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Book XXI

This webpage reproduces a Book of
The Histories


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

The text is in the public domain.

This text has not yet been proofread.
If you find a mistake though,
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(Vol. V) Polybius
The Histories

 p345  Fragments of Book XXII

I. Affairs of Greece

Philopoemen and Sparta

3 1 After the slaughter of the men at Compasium,​1 some of the Lacedaemonians, dissatisfied with what had taken place and thinking that the power and dignity of Sparta had been destroyed by Philopoemen, came to Rome and accused Philopoemen for the measures he had taken. 2 They finally procured a letter from Marcus Lepidus, the future pontifex maximus, who was then consul, in which he wrote to the Achaeans saying that they had not acted rightly in Sparta. 4 While this embassy was still in Rome, Philopoemen, losing no time, sent Nicodemus of Elis to represent him there.

Ptolemy Epiphanes and the Achaeans

5 At about the same time Demetrius of Athens, the representative of Ptolemy, also came to renew that king's existing alliance with the Achaean League.  p347 6 They readily consented to this, and Lycortas my father,º and Theodoridas and Rositeles of Sicyon were appointed envoys to Ptolemy to take the oath on behalf of the Achaeans and receive that of the king. 7 At this time there occurred something of minor importance perhaps, but worth mentioning. For after the renewal of the alliance had been duly accomplished, Philopoemen entertained the king's envoy on behalf of the Achaeans. 8 When mention was made of the king at the banquet the envoy was profuse in his praises of him, and cited some instances of his skill and daring in the chase, and afterwards spoke of his expertness and training in horseman­ship and the use of arms, the last proof he adduced of this being that he once in hunting hit a bull from horseback with a javelin.

Troubles in Boeotia. Action of Rome and of the Achaeans

4 1 In Boeotia, after the peace between the Romans and Antiochus had been signed, the hopes of all those who had revolutionary aims were cut short, and there was a radical change of character in the various states. 2 The course of justice had been at a standstill there for nearly twenty-five years, and now it was common matter of talk in the different cities that a final end must be put to all the disputes between the citizens. 3 The matter, however, continued to be keenly disputed, as the indigent were much more numerous than those in affluent circumstances, when chance intervened as follows to  p349 support the better disposed party. 4 Flamininus had long been working in Rome to secure the return of Zeuxippus to Boeotia, as he had been of much assistance to him at the time of the wars with Philip and Antiochus, 5 and at this juncture he managed to get the senate to write to the Boeotians that they must allow the return of Zeuxippus and the others exiled together with him. 6 When this message reached them, the Boeotians, fearing lest the return of these exiles might lead to the rupture of their alliance with Macedonia, established a tribunal with the object of having judgement pronounced on the indictments against Zeuxippus that they had previously lodged, 7 and in this way he was condemned on one charge of sacrilege for having stripped the holy table of Zeus of its silver plating and on another capital charge for the murder of Brachylles. 8 Having managed matters so, they paid no further attention to the senate's letter, but sent Callicritus on an embassy to Rome to say that they could not set aside the legal decisions of their courts. 9 At the same time Zeuxippus himself came to lay his case before the senate, and the Romans, informing the Aetolians and Achaeans by letter what was the policy of the Boeotians, bade them restore Zeuxippus to his home. 10 The Achaeans refrained from proceeding to do so by armed force, but decided to send envoys to exhort the Boeotians to comply with the request of the Romans, and also to beg them, as they had done in the case of their own legal proceedings, to bring to a conclusion also those to which Achaeans were parties; 11 for a decision  p351 in suits between Boeotians and Achaeans had likewise been delayed for very long past. 12 The Boeotians, on hearing these requests — Hippias was now their strategus — at once promised to accede to them, but in a very short time entirely neglected them; 13 and owing to this Philopoemen, when Alcetas had succeeded Hippias in office, granted to all applicants right of seizure of Boeotian property, 14 which produced a by no means insignificant quarrel between the two nations. 15 For . . . seized on the cattle of Myrrichus and Simon, and this leading to an armed conflict, proved to be the beginning and prelude not of a difference between private citizens, but of hostility and hatred between nations. 16 Had the senate at this juncture followed up its order to restore Zeuxippus, war would soon have been set alight; but now the senate kept silence, and the Megarians put a stop owing to the seizures, the Boeotians (?) having applied to them through envoys, and having met the Achaean demand about the law suits.2

Dispute between Rhodes and Lycia

5 1 A difference arose between the Lycians and Rhodians owing to the following reasons. 2 At the time when the ten commissioners were administering the affairs of Asia, two envoys, Theaedetus and Philophron, arrived from Rhodes asking that Lycia and Caria should be given to the Rhodians in return for their goodwill and active assistance in the war with Antiochus; 3 and at the same time two envoys from the people of Ilium, Hipparchusº and Satyrus, came begging that, for the sake of the kinship  p353 between Ilium and Rome, the offences of the Lycians might be pardoned. 4 The ten commissioners, after giving both embassies a hearing, attempted as far as possible to meet the requests of both. For to please the people of Ilium they took no very severe measures against the Lycians; 5 but, as a favour to the Rhodians, they assigned Lycia to them as a gift. 6 Owing to this decision a quarrel of no trivial character arose between the Lycians and the Rhodians themselves. For the representatives of Ilium, visiting the Lycian cities, announced that they had deprecated the anger of the Romans and had been instrumental in obtaining their freedom. 7 Theaedetus, however, and his colleague published in Rhodes the message that Lycia and Caria, south of the Meander, had been given to Rhodes as a present by the Romans. 8 After this envoys from Lycia came to Rhodes to propose an alliance, but the Rhodians appointed some of their citizens to proceed to the cities of Lycia and Caria and give general orders as to what was to be done. 9 Though the conceptions formed on both sides were so widely divergent, yet up to a certain point the difference between them was not manifest to every one; 10 but when the Lycians came into the Rhodian Assembly and began to talk about alliance, and when afterwards Pothion the Rhodian prytanis got up and after a clear statement of the two views rebuked the Lycians, they . . . for they said they would submit to anything rather than obey the orders of the Rhodians.

 p355  II. Affairs of Italy

Thracian affairs before the Senate

(Cp. Livy XXXIX.24.6)

6 1 At the same time envoys came from King Eumenes to Rome conveying the news that Philip had appropriated the Thracian cities. 2 The exiles from Maronea also arrived accusing Philip of having been the cause of their banishment, 3 and together with them representatives of the Athamanians, Perrhaebians, and Thessalians claiming that they should get back the towns of which Philip had despoiled them in the war with Antiochus. 4 Philip also sent envoys to defend himself against all these accusations. 5 After several discussions between all the above envoys and those of Philip, the senate decided to appoint at once a commission to visit Philip's dominions and grant a safe-conduct to all who desired to state their case against Philip face to face. 6 The commissioners appointed were Quintus Caecilius Metellus, Marcus Baebius Tamphilus, and Tiberius Claudius Nero.


7 The people of Aenus had long been at discord with each other, the one party inclining to Eumenes and the other to Macedonia.

III. Affairs of Greece

The Achaean League and the Kings

7 1 I have already stated that while Philopoemen was still strategus, the Achaean League sent an  p357 embassy to Rome on behalf of Sparta, and other envoys to King Ptolemy to renew their existing alliance; 2 and in the present year when Aristaenus was strategus the envoys came back from Ptolemy during the sessions of the Achaean Assembly at Megalopolis. 3 King Eumenes had also sent envoys promising to give the Achaeans a hundred and twenty talents, that they might lend it out and spend the interest in paying the members of the Achaean Parliament during its session. 4 Envoys also came from King Seleucus to renew the alliance with him, promising to give the Achaeans a flotilla of ten long ships. 5 The Assembly having set to work, Nicodemus of Elis first came forward, and after reporting the terms in which they had spoken before the senate on behalf of Sparta, read the answer of the senate, from which it was easy to infer that they were displeased at the completion of the walls and at the . . . of those executed at Compasium, but that they did not revoke their previous decisions. 7 As there was neither any opposition or support the matter was shelved.

8 The envoys of Eumenes were the next to appear. They renewed the ancient alliance, informed the Assembly of the promise of money 9 and withdrew after speaking at some length on both these subjects  p359 and expressing the great goodwill and friendly feelings of the king towards the League. 8 1 After their withdrawal Apollonidas of Sicyon rose. He said that sum offered by Eumenes was a gift not unworthy of the Achaeans' acceptance, 2 but that the intention of the giver and the purpose to which it was to be applied were as disgraceful and illegal as could be. 3 For, as it was forbidden by law for any private person or magistrate to receive gifts, on no matter what pretext, from a king, that all should be openly bribed by accepting this money was the most illegal thing conceivable, besides being confessedly the most disgraceful. 4 For that the parliament should be in Eumenes' pay every year, and discuss public affairs after swallowing a bait, so to speak, would evidently involve disgrace and hurt. 5 Now it was Eumenes who was giving them money; next time it would be Prusias, and after that Seleucus. 6 "And," he said, "as the interests of democracies and kings are naturally opposed, and most debates and the most important deal with out differences with the kings, 7 it is evident that perforce one or the other thing will happen: either the interests of the kings will take precedence of our own; or, if this is not so, we shall appear to every one to be ungrateful in acting against our paymasters." 8 So he exhorted the Achaeans not only to refuse the gift, but to detest Eumenes for his purpose in offering it.

9 The next speaker was Cassander of Aegina, who reminded the Achaeans of the destitution which  p361 had overtaken the Aeginetans owing to their being members of the League at the time when Publius Sulpicius Galba had attacked Aegina with his fleet and sold into slavery all its unhappy inhabitants; 10 and how, as I have narrated in a previous book, the Aetolians gained possession of the town by their treaty with Rome, and handed it over to Attalus on receipt of thirty talents. 11 Laying this before the eyes of the Achaeans, he begged Eumenes not to fish for the good offices of the Achaeans by making advantageous offers, but by giving up the city of Aegina, to secure without a dissentient voice their complete devotion. 12 He exhorted the Achaeans at the same time not to accept a gift which would clearly involve their depriving the Aeginetans of all hope of deliverance in the future.

13 In consequence of these speeches the people were so deeply moved that not a soul ventured to take the part of the king, but all with loud shouts rejected the proffered gift, although owing to the greatness of the sum the temptation seemed almost irresistible.

9 1 After the above debate the question of Ptolemy came on for discussion. 2 The ambassadors sent by the Achaeans the Ptolemy having been summoned, Lycortas with his colleagues came forward, and reported in the first place how they had exchanged the oaths of alliance with Ptolemy, 3 and next stated that they were the bearers of gifts to the Achaean nation consisting of six thousand bronze shields for peltasts and two hundred talents weight of coined bronze. 4 After expressing his thanks to the king and briefly touching on his friendly sentiments towards the  p363 League, he concluded his speech. 5 The Achaean strategus Aristaenus now got up, and asked Ptolemy's ambassadors and those sent by the Achaeans to renew the alliance, which alliance had been renewed. 6 When no one answered, but all the envoys began to talk between themselves, the house was at a loss to understand why. 7 The cause of the confusion was as follows. There were several alliances between the Achaeans and Ptolemy, the terms of which varied widely with the variety of the circumstances under which they had been concluded; 8 yet neither did Ptolemy's envoy make any distinction when the alliance was renewed but spoke in general terms on the subject, 9 nor did the Achaean envoys do so, but exchanged oaths with the king as if there had only been one alliance. 10 So that when the strategus produced all the alliances and explained in detail the points in which they differed, the divergences being very marked, the assembly demanded to know which alliance they were renewing. 11 When neither Philopoemen, who had made the renewal during his year of office, nor Lycortas and his colleagues, who had been to Alexandria, could give any explanation, 12 they were judged to have treated affairs of state in a perfunctory fashion, but Aristaenus acquired a great reputation as being the only man who knew what he was speaking about. Finally he did not allow the resolution to be ratified but adjourned the debate on it owing to the confusion I have explained. 13 Upon the envoys from Seleucus entering the house the Achaeans voted to renew the alliance with that king, but to refuse the  p365 fleet of ships for the present. 14 After these subjects had been discussed the assembly dissolved, the members returning to their cities.

10 1 After this, when the Nemean festival was at its height, Quintus Caecilius Metellus came from Macedonia on his way back from his mission to Philip. 2 Aristaenus, the strategus, having assembled the Achaean magistrates in Argos, Caecilius came in and found fault with them for having treated the Lacedaemonians with undue cruelty and severity; and, addressing them at some length, exhorted them to correct their past errors. 3 Aristaenus, for his part, remained silent, thus indicating his tacit disapproval of the management of matters there and his agreement with the remarks of Caecilius. 4 Diophanes of Megalopolis, who was more of a soldier than a politician, now got up, and not only did not offer any defence of the Achaeans, but, owing to his strained relations with Philopoemen, suggested to Caecilius another charge he might bring against the League. 5 For he said that not only had matters been mismanaged at Sparta, but also at Messene, 6 alluding to certain disputes among the Messenians themselves on the subject of the edict of Flamininus and Philopoemen's interference with it. 7 So that Caecilius, thinking that he had some of the Achaeans themselves in agreement with him, became still more vexed because the meeting of magistrates did not readily accede to his requests. 8 After Philopoemen, Lycortas, and Archon had spoken at some length and employed various arguments to show  p367 that the management of affairs at Sparta had been good and particularly advantageous to the Spartans themselves, and that it was impossible to change anything in the established order of things there without violating the obligations of justice to men and piety to the gods, 9 the meeting decided to make no change, and to convey this resolution to the legate. 10 Caecilius, seeing how this meeting was disposed, demanded that the popular assembly should be summoned to meet him; 11 but the magistrates asked him to show them the instructions he had from the senate on the subject; and, when he made no reply, refused to summon the assembly; 12 for their laws did not allow it unless a written request was presented from the senate stating what matters it desired to submit to the assembly. 13 Caecilius was so indignant at none of his requests having been granted that he did not even consent to receive the answer of the magistrates, but went away without any. 14 The Achaeans attributed but the former visit of Marcus Fulvius and the present one of Caecilius to Aristaenus and Diophanes, alleging that these two politicians had induced both to side with them owing to their political differences with Philopoemen, 15 and they were viewed by the people with a certain suspicion. Such was the state of affairs in the Peloponnesus.

IV. Affairs of Italy

Treatment of Grecian Affairs by the Senate

11 1 After Caecilius and the other commissioners had left Greece and had reported to the senate  p369 about the affairs of Macedonia and the Peloponnesus, the envoys who had come to Rome on these subjects were introduced. 2 The first to come in were the representatives of Philip and Eumenes and the exiles from Aenus and Maronea; and, upon their speaking in the same terms as they had done at Thessalonica before Caecilius, 3 the senate decided to send fresh legates to Philip, to see in the first place if he had evacuated the cities in Thessaly and Perrhaebia, as Caecilius had stipulated in his reply to him, 4 and next to order him to withdraw his garrisons from Aenus and Maronea and in general to quit all forts, places, and cities on the sea coast of Thrace. 5 The envoys from the Peloponnesus were the next to be introduced, 6 the Achaeans having sent Apollonidas of Sicyon to justify themselves against Caecilius, because he had received no answer from them, and to speak in general on the affairs of Sparta, 7 and Areus and Alcibiades being the representatives of Sparta. These men both belonged to those old exiles who had recently been restored to their country by Philopoemen and the Achaeans; and it particularly excited the anger of the Achaeans that, after so great and recent a kindness as they had shown the exiles, they at once met with such flagrant ingratitude from them that they came on a mission against them to the ruling power and accused those who had so unexpectedly saved them and restored them to their homes. 12 1 The two  p371 parties, with the sanction of the senate, pleaded against each other in the Curia. Apollonidas of Sicyon asserted that it was quite impossible for the affairs of Sparta to have been managed better than they had been managed by the Achaeans and Philopoemen, 2 while Areus and his colleague attempted to prove the reverse, stating that in the first place the power of the city had been reduced by the forcible expulsion of the populace, and that then, in the state as left to those who remained, there was neither security nor liberty of speech, no security because they were few and their walls had been destroyed, and no liberty of speech because they not only had to obey the public decrees of the Achaeans but were as individuals obliged to be at the beck and call of any governors who might be appointed. 4 The senate, after hearing both sides, decided to give the same legates instructions on this subject, and appointed for Macedonia and Greece a commission at the head of which was Appius Claudius Pulcher.

5 The envoys from Achaea also spoke in the Senate defending their magistrates against Caecilius. They maintained that the magistrates had done nothing wrong and were deserving of no censure in not having summoned the assembly to meet, 6 the Achaean law being that the popular assembly is not to be summoned unless a resolution has to be passed regarding war or peace, or unless anyone brings a letter from the senate. 7 Their magistrates had therefore been right on that occasion; for while they had desired to summon the Achaeans to a general assembly they were prevented from doing so by the laws, as Caecilius was neither the  p373 bearer of letters from the senate nor would he show to their magistrates his written instructions. 8 After their speech Caecilius got up, and accusing Philopoemen and Lycortas and the Achaeans in general, condemned their management of the affairs of Sparta. 9 The senate, after listening to the speeches, gave the following answer to the Achaeans. 10 They would send a commission to inquire into Lacedaemonian affairs, and they advised the Achaeans to pay due attention and give a proper reception to all legates dispatched by them, just as the Romans do in the case of embassies arriving in Rome.

V. Affairs of Macedonia

Massacre at Maronea

(Cp. Livy XXXIX.34‑35)

13 1 King Philip, when his envoys sent a message to him from Rome 2 that it would be necessary for him to evacuate the Thracian cities, upon learning this was much embittered by the thought that he was being docked of his dominions on every side, and vented his fury on the unhappy people of Maronea. 3 Sending for Onomastus, the governor of Thrace, he communicated his intentions to him. 4 Onomastus upon leaving sent to Maronea Cassander, who was familiar with the people, 5 as he usually resided there, Philip having for long been in the  p375 habit of settling members of his court in these cities and accustoming the inhabitants to their stay. 6 After a few days, when the Thracians had been got ready and introduced into the town at night by Cassander, a great massacre took place, and many of the citizens perished. 7 Philip, having thus chastised his opponents and satisfied his vengeance, waited for the arrival of the legates, convinced that no one would dare to accuse him owing to fear; 8 but shortly afterwards when Appius and his colleagues arrived, and, having soon heard what had happened at Maronea, rebuked Philip severely for his conduct, he tried to excuse himself by stating that he had taken no part in the outrage, but that the people of Maronea themselves who were at discord, some of them being inclined to favour Eumenes and some himself, had brought this calamity on themselves; and he invited them to summon anyone who wished to accuse him to meet him. 11 This he did owing to his conviction that no one would venture to do so, as all would think that Philip's vengeance on his opponents would be summary, while the help of Rome was remote. 12 But when the commissioners said that any further defence on his part was superfluous, as they quite well knew what had happened and who was the cause of it, Philip was at a loss what to reply. 14 1 They broke up their first interview at this point, and on the next day the commissioners ordered Philip to send Onomastus and Cassander  p377 instantly to Rome. 2 Philip was exceedingly taken aback by this, and after hesitating for long, said he would send Cassander, the author of the deed, as they said, in order that the senate might learn the truth from him. 3 Both now and at subsequent interviews with the legates he exculpated Onomastus on the pretext that not only had he not been present at Maronea on the occasion of the massacre, but had not even been in the neighbourhood; fearing in fact that on arriving at Rome this officer, who had taken part in many similar deeds, might inform the Romans not only about what had happened at Maronea, but about all the rest. 5 Finally he got Onomastus excused; but sent off Cassander after the departure of the legates and giving him an escort as far as Epirus killed him there by poison. 6 But Appius and the other legates, after condemning Philip for his outrage at Maronea and for his spirit of enmity to Rome, quitted him with this opinion of him.

7 The king, left by himself, confessed in his confidential intercourse with his friends Apelles and Philocles that he saw clearly that his difference with the Romans had become very acute and that this did not escape the eyes of others but was patent to most people. 8 He was therefore in general quite eager to resist and attack them by any and every means. But as he had not sufficient forces to execute some of his projects, he set himself to consider how  p379 he might put off matters for a little and gain time for warlike preparations. 9 He decided, then, to send his youngest son Demetrius to Rome, in the first place to offer a defence against the charges brought against him, and next to ask for pardon if indeed he had inadvertently erred in any respect. 10 For he felt quite convinced that he would through him get the senate to accede to anything he proposed owing to the influence the young man had won while serving as a hostage. 11 Having thought of this he occupied himself with the dispatch of Demetrius and the other friends he was about to send in company with him, 12 and also promised to help the Byzantines, not so much with the view of gratifying them, as wishing upon this pretext to strike terror into the Thracian chiefs north of the Propontis and thus further the project he meant to execute.

VI. Affairs of Greece

Quarrel of Gortyna and Cnosus

15 1 In Crete, when Cydas the son of Antalces held the office of Cosmos at Gortyna, the people of that city, exerting themselves to diminish in every way the power of the Cnosians, parcelled off from their territory the so‑called Lycastium and assigned it to Rhaucus and the Diatonium to Lyttus. 2 At this time Appius Claudius and the other commissioners arrived in Crete from Rome, for the purpose of settling the disputes existing in the island. When they had spoken on the subject in Cnosus and Gortyna, the Cretans gave ear to them and put  p381 their affairs into their hands. 3 They restored the territory to Cnosus: they ordered the Cydoniats to take back the hostages they had formerly left in Charmion's hands, and to leave Phalasarna without taking anything away from it. 4 As for the joint court, they allowed them, if they wished, to take part in it, 5 and if they did not wish, to refuse 6 on condition that they and the exiles from Phalasarna left the rest of Crete untouched. The . . . killed Menoetius and others, the most notable of their citizens.

VII. Affairs of Egypt

16 2 All admire King Philip the Second for his magnanimity, in that although the Athenians had injured him both by word and deed, when he overcame them at the battle of Chaeronea, he was so far from availing himself of his success to injure his enemies, that he buried with due rites the Athenian dead, and sent the prisoners back to their relations without ransom and clad in new raiment. 3 But now far from imitating such conduct men vie in anger and thirst for vengeance with those on whom they are making war to suppress these very sentiments. . . .

17 1 When Ptolemy the king of Egypt laid siege to the city of Lycopolis, the Egyptian chiefs in terror surrendered at discretion. 2 He used them ill and incurred great danger (sic).º 3 Much the same  p383 thing happened when Polycrates got the rebels into his power. 4 For Athinis, Pausiras, Chesufus and Irobastus, the surviving chieftains, forced by circumstances, came to Sais to entrust themselves to the king's good faith. 5 But Ptolemy, violating his faith, tied the men naked to carts, and, after dragging them through the streets and torturing them, put them to death. 6 On reaching Naucratis with his army, when Aristonicus had presented to him the mercenaries he had raised in Greece, he took them and sailed off to Alexandria, having taken no part in any action in the war owing to the unfairness of Polycrates, although he was now twenty-five years old.

VIII. Affairs of Macedonia and Greece

(Cp. Livy XXXIX.23.5)

18 1 From this time forward dates the commencement of the catastrophes that were fatal to the royal house of Macedon. 2 I am not indeed unaware that some of the authors who have written about the war of the Romans with Perseus, wishing to indicate the causes of the quarrel, attribute it first to the expulsion of Abrupolis​3 from his principality on the pretext that he had overrun the mines on Mount Pangaeus after the death of Philip, 3 upon which Perseus, coming to protect them and  p385 having utterly routed him, expelled him, as I said, from his principality. 4 The next cause they give is the invasion of Dolopia by Perseus and his coming to Delphi, and further the plot formed at Delphi against King Eumenes, and the killing of the envoys from Boeotia, these latter events being asserted by some to have been the causes of the war. 6 Now I maintain that it is most essential both for writers and for students to know the causes from which all events spring and grow. But most writers are guilty of confusion in this matter, owing to their not observing the difference between a pretext and a cause, and between the beginning of a war and pretext for it. 7 I am therefore, as the circumstances themselves recall to my mind what I said on a previous occasion, compelled to repeat myself. 8 For of the events I just mentioned the first are pretexts, but the last — the plot against Eumenes and the murder of the envoys and other similar things that took place at the same time — constitute indeed evidently the actual beginning of the war between the Romans and Perseus and the consequent fall of the Macedonian power, 9 but not a single one of them was its cause. This will be evident from what I am about to say. 10 For just as I said that Philip, son of Amyntas, conceived and meant to carry out the war against Persia, but that it was Alexander who put his decision into execution;​4 so now I maintain that Philip, son of Demetrius, first conceived the notion of entering on the last war against Rome, and had prepared everything  p387 for the purpose, but on his decease Perseus was the executor of the design. 11 Now if one of these things is true, the other error also is evident. It is not surely possible that the causes of a war can be subsequent to the death of the man who decided on it and purposed to make it; and this is what other writers maintain; for all the things they mention are subsequent to the death of Philip.

19 1 Philopoemen had a verbal dispute with Archon the strategus. At the time his rejoinders were applauded, but afterwards he regretted them and praised Archon warmly for having acted under the circumstances in an adroit and smart manner. 2 But I myself, who happened to be present, neither approved at the time of what he said, belauding a man and at the same time doing him injury, nor do I think so now when I am of riper age. 3 For in my opinion there is a wide difference in the character of a forceful man and an unscrupulous one, almost as great as that between an adroit and a mischievous one. The one quality may be said to be the best in the world and the other just the opposite. 4 But owing to our prevalent lack of judgement, the two, having some points in common, meet with equal approbation and admiration.

IX. Affairs of Asia

20 1 Apollonis, the wife of Attalus, father of King Eumenes, was a native of Cyzicus, and for several reasons a very remarkable and praiseworthy woman.  p389 2 For the fact that being a simple citizen she became a queen and preserved this dignity until the end without employing any seductive and meretricious art, but always exhibiting the gravity and excellence of a woman strict in her life and courteous in her demeanour, makes her worthy of honourable mention. 3 Add to this that having given birth to four sons, she cherished for all of them up to her dying day an unsurpassed regard and affection, although she survived her husband for a considerable time. 4 And the sons of Attalus on their visit to the town showed due gratitude and respect to their mother. 5 For, placing her between them and taking both her hands, they went round the temples and the city accompanied by their suites. 6 All who witnessed it applauded and honoured the young men for this, 7 and, mindful of the story of Cleobis and Biton, compared their conduct to this, additional splendour falling on this act of devotion owing to the exalted and regal station of the two princes. 8 This all happened in Cyzicus after the peace with King Prusias.


21 1 Ortiagon, one of the Galatian princes, formed the project of subjecting the whole of Galatia to his dominion; 2 and for this purpose he possessed many advantages both natural and acquired. 3 For he was munificent and magnanimous, his conversation was both charming and intelligent, 4 and, what is most important among Gauls, he was brave and skilled in the art of war.

X. Affairs of Egypt


22 1 Aristonicus the servant of Ptolemy, king of Egypt, was a eunuch, but had been from childhood upward the king's intimate companion. 2 As he grew older he showed himself more of a man in courage and general character than eunuchs generally are. 3 For he was a born soldier, and spent most of his time with military men and in the study of military matters. 4 He was also capable in conversation and he was liberal-minded, which is rare, 5 and in addition to this he was naturally disposed to be beneficent.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Eighty Spartans were executed by Philopoemen at Compasium in punishment for the murder of some Achaeans.

2 This is of course an uncertain restoration.

3 See Liv. XLII.13.5.

4 See Bk. III chap. 6.

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Page updated: 29 Mar 22