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XV.45‑56

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Library of History

of
Diodorus Siculus

published in Vol. VII
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1952

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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XV.77‑95

(Vol. VI) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

(Book XV, continued)

p111 57 1 When the year had ended, at Athens Dysnicetus was archon, and in Rome military tribunes with consular power were elected, four in number: Quintus Servilius, Lucius Furius, Gaius Licinius, and Publius Coelius. During their term of office the Thebans, taking the field with a large army against Orchomenus, aimed to reduce the city to slavery, but when Epameinondas advised them that any who aimed at supremacy over the Greeks ought to safeguard by their generous treatment what they had achieved by their valour, they changed their mind. Accordingly they reckoned the people of Orchomenus as belonging to the territory of their allies, and later, having made friends of the Phocians, Aetolians, and Locrians, returned to Boeotia again.1 2 Jason,2 tyrant of Pherae, whose power was constantly increasing, invaded Locris, first took Heracleia in Trachinia by p113treachery, laid it waste, and gave the country to the Oetaeans and Malians; then later, moving into Perrhaebia, he won over some of the cities by generous promises, and subdued others by force. As his position of influence speedily became established, the inhabitants of Thessaly looked with suspicion on his aggrandizement and encroachments.

3 While these things were going on, in the city of Argos civil strife broke out accompanied by slaughter of a greater number than is recorded ever to have occurred anywhere else in Greece. Among the Greeks this revolutionary movement was called "Club-law," receiving this appellation on account of the manner of the execution.

58 1 Now the strife arose from the following causes: the city of Argos3 had a democratic form of government, and certain demagogues instigated the populace against the outstanding citizens of property and reputation. The victims of the hostile charges then got together and decided to overthrow the democracy. 2 When some of those who were thought to be implicated were subjected to torture, all but one, fearing the agony of torture, committed suicide, but this one came to terms under torture, received a pledge of immunity, and as informer denounced thirty of the most distinguished citizens, and the democracy without a thorough investigation put to death all those who were accused and confiscated their property. 3 But many others were under suspicion, and as the demagogues supported false accusations, the mob was wrought up to such a pitch of savagery that they condemned to p115death all the accused, who were many and wealthy. When, however, more than twelve hundred influential men had been removed, the populace did not spare the demagogues themselves. 4 For because of the magnitude of the calamity the demagogues were afraid that some unforeseen turn of fortune might overtake them and therefore desisted from their accusation, whereas the mob, now thinking that they had been left in the lurch by them, were angry at this and put to death all the demagogues. So these men received the punishment which fitted their crimes as if some divinity were visiting its just resentment upon them, and the people, eased of their mad rage, were restored to their senses.

59 1 About the same time, Lycomedes4 of Tegea prevailed upon the Arcadians to form a single confederacy5 with a common council to consist of ten thousand men empowered to decide issues of war and peace. 2 But since civil war broke out in Arcadia on a large scale and the quarrelling factions came to a decision by force of arms, many were killed and more than fourteen hundred fled, some to Sparta, others to Pallantium.6 3 Now these latter refugees were surrendered by the Pallantians and slaughtered by the victorious party, whereas those who took refuge p117in Sparta prevailed upon the Lacedaemonians to invade Arcadia.7 4 Accordingly King Agesilaüs with an army and the band of fugitives invaded the territory of the Tegeans, who were believed to have been the cause of the insurrection and the expulsions. By devastation of the countryside and assaults upon the city, he cowed the Arcadians of the opposing party.

60 1 While these things were going on, Jason,8 tyrant of Pherae, because of his superior shrewdness as a general and his success in attracting many of his neighbours into an alliance, prevailed upon the Thessalians to lay claim to the supremacy in Greece; for this was a sort of prize for valour open to those strong enough to contend for it. 2 Now it happened that the Lacedaemonians had sustained a great disaster at Leuctra; that the Athenians laid claim to the mastery of the sea only; that the Thebans were unworthy offirst rank; and that the Argives had been brought low by civil wars and internecine slaughter. So the Thessalians put Jason forward as leader9 of the whole country, and as such gave him supreme command in war. Jason accepted the command, won over some of the tribes near by, and entered into alliance with Amyntas king of the Macedonians.

3 A peculiar coincidence befell in this year, for three of those in positions of power died about the same time. Amyntas,10 son of Arrhidaeus, king of Macedonia, p119died after a rule of twenty-four years, leaving behind him three sons, Alexander, Perdiccas, and Philip. The son Alexander11 succeeded to the throne and ruled for one year. 4 Likewise Agesipolis, king of the Lacedaemonians, died after ruling a year, the kingship going to Cleomenes his brother who succeeded to the throne and had a reign of thirty-four years.12 5 Thirdly, Jason of Pherae, who had been chosen ruler of Thessaly and was reputed to be governing his subjects with moderation, was assassinated,13 either, as Ephorus writes, by seven young men who conspired together for the repute it would bring, or, as some historians say, by his brother Polydorus. 6 This Polydorus himself also, after succeeding to the position of leader, ruled for one year. Duris14 of Samos, the historian, began his History of the Greeks at this point.

These then were the events of this year.

61 1 When Lysistratus was archon at Athens, civil strife arose among the Romans, one party thinking there should be consuls, others that military tribunes should be chosen. For a time then anarchy supervened on civil strife, later they decided to choose six military tribunes, and those elected were Lucius Aemilius, Gaius Verginius, Servius Sulpicius, Lucius Quintius, Gaius Cornelius, and Gaius Valerius. 2 During their term of office Polydorus of Pherae the ruler p121of Thessaly was poisoned by Alexander15 his nephew, who had challenged him to a drinking bout, and the nephew Alexander succeeded to the rule as overlord and held it for eleven years. Having acquired the rule illegally and by force, he administered it consistently with the policy he had chosen to follow. For while the rulers before him had treated the peoples with moderation and were therefore loved, he was hated for his violent and severe rule.16 3 Accordingly, in fear of his lawlessness, some Larissaeans, called Aleuadae17 because of their noble descent, conspired together to overthrow the overlordship. Journeying from Larissa to Macedonia, they prevailed upon the King Alexander to join them in overthrowing the tyrant. 4 But while they were occupied with these matters, Alexander of Pherae, learning of the preparations against him, gathered such men as were conveniently situated for the campaign, intending to give battle in Macedonia. But the Macedonian king, accompanied by refugees from Larissa, anticipated the enemy by invading Larissa with the army, and having been secretly admitted by the Larissaeans within the fortifications, he mastered the city with the exception of the citadel. 5 Later he took the citadel by siege, and, having also won the city of Crannon, at first covenanted to restore the cities to the Thessalians, but then, in contempt of public p123opinion, he brought into them garrisons of considerable strength and held the cities himself.18 Alexander of Pherae, hotly pursued and alarmed at the same time, returned to Pherae.

Such was the state of affairs in Thessaly.

62 1 In the Peloponnese, the Lacedaemonians dispatched Polytropus as general to Arcadia with a thousand citizen hoplites and five hundred Argive and Boeotian refugees. He reached the Arcadian Orchomenus and guarded it closely since it was on friendly terms with Sparta.19 2 Lycomedes of Mantineia, general of the Arcadians, with five thousand men styled the élite,20 came to Orchomenus. As the Lacedaemonians led forth their army from the city a great battle ensued in which the Lacedaemonian general was killed21 and two hundred others, while the rest were driven into the city. 3 The Arcadians, in spite of their victory, felt a prudent respect for the strength of Sparta and believed that they would not be able by themselves to cope with the Lacedaemonians. Accordingly, associating Argives and Eleians with themselves, they first sent envoys to Athens requesting them to join in an alliance against the Spartans, but as no one heeded them, they sent an embassy to the Thebans and persuaded them to join an alliance against the Lacedaemonians.22 4 Immediately, then, p125the Boeotians led out their army, taking some Locrians and Phocians along as allies. Now these men advanced against the Peloponnese under the boeotarchs Epameinondas and Pelopidas, for the other boeotarchs had willingly relinquished the command to these in recognition of their shrewdness in the art of war and their courage. 5 When they reached Arcadia, the Arcadians, Eleians, Argives, and all the other allies joined them in full force. And when more than fifty thousand had gathered, their leaders sitting in council decided to march upon Sparta itself and lay waste all Laconia.

63 1 As for the Lacedaemonians, since they had cast away many of their young men in the disaster at Leuctra and in their other defeats had lost not a few, and were, taking all together, restricted by the blows of fortune to but few citizen soldiers, and, furthermore, since some of their allies had seceded and others were experiencing a shortage of men for reasons similar to their own, they sank into a state of great weakness. Hence they were compelled to have recourse to the aid of the Athenians, the very people over whom they had once set up thirty tyrants,23 whom they had forbidden to rebuild the walls of their city, whose city they had aimed utterly to destroy, and whose territory, Attica, they wished to turn into a sheep-walk. 2 Yet, after all, nothing is stronger than necessity and fate, which compelled the Lacedaemonians to p127request the aid of their bitterest enemies. Nevertheless they were not disappointed of their hopes. For the Athenian people, magnanimous and generous, were not terrified by the power of Thebes, and voted to aid with all their forces the Lacedaemonians now that they were in danger of enslavement. Immediately they appointed Iphicrates general and dispatched him with twelve thousand young men the self-same day.24 Iphicrates, then, whose men were in high spirits, advanced with the army at top speed. 3 Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians, as the enemy took up quarters on the borders of Laconia, issued in full force from Sparta and marched on to meet them, weakened in military force but strong in inward courage. 4 Now Epameinondas and the others, perceiving that the country of the Lacedaemonians was difficult to invade, thought it not to their advantage to make the invasion with such a large force in a body, and so decided to divide their army into four columns and enter at several points.25

64 1 Now the first, composed of the Boeotians, took the middle route to the city known as Sellasia26 and caused its inhabitants to revolt from the Lacedaemonians. 2 The Argives, entering by the borders of Tegeatis,27 engaged in battle the garrison p129set to guard the pass, slew its leader Alexander the Spartan and about two hundred of the rest, amongst whom were the Boeotian refugees. 3 The third contingent, composed of the Arcadians and containing the largest number, invaded the district called Sciritis,28 which had a large garrison under Ischolas, a man of conspicuous valour and shrewdness. Himself one of the most distinguished soldiers, he accomplished an heroic and memorable deed. 4 For, seeing that, because of the overwhelming number of the enemy, all who joined battle with them would be killed, he decided that while it was not in keeping with Spartan dignity to abandon his post in the pass, yet it would be useful to his country to preserve the men. He therefore in an amazing manner provided for both objects and emulated the courageous exploit of King Leonidas at Thermopylae.29 5 For he picked out the young men and sent them back to Sparta to be of service to her in her hour of deadly peril. He himself, keeping his post with the older men, slew many of the enemy, but finally, encircled by the Arcadians, perished with all his corps. 6 The Eleians, who formed the fourth contingent, marching by other unguarded regions, reached Sellasia, for this was the locality designated to all as the rendezvous. When all the army had gathered in Sellasia, they advanced upon Sparta itself, sacking and burning the countryside.

65 1 Now the Lacedaemonians, who for five hundred years had preserved Laconia undevastated, could not p131then bear to see it being sacked by the enemy, but hot-headedly were ready to rush forth from the city; but being restrained by the elders from advancing too far from their native land, lest some one attack it, they were finally prevailed upon to wait quietly and keep the city safe. 2 Now Epameinondas descended through the Taÿgetus30 into the Eurotas valley and was engaged in crossing the river, whose current was swift since it was the winter season, when the Lacedaemonians, seeing their opponents' army thrown into confusion by the difficulty of the crossing, seized the opportunity favourable for attack. Leaving the women, children, and the old men as well in the city to guard Sparta, they marshalled in full force the men of military age, streamed forth against the enemy, fell upon them suddenly as they crossed, and wrought heavy slaughter. 3 But as the Boeotians and Arcadians fought back and began to encircle the enemy with their superior numbers, the Spartans, having slain many, withdrew to the city, for they had clearly displayed their own courage. 4 Following this, as Epameinondas in full force made a formidable assault on the city, the Spartans with the aid of their strong natural defences slew many of those who pressed rashly forward, but finally the besiegers applied great pressure and thought at first they had overcome Sparta by force; but as those who tried to force their way were some slain, some wounded, Epameinondas recalled the soldiers with the trumpet, but the men of their p133own accord would approach the city, and would challenge the Spartans to a pitched battle, bidding them otherwise admit their inferiority to the enemy. 5 When the Spartans replied to the effect that when they found a suitable occasion they would stake everything on one battle, they departed from the city. And when they had devastated all Laconia and amassed countless spoils, they withdrew to Arcadia.

6 Thereupon the Athenians,31 who had arrived on the scene too late for action, returned to Attica without accomplishing anything of note; but others of their allies, to the number of four thousand men, came to reinforce the Lacedaemonians. Besides these they attached to their numbers the Helots who had been newly emancipated, a thousand, and two hundred of the Boeotian fugitives, and summoned no small number from the neighbouring cities, so that they created an army comparable to that of the enemy. As they maintained these in one body and trained them, they gained more and more confidence and made themselves ready for the decisive contest.

66 1 Now Epameinondas, whose nature it was to aim at great enterprises and to crave everlasting fame, counselled the Arcadians and his other allies to resettle Messenê, which for many years had remained stripped of its inhabitants by the Lacedaemonians, for it occupied a position well suited for operations against Sparta. When they all concurred, he sought out the remnants of the Messenians, and registering as citizens any others who so wished he founded Messenê again, making it a populous city. Among them p135he divided the land, and reconstructing its buildings restored a notable Greek city and gained the widespread approbation of all men.32

2 Here I think it not unsuitable, since Messenê has so often been captured and razed, to recapitulate its history33 from the beginning. In ancient times the line of Neleus and Nestor34 held it down to Trojan times; then Orestes, Agamemnon's son, and his descendants down to the return of the Heracleidae;35 following which Cresphontes36 received Messenê as his portion and his line ruled it for a time; but later when Cresphontes' descendants had lost the kingship, the Lacedaemonians became masters of it. 3 After this, at the death of the Lacedaemonian king Teleclus,37 the Messenians were defeated in a war by the Lacedaemonians. This war is said to have lasted twenty years, for the Lacedaemonians had taken an oath not to return to Sparta unless they should have captured Messenê. Then it was that the children called partheniae38 were born and founded the city of Tarentum. p137Later, however, while the Messenians were in slavery to the Lacedaemonians, Aristomenes39 persuaded the Messenians to revolt from the Spartans, and he inflicted many defeats upon the Spartans at the time when the poet Tyrtaeus40 was given by the Athenians as a leader to Sparta. 4 Some say that Aristomenes lived during the twenty-year war. The last war41 between them was on the occasion of a great earthquake; practically all Sparta was destroyed and left bare of men, and the remnants of the Messenians settled Ithomê with the aid of the Helots who joined the revolt, after Messenê had for a long time been desolate. 5 But when they were unsuccessful in all their wars and were finally driven from their homes, they settled in Naupactus,42 a city which the Athenians had given them for an abode. Furthermore some of their number were exiled to Cephallenia, while others settled in Messana43 in Sicily, which was named after them. 6 Finally at the time under discussion the Thebans, at the instigation of Epameinondas, who gathered together the Messenians from all quarters, settled Messenê and restored their ancient land to them.

Such then were the many important vicissitudes of Messenian history.

p139 67 1 The Thebans, having accomplished in eighty-five days44 all that is narrated above, and having left a considerable garrison for Messenê, returned to their own land. The Lacedaemonians, who had unexpectedly got rid of their enemies, sent to Athens a commission of the most distinguished Spartans, and came to an agreement over the supremacy: the Athenians should be masters of the sea, the Lacedaemonians of the land; but after this in both cities they set up a joint command.45 2 The Arcadians now appointed Lycomedes their general, gave him the corps they called their élite,46 five thousand in number, and took the field against Pellenê47 in Laconia. Having taken the city by force, they slew the Lacedaemonians who had been left behind there as a garrison, over three hundred men, enslaved the city, devastated the countryside, and returned home before assistance came from the Lacedaemonians. 3 The Boeotians, summoned by the Thessalians to liberate their cities and to overthrow the tyranny of Alexander of Pherae, dispatched Pelopidas with an army to Thessaly,48 after giving him instructions to arrange Thessalian affairs in the interests of the Boeotians. 4 Having arrived in Larissa and found the acropolis garrisoned by Alexander p141of Macedon,49 he obtained its surrender. Then proceeding into Macedon, where he made an alliance with Alexander the Macedonian king, he took from him as a hostage his brother Philip, whom he sent to Thebes.50 When he had settled Thessalian affairs as he thought fit in the interest of the Boeotians, he returned home.

68 1 After these events, Arcadians, Argives, and Eleians, making common cause, decided to take the field against the Lacedaemonians, and having sent a commission to the Boeotians prevailed on them to join in the war. They appointed Epameinondas commander51 along with other boeotarchs and dispatched seven thousand foot and six hundred horse. The Athenians, hearing that the Boeotian army was about to pass into the Peloponnese, dispatched an army and Chabrias as general against them. 2 He arrived in Corinth, added to his number Megarians,52 Pellenians,53 and also Corinthians, and so gathered a force of ten thousand men. Later, when the Lacedaemonians and other allies arrived at Corinth, there were assembled no less than twenty thousand men all told. 3 They decided to fortify the approaches and prevent the Boeotians from invading the Peloponnese. From Cenchreae54 to Lechaeum they fenced off the area p143with palisades and deep trenches, and since the task was quickly completed owing to the large number of men and their enthusiasm, they had every spot fortified before the Boeotians arrived. 4 Epameinondas came with his army, inspected the fortifications, and, perceiving that there was a spot very easy of access where the Lacedaemonians were on guard, first challenged the army to come forth to a pitched battle, though they were almost three times his number, then when not a man dared to advance beyond the fortified line, but all remained on the defensive in their palisaded camp, he launched a violent attack upon them. 5 Accordingly, throughout the whole area heavy assaults were made, but particularly against the Lacedaemonians, for their terrain was easily assailed and difficult to defend. Great rivalry arose between the two armies, and Epameinondas, who had with him the bravest of the Thebans, with great effort forced back the Lacedaemonians, and, cutting through their defence and bringing his army through, passed into the Peloponnese, thereby accomplishing a feat no whit inferior to his former mighty deeds.

69 1 Having proceeded straightway to Troezên and Epidaurus, he ravaged the countryside but could not seize the cities, for they had garrisons of considerable strength, yet Sicyon,55 Phlius,56 and certain other cities he so intimidated as to bring them over to his side. When he invaded Corinth, and the Corinthians sallied forth to meet him, he defeated them in battle, and drove them all back inside their walls, but when the p145Boeotians were so elated by their successes that some of them rashly ventured to force their way through the gates into the city, the Corinthians, frightened, took refuge in their houses, but Chabrias the Athenian general made an intelligent and determined resistance, and succeeded in driving the Boeotians out of the city, having also struck down many of them. 2 In the rivalry which followed, the Boeotians gathered all their army in line of battle and directed a formidable blow at Corinth; but Chabrias with the Athenians advanced out of the city, took his station on superior terrain and withstood the attack of the enemy. 3 The Boeotians, however, relying upon the hardihood of their bodies and their experience in continuous warfare, expected to worst the Athenians by sheer might, but Chabrias' corps, having the advantage of superior ground in the struggle and of abundant supplies from the city, slew some of the attackers and severely wounded others. 4 The Boeotians, having suffered many losses and being unable to accomplish anything, beat a retreat. So Chabrias won great admiration for his courage and shrewdness as a general and got rid of the enemy in this fashion.

70 1 From Sicily, Celts and Iberians to the number of two thousand sailed to Corinth, for they had been sent by the tyrant Dionysius to fight in an alliance with the Lacedaemonians, and had received pay for five months. The Greeks, in order to make trial of them, led them forth; and they proved their worth in hand-to‑hand fighting and in battles and many both of the Boeotians and of their allies were slain by them. p147Accordingly, having won repute for superior dexterity and courage and rendered many kinds of service, they were given awards by the Lacedaemonians and sent back home at the close of the summer to Sicily.57 2 Following this, Philiscus, who was sent on this mission by King Artaxerxes, sailed to Greece to urge the Greeks to compose their strife and agree to a general peace. All but the Thebans responded willingly;58 they, however, adhering to their own design, had brought all Boeotia into one confederation and were excluded from the agreement. Since the general peace was not adhered to, Philiscus left two thousand picked mercenaries, paid in advance, for the Lacedaemonians and then returned to Asia.

3 While these things were going on, Euphron of Sicyon, a particularly rash and crack-brained individual, with accomplices from Argos attempted to set up a tyranny.59 Succeeding in his plan, he sent forty of the wealthiest Sicyonians into exile, first confiscating their property, and, when he had secured large sums thereby, he collected a mercenary force and became lord of the city.

71 1 When Nausigenes was archon at Athens, in Rome four military tribunes with consular power were elected, Lucius Papirius, Lucius Menenius, Servius Cornelius, and Servius Sulpicius; and the Eleians celebrated the hundred third Olympiad, in which Pythostratus the Athenian won the stadium race. p149During their term of office Ptolemy60 of Alorus, son of Amyntas, assassinated Alexander, his brother-in‑law, and was king of Macedon for three years. 2 In Boeotia Pelopidas, whose military reputation rivalled that of Epameinondas, saw that the latter had arranged the Peloponnesian affairs to the advantage of the Boeotians, and was eager to be the instrument whereby districts outside of the Peloponnese were won for the Thebans. Taking along with him as his associate Ismenias, a friend of his, and a man who was admired for his valour, he entered Thessaly.61 There he met Alexander, the tyrant of Pherae, but was suddenly arrested with Ismenias, and placed under guard. 3 The Thebans, incensed at what had been done, dispatched with all speed eight thousand hoplites and six hundred cavalry into Thessaly, so frightening Alexander that he dispatched ambassadors to Athens for an alliance.62 The Athenian people immediately sent him thirty ships and a thousand men under the command of Autocles. 4 While Autocles was making the circuit of Euboea, the Thebans entered Thessaly. Though Alexander had gathered his infantry and had many times more horsemen than the Boeotians, at first the Boeotians decided to settle the war by battle, for they had the Thessalians as supporters; but when the latter p151left them in the lurch and the Athenians and some other allies joined Alexander, and they found their provisions of food and drink and all their other supplies giving out, the boeotarchs decided to return home. 5 When they had broken camp and were proceeding through level country, Alexander trailed them with a large body of cavalry and attacked their rear. A number of Boeotians perished under the continuous rain of darts, others fell wounded, until finally, being permitted neither to halt nor to proceed, they were reduced to utter helplessness, as was natural when they were also running short of provisions. 6 When they had now abandoned hope, Epameinondas, who was at that time serving as a private soldier, was appointed general by the men. Quickly selecting the light-armed men and cavalry, he took them with him, and, posting himself in the rear, with their aid checked the enemy pursuers and provided complete security for the heavy-armed men in the front ranks; and by wheeling about and offering battle and using masterly formations he saved the army. 7 By these repeated successes he more and more enhanced his own reputation and won the warm approbation of both his fellow citizens and allies. But the Thebans brought judgement against the boeotarchs of the day and punished them with a heavy fine.

72 1 When the reason is asked why a man of such parts was serving as a private soldier in the expedition that was sent to Thessaly, we must give his own plea in defence. In the battle at Corinth Epameinondas, having cut through the guard of the Lacedaemonians p153on the outwork, though he might have slain many of the enemy, was satisfied with his advantage and desisted from further combat. 2 A serious suspicion arose that he had spared the Lacedaemonians as a personal favour, and those who were jealous of his fame found an opportunity for plausible charges against him. They accordingly brought a charge of treason against him, and the populace, incensed, removed him from the board of boeotarchs, made him a private soldier, and sent him out with the rest. When he had by his achievements wiped out the feeling against him, the people then restored him to his former position of high repute. 3 Shortly after this the Lacedaemonians fought a great battle with the Arcadians and defeated them signally. Indeed since the defeat at Leuctra this was their first stroke of good fortune, and it was a surprising one; for over ten thousand Arcadians fell and not one Lacedaemonian.63 The priestesses of Dodona64 had foretold to them that this war would be a tearless one for the Lacedaemonians. 4 After this battle the Arcadians, fearful of the invasions of the Lacedaemonians, founded in a favourable location the city called Great, Megalopolis, by combining to form it twenty65 villages of the Arcadians known as Maenalians66 and Parrhasians.

Such were the events in Greece at this time.

p155 73 1 In Sicily, Dionysius the tyrant having large armies, and perceiving that the Carthaginians were in no condition for war because of the plague which had raged in their midst67 and the defection of the Libyans, decided to take the field against them. Not having a reasonable excuse for strife, he alleged that the Phoenicians in the empire of Carthage had violated the territory subject to him. 2 He therefore got ready an armament of thirty thousand foot, three thousand horse, three hundred triremes and the supply train appropriate for that force, and invaded Carthaginian territory in Sicily. He immediately won Selinus and Entella, lay waste the whole countryside, and, having captured the city of Eryx, besieged Lilybaeum,68 but there were so many soldiers in the place that he abandoned the siege. 3 Hearing that the Carthaginians' dockyards had been burned and thinking that their whole fleet had been destroyed, he conceived a contempt for them and dispatched only one hundred thirty of his best triremes to the harbour of Eryx, sending all the rest back to Syracuse. 4 But the Carthaginians, having unexpectedly manned two hundred ships, sailed against the fleet at anchor in the harbour of Eryx, and, as the attack was unforeseen, they made off with most of the triremes. Later when winter had set in, the two states agreed to an armistice and separated, each going to its own cities. 5 A little later p157Dionysius fell sick and died, after ruling as overlord for thirty-eight years. His son Dionysius succeeded and ruled as tyrant twelve years.

74 1 It is not out of keeping with the present narrative to recount the cause of his death and the events which befell this dynast toward the end of his life. Now Dionysius had produced a tragedy at the Lenaea69 at Athens70 and had won the victory, and one of those who sang in the chorus, supposing he would be rewarded handsomely if he were the first to give news of the victory, set sail to Corinth. There, finding a ship bound for Sicily, he transferred to it, and obtaining favouring winds, speedily landed at Syracuse and gave the tyrant news of the victory. 2 Dionysius did reward him, and was himself so overjoyed that he sacrificed to the gods for the good tidings and instituted a drinking bout and great feasts. As he entertained his friends lavishly and during the bout applied himself overzealously to drink, he fell violently ill from the quantity of liquor he had consumed. 3 Now he had an oracle the gods had given him that he should die when he had conquered "his betters," but he interpreted the oracle as referring to the Carthaginians, assuming that these were "his betters." So in the wars that he had many times p159waged against them he was accustomed to withdraw in the hour of victory and accept defeat willingly, in order that he might not appear to have proved himself "better" than the stronger foe. 4 For all that, however, he could not in the end by his chicanery outwit the destiny Fate had in store for him; on the contrary, though a wretched poet and though judged on this occasion in a competition at Athens,71 he defeated "better" poets than himself. So in verbal consistency with the decree of the oracle he met his death as a direct consequence of defeating "his betters."

5 Dionysius the younger on his succession to the tyranny first gathered the populace in an assembly and urged them in appropriate words to maintain toward him the loyalty that passed to him with the heritage that he had received from his father; then, having buried his father with magnificent obsequies in the citadel by the gates called royal, he made secure for himself the administration of the government.

75 1 When Polyzelus was archon at Athens, anarchy prevailed at Rome because of civil dissensions, and in Greece, Alexander, tyrant of Pherae in Thessaly, having lodged accusations about certain matters against the city of Scotussa,72 summoned its citizens to an assembly and, having surrounded them with mercenaries, slew them all, cast the bodies of the dead into the ditch in front of the walls, and plundered the city from end to end. 2 Epameinondas, the Theban, entered the Peloponnese with an army, won over the p161Achaeans73 and some cities besides, and liberated Dymê, Naupactus, and Calydon, which were held by a garrison of the Achaeans. The Boeotians invaded Thessaly also and released Pelopidas74 from the custody of Alexander, tyrant of Pherae. 3 And to the Phliasians upon whom the Argives were waging war, Chares75 brought assistance, having been sent with an army under his command by the Athenians; he defeated the Argives in two battles, and after securing the position of the Phliasians, returned to Athens.

76 1 When the year ended, Cephisodorus was archon at Athens, and at Rome the people elected four military tribunes with consular power, Lucius Furius, Paulus Manlius, Servius Sulpicius, and Servius Cornelius. During their term of office, Themison,76 tyrant of Eretria, seized Oropus. But this city, which belonged to Athens, he quite unexpectedly lost; for when the Athenians took the field against him with far superior forces, the Thebans, who had come to aid him and had taken over from him the city for safekeeping, did not give it back.

2 While these things were going on, the Coans transferred their abode to the city they now inhabit and made it a notable place;77 for a large population was gathered into it, and costly walls and a considerable harbour were constructed. From this time on its p163public revenues and private wealth constantly increased, so much so that it became in a word a rival of the leading cities of Greece.

3 While these things were going on, the Persian King78 sent envoys and succeeded in persuading the Greeks to settle their wars and make a general peace with one another. Accordingly the war called Sparto-Boeotian was settled after lasting more than five years counting from the campaign of Leuctra.

4 In this period there were men memorable for their culture,79 Isocrates the orator and those who became his pupils, Aristotle the philosopher, and besides these Anaximenes of Lampsacus, Plato of Athens, the last of the Pythagorean philosophers, and Xenophon who composed his histories in extreme old age, for he mentions the death of Epameinondas which occurred a few years later.80 Then there were Aristippus and Antisthenes, and Aeschines of Sphettus, the Socratic.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 For the allies of the Thebans in 370 see Xenophon, Hell. 6.5.23; Agesilaüs, 2.24.

2 See Hell. 6.4.27‑28.

3 See also Plutarch, Praecepta gerendae reip. 814; Isocrates, Philip, 52; Dionysius of Hal. 7.66.5.

4 According to Xenophon, Hell. 7.1.23, Lycomedes was from Mantineia (also Pausanias, 8.27.2 and Diodorus himself, chap. 62.2). Lycomedes urged the Arcadians, who at this time entered the services of other states in great numbers as mercenaries, to devote themselves to strengthening their own state.

5 See for the Arcadian League Cary, Cambridge Ancient History, 6.88 f., or better Glotz, Hist. gr. 3.154‑156. Also Freeman, History of Federal Government, 154 ff.

6 Arcadian town just west of Tegea, said to be the home of Evander and origin of the name Palatine (Virgil, Aeneïd, 8.51‑54).

7 See Xenophon, Hell. 6.5.10‑18.

8 See chap. 54.5.

9 Jason was made Tagus of the Thessalians, Xenophon, Hell. 6.1.18. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte2, 3.2.237, prefers Diodorus' date 371 to Xenophon's 375/4. For Jason's ambassadors see Cary, Cambridge Ancient History, 6.83. Jason's death (§ 5) caused the sudden collapse of unification in Thessaly and opened to door to Theban aggressions.

10 See Book 14.89, 92.3; chap. 19.2 and Beloch, Griechische Geschichte2, 3.2.56‑58.

11 See chap. 67.4. The beginning of his reign is placed in the archonship of Phrasicleides 371/0 in the Marm. Par. 72.

12 This should be sixty years ten months. See note vol. X, p217 and Beloch, Griechische Geschichte2, 4.2.157.

13 See Xenophon, Hell. 6.4.31‑32.

14 Duris carried his history at least to the death of Lysimachus (F. H. G., 2.468 and fr. 33).

15 According to Xenophon (Hell. 6.4.33), Polydorus and Polyphron, brothers of Jason, succeeded Jason; Polyphron slew Polydorus and was himself slain by Alexander, son of Polydorus, the next year (ibid. 34). For Alexander's death see Book 16.14.1.

16 Xenophon attests the cruel character of his rule (l.c. 35 ff.).

17 Supposedly descended from Aleuas, a Heraclid, the Aleuadae formed two branches; The Aleuadae of Larissa and the Scopadae of Crannon. They were the great aristocrats of Thessalian society.

18 See chap. 67.4.

19 "The Orchomenians refused to be members of the Arcadian League on account of their enmity toward the Mantineans" (Xenophon, Hell. 6.5.11, trans. by Brownson, L. C. L.).

20 These were called eparitoi. See Xenophon, Hell. 7.4.22, 33, 36; 5.3; and infra, chap. 67.2.

21 Hell. 6.5.14.

22 See Demosthenes, 16.12, 19, and Xenophon, Hell. 6.5.19. For the policy of Athens in this period see Cloché, La Politique étrangère d'Athènes, 97‑99. Cloché thinks Athens had a chance to expand her confederacy at the expense of her former ally Thebes and her former enemy Sparta, but her refusal to help (owing especially to Elis' recalcitrancy) at this time gave Thebes the opportunity to step in.

23 The Thirty were instituted as the governing board at Athens by Lysander after the capture of the city (404 B.C.) following the defeat of Aegospotami. Though Sparta's allies wished to destroy Athens utterly, Sparta herself would not allow such drastic punishment, but did demand the dismantling of the walls, which were torn down by the Athenian populace to the accompaniment of flute music. Though forbidden to rebuild, when, after the victory of Cnidus (394 B.C.), Conon returned to Athens, the people once again built the walls.

24 See Xenophon, Hell. 6.5.33‑49. Diodorus brings in too soon the dispatch of Iphicrates and his army. It belongs to the spring of 369, after the campaign in Laconia.

25 The best account of this invasion is in Xenophon, Hell. 6.5.22‑32. See also Plutarch, Pelopidas, 24, Agesilaüs, 31‑32; Pausanias, 9.14; Polyaenus, 2.1.14, 15, 27, 29; Nepos, Agesilaüs, 6; Aelian, Var. Hist. 14.27. The invasion of Laconia belongs to the winter 370/69.

26 A rendezvous deep in Laconian territory north of Sparta.

27 South-eastern corner of Arcadia bordering Argolis.

28 A high mountainous district to the north of Laconia on the road leading from Sparta to Tegea.

29 The historic occasion, 480 B.C., when Leonidas sent home all but three hundred Spartans, whom he kept to hold up Xerxes' advance. See Book 11.11.

30 Mountain range immediately above Sparta bordering the Eurotas River.

31 See chap. 63.2. Xenophon places the request for help from Athens after the attack on Sparta (Hell. 6.5.33‑52).

32 See Plutarch, Pelopidas, 24.5, Agesilaüs, 34.1; Pausanias, 4.26‑27; 9.14.5; Isocrates, Archidamus, 28. Apparently Xenophon, the Spartophile, could not bring himself to mention the refounding of Messenê.

33 A brief account of the early history of Messenê and Sparta is to be found in Holm, The History of Greece, 1.193‑201. See also Wade-Gery, Cambridge Ancient History, 3.537‑539, 548, 557‑560.

34 Chieftains of Pylos on the coast. Cp. Book 4.68.6; and Pausanias, 4.3.1.

35 The so‑called children of Heracles who formed the second wave of Dorian invasion in the Peloponnese (cp. Book 4.57 f.).

36 A Heraclid who favoured the early inhabitants of Messenê and was slain by the Dorians. He was introduced with his son Aeptyus as a hero by Epameinondas according to Pausanias, 4.27.6. See Strabo, 8.4.7.

37 A king of the Agid line. First Messenian War, 743‑733 B.C. See Pausanias, 3.2.6; 4.4.2, 31.3 and Strabo, 6.3.3.

38 From the union of Spartan "maidens" (hence παρθένιαι) with men left behind at Sparta while the bulk of the Spartiatae were fighting in Messenê. They settled Tarentum 708 B.C. See Strabo, l.c. 3‑4.

39 Messenian hero of the Second Messenian War, 685‑668 B.C.

Thayer's Note: . . . on whom, though a historical person, were hung all kinds of tall tales: see the article Aristomenes in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

40 Fragments of his marching songs and his poem on good government (Εὐνομία) are collected in Edmunds, Elegy and Iambus, 1.58 ff., L. C. L. See Book 8.27.2. Schmid-Stählin, Gr. Litt.-Gesch. 1.1.358 ff., doubt if a poet came out of Athens or Sparta at this period but think it quite possible that Tyrtaeus came from Miletus (cp. Suidas, Lexicon, s.v. Λάκων ἣ Μιλήσιος) along with other poets that came to Sparta from the more forward regions of Asia Minor and the islands. For other notices of his life see Edmunds, ibid. 50‑58.

41 464‑455 B.C. See Book 11.63.

42 Situated on a promontory on the north shore of the Gulf of Corinth; an important ally of Athens in the Peloponnesian War.

43 Formerly Zanclê, settled by Siculians probably, later colonized by Chalcidians.

44 Three months in Plutarch, Agesilaüs, 32.8.

45 Xenophon says (Hell. 7.1.14) that they each exercised alternate command of sea and land forces for periods of five days. See chap. 38.4.

46 See chap. 62.2.

47 Pellana in the Laconian dialect. Situated on the Eurotas River on the road from Sparta to Arcadia. See Xenophon, Hell. 7.2.2.

48 See Plutarch, Pelopidas, 26.

49 See chap. 61.4, 5.

50 For a different account concerning Philip see Book 16.2.2. Cary, Cambridge Ancient History, 6.86, disagrees with both passages in Diodorus. See Aeschines, On the Embassy, 28.

51 An account of this expedition is in Xenophon, Hell. 7.1.15‑22. See also Pausanias, 9.15.4.

52 According to Isocrates (On the Peace, 118), Megara remained neutral. It is obvious here that she afforded passage to both parties.

53 Pellenê was the easternmost town of Achaïa, slightly north-west of Sicyon and Corinth.

54 The line from Cenchreae (on the Saronic Gulf) to Lechaeum (on the Corinthian Gulf) crossed the neck of the isthmus close to the Peloponnese and just included the city of Corinth. Mentioned in Book 11.16.3.

55 Fighting for Sicyon is indicated in Polyaenus, 5.16.3 and Pausanias, 6.3.3. That the Boeotians obtained it is stated in Xenophon, Hell. 7.2.11; 3.2.4.

56 According to Xenophon, ibid. 2.5‑9, Phlius remained true to Sparta.

57 For the performance of these Celts and Iberians see Xenophon, Hell. 7.1.20‑22.

58 See Xenophon, Hell. 7.1.27. This peace move is dated in the spring of 368 (Cary, Cambridge Ancient History, 6.93).

59 This is told in Xenophon, Hell. 7.1.44‑46 under the year 367. Diodorus is probably wrong as to the year (cp. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte2, 3.2.243).

60 Ptolemy of Alorus was the husband of Eurynoë, daughter of Amyntas III and Eurydicê (Justin, 7.4.5, 7), hence the use of τὸν ἀδελφόν. He may well have been the son of an Amyntas since the name was common in Macedonia. After Alexander's death he took the regency for Perdiccas (Aeschines, On the Embassy, 29) and married the Queen dowager Eurydicê (sch. ibid.; Justin, 7.4.7). If he was king, no coins were issued in his name. (See Beloch, Griechische Geschichte2, 3.2.67.) See also Plutarch, Pelopidas, 27; Marsyas in Athenaeus, Deip. 14, 629D.

61 For this venture see Plutarch, Pelopidas, 27 ff.; Pausanias, 9.15.1‑2; Nepos, Pelopidas, 5.

62 For the alliance see Plutarch, Pelopidas, 31.4, Apophthegmata Epaminondou, 17 (193); Demosthenes, 23.120; IG, 22.1.116.39 f.

63 For the "tearless battle" see Xenophon, Hell. 7.1.28‑32 and Plutarch, Agesilaüs, 33.3 ff.

64 Ancient oracle of Zeus in Epeirus.

65 Pausanias (see critical notes) names forty villages. Cary, Cambridge Ancient History, 6.91‑92, accepts Diodorus' figure but not his date. For the date of founding Pausanias, ibid. 27.8, gives 371/0; the Parian Marble 370/69 or 369/8, while Beloch, Griechische Geschichte2, 3.1.187, accepts Diodorus.

The critical note to the Greek text (συρρίψαντες εἰς αὐτὴν κώμας εἴκοσι) reads:

εἴκοσι] μ′ L Pausanias, 8.27.3, 4), τετταράκοντα Dindorf, Bekker.

66 Districts of southern Arcadia. In Maenalia was situated the new foundation, Megalopolis.

67 For previous Sicilian passages see chaps. 6‑7, 13, 14, 15‑17, 24 (plague and revolt). For a discussion of this Third Carthaginian War see Beloch, Griechische Geschichte2, 2.2.375 and Bury, Cambridge Ancient History, 6.131.

68 Selinus is on the south coast of Sicily near the west end, Entella is inland from it, while Eryx is in the extreme north-west corner, the modern harbour of which is Trapani, and Lilybaeum is to the south on the coast.

69 The "Wine Press Festival" of January or February at which both comedies and tragedies were presented. By unanimous consent (see Niese, P.‑W. Realencyclopädie, 5.901 top for references) the poetry of Dionysius was wretched and boring, but he never ceased to aspire. For one humiliating experience see Book 14.109. See also Book 15.6. The name of the play presented on this occasion was the Ransom of Hector (Nauck, Trag. gr. fr.2, 794).

70 It is to be noted that Athens was now, through Sparta, an ally of Dionysius I (Xenophon, Hell. 7.1.28‑29). Athens honoured Dionysius and his sons with public praises and crowns in 369/8. See Hicks and Hill, Greek Historical Inscriptions2, 108. For the formal alliance see ibid. 112. See also Bury, Cambridge Ancient History, 6.134 and 132.

71 Though Diodorus has just said above that Dionysius was producing at Athens (§ 1), he seems by his repetition to wish to stress the fact that the judgement was rendered by the most critical and authoritative city of the time.

72 A Thessalian town between Pherae and Pharsalus. For this blood-bath see Plutarch, Pelopidas, 29.4, 31.1 and Pausanias, 6.5.2 f. (date given as 371/0, perhaps as a result of missing an Olympiad).

73 See Xenophon, Hell. 7.1.41 f., who places this march after the peace conference (chap. 76.3 infra), probably wrongly (Cary, Cambridge Ancient History, 6.94‑95).

74 See Plutarch, Pelopidas, 29.2‑6. Following this rescue Pelopidas went to Susa as envoy from Thebes.

75 See Xenophon, Hell. 7.2.18 ff. under year 366.

76 See Xenophon, Hell. 7.4.1; Demosthenes, 18.99; Aeschines, On the Embassy, 164; Against Ctesiphon, 85.

77 See Strabo, 14.2.19.

78 See Xenophon, Hell. 7.1.39. For previous embassies from Artaxerxes urging peace see chap. 38.1, 50.4, 70.2. This congress which met at Thebes seems to have been as unsuccessful as the previous ones.

79 "Paideia" is translated "culture" by Werner Jaeger in his three-volume work of that title (1.xvi). One may well be surprised at a list of names which includes the orator Anaximenes of Lampsacus and omits Demosthenes. The last of the Pythagoreans include Archytas, Timaeus, Xenophilus, Phanton, Echecrates, Diocles, and Polymnastus (Diog. Laert. 8.4679).

80 i.e. later than the year 366/5.


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