœbidas from his command and fined
him a hundred thousand drachmas, but nevertheless held the Kadmeia
with a garrison, all the other Greeks wondered at their inconsistency,
in punishing the doer but approving of the deed; but the Thebans, who
had lost their old constitution and were now held in bondage by the
party of Archias and Leontidas, had lost all hope of release from
their tyrants, who they perceived were merely acting as a guard to the
Spartan supremacy in Greece, and therefore could not be put a stop to,
unless their enterprise by sea and land could also be checked.
However, Leontidas and his party, learning that the exiles were living
at Athens, and were popular with the people there, and respected by
the upper classes, began to plot against them, and by sending thither
men who were unknown to the exiles, they killed Androkleides by
stratagem, but failed with the others. There came also despatches from
Lacedæmon to the Athenians, ordering them not to take them in nor to
meddle in the matter, but to banish the exiles, on the ground that
they had been proclaimed to be public enemies by their allies. But the
Athenians, who besides their natural and innate kindness were
returning a debt of gratitude to the Thebans, who had been main
instruments in the re-establishment of their government, and had
decreed that if an Athenian should march in arms against the tyrants
through Bœotia, no Bœotian should see or hear him, did the Theban
exiles no harm.

VII. Now Pelopidas, although one of the youngest of the exiles, yet
used to encourage each of them separately, and would make speeches to
them all, pointing out that it was both dishonourable and wicked for
them to endure to see their country enslaved and garrisoned by
foreigners, and, caring only to save their own lives, to shelter
themselves behind decrees of the Athenians, and to pay servile court
to the orators who had influence with the people. Rather was it, he
urged, their duty to run the greatest risk, taking pattern by the
courage and patriotism of Thrasybulus, so that, as he once, starting
from Thebes, drove out the thirty tyrants from Athens, they also in
their turn, starting from Athens, might set Thebes free. When then he
prevailed with these arguments, they sent secretly to Thebes to
communicate their determination to such of their friends as were left
there. They agreed, and Charon, who was the leading man among them,
offered his house for their reception, and Phillidas proceeded to act
as secretary to the polemarchs, Archias and Philippus. Epameinondas
had long been instilling feelings of patriotism into the youth of
Thebes; for in the gymnasia he would bid them lay hold of the
Lacedæmonians and wrestle with them, and then seeing them pluming
themselves on their success, he would upbraid them, telling them that
they ought rather to feel ashamed at being, through their own
cowardice, in bondage to men whom they so greatly excelled in

VIII. When a day was fixed on for the attempt, the exiles determined
that Pherenikus, with the main body, should remain in the Thriasian[6]
plain, while a few of the youngest men ran the risk of entering the
city; and if anything were to befall these men, the others would take
care that neither their parents nor their children should want for
necessaries. First Pelopidas volunteered for the attempt, then Mellon
and Damokleides and Theopompus, men of the first families, faithful
friends to one another, and ever rivals in glory and bravery. Having
made up a party of twelve in all, and embraced those who were to stay,
and sent a messenger before them to Charon, they set out, dressed in
short cloaks, with hounds and carrying stakes for hunting nets, so
that no one whom they met on the road might suspect them, but that
they might seem to be merely ranging about the country and hunting.
When their messenger reached Charon, and told him that they were on
their way, Charon did not, even now that the danger was close to him,
falter in his determination, but acted like an honourable man, and
received them into his house. But one Hipposthenides, not a bad man,
but one who loved his country and favoured the exiles, yet proved
wanting in that audacity which this emergency, a hazardous one indeed,
and the attempt they had in hand, required.

Apparently the importance of the issue with which he was dealing
turned him dizzy; he with difficulty grasped the idea that, trusting
in the desperate hopes of exiles, these men were in some fashion
about to attempt to overthrow the Lacedæmonian government in Thebes,
and the power of Sparta. He went quietly home, and sent one of his
friends to Mellon and Pelopidas, bidding them put off their design for
the present, to go back to Athens, and await a better opportunity.
Chlidon was the name of the messenger, and he hurriedly went to his
own house, and, leading out his horse, asked for his bridle. His wife
was at her wit's end, as she had it not to give him, but she said that
she had lent it to a neighbour. Hereupon there was a quarrel, and
words of ill omen were used, for his wife said that she wished it
might be a bad journey for him, and for those that sent him; so that
Chlidon, having wasted a great part of the day in this squabble, and
also drawing a bad augury from what had happened, gave up his journey
altogether, and betook himself to something else. So near was this
greatest and most glorious of his adventures of missing its
opportunity at its very outset.

IX. Now Pelopidas and his party changed their clothes with country
people, and separating, came into the city by different ways while it
was still daylight. There was a strong wind, and the weather was
snowy, so that they were the less noticed, as most people had betaken
themselves to their houses on account of the storm; but those who were
in the plot met them as they entered, and brought them to Charon's
house. With the exiles, they amounted to forty-eight in all.

As to their oppressors, Phillidas the secretary, who had been working
with the exiles and knew all their plans, having long before invited
Archias and his friends to a wine party to meet certain courtesans,
intended to endeavour to hand them over to their assailants in as
enervated and intoxicated a condition as possible. However before they
were very far gone in liquor a rumour was brought to their ears,
which, although true, was without confirmation and very vague, to the
effect that the exiles were concealed in the city. Though Phillidas
endeavoured to change the subject, still Archias sent one of his
servants to Charon, ordering him to come instantly. Now it was
evening, and Pelopidas and his party were preparing themselves, in the
house, and had already got their corslets on, and had girt on their
swords. Suddenly, a knock was heard at the door. One of them ran out,
and hearing the servant say that Charon had been sent for by the
polemarchs, he in great trepidation brought the news to the rest. At
once it occurred to all that the plot had been betrayed, and that they
all were lost, without even having done anything worthy of their
courage. Yet they agreed that Charon should comply with the summons
and that he should unsuspiciously present himself before the Spartan
chiefs. He was a man of courage, and slow to lose heart, but now he
was panic-stricken and terrified lest when so many brave citizens lost
their lives, some suspicion of treachery might rest on himself. So,
just when he was going, he brought his son from the women's
apartments, a boy still, but in beauty and strength surpassing all of
his own age, and handed him over to Pelopidas's party, bidding them
treat him as an enemy and show no mercy, if they should find _him_
guilty of any deceit or treachery. Many of them shed tears at the
feeling shown by Charon, and his noble spirit, and all felt shame,
that he should think any of them so base and so affected by their
present danger, as to suspect him or even to blame him, and they
begged him not to mix up his son with them, but put him out of the way
of the coming stroke, that he might be saved and escape from the
tyrants, and some day return and avenge his father and his friends.
But Charon refused to take away his son, for what life, he asked, or
what place of safety could be more honourable to him than an easy
death with his father and so many friends? After praying and embracing
them all, and bidding them be of good cheer, he went away, taking
great pains to adopt a look and tone of voice as different as possible
to that of a conspirator.

X. When he came to the door, Archias and Philippus met him and said,
"Charon, I have heard that some people have come here, and are
concealed in the city, and that some of the citizens are in league
with them." Charon was at first disconcerted, but then enquired who
these persons might be, and who they were that gave them shelter.
Seeing then that Archias knew nothing for certain, he perceived that
the news did not come from any one who knew the truth. "Take care,"
said he, "that this be not a mere idle rumour that is alarming you.
However, I will make due enquiries; for we ought not to disregard
anything." Phillidas, who was present, expressed his approval of this,
and carrying Archias back again plied him with liquor, prolonging his
debauch by holding out the expectation of the women.

Now when Charon returned to his house, he found the conspirators there
prepared to fight, not expecting to survive or to win the day, but to
die gloriously and kill as many of their enemies as possible. He told
Pelopidas's party the truth, and made up some story about Archias to
satisfy the others. This storm was just blown over when Fortune sent a
second upon them. A messenger came from Athens, from Archias the
hierophant[7] to his namesake Archias the Spartan, whose guest and
friend he was, bearing a letter which contained no vague and
conjectural suspicion, but a detailed account of all that was being
done, as was afterwards discovered. Now the messenger, when brought
before Archias who was drunk, gave him the letter, and said, "He who
sent you this letter bade you read it instantly, for he said it was
written about most serious matters." Archias laughing, said, "Serious
matters to-morrow." He took the letter and placed it under the pillow
on which he rested, and again listened to Phillidas about what they
were talking of before. This story, handed down in the form of a
proverb, is current among the Greeks even now.

XI. As the hour for the attempt seemed now to have arrived, they
sallied forth, in two bodies: the one, under Pelopidas and
Damokleides, to attack Leontidas and Hypates, who lived near one
another, while the other, under Charon and Mellon, went to Archias and
Philippus, with women's gowns over their steel corslets, and their
faces concealed by thick wreaths of fir and pine wood; and so when
first they entered the door of the dining-room they caused great
applause and disturbance, as the guests imagined that the
long-expected ladies had at length come. They looked carefully round
the party, and having ascertained who each of the guests were, they
drew their swords, and made for Archias and Philippus. When they thus
betrayed themselves, Phillidas persuaded some few of the guests to
remain quiet, but the rest, who rose and tried to assist the
polemarchs, were easily disposed of on account of their drunken

The task of Pelopidas and his party was a harder one; for they went to
attack Leontidas, a sober and brave man, and, finding his house shut
up, for he was already asleep, they knocked for some time without
rousing any one. At length the servant heard them and came and drew
back the bolt of the door; then, as soon as the leaves of the door
yielded they burst in in a body, and upsetting the servant made for
the bedchamber. Leontidas, guessing from the noise and confusion what
was going on, started up and seized his dagger, but he forgot to put
out the light, and make the men fall upon each other in the darkness.
In full view of them, in a blaze of light, he met them at his chamber
door, and with a blow of his dagger struck down Kephisodorus, the
first man who entered. As he fell dead Leontidas grappled with the
next, Pelopidas. The struggle was a fierce one and rendered difficult
by the narrow passage and the corpse of Kephisodorus lying in it, but
at length Pelopidas gained the upper hand, and having despatched him,
immediately went with his party to attack Hypates. And in the same way
they broke into his house, but he heard them sooner, and fled away to
the neighbours, but was pursued and slain.

XII. Having accomplished this, and joined Mellon's party, they sent
word to the remaining exiles in Attica, and called together the
citizens to complete their deliverance, and as they came, gave them
arms, taking down the trophies which hung in the public colonnades,
and breaking into the workshops of spear-makers and sword-cutlers. And
Epameinondas and Gorgidas, with their party, came to help them, armed;
for they had collected together no small number of the younger men and
the strongest of the elder ones. By this time the whole city was
roused, and there was great confusion, lights flitting about, and
people running to one another's houses, but the people had not yet
assembled, but being alarmed at what had happened, and knowing nothing
for certain, they waited for daylight. And here the generals of the
Lacedæmonian garrison seem to have missed an opportunity in not at
once sallying out and attacking them, for the garrison itself
consisted of 1500 men, and many people kept running to them for refuge
from the city; however, alarmed at the shouts and fires and mass of
people assembling from all parts, they remained quiet, holding the
Kadmeia only. At daybreak arrived the exiles from Attica, fully armed,
and the public assembly met. Epameinondas and Gorgidas led forward the
band of Pelopidas, surrounded by the priests, who crowned them with
wreaths, and called upon the citizens to fight for their country and
their gods. The whole assembly, with shouts and applause, rose at the
sight, and received them as their benefactors and saviours.

XIII. After this, Pelopidas, who was chosen Bœotarch,[8] with Mellon
and Charon as colleagues, at once blockaded the citadel, and made
assaults upon it on all sides, being eager to drive out the
Lacedæmonians and recover the Kadmeia before an army should come upon
them from Sparta. And so little time had he to spare, that the
garrison, when going home after their capitulation, met at Megara
Kleombrotus, marching with a great force against Thebes. Of the three
men who had been governors of Thebes, the Spartans condemned two,
Herippidas and Arkissus, to death, and the third, Lysanorides, was
heavily fined and banished.

This adventure was called by the Greeks the "sister" of that of
Thrasybulus, as it resembled it in the bravery and personal risk of
its chief actors, and was, like the other, favoured by fortune. It is
difficult to mention any other persons, who with fewer numbers and
scantier means than these, conquered men more numerous and powerful
than themselves, by sheer daring and ability, or who conferred greater
blessings on their own countries; and that which made this more
remarkable was the change which it effected. The war which destroyed
the prestige of Sparta, and put an end to her empire by sea and land,
began in that night, in which Pelopidas, without having made himself
master of any fort, stronghold, or citadel, but merely coming to a
private house with eleven others, loosed and broke to pieces, if we
may use a true metaphor, the chains of Lacedæmonian supremacy, which
seemed fixed and immovable.

XIV. Now when a great Lacedæmonian army invaded Bœotia, the Athenians
manifested great alarm. They repudiated their alliance with the
Thebans, and impeached those who had shown Bœotian sympathies; some of
these men were put to death, others fined and banished. The case of
the Thebans seemed desperate, as no one offered to help them; but
Pelopidas, who with Gorgidas was Bœotarch, contrived to alienate the
Athenians from Sparta by the following plot. Sphodrias, a Spartan, of
great renown in the wars, but somewhat flighty and prone to wild
enterprises and reckless ambition, had been left near Thespiæ with an
army, to receive and assist those Thebans[9] who were now sent into
exile because they favoured the Lacedæmonians. Pelopidas sent secretly
to this man a merchant, a friend of his own, who gave him a bribe, and
also made proposals which fascinated him more than the money, that he
should attempt some enterprise on a great scale, and surprise Peiræus
by a sudden attack when the Athenians were off their guard: for the
Lacedæmonians would be better pleased with the capture of Athens than
with anything else, and the Thebans would not assist them, for they
were at variance with them and regarded them as traitors. At length
Sphodrias was prevailed upon to agree to this, and, with his soldiery,
invaded Attica by night. He got as far as Eleusis, but there the
soldiers lost heart, and the attempt was detected. So, having involved
the Spartans in a war of no slight importance, he retired to Thespiæ.

XV. Upon this the Athenians again most eagerly allied themselves with
the Thebans, and, aspiring to supremacy at sea, sent embassies round
to the other maritime states, and brought over to their own side
those who were willing to revolt from the Spartans. Meanwhile the
Thebans, alone in their country of Bœotia, constantly skirmishing with
the Lacedæmonians, and not fighting any great battles with them, but
organising themselves with the greatest care and discipline, began to
pluck up spirit, gaining skill from practice, and becoming confident
from the result of these encounters. This was why they say that
Antalkidas the Spartan, when King Agesilaus was being carried home
wounded from Bœotia, said to him, "Indeed, you are receiving nice
lessons from the Thebans, now that you have taught them how to fight
against their will." But their real teacher was not Agesilaus, but
those who, seizing fit opportunities, and with due management,
skilfully used to let them loose upon their enemies, as men train
young mastiffs, and then when they had tasted victory and
self-confidence brought them safely back. Of these leaders Pelopidas
received the chief credit. From the year in which he was first elected
general they never ceased to re-elect him, and he was always either in
command of the Sacred Band or most commonly acting as Bœotarch until
his death. There took place also about Platæa and Thespiæ defeats and
routs of the Lacedæmonians, in which Phœbidas, who seized the Kadmeia,
perished; and Pelopidas routed a number of them near Tanagra, and slew
Panthoides the governor. Still, although these skirmishes raised the
spirits and confidence of the victors, yet they did not cast down the
pride of the vanquished; for they were not regular battles, but the
Thebans won their successes by well-timed charges and harassing the
enemy by alternate retreat and advance.

However, the affair at Tegyra, which in a manner was preliminary to
that at Leuktra, won Pelopidas a great reputation; for there was no
question of any other general having assisted in the design of the
battle, nor of the enemy being thoroughly routed. The city of
Orchomenus had taken the Spartan side, and had received two moras[10]
of Spartan troops for its protection. He always had his eye upon this
place, and watched his opportunity. Hearing that the garrison had made
an expedition into Lokris, he marched, hoping to catch Orchomenus
defenceless, taking with him the Sacred Band and a few cavalry. When
he came to the city he found that the garrison had been relieved by
fresh troops from Sparta, and so he led off his men homewards through
Tegyra, the only way that he could, by a circuitous route at the foot
of the mountains; for the river Melas, which from its very source
spreads into morasses and quagmires, made the direct way impassable.

Near the marshes stands a temple of Apollo of Tegyra and an oracle,
which is now forsaken; it has not been long so, but flourished up to
the Persian War, when Echekrates was priest. There the myths say that
the god was born; and the neighbouring mountain is called Delos, and
there the overflowings of the river Melas cease, while behind the
temple there flow two springs remarkable for the sweetness, coldness,
and volume of their waters, which we up to this day call, the one "The
Palm," and the other "The Olive," as though the goddess had not been
delivered between two trees, but two fountains. Indeed, close by is
the Ptoüm, whence they say that she was driven in terror by the sudden
apparition of a wild boar, and with regard to the legends of Tityos
and Pytho, the localities are in like manner associated with the birth
of the god. I omit the greater part of these proofs, for our ancestral
religion tells us that this god is not to be ranked among those
divinities who were born as men, like Herakles and Dionysus, and by
their merits were translated from this earthly and suffering body, but
he is one of the eternal ones who know no birth, if one may form any
conjecture upon such matters from the writings of our wisest and most
ancient writers.

XVII. At Tegyra, then, Pelopidas and the Thebans retiring from
Orchomenus met the Lacedæmonians marching back from Lokris, in the
opposite direction. When they were first descried coming out from the
narrow gorges of the hills, some one ran to Pelopidas, and cried out,
"We have fallen into the midst of the enemy!" "Why so," asked he,
"more than they into the midst of us?" He at once ordered his cavalry
to the front to charge the enemy first, and closed up his infantry,
three hundred in number, into a compact body, trusting that wherever
he attacked the enemy he should break through, although they
outnumbered him. They consisted of two moras of Lacedæmonians: now
Ephorus says that a mora consists of 500 men, but Kallisthenes says
700, and some other authorities, and amongst them Polybius, put it at

Gorgoleon and Theopompus, the polemarchs in command of the Spartans,
moved confidently to the attack of the Thebans; and the onset was
directed on both sides, with great fury, specially at the persons of
the leaders. The two polemarchs dashed against Pelopidas, and both
fell; then the slaughter of their immediate followers produced a panic
in the whole force, and it gave way to the Thebans, opening a lane
through the centre as if for them to pass through. But when Pelopidas
led his men into the passage thus offered, and assailed those who
stood their ground, passing through it with great slaughter, then all
fled in hopeless rout.

The pursuit was not pressed far, for the Thebans feared the vicinity
of Orchomenus and of the Spartan reinforcement there; but as far as
winning the victory, and forcing their way through the beaten enemy,
they were completely successful; so after setting up a trophy and
spoiling the dead they returned home in high spirits. For in all the
wars which had previously taken place, both with Greeks and
barbarians, it never before had happened that Lacedæmonians should be
conquered by an inferior force, nor yet even when the numbers on each
side were equal. Wherefore they were invincible in their own
estimation, and established an ascendant over the minds of their
opponents, for they were wont to engage with men who did not
themselves think that with equal force they could be a match for the
same number of Spartans. But this battle first proved to the rest of
Greece that it is not only the Eurotas, and the country between Babuke
and Knacion[11] that nurtures brave and warlike men, but that wherever
the youth of a nation fears disgrace and is willing to risk life for
honour, and shrinks from shame more than from danger, these form the
troops most terrible to their foes.

XVIII. The Sacred Band, they say, was first formed by Gorgidas, of 300
picked men, whom the city drilled and lodged in the Kadmeia when on
service, wherefore they were called the "city" regiment; for people
then generally called the citadel the "city." Some say that this force
was composed of intimate friends, and indeed there is current a saying
of Pammenes, that Homer's Nestor is not a good general when he bids
the Greeks assemble by their tribes and clans:

     "That tribe to tribe, and clan to clan give aid,"

whereas he ought to have placed side by side men who loved each other,
for men care little in time of danger for men of the same tribe or
clan, whereas the bond of affection is one that cannot be broken, as
men will stand fast in battle from the strength of their affection for
others, and from feeling shame at showing themselves cowards before
them. Nor is this to be wondered at, seeing that men stand more in awe
of the objects of their love when they are absent than they do of
others when present, as was the case with that man who begged and
entreated one of the enemy to stab him in the breast as he lay
wounded, "in order," said he, "that my friend may not see me lying
dead with a wound in the back, and be ashamed of me." And Iolaus, the
favourite of Herakles, is said to have taken part in his labours and
to have accompanied him; and Aristotle says that even in his own time
lovers would make their vows at the tomb of Iolaus.

It is probable, therefore, that the Sacred Band was so named, because
Plato also speaks of a lover as a friend inspired from Heaven. Up to
the battle of Chæronea it is said to have continued invincible, and
when Philip stood after the battle viewing the slain, in that part of
the field where the Three Hundred lay dead in their armour, heaped
upon one another, having met the spears of his phalanx face to face,
he wondered at the sight, and learning that it was the Band of Lovers,
burst into tears, and said, "Perish those who suspect those men of
doing or enduring anything base."

XIX. As to these intimacies between friends, it was not, as the poets
say, the disaster of Laius which first introduced the custom into
Thebes, but their lawgivers, wishing to soften and improve the natural
violence and ferocity of their passions, used music largely in their
education, both in sport and earnest, giving the flute especial
honour, and by mixing the youth together in the palæstra, produced
many glorious examples of mutual affection. Rightly too did they
establish in their city that goddess who is said to be the daughter of
Ares and Aphrodite, Harmonia; since, wherever warlike power is duly
blended with eloquence and refinement, there all things tend to the
formation of a harmonious and perfect commonwealth.

Now, as to the Sacred Band, Gorgidas originally placed them in the
first rank, and so spread them all along the first line of battle, and
did not by this means render their valour so conspicuous, nor did he
use them in a mass for any attack, but their courage was weakened by
so large an infusion of inferior soldiery; but Pelopidas, after the
splendid display of their valour under his own eye at Tegyra, never
separated or scattered them, but would stand the brunt of battle,
using them as one body. For as horses driven in a chariot go faster
than those going loose, not because they more easily cleave the air
when galloping in a solid body, but because their rivalry and racing
with one another kindles, their spirit, so he imagined that brave men,
inciting each other to an emulation in adventure, would prove most
useful and forward when acting in one body.

XX. When the Lacedæmonians made peace with all the other Greeks and
attacked the Thebans alone, and Kleombrotus, their king, invaded
Bœotia with ten thousand hoplites and a thousand cavalry, the danger
was not that they should be reduced to their former condition, but
absolute destruction plainly threatened their city, and such terror
prevailed as never before had been in Bœotia. Pelopidas, when leaving
his house, as his wife wept at parting with him and begged him to be
careful of his life, answered, "My dear, this is very good advice for
private soldiers, but we who are commanders must think about saving
the lives of others." When he reached the camp, he found the Bœotarchs
differing in opinion, and he at once gave his voice for the plan of
Epameinondas, who voted for battle. He was not named Bœotarch, but he
was in command of the Sacred Band, and enjoyed great confidence, as
was only just a man should who had given such proofs of patriotism.

When, then, they had determined to face the enemy, and taken up a
position at Leuktra opposite to the Spartan army, Pelopidas saw a
vision in his sleep which greatly disturbed him. In the plain of
Leuktra there are the tombs of the daughters of Skedasus, whom they
call Leuktridæ because of the place of their burial; for there it was
that they were buried after they had been violated by some Spartan
strangers. When this base and impious deed was done, their father, as
he could get no satisfaction from the Lacedæmonians, invoked curses
upon the Spartan race, and slew himself at the tombs of his daughters.
Oracles and legends always had warned the Spartans to beware of the
vengeance of Leuktra, though most of them did not understand it, and
were not clear as to the place, since a small sea-side town in Laconia
is also called Leuktron, and there is a place of the same name near
Megalopolis in Arcadia, and, also, this crime was committed a long
time before the battle.

XXI. So now Pelopidas, when asleep in the camp, seemed to see the
maidens weeping over their tombs and invoking curses on the Spartans,
and Skedasus, who bade him sacrifice a red virgin to the maidens, if
he wished to conquer his enemies. And as this command seemed to him
shocking and impious, he started up and consulted the prophets and the
generals. Some of them forbade him to neglect or disobey the warning,
quoting the famous old instances of Menækeus the son of Kreon and
Makaria the daughter of Herakles, and, in later times, Pherekydes the
philosopher, who was killed by the Lacedæmonians, and whose skin,
according to some oracle, is still kept by their kings, and Leonidas,
who following the oracle did in some sort offer himself as a victim on
behalf of Greece; and futhermore they spoke of those persons whom
Themistokles sacrificed to Dionysus before the sea-fight at Salamis.
All these are verified by the success which followed them. And again,
Agesilaus when starting from the same place that Agamemnon did to
fight the same enemies, was asked by the god, during a vision at
Aulis, to give him his daughter as a sacrifice; but he did not give
her, but by his softheartedness ruined the expedition, which
ingloriously failed. Others spoke on the other side, urging that so
barbarous and impious a sacrifice could not be pleasing to any of the
powers above, for, they said, it is not the Typhons and giants of
legend that rule in heaven, but the father of all gods and men. To
believe that there are deities that delight in the blood and slaughter
of mankind is probably a foolish fancy; but if there be such, it is
our duty to disregard them and treat them as powerless, for these
strange and shocking desires can only take their origin and exist in
feeble and depraved minds.

XXII. While the chiefs of the army were engaged in this discussion,
and Pelopidas especially was at a loss what to do, a filly escaped
from some horses at pasture, and running through the ranks stopped
opposite them. They admired her coat shining with the brightest red,
and the mettled courage of her neigh, but Theokritus the prophet,
comprehending what was meant, called to Pelopidas: "Happy man! Here is
your victim; let us not expect any other virgin, but take the gift the
gods provide you." Hereupon they caught the filly and led it to the
tombs of the maidens. Here, after prayer, they hung garlands on the
tombs, and made the sacrifice with joy, explaining to the whole army
the vision of Pelopidas and their reasons for the sacrifice.

XXIII. In the battle, Epameinondas brought his main body slantingly
towards the left, in order that the Spartan right might be drawn as
far as possible away from the other Greeks, and that by falling
violently on Kleombrotus with his whole force on that wing, he might
overpower and crush him. The enemy, perceiving what was being done,
began to alter their own formation, extending their right, with the
intention of outflanking and enveloping Epameinondas. At this moment
Pelopidas charged with the Three Hundred in serried ranks. He caught
the Lacedæmonians in a moment of confusion, when they were not
standing ready to make an attack, for Kleombrotus had not time either
to extend his right, or to bring the troops back again and close up
the ranks. Yet the Spartans, skilled as they were to the highest
pitch in war, had been specially educated and practised in changing
their formation without disorder or confusion; each man used any other
as his right-hand or rear-rank man, and wherever danger threatened
they would meet it, forming and fighting simultaneously. But now, when
the main Theban phalanx under Epameinondas, projecting before all the
rest of the line, bore down upon them, and when Pelopidas, by a charge
of inconceivable speed and daring was already amongst their ranks,
their spirit and discipline was so shaken that the rout and slaughter
of the Spartans was such as had never been before. In this victory and
success as much glory belonged to Pelopidas, though not one of the
generals, and only in command of a few men, as to Epameinondas, who
was Bœotarch and leader of the whole force.

XXIV. In the invasion of Peloponnesus they were both Bœotarchs, and
they brought over to their side most of the nations there, for they
detached from the Lacedæmonian alliance Elis, Argos, the whole of
Arcadia, and most part of Laconia itself. It was mid-winter, a few
days only remained of the last month, and with the new year the law
was that the commands should be delivered up and new generals chosen.
Death was the penalty in case of disobedience, and all the other
Bœotarchs, fearing this law and wishing to avoid the severe weather,
wished to withdraw the army homewards, but Pelopidas first, supported
by Epameinondas, encouraged his fellow citizens, and crossed the
Eurotas. He took many of their towns and wasted all their country up
to the sea-coast, with an army of 70,000 Greeks, of whom the Thebans
formed less than a twelfth part. But the great reputation which these
men enjoyed made the rest follow them without any formal vote or
decree to do so; for the first and most fundamental law is that which
makes men in need of help follow him who can save them; and even if,
like men sailing on a calm sea or anchored close to port, they
sometimes murmur at and brave their pilot, yet in time of danger and
storm they look up to him and place all their hopes in him, so the
Argives and Eleans and Arcadians would at the council-board dispute
the Theban claims to supremacy, but in war and at critical moments
they of their own accord obeyed the Theban generals. In this campaign,
Arcadia was consolidated into one state; they also separated Messenia,
which had been annexed by the Spartans, and bringing back the
Messenian exiles established them in the old capital, Ithome. On their
homeward march through Kenchreæ they gained a victory over the
Athenians, who attempted to harass them and hinder their march through
the narrow isthmus of Corinth.

XXV. After these exploits all men were full of admiration and wonder
at their courage and success, but at home the envious feelings of
their countrymen and political opponents, which grew along with the
growth of their renown, prepared a most scurvy reception for them. On
their return they were both tried for their lives, on the ground that
whereas the law is that during the first month of the year, which they
call Boukation, the Bœotarchs must lay down their office, they had
held it for four additional months, during which they had been
settling the affairs of Messenia, Laconia, and Arcadia. Pelopidas was
tried first, and so incurred the greater danger, but both were

Epameinondas, who thought that true courage and magnanimity was best
shown by forbearance in political strife, bore this contemptible
attack with patience, but Pelopidas, who was of a hotter temper, and
whose friends encouraged him to revenge, chose this for its
opportunity. Menekleides the orator had been one of the conspirators
who came with Pelopidas and Mellon to Charon's house. As, after the
revolution, he did not obtain equal rights with the rest, being a man
of great ability in speaking, but reckless and ill-conditioned, he
took to using his powers to slander and assail the men in power, and
was not silenced even by the result of that trial. He got Epameinondas
turned out of his office of Bœotarch, and for a long time succeeded in
lessening his influence in the state; but Pelopidas he could not
misrepresent to the people, so he endeavoured to make a quarrel
between him and Charon. He used the usual method of detractors, who if
they themselves be inferior to the object of their spite, try at any
rate to prove that he is inferior to some one else; and having the ear
of the people, he was ever singing the praises of Charon, and uttering
panegyrics on his skill and his success. He endeavoured to set up a
memorial of the cavalry battle at Platæa, before the battle of
Leuktra, in which the Thebans under Charon were victorious, in the
following manner. Androkydes of Kyzikus had been entrusted by the
state with the task of painting a picture of some other battle, and
had been engaged on it at Thebes. When the war broke out, this
picture, nearly completed, was left in the hands of the Thebans; and
Menekleides persuaded them to put it up publicly and to write on it
the name of Charon, in order to throw the glory of Pelopidas and
Epameinondas into the shade; a silly exhibition of ill-feeling indeed,
to compare one poor skirmish, in which Gerandas, an obscure Spartan,
and some forty men fell, with the great and important services of the

Pelopidas indicted this proposal as illegal, arguing that it was not
the custom of the Thebans to show honour to individuals, but to keep
alive the name of a victory for the glory of the country at large. He
bestowed unmeasured praise upon Charon throughout the trial, and
proved Menekleides to be a malignant slanderer. He was fined a large
sum, and not being able to pay it, subsequently endeavoured to bring
about a revolution in the state; by which one gains some insight into
his character.

XXVI. Alexander, the tyrant of Pheræ, was at this time at open war
with many states of Thessaly, and threatened the independence of all.
Ambassadors from these states were sent to Thebes, begging for a
military force and a general to be despatched to their assistance.
Pelopidas, since Epameinondas was busy settling the affairs of
Peloponnesus, offered himself to the Thessalians, as he could not bear
that his talents and skill should lie idle, and he thought that where
Epameinondas was, no second general could be needed. So he marched
with a sufficient army into Thessaly, took Larissa, and, when
Alexander begged for terms of peace, endeavoured to convert him into a
mild and law-abiding ruler. But he, a wild, desperate, cruel
barbarian, when he was accused of insolent and grasping practices,
and Pelopidas used harsh and angry language, went off in a rage, with
his body-guard. Pelopidas, having relieved the Thessalians from fear
of the tyrant, and reconciled them one to another, proceeded to
Macedonia. Here Ptolemy was at war with Alexander the king of
Macedonia, and each of them had sent for him to act as arbitrator and
judge between them, thinking that he would right whichever of them
should prove to have been wronged. He came, and settled their dispute,
and after bringing back the exiled party, took Philip, the king's
brother, and thirty other sons of the noblest families as hostages,
and kept them at Thebes, to show the Greeks how far the Theban policy
extended, merely through its reputation for power and for justice.

This was that Philip who afterwards endeavoured to enslave Greece; at
that time he was but a lad, and lived in the house of Pammenes. On
this account he was thought to be an imitator of Epameinondas, and
perhaps he did take to heart that great man's energy in war, which was
one of his virtues, but as to the spirit of self-restraint, justice,
magnanimity and mildness, which formed the true greatness of his
character, of this Philip neither by nature or education had the least

XXVII. After these events, the Thessalians again complained of
Alexander of Pheræ for attacking their cities, and Pelopidas and
Ismenias were sent as ambassadors to them. Pelopidas, however, brought
no army with him, as no war was expected, and was forced to make use
of the native Thessalians in this emergency. As affairs in Macedonia
had again fallen into disorder (for Ptolemy had assassinated the king,
and was in possession of the sovereignty, while the friends of the
deceased invited Pelopidas to interfere), he wished to do something;
and having no troops of his own, he hired some local mercenaries and
marched off at once against Ptolemy. When they drew near to each
other, Ptolemy by bribes induced the mercenaries to desert to himself,
but, fearing the mere name and prestige of Pelopidas, he went out to
him as though he were the more powerful of the two, and after greeting
him and begging him to be his friend, he agreed to hold the kingdom in
trust for the brothers of the deceased king, and to form a defensive
and offensive alliance with Thebes. For the fulfilment of these
conditions he gave as hostages his own son Philoxenus and fifty of his
companions, whom Pelopidas sent to Thebes, but as he was angry at the
desertion of his mercenaries, and learned that their property, wives
and children were for the most part placed in Pharsalus, so that by
capturing that place he could make them pay the penalty of their
crime, he got together a force of Thessalians and came to Pharsalus.
When he was just arrived, Alexander the tyrant appeared with his army.
Pelopidas and his friends supposed that he had come to establish his
innocence, and went to meet him, knowing him to be profligate and
bloodthirsty, yet fearing no harm, because of the name of Thebes and
their own personal prestige. But he, when he saw them approaching him
unarmed and alone, at once secured them and took Pharsalus, striking
fear and terror into all his subjects; for they expected that after an
act of such daring lawlessness he would spare no one, but treat them
as one who had made up his mind to lose his own life.

XXVIII. The Thebans when they heard of this were greatly moved, and at
once despatched an army to the rescue, but on account of some quarrel
with Epameinondas they appointed others to the command. The tyrant
took Pelopidas to Pheræ, and at first allowed any who chose to
converse with him, supposing that he would be cast down and humbled by
his misfortunes; but when the people of Pheræ came to lament over him,
Pelopidas bade them be of good courage, as now if ever the tyrant
would have to pay the penalty of his crimes: and he sent a message to
the tyrant himself, saving that he was a strange man, to torture and
murder his wretched and innocent citizens every day, and to spare him,
who he knew would be sure to wreak vengeance on him if he should
escape. The tyrant, admiring his spirit and fearlessness, said, "What!
does Pelopidas wish to die?" The other, hearing of this answered,
"Yes, that you may become even more hateful to heaven than you are
now, and so may die sooner."

Hereupon he prevented the people from having access to him, but Thêbê,
the daughter of Jason, and Alexander's wife, having heard from the
guards of Pelopidas of his daring and nobleness, desired to see the
man and converse with him. When she was come she did not, woman-like,
at once perceive the greatness of his mind in the position in which he
was, but judging from his short-cut hair, his dress and his food, that
he was treated ill and not as became such a man, she wept. Pelopidas,
not knowing at first who she was, was surprised at this, but, when he
knew her, addressed her by her father's name, for he was a companion
and friend of Jason. When she said, "I pity your wife," "So do I pity
you," answered he, "that without being a prisoner you stay with
Alexander." This speech somehow touched the lady, for she was grieved
at the ferocity and licentiousness of the tyrant, who, besides his
other atrocities, had debauched her youngest brother. She constantly
visited Pelopidas, and, talking to him of her sufferings, became
filled with courage, and with hatred of Alexander.

XXIX. The Theban generals invaded Thessaly, but through incompetence
or misfortune effected nothing, and had to retreat in disgrace. The
state fined them ten thousand drachmas, but sent Epameinondas with the
army. There was at once a great fluttering of hope among the cities of
Thessaly at the reputation of that general, and the cause of the
tyrant tottered to its fall, such fear fell upon his officers and
friends, and such a longing to subvert his government upon his
subjects, who viewed the future with hope, as now they expected to see
the tyrant meet with his deserts. However, Epameinondas, disregarding
his own glory in comparison with the safety of Pelopidas, and fearing
that if Alexander were driven to despair by seeing his kingdom falling
to pieces, he might turn upon him like a wild beast, conducted the war
remissly. By degrees and after slow preparation he surrounded the
tyrant and confined him to one spot, so as to be able to check any
attack that he might venture on, and yet not to excite his savage and
ferocious nature; for he had heard of his cruelty and disregard of
what is right, and how he would bury men alive, and dress them in the
skins of wild boars and bears and then set dogs at them and hunt them
with spears, making this his sport, and how he surrounded two
peaceful cities, Melibœa and Skottusa, with his body-guard when the
inhabitants were at their public assembly, and slew them all from the
youth upwards, and how he had consecrated and crowned the spear with
which he killed his uncle Polyphron, and used to address prayers to it
and call it the Slayer. Once when he saw a tragedian performing
Euripides' tragedy, the 'Troades,' he went suddenly out of the
theatre, and sent a message to him to be of good courage, and not act
worse for this, for he had not left the house because he disliked his
acting, but because he felt ashamed that the citizens should see him
weeping at the woes of Hekuba and Andromache, though he never had
pitied any of the people whom he had put to death himself. But he,
terrified by the prestige and reputation of Epameinondas for strategy,

     "Let fall his feathers like a craven cock,"

and quickly sent an embassy to him to make peace. Epameinondas scorned
to make a treaty of peace and friendship between the Thebans and such
a man, but agreed to an armistice for thirty days, and taking
Pelopidas and Ismenias returned home.

XXX. When the Thebans heard that ambassadors were being sent from
Athens and Sparta to the Great King to make an alliance with him, they
also sent Pelopidas, a step most advantageous to his reputation. As he
went on his journey through the Persian provinces he excited the
greatest admiration, for the fame of his victories over the
Lacedæmonians had spread trumpet-tongued through Asia, and from the
time of his first success at Leuktra it had begun to reach far and
wide, some new exploit being ever added to it, till it reached to the
furthest peoples. Next, when he reached the court, he was an object of
wonder and interest to the satraps, generals, and officers there.
"This is the man," they said, "who destroyed the Lacedæmonian dominion
over sea and land, and who reduced to the little state at the foot of
Taygetus by the Eurotas, that Sparta which a little while before went
to war under Agesilaus with the Great King himself about Susa and
Ecbatana." At this Artaxerxes himself was pleased, and admired
Pelopidas and showed him great honour, as he wished it to appear that
he was courted and sought after by the most powerful Greeks. After an
interview, in which he found that he spoke with sounder sense than the
Athenians, and greater simplicity than the Spartans, he esteemed him
still more, and after the fashion of monarchs, did not conceal his
regard, but let the other ambassadors see plainly that he was highest
in favour. Of all the Greeks he showed Antalkidas the greatest honour,
when he took off his own wreath of flowers at table and dipping it in
scent, gave it him to put on. He attempted no such refinements with
Pelopidas, but gave him presents, more splendid and valuable than was
customary, and assented to his proposals that all Greek states should
be independent, that Messenia should be reconstituted, and that the
Thebans should be accounted the king's old friends.

With these answers, and none of the presents except such as were
pledges of friendship and good will, he returned, to the great
discredit of the other ambassadors. The Athenians condemned and
executed Timagoras, and if it was for the amount of presents which he
received, rightly enough; for he not only took silver and gold, but a
costly bed and slaves to make it, as if Greeks did not know how, and
also eighty cows and their herdsmen, on the pretence of wanting cow's
milk for some weakness that he suffered from; and at last he went down
to the sea-coast carried in a palanquin, and four talents were given
by the king to his bearers--still, it does not seem to have been his
venality which especially disgusted the Athenians. At any rate,
Epikrates, called the "Bearded," once brought a motion before the
assembly that instead of electing nine archons yearly they should send
nine poor citizens as ambassadors to the Great King, that they might
be enriched by him, at which there was great laughter. But it was
because of the success of the Thebans that they were so vexed, not
reflecting on the power of Pelopidas's name, and how far it outweighed
all their rhetoric in the estimation of one who always inclined to the
stronger side.

XXXI. On his return, Pelopidas was welcomed with no little gratitude
because he had re-established Messenia, and obtained freedom for all
other Greeks. But Alexander of Pheræ had relapsed into his old
courses, and had ravaged the territory of many cities of Thessaly. The
Phthiot Achæans and Magnetes formed a league to oppose him, and
hearing of Pelopidas's return, these cities sent to Thebes begging for
a force to help them and for him as its general. The Thebans willingly
decreed this, but when all was ready and the general was about to
march, the sun was eclipsed and darkness fell upon the city.
Pelopidas, seeing that all men were disheartened at this, thought that
it was useless to force frightened men full of presage of evil, to
march with him, nor did he like to risk the lives of six thousand
citizens, but he offered his own services to the Thessalians, and took
with him three hundred horsemen, volunteers and men of other states.
With this force he started, though forbidden by the prophets and
against the will of his fellow citizens, who all held that a great
portent had been shown in heaven about some celebrated man. However,
he was all the fiercer against Alexander, remembering his own
sufferings, and hoping from his conversations with Thêbê, that by this
time his own family would have turned against him. He was also much
encouraged by the glory of the action, that, at a time when the
Lacedæmonians were sending out generals and governors to help
Dionysius the Sicilian tyrant, and when the Athenians had Alexander in
their pay, and had even set up a bronze statue of him as a public
benefactor, he might show the Greeks that it was the Thebans alone who
took up arms in defence of the oppressed, and who put an end to the
violent and illegal rule of despots in Greece.

XXXII. When he had come to Pharsalus and collected his army there, he
marched straight to attack Alexander. But he, seeing that Pelopidas's
force of Thebans was small, while he had more than double his numbers
of Thessalian hoplites, met him near the shrine of Thetis. When some
one said to Pelopidas that the tyrant was coming on with a great
force, he answered. "So much the better, for we shall conquer more."

Between the two armies, near the place called Kynoskephalæ, or the
Dog's Heads, were some high and isolated hills. Each party tried to
occupy these with their infantry, but Pelopidas, knowing his cavalry
to be numerous and good, sent it to charge that of the enemy. The
enemy's horse was routed, and pursued over the plain, but meanwhile
Alexander had secured the hills, and when the Thessalian infantry came
afterwards, and tried to force their way up the hill into that strong
position, he was able to cut down the foremost, while the rest
suffered from his missiles and could do nothing. Pelopidas now
recalled the cavalry, and sent it to attack the enemy's position in
flank, while he himself took his shield and ran to join the infantry
in their fight on the hill. Pushing his way through their ranks till
he reached the front he infused such strength and ardour into them,
that the enemy thought that they attacked with new bodies as well as
new spirit. They repulsed one or two assaults, but seeing that the
infantry resolutely came on, and also that the cavalry had returned
from its pursuit and was threatening their flank, they made an orderly
retreat. Pelopidas, when he gained the height, saw below him the whole
of the enemy not yet beaten, but confused and shaken. He stood still
and looked around him, seeking Alexander himself. When he saw him, on
the right, rallying and encouraging his mercenaries, he could no
longer restrain his rage, but kindling at the sight, and, reckless of
his own person and of his duties as a general, rushed far beyond the
rest, shouting and challenging the tyrant to fight. He would not await
the attack, but took refuge in the ranks of his body-guard. Pelopidas
attacked these troops and cut them down, wounding several mortally,
but they from a distance struck him through his armour with their
spears, till the Thessalians in great anxiety charged down the hill to
the rescue. But he had by this time fallen.

The cavalry now charged and routed the whole body, and pursuing them
to a great distance, strewed the country with corpses, for they cut
down more than three thousand of them.

XXXIII. It was no wonder that the Thebans who were there grieved at
the death of Pelopidas, and called him their father, their saviour,
their teacher in all that was best and noblest; but the Thessalians
and their allies, who decreed greater honours than had ever been shown
to any brave man, proved their gratitude to him, even more by their
sorrow. It is said that the men who were at the fight did not lay
aside their armour, nor unbridle their horses, nor even bind up their
wounds, when they heard of his death, but warm as they were from
victory, in their arms, flocked round the corpse, piling up near it,
as a trophy, the arms of their slain enemies. They cut off the manes
of their horses, and their own hair, and many went off to their tents,
lit no fire, and ate no supper, but there was such silence and
despondency in the whole camp as would have befitted men who had been
defeated and enslaved by the tyrant, not who had just won a great and
glorious victory over him.

As soon as the sad news reached the cities of Thessaly, the chief men,
youths, children and priests came forth in procession to receive his
body, and carried trophies and wreaths and golden armour in its
honour. When the body was about to be brought home, the chiefs of the
Thessalians begged the Thebans to allow them to bury him, and one of
them spoke as follows: "Allies, we beg of you a favour which will
prove to be an honour and a comfort to us in this our great
misfortune. We Thessalians shall never again escort Pelopidas, nor
render him the honours which he deserved; but if we may have his body
to touch, and ourselves adorn it and bury it, we shall then be able to
show you that we Thessalians truly feel this misfortune more than even
you Thebans. For you have only lost a good general, while we have lost
that, and our liberty too, since how can we ever have the heart to ask
you for another general, after not giving you your Pelopidas back."

This proposal the Thebans agreed to.

XXXIV. No funeral was more splendid than this, not indeed in the
estimation of those who think that splendour lies in ivory and gold
and purple, as Philistius celebrates and praises the funeral of
Dionysius, where his tyranny concluded like the pompous finale of some
great tragedy. Alexander the Great, when Hephæstion died, not only cut
off the manes of the horses and mules, but actually took down the
battlements from the walls, that cities might seem in mourning,
presenting a shorn and woeful look in contrast to their former

But these were the commands of tyrants; they were done under
compulsion, and caused a feeling of dislike to the person honoured,
and of absolute hatred against those who enforced them, but showed no
gratitude or desire to honour the dead. They were mere displays of
barbaric pride and boastful extravagance, which wastes its superfluity
on vain and useless objects; whereas, here was a private citizen who
died in a foreign land, without his wife, his children or his friends,
and, without any one asking for it or compelling them to it, he was
escorted to his grave, buried and crowned with garlands by so many
provinces and cities, vying with one another in showing him honour,
that he seems to have enjoyed the most blessed fate possible. For as
Æsop says, the death of the fortunate is not grievous, but blessed,
since it secures their felicity, and puts it out of Fortune's power.
That Spartan spoke well, who, when Diagoras, the Olympic victor, was
looking at his sons being in their turn crowned as victors at Olympia,
with his grandchildren about him, embraced him and said, "Die,
Diagoras; for you cannot rise to Olympus and be a god there." Yet I do
not suppose that any one would compare all the Olympian and Pythian
prizes together with one of Pelopidas's achievements, of which he
performed many, and lived the most part of his life esteemed and
looked up to, and at last, in his thirteenth Bœotarchy, when fighting
gloriously against a tyrant, he died in defence of the liberties of

XXXV. His death caused great sorrow to his allies, but likewise
benefited them; for the Thebans as soon as they heard of the death of
Pelopidas did not delay for a moment to avenge his fall, but hastily
marched with an army of seven thousand hoplites and seven hundred
cavalry, under Malkitus and Diogeiton, against Alexander. Finding that
he was weakened and shorn of much of his power, they compelled him to
restore to the Thessalians their cities, which he held, to liberate
the Achæans in Magnesia and Phthiotis, to withdraw his garrisons from
those countries, and to swear to the Thebans, that he would attack,
and assist them to attack, any enemy they might choose.

The Thebans were satisfied with these terms; but I will now recount
how, shortly afterwards, Heaven exacted retribution from him for the
death of Pelopidas. Thêbê his wife, as we have said before, had been
taught by Pelopidas not to fear the outward pomp and body-guard of the
tyrant, since she was within all his defences. She, dreading his
suspicious nature, and hating his cruelty, made a plot with her three
brothers, Tisiphonus, Pytholaus, and Lykophron, which she carried out
in the following manner. The night patrol of the guard watched in the
house, but their bedchamber was upstairs, and before the door there
was a dog chained as a guard, very savage with every one except
themselves and one of their servants who fed it. Now when Thêbê
determined to make the attempt, she got her brothers concealed near at
hand during the day in one of the rooms, and when she came, as usual,
alone to Alexander's chamber, she found him asleep. In a little time
she came out again, and ordered the servant to take away the dog, as
the despot wished to sleep undisturbed. Fearing that the stairs would
make a noise when the young men mounted, she covered them with wool,
and then brought up her brothers, with their swords drawn. Leaving
them outside she herself went in, and taking down the sword that hung
over his head, showed it to them as a proof that he was in their power
and asleep. The young men now were terrified, and hesitated to act;
but she reproached them bitterly, and swore that she would herself
awaken Alexander and tell him the whole plot. Between shame and terror
she got them in and placed them round the bed, herself holding the
light. One of them seized his feet, another held his head back by the
hair, and the third despatched him with a stab of his sword, a death,
perhaps, easier than he deserved. He was the first, or perhaps the
only despot ever assassinated by his own wife. His body after death
was dragged about and trodden under foot by the people of Pheræ, a
recompense which his villanies deserved.


[Footnote 1: Kallikratidas, the Lacedæmonian admiral, was defeated and
slain by the Athenians at the battle of Arginusæ, B.C. 406.]

[Footnote 2: No one seems able to identify this battle. See Grote's
History, Part II., ch. lxxvii., note, s.v. Epameinondas.]

[Footnote 3: See Life of Titus Flamininus, p. 175, note.]

[Footnote 4: More usually spelt 'Leontiades.']

[Footnote 5: Kadmeia, the Acropolis of Thebes, a fortress on a lofty
rock overhanging the town.]

[Footnote 6: In Attica.]

[Footnote 7: The chief priest who presided at the Eleusinian

[Footnote 8: The office of Bœotarch is described at length in Smith's
'Dictionary of Antiquities.' They seem properly to have been the
military leaders of the confederacy of the whole of the cities of

[Footnote 9: This was the case in all Greek towns, namely, there were
two parties, aristocratic and democratic. The democracy being now in
the ascendant in Thebes, the party which favoured the Spartans, the
most aristocratic state in Greece, had gone into exile.]

[Footnote 10: For the number of men in a "mora," see p. 16.]

[Footnote 11: See vol. i. Life of Lykurgus, ch. vi.]


I. Poseidonius tells us that Marcus Claudius, who was five times
consul of the Roman people, was the son of Marcus, and was the first
of his family to receive the name of Marcellus, which means warlike.
Indeed, by his experience he became a thorough soldier; his body was
strong, and his arm powerful. He was fond of war, and bore himself
with a lordly arrogance in battle, though otherwise he was of a quiet
and amiable disposition, fond of Greek culture and literature, to the
extent of respecting and admiring those who knew it, though he from
his want of leisure could not make such progress as he wished. For the
Roman chiefs of that period were, if any men ever were, condemned, in
the words of Homer,

     "From youth to age, disastrous wars to wage."[12]

In their youth they fought the Carthaginians on the Sicilian coast; in
middle age they fought the Gauls in defence of Italy itself; when
advanced in years they again contended with Hannibal and the
Carthaginians, not, as common men do, obtaining any relief from
constant service because of their old age, but ever urged by their
courage and nobility of soul to accept the command in new campaigns.

II. Marcellus was practised in all forms of battle, but was especially
skilful in single combat, so that he never declined any man's
challenge, and slew all who challenged him. In Sicily he saved the
life of his brother Otacilius when in great peril, by holding his
shield over him and killing his assailants. For this conduct, young as
he was, he received crowns[13] and rewards from the generals, and as
he grew in reputation was elected _curule ædile_ by the people, and
augur by the priests. This is a kind of priestly office, to which the
law especially assigns the observance of auguries drawn from the
flight of birds. During his tenure of the office of ædile, he was
obliged, much against his will, to commence a law-suit. He had a son
of his own name, in the bloom of youth, of great beauty, and equally
with it admired by his countrymen for his modesty and education.
Capitolinus, Marcellus's colleague, a licentious and reckless man,
made disgraceful proposals to this lad. He first repelled his attacks
alone, but on a second attempt told his father, and Marcellus, being
much enraged, summoned the man before the Senate. He attempted many
quibbles and subterfuges, and appealed to the tribunes of the people
to support him, but as they refused his application he betook himself
to pleading denial of the charge. There being no witnesses of what he
had said, the Senate decided to send for the boy, and when they saw
how he blushed and wept with a modesty mingled with unquenchable rage,
they, without requiring any other proof, found Capitolinus guilty, and
condemned him to pay a fine, with which Marcellus had silver libation
vessels made, and consecrated them to the gods.

III. After twenty-two years the first Punic War came to an end, and
the Romans turned their attention to Gaulish troubles. The Insubrians,
a Celtic tribe dwelling in Italy at the foot of the Alps, powerful by
themselves, were collecting other forces, and enrolling all those
Gauls who fought for hire, called Gæsatæ.

It was a wonderful and fortunate circumstance that this Celtic war did
not break out at the same time as that with Carthage, but that the
Gauls, like the gladiator who waits to fight with the survivor of a
pair of combatants, had remained quiet during the whole of that war,
and now stepped forward and challenged the victors when they were at
leisure. Yet the war caused much terror, because it would take place
on their own frontier against their neighbour states, and because of
the ancient reputation of the Gauls, whom the Romans seem to fear more
than any other nation. They once lost their city at their hands, and
afterwards passed a law that the priests should be exempt from all
military service, except in case of another war with Gaul. Their alarm
was shown both by their preparations (for it is said that never before
or since were there so many thousand Romans under arms), and by their
extraordinary sacrifices. For though they never observe the barbarous
ceremonies of foreigners, but as far as possible are humane and like
the Greeks in their religion, on the outbreak of this war they were
compelled to follow certain prophecies in the Sibylline books, and
bury alive two Greeks, a man and a woman, and likewise two Gauls, in
the place called the Cattle Market: and in accordance with these
prophecies they still up to this day in the month of November perform
religious mysteries, which may not be seen or spoken of by either
Greeks or Gauls.

IV. At the beginning of the war the Romans were some times victorious
and sometimes defeated, without coming to any decisive action, until
the consulate of Flaminius and Furius, who led a great army against
the Insubrians. Then the river that passes through Picenum ran blood,
and it was said that three moons were seen at the city of Ariminum,
and the augurs, who watch the omens at the consular elections,
declared that the appointment of these consuls was wrong and of evil
omen for the people. Hereupon the Senate immediately sent despatches
to the camp recalling the consuls, that they might as soon as possible
return and lay down their office and so undertake nothing as consuls
against the enemy. Flaminius, when he received these despatches, did
not open them before he had routed the barbarians in battle and
overrun their country. So when he returned to Rome loaded with spoil,
the people did not go out to meet him, but, because he had not at once
obeyed his orders, and had treated them with insolent contempt, very
nearly refused him his triumph, and after the triumph reduced him to a
private station, forcing both him and his colleague to give up their
office. So much regard had the Romans for religion, that they would
not on occasions of the greatest good fortune overlook any neglect of
the prophecies and customs of their ancestors, holding it more
important for the safety of the state that their generals should
reverence the gods than that they should conquer the enemy.

V. As an example of this, Tiberius Sempronius, a man second to no one
in Rome for courage and virtue, named as his successors when consul
Scipio Nasica and Caius Marcius, and when they were actually in
possession of their provinces and armies he happened to consult a book
of sacred ritual, and found in it an old custom which he did not know
before. It was to this effect. When a consul has hired a house or tent
outside the city to watch the flight of birds, if he be obliged before
any certain omen appears, to return to the city for what cause soever,
he must give up the place which he hired and take another, and make
his observation over again from the beginning. This, it seems,
Tiberius did not know, and it was after using the same place twice
that he named these men consuls. Afterwards, having discovered his
error, he laid the matter before the Senate; and that body did not
despise this apparently slight irregularity, but sent despatches to
the men, who at once left their provinces, returned to Rome, and
resigned their office. Now this happened in later times; but in the
very times of which we write two men of the best family were deprived
of the priesthood: Cornelius Cethegus, because he handled the entrails
improperly at a sacrifice, and Quintus Sulpicius, because when he was
sacrificing, the crested hat which he wore as flamen, fell off his
head. And because, when Minucius the dictator was appointing Caius
Flaminius his master of the knights, the mouse which is called the
coffin-mouse was heard to squeak, they turned them out of their
office, and elected others. But, though so elaborately careful in
trifles, they never admitted any superstitious observance, and neither
altered nor added anything to their ancestral ritual.

VI. When Flaminius and his colleague had resigned their offices,
Marcellus was designated consul by the interreges.[14] On entering
upon his office he nominated Cnæus Cornelius as his colleague. It was
said that the Gauls were offering terms of reconciliation, and that
the Senate wished for peace with them, but that Marcellus raised the
spirit of the people and excited them to continue the war. But still a
peace was concluded; and it seems to have been the Gæsatæ who renewed
the war, by crossing the Alps and stirring up the Insubrians. Thirty
thousand in number, they joined that tribe, which was many times
larger, and in high spirits at once attacked Acerræ, a city beyond the
river Po. From that place Britomartus with ten thousand Gæsatæ
proceeded to plunder the country near the Po.

Marcellus hearing this left his colleague before Acerræ with the
infantry, heavy baggage, and one-third of the cavalry, and himself,
with the rest of the cavalry and about six hundred of the most active
foot soldiers, marched night and day till he fell in with the ten
thousand Gæsatæ at Clastidium, a Gaulish village which not long before
had been subject to the Romans. There was no time for rest or
refreshment; for his arrival was at once perceived by the enemy, and
his force despised, as he had so little infantry with him, for the
Celts thought nothing of his cavalry. Admirable horsemen and proud of
their superior skill, they also had greatly the advantage of Marcellus
in numbers, and at once, their king riding foremost, charged the
Romans with great impetuosity and terrible threats, expecting to sweep
them away. Marcellus, fearing that they might surround and outflank
his small body, spread out his cavalry, thinning and widening his
line, until he presented a front nearly equal to that of the enemy. He
was now advancing to the charge, when his horse, scared at the
terrible display of the enemy, turned short round, and forcibly
carried him back. Marcellus, fearing that this might cause
superstitious terror to the Romans, hastily wheeled his horse round on
the bridle hand, and having again directed him against the enemy, paid
his adorations to the sun, as though he had made this circle not by
chance, but of set purpose; for the Romans have this custom, of
turning round to worship the gods, and so he, as he was on the point
of joining battle, vowed that he would consecrate the finest of the
enemies' arms to Jupiter Feretrius.

VII. At this moment the king of the Gauls, seeing him, and
conjecturing from his dress that he was the Roman leader, rode out far
beyond the rest, and made directly for him, defiantly shouting a
challenge, and brandishing his spear. He was a man distinguished from
the rest of the Gauls by his tall stature and his complete armour,
which glittered like the lightning with gold and silver and all kinds
of gay devices with which it was incrusted. Marcellus, as he looked
along the enemy's line, thought that these were the finest arms, and
were those about which he had made his vow to Jupiter Feretrius. He
rushed upon the Gaul, pierced his breastplate with his spear, and by
the impetus of his horse bore him to the ground alive, and with a
second and third thrust killed him at once. Leaping from his horse and
seizing the armour of the dead man, he said, looking up to heaven,
"Jupiter Feretrius, thou that seest the great deeds of generals and
captains in war, I call thee to witness that I am the third Roman
general that has slain the enemy's general and king, by killing this
man here with my own hand: and having killed him I consecrate to thee
the first and fairest of the spoils. But do thou grant us like good
fortune in the rest of this war."

Hereupon the Roman cavalry charged, not against cavalry by itself, but
they fought against infantry and cavalry mixed together, and won a
victory of an unparalleled and wonderful kind; for never before or
since that day did such a body of horsemen rout such numbers of horse
and foot.

Having slain the greater part of them, and collected their arms and
stores, he returned to his colleague, who was with difficulty holding
his own against the Celts before the walls of the largest and most
populous of Gaulish cities. It is called Mediolanum, and is regarded
by the Cisalpine Gauls as their metropolis: consequently they fought
vigorously in its defence, and more besieged Cornelius than were
besieged by him. But when Marcellus arrived, the Gæsatæ, as soon as
they heard of the defeat and death of their king, went home.
Mediolanum fell, and the Celts of their own accord surrendered the
other cities, and threw themselves upon the mercy of the Romans. They
received moderate terms of peace.

VIII. By a decree of the Senate Marcellus alone triumphed. His
procession was glorious, as few others have been, with the splendour
and value of the booty exhibited, and the great stature of the
captives; but the strangest and most interesting sight of all was the
general himself, as he appeared carrying the suit of armour of the
Gaul to offer it to the god. He had cut and trimmed the trunk of a
tall young oak tree, and had tied and hung the spoils upon it, each
put in its proper place. When the procession began, he himself mounted
his chariot and four, and carried in state through the city, this the
most glorious of all his trophies of victory. The army marched after
him with their finest armour, singing as they went songs and pæans of
victory in honour of the gods and their leader. Thus he proceeded till
he reached the temple of Jupiter Feretrius. Here he dismounted, and
dedicated his spoils, being the third, and, up to our day, the last
who ever did so: first comes Romulus, with the spoils of Acron of
Cæninum; second, Cornelius Cossus offered the spoils of Tolumnius the
Etruscan; third, Marcellus offered these spoils of Britomartus, the
king of the Gauls; after Marcellus, no man.

The god to whom they are offered is called Jupiter Feretrius,
according to some, from the trophy being carried upon a _feretrum_, or
bier, as it is called in the Greek tongue, which then was much mixed
with the Latin; but according to others, it is an attribute of Jupiter
the Thunderer, for the Romans call striking _ferire_. Others say that
the name comes from striking the enemy; for even now in battle when
they are pursuing the enemy they keep shouting, "_Feri_," that is,
"Strike," to one another. The word for ordinary spoils is _spolia_,
but for these _spolia opima_. Yet it is said that Numa Pompilius
speaks of first, second, and third degrees of _spolia opima_, ordering
the first to be offered to Jupiter Feretrius, the second to Mars, and
the third to Quirinus; and that for the first the prize is three
hundred ases, two hundred for the second, and one hundred for the
third. But the most common story runs that those spoils alone are
_spolia opima_ which are taken at a pitched battle, and first of all,
and by the general of the one side from the general of the other. But
of these things enough.

The Roman people were so overjoyed at that victory and the end of the
war that they made from the money paid to ransom captives, a golden
statue, and sent it to Apollo at Delphi as a thank-offering, and gave
a magnificent share of the booty to their allies, and even sent many
presents to Hiero the king of Syracuse, their friend and ally.

IX. When Hannibal invaded Italy, Marcellus was sent with an army to
Sicily: but when the disaster at Cannæ took place, where many thousand
Romans perished, and only a few fugitives collected at Canusium, it
was expected that Hannibal would at once march to attack Rome, as he
had cut off the greater part of the army. Marcellus at once sent a
garrison of fifteen hundred men to guard the city, and afterwards, in
obedience to a senatus-consultum, went to Canusium, and taking command
of the fugitives collected there, led them out of their fortified
camp, to show that he would not deliver up the country to the enemy.
The Romans had lost many of their most capable leaders in the wars,
and Fabius Maximus, who had the greatest reputation, was blamed by
them for sloth and want of enterprise because of his excessive caution
in avoiding a defeat. Thinking, therefore, that he was an excellent
general for defence, not for attack, they cast their eyes upon
Marcellus, and in order to combine his vigour and daring with the
cautious and far-seeing tactics of the other, they at one time elected
them both consuls, at another made the one consul with the other
serving as proconsul. Poseidonius tells us that Fabius was called the
shield of the state, and Marcellus the sword. And Hannibal himself
said that he feared Fabius as a schoolmaster, but regarded Marcellus
as an antagonist, for the former prevented his doing any mischief,
while the latter might make him suffer some.

X. At first Hannibal's soldiers, elated with their victory, roamed
with careless confidence out of their camp and plundered the country;
where Marcellus fell upon them, and by a series of defeats
considerably weakened them. Next, he went to Naples and Nola. At
Naples he encouraged the citizens, who of their own accord wished
well to the Roman cause; but at Nola he found the city in a state of
faction, as the senate were unable to restrain the populace, who
favoured Hannibal. There was one Bandius, a man of the first nobility
of the city, and renowned for bravery. This man had fought at Cannæ
with conspicuous valour, and had slain many Carthaginians. When after
the battle he was found in a heap of slain with his body pierced with
darts, Hannibal, in admiration of his courage, not only dismissed him
without ransom, but gave him presents and made him a personal friend.
Bandius, out of gratitude, was one of the most eager partisans of
Hannibal, and, having great influence with the people, was urging them
to revolt. Marcellus thought that it would be a crime to put to death
a man of such glorious antecedents, and who had taken part in one of
the greatest struggles of the Romans; and, besides his natural
kindliness, being able by his conversation to win over any man of
noble nature, he on one occasion when greeted by Bandius inquired who
he might be, though he knew very well, but merely wanted a pretext and
opportunity for conversation with him. For, when he answered, "Lucius
Bandius," Marcellus, as though surprised and pleased, said, "Are you
indeed that Bandius, of whom all those who fought at Cannæ told us at
Rome, the only man who did not desert Paulus Æmilius the consul, but
who received upon his own body the greater part of the darts which
were aimed at him?" Bandius admitted that he was the man, and
endeavoured to speak lightly of his wounds, but Marcellus went on:
"Then, as you bear about you such marks of your devotion to our cause,
why did you not at once come to me? Do you think us slow to requite
the valour of our friends, when it is honoured even by the enemy."
Having spoken to him thus courteously, he embraced him, and presented
him with a war-horse and five hundred silver drachmas.

XI. After this Bandius became the firmest partisan and ally of
Marcellus, and a terrible denouncer and assailant of the opposite
party. This was a numerous one; and their design was, when the Romans
should march out of the town against the enemy, to attack their
baggage. Marcellus, therefore, having marshalled his troops within
the city, brought the baggage to the gates, and by proclamation
forbade the people of Nola to approach the walls. Thus no force was
visible, and he induced Hannibal to march up to the city in disorderly
array, as he supposed that within it all was confusion. Then Marcellus
ordered the gate nearest him to be thrown open, and with the best
equipped of his cavalry charged out of it and fell upon the enemy hand
to hand. Presently the infantry poured out of another gate, running
with loud shouts; and while Hannibal was dividing his forces to deal
with them a third gate opened, and from it issued the remainder of the
army, and from all sides attacked the Carthaginians, who were
bewildered at the unexpectedness of the attack, and fought without
spirit against their immediate assailants, because of the others who
they saw would soon beset them.

There first did Hannibal's troops give way before the Romans, and were
chased with great loss into their camp. It is said that more than five
thousand perished, and that no more than five hundred Romans fell. But
Livy does not consider that a great defeat took place, or that so many
of the enemy fell, but he points out that Marcellus gained much glory
by that battle, and that the Roman people took courage after their
misfortunes, thinking that it was not against an unconquerable and
invulnerable foe that they were fighting, but one who could be made to
suffer as well as themselves.

XII. For this reason, as one of the consuls was dead, the people
called for Marcellus, though he was absent, to become his successor;
and in spite of the efforts of the government they put off the day of
election until he came to Rome from the army. He was elected consul by
the votes of all the tribes, but it thundered at the time, and as the
priests declared this an unpropitious omen, but did not dare openly to
oppose his election for fear of the people, he himself voluntarily
resigned his office. But he did not avoid military service, but was
created proconsul, and returning to Nola and his army he harassed
those who had chosen the side of Hannibal. When the latter hastily
marched to the assistance of his friends, and offered to fight a
pitched battle with Marcellus, he declined; but subsequently, when the
greater part of the Carthaginian army was scattered in search of
plunder, and no longer expecting an attack, he fell upon it. He had
distributed long lances, such as are used on ship-board, among his
infantry, and instructed them to watch their opportunity and hurl
these from a distance at the Carthaginians, who had no javelin-men,
and whose heavy spears were only used to thrust with at close
quarters. In consequence, it seems, of this, all who engaged with the
Romans that day turned their backs and shamefully fled, losing five
thousand killed, six hundred prisoners; while of their elephants, four
were killed and two taken alive. And, what was of the greatest
importance of all, on the third day after the above battle, three
hundred Spanish and Numidian cavalry deserted to the Romans, a thing
which never had happened to Hannibal before, as, although his army was
composed of so many different nations, he had been able for a very
long time to inspire it with the same spirit. These men faithfully
served Marcellus and the generals who succeeded him.

XIII. Marcellus, when elected consul for the third time, sailed to
Sicily; for Hannibal's successes in the war had encouraged the
Carthaginians to recover that island, especially as Syracusan politics
were in a disturbed state in consequence of the death of the despot
Hieronymus; and on this account a Roman army under Appius had already
been sent there. When Marcellus had taken the command of this army, he
received a large accession of Roman soldiers, whose misfortune was as
follows. Of the troops who fought with Hannibal at Cannæ, some fled,
and some were taken alive, in such numbers that the Romans scarcely
thought that they had left sufficient citizens to man the city walls,
but this remnant was so full of pride and so great of soul, that,
though Hannibal offered to release the captives for a small ransom,
they would not take them, but refused by a decree of the Senate, and
endured to see some of them put to death, and others sold out of Italy
as slaves. The mass of those who had saved themselves by flight they
sent to Sicily, with orders not to set foot on the soil of Italy until
the war with Hannibal was over. So when Marcellus went to Sicily,
these men came in a body into his presence, and falling on the ground
before him besought him to permit them to serve as honourable
soldiers, promising with cries and tears that they would prove by
their actions that it was more by their bad fortune than their
cowardice that the defeat at Cannæ took place. Marcellus was touched
with compassion, and wrote to the Senate asking to be allowed to fill
up from these men the vacancies which would occur in the ranks of his
army. Much discussion followed; and at last the Senate decreed that
Rome did not require the services of cowardly citizens, but, if
Marcellus nevertheless wished to make use of them, they must not
receive any of the crowns and other rewards which are commonly
bestowed by generals as the prizes of valour. This decree vexed
Marcellus, and after the war in Sicily he returned to Rome and blamed
the Senate that, in spite of all that he had done for them, they would
not allow him to relieve so many citizens from such a miserable

XIV. In Sicily, at this time, he had just cause of complaint against
Hippokrates the Syracusan general, who, favouring the Carthaginian
side, and wishing to establish himself as despot, put to death many
Romans at Leontini. Marcellus took Leontini by storm, and did no harm
to the inhabitants, but flogged and executed all the deserters whom he
found. Hippokrates first sent to Syracuse a story that Marcellus was
exterminating the people of Leontini, and when this report had thrown
the city into confusion he fell upon it and made himself master of it.
Marcellus hereupon proceeded to Syracuse with his whole army, and
encamping near the city sent ambassadors to tell them what had really
happened in Leontini. By this, however, he gained nothing, as the
Syracusans would not listen to him (for the party of Hippokrates was
in the ascendant). He now attacked the city both by sea and land,
Appius commanding the land forces, while Marcellus directed a fleet of
sixty quinqueremes[15] full of armed men and missile weapons. He
raised a vast engine upon a raft made by lashing eight ships together,
and sailed with it to attack the wall, trusting to the numbers and
excellence of his siege engines, and to his own personal prestige.
But Archimedes and his machines cared nothing for this, though he did
not speak of any of these engines as being constructed by serious
labour, but as the mere holiday sports of a geometrician. He would not
indeed have constructed them but at the earnest request of King Hiero,
who entreated him to leave the abstract for the concrete, and to bring
his ideas within the comprehension of the people by embodying them in
tangible forms.

Eudoxus and Archytas were the first who began to treat of this
renowned science of mechanics, cleverly illustrating it, and proving
such problems as were hard to understand, by means of solid and actual
instruments, as, for instance, both of them resorted to mechanical
means to find a mean proportional, which is necessary for the solution
of many other geometrical questions. This they did by the
construction, from various curves and sections, of certain instruments
called mesographs. Plato was much vexed at this, and inveighed against
them for destroying the real excellence of geometry by making it leave
the region of pure intellect and come within that of the senses, and
become mixed up with bodies which require much base servile labour. So
mechanics became separated from geometry, and, long regarded with
contempt by philosophy, was reckoned among the military arts. However
Archimedes, who was a relative and friend of Hiero, wrote that with a
given power he could move any given weight whatever, and, as it were
rejoicing in the strength of his demonstration, he is said to have
declared that if he were given another world to stand upon, he could
move this upon which we live. Hiero wondered at this, and begged him
to put this theory into practice, and show him something great moved
by a small force. Archimedes took a three-masted ship, a transport in
the king's navy, which had just been dragged up on land with great
labour and many men; in this he placed her usual complement of men and
cargo, and then sitting at some distance, without any trouble, by
gently pulling with his hand the end of a system of pullies, he
dragged it towards him with as smooth and even a motion as if it were
passing over the sea. The king wondered greatly at this, and
perceiving the value of his arts, prevailed upon Archimedes to
construct for him a number of machines, some for the attack and some
for the defence of a city, of which he himself did not make use, as he
spent most of his life in unwarlike and literary leisure, but now
these engines were ready for use in Syracuse, and also, the inventor
was present to direct their working.

XV. So when the Romans attacked by sea and land at once, the
Syracusans were at first terrified and silent, dreading that nothing
could resist such an armament. But Archimedes opened fire from his
machines, throwing upon the land forces all manner of darts and great
stones, with an incredible noise and violence, which no man could
withstand; but those upon whom they fell were struck down in heaps,
and their ranks thrown into confusion, while some of the ships were
suddenly seized by iron hooks, and by a counter-balancing weight were
drawn up and then plunged to the bottom. Others they caught by irons
like hands or claws suspended from cranes, and first pulled them up by
their bows till they stood upright upon their sterns, and then cast
down into the water, or by means of windlasses and tackles worked
inside the city, dashed them against the cliffs and rocks at the base
of the walls, with terrible destruction to their crews. Often was seen
the fearful sight of a ship lifted out of the sea into the air,
swaying and balancing about, until the men were all thrown out or
overwhelmed with stones from slings, when the empty vessel would
either be dashed against the fortifications, or dropped into the sea
by the claws being let go. The great engine which Marcellus was
bringing up on the raft, called the Harp, from some resemblance to
that instrument, was, while still at a distance, struck by a stone of
ten talents weight, and then another and another, which fell with a
terrible crash, breaking the platform on which the machine stood,
loosening its bolts, and tearing asunder the hulks which supported it.
Marcellus, despairing of success, drew off his ships as fast as
possible, and sent orders to the land forces to retreat. In a council
of war, it was determined to make another assault by night; for they
argued that the straining cords which Archimedes used to propel his
missiles required a long distance to work in, and would make the shot
fly over them at close quarters, and be practically useless, as they
required a long stroke. But he, it appears, had long before prepared
engines suited for short as well as long distances, and short darts to
use in them; and from many small loop-holes pierced through the wall
small scorpions, as they are called, stood ready to shoot the enemy,
though invisible to them.

XVI. When then they attacked, expecting that they would not be seen,
they again encountered a storm of blows from stones which fell
perpendicularly upon their heads and darts which were poured from all
parts of the wall. They were forced to retire, and when they came
within range of the larger machines missiles were showered upon them
as they retreated, destroying many men and throwing the ships into
great disorder, without their being able to retaliate. For most of the
engines on the walls had been devised by Archimedes, and the Romans
thought that they were fighting against gods and not men, as
destruction fell upon them from invisible hands.

XVII. However, Marcellus escaped unhurt, and sarcastically said to his
own engineers: "Are we to give in to this Briareus of a geometrician,
who sits at his ease by the seashore and plays at upsetting our ships,
to our lasting disgrace, and surpasses the hundred-handed giant of
fable by hurling so many weapons at us at once?" For indeed all the
other Syracusans were merely the limbs of Archimedes, and his mind
alone directed and guided everything. All other arms were laid aside
and the city trusted to his weapons solely for defence and safety. At
length Marcellus, seeing that the Romans had become so scared that if
only a rope or small beam were seen over the wall they would turn and
fly, crying out that Archimedes was bringing some engine to bear upon
them, ceased assaulting the place, and trusted to time alone to reduce
it. Yet Archimedes had so great a mind and such immense philosophic
speculations that although by inventing these engines he had acquired
the glory of a more than human intellect, he would not condescend to
leave behind him any writings upon the subject, regarding the whole
business of mechanics and the useful arts as base and vulgar, but
placed his whole study and delight in those speculations in which
absolute beauty and excellence appear unhampered by the necessities of
life, and argument is made to soar above its subject matter, since by
the latter only bulk and outward appearance, but by the other accuracy
of reasoning and wondrous power, can be attained: for it is impossible
in the whole science of geometry to find more difficult hypotheses
explained on clearer or more simple principles than in his works. Some
attribute this to his natural genius, others say that his
indefatigable industry made his work seem as though it had been done
without labour, though it cost much. For no man by himself could find
out the solution of his problems, but as he reads, he begins to think
that he could have discovered it himself, by so smooth and easy a road
does he lead one up to the point to be proved. One cannot therefore
disbelieve the stories which are told of him: how he seemed ever
bewitched by the song of some indwelling syren of his own so as to
forget to eat his food, and to neglect his person, and how, when
dragged forcibly to the baths and perfumers, he would draw geometrical
figures with the ashes on the hearth, and when his body was anointed
would trace lines on it with his finger, absolutely possessed and
inspired by the joy he felt in his art. He discovered many beautiful
problems, and is said to have begged his relatives and friends to
place upon his tomb when he died a cylinder enclosing a sphere, and to
write on it the proof of the ratio of the containing solid to the

XVIII. Such was Archimedes, who at this time rendered himself, and as
far as lay in him, the city, invincible.

During the blockade Marcellus took Megara, one of the most ancient of
the Greek cities in Sicily, and also captured Hippokrates' camp at
Acrillæ, with a destruction of more than eight thousand of his men,
attacking them just as they were planting the palisades of the
rampart. He overran a great part of Sicily, induced cities to revolt
from Carthage, and beat all forces that opposed him. As time went on,
he took prisoner one Damippus, a Spartan, as he was sailing out of
the harbour of Syracuse. The Syracusans desired to ransom this man,
and Marcellus, in the course of many negotiations and conferences
about him, noticed that a certain tower was carelessly guarded, and
that men might be introduced into it secretly, as the wall near it was
easy to climb. Having, from his frequent journeys to confer with the
besieged near this tower, gained a good idea of its height, he
prepared scaling-ladders, and waited till the Syracusans were engaged
in celebrating the feast of Artemis, and given up to drinking and
amusement. Not only did he gain the tower unobserved, but was able to
occupy the whole circuit of wall with his troops, and to break into
the Hexapylon.[16] When the Syracusans began to discover their
position and muster for their defence, he ordered trumpets to sound on
all sides, which produced great terror and tumult, as they imagined
that no part of the walls remained untaken. Yet the strongest, and
that too the largest and finest part of the city, was still left,
called Achradina, because it is fortified on the side near the outer
town, part of which is called Neapolis, and part Tyche.

XIX. These parts of the city were captured, and at daybreak Marcellus
moved down through the Hexapylon, amidst the congratulations of his
officers. It is said that when, from the high ground he surveyed that
great and fair city, he burst into tears, thinking how sadly it would
soon be changed in appearance when sacked by his soldiers. For none of
his officers dared to oppose the soldiers when they demanded the
privilege of plunder, and many encouraged them to burn and destroy.
But Marcellus would not so much as entertain the idea of this, but,
much against his will, was forced to permit them to carry off the
movable property and slaves, though he forbade them to touch freemen,
and gave strict orders that none of the citizens of Syracuse should be
slain, dishonoured, or enslaved. Yet even after moderating their
license to this extent he thought that the city was sadly ill-treated,
and even in such a moment of triumph he showed great sorrow and
sympathy for it, as he saw such great wealth and comfort swept away in
a few hours; for the treasure was said to be not less than that which
was afterwards taken in Carthage itself. The rest of the city was
taken after a short time by treachery, and the soldiers insisted upon
plundering it, with the exception of the royal treasury, which was
confiscated to the state.

Marcellus was especially grieved at the fate of Archimedes. He was
studying something by himself upon a figure which he had drawn, to
which he had so utterly given up his thoughts and his sight that he
did not notice the assault of the Romans and the capture of the city,
and when a soldier suddenly appeared before him and ordered him to
follow him into the presence of Marcellus, he refused to do so before
he had finished his problem and its solution. The man hereupon in a
rage drew his sword and killed him. Others say that the Roman fell
upon him at once with a sword to kill him, but he, seeing him, begged
him to wait for a little while, that he might not leave his theorem
imperfect, and that while he was reflecting upon it, he was slain. A
third story is that as he was carrying into Marcellus's presence his
mathematical instruments, sundials, spheres, and quadrants, by which
the eye might measure the magnitude of the sun, some soldiers met with
him, and supposing that there was gold in the boxes, slew him. But all
agree that Marcellus was much grieved, that he turned away from his
murderer as though he were an object of abhorrence to gods and men,
and that he sought out his family and treated them well.

XX. The Romans up to this time had given foreign nations great proofs
of their skill in war and their courage in battle, but had not shown
any evidences of kindness of heart, clemency, or any social virtue.
Marcellus seems to have been the first who exhibited the Romans in a
more amiable light to the Greeks. For he so dealt with his
adversaries, and treated so many individuals and cities with kindness
that even if any harsh treatment did befall Enna, or Megara, or
Syracuse, it was thought to be more by the fault of the vanquished
than of the victors. I will mention one instance out of many. There is
a city in Sicily called Engyion, of no great size, but very ancient,
and renowned for the appearance there of the goddesses called
'Mothers.' The foundation of the temple is ascribed to the Cretans,
and they used to show certain lances and helmets inscribed, some with
the name of Meriones, some of Ulixes, that is, Odysseus, which were
dedicated to these goddesses. This city was eager to espouse the
Carthaginian side, but was prevailed upon by one Nikias, the leading
man of the city, to join the Romans, by freely speaking his mind in
the public assembly and proving that his opponents did not consult the
true interests of the state. These men, fearing his power and high
reputation, determined to kidnap him, and deliver him up to the
Carthaginians. Nikias, discovering this plot, quietly took measures
for his own security, but publicly made unseemly speeches about the
"Mothers," and spoke of the received tradition of their appearance
with doubt and contempt, to the delight of his enemies, as he seemed
to be by these actions justifying the treatment which they meant to
inflict upon him. When all their preparations for seizing him were
complete there was a public assembly of the citizens, and Nikias, in
the midst of a speech upon state policy, suddenly fell to the ground,
and after a short time, as all men were, naturally, silent with
surprise, he raised his head, and turning it round he began to speak
in deep and trembling tones, which he gradually made shriller and more
intense, until, seeing the whole theatre, where the meeting was,
silent with horror, he threw off his cloak, tore his tunic, and, half
naked, rushed to the gate of the theatre, crying out that he was
pursued by the "Mothers." As no one dared to touch or stop him, from
fear of the gods, but all made way for him, he passed out of the city
gate, not omitting any of the cries and trembling of body of a person
under demoniacal possession. His wife, who was in the secret, and her
husband's confederate, first brought her children and prostrated
herself as a suppliant before the goddesses, and then under pretence
of seeking her wandering husband managed to leave the city without
opposition. Thus they safely reached Marcellus at Syracuse; and when,
after enduring many affronts and insolent proceeding from the people
of Engyion Marcellus took them all prisoners, and imprisoned them,
meaning to put them all to death, Nikias at first stood by weeping,
but at length, embracing Marcellus as a suppliant, he begged for the
lives of his countrymen, beginning with his own personal enemies,
until he relented, and set them all at liberty. Nor did he touch their
city, but gave Nikias ample lands and rich presents. This story is
told by Poseidonius the philosopher.

XXI. When the Romans recalled Marcellus, to conduct the war in their
own country, he removed most of the beautiful ornaments of the city of
Syracuse, to be admired at his triumphal procession, and to adorn
Rome. For at that time Rome neither possessed nor knew of any works of
art, nor had she any delicacy of taste in such matters. Filled with
the blood-stained arms and spoils of barbarians, and crowded with
trophies of war and memorials of triumphs, she was no pleasant or
delightful spectacle, fit to feed the eyes of unwarlike and luxurious
spectators, but, as Epameinondas called the plain of Bœotia "the Stage
of Ares," and Xenophon called Ephesus "the Workshop of War," so, in my
opinion, you might call Rome at that time, in the words of Pindar,
"the Domain of Ares, who revels in war." Wherefore Marcellus gained
the greater credit with the vulgar, because he enriched the city with
statues possessing the Hellenic grace and truth to nature, while
Fabius Maximus was more esteemed by the elders. He neither touched nor
removed anything of the kind from the city of Tarentum, which he took,
but carried off all the money and other property, and let the statues
remain, quoting the proverb: "Let us," said he, "leave the Tarentines
their angry gods." They blamed Marcellus's proceedings as being
invidious for Rome, because he had led not only men, but also gods as
captives in his triumph, and also because the people, who before this
were accustomed either to fight or to till the ground, and were
ignorant of luxury and indolent pleasures, like the Herakles of

     "Unpolished, rough, but skilled in useful arts,"

were made by Marcellus into idle, babbling connoisseurs of the fine
arts, and wasted the greater part of the day in talk about them. He,
however, prided himself upon this even before Greeks, saying that he
had taught the ignorant Romans to prize and admire the glories of
Greek art.

XXII. Marcellus, whose enemies opposed his claim to a triumph, on the
ground that the campaign in Sicily was not completely finished, and
that he did not deserve a third triumph, so far gave way as to lead
the greater triumphal procession as far as the Alban Mount, and only
to enter the city in the lesser form which the Greeks call _euan_, and
the Romans an _ovation_. The general conducts this, not, as in the
triumph, riding in a chariot and four with a crown of laurel, and with
trumpets sounding before him, but walking on foot in low shoes
surrounded by flute players, and crowned with myrtle, so as to look
unwarlike and joyous rather than terrible. And this is a great proof
to me that in old times it was the manner and not the importance of
the things achieved that settled the form of triumph. Those generals
who had gained their point by battle and slaughter probably made their
entry in that martial and terrible fashion, having, as is customary in
lustrations of armies, crowned the men and wreathed their arms with
abundance of laurel: whereas the generals who without an appeal to
arms had settled matters satisfactorily by negotiation and persuasive
eloquence, were given by custom this peaceful and festive entry into
the city. For the flute is a peaceful instrument, and the myrtle is
the favorite plant of Aphrodite, who above all the gods hates violence
and war. This form of triumph is called ovation, not from the cry of
"Evan," as most people think, for the other also is accompanied with
shouts and songs, but the word had been twisted by the Greeks into one
that has a meaning in their language, and also they are convinced that
some honour is paid to Dionysus in this ceremony, which God we name
Evius and Thriambos. It is curious to observe that the great Laconian
lawgiver arranged the sacrifices differently to those of Rome. In
Sparta those ex-generals who have accomplished their purpose by
persuasion or fraud sacrifice an ox, while those who have done it by
battle offer a cock. For, though warlike to excess, they thought that
a victory gained by clever negotiation was greater and more befitting
human beings than one gained by force and courage. Which is to be
preferred, I leave to my readers' consideration.

XXIII. When Marcellus entered upon his fourth consulship, his enemies
induced the Syracusans to send a deputation to Rome, to complain
loudly to the Senate of the cruel and unjust treatment which they had
received from him. Marcellus chanced to be performing some sacrifice
in the Capitol; so when the Syracusans came to the assembled Senate,
begging for a hearing that justice might be done them, the other
consul stopped them, feeling that Marcellus ought not to be attacked
in his absence. But Marcellus as soon as he heard of it, came to the
Senate-house, seated himself as consul, on the curule chair, and
despatched business; then, when this was finished, he came down and
placed himself as a private person in the place where men on their
trial usually stood, and called on the Syracusans to prove their
charges against him. They were abashed at his majestic confidence of
demeanour, and he who had been invincible in arms seemed to them yet
more terrible and unapproachable in his consular purple. Nevertheless,
encouraged by the enemies of Marcellus, they began their impeachment,
and pleaded their cause in a piteous fashion, their chief point being
that they, who were friends and allies of the Romans, had been treated
in a way in which many other generals had forborne to treat hostile
cities. Marcellus answered that they had done the Romans much harm,
for which they had received no punishment, except such as could not be
prevented in war, because victorious soldiers cannot be restrained
from sacking a town which they have won, and their city, he said, was
taken because they had refused his frequent offers of terms of
agreement. They could not urge that they had been forced into war by
their despots, for they had themselves chosen those very despots with
the intention of going to war. After both parties had been heard, the
Syracusans, according to custom, left the Senate-house. Marcellus came
out with them, leaving his colleague to preside over the assembly, and
stood outside the doors, without altering his usual demeanour, either
from fear of the result or anger against the Syracusans, but serenely
awaiting the verdict of the Senate.

When the question was voted upon, and he was announced successful, the
Syracusans prostrated themselves before him, beseeching him with
tears to put away his anger against themselves, and to show pity on
the city, which was sensible to kindness, and would be grateful to
him. Marcellus was touched by their appeal; he became reconciled to
them, and was a constant benefactor to their city. He restored them
their freedom, their laws, and what remained of their property, and
the Senate confirmed his acts. In return for this, besides many other
honours they passed a law that whenever Marcellus or any of his
descendants should land in Sicily, the Syracusans should wear garlands
of flowers and hold a festival with sacrifices to the gods.

XXIV. Next he proceeded against Hannibal; and whereas nearly all the
other consuls and generals, after the disaster at Cannæ had thought of
nothing but avoiding battles with him, and no one had dared to measure
himself with him in the field, he adopted the opposite course, arguing
that while they fancied that they were wearing out Hannibal's army
they did not perceive that Italy was being consumed by it. Fabius, he
urged, thought too much of safety, and by his policy of waiting, Rome,
already drooping under its burdens, would at the end of the war perish
as well as Hannibal. He was, he said, like those timid surgeons who
shrink from using decisive remedies, and who mistake the sinking
strength of the patient for the abatement of disease. His first act
was to take some important Samnite towns which had revolted. Here he
found great stores of corn and money, and took three thousand of
Hannibal's soldiers who were there as garrison. Next, when Hannibal
defeated and killed Cnæus Fulvius, the proconsul in Apulia, with a
loss of eleven military tribunes and the greater part of his army,
Marcellus sent despatches to Rome, bidding the citizens be of good
courage, for he was already on the march, and would abate Hannibal's
exultation. Livy tells us that these despatches when read did not
diminish the grief of the Romans, but added to their fear, as they
reflected that the risk they were about to run was so much more
serious than the defeat they had sustained, as Marcellus was superior
to Fulvius.

According to his despatch, he instantly marched against Hannibal into
Lucania, and finding him entrenched on some strong hills near the city
of Numistro, he himself encamped in the plain. On the following day he
was the first to draw out his army in battle array. Hannibal descended
from his position, and fought a great and well-contested battle, for
it began at the third hour, and was scarcely over by dark, but without
any decisive result. At daybreak he again led out his army and defied
Hannibal to fight. But Hannibal retired; and Marcellus, after
stripping the corpses of the enemy, and burying his own dead, pursued.
His skill and good fortune were greatly admired in this campaign, as
he did not fall into any of the numerous ambuscades which were
prepared for him by Hannibal, and in all his skirmishes came off
victorious. For this reason, as the comitia were impending, the Senate
thought that it would be better to call the other consul away from
Sicily than to recall Marcellus just as he was thoroughly engaged with
Hannibal. When the other consul arrived, they bade him name Quintus
Fulvius dictator. For a dictator is not chosen by the people or by the
Senate, but one of the consuls or prætors comes forward publicly and
names whom he pleases dictator. And this is the reason that the man so
named is called dictator; for _dicere_ in Latin means to _name_. But
some think that the dictator is so called because he does not require
any vote or show of hands, but on his own responsibility dictates his
orders; indeed, the orders of magistrates which are called by the
Greeks _diatagmata_, are called _edicts_ by the Romans.

XXV. When Marcellus's colleague came to Rome from Sicily, he wished to
name another person dictator, and, that he might not be forced to act
against his inclination, he sailed away by night back to Sicily. Under
these circumstances the people nominated Quintus Fulvius dictator, and
the Senate wrote to Marcellus bidding him vote for this person. He did
so, confirming the choice of the people, and was himself elected
proconsul for the following year. After a conference with Fabius
Maximus, at which it was arranged that the latter should make an
attempt on Tarentum, while Marcellus should constantly engage Hannibal
and so prevent his affording the town any assistance, he set out, and
came upon Hannibal near Canusium. Hannibal frequently shifted his
camp, and tried to avoid a battle, but Marcellus was not to be shaken
off, and at length attacked his position, and by skirmishing provoked
him to fight. Marcellus sustained his attack, and the battle was put
an end to by night. Next morning his troops were again beheld under
arms, so that Hannibal in great anxiety called together the
Carthaginians and besought them to fight as they had never done
before. "You see," said he, "that even after our great victories, we
cannot rest in peace, unless we drive away this fellow." The armies
met; and Marcellus seems to have lost the day by an unseasonable
manœuvre. His right wing was suffering, and he ordered up one of the
legions to support it; but this change produced confusion in the
ranks, and gave the victory to the enemy, with a loss of two thousand
seven hundred men to the Romans. Marcellus, after retiring to his
fortified camp, called together his soldiers, and reproached them,
saying that he saw before him the arms and bodies of many Romans, but
not one true Roman. They begged forgiveness, but he answered that he
could not forgive them when defeated, but would forgive them if
victorious. On the morrow he said that he would renew the battle, in
order that the Romans might hear of their victory before they heard of
their defeat. After these words he gave orders that the troops which
had given way should be supplied with rations of barley instead of
corn; which had such an effect upon them, that although many were
suffering from the hurts in the battle, yet, there was not one who did
not suffer more from the reproaches of Marcellus than from his wounds.

XXVI. At daybreak the scarlet robe, the well known signal of battle,
was displayed from the general's tent. The disgraced troops, at their
own request, were placed in the first rank; the rest of the army
followed under their officers. Hannibal hearing of this exclaimed:
"Hercules! What can one do with a man who knows not how to bear either
good or bad fortune. This is the only general who, when victorious
allows his foe no rest, and when defeated takes none himself. We shall
always, it seems, have to be fighting this man, who is equally excited
to attack by his confidence when victor, and his shame when

In the battle the men on each side were fighting on equal terms, when
Hannibal ordered his elephants to be brought into the front rank and
to attack the Roman lines. Great tumult and disturbance was produced
by this, but one of the tribunes, by name Flavius, seizing a standard,
stood his ground, and struck the first elephant with the spiked end of
the staff, till he forced him to turn back. He then attacked the next
one, and those that followed. Marcellus, seeing this, ordered his
cavalry to ride as fast as they could to the scene of the confusion
and complete the rout of the enemy. They charged briskly and pursued
the flying Carthaginians, cutting them down up to their very camp.
Great havoc was wrought by the wounded elephants among them; and in
all, over eight thousand are said to have perished. Of the Roman force
three thousand were killed, and almost all the survivors were wounded,
which circumstance enabled Hannibal to leave his camp by night
unmolested, and remove himself from the neighbourhood of Marcellus;
for Marcellus could not pursue, because of the number of wounded, but
marched in a leisurely manner towards Campania, and passed the summer
at Sinuessa, recruiting the health of his soldiers.

XXVII. Hannibal, after he had thus torn himself free from Marcellus,
sent his army to plunder Italy as recklessly as though it were
disbanded; and in Rome Marcellus was ill spoken of. His enemies
induced Publius Bibulus, a clever and violent partisan, to attack him.
This man frequently addressed assemblies of the people and urged them
to transfer the command to another general, since "Marcellus," he
said, "after a little sparring with the enemy had gone to the hot
baths to refresh himself as if after a gymnastic contest." Marcellus,
hearing of this, left the army in charge of his legates, and went to
Rome to clear his reputation from these slanders; but, in consequence
of them he found that he was to undergo a trial. A day was fixed; the
people assembled in the Circus Flaminius; Bibulus rose and impeached
him. Marcellus spoke shortly and simply in his own defence, but the
highest and noblest citizens spoke at great length in his praise,
calling on the people not to show themselves by their vote worse
judges of war than Hannibal, who was always as eager to avoid fighting
with Marcellus, as he was to fight with other generals. After these
speeches had been delivered the accuser was proved to be so far wrong
in his impeachment, that Marcellus was not only honourably acquitted,
but actually elected consul for the fifth time.

XXVIII. On assuming his office, he first put down an insurrectionary
movement in Etruria, by visiting the various towns and using
conciliatory language; after this, he wished to consecrate a temple,
which he had built out of the spoils of Sicily, to Glory and Valour,
but being prevented by the priests on the ground that two gods could
not be included in one temple, he began to build another one, being
very much vexed at the opposition he encountered, but influenced by
omens: for he was disturbed at this time by many portentous
occurrences, such as several temples being struck by lightning, and
the gold in the temple of Jupiter being gnawed by the mice. It was
also reported that an ox had spoken with a human voice, and that a
child had been born with the head of an elephant--so the priests kept
him in Rome to conduct the expiatory rites and atonements for these,
though he was fretting and eager to take the field; for no man ever
was so passionately desirous of anything as he was to measure himself
with Hannibal in battle. His one dream by night, his only talk to his
friends and colleagues, his sole prayer to the gods was that he might
meet Hannibal in a fair field. I believe that he would most willingly
have enclosed both armies within a wall or palisade, and there have
fought out the quarrel. Had it not been that he was now loaded with
honours, and had given proofs of his superiority in wisdom and conduct
to any other general, men would have said that he showed a more boyish
ambition than befitted a man of his age; for he was over sixty years
old when he entered upon his fifth consulship.

XXIX. However, when he had completed the necessary sacrifices and
purifications enjoined by the soothsayers, he took the field with his
colleague, and harassed Hannibal much in the country between the towns
of Bantia and Venusia. Hannibal declined battle, but, learning that a
force was detached from the Roman army to attack the Epizephyrian
Lokrians, he laid an ambuscade on the mountain near Petelia, and
defeated them with a loss of two thousand five hundred men. This
excited Marcellus, and he led his forces nearer to those of Hannibal.
There was between the two camps a hill of some strength as a military
post, overgrown with wood. Its sloping sides afforded a view of either
camp, and upon them appeared the sources of several mountain streams.

The Romans were surprised at Hannibal, that, having had the first
choice of so excellent a position as this, he had not occupied it, but
left it to the enemy. It seems that he indeed thought it a good place
to encamp in, but much better to lay an ambuscade in; and, wishing to
use it rather for this purpose, he filled the woods and glens with
javelin-men and spearmen, persuaded that the place itself would, from
its excellent qualities, attract the Romans into it. Nor was he
deceived in this expectation; for at once there was much talk in the
Roman army about the necessity of occupying the hill, and men pointed
out the advantages which would be gained over the enemy by encamping
on it, or if necessary, by fortifying it. Now Marcellus determined to
ride forward with a few horsemen and reconnoitre it, so he sent for a
soothsayer and offered sacrifice. When the first victim was slain, the
soothsayer showed him that the liver had no head. On sacrificing for
the second time the head appeared of unusual size, while all the other
organs were excellent, and this seemed to set at rest the fear which
had been caused by the former. Yet the soothsayers said that they were
even more disturbed and alarmed at this; for when after very bad and
menacing victims unusually excellent ones appear, the sudden change is
itself suspicious. But

     "Not fire, not walls of iron can hinder fate,"

as Pindar says. Marcellus rode forth with his colleague Crispinus and
his son, who was military tribune, in all two hundred and twenty
horsemen. Of these none were Romans; they were Etruscans, with the
exception of twenty men from Fregellæ, who had given constant proofs
of their courage and devotion to Marcellus. On the overhanging crest
of the woody hill, a man, unseen by the Romans, was watching their
army. He signalled to the men in ambush what was going on, so that
they permitted Marcellus to ride close to them, and then suddenly
burst out upon him, and surrounding his little force on all sides,
struck and threw their darts, pursued such as ran away, and fought
with those who stood their ground. These were the twenty Fregellans.
The Etruscans at the outset ran away panic-stricken; but these men
forming together defended the consuls until Crispinus, struck by two
darts, galloped away, and Marcellus was pierced through the side with
a lance. Then even the few survivors of the Fregellans left him lying
there, and snatching up his son, who was wounded, made their way back
to the camp. The loss amounted to little over forty killed, and five
lictors and eighteen horsemen taken. Crispinus, after a few days, died
of his wounds. Such a misfortune as this, losing both consuls in one
battle, never before befel the Romans.

XXX. Hannibal heard of the fate of all the rest with indifference, but
when he was told that Marcellus had fallen he himself hastened to the
place, and stood for a long time beside the corpse, admiring its
strength and beauty. He made no boastful speech, and showed no joy in
his countenance, as a man who had slain a troublesome and dangerous
enemy, but, wondering at the strangeness of his ending, he drew the
ring from the dead man's finger, and had the corpse decently attired
and burned. The relics he gathered into a silver urn, upon which he
placed a golden crown, and sent it to Marcellus's son. But on the way
some Numidians fell in with the party who were escorting the urn, and
while they tried to take it away and the others struggled to retain
it, the bones were scattered on the ground. Hannibal, on hearing of
this, said, "Nothing can be done against the will of heaven." He
ordered the Numidians to be punished, but took no further thought
about collecting or sending away the relics of Marcellus, concluding
that some god had decreed the strange death and strange lack of burial
which had befallen him. This is the story related by Cornelius Nepos
and Valerius Maximus, but Livy and Augustus Cæsar declare that the urn
was brought to his son, and that it was splendidly buried. Besides
his monuments at Rome there was a gymnasium at Katana in Sicily which
bore his name, and statues and votive tablets from the plunder of
Syracuse were set tip in Samothrace in the temple of the gods called
Kabeiri, and in Lindus (in Rhodes) in the temple of Athena.

On his statue there, according to Poseidonius, these verses are

    "This monument, O stranger, doth enshrine
    Marcellus, of the famous Claudian line,
    Who seven times was consul, and in fight
    His country's foes o'erthrew and put to flight."

For the writer of this epitaph counted his two proconsulates as well
as his five consulates. His family remained one of the chief in Rome
down to the time of Marcellus, the nephew of Augustus, who was the son
of Octavia, Augustus's sister, and Caius Marcellus. He died in the
office of ædile while yet a bridegroom, having just married Augustus's
daughter Julia. In honour of his memory his mother Octavia established
a library, and Augustus built a theatre, both of which bore his name.


[Footnote 12: Il. xiv. 86.]

[Footnote 13: _Civica corona_. The civic crown was made of oak leaves,
and was given only to him who had saved the life of a fellow-citizen
in war.]

[Footnote 14: Interreges were appointed when there were no consuls, to
hold comitia for the election of new ones.]

[Footnote 15: Vessels of five banks of oars.]

[Footnote 16: Hexapylon, the place with six gates.]


I. The particulars which we thought worth extracting from the
histories of Pelopidas and Marcellus are related above. Their
dispositions and habits were so nearly identical (for both were brave,
laborious, and high-spirited) that the only point in which they differ
appears to be that Marcellus put the inhabitants of several captured
cities to the sword, whereas Epameinondas and Pelopidas never slew any
one after they had conquered him, nor enslaved any captured city;
indeed, had they been alive, it is said that the Thebans never would
have so treated the town of Orchomenus. As to their exploits, that of
Marcellus against the Gauls was great and wonderful, when he drove
before him with his little band of horsemen so great a multitude of
horse and foot together, the like of which one cannot easily find to
have been done by any other general, and the killing of the chief of
the enemy. The same thing was attempted by Pelopidas, but the despot
was too quick for him, and he perished without succeeding in his
effort. Yet with these we may compare his deeds at Leuktra and Tegyra,
the most important and glorious of all his feats of arms, while we
have no exploit of Marcellus which corresponds to his management of
the ambuscade by which he brought back the exiled popular party to
Thebes, and destroyed the despots. Indeed, of all deeds performed by
secrecy and stratagem, this takes the van. Hannibal, no doubt, was a
terrible enemy to Rome, as were the Lacedæmonians to Thebes; yet it is
an established fact that at Tegyra and at Leuktra they gave way before
Pelopidas, whereas Marcellus, according to Polybius, never once
defeated Hannibal, but that general appears to have remained
undefeated until the time of Scipio. But we believe, following Livy,
Cæsar, Cornelius Nepos, and, among Greek historians, king Juba, that
Hannibal suffered some defeats at the hands of Marcellus; yet they
never produced any signal result, and we may suspect that the African
sometimes only pretended to have lost the day. But what Marcellus is
so justly admired for, is that after such great armies had been
routed, their generals killed, and the whole military system of Rome
thrown into confusion, he inspired his troops with a confidence that
enabled them to hold their own against the enemy. He roused his men
from their former timid and disheartened condition, making them eager
to distinguish themselves in battle, and, what is more, never to yield
the victory without a determined struggle. And all this, as far as any
single man could, was effected by Marcellus; for whereas his troops
had been accustomed to be well satisfied if they escaped with their
lives from Hannibal, he taught them to be ashamed of surviving defeat,
to blush to give way ever so little, and to grieve if they were not

II. Since, then, Pelopidas never was defeated when he was in command,
and Marcellus gained more victories than any Roman of his time;
perhaps he who was so hard to conquer may, in consideration of his
many successes, be held equal to him who never suffered a reverse.
Moreover, the one took Syracuse, while the other failed before
Lacedæmon. But I hold it a greater feat than taking Sicily, to have
marched upon Sparta, and been the first man to cross the Eurotas,
unless indeed it should be said that the credit of this exploit
belongs more to Epameinondas than to Pelopidas, as also does the
battle of Leuktra, whereas the glory of Marcellus's achievements is
all his own. For he took Syracuse alone, and beat the Gauls without
his colleague, and, with no one to assist him, but every one hanging
back, he measured himself with Hannibal and changed the whole
complexion of the war, by being the first to introduce a daring

III. As for their deaths, I can praise neither one nor the other, but
I am grieved at the unworthy manner of their end. It is strange, that
Hannibal was never even wounded in a number of battles which it would
weary one to recount; and I admire the conduct of Chrysantas in
Xenophon's 'Cyropædia,' who, when standing with his weapon drawn,
about to strike an enemy, heard the trumpet sound the recall, and
leaving his man, quietly and orderly retreated. Yet Pelopidas may be
excused by his excitement during a battle, and his courage, which
urged him to avenge himself on the enemy, for the best thing is for
the general to be victorious and to survive, and the next, for him to
die "breathing forth his life in valour" as Euripides says. Thus his
death becomes no accident, but a premeditated act. And besides
Pelopidas's spirit, the assured victory which he saw within his grasp,
could he but kill the despot, not unreasonably made him make his
desperate attack; for it would have been hard for him to obtain
another opportunity of distinguishing himself so gloriously. But
Marcellus, without any necessity, without the excitement which
sometimes in perilous circumstances overpowers men's reason, pushed
heedlessly into danger, and died the death of a spy rather than a
general, risking his five consulships, his three triumphs, his spoils
and trophies won from kings against the worthless lives of Iberian and
Numidian mercenaries. They themselves must have felt ashamed at their
success, that the bravest, most powerful, and most celebrated of the
Romans should have fallen among a reconnoitring party of Fregellans.
Still, let not this be regarded as a reproach to these great men, but
rather a complaint addressed on their own behalf to them, especially
to that courage, to which they sacrificed all their other virtues,
disregarding their lives, as though their loss would fall upon
themselves only, and not upon their friends and native country. After
his death, Pelopidas was buried by his allies, fighting for whom he
died; but Marcellus was buried by the enemy at whose hands he fell.
The first was an enviable end, but the other is greater, as the
spectacle of an enemy honouring the valour by which he has suffered is
greater than that of a friend showing gratitude to a friend. In the
one case it is the man's glory alone that is respected, in the other,
his usefulness and value are as much thought of as his courage.


Aristeides, the son of Lysimachus, was of the tribe Antiochis, and the
township of Alopekæ. There are various reports current about his
property, some saying that he lived in poverty, and that on his death
he left two daughters, who remained a long while unmarried because of
their poverty; while this general opinion is contradicted by Demetrius
of Phalerum in his book on Sokrates, where he mentions an estate at
Phalerum which he knew had belonged to Aristeides, in which he was
buried, and also adduces other grounds for supposing him to have been
a wealthy man. First, he points out that Aristeides was Archon
Eponymus, an office for which men were chosen by lot from the richest
class, that of the Pentakosiomedimni, or citizens who possessed a
yearly income of five hundred _medimni_[17] of dry or liquid produce.
Secondly, he mentions the fact that he was ostracised: now, ostracism
never was used against poor men, but against those who descended from
great and wealthy houses, and whose pride made them feared and
disliked by their fellow citizens. Thirdly, and lastly, he writes that
Aristeides placed in the temple of Dionysus tripods dedicated to the
god by a victorious chorus, which even in my own time are still to be
seen, and which bear the inscription: "The tribe Antiochis won the
prize; Aristeides was choragus; Archestratus taught the chorus." Now
this, which seems to be the strongest argument of all, is really the
weakest. Epameinondas, whom all men know to have been born and to have
passed his life in the greatest possible poverty, and Plato the
philosopher, both exhibited excellent choruses, the former bearing the
expense of a chorus of men playing on the flute, while the latter
exhibited a _cyclic_[18] chorus of boys. Plato's expenses were borne
by Dionysius of Syracuse, and those of Epameinondas by Pelopidas and
his friends. Good men do not always refuse to receive presents from
their friends, but, though they would scorn to make money by them,
they willingly receive them to further an honourable ambition.
Panætius, moreover, proves that Demetrius is wrong in the matter of
the tripods, because from the time of the Persian war to the end of
the Peloponnesian war there are only two Aristeides recorded as
victors, neither of whom can be identified with the son of Lysimachus,
as the father of one of them was Xenophilus, and the other was a much
more modern personage, as is proved by his name being written in the
characters which came into use after the archonship of Eukleides, and
from the name of the poet or teacher of the chorus, Archestratus,
whose name we never meet with in the time of the Persian war, but who
taught several choruses (that is, wrote several successful plays)
during the Peloponnesian war. These remarks of Panætius must, however,
be received with caution. As to ostracism, any man of unusual talent,
nobility of birth, or remarkable eloquence, was liable to suffer from
it, for Damon, the tutor of Perikles, was ostracised, because he was
thought to be a man of superior intellect. Idomeneus tells us that
Aristeides obtained the office of archon, not by lot, but by the
universal voice of the people. Now, if he was archon after the battle
of Platæa, as Demetrius himself admits, it is highly probable that his
great reputation after such glorious successes may have obtained for
him an office usually reserved for men of wealth. Indeed, Demetrius
evidently tries to redeem both Aristeides and Sokrates from the
reproach of poverty, as though he imagined it to be a great
misfortune, for he tells us that Sokrates not only possessed a house,
but also seventy minæ which were borrowed by Krito.

II. Aristeides became much attached to Kleisthenes, who established
the democratic government after the expulsion of the sons of
Peisistratus; but his reverence and admiration for Lykurgus the
Lacedæmonian led him to prefer an aristocratic form of government, in
which he always met with an opponent in Themistokles, the son of
Neokles, the champion of democracy. Some say that even as children
they always took opposite sides, both in play and in serious matters,
and so betrayed their several dispositions: Themistokles being
unscrupulous, daring, and careless by what means he obtained success,
while the character of Aristeides was solid and just, incapable of
deceit or artifice even in sport. Ariston of Keos tells us that their
hatred of one another arose from a love affair. Stesilaus of Keos, the
most beautiful youth of his time, was passionately adored by both of
them with an affection which passed all bounds. Nor did they cease
their rivalry when this boy's youthful bloom had passed away, but, as
if this had merely been a preliminary trial, they each plunged into
politics with great vigour and with utterly different views.
Themistokles obtained a large following, and thus became an important
power in the state, so that, when some one said to him that he would
make a very good governor of Athens, provided he were just and
impartial with all, he answered, "Never may I bear rule if my friends
are to reap no more benefit from it than any one else."

Aristeides, on the other hand, pursued his way through political life
unattended, because, in the first place, he neither wished to do wrong
in order to please his friends, nor to vex them by refusing to gratify
their wishes; and also because he observed that many men when they
were supported by a strong party of friends were led into the
commission of wrong and illegal acts. He, therefore, conceived that a
good citizen ought to trust entirely to his own rectitude, both in
word and in deed.

III. In spite of this, however, when Themistokles was using every kind
of political manœuvre to thwart him, he was forced to retaliate by
similar measures, partly in order to defend himself, and partly to
check the power of his opponent, which depended on the favour shown
him by the people. He thought it better that he should occasionally do
the people some slight wrong than that Themistokles should obtain
unlimited power. At last, when Themistokles even proposed some useful
measure, he opposed it and threw it out. On this occasion he could not
refrain from saying, as he left the public assembly, that the
Athenians could not be saved unless they threw both himself and
Themistokles into the _barathrum_.[19] Another time he brought forward
a bill, which was vehemently debated upon, but was at length carried.
But just before the votes of the people were given, he, perceiving
from what had been said that it would prove a bad law, withdrew it.
Frequently he made use of other persons to bring forward propositions,
lest the public should suffer from the contest which would otherwise
take place between Themistokles and himself. Indeed, his evenness of
temper was the more remarkable when contrasted with the changefulness
of other politicians, for he was never unduly excited by the honours
which were bestowed upon him, and bore misfortune with a quiet
cheerfulness, thinking it to be his duty to serve his country, not
merely without being paid for it in money, but without even gaining
honour for so doing. This was the reason, I suppose, that when
Æschylus's verses on Amphiaraus wore being recited in the theatre;

    "Not just to seem, but just he loves to be;
    And deep he ploughs his noble mind with thought,
    To reap a harvest thence of great designs,"

all men turned and looked towards Aristeides, thinking that he came
nearest to this ideal virtue.

IV. He stood up vigorously for justice, not merely when it was his
interest and that of his friends, but when it was in favour of his
enemies and contrary to his own personal feelings to do so. It is said
that once when arguing a cause against one of his enemies in a court
of law, the judges refused to hear the other party speak in his own
defence, after listening to the speech of Aristeides, but were about
to condemn him unheard. At this Aristeides came forward and vigorously
supported his antagonist's claim to be allowed his legal right of
reply. Again, when acting as arbitrator between two persons, one of
them said that his adversary had done much wrong to Aristeides. "My
good man," said he, "do not tell me of this, but tell me whether he
has wronged you or not, for I am judging your cause, not my own."

When elected to administer the revenues of the state he proved that
not only his own colleagues, but those who had previously held office,
had embezzled large sums, especially Themistokles,

     "A clever man, but with an itching palm."

For this cause Themistokles, when Aristeides' accounts were audited,
prosecuted him on a charge of malversation, and, according to
Idomeneus, obtained a verdict.

However, the better class of citizens being grieved at this, not only
remitted the fine, but at once elected him to the same office. He now
pretended to regret his former rigour, and was much more remiss in
performing his duties, which rendered him very popular with those who
were in the habit of embezzling the public money, so that they were
loud in his praise, and canvassed the people on his behalf, trusting
that he might be re-elected archon. But when the voting was about to
begin, he rose and rebuked the Athenians. "When," he said, "I did you
true and honourable service, I was disgraced by you; now, when I have
permitted much of the public money to be stolen, I am thought to be an
excellent citizen. But I myself am more ashamed of the honour which
you now pay me, than I am of my former conviction, and I am sorry for
you, because among you it is esteemed more honourable to abet
evil-doers than to guard the national property."

By speaking thus and exposing the peculation which was being
practised, he closed the mouths of all those who were so loudly
commending him as an honest man, but gained the applause of all true
and honourable men.

V. When Datis was sent by Darius, nominally to punish the Athenians
for the burning of Sardis, but really to enslave the whole of Greece,
he landed at Marathon, and commenced laying waste the country. Of the
ten generals appointed by the Athenians for the conduct of the war,
Miltiades had the highest reputation, while Aristeides held the
second place. He used his influence in the council of war to support
the proposition of Miltiades to fight the enemy at once, and also, as
each general had sole command for one day, when his day came round, he
gave it to Miltiades, thus teaching his colleagues that obedience to
those who know how to command is not any disgrace, but a noble and
useful act. By this means he was enabled to put an end to the
rivalries between the generals, and to strengthen Miltiades by
concentrating in him the power which had before been passed from hand
to hand. In the battle the Athenian centre was hard pressed, as the
Persians resisted longest in that part of their line which was opposed
to the tribes Leontis and Antiochis. Here Themistokles and Aristeides
each showed conspicuous valour, fighting side by side, for the former
was of the tribe Leontis, the latter of the tribe Antiochis. After the
victory was won, and the Persians forced into their ships, they were
observed not to sail towards the Archipelago, but to be proceeding in
the direction of Athens. Fearing that they might catch the city
defenceless, the Athenians determined to hurry back with nine tribes
to protect it, and they accomplished their march in one day.
Aristeides, with his own tribe, was left to guard the prisoners and
the plunder, and well maintained his reputation. Although gold and
silver was lying about in heaps, with all kinds of rich tapestry and
other countless treasures, he would neither touch them himself nor
allow the others to do so, though some helped themselves without his
knowledge. Among these was Kallias, the torch-bearer in the Eleusinian
mysteries. One of the prisoners, taking him for a king because of his
long hair and fillet, fell on his knees before him, and having
received his hand as a pledge for his safety pointed out to him a
great store of gold concealed in a pit. Kallias now acted most cruelly
and wickedly. He took the gold, and killed the poor man for fear that
he should tell it to the others. It is said that ever afterwards the
descendants of Kallias were jeered at by the comic poets, as being of
the family of the man who found the gold in the pit.

Immediately after those events, Aristeides was chosen as Archon
Eponymus, that is, the archon who gives his name to the year.
Demetrius of Phalerum says that he filled this office shortly before
his death, and after the battle of Platæa. But in the public records
of Athens one cannot find any archon of the name of Aristeides among
the many who filled the office after Xanthippides, in whose archonship
Mardonius was defeated at Platæa, whereas the name of Aristeides does
occur next to that of Phanippus, in whose archonship the victory at
Marathon was won.

VI. Of all the virtues of Aristeides his justice was that which
chiefly commended itself to the people, being that which is of most
value in ordinary life. Hence it was that he, although a poor man of
mean birth, yet gained for himself the truly imperial title of the
Just; a title which has never been emulated by kings and despots, who
delight in being called the City-taker, the Thunderbolt, or the
Victorious, while some are known as the Eagle or the Hawk, because
apparently they prefer strength and lawless violence to justice and
goodness. Yet for all this, the gods, to whom they so presumptuously
liken themselves, excel mankind chiefly in three attributes, namely in
immortality, in power, and in goodness, whereof goodness is by far the
most glorious and divine quality. Mere empty space, and all the
elements possess immortality, while earthquakes, thunderbolts, violent
winds and rushing waters have great power, but justice and equity
belong to the gods alone, because of the reason and intelligence which
they possess. Now most men regard the gods with admiration, with fear,
and with reverence; with admiration, because they are eternal and
unchangeable; with fear, because of their power and dominion, with
reverence and love because of their justice. Yet men covet
immortality, which no flesh can attain to; and also power, which
depends mostly upon fortune; while they disregard virtue, the only
godlike attribute which it is in our power to obtain; not reflecting
that when a man is in a position of great power and authority he will
appear like a god if he acts justly, and like a wild beast if he does

VII. The character of Aristeides for justice at first made him beloved
by the people, but afterwards it gained him their ill-will, chiefly
because Themistokles circulated reports that Aristeides had
practically closed the public courts of justice by the fact of all
cases being referred to him as arbitrator, and that he was virtually
king of Athens, although he had not yet surrounded himself with a
body-guard. By this time too the common people, elated with their
victory at Marathon, and thinking themselves capable of the greatest
exploits, were ill pleased at any private citizen being exalted above
the rest by his character and virtues. They flocked into the city from
all parts of the country and ostracised Aristeides, veiling their envy
of his glory under the pretence that they feared he would make himself
king. This custom of ostracism was not intended as a punishment for
crime, but was called, in order to give it a plausible title, a check
to excessive power. In reality, it was nothing more than a
safety-valve, providing a vent for the dislike felt by the people for
those whose greatness offended them. It did no irreparable injury to
those who fell under its operation, but only banished them for a space
of ten years. In later times mean and contemptible persons were
subjected to ostracism, until at last, after the ostracism of
Hyperbolus the practice was discontinued. The ostracism of Hyperbolus
is said to have been brought about in the following manner. Alkibiades
and Nikias, the two most powerful citizens in the state, were at the
head of two rival parties. The people determined to apply the
ostracism to them, and would certainly have banished one or the other
of them. They, however, came to terms with one another, combined their
several factions, and agreed to have Hyperbolus banished. The people,
enraged at this, and thinking that they had been treated with
contempt, abolished the practice of ostracism. The way in which it was
conducted was as follows. Each man took an oyster-shell, wrote upon it
the name of the citizen whom he wished to be banished, and then
carried it to a place in the market-place which was fenced off with
palings. The archons now first of all counted the whole number of
shells; for if the whole number of voters were less than six thousand,
the ostracism was null and void. After this, they counted the number
of times each name occurred, and that man against whom most votes were
recorded they sent into exile for ten years, allowing him the use of
his property during that time. Now while the shells were being written
upon, on the occasion of which we have been speaking, a very ignorant
country fellow is said to have brought his shell to Aristeides, who
was one of the bystanders, and to have asked him to write upon it the
name of Aristeides. Aristeides was surprised, and asked him whether
Aristeides had ever done him any harm. "No," answered the man, "nor do
I know him by sight, but I am tired of always hearing him called 'The
Just.'" When Aristeides heard this he made no answer, but wrote his
name on the man's shell and gave it back to him. When he was leaving
the city he raised his hands to heaven, and prayed exactly the
opposite prayer to that of Achilles, that no crisis might befall the
Athenians which would compel them to remember Aristeides.

VIII. However, three years afterwards, when Xerxes was advancing upon
Attica through Thessaly and Bœotia, the Athenians annulled their
decree, and permitted all exiles to return, being especially afraid of
Aristeides, lest he should join the enemy and lead many of the
citizens to desert with him. In this they took a very false view of
his character, for even before this decree he had never ceased to
encourage the Greeks to defend their liberty, and after his return,
when Themistokles was in sole command of the forces of Athens, he
assisted him in every way by word and deed, cheerfully raising his
bitterest enemy to the highest position in the state, because the
state was benefited thereby.

When Eurybiades and his party were meditating a retreat from Salamis,
the Persian ships put to sea at night and hemmed them in, surrounding
both the strait and the islands. No one knew that escape was
impossible, but Aristeides sailed from Ægina, passed safely through
the enemy's fleet by a miracle, and while it was still night proceeded
straight to the tent of Themistokles. Here he called him out, and when
they were alone together, he said: "We two, Themistokles, if we are
wise, must cease our vain and silly rivalry with one another, and
begin a more generous contest to preserve our country, you acting as
general and chief, while I help and advise you. Already I perceive
that you alone take a right view of the crisis, end desire to fight a
battle in the narrow waters as quickly as possible. Now, while your
allies have been opposing you, the enemy have been playing your game,
for the sea, both in our front and rear, is full of their ships, so
that the Greeks even against their will must play the man and fight;
for no way of escape is left for them." To this Themistokles answered,
"I would not willingly, Aristeides, be overcome by you in generosity
on this occasion; and I shall endeavour, in emulation of this good
beginning which you have made, to surpass it by the glory of my
exploits." At the same time he explained the trick[20] which he had
played on the barbarian, and begged Aristeides to argue with
Eurybiades, and point out how impossible it was for the Greeks to be
saved without fighting; for he thought that the opinion of Aristeides
would have more weight than his own. Consequently, when in the
assembly of the generals Kleokritus the Corinthian attacked
Themistokles, and said that even Aristeides did not approve of his
plans, because he was present and said nothing, Aristeides answered
that he would not have been silent if Themistokles had not spoken to
the purpose, but that as it was he held his peace, not for any love he
bore him, but because his counsel was the best.

IX. While the Greek admirals were engaged in these discussions,
Aristeides, perceiving that Psyttaleia, a small island in the straits
near Salamis, was full of the enemy, placed some of the boldest
Athenians on board of small boats, attacked the Persians, and slew
them to a man, except a few of the chiefs, who wore taken alive. Among
these were the three children of Sandauke the sister of the Persian
king, whom he at once sent to Themistokles, and it is said that in
accordance with some oracle they were sacrificed to Dionysus
Omestes,[21] at the instance of the prophet Euphrantides. Aristeides
now lined the shores of the islet with soldiers, ready to receive any
vessel which might be cast upon it, in order that neither any of his
friends might be lost, nor any of the enemy take refuge upon it.
Indeed, the severest encounter between the two fleets and the main
shock of the battle seems to have taken place at that spot; wherefore
the trophy that marks the victory stands on the isle of Psyttaleia.

After the battle was won, Themistokles, wishing to feel Aristeides's
opinion, said to him that they had done a good work, but that a
greater one remained, which was to shut up Asia in Europe by sailing
as quickly as possible to the Hellespont, and destroying the bridge of
boats there. Aristeides answered that he must never propose such a
plan, but must take measures to drive the Persians out of Greece as
quickly as possible, for fear that so great a multitude, shut up there
without the means of retreat, should turn to bay and attack them with
the courage of despair. Upon this, Themistokles again sent the eunuch
Arnakes, a prisoner, on a secret errand to tell the Persian king that
when all the Greeks wished to sail to the Hellespont and destroy the
bridge of boats, he had dissuaded them from doing so, wishing to save
the king's life.

X. At this Xerxes became terrified, and at once hurried back to the
Hellespont. Mardonius, with about three hundred thousand of the best
troops remained behind, and was a formidable enemy, trusting in his
land force, and sending defiant proclamations to the Greeks. "You," he
said, "with your ships have beaten landsmen that knew not how to
handle an oar; but the land of Thessaly is wide, and the plain of
Bœotia is a fair place for good horsemen and heavy armed soldiers to
fight upon."

To the Athenians he sent privately proposals from the Great King, who
offered to rebuild their city, present them with a large sum of money,
and make them lords over all Greece, if they would desist from the
war. The Lacedæmonians, hearing this, were much alarmed, and sent
ambassadors to beg the Athenians to send their wives and children to
Sparta, and offering to support their old people, as the Athenians
were in great distress for food, having lost their city and their
country. However, after listening to the Lacedæmonian ambassadors, at
the instance of Aristeides they returned a spirited answer, saying
that they could forgive their enemies, who knew no better, for
supposing that everything could be bought with money, but that they
were angry with the Lacedæmonians for only regarding the present
poverty and distress of the Athenians, and that forgetting how
bravely they had fought, they should now offer them food to bribe them
to fight for Greece. Having passed this motion Aristeides called the
ambassadors back into the assembly, and bade them tell the
Lacedæmonians that there was not as much gold in the world, either
above or under-ground, as the Athenians would require to tempt them to
betray Greece.

In answer to the herald sent from Mardonius he pointed to the sun, and
said: "As long as yonder sun shall continue its course the Athenians
will be enemies to the Persians, because of their ravaged lands and
desecrated temples." Further, he made the priests imprecate curses on
any one who had dealings with the Persians or deserted the Greek

When Mardonius invaded Attica a second time, the Athenians again took
refuge in Salamis. Aristeides was sent to Lacedæmon and upbraided the
Spartans with their slowness and indifference, for allowing the enemy
to take Athens a second time, and begged them to help what remained of
Greece. The Ephors, on hearing this, pretended to pass the rest of the
day in feasting and idleness, for it was the festival of the
Hyacinthia; but at nightfall they chose five thousand Spartans, each
attended by seven Helots, and sent them off without the knowledge of
the Athenian embassy. So when Aristeides next day resumed his
reproachful strain, they answered with mocking laughter, that he was
talking nonsense and was asleep, for that the army was by this time at
the tomb of Orestes in its march against the strangers[22] (by
strangers they meant the Persians). To this Aristeides answered that
it was a sorry jest to have deceived their friends instead of their
enemies. These particulars are related by Idomeneus, but in the decree
of Aristeides for sending ambassadors it is not his name, but those of
Kimon, Xanthippus, and Myronides that are mentioned.

XI. He was elected general with unlimited powers, and proceeded to
Platæa with eight thousand Athenians. Here he was met by Pausanias,
the commander-in-chief of the Greek forces, with the Spartan
contingent, and the rest of the Greek troops joined them there. The
Persian army was encamped along the course of the river Asopus. On
account of its enormous size it was not contained in a fortified camp,
but a quadrangular wall was constructed round the baggage and most
valuable material. Each side of this square was ten furlongs in

Tisamenus of Elis, the prophet, now told Pausanias and all the Greeks
that they would win the victory if they stood on the defensive and did
not attack. Aristeides sent to Delphi, and received a response from
the oracle, that the Athenians would conquer if they prayed to Zeus,
to Hera of Kithæron, and to Pan and the nymphs Sphragitides, and if
they sacrificed to the heroes Androkrates, Leukon, Peisander,
Damokrates, Hypsion, Aktaion, and Polyïdus, and if they would fight in
their own territory, in the plain of Demeter of Eleusis and her

This oracle greatly disturbed Aristeides. The heroes to whom he was
bidden to sacrifice are the original founders of the city of Platæa,
and the cave of the nymphs called Sphragitides, is on one of the peaks
of Kithæron, looking towards the point where the sun sets in summer.
It is said that there was formerly an oracle there, and that many of
the people became possessed, and were called "nympholeptæ." But as to
the plain of the Eleusinian Demeter, and the promise of victory to the
Athenians if they fought in their own country, this meant no less than
to recall them to Attica and forbid their taking any further part in
the war. Whilst Aristeides was thus perplexed, Arimnestus, the general
of the Platæans, saw a vision in his sleep. In his dreams he thought
that Zeus the Preserver appeared and enquired of him what the Greeks
had decided to do, and that he answered, "Lord, to-morrow we shall
lead away the army to Eleusis, and fight the Persians there, according
to the oracle." Upon this the god answered, that they had missed the
meaning of the oracle, for the places mentioned were near Platæa,
where they themselves were encamped, and if they sought they would
find them. Arimnestus, after this distinct vision, awoke. He at once
sent for the oldest and most learned of the citizens of Platæa, and
after debating the matter with them, discovered that near Hysiæ,
under Mount Kithæron, stood a very ancient temple, dedicated to the
Eleusinian Demeter and her daughter. He immediately took Aristeides
with him and proceeded to the spot, which was excellently placed for
the array of an infantry force in the presence of an overwhelming
cavalry, because the spurs of Mount Kithæron, where they run down into
the plain by the temple, render the ground impassable for cavalry.
Close by is the chapel of the hero Androkrates, in the midst of a
thick matted grove of trees. In order, however, that the oracle might
in no way be defective in its promise of victory, Arimnestus proposed,
and the Platæans decreed, that the boundary marks of their territory
on the side towards Attica should be removed, and the country given to
the Athenians, so that they might fight in their own land for Greece,
according to the oracle. This noble act of the Platæans became so
famous in later times, that, many years afterwards, Alexander the
Great himself, when he had conquered all Asia, caused the walls of
Platæa to be rebuilt, and made proclamation at the Olympian games by a
herald, "that the king bestowed this honour upon the Platæans in
memory of their magnanimous conduct in giving up their territory, and
venturing their lives on behalf of the Greeks in the Persian war."

XII. A controversy arose between the Athenians and the men of Tegea
about their respective places in the line of battle. The Tegeans
argued that if the Lacedæmonians had the right wing, they ought to be
posted on the left; and they spoke at great length about the
achievements of their ancestors, as entitling them to that honour. The
Athenians were vexed at their pretensions, but Aristeides said: "The
present time is not suitable for disputing with the Tegeans about
bravery; but to you, men of Sparta, and to the rest of the Greeks, we
say that a particular post neither confers courage nor takes it away,
but, that in whatever part of the line you may think fit to place us,
we will endeavour so to array our ranks and fight the enemy as not to
impair the honour which we have gained in former battles. We did not
come hither to quarrel with our allies, but to fight the enemy; not to
boast about our ancestors, but to fight bravely for Greece. The
coming struggle will clearly show to all the Greeks the real worth and
value of each city, each general, and each single citizen." When the
council of generals heard this speech, they allowed the claim of the
Athenians, and gave up the left wing to them.

XIII. While the cause of Greece was thus trembling in the balance, and
Athens was especially in danger, certain Athenians of noble birth, who
had lost their former wealth during the war, and with it their
influence in the city, being unable to bear to see others exalted at
their expense, met in secret in a house in Platæa and entered into a
plot to overturn the free constitution of Athens. If they could not
succeed in this, they pledged themselves to ruin, the city and betray
it to the Persians. While these men were plotting in the camp, and
bringing many over to their side, Aristeides discovered the whole
conspiracy. Afraid at such a crisis to take any decisive step, he
determined, while carefully watching the conspirators, yet not at once
to seize them all, not knowing how far he might have to proceed if he
acted according to strict justice. From all the conspirators he
arrested eight. Two of these, who would have been the first to be put
on their trial, Æschines of Lampra, and Agesias of Acharna, made their
escape out of the camp, and Aristeides pardoned the others, as he
wished to give an opportunity to those who believed themselves
unsuspected, to take courage and repent. He also hinted to them that
the war afforded them a means of clearing themselves from any
suspicion of disloyalty by fighting for their country like good men
and true.

XIV. After this, Mardonius made trial of Grecian courage, by sending
the whole of his cavalry, in which he was much the stronger, to attack
them where they were, all except the Megarians, encamped at the foot
of Mount Kithæron, in an easily-defended rocky country. These men,
three thousand in number, were encamped nearer the plain, and suffered
much from the attacks of the horsemen, who surrounded them on all
sides. They sent a messenger in great haste to Pausanias, begging him
to send assistance, as they could not by themselves resist the great
numbers of the barbarians. Pausanias, hearing this, and seeing the
camp of the Megarians overwhelmed with darts and arrows, while the
defenders were huddled together in a narrow compass, knew not what to
do. He did not venture to attack cavalry with the heavy-armed
Lacedæmonian infantry, but offered it as an opportunity for winning
praise and honour, to the generals who were with him, that they should
volunteer to go to help the Megarians in their extremity. All
hesitated, but Aristeides claimed the honour for the Athenians, and
sent the bravest of his captains, Olympiodorus, with three hundred
picked men, besides some archers. As they quickly got into array and
charged at a run, Masistius, the leader of the enemy, a man of great
bodily strength and beauty, seeing them, wheeled round his horse, and
rode to attack them. They sustained his attack and closed with his
horsemen, and a sharp struggle took place, both parties fighting as
though the issue of the war depended on their exertions. The horse of
Masistius was at length wounded by an arrow and threw his rider.
Encumbered by his armour, Masistius was too heavy for his own men to
carry him away, but also was protected by it from the stabs of the
Athenians who fell upon him, for not only his head and breast, but his
limbs also were protected by brass and iron. Some one, however, drove
the spike at the lower end of his spear through the eye-hole of the
helmet, and then the rest of the Persians abandoned the body and fled.
The Greeks discovered the importance of their exploit, not from the
number of the dead, for but few had fallen, but from the lamentations
of the enemy. They cut off their own hair, and the manes of their
horses and mules, in sign of mourning for Masistius, and filled the
whole plain with weeping and wailing, having lost a man who for
courage and high position, was second only to Mardonius himself.

XV. After this cavalry action, both the parties remained quiet for a
long time, for the soothsayers foretold victory both to the Greeks and
to the Persians if they fought in self-defence, but foretold defeat if
they attacked. At length Mardonius, as he only had provisions for a
few days longer, and as the Greek army kept growing stronger by the
continual reinforcements which it received, determined, sorely
against his will, to delay no longer, but to cross the Asopus at
daybreak and fall upon the Greeks unexpectedly. In the evening he gave
orders to his captains to this effect. About midnight a solitary
horseman rode up straight to the Greek camp. He bade the guard send
for Aristeides the Athenian, who was at once brought, when the
stranger spoke as follows:

     "I am Alexander of Macedon, and I have come hither at the
     greatest risk to myself to do you a service, for fear you should
     be taken by surprise. Mardonius will attack to-morrow, not
     because he has any new hope of success, but because he is
     destitute of provisions, although the soothsayers all forbid him
     to fight because the sacrifices and oracles are unfavourable, and
     the army is disheartened. Thus he is forced to put all on a
     venture, or else to starve if he remains quiet." When he had said
     this, Alexander begged Aristeides to keep the secret to himself,
     and communicate it to no one else. Aristeides, however, answered
     that it would not be right for him to conceal it from Pausanias,
     who was commander-in-chief. Before the battle he said that he
     would keep it secret from every one else, but that if Greece was
     victorious, all men then should know the good service so bravely
     rendered by Alexander. After these words the king of Macedon rode
     away, and Aristeides, proceeding to the tent of Pausanias, told
     him the whole matter; they then sent for the other generals, and
     ordered them to keep the troops under arms, as a battle was

XVI. At this time, Herodotus tells us, Pausanias asked Aristeides to
remove the Athenians from the left to the right wing, so as to be
opposite to the native Persian troops, on the ground that they would
be better able to contend with them, because they understood their
mode of fighting, and were confident because they had beaten them once
before, while he with the Spartans would take the left wing of the
army, where he would be opposed to those Greeks who had taken the
Persian side. Most of the Athenian generals thought this a silly and
insolent proceeding of Pausanias, that he should leave all the other
Greeks in their place, and march them backwards and forward like
helots, only to place them opposite the bravest troops of the enemy.
Aristeides, however, said that they were entirely mistaken, for a few
days before they had been wrangling with the Tegeans for the honour of
being posted on the left wing, and had been delighted when they
obtained it; but now, when the Lacedæmonians of their own free will
yielded the right wing to them, and in some sort offered them the post
of honour in the whole army, they were not delighted at it, and did
not consider what an advantage it was to have to fight against foreign
barbarians, and not against men of their own race and nation. After
these words, the Athenians cheerfully exchanged places with the
Lacedæmonians, and much talk went on among them as each man reminded
his comrades that the Persians who would come to attack them were no
braver, nor better armed than those whom they had defeated at
Marathon, but that they had the same bows and arrows, the same
embroidered robes and gold ornaments on their effeminate bodies, while
we, they said, have arms and bodies such as we had then, and greater
confidence because of our victories. We also fight, not merely as
other Greeks do, in defence of our city and territory, but for the
trophies of Marathon and Salamis, lest the battle of Marathon should
be thought to have been won more by Miltiades and Fortune, than by the
valour of the Athenians. With such encouraging talk as this the
Athenians took up their new position; but the Thebans discovered what
had been done from deserters and told Mardonius. He at once, either
from fear of the Athenians, or from a chivalrous wish to fight the
Spartans himself, led the native Persian troops to his right wing, and
ordered the renegade Greeks to take ground opposite the Athenians.
When these changes were being observed, Pausanias returned to his
original position on the right. Mardonius then returned to the left as
before, and the day passed without an engagement. The Greeks now
determined in a council of war, to remove their camp to a place
farther away and better supplied with water, because they were
prevented from using the springs near where they were by the enemy's
great superiority in cavalry.

XVII. When night fell the generals began to lead the army to the place
selected for a new camp. The soldiers were very unwilling to follow
them thither and keep together in a body, but as soon as they quitted
their first entrenchments, most of them made for the city of Platæa;
and there was much confusion as they wandered about and pitched their
tents here and there. The Lacedæmonians, much against their will,
chanced to be left behind, and quite separated from the rest. One
Amompharetus, a spirited and daring man, who had long been eager to
fight, and chafed much at the long delays and countermarches which had
taken place, now cried aloud that this change of position was no
better than a cowardly flight. He refused to leave his post, and said
that he and his company would stand where they were, and withstand
Mardonius alone. When Pausanias came and assured him that the Greeks
in council had decided upon this measure, Amompharetus heaved up a
huge stone with both his hands and flinging it down at the feet of
Pausanias, said, "With this pebble I give my vote for battle, and for
disregarding the cowardly counsels of other Greeks." Pausanias, not
knowing what to do, sent to the Athenians, who were already on the
march, begging them to wait and support them, while he set off with
the rest of the Spartans in the direction of Platæa, hoping thus to
make Amompharetus move.

While these movements were being executed day broke, and Mardonius,
who had perceived that the Greeks were leaving their camp, at once
marched in order of battle to attack the Lacedæmonians, the Persians
shouting and clattering their arms as though they were not going to
fight, but to destroy the Greeks as they retreated, which indeed they
very nearly succeeded in doing; for Pausanias, when he saw what was
taking place, halted his own men, and placed them in battle array, but
either because of his anger at Amompharetus, or his excitement at the
suddenness of the attack, forgot to send any orders to the main body
of the Greeks.

For this reason they came up not in a regular body, but straggling,
and after the Lacedæmonians wore already engaged. Pausanias was busy
sacrificing to the gods, and as the sacrifices were unfavourable, he
ordered the Lacedæmonians to hold their shields quietly rested on the
ground at their feet and await his orders, without attempting any
resistance, while he sacrificed again. The enemy's cavalry was now
close at hand, their arrows reached the Lacedæmonians and killed
several of them. It was at this moment that Kallikrates, the tallest
and handsomest man in the whole Greek army, is said to have been
mortally wounded by an arrow. When dying, he said that he did not
lament his death, for he left his home meaning to lay down his life
for Greece, but that he was grieved that he had never exchanged blows
with the enemy before he died. At this time the Lacedæmonians were
offering no resistance to the assaults of the enemy, but were standing
still in their ranks, shot at by the arrows of the enemy, awaiting the
time when it should be the will of the gods and their general that
they should fight. Some writers tell us that while Pausanias was
offering sacrifice and prayer a little beyond the ranks, some Lydians
suddenly fell upon him, and began to plunder the sacrificial vessels,
but that Pausanias, and those with him, having no arms, drove them
away with sticks and whips; in memory of which they beat young men on
the altar at Sparta at the present day, and afterwards lead what is
called the Lydian procession.

XVIII. Pausanias was deeply grieved at what was taking place, seeing
the priests offering sacrifice after sacrifice, not one of which
pleased the gods; at last he turned his eyes towards the temple of
Hera and wept. Holding up his hands he besought Hera of Mount Kithæron
and all the other gods of the land of Platæa that if it were not the
will of the gods that the Greeks should conquer, they might at any
rate do some valorous deed before they died, and let their conquerors
know that they had fought with brave and experienced warriors. When
Pausanias prayed thus, the sacrifices at once became favourable and
the soothsayers prophesied victory. The word was given to sot
themselves in order of battle, and then at once the Lacedæmonian force
resembled some fierce beast turning to bay and setting up his
bristles, while the barbarians saw that they had to deal with men who
were prepared to fight to the death. Wherefore they set up their great
wicker shields in front of them, and from this shelter shot their
arrows at the Lacedæmonians. But the latter advanced without breaking
their ranks, overturned the line of wicker shields, and with, terrible
thrusts of their spears at the faces and breasts of the Persians, laid
many of them low by their fierce and well-disciplined charge. The
Persians too fought bravely, and resisted for a long while, laying
hold of the spears with their bare hands and breaking most of them in
that manner, fighting hand to hand, with their scimitars and axes, and
tearing the Lacedæmonians' shields out of their hands by force.

Meanwhile the Athenians had for a long time stood quietly awaiting the
Lacedæmonians. When, however, they heard the shouting and noise of the
battle, and a messenger, it is said, reached them from Pausanias, they
marched with all speed to help him. As they were hurrying over the
plain to where the shouts were heard, the Greeks who had taken the
Persian side attacked them. At first when Aristeides saw them, he ran
out far before the rest and besought them in a loud voice in the name
of the gods of Greece not to hinder the Athenians when they were going
to assist those who were venturing their lives on behalf of Greece.
But when he saw that they took no notice of his appeal, he no longer
attempted to help the Lacedæmonians, but attacked these troops, who
numbered about fifty thousand. Of these the greater part gave way at
once and retreated, because they saw their barbarian allies
retreating, but a fierce battle is said to have raged where the
Thebans were, because the best and noblest men of that state had
eagerly taken the Persian side from the beginning, while the common
people followed them, not of their free will, but being accustomed to
obey the nobles.

XIX. Thus was the battle divided into two parts. The Lacedæmonians
were the first to rout the Persians. A Spartan, named Arimnestus,
killed Mardonius by a blow on the head with a stone, as the oracle in
the temple of Amphiaraus had foretold to him. For Mardonius sent a
Lydian thither, and another man, a Karian, to the oracle in the cave
of Trophonius. This latter was spoken to in the Karian language by the
prophet, but the other slept in the sacred enclosure round the temple
of Amphiaraus, and in his dreams saw a servant of the god standing
beside him and bidding him begone. When he refused to go, the figure
cast a great stone at his head, so that he dreamed that he died of the
stroke. This is the story which is told of Mardonius. The Persian
fugitives were now driven to take shelter within their wooden
fortification. Shortly after these events took place, the Athenians
defeated the Thebans, who lost three hundred of their noblest citizens
in that battle. After this there came a messenger to them, telling
them that the Persians were being besieged in their fortified camp.
Hearing this, the Athenians allowed the renegade Greeks to escape, and
marched at once to the assault of the camp. Here they found the
Lacedæmonians, who were not pressing the enemy, because they had no
experience in sieges and attacks on fortified places. The Athenians
forced their way in and took the camp with an immense slaughter of the
enemy. It is said that out of three hundred thousand only forty
thousand under Artabazus escaped. On the side of the Greeks fell only
thirteen hundred and sixty men. Of these there were fifty-two
Athenians of the Aiantid tribe,[23] which, we are told by Kleidemus,
distinguished itself beyond all others on that day. For this reason,
the Aiantid tribe offered the sacrifice to the nymphs Sphragitides,
ordered by the oracle for the victory, at the public expense. Of the
Lacedæmonians, there fell ninety-one, and of the Tegeans sixteen. It
is hard, therefore, to understand Herodotus when he says that these
alone came to blows with the enemy, and that no other Greeks were
engaged at all; for both the number of the slain and the tombs of the
fallen prove that the victory was won by all the Greeks together. If
only three cities had fought, and the rest had done nothing, they
never would have inscribed on the altar:

    "The Greeks in battle drove the Persian forth
     By force of arms, and bravely Greece set free,
     To Zeus Protector they this altar reared,
     Where all might thank him for their victory."

This battle was fought on the day of the month Boedromion, according
to the Athenian calendar; and on the twenty-sixth of the month Panemus
according to that of the Bœotians, on which day the Hellenic meeting
still takes place at Platæa, and sacrifice is offered to Zeus, the
Protector of Liberty, in memory of this victory. The discrepancy of
the dates is no marvel, seeing that even at the present day, when
astronomy is more accurately understood, different cities still begin
and end their months on different days.

XX. After the battle, as the Athenians would not assign the prize of
valour[24] to the Lacedæmonians, nor suffer them to set up a trophy,
the common cause of Greece was within a little of being ruined by the
quarrels of the two armies, had not Aristeides by argument and
entreaty prevailed upon his colleagues, especially Leokrates and
Myronides, to submit the dispute to the decision of all the Greeks.
Upon this a council was held, at which Theogeiton of Megara said that
the prize for valour ought to be given to another city, and not either
to Athens or Sparta, if they did not wish to bring about a civil war.
To this Kleokritus of Corinth made answer. All men expected that he
would demand the honour for Corinth, which city had acquitted itself
best, next to Athens and Sparta; but he made a very excellent and
conciliatory speech, demanding that the prize should be bestowed on
the Platæans, by which means neither of the claimants would be
aggrieved. This proposal was agreed to by Aristeides on behalf of the
Athenians, and by Pausanias on behalf of the Lacedæmonians. Having
thus settled their differences, they set apart from the plunder eighty
talents for the Platæans, with which they built the temple of Athena,
and the shrine, and also decorated the temple with paintings, which
even to this present day retain their lustre. The Lacedæmonians set up
a trophy for themselves, and the Athenians another one apart. When
they enquired at Delphi what sacrifice was to be offered, the oracle
bade them set up an altar to Zeus the Protector of the Free, and not
to sacrifice upon it until they had first put out all fires throughout
the country, because it had been defiled by the presence of the
barbarian, and had then fetched a new fire pure from pollution, from
the hearth at Delphi, which is common to all Greece. The chiefs of the
Greeks at once proceeded throughout the Platæan territory, forcing
every one to extinguish his fire, even in the case of funeral piles,
while Euchidas of Platæa, who promised that he would fetch fire as
quickly as possible, proceeded to Delphi. There he purified his body,
and having been besprinkled with holy water and crowned with laurel,
took fire from the altar, set off running back to Platæa, and arrived
there about sunset, having run a distance of a hundred and twenty-five
miles in one day. He embraced his fellow citizens, handed the fire to
them, fell down, and in a few moments died. The Platæans, to show
their admiration of him, buried him in the temple of Artemis Eukleia,
with this inscription on his tomb:

"Euchidas ran to Delphi and back again in one day."

As for Eukleia, most persons believe her to be Artemis, and worship
her as that goddess; but some say that she was a daughter of Herakles
and Myrto, the daughter of Menœtius, who was the sister of Patroklus,
and who, dying a virgin, is worshipped by the Bœotians and Lokrians.
An altar and image of her stands in every market-place in these
countries, and those who are about to marry, sacrifice to her.

XXI. After this Aristeides proposed at a general assembly of all the
Greeks, that all the cities of Greece should every year send deputies
and religious representatives to the city of Platæa, and that every
fifth year Eleutheria, or a festival in honour of Freedom, should be
celebrated there. Also he proposed that there should be a general levy
throughout Greece, for the war against the Persians, of ten thousand
heavy armed troops, a thousand horse, and a hundred ships of war; and
that the Platæans should be held inviolable, and consecrated to the
service of the gods, to whom they offered sacrifice on behalf of all
Greece. These things were ratified, and the people of Platæa undertook
to make yearly sacrifices in honour of those who had fallen fighting
for Greece, and whose bodies were buried there. This they perform
even at the present day in the following fashion. On the sixteenth day
of the month Maimakterion, which in the Bœotian calendar is called
Alalkomenius, they make a procession headed by a trumpeter sounding
the charge. After him follow waggons full of myrtle and garlands of
flowers, a black bull, libations of wine and milk in jars, and
earthenware vessels full of oil and perfume. These are carried by
young men of noble birth, for no slave is allowed to take any part in
the proceedings, because the men in whose honour the sacrifice is
made, died fighting for liberty. Last of all comes the chief
magistrate of Platæa, who, during the rest of his term of office, is
not allowed to touch iron, or to wear clothes of any colour but white.
On this day, however, he wears a scarlet tunic, takes an urn[25] from
the public record office in one hand, and a sword in the other, and
proceeds through the middle of the city to the sepulchres. There he
with his own hands draws water from the well, washes the head-stones
of the graves, and anoints them with oil. After this he cuts the
throat of the bull, places his bones on a funeral pile, and with
prayer to Zeus, and Hermes who conducts men's souls into the nether
world, he calls on the brave men who died for Greece, to come to the
feast and drink the libations of blood. Next he mixes a large bowl of
wine and water, pours out a cup for himself, and says, "I drink to
those who died in defence of the freedom of Greece." This custom is
observed even to this day by the Platæans.

XXII. After the return of the Athenians to their own city, Aristeides
observed that they desired to adopt a democratic form of government.
As he considered that the people had by their bravery deserved a share
in the management of affairs, and likewise thought that it would be
hard to turn them from their purpose as they had arms in their hands,
and were confident in their strength because of the victories which
they had won, he carried a decree that every citizen should have a
share in the government, and that the archons should be chosen out of
the whole body of Athenians.

When Themistokles told the Athenian assembly that he had in his mind a
proposition most valuable to the state, which nevertheless could not
be openly discussed, the people bade Aristeides alone listen to what
it was and give his opinion upon it. Then Themistokles told
Aristeides, that he meditated burning the entire fleet of the Greeks,
as they lay drawn up on the beach, as by this means Athens would
become the greatest state in Greece, and mistress of all the others.
Aristeides, on hearing this, came forward to the assembly and said
that the proposal of Themistokles, although most advantageous, was yet
most wicked and unjust. When the people heard this, they forbade
Themistokles to prosecute his design. So highly did the Athenians
prize justice, and so well and faithfully did Aristeides serve them.

XXIII. Being sent as general, with Kimon as his colleague, to the war
with Persia, he perceived that Pausanias and the other Spartan
generals were harsh and insolent to their allies; and he himself, by
treating them with kindness and consideration, aided by the gentle and
kindly temper shown by Kimon in the campaign, gradually obtained
supreme authority over them, not having won it by arms or fleets, but
by courtesy and wise policy. The Athenians, already beloved by the
Greeks, on account of the justice of Aristeides and the kindliness of
Kimon, were much more endeared to them by the insolent brutality of
Pausanias, who always spoke roughly and angrily to the chiefs of the
various contingents of allies, and used to punish the common men by
stripes, or by forcing them to stand all day with a heavy iron anchor
on their shoulders. No one was permitted to obtain straw or forage for
their horses, or to draw water from a well before the Spartans had
helped themselves, and servants were placed with whips to drive away
any who attempted to do so. Aristeides once endeavoured to complain of
this to Pausanias, but he knitting his brows, rudely told him that he
was not at leisure, and took no notice of his words. At this the
generals and admirals of the Greek states, especially those from
Chios, Samos, and Lesbos, besought Aristeides to make himself
commander-in-chief, and rally round him all the allied cities, who had
long desired to get rid of the Spartan supremacy and to take the side
of Athens. He answered that he admitted the justice and even the
necessity of their proposals, but that they must prove themselves to
be in earnest by some act which would make it impossible for the great
body of them to draw back. Upon this, Ouliades of Samos, and Antagoras
of Chios conspired together, and off Byzantium, they ran on board of
the ship of Pausanias, which was sailing before the rest. He on seeing
this, rose up in a rage and threatened that in a short time he would
let them know that they had not endangered his ship, but their own
native cities. They in answer bade him go his way and be thankful for
the victory at Platæa won under his command, for that it was which
alone restrained the Greeks from dealing with him as he deserved.
Finally they left him, and sailed away to join the Athenian ships. On
this occasion the magnanimous conduct of the Lacedæmonians deserves
high praise. When they perceived that the heads of their generals were
being turned by the greatness of their power, they of their own accord
withdrew from the supreme power, and no longer sent any generals to
the wars, choosing rather to have moderate citizens who would abide by
their laws at home, than to bear rule over the whole of Greece.

Even while the Lacedæmonians remained in command, the Greeks paid a
certain contribution to pay the expenses of the war; and as they
wished each city to be assessed to pay a reasonable sum, they asked
the Athenians to appoint Aristeides to visit each city, learn the
extent of its territory and revenues, and fix upon the amount which
each was capable of contributing according to its means. Although he
was in possession of such a power as this--the whole of Greece having
as it were given itself up to be dealt with at his discretion--yet he
laid down his office a poorer man than when he accepted it, but having
completed his assessment to the satisfaction of all. As the ancients
used to tell of the blessedness of the golden age, even so did the
states of Greece honour the assessment made by Aristeides, calling the
time when it was made, fortunate and blessed for Greece, especially
when no long time afterwards it was doubled, and subsequently trebled.
The money which Aristeides proposed to raise amounted to four hundred
and sixty talents; to which Perikles added nearly a third part, for
Thucydides tells us that at the commencement of the Peloponnesian war,
the Athenians received six hundred talents a year from their allies.
After the death of Perikles, the popular orators gradually raised the
sum total to thirteen hundred talents. It was not so much that the
money was required for the expenses of a long and costly war, as that
these men had accustomed the people to largesses of money, dramatic
representations, and the erection of statues and temples. Themistokles
was the only man who had sneered at the great reputation which
Aristeides had won by his assessment of the Greek states, saying that
the praise which was lavished on him was not suitable to a man, but to
a chest which kept money safe. This he said as a retort to a saying of
Aristeides, who once, when Themistokles said that he thought it the
most valuable quality for a general to be able to divine beforehand
what the enemy would do, answered, "That, Themistokles, is very true,
but it is also the part of an honourable general to keep his hands

XXV. Aristeides, moreover, bound all the Greeks by an oath to keep the
league against the Persians, and himself swore on behalf of Athens,
throwing wedges of red hot iron into the sea after the oath was taken,
and praying that the gods might so deal with those that broke their
faith. But afterwards, when circumstances forced the Athenians to
govern with a stronger hand, he bade the Athenians act as they
pleased, for he would take upon himself any guilt of perjury which
they might incur. And throughout his life Theophrastus observes that
Aristeides, though scrupulously just in his dealings with his
fellow-citizens, yet sometimes in dealing with other states was guided
rather by advantage than by equity. For instance, when the Athenians
were debating a proposal of the Samians, that the treasure of the
league should be removed from Delos to Athens, a thing distinctly
contrary to the articles of the alliance, Aristeides said that it was
not just, but that it was expedient to do so. He himself, at the end
of his life, after raising his city to be the ruler of so many people,
remained in his original poverty, and took no less pride in his
poverty than in the victories which he had won. This is proved by the
following anecdote. Kallias, the torch-bearer in the Eleusinian
mysteries, a relation of his, was being prosecuted on a capital charge
by his private enemies. After speaking with great moderation upon the
subject of the indictment, they used the following argument to the
jury: "Gentlemen, you all know Aristeides the son of Lysimachus, whose
name is renowned throughout Greece. How think you that man fares at
home, when you see him appearing in public with such a worn-out cloak?
May we not suppose when we see him shivering out of doors, that he has
but little to eat at home, and is in want of common necessaries? Yet
Kallias, the richest man in Athens, allows this man, who is his own
cousin, to be in want, he and his wife and children, though he has
often benefited by him and profited by his influence with you."
Kallias, perceiving that the jury were especially wrought upon by this
appeal and that it was likely to tell against him, called Aristeides
into the court, and begged of him to bear witness to the jury that
although he had often offered him money and begged him to accept it he
had always refused, answering that he prided himself more upon his
poverty than Kallias did upon his wealth; for one may see many persons
making both a good and a bad use of riches, but it is hard to meet
with a man who bears poverty with honour. Those only should be ashamed
of poverty who are poor against their wills. When Aristeides bore
witness to the truth of this, on behalf of Kallias, there was no one
who heard him but left the court wishing rather to be poor like
Aristeides than rich like Kallias. This story is preserved by
Æschines, the companion of Sokrates.

Plato considers that this man alone, of all the great men of Athens,
is worthy of mention by him. Themistokles, and Kimon, and Perikles,
did indeed fill the city with public buildings, and money, and folly,
but Aristeides in his political acts cared for nothing but virtue.
One great proof of this is his kindly treatment of Themistokles.
Though this man was his enemy throughout, and was the cause of his
banishment by ostracism, yet when Themistokles gave him an opportunity
of revenging himself in a similar manner he never remembered the
injuries which he had received at his hands, but while Kimon, and
Alkmæon, and many others, were endeavouring to drive him into exile
and bringing all kinds of accusations against him, Aristeides alone
never did or said anything against him, and did not rejoice over the
spectacle of his enemy's ruin, just as he never envied his previous

XXVI. Some writers say that Aristeides died in Pontus, to which
country he had been sent on matters of state: while others say that he
died of old age at Athens, respected and honoured by all his
countrymen there. Kraterus of Macedonia tells us the following
particulars about his end. After Themistokles went into exile the
common people grew insolent and produced a numerous brood of
informers, who constantly assailed the noblest and most powerful
citizens through envy of their prosperity and influence. One of these
men, Diophantus of Amphitrope by name, obtained a verdict against
Aristeides on a charge of receiving bribes. It was stated that when he
was regulating the assessment of the Ionians he received money from
them to tax them more lightly. As he was unable to pay the fine of
fifty minæ, which the court laid upon him, he left Athens and died
somewhere in Ionia. But Kraterus offers no documentary evidence of
this, neither of the sentence of his condemnation nor the decree of
the people, although in general it is his habit to quote his authority
for statements of this kind. And almost all others who have spoken of
the harsh treatment of generals by the people mention the banishment
of Themistokles, the imprisonment of Miltiades, the fine imposed on
Perikles, and the suicide of Paches in court when sentence was
pronounced against him, but although they speak of the banishment of
Aristeides, they never allude to this trial and sentence upon him.

XXVII. Moreover, there is his tomb at Phalerum, which is said to have
been constructed at the public expense, because he did not leave
enough money to defray his funeral expenses. It is also related that
his daughters were publicly married at the charges of the state, which
provided them each with a dowry of three thousand drachmas. At the
instance of Alkibiades, his son Lysimachus was also presented with a
hundred silver mines, and as many acres of planted land, and in
addition to this, an allowance of four drachmas a day. Kallisthenes
also tells us that this Lysimachus leaving a daughter named Polykrite,
she was assigned by the Athenians the same daily allowance of food as
is bestowed upon the victors in the Olympian games. But Demetrius of
Phalerum, Hieronymus of Rhodes, Aristoxenus the musician, and
Aristotle, (if we are to believe the 'Treatise on Nobility' to be a
genuine work of his) say, that Myrto, the granddaughter of Aristeides,
lived in the house of Sokrates the philosopher, who was indeed married
to another woman, but who took her into his house because she was a
widow and destitute of the necessaries of life. These authors are
sufficiently confuted by Panætius in his writings on Sokrates.
Demetrius of Phalerum says, in his book about Sokrates, that he knew
one Lysimachus, a very poor man, who dwelt near the Temple of Iacchus
and made his living by the interpretation of dreams. Demetrius further
states that he carried a bill before the Assembly by which this man's
mother and sister were provided with a pension of three obols daily at
the public expense. Demetrius, however, when himself a legislator,
appointed that each of these women should receive a drachma instead of
three obols a day. And we need not wonder at the people taking such
care of the resident citizens, when we read that, hearing that the
granddaughter of Aristogeiton was living in poverty at Lemnos, so poor
that no one would marry her, they brought her back to Athens, gave her
in marriage to a man of high birth, and bestowed upon her a farm at
Potamus for a marriage portion. The city of Athens has shown many
instances of this kindness and goodness of heart even down to our
times, and is justly praised and admired for it.


[Footnote 17: The Attic _medimnus_ contained 12 imperial gallons, or
1½ bushels.]

[Footnote 18: A circular or cyclic chorus was strictly one which
danced and sang round an altar, but especially refers to the
dithyrambic choruses appropriated to Bacchus.]

[Footnote 19: The _barathrum_ at Athens was a deep pit, with hooks on
the sides, into which criminals were cast.]

[Footnote 20: Alluding to the letter which he had sent to Xerxes. See
'Life of Themistokles.']

[Footnote 21: See 'Life of Themistokles.']

[Footnote 22: So in Latin "hostis" originally meant both a stranger
and an enemy.]

[Footnote 23: These men traced their descent to the Homeric Ajax.]

[Footnote 24: This was always given before the equal division of the
plunder took place. _Cf_. Virg. Æn. IX. 268, _sqq_.]

[Footnote 25: Whether a cinerary urn for the ashes of the dead, or a
water-pot for drawing water is meant, I am unable to determine. Clough
takes the latter meaning, which is borne out by the context. On the
other hand the Greek word is used by Plutarch ('Life of Philopœmen,'
ch. xxi) in the sense of an urn to contain the ashes of the dead.]


I. Marcus Cato is said to have been born at Tusculum, but to have been
brought up and spent his time upon a farm belonging to his father in
the Sabine territory, before he began to take part in war or politics.
We know nothing of his ancestry, except that he himself tells us that
his father, Marcus, was a good man and brave soldier, and that his
grandfather, Cato, received several military rewards for his services,
and that having had five horses killed under him, he received the
value of them from the public treasury, as an acknowledgment of his

It was the Roman custom to call those who had no ancestry to recommend
them, but who rose by their own merits, _new_ men. This name was
applied to Cato, who said that he was indeed new to honours and posts
of importance, but that, in respect of his brave and virtuous
ancestry, he was a man of ancient family. His third name originally
was not Cato, but Priscus, and was changed to Cato on account of his
wisdom, for in Latin _catus_ means "clever." In appearance he was
rather red-haired, and grey-eyed, peculiarities which are
ill-naturedly dwelt upon by the writer of the epigram--

    "Red-haired, grey-eyed, and savage-tusked as well,
    Porcius will find no welcome e'en in hell."

Accustomed as he was to hard exercise, temperate living, and frequent
campaigns, his body was always both healthy and strong; while he also
practised the power of speech, thinking it a necessary instrument for
a man who does not intend to live an obscure and inactive life. He
consequently improved his talents in this respect by pleading causes
in the neighbouring villages and towns, so that he was soon admitted
to be a capable speaker, and afterwards to be a good orator. From this
time all who conversed with him perceived a gravity and wisdom in his
mind which qualified him to undertake the most important duties of a
statesman. Not only was he so disinterested as to plead without
receiving money from his clients, but he also did not think the glory
which he gained in these contests to be that after which a man ought
to strive, in comparison with that which is gained in battle and
campaigns, in which he was so eager to distinguish himself that when
quite a lad his body was covered with wounds, all in front. He himself
tells us that he made his first campaign at the age of seventeen, when
Hannibal was ranging through Italy uncontrolled. In battle he was
prompt, stedfast, and undismayed, and was wont to address the enemy
with threats and rough language, and to encourage the others to do so,
as he rightly pointed out that this often cows the enemy's spirit as
effectually as blows. When on the march he used to carry his own arms,
and be followed by one servant who carried his provisions. It is said
that he never spoke harshly to this man, no matter what food he placed
before him, but that he would often help him to do his work when he
was at leisure from military duty. He drank only water when
campaigning, except that when suffering from parching thirst he would
ask for some vinegar, and sometimes when his strength fairly failed he
would drink a little wine.

II. Near his estate was a cottage which had once belonged to Manius
Curius, who three times received the honour of a triumph. Cato used
frequently to walk over and look at this cottage, and, as he observed
the smallness of the plot of ground attached to it, and the simplicity
of the dwelling itself, he would reflect upon how Curius, after having
made himself the first man in Rome, after conquering the most warlike
nations, and driving King Pyrrhus out of Italy, used to dig this
little plot of ground with his own hands, and dwelt in this little
cottage, after having thrice triumphed. It was there that the
ambassadors of the Samnites found him sitting by the hearth, cooking
turnips, and offered him much gold; but he sent them away, saying,
"that a man who was contented with such a supper, had no need of
gold, and that it was more honourable for him to conquer those who
possessed gold, than to possess it himself." Cato, after leaving the
cottage, full of these memories, returned to his own house and farm,
and after viewing its extent and the number of slaves upon it, he
increased the amount of his own daily labour, and retrenched his
superfluous expenses.

When Fabius Maximus took the city of Tarentum, Cato, who was a very
young lad at the time, was serving in his army. He became intimate
there with one Nearchus, a philosopher of the Pythagorean school, and
listened with much interest to his discourses. Hearing this man, like
Plato, describe pleasure as the greatest temptation to evil, and the
body as the chief hindrance to the soul, which can only free and
purify itself by such a course of reasoning as removes it from and
sets it above all bodily passions and feelings, he was yet more
encouraged in his love of simplicity and frugality. In other respects
he is said to have studied Hellenic literature late in life, and not
to have read Greek books till extreme old age, when he greatly
improved his style of oratory, partly by the study of Thucydides, but
chiefly by that of Demosthenes. Be this as it may, his writings are
full of Greek ideas and Greek anecdotes: and many of his apophthegms
and maxims are literally translated from the Greek.

III. The estate adjoining that of Cato belonged to one of the most
powerful and highly born patricians of Rome, Valerius Flaccus, a man
who had a keen eye for rising merit, and generously fostered it until
it received public recognition. This man heard accounts of Cato's life
from his servants, how he would proceed to the court early in the
morning, and plead the causes of all who required his services, and
then on returning to his farm would work with his servants, in winter
wearing a coarse coat without sleeves, in summer nothing but his
tunic, and how he used to sit at meals with his servants, eating the
same loaf and drinking the same wine. Many other stories of his
goodness and simplicity and sententious remarks were related to
Valerius, who became interested in his neighbour, and invited him to
dinner. They became intimate, and Valerius, observing his quiet and
ingenuous disposition, like a plant that requires careful treatment
and an extensive space in which to develop itself, encouraged and
urged him to take part in the political life of Rome. On going to Rome
he at once gained admirers and friends by his able pleadings in the
law courts, while he obtained considerable preferment by the interest
of Valerius, being appointed first military tribune, and then quæstor.
After this he became so distinguished a man as to be able to compete
with Valerius himself for the highest offices in the state, and they
were elected together, first as consuls, and afterwards as censors. Of
the older Romans, Cato attached himself particularly to Fabius
Maximus, a man of the greatest renown and power, although it was his
disposition and mode of life which Cato especially desired to imitate.
Wherefore he did not hesitate to oppose Scipio the Great, who was then
a young man, but a rival and opponent of Fabius. Cato was appointed to
act as his quæstor in the war in Africa, and on perceiving that Scipio
was living with his usual lavish expenditure, and supplying his
soldiery with extravagant pay, he sharply rebuked him, saying, "that
it was not the waste of the public money that vexed him so much as the
ruin of the old frugal habits of the soldiers, who were led to indulge
in pleasure and luxury by receiving more pay than was necessary to
supply their daily wants." When Scipio answered that he did not
require an economist for his quæstor, at a time when he was preparing
to wage war on a grand scale, and reminded him that he would have to
give an account to the Roman people of battles won, not of money
expended, Cato left the army of Scipio, which was then being assembled
in Sicily. He proceeded at once to Rome, and by adding his voice to
that of Fabius in the Senate, in blame of Scipio's unspeakable waste
of money, and his childish and unsoldierly love of the public
games[26] and the theatre, conduct more worthy of the president of a
public festival than of the commander-in-chief of an army, prevailed
upon the people to send tribunes to enquire into the charges against
him, and if they proved true, to bring him back to Rome. When they
arrived in Sicily, however, Scipio pointed out to them that the
preparations which he had made would ensure him the victory, and that
although he loved pleasant society in his hours of leisure, yet that
he had never allowed his pleasures to interfere with his serious
duties. The tribunes were perfectly satisfied with this explanation,
and Scipio sailed for Africa.

IV. Cato, however, gained considerable credit by his speeches on this
occasion, and the Romans generally called him the new Demosthenes; yet
his manner of life was more admired than his eloquence. Cleverness of
speech was a quality which nearly all the young men of the time sought
to attain, but Cato was singular in his keeping up the severe
traditions of his ancestors in labouring with his own hands, eating a
simple dinner, lighting no fire to cook his breakfast, wearing a plain
dress, living in a mean house, and neither coveting superfluities nor
courting their possessors. The Romans were at this period extending
their empire so much as to lose much of their own original simplicity
of living, as each new conquest brought them into contact with foreign
customs and new modes of life. They therefore naturally looked with
admiration upon Cato, observing that while they became enervated by
pleasures and broke down under labours, he on the other hand seemed
unaffected by either, and that too, not only while he was young and
eager for fame: but even when he was an old grey-headed man, after he
had been consul and had triumphed, he yet, like a victorious athlete,
still kept himself in training, and never relaxed his severe
discipline. He himself tells us that he never wore a garment worth
more than a hundred drachmas, that when he was general and consul he
still drank the same wine as his servants, that his dinner never cost
him more than thirty ases in the market, and that he only indulged
himself to this extent for the good of the state, that he might be
strong and able to serve his country in the field. When he was left a
piece of Babylonian tapestry he at once disposed of it; none of his
rooms were whitewashed, and he never bought a slave for more than
fifteen hundred drachmas, seeing that he required, not effeminate and
handsome servants, but hardworking and strong men, to tend his horses
and herd his cattle: and these, too, when they grew old and past work
he thought it best to sell, and not feed them at his expense when they
were useless. His rule was that nothing is cheap which one does not
want, but that superfluities are dearly purchased even if they cost
but one penny: and that it is better to buy land which can be
ploughed, or where cattle can graze, than beds of flowers which
require watering, and paths which have to be swept and kept in order.

V. These habits some ascribed to narrowness of mind, while others
thought that he carried parsimony and avarice to excess in himself in
order by his example to reform and restrain others. Be this as it may,
I for my own part consider that his conduct in treating his slaves
like beasts of burden, and selling them when old and worn out, is the
mark of an excessively harsh disposition, which disregards the claims
of our common human nature, and merely considers the question of
profit and loss. Kindness, indeed, is of wider application than mere
justice; for we naturally treat men alone according to justice and the
laws, while kindness and gratitude, as though from a plenteous spring,
often extend even to irrational animals. It is right for a good man to
feed horses which have been worn out in his service, and not merely to
train dogs when they are young, but to take care of them when they are
old. When the Athenian people built the Parthenon, they set free the
mules which had done the hardest work in drawing the stones up to the
acropolis, and let them graze where they pleased unmolested. It is
said that one of them came of its own accord to where the works were
going on, and used to walk up to the acropolis with the beasts who
were drawing up their loads, as if to encourage them and show them the
way. This mule was, by a decree of the people of Athens, maintained at
the public expense for the rest of its life. The racehorses of Kimon
also, who won an Olympic victory, are buried close to the monument of
their master. Many persons, too, have made friends and companions of
dogs, as did Xanthippus in old times, whose dog swam all the way to
Salamis beside his master's ship when the Athenians left their city,
and which he buried on the promontory which to this day is called the
Dog's Tomb.[27] We ought not to treat living things as we do our
clothes and our shoes, and throw them away after we have worn them
out; but we ought to accustom ourselves to show kindness in these
cases, if only in order to teach ourselves our duty towards one
another. For my own part I would not even sell an ox that had laboured
for me because he was old, much less would I turn an old man out of
his accustomed haunts and mode of life, which is as great an
affliction to him as sending him into a foreign land, merely that I
might gain a few miserable coins by selling one who must be as useless
to his buyer as he was to his seller.

Cato, however, as if taking a perverse pleasure in flaunting his
meannesses, relates that he left behind him in Spain the horse which
he rode when consul there, in order to save the state the cost of
carrying him over to Italy. Whether those acts of his are to be
ascribed to magnanimity or narrow-mindedness the reader must decide
for himself.

VI. He was a man of wonderful temperance, in all other respects also.
For example, when he was general, he only drew from the public stock
three Attic bushels of wheat a month for himself and his servants, and
less than three half-bushels of barley a day for his horses. When he
was Governor of Sardinia, where former governors had been in the habit
of charging their tents, bedding, and wearing-apparel to the province,
and likewise making it pay large sums for their entertainment and that
of their friends, he introduced an unheard-of system of economy. He
charged nothing to the province, and visited the various cities
without a carriage, walking on foot alone, attended by one single
public servant carrying his robe of state and the vessel to make
libations at a sacrifice. With all this he showed himself so affable
and simple to those under his rule, so severe and inexorable in the
administration of justice, and so vigilant and careful in seeing that
his orders were duly executed, that the government of Rome never was
more feared or more loved in Sardinia than when he governed that

VII. His conversation seems also to have had this character, for he
was cheerful and harsh all at once, pleasant and yet severe as a
companion, fond of jokes, but morose at the same time, just as Plato
tells us that Sokrates, if judged merely from his outside, appeared to
be only a silly man with a face like a satyr, who was rude to all he
met, though his inner nature was earnest and full of thoughts that
moved his hearers to tears and touched their hearts. For this reason I
cannot understand how any persons can see a likeness between the
orations of Lysias and those of Cato; however, this point must be
decided by those who are more skilled than myself in the comparison of
oratorical styles. I shall now relate a few of his more remarkable
sayings, believing that a man's real character can be better judged of
by his words than by his looks, although some people hold the contrary

VIII. Once when he wished to restrain the Romans from distributing a
large quantity of corn as a largesse to the people, he began his
speech: "It is difficult, my fellow-citizens, to make the stomach hear
reason, because it has no ears." When desiring to blame the
extravagance of the Romans, he said that a city could not be safe in
which a fish sold dearer than an ox. He said, too, that the Romans
were like sheep, who never form opinions of their own, but follow
where the others lead them. "Just so," said he, "when you are
assembled together you are led by men whose advice you would scorn to
take about your own private affairs." With regard to female influence
he once said, "All mankind rule their wives, we rule all mankind, and
we are ruled by our wives." This remark, however, is borrowed from
Themistokles. He one day, when his child was instigating its mother to
lay many commands upon him, said, "Wife, remember that the Athenians
rule the Greeks, I rule the Athenians, you rule me, and your child
rules you; wherefore let him not abuse his power, which, though he
knows it not, is greater than that of anyone else in Greece." Cato
also said that the Romans fixed the price, not only of different dyes,
but of different professions. "Just as the dyers," said he, "dye stuff
of whatever colour they see people pleased with, so do our young men
only study and apply themselves to those subjects which are praised
and commended by you." He used also to beg of them, if they had become
great by virtue and self-restraint, not to degenerate; and if, on the
other hand, their empire had been won by licentiousness and vice, to
reform themselves, since by the latter means they had become so great
as not to need any further assistance from them. Those who were always
seeking office, he said, were like men who could not find their way,
who always wished to walk with lictors[28] before them to show them
the road. He blamed his countrymen for often electing the same men to
public offices. "You will appear," said he, "either to think that the
office is not worth much, or else that there are not many worthy to
fill it." Alluding to one of his enemies who led a dissolute and
discreditable life, he said: "That man's mother takes it as a curse
rather than a blessing if any one hopes that her son will survive
her." When a certain man sold his ancestral estate, which was situated
by the seashore, Cato pretended to admire him, as being more powerful
than the sea itself, "for this man," said he, has "drunk up the fields
which the sea itself could not swallow." When King Eumenes came to
Rome the Senate received him with special honours, and he was much
courted and run after. Cato, however, held himself aloof and would not
go near him, and when some one said "Yet he is an excellent man, and a
good friend to Rome," he answered, "It may be so, but a king is by
nature an animal that lives on human flesh." None of those who had
borne the title of king, according to Cato, were to be compared with
Epameinondas, or Perikles, or Themistokles, or with Manius Curius or
Hamilcar Barcas. He used to say that his enemies hated him because he
began his day's work while it was still dark, and because he neglected
his own affairs to attend to those of the public. He also was wont to
say that he had rather his good actions should go unrewarded than that
his bad ones should be unpunished; and that he pardoned all who did
wrong except himself.

IX. When the Romans sent three ambassadors to Bithynia, one of whom
was crippled by the gout, another had been trepanned and had a piece
taken out of his head, and the third was thought to be a simpleton,
Cato remarked that the Romans had sent an embassy which had neither
feet, head, nor heart. When, for the sake of Polybius the historian,
Scipio entreated Cato to exert his influence on behalf of the Achæan
exiles, after a long debate in the Senate, where some advised that
they should be sent back to their own country, and some that they
should still be detained at Rome, he got up and said, "Have we nothing
better to do than to sit all day discussing whether a parcel of old
Greeks shall be buried here or in Achaia?" A few days after the Senate
had decreed the restoration of the exiles, Polybius proposed to make
another application, that they should be restored to all the offices
which they formerly held in Achaia. He asked Cato whether he thought
that he should succeed in this second appeal to the Senate; to which
Cato answered with a smile, that he was imitating Ulysses, when he
returned again into the cave of the Cyclops to fetch the hat and
girdle which he had left behind and forgotten. He said that wise men
gained more advantage from fools, than fools from wise men; for the
wise men avoid the errors of fools, but fools cannot imitate the
example of wise men. He said that he loved young men to have red
cheeks rather than pale ones, and that he did not care for a soldier
who used his hands while he marched and his feet while he fought, or
one who snored louder in bed than he shouted in battle. When
reproaching a very fat man he said, "How can this man's body be useful
to his country, when all parts between the neck and the groin are
possessed by the belly?" Once when an epicure wished to become his
friend, he said that he could not live with a man whose palate was
more sensitive than his heart. He said also that the soul of a lover
inhabits the body of his beloved. He himself tells us, that in his
whole life he repented of three things only:--First, that he had
trusted a woman with a secret. Secondly, that he had gone by water
when he might have gone by land. Thirdly, that he had passed one day
without having made his will. To an old man who was acting wrongly he
said, "My good sir, old age is ugly enough without your adding the
deformity of wickedness to it." When a certain tribune, who was
suspected of being a poisoner, was endeavouring to carry a bad law,
Cato remarked, "Young man, I do not know which is the worst for us, to
drink what you mix, or to enact what you propose." Once when he was
abused by a man of vicious life, he answered, "We are not contending
upon equal terms; you are accustomed to hearing and using bad
language, while I am both unused to hearing it and unwilling to use

X. When he was elected consul, together with his friend and neighbour
Valerius Flaccus, the province which fell to his lot was that which
the Romans call Hither Spain.[29] While he was there engaged in
establishing order, partly by persuasion, and partly by force, he was
attacked by a large army of the natives, and was in danger of being
disgracefully defeated by their overwhelming numbers. Consequently he
applied for aid to the neighbouring tribe of the Celtiberians, who
demanded as the price of their assistance the sum of two hundred
talents. At this every one protested that it was unworthy of Romans to
pay barbarians for their alliance, but Cato said that he saw no evil
in the practice, since, if the Romans were victorious, they would pay
them from the spoils of the enemy, while if they were defeated there
would be no one to demand the money and no one to pay it. He won a
pitched battle on this occasion, and was very successful in his whole
campaign. Polybius indeed tells us that in one day at his command all
the cities on this side of the river Guadalquiver pulled down their
walls; and yet they were very numerous, and filled with a warlike
population. Cato himself tells us that he took more cities than he
spent days in Spain; nor is this a vain boast, if the number captured
really, as is stated, amounted to four hundred. His soldiers enriched
themselves considerably during the campaign; and at the termination of
it he distributed a pound of silver to each man, saying that it was
better that many Romans should return to Rome with silver in their
pockets than that a few should return with gold. He himself states
that he received no part of the plunder except what he ate or drank.
"I do not," said he, "blame those who endeavour to enrich themselves
by such means, but I had rather vie with the noblest in virtue than
with the richest in wealth, or with the most covetous in
covetousness." He not only kept his own hands clean, but those of his
followers also. He took five servants to the war with him. One of
these, Paccius by name, bought three boys at a sale of captives; but
when Cato heard of it, Paccius, rather than come into his presence,
hanged himself. Cato sold the boys, and paid the price into the public

XI. While he was still in Spain, Scipio the Great, who was his
personal enemy, desiring to check his career of success, and to obtain
the management of Spanish affairs for himself, contrived to get
himself appointed to succeed Cato in his government. He at once
hurried to Spain and brought Cato's rule to an end. Cato, however, at
once marched to meet Scipio with an escort of five companies of
infantry and five hundred horsemen. On his way he conquered the tribe
of the Lacetani; and finding among them six hundred deserters from the
Roman army, he put them to death. When Scipio expressed his
dissatisfaction with this, Cato sarcastically answered, that Rome
would be greatest if those of high birth and station, and those of
plebeian origin like himself, would only contend with one another in
virtue. However, as the Senate decreed that nothing that Cato had
settled in the province should be altered or rearranged, Scipio found
that it was he rather than Cato that was disgraced, as he had to pass
his time in inglorious idleness, while Cato, after enjoying a triumph,
did not retire into a life of luxury and leisure, as is done by so
many men whose object is display rather than true virtue, after they
have risen to the highest honours in the state by being elected
consuls and enjoying the honour of a triumph. He did not impair the
glorious example which he had given, by withdrawing his attention from
the affairs of his country, but offered his services to his friends
and fellow-countrymen, both in the courts of law and in the field, as
willingly as those who have just begun their public career, and are
keenly eager to be elected to some new office in which they may win
fresh distinction.

XII. He went with the consul Tiberius Sempronius as legate, and
assisted him in regulating the country about the Danube and Thrace;
and he also served as military tribune under Manius Acilius during his
campaign in Greece against Antiochus the Great, who caused more terror
to the Romans than any one man since the time of Hannibal. Antiochus
had originally inherited nearly the whole of Asia, that is, as much as
Seleukus Nikator had possessed, and having added many warlike tribes
to his empire, was so elated by his conquests as to attack the Romans,
whom he regarded as the only nation remaining in the whole world which
was worthy to be his antagonist. He put forward as a plausible reason
for beginning the war that he intended to liberate the Greeks, who did
not require his interference, as they had just been made free and
independent by the Romans, who had delivered them from the tyranny of
Philip and the Macedonians. Antiochus crossed over into Greece, which
at once became unsettled, and a prey to hopes and fears suggested by
her political leaders. Manius at once sent ambassadors to the various
cities. Titus Flamininus, as has been related in his Life, restrained
the greater part of them from revolutionary proceedings, and kept them
to their allegiance, but Cato won over Corinth, Patræ, and Ægium. Most
of his time was spent in Athens; and there is said to be still extant
a speech which he made to the people there in Greek, in which he
speaks with admiration of the virtue of the Athenians of old, and
dwells upon his own pleasure in viewing so great and beautiful a city.
This, however, is a fabrication, for we know that he conversed with
the Athenians through an interpreter, though he was able to speak
their language, because he wished to keep to the ways of his fathers,
and administer a rebuke to those who extravagantly admired the Greeks.
Thus he laughed at Postumius Albinus, who wrote a history in Greek and
begged that his mistakes might be pardoned, saying that it would be
right to pardon them if he wrote his history by a decree of the
council of Amphiktyons. He himself says that the Athenians were
surprised it the shortness and pregnant nature of his talk; for what
he said in a few words, his interpreter translated by a great many:
and in general he concludes that the Greeks talk from the lips, and
the Romans from the heart.

XIII. When Antiochus occupied the pass of Thermopylæ with his army,
and, after adding to the natural strength of the place by artificial
defences, established himself there as if in an impregnable position,
the Romans decided that to attack him in front was altogether
impossible, but Cato, remembering how the Persians under Xerxes had
turned the Greek forces by a circuitous march over the mountains, took
a part of the force and set off by night. When they had gone for some
distance over the mountains, the prisoner who served as their guide
lost his way, and wandered about in that precipitous and pathless
wilderness so as to cause great discouragement to the soldiers. Seeing
this, Cato ordered every one to halt and await his orders, and
himself, with one companion, one Lucius Manlius, an experienced
mountaineer, laboriously and daringly plunged along through intense
darkness, for there was no moon, while the trees and rocks added to
their difficulties by preventing their seeing distinctly whither they
were going, until they came to a path, which, as they thought, led
directly down upon the camp of the enemy. Hereupon they set up marks
to guide them upon some conspicuous crags of Mount Kallidromus, and
returning to the army, led it to these marks, and started along the
paths which they had descried. But before they had proceeded far the
path ended in a precipice, at which they were both surprised and
disheartened; for they could not tell, either by sight or hearing,
that they were close to the enemy. It was now about daybreak, and they
thought that they heard voices near at hand, and soon were able to see
a Greek camp and an outpost at the foot of the precipice. Cato
hereupon halted his army, and ordered the Firmiani,[30] in whom he
reposed especial confidence, to come forward alone. When they had
assembled round him, he said, "I wish to take one of the enemy
prisoner, and learn from him of what troops this outpost is formed,
what their numbers are, how the rest of the army are placed, and what
preparations they have made to resist us. You must dash upon them as
quickly and boldly as lions do upon their defenceless prey." At these
words of Cato's the Firmiani at once rushed down and attacked the
outpost. The suddenness of their onset threw the enemy into complete
confusion, and they soon caught one of them and brought him before
Cato. Learning from this man that all the rest of the army was with
King Antiochus himself, guarding the pass of Thermopylæ, and that only
a body of six hundred picked Ætolians were watching the path over the
mountains, Cato despising so small and contemptible a force, at once
drew his sword, and led on his troops with shouts and trumpets
sounding the charge. The Ætolians, as soon as they saw the Romans
descending from the hills, fled to the main body, and filled it with
confusion and terror.

XIV. Meanwhile Manius on the lower ground had attacked the
fortifications in the pass with his entire force. Antiochus was struck
on the mouth with a stone which knocked out several of his teeth, and
the pain of his wound compelled him to wheel round his horse and
retreat. His troops nowhere withstood the Romans, but, although they
had endless means of escape by roads where they could scarcely be
followed, yet they crowded through the narrow pass with deep marshy
ground on the one hand and inaccessible rocks upon the other, and
there trampled each other to death for fear of the swords of the

Cato never seems to have been sparing of his own praise, and thought
that great deeds required to be told in boastful language. He gives a
very pompous account of this battle, and says that all those who saw
him pursuing and cutting down the enemy felt that Cato did not owe so
much to the Romans, as the Romans owed to Cato. He also says that the
consul Manius immediately after the victory was won, enfolded him for
a long time in a close embrace, and loudly declared that neither he
nor all the Roman people could ever do as much for Cato as he had that
day done for them. He was sent immediately after the battle to bear
the news of the victory to Rome, and reached Brundusium after a
prosperous voyage.

From that place he drove in one day to Tarentum, and in four more
days reached Rome with the news, on the fifth day after his landing.
His arrival filled the whole city with feasting and rejoicing, and
made the Roman people believe that there was no nation in the world
which could resist their arms.

XV. Of Cato's warlike exploits these which we have related are the
most remarkable. In his political life he seems to have thought one of
his most important duties to be the impeachment and prosecution of
those whom he thought to be bad citizens. He himself attacked many
persons, and aided and encouraged others in doing so, a notable
example being his conduct towards Scipio in the affair of Petillius.
However, as Scipio was a man of noble birth and great spirit, he
treated the attack made upon him with contempt, and Cato, perceiving
that he could not succeed in getting him condemned to death, desisted
from annoying him. But he was active in obtaining the condemnation of
Scipio's brother Lucius, who was adjudged to pay a heavy fine, which
was beyond his means to provide, so that he had nearly been cast into
prison, but was set free by the intervention of the tribunes of the

It is related of him that he once met in the forum a young man who had
just succeeded in obtaining the disfranchisement, by an action at law,
of an enemy of his father, who was dead. Cato took him by the hand and
said, "Thus ought men to honour their parents when they die, not with
the blood of lambs and kids, but with the tears and condemnation of
their enemies." He himself is said to have been the defendant in
nearly fifty actions, the last of which was tried when he was
eighty-six years of age: on which occasion he uttered that well-known
saying, that it was hard for a man who had lived in one generation to
be obliged to defend himself before another. And this was not the end
of his litigations, for four years later, when at the age of ninety,
he impeached Servius Galba. Indeed his life, like that of Nestor,
seems to havo reached over three generations. He, as had been related,
was a bitter political opponent of Scipio Africanus the Great, and he
continued his enmity to Scipio's adopted son, called Scipio the
Younger, who was really the son of Æmilius Paulus, the conqueror of
Perseus and the Macedonians.

XVI. Ten years after his consulship, Cato became a candidate for the
office of censor. This is the highest dignity to which a Roman can
aspire, and may be regarded as the goal of political life. Its powers
are very extensive, and it is especially concerned with the regulation
of public morals, and the mode of life of the citizens of Rome. The
Romans thought that none of a man's actions, his marriage, his family,
his mode of life, his very entertainments, ought to be uncontrolled,
and managed according to his own will and pleasure. They considered
that a man's true character was much more clearly shown by his private
life than by his public behaviour, and were wont to choose two
citizens, one a patrician, and the other a plebeian, whose duty it was
to watch over the morals of the people, and check any tendency to
licentiousness or extravagance. These officers they called censors,
and they had power to deprive a Roman knight of his horse, and to
expel men of loose and disorderly life from the Senate. They also took
a census of property, and kept a register of the various tribes and
classes of the citizens; and they likewise exercised various other
important powers. Cato's candidature was opposed by nearly all the
most distinguished members of the Senate, for the patricians viewed
him with especial dislike, regarding it as an insult to the nobility
that men of obscure birth should attain to the highest honours in the
state, while all those who were conscious of any private vices or
departures from the ways of their fathers, feared the severities of
one who, they knew, would be harsh and inexorable when in power.

These classes consequently combined together against Cato, and put up
no less than seven candidates to contest the censorship with him, and
endeavoured to soothe the people by holding out to them hopes of a
lenient censor, as though that were what they required. Cato on the
other hand would not relax his severity in the least, but threatened
evil doers in his speeches from the rostra, and insisted that the city
required a most searching reformation. He told the people that if they
were wise, they would choose not the most agreeable, but the most
thorough physicians to perform this operation for them, and that
these would be himself and Valerius Flaccus; for with him as a
colleague he imagined that he might make some progress in the work of
destroying, by knife and cautery, the hydra of luxury and effeminacy.
Of the other candidates he said that he saw that each one was eager to
get the office and fill it badly, because he was afraid of those who
could fill it well. The Roman people on this occasion showed itself so
truly great and worthy to be courted by great men, as not to be
alarmed at the earnest severity of Cato; but, setting aside all those
plausible candidates who promised merely to consult their pleasure,
elected Cato and Valerius censors. It seemed, indeed, as if Cato,
inatead of being a candidate for election, was already in office and
issuing his commands to the people, which were at once obeyed.

XVII. As soon as he was elected, Cato appointed his friend and
colleague, Lucius Valerius Flaccus, chief of the Senate. He expelled
several senators, amongst whom was Lucius Quintius, who had been
consul seven years before, and, which was even a greater distinction
than the consulship, was the brother of Titus Quintius Flamininus, the
conqueror of Philip. He was expelled from the Senate for the following
reason. Lucius had a favourite boy who never left his person, and
followed him even on his campaigns. This boy had more power and
received greater attention than the most trusty of his friends and
relatives. Now, when Lucius was governor of a province as proconsul,
this boy once, at a drinking party, was flattering him over his wine,
saying that "Although there was going to be a show of gladiators at
Rome, yet I did not stay to see it, but came out here to you, although
I longed to see a man killed." Lucius, to please him, answered in the
same tone, "If that be all, do not lie there and fret, for I will soon
gratify your wish." He at once ordered a condemned criminal to be
brought into the banqueting hall, and one of his servants to stand by
him with an axe, and then again asked his favourite whether he wished
to see a man struck dead. When the boy said that he did, he bade the
servant cut off the man's head. This is the account which most writers
give of the transaction, and it is that which Cicero introduces Cato
as relating in his dialogue "On Old Age;" but Livy says that the man
who was put to death was a Gaulish deserter, and that Lucius did not
employ a servant, but slew him with his own hand, and this is the
version which Cato has followed in his written account of the matter.
When Cato discussed what took place at this wine party, Lucius
endeavoured to deny it, but on being challenged to state exactly what
happened he refused to answer. He was most justly condemned to lose
his right as a senator; but afterwards, when some spectacle was being
witnessed in the theatre, he walked past the place reserved for men of
consular rank, and sat down in the humblest seat of all, which so
moved the people to compassion, that they forced him by their clamour
to resume his former seat, thus as far as they were able reversing the
sentence upon him and condoning his offence.

Cato expelled another senator, who was thought likely to be soon
elected consul, named Manilius, because he had kissed his wife in the
daytime in the presence of his daughter. He himself said that his own
wife never embraced him except when it thundered loudly, and added by
way of joke, that he was happy when Jupiter was pleased to thunder.

XVIII. His conduct in depriving of his horse Lucius Scipio, the
brother of Scipio Africanus, a man who had been decreed a triumph, was
censured, as being merely prompted by private spite; as he seemed
merely to do it in order to insult Scipio Africanus after his death.
But what caused the greatest dissatisfaction were his restrictions on
luxury. This he could not attack openly, because it had taken such
deep root among the people, but he caused all clothes, carriages,
women's ornaments, and furniture, which exceeded fifteen hundred
drachmas in value to be rated at ten times their value and taxed
accordingly, as he thought that those who possessed the most valuable
property ought to contribute most largely to the revenues of the
state. In addition to this he imposed a tax on all citizens of three
copper ases for every thousand, in order that those who were burdened
with an excessive taxation on objects of luxury, when they saw
persons of frugal and simple habits paying so small a tax on the same
income, might cease from their extravagance. This measure gained him
the hatred of those who were taxed so heavily for their luxuries, and
of those who, to avoid excessive taxation, were obliged to give up
their luxuries. Most persons are as much irritated at losing the means
of displaying their wealth as at losing their wealth itself, and it is
in superfluities, not in necessaries, that wealth can be displayed.
This is what is said to have so much surprised Ariston the
Philosopher, that men should consider those persons fortunate who
possess what is superfluous, rather than those who possess what is
necessary and useful. Skopas the Thessalian also, when one of his
friends asked him for something which was not particularly useful to
him, and added, that he did not ask for anything necessary or useful,
answered, "Indeed, it is in these useless and superfluous things that
my wealth chiefly consists." For the desire of wealth is not connected
with any of our physical necessities, and is an artificial want
arising from too much regard for the opinion of the vulgar.

XIX. Cato paid no attention to those who blamed his conduct, and
proceeded to measures of still greater severity. He cut off the
water-pipes, by which water was conveyed from the public fountains
into private houses and gardens, destroyed all houses that encroached
upon the public streets, lowered the price of contracts for public
works, and farmed out the public revenues for the highest possible
rents. All this made him still more unpopular. Titus Flamininus and
his friends attacked him, and prevailed upon the Senate to annul the
contracts which he had made for the building of temples and the
construction of public works, on the ground that they were
disadvantageous to the state. They also encouraged the boldest of the
tribunes to prosecute him before the people, and to fine him two
talents. He likewise received violent opposition in the matter of the
basilica, or public hall, which he built at the public expense in the
forum below the senate house, and which was called the Basilica

In spite of all this, his censorship seems to have been wonderfully
popular with the Roman people. When they placed his statue in the
Temple of Hygieia, they did not enumerate his campaigns or triumphs in
the inscription on the base, but wrote what we may translate as
follows: "This statue was erected to Cato because, when Censor,
finding the state of Rome corrupt and degenerate, he, by introducing
wise regulations and virtuous discipline, restored it."

At one time Cato affected to despise those who took pleasure in
receiving honours of this kind, and used to say that while they plumed
themselves on being represented in brass or marble, they forgot that
the fairest image was that of himself which every citizen bore in his
heart. When any one expressed surprise at his not having a statue,
when so many obscure men had obtained that honour, he answered, "I had
rather that men should ask why I have no statue, than that they should
ask why I have one." A good citizen, he said, ought not even to allow
himself to be praised, unless the state were benefited thereby. He has
glorified himself by recording that when men were detected in any
fault, they would excuse themselves by saying that they must be
pardoned if they did anything amiss, for they were not Catos: and that
those who endeavoured clumsily to imitate his proceedings were called
left-handed Catos. Also he states that the Senate looked to him in
great emergencies as men in a storm look to the pilot, and that when
he was not present, they frequently postponed their more important
business. This indeed is confirmed by other writers: for he had great
influence in Rome on account of his virtuous life, his eloquence, and
his great age.

XX. He was a good father and a good husband, and was in his private
life an economist of no ordinary kind, as he did not despise
money-making or regard it as unworthy of his abilities. For this
reason I think I ought to relate how well he managed his private
affairs. He married a wife who was well born, though not rich; for he
thought that though all classes might possess equally good sense, yet
that a woman of noble birth would be more ashamed of doing wrong, and
therefore more likely to encourage her husband to do right. He used to
say that a man who beat his wife or his children laid sacrilegious
hands on the holiest of things. He also said that he had rather be a
good husband than a great statesman, and that what he especially
admired in Sokrates the Philosopher was his patience and kindness in
bearing with his ill-tempered wife and his stupid children. When his
son was born, he thought that nothing except the most important
business of state ought to prevent his being present while his wife
washed the child and wrapped it in swaddling clothes. His wife suckled
the child herself; nay, she often gave her breast to the children of
her slaves, and so taught them to have a brotherly regard for her own

As soon as he was able to learn, Cato himself taught him his letters,
although he had a clever slave named Chilon, who taught many children
to read. He himself declares that he did not wish a slave to reprove
his son or pull his ears because he was slow at learning. He taught
the boy to read, and instructed him also in the Roman law and in
bodily exercises; not confining himself to teaching him to hurl the
javelin, to fight in complete armour, and to ride, but also to use his
fists in boxing, to endure the extremes of heat and cold, and to swim
through swiftly-flowing and eddying rivers. He tells us that he
himself wrote books on history with his own hands in large letters,
that the boy might start in life with a useful knowledge of what his
forefathers had done, and he was as careful not to use an indecenr
expression before his son as he would have been before the vestal
virgins. He never bathed with him; which indeed seems to have been
customary at Rome, as even fathers-in-law scrupled to bathe naked
before their sons-in-law. In later times, however, the Romans learned
from the Greeks the habit of bathing naked, and have taught the Greeks
to do so even in the presence of women.

While Cato was engaged in this great work of forming his son's
character and completing his education he found him eager to learn,
and able to make great progress from his natural ability: but he
appeared so weak and delicate that his father was obliged to relax the
stern simplicity of his own life in his favour, and allow him some
indulgences in diet. The young man, although so weakly, yet proved
himself a good soldier in the wars, and distinfuished himself greatly
in the battle in which Æmilius Paulus defeated King Perseus.
Afterwards, upon the same day, he either had his sword struck from his
hand or let it fall from weakness, and in his grief at the loss got
together some of his friends and prevailed upon them again to charge
the enemy. With great exertions they succeeded in clearing a space,
and at length discovered his sword under a great heap of arms and
corpses of friends and foes alike which were piled upon it. Paulus,
the commander-in-chief, was much pleased with the youth's eagerness to
regain his sword, and sent a letter to Cato in which he spoke in the
highest terms of the courage and honourable feeling which he had
shown. He afterwards married Tertia, the sister of Scipio, and had the
gratification of pleasing his father as much as himself by thus
allying himself with one of the noblest families in Rome. Thus was
Cato rewarded for the care which he had bestowed upon his son's

XXI. He possessed a large number of slaves, and when captives were for
sale he always purchased those who were young, and who, like colts or
puppies, could be taught and trained to their duties. None of them
ever entered any house but his own, unless sent thither by Cato or by
his wife: and if they were asked what Cato was doing, they always
answered that they did not know. His rule was, that a slave ought
either to be doing his business or to be asleep; and he greatly
preferred good sleepers, as he thought that they were more easy
tempered than wakeful persons, and also that men who had slept well
were better able to work than those who had lain awake. Knowing that
love affairs lead slaves into mischief more than anything else, he
permitted them to consort with his own female slaves at a fixed price,
but forbade them to have anything to do with other women.

Cato in his earlier days, being a poor man, and always employed in
service in the field, never complained of any thing that he ate, and
thought it most disgraceful to quarrel with his servant for not having
pleased his palate. Subsequently, however, as he became richer, he
used to invite his friends and colleagues to dinner, and after the
repast was wont to punish with the scourge those servants who had made
mistakes or cooked the food badly. He always endeavoured to establish
some quarrel amongst his slaves, so that they might plot against one
another, instead of combining against himself; and when any of them
appeared to have committed any crime deserving to be punished by
death, the offender was formally tried, and if found guilty, was put
to death in the presence of all his fellow-servants.

As Cato grew more eager to make money, he declared that farming was
more an amusement than a source of income, and preferred investing his
money in remunerative undertakings, such as marshes that required
draining, hot springs, establishments for washing and cleaning
clothes, land which would produce an income by pasturage or by the
sale of wood, and the like, which afforded him a considerable revenue,
and one which, as he said, not Jupiter himself could injure, meaning
that he was not dependent upon the weather for his income, as farmers
are. He also used to deal in marine assurance, which is thought to be
a most dangerous form of investment, which he managed in the following
manner. For the sake of security he made those who wished to borrow
money form themselves into an association of fifty persons,
representing as many ships, and held one share in the undertaking
himself, which was managed by his freedman Quintio, who himself used
to sail in the ships of the association and transact their mercantile

He used to lend money to his slaves, if they desired it. They used
with the money to buy young slaves, teach them a trade at Cato's
expense for a year, and then dispose of them. Many of these Cato
retained in his own service, paying the price offered by the highest
bidder, and deducting from it the original cost of the slave. When
endeavouring to encourage his son to act in a similar manner, he used
to say that it was not the part of a man, but of a lone woman, to
diminish one's capital; and once, with an excessive exaggeration, he
said that the most glorious and godlike man was he who on his death
was found to have earned more than he inherited.

XXII. When he was an old man, Karneades the academic, and Diogenes
the stoic philosopher, came as ambassadors to Rome on the part of the
Athenians, to beg that they might not be forced to pay a fine of five
hundred talents which had been imposed upon them in consequence of an
action at law, brought against the Athenians by the people of Oropus,
before the people of Sikyon as judges, having been allowed to go
against them by default. Such of the Roman youths as had any taste for
literature frequented the society of these men, and took great
interest in hearing their discussions. They were especially delighted
with Karneades, a man of great and recognised ability, who obtained
large and enthusiastic audiences at his lectures, and filled the whole
city with his fame. Nothing was talked of except how a single Greek
with wonderful powers of eloquence and persuasion had so bewitched the
youth of Rome that they forsook all other pleasures, and plunged
wildly into philosophic speculations. The greater part of the citizens
were well pleased with this, and looked on with great satisfaction at
their sons' study of Greek literature, and their intimacy with such
celebrated men; but Cato, when the taste for philosophy first sprang
up in Rome, was vexed at it, and feared that the young men might
become more eager to gain distinction by fluent speaking than by
warlike exploits. However, when the fame of the philosophers
increased, and a distinguished man, Caius Acilius, at the general
request, translated their first lectures to the Senate, Cato decided
that the philosophers must at once be conducted with all due honours
out of the city. He came to the Senate and made a speech, in which he
blamed them for having allowed an embassy to remain so long at Rome
without accomplishing its purpose, although nothing was easier than
for it to gain its point. He called upon them therefore, to decide as
soon as possible and come to a vote upon the matter about which this
embassy was come, in order that these philosophers might return to
their schools and instruct the young men of Greece, while those of
Rome might, as before, give their attention to the laws and the

XXIII. Cato acted thus, not as some writers imagine, from any private
quarrel with Karneades, but because he disliked the philosophy
altogether, and from a feeling of patriotism, regarded all Greek
literature and methods of education with hatred and contempt. He used
to say that Sokrates was a wordy and dangerous man, who endeavoured in
his own way to make himself supreme in Athens, by destroying the best
of the national customs and teaching the citizens to hold opinions at
variance with the laws. He ridiculed Isokrates as a teacher of
rhetoric, saying that his disciples stayed with him so long learning
their profession, that they were only able to practice what they had
learned in the court where Minos sat as judge in the next world. In
his endeavours to dissuade his son from the study of Greek literature,
he abused the privileges of old age so far as to utter a prophecy that
the Romans would ruin their empire by too intimate an acquaintance
with the arts of Greece. Time, however, has proved this to be a mere
empty slander, seeing that since then Rome has risen to a wonderful
height of power and glory, and yet is thoroughly familiar with Greek
writings and studies. Cato not only disliked the Greek philosophers,
but also looked with suspicion on the Greek physicians who then
practised at Rome. He had heard some story about Hippokrates, who,
when the king of Persia offered him a large sum of money if he would
come to Persia, answered that he never would give his services to
barbarians who were the enemies of Greece. Cato used to say that all
Greek physicians had sworn an oath to act like Hippokrates, and warned
his son never to have any dealings with any of them. He himself had a
book full of recipes, according to which he used to physick and
regulate the diet of any who fell sick in his house, being careful
never to allow the patient to fast, but making him eat salad, with
ducks, pigeons, and hares, which he said were light food, and suitable
for sick persons, except that it often happened that those who ate of
them suffered from nightmares. He used to declare that by following
this regimen, he kept both himself and all his household in perfect

XXIV. He seems to have been justly rewarded for his quackery, for he
lost both his wife and his son by sickness. He himself, however,
being of an iron constitution, made a second marriage, in spite of his
advanced age, being led into it by the following circumstances. After
the death of his wife he arranged a marriage between his son and the
daughter of Æmilius Paulus, who was the sister of Scipio. He himself
meanwhile solaced himself by an intrigue with a maid-servant who
visited him by stealth. However, in a small house with a
daughter-in-law in it this could not be kept secret; and one day when
this woman was insolently swaggering into his father's bedchamber,
young Cato was observed by the old man to glance at her with bitter
hatred and then turn away in disgust. As soon as Cato perceived that
his conduct vexed his children, he said not a word, but went into the
forum with his friends, as was his wont. Here one Salonius, who was
one of his under-secretaries, met him and began to pay his respects to
him, when Cato asked him in a loud voice whether he had provided a
husband for his daughter. On the man's replying that he had not, and
would not presume to do so without consulting him, Cato replied,
"Well, I, by Jupiter, have found a very suitable person to marry her,
unless his age be any objection: for he is very passable in all
respects except that he is very old." As Salonius upon this bade him
carry out his intention and marry the girl to whomsoever he pleased,
seeing that she was his client[31] and he was her patron, Cato without
a moment's delay told him that he wished to marry the girl himself.
This proposal at first, as might be expected, astonished the
secretary, who had thought that a man at Cato's time of life was very
unlikely to marry, and had never dreamed that his humble family would
be allied with a house which could boast of consulates and triumphs;
but as he saw that Cato was in earnest he gladly accepted his offer.
While the preparations for the marriage were in progress, young Cato,
taking his relatives with him, went and inquired of his father whether
he had reproached or annoyed him in any way, that he was putting a
mother-in-law over him. Cato at this question cried out aloud, "Hush,
my son; I approve of all that you have done, and find no fault with
you: I only desire to leave behind me more sons of my race, and more
citizens to serve the state." It is said that this remark was first
made by Peisistratus, the despot of Athens, when, although he had sons
grown up, he married Timonassa of Argos, by whom we are told that he
had two sons, Iophon and Thessalus. Cato also had a son by his second
marriage, whom he named Salonius after his mother. His eldest son died
during his prætorship. Cato often mentions him in his writings as
having been a brave and good man, but is said to have borne his loss
with philosophic resignation, and to have taken as keen an interest in
politics as before. He did not, as was afterwards done by Lucius
Lucullus or Metellus Pius, abandon public life when he grew old, and
think that it was a burden to take part in politics; still less did he
imitate Scipio Africanus, who some years before had proudly turned his
back on the people who grudged him the glory he had won, and spent the
rest of his life in ease and retirement. Some one is said to have told
Dionysius of Syracuse that an absolute monarchy is the best thing for
a man to die in, and so Cato seemed to think that political life was
the best for him to grow old in, while he amused himself in his
leisure moments by writing and farming.

XXV. He compiled works on various subjects, especially on history.
Farming he applied himself to when very young, on account of his
poverty, for he himself tells us that he had only two sources of
income, farming and frugality. In later life he derived both amusement
and instruction from watching the operations of agriculture, and he
has written a farmer's manual, in which there is even an account of
how to cook cakes and preserve fruits, so desirous was he to show a
thorough knowledge of every subject. His table was never so well
served as when he was in the country; for he used to invite all his
friends and acquaintances from the neighbourhood, and make himself
very agreeable to them, as he was a pleasant companion not only to men
of his own age, but also to the young, having in the course of his
long life seen and heard from others much that was interesting and
curious. He regarded the table as the best means of forming
friendships, and when dining used to praise the good without stint,
but never would allow the names of worthless men to be mentioned,
either by way of praise or blame, at his entertainments.

XXVI. The last of his political acts is said to have been the
destruction of Carthage. This was actually brought to pass by Scipio
the Younger, but it was chiefly owing to the counsels of Cato that the
war was begun. His reason for insisting on its destruction was this.
He was sent on a mission to Africa to investigate the grounds of a
quarrel which existed between the Carthaginians and Masinissa, the
king of the Numidians. Masinissa had always been the friend of Rome,
whereas the Carthaginians, after their defeat by Scipio, had been
subjected to hard conditions, having lost their sovereignty over the
neighbouring tribes, and having been compelled to pay a large sum as
tribute to Rome. Cato, however, found the city, not, as the Romans
imagined it to be, crushed by its recent overthrow, but full of young
men, overflowing with wealth, well provided with arms and munitions of
war, and, as may be expected, full of warlike spirit. He concluded
that it was no time for the Romans to arbitrate about the grievances
of Masinissa and his Numidians, but that, unless they at once
destroyed a city which bore them an undying hatred and which had
recovered its strength in an incredibly short space of time, they
would have as much to fear from Carthage as ever. He quickly returned
home, and pointed out to the Senate that the former defeats and
misfortunes suffered by the Carthaginians had not really broken their
strength so much as they had dissipated their overweening
self-confidence, and that in the late war they had not lost so much in
strength as they had gained in experience and skill. Their present
difference with the Numidians was, he urged, merely a prelude to an
attack upon Rome, with which city they kept up the fiction of a peace
which would soon upon a suitable opportunity be exchanged for war.

XXVII. After these words it is said that Cato threw down in the senate
house some ripe figs which he had brought on purpose; and when the
senators admired their size and beauty, he remarked that "the country
which produced this fruit is only three days' sail distant from Rome."
Another and a more violent method of forcing the Romans to attack
them was his habit, when giving his opinion on any subject whatever,
to append the words, "And I also am of opinion that Carthage must he
destroyed." On the other hand, Publius Scipio, called Nasica, used to
end all his speeches with the words, "And I further am of opinion that
Carthage should be left alone." Scipio's reason for this was that he
perceived that the lower classes in Rome, elated by success, were
becoming difficult for the Senate to manage, and practically forced
the State to adopt whatever measures they chose. He thought that to
have this fear of Carthage kept constantly hanging over them would be
a salutary check upon the insolence of the people, and he thought that
although Carthage was too weak to conquer the Romans, yet that it was
too strong to be despised by them. Cato, on the other hand, thought it
a dangerous thing that, at a time when the Romans were giddy and drunk
with power, they should leave in existence a city which always had
been important, and which now, sobered by defeat, was biding its time
and lying in wait for a favourable opportunity to avenge itself. He
argued that it was better to set the Romans free from any fear of
foreign states, in order that they might be able to devote themselves
uninterruptedly to the task of political reform.

These are said to have been Cato's reasons for urging his countrymen
to begin the third and last Punic war. He died as soon as the war was
begun, leaving a prophecy that it would be finished by a young man who
was then serving as military tribune, and who had given remarkable
proofs of courage and generalship. Cato, on hearing of his exploits is
said to have quoted Homer's line--

     "He alone has solid wisdom; all the rest are shadows vain."

This opinion Scipio soon confirmed by his actions.

Cato left one son by his second wife, who, as has been said, was named
Salonius, and one grandson, the child of his eldest son who was dead.
Salonius died during his prætorship, but his son Marcus became consul.
This man was the grandfather of Cato the Philosopher, who was one of
the foremost men of his day in courage and ability.


[Footnote 26: Cf. Livy, xxix. ch. 19, _sqq_.]

[Footnote 27: See vol. i., 'Life of Themistokles,' ch. x.]

[Footnote 28: Lictors were attendants granted to Roman magistrates as
a mark of official dignity. See vol. i., 'Life of Romulus,' ch. xxvi.]

[Footnote 29: Spain was divided by the Romans into two provinces, of
which this out was that which was nearer to Rome.]

[Footnote 30: The inhabitants of the town of Firmum, in Picenum; now

[Footnote 31: On the nature of these relations, see 'Smith's Dict. of
Ant.,' s.v.]


Now that we have related all the important events of each of these
men's lives, it will be seen that the points in which they differ are
very trifling when compared with those in which they agree. If,
however, we are to take each of their qualities separately, as one
would in comparing two speeches or two pictures, we observe that they
both agree in having begun life in a humble station, and having won
political distinction and power by sheer ability and force of
character. It is true that Aristeides rose to power at a period when
Athens was poor, and when the orators and generals whom he attacked
were men whose means were little superior to his own; for the men of
greatest incomes at that time were assessed as having five hundred
bushels of wet or dry produce a year, while the next class, that of
the knights, had three hundred, and the lowest, or those who could
afford to keep a yoke of oxen, had only two hundred. Cato, on the
other hand, came from an obscure village and a rustic mode of life,
and boldly launched himself upon the turbid sea of Roman politics,
although the days of Curius, Fabricius and Atilius were long past, and
Rome was not accustomed to find her magistrates and party leaders in
labouring men fresh from the plough or the workshop, but in men of
noble birth and great wealth, who canvassed extensively, and bribed
heavily; while the populace, insolent with the consciousness of power,
were growing ripe for a revolt against the governing class.

It was a very different thing for Aristeides to have only Themistokles
for an antagonist, a man of no birth or fortune (for it is said that
he only possessed between three and five talents when he first
embarked on politics) and for Cato to contend for the mastery with
men like Scipio Africanus, Sergius Galba, and Titus Quintius
Flamininus, with nothing to help him but his eloquent voice and his
good cause.

II. Furthermore, Aristeides, both at Marathon and at Platæa, acted as
general with nine colleagues, while Cato was elected one of the two
consuls and afterwards one of the two censors, though there were many
other candidates for both offices. Aristeides never conspicuously
distinguished himself, as the credit of the victory at Marathon
belongs to Miltiades, and that of Salamis to Themistokles, while
Herodotus tells us that Pausanias obtained the most glorious success
of all at Platæa, and even the second place is disputed with
Aristeides by Sophanes, Ameinias, Kallimachus, and Kynægyrus, all of
whom won great glory in those battles. On the other hand, Cato not
only when consul gained the greatest credit, both by his wise conduct,
and his personal prowess in the Spanish war, but, when at Thermopylæ
he was acting as tribune under another person's command as consul,
contributed mainly to winning the victory by his flank movement, by
which he established himself in the rear of Antiochus while that
prince was intent upon the enemy in his front. This victory, which was
so manifestly due to Cato, had the important result of driving the
Asiatic troops out of Greece back to their own country, and so of
preparing the way for Scipio's subsequent invasion of Asia.

Neither of them were ever defeated in battle, but in political matters
Aristeides was overcome by his rival Themistokles, who drove him into
exile by ostracism, while Cato held his own against all the greatest
and most influential men in Rome to the end of his life without once
being overthrown by them. He was often impeached, and always
acquitted, while he frequently succeeded in his impeachments of
others, using, both as a bulwark to defend himself and as a weapon to
attack others, his power of speaking in public, which indeed is a
quality more to be relied upon than good fortune to protect a man from
suffering wrong. Antipater, in the account which he wrote of the
philosopher Aristotle after his death, observes that besides his
other qualities and accomplishments this man had the power of

III. It is generally admitted that political virtue is the highest to
which a man can aspire, and of this, most think domestic virtue to be
a very important part; for as a city is merely a collection of houses,
the public virtue of the state must be increased if it contain many
well-regulated households. Lykurgus, when he banished silver and gold
from Sparta, and gave his countrymen useless iron money, did not wish
to discourage good household management among them, but he removed the
dangerous seductions of wealth out of their reach, in order that they
all might enjoy a sufficiency of what was useful and necessary. He
saw, what no other legislator appears to have seen, that the real
danger to a commonwealth arises from the poor and desperate rather
than from the excessively rich.

Now we have seen that Cato was as well able to manage his household as
to govern the state; for he improved his fortune and became a teacher
of household management and husbandry to others, by collecting much
useful information on these matters. On the other hand, Aristeides
made his poverty a reproach to justice, which by his example was made
to seem a ruinous virtue which brought men to want, and was totally
useless to those who practised it. Yet the poet Hesiod, when
encouraging men to act justly and manage their household affairs well,
blames idleness as the origin of injustice, and the same idea is well
stated in Homer's lines:--

                       "Work was never my delight,
    Nor household cares, that breed up children bright;
    But ever loved I ships with banks of oars,
    And arrows keen, and weapons for the wars,"

where we see that the same men neglect their duties at home, and gain
their living by injustice and piracy abroad. The physicians tell us
that oil is most useful, outwardly used, and most harmful when taken
inwardly; but it is not true of the just man that he is most useful to
his friends, but useless to himself. It seems to me to be a blot on
Aristeides' fame, if it be true that he could not even provide money
for his daughters' dowry or for his own funeral expenses. The family
of Cato for four generations, supplied Rome with prætors and consuls,
for his grandchildren, and their children too, all rose to the highest
offices in the state; while the hopeless poverty of Aristeides, though
he was the foremost man of his time in Greece, reduced some of his
family to the disreputable profession of interpreting dreams, and
forced others to live on public charity, putting it quite out of their
power to emulate the glorious actions of their ancestor.

IV. Some, indeed, may dispute this; for it is true that poverty is no
disgrace in itself, but only when it is a proof of indolence,
extravagance, or folly. The poverty of a laborious, upright, temperate
statesman combines well with his other virtues, and shows true
greatness of mind: for a man whose attention is given to little
things, can never succeed in doing great ones; nor can a man help
others if he is in need of help himself. A statesman requires, not
wealth, but contentment, in order that his attention may not be
diverted from public affairs by his own cravings for useless luxuries.
God alone is entirely without wants, and we approach nearest to the
divine ideal when we can reduce our wants to the fewest possible. Just
as a healthy man requires neither excess of clothing or of food, so a
man's life and that of his family, if properly regulated, can be
maintained at a trifling cost. His income, however, must exactly tally
with his requirements; for we cannot call that man contented who earns
much, and spends little. He is a foolish man if he troubles himself to
amass what he cannot enjoy; while he must be a miserable man if he is
able to enjoy the use of wealth, and yet through meanness of spirit
forbids himself its use.

I would willingly put this question to Cato: "If we ought to enjoy our
wealth, why do you make a virtue of simplicity of living when you are
a rich man? If, on the other hand, it is a noble thing, as no doubt it
is, to eat common bread, to drink the same wine as our servants and
farm labourers do, and not to want fine clothes or comfortable houses,
then Aristeides and Epameinondus, Manius Curius and Caius Fabricius
were to be applauded for their neglect of the wealth, whose use they
rejected." Surely it was not necessary for a man who thought turnips
made a delicious meal, and who used to boil them himself while his
wife baked the bread, to write so much about how to save a penny, and
how a man might most quickly make a fortune. The great advantage of
simplicity and contentment is, that it prevents our wishing for
superfluities, or even thinking about them. Aristeides, when cited as
a witness during the trial of Kallias, is said to have observed that
those who were poor against their will, ought to be ashamed of it, but
that those who, like himself, were poor from their own choice, gloried
in their poverty. It would be absurd to suppose that the poverty of
Aristeides was not voluntary, when, without doing any criminal act, he
might by stripping the body of one dead Persian, or by plundering one
tent, have made himself a rich man. But enough of this.

V. As to their campaigns, those of Cato added but little to the
already vast empire of Rome, while Aristeides was present at Marathon,
Salamis, and Platæa, the most glorious of all Grecian victories. We
cannot compare Antiochus with Xerxes, nor the destruction of the walls
of the Spanish cities by Cato, with the tremendous slaughter of the
barbarians by the Greeks, both on sea and land. Aristeides was present
at every action of importance, although he gave up his share of glory
and rewards, even as he did with gold and silver, to those who needed
them more than himself. I cannot blame Cato for always glorifying
himself and claiming the first place for himself, although he says in
one of his books that it is absurd for a man either to praise or to
blame himself; still I think that he who does not even wish for the
praises of others, is a more perfect character than he who is always
exalting himself. An indifference to popular applause does much to
soften the bitterness of political controversy, while on the other
hand a love of distinction often leads men to be ill-natured and
spiteful to others, a fault which Aristeides entirely avoided, and to
which Cato was peculiarly liable. Aristeides saved Athens by
supporting the authority of Themistokles on several critical
occasions, and even acting as his subordinate; while Cato by his
opposition, nearly ruined Scipio's famous expedition to Carthage, in
which he defeated the hitherto invincible Hannibal. Nor did he cease
his intrigues against Scipio until by calumnious and false accusations
he drove him out of Rome, and stigmatized his brother with the
disgraceful charge of embezzling the public money.

VI. Self-denial, upon which Cato has bestowed such lavish praise, was
practised in its purest and brightest form by Aristeides, while Cato
seems to have forfeited all claim to this virtue by his unsuitable and
unseasonable second marriage. It could not be to his honour, when he
was of such a great age, to marry the daughter of his own servant, a
man who acted as a public clerk, and to bring her into the house to
act as mother-in-law to his son, who was now himself grown up and
married. Whether he acted thus from natural inclination, or to spite
his son for his behaviour about his mistress, the marriage and the
motives which led to it are equally discreditable to him. The
sarcastic explanation of it which he gave to his son is utterly
untrue; for had he wished to beget other children as noble as his son,
he ought to have married a well-born lady at once, and not to have
been satisfied with a low intrigue until it was detected, and then to
have chosen as his father-in-law, the man whom he could most easily
influence, rather than some one whose alliance would bring him honour
and advantage.


I. In the city of Mantinea there was a citizen named Kleander, of one
of the first families, and of great influence. Nevertheless he was so
unfortunate as to be forced to leave his native city, and take refuge
in Megalopolis, to which he was chiefly attracted by Kraugis, the
father of Philopœmen, a man eminent in every respect, and an especial
private friend of Kleander. While Kraugis lived, Kleander wanted for
nothing, and after his death endeavoured to repay the debt which he
owed him by devoting himself to the education of his orphan son, just
as Homer tells us that Achilles was nurtured by the exile Phœnix. The
child, who always was of a noble and commanding spirit, grew under his
care into a youth of great promise. As he came near to manhood Ekdemus
and Megalophanes, two citizens of Megalopolis, took charge of his
education. These men had studied in the Academy with Arkesilaus, and
more than any others brought the lessons of philosophy to bear upon
politics and the daily affairs of life. They freed their own country
of the despot Aristodemus by secretly contriving his assassination,
drove out the despot Nikokles from Sikyon, with the help of Aratus,
and, at the request of the people of Kyrene, whose state was a prey to
revolution, they went to that country and restored order and respect
for the laws. They themselves, however, reckoned their most important
work to have been the education of Philopœmen, because by bringing him
up in the precepts of true philosophy they made him a benefactor to
all Greece. And truly Greece loved him exceedingly, as the last great
man born of her old age, after so many great and famous men of former
times. A Roman speaking in his praise called him the last of the
Greeks, as though he thought that Greece had never after him produced
any son worthy of herself.

II. His appearance was not repulsive, as some think; for we can see
the statue of him which exists at Delphi at this day. The mistake of
his Megarian hostess seems to have arisen from his good-nature and
simplicity. She, when she heard that the commander-in-chief of the
Achæans was coming to her house, was in a great state of excitement
about the preparation of dinner, her husband happening to be away.
Meanwhile, Philopœmen entered, dressed in a coarse cloak, and she,
supposing him to be a servant sent on in advance, ordered him to help
her to get things ready. He at once threw off his cloak and began to
split up firewood. While he was thus engaged his friend the master of
the house came in, and seeing him, said, "What is this that you are
doing, Philopœmen?" "Why," answered he in the Doric dialect, "I am
suffering for my ugly face." Titus, also, when jesting upon his bodily
shape, said, "Philopœmen, what fine hands and legs you have; but you
have no belly," as indeed he had a very small waist. However, the jest
was directed more against his power, for though he had plenty of good
infantry and cavalry he was frequently in great distress for money to
pay them. These are the common anecdotes which are current about

III. His love of distinction was not entirely unmixed with feelings of
rivalry and passion. He desired to emulate the fame of Epameinondas,
but though he imitated that great man in energy, good sense, and
contempt of money, yet he was unable in political struggles to
maintain his calm unruffled good-nature, but was often betrayed by his
fiery temper into sallies more befitting a soldier than a statesman.
Indeed, from a child he had always been fond of war, and eagerly
devoted himself to soldier-like exercises, such as fighting in
complete armour and riding on horseback. He was thought to be a good
wrestler, and was invited by his friends to contend with them in that
sport, but he asked them whether the practice would not impair his
efficiency as a soldier, when they answered truly that the body and
the life of an athlete differs from that of a soldier in every
respect, more particularly in diet and exercise. The athlete takes
long sleep, frequent meals, regular exercise and intervals of rest,
being likely to be put out of condition by the least change of his
accustomed routine, while the life of a soldier makes him accustomed
to all kinds of change and diversity of life, especially to enduring
hunger and want of sleep. On learning this Philopœmen not only himself
avoided wrestling and ridiculed it, but when he was in command of an
army took every means in his power to bring every kind of athletic
exercise into contempt, as likely to unfit the best men's bodies for
the most important struggles in battle.

IV. On leaving his schoolmasters he took part in the incursion made by
his fellow citizens into the Laconian territory for the purpose of
plunder. In these raids it was his wont always to be first in the
attack, and last in the retreat. In time of peace he would exercise
his body, and make it both swift and strong, either by hunting or by
tilling the ground. He possessed a fine estate about twenty furlongs
from the city: to this he would walk after his morning or evening
meal, and sleep there on any bed he could find, like one of the farm
labourers. Then he would rise early, help the vine-dressers or
cattle-herds to do their work, and, returning to town, take part in
public business. The profits arising from the plunder gained in the
forays he used to spend on horses, arms, and the redeeming of
captives, while he endeavoured to increase his income by the skilful
cultivation of his farm, considering the most just way of making
money, and his strict duty to be, so to manage his fortune as to avoid
the temptation of wronging others. He used to listen to conversation
and to read treatises upon philosophy, yet not all, but only those
which he thought would teach him to be virtuous. He also devoted much
time to reading those passages of Homer which stir up and excite manly
courage, His other reading consisted chiefly of Evangelus's treatise
on military tactics, and of the history of Alexander the Great; but he
always thought that reading, unless it led to action, was a useless
waste of time. In his studies of tactics he used to disregard the
diagrams in the books and consider what could be done in the field
itself, observing the slopes and inequalities of the ground, the
direction of brooks and water-courses, and the effect which they would
have upon a body of troops advancing in line or in column. These
reflections he was wont to make during his walks, and to exercise the
minds of his companions by questions about them; for he devoted his
whole mind to the study of military matters, regarding war as the
widest arena for the display of virtue, utterly despising those who
were not soldiers, as useless members of society.

V. When he was thirty years old Kleomenes, the king of the
Lacedæmonians, made a night attack upon Megalopolis, forced his way
through the guard on the wall and reached the market-place. Philopœmen
came to the rescue, but was not able to dislodge the enemy, although
he assaulted them with the greatest spirit. However, he gained time
for the citizens to leave the town, while he bore the whole brunt of
the attack of Kleomenes, so that at last he had great difficulty in
extricating himself, as he had lost his horse and was wounded. The
citizens of Megalopolis escaped to Messene, whither Kleomenes sent to
offer them their town and territory again. Philopœmen, when he saw his
fellow-citizens eager to embrace this offer, restrained them from
accepting it by pointing out that Kleomenes did not really offer them
their city back again, but meant to get the citizens as well into his
power, in order to be able to hold it more securely for the future;
because he could not remain there guarding naked walls and empty
houses, but would be compelled to leave them and go his way. By these
arguments he withheld the Megalopolitans from coming to terms, but
gave Kleomenes a pretext for destroying a great part of the city, and
carrying away a great booty from it.

VI. When King Antigonus some time after this joined the Achæan forces
in a campaign against Kleomenes, they came upon his army
advantageously posted so as to command the defiles near Sellasia.
Philopœmen was among the cavalry that day with his fellow-citizens,
and next to him were posted the Illyrians, numerous and warlike, who
covered the flank of the allies. Their orders were to remain in
reserve until they saw a red flag raised upon a pike by king
Antigonus on the other wing. The generals of the allies attacked the
Lacedæmonians with the Illyrian troops, but Eukleides, the brother of
Kleomenes, perceiving that by this movement the foot were completely
severed from the horse, sent the swiftest of his light-armed troops to
outflank them and cut them off. When this was done, and the Illyrians
were thrown into great disorder, Philopœmen saw that the cavalry could
charge the Lacedæmonian light troops with great effect, and pointed
this out to Antigonus's generals. Meeting with a scornful refusal, as
his reputation was not yet sufficiently great to warrant his
suggesting such a manœuvre, he collected his own fellow-countrymen and
charged with them alone. At the first onset he threw the light-armed
troops into confusion, and presently routed them with great slaughter.
Wishing to encourage the allies and to come more quickly to blows with
the retreating enemy, he dismounted, and with great difficulty,
encumbered by his heavy horseman's cuirass and accoutrements, pursued
over a rough piece of ground full of water-courses and precipitous
rocks. While struggling over these obstacles he was struck through
both thighs by a javelin with a strap attached to it, a wound which
was not dangerous, though the javelin struck him with such force as to
drive the iron head quite through. This wound for the time rendered
him helpless, as it bound both his legs as if with a chain, while the
strap made it hard to pull the javelin out again through the wound. As
his friends hesitated, not knowing what to do, while the battle now at
its height, excited his courage, and made him long to take part in it,
he violently strained one leg forward and the other back, so as to
break the javelin in the middle, after which the pieces were pulled
out. Being thus set free, he drew his sword, ran through the first of
the combatants and attacked the enemy, animating all his men and
setting them on fire with emulation. After the victory was won
Antigonus enquired of the Macedonians why the cavalry had charged
without orders. They answered that they were forced to charge against
their will by a young citizen of Megalopolis, who attacked on his own
account. Antigonus smiled, and answered, "That young man acted like a
veteran commander."

VII. Philopœmen, as may be supposed, gained great glory by this
action. Antigonus was eager to obtain his services, and offered him a
command and high pay, but he excused himself, knowing that his temper
would not endure to be under the orders of another man. Still, as he
could not be idle, he sailed for Crete to serve a campaign there, in
order to gain experience of war. He spent a considerable time there,
living amongst warlike, sober, and temperate men, and returned to the
Achæans with so great a reputation that they at once put him in
command of the knights. These horsemen, he found, were in the habit of
using any chance horses they could pick up when required for a
campaign, while in many cases they did not serve in person, but sent
substitutes. They were entirely without discipline or bravery, while
all this was passed over unnoticed by their commanders, because the
knights were the most influential men among the Achæans, and were able
to promote or degrade whom they pleased. Philopœmen, however, could
not allow this state of things to continue. He went round to each of
the cities of the Achæan League, and by personally appealing to the
young men's sense of honour, by punishment where it was necessary, and
by careful training, exercises, and contests among them before as many
spectators as possible, in a short time produced great efficiency and
military spirit. He made them quick at manœuvring in squadrons, and in
wheeling round and managing their horses, which is so valuable a
quality in cavalry soldiers, and taught the whole body to move with
ease at the will of one man. Once during a severe battle with the
Eleans and Ætolians on the banks of the river Larissa, Damophantus,
the commander of the Elean horse, rode furiously to attack Philopœmen.
He awaited Damophantus's onset, and with his spear thrust him from his
saddle. When he fell the Eleans at once turned and fled, to the great
glory of Philopœmen, who had proved himself as brave as the youngest
and as skilful as the oldest soldier, equally able to fight or to

VIII. The Achæan League was first organised by Aratus, who formed its
scattered and despicable cities into a noble and truly Greek
commonwealth; then, as in running streams, when first a few small
stones resist the flow of the water, soon much more is brought down by
the stream and lodged against them until a firm ground is formed; so
did the Achæans, by assisting some of the neighbouring cities and
freeing them from despots, and by uniting and incorporating others
with themselves, endeavour to combine the whole of Peloponnesus into
one single state, at a time when Greece was especially weak, having
lost all cohesion, each city relying solely on itself. While Aratus
lived they depended much on the Macedonians, courting first Ptolemy,
then Antigonus and Philip, who all were constantly interfering in the
affairs of Greece. But when Philopœmen came to command they already
felt themselves a match for the most powerful states, and no longer
paid their court to foreign patrons. Aratus, who was no soldier, had
effected most of his successes by suave diplomacy and personal
friendship with foreign princes, as we have written in his Life: but
Philopœmen, a brave and vigorous, and, what is more, an eminently
successful commander in his first essays, greatly raised the spirit
and the strength of the Achæans, by making them confident of victory
under his leadership.

IX. His first task was to alter the military equipment and arms of the
Achæans. They had hitherto used light shields, too narrow to protect
the body, and spears much smaller than the long Macedonian pike. This
light armament rendered them effective as skirmishers, but unable to
hold their own in close fighting. Their order of battle, too, was
loose and without cohesion, having neither the projecting pikes nor
the serried shields of the Macedonian phalanx, in consequence of which
they were easily thrust aside and routed. Philopœmen pointed this out
to them, and persuaded them to adopt the heavy shield and pike in
place of their light arms, to accoutre themselves with helmet,
corslet, and greaves, and to endeavour to move in a steady unbroken
mass instead of in a loose irregular skirmishing order. When he had
induced them to put on complete armour he raised their spirit by
telling them that they would be unconquerable, while he also effected
a most wholesome change in their luxurious habits of life. It was
impossible entirely to do away with their long-standing passion for
fine purple robes and tapestry, rich banquets, and furniture: but he
directed this love of finery to useful purposes, and soon brought them
all to retrench their private expenditure, and to take a pride in the
splendour of their military equipments. Their plate was sent to the
crucible, and employed to gild corslets, shields, and caparisons;
their public places were full of young men training chargers or
exercising themselves in arms, while the women were busy fitting
plumes to helmets, and ornamenting buff coats and military cloaks. The
sight of all this activity roused up their courage, and made them
eager for battle. In all other cases too much care for outward show
and display leads to effeminacy and luxury, because the pleasure which
our senses receive from these things blunt our better judgment, but in
military matters this is not so, for a splendid appearance under arms
increases men's courage; as Homer tells us that Achilles, when his new
arms were brought to him, was at once excited by a vehement desire to
make use of them. The youth, thus equipped, were incessantly exercised
and practised in their new manœuvres, which they performed with
zealous goodwill, being delighted with the close formation of the
phalanx, which seemed as though it could never be broken. They soon
began to move with ease in their heavy armour, priding themselves upon
its splendour, and longing to prove its value in battle against their
enemies. The Achæans at this time were at war with Machanidas the
despot of Lacedæmon, who had immense resources at his disposal, and
menaced the whole of Peloponnesus. As soon as news came that he had
invaded Arcadia and had reached Mantinea, Philopœmen with his army
marched rapidly to attack him. Both sides drew up their forces near
the city of Mantinea, and both brought into the field not only nearly
all their own countrymen, but also large bodies of foreign mercenary
troops. Machanidas began the battle by a charge of his mercenaries,
who routed the Tarentines and other light troops of the Achæans, but
then instead of moving at once to attack and overwhelm their main
body, hurried away in pursuit, leaving the Achæan phalanx standing
untouched. Philopœmen made light of the disaster which had happened
to the light troops, and, perceiving the fault which the enemy had
committed in leaving their heavy infantry unprotected, so that he had
an open plain over which to march against them, disregarded those
Lacedæmonians who were pursuing his own auxiliaries, and bore straight
down upon their main body, which he took in flank, without any cavalry
to protect it, or any general to give it orders, as the men did not
expect to be attacked, and imagined that the victory was already won
when they saw Machanidas so eager in the pursuit. Philopœmen broke and
routed them with great slaughter, four thousand men being said to have
perished, and then turned to encounter Machanidas, who was returning
with his mercenaries, and found his retreat cut off. A deep and wide
watercourse here divided the two leaders, the one of whom endeavoured
to pass it and escape, while the other tried to prevent this. They
looked no longer like two generals, but the despot seemed more like
some savage beast driven to bay by Philopœmen, that mighty hunter. At
length the despot spurred his horse, a fiery animal, to attempt the
leap. The horse gained the other bank with its fore feet, and was
struggling up it, when Simias and Polyænus, the constant companions
and aides-de-camp of Philopœmen, rode to attack him with levelled
lances. Philopœmen, however, came up with Machanidas before them.
Seeing that the despot's horse was rearing its head so as to protect
its master's body, he turned his own horse a little to one side, and,
seizing his lance firmly with both hands, drove it through his body
and cast him from his horse. It is in this posture that Philopœmen is
represented in the statue at Delphi, which was placed there by the
Achæans in token of their admiration of his courage and conduct on
that day.

XI. It is said that when the Greeks were assembled at the Nemean
Games, Philopœmen, who had been elected commander-in-chief for the
second time, and not long before had won his victory at Mantinea,
being at leisure during the festival displayed his phalanx to the
Greeks, with the troops drawn up in their serried array, and
manœuvring with quickness and precision. Afterwards, while the
musicians were contending for the prize in the theatre he entered it
accompanied by his young soldiers in their military cloaks and purple
uniform, all of them strong men in the prime of life, showing a modest
respect for their general, combined with a martial bearing due to
their many brave feats of arms. Just as they came into the theatre
Pylades the musician began to recite the 'Persians' of Timotheus

     "He wrought for Greece a noble work of freedom"

in a loud voice and with suitable solemnity. At this, all the
spectators turned their eyes upon Philopœmen and broke into joyous
applause, remembering the ancient glories of Greece, and feeling such
confidence in him as almost to recover the ancient spirit of their

XII. But just as horses like their accustomed rider, and if another
mounts them are scared and unmanageable, so the power of the Achæans
become feeble under any other general than Philopœmen. When they saw
him, the whole army rejoiced, and were filled with cheerful
confidence, well knowing that he was the only one of their generals
before whom the enemy always fled, terrified by his name, as, indeed,
appeared by their acts. For Philip king of Macedon, thinking that if
Philopœmen were put out of the way, the Achæans would become subject
to himself as they were before, sent men privately to Argos to
assassinate him: but his plot was disclosed, and he became an object
of universal hatred to the Greeks. The Bœotians too, when they were
besieging Megara and were expecting shortly to take it, retreated in
such hot haste that they actually left their scaling ladders planted
against the walls, in consequence of a rumour, which proved a false
one, that Philopœmen was coming to raise the siege and was close at
hand. When Nabis, who became despot over the Lacedæmonians after
Machanidas, by a sudden attack captured the town of Messene,
Philopœmen was not holding any office, but was a mere private citizen.
He could not prevail upon Lysippus, who was commander-in-chief of the
Achæans, to go to assist the Messenians, because the latter said that
the city must be lost if the enemy were inside the walls. Hereupon
Philopœmen went himself to the rescue with the men of his own city,
who did not delay for any formal vote to empower him to do so, but
followed him because he was born to command. When Nabis heard of his
approach he would not await his coming, but although he was in
possession of the city he marched out by the opposite gate with all
speed, thinking that he would be fortunate if he reached home safe, as
indeed he did. Thus was Messene delivered.

XIII. All these exploits of Philopœmen are without doubt glorious to
him; but he was much blamed for going a second time to Crete at the
request of the people of Gortyna, to act as their general, leaving his
own country to be attacked by Nabis, because he avoided the war at
home to gather unseasonable laurels abroad. Indeed, the citizens of
Megalopolis were so hard pressed at that period as to be forced to
live entirely within their walls, and grow corn in the very streets,
as they were quite cut off from their fields by the enemy, who was
encamped before the gates. Philopœmen, by his remaining beyond seas at
this time acting as general for the Cretans, gave his enemies an
opportunity of charging him with dishonourably shirking the war at
home. Some, however, said that since the Achæans had chosen other men
generals, Philopœmen, who had no office to fill, had a right to use
his leisure in acting as general to the people of Gortyna when they
begged him to do so. Indeed, his nature abhorred rest, and he desired
his courage and generalship to be in constant action, like everything
else belonging to him. This is clearly shown by his saying about king
Ptolemy. When some one praised that prince for carefully training his
army and exercising himself under arms every day, Philopœmen answered,
"Who can admire a king of Ptolemy's age who is still practising and
not performing." However, the citizens of Megalopolis were much vexed
by his conduct, which they considered to be that of a traitor, and
would have banished him had they not been restrained by the whole body
of the Achæans. They sent the general Aristænetus to Megalopolis, who,
although he was politically opposed to Philopœmen, would not allow
sentence of banishment to be passed against him. After this
Philopœmen, being treated with neglect and indifference by his
fellow-citizens, induced many of the outlying villages to rebel
against the city, telling them to say that they were not originally
made subject to it, and he himself openly took their part against his
own city when the matter was referred to the general council of the
Achæan league. But these things happened afterwards. At the time of
which we speak he carried on war in Crete with the Gortynians, not in
a simple straightforward manner, as one would expect a Peloponnesian,
and especially an Arcadian would do, but he adopted the Cretan
character, and by using all their subtle devices and ambushes against
themselves, proved that such contrivances are but child's play when
tried against a truly experienced general.

XIV. Returning to Peloponnesus with a great reputation from his Cretan
successes, he found Philip beaten by Titus Quintius, and Nabis at war
both with the Romans and the Achæans. He was at once elected general
to attack Nabis, and in a sea fight suffered the same misfortune as
Epameinondas, that is to say, he effected much less at sea than was
expected of a man of his courage and reputation.

Indeed some writers tell us that Epameinondas was unwilling that his
countrymen should taste the advantages of the sea, and fearing that,
as Plato says, they might from steady soldiers be transformed into
licentious wandering sailors, purposely returned from the coast of
Asia Minor and the islands without having effected anything.

Philopœmen, imagining that his knowledge of war on land would enable
him to fight equally well at sea, learned by experience how greatly
practice assists men's courage, and how much their strength is
increased by being trained to use it. Not only was he worsted in a
sea-fight through inexperience, but having selected an old ship, which
had once been a famous vessel, but now was forty years old, she leaked
so much as to endanger the lives of those on board. After the action,
finding that the enemy despised him, as though his ships had been
entirely driven from the sea, and that they were ostentatiously
besieging Gythium, he sailed straightway thither and found them quite
unprepared, and with their discipline relaxed in consequence of their
victory. He landed his men at night, burned the enemy's tents, and
slew many of them. A few days afterwards, being surprised by Nabis in
a mountainous spot, while all the Achæans gave themselves up for lost,
despairing of extricating themselves from such a difficult position,
Philopœmen, after a short survey of the country, proved that strategy
is the greatest of military qualities. He quietly and steadily changed
his front, manœuvred his army out of its disadvantageous position,
attacked the enemy, and completely routed them. Perceiving that the
fugitives did not make for the city, but scattered themselves all over
the country, which was hilly and wooded, full of torrents and
precipices, and impassable for cavalry, he made no pursuit, but
encamped before dark. As he conjectured that the enemy after their
rout would straggle back into the city by twos and threes under cover
of the darkness, he concealed many of the Achæans, armed with daggers,
in the rough ground near the city. By this stratagem Nabis's force
suffered great losses, for as they did not retreat in a body, but each
man as best he could, they fell into their foemen's hands at the city
gate like birds into a snare.

XV. Philopœmen gained so much glory by these exploits, and was so much
honoured by the Greeks wherever he appeared in public, that he roused
the jealousy of Flamininus, who thought that he, a consul of Rome, was
worthier of respect than a mere Arcadian, while he had moreover done
much more for Greece, having by one proclamation restored those
liberties of which Philip and his Macedonians had deprived it.
Flamininus put an end to the war with Nabis, who was shortly
afterwards assassinated by the Ætolians. As this event threw Sparta
into disorder, Philopœmen seized the opportunity, marched thither with
an army, and partly by persuasion, partly by force, prevailed upon the
city to join the Achæan league. This wonderfully raised his fame
throughout Greece, that he should have won over so famous and powerful
a city, for Sparta formed a most important member of the league. He
also gained the good will of the Lacedæmonian nobles, who hoped that
he would protect their newly-won liberty. They sold the house and
property of Nabis, and decreed that the money, amounting to a hundred
and twenty talents, should be presented to him by a deputation. On
this occasion Philopœmen showed himself to be a man of real virtue.
At the interview none of the Spartans liked to propose to him to
receive the money, but they excused themselves, and made his own
especial friend Timolaus undertake to do this. Timolaus, however, when
he reached Megalopolis, and living in the house of Philopœmen had an
opportunity of observing the noble simplicity of his character and his
lofty integrity, in the familiar intercourse of private life, dared
not mention the bribe, but gave some other excuse for his visit and
returned home. He was sent a second time, with the same result. On a
third visit he with great hesitation broached the subject. Philopœmen
listened to him without anger, and sent him back to the Spartans with
the advice that they should not corrupt their friends, whose services
they could obtain gratis, but keep their money to bribe those who
endeavoured to countermine their city in the public assembly of the
Achæan league, as, if muzzled in this way, they would cease to oppose
them. It was better, he added, to restrain the freedom of speech of
their enemies than that of their friends. So uncorrupt was he, and
inaccessible to bribes.

XVI. When Diophanes, the commander-in-chief of the Achæans,
endeavoured to punish the Lacedæmonians for a change in their policy,
and they by their resistance threw the whole of Peloponnesus into
confusion, Philopœmen tried to act as mediator, and to soothe the
anger of Diophanes, pointing out to him that at a time when the Romans
and king Antiochus with enormous forces were about to make Greece
their battle ground, a general ought to direct all his thoughts to
their movements, and to avoid any internal disturbance, willingly
accepting any apologies from those who did wrong. But as Diophanes
took no notice of him, but together with Flamininus invaded Laconia,
Philopœmen, disregarding the exact letter of the law, performed a most
spirited and noble action. He hurried to Sparta, and, though only a
private man, shut its gates in the faces of the commander-in-chief of
the Achæans and of the Roman consul, put an end to the revolutionary
movement there, and prevailed upon the city to rejoin the Achæan
league. Some time afterwards however, we are told by Polybius that
Philopœmen, when commander-in-chief, having some quarrel with the
Lacedæmonians, restored the exiles to the city, and put to death
eighty, or, according to Aristokrates, three hundred and fifty
Spartans. He also pulled down the walls of Sparta, and annexed a large
portion of its territory to Megalopolis, while he forced all those
persons who had been created citizens of Sparta under the rule of the
despots to leave the city and proceed to Achæa, except three hundred.
These, because they refused to obey him and leave Lacedæmon he sold
for slaves, and with the money, as a wanton insult, built a public
portico in Megalopolis. Moreover, in his wrath against the
Lacedæmonians, he did them a most cruel wrong, for he abolished the
Lycurgean system of education and forced them to educate their
children like those of the Achæans, because he saw that they never
would be humble-minded as long as they lived under the discipline of
Lycurgus. Thus was the haughty city of Sparta brought so low by its
misfortunes as to permit Philopœmen to cut, as it were, its very
sinews, and render it tame and crushed. Afterwards, however, the
citizens obtained permission from Rome to retire from the Achæan
confederation, upon which they restored their original constitution as
far as their great disasters permitted.

XVII. When the Romans were fighting king Antiochus in Greece,
Philopœmen was in a private station, but, seeing Antiochus lying idly
at Chalkis, wasting his time in unseasonable courtships and weddings,
while his Syrian troops, in great disorder and without officers to
control them, were scattered through the various Greek cities, living
in riotous debauchery, he was vexed at not being elected commander in
chief, and said that he envied the Romans their victory. "I," said he,
"if I had been in command, would have cut off the whole of Antiochus's
army in the taverns."

After the defeat of Antiochus the Romans began to tighten their hold
upon Greece, and to absorb the Achæan league. Many of the popular
leaders took their side, and the growing power of Rome was fated by
the divine blessing before long to become absolute in Greece.
Philopœmen, like a skilful pilot, struggling against a rough sea, was
often compelled to yield and give way for a time, yet as he was
utterly opposed to the Romans he did his best to induce the most
influential men to defend the liberties of Greece. Aristænetus of
Megapolis, a man of great influence with the Achæans, who urged them
in the public assembly not to oppose or to thwart the Romans in
anything, was listened to by Philopœmen for some time in silence,
until at length he was moved to exclaim, "My good sir, why be in such
a hurry to behold the end of Greece?" When Manius the Roman consul had
conquered Antiochus, he begged the Achæans to permit the Lacedæmonian
exiles to return. Titus Flamininus seconded this request, but
Philopœmen opposed it; not because he had any quarrel with the exiles,
but because he wished their restoration to be effected by himself and
the Achæans, of their own free will, not as a favour to Flamininus and
the Romans. Afterwards, when commander-in-chief, he himself restored
them. Thus did his high spirit make him impatient of control and

XVIII. When he was in his seventieth year, and eighth term of office
as commander-in-chief, he might reasonably expect to finish not only
his year of office, but also the rest of his life in peace; for just
as in human bodies as their strength wastes away the violence of their
diseases abates, so in the Greek states as their power failed their
quarrels gradually ceased. However some Nemesis overtook him, as it
does a too successful athlete just at the termination of his course.
It is said that when some persons in society were praising a man who
was thought to be a good general, Philopœmen said, "How can you think
that man worth consideration, who was taken by his enemy alive."

A few days after this Deinokrates of Messene, a personal enemy of
Philopœmen, and one who was generally disliked because of his wicked
and licentious life, caused Messene to revolt from the Achæan league,
and was announced to be marching upon a village named Kolonis.
Philopœmen was at this time lying ill with a fever in the city of
Argos, but on hearing this he proceeded at once to Megalopolis, a
distance of four hundred furlongs, in one day. From that city he set
out straightway with a body of cavalry, composed of the noblest
citizens, but mostly very young men, who were proud to serve as
volunteers under Philopœmen. They rode into the Messenian territory,
met Deinokrates near the hill of Evander, and put him to flight.
However as the Messenian frontier patrol of five hundred men suddenly
came up, the defeated body rallied again, and Philopœmen, fearing to
be surrounded, and wishing to be careful of the lives of his men,
retired into mountainous ground, himself protecting the rear, making
frequent charges, and drawing the whole attack of the enemy upon
himself. They did not dare to encounter him personally, but clamoured
and wheeled about at a distance. In his eagerness to save each one of
his young soldiers he ventured forward so often, to cover their
retreat, that at last he found himself alone in the midst of his
enemies. None of them dared to meet him, but pelted him with stones
and darts from a distance, so that he was with difficulty able to
guide his horse over the rocky and precipitous ground, and fatigued
the animal greatly.

His age was no hindrance to him, because of his habit of constant
exercise, but unluckily he was weak from his sickness, and wearied by
his long journey, so as to feel faint. His horse at length stumbling
threw him to the ground. He fell heavily on his head, and lay
speechless for some time, so that his enemies thought that he was
dead, and began to turn over his body and strip it. But when he raised
his head and opened his eyes they fell upon him in a body, tied his
hands behind his back, and led him away, jeering much at a man who
never even dreamed that he could have been so triumphed over by

XIX. The Messenians who were in the city, greatly excited at the news,
assembled at the gates. When they saw Philopœmen dragged along and
treated in a manner so unworthy of a man who had gained such glorious
victories, most of them felt compassion for him, and were moved to
tears as they reflected how uncertain a thing is human power. Thus
gradually they expressed aloud their kindly feeling towards him,
saying that his former benefits and the liberty which he bestowed
upon them by driving out the despot Nabis, ought to be had in
remembrance. There were some few, however, who in order to gain favour
with Deinokrates, advised him to put Philopœmen to death by torture,
pointing out that he was a dangerous enemy, and would be peculiarly
exasperated against Deinokrates if he now were to regain his freedom
after having been his captive and having been insulted by him. Finally
they put him into what was called the Treasury, a subterranean chamber
with no window or communication with the outward air, and no door
even, but closed by a great stone. There they left him, putting the
great stone over the entrance, and placing a guard of armed men round

Meanwhile the Achæan horsemen rallied from their flight, and as
Philopœmen was nowhere to be seen, they thought that he must have
fallen. They remained for a long while, searching for him, and
reproaching themselves with having obtained dishonourable safety by
abandoning to the enemy their leader, who had laid down his life for
them. Afterwards they pushed forward, inquiring everywhere for him,
and at length learned that he had been captured. They at once sent the
news to the various cities of the Achæan league, who took the matter
greatly to heart, determined to demand Philopœmen publicly from the
Messenians, and prepared for a campaign on his behalf.

XX. While they were acting thus, Deinokrates feared that delay might
save Philopœmen's life. Wishing therefore to be beforehand with the
Achæans, as soon as night came on, and the greater part of the
Messenians had retired, he opened the prison and sent into it a public
slave with a draught of poison, ordering him to stand by Philopœmen
until he had drunk it. Philopœmen was lying down wrapped in his cloak,
not asleep, but full of trouble and distress of mind. When he saw the
light and the slave with the poison standing beside him, he, with
great difficulty on account of his weakness, raised himself into a
sitting posture. He then took the cup into his hand, and inquired
whether he knew anything about the knights, especially about one
Lykortas. When the slave answered that most of them had escaped, he
nodded his head, looked kindly upon him, and answered, "You tell me
good news, if we are not all unfortunate." He uttered no other word,
but drank the poison and laid down again. In his weak condition he was
unable to offer any resistance to the operations of the drug, and died

XXI. When the Achæan cities heard of his death, they went into a
general mourning for him. The men of military age assembled at
Megalopolis without delay, chose Lykortas as their leader, invaded the
Messenian territory, and ravaged it until the Messenians came to their
senses and made terms with the Achæans. Deinokrates escaped his
merited fate by suicide, as did those who had advised that Philopœmen
should be put to death, while those who had advised that he should be
tortured were themselves reserved for a death of torture by Lykortas.
They burned his body and collected the ashes into an urn, not
carelessly, but mingling a sort of triumphal pomp with his funeral
procession. There one might see men crowned with garlands but weeping
at the same time, and leading along his enemies in chains. The urn
itself, which was scarcely to be seen for the garlands and ribbons
with which it was covered, was carried by Polybius, the son of the
Achæan commander-in-chief, accompanied by the noblest of the Achæans.
The soldiers followed in complete armour, with caparisoned horses, not
cast down, but yet too sad to feel any pride in their victory. As they
passed through the towns and villages on their way the inhabitants
came out as if to welcome him on his return from a successful
campaign, laid their hands on his urn, and joined in the procession to
Megalopolis. When here the old men, women, and children joined them, a
wail of distress ran through the whole army for the unhappy city which
was mourning for its hero, and which thought itself to have lost, by
his death, the first place in Greece. He was buried with great honour,
as we may well believe, and round his tomb the Messenian captives wore
stoned to death. Many statues were made of him, and many honours voted
to him by the Greek cities, which afterwards during that unfortunate
time for Greece when Corinth was destroyed, a Roman proposed to
destroy, accusing Philopœmen, as if he had been yet alive, of being
always an enemy to the Romans. But after Polybius had answered this
contemptible fellow, neither the consul Mummius nor his lieutenants
would suffer him to deface and take away the honours done in memory of
so famous and worthy a man, although he had frequently offered great
opposition both to Flamininus and to Manius. They distinguished
properly between honour and expediency, rightly thinking that men
should reward those who benefit them, but that the brave should always
be honoured by all brave men. Thus much have I to tell about


Those who wish to know what Titus Quintius Flamininus, whom we have
selected as a parallel to Philopœmen, was like, may see his brazen
statue in Rome, which stands beside the great statue of Apollo from
Carthage, opposite to the Circus, with a Greek inscription upon it.
His temper is said to have been warm, both in love and in anger,
though he was ever moderate and placable in inflicting punishment,
while he was never weary in conferring favours, and was always eager
to help those upon whom he had bestowed some benefit, preserving and
protecting them as though they were the most precious of his
possessions. Being ambitious and eager to distinguish himself, he
wished to take the leading part in everything, and consequently
preferred those who hoped to receive to those who were able to confer
favours, because the former were his assistants and the latter his
rivals in the struggle for honour.

He received a military training, being born at a time when Rome was
engaged in most important wars, and when young men learned how to act
as officers not by theory but by actual service in the field. He first
served as military tribune under the consul Marcellus in the war with
Hannibal. Marcellus perished in an ambuscade, but Titus was made
governor of Tarentum after its recapture, and of the surrounding
territory. In this government, he won as great a reputation for
justice as for courage, so that when the Romans sent colonists to the
two cities of Narnia and Cossa, he was appointed to lead them and act
as founder of the colonies.

II. This so elated him that he at once aspired to the consulship,
passing over all the usual steps of Ædile, Tribune, or Prætor, by
which young men generally rose to that office. When the day of
election arrived, he appeared with a strong following of devoted
partisans from those two towns. When the tribunes of the people,
Fulvius and Manius, came forward and protested against a young man
taking the highest office in the state by storm, contrary to the laws,
and being as it were uninitiated in the very elements of the
constitution, the Senate referred the matter to the votes of the
people, who elected him consul together with Sextus Ælius, although he
was not yet thirty years old. In casting lots for provinces the war
with Philip of Macedon fell to his share, greatly to the advantage of
the Romans, because in that war they needed a general who would deal
with the enemy not entirely by main force, but also win them over by
persuasion and diplomacy. The kingdom of Macedonia was amply
sufficient for Philip, if he only fought once with the Romans; but to
maintain the cost of a long war, to supply his troops, and afford him
necessary resources, the co-operation of Greece was essential to him.
Unless therefore Greece could be detached from his alliance, the war
could not be decided by a single battle. Greece at this time had been
brought but little into contact with the Romans, who then for the
first time interfered in her politics. Unless, therefore, the Roman
general had been a man of high character, willing to act by diplomacy
rather than by war, and combining affability of address with a strict
sense of justice, the Greeks would have been unwilling to throw off
their allegiance to their former masters in order to place themselves
under the new and untried dominion of Rome. Of these honourable traits
in Titus's character many instances will be found in his acts.

III. He learned that his predecessors, Sulpicius[32] and Publius[33],
had both invaded Macedonia when the season was far advanced, had begun
warlike operations too late, and had failed because Philip occupied
the strong places in the country and harassed them by constant attacks
upon their communications and foraging parties. Flamininus did not
wish to follow their example, and, after wasting a year at home in
the enjoyment of the consular dignity, and in taking part in the
politics of Rome, to set out late in the year to begin his campaign,
although by this means he might have extended his command over two
years, by acting as consul in the first, and carrying on the war as
proconsul during the second. He preferred to throw the weight of his
power as consul into the conduct of the war, cared not to display the
insignia of his office at Rome, but obtained from the Senate the
appointment of his brother Lucius to the command of the fleet which
was to co-operate with him, took as the nucleus of his army three
thousand of the strongest of those veterans who under Scipio had
beaten Hasdrubal in Spain and Hannibal in Africa, and safely crossed
over with them into Epirus. Here he found Publius, with his army,
watching that of Philip, which held the passes near the river Apsus,
but unable to effect anything on account of the enemy being so
strongly posted. After taking over the army from Publius, whom he
superseded in its command, he reconnoitred the position. Its strength
is as great as that of the vale of Tempe, although it wants the lovely
meadows and groves of trees for which the latter is celebrated. The
river Apsus runs in a deep ravine between vast and lofty mountains,
like the Peneus in appearance and swiftness, and beside it, at the
foot of the mountains, runs one narrow and rocky path, along which it
is difficult for an army to proceed even if unmolested, and utterly
impossible if it be held by an enemy.

IV. Titus was advised by some to turn Philip's flank, marching through
the Dassaretid country along the Lykus, which would offer no such
difficulties; but he feared to march far from the coast lest, like his
predecessors, he should become entangled in a country which could
furnish no supplies, be unable to force Philip to fight, and be
obliged to retreat to the sea again from want of the means of
subsistence. He determined to force his way through the mountains in
front, and as these were held by Philip with his main body, the
phalanx, his flanks being secured by archers and light armed troops,
skirmishes took place between him and the Romans daily, with
considerable loss on both sides, but without any result, until some of
the natives of the country informed him of a path, neglected by the
enemy, by which they undertook to lead his army, and on the third day
at the latest to place it upon the heights. As a guarantee of their
good faith they referred the Romans to Charops, the chief of the
Epirot tribes, who was friendly to the Romans, and co-operated with
them secretly, being afraid of Philip. Titus trusting in this man's
word sent one of the military tribunes with four thousand infantry and
three hundred cavalry. They were guided by these peasants, who were
strictly guarded, and marched by night, resting by day in woods and
sheltered places: for the moon was full. Titus, after he had
despatched this force, rested his army, only skirmishing slightly with
the enemy lest they should entertain any suspicion, until the day upon
which the turning party was expected to appear on the summit of the
mountain range. On that morning he got his whole force under arms,
light and heavy armed alike, and dividing it into three parts himself
led one body in column up to the attack of the narrowest part of the
pass beside the river, while the Macedonians shot at him from above
and disputed every inequality of the ground, while on his right and
left the other detachments likewise vigorously attacked the position.
The sun rose while they were thus engaged, and a light cloud of smoke,
not distinct, but like a mountain mist, rose from the captured
heights. It was unnoticed by the enemy, being behind their backs, but
kept the Romans, while they fought, in a state of hopeful excitement
and suspense. When however it grew thicker and blacker, and rising in
a cloud proved itself without doubt to be the looked-for signal, they
rushed forward with a shout and drove the enemy into their innermost
places of refuge, while those on the rocks above echoed their warlike

V. A headlong flight now took place, but the enemy lost only two
thousand men, for the difficulties of the ground made it hard to
pursue. The Romans, however, made themselves masters of their baggage,
tents, and slaves, and marched through Epirus in such an orderly and
well-disciplined fashion that, although the soldiers were far from
their ships, had not had their monthly allowance of provisions served
out to them, and were not often near a market, they nevertheless
abstained from plundering a country which was abounding in riches.
Indeed Titus had learned that Philip passed through Thessaly like a
fugitive, driving the inhabitants of the city to fly to the mountains
for refuge, burning the cities and giving all the property which could
not be carried away to his soldiers as plunder.

As Philip therefore had given up the country to the Romans, Titus
besought his soldiers to march through it taking as much care of it as
if it were their own. This good discipline was not long in bearing
fruit; for as soon as the Romans entered Thessaly the cities
surrendered themselves to Titus, while the Greeks beyond Thermopylæ
were excited and eager for him to come to them, and in Peloponnesus
the Achæan league threw off allegiance to Philip, and agreed to wage
war against him in conjunction with the Romans. The Opuntian Lokrians
also sent for Titus and delivered themselves up to him, although they
had been pressed by the Ætolians, who were allies of the Romans, to
allow them to take charge of their city. It is said that king Pyrrhus,
when from a mountain watch-tower he first saw the Roman army drawn up
in regular order, said:--"These barbarians have nothing barbarous in
their military discipline." And in truth all those who met Titus were
compelled to echo these words. They heard from the Macedonians that
the leader of a barbarian army was coming to destroy everything and to
reduce everyone to slavery: and then meeting a young and pleasant
looking man, who was a thorough Greek in language and address, and a
man of really noble character, they were marvellously fascinated by
him, and on leaving him filled their cities with his praises, saying
that at length they had found a champion for the liberties of Greece.
After he had proposed to Philip, as terms of peace, that he should
withdraw his garrisons and leave Greece independent, which Philip
refused to do, then even those who had previously been on the side of
Philip admitted that the Romans had not come to fight against the
Greeks, but to fight with the Greeks against the Macedonians.

VI. The whole of Greece came to terms with him without a struggle,
Thebes being the first city to send a deputation to welcome him as he
peacefully marched through Bœotia. It was Brachyllus who had kept the
Thebans loyal to Philip, but now they desired to show their admiration
and esteem for Flamininus, being, as they imagined, on terms of amity
with both parties. Titus received them with great courtesy, and walked
gently forwards with them, conversing with them and asking them
questions, until his soldiers, who were marching some distance behind,
came up with him. Then he walked into the city in the company of the
Thebans, not altogether to their satisfaction, although they did not
like to attempt to keep him out, as he was accompanied by a good many
soldiers. Yet, as if the town were not entirely at his mercy, he made
them a speech, urging them to side with the Romans, while King Attalus
spoke to the same effect, encouraging the Thebans to rally to the
Roman cause. Attalus, indeed, over-exerted himself in his speech,
considering his great age, and in consequence of a sudden dizziness or
faintness fell down in a fit. He was shortly afterwards conveyed by
sea to Asia Minor, and died there. However, the Bœotians accepted the
Roman alliance.

VII. Philip now sent an embassy to Rome; and Flamininus also sent
thither to beg the Senate to allow him to retain his office of consul,
in case they should continue the war, or if they decided otherwise, to
permit him to have the honour of concluding a peace with Philip; for
his ambitious spirit could not endure to be superseded by another
commander. His friends succeeded in obtaining the rejection of
Philip's demands, and his own continuance in office. As soon as he
received this intelligence, he started, full of hope, to attack Philip
in Thessaly, with an army of more than twenty-six thousand men, of
which the Ætolians supplied six thousand infantry and four hundred
cavalry. The army of Philip was of nearly equal numbers, and they
began to march towards one another until they both drew near the city
of Skotussa, where they determined to fight a decisive battle. When
the two armies found themselves so near each other they felt no fear,
as one might have expected, but each was confident of victory. The
Romans were eager for the honour of overcoming the Macedonians, who
had gained such glory under Alexander the Great; while the
Macedonians, admitting the Romans to be very different soldiers to the
Persians, swelled with pride at the thought that if they could conquer
them, they would prove their king Philip to be even more invincible
than Alexander himself. Titus also encouraged his soldiers to quit
them like men, pointing out that they were about to fight in Greece, a
noble theatre in which to display deeds of daring, and against worthy
antagonists; while Philip, either by chance, or not noticing what he
was doing in his haste, mounted upon a large sepulchre outside his
camp, and from it began to make the usual speech to his men to
encourage them for the coming struggle, but at length observing the
evil omen was much disheartened by it, broke off in confusion, and
would not fight that day.

VIII. On the following morning about dawn, as the night had been warm
and damp, the whole plain was covered with fog, and a thick mist
poured down from the neighbouring hills; which rendered it impossible
to distinguish any object. The parties which were sent out by each
army to reconnoitre fell in with one another and fought near the place
called Kynoskephalæ, that is, Dogs' Heads, which is so named because a
number of small hills near together have something of this appearance.
In the combat, as usually happens in such rough ground, each side
alternately had the advantage, and as each gave way they were
reinforced from the respective camps. Now the fog lifted, and the two
commanders resolved upon a general engagement. Philip's right wing, on
which the phalanx charged down-hill with all its weight, was
victorious, the Romans being unable to stand before that hedge of
spears, or break through that closely-locked array of shields. But on
the left the Macedonians were unable to maintain their line, because
of the inequalities of the ground, and Titus, seeing that his left was
hopelessly routed, rode quickly to his own right, and suddenly
attacked the enemy, who, because of the uneven nature of the ground,
were unable to form their phalanx with its deep ranks, in which lies
the peculiar strength of that order of battle, while the soldiers of
which it is composed are armed in an unwieldy fashion which renders
them helpless in a hand-to-hand fight. For the Macedonian phalanx[34]
is like some huge beast of invincible strength so long as it remains
one body, close locked together in serried ranks; but when broken up
it loses even the advantage of each individual soldier's strength,
because of the fashion in which they are armed, as they can only act
together, not separately. When this body was routed some of the Romans
pursued the fugitives, while others charged the victorious Macedonians
in flank, soon forcing them to break up their array and fly in
confusion, throwing away their arms. There fell no less than eight
thousand of them, and five thousand were taken prisoners. The Ætolian
cavalry were blamed for letting Philip escape, because they betook
themselves to plundering the camp of the Macedonians even before the
Romans ceased their pursuit, so that on their return they found that
nothing had been left for them.

IX. From this there arose quarrels between the Ætolians and the
Romans; and afterwards they exasperated Titus by taking to themselves
the credit of the victory, and being the first to spread abroad that
report among the Greeks so that they received all the honours due to
victors, and were mentioned first in all the poems and ballads
written about the battle. Of these, that which was most in vogue was
the following:--

    "Unwept, unburied, on this mountain high,
    Stranger, Thessalians thirty thousand lie;
    They fell before Ætolia's sons in war.
    And Romans, brought by Titus from afar.
    Æmathia weeps their loss. Bold Philip too,
    Flies like a deer, and knows not what to do."

This was written by Alkæus to insult Philip, exaggerating the number
of the slain; but when it came to be repeated many times and by many
men, it vexed Titus more than Philip. The latter indeed parodied it in
the following lines.

    "Unshaped, unpolished, stands a gibbet strong,
    Upon this hill to hang Alkæus on."

But Titus, who felt that the eyes of Greece were upon him, was
wonderfully vexed by these incidents. For this reason he conducted the
operations which followed without in the least degree consulting the
Ætolians. They were angry at this neglect, and when Titus began
negotiations with Philip, and received an embassy from him to treat
for peace, they spread it abroad throughout Greece that Titus was
being bribed by Philip into making peace, when he had it in his power
to utterly cut off and destroy that power which first destroyed the
independence of Greece. Philip himself however put an end to this
suspicion, by placing himself and all his resources in the hands of
Titus and the people of Rome. So now Titus brought the war to a close.
He restored Philip to his kingdom of Macedonia, but forbade him to
interfere in the affairs of Greece. He also imposed upon him a fine of
a thousand talents, took away all but ten of his ships of war, and
sent one of his two sons, Demetrius, to Rome as a hostage for the
fulfilment of these conditions. In their making terms with Philip
Titus showed himself wise and provident: for Hannibal the
Carthaginian, who was at that time an exile, was already at the court
of King Antiochus, urging him to follow up his good fortune and
increase his empire. Antiochus had already been so successful as to
have gained the surname of 'the Great,' and was now aiming at
universal dominion. He especially intended to attack the Romans, and
unless Titus had foreseen this, and granted favourable terms of peace,
Philip would have been his ally, the two most powerful kings of the
age would have been arrayed against the Romans, and a struggle no less
important than that of Rome against Hannibal would have begun. As it
was, Titus interposed this peace between the two wars, finishing the
one before he began the other; by which means he took from one of the
kings his last, and from the other his first hope.

X. The ten commissioners, whom the Senate despatched to assist Titus
in settling the affairs of Greece, advised him to leave it free and
independent, only keeping garrisons in Corinth, Chalkis, and
Demetrias, for safety against Antiochus. Upon this the Ætolians threw
off all disguise, openly urged these cities to revolt, and called upon
Titus to loose the chains of Greece, as Philip was wont to call these
three cities. They asked the Greeks whether they were pleased at their
present bonds, which were heavier, though smoother than before; and
whether they still thought Titus to be their benefactor because he had
removed the fetters from the feet of Greece and fastened them round
her throat. Titus was much grieved at these imputations, and at length
by his representations induced the Senate to desist from its design of
placing garrisons in these three cities, in order that the liberty
which he was about to bestow upon Greece might be unclogged by any

When the Isthmian games were being celebrated, a great number of
people were assembled in the arena witnessing the gymnastic contests,
as was natural now that wars had ceased throughout Greece, and the
people could attend their national festivals in safety. Proclamation
was now suddenly made by the sound of a trumpet that every man should
keep silence; and a herald coming forward into the midst of the
assembly announced that the Senate of Rome, and Titus Quintius their
consul and general, having overcome King Philip and the Macedonians,
did now henceforth give liberty to the Corinthians, Lokrians,
Phokians, Eubœans, Achæans of Phthia, Magnetes, Thessalians, and
Perrhæbians, with exemption from garrisons and tribute, and
permission to govern themselves by their hereditary laws. At first all
did not clearly hear the proclamation, and there was a disorderly
tumult in the assembly, as men wondered at the words, asked one
another their meaning, and called upon the herald to repeat them. But
when silence had again been obtained, and the herald, exerting his
voice to the utmost, repeated the proclamation, such a shout was
raised that it was heard as far as the sea coast, and all the
spectators rose from their seats, caring nothing more for the games,
but rushing with one accord to greet, with transports of delight, the
saviour and protector of Greece. On this occasion was observed what is
often mentioned as an example of the power of human voices; some
crows, which were flying over the racecourse at that moment, fell down
among the people. The reason of this is that the air is broken and cut
asunder by the vehemence and strength of the voices, so as not to have
its natural power to support the birds, which, fell down just as if
they were flying through a place where there was no air at all; unless
indeed it was the violence of the cry that struck the birds like a
shot, and so caused them to fall down dead. It may be also that the
air is driven round in whirlpools by such shouts, as we observe
happens in violent disturbances of the sea.

XI. As for Titus, unless he had escaped betimes when the assembly
broke up and rushed towards him, it is thought that he could not have
survived the pressure of so great a multitude. The crowd surrounded
his tent, shouting and applauding until nightfall, when they
dispersed: but as they went, if they met any of their kin, their
friends, or fellow-citizens, they kissed and embraced them for joy,
and then supped and made merry together. We may well think that they
had no other talk at the table but of the great and terrible wars
which Greece had fought for her liberty, and that nevertheless she
never had obtained so perfect and delightful a state of freedom as
that which had been won for her by other men's labours, almost without
any blood of her own being spilt. It is indeed rare to find bravery
and wisdom combined in any man, but it is even rarer to find a
perfectly just man. Agesilaus and Lysander, Nikias and Alkibiades
knew well how to wage war and win battles both by land and by sea, but
they never could make their victories yield any honourable benefit to
others, or true glory to themselves. Indeed with the exception of
Marathon and Salamis, Platæa and Thermopylæ, and the campaigns of
Kimon on the Eurymedon and in Cyprus, all the other battles of Greece
have been fought against herself, to bring about her slavery, and
every trophy has been a misfortune, and a monument of shame rather
than glory, arising chiefly from the rivalry between the leading
cities. Yet a strange nation, from which it was inconceivable that
Greece should receive any benefit, with scarcely any glimmering
embers, as it were, of a common origin, had nevertheless, with great
risk and hard fighting, rescued Greece from her harsh tyrants and

XII. These were the thoughts which occupied men's minds: and the
events which took place were all in conformity with the proclamation.
Titus had at the same time sent Lentulus to Asia Minor to free the
Bargylians, and Stertinius to Thrace to remove the garrisons of Philip
from the towns and islands in that quarter, while Publius Villius set
sail to treat with Antiochus about the freedom of the Greeks in his
dominions. Titus himself proceeded to Chalkis, and thence he took ship
for Magnesia, where he removed the foreign garrisons from the cities
and re-established a democratic constitution in them. After this he
was elected President of the Nemean games at Argos, where he made
admirable arrangements for the conduct of the festival, and made a
herald repeat his proclamation to the Greeks assembled there. He now
made a progress through the cities of Greece, in which he established
tranquillity and good laws, encouraged them to regard each other with
good will, put an end to faction, and brought back exiles, taking no
less pride in acting as counsellor and mediator to the Greeks than he
did in having conquered the Macedonians, so that liberty seemed to be
the least of the benefits which he had bestowed on the Greeks.

It is said that when at Athens Lykurgus the orator had rescued
Xenokratos the philosopher from the tax-gatherers who were taking him
to prison for non-payment of the tax upon resident aliens, and had
them punished for their insolent conduct towards him, Xenokrates,
afterwards meeting the sons of Lykurgus, said, "My children, I am
making your father an honourable return for his kindness, he has the
praises of the whole people for what he did for me." Flamininus and
the Romans, however, not only obtained the praise of the Greeks in
return for the benefits which they had conferred upon them, but also
gained the trust and confidence of all mankind by their noble acts.
Not only cities, but even kings who had been wronged by other kings
came to them for redress, so that in a short space of time, with the
assistance, no doubt, of the divine favour, all the world became
subject to them. Flamininus especially prided himself on having
liberated the Greeks, and when he dedicated at Delphi silver shields
and his own Roman buckler, he wrote upon them the following verses:--

    "To you, the Twins, delighting in the chase,
    Great Zeus's sons, of Sparta's royal race,
    This offering gives the Roman Titus, he
    Who set the children of fair Hellas free."

He also dedicated a golden wreath to Apollo, with the inscription--

    "To thee, Latona's child, this chaplet fair
       Doth Titus, leader of Rome's army, send;
     The crown will well beseem thy glorious hair;
       Do thou the donor from all ill defend."

Indeed it was in the city of Corinth that this favour has twice been
bestowed upon the Greeks, for it was in Corinth that Titus made the
proclamation of which we have spoken, and Nero again, in our own time,
in nearly the same manner, during the Isthmian games, declared the
Greeks free and independent, except that Titus proclaimed it by means
of a herald, while Nero mounted upon a platform in the market place
and made the announcement himself. However, this took place long

XIII. Titus now began a war against that most hateful and lawless of
despots, Nabis of Lacedæmon, but betrayed the confidence of the
Greeks; for when he had the opportunity of destroying him he would not
do so, but made terms with him, leaving Sparta in a shameful bondage.
Either he was afraid that if the war went on for any length of time
some new commander would be sent from Rome who would gain the credit
of it, or else he was jealous of the honours which were paid to
Philopœmen, who was by far the greatest warrior in Greece at that
period, and who surpassed himself in acts of bravery and strategy
during the campaign against Nabis. The homage which was paid
Philopœmen in all public assemblies by the Achæans vexed Flamininus,
who felt angry that a mere Arcadian, who had gained some credit as a
leader in obscure border warfare, should be treated with as much
respect as the Roman consul, who was acting as the protector of all
the peoples of Greece. The excuse which Titus himself made for
terminating the war was that he saw that the despot could not be
dethroned without causing great suffering to the other Spartans.
Though the Achæans passed many decrees in his honour he cared for none
of them except one gift which they bestowed upon him, which was as
follows. Many of the Romans who had been taken prisoners in the war
with Hannibal had been sold for slaves, and were in servitude in
different countries. In Greece there were twelve hundred of them, men
who were in any case much to be pitied for their misfortune, but
especially now, when as may be supposed, they met their sons,
brothers, and relations, who were free Roman soldiers, while they
themselves were slaves. Titus, though grieved at their lot, did not
take them forcibly from their owners, but the Achæans paid a ransom of
five minæ for each man, collected them into one body, and just as
Titus was about to set sail for home, presented them to him, so that
he left the scene of his glorious labours having received an
honourable reward, and one which well befitted so great and patriotic
a man, besides being the most glorious ornament of his triumph: for
these men of their own accord, like ordinary slaves who have been
emancipated, shaved their heads, put on felt skull caps,[35] and
followed in the train at his triumph.

XIV. A more splendid spectacle was afforded by the spoils of war, the
Greek helmets, Macedonian shields, and long sarissæ, or pikes used by
the phalanx, which were carried along in the procession. There was
also no inconsiderable sum of money, for Tuditanus tells us that in
this triumph there were displayed three thousand seven hundred and
thirteen pounds of gold coin, forty-three thousand two hundred and
seventy pounds of silver coin, and fourteen thousand five hundred and
fourteen gold coins of King Philip, besides the thousand talents which
he owed. These, however, the Romans, at the instance of Flamininus,
forgave him, and released his son who had been kept as a hostage for
their payment.

XV. When Antiochus entered Greece with a large naval and military
force, many of the Greek states joined him, especially the Ætolians,
who eagerly espoused his cause because of their old quarrel with Rome.
They gave out as a pretext for beginning the war, that they intended
to restore freedom to the Greeks, who required nothing of the sort,
being free already. This, however, was merely said because it was the
most plausible excuse for their conduct, for which they could not
assign any creditable reason. The Romans were much alarmed at the
importance of this insurrection. They sent Manius Acilius as consul
and commander-in-chief to conduct the war, and dispatched Titus
Flamininus on a diplomatic mission to the cities of Greece. The mere
sight of him confirmed the wavering loyalty of some of these states,
while his personal influence induced many which had taken the first
steps towards revolt, to return to their allegiance. Some few,
however, were hopelessly lost to the Roman cause, having been
previously won over by the Ætolians; yet, vexed and exasperated as he
was by their conduct, he took care, after the victory had been won,
that even these should not be destroyed. Antiochus, it is well known,
was defeated at Thermopylæ, and at once set sail for Asia Minor, while
the consul Manius besieged some of the Ætolian strongholds himself,
and arranged for others to be taken by King Philip of Macedon. But
when the towns in Dolopia, Magnesia, and Aperantia were being
despoiled by Philip, and the consul Manius had taken Heraklea and was
besieging Naupaktus, an Ætolian fortress, Flamininus, pitying the
Greeks, left Peloponnesus and sailed to the consul at Naupaktus. At
first he reproached him with conquering Antiochus, and then allowing
Philip to reap all the advantages of his victory, and with wasting
time in besieging one city out of pique, while the Macedonians were
adding tribes and kingdoms to their empire. After this, as the
besieged, when they saw him, called upon him by name from the walls,
and stretched out their hands to him with tears and entreaties, he
made no answer to them but turned away and wept. Afterwards, however,
he reasoned with Manius, and persuaded him to put aside his
resentment, and to grant the Ætolians a truce, and time to send an
embassy to Rome to arrange reasonable terms of peace.

XVI. He was given most trouble of all by the petitions of the
Chalkidians to Manius for peace. These people were especially
obnoxious to the Romans because Antiochus, at the commencement of the
war, had married the daughter of a citizen of Chalkis. The match was
both unseasonable in point of time, and unequal in respect of age, as
he was an elderly man when he fell in love with the girl, who was the
daughter of one Kleoptolemus, and is said to have been of exceeding
beauty. This marriage caused the Chalkidians to become eager partizans
of King Antiochus, and even to offer him their city for his
headquarters during the war. After his defeat he retreated at once to
Chalkis, and then, taking his bride, his treasure, and his friends
with him, set sail for Asia. Manius at once marched upon Chalkis in a
rage, but Flaminius accompanied him, and by his entreaties at length
calmed and pacified him. The people of Chalkis, after this narrow
escape, dedicated the largest and most magnificent of all their public
buildings to Titus, the inscriptions on which may be read even at the
present day. "The people dedicate this gymnasium to Herakles and to
Titus." And on the other side of the road we read "The people dedicate
the Delphinium to Apollo and to Titus." Moreover even in our own times
a priest of Titus is chosen by show of hands, who offers sacrifice to
him. After the libations they sing a specially-written poem, too long
for quotation from which we extract the following verses:--

                   "Sing, maidens, sing,
    Of Rome's good faith that keeps its oath,
    And gentle Titus full of truth,
    Our city's saviour, Titus and Apollo sing."

XVII. He also received honours from the Greeks at large, and that
which gives reality to honours, great goodwill from all for his kindly
disposition. For though indeed he had some slight differences with
Philopœmen, and again with Diophanes when chief of the Achæan league,
he was not rancorous, and never acted under the impulse of anger, but
soon laid aside his displeasure. He was harsh to no one, but was
thought by most men to be clever and witty, and the pleasantest of
companions. When the Achæans were endeavouring to gain for themselves
the island of Zakynthus, he discouraged their enterprise by saying
that if they proceeded so far from Peloponnesus they would be in the
same danger as the tortoise when he stretches his head out beyond his

When Philip first met him to discuss terms of peace, and observed that
Titus had come with a large suite, while he was alone, Titus answered,
"You by your own act have made yourself lonely, by having killed all
your friends and relations." Once at Rome Deinokrates the Messenian
got drunk and danced in women's clothes, and on the next day begged
Titus to assist him in his design of detaching Messenia from the
Achæan league. Titus answered that he would consider the matter, but
that he wondered that a man engaged in such important designs should
sing and dance over his wine. When the ambassadors of Antiochus were
telling the Achæans the number of the king's army and were enumerating
the various forces of which it was composed under various
designations, Titus remarked that when dining with his host he had
been surprised at the variety of meats, and had expressed his wonder
as to how he had been able to obtain so many different kinds; but his
host informed him that it was all nothing more than pork disguised by
various sauces and cooked in various ways. "So now," continued he,
"men of Achæa, do not be alarmed at the power of Antiochus when you
hear these catalogues of spearmen and lance-bearers and foot-guards;
for they are all nothing more than Syrians disguised with different
kind of arms."

XVIII. After the pacification of Greece and the end of the war with
Antiochus, Flamininus was elected censor, which is the highest office
at Rome, and is as it were the goal of political life. His colleague
was Marcellus, the son of him that was five times consul. They ejected
from the Senate four men of no reputation, and admitted into it all
the candidates who were of free birth, being forced to do so by the
tribune of the people Terentius Culeo, who by his invectives against
the patricians had induced the people to pass a decree to that effect.

The two most prominent men in Rome at this time were Scipio Africanus
and Marcus Cato. Of these Titus appointed Scipio to be President of
the Senate, as being the first man in the state, but he quarrelled
with Cato for the following reason. Titus had a brother, Lucius
Flamininus, who was very unlike himself in disposition, being
licentious in his pleasures and careless of his reputation. He had a
favourite whom he always took with him even when he was in command of
an army or governor of a province. This boy once at a wine party said
that he was so greatly attached to Lucius, that he left a show of
gladiators before he had seen a man killed, to please him. Lucius,
delighted at this proof of affection, said, "That is easily remedied;
I will gratify your wish." He ordered a condemned criminal to be
brought, sent for the executioner, and bade him strike off the man's
head in the banquetting chamber. Valerius of Antium says that Lucius
did this to please a female, not a male favourite. But Livy says that
in Cato's own speech on the subject we are told that Lucius, to
gratify his favourite, slew with his own hand a Gaulish deserter who
came with his wife and children to the door, and whom he had himself
invited into the banquetting chamber. It is probable that Cato added
these particulars to exaggerate the horror of the story, for Cicero
the Orator, who gives the story in his book 'On Old Age,' and many
other writers, say that the man was not a deserter, but a criminal,
and condemned to death.

XIX. In consequence of this, Cato, when censor, removed Lucius from
the Senate, although he was of consular rank, and although his
degradation affected his brother as well as himself. Both of them now
presented themselves before the people poorly clad and in tears, and
appeared to be making a very reasonable demand in begging Cato to
state the grounds upon which he had cast such ignominy upon an
honourable family. Cato, however, not in the least affected by this,
came forward with his colleague and publicly demanded of Titus whether
he was acquainted with what happened at the banquet. When Titus
answered that he knew nothing of it, Cato related the circumstances,
challenging Lucius to contradict him if he spoke untruly. As Lucius
remained silent, the people saw that his degradation had been
deserved, and Cato retired in triumph. Titus, vexed at what had
befallen his brother, now joined the party of Cato's enemies, objected
to all purchases, lettings, and sales by the Senate of public property
which had been made by Cato, and carried his point so far as to have
them all declared void. Thus he, I cannot say justly, became the
violent opponent of a legally constituted official and an excellent
citizen, for the sake of a man who, though his brother, was a
worthless character and had only met with his deserts. Nevertheless,
on one occasion, when the Roman people were witnessing some spectacle
in the theatre, the Senate, as is customary, sitting in the best place
in great state, they were filled with compassion on seeing Lucius
Flamininus sitting on the back benches in a mean dress, and the people
became so excited that they could not restrain their cries to him to
resume his former seat, until at length he did so, and was welcomed by
the other consulars.

XX. The ambitious character of Titus gained him much glory, while he
was in the prime of life, in the wars of which we have made mention:
for after his consulship he again served in the army as military
tribune; but when he retired from public life, being an elderly man,
he often incurred the blame of his countrymen from his desire to
distinguish himself. For instance, his conduct in regard to Hannibal
made him much disliked at Rome. Hannibal after his escape from
Carthage, joined king Antiochus, but when Antiochus, after his defeat
in Phrygia, was glad to accept terms of peace from the Romans, he
again became an exile, and after many wanderings, at length settled at
the court of Prusias, king of Bithynia. Every one at Rome knew that he
was there, but no one wished to meddle with him because of his age and
weakness, as he appeared to be deserted by fortune. However, Titus was
sent to Prusias on an embassy about certain other matters, and seeing
Hannibal there took offence at his being alive, and would not accede
to the prayers and entreaties of Prusias on behalf of his suppliant.
There was, it seems, a certain oracle which ends with this verse:--

     "Libyssa's earth shall cover Hannibal."

Now Hannibal himself took this to mean Libya, and that he should be
buried at Carthage; but in Bithynia there is a shingly tract by the
seashore near which is a large village named Libyssa, in which
Hannibal was living. As he mistrusted the weakness of Prusias and
feared the Romans, he had previously to this arranged seven ways of
escape leading from his own room into different subterranean passages,
all of which led into the open air by concealed apertures. When then
he heard that Titus insisted upon his death he endeavoured to escape
by one of those passages, but finding every outlet watched by the
soldiers of Prusias he determined to die by his own hand. Some say
that he destroyed himself by winding his cloak round his neck, and
ordered a slave to place his knee in the small of his back and pull
the cloak violently until he choked; while some tell us that he
imitated Themistokles and Midas, by drinking bull's blood. Livy[36]
says that he prepared some poison which he kept by him ready for such
an emergency, and that as he was about to drink it he said:--"Let us
set the Roman people free from their terrible anxiety, since they
think it long to wait for the death of the old man whom they hate.
However, Titus will not gain a glorious victory, or one worthy of his
ancestors, who sent to bid Pyrrhus beware of poison, although he was
their enemy and actually at war with them."

XXI. Thus is Hannibal said to have perished. When the news was
brought to the Senate many thought that Titus had acted officiously
and cruelly in putting Hannibal to death, when he was living unharmed
and helpless, merely in order to obtain the credit of having killed
him. When they reflected upon the mildness and magnanimity of Scipio
Africanus they wondered yet more, for Scipio, after vanquishing the
terrible and unconquered Hannibal in Libya, did not drive him into
exile, or insist upon his countrymen delivering him up. He actually
met him on friendly terms before the battle, and when he made a treaty
with him after his victory he did not bear himself unseemly or insult
his rival's misfortune. It is related that they met again in Ephesus,
and that as they walked together Hannibal took the place of honour,
while Africanus walked contentedly beside him. Their conversation
turned upon great generals, and when Hannibal stated his opinion that
the best of generals was Alexander, next to him Pyrrhus, and next
himself, Scipio, with a quiet smile, asked him: "What would you have
said, if I had not conquered you?" "In that case, Scipio," answered
Hannibal, "I should not have reckoned myself third but first of
generals." The people remembering this cried shame upon Titus, for
having laid hands upon a man whom another had slain.[37] Some few,
however, praised the deed, thinking that Hannibal, as long as he
lived, was a fire which might easily be fanned into a destructive
conflagration. They pointed out that even when he was in the prime of
life it was not his bodily strength or personal prowess that made him
so terrible to the Romans, but his intellect and skill, together with
his inveterate hatred of Rome, none of which had been diminished by
age, but that his natural gifts remained the same, while also fortune
was wont to change, and so those who had any permanent cause of enmity
with another nation were ever encouraged by hopes of success to make
new attacks. Indeed subsequent events seemed to prove Titus right, as
Aristonikus, the son of the harp-player, in his admiration for
Eumenes, filled the whole of Asia with revolt and revolution, while
Mithridates, after his tremendous losses at the hands of Sulla and
Fimbria, again gathered together such great forces both by land and
sea to oppose Lucullus. Yet Hannibal did not fall so low as Caius
Marius. The former was to the last the friend of a king, and spent his
time in sailing in ships, riding on horseback, and in the study of how
to keep a military force efficient; whereas the Romans, who had
laughed Marius to scorn as he wandered a beggar in Africa, soon licked
the dust before him while he flogged and slaughtered them in Rome.
Thus no one of our present circumstances can be said to be either
important or trifling, great or small, in comparison with what is to
come, but we only cease to change when we cease to exist.

For this reason some say that Titus did not effect this of his own
free will, but that he was sent with Lucius Scipio as a colleague on
an embassy whose sole object was the death of Hannibal. Now, as after
these events we know of no other acts of Titus either as a warrior or
statesman, and as he died a peaceful death, it is time to begin our


[Footnote 32: Publius Sulpicius Galba.]

[Footnote 33: Publius Villius Tappulus. _Cf_. Livy xxxi. _sqq_.]

[Footnote 34: The following is the account given of the Macedonian
phalanx by Polybius:--

"It is easy then to demonstrate by many reasons, that, while the
phalanx retains its proper form and full power of action, no force is
able to stand against it in front, or to support the violence of its
attack. When the ranks are closed in order to engage, each soldier, as
he stands in his arms, occupies a space of three feet. The spears in
their most ancient form, contained seventeen cubits in length. But,
for the sake of rendering them more commodious in action, they have
since been reduced to fourteen. Of these, four cubits are contained
between the part which the soldier grasps in his hands, and the lower
end of the spear behind, which serves as a counterpoise to the part
that is extended before him; and the length of this last part from the
body of the soldier, when the spear is pushed forwards with both hands
against the enemy, is by consequence ten cubits. From hence it
follows, that when the phalanx is closed in its proper form, and every
soldier pressed within the necessary distance with respect to the man
that is before him and upon his side, the spears of the fifth rank are
extended to the length of two cubits, and those of the second, third,
and fourth to a still greater length, beyond the foremost rank. The
manner in which the men are crowded together in this method is marked
by Homer in the following lines:

    "'Shield stuck to shield, to helmet helmet join'd,
    And man to man; and at each nod that bow'd,
    High waving on their heads the glittering cones,
    Rattl'd the hair-crown'd casques, so thick they stood.'

          Homer, _Il_. xiii., 131.

"This description is not less exact than beautiful. It is manifest,
then, that five several spears, differing each from the other in the
length of two cubits, are extended before every man in the foremost
rank. And when it is considered likewise, that the phalanx is formed
by sixteen in depth, it will be easy to conceive, what must be the
weight and violence of the entire body, and how great the force of its
attack. In the ranks, indeed, that are behind the fifth, the spears
cannot reach so far as to be employed against the enemy. In these
ranks, therefore, the soldiers, instead of extending their spears
forwards, rest them upon the shoulders of the men that are before
them, with their points slanting upwards; and in this manner they form
a kind of rampart which covers their heads, and secures them against
those darts which may be carried in their flight beyond the first
ranks, and fall upon those that are behind. But when the whole body
advances to charge the enemy, even the hindmost ranks are of no small
use and moment. For as they press continually upon those that are
before them, they add by their weight alone great force to the attack,
and deprive also the foremost ranks of the power of drawing themselves
backwards or retreating. Such, then, is the disposition of the
phalanx, with regard both to the whole and the several parts. Let us
now consider the arms, and the order of battle, of the Romans; that we
may see by the comparison in what respects they are different from
those of the Macedonians.

"To each of the Roman soldiers, as he stands in arms, is allotted the
same space likewise of three feet. But as every soldier in the time of
action is constantly in motion, being forced to shift his shield
continually, that he may cover any part of his body against which a
stroke is aimed, and so vary the position of his sword, so as either
to push, or to make a falling stroke, there must also be a distance of
three feet, the least that can be allowed for performing these motions
with advantage, between each soldier and the man that stands next to
him, both upon his side and behind him. In charging, therefore,
against the phalanx, every single Roman, as he has two Macedonians
opposite to him, has also ten spears, which he is forced to encounter.
But it is not possible for a single man to cut down these spears with
his sword, before they can take their effect, against him. Nor is it
easy on the other hand to force his way through them. For the men that
are behind add no weight to the pressure, nor any strength to the
swords of those that are in the foremost rank. It will be easy,
therefore, to conceive, that, while the phalanx retains its own proper
position and strength, no troops, as I before observed, can ever
support the attack of it in front."

Polybius, Book xvii. Ex. iii. in Hampden's translation, 1773.]

[Footnote 35: The 'pileum,' a close-fitting felt cap, was given by the
Romans to slaves on the occasion of their enfranchisement, as a sign
of freedom.]

[Footnote 36: Livy xxxix, chapter 51.]

[Footnote 37: In Greek warfare, any one who killed an enemy in battle
was entitled to dispose of his body and arms as he thought fit.
Plutarch means that by the laws of war Hannibal belonged to Scipio,
and that Flamininus had no right to interfere between them.]


I. It would be impossible to compare Philopœmen, or many better men
than Philopœmen, with Titus, in respect of the benefits which each
conferred upon the Greeks. Philopœmen and the others were all Greeks,
who fought with other Greeks, while Titus was not a Greek, and yet
fought on behalf of the Greeks. When Philopœmen despaired of helping
his hard-pressed follow citizens and sailed to Crete, Titus was
gaining a victory in the centre of Greece, in consequence of which he
bestowed freedom on Philip himself, and on all the nations and cities
which had been subject to him. If one carefully examines the battles
fought by each commander, it will appear that Philopœmen killed more
Greeks when he was general of the Achæans than Titus killed
Macedonians when he was fighting for Greece. The faults of the one
arose from ambition, those of the other from party spirit; the latter
was easily moved to anger, the former hard to appease. Titus preserved
for Philip the semblance of royal power, and treated even the Ætolians
with indulgence, while Philopœmen in his anger detached the
confederation of villages from his native city. Moreover, Titus was
always a friend to those whom he had once befriended, while
Philopœmen's kindly feelings were easily overruled by passion. Indeed
he appears to have sacrificed his life to rage and bitter personal
rancour, by invading Messenia before anything was ready, without
showing any of the prudent caution of Titus in military matters.

II. The fame of Philopœmen's skill as a general, however, rests on a
more secure basis, the number of his battles and trophies of victory.
Flamininus decided his campaign against Philip by two battles, but
Philopœmen fought innumerable battles, and never let it be supposed
that he owed more to fortune than to skill. Moreover, Titus had at his
disposal the resources of Rome, then in the zenith of her strength,
while Philopœmen had the glory of performing his greatest exploits at
a time when Greece was in her decadence, so that his work was all his
own, while the glory of the Roman must be shared with his countrymen.
The one was the leader of good soldiers, but the other by his
leadership made good soldiers. That his conflicts were all against
Greeks was unfortunate, but gives a strong proof of his powers; for
among men who are alike in other respects, victory must be won by
sheer courage. He fought the most warlike of the Greeks, the Cretans
and the Lacedæmonians, the first of whom are the most deeply versed in
stratagem, while the latter are most renowned for bravery, and
overcame them both. In addition to this it must be remembered that
Titus found his materials ready for use, as he received the arms and
disciplined troops of his predecessor, while Philopœmen himself
introduced a new method of armament and discipline; so that the one
was obliged to discover the means of obtaining victory, while the
other had only to use them. Philopœmen too did many great feats in
hand to hand fight, whereas Titus did nothing, for which one of the
Ætolians, Archedemus, jeered at him, saying that while he himself was
running sword in hand to attack the Macedonian phalanx, Titus was
standing still and raising his hands to heaven in prayer to the gods.

III. Nevertheless Titus both as a general and an ambassador always met
with complete success, while Philopœmen acted as vigorously and
successfully on behalf of the Achæans when in a private station as
when he was their general. It was as a private citizen that he drove
Nabis out of Messene and liberated the Messenians, and as a private
citizen he shut the gates of Sparta against Diophanes the Achæan
general and Titus himself when they were on their march against it,
and so saved the Lacedæmonians from destruction. Thus, having the true
spirit of a commander, he knew when to obey and when to override the
laws, acting according to them when it was fitting to do so, but
holding him to be the true general who upheld the spirit of the laws
without being fettered by them. The kindly treatment of the Greeks by
Titus was honourable to him, but the sturdy spirit of independence
which Philopœmen showed towards the Romans was still more honourable,
because it is much easier to grant a request to suppliants, than to
irritate those who are more powerful by opposing them. Since, then, it
is difficult to distinguish their respective merits by comparison, let
us see whether we shall not decide best between them by assigning the
palm for military and soldier-like qualities to Greek, and to the
Roman that for justice and goodness of heart.


I. Historians tell us that after the flood the first king of the
Thesprotians and Molossians was Phæthon, who was one of those who came
into Epirus under Pelasgus; while some say that Deukalion and Pyrrha
after founding the temple at Dodona lived there in the country of the
Molossians. In later times Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, brought
an army thither, obtained possession of the country, and founded a
dynasty of kings, who were named after him the sons of Pyrrhus: for
Pyrrhus was his own nickname as a child, and he also gave the name of
Pyrrhus to one of his children by his wife Lanassa, the daughter of
Kleodæus, who was the son of Hyllus. From this period Achilles has
been honoured like a god in Epirus and is called Aspetus in the
dialect of the country. After the earliest kings, the dynasty sunk
into barbarism, and ceased to attract attention from its weakness and
obscurity. Of those of later days, Tharrhypas was the first of those
who made himself famous. He adopted the customs and letters of Greece,
and gave just laws to his country. Tharrhypas was the father of
Alketas, who was the father of Arybas, who married Troas and by her
became the father of Æakides. This man married Phthia the daughter of
Menon of Thessaly, who had gained great distinction in the Lamian war,
and who yielded in reputation to no one except to Leosthenes himself.
By Phthia Æakides had two daughters, Deidameia and Troas, and one son,

II. When the Molossians revolted, drove out their king Æakides, and
invited back the children of Neoptolemus to the kingdom, the friends
of Æakides were seized and put to death, but Androkleides and Angelus
stole away Pyrrhus, who was still an infant and was being searched for
by his enemies. They took with them some wet nurses for the child and
some few other servants, but finding their flight impeded by them,
they entrusted the child to Androkleion, Hippias, and Neander, strong
and trusty young men, bidding them hurry on with what speed they
might, and get to Megara, a fort belonging to the Macedonians, while
they themselves, partly by entreaties and partly by fighting, managed
to delay the pursuers till late in the evening. The enemy, after
making their way through these men with some difficulty, pursued those
who were carrying off Pyrrhus. The sun had now set, and the fugitives
had begun to hope that they would soon be safe, when they were filled
with despair by meeting with the river which runs past the fort, a
wild torrent which they found it impossible to cross, as the stream
was swollen with recent rains, and appeared all the more terrible
because of the darkness. They decided that they never could convey the
child and his nurses across by their own exertions, but observing
several of the inhabitants standing upon the further bank they
besought them to assist their passage, and they showed Pyrrhus to
them, crying aloud and holding out their hands to entreat for help.
The men could not hear what they said because of the roaring of the
water, and much time was wasted in vain clamouring until one of the
fugitives, perceiving this, wrote with the tongue of a brooch upon a
piece of oak bark a few words explaining who the child was, and in
what danger, wrapped the piece of bark round a stone to steady its
flight, and threw it across. Some say that they fastened the bark to a
javelin and so hurled it across. When the men on the further bank read
the letter, and perceived in what imminent peril the fugitives were,
they cut down some trees, formed a raft, and so crossed over. It
chanced that the first man who crossed and received Pyrrhus into his
arms was named Achilles: the rest of the fugitives were ferried over
by his companions.

III. Having thus escaped from their pursuers they proceeded to
Glaukias, the king of the Illyrians. They found him sitting at home
with his wife, and they laid the child on the ground between them. The
king was full of thought, for he feared Kassander, the mortal enemy of
Æakides, and he remained silent for a long time. Meanwhile Pyrrhus of
his own accord crawled up to Glaukias, took hold of his cloak and then
stood up at his knees, causing the king first to smile and then to
feel pity for him, as he stood like a suppliant holding his knees and
weeping. Some say that he did not embrace Glaukias, but that he laid
hold of an altar and stood, putting his hands round it, so that
Glaukias thought that he must be acting under some divine impulse. In
consequence of this he at once gave Pyrrhus in charge to his wife,
bidding her bring him up with her own children. Shortly after, when
his enemies demanded that he should be given up, and Kassander even
offered two hundred talents, Glaukias refused to betray him, and when
he was twelve years of age he marched into Epirus with an army and
restored him to the throne.

The appearance of Pyrrhus was more calculated to strike terror into
the beholder than to impress him with an idea of the dignity which
becomes a king. He had not a number of separate teeth, but one
continuous bone in his upper jaw, with only slight lines showing the
divisions between the teeth. He was thought to be able to cure
diseases of the spleen by sacrificing a white cock, and then gently
pressing with his right foot in the region of the spleen of the
sufferer, who lay upon his back meanwhile. No man was so poor or
despised that Pyrrhus would not touch him for this disorder if
requested to do so. He also received, as a reward, the cock which was
sacrificed, and was much pleased with this present. It is said that
the great toe of that foot had some divine virtue, so that when the
rest of his body was burned after his death, it was found unhurt and
untouched by the fire. But of this hereafter.

IV. When he was about seventeen years of age, and appeared to be
firmly established upon his throne, he chanced to leave the country to
attend the wedding of one of the sons of Glaukias, with whom he had
been brought up. The Molossians now again rose in revolt, drove out
his friends, sacked the treasury, and made Neoptolemus their king.
Pyrrhus having thus lost his kingdom, and being entirely destitute,
fled for refuge to Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, who had married
his sister Deidameia. When a young girl Deidameia had been nominally
the wife of Alexander, the son of Roxana, but after the misfortunes of
that family Demetrius had married her when she came of age. In the
great battle of Ipsus, in which all the successors of Alexander the
Great took part, Pyrrhus, while yet a youth, served with the forces of
Demetrius, routed those who opposed him, and gained great distinction.
He did not desert Demetrius after his defeat, but was entrusted with
the care of those cities which Demetrius possessed in Greece, and kept
them faithful to his cause. When he made a treaty with Ptolemy,
Pyrrhus was sent to Egypt as a hostage, where he hunted and practised
gymnastics with Ptolemy, showing great bodily strength and endurance.
Observing that Berenike was the most powerful and intelligent of
Ptolemy's wives, he paid especial court to her, and, as he knew well
how to gain the favour of the powerful, though he was inclined to
domineer over his inferiors, and was temperate and well-behaved, he
was chosen out of many other noble youths to be the husband of
Antigone, one of the daughters of Berenike, whom she bore to Philip
before she married Ptolemy.

V. His influence was greatly increased by this match, and, as Antigone
proved a good wife to him and furthered his designs, he prevailed upon
his friends to supply him with money and troops, and send him upon an
expedition to recover his throne in Epirus. When he landed, many of
the people of the country were willing to accept him as their king,
because of their dislike to the ferocious and arbitrary rule of
Neoptolemus; but he, fearing that if he drove out his rival he would
apply to some of the kings,[38] made terms and friendship with him,
and agreed to share the kingdom. As time went on, however, many
encouraged him to attack Neoptolemus, and fomented suspicion between
them. Pyrrhus, however, was especially exasperated by the following
incidents. It was customary for the kings of Epirus to sacrifice to
Zeus Areios in Passaron, a place in the Molossian country, and to take
an oath to their subjects that they would govern according to the
laws, while the people on their part swore to be faithful to the
throne. These ceremonies were performed by both the kings, who, with
their friends, afterwards conversed together, giving and receiving
presents. Now Gelon, a trusty friend of Neoptolemus, after giving
Pyrrhus a friendly welcome, presented to him two yoke of oxen for the
plough. Myrtilus, the cupbearer, who was present, asked Pyrrhus for
these oxen, and as Pyrrhus did not give them to him but to some one
else, he did not conceal his annoyance, which was observed by Gelon.
He at once invited Myrtilus to dinner and proposed to him that he
should join the party of Neoptolemus and remove Pyrrhus by poison.
Myrtilus apparently acquiesced, and accepted the offer, but told the
whole intrigue to Pyrrhus, who bade him put Alexikrates, his chief
cupbearer, also in communication with Gelon, on the pretence that he
too wished to take part in the plot; for he wished as many persons
as possible to know of the attempt which was about to be made. Thus
Gelon was deceived, and in turn deceived Neoptolemus, who, imagining
his plot to be on the point of success, could not restrain his
delight, but let out the secret to his friends. On one occasion, when
in his cups, he talked freely about this matter to his sister Kadmeia,
not imagining that any one else heard him; for there was no one
present except Phænarete, the wife of Samon the king's neatherd, and
she lay upon a couch with her face towards the wall, apparently
asleep. However she heard all that passed, unsuspected, and next day
went to Antigone, the wife of Pyrrhus, and told her all that she had
heard Neoptolemus say to his sister. When Pyrrhus heard this he did
not act at once; but when next he offered sacrifice he invited
Neoptolemus to dinner and killed him, as he knew that the strongest
party in Epirus was on his side, and had often urged him to rid
himself of Neoptolemus and not be satisfied with a mere share of the
crown, but to engage in the great designs which his genius prompted.
These considerations, together with the suspicions which he had of
Neoptolemus's treachery, induced him to be beforehand with him by
putting him to death.

VI. In memory of Berenike and Ptolemy he named a boy who was now born
to him Ptolemy, and gave the name of Berenike to a city which he
founded on the peninsula of Epirus. He now began to revolve great
designs, casting his eyes especially upon the territory of his
neighbours; and he was soon enabled to interfere in the affairs of
Macedonia on the following grounds. The elder of the sons of Kassander
put his mother, Thessalonika, to death, and drove his younger brother
Alexander into exile. This prince now applied both to Demetrius and to
Pyrrhus for aid. Demetrius was engaged in other matters and was slow
to render him any assistance, but Pyrrhus offered his services,
demanding as the price of his assistance the districts called Stymphæa
and Paranæa in Macedon itself, and of the Macedonian conquests
Ambrakia, Akarnania, and Amphilochia. The youth agreed to these terms,
and Pyrrhus at once occupied those countries, which he secured by
garrisoning their fortresses, while he began to press Antipater hard
in his endeavours to gain the remainder of Macedonia for his brother.
At this time king Lysimachus, an eager partisan of Antipater, was too
much occupied with other matters to send him any material help, but,
knowing that Pyrrhus would never disoblige or thwart Ptolemy in
anything, sent a forged letter to him, in which it was stated to be
Ptolemy's desire that he should withdraw his forces on the receipt of
three hundred talents from Antipater. Pyrrhus, however, as soon as he
opened the letter saw the deceit; for it did not begin with Ptolemy's
usual greeting to him, "The father to the son wishes health" but "King
Ptolemy to king Pyrrhus wishes health." He reproached Lysimachus for
his conduct, but nevertheless made a peace, which they all met to
ratify by a solemn oath upon a sacrifice. A bull, a boar, and a ram
were brought to the altar, when suddenly the ram fell down dead. The
others laughed at this, but the soothsayer Theodotus, who was
conducting the sacrifice forbad Pyrrhus to swear, saying that Heaven
by this portended the death of one of the three kings who were there
met together. Pyrrhus therefore refused to ratify the peace.

VII. Alexander now was in a fair way to succeed, when he was joined by
Demetrius, who was evidently unwelcome, and a dangerous ally. Before
many days had passed the two princes, from mutual distrust, began to
plot against each other. Demetrius, seizing his opportunity,
assassinated the youthful Alexander, and proclaimed himself king of
Macedonia. He had before this been on bad terms with Pyrrhus, who had
made incursions into Thessaly, and the usual disease of princes,
grasping covetousness, had made them suspicious and quarrelsome
neighbours, especially since the death of Deidameia. Now, however, as
they both claimed Macedonia, they were brought into direct collision,
and Demetrius, after mating a campaign in Ætolia and leaving
Pantauchus with a large force to guard his conquests there, himself
marched against Pyrrhus. Pyrrhus, as soon as he heard of this,
proceeded to meet him, but by a mistake in the road they passed by one
another, so that Demetrius invaded Epirus and ravaged the country
there, and Pyrrhus, falling in with Pantauchus, fought a battle with
him. The struggle was a long and severe one, especially near where the
generals fought, for Pantauchus, who was admitted to be the strongest
and bravest of the generals of Demetrius, in the pride of his heart
challenged Pyrrhus to a single combat, while Pyrrhus, who yielded to
none of the kings of the age in strength and courage, and who wished
to be thought a true son of Achilles by valour as well as by descent,
rushed forward beyond the front ranks to meet Pantauchus. They fought
with spears at first, and then, drawing their swords, contended hand
to hand with equal skill and courage. Pyrrhus received one hurt, but
he wounded Pantauchus in the thigh and in the throat, and overthrew
him. Pyrrhus did not slay him, however, as he was rescued by his
friends. The Epirots, elated at their king's victory, and filled with
enthusiasm by his courage, bore everything before them, routed the
phalanx of the Macedonians, and pursued the fugitives, of whom they
slew many and took five thousand prisoners.

VIII. The Macedonians who had witnessed the exploits of Pyrrhus were
struck with admiration, and perhaps found some solace for their defeat
in the praises they bestowed on the conqueror. He was, they said,
indeed a soldier, worthy to command soldiers; the only king of the age
in whom there could be traced any likeness to the great Alexander.
Pyrrhus revived this image by the fire and vigour of his movements in
the field of battle; the rest only mimicked the hero, whose title they
assumed, in their demeanour, and in the trappings and state of
royalty.[39] We can form an opinion about his knowledge and skill in
military matters from the writings which he has left on these
subjects. It is related, moreover, that Antigonus, when asked who was
the greatest of generals, answered "Pyrrhus, if he lives to be old,"
speaking only of the generals of his own time. Hannibal, however,
considered Pyrrhus to have been the first general that ever lived for
skill and resource, placing Scipio next, and himself third, as is
written in the Life of Scipio. Indeed Pyrrhus devoted the whole of his
intellect to the art of war, regarding it as the only study fit for a
king, and holding all other occupations to be frivolous. At a wine
party he was once asked whether he thought Python or Kaphisias the
better flute player, to which he answered that Polysperchon was the
best general, as though that were the only subject on which a king
should form or express an opinion. Yet he was mild-tempered and gentle
towards his friends, full of gratitude for kindness, and eager to
repay it. He grieved greatly over the death of Æropus; not so much
because he was dead, for that, he said, was the common lot of mankind,
but because he himself had delayed repaying him a kindness until it
was too late. Debts of money, he said, can be paid to the heirs of a
creditor, but men of honour are grieved at not being able to return a
kindness during the lifetime of their benefactor. In Ambrakia once
Pyrrhus was advised to banish a man who abused him in scurrilous
terms. He answered, "I had rather he remained where he is and abused
me there, than that he should wander through all the world doing so."
Once some youths spoke ill of him over their wine, and being detected
were asked by him whether they had used such words of him. "We did, O
king," answered one of the young men, "and we should have said more
evil of you if we had had more wine." At this answer Pyrrhus laughed,
and acquitted them.

IX. After the death of Antigone he married several wives, for the sake
of advantageous political alliances. One was the daughter of
Autoleon, king of the Pæonians; another was Birkenna, daughter of
Bardyllis, king of the Illyrians, while the third, Lanassa, daughter
of Agathokles, despot of Syracuse, brought him as a dowry the city and
island of Korkyra, which had been captured by Agathokles. By Antigone
he had already one son, Ptolemy; by Lanassa he had another son,
Alexander, and Helenus, the youngest of his sons, by Birkenna. They
were all brought up to be good soldiers, being trained in arms by
Pyrrhus himself. It is said that when one of his sons, while yet a
child, asked him to which of them he would leave his kingdom, he
answered "To him whose sword is the sharpest." This saying differs but
little from that celebrated tragic curse upon the brothers who were to
"divide their heritage with whetted steel." So savage and unsocial a
quality is ambition.

X. After this battle Pyrrhus returned home, delighted at the glory
which he had acquired. When the Epirotes gave him the title of the
Eagle, he answered "I owe it to you that I am an eagle, for it is your
arms that enable me to take so high a flight." Shortly afterwards,
learning that Demetrius was dangerously ill, he suddenly invaded
Macedonia, meaning merely to make a short incursion, but he very
nearly obtained possession of the entire kingdom, as he overran the
country without opposition and marched as far as Edessa, while many of
the natives assisted him and joined his army. The danger roused
Demetrius from his sick bed, and his partisans hastily collected a
considerable force and marched to attack Pyrrhus. As he had only come
with the intention of plundering he avoided giving battle and
retreated, but on his way lost a part of his army by an attack of the

Demetrius, though he had thus easily driven Pyrrhus out of his
kingdom, did not despise him. He had determined to go to war on a
great scale to recover his father's throne, with a force of a hundred
thousand men and five hundred ships of war; and he did not wish to be
thwarted in this design by Pyrrhus, or to leave him as a fierce and
dangerous neighbour for Macedonia. Consequently, as he had no leisure
to go to war with him, he wished to come to terms with him and make
peace, so that he might be at liberty to attack the other kings. These
considerations led him to conclude a truce with Pyrrhus. However, the
greatness of the force at Demetrius's disposal now led him to assume
such an arrogant tone that the other kings were alarmed and sent
letters to Pyrrhus in which they expressed their surprise that he
should overlook the magnificent opportunity which Demetrius would
offer him by engaging in a foreign war, and asked him whether, when he
was able to drive that restless intriguer out of Macedonia, he
intended not to do so, but to sit idle at home while Demetrius gained
wealth and power, until at length he would have to fight for his
hearth and home in Molossia, and that too when Demetrius had just
deprived him of Korkyra by means of his wife. For Lanassa had
quarrelled with Pyrrhus because he paid too much attention to his
barbarian wives, had retired to Korkyra, and, as she still wished to
be a queen, invited Demetrius to take possession of her person and of
the island. He at once proceeded thither, married Lanassa, and placed
a garrison in the city.

XI. Besides writing to Pyrrhus in this strain the kings themselves
contrived to find work for Demetrius, who was still engaged in
preparations for his campaign. Ptolemy sailed to Greece with a large
force and induced many of the Greek cities to revolt from Demetrius,
while Lysimachus, starting from Thrace, invaded and plundered Upper
Macedonia. At the same time Pyrrhus marched upon the city of Berœa,
truly conjecturing that Demetrius, in his haste to repel the invasion
of Upper Macedonia, would leave the lower part of the country
unprotected. That night he dreamed that he was called by Alexander the
Great, and that he at once went to him, and found him reclining on a
couch. The hero received him kindly, and promised him that he would
aid him. When Pyrrhus mustered courage to ask, "How, O king, being
yourself ill, can you assist me?" Alexander answered, "With my name,"
and mounting a Nisæan horse appeared to lead the way. This dream gave
Pyrrhus great confidence: he quickly marched over the intervening
country and took Berœa, where he fixed his headquarters, and sent out
detachments to reduce other places. Demetrius, when he heard this
news, and heard also the tumult of grief and indignation which it
excited in his camp, feared to march any closer to Lysimachus, lest if
his army came near to a king who was a Macedonian, and so
distinguished a man, the troops might transfer their allegiance to
him. He therefore resolved to retrace his steps, and attack Pyrrhus,
as being a foreigner, and an enemy of the Macedonians. However, when
he pitched his camp near Berœa, many came out from that city loudly
praising Pyrrhus, as an invincible warrior and a great man, who had
treated the vanquished with kindness and magnanimity. Some of these
were emissaries of Pyrrhus himself, disguised as Macedonians, who said
that now was the time for them to relieve themselves from the harsh
tyranny of Demetrius by adopting Pyrrhus, a popular man and a true
friend of the soldier, as their king. The greater part of Demetrius's
troops was much excited by this means, and when the two armies met
face to face, all eyes were turned in search of the hero. For a time
they could not find him, for he had taken off his helmet; but when he
had put it on again, and enabled them to recognise him by the lofty
crest, and the goat's horns at the sides, the Macedonian soldiers
quitted their ranks, and came running up to ask him, as their chief,
for the pass-word. Others, seeing that his attendants wore garlands of
oak-leaves, crowned themselves in like manner. Some already ventured
to tell Demetrius that his best course would be to give up all as
lost: and he, observing, that this advice seemed to be borne out by
the temper of his army, withdrew in terror, disguised in a mean dress,
and a broad-brimmed Macedonian hat. Pyrrhus, advancing without
striking a blow, obtained possession of his enemy's camp, and was
saluted king of the Macedonians.

XII. Lysimachus soon appeared upon the scene, pointed out that the
fall of Demetrius was as much due to his own exertions as to those of
Pyrrhus, and demanded a partition of Macedonia. To this Pyrrhus, not
yet certain of the loyalty of his new subjects, was obliged to
consent. This measure was beneficial for the moment, as it prevented
their going to war; but soon it became apparent that the partition was
a source of endless quarrels and recriminations. For when men are
ambitious to such a degree that no seas, mountains, or wildernesses,
nay not even the boundaries of Europe and Asia, will serve as barriers
to their frantic desire for more territory, it is not to be expected
that they will remain quiet when their frontiers touch one another,
but they always are at war, from the natural jealousy of their
disposition. The names of peace and war they use as mere symbols, as
it suits their convenience, and they are really better men when they
are openly at war than when they give the name of peace and friendship
to a cessation of active wickedness. The truth of this was proved by
Pyrrhus, who in order to prevent Demetrius from recovering from the
great disaster which he had sustained, espoused the cause of Greece,
and marched to Athens. Here he went up to the Acropolis and sacrificed
to the goddess Athena. On descending he thanked the Athenians for
their confidence in him, but advised them if they consulted their own
interest never to admit any king within their walls.[40] After this he
made peace with Demetrius, but shortly after he was gone to Asia,
Pyrrhus, at the instigation of Lysimachus, induced the Thessalians to
revolt and join him, and began to besiege the fortresses on the Greek
border, both because he found the Macedonians easier to manage when
they were at war than when they were idle, and also because he himself
was of a nature which could not endure inaction. Finally however
Demetrius was irretrievably ruined in Syria, and now Lysimachus,
having nothing further to fear from him, at once attacked Pyrrhus. He
fell upon him suddenly near Edessa, defeated him, and reduced the
troops under him to great distress for provisions. Next he began to
corrupt the leading Macedonians, reproaching them with having rejected
a Macedonian who had been the friend and companion of Alexander, and
chosen in his stead as their master a foreigner, and one, too, of a
race that had always been subject to the Macedonians. As many listened
to these treacherous insinuations, Pyrrhus became alarmed, and
withdrew with his Epirotes and the allied troops, thus losing
Macedonia in the same way that he had gained it. So that kings have
but little reason for reproaching the common people for changing sides
in an emergency, for in doing so they do but imitate the kings
themselves, their teachers in the art of treachery and faithlessness,
who think that those men gain the greatest advantages who take least
account of justice and honour.

XIII. Pyrrhus, now that he had lost Macedonia, might have spent his
days peacefully ruling his own subjects in Epirus; but he could not
endure repose, thinking that not to trouble others and be troubled by
them was a life of unbearable ennui, and, like Achilles in the Iliad,

      "he could not rest in indolence at home,
    He longed for battle, and the joys of war."

As he desired some new adventures he embraced the following
opportunity. The Romans were at war with the Tarentines; and as that
people were not sufficiently powerful to carry on the war, and yet
were not allowed by the audacious folly of their mob orators to make
peace, they proposed to make Pyrrhus their leader and to invite him to
be their ally in the war, because he was more at leisure than any of
the other kings, and also was the best general of them all. Of the
older and more sensible citizens some endeavoured to oppose this fatal
decision, but were overwhelmed by the clamour of the war party, while
the rest, observing this, ceased to attend the public assembly. There
was one citizen of good repute, named Meton, who, on the day when the
final decision was to be made, when the people were all assembled,
took a withered garland and a torch, like a drunkard, and reeled into
the assembly with a girl playing the flute before him. At this, as one
may expect in a disorderly popular meeting, some applauded, and some
laughed, but no one stopped him. They next bade the girl play, and
Meton come forward and dance to the music; and he made as though he
would do so. When he had obtained silence he said "Men of Tarentum,
you do well in encouraging those who wish to be merry and amuse
themselves while they may. If you are wise you will all enjoy your
freedom now, for when Pyrrhus is come to our city you will have very
different things to think of, and will live very differently." By
these words he made an impression on the mass of the Tarentine people,
and a murmur ran through the crowd that he had spoken well. But those
politicians who feared that if peace were made they should be
delivered up to the Romans, reproached the people for allowing any one
to insult them by such a disgraceful exhibition, and prevailed on them
to turn Meton out of the assembly. Thus the vote for war was passed,
and ambassadors were sent to Epirus, not from Tarentum alone, but from
the other Greek cities in Italy, carrying with them presents for
Pyrrhus, with instructions to tell him that they required a leader of
skill and renown, and that they possessed a force of Lucanians,
Messapians, Samnites and Tarentines, which amounted to twenty thousand
cavalry, and three hundred and fifty thousand infantry. This not only
excited Pyrrhus, but also made all the Epirotes eager to take part in
the campaign.

XIV. There was one Kineas, a Thessalian, who was thought to be a man
of good sense, and who, having heard Demosthenes the orator speak, was
better able than any of the speakers of his age to delight his hearers
with an imitation of the eloquence of that great master of rhetoric.
He was now in the service of Pyrrhus, and being sent about to various
cities, proved the truth of the Euripidean saw, that

                          "All can be done by words
    Which foemen wish to do with conquering swords."

Pyrrhus at any rate used to say that more cities were won for him by
Kineas with words, than be himself won by force of arms. This man,
observing that Pyrrhus was eagerly preparing for his Italian
expedition, once when he was at leisure conversed with him in the
following manner. "Pyrrhus," said he, "the Romans are said to be good
soldiers, and to rule over many warlike nations. Now, if heaven grants
us the victory over them, what use shall we make of it?"

"You ask what is self-evident," answered Pyrrhus. "If we can conquer
the Romans, there is no city, Greek or barbarian, that can resist us,
and we shall gain possession of the whole of Italy, a country whose
size, richness, and power no one knows better than yourself." Kineas
then, after waiting for a short time, said, "O king, when we have
taken Italy, what shall we do then?" Pyrrhus, not yet seeing his
drift, answered, "Close to it Sicily invites us, a noble and populous
island, and one which is very easy to conquer; for, my Kineas, now
that Agathokles is dead, there is nothing there but revolution and
faction, and the violence of party spirit." "What you say," answered
Kineas, "is very probably true. But is this conquest of Sicily to be
the extreme limit of our campaign?" "Heaven," answered Pyrrhus, "alone
can give us victory and success; but these conquests would merely
prove to us the stepping-stones to greater things. Who could refrain
from making an attempt upon Carthage and Libya when he was so close to
them, countries which were all but conquered by Agathokles when he ran
away from Syracuse with only a few ships? and if we were masters of
these countries, none of the enemies who now give themselves such airs
at our expense will dare to resist us." "Certainly not," answered
Kineas; "With such a force at our disposal we clearly could recover
Macedonia, and have the whole of Greece at our feet. And after we have
made all these conquests, what shall we do then?" Pyrrhus laughing
answered, "We will take our ease and carouse every day, and enjoy
pleasant conversation with one another." Having brought Pyrrhus to say
this, Kineas asked in reply, "But what prevents our carousing and
taking our ease now, since we have already at hand all those things
which we propose to obtain with much blood-shed, and great toils and
perils, and after suffering much ourselves and causing much suffering
to others?" By talking in this manner Kineas vexed Pyrrhus, because he
made him reflect on the pleasant home which he was leaving, but his
reasoning had no effect in turning him from his purpose.

XV. He first despatched Kineas to Tarentum with three thousand men;
next he collected from Tarentum many horse-transports, decked vessels,
and boats of all sorts, and embarked upon them twenty elephants,
twenty-three thousand cavalry, twenty-two thousand infantry, and five
hundred slingers. When all was ready he put to sea; and when half way
across a storm burst upon him from the north, which was unusual at
that season of the year. He himself, though his ship was carried away
by the tempest, yet, by the great pains and skill of the sailors and
pilots, resisted it and reached the land, with great toil to the
rowers, and beyond everyone's expectation; for the rest of the fleet
was overpowered by the gale and scattered. Some ships were driven off
the Italian coast altogether, and forced into the Libyan and Sicilian
seas, and some which could not weather the Iapygian Cape were
overtaken by night, and being dashed by a violent and boisterous sea
against that harbourless coast were utterly lost, except only the
king's ship. She was so large and strongly built as to resist the
waves as long as they broke upon her from the seaward; but when the
wind changed and blew directly off the shore, the ship, which now met
the waves directly with her head, was in great danger of going to
pieces, while to let her drive out to sea again now that it was so
rough, and the wind changed so frequently, seemed more terrible than
to remain where they were. Pyrrhus rose and leapt into the water, and
at once was eagerly followed by his friends and his body-guard. The
darkness of night and the violent recoil of the roaring waves made it
hard for them to help him, and it was not until daybreak, when the
wind abated, that he reached the land, faint and helpless in body, but
with his spirit invincible in misfortune. The Messapians, upon whose
coast he had been thrown, now assembled from the neighbouring villages
and offered their help, while some of the ships which had outlived the
storm appeared, bringing a few horsemen, about two thousand foot, and
two elephants.

XVI. With these Pyrrhus marched to Tarentum; Kineas, as soon as he
heard of his arrival, bringing out the Tarentine army to meet him.
When he reached the city he did nothing to displease the Tarentines
until his fleet returned to the coast and he had assembled the greater
part of his army. But then, as he saw that the populace, unless ruled
by a strong hand, could neither help him nor help themselves, but
intended to stay idling about their baths and entertainments at home,
while he fought their battles in the field, he closed the gymnasia
and public walks, in which the people were wont to waste their time in
empty talk about the war. He forbade all drinking, feasting, and
unseasonable revels, and forced the people to take up arms, proving
himself inexorable to every one who was on the muster-roll of
able-bodied citizens. This conduct made him much disliked, and many of
the Tarentines left the city in disgust; for they were so unused to
discipline, that they considered that not to be able to pass their
lives as they chose was no better than slavery.

When news came that Lævinus, the Roman consul, was marching to attack
him with a large force, and was plundering the country of Lucania as
he advanced, while Pyrrhus's allies had not yet arrived, he thought it
a shameful thing to allow the enemy to proceed any farther, and
marched out with his army. He sent before him a herald to the Roman
general, informing him that he was willing to act as arbitrator in the
dispute between the Romans and the Greek cities of Italy, if they
chose to terminate it peacefully. On receiving for an answer that the
Romans neither wished for Pyrrhus as an arbitrator, nor feared him as
an enemy, he marched forward, and encamped in the plain, between the
city of Pandosia and Heraklea. Learning that the Romans were close by,
and were encamping on the farther side of the river Siris[41] he rode
up to the river to view them; and when he observed their even ranks,
their orderly movements, and their well-arranged camp, he was
surprised, and said to the nearest of his friends: "These barbarians,
Megakles, have nothing barbarous in their military discipline; but we
shall soon learn what they can do." He began indeed already to feel
some uncertainty as to the issue of the campaign, and determined to
wait until his allies came up, and till then to observe the movements
of the Romans, and prevent their crossing the river. They however,
perceiving his object, at once crossed the river, the infantry at a
ford, the cavalry at many points at once, so that the Greeks feared
they might be surrounded, and drew back. Pyrrhus, perceiving this,
ordered his officers instantly to form the troops in order of battle
and wait under arms while he himself charged with the cavalry, three
thousand strong, hoping to catch the Romans in the act of crossing the
river and consequently in disorder. When he saw many shields of the
Roman infantry appearing over the river bank, and their horsemen all
ranged in order, he closed up his own ranks and charged them first
himself, a conspicuous figure in his beautiful glittering armour, and
proving by his exploits that he deserved his high reputation;
especially as, although he fought personally, and engaged in combat
with the enemy, yet he continually watched the whole battle, and
handled his troops with as much facility as though he were not in the
thick of the fight, appearing always wherever his presence was
required, and reinforcing those who seemed likely to give way. In this
battle Leonnatus the Macedonian observing one of the Italians watching
Pyrrhus and constantly following him about the field, said to him, "My
king, do you see that barbarian on the black horse with white feet? He
seems to be meditating some desperate deed. He is a man of spirit and
courage, and he never takes his eyes off you, and takes no notice of
any one else. Beware of that man." Pyrrhus answered, "Leonnatus, no
man can avoid his fate; but neither that Italian nor any one else who
attacks me will do so with impunity." While they were yet talking the
Italian levelled his lance, and urged his horse in full career against
Pyrrhus. He struck the king's horse with his spear, and at the same
instant his own horse was struck a sidelong blow by Leonnatus. Both
horses fell; Pyrrhus was saved by his friends, and the Italian
perished fighting. He was of the nation of the Frentani, Hoplacus by
name, and was the captain of a troop of horse.

XVII. This incident taught Pyrrhus to be more cautious. He observed
that his cavalry were inclined to give way, and therefore sent for his
phalanx, and arrayed it against the enemy. Then he gave his cloak and
armour to one of his companions, Megakles, and after partially
disguising himself in those of his friend, led his main body to attack
the Roman army. The Romans stoutly resisted him, and an obstinate
battle took place, for it is said that the combatants alternately
yielded and again pressed forward no less than seven distinct times.
The king's exchange of armour too, though it saved his life, yet very
nearly lost him the victory: for many attacked Megakles, and the man
who first struck him down, who was named Decius, snatched up his cloak
and helmet, and rode with them to Lævinus, displaying them and
shouting aloud that he had slain Pyrrhus. The Romans, when they saw
these spoils carried in triumph along their ranks, raised a joyful
cry, while the Greeks were correspondingly disheartened until Pyrrhus,
learning what had taken place, rode along the line with his head bare,
stretching out his hands to his soldiers and telling them that he was
safe. At length he was victorious, chiefly by means of a sudden charge
of his Thessalian horse on the Romans after they had been thrown into
disorder by the advance of the elephants. The Roman horses were
terrified at these animals, and long before they came near, ran away
with their riders in panic. The slaughter was very great: Dionysius
says that of the Romans there fell but little short of fifteen
thousand, but Hieronymus reduces this to seven thousand, while on
Pyrrhus's side there fell, according to Dionysius, thirteen thousand,
but according to Hieronymus less than four thousand. These however,
were the very flower of Pyrrhus's army; for he lost all his most
trusty officers, and his most intimate personal friends. Still, he
captured the Roman camp, which was abandoned by the enemy, induced
several of their allied cities to join him, plundered a vast extent of
country, and advanced within three hundred stades (less than forty
English miles) of Rome itself. After the battle many of the Lucanians
and Samnites came up; these allies he reproached for their dilatory
movements, but was evidently well pleased at having conquered the
great Roman army with no other forces but his own Epirotes and the

XVIII. The Romans did not remove Lævinus from his office of consul,
although Caius Fabricius is reported to have said that it was not the
Epirotes who had conquered the Romans, but Pyrrhus who had conquered
Lævinus; meaning that he thought that the defeat was owing not to the
greater force but the superior generalship of the enemy. They
astonished Pyrrhus by quickly filling up their ranks with fresh
levies, and talking about the war in a spirit of fearless confidence.
He decided to try whether they were disposed to make terms with him,
as he perceived that to capture Rome and utterly subdue the Roman
people would be a work of no small difficulty, and that it would be
vain to attempt it with the force at his disposal, while after his
victory he could make peace on terms which would reflect great lustre
on himself. Kineas was sent as ambassador to conduct this negotiation.
He conversed with the leading men of Rome, and offered their wives and
children presents from the king. No one, however, would accept them,
but they all, men and women alike, replied that, if peace were
publicly concluded with the king, they would then have no objection to
regard him as a friend. And when Kineas spoke before the Senate in a
winning and persuasive manner he could not make any impression upon
his audience, although he announced to them that Pyrrhus would restore
the prisoners he had taken without any ransom, and would assist them
in subduing all Italy, while all that he asked in return was that he
should be regarded as a friend, and that the people of Tarentum should
not be molested. The common people, however, were evidently eager for
peace, in consequence of their having been defeated in one great
battle, and expecting that they would have to fight another against a
larger force, because the Italian states would join Pyrrhus. At this
crisis Appius Claudius, an illustrious man, but who had long since
been prevented by old age and blindness from taking any active part in
politics, when he heard of the proposals of Pyrrhus, and that the
question of peace or war was about to be voted upon by the Senate,
could no longer endure to remain at home, but caused his slaves to
carry him through the Forum to the Senate House in a litter. When he
reached the doors of the Senate House his sons and sons-in-law
supported him and guided him into the house, while all the assembly
observed a respectful silence.

XIX. Speaking from where he stood, he addressed them as follows:--"My
countrymen, I used to grieve at the loss of my sight, but now I am
sorry not to be deaf also, when I hear the disgraceful propositions
with which you are tarnishing the glory of Rome. What has become of
that boast which we were so fond of making before all mankind, that if
Alexander the Great had invaded Italy, and had met us when we were
young, and our fathers when they were in the prime of life, he would
not have been reputed invincible, but would either have fled or
perhaps even have fallen, and added to the glory of Rome? You now
prove that this was mere empty vapouring, by your terror of these
Chaonians and Molossians, nations who have always been a prey and a
spoil to the Macedonians, and by your fear of this Pyrrhus, who used
formerly to dance attendance on one of Alexander's bodyguards,[42] and
who has now wandered hither not so much in order to assist the Greeks
in Italy as to escape from his enemies at home, and promises to be our
friend and protector forsooth, when the army he commands did not
suffice to keep for him the least portion of that Macedonia which he
once acquired. Do not imagine that you will get rid of this man by
making a treaty with him. Rather you will encourage other Greek
princes to invade you, for they will despise you and think you an easy
prey to all men, if you let Pyrrhus go home again without paying the
penalty of his outrages upon you, nay, with the power to boast that he
has made Rome a laughing-stock for Tarentines and Samnites."

By these words Appius roused a warlike spirit in the Romans, and they
dismissed Kineas with the answer that if Pyrrhus would leave Italy
they would, if he wished, discuss the question of an alliance with
him, but that while he remained in arms in their country the Romans
would fight him to the death, however many Lævinuses he might defeat.
It is related that Kineas, during his mission to Rome, took great
interest in observing the national life of the Romans, and fully
appreciated the excellence of their political constitution, which he
learned by conversing with many of the leading men of the state. On
his return he told Pyrrhus that the Senate seemed to him like an
assembly of kings, and that as to the populace, he feared that the
Greeks might find in them a new Lernæan hydra; for twice as many
troops had been enrolled in the consul's army as he had before, and
yet there remained many more Romans capable of bearing arms.

XX. After this Caius Fabricius came to arrange terms for the exchange
of prisoners; a man whom Kineas said the Romans especially valued for
his virtue and bravery, but who was excessively poor. Pyrrhus, in
consequence of this, entertained Fabricius privately, and made him an
offer of money, not as a bribe for any act of baseness, but speaking
of it as a pledge of friendship and sincerity. As Fabricius refused
this, Pyrrhus waited till the next day, when, desirous of making an
impression on him, as he had never seen an elephant, he had his
largest elephant placed behind Fabricius during their conference,
concealed by a curtain. At a given signal, the curtain was withdrawn,
and the creature reached out his trunk over the head of Fabricius with
a harsh and terrible cry. Fabricius, however, quietly turned round,
and then said to Pyrrhus with a smile, "You could not move me by your
gold yesterday, nor can you with your beast to-day." At table that day
they conversed upon all subjects, but chiefly about Greece and Greek
philosophy. Kineas repeated the opinion of Epikurus and his school,
about the gods, and the practice of political life, and the objects at
which we should aim, how they considered pleasure to be the highest
good, and held aloof from taking any active part in politics, because
it spoiled and destroyed perfect happiness; and about how they thought
that the gods lived far removed from hopes and fears, and interest in
human affairs, in a placid state of eternal fruition.[43] While he was
speaking in this strain Fabricius burst out: "Hercules!" cried he,
"May Pyrrhus and the Samnites continue to waste their time on these
speculations, as long as they remain at war with us!" Pyrrhus, at
this, was struck by the spirit and noble disposition of Fabricius,
and longed more than ever to make Rome his friend instead of his
enemy. He begged him to arrange terms of peace, and after they were
concluded to come and live with him as the first of his friends and
officers. Fabricius is said to have quietly answered, "That, O King,
will not be to your advantage; for those who now obey you, and look up
to you, if they had any experience of me, would prefer me to you for
their king." Pyrrhus was not angry at this speech, but spoke to all
his friends about the magnanimous conduct of Fabricius, and entrusted
the prisoners to him alone, on the condition that, if the Senate
refused to make peace, they should be allowed to embrace their
friends, and spend the festival of the Saturnalia with them, and then
be sent back to him. And they were sent back after the Saturnalia, for
the Senate decreed that any of them who remained behind should be put
to death.

XXI. After this, when C. Fabricius was consul, a man came into his
camp bringing a letter from King Pyrrhus's physician, in which he
offered to poison the king, if he could be assured of a suitable
reward for his services in thus bringing the war to an end without a
blow. Fabricius, disgusted at the man's treachery, brought his
colleague to share his views, and in haste sent off a letter to
Pyrrhus, bidding him be on his guard. The letter ran as follows:
"Caius Fabricius and Quintus Æmilius, the Roman consuls, greet King
Pyrrhus. You appear to be a bad judge both of your friends and of your
enemies. You will perceive, by reading the enclosed letter which has
been sent to us, that you are fighting against good and virtuous men,
and trusting to wicked and treacherous ones. We do not give you this
information out of any love we bear you, but for fear that we might be
charged with having assassinated you and be thought to have brought
the war to a close by treachery because we could not do so by

Pyrrhus on receiving this letter, and discovering the plot against his
life, punished his physician, and, in return for the kindness of
Fabricius and the Romans, delivered up their prisoners without ransom,
and sent Kineas a second time to arrange terms of peace. However, the
Romans refused to receive their prisoners back without ransom, being
unwilling either to receive a favour from their enemy, or to be
rewarded for having abstained from treachery towards him, but set free
an equal number of Tarentines and Samnites, and sent them to him. As
to terms of peace, they refused to entertain the question unless
Pyrrhus first placed his entire armament on board the ships in which
it came, and sailed back to Epirus with it.

As it was now necessary that Pyrrhus should fight another battle, he
advanced with his army to the city of Asculum, and attacked the
Romans. Here he was forced to fight on rough ground, near the swampy
banks of a river, where his elephants and cavalry were of no service,
and he was forced to attack with his phalanx. After a drawn battle, in
which many fell, night parted the combatants. Next day Pyrrhus
manœuvred so as to bring the Romans fairly into the plain, where his
elephants could act upon the enemy's line. He occupied the rough
ground on either side, placed many archers and slingers among his
elephants, and advanced with his phalanx in close order and
irresistible strength. The Romans, who were unable on the level ground
to practise the bush-fighting and skirmishing of the previous day,
were compelled to attack the phalanx in front. They endeavoured to
force their way through that hedge of spears before the elephants
could come up, and showed marvellous courage in hacking at the spears
with their swords, exposing themselves recklessly, careless of wounds
or death. After a long struggle, it is said that they first gave way
at the point where Pyrrhus was urging on his soldiers in person,
though the defeat was chiefly due to the weight and crushing charge of
the elephants. The Romans could not find any opportunity in this sort
of battle for the display of their courage, but thought it their duty
to stand aside and save themselves from a useless death, just as they
would have done in the case of a wave of the sea or an earthquake
coming upon them. In the flight to their camp, which was not far off,
Hieronymus says that six thousand Romans perished, and that in
Pyrrhus's commentaries his loss is stated at three thousand five
hundred and five. Dionysius, on the other hand, does not admit that
there were two battles at Asculum, or that the Romans suffered a
defeat, but tells us that they fought the whole of one day until
sunset, and then separated, Pyrrhus being wounded in the arm by a
javelin, and the Samnites having plundered his baggage. He also states
the total loss on both sides to be above fifteen thousand.[44]

The armies separated after the battle, and it is said that Pyrrhus,
when congratulated on his victory by his friends, said in reply: "If
we win one more such victory over the Romans, we shall be utterly
ruined." For a large part of the force which he had brought with him
had perished, and very nearly all his friends and officers, and there
were no more to send for at home. He saw, too, that his allies were
becoming lukewarm, while the Romans, on the other hand, filled up the
gaps with a never-ceasing stream of fresh recruits, and did not lose
confidence by their defeats, but seemed to gather fresh strength and
determination to go on with the war.

XXII. While in these difficulties he conceived fresh hopes of success,
and engaged in an enterprise in another quarter, which was likely to
interfere with the prosecution of his original design. An embassy
arrived from Sicily, offering to place the cities of Agrigentum,
Syracuse, and Leontini in his hands, and begging him to aid them in
driving out the Carthaginians from the island, and freeing it from
despots, while at the same time messengers came from Greece with the
news that Ptolemy, surnamed Keraunus, or "the thunderbolt," had
perished, with all his army, in an engagement with the Gauls, and that
now was his opportunity to offer himself to the Macedonians, who were
in great need of a king. Pyrrhus upbraided Fortune for placing so many
opportunities within his reach at the same time, and, reflecting that
he could only manage one with success, for some time remained plunged
in thought. At last, thinking that the Sicilian offer was likely to
lead to greater things, as Africa was close to that island, he decided
to accept it, and at once sent Kineas to prepare the cities for his
arrival, as was his wont in such cases. He himself, meanwhile, placed
a strong garrison in the city of Tarentum, much to the disgust of its
citizens, who asked him either to perform what he had come thither to
do, namely, to assist them in fighting against the Romans, or else to
evacuate their territory, and leave their city as he found it. In
answer to this demand he harshly bade them keep quiet, and wait till
he was at leisure to attend to their affairs, and at once set sail for
Sicily. On his arrival there he found all his hopes realised, as the
cities gladly delivered themselves into his hands. At first he
willingly acceded to their request, that he should wage war on their
behalf, and with an army of thirty thousand foot, two thousand horse,
and two hundred ships, he attacked the Carthaginians, totally defeated
them, and overran the part of Sicily which was subject to them. Eryx
was the strongest of their fortresses, and was strongly garrisoned.
Pyrrhus, learning this, determined to assault it. When his army was
ready, he came forward, in complete armour, and vowed that he would
hold public games and sacrifices in honour of Herakles, if he should
prove himself that day, before all the Sikeliot Greeks, to be a worthy
descendant of Achilles, and to deserve to command so great a force.
The trumpet then sounded the charge, the barbarians were driven from
the walls by a shower of missiles, and the scaling ladders planted
against them. Pyrrhus was the first man to mount the wall, and there
fought singly against a host, dashing some of them over the inner, and
some over the outer edge of the wall, and wielding his sword with such
terrible power that he soon stood on a pile of corpses. He himself was
quite unhurt, and terrified the enemy by his mere appearance, proving
how truly Homer has told us that of all virtues courage alone is wont
to display itself in divine transports and frenzies. After the city
was taken he made a magnificent sacrifice to the gods, and held
gymnastic contests of all kinds.

XXIII. He now turned his arms against the so-called Mamertines[45] of
Messina, who troubled the Greek cities much, and had even made some of
them tributary to themselves. They were numerous and warlike; indeed,
in Latin, their name means the "children of Mars." Pyrrhus seized and
put to death any of them whom he found exacting tribute from the
Greeks, and after defeating them in a pitched battle, took many of
their outlying forts. The Carthaginians now were inclined to come to
terms with him. They offered, if peace were concluded, to pay him
tribute, and to supply a fleet for his use. To these proposals
Pyrrhus, dissatisfied with obtaining so little, answered that he would
only make peace and friendship with them on one condition, which was
that they would evacuate Sicily altogether, and regard the African sea
as their frontier towards Greece. Elated by the greatness of the force
at his disposal, and the success which attended his enterprises, he
now aimed at the realisation of the large hopes of conquest with which
he left Greece, and meditated an attack on Libya. He had a large
fleet, but required many rowers to man it, and these he proceeded to
obtain from the allied cities, not by gentle means, but by harsh,
arbitrary, and despotic commands. Not that he was originally of a
tyrannical disposition, but his character, which at first was open,
trustful, and sociable, gradually altered for the worse, as he became
less dependent upon public opinion and more firmly fixed upon his
throne, until at length he gained the reputation of an ungrateful and
suspicious despot. The Greek cities, though with much murmuring,
submitted to this arbitrary impressment, having no other alternative;
but Pyrrhus soon proceeded to even harsher measures. Thoinon and
Sosistratus were the leading men in Syracuse. It was they who had
first invited him into Sicily, and who, when he arrived there, had
placed their own city in his hands and induced most of the other Greek
communities to join him. Pyrrhus now regarded these men with
suspicion, and knew not whether to take them with him or leave them
behind. Sosistratus, terrified at the king's evident ill-will, made
his escape, upon which Pyrrhus charged Thoinon with plotting against
him with the other, and put him to death. This caused a sudden
revulsion of feeling from him. The Greek cities began to regard him
with mortal hatred, and some of them joined the Carthaginians, whilst
others invited the Mamertines to assist them. And while Pyrrhus saw
nothing in Sicily but disaffection and insurrection against his power,
he received despatches from the Tarentines and Samnites, informing him
that they were confined to the walls of their cities, and even so
could barely defend themselves against the Romans, while their lands
were all being laid waste, and they urgently needed help. This
intelligence prevented his withdrawal from Sicily being regarded as a
flight, but in reality he had failed in his attempt to conquer that
island, and was as eager to return to Italy as a shipwrecked sailor is
to reach the shore. It is said that as he was sailing away he looked
back at Sicily and said to his friends, "What a fair field we are
leaving for the Romans and Carthaginians to fight in." This prophecy,
as he expected, was soon afterwards fulfilled.

XXIV. The barbarians[46] combined to attack him as he retreated. He
fought a battle at sea with the Carthaginian fleet during his passage
to Italy, in which he lost many ships, while the Mamertines, ten
thousand strong, had crossed into Italy before he could reach it, and
although they did not dare to fight a pitched battle, yet harassed him
by attacking him when entangled in some rough ground, and threw his
entire army into confusion. Two elephants and many of his rear-guard
perished. Pyrrhus himself was at the head of the column of march, but
at once rode to the rear and restored the fight, but was in great
danger from the brave and warlike Mamertines. He received a blow upon
his head from a sword, which forced him to retire a little way from
the battle, and greatly elated the enemy. One of them, a powerful man,
splendidly armed, ran forward far beyond the rest, and boastfully
challenged him to come forward and fight, if he were alive. At this
Pyrrhus was so exasperated that he broke forcibly away from the
officers who tried to restrain him, and, with his face covered with
blood, and a savage expression of fury on his countenance, rushed upon
the barbarian, and struck him a blow on the head which showed both the
strength of his arm and the admirable temper of his sword, for it
clave him completely asunder, so that his body fell down in two
pieces. This checked the ardour of the barbarians, who admired and
feared Pyrrhus as a superior being. He was able to march unopposed for
the rest of the way to Tarentum, to which city he brought a force of
twenty thousand infantry and three thousand cavalry. Taking with him
the best troops of the Tarentines he now marched at once to attack the
Romans, who were encamped in the territory of the Samnites.

XXV. The Samnites at this period were entirely ruined and broken in
spirit from the numerous defeats which they had sustained at the hands
of the Romans. Some dissatisfaction also was felt with Pyrrhus for
having neglected them while he was campaigning in Sicily; so that not
many of that nation joined him. Pyrrhus now divided his forces,
sending one portion into Lucania to harass the other consul and
prevent his coming to the assistance of his colleague, while he
himself led the remainder to attack Manius Curius, who was quietly
encamped near the city of Beneventum, awaiting the arrival of the
Lucanian forces. It is also said that his soothsayers told him, that
the omens were not in favour of his moving from where he was. Pyrrhus,
eager to attack him before the other consul's army joined him, made a
hurried night march with his best troops and elephants, hoping to
surprise the Roman camp. But during the march, which was long, and
through a densely-wooded country, their torches went out, the soldiers
lost their way in the darkness, and got into confusion. Day at length
appeared, and showed to the Romans Pyrrhus with his army, advancing
from the heights near their camp. The sight caused some disorder and
excitement, but as the omens were now favourable, and the emergency
required prompt action, Manius Curius led out his men, attacked the
first troops of Pyrrhus's army whom he met, routed them, and dismayed
the whole force, so that many were slain and several elephants
captured. This success emboldened Manius to begin a general action on
the more level ground, where he defeated the enemy with one wing of
his army, but on the other his troops were overpowered by the charge
of the elephants and driven back to their camp. Curius now called to
his aid the soldiers left to guard the camp, who were standing under
arms along the ramparts, and were quite fresh and unwearied. They
assailed the elephants with a shower of darts, which caused them to
turn and fly, trampling down their own men in their flight. The Romans
thus gained the victory, and at the same time the reputation of being
the first military nation in the world. For their display of valour on
this occasion led to their being thought invincible, and to their at
once gaining possession of the whole of Italy, and shortly afterwards
of Sicily also.

XXVI. Thus did Pyrrhus fail in his Italian and Sicilian expeditions,
after spending six years of constant fighting in those countries,
during which he lost a great part of his force, but always, even in
his defeats, preserved his reputation for invincible bravery, being
thought, in warlike skill and personal strength and daring, to be by
far the first prince of his age. Yet he always threw away the
advantages which he gained, in following some chimerical scheme of
further conquest, being unable to take proper measures for the present
because of his eagerness for the future. On this account Antigonus
likened him to a player who made many good throws with the dice, but
who did not know how to use them. He carried back to Epirus with him
eight thousand infantry and five hundred cavalry, and, having no
money, began to look out for a war, by which he might support his
army. Some of the Gauls now joined him, and he at once invaded
Macedonia, where Antigonus, the son of Demetrius, was now king, with
the intention of plundering the country. Soon, however, as he took
several cities, and two thousand Macedonian soldiers deserted their
colours and joined him, he began to entertain more ambitious designs,
marched against Antigonus himself, and was able to surprise his army,
near the issue of a defile, by a sudden attack in the rear.
Notwithstanding the general confusion, however, a strong body of
Gauls, who formed the rear-guard, withstood him manfully, but, after a
vigorous resistance, were nearly all cut to pieces, while the
elephants, whose retreat was cut off, were surrendered by their
leaders. After gaining such an advantage as this, Pyrrhus, trusting to
his good fortune, and without calculating the numbers opposed to him,
advanced to attack the Macedonian phalanx, which was full of disorder
and consternation at the defeat of the rear-guard. No attempt was made
by them to strike a blow. Pyrrhus stretched out his hand and called
the Macedonian officers by their names, and they at once went over to
him, and were followed by all their men. Antigonus escaped to the
sea-coast, where he still retained some cities in their obedience.

Pyrrhus, considering that his victory over the Gauls was the most
glorious part of his recent success, hung the finest of their arms and
spoils in the temple of Athene Itonis, with the following epigram.

    "These spoils doth Pyrrhus the Molossian king,
    From the brave Gauls to thee, bright goddess, bring;
    He beat Antigonus, with all his men:
    Achilles' sons are warriors now as then."

After the battle he at once recovered the cities on the seaboard. He
took Ægæ, treated the inhabitants very harshly, and left a garrison of
Celtic mercenary troops in the town. These Gauls, with the insatiate
greed for money for which that nation is noted, proceeded to break
open the sepulchres of the Macedonian kings who were buried there, in
search of plunder, and wantonly scattered their bones. Pyrrhus seemed
but little disturbed at this outrage, either because his affairs gave
him no leisure to think about it, or because he thought it dangerous
to punish his barbarian allies: but the Macedonians were deeply
grieved by it. And yet, although he was far from being firmly
established in his new kingdom, he was already forming new schemes of
conquest. In raillery he called Antigonus a shameless man because he
had not yet laid aside the royal purple for the dress of a private
man, and he eagerly accepted the invitation of Kleonymus the Spartan
to go and attack Lacedæmon. This Kleonymus was by birth the rightful
heir to the throne, but being thought to be a violent and tyrannical
person he was hated and distrusted by the Spartans, who had chosen his
nephew Areus to be their king. This was the reason of his having long
borne a grudge against his countrymen, but besides this his feelings
had been recently wounded by a family quarrel.

Kleonymus, now an elderly man, had married a beautiful wife of the
royal blood, Chilonis, the daughter of Leotychides. She fell madly in
love with Akrotatus, the son of Areus, a youth in the flower of his
age, and the dishonour of Kleonymus became notorious all over Sparta.
This private wrong, added to his previous exclusion from the throne,
so enraged him, that he invited Pyrrhus to attack Sparta, which he did
with an army of twenty-five thousand foot, two thousand horse, and
twenty-four elephants, so that it was obvious that he did not mean to
gain Sparta for Kleonymus, but to conquer the whole of Peloponnesus
for himself, although he answered some Spartan envoys who waited on
him at Megalopolis in specious language, stating that he had come with
the intention of restoring to freedom the cities which were held in
subjection by Antigonus, and actually going so far as to tell them
that, if possible, he intended to send his younger sons to Sparta to
be trained in the Laconian discipline, by which they would be able to
surpass all the other kings of their age. He put off the envoys with
these stories, and made them accompany his army, but on reaching the
Lacedæmonian territory he at once began to plunder and lay it waste.
When the envoys remonstrated with him for having invaded their country
without a declaration of war, he answered--"We know well that neither
do you Spartans tell any one beforehand what you mean to do." One of
the envoys, by name Mandrokleides, said in his broad Laconian speech,
"If you are a god, we shall not be harmed by you, for we have done no
wrong; but if you are a man, you may meet with a stronger man than

XXVII. After this he marched upon Lacedæmon itself. Kleonymus urged
him to make an assault immediately on the evening of his arrival, but
Pyrrhus is said to have refused to do so, for fear that his soldiers
might sack and destroy the city if they took it at night, while they
might easily take it in the daytime. Indeed the Spartans were taken by
surprise, and very few were in the city, the king Areus himself being
absent in Crete on an expedition to assist the people of Gortyna. And
it was this weakness and absence of defenders that really proved the
salvation of the city, for Pyrrhus, not expecting any resistance,
pitched his camp outside the walls, while the friends and helots of
Kleonymus made ready his house and decorated it, expecting that
Pyrrhus would sup there with him. At nightfall the Lacedæmonians at
first proposed to send away the women to Crete, but they refused to
leave the city. Archidamia[47] even went to the senate-house with a
drawn sword in her hands, and on behalf of the women of Sparta
reproached the men for insulting them by supposing that they would
survive the capture of their city. After this, they determined to dig
a ditch along the side of the city nearest to Pyrrhus's camp, and to
barricade the ends of it with waggons buried up to the axles in the
ground, to resist the charge of the elephants. When this work was
begun the women and girls appeared with their tunics girt up for
work,[48] and laboured at digging the ditch together with the older
men. They bade those who were to fight on the morrow take rest, and
they themselves alone dug one-third of the entire ditch. The width of
the ditch was six cubits, its depth four cubits, and its length eight
hundred feet, as we are told by Phylarchus, though Hieronymus makes
its dimensions more moderate. At daybreak, when the enemy began to
bestir themselves, the women armed the younger men, and handed over
the ditch to them, bidding them defend it, as it would be pleasant for
them to conquer in sight of their country, and glorious to die in the
arms of their mothers and wives after having fought worthily of
Sparta. Chilonis herself had retired to her own house, and had a
halter ready about her neck, in order that if the city were taken she
might not fall into the hands of Kleonymus.

XXVIII. Pyrrhus himself led a direct attack of his infantry against
the Spartans, who were drawn up in deep order, and endeavoured to
force his way through them, and to pass the ditch, which was
difficult, because the newly dug earth afforded no secure footing to
his soldiers. Meanwhile his son Ptolemy led a chosen body of two
thousand Gauls and Chaonians round the end of the ditch, and
endeavoured to break through the barricade of waggons. These stood so
thick and so close together that they made it hard, not only for the
assailants to cross them, but even for the Lacedæmonians to reach the
point where they were menaced. However, as the Gauls began to pull the
wheels out of the earth and to drag the waggons down towards the
river, the young Akrotatus perceiving the danger, sallied out from the
city at another point with three hundred men, and got round behind
Ptolemy's force, from whom he was concealed by some hilly ground. Then
he vigorously assailed the Gauls in the rear, and forced them to face
about and defend themselves, which caused great confusion, as they
were driven among the waggons and into the ditch by the Spartans until
at last they were forced to retreat. This glorious exploit of
Akrotatus was witnessed from the city walls by the old men and all the
women. As he returned through the city to his appointed post, covered
with blood and rejoicing in his victory, the Spartan women thought
that he had grown taller and more handsome than before, and they
envied Chilonis her lover. Some of the old men even followed him,
shouting, "Go home, Akrotatus, and enjoy yourself with Chilonis: only
beget brave sons for Sparta." Where Pyrrhus fought a terrible battle
took place, and many valiant deeds were wrought. A Spartan named
Phyllius, after greatly distinguishing himself and slaying many of the
assailants, when he felt himself mortally wounded, made way for his
rear rank-man to take his place, and died inside the line of shields,
in order that his corpse might not fall into the hands of the enemy.

XXIX. The battle ceased at night, and during his sleep Pyrrhus dreamed
a dream, that he cast thunderbolts upon Lacedæmon, set it all on fire,
and rejoiced at the sight. Being awakened by his delight at this
vision, he ordered his officers to hold the troops in readiness and
related the dream to his friends, auguring from it that he should take
the city by assault. They were all of them delighted at the vision,
and certain that it portended success, except one Lysimachus, who said
that he feared that, as places struck by thunderbolts may not be
walked over, Heaven might mean to signify to Pyrrhus by this that he
never should set foot in the city. Pyrrhus however answered that this
was mere empty gossip, and that they had better take their arms in
their hands and remember that

     "The best of omens is King Pyrrhus's cause."[49]

He rose, and at daybreak led his troops again to the assault. The
Lacedæmonians defended themselves with a spirit and courage beyond
what could be expected from their small numbers. The women mingled in
the thick of the fight, supplying food, drink, and missile weapons
wherever they were needed, and carrying away the wounded. The
Macedonians endeavoured to fill up the ditch by flinging large
quantities of wood into it, covering the arms and dead bodies which
lay at the bottom. As the Lacedæmonians were resisting this attempt,
they saw Pyrrhus on horseback trying to cross the line of waggons and
the ditch, and force his way into the city. A shout was raised by the
garrison at the spot, and the women began to scream and run wildly
about. Pyrrhus had made his way through all obstacles and was about to
attack the nearest of those who disputed his passage, when his horse,
struck in the body by a Cretan javelin, reared in the death-agony, and
threw Pyrrhus to the ground. He fell on a steep bank, and his fall
caused such consternation among his followers that a timely charge of
the Spartans drove them back. Upon this he gave orders to put a stop
to the assault, for he imagined that the Lacedæmonians would soon
offer terms of surrender, as they were nearly all wounded, and had
lost many men. However, the good fortune of the city, which may have
wished to test the Spartan courage to the utmost, or to prove its own
power to save the city when all hope seemed lost, brought Ameinias the
Phokian, one of the generals of Antigonus, with a body of mercenary
troops to help the Spartans in this their darkest hour. Shortly after
they had received this reinforcement, their king, Areus, arrived from
Crete with two thousand men. The women now returned to their homes,
not thinking it to be necessary any longer for them to take an active
part in the war, while those old men too who had been forced by
necessity to take up arms, were relieved by the new comers, who took
their places in the line of battle against the enemy.

XXX. These reinforcements piqued Pyrrhus into making several more
attempts to take the city, in which however he was repulsed and
wounded. He now retired, and began to plunder the country, professing
his intention to winter there. But no man can resist his destiny.
There were in Argos two parties, one headed by Aristeas, and the other
by Aristippus. The latter was favoured by Antigonus, which induced
Aristeas to invite Pyrrhus to Argos. He was ever willing to embark on
a new enterprise, because he regarded his successes merely as
stepping-stones to greater things, and hoped to retrieve his failures
by new and more daring exploits; so that he was rendered equally
restless by victory or defeat. Accordingly he set off at once for
Argos. Areus occupied the most difficult of the passes on the road
with an ambuscade, and attacked the Gauls and Molossians who formed
the rear-guard. Pyrrhus had been warned by his soothsayers that the
livers of the victims wanted one lobe, which portended the loss of one
of his relatives, but at this crisis the disorder and confusion into
which his army was thrown by the ambush made him forget the omen, and
order his son Ptolemy to take his guards and go to the help of the
rear-guard, while he himself hurried his main body on through the
defile. When Ptolemy came up a fierce battle took place. The flower of
the Lacedæmonian army, led by Eualkus, engaged with the troops
immediately around Ptolemy, and while they fought, a Cretan named
Oryssus, a native of Aptera, running forward on the flank, struck the
young man, who was fighting bravely, with a javelin, and killed him.
His fall caused his troops to retreat, and they were hard pressed by
the Lacedæmonians, who were so excited by their victory that they were
carried by their ardour far into the plain, where their retreat was
cut off by Pyrrhus's infantry. Pyrrhus himself, who had just heard of
the death of his son, in an agony of grief now ordered the Molossian
cavalry to charge them. He was the first to ride among the
Lacedæmonians, and terribly avenged his son by cutting them down.
Pyrrhus in battle was always a terrific figure, whom none dared to
resist, but on this occasion he surpassed himself in courage and fury.
At length he rode up to Eualkus, who avoided his charge, and aimed a
blow at him with his sword which just missed Pyrrhus's bridle hand,
but cut through his reins. Pyrrhus ran him through with his spear at
the same moment, but fell from his horse, and, fighting henceforth on
foot, slew all the chosen band commanded by Eualkus. This was a severe
loss to Sparta, incurred as it was unnecessarily, after the war was
really over, from the desire of their generals to distinguish

XXXI. Pyrrhus celebrated his son's obsequies with splendid games.[50]
His grief was partly satiated by the revenge which he had taken upon
the enemy, and he now marched towards Argos. Hearing that Antigonus
was encamped upon one of the heights near the city, he himself pitched
his camp at Nauplia. On the next day he sent a herald to Antigonus
with an insulting message, challenging him to come down upon the level
ground and fight. Antigonus answered that he should fight only when he
chose, but that if Pyrrhus was weary of his life, he could find many
other ways to die. Ambassadors from Argos also came to each of them,
begging them to withdraw their forces, and allow the city to remain
independent and friendly to both, Antigonus accepted this offer, and
handed over his son to the Argives as a hostage, while Pyrrhus agreed
to retire, but, as he gave no pledge, was viewed with greater
suspicion than before. A strange portent also happened to Pyrrhus, for
the heads of the oxen which had been sacrificed, when lying apart from
their bodies, were observed to put out their tongues and lap their own
gore; and in the city the priestess of Apollo Lykius rushed about in
frenzy, crying out that she saw the whole city full of slaughtered
corpses, and an eagle coming to the fight and then disappearing.

XXXII. During the following night, which was very dark, Pyrrhus
marched his troops up to the walls, found the gate called Diamperes
opened to him by Aristeas, and was able to march his Gaulish troops
into the city and seize the market-place unobserved: but the elephants
could not pass through the gate until their towers were taken off
their backs. The removal of these towers, in the darkness, and the
replacing them when the elephants had passed through the gate, caused
an amount of delay and confusion which at length roused the slumbering
inhabitants; they ran together to the place called "the Shield," and
the other places of strength in the city, and sent messengers to call
Antigonus to their aid. He at once marched up close to the city, and
remained there with a reserve, but sent his son and several of his
officers with a large part of his forces to assist the Argives within
their city walls. Areus the king of Sparta also arrived, with a
thousand Cretans and the swiftest footed of the Spartans. All these
troops now at once attacked the Gauls and threw them into great
disorder. As Pyrrhus, however, marched in by the street called
Kylarabis, his soldiers raised a warlike shout: and he, noticing that
the shout was echoed by the Gauls in the market-place in an undecided,
faint-hearted fashion, at once guessed that they were being hard
pressed. He instantly pressed the horsemen with him to charge, which
they did with great difficulty, as the horses kept falling into the
water-courses with which the whole city is intersected. The night was
spent in wild tumult and skirmishing in the narrow lanes, both
parties being unable to recognize or obey their leaders, and eagerly
awaiting the dawn. The first rays of light showed Pyrrhus the whole
open square called "the Shield" full of enemies, while he was even
more disturbed by the sight of a brazen statue in the market-place,
representing a wolf and a bull about to attack one another; for he
remembered an oracle which had long before foretold that he must die
when he should see a wolf fighting with a bull. The Argives say that
this statue commemorates the legend that Danaus when he first landed
in the country at Pyramia, near Thyrea, was marching towards Argos
when he saw a wolf fighting with a bull. Danaus decided that the wolf
must represent himself, because he was a stranger, and was come to
attack the people of the country, like it; and he stopped and watched
the fight. When the wolf gained the day, he offered prayer to Apollo
Lykius, made his attempt upon the throne of Argos, and was successful,
as Gelanor, who was then king, was forced into exile by a revolution.
This is the account which the Argives give of these statues.

XXXIII. This sight, and the failure of his plans, disheartened
Pyrrhus, and he began to think of retreating. As the gates were
narrow, he sent to his son Helenus, who had been left with a large
force without the city, ordering him to break down a part of the wall,
and protect the fugitives, if they were pressed by the enemy. But in
the hurry and confusion the messenger did not clearly explain his
orders, and by some mistake the young Helenus took all the remaining
elephants and the best troops, and marched through the gate with them
to help his father. Pyrrhus was already beginning to retire. As long
as he fought in the market-place, where there was ample room, he
effected his retreat in good order, and kept off the assailants by
occasional movements in advance. But when his troops began to march
down the narrow street leading to the gate, they were met face to face
by the reinforcement coming to their assistance. At this crisis some
of the soldiers refused to obey Pyrrhus's order to retreat, while
others who were willing enough to do so could not stem the tide of men
marching in from the gate. At the gate itself too the largest of the
elephants had fallen sideways and lay there bellowing, blocking up
the way for those who were trying to pass out, while one of the
elephants of the reinforcing party, called "the Conqueror," was
looking for his master, who had fallen off his back mortally wounded.
Charging violently back against the surging tide of fugitives, the
faithful beast trampled down friends and foes alike until he found his
master's body, when he seized it with his trunk and carried it upon
his tusks; and then, turning round in a frenzy of grief, overturned
and crushed every one whom he met. As the men were thus crowded
together, no one could do anything to help himself, but the whole mass
surged backwards and forwards in one solid body. The enemy who
attacked them behind did them but little hurt; they suffered chiefly
from one another, because when a man had once drawn his sword or
couched his lance he could not put it up again, and it pierced whoever
might happen to be forced against it.

XXXIV. Pyrrhus, seeing the danger with which he was menaced on every
side, took off the royal diadem from his helmet, and gave it to one of
his companions. He himself, trusting to the fact of his being on
horseback, now charged into the mass of assailants, and was struck
through his cuirass by one of them with a spear. The wound was not a
dangerous or important one, and Pyrrhus at once turned to attack the
man from whom he had received it. He was an Argive, not of noble
birth, but the son of a poor old woman, who, like the rest, was
looking on at the battle from the roof of her house. As soon as she
saw Pyrrhus attacking her son, in an ecstasy of fear and rage she took
up a tile and hurled it at Pyrrhus. It struck him on the helmet,
bruising the spine at the back of his neck, and he fell from his
horse, blinded by the stroke, at the side of the sacred enclosure of
Likymnius. Few recognized him, but one Zopyrus, who was in the service
of Antigonus, and two or three others, seized him just as he was
beginning to recover his senses, and dragged him into an archway near
at hand. When Zopyrus drew an Illyrian sword to cut off his head
Pyrrhus looked so fiercely at him that he was terrified, and bungled
in his work, but at length managed to sever his head from his body.
By this time most men had learned what had happened, and Halkyoneus,
running up, asked to see the head, that he might identify it. When he
obtained this he rode off with it to his father, and finding him
sitting amongst his friends, he threw it down at his feet. Antigonus
when he recognized it chased his son out of his presence, striking him
with his staff, and calling him accursed and barbarous, and then
covered his own face with his mantle and wept, remembering how in his
own family his grandfather Antigonus and his father Demetrius had
experienced similar reverses of fortune. He had the body and head of
Pyrrhus decently arranged on a funeral pyre and burned. Halkyoneus,
meeting Helenus in poor and threadbare clothes, embraced him kindly,
and led him to Antigonus, who said to him, "This meeting, my boy, is
better than the other; but still you do not do right in not removing
these clothes, which rather seem to disgrace us who are, as it
appears, the victors." He treated Helenus with great kindness, and
sent him back to his kingdom of Epirus loaded with presents, and also
showed great favour towards the friends of Pyrrhus, who, together with
all his army and war material, had fallen into his hands.


[Footnote 38: By 'Kings' throughout this 'Life,' Plutarch refers to
the successors of Alexander the Great.]

[Footnote 39: See Thirlwall's 'History of Greece,' chap. lx.]

[Footnote 40: Plutarch's account of these transactions is hardly
intelligible. Demetrius, it appears, was about to lay siege to Athens
when Pyrrhus prevented him. See Thirlwall's History, chap. lx.]

[Footnote 41: The river Aciris, now called Agri.]

[Footnote 42: Demetrius.]

[Footnote 43: I have translated the above passages almost literally
from the Greek. Yet I am inclined to think that Arnold has penetrated
the true meaning, and shows us the reason for Fabricius's exclamation,
when he states the Epicurean philosophy, as expounded by Kineas, to be
"that war and state affairs were but toil and trouble, and that the
wise man should imitate the blissful rest of the gods, who, dwelling
in their own divinity, regarded not the vain turmoil of this lower
world."--Arnold's 'History of Rome,' vol. ii. ch. xxxvii]

[Footnote 44: See an excellent note in Arnold's 'History of Rome,'
vol. ii. ch. xxxvii.]

[Footnote 45: These were the descendants of certain Campanian
mercenaries, who had seized the city of Messina, and from it made war
upon the neighbourhood.]

[Footnote 46: "Barbarians" here as elsewhere merely means those who
were not Greeks.]

[Footnote 47: On this passage Thirlwall ('History of Greece,' chapter
lx.) has the following note: "Flathe (vol. ii. p. 94) conceives that
the waggons were placed in the ditch, which I can neither understand,
nor reconcile with Plutarch's description. Clough follows Flathe, and
says that 'the waggons were sunk in the ditch, here and there along
it.' Plutarch's description is most unfortunately brief. We do not
know to what extent Sparta had been fortified during its wars with
Kassander and Demetrius, or whether the ditch which was dug on this
occasion covered the only gap in the walls. At any rate it is hard to
understand why the Spartans, according to Clough, should dig a ditch
and then sink their waggons in it, as in that case they might as well
not have dug any ditch at all."]

[Footnote 48: The married women wore two pieces of dress, the
unmarried one only. On this occasion the married women tied their
cloaks round their waists. See the description in the 'Life of

[Footnote 49: I have adopted Clough's excellent version of the
well-known passage in 'Iliad,' xii. 243, where Hector says that he
cares not for the flight of birds or any other omen, but that "The
best of omens is one's country's cause."]

[Footnote 50: Compare the games which Achilles, in the 'Iliad,' holds
at the funeral of Patroklus.]


I. I cannot mention any third name[51] of Caius Marius, any more than
of Quintus Sertorius, who held Spain, or of Lucius Mummius, who took
Corinth; for the name Achaicus was given to Mummius in commemoration
of this event, just as the name Africanus was given to Scipio, and
Macedonicus to Metellus. This seems to Poseidonius to be the strongest
refutation of the opinion of those who suppose that the third name was
the proper individual name among the Romans, such as Camillus, and
Marcellus, and Cato; for he argues, if this were so, those who had
only the two names would be really without a name. But Poseidonius
does not perceive that by this argument he on his side makes the women
to be without names: for no woman ever has the first of the three
names, which first, however, Poseidonius supposes to be the name which
marked individuals among the Romans; and of the other two names, he
supposes the one to be common and to belong to all of one kin, such as
the Pompeii and the Manlii and the Cornelii, just as the Greeks might
speak of the Herakleidæ and the Pelopidæ; but the other name he
supposes to be an appellation given as a distinctive name, either with
reference to a man's disposition or his actions, or some character and
peculiarity of his person, such as Macrinus and Torquatus and Sulla,
which may be compared with the Greek Mnemon or Grypus or Kallinikus.
However, in such matters as these the diversity in usage allows a
variety of conjectures.

II. With respect to the personal appearance of Marius, I saw a stone
statue[52] of him at Ravenna in Gaul, which was perfectly in
accordance with what is said of the roughness and harshness of his
character. He was naturally of a courageous and warlike turn, and had
more of the discipline of the camp than of the state, and accordingly
his temper was ungovernable when he was in the possession of power. It
is stated that he never studied Greek literature, and never availed
himself of the Greek language for any serious purpose, for he said it
was ridiculous to study a literature the teachers of which were the
slaves of others; and after his second triumph, when he exhibited
Greek plays[53] on the occasion of the dedication of a certain temple,
though he came to the theatre, he only sat down for a moment and then
went away. Xenokrates the philosopher was considered to be rather of a
morose temper, and Plato was in the habit of frequently saying to him,
"My good Xenokrates, sacrifice to the Graces;" in like manner, if
Marius could have been persuaded to sacrifice to the Grecian Muses and
Graces, he would never have brought a most illustrious military and
civil career to a most unseemly conclusion; through passion and
unreasonable love of power and insatiable desire of
self-aggrandizement driven to terminate his course in an old age of
cruelty and ferocity. Let this, however, be judged of by the facts as
they will presently appear.

III. Marius was the son of obscure parents, who gained their living by
the labour of their hands, and were poor. His father's name was
Marius; his mother's name was Fulcinia. It was late before he saw Rome
and became acquainted with the habits of the city, up to which time he
lived at Cirrhæato,[54] a village in the territory of Arpinum, where
his mode of life was rude, when contrasted with the polite and
artificial fashions of a city, but temperate and in accordance with
the old Roman discipline. He first served against the Celtiberians
when Scipio Africanus was besieging Numantia, and he attracted the
notice of his commander by his superiority in courage over all the
other young soldiers, and by the readiness with which he adapted
himself to the change in living which Scipio introduced among the
troops, who had been corrupted by luxurious habits and extravagance.
He is said also to have killed one of the enemy in single combat in
the presence of the general. Accordingly Marius received from Scipio
various honourable distinctions; and on one occasion, after supper,
when the conversation was about generals, and one of the company,
either because he really felt a difficulty or merely wished to flatter
Scipio, asked him where the Roman people would find such another
leader and protector when he was gone, Scipio with his hand gently
touched the shoulder of Marius, who was reclining next to him, and
said, "Perhaps here." So full of promise was the youth of Marius, and
so discerning was the judgment of Scipio.

IV. Now it is said that Marius, mainly encouraged by these words,
which he viewed as a divine intimation, entered on a political career,
and obtained the tribuneship, in which he was assisted by Cæcilius
Metellus,[55] of whose house the family of Marius had long been an
adherent. During his tribuneship Marius proposed a law on the mode of
voting, which apparently tended to deprive the nobles of their power
in the Judicia: the measure was opposed by Cotta, the consul, who
persuaded the Senate to resist the proposed law, and to summon Marius
to account for his conduct. The decree proposed by Cotta was drawn up,
and Marius appeared before the Senate; but so far from being
disconcerted, as a young man might naturally be, who without any
advantages had just stepped into public life, he already assumed the
tone which his subsequent exploits authorized, and threatened to carry
off Cotta to prison if he did not rescind the decree. Upon Cotta
turning to Metellus and asking his opinion, Metellus arose and
supported the consul; but Marius, sending for the officer who was
outside of the house, ordered him to carry off Metellus himself to
prison. Metellus appealed to the rest of the tribunes without effect,
and the Senate yielded and abandoned the decree. Marius now
triumphantly came before the popular assembly and got his law
ratified, having proved himself to be a man unassailable by fear, not
to be diverted from his purpose by any motive of personal respect, and
a formidable opponent to the Senate by his measures which were adapted
to win the public favour. But he soon gave people reason to change
their opinion; for he most resolutely opposed a measure for the
distribution of corn among the citizens, and succeeding in his
opposition, he established himself in equal credit with both parties,
as a man who would do nothing to please either, if it were contrary to
the public interest.

V. After the tribuneship he was a candidate for the greater ædileship.
Now there are two classes of ædileships: one, which derives its name
(curule[56]) from the seats with curved feet on which the ædiles sit
when they discharge their functions; the other, the inferior, is
called the plebeian ædileship. When they have chosen the higher
ædiles, they then take the vote again for the election of the others.
Now as Marius was manifestly losing in the votes for the curule
ædileship, he forthwith changed about and became a candidate for the
other ædileship. But this was viewed as an audacious and arrogant
attempt, and he failed in his election; but though he thus met with
two repulses in one day, which never happened to any man before, he
did not abate one tittle of his pretensions, for no long time after he
was a candidate for a prætorship,[57] in which he narrowly missed a
failure, being the last of all who were declared to be elected, and he
was prosecuted for bribery.[58] What gave rise to most suspicion was
the fact that a slave of Cassius Sabaco[59] was seen within the septa
mingled with the voters; for Sabaco was one of the most intimate
friends of Marius. Accordingly Sabaco was cited before the judices;
he explained the circumstance by saying that the heat had made him
very thirsty, and he called for a cup of cold water, which his slave
brought to him within the septa, and left it as soon as he had drunk
the water. Sabaco was ejected from the Senate by the next censors, and
people were of opinion that he deserved it, either because he had
given false testimony or for his intemperance. Caius Herennius also
was summoned as a witness against Marius, but he declared that it was
contrary to established usage to give testimony against a client[60]
and that patrons (for this is the name that the Romans give to
protectors) were legally excused from this duty, and that the parents
of Marius, and Marius himself, originally were clients of his house.
Though the judices accepted the excuse as valid, Marius himself
contradicted Herennius, and maintained that for the moment when he was
declared to be elected to a magistracy, he became divested of the
relation of client; which was not exactly true, for it is not every
magistracy which releases a man who has obtained it, and his family,
from the necessity of having a patron, but only those magistracies to
which the law assigns the curule seat. However, on the first days of
the trial it went hard with Marius, and the judices were strongly
against him; yet on the last day, contrary to all expectation, he was
acquitted, the votes being equal.

VI. During his prætorship Marius got only a moderate degree of credit.
But on the expiration of his office he obtained by lot the further
province of Iberia (Spain), and it is said that during his command he
cleared all the robber[61] establishments out of his government, which
was still an uncivilised country in its habits and in a savage state,
as the Iberians had not yet ceased to consider robbery as no
dishonourable occupation. Though Marius had now embarked in a public
career, he had neither wealth nor eloquence, by means of which those
who then held the chief power were used to manage the people. But the
resoluteness of his character, and his enduring perseverance in toil,
and his plain manner of living, got him the popular favour, and he
increased in estimation and influence, so as to form a matrimonial
alliance with the illustrious house of the Cæsars,[62] with Julia,
whose nephew Cæsar afterwards became the greatest of the Romans and in
some degree imitated his relation Marius, as I have told in the Life
of Cæsar. There is evidence both of the temperance of Marius and also
of his endurance, which was proved by his behaviour about a surgical
operation. Both his legs, it is said, had become varicose,[63] and as
he disliked this deformity, he resolved to put himself in the
surgeon's hands. Accordingly he presented to the surgeon one of his
legs without allowing himself to be bound; and without making a single
movement or uttering a single groan, with steady countenance and in
silence he endured excessive pain during the operation. But when the
surgeon was going to take the other leg, Marius refused to present it,
saying that he perceived the cure was not worth the pain.

VII. When Cæcilius Metellus[64] was appointed consul with the command
of the war against Jugurtha, he took Marius with him to Libya in the
capacity of legatus.[65] Here Marius signalised himself by great
exploits and brilliant success in battle, but he did not, like the
rest, seek to increase the glory of Metellus and to direct all his
efforts for the advantage of his general, but disdaining to be called
a legatus of Metellus, and considering that fortune had offered him a
most favourable opportunity and a wide theatre for action, he
displayed his courage on every occasion. Though the war was
accompanied with many hardships, he shrunk not from danger however
great, and he thought nothing too mean to be neglected, but in prudent
measures and careful foresight he surpassed all the officers of his
own rank, and he vied with the soldiers in hard living and endurance,
and thus gained their affections. For certainly there is nothing which
reconciles a man so readily to toil as to see another voluntarily
sharing it with him, for thus the compulsion seems to be taken away;
and the most agreeable sight to a Roman soldier is to see his general
in his presence eating common bread or sleeping on a coarse mat, or
taking a hand in any trench-work and fortification. Soldiers do not so
much admire a general who shares with them the honour and the spoil,
as one who participates in their toils and dangers; and they love a
general who will take a part in their labours more than one who
indulges their licence. By such conduct as this, and by gaining the
affection of the soldiers, Marius soon filled Libya and Rome with his
fame and his glory, for the soldiers wrote to their friends at home
and told them there would be no end to the war with the barbarian, no
deliverance from it, if they did not elect Marius consul.

VIII. These proceedings evidently caused great annoyance to Metellus;
but the affair of Turpillius[66] vexed him most of all. The family of
Turpillius for several generations had been connected with that of
Metellus by friendly relations, and Turpillius was then serving in the
army at the head of a body of engineers. It happened that he was
commissioned to take charge of Vaga, which was a large city. Trusting
for his security to the forbearance with which he treated the
inhabitants, and his kind and friendly intercourse with them, he was
thrown off his guard and fell into the hands of his enemies, who
admitted Jugurtha into the city. Turpillius, however, was not injured,
and the citizens obtained his release and sent him away. He was
accordingly charged with treason, and Marius, who was present at the
trial as an assessor, was violent against him and excited most of the
rest, so that Metellus was unwillingly compelled to pronounce sentence
of death against the man. Shortly after it appeared that the charge
was false, and everybody except Marius sympathised with Metellus, who
was grieved at what had taken place; but Marius exultingly claimed the
merit of the condemnation, and was shameless enough to go about saying
that he had fixed on Metellus a dæmon which would avenge the death of
the man whom it was his duty to protect. This brought Metellus and
Marius to open enmity; and it is reported that on one occasion when
Marius was present, Metellus said in an insulting way, "You, forsooth,
my good fellow, intend to leave us and make the voyage to Rome, to
offer yourself for the consulship; and you won't be content to be the
colleague of this son of mine." Now the son of Metellus[67] was at
that time a very young man. Marius however was still importunate to
obtain leave of absence; and Metellus, after devising various pretexts
for delay, at last allowed him to go, when there were only twelve days
left before the consuls would be declared. Marius accomplished the
long journey from the camp to Utica, on the coast, in two days and one
night, and offered sacrifice before he set sail. It is said that the
priest told him that the deity gave prognostications of success beyond
all measure and all expectation, and accordingly Marius set sail with
high hopes. In four days he crossed the sea with a favourable wind,
and was most joyfully received by the people, and being introduced to
the popular assembly by one of the tribunes, he began by violent abuse
of Metellus, and ended with asking for the consulship and promising
that he would either kill Jugurtha or take him alive.

IX. Being declared consul by a great majority, he immediately set
about levying soldiers in a way contrary to law and usage, by
enrolling a great number of the poorer sort and of slaves, though
former generals had never admitted men of this kind into the army, but
had given arms, as they would anything else that was a badge of
honour, only to those who had the due qualification, inasmuch as every
soldier was thus considered to pledge his property to the State. It
was not this however which made Marius most odious, but his insolent
and arrogant expressions, which gave offence to the nobles, for he
publicly said that he considered his acquisition of the consulship a
trophy gained over the effeminacy of the noble and the rich, and that
what he could proudly show to the people was his own wounds, not the
monuments of the dead or the likenesses[68] of others. And he would
often speak of the generals who had been defeated in Libya, mentioning
by name Bestia[69] and Albinus, men of illustrious descent indeed, but
unskilled in military matters, and for want of experience
unsuccessful; and he would ask his hearers whether they did not think
that the ancestors of Bestia and Albinus would rather have left
descendants like himself, for they also had gained an honourable fame;
not by noble birth, but by their virtues and their illustrious deeds.
This was not said as a mere empty boast, nor simply because he wished
to make himself odious to the nobles; but the people, who were
delighted to hear the Senate abused, and always measured the greatness
of a man's designs by the bigness of his words, encouraged him and
urged him on not to spare the nobles if he wished to please the many.

X. When Marius had crossed over to Libya, Metellus, giving way to his
jealousy, and vexed to see the crown and the triumph, when he had
already completed the war and it only remained to seize the person of
Jugurtha, taken from him by another, a man too who had raised himself
to power by ingratitude to his benefactor, would not stay to meet
Marius, but privately left the country, and Rutilius, one of his
legati, gave up the army to the new consul. But at last retribution
for his conduct overtook Marius; for he was deprived of the glory of
his victories by Sulla, just in the same way as he had deprived
Metellus of his credit: and how this happened I will state briefly,
since the particular circumstances are told more at length in the Life
of Sulla. Bocchus, who was king of the barbarians in the interior, and
the father-in-law of Jugurtha, showed no great disposition to help him
in his wars, because of the faithlessness of Jugurtha, and also
because he feared the increase of his power. But when Jugurtha, who
was now a fugitive from place to place, made Bocchus his last resource
and took refuge with him, Bocchus received his son-in-law more from a
regard to decency, as he was a suppliant, than from any goodwill, and
kept him in his hands; and while he openly interceded with Marius on
behalf of Jugurtha, and wrote to say that he would not surrender him
and assumed a high tone, he secretly entertained treacherous designs
against Jugurtha, and sent for Lucius Sulla, who was the Quæstor of
Marius, and had done some service to Bocchus during the campaign.
Sulla confidently went to Bocchus, but the barbarian, who had changed
his intentions and repented of his design, for several days wavered in
his plan, hesitating whether he should deliver up Jugurtha or keep
Sulla a prisoner: at last, however, he determined to carry into effect
his original design, and surrendered Jugurtha into the hands of Sulla.
Thus was sown the seed of that irreconcilable and violent animosity
between Marius and Sulla which nearly destroyed Rome: many claimed the
credit of this transaction for Sulla on account of their dislike of
Marius, and Sulla himself had a seal-ring made, which he used to on
which there was a representation of the surrender of Jugurtha by
Bocchus. By constantly wearing this ring Sulla irritated Marius, who
was an ambitious and quarrelsome man, and could endure no partner in
his glory. But the enemies of Marius gave Sulla most encouragement by
attributing to Metellus the credit of the first and best part of the
war, and that of the latter part and the conclusion to Sulla, their
object being to lower Marius in public estimation and to withdraw the
people from their exclusive attachment to him.

XI. But this envy and hatred and these calumnies against Marius were
dissipated and removed by the danger which threatened Italy from the
west, as soon as the State saw that she needed a great commander and
had to look about for a pilot whose skill should save her from such a
torrent of foes; for no one would allow any of the men of noble birth
or wealthy families to offer themselves at the Comitia, and Marius, in
his absence from Rome, was declared consul. It happened that the
Romans had just received intelligence of the capture of Jugurtha when
the reports about the Cimbri[70] and Teutones surprised them, and
though the rumours as to the numbers and strength of the invaders were
at first disbelieved, it afterwards appeared that they fell short of
the truth. Three hundred thousand armed fighting men were advancing,
bringing with them a much larger number of women and children, in
quest of land to support so mighty a multitude and of cities to dwell
in, after the example of the Celtæ[71] before them, who took the best
part of Italy from the Tyrrheni and kept it. As these invaders had no
intercourse with other nations, and had traversed an extensive tract
of country, it could not be ascertained who they were or where they
issued from to descend upon Gaul and Italy like a cloud. The most
probable conjecture was that they were Germanic nations belonging to
those who extended as far as the northern ocean; and this opinion was
founded on their great stature, their blue eyes, and on the fact that
the Germans designate robbers by the name of Cimbri. Others thought
that Celtica extended in a wide and extensive tract from the external
sea and the subarctic regions to the rising sun and the Lake
Mæotis,[72] where it bordered on Pontic Scythia; and it was from this
region, as they supposed, where the tribes are mingled, that these
invaders came, and that they did not advance in one expedition nor yet
uninterruptedly, but that every spring they moved forwards, fighting
their way, till in the course of time they traversed the whole
continent. Accordingly while the barbarians had several names
according to their respective tribes, they designated the whole body
by the name of Celtoscythians. But others say that the Cimmerians,
with whom the ancient Greeks were first acquainted, were no large
portion of the whole nation, but merely a tribe[73] or faction that
was driven out by the Scythians and passed into Asia from the Lake
Mæotis, under the command of Lygdamis: they further say that the chief
part of the Scythian nation and the most warlike part lived at the
very verge of the continent, on the coast of the external sea, in a
tract shaded, woody, and totally sunless, owing to the extent and
closeness of the forests, which reach into the interior as far as the
Hercynii[74]; and with respect to the heavens, their position was in
that region where the pole[75], having a great elevation owing to the
inclination of the parallels, appears to be only a short distance from
the spectator's zenith, and the days and nights are of equal length
and share the year between them, which furnished Homer[76] with the
occasion for his story of Ulysses visiting the ghosts. From these
parts then some supposed that these barbarians came against Italy, who
were originally Cimmerii, but then not inappropriately called Cimbri.
But all this is rather founded on conjecture than on sure historical
evidence. As to the numbers of the invaders, they are stated by many
authorities as above rather than below the amount that has been
mentioned. But their courage and daring made them irresistible, and in
battle they rushed forward with the rapidity and violence of fire, so
that no nations could stand their attack, but all the people that came
in their way became their prey and booty, and many powerful Roman
armies[77] with their commanders, which were stationed to protect Gaul
north of the Alps, perished ingloriously; and indeed these armies by
their unsuccessful resistance mainly contributed to direct the course
of the enemy against Rome. For when they had defeated those who
opposed them and got abundance of booty, they determined not to settle
themselves permanently anywhere till they had destroyed Rome and
ravaged Italy.

XII. Hearing this news from many quarters, the Romans called Marius
to the command; and he was elected consul the second time, though it
was contrary to a positive law for a man in his absence, and without a
certain interval of time, to be elected again, but the people would
not listen to those who made any opposition to the election. For they
considered that this would not be the first time that the law had
given way to convenience, and that the present was as good an occasion
for such an irregularity as the election of Scipio[78] as consul at a
time when they were under no apprehension about the ruin of Rome, but
merely wished to destroy Carthage. Accordingly these reasons
prevailed, and Marius, after crossing the sea with his army to Rome,
received the consulship, and celebrated his triumph on the calends of
January, which with the Romans is the beginning of the year, and
exhibited to them a sight they never expected to see, Jugurtha in
chains; for no one had ever ventured to hope that the Romans could
conquer their enemies while he was alive; so dexterous was Jugurtha in
turning all events to the best advantage, and so much courage did he
combine with great cunning. But it is said that being led in the
triumph made him lose his senses. After the triumph he was thrown into
prison, and while some were tearing his clothes from his body, others
who were anxious to secure his golden ear-rings pulled them off and
the lobe of the ear with them; in this plight being thrust down naked
into a deep hole, in his frenzy, with a grinning laugh, he cried out,
O Hercules, how cold your bath is! After struggling with famine for
six days and to the last moment clinging to the wish to preserve his
life, he paid the penalty due to his monstrous crimes. It is said that
there were carried in the triumphal procession three thousand and
seven pounds of gold, of silver uncoined five thousand seven hundred
and seventy-five, and in coined money two hundred and eighty-seven
thousand drachmæ. After the procession Marius assembled the Senate in
the Capitol, and either through inadvertence or vulgar exultation at
his good fortune he entered the place of meeting in his triumphal
dress. But observing that the Senate took offence at this, he went
out, and putting on the ordinary robe with the purple border, he
returned to the assembly.

XIII. On his expedition to meet the Cimbri, Marius continually
exercised his forces in various ways in running and in forced marches;
he also compelled every man to carry all his baggage and to prepare
his own food, in consequence of which men who were fond of toil, and
promptly and silently did what they were ordered, were called Marian
mules. Some, however, think that this name had a different origin; as
follows:--When Scipio was blockading Numantia, he wished to inspect
not only the arms and the horses, but also the mules and waggons, in
order to see in what kind of order and condition the soldiers kept
them. Marius accordingly produced his horse, which he had kept in
excellent condition with his own hand, and also a mule, which for good
appearance, docility, and strength far surpassed all the rest. The
general was much pleased with the beasts of Marius and often spoke
about them, which gave rise to the scoffing epithet of Marian mule,
when the subject of commendation was a persevering, enduring, and
labour-loving man.

XIV. Marius was favoured by a singular piece of good fortune; for
there was a reflux in the course of the barbarians, and the torrent
flowed towards Iberia before it turned to Italy, which gave Marius
time to discipline the bodies of his men and to confirm their courage;
and what was most of all, it gave the soldiers an opportunity of
knowing what kind of a man their general was. For the first impression
created by his sternness and by his inexorable severity in punishing,
was changed into an opinion of the justice and utility of his
discipline when they had been trained to avoid all cause of offence
and all breach of order; and the violence of his temper, the harshness
of his voice, and ferocious expression of his countenance, when the
soldiers became familiarised with them, appeared no longer formidable
to them, but only terrific to their enemies. But his strict justice in
all matters that came before him for judgment pleased the soldiers
most of all; and of this the following instance is mentioned, Caius
Lusius, who was a nephew of Marius, and was an officer in the army,
was in other respects a man of no bad character, but fond of beautiful
youths. This Caius conceived a passion for one of the young men who
served under him, by name Trebonius, and had often ineffectually
attempted to seduce him. At last Caius one night sent a servant with
orders to bring Trebonius; the young man came, for he could not refuse
to obey the summons, and was introduced into the tent; but when Caius
attempted to use violence towards him, he drew his sword and killed
him. Marius was not present when this happened, but on his arrival he
brought Trebonius to trial. There were many to join in supporting the
accusation, and not one to speak in his favour, but Trebouius boldly
came forward and told the whole story; and he produced witnesses who
proved that he had often resisted the importunities of Lusius, and
that though great offers had been made, he had never prostituted
himself; on which Marius, admiring his conduct, ordered a crown to be
brought, such as was conferred for noble deeds according to an old
Roman fashion, and he took it and put it on the head of Trebonius as a
fit reward for so noble an act at a time when good examples were much
needed. The news of this, reaching Rome, contributed in no small
degree to the consulship being conferred on Marius for the third time;
the barbarians also were expected about the spring of the year, and
the Romans did not wish to try the issue of a battle with them under
any other commander. However, the barbarians did not come so soon as
they were expected, and the period of the consulship of Marius again
expired. As the Comitia were at hand, and his colleague had died,
Marius came to Rome, leaving Manius Aquilius in the command of the
army. There were many candidates of great merit for the consulship,
but Lucius Saturninus, one of the tribunes, who had most influence
with the people, was gained over by Marius; and in his harangues he
advised them to elect Marius consul. Marius indeed affected to decline
the honour, and begged to be excused; he said he did not wish for it;
on which Saturninus called him a traitor to his country for refusing
the command at so critical a time. Now though it was apparent that
Saturninus was playing a part at the bidding of Marius, and in such a
way that nobody was deceived, still the many seeing that the
circumstances required a man of his energy and good fortune, voted for
the fourth consulship of Marius, and gave him for colleague Catulus
Lutatius, a man who was esteemed by the nobility and not disliked by
the people.

XV. Marius, hearing that the enemy was near, quickly crossed the Alps,
and established a fortified camp near the river Rhodanus[79] (Rhône),
which he supplied with abundance of stores, that he might not be
compelled against his judgment to fight a battle for want of
provisions. The conveyance of the necessary stores for the army, which
hitherto was tedious and expensive on the side of the sea, he rendered
easy and expeditious. The mouths of the Rhodanus, owing to the action
of the waves, received a great quantity of mud and sand, mixed with
large masses of clay, which were formed into banks by the force of the
water, and the entrance of the river was thus made difficult and
laborious and shallow for the vessels that brought supplies. As the
army had nothing to do, Marius brought the soldiers here and commenced
a great cut, into which he diverted a large part of the river, and, by
making the new channel terminate at a convenient point on the coast,
he gave it a deep outlet which had water enough for large vessels, and
was smooth and safe against wind and wave. This cut still bears the
name of Marius. The barbarians had now divided themselves into two
bodies, and it fell to the lot of the Cimbri to march through the
country of the Norici,[80] over the high land against Catulus, and to
force that passage: the Teutones and Ambrones were to march through
the Ligurian country along the sea to meet Marius. Now on the part of
the Cimbri there was some loss of time and delay; but the Teutones and
Ambrones set out forthwith, and speedily traversing the space which
separated them from the Romans, they made their appearance in numbers
countless, hideous in aspect, and in language and the cries they
uttered unlike any other people. They covered a large part of the
plain, where they pitched their tents and challenged Marius to battle.

XVI. Marius cared not for all this, but he kept his soldiers within
their entrenchments and severely rebuked those who made a display of
their courage, calling such as through passion were eager to break out
and fight, traitors to their country; he said it was not triumphs or
trophies which should now be the object of their ambition, but how
they should ward off so great a cloud and tempest of war, and secure
the safety of Italy. This was the way in which he addressed the
commanders in particular and the officers. The soldiers he used to
station on the rampart in turns, and bid them look at the enemy, and
thus he accustomed them to the aspect of the barbarians and their
strange and savage shouts, and to make themselves acquainted with
their armour and movements, so that in course of time what appeared
formidable to their imagination would become familiar by being often
seen. For it was the opinion of Marius that mere strangeness adds many
imaginary dangers to real danger; but that through familiarity even
real dangers lose their terrors. Now the daily sight of the enemy not
only took away somewhat of the first alarm, but the threats of the
barbarians and their intolerable arrogance roused the courage of the
Roman soldiers and inflamed their passions, for the enemy plundered
and devastated all the country around, and often attacked the
ramparts with much insolence and temerity, so that the words and
indignant expressions of the soldiers were repeated to Marius. The
soldiers asked, "If Marius had discovered any cowardice in them, that
he kept them from battle, like women under lock and key? Why should we
not, like free men, ask him whether he is waiting for others to fight
for Italy, and intends to employ us always as labourers when there may
be occasion to dig canals, to clear out mud, and to divert the course
of rivers? It was for this, as it seems, that he disciplined us in so
many toils; and these are the exploits of his consulship, which he
will exhibit to the citizens when he returns to Rome. Does he fear the
fate of Carbo and Cæpio, who were defeated by the enemy? But they were
far inferior to Marius in reputation and merit, and they were at the
head of much inferior armies. And it is better to do something, even
if we perish like them, than to sit here and see the lands of our
allies plundered."

XVII. Marius, who was pleased to hear such expressions as these,
pacified the soldiers by saying that he did not distrust them, but was
waiting for the time and the place of victory pursuant to certain
oracles. And in fact he carried about with him in a litter, with great
tokens of respect, a Syrian woman named Martha,[81] who was said to
possess the gift of divination, and he sacrificed pursuant to her
directions. This woman had formerly applied to the Senate, and offered
to foretell future events, but her proposal was rejected. Having got
access to the women, she allowed them to make trial of her skill; and
especially on one occasion, when she sat at the feet of the wife of
Marius, she was successful in foretelling what gladiators would win,
and this led to her being sent to Marius, who was much struck with her
skill. She generally accompanied the army in a litter, and assisted at
the sacrifices in a double purple robe fastened with a clasp, and
carrying a spear wreathed with ribands and chaplets. This exhibition
made many doubt whether Marius produced the woman in public because he
really believed in her, or whether he merely pretended to do so, and
played a part in the matter. But the affair of the vultures, which
Alexander[82] of Myndus has related, is certainly wonderful. Two
vultures were always seen hovering about the army before a victory,
and accompanying it; they were known by brass rings round their necks,
for the soldiers had caught the birds, and after putting on the rings
had let them go. Ever after this time as the soldiers recognised the
birds, they saluted them; and whenever the birds appeared on the
occasion of the army moving, the soldiers rejoiced, as they were
confident of success. Though there were many signs about this time,
all of them were of an ordinary kind, except what was reported from
Ameria and Tuder, two towns of Italy, where at night there was the
appearance in the heavens of fiery spears and shields, which at first
moved about in various directions, and then closed together,
exhibiting the attitudes and movements of men in battle; at last part
gave way, and the rest pressed on in pursuit, and all moved away to
the west. It happened that about the same time Batakes, the priest of
the Great Mother, came from Pessinus,[83] and reported that the
goddess from her shrine had declared to him that victory and the
advantage in war would be on the side of the Romans. The Senate
accepted the announcement and voted a temple to be built to the
goddess in commemoration of the anticipated victory; but when Batakes
presented himself to the popular assembly with the intention of making
the same report there, Aulus Pompeius, one of the tribunes, stopped
him, calling him an impostor, and contumeliously driving him from the
Rostra; which however contributed to gain most credit for the man's
assertions. For on the separation of the assembly, Aulus had no sooner
returned to his house than he was seized with so violent a fever that
he died within seven days; and the matter was notorious all through
Rome and the subject of much talk.

XVIII. Now Marius keeping quiet, the Teutones attempted to storm his
camp, but as many of them were struck by the missiles from the rampart
and some lost their lives, they resolved to march forward with the
expectation of safely crossing the Alps. Accordingly taking their
baggage, they passed by the Roman camp. Then indeed some notion could
be formed of their numbers by the length of their line and the time
which they took to march by; for it is said that they continued to
move past the encampment of Marius for six days without interruption.
As they passed along, they asked the Romans with a laugh, if they had
any message to send to their wives, for they should soon be with them.
When the barbarians had marched by and advanced some distance, Marius
also broke up his camp and followed close after them, always halting
near the enemy, but carefully fortifying his camp and making his
position strong in front, so that he could pass the night in safety.
Thus advancing, the two armies came to the Aquæ Sextiæ,[84] from which
a short march would bring them into the region of the Alps.
Accordingly Marius prepared for battle here, and he selected a
position which was strong enough, but ill-supplied with water, with a
view, as it is said, of thereby exciting his soldiers to come to an
engagement. However this may be, when some of them were complaining
and saying they should suffer from thirst, he pointed to a stream
which ran near the barbarian camp, and said they might get drink from
there, but the price was blood. Why then, they replied, don't you
forthwith lead us against the enemy, while our blood is still moist?
Marius calmly replied, "We must first secure our camp."

XIX. The soldiers obeyed unwillingly. In the meantime the camp
servants, having no water for themselves or their beasts, went down in
a body to the river, some with axes and hatchets, and others taking
swords and spears, together with their pitchers, resolving to have
water, even if they fought for it. At first a few only of the enemy
engaged with them, for the main body of the army were eating after
bathing, and some were still bathing. For a spring of warm water
bursts from the ground here, and the Romans surprised some of the
barbarians who were enjoying themselves and making merry in this
pleasant place. The shouts brought more of the barbarians to the spot,
and Marius had great difficulty in checking his men any longer, as
they were afraid they should lose their slaves, and the bravest part
of the enemy, who had formerly defeated the Romans under Manlius and
Cæpio (these were the Ambrones, who were above thirty thousand in
number), had sprung up and were running to their arms. Though full of
food and excited and inflamed with wine, they did not advance in
disorderly or frantic haste, nor utter confused shouts, but striking
their arms to a certain measure, and advancing all in regular line,
they often called out their name Ambrones, either to encourage one
another or to terrify the Romans by this announcement. The
Ligurians,[85] who were the first of the Italic people to go down to
battle with them, hearing their shouts, and understanding what they
said, responded by calling out their old national name, which was the
same, for the Ligurians also call themselves Ambrones when they refer
to their origin. Thus the shouts were continual on both sides before
they came to close quarters, and as the respective commanders joined
in the shouts, and at first vied with one another which should call
out loudest, the cries stimulated and roused the courage of the men.
Now the Ambrones were separated by the stream, for they could not all
cross and get into order of battle before the Ligurians, who advanced
at a run, fell on the first ranks and began the battle; and the Romans
coming up to support the Ligurians, and rushing on the barbarians
from higher ground, broke their ranks and put them to flight. Most of
the Ambrones were cut down in the stream, where they were crowded upon
one another, and the river[86] was filled with blood and dead bodies;
and those who made their way across, not venturing to face about, were
smitten by the Romans till they reached their camp and the waggons in
their flight. There the women meeting them with swords and axes, with
horrid furious yells, attempted to drive back both the fugitives and
their pursuers, the fugitives as traitors and the pursuers as their
enemies, mingling among the combatants, and with their bare hands
tearing from the Romans their shields, laying hold of their swords,
and enduring wounds and gashes till they fell, in spirit unvanquished.
In this manner, it is said that the battle on the river was brought
about rather from accident than any design on the part of the

XX. After destroying many of the Ambrones, the Romans retreated and
night came on; yet this great success was not followed, as is usual on
such occasions, by pæans of victory, and drinking in the tents, and
merriment over supper, and what is sweetest of all to men who have won
a victory, gentle sleep, but the Romans spent that night of all others
in fear and alarm. For their camp had neither palisade nor rampart,
and there were still left many thousands of the enemy, and all night
long they heard the lamentation of the Ambrones who had escaped and
joined the rest of the barbarians, and it was not like the weeping and
groaning of men, but a howl resembling that of wild beasts; and a
bellowing mingled with threats and cries of sorrow proceeding from
such mighty numbers, re-echoed from the surrounding mountains and the
banks of the river. A frightful noise filled the whole plain, and the
Romans were alarmed, and even Marius himself was disturbed, expecting
a disorderly and confused battle in the night. However, the enemy made
no attack either on that night or the following day, but they were
occupied in arranging their forces and making preparations. In the
meantime, as the position of the enemy was backed by sloping hills and
deep ravines shaded with trees, Marius sent there Claudius Marcellus,
with three thousand heavy-armed soldiers, with instructions to lie
concealed in ambush, and to appear on the rear of the barbarians when
the battle was begun. The rest of the army, who supped in good time
and got a night's rest, he drew up at daybreak in front of the camp,
and ordered the cavalry to advance into the plain. The Teutones,
observing this, would not wait for the Romans to come down and fight
with them on fair ground, but with all speed and in passion they took
to their arms and advanced up the hill. Marius sent his officers to
every part of the army, with orders to the soldiers to stand firm in
their ranks till the enemy came within the reach of their spears,
which they were to discharge, and then to draw their swords, and drive
against the barbarians with their shields; for as the ground was
unfavourable to the enemy, their blows would have no force, and their
line no strength, owing to the unevenness of the surface, which would
render their footing unstable and wavering. The advice which he gave
to his soldiers he showed that he was the first to put in practice;
for in all martial training Marius was inferior to none, and in
courage he left all far behind him.

XXI. The Romans accordingly awaiting the enemy's attack, and coming to
close quarters with them, checked their advance up the hill, and the
barbarians, being hard pressed, gradually retreated to the plain, and
while those in the van were rallying on the level ground, there was a
shout and confusion in the rear. For Marcellus had not let the
critical moment pass by, but when the shouts rose above the hills,
bidding his men spring from their ambush at a rapid pace and with loud
shouts he fell on the enemy's rear and began to cut them down. Those
in the rear communicating the alarm to those in front of them, put the
whole army into confusion, and after sustaining this double attack for
no long time, they broke their ranks and fled. In the pursuit the
Romans took prisoners and killed to the number of above one hundred
thousand:[87] they also took their tents, waggons, and property, all
which, with the exception of what was pilfered, was given to Marius,
by the unanimous voice of the soldiers. But though he received so
magnificent a present, it was thought that he got nothing at all
proportioned to his services, considering the magnitude of the danger.
Some authorities do not agree with the statement as to the gift of the
spoil, nor yet about the number of the slain. However, they say that
the people of Massalia[88] made fences round their vineyards with the
bones, and that the soil, after the bodies had rotted and the winter
rains had fallen, was so fertilised and saturated with the putrefied
matter which sank down into it, that it produced a most unusual crop
in the next season, and so confirmed the opinion of Archilochus[89]
that the land is fattened by human bodies. They say that extraordinary
rains generally follow great battles, whether it is that some divine
power purifies the ground, and drenches it with waters from heaven, or
that the blood and putrefaction send up a moist and heavy vapour which
condenses the atmosphere, which is lightly moved and readily changed
to the greatest degree from the smallest cause.

XXII. After the battle, Marius caused to be collected the arms and
spoils of the barbarians which were conspicuous for ornament, and
unbroken, and suited to make a show in his triumphal procession: all
the rest he piled up in a great heap, for the celebration of a
splendid religious festival. The soldiers were already standing by in
their armour, with chaplets on their heads, and Marius having put on
the robe with the purple border, and fastened it up about him in the
Roman fashion, had taken a burning torch, and holding it up to heaven
with both his hands, was going to set fire[90] to the heap, when some
friends were seen riding quickly towards him, which caused a deep
silence and general expectation. When the horsemen were near, they
leaped down and greeted Marius with the news that he was elected
consul for the fifth time, and they delivered him letters to this
effect. This cause of great rejoicing being added to the celebration
of the victory, the army transported with delight sent forth one
universal shout, accompanied with the noise and clatter of their arms,
and the officers crowned Marius afresh with a wreath of bay, on which
he set fire to the heap, and completed the ceremony.

XXIII. But that power which permits no great good fortune to give a
pleasure untempered and pure, and diversifies human life with a
mixture of evil and of good--be it Fortune[91] or Nemesis, or the
necessary nature of things--in a few days brought to Marius
intelligence about his companion in command, Catulus, involving Rome
again in alarm and tempest, like a cloud which overcasts a clear and
serene sky. For Catulus, whose commission was to oppose the Cimbri,
determined to give up the defence of the passes of the Alps, for fear
that he might weaken his force if he were obliged to divide it too
much. Accordingly he forthwith descended into the plains of Italy, and
placing the river Atiso[92] (Adige) in his front, strongly fortified a
position on each side of the river, to hinder the enemy from crossing
it; and he also threw a bridge over the river, in order that he might
be enabled to support those on the farther side, if the barbarians
should make their way through the passes and attack the forts. The
enemy had so much contempt for the Romans and such confidence, that,
with the view rather of displaying their strength and courage than
because it was necessary, they endured the snow-storms without any
covering, and made their way through the snow and ice to the summits
of the mountains, when, placing their broad shields under them, they
slid down the slippery precipices over the huge rocks. When they had
encamped near the river, and examined the ford, they began to dam up
the stream, and tearing up the neighbouring hills, like the giants of
old, they carried whole trees with their roots, fragments of rock, and
mounds of earth into the river, and stopped its course; they also let
heavy weights float down the stream, which drove against the piles
that supported the bridge and shook it by the violence of the blows;
all which so terrified the Romans, that most of them deserted the
large encampment and took to flight. Then Catulus, like a good and
perfect general, showed that he valued the reputation of his
countrymen more than his own. Not being able to induce his soldiers to
stand, and seeing that they were making off in alarm, he ordered the
eagle[93] to be moved, and running to those who were first in the
retreat, he put himself at their head, wishing the disgrace to fall on
himself and not on his country, and that the army should not appear to
be flying, but to be following their general in his retreat. The
barbarians attacked and took the fort on the farther side of the
Atiso, though the Roman soldiers defended it with the utmost bravery
and in a manner worthy of their country. Admiring their courage, the
barbarians let them go on conditions which were sworn to upon the
brazen bull, which was taken after the battle, and, it is said, was
conveyed to the house of Catulus as the first spoils of the victory.
The country being now undefended, the barbarians scoured it in every
direction and laid it waste.

XXIV. After this Marius was called to Rome. On his arrival it was
generally expected that he would celebrate his triumph, and the Senate
had without any hesitation voted him one; but he refused it, either
because he did not wish to deprive his soldiers and his companions in
arms of the honour that was due to them, or because he wished to give
the people confidence in the present emergency by intrusting to the
Fortune of the State the glory of his first victory, with the
confident hope that she would return it to him ennobled by a second.
Having said what was suitable to the occasion, he set out to join
Catulus, whom he encouraged, and at the same time he summoned his
soldiers from Gaul. On the arrival of the troops, Marius crossed the
Eridanus (Po), and endeavoured to keep the barbarians from that part
of Italy which lay south of the river. The Cimbri declined a battle,
because, as they said, they were waiting for the Teutones, and
wondered they were so long in coming; but it is doubtful whether they
were still really ignorant of their destruction or merely pretended
not to believe it. However, they handled most cruelly those who
brought the report of the defeat; and they sent to Marius to demand
land for themselves and their brethren, and a sufficient number of
cities for their abode. On Marius asking the ambassadors of the Cimbri
whom they meant by their brethren, and being told they were the
Teutones, all the Romans who were present burst out in a laugh, but
Marius, with a sneer, replied, "Don't trouble yourself about your
brethren: they have land, and they shall have it for ever, for we have
given it to them." The ambassadors, who understood his irony, fell to
abusing him, and threatened that the Cimbri would forthwith have their
revenge, and the Teutones too, as soon as they should arrive. "They
are here already," said Marius; "and it won't be right for you to go
before you have embraced your brethren." Saying this he ordered the
kings of the Teutones to be produced in their chains; for they were
taken in the Alps in their flight by the Sequani[94].

XXV. On this being reported to the Cimbri, they forthwith advanced
against Marius, who however kept quiet and remained in his camp. It
is said that it was on the occasion of this engagement that Marius
introduced the alteration in the spears.[95] Before this time that
part of the wooden shaft which was let into the iron was fastened with
two iron nails; Marius kept one of the nails as it was, but he had the
other taken out and a wooden peg, which would be easily broken, put in
its place; the design being that the spear when it had struck the
enemy's shield should not remain straight, for when the wooden nail
broke, the iron head would bend, and the spear, owing to the twist in
the metal part, would still hold to the shield, and so drag along the
ground. Now Boeorix, the king of the Cimbri, with a very few men about
him, riding up to the camp, challenged Marius to fix a day and place,
and to come out and settle the claim to the country by a battle.
Marius replied, that the Romans never took advice of their enemies as
to fighting; however, he would gratify the Cimbri in this matter, and
accordingly they agreed on the third day from the present, and the
battle-field was to be the plain of Vercellæ[96], which was suited for
the Roman cavalry, and would give the Cimbri full room for their
numbers. When the appointed day came, the Romans prepared for battle
with the enemy. Catulus[97] had twenty-two thousand three hundred men,
and Marius thirty-two thousand, which were distributed on each flank
of Catulus, who occupied the centre, as Sulla[98] has recorded, who
was in the battle. Sulla also says, that Marius expected that the
line would be engaged chiefly at the extremities and on the wings, and
with the view of appropriating the victory to his own soldiers, and
that Catulus might have no part in the contest, and not come to close
quarters with the enemy, he took advantage of the hollow front of the
centre, which usually results when the line is extended, and
accordingly divided and placed his forces as already stated. Some
writers say that Catulus himself also made a statement to the like
effect, in his apology about the battle, and accused Marius of want of
good faith to him. The infantry of the Cimbri marched slowly from
their fortified posts in a square, each side of which was thirty
stadia: the cavalry, fifteen thousand in number, advanced in splendid
style, wearing helmets which resembled in form the open mouths of
frightful beasts and strange-shaped heads, surmounted by lofty crests
of feathers, which made them appear taller; they had also breastplates
of iron and white glittering shields. Their practice was to discharge
two darts,[99] and then closing with the enemy, to use their large
heavy swords.

XXVI. On this occasion the enemy's cavalry did not advance straight
against the Romans, but deviating to the right they attempted to draw
the Romans little by little in that direction, with the view of
attacking them when they had got them between themselves and their
infantry, which was on the left. The Roman generals perceived the
manoeuvre, but they could not stop their soldiers, for there was a cry
from some one that the enemy was flying, and immediately the whole
army rushed to the pursuit. In the meantime the barbarian infantry
advanced like a huge sea in motion. Then Marius, washing his hands and
raising them to heaven, vowed a hecatomb to the gods; and Catulus also
in like manner raising his hands, vowed to consecrate[100] the fortune
of that day. It is said that when Marius had sacrificed and had
inspected the victims, he cried out with a loud voice, "Mine is the
Victory." When the attack had commenced, an incident happened to
Marius which may be considered as a divine retribution, as Sulla says.
An immense cloud of dust being raised, as was natural, and having
covered the two armies, it happened that Marius, rushing to the
pursuit with his men after him, missed the enemy, and being carried
beyond their line, was for some time in the plain without knowing
where he was; but it happened that the barbarians closed with Catulus,
and the struggle was with him and his soldiers chiefly, among whom
Sulla says that he himself fought: he adds, that the heat aided the
Romans, and the sun, which shone full in the face of the Cimbri. For
the barbarians were well inured to cold, having been brought up in
forests, as already observed, and a cool country, but they were
unnerved with the heat, which made them sweat violently and breathe
hard, and put their shields before their faces, for the battle took
place after the summer solstice, and, according to the Roman
reckoning, three days before the new moon of the month now called
Augustus[101], but then Sextilis. The dust also which covered their
enemies helped to encourage the Romans; for they did not see their
number at a distance, but running forward they engaged severally man
to man with the enemy, without having been alarmed by the sight of
them. And so well were the bodies of the Romans inured to toil and
exertion, that not one of them was seen to sweat or pant, though the
heat was excessive and they came to the shock of battle running at
full speed, as Catulus is said to have reported to the honour of his

XXVII. Now the greater part of the enemy and their best soldiers were
cut to pieces in their ranks, for in order to prevent the line from
being broken the soldiers of the first rank were fastened together by
long chains which were passed through their belts. The fugitives were
driven back to their encampments, when a most tragic scene was
exhibited. The women standing on the waggons clothed in black
massacred the fugitives, some their husbands, and others their
brothers and fathers, and then strangling their infants they threw
them under the wheels and the feet of the beasts of burden, and killed
themselves. It is said that one woman hung herself from the end of the
pole of a waggon with her children fastened to her feet by cords; and
that the men, not finding any trees near, tied themselves to the horns
of the oxen and some to their feet, and then goading the animals to
make them plunge about, were dragged and trampled till they died. But
though so many perished in this manner, above sixty thousand were
taken prisoners, and the number of those who fell was said to be twice
as many. Now all the valuable property became the booty of the
soldiers of Marius, but the military spoils and standards and
trumpets, it is said, were carried to the tent of Catulus; and Catulus
relied chiefly on this as a proof that the victory was gained by his
men. A dispute having arisen among the soldiers, as might be expected,
some ambassadors from Parma[102] who were present were chosen to act
as arbitrators, and the soldiers of Catulus leading them among the
dead bodies of the enemy, pointed out that the barbarians were pierced
by their spears, which were recognised by the marks on them, for
Catulus had taken care to have his name cut on the shafts.
Notwithstanding this, the whole credit was given to Marius, both on
account of the previous victory and his superior rank.[103] And what
was most of all, the people gave him the title of the third
founder[104] of Rome, considering that the danger which he had averted
was not less than that of the Gallic invasion, and in their rejoicings
with their wives and children at home they coupled Marius with the
gods in the religious ceremonies that preceded the banquet and in
their libations, and they thought that he alone ought to celebrate
both triumphs. Marius, however, did not triumph alone, but Catulus
shared the honour, for Marius wished to show that he was not elated by
his victories: there was another reason also; he was afraid of the
soldiers, who were prepared not to let Marius triumph, if Catulus were
deprived of the honour.

XXVIII. Though Marius was now discharging his fifth consulship, he was
more anxious to obtain a sixth than others are about the first; and he
endeavoured to gain favour by courting the people and giving way to
the many in order to please them, wherein he went further than was
consistent with the state and dignity of the office, and further than
suited his own temper, for he wished to show himself very compliant
and a man of the people, when in fact his character was altogether
different. Now it is said that in all civil matters and amid the noise
of the popular assemblies Marius was entirely devoid of courage, which
arose from his excessive love of applause; and the undaunted spirit
and firmness which he showed in battle failed him before the people,
where he was disconcerted by the most ordinary expressions of praise
or censure. However, the following story is told of him: Marius had
presented with the citizenship a thousand of the people of Camerinum,
who had particularly distinguished themselves in the war; this was
considered to be an illegal proceeding, and being charged with it by
several persons in public, he replied that he could not hear the law
for the din of arms. Still it is well known that he was discomposed
and alarmed by the shouts in the popular assemblies. In military
matters, it is true, he received great deference and had much
influence, because his services were wanted; but in civil business he
was cut off from attaining the first distinction, and accordingly
there was nothing left for him but to gain the affection and favour of
the many; and in order to become the first man at Rome, he sacrificed
all claim to be considered the best. The consequence was, that he was
at variance with all the aristocratical party, but he feared Metellus
most, who had experienced his ingratitude, and, as a man of sterling
worth, was the natural enemy of those who attempted to insinuate
themselves into the popular favour by dishonourable means, and who had
no other object than to flatter the people. Accordingly Marius formed
a design to eject Metellus from the city; and for this purpose he
allied himself with Glaucia and Saturninus,[105] who were daring men,
and had at their command a rabble of needy and noisy fellows, and he
made them his tools in introducing his measures. He also stirred up
the soldiers, and by mixing them with the people in the assemblies he
overpowered Metellus with his faction. Rutilius,[106] who is a lover
of truth and an honest man, though he was a personal enemy of Marius,
relates in his history, that by giving large sums of money to the
tribes and buying their votes Marius kept Metellus out, and that
Valerius Flaccus was rather the servant than the colleague of Marius
in his sixth consulship. However, the people, never conferred the
office of consul so often on any man except Corvinus Valerius;[107]
though it is said that forty-five years elapsed between the first and
last consulship of Corvinus, while Marius after his first consulship
enjoyed the remaining five in uninterrupted succession.

XXIX. It was in his last consulship that Marius got most odium, from
his participating in many of the violent measures of Saturninus. One
of them was the assassination of Nonius,[108] whom Saturninus
murdered because he was a rival candidate for the tribuneship.
Saturninus, being made a tribune, introduced a measure about the land,
to which[109] was added a clause that the Senate should come forward
and swear that they would abide by whatever the people should vote,
and would make no opposition. In the Senate Marius made a show of
opposing this clause in the proposed law, and he said that he would
not take the oath, nor did he think that any man in his senses would,
for if the law was not a bad one, it was an insult for the Senate to
be compelled to make such concession, instead of giving their consent
voluntarily. What he said, however, was not his real mind, but his
object was to involve Metellus in a difficulty which he could not
evade. For Marius, who considered falsehood to be a part of virtue and
skill, had no intention to observe what he had promised to the Senate;
but as he knew that Metellus was a man of his word, and considered
truth, as Pindar calls it, the foundation of great virtue, he wished
to entrap Metellus into a refusal before the Senate, and as he would
consequently decline taking the oath, he designed in this way to make
him odious to the people for ever: and it fell out so. Upon Metellus
declaring that he would never take the oath, the Senate separated; but
a few days after, Saturninus summoned the Senators to the Rostra, and
urged them to take the oath. When Marius came forward there was
profound silence, and all eyes were turned upon him to see what he
would do. Marius, however, forgetting all his bold expressions before
the Senate, said his neck was not broad enough for him to be the first
to give his opinion on so weighty a matter all at once, and that he
would take the oath and obey the law, if it was a law; which condition
he cunningly added as a cloak to his shame. The people, delighted at
Marius taking the oath, clapped their hands and applauded, but the
nobility were much dejected and hated Marius for his tergiversation.
However, all the senators took the oath in order, through fear of the
people, till it came to the turn of Metellus, and though his friends
urged and entreated him to take the oath and so to avoid the severe
penalties which the law of Saturninus enacted against those who
refused, he would not swerve from his purpose or take the oath, but
adhering firmly to his principles and prepared to submit to any
penalty rather than do a mean thing, he left the Forum, saying to
those about him, that to do a wrong thing was mean, to act honourably
when there was no danger was in any man's power, but that it was the
characteristic of a good man to do what was right, even when it was
accompanied with risk. Upon this Saturninus put it to the vote that
the consuls should proclaim Metellus to be excluded from fire,[110]
water, and house; and the most worthless part of the populace was
ready to put him to death. Now all the men of honourable feeling,
sympathising with Metellus, crowded round him, but Metellus would not
allow any commotion to be raised on his account, and he quitted the
city like a wise and prudent man, saying, "Either matters will mend
and the people will change their minds, when I shall be invited to
return, or if things stay as they are, it is best to be out of the
way." What testimonies of affection and respect Metellus received in
his exile, and how he spent his time at Rhodes in philosophical
studies, will be better told in his Life.

XXX. Now Marius did not perceive what incurable mischief he had done,
for in return for the services of Saturninus[111] he was obliged to
wink at his audacious and violent measures, and to remain quiet while
Saturninus was evidently aiming at the supreme power and the
subversion of the constitution by force of arms and blood-shed.
Between his fear of the disapprobation of the nobles and his wish to
retain the favour of the people, Marius was reduced to an act of
extreme meanness and duplicity. The first men in the State came to him
by night and urged him to act against Saturninus, whom Marius,
however, received by another door without their knowledge; and
pretending to both parties that he was troubled with a looseness, he
went backwards and forwards in the house between the nobles and
Saturninus, running first to one and then to the other, and
endeavouring to rouse and irritate them mutually. However, when the
Senate and the Equites began to combine and express their indignation,
he drew out the soldiers into the Forum, and driving the party of
Saturninus to the Capitol, he compelled them to submit for fear of
dying of thirst, by cutting off the pipes that supplied them with
water. The partisans of Saturninus in despair called out to Marius and
surrendered on the Public Faith, as the Romans term it. Marius did all
he could to save their lives, but without effect, for as soon as they
came down to the Forum they were massacred. These events made him
odious both to the nobles and the people, and when the time for
electing censors came, contrary to all expectation he did not offer
himself as a candidate, but allowed men of inferior rank to be
elected, fearing he might be rejected. He, however, alleged as an
excuse, though it was not true, that he did not wish to make himself
many enemies by a rigid scrutiny into their lives and morals.

XXXI. A measure being proposed for recalling Metellus[112] from
exile, Marius did all he could to stop it both by word and deed, but
finding his opposition useless, he at last desisted. The people
received the proposed measure well, and Marius, who could not endure
to see the return of Metellus, set sail for Cappadocia and Galatia,
pretending that he wished to make the sacrifices he had vowed to the
Great Mother, but in reality having quite a different object in view,
which the people never suspected. Marius was naturally ill suited for
times of peace and for taking a part in civil affairs, as he had
attained his position merely by arms, and now thinking that he was
gradually losing his influence and reputation by doing nothing and
remaining quiet, he looked out for an opportunity of again being
actively employed. He hoped to be able to stir up the kings of Asia
and to rouse and stimulate Mithridates,[113] who was supposed to be
ready to go to war, in which case he expected to be appointed to take
the command against him, and so to fill the city with new triumphs,
and his house with Pontic spoils and the wealth of the king.
Accordingly, though Mithridates paid him all attention and honour,
Marius could not be bent from his purpose or induced to give way: his
only answer was, "King, either try to conquer the Romans or obey their
orders in silence;" an expression which startled the king, who had
often heard the language of the Romans, but then for the first time
heard their bold speech.

XXXII. On his return to Rome he built a house near the Forum, either,
as he gave out, because he did not wish those who paid their respects
to him to have the trouble of coming a great distance, or because he
thought the distance was the reason why a greater number of persons
did not visit his door than that of other persons. The reason,
however, was not this; but as Marius was inferior to others in
affability of manners and political usefulness, he was neglected, just
like an instrument of war in time of peace. As for others, he cared
less for their superior popularity, but he was grievously annoyed at
Sulla, who had risen to power through the dislike which the nobles
bore to Marius, and who made his quarrels with Marius the foundation
of his political conduct. But when Bocchus, the Numidian, on receiving
the title of 'Ally of the Romans,' erected in the Capitol Victories
bearing trophies, and by the side of them placed gilded figures
representing Jugurtha surrendered by him to Sulla, Marius was
transported with passion and jealousy at Sulla thus appropriating to
himself all the credit of this affair, and he was making ready
forcibly to throw down the figures. Sulla prepared to oppose him, and
a civil commotion was just on the point of breaking out, when it was
stopped by the Social[114] war, which suddenly burst upon the State.
In this war the most warlike and populous of the Italian nations
combined against Rome, and came very near to overthrowing her
supremacy, for they were not only well provided with munitions of war
and hardy soldiers, but they had commanders who displayed admirable
courage and skill, which made them a match for the Romans.

XXXIII. This war, which was diversified by many reverses and a great
variety of fortune, took from Marius as much reputation and influence
as it gave to Sulla. For Marius appeared slow in his plans, and on all
occasions rather over-cautious and tardy; whether it was that age had
quenched his wonted vigour and fire, for he was now in his sixty-sixth
year, or, as he alleged himself, his nerves were diseased and his body
was incapable of supporting fatigue, and yet from a feeling of honour
he endured the hardships of the campaign beyond his powers.
Notwithstanding this he won a great battle, in which he slaughtered
six thousand of the enemy, and he never allowed them the opportunity
of getting any advantage, but when he was intrenched in his camp he
submitted to be insulted by them and was never irritated by any
challenge to give them battle. It is recorded that Publius Silo,[115]
who had the highest reputation and influence of any man on the side of
the enemy, addressed him to this effect: "If you are a great general,
Marius, come down and fight;" to which Marius replied, "Nay, do you,
if you are a great general, compel me to fight against my will." And
again, on another occasion when the enemy presented a favourable
opportunity for attacking them, but the Romans lacked courage, and
both sides retired, he summoned his soldiers together, and said, "I
don't know whether to call the enemy or you greater cowards; for they
could not see your back, nor you their nape." At last, however, he
gave up the command, on the ground that his weakness rendered him
unable to endure the fatigue of the campaign.

XXXIV. The Italians had now given in, and many persons at Rome were
intriguing for the command in the Mithridatic war with the assistance
of the demagogues; but, contrary to all expectation, the tribune
Sulpicius,[116] a most audacious fellow, brought forward Marius and
proposed him as proconsul with power to prosecute the war against
Mithridates. The people indeed were divided, some being for Marius and
others in favour of Sulla; and they bade Marius go to the warm baths
of Baiæ[117] and look after his health, inasmuch as he was worn out
with old age and defluxions, as he admitted himself. Marius had in the
neighbourhood of Misenum a sumptuous house, furnished with luxuries
and accommodation too delicately for a man who had served in so many
wars and campaigns. It is said that Cornelia bought this house for
seventy-five thousand;[118] and that no long time after it was
purchased by Lucius Lucullus for two millions five hundred thousand;
so quickly did extravagant expenditure spring up and so great was the
increase of luxury. But Marius, moved thereto by boyish emulation,
throwing off his old age and his infirmities, went daily to the Campus
Martius, where he took his exercises with the young men, and showed
that he was still active in arms and sat firm in all the movements of
horsemanship, though he was not of a compact form in his old age, but
very fat and heavy. Some were pleased at his being thus occupied, and
they came down to the Campus to see and admire his emulation and his
exercises; but the wiser part lamented to witness his greediness after
gain and distinction, and they pitied a man who, having risen from
poverty to enormous wealth, and to the highest station from a low
degree, knew not when to put bounds to his good fortune, and was not
satisfied with being an object of admiration and quietly enjoying what
he had, but as if he was in want of everything, after his triumphs and
his honours was setting out to Cappadocia and the Euxine to oppose
himself in his old age to Archelaus and Neoptolemus, the satraps of
Mithridates. The reasons which Marius alleged against all this in
justification of himself appeared ridiculous; he said that he wished
to serve in the campaign in order to teach his son military

XXXV. The disease that had long been rankling in the State at last
broke out, when Marius had found in the audacity of Sulpicius[119] a
most suitable instrument to effect the public ruin; for Sulpicius
admired and emulated Saturninus in everything, except that he charged
him with timidity and want of promptitude in his measures. But there
was no lack of promptitude on the part of Sulpicius, who kept six
hundred of the Equestrian class about him as a kind of body-guard and
called them an Opposition Senate. He also attacked with a body of
armed men the consuls while they were holding a public meeting; one of
the consuls made his escape from the Forum, but Sulpicius seized his
son and butchered him. Sulla, the other consul, being pursued, made
his escape into the house of Marius, where nobody would have expected
him to go, and thus avoided his pursuers who ran past; and it is said
that he was let out in safety by Marius by another door and so got to
the camp. But Sulla in his Memoirs says that he did not fly for refuge
to Marius, but withdrew there to consult with him about the matters
which Sulpicius was attempting to make him assent to against his will
by surrounding him with bare swords and driving him on towards the
house of Marius, and that finally he went from the house of Marius to
the Rostra, and removed, as they required him to do, the Justitium.
This being accomplished, Sulpicius, who had now gained a victory, got
the command conferred on Marius by the votes of the, assembly, and
Marius, who was prepared to set out, sent two tribunes to receive the
army of Sulla. But Sulla encouraging his soldiers, who were
thirty-five thousand men well armed, led them to Rome. The soldiers
fell on the tribunes whom Marius had sent, and murdered them. Marius
also put to death many of the friends of Sulla in Rome, and proclaimed
freedom to the slaves[120] if they would join him; but it is said that
only three slaves accepted the offer. He made but a feeble resistance
to Sulla on his entering the city, and was soon compelled to fly. On
quitting Rome he was separated from his partisans, owing to its being
dark, and he fled to Solonium,[121] one of his farms. He sent his son
Marius[122] to get provisions from the estates of his father-in-law
Mucius, which were not far off, and himself went to Ostia,[123] where
Numerius, one of his friends, had provided a vessel for him, and
without waiting for his son he set sail with his stepson Granius. The
young man arrived at the estates of Mucius, but he was surprised by
the approach of day while he was getting something together and
packing it up, and thus did not altogether escape the vigilance of his
enemies, for some cavalry came to the spot, suspecting that Marius
might be there. The overseer of the farm, seeing them approach, hid
Marius in a waggon loaded with beans, and yoking the oxen to it, he
met the horsemen on his road to the city with the waggon. Marius was
thus conveyed to the house of his wife, where he got what he wanted,
and by night made his way to the sea, and embarking in a vessel bound
for Libya, arrived there in safety.

XXXVI. The elder Marius was carried along the coast of Italy by a
favourable wind, but as he was afraid of one Geminius, a powerful man
in Terracina, and an enemy of his, he ordered the sailors to keep
clear of that place. The sailors were willing to do as he wished, but
the wind veering round and blowing from the sea with a great swell,
they were afraid that the vessel could not stand the beating of the
waves, and as Marius also was much troubled with sickness, they made
for land, and with great difficulty got to the coast near
Circeii.[124] As the storm increased and they wanted provisions, they
landed from the vessel and wandered about without any definite object,
but as happens in cases of great difficulty, seeking merely to escape
from the present evil as worst of all, and putting their hopes on the
chances of fortune; for the land was their enemy, and the sea also,
and they feared to fall in with men, and feared also not to fall in
with men, because they were in want of provisions. After some time
they met with a few herdsmen, who had nothing to give them in their
need, but they recognised Marius and advised him to get out of the way
as quickly as he could, for a number of horsemen had just been seen
there riding about in quest of him. Thus surrounded by every
difficulty and his attendants fainting for want of food, he turned
from the road, and plunging into a deep forest, passed the night in
great suffering. The next day, compelled by hunger and wishing to make
use of his remaining strength before he was completely exhausted, he
went along the shore, encouraging his followers, and entreating them
not to abandon the last hope, for which he reserved himself on the
faith of an old prediction. For when he was quite a youth and living
in the country, he caught in his garment an eagle's nest as it was
falling down, with seven young ones in it; which his parents wondering
at, consulted the soothsayers, who told them that their son would
become the most illustrious of men, and that it was the will of fate
that he should receive the supreme command and magistracy seven times.
Some affirm that this really happened to Marius; but others say that
those who were with Marius at this time and in the rest of his flight
heard the story from him, and believing it, recorded an event which is
altogether fabulous. For an eagle has not more than two young ones at
a time, and they say that Musæus[125] was mistaken when he wrote of
the eagle thus:--

Lays three, two hatches, and one tends with care.

But that Marius frequently during his flight, and when he was in the
extremest difficulties, said that he should survive to enjoy a seventh
consulship, is universally admitted.

XXXVII. They were now about twenty stadia from Minturnæ,[126] an
Italian city, when they saw at a distance a troop of horse riding
towards them, and as it chanced two merchant vessels sailing along the
coast. Running down to the sea as fast as they could and as their
strength would allow, and throwing themselves into the water, they
swam to the vessels. Granius having got into one of the vessels,
passed over to the island of Ænaria,[127] which is off that coast. But
Marius, who was heavy and unwieldy, was with difficulty held above the
water by two slaves and placed in the other vessel, the horsemen being
now close to them and calling from the shore to the sailors either to
bring the vessel to land or to throw Marius overboard, and to set sail
wherever they pleased. But as Marius entreated them with tears in his
eyes, those who had the command of the vessel, after changing their
minds as to what they should do as often as was possible in so short a
time, at last told the horsemen that they would not surrender Marius.
The horsemen rode off in anger, and the sailors again changing their
minds, came to land, and casting anchor at the mouth of the Liris,
which spreads out like a lake, they advised Marius to disembark and
take some food on land and to rest himself from his fatigues till a
wind should rise: they added, that it was the usual time for the
sea-breeze to decline, and for a fresh breeze to spring up from the
marshes. Marius did as they advised, and the sailors carried him out
of the vessel and laid him on the grass, little expecting what was to
follow. The sailors immediately embarking again and raising the
anchor, sailed off as fast as they could, not thinking it honourable
to surrender Marius or safe to protect him. In this situation,
deserted by everybody, he lay for some time silent on the shore, and
at last recovering himself with difficulty, he walked on with much
pain on account of there being no path. After passing through deep
swamps and ditches full of water and mud, he came to the hut of an old
man who worked in the marshes, and falling down at his feet, he
entreated him to save and help a man, who, if he escaped from the
present dangers, would reward him beyond all his hopes. The man, who
either knew Marius of old or saw something in the expression of his
countenance which indicated superior rank, said that his hut was
sufficient to shelter him if that was all he wanted, but if he was
wandering about to avoid his enemies, he could conceal him in a place
which was more retired. Upon Marius entreating him to do so, the old
man took him to the marsh, and bidding him lie down in a hole near the
river he covered Marius with reeds and other light things of the kind,
which were well adapted to hide him without pressing too heavily.

XXXVIII. After a short time a sound and noise from the hut reached the
ears of Marius. Geminius of Terracina had sent a number of men in
pursuit of him, some of whom, had chanced to come there, and were
terrifying the old man and rating him for having harboured and
concealed an enemy of the Romans. Marius, rising from his hiding-place
and stripping off his clothes, threw himself into the thick and muddy
water of the marsh; and this was the cause of his not escaping the
search of his pursuers, who dragged him out covered with mud, and
leading him naked to Minturnæ, gave him up to the magistrates. Now
instructions[128] had been already sent to every city, requiring the
authorities to search for Marius, and to put him to death when he was
taken. However, the magistrates thought it best to deliberate on the
matter first, and in the meantime they lodged Marius in the house of a
woman named Fannia,[129] who was supposed not to be kindly disposed
towards him on account of an old grudge. Fannia had a husband whose
name was Tinnius, and on separating from him she claimed her portion,
which was considerable. The husband charged her with adultery, and
Marius, who was then in his sixth consulship, presided as judge. But
on the trial it appeared that Fannia had been a loose woman, and that
her husband, though he knew it, took her to wife, and lived with her a
long time; accordingly, Marius being disgusted with both of them,
decreed that the man should return the woman's portion, but he imposed
on the woman, as a mark of infamy, a penalty of four copper
coins.[130] Fannia, however, did not on this occasion exhibit the
feeling of a woman who had been wronged, but when she saw Marius, far
from showing any resentment for the past, she did all that she could
for him under the circumstances, and encouraged him. Marius thanked
her, and said that he had good hopes, for a favourable omen had
occurred to him, which was something of this sort:--When they were
leading him along, and he was near the house of Fannia, the doors
being opened, an ass ran out to drink from a spring which was flowing
hard by: the ass, looking at Marius in the face with a bold and
cheerful air, at first stood opposite him, and then making a loud
braying, sprang past him frisking with joy. From this, Marius drew a
conclusion, as he said that the deity indicated that his safety would
come through the sea rather than through the land, for the ass did not
betake himself to dry food, but turned from him to the water. Having
said this to Fannia, he went to rest alone, bidding her close the door
of the apartment.

XXXIX. The magistrates[131] and council of Minturnæ, after
deliberating, resolved that there ought to be no delay, and that they
should put Marius to death. As none of the citizens would undertake to
do it, a Gallic or Cimbrian horse-soldier, for the story is told both
ways, took a sword and entered the apartment. Now that part of the
room in which Marius happened to be lying was not very well lighted,
but was in shade, and it is said that the eyes of Marius appeared to
the soldier to dart a strong flame, and a loud voice issued from the
gloom, "Man, do you dare to kill Caius Marius?" The barbarian
immediately took to flight, and throwing the sword down, rushed
through the door, calling out, "I cannot kill Caius Marius." This
caused a general consternation, which was succeeded by compassion and
change of opinion, and self-reproach for having come to so illegal and
ungrateful a resolution concerning a man who had saved Italy, and whom
it would be a disgrace not to assist. "Let him go, then," it was said,
"where he pleases, as an exile, and suffer in some other place
whatever fate has reserved for him. And let us pray that the gods
visit us not with their anger for ejecting Marius from our city in
poverty and rags." Moved by such considerations, all in a body entered
the room where Marius was, and getting round him, began to conduct him
to the sea. Though every man was eager to furnish something or other,
and all were busying themselves, there was a loss of time. The grove
of Marica, as it is called, obstructed the passage to the sea, for it
was an object of great veneration, and it was a strict rule to carry
nothing out of it that had ever been carried in; and now, if they
went all round it, there would of necessity be delay: but this
difficulty was settled by one of the older men at last calling out,
that no road was inaccessible or impassable by which Marius was saved;
and he was the first to take some of the things that they were
conveying to the ship and to pass through the place.

XL. Everything was soon got ready through these zealous exertions, and
a ship was supplied for Marius by one Belæus, who afterwards caused a
painting to be made representing these events, and dedicated it in the
temple. Marius embarking, was carried along by the wind, and by chance
was taken to the island Ænaria, where he found Granius and the rest of
his friends, and set sail with them for Libya. As their water failed,
they were compelled to touch at Erycina in Sicily. Now the Roman
quæstor, who happened to be about these parts on the look-out, was
very nearly taking Marius when he landed; and he killed about sixteen
of the men who were sent to get water. Marius, hastily embarking and
crossing the sea to the island of Meninx,[132] there learnt for the
first time that his son had escaped with Cethegus, and that they were
going to Iampsas (Hiempsal), king of the Numidians, to ask aid of him.
This news encouraged him a little, and he was emboldened to move from
the island to the neighbourhood of Carthage. At this time the governor
of Libya was Sextilius, a Roman, who had neither received injury nor
favour from Marius, and it was expected that he would help him, at
least as far as feelings of compassion move a man. But no sooner had
Marius landed with a few of his party, than an officer met him, and
standing right in front of him said, "The Governor Sextilius forbids
you, Marius, to set foot on Libya, and he says that if you do, he will
support the decree of the Senate by treating you as an enemy." On
hearing this, grief and indignation deprived Marius of utterance, and
he was a long time silent, looking fixedly at the officer. Upon the
officer asking Marius what he had to say, what reply he had for the
governor, he answered with a deep groan, "Tell him you have seen Caius
Marius a fugitive sitting on the ruins of Carthage": a reply in which
he not unaptly compared the fate of that city and his own changed
fortunes. In the meantime, Iampsas, the king of the Numidians, being
unresolved which way to act, treated young Marius and his companions
with respect, but still detained them on some new pretext whenever
they wished to leave; and it was evident that he had no fair object in
view in thus deferring their departure. However, an incident happened
of no uncommon kind, which brought about their deliverance. The
younger Marius was handsome, and one of the king's concubines was
grieved to see him in a condition unbefitting his station; and this
feeling of compassion was a beginning and motive towards love. At
first, however, Marius rejected the woman's proposals, but seeing that
there were no other means of escape, and that her conduct proceeded
from more serious motives than mere passion, he accepted her proffered
favours, and with her aid stole away with his friends and made his
escape to his father. After embracing one another, they went along the
shore, where they saw some scorpions fighting, which Marius considered
to be a bad omen. Accordingly they forthwith embarked in a fishing
boat, and passed over to the island Cercina, which was no great
distance from the mainland; and it happened that they had only just
set sail, when some horsemen despatched by the king were seen riding
to the spot where they embarked. Marius thus escaped a danger equal to
any that ever threatened him.

XLI. News reached Rome that Sulla was encountering the generals of
Mithridates in Bœotia, while the consuls were quarrelling and taking
up arms. A battle was fought, in which Octavius[133] got the victory
and ejected Cinna, who was attempting to govern by violent means, and
he put in Cinna's place as consul Cornelius Merula; but Cinna
collected troops in Italy and made war against Octavius. On hearing
this, Marius determined to set sail immediately, which he did with
some Moorish cavalry that he took from Africa, and some few Italians
who had fled there, but the number of both together did not exceed a
thousand. Coming to shore at Telamo[134] in Tyrrhenia, and landing
there, Marius proclaimed freedom to the slaves; and as the freemen who
were employed in agriculture there, and in pasturing cattle, flocked
to the sea, attracted by his fame, Marius persuaded the most vigorous
of them to join him, and in a few days he had collected a considerable
force and manned forty ships. Knowing that Octavius was an honourable
man and wished to direct the administration in the justest way, but
that Cinna was disliked by Sulla and opposed to the existing
constitution, he determined to join him with his force. Accordingly he
sent to Cinna and proffered to obey him as consul in everything. Cinna
accepted the proposal, and naming Marius proconsul, sent him fasces
and the other insigna of the office. Marius, however, observing that
such things were not suited to his fortunes, clad in a mean dress,
with his hair uncut from the day that he had been an exile, and now
above seventy years of age, advanced with slow steps, wishing to make
himself an object of compassion; but there was mingled with his abject
mien more than his usual terrific expression of countenance, and
through his downcast looks he showed that his passion, so far from
being humbled, was infuriated by his reverses of fortune.

XLII. As soon as he had embraced Cinna and greeted the soldiers,
Marius commenced active operations and gave a great turn to affairs.
First of all, by attacking the corn-vessels[135] with his ships and
plundering the merchants, he made himself master of the supplies. He
next sailed to the maritime cities, which he took; and, finally, Ostia
being treacherously surrendered to him, he made plunder of the
property that he found there and put to death many of the people, and
by blocking up the river he completely cut off his enemies from all
supplies by sea. He now moved on with his army towards Rome and
occupied the Janiculus. Octavius damaged his own cause, not so much
from want of skill as through his scrupulous observance of the law, to
which he unwisely sacrificed the public interests; for though many
persons advised him to invite the slaves to join him by promising
their freedom, he refused to make them members of the State from which
he was endeavouring to exclude Marius in obedience to the law. On the
arrival at Rome of Metellus,[136] the son of Metellus who had
commanded in Libya, and had been banished from the city through the
intrigues of Marius, the soldiers deserted Octavius and came to
Metellus, entreating him to take the command and save the city; they
said, if they had an experienced and active commander, they would
fight well and get the victory. But Metellus expressed great
dissatisfaction at their conduct, and bade them go to the consul, upon
which they passed over to the enemy. Metellus also in despair left the
city. But Octavius was persuaded by Chaldæans[137] and certain
diviners and interpreters of the Sibylline books to stay in Rome by
the assurance that all would turn out well. Octavius, who in all other
matters had as solid a judgment as any Roman, and most carefully
maintained the consular dignity free from all undue influence
according to the usage of his country and the laws, as if they were
unchangeable rules, nevertheless showed great weakness in keeping
company with impostors and diviners, rather than with men versed in
political and military matters. Now Octavius was dragged down from the
Rostra before Marius entered the city, by some persons who where sent
forward, and murdered; and it is said that a Chaldæan writing was
found in his bosom after he was killed. It seemed to be a very
inexplicable circumstance, that of two illustrious commanders, Marius
owed his success to not disregarding divination, and Octavius thereby
lost his life.

XLIII. Matters being in this state, the Senate met and sent a
deputation to Cinna and Marius to invite them into the city and to
entreat them to spare the citizens. Cinna, as consul, sitting on his
chair of office, gave audience to the commissioners and returned a
kind answer: Marius stood by the consul's chair without speaking a
word, but indicating by the unchanging heaviness of his brow and his
gloomy look that he intended to fill Rome with slaughter. After the
audience was over, they marched to the city. Cinna entered accompanied
by his guards, but Marius halting at the gates angrily affected to
have some scruples about entering. He said he was an exile and was
excluded from his country by a law, and if anybody wanted to have him
in the city, they must go to the vote again and undo the vote by which
he was banished, just as if he were a man who respected the laws and
were returning from exile to a free state. Accordingly he summoned the
people to the Forum, but before three or four of the tribes had voted,
throwing off the mask and setting aside all the talk about being
legally recalled, he entered with some guards selected from the slaves
who had flocked to him, and who were called Bardiæi. These fellows
killed many persons by his express orders and many on the mere signal
of his nod; and at last meeting with Ancharius, a senator who had
filled the office of prætor, they struck him down with their daggers
in the presence of Marius, when they saw that Marius did not salute
him. After this whenever he did not salute a man or return his salute,
this was a signal for them to massacre him forthwith in the streets,
in consequence of which even the friends of Marius were filled with
consternation and horror when they approached him. The slaughter was
now great, and Cinna's appetite was dulled and he was satisfied with
blood; but Marius daily went on with his passion at the highest pitch
and thirsting for vengeance, through the whole list of those whom
suspected in any degree. And every road and every city was filled with
the pursuers, hunting out those who attempted to escape and conceal
themselves, and the ties of hospitality and friendship were proved to
be no security in misfortune, for they were very few who did not
betray those who sought refuge with them. This rendered the conduct of
the slaves of Cornutus the more worthy of praise and admiration, for
they concealed their master at home, and hanging up by the neck the
dead body of some obscure person, and putting a gold ring on his
finger, they showed him to the guards of Marius, and then wrapping up
the body as if it were their master's, they interred it. The device
went unsuspected, and Cornutus being thus secreted by his slaves, made
his escape to Gaul.

XLIV. The orator Marcus Antonius[138] found a faithful friend, but
still he did not escape. This man, though poor, and of the lower
class, received in his house one of the most illustrious of the
Romans, and wishing to entertain him as well as he could, he sent a
slave to one of the neighbouring wine-shops to get some wine. As the
slave was more curious than usual in tasting it, and told the man to
give him some better wine, the merchant asked what could he the reason
that he did not buy the new wine, as usual, and the ordinary wine, but
wanted some of good quality and high price. The slave replied in his
simplicity, as he was speaking to an old acquaintance, that his master
was entertaining Marcus Antonius, who was concealed at his house. The
wine-dealer, a faithless and unprincipled wretch, as soon as the slave
left him, hurried off to Marius, who was at supper, and having gained
admission, told him that he would betray Marcus Antonius to him. On
hearing this, Marius is said to have uttered a loud shout and to have
clapped his hands with delight; and he was near getting up and going
to the place himself, but his friends stopped him, and he despatched
Annius with some soldiers, with orders to bring him the head of
Antonius immediately. On reaching the house, Annius waited at the
door, and the soldiers mounting the stairs entered the room, but on
seeing Antonius, every man began to urge some of his companions and
push him forward to do the deed instead of himself. And so powerful
were the charm and persuasion of his eloquence, when Antonius began to
speak and pray for his life, that not a man of them could venture to
lay hands on him or look him in the face, but they all bent their
heads down and shed tears. As this caused some delay, Annius went
upstairs, where he saw Antonius speaking and the soldiers awed and
completely softened by his eloquence; on which he abused them, and
running up to Antonius, cut off his head with his own hand. The
friends of Catulus Lutatius, who had been joint consul with Marius and
with him had triumphed over the Cimbri, interceded for him with
Marius, and begged for his life; but the only answer they got was, "He
must die!" and accordingly Catulus shut himself up in a room, and
lighting a quantity of charcoal, suffocated himself. Headless trunks
thrown into the streets and trampled underfoot excited no feeling of
compassion, but only a universal shudder and alarm. But the people
were most provoked by the licence of the Bardiæi, who murdered fathers
of families in their houses, defiled their children, and violated
their wives; and they went on plundering and committing violence, till
Cinna and Sertorius combining, attacked them when they were asleep in
the camp, and transfixed them with spears.

XLV. In the meantime, as if the wind was beginning to turn, reports
reached Rome from all quarters that Sulla had finished the war with
Mithridates, and recovered the provinces, and was sailing against the
city with a large force. This intelligence caused a brief cessation
and pause to unspeakable calamities, for Marius and his faction were
in expectation of the immediate arrival of their enemies. Now being
elected consul[139] for the seventh time, on the very Calends of
January, which is the beginning of the year, Marius caused one Sextus
Lucinus[140] to be thrown down the Tarpeian rock, which appeared to be
a presage of the great misfortunes that were again to befal the
partisans of Marius and the State. But Marius was now worn out with
labour, and, as it were, drowned with cares, and cowed in his spirit;
and the experience of past dangers and toil made him tremble at the
thoughts of a new war, and fresh struggles and alarms, and he could
not sustain himself when he reflected that now he would have to
hazard a contest, not with Octavius or Merula at the head of a
tumultuous crowd and seditious rabble, but that Sulla was
advancing--Sulla, who had once driven him from Rome, and had now
confined Mithridates within the limits of his kingdom of Pontus. With
his mind crushed by such reflections, and placing before his eyes his
long wanderings and escapes and dangers in his flight by sea and by
land, he fell into a state of deep despair, and was troubled with
nightly alarms and terrific dreams in which he thought he heard a
voice continually calling out,

    "Dreadful is the lion's lair
    Though he is no longer there."

As he greatly dreaded wakeful nights, he gave himself up to drinking
and intoxication at unseasonable hours and to a degree unsuited to his
age, in order to procure sleep, as if he could thus elude his cares.
At last when a man arrived with news from the sea, fresh terrors
seized him, partly from fear of the future and partly from feeling the
burden and the weariness of the present state of affairs; and while he
was in this condition, a slight disturbance sufficed to bring on a
kind of pleurisy, as the philosopher Poseidonius[141] relates, who
also says that he had an interview and talked with him on the subject
of his embassy, while Marius was sick. But one Caius Piso,[142] an
historian, says that Marius, while walking about with some friends
after supper, fell to talking of the incidents of his life, beginning
with his boyhood, and after enumerating his many vicissitudes of
fortune, he said that no man of sense ought to trust fortune after
such reverses; upon which he took leave of his friends, and keeping
his bed for seven successive days, thus died. Some say that his
ambitious character was most completely disclosed during his illness
by his falling into the extravagant delusion that he was conducting
the war against Mithridates, and he would then put his body into all
kinds of attitudes and movements, as he used to do in battle, and
accompany them with loud shouts and frequent cheers. So strong and
unconquerable a desire to be engaged in that war had his ambitious and
jealous character instilled into him; and therefore, though he had
lived to be seventy years of age, and was the first Roman who had been
seven times consul and had made himself a family, and wealth enough
for several kings, he still bewailed his fortune, and complained of
dying before he had attained the fulness and completion of his

XLVI. Now Plato, being at the point of death, felicitated himself on
his dæmon[143] and his fortune, first that he was born a human being,
then that he was a Greek, and neither a barbarian nor an irrational
animal; and besides all this, that his birth had fallen on the time
when Socrates lived. And indeed it is said that Antipater[144] of
Tarsus, in like manner, just before his death, when recapitulating the
happiness that he had enjoyed, did not forget his prosperous voyage
from Rome to Athens, inasmuch as he considered every gift of
favourable fortune as a thing to be thankful for, and preserved it to
the last in his memory, which is to man the best storehouse of good
things. But those who have no memory and no sense, let the things that
happen ooze away imperceptibly in the course of time; and
consequently, as they hold nothing and keep nothing, being always
empty of all goodness, but full of expectation, they look to the
future and throw away the present. And yet fortune may hinder the
future, but the present cannot be taken from a man; nevertheless, such
men reject that which fortune now gives, as something foreign, and
dream of that which is uncertain: and it is natural that they should;
for before reason and education have enabled them to put a foundation
and basement under external goods, they get and they heap them
together, and are never able to fill the insatiate appetite of their
soul. Now Marius[145] died, having held for seventeen days his seventh
consulship. And immediately there were great rejoicings in Rome, and
good hope that there was a release from a cruel tyranny; but in a few
days men found that they had exchanged an old master for a young one
who was in the fulness of his vigour; such cruelty and severity did
the son of Marius exhibit in putting to death the noblest and best
citizens. He gained the reputation of a man of courage, and one who
loved danger in his wars against his enemies, and was named a son of
Mars: but his acts speedily showed his real character, and he received
instead the name of a son of Venus. Finally, being shut up in Præneste
by Sulla, and having in vain tried all ways of saving his life, he
killed himself when he saw that the city was captured and all escape
was hopeless.


[Footnote 51: When Plutarch wrote, the system of naming persons among
the Romans had undergone some changes, or at least the old fashion was
not strictly observed, and this will explain his remark at the end of
the chapter. A Roman had usually three names, as Caius Julius Cæsar.
The first name, which was called the Prænomen, denoted the individual:
the most common names of this class were Quintus, Caius, Marcus,
Lucius, and so on. The second name denoted the gens, and was called
the Gentile name, as Cornelius, Julius, Licinius, Mucius, Sempronius,
and so on. The same gens often contained different families; thus
there were Licinii Crassi, Licinii Luculli, and so on. This third name
was called the Cognomen, and was given to the founder of the family or
to some member of the gens in respect of some personal peculiarity or
other accidental circumstance, as Scipio, Cicero, Crassus, Lucullus,
Gracchus. A fourth name, or Agnomen, was sometimes added, as in the
case of Publius Cornelius Scipio, the elder, who received the name of
Africanus from his conquest of Africa. This agnomen might be the third
name, when there was no cognomen, as in the case of Lucius Mummius,
who received the name of Achaicus because he overthrew the Achæan
League in that war, of which the concluding event was the destruction
of Corinth, which belonged to the League. Poseidonius means that the
prænomen (Quintus, Marcus, &c.) was more used in speaking of or to an
individual; but in Plutarch's time the cognomen or agnomen was most
used. We speak of the three Cæsars, Vespasianus and his two sons Titus
and Domitianus, yet the gentile name of all of them was Flavius. The
complete names of the first two were Titus Flavius Vespasianus, and of
the third Titus Flavius Domitianus.

Women had usually one name, derived from their gens; thus all the
women of the Cornelii, Julii, Licinii, were called Cornelia, Julia,
Licinia; and if there were several daughters in a family, they were
distinguished by the names First, Second, and so on. If there were two
daughters only, they were called respectively Major and Minor. Sulla
called one of his daughters Fausta. (See Cicero, _Ad Div._ viii. 7,
Paula Valeria; and the note of P. Manutius.)]

[Footnote 52: Some understand the word ([Greek: eikon] εἰκών) to mean
a bust here. The word is used in both senses, and also to signify a
picture. When the statue of Tiberius Gracchus the father is spoken of
(Caius Gracchus, c. 10), Plutarch uses a different word ([Greek:
andrias] ὰνδρίας). Plutarch speaks of Ravenna as in Gaul, which he
calls Galatia; but though Ravenna was within the limits of Cisalpine
Gaul, the name of Italy had been extended to the whole Peninsula south
of the Alps about B.C. 44.]

[Footnote 53: Literally "shows:" they might be plays or they might be
other amusements.]

[Footnote 54: This is probably a corrupt name. The territory of
Arpinum, now Arpino, was in the Volscian mountains. Arpinum was also
the birth-place of Cicero. Juvenal in his rhetorical fashion (_Sat_.
viii. 245) represents the young Marius as earning his bread by working
at the plough as a servant and afterwards entering the army as a
common soldier.]

[Footnote 55: Lucius Aurelius Cotta and Lucius Cæcilius Metellus were
consuls B.C. 119, in which year Marius was tribune. The law which
Marius proposed had for its object to make the Pontes narrower. The
Pontes were the passages through which the voters went into the Septa
or inclosures where they voted. After passing through the pontes they
received the voting tablets at the entrance of the septa. The object
of the law of Marius was to diminish the crowd and pressure by letting
fewer persons come in at a time. Cicero speaks of this law of Marius
(_De Legibus_, iii. 17). As the law had reference to elections and its
object was among other things to prevent bribery, Plutarch's remark is
unintelligible: the text is corrupt, or he has made a mistake.]

[Footnote 56: The higher magistrates of Rome, the curule ædiles,
prætors, consuls, censors, and dictator had a chair of office called a
Sella Curulis, or Curule seat, which Plutarch correctly describes as a
chair with curved feet (See the cut in Smith's _Dictionary of
Antiquities_, "Sella Curulis"). The name Curule is derived from
Currus, a chariot, as the old writers say, and as is proved by the
expression Curulis Triumphus, a Curule Triumph, which is opposed to an
Ovatio, in which the triumphing general went on foot in the

The Plebeian Ædiles were first elected B.C. 494, at the same time as
the Plebeian tribunes. They had various functions, such as the general
superintendence of buildings, the supply of water, the care of the
streets and pavements, and other like matters. Their duties mainly
belonged to the department of police, under which was included the
superintendence of the markets, and of buying and selling. The
Plebeian Ædiles were originally two in number.

The Curule Ædiles were first elected B.C. 365 and only from the
Patricians, but afterwards the office was accessible to the Plebeians.
The functions of the Plebeian Ædiles seem to have been performed by
all the Ædiles indifferently after B.C. 368, though the Curule Ædiles
alone had the power of making Edicts (edicta), which power was founded
on their general superintendence of all buying and selling, and many
of their rules had reference to the buying and selling of slaves
(_Dig._ 21, tit. 1). The Curule Ædiles only had the superintendence of
some of the greater festivals, on which occasions they went to great
expense to gratify the people and buy popularity as a means of further
promotion. (See Sulla, c. 5.)]

[Footnote 57: At this time there were six Prætors. The Prætor Urbanus
or City Prætor was sometimes simply called Prætor and had the chief
administration of justice in Rome. The Prætor Peregrinus also resided
in Rome and had the superintendence in matters in dispute between
Roman citizens and aliens (peregrini). The other Prætors had provinces
allotted to them to administer; and after the expiration of their year
of office, the prætors generally received the administration of a
Province with the title of Proprætor. It appears (c. 5) that Marius
either stayed at Rome during his prætorship or had some Province in
Italy. As to the meaning of the Roman word Province, see Caius
Gracchus, c. 19, note.]

[Footnote 58: Bribery at elections among the Romans was called
Ambitus, which literally signifies "a going about;" it then came to
signify canvassing, solicitation, the giving and promising of money
for votes, and all the means for accomplishing this end, in which the
recurrence of elections at Rome annually made candidates very expert.
The first law specially directed against the giving of money
(largitiones) was the Lex Cornelia Bæbia, B.C. 182; and there were
many subsequent enactments, but all failed to accomplish their object.
The Lex Bæbia incapacitated him who gave a bribe to obtain office from
filling any office for ten years.]

[Footnote 59: His alleged intemperance consisted in not being able to
endure thirst on such an occasion. His real offence was his conduct
which made him suspected of acting as an agent of Marius in the
election. It was one of the duties of the Censors, when revising the
lists of Equites and Senators, to erase the names of those whom they
considered unworthy of the rank, and this without giving any reason
for it.]

[Footnote 60: The words Patron and Client are now used by us, but,
like many other Roman terms, not in the original or proper sense.
Dominus and Servus, Master and Slave, were terms placed in opposition
to one another, like Patron and Client, Patronus and Cliens. A master
who manumitted his slave became his Patronus, a kind of father (for
Patronus is derived from Pater, father): the slave was called the
Patron's Libertus, freedman; and all Liberti were included in the
class Libertini. Libertinus is another example of a word which we use
(libertine), though not in the Roman sense. But the old Roman relation
of Patron and Client was not this. Originally the heads of
distinguished families had a number of retainers or followers who were
called their Clients, a word which perhaps originally meant those who
were bound to hear and to obey a common head. It was a tradition that
when Atta Claudius, the head of the great Claudian Gens, who were
Sabines, was admitted among the Roman Patricians, he brought with him
a large body of clients to whom land was given north of the Anio, now
the Teverone. (Livius, 2, c. 16; Suetonius, _Tiberius_, c. 1.) The
precise relation of the early clients to their leaders is one of the
most difficult questions in Roman History, and much too extensive to
be discussed here. It was the Patron's duty to protect his clients and
to give them his aid and advice in all matters that required it: the
clients owed to the Patron respect and obedience and many duties which
are tolerably well ascertained. Long after the strictness of the old
relation had been relaxed, the name continued and some of the duties,
as we see in this sentence of Marius, where the Patron claimed to be
exempted from giving evidence against his client. In the last periods
of the Republic and under the Empire, Patron was sometimes simply used
as Protector, adviser, defender, and Client to express one who looked
up to another as his friend and adviser, particularly in all matters
where his legal rights were concerned. Great men under the later
Republic sometimes became the Patrons of particular states or cities,
and looked after their interests at Rome. We have adopted the word
Client in the sense of one who goes to an attorney or solicitor for
his legal advice, but with us the client pays for the advice, and the
attorney is not called his patron. A modern patron is one who
patronises, protects, gives his countenance to an individual, or to
some association of individuals, but frequently he merely gives his
countenance or his name, that being as much as can be asked from him
or as much as he will give.

The Clients must be distinguished from the Plebs in the early history
of Rome, though there can be no doubt that part of the Plebeian body
was gradually formed out of clients.]

[Footnote 61: Robbery and piracy were in like manner reckoned
honourable occupations by the old Greeks (Thucydides, i. 5). These old
robbers made no distinction between robbery and war: plunder was their
object, and labour they hated. So says Herodotus (v. 6). A Thracian
considered it a disgrace to till the ground; to live by plunder was
the mark of a gentleman. When people can live by plunder, there must
be somebody worth plundering. One object of modern civilisation is to
protect him who labours from the aggression of him who does not.]

[Footnote 62: This fact renders it doubtful if Marius was of such mean
birth as it is said. He married Julia, the sister of C. Julius Cæsar.
This Cæsar was the father of C. Julius Cæsar, the dictator, who was
consequently the nephew of Caius Marius.]

[Footnote 63: See _Penny Cyclopædia_, "Veins, Diseases of." Cicero
(_Tusculan. Quæst._ 2. c. 22) alludes to this story of the surgical
operation. He uses the word Varices.]

[Footnote 64: Q. Cæcilius Metellus was consul B.C. 109 with M. Junius
Silanus. He obtained the Agnomen of Numidicus for his services in the
Jugurthine war.]

[Footnote 65: Legatus is a participle from the verb Lego, which
signifies to assign anything to a person to do; hence legatus is one
to whom something is delegated. The Roman word Legatus had various
senses. Here the word legatus, which is the word that Plutarch
intends, is a superior officer who holds command under a Consul,
Prætor, Proconsul, Proprætor.]

[Footnote 66: The story of Turpillius is told by Sallustius
(_Jugurthine War_, 66), who speaks of his execution, but says nothing
of his innocence being afterwards established. The Romans had in their
armies a body of engineers called Fabri, and the director of the body
was called Præfectus Fabrorum. Vaga, which Sallustius calls Vacoa, was
one of the chief towns in Numidia.]

[Footnote 67: Sallustius, who tells the same story pretty nearly in
the same way (_Jugurth. War_, c. 64), says that the son of Metellus
was about twenty. The insult was not one to be forgiven by a man like
Marius, to be told that it would be soon enough for him to be consul
three-and-twenty years hence. This son is Q. Cæcilius Metellus Pius
who afterwards fought against Sertorius in Spain.]

[Footnote 68: The Latin word which Plutarch has translated is
Imagines. These Imagines were busts of wax, marble, or metal, which
the Romans of family placed in the entrance of their houses. They
corresponded to a set of family portraits, but they were the portraits
of men who had enjoyed the high offices of the State. These Imagines
were carried in procession at funerals. Polybius (vi. 53) has a
discourse on this subject, which is worth reading. Marius, who was a
Novus Homo, a new man, had no family busts to show.]

[Footnote 69: Lucius Calpurnius Bestia was consul B.C. 111, and
Spurius Postumius Albinus B.C. 110. They successively conducted the
war against Jugurtha without success. Sallustius (_Jugurth. War_, c.
85) has put a long speech in the mouth of Marius on this occasion,
which Plutarch appears to have used.]

[Footnote 70: Though much has been said on the subject, there is
nothing worth adding to what Plutarch tells. He gives the various
opinions that he had collected.]

[Footnote 71: This passage of the Celtic Galli into Italy is mentioned
by Livius (5, c. 34) and referred by him to the reign of Tarquinius
Priscus. This is the first invasion of Italy from the French side of
the Alps that is recorded, and it has often been repeated.]

[Footnote 72: The modern Sea of Azoff.]

[Footnote 73: The Greek is [Greek: phugê] φυγη, which hardly admits of
explanation, though Coræs has explained it. I have followed Kaltwasser
in adopting Reiske's conjecture of [Greek: phulê] φύλη.]

[Footnote 74: It is stated by Mannert (_Geographie der Griechen und
Römer_, Pt. iii. 410), that the term Hercynian forest was not always
used by the ancients to denote the same wooded tract. At this time a
great part of Germany was probably covered with forest. Cæsar (_Gallic
War_, vi. 24) describes it as extending from the country of the
Helvetii (who lived near the lake of Geneva) apparently in a general
east or north-east direction, but his description is not clear. He
says that the forest had been traversed in its length for sixty days
without an end being come to.]

[Footnote 75: Plutarch's description is literally translated; it shows
that there was a confused notion of the long days and nights in the
arctic regions. Herodotus (iv. 25) and Tacitus in his _Agricola_ have
some vague talk of the like kind.]

[Footnote 76: The passage in Homer is in the 11th Book, v. 14, &c.
This Book is entitled Necyia [Greek: nekyia] νέκυια, which is the word
that Plutarch uses; it literally signifies an offering or sacrifice by
which the shades of the dead are called up from the lower world to
answer questions that are put to them.]

[Footnote 77: In B.C. 113 the Romans first heard of the approach of
the Cimbri and Teutones. Cn. Papirius Carbo, one of the consuls of
this year, was defeated by them in Illyricum (part of Stiria), but
they did not cross the Alps. In B.C. 109 the consul M. Junius Silanus
was defeated by the Cimbri, who demanded of the Roman Senate lands to
settle in: the demand was refused. In B.C. 107 the consul L. Cassius
Longinus fell in battle against the Galli Tigurini, who inhabited a
part of Switzerland, and his army was sent under the yoke. This was
while his colleague Marius was carrying on the campaign against
Jugurtha in Africa. In B.C. 105 Cn. Manlius Maximus, the consul, and
Q. Servilius Cæpio, proconsul, who had been consul in B.C. 106, were
defeated by the Cimbri with immense slaughter, and lost both their
camps. The name of Manlius is written Mallius in the Fasti Consulares,
ed. Baiter.]

[Footnote 78: Scipio Africanus the younger was elected consul B.C. 147
when he was thirty-seven years of age, the law as to age being for
that occasion not enforced. There was an old Plebiscitum (law passed
in the Comitia Tributa) which enacted that no man should hold the same
magistracy without an interval of ten full years. (Livius. 7, c. 42;
10, c. 13). The first instance of the law being suspended was in the
case of Q. Fabius Maximus. One of Sulla's laws re-enacted or confirmed
the old law.]

[Footnote 79: This canal of Marius is mentioned by Strabo (p. 183) and
other ancient writers. The eastern branch of the Rhone runs from
Arelate (Arles) to the sea, and the canal of Marius probably commenced
in this branch about twenty Roman miles below Arles (which did not
then exist), and entered the sea between the mouth of this branch and
Maritima, now Martigues. The length of the canal of Marius might be
about twelve Roman miles. Marseilles is east of Martigues. (D'Anville.
_Notice de la Gaule Ancienne_.)]

[Footnote 80: The movements of the barbarians are not clearly stated.
It appears from what follows that the Cimbri entered Italy on the
north-east over the Noric Alps, for their march brought them to the
banks of the Adige. Florus says that they came by the defiles of
Tridentum (Trento). The Teutones, if they marched through the Ligurian
country along the sea to meet Marius, who was near Marseilles, must
have come along the Riviera of Genoa.]

[Footnote 81: Plutarch calls her a Syrian. Martha may have been a
Syrian name, as well as a Jewish name. Syrians and Jews flocked to
Rome in great numbers under the later Republic and the Empire, and got
their living in various ways not always reputable. The Jews at Rome
used to cause disturbances in the popular assemblies in Cicero's time.
(Cic. _Pro Flacco_, c. 28.) Jews and Syrians are often mentioned
together by the Roman writers. The Jews at Rome were greatly troubled
at the assassination of the Dictator Cæsar, and they crowded round the
place where the body was burnt for nights in succession. Cæsar had
rather favoured the nation for their services in the Alexandrine War.
(Suetonius, _Cæsar_, c. 84, and Casaubon's note.)]

[Footnote 82: He wrote on Natural History; among other things, a
History of Birds, from which this story is probably taken. There is
evidently an error in the text [Greek: êspazonto tous stratiotas]
ἠσπάζοντο τοὺς στρατιοτάς. I have adopted Reiske's emendation.]

[Footnote 83: Pessinus was in Galatia, properly a part of Phrygia, and
the seat of the temple of Cybele, the Mother of the Gods or the Great
Mother. In the second Punic War the Romans sent ambassadors to
Pessinus, and got permission to convey to Rome the Great Mother of the
Gods, who was a sacred stone. The Sibylline Books had declared that
when a foreign enemy was in Italy, he could be driven out, if the
Idæan mother, for Cybele was so called also, was brought to Rome. The
goddess was received at Rome (B.C. 203) with great respect, and placed
in the temple of Victory. (Livius, 29, c. 10, &c.) Plutarch does not
explain how the goddess now happened to be in Asia and Rome at the
same time, for there is no account of her leaving Rome after she was
taken there. The annual celebration called Megalesia, that is, the
festival of the Great Mother, was instituted at Rome in honour of the
goddess, and celebrated in the spring. (Herodianus, i. 32, &c.) It was
a tradition that the stone fell from the skies at Pessinus. There was
another great stone in Syria (Herodianus, v. 5), in the temple of the
Sun, which was worshipped: the stone was round in the lower part, and
gradually tapered upwards; the colour was black, and the people Aida
that it fell from heaven. It is probable that these stones were
ærolites, the falling of which is often recorded in ancient writers,
and now established beyond all doubt by repeated observation in modern
times. (See _Penny Cyclopædia_, "Ærolites.") There is a large specimen
in the British Museum. The immediate cause of the Romans sending for
the Great Mother was a heavy shower of stones at Rome, an occurrence
which in those days was very common. One might have supposed that one
of the Roman ærolites would have answered as well as the stone of
Pessinus, but the stone of Pessinus had the advantage of being
consecrated by time and coming from a distance, and it was probably a
large stone. Cf. Plut. Lys. ch. 12.]

[Footnote 84: This is Aix, about eighteen Roman miles north of
Marseilles. Places which were noted for warm springs or medicinal
springs were called by the Romans Aquæ, Waters, with some addition to
the name. The colony of Aquæ Sextiæ was founded by C. Sextius Calvinus
B.C. 120, after defeating the Salyes or Saluvii, in whose country it
was. The springs of Aix fell off in repute even in ancient times, and
they have no great name now; the water is of a moderate temperature.

Other modern towns have derived their name from the same word Aquæ,
which is probably the same as the Celtic word Ac or Acq. There is an
Aix in Savoy, and Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) in the Rhine Province of
Prussia. Sometimes the Aquæ took a name from a deity. In France there
were the Aquæ Bormonis, the waters of the God Bormo
(Bourbonnes-les-Bains): in England, Aquæ Sulis, the Waters of the
Goddess Sulis, which by an error became Solis in our books, as if they
were called the waters of the Sun. The inscriptions found at Bath name
the goddess Sulia.]

[Footnote 85: Plutarch means to say that the Ambrones and Ligurians
were of one stock, and some writers conclude that they were both
Celts. This may be so or it may not, for evidence is wanting. Of all
the absurd parade of learning under which ancient history has been
buried by modern critics, the weightiest and the most worthless part
is that which labours to discover the relationship of people of whom
we have only little, and that little often conflicting, evidence.]

[Footnote 86: The Lar according to D'Anville, not the Arc.]

[Footnote 87: Statements of numbers killed are not worth much, even in
any modern engagements. Velleius (ii. 12) makes the number of
barbarians who fell in both battles above 150,000.]

[Footnote 88: The Romans called it Massilia; now Marseilles. It was an
old Greek colony of the Phokæans. Strabo (p. 183) says that the people
of Massilia aided the Romans in these battles and that Marius made
them a present of the cut which he had formed from the Rhone to the
sea, which the Massilians turned to profit by levying a toll on those
who used it.]

[Footnote 89: A Greek lyric poet who lived in the seventh century B.C.
His fragments have often been collected.]

[Footnote 90: This was an old Roman fashion. (Livius, 1, c. 37; 41, c.

[Footnote 91: Plutarch often uses the word Fortune [Greek: tuchê]
τύcη, the meaning of which may be collected from the passages in which
it occurs. Nemesis [Greek: Nemesis] Νέμεσις is a Greek goddess, first
mentioned by Hesiod, and often mentioned by the Greek Tragoedians. She
is the enemy of excessive prosperity and its attendant excessive pride
and arrogance; she humbles those who have been elevated too high,
tames their pride and checks their prosperous career. Nemesis had a
temple and statue at Rhamnus in Attica.]

[Footnote 92: The Roman Athesis, the Italian Adige, the German Etsch.
The extravagance of this chapter of Plutarch is remarkable.]

[Footnote 93: The Eagle, Aquila, was the Roman standard in use at this
time. Formerly the Romans had five symbols for their standards, the
eagle, wolf, minotaur, horse, and wild boar, all of which were
appropriated to respective divisions of the army. Marius in this
Cimbrian war did away with all of them except the eagle. (Plinius,
_N.H_. x. 4.)]

[Footnote 94: The Sequani were a Gallic people who were separated from
the Helvetii by the range of the Jura, on the west side of which their
territory extended from the Rhine to the Rhone and the Saone. (Florus
iii. 3) mentions Teutobocus as the name of a king who was taken by the
Romans and appeared in the triumph of Marius; he was a man of such
prodigious stature that he towered above his own trophies which were
carried in the procession.]

[Footnote 95: The object of this contrivance is explained by Plutarch,
and it is clear enough. There is no reason then to imagine another
purpose in the design, as some do, which moreover involves an

[Footnote 96: Near Vercelli in Piemont on the Sesia, a branch of the
Po, which the Greeks generally call Eridanus, and the Romans, Padus.
The plain of Vercelli, in which the battle was fought, is called by
Velleius (ii. 12) Raudii campi. The situation of the Raudii campi can
only be inferred from Plutarch. Some geographers place them north of

[Footnote 97: Plutarch pays no attention to the movements of an army,
and his battles are confused. He had perhaps no great turn for
studying military movements, and their minute details did not come
within his plans.]

[Footnote 98: Plutarch alludes to Sulla's memoirs in twenty-two books,
which, he frequently refers to. Catulus wrote a history of the war and
of his consulship, which Cicero (_Brutus_, c. 35) compares as to style
with Xenophon. It appears from Plutarch's remark that he had not seen
the work of Catulus.]

[Footnote 99: [Greek: Dibolia] Διβολία is the reading that I have
followed. I have given the meaning here and in the first part of the
next chapter as well as I can.]

[Footnote 100: This was the Roman expression for dedicating something
to a sacred purpose. After the victory Catulus consecrated a temple at
Rome "To the Fortune of this Day."]

[Footnote 101: Sextilis, the sixth month of the Roman year when the
year began in March, was called Augustus in honour of Augustus Cæsar,
as Quintilis or the fifth month was called Julius in honour of the
Dictator Cæsar.]

[Footnote 102: Reiske would make the ambassadors to be from Panormus
(Palermo) in Sicily.]

[Footnote 103: Marius was now Consul. Catulus was only Proconsul. He
was consul the year before.]

[Footnote 104: The allusion is to Romulus, and M. Furius Camillus, who
saved Rome in the Gallic invasion B.C. 300.]

[Footnote 105: L. Appuleius Saturninus was tribune in the year B.C.
100, in the sixth consulship of Marius. He was put to death in the
same year (c. 30), though his death is not mentioned there by

C. Servilius Glaucia was prætor in this year. He lost his life at the
same time with Saturninus. This Servilius was a great favourite with
the people. He proposed and carried a law De Pecuniis Repetundis, or
on mal-administration in a public office, some fragments of which are
preserved on a bronze tablet, and have been commented on by Klenze,
Berlin, 1825, 4to.]

[Footnote 106: Rutilius Rufus was consul B.C. 105. He was accused of
malversation in his proconsulship of Asia, B.C. 99, convicted by the
judices, who at that time were taken from the Equites, and retired to
Smyrna, where he spent the rest of his days. He wrote his own Memoirs
in Latin, and a history of Rome in Greek. He was an honest man,
according to all testimony, and innocent of the offence for which he
was convicted. (Compare Tacitus, _Agricola_, 1; and C. Gracchus,
notes, c. 5.)]

[Footnote 107: The consulships of M. Valerius Corvus were comprised
between B.C. 348 and B.C. 299 (See Livius, 8, c. 26.)]

[Footnote 108: He was murdered at the instigation of Saturninus and
Glaucia as he was leaving the place of assembly. He fled into an inn
or tavern to escape, but he was followed by the rabble and killed.
(Appian, _Civil Wars_, i. 28.)]

[Footnote 109: The law related to the lands which the Cimbri had taken
from the Gauls in Cisalpine Gaul, and which the Romans now claimed as
theirs because they had taken them from the Cimbri. Appian (_Civil
Wars_, i. 29, &c.) gives the history of the events in this chapter.]

[Footnote 110: Appian's account is clearer than Plutarch's. He says
that Metellus withdrew before the passing; of the enactment by which
he was banished. This was the usual formula by which a person was put
under a ban, and it was called the Interdiction of "fire and water,"
to which sometimes "house" is added, as in this case. The complete
expression was probably fire, water, and house. Cicero had the same
penalty imposed on him, but he withdrew from Rome, like Metellus,
before the enactment was carried. There is no extant Life of Metellus
Numidicus by Plutarch.]

[Footnote 111: The story of the death of Saturninus and Glaucia is
told by Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 32). These men committed another
murder before they were taken off. They set men upon Memmius, who was
the competitor of Glaucia for the consulship, and Memmius was killed
with clubs in the open day while the voting was going on. The Senate
made a decree that Marius should put down these disturbers, but he
acted unwillingly and slowly. The supply of water, according to
Appian, was cut off by others, before Marius began to move. These
turbulent times are spoken of by Cicero in his oration for C.
Rabirius, c. 11. Marius put the men who surrendered into the
Senate-house, but the people pulled the tiles off the roof and pelted
the prisoners with the tiles till they died.]

[Footnote 112: The return of Metellus was mainly due to the exertions
of his son, who thence obtained the name of Pius. He was restored B.C.
99 by an enactment (lex) which was necessary in order to do away with
the effect of the Interdict. Cicero was restored in like manner. One
Publius Furius, a tribune, the son of a man who had once been a slave,
successfully opposed the return of Metellus during his year of office.
In the next year Furius was out of office, and Caius Canuleius, a
tribune, prosecuted him for his conduct before the people (populi
judicium), who had not patience enough to listen to his defence; they
tore him in pieces in the Forum. Metellus was detained a whole day at
the gates of Rome with receiving the congratulations of his friends on
his return. (Appian, _Civil Wars_, i. 33.)]

[Footnote 113: See the Life of Sulla.]

[Footnote 114: The Social, called also the Marsic, war, from the
warlike nation of the Marsi who were active in it, commenced B.C. 31
and was not completely ended till B.C. 88. The immediate cause of the
Social war, or the war of the Italian Allies (Socii) of the Romans,
was the rejection of a measure proposed by the tribune M. Livius
Drusus, which was to give to the Italian allies the rights of Roman
citizens. The Allies were subject States of Rome, which supplied the
Romans with men and money for their wars and contributed to their
victories. They claimed to have the political rights of Romans as a
compensation for their burdens; and they succeeded in the end. The war
was at first unfavourable to the Romans. In the consulship of L.
Julius Cæsar, B.C. 90, a Lex Julia was proposed which gave the Roman
citizenship to all the Italians who had continued faithful to Rome, if
they chose to accept it. A Lex Plautia Papiria of the following year
extended the Lex Julia and gave the Roman citizenship to all the
allies except the Samnites and Lucanians. Sulla finished the war. (See
Life of Sulla.)]

[Footnote 115: The MSS. of Plutarch vary in this name. His true name
was Pompædius Silo: he was the leader of the Marsi. He fell in battle
against Metellus Pius.]

[Footnote 116: Publius Sulpicius Rufus was tribune B.C. 88 in the
first consulship of Sulla. Cicero had heard many of the speeches of
Sulpicius. "He was," says Cicero, "of all the orators that ever I
heard, the most dignified, and if one may use the expression, the most
tragic: his voice was powerful, sweet, and clear; his gesture and
every movement graceful; and yet he seemed as if he were trained for
the Forum and not for the stage; his language was rapid and flowery,
and yet not redundant or diffuse." (Brutus, c. 55.) Yet this great
orator was no writer, and Cicero had heard him say that he was not
accustomed to write and could not write. The fact of his inability to
write is sufficiently explained by the fact that he did not try.
Cicero has made Sulpicius one of the speakers in his Book on the
Orator, where (iii. 3) he admits that he was a rash man. (See _Penny
Cyclopædia_, "P. Sulpicius Rufus," by the author of this note; and as
to his end, see Sulla, c. 10.)]

[Footnote 117: Baiæ on the north side of the Bay of Naples, and near
Puteoli (Pozzuoli), was a favourite residence of the wealthy Romans,
who came for pleasure and to use the warm baths. The promontory of
Misenum is near Baiæ.]

[Footnote 118: Plutarch means drachmæ. (See Tiberius Gracchus, c. 2.)]

[Footnote 119: The history of this affair is given somewhat more
clearly by Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 55). Marius gave the Italians who
had lately obtained the franchise, hopes that they would be
distributed among the other tribes, and thus they would have a
preponderance, for they were more numerous than the old citizens.
Sulpicius accordingly proposed a law to this effect, which was
followed by a great disturbance, upon which the consuls Pompeius and
Sulla proclaimed a Justitium such as was usual on festivals. A
Justitium signifies a stopping of all legal proceedings: during a
Justitium nothing could be done; and the consuls adopted this measure
to prevent the proposed law of Sulpicius from being carried. Appian
says that Sulpicius carried this law, and the tribes in which the new
citizens now had the majority appointed Marius to the command in the
war against Mithridates. But Sulla and Pompeius afterwards got all the
laws of Sulpicius repealed on the ground of being earned by
unconstitutional means. (Appian, _Civil Wars_, i. 59).]

[Footnote 120: This act is sufficient to stamp Marius with infamy; and
it is not the only time that he did it. Octavius, an honest man,
refused to arm the slave against his master. (Marius, c. 42). The last
British governor of Virginia closed his inglorious career by the same
unsuccessful act of cowardice. (November, 1775). "In November Lord
Dunmore proclaimed martial law in the colony, and executed his
long-threatened plan of giving freedom to all slaves who could bear
arms and would flock to his standard. But these measures, though
partially annoying, had the effect of irritating and rousing the
people rather than breaking their spirit." (Tucker's _Life of
Jefferson_, vol. i. p. 78). Before the middle of the next year Dunmore
made his escape from Virginia, after setting fire to the town of

[Footnote 121: The site of this place is unknown. Cramer (_Ancient
Italy_, ii. 31) says that the place is only mentioned by Dionysius
(ii. 37).]

[Footnote 122: Appian calls this Marius the adopted son of Caius

[Footnote 123: The port of Rome at the mouth of the Tiber.]

[Footnote 124: Circeii is a promontory which contains a solitary
elevation, now Monte Circello. Terracina or Anxur is about twelve
miles east of it, and the Pomptine marshes lie between. This tract is
now very thinly inhabited, being used for pasturage, and it was
apparently in the same state in the time of Marius. Yet this desolate
tract where a house is now rarely seen was once full of Latin towns,
in the earlier period of Rome.]

[Footnote 125: This is the older Greek poet of the name. It is unknown
when he lived, but he belongs to a period earlier than that of
authentic history. Aristotle (_Hist. of Animals_, vi. 5) quotes this
line, and in Bekker's edition the last word is [Greek: alegizei]
ἀλεγίζει, which I have translated. Sintenis reads [Greek: alubazei]
ἀλυβάζει, and Kaltwasser says that [Greek: alegizei] ἀλεγίζει cannot
have the meaning which I and others have given to it.]

[Footnote 126: Minturnæ is near the mouth of the Liris, now the
Garigliano, and in a swampy district. The lower course of the
Garigliano is through a flat, marshy, unhealthy region. If Marius
landed near Circeii he could not well have passed Teracina without
being seen. It in probable therefore that he landed south of

[Footnote 127: Ænaria, now Ischia, is forty miles south of the mouth
of the Liris.]

[Footnote 128: Marius and his adherents had been declared enemies to
the State; and in the declaration it was not forgotten that Marius had
attempted to excite the slaves to rebellion. The head of Sulpicius was
already stuck up in the Forum (Appian, _Civil Wars_, i. 60; Velleius,
ii. 19).]

[Footnote 129: A divorce at Rome was effected by the husband or wife
giving a written notice. In the time of Cicero, at least, either party
might effect the divorce. If the divorce was owing to the adultery of
the wife, the husband was entitled to retain a part of the
marriage-portion; a sixth, according to Ulpian (_Frag._ vi.). The
marriage-portion or Dos (which Plutarch translates by the Greek word
[Greek: phernê] φέρνη) was that property which on the occasion of a
woman's marriage was transferred to the husband by the woman or by
another, for the purpose of enabling the husband to bear the
additional burden of a wife and family. All the woman's property which
did not become dos, remained her own, except in one of the forms of
marriage (conventio in manum), when, pursuant to the nature of the
union by which the wife came into her husband's power and assumed
towards him the relation of a daughter, all her property became her
husband's; as is distinctly asserted by Cicero (_Topica_, 4; compare
Ulpian, _Frag_. xix. 18). As the dos was given to the husband for a
particular purpose, it was consistent that it should be returned when
the marriage was dissolved. The means of recovering the dos was by
action. The liability to restore the dos would be one check on the
husband lightly separating from his wife. When Cicero's brother
Quintus divorced his wife Pomponia, he had a good deal of trouble in
finding means to return her portion. (Cicero, _Ad Attic._ xiv. 13).
The law of dos comprised a great number of rules, and is a difficult
subject. Rein (Das _Römische Privatrecht_, p. 204) has given a sketch
of the Roman Law of Divorce that is useful to scholars; and he has in
another place (p. 193, &c.) treated of the Law of Dos. It is difficult
to avoid, error in stating anything briefly on the subject of Divorce
and Dos.]

[Footnote 130: Plutarch does not say what the copper coins were; nor
is it important. The penalty was merely nominal, but it was
accompanied by what the Romans called Infamia. Fannia showed on this
occasion that she was a better woman than Marius took her to be.
Tinnius is perhaps not a Roman name. There are many errors in proper
names in Plutarch's text. Perhaps the true reading is Titinius. (See
the note of Sintenis).]

[Footnote 131: All or nearly all of the Italian cities had a municipal
constitution. The chief magistrates were generally two, and called
Duumviri. The Council was called the Decuriones or Senate.]

[Footnote 132: This is the island of Gerba in the regency of Tunis,
close to the shore and to the town of Gabs or Cabes. It is now a large
and populous island inhabited by an industrious manufacturing
population. It is about 200 miles south of Tunis, which is near the
site of Carthage. Cercina is a group of smaller islands above 50 miles
north of Meninx, now called the Karkenna islands. These distances show
that Marius must have been rambling about for some time this coast.
(_Penny Cyclopædia_, art. "Tunis.")]

[Footnote 133: Cn. Octavius Nepos and L. Cornelius Cinna were consuls
B.C. 87. Cinna had sworn to maintain the interests of the Senate
(Sulla, c. 10), but when Sulla had left Italy for the Mithridatic war,
Cinna declared himself in favour of the new citizens, and attempted to
carry the measure for incorporating them with the old tribes. It is
said that he received a considerable sum of money for undertaking
this. The parties of Cinna and Octavius armed for the contest which
was expected to take place when this measure was proposed. Octavius
drove his opponents out of the Forum with great slaughter, and Cinna
left the city. He was joined by great numbers of the new citizens and
then formed an army. The Senate passed a decree that Cinna was neither
consul nor a citizen, inasmuch as he had deserted the city, and
offered freedom to the slaves if they would join him. L. Cornelius
Merula, who was elected consul in place of Cinna, was flamen dialis,
or Priest of Jupiter. He put himself to death by opening his veins,
after Marius and Cinna entered Rome. (Appian, _Civil Wars_, i. 74).]

[Footnote 134: Now Talamone, on the coast of Tuscany near Orbitello.]

[Footnote 135: Rome had long before this derived supplies of corn from
Sicily and other parts out of Italy. Perhaps this may prove that the
cultivation in the Campagna of Rome and the countries south of
Terracina had not improved with the increase of Rome. But other
countries are better suited for grain than the low lands of this side
of Italy, and so far as concerns the cost of transport, grain might be
brought from Sardinia and Sicily as cheaply as from many parts of
Italy, and cheaper than from the plains of Apulia, which is a good
corn country.]

[Footnote 136: Metellus Pius was now carrying on the war against the
Samnites, who were still in arms. He came to Rome at the invitation of
the Senate. (Appian, _Civil Wars_, i. 68.)]

[Footnote 137: The Roman writers often mention the Chaldæans. They
were adventurers from Asia who made their living in the great
superstition market of Rome by foretelling future events. Whether they
were really Chaldæans does not appear. The death of Octavius is told
somewhat differently by Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 71). His head was cut
off and placed on the Rostra, and many other heads also. He was the
first consul whose head was exposed on the Rostra. Other atrocities
are mentioned by Appian, c. 72, &c. It was the fashion in England less
than a hundred years back to place traitors' heads on Temple Bar,
London. "I have been this morning at the Tower, and passed under the
new heads at Temple Bar; where people make a trade of letting
spy-glasses at a halfpenny a look" (Horace Walpole, Letter to George
Montague, Aug. 16, 1746).]

[Footnote 138: Marcus Antonius, sometimes called the Orator, was the
grandfather of Marcus Antonius the Triumvir. His head was fixed on the
Rostra. Cicero, who has left on record a testimony to his great
talents, and deplored his fate (_De Oratore_, iii. 3), had the same
ill-luck from the hands of Antonius the Triumvir. M. Antonius the
orator filled many high posts, and was consul B.C. 99. But his title
to remembrance is his great oratorical skill. Cicero says that
Antonius and his contemporary Lucius Licinius Crassus were the first
Romans who equalled the great orators of Greece. The judicious remarks
of Antonius on the conduct of a cause are preserved by Cicero (_De
Oratore_, ii. 72). Antonius left no writings. (See "Antonius, Marcus,"
in _Biog. Dict._ of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful

[Footnote 139: Marius was elected Consul for the seventh time B.C. 86.
His colleague was Cinna. On the death of Marius, Valerius Flaccus was
elected in his place, and sent to Asia. On the death of Flaccus, Carbo
was elected in his place.]

[Footnote 140: One MS. has Licinius, which is the right name. Licinius
was a Senator. (Livius, _Epit_. lib. 80: Dion, _Frag_. 120.)]

[Footnote 141: The same person who is mentioned above (c. 1). He was
of Rhodes and a Stoic. Poseidonius was one of Cicero's teachers, and
survived Cicero's consulship, as we see from a letter of Cicero (_Ad
Attic_. ii. 1), which also shows that he knew how to flatter his old
pupil's vanity. Cicero (_De Natura Deorum_, ii. 38) speaks of a Sphere
of Poseidonius which represented certain phenomena of the sun's and
moon's motions and those of the five stars (planets). Nothing is known
about this embassy.]

[Footnote 142: It is not known who is meant. (See Krause, _Fragment.
Historicorum Romanorun_, p. 139.)]

[Footnote 143: See the note, Sulla (c. 6).]

[Footnote 144: He was a Stoic and the master of Panætius. His age is
determined approximatively by the facts mentioned in the Life of
Tiberius Gracchus (c. 5). (See "Antipater of Tarsus," in _Biog. Dict._
of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.)]

[Footnote 145: See Life of Sulla (c. 28-32). Marius was consul with
Cn. Papirius Carbo, B.C. 82. Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 87) says that
this Marius was the nephew of the distinguished Marius. There seems to
be some confusion about this younger Marius. (See c. 35.)]


I. The treasury of the Akanthians at Delphi has upon it the following
inscription: "The spoils which Brasidas and the Akanthians took from
the Athenians." For this reason many suppose that the stone statue
which stands inside the treasure-chamber, just by the door, is that of
Brasidas; but it is really a copy of a statue of Lysander, wearing his
hair and beard long, in the ancient fashion. For it is not true, as
some say, that when the Argives after their great defeat shaved their
hair in sign of mourning, the Spartans on the other hand, in pride at
their victory let their hair grow long; nor was it because the
Bacchiadæ, when they fled from Corinth to Sparta had their hair cut
short, and looked mean and despicable that made the Spartans,
themselves eager to let their hair grow long; but the fashion was
enjoined by Lykurgus. It is recorded that he said of this mode of
wearing the hair, that it made handsome men look handsomer, and made
ugly men look more ferocious.

II. Aristokleitus, the father of Lysander, is said to have been a
descendant of Herakles, though not a member of the royal family.
Lysander was brought up in poverty, and, like other Spartans, proved
himself obedient to discipline and of a manly spirit, despising all
pleasures except that which results from the honour paid to those who
are successful in some great action. This was the only enjoyment
permitted to young men in Sparta; for they wish their children, from
their very birth, to dread reproach and to be eager for praise, and he
who is not stirred by these passions is regarded with contempt as a
pluggish fellow without ambition.

Lysander retained throughout life the emulous desire for fame which
had been instilled into him by his early training; but, though never
wanting in ambition, yet he fell short of the Spartan ideal, in his
habit of paying court to the great, and easily enduring the insolence
of the powerful, whenever his own interests were concerned. Aristotle,
when he observes that the temperaments of great men are prone to
melancholy, instances Sokrates, Plato, and Herakles, and observes also
that Lysander, when advanced in life, became inclined to melancholy.
What is especially to be noted in his character is, that while he
himself lived in honourable poverty, and never received a bribe from
any one, that he nevertheless brought wealth and the desire for wealth
into his native country, and took away from it its old boast of being
superior to money; for after the war with Athens he filled the city
with gold and silver, although he did not keep a drachma of it for
himself. When the despot Dionysius sent him some rich Sicilian dresses
for his daughters, he refused them, saying that he feared they would
make the girls look uglier than before. However, being shortly
afterwards sent as ambassador to this same despot, when he again
offered him two dresses, bidding him take whichever he chose for his
daughter, he took them both away with him, saying that she would be
better able to choose for herself.

III. Towards the end of the Peloponnesian war, the Athenians, after
their great disaster in Sicily, seemed likely to lose the command of
the sea, and even to be compelled to sue for peace from sheer
exhaustion. But Alkibiades, after his return from exile, effected a
great change in the position of Athens, and raised the Athenian navy
to such a pitch that it was able to meet that of the Lacedæmonians on
equal terms. At this the Lacedæmonians again began to fear for the
result of the war. They determined to prosecute it with greater
earnestness than before, and as they required a skilful general, as
well as a large force, they gave Lysander the command of their fleet.

When he came to Ephesus, he found the city friendly to him, and
willing enough to support the Lacedæmonian cause; but it was in a weak
and ill-managed condition, and in danger of falling into the Persian
manners and losing its Greek nationality, because it was close to
Lydia, and the Persian generals generally made it their headquarters.
But Lysander formed a camp there, ordered all transports to be
directed to sail thither, and established a dockyard for the
construction of ships of war. By this means he filled the harbour with
trading vessels, and the market with merchandise, and brought money
and business into every house and workshop; so that, thanks to him,
the city then first began to entertain hopes of arriving at that pitch
of greatness and splendour which it has since attained.

IV. When he heard that Cyrus, the son of the king of Persia, had
arrived at Sardis, he went thither to confer with him, and to complain
of the conduct of Tissaphernes, who, although he received orders to
assist the Lacedæmonians, and to drive the Athenians from the sea, yet
by means of the influence of Alkibiades appeared to be very much
wanting in zeal for the Lacedæmonian cause, and to be ruining their
fleet by his parsimony. Cyrus gladly listened to anything to the
discredit of Tissaphernes, who was a worthless man and also a personal
enemy of his own. After this Lysander gained considerable influence
with the young prince, and induced him to carry on the war with
greater spirit. When Lysander was about to leave the court, Cyrus
invited him to a banquet, and begged him not to refuse his courtesies,
but to demand whatever boon he pleased, as he would be refused
nothing. Lysander replied, "Since, Cyrus, you are so very kind to me,
I ask you to add an obolus to the pay of the sailors, so that they may
receive four obols a day instead of three." Cyrus, pleased with his
warlike spirit, presented him with ten thousand darics,[146] with
which money he paid the extra obolus to the sailors, and so improved
the equipment of his fleet, that in a short time he all but emptied
the enemy's ships; for their sailors deserted in crowds to the best
paymaster, and those who remained behind were so disheartened and
mutinous, that they gave their officers continual trouble. Yet even
after he had thus weakened his enemy's forces Lysander dared not
venture on a battle, knowing Alkibiades to be a brilliant general, and
that his fleet was still the more numerous, while his many victories
by sea and land made him feared at this period as invincible.

V. When, however, Alkibiades sailed from Samos to Phokæa he left his
pilot Antiochus in command of the fleet. This man, wishing in a
foolhardy spirit to insult Lysander, sailed into the harbour of
Ephesus with two triremes, and arrogantly passed along the beach where
the Lacedæmonian fleet lay drawn up, with loud laughter and noise.
Lysander, enraged at this, at first only launched a few triremes to
pursue him, but when he saw the Athenians coming to his assistance he
manned his whole fleet, and brought on a general action. Lysander was
victorious, took fifteen triremes, and erected a trophy. Upon this the
Athenian people were greatly incensed against Alkibiades, and removed
him from his command; and he, being insulted and ill-treated by the
soldiery at Samos, withdrew from the Athenian camp to the Chersonesus.
This battle, though not in itself remarkable, yet became so because of
the misfortunes which it brought upon Alkibiades.

Lysander now invited to Ephesus all the bravest and most distinguished
Greeks from the cities on the Ionic coast, and thus laid the
foundation of all those oligarchies and revolutionary governments
which were afterwards established there, by encouraging them to form
political clubs, and devote themselves energetically to carrying on
the war, because in the event of success they would not only conquer
the Athenians, but also would be able to put down all democratic
government, and establish themselves as absolute rulers in their
respective cities. He proved the truth of his professions to these
people by his acts, as he promoted those whom he personally knew, and
those with whom he was connected by the ties of hospitality, to
important posts and commands, aiding and abetting their most
unscrupulous and unjust acts, so that all men began to look up to him
and to be eager to win his favour, imagining that if he remained in
power, their most extravagant wishes would be gratified. For this
reason they were dissatisfied with Kallikratidas, when he took command
of the fleet as Lysander's successor, and even after he had proved
himself to be as brave and honest as a man could be, they still
disliked his truthful, straightforward, Dorian manners. Yet they could
not but admire his virtue, as men admire some antique heroic statue,
although they regretted Lysander's ready zeal for the interest of his
friends so much that some of them actually wept when he sailed away.

VI. Lysander made this class of persons yet more irritated against
Kallikratidas by sending back to Sardis the balance of the money which
he had received from Cyrus for the fleet, bidding the sailors ask
Kallikratidas for pay, and see how he would manage to maintain the
men. And when he finally left Ephesus, he endeavoured to force
Kallikratidas to admit that he had handed over to him a fleet which
was mistress of the seas. Kallikratidas, however, wishing to expose
his vainglorious boasts, answered: "If so, sail from hence, passing
Samos on your left, and hand over the fleet to me at Miletus; for we
need not fear the Athenians at Samos, if our fleet is mistress of the
seas." To this Lysander answered that it was not he, but Kallikratidas
who was in command, and at once sailed away to Peloponnesus, leaving
Kallikratidas in great perplexity; for he had brought no money with
him from his own country, and he could not endure to wring money out
of the distressed Greek cities on the coast. There remained only one
course open to him: to go to the satraps of the king of Persia, and
ask them for money, as Lysander had done. Kallikratidas was the worst
man in the world for such a task, being high-spirited and generous,
and thinking it less dishonourable for Greeks to be defeated by other
Greeks than for them to court and flatter barbarians who had nothing
to recommend them but their riches. Forced by want of money, however,
he made a journey into Lydia, and at once went to the house of Cyrus,
where he ordered the servants to say that the admiral Kallikratidas
was come, and wished to confer with him. They answered, "Stranger,
Cyrus is not at leisure; he is drinking." To this Kallikratidas with
the greatest coolness replied: "Very well; I will wait until he has
finished his draught." At this answer the Persians took him for a
boor, and laughed at him, so that he went away; and, after presenting
himself a second time and being again denied admittance, returned to
Ephesus in a rage, invoking curses upon those who had first been
corrupted by the barbarians, and who had taught them to behave so
insolently because of their riches, and vowing in the presence of his
friends that as soon as he reached Sparta, he would do all in his
power to make peace between the Greek states, in order that they might
be feared by the barbarians, and might no longer be obliged to beg the
Persians to help them to destroy one another.

VII. But Kallikratidas, whose ideas were so noble and worthy of a
Spartan, being as brave, honourable, and just a man as ever lived,
perished shortly afterwards in the sea-fight at Arginusæ. Upon this,
as the Lacedæmonian cause was going to ruin, the allied cities sent an
embassy to Sparta, begging for Lysander to be again given the chief
command, and promising that they would carry on the war with much
greater vigour if he were their leader. Cyrus also sent letters to the
same effect. Now as the Spartan law forbids the same man being twice
appointed admiral, the Lacedæmonians, wishing to please their allies,
gave the chief command nominally to one Arakus, but sent Lysander with
him, with the title of secretary, but really with full power and
authority. He was very welcome to the chief men in the various cities,
who imagined that by his means they would be able to obtain much
greater power, and to put down democracy throughout Asia; but those
who loved plain and honourable dealing in a general thought that
Lysander, when compared with Kallikratidas, appeared to be a crafty,
deceitful man, conducting the war chiefly by subtilty and stratagem,
using honourable means when it was his interest to do so, at other
times acting simply on the rules of expediency, and not holding truth
to be in itself superior to falsehood, but measuring the value of the
one and the other by the profit which was to be obtained from them. He
indeed laughed at those who said that the race of Herakles ought not
to make wars by stratagem, saying, "Where the lion's skin will not
protect us, we must sew the fox's skin to it."

VIII. All this is borne out by what he is said to have done at
Miletus. Here his friends and connections, to whom he had promised
that he would put down the democratic constitution and drive their
enemies out of the city, changed their minds, and made up their
quarrel with their political opponents. At this reconciliation
Lysander publicly expressed great satisfaction and even seemed anxious
to promote a good understanding, but in private he railed at them and
urged them to attack the popular party. But as soon as he heard of an
outbreak having taken place, he at once marched into the city,
addressed the insurgents roughly, and sent them away in custody,
harshly treated, as if he meant to inflict some signal punishment upon
them, while he bade those of the popular faction take courage, and not
to expect any ill-treatment while he was present. By this artifice he
prevailed upon the chief men of the democratic party not to leave the
city, but to remain and perish in it; as indeed they did, for every
one who trusted to his word was put to death. Moreover, Androkleides
relates a story which shows Lysander's extreme laxity with regard to
oaths. He is said to have remarked, that "We cheat boys with dice, and
men with oaths!" In this he imitated Polykrates, the despot of
Samos--an unworthy model for a Spartan general. Nor was it like a
Spartan to treat the gods as badly as he treated his enemies, or even
worse--for the man who overreaches his enemy by breaking his oath
admits that he fears his enemy, but despises his god.

IX. Cyrus now sent for Lysander to Sardis, and gave him a supply of
money, with promise of more. Nay, he was so zealous to show his
attachment to Lysander that he declared, if his father would not
furnish him with funds, that he would expend all his own property, and
if other resources failed, that he would break up the gold and silver
throne on which he was sitting. Finally, when he went away to Media to
see his father, he empowered Lysander to receive the tribute from the
subject cities, and placed the whole of his government in his hands.
He embraced Lysander, begged him not to fight the Athenians by sea
until he returned from court, promised that he would return with many
ships from Phœnicia and Cilicia, and so departed.

Lysander was not able to fight the Athenians on equal terms, but yet
he could not remain quiet with so large a number of ships. He
accordingly put out to sea, induced several of the islands to revolt
from Athens, and overran Ægina and Salamis. At length he landed in
Attica, where he met Agis, who came down from Dekeleia to see him, and
showed the land army what his naval force was, boasting that he could
sail whither he pleased, and was master of the seas. However, when he
discovered that the Athenians were in pursuit he fled precipitately
back to Asia Minor. Finding the Hellespont unguarded, he attacked the
city of Lampsakus by sea, while Thorax, who had arrived at the same
place with the land forces, attacked it on that side. He took the city
by storm, and, gave it up to his soldiers to plunder. Meanwhile, the
Athenian fleet of a hundred and eighty triremes had just touched at
Elaius in the Chersonese, but, hearing that Lampsakus was lost,
proceeded to Sestos. Having taken in provisions at that place, they
sailed to the "Goat's Rivers," opposite to Lampsakus, where the
enemy's fleet still lay. One of the Athenian generals on this occasion
was that Philokles who once induced the people to pass a decree that
all prisoners of war should have their right thumbs cut off, so that
they might not be able to hold a spear, but yet might work at the oar.

X. Hereupon both parties rested, expecting a sea-fight on the morrow.
Lysander, however, had other intentions, but notwithstanding ordered
the sailors to man their ships at daybreak, as if he intended to
fight, and to remain quietly at their posts waiting for orders; and
the land force was similarly drawn up by the sea-side. When the sun
rose, the Athenian fleet rowed straight up to the Lacedæmonians, and
offered battle, but Lysander, although his ships were fully manned,
and had their prows pointing towards the enemy, would not let them
engage, but sent small boats to the first line of his ships with
orders not to move, but remain quietly in their places without any
noise or attempt to attack. Though the Athenians retired towards
evening, he would not let his men land before two or three triremes
which he had sent to reconnoitre, returned with the intelligence that
the enemy had disembarked. The same manœuvres took place on the next
day, and also on the third and fourth days, so that the Athenians
began to be very bold, and to despise their enemy, who seemed not to
dare to attack them. At this time Alkibiades, who was living in his
own forts in the Chersonese, rode over to the Athenian camp and blamed
the generals for having in the first place encamped in a bad position,
on an exposed sea-beach without any harbour, and pointed out their
mistake in having to fetch all their provisions from Sestos, which was
so far off, whereas they ought to have proceeded to the harbour and
city of Sestos, where they would also be farther away from a watchful
enemy, commanded by one general only, and so well disciplined as to be
able to carry out his orders with great rapidity. These
representations of Alkibiades were not listened to by the Athenian
generals, one of whom, Tydeus, insolently replied that it was they,
not he, who were in command.

XI. As besides this Alkibiades had some suspicions of treachery among
them, he rode away. On the fifth day however, when the Athenians,
after their customary offer of battle, had returned as usual, in a
careless and negligent manner, Lysander sent out some ships to
reconnoitre, with orders to row back again with all speed as soon as
they saw the Athenians disembark, and when they reached the middle of
the straits to hoist a brazen shield over their bows as a signal for
advance. He himself sailed from ship to ship, addressing the steersmen
and captains of each, urging them to be in their place with their full
complement both of rowers and fighting-men on deck, and at the signal
to row strongly and cheerfully against the enemy.

When the shield was raised, and the signal given by trumpet from the
flag-ship, the fleet put to sea, while the land force marched rapidly
along the shore towards the promontory. The straits here are only
fifteen furlongs wide, a distance which was soon passed by the zeal of
the Lacedæmonian rowers. Konon was the first of the Athenian generals
who perceived the fleet approaching. He at once called out to the men
to embark, and in his agony of distress at the disaster, ordered,
implored, and forced them into their ships. But all his zeal was
useless, scattered as the crews were; for as soon as they disembarked
they at once, not expecting any attack, began some to purchase food in
the market, some to stroll about, while some went to sleep in their
tents, and some began to cook, without the least mistrust of that
which befel them, through the ignorance and inexperience of their
leaders. As by this time the enemy were close upon them, with loud
cries and noise of oars, Konon with eight ships made his way safely
through the enemy, and escaped to the court of Evagoras, king of
Cyprus. As to the rest of the ships, the Peloponnesians took some of
them empty, and sank the others as the sailors endeavoured to get on
board of them. Of these men, many perished near their ships, as they
ran to them in disorderly crowds, without arms, while others who fled
away on land were killed by the enemy, who landed and went in pursuit
of them. Besides these, three thousand men, including the generals,
were taken prisoners. Lysander also captured the entire fleet, with
the exception of the sacred trireme called the Paralus, and the eight
ships which escaped with Konon. After plundering the camp, and taking
all the captured ships in tow, he sailed back to Lampsakus with
triumphal music of flutes and pæans of victory, having won a great
victory with little labour, and in a short time brought to a close the
longest and most uncertain war ever known in his times. There had been
innumerable battles, and frequent changes of fortune, in which more
generals had perished than in all the previous wars in Greece, and yet
all was brought to a close by the wisdom and conduct of one man: which
thing caused some to attribute this victory to the interposition of
the gods.

XII. Some affirmed, that when Lysander's ship sailed out of the
harbour of Lampsakus to attack the enemy, they saw the Dioskuri, like
two stars, shining over the rudders[147]. Some also say that the fall
of the great stone was an omen of this disaster: for the common belief
is that a vast stone fell down from Heaven into the Goat's Rivers,
which stone is even now to be seen, and is worshipped by the people of
the Chersonese. We are told that Anaxagoras foretold that in case of
any slip or disturbance of the bodies which are fixed in the heavens,
they would all fall down. The stars also, he said, are not in their
original position, but being heavy bodies formed of stone, they shine
by the resistance and friction of the atmosphere, while they are
driven along by the violence of the circular motion by which they were
originally prevented from falling, when cold and heavy bodies were
separated from the general universe. There is a more credible theory
on this subject, that shooting-stars are not a rush of ærial fire
which is put out as soon as it is kindled, nor yet a blaze caused by a
quantity of air being suddenly allowed to rush upwards, but that they
are heavenly bodies, which from some failure in their rotatory power,
fall from their orbit and descend, not often into inhabited portions
of the earth, but for the most part into the sea, whereby they escape
notice. This theory of Anaxagoras is confirmed by Daimachus in his
treatise on Piety, where he states that for seventy-five days before
the stone fell a fiery body of great size like a burning cloud, was
observed in the heavens. It did not remain at rest, but moved in
various directions by short jerks, so that by its violent swaying
about many fiery particles were broken off, and flashed like
shooting-stars. When, however, it sank to the earth, the inhabitants,
after their first feeling of terror and astonishment were passed,
collected together, and found no traces of fire, but merely a stone
lying on the ground, which although a large one, bore no comparison to
that fiery mass. It is evident that this tale of Daimachus can only
find credit with indulgent readers: but if it be true, it signally
confutes those who argue that the stone was wrenched by the force of a
whirlwind from some high cliff, carried up high into the air, and then
let fall whenever the violence of the tempest abated. Unless, indeed,
that which was seen for so many days was really fire, which, when
quenched, produced such a violent rushing and motion in the air as
tore the stone from its place. A more exact enquiry into these
matters, however, belongs to another subject.

XIII. Now Lysander, after the three thousand Athenians whom he had
taken prisoners had been condemned to death by the council, called
for Philokles their general, and asked him what punishment he thought
that he deserved for having advised his fellow-countrymen to treat
Greeks in such a cruel manner.[148] Philokles, not in the least cast
down by his misfortunes, bade him not to raise questions which no one
could decide, but, since he was victor, to do what he would himself
have suffered if vanquished. He then bathed, put on a splendid dress,
and led his countrymen to execution, according to the account given by
Theophrastus. After this Lysander sailed to the various cities in the
neighbourhood, and compelled all the Athenians whom he met to betake
themselves to Athens, giving out that he would spare no one, but put
to death all whom he found without the city. His object in acting thus
was to produce famine in Athens as speedily as possible, that the city
might not give him the trouble of a long siege. He now destroyed the
democratic and popular constitutions in all the Greek cities which had
been subject to Athens, placing a Lacedæmonian in each as harmost or
governor, with a council of ten archons under him, composed of men
selected from the political clubs which he had established. He
proceeded leisurely along, effecting these changes alike in the cities
which had been hostile to him and in those which had fought on his
side, as though he were preparing for himself a Greece in which he
would take the first place. He did not choose his archons by their
birth, or their wealth, but favoured his own friends and political
adherents, to whom he gave irresponsible power; while by being present
at several executions, and driving the opponents of his friends into
exile, he gave the Greeks a very unpleasant idea of what they were to
expect from the empire of Lacedæmon. The comic poet Theopompus
therefore appears to talk at random when he compares the Lacedæmonians
to tavern-keepers, because they at first poured out for the Greeks a
most sweet draught of liberty and afterwards made it bitter; whereas
in truth the taste of their rule was bitter from the beginning, as
Lysander would not allow the people to have any voice in the
government, and placed all the power in each city in the hands of the
most daring and ambitious men of the oligarchical party.

XIV. After spending a short time in arranging these matters and having
sent messengers to Laconia to announce that he was coming thither with
a fleet of two hundred ships, he joined the Spartan kings, Agis and
Pausanias, in Attica, and expected that the city of Athens would soon
fall into his hands. Finding, however, that the Athenians made an
obstinate defence, he crossed over to Asia again with the fleet. Here
he overthrew the existing constitutions and established governments of
ten in all the cities alike, putting many citizens to death, and
driving many into exile. He drove out all the inhabitants from the
island of Samos in a body, and handed over the cities in that island
to those who had previously been banished. He also took Sestos from
the Athenians, and would not allow the people of Sestos to live there,
but gave the city and territory over to those who had acted as
steersmen and masters on board of his ships. This indeed was the first
of his acts which was cancelled by the Lacedæmonians, who restored
Sestos to its inhabitants. Yet his proceedings were viewed with
satisfaction by the Greeks, when he restored the Æginetans, who had
for a long time been banished from their island, and also refounded
Melos and Skione, the Athenians being driven away and forced to give
up the cities.

By this time he learned that the people of Athens were nearly starved
out, and consequently sailed to Peiræus and received the submission of
the city, which was obliged to accept whatever terms of capitulation
he chose to offer. I have indeed heard Lacedæmonians say that Lysander
wrote to the Ephors, saying "Athens is taken;" and that they wrote to
Lysander in answer, "To have taken it is enough." But this tale is
merely invented for effect. The real decree of the Ephors ran as
follows:--"This is the decision of the Lacedæmonian government. Throw
down the walls of Peiræus and the Long Walls. Withdraw from all other
cities and occupy your own land, and then you may have peace, if you
wish for it, allowing likewise your exiles to return. With regard to
the number of the ships, whatever be judged necessary by those on the
spot, that do."

The Athenians accepted these terms, by the advice of Theramenes the
son of Hagnon: and on this occasion it is said that when he was asked
by Kleomenes, one of the younger orators, how he dared to act and
speak against what Themistokles had done, by giving up to the
Lacedæmonians those walls which Themistokles had built in spite of
them, he answered, "My boy, I am doing nothing contrary to
Themistokles; for these same walls he built up to save his countrymen,
and we will throw them down to save them. Indeed, if walls made a city
prosperous, then ought Sparta, which has none, to be the most
miserable of all."

XV. Now Lysander, after taking all the fleet of the Athenians except
twelve ships, and having taken possession of their walls, began to
take measures for the subversion of their political constitution, on
the sixteenth day of the month Munychion, the same day on which they
had defeated the Persians in the sea-fight at Salamis. As they were
greatly grieved at this, and were loth to obey him, he sent word to
the people that the city had broken the terms of its capitulation,
because their walls were standing although the time within which they
ought to have been destroyed had elapsed. He therefore would make an
entirely new decision about their fate, because they had broken the
treaty. Some writers say that he actually consulted the allies about
the advisability of selling the whole population for slaves, in which
debate the Theban Erianthus proposed to destroy the city and make the
site of it a sheep walk. Afterwards, however, when the generals were
drinking together a Phokian sang the first song in the Elektra of
Euripides, which begins with the words--

    "Elektra, Agamemnon's child,
    I reach thy habitation wild."

At this their hearts were touched, and it appeared to them to be a
shameful deed to destroy so famous a city, and one which had produced
such great men. After this, as the Athenians agreed to everything that
Lysander proposed, he sent for a number of flute-players out of the
city, collected all those in his camp, and destroyed the walls and
burned the ships to the sound of music, while the allies crowned
themselves with flowers and danced around, as though on that day their
freedom began. Lysander now at once subverted the constitution,
establishing thirty archons in the city, and ten in Peiræus, placing
also a garrison in the Acropolis under the command of Kallibius, who
acted as harmost, or governor. This man once was about to strike
Autolykus the athlete, in whose house Xenophon has laid the scene of
his "Symposium," with his staff, when Autolykus tripped him and threw
him down. Lysander did not sympathise with his fall, but even
reproached him, saying that he did not know how to govern free men.
However, the Thirty, to please Kallibius, shortly afterwards put
Autolykus to death.

XVI. After these transactions Lysander set sail for Thrace, but sent
home to Sparta all the money for which he had no immediate occasion,
and all the presents and crowns[149] which he had received, in charge
of Gylippus, who had held a command in Sicily during the war there.
His wealth was very great, as many naturally had bestowed rich
presents on one who had such great power as to be in some sort
dictator of Greece. Gylippus is said to have cut open the seam at the
bottom of each bag of money, taken a great deal of it out, and then to
have sewn it up again, not knowing that there was a written note in
each bag stating the amount which it contained. When he reached Sparta
he hid the money which he had stolen under the tiles of his roof, and
handed the bags over to the Ephors with the seals unbroken. When the
bags were opened and the money counted, the amount was found not to
agree with the written notes, and the Ephors were much perplexed at
this until a servant of Gylippus explained the cause of it in a
riddle, telling them that under his tiles roosted many owls. For, it
seems, most of the money current at that period bore the Athenian
device of the owl, in consequence of the extent of the Athenian

Gylippus, having sullied the glory of his great achievements by this
mean and sordid action, left Sparta in disgrace. Yet the wisest
Spartans, fearing the power of the money for this very reason, that it
was the chief men in the state who would be tempted by it, reproached
Lysander for bringing it, and implored the Ephors to convey solemnly
all the gold and silver coin away out of the country, as being so much
"imported ruin." On this the Ephors invited discussion upon the
subject. Theopompus tells us that it was Skiraphidas, but Ephorus says
that it was Phlogidas who advised the Spartans not to receive the gold
and silver coinage into their country, but to continue to use that
which their fathers had used. This was iron money, which had first
been dipped in vinegar when red hot, so that it could not be worked,
as its being quenched in this manner rendered it brittle and useless,
while it was also heavy, difficult to transport from place to place,
and a great quantity of it represented but a small value. It appears
probable that all money was originally of this kind, and that men used
instead of coin small spits[150] of iron or copper. For this reason we
still call small coins obols, and we call six obols a drachma, meaning
that this is the number of them which can be grasped by the hand.

XVII. The motion for sending away the money was opposed by Lysander's
friends, who were eager to keep it in the state; so that it was at
last decided that for public purposes this money might be used, but
that if any private person were found in possession of it, he should
be put to death: as if Lykurgus had been afraid of money itself, and
not of the covetousness produced by it, which they did not repress by
forbidding private men to own money so much as they encouraged it by
permitting the state to own it, conferring thereby a certain dignity
upon it over and above its real value. It was not possible for men who
saw that the state valued silver and gold to despise it as useless, or
to think that what was thus prized by the whole body of the citizens
could be of no concern to individuals. On the contrary, it is plain
that national customs much sooner impress themselves on the lives and
manners of individuals, than do the faults and vices of individuals
affect the national character. When the whole becomes corrupt the
parts necessarily become corrupt with it; but the corruption of some
of the parts does not necessarily extend to the whole, being checked
and overpowered by those parts which remain healthy. Thus the Spartans
made the law and the fear of death guard the houses of their citizens
so that money could not enter them, but they did not guard their minds
against the seductions of money, nay, even encouraged them to admire
it, by proclaiming that it was a great and important matter that the
commonwealth should be rich. However, I have discussed the conduct of
the Lacedæmonians in this respect in another book.

XVIII. From the proceeds of the plunder which he had taken Lysander
set up a brazen statue of himself and of each of the admirals[151] at
Delphi, and also offered up golden stars to the Dioskuri, which stars
disappeared just before the battle of Leuktra. Besides this, in the
treasury of Brasidas and the Akanthians there used to be a trireme
made of gold and ivory, two cubits long, which was sent to him by
Cyrus as a present on the occasion of his victory. Anaxandrides of
Delphi also tells us that Lysander deposited there a talent of silver,
fifty-two minæ, and eleven of the coins called staters, which does not
agree with the accounts given by other writers of his poverty.

At this time Lysander was more powerful than any Greek had ever been
before, and displayed an amount of pride and arrogance beyond even
what his power warranted. He was the first Greek, we are told by
Douris in his history, to whom cities erected altars and offered
sacrifice as though he were a god, and he was the first in whose
honour pæans were sung, one of which is recorded as having begun as

    "The praise of our fair Græcia's king
    That comes from Sparta, let us sing,
                               Io pæan."

Nay, the Samians decreed that their festival, called Heræa in honour
of Hera, should be called Lysandreia. He always kept the poet Chœrilus
in his train, that he might celebrate his actions in verse, and when
Antilochus wrote some stanzas in his praise he was so pleased that he
filled his hat with silver and gave it to him. Antimachus of Kolophon
and one Nikeratus of Heraklea each wrote a poem on his deeds, and
competed before him for a prize, at the Lysandreia. He gave the crown
of victory to Nikeratus, which so enraged Antimachus that he
suppressed his poem. Plato, who was a young man at that time, and
admired the poetry of Antimachus, consoled him for his defeat by
pointing out to him that the illiterate are as much to be pitied for
their ignorance as the blind are for their loss of sight. When,
however, the harper Aristonous, who had six times won the victory at
the Pythian games, to show his regard to Lysander, told him that if he
won the prize again he intended to have his name proclaimed by the
herald as Lysander's servant, Lysander said, "Does he mean to proclaim
himself my slave?"

XIX. This ambition of Lysander was only a burden to the great, and to
those of equal rank with himself. But as none dared to thwart him, his
pride and insolence of temper became intolerable. He proceeded to
extravagant lengths both when he rewarded and when he punished,
bestowing absolute government over important cities upon his friends,
while he was satisfied with nothing short of the death of an enemy,
and regarded banishment as too mild a sentence. Indeed, when
subsequently to this he feared lest the chiefs of the popular party at
Miletus might escape, and also wished to tempt those who had concealed
themselves to leave their hiding-place, he swore that he would not
harm them; and when they, trusting to his word, came forward and gave
themselves up, he delivered them over to the aristocratical party to
be put to death, to the number of not less than eight hundred men. In
all the other cities, too, an indiscriminate massacre of the popular
party took place, as Lysander not only put to death his own personal
enemies, but also those persons against whom any of his friends in
each city might happen to have a grudge. Wherefore Æteokles the
Lacedæmonian was thought to have spoken well, when he said that
"Greece could not have borne two Lysanders." We are told by
Theophrastus that Archestratus made the same remark about Alkibiades:
although in his case it was insolence, luxury and self-will which gave
so much offence, whereas Lysander's harsh, merciless disposition was
what made his power so hateful and terrible.

At first the Lacedæmonians paid no attention to complaints brought
against him; but when Pharnabazus, who had been wronged by Lysander's
depredations on his country, sent an embassy to Sparta to demand
justice, the Ephors were much enraged. They put to death Thorax, one
of his friends, whom they found in possession of silver coin, and they
sent a skytale to him bidding him appear before them. I will now
explain what a skytale was. When the Ephors sent out any one as
general or admiral of their forces, they used to prepare two round
sticks of wood of exactly the same length and thickness, corresponding
with one another at the ends. One of these they kept themselves, and
the other they gave to the person sent out. These sticks they call
skytales. Now when they desire to transmit some secret of importance
to him, they wrap a long narrow strip of paper[152] like a strap round
the skytale which is in their possession, leaving no intervals, but
completely covering the stick along its whole length with the paper.
When this has been done they write upon the paper while it is upon the
stick, and after writing they unwind the paper and send it to the
general without the stick. When he receives it, it is entirely
illegible, as the letters have no connection, but he winds it round
the stick in his possession so that the folds correspond to one
another, and then the whole message can be read. The paper is called
skytale as well as the stick, as a thing measured is called by the
name of the measure.

XX. Lysander, when this skytale reached him at the Hellespont, was
much troubled, and as he especially feared the accusations of
Pharnabazus, he hastened to confer with him, with a view to settling
their dispute. When they met, Lysander begged him to write a second
letter to the Spartan government, stating that he had not received any
wrong, and that he had no charge to bring against him. It was,
however, a case of "diamond cut diamond," as the proverb has it, for
Pharnabazus, while he ostensibly promised to do everything that
Lysander wished, and to send publicly a letter dictated by him, had by
him another privately-written despatch, and when the seals were about
to be affixed, as the two letters looked exactly alike, he substituted
the privately-written one for that which Lysander had seen. When then
Lysander reached Lacedæmon, and proceeded, as it customary, to the
senate-house, he handed over to the Ephors this letter of Pharnabazus,
with the conviction that thereby he was quashing the most important of
all the charges against himself; for Pharnabazus was much loved by the
Lacedæmonians, because he had taken their part in the war more
zealously than any other Persian satrap. When, however, the Ephors
showed him the letter, and he perceived that "Others besides
Odysseus[153] can contrive," he retired in great confusion, and a few
days afterwards, on meeting with the Ephors, informed them that he
must go and pay a sacrifice to Ammon[154]; which he had vowed before
winning his victories. Some historians tell us that this was true, and
that when he was besieging Aphytæ, a city in Thrace, the god Ammon
appeared to him in a dream; in consequence of which he raised the
siege, imagining this to be the will of the god, ordered the
inhabitants to sacrifice to Ammon, and himself made preparations for
proceeding at once to Libya to propitiate the god. Most persons,
however, imagined that this was a mere pretence, but that really he
feared the Ephors, and was unable to endure the harsh discipline of
life at Sparta, and therefore wished to travel abroad, just as a horse
longs for liberty when he has been brought back out of wide pastures
to his stable and his accustomed work. As to the cause which Ephorus
gives for these travels of his, I will mention that presently.

XXI. After having with great difficulty obtained permission from the
Ephors, he set sail. Now as soon as he left the country, the two
kings, perceiving that by means of his device of governing the cities
of Greece by aristocratic clubs devoted to his interest he was
virtually master of the whole country, determined to restore the
popular party to power and to turn out Lysander's friends. When
however this movement was set on foot, and when first of all the
Athenians starting from Phyle attacked the Thirty and overpowered
them, Lysander returned in haste, and prevailed upon the Lacedæmonians
to assist the cause of oligarchy and put down these popular risings.
They decided that the first government which they would aid should be
that of the Thirty, at Athens; and they proposed to send them a
hundred talents for the expenses of the war, and Lysander himself as
their general. But the two kings, envying his power, and fearing that
he would take Athens a second time, determined that one of themselves
should proceed thither in his stead. Pausanias accordingly went to
Athens, nominally to assist the Thirty against the people, but really
to put an end to the war, for fear that Lysander by means of his
friends might a second time become master of Athens. This he easily
effected; and by reconciling all classes of Athenians to one another
and putting an end to the revolution, he made it impossible for
Lysander to win fresh laurels. But when shortly afterwards the
Athenians again revolted he was much blamed for having allowed the
popular party to gather strength and break out of bounds, after it had
once been securely bridled by an oligarchy, while Lysander on the
contrary gained the credit of having, in every city, arranged matters
not with a view to theatrical effect, but to the solid advantage of

XXII. He was bold in his speech, and overbearing to those who opposed
him. When the Argives had a dispute with the Lacedæmonians about their
frontier, and seemed to have justice on their side, Lysander drew his
sword, saying, "He that is master of this is in possession of the best
argument about frontier lines." When some Megarian in a public
meeting used considerable freedom of speech towards him, he answered,
"My friend, your words require a city[155] to back them." He asked the
Bœotians, who wished to remain neutral, whether he should pass through
their country with spears held upright or levelled. On the occasion of
the revolt of Corinth, when he brought up the Lacedæmonians to assault
their walls, he observed that they seemed unwilling to attack. At this
moment a hare was seen to leap across the ditch, upon which he said,
"Are you not ashamed to fear such enemies as these, who are so lazy as
to allow hares to sleep upon their walls?" When king Agis died,
leaving a brother, Agesilaus, and a son Leotychides who was supposed
to be his, Lysander, who was attached to Agesilaus, prevailed upon him
to lay claim to the crown as being a genuine descendant of Herakles.
For Leotychides laboured under the imputation of being the son of
Alkibiades, who carried on an intrigue with Timæa the wife of Agis,
when he was living in Sparta as an exile. It is said that Agis, after
making a calculation about the time of his wife's pregnancy treated
Leotychides with neglect and openly denied that he was his father.
When however he was brought to Heræa during his last illness, and was
at the point of death, he was induced by the entreaties of the youth
and his friends to declare in the presence of many witnesses that
Leotychides was his legitimate son, and died begging them to testify
this fact to the Lacedæmonians. They did indeed so testify in favour
of Leotychides; and although Agesilaus was a man of great distinction,
and had the powerful assistance of Lysander, yet his claims to the
crown were seriously damaged by one Diopeithes, a man deep read in
oracular lore, who quoted the following prophecy in reference to the
lameness of Agesilaus:

    "Proud Sparta, resting on two equal feet,
      Beware lest lameness on thy kings alight;
    Lest wars unnumbered toss thee to and fro,
      And thou thyself be ruined in the fight."

But when many were persuaded by this oracle and looked to Leotychides
as the true heir, Lysander said that they did not rightly understand
it; for what it meant was, he argued, not that the god forbade a lame
man to reign, but that the kingdom would be lame of one foot if
base-born men should share the crown with those who were of the true
race of Herakles. By this argument and his own great personal
influence he prevailed, and Agesilaus became king of Sparta.

XXIII. Lysander now at once began to urge him to make a campaign in
Asia, holding out to him hopes of conquering the Persians and making
himself the greatest man in the world. He also wrote to his friends in
Asia, bidding them ask the Lacedæmonians to send them Agesilaus to act
as their commander in chief in the war with the Persians. They obeyed,
and sent an embassy to demand him: which was as great an honour to
Agesilaus as his being made king, and which, like the other, he owed
to Lysander alone. However, ambitious natures, though in other
respects fit for great commands, often fail in important enterprises
through jealousy of their rivals; for they make those men their
opponents who would otherwise have been their assistants in obtaining
success. On this occasion Agesilaus took Lysander with him, as the
chief of his board of thirty counsellors, and treated him as his
greatest friend; but when they reached Asia, the people there would
not pay their court to Agesilaus, whom they did not know, while all
Lysander's friends flocked round him to renew their former intimacy,
and all those who feared him assiduously courted his favour. Thus, as
in a play we often see that a messenger or servant engrosses all the
interest of the spectators and really acts the leading part, while he
who wears the crown and bears the sceptre is hardly heard to speak, so
now it was the counsellor who obtained all the honours due to a
commander in chief, while the king had merely the title without any
influence whatever. It was necessary, no doubt, that this excessive
power of Lysander should be curtailed, and he himself forced to take
the second place: but yet to disgrace and ruin a friend and one from
whom he had received great benefits, would have been unworthy of
Agesilaus. Consequently at first he did not entrust him with the
conduct of matters of importance, and did not give him any separate
command. In the next place, he invariably disobliged, and refused the
applications, of any persons on whose behalf he understood Lysander to
be interested, and thus gradually undermined his power. When however
after many failures Lysander perceived that his interest on his
friends' behalf was a drawback rather than an advantage to them, he
ceased from urging their claims, and moreover begged them not to pay
their court to him, but to attach themselves to the king, and to those
who were able to promote and reward their followers. Most of them on
hearing this no longer troubled him on matters of business, but
continued on the most friendly terms with him, and angered Agesilaus
more than ever by the manner in which they flocked round him in public
places and walks, showing thereby their dislike to the king. Agesilaus
now bestowed the government of cities and the conduct of important
expeditions upon various obscure soldiers, but appointed Lysander his
carver, and then in an insulting manner told the Ionians to go and pay
their court to his carver. At this Lysander determined to have an
interview with him, and there took place a short and truly Laconian
dialogue between them. Lysander said, "You know well, Agesilaus, how
to humble your friends." "Yes," answered he, "if they desire to be
greater than I am: but those who increase my power have a right to
share it." "Perhaps," said Lysander, "you have spoken better than I
have acted; however, if it be only on account of the multitude whose
eyes are upon us, I beg you to appoint me to some post in which I may
be of more use to you, and cause you less annoyance than at present."

XXIV. Upon this he was sent on a special mission to the Hellespont,
where although he was at enmity with Agesilaus, he did not neglect his
duty, but, finding that the Persian Spithridates, a man of noble birth
and commanding a considerable force, was on bad terms with
Pharnabazus, he induced him to revolt, and brought him back with him
to Agesilaus. After this Lysander was given no further share in the
conduct of the war, and after some time sailed back to Sparta in
disgrace, full of rage against Agesilaus, and hating the whole
Spartan constitution more than ever. He now determined without any
further delay to put in practice the revolutionary plans which he had
so long meditated. These were as follows:--When the descendants of
Herakles, after associating with the Dorians, returned to
Peloponnesus, their race grew and flourished at Sparta. Yet it was not
every family of the descendants of Herakles, but only the children of
Eurypon and Agis who had a right to the throne, while the others
gained no advantage from their noble birth, as all honours in the
state were given according to merit. Now Lysander, being a descendant
of Herakles, after he had gained great glory by his achievements and
obtained many friends and immense influence, could not endure that the
state should reap such great advantages from his success, and yet
continue to be ruled by men of no better family than himself. He
meditated, therefore, the abolition of the exclusive right to the
throne possessed by these two families, and throwing it open to all
the descendants of Herakles, or even, according to some historians, to
all Spartans alike, in order that the crown might not belong to the
descendants of Herakles, but to those who were judged to be like
Herakles in glory, which had raised Herakles himself to a place among
the gods themselves. If the throne were disposed of in this manner he
imagined that no Spartan would be chosen king before himself.

XXV. First then he proposed to endeavour to win over his countrymen to
his views by his own powers of persuasion, and with this object
studied an oration written for him by Kleon of Halikarnassus. Soon,
however, he perceived that so new and important a scheme of reform
would require more violent means to carry it into effect, and, just as
in plays supernatural machinery is resorted to where ordinary human
means would fail to produce the wished-for termination, even so did
Lysander invent oracular responses and prophecies and bring them to
bear on the minds of his countrymen, feeling that he would gain but
little by pronouncing Kleon's oration, unless the Spartans had
previously, by superstition and religious terrors, been brought into a
state of feeling suitable for its reception. Ephorus relates in his
history that Lysander endeavoured by means of one Pherekles to bribe
the priestess at Delphi, and afterwards those of Dodona; and that, as
this attempt failed, he himself went to the oracle of Ammon and had an
interview with the priests there, to whom he offered a large sum of
money. They also indignantly refused to aid his schemes, and sent an
embassy to Sparta to charge him with having attempted to corrupt them.
He was tried and acquitted, upon which the Libyans, as they were
leaving the country, said:--"We at any rate, O Spartans, will give
more righteous judgments when you come to dwell amongst us"--for there
is an ancient oracle which says that the Lacedæmonians shall some day
settle in Libya. Now as to the whole framework of Lysander's plot,
which was of no ordinary kind, and did not take its rise from
accidental circumstances, but consisted, like a mathematical
demonstration, of many complicated intrigues all tending to one fixed
point, I will give a short abstract of it extracted from the works of
Ephorus, who was both an historian and a philosopher.

XXVI. There was a woman in Pontus who gave out that she was pregnant
by Apollo. As might be expected, many disbelieved in her pretensions,
but many more believed in them, so that when a male child was born of
her, it was cared for and educated at the charge of many eminent
persons. The child, for some reason or other, was given the name of
Silenus. Lysander, starting with these materials, constructed the rest
of the story out of his own imagination. He was assisted in his scheme
by many persons of the highest respectability, who unsuspiciously
propagated the fable about the birth of the child: and who also
procured another mysterious story from Delphi, which they carefully
spread abroad at Sparta, to the effect that some oracles of vast
antiquity are guarded by the priests at Delphi, in writings which it
is not lawful to read; nor may any one examine them or look upon them,
until in the fulness of time one born of Apollo shall come, and after
clearly proving his birth to the guardians of these writings, shall
take the tablets which contain them. This having been previously
arranged, Silenus's part was to go and demand the oracles as Apollo's
child, while those of the priests who were in the plot were to make
inquiries and examine carefully into his birth, and at length were to
appear convinced of the truth of the story, and show the writings to
him, as being really the child of Apollo. He was to read aloud in the
presence of many persons all the oracles contained in the tablets,
especially one which said that it would be better for the Spartans to
choose their kings from the best of the citizens. Silenus was nearly
grown up, and the time to make the attempt had almost arrived, when
the whole plot was ruined by the cowardice of one of the principal
conspirators, whose heart failed him when the moment for action
arrived. None of these particulars, however, were discovered till
after Lysander's death.

XXVII. Before Agesilaus returned from Asia Lysander perished in a
Bœotian war in which he had become involved, or rather had involved
Greece; for various accounts are given of it, some laying the blame
upon him, some upon the Thebans, and some upon both. It was urged
against the Thebans that they overturned the altar at Aulis and
scattered the sacrifice,[156] and also that Androkleides and
Amphitheus, having been bribed by Persia to induce all the Greek
states to attack the Lacedæmonians, had invaded the Phokian territory
and laid it waste. On the other hand Lysander is said to have been
angry that the Thebans alone should claim their right to a tenth part
of the plunder obtained in the war, though the other allies made no
such demand, and that they should have expressed indignation at
Lysander's sending such large sums of money to Sparta. He was
especially wroth with them for having afforded the Athenians the means
of freeing themselves from the domination of the Thirty, which he had
himself established, and which the Lacedæmonians had endeavoured to
support by decreeing that all exiled Athenians of the popular party
might be brought back to Athens from whatever place they might be
found in, and that those who protected them against being forcibly
brought back should be treated as outlaws. In answer to this the
Thebans passed a decree worthy of themselves, and deserving of
comparison with the great acts of Herakles and Dionysus, the
benefactors of mankind. Its provisions were, that every city and every
house in Bœotia should be open to those Athenians who required
shelter, that whoever did not assist an Athenian exile against any one
who tried to force him away should be fined a talent, and that if any
marched under arms through Bœotia to attack the despots at Athens, no
Theban should either see or hear them. Not only did they make this
kindly and truly Hellenic decree, but they also acted up to the spirit
of it; for when Thrasybulus and his party seized Phyle, they started
from Thebes, supplied with arms and necessaries by the Thebans, who
also assisted them to keep their enterprise secret and to begin it
successfully. These were the charges brought against the Thebans by

XXVIII. His naturally harsh temper was now soured by age, and he urged
on the Ephors into declaring war against the Thebans, and appointing
him their general to carry it on. Subsequently, however, they sent the
king, Pausanias, with an army, to co-operate with him. Pausanias
marched in a circuitous course over Mount Kithæron, meaning to invade
Bœotia on that side, while Lysander with a large force came to meet
him through Phokis. He took the city of Orchomenus, which voluntarily
came over to his side, and he took Lebadeia by storm and plundered it.
He now sent a letter to Pausanias bidding him march through the
territory of Platæa and join him at Haliartus, promising that at
daybreak he would be before the walls of Haliartus. The messenger who
carried this letter fell into the hands of the enemy, and the letter
was taken to Thebes. Hereupon the Thebans entrusted their city to the
care of the Athenians, who had come to their aid, and themselves
started early in the evening, reached Haliartus a little before
Lysander, and threw a body of troops into the town. Lysander, on
discovering this, at first determined to halt his army on a hill in
the neighbourhood and await the arrival of Pausanias: but as the day
went on he could remain quiet no longer, but got his men under arms,
harangued the allied troops, and led them in a close column down the
road directly towards the city. Upon this those of the Thebans who had
remained outside the walls, leaving the city on their left hand,
marched to attack the extreme rear of the Lacedæmonians, near the
fountain which is called Kissousa,[157] in which there is a legend
that Dionysus was washed by his nurses after his birth; for the water
is wine-coloured and clear, and very sweet-tasted. Round the fountain
is a grove of the Cretan Storax-trees,[158] which the people of
Haliartus point to as a proof of Rhadamanthus having lived there. They
also show his tomb, which they call Alea. The sepulchre of Alkmena too
is close by: for the story goes that she married Rhadamanthus here
after the death of Amphitryon. Meanwhile the Thebans in the city,
together with the citizens of Haliartus themselves, remained quiet
until Lysander and the first ranks of the enemy came close to the
walls, and then suddenly opening the gates they charged and slew him
together with his soothsayer and some few more: for most of them fled
quickly back to the main body. However as the Thebans did not desist
but pressed on, the whole mass took to flight, and escaped to the
neighbouring hills with a loss of about one thousand men. Three
hundred of the Thebans also fell in an attack which they made on the
enemy in rough and difficult ground. These men had been accused of
favouring the Lacedæmonians, and it was to wipe out this unjust
imputation before the eyes of their fellow citizens that they showed
themselves so reckless of their lives.

XXIX. When Pausanias heard of this disaster, he was marching from
Platæa towards Thespiæ. He at once put his troops in array and
proceeded to Haliartus. Here likewise arrived Thrasybulus from Thebes,
with an Athenian force. On his arrival, Pausanias proposed to apply
for permission to carry away the dead. This proposal greatly shocked
the older Spartans, who could not refrain from going to the king and
imploring him not to receive back Lysander's corpse by a truce[159]
which was in itself a confession of defeat, but to let them fight for
his body and either bury it as victors, or else to share their
general's fate as became them. However, in spite of these
representations, Pausanias, perceiving that it would be no easy task
to overcome the Thebans, flushed as they were with the victory of the
day before, and that, as Lysander's body lay close under the walls of
the town, it would be almost impossible, even if they were victorious,
to recover it otherwise than by treaty, sent a herald, obtained the
necessary truce, and led away his forces. As soon as the Spartans
crossed the Bœotian frontier they buried the body of Lysander in the
territory of the friendly and allied city of Panope, in Phokis, where
at the present day his monument stands by the side of the road from
Chæronea to Delphi.[160] It is said that while the army was encamped
there one of the Phokians, while describing the battle to another who
had not been present, said that the enemy fell upon them just after
Lysander had crossed the Hoplites.[161] A Spartan who was present was
surprised at this word, and enquired of Lysander's friend, what he
meant by the Hoplites, for he did not understand it. "It was where,"
answered he, "the enemy overthrew our front ranks; for they call the
stream which runs past the city the Hoplites." On hearing these words
the Spartan burst into tears, and exclaimed, "How impossible is it for
a man to escape his fate:"--for it seems Lysander had received an
oracular warning in these words:

    "I warn thee, shun Hoplites roaring track.
    And th' earth-born snake that stings behind thy back."

Some say that the Hoplites does not run by Haliartus, but that it is
the name of a torrent which joins the river Philarus near Koronea,
which used to be called the Hoplias, and is now called Isomantus. The
man who killed Lysander was a citizen of Haliartus named Neochorus,
who bore a snake as the device upon his shield, which it is supposed
was alluded to by the oracle.

We are also told that during the Peloponnesian war the Thebans
received an oracle from Apollo Ismenius, referring immediately to the
battle of Delium, and also to this battle at Haliartus, which took
place thirty years afterwards. It ran as follows:

    "Beware the boundary, when you hunt
      The wolf with spears;
    And shun the Orchalian hill, the fox's haunt,
      For endless years."

The boundary alludes to the country near Delium, which is on the
borders of Attica and Bœotia, and the Orchalian hill, which is now
called Fox-hill, lies in the territory of Haliartus, on the side
nearest Mount Helikon.

XXX. The death of Lysander, as related above, grieved the Spartans so
much that they impeached their king on a capital charge, and he,
fearing the result of the trial, fled to Tegea, where he spent the
remainder of his life in the sanctuary of Athena as a suppliant of the
goddess. Moreover the poverty of Lysandor, which was discovered after
his death, made his virtue more splendid, for although he had handled
great sums of money, and possessed immense power; though his favour
had been courted by wealthy cities, and even by the great king of
Persia himself, yet Theopompus tells us that he did not in the least
degree improve his family estate: an account which we may the more
readily believe, as it is told us by a historian who is more prone to
censure than to admiration. In later times we learn from the historian
Ephorus that some dispute arose between the allied cities which
rendered it necessary to examine Lysander's papers, and that Agesilaus
went to his house for this purpose. Here he found the scroll upon
which was written the speech about altering the constitution; advising
the Spartans to abolish the hereditary right to the throne enjoyed by
the old royal families of Eurypon and Agis, and to throw it open to
the best of the citizens without restriction. Agesilaus was eager to
publish this speech abroad, and show his fellow-countrymen what sort
of a man Lysander had really been; but Lakratides, a wise man, who was
at that time chief of the board of Ephors, restrained him, pointing
out that it would be wrong to disturb Lysander in his grave, and that
it would be better that so clever and insidious a composition should
be buried with him. Among other honours which were paid to Lysander
after death, the Spartans fined the suitors of his daughters, because
when after his death his poverty was discovered, they refused to marry
them, thus showing that they had paid their court to him when they
believed him to be rich, and neglected him when his poverty proved him
to have been just and honourable. It appears that in Sparta there were
actions at law against men who did not marry, or who married too late
in life or unbecomingly: under which last head came those who tried to
marry into rich families, instead of marrying persons of good birth
and their own friends. This is what we have found to tell about the
life of Lysander.


[Footnote 146: A Persian gold coin, first coined by Darius the son of
Hystaspes, worth £1 1s. 10d. English money.]

[Footnote 147: All ancient ships were managed with two rudders.]

[Footnote 148: Alluding to the cruelties practised by Philokles on the
Andrians and Corinthians, and the decree for the mutilation of the
captives, of which Philokles was the author.]

[Footnote 149: Golden crowns, at this period of Greek history, was the
name applied to large sums of money voted by cities to men whose
favour they hoped to gain.]

[Footnote 150: A spit is called obelus in Greek.]

[Footnote 151: Probably of each of the Spartan admirals who had
commanded during the war. It should be remembered that Lysander was
nominally admiral when he won the battle of Ægospotami.]

[Footnote 152: The Greek word probably means papyrus. Clough
translates it "parchment."--cf. Aulus Gellius, xvii. 9.]

[Footnote 153: Ulysses.]

[Footnote 154: An Egyptian divinity, represented with ram's horns, and
identified by the Romans with Jupiter, and by the Greeks with Zeus. He
possessed a celebrated temple and oracle in the oasis of Ammonium
(_Siwah_) in the Libyan desert.--Smith's _Classical Dict._ s.v.]

[Footnote 155: Megara was always treated by the Greeks with the utmost
contempt, as possessing no importance, political or otherwise.]

[Footnote 156: Agesilaus offered sacrifice at Aulis, in imitation of
Agamemnon, before starting for Asia. But before he had completed the
rite, the Bœotarchs sent a party of horse to enjoin him to desist, and
the men did not merely deliver the message, but scattered the parts of
the victim which they found on the altar.--Thirlwall's _History of
Greece_, ch. xxxv.]

[Footnote 157: The name of this fountain should probably be corrected
from Strabo and Pausanias, and read Tilphusa, or

[Footnote 158: Strabo tells us, Haliartus was destroyed by the Romans
in the war with Perseus. He also mentions a lake near it, which
produces canes or reeds, not for shafts of javelins, but for pipes or
flutes. Compare Plutarch's Life of Sulla, ch. xx. _ad fin_.]

[Footnote 159: The Greeks attached great importance to the burial of
the dead, and after a battle, that party which demanded a truce for
collecting and burying its dead was thought to have admitted itself to
have been defeated. Naturally, therefore, the proposal was regarded as
humiliating by the Spartans of 395 B.C.]

[Footnote 160: It should be remembered that Chæronea was Plutarch's
own city, and that he was a priest at Delphi, and, consequently, was
especially familiar with the country here described.]

[Footnote 161: _Hoplites_, in Greek, usually means a warrior fully


I. Lucius Cornelius Sulla,[162] by birth, belonged to the Patricians,
whom we may consider as corresponding to the Eupatridæ. Among his
ancestors is enumerated Rufinus,[163] who became consul; but is less
noted for attaining this honour than for the infamy which befell him.
He was detected in possessing above ten pounds' weight of silver
plate, which amount the law did not permit, and he was ejected from
the Senate. His immediate descendants continued in a mean condition,
and Sulla himself was brought up with no great paternal property. When
he was a young man he lived in lodgings, for which he paid some
moderate sum, which he was afterwards reproached with, when he was
prospering beyond his deserts, as some thought. It was after the
Libyan expedition, when he was assuming airs of importance and a
haughty tone, that a man of high rank and character said to him, How
can you be an honest man who are now so rich, and yet your father left
you nothing? For though the Romans no longer remained true to their
former integrity and purity of morals, but had declined from the old
standard, and let in luxury and expense among them, they still
considered it equally a matter of reproach for a man to have wasted
the property that he once had, and not to remain as poor as his
ancestors. Subsequently when Sulla was in the possession of power and
was putting many to death, a man of the class of Libertini, who was
suspected of concealing a proscribed person, and for this offence was
going to be thrown down the Tarpeian rock, reproached Sulla with the
fact that they had lived together for some time in one house; that he
had paid two thousand sestertii for his lodgings, which were in the
upper part of the house, and Sulla three thousand for the lower rooms;
and, consequently, that between their fortunes there was only the
difference of a thousand sestertii, which is equivalent to two hundred
and fifty Attic drachmæ. This is what is recorded of Sulla's early

II. As for his person, we may judge of it by his statues, except his
eyes and complexion. His eyes were an uncommonly pure and piercing
blue, which the colour of his face rendered still more terrific,
being spotted with rough red blotches, interspersed with the white;
from which circumstance, it is said, he got his name Sulla, which had
reference to his complexion; and one of the Athenian satirists[164] in
derision made the following verse in allusion to it:

    "Sulla is a mulberry besprinkled with meal."

It is not out of place to avail ourselves of such traits of a man who
is said to have had so strong a natural love of buffoonery, that when
he was still young and of no repute, he spent his time and indulged
himself among mimi[165] and jesters; and when he was at the head of
the state, he daily got together from the scena and the theatre the
lewdest persons, with whom he would drink and enter into a contest of
coarse witticisms, in which he had no regard to his age, and, besides
degrading the dignity of his office, he neglected many matters that
required attention. It was not Sulla's habit when he was at table to
trouble himself about anything serious, but though he was energetic
and rather morose at other times, he underwent a complete change as
soon as he went into company and was seated at an entertainment, for
he was then exceedingly complaisant to singers of mimi and dancers,
and easy of access and affable. This habit of relaxation seems to have
produced in him the vice of being exceedingly addicted to women and
that passion for enjoyment which stuck to him to his old age. In his
youth he was for a long time attached to one Metrobius,[166] an
actor. The following incident also happened to him:--He formed an
attachment to a woman named Nicopolis, who was of mean condition, but
rich, and from long familiarity and the favour which he found on
account of his youth, he came to be considered as a lover, and when
the woman died she left him her heir. He also succeeded to the
inheritance of his step-mother, who loved him as her own son; and in
this way he acquired a moderate fortune.

III. On being appointed Quæstor to Marius in his first consulship, he
sailed with him to Libya, to prosecute the war against Jugurtha.[167]
In this campaign he showed himself a man of merit, and by availing
himself of a favourable opportunity he made a friend of Bocchus, king
of the Numidians. Some ambassadors of Bocchus who had escaped from
Numidian robbers were hospitably received by Sulla, and sent back with
presents and a safe conduct. Now Bocchus happened for some time to
have disliked his son-in-law Jugurtha, whom he was also afraid of; and
as Jugurtha had been defeated by the Romans and had fled to Bocchus,
he formed a design to make him his prisoner and deliver him to his
enemies; but as he wished Sulla to be the agent rather than himself,
he invited Sulla to come and see him. Sulla communicated the message
to Marius, and, taking a few soldiers with him, ventured on the
hazardous enterprise of putting himself in the hands of a barbarian
who never kept his faith even with his friends, and this for the
purpose of having another man betrayed to him. Bocchus, having got
both of them in his power, was under the necessity of being
treacherous to one of them, and after great fluctuations in his
resolution, he finally carried into effect his original perfidious
design, and surrendered Jugurtha to Sulla. Marius enjoyed the triumph
for the capture of Jugurtha, but the honour of the success was given
to Sulla through dislike of Marius, which caused Marius some
uneasiness; for Sulla was naturally of an arrogant disposition, and as
this was the first occasion, on which he had been raised from a mean
condition and obscurity to be of some note among his fellow-citizens,
and had tasted the sweets of distinction, he carried his pride so far
as to have a seal-ring cut, on which the occurrence was represented,
and he wore it constantly. The subject represented was Bocchus
surrendering and Sulla receiving the surrender of Jugurtha.

IV. Though Marius was annoyed at this, yet as he still thought Sulla
beneath his jealousy, he employed him in his campaigns--in his second
consulship in the capacity of legate, and in his third consulship as
tribune;[168] and by his instrumentality Marius effected many
important objects. In his capacity of legate Sulla took Copillius,
king of the Tectosages;[169] and when he was a tribune he persuaded
the powerful and populous nation of the Marsi[170] to become friends
and allies to Rome. But now perceiving that Marius was jealous of him,
and was no longer willing to give him the opportunity of
distinguishing himself, but opposed his further rise, Sulla attached
himself to Catulus, the colleague of Marius, who was an honest man,
but inactive as a soldier. Sulla being entrusted by Catulus with all
matters of the greatest moment, thus attained both influence and
reputation. In his military operations he reduced a large part of the
Alpine barbarians; and on one occasion, when there was a scarcity of
provisions in the camp, he undertook to supply the want, which he did
so effectually that the soldiers of Catulus had not only abundance for
themselves, but were enabled to relieve the army of Marius. This, as
Sulla himself says, greatly annoyed Marius. Now this enmity, so slight
and childish in its foundation and origin, was continued through
civil war and the inveterate animosity of faction, till it resulted in
the establishment of a tyranny and the complete overthrow of the
constitution; which shows that Euripides[171] was a wise man and well
acquainted with the diseases incident to states, when he warned
against ambition, as the most dangerous and the worst of dæmons to
those who are governed by her.

V. Sulla now thought that his military reputation entitled him to
aspire to a political career, and accordingly as soon as the campaign
was ended he began to seek the favour of the people, and became a
candidate for the prætorship; but he was disappointed in his
expectations. He attributed his failure to the populace, for he says
that they knew he was a friend of Bocchus, and if he filled the office
of ædile before that of prætor, they expected to have brilliant
hunting exhibitions and fights of Libyan[172] wild beasts, and that
therefore they elected others to the prætorship, with the view of
forcing him to serve as ædile. But that Sulla does not state the real
cause of his failure appears evident from what followed. In the next
year he obtained the prætorship, having gained the votes of the
people, partly by solicitation and partly by bribery. It was in
allusion to this, and during his prætorship when he was threatening
Cæsar[173] to use his own authority against him, that Cæsar replied
with a laugh, You are right in considering your authority as your own,
for you bought it. After the expiration of his prætorship he was sent
to Cappadocia, for the purpose, as it was given out, of restoring
Ariobarzanes[174] to his power, but in reality to check
Mithridates,[175] who was very active and was acquiring new territory
and dominion as extensive as what he already had. Sulla took with him
no large force of his own, but meeting with zealous co-operation on
the part of the allies, he slaughtered a great number of the
Cappadocians, and on another occasion a still greater number of
Armenians who had come to the relief of the Cappadocians, drove out
Gordius, and declared Ariobarzanes king. While he was staying near the
Euphrates, the Parthian general Orobazus, a commander of King
Arsaces,[176] had an interview with him, which was the first occasion
on which the two nations met; and this also may be considered as one
of the very fortunate events in Sulla's successful career, that he was
the first Roman to whom the Parthians addressed themselves in their
request for an alliance and friendship with Rome. Sulla is said to
have had three chairs placed, one for Ariobarzanes, another for
Orobazus, and a third for himself, on which he took his seat between
the two, while the business was transacted. The king of the Parthians
is said to have put Orobazus to death for submitting to this
indignity; as to Sulla, some commended him for his haughty treatment
of the barbarians, while others blamed him for his arrogance and
ill-timed pride. It is said there was a man among the attendants of
Orobazus, a Chaldæan,[177] who examined the countenance of Sulla and
observed the movements of his mind and body, not as an idle spectator,
but studying his character according to the principles of his art, and
he declared that of necessity that man must become the first of men,
and he wondered that he could endure not to be the first already. On
his return to Rome Censorinus[178] instituted proceedings against
Sulla on the charge of having received large sums of money, contrary
to express law, from a king who was a friend and ally of the Romans.
Censorinus did not bring the matter to a trial, but gave up the

VI. His quarrel with Marius was kindled anew by fresh matter supplied
by the ostentation of King Bocchus, who, with the view of flattering
the Roman people and pleasing Sulla, dedicated in the Capitol some
figures bearing trophies, and by the side of them placed a gilded
figure of Jugurtha being surrendered by himself to Sulla. Marius was
highly incensed and attempted to take the figures down, while others
were ready to support Sulla, and the city was all but in a flame
through the two factions, when the Social War which had long
smouldered burst forth in a blaze upon Rome and stopped the civil
discord. In this most serious war, which was attended with many
variations of fortune, and brought on the Romans the greatest misery
and the most formidable dangers, Marius by his inability to accomplish
anything of importance showed that military excellence requires bodily
vigour and strength: but Sulla by his great exploits obtained among
his own citizens the reputation of a great commander, among his
friends the reputation of the very greatest, and among his enemies too
the reputation of the most fortunate of generals. Sulla did not behave
like Timotheus[179] the son of Konon, whose success was attributed by
his enemies to fortune, and they had paintings made in which he was
represented asleep while Fortune was throwing a net over the cities,
all which he took in a very boorish way, and got into a passion with
his enemies, as if they were thus attempting to deprive him of the
honour due to his exploits; and on one occasion, returning from a
successful expedition, he said to the people, "Well, Fortune has had
no share in this campaign, at least, Athenians." Now, as the story
goes, Fortune[180] showed her spite to Timotheus in return for his
arrogance, and he never did anything great afterwards, but failing in
all his undertakings and becoming odious to the people, he was at last
banished from the city. But Sulla by gladly accepting such
felicitations on his prosperity and such admiration, and even
contributing to strengthen these notions and to invest them with
somewhat of a sacred character, made all his exploits depend on
Fortune; whether it was that he did this for the sake of display, or
because he really had such opinions of the deity. Indeed he has
recorded in his memoirs, that the actions which he resolved upon
without deliberation, and on the spur of the moment, turned out more
successfully than those which appeared to have been best considered.
And again, from the passage in which he says that he was made more for
fortune than for war, he appears to attribute more to fortune than to
his merit, and to consider himself completely as the creature of the
dæmon;[181] nay, he cites as a proof of good fortune due to the
favour of the gods his harmony with Metellus, a man of the same rank
with himself, and his father-in-law, for he expected that Metellus
would cause him a good deal of trouble, whereas he was a most
accommodating colleague.[182] Further, in his memoirs which he
dedicated to Lucullus, he advises him to think nothing so safe as what
the dæmon enjoins during the night. When he was leaving the city with
his troops for the Social War, as he tells us in his memoirs, a great
chasm opened in the earth near Laverna,[183] from which a quantity of
fire burst forth, and a bright flame rose like a column to the skies.
The diviners said that a brave man, of an appearance different from
and superior to ordinary men, would obtain the command and relieve the
city from its present troubles, Sulla says this man was himself, for
the golden colour of his hair was a peculiarity in his personal
appearance, and that he had no diffidence about bearing testimony to
his own merits after so many illustrious exploits. So much as to his
religious opinions. As to the other parts of his character, he was
irregular and inconsistent: he would take away much, and give more; he
would confer honours without any good reason, and do a grievous wrong
with just as little reason; he courted those whose assistance he
wanted, and behaved with arrogance to those who wanted his aid; so
that one could not tell whether he had naturally more haughtiness or
subserviency. For as to his inconsistency in punishing, sometimes
inflicting death for the slightest matters, and at others quietly
bearing the greatest wrongs, his ready reconciliations with his deadly
enemies, and his prosecution of slight and trifling offences with
death and confiscation of property--all this may be explained on the
supposition that he was naturally of a violent and vindictive temper,
but sometimes moderated his passion upon calculations of interest.
During this Social War his soldiers killed with sticks and stones a
man of Prætorian rank, who was his legatus, Albinus[184] by name, an
outrage which Sulla overlooked, and made no inquiry about: he went so
far as to say, with apparent seriousness, that the soldiers would
bestir themselves the more in the war and make amends for their fault
by their courage. As to any blame that was imputed to him, he cared
not for it; but having already formed the design of overthrowing the
power of Marius and of getting himself appointed to the command
against Mithridates, as the Social War was now considered at an end,
he endeavoured to ingratiate himself with his army. On coming to Rome
he was elected consul with Quintus Pompeius[185] for his colleague,
being now fifty years of age, and he formed a distinguished
matrimonial alliance with Cæcilia,[186] the daughter of Metellus,[187]
the chief Pontifex. This gave occasion to the populace to assail him
with satirical songs; and many of the highest class were displeased at
the marriage, as if they did not think him worthy of such a wife, whom
they had judged to be worthy of the consulship, as Titus Livius[188]
remarks. Cæcilia was not the only wife that Sulla had. When he was a
very young man he married Ilia, who bore him a daughter; his second
wife was Ælia; and his third wife was Clœlia, whom he divorced on the
ground of barrenness, yet in a manner honourable to the lady, with an
ample testimony to her virtues and with presents. But as he married
Metella a few days after, it was believed that his alleged ground of
divorce was merely a pretext. However, he always paid great respect to
Metella, which induced the Romans, when they wished to recall from
exile the partisans of Marius, and Sulla refused his assent, to apply
to Metella to intercede for them. After the capture of Athens also, it
was supposed that he treated the citizens with more severity, because
they had cast aspersions upon Metella from their walls. But of this

VII. Sulla looked on the consulship as only a small matter compared
with what he expected to attain: the great object of his desires was
the command in the war against Mithridates. But he had a rival in
Marius, who was moved by an insane love of distinction and by
ambition, passions which never grow old in a man, for though he was
now unwieldy and had done no service in the late campaigns by reason
of his age, he still longed for the command in a distant war beyond
the seas. While Sulla was with the army completing some matters that
still remained to be finished, Marius kept at home and hatched that
most pestilent faction which did more mischief to Rome than all her
wars; and indeed the deity[189] showed by signs what was coming. Fire
spontaneously blazed from the wooden shafts which supported the
military standards, and was quenched with difficulty; and three crows
brought their young into the public road, and after devouring them,
carried the fragments back to their nest. The mice in a temple gnawed
the gold which was kept there, and the keeper of the temple caught one
of the mice, a female, in a trap, which produced in the trap five
young ones, and devoured three of them. But what was chief of all,
from a cloudless and clear sky there came the sound of a trumpet, so
shrill and mournful, that by reason of the greatness thereof men were
beside themselves and crouched for fear. The Tuscan seers interpreted
this to portend the commencement of a new period, and a general
change. They say that there are in all eight periods, which differ in
mode of life and habits altogether from one another, and to each
period is assigned by the deity a certain number of years determined
by the revolution of a great year. When a period is completed, the
commencement of another is indicated by some wondrous sign on the
earth or from the heavens, so as to make it immediately evident to
those who attend to such matters and have studied them, that men are
now adopting other habits and modes of life, and are less or more an
object of care to the gods than the men of former periods. They say,
in the change from one period to another there are great alterations,
and that the art of the seer at one time is held in high repute, and
is successful in its predictions, when the deity gives clear and
manifest signs, but that in the course of another period the art falls
into a low condition, being for the most part conjectural, and
attempting to know the future by equivocal and misty signs. Now this
is what the Tuscan wise men said, who are supposed to know more of
such things than anybody else. While the senate was communicating on
these omens with the seers, in the temple of Bellona,[190] a sparrow
flew in before the whole body with a grasshopper in his mouth, part of
which he dropped, and the rest he carried off with him out of the
place. From this the interpreters of omens apprehended faction and
divisions between the landholders on the one side and the city folk
and the merchant class on the other, for the latter were loud and
noisy like a grasshopper, but the owners of land kept quiet on their

VIII. Now Marius contrived to gain over the tribune Sulpicius,[191] a
man without rival in any kind of villainy, and so one need not inquire
whom he surpassed in wickedness, but only wherein he surpassed
himself. For in him were combined cruelty, audacity, and
rapaciousness, without any consideration of shame or of any crime,
inasmuch as he sold the Roman citizenship to libertini[192] and
resident aliens, and publicly received the money at a table in the
Forum. He maintained three thousand men armed with daggers, and also a
number of young men of the equestrian class always about him, and
ready for anything, whom he called the Opposition Senate. He caused a
law to be passed that no Senator should contract debt[193] to the
amount of more than two thousand drachmæ, and yet at his death he left
behind him a debt of three millions. This man being let loose
upon the people by Marius, and putting everything into a state of
confusion by violence and force of arms, framed various pernicious
laws, and among them that which gave to Marius the command in the
Mithridatic war. The consuls accordingly declared a cessation[194] of
all public business; but while they were holding a meeting of the
people near the temple of Castor and Pollux, Sulpicius with his rabble
attacked them, and among many others massacred the youthful son of
Pompeius in the Forum; Pompeius only escaped by hiding himself. Sulla
was pursued into the house of Marius, from which he was compelled to
come out and repeal the edict for the cessation of public business;
and it was for this reason that Sulpicius, though he deprived Pompeius
of his office, did not take the consulship from Sulla, but, merely
transferred the command of the Mithridatic war to Marius, and sent
some tribunes forthwith to Nola to take the army and lead it to

IX. But Sulla made his escape to the camp before the tribunes arrived,
and the soldiers hearing of what had passed, stoned them to death;
upon which the partisans of Marius murdered the friends of Sulla who
were in the city, and seized their property. This caused many persons
to betake themselves to flight, some going to the city from the camp,
and others from the camp to the city. The Senate was not its own
master, but was compelled to obey the orders of Marius and Sulpicius;
and on hearing that Sulla was marching upon Rome, they sent to him two
of the prætors, Brutus and Servilius, to forbid him to advance any
further. The prætors, who assumed a bold tone before Sulla, narrowly
escaped being murdered; as it was, the soldiers broke their fasces,
stripped them of their senatorial dress, and sent them back with every
insult. It caused dejection in the city to see the prætors return
without their insignia of office, and to hear them report that the
commotion could not be checked, and was past all remedy. Now the
partisans of Marius were making their preparations, while Sulla with
his colleague and six complete legions was moving from Nola; he saw
that the army was ready to march right to the city, but he had some
hesitation himself, and feared the risk.[195] However upon Sulla
making a sacrifice, the seer Postumius, after inspecting the signs,
stretched out his hands to Sulla and urged him to put him in chains
and keep him a prisoner till the battle took place, declaring that if
everything did not speedily turn out well, he was ready to be put to
death. It is said also that Sulla in his sleep had a vision of the
goddess, whose worship the Romans had learned from the Cappadocians,
whatever her name may be, Selene,[196] Athena, or Enyo. Sulla dreamed
that the goddess stood by him and put a thunderbolt into his hand, and
as she named each of his enemies bade him dart the bolt at them, which
he did, and his enemies were struck to the ground and destroyed. Being
encouraged by the dream, which he communicated to his colleague, at
daybreak Sulla led his forces against Rome. When he was near
Picinæ[197] he was met by a deputation which entreated him not to
march forthwith against the city, for all justice would be done
pursuant to a resolution of the Senate. Sulla consented to encamp
there, and ordered the officers to measure out the ground for the
encampment, according to the usual practice, and the deputation went
away trusting to his promise. But as soon as they were gone, Sulla
sent Lucius Bacillus and Caius Mummius, who seized the gate and that
part of the walls which surrounds the Esquiline hill, and Sulla set
out to join them with all speed. Bacillus and his soldiers broke into
the city and attempted to gain possession of it, but the people in
large numbers, being unarmed, mounted the house-tops, and by pelting
the soldiers with tiles and stones stopped their further progress, and
drove them back to the wall. In the mean time Sulla had come up, and
seeing how matters stood, he called out that the houses must be fired,
and taking a flaming torch, he was the first to advance: he also
ordered the bowmen to shoot firebrands, and to aim at the roofs; in
which he acted without any rational consideration, giving way to
passion, and surrendering the direction of his enterprize to revenge,
for he saw before him only his enemies, and without thought or pity
for his friends and kinsmen, would force his way into Rome with the
help of flames, which know no distinction between the guilty and the
innocent. While this was going on, Marius, who had been driven as far
as the temple of Earth,[198] invited the slaves to join him by
offering them their freedom, but being overpowered by his enemies who
pressed on him, he left the city.

X. Sulla assembled the Senate, who condemned[199] to death Marius and
a few others, among whom was the tribune Sulpicius. Sulpicius was put
to death, being betrayed by a slave, to whom Sulla gave his freedom,
and then ordered him to be thrown down the Tarpeian rock: he set a
price on the head of Marius, which was neither a generous nor a
politic measure, as Marius had shortly before let Sulla off safe when
Sulla put himself into his power by going to the house of Marius. Now
if Marius had not let Sulla go, but had given him up to Sulpicius to
be put to death, he might have secured the supreme power; but he
spared Sulla; and yet a few days after, when Sulla had the same
opportunity, Marius did not obtain from him a like return. The conduct
of Sulla offended the Senate, though they durst not show it; but the
dislike of the people and their dissatisfaction were made apparent to
him by their acts. They contemptuously rejected Nonius, the son of
Sulla's sister, and Servius, who were candidates for offices, and
elected those whose elevation they thought would be most disagreeable
to Sulla. But Sulla pretended to be pleased at this, and to view it as
a proof that the people, by doing what they liked, were really
indebted to him for their liberty; and for the purpose of diminishing
his general unpopularity he managed the election of Lucius
Cinna,[200] who was of the opposite faction, to the consulship, having
first bound him by solemn imprecations and oaths to favour his
measures. Cinna ascended the Capitol with a stone in his hand and took
the oath; then pronouncing an imprecation on himself, that, if he did
not keep faithful to Sulla, he might be cast out of the city as the
stone from his hand, he hurled it to the ground in the presence of a
large number of persons. But as soon as Cinna had received the
consulship, he attempted to disturb the present settlement of affairs,
and prepared to institute a process against Sulla, and induced
Virginius, one of the tribunes, to be the accuser; but Sulla,[201]
without caring for him or the court, set out with his army against

XI. It is said that about the time when Sulla was conducting his
armament from Italy, many omens occurred to Mithridates, who was
staying in Pergamum, and that a Victory, bearing a crown, which the
people of Pergamum were letting down upon him by some machinery from
above, was broken in pieces just as it was touching his head, and the
crown falling upon the theatre, came to the ground and was destroyed,
which made the spectators shudder and greatly dispirited Mithridates,
though his affairs were then going on favourably beyond all
expectation. For he had taken Asia[202] from the Romans, and Bithynia
and Cappadocia from their kings, and had fixed himself at Pergamum,
where he was distributing wealth and provinces and kingdoms among his
friends; one of his sons also held without any opposition the ancient
dominions in Pontus, and the Bosporus[203] as far as the uninhabited
regions beyond the Mæotis; Ariarathes[204] occupied Thrace and
Macedonia with a large army; and his generals with their forces were
subduing other places. Archelaus,[205] the greatest of his generals,
was master of all the sea with his navy, and was subjugating the
Cyclades[206] and all the other islands east of Malea, and had already
taken Eubœa, while with his army, advancing from Athens as his
starting-point, he was gaining over all the nations of Greece as far
north as Thessaly, and had only sustained a slight check near
Chæroneia. For there he was met by Bruttius Sura,[207] a legatus of
Sentius, prætor of Macedonia, and a man of signal courage and
prudence. Archelaus was sweeping through Bœotia like a torrent, when
he was vigorously opposed by Sura, who, after fighting three battles
near Chæroneia, repulsed him and drove him back to the coast. On
receiving orders from Lucius Lucullus[208] to make room for Sulla, who
was coming, and to allow him to carry on the war, for which he had
received his commission, Sura immediately left Bœotia and went back to
Sentius, though he had succeeded beyond his expectations, and Greece
was well disposed to change sides on account of his great merit.
However, these exploits of Bruttius were very brilliant.

XII. Now all the rest of the Grecian cities immediately sent
deputations to Sulla and invited him to enter; but against Athens,
which was compelled by the tyrant Aristion[209] to be on the king's
side, he directed all his energies; he also hemmed in and blockaded
the Peiræus,[210] employing every variety of engine and every mode of
attack. If he had waited a short time, he might have taken the Upper
City without danger, for through want of provisions it was reduced by
famine to extreme necessity; but anxious to return to Rome, and
fearing a new revolution there, at great risk fighting many battles
and at great cost he urged on the war, wherein, besides the rest of
the expenditure, the labour about the military engines required ten
thousand pair of mules to be daily employed on this service. As wood
began to fail, owing to many of the works being destroyed by their own
weight, and burnt by the incessant fires thrown by the enemy, Sulla
laid his hands on the several groves and levelled the trees in the
Academia,[211] which was the best wooded of the suburbs, and those in
the Lycæum. And as he wanted money also for the war, he violated the
sacred depositaries of Greece, sending for the finest and most costly
of the offerings dedicated in Epidaurus[212] and Olympia. He wrote
also to the Amphiktyons[213] to Delphi, saying that it would be better
for the treasures of the god to be brought to him, for he would either
have them in safer keeping, or, if he used them, he would replace
them; and he sent one of his friends, Kaphis, a Phokian, to receive
all the things after they were first weighed. Kaphis went to Delphi,
but he was afraid to touch the sacred things, and in the presence of
the Amphiktyons he deeply lamented the task that was imposed on him.
Upon some of them saying that they heard the lute in the shrine send
forth a sound, Kaphis either believing what they said or wishing to
inspire Sulla with some religious fear, sent him this information. But
Sulla replied in a scoffing tone, he wondered Kaphis did not
understand that such music was a sign of pleasure and not of anger,
and he bade him take courage and seize the property, as the deity was
quite willing, and in fact offered it. Now all the things were
secretly sent off unobserved by most of the Greeks; but the silver
jar, one of the royal presents which still remained, could not be
carried away by the beasts of burden owing to its weight and size, and
the Amphiktyons were accordingly obliged to cut it in pieces; and this
led them to reflect that Titus Flamininus,[214] and Manius Acilius,
and also Æmilius Paulus--Acilius, who drove Antiochus out of Greece;
and the two others, who totally defeated the kings of Macedonia--not
only refrained from touching the Greek temples, but even gave them
presents and showed them great honour and respect. These generals,
however, were legally appointed to command troops consisting of
well-disciplined soldiers, who had been taught to obey their leaders
without a murmur: and the commanders themselves were men of kingly
souls, and moderate in their living and satisfied with a small fixed
expenditure, and they thought it baser to attempt to win the soldiers'
favour than to fear their enemies. But the generals at this time, as
they acquired their rank by violence and not by merit, and had more
occasion to employ arms against one another than against the enemies
of Rome, were compelled to act the demagogue while they were in
command; and by purchasing the services of the soldiers by the money
which they expended to gratify them, they made the Roman state a thing
for bargain and sale, and themselves the slaves of the vilest wretches
in order that they might domineer over honest men. This is what drove
Marius into exile, and then brought him back to oppose Sulla; this
made Cinna the murderer of Octavius,[215] and Fimbria[216] the
murderer of Flaccus. And Sulla mainly laid the foundation of all this
by his profusion and expenditure upon his own soldiers, the object of
which was to corrupt and gain over to his side the soldiers of other
commanders; so that his attempts to seduce the troops of others and
the extravagance by which his own soldiers were corrupted, made money
always necessary to him; and most particularly during the siege of

XIII. Now Sulla was seized with a violent and irresistible desire to
take Athens, whether it was that he was ambitious to contend against a
city which retained only the shadow of its former glory, or that he
was moved by passion to revenge the scoffs and jeers with which the
tyrant Aristion irritated him and his wife Metella, by continually
taunting them from the wall and insulting them. This Aristion was a
compound of lewdness and cruelty, who combined in himself all the
worst of the vices and passions of Mithridates, and now had brought as
it were a mortal disease in its last extremities upon a city which had
come safe out of so many wars and escaped from so many tyrannies and
civil commotions. For now when a medimnus[217] of wheat was selling
for a thousand drachmæ in the Upper City, and men were obliged to eat
the parthenium[218] that grew about the Acropolis, and shoes and
oil-flasks, he was drinking all day long and amusing himself with
revels and pyrrhic dances, and making jokes at the enemy: he let the
sacred light of the goddess go out for want of oil; when the
hierophant sent to ask for the twelfth part of a medimnus of wheat, he
sent her as much pepper; and when the members of the Senate and the
priests entreated him to have pity on the city and come to terms with
Sulla, he dispersed them by ordering the archers to fire on them. At
last being persuaded with great difficulty, he sent two or three of
his boon companions to treat of peace; but instead of making any
reasonable proposals, the men began to make a pompous harangue about
Theseus and Eumolpus, and the Persian wars, on which Sulla said, "Be
gone, my good fellows, with your fine talk. I was not sent to Athens
by the Romans to learn a lesson, but to compel rebels to submit."

XIV. In the mean time, as the story goes, some soldiers in the
Keramicus[219] overheard certain old men talking to one another, and
abusing the tyrant for not guarding the approach to the wall about the
Heptachalkum, which was the only part, they said, where it was
practicable and easy for the enemy to get over; and the soldiers
reported to Sulla what they heard. Sulla did not neglect the
intelligence, but he went to the spot by night, and seeing that it was
practicable, he set about the thing forthwith. He says in his Memoirs
that the first man who mounted the wall was Marcus Teius,[220] who,
finding a soldier in his way, struck him a violent blow on the helmet,
which broke his sword; still Marcus did not retreat, but kept his
ground. The city then was taken from this quarter, as the old
Athenians said it might be. Sulla having destroyed and levelled that
part of the wall which lies between the Peiræic and the Sacred[221]
Gate, about midnight entered the city, striking terror with the sound
of trumpets and horns, and the shouts and cries of the soldiers, who
had his full licence to plunder and kill, and made their way through
the streets with naked swords. The slain were not counted, but the
number is even now measured by the space over which the blood flowed.
For besides those who were slaughtered in the other parts of the city,
the blood of those who fell about the Agora[222] covered all the
Keramicus within Dipylum: many say that it even flowed through the
gates and deluged the suburbs. But though the number of those who
perished by the sword was so great, as many killed themselves for
sorrow and regret at the overthrow of their native city. For all the
most honest citizens were driven to despair, expecting in Sulla
neither humanity nor moderation. But, however, when Meidias and
Kalliphon, who were exiles, fell down at his knees with entreaties,
and the Senators who were in his army urged him to save the city,
being now sated with vengeance and passing some encomiums upon the
ancient Athenians, he said he would pardon the many for the sake of
the few, and the living for the sake of the dead. Sulla states in his
Memoirs, that he took Athens on the Calends of March,[223] which day
nearly coincides with the new moon of Anthesterion, in which month it
happens that the Athenians perform many ceremonies in commemoration of
the great damage and loss occasioned by the heavy rain, for they
suppose that the deluge happened pretty nearly about that time. When
the city was taken the tyrant retreated to the Acropolis, where he was
besieged by Curio, who was commissioned for this purpose: after he had
held out for some time, Aristion was compelled to surrender for want
of water; his surrender was immediately followed by a token from the
deity, for on the very day and hour on which Curio took the tyrant
from the Acropolis, the clouds gathered in the clear sky, and a
violent shower descended which filled the Acropolis with water. Sulla
soon took the Peiræus also, and burnt the greater part of it,
including the arsenal of Philo,[224] which was a wonderful work.

XV. In the mean time Taxiles, the general of Mithridates, coming down
from Thrace and Macedonia with one hundred thousand foot, ten thousand
horse, and ninety scythe-bearing four-horse chariots, summoned
Archelaus, who was still lying with his ships near Munychia,[225] and
was neither inclined to give up the sea nor ready to engage with the
Romans: his plan was to protract the war and to cut off the supplies
of the enemy. But Sulla was as quick as Archelaus, and moved into
Bœotia from a niggardly region, which even in time of peace could not
have maintained his troops. Most people thought that he had made a
false calculation in leaving Attica, which is a rough country and ill
adapted for the movements of cavalry, to throw himself into the
champaign and open tracts of Bœotia, when he knew that the strength of
the barbarians lay in their chariots and cavalry. But in his flight
from famine and scarcity, as I have already observed, he was compelled
to seek the hazard of a battle. Besides, he was alarmed for
Hortensius,[226] a skilful general and a man ambitious of distinction,
who was conducting a force from Thessaly to Sulla, and had to pass
through the straits where the enemy was waiting for him. For all these
reasons Sulla moved into Bœotia. But Kaphis, who was from my town,
evading the barbarians by taking a different route from what they
expected, led Hortensius over Parnassus, close by Tithora, which was
not at that time so large a city as it is now, but only a fort on a
steep rock scarped all round, to which place in time of old the
Phokians who fled from Xerxes escaped with their property and were
there in safety. Hortensius having encamped there during the day
repelled the attacks of the enemy, and at night descending to
Patronis, through a difficult path joined Sulla, who met him with his

XVI. Having united their forces, Sulla and Hortensius occupied an
elevation rising out of the midst of the plains of Elateia,[227] which
was fertile and extensive, and had water at its base: it is called
Philobœotus, and its natural qualities and position are most highly
commended by Sulla. When they were encamped, the weakness of the Roman
force was apparent to the enemy; for the cavalry did not exceed
fifteen hundred, and the infantry was below fifteen thousand.
Accordingly the rest of the generals, against the wish of Archelaus,
drew out their forces in order of battle, and filled the plain with
horses, chariots, shields, and bucklers; and the heavens could not
contain the shouts and cries of so many nations putting themselves in
battle array. At the same time the pomp and costly splendour of the
troops were not without effect nor their use in causing alarm; but the
glittering of the arms, which were curiously ornamented with gold and
silver, and the colour of the Median and Scythian dresses mingled with
the brightness of the brass and steel, produced a firelike and
formidable appearance as the masses moved like waves and changed their
places, so that the Romans hid themselves behind their ramparts, and
Sulla, being unable by any words to remove their fear, and not
choosing to urge men to a battle who were disposed to run away, kept
quiet and had to endure the insulting boasts and ridicule of the
barbarians. But this turned out most favourable to the Romans; for the
enemy despising them, neglected to preserve discipline, and indeed,
owing to the number of commanders, the army was not generally inclined
to obey orders; a few kept to their post within their ramparts, but
the greater part, tempted by the hope of booty and plunder, were
dispersed many days' journey from the camp. It is said that they
destroyed the city of Panopeus, and plundered Lebadeia, and robbed the
oracular shrine without any order from a general. Sulla, who could not
endure to see the cities destroyed before his eyes and was greatly
irritated, no longer allowed his soldiers to be inactive, but leading
them to the Kephisus, he compelled them to divert the stream from its
course and to dig ditches, allowing no man any cessation and punishing
most severely all who gave in, his object being to tire his soldiers
with labour and to induce them to seek danger as a release from it.
And it happened as he wished. For on the third day of this labour, as
Sulla was passing by, they entreated him with loud shouts to lead them
against the enemy. He replied, that they said this not because they
wished to fight, but because they disliked labour; but if they really
were disposed to fight, he bade them move forthwith with their arms to
yonder place, pointing out to them what was formerly the Acropolis of
the Parapotamii,[228] but the city was then destroyed and there
remained only a rocky precipitous hill, separated from Mount Hedylium
by the space occupied by the river Assus, which falling into the
Kephisus at the base of the Hedylium and thus becoming a more rapid
stream, makes the Acropolis a safe place for encampment. Sulla also
wished to seize the height, as he saw the Chalkaspides[229] of the
enemy pressing on towards it, and as his soldiers exerted themselves
vigorously, he succeeded in occupying the place. Archelaus, being
repelled from this point, advanced towards Chæroneia, upon which the
men of Chæroneia who were in Sulla's army entreating him not to let
their city fall into the hands of the enemy, he sent Gabinius[230] a
tribune, with one legion, and permitted the men of Chæroneia to go
also, who, though they had the best intention, could not reach the
place before Gabinius: so brave a man he was, and more active in
bringing aid than even those who prayed for it. Juba[231] says it was
not Gabinius who was sent, but Ericius. However this may be, our
city[232] had a narrow escape.

XVII. From Lebadeia[233] and the oracle of Trophonius favourable omens
and predictions of victory were sent to the Romans, about which the
people of the country have a good deal to say. But Sulla, in the tenth
book of his Memoirs, writes, that Quintus Titius, a man of some note
among those who had mercantile affairs in Greece, came to him
immediately after the victory in Chæroneia, to report that Trophonius
foretold a second battle and victory there in a short time. After
Titius, a soldier in his army, named Salvenius, brought an answer from
the god, as to what would be the result of affairs in Italy. Both
reported the same as to the vision[234] of the god: they said, that
in beauty and stature he was like the Olympian Jupiter. After crossing
the Assus and advancing to the foot of Hedylium, Sulla encamped near
Archelaus, who had thrown up a strong intrenchment between Mounts
Akontium and Hedylium, at a place called the Assia. The spot on which
he encamped is called Archelaus from his name up to the present day.
After the interval of one day Sulla left Murena[235] with one legion
and two cohorts, to annoy the enemy if he should attempt to form in
order of battle; he himself sacrificed on the banks of the Kephisus,
and the victims being favourable, he advanced towards Chæroneia with
the object of again effecting a junction with the forces there, and
examining the place called Thurium, which was occupied by the enemy.
This is a rough summit and a conical-shaped hill, named Orthopagus;
and under it is the stream of the Morius and a temple of the Thurian
Apollo. The deity has this name from Thuro, the mother of Chæron, who
is said to have been the founder of Chæroneia. Some say that the cow
which was given by the Pythian Apollo as a guide to Kadmus[236]
appeared there, and that the place was so called from her; for the
Phœnicians call the cow Thor. As Sulla was approaching Chæroneia, the
tribune who was stationed in the city led out the soldiers under arms,
and met him with a chaplet of bay. No sooner had Sulla received the
chaplet, and after saluting the soldiers, encouraged them to the
approaching battle, than two Chæroneians (Homoloichus and Anaxidamos)
presented themselves to him and undertook to drive the enemy from
Thurium if he would give them a few soldiers. They said there was a
path unknown to the barbarians, leading from the place called
Petrachus by the Museum[237] to the highest point of Thurium, and that
by taking this direction they could, without difficulty, fall on the
enemy and either roll stones down upon them from above or drive them
into the plain. As Gabinius bore testimony to the courage and fidelity
of the men, Sulla bade them make the attempt; and in the mean time he
formed his line and distributed his cavalry on each flank, himself
taking the right and giving Murena the command on the left. The legati
Galba[238] and Hortensius, with some reserved cohorts in the rear,
occupied the neighbouring heights, to prevent the army from being
attacked on the flank, for it was observed that the enemy were placing
a strong body of cavalry and light infantry on their wings, with the
view of adapting that part of their battle to ready and easy
manœuvres, their design being to extend their line and to surround the

XVIII. In the mean time the Chæroneians, whom Sulla had placed under
the command of Ericius, went round Thurium without being perceived,
and all at once showed themselves to the enemy, who immediately
falling into great confusion, took to flight and sustained
considerable loss, but chiefly from themselves; for as they did not
stand their ground, but ran down the hill, they got entangled among
their own spears and shoved one another down the rocks, while the
Chæroneians pressing upon them from above, wounded them in the parts
which were unprotected; and there fell of the enemy to the number of
three thousand. Part of those who got safe to the foot of the hill,
being met by Murena, whose troops were already in order of battle, had
their retreat cut off and were destroyed: the rest forced their way to
the army of Archelaus, and, falling upon the line in disorder, caused
a general alarm and confusion, and some loss of time to the generals;
and this did them no small harm, for Sulla promptly led his forces
against the enemy while they were still in disorder, and by quickly
traversing the interval between the two lines, deprived the
scythe-bearing chariots[239] of all opportunity of being effective.
The efficacy of the chariots depends mainly on the space they
traverse, by which they acquire velocity and momentum; but when the
space is small their attack is ineffectual and feeble, just like
missiles that have not been propelled with due force. Now this
happened to the barbarians. The first chariots were driven on without
any vigour, and came feebly against the ranks of the Romans, who
easily pushed them aside, and, clapping their hands and laughing,
called for more, as the people do in the horse-races of the
Circus.[240] Upon this the infantry joined battle; the barbarians
pushed forward their long spears and endeavoured by locking their
shields to maintain their ranks in line: the Romans hurled their
javelins, and then drawing their swords, endeavoured to beat aside the
spears, that they might forthwith close with the enemy; for they were
irritated at seeing drawn up in front of the enemy fifteen thousand
slaves, whom the king's generals had invited from the cities by a
proclamation of freedom, and enrolled among the hoplitæ.[241] A Roman
centurion is said to have remarked, that slaves had only freedom of
speech at the Saturnalia,[242] so far as he knew. Now, owing to the
depth of the ranks of these slaves and their close order, it was some
time before they could be made to give way before the heavy-armed
Roman soldiers, and they also fought with more courage than one
expects from a slave; but the missiles from the slings and the light
javelins which were showered upon them unsparingly by the Romans in
the rear, at last made them turn and put them into complete confusion.

XIX. While Archelaus was extending his right wing, in order to
surround the Romans, Hortensius made his cohorts advance at a run,
with the intention of taking the enemy in the flank; but as Archelaus
suddenly wheeled round with his two thousand horsemen, Hortensius was
overpowered by numbers and retreated towards the mountain region,
being gradually separated from the main body of the army and in danger
of being completely hemmed in by the barbarians. Sulla, who was on the
right wing, which was not yet engaged in the action, hearing of the
danger of Hortensius, hastened to relieve him. Archelaus conjecturing
from the dust raised by Sulla's troops how the matter was, left
Hortensius, and wheeling round moved towards the position which Sulla
had quitted (the right), expecting to find the soldiers there without
their general, and to defeat them. At the same time Taxiles led the
Chalkaspides against Murena; and now the shouts being raised from both
armies and re-echoed by the mountains, Sulla halted and hesitated to
which quarter he should move. Having determined to maintain his own
original position, he sent Hortensius with four cohorts to support
Murena, and ordering the fifth to follow him, he hurried to the right
wing, which unaided was bravely resisting Archelaus; but as soon as
Sulla appeared, the Romans completely broke the line of Archelaus, and
pursued the barbarians in disorderly flight to the river and Mount
Akontium. However, Sulla did not leave Murena alone in his dangerous
position, but hastened to help him. Seeing, however, that the Romans
were victorious here also, he joined in the pursuit. Now many of the
barbarians were cut down in the plain, but the greatest number were
destroyed in the attempt to regain their entrenchments, and only ten
thousand out of so large a host made their escape to Chalkis.[243]
Sulla says in his Memoirs, that he missed only fourteen of his own
soldiers, and that ten of them showed themselves in the evening; in
commemoration of which he inscribed on the trophies, Mars and
Victory, and Venus, to signify that he had gained the victory no less
through good fortune than skill and courage. One of these trophies,
which commemorates the victory in the plain, stands where the soldiers
of Archelaus first gave ground in the flight to the Molus:[244] the
other is placed on the summit of Thurium, to commemorate the surprise
of the barbarians, with a Greek inscription in honour of the courage
of Homoloichus and Anaxidamus. Sulla celebrated the festival for the
victory in Thebes at the fountain of Oedipus, where he erected a
stage. The judges were Greeks invited from the other cities of Greece;
for Sulla could not be reconciled to the Thebans; and he took from
them half of their lands, which he dedicated to the Pythian Apollo and
Olympian Jupiter; and from the revenue of these lands he ordered the
sums of money which he had taken from them to be repaid to the

XX. After the battle Sulla received intelligence that Flaccus,[245]
who belonged to the opposite faction, was chosen consul, and was
crossing the Ionian[246] sea with a force which was said to be
designed against Mithridates, but was in fact directed against
himself; and accordingly he advanced towards Thessalia to meet
Flaccus. He had advanced to the neighbourhood of Meliteia,[247] when
reports from all sides reached him that the country in his rear was
ravaged by another army of Mithridates as numerous as that which he
had dispersed. Dorylaus had landed at Chalkis with a large navy, on
board of which he brought eighty thousand men of the best trained and
disciplined troops of Mithridates, and he immediately advanced into
Bœotia and occupied the country, being eager to draw Sulla to an
engagement, and paying no regard to Archelaus, who dissuaded him from
fighting: he even said publicly that so many thousands could never
have been destroyed if there had not been treachery. However, Sulla,
who quickly returned to Bœotia, showed Dorylaus that Archelaus was a
prudent man and had formed a very just estimate of the courage of the
Romans; for after a slight skirmish with Sulla near Tilphossium,[248]
Dorylaus was himself the first among those who were not for deciding
the matter by a battle, but thought it best to prolong the war till
the Romans should be exhausted by want of supplies. However, Archelaus
was somewhat encouraged by the position of their encampment near
Orchomenus, which was very favourable for battle to an army which had
the superiority in cavalry; for of all the plains in Bœotia noted for
their beauty and extent, this, which commences at the city of
Orchomenus, is the only one which spreads without interruption and
without any trees, and it reaches to the marshes in which the river
Melas[249] is lost. The Melas rises close to Orchomenus, and is the
only river of Greece that is a copious and navigable stream at its
source; it also increases like the Nile about the summer solstice, and
the same plants grow on its banks; but they produce no fruit and do
not attain any large size. Its course however is short, for the larger
part of the water is soon lost in obscure marshes overgrown with
shrubs: a small part joins the Kephisus somewhere about the point
where the lake is said to produce the reed that is adapted for making
musical pipes.

XXI. The two armies being encamped near one another, Archelaus kept
quiet, but Sulla began to dig trenches on both sides with the view,
if possible, of cutting off the enemy from the hard ground and those
parts which were favourable to cavalry and driving them into the
marshes. However, the barbarians would not endure this, and as soon as
their generals allowed them to attack the Romans, they rushed forward
with so much vigour and force, that not only were the men dispersed
who were working at the trenches, but the greater part of the Roman
troops that were drawn up for their protection were involved in the
fight. Upon this Sulla leapt down from his horse, and snatching up a
standard, made his way through the fugitives towards the enemy, crying
out, "For my part, Romans, it is fit I should die here; as for you,
when you are asked where you deserted your Imperator, remember to say
it was in Orchomenus." These words made the soldiers rally, and two
cohorts came to their support from the right wing, which Sulla led
against the enemy and put them to flight. He then led his soldiers
back a short distance, and after allowing them to take some food, he
began again to work at the trenches which were designed to enclose the
enemy's camp. The barbarians made another attack in better order than
before; in which Diogenes, the son of the wife of Archelaus, fell
fighting bravely on the right wing; and the bowmen being hard pressed
by the Romans and having no means of retreat, took their arrows
altogether in their hands, and using them like swords, struck at the
Romans, but, at last they were driven back to their camp, where they
spent a wretched night owing to their wounds and great losses. As soon
as day dawned Sulla again led his soldiers up to the enemy's
encampment and again commenced working at the ditches. The enemy came
out in a great force, but Sulla put them to flight, and as no one
stood his ground after they were thrown into disorder, Sulla stormed
the camp. The swamps and the lake were filled with the blood and
bodies of those who fell, and even to the present day many barbarian
bows, helmets, and pieces of iron cuirasses and swords are found
buried in the marshes, though it is near two hundred[250] years since
the battle. Such, according to the historians, was the battle about
Chæroneia and near Orchomenus.

XXII. Cinna and Carbo[251] were now conducting themselves towards the
chief men at Rome in an illegal and violent manner, and many flying
from their tyranny resorted to the camp of Sulla as a harbour of
refuge, so that in a short time a kind of Senate was formed about him.
Metella also, who had with difficulty escaped with her children, came
and reported that his house and farms were burnt by his enemies, and
she entreated him to go to the assistance of his friends at Rome.
Sulla was perplexed what to do: he could not endure the thoughts of
neglecting his country in her present oppressed condition, nor did he
see how he could leave so great an undertaking as the Mithridatic war
imperfect. In the meantime there came to him a merchant of Delos,[252]
named Archelaus, who secretly brought from Archelaus, the king's
general, hopes of peace and certain proposals. Sulla was so well
pleased that he was eager for an interview with Archelaus, and they
met at Delium on the sea-coast, where the temple of Apollo is.
Archelaus, who began the conference, urged Sulla to give up Asia and
the Pontus, and to sail to Rome to prosecute the war against his
enemies, and he offered him money, ships, and troops on behalf of the
king. Sulla in reply advised Archelaus not to trouble himself any
further about Mithridates, but to assume the kingly title himself and
to become an ally of Rome, and to give up the ships of Mithridates. As
Archelaus professed his detestation of such treachery, Sulla said,
"You then, Archelaus, who are a Cappadocian, and the slave of a
barbarian king, or, if you please, his friend--you refuse to do a base
deed for so splendid a reward, and yet venture to talk about treachery
to me who am a Roman general, and am Sulla, as if you were not that
Archelaus who fled from Chæroneia with a few men out of your one
hundred and twenty thousand, and were hid for two days in the
marshes[253] of Orchomenus, and left Bœotia with all the roads made
impassable by the heaps of dead?" Upon this Archelaus changed his
tone, and humbling himself, entreated Sulla to give up the war and to
come to terms with Mithridates. Sulla accepted the proposal, and peace
was made on the following terms:--Mithridates was to give up Asia[254]
and Paphlagonia, and to surrender Bithynia to Nikomedes, and
Cappadocia to Ariobarzanes, to pay down to the Romans two thousand
talents, and to give them seventy ships fitted with brass and
completely equipped; Sulla was to confirm Mithridates in the rest of
his possessions and to recognise him as an ally of the Romans.

XXIII. These terms being settled, Sulla retraced his steps and marched
through Thessaly and Macedonia to the Hellespont in company with
Archelaus, whom he treated with great respect. Archelaus fell
dangerously ill at Larissa, on which Sulla stopped his march and paid
as much attention to him as if he had been one of his own officers and
fellow-generals. This gave rise to some suspicion that the battle of
Chæroneia was not fairly fought, which was strengthened by the fact
that Sulla restored all the friends of Mithridates whom he had taken
prisoners, except Aristion[255] the tyrant, who was an enemy of
Archelaus, and whom he caused to be poisoned: but the most convincing
proof of all was Sulla's giving the Cappadocian ten thousand plethra
of land in Eubœa, and the title of friend and ally of the Romans.
However, Sulla makes his apology about these matters in his Memoirs.
Ambassadors from Mithridates now arrived, and were ready to accede to
all the terms agreed on, except that the king would not consent to
give up Paphlagonia, and as to the ships he dissented altogether; on
which Sulla in a passion exclaimed, "What say ye? Mithridates claims
to keep Paphlagonia, and refuses to abide by the agreement about the
ships; I thought he would have been thankful if I left him his right
hand, which has destroyed so many Romans. However, he will soon speak
another language when I have crossed over to Asia. At present let him
stay in Pergamum and there direct the conduct of a campaign which he
has not seen." The ambassadors were so much alarmed that they said
nothing, but Archelaus implored Sulla and tried to soften his anger,
clinging to his hands with tears in his eyes. At last he prevailed on
Sulla to let him go to Mithridates, and he promised to effect a peace
on Sulla's own terms, or to kill himself. Sulla accordingly sent
Archelaus to Mithridates, and in the mean time he invaded Mædike,[256]
and having ravaged the greater part of it, returned to Macedonia and
found Archelaus at Philippi,[257] who reported that all was
favourable, but that Mithridates much wished to have an interview with
him. Mithridates was minly induced to this by the circumstance that
Fimbria, after murdering the consul Flaccus, who belonged to the
opposite faction, and defeating the generals of Mithridates, was
advancing against the king himself. It was fear of Fimbria that made
Mithridates more inclined to make a friend of Sulla.

XXIV. Accordingly they met at Dardanus[258] in the Troad: Mithridates
had there two hundred rowing-ships, twenty thousand heavy-armed
soldiers, six thousand horsemen, and many of his scythe-bearing
chariots: Sulla had four cohorts and two hundred horsemen. Mithridates
advanced to meet Sulla and held out his hand, on which Sulla asked him
if he would put an end to the war on the terms agreed to by Archelaus.
As the king made no reply, Sulla said, "Well, those who sue must speak
first; conquerors may remain silent." Mithridates began an apology, in
which he partly imputed the origin of the war to the deities, and
partly threw the blame on the Romans; but Sulla cut him short by
saying, that he had long ago been told, and now he knew by his own
experience, that Mithridates was a most skilful speaker, inasmuch as
he had no difficulty in finding words to justify acts which were so
base and so contrary to all right. Sulla went on to recapitulate all
that Mithridates had done, reproaching him in bitter terms, and he
then asked him again, if he would abide by the agreement of Archelaus.
Mithridates said that he would; on which Sulla embraced him, threw his
arms round him and kissed him; he then brought forward the kings
Ariobarzanes and Nikomedes, and reconciled Mithridates to them. After
surrendering to Sulla seventy ships and five hundred bowmen,
Mithridates sailed off to the Pontus. Sulla perceived that his
soldiers were dissatisfied at the settlement of the war: they thought
it a shame that the greatest enemy of the Romans, who had contrived
the massacre of one hundred and fifty thousand Romans in Asia in one
day, should be seen sailing off with the wealth and the spoils of
Asia, which he had been plundering and levying contributions on for
four years; Sulla apologised to the soldiers by saying that he should
not be able to oppose both Fimbria and Mithridates, if they were
united against him.

XXV. From Dardanus Sulla marched against Fimbria, who was encamped
near Thyateira,[259] and halting there, began to throw up his
intrenchments. Fimbria's men coming out of their camp in their jackets
embraced the soldiers of Sulla, and began to assist them zealously in
their works. Fimbria seeing that his soldiers had deserted him, and
fearing Sulla's unforgiving temper, committed suicide in the camp.
Sulla now levied a contribution on Asia to the amount of twenty
thousand talents: and he reduced individuals to beggary by the
violence and exactions which he permitted to the soldiers who were
quartered in their houses. He issued an order that the master of a
house should daily supply the soldier who was quartered on him with
four tetradrachmæ, and with dinner for himself and as many of his
friends as he chose to invite; a centurion was to receive fifty
drachmæ daily, and to be supplied with two garments, one to wear in
the house and the other when he went abroad.

XXVI. Sulla set sail from Ephesus with all his ships, and on the third
day anchored in the Peiræus. After being initiated into the
Eleusinian[260] mysteries, he appropriated to himself the library of
Apellikon[261] of Teos, which contained most of the writings of
Aristotle and Theophrastus. The works of these two philosophers were
not then well known to people in general. It is said that when the
library was brought to Rome, Tyrannio the grammarian arranged most of
the books, and that Andronikus of Rhodes having procured copies from
Tyrannio, published them, and made the tables which are now in use. It
appears that the older Peripatetics were indeed well-instructed men,
and devoted to letters, but they did not possess many of the writings
of Aristotle and Theophrastus, nor yet correct copies, owing to the
circumstances that the books came into the hands of the heirs of
Neleus of Skepsis, to whom Theophrastus bequeathed them, and that they
were ignorant persons, who never troubled themselves about such
matters. While Sulla was staying at Athens, he was seized with a
numbness in his feet, accompanied with a feeling of heaviness, which
Strabo[262] calls "a stammering of gout." Accordingly he crossed the
sea to Ædepsus[263]; where he used the warm springs, at the same time
indulging in relaxation and spending all his time in the company of
actors. As he was walking about on the seashore, some fishermen
presented him with some very fine fish; Sulla was much pleased with
the present, but on hearing that the men belonged to Halæae,[264] he
said, What, is there an Halæan still alive? For it happened, that
while pursuing his enemies after the victory at Orchomenus, he
destroyed at once three Bœotian cities, Anthedon, Larymna, and Halæae.
The men were struck speechless with fear, but Sulla with a smile bade
them go away in good heart, for the intercessors they had brought were
no mean ones, and not to be despised. Upon this the Halæans say they
took courage and again occupied their city.

XXVlI. Sulla went through Thessaly and Macedonia to the sea-coast,
where he made preparations to cross from Dyrrachium[265] to Brundisium
with twelve hundred ships. Near to Dyrrachium is Apollonia, and near
to Apollonia is the Nymphæum,[266] a sacred spot, where perpetual
streams of fire rise in various places out of a green grassy valley.
It is said that a sleeping satyr was caught there, such a one as
sculptors and painters represent, and was brought to Sulla and
questioned by many interpreters as to who he was; but he spoke with
difficulty, and what he did utter was unintelligible, and something
like a compound of the neighing of a horse and the bleating of a goat;
upon which Sulla, who was startled at the monster, ordered him to be
removed. Sulla was now about to take his soldiers over the sea, but he
feared that when they landed in Italy they would disperse to their
several cities; however, the soldiers voluntarily took an oath to
abide by him, and not to do any damage in Italy from set design;
seeing also that he required much money, they all contributed
something from what they had, each according to his means. However,
Sulla would not receive the contribution, but after commending their
zeal and encouraging them he proceeded to cross the sea, as he
expresses it in his Memoirs, to oppose fifteen hostile commanders at
the head of four hundred and fifty cohorts.[267] The deity gave him
sure prognostics of success; for upon his sacrificing immediately on
landing in Italy near Tarentum, the liver of the animal was found to
have on it the figure of a crown[268] of bay with two ribands attached
to it. A short time also before he crossed the sea, two large he-goats
were seen in Campania near Mount Hephæus, in the daytime, fighting,
and in all respects acting like men engaged in a contest. But it was
only a vision, and it gradually rose up from the ground and dispersed
in the air in various directions like dark phantoms, and finally
disappeared. No long time after, in this very spot, when the younger
Marius and the consul Norbanus[269] came upon him at the head of a
large force, Sulla, without having time to form his battle or to
dispose his companies, but merely availing himself of the spirit that
animated all his men, and their impetuous courage, put to flight his
opponents, and shut Norbanus up in Capua with the loss of seven
thousand of his soldiers. It was this success, as some say, which
prevented his soldiers from dispersing to their several cities, and
encouraged them to stay with Sulla and to despise their opponents,
though many times more numerous than themselves. At Silvium,[270] as
Sulla says, a slave of one Pontius, moved by a divine impulse, met him
and declared that he brought from Bellona assurance of superiority in
war and victory, but that if he did not make haste the Capitol would
be burnt; and this is said to have happened on the very day which the
man foretold, being the day before the Nones of Quintilis, which we
now call July. Further, Marcus Lucullus, one of Sulla's commanders,
was opposed at Fidentia[271] with sixteen cohorts to fifty of the
enemy, and though he had confidence in the spirit of his men, he was
discouraged because a greater part of them were unarmed. While he was
considering and hesitating what to do, a gentle breeze blowing from
the adjoining plain, which was covered with grass, carried many of the
flowers to the army of Lucullus, and spontaneously strewed them about,
so that they rested and fell on the men's shields and helmets, which
seemed to their opponents to be crowned with chaplets. Thus
encouraged, the soldiers of Lucullus engaged, and gained a victory,
with the loss to the opposite party of eighteen thousand men and their
camp. This Lucullus was the brother of the Lucullus who afterwards
defeated Mithridates and Tigranes.

XXVIII. Sulla, perceiving that he was still surrounded by many hostile
camps and large forces, treacherously invited Scipio[272] one of the
consuls, to come to terms. Scipio accepted the proposal, which was
followed by many meetings and conferences, but Sulla continually threw
impediments and pretexts in the way of a final agreement, and in the
mean time he corrupted Scipio's soldiers by means of his own men, who
were as practised in all kinds of deceit and fraud as their commander.
Going within the intrenchments of Scipio and mingling with his
soldiers, they gained over some by giving them, money, others by
promises, and the rest by flattery and persuasion. At last Sulla with
twenty cohorts approached the camp of Scipio, and his soldiers saluted
those of Scipio, who returned the salute and came over to them.
Scipio, thus deserted, was taken prisoner in his tent, but set at
liberty; and Sulla with the twenty cohorts, like so many tame birds,
having entrapped forty of the enemy, led them all back to his camp. On
this occasion, it is said, Carbo observed that he had to contend in
Sulla both with a lion and a fox, but the fox gave him most trouble.
After this, in the neighbourhood of Signia,[273] Marius at the head of
eighty-four cohorts challenged Sulla to battle; and Sulla was very
ready for the contest on that day, for he happened to have had a
vision in his sleep of this sort:--He dreamed that the elder Marius,
who had long been dead, was advising his son to beware of the
following day, as it would bring him heavy misfortune. This was the
reason that Sulla was eager to fight, and he sent for Dolabella,[274]
who was encamped at some distance. But as the enemy occupied the roads
and cut off the communications, the soldiers of Sulla were wearied
with fighting and working at the roads at the same time; and it
happened that much rain also fell, and added to the fatigue of their
labour. Upon this, the centurions coming up to Sulla, begged him to
defer the battle, and pointed out to him that the soldiers were
exhausted by fatigue and were lying on the ground with their shields
under them. Sulla consented unwillingly, and gave orders for the army
to halt there; but while they were beginning to throw up their rampart
and dig their trenches, Marius advanced against them confidently at
the head of his troops, expecting to disperse them in their state of
disorder and confusion. Now the dæmon made good the words that Sulla
heard in his dream; for his soldiers, transported with indignation and
stopping their work, fixed their spears in the ground close to the
trenches, and drawing their swords with a loud shout, were forthwith
at close quarters with the enemy. The soldiers of Marius did not stand
their ground long, and there was a great slaughter of them in their
flight. Marius, who fled to Præneste,[275] found the gates closed, but
a rope being let down from the walls, he fastened himself to it, and
was drawn up into the city. Some historians say, and Fenestella[276]
among them, that Marius saw nothing of the battle, but that being
exhausted by want of sleep and fatigue he lay down on the ground in
the shade, and as soon as the signal was given for battle, fell
asleep, and that he was roused with difficulty when the flight began.
Sulla says that he lost only twenty-three men in this battle, and that
he killed of the enemy twenty thousand, and took eight thousand alive.
He was equally successful everywhere else through his generals
Pompeius,[277] Crassus, Metellus, Servilius; for without sustaining
any but the most trifling loss, they destroyed the great armies of
their opponents, and at last Carbo,[278] who was the main support of
the opposite party, stole away from his troops by night and sailed to

XXIX. In the last struggle, however, like a fresh combatant attacking
an exhausted athlete, Telesinus the Samnite was very near tripping up
Sulla and laying him prostrate at the gates of Rome. Telesinus was
hastening with Lamponius the Lucanian and a strong force to Præneste,
in order to rescue Marius, who was besieged; but finding that Sulla in
his front and Pompeius in his rear were coming against him, and that
he could neither advance nor retreat, like a brave and experienced man
he broke up his encampment by night and marched with all his force
against Rome. And indeed he was very near surprising the city, which
was unguarded; however, halting about ten stadia from the Colline
gate, he passed the night there, full of confidence and elated with
hope, as he had got the advantage over so many great generals. At
daybreak the most distinguished young men came out on horseback to
oppose him, but many of them fell, and among them Claudius
Appius,[279] a man of noble rank and good character. This naturally
caused confusion in the city, and there were women shrieking and
people hurrying in all directions, in expectation that the city was
going to be stormed, when Balbus appeared first, coming at full speed
from Sulla with seven hundred horsemen. Balbus just halted long enough
to allow his men to dry the sweat from their horses: then bridling
them again, they advanced quickly and engaged with the enemy. In the
mean time Sulla also appeared, and ordering the advanced ranks to take
some refreshment, he began to put them in order of battle. Dolabella
and Torquatus earnestly entreated him to pause, and not to put all to
the hazard with his exhausted soldiers; they said, the contest was not
with Carbo and Marius, but with Samnites and Lucanians, the most
deadly and warlike enemies of Rome: but Sulla, without paying any
regard to them, ordered the trumpets to sound the charge, though it
was now about the tenth hour. The battle began, and was fiercer than
any that was fought in this campaign. The right wing, where Crassus
commanded, was completely successful; but the left was hard pressed,
and in a dangerous plight, when Sulla came to its support mounted on a
very spirited and fleet white horse, by which he was easily
distinguished from the rest, and two of the enemy's soldiers, fixing
their javelins, prepared to aim at him, Sulla did not see them, but
his groom whipped the horse, which just carried his rider so far out
of the reach of the spears that they passed close to the horse's tail,
and stuck in the ground. It is said that Sulla always carried about
with him in his bosom, in battle, a small golden figure of Apollo,
which he got from Delphi, and that he then kissed it, and said, "O
Pythian Apollo, after raising the fortunate Sulla Cornelius in so many
contests to glory and renown, wilt thou throw him prostrate here, at
the gates of his native city, and so bring him to perish most ignobly
with his fellow-citizens?" After this address to the god it is said
that Sulla entreated some, and threatened and laid hold of others; but
at last, the left wing being completely broken, he was mingled with
the fugitives and made his escape to the camp with the loss of many of
his friends and men of note. Not a few of the citizens also, who had
come to see the fight, were killed and trampled down, so that it was
thought all was over with the city, and the blockade of Marius was all
but raised, for many of the fugitives made their way to Præneste, and
urged Ofella Lucretius,[280] who had been appointed to conduct the
siege, to break up his quarters with speed, as Sulla was killed, and
Rome in the possession of the enemy.

XXX. It was now far on in the night when men came to Sulla's camp from
Crassus to get something to eat for him and his soldiers, for after
putting the enemy to flight they had pursued them to Antemnæ,[281] and
there encamped. Upon this intelligence, and that most of the enemy
were killed, Sulla came to Antemnæ at daybreak. Here three thousand
soldiers sent to him to propose to surrender, and Sulla promised them
their lives if they would punish the rest of his enemies before they
joined him. Trusting to his promise, these men attacked their
comrades, and a great number on both sides were cut to pieces.
However, Sulla got together the soldiers who had offered to surrender
and those who had survived the massacre, to the number of six
thousand, in the Circus,[282] and at the same time he summoned the
Senate to the temple of Bellona. As soon as he began to speak, the
men who were appointed to do the work began to cut down the six
thousand men. A cry naturally arose from so many men being butchered
in a narrow space, and the Senators were startled; but Sulla
preserving the same unmoved expression of countenance, bade them
attend to what he was saying, and not trouble themselves about what
was going on outside; it was only some villains who were being
punished by his orders. This made even the dullest Roman see that
there was merely an exchange of tyrants, not a total change. Now
Marius was always cruel, and he grew more so, and the possession of
power did not change his disposition. But Sulla at first used his
fortune with moderation and like a citizen of a free state, and he got
the reputation of being a leader who, though attached to the
aristocratical party, still regarded the interests of the people;
besides this, he was from his youth fond of mirth, and so soft to pity
as to be easily moved to tears. It was not without reason, then, that
his subsequent conduct fixed on the possession of great power the
imputation that it does not let men's tempers abide by their original
habits, but makes them violent, vain, and inhuman. Now whether
fortune really produces an alteration and change in a man's natural
disposition, or whether, when he gets to power, his bad qualities
hitherto concealed are merely unveiled, is a matter that belongs to
another subject than the present.

XXXI. Sulla now began to make blood flow, and he filled the city with
deaths without number or limit; many persons were murdered on grounds
of private enmity, who had never had anything to do with Sulla, but he
consented to their death to please his adherents. At last a young man,
Caius Metellus, had the boldness to ask Sulla in the Senate-house,
when there would be an end to these miseries, and how far he would
proceed before they could hope to see them stop. "We are not
deprecating," he said, "your vengeance against those whom you have
determined to put out of the way, but we entreat you to relieve from
uncertainty those whom you have determined to spare." Sulla replied,
that he had not yet determined whom he would spare. "Tell us then,"
said Metellus, "whom you intend to punish." Sulla said that he would.
Some say that it was not Metellus, but Afidius,[283] one of Sulla's
flatterers, who made use of the last expression. Sulla immediately
proscribed eighty persons without communicating with any magistrate.
As this caused a general murmur, he let one day pass, and then
proscribed two hundred and twenty more, and again on the third day as
many. In an harangue to the people, he said, with reference to these
measures, that he had proscribed all he could think of, and as to
those who now escaped his memory, he would proscribe them at some
future time. It was part of the proscription[284] that every man who
received and protected a proscribed person should be put to death for
his humanity; and there was no exception for brothers, children, or
parents. The reward for killing a proscribed person was two talents,
whether it was a slave who killed his master or a son who killed his
father. But what was considered most unjust of all, he affixed infamy
on the sons and grandsons of the proscribed and confiscated their
property. The proscriptions were not confined to Rome; they extended
to every city of Italy: neither temple nor hospitable hearth nor
father's house was free from murder, but husbands were butchered in
the arms of their wives, and children in the embrace of their mothers.
The number of those who were massacred through revenge and hatred was
nothing compared with those who were murdered for their property. It
occurred even to the assassins to observe that the ruin of such a one
was due to his large house, another man owed his death to his orchard,
and another again to his warm baths. Quintus Aurelius, a man who
never meddled with public affairs, and though he was no further
concerned about all these calamities except so far as he sympathised
with the sufferings of others, happened to come to the Forum and there
he read the names of the proscribed. Finding his own name among them,
he exclaimed, Alas! wretch that I am; 'tis my farm at Alba that is my
persecutor. He had not gone far before he was murdered by some one who
was in search of him.

XXXII. In the mean time Marius killed himself to avoid being taken.
Sulla now went to Præneste,[285] and he began by examining the case of
each individual before he punished him; but having no time for this
inquiry, he had all the people brought to one spot, to the number of
twelve thousand, and ordered them to be massacred, with the exception
of one man, an old friend of his, whom he offered to pardon. But the
man nobly declared he would never owe his safety to the destroyer of
his country, and mingling with the rest of the citizens he was cut
down together with them. The affair of Lucius Catilina[286] was
perhaps the most monstrous of all. Lucius had murdered his brother
before the termination of the war, and he asked Sulla to proscribe him
among the rest as if he were still alive; which was done. To show his
gratitude, Catilina killed one Marcus Marius,[287] who belonged to the
opposite faction, and after bringing his head to Sulla, who was then
sitting in the Forum, he went to the temple of Apollo, which was close
by, and washed his hands in the sacred font.[288]

XXXIII. Besides the massacres, there were other things to cause
dissatisfaction. Sulla had himself proclaimed Dictator,[289] and thus
revived this office after an interval of one hundred and twenty years.
An act of indemnity was also passed for all that he had done; for the
future it was enacted that he should have power of life and death, and
should confiscate property, distribute lands, found colonies, destroy
them, take away kingdoms and give them to whom he pleased. The sales
of confiscated property were conducted by him from his tribunal in
such an arrogant and tyrannical manner, that his mode of dealing with
the produce of the sales was more intolerable than the seizure of the
property: he gave away to handsome women, players on the lyre, mimi
and worthless libertini, the lands of whole nations and the revenues
of cities; to some men he gave wives, who were compelled to marry
against their will. Wishing to form an alliance with Pompeius Magnus,
he made him put away his wife; and he took Æmilia, who was the
daughter of Scaurus and of his own wife Metella, from her husband
Manius Glabrio.[290] though she was then with child, and married her
to Pompeius. Æmilia died in the house of Pompeius in childbirth.
Lucretius Ofella,[291] who had taken Præneste, became a candidate for
the consulship, and canvassed for it. Sulla at first attempted to stop
him; but on Lucretius entering the Forum supported by a large party,
Sulla sent one of his centurions to kill Lucretius, himself the while
sitting on his tribunal in the temple of Castor and Pollux, and
looking down upon the murder. The bystanders seized the centurion and
brought him before the tribunal; but Sulla bidding them stop their
noise, declared that he had ordered the centurion to kill Lucretius,
and they must let him go.

XXXIV. The triumph[292] of Sulla was magnificent for the splendour and
rarity of the regal spoils; but the exiles formed a greater ornament
to it and a noble spectacle. The most illustrious and wealthy of the
citizens followed in the procession with chaplets on their heads,
calling Sulla their saviour and father, inasmuch as through him they
were restored to their country, their children, and their wives. When
the triumph was over, Sulla before the assembled people gave an
account of all the events of his life, mentioning with equal
particularity his good fortune and his great deeds, and in conclusion
he bade them salute him by the name of Eutyches,[293] for this is the
nearest word to express the Latin Felix: and when he wrote to Greeks
or had any business to transact with them, he called himself
Epaphroditus. In our country also, on the trophies of Sulla, there is
the inscription: Lucius Cornelius Sulla Epaphroditus. As Metella bore
him twins, Sulla named the male Faustus, and the female Fausta: for
the Romans apply the name Faustus to what is fortunate and gladsome.
Sulla indeed trusted so far to his good fortune rather than to his
acts, that, though he had put many persons to death, and had made so
many innovations and changes in the state, he laid down the
dictatorship,[294] and allowed the people to have the full control of
the consular elections, without going near them, and all the while
walking about in the Forum, and exposing himself to any one who might
choose to call him to account, just like a private person. Contrary to
Sulla's wish, a bold man, and an enemy of his, was likely to be
elected consul, Marcus Lepidus,[295] not for his own merits, but
because the people wished to please Pompeius, who was earnest in his
support and canvassed for him. Sulla seeing Pompeius going home well
pleased with his victory, called him to him and said: "What a fine
piece of policy is this of yours, young man, for Lepidus to be
proclaimed consul before Catulus, the most violent in preference to
the most honourable of men! It is, however, time for you not to be
asleep, as you have strengthened your rival against yourself." Sulla
said this in a kind of prophetic tone, for Lepidus soon broke out in
great excesses, and was at war with Pompeius.

XXXV. Sulla made an offering of the tenth part of his substance to
Hercules, and feasted the people magnificently: so much greater indeed
was the preparation than what was required, that a great quantity of
provisions was daily thrown into the river, and wine was drunk forty
years old, and even older. In the midst of the entertainment, which
lasted several days, Metella died. As the priests would not allow
Sulla to go to her, or his house to be polluted by a dead body, Sulla
sent Metella a writing of divorce, and ordered her, while still alive,
to be removed from his house to another. So far he observed the custom
strictly through superstition; but the law which limited the cost of
funerals, though he had proposed it himself, he violated by sparing no
expense. He also violated his own laws for diminishing the cost of
entertainments, endeavouring to forget his grief in extravagant
drinking and feasting, and in the company of buffoons. A few months
after his wife's death there was a show of gladiators. As there was
yet no distinction of places,[296] but men and women sat promiscuously
in the theatre, it chanced that a woman seated herself near Sulla who
was very handsome and of good family; she was a daughter of Messala,
and sister of the orator Hortensius: her name was Valeria,[297] and
she had lately separated from her husband. This woman, going behind
Sulla, placed her hand upon him, and pulling a thread out of his
dress, returned to her place. As Sulla looked on her with some
surprise, she said, No mischief, Imperator;[298] I also wish to have a
bit of your good fortune. Sulla was not displeased at her words, and
it was soon plain that he had conceived a passion for the woman; for
he privately sent to ask her name, and made himself acquainted with
her family and her mode of life. After this there were interchanges of
glances, and frequent side-looks, and giving and returning of smiles,
and, finally, treaties and arrangements about marriage, all which on
her part perhaps deserved no censure; but as to Sulla, however chaste
and reputable the woman might be that he married, it was no reputable
or decent matter that induced him to it, for he was caught like a
young man by mere looks and wanton airs, the nature of which is to
excite the most depraved and impure feelings.

XXXVI. Though Sulla married Valeria he still associated with actresses
and female lute-players and dancers, spending his time with them on
beds, and drinking from an early hour of the day. These were the names
of the persons who at this time enjoyed most of his
favour:--Roscius[299] the comedian, Sorix the chief mimus, and
Metrobius who played women's parts[300] in men's dress, and to whom,
though Metrobius was now growing old, Sulla all along continued
strongly attached, and never attempted to conceal it. By this mode of
life he aggravated his disease, which was slight in its origin, and
for some time he was not aware that all his viscera were full of
diseased matter. The flesh, being corrupted by the disease, was
changed into vermin,[301] and though many persons were engaged day
and night in taking the vermin away, what was got rid of was nothing
compared with what came, for all his clothes, and the bath and the
water, and his food, were filled with the matter that flowed from him,
and with the vermin; such was the violence of the disorder. Though he
went into the water several times a day and drenched his body and
cleansed it from filth, it was of no avail, for the disease went on
too quickly, and the quantity of vermin defied all attempts to clear
it away. Among those in very remote times who are said to have died of
the lousy disease was Akastus the son of Pelias; and in more recent
times, Alkman the lyric poet, Pherekydes the theologian, Kallisthenes
of Olynthus, while he was in prison, and Mucius the lawyer. And if one
may mention those who have got a name, not for any good that they did,
but in other ways, Eunus the runaway slave, who began the Servile war
in Sicily, is said to have died of this disease, after he was captured
and carried to Rome.

XXXVII. Sulla foresaw his end, and even in a manner wrote about it,
for he finished the twenty-second book of his Memoirs only two days
before his death. He there says, that the Chaldæans foretold him that
it was his fate to die, after a happy life, at the very height of his
prosperity; he says also that his son, who had died a short time
before Metella, appeared to him in a dream, in a mean dress, and
standing by him, entreated his father to rest from his troubles and to
go with him to join his mother Metella, and live with her in ease and
quiet. Yet he did not give up attending to public matters. Ten days
before his death he restored tranquillity among the people of
Dicæarchia,[302] who were in a state of civil commotion, and he drew
up for them a constitution; and only one day before his death, hearing
that the chief magistrate Granius was a public defaulter and refused
to pay the debt, waiting for Sulla's death, Sulla sent for the man to
his chamber, and surrounding him with his slaves ordered him to be
strangled; but with his shouting and efforts he burst an imposthume
and vomited a quantity of blood. Upon this his strength failed him and
he got through the night with difficulty. He left two infant children
by Metella; Valeria, after his death, brought forth a daughter, whom
they called Postuma,[303] for this is the name that the Romans give to
children who are born after their father's death.

XXXVIII. Now many flocked to Lepidus and combined with him to prevent
the body of Sulla from receiving the usual interment. But Pompeius,
though he had ground of complaint against Sulla, for he was the only
friend whom Sulla had passed over in his will,[304] turning some from
their purpose by his influence and entreaties, and others by threats,
had the body conveyed to Rome, and secured it a safe and honourable
interment. It is said that the women contributed so great a quantity
of aromatics for Sulla's funeral,[305] that without including what was
conveyed in two hundred and ten litters, there was enough to make a
large figure of Sulla, and also to make a lictor out of costly
frankincense and cinnamon. The day was cloudy in the morning, and as
rain was expected they did not bring the body out till the ninth hour.
However, a strong wind came down on the funeral pile and raised a
great flame, and they had just time to collect the ashes as the pile
was sinking and the fire going out, when a heavy rain poured down and
lasted till night; so Sulla's good fortune seemed to follow him to his
funeral, and to stay with him to the last. His monument is in the
Campus Martius. The inscription, which they say he wrote and left
behind him, says in substance, that none of his friends ever did him a
kindness, and none of his enemies ever did him a wrong, without being
fully repaid.


[Footnote 162: Many distinguished families belonged to the Cornelii,
as the Scipiones, Lentuli, Dolabellæ, and others. The Patricians were
the old Roman noble families, whom Plutarch compares with the Athenian
Eupatridæ, or men of noble family, who formed in the older periods of
Athenian history the first class in the State.

The origin of the word Sulla is uncertain. This Sulla was not the
first who bore it. P. Cornelius Rufinus, Prætor B.C. 212, the
grandfather of this Sulla, also bore the name. The various conjectures
on the origin of the name Sulla are given by Drumann, _Geschichte
Roms_, ii. p. 426. The name should be written Sulla, not Sylla. The
coins have always Sulla or Sula. (Rasche, _Lex Rei Numariæ_; Eckhel,
_Doctrina Num. Vet._ v. 189.) L. Cornelius Sulla was the son of L.
Cornelius Sulla, and born B.C. 138.]

[Footnote 163: P. Cornelius Rufinus was consul B.C. 290. He was also
Dictator, but in what year is uncertain. He was ejected from the
Senate by the Censor C. Fabricius B.C. 275 for violating one of the
sumptuary laws of Rome, or those which limited expense. The story is
mentioned by Gellius (iv. 8; xvii. 21). Plutarch has translated the
Latin word Libræ by the Greek Litræ.

The Romans made many enactments for limiting expense in dress,
entertainments, funerals (Sulla, c. 35), amount of debt to be
incurred, and so forth, all of which were unavailing. The notion of
regulating private expenditure was not peculiar to the Romans among
the states of antiquity; and our own legislation, which in its absurd
as well as its best parts has generally some parallel in that of the
Romans, contains many instances of sumptuary laws, which prescribed
what kind of dress, and of what quality, should be worn by particular
classes, and so forth. The English Sumptuary Statutes relating to
Apparel commenced with the 37th of Edward III. This statute, after
declaring that the outrageous and excessive apparel of divers people
against their estate and degree is the destruction and impoverishment
of the land, prescribes the apparel of the various classes into which
it distributes the people; but it goes no higher than knights. The
clothing of the women and children is also regulated. The next
statute, 3rd of Edward IV., is very minute. This kind of
statute-making went on at intervals to the 1st of Philip & Mary, when
an Act was passed for the Reformation of Excessive Apparel. These
Apparel Statutes were repealed by the 1st of James I.]

[Footnote 164: This word does not convey the exact notion, but it is
sufficient. The original is Gephyrists ([Greek: gephyristai]
γεφυρισταί). There was, they say, a bridge (Gephyra) on the road
between Athens and Eleusis, from which, during the sacred processions
to Eleusis, the people (or, as some authorities say, the women) were
allowed the liberty of joking and saying what they pleased; and hence
the name of such free speakers, Bridgers, Bridge-folk. (See Casaubon's
note on Strabo, p. 400.) Hence the word came to signify generally
abusive people. Sulla did not forget these insults when he took Athens
(c. 13). Plutarch alludes to this also in his Treatise on Garrulity,
c. 7.]

[Footnote 165: Mimus is a name given by the Romans both to an actor
and to a kind of dramatic performance, which probably resembled a
coarse farce, and was often represented in private houses. Its
distinguishing character was a want of decency. The word Mimus is of
Greek origin, and probably derived its name from the amount of
gestures and action used in these performances. The Greeks also had
their Mimi.]

[Footnote 166: This passage is apparently corrupt. But the general
meaning is tolerably clear. (See Sulla, c. 36.)]

[Footnote 167: See Marius, c. 10.]

[Footnote 168: Tribunus Militum, a military tribune. Plutarch
translates the term by Chiliarchus, a commander of a thousand. At this
time there were six tribunes to a Roman legion.]

[Footnote 169: The Tectosages were a Celtic people who lived at the
foot of the Pyrenees west of Narbo (Narbonne).]

[Footnote 170: Mannert (_Geographie der Griechen und Römer_, Pt. iii.
p. 216) wishes to establish that these Marsi were a German nation, who
lived on both sides of the Lippe and extended to the Rhine, and not
the warlike nation of the Marsi who inhabited the central Apennines
south-east of Rome. This is the remark of Mannert as quoted by
Kaltwasser; but I do not find it in the second edition of Mannert (Pt.
iii. 168), where he is treating of the German Marsi.]

[Footnote 171: The passage is in the _Phœnissæ_ of Euripides, v. 531

    Why seek the most pernicious of all dæmons,
    Ambition, O my son? Not so; unjust the goddess,
    And houses many, many prosperous states
    She enters and she quits, but ruins all.


[Footnote 172: The exhibition of wild animals in the Roman games was
now become a fashion. In the latter part of the Republic it was
carried to an enormous extent: the elephant, the rhinocerous, the
lion, and other wild animals, were brought from Africa to Rome for
these occasions. When Sulla was prætor B.C. 93, he exhibited one
hundred lions in the Circus, which were let loose and shot with arrows
by archers whom King Bocchus sent for the purpose. (Plinius, _N.H._
viii. 16, Seneca, _De Brevitate Vitæ_, c. 13.) There was an old decree
of the Senate which prohibited the importation of African wild beasts,
but it was repealed by a measure proposed by the tribune Cn. Aufidius
so far as to render the importation legal for the games of the Circus.

Plutarch speaks of Sulla as immediately canvassing for the prætorship
after his return to Rome. The dates show that at least several years
elapsed before he succeeded.]

[Footnote 173: Probably Sextus Julius Cæsar, consul B.C. 91, and the
uncle of the Dictator, C. Julius Cæsar.]

[Footnote 174: Ariobarzanes I. called Philoromæus, or a lover of the
Romans, was elected king of Cappadocia B.C. 93, but he was soon
expelled by Tigranes, king of Armenia, the son-in-law of Mithridates.
Ariobarzanes applied for help to the Romans, and he was restored by
Sulla B.C. 92. He was driven out several times after, and again
restored by the Romans.]

[Footnote 175: The name is written Mithradates on the Greek coins. The
word Mithradates occurs in various shapes in the Greek writers; and it
was a common name among the Medes and Persians. The first part of the
name (Mithra) is probably the Persian name Mitra or Mithra, the Sun.
This Mithridates is Mithradates the Sixth, king of Pontus in Asia, who
succeeded his father Mithridates V. B.C. 120, when he was about eleven
years of age. He was a man of ability, well instructed in the learning
of the Greeks, and a great linguist: it is said that he could speak
twenty-two languages. He had already got possession of Colchis on the
Black Sea, and placed one of his sons on the throne of Cappadocia. He
had also strengthened himself by marrying his daughter to Tigranes
king of Armenia. Other events in his life are noticed in various parts
of the Lives of Sulla, Lucullus, and Pompeius. (See _Penny
Cyclopædia_, "Mithridates VI.")]

[Footnote 176: This name was common to a series of Armenian, and to a
series of Parthian kings. One Arsaces is considered to be the founder
of the dynasty of the Parthian kings, which dynasty the Greeks and
Romans call that of the Arsacidæ. This Arsaces is reckoned the ninth
in the series, and was the son and successor of Arsaces the Eighth. He
is placed in the series of Parthian kings as Arsaces IX. Mithridates
II. (On the series of Parthian Arsacidæ, see "Arsaces," in _Biograph.
Dictionary_ of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.)
From the time of this interview of Sulla to a late period under the
Roman Empire, the Romans and Parthians were sometimes friends, oftener
enemies. No name occurs so frequently among the Roman writers of the
Augustan period as that of the Parthians, the most formidable enemy
that the Romans encountered in Asia, and who stopped their victorious
progress in the East.]

[Footnote 177: The MSS. have "a native of Chalkis" ([Greek:
Chalkideus] Χαλκιδεύς), a manifest blunder, which has long since been

[Footnote 178: Censorinus was a family name of the Marcii. This
appears to be C. Censorinus, whom Cicero (_Brutus_, c. 67) speaks of
as moderately versed in Greek Literature. He lost his life in the wars
of Sulla B.C. 81.]

[Footnote 179: Timotheus distinguished himself during the period of
the decline of the power of Athens. In the year B.C. 357 he and
Iphicrates were sent with a fleet to reduce to obedience the Athenian
subject states and especially the island of Samos. The expedition was
unsuccessful, and Timotheus and other generals were brought to trial
on their return home. Timotheus was convicted, and sentenced to pay a
heavy fine, but as he was unable to pay it, he withdrew to Chalkis in
Eubœa, where he died B.C. 354. (_Penny Cyclopædia_, art. "Timotheus.")
This story of the painting is told by Ælianus, _Var. Hist._ xiii. 43.]

[Footnote 180: The original has "the dæmon" ([Greek: daimonion]
δαιμόνιον), which is Fortune, as the context shows. It is not very
easy to unravel all the ancient notions about Fortune, Nemesis, and
the like personifications. The opinion that the deity, or the dæmon,
looks with an envious eye on a man's prosperity and in the end pays
him off with some equivalent loss, is very common in the Greek
writers. One instance of it occurs in the letter of Amasis, the
cunning King of Egypt, to Polykrates the tyrant of Samos. (Herodotus,
iii. 40.) The Egyptian King tells Polykrates plainly that his great
good luck would certainly draw upon him some heavy calamity, for "the
dæmon ([Greek: to theion] τὸ θεῖον) is envious;" and so it was, for
Polykrates died a wretched death. Timotheus, according to Plutarch,
provoked Fortune by his arrogance.]

[Footnote 181: This word ([Greek: daimôn] δαίμων) often occurs in
Plutarch. In order to understand it, we must first banish from our
minds the modern notions attached to the word Dæmon. A little further,
Sulla speaks of what the dæmon ([Greek: to daimonion] το δαιμόνιον)
enjoins during the night. People in ancient times attached great
importance to dreams, because they were considered as a medium by
which the gods communicated with men. There is great difficulty in
translating an ancient writer on account of the terms used in speaking
of superhuman powers.

Apuleius, who lived in the second century of our æra and was
consequently nearly a contemporary of Plutarch, has explained this
doctrine of dæmons in his treatise _On the God of Sokrates_. "Moreover
there are certain divine middle powers, situated in this interval
between the highest ether and earth, which is in the lowest place,
through whom our desires and deserts pass to the gods. These are
called by a Greek name dæmons, who being placed between the
terrestrial and celestial inhabitants, transmit prayers from the one
and gifts from the other. They likewise carry supplications from the
one and auxiliaries from the other as certain interpreters and
saluters of both. Through these same dæmons, as Plato says in the
_Banquet_, all denunciations, the various miracles of enchanters, and
all the species of presages, are directed. Prefects, from among the
number of these, providentially attend to everything, according to the
province assigned to each; either by the formation of dreams, or
causing the fissures in entrails, or governing the flight of some
birds, and instructing the song of others, or by inspiring prophets,
or hurling thunder, or producing the coruscations of lightning in the
clouds, or causing other things to take place from which we obtain a
knowledge of future events. And it is requisite to think that all
these particulars are effected by the will, the power, and authority
of the celestial gods, but by the compliance, operations, and
ministrant offices of dæmons."--T. Taylor's Translation: he adds, "For
a copious account of dæmons, their nature, and different orders, see
the notes on the First Alkibiades in vol. i. of my Plato, and also my
translation of Iamblichus on the Mysteries." A little further on
Apuleius says: "It is not fit that the supernal gods should descend to
things of this kind. This is the province of the intermediate gods,
who dwell in the regions of the air, which border on the earth, and
yet are no less conversant with the confines of the heavens; just as
in every part of the world there are animals adapted to the several
parts, the volant being in the air and the gradient on the earth."

As to the expression "the god" ([Greek: ho theos] ὁ θεός), which often
occurs in Greek writers, Taylor observes (note _a_.) "According to
Plato one thing is a god simply, another on account of union, another
through participation, another through contact, and another through
similitude. For of super-essential natures, each is primarily a god;
of intellectual natures, each is a god according to union; and of
divine souls, each is a god according to contact with the gods; and
the souls of men are allotted this appellation through similitude." He
therefore concludes that Apuleius was justified in calling the dæmon
of Sokrates a god; and that this was the opinion of Sokrates appears,
as he says, from the First Alkibiades, where Sokrates says, "I have
long been of opinion that the god did not as yet direct me to hold any
conversation with you."

Apuleius further says, "There is another species of dæmons, more
sublime and venerable, not less numerous, but far superior in dignity,
who, being always liberated from the bonds and conjunction of the
body, preside over certain powers. In the number of these are Sleep
and Love, who possess powers of a different nature; Love, of exciting
to wakefulness, but Sleep of lulling to rest. From this more sublime
order of dæmons, Plato asserts that a peculiar dæmon is allotted to
every man who is a witness and a guardian of his conduct in life, who,
without being visible to any one, is always present, and who is an
arbitrator not only of his deeds, but also of his thoughts. But when,
life being finished, the soul returns [to the judges of its conduct],
then the dæmon who presided over it, immediately seizes and leads it
as his charge to judgment, and is there present with it while it
pleads its cause. There, this dæmon reprehends it, if it has acted on
any false pretence; solemnly confirms what it says, if it asserts
anything that is true; and conformably to its testimony passes
sentence. All you therefore who hear this divine opinion of Plato, as
interpreted by me, so form your minds to whatever you may do, or to
whatever may be the subject of your meditation, that you may know
there is nothing concealed from those guardians either within the mind
or external to it; but that the dæmon who presides over you
inquisitively participates of all that concerns you, sees all things,
understands all things, and in the place of conscience dwells in the
most profound recesses of the mind. For he of whom I speak is a
perfect guardian, a singular prefect, a domestic speculator, a proper
curator, an intimate inspector, an assiduous observer, an inseparable
arbiter, a reprobator of what is evil, an approver of what is good;
and if he is legitimately attended to, sedulously known, and
religiously worshipped, in the way in which he was reverenced by
Sokrates with justice and innocence, will be a predicter of things
uncertain, a premonitor in things dubious, a defender in things
dangerous, and an assistant in want. He will also be able, by dreams,
by tokens, and perhaps also manifestly, when the occasion demands it,
to avert from you evil, increase your good, raise your depressed,
support your falling, illuminate your obscure, govern your prosperous,
and correct your adverse circumstances. It is not therefore wonderful,
if Sokrates, who was a man exceedingly perfect, and also wise by the
testimony of Apollo, should know and worship this his god; and that
hence, this his keeper, and nearly, as I may say, his equal, his
associate and domestic, should repel from him everything which ought
to be repelled, foresee what ought to be noticed, and pre-admonish him
of what ought to be foreknown by him, in those cases in which, human
wisdom being no longer of any use, he was in want not of counsel but
of presage, in order that when he was vacillating through doubt, he
might be rendered firm through divination. For there are many things,
concerning the development of which even wise men betake themselves to
diviners and oracles." I have adopted Taylor's translation of this
eloquent passage, because he was well acquainted with the theological
systems of antiquity. The whole passage is a useful comment on this
chapter of Plutarch and many other passages in him, and may help to
rectify some erroneous notions which people maintain of the
philosophical systems of antiquity, people who, as Bishop Butler
expresses it, "take for granted that they are acquainted with
everything." The passage about conscience contains, as Taylor
observes, a dogma which is only to be found implicitly maintained in
the Scholia of Olympiodorus on the First Alkibiades of Plato.
Olympiodorus says that we shall not err if we call "the allotted dæmon
conscience;" on which subject he has some further remarks. This
doctrine of the sameness of conscience and the internal dæmon seems to
be that of the Emperor Marcus Antoninus (ii. 13): "It is sufficient to
attend only to the dæmon within us and to reverence it duly," and he
goes on to explain wherein this reverence consists. In another passage
(ii. 17) he says that philosophy consists "in keeping the dæmon within
us free from violence and harm, superior to pleasures and pains, doing
nothing without a purpose, and yet without any falsehood or
simulation, without caring whether another is doing so or not;
further, taking what happens and what is our lot as coming from the
same origin from which itself came; and finally, waiting for death
with a tranquil mind, as nothing else than the separation of the
elements of which every living being is composed. And if there is
nothing to fear in the elemental parts constantly changing one into
another, why should a man have any apprehension about the change and
dissolution of the whole? for it is according to Nature, and nothing
is bad that is according to Nature." Bishop Butler remarks (Preface to
his _Sermons_): "The practical reason of insisting so much upon the
natural authority of the principle of reflection or conscience is,
that it seems in a great measure overlooked by many who are by no
means the worst sort of men. It is thought sufficient to abstain from
gross wickedness, and to be humane and kind to such as happen to come
in their way. Whereas, in reality, the very constitution of our nature
requires, that we bring our whole conduct before this superior
faculty; wait its determination; enforce upon ourselves its authority;
and make it the business of our lives, as it is absolutely the whole
business of a moral agent, to conform ourselves to it. This is the
true meaning of that ancient precept, _reverence thyself_."

This note does not apply to any particular case, when dæmons are
mentioned by Plutarch, but to all cases where he speaks of dæmons,
divination, dreams, and other signs.]

[Footnote 182: Quintus Cæcilius Metellus Pius, the son of Metellus
Numidicus, was consul with Sulla in his second consulship B.C. 80.]

[Footnote 183: The place is unknown, unless it be the place near the
altar of Laverna, the goddess of thieves, which was near the Porta
Lavernalis, as Varro says (_Ling. Lat._ v. 163). Horatius (1 _Ep._
xvi. 60) represents the rogue as putting up a prayer "to the Fair
Laverna," that he may appear to be what he is not, an honest man, and
that night and darkness may kindly cover his sins. The phænomenon
which Sulla describes appears to have been of a volcanic character;
and if so, it is the most recent on record within the volcanic region
of the Seven Hills.]

[Footnote 184: Apparently Aulus Postumius Albinus, who was consul with
Marcus Antonius B.C. 99. Valerius Maximus tells the story (ix. 8, 3).]

[Footnote 185: This was Sulla'a first consulship, B.C. 88. If he was
now fifty, he was born B.C. 138. His colleague was Quintus Pompeius
Rufus, who was killed in this same year at the instigation or at least
with the approbation of Cn. Pompeius Strabo, the father of Pompeius
Magnus. (Appian, _Civil Wars_, i. 63.)]

[Footnote 186: Cæcilia Metella was the fourth wife of Sulla. The other
three are mentioned in this chapter. Ilia is perhaps a mistake for
Julia. Sulla's fifth and last wife was Valeria, c. 35.]

[Footnote 187: Drumann (_Geschichte Roms_, Cæcilii) has shown that
Plutarch is mistaken in supposing Cæcilia to be the daughter of
Metellus Pius, who was consul with Sulla B.C. 80. She was the daughter
of L. Metellus Dalmaticus, who was the brother of Metellus Numidicus
and the uncle of Metellus Pius. Her first husband was M. Scaurus,
consul B.C. 115, by whom she had several children, and among them the
Scaurus whom Cicero defended. Metella had children by Sulla also. (See
c. 36, notes.)]

[Footnote 188: The historian of Rome. These events belonged to the
seventy-seventh book of Livius, which is lost. The Epitome shows what
this book contained.]

[Footnote 189: This word occurs three times in this chapter. In the
first instance, the word is _the dæmonium_; in the second it is _the
god_ ([Greek: ho theos] ὁ θεός); in the third, it is _the dæmonium_

[Footnote 190: The Senate often met in the temple of Duellona or
Bellona, the goddess of War. Duellona and Bellona are the same.
Compare the Bacchanalian Inscription, and Livius (28, c. 9, &c.).

The last sentence of this chapter is corrupt, and the precise meaning
is uncertain.]

[Footnote 191: See Marius, c. 35.]

[Footnote 192: A man might be manumitted so as either to have the
complete citizenship or not. If Plutarch's account is true, the
citizenship was sold to those libertini who were of the class
Dediticii or Latini. (Gaius, i. 12, &c.)]

[Footnote 193: See the note on the Sumptuary Laws, c. 1.]

[Footnote 194: Plutarch here uses the same word ([Greek: apraxiai]
ἀπράξιαι) which I have elsewhere translated by the Roman word
Justitium. (Marius, c. 35.)]

[Footnote 195: Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 57) says that all Sulla's
officers left him, when he was going to march to Rome, except one
quæstor. They would not serve against their country.]

[Footnote 196: That is Moon, Athena (Minerva), and Enyo (Bellona). It
is difficult to conjecture what Cappadocian goddess Plutarch means, if
it be not the Great Mother. (Marius, c. 17.)]

[Footnote 197: The place is unknown. There are some discrepancies
between the narrative of these transactions in Plutarch and Appian.
Appian's is probably the better (i. 58, &c.). The reading Pictæ has
been suggested. (Strabo, p. 237.)]

[Footnote 198: The Roman word is Tellus. (Livius, 2, c. 41.) The
temple was built on the ground occupied by the house of Spurius
Cassius, which was pulled down after his condemnation. (Livius, 2, c.

[Footnote 199: Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 60) mentions the names of
twelve persons who were proscribed. The attempt to rouse the slaves to
rebellion was one of the grounds of this condemnation, and a valid

[Footnote 200: L. Cornelius Cinna and Cn. Octavius were consuls B.C.
87. the year in which Sulla left Italy to fight with Mithridates.
Apuleius (_On the God of Sokrates_) thus alludes to the kind of oath
which Cinna took--"Shall I swear by Jupiter, holding a stone in my
hand, after the most ancient manner of the Romans? But if the opinion
of Plato is true, that God never mingles himself with man, a stone
will hear me more easily than Jupiter. This however is not true: for
Plato will answer for his opinion by my voice. I do not, says he,
assert that the gods are separated and alienated from us, so as to
think that not even our prayers reach them; for I do not remove them
from an attention to, but only from a contact with human affairs."]

[Footnote 201: Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 63, 64) gives another reason.
Sulla was alarmed at the assassination of his colleague Quintus
Pompeius Rufus, and left Rome by night for Capua, whence he set out
for Greece.]

[Footnote 202: This was the country on the west coast of Asia Minor,
of which the Romans had formed the province of Asia. Mithridates took
advantage of the Romans being busied at home with domestic troubles to
advance his interests in Asia, where he was well received by the
people, who were disgusted with the conduct of the Roman governors. He
had defeated the Roman generals L. Cassius, Manius Aquilius, and Q.
Oppius. (Appian, _Mithridatic War_, c. 17, &c.) He also ordered all
the Romans and Italians who were in Asia, with their wives and
children, to be murdered on one day; which was done.]

[Footnote 203: The kingdom of Bosporus was a long narrow slip on the
south-east coast of the peninsula now called the Crimea or Taurida.
The name Bosporus was properly applied to the long narrow channel, now
called the Straits of Kaffa or Yenikalé, which unites the Black Sea
and the Mæotis or Sea of Azoff. Bosporus was also a name of
Pantikapæum, one of the chief towns of the Bosporus. There was a
series of Greek kings of the Bosporus, extending from B.C. 430 to B.C.
304, whose names are known; and there may have been others. In the
time of Demosthenes, in the fourth century before the Christian æra,
the Athenians imported annually a large quantity of corn from the
Bosporus. This was the country that now belonged to Mithridates.
(_Penny Cyclopædia_, article "Bosporus.")]

[Footnote 204: Kaltwasser conjectures that the son who is first
mentioned was Mithridates, and he remarks that Appian (_Mithridatic
War_, c. 64) calls him also Mithridates. But in place of the name
Ariarathes, he reads Aciarathes, whom he makes to be the same as the
Arcathias of Appian (c. 35). Ariarathes however was a son of
Mithridates (_Mithridatic War_, 15); and according to Appian, it was a
son Mithridates who held Pontus and the Bosporus. Ariarathes and
Arcathias assisted their father in the war in Asia.]

[Footnote 205: This Archelaus was a native of Cappadocia, and probably
of Greek stock. His name often occurs afterwards. (See "Archelaus,"
_Biograph. Dict._ of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful

[Footnote 206: The promontory of Malea, now Cape St. Angelo, is the
most south-eastern point of the Peloponnesus. The expression of
Plutarch is, "all the islands situated within Malea," by which he
means all the islands of the Archipelago which are east of Malea,
including the Cyclades, or the group which lies in somewhat of a
circular form round the small rocky island of Delos.]

[Footnote 207: His name is Brettius in the MSS. of Plutarch. His Roman
name is Bruttius, as Appian (_Mithridat. War_, i. 29) writes it. He
took the island of Skiathus, where the enemy deposited their plunder;
he hanged the slaves that he found there, and cut off the hands of the
freemen. Cæsar, when he was in Gaul, cut off the hands of all the
persons who had assisted in the defence of Uxellodunum against the
Romans, according to the author of the eighth book of the _Gallic War_
(viii. 44).]

[Footnote 208: See the Life of Lucullus.]

[Footnote 209: He is called Athenion by Athenæus. His father was an
Athenian citizen; his mother was an Egyptian woman. His political
career began with his being sent by the Athenians on an embassy to
Mithridates, and he ultimately persuaded the Athenians to join the
king. This is the account of Posidonius as quoted by Athenæus (v. 211,
&c. ed. Casaub.) Appian (_Mithridatic War_, 28, &c.) gives an account
of his making himself a tyrant in Athens, which is somewhat different.
He appears to have established himself in B.C. 88; and his power only
lasted till B.C. 86. This Aristion was a philosopher, which gives
occasion to some curious remarks by Appian (_Mithridatic War_, c. 28),
who says, speaking of his enormities: "and all this he did though he
was a follower of the Epicurean philosophy. But it was not Aristion
only at Athens, nor yet Kritias before him, and all who were
philosophers with Kritias and tyrants at the same time; but in Italy
also, those who were Pythagoreans, and in Greece the Seven Sages as
they are called, as many of them as engaged in public affairs,--all
were chiefs and tyrants more cruel than tyrants who were not
philosophers. So that one may doubt as to other philosophers, and have
some suspicion, whether it was for virtue's sake, or merely to console
them for their poverty and having nothing to do with political
matters, that they adopted philosophy. There are now many philosophers
in a private station and poor who consequently wrap themselves up in
philosophy out of necessity, and bitterly abuse those who are rich or
in power; and thereby do not so much get a reputation for despising
wealth and power as being envious of them. But those whom they abuse
act much more wisely in despising them." There was at least one
exception to these philosophers, Marcus Antoninus, who was the head of
the Roman State, and required in his exalted station all the comfort
that philosophy could give.]

[Footnote 210: The Peiræus, one of the chief ports of Athens, is often
used to express the maritime city generally and the lower city, as
opposed to Athens, which was called the Upper City. The two cities
were united by the Long Walls, about four miles in length.]

[Footnote 211: The Academia, one of the suburbs of Athens, was planted
with trees, among others with the olive. It was on the north-west side
of the city. In the Academia there was a Gymnasium, or exercise place,
and here also Plato delivered his lectures; whence the name Academy
passed into use as a term for a University (in the sense of a place of
learning) in the Middle Ages, and has now other significations. The
Lycæum was another similar place on the east side of Athens.]

[Footnote 212: This was Epidaurus on the east coast of Argolis in the
Peloponnesus, which contained a temple of Æsculapius, the god of
healing. Olympia on the Alpheius, in Elis, contained the great temple
of Jupiter and immense wealth, which was accumulated by the offerings
of many ages. This and other temples were also used as places of
deposit for the preservation of valuable property. Pausanias (v. 21,
vi. 19, and in other passages) has spoken at great length of the
treasures of Olympia. These rich deposits were a tempting booty to
those who were in want of money and were strong enough to seize it. At
the commencement of the Peloponnesian war (B.C. 431) it was proposed
that the Peloponnesian allies should raise a fleet by borrowing money
from the deposits at Olympia and Delphi (Thucydides, i. 121), a scheme
which the Athenians, their enemies, appear to have looked upon as a
mode of borrowing of which repayment would form no part. (i. 143.
[Greek: eite kai kinêsantes] είτε καὶ κινήσαντες, &c.). Many of the
rich churches in Italy were plundered by the French during their
occupation of Italy in the Revolutionary wars; their search after
valuables extended to very minute matters. The rich stores of the Holy
House of the Virgin at Loreto were nearly exhausted by Pope Pius VI.
in 1796 to satisfy the demands of the French. It is said that there is
a new store got together for the next invader.]

[Footnote 213: The history of this ancient body cannot be given with
any accuracy except in detail. (See the article "Amphictyons," _Penny
Cyclopædia_.) The "royal presents" were the gifts of Crœsus, king of
Lydia (in the sixth century B.C.) the most munificent of all the
donors to the temple. Among his other presents Herodotus (i. 51)
mentions four of these silver casks or jars, and he uses the same word
that Plutarch does. The other three had probably been taken by some
previous plunderer. In the Sacred war (B.C. 357) the Phokians under
Philomelus took a large part of the valuable things at Delphi for the
purpose of paying their troops. (Diodorus, xvi. 30.)]

[Footnote 214: Flamininus, whose life Plutarch has written under the
name of Flaminius, defeated Philip V. king of Macedonia B.C. 197.
Manius Acilius Glabrio, who was consul B.C. 191, defeated in that year
Antiochus III. king of Syria, commonly called the Great, at Thermopylæ
in Greece. Antiochus afterwards withdrew into Asia. Æmilius Paulus
defeated Perseus, the last king of Macedonia, at Pydna B.C. 168, upon
which Macedonia was reduced into the form of a Roman Province (Livius,
45, c. 18.). Plutarch has written the Life of Paulus Æmilius.]

[Footnote 215: See the Life of Marius, c. 42.]

[Footnote 216: See c. 20, 21. C. Flavius Fimbria was the legatus of
the consul L. Valerius Flaccus. Cicero (_Brutus_, 66) calls him a

[Footnote 217: The Medimnus was a dry measure, reckoned at 11 gallons
7.1456 pints English. It was equivalent to six Roman modii. (Smith's
_Dictionary of Antiquities_.)]

[Footnote 218: This plant may have had its name from the virgin
(parthenos) goddess Athene, whom the Romans call Minerva. Plinius
(_N.H. 22_, c. 20) has described it. It is identified with the modern
feverfew by Smith in Rees' _Cyclopædia_,--a plant of the chamomile
kind; rather unpleasant for food, as one might conjecture. The
oil-flasks were of coarse leather. In Herodotus (ix. 118) we read of a
besieged people eating their bedcords, which we may assume to have
been strips of hides, or leather at least.]

[Footnote 219: For all matters relating to the topography of Rome and
Athens, the reader must consult a plan: nothing else can explain the
text. The gate called Dipylum or Double-Gate was the passage from the
Keramicus within the walls to the Keramicus outside of the walls on
the north-west side of Athens.]

[Footnote 220: Teius is not a Roman name. It is conjectured that it
should be Ateius.]

[Footnote 221: The road from Athens to Eleusis was called the Sacred
(Pausanius, i. 36): it led to the sacred city of Eleusis. The space
between the Peiræic gate and the Sacred is that part of the wall which
lay between the roads from Athens to the Piræus and Eleusis

[Footnote 222: A Greek Agora corresponds to a Roman Forum.]

[Footnote 223: The description of the capture of Athens is given by
Appian. (_Mithridatic War_, c. 30.) Plutarch here alludes to the
deluge in the time of Deucalion, which is often mentioned by the Greek
and Roman writers. In the time of Pausanias (i. 18), in the second
century of our æra, they still showed at Athens the hole through which
the waters of the deluge ran off. A map of the Topography of Athens
has been published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful
Knowledge. Leake's _Topography of Athens_, K.O. Müller, in Ersch und
Gruber, _Encyclop._ art. "Attika," p. 223, and P.W. Forchhammer,
_Topographie von Athen_, 1841, should be consulted.]

[Footnote 224: See Strabo, p. 395.]

[Footnote 225: One of the ports of the maritime town of Athens. The
events mentioned in this chapter should be compared with Appian
(_Mithridat. War_, c. 41).]

[Footnote 226: His name was Lucius, and he was probably a brother of
the great Hortensius. L. Hortensius had to pass through a difficult
country to reach Bœotia. His route lay through the straits of
Thermopylæ; but he probably took some other line, and he was conducted
by Kaphis over the heights of the great mountain mass of Parnassus.
Kaphis appears to be the person of the same name who has been
mentioned before (c. 12), though he is there called a Phokian. In this
chapter Plutarch calls him a Chæroneian. Tithora or Tithorea was in
the time of Herodotus (viii. 32) the name of that summit of Parnassus
to which the Phokians of the neighbouring town of Neon fled from the
soldiers of Xerxes B.C. 480. Pausanias (x. 32) remarks that the city
Neon must have taken the name of Tithorea after the time of Herodotus.
But Plutarch means to say that the Tithora of which he speaks was the
place to which the Phokians fled; and therefore Neon, the place from
which they fled, cannot be Tithora, according to Plutarch; and the
description of Tithorea by Herodotus, though very brief, agrees with
the description of Plutarch. Pausanias places Tithorea eighty stadia
from Delphi.]

[Footnote 227: Elateia was an important position in Phokis and near
the river Kephisus. It was situated near the north-western extremity
of the great Bœotian plain, and commanded the entrance into that plain
from the mountainous country to the north-west. The Kephisus takes a
south-east course past Elateia, Panopeus, Chæronea, and Orchomenus,
and near Orchomenus it enters the Lake Kopais. Bœotia is a high
table-land surrounded by mountains, and all the drainage of the plain
of which those of Elateia and Orchomenus are part is received in the
basin of the lake, which has no outlet.]

[Footnote 228: This city was burnt by Xerxes in his invasion of Greece
B.C. 480. (Herodotus, viii. 33.) Pausanias (x. 33) says that it was
not rebuilt by the Bœotians and Athenians: in another passage (x. 3)
he says it was destroyed by Philip after the close of the Sacred or
Phokian war B.C. 346; and therefore it had been rebuilt by somebody.]

[Footnote 229: The soldiers who had shields of brass.]

[Footnote 230: This was Aulus Gabinius, who was sent by Sulla B.C. 81
with orders to L. Licinius Murena to put an end to the war with
Mithridates. Ericius is not a Roman name: perhaps it should be

[Footnote 231: This is Juba II., king of Mauritania, who married
Cleopatra, one of the children of Marcus Antonius by Cleopatra, queen
of Egypt. Juba was a scholar and an author: he is often quoted, by
Strabo, Plinius (_Nat Hist._), and other writers.]

[Footnote 232: "Our city" will explain why Plutarch has described the
campaign in the plains of Bœotia at such length. Plutarch's battles
are none of the best; and he has done well in making them generally

[Footnote 233: The cave of Trophonius was at Lebadeia in Bœotia.
Pausanias (ix. 39) has given a full account of the singular ceremonies
used on consulting the deity.]

[Footnote 234: The word is [Greek: omphês] ὀμφῆς, literally "voice,"
which has caused a difficulty to the translators; but the reading is
probably right.]

[Footnote 235: This was Lucius Licinius Murena, who conducted the war
against Mithridates in Asia B.C. 83 as Proprætor. He was the father of
the Lucius Murena in whose defence we have an extant oration of

[Footnote 236: The old story is well told by Ovidius (_Metamorphoses,_
iii. 14, &c.)]

[Footnote 237: A temple of the Muses.]

[Footnote 238: Kaltwasser has followed the reading "Gallus" in his
version, though, as he remarks in a note, this man is called Galba by
Appian (_Mithridat. War_, 43), and he is coupled with Hortensius, just
as in Plutarch.]

[Footnote 239: This clumsy military contrivance must generally have
been a failure. These chariots were useless in the battle between
Cyrus and his brother Artaxerxes B.C. 401. (Xenophon, _Anabasis_, i.
8.) Appian (_Mithridatic War_, c. 42) mentions sixty of these chariots
as being driven against the Romans, who opened their ranks to make way
for them: the chariots were surrounded by the Roman soldiers in the
rear and destroyed.]

[Footnote 240: A Circus was a Roman racecourse. The chief circus was
the Circus Maximus, which was used also for hunts of wild beasts. See
the article "Circus" in Smith's _Dictionary of Antiquities_.]

[Footnote 241: I have kept the Greek word ([Greek: hoplitês] ὁπλίτης),
which means a soldier who was equipped with defensive armour for close

[Footnote 242: The Saturnalia were a kind of Carnival at Rome in the
month of December, when people indulged themselves in feasting and
revelry, and the slaves had the license of doing for a time what they
pleased, and acting as if they were freemen. The original "freedom of
speech" may mean a little more than these words convey. The point of
the centurion's remark, like many other jokes of antiquity, seems
rather blunt. He simply meant to express surprise at seeing slaves in
an army serving as soldiers--they whose only freedom, so far as he
knew, was to have a little license once a year at the Saturnalia.]

[Footnote 243: A town in Eubœa on the strait of the Euripus which
separates the island of Eubœa from the mainland. The smallness of the
Roman loss is incredible. Appian considerately add one to the number,
and makes it fifteen (_Mithridatic War_, c. 42, &c.) Sulla was a
braggart, though he was brave.]

[Footnote 244: This stream is called Morius (c. 17). Pausanias, who
made his tour through Greece in the first half of the second century
of our æra, saw the trophies (ix. 40).]

[Footnote 245: L. Valerius Flaccus was elected consul B.C. 86 in the
place of C. Marius, who died at the beginning of the year.]

[Footnote 246: The name given by the Greeks and Romans to that part of
the Mediterranean which lay between Dyrrachium (Durazzo) and the
opposite coast of Italy. Thucydides (i. 24) makes the Ionian Sea
commence about Epidamnus (which was the old name of Dyrrachium), and
probably he extended the name to all the Adriatic or modern Gulf of

[Footnote 247: A town in Phthiotis, a district which is included in
Thessalia in the larger sense of that term. It was on the river
Enipeus, a branch of the Peneus. (Strabo, p. 452.) Thucydides (iv. 78)
means the same place, when he speaks of Meliteia in Achæa.]

[Footnote 248: A mountain in Bœotia and a spring (Tilphussa) about
fifty stadia from Haliartus. (Pausanias, ix. 33.) Haliartus is on the
south side of the Lake Kopais.]

[Footnote 249: Orchomenus, one of the oldest towns in Bœotia and in
Greece, is situated near the point where the Kephisus enters the great
Lake. Plutarch speaks again of the Melas in the Life of Pelopidas (c.
16). Pausanias (ix. 88) says that the Melas rises seven stadia from
Orchomenus, and enters the lake Kephisus, otherwise called Kepais.]

[Footnote 250: If we assume that it was exactly two hundred years,
Plutarch wrote this passage about A.D. 114, in the reign of Trajanus.
This battle was fought B.C. 86. Hadrianus became emperor A.D. 117.
(See Preface, p. xiv.)]

[Footnote 251: Cn. Papirius Carbo was the colleague of Cinna in the
consulship B.C. 85 and 84.]

[Footnote 252: A Deliac merchant This might be a merchant of Delium,
the small town in Bœotia, on the Euripus, where Sulla and Archelaus
met. But Delos, a small rocky island, one of the Cyclades, is probably
meant Delos was at this time a great slave-market. (Strabo, p. 668.)]

[Footnote 253: Appian (_Mithridat. War_, c. 50) says that Archelaus
hid himself in a marsh, and afterwards made his escape to Chalkis.
Sulla's arrogance is well characterized by his speech. The
Cappadocians were considered a mean and servile people, and their
character became proverbial.]

[Footnote 254: The Roman Province of Asia. Compare Appian (_Mithridat.
War_, c. 54, 55) as to the terms of the peace.]

[Footnote 255: The death of Aristion is mentioned by Appian
(_Mithridat. War_, c. 39); but he does not speak of the poisoning.]

[Footnote 256: Mædike appears to be the right name. Thucydides (ii.
98) calls the people Mædi: they were a Thracian people. Compare Strabo
(p. 316). Appian (_Mithridat. War_, c. 55) speaks of this expedition
as directed aguinst the Sinti, who wore neighbours of the Mædi, and
other nations which bordered on Macedonia, and annoyed it by their
predatory incursions. Sulla thus kept his soldiers employed, which was
the practice of all prudent Roman commanders, and enriched them with
booty at the same time.]

[Footnote 257: This is the old town called Krenides, or the Little
Springs, which King Philippus, the father of Alexander the Great,
restored and gave his name to. It was near Amphipolis on the river
Strymon. (See Life of Brutus, c. 38.)]

[Footnote 258: The Troad is the north-west angle of Asia Minor, which
borders on the Hellespont and the Ægean Sea (the Archipelago). The
name of the district, Troas in Greek, is from the old town of Troja.
Strabo (lib. xiii.) gives a particular description of this tract.

The narrative of this affair in Appian (_Mithridat. War_, c. 56, &c.)
differs in some respects from that of Plutarch, and this may be
observed of many other events in this war. Appian is perhaps the
better authority for the bare historical facts; but so far as concerns
the conduct and character of Sulla on this and other occasions,
Plutarch has painted the man true to the life.

Sulla left L. Lucullus behind him to collect the money. (See Life of
Lucullus, c. 4.) The story of Fimbria in Appian (_Mithridat. War_, c.
69, 70) differs from that of Plutarch in some respects, but it is near
enough to show that though these two writers apparently followed
different authorities, Plutarch has given the facts substantially

When Sulla was within two stadia of Fimbria, he sent him orders to
give up the army, which he was illegally commanding. Fimbria sent back
an insulting message to the effect that Sulla also had no right to the
command which he held. While Sulla was throwing up his intrenchments,
and many of Fimbria's soldiers were openly leaving him, Fimbria
summoned those who still remained to a meeting, and urged them to stay
with him. Upon the soldiers saying that they would not fight against
their fellow-citizens, Fimbria tore his dress, and began to intreat
them severally. But the soldiers turned a deaf ear to him, and the
desertions became still more numerous, on which Fimbria went round to
the tents of the officers, and bribing some of them, he called another
meeting, and commanded the soldiers to take the oath to him. As those
who were hired by him called out that he ought to summon the men by
name to take the oath, he called by the crier those who had received
favours from him, and he called Nonius first who had been his partner
in everything. Nonius refused to take the oath, and Fimbria drew his
sword and threatened to kill him, but as there was a general shout, he
became alarmed and desisted. However he induced a slave by money and
the promise of his freedom to go to Sulla as a deserter, and to
attempt his life. The man as he came near the act was alarmed, and
this gave rise to suspicion, which led to his being seized, and he
confessed. The army of Sulla, full of indignation and contempt,
surrounded the camp of Fimbria, and abused him, calling him Athenion,
which was the name of the fellow who put himself at the head of the
rebel runaway slaves in Sicily, and was a king for a few days. Fimbria
now despairing came to the rampart, and invited Sulla to a conference.
But Sulla sent Rutilius; and this first of all annoyed Fimbria, as he
was not honoured with a meeting, which is granted even to enemies. On
his asking for pardon for any error that he might have committed,
being still a young man, Rutilius promised that Sulla would allow him
to pass safe to the coast, if he would sail away from Asia, of which
Sulla was proconsul. Fimbria replied that he had better means than
that, and going to Pergamum and entering the temple of Æsculapius, he
pierced himself with his sword. As the wound was not mortal, he bade
his slave plunge the sword into his body. The slave killed his master,
and then killed himself on the body. Thus died Fimbria, who had done
much mischief to Asia after Mithridates. Sulla allowed Fimbria's
freedmen to bury their master; adding that he would not imitate Cinna
and Marius, who had condemned many persons to death at Rome, and also
refused to allow their bodies to be buried. The army of Fimbria now
came over to Sulla, and was received by him and united with his own.
Sulla also commissioned Curio to restore Nicomedes to Bithynia and
Ariobarzanes to Cappadocia, and he wrote to the Senate about all these
matters, pretending that he did not know that he had been declared an

[Footnote 259: Thyateira was a town in Lydia about 45 miles from

[Footnote 260: The original is simply "after being initiated;" but the
Eleusinian mysteries are meant. The city of Eleusis was in Attica, and
the sacred rites were those of Ceres and Proserpine (Demeter and
Persephone). Those only who were duly initiated could partake in these
ceremonies. An intruder ran the risk of being put to death. Livius
(31, c. 14) tells a story of two Akarnanian youths who were not
initiated, and during the time of the Initia, as he calls them,
entered the temple of Ceres with the rest of the crowd, knowing
nothing of the nature of the ceremonies. Their language and some
questions that they put, betrayed them, and they were conducted to the
superintendents of the temple; and though it was clear that they had
erred entirely through ignorance, they were put to death as if they
had committed an abominable crime. Toleration was no part of the
religious system of Antiquity; that is, nothing was permitted which
was opposed to any religious institution, though there was toleration
for a great variety. Many illustrious persons were initiated in the
Eleusinian mysteries, which were maintained until Christianity became
the general religion of the Empire. Marcus Aurelius, when he visited
Athens, was initiated. The ceremonial of the temple may be collected
to a certain extent from the ancient writers, but no one has yet
succeeded in divining what were the peculiar doctrines of this place.]

[Footnote 261: Much has been written about this story, which cannot be
literally true. The writings of Aristotle were not unknown to his
immediate followers. If there is any truth in this story as told by
Plutarch and Strabo (p. 608) it must refer to the original manuscripts
of Aristotle. Part of the text of Plutarch is here manifestly corrupt.
The subject has been examined by several writers. See art.
"Aristotle," _Biog. Dict._ of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful
Knowledge, and Blakesley, _Life of Aristotle_, Cambridge 1839.]

[Footnote 262: This is Strabo the Geographer, but the passage is not
in the Geography, and probably was in an historical work [Greek:
Hupomnæmata historika] Ὑπομνήατα ἱστορικά, Strabo, p. 13) which he
wrote, and which is cited by Plutarch in his Life of Lucullus, c. 28.]

[Footnote 263: These warm springs, which still exist, are on the west
coast of Eubœa, opposite to the mainland. They were much resorted to
in Plutarch's time, as appears from his Symposium (iv. Probl. 4). The
place is named Galepsus in Wyttenbach's edition, but in a note the
editor admits that the true name is Ædepsus. Demetrius Calatianus
(quoted by Strabo, p. 60), who had recorded all the earthquakes in
Greece, says that the hot springs at Thermopylæ and at Ædepsus once
ceased to flow for three days owing to an earthquake, and those of
Ædepsus, when they flowed again, broke out in a fresh place. The hot
springs near Cape Therma in Eubœa are supposed to be those of Ædepsus.
They are more copious than the springs of Thermopylæ on the opposite
mainland, but of the same kind. "The water rushes down in a copious
stream into the sea, the vapour from which is visible at a
considerable distance." (_Penny Cyclopædia_, art. "Eubœa.")]

[Footnote 264: Halæae should probably be written Halæ. It was near the
Euripus, within Bœotia and on the borders of Phokia. (Pansaunias, ix.

[Footnote 265: The usual passage from Italy to Greece and Greece to
Italy was between Brundisium and Dyrrachium. Compare Appian, _Civil
Wars_, c. 79.]

[Footnote 266: This phenomenon is mentioned by Strabo (p. 316), Dion
Cassius (41, c. 45), and Ælian (_Various History_, 13, c. 16). I do
not know if this spot has been examined by any modern traveller. It is
a matter of some interest to ascertain how long a phenomenon of this
kind has lasted. The pitch-springs of Zante (Zakynthus), which
Herodotus visited and describes (iv. 195), still produce the native
pitch. Strabo, who had not seen the Nymphæum, describes it thus after
the account of Poseidonius: "In the territory of Apollonia is a place
called the Nymphæum; it is a rock which sends forth fire, and at the
base of it are springs of warm asphaltus, the asphaltic earth, as it
appears, being in a state of combustion: and there is a mine of it
near on a hill. Whatever is cut out, is filled up again in course of
time, as the earth which is thrown into the excavations changes into
asphaltus, as Poseidonius says." We cannot conclude from this confused
description what the real nature of the phenomenon was. Probably the
asphaltus or bitumen was occasionally set on fire by the neighbouring
people. (See the art. "Asphaltum," _Penny Cyclopædia_.)]

[Footnote 267: The Cohors was the tenth part of a Roman Legion. Appian
(_Civil Wars_, i. 82) says that on this occasion the opponents of
Sulla made their cohorts contain 500 men each, so that a legion would
contain 5000 men. According to this estimate there were 90,000 men
under arms in Italy to oppose Sulla, who had five legions of Italian
soldiers, six thousand cavalry and some men from Peloponnesus and
Macedonia; in all forty thousand men. (Appian, _Civil Wars_, i. 79.)
Appian says that he had 1,600 ships.]

[Footnote 268: This passage is explained by the cut p. 287 in Smith's
_Dict. of Antiquities_, art. "Corona."]

[Footnote 269: Caius Junius Norbanus and L. Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus
were now consuls B.C. 83.]

[Footnote 270: Silvium is a town in Apulia on the Appian road, on the
Apennines. As to the burning of the Capitol, see Appian, _Civil Wars_,
i. 86.]

[Footnote 271: Fidentia was in North Italy not far from Placentia
(Piacenza): it is now Borgo San Donnino. Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 92)
speaks of this battle near Placentia, which Lucullus gained over some
of Carbo's troops, not over Carbo himself, as is stated by some modern
writers. Carbo was now in Central Italy.]

[Footnote 272: Sulla, with Metellus Pius, who had joined him (Appian,
_Civil Wars_, i. 80), met L. Scipio near Teanum in Campania. Sertorius
was with Scipio. The circumstances are told by Appian (_Civil Wars_,
i. 86) as usual with more minuteness and very clearly. The main story
is correct in Plutarch.]

[Footnote 273: Signia, now Segni, is in the Volscian mountains, 35
miles south-east of Rome. It was a Roman colony as old us the reign of
Tarquinius Superbus, according to Livius (1, 55). This battle was
fought B.C. 82, when Cn. Papinus Carbo was consul for the third time
with the younger Marius. It appears that Sulla's progress towards Rome
was not very rapid. Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 87) places the battle at
Sacriportus, the situation of which is unknown.]

[Footnote 274: Cn. Cornelius Dolabella was consul B.C. 81. He was
afterwards Proconsul of Macedonia, and had a triumph for his victories
over the Thracians and other barbarian tribes. C. Julius Cæsar, when a
young man (Cæsar, c. 4), prosecuted B.C. 77 Dolabella for
mal-administration in his province. Dolabella was acquitted.]

[Footnote 275: Præneste, now Palestrina. This strong town was about 20
miles E. by S. of Rome near the source of the Trerus, now the Sacco, a
branch of the Liris, the modern Garigliano.]

[Footnote 276: A Roman historian of the age of Augustus, who wrote
Annals, of which there were twenty-two books.]

[Footnote 277: These were Cn. Pompeius Magnus, who afterwards was the
great opponent of C. Julius Cæsar; his Life is written by Plutarch: M.
Licinius Crassus, called Dives or the Rich, whose Life is written by
Plutarch; Quintus Metellus Pius, the son of Metellus Numidicus; and P.
Servilius Vatia Isauricus, whom Sulla made consul B.C. 79, when he
declined the office himself.]

[Footnote 278: Carbo lost courage and ran away. He got safe to the
African coast, whence, with many men of rank, he made his way to
Sicily, and thence to the small island of Cossyra. Cn. Pompeius sent
men to seize him, who caught Carbo and his company: Carbo's followers
were immediately put to death pursuant to the orders of Pompeius.
Carbo was brought to Pompeius, and placed at his feet in chains; and
after Pompeius had insulted him who had thrice been consul by
pronouncing an harangue over him, Carbo was put to death, and his head
was sent to Sulla. (Appian, _Civil Wars_, i. 96.) The statement of
Plutarch (_Pompeius_, c. 10) agrees with that of Appian. These and
other acts of Pompeius should be remembered by those who are inclined
to pity his fate. He was probably under a necessity to put Carbo to
death pursuant to the orders of his muster Sulla, but the insult might
have been spared.]

[Footnote 279: It is uncertain who he was. See Drumann, _Geschichte
Roms_, ii. Claudii No. 26.]

[Footnote 280: See c. 33. Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 93) gives a
different account of this affair before the Colline gate, but agrees
with Plutarch in stating that Sulla's right wing was successful and
the left was defeated. He says that Telesinus fell in the battle.]

[Footnote 281: Antemnæ was a few miles from Rome, near the junction of
the Tiber and the Anio (Teverone).]

[Footnote 282: Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 93) briefly mentions this
massacre. It took place in the Circus Flaminius, which was near the
temple of Bellona.

Plutarch here starts a question which suggests itself to all men who
have had any experience. It is a common remark that a man who has been
raised from a low degree to a high station, or has become rich from
being poor, is no longer the same man. Nobody expects those whom he
has known in the same station as himself to behave themselves in the
same way when they are exalted above it. Nobody expects a man who has
got power to be the same man that he was in an humble station. Any man
who has lived a reasonable time in the world and had extensive
conversation with it knows this to be true. But is the man changed, or
are his latent qualities only made apparent by his changed
circumstances? The truth seems to be that latent qualities are
developed by opportunity. All men have the latent capacities of pride,
arrogance, tyranny, and cruelty. Cruelty perhaps requires the most
opportunities for its development; and these opportunities are power,
fear, and opposition to his will. It has been well observed, that all
men are capable of crime, but different circumstances are necessary to
develop this capacity in different men. All have their price; and some
may be bought cheap. He who is above the temptation of money may yield
to other temptations. The possession of power is the greatest
temptation of all, as it offers the greatest opportunities for the
development of any latent disposition; and every man has a point or
two in which he is open to the insidious attacks of opportunity. In
matters political, the main thing is to know, from the indications
that a man gives when he has not power, what he will be when he has
power: in the ordinary intercourse of life, the main thing is to judge
of the character of those with whom we deal by compulsion or choice,
to know how far we can trust what they say, how far their future
conduct may be predicted from present indications. But to show what
these indications are, belongs, as Plutarch says, to another inquiry
than the present. The general rule of old was Distrust, which the
crafty Sicilian, as Cicero (_Ad Attic._ i. 19) calls Epicharmus, was
always whispering in his ear. Epicharmus has well expressed his maxim
in a single line:

    [Greek: Naphe kai memnas' apistein: arthra tauta ton phrenon.]
    Νᾶφε καὶ μέμνας' ἀπιστεῖν: άρθρα ταῦτα τῶν φρενῶν.

    Wakeful be thou and distrustful: sinews these are to the mind.

This is the rule for the timid, and for them a safe one. But he who is
always suspicious must not expect to be trusted himself; and when the
bold command, he must be content to obey.]

[Footnote 283: This is not a Roman name. The nearest name to it is
Aufidius. But it is conjectured that one Fufidius is meant here (see
the note of Sintenis), and also in the Life of Sertorius (c. 26, 27).
This is probably the Fufidius (Florus, iii. 21, where the name is
written incorrectly Furfidius in some editions) who said, that "Some
should be left alive that there might be persons to domineer over."]

[Footnote 284: A Proscriptio was a notice set up in some public place.
This Proscription of Sulla was the first instance of the kind, but it
was repeated at a later time. The first list of the proscribed,
according to Appian (_Civil Wars_, i, 55), contained forty senators
and about sixteen hundred equites. Sulla prefaced his proscription by
an address to the people, in which he promised to mend their
condition. Paterculus (ii. 28) states that the proscription was to the
following effect:--That the property of the proscribed should be sold,
that their children should be deprived of all title to their property,
and should be ineligible to public offices; and further, that the sons
of Senators should bear the burdens incident to their order and lose
all their rights. This will explain the word Infamy, which is used a
little below. Infamia among the Romans was not a punishment, but it
was a consequence of conviction for certain offences; and this
consequence was a civil disability; the person who became Infamis lost
his vote, and was ineligible to the great public offices. He also
sustained some disabilities in his private rights. Sulla therefore put
the children of the proscribed in the same condition as if they had
been found guilty of certain offences.

The consequence of these measures of Sulla was a great change of
property all through Italy. Cities which had favoured the opposite
faction were punished by the loss of their fortifications and heavy
requisitions, such as the French army in the Revolutionary wars levied
in Italy. Sulla settled the soldiers of twenty-three legions in the
Italian towns as so many garrisons, and he gave them lands and houses
by taking them from their owners. These were the men who stuck to
Sulla while he lived, and attempted to maintain his acts after his
death, for their title could only be defended by supporting his
measures. These are "the men of Sulla," as Cicero sometimes calls
them, whose lands were purchased by murder, and who, as he says
(_Contra Rullum_, ii. 26), were in such odium that their title could
not have stood a single attack of a true and courageous tribune.]

[Footnote 285: Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 94) states that Sulla made all
the people in Præneste come out into the plain unarmed, that he picked
out those who had served him, who were very few, and these he spared.
The rest he divided into three bodies, Romans, Samnites, and
Prænestines: he told the Romans that they deserved to die, but he
pardoned them; the rest were massacred, with the exception of the
women and young children.]

[Footnote 286: L. Sergius Catilina, who formed a conspiracy in the
consulship of M. Tullius Cicero B.C. 63. (Life of Cicero.)]

[Footnote 287: Cn. Marius Gratidianus, the son of M. Gratidius of
Arpinum. He was adopted by one of the Marii; by the brother of Caius
Marius, as some conjecture.]

[Footnote 288: A vessel of stone or metal placed at the entrance of a
temple that those who entered might wash their hands in it, or perhaps
merely dip in a finger.]

[Footnote 289: Plutarch's expression is "he proclaimed himself
Dictator," but this expression is not to be taken literally, nor is it
to be supposed that Plutarch meant it to be taken literally. Sulla was
appointed in proper form, though he did in fact usurp the power, and
under the title of dictator was more than king. (Appian, _Civil Wars_,
i. 98.) The terms of Sulla's election were that he should hold the
office as long as he pleased; the disgrace of this compulsory election
was veiled under the declaration that Sulla was appointed to draw up
legislative measures and to settle affairs. Paterculus (ii. 28)
mentions the 120 years as having elapsed since the time of a previous
dictatorship, which was the year after Hannibal left Italy B.C. 202.
As Sulla was elected Dictator in B.C. 81, Plutarch's statement is
correct. (On the functions of the Dictator see Life of Cæsar, c. 37.)]

[Footnote 290: Manius Acilius Glabrio, who was prætor B.C. 70 during
the proceedings against Verres. He was the son of the M. Acilius
Glabrio who got a law passed on mal-administration in offices
(repetundæ), and the grandson of the Glabrio who defeated King
Antiochus near Thermopylæ. (See c. 12.)]

[Footnote 291: This murder is told more circumstantially by Appian
(_Civil Wars_, i. 101), who has added something that Plutarch should
not have omitted. After saying to the people that Lucretius had been
put to death by his order, Sulla told them a tale: "The lice were very
troublesome to a clown, as he was ploughing. Twice he stopped his
ploughing and purged his jacket. But he was still bitten, and in order
that he might not be hindered in his work, he burnt the jacket; and I
advise those who have been twice humbled not to make fire necessary
the third time."]

[Footnote 292: Plinius (_H.N._ 33, c. 5) speaks of this triumph: it
lasted two days. In the first day Sulla exhibited in the procession
15,000 pounds weight of gold and 115,000 pounds of silver, the produce
of his foreign victories: on the second, 13,000 pounds weight of gold
and 6000 pounds of silver which the younger Marius had carried off to
Præneste after the conflagration of the Capitol and from the robbery
of the other Roman temples.]

[Footnote 293: The term Felix appears on the coins of Sulla.
Epaphroditus signifies a favourite of Aphrodite or Venus. (Eckhel,
_Doctrina Num. Vet._ v. 190.) Eckhel infers from the guttus and lituus
on one of Sulla's coins that he was an Augur.]

[Footnote 294: Sulla abdicated the dictatorship B.C. 79 in the
consulship of P. Servilius Vatia Isauricus and Appius Claudius
Pulcher. Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 103, &c.) speaks of the abdication.
He made no attempt to secure to his family the power that he had
acquired. It may be that he had no desire to perpetuate the power in
his family; and it is certain that this could not have been
accomplished. Sulla had only one son, and he was now a child. But it
is certainly a striking trait in this man's character that he
descended to a private station from the possession of unlimited power,
and after, as Appian observes, having caused the death of more than
one hundred thousand men in his Italian wars, besides ninety senators,
fifteen consuls, and two thousand six hundred equites, not to mention
those who were banished and whose property was confiscated, and the
many Italian cities whose fortifications he had destroyed and whose
lands and privileges he had taken away. Sulla's character was a
compound of arrogance, self-confidence, and contempt of all mankind,
which have seldom been united. But his ruling character was love of
sensual pleasures. He was weary of his life of turmoil, and he
returned to his property in the neighbourhood of Cumæ on the pleasant
shore of Campania, where he spent his time on the sea, in fishing, and
in sensual enjoyments. But he had nothing to fear; there were in Italy
one hundred and twenty thousand men who had served under him, to whom
he had given money and land; there was a great number of persons at
Rome who had shared in his cruelties and the profits of them, and
whose safely consisted in maintaining the safety of their leader.
Besides this, he had manumitted above ten thousand vigorous men, once
the slaves of masters who had been murdered by his orders, and made
them Roman citizens under the name of Cornelii. These men were always
in readiness to execute his orders. With these precautions, this
blood-stained man retired to enjoy the sensual gratifications that he
had indulged in from his youth upwards, glorying in his happy fortune
and despising all mankind. No attempt to assassinate him is recorded,
nor any apprehension of his on that score. He lived and died Sulla the

[Footnote 295: M. Æmilius Lepidus and Q. Lutatius Catulus were consuls
B.C. 78, the year of Sulla's death. Lepidus attempted to overthrow
Sulla's constitution after Sulla's death. He was driven from Rome by
Q. Catulus and Cn. Pompeius Magnus, and died B.C. 77 in Sardinia. This
Lepidus was the father of M. Lepidus the associate of Cæsar Octavianus
and M. Antonius in the triumvirate. (See the Life of M. Antonius.)

Catulus was the son of Lutatius Catulus who was once the colleague of
C. Marius in the consulship. He has received great praise from Cicero.
Sallustius calls him a defender of the aristocratical party, and C.
Licinius Macer, as quoted by Sallustius in his History, says that he
was more cruel than Sulla. We cannot trust Cicero's unqualified praise
of this aristocrat nor the censure of Sallustius. What would Cicero's
character be, if we had it from some one who belonged to the party of
Catiline? and what is it as we know it from his own writings?
Insincere, changing with the times, timid, revengeful, and, when he
was under the influence of fear, cruel.]

[Footnote 296: The Greek word ([Greek: theatron] θέατρον) from which
came the Roman Theatrum and our word Theatre, means a place for an
exhibition or spectacle. The Roman word for dramatic representations
is properly Scena. I do not know when the men and women had separate
seats assigned to them in the theatres. A law of the tribune L.
Roscius Otho B.C. 68 fixed the places in the theatres for the
different classes, and it may have assigned separate seats to the

[Footnote 297: Valeria was the daughter of M. Valerius Messala. She
could not be the sister of Hortensius, for in that case her name would
be Hortensia. The sister of the orator Hortensius married a Valerius

[Footnote 298: Plutarch has translated the Roman word Imperator by the
Greek Autocrator ([Greek: Autokratôr] Αὐτοκράτωρ), "one who has
absolute power;" the title Autocrator under the Empire is the Greek
equivalent of the Roman Imperator, but hardly an equivalent at this
time. (See the Life of Cæsar.)]

[Footnote 299: This was the Quintus Roscius whom Cicero has so often
mentioned and in defence of whom he made a speech which is extant. The
subject of the action against Roscius is not easy to state in a few
words. (See the Argument of P. Manutius, and the Essay of Unterholzner
in Savigny's _Zeitschrift_, &c. i. p. 248.) Roscius is called Comœdus
in the title of Cicero's oration and by Plutarch, but he seems to have
acted tragedy also, as we may collect from some passages in Cicero.
The general name at Rome for an actor was histrio; but the histrio is
also contrasted by Cicero (_Pro Q. Roscio_, c. 10) with the comœdus,
as the inferior compared with the higher professor of the art. Yet
Roscius is sometimes called a histrio. Roscius was a perfect master of
his art, according to Cicero; and his name became proverbial among the
Romans to express a perfect master of any art. (Cicero, _De Oratore_,
i. 28.) Cicero was intimate with Roscius, and learned much from him
that was useful to him as an orator. Roscius wrote a work in which he
compared oratory and acting. His professional gains were immense; and
he had a sharp eye after his own interest, as the speech of Cicero

[Footnote 300: The original is [Greek: lusiodos] λυσιοδός, which is
explained by Aristoxenus, quoted by Athenæus (p. 620), as I have
translated it.]

[Footnote 301: Appian does not mention this disease of Sulla, though
other writers do. Appian merely speaks of his dying of fever. Zachariæ
(Life of Sulla) considers the story of his dying of the lousy disease
as a fabrication of Sulla's enemies, and probably of the Athenians
whom he had handled so cruelly. This disease, called Morbus
Pediculosus or Pthiriasis, is not unknown in modern times. Plutarch
has collected instances from ancient times. Akastus belongs to the
mythic period. Alkman lived in the seventh century B.C.: fragments of
his poetry remain. This Pherekydes was what the Greeks called
Theologus, a man who speculated on things appertaining to the nature
of the gods. He is said to have been a teacher of Pythagoras, which
shows that he belongs to an uncertain period. He was not a
Philosopher; his speculations belonged to those cosmogonical dreams
which precede true philosophy, and begin again when philosophy goes to
sleep, as we see in the speculations of the present day. Kallisthenes
is mentioned in Plutarch's Life of Alexander, c. 55. He was thrown
into prison on a charge of conspiring against Alexander. This Mucius
the lawyer ([Greek: nomikos] νομικός), or jurisconsultus, as a Roman
would call him, is the P. Mucius Scævola who was consul in the year in
which Tiberius Gracchus was murdered.

There were two Servile wars in Sicily. Plutarch alludes to the first
which broke out B.C. 134, and is described in the Excerpts from the
thirty-fourth book of Diodorus. Diodorus says that Eunus died of this
disease in prison at Morgantina in Sicily.]

[Footnote 302: This town, also called Puteoli, the modern Pozzuolo,
was near Sulla's residence. It was originally a Greek town; and
afterwards a Roman colonia. Plutarch simply says that Granius "owed a
public debt." Valerius Maximus (ix. 3) states that Granius was a
Princeps of Puteoli and was slow in getting in the money which had
been promised by the Decuriones of Puteoli towards the rebuilding of
the Capitol. Sulla had said that nothing remained to complete his good
fortune, except to see the Capitol dedicated. No wonder that the delay
of Granius irritated such a man.]

[Footnote 303: The Roman words Postumus, Postuma, seem to have been
generally used to signify a child born after the father's death. But
they also signified a child born after the father had made a will. The
word simply means "last." We use the expression "Posthumous child;"
but the meaning of the word is often misunderstood. (On the effect of
the birth of a Postumus on a father's will, see Smith's _Dictionary of
Antiquities_, art. "Heres, Roman.")

Appian (_Civil Wars_, i. 101) speaks of Sulla's death. He saw his
death coming and hastened to make his will: he died in his sixtieth
year, the most fortunate man in his end and in everything else, both
in name and estimation; if indeed, the historian wisely adds, a man
should think it good fortune to have obtained all his wishes.

Sulla had the following children:--Cornelia, by Ilia; she married Q.
Pompeius Rufus who was murdered B.C. 88, and she may have died before
her father: Cornelius Sulla, a son by Metella, who died, as Plutarch
has said, before his father: Faustus Cornelius Sulla and Fausta
Cornelia, the twin children by Metella, who were both young when their
father died. Faustus lost his life in Africa, when he was fighting on
the Pompeian side. Fausta's first husband was C. Memmius, from whom
she was divorced. She then married T. Annius Milo B.C. 55, who caught
her in the act of adultery with the historian Sallustius, who was
soundly hided by the husband and not let of till he had paid a sum of
money. Sallustius did not forget this.]

[Footnote 304: It was considered a mark of intentional disrespect or
of disapprobation, when a Roman made no mention of his nearest kin or
friends in his will; and in certain cases, the person who was passed
over could by legal process vindicate the imputation thus thrown on
him. (See the article "Testamentum," in Smith's _Dictionary of
Antiquities_, under the head "Querela Inofficiosi.") Sulla did not
like Cn. Pompeius. The only reason for keeping on terms with him was
that he saw his talents and so wished to ally him to his family. For
the same reason Sulla wished to put C. Julius Cæsar to death (Cæsar.
1): he predicted that he would be the ruin of the aristocratical
party. Sulla made his friend Lucius Lucullus the guardian of his
children and intrusted him with the final correction of his Memoirs.
(See the Life of Lucullus, c. 1).]

[Footnote 305: The description of the funeral in Appian (_Civil Wars_,
i. 105, &c.) is a striking picture. Sulla was buried with more than
regal pomp.

Plutarch's Life of Sulla has been spoken of as not one of his best
performances. But so far as concerns Plutarch's object in writing
these Lives, which was to exhibit character, it is as good as any of
his Lives, and it has great merit. Whether his anecdotes are always
authentic is a difficult matter to determine. Sulla had many enemies,
and it is probable that his character in private life has been made
worse than it was. The acts of his public life are well ascertained.
Plutarch has nearly omitted all mention of him as a Reformer of the
Roman Constitution and as a Legislator. Sulla's enactments were not
like the imperial constitutions of a later day, the mere act of one
who held the sovereign power: they were laws (leges) duly passed by
the popular assembly. Yet they were Sulla's work, and the legislative
body merely gave them the formal sanction. The object of Sulla's
constitutional measures was to give an aristocratical character to the
Roman constitution, to restore it to something of its pristine state,
and to weaken the popular party by curtailing the power of the
tribunes. The whole subject has often been treated, but at the
greatest length by Zachariæ, _Lucius Cornelius Sulla, &c._,
Heidelberg, 1834. Zachariæ has drawn the character of Sulla in an
apologetical tone. I think the character of Sulla is drawn better by
Plutarch, and that he has represented him as near to the life as a
biographer can do. Whatever discrepancies there may he between
Plutarch and other authorities, whatever Plutarch may have omitted
which other authorities give, still he has shown us enough to justify
his delineation of the most prominent man in the Republican Period of
Rome, with the exception of the Dictator Cæsar. But to complete the
view of his intellectual character, a survey of Sulla's legislation is
necessary. Sulla was an educated man: he was not a mere soldier like
Marius; he was not only a general; he was a man of letters, a lover of
the arts, a keen discriminator of men and times, a legislator, and a
statesman. He remodelled and reformed the whole criminal law of the
Romans. His constitutional measures were not permanent, but it may
truly be said that he prepared the way for the temporary usurpation of
Cæsar and the permanent establishment of the Roman State under
Augustus. I propose to treat of the Legislation of Sulla in an
Appendix to a future volume.]


Now that we have completed the second of these men's lives, let us
proceed to compare them with one another. Both rose to greatness by
their own exertions, though it was the peculiar glory of Lysander that
all his commands were bestowed upon him by his countrymen of their own
free will and by their deliberate choice, and that he never opposed
their wishes or acted in opposition to the laws of his country. Now,--

     "In revolutions, villains rise to fame,"

and at Rome, at the period of which we are treating, the people were
utterly corrupt and degraded, and frequently changed their masters. We
need not wonder at Sulla's becoming supreme in Rome when such men as
Glaucia and Saturninus drove the Metelli into exile, when the sons of
consuls were butchered in the senate-house, when silver and gold
purchased soldiers and arms, and laws were enacted by men who silenced
their opponents by fire and the sword. I cannot blame a man who rises
to power at such a time as this, but I cannot regard it as any proof
of his being the best man in the state, if the state itself be in such
a condition of disorder. Now Lysander was sent out to undertake the
most important commands at a time when Sparta was well and orderly
governed, and proved himself the greatest of all the foremost men of
his age, the best man of the best regulated state. For this reason
Lysander, though he often laid down his office, was always re-elected
by his countrymen, for the renown of his abilities naturally pointed
him out as the fittest man to command: whereas Sulla, after being once
elected to lead an army, remained the chief man in Rome for ten
years, calling himself sometimes consul and sometimes dictator, but
always remaining a mere military despot.

II. We have related an attempt of Lysander to subvert the constitution
of Sparta; but he proceeded by a much more moderate and law-abiding
means than Sulla, for he meant to gain his point by persuasion, not by
armed force; and besides this he did not intend to destroy the
constitution utterly, but merely to reform the succession to the
throne. And it does not seem contrary to justice, that he who is best
among his peers should govern a city, which ruled in Greece by virtue,
not by nobility of blood.

A huntsman tries to obtain a good hound, and a horseman a good horse,
but does not trouble himself with their offspring, for the offspring
of his horse might turn out to be a mule. Just so in politics, the
important point is, what sort of man a ruler is, not from what family
he is descended. Even the Spartans in some cases dethroned their
kings, because they were not king-like but worthless men. If then vice
be disgraceful even in the nobly born, it follows that virtue does not
depend upon birth, but is honoured for itself.

The crimes of Lysander were committed for, those of Sulla against, his
friends. Indeed, what Lysander did wrong was done chiefly on behalf of
his friends, as, in order to establish them securely in their various
despotic governments, he caused many of their political opponents to
be put to death. Sulla, on the other hand, reduced the army of
Pompeius and the fleet which he himself had given to Dolabella to
command, merely to gratify his private spite. When Lucretius Ofella
sued for the consulship as the reward of many great exploits, he
ordered him to be put to death before his face, and thus made all men
fear and hate him by his barbarous treatment of his most intimate

III. Their several esteem for pleasure and for riches prove still more
clearly that Lysander was born to command men; Sulla to tyrannize over
them. The former, although he rose to such an unparalleled height of
power never was betrayed by it into any acts of insolent caprice, and
there never was a man to whom the well-known proverb

     "Lions at home, but foxes in the field,"

was less applicable, Sulla, on the other hand, did not allow his
poverty when young or his years when old to hinder him in the pursuit
of pleasure, but he enacted laws to regulate the marriages and morals
of his countrymen, and indulged his own amorous propensities in spite
of them, as we read in Sallust's history. In consequence of his vices,
Rome was so drained of money that he was driven to the expedient of
allowing the allied cities to purchase their independence by payment,
and that, too, although he was daily proscribing the richest men and
selling their property by public auction. Yet he wasted money without
limit upon his courtiers. What bounds can we imagine he would set to
his generosity when in his cups, seeing that once, when a great estate
was being sold by public auction, he ordered the auctioneer to knock
it down to a friend of his own for a mere nominal sum, and when some
one else made a higher bid, and the auctioneer called out the
additional sum offered, Sulla flew into a passion and exclaimed: "My
friends, I am very hardly used if I may not dispose of my own plunder
as I please." Now Lysander sent home to his countrymen even what he
had himself received as presents together with the rest of the spoils.
Yet I do not approve of him for so doing: for he did as much harm to
Sparta by bestowing that money upon it as Sulla did harm to Rome by
the money which he took from it: but I mention it as proving how
little he cared for money. Each acted strangely towards his
fellow-countrymen. Sulla regulated and improved the morals of Rome,
although he himself was wasteful and licentious. Lysander filled his
countrymen with the passions from which he himself was free. Thus the
former was worse than the laws which he himself enacted, while the
latter rendered his countrymen worse than himself, as he taught the
Spartans to covet what he had learned to despise. So much for their
political conduct.

IV. In warlike exploits, in brilliancy of generalship, in the number
of victories he won, and the greatness of the dangers which he
encountered, Sulla is immeasurably the greater. Lysander did indeed
twice conquer in a sea-fight, and I will even allow him the credit of
having taken Athens; no difficult matter, no doubt, but one which,
brought him great glory because of its being so famous a city. In
Bœotia and before Haliartus he was perhaps unlucky, yet his conduct in
not waiting for the arrival of the great force under Pausanias, which
was at Platæa, close by, seems like bad generalship. He would not stay
till the main body arrived, but rashly assaulted the city, and fell by
an unknown hand in an insignificant skirmish. He did not meet his
death facing overwhelming odds, like Kleombrotus at Leuktra, nor yet
in the act of rallying his broken forces, or of consummating his
victory, as did Cyrus and Epameinondas. All these died as became
generals and kings; but Lysander ingloriously flung away his life like
any common light infantry soldier, and proved the wisdom of the
ancient Spartans, who always avoided the attack of fortified places,
where the bravest may fall by the hand of the most worthless man, or
even by that of a woman or a child, as Achilles is said to have been
slain by Paris at the gates of Troy. Turning now to Sulla, it is not
easy to enumerate all the pitched battles he won, the thousands of
enemies that he overthrew. He twice took Rome itself by storm, and at
Athens he took Peiræus, not by famine like Lysander, but after a
gigantic struggle, at the end of which he drove Archelaus into the

It is important also to consider who were the generals to whom they
were opposed. It must have been mere child's-play to Lysander to
defeat Antiochus, the pilot of Alkibiades, and to outwit Philokles,
the Athenian mob-orator,

     "A knave, whose tongue was sharper than his sword,"

for they were both of them men whom Mithridates would not have thought
a match for one of his grooms, or Marius for one of his lictors. Not
to mention the rest of the potentates, consuls, prætors and tribunes
with whom Sulla had to contend, what Roman was more to be dreaded than
Marius? What king more powerful than Mithridates? Who was there in
Italy more warlike than Lamponius and Pontius Telesinus? Yet Sulla
drove Marius into exile, crushed the power of Mithridates, and put
Lamponius and Pontius to death.

V. What, however, to my mind incontestably proves Sulla to have been
the greater man of the two, is that, whereas Lysander was always
loyally assisted by his countrymen in all his enterprises, Sulla,
during his campaign in Bœotia, was a mere exile. His enemies were
all-powerful at Rome. They had driven his wife to seek safety in
flight, had pulled down his house, and murdered his friends. Yet he
fought in his country's cause against overwhelming numbers, and gained
the victory. Afterwards, when Mithridates offered to join him and
furnish him with the means of overcoming his private enemies, he
showed no sign of weakness, and would not even speak to him or give
him his hand until he heard him solemnly renounce all claim to Asia
Minor, engage to deliver up his fleet, and to restore Bithynia and
Cappadocia to their native sovereigns. Never did Sulla act in a more
noble and high-minded manner. He preferred his country's good to his
own private advantage, and, like a well-bred hound, never relaxed his
hold till his enemy gave in, and then began to turn his attention to
redressing his own private wrongs.

Perhaps their treatment of Athens gives us some insight into their
respective characters. Although that city sided with Mithridates and
fought to maintain his empire, yet when Sulla had taken it he made it
free and independent. Lysander, on the other hand, felt no pity for
Athens when she fell from her glorious position as the leading state
in Greece, but put an end to her free constitution and established the
cruel and lawless government of the Thirty.

We may now conclude our review of their respective lives by observing
that while Sulla performed greater achievements, Lysander committed
fewer crimes: and that while we assign the palm for moderation and
self-denial to the latter, that for courage and generalship be
bestowed upon the former.


Peripoltas, the soothsayer, after he had brought back King Opheltas
and the people under him to Bœotia, left a family which remained in
high repute for many generations, and chiefly settled in Chæronea,
which was the first city which they conquered when they drove out the
barbarians. As the men of this race were all brave and warlike, they
were almost reduced to extinction in the wars with the Persians, and
in later times with the Gauls during their invasion of Greece, so that
there remained but one male of the family, a youth of the name of
Damon, who was surnamed Peripoltas, and who far surpassed all the
youth of his time in beauty and spirit, although he was uneducated and
harsh-tempered. The commander of a detachment of Roman soldiers who
were quartered during the winter in Chæronea conceived a criminal
passion for Damon, who was then a mere lad, and as he could not effect
his purpose by fair means it was evident that he would not hesitate to
use force, as our city was then much decayed, and was despised, being
so small and poor. Damon, alarmed and irritated at the man's
behaviour, formed a conspiracy with a few young men of his own age,
not many, for secrecy's sake, but consisting of sixteen in all. These
men smeared their faces with soot, excited themselves by strong drink,
and assaulted the Roman officer just at daybreak, while he was
offering sacrifice in the market-place. They killed him and several of
his attendants, and then made their escape out of the city. During the
confusion which followed, the senate of the city of Chæronea assembled
and condemned the conspirators to death--a decree which was intended
to excuse the city to the Romans for what had happened. But that
evening, when the chief magistrates, as is their custom, were dining
together, Damon and his party broke into the senate-house, murdered
them all, and again escaped out of the city. It chanced that at this
time Lucius Lucullus was passing near Chæronea with an armed force. He
halted his troops, and, after investigating the circumstances,
declared that the city was not to blame, but had been the injured
party. As for Damon, who was living by brigandage and plunder of the
country, and who threatened to attack the city itself, the citizens
sent an embassy to him, and passed a decree guaranteeing his safety if
he would return. When he returned they appointed him president of the
gymnasium, and afterwards, while he was being anointed in the public
baths, they murdered him there.

Our ancestors tell us that as ghosts used to appear in that place, and
groans were heard there, the doors of the bath-room were built up; and
even at the present day those who live near the spot imagine that
shadowy forms are to be seen, and confused cries heard. Those of his
family who survive (for there are some descendants of Damon) live
chiefly in Phokis, near the city of Steiris. They call themselves
Asbolomeni, which in the Æolian dialect means "sooty-faced," in memory
of Damon having smeared his face with soot when he committed his

II. Now the city of Orchomenus, which is next to that of Chæronea, was
at variance with it, and hired a Roman informer, who indicted the city
for the murder of those persons killed by Damon, just as if it were a
man. The trial was appointed to take place before the prætor of
Macedonia, for at that time the Romans did not appoint prætors of
Greece. When in court the representatives of Chæronea appealed to
Lucullus to testify to their innocence, and he, when applied to by the
prætor, wrote a letter telling the entire truth of the story, which
obtained an acquittal for the people of Chæronea. Thus narrowly did
the city escape utter destruction. The citizens showed their gratitude
to Lucullus by erecting a marble statue to him in the market-place,
beside that of Dionysus; and although I live at a much later period,
yet I think it my duty to show my gratitude to him also, as I too have
benefited by his intercession. I intend therefore to describe his
achievements in my Parallel Lives, and thus raise a much more glorious
monument to his memory by describing his real disposition and
character, than any statue can be, which merely records his face and
form. It will be sufficient for me if I show that his memory is held
in grateful remembrance, for he himself would be the first to refuse
to be rewarded for the true testimony which he bore to us by a
fictitious narrative of his exploits. We think it right that portrait
painters when engaged in painting a handsome face should neither omit
nor exaggerate its defects; for the former method would destroy the
likeness and the latter the beauty of the picture. In like manner, as
it is hard, or rather impossible, to find a man whose life is entirely
free from blame, it becomes our duty to relate their noble actions
with minute exactitude, regarding them as illustrative of true
character, whilst, whenever either a man's personal feelings or
political exigencies may have led him to commit mistakes and crimes,
we must regard his conduct more as a temporary lapse from virtue than
as disclosing any innate wickedness of disposition, and we must not
dwell with needless emphasis on his failings, if only to save our
common human nature from the reproach of being unable to produce a man
of unalloyed goodness and virtue.

III. It appears to me that the life of Lucullus furnishes a good
parallel to that of Kimon. Both were soldiers, and distinguished
themselves against the barbarians; both were moderate politicians and
afforded their countrymen a brief period of repose from the violence
of party strife, and both of them won famous victories. No Greek
before Kimon, and no Roman before Lucullus, waged war at such a
distance from home, if we except the legends of Herakles and Dionysus,
and the vague accounts which we have received by tradition of the
travels and exploits of Perseus in Ethiopia, Media, and Armenia, and
of the expedition of Jason to recover the Golden Fleece.

Another point in which they agree is the incomplete nature of the
success which they obtained, for they both inflicted severe losses on
their enemies, but neither completely crushed them. Moreover we find
in each of them the same generous hospitality, and the same luxurious
splendour of living. Their other points of resemblance the reader may
easily discover for himself by a comparison of their respective lives.

IV. Kimon was the son of Miltiades by his wife Hegesipyle, a lady of
Thracian descent, being the daughter of King Olorus, as we learn from
the poems addressed to Kimon himself by Archelaus and Melanthius.
Thucydides the historian also was connected with Kimon's family, as
the name of Olorus had descended to his father,[306] who also
inherited gold mines in Thrace from his ancestors there. Thucydides is
said to have died at Skapte Hyle, a small town in Thrace, near the
gold mines. His remains were conveyed to Athens and deposited in the
cemetery belonging to the family of Kimon, where his tomb is now to be
seen, next to that of Elpinike, Kimon's sister. However, Thucydides
belonged to the township of Halimus, and the family of Miltiades to
that of Lakia.

Miltiades was condemned by the Athenians to pay a fine of fifty
talents, and being unable to do so, died in prison, leaving Kimon and
his sister Elpinike, who were then quite young children. Kimon passed
the earlier part of his life in obscurity, and was not regarded
favourably by the Athenians, who thought that he was disorderly and
given to wine, and altogether resembled his grandfather Kimon, who was
called Koalemus because of his stupidity.

Stesimbrotus of Thasos, who was a contemporary of Kimon, tells us that
he never was taught music or any of the other usual accomplishments of
a Greek gentleman, and that he had none of the smartness and readiness
of speech so common at Athens, but that he was of a noble, truthful
nature, and more like a Dorian of the Peloponnesus than an Athenian,

     "Rough, unpretending, but a friend in need,"

as Euripides says of Herakles, which line we may well apply to Kimon
according to the account of him given by Stesimbrotus. While he was
still young he was accused of incest with his sister. Indeed Elpinike
is not recorded as having been a respectable woman in other respects,
as she carried on an intrigue with Polygnotus the painter; and
therefore it is said that when he painted the colonnade which was then
called the Peisianakteum, which is now called the Painted Porch, he
introduced the portrait of Elpinike as Laodike, one of the Trojan
ladies. Polygnotus was a man of noble birth, and he did not execute
his paintings for money, but gratis, from his wish to do honour to his
city. This we learn from the historians and from the poet Melanthius,
who wrote--

    "With deeds of heroes old,
      He made our city gay,
    In market-place and porch,
      Himself the cost did pay."

Some historians tell us that Elpinike was openly married to Kimon and
lived as his wife, because she was too poor to obtain a husband worthy
of her noble birth, but that at length Kallias, one of the richest men
in Athens, fell in love with her, and offered to pay off the fine
which had been imposed upon her father, by which means he won her
consent, and Kimon gave her away to Kallias as his wife. Kimon indeed
seems to have been of an amorous temperament, for Asterie, a lady of
Salamis, and one Mnestra are mentioned by the poet Melanthius, in some
playful verses he wrote upon Kimon, as being beloved by him; and we
know that he was passionately fond of Isodike, the daughter of
Euryptolemus the son of Megakles, who was his lawful wife, and that he
was terribly afflicted by her death, to judge by the elegiac poem
which was written to console him, of which Panætius the philosopher
very reasonably conjectures Archelaus to have been the author.

V. All the rest that we know of Kimon is to his honour. He was as
brave as Miltiades, as clever as Themistokles, and more
straightforward than either. Nor was he inferior to either of them in
military skill, while he far surpassed them in political sagacity,
even when he was quite a young man, and without any experience of
war. For instance, when Themistokles, at the time of the Persian
invasion, urged the Athenians to abandon their city and territory, and
resist the enemy at Salamis, on board of their fleet, while the
greater part of the citizens were struck with astonishment at so
daring a proposal, Kimon was seen with a cheerful countenance walking
through the Kerameikus with his friends, carrying in his hand his
horse's bridle, which he was going to offer up to the goddess Athena
in the Acropolis, in token that at that crisis the city did not need
horsemen so much as sailors. He hung up the bridle as a votive
offering in the temple, and, taking down one of the shields which hung
there, walked with it down towards the sea, thereby causing many of
his countrymen to take courage and recover their spirits. He was not
an ill-looking man, as Ion the poet says, but tall, and with a thick
curly head of hair. As he proved himself a brave man in action he
quickly became popular and renowned in Athens, and many flocked round
him, urging him to emulate the glories won by his father at Marathon.
The people gladly welcomed him on his first entrance into political
life, for they were weary of Themistokles, and were well pleased to
bestow the highest honours in the state upon one whose simple and
unaffected goodness of heart had made him a universal favourite. He
was greatly indebted for his success to the support given him by
Aristeides, who early perceived his good qualities, and endeavoured to
set him up as an opponent to the rash projects and crooked policy of

VI. When, after the repulse of the Persian invasion, Kimon was sent as
general of the Athenian forces to operate against the enemy in Asia,
acting under the orders of Pausanias, as the Athenians had not then
acquired their supremacy at sea, the troops whom he commanded were
distinguished by the splendour of their dress and arms, and the
exactness of their discipline. Pausanias at this time was carrying on
a treasonable correspondence with the king of Persia, and treated the
allied Greek troops with harshness and wanton insolence, the offspring
of unlimited power. Kimon, on the other hand, punished offenders
leniently, treated all alike with kindness and condescension, and
became in all but name the chief of the Greek forces in Asia, a
position which he gained, not by force of arms, but by amiability of
character. Most of the allies transferred their allegiance to Kimon
and Aristeides, through disgust at the cruelty and arrogance of
Pausanias. There is a tradition that Pausanias when at Byzantium
became enamoured of Kleonike, the daughter of one of the leading
citizens there. He demanded that she should be brought to his chamber,
and her wretched parents dared not disobey the tyrant's order. From
feelings of modesty Kleonike entreated the attendants at the door of
his bedchamber to extinguish all the lights, and she then silently in
the darkness approached the bed where Pausanias lay asleep. But she
stumbled and overset the lamp.[307] He, awakened by the noise,
snatched up his dagger, and imagining that some enemy was coming to
assassinate him, stabbed the girl with it, wounding her mortally. It
is said that after this her spirit would never let Pausanias rest, but
nightly appeared to him, angrily reciting the verse--

     "Go, meet thy doom; pride leadeth men to sin."

The conduct of Pausanias in this matter so enraged the allied Greeks
that, under Kimon's command, they besieged him in Byzantium, which
they took by assault. He, however, escaped, and, it is said, fled for
refuge to the oracle of the dead at Heraklea, where he called up the
soul of Kleonike and besought her to pardon him. She appeared, and
told him that if he went to Sparta he would soon be relieved of all
his troubles, an enigmatical sentence alluding, it is supposed, to his
approaching death there.

VII. Kimon, who was now commander-in-chief, sailed to Thrace, as he
heard that the Persians, led by certain nobles nearly related to
Xerxes himself, had captured the city of Eion on the river Strymon,
and were making war upon the neighbouring Greek cities. His first act
on landing was to defeat the Persians, and shut them up in the city.
He next drove away the Thracian tribes beyond the Strymon, who
supplied the garrison with provisions, and by carefully watching the
country round he reduced the city to such straits that Boutes, the
Persian general, perceiving that escape was impossible, set it on
fire, and himself with his friends and property perished in the
flames. When Kimon took the city he found nothing in it of any value,
as everything had been destroyed in the fire together with the Persian
garrison; but as the country was beautiful and fertile, he made it an
Athenian colony. Three stone statues of Hermes at Athens were now set
up by a decree of the people, on the first of which is written:--

    "Brave men were they, who, by the Strymon fair,
    First taught the haughty Persians to despair;"

and on the second--

    "Their mighty chiefs to thank and praise,
    The Athenians do these columns raise;
    That generations yet to come,
    May fight as well for hearth and home;"

and on the third--

    "Mnestheus from Athens led our hosts of yore,
    With Agamemnon, to the Trojan shore;
    Than whom no chief knew better to array,
    The mail-clad Greeks, when mustering for the fray:
    Thus Homer sung; and Athens now, as then,
    Doth bear away the palm for ruling men."

VIII. These verses, although Kimon's name is nowhere mentioned in
them, appeared to the men of that time excessively adulatory. Neither
Themistokles nor Miltiades had ever been so honoured. When Miltiades
demanded the honour of an olive crown, Sophanes of Dekeleia rose up in
the public assembly and said,--"Miltiades, when you have fought and
conquered the barbarians alone, you may ask to be honoured alone, but
not before"--a harsh speech, but one which perfectly expressed the
feeling of the people.

Why, then, were the Athenians so charmed with Kimon's exploit? The
reason probably was because their other commanders had merely defended
them from attack, while under him they had been able themselves to
attack the enemy, and had moreover won territory near Eion, and
founded the colony of Amphipolis. Kimon also led a colony to Skyros,
which island was taken by Kimon on the following pretext.

The original inhabitants were Dolopes,[308] who were bad farmers, and
lived chiefly by piracy. Emboldened by success they even began to
plunder the strangers who came into their ports, and at last robbed
and imprisoned some Thessalian merchants whose ships were anchored at
Ktesium. The merchants escaped from prison, and laid a complaint
against the people of Skyros before the Amphiktyonic council. The
people refused to pay the fine imposed by the council, and said that
it ought to be paid by those alone who had shared the plunder. These
men, in terror for their ill-gotten gains, at once opened a
correspondence with Kimon, and offered to betray the island into his
hands if he would appear before it with an Athenian fleet. Thus Kimon
was enabled to make himself master of Skyros, where he expelled the
Dolopes and put an end to their piracies; after which, as he learned
that in ancient times the hero Theseus, the son of Ægeus, after he had
been driven out of Athens, took refuge at Skyros, and was murdered
there by Lykomedes, who feared him, he endeavoured to discover where
he was buried. Indeed there was an oracle which commanded the
Athenians to bring back the bones of Theseus to their city and pay
them fitting honours, but they knew not where they lay, as the people
of Skyros did not admit that they possessed them, and refused to allow
the Athenians to search for them. Great interest was now manifested in
the search, and after his sepulchre[309] had with great difficulty
been discovered, Kimon placed the remains of the hero on board of his
own ship and brought them back to Athens, from which they had been
absent four hundred years. This act made him very popular with the
people of Athens, one mark of which is to be found in his decision in
the case of the rival tragic poets. When Sophokles produced his first
play, being then very young, Aphepsion,[310] the archon, seeing that
party feeling ran high among the spectators, would not cast lots to
decide who were to be the judges, but when Kimon with the other nine
generals, his colleagues, entered to make the usual libation to the
god, he refused to allow them to depart, but put them on their oath,
and forced them to sit as judges, they being ten in number, one from
each of the ten tribes. The excitement of the contest was much
increased by the high position of the judges. The prize was adjudged
to Sophokles, and it is said that Æschylus was so grieved and enraged
at his failure that he shortly afterwards left Athens and retired to
Sicily, where he died, and was buried near the city of Gela.

IX. Ion tells us that when quite a boy he came from Chios to Athens,
and met Kimon at supper in the house of Laomedon. After supper he was
asked to sing, and he sang well. The guests all praised him, and said
that he was a cleverer man than Themistokles; for Themistokles was
wont to say that he did not know how to sing or to play the harp, but
that he knew how to make a state rich and great. Afterwards the
conversation turned upon Kimon's exploits, and each mentioned what he
thought the most important. Hereupon Kimon himself described what he
considered to be the cleverest thing he had ever done. After the
capture of Sestos and Byzantium by the Athenians and their allies,
there were a great number of Persians taken prisoners, whom the allies
desired Kimon to divide amongst them. He placed the prisoners on one
side, and all their clothes and jewellery on the other, and offered
the allies their choice between the two. They complained that he had
made an unequal division, but he bade them take whichever they
pleased, assuring them that the Athenians would willingly take
whichever part they rejected. By the advice of Herophytus of Samos,
who urged them to take the property of the Persians, rather than the
Persians themselves, the allies took the clothes and jewels. At this
Kimon was thought to have made a most ridiculous division of the
spoil, as the allies went swaggering about with gold bracelets,
armlets, and necklaces, dressed in Median robes of rich purple, while
the Athenians possessed only the naked bodies of men who were very
unfit for labour. Shortly afterwards, however, the friends and
relations of the captives came down to the Athenian camp from Phrygia
and Lydia, and ransomed each of them for great sums of money, so that
Kimon was able to give his fleet four months' pay, and also to remit a
large sum to Athens, out of the money paid for their ransom.

X. The money which Kimon had honourably gained in the war he spent yet
more honourably upon his countrymen. He took down the fences round his
fields, that both strangers and needy Athenians might help themselves
to his crops and fruit. He provided daily a plain but plentiful table,
at which any poor Athenian was welcome to dine, so that he might live
at his ease, and be able to devote all his attention to public
matters. Aristotle tells us that it was not for all the Athenians, but
only for the Lakiadæ, or members of his own township, that he kept
this public table. He used to be attended by young men dressed in rich
cloaks, who, if he met any elderly citizen poorly clothed, would
exchange cloaks with the old man; and this was thought to be a very
noble act. The same young men carried pockets full of small change and
would silently put money into the hands of the better class of poor in
the market-place. All this is alluded to by Kratinus, the comic poet,
in the following passage from his play of the Archilochi:

    "I too, Metrobius, hoped to end
    My days with him, my noblest friend,
    Kimon, of all the Greeks the best,
    And, richly feasting, sink to rest.
    But now he's gone, and I remain unblest."

Moreover, Gorgias of Leontini says that Kimon acquired wealth in order
to use it, and used it so as to gain honour: while Kritias, who was
one of the Thirty, in his poems wishes to be

    "Rich as the Skopads, and as Kimon great,
    And like Agesilaus fortunate."

Indeed, Lichas the Spartan became renowned throughout Greece for
nothing except having entertained all the strangers who were present
at the festival of the Gymnopædia: while the profuse hospitality of
Kimon, both to strangers and his own countrymen, far surpassed even
the old Athenian traditions of the heroes of olden days; for though
the city justly boasts that they taught the rest of the Greeks to sow
corn, to discover springs of water, and to kindle fire, yet Kimon, by
keeping open house for all his countrymen, and allowing them to share
his crops in the country, and permitting his friends to partake of all
the fruits of the earth with him in their season, seemed really to
have brought back the golden age. If any scurrilous tongues hinted
that it was merely to gain popularity and to curry favour with the
people that he did these things, their slanders were silenced at once
by Kimon's personal tastes and habits, which were entirely
aristocratic and Spartan. He joined Aristeides in opposing
Themistokles when the latter courted the mob to an unseemly extent,
opposed Ephialtes when, to please the populace, he dissolved the
senate of the Areopagus, and, at a time when all other men except
Aristeides and Ephialtes were gorged with the plunder of the public
treasury, kept his own hands clean, and always maintained the
reputation of an incorruptible and impartial statesman. It is related
that one Rhœsakes, a Persian, who had revolted from the king, came to
Athens with a large sum of money, and being much pestered by the
mercenary politicians there, took refuge in the house of Kimon, where
he placed two bowls beside the door-posts, one of which he filled with
gold, and the other with silver darics.[311] Kimon smiled at this, and
inquired whether he wished him to be his friend, or his hired agent;
and when the Persian answered that he wished him to be a friend, he
said, "Then take this money away; for if I am your friend I shall be
able to ask you for it when I want it."

XI. When the allies of Athens, though they continued to pay their
contribution towards the war against Persia, refused to furnish men
and ships for it, and would not go on military expeditions any longer,
because they were tired of war and wished to cultivate their fields
and live in peace, now that the Persians no longer threatened them,
the other Athenian generals endeavoured to force them into performing
their duties, and by taking legal proceedings against the defaulters
and imposing fines upon them, made the Athenian empire very much
disliked. Kimon, on the other hand, never forced any one to serve, but
took an equivalent in money from those who were unwilling to serve in
person, and took their ships without crews, permitting them to stay at
home and enjoy repose, and by their luxury and folly convert
themselves into farmers and merchants, losing all their ancient
warlike spirit and skill, while by exercising many of the Athenians in
turn in campaigns and military expeditions, he rendered them the
masters of the allies by means of the very money which they themselves
supplied. The allies very naturally began to fear and to look up to
men who were always at sea, and accustomed to the use of arms, living
as soldiers on the profits of their own unwarlike leisure, and thus by
degrees, instead of independent allies, they sank into the position of
tributaries and subjects.

XII. Moreover, no one contributed so powerfully as Kimon to the
humbling of the king of Persia; for Kimon would not relax his pursuit
of him when he retreated from Greece, but hung on the rear of the
barbarian army and would not allow them any breathing-time for
rallying their forces. He sacked several cities and laid waste their
territory, and induced many others to join the Greeks, so that he
drove the Persians entirely out of Asia Minor, from Ionia to
Pamphylia. Learning that the Persian leaders with a large army and
fleet were lying in wait for him in Pamphylia, and wishing to rid the
seas of them as far as the Chelidoniæ, or Swallow Islands, he set sail
from Knidus and the Triopian Cape with a fleet of two hundred
triremes, whose crews had been excellently trained to speed and
swiftness of manœuvring by Themistokles, while he had himself improved
their build by giving them a greater width and extent of upper deck,
so that they might afford standing-room for a greater number of
fighting men. On reaching the city of Phaselis, as the inhabitants,
although of Greek origin, refused him admittance, and preferred to
remain faithful to Persia, he ravaged their territory and assaulted
the fortifications. However, the Chians who were serving in Kimon's
army, as their city had always been on friendly terms with the people
of Phaselis, contrived to pacify his anger, and by shooting arrows
into the town with letters wrapped round them, conveyed intelligence
of this to the inhabitants. Finally, they agreed to pay the sum of ten
talents, and to join the campaign against the Persians. We are told by
the historian Ephorus that the Persian fleet was commanded by
Tithraustes, and the land army by Pherendates. Kallisthenes, however,
says that the supreme command was entrusted to Ariomandes, the son of
Gobryas, who kept the fleet idle near the river Eurymedon, not wishing
to risk an engagement with the Greeks, but waiting for the arrival of
a reinforcement of eighty Phœnician ships from Cyprus. Kimon, wishing
to anticipate this accession of strength, put to sea, determined to
force the enemy to fight. The Persian fleet at first, to avoid an
engagement, retired into the river Eurymedon, but as the Athenians
advanced they came out again and ranged themselves in order of battle.
Their fleet, according to the historian Phanodemus, consisted of six
hundred ships, but, according to Ephorus, of three hundred and fifty.
Yet this great armament offered no effective resistance, but turned
and fled almost as soon as the Athenians attacked. Such as were able
ran their ships ashore and took refuge with the land army, which was
drawn up in battle array close by, while the rest were destroyed,
crews and all, by the Athenians. The number of the Persian ships is
proved to have been very great, by the fact that, although many
escaped, and many were sunk, yet the Athenians captured two hundred

XIII. The land forces now moved down to the beach, and it appeared to
Kimon that it would be a hazardous undertaking to effect a landing,
and to lead his tired men to attack fresh troops, who also had an
immense superiority over them in numbers. Yet as he saw that the
Greeks were excited by their victory, and were eager to join battle
with the Persian army, he disembarked his heavy-armed troops, who,
warm as they were from the sea-fight, raised a loud shout, and charged
the enemy at a run. The Persian array met them front to front, and an
obstinate battle took place, in which many distinguished Athenians
fell. At length the Persians were defeated with great slaughter, and
the Athenians gained an immense booty from the plunder of the tents
and the bodies of the slain.

Kimon, having thus, like a well-trained athlete at the games, carried
off two victories in one day, surpassing that of Salamis by sea, and
that of Platæa by land, proceeded to improve his success by attacking
the Phœnician ships also. Hearing that they were at Hydrum, he sailed
thither in haste, before any news had reached the Phœnicians about the
defeat of their main body, so that they were in anxious suspense, and
on the approach of the Athenians were seized with a sudden panic. All
their ships were destroyed, and nearly all their crews perished with
them. This blow so humbled the pride of the king of Persia, that he
afterwards signed that famous treaty in which he engaged not to
approach nearer to the Greek seas than a horseman could ride in one
day, and not to allow a single one of his ships of war to appear
between the Kyanean[312] and Chelidonian Islands. Yet the historian
Kallisthenes tells us that the Persians never made a treaty to this
effect, but that they acted thus in consequence of the terror which
Kimon had inspired by his victory; and that they removed so far from
Greece, that Perikles with fifty ships, and Ephialtes with only
thirty, sailed far beyond the Chelidonian Islands and never met with
any Persian vessels. However, in the collection of Athenian decrees
made by Kraterus, there is a copy of the articles of this treaty,
which he mentions as though it really existed. It is said that on this
occasion the Athenians erected an altar to Peace, and paid great
honours to Kallias, who negotiated the treaty. So much money was
raised by the sale of the captives and spoils taken in the war, that
besides what was reserved for other occasions, the Athenians were able
to build the wall on the south side of the Acropolis from the treasure
gained in this campaign. We are also told that at this time the
foundations of the Long Walls were laid. These walls, which were also
called the Legs, were finished afterwards, but the foundations, which
had to be carried over marshy places, were securely laid, the marsh
being filled up with chalk and large stones, entirely at Kimon's
expense. He also was the first to adorn the city with those shady
public walks which shortly afterwards became so popular with the
Athenians, for he planted rows of plane-trees in the market-place, and
transformed the Academy from a dry and barren wilderness into a
well-watered grove, full of tastefully-kept paths and pleasant walks
under the shade of fine trees.

XIV. As some of the Persians, despising Kimon, who had set out from
Athens with a very small fleet, refused to leave the Chersonese, and
invited the Thracian tribes of the interior to assist them in
maintaining their position, he attacked them with four ships only,
took thirteen of the enemy's, drove out the Persians, defeated the
Thracians, and reconquered the Chersonese for Athens. After this he
defeated in a sea-fight the people of Thasos, who had revolted from
Athens, captured thirty-three of their ships, took their city by
storm, and annexed to Athens the district of the mainland containing
the gold mines, which had belonged to the Thasians. From Thasos he
might easily have invaded Macedonia and inflicted great damage upon
that country, but he refrained from doing so. In consequence of this
he was accused of having been bribed by Alexander, the king of
Macedonia, and his enemies at home impeached him on that charge. In
his speech in his own defence he reminded the court that he was the
_proxenus_,[313] or resident agent at Athens, not of the rich Ionians
or Thessalians, as some other Athenians were, with a view to their own
profit and influence, but of the Lacedæmonians, a people whoso frugal
habits he had always been eager and proud to imitate; so that he
himself cared nothing for wealth, but loved to enrich the state with
money taken from its enemies. During this trial, Stesimbrotus informs
us that Elpinike, Kimon's sister, came to plead her brother's cause
with Perikles, the bitterest of his opponents, and that Perikles
answered with a smile, "Elpinike, you are too old to meddle in affairs
of this sort." But for all that, in the trial he treated Kimon far
more gently than any of his other accusers, and spoke only once, for
form's sake.

XV. Thus was Kimon acquitted; and during the remainder of his stay in
Athens he continued to oppose the encroachments of the people, who
were endeavouring to make themselves the source of all political
power. When, however, he started again on foreign service, the
populace finally succeeded in overthrowing the old Athenian
constitution, and under the guidance of Ephialtes greatly curtailed
the jurisdiction of the Senate of the Areopagus, and turned Athens
into a pure democracy. At this time also Perikles was rising to power
as a liberal politician. Kimon, on his return, was disgusted at the
degradation of the ancient Senate of the Areopagus, and began to
intrigue with a view of restoring the aristocratic constitution of
Kleisthenes. This called down upon him a storm of abuse from the
popular party, who brought up again the old scandals about his sister,
and charged him with partiality for the Lacedæmonians. These
imputations are alluded to in the hackneyed lines of Eupolis:

    "Not a villain beyond measure,
    Only fond of drink and pleasure;
    Oft he slept in Sparta's town,
    And left his sister here alone."

If, however, he really was a careless drunkard, and yet took so many
cities and won so many battles, it is clear that if he had been sober
and diligent he would have surpassed the most glorious achievements of
any Greek, either before or since.

XVI. He was always fond of the Lacedæmonians, and named one of his
twin sons Lacedæmonius, and the other Eleius. These children were
borne to him by his wife Kleitoria, according to the historian
Stesimbrotus; and consequently Perikles frequently reproached them
with the low birth of their mother. But Diodorus the geographer says
that these two and the third, Thessalus, were all the children of
Kimon by Isodike, the daughter of Euryptolemus the son of Megakles.
Much of Kimon's political influence was due to the fact that the
Lacedæmonians were bitterly hostile to Themistokles, and wished to
make him, young as he was, into a powerful leader of the opposite
party at Athens. The Athenians at first viewed his Spartan
partialities without dissatisfaction, especially as they gained
considerable advantages by them; for during the early days of their
empire when they first began to extend and consolidate their power,
they were enabled to do so without rousing the jealousy of Sparta, in
consequence of the popularity of Kimon with the Lacedæmonians. Most
international questions were settled by his means, as he dealt
generously with the subject states, and was viewed with especial
favour by the Lacedæmonians.

Afterwards, when the Athenians became more powerful, they viewed with
dislike Kimon's excessive love for Sparta. He was never weary of
singing the praises of Lacedæmon to the Athenians, and especially, we
are told by Stesimbrotus, when he wished to reproach them, or to
encourage them to do bettor, he used to say, "That is not how the
Lacedæmonians do it." This habit caused many Athenians to regard him
with jealousy and dislike: but the most important ground of accusation
against him was the following. In the fourth year of the reign of king
Archidamus, the son of Zeuxidamus, at Sparta, the Lacedæmonian
territory was visited by the greatest earthquake ever known there. The
earth opened in many places, some of the crags of Taygetus fell down,
and the whole city was destroyed, with the exception of five houses.
It is related that while the boys and young men were practising
gymnastics in the palæstra, a hare ran into the building, and that the
boys, naked and anointed as they were, immediately ran out in pursuit
of it, while the gymnasium shortly afterwards fell upon the young men
who remained and killed them all. Their tomb is at this day called
Seismatia, that is, the tomb of those who perished in the earthquake.

Archidamus, perceiving the great dangers with which this disaster
menaced the state, and observing that the citizens thought of nothing
but saving their most valuable property from the wreck, ordered the
trumpet to sound, as though the enemy were about to attack, and made
every Spartan get under arms and rally round him as quickly as
possible. This measure saved Sparta; for the helots had gathered
together from the country round about, and were upon the point of
falling upon the survivors. Finding them armed and drawn up in order,
they retreated to the neighbouring cities, and openly made war against
the Spartans, having won over no small number of the Periœki to their
side, while the Messenians also joined them in attacking their own old
enemies. At this crisis the Spartans sent Perikleides as an ambassador
to Athens to demand assistance. This is the man whom Aristophanes
ridiculed in his play as sitting by the altars as a suppliant, with a
pale face and a scarlet cloak, begging for an army.

We are told by Kritias that Ephialtes vigorously opposed his mission,
and besought the Athenians not to assist in restoring a state which
was the rival of Athens, but to let the pride of Sparta be crushed and
trampled in the dust. Kimon, on the other hand, postponing the
interests of his own country to those of the Lacedæmonians, persuaded
the people of Athens to march a numerous body of men to assist them.
The historian Ion has preserved the argument which had most effect
upon the Athenians, and says that Kimon besought them not to endure to
see Greece lame of one foot and Athens pulling without her

XVII. When Kimon with his relieving force marched to help the
Lacedæmonians, he passed through the territory of Corinth. Lachartus
objected to this, saying that he had marched in before he had asked
leave of the Corinthians, and reminded him that when men knock at a
door, they do not enter before the master of the house invites them to
come in. Kimon answered, "Lachartus, you Corinthians do not knock at
the doors of the cities of Megara or of Kleonæ, but break down the
door and force your way in by the right of the stronger, just as we
are doing now." By this timely show of spirit he silenced the
Corinthians, and passed through the territory of Corinth with his

The Lacedæmonians invited the aid of the Athenians a second time, to
assist in the reduction of the fortress of Ithomé, which was held by
the Messenians and revolted helots; but when they arrived the
Lacedæmonians feared so brilliant and courageous a force, and sent
them back, accusing them of revolutionary ideas, although they did not
treat any other of their allies in this manner. The Athenians retired,
in great anger at the treatment they had received, and no longer
restrained their hatred of all who favoured the Lacedæmonians. On some
trifling pretext they ostracised Kimon, condemning him to exile for
ten years, which is the appointed time for those suffering from
ostracism. During this time the Lacedæmonians, after setting Delphi
free from the Phokians, encamped at Tanagra, and fought a battle there
with the Athenians, who came out to meet them. On this occasion Kimon
appeared, fully armed, and took his place in the ranks among his
fellow-tribesmen. However, the senate of the five hundred hearing of
this, became alarmed, and, as his enemies declared that his only
object was to create confusion during the battle and so to betray his
countrymen to the Lacedæmonians, they sent orders to the generals,
forbidding them to receive him. Upon this he went away, after having
begged Euthippus the Anaphlystian and those of his friends who were
especially suspected of Laconian leanings, to fight bravely, and by
their deeds to efface this suspicion from the minds of their
fellow-citizens. They took Kimon's armour, and set it up in their
ranks; and then, fighting in one body round it with desperate courage,
they all fell, one hundred in number, causing great grief to the
Athenians for their loss, and for the unmerited accusation which had
been brought against them. This event caused a revulsion of popular
feeling in favour of Kimon, when the Athenians remembered how much
they owed him, and reflected upon the straits to which they were now
reduced, as they had been defeated in a great battle at Tanagra, and
expected that during the summer Attica would be invaded by the
Lacedæmonians. They now recalled Kimon from exile; and Perikles
himself brought forward the decree for his restoration. So moderate
were the party-leaders of that time, and willing to subordinate their
own differences to the common welfare of their country.

XVIII. On his return Kimon at once put an end to the war, and
reconciled the two states. After the peace had been concluded,
however, he saw that the Athenians were unable to remain quiet, but
were eager to increase their empire by foreign conquest. In order,
therefore, to prevent their quarrelling with any other Greek state, or
cruising with a large fleet among the islands and the Peloponnesian
coast, and so becoming entangled in some petty war, he manned a fleet
of two hundred triremes with the intention of sailing a second time to
Cyprus and Egypt, wishing both to train the Athenians to fight against
barbarians, and also to gain legitimate advantages for Athens by the
plunder of her natural enemies. When all was ready, and the men were
about to embark, Kimon dreamed that he saw an angry dog barking at
him, and that in the midst of its barking it spoke with a human voice,

    "Go, for thou shalt ever be
    Loved both by my whelps and me."

This vision was very hard to interpret. Astyphilus of Poseidonia, a
soothsayer and an intimate friend of Kimon's, told him that it
portended his death, on the following grounds. The dog is the enemy of
the man at whom he barks: now a man is never so much loved by his
enemies as when he is dead; and the mixture of the voice, being partly
that of a dog and partly that of a man, signifies the Persians, as
their army was composed partly of Greeks and partly of barbarians.
After this dream Kimon sacrificed to Dionysus. The prophet cut up the
victim, and the blood as it congealed was carried by numbers of ants
towards Kimon, so that his great toe was covered with it before he
noticed them. At the moment when Kimon observed this, the priest came
up to him to tell him that the liver of the victim was defective.
However, he could not avoid going on the expedition, and sailed
forthwith. He despatched sixty of his ships to Egypt, but kept the
rest with him. He conquered the Phœnician fleet in a sea-fight,
recovered the cities of Cilicia, and began to meditate an attack upon
those of Egypt, as his object was nothing less than the utter
destruction of the Persian empire, especially when he learned that
Themistokles had risen to great eminence among the Persians, and had
undertaken to command their army in a campaign against Greece. It is
said that one of the chief reasons which caused Themistokles to
despair of success was his conviction that he could not surpass the
courage and good fortune of Kimon. He therefore committed suicide,
while Kimon, who was now revolving immense schemes of conquest as he
lay at Cyprus with his fleet, sent an embassy to the shrine of Ammon
to ask something secret. What it was no one ever knew, for the god
made no response, but as soon as the messengers arrived bade them
return, as Kimon was already with him. On hearing this, they retraced
their steps to the sea, and when they reached the headquarters of the
Greek force, which was then in Egypt, they heard that Kimon was dead.
On counting back the days to that on which they received the response,
they perceived that the god had alluded to Kimon's death when he said
that he was with him, meaning that he was among the gods.

XIX. According to most authorities Kimon died of sickness during a
siege; but some writers say that he died of a wound which he received
in a battle with the Persians. When dying he ordered his friends to
conceal his death, but at once to embark the army and sail home. This
was effected, and we are told by Phanodemus that no one, either of the
enemy or of the Athenian allies conceived any suspicion that Kimon had
ceased to command the forces until after he had been dead for thirty
days. After his death no great success was won by any Greek general
over the Persians, but they were all incited by their popular orators
and the war-party to fight with one another, which led to the great
Peloponnesian war. This afforded a long breathing-time to the
Persians, and wrought terrible havoc with the resources of Greece.
Many years afterwards Agesilaus invaded Asia, and carried on war for a
short time against the Persian commanders who were nearest the coast.
Yet he also effected nothing of any importance, and being recalled to
Greece by the internal troubles of that country, left Persia drawing
tribute from all the Greek cities and friendly districts of the
sea-coast, although in the time of Kimon no Persian tax-gatherer or
Persian horseman was ever seen within a distance of four hundred
stades (fifty miles) from the sea.

His remains were brought back to Attica, as is proved by the monument
which to this day is known as the "Tomb of Kimon." The people of
Kitium,[314] also, however, pay respect to a tomb, said to be that of
Kimon, according to the tale of the orator Nausikrates, who informs us
that once during a season of pestilence and scarcity the people of
Kitium were ordered by an oracle not to neglect Kimon, but to pay him
honour and respect him as a superior being. Such a man as this was the
Greek general.


[Footnote 306: In Greece, where there were no permanent family names,
it was usual for a family to repeat the same name in alternate
generations. Thus we find that the kings of Cyrene were named
alternately Battus and Archelaus for eight generations, and many other
examples might be quoted.]

[Footnote 307: The Greek lamp was movable, and used to be set upon a
tall slender lamp-stand or candelabrum.]

[Footnote 308: A Thessalian tribe.]

[Footnote 309: See vol. i. 'Life of Theseus,' ch. xxxvi.]

[Footnote 310: It has been conjectured from certain inscriptions that
this name should be spelt Apsephion. But we know that Aphepsion was a
Greek name, while the other form appears unmeaning. The passage is
quoted in Clinton, 'Fasti Hell.,' but both forms are there used.]

[Footnote 311: The daric was a Persian coin, named after King Darius.]

[Footnote 312: The Kyanean or Black Islands were at the junction of
the Bosporus with the Euxine, or Black Sea. The Chelidonian or Swallow
Islands were on the south coast of Lycia.]

[Footnote 313: The office of _proxenus_ corresponds most nearly to the
modern consul. He was bound to offer hospitality and assistance to any
persons of the state which he represented; but it must be remembered
that he was always a member of a foreign state.]

[Footnote 314: A seaport town in Cyprus.]


I. The grandfather of Lucullus[315] was a man of consular rank, and
his uncle on the mother's side was Metellus,[316] surnamed Numidicus.
His father was convicted of peculation, and his mother, Cæcilia, had a
bad name as a woman of loose habits. Lucullus, while he was still a
youth, before he was a candidate for a magistracy and engaged in
public life, made it his first business to bring to trial his father's
accuser, Servilius the augur, as a public offender; and the matter
appeared to the Romans to be creditable to Lucullus, and they used to
speak of that trial as a memorable thing. It was, indeed, the popular
notion, that to prefer an accusation was a reputable measure, even
when there was no foundation for it, and they were glad to see the
young men fastening on offenders, like well-bred whelps laying hold of
wild beasts. However, there was much party spirit about that trial,
and some persons were even wounded and killed; but Servilius was
acquitted. Lucullus had been trained to speak both Latin and Greek
competently, so that Sulla, when he was writing his memoirs,[317]
dedicated them to Lucullus as a person who would put them together and
arrange his history better than himself; for the style of the oratory
of Lucullus was not merely suited to business and prompt, like that of
the other orators which disturbed the Forum--

     "As a struck tunny throws about the sea,"[318]

but when it is out of the Forum is

     "Dry, and for want of true discipline half dead"--

but he cultivated the appropriate and so-called liberal sciences, with
a view to self-improvement, from his early youth. When he was more
advanced in years he let his mind, as it were, after so many troubles,
find tranquillity and repose in philosophy, rousing to activity the
contemplative portion of his nature, and seasonably terminating and
cutting short his ambitious aspirations after his difference with
Pompeius. Now, as to his love of learning, this also is reported, in
addition to what has been mentioned: when he was a young man, in a
conversation with Hortensius,[319] the orator, and Sisenna,[320] the
historian, which began in jest, but ended in a serious proposition,
he agreed that if they would propose a poem and a history, Greek and
Roman, he would treat the subject of the Marsic war in whichsoever of
these two languages the lot should decide; and it seems that the lot
resulted in a Greek history, for there is still extant a Greek history
of the Marsic war by Lucullus.[321] Of his affection to his brother
Marcus[322] there were many proofs, but the Romans speak most of the
first; being older than his brother, he did not choose to hold a
magistracy by himself, but he waited till his brother was of the
proper age, and so far gained the public favour that his brother in
his absence was elected ædile jointly with him.

II. Though he was a young man during the Marsic war, he gave many
proofs of courage and prudence; but it was rather on account of the
solidity of his character and the mildness of his temper that Sulla
attached Lucullus to himself, and from the beginning he constantly
employed him in affairs of the greatest importance; one of which was
the matter relating to the coinage. It was Lucullus who superintended
the coining of most of the money in the Peloponnesus during the
Mithridatic war, and it was named Lucullean after him, and continued
for a long time to have a ready circulation, in consequence of the
demands of the war. Afterwards, Sulla, who was in possession of the
country about Athens,[323] but was shut out from supplies by sea by the
enemy, who had the command of it, sent Lucullus to Egypt and Libya to
get ships there. It was now the depth of winter, but still he set sail
with three Greek piratical ships, and the same number of Rhodian
biremes, exposing himself to a wide sea and to hostile vessels,
which, owing to their having the superiority, were cruising about in
great numbers and in all directions. However, he landed at Crete, and
made the people friendly to his cause; and, finding the Cyrenæans in a
state of confusion, owing to continual tyrannies and wars, he
tranquillised and settled the state, by reminding the citizens of a
certain expression of Plato, which the philosopher had addressed to
them in a prophetic spirit. They asked him, as it appears, to draw up
laws for them, and to settle their democracy after the model of a
well-ordered polity; but he replied that it was difficult to legislate
for the Cyrenæans while they were so prosperous. Nothing, indeed, is
more difficult to govern than a man who considers himself prosperous;
and, on the other hand, there is nothing more obedient to command than
a man when he is humbled by fortune. And it was this that made the
Cyrenæans tractable to Lucullus in his legislation for them. Sailing
from Cyrene[324] to Egypt, he lost most of his vessels by an attack of
pirates; but he escaped himself, and entered Alexandria in splendid
style; for the whole fleet came out to meet him, as it was used to do
when a king entered the port, equipped magnificently. The young king,
Ptolemæus,[325] showed him other surprising marks of attention, and
gave him a lodging and table in the palace, though no foreign general
had ever before been lodged there. He also offered him an allowance
for his expenditure, not such as he used to offer to others, but four
times as much; Lucullus, however, would not receive anything more than
his necessities required, nor yet any present, though the king sent
presents to the value of eighty talents. It is said that Lucullus did
not go up to Memphis,[326] nor make inquiry about any other of the
wondrous and far-famed things in Egypt; he said that such things
befitted an idle spectator, and one who had only to enjoy himself: not
a man like himself, who had left the Imperator encamped under the bare
sky, and close to the enemy's battlements.

Plutarch begins his Treatise which is intitled To an Uninstructed
Prince with the same story about Plato and the Cyrenæans (_Moralia_,
ed. Wyttenbach, vol. iv.).]

III. Ptolemæus declined the alliance, being afraid of the war; but he
gave Lucullus ships to convoy him as far as Cyprus, and when he was
setting sail he embraced him and paid him great attention, and
presented him with an emerald set in gold, of great price. Lucullus at
first begged to be excused from taking the present; but when the king
showed him that the engraving contained his royal likeness, Lucullus
was afraid to refuse the present, lest, if he should be supposed to
sail away at complete enmity with the king, he might be plotted
against on the sea. In his voyage along the coast Lucullus got
together a number of vessels from the maritime towns except such as
participated in piratical iniquities, and passed over to Cyprus,
where, hearing that his enemies were lying in wait for him with their
ships at the headlands, he drew up all his vessels, and wrote to the
cities about winter quarters and supplies, as if he intended to stay
there till the fine season. As soon as a favourable opportunity
offered for his voyage, he launched his ships and got out to sea, and
by sailing during the day with his sails down and low, and putting
them up at night, he got safe to Rhodes. The Rhodians supplied him
with some more ships, and he persuaded the people of Kos and Knidus to
quit the king's side, and join him in an attack on the Samians. He
drove the king's party also out of Chios, and he gave the people of
Kolophon freedom by seizing Epigonus, their tyrant. It happened about
this time that Mithridates had left Pergamum, and was shut up in
Pitane.[327] While Fimbria[328] was keeping the king blockaded there
on the land side and pressing the siege, Mithridates, looking to the
sea, got together and summoned to him ships from every quarter, having
given up all design of engaging and fighting with Fimbria, who was a
bold man and had defeated him. Fimbria observing this, and being
deficient in naval force, sent to Lucullus, and prayed him to come
with his fleet and help him to take the most detested and the most
hostile of kings, in order that Mithridates, the great prize, which
had been followed through many contests and labours, might not escape
the Romans, now that he had given them a chance of seizing him, and
was caught within the nets. He said, if Mithridates was taken, no one
would have more of the glory than he who stopped his flight and laid
hold of him when he was trying to steal away; that if Mithridates were
shut out from the land by him, and excluded from the sea by Lucullus,
there would be a victory for both of them, and that as to the vaunted
exploits of Sulla at Orchomenus and Chæronea,[329] the Romans would
think nothing of them in comparison with this. There was nothing
unreasonable in all that Fimbria said; and it was plain to every man
that if Lucullus, who was at no great distance, had then accepted the
proposal of Fimbria, and led his ships there and blockaded the port
with his fleet, the war would have been at an end, and all would have
been delivered from innumerable calamities. But whether it was that
Lucullus regarded his duty to Sulla above all private and public
interests, or that he detested Fimbria, who was an abandoned man, and
had lately murdered his own friend and general,[330] merely from
ambition to command, or whether it was through chance, as the Deity
would have it, that he spared Mithridates, and reserved him for his
own antagonist--he would not listen to Fimbria, but allowed
Mithridates to escape by sea, and to mock the force of Fimbria.
Lucullus himself, in the first place, defeated off Lektum in the
Troad,[331] the king's ships, which showed themselves there, and again
observing that Neoptolemus was stationed at Tenedos with a larger
force, he sailed against him ahead of all the rest, in a Rhodian
galley of five banks which was commanded by Demagoras, a man well
affected to the Romans, and exceedingly skilful in naval battles.
Neoptolemus came against him at a great rate, and ordered the helmsman
to steer the ship right against the vessel of Lucullus; but Demagoras,
fearing the weight of the king's vessel and the rough brass that she
was fitted with, did not venture to engage head to head, but he
quickly turned his ship round and ordered them to row her stern
foremost,[332] and the vessel being thus depressed at the stern
received the blow, which was rendered harmless by falling on those
parts of the ship which were in the water. In the meantime his friends
coming to his aid, Lucullus commanded them to turn his ship's head to
the enemy; and, after performing many praiseworthy feats, he put the
enemy to flight, and pursued Neoptolemus.

IV. After this, Lucullus joined Sulla in the Chersonesus, as he was
going to cross the Hellespont, and he made the passage safe for him,
and assisted his army in getting over. When the treaty was made, and
Mithridates had sailed off to the Euxine, and Sulla had imposed a
contribution[333] of twenty thousand talents on Asia, and Lucullus had
been appointed to collect the money, and to strike coin, it appeared
some small consolation to the cities of Asia for the harshness of
Sulla that Lucullus not only behaved with honesty and justice, but
conducted himself mildly in the discharge of so oppressive and
disagreeable a duty. Though the Mitylenæans had openly revolted,
Lucullus wished them to come to their senses, and to submit to some
reasonable penalty for their ill-conduct in the matter of Marius;[334]
but perceiving that they were under the influence of some evil dæmon,
he sailed against them, and defeated them in a battle, and, after
shutting them up in their walls, and establishing a blockade, he
sailed out in open day to Elæa,[335] but he returned by stealth, and
laying an ambuscade near the city, kept quiet. The Mitylenæans
approached in disorder, and with confidence in the expectation of
plundering a deserted camp; but Lucullus falling on them took a great
number alive, and killed five hundred of them who made resistance. He
also took six thousand slaves, and the rest of the booty was past
count. But in the miseries which Sulla and Marius were at that time
bringing on the people of Italy, without limit and of every kind, he
had no share, being detained by his business in Asia by some happy
fortune. Nevertheless, he had not less favour with Sulla than the rest
of his friends; for, as I have said Sulla dedicated his memoirs to
Lucullus, as a token of his affection, and finally he appointed him
the guardian of his son, and passed by Pompeius. And this was probably
the origin of the difference and the jealousy between Lucullus and
Pompeius; for they were both young, and burning for distinction.

V. Shortly after Sulla's death, Lucullus was consul[336] with Marcus
Cotta, about the hundred and seventy-sixth Olympiad. Many persons were
again attempting to stir up the Mithridatic war, and Marcus said that
the war was not ended, but only stopped for a time. It was for this
reason that Lucullus was annoyed at the lot giving him for his
province Gaul within (south of) the Alps, which offered no opportunity
for great exploits. But the reputation of Pompeius, who was now in
Iberia, stung him most, as it was expected that Pompeius, in
preference to any one else, would be forthwith chosen to the command
of the war against Mithridates, if it should happen that the Iberian
war should be brought to a close. Accordingly, when Pompeius asked for
money,[337] and wrote to say that if they did not send it he would
leave Iberia and Sertorius, and lead his troops hack to Italy,
Lucullus did all he could to get money sent, and to prevent Pompeius
returning from Iberia on any pretence whatever while he was consul;
for he considered that the whole State would be at the disposal of
Pompeius if he were at Rome with so large an army. Cethegus,[338]
also, who had then the power in his hands by always speaking and
acting with a view to popularity, was at enmity with Lucullus, who
detested his habits of life, which were nothing but a course of
unnatural lusts, insolence, and violence. With Cethegus then Lucullus
was at open war. There was, indeed another demagogue, Lucius
Quintius,[339] who had set himself against Sulla's measures, and
attempted to disturb the present settlement of affairs; but Lucullus,
by much persuasion in private and reproof in public, drew him from his
designs, and quieted his ambition, in as politic and wholesome a way
as a man could do, by taking in hand so great a disease at its

VI. In the meantime news arrived of the death of Octavius,[340] the
Governor of Cilicia. Now there were many eager competitors for the
province, who courted Cethegus as the person who was best able to help
them to it. As to Cilicia itself, Lucullus made no great account of
that province; but, inasmuch as he thought, if he should get Cilicia,
which bordered on Cappadocia, no one else would be sent to conduct the
war against Mithridates, he left no means untried to prevent the
province falling into other hands; and, at last, contrary to his
natural disposition, he submitted from necessity to do an act which
was not creditable, or commendable, though it was useful towards the
end he had in view. There was a woman named Præcia, who was famed
through Rome for her beauty and gallantry, and though in other
respects she was no better than a common prostitute, yet, as she
availed herself of her influence with those who visited her and talked
to her, for the purpose of forwarding the interests and political
views of her friends, she added to her other attractions the
reputation of being a woman who was much attached to her friends, and
very active in accomplishing anything, and she obtained great
influence. Cethegus, who was then at the height of his popularity, and
directed the administration, was captivated by Præcia, and began to
cohabit with her, and thus the whole power of the State fell into her
hands; for no public measure was transacted if Cethegus was not for
it, and if Præcia did not recommend it to Cethegus. Now Lucullus
gained over Præcia by presents and flattery; and, indeed, it was in
itself a great boon to a proud woman, fond of public display, to be
seen using her influence on behalf of Lucullus; and thus he soon had
Cethegus speaking in his favour, and trying to get Cilicia for him.
When Lucullus had once gained the province of Cilicia, it was no
longer necessary for him to call in the aid of Præcia or Cethegus, but
all alike readily put into his hands the conduct of the Mithridatic
war, believing that it could not be managed better by any other
person; for Pompeius was still fighting against Sertorius, and
Metellus[341] had withdrawn from service by reason of his age, and
these were the only persons who could be considered as rivals to
Lucullus in any dispute about the command in the war. However, Cotta,
the colleague of Lucullus, after making earnest application to the
Senate, was sent with some ships to watch the Propontis,[342] and to
defend Bithynia.

VII. Lucullus, with one legion which he had raised at home, crossed
over into Asia, where he took the command of the rest of the forces,
all of whom had long been spoiled by luxurious habits and living at
free quarters; and the soldiers of Fimbria were said to have become
difficult to manage, from being accustomed to obey no commander. They
were the men who joined Fimbria in putting to death Flaccus, who was a
consul and their general, and who gave up Fimbria himself to
Sulla[343]--self-willed and lawless men, but brave and full of
endurance, and experienced soldiers. However, in a short time,
Lucullus took down the insolence of these soldiers, and changed the
character of the rest, who then, for the first time, as it seems, knew
what it was to have a genuine commander and leader; for under other
generals, they were used to be courted, and spirited on to military
service in such wise as was agreeable to them. As to the enemy,
matters were thus: Mithridates, like most of the sophists,[344] full
of boasting at first, and rising up against the Romans arrogantly,
with an army unsubstantial in fact, but in appearance brilliant and
pompous, had failed in his undertaking, and exposed himself to
ridicule: but now, when he was going to commence the war a second
time, taught by experience he concentrated his powers in a real and
effectual preparation. Rejecting those motley numbers and many-tongued
threats of the barbarians, and arms ornamented with gold and precious
stones, which he considered to be the spoils of the victors, and to
give no strength to those who possess them, he set about having Roman
swords made, and heavy shields manufactured; and he got together
horses which were well trained, instead of horses which were well
caparisoned; and one hundred and twenty thousand foot-soldiers who
were disciplined to the Roman order of battle, and sixteen thousand
horse-soldiers, without reckoning the scythe-bearing four-horse
chariots, and these were a hundred; besides, his ships were not filled
with tents embroidered with gold, nor with baths for concubines, nor
apartments for the women luxuriously furnished; but fitting them out
fully with arms, missiles, and stores, he invaded Bithynia, where he
was again gladly received by the cities, and not by these cities only,
for a return of their former calamities had visited all Asia, which
was suffering past endurance from the Roman money-lenders[345] and
farmers of the taxes.[346] These men, who, like so many harpies, were
plundering the people of their substance, Lucullus afterwards drove
out; but, for the time, he endeavoured by reproof to make them more
moderate in their conduct, and he stopped the insurrection of the
towns, when, so to speak, not a single man in them was quiet.

VIII. While Lucullus was busied about these matters, Cotta, thinking
it a good opportunity for himself, was preparing to fight with
Mithridates; and, though many persons brought him intelligence that
Lucullus was encamped in Phrygia on his advanced march, Cotta,
thinking that he had the triumph all but in his hands, hastened to
engage, that Lucullus might have no share in it. But he was defeated
by land and by sea at the same time; and he lost sixty vessels with
all the men in them, and four thousand foot-soldiers, and he was shut
up in Chalkedon[347] and besieged there, and obliged to look for help
at the hands of Lucullus. Now there were some who urged Lucullus not
to care for Cotta, but to advance forward, as he would be able to
seize the kingdom of Mithridates, which was unprotected; and this was
the language of the soldiers especially, who were indignant that
Cotta, not satisfied with ruining himself and those with him by his
imprudent measures, should be a hindrance to their getting a victory
without a contest when it was in their power; but Lucullus said in
reply to all this in an harangue, that he would rather save one Roman
from the enemy than get all that the enemy had. And when
Archelaus,[348] who had commanded for Mithridates in Bœotia, and
afterwards had left him, and was now in the Roman army, maintained
that if Lucullus would only show himself in Pontus, he might make
himself master of everything at once, Lucullus replied that he was not
a greater coward than huntsmen, which he should be if he passed by the
wild beasts and went to their empty dens. Saying this he advanced
against Mithridates, with thirty thousand foot-soldiers and two
thousand five hundred cavalry. On arriving in sight of the enemy, he
was startled at their numbers, and wished to avoid a battle and to
protract the time. Marius, however, whom Sertorius had sent from
Iberia to Mithridates in command of a force, came out to meet
Lucullus, and challenged him to the contest, on which Lucullus put his
army in order of battle; and they were just on the point of commencing
the engagement, when, without any evident change, but all at once, the
sky opened, and there appeared a huge flame-like body, which came down
between the two armies, in form most like a cask, and in colour
resembling molten silver, so that both armies were alarmed at the
sight and separated. This, it is said, took place in Phrygia, at a
place called Otryæ. Lucullus, considering that it was not possible for
any human resources or wealth to maintain for any length of time, and
in the presence of an enemy, so many thousands as Mithridates had,
ordered one of the prisoners to be brought to him, and asked him first
how many messmates he had, and then how much provision he had left in
his tent. When the man had given his answer, he ordered him to be
removed, and he put the same question to a second, and to a third.
Then comparing the amount of provisions that the enemy had with the
number of those who were to be fed, he concluded that the enemy's
provisions would fail them in three or four days. He now stuck still
more closely to his plan of protracting the time, and he employed
himself in getting into his camp a great store of provision, that he
might have abundance himself, and so wait till the enemy was reduced
to want.

IX. In the meantime Mithridates resolved to attack the Kyzikeni,[349]
who had received a blow in the battle at Chalkedon, for they had lost
three thousand men and ten ships. Accordingly, wishing to give
Lucullus the slip, he put himself in motion immediately after supper,
taking advantage of a dark and rainy night; and he succeeded in
planting his force at daybreak right opposite to the city, at the base
of the mountain tract of the Adrasteia.[350] Lucullus, who perceived
his movements and followed him, was well satisfied that he had not
come up with the enemy while his own troops were out of battle order;
and he posted his army near the village named Thrakia, in a position
excellently adapted to command the roads and the places from which and
through which the soldiers of Mithridates must bring their supplies.
Now, as he had in his own mind a clear comprehension of the issue, he
did not conceal it from his men; but as soon as he had chosen his
ground, and the men had finished the entrenchments, he summoned them
together, and confidently told them that he would, in a few days, give
them a victory which would cost no blood. Mithridates had hemmed in
the Kyzikeni with ten camps on the land side, and towards the sea with
his ships, by blocking up the narrow channel which separates the city
from the mainland, and thus he was besieging them on both sides.
Though the citizens were disposed to resist the enemy boldly, and had
determined to sustain all hardships for the sake of the Romans, they
were troubled at not knowing where Lucullus was, and at having heard
nothing of him. Yet the army of Lucullus was visible and in sight of
the city; but the citizens were deceived by the soldiers of
Mithridates, who pointed to the Romans in their entrenchments on the
higher ground, and said, "Do you see them? That is the army of the
Armenians and Medes, which Tigranes has sent to support Mithridates."

The Kyzikeni were alarmed to see such a host of enemies around them,
and they had no hopes that they could be released, even if Lucullus
should come. However, Demonax, who was sent to them by Archelaus, was
the first to inform them of Lucullus being there. While they were
distrusting his intelligence, and thinking that he had merely invented
this story to comfort them in their difficulties, there came a youth,
who had been captured by the enemy and made his escape. On their
asking him where he supposed Lucullus to be, he laughed outright, for
he thought they were making sport of him; but, seeing that they were
in earnest, he pointed with his hand to the Roman camp, and the
citizens again took courage. Now the lake Daskylitis[351] is navigable
for boats of a considerable size, and Lucullus, drawing up the largest
of them, and conveying it on a waggon to the sea-coast, put into it as
many soldiers as it would hold. The soldiers crossed over by night
unobserved, and got into the city.

X. It appears that the deity, also, admiring the bravery of the
Kyzikeni, encouraged them by other manifest signs, and especially by
this: the festival called Persephassia[352] was at hand, and as they
had not a black cow to sacrifice, they made one of dough, and placed
it at the altar. The cow which was intended to be the victim, and was
fattening for the goddess, was pasturing, like the other animals of
the Kyzikeni, on the opposite mainland; but on that day, leaving the
rest of the herd by itself, it swam over the channel to the city and
presented itself to be sacrificed. The goddess also appeared in a
dream to Aristagoras, the town-clerk,[353] and said: "For my part, I
am come, and I bring the Libyan fifer against the Pontic trumpeter.
Bid the citizens, then, be of good cheer." The Kyzikeni were wondering
at these words, when at daybreak the sea began to be disturbed by an
unsteady, changing wind that descended upon it, and the engines of the
king, which were placed near the walls--admirable contrivances of
Nikonides the Thessalian--by their creaking and rattling showed what
was going to happen: then a south-west wind, bursting forth with
incredible fury, broke to pieces the other engines in a very short
time, and shook and threw down the wooden tower, which was a hundred
cubits high. It is told that Athena appeared to many of the people in
Ilium in their sleep, streaming with copious sweat, showing part of
her peplus rent, and saying that she had just returned from helping
the Kyzikeni. And the people of Ilium used to show a stele[354] which
contained certain decrees and an inscription about these matters.

XI. Mithridates, so long as he was deceived by his generals and kept
in ignorance of the famine in his army, was annoyed at the Kyzikeni
holding out against the blockade. But his ambition and his haughtiness
quickly oozed away when he had discovered the straits in which his
army was held, and that they were eating one another; for Lucullus was
not carrying on the war in a theatrical way, nor with mere show; but,
as the proverb says, was kicking against the belly, and contriving
every means how he should cut off the food. Accordingly, while
Lucullus was engaged in besieging a certain garrisoned post,
Mithridates, seizing the opportunity, sent off into Bithynia nearly
all his cavalry, with the beasts of burden, and all his superfluous
infantry. Lucullus hearing of this, returned to his camp during the
night, and early in the following morning, it being winter time,
getting ready ten cohorts and the cavalry, he followed the troops of
Mithridates, though it was snowing, and his soldiers suffered so much
that many of them gave in by reason of the cold, and were left behind:
however, with the rest he came up with the enemy at the river
Rhyndakus,[355] and gave them such a defeat that the women came from
the town of Apollonia and carried off the baggage and stripped the
dead. Many fell in the battle, as might be supposed, but there were
taken six thousand horses, with a countless number of baggage-beasts,
and fifteen thousand men, all whom he led back past the camp of the
enemy. I wonder at Sallustius saying that this was the first time that
the Romans saw the camel;[356] for he must have supposed that the
soldiers of Scipio, who some time before had defeated Antiochus, and
those who had also fought with Archelaus at Orchomenus and Chæronea,
were unacquainted with the camel. Now Mithridates had determined to
fly as soon as he could; but, with the view of contriving something
which should draw Lucullus in the other direction, and detain him in
his rear, he sent his admiral, Aristonikus, to the Grecian sea, and
Aristonikus was just on the point of setting sail when he was betrayed
to Lucullus, who got him into his power, together with ten thousand
pieces of gold which he was carrying to bribe a part of the Roman army
with. Upon this Mithridates fled to the sea, and his generals led the
land forces off. But Lucullus falling upon them at the river
Granikus,[357] took many prisoners, and slew twenty thousand of them.
It is said that near three hundred thousand persons were destroyed out
of the whole number of camp-followers and fighting-men.

XII. Upon entering Kyzikus, Lucullus took his pleasure, and enjoyed a
friendly reception suitably to the occasion; he next visited the
Hellespont, and got his navy equipped. Arriving at the Troad,[358] he
placed his tent within the sacred precincts of Aphrodite, and as he
was sleeping there he thought that he saw the goddess in the night
standing by him, saying:

    "Why slumber, lion of the mighty heart?
    The fawns are near at hand."

Waking from sleep, Lucullus called his friends and told them his
dream, while it was still night; and there came persons from Ilium,
who reported that thirteen of the king's quinqueremes had been seen
near the Achæan harbour, moving in the direction of Lemnos.
Immediately setting sail, Lucullus captured these vessels and killed
their commander, Isidorus, and he then advanced against the other
captains. Now, as they happened to be at anchor, they drew all their
vessels together up to the land, and, fighting from the decks, dealt
blows on the men of Lucullus; for the ground rendered it impossible to
sail round to the enemy's rear, and, as the ships of Lucullus were
afloat, they could make no attack on those of the enemy, which were
planted close to the land and securely situated. However, with some
difficulty, Lucullus landed the bravest of his soldiers in a part of
the island which was accessible, who, falling on the rear of the
enemy, killed some and compelled the rest to cut their cables and make
their escape from the land, and so to drive their vessels foul of one
another, and to be exposed to the blows of the vessels of Lucullus.
Many of the enemy perished; but among the captives there was
Marius,[359] he who was sent from Sertorius. Marius had only one eye,
and the soldiers had received orders from Lucullus, as they were
setting out on the expedition, to kill no one-eyed man; for Lucullus
designed to make Marius die a shameful and dishonourable death.

XIII. As soon as he had accomplished this, Lucullus hastened in
pursuit of Mithridates; for he expected still to find him about
Bithynia, and watched by Voconius, whom he had sent with ships to
Nikomedia[360] to follow up the pursuit. But Voconius lingered in
Samothrakia,[361] where he was getting initiated into mysteries and
celebrating festivals. Mithridates, who had set sail with his
armament, and was in a hurry to reach Pontus before Lucullus returned,
was overtaken by a violent storm, by which some of his ships were
shattered and others were sunk; and all the coast for many days was
filled with the wrecks that were cast up by the waves. The
merchant-vessel in which Mithridates was embarked could not easily be
brought to land by those who had the management of it, by reason of
its magnitude, in the agitated state of the water, and the great
swell, and it was already too heavy to hold out against the sea, and
was water-logged; accordingly the king got out of the vessel into a
piratical ship, and, intrusting his person to pirates, contrary to
expectation and after great hazard he arrived at Heraklea[362] in
Pontus. Now it happened that the proud boast of Lucullus to the Senate
brought on him no divine retribution.[363] The Senate was voting a sum
of three thousand talents to equip a navy for the war, but Lucullus
stopped the measure by sending a letter, couched in vaunting terms, in
which he said, that without cost and so much preparation, he would
with the ships of the allies drive Mithridates from the sea. And he
did this with the aid of the deity; for it is said that it was owing
to the anger of Artemis Priapine[364] that the storm fell on the
Pontic soldiers, who had plundered her temple and carried off the
wooden statue.

XIV. Though many advised Lucullus to suspend the war, he paid no heed
to them: but, passing through Bithynia and Galatia, he invaded the
country of the king. At first he wanted provisions, so that thirty
thousand Galatians followed him, each carrying on his shoulders a
medimnus of wheat; but as he advanced and reduced all into his power,
he got into such abundance of everything that an ox was sold in the
camp for a drachma, and a slave for four drachmæ; and, as to the rest
of the booty, it was valued so little that some left it behind, and
others destroyed it; for there were no means of disposing of anything
to anybody when all had abundance. The Roman army had advanced with
their cavalry and carried their incursions as far as Themiskyra and
the plains on the Thermodon,[365] without doing more than wasting and
ravaging the country, when the men began to blame Lucullus for
peaceably gaining over all the cities, and they complained that he had
not taken a single city by storm, nor given them an opportunity of
enriching themselves by plunder. "Nay, even now," they said, "we are
quitting Amisus,[366] a prosperous and wealthy city, which it would be
no great matter to take, if any one would press the siege, and the
general is leading us to fight with Mithridates in the wilds of the
Tibareni and Chaldæans."[367] Now, if Lucullus had supposed that
these notions would have led the soldiers to such madness as they
afterwards showed he would not have overlooked or neglected these
matters, nor have apologised instead to those men who were blaming his
tardiness for thus lingering in the neighbourhood of insignificant
villages for a long time, and allowing Mithridates to increase his
strength. "This is the very thing," he said, "that I wish, and I am
sitting here with the design of allowing the man again to become
powerful, and to get together a sufficient force to meet us, that he
may stay, and not fly from us when we advance. Do you not see that a
huge and boundless wilderness is in his rear, and the Caucasus[368] is
near, and many mountains which are full of deep valleys, sufficient to
hide ten thousand kings who decline a battle, and to protect them? and
it is only a few days' march from Kabeira[369] into Armenia, and above
the plains of Armenia Tigranes[370] the King of Kings has his
residence, with a force which enables him to cut the Parthian off from
Asia, and he removes the inhabitants of the Greek cities up into
Media, and he is master of Syria and Palestine, and the kings, the
descendants of Seleucus, he puts to death, and carries off their
daughters and wives captives. Tigranes is the kinsman and son-in-law
of Mithridates. Indeed, he will not quietly submit to receive
Mithridates as a suppliant; but he will war against us, and, if we
strive to eject Mithridates from his kingdom we shall run the risk of
drawing upon us Tigranes, who has long been seeking for a pretext
against us, and he could not have a more specious pretext than to be
compelled to aid a man who is his kinsman and a king. Why, then,
should we bring this about, and show Mithridates, who does not know
it, with whose aid he ought to carry on the war against us? and why
should we drive him against his wish, and ingloriously, into the arms
of Tigranes, instead of giving him time to collect a force out of his
own resources and to recover his courage, and so fight with the
Kolchi, and Tibareni, and Cappadocians, whom we have often defeated,
rather than fight with the Medes and Armenians?"

XV. Upon such considerations as these, Lucullus protracted the time
before Amisus without pushing the siege; and, when the winter was
over, leaving Murena to blockade the city, he advanced against
Mithridates, who was posted at Kabeira, and intending to oppose the
Romans, as he had got together a force of forty thousand infantry and
four thousand horse on whom he relied most. Crossing the river Lykus
into the plain, Mithridates offered the Romans battle. A contest
between the cavalry ensued, in which the Romans fled, and Pomponius, a
man of some note, being wounded, was taken prisoner, and brought to
Mithridates while he was suffering from his wounds. The king asked him
if he would become his friend if his life were spared, to which
Pomponius replied, "Yes, if you come to terms with the Romans; if not,
I shall be your enemy." Mithridates admired the answer, and did him no
harm. Now, Lucullus was afraid to keep the plain country, as the enemy
were masters of it with their cavalry, and he was unwilling to advance
into the hilly region, which was of great extent and wooded and
difficult of access; but it happened that some Greeks were taken
prisoners, who had fled into a cave, and the eldest of them,
Artemidorus, promised Lucullus to be his guide, and to put him in a
position which would be secure for his army, and also contained a fort
that commanded Kabeira. Lucullus, trusting the man, set out at
nightfall after lighting numerous fires, and getting through the
defiles in safety; he gained possession of the position; and, when the
day dawned, he was seen above the enemy, posting his soldiers in a
place which gave him the opportunity of making an attack if he chose
to fight, and secured him against any assault if he chose to remain
quiet. At present neither general had any intention of hazarding a
battle; but it is said, that while some of the king's men were
pursuing a deer, the Romans met them and attempted to cut off their
retreat, and this led to a skirmish, in which fresh men kept
continually coming up on both sides. At last the king's men had the
better, and the Romans, who from the ramparts saw their comrades
falling, were in a rage, and crowded about Lucullus, praying him to
lead them on, and calling for the signal for battle. But Lucullus,
wishing them to learn the value of the presence and sight of a prudent
general in a struggle with an enemy and in the midst of danger, told
them to keep quiet; and, going down into the plain and meeting the
first of the fugitives, he ordered them to stand, and to turn round
and face the enemy with him. The men obeyed, and the rest also facing
about and forming in order of battle, easily put the enemy to flight,
and pursued them to their camp. Lucullus, after retiring to his
position, imposed on the fugitives the usual mark of disgrace, by
ordering them to dig a trench of twelve feet in their loose jackets,
while the rest of the soldiers were standing by and looking on.

XVI. Now there was in the army of Mithridates a prince of the
Dandarii,[371] named Olthakus (the Dandarii are one of the tribes of
barbarians that live about the Mæotis), a man distinguished in all
military matters where strength and daring are required, and also in
ability equal to the best, and moreover a man who knew how to
ingratiate himself with persons, and of insinuating address. Olthakus,
who was always engaged in a kind of rivalry for distinction with one
of the princes of the kindred tribes, and was jealous of him,
undertook a great exploit for Mithridates, which was to kill Lucullus.
The king approved of his design, and purposely showed him some
indignities, at which, pretending to be in a rage, Olthakus rode off
to Lucullus, who gladly received him, for there was a great report of
him in the Roman army; and Lucullus, after some acquaintance with him,
was soon pleased with his acuteness and his zeal, and at last admitted
him to his table and made him a member of his council. Now when the
Dandarian thought he had a fit opportunity, he ordered the slaves to
take his horse without the ramparts, and, as it was noontide and the
soldiers were lying in the open air and taking their rest, he went to
the general's tent, expecting that nobody would prevent him from
entering, as he was on terms of intimacy with Lucullus, and said that
he was the bearer of some important news. And he would have entered
the tent without any suspicion, if sleep, that has been the cause of
the death of many generals, had not saved Lucullus; for he happened to
be asleep, and Menedemus, one of his chamber-attendants, who was
standing by the door, said that Olthakus had not come at a fit time,
for Lucullus had just gone to rest himself after long wakefulness and
many toils. As Olthakus did not go away when he was told, but said
that he would go in, even should Menedemus attempt to prevent him,
because he wished to communicate with Lucullus about a matter of
emergency and importance, Menedemus began to get in a passion, and,
saying that nothing was more urgent than the health of Lucullus, he
shoved the man away with both his hands. Olthakus being alarmed stole
out of the camp, and, mounting his horse, rode off to the army of
Mithridates, without effecting his purpose. Thus, it appears, it is
with actions just as it is with medicines--time and circumstance give
to the scales that slight turn which saves alive, as well as that
which kills.

XVII. After this Sornatius, with ten cohorts, was sent to get supplies
of corn. Being pursued by Menander, one of the generals of
Mithridates, Sornatius faced about and engaged the enemy, of whom he
killed great numbers and put the rest to flight. Again, upon Adrianus
being sent with a force, for the purpose of getting an abundant supply
of corn for the army, Mithridates did not neglect the opportunity, but
sent Menemachus and Myron at the head of a large body of cavalry and
infantry. All this force, as it is said, was cut to pieces by the
Romans, with the exception of two men. Mithridates concealed the
loss, and pretended it was not so great as it really was, but a
trifling loss owing to the unskilfulness of the commanders. However,
Adrianus triumphantly passed by the camp of the enemy with many
waggons loaded with corn and booty, which dispirited Mithridates, and
caused irremediable confusion and alarm among his soldiers.
Accordingly it was resolved not to stay there any longer. But, while
the king's servants were quietly sending away their own property
first, and endeavouring to hinder the rest, the soldiers, growing
infuriated, pushed towards the passages that led out of the camp, and,
attacking the king's servants, began to seize the luggage and massacre
the men. In this confusion Dorylaus the general, who had nothing else
about him but his purple dress, lost his life by reason of it, and
Hermæus, the sacrificing priest, was trampled to death at the gates.
The king himself,[372] without attendant or groom to accompany him,
fled from the camp mingled with the rest, and was not able to get even
one of the royal horses, till at last the eunuch Ptolemæus, who was
mounted, spied him as he was hurried along in the stream of
fugitives, and leaping down from his horse gave it to the king. The
Romans, who were following in pursuit, were now close upon the king,
and so far as it was a matter of speed they were under no difficulty
about taking him, and they came very near it; but greediness and
mercenary motives snatched from the Romans the prey which they had so
long followed up in many battles and great dangers, and robbed
Lucullus of the crowning triumph to his victory; for the horse which
was carrying Mithridates was just within reach of his pursuers, when
it happened that one of the mules which was conveying the king's gold
either fell into the hands of the enemy accidentally, or was purposely
thrown in their way by the king's orders, and while the soldiers were
plundering it and getting together the gold, and fighting with one
another, they were left behind. And this was not the only loss that
Lucullus sustained from their greediness; he had given his men orders
to bring to him Kallistratus, who had the charge of all the king's
secrets; but those who were taking him to Lucullus, finding that he
had five hundred gold pieces in his girdle, put him to death. However,
Lucullus allowed his men to plunder the camp.

XVIII. After taking Kabeira and most of the other forts Lucullus found
in them great treasures, and also places of confinement, in which many
Greeks and many kinsmen of the king were shut up; and, as they had
long considered themselves as dead, they were indebted to the kindness
of Lucullus, not for their rescue, but for restoration to life and a
kind of second birth. A sister also of Mithridates, Nyssa, was
captured, and so saved her life; but the women who were supposed to be
the farthest from danger, and to be securely lodged at Phernakia,[373]
the sisters and wives of Mithridates, came to a sad end, pursuant to
the order of Mithridates, which he sent Bacchides,[374] a eunuch, to
execute, when he was compelled to take to flight. Among many other
women there were two sisters of the king, Roxana and Statira, each
about forty years of age and unmarried; and two of his wives, Ionian
women, one of them named Berenike from Chios, and the other Monime a
Milesian. Monime was much talked of among the Greeks, and there was a
story to this effect, that though the king tempted her with an offer
of fifteen thousand gold pieces, she held out until a marriage
contract was made, and he sent her a diadem[375] with the title of
queen. Now Monime hitherto was very unhappy, and bewailed that beauty
which had given her a master instead of a husband, and a set of
barbarians to watch over her instead of marriage and a family; and she
lamented that she was removed from her native country, enjoying her
anticipated happiness only in imagination, while she was deprived of
all those real pleasures which she might have had at home. When
Bacchides arrived, and told the women to die in such manner as they
might judge easiest and least painful, Monime pulled the diadem from
her head, and, fastening it round her neck, hung herself. As the
diadem soon broke, "Cursed rag!" she exclaimed, "you won't even do me
this service;" and, spitting on it, she tossed it from her, and
presented her throat to Bacchides. Berenike took a cup of poison, and
gave a part of it to her mother, who was present, at her own request.
Together they drank it up; and the strength of the poison was
sufficient for the weaker of the two, but it did not carry off
Berenike, who had not drunk enough, and, as she was long in dying, she
was strangled with the assistance of Bacchides. Of the two unmarried
sisters of Mithridates it is said, that one of them, after uttering
many imprecations on her brother and much abuse, drank up the poison.
Statira did not utter a word of complaint, or anything unworthy of her
noble birth; but she commended her brother for that he had not
neglected them at a time when his own life was in danger, and had
provided that they should die free and be secure against insult. All
this gave pain to Lucullus, who was naturally of a mild and humane

XIX. Lucullus advanced as far as Talaura,[376] whence four days before
Mithridates had fled into Armenia to Tigranes. From Talaura Lucullus
took a different direction, and after subduing the Chaldæi and
Tibareni, and taking possession of the Less Armenia, and reducing
forts and cities, he sent Appius to Tigranes to demand Mithridates;
but he went himself to Amisus, which was still holding out against the
siege. This was owing to Kallimachus the commander, who by his skill
in mechanical contrivances, and his ingenuity in devising every
resource which is available in a siege, gave the Romans great
annoyance, for which he afterwards paid the penalty. Now, however, he
was out-generailed by Lucullus, who, by making a sudden attack, just
at that time of the day when he was used to lead his soldiers off and
to give them rest, got possession of a small part of the wall, upon
which Kallimachus quitted the city, having first set fire to it,
either because he was unwilling that the Romans should get any
advantage from their conquest, or with the view of facilitating his
own escape. For no one paid any attention to those who were sailing
out; but when the flames had sprung up with violence, and got hold of
the walls, the soldiers were making ready to plunder. Lucullus,
lamenting the danger in which the city was of being destroyed,
attempted from the outside to help the citizens against the fire, and
ordered it to be put out; yet nobody attended to him, and the soldiers
called out for booty, and shouted and struck their armour, till at
last Lucullus was compelled to let them have their way, expecting that
he should thus save the city at least from the fire. But the soldiers
did just the contrary; for, as they rummaged every place by the aid of
torches, and carried about lights in all directions, they destroyed
most of the houses themselves, so that Lucullus, who entered the city
at daybreak, said to his friends with tears in his eyes, that he had
often considered Sulla a fortunate man, but on this day of all others
he admired the man's good fortune, in that when he chose to save
Athens he had also the power; "but upon me," he said, "who have been
emulous to imitate his example, the dæmon has instead brought the
reputation of Mummius."[377] However, as far as present circumstances
allowed, he endeavoured to restore the city. The fire indeed was
quenched by the rains that chanced to fall, as the deity would have
it, at the time of the capture, and the greatest part of what had been
destroyed Lucullus rebuilt while he stayed at Amisus; and he received
into the city such of the Amisenes as had fled, and settled there any
other Greeks who were willing to settle, and added to the limits of
the territory a tract of one hundred and twenty stadia. Amisus was a
colony[378] of the Athenians, planted, as one might suppose, at that
period in which their power was at its height and had the command of
the sea. And this was the reason why many who wished to escape from
the tyranny of Aristion[379] sailed to the Euxine and settled at
Amisus, where they became citizens; but it happened that by flying
from misfortune at home they came in for a share of the misfortunes of
others. Lucullus, however, clothed all of them who survived the
capture of the city, and, after giving each two hundred drachmæ
besides, he sent them back to their home. On this occasion,
Tyrannio[380] the grammarian was taken prisoner. Murena asked him for
himself, and on getting Tyrannio set him free, wherein he made an
illiberal use of the favour that he had received; for Lucullus did not
think it fitting that a man who was esteemed for his learning should
be made a slave first and then a freedman; for the giving him an
apparent freedom was equivalent to the depriving him of his real
freedom. But it was not in this instance only that Murena showed
himself far inferior to his general in honourable feeling and conduct.

XX. Lucullus now turned to the cities of Asia, in order that while he
had leisure from military operations he might pay some attention to
justice and the law, which the province had now felt the want of for a
long time, and the people had endured unspeakable and incredible
calamities, being plundered and reduced to slavery by the Publicani
and the money-lenders, so that individuals were compelled to sell
their handsome sons and virgin daughters, and the cities to sell their
sacred offerings, pictures and statues. The lot of the citizens was at
last to be condemned to slavery themselves, but the sufferings which
preceded were still worse--the fixing of ropes and barriers,[381] and
horses, and standing under the open sky, during the heat in the sun,
and during the cold when they were forced into the mud or the ice; so
that slavery was considered a relief from the burden of debt, and a
blessing. Such evils as these Lucullus discovered in the cities, and
in a short time he relieved the sufferers from all of them. In the
first place, he declared that the rate of interest should be reckoned
at the hundredth part,[382] and no more; in the second, he cut off all
the interest which exceeded the capital; thirdly, what was most
important of all, he declared that the lender should receive the
fourth part of the income of the debtor; but any lender who had tacked
the interest to the principal was deprived of the whole: thus, in less
than four years all the debts were paid, and their property was given
back to them free from all encumbrance. Now the common debt originated
in the twenty thousand talents which Sulla had laid on Asia as a
contribution, and twice this amount was repaid to the lenders, though
they had indeed now brought the debt up to the amount of one hundred
and twenty thousand talents by means of the interest. The lenders,
however, considered themselves very ill used, and they raised a great
outcry against Lucullus at Rome, and they endeavoured to bribe some of
the demagogues to attack him; for the lenders had great influence, and
had among their debtors many of the men who were engaged in public
life. But Lucullus gained the affection of the cities which had been
favoured by him, and the other provinces also longed to see such a man
over them, and felicitated those who had the good luck to have such a

XXI. Appius Clodius,[383] who was sent to Tigranes (now Clodius was
the brother of the then wife of Lucullus), was at first conducted by
the king's guides through the upper part of the country, by a route
unnecessarily circuitous and roundabout, and one that required many
days' journeying; but, as soon as the straight road was indicated to
him by a freedman, a Syrian by nation, he quitted that tedious and
tricky road, and, bidding his barbarian guides farewell, he crossed
the Euphrates in a few days, and arrived at Antiocheia,[384] near
Daphne. There he waited for Tigranes, pursuant to the king's orders
(for Tigranes was absent, and still engaged in reducing some of the
Phœnician cities), and in the meantime he gained over many of the
princes who paid the Armenian a hollow obedience, among whom was
Zarbienus, King of Gordyene,[385] and he promised aid from Lucullus to
many of the enslaved cities, which secretly sent to him--bidding them,
however, keep quiet for the present. Now the rule of the Armenians was
not tolerable to the Greeks, but was harsh; and what was worse, the
king's temper had become violent and exceedingly haughty in his great
prosperity; for he had not only everything about him which the many
covet and admire, but he seemed to think that everything was made for
him. Beginning with expectations which were slight and contemptible,
he had subdued many nations, and humbled the power of the Parthians as
no man before him had done; and he filled Mesopotamia with Greeks,
many from Cilicia and many from Cappadocia, whom he removed and
settled. He also removed from their abodes the Skenite Arabians,[386]
and settled them near him, that he might with their aid have the
benefit of commerce. Many were the kings who were in attendance on
him; but there were four who were always about him, like attendants or
guards, and when he mounted his horse they ran by his side in jackets;
and when he was seated and transacting business, they stood by with
their hands clasped together, which was considered to be of all
attitudes the most expressive of servitude, as if they had sold their
freedom, and were presenting their bodies to their master in a posture
indicating readiness to suffer rather than to act. Appius, however,
was not alarmed or startled at the tragedy show; but, as soon as he
had an opportunity of addressing the king, he told him plainly that he
was come to take back Mithridates, as one who belonged to the
triumphs of Lucullus, or to denounce war against Tigranes. Though the
king made an effort to preserve a tranquil mien, and affected a smile
while he was listening to the address, he could not conceal from the
bystanders that he was disconcerted by the bold speech of the youth,
he who had not for near five-and-twenty years[387] heard the voice of
a free man; for so many years had he been king, or rather tyrant.
However, he replied to Appius that he would not give up Mithridates,
and that he would resist the Romans if they attacked him. He was angry
with Lucullus because he addressed him in his letter by the title of
King only, and not King of Kings, and, accordingly in his reply,
Tigranes did not address Lucullus by the title of Imperator. But he
sent splendid presents to Appius, and when they were refused he sent
still more. Appius, not wishing to appear to reject the king's
presents from any hostile feeling, selected from among them a goblet,
and sent the rest back; and then with all speed set off to join the

XXII. Now, up to this time, Tigranes had not deigned to see
Mithridates,[388] nor to speak to him, though Mithridates was allied
to him by marriage, and had been ejected from so great a kingdom; but,
in a degrading and insulting manner, he had allowed Mithridates to be
far removed from him, and, in a manner, kept a prisoner in his abode,
which was a marshy and unhealthy place. However, he now sent for him
with demonstrations of respect and friendship. In a secret conference
which took place in the palace, they endeavoured to allay their mutual
suspicions, by turning the blame on their friends, to their ruin. One
of them was Metrodorus[389] of Skepsis, an agreeable speaker, and a
man of great acquirements, who enjoyed so high a degree of favour with
Mithridates that he got the name of the king's father. Metrodorus, as
it seems, had once been sent on an embassy from Mithridates to
Tigranes, to pray for aid against the Romans, on which occasion
Tigranes asked him, "But you, Metrodorus, what do you advise me in
this matter?" Metrodorus, either consulting the interests of Tigranes,
or not wishing Mithridates to be maintained in his kingdom, replied,
that, as ambassador, he requested him to send aid, but, in the
capacity of adviser, he told him not to send any. Tigranes reported
this to Mithridates, to whom he gave the information, not expecting
that he would inflict any extreme punishment on Metrodorus. But
Metrodorus was forthwith put to death, and Tigranes was sorry for what
he had done, though he was not altogether the cause of the misfortune
of Metrodorus: indeed what he had said merely served to turn the
balance in the dislike of Mithridates towards Metrodorus; for
Mithridates had for a long time disliked Metrodorus, and this was
discovered from his private papers, that fell into the hands of the
Romans, in which there were orders to put Metrodorus to death. Now,
Tigranes interred the body with great pomp, sparing no expense on the
man, when dead, whom he had betrayed when living. Amphikrates the
rhetorician also lost his life at the court of Tigranes, if he too
deserves mention for the sake of Athens. It is said that he fled to
Seleukeia,[390] on the Tigris, and that when the citizens there asked
him to give lectures on his art, he treated them with contempt,
saying, in an arrogant way, that a dish would not hold a dolphin.
Removing himself from Seleukeia, he betook himself to Kleopatra, who
was the daughter of Mithridates, and the wife of Tigranes; but he soon
fell under suspicion, and, being excluded from all communion with the
Greeks, he starved himself to death. Amphikrates also received an
honourable interment from Kleopatra, and his body lies at Sapha, a
place in those parts so called.

XXIII. After conferring on Asia, the fulness of good administration
and of peace, Lucullus did not neglect such things as would gratify
the people and gain their favour; but during his stay at Ephesus he
gained popularity in the Asiatic cities by processions and public
festivals in commemoration of his victories, and by contests of
athletes and gladiators. The cities on their side made a return by
celebrating festivals, called after the name of Lucullus, to do honour
to the man; and they manifested towards him what is more pleasing than
demonstrations of respect, real affection. Now, when Appius had
returned, and it appeared that there was to be war with Tigranes,
Lucullus again advanced into Pontus, and, getting his troops together,
he besieged Sinope,[391] or rather the Cilicians of the king's party,
who were in possession of the city; but the Cilicians made their
escape by night, after massacring many of the Sinopians, and firing
the city. Lucullus, who saw what was going on, made his way into the
city, and slaughtered eight thousand of the Cilicians, who were left
there; but he restored to the rest of the inhabitants their property,
and provided for the interests of Sinope, mainly by reason of a vision
of this sort: he dreamed that a man stood by him in his sleep, and
said, "Advance a little, Lucullus; for Autolykus is come, and wishes
to meet with you." On waking, Lucullus could not conjecture what was
the meaning of the vision; but he took the city on that day, and,
while pursuing the Cilicians, who were escaping in their ships, he saw
a statue lying on the beach, which the Cilicians had not had time to
put on board; and the statue was the work of Sthenis,[392] one of his
good performances. Now, somebody told Lucullus that it was the statue
of Autolykus, the founder of Sinope. Autolykus is said to have been
one of those who joined Herakles from Thessalia, in his expedition
against the Amazons, and a son of Deimachus. In his voyage home, in
company with Demoleon and Phlogius, he lost his ship, which was
wrecked at the place called Pedalium, in the Chersonesus:[393] but he
escaped with his arms and companions to Sinope, which he took from the
Syrians: for Sinope was in possession of the Syrians, who were
descended from Syrus, the son of Apollo, according to the story, and
Sinope, the daughter of Asopus. On hearing this, Lucullus called to
mind the advice of Sulla, who in his 'Memoirs' advised to consider
nothing so trustworthy and safe as that which is signified in dreams.
Lucullus was now apprised that Mithridates and Tigranes were on the
point of entering Lycaonia and Cilicia, with the intention of
anticipating hostilities by an invasion of Asia, and he was surprised
that the Armenian, if he really intended to attack the Romans, did not
avail himself of the aid of Mithridates, in the war when he was at the
height of his power, nor join his forces to those of Mithridates when
he was strong but allowed him to be undone and crushed; and now began
a war that offered only cold hopes, and throw himself on the ground to
join those who were already there and unable to rise.

XXIV. Now, when Machares also, the son of Mithridates, who held the
Bosporus, sent to Lucullus a crown worth one thousand gold pieces, and
prayed to be acknowledged a friend and ally[394] of the Romans,
Lucullus, considering that the former war was at an end, left
Sornatius in those parts to watch over the affairs of Pontus with six
thousand soldiers. He set out himself with twelve thousand foot
soldiers, and not quite three thousand horse, to commence a second
campaign, wherein he seemed to be making a hazardous move, and one not
resting on any safe calculation; for he was going to throw himself
among warlike nations and many thousands of horsemen, and to enter a
boundless tract, surrounded by deep rivers and by mountains covered
with perpetual snow; so that his soldiers, who were generally not very
obedient to discipline, followed unwillingly and made opposition: and
at Rome the popular leaders raised a cry against him, and accused him
of seeking one war after another, though the State required no wars,
that he might never lay down his arms so long as he had command, and
never stop making his private profit out of the public danger; and in
course of time the demagogues at Rome accomplished their purpose.
Lucullus, advancing by hard marches to the Euphrates, found the stream
swollen and muddy, owing to the winter season, and he was vexed on
considering that it would cause loss of time and some trouble if he
had to get together boats to take his army across and to build rafts.
However, in the evening the water began to subside, and it went on
falling all through the night, and at daybreak the bed of the river
was empty. The natives observing that some small islands in the river
had become visible, and that the stream near them was still, made
their obeisance to Lucullus; for this had very seldom happened before,
and they considered it a token that the river had purposely made
itself tame and gentle for Lucullus, and was offering him an easy and
ready passage. Accordingly, Lucullus took advantage of the
opportunity, and carried his troops over: and a favourable sign
accompanied the passage of the army. Cows feed in that neighbourhood,
which are sacred to Artemis Persia, a deity whom the barbarians on the
farther side of the Euphrates venerate above all others; they use the
cows only for sacrifice, which at other times ramble at liberty about
the country, with a brand upon them, in the form of the torch of the
goddess, and it is not very easy, nor without much trouble, that they
can catch the cows when they want them. After the army had crossed the
Euphrates one of these cows came to a rock, which is considered sacred
to the goddess, and stood upon it, and there laying down its head,
just as a cow does when it is held down tight by a rope, it offered
itself to Lucullus to be sacrificed. Lucullus also sacrificed a bull
to the Euphrates, as an acknowledgment for his passage over the river.
He encamped there for that day, and on the next and the following days
he advanced through Sophene[395] without doing any harm to the people,
who joined him and gladly received the soldiers; and when the soldiers
were expressing a wish to take possession of a fortress, which was
supposed to contain much wealth, "That is the fortress," said
Lucullus, "which we must take first," pointing to the Taurus[396] in
the distance; "but this is reserved for the victors." He now continued
his route by hard marches, and, crossing the Tigris, entered Armenia.

XXV. Now, as the first person who reported to Tigranes that Lucullus
was in the country got nothing for his pains, but had his head cut
off, nobody else would tell him, and Tigranes was sitting in ignorance
while the fires of war were burning round him, and listening to
flattering words, That Lucullus would be a great general if he should
venture to stand against Tigranes at Ephesus, and should not flee
forthwith from Asia, at the sight of so many tens of thousands. So
true it is, that it is not every man who can bear much wine, nor is it
any ordinary understanding that in great prosperity does not lose all
sound judgment. The first of his friends who ventured to tell him the
truth was Mithrobarzanes; and he, too, got no reward for his boldness
in speaking; for he was sent forthwith against Lucullus, with three
thousand horsemen and a very large body of infantry, with orders to
bring the general alive, and to trample down his men. Now, part of the
army of Lucullus was preparing to halt, and the rest was still
advancing. When the scouts reported that the barbarian was coming upon
them, Lucullus was afraid that the enemy would fall upon his troops
while they were divided and not in battle order, and so put them into
confusion. Lucullus himself set to work to superintend the encampment,
and he sent Sextilius, one of his legati, with sixteen hundred
horsemen, and hoplitæ[397] and light-armed troops, a few more in
number, with orders to approach close to the enemy, and wait till he
should hear that the soldiers who were with him had made their
encampment. Sextilius wished to follow his orders; but he was
compelled to engage by Mithrobarzanes, who was confidently advancing
against him. A battle ensued, in which Mithrobarzanes fell fighting;
and the rest, taking to flight, were all cut to pieces with the
exception of a few. Upon this Tigranes left Tigranocerta,[398] a large
city which he had founded, and retreated to the Taurus, and there
began to get together his forces from all parts: but Lucullus,
allowing him no time for preparation, sent Murena to harass and cut
off those who were collecting to join Tigranes, and Sextilius on the
other side to check a large body of Arabs, who were approaching to
the king. It happened just at the same time that Sextilius fell on the
Arabs as they were encamping and killed most of them, and Murena,
following Tigranes, took the opportunity of attacking him as he was
passing through a rough and narrow defile with his army in a long
line. Tigranes fled, and left behind him all his baggage; and many of
the Armenians were killed and still more taken prisoners.

XXVI. After this success Lucullus broke up his camp and marched
against Tigranocerta, which he surrounded with his lines, and began to
besiege. There were in the city many Greeks, a part of those who had
been removed from Cilicia, and many barbarians who had fared the same
way with the Greeks, Adiabeni,[399] and Assyrians, and Gordyeni and
Cappadocians, whose native cities Tigranes had digged down, and had
removed the inhabitants and settled them there. The city was also
filled with wealth and sacred offerings, for every private individual
and prince, in order to please the king, contributed to the increase
and ornament of the city. For this reason Lucullus pressed the siege,
thinking that Tigranes would not endure this, but even contrary to his
judgment, would come down in passion and fight a battle; and he was
not mistaken. Now, Mithridates, both by messengers and letters,
strongly advised Tigranes not to fight a battle, but to cut off the
enemy's supplies by means of his cavalry; and Taxiles[400] also, who
had come from Mithridates to join Tigranes, earnestly entreated the
king to keep on the defensive, and to avoid the arms of the Romans, as
being invincible. Tigranes at first readily listened to this advice:
but when the Armenians and Gordyeni had joined him with all their
forces, and the kings were come, bringing with them all the power of
the Medes and Adiabeni, and many Arabs had arrived from the sea that
borders on Babylonia, and many Albanians from the Caspian, and
Iberians, who are neighbours of the Albanians; and not a few of the
tribes about the Araxes,[401] who are not governed by kings, had come
to join him, induced by solicitations and presents, and the banquets
of the king were filled with hopes and confidence and barbaric
threats, and his councils also,--Taxiles narrowly escaped death for
opposing the design of fighting, and it was believed that Mithridates
wished to divert Tigranes from obtaining a great victory, merely from
envy. Accordingly, Tigranes would not even wait for Mithridates, for
fear he should share in the glory; but he advanced with all his force,
and greatly complained to his friends, it is said, that he would have
to encounter Lucullus alone, and not all the Roman generals at once.
And his confidence was not altogether madness nor without good
grounds, when he looked upon so many nations and kings following him,
and bodies of hoplitæ, and tens of thousands of horsemen; for he was
at the head of twenty thousand bowmen and slingers and fifty-five
thousand horsemen, of whom seventeen thousand were clothed in armour
of mail, as Lucullus said in his letter to the Senate, and one hundred
and fifty thousand hoplitæ, some of whom were drawn up in cohorts and
others in phalanx; and of road-makers, bridge-makers, clearers of
rivers, timber-cutters, and labourers for other necessary purposes,
there were thirty-five thousand, who, being placed behind the fighting
men, added to the imposing appearance and the strength of the army.

XXVII. When Tigranes had crossed the Taurus, and, showing himself with
all his forces, looked down on the Roman army, which was encamped
before Tigranocerta, the barbarians in the city hailed his appearance
with shouts and clapping of hands, and from their walls with threats
pointed to the Armenians. As Lucullus was considering about the
battle, some advised him to give up the siege, and march against
Tigranes; others urged him not to leave so many enemies in his rear,
nor to give up the siege. Lucullus replied, that singly they did not
advise well, but that taken both together the counsel was good; on
which he divided his army. He left Murena with six thousand foot to
maintain the siege; and himself taking twenty-four cohorts, among
which there were not above ten thousand hoplitæ, with all his cavalry
and slingers and bowmen, to the number of about one thousand, advanced
against the enemy. Lucullus, encamping in a large plain by the bank of
the river, appeared contemptible to Tigranes, and furnished matter for
amusement to the king's flatterers. Some scoffed at him, and others,
by way of amusement, cast lots for the spoil, and all the generals and
kings severally applied to the king, and begged the matter might be
intrusted to each of them singly, and that Tigranes would sit as a
spectator. Tigranes also attempted to be witty, and, in a scoffing
manner, he uttered the well-known saying, "If they have come as
ambassadors, there are too many of them; if as soldiers, too few."
Thus they amused themselves with sarcastic sayings and jokes. At
daybreak Lucullus led out his troops under arms. Now the barbarian
army was on the east side of the river; but, as the river makes a bend
towards the west, at a part where it was easiest to ford, Lucullus led
his troops out, and hurried in that direction, which led Tigranes to
think that he was retreating; and calling Taxiles to him he said, with
a laugh, "Don't you see that these invincible Roman warriors are
flying?" Taxiles replied: "I should be pleased, O king, at any strange
thing happening which should be lucky to you; but the Roman soldiers
do not put on their splendid attire when they are on a march; nor have
they then their shields cleaned, and their helmets bare, as they now
have, by reason of having taken off the leathern coverings; but this
brightness of their armour is a sign they are going to fight, and are
now marching against their enemies." While Taxiles was still speaking
the first eagle came in sight; for Lucullus had now faced about, and
the cohorts were seen taking their position in manipuli for the
purpose of crossing the river: on which Tigranes, as if he were hardly
recovering from a drunken bout, called out two or three times, "What,
are they coming against us?" and so, with much confusion, the enemy's
soldiers set about getting into order, the king taking his position in
the centre, and giving the left wing to the King of the Adiabeni, and
the right to the Mede, on which wing also were the greater part of
the soldiers, clad in mail, occupying the first ranks. As Lucullus was
going to cross the river, some of the officers bade him beware of the
day, which was one of the unlucky days which the Romans call black
days; for on that day Cæpio[402] and his army were destroyed in a
battle with the Cimbri. Lucullus replied in these memorable words:
"Well, I will make it a lucky day for the Romans." The day was the
sixth of October.

XXVIII. Saying this, and bidding his men be of good cheer, Lucullus
began to cross the river, and advanced against the enemy, at the head
of his soldiers, with a breastplate of glittering scaly steel, and a
cloak with a fringed border, and he just let it be seen that his sword
was already bare, thereby indicating that they must forthwith come to
close quarters with the enemy, who fought with missiles, and by the
rapidity of the attack cut off the intervening space, within which the
barbarians could use their bows. Ob