The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch Being Parts of The "Lives" of Plutarch Edited for Boys and Girls With Introductions

Part 7 out of 8

maturity, for she was now about twenty-eight years of age. She
made great preparation for her journey, of money, gifts, and
ornaments of value, such as so wealthy a kingdom might afford, but
she brought with her her surest hopes in her own magic arts and

She received several letters, both from Antony and from his
friends, to summon her, but she paid no attention to these orders;
and at last, as if in mockery of them, she came sailing up the
river Cydnus, in a barge with gilded stern and outspread sails of
purple, while oars of silver beat time to the music of flutes and
fifes and harps. She herself lay stretched along under a canopy of
cloth of gold, dressed as Venus in a picture, and beautiful young
boys, like painted Cupids, stood on each side to fan her. Her
maids were dressed like Sea Nymphs and Graces, some steering at
the rudder, some working at the ropes. The perfumes diffused
themselves from the vessel to the shore, which was covered with
multitudes, part following the galley up the river on either bank,
part running out of the city to see the sight. The market-place
was quite emptied, and Antony at last was left alone sitting upon
the tribunal; while the word went through all the multitude, that
Venus had come to feast with Bacchus, for the common good of Asia.
On her arrival, Antony sent to invite her to supper. She thought
it fitter he should come to her; so, willing to show his good-
humor and courtesy, he complied, and went. He found the
preparations to receive him magnificent beyond expression, but
nothing so admirable as the great number of lights; for on a
sudden there were let down all together so great numbers of
branches with lights in them so ingeniously disposed, some in
squares, and some in circles, that the whole thing was a spectacle
that has seldom been equaled for beauty.

The next day, Antony invited her to supper, and was very desirous
to outdo her as well in magnificence as contrivance; but he found
he was altogether beaten in both, and was so well convinced of it,
that he was himself the first to jest and mock at his poverty of
wit, and his rustic awkwardness. She, perceiving that his raillery
was broad and gross, and savored more of the soldier than the
courtier, rejoined in the same taste, and fell into it at once,
without any sort of reluctance or reserve. For her actual beauty,
it is said, was not in itself so remarkable that none could be
compared with her, or that no one could see her without being
struck by it, but the contact of her presence, if you lived with
her, was irresistible; the attraction of her person, joining with
the charm of her conversation, and the character that attended all
she said or did, was something bewitching. It was a pleasure
merely to hear the sound of her voice, with which, like an
instrument of many strings, she could pass from one language to
another; so that there were few of the barbarian nations that she
answered by an interpreter; to most of them she spoke herself, as
to the Aethiopians, Troglodytes, Hebrews, Arabians, Syrians,
Medes, Parthians, and many others, whose language she had learnt;
which was all the more surprising, because most of the kings her
predecessors scarcely gave themselves the trouble to acquire the
Egyptian tongue, and several of them quite abandoned the

Antony was so captivated by her that, leaving his troops assembled
in Mesopotamia, and ready to enter Syria, he suffered himself to
be carried away by her to Alexandria, there to keep holiday, like
a boy, in play and diversion, squandering and fooling away in
enjoyments that most costly, as Antiphon says, of all valuable,
time. They had a sort of company, to which they gave a particular
name, calling it that of the "Inimitable Livers." The members
entertained one another daily in turn, with an extravagance of
expenditure beyond measure or belief. Philotas, a physician of
Amphissa, who was at that time a student of medicine in
Alexandria, used to tell my grandfather, Lamprias, that, having
some acquaintance with one of the royal cooks, he was invited by
him, being a young man, to come and see the sumptuous preparations
for supper. So he was taken into the kitchen, where he admired the
prodigious variety of all things; but particularly, seeing eight
wild boars roasting whole, he exclaimed, "Surely you have a great
number of guests." The cook laughed at his simplicity, and told
him there were not more than twelve to sup, but that every dish
was to be served up just roasted to a turn, and if anything was
but one minute ill-timed, it was spoiled; "And," said he, "maybe
Antony will sup just now, maybe not this hour, maybe he will call
for wine, or begin to talk, and will put it off. So that," he
continued, "not one, but many suppers must be had in readiness, as
it impossible to guess at his hour."

Plato admits four sorts of flattery, but Cleopatra had a thousand.
Were Antony serious or disposed to mirth, she had at any moment
some new delight or charm to meet his wishes. She played at dice
with him, drank with him, hunted with him; and when he exercised
in arms, she was there to see. At night she would go rambling with
him to disturb and torment people at their doors and windows,
dressed like a servant-woman, for Antony also went in servant's
disguise, and from these expeditions he often came home very
scurvily answered, and sometimes even beaten severely, though most
people guessed who it was. It would be trifling without end to be
particular in his follies, but his fishing must not be forgotten.
He went out one day to angle with Cleopatra, and, being so
unfortunate as to catch nothing in the presence of the queen, he
gave secret orders to the fishermen to dive under water, and put
fishes that had been already taken upon his hooks; and these he
drew so fast that the Egyptian perceived it. But, feigning great
admiration, she told everybody how dexterous Antony was, and
invited them next day to come and see him again. So, when a number
of them had come on board the fishing boats, as soon as he had let
down his hook, one of her servants was beforehand with his divers,
and fixed upon his hook a salted fish from Pontus. Antony, feeling
his line give, drew up the prey, and when, as may be imagined,
great laughter ensued, Cleopatra said, "Leave the fishing-rod,
general, to us poor sovereigns of Pharos and Canopus; your game is
cities, provinces, and kingdoms."

Anecdotes from the Life of Agesilaus, King of Sparta

Agesilaus is said to have been a little man, of a contemptible
presence; but the goodness of his humor, and his constant
cheerfulness and playfulness of temper, always free from anything
of moroseness or haughtiness, made him more attractive, even to
his old age, than the most beautiful and youthful men of the
nation. Theophrastus writes, that the Ephors laid a fine upon
Archidamus for marrying a little wife, "For," said they, "she will
bring us a race of kinglets, instead of kings."

Agesilaus was excessively fond of his children; and it is to him
the story belongs, that when they were little ones, he used to
make a horse of a stick, and ride with them; and being caught at
this sport by a friend, he desired him not to mention it, till he
himself should be the father of children.

When the Mantineans revolted from Thebes to Sparta, and
Epaminondas understood that Agesilaus had come to their assistance
with a powerful army, he privately in the night quitted his
quarters at Tegea, and unknown to the Mantineans, passing by
Agesilaus, marched toward Sparta, insomuch that he failed very
little of taking it empty and unarmed. Agesilaus had intelligence
sent him by Euthynus, the Thespian, as Callisthenes says, but
Xenophon says by a Cretan, and immediately despatched a horseman
to Lacedaemon, to apprise them of it, and to let them know that he
was hastening to them. Shortly after his arrival the Thebans
crossed the Eurotas. They made an assault upon the town, and were
received by Agesilaus with great courage, and with exertions
beyond what was to be expected at his years. For he did not now
fight with that caution and cunning which he formerly made use of,
but put all upon a desperate push; which, though not his usual
method, succeeded so well, that he rescued the city out of the
very hand s of Epaminondas, and forced him to retire, and, at the
erection of a trophy, was able, in the presence of their wives and
children, to declare that the Lacedaemonians had nobly paid their
debt to their country, and particularly his son Archidamus, who
had that day made himself illustrious, both by his courage and
agility of body, rapidly passing about by the short lanes to every
endangered point, and everywhere maintaining the town against the
enemy with but few to help him. Isadas, too, the son of Phoebidas,
must have been, I think, the admiration of the enemy as well as of
his friends. He was a youth of remarkable beauty and stature, in
the very flower of the most attractive time of life, when the boy
is just rising into the man. He had no arms upon him, and scarcely
clothes; he had just anointed himself at home, when, upon the
alarm, without further waiting, in that undress, he snatched a
spear in one hand, and a sword in the other, and broke his way
through the combatants to the enemies, striking at all he met. He
received no wound, whether it were that a special divine care
rewarded his valor with an extraordinary protection, or whether
his shape being so large and beautiful, and his dress so unusual,
they thought him more than a man. The Ephors gave him a garland;
but as soon as they had done so, they fined him a thousand
drachma, for going out to battle unarmed.

The Brothers from the Life of Timoleon

Timoleon had an older brother, whose name was Timophanes, who was
every way unlike him, being indiscreet and rash and infected by
the suggestions of some friends and foreign soldiers, whom he kept
always about him, with a passion for absolute power. He seemed to
have a certain force and vehemence in all military service, and
even to delight in dangers, and thus he took much with the people,
and was advanced to the highest charges as a vigorous and
effective warrior; in the obtaining of which offices and
promotions Timoleon much assisted him, helping to conceal or at
least to extenuate his errors, embellishing by his praise whatever
was commendable in him, and setting off his good qualities to the
best advantage.

It happened once in the battle fought by the Corinthians against
the forces of Argos and Cleonae, that Timoleon served among the
infantry, when Timophanes, commanding their cavalry, was brought
into extreme danger; for his horse being wounded fell forward, and
threw him headlong amidst the enemies, while part of his
companions dispersed at once in a panic, and the small number that
remained, bearing up against a great multitude, had much ado to
maintain any resistance. As soon, therefore, as Timoleon was aware
of the accident, he ran hastily to his brother's rescue, and
covering the fallen Timophanes with his buckler, after having
received an abundance of darts and several strokes by the sword
upon his body and his armor, he at length with much difficulty
obliged the enemies to retire, and brought off his brother alive
and safe. But when the Corinthians, for fear of losing their city
a second time, as they had once before, by admitting their allies,
made a decree to maintain four hundred mercenaries for its
security, and gave Timophanes the command over them, he,
abandoning all regard for honor and equity, at once proceeded to
put into execution his plans for making himself absolute, and
bringing the place under his own power; and having cut off many
principal citizens, uncondemned and without trial, who were most
likely to hinder his design, he declared himself tyrant of
Corinth; a procedure that infinitely afflicted Timoleon, to whom
the wickedness of such a brother appeared to be his own reproach
and calamity. He undertook to persuade him by reasoning to desist
from that wild and unhappy ambition, and bethink himself how he
could make the Corinthians some amends, and find out an expedient
to remedy the evils he had done them. When his single admonition
was rejected and contemned by him, he made a second attempt,
taking with him Aeschylus his kinsman, brother to the wife of
Timophanes, and a certain diviner, that was his friend, whom
Theopompus in his history calls Satyrus. This company coming to
his brother, all three of them surrounded and earnestly importuned
him upon the same subject, that now at length he would listen to
reason and be of another mind. But when Timophanes began first to
laugh at the men's simplicity, and presently broke out into rage
and indignation against them, Timoleon stepped aside from him and
stood weeping with his face covered, while the other two, drawing
out their swords, despatched him in a moment.

When the rumor of this act was spread about, the better and more
generous of the Corinthians highly applauded Timoleon for the
hatred of wrong and the greatness of soul that had made him,
though of a gentle disposition and full of love and kindness for
his family, think the obligations to his country stronger than the
ties of consanguinity, and prefer that which is good and just
before gain and interest and his own particular advantage. For the
same brother, who with so much bravery had been saved by him when
he fought valiantly in the cause of Corinth, he had now as nobly
sacrificed for enslaving her afterward by a base and treacherous
usurpation. But when he came to understand how heavily his mother
took it, and that she likewise uttered the saddest complaints and
most terrible imprecations against him, he went to satisfy and
comfort her, but he found that she would not endure so much as to
look upon him, but caused her doors to be shut that he might have
no admission into her presence, and with grief at this he grew so
disordered in mind and disconsolate, that he determined to put an
end to his perplexity with his life, by abstaining from all manner
of sustenance. But through the care and diligence of his friends,
who were very persistent with him, and added force to their
entreaties, he promised at last that he would endure living,
provided it might be in solitude, and remote from company; so
that, quitting all civil transactions and commerce with the world,
for a long while after his first retirement he never came into
Corinth, but wandered up and down the fields, full of anxious and
tormenting thoughts, and for almost twenty years did not offer to
concern himself in any honorable or public action.

The Wound of Philopoemen

Cleomenes, king of the Lacedaemonians, surprised Megalopolis by
night, forced the guards, broke in, and seized the market-place.

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

A Roman Triumph from the Life of Paulus Aemilius

Paulus Aemilius, advanced in years, being nearly threescore, yet
vigorous in his own person, and rich in valiant sons and sons-in-
law, besides a great number of influential relations and friends,
all of whom joined in urging him to yield to the desires of the
people, who called him to the consulship. He at first manifested
some shyness of the people, and withdrew himself from their
importunity, professing reluctance to hold office; but, when they
daily came to his doors, urging him to come forth to the place of
election, and pressing him with noise and clamor, he acceded to
their request. When he appeared amongst the candidates, it did not
look as if it were to sue for the consulship, but to bring victory
and success, that he came down into the Campus; with such hopes
and such gladness did they all receive him there, unanimously
choosing him a second time consul; nor would they suffer the lots
to be cast, as was usual, to determine which province should fall
to his share, but immediately decreed him the command of the
Macedonian war. It is told, that when he had been proclaimed
general against Perseus, and was honorably accompanied home by
great numbers of people, he found his daughter Tertia, a very
little girl, weeping, and taking her to him asked her why she was
crying. She, catching him about the neck and kissing him, said, "O
father, do you not know that Perseus is dead?" meaning a little
dog of that name who had been brought up in the house with her; to
which Aemilius replied, "Good fortune, my daughter; I embrace the
omen." Thus Cicero, the orator, relates in his book on divination.

* * * *

The triumph of Aemilius over Perseus was performed in this manner.

The people erected scaffolds in the Forum, in the circuses, as
they call their buildings, for horse-races, and in all other parts
of the city where they could best behold the show. The spectators
were clad in white garments; all the temples were open, and full
of garlands and perfumes; the ways were cleared and kept open by
numerous officers, who drove back all who crowded into or ran
across the main avenue. This triumph lasted three days. On the
first, which was scarcely long enough for the sight, were to be
seen the statues, pictures, and colossal images, which were taken
from the enemy, drawn upon two hundred and fifty chariots. On the
second, was carried in a great many wagons the finest and richest
armor of the Macedonians, both of brass and steel, all newly
polished and glittering; the pieces of which were piled up and
arranged purposely with the greatest art, so as to seem to be
tumbled in heaps carelessly and by chance; helmets were thrown
upon shields, coats of mail upon greaves; Cretan targets, and
Thracian bucklers and quivers of arrows, lay huddled amongst
horses' bits, and through these there appeared the points of naked
swords, intermixed with long Macedonian sarissas. All these arms
were fastened together with just so much looseness that they
struck against one another as they were drawn along, and made a
harsh and alarming noise, so that, even as spoils of a conquered
enemy, they could not be beheld without dread. After these wagons
loaded with armor, there followed three thousand men who carried
the silver that was coined, in seven hundred and fifty vessels,
each of which weighed three talents, and was carried by four men.
Others brought silver bowls and goblets and cups, all disposed in
such order as to make the best show, and all curious as well for
their size as the solidity of their embossed work.

On the third day, early in the morning, first came the trumpeters,
who did not sound as they were wont in a procession or solemn
entry, but such a charge as the Romans use when they encourage the
soldiers to fight. Next followed young men wearing frocks with
ornamented borders, who led to the sacrifice a hundred and twenty
stalled oxen, with their horns gilded, and their heads adorned
with ribbons and garlands; and with these were boys that carried
basins for libation, of silver and gold. After this was brought
the gold coin, which was divided into vessels that weighed three
talents, like those that contained the silver; they were in number
seventy-seven. These were followed by those that brought the
consecrated bowl which Aemilius had caused to be made, that
weighed ten talents, and was set with precious stones. Then were
exposed to view the cups of Antigonus and Seleucus, and those of
the Thericlean make (Thericles, according to the more probable
supposition, was a Corinthian potter: the first maker of a
particular kind of cup, which long continued to bear his name.)
and all the gold plate that was used at Perseus' table. Next to
these came Perseus' chariot, in which his armor was placed, and on
that his diadem. And, after a little intermission, the king's
children were led captives, and with them a train of their
attendants, masters, and teachers, all shedding tears, and
stretching out their hands to the spectators, and making the
children themselves also beg and entreat their compassion. There
were two sons and a daughter whose tender age made them but little
sensible of the greatness of their misery, which very
insensibility of their condition rendered it the more deplorable;
insomuch that Perseus himself was scarcely regarded as he went
along, whilst pity fixed the eyes of the Romans upon the infants;
many of them could not forbear tears, and all beheld the sight
with a mixture of sorrow and pleasure, until the children had

After his children and their attendants came Perseus himself, clad
all in black, and wearing the boots of his country; and looking
like one altogether stunned and deprived of reason, through the
greatness of his misfortunes. Next followed a great company of his
friends and familiars, whose countenances were disfigured with
grief, and who let the spectators see, by their tears and their
continual looking upon Perseus, that it was his fortune they so
much lamented, and that they were regardless of their own. Perseus
sent to Aemilius to entreat that he might not be led in pomp, but
be left out of the triumph; who, deriding, as was but just, his
cowardice and fondness of life, sent him this answer, that as for
that, it had been before, and was now, in his own power; giving
him to understand that the disgrace could be avoided by death;
which the faint-hearted man not having the spirit for, and made
effeminate by I know not what hopes, allowed himself to appear as
a part of his own spoils. After these were carried four hundred
crowns, all made of gold, sent from the cities by their respective
deputations to Aemilius, in honor of his victory. Then he himself
came, seated on a chariot magnificently adorned (a man well worthy
to be looked at, even without these ensigns of power), dressed in
a robe of purple, interwoven with gold, and holding a laurel
branch in his right hand. All the army, in like manner, with
boughs of laurel in their hands, divided into their bands and
companies, followed the chariot of their commander; some singing
verses, according to the usual custom, mingled with raillery;
others, songs of triumph, and the praise of Aemilius's deeds; who,
indeed, was admired and accounted happy by all men, and unenvied
by every one that was good; except so far as it seems the province
of some god to lessen that happiness which is too great and
inordinate, and so to mingle the affairs of human life that no one
should be entirely free from calamities; but, as we read in
Homer*, only those should think themselves truly blessed to whom
fortune has given an equal share of good and evil.

* "Grief is useless; cease to lament," Achilles to Priam, his
suppliant for the body of Hecor. "For thus have the gods appointed
for mortal men; that they should live in vexation, while the gods
themselves are untroubled. Two vessels are set upon the threshold
of Zeus, of the gifts that he dispenses; one of evil things, the
other of good; he who receives from both at the hand of thundering
Zeus, meets at one time with evil, and at another with good; he
who receives from only one, is a miserable wretch."

The Noble Character of Caius Fabricius from the life of Pyrrhus

Caius Fabricius, a man of highest consideration among the Romans
as an honest man and a good soldier, but extremely poor, went upon
an embassy to Pyrrhus to treat about prisoners that had been
taken. Pyrrhus received him with much kindness, and privately
would have persuaded him to accept of his gold, not for any evil
purpose, but as a mark of respect and hospitable kindness. Upon
Fabricius's refusal, he pressed him no further, but the next day,
having a mind to discompose him, as he had never seen an elephant
before, he commanded one of the largest, completely armed, to be
placed behind the hangings, as they were talking together. This
being done, at a given signal the hanging was drawn aside, and the
elephant, raising his trunk over the head of Fabricius, made a
horrid and ugly noise. He gently turned about and, smiling, said
to Pyrrhus, "neither your money yesterday, nor this beast today
make any impression upon me." At supper, amongst all sorts of
things that were discoursed of, but more particularly Greece and
the philosophers there, Cineas, by accident, had occasion to speak
of Epicurus, and explained the opinions his followers hold about
the gods and the commonwealth, and the object of life, who place
the chief happiness of man in pleasure, and decline public affairs
as an injury and disturbance of a happy life, and remove the gods
afar off both from kindness or anger, or any concern for us at
all, to a life wholly without business and flowing in pleasures.
Before he had done speaking, Fabricius cried out to Pyrrhus, "O
Hercules! may Pyrrhus and the Samnites entertain themselves with
this sort of opinions as long as they are at war with us."
Pyrrhus, admiring the wisdom and gravity of the man, was the more
transported with desire to make friendship instead of war with the
city, and entreated him, personally, after the peace should be
concluded, to accept of living with him as the chief of his
ministers and generals. Fabricius answered quietly, "Sir, this
will not be for your advantage, for they who now honor and admire
you, when they have had experience of me, will rather choose to be
governed by me, than by you." And Pyrrhus received his answer
without any resentment or tyrannic passion; nay, among his friends
he highly commended the great mind of Fabricius, and intrusted the
prisoners to him alone, on condition that if the senate should not
vote a peace, after they had conversed with their friends and
celebrated the festival of Saturn, they should be remanded. And,
accordingly, they were sent back after the holidays; death being
decreed for any that stayed behind.

After this, when Fabricius had taken the consulate, a person came
with a letter to the camp written by the king's principal
physician, offering to take Pyrrhus off by poison, and so end the
war without further hazard to the Romans, if he might have a
reward proportional to his service. Fabricius, despising the
villany of the man, and disposing the other consul to the same
opinion, sent despatches immediately to Pyrrhus to caution him
against the treason. His letter was to this effect: "Caius
Fabricius and Quintus Aemilius, consuls of the Romans, to Pyrrhus
the king, health. You seem to have made a bad judgement both of
your friends and your enemies; you will understand by reading this
letter sent to us, that you are at war with honest men, and trust
villains and knaves. Nor do we disclose this out of any favor to
you, but lest your ruin might bring a reproach upon us, as if we
had ended the war by treachery because not able to do it by
force." When Pyrrhus had read the letter, and made inquiry into
the treason, he punished the physician, and as an acknowledgement
to the Romans sent to Rome the prisoners without ransom. But they,
regarding it as at once too great a kindness from an enemy, and
too great a reward for not doing a mean act to accept their
prisoners so, released in return an equal number of the Tarentines
and Samnites, but would admit of no debate of alliance or peace
until Pyrrhus had removed his arms and forces out of Italy, and
sailed back to Epirus with the same ships that brought him over.

From The Life of Quintus Fabius Maximus

Hannibal was within five miles of Tarentum, when he was informed
that the town had been taken by Fabius. He said openly, "Rome,
then, has also got a Hannibal; as we won Tarentum, so have we lost
it." And, in private with some of his confidants, he told them,
for the first time, that he always thought it difficult, but now
he held it impossible, with the forces he then had, to master

Upon this success, Fabius had a triumph decreed him at Rome, much
more splendid than his first; they looked upon him now as a
champion who had learned to cope with his antagonist, and could
now easily foil his arts and prove his best skill ineffectual.
And, indeed the army of Hannibal was at this time partly worn out
with continual action, and partly weakened and become dissolute
with over abundance and luxury. Marcus Livius, who was governor of
Tarentum when it was betrayed to Hannibal, and had then retired
into the citadel, which he kept till the town was retaken, was
annoyed at these honors and distinctions, and, on one occasion,
openly declared in the senate, that by his resistance, more than
by any actions of Fabius, Tarentum had been recovered; on which
Fabius laughingly replied: "What you say is very true, for if
Marcus Livius had not lost Tarentum, Fabius Maximus had never
recovered it." The people, among other marks of gratitude, gave
his son the consulship of the next year; shortly after whose
entrance upon his office, there being some business on foot about
provision for the war, his father, either on account of age and
infirmity, or perhaps out of design to try his son, came up to him
on horseback. While he was still at a distance, the young consul
observed it, and bade one of his lictors command his father to
alight, and tell him that, if he had any business with the consul,
he should come on foot. The bystanders seemed offended at the
imperiousness of the son towards a father so venerable for his age
and his authority, and turned their eyes in silence towards
Fabius. He, however, instantly alighted from his horse, and with
open arms came up, almost running, and embracing him said, "Yes,
my son, you do well, and understand what authority you have
received, and over whom you are to use it. This was the way by
which we and our forefathers advanced the dignity of Rome,
preferring ever her honor and service to our own fathers and

And, in fact, it is told that the great-grandfather of Fabius, who
was undoubtedly the greatest man of Rome in his time, both in
reputation and authority, who had been five times consul, and had
been honored with several triumphs for victories obtained by him,
took pleasure in serving as lieutenant under his own son, when he
went as consul to his command. And when afterwards his son had a
triumph bestowed upon him for his good service, the old man
followed his triumphant chariot, on horseback, as one of his
attendants; and made it his glory, that while he really was, and
was acknowledged to be, the greatest man in Rome, and held a
father's full power over his son, he yet submitted himself to the
law and the magistrate.

The Cruelty of Lucius Cornelius Sylla

Sylla's 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

Sylla is a mulberry sprinkled o'er with meal.

Sylla being wholly bent upon slaughter, filled the city with
executions without number or limit, many wholly uninterested
persons falling a sacrifice to private enmity, through his
permission and indulgence to his friends. At last Caius Metellus,
one of the younger men, made bold in the senate to ask him what
end there was of these evils, and at what point he might be
expected to stop? "We do ask you," said he, "to pardon any whom
you have resolved to destroy, but to free from doubt those whom
you are pleased to save." Sylla answering, that he knew not as yet
whom to spare, he asked: "Will you then tell us whom you will
punish?" This Sylla said he would do. These last words, some
authors say, were spoken not by Metellus, but by Afidius, one of
Sylla's fawning companions. Immediately upon this, without
communicating with any magistrates, Sylla proscribed eighty
persons, and notwithstanding the general indignation, after one
day's respite, he posted two hundred and twenty more, and on the
third again, as many. In an address to the people on this
occasion, he told them he had put up as many names as he could
think of; those which had escaped his memory, he would publish at
a future time. He issued an edict likewise, making death the
punishment of humanity, proscribing any who should dare to receive
and cherish a proscribed person, without exception to brother,
son, or parents. And to him who should slay any one proscribed
person, he ordained two talents' reward, even were it a slave who
had killed his master, or a son his father. And what was thought
most unjust of all, he caused the attainder to pass upon their
sons, and sons' sons, and made open sale of all their property.
Nor did the proscription prevail only at Rome, but throughout all
the cities of Italy the effusion of blood was such that neither
sanctuary of the gods nor hearth of hospitality nor ancestral home
escaped. Men were butchered in the embraces of their wives,
children in the arms of their mothers. Those who perished through
public animosity, or private enmity, were nothing in comparison to
the numbers of those who suffered for their riches. Even the
murderers began to say, that "his fine house killed this man, a
garden that, a third, his hot baths." Quintus Aurelius, a quiet,
peaceable man, and one who thought all his part in the common
calamity consisted in condoling with the misfortunes of others,
coming into the forum to read the list, and finding himself among
the proscribed, cried out, "Woe is me, my Alban farm has informed
against me." He had not gone far, before he was despatched by a
ruffian, sent on that errand.

In the meantime, Marius, on the point of being taken, killed
himself; and Sylla, coming to Praeneste, at first proceeded
judicially against each particular person, till at last, finding
it a work of too much time, he cooped them up together in one
place, to the number of twelve thousand men, and gave order for
the execution of them all, save his own host (The friend, that is,
with whom he always stayed when he happened to be at Praeneste,
his 'xenos;' a relationship much regarded to the Greek and Roman
world) alone excepted. But he, brave man, telling him he could not
accept the obligation of life from the hands of one who had been
the ruin of his country, went in among the rest, and submitted
willingly to the stroke.

The Luxury of Lucullus

Lucullus' life, like the Old comedy, presents us at the
commencement with acts of policy and of war, and at the end offers
nothing but good eating and drinking, feastings, and revelings,
and mere play. For I give no higher name to his sumptuous
buildings, porticos and baths, still less to his paintings and
sculptures, and all his industry about these curiosities, which he
collected with vast expense, lavishly bestowing all the wealth and
treasure which he got in the war upon them, insomuch that even
now, with all the advance of luxury, the Lucullean gardens are
counted the noblest the emperor has. Tubero, the stoic, when he
saw his buildings at Naples, where he suspended the hills upon
vast tunnels, brought in the sea for moats and fish-ponds round
his house, and pleasure-houses in the waters, called him Xerxes in
a gown. He had also fine seats in Tusculum, belvederes, and large
open balconies for men's apartments, and porticos to walk in,
where Pompey coming to see him, blamed him for making a house
which would be pleasant in summer, but uninhabitable in winter;
whom he answered with a smile, "You think me, then, less provident
than cranes and storks, not to change my home with the season."
When a praetor, with great expense and pains, was preparing a
spectacle for the people, and asked him to lend him some purple
robes for the performers in a chorus, he told him he would go home
and see, and if he had any, would let him take them; and the next
day asking how many he wanted, and being told that a hundred would
suffice, bade him take twice as many: on which the poet Horace
observes, that a house is indeed a poor one, where the valuables
unseen and unthought of do not exceed all those that meet the eye.

Lucullus' daily entertainments were ostentatiously extravagant,
not only in purple coverlets, and plate adorned with precious
stones, and dancings, and interludes, but with the greatest
diversity of dishes and the most elaborate cookery, for the vulgar
to admire and envy. It was a happy thought of Pompey in his
sickness, when his physician prescribed a thrush for his dinner,
and his servants told him that in summer time thrushes were not to
be found anywhere but in Lucullus' fattening coops, that he would
not suffer them to fetch one thence, but observed to his
physician, "So if Lucullus had not been an epicure, Pompey had not
lived," and ordered something else that could easily be got to be
prepared for him. Cato was his friend and connection, but,
nevertheless, so hated his life and habits, that when a young man
in the senate made a long and tedious speech in praise of
frugality and temperance, Cato got up and said, "How long do you
mean to go making money like Crassus, living like Lucullus, and
talking like Cato?"

It is plain from the anecdotes on record of him, that Lucullus was
not only pleased with, but even gloried in his way of living. For
he is said to have feasted several Greeks upon their coming to
Rome day after day, who, out of a true Grecian principle, being
ashamed, and declining the invitation, where so great an expense
was every day incurred for them, he with a smile said to them,
"Some of this, indeed, my Grecian friends, is for your sakes, but
more for that of Lucullus." Once when he supped alone, there being
only one course, and that but moderately furnished, he called his
steward and reproved him, who, professing to have supposed that
there would be no need of any great entertainment, when nobody was
invited, was answered, "What, did you not know, then, that today
Lucullus was to dine with Lucullus?" This being much spoken of
about the city, Cicero and Pompey one day met him loitering in the
forum, the former his intimate friend and familiar, and, though
there had been some ill-will between Pompey and him about the
command in the war, still they used to see each other and converse
on easy terms together. Cicero accordingly saluted him, and asked
him whether today was a good time for asking a favor of him, and
on his answering, "Very much so," and begging to hear what it was,
Cicero said, "then we should like to dine with you today, just on
the dinner that is prepared for yourself." Lucullus being
surprised, and requesting a day's time, they refused to grant it,
and would not allow him to talk with his servants, for fear he
should give orders for more than was appointed before. But this
they consented to, that before their faces he might tell his
servant, that today he would sup in "the Apollo" (for so one of
his best dining-rooms was called), and by this evasion he
outwitted his guests. For every room, as it seems, had its own
assessment of expenditure, dinner at such a price, and all else in
accordance; so that the servants, on knowing where he would dine,
knew also how much was to be expended, and in what style and form
dinner was to be served. The expense for the Apollo was fifty
thousand drachmas, and such a sum being that day laid out, the
greatness of the cost did not so much amaze Pompey and Cicero, as
the rapidity of the outlay. One might believe that Lucullus
thought his money really captive and barbarian, so wantonly and
contumeliously did he treat it.

His furnishing of a library, however, deserves praise and record,
for he collected very many choice manuscripts; and the use they
were put to was even more magnificent than the purchase, the
library being always open, and the walks and reading rooms about
it free to all Greeks, whose delight it was to leave their other
occupations and hasten thither as to the habitation of the Muses,
there walking about, and diverting one another. He himself often
passed his hours there, disputing with the learned in the walks,
and giving his advice to statesmen who required it, insomuch that
his house was altogether a home, and in a manner, a Greek
prytaneum for those that visited Rome.

From the Life of Sertorius the Roman who endeavored to establish a
separate government for himself in Spain

Sertorius was highly honored for his introducing discipline and
good order among the Spaniards, for he altered their furious and
savage manner of fighting, and brought them to make use of the
Roman armor, taught them to keep their ranks, and observe signals
and watchwords; and out of a confused horde of thieves and
robbers, he constituted a regular, well-disciplined army. He
bestowed silver and gold upon them liberally to gild and adorn
their helmets, he had their shields worked with various figures
and designs, he brought them into the mode of wearing flowered and
embroidered cloaks and coats, and by supplying money for these
purposes, and joining with them in all improvements, he won the
hearts of all. That, however, which delighted them most, was the
care that he took of their children. He sent for all the boys of
noblest parentage out of all their tribes, and placed them in the
great city of Osca, where he appointed masters to instruct them in
the Grecian and Roman learning, that when they came to be men,
they might, as he professed, be fitted to share with him in
authority, and in conducting the government, although under this
pretext he really made them hostages. However, their fathers were
wonderfully pleased to see their children going daily to the
schools in good order, handsomely dressed in gowns edged with
purple, and that Sertorius paid for their lessons, examined them
often, distributed rewards to the most deserving, and gave them
the golden bosses to hang around their necks, which the Romans
called "bullae."

All the cities on this side of the river Ebro finally united their
forces under his command, and his army grew very great, for they
flocked together and flowed in upon him from all quarters. But
when they continually cried out to attack the enemy, and were
impatient of delay, their inexperienced, disorderly rashness
caused Sertorius much trouble, who at first strove to restrain
them with reason and good counsel, but when he perceived them
refractory and unseasonably violent, he gave way to their
impetuous desires, and permitted them to engage with the enemy, in
such a way that they might be repulsed, yet not totally routed,
and so become more obedient to his commands for the future. This
happening as he had anticipated, he soon rescued them, and brought
them safe into his camp. And after a few days, being willing to
encourage them again, when he had called all his army together, he
caused two horses to be brought into the field, one an old,
feeble, lean animal, the other a lusty, strong horse, with a
remarkably thick and long tail. Near the lean one he placed a
tall, strong man, and near the strong, young horse a weak,
despicable-looking fellow; and at a given signal the strong man
took hold of the weak horse's tail with both his hands, and drew
it to him with his whole force, as if he would pull it off; the
other, the weak man, in the meantime, set to work to pluck off
hair by hair the great horse's tail. And when the strong man had
given trouble enough to himself in vain, and sufficient diversion
to the company, and had abandoned his attempt, whilst the weak,
pitiful fellow in a short time and with little pains had left not
a hair on the great horse's tail, Sertorius arose and said to his
army, "You see, fellow-soldiers, that perseverance is more
prevailing than violence, and that many things which cannot be
overcome when they are together, yield readily when taken little
by little. Assiduity and persistence are irresistible, and in time
overthrow and destroy the greatest powers. Time being the
favorable friend and assistant of those who use their judgment to
await his occasions, and the destructive enemy of those who are
unseasonably urging and pressing forward."

Of all his remarkable exploits, none raised greater admiration
than that which he put in practice against the Characitanians.
These are a people beyond the river Tagus, who inhabit neither
cities nor towns, but live in a vast, high hill, within the deep
dens and caves of the rocks, the mouths of which all open towards
the north. The country below is of a soil resembling a light clay,
so loose as easily to break into powder, and is not firm enough to
bear any one that treads upon it, and if you touch it in the
least, it flies about like ashes or unslaked lime. In any danger
of war, these people enter their caves, and carrying in their
booty and prey along with them, stay quietly within, secure from
every attack. And when Sertorius, leaving Metellus some distance
off, had placed his camp near this hill, they slighted and
despised him, imagining that he retired into these parts to escape
being overthrown by the Romans. And whether out of anger and
resentment, or out of his unwillingness to be thought to fly from
his enemies, early in the morning he rode up to view the situation
of the place. But finding there was no way to come at it, as he
rode about, threatening them in vain and disconcerted, he took
notice that the wind raised the dust and carried it up towards the
caves of the Characitanians, and the northerly wind, which some
call Caecias, prevailing most in those parts, coming up out of
moist plains or mountains covered with snow, at this particular
time, in the heat of summer, being further supplied and increased
by the melting of the ice in the northern regions, blew a
delightful, fresh gale, cooling and refreshing the Characitanians
and their cattle all the day long. Sertorius, considering well all
circumstances in which either the information of the inhabitants,
or his own experience had instructed him, commanded his soldiers
to shovel up a great quantity of this light, dusty earth, to heap
it together, and make a mound of it over against the hill in which
these barbarous people lived, who, imagining that all this
preparation was for raising a mound to get at them, only mocked
and laughed at it. However, he continued the work till the
evening, and brought his soldiers back into their camp. The next
morning a gentle breeze at first arose, and moved the lightest
parts of the earth, and dispersed it about as the chaff before the
wind; but when the sun got higher, and the strong, northerly wind
had covered the hills with the dust, the soldiers came and turned
this mound of earth over and over, and broke the hard clods in
pieces, whilst others on horseback rode through it backward and
forward, and raised a cloud of dust into the air; then with the
wind the whole of it was carried away and blown into the dwellings
of the Characitanians, all lying open to the north. And there
being no other vent or breathing-place than that through which the
Caecias rushed in upon them, it quickly blinded their eyes, and
filled their lungs, and all but choked them, whilst they strove to
draw in the rough air mingled with dust and powdered earth. Nor
were they able, with all they could do, to hold out more than two
days, but surrendered on the third, adding, by their defeat, not
so much to the power of Sertorius, as to his renown, in proving
that he was able to conquer places by art, which were impregnable
by the force of arms.

The Scroll-From the Life of Lysander

The 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 the 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.

The Character of Marcus Cato

Marcus Cato grew so powerful by his eloquence that he was commonly
called the Roman Demosthenes; but his manner of life was yet more
famous and talked of. For oratorical skill was, as an
accomplishment, commonly studied and sought after by all young
men; but he was a rare man who would cultivate the old habits of
bodily labor, or prefer a light supper, and a breakfast which
never saw the fire; or be in love with poor clothes and a homely
lodging, or could set his ambition rather on doing without
luxuries than on possessing them. For now the state, unable to
keep its purity by reason of its greatness, and having so many
affairs, and people from all parts under its government, was fain
to admit many mixed customs, and new examples of living. With
reason, therefore, everybody admired Cato, when they saw others
sink under labors, and grow effeminate by pleasures, but beheld
him unconquered by either; and that, too, not only when he was
young and desirous of honor, but also when old and gray-headed,
after a consulship and triumph; like some famous victor in the
games, persevering in his exercise and maintaining his character
to the very last. He himself says, that he never wore a suit of
clothes which cost more than a hundred drachmas; and that, when he
was general and consul, he drank the same wine which his workmen
did; and that the meat or fish which was bought in the market for
his dinner, did not cost above thirty 'asses.' All which was for
the sake of the commonwealth, that his body might be the hardier
for the war. Having a piece of embroidered Babylonian tapestry
left him, he sold it; because none of his farm-houses were so much
as plastered. Nor did he ever buy a slave for above fifteen
hundred drachmas; as he did not seek for effeminate and handsome
ones, but able, sturdy workmen, horse-keepers, and cow-herds; and
these he thought ought to be sold again, when they grew old, and
no useless servants fed in a house. In short, he reckoned nothing
a good bargain, which was superfluous; but whatever it was, though
sold for a farthing, he would think it a great price, if you had
no need of it.

Yet, in my judgment, it marks an over-rigid temper for a man to
take the work out of his servants as out of brute beasts, turning
them off and selling them in their old age. A kind-natured man
will keep even worn-out horses and dogs, and not only take care of
them when they are foals and whelps, but also when they are grown
old. The Athenians, when they built their Hecatompedon,* (*The
Parthenon; built on the site of an older temple which had borne
the name of Hecatompedon, or a "hundred feet long." The name was
retained for the new building.) turned those mules loose to feed
freely, which they had observed to have done the hardest labor.
One of these came once of itself to offer its service, and ran
along with, nay, went before, the teams which drew the wagons up
to the Acropolis, as if it would incite and encourage them to draw
more stoutly; upon which a vote was passed that the creature
should be kept at the public charge till it died. The graves of
Cimon's horses, which thrice won the Olympian races, are yet to be
seen close by his own monument. Old Xanthippus, too, the father of
Pericles, entombed his dogs which swam after his galley to
Salamis, when the people fled from Athens, on the top of a cliff,
which they call the dogs' tomb to this day.

For his general temperance, however, and self-control, Cato really
deserves the highest admiration. For when he commanded the army,
he never took for himself, and those that belonged to him, more
than three bushels of wheat for a month, and somewhat less than a
bushel and a half a day of barley for his baggage-cattle. And when
he entered upon the government of Sardinia, where his predecessors
had been used to require tents, bedding, and clothes upon the
public account, and to charge the state heavily with the cost of
provisions and entertainments for a great train of servants and
friends, the difference he showed in his economy was something
incredible. There was nothing of any sort for which he put the
public to expense; he would walk, instead of taking a carriage to
visit the cities, with only one of the common town officers, who
carried his dress, and a cup to offer libation with. Yet on the
other hand, he showed most inflexible severity and strictness, in
what related to public justice, and was rigorous, and precise in
what concerned the ordinances of the commonwealth; so that the
Roman government never seemed more terrible, nor yet more mild,
than under his administration.

His very manner of speaking seemed to have such a kind of idea
with it; for it was courteous, and yet forcible; pleasant, yet
overwhelming; facetious, yet austere; sententious, and yet
vehement: like Socrates, in the description of Plato, who seemed
outwardly to those about him to be but a simple, talkative, blunt
fellow; whilst at the bottom he was full of such gravity and
matter, as would even move tears, and touch the very hearts of his
auditors. Reproving on one occasion the sumptuous habits of the
Romans, he said: "It is hard to preserve a city, where a fish is
sold for more than an ox." He had a saying, also, that the Roman
people were like sheep; for they, when single, do not obey, but
when altogether in a flock, they follow their leaders: "So you,"
said he, "when you have got together in a body let yourselves be
guided by those whom singly you would never think of being advised

The Romans having sent three ambassadors to Bithnia, of whom one
was gouty, another had his skull trepanned, and the other seemed
little better than a fool; Cato, laughing, gave out that the
Romans had sent an embassy, which had neither feet, head, nor
heart.* (*Both the Romans and the Greeks conceived of the region
of the heart, the chest, as the seat not of emotion, nor of will
and courage merely, but more especially of judgment, deliberation,
and practical sense. Thus the Greeks derived their word for moral
wisdom from Phren, the diaphragm, and the Romans by 'egregie
cordatus homo' meant a wise statesman.)

Cato also said that in his whole life he most repented of three
things; one was, that he had trusted a secret to a woman; another
that he went by water when he might have gone by land; the third,
that he had remained one whole day without doing any business of

He was a good father, an excellent husband to his wife, and an
extraordinary economist; and as he did not manage his affairs of
this kind carelessly, and as things of little moment, I think I
ought to record a little further whatever was commendable in him
in these points. He married a wife more noble than rich; being of
opinion that the rich and the high-born are equally haughty and
proud; but that those of noble blood would be more ashamed of base
things, and consequently more obedient to their husbands in all
that was fit and right. A man who beat his wife or child, laid
violent hands, he said, on what was most sacred; and a good
husband he reckoned worthy of more praise than a great senator;
and he admired the ancient Socrates for nothing so much, as for
having lived a temperate and contented life with a wife who was a
scold, and children who were half-witted.

When his son began to come to years of discretion, Cato himself
would teach him to read, although he had a servant, a very good
grammarian, called Chilo, who taught many others; but he thought
not fit, as he himself said, to have his son reprimanded by a
slave, or pulled, it may be, by the ears when found tardy in his
lesson: nor would he have him owe to a servant the obligation of
so great a thing as his learning; he himself, therefore, taught
him his grammar, his law, and his gymnastic exercises. Nor did he
only show him, too, how to throw a dart, to fight in armor, and to
ride, but to box also and to endure both heat and cold, and to
swim over the most rapid and rough rivers. He says, likewise, that
he wrote histories, in large characters, with his own hand, that
so his son, without stirring out of the house, might learn to know
about his countrymen and forefathers: nor did he less abstain from
speaking any thing improper before his son, than if it had been in
the presence of the sacred virgins, called vestals. Nor would he
ever go into the bath with him; which seems indeed to have been
the common custom of the Romans.

Thus, like an excellent work, Cato formed and fashioned his son to

The Sacred Theban Band from the Life of Pelopidas.

Gorgidas, according to some, first formed the Sacred Band of three
hundred chosen men, to whom, as being a guard for the citadel, the
State allowed provision, and all things necessary for exercise:
and hence they were called the city band, as citadels of old were
usually called cities. Others say that it was composed of young
men attached to each other by personal affection, and a pleasant
saying of Pammenes is current, that Homer's Nestor was not well
skilled in ordering an army, when he advised the Greeks to rank
tribe and tribe, and family and family together, that

"So tribe might tribe, and kinsmen kinsmen aid,"

but that he should have joined lovers and their beloved. For men
of the same tribe or family little value one another when dangers
press; but a band cemented by friendship grounded upon love, is
never to be broken, and invincible; since all, ashamed to be base
in sight of their beloved, willingly rush into danger for the
relief of one another. Nor can that be wondered at; since they
have more regard for their absent loving friends than for others
present; as in the instance of the man who, when his enemy was
going to kill him, earnestly requested him to run him through the
breast, that his lover might not blush to see him wounded in the
back. it is a tradition likewise, that Iolaus, who assisted
Hercules in his labors and fought at his side, was beloved of him;
and Aristotle observes, that even in his time, lovers plighted
their faith at Iolaus' tomb. It is likely, therefore, that this
band was called sacred on this account; as Plato calls a lover a
divine friend. It is stated that it was never beaten till the
battle at Chaeronea: and when Philip, after the fight, took a view
of the slain, and came to the place where the three hundred that
fought his phalanx lay dead together, he was filled with wonder,
and understanding that it was the band of lovers, he shed tears
and said, "Perish any man who suspects that these men either did
or suffered any thing that was base."

From the Life of Titus Flamininus, The Conqueror of Philip

Among the songs written after the battle of Cynos Cephalas (the
Dog-heads), was the following epigram, composed by Alcaeus in
mockery of Philip, exaggerating the number of the slain:

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

Titus himself thought more highly of his liberation of Greece than
of any other of his actions, as appears by the inscription upon
some silver targets, dedicated together with his own shield, to
Apollo at Delphi:

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

And a golden crown, also offered to Apollo, bore this inscription:

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

When the ambassadors of Antiochus were recounting to those of
Achaea, the various multitudes composing their royal master's
forces, and ran over a long catalogue of hard names, "I supped
once," said Titus, "with a friend, and could not forbear
expostulating with him at the number of dishes he had provided,
and said I wondered where he had furnished himself with such a
variety; 'Sir,' replied he, 'to confess the truth, it is all hog's
flesh differently cooked.' And so, men of Achaea, when you are
told of Antiochus' lancers, and pikemen, and foot-guards, I advise
you not to be surprised; since in fact they are all Syrians
differently armed."

The Chalcidians, who owed their lives to Titus, dedicated to him
all the best and most magnificent of their sacred buildings,
inscriptions upon which, like the following, may be seen to this
HERCULES; and what is yet more remarkable, even in our time, a
priest of Titus was formally elected and declared; and after
sacrifice and libation, they sang a set song, of which these are
the closing verses:--

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


It must be borne in mind that my design has been not to write
histories, but lives. And the most glorious exploits do not always
furnish us with the clearest discoveries of virtue or vice in men;
sometimes a matter of less moment, an expression or a jest,
informs us better of their characters and inclinations, than the
most famous sieges, the greatest armaments, or the bloodiest
battles whatsoever. Therefore as portrait-painters are more exact
in the lines and features of the face, in which the character is
seen, than in the other parts of the body, so I must be allowed to
give my more particular attention to the marks and indications of
the souls of men, in my portrayal of their lives.

It is agreed on by all hands, that on the father's side, Alexander
descended from Hercules by Caranus, and from Aeacus by Neoptolemus
on the mother's side. His father Philip, being in Samothrace, when
he was quite young, fell in love there with Olympias, in company
with whom he was initiated in the religious ceremonies of the
country, and her father and mother being both dead, soon after,
with the consent of her brother Arymbas, he married her.

Alexander was born on the sixth of Hecatombaeon, the same day that
the temple of Diana at Ephesus was burnt. The statues that gave
the best representation of Alexander's person, were those of
Lysippus, those peculiarities which many of his successors
afterwards and his friends used to affect to imitate,--the
inclination of his head a little on one side towards his left
shoulder, and his melting eye,--having been expressed by this
artist with great exactness. But Apelles, who drew him with
thunderbolts in his hand, made his complexion browner and darker
than it was naturally; for he was fair and of a light color,
passing into ruddiness in his face and upon his breast. His
temperance, as to all pleasures, was apparent in him in his very
childhood, as he was with much difficulty incited to them, and
always used them with great moderation; though in other things he
was extremely eager and vehement, and in his love of glory and the
pursuit of it, he showed a solidity of high spirit and magnanimity
far above his age. For he neither sought nor valued it upon every
occasion, as his father Philip did (who affected to show his
eloquence almost to a degree of pedantry, and took care to have
the victories of his racing chariots at the Olympic games engraved
on his coin), but when he was asked by some about him, whether he
would run a race in the Olympic games, as he was very swift-
footed, he answered, that he would, if he might have kings to run
with him.

While he was yet very young, he entertained the ambassadors from
the king of Persia, in the absence of his father, and entering
much into conversation with them, gained so much upon them by his
affability, and the questions he asked them, which were far from
being childish or trifling (for he inquired of them the length of
the ways, the nature of the road into inner Asia, the character of
their king, how he carried himself toward his enemies, and what
forces he was able to bring into the field), that they were struck
with admiration of him, and looked upon the ability so much famed
of Philip, to be nothing in comparison with the forwardness and
high purpose that appeared thus early in his son. Whenever he
heard that Philip had taken any town of importance, or won any
signal victory, instead of rejoicing at it altogether, he would
tell his companions that his father would anticipate every thing,
and leave him and them no opportunities of performing great and
illustrious actions. For being more bent upon action and glory
than upon either pleasure or riches, he esteemed all that he
should receive from his father as a diminution of his own future
achievements; and would have chosen rather to succeed to a kingdom
involved in troubles and wars, which would have afforded him
frequent exercise of his courage, and a large field of honor, than
to one already flourishing and settled, where his inheritance
would be an inactive life, and the mere enjoyment of wealth and

The care of his education, as it might be presumed, was committed
to a great many attendants, preceptors, and teachers, over the
whole of whom Leonidas, a near kinsman of Olympias, a man of an
austere temper, presided, who did not indeed himself decline the
name of what in reality is a noble and honorable office, but in
general his dignity, and his near relationship, obtained him from
other people the title of Alexander's fosterfather and governor.
But he who took upon him the actual place and style of his
"pedagogue," was Lysimachus the Acarnanian.

Philonicus the Thessalian brought the horse Bucephalas to Philip,
offering to sell him for thirteen talents; but when they went into
the field to try him, they found him so very vicious and
unmanageable, that he reared up when they endeavored to mount him,
and would not so much as endure the voice of any of Philip's
attendants. Upon which, as they were leading him away as wholly
useless and untractable, Alexander, who stood by, said, "What a
magnificent horse they lose, for want of address and boldness to
manage him!" Philip at first took no notice of what he said, but
when he heard him repeat the same thing several times, and
perceived that he was much vexed to see the horse sent away, he
said to him, "Do you reproach those who are older than yourself,
as if you knew more, and were better able to manage him than
they?" "I could manage this horse," replied he, "better than
others do." "And if you fail," said Philip, "what will you forfeit
for your rashness?" "I will pay," answered Alexander, "the whole
price of the horse." At this the whole company fell to laughing;
and as soon as the wager was settled amongst them, he immediately
ran to the horse, and taking hold of the bridle, turned him
directly towards the sun, having, it seems, observed that he was
disturbed at and afraid of the motion of his own shadow; then
letting him go forward a little, still keeping the reins in his
hand, and stroking him gently when he found him beginning to grow
eager and fiery, he let fall his upper garment softly, and with
one nimble leap securely mounted him, and when he was seated,
little by little drew in the bridle, and curbed him without either
striking or spurring him. Presently, when he found him free from
all rebelliousness, and only impatient for the course, he let him
go at full speed, inciting him now with a commanding voice, and
urging him also with his heel. Philip and his friends looked on at
first in silence and anxiety for the result, till seeing him turn
at the end of his career, and come back rejoicing and triumphing
for what he had performed, they all burst out into acclamations of
applause; and his father, shedding tears, it is said, for joy,
kissed him as he came down from his horse, and in his transport,
said, "O my son, seek out a kingdom worthy of thyself, for
Macedonia is too little for thee."

After this, considering him to be of a temper easy to be led to
his duty by reason, but by no means to be compelled, he always
endeavored to persuade rather than to command or force him to any
thing; and now looking upon the instruction and tuition of his
youth to be of greater difficulty and importance, than to be
wholly trusted to the ordinary masters in music and poetry, and
the common school subjects, and to require, as Sophocles says,

The bridle and the rudder too,

he sent for Aristotle, the most learned and most celebrated
philosopher of his time, and rewarded him with a munificence
proportionable to and becoming the care he took to instruct his
son. For he repeopled his native city Stagira, which he had caused
to be demolished a little before, and restored all the citizens
who were in exile or slavery, to their habitations. As a place for
the pursuit of their studies and exercises, he assigned the temple
of the Nymphs, near Mieza, where, to this very day, they show you
Aristotle's stone seats, and the shady walks which he was wont to
frequent. It would appear that Alexander received from him not
only his doctrines of Morals, and of Politics, but also something
of those more abstruse and profound theories which these
philosophers, by the very names they gave them, professed to
reserve for oral communication to the initiated, and did not allow
many to become acquainted with. For when he was in Asia, and heard
Aristotle had published some treatises of that kind, he wrote to
him, using very plain language to him in behalf of philosophy, the
following letter: "Alexander to Aristotle greeting. You have not
done well to publish your books of oral doctrine, for what is
there now that we excel others in, if those things which we have
been particularly instructed in be laid open to all? For my part,
I assure you, I had rather excel others in the knowledge of what
is excellent, than in the extent of my power and dominion.
Farewell." And Aristotle, soothing this passion for pre-eminence,
speaks, in his excuse for himself, of these doctrines, as in fact
both published and not published. To tell the truth, his books on
metaphysics are written in a style which makes them useless for
ordinary teaching, and instructive only in the way of memoranda,
for those who have been already conversant with that sort of

Doubtless also it was to Aristotle, that he owed the inclination
he had, not to the theory only, but also to the practice of the
art of medicine. For when any of his friends were sick, he would
often prescribe for them their course of diet, and medicines
proper to their disease, as we may find in his epistles. He was
naturally a great lover of all kinds of learning and reading; and
Onesicritus informs us, that he constantly laid Homer's Iliads,
according to the copy corrected by Aristotle, called "The casket
copy," with his dagger under his pillow, declaring that he
esteemed it a perfect portable treasure of all military virtue and
knowledge. When he was in the upper Asia, being destitute of other
books, he ordered Harpalus to send him some; who furnished him
with Philistus's History, a great many of the plays of Euripides,
Sophocles, and Aeschylus, and some dithyrambic odes, composed by
Telestes and Philoxenus.

While Philip went on his expedition against the Byzantines, he
left Alexander, then sixteen years old, his lieutenant in
Macedonia, committing the charge of his seal to him; who, not to
sit idle, reduced the rebellious Maedi, and having taken their
chief town by storm, drove out the barbarous inhabitants, and
planting a colony of several nations in their room, called the
place after his own name, Alexandropolis. At the battle of
Chaeronea, which his father fought against the Greeks, he is said
to have been the first man that charged the Thebans' sacred band.
And even in my remembrance, there stood an old oak near the river
Cephisus, which people called Alexander's oak, because his tent
was pitched under it. And not far off are to be seen the graves of
the Macedonians who fell in that battle. This early bravery made
Philip so fond of him, that nothing pleased him more than to hear
his subjects call himself their general and Alexander their king.

But later on, through an unfortunate marriage of Philip with
Cleopatra, the niece of Attalus, an estrangement grew up between
them. And not long after the brother of Alexander, Pausanias,
having had an insult done to him at the instance of Attalus and
Cleopatra, when he found he could get no reparation for his
disgrace at Philip's hands, watched his opportunity and murdered

Alexander was but twenty years old when his father was murdered,
and succeeded to a kingdom beset on all sides with great dangers,
and rancorous enemies. Hearing the Thebans were in revolt, and the
Athenians in correspondence with them, he immediately marched
through the pass of Thermopylae, saying that to Demosthenes, who
had called him a child while he was in Illyria, and a youth when
he was in Thessaly, he would appear a man before the walls of

When he came to Thebes, to show how willing he was to accept of
their repentance for what was past, he only demanded of them
Phoenix and Prothytes, the authors of the rebellion, and
proclaimed a general pardon to those who would come over to him.
But when the Thebans merely retorted by demanding Philotas and
Antipater to be delivered into their hands, he applied himself to
make them feel the last extremities of war. The Thebans defended
themselves with a zeal and courage beyond their strength, being
much outnumbered by their enemies. But when the Macedonian
garrison sallied out upon them from the citadel, they were so
hemmed in on all sides, that the greater part of them fell in the
battle; the city itself being taken by storm, was sacked and
razed, Alexander's hope being that so severe an example might
terrify the rest of Greece into obedience. So that, except the
priests, and a few who had heretofore been the friends and
connections of the Macedonians, the family of the poet Pindar, and
those who were known to have opposed the public vote for the war,
all the rest, to the number of thirty thousand, were publicly sold
for slaves; and it is computed that upwards of six thousand were
put to the sword. Among the other calamities that befell the city,
it happened that some Thracian soldiers having broken into the
house of a matron of high character and repute named Timoclea,
their captain, to satisfy his avarice, asked her if she knew of
any money concealed; to which she readily answered that she did,
and bade him follow her into a garden, where she showed him a
well, into which, she told him, upon the taking of the city she
had thrown what she had of most value. The greedy Thracian
presently stooping down to view the place where he thought the
treasure lay, she came behind him, and pushed him into the well,
and then flung great stones in upon him, till she had killed him.
After which, when the soldiers led her away bound to Alexander,
her very mien and gait showed her to be a woman of dignity and
high mind, not betraying the least sign of fear or astonishment.
And when the king asked her who she was, she said, "I am the
sister of Theagenes, who fought at the battle of Chaeronea with
your father, Philip, and fell there in command for the liberty of
Greece." Alexander was so surprised, both at what she had done,
and what she said, that he could not chose but give her and her
children their freedom to go whither they pleased.

After this he received the Athenians into favor. Whether it were,
like the lion, that his passion was now satisfied, or that after
an example of extreme cruelty, he had a mind to appear merciful,
it happened well for the Athenians. Certain it is, too, that in
after-time he often repented of his severity to the Thebans, and
his remorse had such influence on his temper as to make him ever
after less rigorous to all others. And it was observed that
whatsoever any Theban, who had the good fortune to survive this
victory, asked of him, he was sure to grant without the least

Soon after, the Greeks being assembled at the Isthmus, declared
their resolution of joining with Alexander in the war against the
Persians, and proclaimed him their general. While he stayed here,
many public ministers and philosophers came from all parts to
visit him, and congratulated him on his election, but contrary to
his expectation, Diogenes of Sinope, who then was living at
Corinth, thought so little of him, that instead of coming to
compliment him, he never so much as stirred out of the suburb
called the Cranium, where Alexander ran across him lying at full
length in the sun. When he saw so much company near him, he raised
himself a little, and vouchsafed to look upon Alexander; and when
he kindly asked him whether he wanted any thing, "Yes," said he,
"I would have you stand from between me and the sun." Alexander
was so struck at this answer, and surprised at the greatness of
the man, who had taken so little notice of him, that as he went
away, he told his followers who were laughing at the moroseness of
the philosopher, that if he were not Alexander, he would choose to
be Diogenes.

His army consisted of about thirty thousand foot, and four
thousand horse; and Aristobulus says, he had not a fund of over
seventy talents for their pay, nor more than thirty days'
provision, if we may believe Duris. However narrow the beginnings
of so vast an undertaking might seem to be, yet he would not
embark his army until he had informed himself particularly what
means his friends had to enable them to follow him, and supplied
what they wanted, by giving good farms to some, a village to one,
and the revenue of some hamlet or harbor town to another. So that
at last he had portioned out or engaged almost all the royal
property; which giving Perdiccas an occasion to ask him what he
would leave himself, he answered, "My hopes." "Your soldiers,"
replied Perdiccas, "will be your partners in those," and refused
to accept of the estate he had assigned him.

With such vigorous resolutions, and his mind thus disposed, he
passed the Hellespont, and at Troy sacrificed to Minerva, and
honored the memory of the heroes who were buried there, with
solemn libations; especially Achilles, whose gravestone he
anointed, and with his friends, as the ancient custom is, ran
naked about his sepulchre, and crowned it with garlands, declaring
how happy he esteemed him, in having, while he lived, so faithful
a friend, and when he was dead, so famous a poet to proclaim his
actions. While he was viewing the rest of the antiquities and
curiosities of the place, being told he might see Paris's harp, if
he pleased, he said, he thought it not worth looking at, but he
should be glad to see that of Achilles, to which he used to sing
the glories and great actions of brave men.

In the meantime Darius's captains having collected large forces,
were encamped on the further bank of the river Granicus, and it
was necessary to fight, as it were, in the gate of Asia for an
entrance into it. And when Parmenio advised him not to attempt
anything that day, because it was late, he told him that he should
disgrace the Hellespont, should he fear the Granicus. And so
without saying more, he immediately took the river with thirteen
troops of horse, and advanced against whole showers of darts
thrown from the steep opposite side, which was covered with armed
multitudes of the enemy's horse and foot, notwithstanding the
disadvantage of the ground and the rapidity of the stream; so that
the action seemed to have more of frenzy and desperation in it,
than of prudent conduct. However, he persisted obstinately to gain
the passage, and at last with much ado making his way up the
banks, which were extremely muddy and slippery, he had instantly
to join in a mere confused hand-to-hand combat with the enemy,
before he could draw up his men, who were still passing over, into
any order. For the enemy pressed upon him with loud and warlike
outcries; and charging horse against horse, with their lances,
after they had broken and spent these, they fell to it with their
swords. And Alexander, being easily known by his buckler, and a
large plume of white feathers on each side of his helmet, was
attacked on all sides, yet escaped without a wound, though his
cuirass was pierced by a javelin in one of the joinings. And
Rhoesaces and Spithridates, two Persian commanders, falling upon
him at once, he avoided one of them, and struck at Rhoesaces, who
had a good cuirass on, with such force, that his spear breaking in
his hand, he was glad to betake himself to his dagger. While they
were thus engaged, Spithridates came up on the other side of him,
and raising himself upon his horse, gave him such a blow with his
battle-axe on the helmet, that he cut off the crest of it, with
one of his plumes, and the helmet was only just so far strong
enough to save him, that the edge of the weapon touched the hair
of his head. But as he was about to repeat his stroke, Clitus,
called the black Clitus, prevented him, by running him through the
body with his spear. At the same time Alexander despatched
Rhoesaces with his sword. While the horse were thus dangerously
engaged, the Macedonian phalanx passed the river, and the foot on
each side advanced to fight. But the enemy hardly sustaining the
first onset, soon gave ground and fled, all but the mercenary
Greeks, who, making a stand upon a rising ground, desired quarter,
which Alexander, guided rather by passion than judgment, refused
to grant, and charging them himself first, had his horse (not
Bucephalas, but another) killed under him. And this obstinacy of
his to cut off these experienced, desperate men, cost him the
lives of more of his own soldiers than all the battle before,
besides those who were wounded. The Persians lost in this battle
twenty thousand foot, and two thousand five hundred horse. On
Alexander's side, Aristobulus says there were not over four and
thirty missing, of whom nine were foot-soldiers; and in memory of
them he caused as many statues of brass, of Lysippus's making, to
be erected. And that the Greeks might participate in the honor of
his victory, he sent a portion of the spoils home to them,
particularly to the Athenians three hundred bucklers, and upon all
the rest he ordered this inscription to be set: "Alexander the son
of Philip, and the Greeks, except the Lacedaemonians, won these
from the barbarians who inhabit Asia." All the plate and purple
garments, and other things of the same kind that he took from the
Persians, except a very small quantity which he reserved for
himself, he sent as a present to his mother.

This battle presently made a great change of affairs to
Alexander's advantage. For Sardis itself, the chief seat of the
barbarians' power in the maritime provinces, and many other
considerable places, were surrendered to him; only Halicarnassus
and Miletus stood out, which he took by force, together with the
territory about them. After which he was a little unsettled in his
opinion how to proceed. Sometimes he thought it best to find out
Darius as soon as he could, and put all to the hazard of a battle;
at another time he looked upon it as a more prudent course to make
an entire reduction of the sea-coast, and not to seek the enemy
till he had first exercised his power here and made himself secure
of the resources of these provinces. While he was thus
deliberating what to do, it happened that a spring of water near
the city of Xanthus in Lycia, of its own accord swelled over its
banks, and threw up a copper plate upon the margin, in which was
engraven in ancient characters, that the time would come, when the
Persian empire should be destroyed by the Greeks. Encouraged by
this incident, he proceeded to reduce the maritime parts of
Cilicia and Phoenicia, and passed his army along the sea-coasts of
Pamphylia with such expedition that many historians have described
and extolled it with a height of admiration, as if it were no less
than a miracle, and an extraordinary effect of divine favor, that
the waves which usually come rolling in violently from the main,
and hardly ever leave so much as a narrow beach under the steep,
broken cliffs at any time uncovered, should on a sudden retire to
afford him passage. Menander, in one of his comedies, alludes to
this marvel when he says,

Was Alexander ever favored more?
Each man I wish for meets me at the door,
And should I ask for passage through the sea,
The sea, I doubt not, would retire for me.

Then he subdued the Pisidians who made head against him, and
conquered the Phrygians, at whose chief city Gordium, which is
said to be the seat of the ancient Midas, he saw the famous
chariot fastened with cords made of the rind of the cornel-tree,
about which the inhabitants had a tradition, that for him who
should untie it, was reserved the empire of the world. Most
authors tell the story of Alexander, finding himself unable to
untie the knot, the ends of which were secretly twisted round and
folded up within it, cut it asunder with his sword. But
Aristobulus tells us it was easy for him to undo it, by only
pulling the pin out of the pole, to which the yoke was tied, and
afterwards drawing off the yoke itself from below.

Darius was by this time upon his march from Susa, very confident,
in the number of his men, which amounted to six hundred thousand.
But Alexander was detained in Cilicia by a sickness, which some
say he contracted from his fatigues, others from bathing in the
river Cydnus, whose waters were exceedingly cold. None of his
physicians would venture to give him any remedies, they thought
his case so desperate, and were so afraid of the suspicions and
ill-will of the Macedonians if they should fail in the cure; till
Philip, the Acarnanian, seeing how critical his case was, but
relying on his own well-known friendship for him, resolved to try
the last efforts of his art, and rather hazard his own credit and
life, than suffer him to perish for want of physic, which he
confidently administered to him, encouraging him to take it
boldly, if he desired a speedy recovery, in order to prosecute the
war. At this very time, Parmenio wrote to Alexander from the camp,
bidding him have a care of Philip, as one who was bribed by Darius
to kill him, with great sums of money, and a promise of his
daughter in marriage. When he had perused the letter, he put it
under his pillow, without so much as showing it to any of his most
intimate friends, and when Philip came in with the potion, he took
it with great cheerfulness and assurance, giving him meantime the
letter to read. This was a spectacle well worth being present at,
to see Alexander take the draught, and Philip read the letter at
the same time, and then turn and look upon one another, but with
different sentiments; for Alexander's looks were cheerful and
open, to show his kindness to and confidence in his physician,
while the other was full of surprise and alarm at the accusation,
appealing to the gods to witness his innocence, sometimes lifting
up his hands to heaven, and then throwing himself down by the
bedside, and beseeching Alexander to lay aside all fear, and
follow his directions without apprehension. For the medicine at
first worked so strongly as to drive, as it were, the vital forces
into the interior; he lost his speech, and falling into a swoon,
had scarcely any sense or pulse left. However, in a very short
time, by Philip's means, his health and strength returned, and he
showed himself in public to the Macedonians, who were in continual
fear and dejection until they saw him abroad again.

Darius, in the meantime marched into Cilicia, at the same time
that Alexander advanced into Syria to meet him; and missing one
another in the night, they both turned back again. Alexander,
greatly pleased with the event, made all the haste he could to
fight in the defiles, and Darius to recover his former ground, and
draw his army out of so disadvantageous a place. For now he began
to see his error in engaging himself too far in a country in which
the sea, the mountains, and the river Pinarus running through the
midst of it, would force him to divide his forces, render his
horse almost unserviceable, and only cover and support the
weakness of the enemy. Fortune was not kinder to Alexander in the
choice of the ground, than he was careful to improve it to his
advantage. For being much inferior in numbers, so far from
allowing himself to be outflanked, he stretched his right wing
much further out than the left wing of his enemies, and fighting
there himself in the very foremost ranks, put the barbarians to
flight. In this battle he was wounded in the thigh, Chares says by
Darius, with whom he fought hand to hand. But in the account which
he gave Antipater of the battle, though he owns he was wounded in
the thigh with a sword, though not dangerously, he does not
mention who it was that wounded him.

Nothing was wanting to complete this victory, in which he
overthrew above a hundred and ten thousand of his enemies, but the
taking of the person of Darius, who escaped very narrowly by
flight. However, having captured his chariot and his bow, he
returned from pursuing him, and found his own men busy in
pillaging the barbarians' camp, which (though to disburden
themselves, they had left most of their baggage at Damascus) was
exceedingly rich. But Darius's tent, which was full of splendid
furniture, and quantities of gold and silver, they reserved for
Alexander himself, who after he had put off his arms, went to
bathe himself, saying, "Let us now cleanse ourselves from the
toils of war in the bath of Darius." "Not so," replied one of his
followers, "but in Alexander's rather; for the property of the
conquered is, and should be called, the conqueror's." Here, when
he beheld the bathing vessels, the water-pots, the pans, and the
ointment boxes, all of gold, curiously wrought, and smelt the
fragrant odors with which the whole place was exquisitely
perfumed, and from thence passed into a pavilion of great size and
height, where the couches and tables and preparations for an
entertainment were perfectly magnificent, he turned to those about
him and said, "This, it seems, is royalty."

But as he was going to supper, word was brought him that Darius's
mother and wife and two unmarried daughters, being taken among the
rest of the prisoners, were all in mourning and sorrow upon the
sight of his chariot and bow, imagining him to be dead. After a
little he sent Leonnatus to them, to let them know Darius was not
dead, and that they need not fear any harm from Alexander, who
made war upon him only for dominion. But the noblest and most
royal part of their usage was, that he treated these illustrious
prisoners according to their virtue and character, not suffering
them to hear, or receive, or so much as to apprehend any thing
that was unbecoming. So that they seemed rather lodged in some
temple, or some holy chambers, where they enjoyed their privacy
sacred and uninterrupted, than in the camp of an enemy. Yet
Darius's wife was accounted the most beautiful princess then
living, as her husband the tallest and handsomest man of his time,
and the daughters were not unworthy of their parents.

In his diet Alexander was most temperate, as appears, omitting
many other circumstances, by what he said to Ada, whom he adopted,
with the title of mother, and afterwards created queen of Caria.
For when she out of kindness sent him every day many curious
dishes, and sweetmeats, and would have furnished him with some
cooks and pastry-men, who were thought to have great skill, he
told her he wanted none of them, his preceptor, Leonidas, having
already given him the best, which were "a night march to prepare
for breakfast, and a moderate breakfast to create an appetite for
supper." Leonidas also, he added, used to open and search the
furniture of his chamber, and his wardrobe, to see if his mother
had left him any thing that was delicate or superfluous. He was
much less addicted to wine than was generally believed; that which
gave people occasion to think so of him was, that when he had
nothing else to do, he loved to sit long and talk, rather than
drink, and over every cup hold a long conversation. For when his
affairs called upon him, he would not be detained, as other
generals often were, either by wine, or sleep, nuptial
solemnities, spectacles, or any other diversion whatsoever; a
convincing argument of which is, that in the short time he lived,
he accomplished so many and so great actions. When he was free
from employment, after he was up, and had sacrificed to the gods,
he used to sit down to breakfast, and then spend the rest of the
day in hunting, or writing memoirs, giving decisions on some
military questions, or reading. In marches that required no great
haste, he would practice shooting as he went along, or to mount a
chariot, and alight from it in full speed. Sometimes, for sport's
sake, as his journals tell us, he would hunt foxes and go fowling.
When he came in for the evening, after he had bathed and was
anointed, he would call for his bakers and chief cooks, to know if
they had his dinner ready. He never cared to dine till it was
pretty late and beginning to be dark, and as wonderfully
circumspect at meals that every one who sat with him should be
served alike and with proper attention; and his love of talking,
as was said before, made him delight to sit long at his wine. And
no prince's conversation was ever so agreeable, yet he would at
times fall into a temper of ostentation and soldierly boasting,
which gave his flatterers a great advantage to ride him, and made
his better friends very uneasy. After such an entertainment, he
was wont to bathe, and then perhaps he would sleep till noon, and
sometimes all day long. He was so very temperate in his eating,
that when any rare fish or fruits were sent him, he would
distribute them among his friends, and often reserve nothing for
himself. His table, however, was always magnificent, the expense
of it still increasing with his good fortune, till it amounted to
ten thousand drachmas a day, to which sum he limited it, and
beyond this he would suffer none to lay out in any entertainment
where he himself was the guest.

Among the treasures and other booty that was taken from Darius,
there was a very precious casket, which being brought to Alexander
for a great rarity, he asked those about him what they thought
fittest to be laid up in it; and when they had delivered their
various opinions, he told them he should keep Homer's Iliad in it.
Nor did Homer prove an unprofitable companion to him in his
expeditions. For, after he had become master of Egypt he
determined to found a great and populous city, and give to it his
own name. And when he had measured and staked out the ground with
the advice of the best architects, he chanced one night in his
sleep to see a wonderful vision; a gray-headed old man, of a
venerable aspect, appeared to stand by him, and pronounce these

An island lies, where loud the billows roar,
Pharos they call it, on the Egyptian shore.

Alexander upon this immediately rose up and went to Pharos, which,
at that time, was an island lying a little above the Canobic mouth
of the river Nile, though it has now been joined to the main land
by a mole. As soon as he saw the commodious situation of the
place, it being a long neck of land, stretching like an isthmus
between large lagoons and shallow waters on one side, and the sea
on the other, the latter at the end of it making a spacious
harbor, he said, Homer, besides his other excellences, was a very
good architect, and ordered the plan of a city to be drawn out
answerable to the place. To do which, for want of chalk, the soil
being black, they laid out their lines with flour, taking in a
pretty large compass of ground in a semicircular figure, and
drawing into the inside of the circumference equal straight lines
from each end, thus giving it something of the form of a cloak or
cape. While he was pleasing himself with his design, on a sudden
an infinite number of great birds of several kinds, rising like a
black cloud out of the river and the lake, came and devoured every
morsel of the flour that had been used in setting out the lines;
at which omen even Alexander himself was troubled, till the augurs
restored his confidence again by telling him it was a sign that
the city he was about to build would not only abound in all things
within itself, but also be the nurse and feeder of many nations.

The great battle of all that was fought with Darius, was not, as
most writers tell us, at Arbela, but at Gaugamela, which, in their
language, signifies the camel's house, forasmuch as one of their
ancient kings having escaped the pursuit of his enemies on a swift
camel, in gratitude to his beast settled him at this place, with
an allowance of certain villages and rents for his maintenance. It
came to pass that in the month Boedromion, about the beginning of
the Feast of Mysteries at Athens, there was an eclipse of the
moon, the eleventh night after which, the two armies being now in
view of one another, Darius kept his men in arms, and by
torchlight took a general review of them. But Alexander, while his
soldiers slept, spent the night before his tent with his diviner
Aristander, performing certain mysterious ceremonies, and
sacrificing to the god Fear.

In the meanwhile the oldest of his commanders, and chiefly
Parmenio, when they beheld all the plain between Niphates and the
Gordyaean mountains shining with the lights and fires which were
made by the barbarians, and heard the uncertain and confused sound
of voices out of their camp, like the distant roaring of a vast
ocean, were so amazed at the thoughts of such a multitude, that
after some conference among themselves, they concluded it an
enterprise too difficult and hazardous for them to engage so
numerous an enemy in the day, and therefore meeting the king as he
came from sacrificing, besought him to attack Darius by night,
that the darkness might conceal the danger of the ensuing battle.
To this he gave them the celebrated answer, "I will not steal a
victory," which, though some at the time thought it a boyish and
inconsiderate speech, as if he played with danger, others regarded
as an evidence that the confided in his present condition, and
acted on a true judgment of the future, not wishing to leave
Darius, in case he were worsted, the pretext of trying his fortune
again, which he might suppose himself to have, if he could impute
his overthrow to the disadvantage of the night, as he did before
to the mountains, the narrow passages, and the sea. For while he
had such numerous forces and large dominions still remaining, it
was not any want of men or arms that could induce him to give up
the war, but only the loss of all courage and hope upon the
conviction of an undeniable and manifest defeat.

After they were gone from him with this answer, he laid himself
down in his tent and slept the rest of the night more soundly than
was usual with him, to the astonishment of the commanders. Not
only before the battle, but in the height of the danger, he showed
himself great, and manifested the self-possession of a just
foresight and confidence. For the battle for some time fluctuated
and was dubious. The left wing, where Parmenio commanded, was so
impetuously charged by the Bactrian horse that it was disordered
and forced to give ground, at the same time that Mazaeus had sent
a detachment around to fall upon those who guarded the baggage,
which so disturbed Parmenio, that he sent messengers to acquaint
Alexander that the camp and baggage would be all lost unless he
immediately relieved the rear by a considerable reinforcement
drawn out of the front. This message being brought him just as he
was giving the signal to those about him for the onset, he bade
them tell Parmenio that he must have surely lost the use of his
reason, and had forgotten, in his alarm, that soldiers, if
victorious, become masters of their enemies' baggage; and if
defeated, instead of taking care of their wealth or their slaves,
have nothing more to do but to fight gallantly and die with honor.
When he had said this, he put on his helmet, having the rest of
his arms on before he came out of his tent, which were a coat of
the Sicilian make, girt close about him, and over that a
breastpiece of thickly quilted linen, which was taken among other
booty at the battle of Issus. The helmet, which was made by
Theophilus, though of iron, was so well wrought and polished, that
it was as bright as the most refined silver. To this was fitted a
gorget of the same metal, set with precious stones His sword,
which was the weapon he most used in fight, was given him by the
king of the Citieans, and was of an admirable temper and
lightness. The belt which he also wore in all engagements, was of
much richer workmanship than the rest of his armor. It was the
work of the ancient Helicon, and had been presented to him by the
Rhodians, as a mark of their respect to him. So long as he was
engaged in drawing up his men, or riding about to give orders or
directions, or to view them, he spared Bucephalas, who was now
growing old, and made use of another horse; but when he was
actually to fight, he sent for him again, and as soon as he was
mounted, commenced the attack.

He made the longest address that day to the Thessalians and other
Greeks, who answered him with loud shouts desiring him to lead
them on against the barbarians, upon which he shifted his javelin
into his left hand, and with his right lifted up towards heaven,
besought the gods, as Callisthenes tells us, that if he was of a
truth the son of Jupiter, they would be pleased to assist and
strengthen the Grecians. At the same time the augur Aristander,
who had a white mantle about him, and a crown of gold on his head,
rode by and showed them an eagle that soared just over Alexander,
and directed his flight towards the enemy; which so animated the
beholders, that after mutual encouragements and exhortations, the
cavalry charged at full speed, and were followed in a mass by the
whole phalanx of the foot. But before they could well come to
blows with the first ranks, the barbarians shrunk back, and were
hotly pursued by Alexander, who drove those that fled before him
into the middle of the battle, where Darius himself was in person,
whom he saw from a distance over the foremost ranks, conspicuous
in the midst of his lifeguard, a tall and fine-looking man, drawn
in a lofty chariot, defended by an abundance of the best cavalry
who stood close in order about it, ready to receive the enemy. But
Alexander's approach was so terrible, forcing those who gave back
upon those who yet maintained their ground, that he beat down and
dispersed them almost all. Only a few of the bravest and
valiantest opposed the pursuit, who were slain in their king's
presence, falling in heaps upon one another, and in the very pangs
of death striving to catch hold of the horses. Darius now seeing
all was lost, that those who were placed in front to defend him
were broken and beaten back upon him, that he could not turn or
disengage his chariot without great difficulty, the wheels being
clogged and entangled among the dead bodies, which lay in such
heaps as not only stopped, but almost covered the horses, and made
them rear and grow so unruly, that the frighted charioteer could
govern them no longer, in this extremity was glad to quit his
chariot and his arms, and mounting, it is said, upon a mare that
had been taken from her foal, betook himself to flight.

This battle being thus over, seemed to put a period to the Persian
empire; and Alexander, who was now proclaimed king of Asia,
returned thanks to the gods in magnificent sacrifices, and
rewarded his friends and followers with great sums of money, and
places, and governments of provinces.

From here he marched through the province of Babylon, which
immediately submitted to him, and was much surprised at the sight
in one place where fire issues in a continuous stream, like a
spring of water, out of a cleft in the earth, and the stream of
naphtha, which, not far from this spot, flows out so abundantly as
to form a sort of lake. This naphtha, in other respects resembling
bitumen, is so subject to take fire, that before it touches the
flame, it will kindle at the very light that surrounds it, and
often inflame the intermediate air also. The barbarians, to show
the power and nature of it, sprinkled the street that led to the
king's lodgings with little drops of it, and when it was almost
night, stood at the further end with torches, which being applied
to the moistened places, the first at once taking fire, instantly,
as quick as a man could think of it, it caught from one end to
another, in such a manner that the whole street was one continuous

Alexander, in his own letters, has given us an account of his war
with Porus. He says that two armies were separated by the river
Hydaspes, on whose opposite bank Porus continually kept his
elephants in order of battle, with their heads towards their
enemies, to guard the passage; that he, on the other hand, made
every day a great noise and clamor in his camp, to dissipate the
apprehensions of the barbarians; that one stormy, dark night he
passed the river, at a distance from the place where the enemy
lay, into a little island, with part of his foot, and the best of
his horse. Here there fell a most violent storm of rain
accompanied with lightning and whirlwinds, and although he saw
some of his men burnt and dying with the lightning, he
nevertheless quitted the island and made over to the other side.
Here, apprehending the multitude of the enemy, and to avoid the
shock of their elephants, he divided his forces, and attacked
their left wing himself, commanding Coenus to fall upon the right,
which was performed with good success. By this means both wings
being broken, the enemies fell back in their retreat upon the
centre, and crowded in upon their elephants. There rallying, they
fought a hand to hand battle, and it was the eighth hour of the
day before they were entirely defeated.

Almost all the historians agree in relating that Porus was four
cubits and a span high, and that when he was upon his elephant,
which was of the largest size, his stature and bulk were so
answerable, that he appeared to be proportionably mounted, as a
horseman on his horse. This elephant, during the whole battle,
gave many singular proofs of sagacity and of particular care of
the king, whom as long as he was strong and in a condition to
fight, he defended with great courage, repeling those who set upon
him; and as soon as he perceived him overpowered with his numerous
wounds and the multitude of darts that were thrown at him, to
prevent his falling off, he softly knelt down and began to draw
out the darts with his proboscis. When Porus was taken prisoner,
and Alexander asked him how he expected to be used, he answered,
"As a king." And Alexander, accordingly, not only suffered him to
govern his own kingdom as satrap under himself, but gave him also
the additional territory of various independent tribes whom he

Some little time after the battle with Porus, Bucephalas died, as
most of the authorities state, under cure of his wounds, or as
Onesicritus says, of fatigue and age, being thirty years old.
Alexander was no less concerned at his death, than if he had lost
an old companion or an intimate friend, and built a city, which he
named Bucephalia, in memory of him, on the bank of the river

Aristobulus tells us that Alexander died of a raging fever,
having, in a violent thirst, taken a copious draught of wine, upon
which he fell into delirium, and died on the thirtieth day of the
month Daesius.

But the journals give the following record. On the eighteenth of
the month, he slept in the bathing-room on account of his fever.
The next day he bathed and removed into his chamber, and spent his
time in playing at dice with Medius. In the evening he bathed and
sacrificed, and ate freely, and had the fever on him through the
night. On the twenty-fourth he was much worse, and was carried out
of his bed to assist at the sacrifices, and gave order that the
general officers should wait within the court, whilst the inferior
officers kept watch without doors. On the twenty-fifth he was
removed to his palace on the other side the river, where he slept
a little, but his fever did not abate, and when the generals came
into his chamber, he was speechless, and continued so the
following day. The Macedonians, therefore, supposing he was dead,
came with great clamors to the gates, and menaced his friends so
that they were forced to admit them, and let them all pass through
unarmed along by his bedside. The same day Python and Seleucus
were despatched to the temple of Serapis to inquire if they should
bring Alexander thither, and were answered by the god, that they
should not remove him. On the twenty-eighth, in the evening, he

The Death of Caesar

The place destined for the scene of this murder, in which the
senate met that day, was the same in which Pompey's statue stood,
and was one of the edifices which Pompey had raised and dedicated
with his theatre to the use of the public, plainly showing that
there was something of a supernatural influence which guided the
action, and ordered it to that particular place. Cassius, just
before the act, is said to have looked towards Pompey's statue,
and silently implored his assistance, though he had been inclined
to the doctrines of Epicurus. But this occasion and the instant
danger, carried him away out of all his reasonings, and filled him
for the time with a sort of inspiration. As for Antony, who was
firm to Caesar, and a strong man, Brutus Albinus kept him outside
the house, and delayed him with a long conversation contrived on
purpose. When Caesar entered, the senate stood up to show their
respect to him, and of Brutus's confederates, some came about his
chair and stood behind it, others met him, pretending to add their
petitions to those of Tillius Cimber, in behalf of his brother,
who was in exile; and they followed him with their joint
supplications till he came to his seat. When he had sat down, he
refused to comply with their requests, and upon their urging him
further, began to reproach them severally for their importunities,
when Tillius, laying hold of his robe with both his hands, pulled
it down from his neck, which was the signal for the assault. Casca
gave him the first cut, in the neck, which was not mortal nor
dangerous, coming, as it did, from one who at the beginning of
such a bold action was probably very much disturbed. Caesar
immediately turned about, and laid his hand upon the dagger and
kept hold of it. And both of them at the same time cried out, he
that received the blow, in Latin, "Vile Casca, what does this
mean?" and he that gave it, in Greek, to his brother, "Brother,
help!" Upon this first onset, those who were not privy to the
design were astounded, and their horror and amazement at what they


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