[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail:
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home

[image ALT: link to previous section]
Book XXX

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Library of History

of
Diodorus Siculus

published in Vol. XI
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1957

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!


[image ALT: link to next section]
XXXI.18‑45

(Vol. XI) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

p313 Fragments of Book XXXI (beginning)

1 1 Antiochus at first put up a fine front, asserting that no thought of taking the throne of Egypt lay behind his extensive military preparations, and that his only motive was to assist the elder Ptolemy1 in securing the position that was his by right of inheritance. This was by no means true; on the contrary, he conceived that by presiding over a dispute between the youths and so making an investment in goodwill he should conquer Egypt without a blow. But when Fortune put his professions to the test and deprived him of the pretext he had alleged, he stood revealed as one of the many princes who count no point of honour more important than gain.

2 1 As the Romans approached, Antiochus, after greeting them verbally from a distance, stretched out his hand in welcome. Popillius,2 however, who had in readiness the document in which the senate's decree was recorded, held it out and ordered Antiochus to read it. His purpose in acting thus, it was thought, p315was that he might avoid clasping the king's hand in friendship until it was evident from his decision whether he was, in fact, friend or foe. When the king, after reading the document, said that he would consult with his friends on these matters, Popillius, hearing this, acted in a manner that seemed offensive and arrogant in the extreme. Having a vinestock ready at hand, with the stick he drew a line about Antiochus, and directed him to give his answer in that circle. 2 The king, astonished by what had taken place, and awed, too, by the majesty and might of Rome, found himself in a hopeless quandary, and on full consideration said that he would do all that the Romans proposed. Popillius and his colleagues then took his hand and greeted him cordially. Now the purport of the letter was that he must break off at once his war against Ptolemy. Pursuant to these instructions the king withdrew his forces from Egypt, panic-stricken by the superior might of Rome, the more so as he had just had news of the Macedonian collapse. Indeed, had he not known that this had taken place, never of his own free will would he have heeded the decree.

3 1 It is then apparently true, as certain of the sages of old have declared, that forgiveness is preferable to revenge.3 We all, in fact, approve those who use their power with moderation, and we are offended by men who are quick to punish those who fall into p317their hands. Thus, too, we see that the former class of men have ready against the surprises of Fortune a rich store of goodwill laid up in the hearts of those to whom they have been gracious; the latter, however, whenever the situation is reversed, not only receive like vengeance from those towards whom they have been unfeeling, but find too that they have deprived themselves of the pity generally accorded to the fallen. 2 Nor would it, indeed, be just that a man who has denied all humanity to others should himself, when he in turn stumbles and falls, meet with consideration from those who have him in their power. Yet many men have the temerity to pride themselves on the severity with which they avenge themselves on their foes, though this pride is ill founded. For what is splendid or great in inflicting irremediable disaster upon men whose fall has placed them in our power? What do victories profit us if in prosperity we behave with such arrogance that we cancel the fair fame that we had earlier by showing ourselves unworthy of our good fortune? Surely the honour that is gained by noble deeds is rightly considered the highest reward of men who aspire to control events. 3 This being so, it is astonishing that while nearly all men acknowledge the truth and the utility of the principle that at first they acclaimed, they do not when it comes to a test endorse their own verdict. The proper course, I suggest, for men of intelligence would be to bear in mind, especially at the supreme moment of triumph, that the tables may be turned; and so, although by their courage they conquer the foe, yet on grounds of prudence they will surrender to pity for the victims of fortune. This does much to augment the influence of any man, p319but particularly that of the representatives of empire. For then each one of those whose strength is lost, yielding voluntary allegiance, gives eager service and is in all things a loyal collaborator.

4 This principle the Romans have evidently taken much to heart. They are statesmanlike in their deliberations, and by conferring benefits on those whom they have defeated they seek to gain the undying gratitude of the recipients and the well-deserved praise of the rest of mankind.

4 1 Since the tide of Fortune was running strongly in their favour the Romans gave careful attention to the question how to act in view of their successes. (Many suppose that a right use of victory) is easier than to subdue one's adversaries by force of arms. In point of fact, this is not true, for men who are brave in battle are to be found in greater numbers than men who are humane in seasons of prosperity.

5 1 Just at this time envoys of the Thracians4 arrived in Rome to clear themselves of the allegations that had been made against them; for it was believed that during the war with Perseus their sympathies had inclined towards the king and that they had been disloyal to their friendship with Rome. Failing completely to achieve the purposes of their embassy, the envoys lost heart, and gave vent to tears as they made their petitions. Introduced before the senate by Antonius, one of the tribunes, Philophron spoke first on behalf of the delegation, and then Astymedes. At great length they pled for mercy and forgiveness, and at last, after having, as the saying goes, sung their swan-song, they only just managed to elicit a p321reply. This did indeed relieve them of their worst fears, though in it they were bitterly upbraided for their alleged offences.

3 Envoys of the Rhodians now arrived in Rome to clear themselves of the allegations that had been made against them. For it was believed that in the war with Perseus their sympathies had inclined towards the king and that they had been disloyal to their friendship with Rome. When the envoys perceived the coolness with which they were received, they lost heart; and when a certain praetor,5 convoking an assembly, urged the people to make war on Rhodes, they feared utter destruction for their country and were so dismayed that they put on mourning, and in appealing to their friends no longer spoke as advocates or claimants, but besought them with tears not to adopt measures fatal to Rhodes. When they were introduced before the senate by one of the tribunes, the same who had pulled from the rostra the praetor who was urging to war, . . . made speeches. Only after many entreaties did they obtain an answer. This did indeed relieve them of their fear of total ruin, though they were subjected to bitter reproaches on the score of the particular charges.

2a These men presented their pleas and entreaties at great length, and at last, after having, as the saying goes, sung their swan-song, they only just managed to elicit a reply, which eased them of their fear.

p323 2b They6 thought that they were now quit of the fears that had hung over them, and readily put up with all else, however distasteful. As a general rule, indeed, any enormity of anticipated suffering makes men think little of lesser misfortunes.

6 1 Hence it is that among the Romans the most distinguished men are to be seen vying with one another for glory, and it is by their efforts that virtually all matters of chief moment to the people are brought to a successful issue. In other states men are jealous of one another, but the Romans praise their fellow citizens. The result is that the Romans, by rivalling one another in promotion of the common weal, achieve the most glorious successes, while other men, striving for an undeserved fame and thwarting one another's projects, inflict damage upon their countries.

7 1 At about this same time envoys arrived in Rome from all quarters, to offer congratulations on the victory that had been won. The senate received them all courteously, briefly gave each a fair reply, and sent them off home.7

Chap. 7.2: see below, after Chap. 17b.

8 1 Earlier, when the Romans defeated Antiochus and Philip, the greatest monarchs of that age, they so far abstained from exacting vengeance that they not only allowed them to keep their kingdoms but even accepted them as friends. So, too, on this present occasion, notwithstanding their repeated struggles with Perseus and the many grave dangers that they had had to face, having now at last subjugated the p325kingdom of Macedon, contrary to all expectations they set the captured cities free. Not only would no one else have anticipated this but not even the Macedonians themselves had any hope of being accorded such consideration, having on their conscience many serious offences that they had committed against Rome. Indeed, since their earlier errors had been forgiven, they supposed, as well they might, that no just argument for pity or pardon was still available to them for these later shortcomings.

2 The Roman senate, however, harboured no grudges but acted towards them with magnanimity, yet with due regard to the merits of the several cases. Perseus, for example, owed them an inherited debt of gratitude, and since in violation of his covenant he was the aggressor in an unjust war, they held him, after he became their prisoner, in "free custody," thereby exacting a punishment far less, certainly, than his crimes. The Macedonian people, whom they might in all justice have reduced to slavery, they set free, and they were so generous and so prompt in conferring this boon that they did not even wait for the defeated to petition them. Likewise with the Illyrians, to whom, once they had been subdued, they granted autonomy, less from any belief that the barbarians deserved their indulgence than from the conviction that it was fitting and proper for the Roman people to take the initiative in acts of beneficence and to avoid over-confidence in their day of power.

3 The senate resolved that the Macedonians and the p327Illyrians should be free, and that they should pay one-half the amount that they formerly paid their own kings in taxes.

4 Marcus Aemilius,8 consul of the Romans and a general of the highest ability, on taking Perseus prisoner placed him in "free custody," although Perseus had made war upon the Romans without just cause and in violation of his covenants. Moreover, to everyone's surprise he set free all the Macedonian and Illyrian cities that had been captured, despite the fact that the Romans had repeatedly faced grave dangers in the war against Perseus and, earlier still, had met and defeated Philip, his father, and Antiochus the Great, and had shown them such consideration as not only to permit them to retain their kingdoms but even to enjoy the friendship of Rome. Since in the sequel the Macedonians had behaved irresponsibly, they thought that they should have no title to mercy when, along with Perseus, they fell into the hands of the Romans. On the contrary the senate dealt with them in a forgiving and generous spirit, and instead of slavery bestowed freedom. 5 In like manner they dealt with the Illyrians, whose king, Getion,9 they had taken prisoner along with Perseus. Having thus nobly bestowed the gift of freedom upon them, the Romans ordered them to pay one-half as much as they had formerly paid their own kings in taxes.

6 They sent out ten commissioners from the senate to Macedonia, and five to the Illyrians, who met p329with Marcus Aemilius and agreed to dismantle the walls of Demetrias, the chief city of the Macedonians,10 to detach Amphilochia from Aetolia, and to bring together the prominent men of Macedon at a meeting: there they set them free and announced the removal of the garrisons. 7 In addition, they cut off the revenues derived from the gold and silver mines, partly to keep the local inhabitants from being oppressed, and partly to prevent anyone from stirring up a revolution thereafter by using this wealth to get control of Macedon. 8 The whole region they divided into four cantons: the first comprised the area between the Nestus River and the Strymon, the forts east of the Nestus (except11 those of Abdera, Maroneia, and Aenus), and, west of the Strymon, the whole of Bisaltica, together with Heracleia Sintica; the second, the area bounded on the east by the Strymon River, and on the west by the river called the Axius and the lands that border it; the third, the area enclosed on the west by the Peneus River, and on the north by Mt. Bernon,12 with the addition of some parts of Paeonia, including the notable cities of Edessa and Beroea; fourth and last, the area beyond Mt. Bernon, extending to Epirus and the districts of Illyria. Four cities were the capitals of the four cantons, Amphipolis of the first, Thessalonica of the second, Pella of the third, and p331Pelagonia13 of the fourth; 9 here four governors were established and here the taxes were to be collected. Troops were stationed on the border regions of Macedonia because of the hostility of the neighbouring tribes.

Subsequently Aemilius, after arranging splendid games and revelries for the assembled multitude, sent off to Rome whatever treasure had been discovered, and when he himself arrived, along with his fellow generals, he was ordered by the senate to enter the city in triumph. 10 Anicius first,14 and Octavius, the commander of the fleet, celebrated each his triumph for a single day, but the very wise Aemilius celebrated his for three days. On the first day the procession opened with twelve hundred waggons filled with embossed15 white shields, then another twelve hundred filled with bronze shields, and three hundred more laden with lances, pikes, bows, and javelins; as in war, trumpeters led the way. There were many other waggons as well, carrying arms of various sorts, and eight hundred panoplies mounted on poles.16 11 On the second day there were carried in procession a thousand talents of coined money, twenty-two hundred talents of silver, a great number of drinking-cups, five hundred waggons loaded with divers statues p333of gods and men, and a large number of golden shields and dedicatory plaques. 12 On the third day the procession was made up of one hundred and twenty choice white oxen, talents of gold conveyed in two hundred and twenty carriers, a ten-talent bowl of gold set with jewels, gold-work of all sorts to the value of ten talents, two hundred elephant tusks three cubits in length, an ivory chariot enriched with gold and precious stones, a horse in battle array with cheek-pieces set with jewels and the rest of its gear adorned with gold, a golden couch spread with flowered coverlets, and a golden palanquin with crimson curtains. Then came Perseus, the hapless king of the Macedonians, with his two sons, a daughter, and two hundred and fifty of his officers, four hundred garlands presented by the various cities and monarchs, and last of all, in a dazzling chariot of ivory, Aemilius himself.

13 Aemilius remarked to those who were amazed at the care he devoted to the spectacle17 that to conduct games in proper fashion and to make suitable arrangements for a revelry call for the same qualities of mind that are needed to marshal one's forces with good strategy against an enemy.

9 1 Perseus, the last king of Macedonia, whose relations with the Romans were often amicable, but who also repeatedly fought against them with a not inconsiderable army, was finally defeated and taken captive by Aemilius, who for this victory celebrated a magnificent triumph. The misfortunes that Perseus encountered were so great that his sufferings seem p335like the inventions of fiction, yet even so he was not willing to be quit of life. For before the senate had decided on the penalty he should suffer, one of the urban praetors had him cast with his children into the prison at Alba.18 2 This prison is a deep underground dungeon, no larger than a nine-couch room,19 dark, and noisome from the large numbers committed to the place, who were men under condemnation on capital charges, for most of this category were incarcerated there at that period. With so many shut up in such close quarters, the poor wretches were reduced to the physical appearance of brutes, and since their food and everything pertaining to their other needs was all foully commingled, a stench so terrible assailed anyone who drew near that it could scarcely be endured. 3 There for seven days Perseus remained, in such sorry plight that he begged succour even from men of the meanest stamp, whose food was the prison ration. They, indeed, affected by the magnitude of his misfortune, in which they shared, wept and generously gave him a portion of whatever they received. A sword with which to kill himself was thrown down to him, and a noose for hanging, with full freedom to use them as he might wish. 4 Nothing, however, seems so sweet to those20 who have suffered misfortune as life itself, even when their sufferings p337would warrant death. And at last he would have died under these deprivations had not Marcus Aemilius,21 leader of the senate, to maintain both his own principles and his country's code of equity, indignantly admonished the senate, even if they had nothing to fear from men, at least to respect the Nemesis that dogs those who arrogantly abuse their power. 5 As a result, Perseus was placed in more suitable custody, and, because of the senate's kindness,22 sustained himself by vain hopes, only to meet at last an end that matched his earlier misfortunes. For after clinging to life for two years, he offended the barbarians who were his guards, and was prevented from sleeping until he died of it.23

p339 10 1 While the kingdom of the Macedonians was at its height, Demetrius of Phalerum,24 in his treatise On Fortune, as if he were a true prophet of its future, aptly made this inspired pronouncement: "If," he said, "you were to consider, not some limitless expanse of time nor yet many generations, but merely these fifty years just past, you would perceive therein the inscrutability of Fortune. Fifty years ago, do you think that the Persians or the king of the Persians, the Macedonians or the king of the Macedonians, if some god had foretold the future, would ever have believed that at this moment not even the name of the Persians, who were then the masters of well-nigh the whole inhabited world, would still survive, and that the Macedonians, whose very name was formerly unknown, would indeed rule all? 2 But nevertheless Fortune, who with her unforeseeable effect upon our lives disappoints our calculations by her shifts and demonstrates her power by marvellous and unexpected events, is now also, in my opinion, pointing much the same moral — that in seating the Macedonians on the throne of the Persians she has but lent them her riches to be used until such time as she changes her mind about them." The fulfilment came to pass in the period with which we are now concerned. Accordingly I judge it my duty to make some comment appropriate to this situation, and to recall the statement of Demetrius, an utterance p341of more than human inspiration. For a hundred and fifty years in advance he foretold what was to occur.

11 1 The two sons of Aemilius having suddenly died,25 to the great grief of the entire populace, their father called a public assembly, where, after giving a defence of his actions in the war, he concluded his address with the following remarks. He said, namely, that after seeing the sun rise as he was about to begin transporting his army from Italy to Greece, he had then made the voyage, and at the ninth hour, without a single loss, had put in at Corcyra; thence on the fourth day he had offered sacrifice to the god at Delphi; five days later had arrived in Macedonia and taken command of the forces; and within a total of fifteen days had forced the pass at Petra, given battle, and defeated Perseus. In sum, though it was then the fourth year of the king's defiance of the Romans, he, Aemilius, had subdued the whole of Macedon in the aforesaid number of days. 2 Even at the time, he said, he marvelled at the unexpectedness of his victories, and when, shortly thereafter, he captured the king, his children, and the royal treasure, he marvelled even more at the favourable tide of fortune. When, further, the treasure and his soldiers were conveyed safely and swiftly across to Italy, he was utterly puzzled by the fact that the whole affair was being brought to an end so much more fortunately p343than he had expected. But when all men joined in rejoicing with him, and felicitated him on his good fortune, then above all did he look for some calamity from destiny, and therefore he implored the god that the reversal might not in any way affect the state, but rather, if it was certainly the divine pleasure to bring some hardship to pass, that the burden might fall on him. 3 Accordingly, as soon as this misfortune touching his sons took place, while it was a matter of deep grief to him, yet with regard to the state and its concerns he was now reassured, inasmuch as Fortune had visited her recoil and her malice, not upon the citizen body, but on his own person. As he said this, the whole people marvelled at his greatness of soul, and their sympathy at his loss was increased many times over.

12 1 After the defeat of Perseus, King Eumenes experienced great and unexpected reverses.26 For whereas he assumed that his dominion was securely established, now that the kingdom most hostile to him had been broken up, at this very time he ran into very grave dangers. Fortune is indeed given to overturning such institutions as seem to be securely established, and again, if ever she lends a helping hand to a man, she redresses the balance by shifting, and so mars his record of success.

13 1 The general of the barbarous Gauls, returning from his pursuit, gathered the prisoners together and perpetrated an act of utter inhumanity and arrogance. Those of the prisoners who were most handsome p345in appearance and in the full bloom of life he crowned with garlands and offered in sacrifice to the gods — if indeed there be any god who accepts such offerings; all the rest he had shot down, and though many of them were acquaintances known to him through prior exchanges of hospitality, yet no one received pity on the score of friendship. It is really not surprising, however, that savages, in the flush of unexpected success, should celebrate their good fortune with inhuman behaviour.

14 1 Eumenes, having recruited a force of mercenary troops, not only gave all of them their pay, but honoured some with gifts and beguiled them all with promises, evoking their goodwill; in this he did not at all resemble Perseus. For Perseus, when twenty thousand Gauls arrived to join him in the war against Rome, alienated this great body of allies in order to husband his wealth.27 Eumenes, however, though not over rich, when enlisting foreign troops honoured with gifts all who were best able to render him service. Accordingly, the former, by adopting a policy, not of royal generosity, but of ignoble and plebeian meanness, saw the wealth he had guarded taken captive together with his whole kingdom, while the latter, by counting all things else second to victory, not only rescued his kingdom from great dangers but also subjugated the whole nation of the Gauls.

15 1 Prusias,28 king of Bithynia, also came to congratulate the senate and the generals who had brought the conflict to a successful issue. This man's ignobility of spirit must not be allowed to go without p347comment. For when the virtue of good men is praised, many in later generations are guided to strive for a similar goal; and when the poltroonery of meaner men is held up to reproach, not a few who are taking the path of vice are turned aside. Accordingly the frank language of history should of set purpose be employed for the improvement of society.

2 Prusias was a man unworthy of the royal dignity, and throughout his entire life continually engaged in abject flattery of those above him. Once, for example, when visited by a Roman embassy, he laid aside the insignia of royalty, the diadem and the purple, and in imitation of newly emancipated freedmen at Rome went to meet the envoys with shaven head and wearing a white cap, a toga, and Roman shoes; having greeted them, he declared that he was a freedman of the Romans. A more ignoble remark it would be difficult to imagine.

3 Much else in his earlier behaviour was in the same vein, and now also, when he reached the entrance leading into the senate chamber, he stood in the doorway facing the senators, and lowering both hands kissed the threshold in obeisance and greeted the seated members with the words: "Hail, ye saviour gods," thereby achieving unsurpassable depths of unmanly fawning and effeminate behaviour. In keeping with this conduct was the speech that he delivered before the senate, in which he related things of such a nature that it is not fitting for us even to record them. The senate, offended by p349most of his remarks, and forming an unfavourable impression of Prusias, gave him the answer that his flattery deserved. For the Romans desire even the enemies whom they conquer to be men of high spirit and bravery.

15a Dionysius, also called Petosarapis, one of the "Friends" of Ptolemy, attempted to win control of the state for himself, and thus brought the kingdom into great danger.29 Wielding, as he did, the greatest influence of anyone at court, and being without a peer among his fellow Egyptians on the field of battle, he scorned both the kings because of their youth and inexperience. Pretending that he had been urged by the elder to shed kindred blood, he spread word among the populace to the effect that a plot against the younger Ptolemy was being hatched by his brother. 2 The populace assembled in haste at the stadium, and when they had all been aroused to such a pitch that they were preparing to kill the elder brother and entrust the kingdom to the younger, word of the disturbance having now been brought to the court, the king summoned his brother, and protesting his innocence with tears in his eyes, begged him not to give credence to one who was seeking to usurp the royal power, and who treated them both as too young to matter; in case, however, his brother still harboured any doubts and apprehensions, he urged him to accept at his own hand the diadem and the rule. 3 The youth at once cleared his brother of any suspicion, and both of them, donning p351their royal robes, went out and appeared before the populace, making it manifest to one and all that they were in harmony. Dionysius, on failing in his attempt, placed himself out of reach, and at first, sending messages to those soldiers who were ripe for rebellion, he sought to persuade them to share his hopes; then, withdrawing to Eleusis, he welcomed all who decided in favour of the revolution, and when a band of turbulent soldiers some four thousand strong had been assembled . . . 4 The king marched out against them and was victorious, slaying some and putting others to flight; Dionysius himself was obliged to swim naked across the flowing river and to withdraw into the interior,30 where he tried to incite the masses to revolt. Being a man of action and finding himself popular with the Egyptians, he soon enlisted many who were willing to share his fortunes.

16 1 Certain of the enterprises and acts of Antiochus were kingly and altogether admirable, while others again were so cheap and so tawdry as to bring upon him the utter scorn of all mankind. For example, in celebrating his festal games31 he adopted, in the first place, a policy contrary to that of the other kings. They, while strengthening their kingdoms both in arms and in wealth, as far as possible tried to conceal their intentions because of the superiority of Rome. p353He, however, taking the opposite approach, brought together at his festival the most distinguished men from virtually the whole world, adorned all parts of his capital in magnificent fashion, and having assembled in one spot, and, as it were, put upon the stage his entire kingdom, left them ignorant of nothing that concerned him.

2 In putting on these lavish games and this stupendous festival Antiochus outdid all earlier rivals. Yet for him personally to manage the affair was a shabby business, worthy of contempt. He would, for example, ride at the side of the procession on a sorry nag, ordering these men to advance, those to halt, and assigning others to their posts, as occasion required; consequently, but for the diadem, no one who did not already know him would have believed that this person was the king, lord of the whole domain, seeing that his appearance was not even that of an average subordinate. At the drinking parties, stationing himself at the entrance he would lead some of the guests in, seat others at their places, and assign to their posts the attendants who were serving food. 3 Continuing in the same vein he would, on occasion, approach the banqueters, and sometimes sit down, sometimes recline beside them; then, laying aside his cup or tossing away his sop, he would leap to his feet and move on, and making the rounds of the whole party accept toasts even while he stood and jested with the entertainers. Indeed once, when the merrymaking was well advanced and the greater part of the guests had already departed, he made an entrance, all bundled up and carried in procession p355by the mimes. Placed on the ground by his fellow actors, as soon as the symphony sounded his cue he leapt to his feet naked, and jesting with the mimes performed the kind of dances that usually provoke laughter and hoots of derision — to the great embarrassment of the company, who all left the party in haste. Each and every person, in fact, who attended the festival found that when he regarded the extravagance of the outlay and the general management and administration of the games and processions, he was astounded, and that he admired both the king and the kingdom; when, however, he focused his attention on the king himself and his unacceptable behaviour, he could not believe that it was possible for such excellence and such baseness to exist in one and the same character.

17 1 After the games had ended, the embassy of Gracchus32 arrived to investigate the kingdom. The king held friendly conversations with them, with the result that they caught no hint of intrigue on his part, nor anything to indicate such enmity as might be expected to exist covertly after the rebuff that he had received in Egypt. His true policy was not, however, what it appeared to be; on the contrary he was deeply disaffected toward the Romans.

17a Artaxes,33 the king of Armenia, broke away from Antiochus, founded a city named after himself, p357and assembled a powerful army. Antiochus, whose strength at this period was unmatched by any of the other kings, marched against him, was victorious, and reduced him to submission.

17b Still another uprising occurred in the Thebaïd,34 where an urge to revolt swept over the populace. King Ptolemy, moving against them in force, easily regained control of the rest of the Thebaïd. But the city known as Panonpolis stands upon an ancient mound and by reason of its inaccessibility was reputed to be secure; hence the most active of the rebels assembled there. Ptolemy, (observing?) the desperation of the Egyptians and the strength of the place, prepared to besiege it, and after undergoing every kind of hardship captured the city. Then, having punished the ringleaders, he returned to Alexandria.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Ptolemy VI Philometor. After his capture by Antiochus Epiphanes, in the Sixth Syrian War, the Alexandrians proclaimed his brother Ptolemy Euergetes, nicknamed Physcon, king. The two brothers were soon reconciled, and for some five years ruled as joint kings. With the present passage cp. Polybius, 29.26.

2 C. Popillius Laenas, sent out by the senate to bring the war in Egypt to an end. The encounter took place at Eleusis, a suburb of Alexandria. See Polybius, 29.2 and 27.

3 Cp. Book 21.9 and note. The present passage may be a portion of Cato's speech in defence of the Rhodians: cp. Aulus Gellius, 6.3.

4 The narrative of Diodorus, based closely on Polybius, 30.4, is here preserved in several versions.

5 The praetor peregrinus, M'. Iuventius Thalna (Livy, 45.21).

6 The Rhodian people, as appears from Polybius, 30.5.2‑3, not the envoys. Accordingly, I have transposed the order of sections 2 and 3, and indicated the break in section 2.

7 This passage apparently corresponds to Polybius, 30.19.14‑17 (not to 30.13, pace Dindorf).

8 So Syncellus, for L. Aemilius Paullus.

9 i.e. Gentius.

10 Properly in Magnesia, Demetrias had been part of Macedonia only since 196 B.C. Presumably its earlier status was now restored.

11 Wesseling's emendation brings the text into agreement with Livy, 45.29, the other chief source for the geographical terms of the settlement. Dindorf's text gives: "the forts east of the Nestus and those towards Abdera, etc."

12 Livy says Mt. Bora, which is, however, north of both Beroea and Edessa. Probably Mt. Bermius is meant.

13 Generally identified with Heracleia Lyncestis. F. Papazoglu, Ziva Antika, Antiquité Vivante, 4 (1954), 308‑345, disputes this identification. He places Heracleia Lyncestis near Bitolj (Monastir), and locates Pelagonia somewhat to the north-east, in the district of Morihovo. See J. and L. Robert, REG, 1956, p137, no. 149.

14 This is wrong. The Fasti Triumphales date the triumph of Aemilius on 28‑30 November, of Cn. Octavius on 1 December, and that of L. Anicius Gallus over Gentius and the Illyrians on the feast of the Quirinalia, in the following February. Cp. also Livy, 45.40‑43.

15 Perhaps "rough," if the shields were of hide. There was a famous Macedonian corps of Leucaspides, and the Thracians at Pydna were distinguished by their gleaming white shields (Plutarch, Aemilius, 18). Plutarch sets the display of captured arms, including both Macedonian and Thracian, on the second day of the triumph (ibid. 32).

16 The sense, as Wesseling saw, is determined by frag. sedis inc. 8, which probably belongs here.

17 The triumphal games celebrated at Amphipolis; cp. above, chap. 8.9, and Polybius, 30.14; Livy, 45.32; Plutarch, Aemilius, 28.

18 Alba Fucens, in central Italy. Other notable prisoners detained there were Syphax of Numidia (Livy, 30.17) and Bituitus, king of the Arverni (Livy, Per. 61). For a possible identification of the dungeons see L'Antiquité Classique, 20 (1951), 72‑74.

19 i.e. a room capable of accommodating nine at dinner.

20 "Those who," Photius; "some who," in the Excerpta de Sententiis, where this sentence appears, followed by "This was the case with Perseus, king of the Macedonians" (= chap. 9.6).

21 M. Aemilius Lepidus was princeps senatus from 179 B.C. Plutarch, however, ascribes to L. Aemilius Paullus the easing of Perseus' condition (Aemilius, 37). Unfortunately the praenomen is omitted in the parallel passage (chap. 9.7) of the Excerpta de Virtutibus et Vitiis, where the context of the citation is summarily indicated by the words: "Perseus, cast into the underground dungeon, would have died there, had not Aemilius . . ."

22 This phrase is omitted by Photius.

23 Sections 6 and 7 of chap. 9 are not translated separately, as they correspond to §§ 4‑5, and any divergences in the text have already been noted.

24 The Athenian statesman and writer, born c. 350 B.C. For the fragments of his works see Jacoby, FGH, no. 228. Diodorus here follows Polybius, 29.21.

25 Of the two younger sons one died five days before the triumph of Aemilius, one three days after it: Plutarch, Aemilius, 35‑36; Livy, 45.40‑41.

26 Especially his disfavour at Rome, and the Gallic uprising of 168‑166 B.C. The passage is based on Polybius, 29.22.

27 See Book 30.19.

28 This account of Prusias II follows that of Polybius, 30.18.

29 This incident is not elsewhere recorded, and can be dated only to the period (c. 169‑164 B.C.) of the joint rule of Philometor and Euergetes. Eleusis lay just east of Alexandria, and was also the scene of Antiochus' humiliation in 168 B.C.

30 Literally, "among the Egyptians," the capital being known as "Alexandria beside Egypt."

31 The famous games held at Daphne, near Antioch, in emulation of the Macedonian games of Aemilius (Book 31.8.9 and 13). The account of Polybius (30.25‑26) is somewhat fuller.

32 Ti. Sempronius Gracchus, whose embassy visited Pergamum, Cappadocia, and Rhodes, as well as Syria. Cp. Polybius, 30.27.

33 The preferred form of the name is Artaxias, as elsewhere in Diodorus.

34 This revolt need not be connected with that of Petosarapis (chap. 15a), but reveals the same pattern of native unrest, reflected also in the papyri of the period. The probable date is 165 B.C.


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 9 Dec 08