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

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

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

[image ALT: link to previous section]

This webpage reproduces a Book of
The Histories


published in Vol. VI
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,
please let me know!


[image ALT: link to next section]

(Vol. VI) Polybius
The Histories

 p95  Fragments of Book XXX

I. Affairs of Italy

Attalus at Rome; Embassies from Rhodes

(Cp. Livy XLV.19)

1 1 At this time Attalus arrived in Rome sent by his brother Eumenes, the pretext for his mission being, that even if there had not been the Galatian trouble in the kingdom, still he would have come with the wish to congratulate the senate and with the hope of receiving some marks of attention, as they had fought side by side with the Romans and loyally shared all their dangers. 3 Now, however, the Galatian danger had obliged him to come to Rome. 4 He was very cordially received on all sides since they had become intimate with him in camp, and thought he was very well disposed to Rome, and, as the warmth of his reception even surpassed his expectations, he began to entertain extravagant hopes, not knowing the true reason of their kindness. 5 In consequence he narrowly escaped damaging the interests of himself and his brother and their kingdom in general. 6 For as the regard of most of the Romans for Eumenes had been estranged, and they were convinced that he had not acted straight in the war, but had kept on communicating with  p97 Perseus and watching for a reverse in their fortunes, some of the most distinguished of them in private conversation with Attalus advised him to throw up his mission on behalf of his brother and to speak on his own behalf; 8 for the senate, they said, wished to create a separate kingdom for him, owing to their hostility to his brother. 9 Attalus's ambition was much aroused by this, and in private conversation he was disposed to yield to the advice of those who urged him to act so. 10 Finally he even entered into an agreement with some personages of importance to come before the senate and address that body on the subject.

2 1 Such being Attalus's state of mind, the king, who had divined what would happen, sent his physician Stratius, in whom he placed great confidence, to Rome, 2 both furnishing him with suggestions and giving him positive orders to adopt every device to prevent Attalus from following the advice of those who wished to ruin their kingdom. 3 Upon his arrival in Rome, he had a private interview the Attalus and reasoned with him at length, employing various arguments; for he was a man of good sense and persuasive power. 4 With difficulty he attained his purpose and made Attalus renounce his foolish project, by representing to him that for the present he shared the throne with his brother, differing from him only in this that he did not wear a crown and had not the title of king, 5 but otherwise having equal and in fact identical power; while as to the future he was the undisputed successor to the  p99 throne, and his hopes were not likely to be long deferred, as the king, owing to his infirm health, was in constant expectation of death, and, owing to his childlessness, could not, even if he wished, leave his kingdom to anyone else — the actual successor not having yet been recognized by him as his real son. 7 And above all he said it surprised him that Attalus should do a thing so injurious under present circumstances. 8 They should surely give great thanks to all the gods if by agreement and unity of action they could ward off the Galatian peril and the danger that threatened them from that quarter. 9 But if now he proceeded to quarrel with his brother, it was evident that he would ruin the kingdom and deprive himself both of his present power and his hope of future power, while at the same time depriving both brothers of the kingdom and the authority they exercised within its boundaries. 10 By these and similar arguments Stratius succeeded in persuading Attalus to leave things alone.

3 1 Attalus therefore on entering the Curia congratulated the senate on all that had happened and solicited their favour in return for his kind offices and ready assistance in the war with Perseus. 2 He also at some length begged them to send legates to check the desperate revolt of Galatia and restore the former submissive temper of that province. 3 He also spoke about Aenus and Maronea, asking for these towns to be freely granted to him. 4 As  p101 to what he had been about to say against Eumenes and about the division of the kingdom he did not utter a word. 5 The senate, supposing that he would appear again and make a special speech about these matters, promised to send legates back with him, and voted on a lavish scale the customary gifts in his honour. 6 They also promised to give him the two towns in question. But when, after receiving all these kindnesses, he left Rome without doing any of the things they expected, the senate, disabused of their hopes, could take no further action; 7 but while he was still in Italy set free Aenus and Maronea, thus breaking their promise, but dispatched Publius Licinius Crassus as their legate to Galatia. It is difficult to state what instructions they gave this legate, 8 but from what happened afterwards it is easy to guess what they were, as will be evident when I come to narrate the events.

4 1 Envoys also came from Rhodes, first Philocrates and next Philophron and Astymedes. 2 For the Rhodians, on receiving the answer given to Hagepolis just after the battle of Pydna and seeing from this the angry and threatening attitude of the senate towards them, at once sent off these two embassies. 3 Astymedes and Philophron, noticing from the reception they met with both in public and in private the suspicion and hostility with which they were regarded, fell into a state of utter despondency and helplessness. 4 And when one of the praetors mounted the rostra and urged the people  p103 to declare war on Rhodes, then, entirely losing their senses owing to the danger in which their country stood, they were in such a state of distress that they put on mourning and in seeking the aid of their friends no longer begged for it or asked for it, but implored them in tears not to resort to extreme measures against Rhodes. 6 A few days afterwards, when they were introduced to the senate by the tribune Antonius, who had previously dragged down from the rostra the praetor who was inciting the people to make war, Philophron was the first to speak, and was followed by Astymedes. 7 On this occasion after singing the dying swan's song, as the saying is, they received an answer which relieved indeed their extreme apprehension of war 8 but in it the senate reproached them bitterly and severely for the several offences with which they were charged. 9 The sense of the answer was that, had it not been for a few men who were their friends, and especially had it not been for their own conduct, they would have known well as they richly deserved what was the treatment proper for them. 10 Astymedes, in his own opinion, had spoken well in defence of his country, but his speech by no means pleased the Greeks resident in Rome nor those at home. 11 For he afterwards wrote out and published his defence, and most of those who perused it thought it strange and quite unconvincing, 12 inasmuch as he had drawn it up relying not so much on the rights of his country, as on the accusations he brought against others. 13 In comparing and judging the relative values of kindnesses and assistance rendered to the Romans, he  p105 attempted to discredit and belittle the services of other states, while he magnified those of Rhodes, exaggerating them as much as he could. 14 In regard to offences, on the contrary, he condemned those of others in a bitter and hostile spirit, but tried to cloak those of Rhodes, so that when compared the offences of Rhodes might seem to be small and deserving of pardon, but those of her neighbours great and quite inexpiable, although, as he said, the offenders had all been pardoned. 15 Such a kind of justification, I think, is by no means becoming in a politician, since surely in the case of men who have taken part in secret designs we do not praise those who either from fear or for money turn informers and betray confidences, but we applaud and regard as brave men those who endure the extremity of torture and punishment without being the cause of similar suffering to their accomplices. 17 How then could those who heard of it fail to disapprove the conduct of a man who for fear of an uncertain danger revealed to the ruling power and published all the errors of others, errors which time had already veiled from the eyes of their masters?

5 1 Philocrates, on receiving the above answer, at once left, but Philophron and Astymedes remained to be on the watch, so that nothing that was reported or said against their country should escape them. 2 When the terms of the answer were announced in Rhodes, the people, thinking that they had been relieved of their greatest fear, that of war, bore  p107 the other demands, galling as they were, with equanimity. 3 And so it ever is that the greater the evils we expect, the more easily we forget lesser misfortunes. 4 So they at once voted a crown​1 of ten thousand gold pieces to Rome, and, appointing Theaedetus ambassador and admiral, sent him off in early summer with the crown accompanied by Rhodophon to try by every means to make an alliance with Rome. 5 This they did with the object, in case the Romans did not consent and the decree of the crown and their embassy were a failure,​2 of attempting to gain their end by the personal action of the admiral; for by their laws he was, as admiral, empowered to act in such matters. 6 For the policy of Rhodes had been so little dictated by sentiment, that although that state had from nearly a hundred and forty years taken part in the most glorious and finest achievements of the Romans, they had never made an alliance with Rome. 7 The reason of their action in this respect should not be ignored. It was this. 8 As they wished none of the kings and princes to despair of gaining their help and alliance, they did not desire to run in harness with Rome and engage themselves by oaths and treaties, but preferred to remain unembarrassed and able to reap profit from any quarter. 9 But now they were most energetic in their efforts to obtain this distinction from Rome, not standing in urgent need of the alliance or fearing in the very least any other power except Rome alone for the present, 10 but wishing by insistence on this project to free themselves from  p109 the suspicions of those who entertained unfriendly ideas about their city. 11 Soon after the arrival of Theaedetus at Rhodes, Caunus revolted, and the people of Mylasa took possession of the cities in Euromus. 12 At the same time the senate issued a consultum setting free all the parts of Caria and Lycia which they had assigned to Rhodes at the time of the war with Antiochus. 13 As for Caunus and Euromus the matter was soon set right by the Rhodians. 14 Dispatching Lycon with troops they compelled the Caunians to submit again to them, although the people of Cibyra came to their help, and making an expedition to the cities in Euromus they defeated the Mylasians and Alabandians, who had both advanced with an armed force to Orthosia. 16 But when they heard of the senatus-consultum about Lycia and Caria they were again alarmed, fearing that their gift of the crown had been made in vain and that their hopes of an alliance were equally vain.

II. Affairs of Greece

Three Classes of Anti-Roman Statesmen

(Cp. Livy XLV.31.4; 26.5)

6 1 In the first place I will ask my readers after reflection to pronounce on the conduct of Deinon and Polyaratus. 2 For, as the dangers were then great and the change of circumstances abrupt, not only at Rhodes but in nearly all other states, 3 it will be, I think, of some service to examine into the principles of the leading politicians in each place and decide which of them prove to have acted in a rational manner and which to have failed in their  p111 duty; 4 so that their successors, with these examples before them, may in similar circumstances be enabled without fail to pursue the course which is desirable and avoid that which is the reverse, and should not, by failing to see at the very end of their lives where the path of honour lies, dishonour all they may have achieved in the past. 5 Now there were three classes of men who were accused for their conduct in the war with Perseus. 6 The first consisted of those who did not indeed view with pleasure the final decision of the struggle and the subjection of the whole world by one power, yet neither supported the Romans in any way nor opposed them, but as it were committed the result to Fortune. 7 The next class was composed of those who were glad to see matters coming to a decisive issue and wished Perseus success, but were unable to impose their views on their fellow-citizens and compatriots. 8 Finally, there were those who did convert their states to their views and involve them in alliance with Perseus. 7 1 My present object, then, is to inquire how each of these classes handled their respective situations. 2 Antinous, Theodotus, and Cephalus the Molottians involved themselves and their country in alliance with Perseus; and when facts fell out in a manner entirely adverse to their projects, when they stood in imminent danger, and the day of retribution was at hand, they all faced the situation and perished bravely. 4 We should therefore very properly praise these men for not abandoning their principles and permitting themselves to adopt a principle that would give the lie to their previous life. 5 Again in Achaea, Thessaly, and Perrhaebia numerous men were  p113 accused, owing to their inaction, of awaiting the development of circumstances and being favourably inclined to Perseus; 6 but they were never convicted of having given expression to such sentiments either by writing to Perseus or communicating with him about any matter, and they gave no handle to anyone to accuse them. 7 They were therefore justified in standing on their defence in submitting to trial, and employing every means to save themselves; 8 for to put an end to one's life when one is not conscious of having done anything unworthy simply from fear of the threats of political opponents or the power of the conquerors is no less a sign of cowardice than to cling to life at the sacrifice of honour.

9 But again in Rhodes, in Cos, and in several other cities there were some among those who sided with Perseus who had the courage to speak about the Macedonians in their cities, to accuse the Romans and to recommend unity of action with Perseus, but who proved incapable of persuading their countries to ally themselves with the king. 10 Of these men the most distinguished in Cos were the brothers Hippocritus and Diomedon, and in Rhodes Deinon and Polyaratus. 8 1 Their course was one that no one can avoid condemning. In the first place their fellow-citizens were cognisant of all they had done and said; next both the letters of Perseus to them and theirs to him had been captured and published, 2 and the emissaries employed on both sides had fallen into the hands of the Romans: and yet they could not resolve  p115 to yield to facts and remove themselves but still continued to dispute. 3 Therefore by thus obstinately clinging to life in face of this desperate position, they so far annihilated their reputation for daring and venturesomeness, that they did not leave to posterity the slightest ground for pitying or pardoning them. 4 For, convicted as they were to their faces by their own handwriting and their own emissaries, they were considered not so much to be unfortunate, as to be unabashed. 5 There was in fact a certain ship captain called Thoas, who had made frequent voyages to Macedonia commissioned by these men. 6 This Thoas, at the time when the change in the situation took place, feeling the burden of what he had done weigh on his conscience, left for Cnidus. There the Cnidians put him in prison, and upon the Rhodians demanding his extradition he came to Rhodes, 7 and there when put to the torture made full confession in agreement with the interpretation of the whole cypher used in the captured correspondence and with the reading of the letters sent by Perseus to Deinon and Polyaratus and theirs to the king. 8 This makes one wonder on what Deinon calculated in clinging to life and enduring this exposure.

9 1 But Polyaratus much surpassed Deinon in stupidity and cowardice. 2 For when Popilius ordered King Ptolemy to send Polyaratus to Rome, the king did not think it fit to send him to Rome out of regard for Polyaratus himself and his country, but decided to send him to Rhodes, as Polyaratus had himself  p117 requested. 3 He therefore procured a galley, and putting him in charge of Demetrius, one of the royal friends, sent him off, having written to inform the Rhodians that he had dispatched him. 4 Polyaratus, when the ship put in to Phaselis on her voyage, with I don't know what notion in his head, took suppliant boughs and sought sanctuary at the common hearth of the town. 5 It seems to me that if anyone had asked him what he wanted, he would not have been able to say himself. For had he wished to go to his country what was the use of the suppliant boughs, as such was the purpose of those who were conveying him? 6 And had he wished to go to Rome, he would perforce have had to do so even had he not wished it. What other alternative then was open to him, there being no other place that could safely receive him? 7 When, however, the Phaselites sent to Rhodes and begged the Rhodians to send to fetch Polyaratus and take him into their hands, the Rhodians, acting with great prudence, dispatched an undecked ship to escort him, 8 but forbade the commander to take him on board, as people in Alexandria had been ordered to present the man at Rome. 9 When the ship arrived at Phaselis and the commander Epichares refused to receive Polyaratus on board, 10 while Demetrius, who had been appointed by the king to convey him bade him leave the sanctuary and continue his voyage, the people of Phaselis backing up this demand, as they were afraid that in consequence of this matter they might incur some blame from Rome, Polyaratus, alarmed at his dangerous situation, 11 went on board the galley again to Demetrius, but as they were sailing off availed himself of some plausible excuse 12 to go  p119 ashore, and again took refuge at Caunus, where likewise he implored the citizens to help him. 13 When they again declined, as they formed part of the Rhodian dominion, he sent messengers to the people of Cibyra imploring them to receive him in their city and to send him an escort — the city being under obligations to him as the sons of their tyrant Pancrates had been brought up in his house — 15 and they consented and did as he requested. By his arrival at Cibyra he placed himself and the people of that town in an even more difficult situation than the former one when he was at Phaselis. 16 For they neither ventured to keep him with them, as they feared danger from Rome, nor could they send him to Rome owing to their ignorance of seaman­ship, as they were a purely inland people. 17 Consequently they were compelled to send an embassy to Rhodes and another to the proconsul in Macedonia, begging them to take the man off their hands. 8 When Aemilius wrote to the people of Cibyra to place Polyaratus under strict guard and take him to Rhodes, and at the same time to the Rhodians to see that he was properly escorted by sea, so that he might be conveyed safely to Roman territory, and when both requests were complied with, 19 Polyaratus reached Rome in this manner, having made as notable an exhibition as he could of his stupidity and cowardice, and having been surrendered not only by King Ptolemy, but by the Phaselites, Cibyratae, and the Romans, all owing to his own folly.

20 If I am asked why I have dealt at length with the  p121 case of Polyaratus and Deinon, 21 it was not in order to exult over their misfortunes, which would be indeed outrageous, but that I might by clearly exhibiting their lack of wisdom render such as find themselves placed by circumstance in a similar situation better prepared to act advisedly and wisely.

(Cp. Livy XLV.27.7)

10 1 We can most clearly perceive both the abruptness and the uncertainty of Fortune from those instances where a man who thinks that he is undoubtedly labouring at certain objects for his own benefit suddenly finds out that he is preparing them for his enemies. 2 For Perseus was constructing columns, and Lucius Aemilius, finding them unfinished, completed them and set statues of himself on them.

Aemilius in the Peloponnese

(Suid.; cp. Livy XLV.28.2)

3 He admired the situation of Corinth and the favourable position of its acropolis as regards the command of both districts, that inside the Isthmus and that outside.

(Suid.; cp. Livy XLV.28.3)

4 After noting the strength of the fortifications of Sicyon and the power of the city of Argos, he came to Epidaurus.

(Suid.; cp. Livy XLV.28.4)

5 He hastened now to pay the visit to Olympia to which he had long looked forward.

 p123  (Suid.; cp. Livy XLV.28.5)

6 Lucius Aemilius visited the temple in Olympia, and when he saw the statue of Zeus was awestruck, and said simply that Pheidias seemed to him to have been the only artist who had made a likeness of Homer's Zeus; for he himself had come to Olympia with high expectations but the reality had far surpassed his expectations.

State of Aetolia

(Cp. Livy XLV.28.6)

11 1 The Aetolians were accustomed to get their living by robbery and similar lawless conduct. 2 And as long as it was in their power to raid and plunder the Greeks they lived upon them, regarding every country as an enemy. 3 But afterwards under Roman administration they were prevented from supplying their wants from outside, and had to turn upon each other. 4 Formerly in time of civil war, there was no excess of which they had not been guilty, and having a short time previously tasted each other's blood in the massacres in the territory of Arsinoë, they were prepared to stick at nothing, having become utterly brutalized, so they did not even allow their leading men to meet in council. 6 Thus the whole of Aetolia was full of turbulence, lawless violence, and bloodshed; not one of their actions being the result of deliberation and set purpose, but all done at haphazard and confusedly, as if a whirlwind had descended on them.

 p125  And of Epirus

12 1 The Epirots behaved in very much the same way. 2 For while the majority of the people were more orderly than the Aetolians, their chief magistrate just so far exceeded all other men in contempt for divine and human law. 3 For I think there never was and never will be a man more brutal and more unprincipled than Charops.

Congratulatory Embassies

(Cp. Livy XLV.31.6)

13 1 After the fall of Perseus, matters being now finally decided, embassies from all parts were being sent to congratulate the senate on the event. 2 Now that things had turned out entirely in favour of the Romans, those who were considered to be the friends of Rome came to the front owing to circumstances in all the states, and it was they who were appointed to these embassies or other posts. 3 In consequence those who flocked to Macedonia were Callicrates, Aristodamus, Agesias and Philippus from Achaea, Mnasippus from Boeotia, Chremas from Acarnania, Charops and Nicias from Epirus, and Lyciscus and Tisippus from Aetolia. 5 As all these men joined together and vied with each other in working for the same end and met with no opposition, all their political opponents having yielded to circumstances and entirely retired from politics, they attained their end without trouble. 6 The ten legates conveyed through the strategi themselves their orders to the other cities and national leagues as to which of the envoys should proceed to Rome, these  p127 being for the most part those nominated by the envoys themselves in their own list, the exceptions being men who had rendered conspicuous services. 8 To the Achaean League, however, the legates sent their two most distinguished members, Gaius Claudius Pulcher and Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, for two reasons. 9 In the first place they were apprehensive lest the Achaeans should refuse to comply with their written instructions, and lest Callicrates and his colleagues should run actual risk, as they were thought to have trumped up the false accusations brought against all the Greeks, 10 as in fact they had; and secondly because in the captured correspondence nothing had been found clearly implicating any Achaean. 11 On this subject the proconsul shortly afterwards forwarded the letters and the envoys, although not personally approving of the accusations brought by Lyciscus and Callicrates, as became evident from what actually took place.

A Saying of Aemilius

(Cp. Livy XLV.32.11)

14 1 A man with a mind capable of making good arrangements for games, and managing properly a sumptuous entertainment and banquet is likewise capable of marshalling his troops to meet the enemy with the skill of a general.

(From Strabo VII.7.3; cp. Livy XLV.34.6)

15 1 Polybius says that Aemilius Paullus after the fall of Perseus destroyed seventy cities in Macedonia, most of them belonging to the Molotti, and that he sold into slavery a hundred and fifty thousand persons.

 p129  III. Affairs of Egypt

16 1 In Egypt the kings, when relieved from the war with Antiochus, in the first place 2 dispatched Numenius, one of the royal friends, on an embassy to Rome of return thanks for the benefits conferred on them. They also set free Menalcidas of Lacedaemon who had energetically availed himself of the distressed condition of the kingdom to obtain his restoration. It was Gaius Popilius who asked them to do this as a personal favour to himself.

IV.º Affairs of Italy

17 1 At this time Cotys, king of the Odrysae, sent envoys to Rome to beg that his son might be given back to him and also to defend his action in having joined Perseus. 2 The Romans, thinking that they had attained their main object now that the war against Perseus had ended in their favour, 3 and that it served no purpose to prolong their difference with Cotys, allowed him to take back his son, who had been sent as a hostage, 4 to Macedonia and captured together with the children of Perseus, wishing to show their leniency and magnanimity, and at the same time attaching Cotys to them by this favour.

 p131  Prusias at Rome; Eumenes not received

(Cp. Livy XLV.44.19)

18 1 At the same time King Prusias also came to Rome to congratulate the senate and the generals on what had happened. 2 This Prusias was a man by no means worthy of the royal dignity, as may easily be understood from the following facts. 3 In the first place when some Roman legates had come to his court, he went to meet them with his head shorn, and wearing a white hat and toga and shoes, exactly the costume worn at Rome by slaves recently manumitted or "liberti" as the Romans call them. 4 "In me," he said, "you see your libertus who wishes to endear to himself and imitate everything Roman"; a phrase as humiliating as one can conceive. 5 And now, on entering the senate-house he stood in the doorway facing the members and putting both his hands on the ground bowed his head to the ground in adoration of the threshold and the seated senators, with the words, "Hail, ye saviour gods," making it impossible for anyone after him to surpass him in unmanliness, womanishness, and servility. 6 And on entering he conducted himself during his interview in a similar manner, doing things that it were unbecoming even to mention. 7 As he showed himself to be utterly contemptible, he received a kind answer for this very reason.

19 1 After Prusias had received his answer news came that Eumenes was on his way. 2 This matter very much embarrassed the senate. For as they had now quarrelled with him, and their opinion of him remained unshaken, they did not wish to make  p133 any pronouncement at all. 3 For they had proclaimed to the whole world that this king was their first and greatest friend, and now, if they allowed him to meet them and to defend himself, should they tell him in reply what they were really led to think of him by their own judgement, they would expose themselves to ridicule for having in former times paid this high honour to a man of such a character: 4 if on the other hand they made themselves the slaves of appearances and gave him a kind answer, they would be ignoring truth and the interest of their country. 5 Since therefore, whichever course they decided to adopt would put them in a position not easy to justify, they hit on the following solution of the problem. 6 Affecting to be displeased by the visit of kings in general, they issued a decree that no king would present himself to them; 7 and in the next place, when they heard that Eumenes had arrived at Brundisium, they dispatched the quaestor bearing this decree, and with orders to tell Eumenes to inform him if he stood in need of any service from senate: 8 in case there was nothing the king wanted he was to order him to leave Italy as soon as possible. 9 Eumenes, when he met the quaestor, understood the intention of the senate and remained perfectly silent after saying that he was in want of nothing. 10 This, then, was the way in which the king was prevented from going up to Rome. 11 But another more practical purpose had contributed to this decision. 12 For, as the kingdom of Pergamus was menaced with a great danger from the Gauls, it was evident that by this repulse all the allies of the king would be humiliated, and the  p135 Gauls would undertake the war with redoubled vigour. 13 So that it was with the view of thoroughly humiliating Eumenes that the senate arrived at this decision. 14 This took place at the beginning of winter, and afterwards the senate dealt with all the embassies that had arrived. 15 For there was no city or prince or king who had not at this time sent a mission to congratulate them. 16 To all these they replied in suitable and kind terms with the exception of the Rhodians whom they dismissed with ambiguous declarations about their future. 17 They also deferred giving an answer to the Athenians.

The Embassy from Athens

20 1 The embassy from Athens had come in the first place to beg that the people of Haliartus might be spared; 2 but when this request was ignored, they changed the subject and spoke about Delos, Lemnos, and the territory of Haliartus, begging to be placed in possession of those places, for they had received a double set of instructions. 3 We cannot blame them for asking for Delos and Lemnos, as they had previously laid claim to these islands; but as for the territory of Haliartus we are justified in finding fault with them. 4 For not to strive by every means to retrieve the fallen fortunes of a city almost the most ancient in Boeotia, but on the contrary to erase it from the map, by depriving its unhappy inhabitants of all hope for the future, 5 was evidently conduct unworthy of any Greek state and especially unworthy of Athens. 6 For now, while they were making their own country the common refuge of all who  p137 wished to be citizens of it, to destroy thus the countries of others was by no means consonant with the traditions of the city. 7 The senate, however, gave them, both Delos and Lemnos as well as this territory of Haliartus. Such was the decision about Athens.

8 In taking Lemnos and Delos they were, as the proverb has it, taking the wolf by the ears. 9 For their connexion with the Delians had many unpleasant consequences, and from their possession of the territory of Haliartus they reaped more reproach than profit.

Rhodian Matters

21 1 At this time Theaedetus appeared before the senate, and spoke on the subject of an alliance; 2 but the senate deferred their decision, and Theaedetus in the meantime died a natural death, being over eighty years of age. 3 Exiles then arrived in Rome from Caunus and Stratonicea, and came before the senate, which passed a decree ordering the Rhodians to withdraw their garrisons from these cities. 4 Philophron and Astymedes, on receiving this answer, took ship at once for home, 5 as they were afraid of the Rhodians refusing compliance with the order to withdraw the garrisons, and thus giving rise to fresh complaints.

 p139  Lucius Anicius's Triumph over Genthius

(From Athenaeus XIV p615; cp. Livy XLV.43.1)

22 1 Lucius Anicius, the Roman praetor, upon conquering the Illyrians and bringing back as his prisoners Genthius, the king of Illyria, and his children, in celebrating games in honour of his victory, behaved in the most absurd manner, as Polybius tells us in his Thirtieth Book. 2 For having sent for the most celebrated scenic artists from Greece and constructed an enormous stage in the circus, he first brought on all the flute-players at once. 3 These were Theodorus of Boeotia, Theopompus, Hermippus and Lysimachus, who were then at the height of their fame. 4 Stationing them with the chorus on the proscenium he ordered them to play all together. When they went through their performance with the proper rhythmic movements, he sent to them to show more competitive spirit. They were at a loss to know what he meant, when one of the lictors explained that they should turn and go for each other and make a sort of fight of it. The players soon understood, and having got an order that suited their own appetite for licence, made a mighty confusion. Making the central groups of dancers face those on the outside, the flute-players blowing loud in unintelligible discord and turning their flutes about this way and that, advanced towards each other in turn, and the dancers, clapping their hands and mounting the stage all together, attacked the adverse party and then faced about and retreated in their turn. 10 And when one of the dancers girt up his robes on the  p141 spur of the moment, and turning round lifted up his hands in boxing attitude against the flute-player who was advancing towards him, there was tremendous applause and cheering on the part of the spectators. 11 And while they were thus engaged in a pitched battle, two dancers with musicians were introduced into the orchestra and four prize-fighters mounted the stage accompanied by buglers and clarion-players 12 and with all these men struggling together the scene was indescribable. As for the tragic actors Polybius says, "If I tried to describe them some people would think I was making fun of my readers."

V. Affairs of Greece

Cretan and Rhodian Matters

23 1 At this time the Cnosians and Gortynians finished their war with Rhaucus, having previously come to an agreement with each other not to desist from the war before they took Rhaucus by storm. 2 The Rhodians on receiving the message about Caunus and seeing that the displeasure of the Romans did not diminish, when they had yielded complete obedience to the terms of their reply, at once appointed and sent Aristoteles and other envoys to Rome with instructions to try again to obtain an alliance. 3 They reached Rome in the middle of summer, and, entering the senate-house, at once informed that body that their people had obeyed all orders, and begged for an alliance, using many various arguments. 4 The senate returned an answer in which, making no mention of friendship,  p143 they said that as regards an alliance the time had not come when it was proper for them to grant this to Rhodes.

24 1 The inhabitants of Peraea were like slaves unexpectedly released from their fetters, 2 who, unable to believe the truth, take longer steps than their natural ones and fancy that those they meet will not know and see for certain that they are free unless they behave in some strange way and differently from other men.

VI. Affairs of Asia

Games celebrated by Antiochus IV

25 1 This same king when he heard of the games celebrated in Macedonia by Aemilius Paullus the Roman general, ambitious of surpassing Paullus in magnificence sent out embassies and sacred missions to the towns to announce the games he was about to give at Daphne, so that people in Greece were very eager to visit Antioch then. 2 The festival opened with a procession composed as follows: 3 It was headed by five thousand men in the prime of life armed after the Roman fashion and wearing breastplates of chain-armour. Next came five thousand Mysians, 4 and immediately behind them three thousand Cilicians armed in the manner of light infantry, wearing gold crowns. 5 Next came three thousand Thracians and five thousand Gauls. They were followed by twenty thousand Macedonians of whom ten thousand bore golden shields,  p145 five thousand brazen shields and the rest silver shields. 6 Next marched two hundred and fifty pairs of gladiators, and behind them a thousand horsemen from Nisa and three thousand from Antioch itself, most of whom had crowns and trappings of gold and the rest trappings of silver. Next to these came the so‑called "companion cavalry," numbering about a thousand, all with gold trappings, and next the regiment of "royal friends" of equal number and similarly accoutred; next a thousand picked horse followed by the so‑called "agema", supposed to be the crack cavalry corps, numbering about a thousand. Last of all marched the "cataphract" or mailed horse, the horses and men being armed in complete mail, as the name indicated. All the above wore purple surcoats in many cases embroidered with gold and heraldic designs. 11 Next came a hundred chariots drawn by six horses and forty drawn by four horses, and then a chariot drawn by four elephants and another drawn by a pair, and finally thirty-six elephants in single file with their housings.

12 It is a difficult task to describe the rest of the procession but I must attempt to give its main features. About eight hundred young men wearing gold crowns made part of it as well as about a thousand fat cattle and nearly three hundred cows presented by the various sacred missions and eight hundred ivory tusks. 13 The vast quantity of images it is impossible to enumerate. For representations of all the gods and spirits mentioned or worshipped by men  p147 and of all the heroes were carried along, some gilded and others draped in garments embroidered with gold, and they were all accompanied by representations executed in precious materials of the myths relating to them as traditionally narrated. 15 Behind them came images of Night and Day, of Earth and Heaven, and of Dawn and Midday. 16 The quantity of gold and silver plate may be estimated from what follows. The slaves of one of the royal "friends," Dionysius, the private secretary, marched along carrying articles of silver plate none of them weighing less than a thousand drachmae, 17 and six hundred of the king's own slaves went by bearing articles of gold plate. Next there were about two hundred women sprinkling the crowd with perfumes from golden urns, 18 and these were followed by eighty women seated in litters with golden feet and five hundred in litters with silver feet, all richly dressed. 19 Such were the more remarkable features of the procession.

26 1 When the games, gladiatorial shows, and beast-fights, which lasted for the thirty days devoted to spectacles, were over, for the first five succeeding days every one who chose anointed himself in the gymnasium with saffron ointment out of gold jars: of those there were fifteen, and there were the same number of jars with ointment of cinnamon and spikenard. On the succeeding days ointments of fenugreek, marjoram, and orris were brought in, all of exquisite perfume. 3 For banqueting there were sometimes a thousand tables laid and sometimes fifteen hundred, all furnished with most costly viands.

All the arrangements were made by the king in  p149 person. He rode on a sorry pony along the procession, ordering it to advance or halt as the case might be. 5 At banquets, again, he stood himself in the entrance and led in some of the guests, and ushered others to their seats, himself leading in also the attendants who carried the dishes. 6 Then he would walk round the room, occasionally sitting down and occasionally reclining, and then, putting down as the case might be the cup or the morsel he was holding, he would jump up and change his place, going all round the banquet, accepting toasts standing from this man or that and making fun of the musical performance. 7 Finally when the carouse had been going on for long and many of the guests had already left, the king, entirely wrapped up, was carried in by the mimes and deposited on the ground as if he were one of themselves. 8 The band was now summoned, and he, jumping up, would dance and act with the burlesque players, so that all the guests were abashed and left the feast. 9 All the above display and outlay was provided for by the robberies he had committed in Egypt when he treacherously attacked King Philometor while yet a child, and partly by contributions from his friends. He had also sacrilegiously despoiled most of the temples.

27 1 Shortly after the end of the games Tiberius Gracchus and the other legates arrived in the quality of inspectors. 2 Antiochus, however, was so adroit and courteous when he met them that Tiberius and his colleagues, far from acquiring any real suspicion about him or detecting anything indicative of disaffection due to what had happened at Alexandria,  p151 even discredited those who said anything of the kind, owing to their exceedingly kind reception: 3 for in addition to other favours he even gave up his palace to them, and very nearly gave up his crown to them as well, so far his demeanour went, 4 although his real feelings were not so, but quite the reverse.

VII. Affairs of Italy

Treatment of Galatia

28 1 The autonomy of their country was granted by the senate to the Galatian envoys on condition that they remained in their own settlements and did not cross their frontier in arms.

VIII. Affairs of Greece

Feeling against Callicrates

29 1 In Peloponnesus, when the envoys returned and reported the answer they had just received, there was no longer any disturbance but unconcealed indignation and hatred against Callicrates and his party.

2 One can guess from the following circumstances how cordially Callicrates, Andronidas, and the rest of their party were detested. When the festival of the Antigoneia was being celebrated in Sicyon, and all the baths had their large public bathing-tubs open, and smaller ones next them, which the more genteel people used to enter privately, 4 whenever any of the  p153 party of Callicrates and Andronidas went in to them, none of those who were waiting their turn ventured to enter the water after them, before the bath-keeper had let it all run off and poured in fresh. 5 They did this because they considered that they would be, as it were, polluted by entering the same water as those people. 6 And as for the hissing and hooting at public festivals when anyone attempted to proclaim one of these men as victor, it would not be easy to describe it. 7 Even the children in the streets on their way back from school ventured to call them traitors to their faces. So deep was the prevailing aversion and hatred of them.

IX. Affairs of Italy

Embassies from Prusias, Rhodes, and Achaea

30 1 Many other embassies also reached Rome this year, the principal ones being that under Astymedes from Rhodes, that from the Achaeans consisting of Eureas, Anaxidamus and Satyrus, and that from Prusias headed by Python. 2 The senate gave audiences to all these. The envoys from Prusias complained of King Eumenes, asserting that he had annexed some Bithynian places, and did not by any means cease from meddling with Galatia, 3 but disobeyed the decrees of the senate, continuing to strengthen his own partisans there and to weaken by every means in his power those who were favourable to Rome, and who desired to act in accordance with the decrees of the senate. 4 There were also some  p155 envoys from Asiatic cities who accused Eumenes, laying stress on his understanding with Antiochus. 5 The senate, after listening to the accusations, neither repelled them nor pronounced any opinion, but took note of them, generally distrusting Eumenes and Antiochus. 6 As for the Galatians they continued to add to and further secure their liberties. 7 Tiberius and his colleagues, on returning from their mission, were incapable of forming themselves or stating to the senate any opinion about Eumenes and Antiochus further than that which they had formerly entertained when in Rome. 8 So well had the kings succeeded in relaxing their vigour by the warmth of their reception.

31 1 After this the senate summoned the Rhodians and gave them a hearing. 2 Astymedes on entering took up a more moderate and better position than on his last embassy. 3 For, desisting from bringing accusations, he began to make excuses, as slaves when scourged beg to be let off a certain number of lashes, saying that his country had been sufficiently mulcted and beyond what her offences deserved. 4 He then proceeded to sum up the losses which Rhodes had suffered, mentioning first of all that of Lycia and Caria, on which provinces they had spent from the outset a considerable sum, having been compelled to undertake three wars against them, and now they were deprived of the large revenue derived from them. 5 "But perhaps," he said, "in this you are justified; for it is true that you gave these districts to our people as a favour and token of goodwill, and  p157 in revoking your gift now that we incur your suspicion and hostility you may seem to have acted reasonably. 6 But as for Caunus, you will confess that we bought it from Ptolemy's generals for two hundred talents, and that Stratoniceia was given us as a great favour by Antiochus son of Seleucus. 7 From these two towns our state derived an annual revenue of a hundred and twenty talents. 8 We lose the whole of this revenue if we consent to obey your orders. 9 From this you see that you have imposed a heavier tribute on the Rhodians for a single mistake than on the Macedonians who had always been your foes. But the greatest calamity inflicted on our town is this. 10 The revenue we drew from our harbour has ceased owing to your having made Delos a free port, and deprived our people of that liberty by which our rights as regards our harbour and all the other rights of our city were properly guarded. 11 It is not difficult to convince you of the truth of this. 12 For while the harbour-dues in former times were farmed for a million drachmae, they now fetch only a hundred and fifty thousand, so that your displeasure, men of Rome, has only too heavily visited the vital resources of the state. 13 Now, had the whole people been responsible for our error and estrangement from you, you might possibly with some show of justice maintain that displeasure and deny forgiveness, 14 but if, as you know well, the authors of this folly were quite few in number and have all been put to death by the state itself, 15 why do you refuse to be reconciled to men who  p159 were in no way to blame, you who are considered to be most lenient and magnanimous towards all other peoples? 16 Therefore, gentlemen, the people of Rhodes who have lost their revenue, their liberty, and their equality, things for which in past times they were ready to endure any suffering, beg and entreat you all, now that they have been sufficiently chastised, to abate your anger, to be reconciled to us and to make the alliance in order that it may be evident to all men that you have now laid aside your anger against the Rhodians and have resumed your original friendly attitude; 18 for it is this that our people stands in need now and not of an ally to support them by arms and soldiers." In these and similar terms Astymedes addressed the senate, and he was thought to have spoken in a manner befitting the situation. 19 The thing, however, which helped the Rhodians most to get their alliance was the recent arrival of Tiberius Gracchus and the other legates. 20 For by testifying in the first place that the Rhodians had obeyed all the decrees of the senate and next that all those guilty of disaffection had been condemned to death at Rhodes, he overcame all opposition, and so the alliance with Rome was made.

Embassy from Achaea

32 1 Shortly afterwards the Achaean envoys entered, with instructions consequent on the answer they had previously received. 2 This was that the senate were surprised that they should be asked to pronounce judgement on a matter already judged by the Achaeans. 3 Owing to this Eureas and his colleagues  p161 appeared on the present occasion to point out that the league had neither heard the defence of the accused nor pronounced any judgement on them, 4 and they now begged the senate to consider the case of these men, and see that they were put on their trial, and not allowed to rot in exile unjudged. 5 They begged the senate if possible to undertake the inquiry itself and to pronounce who were guilty of the charges; but if other calls on their time prevented this, to refer the matter to the Achaeans who would attempt to deal with the accused as their crimes merited. 6 The senate, after listening to what the envoys said according to their instructions, found themselves in a quandary, as they were confronted by objections on all sides. 7 They did not think it lay with them to pronounce judgement, while to set free the men without trial meant, they thought, the certain destruction of their own friends. 8 Therefore, forced by circumstances, and wishing to cut short once for all the hope of the populace that those in detention might be saved, with the object of shutting people's mouths and making them obedient to the party of Callicrates in Achaea, and to those in other states who were thought to be the friends of Rome, they gave a written answer in these words: 9 "We do not think it the interest either of Rome or of your peoples that these men should return home." 10 Upon this answer being issued not only did the Achaeans who had been summoned to Italy fall into a state of utter despondency and helplessness, but all the Greeks in Rome went as it were into mourning, 11 since the answer seemed to deprive the unhappy sufferers of all hope of restoration. And when the answer  p163 given to the Achaeans on the subject of the accused was announced in Greece, the spirits of the people were crushed and something like despair everywhere prevailed. 12 But Charops and Callicrates and the defenders of their policy were again in high spirits.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 i.e. a complimentary present offered to the goddess "Roma."

2 There is something amiss with the text, but the sense required is what I give.

Page updated: 29 Mar 22