Plutarch's Lives

Part 12 out of 35

Cleomenes called restoring the city, was, rather, possessing himself
of the citizens, and through their means securing also the city for
the future. The mere solitude would, of itself, erelong force him
away, since there was no staying to guard empty houses and naked
walls. These reasons withheld the Megalopolitans, but gave Cleomenes
a pretext to pillage and destroy a great part of the city, and carry
away a great booty.

Awhile after king Antigonus coming down to succor the Achaeans, they
marched with their united forces against Cleomenes; who, having
seized the avenues, lay advantageously posted on the hills of
Sellasia. Antigonus drew up close by him, with a resolution to force
him in his strength. Philopoemen, with his citizens, was that day
placed among the horse, next to the Illyrian foot, a numerous body of
bold fighters, who completed the line of battle, forming, together
with the Achaeans, the reserve. Their orders were to keep their
ground, and not engage till from the other wing, where the king
fought in person, they should see a red coat lifted up on the point
of a spear. The Achaeans obeyed their order, and stood fast; but the
Illyrians were led on by their commanders to the attack. Euclidas,
the brother of Cleomenes, seeing the foot thus severed from the
horse, detached the best of his light-armed men, commanding them to
wheel about, and charge the unprotected Illyrians in the rear. This
charge putting things in confusion, Philopoemen, considering those
light-armed men would be easily repelled, went first to the king's
officers to make them sensible what the occasion required. But they
not minding what he said, but slighting him as a hare-brained fellow,
(as indeed he was not yet of any repute sufficient to give credit to
a proposal of such importance,) he charged with his own citizens, and
at the first encounter disordered, and soon after put the troops to
flight with great slaughter. Then, to encourage the king's army
further, to bring them all upon the enemy while he was in confusion,
he quitted his horse, and fighting with extreme difficulty in his
heavy horseman's dress, in rough uneven ground, full of watercourses
and hollows, had both his thighs struck through with a thonged
javelin. It was thrown with great force, so that the head came out
on the other side, and made a severe, though not a mortal, wound.
There he stood awhile, as if he had been shackled, unable to move.
The fastening which joined the thong to the javelin made it difficult
to get it drawn out, nor would any about him venture to do it. But
the fight being now at the hottest, and likely to be quickly decided,
he was transported with the desire of partaking in it, and struggled
and strained so violently, setting one leg forward, the other back,
that at last he broke the shaft in two; and thus got the pieces
pulled out. Being in this manner set at liberty, he caught up his
sword, and running through the midst of those who were fighting in
the first ranks, animated his men, and set them afire with emulation.
Antigonus, after the victory, asked the Macedonians, to try them, how
it happened the horse had charged without orders before the signal?
They answering, that they were against their wills forced to it by a
young man of Megalopolis, who had fallen in before his time: "that
young man," replied Antigonus, smiling, "did like an experienced

This, as was natural, brought Philopoemen into great reputation.
Antigonus was earnest to have him in his service, and offered him
very advantageous conditions, both as to command and pay. But
Philopoemen, who knew that his nature brooked not to be under
another, would not accept them; yet not enduring to live idle, and
hearing of wars in Crete, for practice' sake he passed over thither.
He spent some time among those very warlike, and, at the same time,
sober and temperate men, improving much by experience in all sorts of
service; and then returned with so much fame, that the Achaeans
presently chose him commander of the horse. These horsemen at that
time had neither experience nor bravery, it being the custom to take
any common horses, the first and cheapest they could procure, when
they were to march; and on almost all occasions they did not go
themselves, but hired others in their places, and staid at home.
Their former commanders winked at this, because, it being an honor
among the Achaeans to serve on horseback, these men had great power
in the commonwealth, and were able to gratify or molest whom they
pleased. Philopoemen, finding them in this condition, yielded not to
any such considerations, nor would pass it over as formerly; but
went himself from town to town, where, speaking with the young men,
one by one, he endeavored to excite a spirit of ambition and love of
honor among them, using punishment also, where it was necessary. And
then by public exercises, reviews, and contests in the presence of
numerous spectators, in a little time he made them wonderfully strong
and bold, and, which is reckoned of greatest consequence in military
service, light and agile. With use and industry they grew so
perfect, to such a command of their horses, such a ready exactness in
wheeling round in their troops, that in any change of posture the
whole body seemed to move with all the facility and promptitude, and,
as it were, with the single will of one man. In the great battle,
which they fought with the Aetolians and Eleans by the river
Larissus, he set them an example himself. Damophantus, general of
the Elean horse, singled out Philopoemen, and rode with full speed at
him. Philopoemen awaited his charge, and, before receiving the
stroke, with a violent blow of his spear threw him dead to the
ground: upon whose fall the enemy fled immediately. And now
Philopoemen was in everybody's mouth, as a man who in actual fighting
with his own hand yielded not to the youngest, nor in good conduct to
the oldest, and than whom there came not into the field any better
soldier or commander.

Aratus, indeed, was the first who raised the Achaeans, inconsiderable
till then, into reputation and power, by uniting their divided cities
into one commonwealth, and establishing amongst them a humane and
truly Grecian form of government; and hence it happened, as in
running waters, where when a few little particles of matter once
stop, others stick to them, and one part strengthening another, the
whole becomes firm and solid; so in a general weakness, when every
city relying only on itself, all Greece was giving way to an easy
dissolution, the Achaeans, first forming themselves into a body, then
drawing in their neighbors round about, some by protection,
delivering them from their tyrants, others by peaceful consent and by
naturalization, designed at last to bring all Peloponnesus into one
community. Yet while Aratus lived, they depended much on the
Macedonians, courting first Ptolemy, then Antigonus and Philip, who
all took part continually in whatever concerned the affairs of
Greece. But when Philopoemen came to command, the Achaeans, feeling
themselves a match for the most powerful of their enemies, declined
foreign support. The truth is, Aratus, as we have written in his
life, was not of so warlike a temper, but did most by policy and
gentleness, and friendships with foreign princes; but Philopoemen
being a man both of execution and command, a great soldier, and
fortunate in his first attempts, wonderfully heightened both the
power and courage of the Achaeans, accustomed to victory under his

But first he altered what he found amiss in their arms, and form of
battle. Hitherto they had used light, thin bucklers, too narrow to
cover the body, and javelins much shorter than pikes. By which means
they were skillful in skirmishing at a distance, but in a close fight
had much the disadvantage. Then in drawing their forces up for
battle, they were never accustomed to form in regular divisions; and
their line being unprotected either by the thick array of projecting
spears or by their shields, as in the Macedonian phalanx, where the
soldiers shoulder close and their shields touch, they were easily
opened, and broken. Philopoemen reformed all this, persuading them
to change the narrow target and short javelin, into a large shield
and long pike; to arm their heads, bodies, thighs, and legs; and
instead of loose skirmishing, fight firmly and foot to foot. After
he had brought them all to wear full armor, and by that means into
the confidence of thinking themselves now invincible, he turned what
before had been idle profusion and luxury into an honorable expense.
For being long used to vie with each other in their dress, the
furniture of their houses, and service of their tables, and to glory
in outdoing one another, the disease by custom was grown incurable,
and there was no possibility of removing it altogether. But he
diverted the passion, and brought them, instead of these
superfluities, to love useful and more manly display, and, reducing
their other expenses, to take delight in appearing magnificent in
their equipage of war. Nothing then was to be seen in the shops but
plate breaking up, or melting down, gilding of breastplates, and
studding bucklers and bits with silver; nothing in the places of
exercise, but horses managing, and young men exercising their arms;
nothing in the hands of the women, but helmets and crests of feathers
to be dyed, and military cloaks and riding-frocks to be embroidered;
the very sight of all which quickening and raising their spirits,
made them contemn dangers, and feel ready to venture on any honorable
dangers. Other kinds of sumptuosity give us pleasure, but make us
effeminate; the tickling of the sense slackening the vigor of the
mind; but magnificence of this kind strengthens and heightens the
courage; as Homer makes Achilles at the sight of his new arms
exulting with joy, and on fire to use them. When Philopoemen had
obtained of them to arm, and set themselves out in this manner, he
proceeded to train them, mustering and exercising them perpetually;
in which they obeyed him with great zeal and eagerness. For they
were wonderfully pleased with their new form of battle, which, being
so knit and cemented together, seemed almost incapable of being
broken. And then their arms, which for their riches and beauty they
wore with pleasure, becoming light and easy to them with constant
use, they longed for nothing more than to try them with an enemy, and
fight in earnest.

The Achaeans at that time were at war with Machanidas, the tyrant of
Lacedaemon, who, having a strong army watched all opportunities of
becoming entire master of Peloponnesus. When intelligence came that
he was fallen upon the Mantineans, Philopoemen forthwith took the
field, and marched towards him. They met near Mantinea, and drew up
in sight of the city. Both, besides the whole strength of their
several cities, had a good number of mercenaries in pay. When they
came to fall on, Machanidas, with his hired soldiers, beat the
spearmen and the Tarentines whom Philopoemen had placed in the front.
But when he should have charged immediately into the main battle,
which stood close and firm, he hotly followed the chase; and instead
of attacking the Achaeans, passed on beyond them, while they remained
drawn up in their place. With so untoward a beginning the rest of
the confederates gave themselves up for lost; but Philopoemen,
professing to make it a matter of small consequence, and observing
the enemy's oversight, who had thus left an opening in their main
body, and exposed their own phalanx, made no sort of motion to oppose
them, but let them pursue the chase freely, till they had placed
themselves at a great distance from him. Then seeing the
Lacedaemonians before him deserted by their horse, with their flanks
quite bare, he charged suddenly, and surprised them without a
commander, and not so much as expecting an encounter, as, when they
saw Machanidas driving the beaten enemy before him, they thought the
victory already gained. He overthrew them with great slaughter,
(they report above four thousand killed in the place,) and then faced
about against Machanidas, who was returning with his mercenaries from
the pursuit. There happened to be a broad deep ditch between them,
along side of which both rode their horses for awhile, the one trying
to get over and fly, the other to hinder him. It looked less like
the contest between two generals than like the last defense of some
wild beast, brought to bay by the keen huntsman Philopoemen, and
forced to fight for his life. The tyrant's horse was mettled and
strong; and feeling the bloody spurs in his sides, ventured to take
the ditch. He had already so far reached the other side, as to have
planted his fore-feet upon it, and was struggling to raise himself
with these, when Simmias and Polyaenus, who used to fight by the side
of Philopoemen, came up on horseback to his assistance. But
Philopoemen, before either of them, himself met Machanidas; and
perceiving that the horse with his head high reared, covered his
master's body, he turned his own a little, and holding his javelin by
the middle, drove it against the tyrant with all his force, and
tumbled him dead into the ditch. Such is the precise posture in
which he stands at Delphi in the brazen statue which the Achaeans set
up of him, in admiration of his valor in this single combat, and
conduct during the whole day.

We are told that at the Nemean games, a little after this victory,
Philopoemen being then General the second time, and at leisure on the
occasion of the solemnity, first showed the Greeks his army drawn up
in full array as if they were to fight, and executed with it all the
maneuvers of a battle with wonderful order, strength, and celerity.
After which he went into the theater, while the musicians were
singing for the prize, followed by the young soldiers in their
military cloaks and their scarlet frocks under their armor, all in
the very height of bodily vigor, and much alike in age, showing a
high respect to their general; yet breathing at the same time a noble
confidence in themselves, raised by success in many glorious
encounters. Just at their coming in, it so happened, that the
musician Pylades, with a voice well suited to the lofty style of the
poet, was in the act of commencing the Persians of Timotheus,

Under his conduct Greece was glorious and was free.

The whole theater at once turned to look at Philopoemen, and clapped
with delight; their hopes venturing once more to return to their
country's former reputation; and their feelings almost rising to the
height of their ancient spirit.

It was with the Achaeans as with young horses, which go quietly with
their usual riders, but grow unruly and restive under strangers. The
soldiers, when any service was in hand, and Philopoemen not at their
head, grew dejected and looked about for him; but if he once
appeared, came presently to themselves, and recovered their
confidence and courage, being sensible that this was the only one of
their commanders whom the enemy could not endure to face; but, as
appeared in several occasions, were frighted with his very name.
Thus we find that Philip, king of Macedon, thinking to terrify the
Achaeans into subjection again, if he could rid his hands of
Philopoemen, employed some persons privately to assassinate him. But
the treachery coming to light, he became infamous, and lost his
character through Greece. The Boeotians besieging Megara, and ready
to carry the town by storm, upon a groundless rumor that Philopoemen
was at hand with succor, ran away, and left their scaling ladders at
the wall behind them. Nabis, (who was tyrant of Lacedaemon after
Machanidas,) had surprised Messene at a time when Philopoemen was out
of command. He tried to persuade Lysippus, then General of the
Achaeans, to succor Messene: but not prevailing with him, because,
he said, the enemy being now within it, the place was irrecoverably
lost, he resolved to go himself, without order or commission,
followed merely by his own immediate fellow-citizens who went with
him as their general by commission from nature, which had made him
fittest to command. Nabis, hearing of his coming, though his army
quartered within the town, thought it not convenient to stay; but
stealing out of the furthest gate with his men, marched away with all
the speed he could, thinking himself a happy man if he could get off
with safety. And he did escape; but Messene was rescued.

All hitherto makes for the praise and honor of Philopoemen. But when
at the request of the Gortynians he went away into Crete to command
for them, at a time when his own country was distressed by Nabis, he
exposed himself to the charge of either cowardice, or unseasonable
ambition of honor amongst foreigners. For the Megalopolitans were
then so pressed, that, the enemy being master of the field and
encamping almost at their gates, they were forced to keep themselves
within their walls, and sow their very streets. And he in the mean
time, across the seas, waging war and commanding in chief in a
foreign nation, furnished his ill-wishers with matter enough for
their reproaches. Some said he took the offer of the Gortynians,
because the Achaeans chose other generals, and left him but a private
man. For he could not endure to sit still, but looking upon war and
command in it as his great business, always coveted to be employed.
And this agrees with what he once aptly said of king Ptolemy.
Somebody was praising him for keeping his army and himself in an
admirable state of discipline and exercise: "And what praise,"
replied Philopoemen, "for a king of his years, to be always
preparing, and never performing?" However, the Megalopolitans,
thinking themselves betrayed, took it so ill, that they were about to
banish him. But the Achaeans put an end to that design, by sending
their General, Aristaeus, to Megalopolis, who, though he were at
difference with Philopoemen about affairs of the commonwealth, yet
would not suffer him to be banished. Philopoemen finding himself
upon this account out of favor with his citizens, induced divers of
the little neighboring places to renounce obedience to them,
suggesting to them to urge that from the beginning they were not
subject to their taxes, or laws, or any way under their command. In
these pretenses he openly took their part, and fomented seditious
movements amongst the Achaeans in general against Megalopolis. But
these things happened a while after.

While he stayed in Crete, in the service of the Gortynians, he made
war not like a Peloponnesian and Arcadian, fairly in the open field,
but fought with them at their own weapon, and turning their
stratagems and tricks against themselves, showed them they played
craft against skill, and were but children to an experienced soldier.
Having acted here with great bravery, and great reputation to
himself, he returned into Peloponnesus, where he found Philip beaten
by Titus Quintius, and Nabis at war both with the Romans and
Achaeans. He was at once chosen general against Nabis, but venturing
to fight by sea, met, like Epaminondas, with a result very contrary
to the general expectation, and his own former reputation.
Epaminondas, however, according to some statements, was backward by
design, unwilling to give his countrymen an appetite for the
advantages of the sea, lest from good soldiers, they should by
little and little turn, as Plato says, to ill mariners. And
therefore he returned from Asia and the Islands without doing any
thing, on purpose. Whereas Philopoemen, thinking his skill in
land-service would equally avail at sea, learned how great a part of
valor experience is, and how much it imports in the management of
things to be accustomed to them. For he was not only put to the
worst in the fight for want of skill, but having rigged up an old
ship, which had been a famous vessel forty years before, and shipped
his citizens in her, she foundering, he was in danger of losing them
all. But finding the enemy, as if he had been driven out of the sea,
had, in contempt of him, besieged Gythium, he presently set sail
again, and, taking them unexpectedly, dispersed and careless after
their victory, landed in the night, burnt their camp, and killed a
great number.

A few days after, as he was marching through a rough country, Nabis
came suddenly upon him. The Achaeans were dismayed, and in such
difficult ground where the enemy had secured the advantage, despaired
to get off with safety. Philopoemen made a little halt, and, viewing
the ground, soon made it appear, that the one important thing in war
is skill in drawing up an army. For by advancing only a few paces,
and, without any confusion or trouble, altering his order according
to the nature of the place, he immediately relieved himself from
every difficulty, and then charging, put the enemy to flight. But
when he saw they fled, not towards the city, but dispersed every man
a different way all over the field, which for wood and hills, brooks
and hollows was not passable by horse, he sounded a retreat, and
encamped by broad daylight. Then foreseeing the enemy would endeavor
to steal scatteringly into the city in the dark, he posted strong
parties of the Achaeans all along the watercourses and sloping ground
near the walls. Many of Nabis's men fell into their hands. For
returning not in a body, but as the chance of flight had disposed of
every one, they were caught like birds ere they could enter into the

These actions obtained him distinguished marks of affection and honor
in all the theaters of Greece, but not without the secret ill-will of
Titus Flamininus, who was naturally eager for glory, and thought it
but reasonable a consul of Rome should be otherwise esteemed by the
Achaeans, than a common Arcadian; especially as there was no
comparison between what he, and what Philopoemen had done for them,
he having by one proclamation restored all Greece, as much as had
been subject to Philip and the Macedonians, to liberty. After this,
Titus made peace with Nabis, and Nabis was circumvented and slain by
the Aetolians. Things being then in confusion at Sparta, Philopoemen
laid hold of the occasion, and coming upon them with an army,
prevailed with some by persuasion, with others by fear, till he
brought the whole city over to the Achaeans. As it was no small
matter for Sparta to become a member of Achaea, this action gained
him infinite praise from the Achaeans, for having strengthened their
confederacy by the addition of so great and powerful a city, and not
a little good-will from the nobility of Sparta itself, who hoped they
had now procured an ally, who would defend their freedom.
Accordingly, having raised a sum of one hundred and twenty silver
talents by the sale of the house and goods of Nabis, they decreed him
the money, and sent a deputation in the name of the city to present
it. But here the honesty of Philopoemen showed itself clearly to be
a real, uncounterfeited virtue. For first of all, there was not a
man among them who would undertake to make him this offer of a
present, but every one excusing himself, and shifting it off upon his
fellow, they laid the office at last on Timolaus, with whom he had
lodged at Sparta. Then Timolaus came to Megalopolis, and was
entertained by Philopoemen; but struck into admiration with the
dignity of his life and manners, and the simplicity of his habits,
judging him to be utterly inaccessible to any such considerations, he
said nothing, but pretending other business, returned without a word
mentioned of the present. He was sent again, and did just as
formerly. But the third time with much ado, and faltering in his
words, he acquainted Philopoemen with the good-will of the city of
Sparta to him. Philopoemen listened obligingly and gladly; and then
went himself to Sparta, where he advised them, not to bribe good men
and their friends, of whose virtue they might be sure without charge
to themselves; but to buy off and silence ill citizens, who
disquieted the city with their seditious speeches in the public
assemblies; for it was better to bar liberty of speech in enemies,
than friends. Thus it appeared how much Philopoemen was above

Diophanes being afterwards General of the Achaeans, and hearing the
Lacedaemonians were bent on new commotions, resolved to chastise
them; they, on the other side, being set upon war, were embroiling
all Peloponnesus. Philopoemen on this occasion did all he could to
keep Diophanes quiet and to make him sensible that as the times went,
while Antiochus and the Romans were disputing their pretensions with
vast armies in the heart of Greece, it concerned a man in his
position to keep a watchful eye over them, and dissembling, and
putting up with any less important grievances, to preserve all quiet
at home. Diophanes would not be ruled, but joined with Titus, and
both together falling into Laconia, marched directly to Sparta.
Philopoemen, upon this, took, in his indignation, a step which
certainly was not lawful, nor in the strictest sense just, but boldly
and loftily conceived. Entering into the town himself, he, a private
man as he was, refused admission to both the consul of Rome, and the
General of the Achaeans, quieted the disorders in the city, and
reunited it on the same terms as before to the Achaean confederacy.

Yet afterwards, when he was General himself, upon some new
misdemeanor of the Lacedaemonians, he brought back those who had been
banished, put, as Polybius writes, eighty, according to Aristocrates
three hundred and fifty, Spartans to death, razed the walls, took
away a good part of their territory and transferred it to the
Megalopolitans, forced out of the country and carried into Achaea all
who had been made citizens of Sparta by tyrants, except three
thousand who would not submit to banishment. These he sold for
slaves, and with the money, as if to insult over them, built a
colonnade at Megalopolis. Lastly, unworthily trampling upon the
Lacedaemonians in their calamities, and gratifying his hostility by a
most oppressive and arbitrary action, he abolished the laws of
Lycurgus, and forced them to educate their children, and live after
the manner of the Achaeans; as though, while they kept to the
discipline of Lycurgus, there was no humbling their haughty spirits.
In their present distress and adversity they allowed Philopoemen thus
to cut the sinews of their commonwealth asunder, and behaved
themselves humbly and submissively. But afterwards in no long time,
obtaining the support of the Romans, they abandoned their new Achaean
citizenship; and as much as in so miserable and ruined a condition
they could, reestablished their ancient discipline.

When the war betwixt Antiochus and the Romans broke out in Greece,
Philopoemen was a private man. He repined grievously, when he saw
Antiochus lay idle at Chalcis, spending his time in unseasonable
courtship and weddings, while his men lay dispersed in several towns,
without order or commanders, and minding nothing but their pleasures.
He complained much that he was not himself in office, and said he
envied the Romans their victory; and that if he had had the fortune
to be then in command, he would have surprised and killed the whole
army in the taverns.

When Antiochus was overcome, the Romans pressed harder upon Greece,
and encompassed the Achaeans with their power; the popular leaders in
the several cities yielded before them; and their power speedily,
under the divine guidance, advanced to the consummation due to it in
the revolutions of fortune. Philopoemen, in this conjuncture,
carried himself like a good pilot in a high sea, sometimes shifting
sail, and sometimes yielding, but still steering steady; and omitting
no opportunity nor effort to keep all who were considerable, whether
for eloquence or riches, fast to the defense of their common liberty.

Aristaenus, a Megalopolitan of great credit among the Achaeans, but
always a favorer of the Romans, saying one day in the senate, that
the Romans should not be opposed, or displeased in any way,
Philopoemen heard him with an impatient silence; but at last, not
able to hold longer, said angrily to him, "And why be in such haste,
wretched man, to behold the end of Greece?" Manius, the Roman
consul, after the defeat of Antiochus, requested the Achaeans to
restore the banished Lacedaemonians to their country, which motion
was seconded and supported by all the interest of Titus. But
Philopoemen crossed it, not from ill-will to the men, but that they
might be beholden to him and the Achaeans, not to Titus and the
Romans. For when he came to be General himself, he restored them.
So impatient was his spirit of any subjection, and so prone his
nature to contest everything with men in power.

Being now threescore and ten, and the eighth time General, he was in
hope to pass in quiet, not only the year of his magistracy, but his
remaining life. For as our diseases decline, as it is supposed, with
our declining bodily strength, so the quarreling humor of the Greeks
abated much with their failing political greatness. But fortune or
some divine retributive power threw him down the in close of his life,
like a successful runner who stumbles at the goal. It is reported,
that being in company where one was praised for a great commander, he
replied, there was no great account to be made of a man, who had
suffered himself to be taken alive by his enemies.

A few days after, news came that Dinocrates the Messenian, a
particular enemy to Philopoemen, and for his wickedness and villanies
generally hated, had induced Messene to revolt from the Achaeans, and
was about to seize upon a little place called Colonis. Philopoemen
lay then sick of a fever at Argos. Upon the news he hasted away, and
reached Megalopolis, which was distant above four hundred furlongs,
in a day. From thence he immediately led out the horse, the noblest
of the city, young men in the vigor of their age, and eager to
proffer their service, both from attachment to Philopoemen, and zeal
for the cause. As they marched towards Messene, they met with
Dinocrates, near the hill of Evander, charged and routed him. But
five hundred fresh men, who, being left for a guard to the country,
came in late, happening to appear, the flying enemy rallied again
about the hills. Philopoemen, fearing to be enclosed, and solicitous
for his men, retreated over ground extremely disadvantageous,
bringing up the rear himself. As he often faced, and made charges
upon the enemy, he drew them upon himself; though they merely made
movements at a distance, and shouted about him, nobody daring to
approach him. In his care to save every single man, he left his main
body so often, that at last he found himself alone among the thickest
of his enemies. Yet even then none durst come up to him, but being
pelted at a distance, and driven to stony steep places, he had great
difficulty, with much spurring, to guide his horse aright. His age
was no hindrance to him, for with perpetual exercise it was both
strong and active; but being weakened with sickness, and tired with
his long journey, his horse stumbling, he fell encumbered with his
arms, and faint, upon a hard and rugged piece of ground. His head
received such a shock with the fall, that he lay awhile speechless,
so that the enemy, thinking him dead, began to turn and strip him.
But when they saw him lift up his head and open his eyes, they threw
themselves all together upon him, bound his hands behind him, and
carried him off, every kind of insult and contumely being lavished on
him who truly had never so much as dreamed of being led in triumph by

The Messenians, wonderfully elated with the news, thronged in swarms
to the city gates. But when they saw Philopoemen in a posture so
unsuitable to the glory of his great actions and famous victories,
most of them, struck with grief and cursing the deceitful vanity of
human fortune, even shed tears of compassion at the spectacle. Such
tears by little and little turned to kind words, and it was almost in
everybody's mouth that they ought to remember what he had done for
them, and how he had preserved the common liberty, by driving away
Nabis. Some few, to make their court to Dinocrates, were for
torturing and then putting him to death as a dangerous and
irreconcilable enemy; all the more formitable to Dinocrates, who had
taken him prisoner, should he after this misfortune, regain his
liberty. They put him at last into a dungeon underground, which they
called the treasury, a place into which there came no air nor light
from abroad; and, which, having no doors, was closed with a great
stone. This they rolled into the entrance and fixed, and placing a
guard about it, left him. In the mean time Philopoemen's soldiers,
recovering themselves after their flight, and fearing he was dead
when he appeared nowhere, made a stand, calling him with loud cries,
and reproaching one another with their unworthy and shameful escape;
having betrayed their general, who, to preserve their lives, had lost
his own. Then returning after much inquiry and search, hearing at
last that he was taken, they sent away messengers round about with
the news. The Achaeans resented the misfortune deeply, and decreed
to send and demand him; and, in the meantime, drew their army
together for his rescue.

While these things passed in Achaea, Dinocrates, fearing that any
delay would save Philopoemen, and resolving to be beforehand with the
Achaeans, as soon as night had dispersed the multitude, sent in the
executioner with poison, with orders not to stir from him till he had
taken it. Philopoemen had then laid down, wrapt up in his cloak, not
sleeping, but oppressed with grief and trouble; but seeing light, and
a man with poison by him, struggled to sit up; and, taking the cup,
asked the man if he heard anything of the horsemen, particularly
Lycortas? The fellow answering, that the most part had got off safe,
he nodded, and looking cheerfully upon him, "It is well," he said,
"that we have not been every way unfortunate;" and without a word
more, drank it off, and laid him down, again. His weakness offering
but little resistance to the poison, it dispatched him presently.

The news of his death filled all Achaea with grief and lamentation.
The youth, with some of the chief of the several cities, met at
Megalopolis with a resolution to take revenge without delay. They
chose Lycortas general, and falling upon the Messenians, put all to
fire and sword, till they all with one consent made their submission.
Dinocrates, with as many as had voted for Philopoemen's death,
anticipated their vengeance and killed themselves. Those who would
have had him tortured, Lycortas put in chains and reserved for
severer punishment. They burnt his body, and put the ashes into an
urn, and then marched homeward, not as in an ordinary march, but with
a kind of solemn pomp, half triumph, half funeral, crowns of victory
on their heads, and tears in their eyes, and their captive enemies in
fetters by them. Polybius, the general's son, carried the urn, so
covered with garlands and ribbons as scarcely to be visible; and the
noblest of the Achaeans accompanied him. The soldiers followed fully
armed and mounted, with looks neither altogether sad as in mourning,
nor lofty as in victory. The people from all towns and villages in
their way, flocked out to meet him, as at his return from conquest,
and, saluting the urn, fell in with the company, and followed on to
Megalopolis; where, when the old men, the women and children were
mingled with the rest, the whole city was filled with sighs,
complaints, and cries, the loss of Philopoemen seeming to them the
loss of their own greatness, and of their rank among the Achaeans.
Thus he was honorably buried according to his worth, and the
prisoners were stoned about his tomb.

Many statues were set up, and many honors decreed to him by the
several cities. One of the Romans in the time of Greece's
affliction, after the destruction of Corinth, publicly accusing
Philopoemen, as if he had been still alive, of having been the enemy
of Rome, proposed that these memorials should all be removed. A
discussion ensued, speeches were made, and Polybius answered the
sycophant at large. And neither Mummius nor the lieutenants would
suffer the honorable monuments of so great a man to be defaced,
though he had often crossed both Titus and Manius. They justly
distinguished, and as became honest men, betwixt usefulness and
virtue, -- what is good in itself, and what is profitable to
particular parties, -- judging thanks and reward due to him who does
a benefit, from him who receives it, and honor never to be denied by
the good to the good. And so much concerning Philopoemen.


What Titus Quintius Flamininus, whom we select as a parallel to
Philopoemen, was in personal appearance, those who are curious may
see by the brazen statue of him, which stands in Rome near that of
the great Apollo, brought from Carthage, opposite to the Circus
Maximus, with a Greek inscription upon it. The temper of his mind is
said to have been of the warmest both in anger and in kindness; not
indeed equally so in both respects; as in punishing, he was ever
moderate, never inflexible; but whatever courtesy or good turn he set
about, he went through with it, and was as perpetually kind and
obliging to those on whom he had poured his favors, as if they, not
he, had been the benefactors: exerting himself for the security and
preservation of what he seemed to consider his noblest possessions,
those to whom he had done good. But being ever thirsty after honor,
and passionate for glory, if anything of a greater and more
extraordinary nature were to be done, he was eager to be the doer of
it himself; and took more pleasure in those that needed, than in
those that were capable of conferring favors; looking on the former
as objects for his virtue, and on the latter as competitors in glory.

Rome had then many sharp contests going on, and her youth betaking
themselves early to the wars, learned betimes the art of commanding;
and Flamininus, having passed through the rudiments of soldiery,
received his first charge in the war against Hannibal, as tribune
under Marcellus, then consul. Marcellus, indeed, falling into an
ambuscade, was cut off. But Titus, receiving the appointment of
governor, as well of Tarentum, then retaken, as of the country about
it, grew no less famous for his administration of justice, than for
his military skill. This obtained him the office of leader and
founder of two colonies which were sent into the cities of Narnia and
Cossa; which filled him with loftier hopes, and made him aspire to
step over those previous honors which it was usual first to pass
through, the offices of tribune of the people, praetor and aedile,
and to level his aim immediately at the consulship. Having these
colonies, and all their interest ready at his service, he offered
himself as candidate; but the tribunes of the people, Fulvius and
Manius, and their party, strongly opposed him; alleging how
unbecoming a thing it was, that a man of such raw years, one who was
yet, as it were, untrained, uninitiated in the first sacred rites and
mysteries of government, should, in contempt of the laws, intrude and
force himself into the sovereignty.

However, the senate remitted it to the people's choice and suffrage;
who elected him (though not then arrived at his thirtieth year)
consul with Sextus Aelius. The war against Philip and the
Macedonians fell to Titus by lot, and some kind fortune, propitious
at that time to the Romans, seems to have so determined it; as
neither the people nor the state of things which were now to be dealt
with, were such as to require a general who would always be upon the
point of force and mere blows, but rather were accessible to
persuasion and gentle usage. It is true that the kingdom of Macedon
furnished supplies enough to Philip for actual battle with the
Romans; but to maintain a long and lingering war, he must call in aid
from Greece; must thence procure his supplies; there find his means
of retreat; Greece, in a word, would be his resource for all the
requisites of his army. Unless, therefore, the Greeks could be
withdrawn from siding with Philip, this war with him must not expect
its decision from a single battle. Now Greece (which had not
hitherto held much correspondence with the Romans, but first began an
intercourse on this occasion) would not so soon have embraced a
foreign authority, instead of the commanders she had been inured to,
had not the general of these strangers been of a kind gentle nature,
one who worked rather by fair means than force; of a persuasive
address in all applications to others, and no less courteous, and
open to all addresses of others to him; and above all bent and
determined on justice. But the story of his actions will best
illustrate these particulars.

Titus observed that both Sulpicius and Publius, who had been his
predecessors in that command, had not taken the field against the
Macedonians till late in the year; and then, too, had not set their
hands properly to the war, but had kept skirmishing and scouting here
and there for passes and provisions, and never came to close fighting
with Philip. He resolved not to trifle away a year, as they had
done, at home in ostentation of the honor, and in domestic
administration, and only then to join the army, with the pitiful hope
of protracting the term of office through a second year, acting as
consul in the first, and as general in the latter. He was, moreover,
infinitely desirous to employ his authority with effect upon the war,
which made him slight those home-honors and prerogatives.
Requesting, therefore, of the senate, that his brother Lucius might
act with him as admiral of the navy, and taking with him to be the
edge, as it were, of the expedition three thousand still young and
vigorous soldiers, of those who, under Scipio, had defeated Asdrubal
in Spain, and Hannibal in Africa, he got safe into Epirus; and found
Publius encamped with his army, over against Philip, who had long
made good the pass over the river Apsus, and the straits there;
Publius not having been able, for the natural strength of the place,
to effect anything against him. Titus therefore took upon himself
the conduct of the army, and, having dismissed Publius, examined the
ground. The place is in strength not inferior to Tempe, though it
lacks the trees and green woods, and the pleasant meadows and walks
that adorn Tempe. The Apsus, making its way between vast and lofty
mountains which all but meet above a single deep ravine in the midst,
is not unlike the river Peneus, in the rapidity of its current, and
in its general appearance. It covers the foot of those hills, and
leaves only a craggy, narrow path cut out beside the stream, not
easily passable at any time for an army, but not at all when guarded
by an enemy.

There were some, therefore, who would have had Titus make a circuit
through Dassaretis, and take an easy and safe road by the district of
Lyncus. But he, fearing that if he should engage himself too far
from the sea in barren and untilled countries, and Philip should
decline fighting, he might, through want of provisions, be
constrained to march back again to the seaside without effecting
anything, as his predecessor had done before him, embraced the
resolution of forcing his way over the mountains. But Philip, having
possessed himself of them with his army, showered down his darts and
arrows from all parts upon the Romans. Sharp encounters took place,
and many fell wounded and slain on both sides, and there seemed but
little likelihood of thus ending the war; when some of the men, who
fed their cattle thereabouts, came to Titus with a discovery, that
there was a roundabout way which the enemy neglected to guard;
through which they undertook to conduct his army, and to bring it
within three days at furthest, to the top of the hills. To gain the
surer credit with him, they said that Charops, son of Machatas, a
leading man in Epirus, who was friendly to the Romans, and aided them
(though, for fear of Philip, secretly), was privy to the design.
Titus gave their information belief, and sent a captain with four
thousand foot, and three hundred horse; these herdsmen being their
guides, but kept in bonds. In the daytime they lay still under the
covert of the hollow and woody places, but in the night they marched
by moonlight, the moon being then at the full. Titus, having
detached this party, lay quiet with his main body, merely keeping up
the attention of the enemy by some slight skirmishing. But when the
day arrived, that those who stole round, were expected upon the top
of the hill, he drew up his forces early in the morning, as well the
light-armed as the heavy, and, dividing them into three parts,
himself led the van, marching his men up the narrow passage along the
bank, darted at by the Macedonians, and engaging, in this difficult
ground, hand to hand with his assailants; whilst the other two
divisions on either side of him, threw themselves with great alacrity
among the rocks. Whilst they were struggling forward, the sun rose,
and a thin smoke, like a mist, hanging on the hills, was seen rising
at a distance, unperceived by the enemy, being behind them, as they
stood on the heights; and the Romans, also, as yet under suspense, in
the toil and difficulty they were in, could only doubtfully construe
the sight according to their desires. But as it grew thicker and
thicker, blackening the air, and mounting to a greater height, they
no longer doubted but it was the fire-signal of their companions;
and, raising a triumphant shout, forcing their way onwards, they
drove the enemy back into the roughest ground; while the other party
echoed back their acclamations from the top of the mountain.

The Macedonians fled with all the speed they could make; there fell,
indeed, not more than two thousand of them; for the difficulties of
the place rescued them from pursuit. But the Romans pillaged their
camp, seized upon their money and slaves, and, becoming absolute
masters of the pass, traversed all Epirus; but with such order and
discipline, with such temperance and moderation, that, though they
were far from the sea, at a great distance from their vessels, and
stinted of their monthly allowance of corn, and though they had much
difficulty in buying, they nevertheless abstained altogether from
plundering the country, which had provisions enough of all sorts in
it. For intelligence being received that Philip making a flight,
rather than a march, through Thessaly, forced the inhabitants from
the towns to take shelter in the mountains, burnt down the towns
themselves, and gave up as spoil to his soldiers all the property
which it had been found impossible to remove, abandoning, as it would
seem, the whole country to the Romans. Titus was, therefore, very
desirous, and entreated his soldiers that they would pass through it
as if it were their own, or as if a place trusted into their hands;
and, indeed, they quickly perceived, by the event, what benefit they
derived from this moderate and orderly conduct. For they no sooner
set foot in Thessaly, but the cities opened their gates, and the
Greeks, within Thermopylae, were all eagerness and excitement to ally
themselves with them. The Achaeans abandoned their alliance with
Philip, and voted to join with the Romans in actual arms against him;
and the Opuntians, though the Aetolians, who were zealous allies of
the Romans, were willing and desirous to undertake the protection of
the city, would not listen to proposals from them; but, sending for
Titus, entrusted and committed themselves to his charge.

It is told of Pyrrhus, that when first, from an adjacent hill or
watchtower which gave him a prospect of the Roman army, he descried
them drawn up in order, he observed, that he saw nothing
barbarian-like in this barbarian line of battle. And all who came
near Titus, could not choose but say as much of him, at their first
view. For they who had been told by the Macedonians of an invader,
at the head of a barbarian army, carrying everywhere slavery and
destruction on his sword's point; when in lieu of such an one, they
met a man, in the flower of his age, of a gentle and humane aspect, a
Greek in his voice and language, and a lover of honor, were
wonderfully pleased and attracted; and when they left him, they
filled the cities, wherever they went, with favorable feelings for
him, and with the belief that in him they might find the protector
and asserter of their liberties. And when afterwards, on Philip's
professing a desire for peace, Titus made a tender to him of peace
and friendship, upon the condition that the Greeks be left to their
own laws, and that he should withdraw his garrisons, which he refused
to comply with, now after these proposals, the universal belief even
of the favorers and partisans of Philip, was, that the Romans came
not to fight against the Greeks, but for the Greeks, against the

Accordingly, all the rest of Greece came to peaceable terms with him.
But as he marched into Boeotia, without committing the least act of
hostility, the nobility and chief men of Thebes came out of their
city to meet him, devoted under the influence of Brachylles to the
Macedonian alliance, but desirous at the same time to show honor and
deference to Titus; as they were, they conceived, in amity with both
parties. Titus received them in the most obliging and courteous
manner, but kept going gently on, questioning and inquiring of them,
and sometimes entertaining them with narratives of his own, till his
soldiers might a little recover from the weariness of their journey.
Thus passing on, he and the Thebans came together into their city not
much to their satisfaction; but yet they could not well deny him
entrance, as a good number of his men attended him in. Titus,
however, now he was within, as if he had not had the city at his
mercy, came forward and addressed them, urging them to join the Roman
interest. King Attalus followed to the same effect. And he, indeed,
trying to play the advocate, beyond what it seems his age could bear,
was seized, in the midst of his speech, with a sudden flux or
dizziness, and swooned away; and, not long after, was conveyed by
ship into Asia, and died there. The Boeotians joined the Roman

But now, when Philip sent an embassy to Rome, Titus dispatched away
agents on his part, too, to solicit the senate, if they should
continue the war, to continue him in his command, or if they
determined an end to that, that he might have the honor of concluding
the peace. Having a great passion for distinction, his fear was,
that if another general were commissioned to carry on the war, the
honor even of what was passed, would be lost to him; and his friends
transacted matters so well on his behalf, that Philip was
unsuccessful in his proposals, and the management of the war was
confirmed in his hands. He no sooner received the senate's
determination, but, big with hopes, he marches directly into
Thessaly, to engage Philip; his army consisting of twenty-six
thousand men, out of which the Aetolians furnished six thousand foot
and four hundred horse. The forces of Philip were much about the
same number. In this eagerness to encounter, they advanced against
each other, till both were near Scotussa, where they resolved to
hazard a battle. Nor had the approach of these two formidable armies
the effect that might have been supposed, to strike into the generals
a mutual terror of each other; it rather inspired them with ardor and
ambition; on the Romans' part, to be the conquerors of Macedon, a
name which Alexander had made famous amongst them for strength and
valor; whilst the Macedonians, on the other hand, esteeming of the
Romans as an enemy very different from the Persians, hoped, if
victory stood on their side, to make the name of Philip more glorious
than that of Alexander. Titus, therefore, called upon his soldiers
to play the part of valiant men, because they were now to act their
parts upon the most illustrious theater of the world, Greece, and to
contend with the bravest antagonists. And Philip, on the other side,
commenced an harangue to his men, as usual before an engagement, and
to be the better heard, (whether it were merely a mischance, or the
result of unseasonable haste, not observing what he did,) mounted an
eminence outside their camp, which proved to be a burying-place; and
much disturbed by the despondency that seized his army at the
unluckiness of the omen, all that day kept in his camp, and declined

But on the morrow, as day came on, after a soft and rainy night, the
clouds changing into a mist filled all the plain with thick darkness;
and a dense foggy air descending, by the time it was full day, from
the adjacent mountains into the ground betwixt the two camps,
concealed them from each other's view. The parties sent out on
either side, some for ambuscade, some for discovery, falling in upon
one another quickly after they were thus detached, began the fight at
what are called the Cynos Cephalae, a number of sharp tops of hills
that stand close to one another, and have the name from some
resemblance in their shape. Now many vicissitudes and changes
happening, as may well be expected, in such an uneven field of
battle, sometimes hot pursuit, and sometimes as rapid a flight, the
generals on both sides kept sending in succors from the main bodies,
as they saw their men pressed or giving ground, till at length the
heavens clearing up, let them see what was going on, upon which the
whole armies engaged. Philip, who was in the right wing, from the
advantage of the higher ground which he had, threw on the Romans the
whole weight of his phalanx, with a force which they were unable to
sustain; the dense array of spears, and the pressure of the compact
mass overpowering them. But the king's left wing being broken up by
the hilliness of the place, Titus observing it, and cherishing little
or no hopes on that side where his own gave ground, makes in all
haste to the other, and there charges in upon the Macedonians; who,
in consequence of the inequality and roughness of the ground, could
not keep their phalanx entire, nor line their ranks to any great
depth, (which is the great point of their strength,) but were forced
to fight man for man under heavy and unwieldy armor. For the
Macedonian phalanx is like some single powerful animal, irresistible
so long as it is embodied into one, and keeps its order, shield
touching shield, all as in a piece; but if it be once broken, not
only is the joint-force lost, but the individual soldiers also who
composed it; lose each one his own single strength, because of the
nature of their armor; and because each of them is strong, rather, as
he makes a part of the whole, than in himself. When these were
routed, some gave chase to the flyers, others charged the flanks of
those Macedonians who were still fighting, so that the conquering
wing, also, was quickly disordered, took to flight, and threw down
its arms. There were then slain no less than eight thousand, and
about five thousand were taken prisoners; and the Aetolians were
blamed as having been the main occasion that Philip himself got safe
off. For whilst the Romans were in pursuit, they fell to ravaging
and plundering the camp, and did it so completely, that when the
others returned, they found no booty in it.

This bred at first hard words, quarrels, and misunderstandings
betwixt them. But, afterwards, they galled Titus more, by ascribing
the victory to themselves, and prepossessing the Greeks with reports
to that effect; insomuch that poets, and people in general in the
songs that were sung or written in honor of the action, still ranked
the Aetolians foremost. One of the pieces most current was the
following epigram: --

Naked and tombless see, O passer-by,
The thirty thousand men of Thessaly,
Slain by the Aetolians and the Latin band,
That came with Titus from Italia's land:
Alas for mighty Macedon! that day,
Swift as a roe, king Philip fled away.

This was composed by Alcaeus in mockery of Philip, exaggerating the
number of the slain. However, being everywhere repeated, and by
almost everybody, Titus was more nettled at it than Philip. The
latter merely retorted upon Alcaeus with some elegiac verses of his
own: --

Naked and leafless see, O passer-by,
The cross that shall Alcaeus crucify.

But such little matters extremely fretted Titus, who was ambitious of
a reputation among the Greeks; and he, therefore, acted in all
after-occurrences by himself, paying but very slight regard to the
Aetolians. This offended them in their turn; and when Titus listened
to terms of accommodation, and admitted an embassy upon the proffers
of the Macedonian king, the Aetolians made it their business to
publish through all the cities of Greece, that this was the
conclusion of all; that he was selling Philip a peace, at a time when
it was in his hand to destroy the very roots of the war, and to
overthrow the power which had first inflicted servitude upon Greece.
But whilst with these and the like rumors, the Aetolians labored to
shake the Roman confederates, Philip, making overtures of submission
of himself and his kingdom to the discretion of Titus and the Romans,
puts an end to those jealousies, as Titus by accepting them, did to
the war. For he reinstated Philip in his kingdom of Macedon, but
made it a condition that he should quit Greece, and that he should
pay one thousand talents; he took from him also, all his shipping,
save ten vessels; and sent away Demetrius, one of his sons, hostage
to Rome; improving his opportunity to the best advantage, and taking
wise precautions for the future. For Hannibal the African, a
professed enemy to the Roman name, an exile from his own country, and
not long since arrived at king Antiochus's court, was already
stimulating that prince, not to be wanting to the good fortune that
had been hitherto so propitious to his affairs; the magnitude of his
successes having gained him the surname of the Great. He had begun
to level his aim at universal monarchy, but above all he was eager to
measure himself with the Romans. Had not, therefore, Titus upon a
principle of prudence and foresight, lent all ear to peace, and had
Antiochus found the Romans still at war in Greece with Philip, and
had these two, the most powerful and warlike princes of that age,
confederated for their common interests against the Roman state, Rome
might once more have run no less a risk, and been reduced to no less
extremities than she had experienced under Hannibal. But now, Titus
opportunely introducing this peace between the wars, dispatching the
present danger before the new one had arrived, at once disappointed
Antiochus of his first hopes, and Philip of his last.

When the ten commissioners, delegated to Titus from the senate;
advised him to restore the rest of Greece to their liberty, but that
Corinth, Chalcis, and Demetrias should be kept garrisoned for
security against Antiochus; the Aetolians, on this, breaking out into
loud accusations, agitated all the cities, calling upon Titus to
strike off the shackles of Greece, (so Philip used to term those
three cities,) and asking the Greeks, whether it were not matter of
much consolation to them, that, though their chains weighed heavier,
yet they were now smoother and better polished than formerly, and
whether Titus were not deservedly admired by them as their
benefactor, who had unshackled the feet of Greece, and tied her up by
the neck? Titus, vexed and angry at this, made it his request to the
senate, and at last prevailed in it, that the garrisons in these
cities should be dismissed, that so the Greeks might be no longer
debtors to him for a partial, but for an entire, favor. It was now
the time of the celebration of the Isthmian games; and the seats
around the racecourse were crowded with an unusual multitude of
spectators; Greece, after long wars, having regained not only peace,
but hopes of liberty, and being able once more to keep holiday in
safety. A trumpet sounded to command silence; and the crier,
stepping forth amidst the spectators, made proclamation, that the
Roman senate, and Titus Quintius, the proconsular general, having
vanquished king Philip and the Macedonians, restored the Corinthians,
Locrians, Phocians, Euboeans, Achaeans of Phthiotis, Magnetians,
Thessalians, and Perrhaebians to their own lands, laws, and
liberties; remitting all impositions upon them, and withdrawing all
garrisons from their cities. At first, many heard not at all, and
others not distinctly, what was said; but there was a confused and
uncertain stir among the assembled people, some wondering, some
asking, some calling out to have it proclaimed again. When,
therefore, fresh silence was made, the crier raising his voice,
succeeded in making himself generally heard; and recited the decree
again. A shout of joy followed it, so loud that it was heard as far
as the sea. The whole assembly rose and stood up; there was no
further thought of the entertainment; all were only eager to leap up
and salute and address their thanks to the deliverer and champion of
Greece. What we often hear alleged, in proof of the force of human
voices, was actually verified upon this occasion. Crows that were
accidentally flying over the course, fell down dead into it. The
disruption of the air must be the cause of it; for the voices being
numerous, and the acclamation violent, the air breaks with it, and
can no longer give support to the birds; but lets them tumble, like
one that should attempt to walk upon a vacuum; unless we should
rather imagine them to fall and die, shot with the noise as with a
dart. It is possible, too, that there may be a circular agitation of
the air, which, like marine whirlpools, may have a violent direction
of this sort given to it from the excess of its fluctuation.

But for Titus, the sports being now quite at an end, so beset was he
on every side, and by such multitudes, that had he not, foreseeing
the probable throng and concourse of the people, timely withdrawn, he
would scarce, it is thought, have ever got clear of them. When they
had tired themselves with acclamations all about his pavilion, and
night was now come, wherever friends or fellow-citizens met, they
joyfully saluted and embraced each other, and went home to feast and
carouse together. And there, no doubt, redoubling their joy, they
began to recollect and talk of the state of Greece, what wars she had
incurred in defense of her liberty, and yet was never perhaps
mistress of a more settled or grateful one that this which other
men's labors had won for her: almost without one drop of blood, or
one citizen's loss to be mourned for, she had this day had put into
her hands the most glorious of rewards, and best worth the contending
for. Courage and wisdom are, indeed, rarities amongst men, but of
all that is good, a just man it would seem is the most scarce. Such
as Agesilaus, Lysander, Nicias, and Alcibiades, knew how to play the
general's part, how to manage a war, how to bring off their men
victorious by land and sea; but how to employ that success to
generous and honest purposes, they had not known. For should a man
except the achievement at Marathon, the sea-fight at Salamis, the
engagements at Plataea and Thermopylae, Cimon's exploits at
Eurymedon, and on the coasts of Cyprus, Greece fought all her battles
against, and to enslave, herself; she erected all her trophies to her
own shame and misery, and was brought to ruin and desolation almost
wholly by the guilt and ambition of her great men. A foreign people,
appearing just to retain some embers, as it were, some faint
remainders of a common character derived to them from their ancient
sires, a nation from whom it was a mere wonder that Greece should
reap any benefit by word or thought, these are they who have
retrieved Greece from her severest dangers and distresses, have
rescued her out of the hands of insulting lords and tyrants, and
reinstated her in her former liberties.

Thus they entertained their tongues and thoughts; whilst Titus by his
actions made good what had been proclaimed. For he immediately
dispatched away Lentulus to Asia, to set the Bargylians free,
Titillius to Thrace, to see the garrisons of Philip removed out of
the towns and islands there, while Publius Villius set sail, in order
to treat with Antiochus about the freedom of the Greeks under him.
Titus himself passed on to Chalcis, and sailing thence to Magnesia,
dismantled the garrisons there, and surrendered the government into
the people's hands. Shortly after, he was appointed at Argos to
preside in the Nemean games, and did his part in the management of
that solemnity singularly well; and made a second publication there
by the crier, of liberty to the Greeks; and, visiting all the cities,
he exhorted them to the practice of obedience to law, of constant
justice, and unity, and friendship one towards another. He
suppressed their factions, brought home their political exiles; and,
in short, his conquest over the Macedonians did not seem to give him
a more lively pleasure, than to find himself prevalent in reconciling
Greeks with Greeks; so that their liberty seemed now the least part
of the kindness he conferred upon them.

The story goes, that when Lycurgus the orator had rescued Xenocrates
the philosopher from the collectors who were hurrying him away to
prison for non-payment of the alien tax, and had them punished for
the license they had been guilty of, Xenocrates afterwards meeting
the children of Lycurgus, "My sons," said he, "I am nobly repaying
your father for his kindness; he has the praises of the whole people
in return for it." But the returns which attended Titus Quintius and
the Romans, for their beneficence to the Greeks, terminated not in
empty praises only; for these proceedings gained them, deservedly,
credit and confidence, and thereby power, among all nations, for many
not only admitted the Roman commanders, but even sent and entreated
to be under their protection; neither was this done by popular
governments alone, or by single cities; but kings oppressed by kings,
cast themselves into these protecting hands. Insomuch that in a very
short time (though perchance not without divine influence in it) all
the world did homage to them. Titus himself thought more highly of
his liberation of Greece than of any other of his actions, as appears
by the inscription with which he dedicated some silver targets,
together with his own shield, to Apollo at Delphi: --

Ye Spartan Tyndarids, twin sons of Jove,
Who in swift horsemanship have placed your love,
Titus, of great Aeneas' race, leaves this
In honor of the liberty of Greece.

He offered also to Apollo a golden crown, with this inscription: --

This golden crown upon thy locks divine,
O blest Latona's son, was set to shine
By the great captain of the Aenean name.
O Phoebus, grant the noble Titus fame!

The same event has twice occurred to the Greeks in the city of
Corinth. Titus, then, and Nero again in our days, both at Corinth,
and both alike at the celebration of the Isthmian games, permitted
the Greeks to enjoy their own laws and liberty. The former (as has
been said) proclaimed it by the crier; but Nero did it in the public
meeting place from the tribunal, in a speech which he himself made to
the people. This, however, was long after.

Titus now engaged in a most gallant and just war upon Nabis, that
most profligate and lawless tyrant of the Lacedaemonians, but in the
end disappointed the expectations of the Greeks. For when he had an
opportunity of taking him, he purposely let it slip, and struck up a
peace with him, leaving Sparta to bewail an unworthy slavery; whether
it were that he feared, if the war should be protracted, Rome would
send a new general who might rob him of the glory of it; or that
emulation and envy of Philopoemen (who had signalized himself among
the Greeks upon all other occasions, but in that war especially had
done wonders both for matter of courage and counsel, and whom the
Achaeans magnified in their theaters, and put into the same balance
of glory with Titus,) touched him to the quick; and that he scorned
that an ordinary Arcadian, who had but commanded in a few re-
encounters upon the confines of his native district, should be spoken
of in terms of equality with a Roman consul, waging war as the
protector of Greece in general. But, besides, Titus was not without
an apology too for what he did, namely, that he put an end to the war
only when he foresaw that the tyrant's destruction must have been
attended with the ruin of the other Spartans.

The Achaeans, by various decrees, did much to show Titus honor: none
of these returns, however, seemed to come up to the height of the
actions that merited them, unless it were one present they made him,
which affected and pleased him beyond all the rest; which was this.
The Romans, who in the war with Hannibal had the misfortune to be
taken captives, were sold about here and there, and dispersed into
slavery; twelve hundred in number were at that time in Greece. The
reverse of their fortune always rendered them objects of
compassion; but more particularly, as well might be, when they now
met, some with their sons, some with their brothers, others with
their acquaintance; slaves with their free, and captives with their
victorious countrymen. Titus, though deeply concerned on their
behalf, yet took none of them from their masters by constraint. But
the Achaeans, redeeming them at five pounds a man, brought them
altogether into one place, and made a present of them to him, as he
was just going on shipboard, so that he now sailed away with the
fullest satisfaction; his generous actions having procured him as
generous returns, worthy a brave man and a lover of his country.
This seemed the most glorious part of all his succeeding triumph; for
these redeemed Romans (as it is the custom for slaves, upon their
manumission, to shave their heads and wear felt-hats) followed in
that habit in the procession. To add to the glory of this show,
there were the Grecian helmets, the Macedonian targets and long
spears, borne with the rest of the spoils in public view, besides
vast sums of money; Tuditanus says, 3,713 pounds weight of massy
gold, 43,270 of silver, 14,514 pieces of coined gold, called
Philippics, which was all over and above the thousand talents which
Philip owed, and which the Romans were afterwards prevailed upon,
chiefly by the mediation of Titus, to remit to Philip, declaring him
their ally and confederate, and sending him home his hostage son.

Shortly after, Antiochus entered Greece with a numerous fleet, and a
powerful army, soliciting the cities there to sedition and revolt;
abetted in all and seconded by the Aetolians, who for this long time
had borne a grudge and secret enmity to the Romans, and now suggested
to him, by way of a cause and pretext of war, that he came to bring
the Greeks liberty. When, indeed, they never wanted it less, as they
were free already, but, in lack of really honorable grounds, he was
instructed to employ these lofty professions. The Romans, in the
interim, in great apprehension of revolutions and revolt in Greece,
and of his great reputation for military strength, dispatched the
consul Manius Acilius to take the charge of the war, and Titus, as
his lieutenant, out of regard to the Greeks; some of whom he no
sooner saw, but he confirmed them in the Roman interests; others, who
began to falter, like a timely physician, by the use of the strong
remedy of their own affection for himself, he was able to arrest in
the first stage of the disease, before they had committed themselves
to any great error. Some few there were whom the Aetolians were
beforehand with, and had so wholly perverted that he could do no good
with them; yet these, however angry and exasperated before, he saved
and protected when the engagement was over. For Antiochus, receiving
a defeat at Thermopylae, not only fled the field, but hoisted sail
instantly for Asia. Manius, the consul, himself invaded and besieged
a part of the Aetolians, while king Philip had permission to reduce
the rest. Thus while, for instance, the Dolopes and Magnetians on
the one hand, the Athamanes and Aperantians on the other, were
ransacked by the Macedonians, and while Manius laid Heraclea waste,
and besieged Naupactus, then in the Aetolians' hands, Titus, still
with a compassionate care for Greece, sailed across from Peloponnesus
to the consul; and began first of all to chide him, that the victory
should be owing alone to his arms, and yet he should suffer Philip to
bear away the prize and profit of the war, and sit wreaking his anger
upon a single town, whilst the Macedonians overran several nations
and kingdoms. But as he happened to stand then in view of the
besieged, they no sooner spied him out, but they call to him from
their wall, they stretch forth their hands, they supplicate and
entreat him. At the time, he said not a word more, but turning about
with tears in his eyes, went his way. Some little while after, he
discussed the matter so effectually with Manius, that he won him over
from his passion, and prevailed with him to give a truce and time to
the Aetolians, to send deputies to Rome to petition the senate for
terms of moderation.

But the hardest task, and that which put Titus to the greatest
difficulty was, to entreat with Manius for the Chalcidians, who had
incensed him on account of a marriage which Antiochus had made in
their city, even whilst the war was on foot; a match noways suitable
in point of age, he an elderly man being enamored with a mere girl;
and as little proper for the time, in the midst of a war. She was
the daughter of one Cleoptolemus, and is said to have been
wonderfully beautiful. The Chalcidians, in consequence, embraced the
king's interests with zeal and alacrity, and let him make their city
the basis of his operations during the war. Thither, therefore, he
made with all speed, when he was routed, and fled; and reaching
Chalcis, without making any stay, taking this young lady, and his
money and friends with him, away he sails to Asia. And now Manius's
indignation carrying him in all haste against the Chalcidians, Titus
hurried after him, endeavoring to pacify and to entreat him; and, at
length, succeeded both with him and the chief men among the Romans.

The Chalcidians, thus owing their lives to Titus, dedicated to him
all the best and most magnificent of their sacred buildings,
inscriptions upon which may be seen to run thus to this day: THE
what is yet more, even in our time, a priest of Titus was formally
elected and declared; and after sacrifice and libation, they sing a
set song, much of which for the length of it we omit, but shall
transcribe the closing verses: --

The Roman Faith, whose aid of yore,
Our vows were offered to implore,
We worship now and evermore.
To Rome, to Titus, and to Jove,
O maidens, in the dances move.
Dances and Io-Paeans too
Unto the Roman Faith are due,
O Savior Titus, and to you.

Other parts of Greece also heaped honors upon him suitable to his
merits, and what made all those honors true and real, was the
surprising good-will and affection which his moderation and equity of
character had won for him. For if he were at any time at variance
with anybody in matters of business, or out of emulation and rivalry,
(as with Philopoemen, and again with Diophanes, when in office as
General of the Achaeans,) his resentment never went far, nor did it
ever break out into acts; but when it had vented itself in some
citizen-like freedom of speech, there was an end of it. In fine,
nobody charged malice or bitterness upon his nature, though many
imputed hastiness and levity to it; in general, he was the most
attractive and agreeable of companions, and could speak too, both
with grace, and forcibly. For instance, to divert the Achaeans from
the conquest of the isle of Zacynthus, "If," said he, "they put their
head too far out of Peloponnesus, they may hazard themselves as much
as a tortoise out of its shell." Again, when he and Philip first met
to treat of a cessation and peace, the latter complaining that Titus
came with a mighty train, while he himself came alone and unattended,
"Yes," replied Titus, "you have left yourself alone by killing your
friends." At another time, Dinocrates the Messenian, having drunk
too much at a merry-meeting in Rome, danced there in woman's clothes,
and the next day addressed himself to Titus for assistance in his
design to get Messene out of the hands of the Achaeans. "This,"
replied Titus, "will be matter for consideration; my only surprise is
that a man with such purposes on his hands should be able to dance
and sing at drinking parties." When, again, the ambassadors of
Antiochus were recounting to those of Achaea, the various multitudes
composing their royal master's forces, and ran over a long catalog of
hard names, "I supped once," said Titus, "with a friend, and could
not forbear expostulating with him at the number of dishes he had
provided, and said I wondered where he had furnished himself with
such a variety; 'Sir,' replied he, 'to confess the truth, it is all
hog's flesh differently cooked.' And so, men of Achaea, when you are
told of Antiochus's lancers, and pikemen, and foot guards, I advise
you not to be surprised; since in fact they are all Syrians
differently armed."

After his achievements in Greece, and when the war with Antiochus was
at an end, Titus was created censor; the most eminent office, and, in
a manner, the highest preferment in the commonwealth. The son of
Marcellus, who had been five times consul, was his colleague. These,
by virtue of their office, cashiered four senators of no great
distinction, and admitted to the roll of citizens all freeborn
residents. But this was more by constraint than their own choice;
for Terentius Culeo, then tribune of the people, to spite the
nobility, spurred on the populace to order it to be done. At this
time, the two greatest and most eminent persons in the city,
Africanus Scipio and Marcus Cato, were at variance. Titus named
Scipio first member of the senate; and involved himself in a
quarrel with Cato, on the following unhappy occasion. Titus had a
brother, Lucius Flamininus, very unlike him in all points of
character, and, in particular, low and dissolute in his pleasures,
and flagrantly regardless of all decency. He kept as a companion a
boy whom he used to carry about with him, not only when he had troops
under his charge, but even when the care of a province was committed
to him. One day at a drinking-bout, when the youngster was wantoning
with Lucius, "I love you, Sir, so dearly," said he, "that, preferring
your satisfaction to my own, I came away without seeing the
gladiators, though I have never seen a man killed in my life."
Lucius, delighted with what the boy said, answered, "Let not that
trouble you; I can satisfy that longing," and with that, orders a
condemned man to be fetched out of the prison, and the executioner to
be sent for, and commands him to strike off the man's head, before
they rose from table. Valerius Antias only so far varies the story
as to make it woman for whom he did it. But Livy says that in Cato's
own speech the statement is, that a Gaulish deserter coming with his
wife and children to the door, Lucius took him into the
banqueting-room, and killed him with his own hand, to gratify his
paramour. Cato, it is probable, might say this by way of aggravation
of the crime; but that the slain was no such fugitive, but a
prisoner, and one condemned to die, not to mention other authorities,
Cicero tells us in his treatise On Old Age, where he brings in Cato,
himself, giving that account of the matter.

However, this is certain; Cato during his censorship, made a severe
scrutiny into the senators' lives in order to the purging and
reforming the house, and expelled Lucius, though he had been once
consul before, and though the punishment seemed to reflect dishonor
on his brother also. Both of them presented themselves to the
assembly of the people in a suppliant manner, not without tears in
their eyes, requesting that Cato might show the reason and cause of
his fixing such a stain upon so honorable a family. The citizens
thought it a modest and moderate request. Cato, however, without any
retraction or reserve, at once came forward, and standing up with his
colleague interrogated Titus, as to whether he knew the story of the
supper. Titus answering in the negative, Cato related it, and
challenged Lucius to a formal denial of it. Lucius made no reply,
whereupon the people adjudged the disgrace just and suitable, and
waited upon Cato home from the tribunal in great state. But Titus
still so deeply resented his brother's degradation, that he allied
himself with those who had long borne a grudge against Cato; and
winning over a major part of the senate, he revoked and made void all
the contracts, leases, and bargains made by Cato, relating to the
public revenues, and also got numerous actions and accusations
brought against him; carrying on against a lawful magistrate and
excellent citizen, for the sake of one who was indeed his relation,
but was unworthy to be so, and had but gotten his deserts, a course
of bitter and violent attacks, which it would be hard to say were
either right or patriotic. Afterwards, however, at a public
spectacle in the theater, at which the senators appeared as usual,
sitting, as became their rank, in the first seats, when Lucius was
spied at the lower end, seated in a mean, dishonorable place, it made
a great impression upon the people, nor could they endure the sight,
but kept calling out to him to move, until he did move, and went in
among those of consular dignity, who received him into their seats.

This natural ambition of Titus was well enough looked upon by the
world, whilst the wars we have given a relation of afforded competent
fuel to feed it; as, for instance, when after the expiration of his
consulship, he had a command as military tribune, which nobody
pressed upon him. But being now out of all employ in the government,
and advanced in years, he showed his defects more plainly; allowing
himself, in this inactive remainder of life, to be carried away with
the passion for reputation, as uncontrollably as any youth. Some
such transport, it is thought, betrayed him into a proceeding against
Hannibal, which lost him the regard of many. For Hannibal, having
fled his country, first took sanctuary with Antiochus; but he having
been glad to obtain a peace, after the battle in Phrygia, Hannibal
was put to shift for himself, by a second flight, and, after
wandering through many countries, fixed at length in Bithynia,
proffering his service to king Prusias. Every one at Rome knew where
he was, but looked upon him, now in his weakness and old age, with no
sort of apprehension, as one whom fortune had quite cast off. Titus,
however, coming thither as ambassador, though he was sent from the
senate to Prusias upon another errand, yet, seeing Hannibal resident
there, it stirred up resentment in him to find that he was yet alive.
And though Prusias used much intercession and entreaties in favor of
him, as his suppliant and familiar friend, Titus was not to be
entreated. There was an ancient oracle, it seems, which prophesied
thus of Hannibal's end: --

Libyssan shall Hannibal enclose.

He interpreted this to be meant of the African Libya, and that he
should be buried in Carthage; as if he might yet expect to return and
end his life there. But there is a sandy place in Bithynia,
bordering on the sea, and near it a little village called Libyssa.
It was Hannibal's chance to be staying here, and having ever from the
beginning had a distrust of the easiness and cowardice of Prusias,
and a fear of the Romans, he had, long before, ordered seven
underground passages to be dug from his house, leading from his
lodging, and running a considerable distance in various opposite
directions, all undiscernible from without. As soon, therefore, as
he heard what Titus had ordered, he attempted to make his escape
through these mines; but finding them beset with the king's guards,
he resolved upon making away with himself. Some say that wrapping
his upper garment about his neck, he commanded his servant to set his
knee against his back, and not to cease twisting and pulling it, till
he had completely strangled him. Others say, he drank bull's blood,
after the example of Themistocles and Midas. Livy writes that he had
poison in readiness, which he mixed for the purpose, and that taking
the cup into his hand, "Let us ease," said he, "the Romans of their
continual dread and care, who think it long and tedious to await the
death of a hated old man. Yet Titus will not bear away a glorious
victory, nor one worthy of those ancestors who sent to caution
Pyrrhus, an enemy, and a conqueror too, against the poison prepared
for him by traitors."

Thus venous are the reports of Hannibal's death; but when the news of
it came to the senators' ears, some felt indignation against Titus
for it, blaming as well his officiousness as his cruelty; who, when
there was nothing to urge it, out of mere appetite for distinction,
to have it said that he had caused Hannibal's death, sent him to his
grave when he was now like a bird that in its old age has lost its
feathers, and incapable of flying is let alone to live tamely without

They began also now to regard with increased admiration the clemency
and magnanimity of Scipio Africanus, and called to mind how he, when
he had vanquished in Africa the till then invincible and terrible
Hannibal, neither banished him his country, nor exacted of his
countrymen that they should give him up. At a parley just before
they joined battle, Scipio gave him his hand, and in the peace made
after it, he put no hard article upon him, nor insulted over his
fallen fortune. It is told, too, that they had another meeting
afterwards, at Ephesus, and that when Hannibal, as they were walking
together, took the upper hand, Africanus let it pass, and walked on
without the least notice of it; and that then they began to talk of
generals, and Hannibal affirmed that Alexander was the greatest
commander the world had seen, next to him Pyrrhus, and the third was
himself; Africanus, with a smile, asked, "What would you have said,
if I had not defeated you?" "I would not then, Scipio," he replied,
"have made myself the third, but the first commander." Such conduct
was much admired in Scipio, and that of Titus, who had as it were
insulted the dead whom another had slain, was no less generally found
fault with. Not but that there were some who applauded the action,
looking upon a living Hannibal as a fire, which only wanted blowing
to become a flame. For when he was in the prime and flower of his
age, it was not his body, nor his hand, that had been so formidable,
but his consummate skill and experience, together with his innate
malice and rancor against the Roman name, things which do not impair
with age. For the temper and bent of the soul remains constant,
while fortune continually varies; and some new hope might easily
rouse to a fresh attempt those whose hatred made them enemies to the
last. And what really happened afterwards does to a certain extent
tend yet further to the exculpation of Titus. Aristonicus, of the
family of a common musician, upon the reputation of being the son of
Eumenes, filled all Asia with tumults and rebellion. Then again,
Mithridates, after his defeats by Sylla and Fimbria, and vast
slaughter, as well among his prime officers as common soldiers, made
head again, and proved a most dangerous enemy, against Lucullus, both
by sea and land. Hannibal was never reduced to so contemptible a
state as Caius Marius; he had the friendship of a king, and the free
exercise of his faculties, employment and charge in the navy, and
over the horse and foot, of Prusias; whereas those who but now were
laughing to hear of Marius wandering about Africa, destitute and
begging, in no long time after were seen entreating his mercy in
Rome, with his rods at their backs, and his axes at their necks. So
true it is, that looking to the possible future, we can call nothing
that we see either great or small; as nothing puts an end to the
mutability and vicissitude of things, but what puts an end to their
very being. Some authors accordingly tell us, that Titus did not do
this of his own head, but that he was joined in commission with
Lucius Scipio, and that the whole object of the embassy was, to
effect Hannibal's death. And now, as we find no further mention in
history of anything done by Titus, either in war or in the
administration of the government, but simply that he died in peace;
it is time to look upon him as he stands in comparison with


First, then, as for the greatness of the benefits which Titus
conferred on Greece, neither Philopoemen, nor many braver men than
he, can make good the parallel. They were Greeks fighting against
Greeks, but Titus, a stranger to Greece, fought for her. And at the
very time when Philopoemen went over into Crete, destitute of means
to succor his besieged countrymen, Titus, by a defeat given to Philip
in the heart of Greece, set them and their cities free. Again, if we
examine the battles they fought, Philopoemen, whilst he was the
Achaeans' general, slew more Greeks than Titus, in aiding the Greeks,
slew Macedonians. As to their failings, ambition was Titus's weak
side, and obstinacy Philopoemen's; in the former, anger was easily
kindled, in the latter, it was as hardly quenched. Titus reserved to
Philip the royal dignity; he pardoned the Aetolians, and stood their
friend; but Philopoemen, exasperated against his country, deprived it
of its supremacy over the adjacent villages. Titus was ever constant
to those he had once befriended, the other, upon any offense, as
prone to cancel kindnesses. He who had once been a benefactor to the
Lacedaemonians, afterwards laid their walls level with the ground,
wasted their country, and in the end changed and destroyed the whole
frame of their government. He seems, in truth, to have prodigalled
away his own life, through passion and perverseness; for he fell upon
the Messenians, not with that conduct and caution that characterized
the movements of Titus, but with unnecessary and unreasonable haste.

The many battles he fought, and the many trophies he won, may make
us ascribe to Philopoemen the more thorough knowledge of war. Titus
decided the matter betwixt Philip and himself in two engagements; but
Philopoemen came off victorious in ten thousand encounters, to all
which fortune had scarcely any presence, so much were they owing to
his skill. Besides, Titus got his renown, assisted by the power of a
flourishing Rome; the other flourished under a declined Greece, so
that his successes may be accounted his own; in Titus's glory Rome
claims a share. The one had brave men under him, the other made his
brave, by being over them. And though Philopoemen was unfortunate
certainly, in always being opposed to his countrymen, yet this
misfortune is at the same time a proof of his merit. Where the
circumstances are the same, superior success can only be ascribed to
superior merit. And he had, indeed, to do with the two most warlike
nations of all Greece, the Cretans on the one hand, and the
Lacedaemonians on the other, and he mastered the craftiest of them by
art and the bravest of them by valor. It may also be said that
Titus, having his men armed and disciplined to his hand, had in a
manner his victories made for him; whereas Philopoemen was forced to
introduce a discipline and tactics of his own, and to new-mold and
model his soldiers; so that what is of greatest import towards
insuring a victory was in his case his own creation, while the other
had it ready provided for his benefit. Philopoemen effected many
gallant things with his own hand, but Titus none; so much so that one
Archedemus, an Aetolian, made it a jest against him that while he,
the Aetolian, was running with his drawn sword, where he saw the
Macedonians drawn up closest and fighting hardest, Titus was standing
still, and with hands stretched out to heaven, praying to the gods
for aid.

It is true, Titus acquitted himself admirably, both as a governor,
and as an ambassador; but Philopoemen was no less serviceable and
useful to the Achaeans in the capacity of a private man, than in that
of a commander. He was a private citizen when he restored the
Messenians to their liberty, and delivered their city from Nabis; he
was also a private citizen when he rescued the Lacedaemonians, and
shut the gates of Sparta against the General Diophanes, and Titus.
He had a nature so truly formed for command that he could govern even
the laws themselves for the public good; he did not need to wait for
the formality of being elected into command by the governed, but
employed their service, if occasion required, at his own discretion;
judging that he who understood their real interests, was more truly
their supreme magistrate, than he whom they had elected to the
office. The equity, clemency, and humanity of Titus towards the
Greeks, display a great and generous nature; but the actions of
Philopoemen, full of courage, and forward to assert his country's
liberty against the Romans, have something yet greater and nobler in
them. For it is not as hard a task to gratify the indigent and
distressed, as to bear up against, and to dare to incur the anger of
the powerful. To conclude, since it does not appear to be easy, by
any review or discussion, to establish the true difference of their
merits, and decide to which a preference is due, will it be an unfair
award in the case, if we let the Greek bear away the crown for
military conduct and warlike skill, and the Roman for justice and


Of the Thesprotians and Molossians after the great inundation, the
first king, according to some historians, was Phaethon, one of those
who came into Epirus with Pelasgus. Others tell us that Deucalion
and Pyrrha, having set up the worship of Jupiter at Dodona, settled
there among the Molossians. In after time, Neoptolemus, Achilles's
son, planting a colony, possessed these parts himself, and left a
succession of kings, who, after him, were named Pyrrhidae; as he in
his youth was called Pyrrhus, and of his legitimate children, one
born of Lanassa, daughter of Cleodaeus, Hyllus's son, had also that
name. From him, Achilles came to have divine honors in Epirus, under
the name of Aspetus, in the language of the country. After these
first kings, those of the following intervening times becoming
barbarous, and insignificant both in their power and their lives,
Tharrhypas is said to have been the first, who by introducing Greek
manners and learning, and humane laws into his cities, left any fame
of himself. Alcetas was the son of Tharrhypas, Arybas of Alcetas,
and of Arybas and Troas his queen, Aeacides: he married Phthia, the
daughter of Menon, the Thessalian, a man of note at the time off the
Lamiac war, and of highest command in the confederate army next to
Leosthenes. To Aeacides were born of Phthia, Deidamia and Troas
daughters, and Pyrrhus a son.

The Molossians, afterwards falling into factions, and expelling
Aeacides, brought in the sons of Neoptolemus, and such friends of
Aeacides as they could take were all cut off; Pyrrhus, yet an infant,
and searched for by the enemy, had been stolen away and carried off
by Androclides end Angelus; who, however, being obliged to take with
them a few servants, and women to nurse the child, were much impeded
and retarded in their flight, and when they were now overtaken, they
delivered the infant to Androcleon, Hippias, and Neander, faithful
and able young fellows, giving them in charge to make for Megara, a
town of Macedon, with all their might, while they themselves, partly
by entreaty, and partly by force, stopped the course of the pursuers
till late in the evening. At last, having hardly forced them back,
they joined those who had the care of Pyrrhus; but the sun being
already set, at the point of attaining their object they suddenly
found themselves cut off from it. For on reaching the river that
runs by the city they found it looking formidable and rough, and
endeavoring to pass over, they discovered it was not fordable; late
rains having heightened the water, and made the current violent. The
darkness of the night added to the horror of all, so that they durst
not venture of themselves to carry over the child and the women that
attended it; but, perceiving some of the country people on the other
side, they desired them to assist their passage, and showed them
Pyrrhus, calling out aloud, and importuning them. They, however,
could not hear for the noise and roaring of the water. Thus time was
spent while those called out, and the others did not understand what
was said, till one recollecting himself, stripped off a piece of bark
from an oak, and wrote on it with the tongue of a buckle, stating the
necessities and the fortunes of the child, and then rolling it about
a stone, which was made use of to give force to the motion, threw it
over to the other side, or, as some say, fastened it to the end of a
javelin, and darted it over. When the men on the other shore read
what was on the bark, and saw how time pressed, without delay they
cut down some trees, and lashing them together, came over to them.
And it so fell out, that he who first got ashore, and took Pyrrhus in
his arms, was named Achilles, the rest being helped over by others as
they came to hand.

Thus being safe, and out of the reach of pursuit, they addressed
themselves to Glaucias, then king of the Illyrians, and finding him
sitting at home with his wife, they laid down the child before them.
The king began to weigh the matter, fearing Cassander, who was a
mortal enemy of Aeacides, and, being in deep consideration, said
nothing for a long time; while Pyrrhus, crawling about on the ground,
gradually got near and laid hold with his hand upon the king's robe,
and so helping himself upon his feet against the knees of Glaucias,
first moved laughter, and then pity, as a little humble, crying
petitioner. Some say he did not throw himself before Glaucias, but
catching hold of an altar of the gods, and spreading his hands about
it, raised himself up by that; and that Glaucias took the act as an
omen. At present, therefore, he gave Pyrrhus into the charge of his
wife, commanding he should be brought up with his own children; and a
little after, the enemies sending to demand him, and Cassander
himself offering two hundred talents, he would not deliver him up;
but when he was twelve years old, bringing him with an army into
Epirus, made him king. Pyrrhus in the air of his face had something
more of the terrors, than of the augustness of kingly power; he had
not a regular set of upper teeth, but in the place of them one
continued bone, with small lines marked on it, resembling the
divisions of a row of teeth. It was a general belief he could cure
the spleen, by sacrificing a white cock, and gently pressing with his
right foot on the spleen of the persons as they lay down on their
backs, nor was any one so poor or inconsiderable as not to be
welcome, if he desired it, to the benefit of his touch. He accepted
the cock for the sacrifice as a reward, and was always much pleased
with the present. The large toe of that foot was said to have a
divine virtue; for after his death, the rest of the body being
consumed, this was found unhurt and untouched by the fire. But of
these things hereafter.

Being now about seventeen years old, and the government in appearance
well settled, he took a journey out of the kingdom to attend the
marriage of one of Glaucias's sons, with whom he was brought up; upon
which opportunity the Molossians again rebelling, turned out all of
his party, plundered his property, and gave themselves up to
Neoptolemus. Pyrrhus, having thus lost the kingdom, and being in
want of all things, applied to Demetrius the son of Antigonus, the
husband of his sister Deidamia, who, while she was but a child, had
been in name the wife of Alexander, son of Roxana, but their affairs
afterwards proving unfortunate, when she came to age, Demetrius
married her. At the great battle of Ipsus, where so many kings were
engaged, Pyrrhus, taking part with Demetrius, though yet but a youth,
routed those that encountered him, and highly signalized himself
among all the soldiery; and afterwards, when Demetrius's fortunes
were low, he did not forsake him then, but secured for him the cities
of Greece with which he was entrusted; and upon articles of agreement
being made between Demetrius and Ptolemy, he went over as an hostage
for him into Egypt, where both in hunting and other exercises, he
gave Ptolemy an ample proof of his courage and strength. Here
observing Berenice in greatest power, and of all Ptolemy's wives
highest in esteem for virtue and understanding, he made his court
principally to her. He had a particular art of gaining over the
great to his own interest, as on the other hand he readily overlooked
such as were below him; and being also well-behaved and temperate in
his life, among all the young princes then at court, he was thought
most fit to have Antigone for his wife, one of the daughters of
Berenice by Philip, before she married Ptolemy.

After this match, advancing in honor, and Antigone being a very good
wife to him, having procured a sum of money, and raised an army, he
so ordered matters as to be sent into his kingdom of Epirus, and
arrived there to the great satisfaction of many, from their hate to
Neoptolemus, who was governing in a violent and arbitrary way. But
fearing lest Neoptolemus should enter into alliance with some
neighboring princes, he came to terms and friendship with him,
agreeing that they should share the government between them. There
were people, however, who, as time went on, secretly exasperated
them, and fomented jealousies between them. The cause chiefly moving
Pyrrhus is said to have had this beginning. It was customary for the
kings to offer sacrifice to Mars, at Passaro, a place in the
Molossian country, and that done to enter into a solemn covenant with
the Epirots; they to govern according to law, these to preserve the
government as by law established. This was performed in the presence
of both kings, who were there with their immediate friends, giving
and receiving many presents; here Gelo, one of the friends of
Neoptolemus, taking Pyrrhus by the hand, presented him with two pair
of draught oxen. Myrtilus, his cup-bearer, being then by, begged
these of Pyrrhus, who not giving them to him, but to another,
Myrtilus extremely resented it, which Gelo took notice of, and,
inviting him to a banquet, (amidst drinking and other excesses, as
some relate, Myrtilus being then in the flower of his youth,) he
entered into discourse, persuading him to adhere to Neoptolemus, and
destroy Pyrrhus by poison. Myrtilus received the design, appearing
to approve and consent to it, but privately discovered it to Pyrrhus,
by whose command he recommended Alexicrates, his chief cup-bearer, to
Gelo, as a fit instrument for their design, Pyrrhus being very
desirous to have proof of the plot by several evidences. So Gelo
being deceived, Neoptolemus, who was no less deceived, imagining the
design went prosperously on, could not forbear, but in his joy spoke
of it among his friends, and once at an entertainment at his sister
Cadmea's, talked openly of it, thinking none heard but themselves.
Nor was anyone there but Phaenarete the wife of Samon, who had the
care of Neoptolemus's flocks and herds. She, turning her face
towards the wall upon a couch, seemed fast asleep, and having heard
all that passed, unsuspected, next day came to Antigone, Pyrrhus's
wife, and told her what she had heard Neoptolemus say to his sister.
On understanding which Pyrrhus for the present said little, but on a
sacrifice day, making an invitation for Neoptolemus, killed him;
being satisfied before that the great men of the Epirots were his
friends, and that they were eager for him to rid himself of
Neoptolemus, and not to content himself with a mere petty share of
the government, but to follow his own natural vocation to great
designs, and now when just ground of suspicion appeared, to
anticipate Neoptolemus by taking him off first.

In memory of Berenice and Ptolemy, he named his son by Antigone,
Ptolemy, and having built a city in the peninsula of Epirus, called
it Berenicis. From this time he began to revolve many and vast
projects in his thoughts; but his first special hope and design lay
near home, and he found means to engage himself in the Macedonian
affairs under the following pretext. Of Cassander's sons, Antipater,
the eldest, killed Thessalonica his mother, and expelled his brother
Alexander, who sent to Demetrius entreating his assistance, and also
called in Pyrrhus; but Demetrius being retarded by multitude of
business, Pyrrhus, coming first, demanded in reward of his service
the districts called Tymphaea and Parauaea in Macedon itself, and, of
their new conquests, Ambracia, Acarnania, and Amphilochia. The young
prince giving way, he took possession of these countries, and secured
them with good garrisons, and proceeded to reduce for Alexander
himself other parts of the kingdom which he gained from Antipater.
Lysimachus, designing to send aid to Antipater, was involved in much
other business, but knowing Pyrrhus would not disoblige Ptolemy, or
deny him anything, sent pretended letters to him as from Ptolemy,
desiring him to give up his expedition, upon the payment of three
hundred talents to him by Antipater. Pyrrhus, opening the letter,
quickly discovered the fraud of Lysimachus; for it had not the
accustomed style of salutation, "The father to the son, health," but
"King Ptolemy to Pyrrhus, the king, health;" and reproaching
Lysimachus, he notwithstanding made a peace, and they all met to
confirm it by a solemn oath upon sacrifice. A goat, a bull, and a
ram being brought out, the ram on a sudden fell dead. The others
laughed, but Theodotus the prophet forbade Pyrrhus to swear,
declaring that Heaven by that portended the death of one of the three
kings, upon which he refused to ratify the peace.

The affairs of Alexander being now in some kind of settlement,
Demetrius arrived, contrary, as soon appeared, to the desire and
indeed not without the alarm of Alexander. After they had been a few
days together, their mutual jealousy led them to conspire against
each other; and Demetrius taking advantage of the first occasion, was
beforehand with the young king, and slew him, and proclaimed himself
king of Macedon. There had been formerly no very good understanding
between him and Pyrrhus; for besides the inroads he made into
Thessaly, the innate disease of princes, ambition of greater empire,
had rendered them formidable and suspected neighbors to each other,
especially since Deidamia's death; and both having seized Macedon,
they came into conflict for the same object, and the difference
between them had the stronger motives. Demetrius having first
attacked the Aetolians and subdued them, left Pantauchus there with a
considerable army, and marched direct against Pyrrhus, and Pyrrhus,
as he thought, against him; but by mistake of the ways they passed by
one another, and Demetrius falling into Epirus wasted the country,
and Pyrrhus, meeting with Pantauchus, prepared for an engagement.
The soldiers fell to, and there was a sharp and terrible conflict,
especially where the generals were. Pantauchus, in courage,
dexterity, and strength of body, being confessedly the best of all
Demetrius's captains, and having both resolution and high spirit,
challenged Pyrrhus to fight hand to hand; on the other side Pyrrhus,
professing not to yield to any king in valor and glory, and esteeming
the fame of Achilles more truly to belong to him for his courage than
for his blood, advanced against Pantauchus through the front of the
army. First they used their lances, then came to a close fight, and
managed their swords both with art and force; Pyrrhus receiving one
wound, but returning two for it, one in the thigh, the other near the
neck, repulsed and overthrew Pantauchus, but did not kill him
outright, as he was rescued by his friends. But the Epirots
exulting in the victory of their king, and admiring his courage,
forced through and cut in pieces the phalanx of the Macedonians, and
pursuing those that fled, killed many, and took five thousand

This fight did not so much exasperate the Macedonians with anger for
their loss, or with hatred to Pyrrhus, as it caused esteem, and
admiration of his valor, and great discourse of him among those that
saw what he did, and were engaged against him in the action. They
thought his countenance, his swiftness, and his motions expressed
those of the great Alexander, and that they beheld here an image and
resemblance of his rapidity and strength in fight; other kings merely
by their purple and their guards, by the formal bending of their
necks, and lofty tone of speech, Pyrrhus only by arms, and in action,
represented Alexander. Of his knowledge of military tactics and the
art of a general, and his great ability that way, we have the best
information from the commentaries he left behind him. Antigonus,
also, we are told, being asked who was the greatest soldier, said,
"Pyrrhus, if he lives to be old," referring only to those of his own
time; but Hannibal of all great commanders esteemed Pyrrhus for skill
and conduct the first, Scipio the second, and himself the third, as
is related in the life of Scipio. In a word, he seemed ever to make
this all his thought and philosophy, as the most kingly part of
learning; other curiosities he held in no account. He is reported,
when asked at a feast whether he thought Python or Caphisias the best
musician, to have said, Polysperchon was the best soldier, as though
it became a king to examine and understand only such things. Towards
his familiars he was mild, and not easily incensed; zealous, and even
vehement in returning kindnesses. Thus when Aeropus was dead, he
could not bear it with moderation, saying, he indeed had suffered
what was common to human nature, but condemning and blaming himself,
that by puttings off and delays he had not returned his kindness in
time. For our debts may be satisfied to the creditor's heirs, but
not to have made the acknowledgment of received favors, while they to
whom it is due can be sensible of it, afflicts a good and a worthy
nature. Some thinking it fit that Pyrrhus should banish a certain
ill-tongued fellow in Ambracia, who had spoken very indecently of
him, "Let him rather," said he, "speak against us here to a few, than
rambling about to a great many." And others who in their wine had
made redactions upon him, being afterward questioned for it, and
asked by him whether they had said such words, on one of the young
fellows answering, "Yes, all that, king; and should have said more if
we had had more wine;" he laughed and discharged them. After
Antigone's death, he married several wives to enlarge his interest
and power. He had the daughter of Autoleon, king of the Paeonians,
Bircenna, Bardyllis the Illyrian's daughter, Lanassa, daughter of
Agathocles the Syracusan, who brought with her in dower the city of
Corcyra which had been taken by Agathocles. By Antigone he had
Ptolemy, Alexander by Lanassa, and Helenus, his youngest son, by
Bircenna; he brought them up all in arms, hot and eager youths, and
by him sharpened and whetted to war from their very infancy. It is
said, when one of them, while yet a child, asked him to which he
would leave the kingdom, he replied, to him that had the sharpest
sword, which indeed was much like that tragical curse of Oedipus to
his sons:

Not by the lot decide.
But with the sword the heritage divide.

So unsocial and wild-beast-like is the nature of ambition and

After this battle Pyrrhus, returning gloriously home, enjoyed his
fame and reputation, and being called "Eagle" by the Epirots, "By
you," said he, "I am an eagle; for how should I not be such, while I
have your arms as wings to sustain me?" A little after, having
intelligence that Demetrius was dangerously sick, he entered on a
sudden into Macedonia, intending only an incursion, and to harass the
country; but was very near seizing upon all, and taking the kingdom
without a blow. He marched as far as Edessa unresisted, great
numbers deserting, and coming in to him. This danger excited
Demetrius beyond his strength, and his friends and commanders in a
short time got a considerable army together, and with all their
forces briskly attacked Pyrrhus, who, coming only to pillage, would
not stand a fight but retreating lost part of his army, as he went
off, by the close pursuit of the Macedonians. Demetrius, however,
although he had easily and quickly forced Pyrrhus out of the country,
yet did not slight him, but having resolved upon great designs, and
to recover his father's kingdom with an army of one hundred thousand
men, and a fleet of five hundred ships, would neither embroil himself
with Pyrrhus, nor leave the Macedonians so active and troublesome a
neighbor; and since he had no leisure to continue the war with him,
he was willing to treat and conclude a peace, and to turn his forces
upon the other kings. Articles being agreed upon, the designs of
Demetrius quickly discovered themselves by the greatness of his
preparation. And the other kings, being alarmed, sent to Pyrrhus
ambassadors and letters, expressing their wonder that he should
choose to let his own opportunity pass by, and wait till Demetrius
could use his; and whereas he was now able to chase him out of
Macedon, involved in designs and disturbed, he should expect till
Demetrius at leisure, and grown great, should bring the war home to
his own door, and make him fight for his temples and sepulchers in
Molossia; especially having so lately, by his means, lost Corcyra and
his wife together. For Lanassa had taken offense at Pyrrhus for too
great an inclination to those wives of his that were barbarians, and
so withdrew to Corcyra, and desiring to marry some king, invited
Demetrius, knowing of all the kings he was most ready to entertain
offers of marriage; so he sailed thither, married Lanassa, and placed
a garrison in the city. The kings having written thus to Pyrrhus,
themselves likewise contrived to find Demetrius work, while he was
delaying and making his preparations. Ptolemy, setting out with a
great fleet, drew off many of the Greek cities. Lysimachus out of
Thrace wasted the upper Macedon; and Pyrrhus, also, taking arms at
the same time, marched to Beroea, expecting, as it fell out, that
Demetrius, collecting his forces against Lysimachus, would leave the
lower country undefended. That very night he seemed in his sleep to
be called by Alexander the Great, and approaching saw him sick abed,
but was received with very kind words and much respect, and promised
zealous assistance. He making bold to reply: "How, Sir, can you,
being sick, assist me?" "With my name," said he, and mounting a
Nisaean horse, seemed to lead the way. At the sight of this vision
he was much assured, and with swift marches overrunning all the
interjacent places, takes Beroea, and making his head-quarters there,
reduced the rest of the country by his commanders. When Demetrius
received intelligence of this, and perceived likewise the Macedonians
ready to mutiny in the army, he was afraid to advance further, lest
coming near Lysimachus, a Macedonian king, and of great fame, they
should revolt to him. So returning, he marched directly against
Pyrrhus, as a stranger, and hated by the Macedonians. But while he
lay encamped there near him, many who came out of Beroea infinitely
praised Pyrrhus as invincible in arms, a glorious warrior, who
treated those he had taken kindly and humanely. Several of these
Pyrrhus himself sent privately, pretending to be Macedonians, and
saying, now was the time to be delivered from the severe government
of Demetrius, by coming over to Pyrrhus, a gracious prince, and a
lover of soldiers. By this artifice a great part of the army was in
a state of excitement, and the soldiers began to look every way
about, inquiring for Pyrrhus. It happened he was without his helmet,
till understanding they did not know him, he put it on again, and so
was quickly recognized by his lofty crest, and the goat's horns he
wore upon it. Then the Macedonians, running to him, desired to be
told his password, and some put oaken boughs upon their heads,
because they saw them worn by the soldiers about him. Some persons
even took the confidence to say to Demetrius himself, that he would
be well advised to withdraw, and lay down the government. And he,
indeed, seeing the mutinous movements of the army to be only too
consistent with what they said, privately got away, disguised in a
broad hat, and a common soldier's coat. So Pyrrhus became master of
the army without fighting, and was declared king of the Macedonians.

But Lysimachus now arriving, and claiming the defeat of Demetrius as
the joint exploit of them both, and that therefore the kingdom should
be shared between them, Pyrrhus, not as yet quite assured of the
Macedonians, and in doubt of their faith, consented to the
proposition of Lysimachus, and divided the country and cities between
them accordingly. This was for the present useful, and prevented a
war; but shortly after they found the partition not so much a
peaceful settlement, as an occasion of further complaint and
difference. For men whose ambition neither seas nor mountains, nor
unpeopled deserts can limit, nor the bounds dividing Europe from Asia
confine their vast desires, it would be hard to expect to forbear
from injuring one another when they touch, and are close together.
These are ever naturally at war, envying and seeking advantages of
one another, and merely make use of those two words, peace and war,
like current coin, to serve their occasions, not as justice but as
expediency suggests, and are really better men when they openly enter
on a war, than when they give to the mere forbearance from doing
wrong, for want of opportunity, the sacred names of justice and
friendship. Pyrrhus was an instance of this; for setting himself
against the rise of Demetrius again, and endeavoring to hinder the
recovery of his power, as it were from a kind of sickness, he
assisted the Greeks, and came to Athens, where, having ascended the
Acropolis, he offered sacrifice to the goddess, and the same day came
down again, and told the Athenians he was much gratified by the
good-will and the confidence they had shown to him; but if they were
wise, he advised them never to let any king come thither again, or
open their city gates to him. He concluded also a peace with
Demetrius, but shortly after he was gone into Asia, at the persuasion
of Lysimachus, he tampered with the Thessalians to revolt, and
besieged his cities in Greece; finding he could better preserve the
attachment of the Macedonians in war than in peace, and being of his
own inclination not much given to rest. At last, after Demetrius had
been overthrown in Syria, Lysimachus, who had secured his affairs,
and had nothing to do, immediately turned his whole forces upon
Pyrrhus, who was in quarters at Edessa, and falling upon and seizing
his convoy of provisions, brought first a great scarcity into the
army; then partly by letters, partly by spreading rumors abroad, he
corrupted the principal officers of the Macedonians, reproaching them
that they had made one their master who was both a stranger and
descended from those who had ever been servants to the Macedonians,
and that they had thrust the old friends and familiars of Alexander
out of the country. The Macedonian soldiers being much prevailed
upon, Pyrrhus withdrew himself with his Epirots and auxiliary forces,
relinquishing Macedon just after the same manner he took it. So
little reason have kings to condemn popular governments for changing
sides as suits their interests, as in this they do but imitate them
who are the great instructors of unfaithfulness and treachery;
holding him the wisest that makes the least account of being an
honest man.

Pyrrhus having thus retired into Epirus, and left Macedon, fortune
gave him a fair occasion of enjoying himself in quiet, and peaceably
governing his own subjects; but he who thought it a nauseous course
of life not to be doing mischief to others, or receiving some from
them, like Achilles, could not endure repose,

-- But sat and languished far,
Desiring battle and the shout of war,

and gratified his inclination by the following pretext for new
troubles. The Romans were at war with the Tarentines, who, not being
able to go on with the war, nor yet, through the foolhardiness and
the viciousness of their popular speakers, to come to terms and give
it up, proposed now to make Pyrrhus their general, and engage him in
it, as of all the neighboring kings the most at leisure, and the most
skillful as a commander. The more grave and discreet citizens
opposing these counsels, were partly overborne by the noise and
violence of the multitude; while others, seeing this, absented
themselves from the assemblies; only one Meton, a very sober man, on
the day this public decree was to be ratified, when the people were
now seating themselves, came dancing into the assembly like one quite
drunk, with a withered garland and a small lamp in his hand, and a
woman playing on a flute before him. And as in great multitudes met
at such popular assemblies, no decorum can be well observed, some
clapped him, others laughed, none forbade him, but called to the
woman to play, and to him to sing to the company, and when they
thought he was going to do so, "'Tis only right of you, O men of
Tarentum," he said, "not to hinder any from making themselves merry,
that have a mind to it, while it is yet in their power; and if you
are wise, you will take out your pleasure of your freedom while you
can, for you must change your course of life, and follow other diet
when Pyrrhus comes to town." These words made a great impression
upon many of the Tarentines, and a confused murmur went about, that
he had spoken much to the purpose; but some who feared they should be
sacrificed if a peace were made with the Romans, reviled the whole
assembly for so tamely suffering themselves to be abused by a drunken
sot, and crowding together upon Meton, thrust him out. So the public
order was passed, and ambassadors sent into Epirus, not only in their
own names, but in those of all the Italian Greeks, carrying presents
to Pyrrhus, and letting him know they wanted a general of reputation
and experience; and that they could furnish him with large forces of
Lucanians, Messapians, Samnites, and Tarentines, amounting to twenty
thousand horse, and three hundred and fifty thousand foot. This did
not only quicken Pyrrhus, but raised an eager desire for the
expedition in the Epirots.

There was one Cineas, a Thessalian, considered to be a man of very
good sense, a disciple of the great orator Demosthenes, who of all
that were famous at that time for speaking well, most seemed, as in a
picture, to revive in the minds of the audience the memory of his
force and vigor of eloquence; and being always about Pyrrhus, and


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