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Title: Plutarch's Lives, Volume IV - Translated from the Greek. With Notes and a Life of Plutarch
Author: Stewart, Aubrey, 1844-1918, Long, George, 1800-1879
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Plutarch's Lives, Volume IV - Translated from the Greek. With Notes and a Life of Plutarch" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

   Transcriber's note:

   Chapter numbers in the Index with question marks
   do not exist in the previous volumes.


   Translated from the Greek.




   _Late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge_;

   _Formerly Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge_.

   VOL. IV.





   LIFE OF AGIS                                                 1

   LIFE OF KLEOMENES                                           19

   LIFE OF TIBERIUS GRACCHUS (_by G. Long _)                   53

   LIFE OF CAIUS GRACCHUS (_by G. Long _)                      90

     KLEOMENES                                                115

   LIFE OF DEMOSTHENES                                        119

   LIFE OF CICERO (_by G. Long_)                              146

   COMPARISON OF DEMOSTHENES AND CICERO                       211

   LIFE OF DEMETRIUS                                          215

   LIFE OF ANTONIUS (_by G. Long_)                            263

   COMPARISON OF DEMETRIUS AND ANTONIUS                       348

   LIFE OF DION                                               352

   LIFE OF BRUTUS (_by G. Long_)                              398

   COMPARISON OF DION AND BRUTUS                              454

   LIFE OF ARTAXERXES                                         458

   LIFE OF ARATUS                                             485

   LIFE OF GALBA                                              530

   LIFE OF OTHO                                               556

   INDEX                                                      573



I. Many writers have very naturally conceived that the myth of Ixion,
who is fabled to have embraced a cloud instead of Hera, and so to have
begotten the centaurs, is really typical of ambitious men; for, although
they aim at obtaining glory, and set before themselves a lofty ideal of
virtue, yet they never succeed in producing any very distinct result,
because all their actions are coloured by various human passions and
prejudices, just as the herdsmen with their flocks say in Sophokles's

   "We needs must serve them, though their lords we be,
    And to their mute commands obedience pay."

These verses really represent the state of those who, in order to obtain
the empty title of statesmen and popular leaders, govern a country by
following the caprices and impulses of the people. Just as the men
stationed in the bows of a ship see what is coming before the steersmen,
but yet look up to them as their chiefs and execute their orders; so
they who govern with a view solely to their own popularity, although
they may be called rulers, are, in truth, nothing more than slaves of
the people.

II. An absolutely perfect man would not even wish for popularity, except
so far as it enabled him to take part in politics, and caused him to be
trusted by the people; yet a young and ambitious man must be excused if
he feels pride in the glory and reputation which he gains by brilliant
exploits. For, as Theophrastus says, the virtue which buds and sprouts
in youthful minds is confirmed by praise, and the high spirit thus
formed leads it to attempt greater things. On the other hand, an
excessive love of praise is dangerous in all cases, but, in statesmen,
utterly ruinous; for when it takes hold of men in the possession of
great power it drives them to commit acts of sheer madness, because they
forget that honourable conduct must increase their popularity, and think
that any measure that increases their popularity must necessarily be a
good one. We ought to tell the people that they cannot have the same man
to lead them and to follow them, just as Phokion is said to have replied
to Antipater, when he demanded some disgraceful service from him, "I
cannot be Antipater's friend and his toady at the same time." One might
also quote the fable of the serpent's tail which murmured against the
head and desired sometimes to take the lead, and not always follow the
head, but which when allowed to lead the way took the wrong path and
caused the head to be miserably crushed, because it allowed itself to be
guided by that which could neither see nor hear. This has been the fate
of many of those politicians who court the favour of the people; for,
after they have once shared their blind impulses, they lose the power of
checking their folly, and of restoring good discipline and order. These
reflections upon the favour of the people occurred to me when I thought
of its power, as shown in the case of Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, men
who were well born, well educated, and began their political career with
great promise, and yet were ruined, not so much by an excessive craving
for popular applause as by a very pardonable fear of disgrace. They both
received at the outset great proofs of their countrymen's goodwill, but
felt ashamed to remain as it were in their debt, and they ever strove to
wipe out their obligations to the people by legislation on their behalf,
and by their beneficent measures continually increased their popularity,
until, in the heat of the rivalry thus created, they found themselves
pledged to a line of policy in which they could not even pause with
honour, and which they could not desist from without disgrace. The
reader, however, will be able to form his own opinion about them from
their history, and I shall now write, as a parallel to them, the lives
of that pair of Laconian reformers, Agis and Kleomenes, kings of Sparta,
who, like the Gracchi, increased the power of the people, and
endeavoured to restore an admirable and just constitution which had
fallen into desuetude; but who, like them, incurred the hatred of the
governing class, who were unwilling to relinquish their encroachments
and privileges. These Lacedæmonians were not indeed brothers, yet they
pursued a kindred policy, with the same objects in view.

III. After the desire for silver and gold had penetrated into Sparta,
the acquisition of wealth produced greed and meanness, while the use and
enjoyment of riches was followed by luxury, effeminacy, and
extravagance. Thus it fell out that Sparta lost her high and honoured
position in Greece, and remained in obscurity and disgrace until the
reign of Agis and Leonidas. Agis was of the Eurypontid line, the son of
Eudamidas, and the sixth in descent from king Agesilaus, who invaded
Asia, and became the most powerful man in Greece. This Agesilaus had a
son named Archidamus, who fell in battle against the Messapians at the
battle of Mandurium[1] in Italy. He was succeeded by his eldest son
Agis, who, being killed by Antipater near Megalopolis, and leaving no
issue, was succeeded by his brother, Eudamidas; he, by a son named
Archidamus; and Archidamus by another Eudamidas, the father of Agis, the
subject of this memoir.

Leonidas, the son of Kleonymus, was of the other royal family, that of
the Agiadæ, and was eighth in descent from Pausanias who conquered
Mardonius at the battle of Plataea. Pausanias had a son named
Pleistoanax, whose son was again named Pausanias. This Pausanias[2]
fled for his life from Sparta to Tegea, and was succeeded by his eldest
son Agesipolis; and he, dying childless, by his younger brother
Kleombrotus. Kleombrotus left two sons, Agesipolis and Kleomenes, of
whom Agesipolis reigned but a short time, and left no children.
Kleomenes succeeded his brother Agesipolis on the throne. Of his two
sons, the elder, Akrotatus, died during his father's lifetime, and the
younger, Kleonymus, never reigned, as the throne was occupied by
Areus[3] the grandson of Kleomenes, and the son of Akrotatus. Areus
perished in battle before Corinth, and was succeeded by his son
Akrotatus. This Akrotatus was defeated and slain near the city of
Megalopolis by the despot Aristodemus, leaving his wife pregnant. When
she bore a son, Leonidas the son of Kleonymus was appointed his
guardian, and, as the child died before reaching manhood, he succeeded
to the throne although he was far from being an acceptable personage to
his countrymen; for, though the Spartans at this period had all
abandoned their original severe simplicity of living, yet they found the
manners of Leonidas in offensive contrast to their own. Indeed,
Leonidas, who had spent much of his life at the courts of Asiatic
potentates, and had been especially attached to that of Seleukus, seemed
inclined to outrage the political feeling of the Greeks by introducing
the arrogant tone of an Oriental despot into the constitutional monarchy
of Sparta.

IV. On the other hand, the goodness of heart and intellectual power of
Agis proved so greatly superior not only to that of Leonidas, but of
every king since Agesilaus the Great, that before he arrived at his
twentieth year, in spite of his having been brought up in the greatest
luxury by his mother Agesistrata and his grandmother Archidamia, the two
richest women in Sparta, he abjured all frivolous indulgence, laid aside
all personal ornament, avoided extravagance of every kind, prided
himself on practising the old Laconian habits of dress, food, and
bathing, and was wont to say that he would not care to be king unless
he could use his position to restore the ancient customs and discipline
of his country.

V. The corruption of the Lacedæmonians began at the time when, after
having overthrown the Athenian empire, they were able to satiate
themselves with the possession of gold and silver. Nevertheless, as the
number of houses instituted by Lykurgus was still maintained, and each
father still transmitted his estate to his son, the original equal
division of property continued to exist and preserved the state from
disorder. But a certain powerful and self-willed man, named Epitadeus,
who was one of the Ephors, having quarrelled with his son, proposed a
rhetra permitting a man to give his house and land to whomsoever he
pleased, either during his life, or by his will after his death. This
man proposed the law in order to gratify his own private grudge; but the
other Spartans through covetousness eagerly confirmed it, and ruined the
admirable constitution of Lykurgus. They now began to acquire land
without limit, as the powerful men kept their relatives out of their
rightful inheritance; and as the wealth of the country soon got into the
hands of a few, the city became impoverished, and the rich began to be
viewed with dislike and hatred. There were left at that time no more
than seven hundred Spartans, and of these about one hundred possessed an
inheritance in land, while the rest, without money, and excluded from
all the privileges of citizenship, fought in a languid and spiritless
fashion in the wars, and were ever on the watch for some opportunity to
subvert the existing condition of affairs at home.

VI. Agis, therefore, thinking that it would be an honourable enterprise,
as indeed it was, to restore these citizens to the state and to
re-establish equality for all, began to sound the people themselves as
to their opinion about such a measure. The younger men quickly rallied
round him, and, with an enthusiasm which he had hardly counted upon,
began to make ready for the contest; but most of the elder men, who had
become more thoroughly tainted by the prevailing corruption, feared to
be brought back to the discipline of Lykurgus as much as a runaway slave
fears to be brought back to his master, and they bitterly reviled Agis
when he lamented over the condition of affairs and sighed for the
ancient glories of Sparta. His enthusiastic aspirations, however, were
sympathised with by Lysander the son of Libys, Mandrokleidas the son of
Ekphanes, and Agesilaus. Lysander was the most influential of all the
Spartans, while Mandrokleidas was thought to be the ablest politician in
Greece, as he could both plot with subtlety and execute with boldness.
Agesilaus was the uncle of King Agis and a fluent speaker, but of a weak
and covetous disposition. It was commonly supposed that he was stirred
to action by the influence of his son Hippomedon, who had gained great
glory in the wars and was exceedingly popular among the younger
citizens; but what really determined him to join the reformers was the
amount of his debts, which he hoped would be wiped out by a revolution.
As soon as Agis had won over this important adherent, he began to try to
bring over his mother to his views, who was Agesilaus's sister, and who,
from the number of her friends, debtors, and dependants, was very
powerful in the state, and took a large share in the management of
public affairs.

VII. When she first heard of Agis's designs she was much startled, and
dissuaded the youth from an enterprise which she thought neither
practicable nor desirable. However, when Agesilaus pointed out to her
what a notable design it was, and how greatly to the advantage of all,
while the young king himself besought his mother to part with her wealth
in order to gain him glory, arguing that he could not vie with other
kings in riches, as the servants of Persian satraps, and the very slaves
of the intendants of Ptolemy and Seleukus possessed more money than all
the kings that ever reigned in Sparta; but that, if he could prove
himself superior to those vanities by his temperance, simplicity of
life, and true greatness of mind, and could succeed in restoring
equality among his fellow-countrymen, he would be honoured and renowned
as a truly great king. By this means the youth entirely changed his
mother's mind, and so fired her with his own ambition, as if by an
inspiration from heaven, that she began to encourage Agis and urge him
on, and invited her friends to join them, while she also communicated
their design to the other women, because she knew that the Lacedæmonians
were in all things ruled by their women, and that they had more power in
the state than the men possessed in their private households. Most of
the wealth of Lacedæmon had fallen into female hands at this time, and
this fact proved a great hindrance to the accomplishment of Agis's
schemes of reform; for the women offered a vehement opposition to him,
not merely through a vulgar love for their idolised luxury, but also
because they saw that they would lose all the influence and power which
they derived from their wealth. They betook themselves to Leonidas, and
besought him, as being the elder man, to restrain Agis, and check the
development of his designs. Leonidas was willing enough to assist the
richer class, but he feared the people, who were eager for reform, and
would not openly oppose Agis, although he endeavoured secretly to ruin
his scheme, and to prejudice the Ephors against him, by imputing to him
the design of hiring the poor to make him despot with the plunder of the
rich, and insinuating that by his redistribution of lands and remission
of debts he meant to obtain more adherents for himself instead of more
citizens for Sparta.

VIII. In spite of all this, Agis contrived to get Lysander appointed one
of the Ephors, and immediately brought him to propose a rhetra before
the Gerusia, or Senate, the main points of which were that all debts
should be cancelled; that the land[4] should be divided, that between
the valley of Pellene and Mount Taygetus, Malea, and Sellasia into four
thousand five hundred lots, and the outlying districts into fifteen
thousand: that the latter district should be distributed among the
Perioeki of military age, and the former among the pure Spartans: that
the number of these should be made up by an extension of the franchise
to Perioeki or even foreigners of free birth, liberal education, and
fitting personal qualifications: and that these citizens should be
divided into fifteen companies some of four hundred, and some of two
hundred, for the public meals, and should conform in every respect to
the discipline of their forefathers.

IX. When this rhetra was proposed, as the Senate could not agree
whether it should become law, Lysander convoked a popular assembly and
himself addressed the people. Mandrokleidas and Agesilaus also besought
them not to allow a few selfish voluptuaries to destroy the glorious
name of Sparta, but to remember the ancient oracles, warning them
against the sin of covetousness, which would prove the ruin of Sparta,
and also of the responses which they had recently received from the
oracle of Pasiphae. The temple and oracle of Pasiphae at Thalamae was of
peculiar sanctity. Pasiphae is said by some writers to have been one of
the daughters of Atlas, and to have become the mother of Ammon by Zeus,
while others say that Kassandra the daughter of Priam died there, and
was called Pasiphae because her prophecies were plain to all men.
Phylarchus again tells us that Daphne the daughter of Amyklas, while
endeavouring to escape from the violence of Apollo, was transformed into
the laurel,[5] which bears her name, and was honoured by the god and
endowed by him with the gift of prophecy. Be this as it may, the
oracular responses which were brought from this shrine bade the Spartans
all become equal according as Lykurgus had originally ordained. After
these speeches had been delivered, King Agis himself came forward, and,
after a few introductory words, said that he was giving the strongest
possible pledges of his loyalty to the new constitution; for he declared
his intention of surrendering to the state, before any one else, his own
property, consisting of a vast extent of land, both arable and pasture,
besides six thousand talents of money; and he assured the people that
his mother and her friends, the richest people in Sparta, would do the

X. The people were astounded at the magnanimity of the youth, and were
filled with joy, thinking that at last, after an interval of three
hundred years, there had appeared a king worthy of Sparta. Leonidas, on
the other hand, opposed him as vigorously as he could, reflecting that
he would be forced to follow his example, and divest himself of all his
property, and that Agis, not he, would get the credit of the act. He
therefore inquired of Agis whether he thought Lykurgus to have been a
just and well-meaning man. Receiving an affirmative reply, he again
demanded, "Where, then, do we find that Lykurgus approved of the
cancelling of debts, or of the admission of foreigners to the franchise,
seeing that he did not think that the state could prosper without a
periodical expulsion of foreigners?" To this Agis answered, that it was
not to be wondered at if Leonidas, who had lived in a foreign country,
and had a family by the daughter of a Persian satrap, should be ignorant
that Lykurgus, together with coined money, had banished borrowing and
lending from Sparta, and that he had no hatred for foreigners, but only
for those whose profession and mode of life made them unfit to associate
with his countrymen. These men Lykurgus expelled, not from any hatred of
their persons, but because he feared that their manners and habits would
infect the citizens with a love of luxury, effeminacy, and avarice.
Terpander, Thales, and Pherekydes were all foreigners, but, since they
sang and taught what Lykurgus approved, they lived in Sparta, and were
treated with especial honour. "Do you," asked he, "praise Ekprepus, who
when Ephor cut off with a hatchet the two additional strings which
Phrynis the musician had added to the original seven strings of the
lyre, and those who cut the same strings off the harp of Timotheus, and
yet do you blame us when we are endeavouring to get rid of luxury,
extravagance, and frivolity, just as if those great men did not merely
mean thereby to guard against vain refinements of music, which would
lead to the introduction of extravagant and licentious manners, and
cause the city to be at discord and variance with itself?"

XI. After this the people espoused the cause of Agis, while the rich
begged Leonidas not to desert them, and by their entreaties prevailed
upon the senators, who had the power of originating all laws, to throw
out the rhetra by a majority of only one vote. Lysander, who was still
one of the Ephors, now proceeded to attack Leonidas, by means of a
certain ancient law, which forbade any descendant of Herakles to beget
children by a foreign wife, and which bade the Spartans put to death any
citizen who left his country to dwell in a foreign land. He instructed
his adherents to revive the memory of this law, and threaten Leonidas
with its penalties, while he himself with the other Ephors watched for
the sign from heaven. This ceremony is conducted as follows:--Every ninth
year the Ephors choose a clear moonless night, and sit in silence
watching the heavens. If a star shoots across the sky, they conclude
that the kings must have committed some act of impiety, and they suspend
them from their office, until they were absolved by a favourable oracle
from Delphi or Olympia. Lysander now declared that he had beheld this
sign, and impeached Leonidas, bringing forward witnesses to prove that
he had two children born to him by an Asiatic wife, the daughter of one
of the lieutenants of Seleukus, and that having quarrelled with his wife
and become hated by her he had unexpectedly returned home, and in
default of a direct heir, had succeeded to the throne. At the same time
Lysander urged Kleombrotus, the son-in-law of Leonidas, who was also of
the royal family, to claim the throne for himself. Leonidas, terrified
at this, took sanctuary in the temple of Athena of the Brazen House, and
was joined there by his daughter, who left her husband Kleombrotus. When
the trial came on, Leonidas did not appear in court, he was removed from
the throne, and Kleombrotus was appointed in his stead.

XII. At this crisis Lysander was forced to lay down his office, as the
year for which he had been elected had expired. The Ephors at once took
Leonidas under their protection, restored him to the throne, and
impeached Lysander and Mandrokleidas as the authors of illegal measures
in the cancelling of debts and the redistribution of the land. As these
men were now in danger of their lives, they prevailed upon the two kings
to act together and overrule the decision of the Ephors; for this, they
declared, was the ancient rule of the constitution, that if the kings
were at variance, the Ephors were entitled to support the one whom they
judged to be in the right against the other, but their function was
merely to act as arbitrators and judges between the kings when they
disagreed, and not to interfere with them when they were of one mind.
Both the kings agreed to act upon this advice, and came with their
friends into the assembly, turned the Ephors out of their chairs of
office, and elected others in their room, one of whom was Agesilaus.
They now armed many of the younger citizens, released the prisoners, and
terrified their opponents by threatening a general massacre. No one,
however, was killed by them; for although Agesilaus desired to kill
Leonidas, and when he withdrew from Sparta to Tegea, sent men to waylay
and murder him on the road, Agis, hearing of his intention, sent others
on whom he could rely, who escorted Leonidas safely as far as Tegea.

XIII. Thus far all had gone well, and no one remained to hinder the
accomplishment of the reforms; but now Agesilaus alone upset and ruined
the whole of this noble and truly Spartan scheme by his detestable vice
of covetousness. He possessed a large quantity of the best land in the
country, and also owed a great sum of money, and as he desired neither
to pay his debts nor to part with his land, he persuaded Agis that it
would be too revolutionary a proceeding to carry both measures at once,
and that, if the moneyed class were first propitiated by the cancelling
of debts, they would afterwards be inclined to submit quietly to the
redistribution of lands. Lysander and the rest were deceived by
Agesilaus into consenting to this, and they brought all the written
securities for money which had been given by debtors, which are called
by them _klaria_, into the market-place, collected them into one heap,
and burned them. As the flames rose up, the rich and those who had lent
money went away in great distress, but Agesilaus, as if exulting at
their misfortune, declared that he had never seen a brighter blaze or a
purer fire. As the people at once demanded the division of the land, and
called upon the kings to distribute it among them, Agesilaus put them
off with various excuses, and managed to spin out the time till Agis was
sent out of the country on military service, as the Achæans, who were
allies, had demanded a reinforcement from Sparta, because the Ætolians
threatened to invade Peloponnesus through the territory of Megara, and
Aratus, the general of the Achæans, who was collecting an army to resist
them, sent to Sparta demanding assistance.

XIV. The Spartans at once despatched Agis at the head of an army, whose
high spirits and devotion to his person filled him with delight. The men
were nearly all young and poor; and as they were now relieved from the
pressure of their debts, and expected that on their return the land
would be distributed amongst them, they behaved with the most admirable
discipline. They marched through Peloponnesus without doing the least
damage, without offending any one, almost without noise; so that all the
cities were astonished at the spectacle thus afforded them, and men
began to wonder what a Lacedæmonian army must have been like when led by
Agesilaus or Lysander the Great, or by the ancient hero Leonidas, if
such awe and reverence was paid by the soldiers to one who was nearly
the youngest of them all. Their youthful leader himself was worthy of
admiration, and was looked up to by the men because of his simple
hard-working habits, and the pride which he took in wearing the same
dress and using the same arms as the common soldiers. The revolution
which he had effected, however, was very distasteful to the rich, who
feared lest it might be taken as an example by the people in other
states and lead to further disturbances.

XV. Agis joined Aratus at Corinth, while the question of how to repel
the invasion was still being debated. His advice was spirited, without
being rash or foolhardy. He gave it as his opinion that it was their
duty to fight, and not abandon the gate of Peloponnesus and let the
enemy into the country, but that he would defer to the decision of
Aratus, who was an older man than himself, and was the general of the
Achæans, and that he had not come to give them advice or to take the
command of them, but to reinforce them and serve as their ally. The
historian Baton of Sinope declares that Agis declined to fight although
Aratus wished him to do so; but he is mistaken, and clearly has not read
the justification which Aratus has written of his conduct, namely, that
as the farmers had nearly all finished gathering in their harvest, he
thought it better to allow the enemy to enter the country than to hazard
everything upon the issue of a single battle. As Aratus decided not to
fight, and dismissed his allies with thanks, Agis returned home,
greatly honoured by those under his orders, and found the internal
affairs of Sparta in great turmoil and confusion.

XVI. Agesilaus, who was now Ephor, and who was no longer restrained by
the presence of those of whom he had formerly stood in awe, was using
the most disgraceful expedients to extort money from the people, and had
even intercalated a thirteenth month in the year, although the state of
the calendar did not require it, and caused taxes to be paid for it. As
he feared those whom he had wronged, and was an object of universal
hatred, he had taken a bodyguard of swordsmen into his pay, and walked
through the city accompanied by them. As for the kings, he regarded
Kleombrotus with contempt, and though he still paid some respect to
Agis, he wished it to be thought that he did so because he was nearly
related to himself, not because he was king. He also gave out that he
intended to remain in office as Ephor for the next year as well. In
consequence of this his enemies determined to bring matters to a crisis.
They assembled in force, brought back Leonidas publicly from Tegea, and
reinstated him as king, to the great joy of most of the citizens, who
were angry with the other party because they had been deceived by them
about the redistribution of the land. Agesilaus was able to leave the
country in safety, owing to the intercession of his son Hippomedon, who
was very popular with all classes on account of his bravery. Of the two
kings, Agis fled to the temple of Athena of the Brazen House, while
Kleombrotus took sanctuary in the temple of Poseidon.[6] It appeared
that Leonidas hated Kleombrotus most of the two; for he passed by Agis,
but marched in pursuit of Kleombrotus with an armed force, and angrily
reproached him that being his own son-in-law he had conspired against
him, dethroned him, and driven him into exile.

XVII. Kleombrotus could find nothing to say in his defence, and sat
silent and helpless; but Chilonis, the daughter of Leonidas, who
formerly had taken offence at her father's injurious treatment, and when
Kleombrotus usurped the throne had left him, and showed her sympathy
with Leonidas in his misfortune by accompanying him in the temple where
he took sanctuary, and after he left the country by mourning for him and
remaining at variance with her husband Kleombrotus, now changed sides
with his changing fortunes, and appeared sitting by her husband's side
as a suppliant to the god with him, with her arms cast round him, and
her two children on each side of her. All stood amazed and were moved to
tears by her noble and affectionate conduct, and she, pointing to her
mean dress and dishevelled hair, said, "Father, I have not adopted this
posture and this dress out of pity for Kleombrotus, but I have so long
been in mourning for your misfortunes and your banishment that it has
become customary with me. Am I now to remain in mourning while you are
victorious and reign in Sparta, or am I to dress myself in fine clothes
as becomes a princess, while I see my husband murdered by your hand?
Unless he can move you to compassion, and obtain your pity by the tears
of his wife and children, he will suffer a more terrible penalty for his
misconduct than you wish to impose, by seeing me his dearest wife die
before him; for how can I endure to live among other women, if I prove
unable to move either my husband or my father to compassion? Both as a
wife and as a daughter I have been fated to suffer with my own kin and
to be despised with them. If there is anything which can be urged on
behalf of my husband's conduct, I have made it impossible to plead it
for him by the part which I have taken in protesting against his conduct
to you; but you yourself suggest a sufficient apology for his crime, by
showing that you think royalty so great and precious a thing, that to
obtain it you are willing to murder your son-in-law and neglect your own

XVIII. Chilonis, after speaking thus, nestled her face against that of
her husband, and glanced round at the spectators with red and tearful
eyes. Leonidas, after a short consultation with his friends, bade
Kleombrotus rise and leave the country, but besought his daughter to
remain with him, and not to leave him who loved her so dearly, and had
just spared her husband's life in consequence of her entreaties. He
could not, however, prevail upon her to stay, but she rose up with her
husband, took one child in her arms, and led the other, and so, after
kneeling before the altar, followed her husband, who, if his mind was
not entirely corrupted by vain ambition, must have thought exile with
such a wife preferable to royalty. After driving Kleombrotus from the
throne, ejecting the Ephors from office and substituting others chosen
by himself, Leonidas addressed himself to Agis. At first he tried to
persuade him to come out of sanctuary and reign as his colleague, saying
that the citizens had forgiven him, because they knew that he was young
and impetuous, and had been deceived by Agesilaus. However, as Agis saw
through these devices and remained where he was, Leonidas left off
making these hypocritical offers. Amphares, Damochares, and Arkesilaus
were in the habit of going to the temple and conversing with him; and
once he came out of the temple in their company to take a bath, and
after bathing was conducted back again by them in safety. All three were
on intimate terms with him, but Amphares, who had lately borrowed some
rich clothing and valuable plate from Agesistrata, was inclined to plot
against the king and the royal ladies, that he might not be obliged to
restore them. He, therefore, we are told, lent a ready ear to Leonidas's
plans, and excited the zeal of the Ephors, one of whom he was.

XIX. Since Agis lived entirely in the temple, and only left it in order
to bathe, they determined to seize him when he came out for this
purpose. Having one day watched him bathing they came up and greeted him
in a friendly way, and walked along with him talking and jesting as
young men who are on intimate terms are wont to do. When they reached
the place where a road branches off to the public prison, Amphares, in
virtue of his Ephorship, laid hold of Agis and said: "Agis, I must lead
you before the Ephors to give an account of your conduct." At the same
time Damochares, a tall and strong man, threw his cloak round Agis's
neck and dragged him along by it. Others now appeared by previous
arrangement, and pushed him from behind, and as no one came to help
him, he was forced into the prison. Hereupon, Leonidas appeared with a
band of mercenaries, and surrounded the prison. The Ephors now went in
to Agis, and sent for all the senators of their way of thinking to come
to the prison in order to go through the form of a trial. Agis laughed
at their hypocrisy, but Amphares told him that it was no laughing
matter, and that he would soon pay a bitter penalty for his rashness.
Another of the Ephors, wishing to offer a means of escape to Agis,
inquired of him whether he had acted on his own responsibility, or had
been compelled to do so by Agesilaus and Lysander. Agis answered that no
man had compelled him, but that he admired and imitated Lykurgus, and
had aimed at reviving his institutions. Upon this the same Ephor asked
him whether he repented of what he had done. When the brave youth
answered that he never would repent of his glorious designs, whatever
tortures he might have to suffer for them, the assembly at once
condemned him to death, and bade the prison officials at once remove him
to the place called Dechas, which is a part of the prison in which
criminals are strangled. Seeing that the servants would not lay hands
upon Agis, and that even those mercenaries who were present shrunk from
such work, because it was held to be unlawful and impious to lay hands
upon the person of the king, Damochares, after threatening and abusing
them, dragged Agis with his own hands to the place of execution. Many of
the citizens had by this time heard of his arrest, and many men had
assembled with torches in their hands and were clamouring at the gate of
the prison. The mother and grandmother of Agis were also present, and
loudly demanded that the king of Sparta should have a fair trial in the
presence of his countrymen. For this reason they within hurried on the
execution, as they feared that if a larger crowd collected Agis would be
rescued during the night.

XX. While Agis was being led to execution, he saw one of the servants of
the prison weeping and in great distress. "My man," said he, "do not
weep for me, for I am a better man than those who are murdering me in
this cruel and illegal fashion." With these words he, of his own
accord, put the noose round his neck. Meanwhile Amphares proceeded to
the prison gate. Here Agesistrata fell at his feet, believing him still
to be her friend. Amphares raised her, saying that Agis would suffer no
violent treatment, and bade her, if she wished, go in and see her son.
As she asked to be accompanied by her mother, Amphares said that there
was no objection to that, and after receiving them both within the
walls, ordered the prison gates to be closed. He first sent Archidamia,
who was now very old, and greatly respected by her countrywomen, to the
place of execution, and when she was dead, bade Agesistrata enter. When
she saw the corpse of her son lying on the ground, and her mother
hanging by a halter, she herself assisted the servants to take her down,
laid her body beside that of Agis, and arranged and covered up the two
corpses. She then knelt and kissed the face of her son, saying, "My
child, thy great piety, goodness, and clemency has brought thee and us
to this death." Upon this Amphares, who was watching and listening at
the door, came into the room, and said angrily to Agesistrata, "If you
approve of your son's deeds, you shall suffer with him." At these words
Agesistrata rose and offered her neck to the halter, saying, "I only
pray that this may be for the good of Sparta."

XXI. When the sad news was known throughout the city, and the three
corpses brought out of the prison, the terror which was inspired did not
prevent the citizens from manifesting their sorrow at the deed, and
their hatred of Leonidas and Amphares. No such wicked or cruel deed,
they declared, had been committed in Sparta since the Dorians settled in
Peloponnesus. The very enemies of the Lacedæmonians generally seemed
unwilling to lay violent hands on their kings when they met them in
battle, and turned aside through reverence of their exalted position.
For this reason, in all the battles which the Lacedæmonians had fought
against the Greeks before the era of Philip of Macedon, only one king,
Kleombrotus, had fallen on the field of Leuktra; for though the
Messenians aver that Theopompus, a king of Lacedæmon, was slain by
Aristomenes, the Lacedæmonians deny it, and say that he was only
wounded. This matter is doubtful, but Agis was the first king who was
put to death by the Ephors in Lacedæmon, because he had conceived a
noble design and one which was worthy of Sparta. He was of an age when
men's shortcomings deserve to be pardoned; and deserves to be blamed by
his friends more than by his enemies, because with an ill-judged
clemency he spared the life of Leonidas, and trusted in the professions
of the rest of his political enemies.


I. After the death of Agis, as has been related, Leonidas was not able
to seize the person of his brother Archidamus, who at once fled out of
the country, but he brought the wife of Agis with her newly-born child
out of her house, and forcibly married her to his own son Kleomenes, who
was scarcely come to an age for marriage, because he was unwilling for
her to marry any one else. Indeed Agiatis was the daughter of Gylippus,
and heiress to a great estate. She was thought to be the most beautiful
woman of her time in all Greece, and was of a noble disposition. It is
said that she made many entreaties not to be forced into a second
marriage, but that after her union with Kleomenes, although she
continued to hate his father Leonidas, she made a good and affectionate
wife to the young man, who became passionately fond of her, and
sympathised with her loving remembrance of Agis, so that he would often
ask her to tell him about her late husband, and used to listen with rapt
attention while she explained the designs and projects of Agis. For
Kleomenes was as eager for honour, and had as noble a mind as Agis
himself, and was equally moderate and simple in his way of life; but he
lacked the other's discreet and gentle temper, and was of a stirring and
vehement nature, eager to embark on any honourable enterprise. He
thought it the most glorious position of all to rule over an obedient
people; but he took pride also in bending disobedient subjects to his
will, and forcibly compelling them to move in the path of honour.

II. He was far from satisfied with the state of things at Sparta, where
the citizens had given themselves up to luxurious repose, while the king
Leonidas cared nothing for public affairs, so long as he was able to
gratify his own love of extravagance and self-indulgence. Public virtue
was entirely gone, and no man cared to profit his country, but only
himself. As for discipline, orderly training of the young, hardiness of
body, and equality, all these things had perished with Agis, and it was
not safe even to speak of them. We are told that while yet a lad
Kleomenes was instructed in the principles of the Stoic philosophy by
Sphærus of Borysthenes,[7] who visited Lacedæmon and gave excellent
instruction there to the young. This Sphærus was one of the aptest
pupils of Zeno of Kitium,[8] and he seems to have admired the manly
spirit of Kleomenes and to have encouraged him in the pursuit of honour.
The ancient hero Leonidas, when asked what he thought of Tyrtæus, is
said to have answered, "He is good at exciting the minds of the youth."
Indeed they became filled with enthusiasm by the poems of Tyrtæus, and
fought with reckless daring in battle: and so also the Stoic philosophy
often renders brave and fiery natures over-daring and venturesome, and
yields the best fruit when applied to a grave and gentle nature.

III. When after the death of Leonidas, Kleomenes succeeded to the
throne, he found the state utterly disorganised, for the rich took no
part in politics, and cared for nothing but their own pleasure and
profit, while the miserable condition of the poor caused them to fight
without spirit in the wars, and to neglect the proper training of their
children. He himself was a king only in name, as the Ephors had
engrossed all real power. Under these circumstances he at once began to
revolve schemes of reform in his mind, and began to sound the opinion of
his intimate friend Xenares, by enquiring of him what sort of a king
Agis had been, and in what manner, and with what associates he had made
his attempts at reform. Xenares at first very willingly gave him a
complete narrative of the whole transaction; but as he saw that
Kleomenes listened with intense interest, and was deeply excited by the
recital of Agis's designs, to which he was never weary of listening,
Xenares at last angrily reproached him with not being in his right mind,
and at last broke off all intercourse with him. He did not, however,
tell any one the reason of their being at variance, but declared that
Kleomenes knew well what it was. Kleomenes, after meeting with this
rebuff from Xenares, imagining that every one else would be of the same
mind, determined to concert his own measures alone. As he thought that
there was more chance of effecting reforms during war than in time of
peace, he involved Sparta in a war with the Achæans, for which they
themselves furnished the pretext. Aratus, the chief of the Achæans, had
always desired to unite the whole of the Peloponnesus in one
confederacy, and in all his long political career had steadily kept this
object in view, as he thought that thus, and thus alone, the people of
Peloponnesus would be able to defend themselves against external foes.
Nearly all the tribes of Peloponnesus joined his confederacy except the
Lacedæmonians, the people of Elis, and such of the Arcadians as were
under Lacedæmonian influence. On the death of Leonidas, Aratus began to
make plundering expeditions into the territory of the Arcadians,
especially those near the Achæan frontier, in order to see what steps
the Lacedæmonians would take; for he despised Kleomenes as a young and
inexperienced man.

IV. Upon this the Ephors first sent Kleomenes to occupy the temple of
Athena, near Belbina. This place was situated in a mountain pass leading
into Laconia, and it was claimed by the citizens of Megalopolis as
belonging to their territory. Kleomenes seized the pass and fortified
it, to which Aratus offered no objection, but endeavoured by a night
march to surprise the cities of Tegea and Orchomenes. However, the
hearts of the traitors within the walls failed them, and so Aratus led
his army back, hoping that his object had not been discovered.
Kleomenes, by way of jest, now wrote him a letter affecting to enquire
of him in the most friendly terms where he had been to in the night. He
answered that he had heard that Kleomenes was about to erect
fortifications at Belbina, and had marched to prevent his doing so. To
this Kleomenes answered that he was satisfied that this had been
Aratus's intention. "But," he continued, "if you do not mind, please
tell me why you brought scaling ladders and torches with you." Aratus
laughed at this home-thrust, and enquired what sort of a youth Kleomenes
might be. Damochares, the Lacedæmonian exile, answered, "If you mean to
do anything against the Lacedæmonians, you must make haste and do it
before this young gamecock's spurs are grown." After this the Ephors
ordered Kleomenes, who was encamped in Arcadia with a few horsemen and
three hundred foot, to retire, as they feared to go to war. But since,
as soon as he had withdrawn, Aratus captured the city of Kaphyæ, they
sent him back again. He captured Methydrium, and overran Argolis, upon
which the Achæans sent an army of twenty thousand foot and a thousand
horse, under the command of Aristomachus, to attack him. Kleomenes met
them near Pallantium, and was eager to fight, but Aratus, alarmed at his
daring, would not permit the Achæan general to fight, and drew off his
forces, incurring thereby the anger of the Achæans, and the ridicule and
contempt of the Lacedæmonians, who only amounted to one-fifth of the
enemy's numbers. This affair gave Kleomenes great self-confidence, and
parodying a saying of one of the ancient kings, he said to his
countrymen that it was useless nowadays for the Lacedæmonians to ask
either how many their enemies were, or where they were.[9]

V. Shortly after, as the Achæans were making war against the Eleans,
Kleomenes was sent to aid the latter, and met with the army of the
Achæans returning home, near the mountain called Lykæum. He attacked
their forces, and utterly routed them, killing many and capturing
numbers of prisoners, so that a report spread throughout Greece that
Aratus himself had perished. But Aratus, turning the disaster to good
account, immediately after the defeat marched to Mantinea, and as no
one expected him, captured the city and placed a strong garrison in it.
This completely disheartened the Lacedæmonians, who desired to recall
Kleomenes and put an end to the war. Kleomenes now sent to Messene and
invited back Archidamus, the brother of Agis, who ought to have been on
the throne as the representative of the other royal family, imagining
that if there were two kings reigning at Sparta at the same time, the
power of the Ephors would be weakened. However, the party who had
previously murdered Agis perceived this, and as they feared that if
Archidamus returned to Sparta he would make them pay the penalty of
their crimes, they welcomed him back and assisted him to make a secret
entry into the city, but immediately afterwards assassinated him, either
against the will of Kleomenes, as we are told by Phylarchus, or else
with his connivance, in consequence of the representations of his
friends. They indeed bore the chief blame in the matter, as they were
thought to have forced Kleomenes into consenting to the murder.

VI. Kleomenes, determined to carry out his designs of reform, now
proceeded to bribe the Ephors into sending him out on a new military
expedition. He also won over a considerable number of supporters among
the citizens by means of the lavish expenditure and influence of his
mother Kratesiklea, who, though averse to a second marriage, is said to
have married one of the leading men in Sparta in order to further her
son's interests.

Kleomenes now took the field at the head of his army, and captured a
small town within the territory of Megalopolis, named Leuktra.[10] The
Achæans under Aratus promptly came up, and a battle was fought under the
walls of the town, in which part of the army of Kleomenes was defeated.
Aratus however refused to follow up his advantage, and kept the main
body of the Achæans motionless behind the bed of a torrent. Enraged at
his inaction, Lydiades of Megalopolis charged at the head of the cavalry
under his own command, but got entangled in the pursuit of the enemy in
ground which was cut up by walls and watercourses. Seeing him thrown
into disorder, Kleomenes sent his Tarentine and Cretan troops to attack
him, by whom Lydiades, fighting bravely, was overpowered and slain. The
Lacedæmonians now recovered their spirits, and with loud shouts attacked
the Achæans and completely defeated them. Many were slain, and their
corpses were given up to the enemy for burial, with the exception of
that of Lydiades, which Kleomenes ordered to be brought to himself. He
then attired it in a purple robe, placed a garland upon its head, and
sent it to the city of Megalopolis. This was that Lydiades who had been
despot of Megalopolis, but who abdicated his throne, restored liberty to
his countrymen, and brought the city to join the Achæan league.

VII. After this victory Kleomenes became inspired with fresh confidence,
and was convinced that if he only were allowed undisputed management he
would easily conquer the Achæans. He explained to his step-father
Megistonous that the time had at length come for the abolition of the
Ephors, the redistribution of property, and the establishment of
equality among the citizens, after which Sparta might again aspire to
recover her ancient ascendancy in Greece. Megistonous agreed, and
communicated his intentions to two or three of his friends. It chanced
that at this time one of the Ephors who was sleeping in the temple of
Pasiphæ dreamed an extraordinary dream, that in the place where the
Ephors sat for the dispatch of business he saw four chairs removed, and
one alone remaining, while as he wondered he heard a voice from the
shrine say "This is best for Sparta." When the Ephor related this dream
to Kleomenes, he was at first much alarmed, and feared that the man had
conceived some suspicion of his designs, but finding that he was really
in earnest recovered his confidence. Taking with him all those citizens
whom he suspected to be opposed to his enterprise, he captured Heræa and
Alsæa, cities belonging to the Achæan league, revictualled Orchomenus,
and threatened Mantinea. By long marches and counter-marches he so
wearied the Lacedæmonians that at last at their own request he left the
greater part of them in Arcadia, while he with the mercenaries returned
to Sparta. During his homeward march he revealed his intentions to
those whom he considered to be most devoted to his person, and regulated
his march so as to be able to fall upon the Ephors while they were at
their evening meal.

VIII. When he drew near to the city, he sent Eurykleidas into the
dining-room of the Ephors, on the pretence of bringing a message from
the army. After Eurykleidas followed Phoebis and Therukion, two of the
foster-brothers of Kleomenes, called _mothakes_[11] by the
Lacedæmonians, with a few soldiers. While Eurykleidas was parleying with
the Ephors, these men rushed in with drawn swords and cut them down. The
president, Agylæus, fell at the first blow and appeared to be dead, but
contrived to crawl out of the building unobserved into a small temple,
sacred to Fear, the door of which was usually closed, but which then
chanced to be open. In this he took refuge and shut the door. The other
four were slain, and some few persons, not more than ten, who came to
assist them. No one who remained quiet was put to death, nor was any one
prevented from leaving the city. Even Agylæus, when he came out of his
sanctuary on the following day, was not molested.

IX. The Lacedæmonians have temples dedicated not only to Fear, but to
Death, and Laughter, and the like. They honour Fear, not as a malevolent
divinity to be shunned, but because they think that the constitutions of
states are mainly upheld by Fear. For this reason, Aristotle tells us
that the Ephors, when they enter upon their office, issue a proclamation
ordering the citizens to shave the moustache and obey the laws, that the
laws might not be hard upon them. The injunction about shaving the
moustache is inserted, I imagine, in order to accustom the young to
obedience even in the most trivial matters. It seems to me that the
ancient Spartans did not regard bravery as consisting in the absence of
fear, but in the fear of shame and dread of dishonour; for those who
fear the laws most are the bravest in battle; and those who most fear
disgrace care least for their own personal safety. The poet was right
who said

   "Where there is fear, is reverence too;"

and Homer makes Helen call Priam

               "My father-in-law dear,
   Whom most of all I reverence and fear;"

while he speaks of the Greek army as obeying

   "Its chiefs commands in silence and with fear."

Human nature, indeed, leads most men to reverence those whom they fear;
and this is why the Lacedæmonians placed the temple of Fear close to the
dining-hall of the Ephors, because they invested that office with almost
royal authority.

X. On the following morning Kleomenes published a list containing the
names of eighty citizens, whom he required to leave the country, and
removed the chairs of the Ephors, except one, which he intended to
occupy himself. He now convoked an assembly, and made a speech
justifying his recent acts. In the time of Lykurgus, he said, the kings
and the senate shared between them the supreme authority in the State;
and for a long time the government was carried on in this manner without
any alteration being required, until, during the long wars with Messene,
as the kings had no leisure to attend to public affairs, they chose some
of their friends to sit as judges in their stead, and these persons
acted at first merely as the servants of the kings, but gradually got
all power into their own hands, and thus insensibly established a new
power in the State. A proof of the truth of this is to be found in the
custom which still prevails, that when the Ephors send for the king, he
refuses to attend at the first and second summons, but rises and goes to
them at the third. Asteropus, who first consolidated the power of the
Ephors, and raised it to the highest point, flourished in comparatively
recent times, many generations after the original establishment of the
office. If, he went on to say, the Ephors would have behaved with
moderation, it would have been better to allow them to remain in
existence; but when they began to use their ill-gotten power to destroy
the constitution of Sparta, when they banished one king, put another to
death without trial, and kept down by terror all those who wished for
the introduction of the noblest and most admirable reforms, they could
no longer be borne. Had he been able without shedding a drop of blood to
drive out of Lacedæmon all those foreign pests of luxury, extravagance,
debt, money-lending, and those two more ancient evils, poverty and
riches, he should have accounted himself the most fortunate of kings,
because, like a skilful physician, he had painlessly performed so
important an operation upon his country: as it was, the use of force was
sanctioned by the example of Lykurgus, who, though only a private man,
appeared in arms in the market-place, and so terrified King Charilaus,
that he fled for refuge to the altar of Athena. He, however, being an
honest and patriotic man, soon joined Lykurgus, and acquiesced in the
reforms which he introduced, while the acts of Lykurgus prove that it is
hard to effect a revolution without armed force, of which he declared
that he had made a most sparing use, and had only put out of the way
those who were opposed to the best interests of Lacedæmon. He announced
to the rest of the citizens that the land should be divided among them,
that they should be relieved from all their debts, and that all resident
aliens should be submitted to an examination, in order that the best of
them might be selected to become full citizens of Sparta, and help to
defend the city from falling a prey to Ætolians and Illyrians for want
of men to defend her.

XI. After this he himself first threw his inheritance into the common
stock, and his example was followed by his father-in-law Megistonous,
his friends, and the rest of the citizens. The land was now divided, and
one lot was assigned to each of those whom he had banished, all of whom
he said it was his intention to bring back as soon as order was
restored. He recruited the numbers of the citizens by the admission of
the most eligible of the Perioeki to the franchise, and organised them
into a body of four thousand heavy armed infantry, whom he taught to use
the sarissa, or Macedonian pike which was grasped with both hands,
instead of the spear, and to sling their shields by a strap instead of
using a handle. He next turned his attention to the education and
discipline of the youth, in which task he was assisted by Sphærus. The
gymnasia and the common meals were soon re-established, and the
citizens, for the most part willingly, resumed their simple Laconian
habits of living. Kleomenes, fearing to be called a despot, appointed
his own brother, Eukleidas, as his colleague. Then for the first time
were two kings of the same family seen at once in Sparta.

XII. As Kleomenes perceived that Aratus and the Achæans thought that
while Sparta was passing through so perilous a crisis her troops were
not likely to leave the country, he thought that it would be both a
spirited and a useful act to display the enthusiasm of his army to the
enemy. He invaded the territory of Megalopolis, carried off a large
booty, and laid waste a large extent of country. Finding a company of
players on their road from Messene, he took them prisoners, caused a
theatre to be erected in the enemy's country, and offered them forty
minæ for a performance for one day, at which he himself attended as a
spectator, not that he cared for the performance, but because he wished
to mock at his enemies, and to show by this studied insult the enormous
superiority of which he was conscious. At this period his was the only
army, Greek or foreign, which was not attended by actors, jugglers,
dancing-girls, and singers; but he kept it free from all licentiousness
and buffoonery, as the younger men were nearly always being practised in
martial exercises, while the elders acted as their instructors; and when
they were at leisure they amused themselves with witty retorts and
sententious Laconian pleasantries. The great value of this kind of
discipline is described at greater length in the life of Lykurgus.

XIII. In everything Kleomenes himself acted as their teacher, and
example, offering his own simple, frugal life, so entirely free from
vulgar superfluities, as a model of sobriety for them all to copy; and
this added greatly to his influence in Greece. For when men attended
the courts of the other kings of that period they were not so much
impressed by their wealth and lavish expenditure as they were disgusted
by their arrogant, overbearing manners; but when they met Kleomenes, who
was every inch a king, and saw that he wore no purple robes, did not
lounge on couches and litters, and was not surrounded by a crowd of
messengers, doorkeepers, and secretaries, so as to be difficult of
access, but that he himself, dressed in plain clothes, came and shook
them by the hand, and conversed with them in a kindly and encouraging
tone, they were completely fascinated and charmed by him, and declared
that he alone was a true descendant of Herakles. His dinner was usually
served upon a very small Laconian table with three couches,[12] but if
he were entertaining ambassadors or foreigners two additional couches
were added, and his servants somewhat improved his dinner, not by adding
to it made-dishes and pastry, but by serving a greater abundance of food
and a more liberal allowance of wine. Indeed he blamed one of his
friends, when he heard that when entertaining foreigners at dinner he
had placed before them black broth and barley cakes: for he said that in
such matters, and when entertaining strangers, it was not well to be too
rigidly Spartan. After the table was removed a tripod was brought in
which supported a bronze bowl full of wine, two silver pateræ, that held
each about a pint, and a number of very small silver cups, from which
any one drank who wished, for Kleomenes never forced men to drink
against their will. No recitations were performed for the amusement of
the guests; for he himself would lead the conversation and entertain
them over their wine, partly by asking questions of them and partly by
relating anecdotes to them: for he well knew both how to make serious
subjects interesting, and to be pleasant and witty without giving
offence. He was of opinion that the habit of other princes, of tempting
men into their service by presents and bribes, was both clumsy and
wicked; but he thought it peculiarly befitting a king to influence and
captivate men's minds by the charm of his conversation, and was wont to
say that a friend differed only from a mercenary soldier in that a man
wins the one by the influence of his character and his conversation, and
the other by his money.

XIV. First of all the people of Mantinea made overtures to him. They
admitted him to their city by night, aided him to drive out the Achæan
garrison, and placed themselves unreservedly in his hands. He, however,
restored them to the enjoyment of their own laws and original
constitution, and marched away the same day to Tegea. Shortly afterwards
by a circuitous march through Arcadia he arrived before the Achæan city
of Pheræ, desiring either to fight a battle with the Achæans, or to make
Aratus incur the disgrace of retreating and leaving him in possession of
the country: for although Hyperbates was nominally in command, all real
power over the Achæans was in the hands of Aratus. The Achæans took the
field with their entire force, and encamped at Dymæ, near the temple
called Hekatombæon. When Kleomenes arrived here he was unwilling to
establish himself between the hostile city of Dymæ and the army of the
Achæans, and challenged them, forced them to fight, and completely
routed their phalanx. He killed many, took a large number of prisoners,
and then, marching to Langon, drove out the Achæan garrison, and
restored the city to the Eleans.

XV. As the Achæan power was now quite broken, Aratus, who was usually
elected general every other year, refused to take office, and excused
himself when they besought him to do so: a dishonourable act, when the
times became more stormy, to desert the helm, and give up his power to
another. Kleomenes at first used very moderate language to the Achæan
ambassadors, but sent others ordering them to acknowledge him for their
sovereign, and promising that if they did so he would do them no further
hurt, and would at once restore the prisoners and fortresses which he
had taken. As the Achæans were willing to accept these terms they
invited Kleomenes to a conference at Lerna. It happened, however, that
Kleomenes, after a long march, drank a quantity of cold water, which
caused him to bring up much blood, and to lose his voice. In
consequence of this, although he sent back the most distinguished of his
prisoners, he was obliged to postpone the conference, and went home to

XVI. This mischance ruined Greece, which even now might have recovered
herself, and avoided falling into the hands of the insolent and
rapacious Macedonians. For Aratus, either because he distrusted and
feared Kleomenes, or else because he grudged him his success, and
thought that after he had for thirty-three years been chief of the
Achæans, it was not to be endured that a young man should overthrow him,
and enter into the fruit of his labours, at first tried to oppose the
Achæans when they offered to come to terms with the Lacedæmonians; but
as they would not listen to him, because they were cowed by the boldness
of Kleomenes, and also admitted the justice of the Lacedæmonian claim to
be the leading state in Peloponnesus, as their ancestral right, he
adopted a course which was a disgraceful one for any Greek, but
especially so for him, and one which was most unworthy of his former
political life. He determined to invite Antigonus into Greece, and to
fill the Pelopennesus with those very Macedonians whom he himself when a
lad had chased out of the country by his capture of the Acro-Corinthus,
although he was regarded with suspicion by all the kings, and was at
variance with them all, and though he had already accused this very
Antigonus himself of every conceivable crime in his "Memoirs," which are
still extant. Yet he himself has stated that he suffered much, and
risked much to free Athens from a Macedonian garrison; though now he led
these very men with arms in their hands into his own native country, and
up to his own paternal hearth. He thought that Kleomenes, a descendant
of Herakles, a king of Sparta, who had restored the simple ancient
Dorian constitution of Lykurgus, as one tightens the relaxed strings of
a lyre, to bring it into tune, was unworthy to be accounted the ruler of
Sikyon and Tritæa; and in his eagerness to avoid the rough Spartan
cloak, and the Spartan barley bread, and that with which he especially
charged Kleomenes, the destruction of wealth and the encouragement of
poverty, threw himself and all Achæa with him, into the arms of the
Macedonians, with all their diadems and their purple robes and their
habits of oriental despotism. That he might avoid acting under the
orders of Kleomenes, he was content to offer sacrifice at festivals in
honour of Antigonus, and himself to place a garland upon his head, and
to lead the pæan in praise of a man wasted and emaciated by consumption.
And this I write, not from any desire to depreciate Aratus, for in many
respects he proved himself a truly great and patriotic man, but rather
out of pity for the weakness of human nature, which will not allow even
the most eminent persons to present us with the spectacle of an entirely
unblemished virtue.

XVII. When the Achæans again assembled at Argos to hold a conference
there, and Kleomenes started to go thither from Tegea, men's minds were
full of hope that peace would be finally established. But Aratus, who
had already settled the main points of his treaty with Antigonus, and
feared that Kleomenes would either by persuasion or force bring the
assembly over to his views, sent to him demanding either that he should
take three hundred hostages for his safety and come to the conference
alone, or else meet them with his army outside the walls at the
gymnasium called the Kyllarabium. Kleomenes on hearing this said that he
had not been properly treated; for Aratus ought to have warned him of
this at once, not have waited till he was almost at the gates of Argos
and then expressed suspicions of his honesty of purpose and driven him
away. He sent a letter to the assembled Achæans, containing bitter
invectives against Aratus, and as Aratus replied by maligning him in a
public oration, he broke up his camp and sent a herald with a
declaration of war, not to Argos, according to Aratus, but to Ægium, in
order to take the Achæans by surprise. The Achæan cities were all ripe
for revolt, as the populace hoped for a redistribution of the land and
cancelling of debts if they joined the Spartans, while the leading men
were all jealous of the power and influence of Aratus, and some of them
hated him as the traitor who was bringing the Macedonians into
Peloponnesus. Relying upon the prevalence of this feeling Kleomenes
invaded Achaia, took Pellene by surprise, and drove out the garrison
and the Achæan inhabitants. Soon afterwards he captured the cities of
Pheneus and Penteleum.

The Achæans of Corinth and Sikyon now began to fear that his partisans
were plotting to deliver up those cities to him, and in consequence sent
their cavalry and foreign mercenaries away from Argos to guard those
towns, while they themselves proceeded to Argos to hold the Nemean
festival there. Kleomenes, rightly judging that his appearance at a time
when the city was full of a disorderly crowd of people who were come to
attend the feasts and games would produce great confusion, marched up to
the walls by night, seized the place called the 'Shield,' which is just
above the theatre, and is very difficult of access, and so terrified the
citizens that no one attempted to offer any resistance. They willingly
agreed to admit a Spartan garrison, to give twenty of their chief men as
hostages for their loyalty, and to become the allies of the
Lacedæmonians, acknowledging their supremacy.

XVIII. This exploit added not a little to the reputation and power of
Kleomenes. None of the ancient kings of Sparta could ever make
themselves masters of Argos, although they often attempted to do so; and
even that most brilliant general King Pyrrhus, though he forced his way
into the city, could not take it, but perished, and with him a great
part of his army. For these reasons, the skill and audacity of Kleomenes
were the more admired: and those who had before ridiculed his attempts
to bring back the days of Solon and Lykurgus by the cancelling of debts
and redistribution of land, now became entirely convinced that these
measures had been the cause of the revival of Sparta. The Spartans
before this had been so feeble and helpless, that the Ætolians invaded
Laconia and carried off a booty of fifty thousand slaves, on which
occasion it is said that an old Spartan observed that the enemy had
greatly benefited Laconia by relieving it from its burdens. Yet a short
time after this, by the restoration of their former constitution, and by
re-establishing the ancient system of training, they made as magnificent
a display of discipline and valour as if Lykurgus himself were alive and
at the head of affairs, for they gained for Sparta the first place in
Greece, and won the whole of Peloponnesus by the sword.

XIX. The submission of Argos to Kleomenes was soon followed by that of
Phlius and Kleonæ. During these events Aratus was at Corinth, busily
engaged in searching for the partisans of the Lacedæmonians. When the
news of the fall of these cities reached Corinth, as he observed that
the city of Corinth was eager to join Kleomenes and leave the Achæan
league, he summoned the citizens to meet in the public assembly, and
himself made his way unperceived to the gate. He had already sent his
horse thither, and mounting, fled to Sikyon. The Corinthians now hurried
to Argos to surrender their city to Kleomenes; in such haste, writes
Aratus in his 'Memoirs,' that they foundered all their horses. Kleomenes
reproached them for allowing Aratus to escape, but shortly afterwards
sent Megistonous to him, asking him to hand over the citadel of Corinth,
which was in possession of an Achæan garrison, and offering him a large
sum of money. He answered that the course of affairs was not in his
power, but that he was rather in theirs. These particulars we have
extracted from Aratus's own writings. Kleomenes now marched from Argos
to Corinth, receiving on the way the submission of Troezene, Epidaurus,
and Hermione. As the garrison refused to surrender the citadel, he built
a rampart round it, and sending for the friends and representatives of
Aratus, bade them take charge of his house and property during his
absence. He now sent the Messenian Tritymallus to Aratus, with
instructions to propose to him that the garrison of Acro-Corinthus
should be composed partly of Spartan and partly of Achæan troops, while
he himself privately offered him double the amount of the pension which
he received from King Ptolemy of Egypt. However, as Aratus refused to
listen to his overtures, but sent his own son with the other hostages to
Antigonus, and persuaded the Achæans to pass a decree to hand over the
Acro-Corinthus to Antigonus, Kleomenes invaded the territory of Sikyon
and laid it waste, and also took the property of Aratus when it was
publicly presented to him by the people of Corinth.

XX. When Antigonus crossed the Geranean mountains with a large force,
Kleomenes did not think it necessary to guard the isthmus, but
determined to fortify the mountains called Onea, and by holding that
strong position, to protract the war and wear out the Macedonian force,
rather than fight a pitched battle with their phalanx. By this line of
policy he reduced Antigonus to great straits; for he had made no
preparations for feeding his troops for more than a short time, and yet
to force his way in over the isthmus was a difficult operation while
Kleomenes barred the way. An attempt which he made to steal through by
Lechæum[13] at night was repulsed with considerable loss; so that
Kleomenes and his friends, elated by their victory, supped merrily
together, while Antigonus was at his wit's end to know what to do. He
even began to meditate marching to the promontory of Heræum, and
conveying his forces over the Corinthian gulf to Sikyon, an operation
which would have required much time and many ships. However, late in the
evening there arrived certain friends of Aratus by sea from Argos,
inviting him to come thither, as the Argives intended to revolt from
Kleomenes. The prime mover in this revolt was one Aristoteles, who
easily prevailed upon the people to rise, because they were disappointed
with Kleomenes, who had not cancelled all their debts as they hoped he
would. Aratus now took fifteen hundred of Antigonus's soldiers and
proceeded by sea to Epidaurus. Aristoteles however did not wait for his
arrival, but led the citizens to attack the garrison in the citadel,
assisted by Timoxenus with a body of Achæans from Sikyon.

XXI. Intelligence of this movement reached Kleomenes about the second
watch of the night. He at once sent for Megistonous, and angrily ordered
him at once to go to the assistance of the garrison of Argos; for it was
he who had so confidently assured Kleomenes of the loyalty of the
Argives, and had dissuaded him from banishing those whom he suspected
from the city. Having detached Megistonous with two thousand men on this
service, he himself turned his attention to Antigonus, and pacified the
people of Corinth by assuring them that nothing had happened at Argos
except a slight disturbance which would be easily suppressed. However,
as Megistonous was killed while forcing his way into the city, and the
garrison were hard pressed, and kept sending messengers to Kleomenes
begging for assistance, he, fearing that if the enemy gained Argos they
might cut him off from Laconia, and sack the defenceless city of Sparta,
withdrew his army from Corinth. He lost this city at once, for Antigonus
instantly entered it and placed a garrison in it. He now proceeded to
assault the city wall of Argos, and concentrated his troops for this
purpose. He broke through the vaults supporting the part of the city
called the 'Shield,' forced his way in, and joined his garrison, who
were still holding out against the Achæans. He now, by the use of
scaling ladders, captured some of the strong places in the city, and
cleared the streets of the enemy by means of his Cretan archers. When
however he saw Antigonus marching down from the mountains to the plain
with his phalanx in battle array, and saw the Macedonian cavalry pouring
along towards the city, he despaired of success, and collecting all his
troops into one mass, led them safely out of the city. He had in a
wonderfully short time effected great things, and had all but made
himself master of the whole of Peloponnesus: but now he lost it all as
quickly as he had won it, for some of his allies at once deserted him,
and many shortly afterwards surrendered their cities to Antigonus.

XXII. As Kleomenes was marching into the city of Tegea at nightfall, on
his return from this disastrous campaign, he was met by messengers
bearing the news of a still greater calamity, the death of his wife
Agiatis, of whom he was so fond that even when in the full tide of
success he never would remain continuously with his army, but used
constantly to return to Sparta to see her. He was terribly grieved and
cast down, as one would expect a young man to be on losing so beautiful
and excellent a wife, yet he did not allow his noble spirit to be
crushed by his sorrow, but without showing any outward signs of grief in
his voice or countenance, continued to give his orders to his officers,
and to take measures for placing Tegea in a posture of defence. At
daybreak next morning he returned to Lacedæmon, and after lamenting his
misfortune with his mother and his children, began to consider by what
policy he might save his country.

Ptolemy, the king of Egypt, now offered him assistance on the condition
of receiving his mother and children as hostages. For a long time he
shrank from mentioning this proposal to his mother, and often conversed
with her without having the courage to allude to it, until she suspected
that he had something on his mind, and inquired of his friends whether
there was not some subject about which he hesitated to speak to her. At
last Kleomenes brought himself to mention Ptolemy's proposal to her. On
hearing it, she laughed loudly, and said, "This, then, is that which you
have so long been fearing to tell me. Pray place me and the children on
board ship as soon as possible, and send us to any place where this body
of mine may be useful to Sparta, before it be uselessly consumed by old
age at home."

When all was prepared for her voyage, Kratesiklea proceeded to Tænarus
escorted by Kleomenes with all his troops under arms. Before embarking
she retired alone with him into the temple of Poseidon, where, after
embracing him as he sorrowed at her departure, she said, "Now, king of
the Lacedæmonians, take care when we come out that no one sees us
weeping or doing anything unworthy of Sparta. This lies in our own
power; but good or evil fortune befalls us according to the will of

Saying thus, she fixed her eyes upon the ship, walked swiftly to it
carrying the child, and bade the pilot start at once. When she reached
Egypt, as she heard that Ptolemy had received an embassy from Antigonus,
and was told that although the Achæans wished to come to terms with him,
he had feared on her account to make peace with them without consulting
Ptolemy, she wrote to him bidding him act worthily of Sparta, and
consult her interests, and not fear to displease Ptolemy because of what
he might do to an old woman and an infant. So great a spirit is she said
to have shown in her misfortunes.

XXIII. Antigonus now advanced, took Tegea, and allowed his troops to
plunder Orchomenus and Mantinea. Kleomenes, who was confined to the
territory of Lacedæmon, proceeded to emancipate all helots who could
pay a sum of five Attic minæ for their freedom, by which means he raised
a sum of five hundred talents. He also organised a special corps of two
thousand men, armed after the Macedonian fashion, with which he hoped to
be able to meet the Leukaspids,[14] or white-shielded troops of
Antigonus, and proceeded to attempt a wonderful and surprising feat of

The city of Megalopolis at that time was itself quite as large and as
powerful as Sparta, and had close at hand the army of the Achæans, and
that of Antigonus himself, whom the people of Megalopolis had been
especially eager to invite into Peloponnesus. This city Kleomenes
determined to pounce upon: (no other word expresses the speed with which
he surprised it). He ordered his troops to provision themselves for five
days, and led them to Sellasia, as though he intended to invade Argolis.
From Sellasia he marched into the territory of Megalopolis, halted at
Rhoeteum for supper, and thence proceeded along the road by Helikus
straight towards Megalopolis. When he was close to it he detached
Panteus with two regiments to attack a part of the wall lying between
two towers, which he had heard was often left unguarded, while he moved
slowly forward with the main body. Panteus not only found that spot, but
a great extent of the city wall unguarded. While he was engaged in
throwing down the wall and killing those who attempted to defend it,
Kleomenes came up, and was within the city with his army before the
people of Megalopolis knew of his arrival.

XXIV. When at last the inhabitants discovered the extent of their
misfortune, some snatched up what they could and fled at once, while
others got under arms and endeavoured to drive out the enemy. In this
they could not succeed, but they enabled the fugitives to escape
unmolested, so that no more than a thousand souls remained in the city,
as all the rest got safe with their wives and children to Messene. Of
those who offered resistance but a few were slain, and a very small
number were taken prisoners, amongst whom were Lysandridas and
Thearidas, the two most important persons in Megalopolis. On this
account the soldiers who took them brought them at once to Kleomenes.
Lysandridas, as soon as he saw Kleomenes at a distance, called out
loudly to him, "King of the Lacedæmonians, now you have an opportunity
to add to your glory by a deed even more noble and more worthy of a king
than that which you have achieved!" Kleomenes, suspecting what he meant,
asked, "What do you mean, Lysandridas? do you bid me give you back your
city?" "That is what I bid you to do," answered Lysandridas; "and I
advise you not to ruin so great a city, but to fill it with friends and
trusty allies, by restoring it to the people of Megalopolis, and
becoming their saviour." To this Kleomenes, after a short silence,
replied, "It is hard to believe this; but let us ever prefer honour to
profit." Saying this he sent his prisoners to Messene, and a herald with
them, who offered to restore the city to the people of Megalopolis, on
the condition that they should desert the Achæans and become the friends
and allies of the Spartans. However, Philopoemen would not allow his
countrymen to break their faith with the Achæans and accept this wise
and generous offer. He declared that Kleomenes did not intend to give
them back their city, but wanted to get possession of them as well as of
their city, and with violent abuse drove Thearidas and Lysandridas out
of the Messenian country. This was that Philopoemen who afterwards became
the general of the Achæans and won great distinction, as will be found
in the life of him which I have written.

XXV. When this answer was brought back to Kleomenes, who had hitherto
carefully kept the city unharmed, and had not allowed any one to
appropriate the most trifling article, he became furious with
disappointment. He plundered the city, sent all the statues and pictures
to Sparta, utterly destroyed all the best part of the city, and
returned home, for he feared Antigonus and the Achæans. They, however,
did not offer to attack him: for they were engaged in holding a
conference at Ægium. Here Aratus ascended the tribune, and for a long
time wept with his face hidden in his gown. At last, as the others in
wonder bade him tell them the cause of his grief, he said that
Megalopolis had been ruined by Kleomenes. On hearing this the assembly
at once broke up. The Achæans were terror-stricken at the suddenness and
importance of the blow, and Antigonus determined to proceed to the
assistance of the people of Megalopolis, but as it took a long time to
assemble his troops from their winter-quarters, he ordered them to stay
where they were, and himself with a small force marched to Argos.
Kleomenes now engaged in a second enterprise, which appeared completely
insane, but which is said by the historian Polybius to show consummate
generalship. As he knew that all the Macedonian troops were scattered
over the country in winter-quarters, and that Antigonus with a few
mercenary troops was spending the winter at Argos with his friends, he
invaded the Argive territory, thinking that either he should shame
Antigonus into a battle, and beat him, or else that if he did not dare
to fight, the Argives would be disgusted with him. And so it fell out.
The Argives, seeing their country spoiled by Kleomenes, were greatly
enraged, and gathering together before the house in which Antigonus was
lodging, excitedly called upon him either to fight or to resign his post
as commander-in-chief in favour of a better man. But Antigonus, like a
prudent general as he was, thought it more disgraceful to run foolish
risks and incur unnecessary danger than to hear himself called hard
names by the mob, and refused to leave the city, but stood constant in
his original policy. Kleomenes, after marching up to the gates of Argos,
ostentatiously ravaged the country, and returned home unmolested.

XXVI. Shortly afterwards, hearing that Antigonus had again advanced to
Tegea, intending to invade Laconia by that route, Kleomenes quickly
assembled his army, marched by a different road, avoiding Antigonus, and
at daybreak appeared near the city of Argos, where he ravaged the
plain country, not reaping the corn, as invaders usually do, with
sickles and swords, but beating down with great clubs, so that his
soldiers in sheer sport as they marched along were able to destroy the
whole crop without trouble. When they reached the gymnasium of
Kyllarabis some of the officers proposed to set it on fire; but
Kleomenes forbade it, saying that even in destroying Megalopolis he had
been guided by anger rather than by honour. Antigonus at first retired
directly towards Argos, but afterwards occupied all the passes by which
the Lacedæmonians could retreat. Kleomenes affected to set him at
defiance, and sent a herald to Argos to demand the keys of the temple of
Hera (between Argos and Mycenæ), in order that he might offer sacrifice
there before retiring. After insulting the Argives by this ironical
request, he offered sacrifice outside the temple, for the doors remained
locked, and led away his army to Phlius. From thence he marched to Mount
Oligyrtus, where he defeated the Macedonian troops who guarded the pass,
and returned home by way of Orchomenus, having inspired his countrymen
with hope and confidence, and having proved to his enemies that he was a
consummate general, capable of conducting the most important operations.
It was indeed no small feat for him, with only the resources of one
small state at his disposal, to make war against the power of Macedonia
and all the cities of the Peloponnesus, with Antigonus for their
paymaster, and not only to prevent the enemy's setting foot in Laconia,
but to lay waste their country, and take such large and important cities
from them.

XXVII. However, he who first called money the sinews of war must have
had this war in his mind. So also Demades, when the Athenians wished to
man a fleet at a time when they had no money, observed that they must
make bread before they could make a voyage. Archidamus, too, who was
king of Sparta at the opening of the Peloponnesian war, when his allies
asked him to fix the limit of their several contributions, answered that
the consumption of war is unlimited. For just as trained athletes in
time overpower their antagonist in spite of his strength and skill, so
Antigonus, having vast resources to draw upon, wearied out and
overpowered Kleomenes, who had the greatest difficulty in paying his
mercenary troops and feeding his countrymen. In other respects the long
duration of the contest was in Kleomenes's favour, as Antigonus had
troubles at home which made the contest a more equal one. The
barbarians, in his absence, always overran and plundered the outskirts
of the kingdom of Macedonia, and at this period an army of Illyrians had
invaded the country from the north, against whose depredations the
Macedonians besought Antigonus to return and protect them. The letter
calling upon him to return was very nearly delivered to him before the
decisive battle of the war; and had he received it, he would no doubt
have returned home at once and taken a long farewell of the Achæans.
However, fortune, who delights to show that the most important events
are decided by the merest trifles, caused the embassy with the letters
for the recall of Antigonus to reach him just after the battle of
Sellasia, in which Kleomenes lost his army and his country. This makes
the misfortune of Kleomenes yet more pitiable; for if he had avoided a
battle for two days longer, he never need have fought at all, as the
Macedonians would have retreated, and left him to make what terms he
pleased with the Achæans: whereas, as has been explained, his want of
money forced him to fight, and that too when, according to Polybius, he
had only twenty thousand men to oppose to thirty thousand.

XXVIII. In the battle he acted like a great general, and the Spartans
fought with desperate courage, while the mercenary troops also behaved
well; but he was overpowered by the Macedonian armament and by the
irresistible weight of their phalanx. The historian Phylarchus says that
Kleomenes was ruined by treachery, for Antigonus sent his Illyrians and
Akarnanians to make a flank march and attack one of the enemy's wings,
which was commanded by Eukleidas, the brother of Kleomenes, and there
placed the rest of his army in battle array. Kleomenes, who was watching
the enemy from an eminence, could not see the Illyrian and Akarnanian
troops, and suspected some manoeuvre of the kind. He sent for Damoteles,
the chief of the Spartan secret-service,[15] and ordered him to explore
the ground on both flanks, and see that no attack was meditated in that
direction. As Damoteles, who is said to have been bribed by Antigonus,
answered that all was well on the flanks, and that he had better give
his entire attention to the enemy in front, Kleomenes believed him, and
at once charged the army of Antigonus. The furious attack of the
Spartans drove back the Macedonian phalanx, and Kleomenes forced it to
retreat before him for a distance of about five stadia. Then, as he
found that his brother Eukleidas on the other wing was surrounded by the
enemy, he halted, and looking towards him, said, "You are gone, my
dearest brother; you have fought bravely, and are a noble model to the
Spartan youth, a noble theme for Spartan maidens' songs." Then, as the
entire division under Eukleidas was cut to pieces, and the victors
attacked his own men, who were thrown into confusion and could no longer
stand their ground, he escaped from the field as best he could. It is
said that many of the mercenaries were slain, and that of the
Lacedæmonians, who were six thousand in all, only two hundred remained

XXIX. Kleomenes, when he reached Sparta, advised the citizens whom he
met to submit to Antigonus, and declared that he himself, whether he
lived or died, would do what was best for Sparta. As he saw the women
running up to those who had accompanied him in his flight, taking their
arms from them and offering them drink, he retired into his own house,
where his mistress, a girl of a good family of Megalopolis, whom he had
taken to live with him after his wife's death, came up to him as usual,
and wished to attend upon him on his return from the wars. But he would
neither drink, although excessively thirsty, nor sit down, weary though
he was, but in his armour as he was took hold of one of the columns with
his hand, leaned his face upon his elbow, and after resting a short
time in this posture while he revolved in his mind every kind of plan,
proceeded with his friends to Grythium. Here they embarked on a ship
which had been prepared in case of such a disaster, and sailed away.

XXX. After the battle Antigonus advanced upon Sparta, and made himself
master of the city. He treated the Lacedæmonians with kindness, and
offered no kind of insult to their glorious city, but permitted them to
retain their laws and constitution, sacrificed to the gods, and on the
third day withdrew, as he had learned that a terrible war was raging in
Macedonia, and that his kingdom was being ravaged by the barbarians. His
health was already affected by a disease, which ended in consumption.
However, he bore up against it, and was able to die gloriously after
having recovered his kingdom, won a great victory over the barbarians,
and killed a great number of them. Phylarchus tells us that he ruptured
his lungs by shouting in the battle itself, and this seems the most
probable account, but the common report at the time was that while
shouting aloud after the victory, "O happy day!" he brought up a vast
quantity of blood and fell sick of a fever, of which he died. Such was
the fate of Antigonus.

XXXI. Kleomenes sailed from Kythera to another island, named Ægialea. As
he was about to cross over from this place to Cyrene, one of his friends
named Therykion, a brilliant warrior and a man of lofty, unbending
spirit, said to him in private, "My king, we have lost the opportunity
of falling by the noblest of deaths in the battle, although we publicly
declared that Antigonus should never enter Sparta unless he first passed
over the dead body of the king. However, the course which is next to
this in honour is still open to us. Why should we recklessly embark on
this voyage merely in order to exchange our misfortunes at home for
others in a distant country? If it be not disgraceful for the sons of
Herakles to submit to the successors of Philip and Alexander, we shall
save ourselves a long voyage by delivering ourselves up to Antigonus,
who is probably as much better than Ptolemy as the Macedonians are
better than the Egyptians. If, on the other hand, we scorn to become the
subjects of our conqueror, why should we become subject to one who has
not conquered us, and so prove ourselves inferior to two men instead of
one, by becoming the courtiers of Ptolemy as well as fleeing before
Antigonus? Is it on account of your mother that we are going to Egypt?
If so, you will indeed make a glorious appearance before her, and you
will be much to be envied when she shows her son to the ladies of
Ptolemy's court, an exile instead of a king. While we are still masters
of our own swords, and are still in sight of Laconia, let us put
ourselves beyond the reach of further misfortunes, and make amends to
those who died for Sparta at Sellasia, rather than settle ourselves in
Egypt, and inquire whom Antigonus has been pleased to appoint satrap of

To these remarks of Therykion Kleomenes answered, "Wretch, do you think
that by suicide, the easiest way out of all difficulties, and one which
is within every man's reach, you will gain a reputation for bravery, and
will not rather be flying before the enemy more disgracefully than at
Sellasia? More powerful men than ourselves have ere now been defeated,
either by their own evil fortune or by the excessive numbers of their
enemy: but the man who refuses to bear fatigue and misery, and the scorn
of men, is conquered by his own cowardice. A self-inflicted death ought
to be an honourable action, not a dishonourable means of escape from the
necessity for action. It is disgraceful either to live or to die for
oneself alone: yet this is the course which you recommend, namely, that
I should fly from my present misery without ever again performing any
useful or honourable action. I think that it is both your duty and mine,
not to despair of our country: for when all hope fails us, we can easily
find means to die." To this Therykion made no answer, but as soon as he
had an opportunity left Kleomenes, sought a retired spot upon the beach,
and killed himself.

XXXII. Kleomenes sailed from Ægialea to Libya, where he was received
with royal honours and conducted to Alexandria. At his first interview
Ptolemy[17] treated him with mere ordinary politeness, but when by
conversation with him he discovered his great abilities, and in the
familiar intercourse of daily life observed the noble Spartan simplicity
of his habits, and saw with how proud and unbroken a spirit he bore his
misfortunes, he thought him a much more trustworthy friend than any of
the venal throng of courtiers by whom he was surrounded. Ptolemy felt
real regret at having neglected so great a man, and allowed Antigonus to
gain so much glory and power at his expense. He showed Kleomenes great
kindness and honour, and encouraged him by promising that he would place
a fleet and a sum of money at his disposal, which would enable him to
return to Greece and recover his throne. He settled upon him a yearly
allowance of twenty-four talents, the most part of which he and his
friends, who still retained their simple Spartan habits, distributed in
charity among the Greek refugees who had found an asylum in Egypt.

XXXIII. The elder Ptolemy died before he could accomplish his promise of
attempting to restore Kleomenes to his throne; and amidst the drunken
licence of the court of his successor, the affairs of Kleomenes were
entirely neglected. The young king[18] was so given up to wine and
women, that his soberest moments were spent in organising religious
ceremonies in the palace, and in carrying a kettledrum in honour of the
mother of the gods. The whole of the public business of the kingdom was
managed by Agathoklea, the king's mistress, her mother, and the
brothel-keeper Oenanthes. Yet even here it seems that the assistance of
Kleomenes was needed, for the king, fearing his brother Magas, who
through his mother had great influence with the army, attached himself
in a special manner to Kleomenes, and made him a member of his own
secret council, desiring to make use of him to kill his brother.
Kleomenes, although every one in the court bade him do this, refused,
saying that it would rather be his duty, if it were possible, to raise
up more brothers for the king, to strengthen and confirm his throne.
When Sosibius, the most powerful of the king's favourites, said that the
mercenary troops were not to be depended upon while Magas was alive,
Kleomenes answered that he might be quite easy on that score, for more
than three thousand of the mercenaries were Peloponnesians, and at the
slightest sign from him would seize their arms and rally round him. This
speech was thought at the time to be a great proof of the loyalty of
Kleomenes, and gave the courtiers a great idea of his power; but
afterwards, as Ptolemy's weakness of character produced cowardice, and
after the manner of empty-headed men he began to think it safest to
suspect every one, these words made the courtiers fear Kleomenes, as
having a dangerous power over the mercenaries; and many of them were
wont to say, "This man moves among us like a lion among a flock of
sheep." Indeed the demeanour of Kleomenes in the Egyptian palace, as he
calmly and quietly watched the course of events, naturally suggested
this simile.

XXXIV. Kleomenes gave up asking for a fleet and an army; but hearing
that Antigonus was dead, and that the Achæans were involved in a war
with the Ætolians, while his presence was imperatively demanded at home,
as all Peloponnesus seemed to be going to ruin, he desired to be sent
home alone with his friends. However, he could persuade no one to accede
to this request, as the king thought of nothing but his concubines and
his revels, and Sosibius, upon whom devolved the whole conduct of
affairs, although he knew that Kleomenes would be dangerous and hard to
manage if kept in Egypt against his will, yet feared to set at large so
daring and enterprising a man, who had gained a thorough insight into
the utter rottenness of the Ptolemaic dynasty. For Kleomenes could not
be bribed into remaining quiet, but as the bull[19] sacred to Apis,
although he is abundantly fed and supplied with every luxury, yet longs
to frisk and range about as nature intended, so he cared for none of
their effeminate pleasures,

   "but wore his soul away"

like Achilles,

   "Idling at home, though eager for the fray."

XXXV. While his affairs were in this posture, there arrived at
Alexandria one Nikagoras, a Messenian, who pretended to be a friend to
Kleomenes, but really hated him bitterly, because he had once sold him a
fair estate, but had never received the money, either because Kleomenes
intended to cheat him, or because he was unable to pay him on account of
the wars. As this man was disembarking from his ship, Kleomenes, who
happened to be walking upon the quay, saw him, and at once warmly
greeted him, and inquired what business had brought him to Egypt.
Nikagoras returned his salutation with equal friendliness, and said that
he had brought over some fine horses for the king's use in the wars. At
this Kleomenes laughed, and said, "I had rather you had brought
singing-girls or beautiful boys, for they are what please the king
best." Nikagoras listened to this remark with a smile, but a few days
afterwards he reminded Kleomenes of the estate which he had bought, and
asked him to pay the price, saying that he would not have pressed for it
if he had not sustained losses on his cargo. As Kleomenes replied that
all his pension from the king was spent, Nikagoras in a rage repeated to
Sosibius the sarcasm which he had used. Sosibius was much pleased to
hear of it, but as he wished to have some graver matter of which to
accuse him to the king, he persuaded Nikagoras to write a letter before
he left Egypt, accusing Kleomenes of a design to make himself master of
Cyrene, if the king put him in possession of a fleet and army. Nikagoras
wrote the letter, and sailed away to Greece; and after forty days
Sosibius took the letter and showed it to Ptolemy, as though he had just
received it. By this means he so wrought upon the young king's mind,
that he confined Kleomenes in a large house, and placed a guard before
all the doors, although he continued to allow him his pension as before.

XXXVI. This treatment was in itself sufficiently grievous to Kleomenes,
and made him fear that something worse was in store. Now Ptolemy, the
son of Chrysermes, who was a friend of the king's, had always been on
good terms with Kleomenes, and they had been in the habit of conversing
familiarly together. This man now, at Kleomenes's own request, came to
see him, and talked amicably with him, explaining away all which had
appeared suspicious about the king's conduct. As he was leaving the
house, without noticing that Kleomenes had followed him to the door, he
harshly reproved the guard for keeping such careless watch over so great
and savage a monster. Kleomenes himself heard him say this, and before
Ptolemy observed him, retired and told his friends what he had heard.
They at once abandoned all hope, and fiercely determined to avenge
themselves on Ptolemy for his wickedness and arrogance, and die as
became Spartans, not wait to be butchered like fat cattle. They thought
that it was intolerable that Kleomenes should have disdained to make
terms with Antigonus, who was a soldier and a man of action, and should
sit waiting for the pleasure of a timbrel-playing king, who as soon as
he was at leisure from his kettle-drummings and revellings, intended to
murder him.

XXXVII. As soon as they had formed this resolution, as it happened that
Ptolemy had gone to Canopus, they spread a report that the king had
given orders for the guard to be removed. Next, observing the custom of
the kings of Egypt, which was to send a dinner and various presents to
those who are about to be released from confinement, the friends of
Kleomenes prepared many presents of this kind and sent them to him,
deceiving the guard, who believed that they had been sent by the king.
Kleomenes offered sacrifice, and gave the soldiers on guard an ample
share of the meat, while he himself put on a garland and feasted with
his friends. It is said that they proceeded to action sooner than had
been originally intended, because Kleomenes perceived that one of the
servants who was in the plot had left the house, though he had only gone
to visit his mistress. Fearing that he meant to denounce them, as soon
as it was noon, and the guard were sleeping off their wine, Kleomenes
put on his tunic, slit up the seam over the right shoulder, seized his
naked sword, and sallied forth with his friends similarly arrayed,
thirteen in all. One of them named Hippitas, who was lame, came boldly
out with the rest, but finding that they proceeded slowly to enable him
to keep up with them, begged them to kill him, and not spoil their plot
by waiting for a useless man. It happened that one of the Alexandrians
was leading a horse past the door; they at once took it, placed Hippitas
on its back, and ran quickly through the streets, calling upon the
populace to rise and set itself free. The people, it appears, had spirit
enough to admire Kleomenes, but no one dared to follow or help him.
Three of the conspirators met Ptolemy, the son of Chrysermes, coming out
of the palace, and killed him: and when another Ptolemy, the governor of
the city, drove towards them in a chariot, they rushed to meet him,
scattered his bodyguard, dragged him out of the chariot and killed him.
They now made their way to the citadel, intending to break open the
prison and make use of the prisoners to swell their numbers; but the
guardians of the prison had closed the gates effectually before they
arrived, and Kleomenes, failing in this attempt, roamed through the city
without finding any one to join him, as all fled in terror at his
approach. At last he stopped, and said to his friends, "No wonder women
bear rule in a city where men fear to be free." He now bade them all end
their lives worthily of him and of themselves. First of all Hippitas, at
his own request, was struck dead by one of the younger men; after which,
each man deliberately and fearlessly inflicted upon himself a mortal
stab, with the exception of Panteus, who had been the first to break
into the city of Megalopolis. This man, the handsomest and best warrior
of all the Spartan youth, was especially loved by the king, and was
ordered by him to wait till all the rest were dead, and then to put an
end to his life. When they had all fallen, Panteus pricked each man with
his dagger, to make certain that none of them were alive. When he
pricked Kleomenes in the ankle he saw his face contract. He kissed him
and sat down beside him until he was quite dead, and then, embracing the
corpse, killed himself upon it.

XXXVIII. Thus perished Kleomenes, after having reigned over Sparta for
thirteen years, as described above. The news of his death was soon
bruited abroad, and Kratesiklea, although a woman of high spirit, was so
overcome by her misfortune that she embraced the children and wept for
Kleomenes. Upon this the eldest boy leaped up, and before any one knew
what he was going to do, threw himself headlong from the roof of the
house. He was much hurt, but not killed, and was taken up, crying out
and reproaching his friends because they would not allow him to die.
When Ptolemy heard the news, he ordered the corpse of Kleomenes to be
flayed and exposed on a gibbet, and his children, his mother, and her
attendants to be put to death. Among these was the wife of Panteus, the
fairest and noblest-looking of them all. She and her husband had only
recently been married when their misfortunes began. When Panteus left
Sparta she wished to accompany him, but her parents would not allow her
to do so, and locked her up in their house. But she shortly afterwards
procured a horse and a little money, and made her escape by night. She
rode all the way to Taenarum, where she found a ship about to sail to
Egypt, on board of which she crossed the sea, joined her husband, and
cheerfully shared his exile. She now, when the soldiers came to lead
away Kratesiklea, took her by the hand, held up the train of her dress,
and bade her be of good courage; although Kratesiklea herself was not
afraid to die, but only asked one favour, that she might die before her
children. When they arrived at the place of execution, the children were
first killed before the eyes of Kratesiklea, and then she herself. All
she said was: "My children, whither have you come?" The wife of Panteus,
being a tall and robust woman, girded up her robe, and arranged each of
the corpses as decently as her means permitted. After she had paid the
last offices to each of them she prepared herself for death, bared her
neck, allowed no one to approach her but the executioner, and died like
a heroine, without requiring any one to arrange her corpse. Thus the
modesty which she had observed throughout her life, did not desert her
even when she was dead.

XXXIX. Thus gloriously, even during its last days, did Lacedæmon, whose
women are taught to vie with men in courage, prove that virtue is
superior to Fortune. A few days afterwards, those who were watching the
body of Kleomenes as it hung upon the gibbet, observed a large snake
which wound its body round his head and covered his face, so that no
ravenous bird could alight upon it. On hearing this, the king was struck
with superstitious terror, fearing that he had offended the gods by the
murder of one who was evidently a favourite of Heaven, and something
more than mortal. All the ladies of his court began to offer sacrifices
of atonement for his sin, and the people of Alexandria went to the place
and worshipped Kleomenes as a hero and child of the gods, until they
were restrained by the learned, who explained that as from the corrupted
bodies of oxen are bred bees, from horses wasps, and from asses beetles,
so human bodies, by the melting and gathering together of the juices of
the marrow, produce serpents. This was observed by the ancients, who
therefore considered that of all animals the serpent was peculiarly
appropriated to heroes.


I. Having finished the first History,[20] it remains to contemplate
equal calamities in the pair of Roman Lives, in a comparison of Tiberius
and Caius Gracchus with Agis and Kleomenes.[21] Tiberius and Caius were
the sons of Tiberius Gracchus,[22] who was censor and twice consul, and
celebrated two triumphs, but was still more distinguished for his
personal character, to which he owed the honour of having for his wife
Cornelia, the daughter of Scipio,[23] the conqueror of Hannibal, whom he
married after Scipio's death, though Tiberius had not been a friend of
Scipio, but rather a political opponent. A story is told that Tiberius
once caught a couple of snakes[24] in his bed, and the diviners, after
consulting on the matter, told him that he must not kill both nor yet
let both go; as to the male, they said, if it were killed, the death of
Tiberius would follow, and if the female were killed, Cornelia would
die. Now Tiberius, who loved his wife and thought it would be more
suitable for him to die first, as he was an elderly man and his wife was
still young, killed the male snake and let the female go; and he died
no long time after, leaving twelve children by Cornelia. Cornelia
undertook the care of her family and her husband's property, and showed
herself so prudent, so fond of her children, and of so exalted a
character, that Tiberius was judged to have done well in dying in place
of such a wife. And though Ptolemæus,[25] the king of Egypt, invited
Cornelia to share his crown, and wooed her for his wife, she refused the
offer and continued a widow. All her children died before her, except
one daughter, who married the younger Scipio,[26] and two sons, of whom
I am going to speak, Tiberius and Caius, who were brought up by their
mother so carefully that they became, beyond dispute, the most
accomplished of all the Roman youth, which they owed, perhaps, more to
their excellent education than even to their natural good qualities.

II. Now as the figures of the Dioscuri,[27] whether sculptured or
painted, though resembling one another, still present such an amount of
difference as appears when we contrast a boxer with a runner, so in
these two youths, with all their resemblance in courage, temperance,
generous temper, eloquence, and magnanimity, yet great contrasts also in
their actions and polity blossomed forth, so to speak, and displayed
themselves, which I think it well to set forth. First in the character
and expression of his countenance, and in his movements, Tiberius was
mild and sedate; Caius was animated and impetuous. When Tiberius
harangued the people, he would stand composedly on one spot; but Caius
was the first Roman who moved about on the rostra[28] and pulled his
toga from his shoulder while he was speaking, as Kleon[29] the Athenian
is said to have been the first popular orator at Athens who threw his
cloak from him and struck his thigh. The manner of Caius was
awe-striking and vehemently impassioned; the manner of Tiberius was more
pleasing and calculated to stir the sympathies: the language of Tiberius
was pure and elaborated to great nicety; that of Caius was persuasive
and exuberant. In like manner, in his mode of life and his table,
Tiberius was frugal and simple; compared with others, Caius was moderate
and austere, but, contrasted with his brother, luxurious and curious, as
we see by Drusus charging him with buying silver dolphins[30] at the
price of twelve hundred and fifty drachmæ for every pound that they
weighed. The differences in their character corresponded to their
respective styles of speaking: Tiberius was moderate and mild; Caius was
rough and impetuous, and it often happened that in his harangues he was
carried away by passion, contrary to his judgment, and his voice became
shrill, and he fell to abuse, and grew confused in his discourse. To
remedy this fault, he employed Licinius, a well-educated slave, who used
to stand behind him when he was speaking, with a musical instrument,[31]
such as is used as an accompaniment to singing, and whenever he
observed that the voice of Caius was becoming harsh and broken through
passion, he would produce a soft note, upon which Caius would
immediately moderate his vehemence and his voice, and become calm.

III. Such were the contrasts between the two brothers, but in courage
against the enemy, in justice to the subject nations, in vigilance in
the discharge of public duties, and in self-control over indulgence,
they were both alike. Tiberius was the elder by nine years, a
circumstance which caused their political career to be separated by an
interval, and greatly contributed to the failure of their measures, for
they did not rise to eminence at the same time nor unite their strength
in one effort, which from their union, would have been powerful and
irresistible. I must accordingly speak of each separately, and of the
elder first.

IV. Immediately on attaining man's estate, Tiberius had so great a
reputation that he was elected a member of the college of augurs,[32]
rather for his excellent qualities than his noble birth. Appius
Claudius,[33] a man of consular and censorian rank, who in consideration
of his dignity was appointed Princeps Senatus,[34] and in loftiness of
character surpassed all his contemporaries, showed his opinion of
Tiberius; for when the augurs were feasting together, Appius addressed
Tiberius with many expressions of friendship, and solicited him to take
his daughter to wife. Tiberius gladly accepted the proposal, and the
agreement was forthwith made. As Appius was entering the door on his
return home, he called out to his wife in a loud voice, "Antistia, I
have given our daughter Claudia to wife." Antistia in surprise replied,
"What is the need or the hurry, unless you have got Tiberius Gracchus
for her husband?" I am aware that some writers tell this story of
Tiberius the father of the Gracchi and of Scipio Africanus; but the
majority have the story as I give it, and Polybius[35] says that after
the death of Scipio Africanus, his kinsmen selected Tiberius to be the
husband of Cornelia, and that she had neither been given in marriage nor
betrothed by her father in his lifetime. Now the younger Tiberius served
in the army in Africa[36] with the second Scipio,[37] who had married
his sister, and by living in the general's tent he soon learned his
character, which exhibited many and great qualities for virtuous
emulation and practical imitation. Tiberius, also, soon surpassed all
the young soldiers in attention to discipline and in courage; and he was
the first to mount the enemy's wall, as Fannius[38] says, who also
asserts that he mounted the wall with Tiberius and shared the honour
with him. While he was in the army Tiberius won the affection of all the
soldiers, and was regretted when he went away.

V. After that expedition he was elected quæstor,[39] and it fell to his
lot to serve in that capacity under the consul Caius Mancinus,[40] no
bad man, but the most unlucky of Roman generals. Accordingly in adverse
fortune and critical affairs the prudence and courage of Tiberius became
the more conspicuous, and not only his prudence and courage, but what
was truly admirable, his consideration and respect for his general,
whose reverses almost made him forget who he was. Having been defeated
in several great battles, Mancinus attempted to leave his camp by night
and make a retreat. The Numantines, however, perceived his movements,
and immediately seizing the camp, fell on the Romans in their flight and
killed those in the rear; and at last, when they were surrounding the
whole army and driving them to unfavourable ground, from which escape
was impossible, Mancinus, despairing of all chance of saving himself by
resistance, sent to treat for a truce and terms of peace. But the
Numantines declared that they would trust nobody except Tiberius, and
they bade Mancinus send him. The Numantines had come to this resolution
as well from a knowledge of the young man's character, for there was
much talk about him in this campaign, as from the remembrance of his
father Tiberius, who, after carrying on war against the Iberians and
subduing many of them, made peace with the Numantines, and always kept
the Roman people to a fair and just observance of it. Accordingly
Tiberius was sent, and had a conference with the Numantines, in which he
got some favourable conditions, and, by making some concessions,
obtained a truce, and thus saved twenty thousand Roman citizens, besides
the slaves and camp-followers.

VI. All the property that was taken in the camp became the booty of the
Numantines; and among it were the tablets of Tiberius, which contained
the entries and accounts of his administration as quæstor. Being very
anxious to recover them, though the army had already advanced some
distance, he returned to the city with three or four companions, and
calling forth the magistrates of Numantia, he begged to have back his
tablets, in order that his enemies might not have an opportunity of
calumniating him if he should not be able to give an account of his
administration of the public money. The Numantines were pleased at the
opportunity of doing him a service, and invited him to enter the city;
and when he stood hesitating, they came near and clung to his hands, and
were urgent in entreating him not to consider them as enemies any
longer, but as friends, and to trust them. Tiberius determined to do so,
as he was very anxious to get the tablets, and feared to irritate the
Numantines if he should seem to distrust them. When he had entered the
city, the first thing they did was to prepare an entertainment, and to
urge him most importunately to sit down and eat with them. They
afterwards gave him back the tablets, and bade him take anything else he
liked. Tiberius, however, would have nothing except the frankincense
which he wanted for the public sacrifices, and after a friendly embrace
he took his leave of them.

VII. On his return to Rome, the whole transaction was greatly blamed as
dishonourable and disgraceful to Rome. The kinsfolk and friends of the
soldiers, who were a large part of the people, crowded about Tiberius,
charging the general with the disgraceful part of what had happened, and
declaring that Tiberius had been the saviour of so many citizens. Those
who were the most vexed at the events in Iberia,[41] recommended that
they should follow the example of their ancestors; for in former times
the Romans stripped of their clothes and delivered up to the
Samnites[42] those who had purchased their safety on dishonourable
terms, both the generals and all who had any share or participation in
the treaty, quæstors and tribunes all alike, and on their heads they
turned the violation of the oaths and the infraction of the agreement.
It was on this occasion particularly, that the people showed their
affection and zeal towards Tiberius: for they decided to deliver up the
consul, stripped and in chains, to the Numantines, but they spared all
the rest on account of Tiberius. It appears that Scipio also, who was
then the most powerful man in Rome, gave his assistance in this matter,
but nevertheless he was blamed for not saving Mancinus, and not making
any exertion to ratify the treaty with the Numantines, which had been
concluded by his relation and friend Tiberius. But whatever difference
there was between Scipio and Tiberius on this occasion, perhaps
originated mainly in jealousy and was owing to the friends of Tiberius
and the sophists, who endeavoured to prejudice him against Scipio. There
was, however, no irreconcilable breach made between them, and no bad
result from this affair; indeed, it seems to me that Tiberius would
never have been involved in those political measures which cost him his
life, if Scipio Africanus had been at Rome while they were going on. But
it was while Scipio was carrying on the war at Numantia[43] that
Tiberius commenced his legislation, to which he was led from the
following motives.

VIII. Whatever territory the Romans acquired from their neighbours in
war, they sold part, and retaining the other part as public
property,[44] they gave it to the poorer citizens to cultivate, on the
payment of a small sum to the treasury. But as the rich began to outbid
the poor, and so to drive them out, a law was passed which forbade any
one to have more than five hundred jugera of land. This law restrained
the greediness of the rich for a short time, and was a relief to the
poor, who remained on the land which they had hired, and cultivated the
several portions which they originally had. But in course of time their
rich neighbours contrived to transfer the holdings to themselves in the
names of other persons, and at last openly got possession of the greater
part of the public lands in their own names, and the poor, being
expelled, were not willing to take military service and were careless
about bringing up families, in consequence of which there was speedily a
diminution in the number of freemen all through Italy, and the country
was filled with ergastula[45] of barbarian slaves, with whom the rich
cultivated the lands from which they had expelled the citizens. Now
Caius Lælius,[46] the friend of Scipio, attempted to remedy this
mischief, but he desisted through fear of the disturbances that were
threatened by the opposition of the rich, whence he got the name of wise
or prudent, for such is the signification of the Roman word "sapiens."
Tiberius, on being elected tribune,[47] immediately undertook the same
measures, as most say, at the instigation of the orator Diophanes and
the philosopher Blossius.[48] Diophanes was an exile from Mitylene:
Blossius was an Italian from Cumæ, and had been an intimate at Rome with
Antipater of Tarsus, who had done him the honour of dedicating to him
some of his philosophical writings. Some give part of the blame to
Cornelia also, the mother of Tiberius, who frequently reproached her
sons that the Romans still called her the mother-in-law of Scipio, but
not yet the mother of the Gracchi. Others say that jealousy of one
Spurius Postumius,[49] a contemporary of Tiberius, and a rival of his
reputation as an orator, was the immediate motive: for it is said that
when Tiberius returned to Rome from his military service, he found that
Postumius had far out-stripped him in reputation and influence, and
seeing the distinction that Postumius had attained, he determined to get
the advantage over him by engaging in measures which were attended with
hazard, but promised great results. But his brother Caius in a certain
book has recorded, that as Tiberius was passing through Tyrrhenia
(Tuscany), on his road to Numantia, he observed the deserted state of
the country, and that the cultivators and shepherds were foreign slaves
and barbarians; and that he then for the first time conceived those
political measures which to them were the beginning of infinite
calamities. But the energy and ambition of Tiberius were mainly excited
by the people, who urged him by writing on the porticoes, the walls, and
on the tombs, to recover the public land for the poor.

IX. He did not, however, draw up the law without assistance, but took
the advice of the citizens most eminent for character and reputation,
among whom were Crassus[50] the pontifex maximus, Mucius Scævola,[51]
the jurist, who was then consul, and Claudius Appius, his father-in-law.
Never was a measure directed against such wrong and aggression conceived
in more moderate and gentle terms; for though the rich well deserved to
be punished for their violation of law and to be compelled to surrender
under penalties the land which they had been illegally enjoying, the law
merely declared that they should give up their unjust acquisitions upon
being paid the value of them, and should allow the lands to be occupied
by the citizens who were in want of this relief. Though the reform of
this abuse was so moderate and reasonable, the people were satisfied to
take no notice of the past and to secure themselves against wrong for
the future. But the rich and those who had possessions detested the
proposed law because of their greediness, and the proposer of it was the
object of their indignation and jealousy; and accordingly they attempted
to divert the people from the measure, by insinuating that Tiberius was
proposing a division of land merely to disturb the state and to bring
about a revolution. But they failed altogether; for Tiberius, supporting
a measure in itself honourable and just, with an eloquence[52]
calculated to set off even a meaner subject, showed his power and his
superiority over his opponents, whenever the people were crowded round
the rostra and he addressed them about the poor. "The wild beasts of
Italy," he would say, "had their dens and holes and hiding-places, while
the men who fought and died in defence of Italy enjoyed, indeed, the air
and the light, but nothing else: houseless and without a spot of ground
to rest upon, they wander about with their wives and children, while
their commanders, with a lie in their mouth, exhort the soldiers in
battle to defend their tombs and temples against the enemy, for out of
so many Romans not one has a family altar or ancestral tomb, but they
fight to maintain the luxury and wealth of others, and they die with the
title of lords of the earth,[53] without possessing a single clod to
call their own."

X. Such language as this, proceeding from a lofty spirit and genuine
feeling, and delivered to the people, who were vehemently excited and
roused, none of the enemies of Tiberius attempted to refute.
Abandoning, therefore, all idea of opposing him by words, they addressed
themselves to Marcus Octavius,[54] one of the tribunes, a young man of
sober and orderly disposition, and a companion and friend of Tiberius.
At first Octavius, from regard to Tiberius, evaded the proposals, but
being urged and importuned by many of the powerful nobles,[55] and as
it were, driven to it, he set himself in opposition to Tiberius, and
prevented the passing of the law. Now all the power is virtually in the
hands of the dissentient tribune, for the rest can do nothing if a
single tribune oppose them. Irritated at this, Tiberius withdrew his
moderate measure and introduced another, more agreeable to the people
and more severe against the illegal possessors of land; this new measure
ejected persons out of the lands which they had got possession of
contrary to existing laws. There was a daily contest between him and
Octavius at the rostra, but though they opposed one another with great
earnestness and rivalry, it is said they never uttered a disparaging
word against one another, and that no unbecoming expression ever escaped
either of them against the other. It is not, then, in bacchanalian
revelries[56] only, as it seems, but also in ambitious rivalry and
passion, that to be of noble nature and to have been well brought up,
restrains and governs the mind. Tiberius, observing that Octavius
himself was obnoxious to the law and possessed a considerable tract of
the public land, begged him to desist from his opposition, offering to
pay him the value of the land out of his own purse, though he was by no
means in affluent circumstances. Upon Octavius rejecting the proposal,
Tiberius by an edict forbade all the other magistrates to transact any
public business until the people had voted upon his law; and he placed
his private seals on the temple of Saturn,[57] that the quæstors might
not be able to take anything out of it or pay anything in, and he gave
public notice that a penalty would be imposed on the prætors if they
disobeyed; in consequence of which all the magistrates were afraid and
ceased from discharging their several functions. Upon this the
possessors changed their dress and went about the Forum in a piteous and
humble guise, but in secret they plotted against Tiberius and
endeavoured to procure assassins to take him off; in consequence of
which, Tiberius, as everybody knew, wore under his dress a short sword,
such as robbers use, which the Romans call dolo.[58]

XI. When the day came and Tiberius was calling the people to the vote,
the voting-urns[59] were seized by the rich and the proceedings were
put into great confusion. However, as the partisans of Tiberius, who had
the superiority in numbers, were collecting in order to make resistance,
Manlius[60] and Fulvius, both consular men, falling down at the knees of
Tiberius, and clinging to his hands with tears, begged him to desist.
Tiberius, seeing that matters were near coming to extremities, and from
regard to the men also, asked them what they would have him do; to which
they replied, that they were not competent to advise on so important a
matter, and they urged him to refer it to the senate, and at last he
consented. The senate met, but did nothing, owing to the opposition of
the rich, who had great influence in the body; upon which Tiberius had
recourse to the unconstitutional and violent measure of depriving
Octavius of his office, finding it impossible to put his proposed law to
the vote in any other way. In the first place, he publicly entreated
Octavius, addressing him affectionately and clinging to his hands, to
yield to and gratify the people, who asked for nothing but their rights,
and would only get a small matter in return for great dangers and
sufferings. Octavius rejected this proposition; upon which Tiberius
reminded him that both of them were magistrates and were contending with
equal power on a weighty matter, and that it was not possible for this
struggle to continue without coming to open hostility; that he saw no
remedy except for one of them to give up his office; and he bade
Octavius put it to the people to vote on his case first, and said that
he would immediately descend to the station of a private man, if the
citizens should desire it. As Octavius refused this proposal also,
Tiberius said that he would put the question about Octavius retiring
from the tribunate to the people, if Octavius did not change his

XII. Thus ended the assembly of that day. On the following day Tiberius
mounted the rostra and again endeavoured to persuade Octavius; but as he
would not yield, Tiberius proposed a law by which Octavius should be
deprived of his tribunate, and he forthwith summoned the citizens to
vote upon it. Now, there were five and thirty tribes,[61] and when
seventeen of them had already given their vote, and the addition of one
more tribe would reduce Octavius to a private condition, Tiberius
stopped the voting, and again entreated Octavius, embracing him in the
presence of the people and urgently praying him not to be careless about
being deprived of his office, and not to bring on him the blame of so
severe and odious a measure. It is said that Octavius was not entirely
untouched or unmoved by these entreaties, and his eyes were filled with
tears and he was silent for some time. But when he looked to the rich
and the possessors, who were standing together in one body, through fear
of losing their good opinion, as it seems, he boldly determined to run
every risk, and he told Tiberius to do what he pleased. Accordingly the
law was passed, and Tiberius ordered one of his freedmen to drag
Octavius from the rostra, for Tiberius employed his own freedmen as
officers; a circumstance which made the spectacle of Octavius dragged
from the rostra with contumely still more deplorable. At the same time
the people made an assault on Octavius, and though the rich all ran to
his assistance and disengaged him from their hands, it was not without
difficulty that he was rescued and made his escape from the mob. But one
of his faithful slaves, who had placed himself in front of his master to
defend him, had his eyes torn out. This violence was quite contrary to
the wishes of Tiberius, who, on seeing what was going on, speedily made
his way to the disturbance.

XIII. The law about the land was now immediately carried, and
triumviri[62] were appointed for ascertaining its bounds and
distributing it; the triumviri were Tiberius, and his father-in-law
Claudius Appius, and Caius Gracchus, his brother, who, however, was not
at Rome, but serving under Scipio against Numantia. All this Tiberius
accomplished quietly without any opposition, and he also procured to be
elected tribune in the room of Octavius, not a person of rank, but one
Mucius[63] a client[64] of his own. The nobles, who were vexed at all
these measures and feared the growing power of Tiberius, treated him in
the senate with contumely; and upon his asking, according to custom, for
a tent from the treasury for his use while he was distributing the land,
they refused it to him, though others had often had one allowed them on
less important occasions; and they only gave him for his expenses nine
oboli[65] a day, which was done on the motion of Publius Nasica,[66] who
entered violently into the opposition against Tiberius, for he was in
possession of a very large amount of public land, and was greatly
annoyed at being forcibly ejected from it. But the people now became
still more violent. A friend of Tiberius happened to die suddenly, and
suspicious marks immediately showed themselves on the body. The people
cried out that he was poisoned, and collecting in great numbers at the
funeral, they carried the bier and stood by while the body was burnt.
And the suspicion of poison appeared to have some reason, for the body
burst on the pile and sent forth such a quantity of corrupt humours as
to quench the flame; and though a light was again applied, the body
would not burn till it was removed to another place, where, after much
trouble, the fire at last laid hold of it. Upon this Tiberius, with the
view of exciting the people still more, changed his dress, and showing
his children to the people, begged that they would protect them and
their mother, for he now despaired of his own safety.

XIV. On the death of Attalus[67] Philometor, Eudemus of Pergamum brought
his will to Rome, in which the Roman people were made the king's heir.
In order to please the people, Tiberius promulgated a law to the effect
that as soon as the king's treasures were received, they should be
distributed among those who had assignments of land, in order to enable
them to stock the farms and to assist them in their cultivation. With
respect to the cities included within the kingdom of Attalus, he said
that the senate had no right to decide about them, but he would bring
the subject before the popular assembly. This measure gave violent
offence to the senate, and Pompeius[68] getting up, said that he lived
near Tiberius, and so knew that Eudemus of Pergamum had given a diadem
out of the royal treasures and a purple robe to Tiberius, who designed
to make himself king in Rome. Quintus Metellus[69] reproached Tiberius
by reminding him, that whenever his father, during his censorship, was
returning home from supper, the citizens used to put out the lights for
fear it might be supposed that they were indulging too much in
entertainments and drinking, but that the most insolent and needy of the
citizens accompanied Tiberius with lights at night. Titus Annius,[70]
who was not a man of good repute or sober behaviour, but in any contest
of words by way of question and answer was considered to be unequalled,
challenged Tiberius to answer definitely whether he had or had not
branded with infamy his brother tribune, though by the law he was sacred
and inviolable. As the question was received with signs of approbation,
Tiberius, hastily quitting the senate-house, convoked the people and
ordered Annius to be brought before them, with the intention of accusing
him. But Annius, who was much inferior to Tiberius both in eloquence and
reputation, had recourse to his tricks, and called on Tiberius to answer
a few questions before he began his speech. Tiberius assented, and as
soon as there was silence, Annius said, "If you intend to deprive me of
my rank, and disgrace me, and I appeal to one of your brother tribunes,
and he shall come to my aid, and you shall then fall into a passion,
will you deprive him of his office?" On this question being put, it is
said that Tiberius, though no man was readier in words or bolder in
action, was so confused that he made no reply.

XV. For the present Tiberius[71] dissolved the assembly, seeing that his
proceedings with respect to Octavius were not liked either by the
nobles or the people, for they considered that the high and honourable
dignity of the tribunate, which had been kept unimpaired up to that
time, had been destroyed and trampled upon. He made an harangue to the
people, a few of the arguments of which it will not be out of place to
mention, for the purpose of showing the persuasive eloquence and the
subtlety of the man. He said that a tribune was sacred and inviolate,
only because he was dedicated to the people and was the guardian of the
people. If then a tribune should deviate from his duty and wrong the
people, abridge their power and deprive them of the opportunity of
voting, he had by his own act deprived himself of his rank, by not
fulfilling the conditions on which he received it. Now we must consider
a tribune to be still a tribune, though he should dig down the Capitol
and burn the naval arsenal. If he should commit such excesses as these,
he is a bad tribune; but if he should attempt to deprive the people of
their power, he is not a tribune at all. And is it not a monstrous thing
if a tribune shall have power to order a consul to be put in prison, and
the people shall not be able to deprive a tribune of his power when he
is using it against the people who gave it to him? for both tribune and
consul are equally chosen by the people. Now the kingly office, besides
comprehending within it all civil power, is consecrated to the divinity
by the discharge of the chief ceremonials of religion; and yet the state
ejected Tarquinius for his wrong-doing, and for the violence of one man
the ancient power which established Rome was overthrown. And what is
there at Rome so sacred, so venerated as the virgins who guard the
ever-burning fire? but if any of them offends, she is buried alive; for
when they sin against the gods, they no longer retain that inviolable
sanctity which they have by being devoted to the gods. In like manner,
neither has a tribune when he is wronging the people any right to retain
the inviolable character which he receives from the people, for he is
destroying the very power which is the origin of his own power. And
indeed, if he has legally received the tribunitian power by the votes of
a majority of the tribes, how is it that he cannot even still more
legally be deposed by the vote of all the tribes? Now, nothing is so
sacred and inviolable as things dedicated to the gods; but yet no one
has ever hindered the people from using such things, moving them, and
changing their places as they please. It is therefore legal for the
people to transfer the tribunate, as a consecrated thing, from one man
to another. And that the tribunate is not an inviolable thing, nor an
office of which a man cannot be divested, is clear from this that many
magistrates have abdicated their office and prayed to be excused from it
of their own free will.

XVI. Such were the heads of the justification of Tiberius. His friends,
seeing the threats of his enemies and their combination, thought that he
ought to be a candidate for the tribunate for the next year; and
Tiberius attempted to strengthen his popularity by promising to carry
new measures,[72] such as a diminution of the period of military
service, an appeal to the people from the judices, an intermixture of an
equal number of the Equites with the Senators, from whom alone the
judices were then taken; and in every way he attempted to abridge the
power of the Senate, influenced rather by passion and ambition, than
justice and the interests of the state. While the voting was going on,
the friends of Tiberius, seeing that their enemies were gaining the
advantage, for all the people were not present,[73] at first attempted
to prolong the time by abusing the other tribunes, and next they
dissolved the meeting and appointed it for the following day. Tiberius,
going down to the Forum, supplicated the citizens in humble manner and
with tears in his eyes; he then said that he feared his enemies would
break into his house by night and kill him, and thus he induced a great
number of the citizens to take their station about his house and watch
there all night.

XVII. At daybreak the man came to bring the birds which the Romans use
in their auspices, and he threw them food. But the birds would not come
out of the basket[74] with the exception of one, though the man shook it
hard; and even this one would not touch the food, but after raising its
left wing and stretching out a leg it ran back to the basket. This
reminded Tiberius of another omen that had happened. He had a helmet
which he wore in battle, elaborately worked and splendid. Some snakes
had got into the helmet unobserved, and laid their eggs and hatched them
there. This made Tiberius still more uneasy about the signs from the
fowls. Nevertheless he advanced up the city on hearing that the people
was assembled about the Capitol; but before he got out of the house he
stumbled over the threshold, and the blow was so violent that the nail
of his great toe was broken, and the blood ran out through his shoe. He
had not got far before some crows were seen fighting on the roof of a
house on the left hand, and though a great crowd was passing by, as was
natural on such an occasion, a stone which was pushed off by one of the
crows fell by the feet of Tiberius. This made even the boldest of his
adherents hesitate; but Blossius of Cumæ, who was present, said it would
be a shame and a great disgrace if Tiberius, a son of Gracchus and a
grandson of Scipio Africanus, and a defender of the Roman people should
not obey the summons of the people for fear of a crow, and that his
enemies would not treat this cowardly act as a matter of ridicule, but
would make it the ground of calumniating him to the people as playing
the tyrant and treating them with contempt. At the same time many
persons ran up to Tiberius with a message from his friends in the
Capitol, to hasten there, as all was going on favourably. And indeed
everything promised well at first, for as soon as he appeared he was
greeted with friendly cheers, and as he ascended the Capitol he was
joyfully received, and the people crowded about him to prevent any
stranger from approaching.

XVIII. Now, Mucius began to summon the tribes again, but nothing could
be conducted with the usual forms on account of the confusion that
prevailed among those who were on the outskirts of the assembly, where
they were struggling with their opponents, who were attempting to force
their way in and mingle with the rest. At this juncture Flavius
Flaccus,[75] a senator, posted himself in a conspicuous place, and as it
was not possible to make his voice heard so far, he made a signal with
his hand that he wished to say something in private to Tiberius.
Tiberius bade the crowd let Flaccus pass, who, with great difficulty
making his way up to Tiberius, told him that the Senate was sitting,
that as they could not prevail on the consul, the rich were resolving to
kill Tiberius themselves, and that they had armed many of their slaves
and friends for this purpose.

XIX. Upon Tiberius reporting this to those who were standing about him,
they forthwith tucked up their dress, and breaking the staves which the
officers use to keep the crowd back, distributed the fragments among
them and made ready to defend themselves against their assailants. While
those at a distance were wondering at what was going on, and asking what
it meant, Tiberius touched his head with his hand, since his voice could
not be heard, intending thereby to signify to the people that his life
was in danger. His enemies on seeing this ran to the Senate and told
them that Tiberius was asking for a crown, and that his touching his
head was a proof of it. On this the whole body was greatly disturbed;
Nasica entreated the consul[76] to protect the state and put down the
tyrant. The consul however answered mildly that he would not be the
first to use violence, and that he would not take any citizen's life
without a regular trial; if however, he said, the people should come to
an illegal vote at the instigation of Tiberius, or from compulsion, he
would not respect any such decision. Upon this Nasica springing up
exclaimed, "Well then, as the consul betrays the state, do you who wish
to maintain the laws follow me." As he uttered these words he drew the
skirt of his dress over his head, and hastened to the Capitol; and the
senators who followed him, wrapping their dress about them with one
hand, pushed all the people they met out of the way, no one opposing
them, from respect to their rank, but taking to flight and trampling
down one another. The followers of the senators had clubs and sticks
which they had brought from home; but the senators seizing the fragments
and legs of the benches which were broken by the people in their hurry
to escape, made right to Tiberius, and struck all those who were in
their road. The people were all put to flight or killed. As Tiberius was
attempting to make his escape, some one laid hold of his dress, on which
he dropped his toga and fled in his tunic; but he stumbled over some
persons who were lying on the ground and was thrown down. While he was
endeavouring to rise, he received the first blow, as it is universally
admitted, from Publius Satyreius, one of his colleagues, who struck him
on the head with the leg of a bench. Lucius Rufus claimed the credit of
giving him the second blow, as if that were a thing to be proud of.
Above three hundred persons lost their lives by sticks and stones, but
none by the sword.

XX. This is said to have been the first disturbance at Rome since the
abolition of the kingly power, which ended in bloodshed and the death of
citizens. All previous disputes, though they were neither trifling nor
about trifling matters, were settled by mutual concession: the nobles
yielded through fear of the people, and the people yielded from respect
to the Senate. Even on this occasion it is probable that Tiberius would
have given way to persuasion without any difficulty, and still more
readily if his assailants had not come to bloodshed and blows, for those
about him were not above three thousand in number. But the combination
against him seems to have proceeded rather from the passion and hatred
of the rich citizens, than from the reasons which they alleged; and the
brutal and indecent treatment of his dead body is a proof of this. For
they would not listen to his brother's request[77] to take up the body
and bury it at night, but it was thrown into the Tiber with the other
bodies. And this was not all; they banished some of his friends without
trial, and others they seized and put to death, among whom was Diophanes
the orator. One Caius Villius[78] they shut up in a vessel with snakes
and vipers, and thus he died. Blossius of Cumæ, being brought before the
consuls and questioned about what had passed, admitted that he had done
everything at the bidding of Tiberius. On Nasica asking[79] him, "What
if Tiberius had told you to burn the Capitol?" Blossius said, that
Tiberius would never have given him any such order. The same question
being often put to him, and by several persons, he said, "If he had
commanded me to burn the Capitol, it would have been a good deed for me
to do; for Tiberius would not have given such an order unless it were
for the interest of the people." Blossius, however, was set at liberty,
and afterwards went to Aristonikus[80] in Asia, on the ruin of whose
affairs he killed himself.

XXI. The Senate, under present circumstances, endeavoured to soothe the
people; they made no opposition to the distribution of the public land,
and they allowed the people to elect another commissioner in place of
Tiberius. Having come to a vote, they elected Publius Crassus[81] a
relation of Gracchus, for his daughter Licinia was the wife of Caius
Gracchus. Cornelius Nepos,[82] indeed, says that Caius did not marry the
daughter of Crassus, but the daughter of Brutus[83] who triumphed over
the Lusitanians: however, the majority of writers state the matter as I
have done. Now, as the people were sore about the death of Tiberius, and
were manifestly waiting for an opportunity to be revenged, and
Nasica[84] was threatened with prosecutions, the Senate, fearing for his
safety, made a decree for sending him to Asia, though they had nothing
for him to do there. For when men met Nasica they did not conceal their
hostility, but broke out into violence, and abused him wherever they
fell in with him, calling him accursed, and tyrant, who had stained with
the blood of an inviolable and sacred functionary the most sacred and
revered of all the holy places in the city. Accordingly, Nasica left
Italy, though bound by the most sacred functions, for he was Pontifex
Maximus; and, rambling about despised from place to place, he died no
long time after in the neighbourhood of Pergamum. It is no wonder if
Nasica was so much hated by the people, when even Scipio Africanus, whom
the Romans considered inferior to no man in integrity, and loved as well
as any, narrowly escaped losing the popular favour, because, on
receiving the news of the death of Tiberius, at Numantia, he exclaimed
in the verse of Homer,

   So perish[85] all who do the like again.

Subsequently, when Caius and Fulvius asked him, before an assembly of
the people, what he thought of the death of Tiberius, he showed by his
answer that he was not pleased with the measures of Tiberius. This made
the people interrupt him with their shouts when he was speaking, as they
had never done before; and Scipio was so far transported with passion as
to break out into invectives against them. But of this I have spoken
more particularly in the Life of Scipio.[86]


I. Caius Gracchus at first, either through fear of his enemies or with
the view of making them odious, withdrew from the Forum[87] and kept
quiet at home, like a man humbled for the present, and intending for the
future to keep aloof from public affairs; which gave occasion for some
people to say that he disliked the measures of Tiberius, and had
abandoned them. He was also still quite a youth, for he was nine years
younger than his brother, and Tiberius was not thirty[88] when he was
killed. But in the course of time, as his character gradually displayed
itself in his aversion to indolence, luxury, wine, and all matters of
private profit, and it was clear, from his application to the study of
eloquence, that he was preparing, as it were, his pinions for public
life, and that he would not remain quiet; and further, when he showed by
his defence of Vettius, one of his friends, who was under prosecution,
the people all around him being wild and frantic with delight, that the
rest of the orators were mere children, the nobles were again alarmed,
and there was much talk among them that they would not allow Caius to
obtain the tribunate. It happened without any set design that the lot
fell on him to go as quæstor to Sardinia,[89] under Orestes[90] the
consul, which pleased his enemies, and was not disagreeable to Caius.
For he was fond of war, and equally disciplined for military service and
speaking in the courts of justice; but he still shrunk from public
affairs and the Rostra, and as he could not resist the invitations of
the people and his friends, he was well pleased with this opportunity of
leaving Rome. It is true it is a common opinion that Caius was a pure
demagogue, and much more greedy of popular favour than Tiberius. But it
was not so in fact, and Caius seems to have been involved in public
affairs rather through a kind of necessity than choice. Cicero the
orator also says that Caius declined all offices, and had determined to
live in retirement, but that his brother appeared to him in a dream,[91]
and said, "Caius, why do you linger? There is no escape: one life for
both of us, and one death in defence of the people is our fate."

II. Now, Caius during his stay in Sardinia exhibited his excellent
qualities in every way; he far surpassed all the young men in military
courage, in upright conduct to the subject people, in loyalty and
respect to the commander; and in temperance, frugality, and attention to
his duties he excelled even his elders. The winter having been severe
and unhealthy in Sardinia, the general demanded clothing for his
soldiers from the cities, upon which they sent to Rome to pray to be
relieved from this imposition. The Senate granted their petition, and
ordered the general to get supplies for the troops by other means; but
as the general was unable to do this, and the soldiers were suffering,
Caius went round to the cities and induced them voluntarily to send
clothing and to assist the Romans. This, being reported to Rome, made
the Senate uneasy, for they viewed it as a preliminary to popular
agitation. Ambassadors also arrived at Rome from Libya, with a message
from King Micipsa,[92] that the king had sent corn to the commander in
Sardinia, out of respect for Caius Gracchus. The Senate, taking offence
at the message, would not receive the ambassadors, and they passed a
decree that fresh troops should be sent out to replace those in
Sardinia, but that Orestes should stay; intending by this measure to
keep Caius there also, in respect of his office. On this being done,
Caius immediately set sail in a passion, and appearing at Rome contrary
to all expectation, was not only blamed by his enemies, but even the
people considered it a strange thing for the quæstor to leave his
general behind. However, when the matter was brought before the
Censors,[93] he asked for permission to make his defence, and he
produced such a change in the opinions of his audience, that he was
acquitted, and considered to have been exceedingly ill used: he said
that he had served in the army for twelve years, while others were only
required to serve ten years, and that he had exercised the functions of
quæstor to the commander for three years, though the law allowed him to
return after one year's service; he added that he was the only soldier
who took out a full purse with him and brought it back empty, while the
rest took out with them only jars of wine, which they had emptied in
Sardinia, and brought them back full of gold and silver.

III. After this, his enemies brought fresh charges against him, and
harassed him with prosecutions on the ground of causing the defection of
the allies and having participated in the conspiracy which had been
detected at Fregellæ.[94] But he cleared himself of all suspicion, and
having established his innocence, immediately set about canvassing for
the tribunate. All the men of distinction, without exception, opposed
him; and so great a multitude flocked to Rome from all parts of Italy,
to the Comitia, that many of them could not find lodgings, and the
Campus Martius[95] being unable to contain the numbers, they shouted
from the house-tops and tilings. However, the nobility so far prevailed
against the people as to disappoint the hopes of Caius, inasmuch as he
was not returned first, as he expected, but only fourth. But upon
entering on his office he soon made himself first, for he surpassed
every Roman in eloquence,[96] and his misfortunes gave him a licence
for speaking freely when lamenting the fate of his brother. He took
every opportunity of directing the thoughts of the people to this
subject, reminding them of former times, and contrasting the conduct of
their ancestors, who went to war with the Falisci on behalf of Gemicius,
a tribune, who had been insulted by them, and condemned Caius Veturius
to death because he was the only man that did not make way for a tribune
as he was passing through the Forum. "But before your eyes," he
exclaimed, "these men beat Tiberius to death with staves, and his body
was dragged through the midst of the city to be thrown into the Tiber;
and all his friends who were caught were put to death without trial. And
yet it is an old usage among us, if a man is accused of a capital charge
and does not appear, for a trumpeter to come to the door of his house in
the morning and summon him by the sound of the trumpet, and the judices
cannot vote upon the charge till this has been done. So circumspect and
careful were the Romans of old in the trials of persons accused."

IV. Having first stirred up the people by such harangues as these (and
he had a very loud voice, and was most vigorous in speech), he
promulgated two laws:[97] one, to the effect that if the people had
deprived any magistrate of his office, he should be incapacitated from
holding office a second time; and the other, which rendered a magistrate
liable to a public prosecution if he had banished any citizen without
trial. One of these rogations had the direct effect of branding with
infamy Marcus Octavius, who had been deprived of the tribunate by
Tiberius; and Popillius[98] came within the penalties of the other, for
during his prætorship he had banished the friends of Tiberius. Popillius
did not stand his trial, and he fled from Italy; but the other law Caius
himself withdrew, saying that he refrained from touching Octavius at the
request of his mother Cornelia. The people admired his conduct on this
occasion, and gave their consent, for they respected Cornelia no less
for the sake of her sons than her father; and afterwards they set up a
bronze statue[99] of her, with the inscription--Cornelia, Mother of the
Gracchi. There are recorded several things that Caius said in defence of
his mother in a rhetorical and coarse way, in reply to one of his
enemies. "What," said he, "do you abuse Cornelia, the mother of
Tiberius?" And as the man laboured under the imputation of being a
dissolute fellow, he added, "How can you have the impudence to compare
yourself with Cornelia? Have you been a mother, as she has?"--and more to
the like effect, but still coarser. Such was the bitterness of his
language, and many like things occur in his writings.

V. Of the laws[100] which he promulgated with the view of gaining the
popular favour and weakening the Senate, one was for the establishment
of colonies and the distribution of Public Land among the poor; another
provided for supplying the soldiers with clothing at the public expense,
without any deduction on this account being made from their pay, and
exempted youths under seventeen years of age from being drafted for the
army; a third was in favour of the allies, and put the Italians on the
same footing as the citizens with respect to the suffrage; another
related to grain, and had for its object the lowering of the price for
the poor; the last related to the judices, a measure which most of all
encroached on the privileges of the senate--for the senate alone supplied
judices for the trials, and this privilege rendered that body formidable
both to the people and the equites. The law of Gracchus added three
hundred equites to the senate, who were also three hundred in number,
and it made the judices eligible out of the whole six hundred. In his
endeavours to carry this law he is said to have made every exertion; and
in particular it is recorded that all the popular leaders who preceded
him turned their faces to the senate and the comitium while they were
speaking, but he was the first who turned his face the other way to the
Forum while haranguing the people, and he continued to do so; and by a
small deviation and alteration in attitude he stirred a great question,
and in a manner transformed the government from an aristocratical to a
democratical form, by this new attitude intimating that the orators
should direct their speeches to the many and not to the senate.

VI. The people not only passed this law, but empowered Gracchus to
select from the equites those who were to act as judices, which
conferred on him a kind of monarchical authority, and even the senate
now assented to the measures which he proposed in their body. But all
the measures which he proposed were honourable to the senate; such, for
instance, was the very equitable and just decree about the grain which
Fabius the proprætor sent from Iberia. Gracchus induced the senate to
sell the grain and to return the money which it produced to the Iberian
cities, and further to censure Fabius for making the Roman dominion
heavy and intolerable to the subject nations; this measure brought him
great reputation and popularity in the provinces. He also introduced
measures for sending out colonies, the construction of roads, and the
building of public granaries; and he made himself director and
superintendent for the carrying all these measures into effect. Though
engaged in so many great undertakings, he was never wearied, but with
wonderful activity and labour he effected every single object as if he
had for the time no other occupation, so that even those who thoroughly
hated and feared him were struck with amazement at the rapidity and
perfect execution of all that he undertook. But the people looked with
admiration on the man himself, seeing him attended by crowds of
building-contractors, artificers, ambassadors, magistrates, soldiers,
and learned men, to all of whom he was easy of access; and while he
maintained his dignity, he was affable to all, and adapted his behaviour
to the condition of every individual, and so proved the falsehood of
those who called him tyrannical or arrogant or violent. He thus showed
himself more skilful as a popular leader in his dealings with men, and
in his conduct, than in his harangues from the Rostra.

VII. But Caius busied himself most about the construction of roads,[101]
having in view utility, convenience, and ornament. The roads were made
in a straight line, right through the country, partly of quarried stone
and partly with tight-rammed masses of earth. By filling up the
depressions, and throwing bridges across those parts which were
traversed by winter torrents or deep ravines, and raising the road on
both sides to the same uniform height, the whole line was made level and
presented an agreeable appearance. He also measured all the roads by
miles (the Roman mile is not quite eight Greek stadia), and fixed stone
blocks to mark the distances. He placed other stones at less distances
from one another on each side of the road, that persons might thus
easily mount their horses without assistance.

VIII. As the people extolled him for all these services, and were ready
to show their good will towards him in any way, he said on one occasion
when he was addressing them, that he would ask a favour, which he would
value above everything if it was granted, but if it were refused, he
should not complain. It was accordingly expected that he would ask for
the consulship, and everybody supposed that he would be a candidate for
the consulship and the tribunate at the same time. When the consular
comitia were near, and all were at the highest point of expectation,
Caius appeared conducting Caius Fannius into the Campus Martius, and
canvassing with his friends for Fannius.[102] This gave Fannius a great
advantage. Fannius was elected consul, and Caius tribune for the second
time, though he was neither a candidate nor canvassed, but his election
was entirely due to the zeal of the people. Perceiving, however, that
the senate was clearly opposed to him, and that the kind feeling of
Fannius towards him cooled, he forthwith endeavoured to attach the
people by other measures, by proposing to send colonies to Tarentum and
Capua, and by inviting the Latins to a participation in the Roman
franchise. The senate, fearing that Gracchus would become irresistible,
attempted a new and unusual method of diverting the people from him, by
opposing popular measures to his, and by gratifying the people, contrary
to sound policy. Livius Drusus was one of the colleagues of Caius, a man
by birth and education inferior to none in Rome, and in character,
eloquence, and wealth equal to any who enjoyed either honour or power by
the aid of these advantages. To him accordingly the chief nobles
applied, and they urged him to attack Caius, and to unite with them
against him, not by adopting violent measures, nor coming into collision
with the many, but by a course of administration adapted to please, and
by making such concessions as it would have been honourable to refuse,
even at the risk of unpopularity.

IX. Livius, having agreed to employ his tribunitian authority on the
side of the senate, framed measures which had neither any honourable nor
any useful object: he only had in view to outbid Caius in the popular
favour, just as it is in a comedy, by making himself busy and vying with
his rival. This showed most clearly that the senate were not displeased
with the measures of Caius, but only wished to destroy him or completely
humble him. When Caius proposed to send out ten colonies consisting of
citizens of the best character, the senate accused him of truckling to
the people; but they co-operated with Livius, who proposed twelve
colonies, each of which was to consist of three thousand needy citizens.
They set themselves in opposition to Caius when he proposed to
distribute land among the poor, subject to a yearly payment to the
treasury from each, on the ground that he was trying to gain the popular
favour; but they were satisfied when Livius proposed to relieve the
colonists even from this payment. Further, Caius gave them offence by
proposing to confer on the Latins the Roman suffrage; but when Livius
brought forward a measure which forbade any Latin to be beaten with rods
even while serving in the army, they supported it. And indeed Livius
himself, in his harangues to the people, always said that he only
proposed what was agreeable to the senate, who had a regard for the
many; which indeed was the only good that resulted from his measures.
For the people became more pacifically disposed towards the senate; and
though the most distinguished of them were formerly suspected and hated
by the people, Livius did away with and softened their recollection of
past grievances and their ill feeling, by giving out that it was in
accordance with the wish of the senate that he had entered upon his
popular career and framed measures to please the many.

X. But the best proof to the people of the good intentions and honesty
of Livius was, that he proposed nothing for himself or in behalf of his
own interests; for he appointed other persons to superintend the
establishment of the colonies, and he did not meddle with the
administration of the money, while Caius had assigned to himself most of
such functions, and the most important of them. It happened that
Rubrius, one of the tribunes, had proposed a measure for the
colonisation of Carthage, which had been destroyed by Scipio; and as the
lot fell on Caius, he set sail to Libya to found the colony. In his
absence, Drusus, making still further advances, insinuated himself into
the favour of the people, and gained them over mainly by calumniating
Fulvius.[103] This Fulvius was a friend of Caius and a joint
commissioner for the distribution of lands; but he was a noisy fellow,
and specially disliked by the senate; he was also suspected by others of
stirring up the allies, and secretly encouraging the Italians to revolt;
and though this was said without proof or inquiry, Fulvius himself gave
it credit by his unwise and revolutionary policy. This more than
anything else destroyed the popularity of Caius, who came in for his
share of the odium against Fulvius. And when Scipio[104] Africanus died
without any obvious cause, and certain signs of blows and violence were
supposed to be visible on the body, as I told in the Life of Scipio, the
suspicion fell chiefly on Fulvius, who was his enemy, and on that day
had abused Scipio from the Rostra. Suspicion attached to Caius also. So
abominable a crime committed against the first and greatest of the
Romans went unpunished, and there was not even an inquiry; for the many
opposed it and stopped the investigation through fear for Caius, lest he
should be discovered to be implicated in the murder. These events,
indeed, belong to an earlier period.

XI. In Libya, as to the foundation of Carthage,[105] which Caius named
Junonia, which is the same as Heraea, it is said there were many
supernatural hindrances. For the first standard was seized and broken by
a violent gust of wind, though the standard-bearer stuck to it
vigorously; and the victims which were lying on the altars were
dispersed by a tempest, and scattered beyond the stakes which marked the
limits of the city, and the stakes were torn up by the wolves and
carried a long way off. However Caius, after settling and arranging
everything in seventy days, returned to Rome upon hearing that Fulvius
was hard pressed by Drusus, and that affairs required his presence.
Lucius Opimius, a man who belonged to the faction of the oligarchs,[106]
and had great influence in the senate, failed on a former occasion when
he was a candidate for the consulship, at the time when Caius brought
forward Fannius and canvassed against Opimius; but now, being supported
by a powerful party, it was expected that Opimius would be elected
consul and would put down Caius, whose influence was already in some
degree on the wane, and the people also were tired of such measures as
his, for there were many who sought their favour, and the senate easily
gave way.

XII. On his return from Libya, Caius removed from the Palatium to the
neighbourhood of the Forum, as being a more popular place of residence,
for it happened that most of the lowest classes of the poor lived there;
he next promulgated the rest of his measures, intending to take the vote
of the people upon them. As crowds were collecting from all parts to
support Caius, the senate prevailed on the consul Fannius to drive out
of the city all who were not Romans. Accordingly a strange and unusual
proclamation was made, to the effect that none of the allies or friends
of the Roman state should appear in Rome during those days; on which
Caius published a counter edict, in which he criminated the consul and
promised his support to the allies if they remained in Rome. But he did
not keep his promise; for though he saw one of them, who was his own
friend and intimate, dragged off by the officers of Fannius, he passed
by without helping him, whether it was that he feared to put to the test
his power which was now on the decline, or that he did not choose, as he
said, to give his enemies the opportunity which they were seeking of
coming to a collision and a struggle. It also chanced that he had
incurred the ill-will of his fellow-colleagues, in the following
manner:--The people were going to see an exhibition of gladiators in the
Forum, and most of the magistrates had constructed seats round the
place, with the intention of letting them for hire. But Caius urged them
to remove the seats, that the poor might be able to see the show without
paying. As no one took any notice of what he said, he waited till the
night before the show, when he went with the workmen whom he had under
him, and removed the seats, and at daybreak he pointed out to the people
that the place was clear; for which the many considered him a man, but
he offended his colleagues, who viewed him as an audacious and violent
person. Owing to this circumstance, it is supposed, he lost his third
tribunate, though he had most votes, for it is said that his colleagues
acted illegally and fraudulently in the proclamation and return. This,
however, was disputed. Caius did not bear his failure well: and to his
enemies, who were exulting over him, he is said to have observed, with
more arrogance than was befitting, that their laugh was a sardonic
laugh,[107] for they knew not what a darkness his political measures
had spread all around them.

XIII. After effecting the election of Opimius to the consulship, the
enemies of Caius began to repeal many of his laws and to disturb the
settlement of Carthage, for the purpose of irritating Caius, in order
that he might give them some cause of quarrel, and so be got rid of. He
endured this for some time, but his friends, and especially Fulvius,
beginning to urge him on, he again attempted to combine his partisans
against the consul. On this occasion it is said that his mother also
helped him, by hiring men from remote parts and sending them to Rome in
the disguise of reapers, for it is supposed that these matters are
obscurely alluded to in her letters[108] to her son. Others, on the
contrary, say that this was done quite contrary to the wishes of
Cornelia. On the day on which the party of Opimius intended to repeal
the laws of Caius, the Capitol had been occupied by the opposite faction
early in the morning. The consul had offered the sacrifices, and one of
his officers, named Quintus Antyllius,[109] was carrying the viscera to
another part, when he said to the partisans of Fulvius, "Make way for
honest men, you rascals." Some say that as he uttered these words he
also held out his bare arm with insulting gestures. However this may be,
Antyllius was killed on the spot, being pierced with large styles[110]
said to have been made expressly for the purpose. The people were
greatly disturbed at the murder, but it produced exactly opposite
effects on the leaders of the two parties. Caius was deeply grieved at
what had happened, and abused his party for having given a handle to
their enemies, who had long been looking for it; but Opimius, as if he
had got the opportunity which he wanted, was highly elated, and urged
the people to avenge the murder.

XIV. A torrent of rain happened to fall just then, and the meeting was
dissolved. Early on the following day Opimius summoned the senate to
transact business. In the mean time the naked body of Antyllius was
placed on a bier, and, according to arrangement, carried through the
Forum past the senate-house with loud cries and lamentations. Opimius,
though he knew what was going on, pretended to be surprised at the
noise, and the senators went out to see what was the matter. When the
bier had been set down in the midst of the crowd, the senators began to
express their indignation at so horrible and monstrous a crime; but this
only moved the people to hate and execrate the oligarchs, who, after
murdering Tiberius Gracchus in the Capitol, a tribune, had treated his
body with insult; while Antyllius, a mere servant, who perhaps had not
deserved his fate, yet was mainly to blame for what happened, was laid
out in the Forum, and surrounded by the Roman senate lamenting and
assisting at the funeral of a hireling; and all this merely to
accomplish the ruin of the only remaining guardian of the people's
liberties. On returning to the senate-house, the senators passed a
decree[111] by which the consul Opimius was directed to save the state
in such way as he could, and to put down the tyrants. Opimius gave
notice to the senators to arm, and each eques was commanded to bring in
the morning two armed slaves. On the other side, Fulvius also made
preparation and got together a rabble; but Caius as he left the Forum
stood opposite his father's statue, and looking at it for some time
without speaking, at last burst into tears, and fetching a deep sigh,
walked away. The sight of this moved many of the spectators to
compassion, and blaming themselves for deserting the man and betraying
him, they came to the house of Caius and passed the night at his door;
but not in the same manner as those who watched about the house of
Fulvius, for they spent the night in tumult and shouting, drinking, and
bragging what they would do. Fulvius himself, who was the first to get
drunk, spoke and acted in a way quite unseemly for a man of his age. The
followers of Caius, viewing the state of affairs as a public calamity,
kept quiet, thinking of the future, and they passed the night watching
and sleeping in turns.

XV. At daybreak Fulvius was with difficulty roused from his drunken
sleep, and his partisans, arming themselves with the warlike spoils in
his house, which he had taken in his victory over the Gauls during his
consulship, with loud threats and shouts went to seize the Aventine
Hill.[112] Caius would not arm, but went out in his toga just as if he
was proceeding to the Forum, with only a short dagger at his side. As he
was going out at the door, his wife met him, and throwing one arm round
him, while she held in the other their little child, said, "Caius, not
as in time past do I take my leave of you going to the Rostra as tribune
and as legislator, nor yet going to a glorious war, where, if you died
in the service of your country, you would still leave me an honoured
grief; but you are going to expose yourself to the murderers of
Tiberius: 'tis right indeed to go unarmed, and to suffer rather than do
wrong, but you will perish without benefiting the state. The worst has
now prevailed; force and the sword determine all controversies. If your
brother had died at Numantia, his body would have been restored to us on
the usual terms of war; but now perchance I too shall have to
supplicate some river or the sea to render up to me your corpse from its
keeping. What faith can we put in the laws or in the deities since the
murder of Tiberius?" While Licinia was thus giving vent to sorrow,
Gracchus gently freed himself from his wife's embrace, and went off in
silence with his friends. Licinia, as she attempted to lay hold of his
dress, fell down on the floor, and lay there some time speechless, until
her slaves took her up fainting, and carried her to her brother Crassus.

XVI. When they were all assembled, Fulvius, at the request of Caius,
sent his younger son with a caduceus[113] to the Forum. He was a most
beautiful youth, and with great decorum and modesty, and with tears in
his eyes he addressed to the consul and the senate the message of
conciliation. The majority who were present were not disinclined to come
to terms; but Opimius replied, that Fulvius and Gracchus must not
attempt to bring the senate to an accommodation through the medium of a
messenger; they must consider themselves as citizens who had to account
for their conduct, and come down and surrender, and then beg for mercy;
he further told the youth that these were the terms on which he must
come a second time, or not at all. Now Caius, it is said, wished to go
and clear himself before the senate, but as no one else assented,
Fulvius again sent his son to address the senate on their behalf in the
same terms as before. But Opimius, who was eager to come to blows,
forthwith ordered the youth to be seized and put in prison, and advanced
against the party of Fulvius with many legionary soldiers and Cretan
bowmen[114] who mainly contributed to put them into confusion by
discharging their arrows and wounding them. The partisans of Fulvius
being put to flight, he made his escape into a bath that was not used
where he was soon discovered and put to death with his elder son. Caius
was not observed to take any part in the contest, but greatly troubled
at what was taking place, he retired to the temple of Diana, and was
going to kill himself there, but was prevented by his faithful friends
Pomponius and Licinius, who took the sword away and induced him to fly.
It is said that he went down on his knees in the temple, and stretching
out his hands to the statue of the goddess, prayed that the Roman
people, for their ingratitude and treachery to him, might always be
slaves; for the greater part of them had openly gone over to the other
side upon an amnesty[115] being proclaimed.

XVII. In his flight Caius was followed by his enemies, who were near
overtaking him at the wooden bridge,[116] but his two friends, bidding
him make his escape, opposed the pursuers and allowed no man to pass the
head of the bridge till they were killed. Caius was accompanied by a
single slave, named Philocrates,[117] and though all the spectators
urged him to fly, just as if they were shouting at a race, yet no one,
though he prayed for it, would come to his aid or lend him a horse: for
the pursuers were close upon him. He just escaped into a sacred grove of
the Furies,[118] and there he fell by the hand of Philocrates, who
killed himself on the body of his master. Some say both of them were
taken alive by their enemies, and that the slave embraced his master so
closely, that Caius could not be struck until the slave had been
dispatched first, and with many blows. It is said that a man cut off the
head of Caius and was carrying it away, but it was taken from him by a
friend of Opimius named Septimuleius; for proclamation had been made at
the beginning of the contest, that those who brought the heads of Caius
and Fulvius should have their weight in gold. The head of Caius was
brought to Opimius by Septimuleius stuck on a spear, and it weighed
seventeen pounds and two-thirds in the scales. Septimuleius was a
scoundrel and a knave[119] here also, for he had taken out the brain and
dropped melted lead in its place. Those who brought the head of Fulvius
got nothing, for they belonged to the lower class. The bodies of Caius
and Fulvius and their partisans were thrown into the river, the number
of dead being three thousand: their property was sold and the produce
paid into the treasury. They also forbade the women to lament for their
relatives, and Licinia was deprived of her marriage portion. But their
conduct was most cruel to the younger son of Fulvius, who had neither
raised up his hand against them nor been among the combatants; for he
was seized before the battle, when he came to treat of terms, and was
put to death after the battle. But what most of all vexed the people was
the circumstance of Opimius erecting a temple to Concord, which was
viewed as an evidence of his insolence and arrogance, and as a kind of
triumph for the slaughter of so many citizens. Accordingly by night some
person wrote under the inscription on the temple the following line:--

   The work of Discord[120] makes the temple of Concord.

XVIII. This Opimius,[121] the first man that ever exercised the
dictatorial power in the office of consul, and who had condemned without
trial three thousand citizens, and among them Caius Gracchus and Fulvius
Flaccus[122]--Flaccus, a consular, who had enjoyed a triumph; Gracchus,
the first man of his age in character and reputation--this Opimius did
not keep himself free from corruption. Being sent as a commissioner to
Jugurtha, the Numidian, he was bribed by him, and being convicted of
most shameful corruption, he spent the last years of his life in infamy,
hated and insulted by the people, who, though humbled and depressed for
the time, soon showed how much they desired and regretted the Gracchi.
For they had statues of the two brothers made and set up in public
places, and the spots on which they fell were declared sacred ground, to
which people brought all the first fruits of the seasons, and many
persons daily offered sacrifices there and worshipped, just as at the
temples of the gods.

XIX. Cornelia is said to have borne her misfortunes with a noble and
elevated spirit, and to have said of the sacred ground on which her sons
were murdered, that they had a tomb worthy of them. She resided in the
neighbourhood of Misenum, without making any change in her usual mode of
life. She had many friends, and her hospitable table was always crowded
with guests; Greeks and learned men were constantly about her, and kings
sent and received presents from her. To all her visitors and friends she
was a most agreeable companion: she would tell them of the life and
habits of her father Africanus, and, what is most surprising, would
speak of her sons without showing sorrow or shedding a tear, relating
their sufferings and their deeds to her inquiring friends as if she was
speaking of the men of olden time. This made some think that her
understanding had been impaired by old age or the greatness of her
sorrows, and that she was dull to all sense of her misfortunes, while in
fact such people themselves were too dull to see what a support it is
against grief to have a noble nature, and to be of honourable lineage
and honourably bred; and that though fortune has often the advantage
over virtue in its attempts to guard against evils, yet she cannot take
away from virtue the power of enduring them with fortitude.[123]


I. Now that we have completed the narrative of these men's lives, it
remains for us to compare them with one another. As for the Gracchi, not
even their bitterest enemies could deny that they were the most virtuous
of all the Romans, or that they were excellently well nurtured and
educated; while Agis and Kleomenes appear to have excelled them in
strength of mind, because they both, after having been brought up in the
same fashion by which their elders had been corrupted, became the
restorers of temperance and simplicity of life. Furthermore, the
Gracchi, who lived at a period when Rome was at the height of its
greatness and renown, felt ashamed to fall short of the glorious
achievements of their forefathers; while the virtuous impulses of the
others were not checked by their fathers having pursued the opposite
course of policy, or by the miserable and distracted condition of their
country. The greatest proof of the unselfishness and indifference to
money of the Gracchi is that they filled various offices in the state,
and yet kept their hands clean from dishonest gains; while it would be
an insult to Agis to praise him for not having taken other men's money,
as he gave up to his countrymen his own private property, which alone
was worth six hundred talents. If then he thought it discreditable for
him to be richer than any of his countrymen, even though his riches were
lawfully acquired, what must have been his abhorrence of those who
obtain money wrongfully.

II. There was also a great difference in the boldness and extent of
their schemes of reform. The Gracchi were chiefly engaged in the
construction of roads and the founding of cities, and Tiberius's most
important measure of reform was the division of the public lands among
the people, while the best act of his brother Caius was the
establishment of a mixed tribunal by adding to the three hundred
Senators three hundred Roman Knights. The revolution effected by Agis
and Kleomenes was of quite a different kind. They thought, in Plato's
words, that to proceed by slow degrees was merely cutting off the heads
of the hydra,[124] and therefore they by one comprehensive measure swept
away all abuses at once: although it would be nearer the truth to say
that they swept all abuses out of the state by restoring to it its
original constitution. It may also be observed that the reforms of the
Gracchi were opposed by some of the most powerful men in Rome, whereas
the legislation which was begun by Agis, and completed by Kleomenes,
followed a famous and ancient precedent, the rhetras on sobriety and
equality which had been communicated to their ancestors by Lykurgus with
the sanction of the Pythian Apollo. It is also most important to notice
that the reforms of the Gracchi made Rome no greater than she was
before, while the acts of Kleomenes enabled him in a short time to make
Sparta mistress of the whole of Peloponnesus, and to engage in a contest
with the most powerful man of his time, with the object of ridding
Greece from Illyrian and Gaulish mercenary troops, and of renewing its
ancient glories under the rule of the Herakleidæ.

III. I think too that the deaths of these men show a certain difference
in their courage. The Gracchi fought with their countrymen, and were
slain by them while flying, while of the other two, Agis may almost be
said to have died voluntarily, because he would not put a citizen to
death, while Kleomenes, when insulted and ill-treated, fiercely
attempted to avenge himself, and as circumstances prevented his
succeeding, bravely killed himself. It may be said on the other side
that Agis never distinguished himself in the field, and we may set
against the many brilliant victories of Kleomenes the scaling of the
wall of Carthage by Tiberius Gracchus, no slight achievement, and the
peace which he made with the Numantines, by which he saved the lives of
twenty thousand Roman soldiers, who could not otherwise have hoped to
survive; while Caius, in several campaigns both in Italy and Sardinia,
showed great military skill; so that they both might have rivalled the
fame of the greatest generals of Rome, had they not been cut off so

IV. In political matters Agis appears to have shown weakness, as he
allowed Agesilaus to cheat the citizens out of their promised
redistribution of lands, and in a feeble and vacillating manner
announced his intention and then abandoned it. The cause of his
irresolution was his extreme youth; while Kleomenes on the other hand
effected his revolution with too great promptitude and daring, putting
the Ephors to death without a trial, when it would have been easy for
him to have won them over to his side, and banishing many of the
citizens. It is not the part either of a wise physician or of a good
politician to use the knife except in the last extremity, but it shows a
want of skill in both, and in the latter case it is unjust as well as
cruel. Of the Gracchi, neither would begin a civil war, and Caius is
said not even to have defended himself when struck, but though forward
enough in battle he was loth to fight in a party quarrel; for he
appeared in public unarmed, and retired when fighting began, and
evidently took more pains not to do any harm than not to suffer any. For
this reason we must regard the flight of both the Gracchi as a proof,
not of cowardice, but of caution; for they must either have retreated
when attacked or have retaliated upon their opponents.

V. The heaviest charge that can be brought against Tiberius is that he
deposed his colleague from the tribuneship, and afterwards sought a
second tribuneship for himself. As for the murder of Antyllius, Caius
Gracchus was most falsely and unjustly accused of it, for he did not
wish him to die, and was grieved at his death. Again Kleomenes, not to
speak of his massacre of the Ephors, set all the slaves at liberty, and
practically made himself despot of the kingdom, although for form's sake
he associated his brother with him, who was of the same family. And
when Archidamus, who was the next heir to the throne of the other royal
house, was persuaded by him to return from Messene to Sparta, as
Kleomenes did not avenge his death, he caused men to suspect that he
himself had some share in it. Yet Lykurgus, whom he affected to imitate,
abdicated the throne of his own free will in favour of his nephew
Charilaus, and fearing that if the child died by any mischance he might
be thought guilty of having caused its death, he travelled abroad for a
long time and did not return until Charilaus had begotten a son to
succeed him. However, no Greek can bear comparison with Lykurgus; yet we
have proved that Kleomenes effected greater reforms, and showed less
respect to the laws than any of the others. Both the Greeks have been
blamed for having from the very outset aimed at being nothing more than
warlike despots; while the worst enemies of the Romans only charge them
with an immoderate ambition, and admit that they became so excited by
the contest with their political opponents that the natural heat of
their temper drove them in spite of themselves like a baleful gust of
wind to advocate extreme measures. What indeed can be more just or
honourable than the objects with which they started; for their troubles
were brought upon them by the opposition which the rich offered to their
laws, so that the one was forced to fight to save his own life, while
the other endeavoured to avenge his brother, who was slain without law
or justice? From what has been said the reader can himself form an
opinion about their respective merits, but if I must say what I think of
each, I should give the highest place in respect of virtue to Tiberius
Gracchus; I think that the young Agis committed the fewest crimes; while
in daring and action Caius fell far short of Kleomenes.


I. The writer of the Ode to Alkibiades on the occasion of his winning
the chariot-race at Olympia, whether he was Euripides, as is commonly
supposed, or some other poet, my friend Sossius tells us that the first
thing necessary for a perfectly happy man is that he should be born a
citizen of some famous city. But for my own part I believe that for the
enjoyment of true happiness, which depends chiefly upon a man's
character and disposition, it makes no difference whether he be born in
an obscure state or of an ill-favoured mother, or not. It would indeed
be absurd if one were to suppose that the town of Iulis, which is only a
small part of the little island of Keos or Ægina, which some Athenian
bade his countrymen clear away because it was an eyesore to Peiræus,
should be able to produce good actors and poets, and yet be unable to
bring forth a just, virtuous, sensible and high-minded man. We may
reasonably expect that those arts by which men gain glory or profit
should be neglected and fall into decay in small and obscure towns; but
virtue, like a hardy plant, can take root in any country where it meets
with noble natures and industrious disposition. I myself therefore must
lay the blame of my intellectual and moral shortcomings, not upon the
insignificance of my native city, but upon myself.

II. However, when a man is engaged in compiling a history from materials
which are not ready to his hand, but for the most part are to be found
scattered through other foreign towns, it becomes really of the first
importance that he should live in some famous, cultivated, and populous
city, where he can have unlimited access to books of all kinds, and
where he can also personally collect and inquire into the truth of
those stories which, though not reduced to writing, are all the more
likely to be true because they rest upon universal popular tradition.
The work of a historian who is deprived of these advantages must
necessarily be defective in many essential particulars. Now I, who
belong to a small city, and who love to live in it lest it should become
even smaller, when I was at Rome, and during my travels in Italy, found
my time so taken up with political business and with the care of my
pupils in philosophy, that I had no leisure to learn the Roman language,
and have only applied myself to Latin literature at a very advanced
period of life. In this reading of Latin books, singular as it may
appear, I did not find that the words assisted me to discover the
meaning, but rather that my knowledge of the history enabled me to find
out the meaning of the words. I think that to speak the Latin language
with elegance, to understand it readily, and to use its various idioms
and phrases correctly, is for a literary man both useful and
interesting; but the amount of study and practice which it requires is
considerable and should only be undertaken by those who are younger than
myself, and who have more leisure time to devote to the acquisition of
such accomplishments.

III. In consequence of these considerations, in this my fifth book of
Parallel Lives, which deals with the lives of Demosthenes and Cicero, I
intend to describe their several characters, and to compare them with
one another by means of their political acts, but I do not mean to
examine minutely into their respective speeches, or to decide which of
the two was the more pleasing or the more able orator. Were I to attempt
such a task, I should be forgetting Ion's proverb about a "fish out of
water," like the all-accomplished Cæcilius, who has boldly taken upon
himself to write a comparison of Demosthenes with Cicero. Perhaps,
however, we might begin to doubt the divine origin of the commandment
"know thyself," if we found men always ready to apply it. Indeed Heaven
appears to have originally intended to form the characters of
Demosthenes and Cicero on the same model, and in some instances to have
implanted in them precisely the same qualities, such as great personal
ambition, love of freedom, and want of courage in the wars, yet to have
left much to chance. I think it would be difficult to find an instance
of any two other orators who both rose from a humble station to great
power and influence, who both opposed absolute monarchs, both lost
favourite daughters, were both exiled and brought back with honour, who
both when flying from their country a second time fell into the hands of
their enemies, and with whose deaths the liberties of their countrymen
were finally extinguished; so that it is hard to say whether their
resemblance is due more to nature, which originally moulded their
characters alike, or to fortune, which placed then in exactly similar
circumstances. First, then, I will relate the life of the elder of the

IV. The father of Demosthenes was also named Demosthenes, and belonged,
according to Theopompus, to the best class of Athenian citizens. He was
commonly called "the sword cutler," because he possessed a large
workshop and many slaves skilled in cutlery. As for the accusation which
the orator Æschines brings against his mother, that she was the daughter
of one Gylon, who was banished for treason, by a foreign woman, we
cannot tell whether it is true or only a calumnious imputation.
Demosthenes was left an orphan at the age of seven years, and was the
heir to considerable property, amounting in all to no less than fifteen
talents. He was scandalously ill-used by his guardians, who appropriated
much of his income, and neglected the rest so much that he was unable to
pay his teachers. He grew up ignorant of much that a boy of good birth
is expected to learn, partly for this reason, and partly on account of
his weak health, which caused his mother to keep him away from school.
He was a sickly child, and it is said that the opprobrious nickname of
Batalus was bestowed upon him by his school-fellows because of his
bodily weakness. Batalus, according to some writers, was an effeminate
flute-player, whose habits were satirized in a comic drama written by
Antiphanes. Others assert that Batalus was a poet who wrote in a drunken
licentious style; and there seems also some foundation for the belief
that this word was used for a certain part of the human body by the
Athenians of that time. The other nickname of Demosthenes, Argas,
either alludes to his savage and harsh temper, for some poets use the
word to mean a snake; or else it refers to his speeches, as wearying
those who heard them; for Argas was the name of a poet whose verses were
bad and tiresome. And, as Plato says, so much for this.

V. We are told that he was first led to turn his attention, to oratory
by the following incident. When Kallistratus was going to make a speech
in court about the affair of Oropus[125] great interest was taken in the
trial because of the ability of the orator, who at that time was at the
height of his reputation, and also because of the important character of
the law suit. Demosthenes, hearing his teachers and attendants making
arrangement to be present at the trial, persuaded his own servant by
great entreaties to take him to hear the speeches. The man, who was
intimate with the doorkeepers of the court, managed to obtain a place
for Demosthenes, in which the boy could sit unseen by the public and
hear all that was said. Kallisthenes spoke very brilliantly and was much
admired. He excited the envy of Demosthenes by the honours which he
received, as he was escorted home by a long train of friends who
congratulated him upon his success; but the boy was even more impressed
by the power of his eloquence, which enabled him to deal with everything
just as he pleased. In consequence of this Demosthenes neglected all
other branches of learning, neglected all the sports of childhood, and
laboriously practised and exercised himself in the art of oratory,
meaning some day to become an orator himself. He studied rhetoric under
Isaeus, although Isokrates was giving lessons at the same time, either,
according to some writers, because, being an orphan, he was unable to
raise the sum of ten minæ which Isokrates demanded as a fee, or because
he thought that the vigorous invective of Isaeus was more what he
required to learn. Hermippus informs us that he read in some anonymous
work that Demosthenes was a scholar of Plato, and learned much of the
art of speaking from him, while he mentions having heard from Ktesibius
that Demosthenes had been lent the works of Isokrates and Alkidamas by
one Kallias, a Syracusan, and some others, and that he used to read and
practise himself in them in secret.

VI. When he came of age he at once brought a series of actions against
his guardians for malversation of his property, while they resorted to
every species of legal subtlety and chicanery to avoid making
restitution. By publicly pleading his cause, as Thucydides says, "he
learned his trade by dangers," and succeeded in recovering some of his
paternal estate, though but a small part of that to which he was
entitled. He gained, however, confidence and practice as a public
speaker, and the fascinating excitement and sense of power which he
experienced in these contests emboldened him to become a professional
orator and to deal with political matters. We are told that Laomedon of
Orchomenus, by the advice of his physicians, used to run long distances
as a remedy for a disease of the spleen from which he suffered, until he
not only overcame his disorder, but was able to enter for races at the
games, and became one of the best long-distance runners of his time.
Even so Demosthenes, who was forced by his private misfortunes to make
his first appearance as a speaker, gained such skill and power by his
success in the law-courts that he soon took the lead among the speakers
in the public assembly. Yet when he first addressed the people he was
violently coughed down, interrupted and ridiculed, because his speech
was found dull and tiresome, being confused in style and strained and
artificial in argument. It is said that his voice was weak, and his
pronunciation indistinct, and that, as he was frequently obliged to
pause for want of breath, it was difficult to follow the meaning of his
sentences. At last he left the public assembly and wandered about
Peiræus in despair. Here he was met by an old man named Eunomus of
Thriasia,[126] who reproved him and told him that he did himself great
wrong, because, having a manner of speech extremely like that of
Perikles, he permitted himself to be disheartened by failure, and did
not face the clamour of the rabble boldly, and did not train his body to
be strong enough to support the strain of such contests, but allowed
himself to fall into a weakly and effeminate condition.

VII. After a second failure, as he was going home overwhelmed with shame
hiding his face in his cloak, Satyrus the actor is said to have followed
him and joined him. Demosthenes told him with tears in his eyes that
although he had taken more pains than any other speaker, and had devoted
all his energes to the study of eloquence, yet he could not gain the ear
of the people, but that ignorant drunken sailors were listened to when
they mounted the tribune, while he was treated with scorn. On hearing
this Satyrus answered, "Demosthenes, what you say is very true, but I
will soon apply a remedy, if you will recite to me one of the long
speeches from the plays of Sophokles or Euripides." After Demosthenes
had recited a speech, Satyrus recited the same speech in turn, and so
altered it and gave it so much more grace, by throwing into it the
expression which the verses required, that it appeared to Demosthenes to
be quite different. Having thus learned how much a speech gains by a
really artistic delivery, Demosthenes perceived that it was of but
little use for him to study the matter of a speech, unless he also paid
attention to the form in which it was to be presented to his audience.
He now built for himself an underground study, which remained entire
down to the present day, where he daily practised himself in gesture and
declamation, and exercised his voice, and where he sometimes spent two
or three months at a time with half of his head shaved, so that even if
he wished he could not go out of doors.

VIII. He took, however, his themes and subjects for declamation from the
various topics of the day, which he learned from those who came to visit
him. As soon as they left him he used to return to his study, and
repeated aloud in the form of a speech all the news which he had heard,
and made comments upon it. He also used to work up any conversations
which he heard, into sentences and periods for his orations, and would
alter, correct and paraphrase both his own remarks and those of his
friends. This gave rise to the opinion that he was not really a man of
ability, but that his power and skill as an orator was obtained by
laborious study. A great proof of this was thought to be that
Demosthenes seldom spoke on the spur of the moment, but often when he
was present in the assembly and was called upon by the people to speak,
he would remain silent unless he had prepared and meditated over his
speech. Many of the other orators ridiculed him for this, and Pytheas in
derision said that his arguments smelt of the lamp. To this Demosthenes
made the bitter retort, "My lamp, Pytheas, sees very different work from
yours." In conversation with others, however, he did not altogether deny
the practice, but said that although he never spoke without having made
notes, yet that he often spoke without having written down everything
that he was going to say. He used to say that this careful preparation
of his speeches showed that he was a true lover of the people, and felt
a due reverence for them; while, on the contrary, to speak without
caring how the people take one's words proves a man to be of an
overbearing oligarchical disposition, who would use force rather than
persuasion. Many writers allege, as a proof that Demosthenes dared not
speak on the spur of the moment, that when he attacked Demades he was
always immediately answered by him, but that he never so answered

IX. How then, one might ask, was it that Æschines in his orations speaks
of Demosthenes as a man of unbounded impudence? or how was it that when
Python of Byzantium was pouring forth a flood of invective against
Athens, Demosthenes alone rose and answered him? Moreover, when Lamachus
of Mytilene, who had written an encomium upon the Kings of Macedon,
Philip and Alexander, which was full of abuse of the Thebans and
Olynthians, read his composition in public at the Olympic festival,
Demosthenes came up to him and in a fine speech proved from history how
great things the Thebans and inhabitants of Chalkidike had done for
Greece, and what evils had arisen from the baseness of those who
flattered the Macedonians, till the audience were so much wrought upon
by his eloquence that Lamachus was forced to flee for his life. The
answer to this appears to be that Demosthenes, although he did not copy
Perikles in all respects, imitated his reserve and dignity of manner,
and his reluctance to speak upon every trivial occasion; and that he was
not so much attracted by the credit which he might gain by engaging in
these encounters, as he was unwilling rashly to place his power and
reputation at the mercy of fortune. Indeed, his spoken orations had more
fire and daring than the written ones, if we may trust Eratosthenes,
Demetrius of Phalerum, and the comic poets. Eratosthenes tells us that
in his speeches he used to rave like a Bacchanal, while Demetrius says
that once, as if inspired, he recited the metrical oath:

   "By earth, by fountains, and by waterfloods."

One of the comic poets also calls him "the random talker," while another
mocks at his fondness for antithesis in the following verses:

   "_1st Citizen._ He got it as he got it back.

   _2nd Citizen._ Demosthenes would willingly have spoken words like

Unless indeed Antiphanes meant by this to allude to the oration on
Halonesus, in which Demosthenes advised the Athenians not to take that
island, but to take it back from Philip.

X. Yet all admitted that Demades, by his own natural wit, without art,
was invincible; and that he often, speaking on the spur of the moment,
would demolish the carefully studied orations of Demosthenes. Ariston of
Chios has preserved the opinion of Theophrastus about these two orators.
Theophrastus, when asked what kind of orator he thought Demosthenes to
be, replied, "an orator worthy of Athens." When again asked his opinion
of Demades, he replied that he thought him "Too great for Athens." The
same philosopher relates that Polyeuktus of Sphettus, one of the chief
Athenian statesmen of the time, used to declare that Demosthenes was the
best orator, but that Phokion was the most powerful speaker, because his
speeches contained the greatest possible amount of meaning in the fewest
words. Demosthenes himself, whenever Phokion rose to answer him, was
wont to whisper to his friends, "Here comes the cleaver of my
harangues." It is not clear whether by this Demosthenes alluded to
Phokion's oratorical skill, or to his blameless life and high
reputation, meaning that the slightest sign given by a man in whom the
people felt such confidence carried more weight than the longest oration
by anyone else.

XI. Demetrius of Phalerum has recorded the devices by which Demosthenes
overcame his bodily defects, which he says he heard from Demosthenes's
own lips when he was an old man. He corrected the indistinctness of his
articulation and his tendency to lisp by declaiming long speeches with
pebbles in his mouth, while he strengthened his voice by running or
walking up hill, talking the while, and repeating orations or verses. He
also had a large mirror in his house, and used to stand before it and
study oratorical gestures. We are told that once a man called upon him
and asked him to act as his counsel in a lawsuit against a man by whom
he had been beaten. "But," said Demosthenes, "you have not suffered any
of this ill-treatment which you complain of." At this the man raised his
voice and excitedly exclaimed, "Do you say, Demosthenes, that I have not
been ill-treated?" "Yes," answered he, "now I hear the voice of one who
has really been ill-used." So important did he think the action and the
tone of voice of a speaker to be in carrying conviction to the minds of
his hearers. His manner in speaking marvellously pleased the common
people, though men of taste, such as Demetrius of Phalerum, thought it
vulgar and affected. Hermippus informs us that Æsion,[127] when asked
to give his opinion about the orators of former times and those of his
own day, said that the ancient orators used to address the people in a
surprisingly decorous and dignified manner, but that the speeches of
Demosthenes when read aloud, appeared to him to be much more carefully
constructed and more forcible. It is indeed unnecessary to say that the
written speeches of Demosthenes are bitter and angry compositions; but
in his impromptu repartees, he often was genuinely witty and pleasant.
As for example, when Demades exclaimed, "Demosthenes teach me! Will a
sow teach Athena?" Demosthenes answered, "This Athena was caught in
adultery in Kollytus[128] the other day." And when the thief who was
surnamed Chalkus, that is, Brazen-face, attempted to sneer at him for
sitting up late at night writing, Demosthenes answered, "I know that my
habit of burning a lamp at night must disconcert you. But, men of
Athens, need we wonder at the thefts which take place, when we see that
our thieves are brazen, and our walls are only made of clay." However,
although I could relate several more anecdotes of this kind, I must now
stop, as we ought to discover what remains of the disposition and
character of Demosthenes from a survey of his political acts.

XII. He first began to take an active part in public affairs during the
Phokian war, as we learn from his own words, and as we may also gather
from his Philippic orations, some of which were pronounced after that
war was ended, while the earlier ones touch on those matters most nearly
connected with it. It is evident that when he prepared the oration
against Meidias he was thirty-two years of age, and had not as yet
acquired any fame or reputation. This appears to me to be the chief
reason for his having made up his quarrel with Meidias for a sum of
money, for he was far from being a "mild-mannered" man, but keen and
savage in avenging the injuries which he received. It must have been
because he saw, that to ruin a man who was so rich, so able a speaker,
and so well-befriended as Meidias, was too difficult a task for a man of
his political power, and so yielded to the entreaties of those who
begged him to let the action drop; for I do not believe that the bribe
of three thousand drachmae which he received would by itself have caused
Demosthenes to lay aside the rancorous hatred which he bore to Meidias,
if he had entertained any hopes of obtaining a verdict against him.

In the defence of the liberties of Greece against the encroachments of
Philip, Demosthenes found a noble theme for political oratory, which he
treated in a manner worthy of the subject, and soon acquired such renown
by his able and fearless speeches, that he was courted by the king of
Persia himself, and was more talked about in the court of Philip than
any of the other statesmen of the time, while even his bitterest
antagonists admitted that they had to deal with no mean adversary; for
both Æschines and Hypereides own as much in their invectives against

XIII. I cannot, therefore, understand what Theopompus meant by saying
that he was of an inconstant disposition, and not able to remain long
associated with any party or any line of policy. It appears rather that
he remained throughout the consistent advocate of the same principles,
and a member of the same political party to which he originally
belonged, and that he not only never changed his politics in his life,
but even lost his life because he would not change them. He was not like
Demades, who to excuse himself for changing sides pleaded that he had
oftentimes gone against his own words, but never against the interests
of the state. Still less can he be compared with Melanopus, the
political opponent of Kallistratus, who was often bribed by him to allow
some measure to pass, and on these occasions would say to the people,
"The man is my personal enemy, but I postpone my personal feelings to
the good of my country." Nikodemus of Messene, who first took up with
Kassander, and afterwards became the advocate of Demetrius, used to
declare that he never was inconsistent, because it was always best to
obey the strongest party. But in the case of Demosthenes, unlike these
men, we can say that he never deviated either in word or deed from the
one direct line of policy which he unswervingly pursued to the end. The
philosopher Panætius declares that in most of his orations, as in that
about the Crown, that against Aristokrates, that on behalf of the
persons exempted from taxation (against Leptines), and in the
Philippics, we can trace the principle that honour ought to be pursued
for its own sake; for in all these he urges his countrymen not to adopt
the most pleasant, the most easy, or the most profitable line of policy,
but often thinks that caution and even safety should be regarded as of
less importance than honourable conduct; so that if to his noble
principles and high-minded eloquence he had joined warlike courage and
clean hands from bribery, he would have been worthy to rank, not with
Moerokles, Polyeuktus, and Hypereides, but with Kimon, Thucydides,
Perikles, and other great men of old.

XIV. Indeed, of his contemporaries, Phokion, although we cannot approve
of the strong Macedonian bias of his policy, was nowise inferior to
Ephialtes, Aristeides, or Kimon, either in courage or in just dealing;
while Demosthenes, who could not be trusted, as we are told by
Demetrius, to stand his ground in battle, and who was not altogether
proof against the seductions of money--for though he never would receive
a bribe from Philip or from Macedonia, yet he was overwhelmed by the
torrent of gold which poured from Susa and Ekbatana--was better able than
any one else to praise the great deeds of his ancestors, but was not
equally capable of imitating them. Yet in spite of these shortcomings,
his life was more virtuous than that of any statesman of his time, with
the exception of Phokion. He used plainer language to the people than
any one else, opposed their wishes, and sharply reproved them for their
mistakes, as we learn from his orations. Theopompus has recorded that
once when the Athenians called upon him to impeach some person, and
became riotous when he refused, he rose and said, "Men of Athens, I will
always give you my advice, whether you bid me or not; but I will not
accuse men falsely because you bid me." His mode of dealing with
Antiphon also was by no means like that of a man who courts the favour
of the people, for when the public assembly acquitted Antiphon,
Demosthenes dragged him before the court of the Areopagus, and in
defiance of the expressed opinion of the people, proved him guilty of
having promised Philip that he would set fire to the dockyard. The
wretched man was condemned by the court and executed. He also impeached
the priestess Theoris for various evil practices, and especially for
teaching slaves to cheat their masters. He obtained a verdict against
her, and caused her also to be put to death.

XV. It is stated that the speech by which Apollodorus obtained sentence
against the general Timotheus, and had him condemned to pay a large
fine, was written for him by Demosthenes: and he also wrote the
speeches against Phormio and Stephanus, which, as may be supposed,
brought great disgrace upon him. For Phormio actually used a speech
written by Demosthenes to combat Apollodorus, which was just as if out
of one armourer's shop he had sold them each daggers to kill one another
with. Of his public speeches, those against Androtion, Timokrates and
Aristokrates were written for other persons, as he had not at the time
of their composition began to speak in public, being only twenty-seven
or twenty-eight years of age. The oration against Aristogeiton, he
himself pronounced, as he did also that against Leptines, out of regard
for Ktesippus the son of Chabrias, according to his own account of the
matter, though some say that he was paying his addresses to the young
man's mother at the time. He did not, however, marry her, but married a
Samian woman, as we learn from the treatise of Demetrius of Magnesia on
Synonyms. It is not clear whether the oration against Æschines for the
dishonest embassage was ever spoken; although we are told by Idomeneus
that Æschines was only acquitted by thirty votes. This, however, cannot
be true, judging from the speeches of Demosthenes and Æschines "on the
Crown:" for neither of them distinctly alludes to that affair as having
ever come into court. This point, therefore, I shall leave for others to

XVI. Before the war broke out no one could doubt which side Demosthenes
would take, as he never allowed any act of the King of Macedonia to pass
unnoticed, but seized every opportunity of rousing and exciting his
countrymen to oppose him. In consequence of this his name became well
known at the court of Philip, and when he was sent with nine others to
Macedonia on an embassy, Philip listened to the speeches of them all,
but replied to his speech with the greatest care. He did not, however,
pay so much attention to Demosthenes in the entertainment which he
provided for the ambassadors, but took especial pains to win the favour
of Æschines and Philokrates. Hence, when these men praised Philip as
being more eloquent, more handsome, and to crown all, able to drink more
than any one else, Demosthenes sneeringly replied that the first of
these qualities was excellent in a sophist, the second in a woman, and
the third in a sponge, but that they were none of them such as became a

XVII. When war finally broke out, as Philip was unable to remain quiet,
while the Athenians were urged on by Demosthenes, his first measure was
to prevail upon the Athenians to recover Euboea, which had been handed
over to Philip by its local rulers. In pursuance of a decree which bore
the name of Demosthenes, the Athenians crossed into the island and drove
out the Macedonians. Next, as Philip was besieging Byzantium and
Perinthus, Demosthenes prevailed upon his countrymen to lay aside their
anger and forget the wrongs which they had received from the people of
those cities in the social war, and to send them a reinforcement by
which they were saved. After this he travelled through Greece, exciting
a spirit of resistance to Philip by his speeches, until he succeeded in
forming nearly all the Greek cities into a confederacy against Philip,
organised an army of fifteen thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry,
besides the local forces of each city, and induced them to subscribe
cheerfully for the maintenance of the mercenaries and the expenses of
the war. At this time, we are told by Theophrastus that, when the allies
demanded that their contributions should be limited to some fixed sum,
Krobylus the Athenian orator answered that war feeds not by a fixed
allowance.[129] Greece was now in a flutter of expectation, and the
people of Euboea, Achaia, Corinth, Megara, Leukas and Korkyra were all in
arms. Yet the hardest task of all still remained for Demosthenes to
accomplish, namely, to induce the Thebans to join the alliance, because
their territory bordered upon that of Athens, and their army was very
important, for at that time Thebes was the most warlike state in Greece.
It was no easy matter to win over the Thebans, who had just received
signal assistance from Philip in their war against the Phokians, and so
were inclined to take his side, besides which, their being such near
neighbours to the Athenians caused perpetual jealousies and quarrels
between the two countries, which were renewed upon the most trifling

XVIII. Yet when Philip, excited by his success at Amphissa, suddenly
marched to Elatea and made himself master of Phokis, when all the
Athenians were panic-stricken, and no one dared to ascend the bema, or
knew what to say, Demosthenes alone came forward and advised them to
stand by the Thebans; and after having, after his wont, encouraged and
comforted the people, he was sent with some others as ambassador to
Thebes. We learn from the historian Marsyas that Philip, too, sent the
Macedonians Amyntas and Klearchus, the Thessalian Daochus, and
Thrasydaeus to Thebes to argue on his behalf. The Thebans on this
occasion saw clearly enough on which side their interests lay, for the
sufferings they had just endured in the Phokian war were still fresh in
their memories; but we read in the history of Theopompus that the
eloquence of Demosthenes so roused and inflamed their courage that all
cold-blooded calculation of the chances, fear of the enemy, and
considerations of expediency were entirely lost sight of in the
honourable enthusiasm created by his speech. So powerful did his oratory
prove, that Philip at once sent an embassy to ask for terms of peace,
while Greece stood erect and watchful. Not only the Athenian generals,
but even the Boeotarchs took their orders from Demosthenes, and he was
as powerful in the public assembly of the Thebans as in that of Athens,
being beloved by both nations and possessed of a power which was not
beyond his deserts, as Theopompus says, but which he well deserved.

XIX. But some fatal destiny seemed now to have brought round the hour
for the extinction of the liberties of Greece, and both counteracted his
efforts, and also gave many ominous indications of what was to come. The
Pythia at Delphi uttered terrible predictions, and an old oracle of the
Sibyls was in every one's mouth, which ran as follows:--

   "Far from the battle, on that fatal day
    Beside Thermodon may I flee away,
    Or view it as an eagle from the sky;
    There shall the vanquished weep, the victor die."

It is said that the Thermodon is a little rivulet near my own town of
Chæronea which runs into the Kephisus. We Chæroneans nowadays do not
know of any rivulet which is so called, but we suppose that the stream
which we call Hæmon was at that period called the Thermodon; for it runs
past the temple of Herakles, where the Greek army encamped: and we
imagine that when the battle took place this stream was filled with
blood and corpses, and became known by its present name. Yet the
historian Douris writes that the Thermodon was not a river at all, but
that some men while digging a trench round their tent found a small
stone image, with an inscription saying that it represented a man named
Thermodon carrying a wounded Amazon in his arms. Concerning this there
was another oracle current, as follows:--

   "Watch for Thermodon's field, thou sable crow,
    There shalt thou feed on human flesh enow."

XX. It is hard in these matters to determine the exact truth: but, be
this as it may, Demosthenes was greatly encouraged to see such a force
of armed Greeks at his disposal, and, elated by their confidence and
eagerness for battle would not allow them to pay any attention to
oracles and predictions, but hinted that the Pythia was in Philip's pay,
and reminded the Thebans of Epameinondas, and the Athenians of Perikles,
both of whom regarded such considerations as mere pretexts for
cowardice. Up to this point he behaved as a brave man should; but in the
battle[130] itself he performed no honourable exploit worthy of his
speeches, but left his place in the ranks and ran away in a most
shameful manner, throwing away his arms that he might run faster, and
not hesitating to disgrace the motto of "Good Luck," which Pytheas tells
us was written in golden letters upon his shield. Immediately after the
victory Philip, in insolent delight at his success, danced in a drunken
revel among the corpses and sang the opening words of a decree of
Demosthenes, which happened to form an iambic verse, as follows:--

   "Demosthenes Pæanian, son of Demosthenes," &c.

When, however, he came to himself, and comprehended how great his danger
had been, he trembled at the ability and power of an orator who had been
able to force him in a few hours of one day to risk both his empire and
his life. The fame of Demosthenes reached even to the King of Persia,
and he sent letters to the Satraps who governed the provinces near the
sea, bidding them offer money to Demosthenes, and pay him more attention
than any other Greek, because he was able to effect a diversion in
favour of Persia by keeping the King of Macedonia's hands full. This was
afterwards discovered by Alexander, who found at Sardis letters from
Demosthenes and papers belonging to the King's lieutenant, containing an
account of the various sums of money which they had transmitted to him.

XXI. When this great misfortune befell Greece, the political opponents
of Demosthenes at once impeached him for his conduct; but the people not
only acquitted him of the charges which they brought against him, but
continued to treat him with great honour, and to ask for his advice.
When the remains of those who had fallen at Chæronea were brought home
and buried, they chose him to make the funeral oration over them, and
generally they bore their misfortunes with a noble spirit, not being
excessively humbled and cast down, as Theopompus relates in his history,
with a view to dramatic effect, but by showing especial honour and
esteem for their principal adviser they proved that they did not repent
of the policy which they had followed. Demosthenes pronounced the
funeral oration over the fallen, but he never again proposed a decree in
the popular assembly in his own name, but always in that of some one of
his friends, in order to avoid the evil omen of his own unlucky name,
until he again took courage at the death of Philip, which took place
shortly after his victory at Chæronea. This, it seems, was the meaning
of the last verse of the oracle,

   "There shall the vanquished weep, the victor die."

XXII. Demosthenes had secret intelligence of Philip's death, before it
was publicly known. In order to inspirit the Athenians, he went with a
cheerful countenance into the senate, and declared that he had dreamed
that some great good fortune was in store for them. Not long afterwards
messengers arrived with the news of Philip's death. Upon this the
Athenians made sacrifices of thanksgiving to the gods, and decreed a
crown to Pausanias who slew Philip. Demosthenes also came abroad in a
gay dress, and wearing a garland of flowers on his head, although his
daughter had only been dead seven days. This circumstance is reported by
Æschines, who reviles him for his conduct, and calls him an unnatural
father, though he only proves the weakness and vulgarity of his own
nature by supposing that noisy demonstrations of grief show tenderness
of heart, and blaming those who bear their sorrows with dignity and
composure. Yet I will not say that the Athenians did right to wear
garlands and make merry at the death of a king who, after his victory,
had dealt so gently with them when they were at his mercy; for it
deserved the anger of the gods, and was a thoroughly low-minded act to
honour a man while he lived and elect him a citizen of Athens, and then
when he fell by the hand of a stranger not to be able to contain
themselves for joy, but to dance over his corpse and to sing pæans of
victory, as if they themselves had done some great feat of arms. On the
other hand, I praise Demosthenes for leaving his own home troubles to be
wept for by the women of his household, and himself coming forward and
doing what he imagined was best for his country. This shows a manly and
patriotic spirit, which ever looks to the good of the community at
large; and I think that in forcing his private grief to give way to the
public joy he acted well, and even outdid those actors who represent
kings and autocrats on the stage, and who laugh or wail not as their own
feelings bid them, but as the argument of the play requires. Apart from
these considerations, it is our duty not to forsake a man when he is in
sorrow, but to administer consolation to him and to turn his thoughts to
pleasanter subjects, as physicians bid weak-eyed patients turn their
eyes away from a distressing glare of light and direct them to green and
soothing colours; and what better means of consolation could one
possibly find when one's country is fortunate, than to bid one's friend
merge his private grief in the public joy? I have been led to make
these reflections by observing that this speech of Æschines has had
undue influence with many persons, because it makes a mistaken appeal to
their tenderer feelings.

XXIII. Now Demosthenes a second time began to rouse the states of Greece
and reorganise the confederacy. The Thebans attacked their Macedonian
garrison, and killed many of them, with arms furnished by Demosthenes,
and the Athenians began to prepare to fight as their allies. Demosthenes
reigned supreme in the popular assembly, and wrote to the Persian
generals in Asia endeavouring to induce them to attack Alexander, whom
he scoffed at as a child, and nicknamed Margites.[131] But when
Alexander, after settling the affairs of his kingdom, marched with his
army into Boeotia, the courage of the Athenians deserted them.
Demosthenes himself quailed in terror, and the Thebans, forsaken by
their allies, fought against Alexander alone, and were utterly ruined.
Upon this the Athenians, in an agony of terror, sent Demosthenes and
several other orators on an embassy to Alexander; but he, fearing
Alexander's fury, went no further than Mount Kithæron, and then returned
home. Alexander now at once sent to Athens to demand that ten of her
chief orators should be given up to him, according to the historians
Idomeneus and Douris, though most of the more trustworthy writers say
that he only asked for the eight following:--Demosthenes, Polyeuktus,
Ephialtes, Lykurgus, Moerokles, Demon, Kallisthenes and Charidemus. On
this occasion Demosthenes told the people the fable of the sheep who
gave up their watch-dogs to the wolves, explaining that he and the other
orators were the watch-dogs who guarded the people, and calling
Alexander the "great wolf of Macedon." "Moreover," said he, "by
delivering us up you really deliver up yourselves also, just as you see
merchants selling whole cargoes of corn by small samples of a few grains
which they carry about in a cup." This we learn from Aristobulus of
Kassandrea.[132] As the Athenians were quite at their wit's end, and
knew not what to do, Demades at last agreed with the orators whose
extradition was demanded, that in consideration of a sum of five talents
he would himself go to the king of Macedonia and intercede for them,
either because he trusted in the friendship which existed between him
and Alexander, or because he thought that he should find him like a lion
that has been satiated with slaughter. Demades succeeded in saving their
lives, and arranged terms of peace between the Athenians and Alexander.

XXIV. After Alexander's departure Demades and his party were all
powerful at Athens, and Demosthenes was completely humbled. He made an
effort to assist the abortive attempts of Agis[133] King of Sparta, but
as the Athenians would not take part in the proposed rising, and the
Lacedæmonians were crushed, he again retired into obscurity. At this
time also the action bought by Æschines against Ktesiphon about the
Crown came on for trial. This action had been formally begun during the
archonship of Chærondas, a short time before the battle of Chæronea, but
it was not decided until ten years later, in the archonship of
Aristophon. This, although a private action, attracted greater interest
than any public one, both on account of the eloquence of the speakers on
both sides and the spirited behaviour of the judges, who refused to
truckle to the party in power, which had banished Demosthenes and which
was slavishly subservient to Macedonia, but acquitted Demosthenes by
such a splendid majority that Æschines did not obtain the fifth part of
the votes. He in consequence at once left the city, and spent the
remainder of his life at Rhodes and the other cities of the Ionian coast
as a sophist and teacher of rhetoric.

XXV. Shortly after this, Harpalus arrived in Athens from Asia, fleeing
from Alexander, whom he feared to meet, both because he had grossly
misconducted himself while in command of a province, and because
Alexander had now become a capricious tyrant, terrible even to his
friends. When he sought refuge with the Athenians, and placed himself,
his ships, and his treasure in their hands, the other orators, casting
longing glances at his wealth, at once pleaded for him, and advised the
Athenians to receive and protect the suppliant. Demosthenes at first
advised them to send Harpalus away, and take care not to involve the
city in war by such unjust and uncalled-for proceedings: but a few days
afterwards when an inventory was being taken of Harpalus's property, he,
seeing that Demosthenes was admiring a golden Persian drinking cup and
examining the sculptures with which it was enriched, bade him take it in
his hands and observe the weight of the gold. Demosthenes was surprised
at the weight, and asked how much it would fetch. Harpalus answered with
a smile, "It will fetch you twenty talents:" and as soon as it was dark
he sent the cup and the twenty talents to the house of Demosthenes.
Harpalus had very cleverly fathomed the character of Demosthenes by
observing the loving and eager glances with which he eyed this cup; for
he received the bribe and went over to the side of Harpalus, just as if
he were a city which had received a foreign garrison. Next morning he
carefully bandaged his throat with woollen wrappers, and proceeded to
the assembly, where, when called upon to rise and speak, he made signs
that he had lost his voice. Witty men said that the orator had not
caught a sore throat, but a silver quinsy during the night. Soon the
whole people learned that he had been bribed, and as they would not
listen to him when he rose to explain his conduct, but hooted and
groaned, some one rose and said, "Men of Athens, will you not listen to
a man who has such a golden tongue?" The people thereupon sent Harpalus
away, and fearing that inquiry might be made after the treasure which
the orators had received, they instituted a vigorous search through
every man's house, except that of Kallikles the son of Arrhenides, which
they would not allow to be searched because his newly-married wife was
there. These particulars we learn from the history of Theopompus.

XXVI. Demosthenes, wishing to put a good face on the matter, passed a
decree in the assembly, that the senate of the Areopagus should enquire
into the matter, and punish those who were found guilty. However he was
one of the first whom the senate found guilty: and, although he came
into court and pleaded his cause, he was condemned to pay a fine of
fifty talents, and was imprisoned in default. Overwhelmed with shame at
this disgrace, and being also in weak health, he could not bear to
remain in prison, and made his escape with the secret assistance of his
keepers. We read that after he had got a short distance from Athens he
saw that he was being pursued by several of his political opponents, and
tried to hide from them. When, however, they came up to him, addressed
him by his name, and begged him to receive money for his journey from
them, assuring him that they had brought it to give to him and had
pursued him for no other reason, Demosthenes burst into tears and
exclaimed: "I may well be sorry to leave a home where my very enemies
treat me with more kindness than any friends I am likely to find abroad
will do." Demosthenes was much depressed by his banishment, and spent
most of his time in Troezene or Ægina, looking towards Attica with
tears in his eyes. He is said during his exile to have uttered many
unmanly sentiments, very unworthy of his bold speeches when in power. On
leaving the city he stretched out his hands towards the Acropolis and
exclaimed: "Athena, patroness of Athens, why dost thou delight in those
three savage creatures, the owl, the snake, and the people?" He used to
dissuade the young men whom he met and conversed with during his travels
from taking part in political life, and would say that such were the
miseries, the fears, the jealousies, backbitings, and ceaseless
struggles by which a public man is beset, that if at the outset of his
life he had known them, and had been offered his choice between two
courses, one leading to the bema and the public assembly, and the other
to utter annihilation, he would unhesitatingly have chosen the latter.

XXVII. While he was in exile Alexander died, and the Hellenic
confederacy was again revived under Leosthenes, a brave general, who
shut up Antipater in Lauria and besieged him there. Now, Pytheas the
orator and Kallimedon, surnamed the "crab," who were exiled from Athens,
joined Antipater, and travelled about Greece in company with his friends
and ambassadors, urging the cities not to join the Athenians and revolt
from Macedonia. Demosthenes, on the other hand, joined the embassy sent
out by Athens and co-operated with them, striving to induce the Greeks
to rise against the Macedonians and drive them out of Greece. In
Arcadia, Phylarchus tells us that a wordy battle took place between
Pytheas and Demosthenes at a public meeting in which Pytheas was
advocating the cause of Macedonia, and Demosthenes that of Greece.
Pytheas said that we may always know that there is sickness in a house
if we see asses' milk carried into it, and that a city must be in a bad
way if it received an embassy from Athens. To this Demosthenes answered
by turning his own illustration against him, for, he said, asses' milk
is brought into houses to cure the sick, and Athenians come into other
cities to save them from ruin. The people of Athens were so delighted
with the conduct of Demosthenes in this matter that they decreed his
restoration. The decree was proposed by Demon, one of the township of
Pæania, and a cousin of Demosthenes; and a trireme was sent to Ægina
to fetch him home. When he landed at Peiræus he was met by the whole
people, and by all the priests and archons, all of whom greeted him
warmly. On this occasion, Demetrius of Magnesia relates that he raised
his hands to heaven and congratulated himself on having returned home
more gloriously than Alkibiades, because he had persuaded, not forced,
his countrymen to receive him back. As the fine imposed upon him still
remained in force, for the people could not alter a verdict at their
pleasure, they made use of a legal fiction. It was the custom at the
festival of Zeus the Preserver to pay a sum of money to those who
ornamented the altar for the sacrifice: they charged Demosthenes with
this office, and ordered him to execute it for the sum of fifty talents,
which was the amount of his fine.

XXVIII. He did not, however, long enjoy his restoration, for the Greeks
were soon utterly ruined. In the month of Metageitnion[134] the battle
of Krannon took place, in Boedromion a Macedonian garrison entered
Munychia, and in Pyanepsion Demosthenes was put to death in the
following manner:--As soon as it became known that Antipater and Kraterus
were marching upon Athens, Demosthenes and his party escaped out of the
city, and the people, at the instance of Demades, condemned them to
death. As they had dispersed to all quarters of Greece, Antipater sent
men in pursuit of them, the chief of whom was Archias, who was surnamed
the Exile-hunter. This man, who was a citizen of Thurii, is said once to
have been a tragic actor, and to have studied his art under the
celebrated Polus of Ægina. Hermippus reckons Archias among the pupils of
the orator Lakritus, while Demetrius tells us that he was a student of
philosophy of the school of Anaximenes. This Archias tore away from the
shrine of Æakus at Ægina the orator Hypereides, Aristonikus of Marathon,
and Himeræus, the brother of Demetrius of Phalerum, who had taken
sanctuary there, and sent them to Antipater at Kleonæ, where they were
put to death. It is even said that Hypereides had his tongue cut out.

XXIX. Hearing that Demosthenes was sitting as a suppliant in the temple
of Poseidon at Kalauria,[135] Archias crossed over thither in some small
boats with a guard of Thracian mercenaries, and tried to persuade
Demosthenes to leave the temple and accompany him to Antipater,
promising that he should not be ill-treated. Demosthenes had a strange
dream the night before that he was contending with Archias in acting a
play, and that although he acted well and delighted his audience, yet he
was beaten by Archias, who was better furnished with stage properties
and appliances. Wherefore, when Archias tried to cajole him, Demosthenes
looked him full in the face, and, without rising, said, "Archias, your
acting never affected me on the stage, nor will your promises now."
Upon this Archias became angry, and savagely threatened him. "Now," said
Demosthenes, "you speak like the true Macedonian that you are; but just
now you were acting a part. So now wait for a little while until I have
sent a letter home." Saying this, he retired into the inner part of the
temple, took his tablets as though about to write, placed his pen in his
mouth and bit it, as he was wont to do when meditating what he should
write, and after remaining so for some time, covered his head with his
robe and leaned it on his arms. The soldiers standing at the door of the
temple jeered at him for a coward, and Archias walked up to him and bade
him rise, repeating his assurance that he would make Antipater his
friend. Demosthenes, as soon as he perceived that the poison was
beginning to work upon him, uncovered his head, and, looking steadfastly
at Archias, said, "Now, as soon as you please, you may play the part of
Kreon in the play, and throw my body to the dogs without burial. But I,
good Poseidon, leave thy temple while I am yet alive, and will not
profane the sanctuary by my death there, though Antipater and his
Macedonians have not feared to pollute it with murder." Having spoken
these words, he asked them to support him by the arms, as his strength
was fast failing him, and as they were assisting him to walk past the
altar he fell with a groan and died there.

XXX. As for the poison, Ariston says that it was contained in his
pen,[136] as has been related. But one Pappas, from whom Hermippus has
borrowed his account of the scene, says that when Demosthenes fell
before the altar, in his tablets were found written the opening words of
a letter, "Demosthenes to Antipater," and nothing more. All were
surprised at the suddenness of his death, but the Thracian mercenaries
at the door declared that they saw him take the poison out of a little
cloth and put it into his mouth. They imagined that what he swallowed
was gold; but a maid-servant that waited on him told Archias, in answer
to his inquiries, that Demosthenes had for a long time carried about a
packet containing poison, to be used in case of need. Eratosthenes
himself writes that Demosthenes carried the poison in a hollow bracelet
which he wore on his arm. It would be tedious to notice all the
discrepancies to be found in the numerous accounts which have been
written of the death of Demosthenes; but I will mention that Demochares,
a relative of Demosthenes, states his belief that he did not die by
poison, but by the provident care of the gods, who rescued him from the
cruelty of the Macedonians by a swift and painless death. He perished on
the sixteenth day of the month Pyanepsion, which is observed as a day of
the strictest fasting and humiliation by the women who celebrate the
festival of the Thesmophoria.[137] The people of Athens soon afterwards
bestowed on Demosthenes the honours which he deserved, by erecting a
brazen statue in memory of him, and decreeing that the eldest of his
family should be maintained in the Prytaneum for ever. On the base of
the statue was inscribed the celebrated couplet:

   "Could'st thou have fought as well as thou could'st speak,
    The Macedonian ne'er had ruled the Greek."

It is a complete mistake to suppose, as some writers do, that
Demosthenes himself composed this couplet in Kalauria just before he
took the poison.

XXXI. A short time before my own first visit to Athens, the following
incident is said to have taken place. A soldier, being summoned by his
commanding officer to be tried for some offence, placed all his money in
the hands of the statue of Demosthenes, which are represented as clasped
together. Beside the statue grew a small plane-tree, and several leaves
of this tree, either blown there by chance, or placed there on purpose
by the soldier, concealed and covered up the money, so that it remained
there a long while. At last the soldier returned and found it, and as
the circumstance became widely known, many literary men seized the
opportunity of making epigrams on this striking proof of the
incorruptible honesty of Demosthenes.

Demades did not long enjoy the honour which he had won, for the gods, in
order to avenge Demosthenes, led him to Macedonia, where he perished
miserably by the hands of those whose favour he had so basely courted.
He had long been disliked by the Macedonian court, and at last a clear
proof of his treasonable practices was discovered in an intercepted
letter of his to Perdikkas, in which he urged him to seize the throne of
Macedonia and save the Greeks, who were now hanging by an old and rotten
thread (meaning Antipater). On the evidence of this letter, Deinarchus
of Corinth charged him with treason, and Kassander was so infuriated at
his perfidy that he first stabbed Demades's own son while in his
father's arms, and then ordered him to be put to death. Thus, by
inflicting on him the greatest misery which a man could suffer, he
proved to him the truth of that saying of Demosthenes which he had never
before believed, that traitors first of all betray themselves. You now,
my friend Sossius, know all that I have either read or heard concerning
the life of Demosthenes.


I. They say that Cicero's mother Helvia[138] was of good family and
conversation, but as to his father the accounts are in opposite
extremes. For some say that the man was born and brought up in a
fuller's workshop; but others carry back his pedigree to Tullus
Attius,[139] who reigned with distinction among the Volsci and fought
against the Romans with no small vigour. However, the first of the
family who got the cognomen of Cicero[140] must have been a man of note,
and this was the reason why his descendants did not reject the name, but
were well pleased with it, though it was a matter of jeering to many:
for the Latins call a vetch Cicer, and the first Cicero had at the end
of his nose a cleft or split, slightly marked as we may suppose, like
the cleft in a vetch, whence he got the cognomen. Indeed Cicero himself,
the subject of this Life, on his friends advising him when he was first
a candidate for office and began to engage in public life, to get rid of
the name and take another, is reported to have boldly replied that he
would strive to make the name of Cicero more glorious than that of
Scaurus and Catulus. While he was quæstor in Sicily, and causing a
silver offering to the gods to be made, he had inscribed on it his first
two names, Marcus and Tullius, but in place of the third he jocosely
ordered the artist to cut the figure of a vetch by the side of the
characters. This then is what is recorded about the name.

II. They say that Cicero's mother gave birth[141] to him, after a
painless and easy labor, on the third day of the new calends, on which
the magistrates now offer up prayers and sacrifices on behalf of the
Emperor. It is said that a vision appeared to his nurse and foretold her
that she was nurturing a great blessing for all Romans. Such things as
these are generally considered to be mere dreams and idle talk, but in
his case Cicero soon showed that it was a real prophecy when he was of
age to be taught, for he was conspicuous for his natural talent and got
a name and reputation among the boys, so that their fathers used to
visit the schools out of desire to see Cicero, and to inquire of his
famed quickness and capacity for learning; but the ill-educated part
were angry with their sons when they saw them giving Cicero a place in
the midst of them in the public roads by way of honour. Cicero, who had
a talent, such as Plato[142] requires in a nature that loves learning
and loves wisdom, for embracing all knowledge and undervaluing no kind
of learning and discipline, happened to show a strong inclination to
poetry: and indeed a small poem of his is still preserved, which was
written when he was a boy: it is entitled Pontius Glaucus,[143] and is
in tetrameter verse. In the course of time he applied himself to the
Muse of such arts with still more versatility, and got the reputation of
being not only the first orator, but also the best poet[144] among the
Romans. Now his oratorical reputation continues to the present day,
though there has been no small innovation in matters that concern
eloquence; but as to his poetical reputation, owing to many poets of
genius who have come after him, its fate has been to die away altogether
unknown to fame and unhonoured.

III. After being released from his youthful studies, he heard Philo[145]
of the Academy, whom of all the scholars of Kleitomachus, the Romans
admired most for his eloquence and loved most for his manners. At the
same time by his intimacy with the Mucii,[146] who were statesmen and
leaders in the Senate, he was aided in getting some knowledge of the
law; and for a time, also, he served in the army under Sulla in the
Marsic war.[147] But seeing that matters were coming to a civil war, and
from a civil war to a pure monarchy, betaking himself to a life of quiet
and contemplation, he kept company with learned Greeks and applied
himself to the sciences, until Sulla had got the mastery, and the state
seemed to have received a settlement. During this time Chrysogonus,[148]
a freedman of Sulla, having laid an information about a man's property
as being one of those who were put to death during the proscriptions,
bought it for two thousand drachmæ. Roscius, the son and heir of the
dead man, complained of this, and showed that the property was of the
value of two hundred and fifty talents, on which Sulla, being convicted,
was angry, and with the assistance of Chrysogonus instituted a
prosecution against Roscius for parricide. No one gave Roscius help, but
all were deterred through fear of the severity of Sulla, on which the
young man in his desolate condition had recourse to Cicero, who was also
importuned by his friends, who urged that he would never again have a
more splendid opportunity of gaining a reputation nor a more honourable.
Accordingly Cicero undertook the defence, and gained credit by his
success; but, being afraid of Sulla, he went into Greece,[149] giving
out that his bodily health required care. And indeed he was lean and had
little flesh, and owing to weakness of stomach, he took little food, and
that of a light kind late in the day; his voice was full and good, but
hard and unmanageable, and owing to the vehemence and passion of his
language being continually carried through the higher notes it gave him
alarm about his health.

IV. On his arrival at Athens[150] he became a hearer of Antiochus of
Askalon, being pleased with the easy flow of his speech and his graceful
manner, but he did not like his doctrinal innovations. For Antiochus was
now seceding from what is called the New Academy, and deserting the sect
of Karneades; whether it was that he was influenced by the evidence and
by the senses, or as some say, through rivalry and differences with the
followers of Kleitomachus and the partisans of Philo, he was changing to
be a cultivator of the Stoic principle in most things. But Cicero liked
the other doctrines better, and attached himself to them in preference,
intending, if he should altogether be excluded from public affairs, to
remove himself to Athens from the Forum and public life and live there
in tranquillity with philosophy. But when news came that Sulla was dead,
and his body being strengthened by discipline was attaining a vigorous
habit, and his voice being now brought under management had become
pleasant to the ear and powerful, and was suitably adapted to his habit
of body, and his friends from Rome were sending him many letters and
exhortations, and Antiochus strongly urged him to engage in public
affairs, he began anew to fashion his oratorical power, as if it were an
instrument, and to rouse afresh his political capacity, by exercising
himself in the proper discipline and attending the rhetoricians of
repute. Accordingly he sailed to Asia and Rhodes;[151] and among the
Asiatic orators he attended the instruction of Xenokles of Adramyttium,
and Dionysius of Magnesia, and Menippus of Caria; and in Rhodes, the
rhetorician Apollonius, the son of Molo, and the philosopher
Poseidonius. It is said that Apollonius, who did not understand the
Latin language, requested Cicero to perform his exercises in Greek; and
that Cicero readily complied, thinking that his faults would thus be
better corrected. When he had finished his exercise, all the rest were
amazed, and vied with one another in their praises, but Apollonius,
while he was listening to Cicero, showed no approbation, and when Cicero
had finished he sat for a long time wrapped in thought; and as Cicero
showed his dissatisfaction, he said, "You indeed, Cicero, I commend and
admire, but I pity the fortune of Greece, seeing that the only excellent
things which were left to us have been transferred to the Romans by you,
learning and eloquence."

V. Now Cicero, full of hope in his course to a political career, had his
ardour dulled by an oracular answer. For on consulting the god at
Delphi[152] how he might get most fame, the Pythia bade him make his own
nature, and not the opinion of the many, his guide in life. At first he
lived with reserve at Rome, and was slow in offering himself for
magistracies, and was undervalued, being called Greek and pedant, names
current among and familiar to the lowest citizens. But as he was
naturally ambitious and was urged on by his father and friends, he
devoted himself to assisting persons in their causes, and he did not
approach the highest distinction by gradual steps, but at once blazed
forth in reputation, and was far superior to those who exerted
themselves in the Forum. It is said that he was as defective as
Demosthenes in action, and that accordingly he carefully devoted himself
first to Roscius[153] the comedian, and then to Æsopus the tragedian. Of
this Æsopus it is told, that when he was representing on the stage
Atreus deliberating how he should revenge himself on Thyestes, and one
of the servants suddenly ran past him, being transported out of his
reason by his feelings he struck the man with his sceptre and killed
him. Cicero derived no small power of persuasion from his action.[154]
He used scoffingly to say of the orators who bawled loud,[155] that
because of their weakness they had recourse to shouting, like lame men
leaping on horses. His readiness at sarcasm and other sharp sayings was
considered well adapted to courts of justice and clever, but by over use
of it he gave offence to many and got the character of an ill-disposed

VI. Being elected quæstor[156] at a time of scarcity of corn, and having
got Sicily as his province, he gave offence to the people at first by
compelling them to send corn to Rome. But afterwards, when they had
proof of his care and justice and mildness, they respected him as they
never had any governor before. And when many young Romans of good repute
and noble birth, who were under a charge of neglect of discipline and
bad behaviour in the war, were sent up to the prætor of Sicily, Cicero
pleaded for them in a remarkable manner, and gained their acquittal.
Being accordingly greatly elated at all this, on his journey to Rome, as
he tells us, a ludicrous incident happened to him. In Campania[157]
falling in with a man of rank, whom he considered to be a friend of his,
he asked him what the Romans said about his conduct in Sicily, and what
they thought of it, supposing that the city was full of his name and of
his measures, and upon the man replying, "But where have you been all
this time Cicero?" he was completely dispirited that his fame was lost
in the city as in a boundless sea and had produced no glorious result to
his reputation; but on reflection he abated much of his ambition,
considering that he was striving for fame as for a thing indefinite and
one which had no attainable limit. However all along there abided in him
an exceeding love of praise and a strong passion for fame, which, often
disturbed much of his sound judgment.

VII. But when he began to engage more actively in public concerns, he
thought it a shame that artisans, who make use of inanimate instruments
and tools, should be acquainted with the name of each and its place and
use, and that the political man, whose public acts are effected by the
agency of men, should be indolent and indifferent about the knowledge of
his fellow-citizens. Accordingly he not only accustomed himself to
remember persons' names, but he also knew the place in which every man
of note dwelt, and the spot where he had his property, and the friends
with whom he was familiar and his neighbours; and whatever road in Italy
he was traversing, Cicero could easily tell and point out the lands and
houses of his friends. As he had only a small property, though
sufficient and adequate to his expenses, he obtained credit by accepting
neither pay nor presents for his services as an advocate, and most
particularly by his undertaking the prosecution against Verres,[158] who
had been prætor of Sicily. Verres, who had been guilty of great
malversation, was prosecuted by the Sicilians, and Cicero caused his
conviction, not by speeches, but in a manner, as one may say, by not
speaking at all. For as the prætors favoured Verres, and were putting
off the trial to the last day by adjournments and tricks, and it was
clear that the space of one day would not be sufficient for the
speeches and the trial would not be brought to a conclusion, Cicero got
up and said that the case required no speeches, and bringing forward the
witnesses and taking their evidence he told the judices to give their
vote. Yet many lively sayings of his at that trial are recorded. The
Romans call a castrated hog "verres." Now when a man of the class of
libertini named Cæcilius, who was under the imputation of Judaism,
wished to put aside the Siceliots and be the prosecutor of Verres,
Cicero said "What has a Jew to do with a verres?" Verres also had a son
grown up, who was reputed not to have regard to his youthful beauty as a
person of free birth ought to have. Accordingly when Cicero was reviled
for his effeminacy by Verres, he replied, "A man should find fault with
his sons at home."[159] The orator Hortensius did not venture directly
to defend the cause of Verres, yet he was induced to give him his
assistance when the damages were assessed, for which he had received an
ivory sphinx as his reward. Upon Cicero saying something to him in an
oblique way, and Hortensius replying that he had no skill in solving
ænigmas, Cicero answered, "And yet you have the sphinx[160] at home."

VIII. Verres being convicted, Cicero laid the damages at seventy-five
ten thousands, and yet he fell under suspicion of having lowered the
damages[161] for a bribe. However the Siceliots were grateful, and
during his ædileship[162] they came and brought many things from the
island, from none of which did Cicero make any gain, but he availed
himself of the men's desire to honour him so far as to cheapen the
market. He possessed a fine place at Arpi,[163] and he had an estate
near Naples, and another near Pompeii,[164] neither of them large: he
had also the marriage portion of his wife Terentia[165] to the amount of
ten ten thousands, and a bequest which amounted to nine ten thousands of
denarii. With these means he lived honourably and moderately, enjoying
the company of the Greeks who were familiar with him, and of the Romans
of learning: he rarely, if ever, lay down to table before sunset, and
not so much because of his occupations, as because of his health, which
suffered much from the stomach. He was also exact and careful in other
matters that concerned the care of his body, and he employed both
friction and walking a fixed number of times. By thus regulating his
habit of body he maintained it free from disease, and equal to undergo
many and great trials and labours. He gave up his father's house to his
brother, and he fixed his own residence on the Palatine, in order that
those who paid their respects to him might not be troubled by coming a
great distance; and people used to come daily to his doors to pay their
respects, no fewer than those who waited on Crassus because of his
wealth, and on Pompeius because of his influence with the soldiers,
which two were at that time highest in repute and chief of the Romans.
Pompeius also courted Cicero, and Cicero's policy contributed greatly
to the power and credit of Pompeius.

IX. Though there were many candidates with him for the prætorship,[166]
and men of note, he was proclaimed first of all; and he was considered
to have discharged his judicial functions with integrity and skill. It
is said that Licinius Macer, a man who of himself had great weight in
the city, and who was also supported by Crassus, being tried before
Cicero for peculation, was so confident in his power and the exertions
made on his behalf, that while the judices were giving their votes he
went home, and after cutting his hair with all speed, and putting on a
clean dress, as if he had been acquitted, he was about to return to the
Forum; but on Crassus meeting him near the hall door and telling him
that he was condemned by all the votes, he turned back, took to his bed
and died. And the circumstance brought Cicero credit for his careful
administration of justice. Vatinius[167] was a man whose manner was
somewhat rough and contemptuous towards the magistrates when he was
pleading before them, and his neck was full of swellings: on one
occasion when he was before Cicero, he made a certain demand, and as
Cicero did not grant it forthwith, but deliberated some time, Vatinius
said that he should not hesitate about it if he were prætor, on which
Cicero quickly answered, "But I have not such a neck as you."
While Cicero had still two or three days in his office, some person
brought Manilius[168] before him on a charge of peculation; but Manilius
had the goodwill of the people and their zeal in his favour, as it was
considered that he was attacked on account of Pompeius, whose friend he
was. On Manilius asking for time Cicero gave him only one day, which was
the next; and the people were angry, inasmuch as the prætors were
accustomed to allow ten days at least to those who were accused. The
tribunes also brought Cicero to the Rostra and found fault with him, but
he prayed to be heard, and he said that as he had always behaved to
accused persons with forbearance and kindness, so far as the laws
allowed, he thought it would be harsh not to do so in the case of
Manilius, and accordingly he had purposely limited him to the only day
which was at his disposal as prætor, for that to throw the trial into
the period of another prætor's jurisdiction was not the part of one who
was willing to help another. These words wrought a wonderful change in
the people, and with many expressions of goodwill they prayed him to
undertake the defence of Manilius. Cicero readily undertook it, and
chiefly for the sake of Pompeius who was absent, and coming before the
people he again harangued them, in bold terms censuring the oligarchal
faction and the enviers of Pompeius.

X. Cicero was invited to the consulship[169] no less by the
aristocratical party than by the many who for the interest of the state
gave him their aid, and for the following reason. The changes which
Sulla had introduced into the constitution at first appeared
unseasonable, but now they seemed to the many by length of time and
usage to have received a kind of settlement, and not a bad one; but
there were those who sought to shake and change the present condition of
affairs for the sake of their own gain and not for the public good,
while Pompeius was still fighting with the kings in Pontus and Armenia,
and there was no power in Rome able to resist those who were for change.
These men had for their head a bold man and an ambitious and one of
versatile temper, Lucius Catilina, who in addition to other great crimes
had once laboured under the imputation of unlawful commerce with his
virgin daughter, and of murdering his own brother,[170] and being afraid
of being punished for this he persuaded Sulla to proscribe his brother
among those who were doomed to die, as if he were still alive. Him the
evil-minded took for their leader, and they gave various pledges to one
another, and among these they sacrificed a man and ate of his
flesh.[171] Catilina had corrupted a large part of the youth in the city
by supplying every one of them with pleasure and banquets, and amours
with women, and furnishing unsparingly the expense for all this. All
Etruria was roused to revolt, and the greater part of Gaul within the
Alps: and Rome was exposed to the greatest hazard of change, on account
of the inequality in properties, for those who had most reputation and
lofty bearing had impoverished themselves by theatrical expenses and
entertainments, and love of magistracies and building, and the wealth
had all come into the hands of men of mean birth and low persons, so
that things needed only a slight inclination, and it was in the power of
every man who had courage for the thing to unsettle the state, which of
itself was in a diseased condition.

XI. However Catilina, wishing to secure a stronghold, was a candidate
for the consulship, and he was high in hope that he should be the
colleague of Caius Antonius, a man who of himself was not calculated to
be a leader either for good or bad, but one who would add force to
another who was a leader. It was from seeing this that the majority of
the honourable and the good encouraged Cicero to the consulship, and as
the people readily seconded them, Catilina was rejected, and Cicero and
Caius Antonius were elected. And yet Cicero alone of the candidates was
the son of an eques, not of a senator.

XII. Now the designs of Catilina still remained unknown to the many, but
great struggles awaited the consulship of Cicero. For in the first
place, those who by the laws of Sulla were excluded from magistracies,
being neither weak nor few, became candidates and attempted to gain
popular favour, and they made many charges against the tyranny of Sulla
which were indeed true and just, but yet they were disturbing the state
of affairs at an unfit time and out of season; and in the next place the
tribunes brought forward measures to the same purpose, in which they
proposed an administration composed of ten men[172] with full powers,
whose instructions were to have authority to sell the public property in
all Italy and in all Syria, and all that had lately been acquired by
Pompeius, to try whom they pleased, to send them into exile, to colonise
cities, to take money from the treasury, and to maintain and raise as
many soldiers as they might require. Accordingly others of the nobles
were in favour of the law, and especially Antonius, the colleague of
Cicero, who expected to be one of the ten. It was supposed also that he
was acquainted with the designs of Catilina, and was not averse to them
on account of the magnitude of his debts, which chiefly gave alarm to
the nobles. And this was the first object that Cicero directed his
attention to, and he caused the province of Macedonia[173] to be given
to Antonius, and Gaul, which was offered to himself, he declined; and
by these favours he gained over Antonius like a hired actor to play a
second part to himself on behalf of his country. Now when Antonius was
gained and had become tractable, Cicero, being emboldened, opposed
himself to those who were for making change. Accordingly, in the Senate,
he made an attack upon the law, and so alarmed the promoters of it that
they had nothing to say against him. When they made a second attempt,
and being fully prepared invited the consuls to appear before the
people, Cicero, nothing alarmed, bade the Senate follow him, and coming
forward, he not only caused the rejection of the law, but made the
tribunes give up even the rest of their measures and to yield to his
overpowering eloquence.

XIII. For this man most of all showed the Romans what a charm eloquence
adds to a good thing, and that justice is invincible if it be rightly
expressed in words, and that it befits him who duly directs political
affairs, always in his acts to choose the good instead of that which
merely pleases, and in his speech to deprive what is useful of that
which gives pain. And a sample of his persuasive eloquence was what
happened in his consulship with respect to the public exhibitions. In
former times those of the equestrian class were mingled with the crowd
in the theatres and were spectators among the people, just as chance
would have it; but Marcus Otho[174] in his prætorship was the first
who, for the sake of distinction, separated the equites from the rest of
the citizens, and gave them a particular place, which they still retain.
The people took this as a disparagement of themselves, and when Otho
appeared in the theatre, they hissed for the purpose of insulting him,
but the equites received him with loud applause. Again the people began
to hiss louder, and the equites to make still greater plaudits. Upon
this they fell to abusing one another, and kept the theatre in
confusion. When Cicero heard of this he came, and summoning the people
to the temple of Bellona both rebuked and admonished them, on which they
went back to the theatre and loudly applauded Otho, and vied with the
equites in doing honour to the man and showing their respect.

XIV. The conspirators with Catilina[175] at first crouched and were
afraid, but they recovered heart, and assembling together urged one
another to take matters in hand with more courage before Pompeius
returned, who was said to be now coming home with his force. Catilina
was chiefly stirred up by the old soldiers of Sulla, who were planted
all through Italy, but the greatest number and the most warlike of them
were distributed in the Tuscan cities, and were again forming visions of
robbery and plunder of the wealth that existed. These men, with
Manlius[176] for their leader, one of those who had served with
distinction under Sulla, were on the side of Catilina, and came to Rome
to assist at the Comitia; for Catilina was again a candidate for the
consulship, and had resolved to kill Cicero in the tumult of the
elections. The dæmon also seemed to pre-signify what was going on by
earthquakes and lightnings and sights. The information from human
testimony was indeed clear, but not sufficient for conviction of a man
of reputation and great power, like Catilina. Wherefore Cicero deferred
the day of election, and summoning Catilina to the Senate questioned him
about what was reported. Catilina, thinking that there were many in the
Senate who were desirous of change, and at the same time wishing to make
a display before the conspirators, gave Cicero an insane answer: "What
am I doing so strange, if when there are two bodies, one lean and
wasted, but with a head, and the other headless, but strong and large, I
myself furnish it with a head?"[177] This allusion of his was to the
Senate and to the people, which made Cicero more alarmed, and putting on
his armour he was conducted by all the nobles from his house and by many
of the young men to the Campus Martius. And he purposely let the people
have a glimpse of his armour by loosing his tunic from his shoulders,
and he showed the spectators there was danger. The people were enraged
and rallied round him, and at last by their votes they again rejected
Catilina, and chose Silanus[178] and Murena consuls.

XV. Not long after the men in Etruria came together to support Catilina,
and were forming themselves into companies; and the appointed day for
executing their plan was near, when there came to Cicero's house about
midnight men who were among the first and most powerful in Rome, Marcus
Crassus, and Marcus Marcellus,[179] and Scipio Metellus; and knocking at
the door and calling the doorkeeper, they bade him rouse Cicero and
tell him that they were there. And the matter was thus: after Crassus
had supped, the doorkeeper gave him letters brought by some unknown
man, which were addressed to different persons, and one to Crassus
himself without a signature. Crassus, having read this letter only, and
seeing that the letter intimated that there would be great bloodshed
caused by Catilina and that it urged him to quit the city, did not open
the rest, but went forthwith to Cicero in alarm at the danger, and
desiring to acquit himself somewhat of the blame which he bore on
account of his friendship with Catilina. Accordingly Cicero after
deliberating convened the Senate at daybreak, and taking the letters
gave them to the persons to whom they were directed, and bade them read
the letters aloud: and all the letters alike gave notice of a
conspiracy. When Quintus Arrius, a man of prætorian rank, reported the
forming of armed companies in Etruria, and news arrived that Manlius
with a large force was hovering about those cities expecting every
moment something new from Rome, a decree of the Senate was made to put
affairs in the hands of the consuls, and that the consuls on receiving
this commission should administer the state as they best could, and save
it. The Senate is not used to do this frequently, but only when they
apprehend great danger.

XVI. Cicero upon receiving this authority intrusted affairs out of the
city to Quintus Metellus; he undertook the care of the city himself, and
he daily went forth guarded by so large a body of men, that when he
entered the Forum those who accompanied him occupied a large part of the
ground, whereupon Catilina, no longer enduring delay, resolved to make
his escape to Manlius, and he commissioned Marcius[180] and Cethegus to
arm themselves with swords, and going to Cicero's door in the morning on
pretence of paying their respects, to fall on him and kill him.
Fulvia,[181] a woman of rank, reported this to Cicero by night, and
exhorted him to be on his guard against Cethegus and his associate. The
men came at daybreak, and as they were not permitted to enter, they fell
to railing and abuse at the doors, which made them still more suspected.
Cicero going out called the Senate to the temple of Jupiter the Stayer,
whom the Romans call Stator, which is situated at the commencement of
the Sacred Road as you go up to the Palatine. Catilina also came there
with the rest to make his defence, but none of the senators would sit
down with him, and all moved from the bench. Catilina began to speak,
but he was interrupted by cries, and at last Cicero got up and bade him
leave the city; for he said it was fit that as he was administering
affairs with words and Catilina with arms, there should be a wall[182]
between them. Accordingly Catilina immediately left the city with three
hundred armed men, and surrounding himself with fasces and axes as if he
were a magistrate, and raising standards he marched to Manlius; and as
about twenty thousand men altogether were collected, he visited the
cities and endeavoured to persuade them to revolt, so that there was
open war, and Antonius was sent to fight with the new rebels.

XVII. Those who remained in the city of the persons who had been
corrupted by Catilina were assembled and encouraged by Cornelius
Lentulus Sura,[183] a man of illustrious birth, but who had lived a bad
life and been already expelled from the Senate on account of his
licentious habits. He was then prætor for the second time, as is the
custom for those who recover the senatorial dignity. It is said that he
got the name Sura from the following circumstance. In the times of Sulla
he was quæstor, and lost and wasted much of the public money. Sulla was
angry at this, and called him to account before the Senate; but
Lentulus, coming forward in a very indifferent and contemptuous way,
said that he had no account to give, but he offered his leg, as boys
were wont to do when they had made a miss in playing at ball. From this
he got the nickname of Sura, for the Romans call the leg 'sura.' Again,
being brought to trial he bribed some of the judices, and was acquitted
by two votes only, whereon he said that what he had given to one of the
judices was fairly wasted, for it was enough to be acquitted by a single
vote. Such being the character of the man, and being stirred up by
Catilina, he was further corrupted by the vain hopes held out by false
prophets and jugglers, who recited forged verses and predictions,
alleged to be from the Sibylline books, which declared that it was the
law of fate that three Cornelii should be monarchs in Rome, two of whom
had fulfilled their destiny, Cinna[184] and Sulla, and that the dæmon
was come and had brought the monarchy to him the third of the Cornelii,
and he ought by all means to accept it, and not to spoil the critical
opportunity by delay like Catilina.

XVIII. Accordingly Lentulus designed nothing small or trivial, but he
determined to kill all the senators, and as many of the rest of the
citizens as he could, and to burn the city, and spare nobody except the
children of Pompeius, whom they intended to seize and keep in their
power as securities for coming to terms with Pompeius, for already there
was strong and sure report of his returning to Rome from his great
expedition. A night had been fixed for the attempt, one of the
Saturnalia,[185] and they took and hid in the house of Cethegus swords
and tow and brimstone. They also appointed a hundred men, and assigned
by lot as many parts of Rome to each, in order that by means of many
incendiaries the city might be in a blaze in a short time on all
sides.[186] Others were to stop up the water conduits and to kill those
who attempted to get water. While this was going on, there happened to
be at Rome two ambassadors of the Allobroges,[187] a nation which
especially at that time was in a bad condition and oppressed by the
supremacy of Rome. The partizans of Lentulus, considering them suitable
persons for stiring up Gaul to revolt, made them privy to the
conspiracy. They gave these men letters to their Senate and letters to
Catilina, promising liberty to the Senate, and urging Catilina to free
the slaves and to march upon Rome. They also sent with them to Catilina
one Titus[188] of Croton to carry the letters. But inasmuch as the
conspirators were unsteady men, who for the most part met one another
over wine and in company with women, and Cicero followed up their
designs with labour and sober consideration and unusual prudence, and
had many men out of their body to keep watch and to help him in tracking
out their doings, and as he had secret conversation with many of those
who were considered to be in the conspiracy and whom he trusted, he
became acquainted with their communication with the strangers, and
laying an ambuscade by night he seized the man of Croton and the
letters, with the secret assistance of the Allobroges.

XIX. At daybreak[189] Cicero, assembling the Senate at the temple of
Concord, read the letters and examined the informers. Silanus Junius
also said that some persons had heard Cethegus say, that three consuls
and four prætors were going to be killed. Piso, a man of consular rank,
gave evidence to the same effect. Caius Sulpicius, one of the prætors,
being sent to the house of Cethegus, found there many missiles and arms,
and a great quantity of swords and knives newly sharpened. At length the
Senate having by a vote promised a pardon to the man of Croton on
condition of his giving information, Lentulus being convicted abdicated
his office, for he happened to be prætor, and laying down his robe with
the purple hem before the Senate assumed a dress suitable to the
occasion. Lentulus and his associates were delivered up to the prætors
to be kept in custody, but without chains. It was now evening, and the
people in crowds were waiting about the temple, when Cicero came forth
and told the circumstance to the citizens, by whom he was conducted to
the house of a neighbouring friend, for his own house was occupied by
the women who were celebrating the mysterious rites to a goddess whom
the Romans called Bona,[190] and the Greeks call Gynæceia. A sacrifice
is made to the goddess annually in the house of the consul by his wife
or his mother in the presence of the Vestal Virgins. Cicero, going into
the house, deliberated with a very few persons what he should do with
the men: for he had some scruples about inflicting the extreme
punishment and that which was due to such great crimes; and he hesitated
about it both from the humanity of his disposition, and because he
feared that he might seem to be too much elated with his power and to be
handling severely men who were of the highest rank and had powerful
friends in the State; and if he treated them leniently, he dreaded
danger from them. For he considered that they would not be well content
if they were punished short of death, but would break forth in all
extravagance of audacity and add fresh indignation to their old
villainy; and that he should be judged a coward and a weak man,
especially as the many had by no means a good opinion of his courage.

XX. While Cicero was thus doubting, there was a sign to the women who
were sacrificing: for though the fire seemed to have gone out, the altar
sent forth from the ashes and burnt bark a large and brilliant
blaze.[191] This alarmed the women, except the sacred virgins, who urged
Terentia, the wife of Cicero, to go with all speed to her husband and
tell him to take in hand what he had resolved on behalf of his country,
for the goddess was displaying a great light to lead him to safety and
honour. Terentia, who generally was not a woman of a mild temper nor
naturally without courage, but an ambitious woman, and as Cicero himself
says,[192] more ready to share in his political perplexities than to
communicate to him her domestic matters, reported this to her husband
and stimulated him against the conspirators: in like manner too his
brother Quintus and Publius Nigidius, one of his philosophical
companions, whose advice he used in the most and chiefest of his
political measures. On the following day[193] there was a discussion in
the Senate about the punishment of the conspirators, when Silanus, who
was first asked his opinion, said that they ought to be taken to prison
and suffer the extreme punishment: and all who spoke in succession
acceded to this opinion, till it came to the turn of Caius Cæsar, who
was afterwards Dictator. Cæsar, who was then a young man and in the very
beginning of his rise to power, and already in his policy and his hopes
had entered on that road by which he changed the state of Rome into a
monarchy, though he eluded the penetration of the rest, caused great
suspicion to Cicero, without however giving him any hold for complete
proof; but there were some heard to say that he came near being caught
and yet had escaped from Cicero. However, some say that Cicero purposely
overlooked and neglected the information against Cæsar through fear of
his friends and his power, for it was plain to every man, that the
conspirators would rather become an appendage[194] to Cæsar's acquittal,
than Cæsar would become an appendage to their punishment.

XXI. When, then, it came to Cæsar's[195] turn to deliver his opinion, he
rose and expressed it against putting the men to death, but he proposed
to confiscate their property and remove them to the cities of Italy of
which Cicero might approve, and there keep them confined till Catilina
was defeated. The proposal was merciful and the speaker most eloquent,
and Cicero added to it no small weight, for when Cicero rose[196] he
handled the matter both ways, partly arguing in favour of the first
opinion and partly in favour of Cæsar's; and all his friends thinking
that Cæsar's opinion was for the advantage of Cicero, for he would be
subject to less blame if he did not condemn the men to death, chose the
second opinion rather, so that even Silanus himself changed and made his
explanation, saying that neither had he delivered his opinion for death,
for that the extreme punishment to a Roman senator was the prison. After
the opinion was given, Catulus Lutatius was the first to oppose it; and
he was followed by Cato, who in his speech vehemently urged suspicion
against Cæsar, and so filled the Senate with passion and resolution that
they passed a vote of death against the men. With respect to the
confiscation of their property Cæsar made opposition, for he did not
think it fair that they should reject the merciful part of his
proposition and adopt the most severe part. As many of them made violent
resistance, he invoked the tribunes, who however paid no attention to
the call, but Cicero himself gave way and remitted that part of the vote
which was for confiscation.

XXII. Cicero went with the Senate to the conspirators, who were not all
in the same place, but kept by the different prætors. He first took
Lentulus[197] from the Palatine and led him through the Sacred Road and
the middle of the Forum, with the men of highest rank in a body around
him as his guards, the people the while shuddering at what was doing and
passing by in silence, and chiefly the youth, who felt as if they were
being initiated with fear and trembling in certain national rites of a
certain aristocratical power. When Cicero had passed through the Forum
and come to the prison, he delivered Lentulus to the executioner and
told him to put him to death; he then took down Cethegus and every one
of the rest in order and had them put to death. Seeing that there were
still many members of the conspiracy standing together in the Forum, who
did not know what had been done and were waiting for the night,
supposing that the men were still alive and might be rescued, Cicero
said to them in a loud voice, "They have lived." In these terms the
Romans are used to speak of death when they do not choose to use words
of bad omen. It was now evening, and Cicero went up from the Forum to
his house, the citizens no longer accompanying him in silence or in
order, but receiving him with shouts and clapping as he passed along and
calling him the saviour and founder of his country. And numerous lights
illuminated the streets, for people placed lamps and torches at their
doors. The women too showed lights from the roofs to honour the man and
in order to see him going home, honourably attended by the nobles; most
of whom, having brought to an end great wars and entered the city in
triumph, and added to the Roman possessions no small extent of land and
sea, walked along confessing to one another that the Roman people were
indebted for wealth and spoils and power to many living commanders and
generals, but for their security and safety to Cicero alone, who had
removed from them so great a danger. For it was not the preventing of
what was in preparation and the punishing of the doers which appeared
worthy of admiration, but that he had quenched the greatest of dangers
that ever threatened the State with the least evils, and without
disturbance and tumult. For most of those who had flocked to
Catilina[198] as soon as they heard of the fate of Lentulus and Cethegus
left him and went away: and Catilina, after fighting a battle with
those who remained with him against Antonius, perished and his army with

XXIII. However there were some who were ready to abuse Cicero for this
and to do him harm, and they had for their leader among those who were
going to hold magistracies, Cæsar as prætor, and Metellus[199] and
Bestia as tribunes. Upon entering on office, while Cicero had still a
few days in authority, they would not let him address the people, and
placing their seats above the Rostra they would not permit him to come
forward to speak; they told him that he might, if he chose, take the
oath usual on giving up office and then go down. Upon this Cicero came
forward as if he were going to take the oath, and when he had procured
silence, he swore not the usual oath, but one of his own and a new oath,
to the effect that he had saved his country and preserved the supremacy
of Rome: and the whole people confirmed the truth of his oath. At this
Cæsar and the tribunes, being still more vexed, contrived other cavils
against Cicero, and a law was brought forward by them that Pompeius and
his army should be recalled on the pretext of putting down the power of
Cicero. But Cato, who was then tribune, was a great help to Cicero and
to the whole State, and he opposed himself to Cæsar's measures with
equal authority and greater good opinion. For he easily stopped other
measures, and he so extolled the consulship of Cicero in a speech to the
people, that they voted to him the greatest honours that had ever been
conferred and called him the father of his country; for it seems that
Cicero was the first on whom this title was conferred, upon Cato having
so entitled him before the people.

XXIV. Cicero, who had at that time the chief power in the State, made
himself generally odious, not by any ill acts, but by always praising
and glorifying himself to the great annoyance of many people. For there
was neither assembly of Senate nor people nor court of justice in which
a man had not to hear Catilina talked of and Lentulus. Finally, he
filled his books and writings with his own praises, and though his
oratory was most agreeable and had the greatest charm, he made it
wearisome and odious to the hearers by his unseemly habit, which stuck
to him like a fatality. However, though he had such unmingled ambition,
he was far removed from envying others, for he was most bountiful in his
praises of those before him and those of his own time, as we may see
from his writings. There are also many sayings of his recorded; for
instance, he said of Aristotle, that he was a river of flowing gold, and
of the dialogues of Plato, that Jupiter, if it were his nature to use
language, would speak like him. Theophrastus he was used to call his own
special luxury. Being asked about the speeches of Demosthenes,[200]
which he thought the best, he answered, the longest. Yet some of those
who pretend to be imitators of Demosthenes, dwell on an expression of
Cicero, which is used in a letter to one of his friends, that
Demosthenes sometimes nodded in his speeches; but the great and
admirable praise which he often bestows on the man, and that he entitled
his own orations on which he bestowed most labour, those against
Antonius, Philippics, they say nothing about. Of the men of his own time
who gained a reputation for eloquence and learning, there is not one
whose reputation he did not increase either by speaking or writing in
favourable terms of him. When Cæsar was in power he obtained from him
the Roman citizenship for Kratippus[201] the Peripatetic, and he
prevailed on the Areopagus to pass a vote and to request him to stay in
Athens and instruct the young, as being an ornament to the city. There
are letters from Cicero to Herodes,[202] and others to his son, in which
he exhorts to the study of philosophy under Kratippus. He charged
Gorgias[203] the rhetorician with leading the young man to pleasure and
drinking, and banished him from his society. This and a letter to Pelops
of Byzantium are almost the only Greek letters of his which are written
with any passion, in which he properly rebukes Gorgias, if he was
worthless and intemperate, as he was considered to be; but his letter to
Pelops is in a mean and complaining tone, and charges Pelops with having
neglected to procure for him certain honours and public testimonials
from the Byzantines.

XXV. All this proceeded from his ambition, and also the circumstance
that he was often carried away by the impetuosity of his oratory to
disregard propriety. He once spoke in favour of Munatius,[204] who after
being acquitted prosecuted Sabinus, a friend of Cicero, who is said to
have been so transported with passion as to say, "Do you suppose,
Munatius, that you were acquitted on your trial for your own merits, and
not because I spread much darkness over the court when there was light?"
He gained applause by a panegyric on Marcus Crassus from the Rostra, and
a few days after he abused him, on which Crassus observed, "Did you not
lately praise me in the same place?" to which Cicero replied, "Yes, for
practice sake, exercising my eloquence on a mean subject." Crassus
having remarked on one occasion that none of the Crassi had lived in
Rome to be more than sixty years of age, and afterwards denying that he
had said so, and observing, What could have led him to say this? Cicero
replied, "You know that the Romans would be glad to hear it and so you
wished to get their favour." When Crassus observed that he liked the
Stoics, because they proved that the good man was rich,[205] "Consider,"
said Cicero, "if they do not rather prove that the wise man possesses
everything." Now Crassus was charged with being fond of money. One of
the sons of Crassus who was considered to resemble a certain Axius, and
so to attach ill fame to his mother in respect to Axius, had made a
speech in the Senate with applause, and Cicero being asked what he
thought of him said, He is Axius Crassus.[206]

XXVI. When Crassus[207] was about to set out for Syria, he wished Cicero
to be his friend rather than his enemy, and he said in a friendly manner
that he wished to sup with him, and Cicero received him readily. A few
days after when some of his friends spoke with him about Vatinius, and
said that Vatinius sought a recollection and to be on good terms with
him, for he was then at enmity with Cicero. "Surely," said Cicero,
"Vatinius too does not want to sup with me." Such was his behaviour to
Crassus. As to Vatinius, who had tumours in his neck, and was on one
occasion pleading a cause, Cicero called him a tumid orator. Hearing
that Vatinius was dead, and being shortly after certainly informed that
he was still living, "Ill betide the man," said he, "who lied so ill."
Many of the senators were dissatisfied with Cæsar's carrying a measure
for the distribution of the land in Campania among the soldiers, and
Lucius Gellius,[208] who was also one of the oldest of them, said, that
it should never take place while he lived. "Let us wait," said Cicero,
"for Gellius asks for no long delay." There was a certain Octavius[209]
who had the ill-repute of being a native of Libya, and on the occasion
of a certain trial he said that he could not hear Cicero. "And yet,"
said Cicero, "your ear is not without a hole in it." Metellus Nepos
observing that Cicero by giving testimony against persons had caused
more to be condemned than he had caused to be acquitted by undertaking
their cause, "Well," said he, "I admit that I have more credit than
eloquence." A certain youth who was charged with giving poison to his
father in a cake, spoke with great confidence, and said that he would
abuse Cicero; "I would rather have this from you," said Cicero, "than a
cake." Publius Sextius[210] had Cicero with others as his advocate in a
cause, but he chose to say everything himself and would let nobody else
speak, and when it was plain that he would be acquitted and the judices
were giving their votes, Cicero said, "Make the most of your opportunity
to-day, for to-morrow you will be a mere nobody." One Publius
Consta,[211] who set up for a lawyer, but was an ignorant and stupid
fellow, was called as a witness by Cicero on a trial. On Consta saying
that he knew nothing, "Perhaps," said Cicero, "you suppose that you are
asked about legal matters." Metellus Nepos during a dispute with Cicero
often repeated, "Who is your father?" on which Cicero said, "As for
yourself, your mother has made this answer rather difficult for you."
Now the mother of Nepos was considered to be an unchaste woman, and
himself a fickle kind of man. On one occasion he suddenly deserted his
office of tribune and sailed off to join Pompeius[212] in Syria, whence
he returned with just as little reason. Nepos had buried his teacher
Philagrus with more than usual respect, and set upon his tomb a raven of
stone: "In this," said Cicero, "you have acted wiser than your wont, for
he taught you to fly rather than to speak." Marcus Appius in a certain
trial prefaced his speech with saying that his friend had prayed him to
exhibit vigilance and judgment and fidelity: "Are you then," said
Cicero, "so iron-hearted as to exhibit not one of such great qualities
as your friend prayed you to do?"

XXVII. Now the use of bitterish taunts against enemies or opposing
advocates may be considered as belonging to the orator's business; but
the attacking of any persons whom he fell in with, for the purpose of
making them ridiculous, brought great odium upon him. I will record a
few instances of this also. He called Marcus Aquinius,[213]
Adrastus,[214] because he had two sons-in-law who were in exile. Lucius
Cotta,[215] who held the office of censor, was very fond of wine, and it
happened that Cicero during his canvass for the consulship was athirst,
and as his friends stood around him while he was drinking, "You have
good reason to be afraid," said he, "lest the censor should deal harshly
with me for drinking water." Meeting Voconius,[216] who was conducting
three very ugly daughters, he said aloud:

   "'Gainst Phoebus' will his children he begat."

Marcus Gellius,[217] who was supposed not to be the son of free parents,
was once reading some letters to the Senate with a clear and loud voice,
when Cicero said, "Don't be surprised; he too is one of those who have
practised their voices." When Faustus,[218] the son of Sulla who had
been dictator in Rome and proscribed many to the death, having got into
debt and squandered most of his substance, advertised his household
stuff for sale, Cicero said that he liked this proscription better than
his father's.

XXVIII.[219] He thus became odious to many, and the partizans of Clodius
combined against him on the following occasion. Clodius was a man of
noble birth, young in years, but bold and impudent in his designs. Being
in love with Pompeia, Cæsar's wife, he got into his house secretly by
assuming the dress and the guise of a lute-player; for the women were
celebrating in Cæsar's house those mysterious rites which the men were
not allowed to see; and as there was no man there, Clodius being still a
youth and not yet bearded hoped to slip through to Pompeia with the
women. But as it was night when he got into a large house, he was
perplexed by the passages; and as he was rambling about a female slave
of Aurelia, Cæsar's mother, saw him and asked him his name. Being
compelled to speak, he said that he was looking for a servant of
Pompeia, named Abra, but the woman perceiving that it was not a female
voice cried out and called the women together. They shut the doors and
searching every place found Clodius, who had hid himself in the chamber
of the girl with whom he came into the house. The affair being noised
abroad Cæsar put away Pompeia, and a prosecution[220] for an offence
against religion was instituted against Clodius.

XXIX. Now Cicero was a friend of Clodius, and in the affair of Catilina
found him a most zealous assistant and guardian of his person; but as
Clodius in answer to the charge relied on not having been in Rome at the
time, and maintained that he was staying in places at a very great
distance, Cicero bore testimony that Clodius had come to his house[221]
and spoken with him on certain matters; which was true. However people
did not suppose that Cicero gave his testimony from regard to truth, but
by way of justifying himself to his wife Terentia.[222] For Terentia had
a grudge against Clodius on account of his sister Clodia, who was
supposed to wish to marry Cicero, and to be contriving this by the aid
of one Tullus, who was one of the nearest companions and intimates of
Cicero, and as Tullus was going to Clodia, who lived near, and paying
attention to her, he excited suspicion in Terentia. Now as Terentia was
of a sour temper and governed Cicero, she urged him to join in the
attack on Clodius and to give testimony against him. Many men also of
the highest character charged Clodius by their testimony with perjury,
disorderly conduct, bribing of the masses, and debauching of women.
Lucullus also produced female slaves to testify that Clodius had sexual
commerce with his youngest sister when she was the wife of Lucullus.
There was also a general opinion that Clodius debauched his other two
sisters, of whom Marcius Rex had Terentia and Metellus Celer had Clodia
to wife, who was called Quadrantaria, because one of her lovers put
copper coins for her in a purse pretending they were silver and sent
them to her; now the smallest copper coin the Romans called Quadrans. It
was with regard to this sister that Clodius was most suspected. However
as the people on that occasion set themselves against those who bore
testimony and combined against Clodius, the judices being afraid
procured a guard for their protection, and most of them gave in their
tablets with the writing on them confused.[223] It turned out that those
who were for acquitting him were the majority, and some bribery was also
said to have been used. This led Catulus to say when he met the judices,
"Indeed you did ask for a guard to protect you, for you were afraid that
some one should take your money from you." Upon Clodius saying to Cicero
that his evidence had no credit with the judices, Cicero replied,
"However, five-and-twenty[224] of the judices gave me credit, for so
many of them voted against you; but thirty of them gave you no credit,
for they did not vote for your acquittal till they had received their
money." Cæsar, however, when called, gave no evidence against Clodius,
and he denied that he had convicted his wife of adultery, but that he
had put her away, because Cæsar's wife ought not only to be free from a
shameful act, but even the report of it.

XXX. Clodius,[225] having escaped the danger, as soon as he was elected
tribune commenced his attack on Cicero, drawing together and agitating
against him every thing and all persons. For he gained the favour of the
people by popular laws, and caused great provinces to be assigned to
each of the consuls, Macedonia to Piso and Syria to Gabinius, and he
contrived to associate many of the poor citizens in his designs and kept
armed slaves about him. Of the three men who then had the chief power,
Crassus was openly at enmity with Cicero, and Pompeius was playing an
affected part towards both; and as Cæsar was about to march into
Gaul[226] with his army, Cicero paying court to him, though he was not
his friend, but an object of suspicion owing to the affair of Catilina,
asked to accompany him as a legatus. Cæsar accepted the proposal, but
Clodius, seeing that Cicero was escaping from his tribunitian power,
pretended to be disposed to come to terms with him, and by laying most
blame on Terentia, and always speaking of Cicero in moderate terms and
using words which imported a favourable disposition, as a man who had no
hatred or ill feeling towards him, but had certain reasonable grounds of
complaint to be urged in a friendly way, he completely stopped Cicero's
fears, so that he declined a legation under Cæsar and again applied
himself to public affairs. At which Cæsar, being irritated, encouraged
Clodius against Cicero, and completely alienated Pompeius from him, and
he himself declared before the people that he did not consider it right
or lawful for men to be put to death without trial, like Lentulus and
Cethegus. For this was the charge, and to this Cicero was called to
answer. Being therefore in danger and under prosecution he changed his
dress and with his hair unshorn went about supplicating the people. But
Clodius met him everywhere in the streets with violent and audacious
men about him, who, with many insolent jeers at Cicero's reverse and
attire, and after pelting him with mud and stones, hindered his
suppliant applications.

XXXI. However at first nearly all the body of equites changed their
dress when Cicero did, and not less than twenty thousand young men
accompanied him with their hair uncut and joined in his suppliant
entreaties. When the Senate had met in order to pass a vote that the
people should change their dress as a public calamity,[227] and the
consuls opposed it, and Clodius was in arms about the Senate-house, no
small number of the senators ran out tearing their clothes and calling
aloud. But as this sight neither procured respect nor pity, and Cicero
must either go into exile or try force and the sword against Clodius, he
entreated Pompeius to aid him, who had purposely gone out of the way and
was staying on his estate at the Alban hills. And first he sent his
son-in-law Piso[228] to entreat for him, and then he went himself.
Pompeius hearing of his coming did not wait to see him, for he had a
strong feeling of shame towards a man who had made great efforts on his
behalf, and had carried many public measures to please him, but as he
was Cæsar's son-in-law, he gave up old obligations at his request, and
slipping out by a different door evaded meeting with Cicero. Cicero
being thus betrayed by him and left deserted, fled for refuge to the
consuls. Gabinius still maintained his hostility, but Piso spoke[229]
more kindly, and advised him to go out of the way and to yield to the
impetuosity of Clodius and to submit to the change in circumstances, and
again to be the saviour of his country, which was involved in civil
commotion and misfortune through Clodius. Having got this answer Cicero
consulted with his friends, of whom Lucullus advised him to stay and
said that he would gain the superiority; but others advised him to fly,
inasmuch as the people would soon long for him when they were satiated
with the madness and desperation of Clodius. This was Cicero's own
judgment; and he carried to the Capitol the statue of Athene,[230] which
for a long time had stood in his house, and to which he paid especial
honour, and dedicated it with the inscription, "To Athene the guardian
of Rome;" and receiving from his friends persons to conduct him safely,
he left the city about midnight and went by land through Lucania,
designing to stay in Sicily.

XXXII. When it was known that he had fled, Clodius put to the vote the
question of his banishment, and issued an edict to exclude him from fire
and water, and that no one should furnish him with a shelter within five
hundred miles[231] of Italy. Now others paid not the slightest regard to
the edict, for they respected Cicero, and showed him all manner of
kindness and set him on his way: but in Hipponium, a city of Lucania,
which the Romans call Vibo,[232] Vibius, a Sicilian, who had derived
many advantages from Cicero's friendship and had been præfect of the
Fabri during his consulship, would not receive Cicero in his house, but
sent him word that he would assign him a spot of ground; and Caius
Vergilius,[233] the prætor of Sicily, who had been most intimate with
Cicero, wrote to tell him to keep away from Sicily. Whereat desponding
he set out for Brundusium, and thence attempted to pass over to
Dyrrachium[234] with a fair wind; but as it began to blow against him
when he was out at sea, he came back the day after, and again set sail.
It is said that when he had reached Dyrrachium and was going to land,
there was a shaking of the earth and a violent motion in the sea at the
same time; from which the diviners prognosticated that his flight would
not be lasting, for these were signs of change. And though many men
visited him from good will and the Greek cities vied in sending
deputations to him, yet he passed his time in despondency[235] and
exceeding grief, for the most part looking to Italy, like those who are
desperately in love, and in his bearing became very mean and humbled by
reason of his calamity, and so downcast as no one would have expected
from a man who had spent his life in such philosophical pursuits. And
yet he often asked his friends to call him not an orator, but a
philosopher,[236] for he said that he had chosen philosophy as his
occupation, but that he employed oratory as an instrument for his
purposes in his public life. But opinion is powerful to wash out reason
from the mind as if it were dye, and to imprint the affects of the
many[237] by the force of intercourse and familiarity on those who
engage in public life, unless a man be strictly on his guard and come in
contact with things external in such wise as to have communion with the
things themselves, not with the affects towards the things.

XXXIII. Clodius, after driving out Cicero, burnt his villas, and burnt
his house, and built on the ground a temple to Liberty: the rest of
Cicero's property[238] he offered for sale, and announced it daily, but
nobody would buy. In consequence of these measures being formidable to
the aristocratical party, and dragging along with him the people, who
were let loose to great violence and daring, he made an attack on
Pompeius, ripping up some of the things that were settled by him in his
military command. By which Pompeius losing some of his reputation blamed
himself for giving up Cicero; and changing again he used every effort in
conjunction with Cicero's friends to effect his return. As Clodius
resisted this, the Senate resolved to ratify nothing in the mean time
and to do no public business, unless Cicero was restored. When
Lentulus[239] was consul, and the disorder went on increasing so that
tribunes were wounded in the Forum, and Quintus the brother of Cicero
only escaped by lying among the bodies as if he were dead, the people
began to undergo a change of opinion, and one of the tribunes, Annius
Milo, was the first to venture to bring Clodius to trial for violence,
and many sided with Pompeius both from among the people and the
neighbouring cities. Coming forward with them and driving Clodius from
the Forum, he called the citizens to the vote: and it is said that the
people never confirmed any measure with so much unanimity. The Senate
vying with the people passed a decree in honour of those cities which
had served Cicero in his exile, and for the restoration[240] at the
public expense of his house and villas, which Clodius had destroyed.
Cicero was restored in the sixteenth month[241] after his exile, and so
great was the joy of the cities and the zeal of all men to meet him,
that what was afterwards said by Cicero fell short of the truth: for he
said that Italy bore him on her shoulders and carried him into Rome. On
which occasion Crassus also, who was his enemy before his exile, readily
met him, and was reconciled to him, to please his son Publius, as he
said, who was an admirer of Cicero.

XXXIV. After the lapse of no long time, watching the opportunity when
Clodius was away, Cicero went with a number of persons to the Capitol
and pulled down and broke the tribunitian tablets[242] which contained
the records of the administration. When Clodius made this a charge
against him, Cicero said that Clodius had illegally passed from the
patrician body to the tribunate, and that none of his acts were valid,
at which Cato took offence and spoke against him, not indeed in
commendation of Clodius, but expressing his mortification at his
measures; however he showed that it was an unusual and violent measure
for the Senate to vote for the rescinding of so many decrees and acts,
among which was his own administration at Cyprus and Byzantium. This led
to a collision between him and Cicero, which did not proceed to anything
open, but the consequence was that their friendly disposition to one
another was weakened.

XXXV. After this Clodius[243] was killed by Milo, who being prosecuted
for murder got Cicero for his advocate. But the Senate, being afraid
lest there should be some disturbance in the city on the trial of Milo,
who was a man of high repute and bold spirit, intrusted to Pompeius the
superintendence of this and other trials, and commissioned him to
provide for the security of the city and of the courts of justice.
Pompeius in the night surrounded the Forum with soldiers on the heights,
and Milo, fearing that Cicero might be disturbed at the unusual sight
and manage his case worse, persuaded him to be carried in a litter to
the Forum and to rest there till the judices met and the court was
formed. But Cicero, as it appears, was not only without courage in arms,
but was timid even when he commenced speaking, and hardly ceased shaking
and trembling in many trials till his eloquence had reached its height
and attained steadiness. When he was the advocate of Murena, on his
prosecution by Cato, he was ambitious to surpass Hortensius, who spoke
with great applause, and he took no rest the night before, in
consequence of which exceeding anxiety and wakefulness, his powers were
impaired and he was considered to have fallen short of his fame. On this
occasion when he came out of the litter to the trial of Milo and saw
Pompeius seated on an elevated place as in a camp and arms flashing
all around the Forum, he was confounded and scarcely commenced his
speech for trembling and hesitation, though Milo himself bravely and
courageously assisted at the trial and would not deign to let his hair
grow or to change his dress for a dark one, which seems in no small
degree to have contributed to his condemnation. But Cicero in all this
was considered rather to have shown his attachment to his friend than
any cowardice.

XXXVI. Cicero became also one of the priests, whom the Romans called
Augurs,[244] in place of the younger Crassus after his death among the
Parthians. The province of Cilicia[245] being allotted to him and an
army of twelve thousand legionary soldiers and two thousand six hundred
horse, he set sail with instructions to keep Cappadocia friendly and
obedient to Ariobarzanes.[246] He accomplished this, and arranged it
without any blame and without war; and as he observed that the
Cilicians were inclined to a rising on occasion of the defeat of the
Romans by the Parthians and the movements in Syria, he pacified them by
a mild administration. Nor would he receive any presents when the kings
offered them, and he relieved the provincials from giving
entertainments: and he himself daily received those who were agreeable
to him at banquets, not in a costly way, but liberally. And there was no
doorkeeper to his house, nor was he ever seen by any one lying down, but
in the morning he would be standing or walking about in front of his
chamber, where he received those who paid their respects[247] to him. It
is said that he neither punished any one with rods nor allowed any man's
garment to be rent, nor vented abuse in passion, nor inflicted any
penalty accompanied with contumelious treatment. By discovering that
much of the public property was embezzled he enriched the cities, and he
maintained in their civil rights those who made restoration, without
letting them suffer anything further. He engaged also in a war in which
he defeated the robbers of Mount Amanus, for which he was saluted by his
soldiers with the title of Imperator.[248] When Cæcilius[249] the orator
requested Cicero to send him panthers from Cilicia to Rome for a certain
spectacle, Cicero, who was proud of his exploits, wrote in reply that
there were no panthers in Cilicia, for they had fled into Caria,
indignant that they were the only things warred upon, while all others
were enjoying peace. On his voyage back from his province he first put
in at Rhodes, and next tarried at Athens with gladness out of the
pleasant recollection of his former residence. After associating with
men the first for wisdom, and visiting his old friends and intimates and
receiving due honours from Greece, he returned to Rome at a time when
affairs, as if from violent inflammation, were bursting out into the
Civil War.

XXXVII. In the Senate, when they were proposing to vote him a triumph,
he said that he would more gladly follow Cæsar in his triumph, if a
settlement could be effected; and he privately gave much advice by
writing to Cæsar, and much by entreating Pompeius, and attempting to
mollify and pacify both of them. But when things were past remedy, and
Cæsar was advancing, and Pompeius did not stay, but quitted the city
with many men of character, Cicero did not join in this flight, and it
was supposed that he was attaching himself to Cæsar. And it is plain
that in his resolves he was much perplexed both ways and suffered much;
for he says in his letters[250] that he did not know which way to turn
himself, and that Pompeius had an honourable and good cause to fight
for, but that Cæsar managed things better and was better able to save
himself and the citizens, so that he knew whom to fly from, but not whom
to fly to. Trebatius, one of Cæsar's friends, wrote to the purport, that
Cæsar thought that before all things Cicero ought to put himself on
Cæsar's side and to share his hopes, but if he declined by reason of
his age, he advised him to go to Greece and there to seat himself
quietly out of the way of both; but Cicero, being surprised that Cæsar
himself did not write, replied in passion that he would do nothing
unworthy of his political life. What appears in his letters is to this

XXXVIII. When Cæsar had set out to Iberia, Cicero immediately sailed to
Pompeius. The rest were well pleased that he was come, but Cato on
seeing him rated him in private greatly for joining Pompeius: he said it
was not seemly in himself to desert that line of policy which he had
chosen from the first; but that Cicero, though he could do more good to
his country and his friends if he remained at Rome an indifferent
spectator and shaped his conduct by the result, without any reason or
necessity had become an enemy of Cæsar and had come there to share in
great danger. These words disturbed the resolve of Cicero, and also that
Pompeius did not employ him in anything of weight. But he was the cause
of this himself, inasmuch as he made no secret of repenting of what he
had done, and depreciated the resources of Pompeius, and privately
showed his dissatisfaction at his plans, and abstained not from scoffing
and saying any sharp thing of the allies, though he himself always went
about in the camp without a smile and with sorrowful countenance; but he
gave cause of laughter to others who had no occasion for it. It is
better to mention a few of these things. Domitius[251] was placing in a
post of command a man of no warlike turn, and said, How modest he is in
his manner and how prudent; "Why then," said Cicero, "do you not keep
him to take care of your children?" When some were commending
Theophanes[252] the Lesbian, who was a Præfectus of Fabri in the camp,
for his excellent consolation of the Rhodians on the loss of their
fleet, "What a huge blessing it is," he said, "to have a Greek Præfect!"
When Cæsar was successful in most things and in a manner was blockading
them, he replied to the remark of Lentulus that he heard that Cæsar's
friends were dispirited, "You mean to say that they are
ill-disposed[253] to Cæsar?" One Marcius, who had just arrived from
Rome, said that a report prevailed in Rome that Pompeius was blockaded.
"I suppose you sailed hither then," said Cicero, "that you might see it
with your own eyes and believe." After the defeat Nonnius observed that
they ought to have good hopes, for that seven eagles were left in the
camp of Pompeius, "Your advice would be good," said Cicero, "if we were
fighting with jack-daws." When Labienus was relying on certain oracular
answers, and saying that Pompeius must get the victory, "Yes," said
Cicero, "it is by availing ourselves of such generalship as this that we
have lost the camp."

XXXIX. After the battle at Pharsalus, in which he was not present by
reason of illness, and when Pompeius had fled, Cato, who had a large
army at Dyrrachium and a great fleet, asked Cicero to take the command
according to custom, and as he had the superior dignity of the
consulship. But as Cicero rejected the command and altogether was averse
to joining the armament, he narrowly escaped being killed, for the young
Pompeius and his friends called him a traitor and drew their swords, but
Cato stood in the gap and with difficulty rescued Cicero and let him go
from the army. Having put in at Brundusium he stayed there waiting for
Cæsar, who was delayed by affairs in Asia and in Egypt. But when news
came that Cæsar was landed at Tarentum[254]; and was coming round by
land to Brundusium, Cicero went to him, not being altogether without
hope, but feeling shame in the presence of many persons to make trial of
a man who was his enemy and victorious. However there was no need for
him to do or say anything unworthy of himself; for when Cæsar saw Cicero
coming to meet him at a great distance before all the rest, he got
down, and embraced him and talking with him alone walked several stadia.
From this time he continued to show respect to Cicero and friendly
behaviour, so that even in his reply to Cicero, who had written a
panegyric on Cato, he commended his eloquence and his life, as most
resembling those of Perikles and Theramenes.[255] Cicero's discourse was
called Cato, and Cæsar's was entitled Anticato. It is said also that
when Quintus Ligarius[256] was under prosecution, because he had been
one of Cæsar's enemies and Cicero was his advocate, Cæsar said to his
friends, "What hinders us listening after so long an interval to
Cicero's speech, since the man has long been adjudged a villain and an
enemy?" But when Cicero had begun to speak and was making a wonderful
sensation, and his speech as he proceeded was in feeling varied and in
grace admirable, the colour often changed in Cæsar's face, and it was
manifest that he was undergoing divers emotions in his mind; but at last
when the orator touched upon the battle at Pharsalus, he was so affected
that his body shook and he dropped some of the writings from his hands.
Accordingly he acquitted the man of the charge perforce.

XL. After this, as the constitution was changed to a monarchy,
Cicero[257] detaching himself from public affairs applied himself to
philosophy with such young men as were disposed; and mainly from his
intimacy with the noblest born and the first in rank, he again got very
great power in the state. His occupation was to compose philosophical
dialogues and to translate and to transfer into the Roman language every
dialectical or physical term; for it is he, as they say, who first or
mainly formed for the Romans the terms Phantasia, Syncatathesis, Epoche,
and Catalepsis, and also Atom, and Indivisible, and Vacuum, and many
other like terms, some of which by metaphor, and others by other modes
of assimilation he contrived to make intelligible and to bring into
common use: and he employed his ready turn for poetry to amuse himself.
For it is said that when he was disposed that way, he would make five
hundred verses in a night. The greatest part of his time he now spent in
his lands at Tusculum, and he used to write to his friends that he was
living the life of Laertes,[258] whether it was that he said this in
jest, as his manner was, or whether from ambition he was bursting with
desire to participate in public affairs and was dissatisfied with
matters as they were. He seldom went down to the city, and when he did,
it was to pay court to Cæsar, and he was foremost among those who spoke
in favour of the honours given to him and were eager always to be saying
something new about the man and his acts. Of this kind is what he said
about the statues of Pompeius, which Cæsar ordered to be set up after
they had been taken away and thrown down, and they were set up again.
For Cicero said that by this mild behaviour Cæsar placed the statues of
Pompeius, but firmly fixed his own.

XLI. His intention being, as it is said, to comprehend in one work the
history of his country and to combine with it much of Greek affairs and
in fine to place there the stories and myths which he had collected, he
was prevented by public and many private affairs contrary to his wish,
and by troubles, most of which seem to have been of his own causing. For
first of all, he divorced his wife Terentia,[259] because he had been
neglected by her during the war, so that he set out in want even of
necessaries for his journey, and did not even on his return to Italy
find her well-disposed to him. For she did not go to him, though he was
staying some time in Brundusium, and when her daughter, who was a young
woman, was going so long a journey, she did not supply her with suitable
attendance, nor any means, but she even made Cicero's house void of
everything and empty, besides incurring many great debts. These are the
most decent reasons for the separation which are mentioned. But Terentia
denied that these were the reasons, and Cicero made her defence a
complete one by marrying no long time after a maid;[260] as Terentia
charged it, through passion for her beauty, but as Tiro[261] the
freedman of Cicero has recorded it, to get means for paying his debts.
For the young woman was very rich and Cicero had the care of her
property, being left fiduciary heir. Being in debt to the amount of many
ten thousands he was persuaded by his friends and relatives to marry the
girl, notwithstanding the disparity of age, and to get rid of his
creditors by making use of her property. But Antonius, who made mention
of the marriage in reply to the Philippics, says that he put out of
doors his wife with whom he had grown old, and at the same time he made
some cutting jibes on the housekeeping habits of Cicero as a man unfit
for action and for arms. No long time after his marriage Cicero's
daughter died in child-birth, for she had married Lentulus after the
death of her former husband Piso. The philosophers from all quarters
came together to console Cicero, but he bore his misfortune very ill,
and even divorced his wife because he thought that she was pleased at
the death of Tullia.[262]

XLII.[263] Such were Cicero's domestic affairs. He had no share in the
design that was forming against Cæsar, though he was one of the most
intimate friends of Brutus and was supposed to be annoyed at the present
state of affairs and so long for the old state more than anybody else.
But the men feared his temper as being deficient in daring, and the
occasion was one in which courage fails even the strongest natures. When
the deed was accomplished by the partisans of Brutus and Cassius, and
Cæsar's friends were combining against the conspirators, and there was
fear of the city again being involved in civil wars, Antonius, who was
consul, brought the Senate together and said a few words about concord;
and Cicero, after speaking at length and suitably to the occasion,
persuaded the Senate to imitate the Athenians and decree an amnesty[264]
for what had been done to Cæsar, and to give provinces to Brutus and
Cassius. But none of these things came to a conclusion. For the people
of themselves being transported to pity, when they saw the corpse
carried through the Forum, and Antonius showed them the garments filled
with blood and slashed in every part by the swords, maddened by passion
sought for the men in the Forum and ran with fire in their hands to
their houses to burn them. The conspirators escaped the danger by being
prepared for it, but as they expected other great dangers, they quitted
the city.

XLIII. Antonius was forthwith elated, and was formidable to all, as
about to become sole ruler; but to Cicero most formidable. For Antonius
seeing that Cicero's power was recovering strength in the State, and
knowing that he was closely allied with Brutus, was annoyed at his
presence. And there existed even before this some ill-will between them
on account of the unlikeness and difference in their lives. Cicero
fearing these things, first made an attempt to go with Dolabella[265] to
Syria as legatus: but the consuls for the next year, Irtius and
Pansa,[266] who were good men and admirers of Cicero, prayed him not to
desert them, and they undertook if he were present to put down Antonius.
Cicero, neither distrusting altogether nor trusting gave up his design
as to Dolabella, and agreed with Irtius to spend the summer in Athens,
and when they had entered on their office, to come back, and he sailed
off by himself. But as there was some delay about the voyage, and new
reports, as the wont is, reached him from Rome that Antonius had
undergone a wonderful change, and was doing and administering everything
conformably to the pleasure of the Senate, and that matters only
required his presence to be brought to the best arrangement, himself
blaming his excessive caution turned back to Rome. And he was not
deceived in his first expectations, so great a crowd of people through
joy and longing for him poured forth to meet him, and near a whole day
was taken up at the gates and upon his entrance with greetings and
friendly reception. On the following day Antonius summoned a Senate and
invited Cicero, who did not come, but was lying down pretending to be
indisposed from fatigue. But the truth appeared to be that he was afraid
of some design against him, in consequence of certain suspicions and of
information which reached him on the road. Antonius was irritated at the
calumny and sent soldiers with orders to bring Cicero or burn his house,
but as many persons opposed Antonius and urged him by entreaties he took
securities only and desisted. And henceforward they continued to pass by
without noticing one another and to be mutually on their guard, till the
young Cæsar[267] having arrived from Apollonia took possession of the
inheritance of the elder Cæsar, and came to a quarrel with Antonius
about the two thousand five hundred ten thousands[268] which Antonius
detained of his substance.

XLIV. Upon this, Philippus[269] who was married to young Cæsar's
mother, and Marcellus, who was married to his sister, came with the
young man to Cicero, and made a compact that Cicero should lend to Cæsar
both in the Senate and before the people the power that he derived from
his eloquence and his political position, and that Cæsar should give to
Cicero the security that could be derived from money and from arms. For
the young man had about him many of those who had served under
Cæsar.[270] There appeared also to have been some stronger reason for
Cicero readily accepting the friendship of Cæsar. For, as the story
goes, while Pompeius and Cæsar were living, Cicero dreamed[271] that
some one summoned the sons of the senators to the Capitol, as Jupiter
was going to appoint one of them chief of Rome, and that the citizens
ran eagerly and placed themselves around the temple and the youths
seated themselves in their prætextæ in silence. The doors opened
suddenly and one by one the youths rising walked round before the god,
who looked at them all and dismissed them sorrowing. But when young
Cæsar was advancing towards him, the god stretched out his hand and
said, "Romans, there is an end to civil wars when this youth becomes
your leader." They say that Cicero having had such a dream as this had
imprinted on his memory the appearance of the youth and retained it
distinctly, but he did not know him. The following day as he was going
down to the Campus Martius, the boys who had taken their exercise were
returning, and the youth was then seen by Cicero for the first time just
as he appeared to him in his dream, and being struck with surprise
Cicero asked who were his parents. Now his father was Octavius, not a
man of very illustrious station, but his mother was Attia, a niece of
Cæsar. Accordingly Cæsar, who had no children of his own, gave the youth
his property and family name by his will. After this they say that
Cicero took pains to notice the youth when he met him, and the youth
received well his friendly attentions; for it had also happened that he
was born in Cicero's consulship.

XLV. These were the reasons which were mentioned; but his hatred of
Antonius in the chief place, and then his disposition, which was
governed by ambition, attached him to Cæsar in the expectation of adding
to his own political influence Cæsar's power. For the young man went so
far in paying his court to Cicero as to call him father.[272] At which
Brutus being much annoyed blamed Cicero in his letters to Atticus, that
through fear of Antonius he was courting Cæsar and was thus manifestly
not procuring liberty for his country, but wooing for himself a kind
master. However Cicero's son,[273] who was studying philosophy at
Athens, was engaged by Brutus and employed in command in many things
which he did successfully. Cicero's power in the city was then at its
height, and as he could do what he liked, he drove Antonius out and
raised a faction against him and sent out the two consuls Irtius and
Pansa[274] to fight against him, and he persuaded the Senate by a vote
to give Cæsar lictors and the insignia of a prætor, as if he were
fighting in defence of their country. But when Antonius had been
defeated and on the death of the two consuls after the battle the forces
joined Cæsar, and the Senate through fear of a youth who had enjoyed
splendid success was attempting by honours and gifts to call away from
him the armies, and to divide his power, on the ground that there was no
need of troops to defend the state now that Antonius was fled, under
these circumstances Cæsar being alarmed secretly sent messengers to
Cicero, to entreat and urge Cicero to get the consulship for the two,
but to manage matters as he thought best, and to have the power, and to
direct the young man who was only desirous of a name and reputation. And
Cæsar himself admitted that it was through fear of his troops being
disbanded and the danger of being left alone, that he had availed
himself in a time of need of Cicero's love of power by urging him to
take the consulship, and promising that he would act with him and assist
in the canvass at the same time.

XLVI. In this way indeed Cicero being very greatly pushed on, he an old
man by a young one, and cajoled, assisted at the canvass of Cæsar[275]
and got the Senate in his favour, for which he was blamed by his friends
at the time, and he shortly after saw that he had ruined himself and
betrayed the liberty of the people. For when the youth was strengthened
and had got the consulship, he gave himself no concern about Cicero, but
making friends with Antonius and Lepidus[276] and uniting his forces
with theirs, he divided the chief power with them, just as if it were a
piece of property. And a list of above two hundred men was made out, who
were doomed to die. The proscription of Cicero caused most dispute among
them in their discussions, for Antonius was not inclined to come to any
terms unless Cicero was the first to be doomed to death, and Lepidus
sided with Antonius, but Cæsar held out against both. They held their
meeting by themselves in secret near the city Bononia[277] for three
days, and they met in a place at some distance from the camps which was
surrounded by a river. It is said that during the first two days Cæsar
struggled in behalf of Cicero, but that he yielded on the third and gave
up the man. And the matter of their mutual surrender was thus. Cæsar was
to give up Cicero, and Lepidus his brother Paulus,[278] and Antonius was
to give up Lucius Cæsar, who was his uncle on the mother's side. So far
did they through resentment and rage throw away all human feeling, or
rather they showed that no animal is more savage than man when he has
gotten power added to passion.

XLVII.[279] While this was going on, Cicero was on his lands at
Tusculum, and his brother with him; and on hearing of the proscriptions
they determined to remove to Astura,[280] a place belonging to Cicero on
the sea-coast, and thence to sail to Macedonia to Brutus, for there was
already a rumour about him that he had a force. They were conveyed in
litters, being worn out by grief; and halting by the way and placing
their litters side by side they lamented to one another. Quintus[281]
was the more desponding, and he began to reflect on his needy condition,
for he said that he had brought nothing from home; and indeed Cicero was
but scantily provided for his journey; it was better then, he said, for
Cicero to hurry on in his flight, and for him to hasten back and to
provide himself from home with what he wanted. This was agreed, and
embracing one another with tears they separated. Now Quintus, not many
days after, was betrayed by his slaves to those who were in search of
him and put to death with his son. Cicero arrived at Astura, and finding
a vessel he immediately embarked, and sailed along the coast to
Circæum,[282] the wind in his favour. When the sailors were wishing to
set sail immediately from thence, whether it was that he feared the sea,
or had not quite despaired of all trust in Cæsar, he landed, and went on
foot about a hundred stadia on the road to Rome. But again perplexed and
changing his mind he went down to the sea of Astura; and there he spent
the night in dreadful and desperate reflections, so that he even formed
a design to get secretly into Cæsar's house, and by killing himself on
the hearth to fasten on him an avenging dæmon. But the fear of tortures
drove him from this measure also; and after perplexing himself with
other schemes and shifting from one to another, he put himself in the
hands of his slaves to convey him by sea to Capitæ,[283] for he had
lands there and a place of retreat which was very agreeable in summer,
when the Etesian winds blow most softly. The place has also a temple of
Apollo, a little above the sea. A flock of crows winging their flight
from thence with loud cawing approached the vessel of Cicero as it was
rowing to land, and settling at each end of the sail-yard some made a
noise, and others gnawed the end of the ropes, and all were of opinion
that the omen was bad. Cicero landed, and going to the villa he lay down
to rest. But most of the crows perched themselves on different parts of
the window, cawing clamorously; and one of them, going down to the couch
where Cicero lay wrapped up, by degrees removed with its beak the
covering from his face. The slaves seeing this, and considering it a
reproach to them if they should wait to be spectators of their master's
murder, while even brute beasts came to his aid and cared for him in
his unmerited misfortune, but they themselves were giving no help,
partly by entreaty, partly using force, took him up and carried him in a
litter towards the sea.

XLVIII. In the meantime the murderers with their helpers came on,
Herennius[284] a centurion, and Popilius a tribune, who had once been
prosecuted for parricide and Cicero was his advocate. Finding the doors
closed they broke them open, and as Cicero was not seen and those who
were within denied that they knew where he was, it is said that a youth
who had been brought up by Cicero in liberal studies and learning, and
was a freedman of Cicero's brother Quintus, Philologus by name, told the
tribune that the litter was being conveyed through the wooded and shady
paths to the sea. Accordingly the tribune, taking a few men with him,
ran round to the outlet. And as Herennius was running along the paths,
Cicero saw him and bade the slaves place down the litter there; and, as
his wont was, holding his chin with his left hand he looked steadily on
the murderers, being all squalid and unshorn, and his countenance wasted
by care, so that most of them covered their faces while Herennius was
killing him. He stretched his neck[285] out of the litter and was
killed, being then in his sixty-fourth year. Herennius cut off his head
and the hands, pursuant to the command of Antonius, with which he wrote
the Philippics. For Cicero himself entitled Philippics the speeches
which he wrote against Antonius, and to the present day they are called

XLIX. When the head and hands[286] were brought to Rome, Antonius
happened to be holding an election of magistrates, and when he heard the
news and saw what had been done, he called out that the proscriptions
were now at an end. He ordered the head and hands to be placed above the
Rostra on the place whence the orators spoke, a sight that made the
Romans shudder, who thought that they saw, not the face of Cicero, but
an image of the soul of Antonius. Still he showed herein one sentiment
of just dealing, for he delivered up Philologus to Pomponia the wife of
Quintus, who having got him into her power, inflicted terrible vengeance
upon him, and among other things compelled him to cut off his flesh bit
by bit, and to roast and eat it. Thus some of the historians have told
the story, but Tiro, who was Cicero's freedman, makes no mention at all
of the treachery of Philologus.[287] I have heard that Cæsar a long time
after once went to see one of his daughter's sons,[288] and as the youth
had in his hands one of Cicero's writings, he was afraid and hid it in
his vest; the which Cæsar observing took the book and read a good part
of it while he was standing, and then returning the book to the boy
said, "A wise man, my boy, a wise man and a lover of his country." As
soon as Cæsar had finally defeated Antonius, he took Cicero's son[289]
to be his colleague in the consulship, in whose magistracy the Senate
threw down the statues of Antonius and destroyed all other testimonials
in honour of him, and further decreed that no Antonius should bear the
name of Marcus. That the dæmon reserved for the family of Cicero the
final vengeance on Antonius.


I. The above is all I have been able to find out that is worth being
recorded about Demosthenes and Cicero. Without attempting to compare
their different styles of oratory, I think it necessary to remark that
Demosthenes devoted all his powers, natural and acquired, to the study
of eloquence alone, so that he surpassed all his rivals in the law
courts and public assembly in perspicuity and ability, all the writers
of declamations in splendour and pomp of diction, and all the
professional sophists in accuracy and scientific method. Cicero, on the
other hand, was a man of great learning and various literary
accomplishments. He wrote a considerable number of philosophic treatises
modelled on the works of the Academic school, and in all his forensic
and political speeches we can detect a desire to let his audience know
that he was a man of letters. In their speeches, too, we can discern the
impress of their respective characters. The eloquence of Demosthenes
never stoops to jest, and is utterly without ornament, but has a
terrible concentrated earnestness, which does not smell of the lamp, as
Pytheas sneeringly said, but which reminds us of the ungenial,
painstaking, acrimonious nature of the man: while Cicero often is
carried by his love of jesting to the verge of buffoonery, and in his
pleadings treats serious matters in a tone of most unbecoming levity and
flippancy, as in the oration for Cæcilius he argues that in an age of
such luxury and extravagance there can be nothing to wonder at if a man
takes his pleasure; for not to help oneself to the pleasures which are
within one's reach is the part of a madman, seeing that the most eminent
philosophers have declared the chief felicity of man to consist in
pleasure. It is related that when Cato prosecuted Murena, Cicero, who
was consul at the time, defended him, and cracked many jokes on Cato as
an adherent of the Stoic philosophy, and on the absurdity of the
paradoxes which it maintains. The audience, and even the judges, laughed
heartily; but Cato merely remarked to those near him, with a quiet
smile, "Gentlemen, what a witty consul we have." Cicero, indeed, seems
to have been fond of laughter and mirth, and his countenance was calm
and smiling; while that of Demosthenes always bore the marks of gloomy,
anxious thought, which caused his enemies, as he himself tells us, to
call him disagreeable and ill-natured.

II. In their speeches we may observe that Demosthenes praises himself
with great moderation, in a manner which can offend no one, and only
when he has some more important object in view, while he is usually
modest and cautious in his language; whereas Cicero's show a ridiculous
amount of egotism and craving for applause, when, he demands that "arms
shall yield to the toga, and the triumphal laurel[290] give place to his
tongue." At last he took to praising not only his own deeds, but even
his spoken and written[291] orations, as though he were engaged in some
contest with professional rhetoricians like Isokrates or Anaximenes,
rather than endeavouring to lead and reform the Roman people--

   "Savage and rude, whose sole delight
    Was with their foes to strive in fight."

A politician must of necessity be a powerful speaker, but it is a
contemptible thing for him to be too greedy and covetous of applause for
his fine speeches. Wherefore, in this respect Demosthenes appears far
graver, and of a nobler nature; for he himself declared that his
eloquence came only by practice, and depended on the favour of his
audience, and that he regarded those who boasted of their oratorical
powers as vulgar and despicable characters.

III. They were both alike in their power and influence with the people,
which caused even the commanders of armies in the field to look to them
for support; for Demosthenes was courted by Chares, Diopeithes, and
Leosthenes, as was Cicero by Pompeius and the younger Cæsar,[292] as
Cæsar himself admits in his memoirs addressed to Mæcenas and Agrippa. We
cannot judge of Demosthenes by that which is said to afford the most
certain test of a man's true character--his conduct when in power--for he
has not afforded us any opportunity of doing so, as he would not even
take the command of the confederacy which he himself organised to oppose
Philip. Now Cicero was sent to Sicily as quæstor, and to Cilicia and
Cappadocia as proconsul, at a period when the love of wealth was at its
height, and when the Roman generals and governors, thinking it beneath
them to steal money, used to resort to open robbery. It was not thought
discreditable to plunder a province, but he who did so with moderation
was esteemed as an excellent governor. Cicero on these occasions gained
great credit by the many proofs which he gave of indifference to money,
and of goodness and kindness of heart. At Rome itself also, he was
elected nominally consul, but really dictator with unlimited powers to
deal with Catilina's conspiracy, and he then proved the truth of Plato's
aphorism, that a state finds rest from its misfortunes when by good luck
a powerful and able man is found to rule it with justice. Demosthenes
again is said to have made money dishonourably by writing speeches for
other men, as in the case of the speeches with which he secretly
furnished Phormio and Apollodorus, when they were opposed to one
another. He also was suspected of receiving bribes from the King of
Persia, and was caught in the act of taking a bribe from Harpalus. Even
if we suppose these charges, supported as they are by the testimony of
so many writers, to be false, yet it is impossible to deny that
Demosthenes, who trafficked in that peculiarly discreditable form of
usury, marine insurances,[293] would not have been able to refuse a
present offered in all honour by a king, while we have already related
how Cicero refused to take money from the Sicilians when he was
quæstor,[294] and from the Cappadocians when he was proconsul, and even
from his friends, who pressed him to accept large sums when he was
exiled from Rome.

IV. Moreover, Demosthenes was exiled in great disgrace, after he had
been convicted of having received a bribe, while Cicero's banishment was
the consequence of the noblest action of his life, the ridding his
country of wicked men. Wherefore, no one could plead for Demosthenes
when he left the country, but the Senate publicly put on mourning for
Cicero, grieved for his absence, and refused to transact any business
before voting that he should be restored to Rome. Yet Cicero spent his
exile idly in Macedonia, while Demosthenes carried out an important part
of his policy while in exile; for, as has been related, he accompanied
the Athenian embassy to the various states of Greece, discomfited the
Macedonian ambassadors, and proved himself a far better citizen than
Themistokles or Alkibiades under similar circumstances: moreover, after
his restoration to Athens, he continued to pursue the same policy of
unceasing opposition to Antipater and the Macedonians, while Lælius
reproached Cicero for sitting silent in the senate-house when young
Octavius Cæsar, before his beard was grown, petitioned to be allowed to
sue for the consulship in spite of the law. Brutus also blamed him for
having fostered a greater and harsher tyranny than that which he put

V. In conclusion, we must regard the death of Cicero as most pitiable,
that an old man, through cowardice, should be carried hither and thither
by his slaves, seeking to escape death, and hiding himself from his
foes, although he could in any case have but a short time to live, and
then be murdered after all; while Demosthenes, though he did beg
somewhat for his life, must be admired for his forethought in providing
himself with the poison, and also for the use which he made of it, to
escape from the cruelty of Antipater even when surrounded by his
soldiers, and to betake himself to a greater sanctuary, as that of the
god was unable to protect him.


I. He who first compared the arts to our senses seems to me to have
especially alluded to the power which they both exhibit of dealing with
objects of completely contrary qualities. In this respect they coincide;
but they differ in respect of the use and purpose of the object of which
they take cognisance. Our senses are influenced indifferently by things
white or black, sweet or bitter, soft or hard, for the proper function
of each sense is merely to receive all these impressions and to convey
them to the mind. But the arts, which have been invented in order to
cultivate the qualities proper to their own nature and to eschew those
which are foreign to it, view some with especial favour, as partaking of
their own essence, and avoid others as mere untoward accidents. Thus the
art of medicine deals with diseases and the art of music deals with
discord merely with a view to produce their respective opposites; while
self-control, justice and wisdom, which are the most perfect of all
arts, because they decide not only what is honourable, righteous and
useful but likewise what is hurtful, shameful, and unjust, do not praise
innocency which prides itself upon inexperience of evil, but think it to
be folly and ignorance of what all who intend to live as becomes them
ought to know. The ancient Spartans at their feasts used to compel their
helots to drink a large quantity of wine, and then brought them into the
banqueting-hall, in order to show the young Spartans what drunkenness
was like. I think that to instruct one class of men by the ruin of
another is neither humane nor politic, yet I conceive that it may be
useful to insert among my Parallel Lives some examples of men who have
been careless of their own reputation, and who have used their great
place and power only to make themselves notorious for evil. The
description of such men's lives is not indeed an agreeable task, or a
pleasant mode of employing my leisure, still, as Ismenias the Theban,
when instructing his scholars how to play the flute, used to say, "Thus
you should play;" and again, "Thus you should not play," while
Antigenides even thought that the young would take more pleasure in
listening to good flute-players, if they had first heard bad ones, so I
think that we shall be more inclined both to admire and to imitate the
lives of good men, if we are well acquainted with those of bad ones.
This book, then, will contain the lives of Demetrius, surnamed the
City-taker, and of Antonius the Triumvir, men who bear signal witness to
the truth of Plato's remark, that great men have great vices as well as
great virtues. Both alike loved passionately, drank deep, and fought
bravely; both were freehanded, extravagant and arrogant. Fortune served
them both alike, not only in their lives, for each of them had great
successes and great disasters, each won great empire and lost it again,
each unexpectedly fell and rose again; but also in their deaths, as the
one was captured by his enemies, and the same fate all but befell the

II. Antigonus[295] had two sons by Stratonike the daughter of Korragus,
one of whom he named Demetrius after his brother, and the other Philip
after his father. This is the account given by most historians, though
some say that Demetrius was not the son, but the nephew, of Antigonus;
but that, as his father died while he was still an infant and his mother
at once married Antigonus, he was commonly regarded as his son. His
brother Philip, who was a few years younger than himself, died soon, but
Demetrius grew up to be a tall man, though not so tall as his father.
His face and figure were of extraordinary beauty, which baffled all the
attempts of painters and sculptors to do it justice. His expression was
at once sweet, commanding and terrible; and his countenance showed all
the eagerness and fire of youth combined with the calm dignity of a hero
and a king. In like manner his disposition was one which was equally
capable of inspiring terror or love. He was the pleasantest of
companions, more given to wine-drinking and the enjoyment of luxurious
idleness than any other king of his age, and yet he displayed remarkable
energy and persistence in action; so that he emulated the fame of the
god Dionysus,[296] being like him a famous warrior, and when the war was
over most capable of thoroughly enjoying the arts of peace.

III. He was remarkably fond of his father; and the love and respect
which he paid to his father and mother seem to have been prompted by
true affection, not by a wish to stand well with those in power. Once
when Antigonus was receiving an embassy from some foreign state,
Demetrius, who had been out hunting, came up to his father, kissed him,
and sat down beside him just as he was, with his javelins still in his
hand. When the ambassadors had transacted their business and were about
to leave his presence, Antigonus said to them in a loud voice, "And,
gentlemen, you may carry home this news about me and my son, that these
are the terms on which we live," thinking that so great a proof of his
trust in his son's loyalty would add considerable strength to his
throne. So much mistrust and suspicion is bred by absolute power, and so
hard a thing is it for a king to have a companion, that the eldest and
greatest of the successors of Alexander publicly boasted that he was not
afraid to have his own son sitting by his side with a spear in his hand.
Indeed, this was the only royal family which through many generations
remained unpolluted by this species of crime, for of all the successors
of Antigonus only one, Philip, assassinated his son. All the records of
other dynasties are full of murders of sons, mothers and wives; for the
murder of brothers had grown to be considered, like an axiom in
mathematics, as a necessary precaution to be taken by all kings on
ascending to the throne.

IV. The following anecdote seems to prove that Demetrius when young was
of a kind and loving nature.

Mithridates, the son of Ariobarzanes, was his friend and companion, and
was a good subject of Antigonus, of thorough and unsuspected loyalty,
but at length incurred the suspicion of Antigonus in consequence of a
dream. Antigonus dreamed that he walked over a large and fair plain,
sowing it with gold dust; and that shortly afterwards, returning that
way again, he found nothing but stubble left. While grieving over this
he heard some men say that Mithridates had gone away to Pontus on the
Euxine, after having gathered the golden harvest. Antigonus was much
disturbed at this vision, and after having compelled his son to swear
that he would keep silence about it, told him of the vision, and added
that he had made up his mind to make away with the man. Demetrius was
greatly grieved at hearing this, and when the young man, as he was wont
to do, again joined him, and spent the day with him, Demetrius dared not
tell him by word of mouth what danger he was in, because of the oath;
but he drew him aside into a quiet place, and there, as soon as they
were alone together, he wrote on the ground with the but-end of his
spear, in sight of the other, the words "Fly, Mithridates!" Mithridates
understood his meaning, and ran away that very night to Cappadocia. Not
long afterwards, he showed Antigonus what was the real meaning of his
dream; for he made himself master of an extensive territory, and became
the founder of the dynasty of the kings of Pontus, which was overthrown
by the Romans in about the eighth generation after him. By this example
we may perceive the noble and loyal nature of Demetrius.

V. As the elements, because of their mutual attraction and repulsion,
are, according to Empedokles, always at variance with one another, and
especially with those with which they happen to be in contact, so, while
all the successors of Alexander were always at war, circumstances from
time to time caused hostilities between two or more of them to take an
especially active form. At this time Antigonus was at war with Ptolemy,
and, hearing that Ptolemy had left the island of Cyprus, had landed in
Syria and was ravaging that country, he himself remained in Phrygia, but
sent his son Demetrius to oppose him. Demetrius was now two and twenty
years of age, and was now for the first time entrusted with the sole
management of an important campaign. As might be expected of so young
and untried a commander, when pitted against a man trained to war under
Alexander, and who had since his death waged many wars with success,
Demetrius was defeated near the city of Gaza with a loss of fifteen
thousand killed and eight thousand prisoners. He also lost his own tent,
his property, and all his personal attendants. These, however, were
restored to him, with all his captured friends, by Ptolemy, who sent him
a kindly-worded message to the effect that they ought not to fight as
mortal foes, but only for honour and empire.

Demetrius, after receiving this message and his property, prayed to the
gods that he might not long remain in Ptolemy's debt, but that he might
soon recompense him in like manner. He did not behave himself like a
youth who has received a check at the outset of his first campaign, but
repaired his failure like an old and wary commander, enrolling fresh
soldiers, providing new supplies of arms, keeping a firm hold over the
cities near him and carefully drilling his new levies.

VI. Antigonus when he heard of the defeat remarked that Ptolemy had
conquered beardless boys, but that he would have to fight his next
battle with grown men. He yielded however to his son's entreaty to be
allowed to repair his fault by himself, and, as he did not wish to damp
his spirits, left him in sole command. Soon after this Killes, Ptolemy's
lieutenant, arrived in Syria with a large force, meaning to chase
Demetrius, whom he supposed to be disheartened by his defeat, quite out
of Syria. But Demetrius by a sudden attack surprised his army and struck
it with panic. He captured the enemy's camp and their general, and took
eight thousand prisoners and a great quantity of booty. He was overjoyed
at this, not because he meant to keep what he had won, but to give it
back, and did not so much value the glory and wealth which he had gained
as the opportunity now offered him for repaying the courtesy of Ptolemy.
He did not presume to do this on his own responsibility, but wrote
first to his father. On receiving permission from him to deal as he
pleased with the fruits of his victory, he gave costly presents to
Killes and his friends, and sent them back to Ptolemy. This battle
forced Ptolemy to retire from Syria, and brought Antigonus from Kelænæ
rejoicing at the victory and eager to see his son.

VII. After this Demetrius was sent to subdue the Nabathean Arabs, in
performing which service he incurred great danger by journeying through
waterless deserts; but his intrepid courage overawed the barbarians, and
he returned loaded with plunder, having captured seven hundred camels.

Seleukus had once lost his capital city, Babylon, which Antigonus took
from him; but he had since recovered it by his own arms, and at this
time was marching with an army to attempt the conquest of the nations
bordering upon India, and the provinces near mount Caucasus. Demetrius,
hoping that he might find Mesopotamia in a defenceless condition,
suddenly crossed the Euphrates, took Babylon by surprise, and made
himself master of one of its two citadels, driving out the garrison
placed there by Seleukus. Demetrius placed seven thousand of his own
troops in the citadel, ordered his troops to enrich themselves by the
plunder of the surrounding country, and then returned to the sea-coast,
leaving Seleukus more firmly established on his throne than before; for
by plundering the country he seemed to admit that he had no claim to it.
As Ptolemy was now besieging Halikarnassus, he quickly marched thither
and succeeded in saving the city.

VIII. As the glory which he won by this action was very great, he and
his father Antigonus conceived a strong desire to liberate the whole of
Greece from the tyranny of Ptolemy and Kassander. None of the successors
of Alexander ever waged a more just or honourable war than this; for
Demetrius and Antigonus, to gain themselves honour by freeing the
Greeks, spent upon them the treasure which they had won in their
victories over the barbarians. They determined first of all to attack
Athens, and when one of the friends of Antigonus advised him, if he
captured that city, to keep it in his own hands because it was the key
of Greece, Antigonus replied that the best key to a country was the
goodwill of its people, and that Athens was the watch-tower of the
world, from whence the glory of his deeds should shine like a
beacon-light to all mankind.

Demetrius now set sail for Athens with five thousand talents of silver,
and a fleet of two hundred and fifty vessels. At this time Demetrius of
Phalerum governed the city as Kassander's lieutenant, and a garrison was
placed in Munychia. By good fortune and good management the fleet
arrived on the twenty-fifth day of the month Thargelion, without anyone
being aware of its coming. When the ships were seen, they were thought
to form part of Ptolemy's fleet, and preparations were made to give them
a friendly reception. At last the officers in command discovered their
mistake, and a scene of great confusion ensued, as they hastily made
preparations to resist the enemy, who were already in the act of
disembarking; for Demetrius, finding the mouths of the harbours open,
sailed straight in, and could be seen distinctly by all standing on the
deck of the ship, and making signs to the Athenians to be quiet and keep
silence. When this was done, he bade a herald proclaim that his father
Antigonus had sent him thither in an auspicious hour to liberate the
Athenians, drive out their Macedonian garrison, and restore to them
their own laws and ancient constitution.

IX. Upon hearing this proclamation the greater part of the people laid
down their shields at their feet, clapped their hands, and shouted to
Demetrius to come ashore, calling him their saviour and benefactor;
while Demetrius of Phalerum thought it necessary to admit so powerful a
man to the city, even though he might have no intention of performing
any of his promises. He therefore sent ambassadors to make their
submission. Demetrius received them graciously and sent back with them
Aristodemus of Miletus, one of his father's friends. As the Phalerean,
in consequence of this sudden turn of fortune, was more afraid of his
own countrymen than of the enemy, Demetrius, who admired his courage and
public spirit, took care to have him conveyed in safety to Thebes, to
which town he himself wished to go. Demetrius himself now declared that,
although he was very eager to view the city, he would not do so until
he had completely set it free and expelled its garrison. He therefore
surrounded Munychia with a ditch and rampart, cutting it off from the
rest of the city, and then sailed to attack Megara, which town was held
by a garrison of Kassander's troops.

As he heard that Kratesipolis, the wife of Alexander the son of
Polysperchon, a celebrated beauty, was at Patræ, and was not unwilling
to grant him an interview, he left his army encamped in the territory of
Megara and proceeded thither with only a few lightly equipped followers.
When he was near the place, he pitched his own tent apart from his men,
that the lady might not be seen when she came to visit him. Some of the
enemy discovered this, and made a sudden attack upon him. He only
escaped by putting on a mean cloak and running away alone; so that his
licentiousness very nearly exposed him to ignominious capture. When
Megara was taken the soldiers were about to plunder the city, but the
Athenians with great difficulty prevailed upon Demetrius to spare it. He
drove out the Macedonian garrison and made the city independent. While
he was doing this he remembered Stilpon the philosopher, who was reputed
to have chosen for himself a life of retirement and study. Demetrius
sent for him, and inquired whether anything had been stolen from him.
"Nothing," replied Stilpon. "I saw no one taking away any knowledge."
As, however, nearly all the slaves were stolen, after Demetrius had
talked graciously to Stilpon and at length dismissed him with the words,
"My Stilpon, I leave you a free city;" "Quite true," replied Stilpon,
"for you have not left us a single slave."

X. Demetrius now returned to Munychia, encamped before it, dislodged the
garrison, and demolished the fort. And now at the invitation of the
Athenians he proceeded into the city, where he assembled the people and
re-established the ancient constitution. He also promised that his
father Antigonus would send them one hundred and fifty thousand bushels
of wheat and timber enough to build a fleet of one hundred ships of war.
Thus did the Athenians recover their democratic constitution fifteen
years after it had been dissolved; for during the period between the
Lamian war and the battle of Krannon their government had nominally been
an oligarchy, but practically had been a despotism, on account of the
great power of Demetrius of Phalerum.

The benefits which Demetrius conferred upon the Athenians rendered him
indeed great and glorious; but they rendered his fame invidious by the
extravagant honours which they conferred upon him. They were the first
of all men who bestowed upon Antigonus and Demetrius the title of Kings,
a name which they greatly disliked because of its association, and which
moreover belonged at that time in an especial manner to the descendants
of Philip and Alexander, being the only one of their ensigns of royalty
which had not been adopted by other princes. The Athenians too were the
only people who styled Antigonus and Demetrius their saviour gods, and
they even abolished the ancient office of the archon from whom the year
received its name, and elected in his place every year a priest to
minister at the altar of the saviour gods. They also decreed that their
images should be woven into the sacred peplus of Athena,[297] with those
of the gods. They consecrated the spot where Demetrius first set his
foot on the ground when he alighted from his chariot, and built an altar
upon it which was called the altar of "The Descending Demetrius." They
added two to the number of their tribes, and called them Demetrias and
Antigonis; and consequently they raised the number of the senators from
five to six hundred, because each tribe supplied it with fifty members.

XI. But the most outrageous of these devices of Stratokles, for it was
he who invented all these new extravagancies of adulation, was a decree
that ambassadors sent to Antigonus or to Demetrius should wear the same
holy title which had hitherto been given to the envoys who conducted the
public sacrifices to the great festivals at Olympia and at Delphi.
Indeed, in all other respects Stratokles was a man of shameless
effrontery and debauched life, who appeared to imitate the scurrility of
Kleon in ancient times by the reckless contempt with which he treated
the people. He publicly kept a courtesan named Phylakion; and one day
when she had bought some necks and brains in the market, he said to her,
"Why, you have bought us the same things for dinner which we politicians
play at ball with."

When the Athenians were defeated in the great sea-fight at Amorgos, he
reached Athens before the news of the disaster, and drove though the
Kerameikus with a garland on his head, telling all the people that a
victory had been won. He decreed a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and had
meat publicly distributed among the tribes for entertainments. Shortly
afterwards the scattered ships began to arrive, coming home as well as
they could after the defeat. When the people angrily turned upon him,
resenting the trick which he had played them, he met their clamour with
the utmost impudence, and said, "What harm have I done you, in giving
you two days of happiness?" Such was the audacity of Stratokles.

XII. There were, however, other marks of servility, "hotter than fire,"
as Aristophanes calls it. One Athenian surpassed Stratokles himself by
passing a decree that Demetrius, whenever he visited Athens, should be
received with the same divine honours which were paid to Demeter and
Dionysius, and that money should be granted from the public treasury to
the person who should celebrate the festival of the reception with the
greatest magnificence, in order that with it he might erect some
memorial of his success. At last the name of the month Munychion was
changed to Demetrion, and the first day of it named Demetrias, while the
name of the festival of the Dionysia was changed to Demetria.

Most of these acts produced manifest signs of the displeasure of the
gods. The peplus, upon which, according to the decree, the images of
Zeus and Athena were woven together with those of Antigonus and
Demetrius, was rent in two by a violent gust of wind as it was being
conveyed in procession through the Kerameikus, while a great quantity of
hemlock grew up round the altars which were erected in their honour,
although it was not a common plant in the neighbourhood. On the day of
the festival of Dionysius the procession was put a stop to by excessive
cold, which came entirely out of season, and a severe frost not only
destroyed all the fig-trees and vines, but even cut off a great part of
the corn in the blade. In consequence of this, Philippides, who was an
enemy of Stratokles, made the following allusion to him in one of his

   "Who was it caused the peplus to be rent?
      Who was it caused the frost to blight our vines?
    The wretch, who worships mortals like to gods,
      His crimes destroy us, not my harmless rhymes?"

This Philippides was a friend of Lysimachus, who for his sake conferred
many benefits on the Athenians. Lysimachus imagined that the sight of
Philippides before any campaign or expedition was a certain omen of good
luck; while Philippides was beloved by him on other grounds, because he
gave no trouble and never veiled his thoughts in courtly periphrases.
Once Lysimachus, meaning to be very civil to him said, "Philippides,
which of my possessions shall I bestow upon you?" "Whichever you
please," answered he, "except your secrets." I have mentioned these
incidents in the life of Philippides, in order to mark the distinction
between the comic poet and the mob-orator.

XIII. The most extraordinary of all the honours conferred upon Demetrius
was the proposal made by Demokleides of Sphettus to go and ask for an
oracular response from him about the consecration of the shields at
Delphi. I will write down the exact words of the law as it was proposed.
"In a happy hour the people decree that one man shall be chosen from the
citizens of Athens, who shall go to our saviour, and after he has done
sacrifice unto him, shall ask Demetrius, our saviour, in what manner the
people may, with greatest holiness and without delay, make consecration
of their offerings; and whatever oracle it shall please him to give
them, the people shall perform it." By this absurd flattery the
intellect of Demetrius, at no time very powerful, was thrown completely
off its balance.

XIV. While he was living at Athens he married Eurydike, a descendant of
the ancient hero Miltiades, who was the widow of Opheltas, King of
Cyrene, and had returned to Athens after her husband's death. The
Athenians were greatly delighted at this marriage, which they regarded
as an honour to their city; though Demetrius made no sort of difficulty
about marriage, and had many wives at the same time. The chief of his
wives, and the one whom he most respected, was Phila, the daughter of
Antipater, and the widow of Kraterus, who was the most popular with the
Macedonians of all the successors of Alexander during his life, and the
most lamented by them after his death. Demetrius when very young was
forced by his father to marry this woman, who was too old to be a
suitable match for him. It is said that when Demetrius expressed his
unwillingness to marry her, his father whispered in his ear the line of

   "To gain a fortune, marriage must be dared."

substituting the word "marriage" for "bondage," which occurs in the
original. However, the respect which Demetrius paid to her and to his
other wives did not prevent his intriguing with various courtesans and
mistresses, but he had a worse reputation in this respect than any other
king of his age.

XV. His father now ordered him to proceed to Cyprus, and to attack
Ptolemy, who was in possession of that island. He was forced to obey
this summons, but as he was very unwilling to desist from the war in
defence of the liberties of Greece, a much more noble and glorious
struggle, he first endeavoured to bribe Ptolemy's lieutenant in command
of the garrison of Sikyon and Corinth to evacuate those cities and
render them independent. As this attempt failed he quickly set sail,
collected a large force, and proceeded to Cyprus. Here he fought a
battle with Menelaus, Ptolemy's brother, and at once defeated him.
Shortly afterwards Ptolemy himself came to Cyprus with an immense fleet
and army. The two commanders now interchanged messages of scornful
defiance. Ptolemy bade Demetrius put to sea before his own host
assembled and overwhelmed him, while Demetrius offered to permit
Ptolemy to withdraw from Cyprus on condition that he would give up
Corinth and Sikyon. The battle which ensued was one of the deepest
interest, not merely to the combatants themselves, but to all the other
princes, since its issue would determine not only the fate of Cyprus and
Syria, but would at once render the victor the most powerful man in all
the world.

XVI. Ptolemy advanced with a fleet of one hundred and fifty sail, and
ordered Menelaus, when the battle was at its hottest, to sally out from
Salamis with his sixty ships and throw the fleet of Demetrius into
disorder by attacking it in the rear. Demetrius sent ten ships to oppose
these sixty, for the mouth of the harbour (of Salamis) was so narrow
that this number sufficed to close it. He himself now got his land force
under arms, disposed it upon several neighbouring promontories, and put
to sea with one hundred and eighty ships. He bore straight down upon the
enemy's fleet, and completely defeated it. Ptolemy himself, when all was
lost, escaped with only eight ships, the sole survivors of his fleet.
All the rest were sunk, except seventy which were captured with their
crews on board. All his numerous train of servants, friends and wives,
all his arms, money and military engines, which were stationed near the
fleet in transports, were captured by Demetrius, who at once conveyed
them to his own camp.

Among the spoil was the celebrated Lamia, who had at first been brought
into notice by her musical skill, for she was an admirable flute-player,
and who had afterwards become notorious by her amours. Her beauty was at
this time somewhat faded, yet, although Demetrius was much younger than
herself, she so fascinated and enslaved him by her charms, that, though
many other women wished for his love, he cared only for her.

After the sea-fight, Menelaus held out no longer, but surrendered
Salamis to Demetrius, with all his ships, and a land army of twelve
hundred cavalry and twelve thousand heavy-armed infantry.

XVII. Demetrius added to the glory of this brilliant victory by his
generous and humane conduct in burying the enemy's dead with great
honour, and in setting free all his prisoners. He sent a present to the
Athenians of twelve hundred complete suits of armour from the spoils
which he had taken. He also sent Aristodemus of Miletus to bear the news
of the victory to his father. Of all his courtiers, this man was the
boldest flatterer, and on this occasion he surpassed himself. After his
passage from Cyprus, he would not allow his ship to approach the land,
but cast anchor, bade all the crew remain on board, and himself rowed
ashore in a small boat. He now walked up to the palace of Antigonus, who
was in a state of great excitement and impatience to learn the issue of
the battle, as may easily be imagined, considering the importance of the
stake. When he heard that Aristodemus was come, his anxiety reached its
highest pitch. He could scarcely keep himself indoors, and sent
messenger after messenger, both servants and his own friends, to learn
from Aristodemus what had taken place. Aristodemus returned no answer to
any of them, but walked leisurely on with immovable countenance.
Antigonus could bear the suspense no longer, but came to the door of his
palace to meet Aristodemus, who was now accompanied by a large crowd.
When he came near, he stretched forth his right hand, and in a loud
voice exclaimed, "Hail, King Antigonus. We have defeated Ptolemy in a
sea-fight. We are masters of Cyprus, and have taken sixteen thousand
eight hundred prisoners." To this Antigonus answered, "Hail to you,
also; but you shall pay the penalty of having tortured us so long: you
shall wait long before you receive the reward for your good news."

XVIII. After this success, the people for the first time saluted
Antigonus and Demetrius with the title of kings. The friends of
Antigonus at once placed a diadem upon his head, and he sent one to
Demetrius, with a letter in which he addressed him as king. The
Egyptians, when they heard of this, also proclaimed Ptolemy king, that
they might not appear to be dispirited by their defeat. Their example
was soon followed by the other successors of Alexander, out of rivalry,
for Lysimachus and Seleukus now began to wear the diadem in the presence
of Greeks, though Seleukus had long before adopted the royal style in
his dealings with Asiatics. Kassander, however, although every one both
in interviews and letters addressed him as king, never used the title in
his own letters, but signed them simply with his own name as he had been
wont to do.

The assumption of this title produced more important results than a mere
empty change of name and style. It caused its bearers to be more exalted
in their ideas, more extensive in their ambition, and more pompous and
stately in their demeanour, just as actors when they put on royal robes
adopt also the lofty port and the haughty voice and carriage of a king.
They also became more severe in their administration of justice, because
they now laid aside that dissimulation by which they had hitherto
concealed their power, and which had rendered them so much more lenient
and gentle in their treatment of their subjects. So great was the power
of the voice of one flatterer, and such great changes did it effect in
the entire world.

XIX. Antigonus, elated by the successes of Demetrius at Cyprus, at once
marched to attack Ptolemy. He himself led the land force, while
Demetrius accompanied him along the coast with an enormous fleet. But
Medius, a friend of Antigonus, was warned in a dream of what was
destined to be the issue of the campaign. He dreamed that Antigonus with
all his army was running a race in the circus. At first he appeared to
be running strongly and fast, but soon his strength seemed to be ebbing
away, and at last when he turned round the extreme point of the course
and began to return, he was so weak and out of breath that he could
hardly recover himself.

Indeed Antigonus by land met with many disasters, while Demetrius at sea
met with a terrible storm, and narrowly escaped being driven ashore upon
an iron-bound coast. He lost many ships, and returned without having
accomplished anything. Antigonus was now very near eighty years of age,
and was incapacitated for active service by his size and unwieldiness
rather than by his age. He consequently entrusted the management of the
war to Demetrius, who had already by his good fortune and skill
conducted several most important campaigns with success.

Antigonus was not alarmed at his amours, his extravagancies, or his
carousals, for he knew that, although in time of peace Demetrius used to
indulge unrestrainedly in these pleasures, yet that in war he was as
sober as though it were natural to him to be so. It is said that, in
allusion to the empire which Lamia had now gained over Demetrius, once
when he affectionately embraced his father on his return from a journey,
Antigonus said, "My boy, you seem to think that you are caressing
Lamia." Another time, when Demetrius spent several days in drinking, and
excused himself by saying that he had been laid up with a severe cold,
Antigonus answered, "So I understood, but was the cold Chian or
Thasian?" Once Antigonus heard that Demetrius had a fever, and went to
see him. At the door he met one of his favourites coming out. He went
in, sat down by his bedside, and took him by the hand. When Demetrius
said that the fever had just left him, Antigonus answered, "Yes, I met
it just now at the door." So gently did he deal with the vices of
Demetrius, because of his many other good qualities. The Scythians have
a custom of twanging their bows while they are drinking and carousing,
as though to recall their courage while it is melting away in pleasure;
but Demetrius used to give up his whole thoughts at one time to
pleasure, and at another to serious work, concentrating his entire
attention upon the matter in hand, so that his amusements never
interfered with his preparations for war.

XX. He appears indeed to have been better able to make preparations for
war than to use them, for he always liked to be more than sufficiently
provided with stores of every kind, and always wished to construct
larger ships, and more powerful battering engines, in the working of
which he took an especial delight. He was intelligent and clever, and
did not waste his mechanical ingenuity in mere pastime, like other
princes, who have amused themselves by playing on the flute, painting,
or working in metal. Æropus, king of Macedonia, used to employ his
leisure time in making little tables and lamps; while Attalus, surnamed
Philometor, amused himself by cultivating poisonous herbs, not merely
hyoscyamus and hellebore, but even hemlock, aconite and dorycnium.[298]
These he used to plant and tend with his own hands in the royal gardens,
and made it his business to know their various juices and fruit, and to
gather it in due season. The kings of Parthia, too, used to pride
themselves upon sharpening the points of their own javelins. But the
mechanics of Demetrius were always upon a royal scale, and his engines
were of enormous size, showing by their admirable and ingenious
construction the grand ideas of their inventor; for they appeared worthy
not only of the genius and wealth, but of the hand of a king. Their size
astonished his friends, while their beauty charmed even his enemies, and
this praise is far from being as exaggerated as it sounds; for his
enemies actually stood in crowds along the sea-shore to admire his ships
of fifteen and sixteen banks of oars, while his "city-takers"[299] were
regarded as wonders even by the towns against which they were employed,
as we may see in a notable example. Lysimachus, who of all the kings of
his time was the bitterest enemy of Demetrius, when he was endeavouring
to force Demetrius to raise the siege of Soli in Cilicia, sent a message
to him asking to be allowed to see his siege engines and his ships of
war. Demetrius indulged his curiosity, and after viewing them he retired
home. The Rhodians also, after they had stood a long siege, when they
came to terms with Demetrius, begged for some of his machines, which
they wished to keep both as a memorial of his power and of their own

XXI. Demetrius went to war with the Rhodians because they were the
allies of Ptolemy, and brought up to their walls his largest
"city-taker," a machine with a square base, each side of which measured
eight-and-forty cubits at the bottom. It was sixty-six cubits in height,
and its upper part was much narrower than the base. Within, it was
divided into many separate storeys and chambers, with windows on each
storey opening towards the enemy, through which missiles of every kind
could be shot, as it was full of soldiers armed with every kind of
weapon. It never shook nor trembled, but rolled steadily onwards,
upright and firm, with a regular, equable motion, which filled all
spectators with terror and delight. Two steel corslets were brought from
Cyprus for Demetrius to use in this war, each of which weighed forty
minæ.[300] The maker, Zoilus, in order to show their strength and power
of resisting a blow, bade Demetrius shoot a dart out of a catapult at
one of them at a distance of twenty paces. Where it struck, the iron
remained unbroken, and only showed a trifling scratch, such as might be
made by a stilus, or iron pen for writing on wax. This corslet Demetrius
wore himself. He gave the other to Alkimus of Epirus, the bravest and
most warlike man in all his army, who wore a suit of armour weighing two
talents,[301] while that of all the rest weighed only one talent. This
man fell during the siege of Rhodes, in a battle near the theatre.

XXII. The Rhodians defended themselves with great spirit, and Demetrius
was unable to accomplish anything against them; but he still continued
the siege out of anger, because they had captured a ship in which his
wife Phila had sent him letters, clothes and bedding, and had sent it at
once to Ptolemy, just as it was. In this they were far from imitating
the courtesy of the Athenians, who, when Philip was at war with them,
captured a messenger and read all the letters which he carried except
one written by Olympias, which they did not open, but sent it on to him
with the seal unbroken. However, although Demetrius was much nettled by
the conduct of the Rhodians, he did not stoop to retaliation upon them,
although he soon had an opportunity of doing so. Protogenes of Kaunus
happened at that time to be painting a picture of Ialysus[302] for the
Rhodians, and Demetrius found the picture very nearly completed in one
of the suburbs of the city. The Rhodians sent a herald and begged him
to spare the work, and not destroy it, to which he answered, that he
would rather burn his father's statues than such a precious work of art.
Apelles tells us that when he saw this picture, the sight at first took
away his breath; and that at last he said, "Indeed this is a wonderful
piece of work, and must have cost great labour." Yet it has not that
grace which gives so divine a charm to the works of Apelles himself.
This picture shared the common lot of all Greek works of art, being
taken to Rome, where it was destroyed by fire. As the Rhodians gallantly
held their own in the war, Demetrius became weary of the siege, and
gladly accepted the offer of the Athenians to act as mediators. They
made peace between them on condition that the Rhodians should act as the
allies of Antigonus and Demetrius, except against Ptolemy.

XXIII. The Athenians now invited Demetrius to come to their aid, as
Kassander was besieging Athens. Demetrius arrived with three hundred and
thirty ships, and a large land force. He not only drove Kassander out of
Attica, but pursued him as far as Thermopylæ, where he defeated him in a
battle, and gained possession of the city of Heraklea, which voluntarily
surrendered to him. A body of six thousand Macedonians also deserted
from Kassander and joined him. On his return he freed the Greeks south
of Thermopylæ from Macedonian domination, formed an alliance with the
Boeotians and took Kenchreæ. He destroyed the forts at Phyle and
Panaktum in Attica, which had been garrisoned by Kassander's troops, and
restored them to the Athenians. They, although they appeared to have
exhausted every possible form of adulation during his former visit, yet
contrived to flatter him by the invention of fresh honours. They
assigned the interior of the Parthenon to him for his lodging; and there
he dwelt with the title of "the guest of Athena," though he was a very
ill-behaved guest to be quartered in the house of a virgin goddess. Yet
once, when his father heard that his brother Philip was staying in a
house where there were three young women, he said nothing to Philip, but
in his presence sent for the quartermaster and said to him, "Will you
be so good as to find some less crowded quarters for my son."

XXIV. Demetrius, however, without paying the least respect to Athena,
although he was wont to call her his elder sister, filled the Acropolis
with such a series of outrages on well-born youths and women of the
upper classes that the place became comparatively decent when he
contented himself with holding an orgie in the society of the celebrated
courtesans, Chrysis, Lamia, Demo and Antikyra. For the sake of the city
I will say no more about his other debaucheries, but I cannot refrain
from mentioning the virtue and chastity shown by Demokles. He was very
young, and his beauty did not escape the notice of Demetrius; indeed his
nickname betrayed him, for he was always spoken of as Demokles the
Handsome. He turned a deaf ear to all advances, presents, or threats,
and at last ceased to frequent the gymnasium and the palæstra, and used
only a private bath. Demetrius watched his opportunity, and surprised
him there alone. The boy, when he saw that he was caught where no one
could help him, rather than suffer violence, took off the lid of the
copper, leaped into the boiling water, and destroyed himself. He
deserved a better fate, but the spirit which prompted the act was worthy
of his country and of his beauty, and was very different to that of
Kleaenetus the son of Kleomedon, who, when his father was condemned to
pay a fine of fifty talents, obtained a remission of it from Demetrius,
and showed a letter from Demetrius to the Athenian people signifying his
pleasure in the matter; by which conduct Kleaenetus not only disgraced
himself, but threw the whole city into a ferment. Kleomedon's fine was
remitted, but the people decreed that no citizen should ever again bring
them a letter from Demetrius. However, as Demetrius was greatly incensed
at this, and did not conceal his displeasure, the Athenians in terror
not only reversed the decree, but put to death some of those who had
advocated it, and banished others. Moreover, they actually decreed that
"the entire people of Athens should regard anything which King Demetrius
might be pleased to command as both righteous in respect of the gods,
and legal as regards men." When one of the better class of citizens
observed that Stratokles must be mad to propose such a decree,
Demochares[303] of Leukonoe answered "He would be mad not to be
mad,"[304] for Stratokles made a great fortune by his flattery of
Demetrius. This speech was reported to Stratokles, and Demochares was
forced to go into exile. Such was the conduct of the Athenians when they
were relieved of their Macedonian garrison and were thought to have
become a free people.

XXV. Demetrius now proceeded to Peloponnesus, where he met with no
resistance, as the enemy fled before him, and surrendered their cities
to him. He made himself master of the district known as Akte, and of the
whole of Arcadia, except Mantinea, while he set free Argos, Sikyon and
Corinth, by bribing their garrisons to evacuate them with a hundred
talents. At Argos he acted as president of the games at the festival of
Hera, which took place whilst he was there. On this occasion he held a
solemn assembly of all the Greeks, and publicly married Deidameia, a
daughter of Æakides, king of the Molossi, and sister of Pyrrhus. He
remarked to the people of Sikyon that they lived out of their proper
city, and prevailed upon them to remove to the spot which they now
inhabit. He changed the name as well as the situation of the city, and
instead of Sikyon named it Demetrias.

At a largely attended meeting held at the Isthmus, Demetrius was
proclaimed chief of Greece, as Philip and Alexander had been in former
days; though Demetrius considered himself to be not a little superior to
either of them, being elated by his good fortune and the immense force
at his disposal. Alexander never deprived a king of his title, nor did
he ever call himself king of kings, though he raised many to the dignity
and style of kings; but Demetrius scoffed at those who called any one
king, except himself and his father, and was much pleased at his
carousals to hear toasts drunk to the health of Demetrius the King,
Seleukus the Commander of the Elephants, Ptolemy the Admiral,
Lysimachus the Treasurer, and Agathokles of Sicily the Lord of the
Isles. The other princes laughed at these sallies of Demetrius, and only
Lysimachus was angry that Demetrius should think him a eunuch; for it
was a pretty general custom to appoint eunuchs to the post of treasurer.
Indeed Lysimachus hated him more bitterly than all of the rest, and,
sneering at his passion for Lamia, used to declare that he had never
before seen a whore act in a tragedy: to which Demetrius retorted that
his whore was a more respectable woman than Lysimachus's Penelope.

XXVI. Demetrius now set out for Athens, and sent a letter to the
Athenians informing them that he desired to be initiated, and that he
wished to go through the whole course, including both the lesser and the
greater mysteries. This is not lawful, and never took place before, as
the minor initiation used to take place in the month Anthesterion, and
the greater in Boedromion. When the letter was read, no one ventured to
offer any opposition except Pythodorus the torchbearer,[305] and he
effected nothing; for, at the instance of Stratokles, the Athenians
decreed that the month Munychion should be called Anthesterion, and in
it celebrated the mysteries of Demeter which are held at Agræ.[306]
After this the name of the month Munychion was changed again from
Anthesterion to Boedromion, and Demetrius was admitted to the second
degree, and allowed the privileges of an "epoptes." In allusion to this
Philippides rails at Stratokles in his verses as the man

   "Who crowds into one month the entire year."

And, in allusion to the lodging of Demetrius in the Parthenon, he wrote

   "Who treats Acropolis as t'were an inn
    And makes the Virgin's shrine a house of sin."

XXVII. But of all the outrages and illegal acts of which Demetrius was
guilty at this period, nothing seems to have enraged the Athenians so
much as his ordering them speedily to levy a sum of two hundred and
fifty talents, which, when it had been raised by a most harsh and
pitiless series of exactions, was publicly presented by Demetrius to
Lamia and her sisterhood to furnish their toilet-tables. It was the
disgrace of the whole business and the scorn which it brought upon them,
which stung them to the quick, more than the loss of the money. Some
writers say that it was the people of Thessaly, not the Athenians, whom
he treated in this manner. However, besides this, Lamia extorted money
from many citizens on pretence of providing a supper for the king. This
supper was so famous on account of the enormous sum which it cost, that
a history of it was written by Lynkeus of Samos. For this reason one of
the comic poets very cleverly called Lamia a "city-taker." Demochares of
Soli called Demetrius himself "Mythus," or "Fable," because he too had
his Lamia.[307]

Indeed the passion of Demetrius for Lamia caused not only his wives but
his friends to dislike her and be jealous of her. Some of them went on
an embassy to Lysimachus, and he when at leisure showed them on his
thighs and arms the scars of deep wounds caused by a lion's claws,
telling them of how King Alexander had fastened him in the same cage
with the beast, and the battle he had fought with it. On hearing this
they laughingly said that their master also frequently showed upon his
neck the marks of a savage beast called Lamia, which he kept. The wonder
was that Demetrius, who had objected to Phila as being past her first
youth, should yet be so captivated by Lamia, who was now far advanced in
years. Once when Lamia was playing on the flute at a banquet, Demetrius
asked the courtesan Demo, who was surnamed Mania, what she thought of
her. "I think her an old woman, my king," replied she. Again when the
sweetmeats were placed on the table, Demetrius said to Demo, "Do you see
what fine things Lamia sends me?" "My mother," answered Demo, "will send
you many more if only you will sleep with her." A saying of Lamia's
about the well-known judgment of Bocchoris has been recorded. A certain
Egyptian became enamoured of the courtesan Thonis, but she set too high
a price upon her favours for him. Afterwards he dreamed that he had
enjoyed her, and his passion for her cooled. Upon this Thonis sued him
in court for the money, and Bocchoris, having heard the case argued,
ordered the man to place the exact sum which she demanded in a glass
vessel, and to wave it backwards and forwards while she clutched at the
shadow, because the young man's dream had been a shadow of the
reality.[308] Lamia said that she did not think this decision a just
one, because the woman's desire for the gold was not satisfied by the
shadow, as the young man's passion had been by his dream.

XXVIII. But now the fortunes and deeds of the subject of our narrative
force us to pass from a comic to a tragic scene, for all the other kings
conspired against Antigonus, and united their forces together. Demetrius
hereupon sailed away from Greece and joined his father, who was making
wonderful exertions for a man of his age, and who was greatly encouraged
by his son's arrival. Yet it appears as though Antigonus, if only he
would have made some small concessions and restrained his excessive love
of power, might have enjoyed his supreme dignity to the end of his life,
and might have bequeathed to his son his position of chief of all the
successors of Alexander. Being, however, by nature haughty and
disdainful, and even harsher in word than in deed, he alienated from
himself and exasperated many young and powerful men; and even now he
boasted that he would scatter the confederacy by which he was menaced as
easily as a man scares a flock of birds away from a field. He took the
field with more than seventy thousand infantry, ten thousand cavalry,
and seventy-five elephants, while his enemies' army numbered sixty-four
thousand infantry, five hundred more cavalry than his own, four hundred
elephants, and one hundred and twenty war-chariots. When they drew near
he became less hopeful rather than less determined. He was always wont
to show a lofty and boastful spirit in the hour of danger, speaking in a
loud tone, using confident language, and after making some jest when in
the presence of the enemy, to show his own assurance of success and
contempt for his opponents. Now, however, he was thoughtful and silent,
and presented his son to the army as his successor. But what astonished
every one most of all was that he held council with Demetrius alone in
the tent, although he never before had shared his secret thoughts even
with his son, but had always privately formed his own plans, and
publicly carried them out on his own responsibility. It is said that
Demetrius, when still very young, once asked him at what hour he
proposed to march, to which Antigonus angrily answered, "Do you fear,
that you alone will not hear the sound of the trumpet?"

XXIX. On this occasion it appears that they were also disheartened by
sinister omens. Demetrius dreamed that Alexander appeared before him in
shining armour, and inquired what would be their watchword for the
battle. When Demetrius answered "Zeus and victory," Alexander replied,
"I will go away now, and tell this to the enemy; for I am going over to
them." Antigonus, too, as he stepped out of his tent to see his line
formed stumbled and fell heavily upon his face. When he rose, he lifted
his hands to heaven and prayed to the gods that they would either grant
him victory or a painless death before his army was routed.

When the battle began, Demetrius with the flower of the cavalry charged
Antiochus the son of Seleukus, and brilliantly routed the enemy, but he
lost the day by his headstrong eagerness to pursue too far. He was
unable to rejoin the infantry, for the enemy's elephants interposed
between him and the phalanx, which was thus left without any cavalry to
cover its flanks. Seeing this, Seleukus kept the rest of his cavalry
ever threatening to charge, but never actually doing so, hovering near
the phalanx and both terrifying it and giving the men an opportunity of
changing sides, which indeed took place; for a great mass of Antigonus's
infantry came over to Seleukus, and the rest fled. Many enemies now
beset Antigonus, and one of his attendants said to him, "My king, it is
you whom they are making for." "Why," replied he, "what other mark
could they have but me? But Demetrius will soon be here to the rescue."
While he looked round hoping in vain to see his son, a shower of darts
fell, and laid him low. All his friends and attendants now fled, except
one named Thorax, a native of Larissa, who remained by the corpse.

XXX. After this battle the victorious kings proceeded to divide the
empire of Antigonus and Demetrius amongst them, each annexing the
portion which lay nearest to his own dominions, as though they were
cutting slices out of some huge slaughtered beast. Demetrius fled with
five thousand infantry and four thousand cavalry, and directed his march
with the utmost speed towards Ephesus. All imagined that in his distress
for money he would not spare the rich temple there, and he himself,
fearing lest his soldiers should do so, set sail as quickly as possible
for Greece, as his chief hopes now lay in Athens. Indeed he had left
there a part of his fleet, some treasure and his wife Deidameia, and
imagined that he could find no surer refuge in his adversity than
Athens, where he felt assured of the loyalty of the people. But while he
was passing the Cyclades he met an embassy from Athens begging him not
to approach that city, since the people had decreed that none of the
kings should be admitted within its walls. The ambassadors added that
his wife Deidameia had been escorted with due honour and respect to
Megara. On hearing this, Demetrius, who had borne the rest of his
misfortunes with the utmost serenity, and had never hitherto allowed an
unworthy expression to escape him, became transported with anger. He
was, in truth, bitterly grieved at being thus unexpectedly betrayed by
the Athenians, and at finding that their apparent enthusiasm in his
cause had all the while been unreal and fictitious. Apparently the
bestowal of excessive honours upon kings and potentates by the people is
but a poor test of their real loyalty, for the essence of these honours
lies in their being freely offered, and they are worthless if prompted
by fear; and men fawn upon those they fear just as they do upon those
whom they really love. For this reason sensible men know how to value
the erection of their statues, flattering decrees, and other public
honours, by reflecting upon what they themselves have done for their
admirers; for by this means they can discern whether these are really
genuine expressions of respect, or are extorted by terror; for peoples
frequently confer these very distinctions upon men whom they hate and
abhor, but whom they are forced to honour against their will.

XXXI. Demetrius, although he considered that he had been very badly
treated by the Athenians, was powerless to resent their conduct. He sent
an embassy to Athens, gently complaining of their conduct, and
requesting that they would restore his ships, one of which was a vessel
of thirteen banks of oars. Having received them he coasted along as far
as the Isthmus, where he found that all his garrisons had been driven
out of the cities, and that the whole country had gone over to his
enemies. He now left Pyrrhus to act as his lieutenant in Greece, and
himself sailed to the Chersonese.[309] Here he enriched his troops at
the expense of Lysimachus by plundering the country, and soon found
means again to collect a very considerable army. The other kings paid no
regard to Lysimachus, thinking that he was no better a man than
Demetrius, and more to be feared because he was more powerful.

Not long after this Seleukus sent an embassy to Demetrius to make
proposals for the hand of Stratonike, the daughter of Demetrius by his
wife Phila. Seleukus already had one son named Antiochus by his wife
Apama, a Persian lady, but he thought that his empire would suffice for
more than one heir, and he desired to form an alliance with Demetrius,
because Lysimachus had recently married one of Ptolemy's daughters
himself, and taken the other for his son Agathokles. To Demetrius this
offer of marriage from Seleukus was a most unexpected piece of good
fortune. He placed his daughter on board ship, and sailed with his
entire fleet to Syria. On his way he was forced to land several times to
obtain supplies, especially on the coast of Cilicia, which province,
after the battle in which Antigonus fell, had been bestowed upon
Pleistarchus, the brother of Kassander. Pleistarchus took umbrage at the
intrusion of Demetrius into his territory, and retired to Macedonia to
complain to his brother that Seleukus was betraying the other kings by
making terms with the common enemy of them all.

XXXII. Demetrius, when he discovered the intentions of Pleistarchus,
proceeded at once to Quinda, where he found the sum of twelve hundred
talents still remaining. Having made himself master of this, he quickly
reembarked and put to sea. He was now joined by his wife Phila, and met
Seleukus at Rhossas. Here the two princes conversed together in a truly
royal style, without the least suspicion or fear of treachery. First
Seleukus feasted Demetrius in his tent in the midst of his camp, and
afterwards Demetrius entertained him at a banquet on board his great
thirteen-banked ship. They also talked freely together for a long time,
spending several days in friendly intercourse without any bodyguard or
arms, till at length Seleukus took Stratonike, and escorted her with
great pomp to Antiocheia.[310] Demetrius now made himself master of
Cilicia, and sent his wife Phila to her brother, Kassander, to answer
the accusations brought against him by Pleistarchus. During this time
Deidameia sailed from Greece and joined Demetrius, but not long after
her arrival she sickened and died. By the good offices of Seleukus,
Demetrius was now reconciled with Ptolemy, and arranged to take
Ptolemäis, Ptolemy's daughter, for his wife. So far Seleukus behaved
very well; but he could not prevail upon Demetrius to give up Cilicia to
him for a sum of money, and when he angrily demanded the surrender of
Tyre and Sidon, his conduct appears very overbearing and ungenerous, as
though he, who had made himself master of all the country between the
Red Sea and the Mediterranean, were so poor and needy as to be obliged
to squabble with his father-in-law about two cities, at a time, too,
when the latter was suffering from a great reverse of fortune. How
strongly does this bear out the truth of Plato's maxim, that he who
wishes to be really rich ought to lessen his desires rather than
increase his property, because if a man places no bounds to his
covetousness, he never will be free from want and misery.

XXXIII. Demetrius on this occasion showed no want of spirit. He declared
that not if he had lost ten thousand fields like Ipsus would he consent
to buy Seleukus for his son-in-law. He strengthened the garrisons of the
cities,[311] and hearing that Lachares, taking advantage of the factions
into which the Athenians were divided, had made himself despot of that
city, he thought that if he only were to show himself before Athens he
might easily obtain possession of it. He crossed the sea in safety with
a large fleet, but when off the coast of Attica he encountered a violent
storm, in which he lost most of his ships and a great number of his men.
He himself escaped unhurt, and at once began to make war against the
Athenians. As, however, he could not effect anything, he sent his
lieutenants to collect another fleet, and meanwhile proceeded to
Peloponnesus. Here he laid siege to Messene, and during an assault
nearly lost his life, for he was struck full in the face by a dart from
a catapult, which pierced through his jaw into his mouth. He recovered
from his wound, received the submission of several insurgent cities, and
returned to Attica, where he made himself master of Eleusis and Rhamnus,
and ravaged the country. He captured a ship loaded with wheat bound for
Athens, and hanged the captain and pilot, which measure terrified the
other merchants so much that they avoided Athens, and a terrible famine
took place there, and the want of food brought about a scarcity of
everything else. A medimnus[312] of salt was sold for forty drachmas,
and a modius[313] of corn sold for three hundred drachmas.

The Athenians gained a short respite from their sufferings by the
appearance near Ægina of a fleet of a hundred and fifty sail, which was
sent by Ptolemy to aid them. Soon, however, Demetrius collected from
Peloponnesus and Cyprus a fleet of three hundred ships, before which
those of Ptolemy were forced to retire. Upon this the despot Lachares
made his escape and abandoned the city to its fate.

XXXIV. The Athenians, although they had decreed that anyone who proposed
to make peace and come to terms with Demetrius should be put to death,
now at once opened their nearest gates and sent an embassy to him; not
that they expected to be well treated by him, but acting under the
pressure of starvation. It was said that, among other painful incidents,
it happened that a father and a son were sitting in the same room,
without any hopes of surviving, when a dead mouse fell from the roof,
upon which they both started up and began to fight for it. We are told
that during this time the philosopher Epikurus kept his disciples alive
by counting out to them a fixed allowance of beans every day. This was
the condition of the city when Demetrius made his entry into it. He
ordered all the Athenians to assemble in the theatre, occupied the stage
with armed men, placing his own bodyguard round the part usually
reserved for the actors, and made his appearance, like a tragic actor,
through the entrance at the back.[314] The Athenians were greatly
terrified at these proceedings, but the first words of his address put
an end to their fears. He spoke in a mild and conciliatory tone, briefly
and gently, complained of their conduct towards him, and announced his
forgiveness of them. He distributed among them one hundred thousand
medimni of wheat, and appointed the most popular men in the city to the
vacant magistracies. Dromokleides the orator, seeing that the people
could scarcely find enough means to express their delight, and that they
were eager to outdo the panegyrics which were being lavished upon
Demetrius from the bema, proposed that the ports of Peiræus and Munychia
should be handed over to King Demetrius. When this was agreed to,
Demetrius himself placed a garrison in the Museum, by which he intended
to curb the people in case they should grow restive and take off his
attention from his other enterprises.

XXXV. Being now master of Athens, Demetrius at once began to attack
Lacedæmon. He met the King of Sparta, Archidamus, near Mantinea,
defeated him, and invaded Laconia, driving the beaten army before him.
He fought a second battle before the walls of Sparta itself, in which
he killed two hundred Spartans, and took five hundred prisoners; and he
very nearly took the city itself, which up to that time had never been
taken. Fortune, however, seems to have introduced greater and more
sudden vicissitudes into the life of Demetrius than into that of any
other prince, for he was constantly rising from the most abject poverty
to the highest pinnacles of wealth and power, and then being as suddenly
cast down again. He himself is said, when his fortunes were at their
lowest, to have quoted the verse of Æschylus,

   "Thou raisest up, and thou dost bring me down."

So at this time, when everything seemed to be succeeding, and his empire
and power constantly increasing, Demetrius received the news that
Lysimachus had taken all the cities in Asia which had belonged to him,
and that Ptolemy had made himself master of Cyprus with the exception of
Salamis, which he was besieging, in which city was the mother and the
children of Demetrius. Yet, like the woman spoken of by the poet
Archilochus, who deceitfully offers water in one hand, while she holds a
firebrand in the other, the fortune of Demetrius, after soaring him away
from the conquest of Sparta by these terrifying pieces of intelligence,
at once offered him hopes of accomplishing a new and mighty enterprise,
in the following manner.

XXXVI. After the death of Kassander, his eldest son Philip ascended the
throne, but not long afterwards died. Upon this Kassander's two younger
sons each aspired to the crown. One of them, Antipater, murdered his
mother Thessalonike, upon which the other[315] invited Pyrrhus to come
from Epirus, and Demetrius from Peloponnesus, to support his claims.
Pyrrhus was the first to arrive, and demanded so large a portion of the
kingdom of Macedonia as the price of his assistance, that he soon became
an object of terror to Alexander. When Demetrius, in answer to the
appeal of Alexander, arrived with his army, Alexander was even more
terrified, because of his great renown. He met Demetrius near Dium, and
welcomed him as an honoured guest, but gave him to understand that he no
longer stood in need of his services. Upon this each began to suspect
the other, and Demetrius, when he was proceeding to a banquet to which
he had been invited by the young prince, was warned that his host
intended to assassinate him while they were drinking after dinner.
Demetrius was not in the least disturbed at this intelligence, but
merely delayed going to the banquet for a short time, while he ordered
his officers to keep their men under arms, and bade his personal
followers and pages, who far out-numbered the retinue of Alexander, to
enter the banqueting hall with him, and to remain there until he left
the table. Alarmed by these precautions, Alexander did not venture to
offer him any violence; and Demetrius soon left the room, excusing
himself on the ground that his health would not permit him to drink
wine. On the following day Demetrius made preparations for departure,
announcing that he had received news which made this necessary. He
begged Alexander to pardon him for so sudden a retreat, and promised
that when he was more at leisure he would pay him another visit.
Alexander was delighted at this, thinking that Demetrius was leaving the
country of his own free-will, and not as an enemy; and he escorted him
as far as the borders of Thessaly. When they reached Larissa, each again
invited the other to a banquet, each intending to murder the other. This
decided the fall of Alexander, who fell into his own trap, being loth to
show any distrust of Demetrius, lest Demetrius should distrust him. He
accepted Demetrius's invitation to a banquet, during which Demetrius
suddenly rose. Alexander in alarm also started to his feet, and followed
Demetrius towards the door. Demetrius as he passed the door said to his
bodyguard, "Kill the man who follows me," and walked on. Alexander, who
followed him, was cut down by the guard, as were his friends, who rushed
to his assistance. One of these men when dying is said to have remarked
that Demetrius had got the start of them by one day.

XXXVII. The night was spent in tumult and alarm. At daybreak the
Macedonians, who had feared an attack from the army of Demetrius, became
reassured, as nothing of the kind took place; and when Demetrius
intimated to them his wish to address them and to explain his conduct,
they received him in a friendly manner. When he appeared, he had no need
to make a long speech, for the Macedonians, who hated Antipater for
having murdered his mother, and who knew not where to look for a better
sovereign, saluted Demetrius as King of the Macedonians, and at once
conducted him into Macedonia. The new reign was not displeasing to the
remainder of the Macedonians, who had never forgotten the disgraceful
conduct of Kassander after the death of Alexander. If any remembrance of
the moderation of their old governor Antipater still remained amongst
them, Demetrius reaped the benefit of it, as his wife Phila was the
daughter of Antipater, and his son,[316] by her, who was nearly grown
up, and accompanied his father on this campaign, was now the heir to the

XXXVIII. After this brilliant piece of good fortune, Demetrius received
the news that his mother and children had been set at liberty by
Ptolemy, who had given them presents and treated them with respect;
while he also heard that his daughter, who had been given in marriage to
Seleukus, was living with his son Antiochus, with the title of "queen of
the native tribes of the interior." It appears that Antiochus fell
violently in love with Stratonike, who was quite a young girl, though
she had already borne a child to Seleukus. After making many fruitless
efforts to resist his passion, he reflected upon the wickedness of
indulging a love which he was unable to restrain, and decided that he
would put an end to his life. Under pretence of illness he refused to
take nourishment, neglected his person, and was quietly sinking.
Erasistratus, his physician, had without much difficulty perceived that
he was in love, but could not guess with whom. He consequently spent the
entire day in the same room with Antiochus, and whenever any young
persons came to visit him, narrowly watched his countenance and those
parts by which emotion is especially betrayed. He found that his
condition was unaltered except when Stratonike came to see him, either
alone or with her husband, Seleukus, and that then all the symptoms
mentioned by Sappho were visible in him, such as stammering, fiery
blushes, failure of eyesight, violent perspiration, disturbed and
quickened pulse, and at length, as his passions gained the mastery over
him, pallor and bewilderment. Erasistratus, after making these
observations, reflected that it was not probable that the king's son
would starve himself to death in silence for love of any other woman
than his mother-in-law. He judged it to be a perilous enterprise to
explain the real state of the case, but, nevertheless, trusting to the
love of Seleukus for his son, he one day ventured to tell him that love
was really the disorder from which young Antiochus was suffering, and
that it was a hopeless and incurable passion. "How incurable?" inquired
Seleukus. "Because," answered Erasistratus, "he is in love with my
wife." "Well, then," said Seleukus, "will you not give her up,
Erasistratus, and marry her to my son, who is your friend, especially as
that is the only way out of this trouble for us?" "No," said
Erasistratus, "I will not. Why, you yourself, although you are his
father, would not do this, if Antiochus were enamoured of Stratonike."
To this Seleukus replied, "My friend, I would that by any means, human
or divine, his passion could be directed to her; for I would willingly
even give up my crown if I could thereby save Antiochus."

When Seleukus, in a tone of deep feeling and with tears in his eyes,
made this avowal, Erasistratus took him by the hand, in token of good
faith, and declared that his own services were quite useless, for that
Seleukus himself was best able to heal the disorders which had arisen in
his household. After this Seleukus convoked a general assembly of his
people, and declared to them that he had determined to nominate
Antiochus king, and Stratonike queen of all the nations of the interior,
and that they were to be married. He believed, he said, that his son,
who had always been accustomed to obey him, would raise no objection to
the marriage; and that if his wife was discontented with it on the
ground of its illegality, he begged his friends to argue with her and
persuade her to regard everything as legal and honourable which the king
decided upon as expedient. In this manner it is said to have come to
pass that Antiochus was married to Stratonike.

XXXIX. After obtaining Macedonia, Demetrius made himself master of
Thessaly also. As he possessed the greater part of Peloponnesus, besides
Megara and Athens, he now marched against Boeotia. At first the Boeotians
came to terms, and formed an alliance with him, but afterwards, when
Kleonymus of Sparta came to Thebes with an army, and Pisis, the most
influential citizen of Thespiæ, encouraged them to recover their
liberty, they revolted from Demetrius. Upon this, Demetrius brought up
his famous siege train to attack their cities.[317] Kleonymus was so
terrified that he secretly withdrew, and the Boeotians were scared into
submission. Demetrius, though he garrisoned all their cities with his
own troops, levied a large sum of money, and left Hieronymus[318] the
historian as governor of the province, was thought to have dealt very
mildly with the Boeotians, especially because of his treatment of Pisis;
for he not only dismissed him unharmed when brought before him as a
prisoner, but conversed with him in a friendly manner, and nominated him
polemarch of Thespiæ.

Not long after these events, Lysimachus was taken prisoner by
Dromichætus. Upon this, Demetrius at once hurriedly marched towards
Thrace, hoping to find it unguarded. The Boeotians seized the opportunity
of his absence to revolt, while news was brought to Demetrius that
Lysimachus had been dismissed by his captors. Enraged at this, he
speedily returned, and finding that the Boeotians had been defeated in a
pitched battle by his son Antigonus, he a second time laid siege to

XL. However, as Pyrrhus was now overrunning Thessaly, and had pushed
even as far as Thermopylæ, Demetrius left Antigonus to prosecute the
siege, and himself marched to attack Pyrrhus. Pyrrhus beat a hasty
retreat, and Demetrius, leaving ten thousand infantry and a thousand
cavalry in Thessaly, returned to press the siege of Thebes. He now
brought up his great machine, called the "City-taker," which was moved
by levers with great difficulty on account of its enormous weight; so
that it is said that in two months it hardly moved two furlongs, The
Boeotians made a vigorous defence, and Demetrius frequently forced his
soldiers to engage in battle with them, more out of arrogance than
through any real necessity for fighting. After one of these battles,
Antigonus, grieved at the number of men who had fallen, said, "My
father, why do we allow all these men to perish, when there is no
occasion for it?" Demetrius sharply answered, "Why do you take offence
at this? Do you have to pay the dead?" Yet Demetrius, not wishing it to
be thought that he was lavish of other men's blood and not of his own,
but being anxious to fight among the foremost, was wounded by a dart
thrown from a catapult, which pierced through his neck. He suffered much
from this wound, but still continued the siege, and at length took
Thebes for the second time. When he entered the city, he inspired the
citizens with the most intense terror, as they expected to be treated
with the greatest severity. He was satisfied, however, with putting to
death thirteen of the citizens, and banishing a few others. Thus was
Thebes taken twice within less than ten years since it was first

As the time for the Pythian games had now come round, Demetrius took
upon himself to make a most startling innovation. As the passes leading
to Delphi were held by the Ætolians, he celebrated the games in Athens,
declaring that it was right that especial honour should be paid there to
Apollo, who is the tutelary god of the Athenians, and is said to have
been the founder of their race.

XLI. Demetrius now returned to Macedonia. As he could not bear a life of
repose, and found that his subjects were more easily governed on a
campaign, since they were troublesome and turbulent when at home, he
marched against the Ætolians. After laying waste their country he left
Pantauchus there with a large portion of his army, and with the rest
marched to attack Pyrrhus. Pyrrhus was equally eager to meet him, but
they missed each other, so that Demetrius invaded and ravaged Epirus,
while Pyrrhus[319] fell in with Pantauchus and fought with him. He
himself exchanged blows with Pantauchus and put him to flight, killing
many of his followers, and taking five thousand prisoners. This did more
damage to the cause of Demetrius than anything else; for Pyrrhus was not
so much disliked for the harm which he had done them, as he was admired
for his personal prowess. His fame became great in Macedonia after this
battle, and many Macedonians were heard to say that he alone, of all the
princes of the time, revived the image of Alexander's daring courage,
while the rest, and especially Demetrius, only imitated his demeanour by
their theatrical pomp and trappings of royalty. Indeed, Demetrius gave
himself the most extravagant airs, wearing magnificent purple robes and
hats with a double crown, and even wore shoes of purple felt embroidered
with gold. There was a cloak which was for a long time being embroidered
for his use, a most extravagantly showy piece of work, upon which was
depicted a figure of the world and of the heavenly bodies. This cloak
was left unfinished when Demetrius lost his crown, and none of his
successors on the throne of Macedonia ever presumed to wear it, although
some of them were very ostentatious princes.

XLII. The spectacle of this unusual pomp irritated the Macedonians, who
were not accustomed to see their kings thus attired, while the luxury
and extravagance of Demetrius's mode of life also gave offence to them.
They were especially enraged at his haughty reserve, and the difficulty
of obtaining access to him; for he either refused to grant an interview,
or else treated those who were admitted to his presence with harshness
and insolence. He kept an embassy of the Athenians, whom he respected
beyond all other Greeks, waiting for two years for an audience; and when
one ambassador arrived from Lacedæmon, he construed it as a mark of
disrespect, and was angry. But when Demetrius said to the
ambassador:--"What is this that you tell me? the Lacedæmonians have sent
one ambassador!" "Yes," answered he cleverly and laconically, "one
ambassador to one king."

One day when Demetrius came out of his palace he appeared to be in a
more affable humour than usual, and willing to converse with his
subjects. Upon this, many persons ran to present him with written
statements of their grievances. As he received them all and placed them
in the folds of his cloak, the petitioners were greatly delighted, and
accompanied him; but when he came to the bridge over the Axius, he
emptied them all out of his cloak into the river. This conduct greatly
exasperated the Macedonians, who declared that they were insulted
instead of being governed by him, and who remembered or were told by
older men how gentle and easy of access Philip was always wont to be.

Once an old woman met him when he was walking, and begged repeatedly for
a hearing. When he replied that he had no leisure to attend to her, she
loudly cried out, "Then be king no more." Stung by this taunt he
returned to his palace, and gave audiences to all who wished it,
beginning with the old woman, and so continued for many days. Indeed
nothing becomes a king so much as to do justice to his subjects. As
Timotheus the poet has it, Ares is a despot, but Pindar tells us that
law is lord of all. Homer also says that kings have been entrusted by
Zeus, not with City-takers or brazen-bound ships, but with justice,
which they must keep and respect; and that Zeus does not love the most
warlike or the most unjust of kings, but the most righteous, and calls
him his friend and disciple. Demetrius however rejoiced in being called
by a name most unlike that of the Lord of Heaven, for his title is "The
Preserver of Cities," while Demetrius was known as "The Besieger." Thus
through the worship of mere brute force, the bad gradually overcame the
good side of his character, and his fame became sullied by the unworthy
acts with which it was associated.

XLIII. While Demetrius lay dangerously ill at Pella, he very nearly lost
his kingdom, as Pyrrhus invaded the country and briskly overran it as
far as Edessa. However, on his recovery, Demetrius easily drove Pyrrhus
out of Macedonia, and then made terms with him, because he did not wish
to be entangled in a border warfare, which would interfere with the
realisation of his more important projects. He meditated a colossal
enterprise indeed, nothing less than the recovery of the whole of his
father's empire. His preparations were on a commensurate scale, for he
had collected a force of ninety-eight thousand foot soldiers and nearly
twelve thousand horse, while at Peiræus, Corinth, Chalkis, and the ports
near Pella he was engaged in the construction of a fleet of five hundred
ships. He himself personally superintended the works, visiting each
dockyard and giving directions to the artificers; and all men were
astounded not only at the number, but at the size of the vessels which
were being built. Before his time no one had ever seen a ship of fifteen
or sixteen banks of oars, although in later times Ptolemy Philopator
built a ship of forty banks of oars, which measured two hundred and
eighty cubits in length, and forty-eight cubits in height. This ship was
navigated by four hundred sailors, four thousand rowers, and, besides
all these, had room upon its decks for nearly three thousand soldiers.
But this ship was merely for show, and differed little from a fixed
building, being totally useless, and only moved with great risk and
labour; whereas the beauty of the ships of Demetrius did not render them
less serviceable, nor was their equipment so elaborate as to interfere
with their use, but they were no less admirable for speed and strength
as for greatness of size.

XLIV. When this great armament, the largest ever collected since the
death of Alexander, began to menace Asia, the three princes, Ptolemy,
Seleukus, and Lysimachus, formed a confederation to oppose it. They next
sent a joint letter to Pyrrhus, in which they urged him to attack
Macedonia, and not to pay any regard to a peace by which Demetrius had
not made any engagement not to go to war with him, but had merely
obtained time to attack the others first. Pyrrhus agreed to this
proposal, and Demetrius, before his preparations were completed, found
himself involved in a war of considerable magnitude: for Ptolemy sailed
to Greece with a large fleet and caused it to revolt from Demetrius,
while Lysimachus from Thrace and Pyrrhus from Epirus invaded Macedonia
and ravaged the country. Demetrius left his son to command in Greece,
and himself marched to attack Lysimachus, in order to free Macedonia
from the enemy. He shortly, however, received the news that Pyrrhus had
taken the city of Beroea, and when the Macedonians heard this, there was
an end to all discipline, for the camp was full of tears and
lamentations, and abuse of Demetrius. The men no longer cared to remain
with him, but became eager to go away, nominally to their homes, but
really to desert to Lysimachus. Demetrius upon this determined to place
the greatest possible distance between Lysimachus and himself, and
accordingly marched to attack Pyrrhus; reasoning that Lysimachus was a
native of Macedonia, and was popular with many of the Macedonians
because he had been a companion of Alexander, while he thought that the
Macedonians would not prefer a foreigner like Pyrrhus to himself.
However, in this expectation he was greatly deceived: for as soon as he
encamped near Pyrrhus, his soldiers had a constant opportunity of
admiring his personal prowess in battle, and they had from the most
ancient times been accustomed to think that the best warrior is the best
king. When besides this they learned how leniently Pyrrhus had dealt
with the captives, as they had long been determined to transfer their
allegiance from Demetrius to some one else, they now gladly agreed that
it should be to Pyrrhus. At first they deserted to him secretly and few
at a time; but soon the whole camp became excited and disturbed, and at
last some had the audacity to present themselves before Demetrius, and
bid him seek safety in flight, for the Macedonians were tired of
fighting to maintain his extravagance. Compared with the harsh language
held by many other Macedonians, this appeared to Demetrius to be very
reasonable advice, and so proceeding to his tent, as though he were
really a play-actor and not a king, he changed his theatrical cloak for
one of a dark colour, and made his way out of the camp unobserved. Most
of his soldiery at once betook themselves to plundering, and while they
were quarrelling with one another over the spoils of the royal tent,
Pyrrhus appeared, encountered no resistance, and made himself master of
the camp. Pyrrhus and Lysimachus now divided between them the kingdom of
Macedonia, which had for seven consecutive years been ruled by

XLV. After this great disaster, Demetrius retired to Kassandreia. His
wife Phila was greatly grieved at his fall, and could not bear to see
Demetrius a miserable fugitive and exile after having been a king.
Despairing of ever seeing better days, and bitterly reflecting how far
her husband's good luck was outweighed by his misfortunes, she ended her
life by poison. Now Demetrius, anxious to save what he could from the
wreck of his fortunes, proceeded to Greece, and there collected his
generals and forces. The verses spoken by Menelaus in Sophokles's play--

   "But ever whirling on the wheel of fate
    My fortune changes, like the changing moon
    That never keeps her form two nights the same.
    At first she comes with flattering countenance
    And fills her orb; but when she is most bright
    She wanes again, and loses all her light,"

seems to express very well the strange waxing and waning of the fortunes
of Demetrius, who, as in the present instance, sometimes appeared to be
quite extinguished, and then burst forth again as brilliant as ever, as
little by little his power increased until he was able to carry out his
plans. At first he visited the various cities of Greece dressed as a
private man, without any of the insignia of royalty. One of the Thebans
seeing him in this guise, cleverly applied to him the verses of

   "A god no more, but dressed in mortal guise,
    He comes to where the springs of Dirké rise."

XLVI. When he again hoped to regain the style of royalty, and began to
gather around him the form and substance of an empire, he permitted the
Thebans to remain independent. The Athenians, however, revolted from
him. They erased the name of Diphilus, who was inscribed upon the rolls
as "priest of the Saviours,"[320] and decreed that archons should be
elected after their ancestral custom; and they also sent to Macedonia to
invite Pyrrhus to come and help them, as they perceived that Demetrius
was becoming more powerful than they had expected. Demetrius indeed
angrily marched upon Athens, and began to besiege the city, but the
philosopher Krates, an able and eloquent man, who was sent to make
terms with him by the Athenian people, partly by entreaties, and partly
by pointing out in what quarter his true interests lay, prevailed upon
him to raise the siege. Demetrius now collected what ships he could, and
with eleven thousand infantry and a few cavalry soldiers sailed to Asia,
intending to detach the provinces of Lydia and Karia from Lysimachus's
dominions. At Miletus he was met by Eurydike,[321] the sister of Phila,
who brought him her daughter Ptolemäis, who had been long before
promised to him in the treaty concluded by the mediation of Seleukus.
Demetrius married her, and immediately after the wedding betook himself
to gaining over the cities of Ionia, some of which joined him of their
own accord, while others were forced to yield to his arms. He also
captured Sardis, and several of the officers of Lysimachus deserted to
him, bringing him both soldiers and money. When, however, Lysimachus's
son Agathokles came to attack him with a large force, he withdrew into
Phrygia, meaning if possible to gain possession of Armenia, stir up
Media to revolt, and make himself master of the provinces in the
interior, among which a fugitive could easily find an abundance of
places of refuge. Agathokles pressed him hard, and Demetrius, although
victorious in all the skirmishes which took place, was reduced to great
straits, as he was cut off from his supplies of provisions and forage,
while his soldiers began to suspect him of meaning to lead them to
Armenia and Media. Famine now began to distress his army, and he also
lost a large body of men, who were swept away in crossing the river
Lykus through mistaking the ford. Yet the men did not cease to joke; and
one of them wrote before the tent of Demetrius the first verses of the
play of OEdipus at Kolonus, slightly altered:

   "Child of Antigonus, the blind old man,
    What place is this, at which we have arrived?"

XLVII. At last famine, as usually happens, produced a pestilence,
because the men ate whatever they could find; and Demetrius, after
losing no less than eight thousand, gave up his project, and led back
the remainder. He proceeded to Tarsus, and would, if possible, have
abstained from living on the neighbouring country which belonged to
Seleukus, and so giving him an excuse for attacking him. However, this
was impossible, as his soldiers were reduced to the last extremities of
want, and Agathokles had fortified the passes of the Taurus range of
mountains. Demetrius now wrote a letter to Seleukus, containing a long
and piteous account of his misfortunes, and begging Seleukus as a
relative to take pity on one who had suffered enough to make even his
enemies feel compassion for him. Seleukus seems to have been touched by
this appeal. He wrote to his generals, ordering them to show Demetrius
the respect due to royalty, and to supply his troops with provisions;
but now Patrokles, who was thought to be a man of great wisdom, and who
was a friend of Seleukus, pointed out to him that the expense of feeding
the troops of Demetrius was not a matter of great importance, but that
it was a grievous error to allow Demetrius himself to remain in his
territory. He reminded him that Demetrius had always been the most
turbulent and enterprising of princes, and that he was now in a position
which would urge the most moderate and peaceable of men to deeds of
reckless daring and treachery. Struck by this reasoning, Seleukus
started for Cilicia in person, at the head of a large army. Demetrius,
astonished and alarmed at this rapid change in Seleukus's attitude,
retreated to a strong position at the foot of the Taurus mountains, and
in a second letter requested Seleukus to allow him to conquer some
native territory occupied by independent tribes, in which he might
repose after his wanderings, or at least to let him maintain his forces
in Cilicia during the winter, and not to drive him out of the country
and expose him to his enemies in a destitute condition.

XLVIII. Seleukus viewed all these proposals with suspicion, and offered
to let him pass two months of the winter in Cataonia, but demanded his
chief officers as hostages, and at the same time began to secure the
passes leading into Syria. Demetrius, who was now shut up like a wild
beast in a trap, was driven to use force, overran the country, and
fought several slight actions successfully with Seleukus. On one
occasion he withstood a charge of scythed chariots, and routed the
enemy, and he also drove away the garrison of one of the passes, and
gained the command of the road to Syria. He now became elated by
success, and perceiving that his soldiers had recovered their
confidence, he determined to fight Seleukus for his kingdom. Seleukus
himself was now in difficulties. He had refused Lysimachus's offer of
assistance, through suspicion, and he feared to engage with Demetrius in
battle, dreading the effects of his despair and the sudden turns of his
fortune. However, at this crisis Demetrius was seized by a disorder
which nearly carried him off, and utterly ruined his prospects; for some
of his soldiers deserted to the enemy, and some dispersed to their own
homes. After forty days he was able to place himself at the head of the
remaining troops, and with them marched so as to lead the enemy to
suppose that he meant to return to Cilicia; but as soon as it was dark
he started without any sound of trumpet in the opposite direction,
crossed the pass of Amanus, and began to plunder the plain of

XLIX. Shortly afterwards Seleukus made his appearance, and pitched his
camp hard by. Demetrius now got his men under arms in the night and
started to surprise Seleukus, whose army expected no attack, and was for
the most part asleep. When he was informed of his danger by some
deserters he leaped up in terror, and began putting on his boots and
shouting to his friends that a savage beast was coming to attack them.
Demetrius, observing from the noise which filled the enemy's camp that
they had notice of his attempt, quickly marched back again. He was
attacked at daybreak by Seleukus, and gained some advantage by a flank
attack. But now Seleukus himself dismounted, took off his helmet, and
with only a small shield in his hand went up to the mercenary troops of
Demetrius, showing himself to them and inviting them to join him. They
knew that he had for a long time refrained from attacking them out of a
wish to spare their lives, and not for the sake of Demetrius; and they
all greeted him, saluted him as King, and joined his army. Demetrius,
who had seen so many turns of good and ill fortune, felt that this blow
was final. He fled towards the pass of Amanus, and with a few friends
and attendants took refuge in a thick wood for the night, hoping to be
able to gain the road to Kaunus and so to reach the sea, where he hoped
to find his fleet assembled. But when he found that his party had not
enough money to procure them provisions even for one day, he was forced
to adopt other plans. Soon, however, he was joined by Sosigenes, one of
his friends, who had four hundred gold pieces in his belt, and with this
treasure they hoped to be able to reach the sea, and started as soon as
it grew dark to make their way over the mountains. But when they saw the
enemy's watch-fires blazing all along the heights, they despaired of
effecting their passage by that route, and returned to the place whence
they had set out, diminished in numbers, for some had deserted, and
greatly disheartened. When one of them ventured to hint that Demetrius
ought to surrender himself to Seleukus, Demetrius seized his sword and
would have made away with himself, but his friends stood round him, and
at length talked him over into giving himself up. He sent a messenger to
Seleukus, putting himself unreservedly in his hands.

L. Seleukus, when he heard what had happened, said that it was his own
good fortune, not that of Demetrius, which had saved Demetrius's life,
and had given himself an opportunity of displaying his clemency and
goodness as well as his other virtues. He at once sent for his servants
and bade them construct a royal tent, and make every preparation for the
reception of Demetrius in a magnificent fashion. There was one
Apollonides at the court of Seleukus, who had been an intimate friend of
Demetrius, and Seleukus at once sent him to Demetrius, to bid him be of
good cheer, and not fear to meet his friend and relative Seleukus. When
the King's pleasure became known, a few at first, but afterwards the
greater part of his followers, eagerly flocked to pay their court to
Demetrius, who they imagined would become the second man in the kingdom.
This ill-judged zeal of theirs turned the compassion of Seleukus into
jealousy, and enabled mischief-makers to defeat his kindly intentions by
warning him that as soon as Demetrius was seen in his camp all his
troops would rise in mutiny against him. Apollonides had just reached
Demetrius in high spirits, and others were arriving with wonderful
stories about the goodness of Seleukus. Demetrius himself was just
recovering his spirits after his disaster, was beginning to think that
he had been wrong in his reluctance to surrender himself, and was full
of hope for the future, when Pausanias appeared with about a thousand
horse and foot-soldiers. He suddenly surrounded Demetrius with these
troops, separated him from his friends, and, instead of bringing him
into the presence of Seleukus, conducted him to the Syrian Chersonese,
where, though strongly guarded, he was supplied by Seleukus with
suitable lodging and entertainment, and allowed to take the air and hunt
in the royal park which adjoined his dwelling. He was permitted to
associate with any of the companions of his exile whom he wished to see,
and many polite messages were sent to him from Seleukus to the effect
that as soon as Antiochus and Stratonike arrived, they would come to
some amicable arrangement.

LI. Demetrius now despatched letters to his son, and to the commanders
of his garrisons at Athens and Corinth, warning them not to pay any
attention to any despatches which they might receive in his name, or
even to his royal signet, but to regard him as practically dead, and to
hold the cities in trust for his heir Antigonus. His son was much
grieved at hearing of his father's capture, put on mourning, and sent
letters to all the other kings, and to Seleukus himself, begging for his
father's liberation. He offered to give up all the places which he still
held, and even proposed to surrender himself as a hostage in place of
his father. Many cities and princes supported his request, except
Lysimachus, who offered to give Seleukus a large sum of money if he
would put Demetrius to death. But Seleukus, who had always disliked
Lysimachus, now regarded him with abhorrence as a savage villain, and
still continued to keep Demetrius in captivity, under the pretext that
he was waiting for the arrival of his son Antiochus and Stratonike, that
they might have the pleasure of restoring him to liberty.

LII. Demetrius at first bore up manfully against his misfortunes, and
learned to endure captivity, taking exercise as well as he could, by
hunting in the park, and by running; but, little by little, he neglected
these amusements, addicted himself to drinking and dicing, and thus
spent most of his time; either in order to escape from the thoughts of
his present condition by intoxication, or else because he felt that this
was the life which he had always wished to lead, and that he had caused
great suffering both to himself and to others by fighting by sea and
land in order to obtain that comfort which he had now unexpectedly
discovered in repose and quiet. What, indeed, is the object of the wars
and dangers which bad kings endure, in their folly, unless it be this?
although they not only strive after luxury and pleasure, instead of
virtue and honour, but do not even understand in what real luxury and
enjoyment consist. Be that as it may, Demetrius, after living in
confinement in the Chersonese for three years, died of laziness, surfeit
and over-indulgence in wine, in the fifty-fourth year of his age.[322]
Seleukus was greatly blamed for the suspicions which he had entertained
about Demetrius, and greatly repented that he had not imitated the wild
Thracian Dromichætes, who dealt so kindly and royally with Lysimachus
when he had taken him prisoner.

LIII. Even the funeral of Demetrius had an air of tragedy and theatrical
display. His son Antigonus, as soon as he heard that the ashes of his
father were being brought to him, collected all his fleet and met the
vessels of Seleukus near the Cyclades. Here he received the relics in a
golden urn on board of his own flagship, the largest of his fleet. At
every port at which they touched the citizens laid garlands upon the
urn, and sent deputies in mourning to attend the funeral. When the fleet
arrived at Corinth, the urn was beheld in a conspicuous place upon the
stern of the ship, adorned with a royal robe and diadem, and surrounded
by armed soldiers of the king's bodyguard. Near it was seated the
celebrated flute-player Xenophantus, playing a sacred hymn; and the
measured dip of the oars, keeping time to the music, sounded like the
refrain of a dirge. The crowds who thronged the sea-shore were
especially touched by the sight of Antigonus himself, bowed down with
grief and with his eyes full of tears. After due honours had been paid
to the relics at Corinth, he finally deposited them, in the city of
Demetrias, which was named after his father, and which had been formed
by amalgamating the small villages in the neighbourhood of Iolkos.
Demetrius, by his wife Phila, left one son, Antigonus, and one daughter,
Stratonike. He also had two sons named Demetrius, one, known as Leptus,
by an Illyrian woman, and the other, who became ruler of Cyrene, by
Ptolemais. By Deidameia he had a son named Alexander, who spent his life
in Egypt. It is said, too, that he had a son named Korrhagus by
Eurydike. His family retained the throne of Macedonia for many
generations, until it ended in Perseus, during whose reign the Romans
conquered that country. So now that we have brought the career of the
Macedonian hero to a close, it is time for us to bring the Roman upon
the stage.


I. The grandfather of Antonius was the orator Antonius,[323] who
belonged to the party of Sulla and was put to death by Marius. His
father was Antonius, surnamed Creticus,[324] not a man of any great note
or distinction in political affairs, but of good judgment and integrity,
and also liberal in his donations, as one may know from a single
instance. He had no large property and for this reason he was prevented
by his wife from indulging his generous disposition. On one occasion
when an intimate friend came to him who was in want of money, and
Antonius had none, he ordered a young slave to put some water into a
silver vessel and to bring it; and when it was brought, he moistened his
chin as if he were going to shave himself. The slave being sent away on
some other business, Antonius gave the cup to his friend and bade him
make use of it; but as a strict inquiry was made among the slaves, and
Antonius saw that his wife was vexed and intended to torture them one by
one, he acknowledged what he had done and begged her pardon.

II. His wife was Julia of the family of the Cæsars, a woman who could
compare with the noblest and most virtuous of that day. She brought up
her son Antonius, having married after his father's death Cornelius
Lentulus,[325] who was one of the conspirators with Catilina and was put
to death by Cicero. This appears to be the reason and the foundation of
the violent enmity between Antonius and Cicero. Now Antonius says that
even the corpse of Lentulus was not given up to them until his mother
begged it of the wife of Cicero. But this is manifestly false, for no
one of those who were then punished by Cicero was deprived of interment.
Antonius was of distinguished appearance in his youth, but his
friendship and intimacy with Curio[326] fell upon him, as they say, like
some pestilence, for Curio himself was intemperate in his pleasures, and
he hurried Antonius, in order to make him more manageable, into drinking
and the company of women and extravagant and licentious expenditure. All
this brought on him a heavy debt, and out of all bounds for his age, of
two hundred and fifty talents. Curio became security for all this, and
when his father heard of it he banished Antonius from the house.
Antonius for a short time mixed himself up with the violence of Clodius,
the most daring and scandalous of the demagogues of the day, which was
throwing every thing into confusion; but becoming soon satiated with
that madness and being afraid of those who were combining against
Clodius, he left Italy for Greece and spent some time there, exercising
his body for military contests and practising oratory. He adopted what
was called the Asiatic style of oratory, which flourished most at that
time, and bore a great resemblance to his mode of life, which was
boastful and swaggering and full of empty pride and irregular aspiration
after distinction.

III. When Gabinius,[327] a man of consular rank, was sailing for Syria,
he endeavoured to persuade Antonius to join the expedition. Antonius
said that he would not go out with him as a private individual, but on
being appointed commander of the cavalry, he did go with him. In the
first place he was sent against Aristobulus,[328] who was stirring the
Jews to revolt, and he was the first man to mount the largest of the
fortifications; and he drove Aristobulus from all of them. He next
joined battle with him and with the few men that he had put to flight
the forces of Aristobulus, which were much more numerous, and killed all
but a few; and Aristobulus was captured with his son. After this
Ptolemæus[329] attempted to persuade Gabinius for ten thousand talents
to join him in an invasion of Egypt and to recover the kingdom for him;
but most of the officers opposed the proposal, and Gabinius himself was
somewhat afraid of the war, though he was hugely taken with the ten
thousand talents; but Antonius, who was eager after great exploits and
wished to gratify the request of Ptolemæus, persuaded Gabinius and urged
him to the expedition. They feared more than the war the march to
Pelusium, which was through deep sand where there was no water along the
Ecregma[330] and the Serbonian marsh, which the Egyptians call the
blasts of Typhon[331], but which really appears to be left behind by the
Red Sea[332] and to be caused by the filtration of the waters at the
part where it is separated by the narrowest part of the isthmus from
the internal sea. Antonius being sent with the cavalry not only
occupied the straits, but taking Pelusium also, a large city, and the
soldiers in it, he at the same time made the road safe for the army and
gave the general sure hopes of victory. Even his enemies reaped
advantage from his love of distinction; for when Ptolemæus entered
Pelusium, and through his passion and hatred was moved to massacre the
Egyptians, Antonius stood in the way and stopped him. And in the battles
and the contests which were great and frequent, he displayed many deeds
of daring and prudent generalship, but most signally in encircling and
surrounding the enemy in the rear, whereby he secured the victory to
those in front, and received the rewards of courage and fitting honours.
Nor did the many fail to notice his humanity towards Archelaus[333]
after his death; for Antonius, who had been his intimate and friend,
fought against him during his lifetime of necessity, but when he found
the body of Archelaus, who had fallen, he interred it with all honours
and in kingly fashion. He thus left among the people of Alexandria the
highest reputation, and was judged by the Roman soldiers to be a most
illustrious man.

IV. With these advantages he possessed a noble dignity of person; and
his well-grown beard, his broad forehead and hooked nose[334] appeared
to express the manly character which is observed in the paintings and
sculptures of Hercules. And there was an old tradition that the Antonii
were Herakleidæ, being sprung from Anton, a son of Hercules. This
tradition Antonius thought that he strengthened by the character of his
person, as it has been observed, and by his dress. For on all occasions,
when he was going to appear before a number of persons, he had his tunic
girded up to his thigh, and a large sword hung by his side, and a thick
cloak thrown round him. Besides, that which appeared to others to be
offensive, his great boasting and jesting and display of his cups, and
his sitting by the soldiers when they were eating, and his eating
himself as he stood by the soldiers' table--it is wonderful how much
affection and attachment for him it bred in the soldiers. His amorous
propensities, too, had in them something that was not without a charm,
but even by these he won the favour of many, helping them in their love
affairs and submitting to be joked with good humour about his own
amours. His liberality and his habit of gratifying the soldiers and his
friends in nothing with a stinted or sparing hand, both gave him a
brilliant foundation for power, and, when he had become great, raised
his power still higher, though it was in danger of being subverted by
ten thousand other faults. I will relate one instance of his profusion.
He ordered five-and-twenty ten thousands to be given to one of his
friends; this sum the Romans express by Decies.[335] But as his steward
wondered thereat, and to show him how much it was, placed the money out,
he asked as he was passing by, What that was. The steward replying that
this was what he had ordered to be given, Antonius, who conjectured his
trickery, said, "I thought a Decies was more: this is a small matter;
and therefore add to it as much more."

V. Now these things belong to a later period. But when matters at Rome
came to a split, the aristocratical party joining Pompeius who was
present, and the popular party inviting Cæsar from Gaul, who was in
arms, Curio, the friend of Antonius,[336] changing sides in favour of
Cæsar, brought Antonius over; and as he had great influence among the
many by his eloquence, and spent money lavishly, which was supplied by
Cæsar, he got Antonius appointed tribune, and then one of the priests
over the birds, whom the Romans call Augurs. As soon as Antonius entered
on his office, he was of no small assistance to those who were directing
public affairs on Cæsar's behalf. In the first place, when Marcellus the
consul attempted to give to Pompeius the troops that were already
levied, and to empower him to raise others, Antonius opposed him by
proposing an order, that the collected force should sail to Syria and
assist Bibulus, who was warring with the Parthians, and that the troops
which Pompeius was levying should not pay any regard to him: and, in the
second place, when the Senate would not receive Cæsar's letters, nor
allow them to be read, Antonius, whose office gave him power, did read
them, and he changed the disposition of many, who judged from Cæsar's
letters that he only asked what was just and reasonable. Finally, when
two questions were proposed in the Senate, of which one was, whether
Pompeius should disband his troops, and the other, whether Cæsar should
do it, and there were a few in favour of Pompeius laying down his arms,
and all but a few were for Cæsar doing so, Antonius arose and put the
question, Whether the Senate was of opinion that Pompeius and Cæsar at
the same time should lay down their arms and disband their forces. All
eagerly accepted this proposal, and with shouts praising Antonius, they
urged to put the question to the vote. But as the consuls would not
consent, the friends of Cæsar again made other proposals, which were
considered reasonable, which Cato resisted, and Lentulus, who was
consul, ejected Antonius from the Senate. Antonius went out uttering
many imprecations against them, and assuming the dress of a slave, and
in conjunction with Cassius Quintus[337] hiring a chariot he hurried to
Cæsar; and as soon as they were in sight, they called out that affairs
at Rome were no longer in any order, since even tribunes had no liberty
of speech, but every one was driven away and in danger who spoke on the
side of justice.

VI. Upon this Cæsar with his army entered Italy. Accordingly Cicero, in
his Philippica, said that Helen[338] was the beginning of the Trojan
war, and Antonius of the civil war, wherein he is manifestly stating a
falsehood. For Caius Cæsar was not such a light person, or so easy to be
moved from his sound judgment by passion, if he had not long ago
determined to do this, as to have made war on his country all of a
sudden, because he saw Antonius in a mean dress and Cassius making their
escape to him in a hired chariot; but this gave a ground and specious
reason for the war to a man who had long been wanting a pretext. He was
led to war against the whole world, as Alexander before him and Cyrus of
old had been, by an insatiable love of power and a frantic passion to be
first and greatest: and this he could not obtain, if Pompeius was not
put down. He came then and got possession of Rome, and drove Pompeius
out of Italy; and determining to turn first against the forces of
Pompeius in Iberia, and then, when he had got ready a fleet, to cross
over to attack Pompeius, he entrusted Rome to Lepidus, who was prætor,
and the forces and Italy to Antonius, who was tribune. Antonius
forthwith gained the favour of the soldiers by taking his exercises with
them, and by generally living with them, and making them presents out of
his means; but to everybody else he was odious. For owing to his
carelessness he paid no attention to those who were wronged, and
listened with ill-temper to those who addressed him, and had a bad
repute about other men's wives. In fine, Cæsar's friends brought odium
on Cæsar's power, which, so far as concerned Cæsar's acts, appeared to
be anything rather than a tyranny: and of those friends Antonius, who
had the chief power and committed the greatest excesses, had most of the

VII. However, upon his return from Iberia, Cæsar[339] overlooked the
charges against him, and employing him in war because of his energy, his
courage, and his military skill, he was never disappointed in him. Now
Cæsar, after crossing the Ionian Gulf from Brundusium with a few men,
sent his ships back, with orders to Gabinius[340] and Antonius to put
the troops on board and carry them over quickly to Macedonia. Gabinius
was afraid of the voyage, which was hazardous in the winter season, and
led his army by land a long way about; but Antonius being alarmed for
Cæsar, who was hemmed in by many enemies, repulsed Libo,[341] who was
blockading the mouth of the harbour, by surrounding his gallies with
many light boats, and embarking in his vessels eight thousand legionary
soldiers he set sail. Being discovered by the enemy and pursued, he
escaped all danger from them in consequence of a strong south wind
bringing a great swell and tempestuous sea upon his gallies; but as he
was carried in his ships towards precipices and cliffs with deep water
under them, he had no hope of safety. But all at once there blew from
the bay a violent south-west wind and the swell ran from the land to the
sea, and Antonius getting off the land and sailing in gallant style saw
the shore full of wrecks. For thither the wind had cast up the gallies
that were in pursuit of him and no small number of them was destroyed;
and Antonius made many prisoners and much booty, and he took Lissus, and
he gave Cæsar great confidence by coming at a critical time with so
great a force.

VIII. There were many and continuous fights, in all of which Antonius
was distinguished: and twice he met and turned back the soldiers of
Cæsar, who were flying in disorder, and by compelling them to stand and
to fight again with their pursuers he gained the victory. There was
accordingly more talk of him in the camp than of any one else after
Cæsar. And Cæsar showed what opinion he had of him; for when he was
going to fight the last battle and that which decided everything at
Pharsalus,[342] he had the right wing himself, but he gave the command
of the left to Antonius as being the most skilful and bravest officer
that he had. After the battle Cæsar was proclaimed dictator, and he set
out in pursuit of Pompeius, but he appointed Antonius master of the
horse and sent him to Rome: this is the second office in rank when the
dictator is present; but if he is not, it is the first and almost the
only one. For the tribuneship continues, but they put down all the other
functionaries when a dictator is chosen.

IX. However Dolabella,[343] who was then a tribune, a young man who
aimed at change, introduced a measure for the annulling of debts, and
he persuaded Antonius,[344] who was a friend of his and always wished to
please the many, to work with him and to take a part in this political
measure. But Asinius and Trebellius gave him the contrary advice, and it
happened that a strong suspicion came on Antonius, that he was wronged
in the matter of his wife by Dolabella. And as he was much annoyed
thereat, he not only drove his wife from his house, who was his cousin,
for she was the daughter of Caius Antonius who was consul with Cicero,
but he joined Asinius and resisted Dolabella. Dolabella occupied the
Forum with the design of carrying the law by force, but Antonius, after
the Senate had declared by a vote that it was needful to oppose
Dolabella with arms, came upon him and joining battle killed some of the
men of Dolabella and lost some of his own. This brought on Antonius the
hatred of the many, and he was not liked by the honest and sober on
account of his habits of life, as Cicero says, but was detested; for
people were disgusted at his drunkenness at unseasonable hours, and his
heavy expenditure, and his intercourse with women, and his sleeping by
day, and walking about with head confused and loaded with drink, and by
night his revellings and theatres and his presence at the nuptials of
mimi and jesters. It is said indeed that after being present at the
entertainment on the marriage of Hippias the mime, and drinking all
night, when the people summoned him early in the morning to the Forum,
he came there still full of food and vomited, and one of his friends
placed his vest under to serve him. Sergius the mime was one of those
who had the greatest influence over him, and Cytheris[345] from the same
school, a woman whom he loved, and whom when he visited the cities he
took round with him in a litter; and there were as many attendants to
follow the litter as that of his mother. People were also vexed at the
sight of golden cups carried about in his excursions as in processions,
and fixing of tents in the ways, and the laying out of costly feasts
near groves and rivers, and lions yoked to chariots, and houses of
orderly men and women used as quarters for prostitutes and lute-players.
For it was considered past all endurance that, while Cæsar was lodging
in the open field out of Italy, clearing up the remnant of war with
great labour and danger, others, through means of Cæsar's power, were
indulging in luxury and insulting the citizens.

X. These things appear also to have increased the disorder and to have
given the soldiers licence to commit shameful violence and robbery.
Wherefore, when Cæsar returned, he pardoned Dolabella; and being elected
consul for the third time he chose not Antonius, but Lepidus for his
colleague. Antonius bought the house of Pompeius when it was sold, but
he was vexed when he was asked for the money; and he says himself that
this was the reason why he did not join Cæsar in his Libyan expedition,
having had no reward for his former successes. However Cæsar is
considered to have cured him of the chief part of his folly and
extravagance by not allowing his excesses to pass unnoticed. For he gave
up that course of life and turned his thoughts to wedlock, taking for
his wife Fulvia, who had been the wife of the demagogue Clodius, a woman
who troubled herself not about domestic industry or housekeeping, nor
one who aspired to rule a private man, but her wish was to rule a ruler
and command a general: so that Cleopatra was indebted to Fulvia[346] for
training Antonius to woman-rule, inasmuch as Cleopatra received him
quite tamed and disciplined from the commencement to obey women. However
Antonius attempted by sportive ways and youthful sallies to make Fulvia
somewhat merrier; as for example, on the occasion when many went to meet
Cæsar after his victory in Iberia, Antonius also went; but as a report
suddenly reached Italy that Cæsar was dead and the enemy were advancing,
he returned to Rome, and taking a slave's dress he came to the house by
night, and saying that he brought a letter from Antonius to Fulvia, he
was introduced to her wrapped up in his dress. Fulvia, who was in a
state of anxiety, asked, before she took the letter, whether Antonius
was alive; but without speaking a word he held out the letter to her,
and when she was beginning to open and read it, he embraced and kissed
her. These few out of many things I have produced by way of instance.

XI. When Cæsar was returning from Iberia[347] all the first people went
several days' journey to meet him; but Antonius was specially honoured
by Cæsar. For in his passage through Italy he had Antonius in the
chariot with him, and behind him Brutus Albinus and Octavianus the son
of his niece, who was afterwards named Cæsar and ruled the Romans for a
very long time. When Cæsar was appointed consul for the fifth time, he
immediately chose Antonius for his colleague, and it was his design to
abdicate the consulship and give it to Dolabella; and this he proposed
to the Senate. But as Antonius violently opposed this, and vented much
abuse of Dolabella and received as much in return, Cæsar, being ashamed
of these unseemly proceedings, went away. Afterwards when he came to
proclaim Dolabella, upon Antonius calling out that the birds were
opposed to it, Cæsar yielded and gave up Dolabella, who was much
annoyed. But it appeared that Cæsar abominated Dolabella as much as he
did Antonius; for it is said, that when some person was endeavouring to
excite his suspicions against both, Cæsar said that he was not afraid of
those fat and long-haired fellows, but those pale and thin ones, meaning
Brutus and Cassius, who afterwards conspired against him and slew him.

XII. And Antonius without designing it gave them a most specious
pretext. It was the feast of the Lykæa among the Romans, which they
call Lupercalia,[348] and Cæsar dressed in a triumphal robe and sitting
on the Rostra in the Forum viewed the runners. Now many youths of noble
birth run the race, and many of the magistrates, anointed with oil, and
with strips of hide they strike by way of sport those whom they meet.
Antonius running among them paid no regard to the ancient usage, but
wrapping a crown of bay round a diadem he ran to the Rostra, and being
raised up by his companions in the race he placed it on Cæsar's head,
intimating that he ought to be King. But as Cæsar affected to refuse it
and put his head aside, the people were pleased and clapped their hands;
then Antonius again offered the crown, and Cæsar again rejected it. This
contest went on for some time, only a few of the friends of Antonius
encouraging him in his pressing the offer, but all the people shouted
and clapped when Cæsar refused; which indeed was surprising, that while
in reality they submitted to be ruled over with kingly power they
eschewed the name of King as if it were the destruction of their
freedom. Accordingly Cæsar rose from the Rostra much annoyed, and taking
the robe from his neck called out that he offered his throat to any one
who would have it. The crown which was placed on one of his statues
certain tribunes tore off, and the people followed them with loud
expressions of goodwill and clapping of hands; but Cæsar deprived them
of their office.

XIII. This confirmed Brutus and Cassius, and when they were enumerating
the friends whom they could trust in the undertaking, they deliberated
about Antonius. The rest were for adding Antonius to their number, but
Trebonius opposed it; for he said that at the time when they went to
meet Cæsar on his return from Iberia, and Antonius was in the same tent
with him and journeyed with him, he tried his disposition in a quiet way
and with caution, and he said that Antonius understood him, though he
did not respond to the proposal, nor yet did he report it to Cæsar, but
faithfully kept the words secret. Upon this they again deliberated
whether they should kill Antonius after they had killed Cæsar; but
Brutus opposed this, urging that the act which was adventured in
defence of the laws and of justice must be pure and free from injustice.
But as they were afraid of the strength of Antonius and the credit that
his office gave him, they appointed some of the conspirators to look
after him in order that when Cæsar entered the Senate house and the deed
was going to be done, they might detain him on the outside in
conversation about some matter and on the pretence of urgent business.

XIV. This being accomplished according as it was planned and Cæsar
having fallen in the Senate house, Antonius immediately put on a slave's
attire and hid himself. But when he learned that the men were not
attacking any one, but were assembled in the Capitol, he persuaded them
to come down after giving them his son as a hostage; and he entertained
Cassius at supper, and Brutus entertained Lepidus. Antonius having
summoned the Senate spoke about an amnesty and a distribution of
provinces among Brutus and Cassius and their partizans, and the Senate
ratified these proposals, and decreed not to alter anything that had
been done by Cæsar.[349] Antonius went out of the Senate the most
distinguished of men, being considered to have prevented a civil war and
to have managed most prudently and in a most statesmanlike manner
circumstances which involved difficulties and no ordinary causes of
confusion. But from such considerations as these he was soon disturbed
by the opinion that he derived from the multitude, that he would
certainly be the first man in Rome, if Brutus were put down. Now it
happened that when Cæsar's corpse was carried forth, as the custom was,
he pronounced an oration over it in the Forum;[350] and seeing that the
people were powerfully led and affected, he mingled with the praises of
Cæsar commiseration and mighty passion over the sad event, and at the
close of his speech, shaking the garments of the dead, which were
blood-stained and hacked with the swords, and calling those who had done
these things villains and murderers, he inspired so much indignation in
the men that they burnt the body of Cæsar in the Forum, heaping together
the benches and the tables; and snatching burning faggots from the pile
they ran to the houses of the assassins and assaulted them.

XV. For this reason Brutus and his party left the city, and the friends
of Cæsar joined Antonius; and Cæsar's wife Calpurnia trusting to him had
the chief part of the treasures transferred to Antonius from her house,
to the amount in all of four thousand talents. He received also the
writings of Cæsar, in which there were entries made of what he had
determined and decreed; and Antonius inserting entries in them, named
many to offices just as he pleased, and many he named senators, and he
restored some who were in exile and released others who were in prison,
as if Cæsar had determined all this. Wherefore the Romans by way of
mockery named all these persons Charonitæ,[351] because when they were
put to the proof they had to take refuge in the memoranda of the
deceased. And Antonius managed everything else as if he had full power,
being consul himself, and having his brothers also in office, Gaius as
prætor and Lucius as tribune.

XVI. While affairs were in this state, young Cæsar[352] arrived at Rome,
being the son of the niece of the deceased, as it has been told, and
left the heir of his substance; and he was staying in Apollonia at the
time of Cæsar's assassination. He went forthwith to pay his respects to
Antonius, as being his father's friend, and reminded him of the money
deposited with him; for he had to pay to every Roman seventy-five
drachmæ, which Cæsar had given by his will. Antonius, at first despising
his youth, said that he was not in his senses, and that being destitute
of all sound reason and friends he was taking up the succession of
Cæsar, which was a burden too great for him to bear; but as Cæsar did
not yield to these arguments and demanded the money, Antonius went on
saying and doing many things to insult him. For he opposed him in
seeking a tribuneship, and when he was preparing to set up a golden
chair of his father, as it had been voted by the Senate, he threatened
to carry him off to prison, if he did not stop his attempts to win the
popular favour. But when the youth, by giving himself up to Cicero and
the rest who hated Antonius, by means of them made the Senate his
friends, and he himself got the favour of the people and mustered the
soldiers from the colonies,[353] Antonius being alarmed came to a
conference with him in the Capitol, and they were reconciled. Antonius
in his sleep that night had a strange dream; he thought that his right
hand was struck by lightning; and a few days after a report reached him
that Cæsar was plotting against him. Cæsar indeed made an explanation,
but he did not convince Antonius; and their enmity was again in full
activity, and both of them roaming about Italy endeavoured to stir up by
large pay the soldiers who were planted in the colonies, and to
anticipate one another in gaining over those who were still under arms.

XVII. Of those in the city Cicero had the greatest influence; and by
inciting everybody against Antonius he finally persuaded the Senate to
vote Antonius to be an enemy, and to send Cæsar lictors and the insignia
of a prætor, and to despatch Pansa and Hirtius[354] to drive Antonius
out of Italy. They were consuls for that year; and engaging with
Antonius near the city of Mutina, on which occasion Cæsar was present
and fought with them, they defeated the enemy, but fell themselves. Many
great difficulties befell Antonius in his flight; but the greatest was
famine. But it was the nature of Antonius to show his best qualities in
difficulties, and in his misfortune he was as like as may be to a good
man; for it is common to those who are hard pressed by straits to
perceive what virtue is, but all have not strength enough in reverses to
imitate what they admire and to avoid what they do not approve; but some
rather give way to their habits through weakness and let their judgment
be destroyed. Now Antonius in these circumstances was a powerful pattern
to the soldiers, for though he was fresh from the enjoyment of so much
luxury and expense, he drank foul water without complaining, and ate
wild fruits and roots. Bark too was eaten, as it was said, and in their
passage over the Alps they fed on animals that had never been eaten

XVIII. His design was to fall in with the troops there which
Lepidus[355] commanded, who was considered to be a friend of Antonius
and to have derived through him much advantage from the friendship of
Cæsar. Having arrived there and encamped near, he found no friendly
signs, on which he resolved to try a bold stroke. Antonius had neglected
his hair and he had allowed his beard to grow long immediately after his
defeat; and putting on a dark garment he approached the lines of Lepidus
and began to speak. As many of the soldiers were moved at the sight and
affected by his words, Lepidus in alarm ordered the trumpets to sound
all at once and so to prevent Antonius from being heard. But the
soldiers pitied the more, and held communication with him by means of
Lælius and Clodius, whom they secretly sent to him in the dress of women
who followed the camp, and the messengers urged Antonius boldly to
attack the lines, for there were many, they said, would undertake even
to kill Lepidus, if he wished. Antonius would not consent to their
touching Lepidus, but on the next day he began to cross the river with
his army. Antonius entered the river first and advanced to the opposite
bank, for he saw already many of the soldiers of Lepidus stretching out
their hands to him and tearing down the ramparts. When he had entered
and made himself master of all, he approached Lepidus with the greatest
kindness, for he embraced him and called him father; and in fact he was
master of all, but he continued to preserve to Lepidus the name and
honour of an Imperator. This caused also Plancus Munatius to join him,
for Plancus was at no great distance with a large force. Being thus
raised anew to great power he crossed the Alps into Italy at the head of
seventeen legions of infantry and ten thousand cavalry; besides this he
left to guard Gaul six legions with Varius, one of his intimates and
boon companions, whom they called Cotylon.[356]

XIX. Now Cæsar no longer cared for Cicero when he saw that he clung to
liberty, but he invited Antonius through the mediation of his friends to
come to terms. The three met together in a small island[357] in the
middle of a river and sat together for three days. All the rest was
easily agreed on, and they distributed the empire[358] among them as if
it were a paternal inheritance, but the discussion about the men who
were destined to perish caused them most trouble, each claiming to get
rid of his enemies and to save his relations. But at length surrendering
to their passion against those whom they hated both the honour due to
their kinsmen and their goodwill to their friends, Cæsar surrendered
Cicero to Antonius, and Antonius surrendered to him Lucius Cæsar, who
was his uncle on the mother's side; Lepidus also was allowed to put to
death his brother Paulus; but others say that Lepidus gave up his
brother to Cæsar and Antonius, who required his death. I think nothing
could be more cruel or savage than this exchange; for by exchanging
murder for murder they equally destroyed those whom they surrendered and
those whom they put to death, but they acted more unjustly to their
friends, whom they caused to die even without bearing them any hatred.

XX. After this settlement, the soldiers, who were around them, required
that Cæsar should strengthen their friendship by marriage, and should
take to wife Clodia,[359] the daughter of Fulvia, the wife of Antonius.
This also being agreed to, three hundred persons were by proscription
put to death by them.[360] When Cicero was murdered, Antonius ordered
the head to be cut off and the right hand, with which Cicero wrote the
speeches against him. When they were brought, Antonius looked on them
with delight and broke out a laughing several times through joy; then
being satiated with the sight he ordered them to be placed above the
Rostra in the Forum, as if he were insulting the dead, and not showing
his own arrogance in his good fortune and abusing his power. His uncle
Cæsar being sought and pursued fled for refuge to his sister, who, when
the assassins were standing by and trying to force their way into her
chamber, fixing herself at the door and spreading out her arms, called
out repeatedly, "You shall not kill Cæsar Lucius, unless you kill me
first, me the mother of the Imperator." By such her conduct she rescued
and saved her brother.

XXI. The dominion of the three was in most respects hateful to the
Romans; but Antonius had most of the blame, as he was older than Cæsar,
and had more influence than Lepidus, and threw himself without restraint
into his former luxurious and intemperate habits as soon as he had
shaken off all trouble about affairs. There was added to his general bad
repute the hatred against him on account of the house that he inhabited,
which had been the house of Pompeius Magnus, a man no less admired for
his temperance and his orderly and citizenlike mode of life than for his
three triumphs. For they were vexed to see his house generally closed to
commanders, magistrates and ambassadors, who were insolently thrust from
the doors, while it was filled with mimi and jugglers and drunken
flatterers, upon whom was expended most of the money which was got by
the most violent and harsh means. For the three not only sold the
substance of those who were murdered, bringing false charges against
their kinsmen and wives, and tried all kinds of imposts; but hearing
that there were deposits[361] with the Vestal Virgins made both by
strangers and citizens, they went and seized them. Now as nothing was
enough for Antonius, Cæsar claimed to share the money with him; and they
also distributed the army between them, and both went together into
Macedonia to oppose Brutus and Cassius; and they intrusted Rome to

XXII. Crossing over the sea they commenced the campaign and encamped by
the enemy, Antonius being opposed to Cassius, and Cæsar to Brutus,[362]
wherein no great deed was performed on the part of Cæsar, but it was
Antonius who gained all the victory and had all the success. In the
first battle, Cæsar, being completely routed by Brutus, lost his camp
and narrowly escaped from his pursuers; but, as he says in his Memoirs,
he retired before the battle in consequence of one of his friends having
had a dream. But Antonius defeated Cassius; though some have written
that Antonius was not in the battle, but came up after the battle to
join in the pursuit. Pindarus, one of the faithful freedmen of Cassius,
killed him at his request and order, for Cassius did not know that
Brutus was victorious. After an interval of a few days they fought a
second battle, in which Brutus being defeated killed himself, and
Antonius carried off the chief credit of the victory, inasmuch as Cæsar
was sick. Standing over the corpse of Brutus he upbraided it gently for
the death of his brother Caius,[363] for Brutus had put Caius to death
in Macedonia to revenge Cicero; but declaring that he blamed Hortensius
more than Brutus for the murder of his brother, Antonius ordered him to
be massacred on his tomb; and he threw over the body of Brutus his own
purple cloak, which was of great value, and commanded one of his
freedmen to look after the interment. He afterwards found out that this
fellow did not burn the cloak with the corpse and that he had purloined
a large part of the expenditure destined for the interment, whereon he
put him to death.

XXIII. After this Cæsar went back to Rome, and it was supposed that he
would not live long on account of his illness. Antonius crossed over
into Greece with a large army, intending to levy money in all the
eastern provinces; for as they had promised to every soldier five
thousand drachmæ, they required more vigorous measures for raising money
and collecting contributions. Towards the Greeks his conduct was neither
unusual nor oppressive at first, but his love of amusement led him to
listen to the discourses of the learned and to the sight of games and
religious solemnities; and in his decisions he was equitable, and was
delighted at being called a Philhellen, but still more in being
addressed as Philathenæus; and he made rich gifts to the city. The
people of Megara also wishing to show him something fine, by way of
rivalry with Athens, and requesting him to see the Senate-house, he went
up and looked at it, and on their asking what he thought of it: "Small,
it is true," he said, "and yet all in decay." He also caused the temple
of the Pythian Apollo to be surveyed, as if he intended to repair it;
for he made this promise to the Senate.

XXIV.[364] Leaving Lucius Censorinus[365] over the affairs of Greece he
crossed to Asia; and when he had touched the wealth there, and kings
used to come to his door, and wives of kings vying with one another in
their presents and their beauty let themselves be corrupted in order to
win his favour, and while Cæsar at Rome was worn out with civil
commotions and war, he enjoying perfect leisure and tranquillity was
carried back by his passions to his usual habits of life, and
Anaxenor[366] a lute-player and Xuthus a piper and Metrodorus a dancer,
and other such rout of Asiatic theatrical folks who surpassed in
impudence and shamelessness the pests from Italy, had crept in and
managed his residence--it was past all bearing, for everything was wasted
on these extravagancies. For all Asia, like that city in Sophocles,[367]
at the same time was filled with incense burning,

   "With pæans too 'twas filled and heavy groans."

Thus, when he was entering Ephesus, women clothed like Bacchæ, and men
and boys equipped like Satyrs and Pans led the way; and the city was
filled with ivy and thyrsi and psalteries and pipes and flutes, the
people calling him Dionysus, Giver of Joy and Beneficent. He was this,
it is true, to some; but to the many Omestes[368] and Agrionius. For he
took their property from well-born men and gave it to worthless men and
flatterers; and certain persons got the substance of many who were still
alive by asking for it as if they were dead. He gave the house of a
citizen of Magnesia to a cook, who, as it is said, had distinguished
himself by a single entertainment. Finally, when he was imposing a
second contribution on the citizens, Hybreas[369] was bold enough in
speaking on behalf of Asia to use these words, which were indeed such as
the common folks would have in their mouths, but were not ill adapted to
flatter[370] the vanity of Antonius, "If thou canst take contributions
twice in one year, thou canst also make for us summer twice and
harvest-time twice;" but he concluded with these practical and bold
words, that Asia had given twenty ten thousands of talents; and "if thou
hast not had them, demand them of those who have received the money; but
if thou hast received and hast them not, we are undone." By these words
he made a strong impression on Antonius, for he was ignorant of the
greater part of what was going on; and not so much because he was
indolent, as because in his simplicity he trusted those about him. For
there was in his character simplicity and slow perception; but when he
did perceive his errors, there was strong repentance, and acknowledgment
to those who had been wronged, and excess both in the restitution that
he made and the punishment that he inflicted. Yet he was considered to
surpass the bounds of moderation rather in conferring favours than in
punishing. His rudeness in mirth and bantering carried its own remedy
with it; for a man might return him as good as he gave; and he took as
much pleasure in being laughed at as in laughing at others. And this did
him mischief in most things; for he could not believe that those who
spoke so freely in jest, could flatter him in earnest, and as he was
easily caught by praise, not knowing that some persons by mingling
freedom of expression, like a sharpish sauce, with flattery, took away
from flattery its nauseating insipidity, by their boldness and babbling
over their cups striving to make their yielding in matters of business
and their assent appear, not the way of persons who keep about a man
merely to please him, but of those who are overpowered by superior

XXV. Such was the disposition of Antonius, upon which a crowning evil
the love for Cleopatra supervening, and stirring up and maddening many
of the passions that were still concealed in him and lying quiet, caused
to vanish and utterly destroyed whatever of goodness and of a saving
nature still made resistance in him. And he was captured in this
fashion. When he was preparing for the Parthian war, he sent her orders
to meet him in Cilicia to give an account of the charges made against
her of supplying Cassius with much money and contributions for the war.
Dellius,[371] who was sent, observing her person and marking her
cleverness in speaking and her versatility, soon perceived that Antonius
would never even think of doing such a woman any harm, but that she
would have the greatest influence with him; and he applied himself to
paying his court to her, and he encouraged the Egyptian, in the words of
Homer,[372] to go to Cilicia bedecked in her best fashion and not to be
afraid of Antonius, who was the most pleasant and kindest of generals.
Being persuaded by Dellius, and collecting from the proofs of her charms
upon Caius Cæsar and Cnæus the son of Pompeius, she had hopes that she
should more easily win over Antonius. For they knew her when she was yet
a girl and inexperienced in affairs, but she was going to visit Antonius
at an age in which women have the most brilliant beauty and their
understanding has attained its perfection. Accordingly she got together
many presents and money and ornaments, such as one might suppose that
she could bring from the greatness of her estate and the wealth of her
kingdom, but she went to Cilicia relying chiefly on herself and the
seductions and charms of her own person.

XXVI. Though Cleopatra[373] received many letters of summons both from
Antonius[374] and his friends, she so despised and mocked the man, that
she sailed up the Cydnus in a vessel with a gilded stern, with purple
sails spread, and rowers working with silver oars to the sound of the
flute in harmony with pipes and lutes. Cleopatra reclined under an
awning spangled with gold, dressed as Venus is painted, and youths
representing the Cupids in pictures stood on each side fanning her. In
like manner the handsomest of her female slaves in the dress of Nereids
and Graces, were stationed some at the rudders and others at the ropes.
And odours of wondrous kind from much incense filled the banks. Some of
the people accompanied her immediately from the entrance of the river on
both sides, and others went down from the city to see the sight. As the
crowd from the Agora also poured forth, Antonius was finally left on the
tribunal sitting alone. A rumour went abroad that Venus was coming to
revel with Bacchus for the good of Asia. Now Antonius sent to invite
Cleopatra to supper, but she on her part said that he should rather come
to her. Antonius accordingly, wishing to display some good nature and
kindness, obeyed and came. He found a preparation greater than he
expected, but he was most surprised at the number of the lights: for it
is said that so many lights were hung down and shewn on all sides at
once and arranged and put together in such inclinations and positions
with respect to one another in the form of squares and circles, that of
the few things that are beautiful and worthy of being seen this sight
was one.

XXVII. On the following day when Antonius feasted her in turn he was
ambitious to surpass her splendour and taste, but he was left behind and
inferior in both, and in these very things he was the first to scoff at
the coarseness and rusticity of his own entertainment. Cleopatra,
observing in the jests of Antonius much of the soldier and the
unpolished man, adopted the same manner towards him freely and boldly.
Now her beauty, as they say, was not in itself altogether incomparable
nor such as to strike those who saw her; but familiarity with her had an
irresistible charm, and her form, combined with her persuasive speech
and with the peculiar character which in a manner was diffused about her
behaviour, produced a certain piquancy. There was a sweetness also in
the sound of her voice when she spoke; and as she could easily turn her
tongue, like a many-stringed instrument, to any language that she
pleased, she had very seldom need of an interpreter for her
communication with barbarians, but she answered most by herself, as
Ethiopians,[375] Troglodytes, Hebrews, Arabs, Syrians, Medes, Parthians.
She is said also to have learned the language of many other peoples,
though the kings her predecessors had not even taken the pains to learn
the Egyptian language, and some of them had even given up the Macedonian

XXVIII. Now she so captivated Antonius, that though his wife Fulvia was
carrying on war at Rome against Cæsar on behalf of the interests of
Antonius, and a Parthian army was hovering about Mesopotamia, of which
the king's generals had named Labienus[376] Parthian governor, and they
were about to enter Syria, he allowed himself to be carried off by her
to Alexandria; and there staying and amusing himself like a young man
who had leisure, he consumed and expended upon pleasure the most costly
of all things, as Antiphon said, Time. They had a kind of company called
Inimitable Livers; and they daily feasted one another, making an
incredible profusion in their expenditure. Now Philotas of
Amphissa,[377] a physician, used to relate to my grandfather Lamprias,
that he was then in Alexandria learning his profession, and having got
acquainted with one of the royal cooks, he was persuaded by him, as was
natural in a young man, to view the costliness and the preparation for
the table. Accordingly he was introduced into the kitchen, where he saw
everything in great abundance, and eight wild boars roasting, which made
him wonder at the number of the guests. Hereupon the cook laughed and
said, the party at supper was not large, only about twelve; but it was
necessary that everything which was served up should be in perfection,
which a moment of time would spoil. He said it might happen that
Antonius should wish to sup immediately, and if it so happened, he might
defer it by asking for a cup or by falling into some conversation; and
accordingly, he continued, not one supper is prepared, but many, for the
exact time is difficult to conjecture. This is what Philotas used to
tell; and in the course of time, as he related, he was among those who
attended on the eldest son of Antonius, whom he had by Fulvia, and he
supped with him with the rest of his companions, as a general rule, when
he did not sup with his father. On one occasion there was a physician
present who was bragging greatly and much annoying the company at
supper, but Philotas stopped him by a sophism of this kind: "If a man
has fever in some degree, we must give him cold water; but every man who
has fever has fever in some degree; we must therefore give cold water to
every man who has fever." The man was confounded and put to silence,
whereat the youth being pleased, laughed and said, "All this, Philotas,
I give you," pointing to a table full of many large cups. Philotas
acknowledged his intended kindness, though he was far from thinking that
a boy of his age had authority to make such a present; but after awhile
one of the young slaves took hold of the cups and bringing them in a
vessel bade him put a seal on it. As Philotas made objections and was
afraid to take the things. "Why, you fool," said the man, "do you
hesitate? Don't you know that the giver is the son of Antonius, and that
he has permission to give so many things of gold? If however you take my
advice, you will exchange the whole with us for a sum of money; for
perchance the youth's father might call for some of the vessels, which
are old and valued for their workmanship." Such anecdotes as these my
grandfather used to say that Philotas would occasionally tell.

XXIX. But Cleopatra, by distributing flattery not, as Plato[378] says,
in four ways, but in many ways, and by always adding some new pleasure
and charm to whatever was either serious or mirthful, completely ruled
Antonius, never leaving him by night nor by day. For she played at dice
with him, and drank with him, and hunted with him, and was a spectator
when he was exercising in arms, and by night when he was standing at the
doors and windows of the common people and jesting with those within,
she accompanied him in his rambles and freaks, in the dress of a female
slave; for Antonius also used to dress himself in this style.
Accordingly he would return home always well loaded with coarse abuse
and sometimes with blows. With the greater part he was in no good
credit; however the Alexandrines took delight in his extravagances, and
joined in his follies without any lack of cleverness or humour, being
pleased therewith and saying that Antonius put on the tragic mask to the
Romans, but the comic mask to them. Now to relate the greater part of
his follies would be mere trifling. However on one occasion when he was
fishing and was vexed at his bad sport, Cleopatra also being present, he
ordered the fisherman to dive under the water and secretly to fasten to
the hook some fishes that had been already caught; and he pulled up two
or three times, but not without being detected by the Egyptian.
Pretending to admire, she spoke to her friends and invited them to come
as spectators on the following day. A number of them got into the
fishing boats, and when Antonius had let down his line, she ordered one
of her own men to anticipate him by diving to the hook and to fasten to
it a Pontic salted fish.[379] Antonius thinking that he had caught
something pulled up, on which there was, as was natural, great laughter,
whereat Cleopatra said, "Give up the fishing-rod, Imperator, to us the
kings of Pharos and Canopus; your sport is cities and kings and

XXX.[380] While Antonius was spending his time in such trifles and
extravagances, he was surprised by intelligence from two different
quarters; from Rome, that Lucius his brother and Fulvia his wife, having
first been at variance with one another and then having warred with
Cæsar, were completely defeated and flying from Italy; the other
intelligence was in no wise more favourable, which was that Labienus at
the head of the Parthians had subdued Asia from the Euphrates and Syria
as far as Lydia and Ionia. With difficulty then, like a man roused from
sleep and a drunken debauch, he set out to oppose the Parthians, and
advanced as far as Phoenice, but as Fulvia sent him letters full of
lamentations he turned towards Italy, with two hundred ships. On this
voyage he took up his friends who had fled from Italy, and learned from
them that Fulvia had been the cause of the war, for she was naturally a
busy and bold woman; but her hope was to draw away Antonius from
Cleopatra, if their should be any disturbance in Italy. It happened that
Fulvia, who was sailing to meet him, died at Sikyon of some disease,
which rendered a reconciliation with Cæsar more easy. For when Antonius
approached Italy, and Cæsar was evidently not intending to make any
charge against him, and Antonius was ready to fix on Fulvia the blame of
what he was charged with, their friends would not let them come to any
explanation of these grounds, but brought them both to terms and
distributed the empire, making the Ionian gulf the boundary, and giving
the eastern parts to Antonius and the western to Cæsar; Lepidus was
allowed to keep Libya; and it was settled that the friends of each in
turns should be consuls, when it did not please themselves to be.

XXXI. This arrangement seemed to be good, but it required a stronger
security, and fortune offered one. Octavia[381] was a sister of Cæsar,
older than Cæsar, but not by the same mother; for she was the daughter
of Ancharia, but he was born afterwards of Atia. Cæsar was very greatly
attached to his sister, and it is said she was a most admirable woman.
Octavia was now a widow, for her husband Caius Marcellus had not long
been dead. As Fulvia was dead, Antonius also was considered to be a
widower; he did not deny that he had Cleopatra, but he did not admit
that he had her as a wife, and he was still struggling in his judgment
on this point against his love for the Egyptian. Everybody was proposing
this marriage in the hope that Octavia, who in addition to great beauty
possessed dignity of character and good sense, if she were united to
Antonius and were beloved by him, as it was reasonable to suppose that
such a woman must be, would be the conservation and cause of union
between them in all respects. This being arranged between them, they
went up to Rome where the marriage of Octavia was celebrated, though the
law did not allow a woman to marry till ten months after her husband's
decease, but the Senate in this case remitted the time by a decree.

XXXII. As Sextus[382] Pompeius was still in possession of Sicily and was
ravaging Italy, and with his numerous piratical ships, of which Menas
the pirate and Menekrates were commanders, had rendered the sea unsafe
to vessels, and as he seemed to be in a friendly disposition towards
Antonius, for he had received his mother when she had fled from Rome
with Fulvia, it was resolved to come to terms with him also. They met at
the promontory of Misenum and the mound, the fleet of Pompeius being
anchored close by them, while the forces of Antonius and Cæsar were
arranged by the side of them. Having agreed that Pompeius should have
Sardinia and Sicily on condition of keeping the sea clear of pirates and
sending to Rome a certain quantity of grain, they invited one another to
an entertainment. They cast lots on the occasion, and it was the lot of
Pompeius to feast them first. Upon Antonius asking him where they should
sup, "There," said he, pointing to the commander's ship of six banks of
oars, "for this is all the paternal residence that is left for
Pompeius." This he said to reproach Antonius, who had the house that had
belonged to the father of Sextus. Fixing his ship at anchor and making a
kind of bridge from the promontory, he received them with a hearty
welcome. When the banquet was at its height and jokes against Cleopatra
and Antonius were plentiful, Menas the pirate approaching Pompeius said
to him, so that the rest could not hear, "Will you let me cut off the
anchors of the ship and make you master not of Sicily and Sardinia, but
of the Roman empire?" Pompeius, on hearing this, considered with himself
for a short time, and said, "You ought to have done it, Menas, without
mentioning it to me: but now let us be satisfied with things as they
are; perjury is not for me." Pompeius, after being feasted by Cæsar and
Antonius in turn, sailed back to Sicily.

XXXIII. After the settlement of affairs, Antonius sent forward
Ventidius[383] into Asia to prevent the Parthians from advancing
further, and, in order to please Cæsar, he was appointed priest of the
former Cæsar; and everything else that concerned public affairs they
transacted in common and in a friendly way. But their games of amusement
caused annoyance to Antonius, as he always carried off therein less than
Cæsar. Now there was with Antonius a man skilled in divinations, an
Egyptian, one of those who cast nativities, who, whether it was to
please Cleopatra, or whether he said it in good faith, spoke freely to
Antonius, saying that his fortune, though most splendid and great, was
obscured by that of Cæsar, and he advised him to remove as far as
possible from the young man: "For thy dæmon," he said, "is afraid of the
dæmon of Cæsar, and though it is proud and erect when it is by itself,
it is humbled by his dæmon when it is near, and becomes cowed." And
indeed the things which were happening seemed to confirm the Egyptian;
for it is said that when they were casting lots by way of amusement, in
whatever they might happen to be engaged, and throwing dice, Antonius
came off with disadvantage. They frequently matched cocks,[384] and
fighting quails, and those of Cæsar were always victorious. Whereat
Antonius being annoyed, though he did not show it, and paying more
regard to the Egyptian, departed from Italy, leaving the management of
his affairs to Cæsar; and he took with him Octavia as far as Greece,
there having been a daughter born to them. While he was spending the
winter in Athens, he received intelligence of the first successes of
Ventidius, who had defeated the Parthians in a battle, in which Labienus
lost his life and Pharnapates, the most skilful of the generals of King
Hyrodes.[385] On the occasion of this victory Antonius feasted the
Greeks; and he acted as gymnasiarch for the Athenians, and leaving at
home the insignia of his rank, he went forth with the rods of a
gymnasiarch[386] and the dress and white shoes; and he took the youths
by the neck when he separated them.

XXXIV. As he was going to set out for the war, he took a crown from the
sacred olive,[387] and in conformity to a certain oracle, he filled a
vessel with water from the Clepsydra, and carried it with him. In the
mean time Pacorus,[388] the king's son, with a large Parthian army
again advanced against Syria, but Ventidius engaged with him in
Cyrrhestica and put his army to flight with great loss; Pacorus himself
fell among the first. This exploit, which was one of the most
celebrated, gave the Romans full satisfaction for the defeat of Crassus,
and again confined the Parthians within Media and Mesopotamia, after
being defeated in three successive battles. Ventidius gave up all
intention of pursuing the Parthians further, because he feared the
jealousy of Antonius, but he visited those who had revolted and brought
them into subjection, and besieged Antiochus of Commagene[389] in the
city Samosata. The king proposed to pay a thousand talents and to obey
the order of Antonius, but Ventidius told him to send his proposal to
Antonius; for he had now advanced near, and he would not allow Ventidius
to make peace with Antiochus, because he wished that this single exploit
at least should bear his name, and that everything should not be
accomplished by Ventidius. As, however, the siege was protracted, and
the citizens, after despairing of coming to terms, betook themselves to
a vigorous defence, Antonius, who was making no progress, but was
ashamed and repented of his conduct, was glad to make peace with
Antiochus and to take three hundred talents; and after settling some
trifling matters in Syria, he returned to Athens, and sent Ventidius to
enjoy a triumph after bestowing on him the suitable decorations.
Ventidius is the only Roman to the present time who has had a triumph
over the Parthians; and he was a man of obscure birth, but the
friendship of Antonius gave him the opportunity of doing great deeds, of
which he made the best use, and so confirmed what was generally said of
Antonius and Cæsar, that they were more successful as generals through
others than of themselves. For Sossius[390] also, a legatus of
Antonius, had great success in Syria; and Canidius,[391] who was left by
Antonius in Armenia, defeated the Armenians and the kings of the
Iberians and Albanians, and advanced as far as the Caucasus. All this
success increased the name and the fame of the power of Antonius among
the barbarians.

XXXV. Antonius being again irritated against Cæsar by certain calumnies,
sailed to Italy with three hundred vessels; but as the people of
Brundusium would not receive his fleet, he sailed round and anchored at
Tarentum.[392] There he sent Octavia, for she accompanied him from
Greece, at her request, to her brother: she was then pregnant, and had
already borne him two daughters. She met Cæsar on the way, and after
gaining over his friends Agrippa and Mæcenas,[393] she prayed him with
much urgency and much entreaty not to let her become a most wretched
woman after being most happy. For now, she said, all men turned their
eyes upon her, who was the wife of one Imperator and the sister of
another; "but if the worse should prevail," she continued, "and there
should be war, it is uncertain which of you must be the victor and which
the vanquished; but I shall be unfortunate both ways." Cæsar, being
moved by these words, came in a friendly manner to Tarentum, and those
who were present saw a most noble spectacle, a large army on land
tranquil, and many ships quietly holding on the shore, and the meeting
and friendly salutations of the two Imperators and their friends.
Antonius gave an entertainment first, which Cæsar consented to for his
sister's sake. It being agreed that Cæsar should give Antonius two
legions for the Parthian war, and that Antonius should give Cæsar a
hundred brazen-beaked vessels. Octavia, independently of what had been
agreed, asked for her brother twenty light ships[394] from her husband,
and for her husband a thousand soldiers from her brother. Accordingly,
separating from one another, the one immediately engaged in the war
against Pompeius,[395] being desirous to get Sicily; and Antonius,
entrusting to Cæsar Octavia and his children by her and by Fulvia,
crossed over to Asia.

XXXVI. That great evil, which had long slept, the passion for Cleopatra,
which appeared to be put to rest and to have been tranquillised by
better considerations, blazed forth again and recovered strength as
Antonius approached Syria. And finally (as Plato[396] says of the
stubborn and ungovernable beast of the soul), kicking away everything
that was good and wholesome, he sent Fonteius Capito to bring Cleopatra
to Syria. On her arrival he gave and added to her dominions nothing
small or trifling, but Phoenice, Coele Syria, Cyprus, a large part of
Cilicia, and further, that part of Judæa which produces the balsam, and
all the part, of Arabia Nabathæa which was turned towards the external
sea.[397] These donations caused the Romans the greatest vexation;
though he gave tetrarchies and kingdoms of great nations to many private
persons, and took kingdoms from many, as for instance Antigonus[398] the
Jew, whom he brought out and beheaded, though no king before had been
punished in this way. But the scandal of the thing was that which gave
more offence than all the honours conferred on Cleopatra. The evil
report was increased by his acknowledging his twin children by
Cleopatra, one of whom he called Alexander and the other Cleopatra; and
he gave to one the surname of Sun, and the other of Moon. However, he
had some dexterity in putting a good face on bad things, for he said
that the greatness of the Roman power was shown not in what they
received, but in what they gave; and that noble families were extended
by a succession and progeny of many kings. Thus, for instance, he said,
that his own ancestor was begotten by Hercules, who did not deposit his
successors in a single womb, nor did he fear laws like Solon's[399] and
penalties for conception, but gave nature her course to leave many
beginnings and foundations of families.

XXXVII. When Phraates[400] had killed his father Hyrodes and got
possession of the kingdom, other Parthians fled, not few in number; and
among them Monæses, a man of illustrious rank and great power, fled to
Antonius, who likening the fortune of Monæses to that of
Themistocles[401] and comparing his own means and magnanimity to those
of the Persian kings, gave him three cities, Larissa and Arethusa and
Hierapolis, which was before called Bambyce. Upon the Parthian king
sending to Monæses a right hand,[402] Antonius gladly despatched Monæses
to him, having resolved to deceive Phraates with a pretence of peace,
but claiming the restoration of the standards taken in the time of
Crassus and such of the prisoners as still survived. Antonius having
sent Cleopatra back to Egypt, marched through Arabia[403] and Armenia to
a place where he reviewed his army, which had assembled there, and also
the troops of the confederate kings; and they were many, but the
greatest of all was Artavasdes,[404] king of Armenia, who supplied six
thousand horse and seven thousand foot soldiers. There were of the
Romans sixty thousand foot soldiers, and the cavalry which was classed
with the Romans was ten thousand Iberians[405] and Celts; and of the
other nations there were thirty thousand together with cavalry and
light-armed troops. Yet so great a preparation and power, which alarmed
even the Indians beyond Bactria and shook all Asia, it is said, was made
of no avail to him by reason of Cleopatra. For through his eagerness to
spend the winter with her, he opened the campaign before the fit time
and conducted everything in a disorderly way, not having the mastery
over his own judgment, but through the influence of some drugs or magic
always anxiously looking towards her, and thinking more of his speedy
return than of conquering the enemy.

XXXVIII. Now, in the first place, though it was his business to winter
there in Armenia and to give his army rest, which was worn out by a
march of eight thousand stadia, and before the Parthians moved from
their winter-quarters in the commencement of spring, to occupy Media, he
did not wait for the time, but immediately led forward his army, leaving
Armenia on the left and touching on Atropatene,[406] which he ravaged.
In the next place, the engines which were necessary for sieges were
carried along with the army in three hundred waggons, and among them was
a ram eighty feet long; and it was not possible for any one of them, if
it was damaged, to be repaired when it was wanted, because the upper
country only produced wood of insufficient length and hardness:
accordingly in his hurry he left all the engines behind as encumbrances
to his speed, after appointing a watch and Statianus as commander over
the waggons; and he commenced the siege of Phraata,[407] a large city,
in which were the children and wives of the king of Media. But the
difficulties soon proved what an error he had committed in leaving
behind the engines; and as he wished to come to close quarters with the
enemy, he commenced erecting a mound against the city, which rose slowly
and with much labour. In the meantime Phraates came down with a great
force, hearing of the waggons being left behind that carried the
machines, and sent many horsemen against them, by whom Statianus was
hemmed in and killed and ten thousand men with him. The barbarians took
possession of the engines and destroyed them. They also took many
prisoners, among whom was king Polemon.[408]

XXXIX. This misfortune greatly annoyed, as we may suppose, all the
soldiers of Antonius, who at the commencement of the war had received
this unexpected blow; and the Armenian Artavasdes despairing of the
success of the Romans went off with his troops, though he had been the
chief cause of the war. The Parthians now showed themselves to the
besiegers in gallant array and insultingly threatened them, on which
Antonius, not wishing to let despondency and dejection abide in his army
by their being quiet and to increase, took ten legions and three
prætorian cohorts of heavy-armed men and all the cavalry, and led them
out to forage in the hope that the enemy would thus be drawn on, and
that a regular battle would ensue. After advancing one day's march, he
saw that the Parthians were spreading themselves around him and seeking
to attack him on the march, on which he hung out in the camp the sign of
battle, but at the same time he ordered the tents to be taken down, as
if his intention were not to fight but to lead off his troops; and he
passed along the line of the barbarians, which was in the form of a
crescent, having given orders, as soon as the first ranks of the enemy
should be within reach of the heavy-armed soldiers, for the cavalry to
ride at them. To the Parthians who stood opposed to the Romans, their
discipline appeared to be something indescribable; and they observed the
Romans as they marched past at equal intervals without disorder and in
silence, brandishing their spears. But when the standard was raised and
the cavalry facing about rushed upon the enemy, the Parthians received
their onset and repelled it, though the Romans were all at once too
close to allow them to use their arrows; but when the heavy-armed
soldiers joined in the conflict at the same time with shouts and the
clatter of arms, the Parthian horses were frightened and gave way and
the Parthians fled before they came to close quarters. Antonius pressed
on the pursuit, and had great hopes that he had finished the whole war
or the chief part in that battle. But when the infantry had followed up
the pursuit for fifty stadia and the cavalry for three times that
distance, looking at those of the enemy who had fallen and were
captured, they found only thirty captives and eighty corpses, which
caused dismay and despondency in all the army, when they reflected that
though victorious they had killed so few, and that when defeated they
must sustain such a loss as they had near the waggons. On the following
day they broke up their encampment and took the road towards Phraata and
the camp. On their march they fell in at first with a few of the enemy,
and then a greater number, and finally with all, who, as if they were
unvanquished and fresh, challenged them and fell upon them from all
sides, so that with difficulty and much labour they got safe to their
camp. As the Medes made a sally against the mound and terrified those
who were defending it, Antonius being enraged put in practice what is
called decimation[409] against the cowards; for he divided the whole
number into tens, and put to death one out of each ten who was chosen by
lot; and to the rest he ordered barley to be measured out, instead of

XL. The war was attended with great hardship to both sides, and the
future was still more alarming, as Antonius was expecting famine, for it
was no longer possible to get forage without many of the soldiers being
wounded and killed. Phraates knowing that the Parthians were able to
bear anything rather than to endure hardship in the winter and to encamp
in the open air, was afraid lest, if the Romans held out and abided
there, his troops would leave him, as the atmosphere was beginning to
grow heavy after the autumnal equinox. Accordingly he planned such a
stratagem as this. The chiefs of the Parthians,[410] both in the forages
and on other occasions when they met the Romans, made less vigorous
resistance, both allowing them to take some things and commending their
valour in that they were most courageous men, and were justly admired by
their king. After this, riding up nearer to them, and quietly placing
their horses near the Romans, they would abuse Antonius, saying that
though Phraates wished to come to terms and to spare so many brave men,
Antonius would not give him the opportunity, but sat there awaiting
those dangerous and powerful enemies, hunger and winter, from whom it
would be difficult for them to escape, even under convoy of the
Parthians. Many persons reported this to Antonius, and though he was
softened by hope, still he did not send heralds to the Parthians until
he inquired from the barbarians who assumed this friendly demeanour,
whether what they said really expressed the king's meaning. On their
saying that it was so, and urging him not to fear or distrust, he sent
some of his companions to demand back the standards and the captives,
that it might not be supposed that he was so eager to make his escape
and get away. The Parthian told him not to trouble himself about that
matter, but promised him peace and security if he would depart
forthwith; whereupon in a few days Antonius got his baggage together and
broke up his camp. Though Antonius had great powers of persuasion before
a popular assembly, and was skilled above every man of the age in
leading an army by his words, he was unable through shame and depression
of spirits to encourage the soldiers, and he bade Domitius
Ænobarbus[411] do this. Some of the soldiers took this amiss,
considering it as a token of contempt towards them, but the majority
were affected by it, and perceived the reason, and they thought that
they ought on this account the more to show their respect and obedience
to the commander.

XLI. As Antonius was intending to lead the troops back by the same road,
which was through a plain country without trees, a man, by nation a
Mardian,[412] who was well acquainted with the Parthian habits, and had
already shown himself faithful to the Romans in the battle at the
waggons, came up to Antonius and advised him in his flight to keep to
the mountains on his right, and not to expose a force, in heavy armour
and encumbered, to so numerous a cavalry and to the arrows in bare and
open tracts, which was the very thing that Phraates designed when he
induced him by friendly terms to raise the siege; and that he would lead
them a shorter road, where he would find a better supply of necessaries.
Antonius on hearing this deliberated; he did not wish to appear to
distrust the Parthians after the truce, yet as he approved of the
shorter road, and the line of march being along inhabited villages, he
asked the Mardian for a pledge of his fidelity. The Mardian offered
himself to be put in chains until he should place the army in Armenia;
and he was put in chains, and he conducted them for two days without
their meeting with any opposition. On the third day, when Antonius had
completely ceased to think of the Parthians, and was advancing in a
careless way by reason of his confidence, the Mardian observed that an
embankment against the overflowing of a river had been recently broken,
and that the stream was flowing in a great current on the road by which
they had to pass, and he knew that the Parthians had done this with the
intention of making the river an obstacle to the Roman march by the
difficulty and delay that it would occasion; and he bade Antonius look
out and be on his guard, as the enemy was near. Just while he was
placing the heavy-armed men in order, and taking measures for the
javelin-men and slingers to make an attack through their ranks upon the
enemy, the Parthians appeared and rode round them with the design of
encircling the Romans and putting them in disorder on all sides. The
light-armed troops made a sally against them, and the Parthians, after
inflicting some wounds with their arrows and receiving as many from the
leaden bullets[413] and javelins of the Romans, retreated. The Parthians
then commenced a second attack, which continued until the Celtæ in a
mass drove their horses against them and dispersed them; and the
Parthians showed themselves no more on that day.

XLII. From this experience Antonius, learning what he ought to do,
covered not only the rear, but also both flanks with many javelin men
and slingers, and led his army in the form of a quadrangle; and the
cavalry received orders to repel the attack of the enemy, but when they
had repulsed them, not to pursue far, in consequence of which the
Parthians during the four following days sustained as much damage as
they inflicted, and their ardour being dulled they thought of retiring,
as an excuse for which they alleged the approach of winter. On the fifth
day Flavius Gallus, a man of military talent and great activity, who
held a command, came and asked Antonius for more light-armed troops for
the rear,[414] and for some of the cavalry from the van, in the
expectation of having great success. Antonius gave him the troops, and
when the enemy made his attack, he fell upon them, not as on former
occasions, at the same time withdrawing towards the heavy-armed soldiers
and retreating, but resisting them and engaging with the enemy in a
desperate way. The commanders of the rear seeing that he was being
separated from them, sent and called him back, but he would not listen
to them. They say that Titius the quæstor, seizing the standards, turned
them round and abused Gallus for throwing away the lives of many brave
men. But as Gallus abused him in turn, and urged those about him to
remain, Titius retreated. While Gallus was pushing forwards against the
enemy in front, a large body of those in the rear got round him before
he perceived it. Being now attacked on all sides he sent for aid; but
the commanders of the heavy-armed troops, among whom was Canidius, a man
who had the greatest influence with Antonius, are considered to have
committed a great mistake. For when they ought to have moved the whole
line against the enemy, they sent a few at a time to help against them;
and again when these were being worsted, they sent others, and thus
these came near filling the whole army with defeat and flight before
they were aware of it; but Antonius himself quickly came with the
heavy-armed men from the van to meet the enemy, and the third legion
quickly pushing through the fugitives against the enemy stopped their
further pursuit.

XLIII. There fell no fewer than three thousand; and there were carried
to the tents five thousand wounded, and among them Gallus, who was
pierced with five arrows in front. Gallus did not recover from his
wounds; but Antonius, going about, visited the rest of the wounded, and
he encouraged them with tears in his eyes and deep sympathy. The men,
cheerfully grasping his right hand, begged him to go and take care of
his health and not to trouble himself about them, calling him Imperator,
and saying that they were all secure if he was only safe. For altogether
it seems that no Imperator of that age got together an army more
distinguished by courage or endurance or strength; but the respect
towards the commander himself, and the obedience combined with
affection, and the circumstance that all alike, those of good
reputation, those of bad, commanders, private soldiers, preferred honour
and favour from Antonius to their own lives and safety, left nothing
even for the ancient Romans to surpass, and of this there were several
reasons, as we have said before; noble birth, powerful eloquence,
simplicity, generosity and munificence, affability in his pleasures and
conversation. On that occasion, by the pains that he took and his
sympathy with the wounded, and by sharing with them whatever they
wanted, he made the sick and wounded more full of alacrity than those
who were whole.

XLIV. However the victory so elated the enemy, who were already worn out
and exhausted, and they despised the Romans so much that they even
passed the night[415] close to the camp, expecting that they should soon
plunder the deserted tents and the baggage of the Romans skulking away.
At daybreak the enemy crowded upon them in still greater numbers, and
there are said to have been not fewer than forty thousand horsemen, as
the king had sent even those who were always placed around himself, as
to certain and secure success; for the king himself was never present in
any battle. But Antonius, wishing to harangue the soldiers, asked for a
dark garment that he might appear more piteous. But as his friends
opposed him, he came forward in the purple dress of a general and
addressed the troops, praising those who had been victorious, and
upbraiding those who had fled. The former exhorted him to be of good
cheer, and the others making their apology offered themselves to him
either to be decimated or to be punished in any other way; only they
prayed him to cease being troubled and grieved. Hereupon, raising his
hands, he prayed to the gods, that if any reverse of fortune should
follow on account of his former prosperity, it might come upon him, but
that they would give safety and victory to the rest of the army.

XLV. On the following day they advanced under better protection; and
when the Parthians made their attack, the result was very contrary to
their expectations. For they expected to advance to plunder and booty,
and not to battle; but as they were assailed by many missiles, and saw
that the Romans were encouraged and fresh with alacrity, they were again
completely wearied of the contest. However the Parthians again fell upon
them as they were descending some steep hills, and galled them with
arrows as they were slowly retreating, whereon the shield-bearers[416]
faced about and placing the light-armed troops within their ranks,
dropped down on one knee and held their shields before them; those
behind held their shields before the front rank, and those who were
behind the second rank did the same. This form, which very much
resembles a roof,[417] presents a theatrical appearance, and is the
safest of bulwarks against the arrows, which thus glance off. But the
Parthians, who thought that the Romans bending on one knee was a sign of
exhaustion and fatigue, laid aside their bows, and grasping their spears
by the middle, came to close quarters. But the Romans with one shout all
at once sprang up, and pushing with their javelins which they held in
their hands, killed the foremost and put all the rest to flight. This
took place also on the following days, the Romans making only small way.
Famine also attacked the army, which could get little grain and that
with fighting, and they had few implements for grinding; for the greater
part were left behind, owing to some of the beasts dying, and others
being employed in carrying the sick and wounded. It is said that an
Attic choenix[418] of wheat was sold for fifty drachmæ; and they sold
barley loaves for their weight in silver. Then they betook themselves to
vegetables and roots; but they found few of the kind that they were
accustomed to, and being compelled to make trial of what they had never
tasted before, they ate of one herb that caused madness and then death.
For he who had eaten of it recollected nothing, and understood nothing,
and busied himself about nothing except one sole thing, which was to
move and turn every stone, as if he were doing something of great
importance. The plain was full of men stooping to the ground and digging
round stones and moving them; and finally they vomited bile and died,
for wine, which was the only remedy, failed them. As many were dying and
the Parthians did not desist from their attack, they say that Antonius
often cried out "O the ten thousand!"[419] whereby he expressed his
admiration of the ten thousand, that though they marched even a greater
distance, from Babylonia, and fought with many more enemies, yet they
made good their retreat.

XLVI. The Parthians, not being able to break through the Roman army nor
yet to separate their ranks, and being already often defeated and put to
flight, again mingled in a friendly way with those who went out for
grass or corn, and pointing to the strings of their bows which were
unstrung, said, that they were going back and this was the end of their
attack; but that a few of the Medes would follow still one or two days'
journey without annoying them at all, and for the purpose of protecting
the more distant villages. To these words were added embraces and signs
of friendship, so that the Romans were again of good cheer; and Antonius
hearing this resolved to keep nearer to the plains, as the road through
the mountains was said to be waterless. While he was intending to do
this, there came to the camp a man from the enemy, named Mithridates, a
cousin of Monæses, of him who had been with Antonius and had received
the three cities as a present. And he asked for some one to come near to
him who could speak the Parthian or the Syrian language. Alexander of
Antioch came to him, and he was an intimate friend of Antonius,
whereupon Mithridates, saying who he was, and intimating that they must
thank Monæses for what he was going to say, asked Alexander, if he saw
in the distance a continuous range of lofty mountains. On Alexander
saying that he saw them, he replied, "Under those mountains the
Parthians with all their forces lie in ambush for you. For the great
plains border on these mountains, and they expect that you will be
deceived by them and will turn in that direction and leave the road
through the mountains. The way over the mountains is attended with
thirst and labour to which you are accustomed, but if Antonius goes by
the plain, let him be assured that the fate of Crassus awaits him."

XLVII. Having said this, he went away; and Antonius, who was troubled at
these words, called together his friends and the Mardian who was their
guide, and had exactly the same opinion. For even if there were no
enemy, he knew that the want of roads in the plains and the mistakes in
the track which they might make there were matters of hazard and
difficulty; but he declared that the road over the mountains presented
no other risk than the want of water for a single day. Accordingly
Antonius turned aside and led his army by this route by night, having
given orders to the men to take water with them. But the greater part
had no vessels, and accordingly they filled their helmets with water and
carried them, and others took it in skins. As soon as Antonius began to
advance, the Parthians had intelligence of it, and contrary to their
custom they commenced the pursuit while it was still night. Just as the
sun was rising, they came up with the rear, which was in weak condition
through want of sleep and fatigue: for they had accomplished two hundred
and forty stadia in the night; and the enemy coming upon them so
suddenly when they did not expect it, dispirited them. The contest
increased their thirst, for they still advanced while they were
defending themselves. Those who were in the first ranks, as they were
marching onwards, came to a river,[420] the water of which was cool and
pellucid, but salt and of a medicinal nature; and this water, when drank
of immoderately, caused pains with purging and augmentation of the
thirst: and though the Mardian had warned them of this, the soldiers
nevertheless forced away those who tried to hinder them and drank of the
water. Antonius went round to the men and prayed them to hold out for a
short time, and he said there was another river not far off, and besides
this, the rest of the route was impracticable for horses and rough, so
that the enemy must certainly turn back. At the same time he summoned
those who were engaged in the fight and gave the signal for pitching the
tents, that the soldiers might at least enjoy the shade a little.

XLVIII. While then the tents were being fixed and the Parthians as usual
were immediately retiring, Mithridates came again, and upon Alexander
going up to him, he advised him to put the army in motion after it had
rested a little and to hasten to the river: for he said that the
Parthians would not cross it, but would follow up the pursuit as far as
the river. Alexander reported this to Antonius, and then brought out
from him numerous gold cups and goblets, of which Mithridates taking as
many as he could hide in his dress, rode off. As it was still daylight,
they broke up their tents and advanced, without being annoyed by the
enemy; but they made that night of all others the most painful and
frightful to themselves. For they killed and plundered those who had
silver or gold, and took the things that were carried by the beasts; and
finally falling upon the baggage of Antonius, they cut in pieces and
divided among them cups and costly tables, there being great disturbance
and confusion through the whole army; for they thought that the enemy
had fallen upon them and that flight and dispersion had ensued, Antonius
called one of the freedmen, who was on his guard, named Rhamnus, and
bound him by oath when he gave him the order, to push his sword through
him and to cut off his head, that he might neither be taken alive by the
enemy nor be recognised when dead. His friends broke out in tears, but
the Mardian encouraged Antonius by telling him that the river was near;
for a moist breeze blowing and a cooler air meeting them made their
respiration more agreeable; and he said that the time they had been on
the march confirmed his estimate of the distance, for what now remained
of the night was not much. At the same time others reported that the
disorder was owing to their own wrongful deeds and rapacity. Accordingly
Antonius, wishing to bring the army into order from their state of
disorder and confusion, commanded the signal to be given for pitching
the tents.

XLIX. Day was now dawning, and as the army was beginning to get into
certain order and tranquillity, the arrows of the Parthians fell upon
the rear, and the signal for battle was given to the light-armed troops.
The heavy-armed troops again covering one another in like manner as
before with their shields, stood the assault of the missiles, the enemy
not venturing to come near. The first ranks advancing slowly in this
form, the river was seen; and Antonius drawing up his cavalry on the
banks in face of the enemy, took across the weak first. Those who were
fighting were now relieved from apprehension, and had the opportunity of
drinking; for when the Parthians saw the river, they unstrung their bows
and bade the Romans pass over in confidence, with great encomiums on
their valour. Accordingly, they crossed, and recruited themselves
quietly; and then they marched forwards, but yet not with full
confidence in the Parthians. On the sixth day after the last battle they
reached the river Araxes,[421] which is the boundary between Media and
Armenia. It appeared dangerous both for its depth and roughness, and a
rumour went through the army that the enemy was in ambush there, and
would fall on them as they were crossing. When they had safely crossed
and had set foot in Armenia, as if they had just got sight of that land
from the sea, they saluted it and fell to shedding of tears and
embracing of one another for joy. In their progress through a fertile
country, during which they used everything freely after having suffered
great want, they were subject to dropsical and bowel complaints.

L. Antonius there made a review of his men, and he found that twenty
thousand infantry and four thousand cavalry had perished; not all by the
enemy, but above half by disease. They marched from Phraata
twenty-seven days, and they defeated the Parthians in eighteen battles;
but these victories brought neither strength nor security, because their
pursuits were short and ineffectual. And this mainly showed that it was
Artavasdes[422] the Armenian who had deprived Antonius of the means of
bringing that war to an end. For if the sixteen thousand horsemen whom
he drew out of Media had been present, who were equipped like the
Parthians, and were accustomed to fight against them, and if, while the
Romans put to flight the fighting enemy, they had overtaken the
fugitives, it would not have been in their power after a defeat to
recover themselves and venture again so often. All the army accordingly
in passion endeavoured to incite Antonius to punish the Armenian. But
Antonius upon considerations of prudence neither reproached him for his
treachery nor abated of his usual friendly behaviour and respect towards
him, being weak in numbers and in want of supplies. Afterwards, however,
when he again broke into Armenia, and by many promises and invitations,
persuaded Artavasdes to come into his hands, he seized him and took him
in chains to Alexandria, where he was led in triumph. And herein chiefly
he offended the Romans, by giving to the Egyptians for the sake of
Cleopatra the honourable and solemn ceremonial of his native country.
This however took place later.

LI. Antonius now pressed on his march, the winter having already set in
with severity, through incessant snow-storms, in which he lost eight
thousand men on the route. Going down to the sea-coast with a very small
body of men, he waited for Cleopatra[423] in a place between Berytus and
Sidon, called "White village"; and as she was slow in coming, he became
uneasy and restless, soon giving himself up to drinking and
intoxication, but yet being unable to continue at table; for while his
companions were drinking he would rise and often spring up to look out,
till Cleopatra arrived there by sea bringing a quantify of clothes and
supplies for the soldiers. There are some who say that Antonius received
the clothes from her, but that the money was his own, though he
distributed it as if it were a present to him from Cleopatra.

LII. A quarrel arose between the king of the Medes and Phraortes[424]
the Parthian, which originated, as they say, about the Roman spoils, but
caused the Mede to have suspicions and fear of being deprived of his
dominions. For this reason he sent to invite Antonius, and proffered to
join him in a war with his own forces. Antonius accordingly being put in
great hope--for the only thing as he thought which had been the cause of
his failing to subdue the Parthians, his having gone against them
without many horsemen and bowmen, he now saw was offered to him in such
way that his part was rather to do a favour by accepting than to ask for
one--was preparing again to march into the upper country through Armenia,
and after joining the Mede near the Araxes, then to recommence the war.

LIII. At Rome Octavia[425] was desirous of going to Antonius, and Cæsar
gave her permission; as the greater part say, not with the design of
pleasing her, but in order that if she were greatly insulted and
neglected, he might have a specious pretext for the war. On reaching
Athens she received letters from Antonius, in which he told her to stay
there, and informed her of his intended expedition. Though Octavia was
annoyed, and saw that this was only a pretext, she wrote to him to ask
to what place he would have the things sent which she was bringing to
him. And she was taking a great quantity of clothing for the army, many
beasts, and money and presents for his officers and friends; and besides
this, two thousand picked soldiers equipped as prætorian cohorts, with
splendid armour. A certain Niger, a friend of Antonius, who was sent by
Octavia, reported this to him, and he added commendation of Octavia such
as she merited and was just. But Cleopatra, seeing that Octavia was
entering into a contest with her, and fearing that if to the dignity of
her behaviour and the power of Cæsar she added the pleasure of social
intercourse and attention to Antonius, she would be invincible and get
complete mastery over her husband, pretended to be desperately in love
with Antonius, and she wasted her body by spare diet; and she put on the
expression of strong passion when he approached her, and of sorrow and
depression when he went away. She also contrived to be often seen in
tears, which she would all at once wipe away and affect to conceal, as
if she did not wish Antonius to observe it. She practised these arts
while Antonius was preparing for his expedition from Syria against the
Mede.[426] Flatterers, too, who were busy in her behalf, abused Antonius
as a hard and unfeeling man, who was causing the death of a woman who
was devoted to him alone. As to Octavia, she came to meet Antonius upon
business on her brother's account, and enjoyed the name of wife of
Antonius; but Cleopatra, who was the queen of so many people, was only
called the beloved of Antonius, and she did not shun nor disdain this
name, so long as she could see Antonius and live with him; but if she
were driven away from him, she would not survive. At last they so melted
and softened the man, that through fear that Cleopatra might destroy
herself, he returned to Alexandria, and put off the Mede to the summer
season, though the affairs of Parthia were said to be in a state of
anarchy. However, he went up into the country, and brought over the king
to friendly terms, and after betrothing to one of his sons by Cleopatra
one of the daughters of the king, who was still a young child, he
returned, being now engaged in preparing for the civil war.

LIV. When Octavia returned from Athens, as Cæsar conceived her to have
been insulted, he ordered her to dwell in her own house. But she refused
to leave her husband's house, and she advised her brother, if he had not
for other reasons determined to go to war with Antonius, to let her
affairs alone, for it was not even decent to be said, that of the
greatest Imperators, one through love for a woman, and the other
through jealousy, brought the Romans to civil war. This she said, and
she confirmed what she said by her acts; for she lived in her husband's
house, just as if he were at home, and she took care of the children,
both her own and those of Fulvia, in an honourable and liberal way; she
also received the friends of Antonius who were sent to Rome to get
offices or on business, and assisted them in obtaining from Cæsar what
they wanted. She thus unintentionally damaged Antonius, for he was hated
for wronging such a woman. He was also hated for the division which he
made among his children at Alexandria, which appeared to be
tragical[427] and arrogant, and to show hatred of the Romans. For he
filled the gymnasium with a crowd, and caused to be placed on a tribunal
of silver two thrones of gold, one for himself, and the other for
Cleopatra, and for the children other thrones which were lower; and
first of all he declared Cleopatra Queen of Egypt and Cyprus and Libya
and Coele Syria, with Cæsarion as co-regent, who was believed to be the
son of the former Cæsar, who left Cleopatra pregnant; in the next place
he proclaimed his sons and Cleopatra's to be Kings of Kings; and to
Alexander he gave Armenia, and Media, and Parthia, when he should have
subdued it, and to Ptolemæus he gave Phoenice and Syria and Cilicia. At
the same time also he led forth Alexander, dressed in a Median vest with
a tiara and cittaris[428] upright, and Ptolemæus in boots, and a
chlamys, and a causia with a diadem attached to it; for this was the
dress of the kings who followed Alexander, and the other was the dress
of the Medes and Armenians. After the children had embraced their
parents, a guard of Armenians was placed around the one, and of
Macedonians around the other. Cleopatra, both on that occasion and on
other occasions when she went out before the people, used to put on a
dress sacred to Isis, different from her ordinary dress, and she was
called the new Isis.

LV. By bringing these matters before the Senate, and often complaining
of them before the people, Cæsar excited the multitude against Antonius.
Antonius also sent and made recriminations against Cæsar. The chief
charges which Antonius made against him were, in the first place, that
though he had taken Sicily from Pompeius, he did not give him a part of
the island; second, that Cæsar had borrowed ships from him for the war
and had kept them; third, that after ejecting his colleague Lepidus from
his authority and degrading him, Cæsar kept the army and territory and
revenues that were assigned to Lepidus;[429] and, finally, that he had
distributed nearly all Italy in allotments among his own soldiers, and
had left nothing for the soldiers of Antonius. To these charges Cæsar
replied, that he had deprived Lepidus of his authority because he was
abusing it, and as to what he had acquired in war, he would share it
with Antonius, when Antonius should share Armenia with him. He further
said that the soldiers of Antonius had no claim to any share of Italy,
for that they had Media and Parthia, which they had added to the Roman
possessions by their brave conduct in war under their Imperator.

LVI. Antonius heard of this while he was tarrying in Armenia; and he
immediately gave orders to Canidius to take sixteen legions and to go
down to the sea. Himself taking Cleopatra with him went to Ephesus. Here
the navy collected from all quarters, eight hundred ships, including
merchant vessels, of which Cleopatra furnished two hundred, and twenty
thousand talents and supplies for the war for all the army. Antonius,
being persuaded by Domitius and some others, told Cleopatra to sail to
Egypt and there to wait the result of the war. But as Cleopatra feared
that there would again be a reconciliation through Octavia, she
persuaded Canidius by a large bribe to speak to Antonius about her, and
to say, that it was neither just for a woman to be kept away from the
war, who supplied so many large contributions, nor was it to the
interest of Antonius to dispirit the Egyptians, who composed a large
part of the naval force; and besides this, he did not see to which of
the kings who joined the expedition Cleopatra was inferior in
understanding, she who for a long time by herself had governed so large
a kingdom, and had long enjoyed his company, and had learned to manage
great affairs. These arguments prevailed, for it was fated that all the
power should come into Cæsar's hands; and after the forces had come
together, they sailed to Samos and enjoyed themselves there. For as
orders had been given to kings and rulers and tetrarchs and nations and
all the cities between Syria and the Mæotis and Armenia and the
Illyrians[430] to send and bring their supplies for the war, so all the
persons who assisted at theatrical entertainments were required to meet
Antonius at Samos; and while nearly all the world around was lamenting
and groaning, one island for many days resounded with pipes and stringed
instruments, and the theatres were filled and the chori were vying with
one another. Every city also joined in the celebration by sending an ox,
and kings rivalled one another in giving entertainments and presents. So
that it went abroad and was said, how will persons behave in the
rejoicings after a victory, who make such costly banquets to celebrate
the preparations for war?

LVII. After these amusements were over, Antonius gave to the theatrical
company Priene for their dwelling; and sailing to Athens he again gave
himself up to pleasure and theatres. Cleopatra, who was jealous of the
honours that had been paid to Octavia in the city, for Octavia was very
much beloved by the Athenians, attempted to gain the popular favour by
many acts of liberality. The Athenians after voting to her honorable
distinctions, sent a deputation to her residence to carry the record of
the vote, and Antonius was one of them, as being an Athenian citizen;
and coming before her he went through an harangue on behalf of the
city. He sent persons to Rome to eject Octavia from his house; and it is
said that when she left it, she took all the children of Antonius with
her except the eldest of the children by Fulvia, for he was with his
father, and that she wept and lamented that she too would be considered
one of the causes of the war. And the Romans pitied not her, but they
pitied Antonius, and those chiefly who had seen Cleopatra, a woman who
had not the advantage over Octavia either in beauty or in youth.

LVIII. Cæsar was alarmed when he heard of the rapidity and the greatness
of the preparation[431] of Antonius, lest he should be compelled to come
to a decisive battle during that summer. For he was deficient in many
things, and the exaction of taxes vexed people; for the free men, being
compelled to contribute a fourth[432] of their income, and the class of
freedmen to contribute an eighth part of their property, cried out
against Cæsar, and tumults arising from these causes prevailed over all
Italy. Accordingly the delay in the war is reckoned among the greatest
faults of Antonius; for it gave time to Cæsar to make preparation, and
it put an end to the disturbances among the people; for while the money
was being exacted from them they were irritated, but when it had been
exacted and they had paid it they remained quiet.[433] Titius and
Plancus, friends of Antonius and men of consular rank, being insulted by
Cleopatra, for they made the most opposition to her joining the
expedition, escaped to Cæsar, and they gave him information about the
will of Antonius, as they were acquainted with the contents of it. The
will was placed with the Vestal Virgins,[434] and when Cæsar asked for
it, they would not give it to him, but they told him, if he wished to
have it, to come and take it himself. And he did go and take it; and
first of all he read it over by himself, and marked certain passages
which furnished ready matter of accusation; in the next place he
assembled the Senate and read the will, to the dissatisfaction of the
greater part; for they considered it to be altogether unusual and a hard
matter for a man to be called to account in his lifetime for what he
wished to be done after his death. Cæsar dwelt most on that part of the
will which related to the interment; for Antonius directed that his
body, even if he should die in Rome, should be carried in procession
through the Forum and sent to Alexandria to Cleopatra. Calvisius, an
intimate friend of Cæsar, brought forward also these charges against
Antonius in reference to Cleopatra: that he had given her the
libraries[435] from Pergamum, in which there were two hundred thousand
single books; and that at an entertainment in the presence of many
people he stood up and rubbed her feet[436] in compliance with a certain
arrangement and agreement; and that he allowed the Ephesians in his
presence to salute Cleopatra as mistress; and that frequently when he
was administering justice to tetrarchs and kings on his tribunal, he
would receive from her love-billets written on onyx or crystal and read
them. Furnius[437] also, who was a man of distinction and the most
powerful orator among the Romans, said that Cleopatra was being carried
in a litter through the Forum, and that Antonius when he saw her, sprung
up and left the judgment-seat and accompanied her hanging on the litter.

LIX. In most of these matters Calvisius[438] was supposed to be lying.
But the friends of Antonius going about in Rome entreated the people
for his sake, and they sent Geminius, one of their body, to entreat
Antonius not to be regardless about being deprived of his authority by a
vote and declared an enemy of the Romans. Geminius having sailed to
Greece became suspected by Cleopatra of acting on the behalf of Octavia,
and, though he was continually ridiculed at supper and insulted by
having unsuitable places at the feast assigned to him, he submitted to
this and waited for an opportunity of an interview; and when he was told
at supper to say what he had come about, he replied that all his
communication was to be made when he was sober, except one thing, which
he knew whether he was sober or drunk; and it was this, that all would
be well if Cleopatra would go off to Egypt. Antonius was irritated at
this, but Cleopatra said, "You have done well, Geminius, in having
confessed the truth without tortures." After a few days accordingly
Geminius made his escape to Rome. The flatterers of Cleopatra drove away
also many of the other friends of Antonius, who could not endure their
excesses over wine and their coarse behaviour; and among these were
Marcus Silanus and Dellius the historian. Dellius says that he was also
afraid of some design from Cleopatra, of which he had been informed by
Glaucus the physician. He had offended Cleopatra at supper by saying
that they had to drink vinegar, while Sarmentus[439] at Rome was
drinking Falernian. Now Sarmentus was a youth, one of Cæsar's
favourites, such as the Romans call Deliciæ.

LX. When Cæsar had made preparation sufficient, he got a vote passed for
war against Cleopatra[440] and for depriving Antonius of the authority
which he had surrendered to Cleopatra. Cæsar also said that Antonius,
owing to draughts that had been administered to him, was not in his
senses, and those whom the Romans had to fight against were Mardion the
eunuch, and Potheinus, and Iras the tire-woman of Cleopatra, and
Charmion, by whom all the chief matters of administration were directed.
These signs, it is said, happened before the war. Pisaurum,[441] a city
that had been colonised by Antonius, which was situated near the
Adriatic, was swallowed up by the opening of chasms in the earth. From
one of the stone statues of Antonius at Alba sweat oozed for many days,
and it did not cease, though there were persons who wiped it off. While
he was staying at Patræ, the Herakleium was destroyed by lightning; at
Athens the Dionysius, one of the figures in the Battle of the
Giants,[442] was blown down by the winds and carried into the theatre.
Now Antonius claimed kinship with Hercules by descent and with Dionysius
by imitating his manner of life, as it has been said, and he was called
young Dionysius. The same tempest also fell on the colossal statues of
Eumenes and Attalus, on which the name of Antonius had been inscribed,
and threw them down alone out of a large number. The admiral's ship of
Cleopatra was called Antonias, and a bad omen appeared as to it: some
swallows had made their nest under the stern, but other swallows
attacked and drove them out and destroyed the young.

LXI. They were now coming together for the war; and the fighting ships
of Antonius were not fewer than five hundred, among which were many
vessels of eight and ten banks of oars fitted out in proud and pompous
style; of the land forces there were one hundred thousand, and twelve
thousand horsemen. There were on his side of subject kings, Bocchus the
king of the Libyans, and Tarcondemus the king of Upper Cilicia, and
Archelaus, king of Cappadocia, and Philadelphus of Paphlagonia, and
Mithridates of Commagene, and Sadalas of Thrace. These were with him.
From Pontus Polemon sent a force, and Malchus from Arabia, and Herodes,
the Jew; and besides these, Amyntas, the king of the Lycaonians and
Galatians.[443] There was also help sent from the king of the Medes.
Cæsar had two hundred and fifty ships of war, and eighty thousand
infantry, and about the same number of horsemen as the enemy. The
dominion of Antonius extended over the country from the Euphrates to the
Ionian sea and the Illyrians; and that of Cæsar from the Illyrians over
the country that reached to the Western Ocean, and over the country from
the ocean to the Tuscan and Sicilian sea. Of Libya Cæsar had the part
which extended opposite to Italy and Gaul and Iberia as far as the
pillars of Hercules; and Antonius had the part from Cyrene to Ethiopia.

LXII. Antonius was so mere an appendage to Cleopatra that though he had
a great superiority in land forces, he wished the decision of the affair
to depend on the navy, to please Cleopatra: and this, though he saw that
through want of a crew, men were being seized by the trierarchs out of
Greece, which had indeed suffered much, travellers, ass-drivers,
reapers, youths, and that even by these means the ships were not manned,
but the greater part were deficient and were ill manoeuvred. Cæsar's navy
consisted of ships not built to a great height nor yet for the purpose
of making a show, but adapted for easy and quick movement and well
manned; and he kept his fleet together in Tarentum and Brundusium, and
sent to Antonius to ask him not to waste the time, but to come with his
forces, and that he would provide his armament with naval stations free
from all hindrance, and harbours, and that he would retreat with his
land forces a day's journey for a horseman from the sea, until Antonius
had safely landed and encamped. Antonius replied in like strain to this
bragging language by challenging Cæsar to single combat, though he was
older than Cæsar; and if Cæsar declined this, he proposed that they
should decide the matter with their armies at Pharsalus, as Cæsar and
Pompeius had done before. While Antonius was taking his station near
Actium,[444] where Nicopolis is now built, Cæsar contrived to cross the
Ionian sea and to get possession of a place in Epirus, called Torune;
and as the friends of Antonius were uneasy, because their land force had
not yet come up, Cleopatra, jesting, said, "What is the harm if Cæsar is
sitting by a torune?"[445]

LXIII. At daybreak the advance of the enemy's fleet alarmed Antonius,
lest they should seize the ships which were without crews, and
accordingly he armed the rowers and placed them on the decks to make a
show, and raising the ships' oars and making them ready for plying, he
kept his ships on each side in the channel near Actium, prow to prow, as
if they were fit to be put in motion and prepared to fight. Cæsar, being
frustrated by this manoeuvre, retired. Antonius also by some well
contrived works shut in the water and deprived his enemies of it; and
the surrounding spots had only little water, and that was bad. He
behaved with magnanimity to Domitius also, and contrary to the judgment
of Cleopatra. Domitius, who was already suffering from fever, got into a
small boat and went over to Cæsar, on which Antonius, though much
annoyed, sent him all his baggage together with his friends and slaves.
Domitius indeed, as if he were repenting after the discovery of his
faithlessness and treachery, died immediately. There were also
defections among the kings, for Amyntas and Deiotarus went over to
Cæsar. Now as the navy was in all things unlucky and always too late to
give any help, Antonius was again compelled to turn his thoughts to his
land forces. Canidius also, who commanded the land forces, changed his
opinion at the sight of the danger, and he advised Antonius to send
Cleopatra away, and to retreat to Thrace or Macedonia, and then to
decide the matter by a battle. For Dicomes, the king of the Getæ,
promised to help him with a large force; and Canidius urged that there
would be no disgrace, if they should give up the sea to Cæsar, who had
been disciplined in the Sicilian war, but it would be a strange thing if
Antonius, who was excellently versed in military operations, should not
avail himself of his strength and his resources of so many heavy-armed
soldiers, and should instead thereof distribute his troops among
vessels and fritter them away. Notwithstanding this the advice of
Cleopatra prevailed that the war should be decided by a naval battle,
though she was already contemplating flight and making arrangements for
her own position, not with a view to contribute to the victory, but to
have the best place to retreat from if their cause should be ruined. Now
there were long lines which extended from the camp to the naval station,
and Antonius was accustomed to pass without suspecting any danger; and
as a slave of Cæsar told him that it would be possible to seize Antonius
as he went down through the lines, Cæsar sent men to lie in ambush for
him. They came so near accomplishing their purpose as this, that by
rising up too soon they seized the man who was advancing in front of
Antonius; and Antonius escaped with difficulty by running.

LXIV. When it had been resolved to make a sea fight, Antonius burned all
the Egyptian ships except sixty; but he manned the best and largest,
from three to ten banks of oars, with twenty thousand heavy-armed
soldiers and two thousand bowmen. Hereupon it is said that one of the
centurions, who had already fought many battles for Antonius and was
covered with wounds, wept as Antonius was passing by, and said;
"Imperator, why do you distrust these wounds or this sword and rest your
hopes in miserable logs of wood? Let Egyptians and Phoenicians fight on
sea, but give us land, on which we are accustomed to stand and to die or
to vanquish our enemies." Without making any reply, but merely by a
motion of his hand and the expression of his countenance encouraging the
man to be of good cheer, Antonius passed by, without however having any
good hopes himself, inasmuch as when the masters of the vessels were
desirous to leave the sails behind, he ordered them to be put on board
and taken with them, observing that not a single fugitive of the enemy
should be allowed to escape.

LXV.[446] Now on that day and the three following days the sea was
agitated by a strong wind which prevented an engagement, but on the
fifth, there being no wind and the sea being quite calm, they came to an
engagement. Antonius and Publicola commanded the right wing, and Coelius
the left; and in the centre were Marcus Octavius and Marcus Insteius.
Cæsar placed Agrippa on the left, and reserved the right wing for
himself. Canidius drew up the army of Antonius, and Taurus that of Cæsar
on the shore, and remained without moving. As to the two
commanders-in-chief, Antonius visited all his vessels in a row-boat and
exhorted his soldiers to trust to the weight of their ships and to fight
as if they were on land, without changing their position, and he urged
the masters of the ships to receive the shock of the enemy with their
vessels as if they were quietly at anchor, and to avoid the difficult
spots about the entrance of the bay: and Cæsar, it is said, while it was
still dark, left his tent, and as he was going round to the ships, he
met a man driving an ass, who being asked his name and knowing Cæsar,
replied, "My name is Goodluck, and my ass's name is Victor." For this
reason when Cæsar afterwards ornamented the place with the beaks of
ships, he set up a bronze figure of an ass and a man. After observing
the arrangement of the other part of his fleet, he went in a boat to the
right wing and was surprised to see the enemy resting quietly in the
straits; for the vessels had the appearance of being moored at their
anchors; and as he was for a long time convinced of this, he kept his
own ships at the distance of eight stadia from the enemy. It was now the
sixth hour, and a wind beginning to rise from the sea, the soldiers of
Antonius were impatient at the delay, and, trusting to the height and
magnitude of their ships as making them unassailable, they put the left
wing in motion. Cæsar, delighted to see this, ordered his right wing to
row backwards with the design of drawing the enemy still further out of
the gulf and the straits, and by surrounding them with his own light
vessels to come to close quarters with the enemy's ships, which, owing
to their size and the insufficiency of their crews, were cumbersome and

LXVI. Though the two fleets were beginning to come together, they did
not drive the ships against, nor strive to crush one another, for the
ships of Antonius, owing to their weight, were unable to move forwards
with any force, which mainly gives effect to the blows of the beaks, and
those of Cæsar not only avoided meeting front to front the strong and
rough brass work of the enemy, but did not even venture to strike
against them on the flank. For the beaks would easily have been broken
off by coming in contact with the hulls[447] of the enemy's vessels,
which were protected by large square pieces of timber fastened to one
another with iron. The battle therefore was like a land fight, or, to
speak more exactly, like the assailing of a fortress; for three and four
of Cæsar's ships at the same time were engaged about one of the ships of
Antonius, and the men fought with light shields and spears and poles and
fiery missiles; the soldiers of Antonius assailed them also with
catapults from wooden towers. While Agrippa was extending the left wing
with a view to surround the enemy, Publicola, being compelled to advance
to meet him, was separated from the centre, which fell into confusion,
and was also closely engaged with Arruntius. While the sea fight was
still undecided and equally favourable to both sides, all at once the
sixty ships of Cleopatra were seen raising their sails for the purpose
of making off, and flying through the centre of the combatants; for they
were stationed behind the large vessels and they caused confusion by
making their way through them. The enemy looked on with wonder, seeing
them take advantage of the wind and shape their course towards the
Peloponnesus. On this occasion Antonius clearly showed that he was not
governed by the considerations that befit either a commander or a man,
or even by his own judgment, but, as some one observed in jest, that the
soul of the lover lives in another person's body, so was he dragged
along by the woman as if he had grown to her and moved together with
her. For no sooner did he see her ship sailing away, than, forgetting
everything, and deserting and skulking away from those who were fighting
and dying in his cause, he got into a five-oared galley with only Alexas
the Syrian and Skellius to attend him, and followed after her who had
already ruined him and was destined to complete his ruin.

LXVII. Cleopatra, having recognised the vessel of Antonius, raised a
signal; and Antonius accordingly, coming up to her and being taken into
her ship, neither saw Cleopatra nor was seen by her, but advancing close
to the prow he sat down by himself in silence holding his head with both
his hands. In the meantime there were seen Liburnian ships[448] from
Cæsar's fleet in pursuit; but Antonius, by ordering his men to turn his
vessel's head towards them, kept them all in check, except the ship of
Eurykles, the Lacedæmonian, who proudly pressed on, brandishing a spear
on the deck, as if to hurl it at Antonius. Standing on the prow of his
vessel Antonius asked who it was that was pursuing Antonius? The reply
was, "I am Eurykles, the son of Lachares, and by the help of Cæsar's
fortune I am avenging my father's death." Now Lachares had been beheaded
by Antonius in consequence of being involved in a charge of robbery.
However Eurykles did not fall upon the ship of Antonius, but he dashed
against the other of the admiral-ships (for there were two) with the
brazen beak, and made it spin round, and as the ship fell off from its
course he took it, and also another ship which contained costly vessels
for table use. When this assailant had retired, Antonius, again settling
down in the same posture, remained without moving, and, after spending
three days at the prow by himself, either because of his passion or that
he was ashamed to see Cleopatra, he put in at Tænarus.[449] Here the
women who were in attendance on Cleopatra first of all brought them to
speak to one another, and next they persuaded them to sup and sleep
together. And already not a few of the transport ships and some of their
friends after the defeat began to collect around them; and they brought
intelligence of the destruction of the navy, but they supposed that the
army still kept together. Antonius sent messengers to Canidius with
orders for him to retreat quickly through Macedonia with his army into
Asia; and as it was his intention to cross over from Tænarus to Libya,
he selected one of the store-ships which conveyed much money and many
royal utensils in silver and in gold of great value, and gave them to
his friends, telling them to divide the things among them and to look
after their safety. As they refused and wept, he comforted them with
much affection and kindness, and by his entreaties induced them to
depart; and he wrote to Theophilus, his steward in Corinth, to provide
for the safety of the men and to conceal them until they should be able
to make their peace with Cæsar. This Theophilus was the father of
Hipparchus, who had the greatest influence with Antonius, and was the
first of his freedmen who went over to Cæsar, and he afterwards lived in

LXVIII. Such was the condition of affairs with Antonius. At Actium the
naval force, after resisting Cæsar a long time and being very greatly
damaged by the heavy sea that set against them ahead, hardly gave up the
contest at the tenth hour. The dead were said not to be more than five
thousand, but there were taken three hundred ships, as Cæsar has
recorded. There were not many who knew that Antonius had fled, and those
who heard of it could not at first believe that he had gone and left
them, when he had nineteen legions of unvanquished soldiers and twelve
thousand horsemen; as if he had not often experienced fortune both ways,
and were not exercised in the reverses of innumerable contests and wars.
The soldiers longed and expected to see him, hoping that he would soon
show himself from some quarter or other; and they displayed so much
fidelity and courage that, even when his flight was well known, they
kept together seven days and paid no regard to Cæsar's messages to them.
But at last, when their general Canidius had stolen away by night and
left the camp, being now deserted of all and betrayed by their
commanders, they went over to the conqueror. Upon this Cæsar[450] sailed
to Athens, and having come to terms with the Greeks, he distributed the
grain that remained over after the war among the cities, which were in
a wretched condition and stripped of money, slaves and beasts of burden.
Now my great-grandfather Nikarchus used to relate that all the
citizens[451] were compelled to carry down on their shoulders a certain
quantity of wheat to the sea at Antikyra, and that their speed was
quickened by the whip; they had carried, he said, one supply in this
manner, and had just measured out another and were about to set out,
when news came that Antonius was defeated, and this saved the city; for
the agents and soldiers of Antonius immediately fled, and they divided
the corn among themselves.

LXIX. When Antonius had reached the coast of Libya, and had sent
Cleopatra forwards to Egypt from Parætonium,[452] he had his fill of
solitude, wandering and rambling about with two friends, one a Greek,
Aristokrates, a rhetorician, and the other a Roman, Lucilius,[453] about
whom I have said elsewhere that at Philippi, in order that Brutus might
escape, he had surrendered to the pursuers, pretending that he was
Brutus, and his life being spared by Antonius on that account, he
remained faithful to him and firm to the last critical times. When the
general[454] to whom he had intrusted the troops in Libya had caused
their defection, Antonius made an effort to kill himself, but he was
prevented by his friends and conveyed to Alexandria, where he found
Cleopatra contemplating a hazardous and great undertaking. The isthmus
which separates the Red Sea from the sea of Egypt[455] and is
considered to be the boundary between Asia and Libya, in the part where
it is most contracted by the sea, and the width is least, is about three
hundred stadia across; and here Cleopatra undertook to raise her ships
out of the water and to drag them across the neck of land, and so
bringing her ships into the Arabian gulf with much money and a large
force, to settle beyond the limits of Egypt and to escape from slavery
and war. But as the Arabs of Petra[456] burnt the first ships which were
drawn up, and Antonius thought that the army at Actium still kept
together, Cleopatra desisted from her design and guarded the approaches
to Egypt. Antonius now leaving the city and the company of his friends,
built for himself a dwelling in the sea, near the Pharos,[457] by
throwing forward a mole into the water; and here he lived a fugitive
from men, and he said that he was content with Timon's life and admired
it, considering himself in like plight with Timon; for he too had been
wronged by his friends and had experienced their ingratitude, and that
therefore he distrusted and disliked all men.

LXX. Timon[458] was an Athenian, who lived about the time of the
Peloponnesian war, as we may conclude from the plays of Aristophanes and
Plato; for he is brought forward in them as peevish and misanthropical.
Though he avoided and rejected all intercourse with men, yet he received
in a friendly manner Alkibiades, who was a young audacious fellow, and
showed him great affection. And when Apemantus wondered at this and
asked the reason, he said that he liked the young man because he knew
that he would be the cause of much ill to the Athenians. Apemantus was
the only person whom he sometimes allowed to approach him, because he
was like himself and imitated his mode of life. On one occasion, during
the festival called Choes,[459] when the two were feasting together,
Apemantus said, "How delightful the entertainment is, Timon;" "Yes, if
you were not here," was the reply. It is said that when the Athenians
were in public assembly, Timon ascended the bema and called for silence,
which raised great expectation on account of the unusual nature of the
circumstance: he then said, "I have a small plot of building-ground, men
of Athens, and there is a fig-tree growing on it, on which many of the
citizens have already hanged themselves. Now as I intend to build on the
ground, I wished to give public notice that, if any of you choose, they
may hang themselves before the fig-tree is cut down." After his death he
was buried at Halæ, near the sea; but the shore in front of the place
slipped down, and the sea surrounding the tomb made it inaccessible and
unapproachable. The inscription on the tomb was:

   Here from the load of life released I lie:
   Ask not my name: but take my curse, and die.

And they say that he wrote this inscription during his lifetime; but
that which is commonly circulated as the inscription is by Callimachus:

   Timon misanthropist I am. Away!
   Curse, an' thou will't, but only do not stay.

LXXI. These are a few things out of many about Timon. Canidius himself
brought intelligence to Antonius of the loss of his forces at Actium,
and he heard that Herodes,[460] the Jew, who had certain legions and
cohorts, had gone over to Cæsar, and that the rest of the princes in
like manner were revolting, and that none of his troops out of Egypt
still kept together. However, none of these things disturbed him; but,
as if he gladly laid aside hope as he did care, he left that dwelling on
the sea, which he called Timoneium, and being taken by Cleopatra into
the palace, he turned the city to feasting and drinking and distribution
of money, registering the son of Cleopatra and Cæsar among the young
men, and putting on Antyllus, his son by Fulvia,[461] the vest without
the purple hem, which marked the attainment of full age, on which
occasion banquets and revellings and feasts engaged Alexandria for many
days. They themselves put an end to that famed company of the Inimitable
Livers, and they formed another, not at all inferior to that in
refinement and luxury and expense, which they called the company of
those who would die together. For the friends of Antonius registered
themselves as intending to die together, and they continued enjoying
themselves in a succession of banquets. Cleopatra got together all kinds
of deadly poisons, and she tried the painless character of each by
giving them to those who were in prison under sentence of death. When
she discovered that the quick poisons brought on a speedy death with
pain, and the less painful were not quick, she made trial of
animals,[462] which in her presence were set upon one another. And she
did this daily; and among nearly all she found that the bite of the asp
alone brought on without spasms and groans a sleepy numbness and
drowsiness, with a gentle perspiration on the face, and dulling of the
perceptive faculties, which were softly deprived of their power, and
made resistance to all attempts to awake and arouse them, as is the case
with those who are in a deep sleep.

LXXII. At the same time they sent also ambassadors to Cæsar into Asia,
Cleopatra requesting the dominion of Egypt for her children, and
Antonius asking to be allowed to live as a private person at Athens, if
he could not be permitted to stay in Egypt. Through the want of friends
and their distrust owing to the desertions, Euphronius, the instructor
of the children, was sent on the embassy. For Alexas,[463] of Laodiceia,
who at Rome had become known to Antonius through Timagenes, and
possessed most influence of all the Greeks, who also had been the most
active of the instruments of Cleopatra against Antonius, and had
overthrown all the reflections which rose in his mind about Octavia, had
been sent to King Herodes to keep him from changing; and having stayed
there and betrayed Antonius, he had the impudence to go into the
presence of Cæsar, relying on Herodes. But Herodes helped him not, but
being forthwith confined and carried in chains to his own country, he
was put to death there by order of Cæsar. Such was the penalty for his
infidelity that Alexas paid to Antonius in his lifetime.

LXXIII. Cæsar would not listen to what was said on behalf of Antonius;
but as to Cleopatra, he replied that she should not fail to obtain
anything that was reasonable if she would kill Antonius or drive him
away. He also sent with the ambassadors of Antonius and Cleopatra one
Thyrsus,[464] a freedman of his, a man not devoid of judgment, nor, as
coming from a young general, one who would fail in persuasive address to
a haughty woman who was wonderfully proud of her beauty. This man,
having longer interviews with Cleopatra than the rest, and being
specially honoured, caused Antonius to have suspicions, and he seized
and whipped him; and he then sent him back to Cæsar with a letter to the
effect that Thyrsus, by giving himself airs and by his insolent
behaviour, had irritated him, who was easily irritated by reason of his
misfortunes. "But you," he said, "if you do not like the thing, have my
freedman Hipparchus. Hang him up and whip him, that we may be on equal
terms." Upon this Cleopatra, with the view of doing away with his cause
of complaint and suspicions, paid more than usual court to Antonius: she
kept her own birthday in a mean manner and a way suitable to her
condition, but she celebrated the birthday of Antonius with an excess of
splendour and cost, so that many of those who were invited to the feast
came poor and went away rich. Agrippa[465] in the meantime called Cæsar
back, frequently writing to him from Rome, and urging that affairs there
required his presence.

LXXIV. Accordingly for the time the war was suspended; but when the
winter was over, Cæsar advanced through Syria and his generals through
Libya. Pelusium was taken, and it was said that Seleukus gave it up, not
without the consent of Cleopatra. But Cleopatra surrendered to Antonius
the wife and children of Seleukus to be put to death; and as she had a
tomb and a monument constructed of unusual beauty and height, which she
had built close to the temple of Isis, she collected there the most
precious of the royal treasures, gold, silver, emeralds, pearls, ebony,
ivory, and cinnamon, and also a great quantity of fire-wood and tow; so
that Cæsar, being afraid about the money, lest Cleopatra becoming
desperate should destroy and burn the wealth, kept continually
forwarding to her hopes of friendly treatment while he was advancing
with his army against the city. When Cæsar had taken his position near
the hippodrome, Antonius sallied forth and fought gallantly, and he put
Cæsar's cavalry to flight and pursued them to the camp. Elated with his
victory, he entered the palace and embraced Cleopatra in his armour, and
presented to her one of the soldiers who had fought most bravely.
Cleopatra gave the soldier as a reward of his courage a golden
breastplate and a helmet. The man took them, and in the night deserted
to Cæsar.

LXXV. Again, Antonius sent to Cæsar and challenged him to single combat.
Cæsar replied that Antonius had many ways of dying, on which Antonius,
reflecting that there was no better mode of death for him than in
battle, determined to try a land battle and a naval battle at the same
time. And at supper, it is said, he bade the slaves to pour out and
feast him cheerfully, for it was uncertain whether they would do that on
the morrow or would be serving other masters, while he should lie a
corpse and should be a nothing. Seeing that his friends shed tears at
his words, he said that he would not lead them out to a battle from
which he would seek for himself a glorious death rather than safety and
victory. During this night, it is said, about the middle thereof, while
the city was quiet and depressed through fear and expectation of the
future, all at once certain harmonious sounds from all kinds of
instruments were heard, and shouts of a crowd with Evoes[466] and
satyric leapings, as if some company of revellers not without noise were
going out of the city; and the course of the procession seemed to be
through the middle of the city to the gate leading outwards in the
direction of the enemy, and at this point the tumult made its way out,
being loudest there. And those who reflected on the sign were of opinion
that the god to whom Antonius all along most likened himself and most
claimed kinship with was deserting him.

LXXVI.[467] At daybreak Antonius posted his troops on the hills in front
of the city, and watched his ships, which were put in motion and
advancing against those of the enemy; and as he expected to see
something great done by them, he remained quiet. But when the men of
Antonius came near, they saluted with their oars Cæsar's men, and as
they returned the salute, the men of Antonius changed sides, and the
fleet becoming one by the junction of all the ships, sailed with the
vessels' heads turned against the city. As soon as Antonius saw this, he
was deserted by the cavalry, who changed sides, and being defeated with
his infantry he retired into the city, crying out that he was betrayed
by Cleopatra to those with whom he was warring on her account.
Cleopatra, fearing his anger and despair, fled to the tomb and let down
the folding doors which were strengthened with bars and bolts; and she
sent persons to Antonius to inform him that she was dead. Antonius,
believing the intelligence, said to himself, "Why dost thou still delay,
Antonius? fortune has taken away the sole remaining excuse for clinging
to life." He then entered his chamber, and loosing his body armour and
taking it in pieces, he said: "Cleopatra, I am not grieved at being
deprived of thee, for I shall soon come to the same place with thee; but
I am grieved that I, such an Imperator, am shown to be inferior to a
woman in courage." Now Antonius had a faithful slave named Eros, whom he
had long before exhorted, if the necessity should arise, to kill him;
and he now claimed the performance of the promise. Eros drew his sword
and held it out as if he were going to strike his master, but he turned
away his face and killed himself. As Eros fell at his master's feet
Antonius said, "Well done, Eros, though you are not able to do this for
me, you teach me what I ought to do;" and piercing himself through the
belly he threw himself on the bed. But the wound was not immediately
mortal; and accordingly, as the flow of blood ceased when he lay down,
he came to himself and requested the bystanders to finish him. But they
fled from the chamber while he was calling out and writhing in pain,
till Diomedes the secretary came from Cleopatra with orders to convey
him to her to the tomb.

LXXVII.[468] When he learned that she was alive, he eagerly commanded
his slaves to take him up, and he was carried in their arms to the
doors of the chamber. Cleopatra did not open the doors, but she appeared
at a window, from which she let down cords and ropes; and when the
slaves below had fastened Antonius to them, she drew him up with the aid
of the two women whom alone she had admitted into the tomb with her.
Those who were present say that there never was a more piteous sight;
for stained with blood and struggling with death he was hauled up,
stretching out his hands to her, while he was suspended in the air. For
the labour was not light for women, and Cleopatra with difficulty,
holding with her hands and straining the muscles of her face, pulled up
the rope, while those who were below encouraged her and shared in her
agony. When she had thus got him in and laid him down, she rent her
garments over him, and beating her breasts and scratching them with her
hands, and wiping the blood off him with her face, she called him master
and husband and Imperator; and she almost forgot her own misfortunes
through pity for his. Antonius, stopping her lamentations, asked for
wine to drink, whether it was that he was thirsty or that he expected to
be released more speedily. When he had drunk it, he advised her, if it
could be done with decency, to look after the preservation of her own
interests, and to trust to Procleius[469] most of the companions of
Cæsar; and not to lament him for his last reverses, but to think him
happy for the good things that he had obtained, having become the most
illustrious of men and had the greatest power, and now not ignobly a
Roman by a Roman vanquished.

LXXVIII. Just as Antonius died, Procleius came from Cæsar;[470] for
after Antonius had wounded himself and was carried to Cleopatra,
Derketæus, one of his guards, taking his dagger and concealing it,
secretly made his way from the palace, and running to Cæsar, was the
first to report the death of Antonius, and he showed the blood-stained
dagger. When Cæsar heard the news, he retired within his tent and wept
for a man who had been related to him by marriage, and his colleague in
command, and his companion in many struggles and affairs. He then took
the letters that had passed between him and Antonius, and calling his
friends, read them, in order to show in what a reasonable and fair tone
he had written himself, and how arrogant and insolent Antonius had
always been in his answers. Upon this he sent Procleius with orders, if
possible, above all things to secure Cleopatra alive; for he was afraid
about the money, and he thought it a great thing for the glory of his
triumph to lead her in the procession. However Cleopatra would not put
herself in the hands of Procleius; but they talked together while he was
standing on the outside close to the building near a door on a level
with the ground, which was firmly secured, but allowed a passage for the
voice. In their conversation Cleopatra entreated that her children might
have the kingdom, and Procleius bade her be of good cheer and trust to
Cæsar in all things.

LXXIX. After Procleius had inspected the place and reported to Cæsar,
Gallus[471] was sent to have another interview with her; and having come
to the door he purposely prolonged the conversation. In the meantime
Procleius applied a ladder and got through the window by which the women
took in Antonius; and he immediately went down with two slaves to the
door at which Cleopatra stood with her attention directed to Gallus. One
of the women who were shut up with Cleopatra called out, "Wretched
Cleopatra, you are taken alive," on which she turned round, and seeing
Procleius, attempted to stab herself, for she happened to have by her
side a dagger such as robbers wear: but Procleius, quickly running up to
her and holding her with both his hands, said, "You wrong yourself,
Cleopatra, and Cæsar too by attempting to deprive him of the opportunity
of a noble display of magnanimity and to fix on the mildest of
commanders the stigma of faithlessness and implacability." At the same
time he took away her dagger and shook her dress to see if she concealed
any poison. There was also sent from Cæsar one of his freedmen,
Epaphroditus, whose orders were to watch over her life with great care,
but as to the rest to give way in all things that would make her most
easy and be most agreeable to her.

LXXX. Cæsar entered the city talking with Areius the philosopher, and he
had given Areius[472] his right hand, that he might forthwith be
conspicuous among the citizens and be admired on account of the special
respect that he received from Cæsar. Entering the gymnasium and
ascending a tribunal that was made for him, the people the while being
terror-struck and falling down before him, he bade them get up, and he
said that he acquitted the people of all blame, first on account of the
founder Alexander, second because he admired the beauty and magnitude of
the city, and third, to please his friend Areius. Such honour Areius
obtained from Cæsar, and he got the pardon of many others; and among
them was Philostratus,[473] a man of all sophists the most competent to
speak on the sudden, but one who claimed to be of the Academy without
just grounds. Wherefore Cæsar, who abominated his habits, would not
listen to his entreaties. But Philostratus, letting his white beard grow
and putting on a dark vest, followed behind Areius, continually uttering
this verse:

   Wise save the wise, if wise indeed they be.

Cæsar hearing of this, pardoned Philostratus, wishing rather to release
Areius from odium than Philostratus from fear.

LXXXI. Of the children of Antonius, Antyllus,[474] the son of Fulvia,
was given up by his pædagogus Theodorus and put to death; and when the
soldiers had cut off his head, the pædagogus took the most precious
stone which he wore about his neck and sewed it in his belt; and though
he denied the fact, he was convicted of it and crucified. The children
of Cleopatra were guarded together with those who had charge of them,
and they had a liberal treatment; but as to Cæsarion, who was said to be
Cleopatra's son by Cæsar, her mother sent him to India with much
treasure by way of Ethiopia; but another pædagogus like Theodorus, named
Rhodon, persuaded him to return, saying that Cæsar invited him to take
the kingdom. While Cæsar was deliberating about Cæsarion, it is said
that Areius observed: "Tis no good thing, a multitude of Cæsars."[475]

LXXXII. Now Cæsar put Cæsarion to death after the death of Cleopatra.
Though many asked for the body of Antonius to bury it, both kings and
commanders, Cæsar did not take it from Cleopatra, but it was interred by
her own hands sumptuously and royally, and she received for that purpose
all that she wished. In consequence of so much grief and pain, for her
breasts were inflamed by the blows that she had inflicted and were sore,
and a fever coming on, she gladly availed herself of this pretext for
abstaining from food and with the design of releasing herself from life
without hindrance. There was a physician with whom she was familiar,
Olympus, to whom she told the truth, and she had him for her adviser and
assistant in accomplishing her death, as Olympus said in a history of
these transactions which he published. Cæsar suspecting her design,
plied her with threats and alarms about her children, by which Cleopatra
was thrown down as by engines of war, and she gave up her body to be
treated and nourished as it was wished.

LXXXIII. Cæsar himself came a few days after to see her and pacify
her.[476] Cleopatra happened to be lying on a mattress meanly dressed,
and as he entered she sprang up in a single vest and fell at his feet
with her head and face in the greatest disorder, her voice trembling and
her eyes weakened by weeping. There were also visible many marks of the
blows inflicted on her breast; and in fine her body seemed in no respect
to be in better plight than her mind. Yet that charm and that saucy
confidence in her beauty were not completely extinguished, but, though
she was in such a condition, shone forth from within and showed
themselves in the expression of her countenance. When Cæsar had bid her
lie down and had seated himself near her, she began to touch upon a kind
of justification, and endeavoured to turn all that had happened upon
necessity and fear of Antonius; but as Cæsar on each point met her with
an answer, being confuted, she all at once changed her manner to move
him by pity and by prayers, as a person would do who clung most closely
to life. Finally she handed to him a list of all the treasures that she
had; and when Seleukus, one of her stewards, declared that she was
hiding and secreting some things, she sprang up and laying hold of his
hair, belaboured him with many blows on the face. As Cæsar smiled and
stopped her, she said, "But is it not scandalous, Cæsar, that you have
condescended to come to me and speak to me in my wretched condition, and
my slaves make it a matter of charge against me if I have reserved some
female ornaments, not for myself forsooth, wretch that I am, but that I
may give a few things to Octavia and your wife Livia, and so through
their means make you more favourable to me and more mild." Cæsar was
pleased with these words, being fully assured that she wished to live.
Accordingly, after saying that he left these matters to her care and
that in everything else he would behave to her better than she expected,
he went away, thinking that he had deceived her; but he had deceived

LXXXIV. Now there was Cornelius Dolabella,[477] a youth of rank, and
one of the companions[478] of Cæsar. He was not without a certain liking
towards Cleopatra; and now, in order to gratify her request, he secretly
sent and informed her that Cæsar himself was going to march with his
troops through Syria, and that he had determined to send off her with
her children on the third day. On hearing this, Cleopatra first
entreated Cæsar to permit her to pour libations on the tomb of Antonius;
and when Cæsar permitted it, she went to the tomb, and embracing the
coffin in company with the women who were usually about her, said, "Dear
Antonius, I buried thee recently with hands still free, but now I pour
out libations as a captive and so watched that I cannot either with
blows or sorrow disfigure this body of mine now made a slave and
preserved to form a part in the triumph over thee. But expect not other
honours or libations, for these are the last which Cleopatra brings.
Living, nothing kept us asunder, but there is a risk of our changing
places in death; thou a Roman, lying buried here, and I, wretched woman,
in Italy, getting only as much of thy country as will make me a grave.
But if indeed there is any help and power in the gods there (for the
gods of this country have deserted us), do not deliver thy wife up
alive, and let not thyself be triumphed over in me, but hide me here
with thee and bury thee with me; for though I have ten thousand ills,
not one of them is so great and grievous as this short time which I have
lived apart from thee!"

LXXXV. After making this lamentation and crowning and embracing the
coffin, she ordered a bath to be prepared for her. After bathing, she
lay down and enjoyed a splendid banquet. And there came one from the
country bringing a basket; and on the guards asking what he brought, the
man opened it, and taking off the leaves showed the vessel full of figs.
The soldiers admiring their beauty and size, the man smiled and told
them to take some, whereon, without having any suspicion, they bade him
carry them in. After feasting, Cleopatra took a tablet, which was
already written, and sent it sealed to Cæsar, and, causing all the rest
of her attendants to withdraw except those two women, she closed the
door. As soon as Cæsar[479] opened the tablet and found in it the
prayers and lamentations of Cleopatra, who begged him to bury her with
Antonius, he saw what had taken place. At first he was for setting out
himself to give help, but the next thing that he did was to send persons
with all speed to inquire. But the tragedy had been speedy; for, though
they ran thither and found the guards quite ignorant of everything, as
soon as they opened the door they saw Cleopatra lying dead on a golden
couch in royal attire. Of her two women, Iras was dying at her feet,
and Charmion, already staggering and drooping her head, was arranging
the diadem on the forehead of Cleopatra. One of them saying in passion,
"A good deed this, Charmion;" "Yes, most goodly," she replied, "and
befitting the descendant of so many kings." She spake not another word,
but fell there by the side of the couch.

LXXXVI. Now it is said that the asp was brought with those figs and
leaves, and was covered with them; for that Cleopatra had so ordered,
that the reptile might fasten on her body without her being aware of it.
But when she had taken up some of the figs and saw it, she said, "Here
then it is," and baring her arm, she offered it to the serpent to bite.
Others say that the asp was kept in a water-pitcher, and that Cleopatra
drew it out with a golden distaff and irritated it till the reptile
sprang upon her arm and clung to it. But the real truth nobody knows;
for it was also said that she carried poison about her in a hollow comb,
which she concealed in her hair; however, no spots broke out on her
body, nor any other sign of poison. Nor yet was the reptile seen within
the palace; but some said that they observed certain marks of its trail
near the sea, in that part towards which the chamber looked and the
windows were. Some also say that the arm of Cleopatra was observed to
have two small indistinct punctures; and it seems that Cæsar believed
this, for in the triumph a figure of Cleopatra was carried with the asp
clinging to her. Such is the way in which these events are told. Though
Cæsar was vexed at the death of Cleopatra, he admired her nobleness of
mind, and he ordered the body to be interred with that of Antonius in
splendid and royal style. The women of Cleopatra also received
honourable interment by his orders. Cleopatra at the time of her death
was forty years of age save one, and she had reigned as queen
two-and-twenty years, and governed together with Antonius more than
fourteen. Antonius, according to some, was six years, according to
others, three years above fifty. Now the statues of Antonius were thrown
down, but those of Cleopatra remained standing, for Archibius, one of
her friends, gave Cæsar two thousand talents that they might not share
the same fate as those of Antonius.

LXXXVII. Antonius by his three wives left seven children, of whom
Antyllus, the eldest, was the only one who was put to death by Cæsar;
the rest Octavia[480] took and brought them up with her own children.
Cleopatra, the daughter of Cleopatra, she married to Juba, the most
accomplished of kings; and Antonius, the son of Fulvia, she raised so
high that, while Agrippa held the first place in Cæsar's estimation, and
the sons of Livia the second, Antonius had and was considered to have
the third. Octavia had by Marcellus two daughters, and one son,
Marcellus, whom Cæsar made both his son and son-in-law, and he gave one
of the daughters to Agrippa. But as Marcellus died very soon after his
marriage, and it was not easy for Cæsar to choose from the rest of his
friends a son-in-law whom he could trust, Octavia proposed to him that
Agrippa should take Cæsar's daughter and put away her daughter. Cæsar
was first persuaded and then Agrippa, whereupon Octavia took her own
daughter back and married her to Antonius; and Agrippa married Cæsar's
daughter. There were two daughters of Antonius and Octavia, of whom
Domitius Ænobarbus took one to wife; and the other, who was famed for
her virtues and her beauty, Antonia, was married to Drusus, the son of
Livia, and step-son of Cæsar. From the marriage of Drusus and Antonia
came Germanicus and Claudius, of whom Claudius afterwards ruled; and of
the children of Germanicus, Caius, who ruled with distinction for no
long time, was destroyed together with his child and wife; and
Agrippina, who had by Ænobarbus a son, Lucius Domitius, married Claudius
Cæsar; and Claudius adopting her son, named him Nero Germanicus. Nero,
who ruled in my time, slew his mother, and through his violence and
madness came very near subverting the supremacy of Rome, being the fifth
from Antonius in the order of succession.


I. Since, then, great changes of fortune took place in each of their
lives, let us first consider their power and renown. The position of
Demetrius was inherited and already made for him, as Antigonus was the
most powerful of the successors of Alexander, and, before Demetrius came
of age, had overrun and conquered the greater part of Asia: while
Antonius, whose father, though an excellent man, was no soldier, and
left him no renown, yet dared to seize upon the empire of Cæsar, with
which he was in no way connected, and constituted himself the heir of
what Cæsar had won by the sword. Starting as a mere private person, he
raised himself to such a height of power as to be able to divide the
world into two, and to select and obtain the fairer half for his own,
while, without his being even present, his lieutenants and agents
inflicted several defeats upon the Parthians, and conquered all the
nations of Asia as far as the Caspian Sea. Even that for which he is
especially reproached proves the greatness of his power. Demetrius's
father was well pleased at getting Phila, the daughter of Antipater, as
a wife for his son, in spite of the disparity of their ages, because he
regarded her as his son's superior; while it was thought to be a
disgrace for Antonius to ally himself with Cleopatra, a woman who
excelled in power and renown all the Kings of her age, except Arsakes
himself. Antonius had made himself so great that men thought him
entitled to more even than he himself desired.

II. Demetrius, however, cannot be blamed for attempting to make himself
king over a people accustomed to servitude, while it appeared harsh and
tyrannical for Antonius to try to enslave the people of Rome just after
they had been set free from the rule of Cæsar: and the greatest of his
exploits, the war against Brutus and Cassius, was waged with the
intention of depriving his countrymen of their liberty. Demetrius,
before he became involved in difficulties, used always to act as a
liberator towards Greece, and to drive out the foreign garrisons from
her cities, and did not act like Antonius, who boasted that he had slain
the would-be liberators of Rome in Macedonia. And though Antonius is
especially commended for his magnificent generosity, yet Demetrius so
far surpassed him as to bestow more upon his enemies than Antonius would
upon his friends. It is true that Antonius gained great credit for
having caused Brutus to be honourably buried; but Demetrius buried all
his enemy's slain, gave money and presents to his prisoners, and sent
them back to Ptolemy.

III. Both were arrogant when in prosperity, and set no bounds to their
luxury and pleasures. Yet it cannot be said that Demetrius was ever so
immersed in enjoyments as to let slip the time for action, but he only
dedicated the superfluity of his leisure to enjoyment, and used his
Lamia, like the mythical nightmare, only when he was half asleep or at
play. When he was preparing for war, no ivy wreathed his spear, no
perfume scented his helmet, nor did he go forth from his bed-chamber to
battle covered with finery, but, as Euripides says, he laid the Bacchic
wand aside, and served the unhallowed god of war, and, indeed, never
suffered any reverse through his own carelessness or love of pleasure.
But just as in pictures we often see Omphale stealing the club and
stripping off the lion's skin from Herakles, so Cleopatra frequently
would disarm Antonius and turn his mind to pleasure, persuading him to
give up mighty enterprises and even necessary campaigns to wander and
sport with her on the shores of Canopus and beside the tomb of Osiris.
At last, like Paris, he fled from battle to nestle on her breast, though
Paris only took refuge in his chamber after he had been defeated in
battle, while Antonius, by his pursuit of Cleopatra, gave up his chance
of victory.

IV. Moreover, in marrying several wives, Demetrius did not break through
any custom, for he only did what had been usual for the kings of
Macedonia since the days of Philip and Alexander, and what was done by
Lysimachus and Ptolemy in his own time; and he showed due respect to all
his wives; while Antonius, in the first place, married two wives at the
same time, which no Roman had ever dared to do before, and then drove
away his own countrywoman and his legitimate wife to please a foreigner,
and one to whom he was not legally married. Yet with all his excesses
Antonius was never led by his vices into such sacrilegious impiety as is
recorded of Demetrius. We are told that no dogs are allowed to enter the
Acropolis,[481] because these animals copulate more openly than any
others; but Demetrius consorted with harlots in the very temple of the
virgin goddess, and debauched many of the Athenian citizens, while,
although one would have imagined that a man of such a temperament would
be especially averse to cruelty, Demetrius must be charged with this in
allowing, or rather compelling, the most beautiful and modest of the
Athenians to suffer death in order to avoid outrage. To sum up, the
vices of Antonius were ruinous to himself, while those of Demetrius were
ruinous to others.

V. Yet Demetrius always behaved well to his parents, whereas Antonius
allowed his mother's brother to perish in order that he might compass
the death of Cicero, which was of itself so odious a crime that we
should scarcely think Antonius justified if by Cicero's death he had
saved his uncle's life. With regard to the perjuries and breaking of
their words which they both committed, the one in seizing Artabazus, and
the other in murdering Alexander, Antonius has a satisfactory defence;
for he himself was first deserted and betrayed by Artabazus in Media:
while many writers say that Demetrius himself invented false pretexts
for his treatment of Alexander, and accused a man whom he had wronged
with a design on his life, instead of defending himself against one who
was already his enemy. Again, the exploits of Demetrius were all
accomplished by himself in person; while, on the other hand, Antonius
won some of his most important battles by his lieutenants, without
himself being present.

VI. The ruin of both was due to themselves, though in a different
manner, for the Macedonians deserted from Demetrius, while Antonious
deserted his own troops when they were risking their lives in his
defence; so that we must blame the former for having rendered his army
so hostile to him, and the latter for betraying so much loyalty and
devotion. In their manner of death neither can be praised, but that of
Demetrius seems the less creditable of the two, for he endured to be
taken prisoner, and when in confinement willingly spent three years in
drinking and gluttony, like a wild beast that has been tamed; while
Antonius, though he killed himself like a coward, and in a piteous and
dishonourable fashion, nevertheless died before he fell into the hands
of his enemy.


I. We are told by the poet Simonides, Sossius Senecio, that the Trojans
bore no malice against the Corinthians for joining the rest of the
Greeks in the siege of Troy, because Glaukus, who was himself of
Corinthian extraction, fought heartily on their side. In the same manner
we may expect that neither Greeks nor Romans will be able to blame the
doctrines of the academy, as each nation derives equal credit from their
practice in this book of mine, which contains the lives of Brutus and
Dion, of whom the latter was Plato's intimate friend, while the former
was educated by his writings: so that they were both, as it were, sent
forth from the same school to contend for the greatest prizes. It is not
surprising, therefore, that there should be a great similarity between
their respective achievements, or that they should have proved the truth
of that maxim of their teacher, that nothing great or noble can be
effected in politics except when a wise and just man is possessed of
absolute power combined with good fortune. Just as Hippomachus the
gymnastic trainer used to declare that he could always tell by their
carriage those who had been his pupils, even though he only saw them
from a distance when they were carrying meat home for their dinner, so
we may imagine that philosophy accompanies those who have been brought
up in its precepts in every action of their lives, adding a happy grace
and fitness to all that they do.

II. Their lives resemble one another even more in their misfortunes than
in the objects at which they aimed. Both of them perished by an untimely
fate, unable, with all their mighty efforts, to accomplish the object
which they had in view. The most remarkable point of all is that they
both received a supernatural warning of their death by the appearance to
them of an evil spirit in a dream. Yet it is a common argument with
those who deny the truth of such matters that no man of sense ever could
see a ghost or spirit but that it is only children and women and men who
are wandering in their mind through sickness, who through disorder of
the brain or distemperature of the body are subject to these vain and
ominous fancies, which really arise from the evil spirit of superstition
within themselves. If, however, Dion and Brutus, both of whom were
serious and philosophic men, not at all liable to be mistaken or easy to
be deceived about such matters, did really experience a supernatural
visitation so distinctly that they told other persons about it, I do not
know whether we may not be obliged to adopt that strangest of all the
theories of the ancients that evil and malignant spirits feel a spite
against good men, and try to oppose their actions, throwing confusion
and terror in their way in order to shake them in their allegiance to
virtue; because they fear lest if they passed their lives entirely pure
and without spot of sin, they might after death obtain a higher place
than themselves. This, however, I must reserve for discussion in another
place; and now, in this my twelfth book of parallel lives, I will first
proceed to deal with the elder man of the two.

III. Dionysius the elder, as soon as he had raised himself to the
throne, married the daughter of Hermokrates of Syracuse. However, as his
power was not yet firmly established, the people of Syracuse rose in
revolt, and committed such shocking outrages upon the person of
Dionysius's wife, that she voluntarily put herself to death. Dionysius,
after recovering and confirming his power, now married two wives at the
same time, one of whom was a Lokrian, named Doris, and the other a
native of Syracuse, named Aristomache, the daughter of Hipparinus, one
of the first men in Syracuse, who had acted as colleague with Dionysius
himself when he was appointed to the command of the army with unlimited
powers. It is said that he married them both upon the same day, and that
no man knew which he visited first; and of the remainder of his life he
spent an equal share of his time with each, as he always supped in
company with both of them, and spent the night with each in turn. The
populace of Syracuse would fain have hoped that their countrywoman would
be preferred to the stranger; but it was the stranger who first bore a
son and heir to Dionysius, to counterbalance her foreign parentage;
while Aristomache remained childless for a long time, although Dionysius
was anxious to have a family by her, and even put to death the mother of
his Lokrian wife on a charge of having bewitched her.

IV. Dion was the brother of Aristomache, and at first was treated with
respect for the sake of his sister, but afterwards, when he had given
proofs of his ability, he gained the favour of the despot by his own
good qualities. Besides many other privileges, Dionysius ordered his
treasurers to give Dion anything that he might ask for, letting him know
on the same day what they had given him. He was naturally of a high
minded and manly disposition, and he was greatly encouraged in the path
of virtue by the providential accident of Plato's visit to Sicily. This
never could have been calculated upon according to human ideas of
probability; but it seems as though some divinity, who had long been
meditating how to put liberty within the reach of the Syracusans and to
free them from despotism, must have brought Plato from Italy to
Syracuse, and caused Dion to become his disciple. Dion at this time was
very young, but was by far the most apt of Plato's scholars, and the
readiest to follow out his master's instructions in virtue. This we
learn from Plato's own account of him, and from the circumstances of the
case. Brought up as Dion had been in the humble position of a subject
under a despotic ruler, his life had been full of sudden alarms and
violent alternations of fortune; yet, though he was at this time
accustomed to live in a state of parvenu splendour, and to regard
pleasure and power as the only objects of desire, he, as soon as he had
become acquainted with philosophic reasoning and exhortation to virtue,
became passionately interested in it. With the guileless innocence of
youth he imagined that the discourses which he had heard would produce
an equally deep impression upon the mind of Dionysius, and took
considerable pains to bring Dionysius to meet Plato and listen to his

V. When the meeting took place, Plato chose for his subject human
virtue, and discussed more particularly the virtue of manly courage,
proving that despots are the most cowardly of men. From this he went on
to speak of justice, and as he pointed out that the life of the just is
happy, and that of the unjust miserable, Dionysius, who considered the
lecture as a reproach to himself, was much exasperated, especially when
he observed how all the audience admired Plato and were enchanted by his
rhetoric. At last in a rage he asked him why he had come to Sicily: and
when Plato answered that he had come in order to find a good man,
Dionysius caught up his words, and said, "You seem hitherto not to have
found one."

Dion and his friends imagined that this outburst marked the end of
Dionysius's indignation; and as Plato was now anxious to leave Sicily
they obtained a passage for him on board of a trireme which was about to
convey home Pollis, the Lacedæmonian envoy. Dionysius however secretly
besought Pollis to put Plato to death during the voyage, or at any rate
to sell him for a slave, because, he said, Plato, according to his own
showing, would be none the worse off for being a slave, but would be
just as happy, provided that he was just. In consequence of this we are
told that Pollis took Plato to Ægina and there sold him, because the
people of Ægina were at that time at war with the Athenians, and had
passed a decree that any Athenian found in Ægina should be sold for a
slave.[482] Yet Dion was no less honoured and trusted by Dionysius in
consequence of this, but was entrusted with the management of the most
important negotiations, and was himself sent as ambassador to Carthage,
in which capacity he gained great credit. Indeed he was almost the only
person whom Dionysius allowed freely to speak his mind, as is proved by
the reproof which he gave Dionysius about Gelon. It appears that
Dionysius was sneering at Gelon and his kingdom, and saying that he was
the laughing-stock of Sicily. All the other courtiers pretended to
approve of this jest, but Dion harshly answered, "Yet you have been
allowed to become our despot because of the good example set by Gelon;
but your example will not encourage any state to imitate us." In truth
Gelon's conduct as an absolute monarch seems to have been just as
admirable as that of Dionysius was detestable.

VI. Dionysius had three children by his Lokrian wife, and four by
Aristomache. Of his two daughters, Sophrosyne married her half-brother,
and Arete married Thearides, the brother of Dionysius, but on the death
of Thearides Dion took Arete, who was his own niece, for his wife. In
Dionysius's last illness, when his life was despaired of, Dion wished to
ask him what was to become of the children of Aristomache, but the
physicians, who wished to pay their court to the heir to the throne,
would not allow Dion an opportunity of doing so. Timæus even states that
when Dionysius asked for a sleeping draught they gave him one which
rendered him completely insensible, so that he passed from sleep into
death. However, as soon as the young Dionysius assembled his friends in
council, Dion made such an admirable speech upon the political situation
that all the others appeared by his side to be mere children in
intellect, and their words seemed to be those of slaves and grovelling
flatterers of the despot when compared with his bold and fearless
utterances. He impressed upon their minds the greatness of the danger by
which they were menaced by Carthage, and promised that if Dionysius
wished for peace he himself would at once set sail for Africa and obtain
the best terms he could; or that, if he preferred to fight, he would
place at his disposal a force of fifty triremes, which he would maintain
at his own expense.

VII. Dionysius greatly admired his magnanimity and approved of his zeal;
but the others, who thought that they were eclipsed by Dion, and were
jealous of his power, at once set to work to effect his ruin, and lost
no opportunity of exasperating the young despot against him by pointing
out that he was plotting to obtain the supreme throne by means of the
fleet, and that his object in making the offer of the ships was to place
all real power in the hands of the children of Aristomache. Their hate
and jealousy of Dion was chiefly owing to the proud reserve of his life,
so different to their own: for they at once began to court the
friendship of their young and ill-trained monarch by offering him all
kinds of flatteries and pleasures, endeavouring to amuse his leisure by
vagrant amours, drinking parties, and the like dissolute pastimes, which
blunted the excessive sharpness of his tyranny, and made his subjects
regard it as milder and less ferocious than before, although the
alteration was due only to the laziness and not to the real goodness of
their ruler. By slow degrees the extravagance and licentious life of the
young monarch relaxed and broke those "chains of adamant" by which the
elder Dionysius boasted that he had secured his power. We are told that
he once continued drinking for ninety days in succession, and that
during the whole of this time his court was a place which no respectable
person could enter, and where no business could be transacted, as it was
a constant scene of singing, jesting, dancing, drunkenness and

VIII. As may easily be imagined, Dion soon lost the favour of the
monarch, as he never relaxed the austerity of his life. For this reason
the calumnies of infamous men were more easily believed by Dionysius,
when they attacked the virtues of Dion, calling his pride arrogance, and
his boldness of speech churlishness. When he gave good advice he was
thought to reproach them, and because he refused to join in their
excesses, he seemed to despise them. Indeed, his disposition was
naturally inclined to haughtiness, and his manners harsh and forbidding.
It was not only to a young man whose ears were accustomed to flatteries
that he appeared so ungracious and harsh-tempered, but even those who
were sincerely attached to him, and who admired the noble simplicity of
his character, used to blame his discourtesy and rudeness towards those
with whom he was brought in contact upon political business. Indeed, not
long after this, Plato, as if prophetically, wrote to him, warning him
against a stubborn and arrogant temper, the consort of a lonely life.
Yet, even at that time, though Dion was regarded as the most able man in
the state, and was thought to be the only person who could save the
kingdom from the dangers by which it was menaced, he knew well that his
honourable and powerful position was not due to any love which the
monarch bore him, but merely to the fact that he could not do without

IX. As Dion imagined that this must be caused by Dionysius's want of
education, he endeavoured to interest him in literature, and to form his
character by the study of philosophy and science. Indeed Dionysius was
far from being a stupid ruler, but his father, fearing that if he were
educated, and frequented the society of intellectual men, he would
certainly plot against him and seize his throne, used to keep him shut
up at home, where, through want of companionship and ignorance, he was
forced, we are told, to amuse himself by making little waggons and
lamps, and wooden chairs and tables; for the elder Dionysius was so
distrustful and suspicious of all men, and was driven by his fears to
take such precautions against assassination, that he would not even
allow his hair to be cut with a barber's tools, but a workman used to
come and singe his hair with a live coal. Neither his brother nor his
son was allowed to enter his house in their ordinary dress, but were
obliged to take off their clothes and put on others, so that they might
be seen naked by the guard. Once when his brother Leptines, describing
the situation of some place, took a spear from one of the life-guards
and with it drew a map upon the floor, Dionysius was furiously angry
with him, and put to death the man who gave him the spear. He used to
say that he suspected all his friends, because he knew that they were
sensible men, who would prefer to be despots themselves rather than live
under the rule of a despot. He put to death one Marsyas, whom he had
himself promoted to a responsible post, because he dreamed that he was
killing him; for Dionysius argued that his dream must have been
suggested by some thoughts or talk in his waking hours. To such a
condition of terror and misery was he reduced by his cowardice, although
he was angry with Plato for not declaring him to be the bravest of men.

X. Dion, perceiving, as has been said before, that the character of the
young Dionysius had been ruined by his want of education, begged him to
educate himself, to offer all possible inducements to the first of
philosophers to visit Sicily, and when he came, to place himself in his
hands, in order that his character might be exalted by the contemplation
of virtue, and formed upon the noblest of models, which alone can
produce order out of chaos; by which means he would not only gain great
happiness for himself, but would bestow great happiness upon the
citizens by his mild and just paternal rule, thus becoming a true king
instead of a despot. He pointed out that the "adamantine chains" by
which Dionysius's father boasted that his dominion was secured, were not
terror and force, the numbers of his ships of war, or the thousands of
his barbarian mercenaries, but rather the goodwill, loyalty, and
gratitude engendered by virtue and justice, which, though softer than
those rough defences, would nevertheless establish his rule far more
securely than they. Besides these considerations he urged that it was a
sorry thing, and showed a want of proper ambition for a ruler to be
splendidly dressed and luxuriously lodged, but yet to be no more
intellectual in his conversation and arguments than any ordinary man,
and to neglect to adorn the palace of his soul as became a king.

XI. As Dion frequently urged these considerations, and quoted several of
Plato's discourses, Dionysius became passionately desirous of seeing and
conversing with Plato. Many letters were at once sent to Athens by
Dionysius, while Plato also received many injunctions from Dion and from
several of the Pythagorean philosophers in Italy, bidding him go to
Syracuse, undertake the guidance of the mind of this young and powerful
ruler, and fill it with serious thoughts. Plato obeyed their invitation,
chiefly, he tells us, because he feared to appear a mere man of words,
unwilling to take in hand any real work, and also because he hoped that
if he could purify the mind of the chief, he might through him influence
for good the whole of the corrupt people of Sicily. The opponents of
Dion, who feared the results of any change in the character of
Dionysius, prevailed upon him to recall from exile Philistus, a man of
intellectual culture and an experienced courtier, in order to make use
of him as a counterpoise to Plato and his philosophy. Indeed, Philistus
had zealously assisted in the establishment of the despotism, and for a
long time had acted as chief of the garrison of the citadel. There was
also a report that he had been the favoured lover of the mother of the
elder Dionysius, and that, too, not altogether without the knowledge of
the despot; for when Leptines, without telling Dionysius of it, gave
Philistus for his wife one of the two daughters which had been born to
him by a woman whom he had seduced while she was married to another man,
and who afterwards lived with him, Dionysius was very angry, caused the
wife of Leptines to be imprisoned in chains, and forced Philistus to
leave Sicily and take refuge with some friends of his at Adria, where he
is thought to have found leisure to write the greater part of his
history; for he never returned to Syracuse during the life of the elder
Dionysius, but it was after that prince's death, as has been told, that
the opposition to Dion brought him back as being a person more likely to
agree with their views and more likely to support the monarchy.

XII. Philistus on his return at once became closely connected with the
monarchy; while Dion was assailed by misrepresentations and slanders
reported by others to the despot, charging him with having discussed the
extinction of despotism with Theodotes and Herakleides. Dion appears to
have hoped by the influence of Plato to remove from Dionysius all the
arbitrary harshness of a despot, and to make him into an orderly
constitutional ruler. If he resisted, and refused to be thus softened
and refined, Dion had determined to set him aside, and to restore to the
Syracusans their free constitution; not that he was an admirer of
democracy, but because he thought that at any rate it was better than a
despotism for states which were not ruled by a wise and stable

XIII. While affairs were in this posture, Plato arrived at Sicily and
received a most kindly and magnificent welcome. One of the royal
carriages, splendidly equipped, stood ready to receive him as he landed,
and Dionysius offered sacrifice, as though some great good fortune had
befallen his rule. The sobriety of the royal banquets, the refined tone
of the court and the gentle manners of Dionysius himself in transacting
business, all inspired the Syracusans with great hope of a change for
the better. It became the fashion to take interest in philosophical
matters, and it is said that so many began to study geometry that the
palace was filled with the dust in which they drew their figures. In a
few days' time a hereditary sacrifice was celebrated in the palace; and
when the herald, according to custom, prayed that the despotism might
remain unshaken for many years, it is said that Dionysius, who stood
near him, exclaimed: "Will you not cease from imprecating curses upon
us?" This greatly grieved the party of Philistus, who feared that
Plato's power over Dionysius would become unassailable, if he were
allowed time to become intimate with him, if after so short an
acquaintance he had already wrought so great a change in the young man's

XIV. They now no longer singly and in secret, but in a body openly
assailed Dion, declaring that they could easily see through his motives
in bewitching Dionysius with the eloquence of Plato, in order that
Dionysius might be induced to voluntarily abdicate his throne, and hand
it over to the children of Aristomache, whose uncle Dion was. Some of
them even pretended to be angry that, though in former times a great
Athenian naval and military force sailed thither and perished before it
could effect the conquest of Syracuse, yet now the Athenians should be
able, by means of one single sophist, to destroy the throne of
Dionysius, and persuade him to desert his ten thousand life-guards,
leave his four hundred ships of war, his ten thousand cavalry and many
thousands more of infantry soldiers, in order to seek in the Academy for
the ineffable good, and find real pleasure in geometry, leaving the
pleasures of power, wealth and luxury to be enjoyed by Dion and Dion's
nephews. This led at first to Dion's being regarded with suspicion, and
then, when Dionysius began to show his dislike openly, he received a
letter which Dion had secretly despatched to the Carthaginian
commanders, warning them, when they came to treat for peace with
Dionysius, not to conduct the interview without his being present, as
he would see that the whole matter was permanently settled. We are told
by Timæus that Dionysius, after reading this letter to Philistus and
having taken counsel with him, deceived Dion by making false offers of
reconciliation with him. After much friendly talk, he declared that
their differences were at an end, and then, leading him alone towards
the sea-shore under the walls of the citadel, showed him the letter, and
upbraided him with plotting with the Carthaginians against himself. He
would not listen to Dion when he tried to excuse himself, but at once
placed him on board of a small vessel and ordered the sailors to land
him on the coast of Italy.

XV. Upon this, as Dionysius appeared to have acted very harshly, the
whole palace was plunged in grief by the women, while the city of
Syracuse became much excited, expecting that the exile of Dion and the
mistrust with which others regarded the despot would soon lead to some
revolution. Dionysius, perceiving and fearing this, encouraged the women
and friends of Dion, speaking of Dion as though he were not banished,
but had left the country of his own free will, for fear that if he
remained at home his quick temper might betray him into some violent
collision with himself. He placed two ships at the disposal of Dion's
relatives, and bade them embark with as much of his property and
servants as they pleased and go to rejoin him in Peloponnesus. Dion's
property was very extensive, and his whole household was on a
magnificent, almost a royal, scale. Everything was now carried away by
his friends, and much more was sent to him by his female relatives and
his friends, so that his wealth and magnificence became famous
throughout Greece, and the power of the despot became enhanced by the
sight of the riches of the exile.

XVI. Dionysius at once removed Plato into the citadel, where, under
pretence of showing him kindly respect, he was kept in an honourable
captivity, in order that he might not sail away with Dion, a witness of
his unjust treatment. By degrees, like a wild animal who gradually
becomes used to the touch of human beings, so Dionysius accustomed
himself to the society and discourses of Plato, and, after the manner
of despots, conceived a violent passion for him. He was especially
anxious that Plato should return his affection and should approve of his
acts, and was even willing to entrust the government and the crown
itself to him if he would only not prefer Dion's friendship to his own.
This passion of his caused great annoyance to Plato, for like all true
lovers he was furiously jealous and had frequent quarrels and
reconciliations with him, being very eager to hear his discourses, and
engage in the study of philosophy, and yet being influenced by those who
advised him to keep away from Plato, as he would be corrupted by his
teaching. Meanwhile, as some war broke out, he sent Plato away,
promising that in a year's time he would recall Dion. This promise he
broke at once, but he remitted to Dion the revenues of his estate, and
besought Plato to pardon his breach of faith about the time, because of
the war; for, as soon as peace should be made, he promised that he would
at once send for Dion. He also asked Plato to beg Dion to remain quiet,
and not to engage in any revolutionary schemes, and not to traduce his
character to the Greeks.

XVII. Plato endeavoured to effect this, and turned Dion's attention to
philosophy, and kept him in the Academy. Dion lived at this time in the
city of Athens, in the house of Kallippus, one of his friends, though he
also bought an estate in the country for recreation, which, when he
subsequently set sail for Sicily, he presented to Speusippus, who, of
all the Athenians, was his most intimate friend. This intimacy was
brought about by Plato, who hoped that the harshness of Dion's character
might be somewhat softened by the society of a well-bred and cheerful
man. Such a person as this was Speusippus, whom we find spoken of in
Timon's Silli as being "good at a jest." When Plato himself exhibited a
chorus of boys, Dion both trained the chorus and defrayed all the
expenses, and Plato permitted him to gain this distinction although it
was likely to obtain popularity for Dion at his own expense. Dion also
visited other cities, where he associated with the best and most
statesmanlike of the citizens, and attended their solemn festivals,
without ever betraying anything repulsive, affected, or imperious in his
manner, but acting with manliness and discretion, and discoursing with
elegance on philosophy as well as ordinary topics. By this conduct he
everywhere gained good opinions, and public honours were decreed to him
by various cities. The Lacedæmonians even adopted him as a Spartan,
disregarding the anger of Dionysius, though he at the time was zealously
assisting them in a war against the Thebans. We are told that once Dion
wished to see Ptoiodorus, of Megara, and went to his house. Ptoiodorus,
it seems, was a rich and powerful man; and when Dion observed the crowds
at his door and the busy throng and saw how hard it was to gain an
audience of him, he turned to his friends, who were vexed at this, and
said: "Why should we find fault with this man? for we ourselves used to
do just the same thing at Syracuse?"

XVIII. As time went on, Dionysius, feeling jealous of Dion, and fearing
the popularity which he was obtaining among the Greeks, left off
forwarding his revenues to him and confiscated his property. Being
desirous of effacing the bad impression which he had made upon all
philosophers by his treatment of Plato, he collected round him many men
who had a reputation for learning. As he wished to surpass them all in
argument, he was forced to make use, often improperly, of what he had
very imperfectly learned from Plato. He now again began to wish for
Plato, and blamed himself for not having made use of him when he was
present, and for not having listened to all his noble language. Frantic
in his desires, and impatient to obtain whatever he wished, as despots
are, he at once set his heart upon Plato and tried every means to
attract him. He induced Archytas and the other successors of the
original Pythagorean philosophers to invite Plato; for it was by means
of Plato that Dionysius had at first become their friend. They sent
Archedemus to Plato, and Dionysius also despatched a trireme and several
of his friends to entreat Plato to come: while he himself wrote a letter
in which he distinctly stated that Dion would never get his rights if
Plato refused to come to Sicily, but that if he would, Dion should
receive them all. Many letters also reached Dion from his sister and his
wife, urging him to beg Plato to accede to the request of Dionysius,
and not afford him grounds for ill-treating them. Thus, they say, it was
that Plato came to sail a third time into the straits of Scylla.

   "Again the dread Charybdis to explore."

XIX. His arrival afforded unbounded delight to Dionysius, and again
filled Sicily with great hopes; for all men prayed and were eager that
Plato and philosophy should get the better of Philistus and despotism.
He was treated with great respect by the ladies,[483] and received from
Dionysius a mark of confidence which was accorded to no one else, in
being allowed to come into his presence without his clothes being
searched. As Dionysius frequently offered valuable presents to Plato,
who never would receive them, Aristippus of Cyrene, who was present,
observed that Dionysius exercised a very cheap generosity; for he gave
small presents to himself and to others who wished for more, and offered
great ones to Plato, who would not accept of any. When, however, after
the first welcome was over, Plato began to speak of Dion, Dionysius at
first put off discussing the subject, and subsequently reproaches and
quarrels took place between them, of which no one else was aware, since
Dionysius kept them secret, and by showing Plato assiduous attentions
and marks of respect tried to win him over from his friendship for Dion.
Plato, too, at first would not publish what he knew of the treachery and
falsehood of Dionysius, but affected not to perceive it and endured it
in silence. While they were on these terms, though they believed that no
one knew it, Helikon of Kyzikus, an intimate friend of Plato, foretold
an eclipse of the sun; and as it happened according to his prediction,
the despot was much impressed, and gave him a talent of silver.
Aristippus now in joke said to the other philosophers that he too had a
remarkable event to predict; and when they begged him to tell them what
it was, he said, "I predict that before long Plato and Dionysius will
become foes." At last Dionysius sold Dion's property and kept the money,
and even removed Plato from the lodgings in the gardens near his own
palace, where he had hitherto dwelt, and quartered him among the
mercenary troops, who had long disliked Plato and wished to make away
with him, because they believed him to be counselling Dionysius to
abdicate and to live without a bodyguard.

XX. Archytas and his friends, when they heard of the danger to which
Plato was exposed, at once sent a thirty-oared vessel with an embassy to
Dionysius, demanding Plato from him, and alleging that he had originally
come to Syracuse at their request, and that they were responsible for
his safety. Dionysius concealed his dislike of Plato by feasting him and
treating him kindly on his departure, but could not help saying to him,
"I suppose, Plato, you will abuse me terribly to your
fellow-philosophers," or something to that effect. At this Plato smiled,
and replied, "I trust that we shall never be so ill off in the Academy
for subjects to discuss, as for any one to make mention of you." Such,
they say, were the terms upon which they parted; though this does not
entirely agree with Plato's own account of the matter.

XXI. Dion was much angered by these proceedings of Dionysius, and
shortly afterwards was converted into an open enemy on hearing of the
treatment of his wife, on which subject Plato wrote in enigmas to
Dionysius. This happened as follows:--After the expulsion of Dion,
Dionysius, when he sent Plato away, bade him secretly make inquiries as
to whether there was anything to prevent Dion's wife being bestowed upon
another man; for there was a rumour, which may have been true or merely
invented by Dion's enemies, that the marriage had been forced upon Dion
against his will, and that he and his wife had not lived happily
together. Plato, as soon as he arrived at Athens conversed freely with
Dion, and then wrote a letter to the despot, some of which was clearly
expressed, but which in one part intimated to him, in a manner which he
alone could understand, that the writer had spoken about the matter to
Dion, and that he would certainly be furious if Dionysius attempted
anything of the kind. At that time, as there were still great hopes of
arranging their quarrel, Dionysius did nothing further, but allowed his
sister to remain living with her child by Dion. When, however, they
became irreconcilable enemies and Plato, after his second visit, was
sent away bitterly disliked by Dionysius, he proceeded to give Arete in
marriage, sorely against her will, to one of his friends, named
Timokrates, not imitating in this respect the gentle conduct of his
father; for the elder Dionysius also had for an enemy Polyxenus the
husband of his sister Theste. Polyxenus, fearing for his life, escaped
from Syracuse and left Sicily. Upon this Dionysius sent for his sister
and blamed her for having known of her husband's intention to take
flight, and not having told him of it; but she, undismayed, answered him
fearlessly, "Dionysius, do you think me so bad and cowardly a wife that,
if I had known of the intention of my husband to flee, I should not have
accompanied him? Indeed, I did not know of it; for it would have been
more creditable to me to have been spoken of as the wife of Polyxenus
the exile than as the sister of Dionysius the despot." It is said that
when Theste used this bold language the despot regarded her with
admiration, and she was also so much admired by the people of Syracuse
for her courage and goodness that after the fall of the dynasty they
still continued to treat her with the honours due to royalty, and, when
she died, all the citizens came in procession to her funeral. These
circumstances have required a digression which is not without value.

XXII. Dion after this at once prepared for war. Plato would take no part
in his attempts, both out of respect for Dionysius and because of his
own advanced age; but Speusippus and his other companions joined Dion,
and encouraged him to set free Sicily, which they said was stretching
out its hands to him for help and would eagerly welcome him. It seems,
indeed, that when Plato was at Syracuse, Speusippus and his friends, who
mixed more with the people, discovered their real feelings. At first
they were afraid to speak plainly, fearing that the despot was
experimenting upon them, but at length they took courage. All told the
same story, begging and encouraging Dion to come, not with ships of war
and horse and foot soldiers, but to embark in an open boat, and lend
merely his person and his name to the Sicilians in their struggle
against Dionysius. Encouraged by these reports, which he received from
Speusippus and his friends, Dion secretly levied a force of mercenaries,
but not in his own name, and without disclosing his intention. Many
statesmen and philosophers assisted him, among the later Eudemus of
Cyprus, in whose honour, after his death, Aristotle composed his
dialogue upon the soul, and Timonides of Leukas. They brought over to
him also Miltas of Thessaly, a soothsayer and former student of the
Academy. Yet, of all those men who had been banished by the despot, who
were not less than a thousand in number, five-and-twenty alone took part
in the expedition, and all the rest shrank from doing so. Their
starting-point was the island of Zakynthus, where was assembled a force
numbering less than eight hundred soldiers, all of whom, however, were
men of distinction who had served in many great campaigns, and were in
admirable bodily condition, and such bold and skilful warriors as would
be able to excite and inspire with courage the multitude which Dion
hoped would rally round him in Sicily.

XXIII. These men, when they heard that the expedition was directed
against Sicily and Dionysius, were at first scared and refused to go,
declaring that only the frenzy excited by some personal quarrel, or the
failure of all reasonable hopes of success, could have led Dion to
embark upon such a desperate enterprise, and they were incensed with
their own officers and those who had enlisted them for not having at the
outset informed them of the object of the war. When, however, Dion
addressed them, pointing out the rottenness of the monarchy, and
informing them that he was taking them, not so much as soldiers as in
order to use them as leaders for the Syracusans and other peoples of
Sicily, who had long been ripe for revolt, and when, after Dion's
speech, Alkimenes, one of the expedition, who was one of the most
celebrated of the Achæans both by birth and merit, spoke to the same
effect, they consented to go. The time was midsummer and the
Etesian[484] winds were blowing over the sea. The moon was at the full.
Dion prepared a magnificent sacrifice to Apollo and marched in solemn
procession to the temple with his soldiers, all arrayed in complete
armour. After the sacrifice he feasted them in the stadium or
race-course of the people of Zakynthus, where they had an opportunity of
admiring the splendour of his gold and silver plate, and reflected that
a man past middle life, as he was, and possessed of such wealth, would
never attempt an extravagant enterprise without reasonable expectation
of success, or unless his friends upon the spot had promised to furnish
him with abundant resources.

XXIV. Just after the libations[485] and customary prayers, the moon
became eclipsed. Dion and his friends saw nothing remarkable in this, as
they could calculate the periods of eclipses, and knew how the shadow
was produced upon the moon by the interposition of the earth between it
and the sun. As, however, the soldiers were alarmed at the portent and
required some encouragement, Miltas the soothsayer came into the midst
of them and addressed them, bidding them be of good cheer and expect the
most complete success; for the gods, he declared, foretold by this sign
that something brilliant would be extinguished. Now there was nothing
more brilliant than the monarchy of Dionysius, whose light was fated to
be quenched by them as soon as they arrived at Sicily. This
interpretation Miltas told to them all; but when a swarm of bees was
seen to settle on the sterns of the ships, he privately told Dion and
his friends that he feared lest this might portend that at first they
would be very properous, but that after blooming for a short time their
prosperity would wither away. It is said, too, that many ominous signs
were vouchsafed by Heaven to Dionysius. An eagle snatched up a spear
from one of the life-guards, soared aloft with it, and let it fall into
the sea; and one day the sea-water which washes the walls of the citadel
became quite sweet and drinkable, so that all men noticed it. Swine also
were born without ears, though perfect in all other parts. This was
interpreted by the soothsayers to be a sign of insurrection and
disobedience, and to mean that the people would no longer hearken to the
commands of the despot, while the portent of the sea-water meant that
after bitter miseries sweet and pleasant times were in store for the
people of Syracuse. The eagle, they said, is the servant of Zeus, and
the spear is the symbol of power and sovereignty; wherefore the greatest
of the gods must intend to sink and destroy the monarchy. These
incidents we are told by Theopompus.

XXV. The soldiers of Dion were contained in two merchant-ships, which
were accompanied by another small vessel and two galleys of thirty
oars.[486] Besides the arms carried by the soldiers, Dion took with him
two thousand shields, many spears and missiles, and sufficient
provisions to supply them during the whole voyage, which was to be
performed entirely under canvass and over the open sea, because they
feared to approach the land, and had learned that Philistus was cruising
off the Iapygian Cape with a squadron to intercept them. Sailing with a
light and gentle wind for twelve days, on the thirteenth they reached
Pachynus, the southern extremity of Sicily. Here Protus their pilot bade
them make haste to disembark, warning them that if they left the land
and steered away from the cape, they would be obliged to spend many days
and nights at sea during the summer season, when a southerly gale might
be expected. Dion, however, feared to disembark so near his foes, and,
wishing to land further away, sailed along the coast past Cape Pachynus.
Hereupon a violent northerly wind, accompanied by a high sea, drove the
ships away from Sicily, while at the rising of Arcturus a storm of
thunder and lightning burst upon them with furious rain. At this the
sailors became dismayed, and lost their reckoning, but suddenly found
that the ships were being carried by the waves towards the rockiest and
most precipitous cliffs of the island Kerkina,[487] off the coast of
Libya. They narrowly escaped being dashed to pieces upon the rocks, but
struggled along, keeping themselves off the land with
punting-poles,[488] until at length the storm abated and they learned
from a vessel which they fell in with that they were near what are
called the "Heads" of the Great Syrtis. It now fell calm and they became
disheartened and quarrelled with one another; but soon an off-shore wind
sprang up from the south, though they, not expecting a southerly wind,
could scarcely believe in the change. The wind gradually increased in
force, and they, setting all the sail they were able, and commending
themselves in prayer to the gods, crossed the open sea from Libya to
Sicily before the wind. They made a quick passage, and on the fifth day
came to an anchor at Minoa, a small city in that part of Sicily which
belonged to the Carthaginians. The Carthaginian commander, Synalus, who
was a friend of Dion, happened to be present in the town. Not knowing
what the expedition was, or that Dion, was with it, he attempted to
prevent the soldiers from landing; but they poured out of their ships
fully armed, and though in accordance with Dion's order they killed no
one, because of his friendship with the Carthaginian leader, yet they
routed the Minoans, entered their city with the fugitives, and captured
it. When the two chiefs met, they embraced one another, and Dion
restored the city to Synalus without doing it any hurt, while Synalus
showed hospitality to the soldiers and provided Dion with the supplies
which he needed.

XXVI. What specially encouraged them was the absence of Dionysius from
Syracuse, although they had no hand in bringing it about; for he had
just started on a voyage to the coast of Italy with a fleet of eighty
ships. Although Dion begged his soldiers to wait and recruit their
strength after the hardships of their long sea voyage, they would not
remain there, but in their eagerness to seize this favourable
opportunity bade Dion lead them to Syracuse. Dion now left behind his
surplus arms and baggage at Minoa, and, begging Synalus to send them on
to him when he should have need of them, set out on his march to
Syracuse. On the road, he was first joined by two hundred horsemen,
citizens of Agrigentum, dwelling near Eknomon. After these, some of the
people of Gela also joined his army.

The news of Dion's march soon reached Syracuse, and Timokrates, the
husband of Dion's late wife, the sister of Dionysius, who was left in
charge of the garrison, sent a messenger in great haste to Dionysius
with a letter telling of Dion's arrival. He himself endeavoured to
maintain order and put down all insurrections in the city, for all the
people were excited at the news, but remained quiet as yet, through fear
and doubt. Meantime a strange mischance befel the bearer of the letter
to Dionysius. He crossed the straits to Italy, passed through the city
of Rhegium, and as he hurried on towards Kaulonia, where Dionysius was,
he fell in with one of his friends, carrying a newly slaughtered victim.
He was given a piece of meat by the man, and went on in haste. He walked
some part of the night, but being forced by fatigue to take a little
sleep, he lay down, just as he was, in a wood by the road-side. While he
slept, a wolf, attracted by the smell, snatched up the meat, which he
had tied to his wallet, and ran off with it, carrying away with it the
wallet in which the man had placed the letter. When the man woke and
discovered his loss, after much vain searching, as he could not find it,
he decided not to go to the despot without the letter, but to make off
and keep out of the way.

XXVII. In consequence of this Dionysius only heard of the war in Sicily
much later and from other persons, and meanwhile Dion had been joined on
his march by the people of Kamarina, and by a considerable number of the
Syracusans who lived in the country. The Leontines and Campanians, who
formed the garrison of Epipolæ, in consequence of Dion's sending them a
false report that he intended to attack their city first, left
Timokrates, and went away thither to defend their own property. When
news of this reached Dion, who was encamped near Akræ, he aroused his
soldiers while it was yet night and marched to the river Anapus, which
is ten stadia distant from the city. There he halted and offered
sacrifice beside the river, praying to the rising sun, and at the same
time the soothsayers declared that the gods would give him the victory.
Observing that Dion wore a garland because he was sacrificing, all those
who were present at the sacrifice with one impulse crowned themselves
with flowers. No less than five thousand men had joined him on his
march. They were badly armed in a make-shift fashion, but their zeal
supplied the deficiencies of their equipment, and when Dion led the way
they all started at a run, shouting for joy, and encouraging one another
to recover their freedom.

XXVIII. Of the Syracusans within the walls, the chief men and upper
classes in their most splendid raiment met Dion at the gates, while the
populace attacked the friends of the despot, and seized upon the spies,
a wicked and hateful class of men, who used to live among the people of
the city and report their opinions and conversations to the despot.
These men were the first to suffer for their crimes, as they were beaten
to death by any of the citizens who fell in with them. Timokrates,
unable to reach the garrison of the citadel, mounted his horse and rode
away from the city, spreading alarm and confusion everywhere as he fled
by exaggerating the numbers of Dion's army, that he might not be thought
to have surrendered the city through fear to a small force.

Meanwhile Dion could already be seen plainly, as he marched first of all
his men, clad in splendid armour. On one side of him was his brother
Megakles, and on the other the Athenian Kallippus, both crowned with
garlands. Next marched a hundred of the mercenary soldiers, as a
bodyguard for Dion, while the rest of the men were led on by their
officers in battle array. The entire procession was looked upon and
welcomed as though it were sacred by the citizens of Syracuse, who,
after forty-two years of tyranny, saw liberty and a popular constitution
restored to their city.

XXIX. When Dion had entered by the Temenitid[489] gate, he caused his
trumpet to sound to obtain silence; and then a herald made proclamation
that Dion and Megakles were come to put down the monarchy, and that they
set free from the despot both the Syracusans and the other Sicilian

As Dion wished to address the people in person, he proceeded through
Achradina, while the Syracusans placed animals for sacrifice, tables and
bowls of wine on each side of the street,[490] and each, as Dion passed
them, strewed flowers in his path and addressed prayers to him as if to
a god. In front of the citadel, with its Pentapyla, or Five Gates, stood
a sundial, a conspicuous and lofty work, erected by Dionysius. Dion
mounted upon this, and addressed the citizens, encouraging them to hold
fast the freedom which they had obtained. The people, in joy and
gratitude to them, elected them both generals, with unlimited powers,
and at their earnest request chose twenty more as their colleagues, half
of whom were taken from the exiles who had returned with Dion. The
prophets considered it to be an excellent omen that Dion, while
addressing the people, should have trodden under his feet the building
which the despot had reared in his pride; but they augured ill from his
having been chosen general while standing upon a sundial, lest his
fortunes should soon experience some revolution. After this he captured
Epipolæ, released the citizens who were imprisoned there and cut off
the citadel by a palisade.[491] On the seventh day after this,
Dionysius returned to the citadel by sea, and waggons arrived bringing
to Dion the arms and armour which he had left with Synalus. These he
distributed among the citizens, and of the others, each man equipped
himself as well as he was able, and eagerly offered his services as a

XXX. Dionysius at first sent ambassadors privately to Dion to endeavour
to corrupt him. Afterwards, as Dion bade him speak openly to the people
of Syracuse, who were now free, Dionysius through his ambassadors made
them attractive offers of moderate taxation and moderate military
service, subject to their own vote of consent.[492] These proposals were
scornfully rejected by the Syracusans. Dion told the ambassadors that he
and his party could have no dealings with Dionysius unless he abdicated;
but that if he did so, he himself, remembering their relationship, would
answer for his personal safety, and obtain as good terms for him as
could be reasonably expected. These conditions were approved by
Dionysius, who again sent ambassadors to demand that some of the
Syracusans should come to the citadel and arrange the terms of the
surrender upon a basis of mutual concessions. Commissioners, chosen by
Dion, were at once sent to him, and a report spread from the citadel
that Dionysius intended to abdicate and to make himself more popular
even than Dion. However, the negotiations were all a trick of the despot
to take the Syracusans at a disadvantage. He imprisoned the
commissioners, and at daybreak, having excited his mercenary troops with
wine, sent them at a run to attack the Syracusan wall across the
isthmus. This attack was unexpected, and the foreign troops boldly and
with loud shouts began to destroy the works and to attack the
Syracusans. No one could withstand their onset except the mercenaries of
Dion, who were the first to hear the noise of the conflict and to rush
to the spot. But not even these men could perceive what was to be done
or obey their orders, mixed up as they were with noisy crowds of
panic-stricken Syracusan fugitives, before Dion, finding that no one
heeded his words, and wishing to show by his actions what ought to be
done, was the first man to attack the foreigners. Round him a fierce and
terrible battle took place, as he was recognised as well by the enemy as
by his friends, and all ran towards him with shouts. He was, indeed,
somewhat advanced in years to engage in such a furious combat, but yet
stoutly and bravely withstood and repulsed all who attacked him. He
received a wound in the hand from a spear, and had to rely upon his
breastplate for protection against showers of darts and blows in close
combat, for his shield was pierced through by many spears and lances.
When these were broken he fell to the ground, but was snatched away by
his soldiers. He appointed Timonides to take his place, and himself rode
through the city on horseback, rallied the Syracusan fugitives, brought
out the garrison of mercenaries from Achradina, and led these fresh and
confident troops against the wearied foreigners, who had already begun
to despair of victory. They had imagined that by their first attack they
would be able to overrun the whole city, but having unexpectedly fallen
in with men who could deal hard blows they began to retire towards the
citadel. As they gave way the Greeks pressed upon them still more, until
at length they were driven in confusion into the citadel, after killing
seventy-four of Dion's party, and losing many of their own men.

XXXI. After this glorious victory the Syracusans presented the
mercenaries with a hundred minæ, and the mercenaries presented Dion
with a golden crown. Heralds from Dionysius now came from the citadel
bringing letters to Dion from his female relatives. One of these bore
the superscription "From Hipparinus to his father;" for this was the
name of Dion's son, although Timæus says that he was named Aretæus
after his mother Arete. But I imagine we ought rather to believe
Timonides in such matters as these, since he was a friend and comrade of
Dion. The other letters, those from the women, which were full of
piteous supplications, were read aloud to the Syracusans, but they were
unwilling that the letter from the child should be opened before them.
In spite of their opposition, Dion opened it and read it aloud. It was
from Dionysius himself, addressed nominally to Dion, but really to the
people of Syracuse, and though in it Dionysius seemed to appeal to Dion
and to plead his own cause with him, yet in truth it was concocted with
a view to rendering him suspected by the people; for it contained
allusions to his former zeal on behalf of the monarchy, and also
threatened him through the persons of those dearest to him, his sister,
his child and his wife. There were in the letter also pitiful
entreaties, and what especially moved him to anger, supplications to him
not to destroy the monarchy and set free a people which hated him and
would turn and rend him, but to become despot himself, and thus to save
his relatives and friends.

XXXII. When these letters were read to them, the Syracusans, instead of
admiring Dion for his magnanimity in adhering to the cause of honour and
right, in spite of such touching appeals as these, they rather began to
suspect him and to fear him, because he had such powerful reasons for
sparing the despot, and they began to look around them for some other
leader. They became particularly excited on hearing that Herakleides
sailed into the harbour. This Herakleides was a Syracusan exile, a
military man who had gained a great reputation by the commands which he
had held in the service of Dionysius and his father, but of an unsettled
disposition, fickle and least of all to be relied upon when associated
with a colleague in any command of dignity and honour. This man had
quarrelled with Dion in Peloponnesus, and determined to make an
expedition of his own to attack Dionysius. He now arrived at Syracuse
with seven triremes and three other vessels,[493] and found Dionysius
blockaded in his citadel and the people of Syracuse in an excited
condition. He at once received the popular favour, being naturally
plausible and well able to impose upon a people who were fond of
flattery. He was the more easily enabled to do this, as the Syracusans
were already disgusted with the haughty demeanour of Dion, which they
considered to be offensive and unfit for a statesman, being themselves
grown insubordinate and insolent after their victory and requiring a
demagogue even before they had become a democracy.

XXXIII. Their first act was to assemble of their own accord and elect
Herakleides as admiral. When, however, Dion came forward and complained
that the appointment of Herakleides was a revocation of the powers
granted to himself, since he would no longer be general with unlimited
powers, if another commanded by sea, the Syracusans, much against their
will, annulled the election. After this Dion sent for Herakleides
privately and, after bitterly reproaching him with his want of honour
and right feeling in raising disputes about precedence during so
momentous and dangerous a crisis, again assembled the people, appointed
Herakleides admiral and prevailed upon the citizens to grant him a
bodyguard such as that by which he himself was attended. Herakleides
now in words and in manner acknowledged Dion as his superior, obeyed his
orders with humility, and owned that he owed him a debt of gratitude;
but in secret he encouraged the people to revolt against him, stirred up
tumults and brought Dion into a most difficult position; for if he were
to permit Dionysius to retire from the citadel under a flag of truce, he
feared that he should be reproached with sparing the despot and saving
him from the fate he deserved, while, if he did not push the siege
through a wish not to drive him to extremities, he would appear to be
purposely protracting the war in order that he might the longer remain
in power and have the people under his orders.

XXXIV. There was one Sosis, a man who by villainy and audacity had
gained a certain reputation at Syracuse, where the citizens thought that
his licence in speech must be prompted by an excessive love of freedom.
This man began to intrigue against Dion, and first of all rose in the
assembly and violently abused the Syracusans for not perceiving that
they had got a sober and vigilant despot instead of a drunken and
imbecile one. After this, having avowed himself Dion's open enemy, he
withdrew from the market-place and next day was seen running naked
through the city with his face and head covered with blood, as though he
were fleeing from some pursuers. Rushing into the market-place in this
condition, he said that his life had been attempted by Dion's
mercenaries, and showed his wounded head to the people. He at once
gained an audience of sympathisers, who became furious with Dion, and
declared that he was acting shamefully and despotically in restraining
the freedom of speech of the citizens by threats and murders. However,
though a disorderly assembly took place, Dion was able to speak in his
own defence, pointing out that a brother of Sosis was one of the guards
of Dionysius, and that this man must have persuaded him to rebel and
throw the city into confusion, since Dionysius could have no hope of
safety except in the dissensions of the besiegers. At the same time the
physicians examined the wound of Sosis, and found that it was the result
of a superficial scratch rather than of a downward cut; for wounds by
swordstrokes are deepest in the middle, because of the weight of the
blow, while this wound of Sosis was shallow throughout all its length
and had several beginnings, as probably he had been forced by the pain
to leave off cutting his head and then had begun again. Some of the more
respectable citizens also came to the assembly with a razor, and said
that while they were walking they met Sosis covered with blood, saying
that he was fleeing from Dion's mercenaries and had just been wounded by
them. They at once proceeded to look for them, and found no man, but saw
the razor hidden under a hollow stone at the place from which Sosis had
been seen coming out.

XXXV. Matters now began to look ill for Sosis; and when his slaves,
after torture, declared that he left the house while it was yet night
carrying a razor, Dion's accusers withdrew their charges against him,
and the people became reconciled with Dion and condemned Sosis to death.
Nevertheless, they viewed the mercenaries with suspicion, especially
after the great battles which took place at sea, when Philistus came
from Iapygia with many triremes to rescue Dionysius, upon which they
imagined that the mercenaries, being heavy-infantry soldiers, would be
of no further use in the war, and would soon become their enemies, as
they were all seafaring people, whose strength lay in their ships. They
were further excited by their success in a sea-fight, in which they
defeated Philistus, and treated him with the utmost barbarity. Ephorus
states that Philistus killed himself as soon as his ship was captured,
but Timonides, who was present with Dion throughout the whole of these
events, in a letter which he wrote to the philospher, Speusippus,
informs him that Philistus was taken alive from his ship which ran
ashore; and that the Syracusans first stripped him of his corslet and
displayed him naked, jeering at him, he being then an old man; and that
after this they cut off his head and gave up the body to the boys of the
town, bidding them drag it through Achradina, and cast it into the stone
quarries. Timæus declares that Philistus was treated with even greater
indignity, his dead body being dragged by the boys through the city by
the lame leg amidst the insults of all the people of Syracuse, who were
pleased to see this treatment inflicted on the man who had told
Dionysius that far from requiring a swift horse to escape from his
throne, he ought to remain until he was dragged from it by the leg.
Philistus, however, gave this advice to Dionysius, not as having been
said by himself, but by some one else.

XXXVI. Philistus doubtless laid himself open to blame by his zealous
adherence to the cause of the monarchy, but Timæus takes advantage of
this to satisfy his own spite by abusing him. It might, perhaps, be
pardoned if those who had been wronged by him were so transported by
rage as even to insult his senseless corpse; but a historian, writing an
account of his actions in a later age, without having been in any way
personally injured by him, ought to be restrained by feelings of honour
and decency from taunting him with his misfortunes, which, indeed, might
equally have befallen the best of men. Neither does Ephorus show a sound
judgment in praising Philistus, for, in spite of his skill in inventing
good motives for evil conduct and actions, and the care with which his
words are chosen, he cannot, with all his art, gloss over the fact that
Philistus was devotedly attached to the cause of despotism, and that he,
more than any one else, was dazzled and attracted by wealth, power,
luxury and marriages with the daughters of absolute princes. A historian
would show better taste than either of these by neither praising
Philistus for his conduct nor reproaching him with his misfortunes.

XXXVII. After the death of Philistus, Dionysius sent to Dion offering to
deliver up to him the citadel, the arms which it contained, the
mercenary troops and five months pay for them, and demanding to be
allowed to retire unmolested to Italy and live there, and also to
receive the revenues of a large and fertile tract belonging to Syracuse
called Gyarta, which extended from the sea-side to the interior of the
island. Dion would not receive the embassy, but bade Dionysius address
himself to the people of Syracuse; and they, hoping to take Dionysius
alive, drove away his ambassadors. Dionysius now handed over the citadel
to Apollokrates, his eldest son, and himself placed what persons and
property he chiefly valued on board ship, waited for a fair wind, and
then sailed away, eluding the vigilance of the admiral Herakleides.
Herakleides was fiercely reproached by the citizens for his neglect, but
suborned one of the popular speakers to make proposals to the people for
a division of lands, pointing out that equality is the source of
freedom, and that poverty reduces men to slavery. Herakleides spoke on
the same side, openly opposed Dion, who led the opposite faction, and
prevailed upon the Syracusans to agree to this proposal, and further to
refuse to pay the mercenary troops and to rid themselves of the haughty
arrogance of Dion by electing new generals. Thus, like a man who
attempts to rise and walk when weakened by a long illness, the
Syracusans, after ridding themselves of their despotism, at once tried
to adopt the institutions of free peoples, and both failed in their
undertakings and disliked Dion, because he, like a careful physician,
wished to impose a strict and temperate regimen upon them.

XXXVIII. When they assembled to choose their new commanders the time
was about midsummer, and ominous thunderstorms and portents took place
for fifteen days in succession, dispersing the people and preventing
their election of any other generals. When the popular leaders, by
waiting and watching, had obtained a fair still day for the election of
chief magistrates, a draught ox, who was quite tame and accustomed to
crowds, but who was enraged with his driver, broke from his yoke and ran
towards the theatre. He scattered the people in the greatest confusion
and panic, and ran on prancing and causing disorder through all that
part of the city which afterwards fell into the hands of the enemy.
Nevertheless, the Syracusans disregarded this omen, and elected
five-and-twenty generals, one of whom was Herakleides. They also made
secret overtures to Dion's mercenaries, inviting them to desert, and
offering them equal rights with the other citizens. They, however, would
not listen to these proposals, but faithfully and promptly got under
arms, formed column with Dion in their midst, and began to march out of
the city, without harming any one, but bitterly reproaching all whom
they met with their ingratitude and wickedness. But the Syracusans, who
despised them for their small numbers and for not having been the first
to attack, had now collected in crowds, far outnumbering the
mercenaries, and set upon them, expecting that in a street-fight they
would easily be able to overpower them and to kill them all.

XXXIX. In this terrible dilemma, as he was forced either to fight
against his fellow-countrymen or to perish with his mercenaries, Dion
stretched out his hands towards the Syracusans and implored them to
desist, and pointed to the citadel, full of armed enemies, who were
watching them from the battlements. As, however, the excited mob could
not be turned from its purpose, for the speeches of the demagogues
stirred up the people as the wind stirs up the waves of the sea, Dion
ordered his troops not to charge them, but to march forward with a shout
and martial clash of arms. At this none of the Syracusans stood their
ground, but ran away along the streets unpursued; for Dion at once
wheeled round his troops and marched away to Leontini. The new chiefs of
the Syracusans, ridiculed by the women, and wishing to wipe out their
disgrace, now again got the citizens under arms and pursued Dion. They
came up with him as he was crossing a stream, and rode up to his troops
in skirmishing order. When, however, they perceived that Dion was no
longer willing to deal gently and paternally with their follies, but
that he angrily formed his troops in line and ordered them to attack,
they fled more disgracefully than before back to their city, without
losing many of their number.

XL. The people of Leontini received Dion with especial honours, provided
his troops with pay, and made them free of the city. They also sent
ambassadors to the Syracusans, calling upon them to do the soldiers
justice; to which they replied by sending ambassadors to prefer charges
against Dion. When, however, all the allies held a meeting at Leontini
and discussed the matter, the Syracusans were held to be in fault. But
the Syracusans refused to accept this decision, as they were now full of
insolent importance, having no one to rule them, but being led by
generals who were the merest slaves of the people.

XLI. After this a fleet of triremes sent by Dionysius arrived at the
city, under the command of Nypsius, a Neapolitan, with supplies of corn
and money for the besieged. In a sea-fight which took place the
Syracusans were victorious, and took four of the ships, but were so
elated by their victory, and, having none to rule them, celebrated their
success with such reckless excesses of drinking and feasting, that while
they imagined they had taken the citadel they really lost the city as
well; for Nypsius, observing that discipline was everywhere at an end,
as the populace were engaged in drinking to the sound of music from
daylight until late at night, and that the generals were delighted at
the festivity and were unwilling to summon the drunken men to their
duty, seized his opportunity and attacked the Syracusan wall of
investment. His attack succeeded; he broke through the works, and at
once let loose his foreign mercenaries, bidding them deal as they
pleased with all whom they met. The Syracusans, though they soon learned
their misfortune, yet were slow to assemble, being taken by surprise;
for the city was being sacked, the men slaughtered, the walls thrown
down and the women and children being forced weeping into the citadel,
while the generals gave up all for lost, and could make no use of the
citizens, who were everywhere confusedly mixed up with the enemy.

XLII. While the city was in this condition, and the danger began to
menace Achradina also, all men thought of him who was their last and
only hope, but no one spoke of Dion, as they were all ashamed of the
folly and ingratitude with which they had treated him. Sheer necessity,
however, forced some of the auxiliary troops and the knights[494] to cry
out that they must send for Dion and his Peloponnesians from Leontini.
As soon as any were found bold enough to raise this cry, the Syracusans
shouted aloud, and rejoiced with tears, for they prayed that Dion would
come, they longed to see him, and they remembered his courage and
strength in time of danger, in which he not only remained calm and
unmoved, but gave them confidence by his demeanour and caused them
fearlessly and bravely to attack their enemies. They therefore at once
sent off to him Archonides and Telesides, as representatives of the
allies, and Hellanikus, with four others, of the knights. These men rode
at full gallop to Leontini, arriving there late in the afternoon. When
they dismounted, the first person they met was Dion, and with tears in
their eyes they told him of the misfortunes which had befallen the
Syracusans. Soon some of the citizens of Leontini fell in with them, and
many of the Peloponnesians gathered round Dion, suspecting from the
earnest and supplicatory tones and gestures of the ambassadors that
something important had happened. Dion at once led the way to the public
assembly, where all the people soon met together. Archonides and
Hellanikus in a few words informed them of the great misfortune which
had befallen the Syracusans, and besought the stranger mercenaries to
help them and not to bear malice for the treatment which they had
received, since the Syracusans had been more terribly punished for their
misconduct than even the soldiers could have wished them to be.

XLIII. After they had ceased speaking, there was a great silence; and
when Dion rose and began to speak, tears choked his utterance. The
Peloponnesians encouraged him, and showed sympathy with him, and at
length he mastered his emotion and said: "Men of Peloponnesus and
Allies, I have assembled you here to deliberate about your own affairs.
As for myself, I cannot with honour deliberate while Syracuse is being
destroyed, but if I cannot save my country, I will share her ruin and
make her flames my own funeral pyre. As for you, if you can bring
yourselves even now, after all that has passed, to help us, the most
ill-advised and the most ill-fated of men, restore again by your own
means alone the city of Syracuse. But if you hate the Syracusans and
reject their appeal, then may you be rewarded by heaven for your former
brave conduct and loyalty to me, and may you remember Dion, who would
not desert you when you were wronged, and would not afterwards desert
his fellow-countrymen when they were in trouble." While Dion was still
speaking, the Peloponnesians leaped up with a shout, bidding him lead
them as quickly as possible to the rescue, and the ambassadors from
Syracuse embraced him, calling upon heaven to bless both him and the
troops. When order was restored, Dion immediately began to prepare for
the march, and ordered his men to go and eat their dinners at once, and
then to assemble under arms in that very place; for he intended to march
to Syracuse by night.

XLIV. Meanwhile at Syracuse the generals of Dionysius worked great ruin
in the city while it was day, but when darkness came on retired into the
citadel, having lost but few men. The popular leaders now took courage,
and, expecting that the enemy would attempt nothing further, again
called upon the people to have nothing to do with Dion, and, if he came
with his foreign troops, not to admit him into the city and own
themselves inferior to his men in courage, but to reconquer their city
and their liberty by their own exertions. More embassies were now sent
to Dion, from the generals dissuading him from coming, and from the
knights and leading citizens entreating him to come quickly. This caused
him to march more slowly, yet with greater determination. When day
broke, the party opposed to Dion occupied the gates, in order to shut
him out of the city, while Nypsius a second time led out the mercenaries
from the citadel, in greater numbers and far more confident than before.
He at once levelled to the ground the whole of the works by which the
citadel was cut off from the main land, and overran and pillaged the
city. No longer men alone, but even women and children were slaughtered,
and property of every kind mercilessly destroyed; for Dionysius, who now
despaired of ultimate success, and bitterly hated the Syracusans, wished
only, as it were, to bury the monarchy in the ruins of the city. In
order to effect their purpose before Dion could come to the rescue, the
soldiers destroyed the houses in the quickest way by setting them on
fire, using torches for those near at hand, and shooting fiery arrows to
those at a distance. As the Syracusans fled from their burning
dwellings, some were caught and butchered in the streets, while others
who took refuge in the houses perished in the flames, as now a large
number of houses were burning, and kept falling upon the passers by.

XLV. This misfortune more than anything else caused all to be unanimous
in opening the gates to Dion. He had been marching slowly, as he heard
that the enemy were shut up in the citadel; but as the day went on, at
first some of the knights rode up to him and told him of the second
occupation of the city; and afterwards some even of the opposite faction
arrived and begged him to hasten his march. As the danger became more
pressing, Herakleides sent first his brother, and afterwards his uncle
Theodotus, to beseech Dion to assist them, and to tell him that no one
any longer could offer any resistance, that Herakleides himself was
wounded, and that the whole city was within a little of being totally
ruined and burned. When these messages reached Dion he was still sixty
stadia distant from the gates of Syracuse. He explained to his troops
the danger the city was in, spoke some words of encouragement to them,
and then led them on, no longer at a walk, but at a run, while messenger
after messenger continued to meet them and urge them to haste. At the
head of his mercenaries, who displayed extraordinary speed and spirit,
Dion made his way through the gates of Syracuse to the place called
Hekatompedon. He at once sent his light-armed troops to attack the
enemy, and to encourage the Syracusans by their presence, while he
himself formed his own heavy infantry, and those of the citizens who
rallied round him in separate columns under several commanders, in order
to create greater terror by attacking the enemy at many points at once.

XLVI. When, after making these preparations, and offering prayer to the
gods, he was beheld leading his troops through the city to attack the
enemy, the Syracusans raised a shout of joy, with a confused murmur of
prayers, entreaties and congratulations, addressing Dion as their
saviour and their tutelary god, and calling the foreign soldiers their
brethren and fellow-citizens. All of them, even the most selfish and
cowardly, now appeared to hold Dion's life dearer than his own or that
of his fellow-citizens, as they saw him lead the way to danger through
blood and fire, and over the corpses which lay in heaps in the streets.
The enemy, too, presented a formidable appearance, for they were
exasperated to fury, and had established themselves in a strong
position, hard even to approach, amidst the ruins of the rampart by
which the citadel had been cut off from the town; while the progress of
the mercenary troops was rendered difficult and dangerous by the flames
of the burning houses by which they were surrounded. They were forced to
leap over heaps of blazing beams, and to run from under great masses of
falling ruins, struggling forwards through thick smoke and choking dust,
and yet striving to keep their ranks unbroken. When at length they
reached the enemy, only a few could fight on either side, because of the
narrowness of the path, but the Syracusans, pushing confidently forward
with loud shouts, forced the troops of Nypsius to give way. Most of them
escaped into the citadel, which was close at hand: but all the
stragglers who were left outside, were pursued and put to death by the
Peloponnesians. The Syracusans could not spare any time to enjoy their
victory and to congratulate one another after such great successes, but
betook themselves at once to extinguishing their burning houses, and
with great exertions put out the fire during the night.

XLVII. As soon as day broke, all the popular leaders, conscious of their
guilt, left the city, with the exception of Herakleides and Theodotus,
who went of their own accord and delivered themselves up to Dion,
admitting that they had done wrong, and begging that he would treat them
better than they had treated him. They pointed out, also, how much he
would enhance the lustre of his other incomparable virtues by showing
himself superior even in the matter of temper to those by whom he had
been wronged, who now came before him admitting that in their rivalry
with him they had been overcome by his virtue. When Herakleides and his
companion thus threw themselves upon the mercy of Dion, his friends
advised him not to spare such envious and malignant wretches, but to
deliver up Herakleides to his soldiers, and thus to put an end to mob
rule, an evil quite as pestilent as despotism itself. Dion, however,
calmed their anger, observing that other generals spent most of their
time in practising war and the use of arms; but that he, during his long
sojourn in the Academy, had learned to subdue his passions, and to show
himself superior to jealousy of his rivals. True greatness of mind, he
said, could be better shown by forgiving those by whom one has been
wronged, than by doing good to one's friends and benefactors; and he
desired not so much to excel Herakleides in power and generalship, as in
clemency and justice, the only qualities which are truly good: for our
successes in war, even if won by ourselves alone, yet can only be won by
the aid of Fortune. "If," he continued, "Herakleides be jealous,
treacherous and base, that is no reason for Dion to stain his glory by
yielding to his anger; for though to revenge a wrong is held to be less
culpable than to commit one, yet both alike spring from the weakness of
human nature: while even though a man be wicked, yet he is seldom so
hopelessly depraved as not to be touched by one who repeatedly returns
good for evil."

XLVIII. After expressing himself thus, Dion released Herakleides. He
next turned his attention to the fortification by which the citadel was
cut off, and ordered each Syracusan to cut a stake and bring it to the
spot. He allowed the citizens to rest during the night, but kept his
mercenary soldiers at work, and by the next morning had completed the
palisade, so that both the enemy and his own countrymen were astonished
at the speed with which he had accomplished so great a work. He now
buried the corpses of those citizens who had fallen in the battle,
ransomed the prisoners, who amounted to no less than two thousand, and
summoned an assembly, in which Herakleides proposed that Dion should be
appointed absolute commander by land and by sea. All the better citizens
approved of this, and wished it to be put to the vote, but it was thrown
out by the interference of the mob of sailors and people of the lower
classes, who were sorry that Herakleides had lost his post as admiral,
and who thought that, although he might be worthless in all other
respects, he was at any rate more of a friend to the people than Dion,
and more easily managed by them. Dion conceded so much to them as to
give Herakleides command of the fleet, but vexed them much by opposing
their plans for a redistribution of land and houses, and by declaring
void all that they had decided upon this subject. In consequence of this
Herakleides, who at once entered upon his office of admiral, sailed to
Messenia, and there by his harangues excited the sailors and soldiers
under his command to mutiny against Dion, who, he declared, intended to
make himself despot of Syracuse; while he, in the meanwhile, entered
upon negotiations with Dionysius by means of the Spartan Pharax. When
this was discovered by the Syracusan nobility, a violent quarrel arose
in his camp, which led to the people of Syracuse being reduced to great
want and scarcity, so that Dion was at his wit's end, and was bitterly
reproached by his friends for having placed such an unmanageable and
villainous rival as Herakleides in possession of power which he used
against his benefactor.

XLIX. Pharax was now encamped at Neapolis, in the territory of
Agrigentum, and Dion, who led out the Syracusans to oppose him, wished
to defer an engagement; but Herakleides and the sailors overwhelmed him
with their clamour, saying that he did not wish to bring the war to an
end by a battle, but to keep it constantly going on in order that he
might remain the longer in command. He therefore fought and was beaten.
The defeat was not a disastrous one, but was due more to the confusion
produced by the quarrels of his own men than to the enemy. Dion
therefore prepared to renew the engagement, drew out his men in battle
array, and addressed them in encouraging terms. Towards evening,
however, he heard that Herakleides had weighed anchor and sailed away to
Syracuse with the fleet, with the intention of seizing the city and
shutting its gates against Dion and the army. Dion at once took the
strongest and bravest men with him, and rode all night, reaching the
gates of Syracuse about the third hour of the next day, after a journey
of seven hundred stadia. Herakleides, who in spite of the exertions of
his fleet was beaten in the race, was at a loss what to do, and sailed
away aimlessly. He chanced to fall in with the Spartan Gæsylus, who
informed him that he was coming from Lacedæmon to take command of the
Sicilian Greeks, as Gylippus had done in former times. Herakleides was
delighted at having met this man, and displayed him to his troops,
boasting that he had found a counterpoise to the power of Dion, he at
once sent a herald to Syracuse, and ordered the citizens to receive the
Spartan as their ruler. When Dion answered that the Syracusans had
rulers enough, and that in case they should require a Spartan to command
them, he himself was a Spartan by adoption, Gæsylus gave up all claims
to command, but went to Dion and reconciled Herakleides to him, making
Herakleides swear the greatest oaths and give the strongest pledges for
his future good behaviour, while Gæsylus himself swore that he would
avenge Dion and punish Herakleides in case the latter should misconduct

L. After this the Syracusans disbanded their navy, which was quite
useless; besides being very expensive to the crews, and giving
opportunities for the formation of plots against the government; but
they continued the siege of the citadel, and thoroughly completed the
wall across the isthmus. As no assistance arrived for the besieged,
while their provisions began to fail, and their troops became inclined
to mutiny, the son of Dionysius despaired of success, arranged terms of
capitulation with Dion, handed over the citadel to him together with all
the arms and other war material which it contained, and himself, taking
his mother and sisters and their property on board of five triremes,
sailed away to his father. Dion permitted him to leave in safety, and
his departure was witnessed by every one of the Syracusans, who even
called upon the names of those who were absent, and were unable to see
this day when the sun rose upon a free Syracuse. Indeed the downfall of
Dionysius is one of the most remarkable instances of the vicissitudes of
fortune known in history; and what then must we suppose was the joy and
pride of the Syracusans, when they reflected that with such slender
means they had overthrown the most powerful dynasty at that time
existing in the world?

LI. After Apollokrates had sailed away and Dion had entered the citadel,
the women could endure no longer to wait indoors till he came to them,
but ran to the gates, Aristomache leading Dion's son, and Arete
following behind her in tears, and at a loss to know how she should
greet her husband after she had been married to another. After Dion had
embraced his sister and his child, Aristomache led Arete forward, and
said, "Dion, we were unhappy while you were an exile; but now that you
have returned and conquered you have taken away our reproach from all
but Arete here, whom I have had the misery to see forced to accept
another husband while you were yet alive. Now, therefore, since fortune
has placed us in your power, how do you propose to settle this
difficulty? Is she to embrace you as her uncle or as her husband also?"
Dion shed tears at these words of Aristomache, and affectionately
embraced his wife. He placed his son in her hands, and bade her go to
his own house, where he himself also continued to live; for he delivered
up the citadel to the people of Syracuse.

LII. After he had thus accomplished his enterprise, he reaped no
advantage from his success, except that he conferred favours on his
friends and rewarded his allies; while he bestowed upon his own
companions, both Syracusan and Peloponnesian, such signal marks of his
gratitude that his generosity even outran his means. He himself
continued to live simply and frugally, while not only Sicily and
Carthage, but all Greece viewed with admiration the manner in which he
bore his prosperity, considering his achievements to be the greatest,
and himself to be the most splendid instance of successful daring known
to that age. He remained as modest in his dress, his household, and his
table, as though he were still the guest of Plato in the Academy, and
not living among mercenary soldiers, who recompense themselves for the
hardships and dangers of their lives by daily indulgence in sensual
pleasures. Plato wrote a letter to him, in which he informed him that
the eyes of all the world were fixed upon him; but Plato probably only
alluded to one place in one city, namely the Academy, and meant that the
critics and judges of Dion therein assembled did not admire his
exertions or his victory, but only considered whether he bore himself
discreetly and modestly in his success, and showed moderation now that
he was all-powerful. Dion made a point of maintaining the same haughty
demeanour in society, and of treating the people with the same severity
as before, although the times demanded that he should unbend, and though
Plato, as we have said before, wrote to him bidding him remember that an
arrogant temper is the consort of a lonely life. However, Dion appears
to have been naturally inclined to harshness, and besides was desirous
of reforming the manners of the Syracusans, who were excessively
licentious and corrupt.

LIII. Now Herakleides again opposed him. When Dion sent for him to
attend at the council, he refused to come, declaring that he was a mere
private man, and would go only to the public assembly with the other
citizens. Next he reproached Dion for not having demolished the citadel,
for having restrained the people when they wished to break open the tomb
of Dionysius (the elder) and cast out his body, and for having insulted
his own fellow-countrymen by sending to Corinth for counsellors and
colleagues. Indeed, Dion had sent to Corinth for some commissioners from
that city, hoping that their presence would assist him in effecting the
reforms which he meditated. Like Plato, he regarded a pure democracy as
not being a government at all, but rather a warehouse of all forms of
government: and his intention was to establish a constitution, somewhat
on the Lacedæmonian or Cretan model, by a judicious combination of
monarchy and oligarchy: and he saw that the government of Corinth was
more of an oligarchy than a democracy, and that few important measures
were submitted to the people. As Dion expected that Herakleides would
most vehemently oppose these projects, and was moreover a turbulent,
fickle, and facetious personage, he gave him up to those who had long
before desired to kill him, but whom he had formerly restrained from
doing so. These men broke into the house of Herakleides and killed him.
The Syracusans were deeply grieved at his death; yet, as Dion gave him a
splendid funeral, followed the corpse at the head of his army, and
afterwards made a speech to the people, they forgave him, reflecting
that their city could never have obtained rest while Dion and
Herakleides were both engaged in political life.

LIV. One of Dion's companions was an Athenian named Kallippus, who, we
are told by Plato, became intimate with him, not because of his
learning, but because he happened to have initiated Dion into some
religious mysteries. This man took part in Dion's expedition, and
received especial honours, being the first of all Dion's comrades who
marched into Syracuse with him, wearing a garland on his head, and he
had always distinguished himself in the combats which took place since
that time. Now, seeing that the noblest and best of Dion's friends had
fallen in the war, and that by the death of Herakleides the Syracusan
people were deprived of their leader, while he had greater influence
than any one else with Dion's mercenary soldiers, Kallippus conceived a
scheme of detestable villainy. No doubt he hoped to obtain the whole of
Sicily as his reward for murdering Dion, though some writers state that
he received a bribe of twenty talents from Dion's personal enemies. He
now drew several of the mercenary soldiers into a conspiracy against
Dion, conducting his plot in a most ingenious and treacherous manner.
He was in the habit of informing Dion of any treasonable speeches,
whether true or invented by himself, which he said that he had heard
from the mercenary troops, and by this means gained such entire
confidence with him, that he was able to hold secret meetings and plot
against Dion with whichever of the soldiers he pleased, having Dion's
express command to do so, in order that none of the disaffected party
might escape his notice. By this means Kallippus was easily enabled to
find out all the worst and most discontented of the mercenaries, and to
organise a conspiracy amongst them; while, if any man refused to listen
to his proposals and denounced him to Dion, he took no heed of it and
showed no anger, believing that Kallippus was merely carrying out his
own instructions.

LV. When the plot was formed, Dion beheld a great and portentous vision.
Late in the evening he was sitting alone in the hall[495] of his house,
plunged in thought. Suddenly he heard a noise on the other side of the
court, and, looking up, as it was not quite dark, saw a tall woman, with
the face and dress of a Fury as represented upon the stage, sweeping the
house with a kind of broom. He was terribly startled, and became so much
alarmed that he sent for his friends, described the vision to them, and
besought them to remain with him during the night, as he was beside
himself with fright, and dreaded lest if he were alone the apparition
might return. This, however, did not take place. A few days after this
his son, now almost grown up, took offence at some trifling affront, and
destroyed himself by throwing himself headlong from the roof of the

LVI. While Dion was thus alarmed and distressed, Kallippus all the more
eagerly carried out his plot. He spread a rumour among the Syracusans
that Dion, being childless, had determined to recall Apollokrates, the
son of Dionysius, and to make him his heir, since he was his wife's
nephew, and his sister's grandson. By this time Dion and the women of
his household began to entertain some suspicion of the plot, and
information of it reached them from all quarters. Dion, however, grieved
at the murder of Herakleides, as though that crime had stained his
glory, had become low-spirited and miserable, and frequently said that
he was willing to die, and would let any man cut his throat, if he were
obliged to live amidst constant precautions against his friends as well
as his enemies. Kallippus, who perceived that the women had discovered
the whole plot, came to them in great alarm, denying that he had any
share in it, shedding tears, and offering to give any pledge of his
loyalty which they chose to ask for. They demanded that he should swear
the great oath, which is as follows:--The person who is about to swear
enters the precinct of the temple of Demeter and Persephone, and after
certain religious ceremonies puts on the purple robe of the goddess
Persephone, and swears, holding a lighted torch in his hand. All this
was done by Kallippus, and after swearing the oath he was impious enough
to wait for the festival of the goddess whose name he had taken in vain,
and to commit the murder on the day which was specially dedicated to
her, although, perhaps, he thought nothing about the profanation of that
particular day, but considered that it would be wickedness enough to
murder the man whom he had himself initiated into the mysteries, on
whatever day he might do it.

LVII. Many were now in the plot; and when Dion was sitting with his
friends in a room furnished with several couches, some of the
conspirators surrounded the house, while others stood at the doors and
windows. Those who intended to do the deed were Zakynthians, and entered
the house in their tunics, without swords. Those who remained outside
made fast the doors, while those within rushed upon Dion, and
endeavoured to strangle him. As, however, they could not accomplish
this, they asked for a sword; but no one ventured to open the doors,
because within the house were many of Dion's friends, but as each of
these imagined that, if he gave up Dion, he himself might get away safe,
no one would help him. After some delay, a Syracusan, named Lykon,
handed a dagger through a window to the Zakynthians, with which, as if
sacrificing a victim, they cut the throat of Dion, who had long before
been overpowered and had given himself up for lost. His sister and his
wife, who was pregnant, were at once cast into prison, where the unhappy
woman was delivered of a male child. The women prevailed upon the
keepers of the prison to spare the child's life, and obtained their
request the more readily because Kallippus was already in difficulties.

LVIII. After Kallippus had murdered Dion, he at once became a person of
importance, and had the entire government of Syracuse in his hands. He
even sent despatches to Athens, a city which, next to the gods, he
ought, especially to have dreaded, after having brought such pollution
and sacrilege upon himself. However, the saying appears to be true, that
that city produces both the best of good and the worst of wicked men,
just as the territory of Athens produces both the sweetest honey and the
most poisonous hemlock. Kallippus did not long survive to mock the
justice of heaven, lest the gods might have been thought to disregard a
man who, by such a crime, had obtained so great wealth and power; but he
soon paid the penalty of his wickedness. He set out to capture Katana,
and in doing so lost Syracuse; upon which he is said to have remarked,
that he had lost a city and gained a cheese-scraper. In an attack upon
Messenia he lost most of his soldiers, among whom were the murderers of
Dion. As no city in Sicily would receive him, but all hated him and
attacked him, he proceeded to Rhegium, where, as he was quite ruined and
could no longer maintain his mercenary soldiers, he was murdered by
Leptines and Polyperchon, who chanced to use the self-same dagger with
which Dion is said to have been slain. It was recognised by being very
short, after the Laconian fashion, and by its workmanship, for it was
admirably carved with figures in high relief. Such was the retribution
which befel Kallippus; while Aristomache and Arete, when they were
released from prison, fell into the power of Hiketes, a Syracusan, who
had been one of Dion's friends, and who treated them at first loyally
and honourably, but afterwards, at the instigation of some of the
enemies of Dion, sent them on board of a ship, on the pretext of sending
them to Peloponnesus, and gave orders to the people of the ship to put
them to death and throw their bodies into the sea. They, however, are
said to have thrown them alive into the sea, and the child with them.
This man also paid a fitting penalty for his crimes, for he was taken
and put to death by Timoleon, and the Syracusans put to death his two
daughters to avenge the murder of Dion. All of this I have already
described at length in the Life of Timoleon.


I. The ancestor of Marcus Brutus was Junius Brutus,[496] whose statue of
bronze the Romans of old set up in the Capitol, in the midst of the
kings, with a drawn sword in his hand, thereby signifying that it was he
who completely accomplished the putting down of the Tarquinii. Now that
Brutus, like swords forged of cold iron, having a temper naturally hard
and not softened by education, was carried on even to slaying of his
sons through his passion against the tyrants: but this Brutus, about
whom I am now writing, having tempered his natural disposition with
discipline and philosophical training and roused his earnest and mild
character by impulse to action, is considered to have been most aptly
fashioned to virtue, so that even those who were his enemies on account
of the conspiracy against Cæsar, attributed to Brutus whatever of good
the act brought with it, and the worst of what happened they imputed to
Cassius, who was a kinsman and friend of Brutus, but in his disposition
not so simple and pure. His mother Servilia[497] traced her descent from
Ala Servilius,[498] who when Mallius Spurius was contriving to
establish a tyranny and was stirring up the people, put a dagger under
his arm, and going into the Forum and taking his stand close to the man,
as if he were going to have something to do with him and to address him,
struck him as he bent forwards and killed him. Now this is agreed on;
but those who showed hatred and enmity towards Brutus on account of
Cæsar's death, say that on the father's side he was not descended from
the expeller of the Tarquinii, for that Brutus after putting his sons to
death left no descendants, but this Brutus was a plebeian, the son of
one Brutus who was a bailiff,[499] and had only recently attained to a
magistracy. Poseidonius the philosopher says that the sons of Brutus,
who had arrived at man's estate, were put to death as the story is told,
but there was left a third, an infant, from whom the race of Brutus
descended; and that some of the illustrious men of his time who belonged
to the family showed a personal resemblance to the statue of Brutus. So
much about this.

II. Servilia the mother of Brutus was a sister of Cato the philosopher,
whom most of all the Romans this Brutus took for his model, Cato being
his uncle and afterwards his father-in-law. As to the Greek
philosophers, there was not one, so to say, whom he did not hear or to
whom he was averse, but he devoted himself especially to those of
Plato's school. The Academy[500] called the New and the Middle he was
not much disposed to, and he attached himself to the Old, and continued
to be an admirer of Antiochus[501] of Ascalon; but for his friend and
companion he chose Antiochus's brother Aristus, a man who in his manner
of discourse was inferior to many philosophers, but in well-regulated
habits and mildness a rival to the first. Empylus,[502] whom both Brutus
in his letters and his friends often mentioned as being in intimacy
with him, was a rhetorician and left a small work, though not a mean
one, on the assassination of Cæsar, which is inscribed Brutus. In the
Latin language Brutus was sufficiently trained for oratory[503] and the
contests of the forum; but in the Greek, he practised the apophthegmatic
and Laconic brevity which is sometimes conspicuous in his letters. For
instance when he was now engaged in the war, he wrote to the people of
Pergamum: "I hear that you have given money to Dolabella; if you gave it
willingly, you admit your wrong; if you gave it unwillingly, make proof
of this by giving to me willingly!" On another occasion, to the Samians:
"Your counsels are trifling; your help is slow. What end do you expect
of this?" And another about the people of Patara: "The Xanthians by
rejecting my favours have made their country the tomb of their
desperation. The people of Patara by trusting to me want nothing of
liberty in the management of their affairs. It is therefore in your
power also to choose the decision of the people of Patara or the fortune
of the Xanthians." Such is the character of the most remarkable of his

III. While he was still a youth he went abroad with his uncle Cato, who
was sent to Cyprus[504] to Ptolemæus. After Ptolemæus had put an end to
himself, Cato, being detained of necessity in Rhodes, happened to have
sent Canidius, one of his friends, to look after the money, but as he
feared that Canidius would not keep his hands from filching, he wrote to
Brutus to sail as quick as he could to Cyprus from Pamphylia; for Brutus
was staying there to recover from an illness. Brutus sailed very much
against his will, both out of respect for Canidius, as being
undeservedly deprived of his functions by Cato, and inasmuch as he was a
young man and a student,[505] considering such a piece of business and
administration not at all fit for a free man or for himself. However, he
exerted himself about these matters and was commended by Cato; and when
the king's substance was converted into money, he took the greatest part
and sailed to Rome.

IV. But when matters came to a division, Pompeius and Cæsar having taken
up arms, and the government being in confusion, it was expected that he
would choose Cæsar's side, for his father[506] was put to death by
Pompeius some time before; but as he thought it right to prefer the
public interests to his own, and as he considered the ground of Pompeius
for the war to be better than Cæsar's, he joined Pompeius. And yet,
hitherto, when he met Pompeius, he would not even speak to him, thinking
it a great crime to talk with his father's murderer; but now, placing
himself under Pompeius as leader of his country, he sailed to Sicily as
legatus with Sestius,[507] who had got it for his province. But as there
was nothing of importance to do there, and Pompeius and Cæsar had
already met together to contend for the supremacy, he went to Macedonia
as a volunteer to share the danger; on which occasion they say that
Pompeius, being delighted and surprised at his coming, rose from his
seat and embraced him as a superior man in the presence of all. During
the campaign all the daytime when he was not with Pompeius he was
employed about study and books; and not only at other times, but also
before the great battle. It was the height of summer, and the heat was
excessive, as they were encamped close to marshy ground; and those who
carried the tent of Brutus did not come quickly. After being much
harassed about these matters, and having scarcely by midday anointed
himself and taken a little to eat, while the rest were either sleeping
or engaged in thought and care about the future, he kept on writing till
evening-time, making an epitome of Polybius.[508]

V. It is said that Cæsar, too, was not indifferent about the man, but
gave orders to those who commanded under him not to kill Brutus in the
battle, but to spare him; find if he yielded to bring him, and if he
resisted being taken, to let him alone and not force him; and this, it
is said, he did to please Servilia,[509] the mother of Brutus. For when
he was still a youth, he had, it seems, known Servilia, who was
passionately in love with him, and as Brutus was born about the time
when her love was most ardent, he had in some degree a persuasion that
Brutus was his son. It is recorded that when the great affair of
Catilina had engaged the Senate, which affair came very near overturning
the State, Cato and Cæsar were standing up at the same time and
disputing. While this was going on, a small letter was brought in and
given to Cæsar, which he read silently, whereon Cato called out that
Cæsar was doing a shameful thing in receiving communications and letters
from their enemies. Many of the Senators hereon made a tumult, and Cæsar
gave the letter just as it was to Cato, and it was a passionate letter
from his sister Servilia, which he read and throwing it to Cæsar said,
"Take it, drunkard;" and he again turned afresh to his argument and his
speech. So notorious was the love of Servilia for Cæsar.

VI. After the defeat at Pharsalus and the escape of Pompeius to the sea,
while the ramparts were blockaded, Brutus secretly got out of the gates
which led to a marshy spot, full of water and reeds, and made his way by
night to Larissa. From thence he wrote to Cæsar, who was pleased that he
was alive and told him to come to him; and he not only pardoned Brutus,
but had him about him and treated him with as much respect as any one
else. No one could say where Pompeius had fled to, and there was much
doubt about it; but Cæsar walking a short way alone with Brutus tried to
find out his opinion on the matter; and as Brutus appeared, from certain
considerations, to have come to the best conjecture about the flight of
Pompeius, Cæsar leaving everything else hurried to Egypt. But Pompeius,
who, as Brutus conjectured, had landed in Egypt, met his fate there; and
Brutus mollified Cæsar even towards Cassius.[510] When Brutus was
speaking in defence of the King of the Libyans,[511] he felt himself
overpowered by the magnitude of the charges against him, but yet by his
prayers and urgent entreaties he preserved for him a large part of his
dommions. Cæsar is said, when he first heard Brutus speaking, to have
remarked to his friends: "This youth, I know not what he wills, but what
he does will, he wills with energy." For the earnest character of
Brutus, and his disposition not to listen unadvisedly nor to every one
who asked a favour, but to act upon reflection and principle, made his
efforts strong and effective towards accomplishing whatever ho turned
to. But towards unreasonable prayers he was immovable by flattery, and
to be overcome by those who impudently urged their suit, which some call
to be shamed out of a thing, he considered to be most disgraceful to a
great man, and he was wont to say that those who can refuse nothing,
were in his opinion persons who had not well husbanded their youthful
bloom. When Cæsar was going to cross over to Libya against Cato and
Scipio, he intrusted Brutus with Gallia[512] on this side of the Alps,
to the great good fortune of the province; for while the other
provinces, through the violence and rapacity of those who were intrusted
with them, were harassed like conquered countries, Brutus was to the
Gauls a relief and consolation for their former misfortunes; and he put
all to Cæsar's credit, so that when after his return Cæsar was going
about Italy, the cities that had been under Brutus were a most pleasing
sight, as well as Brutus himself, who was increasing his honour and
associating with him as a friend.

VII. Now there were several prætorships, but that which conferred the
chief dignity, and is called the Urban prætorship,[513] it was expected
that either Brutus or Cassius would have; and some say that Brutus and
Cassius, who had before some slight causes of dispute, were still more
at variance about this office, though they were kinsmen, for Cassius was
the husband of Junia, the sister of Brutus. Others say that this rivalry
was the work of Cæsar, who continued secretly to give both of them
hopes, until, being thus urged on and irritated, they were brought into
collision. Brutus relied on his good fame and virtues against the many
splendid exploits of Cassius in his Parthian campaigns. Cæsar hearing
this and consulting with his friends said: "What Cassius says has more
justice, but Brutus must have the first office." Cassius was appointed
to another prætorship, but he had not so much gratitude for what he got,
as anger for what he failed in getting. Brutus also shared Cæsar's power
in other respects as much as he chose. For if he had chosen, he might
have been the first of his friends and had most power; but his intimacy
with Cassius drew him that way and turned him from Cæsar, though he had
not yet been reconciled to Cassius after their former rivalry; but he
listened to his friends who urged him not to let himself be softened and
soothed by Cæsar, and to fly from the friendly advances and the favours
which a tyrant showed him, not because he respected the virtues of
Brutus, but because he wished to curtail his vigour and to undermine his

VIII. Nor yet was Cæsar altogether without suspicions of Brutus, and
matter of complaint against him; he feared the proud temper and the
credit and friends of the man, but he trusted in his moral character. In
the first place, when Antonius and Dolabella[514] were said to be aiming
at change, he said, it was not sleek and long-haired men who gave him
trouble, but those pale and lean fellows, meaning Brutus and Cassius.
Next, when some persons were making insinuations against the fidelity of
Brutus and urging Cæsar to be on his guard, he touched his body with his
hand and said, "What, think you that Brutus would not wait for this poor
body?" thereby intimating that no person but Brutus had any pretensions
to so much power after himself. And indeed it seems that Brutus might
certainly have been the first man in the State, if he could have endured
for a short time to be second to Cæsar, and if he had let Cæsar's power
pass its acme, and the fame got by his great exploits waste away. But
Cassius, who was a violent-tempered man and rather on his individual
account a hater of Cæsar than on the public account a hater of the
tyrant, inflamed Brutus and urged him on. Brutus indeed is said to have
been discontented with the dominion, but Cassius to have hated the
dominator; and Cassius had various grievances against Cæsar and among
others, the seizing of the lions, which Cassius had procured when he was
going to be ædile, but Cæsar kept them after they had been found in
Megara at the time when the city was taken by Calenus.[515] It is said
that these beasts were the cause of great calamity to the people of
Megara: for when the enemy were getting possession of the city, the
citizens forced open their dens and loosed their chains, that the beasts
might oppose the enemy who were entering the city, but they rushed
against the citizens themselves, and running among them rent those who
were unarmed, so that the sight moved even the enemy to pity.

IX. Now they say that this was with Cassius the main cause of his
conspiring; but they say so untruly. For there was from the beginning in
the nature of Cassius a certain hostility and dislike to all the race of
tyrants, as he showed when he was still a boy and went to the same
school with Faustus,[516] the son of Sulla. Faustus was one day bragging
among the boys and exalting the monarchy of his father, on which Cassius
got up and thumped him. The guardians of Faustus and his kinsmen were
desirous to prosecute the matter and seek legal satisfaction; but
Pompeius prevented this, and bringing both the boys together questioned
them about the affair. Thereon it is reported that Cassius said, "Come,
now, Faustus, say if you dare before Pompeius the words at which I was
enraged, that I may break your mouth again." Such was the character of
Cassius. But many words from his friends and many oral and written
expressions from the citizens called and urged Brutus to the deed. For
they wrote on the statue of his ancestor Brutus, who had put down the
dominion of the kings: "Would you were here, Brutus!" and "Would Brutus
were now living!" And the tribunal of Brutus, who was prætor, was found
every morning full of such writings as these: "Brutus, are you asleep?"
and "You are not really Brutus!" But they who were the real cause of
this were the flatterers of Cæsar, who devised various unpopular
distinctions for him and placed diadems on his statues by night, as if
their design was to lead on the many to salute him as king instead of
dictator. But the contrary was the result, as it has been
circumstantially told in the Life of Cæsar.[517]

X. When Cassius was trying to move his friends against Cæsar, they all
assented, provided Brutus would take the lead; for they said that the
undertaking required not hands nor yet daring, but the character of a
man such as Brutus was, who should as it were begin the holy rite and
confirm it by his presence: if this could not be, the conspirators would
be more dispirited in the doing of the deed and more timid when they had
done it, for it would be said that Brutus would not have rejected all
share in the thing, if it had a good cause. Cassius, who saw the truth
of this, now made the first advances to Brutus since their difference.
And after their reconciliation and friendly greeting Cassius asked, if
he intended to be present in the Senate on the new-moon of March, for he
heard that Cæsar's friends would then make a proposal about the kingly
power. Brutus replied that he would not be present. "What then," said
Cassius, "if they summon us?" "It would be my business then," said
Brutus, "not to be silent, but to fight and die in defence of liberty."
Cassius being now encouraged said, "What Roman will endure that you die
first? Brutus, do you not know yourself? Do you think it is the weavers
and tavern-keepers who have written on your tribunal, and not the first
and best who have done this, and who demand from the other prætors
donations and shows and gladiators, but from you, as a debt that you owe
your country, the destruction of the tyranny, and who are ready to
suffer everything for you, if you show yourself to be such a man as they
think you ought to be and they expect you to be." Upon this he threw his
arms around Brutus and embraced him, and thus separating each went to
his friends.

XI. There was one Caius Ligarius,[518] a friend of Pompeius, who had
been accused on this ground and acquitted by Cæsar. This man, who had
not gratitude for his acquittal of the charge, but was hostile to the
power by reason of which he had been in danger, was an enemy of Cæsar,
and one of the most intimate friends of Brutus. Brutus, who came to see
him when he was sick, said, "Ligarius, at what a time you are sick!"
Immediately supporting himself on his elbow, and laying hold of the hand
of Brutus, Ligarius said, "But if you, Brutus, design anything worthy of
yourself, I am well."

XII. After this they secretly sounded their acquaintance whom they
trusted, and communicated the design to them, and added them to their
number; making choice not only among their intimates, but those whom
they knew to be good darers and to despise death. It was for this reason
that they concealed their design from Cicero, though both as to
trustworthiness and goodwill he was esteemed by them among the first,
lest to his natural defect of courage he should join by reason of his
years senile caution, and so attempting by deliberation to bring
everything singly to perfect security, should blunt their edge, which
required the speed of ready action. Among his other companions Brutus
omitted also Statilius[519] the Epicurean, and Favonius, an admirer of
Cato, because when Brutus, in conversation and philosophical
disquisition, had remotely and in a circuitous way sounded them about
such an attempt, Favonius answered that a civil war was worse than an
illegal monarchy; and Statilius said that it was not befitting a wise
man, and one who had understanding, to expose himself to danger and to
trouble on account of the vile and foolish. Labeo,[520] who was present,
opposed both of them. Brutus, indeed, at the time kept silent, as if he
considered that the matter was something hard and difficult to
determine; but afterwards he communicated his design to Labeo. When
Labeo had readily accepted the proposal, it was resolved to gain over
the other Brutus, surnamed Albinus,[521] who was not a man of action,
nor courageous, but he was strengthened by a number of gladiators, whom
he was keeping for a spectacle for the Romans, and he was also in the
confidence of Cæsar. When Cassius and Labeo spoke to him he made no
answer, but meeting privately with Brutus, and learning that he was the
leader in the act, he agreed to co-operate zealously. The greater part,
and the men of chief note among the rest of the conspirators, were also
brought over by the reputation of Brutus. And without swearing any
mutual oath, or taking or giving mutual pledges by sacrifice of victims,
they all so kept the secret in themselves and were silent and carried it
with them, that the act, though prognosticated by the gods through
oracular answers and sights and victims, was considered past belief.

XIII. Brutus having now the first men in Rome, both for spirit and
family and virtues, dependent upon himself, and having a view of the
whole danger, in his public demeanour endeavoured to restrain within
himself and to keep his designs under strict control; but at home and by
night he was no longer the same man, for sometimes care roused him
involuntarily from his sleep, and at other times he was sunk in thought
and brooding over the difficulties; and it did not escape his wife, who
was resting with him, that he was full of unusual trouble, and was
revolving in himself some design hard to carry and difficult to unravel.
Now Porcia,[522] as it has been said, was the daughter of Cato, and
Brutus, who was her cousin, had married her, not in her virgin state,
but he took her after the death of her husband, while she was still a
young woman, and had one little child by her husband, and the child's
name was Bibulus; and there is extant a small book of memoirs of Brutus,
written by Bibulus. Porcia, who was a philosopher and loved her
husband, and was full of spirit and good sense, did not attempt to
question her husband about his secrets before she had made trial of
herself in manner following. She took a knife, such as barbers pare the
nails with, and putting all her attendants out of the chamber, she
inflicted a deep wound in her thigh, so that there was a large flow of
blood, and, shortly after, violent pains and shivering fever came upon
her in consequence of the wound. Brutus being agonised and full of
trouble, Porcia spoke to him thus in the acme of her pain: "I, Brutus,
Cato's daughter, was given unto thy house, not like women, who serve as
concubines, to share thy bed and board only, but to be a partner in thy
happiness, and a partner in thy sorrows. Now, with respect to thy
marriage, everything is blameless on thy part; but as to me, what
evidence is there, or what affection, if I must neither share with thee
a secret sorrow nor a care which demands confidence? I know that a
woman's nature is considered too weak to carry a secret, but, Brutus,
there is a certain power towards making moral character in a good
nurture and honest conversation; and I am Cato's daughter and also
Brutus' wife, whereon hitherto I had less relied, but now I know that I
am also invincible to pain." Thus saying, she showed him the wound, and
told him of the trial she had made of herself. Struck with astonishment
and stretching forth his hands, Brutus prayed that the gods would permit
him to succeed in the enterprise and to show himself a husband worthy of
Porcia. He then consoled his wife.

XIV. When notice had been given of a meeting of the Senate, at which
Cæsar was expected to be present, they resolved to make the attempt, for
they would be then collected without raising any suspicion, and they
would have together all the men of highest character and rank, who would
be ready as soon as a great act was accomplished, forthwith to seize
their freedom. The circumstance of the place, too, was considered to be
a token from heaven and in their favour. For it was a portico, one
belonging to the theatre,[523] with an exhedra, in which there was a
statue of Pompeius, which the city erected at the time when Pompeius
adorned that site with porticoes and the theatre. Hither then the Senate
was summoned about the middle of the month of March; the Romans call the
day the Ides; so that some dæmon seemed to be bringing the man to the
vengeance of Pompeius. When the day came, Brutus put a dagger under his
vest, without any one being privy to it except his wife, and went forth;
the rest assembled at the house of Cassius, to conduct down to the Forum
Cassius' son, who was going to assume the toga called virilis. From
thence they all hurried to the portico of Pompeius, where they waited in
expectation of Cæsar's coming immediately to the Senate. Herein most of
all would one have admired the impassiveness of the men and their
presence of mind before the danger, if he had known what was going to
take place--in that, being compelled by their duties of prætor to attend
to the concerns of many persons, they not only listened patiently to
those who came before them and had matter in dispute, like men who have
plenty of leisure, but they also gave to each their decision in exact
form and with judgment, carefully attending to the business. And when
one person, who was unwilling to submit to the decision, was appealing
to Cæsar, and calling out loud and protesting, Brutus, looking on the
bystanders, said: "Cæsar does not hinder me from acting according to the
laws, and he will not hinder me."

XV. And yet many things chanced to fall out to cause them perplexity;
first and chief, that Cæsar tarried while the day was getting on, and as
the victims were not propitious, was kept at home by his wife, and was
hindered by the priests from going abroad. In the next place, a person
came up to Casca, who was one of the conspirators, and taking his hand
said, "Casca, you have concealed the secret from us, but Brutus has
disclosed all to me." Casca was startled at this, whereon the other
smiled and said, "How have you grown so rich all at once as to become a
candidate for the ædileship?" So near did Casca come to betraying the
secret, being deceived by the ambiguity of the man's words. A senator
also, Popilius Lænas,[524] saluted Brutus and Cassius in a more lively
way than usual, and whispering in a low tone, "You have my wishes," he
said, "for success in what you design, and I urge you not to tarry, for
the matter is no secret." Saying this he withdrew, putting them in great
suspicion of the intended deed being known. In the meantime one came
running from the house of Brutus and told him that his wife was dying.
For Porcia, who was beside herself through thinking of what was going to
be done, and unable to bear the weight of her anxiety, could scarce keep
herself within doors, and at every noise and shout, like those possessed
with bacchic frenzy, she would spring forth and question every one who
came in from the Forum, what Brutus was doing, and was continually
sending others out. At length, as the time began to be protracted, her
bodily strength no longer held out, but she fainted and swooned away,
her mind wandering by reason of her perplexity; and she could not reach
her apartment before faintness and indescribable alarm seized her, where
she was sitting in the midst of her attendants, and her colour changed
and her voice was completely choked. Her maids at this sight shrieked
aloud, and as the neighbours quickly ran to the door, a report went
forth and was given out abroad, that she was dead. However she quickly
recovered and was herself again, and her women took care of her. Brutus
was troubled, as was natural, by this report coming upon him; yet he did
not desert the public interest, nor allow himself to be carried away by
his feelings to his own domestic affairs.

XVI. And now it was told that Cæsar was approaching, borne in a litter.
For he had determined, in consequence of being dispirited by the
sacrifices, to ratify nothing of importance at that time, but to put
things off on the pretext of illness. When he had stepped out of the
litter, Popilius Lænas hurried up to him, he who had a little before
wished Brutus good luck and success, and he talked some time with Cæsar
who was standing there and listening. The conspirators (for so we may
call them) not hearing what he said, but conjecturing from their own
suspicions that the conversation was a discovery of the plot, sunk in
their spirits and looked at one another, by their countenances declaring
to one another that they ought not to wait to be seized, but forthwith
to die by their own hands. Cassius and some others had already laid
their hands on the hilts of their daggers under their garments and were
drawing them out, when Brutus observing in the attitude of Lænas the
earnestness of a man who was asking a favour and not preferring an
accusation, said nothing, because so many persons not of their party
were mingled with them, but he encouraged Cassius by the cheering
expression of his countenance. And soon after Lænas kissed Cæsar's right
hand and withdrew, by which it was plain that he had spoken with Cæsar
about himself and some of his own concerns.

XVII.[525] The Senate having advanced to the exhedra, the conspirators
surrounded Cæsar's chair, as if they designed to have a conference with
him. And it is said that Cassius, turning his face to the statue of
Pompeius, invoked him as if he could hear; and Trebonius having engaged
Antonius in conversation at the door kept him out. As Cæsar entered, the
Senate stood up, and as soon as he sat down, the conspirators in a body
surrounded him, putting forward Tillius Cimber, one of their number, to
supplicate for his brother who was an exile; and they all joined in the
supplication, laying hold of Cæsar's hands, and they kissed his breast
and head. Cæsar at first repulsed their intreaties, and then, as they
did not intermit, he made a sudden attempt to rise up, on which Tillius,
with both his hands, pulled Cæsar's garment down from the shoulders, and
Casca first of all (for he stood behind him) drew his sword and drove it
into Cæsar's body near the shoulders, but to no great depth. Cæsar,
laying hold of the handle, cried out aloud in the Roman language,
"Villain Casca, what are you doing!" and Casca, addressing his brother
in Greek, urged him to come to his aid. Cæsar being now assaulted by
many, looked around with the intention of forcing his way through them,
but when he saw Brutus drawing his sword against him, he let loose his
hold of Casca's hand, and wrapping his head in his garment he offered
his body to the blows. The conspirators, who were all mingled in
confusion, and using their numerous swords against Cæsar, wounded one
another, so that even Brutus received a blow on the hand while he was
taking part in the slaughter; and they were all drenched with blood.

XVIII. Cæsar having been thus killed, Brutus advanced into the midst
wishing to speak, and he attempted to detain the Senate by encouraging
them; but the senators, through fear, fled in disorder, and there was
shoving and confusion about the door, though no one pursued or pressed
upon them. For it had been firmly resolved to kill no other than Cæsar,
but to invite all to freedom. Now the rest, when they were deliberating
about the deed, were of opinion that they should kill Antonius at the
same time with Cæsar, as he was a man who aspired to monarchical power
and was a violent man, and had got strength by his intercourse and
familiarity with the army; and chiefly that to his natural haughtiness
and daring temper he had added the dignity of the consulship, being then
Cæsar's colleague. But Brutus opposed the design, first relying on
grounds of justice, and next suggesting hopes of a change. For he did
not despair that Antonius, a man of generous nature, a lover of
honourable distinctions and fond of fame, when Cæsar was put out of the
way, would join his country in seizing hold of freedom, and be led on by
them through emulation to what was good. In this way Brutus saved
Antonius; but in the then alarm Antonius changed his dress for plebeian
attire and fled. Brutus and his partisans went to the Capitol, their
hands stained with blood, and displaying their bare swords called the
citizens to liberty. Now, at first, there were shouts, and the people
running this way and that, as chance would have it, after the murder,
increased the confusion; but as there was no more slaughter and no
plundering of the things exposed for sale, both the senators and many of
the plebeians took heart and went up to the conspirators to the Capitol.
The multitude being assembled, Brutus spoke in a way to please the
people and suitable to the circumstances; and as the people commended
him and called out for them to come down, the conspirators confidently
descended to the Forum, the rest following with one another; but many
of the persons of distinction putting Brutus in the midst of them,
conducted him with great show from the Capitol, and placed him on the
Rostra. At the sight of this the many, though a mingled body and
prepared to raise a tumult, were afraid, and they awaited the result in
order and silence. When Brutus came forward they all listened to what he
said; but that the deed was not agreeable to all, they made evident when
Cinna began to speak and to bring charges against Cæsar, by breaking out
in passion and abusing Cinna, so that the conspirators returned to the
Capitol. Brutus, fearing to be blockaded, then sent away the chief
persons of those who had gone up with him, not thinking it right that,
as they had no share in the blame, they should sustain a share in the

XIX. However, on the following day when the Senate met in the temple of
Earth, and Antonius and Plancus[526] and Cicero had spoken about an
amnesty and concord, it was resolved that the conspirators should not
only have impunity, but that the consuls should also propose a measure
for conferring honours on them. They voted these things, and then
separated. After Antonius had sent his son to the Capitol as a hostage,
Brutus and the conspirators came down, and there were salutations and
pressing of hands among all of them together. Antonius received Cassius
and feasted him, and Lepidus entertained Brutus; and the rest were
entertained by others according to the intimacy or friendship that
existed between them. At daybreak the senators met again, and in the
first place they conferred honours on Antonius for having stopped the
beginning of civil wars; in the second place, thanks were given to
Brutus and his friends who were present, and finally distributions of
provinces. For to Brutus they decreed Crete, and to Cassius Libya, and
to Trebonius Asia, and to Cimber Bithynia, and to the other Brutus
Gallia on the Eridanus.

XX. After this a discussion arising about the will of Cæsar and his
interment, and Antonius demanding that the will should be read, and that
the body should be carried forth not secretly nor without due honours,
so that this, too, might not irritate the people, Cassius violently
opposed it, but Brutus gave way, wherein he was considered to have made
a second mistake. For in sparing Antonius he incurred the imputation of
strengthening against the conspirators a dangerous and irresistible
enemy; and as to the matter of the interment, in allowing it to take
place in the way in which Antonius demanded, he was considered to have
altogether made a mistake. For in the first place there being given by
the will to every Roman seventy-five drachmæ,[527] and to the people
there being left the gardens beyond the river, where the temple of
Fortuna now is, a wonderful degree of affection and regret for Cæsar
seized the citizens: in the second place, when the body had been carried
into the Forum, and Antonius according to custom had pronounced a
funeral oration in honour of Cæsar, seeing that the masses were stirred
by his speech, he changed their feeling into compassion, and taking the
blood-stained vest of Cæsar he unfolded it and showed the rents and the
number of the wounds. Upon this there was no longer any order kept; but
some called out to kill the murderers, and others, as before in the case
of Clodius[528] the demagogue, tearing up the benches and tables from
the workshops and bringing them together made a very large pile; and
placing the corpse upon it in the midst of many temples and asyla and
holy places burnt it. When the fire blazed forth, men from various
quarters, approaching and plucking out half-burnt pieces of wood, ran
about to the houses of Cæsar's assassins, intending to fire them. But
they were already well prepared and repelled the danger. Now there was
one Cinna,[529] a man given to poetry, who was under no imputation in
the matter, and had even been a friend of Cæsar. He dreamed in a dream
that he was invited by Cæsar to supper and he refused; but Cæsar urged
and forced him, and at last, laying hold of his hand, led him to a vast
and gloomy place, he following the while unwilling and alarmed. After
having this vision, it happened that he had a fever in the night.
Nevertheless, in the morning, when Cæsar's body was being carried forth
he felt ashamed not to be present, and went out to the rabble, who were
now in a ferocious mood. Being seen and supposed to be not the Cinna
that he was, but the Cinna who had lately reviled Cæsar before the
assembly, he was torn in pieces.

XXI. It was mainly through fear on account of this unlucky affair, next
after the change in Antonius, that Brutus and his partisans left the
city. They stayed in Antium[530] at first, with the design of returning
to Rome when the popular fury should have passed its height and worn
itself out. And this they expected to take place as a matter of course
among numbers which were subject to unsteady and rapid movements, and
because they had the Senate in their favour, who without taking any
notice of those that had torn Cinna to pieces, sought out and seized
those who had attacked the houses of the conspirators. The people, too,
already annoyed at Antonius being nearly established in monarchical
power, longed for Brutus, and it was expected that he would, in person,
superintend the spectacles[531] which as prætor it was his duty to
exhibit. But when Brutus heard that many of those who had served under
Cæsar and received lands and cities from him, were forming designs
against him, and were dropping into the city a few at a time, he did not
venture to go, and the people saw the spectacles, which, though Brutus
was absent, were furnished without any thrift and in a profuse style.
For he had purchased a great number of wild beasts, and he gave orders
that none should be sold or left, but that all should be killed; and he
himself went down to Neapolis and engaged most of the actors. With
respect to a certain Canutius who was much in favour on the theatre, he
wrote to his friends that they should get him on the stage by
persuasion, for it was not fit that any Greek should be forced. He also
wrote to Cicero and urged him by all means to be present at the

XXII. While affairs were in this state, another change was brought about
by the arrival of the young Cæsar.[532] He was the son of Cæsar's niece,
but by Cæsar's testament he was left his son and heir: and he was
staying at Apollonia when Cæsar was killed, being engaged with
philosophical studies and waiting for Cæsar, who had resolved to march
forthwith against the Parthians. As soon as he heard of Cæsar's death he
came to Rome, and by assuming Cæsar's name as a mode of beginning to get
the popular favour, and by paying among the citizens the money that was
left them, he made a strong party against Antonius, and by distributing
money he got together and assembled many of those who had served under
Cæsar. Now when Cicero took the side of Cæsar through hatred of
Antonius, Brutus[533] rebuked him strongly in his letters, saying that
Cicero did not dislike a master, but feared a master who hated him, and
that his policy was to choose a mild servitude, as he showed by writing
and saying, "How good Cæsar is!" But our fathers, he said, did not
endure even mild masters. He said that for his part at this crisis he
had neither quite resolved to fight nor to remain quiet, but he was
resolved on one thing only, not to be a slave; but he wondered at
Cicero, that he was afraid of a civil war and one attended with danger,
and was not afraid of a base and inglorious peace, and that he asked as
a reward for ejecting Antonius from the tyranny, to be allowed to make
Cæsar a tyrant.

XXIII. Now in his first letters Brutus thus expressed himself; but when
people were separating themselves, some on the side of Cæsar and some on
the side of Antonius, and the armies being venal were selling themselves
as it were by auction to the highest bidder, Brutus, altogether
despairing of affairs, resolved to leave Italy, and he went by land
through Lucania to Velia[534] to the sea. From this place Porcia,
intending to turn back to Rome, endeavoured to conceal her excessive
emotion, but a painting made her betray herself though she was a
noble-spirited woman. It was a subject from Grecian story, Hector
accompanied by Andromache,[535] who was receiving her infant son from
Hector and looking upon him. The sight of the picture, in which her own
feelings were portrayed, melted Porcia to tears, and she went to it many
times in the day and wept. Acilius, one of the friends of Brutus, having
pronounced the words of Andromache to Hector:--

   "Hector, thou art to me father and mother dear,
    And brother too, and husband in thy bloom:"

Brutus, smiling, said, "But it is not for me to say to Porcia as Hector

   "'The loom and distaff, and command the maids;'

for owing to the natural weakness of her body she is unable to perform
noble deeds equally with us, but in her mind she nobly dares as we do in
defence of our country." This is recorded by Bibulus, the son of Porcia.

XXIV. Having set out thence Brutus sailed towards Athens.[536] The
people received him gladly with expressions of good wishes and public
honours, and he lodged with a friend. As he attended the discourses of
Theomnestus the Academic, and Cratippus[537] the Peripatetic, and
associated with those philosophers, it was supposed that he was
altogether inactive and was unbending himself. But he was busied about
preparations for war, when no one suspected it; for he sent Herostratus
into Macedonia with the view of gaining over those who were with the
armies there, and he attached to himself and kept with him the young men
from Rome who were residing at Athens for the sake of their studies.
Among them was also a son of Cicero whom Brutus particularly commends,
and says, that whether he is waking or sleeping, he admires him for his
noble disposition and hatred of tyrants. Having now begun openly to
attend to affairs, and hearing that Roman vessels full of money were
sailing over from Asia, with a commander on board who was an honest man
and an acquaintance of his, he met him near Carystus;[538] and having
fallen in with him and persuaded him and obtained a surrender of the
vessels, he prepared for a magnificent entertainment, for it was the
birthday of Brutus. When they had come to drinking and were pouring out
wine with wishes for the success of Brutus and the liberty of the
Romans, Brutus, wishing to encourage them still more, asked for a larger
cup, and taking it up, without anything moving thereto, he uttered the
following verse:

   "Me evil fate and Leto's son[539] have slain."

In addition to this they report that when he went out to fight the last
battle at Philippi, Apollo was the word that he gave to his soldiers.
Accordingly they consider that the utterance of that verse was a sign of
what was to befall him.

XXV. After this Antistius gave Brutus fifty ten thousands out of the
money which he was taking to Italy; and all the soldiers of Pompeius who
were still rambling about Thessaly gladly flocked to Brutus; and he took
five hundred horsemen from Cinna who was conducting them into Asia to
Dolabella.[540] He then sailed against Demetrias[541] and got possession
of a large quantity of arms, which were going to be carried away to
Antonius, and had been made at the command of the elder Cæsar for the
Parthian war. Hortensius,[542] the governor, also surrendered Macedonia
to him, and the kings and rulers all around began to side with him and
to come over; but in the meantime news arrived that Caius, the brother
of Antonius, had crossed over from Italy and was marching straight
against the troops which Gabinius[543] had under him in Epidamnus and
Apollonia. Brutus, intending to anticipate and prevent him, immediately
put in motion those who were with him, and marched through a difficult
country in the midst of a snow-storm; and he was far in advance of those
who conveyed the provisions. As he came near Epidamnus, he began to
suffer from bulimy[544] through exhaustion and cold. This malady chiefly
attacks both beasts and men when they are worn out and in the midst of
the snow, whether it is that the heat owing to the refrigeration and
condensation, when everything is internally compressed, consumes the
nourishment all at once, or that a sharp and subtle breath arising from
the snow penetrating through, cuts the body and destroys the warmth
which is dispersed outwards from it. For it seems that heat causes
sweats through meeting with the cold and being quenched about the
surface; whereof there has been further discussion in another place.

XXVI. As Brutus was fainting, and no one in the army had anything to
eat, his attendants were compelled to fly for refuge to their enemies,
and approaching the gates they asked bread of the watch, who hearing of
the mishap of Brutus came and brought to eat and to drink. In return for
which, when Brutus got possession of the city, he not only treated them
kindly, but also all the rest for their sake. Caius Antonius now came up
to Apollonia and summoned the soldiers who were there; but when they
went over to Brutus, and he perceived that the people of Apollonia were
in favour of Brutus, he left the city and marched to Buthrotum.[545] And
in the first place he lost three cohorts, which were cut to pieces by
Brutus on the march; and in the next place, attempting to force the
posts about Byblis, which were already occupied, he came to a battle
with Cicero and was defeated; for Brutus employed Cicero in command and
gained many successes through him. Brutus himself came upon Caius, who
was in marshy ground and far separated from the rest of his troops, but
he would not let his men make an attack, and he threw his cavalry around
him with orders to spare the men, saying that in a short time they would
be theirs; which in fact happened, for they surrendered themselves and
their general, so that there was now a large force with Brutus. Now
Brutus treated Caius respectfully for some time and did not deprive him
of the insignia of his office, though, as they say, many persons, and
Cicero among the rest, wrote to him from Rome and urged him to do it.
But as Caius began to have secret conferences with the officers and
attempted to excite a mutiny, he had him put in a ship and guarded. The
soldiers who had been corrupted fled to Apollonia and invited Brutus
there, but Brutus said that this was not the custom among the Romans,
and that they must come to their general, and ask pardon for their
offence. They came, and Brutus pardoned them at their prayer.

XXVII. As Brutus was going to set out for Asia, news arrived of the
changes at Rome. The young Cæsar had been strengthened by the Senate
against Antonius, whom he had driven out of Italy, and he was now
formidable, and was seeking for the consulship contrary to law, and
maintaining large armies of which the State had no need. But when Cæsar
saw that the Senate was displeased at this, and was looking abroad
towards Brutus and decreeing provinces[546] for him and confirming them,
he became alarmed. And he sent to Antonius and invited him to
friendship, and placing his troops around the city he got the
consulship, being yet hardly a young man, but in his twentieth year, as
he said in his Memoirs. He immediately instituted a prosecution on a
charge of murder against Brutus and his partisans, for having put to
death without trial the first man in the state who was filling the
highest offices; and he named as the accuser of Brutus, Lucius
Cornificius, and Marcus Agrippa as the accuser of Cassius. Accordingly
they were condemned for default of appearance, the judices being
compelled to go to the vote. It is said that when the crier, according
to custom, from the tribunal summoned Brutus into court, the mass gave a
loud groan, and the nobles bent their heads to the ground and kept
silence; but that Publius Silicius was seen to shed tears, and for this
reason was shortly after one of those who were proscribed. After this,
the three, Cæsar, Antonius and Lepidus, distributed the provinces among
them, and caused the slaughter and proscription of two hundred men,
among whom Cicero perished.

XXVIII. When the news of these events reached Macedonia, Brutus,[547]
compelled by circumstances, wrote to Hortensius to put Caius Antonius
to death, on the ground of avenging Brutus and Cicero, the one being his
friend, and the other both a friend and kinsman. This was the reason why
Antonius, when he afterwards took Hortensius at Philippi, put him to
death on the tomb of his brother. Brutus says that he felt more shame at
the cause of Cicero's death than sympathy at his misfortune, and that he
blamed his friends in Rome, for they were slain more through their own
fault than that of the tyrants, and that they submitted to see and to
witness what it should have been intolerable for them even to hear.
Brutus having taken his army over to Asia, which was now a considerable
force, set about fitting out a naval force in Bithynia[548] and in the
neighbourhood of Cyzicus; and himself moving about with his troops
settled the cities and had interviews with the rulers; and he sent to
Cassius[549] into Syria to recall him from Egypt; for he said that it
was not to get dominion, but to deliver their country that they were
rambling about and collecting a force with which they would put down the
tyrants; that they ought therefore, remembering and keeping in mind this
purpose, not to hold themselves far from Italy, but to hasten thither
and to aid the citizens. Cassius obeyed, and Brutus met him on his
return; and they fell in with one another near Smyrna, for the first
time since they had separated in Peiræus and set out, the one for
Syria, the other for Macedonia. They had accordingly great pleasure and
confidence owing to the force which each had. For they had hurried from
Italy like the most despicable fugitives, without money and without
arms, without a single ship, a single soldier, or a city, and yet after
no very long interval they had come together with ships and troops and
horses and money, able to struggle for the supremacy of the Romans.

XXIX. Now Cassius was desirous to have and to allow an equal share of
honour, but Brutus herein anticipated him by generally going to Cassius
who, in age, was his superior, and in body was not able to sustain equal
toil. The opinion was that Cassius was skilled in military matters, but
was violent in passion and governed mainly by fear, while towards his
intimates he was too much inclined to use ridicule and was too fond of
jesting. As to Brutus, they say that he was esteemed by the many for his
virtues, but loved by his friends, admired by the nobles, and not hated
even by his enemies, because the man was extraordinarily mild and
high-minded and unmoved by anger, pleasure or love of aggrandisement,
and kept his judgment upright and unbending in the maintenance of honour
and justice. That which got him most goodwill and reputation was the
faith which men had in his motives. For neither that great Pompeius, if
he had put down Cæsar, was confidently expected to give up his power to
the laws, but to retain affairs in his hands, pacifying the people with
the name of consulship and dictatorship or some other title with more
pleasing name; and this Cassius, who was a violent and passionate man
and was often carried away from justice in quest of gain, more than any
one else they thought would carry on war, and ramble about and expose
himself to danger for the purpose of getting power for himself, not
liberty for the citizens. For as to the men of still earlier times, the
Cinnas and Marii and Carbos, they viewed their country as a prize and
booty for competition, and all but in express words fought to get a
tyranny. But as to Brutus, they say that not even his enemies imputed to
him such a change in his purpose, but that many persons had heard
Antonius say, he thought Brutus was the only person who conspired
against Cæsar because of being moved by the splendour and apparent noble
nature of the deed, and that the rest combined against the man because
they hated and envied him. Accordingly it appears from what Brutus says
that he trusted not so much in his power as in his virtues. He wrote to
Atticus when he was just approaching the danger, that his affairs were
in the best plight as to fortune, for that he should either get the
victory and free the Roman people, or should die and be released from
slavery; and though everything else was safe and secure for them, one
thing was uncertain, whether they should live and be free or die. He
says that Marcus Antonius was paying a just penalty for his folly, for
while he might have been numbered with the Bruti and Cassii and Catos,
he made himself an appendage to Octavius, and if he should not be
defeated with him, he would shortly after have to fight against him. Now
he seems, in saying this, to have well divined what was to happen.

XXX. While they were then in Smyrna, Brutus claimed a share of the money
which Cassius had collected to a great amount, for Brutus alleged that
he had expended all his own resources in building so great a fleet with
which they would command all the internal sea.[550] But the friends of
Cassius were not for letting him give up the money, saying, "What you
save by economy and get with odium, it is not fair that he should take
and apply to gaining popularity and gratifying the soldiers." However,
Cassius gave him a third part of all. Separating again to their several
undertakings, Cassius, after taking Rhodes, did not conduct himself with
moderation, but made this answer at his entrance to those who addressed
him as king and lord: "I am neither king nor lord, but the executioner
and punisher of lord and king." Brutus demanded of the Lycians money and
men. When Naucrates the demagogue persuaded the cities to revolt, and
the people occupied certain heights to prevent Brutus from passing, in
the first place he sent cavalry against them when they were eating, who
killed six hundred of them; and in the next place taking possession of
the posts and forts, he released all the people without ransom with the
view of gaining over the nation by kindness. But the people were
obstinate, being enraged at what they had suffered, and despising his
moderation and humanity, till at last Brutus drove into Xanthas[551] the
most warlike of the Lycians, and blockaded them there. Some of them
attempted to escape by swimming under the river which flowed by the
city: but they were caught by nets which were sunk in the channel to the
bottom, and the tops of the nets had bells attached to them which gave a
signal as soon as any one was caught. The Xanthians, making a sally by
night, threw fire on certain engines; and when they were driven back
into the town by the Romans who perceived them, and a strong wind began
to blow against the battlements the flame which was laying hold of the
adjoining houses, Brutus, who feared for the city, ordered his soldiers
to help to extinguish the fire.

XXXI. But the Lycians were all at once seized with a horrible impulse to
despair surpassing all description, which might be best likened to a
passion for death; for with their wives and children, both freemen and
slaves, and people of every age, they threw missiles from the walls upon
the enemy who were assisting to quench the flames, and carrying reeds
and wood and everything combustible, they drew the fire to the city,
offering to it all kinds of material and in every way exciting and
feeding it. As the flames rushed onwards and engirdling the city blazed
forth with violence, Brutus, in great affliction at what was going on,
rode round the walls, being eager to save the people, and stretching out
his hands to the Xanthians he prayed them to spare themselves and save
the city; and yet no one regarded him, but in every way they sought to
destroy themselves; and not only men and women, but even the little
children; with cries and shouts, some leaped into the fire and others
broke their necks from the walls, and others presented their throats to
their fathers' knives, baring them and bidding them strike. After the
city was destroyed, there was found a woman suspended by a rope, with a
dead child hung to her neck, and firing the house with a lighted torch.
This tragical sight Brutus could not endure to see, and he wept at
hearing of it; and he proclaimed that a reward should be given to every
soldier who could save a Lycian. They say that there were only one
hundred and fifty who did not escape being saved. Now the Xanthians
after a long interval, as if they were reproducing a fated period of
destruction, renewed the fortune of their ancestors in their
desperation; for their ancestors in like manner in the time of the
Persians burnt their city and destroyed themselves.

XXXII. Brutus seeing that the city of Patara was preparing to resist him
was unwilling to attack it, and was perplexed because he feared the same
desperation; and as he had their women captive, he let them go without
ransom. These women, who were the wives and daughters of distinguished
men, reported of Brutus that he was a most moderate and just man, and
they persuaded the citizens to yield and to surrender the city. Upon
this all the rest of the Lycians surrendered and gave themselves up to
him, and they found him to be honourable and merciful beyond their
expectation; for while Cassius about the same time compelled all the
Rhodians to bring in the gold and silver which was their private
property, and a sum of eight thousand talents was thus collected, and
mulcted the commonwealth of the city in five hundred talents besides,
Brutus only demanded of the Lycians a hundred and fifty talents, and
without doing them any other wrong set out for Ionia.

XXXIII. Now Brutus did many deeds worthy of remembrance both in
rewarding and punishing according to desert; but that with which he
himself was most pleased and the best of the Romans, I will relate. When
Pompeius Magnus landed in Egypt at Pelusium, what time he fled after
being completely defeated by Cæsar, the guardians of the king, who was
still a youth, being in counsel with their friends, were not inclined
the same way in their opinions. Some were for receiving and others for
driving the man from Egypt. But one Theodotus[552] of Chios, who was
hired to teach the king rhetoric, and was then thought worthy of a place
in the council for want of better men, attempted to show that both were
in error, those who advised to receive and those who advised to send
away Pompeius, for there was one thing in the present circumstances
that was useful, and that was to receive him and put him to death. And
he added, at the end of his speech, that a corpse does not bite. The
council assented to his opinion, and Pompeius Magnus fell, an instance
of things passing belief and expectation, and the result of the
rhetorical skill and eloquence of Theodotus, as the sophist himself used
to say boastingly. When Cæsar arrived shortly after, some of them paid
the penalty of their guilt and perished miserably; and Theodotus, who
borrowed from fortune a short period for an inglorious and poor and
rambling life, did not escape Brutus when he came into Asia, but he was
carried before him and punished, and thus he gained a greater name by
his death than by his life.

XXXIV. Brutus invited Cassius to Sardis[553] and met him with his
friends on his approach; and the whole force under arms saluted both of
them as Imperatores. Now as it is wont to happen in the midst of great
affairs, and among many friends and commanders, causes of difference had
arisen between Brutus and Cassius, and suspicions; and before they did
anything else, immediately on their arrival at Sardis they entered into
a room by themselves and closed the door, and no one being present they
began with blaming one another, and then fell to proofs and charges.
From this they came to tears and passionate expressions without
restraint, so that their friends, wondering at the roughness and
violence of their anger, feared lest something should happen; but it was
forbidden to approach them. But Marcus Favonius, who had been a lover of
Cato, and was a philosopher not so much from reason as a certain impulse
and mad passion, went in to them though the slaves attempted to hinder
him. But it was a hard thing to check Favonius when he had put himself
in motion towards any object, for he was impetuous in all things and
impatient. He made no account of being a Roman senator, but by his
cynical freedom of speech he often took away the harshness and
unseasonableness of his behaviour, the hearers receiving all as jest. On
this occasion forcing his way against those who tried to stop him, he
entered, and with mock solemnity uttered the words which Homer[554] has
made Nestor use:

   "Obey: ye both are younger far than I,"

and what follows. At which Cassius laughed, but Brutus turned him out,
calling him true dog and false cynic. However, they forthwith became
reconciled, and this was the end of their difference for the time.
Cassius gave an entertainment to which Brutus invited his friends.[555]
As they were just reclining, Favonius came from the bath; and, on Brutus
declaring that he came without invitation and bidding him withdraw to
the highest couch,[556] he forced his way to the central couch and
reclined there; and they made merry over the banquet, and the mirth was
not without its zest nor unseasoned with philosophy.

XXXV. On the following day Lucius Pella,[557] a Roman who had been
prætor and trusted by Brutus, was charged by the people of Sardis with
taking money unlawfully, and he was publicly condemned and declared
infamous by Brutus. This affair gave Cassius no small pain. For a few
days before, two of his friends who were convicted of the same offence,
he privately admonished and publicly acquitted, and he still continued
to employ them. Accordingly he blamed Brutus as being too strict an
observer of law and justice at a time which required politic conduct and
conciliatory measures. But Brutus told him to remember the Ides of
March on which they killed Cæsar, who was not himself oppressing and
plundering everybody, but supported others who did it, so that if there
was any specious pretext for overlooking justice, it would have been
better to bear with Cæsar's friends than to allow their own friends to
do wrong. For they, he said,[558] have the imputation of cowardice, but
we of injustice, and that too joined to danger and toil. Such were the
principles of Brutus.

XXXVI.[559] When they were going to cross over from Asia, it is said
that Brutus had a great sign. The man was naturally wakeful, and by
discipline and temperance he contracted his sleep into a small space of
time, never reposing in the daytime, and by night only so long as he was
unable to do anything or to speak to any one because people were
resting. But at that time when the war was on foot, having on his hands
the general management of everything, and his thoughts being on the
stretch with regard to the future, when he had taken a short repose
after eating, he employed the rest of the night on affairs of urgency.
And when he had finished and arranged everything that was necessary
about such matters, he would read a book till the third watch, at which
time the centurions and tribunes were used to come to him. Being then
about to convoy his army over from Asia, it happened to be dead of night
and the lamp in his tent was not very bright; and the whole camp was in
deep silence. As Brutus was considering and reflecting with himself, he
thought that he heard some one come in, and looking towards the entrance
he saw a terrible and strange vision of a huge and frightful figure
standing by him in silence. He had the courage to ask, "What man or god
art thou, or with what purpose dost thou come to us?" The phantom
replied to him, "I am thy evil dæmon, Brutus, and thou shalt see me at
Philippi." And Brutus without being disturbed, said, "I shall see."

XXXVII.[560] When the phantom disappeared, Brutus called the slaves,
and as they said that they had neither heard any voice nor seen
anything, Brutus still kept awake; and at daybreak he betook himself to
Cassius and told him his vision. Cassius, who followed the doctrines of
Epicurus, and was accustomed to dispute about them with Brutus, said,
"Our opinion, Brutus, is this, that we do not in fact feel all things
nor see them, but perception is a certain flexible and deceitful thing,
and the intellect is still quicker to move and change it, without there
being any real thing, into all forms. For the fashioning of the form is
like unto wax, and as the soul of man possesses both the thing to be
fashioned and that which fashions, being the same, it has of itself the
power of most easily varying itself and assuming different forms. And
this is shown by the changes of our dreams in sleep, which changes the
phantastic power undergoes, from slight causes assuming every kind of
effect and image. It is the nature of the phantastic power to be always
in motion, and motion is to it a certain phantasy or perception. In you
the body being troubled naturally excites and perverts the mind. But it
is neither probable that there are dæmons, nor that, if there are, they
have the form of men or the voice, or that their power reaches to us;
and indeed I wish it were so, that we might not put trust only in arms
and horses and so many ships, but also in the help of the gods being the
leaders in most upright and noble undertakings." By such arguments as
these Cassius attempted to calm Brutus. When the soldiers were
embarking, two eagles descended on the first standards and were carried
along with them, and accompanied the soldiers, who fed them, as far as
Philippi. And there, one day before the battle, they flew away.

XXXVIII. Now Brutus had subjected to him most of the nations that lay in
his way: and if any city or ruler had been passed by, they then brought
over all in their progress as far as the sea opposite to Thasos. In
those parts Norbanus[561] and his troops happened to be encamped in the
Straits and about Symbolum; but Brutus and Cassius getting round them
compelled them to withdraw and desert the posts. They also came very
near taking his force, Cæsar staying behind on account of illness; and
they would have done it, if Antonius had not come to their aid with such
wonderful expedition that Brutus could scarce believe it. Cæsar arrived
ten days later, and pitched his camp opposite to Brutus: Antonius took
his station opposite to Cassius. The plain which lay between the armies,
the Romans called the Campi Philippi; and it was on this occasion that
the largest Roman armies were matched against one another. Now in
numbers they were not a little inferior to those of Cæsar, but in show
and splendour of arms the forces of Brutus outshone the enemy. For most
of their armour was of gold, and silver had been unsparingly supplied,
though in other respects Brutus accustomed his officers to a simple and
severe habit. But he thought that the wealth which they had in their
hands and about their bodies, would give courage to the more ambitious
of honour and would make those who were fond of gain still more
courageous, as if the weapons which they held were their property.

XXXIX. Now Cæsar made a lustration[562] within his lines, and
distributed among the soldiers a small allowance of grain and five
drachmæ apiece for the sacrifice; but Brutus, who considered this either
as proof of Cæsar's poverty or his meanness, first of all performed a
lustration for the army under the open sky, according to the custom, and
then distributed a number of victims for every cohort, and fifty drachmæ
to each man, by which he had the advantage over the enemy in the
goodwill and zeal of his troops. Notwithstanding this bad omen, as
Cassius considered it, happened during the lustration; for the lictor
brought him his crown reversed. It is said that on a former occasion,
also during a certain spectacle and procession, a golden Victory
belonging to Cassius, which was being carried, fell down owing to the
bearer slipping. Besides this many birds of prey daily appeared in the
camp and swarms of bees were seen collecting about a certain spot within
the lines, which the diviners enclosed in order to get rid of the
superstitious fear which was gradually withdrawing even Cassius himself
from the principles of Epicurus, and had completely cowed the soldiers.
Owing to this, Cassius was not eager that the matter should be decided
at present by a battle, and he was of opinion that they should protract
the war, being strong in resources, but in amount of arms and men
inferior to the enemy. But Brutus even before this was eager to settle
the matter by the speediest hazard, and thus either to recover freedom
for his country, or to relieve from their sufferings all the people who
were oppressed by cost and military service and requisitions. And now
seeing that his cavalry was successful and victorious in the skirmishes
and encounters of posts, his spirit was raised: and some desertions to
the enemy which took place and imputations and suspicions against others
caused many of the friends of Cassius in the council to go over to the
opinion of Brutus. One of the friends of Brutus, Atillius, opposed the
opinion of Brutus and advised that they should wait for the winter. On
Brutus asking, Wherein he thought that he would be better after a year,
he replied, If in nothing else, I shall live longer. Cassius was vexed
at this, and Atillius gave no small offence to the rest. Accordingly it
was resolved to fight on the next day.

XL. Brutus went to rest after having been in high spirits and engaged in
philosophical discourse at supper. As to Cassius, Messala[563] says that
he supped by himself with a few of his intimates, and appeared
thoughtful and silent, though he was not naturally so; and that after
supper he pressed the hand of Messala strongly and said, as he was wont
when he was in friendly mood, in the Greek language, "I call you to
witness, Messala, that I am in the same situation as Pompeius Magnus,
being compelled to cast the die for my country's safety in a single
battle. However, let us have a good heart, looking to fortune, which it
is not right to distrust, though we may have resolved badly." Messala
says that these were the last words that Cassius spoke to him and
thereon embraced him, and that he was invited[564] by him to supper for
the following day, which was his birthday. At daybreak there was hung
out in the lines of Brutus and of Cassius the signal for the contest, a
purple vest, and they met between the two camps, and Cassius said:
"Brutus, I hope we may be victorious and live together happily all the
rest of our lives; but as the chief of human events are the most
uncertain, and if the battle results contrary to our expectation, it
will not be easy for us to see one another, what do you intend with
respect to flight or death?" Brutus replied, "When I was a young man,
Cassius, and inexperienced in affairs, I know not how it happened that I
neglected a weighty matter in philosophy. I blamed Cato for killing
himself, considering that it was not right nor befitting a man to
withdraw himself from his dæmon, and not to await what happens without
fear, but to skulk away. But now I am of a different mind in the
circumstances, and if the deity shall not determine in our favour, I do
not want to try other hopes and means, but I will withdraw content with
fortune, that on the Ides of March I gave to my country my life and have
lived another life for her sake free and glorious." Whereat Cassius
smiled and, embracing Brutus, said, "With such thoughts let us go
against the enemy; for we shall either conquer or we shall not fear the
conquerors." After this they discussed the order of battle in the
presence of their friends. Brutus asked Cassius to allow him to command
the right wing, which was supposed to be more appropriate for Cassius on
account of his experience and his age. But Cassius granted even this,
and he commanded Messala with the bravest of the legions to be posted on
the right. Brutus immediately led forth the cavalry equipped in splendid
style, and he brought up the infantry with equal expedition.

XLI. The soldiers of Antonius happened to be driving trenches from the
marshes, around which they were encamped, into the plain and cutting off
the approaches of Cassius to the sea. Cæsar was on the watch, not being
present himself by reason of sickness, but his troops were there, which,
however, did not expect that the enemy would fight, but would merely
make sallies against the works and disturb the diggers with light
missiles and shouts; and as they were paying no attention to those who
were opposed to them, they were surprised at the shouts about the
trenches, which were indistinct and loud. In the meantime billets came
from Brutus to the officers in which the word was written, and as he was
advancing on horseback before the legions and encouraging them, a few
had time to hear the word as it was passed along, but the greater part
without waiting, with one impulse and shout rushed against the enemy.
Some irregularity arose in the lines and some separation of them through
this disorder, and the legion of Messala first and those which were
close upon it outflanked Cæsar's left; and having slightly touched the
soldiers on the extreme left and killed no great number, but completely
outflanking them, fell on the camp. Cæsar, as he says in his Memoirs,
inasmuch as one of his friends, Artorius Marcus,[565] had seen a vision
in his sleep which bade Cæsar get out of the way and leave the camp, had
just before been conveyed out of it, and he was supposed to have lost
his life; for the enemy pierced his empty litter with javelins and
spears. And there was a slaughter in the camp of those who were
captured, and two thousand Lacedæmonians, who had lately come as allies,
were cut to pieces with them.

XLII. They who had not surrounded the soldiers of Cæsar, but had engaged
with those in front, easily put to flight the enemy who were in
confusion, and destroyed at close quarters three legions, and they
rushed into the camp with the fugitives, carried along by the
impetuosity of success and having Brutus with them; but what the victors
did not see, that the critical time showed to the vanquished. For
pushing forward to the parts of the opposite line which were exposed and
broken where the right wing was drawn off in the pursuit, they did not
force the centre but were engaged in a violent struggle; but they put to
flight the left, which was in disorder and ignorant of what had
happened, and pursuing it to the camp they plundered it, neither of the
Imperatores being with them. For Antonius, as they say, having at the
beginning avoided the attack, retreated to the marsh, and Cæsar could
nowhere be seen, as he had fled from the camp; but some showed their
bloody swords to Brutus supposing they had killed him, and describing
his appearance and age. And now the centre had repelled their opponents
with great slaughter; and Brutus thought that he was completely
victorious as Cassius thought that he was defeated. And this was the
only thing which ruined their cause, that Brutus did not aid Cassius
because he thought that he was victorious, and that Cassius did not wait
for Brutus because he thought that he had perished; for Messala
considers it a proof of victory that Brutus had taken three eagles and
many standards from the enemy, and the enemy had taken nothing. Brutus
now retreating after he had destroyed Cæsar's camp, was surprised not to
see the tent of Cassius standing out conspicuous, as usual, nor the rest
in their place, for most of the tents had immediately been thrown down
and torn in pieces by the enemy when they broke in. But those who
thought they could see better than their comrades said to Brutus that
they saw many helmets glittering and many silver shields moving about in
the camp of Cassius, and they said it did not appear to them that it was
either the number or the armour of those were left to guard the camp,
but yet there did not appear to be in that direction a number of corpses
such as might be expected if so many legions had been defeated. This
was the first thing that gave Brutus an idea of the misfortune; and
leaving a guard in the camp of the enemy he recalled the pursuers and
got them together to aid Cassius.

XLIII. And it had fared thus with him. He was neither pleased at seeing
the first onset of the soldiers of Brutus without signal and order, nor
was he pleased that when they were victorious they rushed straight to
plunder and profit, taking no pains to get round and encircle the enemy.
Cassius, conducting his operations rather with delay and waste of time
than with vigour and judgment, was surrounded by the right wing of the
enemy; and when he saw that, as soon as the cavalry broke away in flight
to the sea, the infantry also were giving way, he endeavoured to stop
and recall them. He also seized the standard from one of the
standard-bearers who was flying, and fixed it in the ground before his
feet, though even those who were placed about his person no longer
remained with any spirit. In these circumstances, being pressed, he
retreated with a few men to a hill which had a view towards the plain.
He saw nothing in the plain, or with difficulty the plunder of the camp,
for he was weak of vision; but the horsemen around him saw many
approaching whom Brutus sent. Cassius conjectured that they were enemies
and were in pursuit of him; yet he sent Titinius, one of those who were
with him, to see. The horsemen did not fail to observe him approaching,
and when they saw a man who was a friend, and faithful to Cassius, they
shouted for joy, and some of his friends leaping down from their horses
embraced him and took his hand, and the rest riding round him with
joyful shouts and clatter by their unmeasured rejoicing produced the
greatest misfortune. For Cassius was quite sure that Titinius was caught
by the enemy. With these words, "Through love of life have I waited to
see a friend seized by the enemy," he retired into an empty tent
dragging after him one of his freed men, Pindarus, whom, in the
unfortunate affair of Crassus, he had prepared for this extremity.
Cassius escaped the Parthians, but now drawing his cloak over his head
and baring his neck he presented it to be cut asunder; for the head was
found separated from the body. But no man saw Pindarus after the death
of Cassius, which made some persons think that he had killed Cassius
without his order. Shortly after the horsemen appeared, and Titinius
crowned by them went up to Cassius. But when, by the weeping and cries
of his friends who were lamenting and bewailing, he knew of the fate of
the general and of his error, he drew his sword and with much upbraiding
of himself for his tardiness killed himself.

XLIV. Brutus, who was acquainted with the defeat of Cassius, was now
approaching, and he heard of his death when he was near the camp. After
lamenting over the body and calling Cassius the last of the Romans, as
if he considered that such a spirit could never again be produced in
Rome, he wrapped up the corpse and sent it to Thasos, that no disorder
might be produced by its being interred there. He summoned the soldiers
together and consoled them; and seeing that they were deprived of all
necessaries he promised them two thousand drachmæ apiece in place of
what they had lost. The soldiers were encouraged by his words and
admired the magnitude of his present; and they accompanied him with
shouts as he went away, magnifying him as the only one of the four
Imperatores who was unvanquished in battle. And the result proved that
he had good reason for trusting to success in the battle; for with a few
legions he put to flight all those who opposed him. But if he had
employed all his forces in the battle, and the greater part had not
passed by the enemy and fallen on the enemy's baggage, it is probable
that he would have left no part of the enemy's force unvanquished.

XLV. There fell on the side of Brutus eight thousand, with the slaves
who were with them in the army, whom Brutus called Briges;[566] and of
the enemy Messala says that he thinks more than twice the number fell.
For this reason the enemy was the more dispirited, till a slave of
Cassius, named Demetrius, came to Antonius as soon as it was evening,
having taken the cloaks from the corpse, and the sword; and when these
were brought, they were so much encouraged that at daybreak they led
forth their force prepared for battle. But as both his armies were in an
unsettled and dangerous state (for his own army being full of captives
required careful watching, and the army of Cassius was troubled at the
loss of their general, and they felt somewhat of envy and dislike in
consequence of their defeat towards the army that had been victorious),
Brutus resolved to put his troops under arms, but he would not fight. Of
the captives, he ordered the slaves to be killed, as they were moving
about among the soldiers in a suspicious way; but of the freemen he
released some, saying that they had rather been made captives by the
enemy, and were captives and slaves there, but with him were free men
and citizens; and when he saw that his friends and the officers were
ill-disposed towards them, he saved them by concealing them and sending
them away. There were a certain Volumnius,[567] a mime, and Saculio, a
jester, among the prisoners, whom Brutus cared not for, and his friends
bringing these to him accused them of not abstaining even now from
speaking and jeering to insult them. Brutus was silent, being occupied
with other thoughts, but Messala Corvinus was of opinion that they
should be flogged in a tent, and given up naked to the generals of the
enemy, that they might know what kind of drinking companions and
intimates they wanted in their campaigns. Some of those who were present
laughed; but Publius Casca, who had struck Cæsar first, said, "We offer
no fit sacrifice to Cassius who is dead, by making merry and jesting;
but you, Brutus," he said, "will show what remembrance you have of the
general either by punishing or protecting those who will mock and revile
him." Upon this Brutus, greatly angered, said, "Why then do you ask me,
Casca, and why don't you do what you like?" This answer of Brutus they
considered as an assent to the punishment of the unhappy men, whom they
led away and put to death.

XLVI. After this Brutus gave the soldiers their present, and blaming
them mildly for not having waited for the word, and having fallen on the
enemy somewhat disorderly without waiting for the order, he promised
them if they were victorious to give up to them for plunder and profit
two cities, Thessalonica[568] and Lacedæmon. This is the only thing in
the life of Brutus which he is charged with that admits of no defence,
though Antonius and Cæsar paid to their soldiers a much more terrible
price as the reward of their victories, for they drove the old settlers
out of nearly the whole of Italy, that their soldiers might have land
and cities to which they had no claim. But with Antonius and Cæsar
dominion and power was the end which they proposed to themselves in the
war, while Brutus, owing to his reputation for virtue, was not allowed
by the many either to conquer or to save his life otherwise than by
honourable and just means; and especially now that Cassius was dead, who
had the imputation of urging Brutus on to some of his more violent acts.
But as at sea when the helm is broken, they attempt to nail on other
pieces of wood, and to fit them, not skilfully indeed, but as well as
they can under circumstances, fighting against the necessity, so Brutus
with so great a force around him, and in so hazardous a state of
affairs, having no commander of equal weight with himself, was compelled
to employ those who were with him, and to do and say many things
according to their pleasure. And he judged it fit to do whatever he
thought would improve the disposition of the soldiers of Cassius, for
they were difficult to manage: in the camp being unruly for want of
discipline, and towards the enemy having a feeling of cowardice by
reason of their defeat.

XLVII. Affairs were no better with Cæsar and Antonius, for they were
scantily supplied with provisions, and owing to the camp being pitched
in a hollow, they expected a bad winter. For being among marshes and the
autumnal rains coming on after the battle, they had their tents filled
with mud and with water which froze immediately through the cold. While
they were in this condition, news arrived of the misfortune that had
befallen their forces at sea. For the ships of Brutus[569] fell upon
them, and destroyed a large force that was coming to Cæsar from Italy,
and only a very few of the men escaped, who were compelled by famine to
eat the sails and ropes. On hearing this news they were eager to settle
the matter by a battle before Brutus was aware of the great good fortune
that had come to him; for it happened that in the same day the battle by
land and the battle by sea were determined. But by some chance rather
than through the fault of the commanders of the fleet, Brutus was
ignorant of the success, though twenty days had elapsed. For otherwise
he would not have gone out to a second battle when he was provided with
all necessaries for his army for a long time and was posted in a good
position, wherein he could have maintained his army in the winter free
from all suffering and safe against the attacks of the enemy, and by
being master of the sea, and having defeated by land the troops opposed
to him, was in high hopes and spirits. But affairs, as it appears, being
no longer governable by a number, and requiring a monarchy, the deity
wishing to lead away and to remove the only person who stood in the way
of him who was able to govern, cut off the news of that good fortune,
though it came exceeding near to being communicated to Brutus. For the
day before that on which he was going to fight, and late in the day,
there came one Clodius, a deserter from the enemy, who reported, that
Cæsar was eager to come to a decisive contest because he had heard of
the destruction of his armament. The man got no credit for his report
nor did he come into the presence of Brutus, being altogether despised
as one who had heard no well-founded news, or reported falsehood to get

XLVIII. In that night it is said that the phantom again appeared to
Brutus, and displaying the same appearance said nothing and went away.
But Publius Volumnius,[570] a philosopher and one who accompanied Brutus
in his campaign from the first, says that this was not the sign; but he
says that the first eagle was covered with bees, and from the arm of one
of the centurions an oil of roses spontaneously burst out, and though
they often rubbed it off and wiped it away, it was all to no use.
Further, before the battle, two eagles met and fought in the space
between the armies, and a silence past belief filled the plain while all
were looking on, but at last the eagle which was on the side of Brutus
gave way and fled. The Ethiopian became notorious, he who met the
eagle-bearer as soon as the gate was opened, and was cut down with their
swords by the soldiers, who considered it a bad omen.

XLIX. After Brutus had made the line advance, and had placed it in front
of the enemy, he paused some time, for suspicions reached him and
information against certain persons while he was inspecting the army;
and he observed that the cavalry were not very eager to begin the
battle, but were still waiting for the infantry to commence the attack.
All of a sudden, a man of military skill, who had been particularly
distinguished for his courage, rode past Brutus himself and passed over
to the enemy: his name was Camulatus. Brutus was greatly pained at
seeing this, and partly through passion, partly through fear of greater
change and treachery, he forthwith led his men against the enemy, the
sun now going down, to the ninth hour. Brutus had the advantage with his
own troops, and he pushed on, pressing upon the left wing of the enemy
which gave way, and the cavalry supported him by charging together with
the infantry the disordered ranks; but the other wing, which the
commanders extended for fear of being surrounded, was inferior in
numbers, and was drawn out in the centre, and thus becoming weak, did
not resist the enemy, but fled first. The enemy, having broken this
wing, immediately surrounded Brutus, who displayed all the virtues of a
general and a soldier, both in his personal exertions, and his prudent
measures in the midst of danger to secure victory; but he was damaged by
that circumstance whereby he gained advantage in the former battle. For
in that battle the part of the enemy which was defeated had perished;
but few perished of the troops of Cassius, though they were put to
flight, and those who escaped being very timid through their former
defeat, filled the chief part of the army with despondency and
confusion. On this occasion also, Marcus the son of Cato,[571] fighting
among the noblest and bravest of the youth, though hard pressed, did not
yield nor flee, but laying about him and calling out who he was, and his
father's name, he fell on a heap of the enemy's slain. There fell, too,
the bravest of the men, exposing themselves in defence of Brutus.

L. Among the intimates of Brutus was one Lucilius,[572] a good man.
Observing that some barbarian horsemen in their pursuit paid no regard
to the rest, but rode at full speed after Brutus, he resolved at his own
risk to stop them. And being a little in the rear he said that he was
Brutus, and he gained belief by praying them to take him to Antonius,
because he feared Cæsar, but trusted in Antonius. The barbarians
delighted at their success, and considering that they had surprising
good luck, conducted the man, and as it was now growing dark, sent
forward some of their number as messengers to Antonius. Antonius, much
pleased, went to meet those who were conducting Lucilius; and those who
heard that Brutus was being brought alive flocked together, some pitying
him for his ill fortune, and others thinking it unworthy of his fame to
let himself be taken by barbarians through love of life. When they were
near, Antonius stopped, being doubtful how he should receive Brutus, but
Lucilius, approaching with a cheerful countenance, said, "Antonius, no
enemy has taken Marcus Brutus, nor will: may fortune never have such a
victory over virtue. But he will be found, whether alive or dead, in a
condition worthy of himself. But I who have deceived your soldiers am
come to suffer, and I deprecate no punishment, however severe, for what
I have done." When Lucilius had said this, and all were in amaze,
Antonius, looking on those who conducted Lucilius, said, "I suppose,
fellow soldiers, you are vexed at your mistake, and think that you have
been grossly tricked. But be assured that you have taken a better prey
than that which you were in search of. For while you were seeking for an
enemy, you have brought us a friend; for as to Brutus, I know not by the
gods, what I should have done with him if he were alive, but such men as
this, I pray that I may have as friends rather than as enemies." Saying
this he embraced Lucilius and for the time placed him with one of his
friends, but he afterwards employed him, and found him in everything
faithful and true.

LI. Brutus, having crossed a certain stream, the banks of which were
lined with wood and steep, just when it began to be dark, did not
advance far, but seating himself in a hollow spot where there was a
large rock spread out, with a few of his officers and friends about him,
first looked up to the heavens which were full of stars, and uttered two
verses, one of which Volumnius has recorded:

   "Forget not,[573] Jove, the author of these ills;"

but the other he says that he forgot. After a while naming each of his
companions who had fallen in battle before his eyes, he grieved most
over the memory of Flavius and Labeo. Labeo was his lieutenant, and
Flavius the chief of the engineers. In the meantime one who was thirsty
himself and saw that Brutus was in the same plight, took a helmet and
ran down to the river. As a noise from the opposite side reached their
ears, Volumnius went forward to see, and Dardanus the shield-bearer with
him. Returning after a while they asked about the water; and Brutus,
smiling with a very friendly expression on Volumnius, said, "It is drunk
up, but some more shall be brought for you." The same person was sent,
but he was in danger of being taken by the enemy and escaped with
difficulty after being wounded. As Brutus conjectured that no great
number of his men had fallen, Statyllius[574] undertook to make his way
secretly through the enemy, for it was not possible in any other way,
and to inspect the camp, and after raising a fire-signal, if he should
find all safe there, to come back to him. The fire-signal was raised,
for Statyllius got to the camp, but as a long time elapsed and he did
not return, Brutus said, "If Statyllius is alive he will come." But it
happened that, as he was returning, he fell among the enemy and was

LII.[575] In the course of the night, Brutus, as he sat on the ground,
turned to his slave Kleitus and spoke to him. But as Kleitus kept
silence and shed tears, Brutus drew to him his shield-bearer Dardanus,
and privately said something to him. At last employing the Greek
language he addressed Volumnius and reminded them of their
philosophical studies and discipline, and he urged him to put his hand
to his sword and to aid him in the thrust. Volumnius refusing, and the
rest being in the same disposition, and some one saying that they must
not stay there, but fly, Brutus sprang up and said, "Certainly we must
fly, yet not with the feet, but with the hands." Offering his right hand
to each with a cheerful countenance, he said that he felt great
pleasure, that no one of his friends had deceived him, but he blamed
fortune with respect to his country; as for himself, he considered that
he was happier than the conquerors, in that not yesterday nor yet
recently, but even now he left behind him a reputation for virtue, which
those would not leave behind who gained the victory by arms or by money,
nor would they make people think that unjust and vile men who had
destroyed just and upright men did not rule unmeritedly. After
entreating and urging them to save themselves, he retired a little
farther with two or three, among whom was Strato who had become intimate
with him from being his instructor in rhetoric. Putting Strato close to
him, and pressing the bare sword with both hands on the handle, he fell
upon it and died. Others say that it was not Brutus himself, but Strato
who, at the earnest request of Brutus, held the sword under him,
averting his eyes, and that Brutus throwing his breast upon it with
violence, and piercing it through, quickly died.

LIII. Messala[576] who was a friend of Brutus and became reconciled to
Cæsar, once on a time when Cæsar was at leisure, brought this Strato to
him, and with tears in his eyes said, "This, Cæsar, is the man who did
the last service to my Brutus." Cæsar received Strato and kept him about
him, and Strato was one of the Greeks who showed themselves brave men in
difficulties, and in the battle at Actium. They say that Messala himself
being afterwards commended by Cæsar because, though he had been one of
their greatest enemies at Philippi for the sake of Brutus, he had shown
himself most zealous at Actium, replied, "Yes, Cæsar, I have always been
on the better and juster side." When Antonius found the body of
Brutus,[577] he ordered it to be wrapped in the most costly of his
purple vests; and when he afterwards discovered that the purple vest was
stolen, he put the thief to death. The ashes he sent to Servilia, the
mother of Brutus. Nikolaus[578] the philosopher and Valerius
Maximus[579] relate that Porcia the wife of Brutus being desirous to
die, which none of her friends would allow, but kept close and watched
her, snatched burning embers from the fire, and closing her mouth, so
died. Yet there is extant a letter of Brutus[580] to his friends in
which he upbraids them and laments about Porcia, that she was neglected
by them and had determined to die because of her sufferings from
disease. Nikolaus therefore appears not to have known the time, since
the letter, if it is genuine, informs us of the malady, and the love of
the woman and the manner of her death.


I. Among the glories of these two men's lives, it is especially to be
noticed, that each of them started from small beginnings, and yet raised
himself to the highest position in the state; and this fact is
peculiarly honourable to Dion. Brutus owed much of his success to the
help of Cassius, who, though less trustworthy than Brutus in matters of
virtue and honour, gave equal proofs of courage, skill, and energy in
war, while some writers go so far as to give him the entire credit of
the plot against Cæsar, and say that Brutus had no share in it. Dion on
the other hand was obliged to provide himself with friends and fellow
conspirators, no less than with arms, ships, and soldiers. Furthermore,
Dion did not, like Brutus, gain wealth and power by the revolution and
war which he began, but even gave his own money to support the war, and
spent the property on which he might have lived comfortably in exile in
order to make his countrymen free. We must remember, also, that Brutus
and Cassius could not have remained quiet after they left Rome, for they
had been condemned to death, and were being pursued, so that they were
forced to fight in their own defence. When they risked their lives in
battle it was for themselves that they did so more than for their
countrymen, whereas Dion lived in exile more happily than the despot who
banished him, and nevertheless exposed himself to so terrible a hazard
in order to set Sicily free.

II. Yet it was not the same thing to free the Syracusans from Dionysius
and to rid the Romans of Cæsar. Dionysius never denied that he was a
despot, and had inflicted countless miseries upon Sicily: while the
government of Cæsar, though its creation gave great offence, yet when
it had been accepted and had overcome all opposition seemed to be a
despotism merely in name, for Cæsar did nothing cruel or arbitrary, and
rather appeared to have been sent by heaven like a physician, to
establish an absolute monarchy in as mild a form as possible, at a time
when that remedy was necessary for Rome. In consequence of this the
people of Rome were grieved at the death of Cæsar, and showed themselves
harsh and inexorable to his murderers; while the severest charges which
were brought against Dion by his countrymen were that he had allowed
Dionysius to escape from Syracuse, and that he had not destroyed the
tomb of the former despot.

III. In actual warfare Dion proved himself a faultless general, as he
succeeded brilliantly in every enterprise planned by himself, and was
able to remedy the failures caused by the misconduct of others; while
Brutus seems not to have been wise in engaging in the last decisive
battle, and when it was lost did not attempt to retrieve his fortunes,
but gave himself up to despair, showing even less confidence than
Pompeius. Yet, his position was far from hopeless, for he still retained
a large part of his army, and a fleet which gave him entire command of
the sea. Again, Dion cannot be accused of any crime like that which is
the greatest blot upon the character of Brutus, who after his life had
been saved by Cæsar's goodness, and he had been allowed to save as many
as he pleased of his fellow captives, after also he had been regarded by
Cæsar as his friend, and had been promoted by Cæsar above many others,
murdered his benefactor. On the contrary, Dion was the relative and
friend of Dionysius, and assisted him in maintaining his government, and
it was not until he was expelled from his country, his wife wronged, and
his property confiscated, that he openly began a most just and lawful
war against the despot. Is there not, however, another view of this
question? That hatred of despotism and wrong which is so highly
honoured, was possessed by Brutus pure and unalloyed by personal
motives, for he had no private grudge against Cæsar, and yet risked his
life on behalf of the liberty of the people: while Dion would never have
made war against Dionysius, if he had not been wronged by him. This we
learn distinctly from Plato's letters, which prove that Dion did not
begin his revolt until he was banished by Dionysius, after which, he
deposed the tyrant. A common object made Brutus become the friend of
Pompeius, who was Cæsar's enemy both personally and politically, for
Brutus made men his friends or his enemies solely according to what he
thought right: while Dion assisted Dionysius much while he was on
friendly terms with him, and only made war against him out of anger at
his loyalty being suspected. For this reason many even of his own
friends believed that after removing Dionysius from the throne he
intended to succeed him, and to reign though under some title more
plausible than that of despot; while even the enemies of Brutus admitted
that he alone of all the conspirators against Cæsar kept one object
consistently in view, which was to restore to the Romans their ancient

IV. Apart from these considerations the struggle against Dionysius was
different from that against Cæsar. Dionysius was despised even by his
own associates for wasting all his time with drink, dice, and women;
whereas it shows a certain magnanimity, and a spirit undismayed by any
danger, to have conceived the idea of dethroning Cæsar, and not to have
been overawed by the wisdom, power, and good fortune of a man whose very
name made the kings of Parthia and India uneasy in their sleep. As soon
as Dion appeared in Sicily, thousands joined him to attack Dionysius,
while the power of Cæsar's name even after his death rallied his
friends, and enabled a helpless child to become at once the first of the
Romans by assuming it, as though it were a talisman to protect him
against the might and hatred of Antonius. If it be said that Dion only
drove out Dionysius after many fierce battles, whereas Brutus stabbed
Cæsar when he was naked and unguarded, yet it was in itself a brilliant
piece of generalship to have attacked so powerful a man when he was
naked and unguarded: for he did not attack him on a sudden impulse, or
alone, or even with a few associates; but the plot had been laid long
before, and many were concerned in it, yet none betrayed him. Either he
chose only the bravest men, or else the mere fact of their having been
chosen and trusted by Brutus made them brave. Dion on the other hand
trusted worthless men; and this is discreditable to his judgment, for
they must either have been villains when he chose them for his
followers, or else they must have been originally good, and have become
worse during their connection with him. Plato indeed blames him for
choosing such men for his friends, and at last he was murdered by them.

V. No one avenged the murder of Dion; but Antonius, though Brutus's
enemy, nevertheless buried him with honour, and Cæsar (Augustus) allowed
the honours which were paid to his memory to remain untouched. A brazen
statue of Brutus stands in the city of Milan, in Gaul, on this side of
the Alps. When Augustus saw this, which was a good likeness and a
capital piece of workmanship, he passed by it, but stopped shortly
afterwards, and before a large audience called for the magistrates of
the city, and told them that he had caught them in the act of breaking
the peace by harbouring his enemy within their walls. They at first, as
may be imagined, denied the charge, and looked at one another, not
knowing to whom he alluded. Augustus now turned round towards the
statue, and, knitting his brows, asked, "Is not this my enemy who stands
here?" At this the magistrates were even more abashed, and remained
silent. Augustus, however, smilingly commended the Gauls for remaining
true to their friends in misfortune, and ordered the statue to be left
where it stood.


I. The first Artaxerxes, who surpassed all the kings of Persia in
mildness and magnanimity of character, was surnamed Longhand, because
his right hand was larger than his left. He was the son of Xerxes; and
Artaxerxes the Second, the subject of this memoir, who was surnamed
Mnemon, was the son of the former's daughter: for Darius and Parysatis
had four children, of whom the eldest was named Artaxerxes, the next
Cyrus, and the two younger ones Ostanes and Oxathres.

Cyrus was named after the ancient king of that name, who is said to have
been taken from the sun; for the Persians are said to call the sun
Cyrus. Artaxerxes was originally named Arsikas, although the historian
Deinon states that he was named Oarses. Still Ktesias, although his
writings are full of all kinds of absurd and incredible tales, must be
supposed to know the name of the king at whose court he lived, acting as
physician to him, his mother and his wife.

II. Cyrus from his earliest youth displayed a determined and vehement
disposition, while his brother was gentler in all respects and less
passionate in his desires. He married a fair and virtuous wife at his
parents' command, and kept her against their will, for the king killed
her brother, and wished to put her also to death, but Arsikas, by tears
and entreaties, prevailed upon his mother to spare her life, and not to
separate her from him. His mother, however, always loved Cyrus more than
Artaxerxes, and wished him to become king instead of his brother. For
this reason, when Cyrus was sent for from the coast during his father's
last illness, he went to court with great expectations, imagining that
she had managed to have him declared heir to the throne. Indeed,
Parysatis had a good argument for doing so, which had formerly, at the
suggestion of Demaratus, been acted upon by the old king Xerxes; namely,
that when Arsikas was born, Darius was merely a private man, but that
when Cyrus was born he was a king. However, Parysatis did not succeed in
inducing the king to declare Cyrus his heir, but the eldest son was
proclaimed king and his name changed to Artaxerxes, while Cyrus was
appointed satrap of Lydia and ruler of the provinces on the sea coast.

III. Shortly before the death of Darius, the king Artaxerxes travelled
to Pasargadæ, in order that he might be initiated into the royal mystic
rites by the priests there. The temple is dedicated to a warlike goddess
whom one might liken to Athena. The person to be initiated enters this
temple, removes his own clothes, and puts on those which the ancient
Cyrus wore before he became king. He then eats some of a cake made of
preserved figs, tastes the fruit of the terebinth tree, and drinks a cup
of sour milk. Whether besides this he does anything else is known only
to the initiated. When Artaxerxes was about to do this Tissaphernes met
him, bringing with him one of the priests, who, when both the princes
were boys, had been Cyrus's teacher in the usual course of study, had
taught him to use incantations like a Magian, and had been especially
grieved at Cyrus not being proclaimed king. For this reason he more
easily obtained credit when he accused Cyrus; and the accusation he
brought against him was that Cyrus intended to conceal himself in the
temple, and when the king took off his clothes, to attack him and murder
him. Some writers say that this was how Cyrus came to be apprehended,
while others state that he actually got into the temple, and was there
betrayed by the priest. When he was about to be put to death, his mother
threw her arms round him, flung her hair over him, pressed his neck
against her own, and by her tears and entreaties obtained his pardon,
and got him sent back again to his government on the sea coast. He was
not satisfied with this position nor was he grateful for his pardon, but
remembered only how he had been taken into custody, and through anger
at this became all the more eager to gain the throne for himself.

IV. Some writers say that he revolted because his revenues did not
suffice for his daily expenses; but this is absurd, since, if he could
have obtained it from no other source, his mother was always ready to
supply him, and used to give as much as he wanted from her own income.
His wealth also is proved by the large mercenary force which, we learn
from Xenophon, was enlisted by his friends and guests in many different
places: for he never collected it together, as he wished to conceal his
preparations, but he kept many persons in different places who recruited
soldiers for him on various pretexts. His mother, who was present at
court, lulled the king's suspicions, and Cyrus himself constantly wrote
to him in dutiful terms, asking him to grant certain matters, and
bringing accusations against Tissaphernes, as though it was Tissaphernes
of whom he were jealous and with whom he had a quarrel. There was also a
certain slowness in the disposition of the king, which was mistaken by
the people for good nature. At the beginning of his reign, he seemed
inclined to rival the gentleness of his namesake, as he made himself
pleasant to all whom he met, distributed honours and favours even beyond
men's deserts, took no delight in insulting and torturing evil-doers,
and showed himself as affable and courteous to those from whom he
received favours as he was to those upon whom he bestowed them. No
present was so trifling that he did not receive it gladly, but even when
a man named Onisus brought him a pomegranate of unusual size, he said,
"By Mithras, if this man were given the charge of a small city he would
soon make it great!"

V. When during one of his journeys all men were bringing him presents, a
labouring man, not finding anything else to give, ran to the river, took
up some of the water in his two hands and offered it to him. Artaxerxes
was pleased with the man, and sent him a gold drinking-cup and a
thousand darics. When Eukleidas the Lacedæmonian had spoken his mind
very freely to him, he bade his general say to him, "You may say what
you please, but I may both say and do what I please." Once when they
were hunting, Teribazus pointed out to him that his coat was torn.
Artaxerxes asked what was to be done, to which Teribazus answered, "Put
on another coat, and give this one to me." He replied, "I will give it
to you, Teribazus, but I forbid you to wear it." Teribazus, however, who
was a loyal subject, but careless and flighty, immediately put on the
coat, and ornamented himself with women's necklaces belonging to the
king, so that all men were disgusted with him, for it was not lawful to
do so. The king, however, laughed, and said, "I allow you to wear the
jewelry as a woman, and the coat as a fool." Though no one eats at the
same table with the king of Persia except his mother, who sits above
him, or his wedded wife, who sits below him, Artaxerxes invited his
younger brothers also, Ostanes and Oxathres, to sit at the same table.
One of the sights which especially delighted the Persians was the
carriage in which Statira, the wife of Artaxerxes, drove, with the
curtains drawn back, for the queen allowed the people to greet her and
approach her, and was much beloved by them in consequence.

VI. However, all turbulent and unsettled spirits thought that the empire
required Cyrus at its head, since he was a brilliant and warlike prince,
a staunch friend to his comrades, and a man of intellect and ambition,
capable of wielding the enormous power of Persia. Cyrus, when he began
the war, relied upon the attachment of the people of the interior of
Asia as much as he did upon that of his own followers; and he wrote to
the Lacedæmonians, begging them to help him and to send soldiers to him,
declaring that if the soldiers came to him on foot, he would give them
horses, and if they came on horseback, he would give them carriages and
pairs, that if they possessed fields, he would give them villages, and
if they possessed villages he would give them cities; and that his
soldiers' pay should be given them by measure, instead of being counted
out to them. At the same time he boasted loudly about himself, averring
that he had a greater heart than his brother, was a better philosopher,
and was a more learned Magian, and also that he could drink and carry
more wine than his brother, who, he declared, was so lazy and cowardly
that he would not even mount a horse when hunting, or a throne in time
of peril. The Lacedæmonians now sent a skytale[581] to Klearchus,
bidding him obey the bidding of Cyrus in all things. Cyrus marched
against the King of Persia with a large force and nearly thirteen
thousand Greek mercenary troops, whom he had engaged upon various
pretences. His treason was not long undiscovered, for Tissaphernes went
in person to tell the king of it, upon which there was a terrible scene
of disorder in the palace, since Parysatis was blamed as being the chief
instigator of the war, and her friends were all viewed with suspicion as
traitors. Parysatis was especially enraged by the reproaches of Statira,
who asked her loudly, "Where now are the pledges you gave us? What has
come of the entreaties by which you begged off Cyrus when he plotted
against his brother's life, now that you have plunged us into war and
misery?" In consequence of these reproaches Parysatis conceived a
vehement hatred for Statira, and being of a fierce passionate
unforgiving temper, she plotted her destruction. Deinon states that she
effected her purpose during the war, but Ktesias says that she did the
deed afterwards, and I shall adopt his account of the matter, for it is
not probable that he, who was an eye-witness of these events, did not
know the order in which they took place, or that in his history he
should have had any reason for misrepresenting them, although he often
departs from the exact truth with a view to dramatic effect.

VII. As Cyrus marched onwards, many rumours and reports were brought to
him, that the king had determined not to fight at once, and was not
anxious to meet him in battle, but that he intended to remain in Persia
until his forces had assembled there from all parts of the empire.
Indeed, although he had dug a trench across the plain ten fathoms wide,
as many deep, and four hundred stadia long, yet he remained quiet and
permitted Cyrus to cross it, and to march close to Babylon itself.
Teribazus, we are told, was the first who ventured to tell the king that
he ought not to avoid a battle, and retreat from Media and from Babylon,
and even from Susa itself into Persia, when he possessed an army many
times as great as that of the enemy, and numberless satraps and generals
who were better generals and better soldiers than Cyrus. Upon hearing
this advice, the king determined to fight as soon as possible. At first
his sudden appearance with a splendidly equipped force of nine hundred
thousand men caused great surprise and confusion among the rebels, who
had gained such confidence that they were marching without their arms;
and it was not without much shouting and disorder that Cyrus was able to
rally them and place them in array. The king moved forward slowly and in
silence, so that the Greeks were filled with admiration at the
discipline of his army, for they had expected that in such a host there
would be disorderly shouts and irregularity and intervals in the line.
The strongest of the scythed chariots were judiciously posted by
Artaxerxes in front of his line, in order that before the two armies
engaged hand to hand they might break the enemy's ranks by the force of
their charge.

VIII. The battle[582] has been described by many writers, and as
Xenophon's narrative is so clear that the reader seems almost to be
present, and to see the different events in the act of taking place, it
would be folly for me to do more than to mention some important
particulars which he has omitted. The place where the two armies met is
called Kunaxa, and is five hundred stadia distant from Babylon. Before
the battle Klearchus is said to have advised Cyrus to post himself
behind the ranks of the soldiers, and not to risk his life; to which
Cyrus replied "What say you, Klearchus? Just when I am striving to win a
kingdom, do you bid me prove myself unworthy of one?" In the action
itself, though Cyrus made a great mistake in plunging so rashly into the
midst of the enemy without regarding the risk that he ran, yet Klearchus
was quite as much, if not more to blame for not arraying his Greeks
opposite to the Persian king, and for resting his right wing upon the
river for fear he should be surrounded. If he valued safety more than
anything else, and cared only to avoid the slightest risk of loss, he
had better have stayed at home; but after he had marched ten thousand
stadia from the sea, under no compulsion, but solely in order to place
Cyrus upon the throne of Persia, then to be solicitous, not for a post
where he might win the victory for his chief and paymaster, but merely
for one where he might fight without exposing himself, was to act like a
man who, on the first appearance of danger, abandons the whole
enterprise and gives up the object for which the expedition was made. It
is abundantly clear from what took place, that if the Greeks had charged
the troops who defended the king's person, they would have met with no
resistance, and if these men had been routed, and the king slain or
forced to take flight, Cyrus's victory would at once have placed him on
the throne. It was, therefore, the overcaution of Klearchus more than
the rashness of Cyrus which really caused the death of the latter and
the ruin of his cause; for the Persian King himself could not, if he had
wished, have placed the Greeks in a position where they could do him
less harm, for they were so far away from him and his main body that he
did not even perceive that they had routed their antagonists, and Cyrus
was slain before Klearchus could reap any advantage from his victory.
Yet Cyrus knew what was best, for he ordered Klearchus to post his men
in the centre; but Klearchus, saying that he would manage as well as he
could, ruined everything.

IX. The Greeks put the Persians to flight with the greatest ease, and
pursued them for a long distance. Cyrus, as he rode forward, mounted
upon a spirited, but hard-mouthed and unmanageable horse, which, we
learn from Ktesias was named Pasakas, was met by Artagerses, the leader
of the Kadousians, who shouted loudly, saying, "Most wicked and foolish
of men, who hast disgraced the name of Cyrus, erst the noblest in
Persia, and bringest thy base Greeks on a base errand, to plunder the
good things of the Persians, and to slay thy brother and thy lord, who
hath ten thousand times ten thousand slaves, each one better than thou
art. Soon shalt thou find out the truth of this; for before thou seest
the king's face thou shalt lose thine own head." Saying thus, he hurled
his javelin against Cyrus, but his breastplate resisted the blow, and
Cyrus was not wounded, although he reeled in his saddle from the
violence of the stroke. As Artagerses wheeled round his horse, Cyrus
struck him with a javelin, driving the point through his throat, beside
the collar-bone. That Artagerses was slain by Cyrus nearly all
historians agree, but as to the death of Cyrus himself, since Xenophon
has described it very shortly, as he was not an eye-witness of it, we
may as well give the accounts of it which Deinon and which Ktesias have

X. Deinon says that when Artagerses fell, Cyrus charged violently among
the troops round the king, and wounded the king's horse. Artaxerxes was
thrown from his horse, but Teribazus quickly mounted him upon another
horse, saying, "My king, remember this day, for you ought not to forget
it." Artaxerxes, he states, was again thrown from his horse by the
vehement onset of Cyrus, and again mounted. At the third charge the king
who was violently enraged, and cried out to those around him that it was
better to die than be treated thus, rode straight against Cyrus, who
rashly and heedlessly exposed himself to the missiles of his enemies.
The king hurled a dart at Cyrus, and so did all his followers. Cyrus
fell, struck, some say by the king himself, but according to others he
was slain by a Carian soldier, on whom the king afterwards, as a reward
for this feat of arms, bestowed the honour of marching at the head of
the army, carrying a golden cock upon a spear. Indeed the Persians call
the Carians themselves cocks, because of the plumes with which they
ornament their helmets.

XI. The story of Ktesias, reduced to a succinct form, is as
follows:--Cyrus, after slaying Artagerses, rode towards the king himself,
and the king rode towards him, both of them in silence. Ariaeus, the
friend of Cyrus, struck the king first but did not wound him. The king
hurled his spear and missed Cyrus, but struck Satiphernes, a man of
noble birth and a trusted friend of Cyrus, and slew him. Cyrus hurled
his javelin at the king, drove it through his breastplate, making a
wound in his breast two fingers' breadths deep, and cast him from his
horse. Upon this there was much disorder, and many took to flight. The
king rose, and with a few followers, among whom was Ktesias, took
refuge on a hill hard by. Meanwhile Cyrus was carried by his horse a
long distance forward into the midst of his enemies, and, as it was now
growing dark, he was not recognised by his foes, and was being sought
for in vain by his friends. Excited by his victory, and full of spirit
and pride, he rode about through the ranks, crying, "Out of my way,
wretches." As Cyrus shouted these words in Persian, some made way for
him, but the tiara fell from his head, and a young man named
Mithridates, not knowing who he was, hurled a javelin and struck him on
the temple near the eye. The wound bled profusely, and Cyrus became
dizzy and faint, so that he fell from his horse. The horse rushed away
from him and was lost, but the servant of the man who struck Cyrus took
up his saddle-cloth, which fell from his horse, and which was drenched
with blood.

When Cyrus began to recover from the effects of this blow, some few of
his eunuchs tried to mount him upon another horse and get him safe away
from the field. As, however, he could not mount, he proposed to walk,
and the eunuchs supported him as he went, faint and weak in his body,
but still imagining himself to be the victor as he heard the fugitives
calling Cyrus their king and begging him for mercy. At this time certain
men of Kaunus, of mean and low condition, who followed the king's army
to perform menial services, happened to join the party with Cyrus,
supposing them to be friends. When, however, they managed to distinguish
that the surcoats which they wore over their armour were purple, while
all the king's soldiers wore white ones, they perceived that they were
enemies. One of them ventured to strike Cyrus from behind with a spear,
not knowing who he was. The javelin struck Cyrus behind the knee,
cutting the vein there, and in his fall he also struck his wounded
temple against a stone, and so died. This is the story of Ktesias, in
which he seems, as it were, to hack poor Cyrus to death with a blunt

XII. When Cyrus was dead it happened that Artasyras, who was called the
king's eye,[583] rode past. Recognising the eunuchs who were mourning
over the body, he asked the most trusted of them, "Pariskas, who is this
beside whom you sit weeping?" He answered, "Artasyras, do you not see
that it is Cyrus, who is dead?" Artasyras was astonished at this news,
bade the eunuch be of good courage and guard the body, and himself rode
in haste to Artaxerxes, who had given up all hope of success, and was in
great bodily suffering from his wound and from thirst. Artasyras, with
great delight, told him that he had seen Cyrus lying dead. On hearing
this Artaxerxes at first wished to go to see it himself, and bade
Artasyras lead him to the spot; but as there was much talk and fear of
the Greeks, who were said to be advancing and carrying all before them;
he decided to send a party to view the body; and thirty men went
carrying torches. Meanwhile, as the king himself was almost dying of
thirst the eunuch Satibarzanes went in search of drink for him; for
there was no water in the place where he was, nor indeed anywhere near
the army. After much trouble the eunuch at length fell in with one of
the low Kaunian camp followers, who had about four pints of putrid water
in a skin, which he took from the man and carried it to the king. When
the king had drunk it all, he asked him if he was not disgusted with the
water; and the king swore by the gods that he never had drank either
wine or the purest of water with such pleasure. "So," added he, "if I be
not able to find the man who gave you this water and reward him for it,
I pray that the gods may make him rich and happy."

XIII. While they were talking thus, the thirty men rode up in high
spirits, announcing to him his unlooked-for good fortune. Artaxerxes now
began to recover his courage from the number of men who began to
assemble round him, and descended from the hill amidst the glare of many
torches. When he reached the body, the head and right hand were cut off,
in accordance with some Persian custom. He ordered the head to be
brought to him, took hold of it by the long thick hair, and showed it to
those who were still wavering or fleeing. They all were filled with
amazement, and did homage to him, so that he soon collected a force of
seventy thousand men, accompanied by whom he re-entered his camp. He had
left it in the morning, according to Ktesias, with an army of four
hundred thousand men; though Deinon and Xenophon both estimate the
forces actually engaged at a higher figure. Ktesias states that the
number of the dead was returned to Artaxerxes as nine thousand, but that
he himself thought that the corpses which he saw lying on the field must
amount to more than twenty thousand. This point admits of discussion;
but Ktesias tells an obvious untruth when he says that he was sent on an
embassy to the Greeks, together with Phalinus of Zakynthus, and some
other persons. Xenophon knew that Ktesias was at the king's court, for
he makes mention of him, and has evidently read his history; so that he
never would have passed him over, and only mentioned Phalinus of
Zakynthus, if Ktesias had really come as interpreter on a mission of
such importance. But Ktesias, being a wonderfully vain man, and
especially attached to the Lacedæmonians and to Klearchus, constantly in
his history introduces himself, while he sings the praises of Lacedæmon
and of Klearchus.

XIV. After the battle, Artaxerxes sent most splendid and valuable
presents to Artagerses, the son of the man who had been slain by Cyrus,
and handsomely rewarded Ktesias and the rest of his companions. He
sought out the Kaunian from whom he had received the water-skin, who was
a poor and humble man, and made him rich and honoured. He also took
pains to appoint suitable punishments to those who had misconducted
themselves. One Arbakes, a Mede, deserted to Cyrus during the battle,
and when Cyrus fell again returned to his allegiance. Artaxerxes,
perceiving that he had done so not from treachery but from sheer
cowardice, ordered him to carry a naked courtesan about the market-place
upon his shoulders for the whole of one day. Another deserter, who
besides changing sides falsely boasted that he had slain two of the
enemy, was condemned by the king to have his tongue pierced with three
needles. As Artaxerxes believed, and wished all men to think that he had
himself slain Cyrus, he sent presents to Mithridates, who was the first
man that wounded Cyrus, and bade those who carried the presents say,
"The king honours you with these presents, because you found Cyrus's
saddle-cloth and brought it to him." And when the Carian, who had
struck Cyrus under the knee, demanded a present, he bade those who
carried the presents say, "The king gives you these for having been
second to bring him the good news; for Artasyras first, and you next,
brought him the news of the death of Cyrus." Mithridates retired in
silence, much vexed at this; but the unhappy Carian, as often happens,
was ruined by his own folly. Excited by his good fortune into trying to
obtain more than became him, he refused to take what was offered him for
having brought good news, but remonstrated loudly, declaring that he,
and no one else, slew Cyrus, and that he was most unjustly being
deprived of the credit of the action. The king, when he heard this, was
greatly angered, and ordered the man's head to be struck off. His
mother, Parysatis, who was present, said, "My king, do not thus rid
yourself of this pestilent Carian. He shall receive from me a fitting
punishment for what he has dared to say." The king handed him over to
her, and Parysatis ordered the executioners to torture him for ten days,
and then to tear out his eyes and pour molten copper into his ears until
he died.

XV. Mithridates also came to an evil end after a few days by his folly.
He came dressed in the robe, and adorned with the ornaments which he had
received from the king, to a banquet at which the eunuchs of the king
and of the king's mother were present. When they began to drink the most
influential of the eunuchs of Parysatis said to him: "What a fine dress,
Mithridates, and what fine necklaces and bracelet the king has given
you! How valuable is your scimitar? Indeed, he has made you fortunate
and envied by all men." Mithridates, who was already in liquor,
answered: "What are these things, Sparamixes? I proved myself on that
day worth more than these to the king." Sparamixes smiled and said, "I
do not grudge you them, Mithridates, but come--as the Greeks say that
there is truth in wine--tell us how it can be so great or brilliant an
achievement to find a saddle-cloth that has fallen off a horse, and to
bring it to the king." This the eunuch said, not because he did not know
the truth, but because he wished to lead Mithridates, whose tongue was
loosened by wine, to expose his folly before the company. Mithridates
could not restrain himself, and said: "You may say what you please
about saddle-cloths and such nonsense; I tell you plainly, that it was
by my hand that Cyrus fell. I did not hurl my javelin in vain, like
Artagerses, but I just missed his eye, struck him through the temple,
and felled him to the ground; and with that blow he died." All the rest
of the guests, foreseeing the miserable end to which Mithridates would
certainly come, cast their eyes upon the ground; but the host said: "My
good Mithridates, let us now eat and drink, adoring the fortune of the
king, but let us not talk about subjects which are too high for us."

XVI. After this, the eunuch told Parysatis what Mithridates had said,
and she told the king, who was much enraged, because he was proved not
to have spoken the truth, and had been deprived of the sweetest part of
his victory; for he wished to persuade all men, Asiatics and Greeks
alike, that in the skirmish when he and his brother met he himself had
been wounded by Cyrus, but had struck him dead. He therefore condemned
Mithridates to the punishment of the boat. This is as follows:--Two
wooden boats are made, which fit together. The criminal is placed on his
back in one of them, and then the other is placed over him, and the two
are fastened so as to leave his head, feet, and hands outside, but
covering all the rest of his body. They give him food, and if he refuses
it, they force him to eat it by pricking his eyes. When he has eaten
they pour a mixture of milk and honey into his mouth and over his face.
They then keep turning his eyes towards the sun, his whole face becomes
completely covered with flies. As all his evacuations are necessarily
contained within the boat, worms and maggots are generated from the
corruption, which eat into his body; for when the man is certainly dead,
they take off the upper boat and find all his flesh eaten away, and
swarms of these animals clinging to his bowels and devouring them. In
this way Mithridates died, after enduring his misery for seventeen days.

XVII. The only remaining object of the vengeance of Parysatis was
Masabates, the king's eunuch who cut off the head and hand of Cyrus. As
he gave no handle against himself, Parysatis devised the following plot
against him. She was naturally a clever woman, and was fond of playing
with the dice. Before the war, she had often played with dice with the
king; and after the war when she became reconciled to him she took part
in his amusements, played at games with him, encouraged his amours, and
altogether permitted Statira to have but very little of his society; for
Parysatis hated Statira more than any one else, and wished to have most
influence with Artaxerxes herself. Finding Artaxerxes one day eager for
amusement, as he had nothing to do, she challenged him to play for a
thousand darics. She purposely allowed her son to win, and paid him the
money: and then pretending to be vexed at her loss, called on him to
cast the dice afresh for a eunuch. Artaxerxes agreed, and they agreed to
play upon the condition that each of them should set apart five of their
most trusty eunuchs, and that the winner was to have his choice of the
rest. On these terms they played; and Parysatis, who gave the closest
attention to her game, and was also favoured by fortune, won, and chose
Masabates, who was not one of the excepted ones. Before the king
suspected her purpose she had Masabates arrested, and delivered him to
the executioners with orders to flay him alive, impale his body sideways
upon three stakes, and hang up his skin separately. This was done; and
as the king was greatly grieved at it and was angry with her, she smiled
and said ironically: "How pleasant and well-mannered you are, to be
angry about a miserable old eunuch, whereas I have lost a thousand
darics at dice and say nothing about it." The king, though he was sorry
to have been so cheated, yet remained quiet; but Statira, who indeed
often on other occasions openly braved Parysatis, was very indignant
with her for so cruelly and unjustly putting the king's faithful eunuch
to death for Cyrus's sake.

XVIII. When Tissaphernes betrayed Klearchus and the other generals,
broke his plighted word, seized them and sent them away in chains,
Ktesias tells us that Klearchus asked him to provide him with a comb.
When Klearchus received it and combed his hair with it, he was so much
pleased that he gave Ktesias his ring, to be a token to all Klearchus's
friends and relatives in Lacedæmon of his friendship for Ktesias. The
device engraved upon the ring was a dance of Karyatides. At first the
soldiers who were imprisoned with Klearchus took away the provisions
which were sent to him and ate them themselves, giving him but a small
part of them. Ktesias says that he remedied this also, by arranging that
a larger portion should be sent to Klearchus, and that a separate
allowance should be given to the soldiers. All these services Ktesias
states that he rendered in consequence of the favour of Parysatis for
the captives, and at her instigation. He says, also, that as he sent
Klearchus a joint of meat daily in addition to his other provisions,
Klearchus begged him and assured him that it was his duty to hide a
small dagger in the meat, and send it to him, and not to allow him to be
cruelly put to death by the king; but he was afraid, and did not dare to
do it. Ktesias says that the king's mother pleaded with him for the life
of Klearchus, and that he agreed to spare him, and even swore to do so,
but that he was again overruled by Statira, and put them all to death
except Menon. It was in consequence of this, according to Ktesias, that
Parysatis began to plot against Statira, and devised the plan for
poisoning her, though it seems very unlikely that it was only for the
sake of Klearchus that she dared to do such wickedness as to murder the
lawful wife of her king, who was the mother of the heirs to the throne.
But clearly all this was written merely for dramatic effect, to do
honour to the memory of Klearchus. Ktesias writes, too, that when the
generals were put to death the remains of the others were thrown away to
be devoured by the dogs and fowls of the air; but that a violent storm
of wind heaped much earth over the body of Klearchus, and that from some
dates which were scattered around there soon sprung up a fair and shady
grove above the place where he lay, so that the king sorely repented of
what he had done, thinking that in Klearchus he had slain one who was a
favourite of the gods.

XIX. Parysatis, who had long been jealous of Statira and hated her, and
who saw that her own power depended merely on the respect with which she
was regarded by the king, who loved and trusted Statira, now determined
to destroy her, though at the most terrible risk to herself. She had a
faithful maid-servant, named Gigis, who was high in her favour, whom
Deinon accuses of having assisted to administer the poison, though
Ktesias says that she was only privy to the plot, and that against her
will. Ktesias says that the man who procured the poison was named
Belitaris, but Deinon calls him Melantas. Now the two queens, leaving
off their former hatred and suspicion, began again to visit one another
and to dine together, but yet mistrusted each other so much that they
only ate the same food from the same dishes. There is in Persia a small
bird, which has no excrements, but all its entrails are filled with
solid fat; it is supposed that it feeds upon air and dew; the name of it
is _rhyntakes_. Ktesias states that Parysatis cut this bird in two with
a small knife, one side of which was smeared over with the poison. As
she cut it, she wiped the poison off the blade on to one piece of the
bird, which she gave to Statira, while she ate the untouched portion
herself. Deinon, however, says that it was not Parysatis, but Melantas,
who cut off the poisoned part of the meat and gave it to Statira. As
Statira perished in dreadful agonies and convulsions, she herself
perceived that she had been poisoned, and directed the suspicions of the
king against his mother, knowing, as he did, her fierce and rancorous
disposition. He at once began to search for the author of the crime,
seized all his mother's servants and the attendants at her table, and
put them to the torture, except Gigis, whom Parysatis kept for a long
time at home with herself, and refused to deliver up, though afterwards,
when Gigis begged to be sent to her own home, the king heard of it, laid
an ambuscade, caught her, and condemned her to death. Poisoners are put
to death in Persia in the following manner: their heads are placed upon
a flat stone, and are then beaten with another stone until the face and
skull is crushed. Gigis perished in this manner; but Artaxerxes said and
did nothing to Parysatis, except that he sent her to Babylon, at her own
request, saying that he himself should not see Babylon as long as she
lived. Such were the domestic troubles of Artaxerxes.

XX. Though the king was as anxious to get the Greek troops, who
accompanied Cyrus, into his power as he had been to conquer Cyrus
himself and to save his throne, yet he could not do so: for though they
had lost their leader, Cyrus, and all their generals, yet they got away
safe after having penetrated almost as far as the king's palace itself,
proving clearly to the world that the Persian empire, in spite of all
its gold and luxury and beautiful women, was mere empty bombast without
any real strength. Upon this all Greece took courage and despised the
Asiatics, while the Lacedæmonians felt that it would be a disgrace to
them not to set free the enslaved Greeks of Asia Minor, and put a stop
to the insolence of the Persians. Their army was at first commanded by
Thimbron, and afterwards by Derkyllidas, but as neither of these
effected anything of importance, they entrusted the conduct of the war
to their king Agesilaus. He crossed over to Asia with the fleet, and at
once began to act with vigour. He gained much glory, defeated
Tissaphernes, and set free the Greek cities from the Persians.
Artaxerxes, upon this, having carefully considered how it would be best
for him to contend with the Greeks, sent Timokrates of Rhodes into
Greece with a large sum of money, and ordered him to corrupt the most
important persons in each city by offering bribes to them, and to stir
up the Greeks to make war against Lacedæmon. Timokrates did so, and as
the greatest states formed a league, and Peloponnesus was in great
confusion, the government ordered Agesilaus to return from Asia. On his
departure on this occasion he is said to have remarked to his friends
that he was being driven out of Asia by the King of Persia with thirty
thousand archers; for the Persian coins bear the device of an archer.

XXI. Artaxerxes also chased the Lacedæmonians from the sea, making use
for this purpose of Konon, the Athenian, as his admiral in conjunction
with Pharnabazus. Konon, after the battle of Ægospotami, had retired to
Cyprus, where he remained, not so much in order to ensure his own safety
as to watch for a favourable opportunity, as one waits for the turn of
the tide. Observing that while he possessed skill without power, the
King of Persia possessed power without an able man to direct it, he
wrote a letter to the king expressing these ideas. He ordered the man
who carried the letter to make it reach the king, if possible, by the
hands of Zeno the Cretan, or of Polykritus of Mende. Of these men, Zeno
was a dancer, and Polykritus a physician. If these men should be absent
he ordered the man to give the letter to Ktesias the physician. It is
said that Ktesias received the letter and that he added to what Konon
had written a paragraph bidding the king send Ktesias to him, as he
would be a useful person to superintend naval operations. Ktesias,
however, says that the king of his own accord appointed him to this
service. Artaxerxes, now, by means of Pharnabazus and Konon, gained the
sea-fight of Knidos, deprived the Lacedæmonians of the empire of the
sea, and established so great an ascendancy over the Greeks that he was
able to conclude with them the celebrated peace which was known as the
peace of Antalkidas. This Antalkidas was a Spartan, the son of Leon; and
he being entirely in the interests of the King of Persia, prevailed upon
the Lacedæmonians to allow him to possess all the Greek cities in Asia,
and all the islands off the coast, as his subjects and tributaries, as
the result of the peace, if that can be called a peace, which was really
an insult and betrayal of Greece to the enemy; for no war could have
ended more disgracefully for the vanquished.

XXII. It follows from this that Artaxerxes, who, we learn from Deinon,
always disliked all other Spartans, and thought them the most insolent
of mankind, when he visited Persia, showed especial favour to
Antalkidas. Once, after dinner, he took a garland of flowers, dipped it
in the most valuable perfume, and sent it to Antalkidas. All men
wondered at this mark of favour; but, it appears, Antalkidas was just
the man to receive such presents, and to be corrupted by the luxury of
the Persians, as he did not scruple to disgrace the memory of Leonidas
and Kalikratidas by his conduct among them. When some one said to
Agesilaus, "Alas for Hellas, when the Lacedæmonians are Medising."
Agesilaus answered "Is it not rather the Medes that are Laconising." Yet
the cleverness of this retort did not take away the disgrace of the
transaction, for, though the Lacedæmonians lost their empire at the
battle of Leuktra by their bad generalship, yet the glory of Sparta was
lost before, by that shameful treaty. While Sparta was the leading state
in Greece, Artaxerxes made Antalkidas his guest, and spoke of him as
his friend; but when after the defeat at Leuktra the Lacedæmonians were
humbled to the dust, and were in such distress for money that they sent
Agesilaus to Egypt to serve for hire, Antalkidas again came to the court
of Artaxerxes to beg him to help the Lacedæmonians. But Artaxerxes
treated him with such neglect, and so contemptuously refused his
request, that Antalkidas, on his return, jeered at by his enemies, and
afraid moreover of the anger of the Ephors, starved himself to death.
There went also to the King of Persia Ismenias of Thebes, and Pelopidas
who had just won the battle of Leuktra. Pelopidas would not disgrace
himself by any show of servility; but Ismenias, when ordered to do
reverence to the king, dropped his ring, and then stooped to pick it up,
so that he appeared to bow to the earth before him. Artaxerxes was so
much pleased with Timagoras of Athens, who gave some secret intelligence
in a letter which he sent by a secretary named Beluris, that he gave him
a thousand darics, and, as he was in weak health and required milk sent
eighty milch cows to accompany him. He also sent him a bed with
bed-clothes and attendants to make it, as though Greeks did not know
how, and bearers to carry him in a litter down to the sea-coast, on
account of his indisposition. When he was at court, also, the king sent
him a magnificent banquet, so that the king's brother, Ostanes, said to
him, "Timagoras, remember this table; for it is not for slight services
that it is so splendidly set out." This he said rather to reproach him
for his treachery than to remind him to be grateful. However, the
Athenians put Timagoras to death for taking bribes from the king.

XXIII. Although many of the acts of Artaxerxes grieved the Greeks, yet
they were delighted with one of them, for he put to death Tissaphernes,
their bitterest enemy. This he did in consequence of an intrigue of
Parysatis; for Artaxerxes did not long continue angry with his mother,
but became reconciled with her, and sent for her to his court, as he
felt that her understanding and spirit would help him to govern, while
there remained no further causes of variance between them. Henceforth
she endeavoured in everything to please the king, and gained great
influence with him by never opposing any of his wishes. She now
perceived that he was violently enamoured of one of his own daughters,
named Atossa, but that, chiefly on his mother's account, he concealed
his love and restrained himself, though some historians state that he
had already had some secret commerce with the girl. When Parysatis
suspected this, she caressed the girl more than ever, and was
continually praising her beauty and good qualities to the king, saying
that she was a noble lady and fit to be a queen. At last she persuaded
him into marrying the girl and proclaiming her as his lawful wife,
disregarding the opinions and customs of the Greeks, and declaring that
he himself was a law to the Persians and able to decide for himself what
was right and wrong. Some writers, however, amongst whom is Herakleides
of Kyme, state that Artaxerxes, besides Atossa, married another of his
daughters, named Amestris, of whom I shall shortly afterwards make
mention. Atossa lived with her father as his wife, and was so much
beloved by him, that when leprosy broke out over her body he was not at
all disgusted with her, but prayed for her to Hera alone of all the
goddesses, prostrating himself in her temple and grasping the earth with
his hands, while he ordered his satraps and friends to send so many
presents to the goddess, that all the space between the palace and the
temple, a distance of sixteen stadia (two English miles) was filled with
gold and silver, and horses, and purple dyed stuffs.

XXIV. He appointed Pharnabazus and Iphikrates to conduct a war against
Egypt,[584] which failed through the dissensions of the generals; and he
himself led an army of three hundred thousand foot and ten thousand
horse against the Kadousians.[585] On this occasion he insensibly placed
himself in a position of great peril as he entered a difficult and foggy
country, which produces no crops that grow from seed, but is inhabited
by a fierce and warlike race of men who feed upon apples, pears, and
other fruits which are found upon trees. No provisions could be found
in this country, nor yet be brought into it from without, and the army
was reduced to slaughtering the beasts of burden, so that an ass's head
sold for more than sixty drachmas. The king's own table was scantily
furnished; and but few of the horses remained alive, all the rest having
been eaten. At this crisis Teribazus, a man who had often made himself
the first man in the state by his bravery, and as often fallen into
disrepute by folly, and who was then in a very humble and despicable
position, saved both the king and his army. The Kadousians had two
kings, each of whom occupied a separate camp. Teribazus, after having
explained to Artaxerxes what he was about to do, himself went to one of
these camps, and sent his son to the other. Each of them deceived the
king to whom he went, by saying that the other king was about to send an
embassy to Artaxerxes, offering to make peace and contract an alliance
with him for himself alone. "If, then, you are wise," said they, "you
will be beforehand with your rival, and I will manage the whole affair
for you." Both of the kings were imposed upon in this manner, and, in
their eagerness to steal a march upon one another, one of them sent
ambassadors to the Persians with Teribazus, and the other with his son.
As Teribazus was a long while absent, Artaxerxes began to suspect his
fidelity, and he fell into a very desponding condition, regretting that
he had trusted Teribazus, and listening to his detractors. When,
however, Teribazus arrived, and his son arrived also, each bringing
ambassadors from the Kadousians, and a treaty of peace was concluded,
Teribazus became again a great and important personage. In this campaign
Artaxerxes proved that cowardice and effeminacy arise only from a
depraved disposition and natural meanness of spirit, not, as the vulgar
imagine, from wealth and luxury; for in spite of the splendid dress and
ornaments, valued at twelve thousand talents, which he always wore, the
king laboured as hard, and suffered as great privations, as any common
soldier, never mounting his horse, but always leading the way on foot up
steep and rugged mountain paths, with his quiver on his shoulder, and
his shield on his left arm, so that all the rest were inspirited and
encouraged by seeing his eagerness and vigour; for he accomplished every
day a march of upwards of two hundred stadia.

XXV. When during cold weather the army, encamped in a royal domain,
which was full of parks and fine trees, while all the rest of the
country was bare and desert, he permitted the soldiers to gather wood
from the royal park, and gave them leave to cut down the trees, without
sparing either fir trees or cypresses. As they hesitated, and wished to
spare the trees because of their size and beauty, he himself took an axe
and cut down the largest and finest tree of all. After this they
provided themselves with wood, lighted many fires, and passed a
comfortable night.

On his return from this campaign he found that he had lost many brave
men, and almost all his horses. He fancied that he was regarded with
contempt because of his failure, and began to view all the great men of
the kingdom with suspicion. Many of them he put to death in anger, but
more because he feared them--for fear makes kings cruel, while cheerful
confidence renders them gentle, merciful, and unsuspicious. For this
reason, the beasts that start at the least noise are the most difficult
to tame, while those which are of a more courageous spirit have more
confidence and do not shrink from men's advances.

XXVI. Artaxerxes, who was now very old, perceived that his sons were
caballing with their friends and with the chief nobles of the kingdom to
secure the succession. The more respectable of these thought that
Artaxerxes ought to leave the crown to his eldest son Darius, as he
himself had inherited it, but Ochus his younger son, who was of a
vehement and fierce disposition, had a very considerable party, who were
ready to support his claims, and hoped to be able to influence his
father by means of Atossa; for he paid her especial attention, and gave
out that he intended to marry her and make her his queen after his
father's death. It was even said that he intrigued with her during his
father's life. Artaxerxes knew nothing of this: but as he wished to cut
off the hopes of Ochus at once, for fear that he might do as Cyrus had
done, and again plunge the kingdom in wars and disorders, he proclaimed
Darius his heir, and allowed him to wear his tiara erect. There is a
custom among the Persians that whoever is declared heir to the throne
may ask for anything that he pleases, and that the king who has
nominated him must, if possible, grant his request. Darius, in
accordance with this custom, asked for Aspasia, the favourite of Cyrus,
who was at that time living in the harem of Artaxerxes. This lady was a
native of the city of Phokæa in Ionia, born of free parents, and
respectably brought up. When she was introduced to Cyrus at supper, with
several other women, the others sat down beside him, permitted him to
touch them and sport with them, and were not offended at his
familiarities, but she stood in silence near the couch on which Cyrus
reclined, and refused to come to him when he called her. When his
chamberlains approached her, meaning to bring her to him by force, she
said, "Whoever lays hands on me shall smart for it." The company thought
her very rude and ill-mannered, but Cyrus was pleased with her spirits,
and said, with a smile, to the man who had brought her, "Do you not see
that this is the only ladylike and respectable one of them all." After
this he became much attached to her, loved her above all other women,
and used to call her "Aspasia the wise." When Cyrus fell and his camp
was plundered she was taken prisoner.

XXVII. Now, Darius vexed his father by asking for this lady; for the
Persians are excessively jealous about their women; indeed, not only all
who approach and speak to one of the king's concubines, but even any one
who drives past or crosses their litters on the high road, is punished
with death. Yet, Artaxerxes, through sheer passion, had made Atossa his
wife, and kept three hundred most beautiful concubines. However, when
Darius made this request, he replied that Aspasia was a free woman, and
said that if she was willing he might take her, but that he would not
force her to go against her will. When she was sent for, as she,
contrary to the king's expectation, chose to go to Darius, the king let
her go, for the law compelled him to do so, but he soon afterwards took
her away from him again: for he appointed her priestess of the temple
of Artemis, called Anäitis, at Ekbatana, in order that she might spend
the rest of her life in chastity. This he considered to be not a harsh,
but rather a playful way of reproving his son; but Darius was much
enraged at it, either because he was so deeply enamoured of Aspasia, or
because he thought that he was being wantonly insulted by his father.
Teribazus, perceiving his anger, confirmed him in it, because he saw in
the treatment which Darius had received the counterpart of that which
had befallen himself. The king, who had several daughters, promised
Apama to Pharnabazus, Rhodogoune to Orontes, and Amestris to Teribazus.
He kept his word with the two former, but broke it to Teribazus by
marrying Amestris himself, and betrothing his youngest daughter Atossa
to him in her stead. When, as has been related, he fell in love with her
also and married her, Teribazus became bitterly enraged against him,
being of an unstable and fickle disposition, without any steady
principles. For this reason he never could bear either bad or good
fortune, but at one time he was honoured as one of the greatest men in
the kingdom, and then swaggered insufferably, while when he was
disgraced and reduced to poverty he could not bear his reverse of
fortune with a good grace, but became insolent and offensive.

XXVIII. It may be imagined that the company of Teribazus was to Darius
as fuel to fire, for Teribazus was constantly repeating to him that it
was of no use for him to wear his tiara upright if he did not mean to
advance his own interests, and that he was a fool if he imagined that he
could inherit the crown without a struggle when his brother was bringing
female influence to bear to secure his own succession, and when his
father was in such a vacillating and uncertain frame of mind. He who
could break the laws of the Persians--which may not be broken--out of his
passion for a Greek girl, cannot be urged, be trusted, to keep the most
important engagements. It was, moreover, a very different thing for
Ochus not to obtain the crown, and for him to be deprived of it, for
there was no reason why Ochus should not live happily in a private
station, whereas he, having been appointed heir to the throne, must
either become king or perish.

Generally speaking, perhaps we may say with Sophocles, "Swift runneth
evil counsel to its goal," for men find the path smooth and easy towards
what they desire, and most men desire what is wrong, because of their
ignorance and low mindedness. Yet, besides all these considerations, the
greatness of the empire, and the fear with which Ochus inspired Darius,
also afforded arguments to Teribazus. Nor was the goddess of Love
entirely blameless in the matter, for Darius was already incensed at the
loss of Aspasia.

XXIX. He, therefore, placed himself entirely in the hands of Teribazus;
and many joined in their conspiracy. But the plot was betrayed to the
king by a eunuch, who had a perfect knowledge of their plans, and knew
that they had determined to break into the king's chamber by night and
murder him in his bed. When Artaxerxes heard this he was perplexed; for
he felt that it would be wrong for him to neglect the information which
he had received of so great a danger, and yet that it would be even
worse to believe the eunuch's story without any proofs of its truth. He
therefore ordered the eunuch to join the conspirators, and to enter his
chamber with them. Meanwhile he had a door made in the wall behind his
bed, and concealed it with tapestry. When the appointed time arrived, of
which he was warned by the eunuch, he lay upon his bed, and did not rise
before he had seen the faces of the conspirators and clearly recognised
each of them. But when he saw them draw their daggers and rush upon him,
he quickly raised the tapestry, passed into the inner room, and slammed
the door, crying aloud for help. The would-be murderers, having been
seen by the king, but having effected nothing, rushed away through the
gates of the palace, and especially warned Teribazus to fly, as he had
been distinctly seen. The others dispersed and escaped, but Teribazus
was surrounded, and after killing many of the king's body guard with his
own hand was at last despatched by a javelin hurled from a distance.
Darius and his children were brought before a court formed of the royal
judges, who were appointed by the king to try him. As the king himself
did not appear but impeached him by proxy, he ordered clerks to write
down the decision of each judge and to bring it to him. As all decided
alike, and sentenced Darius to death, the officers of the court removed
him into a prison hard by. The executioner now came, bearing in his hand
the razor, with which the heads of criminals are cut off, but when he
saw Darius he was dismayed, and ran back to the door with his face
averted, declaring that he could not and dared not lay hands upon his
king. As, however, he was met outside by the judges, who threatened him
and ordered him to do his duty, he returned, took hold of Darius's hair
with his left hand, dragged down his head, and severed his neck with the
razor. Some historians state that the king himself was present at the
trial, and that Darius, when proved guilty, fell on his face and begged
for mercy: at which the king sprung up in anger, drew his dagger, and
stabbed him mortally. They add that Artaxerxes, after he had returned to
his palace, came forward publicly, did obeisance to the sun, and then
said aloud, "Men of Persia, be of good cheer, and go, tell the rest of
my subjects that the great Oromasdes has executed judgment upon those
who formed a wicked and treasonable plot."

XXX. This was the end of the conspiracy; and now Ochus was encouraged by
Atossa to form high hopes, though he still feared his remaining
legitimate brother Ariaspes, and his natural brother Arsames. The
Persians wished Ariaspes to be their king, not because he was older than
Ochus, but because he was of a gentle and kind disposition; while Ochus
observed that Arsames was of a keen intellect, and was especially
beloved by his father. He, therefore, plotted against both of them, and
as he was by nature both crafty and cruel, he indulged his cruelty in
his treatment of Arsames, while he made use of his cunning to ruin
Ariaspes. He kept sending to this latter eunuchs and friends of the
king, who, with an affection of secrecy, continually told him frightful
tales of how his father had determined to put him to death with every
circumstance of cruelty and insult. These messengers, by daily
communicating these fabrications to him, saying that the king was on the
very eve of carrying them into operation, threw the unhappy man into
such a terrible state of despair and excitement of mind that he ended
his life by poison. The king, on hearing of the manner of his death,
lamented for him, and had some suspicions about how he came by his end;
but as he was unable to verify them and discover the truth, on account
of his great age, he attached himself all the more warmly to Arsames, so
that he was well known to trust and confide in him above all others.
Yet, Ochus was not discouraged by this, but finding a suitable
instrument in Arpates the son of Teribazus, induced him to assassinate
Arsames. Artaxerxes, when this happened, was so old that his life hung
by a mere thread; and when this last blow fell, he could bear up no
longer, but sunk at once through grief and misery. He lived ninety-four
years, and reigned sixty-two, and was thought to be a mild prince, and a
lover of his subjects, though this was chiefly because of his successor,
Ochus, who was the most savage and cruel tyrant that ever ruled in


I. It seems to me, my Polykrates, that it was in order to avoid the
ill-omened sound of the old proverb, that the philosopher Chrysippus
altered it into what he thought a better version:

   "Who vaunt their fathers, save the best of sons?"

but Dionysodorus of Troezene proves him to be wrong, and restores the
proverb to its original form:

   "Who vaunt their fathers, save the worst of sons?"

and explains that the proverb was intended to apply to those who are
utterly worthless in themselves, but who shelter their own evil lives
behind the virtues of their ancestors, and who pride themselves on their
ancestors' glory as though it were their own. Yet, in one who, like
yourself, "by birth inherits glory from a noble race," as Pindar has it,
and who, as you do, imitates in his own life the noblest examples of his
ancestry, may well take pleasure in discoursing upon the lives of
well-born men, and in listening to the remarks of others about them.
They do not depend for praise upon the lives of other men, because there
is nothing to be admired in themselves, but they combine the glory of
their ancestors with their own, and honour them both as having founded
their families and as having set examples to be imitated. For this
reason I have sent to you the life of Aratus, which I have compiled, not
that I was not aware that you had carefully studied all his achievements
and were well acquainted with them, but with the hope that your sons,
Polykrates and Pythokles, might be brought up to imitate the glorious
example of their forefathers, and might learn to walk in their footsteps
by reading and discussing the history of their exploits. Indeed, to
imagine that one has already arrived at perfection, argues self-conceit
rather than true greatness of character.

II. The city of Sikyon, as soon as it lost its original oligarchic
Dorian constitution, became distracted by internal faction, and at last
fell into the hands of a series of despotic rulers. After the last of
these, named Kleon, had been put to death, the citizens placed the
government in the hands of Timokleides and Kleinias, two of their most
honourable and influential men. But as soon as a settled form of
government began to be established, Timokleides died, and Abantidas, the
son of Paseas, in order to obtain the supreme power for himself,
assassinated Kleinias, and either banished or put to death all his
relatives and friends. He endeavoured to kill Kleinias's son, Aratus,
who was left an orphan at the age of seven; however, during the
confusion which prevailed in the house, the child wandered out into the
city, and, terrified and helpless, made his way unnoticed into the house
of Soso, Abantidas's sister, whose husband was Prophantus, the brother
of Kleinias. She was naturally a high-souled lady, and thought also that
the child must have been directed by heaven to take refuge in her house.
She hid him from his enemies, and that night sent him away to Argos.

III. This adventurous escape from so terrible a danger produced in the
mind of Aratus the fiercest hatred of all despots. He was brought up by
his father's friends at Argos in a manner becoming his birth, and as he
grew up tall and strong, he devoted himself to gymnastic exercises in
the palæstra, and even gained a crown for success in the pentathlum. We
can trace the effects of this training in his statues, which represent
an intellectual and commanding countenance, and also the effects of the
liberal diet and work[586] with the spade practised by the professional
athlete. For this reason he paid less attention to oratory than became a
public man; yet he was a better speaker than some suppose, which is
proved by the study of his hastily and plainly-written memoirs.

As time went on, Deinias and Aristotle the logician formed a plot
against Abantidas, who was accustomed to come and spend his leisure time
in the open market-place with them, listening to their discourse and
arguing with them. They drew him into a discussion and assassinated him.
He was succeeded by his father, Paseas, who was soon treacherously slain
by Nikokles, who now declared himself despot of Sikyon. We are told that
this man was singularly like Periander, the son of Kypselus, just as the
Persian Orontes bore a striking resemblance to Alkmæon, the son of
Amphiaraus, and a certain young Spartan so closely resembled Hector,
that he was trampled to death by the multitudes who came to see him and
satisfy their curiosity.

IV. Nikokles reigned four months, during which time he did the city much
hurt, and very nearly lost it to the Ætolians, who had formed a plot to
surprise it. Aratus was now nearly grown up, and possessed great
influence, both on account of his noble birth, and because he was
already well known to be possessed of an enterprising spirit, combined
with a prudence beyond his years. In consequence of this, all the other
Sikyonian exiles looked upon him as their leader, and Nikokles himself
regarded him with apprehension, and quietly took precautions against
him, never supposing that he would attempt so audacious an enterprise as
he did, but thinking he would probably make overtures to some of the
successors of Alexander, who had been guests[587] and friends of his
father. Indeed, Aratus did attempt to obtain assistance from some of
them; but since Antigonus, though he promised his aid, temporised and
hesitated to act, and his hopes from Egypt and Ptolemy were too remote,
he determined to overthrow the despot alone.

V. The first persons to whom he communicated his design were
Aristomachus and Ekdelus, of whom the former was an exile from Sikyon,
while Ekdelus was an Arcadian of Megalopolis, a man of culture as well
as of action, who had been an intimate friend of Arkesilaus, the
Academic philosopher at Athens. As both these men readily accepted his
proposals, Aratus began to discuss the project with the other exiles.
Some few felt ashamed to abandon all hope of restoration to their
country, and joined Aratus, but most of them tried to hinder him from
making the attempt, alleging that his daring was the result of
inexperience. While Aratus was meditating whether he could not seize
some strong place within the territory of Sikyon, and make it the base
of his operations against the despot, there came to Argos a certain
Sikyonian who had escaped from prison. This man was the brother of
Xenokles, one of the exiles; and when brought to Aratus by his brother,
told him that the city wall, at the place where he himself climbed over
it and made his escape, was very nearly level with the ground on the
inside, as it was built up against high and rocky ground, while on the
outside it was not so high as to be beyond the reach of scaling-ladders.
Aratus, when he heard this, sent Xenokles with two of his own servants,
named Seuthas and Technon, to reconnoitre the spot, for he was
determined, if possible, to risk everything by one sudden and secret
assault, rather than openly to engage in what might prove a long and
tedious war, waged, as it would be by a private man against the despotic
ruler of a state. Xenokles, on his return, reported that he had measured
the height of the walls, and that the ground presented no difficulties
for their attempt, but he said that it would be difficult to reach the
place unobserved, because of the dogs of a gardener who dwelt near,
which, though small, were peculiarly ferocious and savage. Upon hearing
this, Aratus at once began to prepare for the attempt.

VI. The use of arms was, at that period, familiar to all men, because of
the constant marauding incursions which each state continually made upon
the territory of its neighbours. The scaling-ladders were made openly by
Euphranor the carpenter, one of the exiles, whose trade enabled him to
construct them without exciting suspicion.

The Argive friends of Aratus each contributed ten men from their own
households; while he himself was able to arm thirty slaves of his own.
He also hired from Xenokrilus, the well-known captain of robbers, a
small band of soldiers, who were told that the object of the incursion
into the Sikyonian territory was to carry off some horses belonging to
King Antigonus. Most of the band were ordered to make their way in
scattered parties to the tower of Polygnotus, and there to wait for
their leaders. Kaphisias, in light marching order, with four others, was
sent on in advance, with instructions to present himself at the house of
the gardener about nightfall. Under the pretext of being wayfaring men
seeking for hospitality, they were to obtain lodgings there for the
night, and secure both the man and his dogs, for unless this was done it
would be impossible to reach the walls. The scaling-ladders, which were
made to take to pieces, were packed in chests, covered over, and sent
forward in waggons. Meanwhile, as several spies sent by Nikokles had
appeared in Argos, who were said to be quietly watching the movements of
Aratus, he rose at daybreak, and spent the day in the open market-place,
conversing with his friends. Towards evening he anointed himself in the
palæstra, and then went home, taking with him several of the companions
with whom he was accustomed to drink and amuse himself. Soon after this
his servants were seen crossing the market-place, one carrying garlands,
another buying torches, and another bargaining with the female musicians
who were wont to attend at banquets. The spies, seeing all these
preparations, were deceived and laughingly said to one another, "Surely
there is nothing more cowardly than a tyrant, if Nikokles, with such a
city and armed force at his disposal, really fears this youth, who
wastes the income on which he has to subsist in exile, on amusements and
on wine parties before it is even dark."

VII. Thus the spies were thrown off their guard; but Aratus, immediately
after supper, sallied forth, met his men at the tower of Polygnotus, and
led them to Nemea where he explained, to most of them for the first
time, what he was about to attempt. After promising them rewards in case
of success, and addressing to them a few words of encouragement, he gave
Propitious Apollo as the watchword, and proceeded towards the city,
regulating his march according to the moon, so that he was able to make
use of its light to march by, and when it was setting arrived at the
garden outside the walls. Here Kaphisias met him, with the news that he
had not been able to secure the dogs, which had run away, but that he
had locked up the gardener in his house. On hearing this most of the
conspirators became disheartened, and demanded to be led back again; but
Aratus pacified them by promising that, if the dogs attacked them and
gave the alarm, he would give up the attempt. He now sent forward a
party with the scaling-ladders, under the command of Ekdelus and
Mnesitheus, and himself proceeded at a leisurely pace. The dogs at once
set upon the party under Ekdelus, and kept up a continuous barking;
nevertheless they reached the wall and placed the ladders against it
undisturbed. While the foremost were mounting, the officer who was being
relieved by the morning guard passed that way carrying a bell, and there
was a great flashing of lights and trampling of marching soldiers. The
conspirators remained where they were, crouching upon their ladders, and
without difficulty escaped the notice of this patrol, but they were
terribly near being discovered by a second body of guards marching in
the opposite direction. As soon as this also had passed by without
noticing them, the leaders, Mnesitheus and Ekdelus, at once mounted upon
the walls, secured the passage along the walls both on the right and on
the left, and despatched Technon to Aratus, bidding him hasten to the

VIII. At no great distance from the garden there stood a tower upon the
walls, in which a great hound was kept for a watch. This hound had not
noticed the approach of the escalading party, either because he was dull
of hearing, or because he was tired with exercise the day before. When,
however, the gardener's little dogs roused him by their clamour at the
foot of the wall, he at first set up a low growling, and then, as the
party drew nearer, began to bark furiously. He made so much noise that
the sentry on the next tower called out in a loud voice to the huntsman
in charge of the dog, asking him at what the hound was barking so
savagely, and whether anything was wrong. The huntsman replied from his
tower that all was well, only that the hound had been disturbed by the
lights of the patrol and the sound of their bell. This gave great
encouragement to Aratus's party, who imagined that the huntsman spoke
thus because he had seen them and wished to screen them from observation
and assist their plot, and that many others in the city might be willing
to do the same. Yet, the scaling of the walls was a long and dangerous
operation, as the ladders were too weak to bear the weight of more than
one man mounting slowly at a time, yet time pressed, for the cocks had
already begun to crow, and soon the country people might be expected to
arrive, bringing their wares to market. So, now, Aratus, himself hastily
mounted, after forty of his men had reached the top, and while the
remainder were still mounting, he marched straight to the despot's
house, and the guard-room in which his mercenary troops passed the
night. By a sudden assault he took them all prisoners without killing
one of them, and at once sent messengers to summon his own friends from
their houses. Day was breaking while they assembled, and soon the
theatre was filled with an excited crowd without any distinct idea of
what was happening, until a herald came forward and announced to the
people that Aratus, the son of Kleinias, invited his fellow-citizens to
regain their liberty.

IX. The people now, at last, believed that their long-looked-for
deliverers had indeed come, and rushed in a body to set fire to the
despot's house. The burning house made such a prodigious blaze that it
was seen as far as Corinth, where the citizens were so much astonished,
that they were within a little of setting out to rescue Sikyon from the
flames. Nikokles himself escaped by a subterranean passage, and got
clear away from the city, and his soldiers, with the assistance of the
citizens, put out the fire and plundered his house. Aratus did not
attempt to stop this proceeding, and distributed the remainder of the
despot's treasure among the citizens. No one was killed or wounded,
either of the attacking or defending party, but by good fortune this
great exploit was accomplished without spilling a drop of blood. Aratus
now restored the citizens whom Nikokles had banished, who were eighty in
number, and also those who had been driven into exile by his
predecessors, who amounted to no less than five hundred. These latter
had been forced to wander from place to place for a period of nearly
fifty years. They now returned, very poor for the most part, and at once
laid claim to the property which had once been theirs. Their attempts to
gain possession of their houses and lands caused the greatest
disquietude to Aratus, who saw the city plotted against from without,
and viewed with dislike by Antigonus on account of its free
constitution, while within it was full of faction and disturbance. Under
these circumstances he did what he thought was best, by making the city
a member of the Achæan league: and the people of Sikyon, Dorians as they
were, willingly adopted the name and entered into the confederacy of the
Achæans, who at that time were neither famous nor powerful. Most of them
dwelt in small towns, and their territory was both confined and
unproductive, while the sea-shore, near which they lived, was without
harbours, and for the most part exposed to a terrible surf. Yet these
men, more than any others, proved that Greeks are invincible wherever
they are collected into regularly organised communities, and with a
capable general to lead them. They were but an insignificant fraction of
the mighty Greece of former times, and had not altogether the strength
of one single considerable city; yet, by wise counsel and agreement
among themselves, and by following and obeying their greatest man,
instead of being jealous of his power, they not only preserved their own
liberties, although surrounded by so many powerful cities and despots,
but were constantly able to assist the rest of the Greeks in recovering
and defending their freedom.

X. Aratus was by nature a politician, and was of a magnanimous
disposition, more careful of the interests of the state than of his own.
He regarded all despots with a peculiarly rancorous hatred, but in
respect to other persons, made his personal likes and dislikes
subordinate to the good of his country. For this reason his zeal for his
friends does not appear to have been so remarkable as his mild and
forgiving treatment of his enemies; for he regulated his private
feelings entirely by considerations of public expediency. He loved to
form alliances between states, to connect cities into confederations,
and to teach the leaders and the people alike to act together with
unanimity. Singularly timid and faint-hearted in open war and in battles
fought by daylight, he nevertheless was most dexterous at planning
surprises, winning cities, and overthrowing despots. For this reason he
often succeeded in his rashest enterprises, and often, through excessive
caution, failed when success would have been comparatively easy. Some
wild animals see best in the dark, and are nearly blind during the
daytime, because the moist nature of their eyes cannot endure the dry
and searching rays of the sun; and so, too, it appears that some men
lose their courage and are easily disconcerted when they are fighting
openly in broad daylight, but yet recover all their bravery as soon as
they engage in secret stratagems and midnight surprises. These anomalies
must be attributed to a want of philosophic reflection in noble minds,
which effect great things naturally, and without acting by rule or
method, just as we see good fruit produced by wild and uncultivated
trees. I will now proceed to prove this by examples.

XI. Aratus, after he had joined himself and his native city to the
Achæan league, served in the cavalry force, and made himself generally
beloved by the ready obedience which he showed to his commanders; for
he, although he had rendered the league such important services in
putting his own illustrious name and the power of the city of Sikyon at
its disposal, yet, as if he were a mere private man, obeyed whoever
might be in command, even though he were a citizen of Dyme, or of
Tritæa, or even some more insignificant city. Aratus was now presented
with the sum of five-and-twenty talents by the king.[588] This he
received, but spent it all on relieving his destitute fellow-countrymen,
and in ransoming them from slavery.

XII. As the returned exiles could not be withheld from attacking those
whom they found in possession of their property, and by doing so seemed
likely to bring the state to ruin, Aratus, thinking that nothing but the
kindness of Ptolemy could save his country, started upon a voyage to
Egypt, to beg the king to furnish him with a sum of money, by means of
which he might persuade the contending parties to come to an amicable
agreement. He started from the port of Mothone, and sailed beyond Cape
Millea, meaning to cross directly over the sea to Egypt. However, the
sea was very rough, and the wind contrary, which, caused the captain of
the ship to bear up, and run along the coast until, with great
difficulty, he reached Adria,[589] which was an enemy's country, for it
was in the possession of Antigonus, who had placed a Macedonian garrison
in it. Aratus contrived to keep out of the way of the garrison, and,
leaving the ship, proceeded a long way inland, accompanied by one single
friend, named Timanthes. They concealed themselves in a thick wood, and
passed the night as best they could. Shortly afterwards the Macedonian
officer in charge appeared, and endeavoured to find Aratus, but was put
off the scent by the slaves of Aratus, who had been instructed to say
that their master, as soon as he left them, had sailed in another vessel
bound to Euboea. However, the Macedonian declared the cargo, the vessel,
and the slaves to be a lawful prize, as being enemy's property, and
detained them as such. A few days after this, when Aratus was almost at
his wit's end, by good fortune a Roman ship touched at the place where
he was spending his time in looking out for means of escape by sea, and
in trying to conceal himself from his enemies on land. The ship was
bound for Syria, but Aratus would not sail in it until he had persuaded
the captain to land him in Karia. On his voyage thither he again
encountered great dangers: but at length he succeeded in obtaining a
passage from Karia to Egypt, where he was warmly received by the king,
who had always had a favourable opinion of him, and who had lately
received from him many drawings and paintings by Greek artists. Aratus,
who had considerable taste in these matters, constantly purchased and
collected the works of the most skilful and famous painters, especially
those of Pamphilus and Melanthus, and used to send them as presents to
King Ptolemy.

XIII. At that time the Sikyonian school of painting was still celebrated
throughout Greece, and was thought more than any other to have preserved
the purity of the ancient style. Even the great Apelles, when already
famous, had come to Sikyon and paid a talent for some lessons from the
masters there, although by doing so he hoped to increase his reputation
rather than to improve his art. When Aratus set the city free, he at
once destroyed all the portraits[590] of the despots, except that of
Aristratus, who flourished in the time of Philip,[591] about which he
hesitated for a long time; for the picture in which Aristratus was
represented standing beside the chariot which won him a prize in the
games, was the joint work of all the pupils of Melanthus, and we are
told by Polemon the geographer, that some parts of it were painted by
Apelles himself. The execution was so admirable that Aratus for a moment
relented, but soon afterwards his fierce hatred of all the despots made
him order it to be destroyed. However, Nealkes the painter, who was a
friend of Aratus, interceded for the picture with tears, and as he could
not move Aratus, at last said, "We ought to make war against despots
themselves, but not against their surroundings. Let us leave the chariot
and the figure of Victory, and I will deliver up Aristratus to you, by
wiping him out of the picture." Aratus allowed Nealkes to do this, and
he effaced the figure of Aristratus, and painted a palm tree in its
place, without venturing to add anything else. It is said that after
destroying the figure of Aristratus, the painter forgot his feet, and
that they were still to be seen under the chariot. By presents of such
paintings as these Aratus had already disposed Ptolemy to regard him
with favour; and when they met, Aratus so charmed the king by his
conversation that he received from him a present of one hundred and
fifty talents for the use of his native city. Aratus carried forty
talents home with him at once to Peloponnesus, and afterwards received
the rest of the sum in instalments from the king.

XIV. It was a truly great action for Aratus to bestow so much money upon
his fellow-countrymen, especially at a time when for much smaller sums
the kings were usually able to bribe the other chiefs and popular
leaders to betray their native cities and sacrifice their constitutional
liberties; but it was even more admirable that by means of this money he
reconciled the rich and the poor, and saved the state from all the
danger of revolution, while his own conduct was marked by the greatest
moderation in spite of his enormous power. When he was appointed as sole
arbitrator with unlimited authority, to decide upon the claims of the
exiled families to their inheritances, he refused to act alone, and
associated fifteen of the other citizens with himself, with whose help,
after much labour and difficulty, he restored peace and union amongst
his countrymen. For these services the state bestowed upon him fitting
honours, but in addition to these the exiles gave him a special mark of
their regard by erecting a brazen statue, upon which was inscribed the
following verses:--

   "For wisdom, valour, and great deeds in war
    Thy fame, Aratus, has been noised afar.
    We, that unhappy exiles were of late,
    Brought home by thee, this statute dedicate
    To all the gods who helped thee to restore
    Peace and goodwill amongst us as before."

XV. By this important measure Aratus so thoroughly earned the gratitude
of his countrymen as to be placed above the reach of party jealousy; but
King Antigonus was much displeased at his success, and with the object
either of making him his friend, or of causing him to be distrusted by
Ptolemy, bestowed upon him several marks of favour, and when sacrificing
to the gods at Corinth even sent some of the meat of the victim to
Sikyon as a present for him. At dinner that evening he said aloud in the
hearing of many guests: "I thought this young Sikyonian was merely a
well-bred and patriotic youth; but it seems that he is a very shrewd
judge of the lives and politics of us kings. At first he used to despise
me, and looked beyond me to Egypt, because he had heard so much about
the elephants and fleets of Ptolemy, and about the splendour of his
court, but now that he has been admitted behind the scenes there and has
discovered it to be all empty show and parade, he has thrown himself
into my arms without reserve. So now I receive the youth into my own
service, and shall employ him in all my affairs; and I beg you all to
treat him as a friend."

All those who were jealous of Aratus and who wished him ill, as soon as
they heard these words, vied with one another in sending letters to
Ptolemy, full of abuse of Aratus, until at length Ptolemy himself wrote
to Aratus and reproached him for his disloyalty. So much jealousy and
ill-feeling does the friendship of kings produce among those who most
eagerly struggle to gain it.

XVI. Aratus, who was now for the first time elected general of the
Achæans, invaded and plundered the countries of Kalydonia and Lokris on
the other side of the Corinthian gulf, but though he marched with ten
thousand men to help the Boeotians he came too late to take part in the
battle, in which they were defeated near Chæronea by the Ætolians. In
this battle a thousand Boeotians perished, amongst whom was Aboeokritus
the Boeotarch himself. Next year Aratus was again chosen general, and
began to arrange his plot for the capture of the Akrocorinthus, or
citadel of Corinth. He made this attempt not to benefit the Achæans, or
his own city of Sikyon, but solely with the object of driving out the
Macedonian garrison, which was established there as the common despot
over all Greece. The Athenian Chares, after gaining some success in
battle over the generals of the King of Persia, sent home a despatch to
the Athenian people in which he declared that he had won the sister
victory to that of Marathon: and this exploit of Aratus may be most
truly described as sister to those of Pelopidas the Theban and of
Thrasybulus the Athenian, in which they each killed the despots of their
respective cities; except that this assault was not delivered against
Greeks, but against a foreign and alien sovereignty. Now the isthmus,
which bars out the two seas, connects together the two parts of our
continent; but the Acrocorinthus, which is a lofty mountain placed in
the middle of Greece, if it be held by an armed force, cuts off the land
beyond the isthmus from all intercourse with the rest of Greece, whether
for warlike or commercial purposes, and places the whole country at the
mercy of the commander of its garrison; so that the younger Philip was
not in jest but in earnest when he called the city of Corinth the "key
of Greece."

XVII. The possession of this place was always coveted by all princes and
rulers, but the desire of Antigonus for it became a frantic passion, and
his whole thoughts were occupied with plots to obtain it by stratagem,
since it was hopeless to attempt to take it by force. After the death of
Alexander,[592] who originally held it, and who, it is said, was
poisoned by Antigonus, his wife Nikæa succeeded to his kingdom, and held
the Acrocorinthus. Antigonus now at once sent his son Demetrius to her,
and by holding out the dazzling prospect of a royal alliance and a
handsome young husband to a woman somewhat past her prime, made a
conquest of her by means of his son, whom he employed without scruple to
tempt his victim. As, however, she would not give up the citadel, but
kept it strongly guarded, Antigonus pretended to be indifferent to it,
and prepared a wedding feast in Corinth, spending the whole day in
attendance at spectacles and in wine-drinking, as if he had entirely
given himself up to pleasure and enjoyment. When the time drew near for
the attempt, he himself accompanied Nikæa to the theatre to hear Amoebeus
sing. They were carried together in royal state in a splendidly
ornamented litter, and she was delighted at the respect which he showed
her, and was as far as possible from guessing his real purpose. When
they arrived at the point where the road turned off towards the citadel,
he begged her to proceed alone to the theatre, and without troubling
himself further about Amoebeus or the marriage, ran up to the
Acrocorinthus faster than one would have expected in a man of his age.
Finding the gate shut, he knocked at it with his stick, bidding the
garrison open it; and they, astounded at his audacity, threw it open.
When he had thus obtained possession of the place he could no longer
restrain himself, but although he was now an old man, and had
experienced great vicissitudes of fortune, he drank wine and jumped for
joy in the streets, and swaggered riotously across the market-place,
crowned with flowers, and accompanied by singing-girls, greeting and
shaking hands with every one whom he met. So true it is that unexpected
joy disturbs the right balance of the mind more than either grief or

XVIII. Now Antigonus, having, as above related, gained possession of the
Acrocorinthus, entrusted the place to some of his most faithful
officers, among whom was Persæus the philosopher. Aratus, during the
life of Alexander, had begun to form a plan for surprising the citadel,
but desisted from his plot when Alexander became an ally of the Achæans.
He now began to form fresh schemes, in the following manner:--There were
in Corinth four brothers, Syrians by birth, one of whom, named Diokles,
was serving in the garrison, and quartered in the citadel. The other
three, having robbed the king's treasury, came to Sikyon to dispose of
the plunder to a banker named Ægias, who was well known to Aratus from
having had dealings with him. They disposed of a considerable part of
their plunder at first, and afterwards, one of them, named Erginus, came
quietly over from time to time with the remainder. In this way he became
intimate with Ægias, and, being led on by him to talk about the citadel,
said that when going up the hill to visit his brother, he had noticed a
narrow path on one side, which led to the lowest part of the wall of the
fortress. On hearing this, Ægias laughingly said to him, "My good sir,
why do you rob the king's treasury to gain such pitiful sums of money,
when you might gain great riches in a single hour? Do you not know that
burglary and treachery are alike punished with death?" Erginus smiled at
this, and agreed to sound his brother Diokles upon this point; for he
could not, he said, place much confidence in the other two.

In a few days he returned, undertook to lead Aratus to a part of the
wall which was not more than fifteen feet high, and arranged that both
he and his brother Diokles would do all in their power to assist him.

XIX. Aratus promised that he would give them sixty talents if
successful, and that, in case of failure, if he and they survived, he
would give each of them a house and a talent. As the money had to be
deposited with Ægias for the satisfaction of Erginus, Aratus, who did
not possess the sum necessary, and who did not wish to lead others to
suspect his design by borrowing, took the greater part of his own plate
and his wife's jewels, and pledged them with Ægias for the money.
Indeed, he was of so lofty a soul, and so passionately desirous of
glory, that although he knew that Phokion and Epameinondas had gained
the reputation of being the most just and noble of the Greeks, by
refusing large bribes and not sacrificing honour to money, he preferred
to expend his fortune secretly in enterprises in which he alone risked
his life on behalf of the many, who did not even know what he was doing.
Who, even in our own day, could refrain from admiring and longing to
share the fortunes of a man who bought for himself so great a danger at
so high a price, and who pawned the most valuable of his possessions in
order that he might make his way into the fortress of his enemies by
night and fight for his life there, gaining by his deposit the hope of
glory, but nothing else?

XX. The plot, dangerous enough in itself, was rendered even more so at
its very outset by a blunder. Technon, the servant of Aratus, was sent
to examine the wall together with Diokles. He had never before met
Diokles, but imagining that he knew his appearance from Erginus's
description of him as a man with close curly hair, a dark complexion,
and no beard, went to the rendezvous, and waited outside the city, near
the place called Ornis, for Erginus, who was to meet him there with his
brother Diokles. In the meantime the brother of Erginus and Diokles,
named Dionysius, who was not in the plot, and knew nothing of what was
going on, happened to come up. He was very like Diokles, and Technon,
influenced by the likeness, inquired of him if he were in any way
connected with Erginus. As he answered that he was his brother, Technon
was quite certain that he was addressing Diokles; and without asking his
name or waiting for any further proof of identity he gave him his hand,
spoke of the compact with Erginus, and asked him questions about it. He
cleverly encouraged Technon in his error, agreed to everything that he
said, and, turning round, walked with him towards the city without
exciting his suspicions. When he was close to the gate, and had all but
inveigled Technon through it, it chanced that Erginus met them.
Perceiving the trick which his brother had played, and the danger in
which Technon was placed, he warned him by a sign to make his escape,
and both of them, running away at full speed, got safe back to Aratus.
Yet he did not despair, but at once sent Erginus to take some money to
Dionysius, and to beg him to hold his tongue. Erginus accomplished his
commission, and brought Dionysius back with him to Aratus. When he
arrived there they would not let him go again, but kept him a close
prisoner, while they themselves prepared to make the attempt.

XXI. When all was ready, Aratus ordered the greater part of his force to
pass the night under arms, and himself with a chosen body of four
hundred men, few of whom were in the secret, proceeded towards the gates
of Corinth, near the temple of Hera. The time was the height of summer.
The moon was at the full, and as the night was clear and cloudless, they
began to fear that the light gleaming from their arms would betray them
to the sentinels. However, when the leading men were near to the wall a
fog came up from the sea, and enveloped the whole city and its
neighbourhood. Now, the men all sat down and took off their shoes; for
men who mount ladders with naked feet make very little noise and are not
so liable to slip. Meanwhile Erginus, with seven youths dressed as
wayfaring men, made his way up to the gate unsuspected. They killed the
keeper of the gate, and the guard: while at the same time the
scaling-ladders were placed against the walls. Aratus hastily crossed
the walls with a hundred men. Bidding the remainder follow as fast as
they could, he ordered the ladders to be drawn up, and, followed by his
hundred men, ran through the town to the citadel, overjoyed at having
got so far without raising an alarm, and already certain of success.
While they were still some distance off, they met a patrol of four men
carrying a light. These men could not see them because they were in the
shadow of the moon, but the four men were clearly visible as they
marched straight towards them. Aratus now drew his force a little aside
among some ruins and low walls, so as to form an ambush, and set upon
the men. Three were killed on the spot, but the fourth, though wounded
in the head by a blow from a sword, ran away shouting that the enemy
were within the walls. Soon after this trumpets were sounded, the whole
city was disturbed, and all the streets became thronged with men running
to and fro, while many lights appeared, some in the lower town, and some
in the citadel above, and a confused murmur of voices was heard on every

XXII. While this was going on, Aratus persevered in his march, and was
toiling laboriously up the cliff. At first he proceeded slowly and with
difficulty, without making any real progress, because he had entirely
missed the path, which wound about under the shadow of the precipitous
rocks by many turnings and windings up to the citadel. At this moment it
is said that the moon shone through the clouds and threw her light upon
the most difficult part of the ascent in a wonderful manner, until
Aratus reached the part of the wall of the citadel which he wished to
attack. When he was there, she again concealed and shaded her rays
behind a barrier of clouds. While this was being done, the three hundred
men of Aratus's force, who had been left outside the gate near the
temple of Hera, when they made their way into the city, which was now
full of confusion and lights, were not able to find the same path which
had been followed by the others, or any trace of the way by which they
had gone, and so in a body crouched down in a dark corner in the shade
of a cliff, and waited there in great anxiety and alarm: for now the
party led by Aratus was being shot at by the garrison of the citadel,
and was fighting with them hand to hand, and the shouts of the battle
could be plainly heard below, though the echoes of the mountains made it
impossible to tell from what quarter the noise proceeded. While they
were at a loss to know which way to turn, Archelaus, the leader of the
Macedonian troops, marched out with a large force, with loud shouts and
trumpets sounding, to attack the party under Aratus, and marched past
where the three hundred lay as it were in ambush. They rushed out,
charged the Macedonians, killed the first of them, and drove Archelaus
and the remainder before them panic-stricken, until they dispersed
themselves about the city. No sooner had this victory been won, than
Erginus arrived from the citadel, announcing that Aratus was engaged
with the enemy, who were offering a stubborn resistance, that a great
battle was going on at the wall itself, and that immediate assistance
was required. They at once bade him lead them, and mounted the hill,
shouting to their friends to let them know who they were, and to
encourage them. The full moon, too, as it shone upon their arms, made
their numbers appear greater to the enemy on account of the length of
the path, and the midnight echoes made their shouts appear to come from
a much larger party of men. At last they joined their friends above, and
by a united effort drove out the enemy, won the heights, and gained
possession of the citadel just as day was dawning. Soon the sun rose
upon their victory, and the remainder of Aratus's force from Sikyon came
up, and was welcomed by the Corinthians, who opened their gates to them,
and assisted them to capture the soldiers of the Macedonian garrison.

XXIII. When all appeared to be safe, Aratus descended from the citadel
to the theatre, where an enormous multitude of persons was collected,
eager to see him and to hear the speech which he was about to address to
the Corinthians. He placed a guard of Achæans on each side of the stage,
and himself appeared in the middle, still wearing his corslet, and pale
with the labours of a sleepless night, so that the triumph and delight
which he felt were weighed down by sheer bodily lassitude. His
appearance was greeted with enthusiastic applause, and, shifting his
spear into his right hand, and slightly leaning his body against it, he
stood for a long time silent, receiving the plaudits and shouts of those
who praised his courage and congratulated him on his good fortune. When
they had ceased and resumed their seats, he drew himself up and made
them a speech worthy of the occasion, on behalf of the Achæan league, in
which he prevailed upon the Corinthians to join the league, and gave up
to them the keys of their gates which now came into their possession for
the first time since the days of king Philip. He dismissed Archelaus,
who had been taken prisoner, but put Theophrastus to death because he
refused to leave his post. Persæus, when the citadel was taken, escaped
to Kenchreæ. Afterwards it is said that in philosophic conversation,
when some one said that he thought that the philosopher was the only
true general, he answered, "By heaven, this once used to please me more
than any other of Zeno's aphorisms, but I have changed my mind since the
refutation of it which I received from a young man of Sikyon." This
anecdote of Persæus is related by most historians.

XXIV. Aratus now at once made himself master of the temple of Hera, and
of Lechæum, where he seized a fleet of five-and-twenty ships belonging
to King Antigonus, and sold five hundred horses and four hundred Syrians
whom he found there. The Achæans now garrisoned the citadel of Corinth
with a force of four hundred heavy-armed soldiers, and with a pack of
fifty hounds and as many huntsmen, who were all kept in the

The Romans in their admiration of Philopoemen used to call him the last
of the Greeks, as though no great actions were performed in Greece after
his time: but I should be inclined to say that this was both the last
and the most remarkable of all the great achievements of the Greeks, for
both in the daring with which it was accomplished, and the good fortune
with which it was attended, it will bear comparison with the noblest of
deeds, as was at once proved by its results. Megara revolted from
Antigonus and joined Aratus, Troezene and Epidaurus became members of
the Achæan league, and Aratus made his first campaign by an expedition
into Attica, in the course of which he crossed into Salamis and laid it
waste, being able to make what use he pleased of the power of the Achæan
league, now that it was no longer, as it were, locked up in
Peloponnesus. He sent back all the freemen whom he captured to Athens
without ransom, hoping to rouse them to revolt against the Macedonians.
He also brought Ptolemy into alliance with the Achæan league, and
constituted him commander-in-chief of their forces by land and by sea.
His influence with the Achæans was so great, that, since it was illegal
to elect him as their chief every year, they elected him every other
year, while practically they followed his advice in all their
transactions; for they saw that he preferred neither wealth, nor fame,
nor the friendship of kings, nor the advantage of his own native country
to the furtherance of the prosperity of the Achæans. He conceived that
cities which by themselves were weak might obtain safety by means of one
another, bound together by their common interest, and that just as the
various parts of the human body live and move when connected with one
another, but waste away and perish when cut asunder, so cities are
ruined by isolation, and prosper by confederation, when they form parts
of one great body, and adopt a common line of policy.

XXV. Observing that the most famous of the neighbouring cities were
independent, he became grieved that the Argives lived under the rule of
a despot, and began to plot the destruction of Aristomachus, their
ruler; wishing also to bestow its freedom upon the city to which he owed
his education, and to gain it over to the Achæan league. Men were found
who dared to make the attempt, chief among whom were Æschylus and
Charimenes the soothsayer, but they had no swords, because the despot
had prohibited the possession of arms to the citizens under severe
penalties. However, Aratus prepared at Corinth a number of small
daggers, which he caused to be sewn up in pack-saddles. He then placed
the saddles on pack-horses and sent them to Argos, laden with ordinary

But Charimenes the soothsayer took another person into the plot, which
so enraged Æschylus and his party that they determined to act alone, and
would have nothing more to do with Charimenes. In anger at this
treatment he betrayed his comrades just as they were on the point of
attacking the despot, yet most of them had time to make their way out of
the market-place and escape to Corinth. Shortly afterwards Aristomachus
was assassinated by his own servants, and was immediately succeeded by
Aristippus, a more cruel tyrant than himself. Aratus upon hearing of
this at once made a hurried march to Argos at the head of as many
Achæans as he could collect, hoping to find the city ready to join him.
As, however, most of the Argives were now accustomed to the loss of
their liberty, and no one answered his appeal, he retired, having done
no more than expose the Achæans to the charge of making a warlike
invasion in time of peace. For this they were tried before the
Mantineans as judges, and, as Aratus did not appear, Aristippus, who was
prosecutor, won his cause and got a fine of thirty minæ laid upon the
Achæans. As he both hated and feared Aratus himself, he now, with the
connivance of King Antigonus, endeavoured to have him assassinated; and
they soon had their emissaries everywhere, watching their opportunity.
There is, however, no such certain safeguard for a ruler as the love of
his people; for when both the masses and the leading men have learned
not to fear their chief, but to fear for him, he sees with many eyes,
hears with many ears, and soon gains intelligence of any conspiracies.
And in this place I wish to stop my narrative for a moment, and describe
the mode of life which Aristippus was compelled to lead in consequence
of being a despot, and possessing that position of absolute ruler which
men are wont so greatly to admire and envy.

XXVI. Aristippus had Antigonus for his ally, kept a large force on foot
for his own protection, and left none of his enemies alive in the city
of Argos. He used to make his bodyguard and household troops encamp in
the porticoes outside his palace, and always, after supper, sent all his
servants out of the room, locked the door himself, and betook himself
with his mistress to a little upper chamber which was reached by a
trapdoor, upon which he placed his bed and slept, as one may expect, a
disturbed and frightened sleep. His mistress's mother used to take away
the ladder by which they mounted, and lock it up in another room. At
daybreak she used to bring it back again, and call down this glorious
monarch, who came out like a snake out of his den.

Aratus, who dressed in the plainest of clothes, and was the declared
enemy of despots wherever they were to be found, gained for himself a
lasting command, not by force of arms, but by legal means by his own
courage, and has left a posterity which even at the present day enjoys
the greatest honour in Greece; whereas of all those men who seized
strongholds, kept bodyguards, and protected their lives with arms and
gates and trapdoors, few escaped being knocked on the head like hares,
and no one has left either a palace, or a family, or a monument to do
honour to his memory.

XXVII. Aratus made many attempts, both by intrigues and open violence,
to overthrow Aristippus, and take Argos. Once he succeeded in placing
scaling-ladders against the walls, ascended them recklessly with a few
followers, and killed the soldiers who came from within the city to
oppose him. Afterwards, when day was breaking and the troops of the
despot were attacking him on all sides, the people of Argos, just as if
they were sitting as judges at the Nemean games, and the battle was not
being fought on behalf of their liberty, sat by with the utmost
calmness, like impartial spectators. Aratus fought bravely, and though
wounded in the thigh by a spear, yet succeeded in effecting a lodgement
in the city and in spite of the attacks of the enemy held his ground
until nightfall. If he could have found strength to remain and fight
during the night also, he would not have failed in his attempt; for the
despot was already making preparations for flight and had sent on much
of his property to the sea-coast: but as no one brought news of this to
Aratus, and water failed him, while his wound incapacitated him for any
personal exertions, he drew off his forces.

XXVIII. He now gave up this method of attack, and openly invaded the
Argive country with an army and laid it waste. At the river Chares he
fought a desperate battle with Aristippus, and was thought to have given
up the contest too soon, and lost the victory; for when the other part
of his army had decidedly won the day and forced their way a long
distance forward, he himself, not so much overpowered by the forces
opposed to him as hopeless of success and fearing disaster, lost his
presence of mind, and led his men back into their camp. When the others
returned from their victorious charge, and complained bitterly that,
after having routed the enemy, and slain many more men than they
themselves had lost, Aratus had allowed the vanquished to erect a
trophy, he was stung to the quick, decided to fight rather than to allow
the trophy to be erected, and after an interval of one day again led out
his forces. When, however, he learned that the troops of the despot had
been largely reinforced, and were full of confidence, he did not venture
to risk a battle, but made a truce for the recovery of the dead, and
retired. Yet he continued to repair this fault by his diplomatic skill
and persuasive powers, for he won over the city of Kleonæ to the Achæan
league, and held the Nemean festival at Kleonæ, declaring it to be the
privilege of its citizens to do so by right of descent. The Argives also
celebrated the festival, and on this occasion for the first time the
right of safe-conduct of the competitors was violated, for the Achæans
seized and sold for slaves all who passed through their territory on
their return from the games at Argos. So stern and inexorable was Aratus
in his hatred of despots.

XXIX. Shortly after this, hearing that Aristippus was meditating an
attack upon Kleonæ, but feared him, because he was living at Corinth, he
ordered an army to be mustered. Bidding his men collect provisions for
several days, he marched as far as Kenchreæ, hoping to draw out
Aristippus to attack Kleonæ during his absence, as indeed happened.
Aristippus at once came from Argos with his entire force; but Aratus
meanwhile returned by night to Corinth from Kenchreæ, and, having placed
guards upon all the roads, led the Achæans by so swift, well-managed,
and orderly a march, that while it was still dark he not only reached
Kleonæ, but drew up his men in order of battle before Aristippus
discovered their presence. At daybreak the city gates were thrown open,
and charging with loud shouts to the sound of the trumpet, he at once
routed the enemy, and pursued in the direction in which he thought
Aristippus most probably was fleeing, the country being full of ways to
escape pursuit. The chase was kept up as far as Mykenae, where the
despot was overtaken and slain by a Cretan named Tragiskus, according to
the historian Deinias. With him fell more than fifteen hundred of his
men. Yet, Aratus, after gaining such a brilliant success without losing
one of his own soldiers, did not take Argos or restore it to liberty, as
Agias and Aristomachus the younger marched into the town with some
Macedonian troops and seized the government.

However, by this action, Aratus pretty well silenced the ill-natured
joke, which had been made about himself, and the stories, invented by
the courtiers of despots; for they described the general of the Achæans
as being subject to violent internal disorders during a battle, and said
that as soon as the trumpeter appeared he became faint and dizzy, and
that, after having arrayed his forces, given the word, and inquired of
his lieutenants and officers whether they had any further need of his
presence, when the die was finally cast, he used to retire and await the
result at a distance. These stories had such an extensive currency, that
even philosophers in their studies when discussing whether violent
beating of the heart, changing of colour, and the like in time of danger
be a mark of cowardice or of distemperature and of a cold habit of body,
always mention Aratus as being a good general, but always being affected
in this manner when in battle.

XXX. When he had slain Aristippus, he at once began to plot against
Lydiades of Megalopolis, who had made himself despot of his native city.
Lydiades was naturally of a noble and ambitious nature, and had not,
like so many despots, been led to commit the crime of enslaving his
fellow-citizens by any selfish desire of money or of pleasure; but when
a young man he had become inflamed with a desire of distinguishing
himself, and listening to all the vain and untrue talk about despotic
power being so fine and happy a thing, he, like a high-spirited youth,
made himself despot, and soon became overwhelmed with the cares of
state. As he now both envied the happiness of Aratus and feared the
results of his plots, he adopted a new and most glorious course, which
was first to set himself free from hatred and terror and soldiers and
life-guards, and next to become the benefactor of his country. He sent
for Aratus, gave up his rule, and united the city to the Achæan league.
The Achæans admired his conduct in this matter so much that they elected
him general. He now at once began to strive to outdo Aratus in glory,
and engaged in many unnecessary enterprises, one of which was a campaign
against the Lacedæmonians. Aratus opposed him, and was therefore thought
to be jealous of him; yet Lydiades was a second time elected general, in
spite of the open opposition of Aratus, who used all his influence on
behalf of another candidate. Aratus himself, as has been said, was
general every other year. Lydiades continued in the full tide of success
and was elected general alternately with Aratus up to his third year of
office; but as he made no secret of his hatred for Aratus, and often
attacked him in the public assembly of the Achæans, they cast him off
and would not listen to him, thinking that his good qualities were but
counterfeit when compared with the genuine virtues of Aratus. Just as
Æsop tells us in his fables that when the cuckoo asked the little birds
why they fled from him, they answered that some day he would be a hawk,
so it seems that, even after he had given up his despotism, some
blighting suspicion always clung to the character of Lydiades.

XXXI. Aratus gained great glory also in the Ætolian war, because when
the Achæans were eager to join battle with the Ætolians on the Megarian
frontier, and Agis the King of Lacedæmon had arrived with a large force
and urged the Achæans to fight, he opposed it, and in spite of being
reproached, abused, and jeered at as a coward, refused to be led astray
by any high-flown ideas of honour from the course which he had decided
upon as the best, made way for the enemy, and without striking a blow
permitted them to cross Geranea and pass into Peloponnesus. When,
however, they marched by him and suddenly seized Pellene, he was no
longer the same man. He would not wait until his entire force was
assembled, but with what troops he had with him at once marched against
the enemy, who, after their victory, were easily conquered on account of
their want of discipline and licentiousness. As soon as they made their
way into the city of Pellene, the soldiers dispersed themselves among
the various houses, driving each other out of them and fighting one
another for the plunder, while the chiefs and generals were occupied in
carrying off the wives and daughters of the citizens. They took off
their own helmets and placed them on the heads of these women, in order
that no one else might take them, but that the owner of each one might
be known by the helmet which she wore. While they were thus engaged the
news suddenly came that Aratus was about to attack. A panic took place,
as one might readily expect, with such want of discipline, and before
all of them heard of the danger, the foremost, meeting the Achæans near
the gates and suburbs of the city, lost heart and fled away at once, and
in their frantic haste threw into disorder those who were forming to
come to their support.

XXXII. During this tumult one of the captive women, the daughter of an
eminent citizen named Epigethus, who herself was remarkably tall and
handsome, happened to be sitting in the temple of Artemis, where she had
been stationed by the commander of a picked company of soldiers, who had
placed upon her head his own helmet with its triple plume. She, hearing
the disturbance, suddenly ran out, and as she stood at the door of the
temple, looking down upon the combatants, with the triple-plumed helmet
upon her head, she appeared even to her own countrymen to be something
more glorious than a mere mortal, while the enemy, who imagined that
they beheld an apparition, were struck with terror and affright, so that
none of them attempted to offer any resistance. The people of Pellene
themselves say that the wooden statue of the goddess is never touched
except when it is carried out by the priestess, and that then no one
dares to look upon it, but all turn their faces away; for the sight of
it is not only fearful and terrible for mankind, but it even makes the
trees barren and blights the crops through which it is carried. This it
was, they say, which the priestess carried out of the temple on this
occasion, and by continually turning the face of the figure towards the
Ætolians, made them frantic and took away their reason. Aratus, however,
in his memoirs makes no mention of anything of the kind, but says that
he routed the Ætolians, broke into the city together with the fugitives,
and killed seven hundred of them. The exploit became celebrated as one
of his most glorious actions, and the artist Timanthes has painted an
admirable picture of the battle.

XXXIII. However, as many nations and princes were combining together
against the Achæans, Aratus at once made peace with the Ætolians, and
with the assistance of Pantaleon, the most powerful man in Ætolia, even
made an alliance between that country and the Achæans. He was anxious to
set free the Athenians, and was severely reproached by the Achæans
because, during a cessation of arms, when they had made a truce with the
Macedonians, he attempted to seize Peiræus. In the memoirs which he has
left Aratus denies this, and throws the blame of it upon Erginus, with
whose aid he seized the citadel of Corinth. This man, he says, attacked
Peiræus on his own responsibility, and when the scaling-ladder broke and
he was forced to fly, frequently called on Aratus by name as though he
were present, and by this artifice deceived the enemy and escaped. This
justification does not, however, seem a very credible one. There was no
probability that Erginus, a private man and a Syrian, should have ever
thought of such an enterprise, if he had not been urged to it by Aratus,
who must have supplied him with the necessary forces and pointed out the
proper opportunity for the attack. And Aratus himself proves this to be
true by having not merely twice or thrice, but frequently, like a
rejected lover, made attempts upon Peiræus, and not being disconcerted
by his failures, but ever gathering fresh hopes by observing how nearly
he had succeeded. On one of these occasions he sprained his leg in a
hasty retreat across the Thriasian plain. Several incisions had to be
made to cure it, and he was obliged for a long time to be carried in a
litter when conducting his campaigns.

XXXIV. When Antigonus died and Demetrius[594] succeeded to the throne,
Aratus was more eager than ever to gain over Athens, and began to treat
the Macedonians with contempt. When he was defeated in a battle which he
fought against Bithys, a general of Demetrius, and many rumours were
current that he had been taken prisoner or had been slain, Diogenes,
the commander of the garrison of Peiræus, sent a letter to Corinth
bidding the Achæans leave that city now that Aratus was dead. When this
letter arrived Aratus himself was present in Corinth, and the messengers
of Diogenes had to return after having afforded him much amusement. The
King of Macedonia also sent a ship, on board of which Aratus was to be
brought back to him in chains. But the Athenians, outdoing themselves in
levity and servility to the Macedonians, crowned themselves with
garlands when they heard the news of his death. Enraged at this Aratus
at once invaded their country, and marched as far as the Academy, but
there he suffered his anger to be appeased, and did no damage. The
Athenians did, nevertheless, appreciate his courage, for when on the
death of Demetrius, they attempted to regain their freedom, they invited
him to assist them. Although Aratus was not at that time general of the
Achæans, and was confined to his bed with a long illness, yet he
responded to this appeal by proceeding to Athens in a litter, and
prevailed upon Diogenes, the chief of the garrison, to surrender
Peiræus, Munychia, Salamis, and Sunium to the Athenians for the sum of
one hundred and fifty talents, twenty of which he himself contributed.
The states of Ægina, and Hermione now joined the Achæan league, and the
greater part of Arcadia contributed to it; for the Macedonians were
engaged in wars with their neighbours, and the Achæans, with the help of
their allies, the Ætolians, now gained a large accession of force.

XXXV. Aratus was still true to his original principles, and, grieving at
the spectacle of a despotism established in the neighbouring state of
Argos, sent to Aristomachus, and endeavoured to persuade him to give up
his authority, bring the city over to the Achæan league, and imitate
Lydiades by becoming the glorious and respected general of so great a
people rather than remain exposed to constant danger as the hated despot
of one city. Aristomachus acceded to these proposals of Aratus, but
asked him for the sum of fifty talents, for the payment of the
mercenaries whom he was to disband. While the money was being procured,
Lydiades, who was still in office as general, and wished to gain the
credit of this negotiation for himself, told Aristomachus that Aratus
was really the bitter and implacable foe of all despots, persuaded him
to intrust the management of the affair to himself, and introduced
Aristomachus to the Achæan assembly. On this occasion the Achæan
representatives gave Aratus a notable proof of their love and confidence
in him; for when he indignantly opposed the proposition they drove away
Aristomachus; and yet, when Aratus had become his friend and again
brought forward the matter, they readily accepted his proposal, admitted
the cities of Argos and Phlius into the league, and the following year
elected Aristomachus general. Aristomachus, finding himself cordially
received by the Achæans, and wishing to invade Laconia, sent for Aratus
from Athens. Aratus replied by a letter in which he dissuaded him from
making this campaign, being unwilling to involve the Achæans in
hostilities with Kleomenes, who was a bold general and had already
gained surprising successes. As, however, Aristomachus was determined to
begin the war, Aratus returned, and made the campaign with him. When
near Pallantium they met Kleomenes, and Aratus was reproached by
Lydiades for restraining Aristomachus from joining battle. The year
after, Lydiades stood against Aratus as a candidate for the office of
general, when Aratus was chosen general for the twelfth time.

XXXVI. During this term of office Aratus was defeated by Kleomenes near
Mount Lykaeum, and took to flight. He lost his way during the night, and
was supposed to have fallen. The same rumours now again ran through
Greece about him; but he got safely away, and having rallied his men was
not satisfied with retiring home unmolested, but making an admirable use
of his opportunity, as no one expected an attack, he suddenly fell upon
the Mantineans, who were the allies of Kleomenes. He took the city,
placed a garrison in it, and insisted on the resident foreigners being
admitted to the franchise, thus alone gaining for the Achæans after a
defeat, a success which they could hardly have obtained by a victory.
When the Lacedæmonians marched against Megalopolis, Aratus came to the
assistance of that city. He would not fight with Kleomenes, though the
latter endeavoured to entice him into a battle, but he kept back the
men of Megalopolis who were eager to fight; for he was at no time
well-fitted for the direction of pitched battles, and on this occasion
was inferior in numbers, besides being opposed to a young and daring
antagonist, while he himself was past the prime of life, and inclined to
fail in spirit. He thought, too, that while it was right for Kleomenes
to gain glory by daring, it was best for him to be careful to keep the
glory which he had already obtained.

XXXVII. Though the light-armed troops ran out to meet the Spartans,
drove them back to their camp, and even fought round their tents, yet
Aratus would not move on with the heavy-armed force, but halted them
behind a water-course which he forbade them to cross. Lydiades,
irritated at this, reproached Aratus, called upon the cavalry to follow
him and reinforce the victorious light troops, and not to lose the
victory or desert him when he was fighting for his country. Many brave
men joined him, and with them he charged the right wing of the enemy,
overthrew them, and pursued with reckless ardour until he became
entangled in difficult ground, full of fruit trees and wide ditches,
where he was attacked by Kleomenes, and fell fighting bravely in the
noblest of causes, at the very gates of his native city. His companions
fled back to the main body, where they disordered the ranks of the
hoplites, and brought about the defeat of the entire army. Aratus was
greatly blamed, because he was thought to have left Lydiades to perish.
The Achæans angrily retired to Ægium, and forced him to accompany them.
There they held a meeting, at which it was decided that he should not be
supplied with any money nor any mercenary troops maintained for him, but
that if he wished to go to war he must furnish them for himself.

XXXVIII. After being thus disgraced, Aratus determined at once to give
up the seals[595] and lay down his office of general, but after
consideration he put up with the affront led out the army of the
Achæans, and fought a battle with Megistonous, the step-father of
Kleomenes, in which he was victorious, slew three hundred of the enemy,
and took prisoner Megistonous himself. He had hitherto been always
elected general every other year, but now, when the time for his
election came round, he refused to take the office, although pressed to
do so, and Timotheus was chosen general. It was thought that his anger
with the people was merely a pretext for his refusal, and that the real
reason was the perilous situation of the Achæan league; for Kleomenes no
longer operated against it by slow degrees as before, when he was
embarrassed by the other Spartan magistrates, but now that he had put
the Ephors to death, redistributed the land, and admitted many of the
resident aliens to the franchise, he found himself an irresponsible
ruler at the head of a large force, with which he at once assailed the
Achæans, demanding himself to be acknowledged as their chief. For this
reason Aratus has been blamed for behaving like a pilot during a
terrible storm and tempest yielded up the helm to another when it was
his duty to stand by it, even against the will of the people, and save
the commonwealth; or, if he despaired of the Achæans being able to
resist, he ought to have made terms with Kleomenes and not to have
allowed Peloponnesus to fall back into the hands of the uncivilised
Macedonians and be occupied by their troops, and to have garrisoned the
citadel of Corinth with Illyrian and Gaulish soldiers, thus inviting
into the cities, under the name of allies, those very men whom he had
passed his life in out-manoeuvring and over-reaching, and whom in his
memoirs he speaks of with such hatred. Even if Kleomenes were, as some
might call him, a despot and a law-breaker, yet Sparta was his native
country, and the Herakleidæ were his ancestors, and surely any man who
respected Greek nobility of birth would have chosen the least
illustrious of such a family for his chief rather than the greatest man
in all Macedonia. Moreover, Kleomenes, when he asked the Achæans to
appoint him as their ruler, promised that in return for that title he
would do great things for them by land and sea, whereas Antigonus, when
offered the title of supreme ruler by land and sea, would not accept it
until he received the citadel of Corinth as a bribe, exactly like the
huntsman in Æsop's fable; for he would not mount upon the backs of the
Achæans, though they begged him to do so, and offered themselves to him
by embassies and decrees, before, by means of his garrison in Corinth
and the hostages which he received, he had, as it were, placed a bit in
their mouths.

Aratus makes a laboured defence of his conduct, pleading the necessities
of his situation. Yet Polybius tells us that long before any such
necessities existed, Aratus had felt alarm at the daring spirit of
Kleomenes, and had not only been carrying on secret negotiations with
Antigonus, but even had urged the people of Megalopolis to propose to
the Achæans that Antigonus should be invited to assist them. It was the
people of Megalopolis who were the greatest sufferers by the war, as
Kleomenes constantly ravaged their territories. The historian Phylarchus
gives a similar account of the transaction, though we could hardly
receive his narrative with confidence if it were not supported by the
testimony of Polybius; for he is so enthusiastic an admirer of the
character of Kleomenes that in his history he writes as though he were
pleading his cause in a court of justice, and continually disparages
Aratus, and, vindicates Kleomenes.

XXXIX. The Achæans now lost Mantinea, which was recaptured by Kleomenes,
and they were so dispirited by a great defeat, which they sustained near
Hekatombæon, as to send at once to Kleomenes, inviting him to come to
Argos and assume the supreme command. Aratus, as soon as he learned
that Kleomenes had set out, and was marching past Lerna at the head of
his army, became alarmed, and sent an embassy to him, begging him, to
come to the Achæans as to friends and allies, with only three hundred
men, and offering hostages to him, if he suspected them of treachery.
Kleomenes regarded this message as a mockery and an insult to himself.
He immediately retired, after writing a letter to the Achæans in which
he brought many grave charges against Aratus. Aratus, in turn, wrote
several letters to them assailing Kleomenes; and they abused one another
so outrageously as not even to spare the reputation of each other's
wives. After this, Kleomenes sent a herald to declare war against the
Achæans, and very nearly succeeded in making himself master of Sikyon by
the treachery of some of its citizens. Failing in this, he turned aside,
attacked Pellene, drove out the commander, and took the city. Shortly
afterwards he took Phenes and Penteleum. Upon this the Argives at once
joined him, and the citizens of Phlius admitted a Spartan garrison: so
that the Achæans seemed to be in danger of losing all their conquests,
and Aratus became seriously alarmed at the disturbed condition of the
Peloponnesus, for he saw that in every quarter cities, encouraged by
revolutionary agitators, were preparing to throw off their allegiance to
the league.

XL. None were quiet or satisfied with things as they were, but many
citizens of Corinth and of Sikyon itself openly corresponded with
Kleomenes, and expressed the disaffection which they had long felt to
the league, and their wish to obtain the supreme power for themselves.
In dealing with these persons, Aratus took the law into his own hands
and put to death all Sikyonians whom he found corrupted; but when he
attempted to seek out and punish the Corinthian conspirators, he enraged
the populace which already was disaffected, and weary of the Achæan
domination. The people ran together to the temple of Apollo, and sent
for Aratus, being determined either to kill him or take him prisoner,
before they proceeded openly to revolt from the league. Aratus appeared
before them, leading his horse, without betraying any suspicion or
alarm, and when many of them leaped up and showered abusive language
upon him, he, with an admirable composure of countenance and manner,
quietly bade them be seated, and not stand up talking loudly and
confusedly but let in also those who were outside the gates. While
speaking thus he retired at a foot's pace, as though he were looking for
some one to take care of his horse. By this means he got away from them
and proceeded on his way, talking unconcernedly to all the Corinthians
whom he met, whom he bade go to the temple of Apollo, until he came near
to the citadel. Here he sprang upon his horse's back, gave orders to
Kleopater, the commander of the garrison, to hold the place stoutly, and
rode away to Sikyon, followed by only thirty soldiers, as the rest had
all remained behind and dispersed.

After a short time the Corinthians discovered that he had taken to
flight, and pursued, but as they could not overtake him, they sent to
Kleomenes and delivered up their city to him. Yet Kleomenes considered
that he had lost more by the escape of Aratus than he had gained by the
acquisition of Corinth. Kleomenes was at once joined by the inhabitants
of the sea-side district known as Akte, who surrendered their cities to
him, and with their assistance he completely invested the citadel of
Corinth with a rampart and palisade.

XLI. Aratus was joined at Sikyon by the representatives of most of the
cities of the Achæan league. An assembly was held, at which he was
elected general, with unlimited powers. He now surrounded himself with a
bodyguard selected from among his fellow-citizens. Aratus had conducted
the affairs of the league for thirty-three years, during which he had
made himself the first man in Greece, both in power and in renown,
though now he was utterly ruined and cast down, forced to cling to his
native city as his only chance of safety amidst the general wreck of his
fortunes. For the Ætolians refused to help him when he implored their
aid, and Eurykleides and Mikion held back the Athenians from offering
any assistance, though they were eager to do so out of regard for
Aratus. Aratus had a house at Corinth and some property, which Kleomenes
refused to touch, or to let any one else meddle with, but sent for
Aratus's friends and those whom he had left in charge of his property,
and bade them keep everything in good order, as they would have to
answer to Aratus for their conduct. Kleomenes also sent Tripylus and his
uncle Megistonous to Aratus to negotiate with him, promising him among
many other advantages a yearly pension of twelve talents, thus
over-bidding Ptolemy by one half: for Ptolemy paid Aratus six talents a
year. Kleomenes proposed that he himself should receive the title of
chief of the Achæans, and that the citadel of Corinth should be
garrisoned partly by Achæans and partly by Spartan troops. To this
Aratus answered that he was not able to direct events, but rather was
directed by them. As this language proved that he had no intention of
negotiating seriously, Kleomenes at once invaded the territory of
Sikyon, ravaged the country, and encamped for three months before the
walls of the city. Aratus remained quiet within the walls, but began to
consider whether it would be necessary for him to obtain the assistance
of Antigonus by surrendering the citadel of Corinth to him: for his help
was not to be had on any other terms.

XLII. The Achæans now assembled at Ægium and invited Aratus thither. The
journey was a dangerous one for him to make, at a time when Kleomenes
was encamped outside the city of Sikyon; and his fellow-countrymen
endeavoured to keep him back by entreaties and even by threatening that,
when the enemy was so close, they would not permit him to leave the
city; while the women and children hung upon him weeping, as though he
were the common father and preserver of them all. However, after
addressing a few words of encouragement to them he rode away towards the
sea, accompanied by ten of his friends and by his son, who was now grown
up. At the beach they embarked on board of some vessels which were
riding at anchor, and proceeded by sea to the assembly at Ægium, at
which it was decreed that Antigonus should be invited to aid them, and
that the citadel of Corinth should be handed over to him. Aratus even
sent his son to Antigonus among the other hostages. The Corinthians,
disgusted with these proceedings, now confiscated his property, and
presented his house to Kleomenes.

XLIII. Antigonus now approached with his army, which was composed of
twenty thousand Macedonian foot soldiers, with thirteen hundred cavalry.
Aratus, with the chief officers of the Achæan league, proceeded by sea
to Pegæ to meet him, thus avoiding the enemy, although he had no great
confidence in Antigonus, and distrusted the Macedonians. He felt that he
owed his own greatness to the injuries which he had done them, and that
his first rise as a politician was due to his hatred of the old
Antigonus. Yet, driven by inexorable necessity, and by the exigencies of
the times, to which men in authority are really slaves, he took this
desperate course.

Antigonus, as soon as he learned that Aratus was approaching, met him,
and welcomed his companions in a friendly manner, but showed him
especial honour at their first meeting, and as he found upon trial that
Aratus was a worthy and sensible man, he contracted closer relations
with him than those of mere business. Indeed, Aratus was not only useful
to Antigonus for the management of great political negotiations, but
when the king was at leisure, proved a more agreeable companion to him
than any one else. Antigonus, young as he was, perceived that Aratus was
not spoiled by royal favour, and soon preferred him not only above all
other Achæans, but even beyond his own Macedonian courtiers. Thus was
the sign which the god had given him in the sacrifice brought to pass:
for it is said that a short time before this, Aratus was offering
sacrifice and that there appeared in the liver of the victim two gall
bladders enclosed in one caul. The soothsayer explained this to portend
that Aratus would shortly form an intimate friendship with his greatest
enemy. At the time he disregarded this saying, for he was always more
inclined to follow the dictates of common sense than to be guided by
prophecies and portents. Afterwards, however, as the war proceeded
successfully, Antigonus made a great feast at Corinth to which he
invited many guests. Among these was Aratus, whom he placed next to
himself. Presently he sent for a wrapper, and asked Aratus if he also
did not feel chilly. Aratus answered that he was very cold, and
Antigonus then bade him come closer to himself, so that the servants who
brought the wrapper enveloped them both in it. Then Aratus, remembering
the portent, burst out laughing, and told the king about the sacrifice
and the prophecy. This, however, happened after the times of which I am

XLIV. At Pegæ Aratus and Antigonus each plighted their faith to the
other, and then at once marched against the enemy. Before Corinth
several battles took place, for Kleomenes was securely entrenched there,
and the Corinthians vigorously assisted him. But now one Aristoteles of
Argos, a friend of Aratus, sent secretly to him to say that he could
cause that city to revolt from Kleomenes, if Aratus would appear before
it with some Macedonian soldiers. Aratus laid the matter before
Antigonus, and hurriedly crossed over to Epidaurus by sea with a force
of fifteen hundred men. The Argives rose in revolt before his arrival,
attacked the troops of Kleomenes, and drove them to take refuge in the
citadel; and Kleomenes, hearing of this, and fearing that if the enemy
made themselves masters of Argos they might cut off his retreat,
abandoned Corinth and marched by night to help the garrison of Argos. He
arrived there before Aratus, and won a partial success, but soon
afterwards, as Aratus was marching to attack him, and King Antigonus was
coming on behind Aratus, he retired to Mantinea. Upon this all the
cities of Peloponnesus again joined the Achæans, and Antigonus received
the citadel of Corinth. The people of Argos now elected Aratus their
commander-in-chief, and he persuaded them to make a present to Antigonus
of all the property of their late despots and of all traitors.
Aristomachus was put to the torture at Cenchreae and then drowned in the
sea, a proceeding which brought great discredit upon Aratus for having
allowed a man of considerable merit, with whom he had formerly been
intimately connected, and whom he had persuaded to abdicate his throne
and bring over Argos to the league, to be put to death in this cruel and
illegal manner.

XLV. By this time also many other charges were brought against Aratus by
the other cities, as, for instance, that the league had given Corinth to
Antigonus just as if it were some obscure village, and that it had
permitted him to sack Orchomenus and place in it a Macedonian garrison;
that it had passed a decree, that no letter or embassy should be sent to
any other king if Antigonus did not approve of it; that they were forced
to maintain and pay the Macedonians, and that they celebrated religious
services, processions, and games in honour of Antigonus, in which the
fellow-citizens of Aratus took the lead, and invited him into their city
where he was the guest of Aratus. All blamed Aratus for this, not
considering that he had given over the reins to Antigonus, and was now
compelled to follow his lead, having no longer anything except his
tongue which he could call his own, and not daring to use even that with
entire freedom. It was clear that much of what was being done distressed
Aratus, as for instance the affair of the statues; for Antigonus
restored the statues of the despots at Argos which had been thrown
down, and threw down all the statues of the captors of the citadel of
Corinth, except only that of Aratus himself: and that, too, although
Aratus begged him earnestly to spare those of the others. At Mantinea,
too, the behaviour of the Achæans was repugnant to Hellenic patriotism,
for having by the help of Antigonus captured that city, they put to
death all the leading men, and of the rest they sold some and sent
others to Macedonia loaded with fetters, while they made slaves of the
women and children. Of the proceeds of the sale they divided one-third
among themselves, and gave two-thirds to the Macedonians. Yet this can
be justified by the law of revenge; for though it is a shocking thing to
deal so cruelly with men of one's own nation, through anger, still, in
great political crises, revenge is sweet and not bitter, and in the
words of Simonides, soothes and relieves the angry spirit. But what
happened afterwards cannot be thought honourable to Aratus, nor can it
be attributed to political exigencies: for when the city was presented
by Antigonus to the Achæans, and they decided upon colonising it, Aratus
being chosen as its founder, and being at the time general of the
Achæans, decreed that it should no longer be called Mantinea, but
Antigoneia, which remains its name to this day. Thus, by his means, the
lovely Mantinea, as Homer calls it,[596] was wiped out of the map of
Greece, and there remains in its stead a city whose name recalls its
destroyer and the murderer of its citizens.

XLVI. Subsequently to this, Kleomenes was defeated in a great battle at
Sellasia, left Sparta and sailed to Egypt. Antigonus, after showing
every kindness to Aratus, returned to Macedonia, where, as he already
was suffering from the illness which caused his death, he sent the heir
to his kingdom, Philip, who was now a mere lad, into Peloponnesus,
advising him to pay the greatest attentions to Aratus, and through him
to negotiate with the cities, and make the acquaintance of the Achæans.
Aratus welcomed Philip, and so treated him that he returned to Macedonia
full of good will towards himself, and full of generous feelings and
impulses towards the Greeks.

XLVII. When Antigonus died, the Ætolians, who regarded the Achæans with
contempt because of their cowardice (for indeed they had become
accustomed to be protected by others, and trusting, entirely to the
Macedonian arms, had fallen into a condition of complete indolence and
want of discipline), began to interfere in the politics of the
Peloponnesus. During their invasion they incidentally plundered the
territory of Patræ and Dyme, and then marched into the country of
Messenia and began to lay it waste. Aratus, distressed at this, and
seeing that Timoxenus, the general of the Achæans, was acting slowly and
without spirit because his year of office had almost expired,
anticipated his own election as general by five days, in order to assist
the Messenians. He assembled an Achæan army: but the men were without
military training and were destitute of warlike spirit. This army was
defeated in a battle near Kaphyæ, and Aratus, who was reproached with
having been too rash a general, now fell into the opposite extreme, and
showed such apathy as often to refuse to seize opportunities for attack
which were offered by the Ætolians, and to permit them to riot through
Peloponnesus with every kind of wanton insult. Now, a second time, the
Achæans stretched forth their hands towards Macedonia and brought Philip
to interfere in the affairs of Greece. They were the more willing to
take this step because they knew the regard which Philip felt for
Aratus, and the trust which he placed in him, and they hoped that they
should find him gentle and manageable in all respects.

XLVIII. At first the king, influenced by the slanders of Apelles,
Megaleas, and some other of his courtiers against Aratus encouraged
those of the opposite faction, and eagerly pressed for the election of
Eperatus as general of the league. However, as he was utterly despised
by the Achæans, and as nothing useful could be effected while Aratus was
out of office, Philip perceived that he had made a complete mistake. He
now came entirely over to the side of Aratus, and acted entirely at his
dictation. As he was now gaining both renown and power, he attached
himself more and more to Aratus, imagining that it was by his means that
he gained his successes. Indeed it began to be thought that Aratus was
able to school kings as well as he could free cities; for the impress of
his character was to be traced in every one of Philip's acts. Thus the
lenity with which the young prince treated the Lacedæmonians after they
had offended him, his personal interviews with the Cretans, by means of
which he gained possession of the whole island in a few days, and his
brilliantly successful campaign against the Ætolians, all gained for
Aratus the credit of giving good advice, and for Philip that of knowing
how to follow it. All this made Philip's courtiers more and more jealous
of Aratus. As they could effect nothing against him by secret intrigues,
they proceeded to open abuse, and assailed him at wine-parties with the
most scurrilous impertinence, and once when he was retiring to his tent
after dinner they even sent a shower of stones after him. Philip was
very indignant at these proceedings, and at once imposed upon them a
fine of twenty talents. Afterwards, as they were embroiling and
troubling his affairs by their intrigues, he had them all put to death.

XLIX. Now that Philip was borne along upon the full tide of success, he
developed many vehement lusts, and the natural wickedness of his nature
broke through all the artificial restraints by which it had been
hitherto held in check, and gradually revealed him in his true colours.
His first act was to seduce the wife of the younger Aratus. This
intrigue he carried on for a long time unsuspected, as he lived in their
house and was treated as an honoured guest. Next, he began to treat the
Greeks in a much harsher fashion, and evidently intended to rid himself
of Aratus. His conduct at Messene first gave rise to this suspicion. The
Messenians revolted, and Aratus marched to attack them, but Philip
reached Messene one day before him, and when he entered the city stirred
up the passions of the citizens by asking the aristocracy of the
Messenians in private whether they had no laws to keep down the
populace, and then again in private inquiring of the leaders of the
people whether they had no hands wherewith to quell despots. After this
the chief men took heart and fell upon the popular leaders, but they,
with the assistance of the people, killed all the magistrates and nearly
two hundred of the other leading citizens.

L. After Philip had thus wickedly exasperated the Messenians against one
another, Aratus arrived. He made no secret of his distress at what had
happened, and did not restrain his son when he bitterly reproached and
abused Philip. The young man was thought to have been Philip's lover;
and he now told Philip that after such deeds he did not any longer think
him handsome, but hideous. Philip made no answer, although he was
thought likely to do so, as he often had burst into a fury when thus
spoken to, but, just as though he had patiently endured the reproof and
was really of a moderate and statesmanlike disposition, he took the
elder Aratus by the hand, led him out of the theatre, and proceeded with
him as far as the summit of Ithome, to sacrifice to Zeus and to view the
place, which is naturally as strong as the citadel of Corinth, and if
garrisoned would become a thorn in the side of the neighbouring states,
and quite impregnable. After mounting the hill and offering sacrifice,
when the soothsayer brought him the entrails of the ox, he, taking them
into his own hands, kept showing them first to Aratus and then to
Demetrius of Pharos, alternately placing them before each, and asking
what they thought was the meaning of the entrails, that he would keep
possession of the citadel, or that he would restore it to the
Messenians. At this Demetrius laughed and said, "If you have the soul of
a soothsayer, you will give up the place; but if you have that of a
king, you will clutch the ox by both horns," alluding to Peloponnesus,
which, if he held the citadels of Messene and of Corinth, would be quite
tame and at his mercy.

Aratus remained silent for a long while, but when Philip begged him to
say what he thought, he answered, "My king, there are many high
mountains in Crete, and there are many strong positions in Boeotia and
Phokis. I believe too, that there are many places of surprising strength
in Acarnania, both on the sea coast and inland, yet you have not taken
any of these, and nevertheless the people of those countries willingly
execute your commands. Brigands cling to high cliffs and haunt
precipitous places, but kings find nothing so secure as loyalty and
goodwill. This it is that opened to you the Cretan sea, and the
Peloponnesus. By these arts you, young as you are, have made yourself
the master of the one, and the leader of the other." While Aratus was
yet speaking Philip gave back the entrails to the soothsayer, and,
taking Aratus by the hand, said, "Come now, let us go back again,"
having been, as it were, overruled by him into letting the city remain

LI. Aratus now began to withdraw himself from the court, and by degrees
to break off his intimacy with Philip. When Philip conveyed his army
across the Corinthian gulf into Epirus,[597] and desired Aratus to make
the campaign with him, Aratus refused and remained at home, fearing that
he might share the disgrace of Philip's operations. Philip, after his
fleet had been ignominiously destroyed by the Romans, and his whole
enterprise had failed,[598] returned to Peloponnesus, and, as he did not
succeed in a second attempt to outwit the Messenians and to gain
possession of their citadel, he threw off the mask and openly wronged
them by ravaging their territory. Aratus now became quite estranged from
him, and was misrepresented to him. He had by this time learned the
domestic dishonour which he had sustained from Philip, and grieved over
it, though he kept it secret from his son; for when he had discovered
it, he was powerless to avenge it. Indeed Philip's character seems to
have undergone a very great and remarkable change, as from a mild ruler
and a modest youth he grew into a profligate man and an atrocious
tyrant. This change was not due to any alteration of his real nature,
but to the fact that he could now with impunity indulge the vices which
fear had hitherto forced him to conceal.

LII. His treatment of Aratus showed that he had always regarded him with
a mixture of respect and fear; for though he desired to make away with
him, and considered that during Aratus's lifetime he should not even be
a free man, much less a despot or king, yet he would not openly attack
him, but bade Taurion, one of his generals and friends, to do this
secretly, by poison if possible, during his own absence. This man gained
the confidence of Aratus, and administered drugs to him, whose action
was not quick and sudden, but which produced slight heats in the body
and a chronic cough, and so gradually undermined his strength. He did
not, however, do this without being discovered by Aratus; but he, as he
could gain nothing by convicting him, continued to endure his malady
just as if it were some ordinary disorder. Only once when he spat blood,
and one of his friends who was in the same room noticed it and expressed
his concern, Aratus said, "This, Kephalon, is the return I get for my
friendship for the king."

LIII. Thus died Aratus at Ægium, when holding the office of general of
the league for the seventeenth time. The Achæans wished his funeral to
take place in that city, and to raise a suitable monument over so great
a man; but the people of Sikyon regarded it as a national misfortune
that he should not be buried in their city, and prevailed upon the
Achæans to deliver up the body to them. As there was a law which was
regarded with superstitious reverence, forbidding any one to be interred
within the walls of Sikyon, they sent ambassadors to Delphi to consult
the oracle. The Pythia returned the following answer:--

   "Dost thou, fair Sikyon, hesitate to raise
    A fitting tomb to thy lost hero's praise?
    Curst be the land, nay, curst the air or wave
    That grudges room for thy Aratus' grave."

When this response was brought back all the Achæans were delighted, and
the Sikyonians in particular, turning their mourning into joy, put on
white robes, crowned themselves with garlands, and removed the body of
Aratus from Ægium to Sikyon in festal procession with songs and dances.
They chose a conspicuous spot, and interred him in it with as much
reverence as though he were the founder and saviour of their city. The
place is called the Arateum to the present day, and on the day upon
which he freed the city from its despot, which is the fifth day of the
month Daisius, or Anthesterion in the Athenian calendar, a sacrifice,
called the thanksgiving for safety, is offered, and also on the day of
the month on which Aratus was born. The former sacrifice used to be
conducted by the priest of Zeus the Saviour, and the latter by the
priest of Aratus, who wore a headband, not all white, but mixed with
purple. Songs used to be chanted to the music of the harp by the actors,
called the servants of Dionysius, and the president of the gymnasiums
took part in the procession, leading the boys and young men, after whom,
followed the council of the city, crowned with flowers, and any of the
citizens who wished to do so. Some traces of these proceedings still
survive, as religious ceremonies; but the most part of the honours paid
to Aratus have died out through lapse of time and change of

LIV. This is the account which history gives us of the life and
character of the elder Aratus. As for his son, Philip, who was naturally
a villain, and whose disposition combined insolence with cruelty,
administered drugs to him, which were not deadly, but which deprived him
of his reason; so that he conceived a passion for monstrous lusts and
shameful debaucheries, by which he was soon so worn out that, although
he was in the flower of his age, death appeared to him to be a release
from sufferings rather than a misfortune. Yet Zeus, the patron of
hospitality and of friendship, exacted a notable penalty from Philip for
his wickedness, and pursued him throughout his life: for he was utterly
defeated by the Romans, and forced to surrender at discretion to them.
He lost all his empire, was obliged to deliver up all his fleet, except
five ships, had to pay a thousand talents and give up his own son as a
hostage, and then only was allowed, by the pity of his conquerors to
keep Macedonia itself and its dependencies. As he always put to death
all the leading men of his kingdom, and all his nearest relations, he
inspired the whole country with terror and hatred. Amidst all his
miseries he had one piece of good fortune, in having a son of remarkable
promise, and him he put to death out of jealousy and envy at the honours
which were paid him by the Romans. He left his kingdom to his other son
Perseus, who was said not to be legitimate, but to be the son of a
sempstress named Gnathæna. Over him Paulus Æmilius triumphed, and so put
an end to the dynasty of Antigonus. However, the family of Aratus
survived in Sikyon and Pellene down to my own times.


I. The Athenian general Iphikrates thought that a mercenary soldier
ought to be fond both of money and pleasure, as in that case he would
risk his life the more freely to obtain the means of procuring
enjoyment. Most persons, however, are of opinion that an army, like a
healthy body, should receive no impulses save from its head. Thus we are
told that Paulus Æmilius, when he assumed the command of the army in
Macedonia, and found that the soldiers did nothing but talk and meddle,
as though each man were a general, gave them orders to keep their hands
ready and their swords sharp, and leave the rest to him. And Plato
likewise, seeing that a good general is useless without a disciplined
and united army, thought that soldiers should be mild and gentle, as
well as spirited and energetic, because those who know how to obey
require a noble nature and a philosophic training as much as those who
know how to command. The events which took place at Rome after Nero's
death prove most conclusively that nothing is more terrible than a
military force which is guided only by its own blind and ignorant
impulses. Demades, when he saw the disorderly and senseless movements of
the Macedonian army after the death of Alexander, compared it to the
Cyclops after he had been blinded; but the state of the Roman Empire
resembled the fabled rebellion of the Titans, as it was torn asunder
into several portions, which afterwards fought with one another, not so
much because of the ambition of those who were proclaimed emperors, as
through the avarice and licentiousness of the soldiers, who made use of
one emperor to drive out another, just as one nail drives out another.
When Alexander of Pheræ was assassinated, after reigning in Thessaly
for ten months, Dionysius, sneering at the shortness of his reign,
called him a mere tragedy king; but the palace of the Cæsars in a
shorter time than this saw four emperors, for the soldiers brought one
in and drove another out, as if they were actors on a stage. The only
consolation which the unhappy Romans enjoyed was that the authors of
their miseries required no avenger to destroy them, for they fell by one
another's hands, and first of all, and most justly, perished the man who
had seduced the army into expecting such great things from a change of
Cæsars, and who brought dishonour upon a glorious action, the
dethronement of Nero, by bribing men to do it as though it were a

II. Nymphidius Sabinus, who, as has been related, was together with
Tigellinus, Præfect of the Prætorian Guard,[599] when Nero's cause was
quite hopeless, and he was evidently preparing to escape to Egypt,
persuaded the soldiers to salute Galba as emperor, as though Nero were
already gone. He promised to each of the prætorians, or household
troops, seven thousand five hundred drachmas, and to each of the
legionary soldiers serving in the provinces twelve hundred and fifty
drachmæ; a sum which it would have been impossible to collect without
inflicting ten thousand-fold more misery on mankind than Nero himself
had done.

This offer at once caused the downfall of Nero, and soon afterwards that
of Galba; for the soldiery deserted Nero in hopes of receiving the
money, and murdered Galba because they did not receive it. After this
they sought so eagerly for some one who would give them as much, that
before they obtained the hoped-for bribe, their own treasons and
rebellions proved their ruin. To relate each event exactly as it
happened belongs more properly to the professed historian; yet, those
words and deeds of the Cæsars which are worthy of record ought not to be
passed over even by an essayist like myself.

III. It is generally agreed that Servius Sulpicius Galba was the richest
private person who ever was raised to the throne of the Cæsars. Though
illustrious by birth, being descended from the noble family of the
Servii, he prided himself even more upon his relationship with
Catulus,[600] who, though he shrank from taking any active part in
politics, was yet one of the most virtuous and eminent men of the time.
Galba was likewise related to Livia, the wife of Augustus, and by her
influence he had been raised from the post which he held in the palace
to the office of consul. He is said to have ably commanded the army in
Germany, and to have gained especial praise by his conduct as proconsul
in Libya. But when he became emperor, his simple and inexpensive mode of
life was thought to be sheer meanness, while his ideas of discipline and
sobriety appeared obsolete and ridiculous. Nero, before he had learned
to fear the most eminent of the Romans, had appointed Galba to a command
in Spain. Indeed, besides the mildness of his character, it was thought
that his advanced age was a guarantee against his engaging in any rash

IV. While Galba was in Spain, the procurators of the emperor treated the
provincials with the greatest harshness and cruelty. Galba could not
afford them any assistance, but he made no secret of his sympathy with
them and sorrow at their wrongs, and thus afforded them some relief
while they were being condemned unjustly and sold into slavery. Many
scurrilous songs also were written about Nero and sung and circulated
everywhere, and as Galba did not discourage this, and did not share the
indignation of the procurators, he became even more endeared to the
natives, with whom he was already intimately acquainted, as he was now
in the eighth year of his command, during which Junius Vindex, who
commanded the army in Gaul, revolted.

It is said that before Vindex committed any overt act of rebellion he
wrote to Galba, and that Galba neither agreed to his proposals nor yet
denounced him, as some other generals did; for many of them sent
Vindex's letters to Nero, and as far as they were able ruined his cause.
Yet these men afterwards became traitors, and so proved that they could
betray themselves as well as Vindex. When, however, Vindex openly raised
the standard of revolt, and called upon Galba to accept the offer of
empire, and constitute himself the head of a strong body--namely, the
troops in Gaul, a hundred thousand armed men, and many times more men
capable of bearing arms--Galba called a council of his friends. Some of
them advised him to temporise, and watch the progress of events at Rome;
but Titus Vinius, the captain of the prætorian cohort, said, "Galba, why
do you hesitate? for you cannot remain quiet, and yet think of remaining
faithful to Nero. If Nero is to be your foe, you must not refuse the
proffered alliance of Vindex, or else you must at once denounce him and
attack him, because he wishes the Romans to have you for their chief
rather than Nero for their tyrant."

V. After this, Galba by an edict appointed a day upon which he would
grant manumission to whoever might wish it, and rumour and gossip drew
together on that day a great multitude of people eager for revolution.
No sooner did Galba appear upon the tribune than all with one voice
saluted him as emperor. Galba did not at once accept this title, but
spoke in disparagement of Nero, deplored the best citizens of Rome who
had been murdered by him, and promised that he would watch over his
country to the best of his power, not as Cæsar or Emperor, but merely as
the general of the Senate and people of Rome. That Vindex acted justly
and on due reflection when he offered the empire to Galba, is proved by
the conduct of Nero himself; for though he affected to despise Vindex
and to regard Gaul as of no importance, yet as soon as he heard of
Galba's rising, which was when he was at breakfast after his bath, he
overturned the table. However, as the Senate declared Galba a public
enemy, Nero, wishing to show his courage and to jest with his friends,
said that this gave him a good pretext for raising the money of which he
stood in need; for when he had conquered the Gauls he would sell their
spoils by public auction, and in the meantime he could at once
confiscate the estate of Galba, as he had been declared a public enemy.
Nero, after this, ordered Galba's property to be sold, and Galba, when
he heard of this, ordered all Nero's property in Spain to be put up to
auction and found people much more ready to purchase it.

VI. Many now revolted from Nero, and all these, as might be expected,
declared for Galba, with the exception of Clodius Macer, in Africa, and
Virginius Rufus[601] who commanded the German army in Gaul, who each
acted for themselves, though for different reasons. Clodius, who had
plundered his province, and put many men to death from cruelty and
covetousness, hesitated, because he could neither continue to hold his
command nor yet give it up with safety. Virginius on the other hand, who
was at the head of the most powerful force in the empire, and who was
constantly saluted as emperor by his soldiers and urged to assume the
purple, declared that he would neither become emperor himself nor yet
allow any one else to do so without the consent of the Senate. Galba was
at first much disturbed at this. Soon the two armies of Vindex and
Virginius, like horses that have taken the bit between their teeth,
fought a severe battle with one another. After two thousand Gauls had
fallen, Vindex committed suicide; and a rumour became prevalent that
after so signal a victory the whole army would either place Virginius
upon the throne, or would return to their allegiance to Nero. Galba, who
was now greatly alarmed, wrote to Virginius, begging him to act in
concert with him, and preserve the empire and liberty of the Romans.
Meanwhile he retired with his friends to Colonia, a city of Spain, where
he occupied himself more in repenting of the steps which he had taken,
and in regretting the loss of his usual life of ease and leisure more
than in doing anything to further his cause.

VII. Summer was just beginning, when one evening, shortly before dark,
there arrived Icelus, one of Galba's freed men, who had travelled from
Rome in seven days. Hearing that Galba was retired to rest, he proceeded
at once to his chamber, forced open the door in spite of the resistance
of the attendants, made his way in and told him that while Nero was
still alive, first the army, and then the people and Senate had declared
Galba emperor: and that shortly afterwards a report was spread of Nero's
death. The messenger said that he had not believed this rumour, and that
he had not left Rome before he had seen the corpse of Nero. This news
very greatly raised the credit of Galba, and a multitude of men, whose
confidence in him had been restored by this message, flocked to his
doors to salute him. Yet the time[602] in which he received the news
seemed incredibly short. But, two days afterwards Titus Vinius arrived
with several other persons, who brought a detailed account of the
proceedings both of the prætorians and of the Senate. He was at once
promoted to a post of honour; while Icelus was presented with a
gold[603] ring, received the surname of Marcianus, and took the first
place among the freed men of Galba.

VIII. Meanwhile at Rome Nymphidius Sabinus, not quietly and by degrees,
but by one bold stroke, attempted to get all departments of the state
into his own hands. He pointed out that Galba was an old man who would
scarcely live long enough to be carried to Rome in a litter; and indeed
Galba was in his seventy-third year. The soldiers in the provinces, he
declared, had long been his friends, and they now depended on him alone
because of the enormous presents which he offered them, which made them
regard him as their benefactor, and Galba as their debtor. Nymphidius
now at once ordered his colleague Tigellinus to give up his sword, and
entertained all men of consular or prætorian rank at state banquets,
although he still invited them in the name of Galba, while he suborned
many of the prætorian guard to say that they must petition Galba to
appoint Nymphidius as their præfect for life without any colleague. He
was urged to even more audacious pretensions by the conduct of the
Senate, who added to his fame and power by addressing him as their
benefactor, by assembling daily to pay their respects to him, and by
requiring him to propose and to ratify every decree: so that in a short
time he became an object not only of jealousy but of terror to his
supporters. When the consuls chose public messengers to carry the
decrees of the Senate to the emperor, and had given them the sealed
documents known as diplomas,[604] at the sight of which the local
authorities in all towns assist the bearer on his journey by relays of
horses at each stage. Nymphidius was much vexed at their not having come
to him to affix the seals and to provide messengers from the prætorian
guard, and he is even said to have thought of wreaking his displeasure
on the consuls; but when they begged his pardon he forgave them. In
order to win the favour of the people he permitted them to massacre any
of Nero's creatures who fell into their hands: and they killed Spicillus
the gladiator by throwing him under the statues of Nero when they were
being dragged about the Forum; laid Aponius, one of the informers, on
the ground and drove waggons loaded with stones over his body, and tore
to pieces many other persons, some of whom were perfectly innocent, so
that Mauriscus, who was justly held to be one of the noblest men in
Rome, openly declared in the Senate that he feared they would soon wish
to have Nero back again.

IX. Nymphidius, who thus began to draw nearer to the object of his
hopes, did not dislike being called the son of Caius Cæsar, who was
emperor after Tiberius. It seems that Caius, when a boy, did have an
intrigue with the mother of Nymphidius, who was a good looking woman,
the daughter of a hired sempstress and of one Callisto, a freed man of
the emperor. But it appears that her intrigue with Caius must have
taken place after the birth of Nymphidius, whose father was generally
supposed to have been Martianus the gladiator, for whom Nymphidia
conceived a passion because of his renown as a swordsman; and this
belief was confirmed by the likeness which he bore to the gladiator.
However, though he did not deny that Nymphidia was his mother, he
nevertheless boasted that the dethronement of Nero was entirely his own
work, and, not satisfied with having gained by it both honours and
riches, and the embraces of Sporus, the favourite of Nero, whom he had
fetched away from the funeral pyre of his late master and now treated as
his wife, calling her Poppæa, he was intriguing to gain the throne for
himself. He employed several of his friends, among whom were some ladies
of rank and senators, to further his interests in Rome, and sent one
Gellianus to Spain to watch the proceedings of Galba.

X. After Nero's death all went well with Galba, though he still felt
uneasy about Virginius Rufus, who had not declared his intentions, and,
who, being at the head of a great and warlike army, with the glory of
having overthrown Vindex and made himself master of a great part of the
Roman Empire, was not unlikely to listen to the solicitations of those
who wished him to assume the purple, especially as the whole of Gaul was
in an excited condition and ready to revolt. No name was greater or more
glorious than that of Virginius, who was credited with having saved Rome
both from a cruel tyranny and from a war with Gaul. He, however,
according to his original intention, referred the choice of an emperor
to the Senate; though when the death of Nero was known the soldiers
renewed their solicitation of Virginius to make himself emperor, and one
of the tribunes who attended him in his tent drew his sword, and bade
Virginius choose between the steel and the throne. But when Fabius
Valens, the commander of one legion, swore allegiance to Galba, and
dispatches arrived from Rome containing an account of what the Senate
had decreed, Virginius, though not without difficulty, prevailed upon
his soldiers to salute Galba as emperor; and when Galba sent Hordeonius
Flaccus to supersede him, he received him as his successor, delivered
up the troops to him, met Galba, who was now on the march for Rome, and
joined him without receiving from him any token either of favour or
resentment. Galba respected Virginius too much to injure him, and Titus
Vinius and Galba's other adherents opposed his advancement out of
jealousy, though in truth they only assisted the good genius of
Virginius in withdrawing him from the wars and troubles in which all the
other commanders were involved, and enabling him to live in peaceful
retirement to a good old age.

XI. At Narbo, a city of Gaul,[605] Galba was met by envoys from the
Senate, who greeted him and invited him to show himself as soon as
possible to his people who were eager to behold him. Galba showed the
envoys every kindness and hospitality, but at his entertainments would
only use his own plate and other things, though Nymphidius had forwarded
from Nero's stores sumptuous services of everything necessary for great
banquets, and the imperial household servants. By this conduct Galba
gained the reputation of being a magnanimous man, above any ideas of
vulgar ostentation; but Vinius presently told him that this noble and
patriotic simplicity seemed merely an artifice to gain popularity with
the lower classes, and that it was affectation to behave as though he
were not worthy of this magnificence. By these arguments Vinius
prevailed upon him to use Nero's riches, and not to shrink from an
imperial extravagance at his banquets. Indeed the old man seemed as
though by degrees he would come to be altogether ruled by Vinius.

XII. This Vinius was more passionately fond of money than any one else
of his time, and by no means free from blame in respect of women. When a
young man, serving on his first campaign under Calvisius Sabinus, he
introduced his general's wife, a dissolute woman, into the camp
disguised as a soldier, and passed the night with her in the general's
headquarters, which the Romans call the "Principia." For this outrage
Caius Cæsar imprisoned him; but on the death of Caius he was fortunate
enough to obtain his release. Once when dining with the emperor Claudius
he stole a silver cup. When Claudius heard of it he asked him to dinner
on the following day, but when he came ordered the attendants to serve
him entirely from earthenware, not from silver. Cæsar by this comic
punishment showed that he regarded him as more worthy of ridicule than
of serious anger; but when he had obtained complete control over Galba,
and was the most powerful man in the empire, his passion for money led
him into acts which partly caused and partly led others to bring about
the most tragic scenes of sorrow.

XIII. Nymphidius, as soon as Gellianus, whom he had sent as a spy upon
Galba, was returned, learned from him that Cornelius Laco was appointed
præfect of the palace and of the prætorian guard, but that all real
power was in the hands of Vinius.[606] Gellianus also said that he had
had no opportunity of meeting Galba, and of conversing privately with
him. At this news Nymphidius was much alarmed. He assembled the officers
of the prætorians, and addressed them, saying that Galba himself was a
kind and moderate old man, but that he never acted according to his own
judgment and was entirely led astray by Vinius and Laco. "Before these
men, therefore," he continued, "insensibly obtain for themselves the
position and influence which was formerly enjoyed by Tigellinus, it is
our duty to send an embassy from the prætorian guard to our chief, to
inform him that he will be more acceptable to us and more popular if he
removes these two of his friends from his court." As this language was
not approved, for indeed it seemed a strange and unheard of proceeding,
to lecture an old general upon the choice of his friends, as though he
were a young boy just appointed to his first command, Nymphidius tried
another course, and attempted to intimidate Galba by writing letters to
him, in which he at one time declared that Rome was in an excited and
disaffected condition, and at another that Clodius Macer had laid an
embargo on the corn-ships in African ports, and that the German legions
were rising in revolt, and that he heard much the same news about the
troops in Syria and Judæa. As Galba did not pay much attention to his
letters or attach much credit to the assertions which they contained, he
resolved to make his attempt before Galba's arrival, though Clodius
Celsus of Antioch, who was a sensible man and a faithful friend,
dissuaded him, saying that he did not believe that there was one single
family in Rome that would address Nymphidius as Cæsar. Many, however,
scoffed at Galba, and Mithridates of Pontus[607] in particular, sneering
at his bald head and wrinkled face, said that the Romans thought a great
deal of Galba, now that he was absent, but that when he came they would
think him a disgrace to the age that called him Cæsar.

XIV. It was now determined that Nymphidius should be conducted to the
camp of the prætorians at midnight and there proclaimed emperor. Towards
evening Antonius Honoratus, the first military tribune, assembled the
soldiers under his command and addressed them, beginning by blaming
himself and them for having in a short time so often changed their
allegiance, which they had done, not according to any fixed plan, or in
order to choose the best masters, but as though they were driven to
commit one treason after another by some infatuation sent by the gods.
Their desertion of Nero was indeed justified by his crimes; but they
could not accuse Galba of having murdered his mother or his wife; nor
could they allege that he had ever disgraced the purple by appearing on
the stage. "Yet," he continued, "it was not any of these things that
made us desert Nero, but Nymphidius persuaded us into doing so when Nero
had already deserted us and fled to Egypt. Shall we then kill Galba as
well as Nero? Shall we choose the son of Nymphidia for our emperor, and
slay the son of Livia as we slew the son of Agrippina? Or shall we
rather punish this fellow for his crimes, and thus prove ourselves the
avengers of Nero, and the faithful guards of Galba?"

This speech of the tribune was agreed to by all his soldiers, who
proceeded to their comrades, and urged them to remain faithful to Galba,
and most of them promised to do so. Soon a shout was raised, either
because, according to some writers, Nymphidius believed that the
soldiers were already calling for him, or else because he wished to be
beforehand with them and fix them while they were wavering and uncertain
whom they should follow. Nymphidius came forward in the glare of many
torches, carrying in his hand a speech written by Cingonius Varro, which
he had learned by heart and intended to address to the soldiers. When,
however, he saw that the gates of the camp were closed, and that the
walls were covered with armed men, he was alarmed, and, coming up to the
gates, asked what they wanted, and by whose orders they were under arms.
They all answered with one voice that they looked upon Galba as their
emperor. At this Nymphidius went up to them, applauded their resolution,
and bade his followers do likewise. The soldiers at the gate let him
pass in, with a few others. Presently a spear was hurled at him, which
Septimius caught before him on his shield; but as many now attacked
Nymphidius with drawn swords, he ran away, was pursued into a soldier's
room, and slain there. The corpse was dragged into a public place where
a railing was put round it, and it was left exposed to public view the
next day.

XV. When Galba heard how Nymphidius had perished, he ordered such of his
accomplices as had not voluntarily made away with themselves to be put
to death: among whom were Cingonius Varro who wrote the speech, and
Mithridates of Pontus. In this Galba was thought to have shown himself
harsh beyond all usage, if not beyond all law, and this execution of men
of rank without a trial[608] was a most unpopular message. Indeed, all
men had expected a very different kind of rule, for they had been
deceived, as is usually the case, by the reports spread at the beginning
of Galba's reign. They were still further grieved at the fate of
Petronius Turpilianus, a man of consular rank and a faithful servant of
Nero, whom Galba ordered to destroy himself. In Africa Macer had, it is
true, been put to death by Trebonianus, and Fonteius in Germany by
Fabius Valens, acting under Galba's orders: yet in both these cases he
had the excuse that he feared, them, as they were in open rebellion
against him; but there could be no reason for refusing a trial to
Turpilianus, an old and helpless man, if the emperor had any intention
of carrying out in his acts the moderation of which he spoke in his
proclamations. For all this, therefore, Galba was blamed by the Romans.
When on his journey he arrived within five-and-twenty stadia (about
three English miles) of the city, he met a disorderly mob of
sailors[609] who occupied the entire road. These were the men whom Nero
had formed into a legion and treated as soldiers. They now wished to
have their appointment confirmed, and pushed forward towards the emperor
noisily demanding standards for their legion and quarters to encamp in,
crowding round him in such disorder that he could neither be seen nor
heard by those citizens who had come out to meet him on his arrival.
When he endeavoured to put the matter off, and said that he would give
them an answer at another time, they, taking his delay to mean a refusal
of their demand, became indignant, and followed him with loud shouts. As
some of them drew their swords, Galba ordered his cavalry to charge
them. No resistance was offered, but some were cut down in the act of
turning to flee, and some while they ran. It was thought to be a very
bad omen that Galba should make his entry into the city in the midst of
so much blood and slaughter; but all who had before jeered at him as a
feeble old man now looked upon him with fear and horror.

XVI. In the giving of presents Galba wished to show a marked change from
the profuse liberality of Nero: but he seems to have missed his mark, as
for example, when Canus, the celebrated flute-player, performed before
him at dinner, Galba praised his playing and ordered his purse to be
brought. From this he took several gold pieces and gave them to Canus,
telling him that the money came from his own pocket, not from the
revenues of the state. He also demanded the restitution of the
largesses, which Nero had bestowed on his favourite actors and athletes,
leaving them only a tenth part. As he could scarcely get any part of the
money back from them, for the major part being reckless profligates who
lived only for the day's enjoyment, had spent it all, he began to search
out those who had bought anything or received any presents from them,
and obliged them to refund. This investigation caused infinite trouble,
for it affected so many persons; it covered Galba with disgrace and made
Vinius loathed and detested for making the emperor show himself so mean
and pettifogging towards his subjects, while he himself used his power
recklessly, confiscating and selling every one's property. Hesiod,
indeed, bids us drink deep of--

   "The end and the beginning of the cask;"

and Vinius, seeing that Galba was old and feeble took his fill of his
fortune, as though it were both beginning and ending.

XVII. The old emperor received much wrong, first from the bad
arrangements made by Vinius, and also because Vinius blamed or defeated
his best intentions. An instance of this was his punishment of Nero's
favourites. He did, indeed, put to death many wretches, among whom were
Helius, Polykleitus, Petinus, and Patrobius. The people applauded, and
cried out as these men were being led through the Forum, that the sight
was a fair one and pleasing to the gods, but that both gods and men
demanded the punishment of Tigellinus, Nero's tutor and instructor in
wickedness. That worthy, however, had previously attached Vinius to
himself by a most important pledge.[610] So, they argued, Turpilianus
perished though he had committed no crime except that he remained
faithful and did not betray a bad master; while the man, who first made
Nero unfit to live, and then deserted and betrayed him, was still alive,
an evident example that anything could be obtained from Vinius by those
who could pay for it. The Roman people, who would have enjoyed no
spectacle so much as that of Tigellinus dragged away to execution, and
who never ceased to demand his head when they assembled in the theatre
or the circus, were astonished at a proclamation in which the emperor,
after declaring that Tigellinus was suffering from a wasting disease
and could not live long, begged his people not to urge him to disgrace
his reign by acts of tyranny and ferocity. In ridicule of the public
exasperation Tigellinus offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the gods
for the recovery of his health, and prepared a splendid banquet; while
Vinius left the table of the emperor after dinner and led his widowed
daughter to the house of Tigellinus in a riotous procession. Tigellinus
made her a present of five-and-twenty thousand drachmas, and bade his
chief concubine take off the necklace which she wore, which, was said to
be worth fifteen thousand drachmas, and put it round his daughter's

XVIII. After these outrages Galba received no credit even when he acted
mildly, as for instance, when he granted a remission of tribute and the
Roman franchise to the Gauls who had risen in rebellion under Vindex,
for it was believed that they had not received these privileges from the
kindness of the emperor, but had bought them from Vinius. Thus the
people began to dislike the emperor most cordially, but the prætorian
guard, who had not received their looked-for donative, still cherished a
hope that Galba would give them at least as much money as they had been
wont to receive from Nero, if not as much as they had been promised by
Nymphidius. When Galba heard of their discontent, he made that remark,
so worthy of a great commander, that "he was wont to enlist his
soldiers, not to buy them," and this caused the soldiers to hate him
bitterly, for they thought that, besides depriving them of what was
their due, he was trying to regulate the conduct of future emperors
towards them. Yet disaffection at Rome had not hitherto assumed any
distinct form, for the awe inspired by the presence of Galba acted as a
kind of check upon revolutionary schemes, and men concealed the dislike
with which they regarded him because they did not see any distinct
opportunity of effecting a change in the government. But the troops in
Germany who had served under Virginius, and who were now commanded by
Flaccus,[611] were elated with pride at the victory which they had won
over Vindex, and as they were given nothing, became quite unmanageable
by their officers. They paid no attention whatever to Flaccus, who,
indeed, besides being quite helpless from his violent attacks of gout,
was entirely without military experience. Once when the army was
assembled at a public spectacle, and the tribunes and officers offered
prayers, as is usual among the Romans, for the prosperity of the emperor
Galba, the soldiers broke into loud murmurs of dissent, and then, as
their chiefs continued the prayers, shouted as a response, "If he be

XIX. Very similar reports to these reached Galba concerning the conduct
of the legions under the command of Tigellinus.[612] The emperor,
fearing that it was not only his age, but his want of children which
brought him into contempt, now determined to adopt some noble youth as
his son, and make him heir to the throne. There was one Marcus Otho, a
man of illustrious family, and steeped from childhood in luxury and
pleasure beyond most Romans of his time. As Homer calls Alexander the
"spouse of fair-haired Helen," celebrating him for the beauty of his
wife, in default of any noble qualities of his own, so Otho was
notorious at Rome in consequence of his marriage with Poppæa, with whom
Nero fell in love when she was the wife of Crispinus, and, as he had
still some feelings of respect for his own wife, and feared his mother,
made use of Otho to obtain her for him. Otho's extravagance made him a
friend and companion of Nero, who was amused at being reproached by Otho
for meanness and parsimony. It is said that once Nero scented himself
with a very costly perfume, and sprinkled a little of it over Otho. On
the next day Otho entertained Nero, when suddenly a number of gold and
silver pipes squirted out the same perfume over them both as abundantly
as if it were water. Otho seduced Poppæa for Nero, and prevailed upon
her by holding out hopes of an intrigue with Nero to divorce her husband
and marry him. After she became his wife, he did not like to share her
favours, but showed great jealousy, at which it is said Poppæa was not
offended, for she used sometimes to exclude Nero even when Otho was
absent, either because she feared to surfeit him with her society, or
according to some writers, because she did not wish to marry the
emperor, though she was willing enough to have him for her lover. Otho
ran a great risk of losing his life; and it is strange that Nero, who
put to death his own wife and sister for Poppæa's sake, should have
spared Otho.

XX. But Seneca was Otho's friend, and he persuaded Nero to appoint Otho
to the command of the province of Further Lusitania. Otho gained the
love and respect of his subjects, although he well knew that his
appointment was merely intended as an honourable exile. When Galba
revolted, Otho was the first to join him, brought all his silver and
gold plate for Galba to coin into money, and presented him with slaves
who knew how to wait upon an emperor. In everything he proved his
fidelity to Galba, while he showed a rare capacity for business, and on
the march to Rome he travelled for days together in the same chariot
with Galba. During this journey, while he was so familiar with the
emperor, he paid special court to Vinius, both by conversing with him
and by giving him presents, and he firmly established his right to the
second place in the emperor's favour by always yielding the first to
Vinius. He was more successful than Vinius in avoiding unpopularity, for
he assisted all petitioners to obtain their demands without taking
bribes from them, and showed himself easy of access and affable to all.
He took special interest in the common soldiers, and obtained promotion
for many of them, sometimes by applying directly to the emperor, at
others by means of Vinius, or of the freedmen, Icelus and
Asiaticus,[613] who were the most powerful personages of the court.
Whenever Otho entertained Galba, he always presented each soldier of the
guard in attendance on the emperor with a gold piece, and thus corrupted
the army and won their affections for himself while he appeared to be
doing honour to Galba.

XXI. Now, when Galba was deliberating about the choice of a successor,
Vinius suggested Otho to him. Vinius did not do Otho even this service
gratis, but because he hoped to have him for a son-in-law, for they had
made a compact that Vinius's daughter should marry Otho if he were
adopted by Galba and declared his successor on the throne. But Galba
always preferred the good of the state to his own private advantage, and
always looked, not to what was most pleasant for himself, but to what
was best for Rome. It seems probable that he would never have chosen
Otho even to be heir to his own estate, for he knew well his
licentiousness and extravagance and his debts, which amounted to fifty
millions.[614] Wherefore Galba, after having graciously and in silence
listened to Vinius, postponed his decision: only he appointed himself
consul, and Vinius his colleague, and it was supposed that he would name
his successor at the beginning of the new year. The soldiers eagerly
hoped that this successor would be Otho.

XXII. While Galba was deliberating and hesitating, the German army broke
out into open rebellion. All the soldiers alike hated Galba for not
having given them their promised donative, and the troops in Germany
regarded it as a special insult to themselves, that Virginius Rufus had
been so discourteously deprived of his command, that those Gauls who had
fought against them under Vindex had been rewarded, while those who had
not joined him were punished, and that Galba should show such gratitude
to Vindex and pay him such honour after his death, as though it was
Vindex who had made him emperor of the Romans. This kind of language was
being openly held in the camp when on the first day of the new
year,[615] which the Romans call the Calends of January, Flaccus
assembled the army to renew the customary oath of fidelity to the
emperor. The soldiers overthrew and tore down the images of Galba, swore
fealty to the Senate and people of Rome, and then dispersed. After this
outbreak the officers began to fear anarchy among the soldiers as much
as rebellion: and one of them spoke as follows: "What will become of
us, fellow-soldiers, if we neither remain faithful to our present
emperor nor yet create another, as though we had not merely thrown off
our allegiance to Galba, but refused to obey any master whatever? As for
Hordeonius Flaccus we must pass him over, for he is merely a feeble
shadow of Galba; but within one day's march of us there is Vitellius,
the chief of the army of Lower Germany, whose father was censor and
thrice consul, and who can point to the poverty for which some reproach
him as a shining proof of honesty and greatness of soul. Come, let us
choose this man, and show that we know better than the Iberians or
Lusitanians how to elect an