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XXXI.18‑45

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!

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(Vol. XI) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

p411 Fragments of Book XXXII

1 1 The Carthaginians, by engaging Masinissa in war, were considered to have violated their treaty with Rome.1 Upon sending an embassy, they were told that the Romans knew what ought to be done. Since the answer they received was so ambiguous, the Carthaginians were greatly disturbed.

2 1 Those whose object is to gain dominion over others use courage and intelligence to get it, moderation and consideration for others to extend it widely, and paralyzing terror to secure it against attack. The proofs of these propositions are to be found in attentive consideration of the history of such empires as were created in ancient times as well as of the Roman domination that succeeded them.2

3 1 When the envoys of the Carthaginians announced that they had punished those responsible3 for the war against Masinissa, a member of the senate exclaimed: "And why were those responsible for the dispute not punished then and there, instead of p413at the end of the war?" At this the Carthaginian envoys stood silent, having no honest or plausible reply to give. The senate then returned them an awkward and elusive answer, for they adopted the statement that the Romans well knew what they4 ought to do.

4 1 Philip, the son of Amyntas, having succeeded to the throne at a time when Macedonia was enslaved by the Illyrians,5 wrested his kingdom from them by force of arms and by his shrewdness as a military commander, but it was by the moderation that he displayed towards the vanquished that he made it the greatest power in Europe. When, for example, in a famous battle6 he defeated the Athenians who disputed his dominance in Greece, he took great pains with the funeral of those slain in the defeat and left behind unburied, while he released without ransom and sent back to their own land the captives, to the number of more than two thousand. 2 As a result those who had taken up arms in the contest for leadership now, because of his clemency towards them, willingly resigned their authority over the Greek states; while he, who in many struggles and battles had failed to achieve that authority, through a single act of kindness received with the free consent of his opponents the leadership of all Hellas. And finally he secured the permanence of his kingdom by the use of fear, when he levelled to the ground a populous city, Olynthus. 3 In like manner his son Alexander, after seizing Thebes, by the destruction p415of this city deterred from rebellion the Athenians and Lacedaemonians, who were starting to revolt; yet in his Persian campaigns, by treating prisoners of war with the greatest kindness, he made the renown of his clemency as well as his courage contribute to his success in making the Asiatics eager to be ruled by him.

4 In more recent times the Romans, when they went in pursuit of world empire, brought it into being by the valour of their arms, then extended its influence far and wide by the kindest possible treatment of the vanquished. So far, indeed, did they abstain from cruelty and revenge on those subjected to them that they appeared to treat them not as enemies, but as if they were benefactors and friends. Whereas the conquered, as former foes, expected to be visited with fearful reprisals, the conquerors left no room for anyone to surpass them in clemency. Some they enrolled as fellow citizens, to some they granted rights of intermarriage, to others they restored their independence, and in no case did they nurse a resentment that was unduly severe. 5 Because of their surpassing humanity, therefore, kings, cities, and whole nations went over to the Roman standard. But once they held sway over virtually the whole inhabited world, they confirmed their power by terrorism and by the destruction of the most eminent cities. Corinth they razed to the ground, the Macedonians (Perseus for example) they rooted out, they razed p417Carthage and the Celtiberian city of Numantia, and there were many whom they cowed by terror.

5 1 The Romans make it a point to embark only upon wars that are just, and to make no casual or precipitate decisions about such matters.7

6 1 When the Romans sent out an expeditionary force against the Carthaginians and news reached Carthage that the fleet was already at Lilybaeum, the Carthaginians, abstaining from all acts of hostility, sent legates to Rome,8 who placed themselves and their country at the disposal of the Romans. The senate, accepting their surrender, made answer that inasmuch as the Carthaginians were well advised, the senate granted them their laws, territory, sanctuaries, tombs, freedom, and property (the city of Carthage, however, was nowhere mentioned, their intention to destroy it being suppressed): these mercies the Carthaginians were to obtain provided they gave three hundred hostages, senators' sons, and obeyed the orders of the consuls. 2 The Carthaginians, thinking that they were quit of the war, sent the hostages, not without great lamentation. Then the Romans arrived in Utica.9 Carthage again sent envoys to learn if the Romans had further demands to make upon them. When the consuls told them to surrender, without fraud, their arms and artillery, they were at first cast down, inasmuch as they were at war with Hasdrubal;10 none the less p419(the Romans)11 received from them two hundred thousand weapons of all sorts and two thousand catapults. Thereupon the Romans again sent word to the Carthaginians, bidding them appoint a delegation of Elders, to whom they would make known their final directive. 3 The Carthaginians dispatched thirty men of the highest rank. Manilius,12 the elder of the consuls, stated that the senate had decreed that they should abandon the city they now inhabited, and should found another at a distance of eighty stades13 from the sea. At this the envoys resorted to lamentation and appeals for pity, all casting themselves to the ground and mingling cries of grief with tears. And a great wave of emotion swept over the assembly. When the Carthaginians after a struggle recovered from their consternation, one man alone, a certain Blanno, uttered words appropriate to the occasion, and speaking with desperate courage yet with complete frankness aroused feelings of pity in all who heard him.14

4 The Romans, being immovable in their resolve to destroy Carthage, ordered the envoys to return straightway to Carthage and to report to the citizens what had been decreed.15 Some of the envoys, considering it hopeless to return home, individually sought refuge as best they could, but the others, electing to return, made their way back, their fatal p421mission completed. As the populace thronged to meet them, they said not a word to them, but beating their heads, raising aloft their hands, and calling upon the gods for aid, they proceeded to the market-place and reported to the gerousia16 the orders imposed by the Romans.

7 1 Scipio (he who was later called Africanus but who at this time was a mere tribune of the soldiers), unlike the other tribunes,17 who disregarding their pledged word broke faith with those who had reached sworn agreements with them, was most faithful in adhering to his promises to the besieged and was honest in his dealings with all who put themselves in his hands. For this reason, and because his reputation for justice was becoming known throughout Libya, no one under siege would give himself up unless Scipio was a party to the agreement.

8 1 Since three Romans who fell in this engagement18 had remained unburied, the whole army was distressed at the loss of the men and, above all, at their being deprived of burial. Scipio, with the consent of the consul, sent a written appeal to Hasdrubal19 to give them burial. He acceded to the appeal, performed the rites of burial with all due honour, and sent their bones to the consul; whereby Scipio advanced in esteem, as a man who was highly influential even with the enemy.

p423 9 1 The Carthaginian women contributed their gold jewelry. For now that life clung to the last narrow foothold, the whole populace felt that they were not losing their wealth, but were by their gift re-establishing their own safety.20

Chaps. 9a, 9b: see below, after Chap. 17.1.
Chaps. 9c, 9d, 10‑12: see below, after Chap. 27.

13 1 [The harbour of Carthage is known as Cothon. Of its several advantages we shall endeavour to give a full account at the appropriate time.]

14 1 He says that the wall of Carthage is forty cubits in height and twenty-two in breadth.21 Notwithstanding, the siege engines of the Romans and their martial exploits proved stronger than the Carthaginian defences, and the city was captured and levelled to the ground.

15 1 [Concerning him there is again an account elsewhere.]22 When King Demetrius sent on to Rome the self-styled son of Perseus, a young man named Andriscus, the senate ordered him to live in a certain city of Italy. But after a period he escaped and sailed off to Miletus. 2 During his stay there he invented tales about himself purporting to demonstrate that he was the son of Perseus. He said that while still an infant he had been given to . . . the Cretan p425to rear, and that the Cretan had transmitted to him a sealed tablet, in which Perseus revealed to him the existence of two treasures, one at Amphipolis, lying beneath the highway at a depth of ten fathoms (?), containing one hundred and fifty talents of silver, and the other, of seventy talents, at Thessalonica, in the middle of the exedra of the colonnade, opposite the court. 3 Since his story attracted much attention, it finally reached the ears of the magistrates of Miletus, who arrested him and placed him in prison. Certain envoys happening to visit the city, they referred the matter to them, seeking advice on what should be done. They scoffingly bade the magistrates let the fellow loose to go his own way. 4 He, on receiving his release, set himself in earnest to act out and make a reality of his mummery. By constantly embroidering the story of his royal birth, he gulled many, even the Macedonians themselves. 5 Having as his accomplice a certain harpist named Nicolaüs, a Macedonian by birth, he learned from him that a woman called Callippa, who had been a concubine of King Perseus, was now the wife of Athenaeus of Pergamum. Accordingly he made his way to her, and pouring out his romantic tale of kinship to Perseus procured from her funds for his travels, a regal costume, a diadem, and two slaves suited to his needs. From her he heard, moreover, that Teres, a Thracian chieftain, was married to a daughter of the late King Philip.23 p4276 Encouraged by this support he made for Thrace. On the way he stopped at Byzantium and was received with honour — a display of folly for which the citizens of Byzantium later paid the penalty to Rome. With more and more people flocking to him, he arrived in Thrace at the court of Teres. As a mark of honour Teres presented him with a troop of a hundred soldiers, and placed a diadem on his head. 7 Recommended by him to the other chieftains, Andriscus received from them another hundred men. Proceeding to the court of the Thracian chieftain Barsabas, he prevailed upon him to take part in the expedition and to escort him home to Macedonia, for he was now asserting, on the grounds of inheritance, a legal claim to the Macedonian throne. Defeated in battle by Macedonicus24 this false Philip took refuge in Thrace. . . . Finally he25 gained the upper hand in the cities throughout Macedonia.

16 1 Masinissa, the late king of Libya, who had always maintained friendly relations with Rome, lived till the age of ninety, in full possession of his faculties,26 and at his death left ten sons, whom he entrusted to the guardianship of Rome. He was a man remarkable for his physical vigour, and had, from the days of his childhood, accustomed himself to endurance and strenuous activities: indeed, standing in his tracks he would remain motionless the whole day long, or sit all day until nightfall without p429stirring, busy with his affairs; and mounted on horseback he would even ride a whole day and a night, continuously, without growing faint. The following is a prime indication of his good health and vitality: though nearly ninety, he had at the time of his death a son aged four, who was a remarkably sturdy child. In the care of his fields Masinissa was so outstanding that he left each of his sons a farm of ten thousand plethra, well equipped with all necessary buildings. His distinguished career as a king lasted sixty years.

17 1 At his rendezvous with Phameas, Scipio, by holding out great hopes, persuaded him to desert the Carthaginians, along with twelve hundred cavalry.27

Chap. 17.2: see below, after Chap. 9b.

9a The pseudo-Philip, after gaining a resounding victory over the Romans,28 shifted to a course of savage cruelty and tyrannical disregard for law. He put many wealthy persons to death, after first throwing out false and slanderous charges against them, and murdered not a few even of his friends. For he was by nature brutal, bloodthirsty, and arrogant in manner, and was, moreover, shot through with greed and every base quality.

2 Marcus Porcius Cato, a man widely acclaimed for sagacity, when asked by someone how Scipio was faring in Libya, said "He alone has sense, the others flit about like shadows." Moreover, the populace p431conceived such a liking for the man that he became consul.29

3 The populace conceived such a liking for Scipio that even though his age did not allow it nor the laws permit, they bent their best efforts to confer upon him the consulship.

9b The false Philip appointed Telestes general. He, however, seduced by the promises of the Romans, revolted and went over with his cavalry to Caecilius. The pseudo-Philip, enraged at his conduct arrested the wife and children of Telestes, and vented his anger on them.

Chaps. 9c, 9d, 10‑12: see below, after Chap. 27.

17.2 Fortune, embroiling the whole situation as if of set purpose, furnished alliances to first one and then the other of the contestants.30

18 1 The Roman consul Calpurnius,31 after accepting the surrender of certain towns, razed them to the ground in disregard of his pledged word. Hence, being distrusted, he failed in all his undertakings, as if some divine agency were working against him. For though he attempted much his actions were ineffective.

19 1 Since King Prusias had repulsive features and p433had become physically effeminate through soft living, he was detested by the Bithynians.32

20 1 The senate dispatched a commission to Asia to settle the war between Nicomedes and his father Prusias, and selected for this service Licinius, a man afflicted with gout, Mancinus, who had had his head pierced by a falling tile so that most of the bones were removed, and Lucius, a person utterly without perception. Cato, the leader of the senate and a man of great sagacity, thereupon remarked in the senate: "We are sending out an embassy without feet, without head, and without heart." His shot was well aimed and became the talk of the town.

21 1 Nicomedes, having defeated his father Prusias in battle, put him to death after he took sanctuary in the temple of Zeus. Thus he succeeded to the throne of Bithynia, having gained this eminence by perpetrating a most sacrilegious murder.

22 1 While the Carthaginians lay beleaguered, Hasdrubal sent and invited Gulussa to come to a colloquy. In accordance with the commands of the general,33 Gulussa offered Hasdrubal an asylum for himself and ten families of his choosing with a grant of ten talents and a hundred slaves. Hasdrubal replied that while his country was being ravaged p435with fire the sun would never behold him seeking safety for himself. Now in words he cut a brave figure, but his deeds exposed him as a renegade. For though his city was in desperate straits, he led a luxurious life, holding drinking parties at all hours, giving sumptuous banquets, and arrogantly serving second courses. Meanwhile his fellow citizens were perishing of starvation, but he, as the crowning insult, went about in purple robes and an expensive woollen cloak, as though revelling in his country's misfortunes.

23 1 At the fall of Carthage the general,34 forgetting his proud courage, or rather his proud talk, abandoned the deserters and approached Scipio in the guise of a suppliant. Clasping Scipio by the knees and sobbing as he urged every possible plea, he moved him to compassion. Scipio exhorted him to take heart, and addressing the friends who sat with him in council, said: "This is the man who a while back was not willing to accept an offer of safety on highly favourable terms. Such is the inconstancy of Fortune and her power; unpredictably she brings about the collapse of all human pretensions."

24 1 When Carthage had been put to the torch and the flames were doing their awful work of devastation throughout the whole city, Scipio wept unabashedly. Asked by Polybius, his mentor, why he was thus affected, he said: "Because I am reflecting on the fickleness of Fortune. Some day, perhaps, the time p437will come when a similar fate shall overtake Rome." And he cited these lines from the poet, Homer:

The day will come when sacred Ilium shall perish, with Priam and his people.35

25 1 After the capture of Carthage Scipio, showing the collected spoils to the envoys who had arrived from Sicily, bade them severally pick out whatever things had in times past been carried off from their particular cities to Carthage, and to take them home to Sicily. Many portraits of famous men were found, many statues of outstanding workmanship, and not a few striking dedications to the gods in gold and silver. Among them was also the notorious bull of Acragas: Perilaüs fashioned it for the tyrant Phalaris, and lost his life in the first demonstration of his device when he was justly punished by being himself made its victim.36

26 1 Never in all the time that men's deeds have been recorded in history had Greece been a prey to such calamities.37 Indeed, so extreme were her misfortunes that no one could either write or read of them without weeping. I am not unaware how painful it is to rehearse the misfortunes of Greece, and through my writings to pass on to coming generations an enduring record of what then befell; but I note too that warnings drawn from experience of events p439and their outcome are of no little service to men in correcting their own shortcomings. Accordingly criticism should be directed not at the historians, but rather at those whose conduct of affairs has been so unwise. It was not, for example, the cowardice of the soldiers, but the inexperience of their commanders that brought the Achaean League crashing to its fall. 2 For though it was a dreadful disaster that overtook the Carthaginians at about this same time, yet the misfortune that befell the Greeks was not less but even, in all truth, greater than theirs. For since the Carthaginians were utterly annihilated, grief for their misfortunes perished with them; but the Greeks, after witnessing in person the butchery and beheading of their kinsmen and friends, the capture and looting of their cities, the abusive enslavement of whole populations, after, in a word, losing both their liberty and the right to speak freely, exchanged the height of prosperity for the most extreme misery. Having so heedlessly allowed themselves to get into war with Rome, they now experienced the greatest disasters.38

3 Indeed the frenzy that possessed the Achaean League and their surprising plunge into self-destruction had all the appearance of a divine visitation. The men responsible for all their troubles were the generals. Some of them, being involved in debt, were ripe for revolution and war, and proposed the cancelling of all debts; and since there were many helpless debtors who supported them, they were able to arouse the commons.39 And there were other leaders who through sheer folly plunged into counsels p441of despair. 4 Above all it was Critolaüs40 who enflamed the sparks of revolution in the populace. Using the prestige that his position gave him he openly accused the Romans of high-handed behaviour and self-seeking: he said that he wished to be Rome's friend, but that he certainly did not choose, of his own free will, to hail the Romans as overlords. The assemblies were sweepingly assured that, if they showed themselves men, they would not lack allies; if slaves, that they would not lack masters; and in his speeches he created the impression that conversations had already been held with kings and free cities on the subject of a military alliance.

5 Having by his oratory inflamed the passions of the mob he brought forward a proposed declaration of war, nominally against Sparta, but in reality against Rome. Thus all too often vice prevails over virtue, and a declaration that leads to destruction over an appeal to refrain and be safe.

27 1 Of Corinth the poets had sung in earlier time:

Corinth, bright star of Hellas.

This was the city that, to the dismay of later ages, was now wiped out by her conquerors. Nor was it only at the time of her downfall that Corinth evoked great compassion from those that saw her; even in later times, when they saw the city levelled to the ground, all who looked upon her were moved to pity. p443No traveller passing by but wept, though he beheld but a few scant relics of her past prosperity and glory. Wherefore in ancient41a times, nearly a hundred years later, Gaius Iulius Caesar (who for his great deeds was entitled divus), after viewing the site restored the city.

2 Their spirits were gripped by two opposite emotions, the hope of safety and the expectation of destruction.

3 In ancient times,41b nearly a hundred years later, Gaius Iulius Caesar (who for his great deeds was entitled divus), when he inspected the site of Corinth, was so moved by compassion and the thirst for fame that he set about restoring it with great energy. It is therefore just that this man and his high standard of conduct should receive our full approval and that we should by our history accord him enduring praise for his generosity. For whereas his forefathers had harshly used the city, he by his clemency made amends for their unrelenting severity, preferring to forgive rather than to punish. In the magnitude of his achievements he surpassed all his predecessors, and he deserved the title42 that he acquired on the basis of his own merits. To sum up, this was a man who by his nobility, his power as an orator, his leadership in war, and his indifference to money is entitled to receive our approval, and to be p445accorded praise by history for his generous behaviour. For in the magnitude of his deeds he surpassed all earlier Romans.

9c Ptolemy Philometor entered Syria intending to support Alexander on the grounds of kinship.43 But on discovering the man's downright poverty of spirit, he transferred his daughter Cleopatra to Demetrius, alleging that there was a conspiracy afoot,44 and after arranging an alliance pledged her to him in marriage. Hierax and Diodotus, despairing of Alexander and standing in fear of Demetrius because of their misdeeds against his father, aroused the people of Antioch to rebellion, and receiving Ptolemy within the city, bound a diadem about his head and offered him the kingship. He, however, had no appetite for the throne, but did desire to add Coelê Syria to his own realm, and privately arranged with Demetrius a joint plan, whereby Ptolemy was to rule Coelê Syria and Demetrius his ancestral domains.

9d, 10.1 Alexander, worsted in battle,45 fled with five hundred of his men to Abae in Arabia, to take refuge with Diocles, the local sheikh, in whose p447care he had earlier placed his infant son Antiochus.46 Thereupon Heliades and Casius, two officers who were with Alexander, entered into secret negotiations for their own safety and voluntarily offered to assassinate Alexander. When Demetrius consented to their terms, they became, not merely traitors to their king, but his murderers. Thus was Alexander put to death by his friends.

2 It would be a mistake to omit the strange occurrence that took place before the death of Alexander, even though it is a thing so marvellous that it will not, perhaps, be credited. A short while before the time of our present narrative, as King Alexander was consulting an oracle in Cilicia (where47 there is said to be a sanctuary of Apollo Sarpedonius), the god, we are told, replied to him that he should beware of the place that bore the "two-formed one." At the time the oracle seemed enigmatic, but later, after the king's death, its sense was learnt through the following causes.

There was dwelling at Abae in Arabia a certain man named Diophantus, a Macedonian by descent. He married an Arabian woman of that region and begot a son, named for himself, and a daughter called Heraïs. Now the son he saw dead before his prime, but when the daughter was of an age to be married he gave her a dowry and bestowed her upon a man named Samiades. 3 He, after living in wedlock with his wife for the space of a year, went off on a p449long journey. Heraïs, it is said, fell ill of a strange and altogether incredible infirmity. A severe tumour appeared at the base of her abdomen, and as the region became more and more swollen and high fevers supervened her physicians suspected that an ulceration had taken place at the mouth of the uterus. They applied such remedies as they thought would reduce the inflammation, but notwithstanding, on the seventh day, the surface of the tumour burst, and projecting from her groin there appeared a male genital organ with testicles attached. Now when the rupture occurred, with its sequel, neither her physician nor any other visitors were present, but only her mother and two maidservants. 4 Dumfounded at this extraordinary event they tended Heraïs as best they could, and said nothing of what had occurred. She, on recovering from her illness, wore feminine attire and continued to conduct herself as a homebody and as one subject to her husband. It was assumed, however, by those who were privy to the strange secret that she was an hermaphrodite, and as to her past life with her husband, since natural intercourse did not fit their theory, she was thought to have consorted with him homosexually. 5 Now while her condition was still undisclosed, Samiades returned and, as was fitting, for very shame, could not bear to appear in his presence, he, they say, grew angry. As he continually pressed the point and claimed his wife, her father meanwhile denying his plea but feeling too embarrassed to disclose the reason, their disagreement soon grew into a quarrel. As a result Samiades p451brought suit for his own wife against her father, for Fortune did in real life what she commonly does in plays and made the strange alteration lead to an accusation. After the judges took their seats and all the arguments had been presented, the person in dispute appeared before the tribunal, and the jurors debated whether the husband should have jurisdiction over his wife or the father over his daughter. 6 When, however, the court found that it was the wife's duty to attend upon her husband, she at last revealed the truth. Screwing up her courage she unloosed the dress that disguised her, displayed her masculinity to them all, and burst out in bitter protest that anyone should require a man to cohabit with a man. 7 All present were overcome with astonishment, and exclaimed with surprise at this marvel. Heraïs, now that her shame had been publicly disclosed, exchanged her woman's apparel for the garb of a young man; and the physicians, on being shown the evidence, concluded that her male organ had been concealed in an egg-shaped portion of the female organ, and that since a membrane had abnormally encased the organ, an aperture had formed through which excretions were discharged. In consequence they found it necessary to scarify the perforated area and induce cicatrization: having thus brought the male organ into decent shape, they gained credit for applying such treatment as the case allowed. 8 Heraïs, changing her name to Diophantus, was enrolled in the cavalry, and after fighting in the king's forces accompanied him in his withdrawal to Abae. Thus p453it was that the oracle, which previously had not been understood, now became clear when the king was assassinated at Abae, the birthplace of the "two-formed one." 9 As for Samiades, they say that he, a thrall still to his love and its old associations, but constrained by shame for his unnatural marriage, designated Diophantus in his will as heir to his property, and made his departure from life. Thus she who was born a woman took on man's courage and renown, while the man proved to be less strong-minded than a woman.

11 A change of sex under similar conditions occurred thirty years later in the city of Epidaurus. There was an Epidaurian Callo, orphaned of both parents, who was supposed to be a girl. Now the orifice with which women are provided had in her case no opening, but beside the so‑called pecten she had from birth a perforation through which she excreted the liquid residues. On reaching maturity she became the wife of a fellow citizen. For two years she lived with him, and since she was incapable of intercourse as a woman, was obliged to submit to unnatural embraces. 2 Later a tumour appeared on her genitals and because it gave rise to great pain a number of physicians were called in. None of the others would take the responsibility of treating her, but a certain apothecary, who offered to cure her, cut into the swollen area, whereupon a man's privates were protruded, namely testicles and an imperforate penis. While all the others stood amazed at the extraordinary event, the apothecary p455took steps to remedy the remaining deficiencies. 3 First of all, cutting into the glans he made a passage into the urethra, and inserting a silver catheter drew off the liquid residues. Then, by scarifying the perforated area, he brought the parts together. After achieving a cure in this manner he demanded double fees, saying that he had received a female invalid and made her into a healthy young man. 4 Callo laid aside her loom-shuttles and all other instruments of woman's work, and taking in their stead the garb and status of a man changed her name (by adding a single letter, N, at the end) to Callon. It is stated by some that before changing to man's form she had been a priestess of Demeter, and that because she had witnessed things not to be seen by men she was brought to trial for impiety.

12 1 Likewise in Naples and a good many other places sudden changes of this sort are said to have occurred. Not that the male and female natures have been united to form a truly bisexual type, for that is impossible, but that Nature, to mankind's consternation and mystification, has through the bodily parts falsely given this impression. And this is the reason why we have considered these shifts of sex worthy of record, not for the entertainment, but for the improvement most our readers. For many men, thinking such things to be portents, fall into superstition, and not merely isolated individuals, but even nations and cities.48 2 At the outset of the Marsian War, at any rate, there was, so it is reported, an Italian living not far from Rome who had married p457an hermaphrodite similar to those described above; he laid information before the senate, which in an access of superstitious terror and in obedience to the Etruscan diviners ordered the creature to be burned alive. Thus did one whose nature was like ours and who was not, in reality, a monster, meet an unsuitable end through misunderstanding of his malady. Shortly afterwards there was another such case at Athens, and again through misunderstanding of the affliction the person was burned alive. There are even, in fact, fanciful stories to the effect that the animals called hyenas are at once both male and female, and that in successive years they mount one another in turn.49 This is simply not true. 3 Both the male and the female have each their own sexual attributes, simple and distinct, but there is also in each case an adjunct that creates a false impression and deceives the casual observer: the female, in her parts, has an appendage that resembles the male organ, and the male, conversely, has one similar in appearance to that of the female. This same consideration holds for all living creatures, and while it is true that monsters of every kind are frequently born, they do not develop and are incapable of reaching full maturity. Let this much then be said by way of remedy to superstitious fears.50


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 By the terms of the treaty of 201 B.C. the Carthaginians were forbidden to wage war, even in Africa, without the consent of Rome. In the winter of 151/0 B.C., after long provocation, they fought the Numidians in a brief and unsuccessful war. — This poorly condensed passage seems to be a mere doublet of chap. 3, though it may be noted that Appian, Pun. 74, mentions two embassies to Rome.

2 Possibly, with chap. 4, an excerpt from the preface to the book.

3 Hasdrubal and Carthalo (Appian, Pun. 74).

4 Presumably the Carthaginians. According to Appian (loc. cit.) the Romans told the Carthaginians that they "had not yet sufficiently cleared themselves" and must "give satisfaction to the Romans." Asked to spell out what this meant, the Romans replied "that the Carthaginians well knew."

5 Cp. Book 16.1.

6 The battle of Chaeronea, 338 B.C.; cp. Book 16.87.

7 For the sentiment cp. Polybius, 36.2 and frag. 99.

8 For the narrative cp. Polybius, 36.2‑6, and, more fully, Appian, Pun. 75 ff.

9 Utica had already surrendered to Rome.

10 Now in exile, Hasdrubal had taken up arms against the state.

11 The abrupt transition and the omission of the subject seem to indicate that the narrative has been condensed.

12 M'. Manilius. The Greek text gives the name as Maemilius.

13 About ten Roman miles.

14 His speech is recorded in Appian, Pun. 83‑85. Appian gives his name as Banno (βάννων), surnamed Tigillus.

15 See Appian, Pun. 86‑91, especially 90‑91, and Polybius, 36.7.

16 The council of elders. Polybius, 10.18 and 36.4 (cp. Livy, 30.16), distinguished this council from the senate (σύγκλητος), but elsewhere the two terms (and συνέδριον) seem to be used without discrimination (e.g. above, Book 25.16).

17 "Tribunes" is lacking in the text, but can be supplied from the parallel account in Appian, Pun. 101.

18 The battle fought near Nepheris. According to Appian, Pun. 102 and 104, the three Romans were tribunes who out of jealousy of Scipio had urged the consul to disregard his good advice.

19 He had been recalled from exile and appointed general as soon as Carthage decided to resist (Appian, Pun. 93).

20 For the remainder of this book some adjustment of Dindorf's arrangement has been made, wherever it seemed demonstrably at fault. In particular, Dindorf disregarded the order of the fragments in the collection De Insidiis, where chapters 15 and 17.1 precede 9b‑d. In addition, chap. 9 should perhaps follow chap. 6, as indicative of the attitude at Carthage (cp. Appian, Pun. 93) at the outbreak of open war.

21 See Appian, Pun. 95‑96, for a description of the city, its fortifications, and its harbours.

22 An editorial comment of the excerptor, linking this chapter with Book 31.40a. For the story of Andriscus see also Polybius, 36.10; Livy, Per. and Oxy. Per. 49‑50.

23 i.e. Perseus' son, the man whom Andriscus was impersonating. He had survived his father by two years but never held the throne and died a captive in Italy.

24 Q. Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus, sent out as praetor in 148 B.C. after the defeat and death of P. Iuventius Thalna (cp. Livy, Per. and Oxy. Per. 50; Zonaras, 9.28). The two final sentences seem to be carelessly abbreviated from a later part of the narrative.

25 Probably Metellus.

26 Or "lived ninety years in a position of authority." — The eulogy of Masinissa is somewhat abbreviated from Polybius, 36.16. For his death see Appian, Pun. 105‑106.

27 Cp. Appian, Pun. 107‑108. The date is late winter, 149/8 B.C.

28 Probably the victory over P. Iuventius Thalna, praetor of 149 B.C., whose death, however, probably occurred early in the following year. For the conduct of Andriscus cp. Polybius, 36.17.13.

29 Cato died in 149 B.C., and Scipio was elected consul in 148 for the following year (Appian, Pun. 112). The present passage could therefore belong to the narrative of either 149 or 148 B.C. Cato's remark is an adaptation of Homer, Od. 10.495.

30 It is not certain to which conflict this refers, but the order of the fragments is against placing it with chap. 17.1, where Dindorf has it.

31 L. Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, consul in 148 B.C. For his conduct and lack of success in Libya see Appian, Pun. 110, and Zonaras, 9.29.

32 Despite the fact that the affair of Prusias occurred in 149 B.C., Diodorus seems, from the order of the fragments, to have placed it with or after the events of 148 B.C. Chapters 19‑20 are based on Polybius, 36.14‑15. The envoys mentioned in chap. 20 are M. Licinius, A. Hostilius Mancinus, and L. Manlius Vulso. For chap. 21 cp. Zonaras, 9.28.

33 i.e. Scipio. Gulussa (or Golosses) was a son of Masinissa, actively allied with Rome. This chapter corresponds, in part, to Polybius, 38.7‑8.

34 Hasdrubal. The "deserters" referred to were some 900 Romans, who with Hasdrubal and his family had barricaded themselves in the temple of Esmun and refused to surrender. After the defection of Hasdrubal, his wife killed their sons and threw herself into the flames. See Polybius, 38.19‑21, and Appian, Pun. 130‑131.

35 Iliad, 6.448‑449. For the narrative cp. Polybius, 38.22 (= Appian, Pun. 132). The Polybius of the incident is the historian.

36 See Books 9.18‑19 and 13.90 for the bull, and, on the passage in general, Appian, Pun. 133.

37 The present chapter is freely adapted from Polybius, 38.1‑6 (his introduction to the book), and 9‑13. A few specific parallels are noted below.

38 For the comparison with Carthage see Polybius, 38.1.6.

39 See Polybius, 38.11.7‑11, who places these proposals in the winter of 147/6 B.C.

40 Strategus of the Achaean League. For the remainder of the chapter the scene is the general assembly of the League at Corinth (cp. Polybius, 38.12‑13).

41a 41b The point of view is Byzantine. Unless the whole phrase is an addition, Diodorus must have written "In the period of my lifetime." — The Colonia Iulia Corinthus was founded in 44 B.C.

42 i.e. the title divus: see above and Book 1.4.7. The following sentence, with its repetition of what has been said above, may come from the conclusion of a longer eulogy of Caesar.

43 Alexander Balas (on whom see Book 31.32a) had overthrown Demetrius I with the aid of Ptolemy Philometor (150 B.C.) and had then married Ptolemy's daughter. Alexander was now threatened by Demetrius, the young son of Demetrius I, who gained the throne, as Demetrius (II) Nicator Theos Philadelphius, in 145 B.C.

44 Cp. 1 Macc. 11.10; Josephus, Ant. Iud. 13.103 ff. 1 Macc. 10.67 dates the invasion of Demetrius in the year 165 of the Seleucid era (148/7 B.C.). The exact date of Ptolemy's entry on the scene is uncertain.

45 The combined forces of Demetrius and Ptolemy engaged him by the river Oenoparas (early summer 145 B.C.). Abae is unknown but must have been in northern Syria.

46 Soon afterwards put forward as king by Diodotus (Tryphon), with the title Antiochus (VI) Theos Epiphanes Dionysus.

47 At Seleuceia.

48 The Liber Prodigiorum of Iulius Obsequens briefly records many such portents.

49 So, for example in Aelian (De Nat. Anim. 1.25), though the error had been recognized as early as Aristotle (Hist. Anim. 6.32).

Thayer's Note: A more detailed raft of citations will be found, as often, in Mair's notes on Oppian (Cyneg. III.288 ff.).

50 Both before and after this long citation (chapters 10‑12) Photius states that it is taken from Book 32, adding in his epilogue that it comes from the end of the book. Dindorf, working from an erroneous chronology, which placed the death of Alexander Balas in 149 B.C., disregarded this evidence. The proper chronological order has, it is hoped, been restored in the present edition. Dindorf was, however, probably right in assuming an error in Photius, or his manuscripts, in regard to the next fragment (Book 33.1), which is identified in the superscription as being from Book 32. There are other, and demonstrable, errors of the sort in Photius, and the now standard division of the two books is, if uncertain, at least satisfactory. The fact that the Histories of Polybius conclude at this point, with the fall of Carthage and of Corinth, and the death of Ptolemy Philometor and (presumably) of Alexander Balas, is a strong argument in support of Dindorf's division.


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