1 1 Polybius in his seventh Book says that the people of Capua in Campania, having acquired great wealth owing to the fertility of the soil, fell into habits of luxury and extravagance surpassing even the reports handed down to us concerning Croton and Sybaris. 2 Being unable, then, to support the burden of their prosperity they called in Hannibal, and for this received from the Romans a chastisement which utterly ruined them. 3 But the people of Petelia who remained loyal to Rome suffered such privation, when besieged by Hannibal, that after eating all the leather in the city and consuming the bark and tender shoots of all the trees in it, having now endured the siege for eleven months without being relieved, they surrendered with the approval of the Romans.1
2 1 After the plot against King Hieronymus of Syracuse, Thraso having withdrawn, Zoïppus and Adranodorus persuaded Hieronymus to send an embassy at once to Hannibal. 2 Appointing Polycleitus of Cyrene and Philodemus of Argos he dispatched them to Italy with orders to discuss a joint plan of action with the Carthaginians. At the same time he sent his brothers to Alexandria. 3 Hannibal gave a courteous reception to Polycleitus and Philodemus, held out many hopes to the youthful king, and sent the ambassadors back without delay accompanied by the Carthaginian Hannibal, who was then commander of the triremes, and the Syracusans, Hippocrates and his brother the younger Epicydes. 4 These two brothers had been serving for some time under Hannibal, having adopted Carthage as their country, since their grandfather had been exiled because he was thought to have assassinated Agatharchus, one of the sons of Agathocles. 5 On their arrival at Syracuse Polycleitus and his colleague having presented their report, and the Carthaginian having spoken as Hannibal had directed, the king at once showed a disposition to side with the Carthaginians. 6 He said that this Hannibal who had come to him must proceed at once to Carthage, p409 and he promised to send envoys himself to discuss matters with the Carthaginians.
3 1 At the same time the Roman praetor in command at Lilybaeum, on learning of these proceedings, sent envoys to Hieronymus to renew the treaty made with his ancestors. 2 Hieronymus, in the presence of this embassy, said he sympathized with the Romans for having been wiped out by the Carthaginians in the battles in Italy, and when the ambassadors, though amazed at his tactlessness, 3 nevertheless inquired who said this about them, he pointed to the Carthaginians there present and bade them refute them if the story was false. 4 When they said that it was not the habit of their countrymen to accept the word of their enemies, and begged him not to do anything contrary to the treaty — for that would be both just and the best thing for himself — he said he would consider the question and inform them later; 5 but he asked them why before his grandfather's death they had sailed as far as Pachynum with fifty ships and then gone back again. 6 For as a fact the Romans, a short time before this, hearing that Hiero had died, and fearful lest people in Syracuse, despising the tender years of the heir he had left, should change the government, had made this cruise, but on hearing that Hiero was still alive had returned to Lilybaeum. 7 Now, therefore, they confessed that they had made the cruise wishing to protect him owing to his youth and assist him in maintaining his rule, but on receiving news p411 that his grandfather was alive had sailed away again. 8 Upon their saying this, the young man answered: "Allow me too, Romans, to maintain my rule by turning round and steering for the expectations I have from Carthage." 9 The Romans, understanding what his bias was, held their peace for the time, and returning reported what had been said to the praetor who had sent them. Henceforth they continued to keep an eye on the king and to be on their guard against him as an enemy.
4 1 Hieronymus, appointing Agatharchus, Onesigenes, and Hipposthenes, sent them to Carthage with Hannibal, their orders being to make a treaty on the following terms: 2 the Carthaginians were to assist him with land and sea forces, and after expelling the Romans from Sicily they were to divide the island so that the frontier of their respective provinces should be the river Himeras, which very nearly bisects Sicily. 3 On their arrival in Carthage they discussed this matter and pursued the negotiations, the Carthaginians showing on all points a most accommodating spirit. 4 But Hippocrates and his brother, in confidential intercourse with Hieronymus, at first captivated him by giving him glowing accounts of Hannibal's marches, tactics, and battles, 5 and then went on to tell him that no one had a better right than himself to rule over the whole of Sicily, in the first place because he was the son of Nereis, the daughter of Pyrrhus, the only man whom all the Sicilians had accepted as their leader and king deliberately out of affection, and secondly, as the heir of the sovereignty of his grandfather Hiero. 6 Finally, they so far talked over the young man that p413 he paid no heed at all to anyone else, being naturally of an unstable character and being now rendered much more feather-brained by their influence. 7 So while 5/6 and his colleagues were still negotiating at Carthage in the above sense, he sent off other envoys, affirming that the sovereignty of the whole of Sicily was his by right, demanding that the Carthaginians should help him to recover Sicily and promising to assist them in their Italian campaign. 8 The Carthaginians, though they now clearly perceived in its full extent the fickleness and mental derangement of the young man, still thought it was in many ways against their interests to abandon Sicilian affairs, and therefore agreed to everything he asked, and having previously got ready ships and troops they prepared to send their forces across to Sicily. 5 1 The Romans, on learning of this, sent envoys again to him protesting against his violating their treaty with his forefathers. 2 Hieronymus summoning his council consulted them as to what he was to do. 3 The native members kept silent, as they were afraid of the prince's lack of self-control; but Aristomachus of Corinth, Damippus of Lacedaemon, and Autonous of Thessaly expressed themselves in favour of abiding by the treaty with Rome. 4 Adranodorus was alone in saying that the opportunity should not be let slip, as this was the only chance of acquiring the sovereignty of Sicily. 5 Upon his saying this the king asked Hippocrates and his brother what their opinion was, and when they said "the same as Adranodorus" the council came to p415 a close. Such was the way in which the war against Rome was decided on. 6 But wishing not to appear to give a maladroit reply to the envoys, he blundered so fatally, that he made it certain that he would not only forfeit the good graces of the Romans but would give them the most serious offence. 7 He said he would adhere to the treaty if they repaid him all the gold they had received from his grandfather Hiero; next if they returned the cornº and other gifts they had had from him during the whole of his reign; and thirdly, if they would acknowledge that all the country and towns east of the river Himeras belonged to Syracuse. 8 It was on these terms that the envoys and the council parted. Hieronymus from this time onward made active preparations for war, collecting and arming his forces and getting his other supplies ready. . . .
6 1 The city of Leontini as regards its general position is turned to the north. 2 Through the middle of it runs a level valley in which stand the government offices, the law courts, and the agora in general. 3 On each side of this valley runs a ridge precipitous from end to end, the flat ground above the brows of these ridges being covered with houses and temples. 4 The town has two gates, one at the southern end of the above-mentioned valley leading towards Syracuse, and the other at its northern end leading to the so‑called Leontine plain and the arable land. 5 Under the one ridge, that on the western side, runs a river called the Lissus, 6 and p417 parallel to it just under the cliff stands a row of houses between which and the river is the road I mentioned. . . .
7 1 Some of the historians who have described the fall of Hieronymus have done so at great length and introduced much of the marvellous, telling of the prodigies that occurred before his reign and the misfortunes of the Syracusans, 2 and describing in tragic colours the cruelty of his character and the impiety of his actions, and finally the strange and terrible nature of the circumstances attending his death, so that neither Phalaris nor Apollodorus nor any other tyrant would seem to have been more savage than he. 3 And yet he was a boy when he succeeded to power, and lived only thirteen months after. 4 In this space of time it is possible that one or two men may have been tortured, and some of his friends and of the other Syracusans put to death, but it is hardly probable that there was any excess of unlawful violence or any extraordinary impiety. 5 One must admit that his character was exceedingly capricious and violent; but he is not at least to be compared with either of these tyrants. 6 The fact, as it seems to me, is that those who write narratives of particular events, when they have to deal with a subject which is circumscribed and narrow, are compelled for lack of facts to make small things great and to devote much space to matters really not worthy of record. There are some also who fall into a similar error through lack of judgement. How much more justifiable indeed it would be for a writer to devote those pages of p419 narrative which serve to fill up his book to overflowing to Hiero and Gelo, making no mention at all of Hieronymus? 8 This would be both more agreeable to the curious reader and more useful to the student.
8 1 For Hiero in the first place acquired the sovereignty of Syracuse and her allies by his own merit, having found ready provided for him by fortune neither wealth, fame, nor anything else. 2 And, what is more, he made himself king of Syracuse unaided, without killing, exiling, or injuring a single citizen, which indeed is the most remarkable thing of all; 3 and not only did he acquire his sovereignty so, but maintained it in the same manner. 4 For during a reign of fifty-four years he kept his country at peace and his own power undisturbed by plots, and he kept clear of that envy which is wont to wait on superiority. 5 Actually on several occasions when he wished to lay down his authority, he was prevented from doing so by the common action of the citizens. 6 And having conferred great benefits on the Greeks, and studied to win their high opinion, he left behind him a great personal reputation and a legacy of universal goodwill to the Syracusans. 7 Further, although he lived constantly in the midst of affluence, luxury, and most lavish expenditure, he survived till over ninety, and retained all his faculties, as well as keeping every part of his body sound, which seems to me to testify in no slight measure, indeed very strongly, to his having led a temperate life.
9 Gelo, who lived till over fifty, set before himself in his life the most admirable object, that is to obey his father, and not to esteem either wealth or royal p421 power or anything else as of higher value than affection and loyalty to his parents.
9 1 This is a sworn treaty between us, Hannibal the general, Mago, Myrcan, Barmocar, and all other Carthaginian senators present with him, and all Carthaginians serving under him, on the one side, and Xenophanes the Athenian, son of Cleomachus, the envoy whom King Philip, son of Demetrius, sent to us on behalf of himself, the Macedonians and allies, on the other side.
2 In the presence of Zeus, Hera, and Apollo: in the presence of the Genius of Carthage, of Heracles, and Iolaus: in the presence of Ares, Triton, and Poseidon: in the presence of the gods who battle for us and the Sun, Moon, and Earth; in the presence of Rivers, Lakes, and Waters: 3 in the presence of all the gods who possess Macedonia and the rest of Greece: in the presence of all the gods of the army who preside over this oath. 4 Thus saith Hannibal the general, and all the Carthaginian senators with him, and all Carthaginians serving with him, that as seemeth good to you and to us, so should we bind ourselves by oath to be even as friends, kinsmen, and brothers, on these conditions. 5 (1) That King Philip and the Macedonians and the rest of the Greeks who are their allies shall protect the Carthaginians, the supreme lords, and Hannibal their general, and those with p423 him, and all under the dominion of Carthage who live under the same laws; likewise the people of Utica and all cities and peoples that are subject to Carthage, and our soldiers and allies 6 and cities and peoples in Italy, Gaul, and Liguria, with whom we are in alliance or with whomsoever in this country we may hereafter enter into alliance. 7 (2) King Philip and the Macedonians and such of the Greeks as are the allies shall be protected and guarded by the Carthaginians who are serving with us, by the people of Utica and by all cities and peoples that are subject to Carthage, by our allies and soldiers and all peoples and cities in Italy, Gaul, and Liguria, who are our allies, and by such others as may hereafter become our allies in Italy and the adjacent regions. 8 (3) We will enter into no plot against each other, nor lie in ambush for each other, but with all zeal and good fellowship, without deceit or secret design, we will be enemies of such as war against the Carthaginians, always excepting the kings, cities, and ports with which we have sworn treaties of alliance. 9 (4) And we, too, will be the enemies of such as war against King Philip, always excepting the Greeks, cities, and people with which we have sworn treaties of alliance. 10 (5) You will be our allies in the war in which we are engaged with the Romans until the gods vouchsafe the victory to us and to you, and you will give us 11 such help as we have need of or as we agree upon. 12 (6) As soon as the gods have given us the victory in the war against the Romans and their allies, if the Romans ask us to come to p425 terms of peace, we will make such a peace as will comprise you too, 12 and on the following conditions: that the Romans may never make war upon you; that the Romans shall no longer be masters of Corcyra, Apollonia, Epidamnus, Pharos, Dimale, Parthini, or Atitania: 14 and that they shall return to Demetrius of Pharos all his friends who are in the dominions of Rome. 15 (7) If ever the Romans make war on you or on us, we will help each other in the war as may be required on either side. 16 (8) In like manner if any others do so, excepting always kings, cities, and peoples with whom we have sworn treaties of alliance. 17 (9) If we decide to withdraw any clauses from this treaty or to add any we will withdraw such clauses or add them as we both may agree. . . .
10 1 Democracy being established at Messene, the principal men having been banished and the government being in the hands of those to whom their property had been allotted, those of the old citizens who remained found it difficult to brook the equality which these men had assumed. . . .
2 Gorgus of Messene was second to none at Messene in wealth and birth, and by his athletic achievements in the season of his prime had become the most famous of all competitors in gymnastic contests. 3 Indeed in personal beauty, in general dignity of bearing, and in the number of the prizes he had won he was inferior to none of his contemporaries. 4 And when he had given up athletics and taken to politics and the service of his country, he gained in this sphere p427 a reputation in no way beneath his former one, being very far removed from that boorishness which is apt to characterize athletes and being looked upon as a most able and level-headed politician. . . .
11 1 Interrupting my narrative here, I wish to say a few words about Philip, because this was the beginning of the revolution in his character and his notable change for the worse. 2 For this seems to me a very striking camp for such men of action as wish in how small a measure to correct their standard of conduct by the study of history. 3 For both owing to the splendour of his position and the brilliancy of his genius the good and evil impulses of this prince were very conspicuous and very widely known throughout Greece; and so were the practical consequences of his good and evil impulses as compared with each other. 4 That after he succeeded to the throne, Thessaly, Macedonia, and all his hereditary dominions were more submissive and more attached to him than to any king before him, although he had come to the throne at such an early age, it is easy to see from the following facts. 5 Although he was frequently called away from Macedonia owing to the war against the Aetolians and Lacedaemonians, not only did none of these peoples revolt, but none of the barbarous tribes on his frontier ventured to touch Macedonia. 6 Again it would be impossible to speak in adequate terms of the affection and devotion to him of Alexander, Chrysogonus and his other friends. p429 7 Nor can one overstate the benefits he conferred in a short space of time on the Peloponnesians, Boeotians, Epirots, and Acarnanians. 8 In fact, as a whole, if one may use a somewhat extravagant phrase, one might say most aptly of Philip that he was the darling of the whole of Greece owing to his beneficent policy. 9 A most conspicuous and striking proof of the value of honourable principles and good faith is that all the Cretans united and entering into one confederacy elected Philip president of the whole island, this being accomplished without any appeal to arms or violence, a thing of which it would be difficult to find a previous instance. 10 For as he totally changed his principles, it was inevitable that he should totally reverse also other men's opinion of him, and that he should meet with totally different results in his undertakings. 12 This indeed was the fact; and events I am now about to relate will render it quite evident to those who follow them with care. . . .
12 1 When Philip, king of Macedon, wished to seize on the citadel of Messene, he told the magistrates of that city that he wished to visit the citadel and sacrifice to Zeus. He went up with his suite and sacrificed, and when, as is the custom, the entrails of the slaughtered victim were offered him he received p431 them in his hands and stepping a little aside, held them out to Aratus and those with him and asked, "What does the sacrifice signify? To withdraw from the citadel or remain in possession of it?" 2 Demetrius said on the spur of the moment "If you have the mind of a diviner, it bids you withdraw at once, but if you have the mind of a vigorous king it tells you to keep it, so that you may not after losing this opportunity see hand in vain for another more favourable one. For it is only by holding both his horns that you can keep the ox under," meaning by the horns Mount Ithome and the Acrocorinthus and by the ox the Peloponnese. 4 Philip then turned to Aratus and said, "Is your advice the same?" When Aratus made no answer, he asked him to say exactly what he thought. 5 After some hesitation he spoke as follows. "If without breaking faith with the Messenians you can keep this place, I advise you to keep it. 6 But if by seizing and garrisoning it you are sure to lose all other citadels and the garrison by which you found the allies guarded when Antigonus handed them down to you" — meaning by this good faith — "consider if it will not be better now to withdraw your men and leave good faith here guarding with it the Messenians as well as the other allies." 8 Philip's personal inclination was to play false, as he showed by his subsequent conduct; 9 but as he had been severely censured a short time previously by the younger Aratus for killing the men, and as the elder Aratus spoke now with freedom and authority, and begged him not to turn a deaf ear to his advice, he felt ashamed, p433 and taking him by the hand said, "Let us go back by the way we came . . ."
13 1 Aratus seeing that Philip was avowedly entering into hostilities with Rome and had entirely changed his sentiment towards the allies, with difficulty persuaded him by urging on him a number of difficulties and pleas. 2 Now that actual facts have confirmed a statement I made in my fifth Book, which was there a mere unsupported pronouncement, I wish to recall it to the memory of those who have followed this history, so as to leave none of my statements without proof or disputable. 3 When in describing the Aetolian war I reached that part of my narrative in which I said that Philip was too savage in his destruction of the porticoes and other votive offerings at Thermus, and that we should not owing to his youth at the time lay the blame so much on the king himself as on the friends he associated with, I then stated that Aratus' conduct throughout his life vindicated him from the suspicion of having acted so wickedly, but that such conduct savoured of Demetrius of Pharos. 5 I then promised to make this clear from what I would afterwards relate, and I reserved the proof of the above assertion for this occasion, when, as I just stated in my account of his treatment of the Messenians, all owing to a difference of one day — Demetrius having arrived and Aratus being too late — Philip committed the first of his great crimes. 7 Henceforth, as if he had had a taste of human blood and of the slaughter and p435 betrayal of his allies, he did not change from a man into a wolf, as in the Arcadian tale cited by Plato, but he changed from a king into a cruel tyrant. 8 And a still more striking proof of the sentiment of each is this advice that they respectively gave about the citadel of Messene; so that there is not a shadow of doubt left about the Aetolian matter. 14 1 If we once accept this, it is easy to make up our minds about the extent to which their principles differed. 2 For just as Philip on this occasion took the advice of Aratus and kept his faith to the Messenians regarding their citadel, and as the saying is, did a little to heal the terrible wound inflicted by his massacres, 3 so in Aetolia by following the advice of Demetrius he was not only guilty of impiety to the gods by destroying the offerings consecrated to them, but he sinned against men by transgressing the laws of war, and spoilt his own projects by showing himself the implacable and cruel foe of his adversaries. The same holds for his conduct in Crete. 4 There, too, as long as he was guided by Aratus in his general policy, not only was he not guilty of injustice to any of the islanders, but he did not give the least offence to any; so that he had all the Cretans at his service, and by the strictness of his principles attracted the affection of all the Greeks. 5 Again by letting himself be guided by Demetrius and inflicting on the Messenians the disasters I described above, he lost both the affection of his allies and the confidence of the other Greeks. 6 Of such decisive importance for young kings, as leading either to misfortune or to the firm establishment of their kingdom, is the judicious choice of the friends who attend on them, a matter to p437 which most of them, with a sort of indifference, devote no care at all. . . .
15 1 Round Sardis there was a constant succession of skirmishes and battles both by night and day, the soldiers devising against each other every species of ambush, counter-ambush, and attack: to describe which in detail would not only be useless, but would be altogether tedious. 2 At least after the siege had lasted more than one year, Lagoras the Cretan intervened. He had considerable military experience, and had observed that as a rule the strongest cities are those which most easily fall into the hands of the enemy owing to the negligence of their inhabitants when, relying on the natural and artificial strength of a place, they omit to keep guard and become generally remiss. 3 He had also noticed that these very cities are usually captured at their very strongest points where the enemy are supposed to regard attack as hopeless. 4 At present he saw that owing to the prevailing notion of the extreme strength of Sardis, every one despaired of taking it by any such coup de main, and that their only hope was to subdue it by famine; 5 and this made him pay all the more attention to the matter and seek out every possible means in his eagerness to get hold of some such favourable opportunity. 6 Observing that the wall along the so‑called Saw — which connects the citadel with the town — was p439 unguarded, he began to entertain schemes and hopes of availing himself of this. 7 He had discovered the remissness of the guard here from the following circumstance. 8 The place is exceedingly precipitous and beneath it there is a ravine into which they used to throw the corpses from the city and the entrails of the horses and mules that died, so that a quantity of vultures and other birds used to collect here. 9 Lagoras, then, seeing that when the birds had eaten their fill they used constantly to rest on the cliffs and on the wall, knew for a certainty that the wall was not guarded and was usually deserted. 10 He now proceeded to visit the ground at night and note carefully at what places ladders could be brought up and placed against the wall. 11 Having found that this was possible at a certain part of the cliff, he approached the king on the subject. 16 1 The king welcomed the proposal, and begged Lagoras to put his design in execution, upon which the latter promised to do the best he could himself, but begged the king to appeal for him to Theodotus the Aetolian and Dionysius the captain of the bodyguard and beg them to be his associates and take part in the enterprise, both of them being in his opinion men of such ability and courage as the undertaking required. 3 The king at once did as he was requested, and these three officers having come to an agreement and discussed all the details, waited for a night in which there would be no moon towards morning. 4 When such a night came, late in the evening of the day before that on which they were to take action p441 they chose from the whole army fifteen men distinguished by their physical strength and courage, whose duty it would be to bring up the ladders and afterwards mount the wall together with themselves and take part in the hazardous attempt. 5 They next chose thirty others who were to lie in ambush at a certain distance, so that when they themselves had crossed the wall and reached the nearest gate, these men should fall upon the gate from outside and attempt to cut through the hinges and bar of the gate, while they themselves cut from within the bar on that side and the bolt-pins. 6 These were to be followed by a select force of two thousand men, who were to march in through the gate and occupy the upper edge of the theatre, a position favourably situated for attacking the garrisons both of the citadel and city. 7 In order that no suspicion of the truth should arise from the selection of these men, he had caused it to be reported that the Aetolians were about to throw themselves into the city through a certain ravine, and that, acting on this information, energetic measures had to be taken to prevent them.
17 1 Every preparation having been made, as soon as the moon set, Lagoras and his party came stealthily up to the foot of the cliff with their scaling ladders and concealed themselves under a projecting rock. 2 At daybreak, as the watch was withdrawing from this spot, and the king, as was his custom, was engaged in sending some troops to the outposts and in marching the main body out to the hippodrome and there drawing them up in battle order, at first no one had any inkling of what was occurring. 3 But when two ladders were set up and Dionysius was p443 the first to mount the one and Lagoras the other, there was a great excitement and commotion in the army. 4 It so happened that the assailants could not be seen by those in the town or from the citadel by Achaeus owing to the projecting brow of the rock; but the venturesome and perilous ascent was made in full view of Antiochus' army; 5 so that either from astonishment and surprise or from apprehension and fear of the result all stood breathless but at the same time overjoyed. 6 The king, therefore, noticing this excitement in the camp and wishing to divert the attention both of his own forces and of the besieged from his attempt, advanced his army and made an attack on the gate at the other side of the town, known as the Persian gate. 7 Achaeus, observing from the citadel the unusual movement of the enemy, was for long quite at a loss, being entirely puzzled and unable to understand what was going on. 8 However, he sent off to meet them at the gate a force which was too late to assist, as they had to descend by a narrow and precipitous path. 9 Aribazus, the commander of the town, advanced unsuspectingly to the gate which he saw Antiochus was attacking, and making some of his men mount the wall sent the rest out through the gate, with orders to engage the enemy and check his advance.
18 1 Simultaneously Lagoras, Theodotus, and Dionysius had crossed the precipitous ridge and reached the gate beneath it. 2 While some of them p445 engaged the enemy they encountered, the rest were cutting the bar, while those outside to whom this task had been assigned had come up to the gate and were similarly employed. 3 The gate was soon opened and the two thousand entered and occupied the upper edge of the theatre, upon which all the men hurried back from the walls and from the Persian gate, where Aribazus had previously sent them to resist the enemy, all eager to pass the word to fall upon those who had entered the city. 5 But, upon this taking place, the gate was opened for their retreat, some of the king's men who were following close upon the retiring force got in together with them, and as soon as they had made themselves masters of the gate, others from behind continued to pour in, while others again were breaking open the neighbouring gates. 7 Aribazus and all the garrison of the town, after a short struggle with the invaders, fled in haste to the citadel, and upon this, while Theodotus and Lagoras remained in the neighbourhood of the theatre, showing sound practical sense in thus holding themselves in reserve during the whole operation, the rest of the army pouring in from all sides took possession of the city. 9 Henceforth some of them massacring all they met, others setting fire to the houses and others dispersing themselves to pillage and loot, the destruction and sack of Sardis was complete. 10 It was in this manner that Antiochus made himself master of Sardis. . . .
1 From Athenaeus XII 528A.
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