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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces one of
The Parallel Lives


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

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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(Vol. IX) Plutarch, The Parallel Lives

 p139  The Life of Antony

1 1 Antony's grandfather was the orator Antonius, who joined the party of Sulla and was put to death by Marius;​1 his father was Antonius surnamed Creticus, a man of no great repute in public life, nor illustrious, but kindly and honest, and particularly a liberal giver, as one may see from a single instance. 2 He had not much property himself, and therefore was prevented by his wife from indulging his kindly feelings. When, accordingly, one of his intimates came to him with a request for money, money he had not, but he ordered a young slave to put water into a silver bowl and bring it to him, and when it was brought, he moistened his chin, as though about to shave. 3 The slave was then sent away on another errand improvised for the occasion, whereupon Antonius gave the bowl to his friend and bade him dispose of it. Later, when a careful search for it was made for it among the slaves, seeing that his wife was angry and proposed to put them to the torture one by one,​a Antonius confessed what he had done, and by his entreaties gained her pardon.

2 1 His wife was Julia, of the house of the Caesars, and she could vie with the noblest and most discreet women of her time. By this mother her son Antony was reared, after the death of whose father she married Cornelius Lentulus, whom Cicero  p141 put to death for joining the conspiracy of Catiline.​2 This would seem to have been the origin and ground of the violent hatred which Antony felt towards Cicero. 2 At any rate, Antony says that not even the dead body of Lentulus was given up to them until his mother had begged it from the wife of Cicero. This, however, is admittedly false; for no one of those who were punished at that time by Cicero was deprived of burial. 3 Antony gave brilliant promise in his youth, they say, until his intimate friendship with Curio fell upon him like a pest. For Curio himself was unrestrained in his pleasures, and in order to make Antony more manageable, engaged him in drinking bouts, and with women, and in immoderate and extravagant expenditures. This involved Antony in a heavy debt and one that was excessive for his years — a debt of two hundred and fifty talents.​3 4 For this whole sum Curio went surety, but his father heard of it and banished Antony from his house. Then Antony allied himself for a short time with Clodius, the most audacious and low-lived demagogue of his time, in the violent courses which were convulsing the state; but he soon became sated with that miscreant's madness, and fearing the party which was forming against him, left Italy for Greece, where he spent some time in military exercises and the study of oratory. 5 He adopted what was called the Asiatic style of oratory, which was at the height of its popularity in those days and bore a strong resemblance to his own life, which was swashbuckling and boastful, full of empty exultation and distorted ambition.

 p143  3 1 When Gabinius, a man of consular dignity, was sailing for Syria, he tried to persuade Antony to join the expedition. Antony refused to go out with him in a private capacity, but on being appointed commander of the horse, accompanied him on the campaign.​4 And first, having been sent against Aristobulus, who was bringing the Jews to a revolt,​5 he was himself the first man to mount the highest of the fortifications, and drove Aristobulus from all of them; then he joined battle with him, routed his many times more numerous forces with his own small band, and slew all but a few of them. Aristobulus himself was captured, together with his son.

2 After this, Ptolemy tried to persuade Gabinius by a bribe of ten thousand talents to join him in an invasion of Egypt and recover the kingdom for him.​6 But the greater part of the officers were opposed to the plan, and Gabinius himself felt a certain dread of the war, although he was completely captivated by the ten thousand talents. Antony, however, who was ambitious of great exploits and eager to gratify the request of Ptolemy, joined the king in persuading and inciting Gabinius to the expedition. 3 But more than the war the march to Pelusium was feared, since their route lay through deep sand, where there was no water, as far as the Ecregma and the Serbonian marshes. These the Egyptians call the blasts of Typhon,​7 although they appear to be a residual arm of the Red Sea, helped by infiltration, where the isthmus between them and the Mediterranean is at its narrowest. 4 Antony was therefore  p145 sent with the cavalry, and he not only occupied the narrow pass, but actually took Pelusium, a large city, and got its garrison into his power, thus rendering its march safer for the main army and giving its general assured hope of victory. And even the enemy reaped advantage from Antony's love of distinction. For Ptolemy, as soon as he entered Pelusium, was led by wrath and hatred to institute a massacre of the Egyptians; but Antony intervened and prevented him. 5 Moreover, in the ensuing battles and contests, which were many and great, he displayed many deeds of daring and sagacious leader­ship, the most conspicuous of which was his rendering the van of the army victorious by outflanking the enemy and enveloping them from the rear. For all this he received rewards of valour and fitting honours. Nor did the multitude fail to observe his humane treatment of the dead Archelaüs,​8 6 for after waging war upon him by necessity while he was living, although he had been a comrade and friend, when he had fallen, Antony found his body and gave it royal adornment and burial. Thus he left among the people of Alexandria a very high reputation, and was thought by the Romans on the expedition to be a most illustrious man.

4 1 He had also a noble dignity of form; and a shapely beard, a broad forehead, and an aquiline nose were thought to show the virile qualities peculiar to the portraits and statues of Hercules. Moreover, there was an ancient tradition that the  p147 Antonii were Heracleidae, being descendants of Anton, a son of Heracles. 2 And this tradition Antony thought that he confirmed, both by the shape of his body, as has been said, and by his attire. For whenever he was going to be seen by many people, he always wore his tunic girt up to his thigh, a large sword hung at his side, and a heavy cloak enveloped him. However, even what others thought offensive, namely, his jesting and boastfulness, his drinking-horn in evidence, his sitting by a comrade who was eating, or his standing to eat at a soldier's table, — it is astonishing how much goodwill and affection for him all this produced in his soldiers. 3 And somehow even his conduct in the field of love was not without its charm, nay, it actually won for him the favour of many; for he assisted them in their love affairs, and submitted pleasantly to their jests upon his own amours.

Furthermore, his liberality, and his bestowal of favours upon friends and soldiers with no scant or sparing hand, laid a splendid foundation for his growing strength, and when he had become great, lifted his power to yet greater heights, although it was hindered by countless faults besides. One illustration of his lavish giving I will relate. 4 To one of his friends he ordered that two hundred and fifty thousand drachmas should be given (a sum which the Romans call "decies").​9 His steward was amazed, and in order to show Antony the magnitude of the sum, deposited the money in full view. Antony, passing by, asked what that was; and when  p149 his steward told him it was the gift which he had ordered, he divined the man's malice and said: "I thought the decies was more; this is a trifle; therefore add as much more to it."

5 1 This, however, was at a later time. But when matters at Rome came to a crisis, the aristocratic party attaching itself to Pompey, who was in the city, and the popular party summoning Caesar from Gaul, where he was in arms, then Curio, the friend of Antony, who had changed sides and was now favouring the cause of Caesar, brought Antony over to it. Curio had great influence with the multitude from his eloquence, and made lavish use of money supplied by Caesar, and so got Antony elected tribune of the people,​10 and afterwards one of the priests, called augurs, who observe the flight of birds. 2 As soon as Antony entered upon his office he was of great assistance to those who were managing affairs in the interests of Caesar. In the first place, when Marcellus the consul proposed to put under Pompey's control the soldiers already collected, and to give him power to levy others, Antony opposed him by introducing a decree that the forces already assembled should sail for Syria and give aid to Bibulus, who was carrying on war with the Parthians, and that the troops which Pompey was then levying should not belong to him. 3 In the second place, when the senate would not receive Caesar's letters nor allow them to be read, Antony, whose office gave him power, read them himself, and thereby changed the opinion of many, who judged from Caesar's letters that he was making only reasonable and just demands. 4 And finally, when two questions were  p151 before the senate, one, whether Pompey should dismiss his forces, and the other, whether Caesar should do so, and only a few were for having Pompey lay down his arms, and all but a few were for having Caesar do so, then Antony rose and asked whether it was the opinion of the senate that Pompey and Caesar alike should lay down their arms and dismiss their forces. This proposal all accepted with alacrity, and with shouts of praise for Antony they demanded that the question be put to a vote. But the consuls would not consent to this, and again the friends of Caesar put forward fresh demands which were thought to be reasonable. These Cato opposed, and Lentulus, in his capacity of consul, drove Antony from the senate. Antony went forth heaping many imprecations upon them, and putting on the dress of a slave, and hiring a car in company with Quintus Cassius, he set out to join Caesar. As soon as they came into Caesar's presence they cried loudly that everything was now at loose ends in Rome, since even tribunes of the people had no freedom of speech, but everyone who raised his voice in behalf of justice was persecuted and ran risk of his life.11

6 1 Upon this, Caesar took his army and invaded Italy. Therefore Cicero, in his "Philippics," wrote that as Helen was the cause of the Trojan war, so Antony was the cause of the civil war.​12 But this was manifestly false. 2 For Caius Caesar was not a pliable man, nor easily led by anger to act on impulse. Therefore, had he not long ago determined upon his course, he would not thus, on the spur of the moment,  p153 have made war upon his country, just because he saw that Antony, meanly clad, with Cassius, on a hired car, had come in flight to him; 3 nay, this merely afforded a cloak and a specious reason for war to a man who had long wanted a pretext for it. And that which led him to war against all mankind, as it had led Alexander before him, and Cyrus of old, was an insatiable love of power and a mad desire to be first and greatest; this he could not achieve if Pompey were not put down.

4 And so he came up against Rome and got it into his power, and drove Pompey out of Italy; and determining first to turn his efforts against the forces of Pompey which were in Spain, and afterwards, when he had got ready a fleet, to cross the sea against Pompey himself, he entrusted Rome to Lepidus, who was praetor, and Italy and the troops to Antony, who was tribune of the people. 5 Antony at once gained the favour of the soldiers by sharing their exercises, living with them for the most part, and making them presents as generously as he could; but to everybody else he was odious. For his easy disposition led him to neglect the wronged, he listened angrily to those who consulted him, and he was in ill repute for his relations with other men's wives. 6 In a word, Caesar's power, which proved to be anything rather than a tyranny so far as his own course was concerned, was brought into odium by his friends; and of these Antony, who had the greatest power and was thought to be the greatest transgressor, incurred the most blame.

7 1 However, when Caesar came back from Spain, he ignored the charges against Antony, and since in the war he found him energetic, brave, and a  p155 capable leader, he made no mistake. Caesar himself, then, after crossing the Ionian sea from Brundisium with a few soldiers,​13 sent back his transports with orders to Gabinius and Antony to embark their forces and come with all speed into Macedonia. 2 But Gabinius was afraid to make the voyage, which was difficult in the winter time, and started to lead his army a long way round by land. Antony, therefore, fearing for Caesar, who was hemmed in among numerous enemies, beat off Libo, who was blockading the harbour of Brundisium, by surrounding his galleys with a great number of small skiffs, and then, embarking eight hundred horsemen and twenty thousand legionaries, put to sea. 3 Being discovered by the enemy and pursued, he escaped the danger from them, since a violent south wind brought a heavy swell and put their galleys in the trough of the sea; but he was carried with his own ships towards a precipitous and craggy shore, and had no hope of escape. 4 Suddenly, however, there blew from the bay a strong south-west wind, and the swell began to run from the land out to sea, so that he was able to reverse his course, and, as he sailed gallantly along, he saw the shore covered with wrecks. For there the wind had cast up the galleys which were in pursuit of him, and many of them had been destroyed. Antony took many prisoners and much booty, captured Lissus, and inspired Caesar with great confidence by arriving in the nick of time with so large a force.

8 1 The struggles which followed were many and continuous, and in all of them Antony distinguished himself. Twice, when Caesar's men were  p157 in headlong flight, he met them, turned them back, forced them to stand and engage again their pursuers, and won the victory. Accordingly, next to Caesar, he was the man most talked about in the camp. 2 And Caesar showed plainly what opinion he had of him. For when he was about to fight the last and all-decisive battle at Pharsalus, he himself took the right wing, but he gave the command of the left to Antony, as the most capable officer under him. 3 And after the victory, when he had been proclaimed dictator, he himself pursued Pompey, but he chose Antony as his Master of Horse and sent him to Rome. This office is second in rank when the dictator is in the city; but when he is absent, it is the first and almost the only one. For only the tribune­ship continues when a dictator has been chosen; all the other offices are abolished.

9 1 However, Dolabella, who was tribune at this time — a newcomer in politics who aimed at a new order of things, introduced a law for the abolition of debts, and tried to persuade Antony, who was his friend and always sought to please the multitude, to take common action with him in the measure. But Asinius and Trebellius advised Antony to the contrary, and, as chance would have it, a dire suspicion fell upon him that he was wronged as a husband by Dolabella. 2 Antony took the matter much to heart, drove his wife from his house (she was his cousin, being a daughter of the Caius Antonius who was Cicero's colleague in the consul­ship), made common cause with Asinius and Trebellius, and waged war upon Dolabella. For Dolabella had occupied the forum in order to force the passage of his law; so Antony, after the senate had voted that arms  p159 must be employed against Dolabella, came up against him, joined battle, slew some of his men, and lost some of his own. 3 This course naturally made him odious to the multitude, and to men of worth and uprightness he was not acceptable because of his life in general, as Cicero says,​14 nay, he was hated by them. They loathed his ill-timed drunkenness, his heavy expenditures, his debauches with women, his spending the days in sleep or in wandering about with crazed and aching head, the nights in revelry or at shows, or in attendance at the nuptial feasts of mimes and jesters. 4 We are told, at any rate, that he once feasted at the nuptials of Hippias the mime, drank all night, and then, early in the morning, when the people summoned him to the forum, came before them still surfeited with food and vomited into his toga, which one of his friends held at his service. Sergius the mime also was one of those who had the greatest influence with him, and Cytheris, a woman from the same school of acting, a great favourite, whom he took about with him in a litter on his visits to the cities, and her litter was followed by as many attendants as that of his mother. 5 Moreover, people were vexed at the sight of golden beakers borne about on his excursions from the city as in sacred processions, at the pitching of tents when he travelled, at the laying out of costly repasts near groves and rivers, at chariots drawn by lions, and at the use of honest men and women's houses as quarters for harlots and psaltery-players. 6 For it was thought a monstrous thing that, while Caesar himself was lodging under the skies outside of Italy  p161 and clearing away the remnants of the war at great toil and peril, his adherents, by virtue of his efforts, should revel in luxury and mock at their fellow citizens.

10 1 These things are also thought to have augmented the discord, and to have incited the soldiery to deeds of violence and rapacity. For this reason, too, when Caesar came back, he pardoned Dolabella, and, on being chosen consul for the third time, selected Lepidus as his colleague, and not Antony. 2 The house of Pompey, when put up for sale, was bought by Antony; but when he was asked to pay the price for it, he was indignant. And he says himself that this was the reason why he did not go with Caesar on his African campaign, since he got no recompense for his private successes. However, it would seem that Caesar cured him of most of his prodigality and folly by not allowing his errors to pass unnoticed. 3 For Antony put away his reprehensible way of living, and turned his thoughts to marriage, taking to wife Fulvia, the widow of Clodius the demagogue. She was a woman who took no thought for spinning or housekeeping, nor would she deign to bear sway over a man of private station, but she wished to rule a ruler and command a commander. Therefore Cleopatra was indebted to Fulvia for teaching Antony to endure a woman's sway, since she took him over quite tamed, and schooled at the outset to obey women.

4 However, Antony tried, by sportive ways and youthful sallies, to make even Fulvia more light-hearted. For instance, when many were going out to meet Caesar after his victory in Spain, Antony himself went forth. Then, on a sudden, a report  p163 burst upon Italy that Caesar was dead and his enemies advancing upon the country, and Antony turned back to Rome. He took the dress of a slave and came by night to his house, and on saying that he was the bearer of a letter to Fulvia from Antony, was admitted to her presence, his face all muffled. 5 Then Fulvia, in great distress, before taking the letter, asked whether Antony was still alive; and he, after handing her the letter without a word, as she began to open and read it, threw his arms about her and kissed her.

These few details, then, out of many, I have adduced by way of illustration.

11 1 When Caesar returned from Spain,​15 all the principal men went many days' journey to meet him, but it was Antony who was conspicuously honoured by him. For as he journeyed through Italy he had Antony in the same car with himself, but behind him Brutus Albinus, and Octavius,​b his niece's son, who was afterwards named Caesar and ruled Rome for a very long time. 2 Moreover, when Caesar had for the fifth time been appointed consul, he immediately chose Antony as his colleague. It was his purpose also to resign his own office and make it over to Dolabella; and he proposed this to the senate. But since Antony vehemently opposed the plan, heaped much abuse upon Dolabella, and received as much in return, for the time being Caesar desisted, being ashamed of their unseemly conduct. 3 And afterwards, when Caesar came before the people to proclaim Dolabella, Antony shouted that the omens were opposed. Caesar therefore yielded, and gave up Dolabella, who was much annoyed. And it  p165 would seem that Caesar abominated Dolabella also no less than he did Antony. For we are told that when a certain man was accusing both of them to him, he said he had no fear of those fat and long-haired fellows, but rather of those pale and thin ones, indicating Brutus and Cassius, by whom he was to be conspired against and slain.16

12 1 And it was Antony who also unwittingly supplied the conspirators with their most specious pretext. For at the festival of the Lycaea, which the Romans call Lupercalia, Caesar, arrayed in a triumphal robe and seated in the forum upon the rostra, was viewing the runners to and fro. Now, the runners to and fro are many noble youths and many of the magistrates, anointed with oil, and with leathern thongs they strike in sport those whom they meet. 2 Antony was one of these runners, but he gave the ancient usages the go-by, and twining a wreath of laurel round a diadem, he ran with it to the rostra, where he was lifted on high by his fellow runners and put it on the head of Caesar, thus intimating that he ought to be king. When Caesar with affected modesty declined the diadem, the people were delighted and clapped their hands. 3 Again Antony tried to put the diadem on Caesar's head, and again Caesar pushed it away. This contest went on for some time, a few of Antony's friends applauding his efforts to force the diadem upon Caesar, but all the people applauding with loud cries when Caesar refused it. And this was strange, too, that while the people were willing to conduct themselves like the subjects of a king, they shunned the name of king as though it meant the abolition of  p167 their freedom. 4 At last Caesar rose from the rostra in displeasure, and pulling back the toga from his throat cried out that anyone who pleased might smite him there. The wreath, which had been hung upon one of his statues, certain tribunes of the people tore down. These men the people greeted with favouring cries and clapping of hands; but Caesar deprived them of their office.17

13 1 This incident strengthened the party of Brutus and Cassius; and when they were taking count of the friends whom they could trust for their enterprise, they raised a question about Antony. The rest were for making him one of them, but Trebonius opposed it. For, he said, while people were going out to meet Caesar on his return from Spain, Antony had travelled with him and shared his tent, and he had sounded him quietly and cautiously; Antony had understood him, he said, but had not responded to his advances; Antony had not, however, reported the conversation to Caesar, but had faithfully kept silence about it. 2 Upon this, the conspirators again took counsel to kill Antony after they had slain Caesar; but Brutus prevented this, urging that the deed adventured in behalf of law and justice must be pure and free from injustice. But the conspirators were afraid of Antony's strength, and of the consideration which his office gave him, and therefore appointed some of their number to look out for him, in order that, when Caesar entered the senate-chamber and their deed was about to be done, they might engage Antony outside in conversation about some urgent matter and detain him there.

 p169  14 1 This was done as planned, and Caesar fell in the senate-chamber. At once, then, Antony put on the dress of a slave and hid himself. But when he learned that the conspirators were laying hands upon nobody, but were merely assembled together on the Capitol, he persuaded them to come down by giving them his son as hostage; moreover, he himself entertained Cassius, and Lepidus entertained Brutus. 2 Besides, he called the senate together and spoke in favour of amnesty and a distribution of provinces among Brutus and Cassius and their partisans, and the senate ratified this proposal, and voted that no change should be made in what Caesar had done.​18 So Antony went out of the senate the most illustrious of men; for he was thought to have put an end to civil war, and to have handled matters involving great difficulty and extraordinary confusion in a most prudent and statesmanlike manner.

3 From such considerations as these, however, he was soon shaken by the repute in which he stood with the multitude, and he had hopes that he would surely be first in the state if Brutus were overthrown. Now, it happened that when Caesar's body was carried forth for burial, Antony pronounced the customary eulogy over it in the forum. And when he saw that the people were mightily swayed and charmed by his words, he mingled with his praises sorrow and indignation over the dreadful deed, and at the close of his speech shook on high the garments of the dead, all bloody and tattered by the swords as they were, 4 called those who had wrought such work villains and murderers, and inspired his hearers with  p171 such rage that they heaped together benches and tables and burned Caesar's body in the forum, and then, snatching the blazing faggots from the pyre, ran to the houses of the assassins and assaulted them.19

15 1 On account of these things Brutus and his associates left the city, the friends of Caesar united in support of Antony, and Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, putting confidence in Antony, took most of the treasure from Caesar's house and put it in his charge; it amounted in all to four thousand talents. 2 Antony received also the papers of Caesar, in which were written memoranda of his decisions and decrees; and making insertions in these, he appointed many magistrates and many senators according to his own wishes. He also brought some men back from exile, and released others from prison, as though Caesar had decided upon all this. Wherefore the Romans in mockery called all such men Charonitae;​20 for when put to the test they appealed to the memoranda of the dead. 3 And Antony managed everything else in autocratic fashion, being consul himself, and having his brothers in office at the same time, Caius as praetor, and Lucius as tribune of the people.

16 1 At this state of affairs the young Caesar came to Rome, a son of the dead Caesar's niece, as has been said,​21 who had been left heir to his property. He had been staying at Apollonia when Caesar was assassinated. The young man greeted Antony as his father's friend, and reminded him of the moneys deposited with him. For he was under obligation to  p173 give every Roman seventy-five drachmas, according to the terms of Caesar's will. 2 But Antony, at first despising him as a mere stripling, told him he was out of his sense, and that in his utter lack of good judgment and of friends he was taking up a crushing burden in the succession of Caesar. And when the young man refused to listen to this, and demanded the moneys, Antony kept saying and doing many things to insult him. For instance, he opposed him in his canvass for a tribune­ship, and when he attempted to dedicate a golden chair in honour of his father by adoption, according to a decree of the senate, Antony threatened to hale him off to prison unless he stopped trying to win popular favour. 3 When, however, the young man made common cause with Cicero and all the other haters of Antony, and with their aid won the support of the senate, while he himself got the goodwill of the people and assembled the soldiers of Caesar from their colonies, then Antony was struck with fear and came to a conference with him on the Capitol, and they were reconciled.

Afterwards, as he lay asleep that night, Antony had a strange vision. He thought, namely, that his right hand was smitten by a thunder-bolt. 4 And after a few days a report fell upon his ears that the young Caesar was plotting against him. Caesar tried to make explanations, but did not succeed in convincing Antony. So once more their hatred was in full career, and both were hurrying about Italy trying to bring into the field by large pay that part of the soldiery which was already settled in their colonies, and to get the start of one another in winning the support of that part which was still arrayed in arms.

 p175  17 1 But Cicero, who was the most influential man in the city, and was trying to incite everybody against Antony, persuaded the senate to vote him a public enemy, to send to Caesar the fasces and other insignia of a praetor, and to dispatch Pansa and Hirtius to drive Antony out of Italy. These men were consuls at that time, and in an engagement with Antony near the city of Mutina, at which Octavius Caesar was present and fought on their side, they conquered the enemy, but fell themselves.​22 2 Many difficulties befell Antony in his flight, the greatest of which was famine. But it was his nature to rise to his highest level when in an evil plight, and he was most like a good and true man when he was unfortunate. For it is a common trait in those whom some difficulty has laid low, that they perceive plainly what virtue is, but all have not the strength amid reverses to imitate what they admire and shun what they hate, nay, some are then even more prone to yield to their habits through weakness, and to let their judgment be shattered. 3 Antony, however, was at this time an amazing example to his soldiers, after such a life of luxury and extravagance as he had led drinking foul water contentedly and eating wild fruits and roots. Bark was also eaten, we are told, and animals never tasted before were food for them as they crossed the Alps.

18 1 They were eager to fall in with the troops in those parts which Lepidus commanded, for he was thought to be a friend of Antony, and through him had reaped much advantage from Caesar's friendship. But when Antony came and encamped near by, he met with no tokens of friendliness, and therefore determined  p177 upon a bold stroke. His hair was unkempt, and his beard had been allowed to grow long ever since his defeat, and putting on a dark garment he came up to the camp of Lepidus and began to speak. 2 Many of the soldiers were melted at his appearance and moved by his words, so that Lepidus was alarmed and ordered the trumpets to sound all at once in order to prevent Antony from being heard. But the soldiers felt all the more pity for Antony, and held a secret parley with him, sending Laelius and Clodius to him in the garb of women of the camp. These urged Antony to attack their camp boldly; for there were many, they said, who would welcome him and kill Lepidus, if he wished. 3 But Antony would not permit them to lay hands on Lepidus, and next day began to cross the river with his army. He himself was first to plunge in, and made his way towards the opposite bank, seeing already that many of the soldiers of Lepidus were stretching out their hands to him and tearing down their ramparts. After entering the camp and making himself master of everything, he treated Lepidus with the greatest kindness. Indeed, he embraced him and called him father; and though in fact he was in full control himself, still he did not cease to preserve for Lepidus the name and the honour of imperator. 4 This induced Munatius Plancus also to join him, who was encamped at no great distance with a considerable force. Thus raised again to great power, he crossed the Alps and led into Italy with him seventeen legions of infantry and ten thousand horse. And besides these, he left to  p179 guard Gaul six legions with Varius, one of his intimates and boon companions, who was surnamed Cotylon.

19 1 Now, Octavius Caesar no longer held with Cicero, because he saw that Cicero was devoted to liberty, and he sent his friends to Antony with an invitation to come to terms. So the three men came together on a small island in the midst of a river,​23 and there held conference for three days. All other matters were easily agreed upon, and they divided up the whole empire among themselves as though it were an ancestral inheritance; but the dispute about the men who were to be put to death gave them the greatest trouble. Each demanded the privilege of slaying his enemies and saving his kinsmen. 2 But at last their wrath against those whom they hated led them to abandon both the honour due to their kinsmen and the goodwill due to their friends, and Caesar gave up Cicero to Antony, while Antony gave up to him Lucius Caesar, who was Antony's uncle on the mother's side. Lepidus also was permitted to put to death Paulus his brother; although some say that Lepidus gave up Paulus to Antony and Caesar, who demanded his death. 3 Nothing, in my opinion, could be more savage or cruel than this exchange. For by this barter of murder for murder they put to death those whom they surrendered just as truly as those whom they seized; but their injustice was greater towards their friends, whom they slew without so much as hating them.

20 1 To complete this reconciliation, then, the soldiers surrounded them and demanded that Caesar  p181 should also cement the friendship by a marriage, and should take to wife Clodia, a daughter of Antony's wife Fulvia. After this also had been agreed upon, three hundred men were proscribed and put to death by them; 2 moreover, after Cicero had been butchered, Antony ordered his head to be cut off, and that right hand with which Cicero had written the speeches against him.​24 When they were brought to him, he gazed upon them exultantly, laughing aloud for joy many times; then, when he was sated, he ordered them to be placed on the rostra in the forum, just as though he were putting insult upon the dead, and not rather making a display of his own insolence in good fortune and abuse of power. 3 His uncle, Lucius Caesar, being sought for and pursued, took refuge with his sister. She, when the executioners were at hand and trying to force their way into her chamber, stood in the doorway, spread out her arms, and cried repeatedly: "Ye shall not slay Lucius Caesar unless ye first slay me, the mother of your imperator." By such behaviour, then, she got her brother out of the way and saved his life.

21 1 Now, for the most part, the government of the triumvirate was odious to the Romans; and Antony bore most of the blame, since he was older than Caesar, more power­ful than Lepidus, and threw himself once more into his old life of pleasure and dissipation as soon as he had shaken off some of his troubles. 2 And to his general ill-repute there was added the great hatred caused by the house in which he dwelt. It had been that of Pompey the Great, a man no less admired for sobriety and for the orderly and democratic disposition of his life than because of  p183 his three triumphs. Men were distressed, therefore, to see the house closed for the most part against commanders, magistrates, and ambassadors, who were thrust with insolence from its doors, and filled instead with mimes, jugglers, and drunken flatterers, on whom were squandered the greater part of the moneys got in the most violent and cruel manner. 3 For the triumvirate not only sold the properties of those whom they slew, bringing false charges against their wives and kindred, while they set on foot every kind of taxation, but learning that there were deposits with the Vestal Virgins made by both strangers and citizens, they went and took them. 4 And since nothing was sufficient for Antony, Caesar demanded to share the moneys with him. They shared the army also, and both led their forces into Macedonia against Brutus and Cassius, entrusting Rome to Lepidus.

22 1 However, after they had crossed the sea, taken up war, and encamped near the enemy, Antony being opposed to Cassius, and Caesar to Brutus, no great achievements were performed by Caesar, but it was Antony who was everywhere victorious and success­ful. 2 In the first battle, at least, Caesar was overwhelmingly defeated by Brutus, lost his camp, and narrowly escaped his pursuers by secret flight; although he himself says in his Memoirs that he withdrew before the battle in consequence of a friend's dream. 3 But Antony conquered Cassius; although some write that Antony was not present in the battle, but came up after the battle when his  p185 men were already in pursuit. Cassius, at his own request and command, was killed by Pindar, one of his trusty freedmen; Cassius was not aware that Brutus was victorious. 4 After a few days had intervened, a second battle was fought, and Brutus, being defeated, slew himself; but Antony won the greater credit for the victory, since, indeed, Caesar was sick. And as he stood beside the dead body of Brutus, Antony chided him a little for the death of his brother Caius, whom Brutus had executed in Macedonia to avenge Cicero, and declaring that Hortensius was more to blame than Brutus for his brother's murder, he ordered Hortensius to be slaughtered on his brother's tomb; but over Brutus he cast his own purple cloak, which was of great value, and ordered one of his own freedmen to see to the burial of the body. And learning afterwards that this fellow had not burned the purple cloak with the body of Brutus, and had purloined much of what had been devoted to the burial, he put him to death.

23 1 After this, Caesar repaired to Rome, since it was thought that he would not live long in consequence of his illness; but Antony, that he might levy money in all the eastern provinces, made his way into Greece with a large army; for since the triumvirate had promised every one of their soldiers five hundred drachmas, they required a more vigorous policy in raising money and collecting tributes. 2 Toward the Greeks, then, Antony conducted himself without rudeness or offence, at least in the beginning, nay, he indulged his fondness for amusement by listening to literary discussions and by witnessing games and religious rites. In his judicial decisions also he was reasonable, and delighted to be called a  p187 Philhellene, and still more to be addressed as Philathenian, and he gave the city very many gifts. 3 But when the Megarians wished to show him something fine to rival Athens, and thought that he ought to see their senate-house, he went up and took a view of it; and when they asked him what he thought of it, "It is small," he said, "but rotten." He also had measurements taken of the temple of Pythian Apollo, with the purpose of completing it; indeed, he promised as much to the senate.

24 1 But presently he left Lucius Censorinus in charge of Greece, and crossing over to Asia​25 laid hands on the wealth that was there. Kings would often come to his doors, and wives of kings, vying with one another in their gifts and their beauty, would yield up their honour for his pleasure; and while at Rome Caesar was wearing himself out in civil strifes and wars, Antony himself was enjoying abundant peace and leisure, and was swept back by his passions into his wonted mode of life. 2 Lute-players like Anaxenor, flute-players like Xuthus,​c one Metrodorus, a dancer, and such other rabble of Asiatic performers, who surpassed in impudence and effrontery the pests from Italy, poured like a flood into his quarters and held sway there. It was past all endurance that everything was devoted to these extravagances. 3 For all Asia, like the famous city of Sophocles,​26 "was filled alike with incense-offerings,

Alike with paeans, too, and voice of heavy groans."

At any rate, when Antony made his entry into Ephesus, women arrayed like Bacchanals, and men  p189 and boys like Satyrs and Pans, led the way before him, and the city was full of ivy and thyrsus-wands and harps and pipes and flutes, the people hailing him as Dionysus Giver of Joy and Beneficent. 4 For he was such, undoubtedly, to some; but to the greater part he was Dionysus Carnivorous and Savage. For he took their property from well-born men and bestowed it on flatterers and scoundrels. From many, too, who were actually alive, men got their property by asking him for it on the plea that the owners were dead. The house of a man of Magnesia he gave to a cook, who, as we are told, had won reputation by a single supper. 5 But finally, when he was imposing a second contribution on the cities, Hybreas, speaking in behalf of Asia, plucked up courage to say this: "If thou canst take a contribution twice in one year, thou hast power also to make summer for us twice, and harvest-time twice." These words were rhetorical, it is true, and agreeable to Antony's taste; but the speaker added in plain and bold words that Asia had given him two hundred thousand talents; "If," said he, "thou hast not received this money, demand it from those who took it; but if thou didst receive it, and hast it not, we are undone." 6 This speech made a power­ful impression upon Antony; for he was ignorant of most that was going on, not so much because he was of an easy disposition, as because he was simple enough to trust those about him.

For there was simplicity in his nature, and slowness of perception, though when he did perceive his errors he showed keen repentance, and made full acknowledgement to the very men who had been unfairly dealt with, and there was largeness both in  p191 his restitution to the wronged and in his punishment of the wrong-doers. Yet he was thought to exceed due bounds more in conferring favours than in inflicting punishments. 7 And his wantonness in mirth and jest carried its own remedy with it. For a man might pay back his jests and insolence, and he delighted in being laughed at no less than in laughing at others. And this vitiated most of his undertakings. For he could not believe that those who used bold speech in jest could flatter him in earnest, and so was easily captivated by their praises, 8 not knowing that some men would mingle bold speech, like a piquant sauce, with flattery, and thus would take away from flattery its cloying character. Such men would use their bold babbling over the cups to make their submissive yielding in matters of business seem to be the way, not of those who associate with a man merely to please him, but of those who are vanquished by superior wisdom.

25 1 Such, then, was the nature of Antony, where now as a crowning evil his love for Cleopatra supervened, roused and drove to frenzy many of the passions that were still hidden and quiescent in him, and dissipated and destroyed whatever good and saving qualities still offered resistance. And he was taken captive in this manner. As he was getting ready for the Parthian war, he sent to Cleopatra, ordering her to meet him in Cilicia in order to make answer to the charges made against her of raising and giving to Cassius much money for the war. 2 But Dellius, Antony's messenger, when he saw how Cleopatra looked, and noticed her subtlety and cleverness in conversation, at once  p193 perceived that Antony would not so much as think of doing such a woman any harm, but that she would have the greatest influence with him. He therefore resorted to flattery and tried to induce the Egyptian to go to Cilicia "decked out in fine array"​27 (as Homer would say), and not to be afraid of Antony, who was the most agreeable and humane of commanders. 3 She was persuaded by Dellius, and judging by the proofs which she had had before this of the effect of her beauty upon Caius Caesar and Gnaeus the son of Pompey, she had hopes that she would more easily bring Antony to her feet. For Caesar and Pompey had known her when she was still a girl and inexperienced in affairs, but she was going to visit Antony at the very time when women have the most brilliant beauty and are at the acme of intellectual power. 4 Therefore she provided herself with many gifts, much money, and such ornaments as high position and prosperous kingdom made it natural for her to take; but she went putting her greatest confidence in herself, and in the charms and sorceries of her own person.

26 1 Though she received many letters of summons both from Antony himself and from his friends, she so despised and laughed the man to scorn as to sail up the river Cydnus in a barge with gilded poop, its sails spread purple, its rowers urging it on with silver oars to the sound of the flute blended with pipes and lutes. 2 She herself reclined beneath a canopy spangled with gold, adorned like Venus in a painting, while boys like Loves in paintings stood on either side and fanned her. Likewise also the  p195 fairest of her serving-maidens, attired like Nereïds and Graces, were stationed, some at the rudder-sweeps, and others at the reefing-ropes. Wondrous odours from countless incense-offerings diffused themselves along the river-banks. 3 Of the inhabitants, some accompanied her on either bank of the river from its very mouth, while others went down from the city to behold the sight. The throng in the market-place gradually streamed away, until at last Antony himself, seated on his tribunal, was left alone. And a rumour spread on every hand that Venus was come to revel with Bacchus for the good of Asia.

Antony sent, therefore, and invited her to supper; but she thought it meet that he should rather come to her. 4 At once, then, wishing to display his complacency and friendly feelings, Antony obeyed and went. He found there a preparation that beggared description, but was most amazed at the multitude of lights. For, as we are told, so many of these were let down and displayed on all sides at once, and they were arranged and ordered with so many inclinations and adjustments to each other in the form of rectangles and circles, that few sights were so beauti­ful or so worthy to be seen as this.

27 1 On the following day Antony feasted her in his turn, and was ambitious to surpass her splendour and elegance, but in both regards he was left behind, and vanquished in these very points, and was first to rail at the meagreness and rusticity of his own arrangements. Cleopatra observed in the jests of Antony much of the soldier and the common man, and adopted this manner also towards him, without restraint now, and boldly. 2 For her beauty, as we are  p197 told, was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her; but converse with her had an irresistible charm, and her presence, combined with the persuasiveness of her discourse and the character which was somehow diffused about her behaviour towards others, had something stimulating about it. 3 There was sweetness also in the tones of her voice; and her tongue, like an instrument of many strings, she could readily turn to whatever language she pleased, so that in her interviews with Barbarians she very seldom had need of an interpreter, but made her replies to most of them herself and unassisted, whether they were Ethiopians, Troglodytes, Hebrews, Arabians, Syrians, Medes or Parthians. 4 Nay, it is said that she knew the speech of many other peoples also, although the kings of Egypt before her had not even made an effort to learn the native language, and some actually gave up their Macedonian dialect.

28 1 Accordingly, she made such booty of Antony that, while Fulvia his wife was carrying on war at Rome with Caesar in defence of her husband's interests, and while a Parthian army was hovering about Mesopotamia (over this country the generals of the king had appointed Labienus Parthian commander-in‑chief, and were about to invade Syria), he suffered her to hurry him off to Alexandria. There, indulging in the sports and diversions of a young man of leisure, he squandered and spent upon pleasures that which Antiphon​d calls the most costly outlay, namely, time. 2 For they had an association called The Inimitable Livers, and every day they feasted one another, making their expenditures of incredible profusion. At any rate, Philotas, the  p199 physician of Amphissa, used to tell my grandfather, Lamprias, that he was in Alexandria at the time, studying his profession, and that having got well acquainted with one of the royal cooks, he was easily persuaded by him (young man that he was) to take a view of the extravagant preparations for a royal supper. 3 Accordingly, he was introduced into the kitchen, and when he saw all the other provisions in great abundance, and eight wild boars a-roasting, he expressed his amazement at what must be the number of guests. But the cook burst out laughing and said: "The guests are not many, only about twelve; but everything that is set before them must be at perfection, and this an instant of time reduces. For it might happen that Antony would ask for supper immediately, and after a little while, perhaps, would postpone it and call for a cup of wine, or engage in conversation with some one. 4 Wherefore," he said, "not one, but many suppers are arranged; for the precise time is hard to hit." This tale, then, Philotas used to tell; and he said also that as time went on he became one of the medical attendants of Antony's oldest son, whom he had of Fulvia, and that he usually supped with him at his house in company with the rest of his comrades, when the young man did not sup with his father. 5 Accordingly, on one occasion, as a physician was making too bold and giving much annoyance to them as they supped, Philotas stopped his mouth with some such sophism as the: "To the patient who is somewhat feverish cold water must be given; but everyone who has a fever is somewhat feverish; therefore to everyone who has a fever cold water should be given." The fellow was confounded and put to silence, whereat  p201 Antony's son was delighted and said with a laugh: "All this I bestow upon thee, Philotas," pointing to a table covered with a great many large beakers. 6 Philotas acknowledged his good intentions, but was far from supposing that a boy so young had the power to give away so much. After a little while, however, one of the slaves brought the beakers to him in a sack, and bade him put his seal upon it. And when Philotas protested and was afraid to take them, "You miserable man," said the fellow, "why hesitate? Don't you know that the giver is the son of Antony, and that he has the right to bestow so many golden vessels? 7 However, take my advice and exchange them all with us for money; since perchance the boy's father might miss some of the vessels, which are of ancient workman­ship and highly valued for their art." Such details, then, my grandfather used to tell me, Philotas would recount at every opportunity.

29 1 But Cleopatra, distributing her flattery, not into the four forms of which Plato speaks,​28 but into many, and ever contributing some fresh delight and charm to Antony's hours of seriousness or mirth, kept him in constant tutelage, and released him neither night nor day. She played at dice with him, drank with him, hunted with him, and watched him as he exercised himself in arms; and when by night he would station himself at the doors or windows of the common folk and scoff at those within, she would go with him on his round of mad follies, wearing the garb of a serving maiden. 2 For Antony also would try to array himself like a servant. Therefore he always reaped a harvest of abuse, and often of blows, before coming back  p203 home; though most people suspected who he was. However, the Alexandrians took delight in their graceful and cultivated way; they liked him, and said that he used the tragic mask with the Romans, but the comic mask with them.

3 Now, to recount the greater part of his boyish pranks would be great nonsense. One instance will suffice. He was fishing once, and had bad luck, and was vexed at it because Cleopatra was there to see. He therefore ordered his fishermen to dive down and secretly fasten to his hook some fish that had been previously caught, and pulled up two or three of them. But the Egyptian saw through the trick, and pretending to admire her lover's skill, told her friends about it, and invited them to be spectators of it the following day. 4 So great numbers of them got into the fishing boats, and when Antony had let down his line, she ordered one of her own attendants to get the start of him by swimming onto his hook and fastening on it a salted Pontic herring. Antony thought he had caught something, and pulled it up, whereupon there was great laughter, as was natural, and Cleopatra said: "Imperator, hand over thy fishing-rod to the fishermen of Pharos and Canopus; thy sport is the hunting of cities, realms, and continents."

30 1 While Antony was indulging in such trifles and youthful follies, he was surprised by reports from two quarters: one from Rome, that Lucius his brother and Fulvia his wife had first quarrelled with one another, and then had waged war with Octavius Caesar, but had lost their cause  p205 and were in flight from Italy; and another, not a whit more agreeable than this, that Labienus at the head of the Parthians was subduing Asia from the Euphrates and Syria as far as Lydia and Ionia. 2 At last, then, like a man roused from sleep after a deep debauch, he set out to oppose the Parthians, and advanced as far as Phoenicia;​29 but on receiving from Fulvia a letter full of lamentations, he turned his course towards Italy, at the head of two hundred ships. On the voyage, however, he picked up his friends who were in flight from Italy, and learned from them that Fulvia had been to blame for the war, being naturally a meddlesome and headstrong woman, and hoping to draw Antony away from Cleopatra in case there should be a disturbance in Italy. 3 It happened, too, that Fulvia, who was sailing to meet him, fell sick and died at Sicyon. Therefore there was even more opportunity for a reconciliation with Caesar. For when Antony reached Italy, and Caesar manifestly intended to make no charges against him, and Antony himself was ready to put upon Fulvia the blame for whatever was charged against himself, the friends of the two men would not permit any examination of the proffered excuse, 4 but reconciled them, and divided up the empire, making the Ionian sea a boundary, and assigning the East to Antony, and the West to Caesar; they also permitted Lepidus to have Africa, and arranged that, when they did not wish for the office themselves, the friends of each should have the consul­ship by turns.

31 1 These arrangements were thought to be fair, but they needed a stronger security, and this security Fortune offered. Octavia was a sister of Caesar, older than he, though not by the same  p207 mother; for she was the child of Ancharia, but he, by a later marriage, of Atia. Caesar was exceedingly fond of his sister, who was, as the saying is, a wonder of a woman. 2 Her husband, Caius Marcellus, had died a short time before, and she was a widow. Antony, too, now that Fulvia was gone, was held to be a widower, although he did not deny his relations with Cleopatra; he would not admit, however, that she was his wife, and in this matter his reason was still battling with his love for the Egyptian. Everybody tried to bring about this marriage. For they hoped that Octavia, who, besides her great beauty, had intelligence and dignity, when united to Antony and beloved by him, as such a woman naturally must be, would restore harmony and be their complete salvation. 3 Accordingly, when both men were agreed, they went up to Rome and celebrated Octavia's marriage, although the law did not permit a woman to marry before her husband had been dead ten months. In this case, however, the senate passed a decree remitting the restriction in time.

32 1 Now, Sextus Pompeius was holding Sicily, was ravaging Italy, and, with his numerous piratical ships under the command of Menas the corsair and Menecrates, had made the sea unsafe for sailors. But he was thought to be kindly disposed to Antony, since he had given refuge to Antony's mother when she fled from Rome with Fulvia, and so it was decided to make terms with him. 2 The men met at the promontory and mole of Misenum, near which Pompey's fleet lay at anchor and the forces of Antony and Caesar were drawn up. After it had been agreed that Pompey should have  p209 Sardinia and Sicily, should keep the sea clear of robbers, and should send up to Rome a stipulated amount of grain, they invited one another to supper. 3 Lots were cast, and it was the lot of Pompey to entertain the others first. And when Antony asked him where the supper would be held, "There," said he, pointing to his admiral's ship with its six banks of oars, "for this is the ancestral house that is left to Pompey." This he said by way of reproach to Antony, who was now occupying the house which had belonged to the elder Pompey. So he brought his ship to anchor, made a sort of bridge on which to cross to it from the headland, and gave his guests a hearty welcome on board. 4 When their good fellow­ship was at its height and the jokes about Antony and Cleopatra were in full career, Menas the pirate came up to Pompey and said, so that the others could not hear, "Shall I cut the ship's cables and make thee master, not of Sicily and Sardinia, but of the whole Roman empire?" 5 Pompey, on hearing this, communed with himself a little while, and then said: "Menas, you ought to have done this without speaking to me about it beforehand; but now let us be satisfied with things as they are; for perjury is not my way." Pompey, then, after being feasted in his turn by Antony and Caesar, sailed back to Sicily.

33 1 After this settlement, Antony sent Ventidius on ahead into Asia to oppose the further progress of the Parthians, while he himself, as a favour to Caesar, was appointed to the priesthood of the elder Caesar;​30 everything else also of the most important political nature they transacted together and in a friendly spirit. But their competitive diversions gave  p211 Antony annoyance, because he always came off with less than Caesar. 2 Now, there was with him a seer from Egypt, one of those who cast nativities. This man, either as a favour to Cleopatra, or dealing truly with Antony, used frank language with him, saying that his fortune, though most great and splendid, was obscured by that of Caesar; and he advised Antony to put as much distance as possible between himself and that young man. "For thy guardian genius," said he, "is afraid of his; and though it has a spirited and lofty mien when it is by itself, when his comes near, thine is cowed and humbled by it." 3 And indeed events seemed to testify in favour of the Egyptian. For we are told that whenever, by way of diversion, lots were cast or dice thrown to decide matters in which they were engaged, Antony came off worsted. They would often match cocks, and often fighting quails, and Caesar's would always be victorious.​e

At all this Antony was annoyed, though he did not show it, and giving rather more heed now to the Egyptian, he departed from Italy, after putting his private affairs in the hands of Caesar; and he took Octavia with him as far as Greece (she had borne him a daughter). 4 It was while he was spending the winter at Athens that word was brought to him of the first successes of Ventidius, who had conquered the Parthians in battle and slain Labienus, as well as Pharnapates, the most capable general of King Hyrodes. To celebrate this victory Antony feasted the Greeks, and acted as gymnasiarch for the Athenians. He left at home the insignia of his command, and went forth carrying the wands of a gymnasiarch, in a Greek robe and white shoes, and he would take the young combatants by the neck and part them.

 p213  34 1 When he was about to go forth to the war, he took a wreath from the sacred olive-tree,​31 and in obedience to a certain oracle, filled a vessel with water from the Clepsydra​32 and carried it with him. In the meantime Pacorus, the king's son, advanced again with a large army of Parthians against Syria; but Ventidius engaged and routed him in Cyrrhestica, and slew great numbers of his men.​33 Pacorus fell among the first. 2 This exploit, which became one of the most celebrated, gave the Romans full satisfaction for the disaster under Crassus, and shut the Parthians up again within the bounds of Media and Mesopotamia, after they had been utterly defeated in three successive battles. Ventidius, however, decided not to pursue the Parthians further, because he feared the jealousy of Antony; but he attacked and subdued the peoples which had revolted from Rome, and besieged Antiochus of Commagené in the city of Samosata. 3 When Antiochus proposed to pay a thousand talents and obey the behests of Antony, Ventidius ordered him to send his proposal to Antony, who had now advanced into the neighbourhood, and would not permit Ventidius to make peace with Antiochus. He insisted that this one exploit at least should bear his own name, and that not all the successes should be due to Ventidius. 4 But the siege was protracted, and the besieged, since they despaired of coming to terms, betook themselves to a vigorous defence. Antony could therefore accomplish nothing, and feeling ashamed and repentant, was glad to make peace with  p215 Antiochus on his payment of three hundred talents. After settling some trivial matters in Syria, he returned to Athens, and sent Ventidius home, with becoming honours, to enjoy his triumph.

5 Ventidius is the only man up to the present time who ever celebrated a triumph over the Parthians. He was a man of lowly birth, but his friendship with Antony bore fruit for him in opportunities to perform great deeds. Of these opportunities he made the best use, and so confirmed what was generally said of Antony and Caesar, namely, that they were more success­ful in campaigns conducted by others than by themselves. 6 For Sossius, Antony's general, effected much in Syria, and Canidius, who was left by Antony in Armenia, conquered that people, as well as the kings of the Iberians and Albanians, and advanced as far as the Caucasus. Consequently the name and fame of Antony's power waxed great among the Barbarians.

35 1 But Antony himself, once more irritated against Caesar by certain calumnies, sailed with three hundred ships for Italy; and when the people of Brundisium would not receive his armament, he coasted along to Tarentum. Here he sent Octavia, who had sailed with him from Greece, at her own request, to her brother. She was with child, and had already borne Antony two daughters. 2 Octavia met Caesar on the way, and after winning over his friends Agrippa and Maecenas, urged him with many prayers and many entreaties not to permit her, after being a most happy, to become a most wretched woman. For now, she said, the eyes of all men were drawn to her as the wife of one imperator and the sister of another: 3 "But if," she said, "the worse  p217 should prevail and there should be war between you, one of you, it is uncertain which, is destined to conquer, and one to be conquered, but my lot in either case will be one of misery." Caesar was overcome by these words, and came in a peaceful manner to Tarentum. Then the inhabitants beheld a most noble spectacle — a large army on land inactive, and many ships lying quietly off shore, while the commanders and their friends met one another with friendly greetings. 4 Antony entertained Caesar first, who consented to it for his sister's sake. And after it had been agreed that Caesar should give to Antony two legions for his Parthian war, and Antony to Caesar one hundred bronze-beaked galleys, Octavia, independently of this agreement, obtained twenty light sailing craft from her husband for her brother, and one thousand soldiers from her brother for her husband. 5 Thus they separated, and Caesar at once engaged in the war against Pompey, being ambitious to get Sicily, while Antony, after putting Octavia in Caesar's charge, together with his children by her and Fulvia, crossed over into Asia.

36 1 But the dire evil which had been slumbering for a long time, namely, his passion for Cleopatra, which men thought had been charmed away and lulled to rest by better considerations, blazed up again with renewed power as he drew near to Syria. And finally, like the stubborn and unmanageable beast of the soul, of which Plato speaks,​34 he spurned away all saving and noble counsels and sent Fonteius Capito to bring Cleopatra to Syria. 2 And when she was come, he made her a present of no slight or insignificant addition to her dominions, namely,  p219 Phoenicia, Coele Syria, Cyprus, and a large part of Cilicia; and still further, the balsam-producing part of Judaea, and all that part of Arabia Nabataea which slopes toward the outer sea. These gifts particularly annoyed the Romans. And yet he made presents to many private persons of tetrarchies and realms of great peoples, and he deprived many monarchs of their kingdoms, as, for instance, Antigonus the Jew, whom he brought forth and beheaded, though no other king before him had been so punished. 3 But the shamefulness of the honours conferred upon Cleopatra gave most offence. And he heightened the scandal by acknowledging his two children by her, and called one Alexander and the other Cleopatra, with the surname for the first of Sun, and for the other of Moon. However, since he was an adept at putting a good face upon shameful deeds, he used to say that the greatness of the Roman empire was made manifest, not by what the Romans received, but by what they bestowed; and that noble families were extended by the successive begettings of many kings. 4 In this way, at any rate, he said, his own progenitor was begotten by Heracles, who did not confine his succession to a single womb, nor stand in awe of laws like Solon's for the regulation of conception, but gave free course to nature, and left behind him the beginnings and foundations of many families.

37 1 And now Phraates put Hyrodes his father to death and took possession of his kingdom,​35 other Parthians ran away in great numbers, and particularly Monaeses, a man of distinction and power,  p221 who came in flight to Antony. Antony likened the fortunes of the fugitive to those of Themistocles,​36 compared his own abundant resources and magnanimity to those of the Persian kings, and gave him three cities, Larissa, Arethusa, and Hierapolis, which used to be called Bambycé. 3 But when the Parthian king made an offer of friendship to Monaeses, Antony gladly sent Monaeses back to him, determined to receive Phraates with a prospect of peace, and demanding back the standards captured in the campaign of Crassus, together with such of his men as still survived. Antony himself, however, after sending Cleopatra back to Egypt, proceeded through Arabia and Armenia to the place where his forces were assembled, together with those of the allied kings. These kings were very many in number, but the greatest of them all was Artavasdes, king of Armenia, who furnished six thousand horse and seven thousand foot. Here Antony reviewed his army. There were, of the Romans themselves, sixty thousand foot-soldiers, together with the cavalry classed as Roman, namely, ten thousand Iberians and Celts; of the other nations there were thirty thousand, counting alike horsemen and light-armed troops.

4 And yet we are told that all this preparation and power, which terrified even the Indians beyond Bactria and made all Asia quiver, was made of no avail to Antony by reason of Cleopatra. For so eager was he to spend the winter with her that he began the war before the proper time, and managed everything confusedly. He was not master of his own faculties, but, as if he were under the influence of certain drugs or of magic rites, was ever looking  p223 eagerly towards her, and thinking more of his speedy return than of conquering the enemy.

38 1 In the first place, then, though he ought to have spent the winter in Armenia and to have given his army rest, worn out as it was by a march of eight thousand furlongs, and to have occupied Media at the opening of spring, before the Parthians had left their winter quarters, he could not hold out that length of time, but led his army on, taking Armenia on his left, and skirting Atropatené, which country he ravaged. 2 Secondly, his engines necessary for siege operations were carried along on three hundred waggons, and among them was a battering ram eighty feet long. Not one of these, if destroyed, could be replaced in time to be of use, because the upper country produced only wood of insufficient length and hardness. Nevertheless, in his haste, he left these behind him, on the ground that they retarded his speed, setting a considerable guard under the command of Statianus over the waggons, while he himself laid siege to Phraata, a large city, in which were the wives and children of the king of Media. 3 But the exigencies of the case at once proved what a mistake he had made in leaving behind him his engines, and coming to close quarters he began to build a mound against the city, which rose slowly and with much labour. In the meantime, however, Phraates came down with a great army, and when he heard that the waggons carrying the engines had been left behind, he sent a large number of his horsemen against them. By these Statianus was surrounded and slain himself, and ten thousand of his men were slain with him. Moreover, the Barbarians captured the engines and  p225 destroyed them. They also took a great number of prisoners, among whom was Polemon the king.

39 1 This calamity naturally distressed all the followers of Antony, for they had received an unexpected blow at the outset; besides, Artavasdes, the king of Armenia, despairing of the Roman cause, took his own forces and went off, although he had been the chief cause of the war. 2 And now the Parthians presented themselves to the besiegers in brilliant array, and threatened them insultingly. Antony, therefore, not wishing that the inactivity of his army should confirm and increase among them consternation and dejection, took ten legions and three praetorian cohorts of men-at‑arms, together with all his cavalry, and led them out to forage, thinking that in this way the enemy would best be drawn into a pitched battle. 3 After advancing a single day's march, he saw that the Parthians were enveloping him and seeking to attack him on the march. He therefore displayed the signal for battle in his camp, and after taking down his tents, as though his purpose was not to fight but to withdraw, he marched along past the line of the Barbarians, which was crescent-shaped. But he had given orders that when the first ranks of the enemy should appear to be within reach of his legionaries, the cavalry should charge upon them. 4 To the Parthians in their parallel array, the discipline of the Romans seemed to beggar description, and they watched them marching past at equal distances from one another, without confusion, and in silence, brandishing their javelins. But when the signal was given, and the Roman horsemen wheeled about and rode down  p227 upon them with loud shouts, they did indeed receive their onset and repel them, although their foes were at once too close for them to use their arrows; when, however, the legionaries joined in the charge, with shouts and clashing of weapons, the horses of the Parthians took fright and gave way, and the Parthians fled without coming to close quarters.

5 Antony pressed hard upon them in pursuit, and had great hopes that he had finished the whole war, or the greater part of it, in that one battle. His infantry kept up the pursuit for fifty furlongs, and his cavalry for thrice that distance; and yet when he took count of those of the enemy who had fallen or had been captured, he found only thirty prisoners and eighty dead bodies. Despondency and despair therefore fell upon all; they thought it a terrible thing that when victorious they had killed so few, and when vanquished they were to be robbed of so many men as they had lost at the waggons. 6 On the following day they packed up and started on the road to Phraata and their camp. As they marched they met, first a few of the enemy, then more of them, and finally the whole body, which, as though unconquered and fresh, challenged and attacked them from every side; but at last, with difficulty and much labour, they got safely to their camp. 7 Then the Medes made a sally against their mound and put its defenders to flight. At this Antony was enraged, and visited those who had played the coward with what is called decimation. That is, he divided the whole number of them into tens, and put to death that one from each ten upon whom the lot fell.​37 For the rest he ordered rations of barley instead of wheat.

 p229  40 1 The war was full of hardship for both sides, and its future course was still more to be dreaded. Antony expected a famine; for it was no longer possible to get provisions without having many men wounded and killed. Phraates, too, knew that his Parthians were able to do anything rather than to undergo hardships and encamp in the open during winter, and he was afraid that if the Romans persisted and remained, his men would desert him, since already the air was getting sharp after the summer equinox. He therefore contrived the following stratagem. 2 Those of the Parthians who were most acquainted with the Romans attacked them less vigorously in their forays for provisions and other encounters, allowing them to take some things, praising their valour, and declaring that they were capital fighting men and justly admired by their own king. 3 After this, they would ride up nearer, and quietly putting their horses alongside the Romans, would revile Antony because, when Phraates wished to come to terms and spare so many such excellent men, Antony would not give him an opportunity, but sat there awaiting those grievous and power­ful enemies, famine and winter, which would make it difficult for them to escape even though the Parthians should escort them on their way. Many persons reported this to Antony, but though his hope inclined him to yield, he did not send heralds to the Parthians until he had inquired of the Barbarians who were showing such kindness whether what they said represented the mind of their king. 4 They assured him that it did, and urged him to have no fear or distrust, whereupon he sent some of his companions with a renewed demand for the return of the standards  p231 and the captives,​38 that he might not be thought altogether satisfied with an escape in safety. But the Parthian told him not to urge this matter, and assured him of peace and safety as soon as he started to go away; whereupon, within a few days Antony packed up his baggage and broke camp. 5 But though he was persuasive in addressing a popular audience and was better endowed by nature than any man of his time for leading an army by force of eloquence, he could not prevail upon himself, for shame and dejection of spirits, to make the usual speech of encouragement to the army, but ordered Domitius Ahenobarbus to do it. Some of the soldiers were incensed at this, and felt that he had held them in contempt; but the majority of them were moved to the heart as they comprehended the reason. Therefore they thought they ought to show all the more respect and obedience to their commander.

41 1 As he was about to lead his army back by the road over which it had come, which ran through a level country without trees, a man of the Mardian race, who had great familiarity with the Parthian habits, and had already shown himself faithful to the Romans in the battle over the engines of war,​39 came to Antony and urged him in his flight to keep close to the hills upon his right, and not to expose an encumbered army of legionaries to so large a force of mounted archers, in bare and extended tracts; 2 this was the very thing, he said, which Phraates had designed when he induced him by friendly conferences to raise the siege; he himself, he said, would conduct the army by a way that was shorter and furnished a greater abundance of provisions.

 p233  On hearing this, Antony took counsel with himself. He did not wish to have the appearance of distrusting the Parthians, now that a truce had been made, but since he approved of the shorter road and of having their march take them past inhabited villages, he asked the Mardian for a pledge of his good faith. 3 The Mardian offered to let himself be put in fetters until he should bring the army safely into Armenia, and he was put in fetters, and led them for two days without their encountering trouble. But on the third day, when Antony had put the Parthians entirely out of his thoughts, and was marching along in looser order because of his confidence, the Mardian noticed that a dike of the river had been recently torn away, and that the stream was flowing out in great volume towards the road over which their march must be made. 4 He comprehended that this was the work of the Parthians, throwing the river in their way to obstruct and delay the Roman march, and urged Antony to look out and be on his guard, as the enemy were near. And just as Antony was setting his legionaries in array and arranging to have his javelineers and slingers make a sally through them against the enemy, the Parthians came into view and began to ride around the army in order to envelop and throw it into confusion on all sides. 5 Whenever the Roman light-armed troops sallied out against them, the Parthians would inflict many wounds with their arrows, but sustain yet more from the leaden bullets and javelins of the Romans, and therefore withdraw. Then they would come up again, until the Celts, massing their horses together, made a charge upon them and scattered them, so that they showed themselves no more that day.

 p235  42 1 Having thus learned what he ought to do, Antony covered not only his rear, but also both his flanks, with numerous javelineers and slingers, led his army in the form of a hollow square, and gave orders to his horsemen to rout the enemy when they attacked, but after routing them not to pursue them further. Consequently the Parthians, during four successive days, suffered greater loss than they inflicted, became less eager, and made the winter an excuse for thoughts of going away.

2 On the fifth day, however, Flavius Gallus, an efficient and able soldier in high command, came to Antony and asked him for more light-armed troops from the rear, and for some of the horsemen from the van, confident that he would achieve a great success. Antony gave him the troops, and when the enemy attacked, Gallus beat them back, not withdrawing and leading them on towards the legionaries, as before, but resisting and engaging them more hazardously. 3 The leaders of the rear guard, seeing that he was being cut off from them, sent and called him back; but he would not listen to them. Then, they say, Titius the quaestor laid hold of his standards and tried to turn them back, abusing Gallus for throwing away the lives of so many brave men. But Gallus gave back the abuse and exhorted his men to stand firm, whereupon Titius withdrew. Then Gallus forced his way among the enemy in front of him, without noticing that great numbers of them were enveloping him in the rear. 4 But when missiles began to fall upon him from all sides, he sent and asked for help. Then the leaders of the legionaries, among whom was Canidius, a man of the greatest influence with Antony, are thought to have made no slight mistake. For when  p237 they ought to have wheeled their entire line against the enemy, they sent only a few men at a time to help Gallus, and again, when one detachment had been overcome, sent out others, and so, before they were aware of it, they came near plunging the whole army into defeat and flight. But Antony himself speedily came with his legionaries from the van to confront the fugitives, and the third legion speedily pushed its way through them against the enemy and checked his further pursuit.

43 1 There fell no fewer than three thousand, and there were carried to their tents five thousand wounded men, among whom was Gallus, who was pierced in front by four arrows. Gallus, indeed, did not recover from his wounds, but Antony went to see all the others and tried to encourage them, with tears of sympathy in his eyes. The wounded men, however, with cheerful faces, seized his hand and exhorted him to go away and take care of himself, and not to be distressed. They called him Imperator, and said that they were safe if only he were unharmed. 2 For, to put it briefly, no other imperator of that day appears to have assembled an army more conspicuous for prowess, endurance, or youthful vigour. Nay, the respect which his soldiers felt for him as their leader, their obedience and goodwill, and the degree to which all of them alike — men of good repute or men of no repute, commanders or private soldiers — preferred honour and favour from Antony to life and safety, left even the ancient Romans nothing to surpass. 3 And the reasons for this were many, as I have said before: his high birth, his eloquence, his simplicity of manners, his love of  p239 giving and the largeness of his giving, his complaisance in affairs of pleasure or social intercourse. And so at this time, by sharing in the toils and distresses of the unfortunate and bestowing upon them whatever they wanted, he made the sick and wounded more eager in his service than the well and strong.

44 1 The enemy, however, who had been already worn out and inclined to abandon their task, were so elated by their victory, and so despised the Romans, that they even bivouacked for the night near their camp, expecting very soon to be plundering the empty tents and the baggage of runaways. 2 At daybreak, too, they gathered for attack in far greater numbers, and there are said to have been no fewer than forty thousand horsemen, since their king had sent even those who were always arrayed about his person, assured that it was to manifest and assured success; for the king himself was never present at a battle. Then Antony, wishing to harangue his soldiers, called for a dark robe, that he might be more piti­ful in their eyes. But his friends opposed him in this, and he therefore came forward in the purple robe of a general and made his harangue, praising those who had been victorious, and reproaching those who had fled. 3 The former exhorted him to be of good courage, offered themselves to him for decimation,​40 if he wished, or for any other kind of punishment; only they begged him to cease being distressed and vexed. In reply, Antony lifted up his hands and prayed the gods that if, then, any retribution were to follow his former successes, it might fall upon him alone, and that the rest of the army might be granted victory and safety.

 p241  45 1 On the following day they went forward under better protection; and the Parthians met with a great surprise when they attacked them. For they thought they were riding up for plunder and booty, not battle, and when they encountered many missiles and saw that the Romans were fresh and vigorous and eager for the fray, they were once more tired of the struggle. 2 However, as the Romans were descending some steep hills, the Parthians attacked them and shot at them as they slowly moved along. Then the shield-bearers wheeled about, enclosing the lighter armed troops within their ranks, while they themselves dropped on one knee and held their shields out before them. The second rank held their shields out over the heads of the first, and the next rank likewise. The resulting appearance is very like that of a roof,​41 affords a striking spectacle, and is the most effective of protections against arrows, which glide off from it. 3 The Parthians, however, thinking that the Romans dropping on one knee was a sign of fatigue and exhaustion, laid aside their bows, grasped their spears by the middle and came to close quarters. But the Romans, with a full battle cry, suddenly sprang up, and thrusting with their javelins slew the foremost of the Parthians and put all the rest to rout. This happened also on the following days as the Romans, little by little, proceeded on their way.

4 Famine also attacked the army, which could provide itself with little grain even by fighting, and was not well furnished with implements for grinding. These had been abandoned, for the most part, since some of the beasts of burden died, and the others  p243 had to carry the sick and wounded. It is said that one Atticº choenix​42 of wheat brought fifty drachmas; and loaves of barley bread were sold for their weight in silver. 5 Resorting, therefore, to vegetables and roots, they could find few to which they were accustomed, and were compelled to make trial of some never tasted before. Thus it was that they partook of an herb which produced madness, and then death. He who ate of it had no memory, and no thought of anything else than the one task of moving or turning every stone, as if he were accomplishing something of great importance. 6 The plain was full of men stooping to the ground and digging around the stones or removing them; and finally they would vomit bile and die, since the only remedy, wine, was not to be had. Many perished thus, and the Parthians would not desist, and Antony, as we are told, would often cry: "O the Ten Thousand!" thereby expressing his admiration of Xenophon's army, which made an even longer march to the sea from Babylon, and fought with many times as many enemies, and yet came off safe.

46 1 And now the Parthians, unable to throw the army into confusion or break up its array, but many times already defeated and put to flight, began once more to mingle peaceably with the men who went out in search of fodder or grain, and pointing to their unstrung bows would say that they themselves were going back, and that this was the end of their retaliation, although a few Medes would still follow the Romans one or two days' march, not molesting them at all, but merely protecting the more outlying villages. 2 To these words they added greetings and acts of friendliness, so that once more  p245 the Romans became full of courage, and Antony, when he heard about it, was more inclined to seek the plains, since the way through the mountains was said to be waterless. But as he was about to do this, there came a man to the camp from the enemy, Mithridates by name, a cousin of the Monaeses who had been with Antony and had received the three cities as a gift.​43 Mithridates asked that someone should come to him who could speak the Parthian or Syrian language.​f 3 So Alexander of Antioch came to him, being a close friend of Antony, whereupon Mithridates, after explaining who he was, and attributing to Monaeses the favour now to be shown, asked Alexander if he saw a range of lofty hills on beyond. Alexander said he did see them. "Under those hills," said Mithridates, "the Parthians with all their forces are lying in ambush for you. 4 For the great plains adjoin these hills, and they expect that you will be beguiled by them into turning in that direction and leaving the road through the mountains. That road, it is true, involves thirst and hard labour, to which you are now accustomed; but if Antony proceeds by way of the plains, let him know that the fate of Crassus awaits him."

47 1 After giving this information the man went away, and Antony, who was much troubled by what he now heard, called together his friends and his Mardian guide, who was himself of the same opinion as their visitor. For he knew that even were there no enemy the lack of roads through the plains would involve them in blind and grievous wanderings, and he showed them that the rough road through the mountains had no other annoyance  p247 than lack of water for a single day. 2 Accordingly, Antony took this route and led his army along by night, after ordering his men to carry water with them. The greater part of them, however, had no vessels, and therefore some actually filled their helmets with water and carried them, while others took it in skins.

But word was at once brought to the Parthians that Antony was advancing, and contrary to their custom they set out in pursuit while it was yet night. Just as the sun was rising they came up with the rear-guard of the Romans, which was foredone with sleeplessness and toil; for they had accomplished two hundred and forty furlongs in the night. Moreover, they did not expect that the enemy would come upon them so quickly, and were therefore disheartened. 3 Besides, their contest intensified their thirst; for they had to ward off the enemy and make their way forward at the same time. Those who marched in the van came to a river, the water of which was clear and cold, but had a salty taste and was poisonous. This water, as soon as one drank it, caused pains, accompanied by cramping of the bowels and an inflammation of one's thirst. Of this too the Mardian had warned them, but none the less the soldiers forced aside those who tried to turn them back, and drank. 4 Antony went round and begged the men to hold out a little while; for not far ahead, he said, there was another river which was potable, and then the rest of the way was too rough for cavalry, so that the enemy must certainly turn back. At the same time, too, he called his men back from fighting and gave the signal for pitching the tents, that the soldiers might at least enjoy the shade a little.

 p249  48 1 Accordingly, the Romans went to pitching their tents, and the Parthians, as their custom was, at once began to withdraw. At this point Mithridates came again, and after Alexander had joined him he advised Antony to let the army rest only a little while, and then to get it under way and hasten to the river, assuring him that the Parthians would not cross it, but would continue the pursuit until they reached it. This message was carried to Antony by Alexander, who then brought out from Antony golden drinking-cups in great numbers, as well as bowls. Mithridates took as many of these as he could hide in his garments and rode off. 2 Then, while it was still day, they broke camp and proceeded on their march. The enemy did not molest them, but they themselves made that night of all other nights the most grievous and fearful for themselves. For those who had gold or silver were slain and robbed of it, and the goods were plundered from the beasts of burden; and finally the baggage-carriers of Antony were attacked, and beakers and costly tables were cut to pieces or distributed about.

3 And now, since there was great confusion and straggling throughout the whole army (for they thought that the enemy had fallen upon them and routed and dispersed them), Antony called one of the freedmen in his body-guard, Rhamnus by name, and made him take oath that, at the word of command, he would thrust his sword through him and cut off his head, that he might neither be taken alive by the enemy nor recognized when he was dead. 4 Antony's friends burst into tears, but the Mardian tried to encourage him, declaring that the river was near:  p251 for a breeze blowing from it was moist, and a cooler air in their faces made their breathing pleasanter. He said also that the time during which they had been marching made his estimate of the distance conclusive; for little of the night was now left. 5 At the same time, too, others brought word that the tumult was a result of their own iniquitous and rapacious treatment of one another. Therefore, wishing to bring the throng into order after their wandering and distraction, Antony ordered the signal to be given for encampment.

49 1 Day was already dawning, and the army was beginning to assume a certain order and tranquillity, when the arrows of the Parthians fell upon the rear ranks, and the light-armed troops were ordered by signal to engage. The men-at‑arms, too, again covered each other over with their shields, as they had done before, and so withstood their assailants, who did not venture to come to close quarters. 2 The front ranks advanced little by little in this manner, and the river came in sight. On its bank Antony drew up his sick and disabled soldiers across first. And presently even those who were fighting had a chance to drink at their ease; for when the Parthians saw the river, they unstrung their bows and bade the Romans cross over with good courage, bestowing much praise also upon their valour. 3 So they crossed without being disturbed and recruited themselves, and then resumed their march, putting no confidence at all in the Parthians. And on the sixth day after their last battle with them they came to the river Araxes, which forms the boundary between Media and Armenia. Its depth and violence  p253 made it seem difficult of passage; and a report was rife that the enemy were lying in ambush there and would attack them as they tried to cross. 4 But after they were safely on the other side and had set foot in Armenia, as if they had just caught sight of that land from the sea, they saluted it and fell to weeping and embracing one another for joy. But as they advanced through the country, which was prosperous, and enjoyed all things in abundance after great scarcity, they fell sick with dropsies and dysenteries.

50 1 There Antony held a review of his troops and found that twenty thousand of the infantry and four thousand of the cavalry had perished, not all at the hands of the enemy, but more than half by disease. They had, indeed, marched twenty-seven days from Phraata, and had defeated the Parthians in eighteen battles, but their victories were not complete or lasting because the pursuits which they made were short and ineffectual. 2 And this more than all else made it plain that it was Artavasdes the Armenian who had robbed Antony of the power to bring that war to an end. For if the sixteen thousand horsemen who were led back from Media by him had been on hand, equipped as they were like the Parthians and accustomed to fighting with them, and if they, when the Romans routed the fighting enemy, had taken off the fugitives, it would not have been in the enemy's power to recover themselves from defeat and to venture again so often. 3 Accordingly, all the army, in their anger, tried to incite Antony to take vengeance on the Armenian. But Antony, as a measure of prudence, neither reproached him with his treachery nor abated the friendliness and respect usually shown to him,  p255 being now weak in numbers and in want of supplies. 4 But afterwards, when he once more invaded Armenia,​44 and by many invitations and promises induced Artavasdes to come to him, Antony seized him, and took him in chains down to Alexandria, where he celebrated a triumph. And herein particularly did he give offence to the Romans, since he bestowed the honourable and solemn rites of his native country upon the Egyptians for Cleopatra's sake. This, however, took place at a later time.

51 1 But now, hastening on through much wintry weather, which was already at hand, and incessant snow-storms, he lost eight thousand men on the march. He himself, however, went down with a small company to the sea, and in a little place between Berytus and Sidon, called White Village, he waited for Cleopatra to come; and since she was slow in coming he was beside himself with distress, promptly resorting to drinking and intoxication, 2 although he could not hold out long at table, but in the midst of the drinking would often rise or spring up to look out, until she put into port, bringing an abundance of clothing and money for the soldiers. There are some, however, who say that he received the clothing from Cleopatra, but took the money from his own private funds, and distributed it as a gift from her.

52 1 And now the king of the Medes had a quarrel with Phraortes the Parthian; it arose, as they say, over the Roman spoils, but it made the Mede suspicious and fearful that his dominion would be taken away from him. For this reason he sent and invited Antony to come, promising to join him in the war with his own forces. 2 Antony, accordingly,  p257 was in high hopes. For the one thing which he thought had prevented his subjugation of the Parthians, namely, his lack of a large number of horsemen and archers on his expedition, this he now saw supplied for him, and he would be granting and not asking a favour. He therefore made preparations to go up again through Armenia, effect a junction with the Mede at the river Araxes, and then prosecute the war.

53 1 But at Rome Octavia was desirous of sailing to Antony, and Caesar gave her permission to do so, as the majority say, not as a favour to her, but in order that, in case she were neglected and treated with scorn, he might have plausible ground for war. When Octavia arrived at Athens,​45 she received letters from Antony in which he bade her remain there and told her of his expedition. 2 Octavia, although she saw through the pretext and was distressed, nevertheless wrote Antony asking whither he would have the things sent which she was bringing to him. For she was bringing a great quantity of clothing for his soldiers, many beasts of burden, and money and gifts for the officers and friends about him; and besides this, two thousand picked soldiers equipped as praetorian cohorts with splendid armour. These things were announced to Antony by a certain Niger, a friend of his who had been sent from Octavia, and he added such praises of her as was fitting and deserved.

3 But Cleopatra perceived that Octavia was coming into a contest at close quarters with her, and feared lest, if she added to the dignity of her character and the power of Caesar her pleasurable society and  p259 her assiduous attentions to Antony, she would become invincible and get complete control over her husband. She therefore pretended to be passionately in love with Antony herself, and reduced her body by slender diet; she put on a look of rapture when Antony drew near, and one of faintness and melancholy when he went away. 4 She would contrive to be often seen in tears, and then would quickly wipe the tears away and try to hide them, as if she would not have Antony notice them. And she practised these arts while Antony was intending to go up from Syria to join the Mede. Her flatterers, too, were industrious in her behalf, and used to revile Antony as hard-hearted and unfeeling, and as the destroyer of a mistress who was devoted to him and him alone. 5 For Octavia, they said, had married him as a matter of public policy and for the sake of her brother, and enjoyed the name of wedded wife; but Cleopatra, who was queen of so many people, was called Antony's beloved, and she did not shun this name nor disdain it, as long as she could see him and live with him; but if she were driven away from him she would not survive it. 6 At last, then, they so melted and enervated the man that he became fearful lest Cleopatra should throw away her life, and went back to Alexandria, putting off the Mede until the summer season, although Parthia was said to be suffering from internal dissensions. However, he went up and brought the king once more into friendly relations, and after betrothing to one of his sons by Cleopatra one of the king's daughters who was still small, he returned, his thoughts being now directed towards the civil war.

 p261  54 1 As for Octavia, she was thought to have been treated with scorn, and when she came back from Athens Caesar ordered her to dwell in her own house. But she refused to leave the house of her husband, nay, she even entreated Caesar himself, unless on other grounds he had determined to make war upon Antony, to ignore Antony's treatment of her, since it was an infamous thing even to have it said that the two greatest imperators in the world plunged the Romans into civil war, the one out of passion for, and the other out of resentment in behalf of, a woman. 2 These were her words, and she confirmed them by her deeds. For she dwelt in her husband's house, just as if he were at home, and she cared for his children, not only those whom she herself, but also those whom Fulvia had borne him, in a noble and magnificent manner; she also received such friends of Antony as were sent to Rome in quest of office or on business, and helped them to obtain from Caesar what they wanted. Without meaning it, however, she was damaging Antony by this conduct of hers; for he was hated for wronging such a woman. 3 He was hated, too, for the distribution which he made to his children in Alexandria; it was seen to be theatrical and arrogant, and to evince hatred of Rome. For after filling the gymnasium with a throng and placing on a tribunal of silver two thrones of gold, one for himself and the other for Cleopatra, and other lower thrones for his sons, 4 in the first place he declared Cleopatra Queen of Egypt, Cyprus, Libya, and Coele Syria, and she was to share her throne with Caesarion. Caesarion was believed to be a son of the former Caesar, by whom Cleopatra was left  p263 pregnant. In the second place, he proclaimed his own sons by Cleopatra Kings of Kings, and to Alexander he allotted Armenia, Media and Parthia (when he should have subdued it), to Ptolemy Phoenicia, Syria, and Cilicia. 5 At the same time he also produced his sons, Alexander arrayed in Median garb, which included a tiara and upright head-dress, Ptolemy in boots, short cloak, and broad-brimmed hat surmounted by a diadem. For the latter was the dress of the kings who followed Alexander, the former that of Medes and Armenians. 6 And when the boys had embraced their parents, one was given a bodyguard of Armenians, the other of Macedonians. Cleopatra, indeed, both then and at other times when she appeared in public, assumed a robe sacred to Isis, and was addressed as the New Isis.

55 1 By reporting these things to the senate and by frequent denunciations before the people Caesar tried to inflame the multitude against Antony. Antony, too, kept sending counter-accusations against Caesar. The chief accusations which he made were, in the first place, that after taking Sicily away from Pompey, Caesar had not assigned a part of the island to him; in the second place, that after borrowing ships from him for the war he had kept them for himself; thirdly, that after ejecting his colleague Lepidus from office and degrading him, he was keeping for himself the army, the territory, and the revenues which had been assigned to Lepidus; 2 finally that he had distributed almost all Italy in allotments, to his own soldiers, and had left nothing for the soldiers of Antony. To these charges Caesar replied by saying that he had deposed Lepidus from office  p265 because he was abusing it, and as for what he had acquired in war, he would share it with Antony whenever Antony, on his part, should share Armenia with him; and Antony's soldiers had no claim upon Italy, since they had Media and Persia, which countries they had added to the Roman dominion by their noble struggles under their imperator.

56 1 Antony heard of this while he was tarrying in Armenia; and at once he ordered Canidius to take sixteen legions and go down to the sea. But he himself took Cleopatra with him and came to Ephesus. It was there that his naval force was coming together from all quarters, eight hundred ships of war with merchant vessels, of which Cleopatra furnished two hundred, besides twenty thousand talents, and supplies for the whole army during the war. 2 But Antony, listening to the advice of Domitius and sundry others, ordered Cleopatra to sail to Egypt and there await the result of the war. Cleopatra, however, fearing that Octavia would again succeed in putting a stop to the war, persuaded Canidius by large bribes to plead her cause with Antony, and to say that it was neither just to drive away from the war a woman whose contributions to it were so large, 3 nor was it for the interest of Antony to dispirit the Egyptians, who formed a large part of his naval force; and besides, it was not easy to see how Cleopatra was inferior in intelligence to anyone of the princes who took part in the expedition, she who for a long time had governed so large a kingdom by herself, and by long association with Antony had learned to manage large affairs. These arguments (since it was destined that everything should come into Caesar's hands) prevailed; and with united forces  p267 they sailed to Samos and there made merry. 4 For just as all the kings, dynasts, tetrarchs, nations, and cities between Syria, the Maeotic Lake, Armenia, and Illyria had been ordered to send or bring their equipment for the war, so all the dramatic artists were compelled to put in an appearance at Samos; and while almost all the world around was filled with groans and lamentations, a single island for many days resounded with flutes and stringed instruments; theatres there were filled, and choral bands were competing with one another. 5 Every city also sent an ox for the general sacrifice, and kings vied with one another in their mutual entertainments and gifts. And so men everywhere began to ask: "How will the conquerors celebrate their victories if their preparations for the war are marked by festivals so costly?"

57 1 When these festivities were over, Antony gave the dramatic artists Priene as a place for them to dwell, and sailed himself to Athens, where sports and theatres again engaged him. Cleopatra, too, jealous of Octavia's honours in the city (for Octavia was especially beloved by the Athenians), tried by many splendid gifts to win the favour of the people. 2 So the people voted honours to her, and sent a deputation to her house carrying the vote, of whom Antony was one, for was he not a citizen of Athens? And standing in her presence he delivered a speech in behalf of the city. To Rome, however, he sent men who had orders to eject Octavia from his house. 3 And we are told that she left it taking all his children with her except his eldest son by Fulvia, who  p269 was with his father; she was in tears of distress that she herself also would be regarded as one of the causes of the war. But the Romans felt pity for Antony, not for her, and especially those who had seen Cleopatra and knew that neither in youthfulness nor beauty was she superior to Octavia.

58 1 When Caesar heard of the rapidity and extent of Antony's preparations, he was much disturbed, lest he should be forced to settle the issue of the war during that summer.​46 For he was lacking in many things, and people were vexed by the exactions of taxes. The citizens were generally compelled to pay one fourth of their income,​g and the freedmen one eighth of their property, and both classes cried out against Caesar, and disturbances arising from these causes prevailed throughout all Italy. 2 Wherefore, among the greatest mistakes of Antony men reckon his postponement of the war. For it gave Caesar time to make preparations and put an end to the disturbances among the people. For while money was being exacted from them, they were angry, but when it had been exacted and they had paid it, they were calm. Moreover, Titius and Plancus, friends of Antony and men of consular rank, being abused by Cleopatra (for they had been most opposed to her accompanying the expedition) ran away to Caesar, and they gave him information about Antony's will, the contents of which they knew. 3 This will was on deposit with the Vestal Virgins, and when Caesar asked for it, they would not give it to him; but if he wanted to take it, they told him to come and do so. So he went and took it; and to begin with, he read its contents through by himself; and marked certain reprehensible passages; then  p271 he assembled the senate and read it aloud to them, although most of them were displeased to hear him do so. 4 For they thought it a strange and grievous matter that a man should be called to account while alive for what he wished to have done after his death. Caesar laid most stress on the clause in the will relating to Antony's burial. For it directed that Antony's body, even if he should die in Rome, should be borne in state through the forum and then sent away to Cleopatra in Egypt. 5 Again, Calvisius, who was a companion of Caesar, brought forward against Antony the following charges also regarding his behaviour towards Cleopatra: he had bestowed upon her the libraries from Pergamum, in which there were two hundred thousand volumes; at a banquet where there were many guests he had stood up and rubbed her feet, in compliance with some agreement and compact which they had made; he had consented to have the Ephesians in his presence salute Cleopatra as mistress; 6 many times, while he was seated on his tribunal and dispensing justice to tetrarchs and kings, he would receive love-billets from her in tablets of onyx or crystal, and read them; and once when Furnius was speaking, a man of great worth and the ablest orator in Rome, Cleopatra was carried through the forum on a litter, and Antony, when he saw her, sprang up from his tribunal and forsook the trial, and hanging on to Cleopatra's litter escorted her on her way.

59 1 However, most of the charges thus brought by Calvisius were thought to be falsehoods; but the friends of Antony went about in Rome beseeching the people in his behalf, and they sent one of their number, Geminius, with entreaties that Antony  p273 would not suffer himself to be voted out of his office and proclaimed an enemy of Rome. 2 But Geminius, after his voyage to Greece, was an object of suspicion to Cleopatra, who thought that he was acting in the interests of Octavia; he was always put upon with jokes at supper and insulted with places of no honour at table, but he endured all this and waited for an opportunity to confer with Antony. Once, however, at a supper, being bidden to tell the reasons for his coming, he replied that the rest of his communication required a sober head, but one thing he knew, whether he was drunk or sober, and that was all would be well if Cleopatra was sent off to Egypt. 3 At this, Antony was wroth, and Cleopatra said: "Thou has done well, Geminius, to confess the truth without being put to the torture." Geminius, accordingly, after a few days, ran away to Rome. And Cleopatra's flatterers drove away many of the other friends of Antony also who could not endure their drunken tricks and scurrilities. 4 Among these were Marcus Silanus and Dellius the historian. And Dellius says that he was also afraid of a plot against him by Cleopatra, of which Glaucus the physician had told him. For he had offended Cleopatra at supper by saying that while sour wine was served to them, Sarmentus, at Rome, was drinking Falernian. Now, Sarmentus was one of the youthful favourites of Caesar, such as the Romans call "deliciae."

60 1 When Caesar had made sufficient preparations, a vote was passed to wage war against Cleopatra, and to take away from Antony the authority which he had surrendered to a woman. And Caesar said in addition that Antony had been drugged and was not even master of himself, and that the Romans  p275 were carrying on war with Mardion the eunuch, and Potheinus, and Iras, and the tire-woman of Cleopatra, and Charmion, by whom the principal affairs of the government were managed.

2 The following signs are said to have been given before the war. Pisaurum, a city colonized by Antony situated near the Adriatic, was swallowed by chasms in the earth. From one of the marble statues of Antony near Alba sweat oozed for many days, and though it was wiped away it did not cease. In Patrae, while Antony was staying there, the Heracleium was destroyed by lightning; and at Athens the Dionysus in the Battle of the Giants​47 was dislodged by the winds and carried down into the theatre. 3 Now, Antony associated himself with Heracles in lineage, and with Dionysus in the mode of life which he adopted, as I have said,​48 and he was called the New Dionysus.​49 The same tempest fell upon the colossal figures of Eumenes and Attalus at Athens, on which the name of Antony had been inscribed, and prostrated them, and them alone out of many. Moreover the admiral's ship of Cleopatra was called Antonius, and a dire sign was given with regard to it. Some swallows, namely, made their nest under its stern; but other swallows attacked these, drove them out and destroyed their nestlings.

61 1 When the forces came together for the war, Antony had no fewer than five hundred fighting ships, among which were many vessels of eight and ten banks of oars, arrayed in pompous and  p277 festal fashion; he also had one hundred thousand infantry soldiers and twelve thousand horsemen. Of subject kings who fought with him, there were Bocchus the king of Libya, Tarcondemus the king of Upper Cilicia, Archelaüs of Cappadocia, Philadelphus of Paphlagonia, Mithridates of Commagene, and Sadalas of Thrace. 2 These were with him, while from Pontus Polemon sent an army, and Malchus from Arabia, and Herod the Jew, besides Amyntas the king of Lycaonia and Galatia; the king of the Medes also sent an auxiliary force. Caesar had two hundred and fifty ships of war, eighty thousand infantry, and about as many horsemen as his enemies. 3 Antony's authority extended over the country from the Euphrates and Armenia to the Ionian sea and Illyria; Caesar's over the country reaching from Illyria to the Western Ocean and from the ocean back to the Tuscan and Sicilian seas. Of Libya, the part extending opposite to Italy, Gaul, and Iberia as far as the pillars of Hercules, belonged to Caesar; the part extending from Cyrene as far as Armenia, to Antony.

62 1 But to such an extent, now, was Antony an appendage of the woman that although he was far superior on land, he wished the decision to rest with his navy, to please Cleopatra, and that too when he saw that for lack of crews his trierarchs were haling together out of long-suffering Greece wayfarers, mule-drivers, harvesters, and ephebi,​50 and that even then their ships were not fully manned, but most of them were deficient and sailed wretchedly. 2 Caesar's fleet, on the other hand, was perfectly equipped, and  p279 consisted of ships which had not been built for a display of height or mass, but were easily steered, swift, and fully manned. This fleet Caesar kept assembled at Tarentum and Brundisium, and he sent to Antony a demand to waste no time, but to come with his forces; Caesar himself would furnish his armament with unobstructed roadsteads and harbours, and would withdraw with his land forces a day's journey for a horseman from the sea-shore, until Antony should have safely landed and fixed his camp. 3 This boastful language Antony matched by challenging Caesar to single combat, although he was an older man than Caesar; and if Caesar declined this, Antony demanded that they should fight out the issue at Pharsalus, as Caesar and Pompey had once done. But while Antony was lying at anchor off Actium, where now Nicopolis stands, Caesar got the start of him by crossing the Ionian sea and occupying a place in Epirusº called Toruné (that is, ladle); and when Antony and his friends were disturbed by this, since their infantry forces were belated, Cleopatra, jesting, said: "What is there dreadful in Caesar's sitting at a ladle?"

63 1 But Antony, when the enemy sailed against him at daybreak, was afraid lest they should capture his ships while they had no fighting crews, and therefore armed the rowers and drew them up on the decks so as to make a show; then he grouped his ships at the mouth of the gulf near Actium, their ranks of oars on either side lifted and poised as for the stroke, and their prows towards the enemy, as if they were fully manned and prepared to fight. 2 Caesar, thus outwitted and deceived, withdrew. Antony was also thought to have shown great skill in enclosing  p281 the potable water within certain barriers and thus depriving the enemy of it, since the places round about afforded little, and that of bad quality. He also behaved with magnanimity towards Domitius, contrary to the judgment of Cleopatra. For when Domitius, who was already in a fever, got into a small boat and went over to Caesar, Antony, though deeply chagrined, nevertheless, sent off to him all his baggage, together with his friends and servants. 3 And Domitius, as if repenting when his faithlessness and treachery became known, straightway died.

There were also defections among the kings, and Amyntas and Deiotarus went over to Caesar. Besides, since his navy was unlucky in everything and always too late to be of assistance, Antony was again compelled to turn his attention to his land forces. Canidius also, the commander of the land forces, changed his mind in presence of the danger, and advised Antony to send Cleopatra away, to withdraw into Thrace or Macedonia, and there to decide the issue by a land battle. 4 For Dicomes the king of the Getae promised to come to their aid with a large force; and it would be no disgrace, Canidius urged, for them to give up the sea to Caesar, who had practised himself there in the Sicilian war; but it would be a strange thing for Antony, who was most experienced in land conflicts, not to avail himself of the strength and equipment of his numerous legionary soldiers, but to distribute his forces among ships and so fritter them away.

5 However, Cleopatra prevailed with her opinion that the war should be decided by the ships, although she was already contemplating flight, and was disposing her own forces, not where they would be  p283 helpful in winning the victory, but where they could most easily get away if the cause was lost. Moreover, there were two long walls extending down to the naval station from the camp, and between these Antony was wont to pass without suspecting any danger. 6 But a slave told Caesar that it was possible to seize Antony as he went down between the walls, and Caesar sent men to lie in ambush for him. These men came near accomplishing their purpose, but seized only the man who was advancing in front of Antony, since they sprang up too soon; Antony himself escaped with difficulty by running.

64 1 When it had been decided to deliver a sea battle, Antony burned all the Egyptian ships except sixty; but the largest and best, from those having three to those having ten banks of oars, he manned, putting on board twenty thousand heavy-armed soldiers and two thousand archers. It was on this occasion, we are told, that an infantry centurion, a man who had fought many a battle for Antony and was covered with scars, burst into laments as Antony was passing by, and said; 2 "Imperator, why dost thou distrust these wounds and this sword and put thy hopes in miserable logs of wood? Let Egyptians and Phoenicians do their fighting at sea, but give us land, on which we are accustomed to stand and either conquer our enemies or die." To this Antony made no reply, but merely encouraged the man by a gesture and a look to be of good heart, and passed on. He had no good hopes himself, since, when the masters of his ships wished to leave their sails behind, he compelled them to put them on board and carry them, saying that not one fugitive of the enemy should be allowed to make his escape.

 p285  65 1 During that day, then, and the three following days the sea was tossed up by a strong wind and prevented the battle; but on the fifth,​51 the weather becoming fine and the sea calm, they came to an engagement. Antony had the right wing, with Publicola, Coelius the left, and in the centre were Marcus Octavius and Marcus Insteius. 2 Caesar posted Agrippa on the left, and reserved the right wing for himself. Of the land forces, that of Antony was commanded by Canidius, that of Caesar by Taurus, who drew them up along the sea and remained quiet. As for the leaders themselves, Antony visited all his ships in a row-boat, exhorting the soldiers, owing to the weight of their ships, to fight without changing their position, as if they were on land; 3 he also ordered the masters of the ships to receive the attacks of the enemy as if their ships were lying quietly at anchor, and to maintain their position at the mouth of the gulf, which was narrow and difficult. Caesar, we are told, who had left his tent while it was still dark and was going round to visit his ships, was met by a man driving an ass. Caesar asked the man his name, and he, recognizing Caesar, replied: "My name is Prosper, and my ass's name is Victor." Therefore, when Caesar afterwards decided the place with the beaks of ships, he set up bronze figures of an ass and a man. 4 After surveying the rest of his line of battle, he was carried in a small boat to his right wing, and there was astonished to see the enemy lying motionless in the narrows; indeed, their ships had the appearance of riding at anchor. For a long time he was convinced that this was really the case, and kept his own ships at a distance of about eight furlongs from the  p287 enemy. But it was now the sixth hour, and since a wind was rising from the sea, the soldiers of Antony became impatient at the delay, and, relying on the height and size of their own ships as making them unassailable, they put their left wing in motion. 5 When Caesar saw this he was delighted, and ordered his right wing to row backwards, wishing to draw the enemy still farther out from the gulf and the narrows, and then to surround them with his own agile vessels and come to close quarters with ships which, owing to their great size and the smallness of their crews, were slow and ineffective.

66 1 Though the struggle was beginning to be at close range, the ships did not ram or crush one another at all, since Antony's, owing to their weight, had no impetus, which chiefly gives effect to the blows of the beaks, while Caesar's not only avoided dashing front to front against rough and hard bronze armour, but did not even venture to ram the enemy's ships in the side. 2 For their beaks would easily have been broken off by impact against vessels constructed of huge square timbers fastened together with iron. The struggle was therefore like a land battle; or, to speak more truly, like the storming of a walled town. For three or four of Caesar's vessels were engaged at the same time about one of Antony's, and the crews fought with wicker shields and spears and punting-poles and fiery missiles; the soldiers of Antony also shot with catapults from wooden towers.

3 And now, as Agrippa was extending the left wing with a view to encircling the enemy, Publicola was forced to advance against him, and so was separated from the centre. The centre falling into confusion  p289 and engaging with Arruntius,​52 although the sea-fight was still undecided and equally favourable to both sides, suddenly the sixty ships of Cleopatra were seen hoisting their sails for flight and making off through the midst of the combatants; for they had been posted in the rear of the large vessels, and threw them into confusion as they plunged through. 4 The enemy looked on with amazement, seeing that they took advantage of the wind and made for Peloponnesus. Here, indeed, Antony made it clear to all the world that he was swayed neither by the sentiments of a commander nor of a brave man, nor even by his own, but, as someone in pleasantry said that the soul of the lover dwells in another's body, he was dragged along by the woman as if he had become incorporate with her and must go where she did. 5 For no sooner did he see her ship sailing off than he forgot everything else, betrayed and ran away from those who were fighting and dying in his cause, got into a five-oared galley, where Alexas the Syrian and Scellius were his only companions, and hastened after the woman who had already ruined him and would make his ruin still more complete.

67 1 Cleopatra recognized him and raised a signal on her ship; so Antony came up and was taken on board, but he neither saw nor was seen by her. Instead, he went forward alone to the prow and sat down by himself in silence, holding his head in both hands. 2 At this point, Liburnian ships were seen pursuing them from Caesar's fleet; but Antony ordered the ship's prow turned to face them, and so kept them off, except the ship of Eurycles the Laconian, who attacked vigorously, and brandished a  p291 spear on the deck as though he would cast it at Antony. And when Antony, standing at the prow, asked, "Who is this that pursues Antony?" the answer was, "I am Eurycles the son of Lachares, whom the fortune of Caesar enables to avenge the death of his father." 3 Now, Lachares had been beheaded by Antony because he was involved in a charge of robbery. However, Eurycles did not hit Antony's ship, but smote the other admiral's ship (for there were two of them) with his bronze beak and whirled her round, and one of the other ships also, which contained costly equipment for household use. 4 When Eurycles was gone, Antony threw himself down again in the same posture and did not stir. He spent three days by himself at the prow, either because he was angry with Cleopatra, or ashamed to see her, and then put in at Taenarum. Here the women in Cleopatra's company at first brought them into a parley, and then persuaded them to eat and sleep together.

5 Presently not a few of their heavy transport ships and some of their friends began to gather about them after the defeat, bringing word that the fleet was destroyed, but that, in their opinion, the land forces still held together. So Antony sent messengers to Canidius, ordering him to retire with his army as fast as he could through Macedonia into Asia; 6 he himself, however, since he purposed to cross from Taenarum to Libya, selected one of the transport ships which carried much coined money and very valuable royal utensils in silver and gold, and made a present of it to his friends, bidding them divide up the treasure and look out for their own safety. They refused his gift  p293 and were in tears, but he comforted them and besought them with great kindness and affection, and finally sent them away, 7 after writing to Theophilus, his steward in Corinth, that he should keep the men in safe hiding until they could make their peace with Caesar. This Theophilus was the father of Hipparchus, who had the greatest influence with Antony, was the first of Antony's freedmen to go over to Caesar, and afterwards lived in Corinth.

68 1 This, then, was the situation of Antony. But at Actium his fleet held out for a long time against Caesar, and only after it had been most severely damaged by the high sea which rose against it did it reluctantly, and at the tenth hour, give up the struggle. There were not more than five thousand dead, but three hundred ships were captured, as Caesar himself has written. 2 Only a few were aware that Antony had fled, and to those who heard of it the story was at first an incredible one, that he had gone off and left nineteen legions of undefeated men-at‑arms and twelve thousand horsemen, as if he had not many times experienced both kinds of fortune and were not exercised by the reverses of countless wars and fightings. 3 His soldiers, too, had a great longing for him, and expected that he would presently make his appearance from some quarter or other; and they displayed so much fidelity and bravery that even after his flight had become evident they held together for seven days, paying no heed to the messages which Caesar sent them. But at last, after Canidius their general had run away by night and forsaken the camp, being now destitute of all things and betrayed by their commanders, they went over to the conqueror.

 p295  4 In consequence of this, Caesar sailed to Athens, and after making a settlement with the Greeks, he distributed the grain which remained over after the war among their cities; these were in a wretched plight, and had been stripped of money, slaves, and beasts of burden. At any rate, my great-grandfather Nicarchus used to tell how all his fellow-citizens were compelled to carry on their shoulders a stipulated measure of wheat down to the sea at Anticyra, and how their pace was quickened by the whip; 5 they had carried one load in this way, he said, the second was already measured out, and they were just about to set forth, when word was brought that Antony had been defeated, and this was the salvation of the city; for immediately the stewards and soldiers of Antony took to flight, and the citizens divided the grain among themselves.

69 1 After Antony had reached the coast of Libya and sent Cleopatra forward into Egypt from Paraetonium, he had the benefit of solitude without end, roaming and wandering about with two friends, one a Greek, Aristocrates a rhetorician, and the other a Roman, Lucilius, about whom I have told a story elsewhere.​53 He was at Philippi, and in order that Brutus might make his escape, pretended to be Brutus and surrendered himself to his pursuers. His life was spared by Antony on this account, and he remained faithful to him and steadfast up to the last crucial times. 2 When the general to whom his forces in Libya had been entrusted brought about their defection, Antony tried to kill himself, but was prevented by his friends and brought to Alexandria. Here he found Cleopatra venturing upon a hazardous  p297 and great undertaking. The isthmus, namely, which separates the Red Sea​54 from the Mediterranean Sea off Egypt and is considered to be the boundary between Asia and Libya, in the part where it is most constricted by the two seas and has the least width, measures three hundred furlongs. 3 Here Cleopatra undertook to raise her fleet out of water and drag the ships across, and after launching them in the Arabian Gulf​54 with much money and a large force, to settle in parts outside of Egypt, thus escaping war and servitude. But since the Arabians about Petra burned the first ships that were drawn up, and Antony still thought that his land forces at Actium were holding together, she desisted, and guarded the approaches to the country. 4 And now Antony forsook the city and the society of his friends, and built for himself a dwelling in the sea at Pharos, by throwing a mole out into the water. Here he lived an exile from men, and declared that he was contentedly imitating the life of Timon, since, indeed, his experiences had been like Timon's; for he himself also had been wronged and treated with ingratitude by his friends, and therefore hated and distrusted all mankind.

70 1 Now, Timon was an Athenian, and lived about the time of the Peloponnesian War, as may be gathered from the plays of Aristophanes and Plato. For he is represented in their comedies as peevish and misanthropical; but though he avoided and repelled all intercourse with men, he was glad to see Alcibiades, who was then young and headstrong, and showered kisses upon him. And when Apemantus  p299 was amazed at this and asked the reason for it, Timon said he loved the youth because he knew that he would be a cause of many ills to Athens. 2 This Apemantus alone of all men Timon would sometimes admit into his company, since Apemantus was like him and tried sometimes to imitate his mode of life; and once, at the festival of The Pitchers,​55 the two were feasting by themselves, and Apemantus said: "Timon, what a fine symposium ours is!" "It would be," said Timon, "if thou wert not here." We are told also that once when the Athenians were holding an assembly, he ascended the bema, and the strangeness of the thing caused deep silence and great expectancy; then he said: 3 "I have a small building lot, men of Athens, and a fig-tree is growing in it, from which many of my fellow citizens have already hanged themselves. Accordingly, as I intend to build a house there, I wanted to give public notice to that effect, in order that all of you who desire to do so may hang yourselves before the fig-tree is cut down." After he had died and been buried at Halae near the sea, the shore in front of the tomb slipped away, and the water surrounded it and made it completely inaccessible to man. 4 The inscription on the tomb was:

"Here, after snapping the thread of a wretched life, I lie.

Ye shall not learn my name, but my curses shall follow you."

This inscription he is said to have composed  p301 himself, but that in general circulation is by Callimachus:

"Timon, hater of men, dwells here; so pass along;

Heap many curses on me, if thou wilt, only pass along."

71 1 These are a few things out of many concerning Timon. As for Antony, Canidius in person brought him word of the loss of his forces at Actium, and he heard that Herod the Jew, with sundry legions and cohorts, had gone over to Caesar, and that the other dynasts in like manner were deserting him and nothing longer remained of his power outside of Egypt. 2 However, none of these things greatly disturbed him, but, as if he gladly laid aside his hopes, that so he might lay aside his anxieties also, he forsook that dwelling of his in the sea, which he called Timoneum, and after he had been received into the palace by Cleopatra, turned the city to the enjoyment of suppers and drinking-bouts and distributions of gifts, inscribing in the list of ephebi​56 the son of Cleopatra and Caesar, 3 and bestowing upon Antyllus the son of Fulvia the toga virilis without purple hem, in celebration of which, for many days, banquets and revels and feastings occupied Alexandria. Cleopatra and Antony now dissolved their famous society of Inimitable Livers,​57 and founded another, not at all inferior to that in daintiness and extravagant outlay, which they called the society of Partners in Death. For their friends enrolled themselves as those who would die together, and passed the time delightfully in a round of suppers. 4 Moreover, Cleopatra was getting together collections  p303 of all sorts of deadly poisons, and she tested the painless working of each of them by giving them to prisoners under sentence of death. But when she saw that the speedy poisons enhanced the sharpness of death by the pain they caused, while the milder poisons were not quick, she made trial of venomous animals, watching with her own eyes as they were set upon another. 5 She did this daily, tried them almost all; and she found that the bite of the asp alone induced a sleepy torpor and sinking, where there was no spasm or groan, but a gentle perspiration on the face, while the perceptive faculties were easily relaxed and dimmed, and resisted all attempts to rouse and restore them, as is the case with those who are soundly asleep.

72 1 At the same time they also sent an embassy to Caesar in Asia, Cleopatra asking the realm of Egypt for her children, and Antony requesting that he might live as a private person at Athens, if he could not do so in Egypt. But owing to their lack of friends and the distrust which they felt on account of desertions, Euphronius, the teacher of the children, was sent on the embassy. 2 For Alexas the Laodicean, who had been made known to Antony in Rome through Timagenes and had more influence with him than any other Greek, who had also been Cleopatra's most effective instrument against Antony and had overthrown the considerations arising in his mind in favour of Octavia, had been sent to keep Herod the king from apostasy; 3 but after remaining there and betraying Antony he had the audacity to come into Caesar's presence, relying on Herod. Herod, however, could not help him, but the traitor was at once confined and carried in fetters to his own  p305 country, where he was put to death by Caesar's orders. Such was the penalty for his treachery which Alexas paid to Antony while Antony was yet alive.

73 1 Caesar would not listen to the proposals for Antony, but he sent back word to Cleopatra that she would receive all reasonable treatment if she either put Antony to death or cast him out. He also sent with the messengers one of his own freedmen, Thyrsus, a man of no mean parts, and one who would persuasively convey messages from a young general to a woman who was haughty and astonishingly proud in the matter of beauty. 2 This man had longer interviews with Cleopatra than the rest, and was conspicuously honoured by her, so that he roused suspicion in Antony, who seized him and gave him a flogging, and then sent him back to Caesar with a written message stating that Thyrsus, by his insolent and haughty airs, had irritated him, at a time when misfortunes made him easily irritated. "But if thou dost not like the thing," he said, "thou has my freedman Hipparchus;​58 hang him up and give him a flogging, and we shall be quits." 3 After this, Cleopatra tried to dissipate his causes of complaint and his suspicions by paying extravagant court to him; her own birthday she kept modestly and in a manner becoming to her circumstances, but she celebrated his with an excess of all kinds of splendour and costliness, so that many of those who were bidden to the supper came poor and went away rich. Meanwhile Caesar was being called home by Agrippa, who frequently wrote him from Rome that matters there greatly needed his presence.

 p307  74 1 Accordingly, the war was suspended for the time being; but when the winter was over, Caesar again marched against his enemy through Syria, and his generals through Libya. When Pelusium was taken there was a rumour that Seleucus had given it up, and not without the consent of Cleopatra; but Cleopatra allowed Antony to put to death the wife and children of Seleucus, and she herself, now that she had a tomb and monument built surpassingly lofty and beauti­ful, which she had erected near the temple of Isis, 2 collected there the most valuable of the royal treasures, gold, silver, emeralds, pearls, ebony, ivory, and cinnamon; and besides all this she put there great quantities of torch-wood and tow, so that Caesar was anxious about the reason, and fearing lest the woman might become desperate and burn up and destroy this wealth, kept sending on to her vague hopes of kindly treatment from him, at the same time that he advanced with his army against the city. 3 But when Caesar had taken up position near the hippodrome, Antony sallied forth against him and fought brilliantly and routed his cavalry, and pursued them as far as their camp. Then, exalted by his victory, he went into the palace, kissed Cleopatra, all armed as he was, and presented to her the one of his soldiers who had fought most spiritedly. Cleopatra gave the man as a reward of valour a golden breastplate and a helmet. The man took them, of course, — and in the night deserted to Caesar.

75 1 And now Antony once more sent Caesar a challenge to single combat.​59 But Caesar answered that Antony had many ways of dying. Then Antony,  p309 conscious that there was no better death for him than that by battle, determined to attack by land and sea at once. And at supper, we are told, he bade the slaves pour out for him and feast him more generously; 2 for it was uncertain, he said, whether they would be doing this on the morrow, or whether they would be serving other masters, while he himself would be lying dead, a mummy and a nothing. Then, seeing that his friends were weeping at these words, he declared that he would not lead them out to battle, since from it he sought an honourable death for himself rather than safety and victory.

3 During this night, it is said, about the middle of it, while the city was quiet and depressed through fear and expectation of what was coming, suddenly certain harmonious sounds from all sorts of instruments were heard, and the shouting of a throng, accompanied by cries of Bacchic revelry and satyric leapings, as if a troop of revellers, making a great tumult, were going forth from the city; 4 and their course seemed to lie about through the middle of the city toward the outer gate which faced the enemy, at which point the tumult became loudest and then dashed out. Those who sought the meaning of the sign were of the opinion that the god to whom Antony always most likened and attached himself was now deserting him.

76 1 At daybreak,​60 Antony in person posted his infantry on the hills in front of the city, and watched his ships as they put out and attacked those of the enemy; and as he expected to see something great accomplished by them, he remained quiet. But the crews of his ships, as soon as they were near,  p311 saluted Caesar's crews with their oars, and on their returning the salute changed sides, and so all the ships, now united into one fleet, sailed up towards the city prows on. 2 No sooner had Antony seen this than he was deserted by his cavalry, which went over to the enemy, and after being defeated with his infantry he retired into the city, crying out that he had been betrayed by Cleopatra to those with whom he waged war for her sake. But she, fearing his anger and his madness, fled for refuge into her tomb and let fall the drop-doors, which were made strong with bolts and bars; then she sent messengers to tell Antony that she was dead. 3 Antony believed that message, and saying to himself, "Why doest thou longer delay, Antony? Fortune has taken away thy sole remaining excuse for clinging to life," he went into his chamber. Here, as he unfastened his breastplate and laid it aside, he said: "O Cleopatra, I am not grieved to be bereft of thee, for I shall straightway join thee; but I am grieved that such an imperator as I am has been found to be inferior to a woman in courage."

4 Now, Antony had a trusty slave named Eros. Him Antony had long before engaged, in case of need, to kill him, and now demanded the fulfilment of his promise. So Eros drew his sword and held it up as though he would smite his master, but then turned his face away and slew himself. And as he fell at his master's feet Antony said: "Well done, Eros! though thou wast not able to do it thyself, thou teachest me what I must do"; and running himself through the belly he dropped upon the couch. 5 But the wound did not bring a speedy death. Therefore, as the blood ceased flowing after he had lain down, he  p313 came to himself and besought the bystanders to give him the finishing stroke. But they fled from the chamber, and he lay writhing and crying out, until Diomedes the secretary came from Cleopatra with orders to bring him to her in the tomb.

77 1 Having learned, then, that Cleopatra was alive, Antony eagerly ordered his servants to raise him up, and he was carried in their arms to the doors of her tomb. Cleopatra, however, would not open the doors, but showed herself at a window, from which she let down ropes and cords. To these Antony was fastened, and she drew him up herself, with the aid of the two women whom alone she had admitted with her into the tomb. 2 Never, as those who were present tell us, was there a more piteous sight. Smeared with blood and struggling with death he was drawn up, stretching out his hands to her even as he dangled in the air. For the task was not an easy one for the women, and scarcely could Cleopatra, with clinging hands and strained face, pull up the rope, while those below called out encouragement to her and shared her agony. 3 And when she had thus got him in and laid him down, she rent her garments over him, beat and tore her breasts with her hands, wiped off some of his blood upon her face, and called him master, husband, and imperator; indeed, she almost forgot her own ills in her pity for his. But Antony stopped her lamentations and asked for a drink of wine, either because he was thirsty, or in the hope of a speedier release. 4 When he had drunk, he advised her to consult her own safety, if she could do it without disgrace, and among all the companions of Caesar to put most confidence in  p315 Proculeius, and not to lament him for his last reverses, but to count him happy for the good things that had been his, since he had become most illustrious of men, had won greatest power, and now had been not ignobly conquered, a Roman by a Roman.

78 1 Scarcely was he dead, when Proculeius came from Caesar. For after Antony had smitten himself and while he was being carried to Cleopatra, Dercetaeus, one of his body-guard, seized Antony's sword, concealed it, and stole away with it; and running to Caesar, he was the first to tell him of Antony's death, and showed him the sword all smeared with blood. 2 When Caesar heard these tidings, he retired within his tent and wept for a man who had been his relation by marriage, his colleague in office and command, and his partner in many undertakings and struggles. Then he took the letters which had passed between them, called in his friends, and read the letters aloud, showing how reasonably and justly he had written, and how rude and overbearing Antony had always been in his replies. 3 After this, he sent Proculeius, bidding him, if possible, above all things to get Cleopatra into his power alive; for he was fearful about the treasures in her funeral pyre, and he thought it would add greatly to the glory of his triumph if she were led in the procession. Into the hands of Proculeius, however, Cleopatra would not put herself; 4 but she conferred with him after he had come close to the tomb and stationed himself outside at a door which was on a level with the ground. The door was strongly fastened with bolts and bars, but allowed a passage for the voice. So they conversed, Cleopatra  p317 asking that her children might have the kingdom, and Proculeius bidding her be of good cheer and trust Caesar in everything.

79 1 After Proculeius had surveyed the place, he brought back word to Caesar, and Gallus was sent to have another interview with the queen; and coming up to the door he purposely prolonged the conversation. Meanwhile Proculeius applied a ladder and went in through the window by which the women had taken Antony inside. Then he went down at once to the very door at which Cleopatra was standing and listening to Gallus, and he had two servants with him. 2 One of the women imprisoned with Cleopatra cried out, "Wretched Cleopatra, thou art taken alive," whereupon the queen turned about, saw Proculeius, and tried to stab herself; for she had at her girdle a dagger such as robbers wear. But Proculeius ran swiftly to her, threw both his arms about her, and said: "O Cleopatra, thou art wronging both thyself and Caesar, by trying to rob him of an opportunity to show great kindness, and by fixing upon the gentlest of commanders the stigma of faithlessness and implacability." 3 At the same time he took away her weapon, and shook out her clothing, to see whether she was concealing any poison. And there was also sent from Caesar one of his freedmen, Epaphroditus, with injunctions to keep the queen alive by the strictest vigilance, but otherwise to make any concession that would promote her ease and pleasure.

80 1 And now Caesar himself drove into the city, and he was conversing with Areius the philosopher, to whom he had given his right hand, in order that Areius might at once be conspicuous among the citizens, and  p319 be admired because of the marked honour shown him by Caesar. After he had entered the gymnasium and ascended a tribunal there made for him, the people were beside themselves with fear and prostrated themselves before him, but he bade them rise up, and said that he acquitted the people of all blame, first, because of Alexander, their founder; second, because he admired the great size and beauty of the city; and third, to gratify his companion, Areius. 2 This honour Caesar bestowed upon Areius, and pardoned many other persons also at his request. Among these was Philostratus, a man more competent to speak extempore than any sophist that ever lived, but he improperly represented himself as belonging to the school of the Academy. Therefore Caesar, abominating his ways, would not listen to his entreaties. 3 So Philostratus, having a long white beard and wearing a dark robe, would follow behind Areius, ever declaiming this verse:—

"A wise man will a wise man save, if wise he be."​61

When Caesar heard of this, he pardoned him, wishing rather to free Areius from odium than Philostratus from fear.

81 1 As for the children of Antony, Antyllus, his son by Fulvia, was betrayed by Theodorus his tutor and put to death; and after the soldiers had cut off his head, his tutor took away the exceeding precious stone which the boy wore about his neck and sewed it into his own girdle; and though he denied the deed, he was convicted of it and crucified. 2 Cleopatra's children, together with their attendants, were kept under guard and had generous treatment.  p321 But Caesarion, who was said to be Cleopatra's son by Julius Caesar, was sent by his mother, with much treasure, into India, by way of Ethiopia. There Rhodon, another tutor like Theodorus, persuaded him to go back, on the ground that Caesar invited him to take the kingdom. But while Caesar was deliberating on the matter, we are told that Areius said:—

"Not a good thing were a Caesar too many."

82 1 As for Caesarion, then, he was afterwards put to death by Caesar, — after the death of Cleopatra; but as for Antony, though many generals and kings asked for his body that they might give it burial, Caesar would not take it away from Cleopatra, and it was buried by her hands in sumptuous and royal fashion, such things being granted her for the purpose as she desired. But in consequence of so much grief as well as pain (for her breasts were wounded and inflamed by the blows she gave them) a fever assailed her, and she welcomed it as an excuse for abstaining from food and so releasing herself from life without hindrance. 2 Moreover, there was a physician in her company of intimates, Olympus, to whom she told the truth, and she had his counsel and assistance in compassing her death, as Olympus himself testifies in a history of these events which he published. But Caesar was suspicious, and plied her with threats and fears regarding her children, by which she was laid low, as by engines of war, and surrendered her body for such care and nourishment as was desired.

83 1 After a few days Caesar himself came to talk with her and give her comfort. She was lying on a mean pallet-bed, clad only in her tunic,  p323 but sprang up as he entered and thew herself at his feet; her hair and face were in terrible disarray, her voice trembled, and her eyes were sunken. There were also visible many marks of the cruel blows upon her bosom; in a word, her body seemed to be no better off than her spirit. 2 Nevertheless, the charm for which she was famous and the boldness of her beauty were not altogether extinguished, but, although she was in such a sorry plight, they shone forth from within and made themselves manifest in the play of her features. After Caesar had bidden her to lie down and had seated himself near her, she began a sort of justification of her course, ascribing it to necessity and fear of Antony; but as Caesar opposed and refuted her on every point, she quickly changed her tone and sought to move his pity by prayers, as one who above all things clung to life. 3 And finally she gave him a list which she had of all her treasures; and when Seleucus, one of her stewards, showed conclusively that she was stealing away and hiding some of them, she sprang up, seized him by the hair, and showered blows upon his face. 4 And when Caesar, with a smile, stopped her, she said: "But is it not a monstrous thing, O Caesar, that when thou hast deigned to come to me and speak to me though I am in this wretched plight, my slaves denounce me for reserving some women's adornments, — not for myself, indeed, unhappy woman that I am, — but that I may make trifling gifts to Octavia and thy Livia, and through their intercession find thee merci­ful and more gentle?" 5 Caesar was pleased with this speech, being altogether of the opinion that she desired to live. He told her, therefore, that he left these matters for her to manage, and that in all  p325 other ways he would give her more splendid treatment than she could possibly expect. Then he went off, supposing that he had deceived her, but theº rather deceived by her.

84 1 Now, there was a young man of rank among Caesar's companions, named Cornelius Dolabella. This man was not without a certain tenderness for Cleopatra; and so now, in response to her request, he secretly sent word to her that Caesar himself was preparing to march with his land forces through Syria, and had resolved to send off her and her children within three days. 2 After Cleopatra had heard this, in the first place, she begged Caesar that she might be permitted to pour libations for Antony; and when the request was granted, she had herself carried to the tomb, and embracing the urn which held his ashes, in company with the women usually about her, she said: "Dear Antony, I buried thee but lately with hands still free; now, however, I pour libations for thee as a captive, and so carefully guarded that I cannot either with blows or tears disfigure this body of mine, which is a slave's body, and closely watched that it may grace the triumph over thee. 3 Do not expect other honours or libations; these are the last from Cleopatra the captive. For though in life nothing could part us from each other, in death we are likely to change places; thou, the Roman, lying buried here, while I, the hapless woman, lie in Italy, and get only so much of thy country as my portion. 4 But if indeed there is any might or power in the gods of that country (for the gods of this country have betrayed us), do not abandon thine own wife while she lives, nor permit a  p327 triumph to be celebrated over myself in my person, but hide and bury me here with thyself, since out of all my innumerable ills not one is so great and dreadful as this short time that I have lived apart from thee."

85 1 After such lamentations, she wreathed and kissed the urn, and then ordered a bath to be prepared for herself. After her bath, she reclined at table and was making a sumptuous meal. And there came a man from the country carrying a basket; and when the guards asked him what he was bringing there, he opened the basket, took away the leaves, and showed them that the dish inside was full of figs. 2 The guards were amazed at the great size and beauty of the figs, whereupon the man smiled and asked them to take some; so they felt no mistrust and bade him take them in. After her meal, however, Cleopatra took a tablet which was already written upon and sealed, and sent it to Caesar, and then, sending away all the rest of the company except her two faithful women, she closed the doors.

3 But Caesar opened the tablet, and when he found there lamentations and supplications of one who begged that he would bury her with Antony, he quickly knew what had happened. At first he was minded to go himself and give aid; then he ordered messengers to go with all speed and investigate. But the mischief had been swift. For though his messengers came on the run and found the guards as yet aware of nothing, when they opened the doors they found Cleopatra lying dead upon a golden couch, arrayed in royal state. 4 And of her two women, the one called Iras was dying at her feet, while Charmion, already tottering and heavy-handed, was  p329 trying to arrange the diadem which encircled the queen's brow. Then somebody said in anger: "A fine deed, this, Charmion!" "It is indeed most fine," she said, "and befitting the descendant of so many kings." Not a word more did she speak, but fell there by the side of the couch.

86 1 It is said that the asp was brought with those figs and leaves and lay hidden beneath them, for thus Cleopatra had given orders, that the reptile might fasten itself upon her body without her being aware of it. But when she took away some of the figs and saw it, she said: "There it is, you see," and baring her arm she held it out for the bite. 2 But others say that the asp was kept carefully shut up in a water jar, and that while Cleopatra was stirring it up and irritating it with a golden distaff it sprang and fastened itself upon her arm. But the truth of the matter no one knows; for it was also said that she carried about poison in a hollow comb and kept the comb hidden in her hair; and yet neither spot nor other sign of poison broke out upon her body. 3 Moreover, not even was the reptile seen within the chamber, though people said they saw some traces of it near the sea, where the chamber looked out upon it with its windows. And some also say that Cleopatra's arm was seen to have two slight and indistinct punctures; and this Caesar also seems to have believed. For in his triumph an image of Cleopatra herself with the asp clinging to her was carried in the procession.​h These, then, are the various accounts of what happened.

4 But Caesar, although vexed at the death of the woman, admired her lofty spirit; and he gave orders  p331 that her body should be buried with that of Antony in splendid and regal fashion. Her women also received honourable interment by his orders. When Cleopatra died she was forty years of age save one, and had shared her power with Antony more than fourteen. 5 Antony was fifty-six years of age, according to some, according to others, fifty-three. Now, the statues of Antony were torn down, but those of Cleopatra were left standing, because Archibius, one of her friends, gave Caesar two thousand talents, in order that they might not suffer the same fate as Antony's.

87 1 Antony left seven children by his three wives, of whom Antyllus, the eldest, was the only one who was put to death by Caesar; the rest were taken up by Octavia and reared with her own children. Cleopatra, the daughter of Cleopatra, Octavia gave in marriage to Juba, the most accomplished of kings, and Antony, the son of Fulvia, she raised so high that, while Agrippa held the first place in Caesar's estimation, and the sons of Livia the second, Antony was thought to be and really was third. 2 By Marcellus Octavia had two daughters, and one son, Marcellus, whom Caesar made both his son and his son-in‑law, and he gave one of the daughters to Agrippa. But since Marcellus died very soon after his marriage and it was not easy for Caesar to select from among his other friends a son-in‑law whom he could trust, Octavia proposed that Agrippa should take Caesar's daughter to wife, and put away her own. 3 First Caesar was persuaded by her, then Agrippa, whereupon  p333 she took back her own daughter and married her to young Antony, while Agrippa married Caesar's daughter. Antony left two daughters by Octavia, of whom one was taken to wife by Domitius Ahenobarbus, and the other, Antonia, famous for her beauty and discretion, was married to Drusus, who was the son of Livia and the step-son of Caesar. From this marriage sprang Germanicus and Claudius; 4 of these, Claudius afterwards came to the throne, and of the children of Germanicus, Caius reigned with distinction,​i but for a short time only, and was then put to death with his wife and child, and Agrippina, who had a son by Ahenobarbus, Lucius Domitius, became the wife of Claudius Caesar. And Claudius, having adopted Agrippina's son, gave him the name of Nero Germanicus. This Nero came to the throne in my time. He killed his mother, and by his folly and madness came near subverting the Roman empire. He was the fifth in descent from Antony.

The Editor's Notes:

1 Cf. the Marius, xliv.1‑4.

2 Cf. the Cicero, xxii.

3 An equivalent, roughly, of £60,000, or $300,000, with four or five times the purchasing power of modern money.

Thayer's Note: A reminder that this equivalent dates to 1914 (notice the pound at about $5); in 2004, a talent would be about $5,000,000 or £3,200,000.

4 In 58 B.C.

5 Cf. the Pompey, xxxix.2.

6 Cf. the Cato Minor, xxxv; the Pompey, xlix.5 ff.

7 The evil deity of the Egyptians, buried under the Serbonian Marshes (Herodotus, III.5).

8 The pretended son of Mithridates, who had married Berenicé, daughter of Ptolemy Auletes, and queen of Egypt after the expulsion of her father. His death occurred in 55 B.C.

9 That is ten times 100,000 sesterces, or 250,000 denarii. For the Roman denarius Plutarch regularly uses the nearly equivalent Greek drachma (which had about the value of the French franc).

Thayer's Note: The French franc pops up unexpectedly here, because in 1914 when this volume of Plutarch was translated France was still a world power, and her currency was the standard measure of worth, much like the dollar today. Thruout the 20c the value of the franc fell almost continuously to a fraction of its then value, despite being artificially multiplied by 100 in the late 1950's, and has now been replaced by the euro: the translator's note has thus itself fallen into the realm of historical obscurity.

10 In 50 B.C.

11 For the events narrated in this chapter, cf. also the Pompey, lviii f.; the Caesar, xxx f.

12 Phil. ii.22,55: ut Helena Trojanis, sic iste huic rei publicae belli causa, causa pestis atque exitii fuit.

13 Early in 48 B.C. Cf. the Caesar, xxxvii.2.

14 The second Philippic pictures Antony's excesses.

15 In 45 B.C.

16 Cf. the Caesar, lxii.5; the Brutus, viii.1.

17 Cf. the Caesar, chapter lxi.

18 Cf. the Caesar, lxvii.4; the Brutus, xix.3.

19 Cf. the Cicero, xlii.2 ff.; the Brutus, xx.3.

20 In Latin, Orcini, from Orcus, the god of the lower world, to whom the Greek Charon is made to correspond.

21 Chapter xi.1.

22 In 43 B.C. Cf. the Cicero, xlv.3.

23 Cf. the Cicero, xlvi.3.

24 Cf. the Cicero, xlviii.4.

25 In 41 B.C.

26 Thebes, in the Oedipus Rex, 4.

27 IliadXIV.162, of Hera, decking herself for a meeting with Zeus.

28 Gorgias, p464.

29 Towards the end of the year 40 B.C.

30 That is, he was made Pontifex Maximus.

31 In the Erechtheium, on the Acropolis.

32 A sacred spring just below the ancient portal of the Acropolis (Pausanias, I.28.4).

33 In 38 B.C. See the Crassus, xxxiii.5, with the note.

34 Cf. Phaedrus, 254 A.

35 In 36 B.C. Cf. the Crassus, xxxiii.5.

36 See the Themistocles, xxix.7.

37 See the Crassus, x.2.

38 See chapter xxxvii.2.

39 See chapter xxxviii.3.

40 See chapter xxxix.7.

41 It was the testudo, described in Dio Cassius, xlix.30.º

Thayer's Note: For full details, including pictures of it, see the article Testudo in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

42 About a quart.

43 Cf. chapter xxxvii.1.

44 In 34 B.C. Cf. chapter liii.6.

45 In 35 B.C.

46 The summer of 32 B.C.

47 One of the groups of figures at the south wall of the Acropolis dedicated by Attalus I of Pergamum. See Pausanias, I.25.2, with Frazer's notes.

48 Chapters iv.1 f. and xxiv.3.

49 As Cleopatra was called the New Isis (liv.6).

50 Young men approaching full military age, enrolled for preliminary training and service.

51 Sept. 2, 31 B.C.

52 The commander of Caesar's centre, as Plutarch should have stated at lxv.1.

53 See the Brutus, chapter 1.

54 By Red Sea Plutarch here means the upper part of the Arabian Gulf.

55 Choes-day, the second day of the great festival in honour of Dionysus called Anthesteria. It was a day of libations to the dead.

Thayer's Note: See this section of the article Dionysia in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

56 See the note on lxii.1. Caesarion was to be educated as a Greek, Antyllus as a Roman.

57 Cf. chapter xxviii.2.

58 See chapter lxvii.7.

59 See chapter lxii.3.

60 Aug. 1, 30 B.C.

61 An iambic trimeter from an unknown poet (Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.2 p921).

Thayer's Notes:

a To the modern reader, this sounds like some kind of cruel personal vindictiveness. The ancient reader knew otherwise: putting slaves to the torture — which, from a practical standpoint, often meant merely threatening them with torture — was the standard way of interrogating them. For further details, see this passage of the article Judex of Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, as well as the brief article Tormentum.

b The Greek, as given on the facing page of the Loeb edition, is Ὀκταουϊανóν = 'Octavianus'; and the Octavius in chapters 19 and 30 correspond to no Greek at all, but were supplied by the translator, apparently to make it quite clear who Plutarch is talking about.

c For the correction, I am indebted to Prof. John Morgan who looked at the Loeb edition's own facing Greek text and found Ξοῦθοι, as I find in my copy as well.

d The life and works of Antiphon are very thoroughly treated in Dobson's Greek Orators, chapter II.

e Plutarch repeats the story in On the Fortune of the Romans, 319F.

f Greek and Roman authors often write "Syrian" to mean "Assyrian" (neo-Assyrian cuneiform remained the script of official documents until Roman times) or, as here, probably, "Aramaic" — the spoken language current in the old Assyrian Empire since well before Alexander. At this point, Antony was still in Media, which lies to the east of the Assyrian heartland, bordering on the Caspian Sea; Syria, on the other hand, lies to the west.

g Some things were better in Antiquity than in our time, and this is one of them. That a rate of taxation which in the United States at least would be rather low and is exacted of us yearly, should in ancient Rome have been considered a one-shot extortionate scheme — on top of which today we can add an endless stream of sales taxes, property taxes, "user's fees" on quasi-state monopolies, wealth taxes and so forth —, is a monument to the ingenuity, spending habits, and rapaciousness of modern bureaucrats and the labor unions that live off them, as well as to the sheep-like temperament we have been bribed by the proponents of the Welfare State into developing over the last hundred years. Government will give us lots of stuff with our own money, and charge us an additional cut to do so: what to us is normalcy would have struck the Romans as a perversion.

For further confirmation of this in ancient authors, see Cassius Dio, LV.25 (and my note); Appian, B. C. IV.34 (and my note); the Loeb edition note on Augustus, Res Gestae, III.17.

h It appears just marginally possible that this portrait still exists. For the fascinating details, see Of the Picture of Cleopatra in Sir Thomas Browne's Pseudodoxia Epidemica, with a comprehensive bit of sleuthing by the website author, in which he tracks the portrait thru the early 19th century, when it appears to have vanished altogether — a fitting objet for Browne's own Musaeum Clausum.

i In Greek, ἐπιφανῶς. Plutarch is speaking of Caligula.

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