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XIX.10‑48

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Library of History

of
Diodorus Siculus

published in Vol. IX
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1947

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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XIX.66‑72

(Vol. IX) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

(Book XIX, continued)

p363 49 1 Now that we have completed the account of events in Asia, we shall turn our attention to Europe and set forth what took place there following the events previously described.1 Although Cassander had shut Olympias into Pydna in Macedonia, he was not able to assault the walls because of the winter storms, but by encamping about the city, throwing up a palisade from sea to sea, and blockading the port, he prevented any who might wish to aid the queen from doing so. 2 And as supplies were rapidly exhausted, he created such famine among those within that they were completely incapacitated. In truth, they were brought to such extreme need that they gave each soldier five choenices2 of grain per month, sawed up wood and fed the sawdust to the imprisoned elephants, and slaughtered the pack animals and horses for food. 3 While the situation of the city was so serious and while Olympias was still clinging to hopes of rescue from outside, the elephants p365died from lack of nourishment, the horsemen that were not in the ranks and did not receive any food whatever nearly all perished, and no small number of the soldiers also met the same fate. 4 Some of the non-Greeks, their natural needs overcoming their scruples, found flesh to eat by collecting the bodies of the dead. Since the city was being quickly filled with corpses, those in charge of the queen's company,3 though they buried some of the bodies, threw others over the city wall. The sight of these was horrible, and their stench was unbearable, not merely to ladies who were of the queen's court and addicted to luxury, but also to those of the soldiers who were habituated to hardship.

50 1 As spring came on and their want increased from day to day, many of the soldiers gathered together and appealed to Olympias to let them go because of the lack of supplies. Since she could neither issue any food at all nor break the siege, she permitted them to withdraw. 2 Cassander, after welcoming all the deserters and treating them in most friendly fashion, sent them to the various cities; for he hoped that when the Macedonians learned from them how weak Olympias was, they would despair of her cause. 3 And he was not mistaken in his surmise about what would happen: those who had resolved to fight on the side of the besieged forces changed their minds and went over to Cassander; and the only men in Macedonia to preserve their loyalty were Aristonoüs and Monimus, of whom Aristonoüs was ruler of Amphipolis and Monimus of Pella. 4 But Olympias, when she saw that most of p367her friends had gone over to Cassander and that those who remained were not strong enough to come to her aid, attempted to launch a quinquereme and by this means to save herself and her friends. 5 When, however, a deserter brought news of this attempt to the enemy and Cassander sailed up and took the ship, Olympias, recognizing that her situation was beyond hope, sent envoys to treat of terms. When Cassander gave his opinion that she must put all her interests into his hands, she with difficulty persuaded him to grant the single exception that he guarantee her personal safety. 6 As soon as he had gained possession of the city, he sent men to take over Pella and Amphipolis. 7 Now Monimus, the ruler of Pella, on hearing the fate of Olympias, surrendered his city; but Aristonoüs at first was minded to cling to his position, since he had many soldiers and had recently enjoyed a success. That is, a few days before this in a battle against Cassander's general Cratevas he had killed most of those who faced him, and when Cratevas himself with two thousand men had fled to Bedyndia in Bisaltia,4 he invested him, took him by siege, and dismissed him on terms after taking away his arms. 8 Aristonoüs, encouraged by this and ignorant of the death of Eumenes, believing, moreover, that Alexander and Polyperchon would support him, refused to surrender Amphipolis. But when Olympias wrote to him demanding his loyalty and ordering him to surrender, he perceived that it was necessary to do as ordered and delivered the city to Cassander, receiving pledges for his own safety.

p369 51 1 Cassander, seeing that Aristonoüs was respected because of the preferment he had received from Alexander,5 and being anxious to put out of the way any who were able to lead a revolt, caused his death through the agency of the kinsfolk of Cratevas. He also urged the relatives of those whom Olympias had slain to accuse the aforesaid woman in the general assembly of the Macedonians. 2 They did as he had ordered; and, although Olympias was not present and had none to speak in her defence, the Macedonians condemned her to death.6 Cassander, however, sent some of his friends to Olympias advising her to escape secretly, promising to provide a ship for her and to carry her to Athens. 3 He acted thus, not for the purpose of securing her safety, but in order that she, condemning herself to exile and meeting death on the voyage, might seem to have met a punishment that was deserved; for he was acting with caution both because of her rank and because of the fickleness of the Macedonians. 4 As Olympias, however, refused to flee but on the contrary was ready to be judged before all the Macedonians, Cassander, fearing that the crowd might change its mind if it heard the queen defend herself and was reminded of all the benefits conferred on the entire nation by Alexander and Philip, sent to her two hundred soldiers who were best fitted for such a task, ordering them to slay her as soon as possible. 5 They, accordingly, broke into the royal house, but when they beheld Olympias, overawed by her exalted rank, they withdrew with their task unfulfilled. But the relatives of her victims, p371wishing to curry favour with Cassander as well as to avenge their dead, murdered the queen, who uttered no ignoble or womanish plea.

6 Such was the end of Olympias, who had attained to the highest dignity of the women of her day, having been daughter of Neoptolemus, king of the Epirotes, sister of the Alexander who made a campaign into Italy,7 and also wife of Philip, who was the mightiest of all who down to this time had ruled in Europe, and mother of Alexander, whose deeds were the greatest and most glorious.

52 1 As for Cassander, now that his affairs had succeeded according to his intentions, he began to embrace in his hopes the Macedonian kingdom. For this reason he married Thessalonicê, who was Philip's daughter and Alexander's half-sister, since he desired to establish a connection with the royal house.8 2 He also founded on Pallenê a city called Cassandreia after his own name,9 uniting with it as one city the cities of the peninsula, Potidaea, and a considerable number of the neighbouring towns. He also settled in this city those of the Olynthians who survived,10 not few in number. 3 Since a great deal of land, and good land too, was included within the boundaries of Cassandreia, and since Cassander was very ambitious for the city's increase, it quickly made great progress and became the strongest of the cities of Macedonia. 4 Cassander had determined to do away with Alexander's son and the son's mother, Roxanê, so that p373there might be no successor to the kingdom; but for the present, since he wished to observe what the common people would say about the slaying of Olympias and since he had no news of Antigonus' success, he placed Roxanê and the child in custody, transferring them to the citadel of Amphipolis,11 in command of which he placed Glaucias, one of his most trusted henchmen. Also he took away the pages who, according to custom, were being brought up as companions of the boy, and he ordered that he should no longer have royal treatment but only such as was proper for any ordinary person of private station. 5 After this, already conducting himself as a king in administering the affairs of the realm, he buried Eurydicê and Philip, the queen and king, and also Cynna, whom Alcetas had slain, in Aegae as was the royal custom.12 After honouring the dead with funeral games, he enrolled those of the Macedonians who were fit for military service, for he had decided to make a campaign into the Peloponnesus. 6 While Cassander was engaged with these matters, Polyperchon was being besieged in Azorius13 in Perrhaebia, but on hearing of the death of Olympias he finally, despairing of success in Macedonia, escaped from the city with a few followers. Leaving Thessaly and taking over the troops led by Aeacides,14 he withdrew into Aetolia, believing that he could wait there with greatest safety and observe the changes in the situation; p375for as it chanced he was on friendly terms with this people.

53 1 But Cassander, after assembling an adequate force, set out from Macedonia, desiring to drive Polyperchon's son Alexander from the Peloponnesus; for of those who opposed Cassander he alone was left with an army, and he had occupied strategically situated cities and districts. Cassander crossed Thessaly without loss, but when he found the pass at Thermopylae guarded by Aetolians, he with difficulty dislodged them and entered Boeotia. 2 Summoning from all sides those of the Thebans who survived, he undertook to re-establish Thebes,15 for he assumed that this was a most excellent opportunity to set up once more a city that had been widely known both for its achievements and for the myths that had been handed down about it; and he supposed that by this benevolent act he would acquire undying fame. 3 The fact is that this city has experienced very many changes of fortune and has been destroyed on no few occasions; and it will not be out of place to recount here the chief events of its history. 4 When, after the flood that occurred in the days of Deucalion, Cadmus built the Cadmeia,16 which was called after his name, there came together there with him a folk whom some call the Spartoi17 because they had been gathered together from all sides, and others the Thebagenes18 p377because they were originally from Thebes but had been driven out and scattered by the flood. 5 Be that as it may, these people then settled in the city but later the Encheleans defeated them in war and drove them out, at which time Cadmus and his followers also were driven to Illyria.19 Later Amphion and Zethus became masters of the site and then built the lower city for the first time, as the poet says:

First by them was established Thebes of the seven gates.20

Then the inhabitants of the place were exiled a second time, for Polydorus, son of Cadmus, came back and was dissatisfied with the situation because of the misfortunes that had befallen Amphion in connection with his children.21 6 Next, when Polydorus' own descendants were kings22 and the whole country had already received the name Boeotia from Boeotus, who was the son of Melanippê and Poseidon and had been ruler of the region, the Thebans for the third time suffered exile, for the Epigoni from Argos took the city by siege.23 7 The survivors of those driven out took refuge in Alalcomenia and on Mount Tilphosium,24 p379but after the Argives had departed they returned to their native city. After that, when the Thebans had gone to Asia for the Trojan War, those who were left behind were expelled along with the rest of the Boeotians by Pelasgians.25 8 Thereafter they met with many misfortunes, and only with difficulty in the fourth generation according to the prophecy of the ravens did they return to Boeotia and re-establish Thebes.26 From that time the city persisted for nearly eight hundred years, the Thebans at first becoming the leaders of their own people and later disputing for the leadership of the Greeks,27 until Alexander, son of Philip, captured the city by storm and destroyed it.

54 1 In the twentieth year thereafter Cassander in his desire for glory, after first obtaining the consent of the Boeotians, rebuilt the city for those of the Thebans who survived. 2 Many of the Greek cities shared in the resettlement both because of their pity for the unfortunate and because of the glory of the city. The Athenians, for example, rebuilt the greater part of the wall, and of the other Greeks, not alone from Greece itself but from Sicily and Italy as well, some erected buildings to the extent of their ability, and others sent money for the pressing needs. 3 In this way the Thebans recovered their city.

p381 To return to Cassander, he set out with his army for the Peloponnesus, but on finding that Alexander, son of Polyperchon, had blocked the Isthmus with guards, he turned aside to Megara. There he constructed barges upon which he transported the elephants to Epidaurus, taking the rest of the army in boats. Coming to the city of the Argives, he forced it to abandon its alliance with Alexander and to join him, 4 after which he won over the cities of Messenia except Ithomê, and gained Hermionis through negotiation. As Alexander, however, did not come out to fight, he left at the end of the Isthmus toward Gerania28 two thousand soldiers commanded by Molyccus and returned to Macedonia.

55 1 When this year had passed, Praxibulus was archon at Athens and in Rome Nautius Spurius and Marcus Poplius were consuls.29 While these held office Antigonus left Aspisas, a native, as satrap of Susianê,30 while he himself, having decided to convey all the money to the sea, prepared waggons and camels and, taking the treasure, set out for Babylonia with the army. 2 In twenty-two days he arrived in Babylon, and Seleucus, the satrap of the country, honoured him with gifts suitable for a king and feasted the whole army. 3 When Antigonus, however, demanded p383an accounting for the revenues, Seleucus answered that he was not bound to undergo a public investigation of his administration of this country which the Macedonians had given him in recognition of his services rendered while Alexander was alive.31 4 As the dispute grew more serious each day, Seleucus, reasoning from the fate of Pithon,32 feared that Antigonus would some day seize a pretext and undertake to destroy him; for Antigonus seemed eager to put out of the way all of his associates who were of high rank and were capable of claiming a share in the government. 5 Therefore to avoid this, he escaped with fifty horsemen, intending to retire into Egypt to Ptolemy; for word had spread abroad of Ptolemy's kindness and of his cordiality and friendliness toward those who fled to him.33 6 When Antigonus learned of the flight, he was pleased, since it seemed that he himself had been spared the necessity of laying violent hands upon a man who had been his friend and had actively co-operated with him, and that Seleucus, by condemning himself to exile, had surrendered his satrapy without struggle or danger. 7 But then the Chaldean astrologers came to him and foretold that if ever he let Seleucus escape from his hands, the consequence would be that all Asia would become subject to Seleucus, and that Antigonus himself would lose his life in a battle against him. At this, Antigonus repented his former course and sent men to pursue Seleucus, but they, after tracking him for a certain distance, returned with their mission unaccomplished. 8 Although Antigonus was accustomed to despise prophecies of this kind on other occasions, he was not a little troubled at this time, being disturbed p385by the reputation of the men, for they are reputed to possess a great deal of experience and to make most exact observations of the stars. Indeed they declare that for many myriads of years the study of these matters has been pursued among them. It is also believed that they foretold to Alexander, that, if he entered Babylon, he would die.34 9 And just as was the case with the prophecy about Alexander, it came to pass that this prophecy in regard to Seleucus was fulfilled according to the assertion of these men. Of this we shall speak in detail when we come to the proper period.35

56 1 Seleucus, arriving safely in Egypt, met with nothing but kindness from Ptolemy. He bitterly accused Antigonus, saying that Antigonus had determined to remove from their satrapies all who were men of rank and in particular those who had served under Alexander; as examples of this he mentioned the slaying of Pithon,36 the removal of Peucestes from Persia,37 and his own experiences; 2 for all of these men, who were guiltless of wrongdoing and had even performed great services out of friendship, had been patiently awaiting a reward for virtue. He reviewed also the magnitude of Antigonus' armed forces, his vast wealth, and his recent successes, and went on to intimate that in consequence he had become arrogant and had encompassed in his ambitious plans the entire kingdom of the Macedonians. 3 When by such arguments he had induced Ptolemy to prepare for p387war, he sent certain of his friends to Europe, directing them to try by similar arguments to convert Cassander and Lysimachus into enemies of Antigonus. 4 They quickly carried out their instructions, and the seed of a quarrel and of great wars began to grow. But Antigonus, who had deduced by reasoning from probabilities what course of action Seleucus was following, sent envoys to Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander, urging them to maintain the existing friendship. He next established as satrap of Babylonia that Pithon who had come from India,38 and then, setting out with his army, he marched toward Cilicia. 5 He arrived at Malus39 and, after the setting of Orion,40 divided the army for passing the winter. He also took the money at Cyinda,41 which amounted to ten thousand talents. Apart from this there fell to him from the annual revenue eleven thousand talents. As a result he was a formidable antagonist both because of the size of his armies and because of the amount of his wealth.

57 1 While Antigonus was going into upper Syria, envoys arrived from Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander. When they had been brought into the council, they demanded that Cappadocia and Lycia be given to Cassander,42 Hellespontine Phrygia to Lysimachus, all Syria to Ptolemy, and Babylonia to Seleucus, and that Antigonus should divide the treasures that he had captured after the battle with p389Eumenes, since they too had had a share in the war. 2 They said that if he did none of these things, they would all join in waging war on him. Antigonus answered rather harshly and bade them make ready for war, with the result that the envoys went away with their mission unaccomplished. At this Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander, after making a mutual alliance, gathered their forces and prepared stocks of arms, missiles, and the other needful things.43 3 But now that Antigonus saw that many men of great repute had combined against him, and computed the extent of the war that was springing up, he summoned the nations, cities, and rulers to join his alliance. 4 He sent Agesilaüs to the kings in Cyprus, Idomeneus and Moschion to Rhodes, and his own nephew Ptolemy with an army to Cappadocia to raise the siege of Amisus, to drive out all who had been sent by Cassander into Cappadocia, and finally to take a position on the Hellespont and lie in wait for Cassander if he should try to cross over from Europe. 5 He sent Aristodemus of Miletus to the Peloponnesus with a thousand talents, instructing him to establish friendship with Alexander and Polyperchon and, after raising an adequate force of mercenaries, to carry on the war against Cassander. He himself established at intervals throughout all that part of p391Asia of which he was master a system of fire-signals and dispatch-carriers, by means of which he expected to have quick service in all his business.44

58 1 After attending to these matters, Antigonus set out for Phoenicia, hastening to organize a naval force; for it so happened that his enemies then ruled the sea with many ships, but that he had, altogether, not even a few. Camping at Old Tyre45 in Phoenicia and intending to besiege Tyre, he called together the kings of the Phoenicians and the viceroys of Syria. 2 He instructed the kings to assist him in building ships, since Ptolemy was holding in Egypt all the ships from Phoenicia with their crews. He ordered the viceroys to prepare quickly four and a half million measures of wheat . . .,46 for such was the annual consumption. He himself collected wood cutters, sawyers, and shipwrights from all sides, and carried wood to the sea from Lebanon. There were eight thousand men employed in cutting and sawing the timber and one thousand pair of draught animals in transporting it. 3 This mountain range extends along the territory of Tripolis, Byblus, and Sidon, and is covered with cedar and cypress trees of wonderful beauty and size. 4 He established three shipyards in Phoenicia — at Tripolis, Byblus, and Sidon — and a p393fourth in Cilicia, the timber for which was brought from Mount Taurus. 5 There was also another in Rhodes, where the state agreed to make ships from imported timber. While Antigonus was busy with these matters and after he had established his camp near the sea, Seleucus arrived from Egypt with a hundred ships, which were royally equipped and which sailed excellently. As he sailed contemptuously along past the very camp, men from the allied cities and all who were co-operating with Antigonus were downhearted; 6 for it was very clear that, since the enemy dominated the sea, they would plunder the lands of those who aided their opponents out of friendship for Antigonus. Antigonus, however, bade them be of good courage, affirming that in that very summer he would take the sea with five hundred vessels.

59 1 While Antigonus was thus engaged, Agesilaüs, the envoy whom he had sent to Cyprus, arrived with the information that Nicocreon47 and the most powerful of the other kings had made an alliance with Ptolemy, but that the kings of Cition, Lapithus, Marion, and Ceryneia had concluded a treaty of friendship with himself. 2 On learning this, Antigonus left three thousand soldiers under Andronicus to carry on the siege, but he himself set out with the army and took by storm Joppa and Gaza, cities that had refused obedience. The soldiers of Ptolemy p395whom he captured he distributed among his own ranks, but he placed in each city a garrison to force the inhabitants to obey him. 3 He himself then went back to the camp at Old Tyre and made preparations for the siege.

At this time Ariston, to whose care the bones of Craterus48 had been entrusted by Eumenes, gave them for burial to Phila, who had formerly been the wife of Craterus, but now was married to Demetrius, the son of Antigonus. 4 This woman seems to have been of exceptional sagacity; for example, she would quell the trouble-makers in the camp by dealing with each individual in a manner appropriate to his case, she would arrange marriages at her own expense for the sisters and daughters of the poor, and she would free from jeopardy many who had been trapped by false accusations. 5 It is even said that her father Antipater, who is reputed to have been the wisest of the rulers of his own time, used to consult with Phila about the most important matters when she was still a child. 6 But the character of the woman will be more clearly revealed by my narrative as it progresses and by the events that brought change and a final crisis to the reign of Demetrius.49

This was the situation of the affairs of Antigonus and of Phila, the wife of Demetrius.

60 1 Of the generals who had been sent out by Antigonus,50 Aristodemus sailed to Laconia and, on receiving permission from the Spartans to recruit mercenaries, enrolled eight thousand soldiers from the Peloponnesus. Meeting Alexander and Polyperchon, p397he established friendship between them and Antigonus. He appointed Polyperchon general of the Peloponnesus, and he persuaded Alexander to sail to Antigonus in Asia. 2 The other general, Ptolemy, proceeded with his army to Cappadocia where he found Amisus under siege by Asclepiodorus, a general of Cassander. He delivered the city from danger and recovered the satrapy after dismissing Asclepiodorus and his men under a truce. Thereafter advancing through Bithynia and finding Zibytes, the king of the Bithynians, laying siege to the city of the Astacenians51 and the Chalcedonians, he forced him to abandon the siege. 3 After making alliances with these cities and with Zibytes and also taking hostages from them, he proceeded toward Ionia and Lydia; for Antigonus had written ordering him to go quickly to the support of the coast, since Seleucus was about to make a naval expedition into that region. 4 It so happened that, as he finally drew near to this area, Seleucus was laying siege to Erythrae,52 but when he heard that the hostile force was near, he sailed away with nothing accomplished.

61 1 Antigonus, after Polyperchon's son Alexander had come to him, made a pact of friendship with him, and then, calling a general assembly of the soldiers and of the aliens who were dwelling there,53 laid charges against Cassander, bringing forward the murder of Olympias and the treatment of Roxanê and the king.54 2 Moreover, he said that Cassander had p399married Thessalonicê by force,55 and was clearly trying to establish his own claim to the Macedonian throne; and also that, although the Olynthians were very bitter enemies of the Macedonians, Cassander had re-established them in a city called by his own name and had rebuilt Thebes, which had been razed by the Macedonians.56 3 When the crowd showed that it shared his wrath, he introduced a decree according to the terms of which it was voted that Cassander was to be an enemy unless he destroyed these cities again, released the king and his mother Roxanê from imprisonment and restored them to the Macedonians, and, in general, yielded obedience to Antigonus the duly established general who had succeeded to the guardianship of the throne. It was also stated that all the Greeks were free, not subject to foreign garrisons, and autonomous. When the soldiers had voted in favour of these measures, Antigonus sent men in every direction to carry the decree, 4 for he believed that through their hope of freedom he would gain the Greeks as eager participants with him in the war, and that the generals and satraps in the upper satrapies, who had suspected that he was determined to depose the kings who inherited from Alexander, would, if he publicly took upon himself the war in their behalf, all change their minds and promptly obey his orders. 5 Having finished these matters, he gave Alexander five hundred talents and, after leading him to hope for great things to come, sent him back to the Peloponnesus. He himself, after summoning ships from Rhodes and equipping most of those that had been built, sailed against Tyre. Although he pressed the siege with vigour for a year and three months, controlling p401the sea and preventing food from being brought in, yet after he had reduced the besieged to extreme want, he permitted the soldiers who had come from Ptolemy to depart each with his own possessions; but when the city capitulated, he introduced into it a garrison to watch it closely.57

62 1 While these things were going on, Ptolemy, who had heard what had been decreed by the Macedonians with Antigonus in regard to the freedom of the Greeks, published a similar decree himself, since he wished the Greeks to know that he was no less interested in their autonomy than was Antigonus. 2 Each of them, indeed, perceiving that it was a matter of no little moment to gain the goodwill of the Greeks, rivalled the other in conferring favours upon this people. Ptolemy also brought into his alliance Asander, satrap of Caria, who was strong and had a considerable number of cities subject to him. 3 To the kings on Cyprus, to whom he had previously sent three thousand soldiers, he now dispatched a strong army, for he was anxious to force those who were opposing to carry out his commands. 4 Myrmidon the Athenian, therefore, was sent with ten thousand men, and Polycleitus with a hundred ships, while Menelaüs, his own brother, was made commander of the whole force. When these had sailed to Cyprus and there had found Seleucus and his fleet, they met together and considered what they ought to do. 5 They decided that Polycleitus with fifty ships should sail to the Peloponnesus and carry on the war against p403Aristodemus,58 Alexander, and Polyperchon; that Myrmidon and the mercenaries should go to Caria to aid Asander, who was being attacked by Ptolemy the general; and that Seleucus and Menelaüs, left in Cyprus with King Nicocreon and the other allies, should carry on the war against those who opposed them.59 6 After the forces had been divided in this way, Seleucus took Ceryneia and Lapithus, secured the support of Stasioecus, king of the Marienses, forced the ruler of the Amathusii to give a guaranty, and laid unremitting siege with all his forces to the city of the Citienses, which he had not been able to induce to join him. 7 At about this time forty ships under the command of Themison came to Antigonus from the Hellespont, and likewise Dioscorides put in with eighty vessels from the Hellespont and Rhodes. 8 The first to be finished of the ships that had been made in Phoenicia were also at hand fully equipped; including those captured at Tyre, they were one hundred and twenty, so that in all there were gathered together about Antigonus two hundred and forty fully equipped ships of war. Of these there were ninety with four orders of oarsmen, ten with five, three with nine, ten with ten, and thirty undecked boats.60 9 Dividing this naval force, he sent fifty ships to the Peloponnesus, and ordered his nephew, Dioscorides, p405whom he had made commander of the rest, to make a circuit of the sea, guaranteeing the safety of the allies and winning the support of the islands that had not yet joined the alliance.

Such was the state of Antigonus' affairs.61

63 1 Now that we have related the events that took place in Asia, we shall in turn discuss the affairs of Europe.62 Apollonides, who had been appointed general over Argos by Cassander, made a raid into Arcadia by night and captured the city of the Stymphalians. 2 But while he was engaged in this, those of the Argives who were hostile to Cassander sent for Alexander, Polyperchon's son, promising to hand the city over to him. Alexander, however, delayed, and Apollonides arrived back in Argos before him. Finding about five hundred of his antagonists gathered in the prytaneion, he prevented them from leaving the building and burned them alive. He exiled most of the others, but arrested and killed a few. 3 When Cassander learned of Aristodemus' arrival in the Peloponnesus and of the multitude of mercenaries that he had collected there,63 his first effort was to turn Polyperchon from his alliance with Antigonus. When Polyperchon, however, would not listen to him, he brought his army through Thessaly into Boeotia. 4 After aiding the Thebans in building their walls, he went on into the Peloponnesus. First he took Cenchreae64 and plundered the fields of the Corinthians. Then, after taking two fortresses by storm, he dismissed under a truce the garrisons that had been p407placed in them by Alexander. 5 Next he attacked the city of Orchomenus.65 Being admitted by the faction hostile to Alexander, he installed a garrison in the city, and when the friends of Alexander took refuge in the shrine of Artemis, he permitted the citizens to treat them as they wished. The people of Orchomenus, accordingly, dragged the suppliants away by force and slew them all, contrary to the universal custom of the Greeks.

64 1 Cassander passed on into Messenia, but finding the city66 garrisoned by Polyperchon, he temporarily relinquished his plan of laying siege to it. Passing over into Arcadia, he left Damis as governor of Megalopolis, while he himself, after going into Argolis and presiding at the Nemean Games,67 returned into Macedonia. 2 After he had gone, Alexander visited the cities of the Peloponnesus accompanied by Aristodemus and tried to drive out the garrisons that had been established by Cassander and to restore freedom to the cities. 3 As soon as Cassander learned this, he sent Prepelaüs to Alexander, asking him to desert Antigonus and conclude with himself an alliance in due form. He said that if he did this, he would give him the command of all the Peloponnesus, make him general of an army, and honour him according to his deserts. 4 Alexander, since he saw that the thing for which he had originally made war against Cassander was being granted to him, made the alliance and was appointed general of the Peloponnesus.

While all this was taking place, Polycleitus, who p409had been sent by Seleucus from Cyprus, sailed into Cenchreae, 5 but when he heard of Alexander's change in allegiance and saw that there was no hostile force in existence, he sailed for Pamphylia. He sailed along the coast from Pamphylia to Aphrodisias in Cilicia; and, hearing that Theodotus, the admiral of Antigonus, was sailing from Patara in Lycia in Rhodian ships with Carian crews, and that Perilaüs was accompanying him with an army on land, thus securing the safety of the fleet in its voyage, he outgeneralled both of them. 6 Disembarking his soldiers, he concealed them in a suitable place where it was necessary for the enemy to pass, taking cover behind a promontory while awaiting the coming of the enemy. The army was first to fall into the ambush; Perilaüs was captured, some of the rest fell while fighting, and others were taken prisoners. 7 When the Rhodian ships tried to go to the aid of their own forces, Polycleitus sailed up suddenly with his fleet drawn up for battle and easily routed the disorganized enemy. The result was that all the ships were captured and a considerable number of the men also, among them Theodotus himself, who was wounded and a few days later died. 8 After Polycleitus had gained so great an advantage without danger, he sailed away to Cyprus and thence to Pelusium. Ptolemy praised him, honoured him with great gifts, and gave him much greater preferment as having been the author of an important victory. He released Perilaüs and some p411of the other captives when an envoy in their behalf came from Antigonus. He himself went to Ecregma,68 as it is called, where he conferred with Antigonus, returning again since Antigonus would not agree to his demands.69

65 1 Now that we have related the deeds of the European Greeks in Greece and Macedonia, we shall consider in due order the history of the western regions.70 Agathocles, the dynast of Syracuse, who was holding a fort of the Messenians,71 promised to surrender the position on receiving from them thirty talents; 2 but when the Messenians gave him the money, he not only failed to keep his promise to those who had put faith in him, but he also undertook to capture Messenê itself. On learning that a certain section of the wall of the city was in ruins, he sent his cavalry by land from Syracuse while he himself sailed close to the city by night with light vessels.72 3 Since, however, the intended victims of the plot learned of it beforehand, this attack failed; but he sailed to Mylae and besieged the fort, which surrendered by capitulation. He then departed for Syracuse, but at the time of the harvest he made another expedition against Messenê. 4 He camped near the city and made repeated attacks, but he was not able to inflict any considerable damage upon his enemies, for many of the exiles from Syracuse had p413taken refuge in the city, and these fought furiously both for the sake of their own safety and because of their hatred for the tyrant. 5 At this time there came envoys from Carthage, who censured Agathocles for what he had done on the ground that he had violated the treaty. They also secured peace for the people of Messenê, and then, when they had forced the tyrant to restore the fort, they sailed back to Libya. 6 Agathocles, however, went on to Abacaenon,73 an allied city, where he put to death those who appeared to be hostile to him, being more than forty in number.74

7 While these things were taking place, the Romans75 in their war with the Samnites took Ferentum, a city of Apulia,a by storm. The inhabitants of Nuceria, which is called Alfaterna,b yielding to the persuasion of certain persons, abandoned their friendship for Rome and made an alliance with the Samnites.76


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Continued from chap. 36.6. For the siege of Pydna cp. Justin, 14.6.1‑5.

2 One choenix of grain was the normal daily ration in the Persian army (Herodotus, 7.187; Diog. Laert. 8.18).

3 Cp. chap. 35.7.

4 Bisaltia lies just to the west of the lower Strymon. The exact situation of Bedyndia is unknown.

5 He had been one of the officers of the Bodyguard (Arrian, Anabasis, 6.28.4).

6 For the death of Olympias cp. Justin, 14.6.6‑12, Pausanias, 9.7.2. Her death took place in the spring of 316.

7 Cp. Livy, 8.24.

8 Cp. Justin, 14.6.13, Pausanias, 9.7.3.

9 Pallenê is the south-western promontory of Chalcidicê. Since only kings gave their names to cities, Cassander was in effect claiming the throne. Cp. Strabo, 7 frag. 25; Livy, 44.11.2.

10 For the destruction of Olynthus by Philip cp. Book 16.53.

11 Cp. Justin, 14.6.13.

12 For the death of Eurydicê and Philip cp. chap. 11; and for their burial cp. Diyllus, FGrH, 73.1. By burying the previous rulers, Cassander was, in effect, claiming the throne for himself (cp. W. W. Tarn in Cambridge Ancient History, 6.482, and the importance attached to the burial of Alexander in Book 18.28‑29). Cynna was the mother of Eurydicê.

Tombs discovered intact at Aegae in 1977 yielded the body of Alexander IV for sure (Alexander the Great's son), and probably of the Philip of our text: see the Aegae page at Livius.

13 Azorius, or Azorus, was a town in northern Thessaly.

14 For Aeacides, king of the Molossians, cp. chap. 11.2.

15 Cp. Pausanias, 9.7.1‑2. For the destruction of Thebes cp. Book 17.12 ff.

16 Cp. Book 4.2.1. The Cadmeia was the acropolis of Thebes.

17 All ancient authorities derive the name from σπείρειν, "to sow" or "scatter," but with many different explanations. The Spartoi are, variously, men who had been scattered but were brought together by Cadmus, men sown or scattered among the other Thebans, the children of Cadmus himself born of many different mothers, or the offspring of the dragon's teeth that had been sown by Cadmus. The last explanation is by far the commonest. Cp. scholium on Euripides, Phoenician Women, 670, and Türk in P.‑W., Realencyclopädie 3 (2nd series), 1538‑1540. For the foundation legend in general cp. Apollodorus, 3.4.1 ff.

18 i.e. "Theban-born."

19 For Cadmus among the Encheleans, an Illyrian tribe, cp. Apollodorus, 3.5.4; Euripides, Bacchae, 1334. As king of these Encheleans, Cadmus led an army into Greece and sacked Delphi, but I find no other reference to a sack of Thebes by the Encheleans. According to Herodotus (5.61), when the Thebans were driven from home by the Epigoni they took refuge with the Encheleans.

20 Odyssey, 11.263. Amphion and Zethus, sons of Zeus and Antiopê, captured Thebes to avenge the cruel treatment accorded their mother by Lycus, king of Thebes, and his wife Dircê. They then built a wall for the city, the stones being charmed into place by the lyre-playing of Amphion.

21 i.e. the Niobides, slain by Apollo and Artemis to punish their mother Niobê, who had presumed to compare herself with Leto.

22 Eteocles and Polyneices, sons of Oedipus, son of Laius, son of Labdacus, son of Polydorus. Polyneices, wrongfully excluded from a share in power by his brother, secured the aid of his father-in‑law, Adrastus of Argos, in a vain effort to make good his return — the Seven Against Thebes. Cp. Book 4.65.

23 A generation after the failure of the "Seven," their descendants, the Epigoni or Late-born, were successful in their attack on Thebes, cp. Book 4.66‑67.

24 Both are near Haliartus on the south shore of the Copaic Lake. Cp. Strabo, 9.2.2735. In Book 4.67.1 we are told that the Cadmeans, leaving Tilphossaeum (sic), made a successful invasion of Doris, where some of them settled, the rest returning to Thebes; but Herodotus (5.61) has these Theban fugitives take refuge among the Encheleans in Illyria (cp. § 5 above).

25 Cp. Strabo, 9.2.2529; Thucydides, 1.12.3.

26 The scholiast on Aristophanes, Clouds, 133, gives another version: on being driven from home by Thracians, the Thebans were told to settle where they saw a white raven.

27 For the Theban hegemony of Greece cp. Book 15.25‑94 passim.

28 Gerania is the mountain range between Megara and Corinth with passes of some military importance (Book 11.80.1).

29 Praxibulus was archon in 315/14. Spurius Nautius Rutilus and M. Popilius Laenas were consuls in 316 (Livy, 9.21.1; Fasti Capitolini for 316). The events described in this chapter and the next still belong to the year 316 B.C. (Beloch, Griechische Geschichte2, 4.2.240).

30 Replacing an Antigenes (Book 18.39.6) who is probably not to be identified with the commander of the Silver Shields. Cp. Appian, Syrian History, 53, for the quarrel between Antigonus and Seleucus.

31 He had been made satrap of Babylonia by Antipater at Triparadeisus (Book 18.39.6).

32 Cp. chap. 46.1‑4.

33 Cp. Book 18.14.1, 28.5, 33.3.

34 Cp. Book 17.112.2.

35 Book 21, in which Diodorus narrated the rise of Seleucus, is extant only in fragments.

36 Cp. chap. 46.1‑4.

37 Cp. chap. 48.5.

38 i.e. Pithon, the son of Agenor, who had been made satrap of India by Antipater (Book 18.39.6).

39 Malus or Mallus, a city of Cilicia on the Pyramus River, exact situation unknown, cp. Strabo, 14.5.16.

40 In November, 316.

41 A city of Cilicia, exact situation unknown, cp. Book 18.62.2.

42 But cp. critical note.

The critical note to the Greek text (ἠξίουν Καπαδοκίαν μὲν καὶ Λυκίαν Κασάνδρῳ δοθῆναι) reads:

Wesseling reads Ἀσάνρῳ, with approval of Fischer, cp. Droysen, Geschichte des Hellenismus (ed. 2), 2.2.6.

43 Cp. Appian, Syrian History, 53; Justin, 15.1.

44 The Persian king had been served by an elaborate system of couriers and signal fires. By means of the latter, news could be sent in a single day from the most distant parts of the empire to Susa and Ecbatana (Aristotle, De Mundo, 398 B30‑35). A different system is described in chap. 17.7.

45 Old Tyre, the portion of the city situated on the mainland, had been destroyed by Nebuchadrezzer during his long siege of the island citadel. In occupying Old Tyre before attempting the siege of the island, Antigonus was following the example of Alexander (Book 17.40.5).

46 About 3,375,000 bushels. It is probable that mention of a quantity of barley, needed for feeding the horses, has been lost from the text.

47 Nicocreon, king of Cyprian Salamis, had made an alliance with Ptolemy in 321 (Arrian, FGrH, 156.10.6), and later governed the whole island for the Egyptian king (chap. 79.5).

48 For Craterus' death cp. Book 18.30.1‑5.

49 The portion of the History referred to is lost.

50 Cp. chap. 57.4‑5.

51 The city called Astacus on the bay of this name is about 30 miles south-east of Chalcedon.

52 An Ionian city on the peninsula opposite Chios.

53 i.e. Macedonians not in the army. In chap. 62.1 the decree passed by this assembly is described as the "decree of the Macedonians."

54 Cp. chaps. 51.6, 52.4.

55 Cp. chap. 52.1.

56 Cp. chaps. 52.2, 53.2.

57 Tyre capitulated in 314.

58 He had been sent to the Peloponnesus by Antigonus (chap. 57.5).

59 Cp. chap. 59.1.

60 A total of only 143 ships. Perhaps the triremes have been omitted.

61 Continued in chap. 69.

62 Continued from chap. 54.4.

63 Cp. chap. 60.1.

64 The port of Corinth on the Saronic Gulf.

65 In Arcadia.

66 i.e. Messenê on the west side of Mount Ithomê. Cp. chap. 54.3.

67 In the summer of 315.

68 The "Outbreak" between Lake Sirbonis and the sea east of the Delta of the Nile.

69 Continued in chap. 66.

70 Continued from chap. 10.

71 i.e. the people of Messenê (or Messana) in north-eastern Sicily.

72 The ἡμιολία, however it may have received its name (literally, a ship of one and a half), was a light swift vessel, found useful by Alexander on the rivers of India (Arrian, Anabasis, 6.1.1, 18.3), but apparently used in the Mediterranean chiefly by pirates (Book 16.61.4; Arrian, Anabasis, 3.2.4).

Thayer's Note: Prof. Geer, apparently in a different mood when he translated Book XX, or having thought things over, has further ideas in his note to XX.93.3, q.v.

73 A town about 30 miles south-west of Messenê.

74 Continued in chap. 70.

75 Continued from chap. 10.2.

76 Continued in chap. 72.3.


Thayer's Notes:

a With all the places called Ferentum (or variants) in Antiquity, no other ancient author mentions one in Apulia, although a Ferentum in Livy may be the same as this one. Alternately, the correct reading might be Forentum. For full details of the tangled toponymy of these places, see see my page on the subject.

b Not some Nuceria alternatively called Alfaterna, but the Nuceria that is called Alfaterna; there were several other Italian towns named Nuceria.


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