Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus (1886). pp. 171-221. Books 21-30
Dionysius the younger becomes tyrant of Syracuse, I.----His cruelties; is expelled from Syracuse, and received at Locri, II.----His conduct there; is driven from the place, and regains the government at Syracuse, III.----Usurpation of Hanno at Carthage; his death, IV. ----Dionysius is again driven from Syracuse, and leads a mean life at Corinth, V.----The Carthaginians are alarmed at the conquests of Alexander the Great; the unjust execution of Hamilcar, VI.
I. WHEN Dionysius the tyrant was cut off in Sicily, the army elected in his room Dionysius the eldest of his sons, both in accordance with the law of nature, and because they thought the power would be more secure, if it continued in the hands of one son, than if it were divided among several. |172 Dionysius, at the commencement of his reign, was eager to remove the uncles of his brothers,1 as being his rivals in the government, and as having encouraged the young men to ask for a division of power. But concealing his inclinations for a while, he applied himself first to gain the favour of his subjects, as being likely to cause the atrocity, which he had resolved on committing, to be regarded with more indulgence, if he previously made himself popular. He therefore released three thousand prisoners from the gaols, remitted the people the taxes for three years, and sought the affection of all by whatever blandishments he could use. Then, proceeding to execute his determination, he put to death, not only the relatives of his brothers, but his brothers themselves; so that he left to those, to whom he owed a share of power, not even a share of life, and commenced cruelty upon his kindred before he exercised it upon strangers.
II. When his rivals were removed, he fell into indolence, and contracted, from excessive indulgence at table, great corpulence of body, and a disease in his eyes, so that he could not bear the sunshine, or dust, or even the brightness of ordinary daylight. Suspecting that, for these weaknesses, he was despised by his subjects, he proceeded to inflict cruelties upon them; not filling the gaols, like his father, with prisoners, but the whole city with dead bodies. Hence he became not more, contemptible than hateful to every one. The Syracusans, in consequence, resolving to rebel against him, he long hesitated whether he should lay down the government or oppose them in arms; but he was compelled by the soldiery, who hoped for plunder from sacking the city, to march into the field. Being defeated, and trying his fortune again with no better success, he sent deputies to the people of Syracuse, with promises that "he would resign the government, if they would send persons to him with whom he might settle terms of peace." Some of the principal citizens being |173 accordingly sent for that purpose, he put them in close confinement, and then, when all were off their guard, having no fear of hostilities, he despatched his army to devastate the city. A contest, in consequence, which was long doubtful, took place in the town itself, but the townsmen overpowering the soldiery by their numbers, Dionysius was obliged to retire, and fearing that he should be besieged in the citadel, fled away secretly, with all his king-like paraphernalia, to Italy. Being received, in his exile, by his allies the Locrians, he took possession of the citadel as if he were their rightful sovereign, and exercised his usual outrages upon them. He ordered the wives of the principal men to be seized and violated; he took away maidens on the point of marriage, polluted them, and then restored them to their betrothed husbands; and as for the wealthiest men, he either banished them or put them to death, and confiscated their property.
III. In process of time, when a pretext for plunder was wanting, he over-reached the whole city by an artful stratagem. The Locrians, being harassed in war by Leophron the tyrant of Rhegium, had vowed, if they were victorious, to prostitute their maidens on the festal day of Venus; and as, on neglecting to perform the vow, they were unsuccessful in another war with the Lucanians, Dionysius called them to an assembly, and advised them "to send their wives and daughters, as richly dressed as possible, to the temple of Venus; out of whom a hundred, chosen by lot, should fulfil the public vow, and, for religion's sake, offer themselves for prostitution during the space of a month, the men previously taking an oath not to touch any one of them; and, in order that this should be no detriment to the women who released the state from its vow, they should make a decree, that no other maiden should be married till these were provided with husbands." This proposal, by which regard was shown both to their superstitious observances and to the honour of their virgins, being received with approbation, the whole of the women, in most expensive dresses, assembled in the temple of Venus, when Dionysius, sending in his soldiers, took off their finery, and made the ornaments of the matrons a spoil for himself. The husbands of some of them too, who were of the richer class, he put to death; others he tortured to make them discover their husbands' wealth. After reigning in this manner for six years, |174 he was driven from Locri by a conspiracy of the people, and returned to Sicily; where, while all, after so long an interval of peace, were free from apprehension, he possessed himself of Syracuse by surprise.
IV. While this affair occurred in Sicily, Hanno, a leading man among the Carthaginians, in Africa, employed his power, which surpassed that of the government, to secure the sovereignty for himself, and endeavoured to establish himself as king by killing the senate. For the execution of this atrocity he fixed on the day of his daughter's marriage, in order that his nefarious plot might be the better concealed in the pomp of religious ceremonies. He accordingly prepared a banquet-for the common people in the public porticoes, and another for the senate in his own house, so that, by poisoning the cups, he might take off the senate privately and without witnesses, and then more easily seize the government, when none were left to prevent him.2 The plot being disclosed to the magistrates by his agents, his destructive intentions were frustrated, but not punished, lest the matter, if publicly known, should occasion more trouble, in the case of so powerful a man, than the mere design of it had caused. Satisfied, therefore, with putting a stop to it, they merely set bounds by a decree to the expenses of marriage entertainments, and ordered the decree to be obeyed, not by him alone, but universally, that nothing personal to him, but the general correction of an abuse, might seem to be intended. Prevented by this measure, he, for a second attempt, raised the slaves, and appointing another day for the massacre of the senate, but finding himself again betrayed, he threw himself, for fear of being brought to trial, into a strong fortress with a body of twenty thousand armed slaves. Here, while he was soliciting the Africans, and the king of the Moors, to join him, he was captured, and after being scourged, having his eyes put out, and his arms and legs broken, as if atonement was to be exacted from every limb, he was put to death in the sight of the people, and his body, mangled with stripes, was nailed to a cross. All his children and relations, too, though guiltless, were delivered to the executioner, that no member of so nefarious a family might survive either to imitate his villainy, or to revenge his death. |175
V. Dionysius, in the meantime, being re-established in Syracuse, and becoming every day more oppressive and cruel to the people, was assailed by a new band of conspirators Laying down the government, therefore, he delivered up the city and army to the Syracusans, and, being allowed to take his private property with him, went to live in exile at Corinth; where, looking on the lowest station as the safest, he humbled himself to the very meanest condition of life. He was not content with strolling about the streets, but would even stand drinking in them; he was not satisfied with being seen in taverns and impure houses, but would sit in them for whole days. He would dispute with the most abandoned fellows about the merest trifles, walk about in rags and dirt, and afford laughter to others more readily than he would laugh at them. He would stand in the shambles, devouring with his eyes what he was not able to purchase; he would wrangle with the dealers before the aediles, and do everything in such a manner 3 as to appear an object of contempt rather than of fear. At last he assumed the profession of a schoolmaster, and taught children in the open streets, either that he might continually be seen in public 4 by those who feared him, or might be more readily despised by those who did not fear him; for though he had still plenty of the vices peculiar to tyrants, yet his present conduct was an affectation of vices, 5 and not the effect of nature, and he adopted it rather from cunning than from having lost the self-respect becoming a sovereign, having experienced how odious the names of tyrants are, even when they are deprived of power. He strove, therefore, to diminish the odium incurred from his past by the contemptibleness of his present life, not looking to honourable but to safe practices. Yet amidst all these arts of dissimulation, he was accused of aspiring to the sovereignty, and was left at liberty only because he was despised.
VI. During these proceedings, the Carthaginians, alarmed at the rapid successes of Alexander the Great, and fearing that he might resolve to annex Africa to his Persian empire, |176 sent Hamilcar, surnamed Rhodanus, a man remarkable for wit and eloquence beyond others, to sound his intentions; for, indeed, the capture of Tyre, their own parent city, and the founding of Alexandria, as a rival to Carthage, on the confines of Africa and Egypt, as well as the good fortune of the king, whose ambition and success seemed to know no limit, raised their apprehensions to an extreme height. Hamilcar, obtaining access to the king through the favour of Parmenio, represented himself to Alexander as having been banished from his country, and as having fled to him for refuge, offering, at the same time, to serve as a soldier in the expedition against Carthage. Having thus ascertained his views, he sent a full account of them to his countrymen, inscribed on wooden tablets, with blank wax spread over the writing. The Carthaginians, however, when he returned home after the death of Alexander, put him to death, not only ungratefully but cruelly, on pretence that he had offered to sell their city to the king.
Rise of Agathocles in Sicily, I.----Becomes master of Syracuse by the aid of Hamilcar, II.----His wars in Sicily, III.----The Carthaginians besiege Syracuse; Agathocles carries the war against them into Africa, IV.----His speech to his army, promising them the plunder of Carthage, V.----Superstition of the soldiers; Agathocles burns his ships, defeats the Carthaginians, and lays waste the country, VI. VII.----Returns to Sicily, and drives the Carthaginians from it; his farther proceedings, VIII.
I. AGATHOCLES,6 tyrant of Sicily, who attained greatness equal to that of the elder Dionysius, rose to royal dignity from the lowest and meanest origin. He was born in Sicily, his father being a potter, and spent a youth not more honourable than his birth; for, being remarkable for beauty and gracefulness of person, he supported himself a considerable time by submitting to the infamous lust of others. When he had |177 passed the years of puberty, ho transferred his services from men to women. Having thus become infamous with both sexes, he next changed his way of life for that of a robber. Some time after, having gone to Syracuse and been received as a citizen among the other inhabitants, he was long without credit, appearing to have as little of property to lose as he had of character to blacken. At last, enlisting in the army as a common soldier, he showed himself ready for every kind of audacity, his life being then not less distinguished by restlessness than it had previously been by infamy. He was noted for activity in the field, and for eloquence in making harangues. In a short time, accordingly, he became a centurion, and soon after a tribune. In his first campaign against the people of Aetna,7 he gave the Syracusans great proofs of what he could do; in the next, against the Campanians, he excited such hopes of himself throughout the army, that he was chosen to fill the place of the deceased general, Damascon, whose wife, after the death of her husband, he married, having previously had a criminal connection with her. And, not content that from being poor he was suddenly made rich, he engaged in piracy against his own country. He was saved from death by his companions, who, when apprehended and put to the torture, denied his guilt. Twice he attempted to make himself sovereign of Syracuse, and twice he was driven into exile.
II. By the Murgantines, with whom he took refuge in his banishment, he was first, from hatred to the Syracusans, made praetor, and afterwards general-in-chief. In the war which he conducted for them, he both took the city of the Leontines, and proceeded to besiege his native city, Syracuse; when Hamilcar, general of the Carthaginians, being entreated to aid it, laid aside his hatred as an enemy, and sent a body of troops thither. Thus, at one and the same time, Syracuse was both defended by an enemy with the love of a citizen, and attacked by a citizen with the hatred of an enemy. But Agathocles, seeing that the city was defended with more vigour than it was assailed, entreated Hamilcar, through his deputies, to undertake the settlement of a peace between him and the Syracusans, promising him particular services in return for the favour. Hamilcar, induced by such hopes, and by dread of |178 his power, made an alliance with him, on condition that whatever assistance he furnished Agathocles against the Syracusans, he himself should receive as much for the augmentation of his power at home. Not only peace, in consequence, was procured for Agathocles, but he was also appointed praetor at Syracuse; and he then swore to Hamilcar that he would be faithful to the Carthaginians, the [sacred] fires, at the same time, being set forth, and touched by him.8 Some time after, having received from Hamilcar five thousand African troops, he put to death the most powerful of the leading citizens; and then, as if intending to re-model the constitution, he ordered the people to be summoned to an assembly in the theatre, convoking the senate, in the meantime, in the Gymnasium, as though he designed to make some previous arrangements with them. His measures being thus taken, he sent his troops to surround the people, and caused the senate to be massacred, and, when he had finished the slaughter of them, cut off the richest and boldest of the commoners.
III. These things being done, he made choice of troops, and embodied a regular army; with which he suddenly attacked several of the neighbouring cities when they were under no apprehension of hostilities. He also disgracefully harassed, with the connivance of Hamilcar, certain allies of the Carthaginians, who, in consequence, sent complaints to Carthage, not so much against Agathocles as against Hamilcar, accusing "the former, indeed, as an oppressor and tyrant, but the latter as a traitor, by whom the possessions of their allies, under a settled compact, were betrayed to the bitterest of enemies; for as, at first, Syracuse (a city always hostile to the Carthaginians, and a competitor with Carthage for the |179 dominion of Sicily) was delivered to Agathocles as a bond of union with Hamilcar, so, at the present time, the cities of the allies of Carthage were given up to the same tyrant under pretence of making peace. They warned them, therefore, that these proceedings would shortly come home to themselves, and that they would feel what mischief they had brought,9 not more upon Sicily than upon Africa itself." At these complaints the senate was incensed against Hamilcar, but as he was in command of the army, they gave their votes concerning him secretly, and caused their several opinions, before they were openly read, to be put in an urn, and sealed up, until the other Hamilcar, the son of Gisco, should return from Sicily. But the death of Hamilcar prevented all effects from these subtle contrivances and suppressed judgments,10 and he, whom his fellow citizens had unjustly condemned unheard, was freed from danger of punishment by the kindness of destiny. The proceeding furnished Agathocles with a pretext for making war on the Carthaginians. His first engagement was with Hamilcar, the son of Gisco, by whom he was defeated, and retired to Syracuse to prepare himself for war with fresh vigour. But the result of his second encounter was the same as that of the first.
IV. The victorious Carthaginians, in consequence, having invested Syracuse with a close siege, Agathocles, perceiving that he was neither a match for them in the field, nor provided for enduring a blockade, and being deserted, moreover, by his allies, who were disgusted at his cruelties, resolved to transfer the war into Africa; a resolution formed with wonderful audacity, that he should make war on the city of a people for whom he was not a match in his own city; that he who could not defend his own country should invade that of others; and that one who had been conquered should brave his conquerors. Nor was the secrecy of his plan less striking than the contrivance of it. Stating merely to the people, that "he had found out a way to victory, and that they had only to prepare their minds to endure a short siege, or that, if any of them were dissatisfied with their present circumstances, he gave them full liberty to depart," he proceeded, after one thousand |180 six hundred had left him, to furnish the rest with provisions and money for the necessities of a blockade, taking away with him only fifty talents for present use, and intending to get further supplies rather from his enemies than his friends. He then obliged all the slaves that were of age for war, after receiving their freedom, to take the military oath, and put them and the greater part of the soldiers, on ship-board, supposing that, as the condition of both was made equal, there would be a mutual emulation in bravery between them.
V. In the seventh year of his reign, therefore, accompanied by his two grown-up sons, Archagathus and Heraclides, he directed his course towards Africa, not one of his men knowing whither he was sailing; but while they all supposed that they were going to Italy or Sardinia for plunder, he landed his army on the coast of Africa, and then for the first time made known his intentions to them all. He reminded them in what condition Syracuse was, "for which there was no other remedy but that they should inflict on the enemy the distresses that they themselves were suffering. Wars," he said, "were conducted in one way at home and in another abroad; at home, a people's only support was what the resources of their country supplied; but abroad, the enemy might be beaten by their own strength, while their allies fell off, and from hatred of their long tyranny, looked about for foreign aid. To this was added, that the cities and fortresses of Africa were not secured with walls, or situate on eminences, but lay in level plains without any fortifications, and might all be induced, by the fear of destruction, to join in the war against Carthage. A greater war, in consequence, would blaze forth against the Carthaginians from Africa itself than from Sicily, as the forces of the whole region would combine against a city greater in name than in power, and he himself would thus gain from the country the strength which he had not brought into it. Nor would victory be only in a small degree promoted by the sudden terror of the Carthaginians, who, astonished at such daring on the part of their enemies, would be in utter consternation. Besides, there would be the burning of country houses, the plundering of fortresses and towns that offered resistance, and siege laid to Carthage itself; from all which disasters they would learn that wars were practicable not only for them against others, but for |181 others against them. By these means the Carthaginians might not only be conquered, but Sicily might be delivered from them; for they would not continue to besiege Syracuse, when they were suffering from a siege of their own city. Nowhere else, therefore, could war be found more easy, or plunder more abundant, for, if Carthage were taken, all Africa and Sicily would be the prize of the victors. The glory, too, of so honourable an enterprise, would be so celebrated through all ages, that it could never be buried in oblivion; for it would be said that they were the only men in the world who had carried abroad against their enemies a war which they could not withstand at home; who, when defeated, had pursued their conquerors, and besieged the besiegers of their own city. They ought all accordingly, to prosecute, with equal courage and cheerfulness, an enterprise, than which none could offer them a more noble reward if they were victorious, or greater honour to their memory if they were conquered."
VI. By these exhortations the courage of the soldiers was excited; but the superstitious influence of an omen had spread some dismay among them; for the sun had been eclipsed 11 during their voyage. But with regard to this phenomenon Agathocles was at no less pains to satisfy them than he had been with regard to the war; alleging that, "if it had happened before they set out, he should have thought it a portent unfavourable to their departure, but since it had occurred after they had set sail, its signification was directed against those to whom they were going. Besides," he said, "the eclipses of the heavenly bodies always presaged a change in the present state of things, and it was therefore certain that an alteration was foretold in the flourishing condition of the Carthaginians and in their own adverse circumstances." Having thus pacified his soldiers, he ordered all the ships, with the consent of the army, to be set on fire, in order that, the means of flight being taken away, they might understand that they must either conquer or die.
While they were devastating the country wherever they went, and laying farm-houses and fortresses in ashes, Hanno advanced to meet them with thirty thousand Carthaginians. |182 When they came to a battle, two thousand of the Sicilians, and three thousand of the Carthaginians, with their general himself, were left on the field. By this victory the spirits of the Sicilians were elated, and those of the Carthaginians depressed. Agathocles, taking advantage of his success, stormed several towns and forts, took a vast quantity of plunder, and killed many thousands of the enemy. He then pitched his camp at the distance of five miles from Carthage, that they might view from the walls of the city the destruction of their most valuable possessions, the devastation of their lands, and the burning of their houses. At the same time a great rumour of the destruction of the Carthaginian army, and of the capture of their cities, was spread through all Africa, and astonishment fell upon every one, wondering how so sudden a war could have surprised so great an empire, especially from an enemy already conquered. This wonder was gradually changed into a contempt for the Carthaginians; and not long after, not only the populace of Africa, but the most eminent cities, out of fondness for change, revolted to Agathocles, and furnished the victorious army with corn and money.
VII. To these disasters of the Carthaginians, and as if to crown their evil fortune, was added the destruction of their army and its general in Sicily. For after the departure of Agathocles from the island, the Carthaginians, prosecuting the siege of Syracuse with less vigour, were reported to have been utterly cut off by Antander, the brother of Agathocles. The fortune of the Carthaginians, therefore, being similar at home and abroad, not only their tributary towns, but even princes that were in alliance with them, began to fall off, estimating the obligations of confederacy not by the standard of honour but by that of fortune. Among these was Opheltas, king of Cyrene, who, grasping, with extravagant hopes, at the dominion of all Africa, made an alliance with Agathocles through ambassadors, arranging that, when the Carthaginians were subdued, the government of Sicily should fall to Agathocles, and that of Africa to himself. But when he came, accordingly, with a numerous army, to take a share in the war, Agathocles, after throwing him off his guard by the affability of his address and the abjectness of his flattery, and after they had supped together several times, and he had been adopted |183 by Opheltas as a son, put him to death, and taking the command of his forces, defeated the Carthaginians, who were renewing the war with all their might, in a second great battle, but with much loss to both armies. At this result of the contest, such despair was felt by the Carthaginians, that, had not a mutiny occurred among the troops of Agathocles, Bomilcar, the Carthaginian general,12 would have gone over to him with his army. For this treachery he was nailed to a cross by the Carthaginians in the middle of the forum, that the place which had formerly been the distinguished scene of his honours might also bear testimony to his punishment. Bomilcar, however, bore the cruelty of his countrymen with such fortitude, that from his cross, as if he had been on a judgment-seat, he inveighed against the injustice of the Carthaginians, upbraiding them sometimes with "having cut off Hanno,13 on a false charge of aspiring to sovereignty;" sometimes with "having banished the innocent Gisco;"14 and. sometimes with "having secretly condemned his uncle Hamilcar,15 merely because he wished to make Agathocles their ally rather than their enemy." After uttering these charges with a loud voice, in a numerous assembly of the people, he expired.
VIII. Agathocles, meanwhile, having overcome all opposition in Africa, left the command of his army to his son Archagathus, and went back to Sicily, thinking that all he had done in Africa was as nothing, if Syracuse was still to be besieged; for after the death of Hamilcar, the son of Gisco, a fresh army had been sent thither by the Carthaginians. Immediately on his arrival, all the cities of Sicily, having previously heard of his achievements in Africa, unanimously submitted to him; and being thus enabled to drive the Carthaginians from Sicily, he made himself master of the whole island. Returning afterwards to Africa, he was received by his army in a state of mutiny; for the discharge of their arrears of pay had been deferred by the son till the arrival of his father. Summoning them, therefore, to a general |184 assembly, he proceeded to pacify them with soothing words, saying that "pay was not to be asked of him, but to be taken from the enemy; that they must gain a common victory, and common spoil; and that they must continue to support him for a short time, till what remained of the war was finished, as they were certain that the capture of Carthage would satisfy all their desires." The mutiny being thus allayed, he led the army, after an interval of some days, against the camp of the enemy, but commencing an engagement too rashly, lost the greater part of his force. Retreating to his camp, therefore, and finding the odium of his rash engagement affecting his character, and dreading, at the same time, a revival of the former murmurs at his failure in paying the arrears, he fled from his camp at midnight, attended only by his son Archagathus. When the soldiers heard of his departure, they were in no less consternation than if they had been captured by the enemy, exclaiming that "they had been twice deserted by their leader in the midst of the enemy's country, and that the care of their lives had been abandoned by him by whom not even their burial should have been neglected." As they were going to pursue Agathocles, they were met by some Numidians, and returned to the camp, but not without having seized and brought back Archagathus, who, through mistaking his way in the night, had been separated from his father. Agathocles, with the ships in which he had returned from Sicily, and the men that he had left to guard them, arrived safe at Syracuse; affording a signal instance of dishonourable conduct, a prince deserting his army, and a father abandoning his children.
In Africa, meanwhile, after the flight of Agathocles, his soldiers, making a capitulation with the enemy, and putting to death the sons of Agathocles, surrendered themselves to the Carthaginians. Archagathus, when he was going to be killed by Arcesilaus, a former friend of his father, asked him "what he thought Agathocles would do to the children of him by whom he was rendered childless?" Arcesilaus replied, that "he felt no concern, since he knew that his children would certainly survive those of Agathocles." Some time after, the Carthaginians sent new commanders into Sicily, to terminate what remained of the war there, and Agathocles made peace with them on equal terms. |185
Agathocles goes to war with the Bruttii in Italy; some account of that people, I.----Agathocles returns to Sicily, and dies; Sicily again occupied by the Carthaginians, II.----Acts of Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, in Sicily and Italy, III.----History and character of Hiero, IV.
I. AGATHOCLES, sovereign of Sicily, having concluded a peace with the Carthaginians, reduced, by force of arms, a part of the cities which, presuming upon their strength, had thrown off their allegiance to him. Then, as if he were confined within too narrow limits in an island (a part of the dominion of which, even when he first began to rise, he could scarcely have hoped to obtain), he proceeded, after the example of Dionysius,16 who had subdued many cities of Italy, to cross, over into that country. His first enemies there were the Bruttii, who, at that period, seem to have been the bravest and most powerful people of the country, and to have been extremely ready to attack their neighbours; for they had driven the inhabitants of many of the Greek cities from Italy, and had conquered in war the Lucanians their founders, and made peace with them on equal terms; such being the fierceness of their nature, that they had no respect even for those to whom they owed their origin.
The Lucanians were accustomed to breed up their children with the same kind of education as the Spartans; for, from their earliest boyhood, they were kept in the wilds among the shepherds, without any slaves to attend them, and even without clothes 17 to wear or to sleep upon, that, from their first years, they might be accustomed to hardiness and spare diet, having no intercourse with the city. Their food was what they took in hunting, and their drink milk or water. Thus were they prepared for the toils of war.
Fifty of these people, who, at first, used to plunder the lands of their neighbours, but who, as numbers flocked to join |186 them, increased in strength, and were tempted by hopes of greater booty, disturbed the whole of the neighbouring country; and Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, being wearied with complaints from his allies, had sent six hundred Africans to put a stop to their ravages. But the marauders, having seized a fort which the Africans had built, and which was betrayed into their hands by a woman named Bruttia, proceeded to build a city there for the shepherds, who, at the report of a new settlement, came in numbers to join them; and, from the name of the woman, they called themselves Bruttii.
Their first war was with the Lucanians, from whom tney sprung. Encouraged by a victory over them, and making peace on equal terms, they subdued the rest of their neighbours by force of arms, and acquired, in a short time, such extraordinary strength, that they were thought formidable even by princes. After some time, Alexander, king of Epirus,18 coming into Italy with a great army to the aid of the Greek cities, was cut off by them with all his force; and their natural fierceness, increased by this success, was for a long time terrible to all around them. At last Agathocles, being importuned to come over, set sail, with the hope of enlarging his dominions, from Sicily to Italy.
II. At the first news of his arrival, the Bruttii, alarmed at his name, sent ambassadors to solicit alliance and friendship with him. Agathocles, inviting them to an entertainment, that they might not see his army shipped over, and appointing the next day for giving them audience, went off immediately after the banquet in a vessel, and left them in the lurch. But what followed this deceit was unhappy for him; for the violence of a disease 19 which he contracted obliged him a few days after to return to Sicily. Being affected by the distemper through his whole body, and a pestilential humour spreading through all his nerves and joints, he was tormented, as it were, by an intestine war among all his members. As his life was despaired of, a contention arose between his son and grandson, each claiming the right of succession to his |187 power as if he were already dead; and the grandson, after killing the son, got possession of the supreme dignity. Agathocles, therefore, when the pain of his disease and his anxiety of mind were grown intolerable, the one being increased by the severity of the other, resolved on embarking his wife Texena, and two infant sons 20 that he had by her, with all his treasure, and servants, and regal furniture (in which no king at that time was richer), and sending her back to Egypt, from whence he had received her, fearing that they would find the usurper of his power their enemy. His wife, however, long entreated that she might not be separated from her sick husband, that the affliction of her departure might not be added to the atrocities of his grandson, and that she might not be made to appear as cruel in forsaking her husband as he in attacking his grandfather; saying that, "by marrying him, she not only engaged to share his good fortune, but all his fortune; nor would she unwillingly purchase, with the hazard of her own life, the privilege of receiving her husband's last breath, and of performing, with all the care of conjugal duty and affection, the last offices at his funeral, which, when she was gone, no one would take upon himself to discharge." The little children, at parting, embraced and clung to their father with doleful lamentations; while the wife, who was to see her husband no more, could not desist from kissing him. Nor were the tears of the old man less moving; the children wept for their dying father, the father for his banished children. They bewailed the forlorn condition of their parent, a sick old man; he lamented that his offspring, born to the prospect, of a throne, should be left in want. At the same time the whole palace resounded with the cries of those who were witnesses to so cruel a separation. The necessity for departure, however, at length put a stop to their weeping, and the death of the prince followed the leave-taking of his children.
During these occurrences, the Carthaginians, learning the state of affairs in Sicily, and thinking that an opportunity was afforded them of securing the whole island, crossed over to it with a great force, and reduced several cities.
III. At this time, too, Pyrrhus was engaged in a war with the Romans, and, being entreated by the Sicilians, as has been said, |188 to come to their assistance,21 and crossing, in consequence, over to Syracuse, and taking several cities, received the title of king of Sicily as well as of Epirus. Elated by this success, he destined for his son Helenus the kingdom of Sicily, as an inheritance from his grandfather (for he was the son of Agathocles's daughter), and to Alexander that of Italy. He then fought many successful battles with the Carthaginians; but, after a time, ambassadors came to him from his Italian allies, announcing that "they could no longer withstand the Romans, and that, unless he gave them assistance, they must submit." Alarmed at this danger from another quarter, and uncertain what to do, or whither first to direct his efforts, he took time, while he was in suspense between the two, for consideration. As the Carthaginians threatened him on one side, and the Romans on the other, it seemed hazardous not to transport a force into Italy, and more hazardous to withdraw troops from Sicily, lest the one should be lost by not receiving assistance, or the other by being deserted. In this conflict of perils, the safer determination seemed to be, to bring the struggle to an end, by exerting his utmost strength in Sicily, and then, after having subdued the Carthaginians, to carry his victorious army into Italy. He therefore fought a battle; but, though he had the advantage, yet, as he quitted Sicily, he seemed to flee as one defeated; and his allies, in consequence, revolted from him, and he lost his dominion in Sicily as speedily and easily as he had obtained it.
Experiencing no better success in Italy, he returned to Epirus. His fortune, indeed, good and bad, was wonderful for the examples which it gave of both. For as, at first, his good fortune, when his attempts succeeded even beyond his wishes, had procured him empire in Italy and Sicily, and so many victories over the Romans; so now his adverse fortune, overthrowing all that he had raised, as if to afford an illustration of human instability, added to his failure in Sicily the destruction of his fleet at sea, loss of honour in a battle with the Romans, and an ignominious retreat out of Italy.
IV. When Pyrrhus had withdrawn from Sicily, Hiero was made governor of it; and such was the prudence he displayed in his office, that, by the unanimous consent of all the cities, |189 he was first made general against the Carthaginians, and soon after king. The fortune of Hiero, in his infancy, had been as it were a presage of his future dignity. He was the son of Hierocles, a man of high rank, whose descent was traced from Gelo an ancient prince of Sicily. His extraction on the mother's side, however, was so mean as to be even dishonourable; for he was the child of a female slave, and was in consequence exposed by his father as a disgrace to his family. But, when he was thus left destitute of human aid, bees for several days fed him with honey, which was heaped round him as he lay. Hence his father, admonished by a communication from the soothsayers, who signified that sovereign power was foreboded to the infant, took him home again, and brought him up most carefully with the hope that he would attain the promised honour. As he was learning his lesson at school, too, among his equals in age, a wolf, that suddenly appeared in the midst of the boys, snatched from him his book. And when he was grown up, and commencing his first campaign, an eagle settled on his shield, and an owl upon his spear; a prodigy which indicated that he would be prudent in counsel, active in the field, and a king. He fought frequently, moreover, with persons that challenged him, and always gained the victory; and he was presented by king Pyrrhus with many military gifts. The handsomeness of his person was remarkable, and his bodily strength wonderful. He was affable in his address, just in his dealings, moderate in command; so that nothing kingly seemed wanting to him but a kingdom. |190
Disturbances in Greece; war between Sparta and the Aetolians; end of disputes between the pretenders to the throne of Macedonia, I.----Marriage of Ptolemy and Arsinoë, and its consequences, II. III.----Irruption of the Gauls into Macedonia; incaution of Ptolemy, IV.----Defeat and death of Ptolemy; rise of Sosthenes, V. ----The Gauls march to Delphi; description of Delphi, VI.----The Gauls halt in sight of Delphi, and are cut off by the Greeks. VII. VIII.
I. DURING the course of these proceedings in Sicily, the kings, Ptolemy Ceraunus 22 and Antigonus, quarrelling and going to war with one another in Greece, almost all the cities of that country, under the Spartans as leaders, encouraged as it were by the opportunity thus offered to entertain hopes of recovering their liberty, and sending to each other ambassadors by whom leagues might be formed to unite them, broke out into hostilities; and, that they might not seem to commence war with Antigonus, under whose dominion they were, they attacked his allies the Aetolians, making it a pretext for war with them, that they had taken possession of the Cirrhaean plain, which by the unanimous consent of Greece had been dedicated to Apollo. For their general in this war they selected Areus, who, drawing together an army, laid waste the towns and corn-fields lying in the plain, and burnt whatever he was unable to carry off. When the shepherds of the Aetolians beheld this destruction from their mountains, about five hundred of them assembling together, attacked the enemy as they were dispersed, and knew not what was the number of their assailants (for the sudden alarm, and the smoke of the fires, prevented them from ascertaining), and having killed about nine thousand 23 of the depredators, put the rest to flight. And when the Spartans afterwards renewed the war, many of the states refused them their support, thinking that they sought dominion for themselves, and not liberty for Greece.
In the meantime the war between the princes that contended |191 for the throne of Macedonia was concluded, for Ptolemy, having routed Antigonus and made himself master of the whole country, arranged a peace with Antiochus, and contracted an affinity with Pyrrhus by giving him his daughter in marriage.
II. Having thus freed himself from the fear of foreign enemies, he turned his impious and unprincipled mind to the perpetration of wickedness at home, and contrived a plot against his sister Arsinoe,24 to deprive her sons of life, and herself of the possession of the city of Cassandrea. His first stratagem was to pretend love to his sister, and to seek her hand in marriage, for he was unable to come at his sister's sons, whose throne he had usurped, otherwise than by counterfeiting affection for their mother. But the criminal intentions of Ptolemy were understood by his sister. As she expressed distrust of him, therefore, he assured her that "he wished to share the kingdom with her children, against whom he had not taken arms because he wished to wrest the kingdom from them, but that he might have it in his power to present them with a por.tion of it. She might therefore send a person to receive an oath from him, in whose presence he would bind himself, before the gods of their country, by whatever execrations she pleased." Arsinoë, not knowing what to do, was afraid that if she sent any one, she would be deceived by a false oath, and that, if she did not send, she would provoke her brother's fury and cruelty. Fearing, therefore, less for herself than her children, whom she thought she might protect by the marriage, she sent Dion, one of her friends, to him. Ptolemy, after conducting him into the most sacred temple of Jupiter, held in high veneration from of old among the Macedonians, took hold of the altar, and, touching the images and couches of the gods, vowed, with unheard-of and most solemn imprecations, that "he sought a marriage with his sister in true sincerity, and that he would give her the title of Queen, nor would, to her dishonour, have any other wife, or any other children than her sons." Arsinoë, being thus filled with hope, and relieved from apprehensions, held a conference with her brother in person, and as his looks and flattering glances promised no less sincerity than his oath, she agreed to marry |192 him, though her son Lysimachus 25 exclaimed that "there was treachery at the bottom."
III. The nuptials were celebrated with great magnificence and general rejoicings. Ptolemy, before the assembled army, placed a diadem on his sister's head, and saluted her with the title of Queen. Arsinoë, overjoyed at the name, as having regained what she had lost by the death of Lysimachus her former husband, invited Ptolemy to her city Cassandrea; to get possession of which city the plot was laid. Going thither before her husband, she appointed a festival in the city against his arrival, ordering the houses, temples, and all other places, to be magnificently decorated, altars and victims to be everywhere kept in readiness, and her sons, Lysimachus who was sixteen years old, and Philip three years younger, both remarkable for their comeliness, to go to meet him with crowns on their heads. Ptolemy, to conceal his treachery, caressing them with eagerness, and beyond the warmth of real affection, persisted for a long time in kissing them. But as soon as he arrived at the gate, he ordered the citadel to be seized, and the boys to be slain. They, fleeing to their mother, were slain upon her lap, as she was embracing them; while Arsinoë exclaimed, "What monstrous crime had she committed,26 either in marrying or since her marriage?" She several times offered herself to the assassins in the room of her children, and, embracing them, covered their bodies with her own, endeavouring to receive the wounds intended for them. At last, deprived even of the dead bodies of her sons, she was dragged out of the city, with her garments torn and her hair dishevelled, and with only two attendants, and went to live in exile in Samothracia; sorrowing the more, that she was not allowed to die with her children. But the crimes of Ptolemy were not unpunished; for soon after (the immortal gods inflicting vengeance on him for so many perjuries, and such cruel murders), he was driven from his throne and taken prisoner by the Gauls, and lost his life, as he had merited, by the sword.
IV. The Gauls, when the land that had produced them was unable, from their excessive increase of population, to contain them, sent out three hundred thousand men, as a sacred spring,27 |193 to seek new settlements. Of these adventurers part settled in Italy, and took and burnt the city of Rome; and part penetrated into the remotest parts of Illyricum under the direction of a flight of birds (for the Gauls are skilled in augury beyond other nations), making their way amidst great slaughter of the barbarous tribes, and fixed their abode in Pannonia. They were a savage, bold, and warlike nation, and were the first after Hercules (to whom that undertaking procured great admiration for his valour, and a belief in his immortality), to pass the unconquered heights of the Alps, and places uninhabitable from excess of cold. After having subdued the Pannonians, they carried on various wars with their neighbours for many years. Success encouraging them, they betook themselves, in separate bands, some to Greece, and some to Macedonia, laying waste all before them with the sword. Such indeed was the terror of the Gallic name, that even kings, before they were attacked, purchased peace from them with large sums of money. Ptolemy alone, the king of Macedonia, heard of the approach of the Gauls without alarm, and, hurried on by the madness that distracted him for his unnatural crimes, went out to meet them with a few undisciplined troops, as if wars could be despatched with äs little difficulty as murders. An embassy from the Dardanians, offering him twenty thousand armed men for his assistance, he spurned, adding insulting language, and saying that "the Macedonians were in a sad condition, if, after having subdued the whole east without assistance, they now required aid from the Dardanians to defend their country; and that he had for soldiers the sons of those who had served under Alexander the Great, and had been victorious throughout |194 the world." This answer being repeated to the Dardanian prince, he observed that "the famous kingdom of Macedonia would soon fall a sacrifice to the rashness of a raw youth."28
V. The Gauls, under the command of Belgius, sent deputies to Ptolemy to sound the disposition of the Macedonians, offering him peace if he liked to purchase it; but Ptolemy boasted to his courtiers that the Gauls sued for peace from fear of war. Nor was his manner less vaunting before the ambassadors than before his own adherents, saying that "he would grant peace only on condition that they would give their chiefs as hostages, and deliver up their arms; for he would put no trust in them until they were disarmed." The deputies bringing back this answer, the Gauls laughed, and exclaimed throughout their camp, that "he would soon see whether they had offered peace from regard for themselves or for him." Some days after a battle was fought, and the Macedonians were defeated and cut to pieces. Ptolemy, after receiving several wounds, was taken, and his head, cut off and stuck on a lance, was carried round the whole army to strike terror into the enemy. Flight saved a few of the Macedonians; the rest were either taken or slain.
When the news of this event was spread through all Macedonia, the gates of the city were shut, and all places filled with mourning. Sometimes they lamented their bereavement, from the loss of their children; sometimes they were seized with dread, lest their cities should be destroyed; and at other times they called on the names of their kings, Alexander and Philip, as deities, to protect them; saying that "under them they were not only secure, but conquerors of the world;" and begging that " they would guard their country, whose fame they had raised to heaven by the glory of their exploits, and give assistance to the afflicted, whom the insanity and rashness of Ptolemy had ruined." While all were thus in despair, Sosthenes, one of the Macedonian chiefs, thinking that nothing would be effected by prayers, assembled such as were of age for war, repulsed the Gauls in the midst of their exultation at their victory, and saved Macedonia from devastation. For these |195 great services, he, though of humble extraction, was chosen before many nobles that aspired to the throne of Macedonia. But though he was saluted as king by the army, he made the soldiers take an oath to him, not as king, but as general.
VI. In the meantime Brennus, under whose command a part of the Gauls had made an irruption into Greece, having heard of the success of their countrymen, who, under the leadership of Belgius, had defeated the Macedonians, and being indignant that so rich a booty, consisting of the spoils of the east, had been so lightly abandoned, assembled an army of a hundred and fifty thousand foot and fifteen thousand horse, and suddenly invaded Macedonia. As he was laying waste the fields and villages, Sosthenes met him with his army of Macedonians in full array, but being few in number, and in some consternation, they were easily overcome by the more numerous and powerful Gauls; and the defeated Macedonians retiring within the walls of their cities, the victorius Brennus, meeting with no opposition, ravaged the lands throughout the whole of Macedonia. Soon after, as if the spoils of mortals were too mean for him, he turned his thoughts to the temples of the immortal gods, saying, with a profane jest, that "the gods, being rich, ought to be liberal to men." He suddenly, therefore, directed his march towards Delphi, regarding plunder more than religion, and caring for gold more than for the wrath of the deities, "who," he said, "stood in no need of riches, as being accustomed rather to bestow them on mortals."
The temple of Apollo at Delphi is situate29 on Mount Parnassus, on a rock steep on all sides. A concourse of people, who, collecting from the parts around, through veneration 30 for the majesty of the god, settled on the rock, formed a city there. Thus, not walls, but precipices, not defences formed by the hand, but by nature, protect the temple and the city; so that it is utterly uncertain whether the strength of the |196 place, or the influence of the deity residing in it, attracts more admiration. The central part of the rock falls back in the shape of an amphitheatre; and, in consequence, if ever shouts are raised, or if the noise of trumpets is mingled with them, the sound, from the rocks echoing and re-echoing to one another, is heard many times repeated, and louder than it was made at first. This effect, on those who are ignorant of its cause, and are struck with wonder at it, produces a greater awe of the power of the god. In the winding of the rock, about half way up the hill; there is a small plain, and in it a deep fissure in the ground, which is open for giving oracles; for a cold exhalation, driven upwards by some force, as it were by a wind, produces in the minds of the priestesses a certain madness, and compels them, filled with the influence of the god, to give answers to such as consult them. Hence many rich presents of kings and nations are to be seen there, which, by their magnificence, testify the grateful feelings of those that have paid their vows, and their belief in the oracles given by the deity.
VII. Brennus, when he came within sight of the temple, deliberated for some time, whether he should at once make an attempt upon it, or should allow his soldiers, wearied with their march, a night to refresh themselves. Two of the captains, Emanus and Thessalorus, who had joined him for a share in the booty, advised that "no delay should be made,'' while the enemy were unprovided for defence, and the alarm at their coming still fresh; that in the interval of a night, the courage of the enemy would perhaps revive, and assistance come to them; and that the approaches, which were now open, might be blocked up." But the common soldiers, when, after a long endurance of scarcity, they found a country abounding with wine and other provisions, had dispersed themselves over the fields, rejoicing as much at the plenty as if they had gained a victory, and leaving their standards deserted, wandered about to seize on everything like conquerors. This conduct gave some respite to the Delphians. At the first report that the Gauls were approaching, the country people are said to have been prohibited by the oracle from carrying away their corn and wine from their houses. The salutariness of this prohibition was not understood, until, through this abundance of wine and other provisions being thrown in the way of the Gauls, as |197 a stop to their progress, reinforcements from their neighbours had time to collect. The Delphians, accordingly, supported by the strength of their allies, secured their city before the Gauls, who clung to the wine-skins, on which they had seized, could be recalled to their standards. Brennus had sixty-five thousand infantry, selected from his whole army; of the Delphians there were not more than four thousand; in utter contempt of whom, Brennus, to rouse the courage of his men, pointed to the vast quantity of spoil before them, declaring that the statues, and four-horse chariots, of which a great number were visible at a distance, were made of solid gold, and would prove greater prizes when they came to be weighed than they were in appearance.
VIII. The Gauls, animated by these assertions, and disordered, at the same time, with the wine which they had drunk the day before, rushed to battle without any fear of danger. The Delphians, on the other hand, placing more confidence in the god than in their own strength, resisted the enemy with contempt, and, from the top of the hill, repelled the Gauls as they climbed up, partly with pieces of rock, and partly with their weapons. Amidst this contest between the two, the priests of all the temples,31 as well as the priestesses themselves, with their hair loose, and with their decorations and fillets, rushed, trembling and frantic, into the front ranks of the combatants, exclaiming that "the god was come; that they had seen him leap down into his temple through the opening roof; that, while they were all humbly imploring aid of the deity, a youth of extraordinary beauty, far above that of mortals, and two armed virgins, coming from the neighbouring temples of Diana and Minerva, met them; that they had not only perceived them with their eyes, but had heard also the sound of a bow and the rattling of arms;" and they therefore conjured them with the strongest entreaties, "not to delay, when the gods were leading them on, to spread slaughter among the enemy, and to share the victory with the powers of heaven." Incited by these exhortations, they all rushed eagerly to the field of battle, where they themselves also soon perceived the presence of the divinity; for a part of the mountain, broken off by an earthquake, overwhelmed a |198 host of the Gauls, and some of the densest bodies of the enemy were scattered abroad, not without wounds, and fell to the earth. A tempest then followed, which destroyed, with hail and cold, those that were suffering from bodily injuries. The general Brennus himself, unable to endure the pain of his wounds, ended his life with his dagger. The other general,32 after punishing the advisers of the war,33 made off from Greece with all expedition, accompanied with ten thousand wounded men. But neither was fortune more favourable to those who fled; for in their terror, they passed no night under shelter, and no day without hardship and danger; and continual rains, snow congealed by the frost, famine, fatigue, and, what was the greatest evil, the constant want of sleep, consumed the wretched remains of the unfortunate army. The nations and people too, through whom they marched, pursued their stragglers, as if to spoil them. Hence it happened that, of so great an army, which a little before, presuming on its strength, contended even against the gods, not a man was left 34 to be a memorial of its destruction.
The Gauls, who had been left behind by Brennus, proceed to attack Antigonus Gonnatas, I. ---- Massacre of the Gauls; their valour; Gallograecia, II. ---- Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, expels Antigonus from Macedonia, III. ---- Pyrrhus goes to war with the Spartans, IV. ---- Is killed at Argos; his character, V.
I. AFTER peace was made between the two kings, Antigonus and Antiochus, a new enemy suddenly started up against Antigonus as he was returning to Macedonia. The Gauls, who had been left behind by their general Brennus, when he marched into Greece, to defend the borders of their country, armed fifteen thousand foot and three thousand horse (that they alone might not seem idle), and having routed the forces of the Getae and Triballi, and preparing to invade Macedonia, sent ambassadors to Antigonus to offer him peace if he would pay |199 for it, and to play the part of spies, at the same time, in his camp. Antigonus, with royal munificence, invited them to a banquet, and entertained them with a sumptuous display of luxuries. But the Gauls were so struck with the vast quantity of gold and silver set before them, and so tempted with the richness of such a spoil, that they returned more inclined to war than they had come. The king had also ordered his elephants to be shown them, as monsters unknown to those barbarians, and his ships laden with stores to be displayed; little thinking that he was thus exciting the cupidity of those to seize his treasures, whom he sought to strike with terror by the ostentation of his strength. The ambassadors, returning to their countrymen, and exaggerating every thing excessively, set forth at once the wealth and unsuspiciousness of the king; saying that "his camp was filled with gold and silver, but secured neither by rampart nor trench, and that the Macedonians, as if they had sufficient protection in their wealth, neglected all military duties, apparently thinking that, as they had plenty of gold, they had no use for steel."
II. By this statement, the desires of a covetous people were sufficiently stimulated to take possession of such spoil. The example of Belgius, too, had its influence with them, who, a little before, had cut to pieces the army of the Macedonians and their king. Being all of one mind, therefore, they attacked the king's camp by night; but he, foreseeing the storm that threatened him, had given notice to his soldiers to remove all their baggage, and to conceal themselves noiselessly in a neighbouring wood; and the camp was only saved because it was deserted. The Gauls, when they found it destitute not only of defenders, but of sentinels, suspecting that there was not a flight, but some stratagem on the part of the enemy, were for some time afraid to enter the gates. At last, leaving the defences entire and untouched, and more like men come to explore than to plunder, they took possession of the camp; and then, carrying off what they found, they directed their course towards the coast. Here, as they were incautiously plundering the vessels, and fearing no attack, they were cut down by the sailors, and a part of the army that had fled thither with their wives and children; and such was the slaughter among them that the report of this victory procured Antigonus peace, not |200 only from the Gauls, but from his other barbarous neighbours.
The nation of the Gauls, however, was at that time so prolific, that they filled all Asia as with one swarm. The kings of the east then carried on no wars without a mercenary army of Gauls; nor, if they were driven from their thrones, did they seek protection with any other people than the Gauls. Such indeed was the terror of the Gallic name, and the unvaried good fortune of their arms, that princes thought they could neither maintain their power in security, nor recover it if lost, without the assistance of Gallic valour. Hence, being called by the king of Bithynia to his aid, and having gained him the victory over his enemies, they shared his kingdom with him, and called their part of it Gallograecia.
III. During these transactions in Asia, Pyrrhus, having been defeated by the Carthaginians in a sea-fight on the coast of Sicily, sent ambassadors to Antigonus king of Macedonia, to ask for a supply of troops, saying that, "unless he sent him some, he should be obliged to return to his kingdom, and to seek that enlargement of his dominions from him,35 which he had wished to gain from the Romans." The ambassadors bringing word that his request was refused, he pretended to be suddenly obliged to depart, but concealed his reasons for doing so. Meanwhile he directed his allies to prepare for war, and committed the citadel of Tarentum to the guardianship of his son Helenus and his friend Milo. Returning to Epirus, he immediately invaded Macedonia; Antigonus met him with an army, but was defeated in battle, and put to flight. Pyrrhus then allowed the Macedonians to surrender on terms; and as if, by the acquisition of Macedonia, he had made up for his loss of Sicily and Italy, he sent for his son and his friend, whom he had left at Tarentum. Antigonus, divesting himself at once of all the marks of royalty, repaired with a few horsemen, that attended him in his flight, to Thessalonica, there to watch what would follow on the loss of his throne, and to renew the war with a hired army of Gauls. But being utterly defeated, a second time, by Ptolemy the son of Pyrrhus, he fled |201 with only seven followers, and no longer indulged hopes of recovering his kingdom, but sought only hiding places for safety and solitary ways for flight.
IV. Pyrrhus, being raised to such a height of royal power, and not content with what had once been the object of his wishes, began to contemplate the subjugation of Greece and Asia. He had no greater delight in ruling than in warfare; nor was any power able to withstand him, wheresoever he directed his attack. But irresistible as he was deemed in conquering kingdoms, he also easily lost those which he subdued and acquired, so much better did he manage to gain dominion than to keep it.
Having led his army into the Peloponnesus,36 he was met by embassies from the Athenians, Achaeans, and Messenians; and all Greece, indeed, struck with admiration at his name, and at the glory of his achievements against the Romans and Carthaginians, was eagerly looking for his arrival. His first contest was with the Spartans, in which, being resisted with greater spirit by the women than by the men, he lost his son Ptolemy and the flower of his army; for, when he proceeded to attack the city, such a number of women assembled to defend their birth-place, that he retreated, overcome not more by bravery on their part than by shame on his own.
As for his son Ptolemy, he is said to have been so brave and enterprising that he took the city of Corcyra 37 with only sixty men. In a naval engagement, too, he is reported to have leaped from a boat, with seven men, into a fifty-oared galley, and to have taken and kept possession of it. At the attack on Sparta he rode into the very middle of the city, and was there slain in a crowd that gathered around him. When his body was carried to his father, he exclaimed, it is said, "that he had not been killed so soon as he had feared, or his own rashness deserved."
V. Pyrrhus, on being repulsed by the Spartans, marched to Argos, where, while he was endeavouring to capture Antigonus, |202 who was shut up in the city, and was fighting furiously among the thickest of the assailants, he was struck with a stone from the walls, and killed. His head was carried to Antigonus, who, using his victory with moderation, sent back his son Helenus, who surrendered to him with several Epirots, into his own country, and gave him the bones of his father, not having yet received the rites of burial, to carry home with him.
It is pretty generally stated by authors, that no king, either of that or the former age, was to be compared to Pyrrhus; and that there has seldom been seen, either among princes, or other illustrious men, a man of more upright life or of stricter justice; and that he had such knowledge of the military art, that though he fought against such great princes as Lysimachus, Demetrius, and Antigonus, he was never conquered. In his wars too with the Illyrians, Sicilians, Romans, and Carthaginians, he never came off inferior, but generally victorious; and he rendered his country, which was before but mean and obscure, renowned throughout the world by the fame of his exploits and the glory of his name.
The Peloponnesus given up to Antigonus; Aristotimus, tyrant of Elis, killed by Hellanicus, I.----Antigonus defeats the Gauls; Alexander, king of Epirus, drives him from Macedonia; Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, recovers it, and expels Alexander from Epirus, II. ----Alexander re-established on his throne; death of Magas, king of Cyrene; death of Demetrius, III.
I. AFTER the death of Pyrrhus, there were great warlike commotions, not only in Macedonia, but in Asia and Greece; for the Peloponnesians were betrayed into the power of Antigonus; and while partly concern, partly exultation, prevailed variously among the inhabitants, as any city had either expected aid from Pyrrhus or conceived apprehensions of him, they either entered into alliance with Antigonus, or, impelled by mutual animosity, plunged into hostilities with one another Amidst these tumults in the disturbed provinces, the sovereignty over the city of the Epeans 38 was usurped by an |203 eminent man named Aristotimus; and when many of the leading persons had been slain by him, and more driven into banishment, and the Aetolians sent ambassadors to ask him "to give up the wives and children of the exiles," he at first refused, but afterwards, as if relenting, he gave all the married women leave to go to their husbands, and fixed a day for their departure. They, as being about to spend their lives in banishment with their husbands, were going to carry all their most valuable property with them; but, when they assembled at one of the gates of the city, intending to go forth in a body, they were despoiled of all that they had, and confined in the public prison, the infants having been first killed in the arms of their mothers, and the young women carried off for violation. The people being all amazed at such cruel tyranny, Hellanicus, the chief of them, an old man and without children, and consequently having no fear either for life or offspring, assembled the most faithful of his friends in his house, and encouraged them to attempt the delivery of their country. But as they hesitated to remove a public evil at their own private risk, and demanded time for deliberation, Hellanicus, calling for his attendants, ordered the doors to be locked, and a message to be carried to the tyrant, requesting him "to send officers to seize a band of conspirators in Hellanicus's house;" and he told all of them, with reproaches, that "since he could not be the deliverer of his country, he would at least take revenge for the abandonment of its cause." Being thus placed between two perils, they chose the more honourable course, and conspired to kill the tyrant; and thus Aristotimus was cut off in the fifth month after he had usurped the government.
II. In the meantime Antigonus, being harassed with wars, of varied aspect, from the Spartans and King Ptolemy, and perceiving that a new enemy, an army from Gallograecia, was coming upon him, left a few troops as a semblance of a camp, to amuse his other assailants, and proceeded with all the rest of his force against the Gauls; who, becoming aware of his approach, as they were preparing for battle, sacrificed victims |204 to take presages for the event; and as, from the entrails, great slaughter and destruction of them all was portended, they were moved, not to fear, but to fury, and thinking that the anger of the gods might be appeased by the slaughter of their kindred, butchered their wives and children, commencing hostilities with the murder of their own people; for such rage had possessed their savage breasts, that they did not spare even that tender age which an enemy would have spared, but made deadly war on their own children and their children's mothers, in defence of whom wars are wont to be undertaken. As if, therefore, they had purchased life and victory by their barbarity, they rushed, stained as they were with the fresh blood of their relatives, into the field of battle, but with success no better than their auspices: for, as they were fighting, the furies, the avengers of murder, overwhelmed them sooner than the enemy, and the ghosts of the slain rising up before their eyes, they were all cut off with utter destruction. Such was the havoc among them, that the gods seemed to have conspired with men to annihilate an army of murderers.
In consequence of the result of this battle, Ptolemy and the Spartans, avoiding the victorious army of the enemy, retreated to safer ground; and Antigonus, when he heard of their departure, turned his arms against the Athenians, while the ardour of his men was yet fresh from their recent victory. But during the time that he was thus engaged, Alexander, king of Epirus, longing to avenge the death of his father Pyrrhus, laid waste the frontiers of Macedonia. Antigonus returned from Greece to give him battle, but being deserted by his men, who went over to the enemy, he lost both the throne of Macedonia and his army. His son Demetrius, however, though but a boy, collecting an army in the absence of his father, not only recovered Macedonia, which had been lost, but drove Alexander from the throne of Epirus, Such was the fickleness of the soldiers, or the mutability of fortune, that kings were seen one day in the character of sovereigns, and the next in that of exiles.
III. Alexander, after fleeing, on his expulsion, to the Acarnanians, was restored to his throne, with not less eagerness on the part of the Epirots than exertion on the part of his allies. About the same time died Magas,39 king of Cyrene, |205 who, before he fell sick, had betrothed his only daughter Berenice to his brother Ptolemy's son, in order to end all disputes with him. But after the death of the king, Arsinoë, the mother of the girl, resolving to break off a marriage which had been contracted against her will, sent for Demetrius, the brother of King Antigonus, from Macedonia, to marry the damsel, and occupy the throne of Cyrene. Nor did Demetrius delay to comply with her wishes. But having speedily arrived, by the aid of a favourable wind, at Cyrene, he began, from the very first, through presuming on his handsome person (with which he had already made too much impression on his mother-in-law40), to conduct himself haughtily and overbearingly both to the royal family and the army. He also transferred his desire to please from the daughter to the mother; a fact which was first suspected by the damsel, and at last drew odium upon him from the people and the army. The affections of all, therefore, being set on the son of Ptolemy, a conspiracy was formed against Demetrius, and assassins were sent to kill him, when he was gone to bed with his mother-in-law. Arsinoë, hearing the voice of her daughter, standing at the door, and desiring them "to spare her mother," covered her paramour a while with her own person. He was however slain, and Berenice, by his death, both took revenge for the licentiousness of her mother, without violation of her duty to her, and, in choosing a husband, followed the judgment of her father.
Seleucus II., king of Syria, puts to death Berenice, his mother-in-law; Ptolemy Euergetes invades Syria, but is recalled home, I.----Seleucus recovers himself, and makes war on Ptolemy unsuccessfully; he calls to his aid his brother Antiochus, surnamed Hierax, II.----Antiochus, defeated by Eumenes and Seleucus, takes to flight; deaths of Antiochus and Seleucus, III.
I. ON the death of Antiochus, king of Syria, his son Seleucus, succeeding in his stead, commenced his reign with murder in |206 his own family, his mother Laodice, who ought to have restrained him, encouraging him to it. He put to death his step-mother Berenice, the sister of Ptolemy, king of Egypt, together with his little brother, her son. By perpetrating this cruelty, he both incurred the stain of infamy, and involved himself in a war with Ptolemy. As for Berenice, when she heard that assassins were sent to despatch her, she shut herself up in Daphne; and it being reported throughout the cities of Asia, that she and her little son were besieged there, they all, commiserating her undeserved misfortunes from their recollection of the high character of her father and her ancestors, sent her assistance. Her brother Ptolemy, too, alarmed at the danger of his sister, left his kingdom, and hastened to her support with all his forces. But Berenice, before succour could arrive, was surprised by treachery, as she could not be taken by force, and killed. The deed was regarded by every one as an atrocity; and all the cities, in consequence, which had revolted (after having equipped a vast fleet), being suddenly alarmed at this instance of cruelty, and wishing to take revenge for her whom they had meant to defend, gave themselves up to Ptolemy, who, if he had not been recalled to Egypt by disturbances at home, would have made himself master of all Seleucus's dominions. Such hatred did an unnatural crime bring upon Seleucus; or so much good feeling did the death of a sister, dishonourably killed, excite in behalf of Ptolemy!
II. After the departure of Ptolemy, Seleucus, having prepared a great fleet against the cities that had revolted, lost it in a storm that suddenly arose, as if the gods themselves had taken vengeance on him for his murder; nor did fortune leave him anything, of all his mighty armament, except his body and life, and a few companions amid the wreck. It was indeed a lamentable occurrence, and yet such as Seleucus might have desired; for the cities, which from hatred to him had gone over to Ptolemy, being moved, by a sudden change in their feelings, to compassionate his loss at sea (as if, in the judgment of the gods, satisfaction had been made them), put themselves again under his government. Rejoiced at his misfortune, therefore, and enriched by his loss, he made war upon Ptolemy, as being now a match for him in strength; but as though he had been born only for a sport to fortune, |207 and had received the power of a king only to lose it, he was. defeated in a battle, and fled in trepidation to Antioch, not much better attended than after his shipwreck. From this place he despatched a letter to his brother Antiochus, in which he implored his aid, and offered him that part of Asia within Mount Taurus, as a recompense for his services. But Antiochus, though he was but fourteen years old, yet, being greedy of dominion beyond his years, caught at the opportunity, not with the kindly feeling with which it was offered, but, like a robber, desiring to take the whole kingdom from his brother, assumed, boy as he was, a manly and unprincipled audacity. Hence he was called Hierax,41 because, in taking away the possessions of others, he conducted himself, not like a man, but like a bird of prey.
Ptolemy Euergetes, in the meantime, learning that Antiochus was coming to the aid of Seleucus, and not wishing to have to contend with two enemies at once, made peace with Seleucus for ten years. But the peace that was granted Seleucus by his enemy, was broken by his own brother, who, having hired an army of Gauls, brought hostilities instead of succour, and showed himself, though he had been implored for aid, an enemy instead of a brother. In the battle that followed Antiochus was victor, indeed, through the prowess of the Gauls; but they, thinking that Seleucus had fallen on the field, began to turn their arms against Antiochus himself, in the: hope of ravaging Asia with greater freedom, if they destroyed the whole royal family. Antiochus, seeing their design, purchased peace from them, as from robbers, with a sum of money, and formed an alliance with his own mercenaries.
III. Meanwhile Eumenes, king of Bithynia, when the brothers were divided and exhausted by civil war, attacked both the victorious Antiochus and the Gauls, as if he intended to take possession of Asia while it was left without a master. Nor did he find any difficulty in overthrowing them, as they were weakened by their previous conflicts, and he himself was fresh and vigorous. At that period, indeed, every war was intended for the reduction of Asia; whoever was stronger than his neighbours was ready to seize on Asia for his prey. The brothers, Seleucus and Antiochus, went to war for the sovereignty of Asia; Ptolemy, king of Egypt, under pretext of |208 avenging his sister, was eager to secure Asia. On the one side Eumenes of Bithynia, on the other the Gauls (an army of mercenaries always ready to support the weaker), laid waste Asia, while no one, among so many robbers, was found to be its protector.
When Antiochus was overthrown, and Eumenes had possessed himself of the greater part of the country, the two brothers, though the prize for which they had fought was lost, could not even then come to an agreement, but, leaving their foreign enemies unmolested, continued the war for the destruction of each other. Antiochus, being again defeated, and exhausted with a flight of many days' continuance, arrived at last at the palace of Artamenes, his father-in-law, king of Cappadocia. Being kindly received by him at first, but learning, after some days, that treacherous designs were forming against him, he sought safety by again taking to flight. When he was thus a fugitive, and found nowhere a place of security, he betook himself to his enemy Ptolemy, whose faith he thought more to be trusted than that of his brother, whether he reflected on what he would have done to his brother, or what he had deserved from him. But Ptolemy, not more friendly to him when he came to surrender, than when he had been an open foe, ordered that he should be kept in the closest confinement. From hence however he escaped, eluding his keepers by the aid of a courtesan, with whom he had been familiar, and was slain in his flight by some robbers. Seleucus too, about the same time, lost his kingdom, and was killed by a fall from his horse. Thus these two brothers, as if brothers also in fate, both became exiles; and both, after losing their dominions, died a death merited by their crimes. |209
Proceedings in Epirus; the Acarnanians request aid from the Romans against the Aetolians, I.----Reply of the Aetolians to the Roman ambassadors, II.----Extinction of the royal race in Epirus; death of Demetrius in Macedonia, and administration of Antigonus Doson, III.----War of Antigonus with Sparta; Cleomenes, king of Sparta, seeks refuge in Egypt, and is killed there; death of Antigonus, IV.
I. WHEN Olympias, daughter of Pyrrhus king of Epirus, had lost her husband Alexander, who was also her brother,42 she took upon herself the guardianship of her sons Pyrrhus and Ptolemy, whom she had by him, and the administration of the kingdom; and finding that the Aetolians wanted to take from her a part of Acarnania, which the father of the boys had received as a recompense for assisting them in war,43 she addressed herself to Demetrius king of Macedonia, and gave him her daughter Phthia in marriage (though he was already united to a sister of Antiochus king of Syria), that she might secure by right of relationship the assistance which she could not obtain from his compassion. A marriage was accordingly solemnized, by which Demetrius gained the love of a new wife, and the hatred of his former one; who, as if divorced, went off to her brother Antiochus, and excited him to make war upon her husband.
The Acarnanians also, fearing to trust for support to the Epirots, requested of the Romans assistance against the Italians, and prevailed on the senate to send ambassadors to order the Aetolians "to withdraw their garrisons from the cities of Acarnania, and allow those to be free, who alone, of all the people of Greece, had not contributed aid to the Greeks against the Trojans, the authors of the Roman race."
II. But the Aetolians listened to the embassy of the Bo-mans with haughtiness, upbraiding them with their fortune against the Carthaginians and Gauls, by whom they had been fearfully slaughtered in so many wars, and saying that "their gates, which the terror of the Punic war had closed,44 should |210 be opened to meet the Carthaginians, before their arms were brought into Greece." They then desired them to remember "who they were that threatened, and whom they threatened. That the Romans had not been able to defend their city against the Gauls; and, when it was taken, had recovered it,45 not by the sword, but with gold; but that when that people entered Greece, in considerably greater numbers, they themselves had utterly destroyed them, not only without the assistance of any foreign power, but without even calling into action the whole of their own force, and had made that a place for their graves which they had intended for the seat of their cities and empire; while Italy, on the other hand, when the Romans were still trembling at the recent burning of their city, was almost entirely occupied by the Gauls. That they should therefore have expelled the Gauls from Italy before they threatened the Aetolians, and have defended their own possessions before they sought those of others. And what sort of men were the Romans? mere shepherds, who occupied a territory wrested from its lawful owners by robbery; who, when they were unable to procure wives, from the baseness of their origin, seized them by open force; who, moreover, had founded their very city in fratricide, and sprinkled the foundation of their walls with the blood of their king's brother, But that the Aetolians had always been the chief people of Greece, and, as they surpassed others in dignity, excelled them also in bravery; that they were the only nation who had always despised the Macedonians, even when flourishing in possession of the empire of the world; who had felt no dread of king Philip, and who had spurned the edicts of Alexander the Great, after he had conquered the Persians and Indians, and when all trembled at his name. That they therefore advised the Romans to be content with their present fortune) and not provoke the arms by which they knew that the Gauls had been cut to pieces, and the Macedonians set at nought." |211 They thus dismissed the Roman embassy, and, that they might not seem to speak more boldly than they acted, laid waste the borders of Epirus and Acarnania.
III. Olympias 46 had now given up her dominions to her sons, and Ptolemy had succeeded in the room of his deceased brother Pyrrhus. Ptolemy, as he was marching to meet the enemy with his army in array, was seized with a fit of sickness, and died on his route. Olympias too, afflicted with her double bereavement in the death of her sons, and dragging on a suffering existence, did not long survive her offspring. The young princess Nereis, and her sister Laodamia, being then the only survivors of the royal family, Nereis married Gelo, the son of the king of Sicily;47 and Laodamia, fleeing for refuge to the altar of Diana, was killed in a tumult48 of the populace; a crime which the immortal gods punished by a series of disasters, and almost the total destruction of the people; for after suffering from barrenness and famine, and being harassed by civil discord, they were at length nearly cut off by foreign wars; and Milo, the assassin of Laodamia, becoming mad, and lacerating his flesh,49 sometimes with the sword, sometimes with stones, and at last with his teeth, died the twelfth day afterwards.
While these things were occurring in Epirus, king Demetrius in Macedonia died, leaving a son named Philip, quite a child; and Antigonus, being appointed his guardian, and marrying his mother, did his utmost 50 to get himself made king. But some time after, being besieged in the palace by an alarming insurrection of the Macedonians, he walked forth publicly unattended by his guards, and throwing his diadem and purple robe among the mob, bade them "give those to somebody else, who either knew not how to rule them,51 or |212 whom they knew how to obey; for that he had found regal authority enviable,52 not for its pleasures, but for its toils and dangers." He then mentioned his own services; "how he had punished the defection of their allies; how he had put down the Dardanians and Thessalians, when they were in exultation at the death of king Demetrius; how he had not only maintained the honour of the Macedonians, but added to it. Yet, if they were displeased at such services, he was ready to resign the government, and to return what they had conferred upon him; and they themselves might look out for a prince whom they could govern." The people, overcome with shame, bade him resume the regal authority; but he refused to do so till the leaders of the insurrection were delivered up to punishment.
IV. After this occurrence he made war upon the Spartans, who were the only people that, during the wars of Philip and Alexander, had set at nought the power of the Macedonians, and those arms which were dreaded by every other nation. Between these two most remarkable peoples war was prosecuted with the greatest vigour on both sides, the one fighting to support the old glory of the Macedonians, and the other, not only to secure their hitherto unviolated liberty, but even their lives. The Lacedaemonians being worsted, not only the men, but their wives and children, endured their adverse fortune with magnanimity. As no man had shrunk from exposing his life in the field, so no woman wept for her lost husband; the old men extolled the honourable deaths of their sons, and the sons rejoiced over their fathers that were slain in battle; and all who survived lamented their lot, in not having died for the liberty of their country. All received the wounded with open doors, dressed their wounds, and recruited them in their exhaustion. In this condition of affairs, there was no noise or hurry in the city, and every one lamented the public suffering more than his own private troubles. In the course of these proceedings, king Cleomenes returned, with his whole body wet, after the great slaughter that he had made among the enemy, with his own blood and that of his adversaries, and, entering the city, did not rest himself on |213 the ground, or call for meat or drink, or even relieve himself from the weight of his armour, but leaning against a wall, and finding that only four thousand men survived the battle, exhorted them "to reserve themselves for the better times that would come to their country." He then set out with his wife and children to Egypt to Ptolemy, by whom he was honourably received, and lived a long time in the highest esteem with that monarch. After the decease of Ptolemy, he was put to death, with all his family, by Ptolemy's son.
Antigonus, when the Spartans were thus reduced, pitying the distress of so famous a city, prohibited his soldiers from plundering it, and granted pardon to all who survived, observing that "he had engaged in war, not with the Spartans, but with Cleomenes, with whose flight all his resentment was terminated; nor would it be less glory to him, if Sparta should be recorded to have been saved by him by whom alone it had been taken; and that he accordingly spared the ground and buildings of the city, scarcely any inhabitants being left for him to spare." Not long afterwards Antigonus died, and left the throne to his ward Philip, who was then fourteen years old.
Changes in the kingdoms of Syria, Cappadocia, Egypt; Lycurgus at Sparta; Hannibal at Carthage; conduct of Philip, who attacks the Aetolians, I.----Philip, persuaded by Demetrius, king of Illyria, resolves to go to war with the Romans, and makes peace with the Aetolians, II.----His professed motives, III.----He commences hostilities, and is ignominiously compelled to make peace, IV.
I. ABOUT this time almost all the kingdoms of the world underwent alterations, in consequence of a succession of new princes. In Macedonia, Philip, on the death of Antigonus his guardian, who was also his father-in-law, assumed the government at the age of fourteen. In Asia, after Seleucus was killed,53 Antiochus, though still in his minority, was made king. In Cappadocia, the father of Ariarathes, yet a boy, had resigned the sovereignty to him. Of Egypt Ptolemy had made himself master, after putting to death his father and |214 mother; from which crime he had afterwards the surname of Philopator.54 As for the Spartans, they had elected Lycurgus in the room of Cleomenes. And that no changes might be wanting at that period, Hannibal, at a very early age, was appointed general of the Carthaginians, not for want of older men, but because of his hatred to the Romans, with which they knew that he had been imbued from his boyhood; the mischief that he did, however, was not so pernicious to the Romans as to Africa itself. In these youthful rulers, although they had no directors of maturer years, yet, as each was anxious to tread in the steps of his predecessors, great talent and ability appeared. Ptolemy was the only exception, who reckless as he had been in the attainment of power, was equally remiss in the administration of it. As to Philip, the Dardanians, and all the neighbouring people, who cherished. as it were, an immortal hatred to the kings of the Macedonians, were perpetually molesting him in contempt of his youth. He, on the other hand, after repulsing his enemies, was not content with having defended his own dominions, but manifested the greatest eagerness to make war upon the Aetolians.
II. While he was meditating this enterprise, Demetrius king of the Illyrians, who had lately been conquered by Aemilius Paulus, the Roman consul, applied to him with earnest entreaties for aid, and complaints of the injustice of the Romans, "who," he said, "not content within the limits of Italy, but grasping, with presumptuous hopes, at the empire of the whole world, made war upon all kings. Thus, aspiring to the dominion of Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain, and finally to that of all Africa, they had engaged in a war with the Carthaginians and Hannibal; and that hostilities had been directed against himself too, for no other reason than that he appeared to lie near Italy, as if it were unlawful for any king to be on the borders of their empire. And that Philip also himself must take warning by his case, since the nearer 55 and more valuable his kingdom, the more determined enemies would he find the Romans to be." In addition, he said, that "he would give up his kingdom, which the Romans had seized, to Philip himself |215 as he should be better pleased to see his ally, rather than his enemies, in possession of his dominions." With such representations as these, he prevailed upon Philip to lay aside his designs on the Aetolians, and to make war upon the Romans; Philip supposing that there would be the less difficulty in the undertaking, as he had heard that they had already been beaten by Hannibal at the lake Trasimenus. Not to be distracted, therefore, with more than one war at the same time, he concluded a peace with the Aetolians, not as if intending to carry war elsewhere, but as if he wished to promote the tranquillity of Greece, "which," he asserted, "had never been in greater danger, as the new empires of the Carthaginians and Romans were rising in the west, who forbore from attacking Greece and Asia only till they should decide their dispute for the sovereignty by the sword, when the superior power of the two would immediately invade the east.
III. "He contemplated therefore," he said, "that cloud of cruel and sanguinary war which was rising in Italy; he contemplated the storm roaring and thundering from the west, which, to whatever parts of the world the tempest of victory might carry it, would pollute everything with a vast shower of blood. That Greece had frequently felt great disturbances at one time from the wars of the Persians, at another from those of the Gauls, at another from those of the Macedonians, but that they would think all those to have been but trifling, if the force, which was now collecting in Italy, should once pour itself forth from that country. He saw what cruel and bloody conflicts those two powers were maintaining with each other, with all the strength of their forces, and all the abilities of their generals; and that such fury could not end with the destruction of one party only, without ruin to the neighbouring people. That the cruel resolutions of the conquerors, it was true, were less to be dreaded by Macedonia than by Greece; for Macedonia was both more remote, and better able to defend itself; but he knew that those who contended with such spirit would not be content with Greece as a limit to their conquests, and that he himself should have to fear a conflict with the party that should get the advantage." Concluding, on this pretext, the war with the Aetolians, and thinking of nothing else but the contest of the Carthaginians and Romans, he carefully weighed |216 the strength of each. But neither did the Romans, with the Carthaginians 56 and Hannibal on their necks, appear free from apprehension of Macedonia; indeed, both the ancient valour of the Macedonians, their glory in having conquered the east, and the character of Philip, who was fired with the ambition of rivalling Alexander, and whom they knew to be active and eager for the field, gave them sufficient cause for alarm.
IV. Philip, as soon as he heard that the Romans had been defeated by the Carthaginians in a second battle, openly declared himself their enemy, and began to build ships for transporting an army into Italy. He then sent a deputy to Hannibal with a letter, with the view of forming an alliance with him. This deputy was taken prisoner, and brought before the senate, but released unharmed; not from respect to the king, but that one who appeared still undetermined might not be rendered a decided enemy. But afterwards, when news was brought to the Romans that Philip was preparing to transport troops into Italy, they despatched the praetor Laevinus, with a well appointed fleet, to hinder him from crossing.
Laevinus, sailing over to Greece, prevailed on the Aetolians, by making them numerous promises, to take up arms against Philip, who, on his side, solicited the Achaeans to go to war with the Romans. Meanwhile the Dardanians began to ravage the country of Macedonia, and, carrying off twenty thousand prisoners, recalled Philip from his war with the Romans to defend his own territories. At the same time the praetor Laevinus, having made an alliance with king Attalus, proceeded to lay waste Greece; of which the several states, dismayed at such calamities, importuned Philip with embassies for succour; while the princes of the Illyrians, sticking close to his side, demanded, with constant solicitations, the performance of his promises to them. In addition, the plundered Macedonians called on him for vengeance. Beset by such and so many difficulties, he was in doubt to what he should first turn his attention; but he promised them all to send them assistance shortly; not that he was able to do what he promised, but in order to keep them, by feeding them with hopes, in the bond of alliance |217 with him. His first expedition, however, was against the Dardanians, who, watching for his absence, were ready to fall on Macedonia with a still heavier force. He made peace, too, with the Romans, who were well content to put off war with Macedonia for a time. He laid a plot, moreover, for the life of Philopoemen, strategus of the Achaeans, who, he understood, was soliciting some of his allies to join the Romans; but Philopoemen, having discovered and escaped the plot, induced the Achaeans, by the influence which he had with them, to abandon Philip's cause.
War between Antiochus III. and Ptolemy Philopator; treaty of peace; licentiousness of Ptolemy, I.----His bad government; at his death his son is placed under the guardianship of the Romans, II.----Rupture between Philip and the Romans, III.----Philip is defeated by Flamininus, and makes peace on humiliating terms; the Aetolians stimulate Antiochus to make war on the Romans, IV.
I. WHILE Philip was intent on great exploits in Macedonia, the conduct of Ptolemy in Egypt was of an opposite character; for having got the throne by parricide, and added the murder of his brother to that of both his parents, he resigned himself, as if all had gone happily with him, to the attractions of luxury; and the whole court had followed the manners of their king. Not only his personal friends, and chief officers, but the whole of the army had laid aside military exercises, and grown corrupt and enervated in idleness.
Antiochus, king of Syria, when he heard of this state of things, and while the old animosity between the two kingdoms incited him, captured many cities belonging to Ptolemy by a sudden attack, and carried his arms into Egypt itself. Ptolemy was accordingly in consternation, and endeavoured to retard Antiochus, by sending embassies, until he could get troops in readiness. Having then hired a large army in Greece, he fought a battle with good success, and would have driven Antiochus from his throne, if he had supported his fortune with suitable spirit. But, content with recovering the cities that he had lost, and making peace, he eagerly seized the opportunity of sinking again into sloth, and, returning to |218 his former licentious habits, he put to death his wife Eurydice, who was also his sister, and gave himself up to the caresses of a mistress named Agathoclia; and thus, forgetful of all the greatness of his name and dignity, he passed his nights in wantonness, and his days in the pleasures of the table. As ministrations to his luxury, timbrels and tabors 57 were introduced; and the king, no longer a mere spectator, but a leader of the revels, produced music from stringed instruments himself. Such were at first the secret and latent pests of a tottering court.
II. Licentiousness subsequently increasing, the audacity of his mistress could no longer be confined within the walls of the palace; for the daily debaucheries of the king, which he shared with her brother Agathocles, a corrupt youth of captivating beauty, rendered her still more shameless. To all, this was added, too, the influence of their mother Oenanthe, who, by the charms of her two children, kept the monarch quite enthralled. Not content with enslaving the king, they made themselves rulers of the kingdom; they showed themselves in public places, received salutations, and were followed by a train of attendants. Agathocles, attaching himself closely to the king's side, assumed the administration of the state; women disposed of offices, governments, and commissions; nor had any one less power in the kingdom than the king himself. In the midst of this state of things the king died, leaving a son, five years old, by his sister Eurydice; but his death, while the women were seizing on the royal treasures, and endeavouring, by forming a confederacy with some desperate characters, to get the government into their own hands, was for a long time kept, secret. But the truth becoming known, Agathocles was killed by a rising of the people, and the women nailed on crosses to avenge the death of Eurydice.
After the king's decease, and when the infamy of the kingdom was expiated, as it were, by the punishment of the courtezans, the people of Alexandria sent ambassadors to the Romans, requesting them " to take on themselves the guardianship of the orphan, and to defend the kingdom of Egypt, |219 which, they said, Philip and Antiochus had already portioned out between them by a treaty made for the purpose."
III. This embassy was acceptable to the Romans, who were seeking a pretence for making war upon Philip, for having formed designs against them in the time of the Punic war. To this feeling was added the circumstance, that, since the Carthaginians and Hannibal were conquered, there was no one of whose arms they had a greater dread, considering what a commotion Pyrrhus, with but a small force, had excited in Italy, and what exploits the Macedonians had achieved in the east. Ambassadors were accordingly despatched to warn Philip and Antiochus "to make no attempt upon Egypt." Marcus Lepidus was also sent into Egypt, to govern the orphan's kingdom in the character of guardian. During the course of these proceedings, embassies from king Attalus, and from the Rhodians, arrived at Rome, to complain of injuries that they had suffered from Philip. These representations removed from the minds of the senate all hesitation about going to war with Macedonia; and forthwith, under pretence of taking the part of their allies, war was declared against Philip, and some legions, with one of the consuls, were sent off to Macedonia. Not long after, too, the whole of Greece, stimulated by confidence in the Romans, and the hope of recovering their ancient liberty, to rise against Philip, made war upon him; and thus, being assailed on every side, he was compelled to beg for peace. But when the terms of it were set forth by the Romans, both Attalus and the Rhodians, as well as the Achaeans and Aetolians, began to demand that the places belonging to them should be restored. Philip, on the other hand, allowed that "he might be induced to submit to the Romans, but that it was intolerable that the Greeks, who had been subdued by his ancestors Philip and Alexander, and brought under the yoke of the Macedonian empire, should dictate articles of peace to him, as if they were conquerors; and that they ought to give an account of their conduct in their state of slavery, before they sought to recover their liberty." At last, on his request, a truce was allowed for two months, that the peace, on which they could not come to terms in Macedonia, might be obtained from the senate at Rome.
IV. In the same year 58 a concussion of the earth happened |220 between the islands Thera 59 and Therasia, in the midst of the sea at an equal distance from either shore, where, to the astonishment of those that were sailing past, an island rose suddenly from the deep, the water being at the same time hot. In Asia too, on the same day, the same earthquake shattered Rhodes,60 and many other cities, with a terrible ruin; some it swallowed up entire. As all men were alarmed at this prodigy, the soothsayers predicted that "the rising power of the Romans would swallow up the ancient empire of the Greeks and Macedonians."
In the meantime, Philip, as his terms of peace were rejected by the senate, prevailed on the tyrant Nabis 61 to join him in prosecuting the war. Having then led out his army into the field, he began to encourage his men, while the enemy stood in array on the opposite side, by saying that "the Persians, Bactrians, and Indians, and all Asia to the utmost boundaries of the east, had been subdued by the Macedonians; and that this war was more bravely to be maintained than those which had preceded it, in proportion as liberty was more precious than empire." Flamininus, too, the Roman consul, animated his men to battle by representing what had lately been achieved by the Romans, observing that "Carthage and Sicily on one side, and Italy and Spain on the other, had been thoroughly reduced by Roman valour; and that Hannibal, |221 by whose expulsion from Italy they had become masters of Africa, a third part of the world, was not to be thought inferior to Alexander the Great. Nor were the Macedonians to be estimated by their ancient reputation, but by their present power; for that the Romans were not waging war with Alexander the Great, whom they had heard called invincible, or with his army, which had conquered all the east, but with Philip, a youth of immature years,62 who could scarcely defend the frontiers of his dominions against his neighbours, and with those Macedonians who were not long ago a prey to the Dardanians. That they might recount the achievements of their forefathers, but that he could relate those of his own soldiers; since Hannibal and the Carthaginians, and almost all the west, had not been conquered by any other army, but by those very troops which he had with him in the field." The soldiers on both sides, roused by these exhortations, rushed to the encounter, the one army exulting in their conquest of the east, the other in that of the west; the one carrying to the battle the ancient and fading glory of their ancestors, the other the flower of valour fresh from recent exertions. But the fortune of Rome was superior to that of the Macedonians; and Philip, exhausted by his efforts in war, and suing for peace from Flamininus, the consul, was allowed to retain indeed the name of king; but, being deprived of all the cities of Greece, as being parts of his dominion beyond the bounds of its ancient territory, he preserved only Macedonia. The Aetolians, however, were displeased, because Macedonia was not taken from the king at their suggestion, and given to themselves as a reward for their service in the war, and sent ambassadors to Antiochus, to induce him, by flattering his greatness, to engage in a war with the Romans, in the hope of securing the alliance of all Greece.
[Footnotes moved to end and numbered]
1. * Avunculos fratrum suorum.] Among these was Dion, who was not the uncle of Dionysius himself, but of his brothers; for Dionysius the elder had Hipparinus and Nysaeus by Aristomache, the sister of Dion, and Dionysius by another wife named Doris. See Corn. Nep. Vit. Dion. c. i.; Diod. Sic. xvi. 6; Plutarch. Dion. c. 3. Dion had wished to ask Dionysius the elder, when he was on his death-bed, to bequeath his sister's sons a share of the kingdom. Corn. Nep. Dion. c. 2.----Wetzel.
2. * Orbamque rempublicam----invadent.] Orbam, destitute of defenders or supporters.
3. * Omnia ita facere.] Wetzel injudiciously reads ista.
4. + He never thought that he made himself sufficiently contemptible, because he never thought himself sufficiently safe.----Scheffer.
5. ++ Simulatio vitiorum.] Referring to his general conduct, not to his assumption of the character of a schoolmaster.
6. * All that took place in Sicily from the year B.C. 342 to B.C. 316, is omitted by Justin. During that period Timoleon, whom Justin does not even name, expelled the Carthaginians from Sicily, and gave liberty to the whole island. See Plutarch, Cornelius Nepos, and Diodorus Siculus, lib. xvi.
7. * Adversus Aetnaeos.] Aetna was a town at the foot of Mount Aetna, not far from Catana.
8. * The text of Wetzel, with, the older editions, has expositis ignibus cereis tactisque, "ignes cerei" being interpreted "lighted waxen tapers." But it may be doubted whether those two words will fairly bear that sense. Many other editions have ignibus Cereris, a conjecture of Sebisius, which Berneccerus, Scheffer, and Faber approve, because Ceres was worshipped in Sicily, and because Juvenal, Sat. xiv., has Vendet perjuria summâ Exiguâ, Cereris tangens aramque pedemque. I am better pleased with a conjecture of Peyraredus, expositis ignibus sacris, tactisque, and have translated the passage accordingly. Nic. Heinsius would read Tunc Hamilcari aris rex positis insigni ceremonia, tactisque, &c.; Graevius, Tunc Hamilcari aris positis, et ignibus Cereiis, tactisque, &c., on the supposition that aris might have been absorbed. as it were, by the preceding Hamilcari.
9. * Namely, by sending out Hamilcar.
10. + Sententias inauditas.] Justin means the secret votes, of which he had just spoken, and which were sealed up in an urn.---- Vorstius.
11. * In the third year of the 117th olympiad, B.C. 309, on the 15th of August, at two in the afternoon, according to the calculations of astronomers.---- Wetzel.
12. * Bomilcar, rex Poenorum.] He was one of the suffetes. See the first note on xix. 1.
13. + See xxi. 4.
14. ++ Concerning his banishment nothing has been said before ---- Wetzel.
15. § See the 2nd and 3rd chapters of this book.
16. * See xx. 1.
17. + Sine veste.] J. G. Graevius thinks it possible that we ought to read unâ veste, in conformity with what Justin, iii. 3, says of the Spartans: Juvenibus non amplius unâ veste uti toto anno permisit. Or sine veste may, as Scheffer suggests, be taken for without any outer garment, as he was called nudus among the Romans who was clad only with the tunica.
18. * See xii. 1, 2; xviii. 1, 2.
19. + Occasioned by poison prepared for him and his son Agathocles by Maenon, who wished to secure for Archagathus (son of that Archagathus who was killed in Africa, xxii. 8) the succession to his grandfather's throne. See Diod. Sic. xxi. fragm. 19.---- Wetzel.
20. * Lest his grandson should put them to death.
21. * See xviii. 2.
22. * He had made himself king of Macedonia after the death of Lysimachus, xvii. 2; and hence Antiochus and Antigonus Gonnatas became his enemies, ib.
23. + A large number to be killed by five hundred. But the editions do not vary.
24. * The widow of Lysimachus; see xvii. 2, and. c. 3 of this book.
25. * Most other editions have Ptolemaeus.
26. + Sc. To deserve such punishment.
27. ++ Velut ver sacrum.] To vow a sacred spring was customary among the Italians; for when in great peril they used to vow that they would sacrifice whatever animals should be born in their country in the following spring. But as it seemed cruel to sacrifice children, they allowed them to grow up, and then threw a veil over them, and conducted them beyond the boundaries of the country. Festus, sub "ver sacrum;" see also sub "Mamertius." This custom was not confined to the Italians, but prevailed, says Dionys. Halicar. i. 5, "among many people, Greek and barbarian." It seems to have been not uncommon among the Romans; Liv. xxii. 9; xxxiv. 44. See also Plin. H. N. iii. 13. Ver sacrum,, it should be observed, is an emendation of Pithoeus (Adversar. i. 6) for peregrinatum, concerning the justice of which no editor has doubted, though Wetzel has thought proper to retain peregrinatum in his text.
28. * Immaturi juvenis.] Although Ptolemy was rash, he could not be called immaturus, for he was the eldest son of Ptolemy Lagides, who died at a great age, B.C. 283. Diod. Siculus, however, xii fragm 8. agrees in opinion with Justin respecting this king.---- Wetzel.
29. * Concerning the temple of Apollo at Delphi, see Pausan. x. 6; Diod. Sic. xvi. 26, the former of whom places this expedition of the Gauls into Greece in Olymp. 125, 2, or B.c. 278. See also the "Travels of Anacharsis," vol. iii.---- Wetzel.
30. + Ad affirmationem majestatis is in the text of Wetzel, but he observes that admiratione, the reading of Aldus, and ad admirationem, that of the Juntae, are "not less good." I have adopted the latter, which is sanctioned by Voratius and Scheffer.
31. * Universorum templorum.] Those of Apollo, Diana, and Minerva, as appears from what follows.
32. * Alter ex ducibus.] That is, the other of the two generals; we are not told his name.
33. + Punitis belli auctoribus.] Those who had persuaded and impelled the Gauls to this attack on Delphi. ---- Wetzel.
34. ++ This is contradicted by Justin himself, xxxii 6. ---- Dubner,
35. * De ipso.] He signified that if Antigonus did not send him succour he should be obliged to return home, and that he would then make war on Antigonus, with a view to that enlargement of his dominions which he had wished to make at the cost of the Romans.----Lemaire.
36. * Cherroneson.] The old reading was Cherroneso, which was considered as a dative, and is still retained in some modern editions. J. F. Gronovius altered it to Cherroneson, the preposition in being understood.
37. + The chief town of the island of Corcyra. See Pausanias in Att. c. ii. 6, where the attack on this island is mentioned.
38. * Epiorum urbs.] Called by the Greeks 1Epeioi, from Epeus, a king of Elis, contemporary with Pelops, Hom. Odyss. xiii. 275; xv. 297; so that the Epeans, in this passage, are only the Eleans under their old name.---- Wetzel. Bongarsius and Gronovius would read Eliorum, referring to Pausanias, Eliac. and Plutarch, de Virt. Mul. c. 24.
39. * Wetzel has Agas in his text, but says in his note that "we should rather read Magas, as the name is written by Polyaenus, Athenaeus, and Pausanias, i. 6, 8." Magas is also approved by Vossius, Vorstius, Faber, and almost all the other commentators.
40. * Arsinoë.
41. * 9Ie/rac, a hawk or falcon.
42. * Compare xviii. 1; xxvi. 2. His death is not mentioned before.
43. + In portionem belli.] He had become an ally to the Aetolians when they were carrying on some war.---- Wetzel.
44. ++ Quas clauserit metus Punici belli.] The author seems to have been thinking of the second Punic war, which Hannibal commenced, A.U.C. 534, and ended in 551. If so, he inadvertently makes the Acarnanians, before A.U.C. 522, speak of matters which did not take place till more than twelve years afterwards.---- Wetzel.
45. * The text, in all the editions, stands thus: Captamque non ferro defendisse, sed auro redemisse. As captam urbem defendere is nonsense, I have, in accordance with the judgment of Scheffer, omitted the word defendisse in the translation.
46. * See note at the commencement of this book.
47. + Hiero, who reigned from B.C. 263 to 214. Gelo died three years before his father. Liv. xxiii. 30.---- Wetzel.
48. ++ The cause of this disturbance does not appear.
49. § Visceribus.] "Viscera" signifies all that is under the skin. "Viscera sunt quicquid inter ossa et cutem est." Servius ad Virg. Aen., vii. 253; Lucret. i. 836.
50. || Laborabat.] And succeeded.
51. ¶ Qui aut imperare illis nesciat.] That is, whom they might rule (as he says at the end of his speech), if the reading be correct. But some of the old editions have sciat, which Vorstius adopted. Scheffer would read qui aut imperare illis, aut cui parere ipsi sciant "sciat" being understood after "imperare."
52. * That is if it were to be envied at all.
53. * Interfecto Seleuco.] See the end of book xxviii. This was Seleucus II, named Callinicus.
54. * Father-loving, ironically.
55. + Wetzel has promptius in his text, with most other editors, but in his note, prefers propius, which appears in some editions.
56. * All the editions have Sed nec Romani, tametsi Poeni et Hannibal in cervicibus erant, &c. But tametsi, as Wetzel notices, has no place here. Six of the old editions, he adds, have quibus instead of it.
57. * Tympana et crepundia.] It is impossible to ascertain exactly what musical instruments are meant by crepundia. Lemaire supposes them to be something like the Egyptian sistra, used in the ceremonies of Isis.
58. * No; for it was several years before that this commotion of the earth took place, namely, in the first year of the 139th Olympiad, as is apparent from Polybius, v. 88, and the Chronicon of Eusebius. But Pliny, H. N. ii. 87, says that Automata or Hiera, the island here signified, arose between Thera and Therasia in the second year of the 156th Olympiad; how this can be correct, I do not understand.----Is. Vossius. Vossius, however, is not quite right in his computation. Pliny says that Thera and Therasia sprung from the sea in the fourth year of the 135th Olympiad, and that Automata or Hiera arose one hundred and thirty years afterwards; this would be in the third year of the 167th Olympiad. Concerning the rise of this island from the deep, see Strabo, i. 3; Sen. Nat. Quaest. vi. 21; ii. 26; it is also noticed by Livy, xxxix. 56, and Amm. Marcell. xvii. 6. Other islands have since risen in these parts. See Virlet, Bull. de la Soc. Geol. de France, tom. iii.
59. * The largest of the Sporades in the Aegean Sea, now called Santorin. Therasia lies near it. Hiera is not exactly between the two islands, as Justin represents.
60. + Diodorus, xviii. 8, assigns this island to Europe. The epitome of the 78th book of Livy, however, gives it to Asia.----Berneccerus.
61. ++ Tyrant of Sparta. He began to reign B.C. 206.
62. * Puero immaturae aetatis.] Why does he call him puero, a youth, when, in the year B.C. 220, in which he succeeded Antigonus, he had completed his fourteenth year? See xxviii. 4. In this year, therefore, B.C. 198, he was in his thirty-sixth year.---- Wetzel. So that Philip had now attained a greater age than Alexander the Great lived to attain. Scheffer would strike out puero, asking whether there are also pueri maturae aetatis?
This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2003. All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.
|Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts