1 1 The Carthaginians having captured the Roman transports and a vast quantity of supplies, Scipio was much disturbed, as not only had he been deprived of his own supplies, but the enemy had thus procured for themselves abundance of provisions. 2 What aggrieved him still more was that the Carthaginians had violated the late solemn agreement and that the war had thus been rekindled from a fresh source. 3 He, therefore, at once appointed as legates Lucius Sergius, Lucius Baebius, and Lucius Fabius, and dispatched them to confer with the Carthaginians about what had occurred and at the same time to inform them that the Roman people had ratified the treaty: 4 for dispatches had just arrived for Scipio informing him of this fact. 5 On arriving at Carthage they first of all addressed the senate, and afterwards being brought before the popular assembly, spoke with great freedom about the situation. 6 In the first place they reminded the assembly that when the Carthaginian envoys came to Tunis to the Romans and presented themselves before the council, they p465not only saluted the gods and did obeisance to Earth, as is the custom with other men, 7 but that they debased themselves by falling prostrate on the ground and kissing the feet of the members of the council; and that afterwards when they got up again they accused themselves of having been alone guilty of breaking the original treaty between the Romans and the Carthaginians. 8 Therefore, they said, they were well justified in any punishment they inflicted on them, but in the name of the common fortune of mankind they had entreated them not to proceed to extremities, but rather let their folly afford a proof of the generosity of the Romans. 9 The general himself, they said, and those who had been present then at the council, when they called this to mind, were amazed and asked themselves whence the Carthaginians had the assurance now to ignore what they said on that occasion and to venture on breaking this last solemn treaty. 10 It seemed almost evident that they ventured to act thus relying on Hannibal and the forces with him. 11 In this confidence they were most ill-advised; for everyone knew quite well, that for the last two years Hannibal and his troops, after abandoning every part of Italy, had fled to the Lacinian promontory, and that, shut in there and almost besieged, they only just succeeded in saving themselves and leaving for Africa. 12 "And even," they said, "if they had been coming after a victory in Italy and were about to give battle to us, who have beaten you in two successive battles, your expectation of success should be quite uncertain and you should not only contemplate the prospect of victory but that of a further defeat. p46713 And then what gods will you have to invoke, and on what plea will you be able to supplicate the victors to take pity on your calamity? 14 Will not your faithlessness and folly exclude you from almost all hope for the mercy of gods and men?"
2 1 The ambassadors after making this speech took their departure. 2 There were but few among the Carthaginians who approved of adhering to the treaty. The majority both of their leading politicians and of those who took part in the deliberation objected to its harsh conditions, and with difficulty tolerated the bold language of the ambassadors. Besides this, they were not disposed to give up the ships they had brought into port and the supplies they contained. 3 But above all they had no slight hopes of conquering with the assistance of Hannibal, but were on the contrary most sanguine. The popular assembly decided simply to dismiss the ambassadors without a reply, 5 but those of the politicians who had determined by any and every means to stir up the war again held a meeting and contrived the following plan. 6 They declared that all due care should be taken to ensure the safe arrival of the ambassadors at their own camp and at once prepared two triremes to escort them. Then they sent to the admiral, Hasdrubal, begging him to have some ships ready not far from the Roman camp, so that when the Romans were left by the ships that escorted them they might bear down upon them and sink them. 7 For the Carthaginian fleet was now anchored off the coast close to Utica. 8 Having given these instructions to Hasdrubal they p469sent off the Romans. They had ordered the commanders of the triremes, as soon as they passed the river Macar, to leave the ambassadors in the strait and return, 9 this being a spot from which the enemy's camp could already be seen. 10 The escort acting on their orders, as soon as they had passed the river-mouth saluted the Romans and sailed back. 11 Lucius and his colleagues were unsuspicious of any danger but were somewhat put out, thinking it was due to negligence that the escort had left them too soon. 12 But as they were continuing their voyage alone three Carthaginian triremes bore down on them as they had been directed to do. When they came up to the Roman quinquereme they could not ram her as she avoided the strokes, nor could they board her as her crew made a gallant resistance. 13 But running alongside of her and circling round her they kept on shooting the men on board and killing a number of them, until the Romans, seeing that the men from their own camp who were foraging on the coast were running down to the beach to assist them, managed to run their ship ashore. 15 Most of the men on board had been killed in the action, but the ambassadors, wonderful to say, escaped.
3 1 The consequence of this was that the war began afresh, the cause of its renewal being more serious and more productive of bitter feeling than the original one. 2 For the Romans, thinking that they had been treacherously attacked, set their hearts on getting the better of the Carthaginians, and the latter, conscious of their guilt, were ready to suffer anything rather than fall into the power of the Romans. 3 Both sides being animated by such fury, p471it was evident that the issue must be decided by a battle. 4 Consequently not only all the inhabitants of Italy and Africa, but those of Spain, Sicily and Sardinia likewise were held in suspense and distracted, awaiting the result.
5 Hannibal at this time was very poorly off for cavalry and sent to a certain Numidian called Tychaeus, who was a relative of Syphax, and was thought to have the best cavalry in Africa, begging him to help him and join in saving the situation, as he knew well that, if the Carthaginians won, he could retain his principality, but if the Romans were victors, he would risk losing his life too, owing to Massanissa's greed of power. 7 Accordingly, Tychaeus was prevailed on by this appeal and came to Hannibal with a body of two thousand horse.
4 1 Scipio, having taken measures for the security of his fleet, deputed the command to Baebius and himself went round the towns, 2 no longer receiving the submission of those which offered to surrender, but taking them all by assault and selling the inhabitants as slaves, to manifest the anger he felt against the enemy owing to the treacherous behaviour of the Carthaginians. 3 He was constantly sending to Massanissa, pointing out to him how the Carthaginians had violated the treaty, and begging him to raise as strong a force as possible and to make haste to join him. 4 For Massanissa, as I above stated, immediately on the conclusion of the treaty left with his own forces, taking with him besides ten cohorts of Roman cavalry and infantry, and p473legates on the part of Scipio, in order not only to recover his paternal kingdom, but with the assistance of the Romans to add that of Syphax to it, which he ultimately succeeded in doing.
5 It happened that at about the same time the envoys from Rome reached the Roman naval camp. 6 So Baebius at once dispatched the Roman envoys to Scipio, but detained the Carthaginians, who were generally dispirited and considered themselves in great danger. 7 For when they heard of the flagitious treatment of the Roman envoys by the Carthaginians, they thought that vengeance for it would assuredly be taken on themselves. 8 But Scipio, on hearing from the Roman legates that both the senate and the people had readily accepted the treaty he had made with the Carthaginians and were ready to comply with all his requests, was highly gratified by this, 9 and ordered Baebius to treat the Carthaginian envoys with all courtesy and send them home, acting, as I think, very rightly and wisely. 10 For aware as he was of the high value attached by his own nation to keeping faith to ambassadors, he took into consideration not so much the deserts of the Carthaginians as the duty of the Romans. 11 Therefore restraining his own anger and the bitter resentment he felt owing to the late occurrence, he did his best to preserve "the glorious record of our sires," as the saying is. 12 The consequence was that he humiliated the people of Carthage and Hannibal himself by thus p475requiting in ampler measure their baseness by his generosity.
5 1 The Carthaginians, when they saw their towns being sacked, sent to Hannibal begging him not to delay, but to approach the enemy and decide matters by a battle. 2 After listening to the messengers he bade them in reply pay attention to other matters and be at their ease about this; for he himself would judge when it was time. 3 After a few days he shifted his camp from the neighbourhood of Adrumetum and advancing encamped near Zama. This is a town lying five days' journey to the west of Carthage. 4 From here he sent out three spies, wishing to find out where the Romans were encamped, and what disposition their general had made in his camp. 5 When these men were caught and brought before him Scipio was so far from punishing them, as is the usual practice, that on the contrary he ordered a tribune to attend them and point out clearly the exact arrangement of the camp. 6 After this had been done he asked them if the officer had explained everything to them with due diligence. 7 When they answered that he had done so, he furnished them with provisions and an escort, and told them to report carefully to Hannibal what had happened to them. 8 On their return Hannibal was so much struck with admiration of Scipio's magnanimity and daring, that he conceived, curiously enough, a strong desire to meet him and converse with him. 9 Having decided on this he sent a herald saying that he desired to discuss the whole situation with him, 10 and Scipio, on receiving the herald's message, p477assented to the request and said he would send to Hannibal fixing a place and hour for the interview. 11 Upon this the herald returned to his own camp. 12 Next day Massanissa arrived with six thousand foot 13 and four thousand horse. Scipio received him kindly, congratulating him on having brought under his dominion all the former subjects of Syphax. 14 He then broke up his camp and on reaching a town called Naragara encamped there, selecting a spot which was favourably situated in other respects and had water within the throw of a javelin. 6 1 From here he sent to the Carthaginian general saying that he was now ready for the meeting. 2 When Hannibal heard this he broke up his camp and on getting within a distance of not more than thirty stades of the Romans encamped on a hill which appeared to be convenient for his present design, but was rather too far away from water, and indeed his men suffered considerable hardship owing to this. 3 On the following day both generals came out of their camps accompanied by a few horsemen, and then, leaving their escorts behind, met each other alone, having an interpreter with them. 4 Hannibal first saluted Scipio and began to speak as follows:
4 "Would that neither the Romans had ever coveted any possessions outside Italy, nor the Carthaginians any outside Africa; 5 for both these were very fine empires and empires of which it might be said on the whole that Nature herself had fixed their limits. 6 But now that in the first place we went to war with each other for the p479possession of Sicily and next for that of Spain, now that, finally refusing to listen to the admonition of Fortune, we have gone so far that your native soil was once in imminent danger and our own still is, 7 what remains but to consider by what means we can avert the anger of the gods and compose our present contention? 8 I myself am ready to do so as I learnt by actual experience how fickle Fortune is, and how by a slight turn of the scale either way she brings about changes of the greatest moment, as if she were sporting with little children. 7 1 But I fear that you, Publius, both because you are very young and because success has constantly attended you both in Spain and in Africa, and you have never up to now at least fallen into the counter-current of Fortune, will not be convinced by my words, however worthy of credit they may be. 2 Consider things by the light of one example, an example not drawn from remote times, but from our own. 3 I, then, am that Hannibal who after the battle of Cannae became master of almost the whole of Italy, who not long afterwards advanced even up to Rome, and encamping at forty stades from the walls deliberated with myself how I should treat you and your native soil. 4 And now here am I in Africa on the point of negotiating with you, a Roman, for the safety of myself and my country. 5 Consider this, I beg you, and be not overproud, but take such counsel at the present juncture as a mere man can take, and that is ever to choose the most good and the least evil. 6 What man of sense, I ask, would rush into p481such danger as that which confronts you now? If you conquer you will add but little to the fame of your country and your own, but if you suffer defeat you will utterly efface the memory of all that was grand and glorious in your past. 7 What then is the end I would gain by this interview? 8 I propose that all the countries that were formerly a subject of dispute between us, that is Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain, shall belong to Rome and that Carthage shall never make war upon Rome on account of them. Likewise that the other islands lying between Italy and Africa shall belong to Rome. 9 Such terms of peace would, I am convinced, be most secure for the Carthaginians and most honourable to you and to all the Romans."
8 1 Hannibal having spoken so, Scipio replied. He said that neither for the war about Sicily, nor for that about Spain, were the Romans responsible, 2 but the Carthaginians were evidently the authors of both, as Hannibal himself was well aware. The gods, too, had testified to this by bestowing victory not on the unjust aggressors but on those who had taken up arms to defend themselves. 3 No one, he said, was more awake than himself to the fickleness of Fortune and as far as it was in his power he took into consideration the uncertainty of human affairs. 4 "But as for the conditions you propose," he continued, "if before the Romans had crossed to Africa you had retired from Italy and then proposed them, I think your expectations would not have been disappointed. 5 But now that you have been forced reluctantly to leave Italy, and that we, having crossed into Africa, are in command of the open country, the situation is manifestly much changed. 6 And — for this is the most important question — what is the p483position we have now reached? 7 When your countrymen were beaten and begged for peace we framed a treaty in writing in which it was stipulated, in addition to your present proposals, that Carthaginians should give up their prisoners without ransom, that they should surrender their ships of war, and that they should pay us five thousand talents, and finally that they should give hostages for the performance of those conditions. 8 We jointly sent envoys to Rome to submit them to the senate and the people, we Romans stating that we agreed to the terms offered and you Carthaginians entreating that they might be accepted. 9 The senate agreed and the people also gave their consent. The Carthaginians, after their request had been granted, most treacherously violated the peace. 11 What remains to be done? Put yourself in my place and tell me. Shall we withdraw the most onerous of the conditions imposed? That would be to reward your countrymen for their treachery and teach them to continue to betray their benefactors. 12 Or shall we grant their present request in the hope of earning their gratitude? But now after obtaining their request by earnest supplication, the moment they conceived the slightest hope from your return, they at once treated us as enemies and foes. 13 If we added some conditions even more onerous we might in that case refer the treaty to our popular assembly, but if we withdraw some of the conditions it would be useless even to make mention of this conference at Rome. 14 Of what further use then is our interview? Either put yourselves and your country at our mercy or fight and conquer us."
p485 9 1 After this conversation, which held out no hopes of reconciliation, the two generals parted from each other. 2 On the following morning at daybreak they led out their armies and opened the battle, the Carthaginians fighting for their own safety and the dominion of Africa, and the Romans for the empire of the world. 3 Is there anyone who can remain unmoved in reading the narrative of such an encounter? 4 For it would be impossible to find more valiant soldiers, or generals who had been more successful and were more thoroughly exercised in the art of war, nor indeed had Fortune ever offered to contending armies a more splendid prize of victory, since the conquerors would not be masters of Africa and Europe alone, but of all those parts of the world which now hold a place in history; as indeed they very shortly were. 6 Scipio drew up his army in the following fashion. 7 In front he placed the hastati with certain intervals between the maniples and behind them the principes, not placing their maniples, as is the usual Roman custom, opposite to the intervals separating those of the first line, but directly behind these latter at a certain distance owing to the large number of the enemy's elephants. 8 Last of all he placed the triarii. On his left wing he posted Gaius Laelius with the Italian horse, and on the right wing Massanissa with the whole of his Numidians. 9 The intervals of the first maniples he filled up with the cohorts of velites, p487ordering them to open the action, 10 and if they were forced back by the charge of the elephants to retire, those who had time to do so by the straight passages as far as the rear of the whole army, and those who were overtaken to right or left along the intervals between the lines.
10 1 Having made these preparations he rode along the lines and addressed his troops in a few words suitable to the occasion. 2 "Bear in mind," he said, "your past battles and fight like brave men worthy of yourselves and your country. Keep it before your eyes that if you overcome your enemies not only will you be unquestioned masters of Africa, but you will gain for yourselves and your country the undisputed command and sovereignty of the rest of the world. 3 But if the result of the battle be otherwise, those of you who have fallen bravely in the fight will lie for ever shrouded in the glory of dying thus for their country, 4 while those who save themselves by flight will spend the remainder of their lives in misery and disgrace. For no place in Africa will be able to afford you safety, and if you fall into the hands of the Carthaginians it is plain enough to anyone who gives due thought to it what fate awaits you. 5 May none of you, I pray, live to experience that fate. Now that Fortune offers us a choice of the most glorious of prizes, how utterly craven, in short how foolish shall we be, if we reject the greatest of goods and choose the greatest of evils from mere love of life. Go, therefore, to meet the foe with two objects before you, p489emperor victory or death. 7 For men animated by such a spirit must always overcome their adversaries, since they go into battle ready to throw their lives away."
11 1 Such was the substance of Scipio's harangue. Hannibal placed in front of his whole force his elephants, of which he had over eighty, and behind them the mercenaries numbering about twelve thousand. They were composed of Ligurians, Celts, Balearic Islanders, and Moors. 2 Behind these he placed the native Libyans and Carthaginians, and last of all the troops he had brought over from Italy at a distance of more than a stade from the front lines. 3 He secured his wings by cavalry, placing the Numidian allies on the left and the Carthaginian horse on the right. 4 He ordered each commanding officer of the mercenaries to address his own men, bidding them be sure of victory as they could rely on his own presence and that of the forces that he had brought back with him. 5 As for the Carthaginians, he ordered their commanders to set before their eyes all the sufferings that would befall their wives and children if the result of the battle were adverse. They did as they were ordered, 6 and Hannibal himself went the round of his own troops, begging and imploring them to remember their comradeship of seventeen years and the number of the battles they had previously fought against the Romans. 7 "In all these battles," he said, "you proved so invincible that you have not left the Romans the smallest hope of ever being able to defeat you. 8 Above all the rest, and apart from p491your success in innumerable smaller engagements, keep before your eyes the battle of the Trebia fought against the father of the present Roman general, bear in mind the battle of the Trasimene against Flaminius, and that of Cannae against Aemilius, 9 battles with which the action in which we are about to engage is not worthy of comparison either in respect to the numbers of the forces engaged or the courage of the soldiers." 10 He bade them, as he spoke thus, to cast their eyes on the ranks of the enemy. Not only were they fewer, but they were scarcely a fraction of the forces that had formerly faced them, and for courage they were not to be compared with those. 11 For then their adversaries were men whose strength was unbroken and who had never suffered defeat, but those of to‑day were some of them the children of the former and some the wretched remnant of the legions he had so often vanquished and put to flight in Italy. 12 Therefore he urged them not to destroy the glorious record of themselves and their general, but, fighting bravely, to confirm their reputation for invincibility.
13 Such was the substance of the harangues of the two generals. 12 1 When all was ready for battle on both sides, the Numidian horse having been skirmishing with each other for some time, Hannibal ordered the drivers of the elephants to charge the enemy. 2 When the trumpets and bugles sounded shrilly from all sides, some of the animals took fright and at once turned tail and rushed back upon the Numidians who had come up to help the Carthaginians, and Massanissa attacking simultaneously, the Carthaginian left wing was soon left exposed. p4933 The rest of the elephants falling on the Roman velites in the space between the two main armies, 4 both inflicted and suffered much loss, until finally in their terror some of them escaped through the gaps in the Roman line with Scipio's foresight had provided, so that the Romans suffered no injury, while others fled towards the right and, received by the cavalry with showers of javelins, at length escaped out of the field. 5 It was at this moment that Laelius, availing himself of the disturbance created by the elephants, charged the Carthaginian cavalry 6 and forced them to headlong flight. He pressed the pursuit closely, as likewise did Massanissa. 7 In the meanwhile both phalanxes slowly and in imposing array advanced on each other, except the troops which Hannibal had brought back from Italy, who remained in their original position. 8 When the phalanxes were close to each other, Romans fell upon their foes, raising their war-cry and clashing their shields with their spears as is their practice, 9 while there was a strange confusion of shouts raised by the Carthaginian mercenaries, for, as Homer says, their voice was not one, but
Mixed was the murmur, and confused the sound,
Their names all various,1
as appears from the list of them I gave above.
13 1 As the whole battle was a hand-to‑hand affair [the men using neither spears nor swords],2 the p495mercenaries at first prevailed by their courage and skill, wounding many of the Romans, 2 but the latter still continued to advance, relying on their admirable order and on the superiority of their arms. 3 The rear ranks of the Romans followed close on their comrades, cheering them on, but the Carthaginians behaved like cowards, never coming near their mercenaries nor attempting to back them up, 4 so that finally the barbarians gave way, and thinking that they had evidently been left in the lurch by their own side, fell upon those they encountered in their retreat and began to kill them. 5 This actually compelled many of the Carthaginians to die like men; for as they were being butchered by their own mercenaries they were obliged against their will to fight both against these and against the Romans, 6 and as when at bay they showed frantic and extraordinary courage, they killed a considerable number both of their mercenaries and of the enemy. 7 In this way they even threw the cohorts of the hastati into confusion, but the officers of the principes, seeing what was happening, brought up their ranks to assist, 8 and now the greater number of the Carthaginians and their mercenaries were cut to pieces where they stood, either by themselves or by the hastati. 9 Hannibal did not allow the survivors in their flight to mix with his own men but, ordering the foremost ranks to level their spears against them, prevented them from being received into his force. 10 They were therefore obliged to retreat towards the wings and the open ground beyond. 14 1 The space which separated the two armies still on the field was now covered with blood, slaughter, p497and dead bodies, and the Roman general was placed in great difficulty by this obstacle to his completing the rout of the enemy. 2 For he saw that it would be very difficult to pass over the ground without breaking his ranks owing to the quantity of slippery corpses which were still soaked in blood and had fallen in heaps and the number of arms thrown away at haphazard. 3 However, after conveying the wounded to the rear and recalling by bugle those of the hastati who were still pursuing the enemy, he stationed the latter in the fore part of the field of battle, opposite the enemy's centre, and making the principes and triarii close up on both wings ordered them to advance over the dead. 5 When these troops had surmounted the obstacles and found themselves in a line with the hastati the two phalanxes closed with the greatest eagerness and ardour. 6 As they were nearly equal in numbers as well as in spirit and bravery, and were equally well armed, the contest was for long doubtful, the men falling where they stood out of determination, 7 and Massanissa and Laelius, returning from the pursuit of the cavalry, arrived providentially at the proper moment. 8 When they fell on Hannibal's army from the rear, most of the men were cut down in their ranks, while of those who took to flight only quite a few escaped, as the cavalry were close on them and the country was level. 9 More than fifteen hundred Romans fell, the Carthaginian loss amounting to twenty thousand killed and nearly the same number of prisoners.
15 1 Such was the result of the final battle between p499Scipio and Hannibal, the battle which decided the war in favour of Rome. 2 The action over, Scipio after following up the enemy and plundering their camp returned to his own. 3 Hannibal accompanied by a few horsemen never stopped until he was in safety in Adrumetum. He had done in the battle and before it all that could be done by a good general of long experience. 4 For, in the first place, he had by his conference with Scipio attempted to terminate the dispute by himself alone; 5 showing thus that while conscious of his former successes he mistrusted Fortune and was fully aware of the part that the unexpected plays in war. 6 In the next place, when he offered battle he so managed matters that it was impossible for any commander with the same arms at his disposal to make better dispositions for a contest against the Romans than Hannibal did on that occasion. 7 The order of a Roman force in battle makes it very difficult to break through, for without any change it enables every man individually and in common with his fellows to present a front in any direction, the maniples which are nearest to the danger turning themselves by a single movement to face it. 8 Their arms also give the men both protection and confidence owing to the size of the shield and owing to the sword being strong enough to endure repeated blows. So that for these reasons they are formidable antagonists very difficult to overcome. 16 1 But nevertheless to meet each of these advantages Hannibal had shown incomparable skill in adopting at the critical moment all such measures as were in his power and could reasonably be expected to succeed. 2 For he had hastily collected that large number of elephants and had p501placed them in front on the day of battle in order to throw the enemy into confusion and break his ranks. 3 He had placed the mercenaries in advance with the Carthaginians behind them in order that the Romans before the final engagement might be fatigued by their exertions and that their swords might lose their edge owing to the great slaughter, and also in order to compel the Carthaginians thus hemmed in on both sides to stand fast and fight, in the words of Homer
That e'en the unwilling might be forced to fight.3
4 The most efficient and steadiest of his troops he had placed behind at a certain distance in order that, anticipating and witnessing from afar what took place, they might with undiminished strength and spirit make use of their qualities at the proper time. 5 If he, who had never as yet suffered defeat, after taking every possible step to insure victory, yet failed to do so, we must pardon him. 6 For there are times when Fortune counteracts the plans of valiant men, and again at times, as the proverb says, "A brave man meets another braver yet," as we may say happened in the case of Hannibal.
17 1 When men give expression to their feelings more violently than is the general custom of their nation, if this excess seems to spring from genuine emotion due to the magnitude of their calamities, it arouses the pity of those who see and hear it, and its very strangeness touches all our hearts; 2 but when such extravagance seems to be a mere piece of charlatanry and acting, it gives rise not to pity but to indignation p503and disgust. Such was the case on the present occasion with regard to the Carthaginian ambassadors.
3 Scipio began by stating briefly to them that the Romans were not bound to treat them with leniency for their own sakes, as they confessed that they had begun the war with Rome by taking Saguntum contrary to their treaty and enslaving its inhabitants, and that they had quite recently been guilty of treachery by violating a written agreement they had sworn to observe. 4 "But for our own sake," he said, "and in consideration of the fortune of war and of the common condition of man we have decided to be clement and magnanimous. 5 This will be evident to you also, if you estimate the situation rightly. For you should not regard it as strange if we impose sufferings and obligations on you or if we demand sacrifices from you, but rather it should surprise you if we grant you any favours, since Fortune owing to your own misconduct has deprived you of any right to pity or pardon and placed you at the mercy of your enemies." 7 After speaking in this sense he informed them first of the indulgences granted to them and afterwards of the severe conditions to which they would have to submit.
18 1 The principal points of the condition proposed were as follows. Carthage was to retain all the cities she formerly possessed in Africa before entering on the last war with Rome, all her former territory, all flocks, herds, slaves, and other property: 2 from that day onward the Carthaginians were to suffer no injury, they were to be governed by their own laws and customs and to receive no garrison. 3 These were the lenient conditions; the others of a contrary kind were as follows: Reparation p505was to be made to the Romans for all acts of injustice committed by the Carthaginians during the truce: prisoners of war and deserters who had fallen into their hands at any date were to be delivered up: they were to surrender their ships of war with the exception of ten triremes, 4 and all their elephants: they were not to make war at all on any nation outside Africa and on no nation in Africa without consulting Rome: 5 they were to restore to King Massanissa, within the boundaries that should subsequently be assigned, all houses, lands, and cities, and other property which had belonged to him or to his ancestors: 7 they were to contribute ten thousand talents in fifty years, paying two hundred Euboic talents each year: 8 finally they were to give as surety a hundred hostages chosen by the Roman general from among their young men between the age of fourteen and thirty.
19 1 This was the communication that Scipio made to the ambassadors, and after listening to him they lost no time in conveying it to their countrymen in Carthage. 2 On this occasion it is said that when one of the senators was about to oppose the acceptance of the terms and was beginning to speak Hannibal came forward and pulled him down from the tribune. 3 The other members were indignant with him for such a violation of the usage of the house, and Hannibal then rose again and said that he confessed he had been in error, but they must pardon him if he acted contrary to their usage, p507as they knew that he had left Carthage at the age of nine, and was, now that he had returned, over five and forty. 4 He, therefore, begged them not to consider whether he had transgressed parliamentary custom, but rather to ask this whether or not he really felt for his country; for this was the sentiment which had now made him guilty of this offence. 5 "It seems to me," he said, "astounding and quite incomprehensible, that any man who is a citizen of Carthage and is conscious of the designs that we all individually and as a body have entertained against Rome does not bless his stars that now that he is at the mercy of the Romans he has obtained such lenient terms. 6 If you had been asked but a few days ago what you expected your country to suffer in the event of the victory of the Romans, you would not have been able even to give utterance to your fears, so great and excessive were the calamities then in prospect. 7 So now I beg you not even to discuss the matter, but to agree with one accord to the proposals, to sacrifice to the gods, and to pray all of you that the Roman people may ratify the treaty." 8 As it seemed to all that his advice was wise and opportune, they voted to make the treaty on the above conditions, and the senate at once dispatched envoys with orders to agree to it.
20 1 It is very surprising that as long as Ptolemy in his lifetime could dispense with the help of Philip p509and Antiochus, they were very ready to assist him, 2 but when he died leaving an infant son whom it was their natural duty to maintain in possession of his realm, then encouraging each other they hastened to divide the child's kingdom between themselves and be the ruin of the unhappy orphan. 3 Nor did they, as tyrants do, take the pains to provide themselves with some paltry pretext for the shameful deed, but at once acted in a fashion so unscrupulous and brutal that they well deserved to have applied to them the saying about the food of fishes, that though they are all of the same tribe the destruction of the smaller ones is food and life to the larger. 4 Who fancying that he sees reflected in it the image of all impiety towards God and all savagery towards men, as well as of the unbounded covetousness of these two kings? 5 But at the same time who among those who reasonably find fault with Fortune for her conduct of affairs, will not be reconciled to her when he learns how she afterwards made them pay the due penalty, and how she exhibited to their successors as a warning for their edification the exemplary chastisement she inflicted on these princes? 6 For even while they were still breaking their faith to each other and tearing to shreds the boy's kingdom she raised up against them the Romans, and very justly and properly visited them with the very evils which they had been contrary to all law designing to bring upon others. 7 For both of these were very soon vanquished in battle, and they were not only prevented from lusting after the property of others but were compelled to submit and to pay tribute and obey the behests of Rome. 8 And, p511finally, in a very short time Fortune re-established the kingdom of Ptolemy, while as for their dynasties and successors she in one case brought utter destruction upon them and in the other calamities very nearly as grave.
21 1 There was certain Molpagoras at Cius, a capable speaker and politician, but in character a demagogue, greedy of power. 2 This man, by flattering the populace, by inciting the rabble against men of means, by finally killing some of the latter and banishing others whose property he confiscated and distributed among the people, soon attained by these means to supreme power . . . .
3 Now the people of Cius met with such disasters not so much owing to chance or to the injustice of their neighbours, but chiefly owing to their own stupidity and misgovernment. 4 For by advancing ever the worst men to power and punishing those who opposed them in order to plunder the fortunes of their fellow-citizens, 5 they fell as of their own free will into those misfortunes of which we may say that men in general, after being caught in them with their eyes open, not only cannot cure themselves of their folly, but cannot conceive the least suspicion, as even some of the brutes do. 6 For the latter not only when they have got into trouble themselves from snares and nets, but if they see another animal in danger will not readily approach such engines again, but are even suspicious of the place and mistrust everything they see. 7 Men on the other hand, though they have heard that some cities have been utterly destroyed by the means I have described, and p513though they see ruin overtaking others, nevertheless, whenever anyone courts favour with them and holds out to them the hope of repairing their fortunes by laying hands on those of their neighbours, approach the snare without a moment's reflection, though quite aware that of those who have swallowed such baits not a single one has ever been saved, but that measures like the above are well known to have brought destruction on all governments which adopted them . . . .
22 1 Philip having made himself master of the city was highly elated, just as if he had performed a good and noble action in coming readily to the help of his son-in‑law, and overawing the revolutionary party, and then justifiably enriching himself with the prisoners and money he laid hands on. 2 He did not see that in the first place the son-in‑law whom he came to help was not wronged, but was wronging others by his treachery, 3 next that by thus without any justification bringing the greatest of calamities on a Hellenic city he would set the seal on the reputation he enjoyed for cruelty to his friends, and that both these crimes would justly leave him a legacy of infamy throughout the whole of Greece as a violator of all that was sacred; 4 thirdly, that he had treated with contumely the ambassadors who came from the cities I mentioned to deliver the Cianians from the perils that menaced them, but who day after day yielding to his entreaties and deluded by him were compelled to be 5 witnesses of things they were far from wishing to see; and finally, that in addition to all he had aroused such savage hate in the Rhodians against p515him that they would not listen to a word in his favour. 23 1 Indeed, chance had very conspicuously intervened to help this matter on. 2 For just when his envoy was speaking in defence of Philip in the theatre at Rhodes and laying stress on his magnanimity, asserting that, though the city of Cius was now more or less at his mercy, he granted this favour to its people and acted so with the object of confuting the slander of his adversaries and clearly revealing what his true sentiments were; 3 at this very time, I say, a man who had just landed entered the Prytaneum and announced the enslavement of the people of Cius and all Philip's cruelty on that occasion. 4 When, therefore, while Philip's ambassador was still speaking the prytanus came forward and communicated the news, the people could not believe it, so black was the treachery. 5 Philip, therefore, who had rather betrayed himself than the people of Cius, had become so wrong-headed or rather so lost to all sense of decency that he gave himself credit and boasted of conduct of which he should have been most deeply ashamed, as though it were a fine deed. 6 From this day forth the Rhodians considered him to be their enemy and made their preparations accordingly, and by this action he made himself equally hated by the Aetolians. 7 For though he had but recently made his peace with that nation and was extending the hand of fellowship to them, now without the shadow of a pretext, at a time when the Aetolians had at no distant date entered into friendship and alliance with Lysimachia, Chalcedon, and Cius, he first of all forced the two former cities to withdraw from this alliance and submit to p517him, and he now took Cius and enslaved its inhabitants, although an Aetolian strategus was present in the place and at the head of affairs. 10 Prusias, in so far as his purpose had been accomplished, was gratified, but inasmuch as the prize of the enterprise was carried off by another and he received as his share nothing but the desert site of a city, was much disaffected. He was however, unable to take any action.
2 The Thasians told Metrodorus, Philip's general, that they would surrender the city if he would let them remain without a garrison, exempt from tribute, with no soldiers quartered on them and governed by their own laws . . . .
3 The reply was that Philip acceded to this request upon which all present applauded and admitted Philip into the city . . . .
4 Perhaps it may be said of all kings that at the beginnings of their reigns they talk of freedom as of a gift they offer to all and style all those who are thus loyal adherents their friends and allies, but as soon as they have established their authority they at once begin to treat those who placed trust in them not as allies but as servants. 5 Therefore they are disappointed of any credit for noble conduct, though as a rule they do not miss their immediate interest. 6 But who would not qualify as perfectly irrational and insane the conduct of a prince, who, engaging p519in vast enterprises and aspiring to universal dominion, with his chances of success in all his projects still unimpaired, yet in matters of no moment, in the very first matters he was called upon to deal with, proclaimed to all his fickleness and faithlessness?
24a As I give a narrative of the successive events that happened in each part of the world in each year, it is evident that in some cases the end must be told before the beginning, in those cases I mean where according to the general scheme of my work and the order imposed on my narrative the locality which was the scene of the final catastrophe occupies an earlier place than that which witnessed the initial stages . . . .
25 1 Sosibius, the pretended guardian of Ptolemy, appears to have been a dexterous instrument of evil who remained long in power and did much mischief in the kingdom. 2 He first of all compassed the death of Lysimachus, who was Ptolemy's son by Arsinoë the daughter of Lysimachus, next that of Magas, son of Ptolemy and Berenice, daughter of Magas, thirdly that of Berenice, mother of Ptolemy Philopator, fourthly that of Cleomenes of Sparta, and fifthly that of Arsinoë, the daughter of Berenice.
3 After four or five days, erecting a tribune in the largest colonnade of the palace, they summoned a meeting of the bodyguard and household troops as well as of the officers of the infantry and cavalry. p5214 When all these had collected, Agathocles and Sosibius mounted the tribune, and in the first place acknowledged the death of the king and queen and enjoined the populace to go into mourning as was their usual practice. 5 After this they crowned the boy and proclaimed him king,4 and then read a forged will, in which it was written that the king appointed Agathocles and Sosibius guardians of his son. 6 They begged the officers to remain well disposed and maintain the boy on his throne; and afterwards brought in two silver urns, the one said to contain the bones of the king and the other those of Arsinoë. 7 As a fact, the one did contain the king's bones, but the other was full of spices. Hereupon they at once celebrated the funeral, and now the real circumstances of Arsinoë's fate became manifest to all. 8 For on her death being made known, everyone began to inquire how she had perished. As there was no other cause assigned when the true report began to reach people's ears, though doubt still subsisted, the truth was impressed on the minds of all, and the people were much stirred in consequence. 9 As for the king, no one cared, but concerning Arsinoë, when some recalled her orphanhood and others the insults and outrages inflicted on her during her whole life, and finally her unhappy death, the people fell into such a state of distraction and affliction that the town was full of groans, tears, and ceaseless lamentation, 10 a testimony, in the opinion of those who judged p523correctly, not so much of affection for Arsinoë as of hatred of Agathocles. 11 The latter, after depositing the urns in the royal vaults, ordered the public mourning to cease, and as a first step granted two months' pay to the troops, feeling sure of taking the edge off their hatred by appealing to the soldiers' spirit of avarice, and in the next place imposed on them the oath they were accustomed to take on the proclamation of a new king. 12 He also sent away Philammon who had carried out the murder of Arsinoë, making him libyarch in the Cyrenaica, and he placed the child in the care of Oenanthe and Agathoclea. 13 After this he dispatched Pelops, son of Pelops, to Asia, to King Antiochus to beg him to remain on friendly terms and not to transgress his treaty with the young king's father, and sent Ptolemy, son of Sosibius, to Philip to arrange for the proposed match and to beg for his help if Antiochus attempted any serious violation of his obligations. 14 He also appointed Ptolemy, the son of Agesarchus, ambassador to Rome, with the idea not of his hurrying to his post, but of his remaining in Greece when he reached that country and met his friends and relatives there, 15 the object of Agathocles being to remove all men of distinction from Egypt. 16 He also sent Scopas, the Aetolian, to Greece to hire mercenaries, providing him with a large sum of money to advance to them. 17 Two reasons underlay this plan; for in the first place, he wished to use the troops he hired for the war against Antiochus, and next to send away the existing force of mercenaries p525to the country forts in Egypt and to the foreign settlements, and then with these new arrivals to fill up and remodel the household troops and the guards of the court, and of the rest of the city, thinking that the men he himself had enlisted and whom he paid, as they had no political sympathies regarding past events of which they were ignorant, as they reposed their hopes of preservation and advancement on himself, would readily support him and join heartily in executing all his behests. 19 All this happened before the negotiations with Philip, as I have stated, but as the negotiations fell to be dealt with first owing to the order of my narrative, it was necessary for me to manage matters so as to give an account of the interviews and speeches of the ambassadors before mentioning their appointment and dispatch.
20 Agathocles, as soon as he had removed all the most notable men and checked to a great extent by the advance of pay the disaffection among the troops, turned to his old courses. 21 He filled up the vacant places of the royal "friends" by appointing from the body servants and other attendants those most remarkable for their effrontery and recklessness. 22 He himself spent the greater part of the day and night in drinking and the debauchery which commonly accompanies it, sparing neither women in the flower of their age nor brides nor virgins, and all this he did with the most odious ostentation. 23 So that as strong dislike against him was aroused on all sides, as no attempt was made to conciliate or help those aggrieved, but on the contrary there was a constant repetition of outrage, arrogance, and neglect, 24 the p527former hatred of the populace for him began to fume again, and all recalled the calamities that these men had brought on the kingdom. 25 But since they had no leader of any weight, through whom to vent their anger on Agathocles and Agathoclea, they kept quiet, their only remaining hope, to which they eagerly clung, being in Tlepolemus. 26 While the king lived, Tlepolemus attended to his own affairs, but on the death of Ptolemy, after quieting the populace, he became again military governor of the district round Pelusium; 27 and at first he consulted the king's interest in all he did, believing that there would be some council charged with the guardianship of the child and the general control of affairs. 28 But when he saw that all the men worthy of this office had been got rid of, and that Agathocles ventured to assume the reins of government, he very soon changed his attitude, as he was conscious of the danger that menaced him owing to their long-standing enmity, and collecting his forces around him took measures for providing himself with money in order that he might not fall an easy prey to any of his foes. 29 At the same time he did not despair of himself obtaining the guardianship of the child and the direction of affairs, thinking that he was, if his own judgement did not deceive him, more capable because he heard that both the troops under his own command and those in Alexandria placed in him their hopes of overthrowing the insolent domination of Agathocles. 30 Such being his opinion of himself, the difference between them became p529speedily more acute, since both of them contributed to this end. 31 For Tlepolemus, as he was desirous of attaching to himself the commanders, taxiarchs, and inferior officers, entertained them sedulously at banquets; and on those occasions, either flattered by those who wished to make themselves agreeable to him or on his own impulse, since he was young and they were talking over their wine, he would make remarks about the family of Agathocles, at first enigmatical, then of doubtful import, but finally quite outspoken and conveying the most venomous insults. 32 For he used to toast the wall-dauber and the sackbut-girl and the lady-barber, and the young boy who was so complaisant at the drinking-bouts when he was cupbearer to the king in his childhood's days. 33 As his guests always laughed with him and contributed something of their own to his jests, the matter soon reached the ears of Agathocles. 34 Their enmity was now avowed, and Agathocles lost no time in bringing an accusation against Tlepolemus, changing him with disaffection to the king and stating that he was inviting Antiochus to assume the government. 35 He was in no lack of specious grounds for this accusation, some resting on reports of actual facts which he distorted and some being pure inventions of his own. 36 All this he did with the object of working up the populace against Tlepolemus, but it had the contrary result. For as they had for long rested their hopes on Tlepolemus, they were exceedingly glad to see the quarrel becoming more inflamed. 37 The popular movement originated in the following manner. Nicon, p531who was a relative of Agathocles, had been appointed director of naval affairs during the lifetime of Ptolemy, and he now. . . .
26a Agathocles also killed Deinon, son of Deinon, and this was, as the saying is, "the justest of his many iniquities." For at the time when dispatches reached Deinon proposing the murder of Arsinoë, it was perfectly in his power to report the criminal project and save the kingdom, but he chose to take the part of Philammon and became thus the cause of all the evils which followed. 2 However, after the murder had been committed, Agathocles found out that he was always recalling his conduct, lamenting it to many people and expressing regret for the chance he had let slip. Therefore he at once met with the punishment he merited and lost his life . . . .
26 1 Agathocles in the first place summoned a meeting of the Macedonians and appeared together with Agathoclea and the young king. 2 At first he pretended that he could not say what he wished owing to the abundance of the tears that choked him, but after wiping his eyes many times with his chlamys and subduing the outburst, he took the child in his arms and exclaimed, "Take the child whom his father on his death-bed placed in the arms of this woman," pointing to his sister, "and confided to your faith, you soldiers of Macedon. 4 Her affection indeed is of but little moment to ensure his safety, but his fate depends on you and your valour. 5 For it has long been evident to those who judge correctly that Tlepolemus aspires to a position higher than it behoves him to covet, and now he has actually p533fixed the day and the hour at which he will assume the diadem." 6 And as to this he told them not to rely on his own word but on that of those who knew the truth and had just come from the very scene of action. 7 After speaking thus he brought forward Critolaus, who told them that he had himself seen the altars being erected and the victims being prepared in presence of the populace for the ceremony of proclaiming the coronation. 8 When the Macedonians heard this, not only did they feel no pity for Agathocles but paid absolutely no attention to his words, and showed such levity by hooting and murmuring to each other that he did not know himself how he got away from the meeting. 9 The same kind of thing took place at the meetings of the other regiments. 10 Meanwhile numbers of men kept on arriving by boat from the garrisons in upper Egypt, and all begged their relatives or friends to help them at the present crisis and not allow them to be thus outrageously tyrannized over by such unworthy persons. 11 The chief incentive to the soldiery to wreak their vengeance on those in power was their knowledge that any delay was prejudicial to themselves, as Tlepolemus controlled the entire supply of provisions reaching Alexandria. 27 1 There was also one thing done by Agathocles and his party which contributed to exasperate the populace and Tlepolemus. 2 For they took Danaë, who was the latter's mother-in‑law, from the temple of Demeter, and dragged her unveiled through the middle of the town and committed her to prison, with the express object of exhibiting their hostility to him. 3 This so irritated the people that they no longer spoke of the matter p535in private and secretly, but while some expressed their detestation of those in power by scribbling it all over the town at night, others even began to meet openly in groups in the day-time for this purpose.
4 Agathocles, seeing what was happening and entertaining poor hopes of his own security, began to contemplate flight; but as owing to his own imprudence he had made no preparations for this purpose he desisted from the project, 5 and his next step was to enrol conspirators ready to join in the venture, with a view to putting to death some of his enemies at once and arresting others, after which he could possess himself of tyrannical power. 6 While he was engaged in this project an accusation was brought against a certain Moeragenes, one of the bodyguards, to the effect that he informed Tlepolemus of everything and worked for his cause owing to his relationship with Adaeus, then governor of Bubastus. 7 Agathocles at once gave orders to Nicostratus, his secretary of state, to arrest Moeragenes and examine him diligently, menacing him with every kind of torture. 8 Moeragenes was instantly arrested and conducted to a remote part of the palace, where he was at first questioned directly concerning these rumours, 9 and on his denying every one of the charges was stripped. Some began to get the instruments of torture ready and others with the scourges in their hands were taking off their cloaks, 10 when one of the servants ran up to Nicostratus and after whispering something into his p537ear made off in haste. 11 Nicostratus immediately followed him without saying a word, but striking his thigh with his hand repeatedly. 28 1 It is difficult to describe the strange situation in which Moeragenes found himself. 2 For some of the executioners stood there with the scourges almost raised to strike him and others were getting the instruments of torture ready before his eyes; 3 but when Nicostratus departed all remained in mute astonishment, looking at each other, and each moment expecting Nicostratus to return; 4 but after a little time had elapsed they gradually dispersed, and Moergenes was left by himself. After that he was able, much to his surprise, to traverse the palace, and naked as he was rushed into a tent belonging to the Macedonian troops not far from the palace. 5 Finding them by chance assembled there at breakfast he told his story and the extraordinary manner in which he had been delivered. 6 They were disposed to discredit it, but afterwards seeing him naked they were compelled to believe him. 7 Availing himself of this complete change of circumstances, Moeragenes begged the Macedonians with tears not only to help him to save himself, but to save the king also and chiefly themselves. 8 He urged upon them that their destruction was inevitable if they did not avail themselves of the present opportunity, when the hatred of the populace was at its height and everyone was ready to take vengeance on Agathocles. 9 This was just the time, he said, when the feeling was most thoroughly aroused and it only wanted someone to begin. 29 1 The Macedonians on hearing this were stimulated to action and finally took the advice of Moeragenes, first without delay visiting the Macedonian tents p539and then those of the other soldiers, 2 which are all close together, and turned towards a single part of the city. 3 As the people had long been disposed to revolt and required only some man of courage to appeal to them, once the movement began it spread like wildfire. 4 Four hours had scarcely elapsed when men of all nationalities, both soldiers and civilians, had agreed to attack the government. 5 Chance too co-operated much at this time to the accomplishment of their aim. 6 For Agathocles, when a letter reached his hands, and some spies were brought before him, and when the letter proved to be the one addressed by Tlepolemus to the troops announcing that he was on the point of coming, and the spies reported that he had actually arrived, 7 so entirely lost his head that, neglecting to take any action or to consider the news he had received, he went to carouse at his usual hour and conducted himself at the banquet in his usual manner. 8 Oenanthe, who was in great distress, betook herself to the Thesmophoreum, that temple being open for an annual sacrifice. 9 She first of all fell on her knees and with many gestures prayed fervently to the goddesses, and afterwards seated herself by the altar and held her peace. 10 Most of the women, pleased to see her so dejected and distressed, remained silent, but the relatives of Polycrates and some other noble ladies, who were not yet aware of the danger, came up to her to console her. 11 "Come not near me, you beasts," she cried aloud to them, p541"I know well that you bear us ill-will and that you pray to the goddesses that the worst may befall us, 12 but yet I trust that, if it be the will of heaven, I shall yet make you taste the flesh of your own children." 13 After sayings she bade her lictors drive them away from her and strike those who refused to leave. 14 Availing themselves of this pretext all the ladies withdrew, holding up their hands to the goddesses and praying that she might be cursed with the fate that she threatened to bring on others.
30 1 The men had already decided on a revolution, but now that in each house the rage of the women was added to their own, the hatred of the usurper blazed up twice as violent. 2 When day again gave place to night, the whole town was full of disturbance and torches and movement. 3 For some collected in the stadium shouting, some were encouraging each other, others running in different directions took refuge in houses and places not likely to be suspected. 4 The open spaces round the palace, the stadium, and the great square were now filled with a mixed multitude, including all the crowd of supernumerary performers in the theatre of Dionysus,5 5 and Agathocles, when he heard what was occurring, aroused himself from his drunken slumber, having broken up the banquet a short time previously, and taking all his relatives except Philo went to the king. 6 After lamenting his ill-fortune to the boy in a few words he took him by the hand and went up to the gallery between the Maeander and the palaestra leading to the entrance to the theatre. p5437 After this, having made fast the first two doors, he retired to the third with a few of the bodyguard, the king, and his own relatives. 8 The doors were of pen lattice-work and one could see through them, and they were each secured by two bolts. 9 Meanwhile the populace were assembling from every part of the city, so that not only level spaces but the roofs and steps were full of people, and there was a confused hubbub and clamour, women and children being mixed with the men. 10 For in Carthage and also in Alexandria the children play no less a part in such tumults than the men.
31 1 When the day began to break it was difficult to distinguish the various cries, but that of "Bring the king" predominated. 2 At first the Macedonians got up and seized the gate of audience of the palace, 3 but shortly after, when they discovered in what part of the building the king was, they went round and after taking the first door of the gallery off its hinges approached the second and clamoured loudly for the king. 4 Agathocles was looking now to his own safety and begged the bodyguards to convey a message on his behalf to the Macedonians, stating that he abandoned the office of regent and all his powers and dignities as well as all his revenue, 5 and begged simply for his poor life and a sufficient supply of food, so that retiring into his original obscurity he could not in future, even if he wished it, hurt anyone. 6 None of the other bodyguards consented, p545but Aristomenes alone, who afterwards became minister, undertook this service. 7 He was by birth an Acarnanian, and the adulation he had paid to Agathocles in the season of his prosperity was no less conspicuous than his admirable and scrupulous fidelity to the interests of the king and his kingdom when in later life he was at the head of affairs. 8 For he was the first who having invited Agathocles to dinner presented to him alone among the guests a crown of gold, an honour which is customarily paid only to the king, 9 and he was the first who ventured to wear a ring with Agathocles' portrait engraved on it, and when a daughter was born to him he actually called her Agathoclea. 10 Perhaps regarding his character I have said enough; but now when he had received Agathocles' commission he went out by a wicket-gate to the Macedonians. 11 After he had said a few words to them and explained the proposal, the Macedonians at once attempted to run him through, but when some few persons held their hands over him and begged them to spare him, he went back with orders either to return to them bringing the king or not to come out at all. 12 Aristomenes, then, was sent back by the Macedonians with this message, and they themselves came up to the second door and broke it in also. 13 Agathocles and his people, seeing the violence of the Macedonians both by their actions and their determined demand, at first attempted to entreat the soldiers, leaving no word unspoken that might move them to spare their lives at least, Agathocles putting out his hands through the door and Agathoclea her breasts with which she said she had suckled the king. 32 1 When bitterly p547bewailing their evil fate they found all was useless, they sent out the boy with the bodyguard. 2 The Macedonians then took the king and at once setting him on a horse conducted him to the stadium. 3 His appearance was greeted with loud cheers and clapping of hands, and they now stopped the horse, took him off, and leading him forward placed him in the royal seat. 4 The joy of the crowd was mingled with regret, for on the one hand they were delighted at having the boy in their hands, but on the other they were displeased that the guilty persons had not been arrested and punished as they deserved. 5 So that they continued to shout, demanding that those who had caused all the evil should be taken into custody and made an example. 6 The day had now advanced, and as the people after all could find no one on whom to vent their resentment, Sosibius, who was the son of Sosibius and at the present time, being a member of the bodyguard, particularly devoted his attention to the king and to affairs of state, 7 seeing that there was no hope of appeasing the fury of the populace and that the boy was ill at ease, finding himself among strangers and amidst all the commotion of the mob, asked the king if he would give up to the people those who were in any way guilty of offences to himself or his mother. 8 When the boy nodded his head in assent Sosibius bade some of the bodyguard communicate the royal decision, and making the boy get up led him away to join his household at his own house which was quite near. 19 When the king's consent was announced, there was a deafening outburst of cheering and applause all through the stadium. 10 Meanwhile Agathocleas and Agathoclea had separated and each p549retired to their own residence, and very soon a certain number of soldiers, some on their own initiative and others forced to go by the crowd, set off in search of both.
33 1 The bloodshed and murders which followed were due to the following incident. 2 Philo, one of Agathocles' attendants and parasites, came out into the stadium suffering from the effects of drink. 3 When he observed the popular excitement, he said to those next him, that if Agathocles came out they would have cause to repent again as they had done some days before. 4 Upon hearing this they began some of them to revile and others to hustle him, and when he attempted to defend himself some very soon tore off his cloak and others levelling their spears at him transpierced him. 5 Then as soon as he was ignominiously dragged still breathing into the middle of the stadium and the people had tasted blood, they all eagerly waited the arrival of the others. 6 It was not long before Agathocles was led in in fetters, and as soon as he entered some people ran up and at once stabbed him, an act of benevolence rather than enmity, for they thus saved him from suffering the fate he deserved. 7 Next Niconº was brought there and after him Agathoclea stripped naked with her sisters and then all her relatives. 8 Last of all they dragged Oenanthe from the Thesmophorium and led her to the stadium naked on horseback. 9 All of them were delivered into the hands of the mob, and now some began to bite them with their teeth, some to stab them and others to dig out their eyes. Whenever one of them fell they tore the body from limb to limb until they had thus mutilated them all. 10 For terrible is the cruelty of the p551Egyptians when their anger is aroused. 11 At the same time some young girls who had been Arsinoë's close companions, hearing that Philammon, who had directed the queen's murder, had arrived from Cyrene three days before, rushed to his house and forcing an entrance killed Philammon with clubs and stones; 12 strangled his son who was no longer a child, and dragging out his wife naked into the square slew her.
13 Such was the end of Agathocles, Agathoclea, and their kindred. 34 1 I am not unaware that some authors in describing these events have introduced the sensational element and worked up their material with the object of making the whole more striking to their readers, largely transgressing the bounds of what is essential to give coherence to their narrative. 2 Some of them attribute all to Fortune, and lay stress on her instability and on men's incapacity of evading her, while others take count of the strangeness of all that happened, attempting to assign reasons or probable causes to everything. 3 It was, however, not my own object to treat these matters in that manner, inasmuch as Agathocles displayed neither courage in war nor conspicuous ability, 4 nor was he fortunate and exemplary in his management of affairs, nor, finally, had he that acuteness and mischievous address which serve a courtier's ends and which made Sosibius and several others so successful until the end of their lives in their management of king after king. On the contrary it was quite different with Agathocles. 5 Owing to Philopator's incapacity as a ruler he attained an p553exceptionally high position; 6 and in this position finding himself after that king's death most favourably circumstanced to maintain his power, he lost both his control and his life through his own cowardice and indolence, becoming an object of universal reprobation in quite a short time.
35 1 It is not therefore advisable, as I said, to deal at excessive length with the fate of such a man, but it is otherwise with the Sicilian Agathocles and Dionysius and certain other rulers of renown. 2 Of these two, the latter started from an obscure and humble position, and Agathocles, as Timaeus ridiculing him tells us, was a potter and leaving the wheel and the clay and the smoke came to Syracuse as a young man. 3 In the first place they both of them became in their time tyrants of Syracuse, a city which then ranked highest in opulence and dignity, 4 and they were afterwards recognized as kings of the whole of Sicily and had made themselves masters even of some parts of Italy. 5 And Agathocles not only made an attempt to conquer Africa but retained his exalted position until his death. 6 So that they say that Publius Scipio, who was the first to bring Carthage to her knees, when some one asked him whom he thought the greatest statesmen combining courage and wisdom, replied "Agathocles and Dionysius the Sicilians." 7 To the careers of such men indeed it is proper for us to direct the attention of our readers, touching a little on the vicissitudes of fortune and the uncertainty of human affairs, and in general adding to our bare narrative some instructive reflections, but we are by no means called on to do so in the case of the Egyptian Agathocles.
p555 36 1 For these reasons I refrained from enlarging on the story of this man, 2 and no less because all sensational occurrences are worthy of attention only when first presented to our view, but afterwards it is not only unprofitable to read about them and keep our eyes on them but such an exercise of our faculties produces a certain disgust. 3 For since there are two objects, improvement and pleasure, which those who wish to study any subject either by the use of their ears or of their eyes, should keep before them, and since this is especially true of the study of history, a too generous treatment of sensational events contributes to neither. 4 For not only do abnormal reversals of fortune arouse no emulation, but no one has any permanent pleasure in seeing or reading of things which are contrary to nature and contrary to the general sentiment of mankind. 5 It is true we are interested in seeing or hearing of them once for all and at first, just for the sake of observing that what seemed to be impossible is possible, 6 but once we are convinced of this no one takes any pleasure in dwelling on the unnatural, and there is none who would have the least wish to meet with frequent references to the same event of this class. 7 Therefore what is told us should either excite admiration or cause pleasure, and the elaborate treatment of an event which does neither is suitable rather to tragedy than to history. 8 Possibly we must excuse writers who do not draw their readers' attention to such matters as are natural or generally happen in the world. 9 For they think that among past events the greatest and most wonderful are those which they have met in their personal experience or which particularly arrested their attention when they heard of them p557from witnesses. 10 So that unconsciously they devote too much space to matters which neither are novel, others having spoken of them before, nor are able to benefit or to please us. I have now said enough on this subject.
37 1 King Antiochus seems to have been at first a man who both conceived great projects and possessed courage and the capability of executing his designs, 2 but as he advanced in life he showed himself much inferior to his former self and disappointed general expectation.
1 Homer, Il. IV.437, II.809.
2 I have bracketed this phrase in the English, as in the Greek, with the Teubner edition. I do not like to suppress it.
3 Homer, Il. IV.300.
4 It will be seen in the sequel that the solemn festival of his Proclamation (Anacleteria) was only celebrated in 196 B.C.
5 This I believe to be the meaning of προστασία. It has been rendered precincts, but owing to the position of the clause it cannot be local.
Images with borders lead to more information.
A page or image on this site is in the public domain ONLY
Page updated: 17 Nov 08