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This webpage reproduces a portion of
The Library of History

Diodorus Siculus

published in Vol. X
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1954

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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(Vol. X) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

(Book XIX, continued)

 p9  66 1 After this year had passed, Nicodorus was archon at Athens, and at Rome Lucius Papirius was consul for the fourth time and Quintus Publius for the second.1 While these held office, 2 Aristodemus, who had been made general by Antigonus, on learning of the defection of Polyperchon's son Alexander, presented his own side of the matter to the common assembly of the Aetolians and persuaded the majority to support the fortunes of Antigonus. He himself, however, with his mercenaries crossed from Aetolia to the Peloponnesus, where he found Alexander and the Eleans laying siege to Cyllenê, and, arriving at a moment opportune for the endangered people, raised the siege. 3 Leaving troops there to insure the safety of the stronghold, he advanced into Achaia and freed Patrae, which was subject to a garrison  p11 of Cassander's troops. After a successful siege of Aegium he became master of its garrison; but, although he wished to establish freedom for the people of Aegium according to the decree,2 he was blocked by the following incident: for while the soldiers were engaged in pillaging, many of the Aegienses were killed and very many of their buildings were destroyed. 4 Thereafter, when Aristodemus had sailed to Aetolia, the Dymaeans,3 who were subject to a garrison sent by Cassander, cut off their city by a dividing wall in such a way that it was isolated and separated from the citadel. Then, after encouraging each other to assert their freedom, they invested the citadel and made unremitting attacks upon it. 5 But Alexander on learning of this came with his army, forced his way within the wall, and became master of the city, slaying some of the Dymaeans, imprisoning others, and sending many into exile. 6 When Alexander had departed from the city, the survivors remained quiet for some time, stunned by the magnitude of the disaster and also bereft of allies. After a little while, however, they summoned from Aegium the mercenaries of Aristodemus and once more made an attack on the garrison. Taking the citadel, they freed the city; and when they had massacred most of those who had been left there,4 they likewise slew all those of their own citizens who maintained friendship with Alexander.

67 1 While this was taking place, Polyperchon's son Alexander, as he was setting out from Sicyon with his army, was killed by Alexion of Sicyon and certain others who pretended to be friends. His  p13 wife, Cratesipolis,5 however, succeeded to his power and held his army together, since she was most highly esteemed by the soldiers for her acts of kindness; for it was her habit to aid those who were in misfortune and to assist many of those who were without resources. 2 She possessed, too, skill in practical matters and more daring than one would expect in a woman. Indeed, when the people of Sicyon scorned her because of her husband's death and assembled under arms in an effort to gain their freedom, she drew up her forces against them and defeated them with great slaughter, but arrested and crucified about thirty. When she had a firm hold on the city, she governed the Sicyonians, maintaining many soldiers, who were ready for any emergency.

Such, then, was the situation in the Peloponnesus.

3 When Cassander saw that the Aetolians were supporting Antigonus and were also engaged in a border war with the Acarnanians, he decided that it was to his advantage at a single stroke to make the Acarnanians his allies and to humble the Aetolians. For this reason, setting out from Macedonia with a large army, he moved into Aetolia and camped beside the river called the Campylus.6 4 When he had summoned the Acarnanians to a common assembly and had related to them in detail how they had been engaged in border warfare from ancient days, he advised them to move from their villages, which were small and unfortified, into a few cities so that they would no longer, because their homes  p15 were scattered, be powerless to aid each other and find difficulty in assembling to meet the unexpected raids of their enemies. The Acarnanians were persuaded, and most of them came to live together in Stratus, since this was their strongest and largest city; but the Oeniadae and some others gathered at Sauria, and the Derians and the rest settled at Agrinium. 5 Cassander left Lyciscus in command with adequate troops, ordering him to aid the Acarnanians; but he himself moved upon Leucas with an army and secured the allegiance of the city through an embassy. 6 Thereafter, directing his campaign to the Adriatic, he took Apollonia at the first assault. Advancing into Illyria and crossing the Hebrus River, he drew up his army against Glaucias, the king of the Illyrians.7 7 Being successful in the battle, he made a treaty with the king according to which Glaucias was not to wage war on Cassander's allies; then he himself, after securing the city of Epidamnus and establishing a garrison therein, returned to Macedonia.8

68 1 When Cassander had departed from Aetolia, the Aetolians, gathering together to the number of three thousand, invested Agrinium and began a siege. The inhabitants of the place came to terms with them, agreeing to surrender the city and depart under safe conduct; but when, trusting in the treaty, they were leaving, the Aetolians violated the terms, pursued hotly after these men while they were anticipating no danger, and slaughtered all but a few of them. 2 When Cassander had arrived in Macedonia and heard that war was being waged on  p17 all the cities in Caria that were allied to Ptolemy and Seleucus, he sent an army into Caria, for he both wished to aid his allies and at the same time was eager to force Antigonus into distracting undertakings so that he might not have leisure for crossing over into Europe. 3 He also wrote to Demetrius of Phalerum and to Dionysius, who commanded the garrison on Munychia, bidding them dispatch twenty ships to Lemnos. They at once sent the boats with Aristotle in command of them. After the latter had sailed to Lemnos and had summoned Seleucus and a fleet, he undertook to persuade the Lemnians to revolt from Antigonus; but as they did not assent, he ravaged their land, invested the city, and began a siege. 4 Afterwards, however, Seleucus sailed off to Cos; and Dioscurides,9 who had been made admiral by Antigonus, on learning of Seleucus' departure, swooped down upon Lemnos, drove Aristotle himself from the island, and captured most of his ships together with their crews.

5 Asander10 and Prepelaüs11 were in command of the expedition sent by Cassander into Caria; and, on being informed that Ptolemaeus,12 the general of Antigonus, had divided his army for wintering13  p19 and was himself engaged in burying his father, they dispatched Eupolemus to lie in wait for the enemy near Caprima14 in Caria, sending with him eight thousand foot soldiers and two hundred horse. 6 But at this time Ptolemaeus, who had heard from some deserters of the plan of the enemy, gathered from the troops who were wintering near by eight thousand three hundred foot soldiers and six hundred horse. 7 Falling unexpectedly upon the fortified camp of the enemy about midnight and catching them off guard and asleep, he captured Eupolemus himself alive and forced the soldiers to give themselves up.

This, then, is what befell the generals who were sent by Cassander into Asia.

69 1 When Antigonus perceived that Cassander was trying to win Asia for himself, he left his son Demetrius in Syria,15 ordering him to lie in wait for Ptolemy, whom he suspected of intending to advance from Egypt with an army against Syria; with Demetrius he left an infantry force consisting of ten thousand mercenaries, two thousand Macedonians, five hundred Lycians and Pamphylians, and four hundred Persian archers and slingers, a cavalry force of five thousand, and forty-three elephants. He assigned to him four counsellors: Nearchus of Crete,16 Pithon, son of Agenor,17 who had returned  p21 a few days before from Babylon, also Andronicus of Olynthus18 and Philip,19 men advanced in years who had accompanied Alexander on his whole campaign; for Demetrius was still youthful, being twenty-two years of age. 2 Antigonus himself, taking the rest of the army, first tried to cross the Taurus Range, where he encountered deep snow and lost large numbers of his soldiers. Turning back therefore into Cilicia and seizing another opportunity, he crossed the aforesaid range in greater safety; and, on reaching Celaenae in Phrygia, he divided his army for wintering.20 3 Thereafter he summoned from Phoenicia his fleet under the command of Medius,21 who fell in with the ships of the Pydnaeans,22 thirty-six in number, defeated them in an engagement, and captured the vessels together with their crews.

This was the situation in Greece and in Asia.23

70 1 In Sicily24 those of the Syracusan exiles who were tarrying in Acragas urged the rulers of that city not to watch complacently while Agathocles  p23 organized the cities; for it was better, they said, to fight it out of their own free will before the tyrant became strong than to await the increase of his power and then be forced to struggle against him when he had grown stronger. 2 Since they seemed to speak the truth, the popular assembly of the Acragantines voted for the war, added the people of Gela and Messenê to the alliance, and sent some of the exiles to Lacedaemon, instructing them to try to bring back a general capable of taking charge of affairs; 3 for they were suspicious of their own statesmen as being inclined toward tyranny, but, remembering the generalship of Timoleon the Corinthian,25 assumed that leaders from abroad would honestly devote themselves to the common cause. 4 The envoys, when they arrived in Laconia, found that Acrotatus, the son of King Cleomenes, had given offence to many of the younger men and for this reason was eager for activity away from home. 5 This was because, when the Lacedaemonians after the battle against Antipater relieved from ignominy those who had survived the defeat,26 he alone opposed the decree. He thus gave offence to many others and in particular to those who were subject to the penalties of the laws; indeed, these persons gathered together and gave him a beating, and they were constantly plotting against him. 6 Being therefore anxious for a foreign command, he gladly accepted the invitation of the men from Acragas. Taking his departure from the state without the consent of the ephors, he set sail  p25 with a few ships as if to cross to Acragas. 7 He was, however, carried by the winds into the Adriatic and landed in the territory of Apollonia. Finding that city besieged by Glaucias, the king of the Illyrians, he brought the siege to an end, persuading the king to make a treaty with the people of Apollonia. 8 Thence he sailed to Tarentum, where he urged the people to join in freeing the Syracusans; and he persuaded them to vote to assist with twenty ships; for because of ties of kinship and on account of the dignity of his family, they ascribed to his words a high degree of sincerity and great importance.

71 1 While the Tarentines were engaged in their preparations, Acrotatus immediately sailed to Acragas where he assumed the office of general. At first he buoyed up the common people with great expectations and caused all to anticipate a speedy overthrow of the tyrant; 2 however, as time advanced, he accomplished nothing worthy either of his fatherland or of the distinction of his family, but on the contrary, being bloodthirsty and more cruel than the tyrants, he continually gave offence to the common people. 3 Moreover, he abandoned his native manner of living and devoted himself so unrestrainedly to pleasure that he seemed to be a Persian and not a Spartan. 4 When he had squandered the larger part of the revenue, partly by his public activity, partly by private peculation, he finally invited to dinner Sosistratus,27 who was the most distinguished of the  p27 exiles and had often commanded armies, and treacherously killed him, not having any charge whatever to bring against him and yet being eager to put out of the way a man who was accustomed to act and who was capable of keeping under surveillance those who misused positions of leadership. 5 When this deed became known, the exiles at once began to join forces against Acrotatus, and all the rest were alienated from him. First they removed him from his generalship, and soon afterwards they attempted to stone him, whereupon, terrified by the popular uprising, he took flight by night and sailed secretly to Laconia. 6 After his departure the Tarentines, who had sent their fleet to Sicily, recalled it; and the peoples of Acragas, Gela, and Messenê28 brought their war against Agathocles to an end, Hamilcar29 the Carthaginian acting as mediator in making the treaty. 7 The chief points of the agreement were as follows: of the Greek towns in Sicily, Heraclea, Selinus, and Himera were to be subject to the Carthaginians as they had been before, and all the others were to be autonomous under the hegemony of Syracuse.

72 1 Afterwards,30 however, when Agathocles perceived that Sicily was clear of hostile armies, he began unhampered to subject the cities and strongholds to himself. Mastering many of them quickly, he made his power secure; in fact, he built up for himself a host of allies, ample revenues, and a  p29 considerable army. 2 Indeed, without counting the allies and those of the Syracusans who had enlisted for military service, he had picked a mercenary force comprising ten thousand foot soldiers and thirty-five hundred horse. Moreover, he prepared a store of weapons and of missiles of all kinds, since he knew that the Carthaginians, who had censured Hamilcar for the terms of peace,31 would shortly wage war against him.

This was the situation of Sicilian affairs at this time.32

3 In Italy33 the Samnites, fighting bitterly against the Romans for supremacy in a struggle lasting many years, took by siege Plesticê,34 which had a Roman garrison, and persuaded the people of Sora to slay the Romans who were among them and to make an alliance with themselves. 4 Next, as the Romans were besieging Saticula, the Samnites suddenly appeared with a strong army intent on raising the siege. A great battle then took place in which many were slain on both sides, but eventually the Romans gained the upper hand. After the battle the Romans carried the siege of the city to completion and then advanced at will, subjecting the near-by towns and strongholds. 5 Now that the struggle for the cities of Apulia35 had been joined, the Samnites enrolled all who were of age for military service and encamped near the enemy as if intending to decide the whole issue. 6 When the Roman people learned  p31 this, they became anxious about what was impending and sent out a large army. As it was their custom in a dangerous crisis to appoint as military dictator one of their eminent men, they now elected Quintus Fabius and with him Quintus Aulius as master-of‑horse. 7 These, after assuming command of the army, took the field and fought against the Samnites at Laustolae,36 as it is called, losing many of their soldiers. As panic spread through the whole army, Aulius, in shame at the flight, stood alone against the mass of the enemy, not that he hoped to prevail, but he was maintaining his fatherland undefeated as far as he was concerned. 8 Thus he, by not sharing with his fellow citizens in the disgrace of flight, gained a glorious death for himself alone; but the Romans, fearing that they might completely lose control throughout Apulia, sent a colony to Luceria, which was the most noteworthy of the cities of that region. Using it as a base, they continued the war against the Samnites, having made no mean provision for their future security; 9 for not only were the Romans victorious in this war because of this city, but also in the wars that have subsequently taken place down to our own time they have continued to use Luceria as a base of operations against the neighbouring peoples.37

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Nicodorus was archon in 314/13 B.C. The consuls of 315 B.C. are given by the Fasti Capitolini as L. Papirius Cursor and Q. Poblilius Philo, each for the fourth time (CIL I, p130). The names of the consul of this year have been lost from Livy, 9.22.

2 Cp. chap. 61.3.

3 Dymê is a town in western Achaia.

4 Or, reading καταληφθέντων: "who had been captured."

5 It is probable that this name (literally, "conqueror of the city," cp. such a poetic word as κρατησίμαχος, Pindar, Pythian Odes, 9.150), which is not found elsewhere, was conferred upon the princess after the episode here related. She held Sicyon for Polyperchon for some years, surrendering it to Ptolemy in 308 B.C., cp. Book 20.37.1.

6 A tributary of the Acheloüs.

7 Justin, 15.2.1‑2, gives a different account of this campaign. The Hebrus River in Illyria seems otherwise unknown.

8 Continued in chap. 78.

9 A nephew of Antigonus (chap. 62.9).

10 Cp. the critical note. Asander became governor of Caria in 323 B.C., continued in power in 321 B.C., and was still satrap of Caria (Books 18.3.1, 39.6; 19.62.2, 75.1). In the MSS. his name is often confused with that of Cassander, as here.

The critical note to the Greek text (Ἄσανδρος δὲ καὶ Πρεπέλαος ἀφηγοῦντο, κτλ) reads:

Ἄσανδρος Wesseling (cp. Book 18.3.1); Κἀσανδρος.

11 Prepelaüs had been sent by Cassander to Polyperchon's son, Alexander, in a successful effort to win him away from Antigonus (chap. 64.3). We hear no more of him after the present campaign until 303 B.C., when he commanded the garrison at Corinth for Cassander (Book 20.103.1).

12 Ptolemaeus (or Polemaeus, cp. IG, 22.1.469), a nephew of Antigonus, had accompanied his uncle at the siege of Nora and had been accepted by Eumenes as a hostage (Plutarch, Eumenes, 10.3). In 315 B.C. he conducted a successful campaign in Asia Minor against the generals of Cassander (chaps. 57.4; 60.2).

13 The winter of 314/13.

14 Caprima in Caria is otherwise unknown.

15 Cp. Plutarch, Demetrius, 5.2; Appian, Syrian Wars, 54.

16 Nearchus was a boyhood friend of Alexander (Arrian, Anabasis, 3.6.5; Plutarch, Alexander, 10.3), who had accompanied him on the march eastward and commanded the fleet on the return. In 323 B.C. he was appointed to command a voyage of exploration around Arabia, but this was abandoned on Alexander's death (Arrian, Anabasis, 7.25.4; Plutarch, Alexander, 68). He served under Antigonus in 317 B.C. (chap. 19.4) and joined Demetrius in urging that Eumenes be spared (Plutarch, Eumenes, 18.3).

17 This Pithon had been left by Alexander as satrap of lower India (Arrian, Anabasis, 6.15.4) and had remained there (Book 18.3.3; 39.6) until recalled by Antigonus in 316 B.C. to become satrap of Babylonia (chap. 56.4). He is not to be confused with Pithon of the Bodyguard, who had been put to death by Antigonus in 316 B.C. (chap. 46.3‑4), or with the Pithon who was satrap of Media (Book 18.3.1; 39.6).

18 Nothing is known of his service under Alexander. He served under Antigonus at the siege of Tyre in 315 B.C. (chap. 59.2).

19 Nothing is known of his earlier career, but he may be the Philip who received Bactrianê and Sogdianê in 323 B.C. (Book 18.3.3). Ten years later he is still faithfully serving Antigonus (Book 20.107.5).

20 This is the winter of 314/13 B.C.

21 Medius served under Alexander, playing a more important part after the death of Hephaestion (Book 17.117.1). He was accused of poisoning Alexander (Arrian, Anabasis, 7.27.2), and after Alexander's death served Perdiccas (Arrian, Successors, 24.6) and then joined Antigonus.

22 "Pydnaeans" is certainly wrong. Possibly we should read "of Ptolemy," or "of Polyclitus," who was an admiral of Ptolemy.

23 Continued in chap. 73.

24 Continued from chap. 65.6. The invita to Acrotatus is probably to be dated in the preceding year.

25 Cp. the action of the Syracusans who, after the death of Timoleon, passed a law that henceforth they would always elect a Corinthian to lead them in foreign wars (Plutarch, Timoleon, 38.2).

26 The battle at Megalopolis in 331 B.C., in which King Agis III of Sparta was defeated and lost his life (Book 17.62‑63).

27 Almost certainly identical with the Sostratus of chaps. 3‑5. He was leader of the oligarchical party in Syracuse and became one of the Six Hundred at the time when Agathocles became tyrant, escaping death by flight. In chap. 3.3, Diodorus, following some democratic source, describes him as one who "had spent the greater part of his life in plots, murders, and great impieties," in sharp contrast to the praise given him in this passage, probably based on Timaeus.

28 But in chap. 102.1 we are told that Messenê was excluded from the peace.

29 He had previously shown himself favourable to Agathocles (Justin, 22.2.6). He is possibly to be identified with the Hamilcar who had fought against Timoleon (Plutarch, Timoleon, 25).

30 It is probable that the events narrated in this paragraph belong, at least in part, to the following year, in the account of which Sicily is not mentioned.

31 Hamilcar was accused of treason but died before the trial was completed (Justin, 22.3.2‑7).

32 Continued in chap. 102.

33 Continued from chap. 65.7; cp. Livy, 9.21‑23.

34 The location of this town, called Plistica or Postia in the MSS. of Livy, is not known.

35 So the MSS., but Sora is in south-eastern Latium, Saticula on the frontier between Campania and Samnium, and Laustolae covers the shore road from Latium to Campania. Perhaps we should read "Campania."

36 Called Lautulae by Livy (9.23.4‑5), who says that this was a drawn battle, but admits that some of his sources called it a defeat in which Aulius lost his life. According to Livy, Fabius a few days later won a great victory, but this second battle is unknown to our other historians.

37 Livy (9.26.1‑5) places the establishment of this colony under the next consuls, that is in 314 B.C. by the conventional Roman chronology, 313 B.C. according to Diodorus. Luceria served as a Roman base in the Second Punic War, remaining loyal in the darkest days of the conflict (Livy, 22.9.5; 23.37.13; 24.3.16, etc.); and in the Civil War Pompey used it for a time as his headquarters (Caesar, Civil War, 1.24). For the possible bearing of this passage on the date of Diodorus' source for Roman history, see the Introduction to Vol. IX, page ix. The account of Italian affairs is continued in chap. 76.

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