Plutarch's Lives

Part 14 out of 35

countries of all Italy formed a confederacy together against Rome,
and were within a little of subverting the empire; as they were
indeed strong, not only in their weapons and the valor of their
soldiers, but stood nearly upon equal terms with the Romans, as to
the skill and daring of their commanders.

As much glory and power as this war, so various in its events and so
uncertain as to its success, conferred upon Sylla, so much it took
away from Marius, who was thought tardy, unenterprising, and timid,
whether it were that his age was now quenching his former heat and
vigor, (for he was above sixty-five years old,) or that having, as he
himself said, some distemper that affected his muscles, and his body
being unfit for action, he did service above his strength. Yet, for
all this, he came off victor in a considerable battle, wherein he
slew six thousand of the enemies, and never once gave them any
advantage over him; and when he was surrounded by the works of the
enemy, he contained himself, and though insulted over, and
challenged, did not yield to the provocation. The story is told that
when Publius Silo, a man of the greatest repute and authority among
the enemies, said to him, "If you are indeed a great general, Marius,
leave your camp and fight a battle," he replied, "If you are one,
make me do so." And another time, when the enemy gave them a good
opportunity of a battle, and the Romans through fear durst not
charge, so that both parties retreated, he called an assembly of his
soldiers and said, "It is no small question whether I should call
the enemies, or you, the greater cowards, for neither did they dare
to face your backs, nor you to confront theirs." At length,
professing to be worn out with the infirmity of his body, he laid
down his command.

Afterwards, when the Italians were worsted, there were several
candidates suing, with the aid of the popular leaders, for the chief
command in the war with Mithridates. Sulpicius, tribune of the
people, a bold and confident man, contrary to everybody's
expectation, brought forward Marius, and proposed him as proconsul
and general in that war. The people were divided; some were on
Marius's side, others voted for Sylla, and jeeringly bade Marius go
to his baths at Baiae, to cure his body, worn out, as himself
confessed, with age and catarrhs. Marius had, indeed, there, about
Misenum, a villa more effeminately and luxuriously furnished than
seemed to become one that had seen service in so many and great wars
and expeditions. This same house Cornelia bought for seventy-five
thousand drachmas, and not long after Lucius Lucullus, for two
million five hundred thousand; so rapid and so great was the growth
of Roman sumptuosity. Yet, in spite of all this, out of a mere
boyish passion for distinction, affecting to shake off his age and
weakness, he went down daily to the Campus Martius, and exercising
himself with the youth, showed himself still nimble in his armor,
and expert in riding; though he was undoubtedly grown bulky in his
old age, and inclining to excessive fatness and corpulency.

Some people were pleased with this, and went continually to see him
competing and displaying himself in these exercises; but the better
sort that saw him, pitied the cupidity and ambition that made one who
had risen from utter poverty to extreme wealth, and out of nothing
into greatness, unwilling to admit any limit to his high fortune, or
to be content with being admired, and quietly enjoying what he had
already got: why, as if he still were indigent, should he at so
great an age leave his glory and his triumphs to go into Cappadocia
and the Euxine Sea, to fight Archelaus and Neoptolemus, Mithridates's
generals? Marius's pretenses for this action of his seemed very
ridiculous; for he said he wanted to go and teach his son to be a

The condition of the city, which had long been unsound and diseased,
became hopeless now that Marius found so opportune an instrument for
the public destruction as Sulpicius's insolence. This man professed,
in all other respects, to admire and imitate Saturninus; only he
found fault with him for backwardness and want of spirit in his
designs. He, therefore, to avoid this fault, got six hundred of the
equestrian order about him as his guard, whom he named anti-senators;
and with these confederates he set upon the consuls, whilst they were
at the assembly, and took the son of one of them, who fled from the
forum, and slew him. Sylla, being hotly pursued, took refuge in
Marius's house, which none could suspect, by that means escaping
those that sought him, who hastily passed by there, and, it is said,
was safely conveyed by Marius himself out at the other door, and came
to the camp. Yet Sylla, in his memoirs, positively denies that he
fled to Marius, saying he was carried thither to consult upon the
matters to which Sulpicius would have forced him, against his will,
to consent; that he, surrounding him with drawn swords, hurried him
to Marius, and constrained him thus, till he went thence to the forum
and removed, as they required him to do, the interdict on business.

Sulpicius, having thus obtained the mastery, decreed the command of
the army to Marius, who proceeded to make preparations for his march,
and sent two tribunes to receive the charge of the army from Sylla.
Sylla hereupon exasperating his soldiers, who were about thirty-five
thousand full-armed men, led them towards Rome. First falling upon
the tribunes Marius had sent, they slew them; Marius having done as
much for several of Sylla's friends in Rome, and now offering their
freedom to the slaves on condition of their assistance in the war; of
whom, however, they say, there were but three who accepted his
proposal. For some small time he made head against Sylla's assault,
but was soon overpowered and fled; those that were with him, as soon
as he had escaped out of the city, were dispersed, and night coming
on, he hastened to a country-house of his, called Solonium. Hence he
sent his son to some neighboring farms of his father-in-law, Mucius,
to provide necessaries; he went himself to Ostia, where his friend
Numerius had prepared him a ship, and hence, not staying for his son,
he took with him his son-in-law Granius, and weighed anchor.

Young Marius, coming to Mucius's farms, made his preparations; and
the day breaking, was almost discovered by the enemy. For there came
thither a party of horse that suspected some such matter; but the
farm steward, foreseeing their approach, hid Marius in a cart full of
beans, then yoking in his team and driving toward the city, met
those that were in search of him. Marius, thus conveyed home to his
wife, took with him some necessaries, and came at night to the
sea-side; where, going on board a ship that was bound for Africa, he
went away thither. Marius, the father, when he had put to sea, with
a strong gale passing along the coast of Italy, was in no small
apprehension of one Geminius, a great man at Terracina, and his
enemy; and therefore bade the seamen hold off from that place. They
were, indeed, willing to gratify him, but the wind now blowing in
from the sea, and making the waves swell to a great height, they were
afraid the ship would not be able to weather out the storm, and
Marius, too, being indisposed and seasick, they made for land, and
not without some difficulty reached the shore near Circeium.

The storm now increasing and their victuals failing, they left their
ship and wandered up and down without any certain purpose, simply as
in great distresses people shun the present as the greatest evil, and
rely upon the hopes of uncertainties. For the land and sea were both
equally unsafe for them; it was dangerous to meet with people, and it
was no less so to meet with none, on account of their want of
necessaries. At length, though late, they lighted upon a few poor
shepherds, that had not anything to relieve them; but knowing
Marius, advised him to depart as soon as might be, for they had seen
a little beyond that place a party of horse that were gone in search
of him. Finding himself in a great straight, especially because
those that attended him were not able to go further, being spent with
their long fasting, for the present he turned aside out of the road,
and hid himself in a thick wood, where he passed the night in great
wretchedness. The next day, pinched with hunger, and willing to make
use of the little strength he had, before it were all exhausted, he
traveled by the seaside, encouraging his companions not to fall away
from him before the fulfillment of his final hopes, for which, in
reliance on some old predictions, he professed to be sustaining
himself. For when he was yet but very young, and lived in the
country, he caught in the skirt of his garment an eagle's nest, as it
was falling, in which were seven young ones, which his parents seeing
and much admiring, consulted the augurs about it, who told them that
he should become the greatest man in the world, and that the fates
had decreed he should seven times be possessed of the supreme power
and authority. Some are of opinion that this really happened to
Marius, as we have related it; others say, that those who then and
through the rest of his exile heard him tell these stories, and
believed him, have merely repeated a story that is altogether
fabulous; for an eagle never hatches more than two; and even Musaeus
was deceived, who, speaking of the eagle, says that, --

"She lays three eggs, hatches two, and rears one."

However this be, it is certain Marius, in his exile and greatest
extremities, would often say, that he should attain a seventh

When Marius and his company were now about twenty furlongs distant
from Minturnae, a city in Italy, they espied a troop, of horse making
up toward them with all speed, and by chance, also, at the same time,
two ships under sail. Accordingly, they ran every one with what
speed and strength they could to the sea, and plunging into it, swam
to the ships. Those that were with Granius, reaching one of them,
passed over to an island opposite, called Aenaria; Marius himself
whose body was heavy and unwieldy, was with great pains and
difficulty kept above the water by two servants, and put into the
other ship. The soldiers were by this time come to the seaside, and
from thence called out to the seamen to put to shore, or else to
throw out Marius, and then they might go whither they would. Marius
besought them with tears to the contrary, and the masters of the
ship, after frequent changes, in a short space of time, of their
purpose, inclining, first to one, then to the other side, resolved at
length to answer the soldiers, that they would not give up Marius.
As soon as they had ridden off in a rage, the seamen, again changing
their resolution, came to land, and casting anchor at the mouth of
the river Liris, where it overflows and makes a great marsh, they
advised him to land, refresh himself on shore, and take some care of
his discomposed body, till the wind came fairer; which, said they,
will happen at such an hour, when the wind from the sea will calm,
and that from the marshes rise. Marius, following their advice, did
so, and when the sea-men had set him on shore, he laid him down in an
adjacent field, suspecting nothing less than what was to befall him.
They, as soon as they had got into the ship, weighed anchor and
departed, as thinking it neither honorable to deliver Marius into the
hands of those that sought him, nor safe to protect him.

He thus, deserted by all, lay a good while silently on the shore; at
length collecting himself, he advanced with pain and difficulty,
without any path, till, wading through deep bogs and ditches full of
water and mud, he came upon the hut of an old man that worked in the
fens, and falling at his feet besought him to assist and preserve one
who, if he escaped the present danger, would make him returns beyond
his expectation. The poor man, whether he had formerly known him, or
were then moved with his superior aspect, told him that if he wanted
only rest, his cottage would be convenient; but if he were flying
from anybody's search, he would hide him in a more retired place.
Marius desiring him to do so, he carried him into the fens and bade
him hide himself in an hollow place by the river side, where he laid
upon him a great many reeds, and other things that were light, and
would cover, but not oppress him. But within a very short time he
was disturbed with a noise and tumult from the cottage, for Geminius
had sent several from Terracina in pursuit of him; some of whom,
happening to come that way, frightened and threatened the old man for
having entertained and hid an enemy of the Romans. Wherefore Marius,
arising and stripping himself, plunged into a puddle full of thick
muddy water; and even there he could not escape their search, but was
pulled out covered with mire, and carried away naked to Minturnae,
and delivered to the magistrates. For there had been orders sent
through all the towns, to make public search for Marius, and if they
found him to kill him; however, the magistrates thought convenient to
consider a little better of it first, and sent him prisoner to the
house of one Fannia.

This woman was supposed not very well affected towards him upon an
old account. One Tinnius had formerly married this Fannia; from whom
she afterwards being divorced, demanded her portion, which was
considerable, but her husband accused her of adultery; so the
controversy was brought before Marius in his sixth consulship. When
the cause was examined thoroughly, it appeared both that Fannia had
been incontinent, and that her husband knowing her to be so, had
married and lived a considerable time with her. So that Marius was
severe enough with both, commanding him to restore her portion, and
laying a fine of four copper coins upon her by way of disgrace. But
Fannia did not then behave like a woman that had been injured, but as
soon as she saw Marius, remembered nothing less than old affronts;
took care of him according to her ability, and comforted him. He
made her his returns and told her he did not despair, for he had met
with a lucky omen, which was thus. When he was brought to Fannia's
house, as soon as the gate was opened, an ass came running out to
drink at a spring hard by, and giving a bold and encouraging look,
first stood still before him, then brayed aloud and pranced by him.
From which Marius drew his conclusion, and said, that the fates
designed him safety, rather by sea than land, because the ass
neglected his dry fodder, and turned from it to the water. Having
told Fannia this story, he bade the chamber door to be shut and went
to rest.

Meanwhile the magistrates and councilors of Minturnae consulted
together, and determined not to delay any longer, but immediately to
kill Marius; and when none of their citizens durst undertake the
business, a certain soldier, a Gaulish or Cimbrian horseman, (the
story is told both ways,) went in with his sword drawn to him. The
room itself was not very light, that part of it especially where he
then lay was dark, from whence Marius's eyes, they say, seemed to the
fellow to dart out flames at him, and a loud voice to say, out of the
dark, "Fellow, darest thou kill Caius Marius?" The barbarian
hereupon immediately fled, and leaving his sword in the place rushed
out of doors, crying only this, "I cannot kill Caius Marius." At
which they were all at first astonished, and presently began to feel
pity, and remorse, and anger at themselves for making so unjust and
ungrateful a decree against one who had preserved Italy, and whom it
was bad enough not to assist. "Let him go," said they, "where he
please to banishment, and find his fate somewhere else; we only
entreat pardon of the gods for thrusting Marius distressed and
deserted out of our city."

Impelled by thoughts of this kind, they went in a body into the room,
and taking him amongst them, conducted him towards the sea-side; on
his way to which, though everyone was very officious to him, and all
made what haste they could, yet a considerable time was likely to be
lost. For the grove of Marica, (as she is called,) which the people
hold sacred, and make it a point of religion not to let anything
that is once carried into it be taken out, lay just in their road to
the sea, and if they should go round about, they must needs come very
late thither. At length one of the old men cried out and said, there
was no place so sacred, but they might pass through it for Marius's
preservation; and thereupon, first of all, he himself, taking up some
of the baggage that was carried for his accommodation to the ship,
passed through the grove, all the rest immediately, with the same
readiness, accompanying him. And one Belaeus, (who afterwards had a
picture of these things drawn, and put it in a temple at the place of
embarkation,) having by this time provided him a ship, Marius went on
board, and, hoisting sail, was by fortune thrown upon the island
Aenaria, where meeting with Granius, and his other friends, he sailed
with them for Africa. But their water failing them in the way, they
were forced to put in near Eryx, in Sicily, where was a Roman
quaestor on the watch, who all but captured Marius himself on his
landing, and did kill sixteen of his retinue that went to fetch
water. Marius, with all expedition loosing thence, crossed the sea
to the isle of Meninx, where he first heard the news of his son's
escape with Cethegus, and of his going to implore the assistance of
Hiempsal, king of Numidia.

With this news, being somewhat comforted, he ventured to pass from
that isle towards Carthage. Sextilius, a Roman, was then governor in
Africa; one that had never received either any injury or any
kindness from Marius; but who from compassion, it was hoped, might
lend him some help. But he was scarce got ashore with a small
retinue, when an officer met him, and said, "Sextilius, the governor,
forbids you, Marius, to set foot in Africa; if you do, he says, he
will put the decree of the senate in execution, and treat you as an
enemy to the Romans." When Marius heard this, he wanted words to
express his grief and resentment, and for a good while held his
peace, looking sternly upon the messenger, who asked him what he
should say, or what answer he should return to the governor? Marius
answered him with a deep sigh: "Go tell him that you have seen Caius
Marius sitting in exile among the ruins of Carthage;" appositely
applying the example of the fortune of that city to the change of his
own condition.

In the interim, Hiempsal, king of Numidia, dubious of what he should
determine to do, treated young Marius and those that were with him
very honorably; but when they had a mind to depart, he still had some
presence or other to detain them, and it was manifest he made these
delays upon no good design. However, there happened an accident that
made well for their preservation. The hard fortune which attended
young Marius, who was of a comely aspect, touched one of the king's
concubines, and this pity of hers, was the beginning and occasion of
love for him. At first he declined the woman's solicitations, but
when he perceived that there was no other way of escaping, and that
her offers were more serious than for the gratification of
intemperate passion, he accepted her kindness, and she finding means
to convey them away, he escaped with his friends and fled to his
father. As soon as they had saluted each other, and were going by
the sea-side, they saw some scorpions fighting, which Marius took
for an ill omen, whereupon they immediately went on board a little
fisher-boat, and made toward Cercina, an island not far distant from
the continent. They had scarce put off from shore when they espied
some horse, sent after them by the king, with all speed making toward
that very place from which they were just retired. And Marius thus
escaped a danger, it might be said, as great as any he ever incurred.

At Rome news came that Sylla was engaged with Mithridates's generals
in Boeotia; the consuls, from factious opposition, were fallen to
downright fighting, wherein Octavius prevailing, drove Cinna out of
the city for attempting despotic government, and made Cornelius
Merula consul in his stead; while Cinna, raising forces in other
parts of Italy, carried the war against them. As soon as Marius
heard of this, he resolved, with all expedition, to put to sea again,
and taking with him from Africa some Mauritanian horse, and a few of
the refugees out of Italy, all together not above one thousand, he,
with this handful, began his voyage. Arriving at Telamon, in
Etruria, and coming ashore, he proclaimed freedom for the slaves; and
many of the countrymen, also, and shepherds thereabouts, who were
already freemen, at the hearing his name flocked to him to the
sea-side. He persuaded the youngest and strongest to join him, and
in a small time got together a competent force with which he filled
forty ships. Knowing Octavius to be a good man and willing to
execute his office with the greatest justice imaginable, and Cinna to
be suspected by Sylla, and in actual warfare against the established
government, he determined to join himself and his forces with the
latter. He, therefore, sent a message to him, to let him know that
he was ready to obey him as consul.

When Cinna had joyfully received his offer, naming him proconsul, and
sending him the fasces and other ensigns of authority, he said, that
grandeur did not become his present fortune; but wearing an ordinary
habit, and still letting his hair grow as it had done, from that very
day he first went into banishment, and being now above threescore and
ten years old, he came slowly on foot, designing to move people's
compassion; which did not prevent, however, his natural fierceness of
expression from still predominating, and his humiliation still let it
appear that he was not so much dejected as exasperated, by the change
of his condition. Having saluted Cinna and the soldiers, he
immediately prepared for action, and soon made a considerable
alteration in the posture of affairs. He first cut off the provision
ships, and plundering all the merchants, made himself master of the
supplies of corn; then bringing his navy to the seaport towns, he
took them, and at last, becoming master of Ostia by treachery, he
pillaged that town, and slew a multitude of the inhabitants, and,
blocking up the river, took from the enemy all hopes of supply by the
sea; then marched with his army toward the city, and posted himself
upon the hill called Janiculum.

The public interest did not receive so great damage from Octavius's
unskillfulness in his management of affairs, as from his omitting
needful measures, through too strict observance of the law. As when
several advised him to make the slaves free, he said that he would
not give slaves the privilege of the country from which he then, in
defense of the laws, was driving away Marius. When Metellus, son to
that Metellus who was general in the war in Africa, and afterwards
banished through Marius's means, came to Rome, being thought a much
better commander than Octavius, the soldiers, deserting the consul,
came to him and desired him to take the command of them and preserve
the city; that they, when they had got an experienced valiant
commander, should fight courageously, and come off conquerors. But
when Metellus, offended at it, commanded them angrily to return to
the consul, they revolted to the enemy. Metellus, too, seeing the
city in a desperate condition, left it; but a company of Chaldaeans,
sacrificers, and interpreters of the Sibyl's books, persuaded
Octavius that things would turn out happily, and kept him at Rome.
He was, indeed, of all the Romans the most upright and just, and
maintained the honor of the consulate, without cringing or
compliance, as strictly in accordance with ancient laws and usages,
as though they had been immutable mathematical truths; and yet fell,
I know not how, into some weaknesses, giving more observance to
fortune-tellers and diviners, than to men skilled in civil and
military affairs. He therefore, before Marius entered the city, was
pulled down from the rostra, and murdered by those that were sent
before by Marius; and it is reported there was a Chaldaean writing
found in his gown, when he was slain. And it seemed a thing very
unaccountable, that of two famous generals, Marius should be often
successful by the observing divinations, and Octavius ruined by the
same means.

When affairs were in this posture, the senate assembled, and sent a
deputation to Cinna and Marius, desiring them to come into the city
peaceably and spare the citizens. Cinna, as consul, received the
embassy, sitting in the curule chair, and returned a kind answer to
the messengers; Marius stood by him and said nothing, but gave
sufficient testimony by the gloominess of his countenance, and the
sternness of his looks, that he would in a short time fill the city
with blood. As soon as the council arose, they went toward the city,
where Cinna entered with his guards, but Marius stayed at the gates,
and, dissembling his rage, professed that he was then an exile and
banished his country by course of law; that if his presence were
necessary, they must, by a new decree, repeal the former act by which
he was banished; as though he were, indeed, a religious observer of
the laws, and as if he were returning to a city free from fear or
oppression. Hereupon the people were assembled, but before three or
four tribes had given their votes, throwing up his pretenses and his
legal scruples about his banishment, he came into the city with a
select guard of the slaves who had joined him, whom he called
Bardyaei. These proceeded to murder a number of citizens, as he gave
command, partly by word of mouth, partly by the signal of his nod.
At length Ancharius, a senator, and one that had been praetor, coming
to Marius, and not being resaluted by him, they with their drawn
swords slew him before Marius's face; and henceforth this was their
token, immediately to kill all those who met Marius and saluting him
were taken no notice of, nor answered with the like courtesy; so that
his very friends were not without dreadful apprehensions and horror,
whensoever they came to speak with him.

When they had now butchered a great number, Cinna grew more remiss
and cloyed with murders; but Marius's rage continued still fresh and
unsatisfied, and he daily sought for all that were any way suspected
by him. Now was every road and every town filled with those that
pursued and hunted them that fled and hid themselves; and it was
remarkable that there was no more confidence to be placed, as things
stood, either in hospitality or friendship; for there were found but
a very few that did not betray those that fled to them for shelter.
And thus the servants of Cornutus deserve the greater praise and
admiration, who, having concealed their master in the house, took the
body of one of the slain, cut off the head, put a gold ring on the
finger, and showed it to Marius's guards, and buried it with the same
solemnity as if it had been their own master. This trick was
perceived by nobody, and so Cornutus escaped, and was conveyed by his
domestics into Gaul.

Marcus Antonius, the orator, though he, too, found a true friend, had
ill-fortune. The man was but poor and a plebeian, and as he was
entertaining a man of the greatest rank in Rome, trying to provide
for him with the best he could, he sent his servant to get some wine
of neighboring vintner. The servant carefully tasting it and bidding
him draw better, the fellow asked him what was the matter, that he
did not buy new and ordinary wine as he used to do, but richer and of
a greater price; he, without any design, told him as his old friend
and acquaintance, that his master entertained Marcus Antonius, who
was concealed with him. The villainous vintner, as soon as the
servant was gone, went himself to Marius, then at supper, and being
brought into his presence, told him, he would deliver Antonius into
his hands. As soon as he heard it, it is said he gave a great shout,
and clapped his hands for joy, and had very nearly risen up and gone
to the place himself; but being detained by his friends, he sent
Annius, and some soldiers with him, and commanded him to bring
Antonius's head to him with all speed. When they came to the house,
Annius stayed at the door, and the soldiers went up stairs into the
chamber; where, seeing Antonius, they endeavored to shuffle off the
murder from one to another; for so great it seems were the graces and
charms of his oratory, that as soon as he began to speak and beg his
life, none of them durst touch or so much as look upon him; but
hanging down their heads, every one fell a weeping. When their stay
seemed something tedious, Annius came up himself and found Antonius
discoursing, and the soldiers astonished and quite softened by it,
and calling them cowards, went himself and cut off his head.

Catulus Lutatius, who was colleague with Marius, and his partner in
the triumph over the Cimbri, when Marius replied to those that
interceded for him and begged his life, merely with the words, "he
must die," shut himself up in a room, and making a great fire,
smothered himself. When maimed and headless carcasses were now
frequently thrown about and trampled upon in the streets, people were
not so much moved with compassion at the sight, as struck into a kind
of horror and consternation. The outrages of those that were called
Bardyaei, was the greatest grievance. These murdered the masters of
families in their own houses, abused their children, and ravished
their wives, and were uncontrollable in their rapine and murders,
till those of Cinna's and Sertorius's party, taking counsel together,
fell upon them in the camp and killed them every man.

In the interim, as if a change of wind was coming on, there came news
from all parts that Sylla, having put an end to the war with
Mithridates, and taken possession of the provinces, was returning
into Italy with a great army. This gave some small respite and
intermission to these unspeakable calamities. Marius and his friends
believing war to be close at hand, Marius was chosen consul the
seventh time, and appearing on the very calends of January, the
beginning of the year, threw one Sextus Lucinus, from the Tarpeian
precipice; an omen, as it seemed, portending the renewed misfortunes
both of their party and of the city. Marius, himself now worn out
with labor and sinking under the burden of anxieties, could not
sustain his spirits, which shook within him with the apprehension of
a new war and fresh encounters and dangers, the formidable character
of which he knew by his own experience. He was not now to hazard the
war with Octavius or Merula, commanding an inexperienced multitude or
seditious rabble; but Sylla himself was approaching, the same who had
formerly banished him, and since that, had driven Mithridates as far
as the Euxine Sea.

Perplexed with such thoughts as these, and calling to mind his
banishment, and the tedious wanderings and dangers he underwent, both
by sea and land, he fell into despondency, nocturnal frights, and
unquiet sleep, still fancying that he heard some one telling him,

-- the lion's lair
Is dangerous, though the lion be not there.

Above all things fearing to lie awake, he gave himself up to drinking
deep and besotting himself at night in a way most unsuitable to his
age; by all means provoking sleep, as a diversion to his thoughts.
At length, on the arrival of a messenger from the sea, he was seized
with new alarms, and so what with his fear for the future, and what
with the burden and satiety of the present, on some slight
predisposing cause, he fell into a pleurisy, as Posidonius the
philosopher relates, who says he visited and conversed with him when
he was sick, about some business relating to his embassy. Caius
Piso, an historian, tells us, that Marius, walking after supper with
his friends, fell into a conversation with them about his past life,
and after reckoning up the several changes of his condition, that
from the beginning had happened to him, said, that it did not become
a prudent man to trust himself any longer with fortune; and,
thereupon, taking leave of those that were with him, he kept his bed
seven days, and then died.

Some say his ambition betrayed itself openly in his sickness. and
that he ran into an extravagant frenzy, fancying himself to be
general in the war against Mithridates, throwing himself into such
postures and motions of his body as he had formerly used when he was
in battle, with frequent shouts and loud cries. With so strong and
invincible a desire of being employed in that business had he been
possessed through his pride and emulation. Though he had now lived
seventy years, and was the first man that ever was chosen seven times
consul, and had an establishment and riches sufficient for many
kings, he yet complained of his ill fortune, that he must now die
before he had attained what he desired. Plato, when he saw his death
approaching, thanked the guiding providence and fortune of his life,
first, that he was born a man and a Grecian, not a barbarian or a
brute, and next, that he happened to live in Socrates's age. And so,
indeed, they say Antipater of Tarsus, in like manner, at his death,
calling to mind the happiness that he had enjoyed, did not so much as
omit his prosperous voyage to Athens; thus recognizing every favor of
his indulgent fortune with the greatest acknowledgments, and
carefully saving all to the last in that safest of human treasure
chambers, the memory. Unmindful and thoughtless persons, on the
contrary, let all that occurs to them slip away from them as time
passes on. Retaining and preserving nothing, they lose the enjoyment
of their present prosperity by fancying something better to come;
whereas by fortune we may be prevented of this, but that cannot be
taken from us. Yet they reject their present success, as though it
did not concern them, and do nothing but dream of future
uncertainties; not indeed unnaturally; as till men have by reason and
education laid good foundation for external superstructures, in the
seeking after and gathering them they can never satisfy the unlimited
desires of their mind.

Thus died Marius on the seventeenth day of his seventh consulship, to
the great joy and content of Rome, which thereby was in good hopes to
be delivered from the calamity of a cruel tyranny; but in a small
time they found, that they had only changed their old and worn-out
master for another young and vigorous; so much cruelty and savageness
did his son Marius show in murdering the noblest and most approved
citizens. At first, being esteemed resolute and daring against his
enemies, he was named the son of Mars, but afterwards, his actions
betraying his contrary disposition, he was called the son of Venus.
At last, besieged by Sylla in Praeneste, where he endeavored in many
ways, but in vain, to save his life, when on the capture of the city
there was no hope of escape, he killed himself with his own hand.


The treasure-chamber of the Acanthians at Delphi has this
inscription: "The spoils which Brasidas and the Acanthians took from
the Athenians." And, accordingly, many take the marble statue, which
stands within the building by the gates, to be Brasidas's; but,
indeed, it is Lysander's, representing him with his hair at full
length, after the old fashion, and with an ample beard. Neither is
it true, as some give out, that because the Argives, after their
great defeat, shaved themselves for sorrow, that the Spartans
contrariwise triumphing in their achievements, suffered their hair to
grow; neither did the Spartans come to be ambitious of wearing long
hair, because the Bacchiadae, who fled from Corinth to Lacedaemon,
looked mean and unsightly, having their heads all close cut. But
this, also, is indeed one of the ordinances of Lycurgus, who, as it
is reported, was used to say, that long hair made good-looking men
more beautiful, and ill-looking men more terrible.

Lysander's father is said to have been Aristoclitus, who was not
indeed of the royal family, but yet of the stock of the Heraclidae.
He was brought up in poverty, and showed himself obedient and
conformable, as ever anyone did, to the customs of his country; of a
manly spirit, also, and superior to all pleasures, excepting only
that which their good actions bring to those who are honored and
successful; and it is accounted no base thing in Sparta for their
young men to be overcome with this kind of pleasure. For they are
desirous, from the very first, to have their youth susceptible to
good and bad repute, to feel pain at disgrace, and exultation at
being commended; and anyone who is insensible and unaffected in
these respects is thought poor spirited and of no capacity for
virtue. Ambition and the passion for distinction were thus implanted
in his character by his Laconian education, nor, if they continued
there, must we blame his natural disposition much for this. But he
was submissive to great men, beyond what seems agreeable to the
Spartan temper, and could easily bear the haughtiness of those who
were in power, when it was any way for his advantage, which some are
of opinion is no small part of political discretion. Aristotle, who
says all great characters are more or less atrabilious, as Socrates
and Plato and Hercules were, writes, that Lysander, not indeed early
in life, but when he was old, became thus affected. What is singular
in his character is that he endured poverty very well, and that he
was not at all enslaved or corrupted by wealth, and yet he filled his
country with riches and the love of them, and took away from them the
glory of not admiring money; importing amongst them an abundance of
gold and silver after the Athenian war, though keeping not one
drachma for himself. When Dionysius, the tyrant, sent his daughters
some costly gowns of Sicilian manufacture, he would not receive them,
saying he was afraid they would make them look more unhandsome. But
a while after, being sent ambassador from the same city to the same
tyrant, when he had sent him a couple of robes, and bade him choose
which of them he would, and carry to his daughter: "She," said he,
"will be able to choose best for herself," and taking both of them,
went his way.

The Peloponnesian war having now been carried on a long time, and it
being expected, after the disaster of the Athenians in Sicily, that
they would at once lose the mastery of the sea, and erelong be routed
everywhere, Alcibiades, returning from banishment, and taking the
command, produced a great change, and made the Athenians again a
match for their opponents by sea; and the Lacedaemonians, in great
alarm at this, and calling up fresh courage and zeal for the
conflict, feeling the want of an able commander and of a powerful
armament, sent out Lysander to be admiral of the seas. Being at
Ephesus, and finding the city well affected towards him, and
favorable to the Lacedaemonian party, but in ill condition, and in
danger to become barbarized by adopting the manners of the Persians,
who were much mingled among them, the country of Lydia bordering upon
them, and the king's generals being quartered there a long time, he
pitched his camp there, and commanded the merchant ships all about to
put in thither, and proceeded to build ships of war there; and thus
restored their ports by the traffic he created, and their market by
the employment he gave, and filled their private houses and their
workshops with wealth, so that from that time, the city began, first
of all, by Lysander's means, to have some hopes of growing to that
stateliness and grandeur which now it is at.

Understanding that Cyrus, the king's son, was come to Sardis, he went
up to talk with him, and to accuse Tisaphernes, who, receiving a
command to help the Lacedaemonians, and to drive the Athenians from
the sea, was thought, on account of Alcibiades, to have become remiss
and unwilling, and by paying the seamen slenderly to be ruining the
fleet. Now Cyrus was willing that Tisaphernes might be found in
blame, and be ill reported of, as being, indeed, a dishonest man, and
privately at feud with himself. By these means, and by their daily
intercourse together, Lysander, especially by the submissiveness
of his conversation, won the affections of the young prince, and
greatly roused him to carry on the war; and when he would depart,
Cyrus gave him a banquet, and desired him not to refuse his
good-will, but to speak and ask whatever he had a mind to, and that
he should not be refused anything whatsoever: "Since you are so
very kind," replied Lysander, "I earnestly request you to add one
penny to the seamen's pay, that instead of three pence, they may now
receive four pence." Cyrus, delighted with his public spirit, gave
him ten thousand darics, out of which he added the penny to the
seamen's pay, and by the renown of this in a short time emptied the
ships of the enemies, as many would come over to that side which gave
the most pay, and those who remained, being disheartened and
mutinous, daily created trouble to the captains. Yet for all
Lysander had so distracted and weakened his enemies, he was afraid to
engage by sea, Alcibiades being an energetic commander, and having
the superior number of ships, and having been hitherto, in all
battles, unconquered both by sea and land.

But afterwards, when Alcibiades sailed from Samos to Phocaea, leaving
Antiochus, the pilot, in command of all his forces, this Antiochus,
to insult Lysander, sailed with two galleys into the port of the
Ephesians, and with mocking and laughter proudly rowed along before
the place where the ships lay drawn up. Lysander, in indignation,
launched at first a few ships only and pursued him, but as soon as he
saw the Athenians come to his help, he added some other ships, and,
at last, they fell to a set battle together; and Lysander won the
victory, and taking fifteen of their ships, erected a trophy. For
this, the people in the city being angry, put Alcibiades out of
command, and finding himself despised by the soldiers in Samos, and
ill spoken of, he sailed from the army into the Chersonese. And this
battle, although not important in itself, was made remarkable by its
consequences to Alcibiades.

Lysander, meanwhile, inviting to Ephesus such persons in the various
cities as he saw to be bolder and haughtier-spirited than the rest,
proceeded to lay the foundations of that government by bodies of ten,
and those revolutions which afterwards came to pass, stirring up and
urging them to unite in clubs, and apply themselves to public
affairs, since as soon as ever the Athenians should be put down, the
popular governments, he said, should be suppressed, and they should
become supreme in their several countries. And he made them believe
these things by present deeds, promoting those who were his friends
already to great employments, honors, and offices, and, to gratify
their covetousness, making himself a partner in injustice and
wickedness. So much so, that all flocked to him, and courted and
desired him, hoping, if he remained in power, that the highest wishes
they could form would all be gratified. And therefore, from the very
beginning, they could not look pleasantly upon Callicratidas, when he
came to succeed Lysander as admiral; nor, afterwards, when he had
given them experience that he was a most noble and just person, were
they pleased with the manner of his government, and its
straightforward, Dorian, honest character. They did, indeed, admire
his virtue, as they might the beauty of some hero's image; but their
wishes were for Lysander's zealous and profitable support of the
interests of his friends and partisans, and they shed tears, and were
much disheartened when he sailed from them. He himself made them yet
more disaffected to Callicratidas; for what remained of the money
which had been given him to pay the navy, he sent back again to
Sardis, bidding them, if they would, apply to Callicratidas himself,
and see how he was able to maintain the soldiers. And, at the last,
sailing away, he declared to him that he delivered up the fleet in
possession and command of the sea. But Callicratidas, to expose the
emptiness of these high pretensions, said, "In that case, leave Samos
on the left hand, and, sailing to Miletus, there deliver up the ships
to me; for if we are masters of the sea, we need not fear sailing by
our enemies in Samos." To which Lysander answering, that not
himself, but he, commanded the ships, sailed to Peloponnesus, leaving
Callicratidas in great perplexity. For neither had he brought any
money from home with him, nor could he endure to tax the towns or
force them, being in hardship enough. Therefore, the only course
that was to be taken was to go and beg at the doors of the king's
commanders, as Lysander had done; for which he was most unfit of any
man, being of a generous and great spirit, and one who thought it
more becoming for the Greeks to suffer any damage from one another,
than to flatter and wait at the gates of barbarians, who, indeed, had
gold enough, but nothing else that was commendable. But being
compelled by necessity, he proceeded to Lydia, and went at once to
Cyrus's house, and sent in word, that Callicratidas, the admiral, was
there to speak with him; one of those who kept the gates replied,
"Cyrus, O stranger, is not now at leisure, for he is drinking." To
which Callicratidas answered, most innocently, "Very well, I will
wait till he has done his draught." This time, therefore, they took
him for some clownish fellow, and he withdrew, merely laughed at by
the barbarians; but when, afterwards, he came a second time to the
gate, and was not admitted, he took it hardly and set off for
Ephesus, wishing a great many evils to those who first let themselves
be insulted over by these barbarians, and taught them to be insolent
because of their riches; and added vows to those who were present,
that as soon as ever he came back to Sparta, he would do all he could
to reconcile the Greeks, that they might be formidable to barbarians,
and that they should cease henceforth to need their aid against one
another. But Callicratidas, who entertained purposes worthy a
Lacedaemonian, and showed himself worthy to compete with the very
best of Greece, for his justice, his greatness of mind and courage,
not long after, having been beaten in a sea-fight at Arginusae, died.

And now affairs going backwards, the associates in the war sent an
embassy to Sparta, requiring Lysander to be their admiral, professing
themselves ready to undertake the business much more zealously, if he
was commander; and Cyrus, also, sent to request the same thing. But
because they had a law which would not suffer any one to be admiral
twice, and wished, nevertheless, to gratify their allies, they gave
the title of admiral to one Aracus, and sent Lysander nominally as
vice-admiral, but, indeed, with full powers. So he came out, long
wished for by the greatest part of the chief persons and leaders in
the towns, who hoped to grow to greater power still by his means,
when the popular governments should be everywhere destroyed.

But to those who loved honest and noble behavior in their commanders,
Lysander, compared with Callicratidas, seemed cunning and subtle,
managing most things in the war by deceit, extolling what was just
when it was profitable, and when it was not, using that which was
convenient, instead of that which was good; and not judging truth to
be in nature better than falsehood, but setting a value upon both
according to interest. He would laugh at those who thought that
Hercules's posterity ought not to use deceit in war: "For where the
lion's skin will not reach, you must patch it out with the fox's."
Such is the conduct recorded of him in the business about Miletus;
for when his friends and connections, whom he had promised to assist
in suppressing popular government and expelling their political
opponents, had altered their minds, and were reconciled to their
enemies, he pretended openly as if he was pleased with it, and was
desirous to further the reconciliation, but privately he railed at
and abused them, and provoked them to set upon the multitude. And as
soon as ever he perceived a new attempt to be commencing, he at once
came up and entered into the city, and the first of the conspirators
he lit upon, he pretended to rebuke, and spoke roughly, as if he
would punish them; but the others, meantime, he bade be courageous,
and to fear nothing now he was with them. And all this acting and
dissembling was with the object that the most considerable men of the
popular party might not fly away, but might stay in the city and be
killed; which so fell out, for all who believed him were put to

There is a saying, also, recorded by Androclides, which makes him
guilty of great indifference to the obligations of an oath. His
recommendation, according to this account, was to "cheat boys with
dice, and men with oaths," an imitation of Polycrates of Samos, not
very honorable to a lawful commander, to take example, namely, from a
tyrant; nor in character with Laconian usages, to treat gods as ill
as enemies, or, indeed, even more injuriously; since he who
overreaches by an oath admits that he fears his enemy, while he
despises his God.

Cyrus now sent for Lysander to Sardis, and gave him some money, and
promised him some more, youthfully protesting in favor to him, that
if his father gave him nothing, he would supply him of his own; and
if he himself should be destitute of all, he would cut up, he said,
to make money, the very throne upon which he sat to do justice, it
being made of gold and silver; and, at last, on going up into Media
to his father, he ordered that he should receive the tribute of the
towns, and committed his government to him, and so taking his leave,
and desiring him not to fight by sea before he returned, for he would
come back with a great many ships out of Phoenicia and Cilicia,
departed to visit the king.

Lysander's ships were too few for him to venture to fight, and yet
too many to allow of his remaining idle; he set out, therefore, and
reduced some of the islands, and wasted Aegina and Salamis; and from
thence landing in Attica, and saluting Agis, who came from Decelea to
meet him, he made a display to the land-forces of the strength of the
fleet, as though he could sail where he pleased, and were absolute
master by sea. But hearing the Athenians pursued him, he fled
another way through the islands into Asia. And finding the
Hellespont without any defense, he attacked Lampsacus with his ships
by sea; while Thorax, acting in concert with him with the land army,
made an assault on the walls; and so, having taken the city by storm,
he gave it up to his soldiers to plunder. The fleet of the
Athenians, a hundred and eighty ships, had just arrived at Elaeus in
the Chersonese; and hearing the news, that Lampsacus was destroyed,
they presently sailed to Sestos; where, taking in victuals, they
advanced to Aegos Potami, over against their enemies, who were still
stationed about Lampsacus. Amongst other Athenian captains who were
now in command was Philocles, he who persuaded the people to pass a
decree to cut off the right thumb of the captives in the war, that
they should not be able to hold the spear, though they might the oar.

Then they all rested themselves, hoping they should have battle the
next morning. But Lysander had other things in his head; he
commanded the mariners and pilots to go on board at dawn, as if there
should be a battle as soon as it was day, and to sit there in order,
and without any noise, expecting what should be commanded, and in
like manner that the land army should remain quietly in their ranks
by the sea. But the sun rising, and the Athenians sailing up with
their whole fleet in line, and challenging them to battle, he, though
he had had his ships all drawn up and manned before daybreak,
nevertheless did not stir. He merely sent some small boats to those
who lay foremost, and bade them keep still and stay in their order;
not to be disturbed, and none of them to sail out and offer battle.
So about evening, the Athenians sailing back, he would not let the
seamen go out of the ships before two or three, which he had sent to
espy, were returned, after seeing the enemies disembark. And thus
they did the next day, and the third, and so to the fourth. So that
the Athenians grew extremely confident, and disdained their enemies,
as if they had been afraid and daunted. At this time, Alcibiades,
who was in his castle in the Chersonese, came on horseback to the
Athenian army, and found fault with their captains, first of all that
they had pitched their camp neither well nor safely, on an exposed
and open beach, a very bad landing for the ships, and, secondly, that
where they were, they had to fetch all they wanted from Sestos, some
considerable way off; whereas if they sailed round a little way to
the town and harbor of Sestos, they would be at a safer distance from
an enemy, who lay watching their movements, at the command of a
single general, terror of whom made every order rapidly executed.
This advice, however, they would not listen to; and Tydeus angered
disdainfully, that not he, but others, were in office now. So
Alcibiades, who even suspected there must be treachery, departed.

But on the fifth day, the Athenians having sailed towards them, and
gone back again as they were used to do, very proudly and full of
contempt, Lysander sending some ships, as usual, to look out,
commanded the masters of them that when they saw the Athenians go to
land, they should row back again with all their speed, and that when
they were about half-way across, they should lift up a brazen shield
from the foredeck, as the sign of battle. And he himself sailing
round, encouraged the pilots and masters of the ships, and exhorted
them to keep all their men to their places, seamen and soldiers
alike, and as soon as ever the sign should be given, to row up boldly
to their enemies. Accordingly when the shield had been lifted up
from the ships, and the trumpet from the admiral's vessel had sounded
for battle, the ships rowed up, and the foot soldiers strove to get
along by the shore to the promontory. The distance there between the
two continents is fifteen furlongs, which, by the zeal and eagerness
of the rowers, was quickly traversed. Conon, one of the Athenian
commanders, was the first who saw from the land the fleet advancing,
and shouted out to embark, and in the greatest distress bade some and
entreated others, and some he forced to man the ships. But all his
diligence signified nothing, because the men were scattered about;
for as soon as they came out of the ships, expecting no such matter,
some went to market, others walked about the country, or went to
sleep in their tents, or got their dinners ready, being, through
their commanders' want of skill, as far as possible from any thought
of what was to happen; and the enemy now coming up with shouts and
noise, Conon, with eight ships, sailed out, and making his escape,
passed from thence to Cyprus, to Evagores. The Peloponnesians
falling upon the rest, some they took quite empty, and some they
destroyed while they were filling; the men, meantime, coming unarmed
and scattered to help, died at their ships, or, flying by land, were
slain, their enemies disembarking and pursuing them. Lysander took
three thousand prisoners, with the generals, and the whole fleet,
excepting the sacred ship Paralus, and those which fled with Conon.
So taking their ships in tow, and having plundered their tents, with
pipe and songs of victory, he sailed back to Lampsacus, having
accomplished a great work with small pains, and having finished in
one hour, a war which had been protracted in its continuance, and
diversified in its incidents and its fortunes to a degree exceeding
belief, compared with all before it. After altering its shape and
character a thousand times, and after having been the destruction of
more commanders than all the previous wars of Greece put together, it
was now put an end to by the good counsel and ready conduct of one

Some, therefore, looked upon the result as a divine intervention, and
there were certain who affirmed that the stars of Castor and Pollux
were seen on each side of Lysander's ship, when he first set sail
from the haven toward his enemies, shining about the helm; and some
say the stone which fell down was a sign of this slaughter. For a
stone of a great size did fall, according to the common belief, from
heaven, at Aegos Potami, which is shown to this day, and had in great
esteem by the Chersonites. And it is said that Anaxagoras foretold,
that the occurrence of a slip or shake among the bodies fixed in the
heavens, dislodging any one of them, would be followed by the fall of
the whole of them. For no one of the stars is now in the same place
in which it was at first; for they, being, according to him, like
stones and heavy, shine by the refraction of the upper air round
about them, and are carried along forcibly by the violence of the
circular motion by which they were originally withheld from
falling, when cold and heavy bodies were first separated from the
general universe. But there is a more probable opinion than this
maintained by some, who say that falling stars are no effluxes, nor
discharges of ethereal fire, extinguished almost at the instant of
its igniting by the lower air; neither are they the sudden combustion
and blazing up of a quantity of the lower air let loose in great
abundance into the upper region; but the heavenly bodies, by a
relaxation of the force of their circular movement, are carried by an
irregular course, not in general into the inhabited part of the
earth, but for the most part into the wide sea; which is the cause of
their not being observed. Daimachus, in his treatise on Religion.
supports the view of Anaxagoras. He says, that before this stone
fell, for seventy-five days continually, there was seen in the
heavens a vast fiery body, as if it had been a flaming cloud, not
resting, but carried about with several intricate and broken
movements, so that the flaming pieces, which were broken off by this
commotion and running about, were carried in all directions, shining
as falling stars do. But when it afterwards came down to the ground
in this district, and the people of the place recovering from their
fear and astonishment came together, there was no fire to be seen,
neither any sign of it; there was only a stone lying, big indeed, but
which bore no proportion, to speak of, to that fiery compass. It is
manifest that Daimachus needs to have indulgent hearers; but if what
he says be true, he altogether proves those to be wrong who say that
a rock broken off from the top of some mountain, by winds and
tempests, and caught and whirled about like a top, as soon as this
impetus began to slacken and cease, was precipitated and fell to the
ground. Unless, indeed, we choose to say that the phenomenon which
was observed for so many days was really fire, and that the change in
the atmosphere ensuing on its extinction was attended with violent
winds and agitations, which might be the cause of this stone being
carried off. The exacter treatment of this subject belongs, however,
to a different kind of writing.

Lysander, after the three thousand Athenians whom he had taken
prisoners were condemned by the commissioners to die, called
Philocles the general, and asked him what punishment he considered
himself to deserve, for having advised the citizens as he had done,
against the Greeks; but he, being nothing cast down at his calamity,
bade him not accuse him of matters of which nobody was a judge, but
to do to him, now he was a conqueror, as he would have suffered, had
he been overcome. Then washing himself, and putting on a fine cloak,
he led the citizens the way to the slaughter, as Theophrastus writes
in his history. After this Lysander, sailing about to the various
cities, bade all the Athenians he met go into Athens, declaring that
he would spare none, but kill every man whom he found out of the
city, intending thus to cause immediate famine and scarcity there,
that they might not make the siege laborious to him, having
provisions sufficient to endure it. And suppressing the popular
governments and all other constitutions, he left one Lacedaemonian
chief officer in every city, with ten rulers to act with him,
selected out of the societies which he had previously formed in the
different towns. And doing thus as well in the cities of his
enemies, as of his associates, he sailed leisurely on, establishing,
in a manner, for himself supremacy over the whole of Greece. Neither
did he make choice of rulers by birth or by wealth, but bestowed the
offices on his own friends and partisans, doing everything to please
them, and putting absolute power of reward and punishment into their
hands. And thus, personally appearing on many occasions of bloodshed
and massacre, and aiding his friends to expel their opponents, he did
not give the Greeks a favorable specimen of the Lacedaemonian
government; and the expression of Theopompus, the comic poet, seemed
but poor, when he compared the Lacedaemonians to tavern women,
because when the Greeks had first tasted the sweet wine of liberty,
they then poured vinegar into the cup; for from the very first it had
a rough and bitter taste, all government by the people being
suppressed by Lysander, and the boldest and least scrupulous of the
oligarchical party selected to rule the cities.

Having spent some little time about these things, and sent some
before to Lacedaemon to tell them he was arriving with two hundred
ships, he united his forces in Attica with those of the two kings
Agis and Pausanias, hoping to take the city without delay. But when
the Athenians defended themselves, he with his fleet passed again to
Asia, and in like manner destroyed the forms of government in all the
other cities, and placed them under the rule of ten chief persons,
many in every one being killed, and many driven into exile; and in
Samos, he expelled the whole people, and gave their cities to the
exiles whom he brought back. And the Athenians still possessing
Sestos, he took it from them, and suffered not the Sestians
themselves to dwell in it, but gave the city and country to be
divided out among the pilots and masters of the ships under him;
which was his first act that was disallowed by the Lacedaemonians,
who brought the Sestians back again into their country. All Greece,
however, rejoiced to see the Aeginetans, by Lysander's aid, now
again, after a long time, receiving back their cities, and the
Melians and Scionaeans restored, while the Athenians were driven out,
and delivered up the cities.

But when he now understood they were in a bad case in the city
because of the famine, he sailed to Piraeus, and reduced the city,
which was compelled to surrender on what conditions he demanded. One
hears it said by Lacedaemonians that Lysander wrote to the Ephors
thus: "Athens is taken;" and that these magistrates wrote back to
Lysander, "Taken is enough." But this saying was invented for its
neatness' sake; for the true decree of the magistrates was on this
manner: "The government of the Lacedaemonians has made these orders;
pull down the Piraeus and the long walls; quit all the towns, and
keep to your own land; if you do these things, you shall have peace,
if you wish it, restoring also your exiles. As concerning the number
of the ships, whatsoever there be judged necessary to appoint, that
do." This scroll of conditions the Athenians accepted, Theramenes,
son of Hagnon, supporting it. At which time, too, they say that when
Cleomenes, one of the young orators, asked him how he durst act and
speak contrary to Themistocles, delivering up the walls to the
Lacedaemonians, which he had built against the will of the
Lacedaemonians, he said, "O young man, I do nothing contrary to
Themistocles; for he raised these walls for the safety of the
citizens, and we pull them down for their safety; and if walls make a
city happy, then Sparta must be the most wretched of all, as it has

Lysander, as soon as he had taken all the ships except twelve, and
the walls of the Athenians, on the sixteenth day of the month
Munychion, the same on which they had overcome the barbarians at
Salamis, then proceeded to take measures for altering the government.
But the Athenians taking that very unwillingly, and resisting, he
sent to the people and informed them, that he found that the city had
broken the terms, for the walls were standing when the days were past
within which they should have been pulled down. He should,
therefore, consider their case anew, they having broken their first
articles. And some state, in fact, the proposal was made in the
congress of the allies, that the Athenians should all be sold as
slaves; on which occasion, Erianthus, the Theban, gave his vote to
pull down the city, and turn the country into sheep-pasture; yet
afterwards, when there was a meeting of the captains together, a man
of Phocis, singing the first chorus in Euripides's Electra, which

Electra, Agamemnon's child, I come
Unto thy desert home,

they were all melted with compassion, and it seemed to be a cruel
deed to destroy and pull down a city which had been so famous, and
produced such men.

Accordingly Lysander, the Athenians yielding up everything, sent for
a number of flute-women out of the city, and collected together all
that were in the camp, and pulled down the walls, and burnt the ships
to the sound of the flute, the allies being crowned with garlands,
and making merry together, as counting that day the beginning of
their liberty. He proceeded also at once to alter the government,
placing thirty rulers in the city, and ten in the Piraeus: he put,
also, a garrison into the Acropolis, and made Callibius, a Spartan,
the governor of it; who afterwards taking up his staff to strike
Autolycus, the athlete, about whom Xenophon wrote his "Banquet," on
his tripping up his heels and throwing him to the ground, Lysander
was not vexed at it, but chid Callibius, telling him he did not know
how to govern freemen. The thirty rulers, however, to gain
Callibius's favor, a little after killed Autolycus.

Lysander, after this, sails out to Thrace, and what remained of the
public money, and the gifts and crowns which he had himself received,
numbers of people, as might be expected, being anxious to make
presents to a man of such great power, who was, in a manner, the lord
of Greece, he sends to Lacedaemon by Gylippus, who had commanded
formerly in Sicily. But he, it is reported, unsewed the sacks at the
bottom, took a considerable amount of silver out of every one of
them, and sewed them up again, not knowing there was a writing in
every one stating how much there was. And coming into Sparta, what
he had thus stolen away he hid under the tiles of his house, and
delivered up the sacks to the magistrates, and showed the seals were
upon them. But afterwards, on their opening the sacks and counting
it, the quantity of the silver differed from what the writing
expressed; and the matter causing some perplexity to the magistrates,
Gylippus's servant tells them in a riddle, that under the tiles lay
many owls; for, as it seems, the greatest part of the money then
current, bore the Athenian stamp of the owl. Gylippus having
committed so foul and base a deed, after such great and distinguished
exploits before, removed himself from Lacedaemon.

But the wisest of the Spartans, very much on account of this
occurrence, dreading the influence of money, as being what had
corrupted the greatest citizens, exclaimed against Lysander's
conduct, and declared to the Ephors, that all the silver and gold
should be sent away, as mere "alien mischiefs." These consulted
about it; and Theopompus says, it was Sciraphidas, but Ephorus, that
it was Phlogidas, who declared they ought not to receive any gold or
silver into the city; but to use their own country coin which was
iron, and was first of all dipped in vinegar when it was red hot,
that it might not be worked up anew, but because of the dipping might
be hard and unpliable. It was also, of course, very heavy and
troublesome to carry, and a great deal of it in quantity and
weight was but a little in value. And perhaps all the old money was
so, coin consisting of iron, or in some countries, copper skewers,
whence it comes that we still find a great number of small pieces of
money retain the name of obolus, and the drachma is six of these,
because so much may be grasped in one's hand. But Lysander's friends
being against it, and endeavoring to keep the money in the city, it
was resolved to bring in this sort of money to be used publicly,
enacting, at the same time, that if anyone was found in possession
of any privately, he should be put to death, as if Lycurgus had
feared the coin, and not the covetousness resulting from it, which
they did not repress by letting no private man keep any, so much as
they encouraged it, by allowing the state to possess it; attaching
thereby a sort of dignity to it, over and above its ordinary utility.
Neither was it possible, that what they saw was so much esteemed
publicly, they should privately despise as unprofitable; and that
everyone should think that thing could be nothing worth for his own
personal use, which was so extremely valued and desired for the use
of the state. And moral habits, induced by public practices, are far
quicker in making their way into men's private lives, than the
failings and faults of individuals are in infecting the city at
large. For it is probable that the parts will be rather corrupted by
the whole if that grows bad; while the vices which flow from a part
into the whole, find many correctives and remedies from that which
remains sound. Terror and the law were now to keep guard over the
citizens' houses, to prevent any money entering into them; but their
minds could no longer be expected to remain superior to the desire of
it, when wealth in general was thus set up to be striven after, as a
high and noble object. On this point, however, we have given our
censure of the Lacedaemonians in one of our other writings.

Lysander erected out of the spoils brazen statues at Delphi of
himself, and of every one of the masters of the ships, as also
figures of the golden stars of Castor and Pollux, which vanished
before the battle at Leuctra. In the treasury of Brasidas and the
Acanthians, there was a trireme made of gold and ivory, of two
cubits, which Cyrus sent Lysander in honor of his victory. But
Alexandrides of Delphi writes in his history, that there was also a
deposit of Lysander's, a talent of silver, and fifty-two minas,
besides eleven staters; a statement not consistent with the generally
received account of his poverty. And at that time, Lysander, being
in fact of greater power than any Greek before, was yet thought to
show a pride, and to affect a superiority greater even than his power
warranted. He was the first, as Duris says in his history, among the
Greeks, to whom the cities reared altars as to a god, and sacrificed;
to him were songs of triumph first sung, the beginning of one of
which still remains recorded: --

Great Greece's general from spacious Sparta we
Will celebrate with songs of victory.

And the Samians decreed that their solemnities of Juno should be
called the Lysandria; and out of the poets he had Choerilus always
with him, to extol his achievements in verse; and to Antilochus, who
had made some verses in his commendation, being pleased with them, he
gave a hat full of silver; and when Antimachus of Colophon, and one
Niceratus of Heraclea, competed with each other in a poem on the
deeds of Lysander, he gave the garland to Niceratus; at which
Antimachus, in vexation, suppressed his poem; but Plato, being then a
young man, and admiring Antimachus for his poetry, consoled him for
his defeat by telling him that it is the ignorant who are the
sufferers by ignorance, as truly as the blind by want of sight.
Afterwards, when Aristonus, the musician, who had been a conqueror
six times at the Pythian games, told him as a piece of flattery, that
if he were successful again, he would proclaim himself in the name of
Lysander, "that is," he answered, "as his slave?"

This ambitious temper was indeed only burdensome to the highest
personages and to his equals, but through having so many people
devoted to serve him, an extreme haughtiness and contemptuousness
grew up, together with ambition, in his character. He observed no
sort of moderation, such as befitted a private man, either in
rewarding or in punishing; the recompense of his friends and guests
was absolute power over cities, and irresponsible authority, and the
only satisfaction of his wrath was the destruction of his enemy;
banishment would not suffice. As for example, at a later period,
fearing lest the popular leaders of the Milesians should fly, and
desiring also to discover those who lay hid, he swore he would do
them no harm, and on their believing him and coming forth, he
delivered them up to the oligarchical leaders to be slain, being in
all no less than eight hundred. And, indeed, the slaughter in
general of those of the popular party in the towns exceeded all
computation; as he did not kill only for offenses against himself,
but granted these favors without sparing, and joined in the execution
of them, to gratify the many hatreds, and the much cupidity of his
friends everywhere round about him. From whence the saying of
Eteocles, the Lacedaemonian, came to be famous, that "Greece could
not have borne two Lysanders." Theophrastus says, that Archestratus
said the same thing concerning Alcibiades. But in his case what had
given most offense was a certain licentious and wanton self-will;
Lysander's power was feared and hated because of his unmerciful
disposition. The Lacedaemonians did not at all concern themselves
for any other accusers; but afterwards, when Pharnabazus, having been
injured by him, he having pillaged and wasted his country, sent some
to Sparta to inform against him, the Ephors taking it very ill, put
one of his friends and fellow-captains, Thorax, to death, taking him
with some silver privately in his possession; and they sent him a
scroll, commanding him to return home. This scroll is made up thus;
when the Ephors send an admiral or general on his way, they take two
round pieces of wood, both exactly of a length and thickness, and cut
even to one another; they keep one themselves, and the other they
give to the person they send forth; and these pieces of wood they
call Scytales. When, therefore, they have occasion to communicate
any secret or important matter, making a scroll of parchment long and
narrow like a leathern thong, they roll it about their own staff of
wood, leaving no space void between, but covering the surface of the
staff with the scroll all over. When they have done this, they write
what they please on the scroll, as it is wrapped about the staff; and
when they have written, they take off the scroll, and send it to the
general without the wood. He, when he has received it, can read
nothing of the writing, because the words and letters are not
connected, but all broken up; but taking his own staff, he winds the
slip of the scroll about it, so that this folding, restoring all the
parts into the same order that they were in before, and putting what
comes first into connection with what follows, brings the whole
consecutive contents to view round the outside. And this scroll is
called a staff, after the name of the wood, as a thing measured is by
the name of the measure.

But Lysander, when the staff came to him to the Hellespont, was
troubled, and fearing Pharnabazus's accusations most, made haste to
confer with him, hoping to end the difference by a meeting together.
When they met, he desired him to write another letter to the
magistrates, stating that he had not been wronged, and had no
complaint to prefer. But he was ignorant that Pharnabazus, as it is
in the proverb, played Cretan against Cretan; for pretending to do
all that was desired, openly he wrote such a letter as Lysander
wanted, but kept by him another, written privately; and when they
came to put on the seals, changed the tablets, which differed not at
all to look upon, and gave him the letter which had been written
privately. Lysander, accordingly, coming to Lacedaemon, and going,
as the custom is, to the magistrates' office, gave Pharnabazus's
letter to the Ephors, being persuaded that the greatest accusation
against him was now withdrawn; for Pharnabazus was beloved by the
Lacedaemonians, having been the most zealous on their side in the war
of all the king's captains. But after the magistrates had read the
letter they showed it him, and he understanding now that

Others beside Ulysses deep can be,
Not the one wise man of the world is he,

in extreme confusion, left them at the time. But a few days after,
meeting the Ephors, he said he must go to the temple of Ammon, and
offer the god the sacrifices which he had vowed in war. For some
state it as a truth, that when he was besieging the city of Aphytae
in Thrace, Ammon stood by him in his sleep; whereupon raising the
siege, supposing the god had commanded it, he bade the Aphytaeans
sacrifice to Ammon, and resolved to make a journey into Libya to
propitiate the god. But most were of opinion that the god was but
the presence, and that in reality he was afraid of the Ephors, and
that impatience of the yoke at home, and dislike of living under
authority, made him long for some travel and wandering, like a horse
just brought in from open feeding and pasture to the stable, and put
again to his ordinary work. For that which Ephorus states to have
been the cause of this traveling about, I shall relate by and by.

And having hardly and with difficulty obtained leave of the
magistrates to depart, he set sail. But the kings, while he was on
his voyage, considering that keeping, as he did, the cities in
possession by his own friends and partisans, he was in fact their
sovereign and the lord of Greece, took measures for restoring the
power to the people, and for throwing his friends out. Disturbances
commencing again about these things, and, first of all, the Athenians
from Phyle setting upon their thirty rulers and overpowering them,
Lysander, coming home in haste, persuaded the Lacedaemonians to
support the oligarchies and to put down the popular governments, and
to the thirty in Athens, first of all, they sent a hundred talents
for the war, and Lysander himself, as general, to assist them. But
the kings envying him, and fearing lest he should take Athens again,
resolved that one of themselves should take the command. Accordingly
Pausanias went, and in words, indeed, professed as if he had been for
the tyrants against the people, but in reality exerted himself for
peace, that Lysander might not by the means of his friends become
lord of Athens again. This he brought easily to pass; for,
reconciling the Athenians, and quieting the tumults, he defeated the
ambitious hopes of Lysander, though shortly after, on the Athenians
rebelling again, he was censured for having thus taken, as it were,
the bit out of the mouth of the people, which, being freed from the
oligarchy, would now break out again into affronts and insolence; and
Lysander regained the reputation of a person who employed his command
not in gratification of others, nor for applause, but strictly for
the good of Sparta.

His speech, also, was bold and daunting to such as opposed him. The
Argives, for example, contended about the bounds of their land, and
thought they brought juster pleas than the Lacedaemonians; holding
out his sword, "He," said Lysander, "that is master of this, brings
the best argument about the bounds of territory." A man of Megara,
at some conference, taking freedom with him, "This language, my
friend," said he, "should come from a city." To the Boeotians, who
were acting a doubtful part, he put the question, whether he should
pass through their country with spears upright, or leveled. After
the revolt of the Corinthians, when, on coming to their walls, he
perceived the Lacedaemonians hesitating to make the assault, and a
hare was seen to leap through the ditch: "Are you not ashamed," he
said, "to fear an enemy, for whose laziness, the very hares sleep
upon their walls?"

When king Agis died, leaving a brother Agesilaus, and Leotychides,
who was supposed his son, Lysander, being attached to Agesilaus,
persuaded him to lay claim to the kingdom, as being a true descendant
of Hercules; Leotychides lying under the suspicion of being the son
of Alcibiades, who lived privately in familiarity with Timaea, the
wife of Agis, at the time he was a fugitive in Sparta. Agis, they
say, computing the time, satisfied himself that she could not have
conceived by him, and had hitherto always neglected and manifestly
disowned Leotychides; but now when he was carried sick to Heraea,
being ready to die, what by the importunities of the young man
himself, and of his friends, in the presence of many he declared
Leotychides to be his; and desiring those who were present to bear
witness of this to the Lacedaemonians, died. They accordingly did so
testify in favor of Leotychides. And Agesilaus, being otherwise
highly reputed of, and strong in the support of Lysander, was, on the
other hand, prejudiced by Diopithes, a man famous for his knowledge
of oracles, who adduced this prophecy in reference to Agesilaus's

Beware, great Sparta, lest there come of thee,
Though sound thyself, an halting sovereignty;
Troubles, both long and unexpected too,
And storms of deadly warfare shall ensue.

When many, therefore, yielded to the oracle, and inclined to
Leotychides, Lysander said that Diopithes did not take the prophecy
rightly; for it was not that the god would be offended if any lame
person ruled over the Lacedaemonians, but that the kingdom would be a
lame one, if bastards and false-born should govern with the posterity
of Hercules. By this argument, and by his great influence among
them, he prevailed, and Agesilaus was made king.

Immediately, therefore, Lysander spurred him on to make an expedition
into Asia, putting him in hopes that he might destroy the Persians,
and attain the height of greatness. And he wrote to his friends in
Asia, bidding them request to have Agesilaus appointed to command
them in the war against the barbarians; which they were persuaded to,
and sent ambassadors to Lacedaemon to entreat it. And this would
seem to be a second favor done Agesilaus by Lysander, not inferior to
his first in obtaining him the kingdom. But with ambitious natures,
otherwise not ill qualified for command, the feeling of jealousy of
those near them in reputation continually stands in the way of the
performance of noble actions; they make those their rivals in virtue,
whom they ought to use as their helpers to it. Agesilaus took
Lysander, among the thirty counselors that accompanied him, with
intentions of using him as his especial friend; but when they were
come into Asia, the inhabitants there, to whom he was but little
known, addressed themselves to him but little and seldom; whereas
Lysander, because of their frequent previous intercourse, was visited
and attended by large numbers, by his friends out of observance, and
by others out of fear; and just as in tragedies it not uncommonly is
the case with the actors, the person who represents a messenger or
servant is much taken notice of, and plays the chief part, while he
who wears the crown and scepter is hardly heard to speak, even so was
it about the counselor, he had all the real honors of the government,
and to the king was left the empty name of power. This
disproportionate ambition ought very likely to have been in some way
softened down, and Lysander should have been reduced to his proper
second place, but wholly to cast off and to insult and affront for
glory's sake, one who was his benefactor and friend, was not worthy
Agesilaus to allow in himself. For, first of all, he gave him no
opportunity for any action, and never set him in any place of
command; then, for whomsoever he perceived him exerting his interest,
these persons he always sent away with a refusal, and with less
attention than any ordinary suitors, thus silently undoing and
weakening his influence.

Lysander, miscarrying in everything, and perceiving that his
diligence for his friends was but a hindrance to them, forbore to
help them, entreating them that they would not address themselves to,
nor observe him, but that they would speak to the king, and to those
who could be of more service to friends than at present he could
most, on hearing this, forbore to trouble him about their concerns;
but continued their observances to him, waiting upon him in the walks
and places of exercise; at which Agesilaus was more annoyed than
ever, envying him the honor; and, finally, when he gave many of the
officers places of command and the governments of cities, he
appointed Lysander carver at his table, adding, by way of insult to
the Ionians, "Let them go now, and pay their court to my carver."
Upon this, Lysander thought fit to come and speak with him; and a
brief laconic dialogue passed between them as follows: "Truly, you
know very well, O Agesilaus, how to depress your friends;" "Those
friends," replied he, "who would be greater than myself; but those
who increase my power, it is just should share in it." "Possibly, O
Agesilaus," answered Lysander, "in all this there may be more said on
your part than done on mine, but I request you, for the sake of
observers from without, to place me in any command under you where
you may judge I shall be the least offensive, and most useful."

Upon this he was sent ambassador to the Hellespont; and though angry
with Agesilaus, yet did not neglect to perform his duty, and having
induced Spithridates the Persian, being offended with Pharnabazus, a
gallant man, and in command of some forces, to revolt, he brought him
to Agesilaus. He was not, however, employed in any other service,
but having completed his time, returned to Sparta, without honor,
angry with Agesilaus, and hating more than ever the whole Spartan
government, and resolved to delay no longer, but while there was yet
time, to put into execution the plans which he appears some time
before to have concerted for a revolution and change in the
constitution. These were as follows. The Heraclidae who joined with
the Dorians, and came into Peloponnesus, became a numerous and
glorious race in Sparta, but not every family belonging to it had the
right of succession in the kingdom, but the kings were chosen out of
two only, called the Eurypontidae and the Agiadae; the rest had no
privilege in the government by their nobility of birth, and the
honors which followed from merit lay open to all who could obtain
them. Lysander, who was born of one of these families, when he had
risen into great renown for his exploits, and had gained great
friends and power, was vexed to see the city which had increased to
what it was by him, ruled by others not at all better descended than
himself, and formed a design to remove the government from the two
families, and to give it in common to all the Heraclidae; or as some
say, not to the Heraclidae only, but to all the Spartans; that the
reward might not belong to the posterity of Hercules, but to those
who were like Hercules, judging by that personal merit which raised
even him to the honor of the Godhead; and he hoped that when the
kingdom was thus to be competed for, no Spartan would be chosen
before himself.

Accordingly he first attempted and prepared to persuade the citizens
privately, and studied an oration composed to this purpose by Cleon,
the Halicarnassian. Afterwards perceiving so unexpected and great an
innovation required bolder means of support, he proceeded as it might
be on the stage, to avail himself of machinery, and to try the
effects of divine agency upon his countrymen. He collected and
arranged for his purpose, answers and oracles from Apollo, not
expecting to get any benefit from Cleon's rhetoric, unless he should
first alarm and overpower the minds of his fellow-citizens by
religious and superstitious terrors, before bringing them to the
consideration of his arguments. Ephorus relates, after he had
endeavored to corrupt the oracle of Apollo, and had again failed to
persuade the priestesses of Dodona by means of Pherecles, that he
went to Ammon, and discoursed with the guardians of the oracle there,
proffering them a great deal of gold, and that they, taking this ill,
sent some to Sparta to accuse Lysander; and on his acquittal the
Libyans, going away, said, "You will find us, O Spartans, better
judges, when you come to dwell with us in Libya," there being a
certain ancient oracle, that the Lacedaemonians should dwell in
Libya. But as the whole intrigue and the course of the contrivance
was no ordinary one, nor lightly- undertaken, but depended as it went
on, like some mathematical proposition, on a variety of important
admissions, and proceeded through a series of intricate and difficult
steps to its conclusion, we will go into it at length, following the
account of one who was at once an historian and a philosopher.

There was a woman in Pontus, who professed to be pregnant by Apollo,
which many, as was natural, disbelieved, and many also gave credit
to, and when she had brought forth a man-child, several, not
unimportant persons, took an interest in its rearing and bringing up.
The name given the boy was Silenus, for some reason or other.
Lysander, taking this for the groundwork, frames and devises the rest
himself, making use of not a few, nor these insignificant champions
of his story, who brought the report of the child's birth into credit
without any suspicion. Another report, also, was procured from
Delphi and circulated in Sparta, that there were some very old
oracles which were kept by the priests in private writings; and they
were not to be meddled with neither was it lawful to read them, till
one in after times should come, descended from Apollo, and, on giving
some known token to the keepers, should take the books in which the
oracles were. Things being thus ordered beforehand, Silenus, it was
intended, should come and ask for the oracles, as being the child of
Apollo and those priests who were privy to the design, were to
profess to search narrowly into all particulars, and to question him
concerning his birth; and, finally, were to be convinced, and, as to
Apollo's son, to deliver up to him the writings. Then he, in the
presence of many witnesses, should read amongst other prophecies,
that which was the object of the whole contrivance, relating to the
office of the kings, that it would be better and more desirable to
the Spartans to choose their kings out of the best citizens. And
now, Silenus being grown up to a youth, and being ready for the
action, Lysander miscarried in his drama through the timidity of one
of his actors, or assistants, who just as he came to the point lost
heart and drew back. Yet nothing was found out while Lysander lived,
but only after his death.

He died before Agesilaus came back from Asia, being involved, or
perhaps more truly having himself involved Greece, in the Boeotian
war. For it is stated both ways; and the cause of it some make to be
himself, others the Thebans, and some both together; the Thebans, on
the one hand, being charged with casting away the sacrifices at
Aulis, and that being bribed with the king's money brought by
Androclides and Amphitheus, they had with the object of entangling
the Lacedaemonians in a Grecian war, set upon the Phocians, and
wasted their country; it being said, on the other hand, that Lysander
was angry that the Thebans had preferred a claim to the tenth part of
the spoils of the war, while the rest of the confederates submitted
without complaint; and because they expressed indignation about the
money which Lysander sent to Sparta, but most especially, because
from them the Athenians had obtained the first opportunity of freeing
themselves from the thirty tyrants, whom Lysander had made, and to
support whom the Lacedaemonians issued a decree that political
refugees from Athens might be arrested in whatever country they were
found, and that those who impeded their arrest should be excluded
from the confederacy. In reply to this the Thebans issued counter
decrees of their own, truly in the spirit and temper of the actions
of Hercules and Bacchus, that every house and city in Boeotia should
be opened to the Athenians who required it, and that he who did not
help a fugitive who was seized, should be fined a talent for damages,
and if any one should bear arms through Boeotia to Attica against the
tyrants, that none of the Thebans should either see or hear of it.
Nor did they pass these humane and truly Greek decrees, without at
the same time making their acts conformable to their words. For
Thrasybulus and those who with him occupied Phyle, set out upon that
enterprise from Thebes, with arms and money, and secrecy and a point
to start from, provided for them by the Thebans. Such were the
causes of complaint Lysander had against Thebes. And being now grown
violent in his temper through the atrabilious tendency which
increased upon him in his old age, he urged the Ephors and persuaded
them to place a garrison in Thebes, and taking the commander's place,
he marched forth with a body of troops. Pausanias, also, the king,
was sent shortly after with an army. Now Pausanias, going round by
Cithaeron, was to invade Boeotia; Lysander, meantime, advanced
through Phocis to meet him,
with a numerous body of soldiers. He took the city of the
Orchomenians, who came over to him of their own accord, and plundered
Lebadea. He dispatched also letters to Pausanias, ordering him to
move from Plataea to meet him at Haliartus, and that himself would be
at the walls of Haliartus by break of day. These letters were
brought to the Thebans, the carrier of them falling into the hands of
some Theban scouts. They, having received aid from Athens, committed
their city to the charge of the Athenian troops, and sallying out
about the first sleep, succeeded in reaching Haliartus a little before
Lysander, and part of them entered into the city. He, upon this,
first of all resolved, posting his army upon a hill, to stay for
Pausanias; then as the day advanced, not being able to rest, he bade
his men take up their arms, and encouraging the allies, led them in a
column along the road to the walls. but those Thebans who had
remained outside, taking the city on the left hand, advanced against
the rear of their enemies, by the fountain which is called Cissusa;
here they tell the story that the nurses washed the infant Bacchus
after his birth; the water of it is of a bright wine color, clear,
and most pleasant to drink; and not far off the Cretan storax grows
all about, which the Haliartians adduce in token of Rhadamanthus
having dwelt there, and they show his sepulchre, calling it Alea.
And the monument also of Alcmena is hard by; for there, as they say,
she was buried, having married Rhadamanthus after Amphitryon's death.
But the Thebans inside the city forming in order of battle with the
Haliartians stood still for some time, but on seeing Lysander with a
party of those who were foremost approaching, on a sudden opening the
gates and falling on, they killed him with the soothsayer at his
side, and a few others; for the greater part immediately fled back to
the main force. But the Thebans not slackening, but closely pursuing
them, the whole body turned to fly towards the hills. There were one
thousand of them slain; there died, also, of the Thebans three
hundred, who were killed with their enemies, while chasing them into
craggy and difficult places. These had been under suspicion of
favoring the Lacedaemonians, and in their eagerness to clear
themselves in the eyes of their fellow-citizens, exposed themselves
in the pursuit, and so met their death. News of the disaster reached
Pausanias as he was on the way from Plataea to Thespiae, and having
set his army in order he came to Haliartus; Thrasybulus, also, came
from Thebes, leading the Athenians.

Pausanias proposing to request the bodies of the dead under truce,
the elders of the Spartans took it ill, and were angry among
themselves, and coming to the king, declared that Lysander should not
be taken away upon any conditions; if they fought it out by arms
about his body, and conquered, then they might bury him; if they were
overcome, it was glorious to die upon the spot with their commander.
When the elders had spoken these things, Pausanias saw it would be a
difficult business to vanquish the Thebans, who had but just been
conquerors; that Lysander's body also lay near the walls, so that it
would be hard for them, though they overcame, to take it away without
a truce; he therefore sent a herald, obtained a truce, and withdrew
his forces, and carrying away the body of Lysander, they buried it in
the first friendly soil they reached on crossing the Boeotian
frontier, in the country of the Panopaeans; where the monument still
stands as you go on the road from Delphi to Chaeronea. Now the army
quartering there, it is said that a person of Phocis, relating the
battle to one who was not in it, said, the enemies fell upon them
just after Lysander had passed over the Hoplites; surprised at which
a Spartan, a friend of Lysander, asked what Hoplites he meant, for he
did not know the name. "It was there," answered the Phocian, "that
the enemy killed the first of us; the rivulet by the city is called
Hoplites." On hearing which the Spartan shed tears and observed, how
impossible it is for any man to avoid his appointed lot; Lysander, it
appears, having received an oracle, as follows: --

Sounding Hoplites see thou bear in mind,
And the earthborn dragon following behind.

Some, however, say that Hoplites does not run by Haliartus, but is a
watercourse near Coronea, falling into the river Philarus, not far
from the town in former times called Hoplias, and now Isomantus.

The man of Haliartus who killed Lysander, by name Neochorus, bore on
his shield the device of a dragon; and this, it was supposed, the
oracle signified. It is said, also, that at the time of the
Peloponnesian war, the Thebans received an oracle from the sanctuary
of Ismenus, referring at once to the battle at Delium, and to this
which thirty years after took place at Haliartus. It ran thus: --

Hunting the wolf, observe the utmost bound,
And the hill Orchalides where foxes most are found.

By the words, "the utmost bound," Delium being intended, where
Boeotia touches Attica, and by Orchalides, the hill now called
Alopecus, which lies in the parts of Haliartus towards Helicon.

But such a death befalling Lysander, the Spartans took it so
grievously at the time, that they put the king to a trial for his
life, which he not daring to await, fled to Tegea, and there lived
out his life in the sanctuary of Minerva. The poverty also of
Lysander being discovered by his death, made his merit more manifest,
since from so much wealth and power, from all the homage of the
cities, and of the Persian kingdom, he had not in the least degree,
so far as money goes, sought any private aggrandizement, as
Theopompus in his history relates, whom anyone may rather give
credit to when he commends, than when he finds fault, as it is more
agreeable to him to blame than to praise. But subsequently, Ephorus
says, some controversy arising among the allies at Sparta, which made
it necessary to consult the writings which Lysander had kept by him,
Agesilaus came to his house, and finding the book in which the
oration on the Spartan constitution was written at length, to the
effect that the kingdom ought to be taken from the Eurypontidae and
Agiadae, and to be offered in common, and a choice made out of the
best citizens, at first he was eager to make it public, and to show
his countrymen the real character of Lysander. But Lacratidas, a
wise man, and at that time chief of the Ephors, hindered Agesilaus,
and said, they ought not to dig up Lysander again, but rather to bury
with him a discourse, composed so plausibly and subtlety. Other
honors, also, were paid him after his death; and amongst these they
imposed a fine upon those who had engaged themselves to marry his
daughters, and then when Lysander was found to be poor, after his
decease, refused them; because when they thought him rich they had
been observant of him, but now his poverty had proved him just and
good, they forsook him. For there was, it seems, in Sparta, a
punishment for not marrying, for a late, and for a bad marriage; and
to the last penalty those were most especially liable, who sought
alliances with the rich instead of with the good and with their
friends. Such is the account we have found given of Lysander.


Lucius Cornelius Sylla was descended of a patrician or noble family.
Of his ancestors, Rufinus, it is said, had been consul, and incurred
a disgrace more signal than his distinction. For being found
possessed of more than ten pounds of silver plate, contrary to the
law, he was for this reason put out of the senate. His posterity
continued ever after in obscurity, nor had Sylla himself any opulent
parentage. In his younger days he lived in hired lodgings, at a low
rate, which in after-times was adduced against him as proof that he
had been fortunate above his quality. When he was boasting and
magnifying himself for his exploits in Libya, a person of noble
station made answer, "And how can you be an honest man, who, since
the death of a father who left you nothing, have become so rich?"
The time in which he lived was no longer an age of pure and upright
manners, but had already declined, and yielded to the appetite for
riches and luxury; yet still, in the general opinion, they who
deserted the hereditary poverty of their family, were as much blamed
as those who had run out a fair patrimonial estate. And afterwards,
when he had seized the power into his hands, and was putting many to
death, a freedman suspected of having concealed one of the
proscribed, and for that reason sentenced to be thrown down the
Tarpeian rock, in a reproachful way recounted, how they had lived
long together under the same roof, himself for the upper rooms paying
two thousand sesterces, and Sylla for the lower three thousand; so
that the difference between their fortunes then was no more than one
thousand sesterces, equivalent in Attic coin to two hundred and fifty
drachmas. And thus much of his early fortune.

His general personal appearance may be known by his statues; only his
blue eyes, of themselves extremely keen and glaring, were rendered
all the more forbidding and terrible by the complexion of his face,
in which white was mixed with rough blotches of fiery red. Hence, it
is said, he was surnamed Sylla, and in allusion to it one of the
scurrilous jesters at Athens made the verse upon him,

Sylla is a mulberry sprinkled o'er with meal.

Nor is it out of place to make use of marks of character like these,
in the case of one who was by nature so addicted to raillery, that in
his youthful obscurer years he would converse freely with players and
professed jesters, and join them in all their low pleasures. And
when supreme master of all, he was often wont to muster together the
most impudent players and stage-followers of the town, and to drink
and bandy jests with them without regard to his age or the dignity of
his place, and to the prejudice of important affairs that required
his attention. When he was once at table, it was not in Sylla's
nature to admit of anything that was serious, and whereas at other
times he was a man of business, and austere of countenance, he
underwent all of a sudden, at his first entrance upon wine and
good-fellowship, a total revolution, and was gentle and tractable
with common singers and dancers, and ready to oblige anyone that
spoke with him. It seems to have been a sort of diseased result of
this laxity, that he was so prone to amorous pleasures, and yielded
without resistance to any temptations of voluptuousness, from which
even ill his old age he could not refrain. He had a long attachment
for Metrobius, a player. In his first amours it happened, that he
made court to a common but rich lady, Nicopolis by name, and, what by
the air of his youth, and what by long intimacy, won so far on her
affections, that she rather than he was the lover, and at her death
she bequeathed him her whole property. He likewise inherited the
estate of a step-mother who loved him as her own son. By these means
he had pretty well advanced his fortunes.

He was chosen quaestor to Marius in his first consulship, and set
sail with him for Libya, to war upon Jugurtha. Here, in general, he
gained approbation; and more especially, by closing in dexterously
with an accidental occasion, made a friend of Bocchus, king of
Numidia. He hospitably entertained the king's ambassadors, on their
escape from some Numidian robbers, and after showing them much
kindness, sent them on their journey with presents, and an escort to
protect them. Bocchus had long hated and dreaded his son-in-law,
Jugurtha, who had now been worsted in the field and had fled to him
for shelter; and it so happened, he was at this time entertaining a
design to betray him. He accordingly invited Sylla to come to him,
wishing the seizure and surrender of Jugurtha to be effected rather
through him, than directly by himself. Sylla, when he had
communicated the business to Marius, and received from him a small
detachment, voluntarily put himself into this imminent danger; and
confiding in a barbarian, who had been unfaithful to his own
relations, to apprehend another man's person, made surrender of his
own. Bocchus, having both of them now in his power, was necessitated
to betray one or other, and after long debate with himself, at last
resolved on his first design, and gave up Jugurtha into the hands of

For this Marius triumphed, but the glory of the enterprise, which
through people's envy of Marius was ascribed to Sylla, secretly
grieved him. And the truth is, Sylla himself was by nature
vainglorious, and this being the first time that from a low and
private condition he had risen to esteem amongst the citizens and
tasted of honor, his appetite for distinction carried him to such a
pitch of ostentation, that he had a representation of this action
engraved on a signet ring; which he carried about with him, and made
use of ever after. The impress was, Bocchus delivering, and Sylla
receiving, Jugurtha. This touched Marius to the quick; however,
judging Sylla to be beneath his rivalry, he made use of him as
lieutenant, in his second consulship, and in his third, as tribune;
and many considerable services were effected by his means. When
acting as lieutenant he took Copillus, chief of the Tectosages,
prisoner, and compelled the Marsians, a great and populous nation,
to become friends and confederates of the Romans.

Henceforward, however, Sylla perceiving that Marius bore a jealous
eye over him, and would no longer afford him opportunities of action,
but rather opposed his advance, attached himself to Catulus, Marius's
colleague, a worthy man, but not energetic enough as a general. And
under this commander, who entrusted him with the highest and most
important commissions, he rose at once to reputation and to power.
He subdued by arms most part of the Alpine barbarians; and when there
was a scarcity in the armies, he took that care upon himself, and
brought in such a store of provisions, as not only to furnish the
soldiers of Catulus with abundance, but likewise to supply Marius.
This, as he writes himself, wounded Marius to the very heart. So
slight and childish were the first occasions and motives of that
enmity between them, which, passing afterwards through a long course
of civil bloodshed and incurable divisions to find its end in
tyranny, and the confusion of the whole State proved Euripides to
have been truly wise and thoroughly acquainted with the causes of
disorders in the body politic, when he forewarned all men to beware
of Ambition, as of all the higher Powers, the most destructive and
pernicious to her votaries.

Sylla, by this time thinking that the reputation of his arms abroad
was sufficient to entitle him to a part in the civil administration,
he took himself immediately from the camp to the assembly, and
offered himself as a candidate for a praetorship, but failed. The
fault of this disappointment he wholly ascribes to the populace, who,
knowing his intimacy with king Bocchus, and for that reason
expecting, that if he was made aedile before his praetorship, he
would then show them magnificent hunting-shows and combats between
Libyan wild beasts, chose other praetors, on purpose to force him
into the aedileship. The vanity of this pretext is sufficiently
disproved by matter-of-fact. For the year following, partly by
flatteries to the people, and partly by money, he got himself elected
praetor. Accordingly, once while he was in office, on his angrily
telling Caesar that he should make use of his authority against him,
Caesar answered him with a smile, "You do well to call it your own,
as you bought it." At the end of his praetorship he was sent over
into Cappadocia, under the presence of reestablishing Ariobarzanes in
his kingdom, but in reality to keep in check the restless movements
of Mithridates, who was gradually procuring himself as vast a new
acquired power and dominion, as was that of his ancient inheritance.
He carried over with him no great forces of his own, but making use
of the cheerful aid of the confederates, succeeded, with considerable
slaughter of the Cappadocians, and yet greater of the Armenian
succors, in expelling Gordius and establishing Ariobarzanes as king.

During his stay on the banks of the Euphrates, there came to him
Orobazus, a Parthian, ambassador from king Arsaces, as yet there
having been no correspondence between the two nations. And this also
we may lay to the account of Sylla's felicity, that he should be the
first Roman, to whom the Parthians made address for alliance and
friendship. At the time of which reception, the story is, that
having ordered three chairs of state to be set, one for Ariobarzanes,
one for Orobazus, and a third for himself, he placed himself in the
middle, and so gave audience. For this the king of Parthia
afterwards put Orobazus to death. Some people commended Sylla for
his lofty carriage towards the barbarians; others again accused him
of arrogance and unseasonable display. It is reported, that a
certain Chaldaean, of Orobazus's retinue, looking Sylla wistfully in
the face, and observing carefully the motions of his mind and body,
and forming a judgment of his nature, according to the rules of his
art, said that it was impossible for him not to become the greatest
of men; it was rather a wonder how he could even then abstain from
being head of all.

At his return, Censorinus impeached him of extortion, for having
exacted a vast sum of money from a well-affected and associate
kingdom. However, Censorinus did not appear at the trial, but
dropped his accusation. His quarrel, meantime, with Marius began to
break out afresh, receiving new material from the ambition of
Bocchus, who, to please the people of Rome, and gratify Sylla, set up
in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus images bearing trophies, and a
representation in gold of the surrender of Jugurtha to Sylla. When
Marius, in great anger, attempted to pull them down, and others aided
Sylla, the whole city would have been in tumult and commotion with
this dispute, had not the Social War, which had long lain smoldering
blazed forth at last, and for the present put an end to the quarrel.

In the course of this war, which had many great changes of fortune,
and which, more than any, afflicted the Romans, and, indeed,
endangered the very being of the Commonwealth, Marius was not able to
signalize his valor in any action, but left behind him a clear proof,
that warlike excellence requires a strong and still vigorous body.
Sylla, on the other hand, by his many achievements, gained himself,
with his fellow-citizens, the name of a great commander, while his
friends thought him the greatest of all commanders, and his enemies
called him the most fortunate. Nor did this make the same sort of
impression on him, as it made on Timotheus the son of Conon, the
Athenian; who, when his adversaries ascribed his successes to his
good luck, and had a painting made, representing him asleep, and
Fortune by his side, casting her nets over the cities, was rough and
violent in his indignation at those who did it, as if by attributing
all to Fortune, they had robbed him of his just honors; and said to
the people on one occasion at his return from war, "In this, ye men
of Athens, Fortune had no part." A piece of boyish petulance, which
the deity, we are told, played back upon Timotheus; who from that
time was never able to achieve anything that was great, but proving
altogether unfortunate in his attempts, and falling into discredit
with the people, was at last banished the city. Sylla, on the
contrary, not only accepted with pleasure the credit of such divine
felicities and favors, but joining himself in extolling and
glorifying what was done, gave the honor of all to Fortune, whether
it were out of boastfulness, or a real feeling of divine agency. He
remarks, in his Memoirs, that of all his well advised actions, none
proved so lucky in the execution, as what he had boldly enterprised,
not by calculation, but upon the moment. And in the character which
he gives of himself, that he was born for fortune rather than war, he
seems to give Fortune a higher place than merit, and in short, makes
himself entirely the creature of a superior power, accounting even
his concord with Metellus, his equal in office, and his connection by
marriage, a piece of preternatural felicity. For expecting to have
met in him a most troublesome, he found him a most accommodating
colleague. Moreover, in the Memoirs which he dedicated to Lucullus,
he admonishes him to esteem nothing more trustworthy, than what the
divine powers advise him by night. And when he was leaving the city
with an army, to fight in the Social War, he relates, that the earth
near the Laverna opened, and a quantity of fire came rushing out of
it, shooting up with a bright flame into the heavens. The
soothsayers upon this foretold, that a person of great qualities, and
of a rare and singular aspect, should take the government in hand,
and quiet the present troubles of the city. Sylla affirms he was the
man, for his golden head of hair made him an extraordinary-looking
man, nor had he any shame, after the great actions he had done, in
testifying to his own great qualities. And thus much of his opinion
as to divine agency.

In general he would seem to have been of a very irregular character,
full of inconsistencies with himself; much given to rapine, to
prodigality yet more; in promoting or disgracing whom he pleased,
alike unaccountable; cringing to those he stood in need of, and
domineering over others who stood in need of him, so that it was hard
to tell, whether his nature had more in it of pride or of servility.
As to his unequal distribution of punishments, as, for example, that
upon slight grounds he would put to the torture, and again would bear
patiently with the greatest wrongs; would readily forgive and be
reconciled after the most heinous acts of enmity, and yet would visit
small and inconsiderable offenses with death, and confiscation of
goods; one might judge, that in himself he was really of a violent
and revengeful nature, which however he could qualify, upon
reflection, for his interest. In this very Social War, when the
soldiers with stones and clubs had killed an officer of praetorian
rank, his own lieutenant, Albinus by name, he passed by this flagrant
crime without any inquiry, giving it out moreover in a boast, that
the soldiers would behave all the better now, to make amends, by some
special bravery, for their breach of discipline. He took no notice
of the clamors of those that cried for justice, but designing already
to supplant Marius, now that he saw the Social War near its end, he
made much of his army, in hopes to get himself declared general of
the forces against Mithridates.

At his return to Rome, he was chosen Consul with Quintus Pompeius, in
the fiftieth year of his age, and made a most distinguished marriage
with Caecilia, daughter of Metellus, the chief priest. The common
people made a variety of verses in ridicule of the marriage, and many
of the nobility also were disgusted at it, esteeming him, as Livy
writes, unworthy of this connection, whom before they thought worthy
of a consulship. This was not his only wife, for first, in his
younger days, he was married to Ilia, by whom he had a daughter;
after her to Aelia; and thirdly to Cloelia, whom he dismissed as
barren, but honorably, and with professions of respect, adding,
moreover, presents. But the match between him and Metella, falling
out a few days after, occasioned suspicions that he had complained of
Cloelia without due cause. To Metella he always showed great
deference, so much so that the people, when anxious for the recall of
the exiles of Marius's party, upon his refusal, entreated the
intercession of Metella. And the Athenians, it is thought, had
harder measure, at the capture of their town, because they used
insulting language to Metella in their jests from the walls during
the siege. But of this hereafter.

At present esteeming the consulship but a small matter in comparison
of things to come, he was impatiently carried away in thought to the
Mithridatic War. Here he was withstood by Marius; who out of mad
affectation of glory and thirst for distinction, those never dying
passions, though he were now unwieldy in body, and had given up
service, on account of his age, during the late campaigns, still
coveted after command in a distant war beyond the seas. And whilst
Sylla was departed for the camp, to order the rest of his affairs
there, he sat brooding at home, and at last hatched that execrable
sedition, which wrought Rome more mischief than all her enemies
together had done, as was indeed foreshown by the gods. For a flame
broke forth of its own accord, from under the staves of the ensigns,
and was with difficulty extinguished. Three ravens brought their
young into the open road, and ate them, carrying the relics into the
nest again. Mice having gnawed the consecrated gold in one of the
temples, the keepers caught one of them, a female, in a trap; and she
bringing forth five young ones in the very trap, devoured three of
them. But what was greatest of all, in a calm and clear sky there
was heard the sound of a trumpet, with such a loud and dismal blast,
as struck terror and amazement into the hearts of the people. The
Etruscan sages affirmed, that this prodigy betokened the mutation of
the age, and a general revolution in the world. For according to
them there are in all eight ages, differing one from another in the
lives and the characters of men, and to each of these God has
allotted a certain measure of time, determined by the circuit of the
great year. And when one age is run out, at the approach of another,
there appears some wonderful sign from earth or heaven, such as makes
it manifest at once to those who have made it their business to study
such things, that there has succeeded in the world a new race of men,
differing in customs and institutes of life, and more or less
regarded by the gods, than the preceding. Amongst other great
changes that happen, as they say, at the turn of ages, the art of
divination, also, at one time rises in esteem, and is more successful
in its predictions, clearer and surer tokens being sent from God, and
then again, in another generation declines as low, becoming mere
guesswork for the most part, and discerning future events by dim and
uncertain intimations. This was the mythology of the wisest of the
Tuscan sages, who were thought to possess a knowledge beyond other
men. Whilst the Senate sat in consultation with the soothsayers,
concerning these prodigies, in the temple of Bellona, a sparrow came
flying in, before them all, with a grasshopper in its mouth, and
letting fall one part of it, flew away with the remainder. The
diviners foreboded commotions and dissension between the great landed
proprietors and the common city populace; the latter, like the
grasshopper, being loud and talkative; while the sparrow might
represent the "dwellers in the field."

Marius had taken into alliance Sulpicius, the tribune, a man second
to none in any villanies, so that it was less the question what
others he surpassed, but rather in what respects he most surpassed
himself in wickedness. He was cruel, bold, rapacious, and in all
these points utterly shameless and unscrupulous; not hesitating to
offer Roman citizenship by public sale to freed slaves and aliens,
and to count out the price on public money-tables in the forum. He
maintained three thousand swordsmen, and had always about him a
company of young men of the equestrian class ready for all occasions,
whom he styled his Anti-Senate. Having had a law enacted, that no
senator should contract a debt of above two thousand drachmas, he
himself, after death, was found indebted three millions. This was
the man whom Marius let in upon the Commonwealth, and who,
confounding all things by force and the sword, made several
ordinances of dangerous consequence, and amongst the rest, one giving
Marius the conduct of the Mithridatic war. Upon this the consuls
proclaimed a public cessation of business, but as they were holding
an assembly near the temple of Castor and Pollux, he let loose the
rabble upon them, and amongst many others slew the consul Pompeius's
young son in the forum, Pompeius himself hardly escaping in the
crowd. Sylla being closely pursued into the house of Marius, was
forced to come forth and dissolve the cessation; and for his doing
this, Sulpicius, having deposed Pompeius, allowed Sylla to continue
his consulship, only transferring the Mithridatic expedition to

There were immediately dispatched to Nola tribunes, to receive the
army, and bring it to Marius; but Sylla having got first to the camp,
and the soldiers, upon hearing of the news, having stoned the
tribunes, Marius, in requital, proceeded to put the friends of Sylla
in the city to the sword, and rifled their goods. Every kind of
removal and flight went on, some hastening from the camp to the city,
others from the city to the camp. The senate, no more in its own
power, but wholly governed by the dictates of Marius and Sulpicius,
alarmed at the report of Sylla's advancing with his troops towards
the city, sent forth two of the praetors, Brutus and Servilius, to
forbid his nearer approach. The soldiers would have slain these
praetors in a fury, for their bold language to Sylla; contenting
themselves, however, with breaking their rods, and tearing off their
purple-edged robes, after much contumelious usage they sent them
back, to the sad dejection of the citizens, who beheld their
magistrates despoiled of their badges of office, and announcing to
them, that things were now manifestly come to a rupture past all


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