History of Literature


Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

Translated by John Dryden


Romulus Lycurgus
Numa Pompilius Solon
Camillus Pericles
Fabius Alcibiades
Aemilius Paulus Pelopidas
Marcellus Aristides
Marcus Cato
Flamininus Pyrrhus
Caius Marius
Cato the Younger
Tiberius Gracchus
Caius Gracchus
Marcus Brutus



Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

Translated by John Dryden




Caius Marius



Cleander was a man of high birth and great power in the city of Mantinea, but by the chances of the time happened to be driven from thence. There being an intimate friendship betwixt him and Craugis, the father of Philopoemen, who was a person of great distinction, he settled at Megalopolis, where, while his friend lived, he had all he could desire. When Craugis died, he repaid the father’s hospitable kindness in the care of the orphan son; by which means Philopoemen was educated by him, as Homer says Achilles was by Phoenix, and from his infancy molded to lofty and noble inclinations. But Ecdemus and Demophanes had the principal tuition of him, after he was past the years of childhood. They were both Megalopolitans; they had been scholars in the academic philosophy, and friends to Arcesilaus, and had, more than any of their contemporaries, brought philosophy to bear upon action, and state affairs. They had freed their country from tyranny by the death of Aristodemus, whom they caused to be killed; they had assisted Aratus in driving out the tyrant Nicocles from Sicyon; and, at the request of the Cyreneans, whose city was in a state of extreme disorder and confusion, went thither by sea, and succeeded in establishing good government and happily settling their commonwealth. And among their best actions they themselves counted the education of Philopoemen, thinking they had done a general good to Greece, by giving him the nurture of philosophy. And indeed all Greece (which looked upon him as a kind of latter birth brought forth, after so many noble leaders, in her decrepit age) loved him wonderfully; and, as his glory grew, increased his power. And one of the Romans, to praise him, calls him the last of the Greeks; as if after him Greece had produced no great man, nor who deserved the name of Greek.

His person was not, as some fancy, deformed; for his likeness is yet to be seen at Delphi. The mistake of the hostess of Megara was occasioned, it would seem, merely by his easiness of temper and his plain manners. This hostess having word brought her, that the General of the Achaeans was coming to her house in the absence of her husband, was all in a hurry about providing his supper. Philopoemen, in an ordinary cloak, arriving in this point of time, she took him for one of his own train who had been sent on before, and bid him lend her his hand in her household work. He forthwith threw off his cloak, and fell to cutting up the fire-wood. The husband returning, and seeing him at it, “What,” says he, “may this mean, O Philopoemen?” “I am,” replied he in his Doric dialect, “paying the penalty of my ugly looks.” Titus Flamininus, jesting with him upon his figure, told him one day, he had well-shaped hands and feet, but no belly: and he was indeed slender in the waist. But this raillery was meant to the poverty of his fortune; for he had good horse and foot, but often wanted money to entertain and pay them. These are the common anecdotes told of Philopoemen.

The love of honor and distinction was, in his character, not unalloyed with feelings of personal rivalry and resentment. He made Epaminondas his great example, and came not far behind him in activity, sagacity, and incorruptible integrity; but his hot contentious temper continually carried him out of the bounds of that gentleness, composure, and humanity which had marked Epaminondas, and this made him thought a pattern rather of military than of civil virtue. He was strongly inclined to the life of a soldier even from his childhood, and he studied and practiced all that belonged to it, taking great delight in managing of horses, and handling of weapons. Because he was naturally fitted to excel in wrestling, some of his friends and tutors recommended his attention to athletic exercises. But he would first be satisfied whether it would not interfere with his becoming a good soldier. They told him, as was the truth, that the one life was directly opposite to the other; the requisite state of body, the ways of living, and the exercises all different: the professed athlete sleeping much, and feeding plentifully, punctually regular in his set times of exercise and rest, and apt to spoil all by every little excess, or breach of his usual method; whereas the soldier ought to train himself in every variety of change and irregularity, and, above all, to bring himself to endure hunger and loss of sleep without difficulty. Philopoemen, hearing this, not only laid by all thoughts of wrestling and contemned it then, but when he came to be general, discouraged it by all marks of reproach and dishonor he could imagine, as a thing which made men, otherwise excellently fit for war, to be utterly useless and unable to fight on necessary occasions.

When he left off his masters and teachers, and began to bear arms in the incursions which his citizens used to make upon the Lacedaemonians for pillage and plunder, he would always march out the first, and return the last. When there was nothing to do, he sought to harden his body, and make it strong and active by hunting, or laboring in his ground. He had a good estate about twenty furlongs from the town, and thither he would go every day after dinner and supper; and when night came, throw himself upon the first mattress in his way, and there sleep as one of the laborers. At break of day he would rise with the rest, and work either in the vineyard or at the plow; from thence return again to the town, and employ his time with his friends, or the magistrates in public business. What he got in the wars, he laid out on horses, or arms, or in ransoming captives; but endeavored to improve his own property the justest way, by tillage; and this not slightly, by way of diversion, but thinking it his strict duty, so to manage his own fortune, as to be out of the temptation of wronging others.

He spent much time on eloquence and philosophy, but selected his authors, and cared only for those by whom he might profit in virtue. In Homer’s fictions his attention was given to whatever he thought apt to raise the courage. Of all other books he was most devoted to the commentaries of Evangelus on military tactics, and also took delight, at leisure hours, in the histories of Alexander; thinking that such reading, unless undertaken for mere amusement and idle conversation, was to the purpose for action. Even in speculations on military subjects it was his habit to neglect maps and diagrams, and to put the theorems to practical proof on the ground itself. He would be exercising his thoughts, and considering, as he traveled, and arguing with those about him of the difficulties of steep or broken ground, what might happen at rivers, ditches, or mountain-passes, in marching in close or in open, in this or in that particular form of battle. The truth is, he indeed took an immoderate pleasure in military operations and in warfare, to which he devoted himself, as the special means for exercising all sorts of virtue, and utterly contemned those who were not soldiers, as drones and useless in the commonwealth.

When he was thirty years of age, Cleomenes, king of the Lacedaemonians, surprised Megalopolis by night, forced the guards, broke in, and seized the marketplace. Philopoemen came out upon the alarm, and fought with desperate courage, but could not beat the enemy out again; yet he succeeded in effecting the escape of the citizens, who got away while he made head against the pursuers, and amused Cleomenes, till, after losing his horse and receiving several wounds, with much ado he came off himself, being the last man in the retreat. The Megalopolitans escaped to Messene, whither Cleomenes sent to offer them their town and goods again. Philopoemen perceiving them to be only too glad at the news, and eager to return, checked them with a speech, in which he made them sensible, that what Cleomenes called restoring the city, was, rather, possessing himself of the citizens, and through their means securing also the city for the future. The mere solitude would, of itself, erelong force him away, since there was no staying to guard empty houses and naked walls. These reasons withheld the Megalopolitans, but gave Cleomenes a pretext to pillage and destroy a great part of the city, and carry away a great booty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under his conduct Greece was glorious and was free.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Libyssan shall Hannibal enclose.

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

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

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


Comparison of Philopoemen with Flamininus

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Berenice by Philip, before she married Ptolemy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— the force of words
Can do whate’er is done by conquering swords.

And Pyrrhus was used to say, that Cineas had taken more towns with his words, than he with his arms, and always did him the honor to employ him in his most important occasions. This person, seeing Pyrrhus eagerly preparing for Italy, led him one day when he was at leisure into the following reasonings: “The Romans, sir, are reported to be great warriors and conquerors of many warlike nations; if God permit us to overcome them, how should we use our victory?” “You ask,” said Pyrrhus, “a thing evident of itself. The Romans once conquered, there is neither Greek nor barbarian city that will resist us, but we shall presently be masters of all Italy, the extent and resources and strength of which anyone should rather profess to be ignorant of, than yourself.” Cineas, after a little pause, “And having subdued Italy, what shall we do next?” Pyrrhus not yet discovering his intention, “Sicily,” he replied, “next holds out her arms to receive us, a wealthy and populous island, and easy to be gained; for since Agathocles left it, only faction and anarchy, and the licentious violence of the demagogues prevail.” “You speak,” said Cineas, “what is perfectly probable, but will the possession of Sicily put an end to the war?” “God grant us,” answered Pyrrhus, “victory and success in that, and we will use these as forerunners of greater things; who could forbear from Libya and Carthage then within reach, which Agathocles, even when forced to fly from Syracuse, and passing the sea only with a few ships, had all but surprised? These conquests once perfected, will any assert that of the enemies who now pretend to despise us, anyone will dare to make further resistance?” “None,” replied Cineas, “for then it is manifest we may with such mighty forces regain Macedon, and make all absolute conquest of Greece; and when all these are in our power, what shall we do then?” Said Pyrrhus, smiling, “we will live at our ease, my dear friend, and drink all day, and divert ourselves with pleasant conversation.” When Cineas had led Pyrrhus with his argument to this point: “And what hinders us now, sir, if we have a mind to be merry, and entertain one another, since we have at hand without trouble all those necessary things, to which through much blood and great labor, and infinite hazards and mischief done to ourselves and to others, we design at last to arrive?” Such reasonings rather troubled Pyrrhus with the thought of the happiness he was quitting, than any way altered his purpose, being unable to abandon the hopes of what he so much desired.

And first, he sent away Cineas to the Tarentines with three thousand men; presently after, many vessels for transport of horse, and galleys, and flat-bottomed boats of all sorts arriving from Tarentum, he shipped upon them twenty elephants, three thousand horse, twenty thousand foot, two thousand archers, and five hundred slingers. All being thus in readiness, he set sail, and being half way over, was driven by the wind, blowing, contrary to the season of the year, violently from the north, and carried from his course, but by the great skill and resolution of his pilots and seamen, he made the land with infinite labor, and beyond expectation. The rest of the fleet could not get up, and some of the dispersed ships, losing the coast of Italy, were driven into the Libyan and Sicilian Sea; others not able to double the Cape of Japygium, were overtaken by the night; and with a boisterous and heavy sea, throwing them upon a dangerous and rocky shore, they were all very much disabled except the royal galley. She, while the sea bore upon her sides, resisted with her bulk and strength, and avoided the force of it, till the wind coming about, blew directly in their teeth from the shore, and the vessel keeping up with her head against it, was in danger of going to pieces; yet on the other hand, to suffer themselves to be driven off to sea again, which was thus raging and tempestuous, with the wind shifting about every way, seemed to them the most dreadful of all their present evils. Pyrrhus, rising up, threw himself overboard. His friends and guards strove eagerly who should be most ready to help him, but night and the sea with its noise and violent surge, made it extremely difficult to do this; so that hardly, when with the morning the wind began to subside, he got ashore, breathless, and weakened in body, but with high courage and strength of mind resisting his hard fortune. The Messapians, upon whose shore they were thrown by the tempest, came up eagerly to help them in the best manner they could; and some of the straggling vessels that had escaped the storm arrived; in which were a very few horse, and not quite two thousand foot, and two elephants.

With these Pyrrhus marched straight to Tarentum, where Cineas, being informed of his arrival, led out the troops to meet him. Entering the town, he did nothing unpleasing to the Tarentines, nor put any force upon them, till his ships were all in harbor, and the greatest part of the army got together; but then perceiving that the people, unless some strong compulsion was used to them, were not capable either of saving others or being saved themselves, and were rather intending, while he engaged for them in the field, to remain at home bathing and feasting themselves, he first shut up the places of public exercise, and the walks where, in their idle way, they fought their country’s battles and conducted her campaigns in their talk; he prohibited likewise all festivals, revels, and drinking-parties, as unseasonable, and summoning them to arms, showed himself rigorous and inflexible in carrying out the conscription for service in the war. So that many, not understanding what it was to be commanded, left the town, calling it mere slavery not to do as they pleased. He now received intelligence that Laevinus, the Roman consul, was upon his march with a great army, and plundering Lucania as he went. The confederate forces were not come up to him, yet he thought it impossible to suffer so near an approach of an enemy, and drew out with his army, but first sent an herald to the Romans to know if before the war they would decide the differences between them and the Italian Greeks by his arbitrament and mediation. But Laevinus returning answer, that the Romans neither accepted him as arbitrator. nor feared him as an enemy, Pyrrhus advanced, and encamped in the plain between the cities of Pandosia and Heraclea, and having notice the Romans were near, and lay on the other side of the river Siris, he rode up to take a view of them, and seeing their order, the appointment of the watches, their method and the general form of their encampment, he was amazed, and addressing one of his friends next to him: “This order,” said he, “Megacles, of the barbarians, is not at all barbarian in character; we shall see presently what they can do;” and, growing a little more thoughtful of the event, resolved to expect the arriving of the confederate troops. And to hinder the Romans, if in the meantime they should endeavor to pass the river, he planted men all along the bank to oppose them. But they, hastening to anticipate the coming up of the same forces which he had determined to wait for, attempted the passage with their infantry, where it was fordable, and with the horse in several places, so that the Greeks, fearing to be surrounded, were obliged to retreat, and Pyrrhus, perceiving this and being much surprised, bade his foot officers draw their men up in line of battle, and continue in arms, while he himself, with three thousand horse, advanced, hoping to attack the Romans as they were coming over, scattered and disordered. But when he saw a vast number of shields appearing above the water, and the horse following them in good order, gathering his men in a closer body, himself at the head of them, he began the charge, conspicuous by his rich and beautiful armor, and letting it be seen that his reputation had not outgone what he was able effectually to perform. While exposing his hands and body in the fight, and bravely repelling all that engaged him, he still guided the battle with a steady and undisturbed reason, and such presence of mind, as if he had been out of the action and watching it from a distance, passing still from point to point, and assisting those whom he thought most pressed by the enemy. Here Leonnatus the Macedonian, observing one of the Italians very intent upon Pyrrhus, riding up towards him, and changing places as he did, and moving as he moved: “Do you see, sir,” said he, “that barbarian on the black horse with white feet? he seems to me one that designs some great and dangerous thing, for he looks constantly at you, and fixes his whole attention, full of vehement purpose, on you alone, taking no notice of others. Be on your guard, sir, against him.” “Leonnatus,” said Pyrrhus, “it is impossible for any man to avoid his fate; but neither he nor any other Italian shall have much satisfaction in engaging with me.” While they were in this discourse, the Italian, lowering his spear and quickening his horse, rode furiously at Pyrrhus, and run his horse through with his lance; at the same instant Leonnatus ran his through. Both horses falling, Pyrrhus’s friends surrounded him and brought him off safe, and killed the Italian, bravely defending himself. He was by birth a Frentanian, captain of a troop, and named Oplacus.

This made Pyrrhus use greater caution, and now seeing his horse give ground, he brought up the infantry against the enemy, and changing his scarf and his arms with Megacles, one of his friends, and, obscuring himself, as it were, in his, charged upon the Romans, who received and engaged him, and a great while the success of the battle remained undetermined; and it is said there were seven turns of fortune both of pursuing and being pursued. And the change of his arms was very opportune for the safety of his person, but had like to have overthrown his cause and lost him the victory; for several falling upon Megacles, the first that gave him his mortal wound was one Dexous, who, snatching away his helmet and his robe, rode at once to Laevinus, holding them up, and saying aloud he had killed Pyrrhus. These spoils being carried about and shown among the ranks, the Romans were transported with joy, and shouted aloud; while equal discouragement and terror prevailed among the Greeks, until Pyrrhus, understanding what had happened, rode about the army with his face bare, stretching out his hand to his soldiers, and telling them aloud it was he. At last, the elephants more particularly began to distress the Romans, whose horses, before they came near, not enduring them, went back with their riders; and upon this, he commanded the Thessalian cavalry to charge them in their disorder, and routed them with great loss. Dionysius affirms near fifteen thousand of the Romans fell; Hieronymus, no more than seven thousand. On Pyrrhus’s side, the same Dionysius makes thirteen thousand slain, the other under four thousand; but they were the flower of his men, and amongst them his particular friends as well as officers whom he most trusted and made use of. However, be possessed himself of the Romans’ camp which they deserted, and gained over several confederate cities, and wasted the country round about, and advanced so far that he was within about thirty-seven miles of Rome itself. After the fight many of the Lucanians and Samnites came in and joined him, whom he chid for their delay, but yet he was evidently well pleased and raised in his thoughts, that he had defeated so great an army of the Romans with the assistance of the Tarentines alone.

The Romans did not remove Laevinus from the consulship; though it is told that Caius Fabricius said, that the Epirots had not beaten the Romans, but only Pyrrhus, Laevinus; insinuating that their loss was not through want of valor but of conduct; but filled up their legions, and enlisted fresh men with all speed, talking high and boldly of war, which struck Pyrrhus with amazement. He thought it advisable by sending first to make an experiment whether they had any inclination to treat, thinking that to take the city and make an absolute conquest was no work for such an army as his was at that time, but to settle a friendship, and bring them to terms, would be highly honorable after his victory. Cineas was dispatched away, and applied himself to several of the great ones, with presents for themselves and their ladies from the king; but not a person would receive any, and answered, as well men as women, that if an agreement were publicly concluded, they also should be ready, for their parts, to express their regard to the king. And Cineas, discoursing; with the senate in the most persuasive and obliging manner in the world, yet was not heard with kindness or inclination, although Pyrrhus offered also to return all the prisoners he had taken in the fight without ransom, and promised his assistance for the entire conquest of all Italy, asking only their friendship for himself, and security for the Tarentines, and nothing further. Nevertheless, most were well-inclined to a peace, having already received one great defeat, and fearing another from an additional force of the native Italians, now joining with Pyrrhus. At this point Appius Claudius, a man of great distinction, but who, because of his great age and loss of sight, had declined the fatigue of public business, after these propositions had been made by the king, hearing a report that the senate was ready to vote the conditions of peace, could not forbear, but commanding his servants to take him up, was carried in his chair through the forum to the senate house. When he was set down at the door, his sons and sons-in-law took him up in their arms, and, walking close round about him, brought him into the senate. Out of reverence for so worthy a man, the whole assembly was respectfully silent.

And a little after raising up himself: “I bore,” said he, “until this time, the misfortune of my eyes with some impatience, but now while I hear of these dishonorable motions and resolves of yours, destructive to the glory of Rome, it is my affliction, that being already blind, I am not deaf too. Where is now that discourse of yours that became famous in all the world, that if he, the great Alexander, had come into Italy, and dared to attack us when we were young men, and our fathers, who were then in their prime, he had not now been celebrated as invincible, but either flying hence, or falling here, had left Rome more glorious? You demonstrate now that all that was but foolish arrogance and vanity, by fearing Molossians and Chaonians, ever the Macedonian’s prey, and by trembling at Pyrrhus who was himself but a humble servant to one of Alexander’s life-guard, and comes here, not so much to assist the Greeks that inhabit among us, as to escape from his enemies at home, a wanderer about Italy, and yet dares to promise you the conquest of it all by that army which has not been able to preserve for him a little part of Macedon. Do not persuade yourselves that making him your friend is the way to send him back, it is the way rather to bring over other invaders from thence, contemning you as easy to be reduced, if Pyrrhus goes off without punishment for his outrages on you, but, on the contrary, with the reward of having enabled the Tarentines and Samnites to laugh at the Romans.” When Appius had done, eagerness for the war seized on every man, and Cineas was dismissed with this answer, that when Pyrrhus had withdrawn his forces out of Italy, then, if he pleased, they would treat with him about friendship and alliance, but while he stayed there in arms, they were resolved to prosecute the war against him with all their force, though he should have defeated a thousand Laevinuses. It is said that Cineas, while he was managing this affair, made it his business carefully to inspect the manners of the Romans, and to understand their methods of government, and having conversed with their noblest citizens, he afterwards told Pyrrhus, among other things, that the senate seemed to him an assembly of kings, and as for the people, he feared lest it might prove that they were fighting with a Lernaean hydra, for the consul had already raised twice as large an army as the former, and there were many times over the same number of Romans able to bear arms.

Then Caius Fabricius came in embassy from the Romans to treat about the prisoners that were taken, one whom Cineas had reported to be a man of highest consideration among them as an honest man and a good soldier, but extremely poor. Pyrrhus received him with much kindness, and privately would have persuaded him to accept of his gold, not for any evil purpose, but calling it 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. Which being done, upon a sign given the hanging was drawn aside, and the elephant, raising his trunk over the head of Fabricius, made an horrid and ugly noise. He, gently turning 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, placing the chief happiness of man in pleasure, and declining public affairs as an injury and disturbance of a happy life, removing 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, “O Hercules!” Fabricius cried out to Pyrrhus, “may Pyrrhus and the Samnites entertain themselves with this sort of opinions as long as they are in war with us.” Pyrrhus, admiring the wisdom and gravity of the man, was the more transported with desire of making 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.” Such was Fabricius. And Pyrrhus received his answer without any resentment or tyrannic passion; nay, among his friends he highly commended the great mind of Fabricius, and entrusted 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; it being decreed pain of death for any that stayed behind.

After this, Fabricius taking the consulate, a person came with a letter to the camp written by the king’s principal physician, offering to take off Pyrrhus by poison, and so end the war without further hazard to the Romans, if he might have a reward proportionable to his service. Fabricius, hating the villainy of the man, and disposing the other consul to the same opinion, sent dispatches 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 an ill judgment both of your friends and 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 to you 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, as 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 acknowledgment to the Romans sent to Rome the prisoners without ransom, and again employed Cineas to negotiate a peace for him. But they, regarding it as at once too great a kindness from an enemy, and too great a reward of not doing an ill thing 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 he had removed his arms and forces out of Italy, and sailed back to Epirus with the same ships that brought him over. Afterwards, his affairs demanding a second fight, when he had refreshed his men, he decamped, and met the Romans about the city Asculum, where, however, he was much incommoded by a woody country unfit for his horse, and a swift river, so that the elephants, for want of sure treading, could not get up with the infantry. After many wounded and many killed, night put an end to the engagement. Next day, designing to make the fight on even ground, and have the elephants among the thickest of the enemy, he caused a detachment to possess themselves of those incommodious grounds, and, mixing slingers and archers among the elephants, with full strength and courage, he advanced in a close and well-ordered body. The Romans, not having those advantages of retreating and falling on as they pleased, which they had before, were obliged to fight man to man upon plain ground, and, being anxious to drive back the infantry before the elephants could get up, they fought fiercely with their swords among the Macedonian spears, not sparing themselves, thinking only to wound and kill, without regard of what they suffered. After a long and obstinate fight, the first giving ground is reported to have been where Pyrrhus himself engaged with extraordinary courage; but they were most carried away by the overwhelming force of the elephants, not being able to make use of their valor, but overthrown as it were by the irruption of a sea or an earthquake, before which it seemed better to give way than to die without doing anything, and not gain the least advantage by suffering the utmost extremity, the retreat to their camp not being far. Hieronymus says, there fell six thousand of the Romans, and of Pyrrhus’s men, the king’s own commentaries reported three thousand five hundred and fifty lost in this action. Dionysius, however, neither gives any account of two engagements at Asculum, nor allows the Romans to have been certainly beaten, stating that once only, after they had fought till sunset, both armies were unwillingly separated by the night, Pyrrhus being wounded by a javelin in the arm, and his baggage plundered by the Samnites, that in all there died of Pyrrhus’s men and the Romans above fifteen thousand. The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory, that one other such would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders; there were no others there to make recruits, and he found the confederates in Italy backward. On the other hand, as from a fountain continually flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was quickly and plentifully filled up with fresh men, not at all abating in courage for the losses they sustained, but even from their very anger gaining new force and resolution to go on with the war.

Among these difficulties he fell again into new hopes and projects distracting his purposes. For at the same time some persons arrived from Sicily, offering into his hands the cities of Agrigentum, Syracuse, and Leontini, and begging his assistance to drive out the Carthaginians, and rid the island of tyrants; and others brought him news out of Greece that Ptolemy, called Ceraunus, was slain in a fight, and his army cut in pieces by the Gauls, and that now, above all others, was his time to offer himself to the Macedonians, in great need of a king. Complaining much of fortune for bringing him so many occasions of great things all together at a time, and thinking that to have both offered to him, was to lose one of them, he was doubtful, balancing in his thoughts. But the affairs of Sicily seeming to hold out the greater prospects, Africa lying so near, he turned himself to them, and presently dispatched away Cineas, as he used to do, to make terms beforehand with the cities. Then he placed a garrison in Tarentum, much to the Tarentines’ discontent, who required him either to perform what he came for, and continue with them in a war against the Romans, or leave the city as he found it. He returned no pleasing answer, but commanded them to be quiet and attend his time, and so sailed away. Being arrived in Sicily, what he had designed in his hopes was confirmed effectually, and the cities frankly surrendered to him; and wherever his arms and force were necessary, nothing at first made any considerable resistance. For advancing with thirty thousand foot, and twenty-five hundred horse, and two hundred ships, he totally routed the Phoenicians, and overran their whole province, and Eryx being the strongest town they held, and having a great garrison in it, he resolved to take it by storm. The army being in readiness to give the assault, he put on his arms, and coming to the head of his men, made a vow of plays and sacrifices in honor to Hercules, if he signalized himself in that day’s action before the Greeks that dwelt in Sicily, as became his great descent and his fortunes. The sign being given by sound of trumpet, he first scattered the barbarians with his shot, and then brought his ladders to the wall, and was the first that mounted upon it himself, and, the enemy appearing in great numbers, he beat them back; some he threw down from the walls on each side, others he laid dead in a heap round about him with his sword, nor did he receive the least wound, but by his very aspect inspired terror in the enemy; and gave a clear demonstration that Homer was in the right, and pronounced according to the truth of fact, that fortitude alone, of all the virtues, is wont to display itself in divine transports and frenzies. The city being taken, he offered to Hercules most magnificently, and exhibited all varieties of shows and plays.

A sort of barbarous people about Messena, called Mamertines, gave much trouble to the Greeks, and put several of them under contribution. These being numerous and valiant (from whence they had their name, equivalent in the Latin tongue to warlike), he first intercepted the collectors of the contribution money, and cut them off, then beat them in open fight, and destroyed many of their places of strength. The Carthaginians being now inclined to composition, and offering him a round sum of money, and to furnish him with shipping, if a peace were concluded, he told them plainly, aspiring still to greater things, there was but one way for a friendship and right understanding between them, if they, wholly abandoning Sicily, would consent to make the African sea the limit between them and the Greeks. And being elevated with his good fortune, and the strength of his forces, and pursuing those hopes in prospect of which he first sailed thither, his immediate aim was at Africa; and as he had abundance of shipping, but very ill equipped, he collected seamen, not by fair and gentle dealing with the cities, but by force in a haughty and insolent way, and menacing them with punishments. And as at first he had not acted thus, but had been unusually indulgent and kind, ready to believe, and uneasy to none; now of a popular leader becoming a tyrant by these severe proceedings, he got the name of an ungrateful and a faithless man. However, they gave way to these things as necessary, although they took them very ill from him; and especially when he began to show suspicion of Thoenon and Sosistratus, men of the first position in Syracuse, who invited him over into Sicily, and when he was come, put the cities into his power, and were most instrumental in all he had done there since his arrival, whom he now would neither suffer to be about his person, nor leave at home; and when Sosistratus out of fear withdrew himself, and then he charged Thoenon, as in a conspiracy with the other, and put him to death, with this all his prospects changed, not by little and little, nor in a single place only, but a mortal hatred being raised in the cities against him, some fell off to the Carthaginians, others called in the Mamertines. And seeing revolts in all places, and desires of alteration, and a potent faction against him, at the same time he received letters from the Samnites and Tarentines, who were beaten quite out of the field, and scarce able to secure their towns against the war, earnestly begging his help. This served as a color to make his relinquishing Sicily no flight, nor a despair of good success; but in truth not being able to manage Sicily, which was as a ship laboring in a storm, and willing to be out of her, he suddenly threw himself over into Italy. It is reported that at his going off he looked back upon the island, and said to those about him, “How brave a field of war do we leave, my friends, for the Romans and Carthaginians to fight in,” which, as he then conjectured, fell out indeed not long after.

When he was sailing off, the barbarians having conspired together, he was forced to a fight with the Carthaginians in the very road, and lost many of his ships; with the rest he fled into Italy. There, about one thousand Mamertines, who had crossed the sea a little before, though afraid to engage him in open field, setting upon him where the passages were difficult, put the whole army in confusion. Two elephants fell, and a great part of his rear was cut off. He, therefore, coming up in person, repulsed the enemy, but ran into great danger among men long trained and bold in war. His being wounded in the head with a sword, and retiring a little out of the fight, much increased their confidence, and one of them advancing a good way before the rest, large of body and in bright armor, with an haughty voice challenged him to come forth if he were alive. Pyrrhus, in great anger, broke away violently from his guards, and, in his fury, besmeared with blood, terrible to look upon, made his way through his own men, and struck the barbarian on the head with his sword such a blow, as with the strength of his arm, and the excellent temper of the weapon, passed downward so far that his body being cut asunder fell in two pieces. This stopped the course of the barbarians, amazed and confounded at Pyrrhus, as one more than man; so that continuing his march all the rest of the way undisturbed, he arrived at Tarentum with twenty thousand foot and three thousand horse, where, reinforcing himself with the choicest troops of the Tarentines, he advanced immediately against the Romans, who then lay encamped in the territories of the Samnites, whose affairs were extremely shattered, and their counsels broken, having been in many fights beaten by the Romans. There was also a discontent amongst them at Pyrrhus for his expedition into Sicily, so that not many came in to join him.

He divided his army into two parts, and dispatched the first into Lucania to oppose one of the consuls there, so that he should not come in to assist the other; the rest he led against Manius Curius, who had posted himself very advantageously near Beneventum, and expected the other consul’s forces, and partly because the priests had dissuaded him by unfavorable omens, was resolved to remain inactive. Pyrrhus, hastening to attack these before the other could arrive, with his best men, and the most serviceable elephants, marched in the night toward their camp. But being forced to go round about, and through a very woody country, their lights failed them, and the soldiers lost their way. A council of war being called, while they were in debate, the night was spent, and, at the break of day, his approach, as he came down the hills, was discovered by the enemy, and put the whole camp into disorder and tumult. But the sacrifices being auspicious, and the time absolutely obliging them to fight, Manius drew his troops out of the trenches, and attacked the vanguard, and, having routed them all, put the whole army into consternation, so that many were cut off, and some of the elephants taken. This success drew on Manius into the level plain, and here, in open battle, he defeated part of the enemy; but, in other quarters, finding himself overpowered by the elephants and forced back to his trenches, he commanded out those who were left to guard them, a numerous body, standing thick at the ramparts, all in arms and fresh. These coming down from their strong position, and charging the elephants, forced them to retire; and they in the flight turning back upon their own men, caused great disorder and confusion, and gave into the hands of the Romans the victory, and the future supremacy. Having obtained from these efforts and these contests the feeling, as well as the fame of invincible strength, they at once reduced Italy under their power, and not long after Sicily too.

Thus fell Pyrrhus from his Italian and Sicilian hopes, after he had consumed six years in these wars, and though unsuccessful in his affairs, yet preserved his courage unconquerable among all these misfortunes, and was held, for military experience, and personal valor and enterprise much the bravest of all the princes of his time, only what he got by great actions he lost again by vain hopes, and by new desires of what he had not, kept nothing of what he had. So that Antigonus used to compare him to a player with dice, who had excellent throws, but knew not how to use them. He returned into Epirus with eight thousand foot and five hundred horse, and for want of money to pay them, was fain to look out for a new war to maintain the army. Some of the Gauls joining him, he invaded Macedonia, where Antigonus, son of Demetrius, governed, designing merely to plunder and waste the country. But after he had made himself master of several towns, and two thousand men came over to him, he began to hope for something greater, and adventured upon Antigonus himself, and meeting him at a narrow passage, put the whole army in disorder. The Gauls, who brought up Antigonus’s rear, were very numerous and stood firm, but after a sharp encounter, the greatest part of them were cut off, and they who had the charge of the elephants being surrounded every way, delivered up both themselves and the beasts. Pyrrhus, taking this advantage, and advising more with his good fortune than his reason, boldly set upon the main body of the Macedonian foot, already surprised with fear, and troubled at the former loss. They declined any action or engagement with him; and he, holding out his hand and calling aloud both to the superior and under officers by name, brought over the foot from Antigonus, who, flying away secretly, was only able to retain some of the seaport towns. Pyrrhus, among all these kindnesses of fortune, thinking what he had effected against the Gauls the most advantageous for his glory, hung up their richest and goodliest spoils in the temple of

Minerva Itonis, with this inscription: —

Pyrrhus, descendant of Molossian kings,
These shields to thee, Itonian goddess, brings,
Won from the valiant Gauls when in the fight
Antigonus and all his host took flight;
’Tis not today nor yesterday alone
That for brave deeds the Aeacidae are known.

After this victory in the field, he proceeded to secure the cities, and having possessed himself of Aegae, beside other hardships put upon the people there, he left in the town a garrison of Gauls, some of those in his own army, who, being insatiably desirous of wealth, instantly dug up the tombs of the kings that lay buried there, and took away the riches, and insolently scattered about their bones. Pyrrhus, in appearance, made no great matter of it, either deferring it on account of the pressure of other business, or wholly passing it by, out of a fear of punishing those barbarians; but this made him very ill spoken of among the Macedonians, and his affairs being yet unsettled and brought to no firm consistence, he began to entertain new hopes and projects, and in raillery called Antigonus a shameless man, for still wearing his purple and not changing it for an ordinary dress; but upon Cleonymus, the Spartan, arriving and inviting him to Lacedaemon, he frankly embraced the overture. Cleonymus was of royal descent, but seeming too arbitrary and absolute, had no great respect nor credit at home; and Areus was king there. This was the occasion of an old and public grudge between him and the citizens; but, beside that, Cleonymus, in his old age, had married a young lady of great beauty and royal blood, Chilonis, daughter of Leotychides, who, falling desperately in love with Acrotatus, Areus’s son, a youth in the flower of manhood, rendered this match both uneasy and dishonorable to Cleonymus, as there was none of the Spartans who did not very well know how much his wife slighted him; so these domestic troubles added to his public discontent. He brought Pyrrhus to Sparta with an army of twenty-five thousand foot, two thousand horse, and twenty-four elephants. So great a preparation made it evident to the whole world, that he came not so much to gain Sparta for Cleonymus, as to take all Peloponnesus for himself, although he expressly denied this to the Lacedaemonian ambassadors that came to him at Megalopolis, affirming he came to deliver the cities from the slavery of Antigonus, and declaring he would send his younger sons to Sparta, if he might, to be brought up in Spartan habits, that so they might be better bred than all other kings. With these pretensions amusing those who came to meet him in his march, as soon as ever he entered Laconia, he began to plunder and waste the country, and on the ambassadors complaining that he began the war upon them before it was proclaimed: “We know,” said he, “very well, that neither do you Spartans, when you design anything, talk of it beforehand.” One Mandroclidas, then present, told him, in the broad Spartan dialect: “If you are a god, you will do us no harm, we are wronging no man; but if you are a man, there may be another stronger than you.”

He now marched away directly for Lacedaemon, and being advised by Cleonymus to give the assault as soon as he arrived, fearing, as it is said, lest the soldiers, entering by night, should plunder the city, he answered, they might do it as well next morning, because there were but few soldiers in town, and those unprovided against his sudden approach, as Areus was not there in person, but gone to aid the Gortynians in Crete. And it was this alone that saved the town, because he despised it as not tenable, and so imagining no defense would be made, he sat down before it that night. Cleonymus’s friends, and the Helots, his domestic servants, had made great preparation at his house, as expecting Pyrrhus there at supper. In the night the Lacedaemonians held a consultation to ship over all the women into Crete, but they unanimously refused, and Archidamia came into the senate with a sword in her hand, in the name of them all, asking if the men expected the women to survive the ruins of Sparta. It was next resolved to draw a trench in a line directly over against the enemy’s camp, and, here and there in it, to sink wagons in the ground, as deep as the naves of the wheels, that, so being firmly fixed, they might obstruct the passage of the elephants. When they had just begun the work, both maids and women came to them, the married women with their robes tied like girdles round their underfrocks, and the unmarried girls in their single frocks only, to assist the elder men at the work. As for the youth that were next day to engage, they left them to their rest, and undertaking their proportion, they themselves finished a third part of the trench, which was in breadth six cubits, four in depth, and eight hundred feet long, as Phylarchus says; Hieronymus makes it somewhat less. The enemy beginning to move by break of day, they brought their arms to the young men, and giving them also in charge the trench, exhorted them to defend and keep it bravely, as it would be happy for them to conquer in the view of their whole country, and glorious to die in the arms of their mothers and wives, falling as became Spartans. As for Chilonis, she retired with a halter about her neck, resolving to die so rather than fall into the hands of Cleonymus, if the city were taken.

Pyrrhus himself, in person, advanced with his foot to force through the shields of the Spartans ranged against him, and to get over the trench, which was scarce passable, because the looseness of the fresh earth afforded no firm footing for the soldiers. Ptolemy, his son, with two thousand Gauls, and some choice men of the Chaonians, went around the trench, and endeavored to get over where the wagons were. But they, being so deep in the ground, and placed close together, not only made his passage, but also the defense of the Lacedaemonians very troublesome. Yet now the Gauls had got the wheels out of the ground, and were drawing off the wagons toward the river, when young Acrotatus, seeing the danger, passing through the town with three hundred men, surrounded Ptolemy undiscerned, taking the advantage of some slopes of the ground, until he fell upon his rear, and forced him to wheel about. And thrusting one another into the ditch, and falling among the wagons, at last with much loss, not without difficulty, they withdrew. The elderly men and all the women saw this brave action of Acrotatus, and when he returned back into the town to his first post, all covered with blood, and fierce and elate with victory, he seemed to the Spartan women to have become taller and more beautiful than before, and they envied Chilonis so worthy a lover. And some of the old men followed him, crying aloud, “Go on, Acrotatus, be happy with Chilonis, and beget brave sons for Sparta.” Where Pyrrhus himself fought was the hottest of the action, and many of the Spartans did gallantly, but in particular one Phyllius signalized himself, made the best resistance, and killed most assailants; and when he found himself ready to sink with the many wounds he had received, retiring a little out of his place behind another, he fell down among his fellow-soldiers, that the enemy might not carry off his body. The fight ended with the day, and Pyrrhus, in his sleep, dreamed that he threw thunderbolts upon Lacedaemon, and set it all on fire, and rejoiced at the sight; and waking, in this transport of joy, he commanded his officers to get all things ready for a second assault, and relating his dream among his friends, supposing it to mean that he should take the town by storm, the rest assented to it with admiration, but Lysimachus was not pleased with the dream, and told him he feared, lest as places struck with lightning are held sacred, and not to be trodden upon, so the gods might by this let him know the city should not be taken. Pyrrhus replied, that all these things were but idle talk, full of uncertainty, and only fit to amuse the vulgar; their thought, with their swords in their hands, should always be

The one good omen is king Pyrrhus’ cause,

and so got up, and drew out his army to the walls by break of day. The Lacedaemonians, in resolution and courage, made a defense even beyond their power; the women were all by, helping them to arms, and bringing bread and drink to those that desired it, and taking care of the wounded. The Macedonians attempted to fill up the trench, bringing huge quantities of materials and throwing them upon the arms and dead bodies, that lay there and were covered over. While the Lacedaemonians opposed this with all their force, Pyrrhus, in person, appeared on their side of the trench and the wagons, pressing on horseback toward the city, at which the men who had that post calling out, and the women shrieking and running about, while Pyrrhus violently pushed on, and beat down all that disputed his way, his horse received a shot in the belly from a Cretan arrow, and, in his convulsions as he died, threw off Pyrrhus on slippery and steep ground. And all about him being in confusion at this, the Spartans came boldly up, and making good use of their missiles, forced them off again. After this Pyrrhus, in other quarters also, put an end to the combat, imagining the Lacedaemonians would be inclined to yield, as almost all of them were wounded, and very great numbers killed outright; but the good fortune of the city, either satisfied with the experiment upon the bravery of the citizens, or willing to prove how much even in the last extremities such interposition may effect, brought, when the Lacedaemonians had now but very slender hopes left, Aminias, the Phocian, one of Antigonus’s commanders, from Corinth to their assistance, with a force of mercenaries; and they were no sooner received into the town, but Areus, their king, arrived there himself, too, from Crete, with two thousand men more. The women upon this went all home to their houses, finding it no longer necessary for them to meddle with the business of the war; and they also were sent back, who, though not of military age, were by necessity forced to take arms, while the rest prepared to fight Pyrrhus.

He, upon the coming of these additional forces, was indeed possessed with a more eager desire and ambition than before, to make himself master of the town; but his designs not succeeding, and receiving fresh losses every day, he gave over the siege, and fell to plundering the country, determining to winter thereabout. But fate is unavoidable, and a great feud happening at Argos between Aristeas and Aristippus, two principal citizens, after Aristippus had resolved to make use of the friendship of Antigonus, Aristeas, to anticipate him, invited Pyrrhus thither. And he always revolving hopes upon hopes, and treating all his successes as occasions of more, and his reverses as defects to be amended by new enterprises, allowed neither losses nor victories to limit him in his receiving or giving trouble, and so presently went for Argos. Areus, by frequent ambushes, and seizing positions where the ways were most unpracticable, harassed the Gauls and Molossians that brought up the rear. It had been told Pyrrhus by one of the priests that found the liver of the sacrificed beast imperfect, that some of his near relations would be lost; in this tumult and disorder of his rear, forgetting the prediction, he commanded out his son Ptolemy with some of his guards to their assistance, while he himself led on the main body rapidly out of the pass. And the fight being very warm where Ptolemy was, (for the most select men of the Lacedaemonians, commanded by Evalcus, were there engaged,) one Oryssus of Aptera in Crete, a stout man and swift of foot, running on one side of the young prince, as he was fighting bravely, gave him a mortal wound and slew him. On his fall those about him turned their backs, and the Lacedaemonian horse, pursuing and cutting off many, got into the open plain, and found themselves engaged with the enemy before they were aware, without their infantry; Pyrrhus, who had received the ill news of his son, and was in great affliction, drew out his Molossian horse against them, and charging at the head of his men, satiated himself with the blood and slaughter of the Lacedaemonians, as indeed he always showed himself a terrible and invincible hero in actual fight, but now he exceeded all he had ever done before in courage and force. On his riding his horse up to Evalcus, he, by declining a little to one side, had almost cut off Pyrrhus’s hand in which he held the reins, but lighting on the reins, only cut them; at the same instant Pyrrhus, running him through with his spear, fell from his horse, and there on foot as he was, proceeded to slaughter all those choice men that fought about the body of Evalcus; a severe additional loss to Sparta, incurred after the war itself was now at an end, by the mere animosity of the commanders. Pyrrhus having thus offered, as it were, a sacrifice to the ghost of his son, and fought a glorious battle in honor of his obsequies, and having vented much of his pain in action against the enemy, marched away to Argos. And having intelligence that Antigonus was already in possession of the high grounds, he encamped about Nauplia, and the next day dispatched a herald to Antigonus, calling him a villain, and challenging him to descend into the plain field and fight with him for the kingdom. He answered, that his conduct should be measured by times as well as by arms, and that if Pyrrhus had no leisure to live, there were ways enough open to death. To both the kings, also, came ambassadors from Argos, desiring each party to retreat, and to allow the city to remain in friendship with both, without falling into the hands of either. Antigonus was persuaded, and sent his son as a hostage to the Argives; but, Pyrrhus, although he consented to retire, yet, as he sent no hostage, was suspected. A remarkable portent happened at this time to Pyrrhus; the heads of the sacrificed oxen, lying apart from the bodies, were seen to thrust out their tongues and lick up their own gore. And in the city of Argos, the priestess of Apollo Lycius rushed out of the temple, crying she saw the city full of carcasses and slaughter, and an eagle coming out to fight, and presently vanishing again.

In the dead of the night, Pyrrhus, approaching the walls, and finding the gate called Diamperes set open for them by Aristeas, was undiscovered long enough to allow all his Gauls to enter and take possession of the marketplace. But the gate being too low to let in the elephants, they were obliged to take down the towers which they carried on their backs, and put them on again in the dark and in disorder, so that time being lost, the city took the alarm, and the people ran, some to Aspis the chief citadel, and others to other places of defense, and sent away to Antigonus to assist them. He, advancing within a short distance, made an halt, but sent in some of his principal commanders, and his son with a considerable force. Areus came thither, too, with one thousand Cretans, and some of the most active men among the Spartans, and all falling on at once upon the Gauls, put them in great disorder. Pyrrhus, entering in with noise and shouting near the Cylarabis, when the Gauls returned the cry, noticed that it did not express courage and assurance, but was the voice of men distressed, and that had their hands full. He, therefore, pushed forward in haste the van of his horse that marched but slowly and dangerously, by reason of the drains and sinks of which the city is full. In this night engagement, there was infinite uncertainty as to what was being done, or what orders were given; there was much mistaking and straggling in the narrow streets; all generalship was useless in that darkness and noise and pressure; so both sides continued without doing anything, expecting daylight. At the first dawn, Pyrrhus, seeing the great citadel Aspis full of enemies, was disturbed, and remarking, among a variety of figures dedicated in the market-place, a wolf and bull of brass, as it were ready to attack one another, he was struck with alarm, recollecting an oracle that formerly predicted fate had determined his death when he should see a wolf fighting with a bull. The Argives say, these figures were set up in record of a thing that long ago had happened there. For Danaus, at his first landing in the country, near the Pyramia in Thyreatis, as he was on his way towards Argos, espied a wolf fighting with a bull, and conceiving the wolf to represent him, (for this stranger fell upon a native, as he designed to do,) stayed to see the issue of the fight, and the wolf prevailing, he offered vows to Apollo Lycius, and thus made his attempt upon the town, and succeeded; Gelanor, who was then king, being displaced by a faction. And this was the cause of dedicating those figures.

Pyrrhus, quite out of heart at this sight, and seeing none of his designs succeed, thought best to retreat, but fearing the narrow passage at the gate, sent to his son Helenus, who was left without the town with a great part of his forces, commanding him to break down part of the wall, and assist the retreat if the enemy pressed hard upon them. But what with haste and confusion, the person that was sent delivered nothing clearly; so that quite mistaking, the young prince with the best of his men and the remaining elephants marched straight through the gates into the town to assist his father. Pyrrhus was now making good his retreat, and while the marketplace afforded them ground enough both to retreat and fight, frequently repulsed the enemy that bore upon him. But when he was forced out of that broad place into the narrow street leading to the gate, and fell in with those who came the other way to his assistance some did not hear him call out to them to give back, and those who did, however eager to obey him, were pushed forward by others behind, who poured in at the gate. Besides, the largest of his elephants falling down on his side in the very gate, and lying roaring on the ground, was in the way of those that would have got out. Another of the elephants already in the town, called Nicon, striving to take up his rider, who, after many wounds received, was fallen off his back, bore forward upon those that were retreating, and, thrusting upon friends as well as enemies, tumbled them all confusedly upon one another, till having found the body, and taken it up with his trunk, he carried it on his tusks, and, returning in a fury, trod down all before him. Being thus pressed and crowded together, not a man could do anything for himself, but being wedged, as it were, together into one mass, the whole multitude rolled and swayed this way and that all together, and did very little execution either upon the enemy in their rear, or on any of them who were intercepted in the mass, but very much harm to one another. For he who had either drawn his sword or directed his lance, could neither restore it again, nor put his sword up; with these weapons they wounded their own men, as they happened to come in the way, and they were dying by mere contact with each other.

Pyrrhus, seeing this storm and confusion of things, took off the crown he wore upon his helmet, by which he was distinguished, and gave it to one nearest his person, and trusting to the goodness of his horse, rode in among the thickest of the enemy, and being wounded with a lance through his breastplate, but not dangerously, nor indeed very much, he turned about upon the man who struck him, who was an Argive, not of any illustrious birth, but the son of a poor old woman; she was looking upon the fight among other women from the top of a house, and perceiving her son engaged with Pyrrhus, and affrighted at the danger he was in, took up a tile with both hands, and threw it at Pyrrhus. This falling on his head below the helmet, and bruising the vertebrae of the lower part of the neck, stunned and blinded him; his hands let go the reins, and sinking down from his horse, he fell just by the tomb of Licymnius. The common soldiers knew not who it was; but one Zopyrus, who served under Antigonus, and two or three others running thither, and knowing it was Pyrrhus, dragged him to a door way hard by, just as he was recovering a little from the blow. But when Zopyrus drew out an Illyrian sword, ready to cut off his head, Pyrrhus gave him so fierce a look, that confounded with terror, and sometimes his hands trembling, and then again endeavoring to do it, full of fear and confusion, he could not strike him right, but cutting over his mouth and chin, it was a long time before he got off the head. By this time what had happened was known to a great many, and Alcyoneus hastening to the place, desired to look upon the head, and see whether he knew it, and taking it in his hand rode away to his father, and threw it at his feet, while he was sitting with some of his particular favorites. Antigonus, looking upon it, and knowing it, thrust his son from him, and struck him with his staff, calling him wicked and barbarous, and covering his eyes with his robe, shed tears, thinking of his own father and grandfather, instances in his own family of the changefulness of fortune, and caused the head and body of Pyrrhus to be burned with all due solemnity. After this, Alcyoneus, discovering Helenus under a mean disguise in a threadbare coat, used him very respectfully, and brought him to his father. When Antigonus saw him, “This, my son,” said he, “is better; and yet even now you have not done wholly well in allowing these clothes to remain, to the disgrace of those who it seems now are the victors.” And treating Helenus with great kindness, and as became a prince, he restored him to his kingdom of Epirus, and gave the same obliging reception to all Pyrrhus’s principal commanders, his camp and whole army having fallen into his hands.


Caius Marius

We are altogether ignorant of any third name of Caius Marius; as also of Quintus Sertorius, that possessed himself of Spain; or of Lucius Mummius that destroyed Corinth, though this last was surnamed Achaicus from his conquests, as Scipio was called Africanus, and Metellus, Macedonicus. Hence Posidonius draws his chief argument to confute those that hold the third to be the Roman proper name, as Camillus, Marcellus, Cato; as in this case, those that had but two names would have no proper name at all. He did not, however, observe that by his own reasoning he must rob the women absolutely of their names; for none of them have the first, which Posidonius imagines the proper name with the Romans. Of the other two, one was common to the whole family, Pompeii, Manlii, Cornelii, (as with us Greeks, the Heraclidae, and Pelopidae,) the other titular, and personal, taken either from their natures, or actions, or bodily characteristics, as Macrinus, Torquatus, Sylla; such as are Mnemon, Grypus, or Callinicus among the Greeks. On the subject of names, however, the irregularity of custom, would we insist upon it, might furnish us with discourse enough.

There is a likeness of Marius in stone at Ravenna, in Gaul, which I myself saw, quite corresponding with that roughness and harshness of character that is ascribed to him. Being naturally valiant and warlike, and more acquainted also with the discipline of the camp than of the city, he could not moderate his passion when in authority. He is said never to have either studied Greek, or to have made use of that language in any matter of consequence; thinking it ridiculous to bestow time in that learning, the teachers of which were little better than slaves. So after his second triumph, when at the dedication of a temple he presented some shows after the Greek fashion, coming into the theater, he only sat down and immediately departed. And, accordingly, as Plato often used to say to Xenocrates the philosopher, who was thought to show more than ordinary harshness of disposition, “I pray you, good Xenocrates, sacrifice to the Graces”; so if any could have persuaded Marius to pay his devotions to the Greek Muses and Graces, he had never brought his incomparable actions, both in war and peace, to so unworthy a conclusion, or wrecked himself, so to say, upon an old age of cruelty and vindictiveness, through passion, ill-timed ambition, and insatiable cupidity. But this will further appear by and by from the facts.

He was born of parents altogether obscure and indigent, who supported themselves by their daily labor; his father of the same name with himself, his mother called Fulcinia. He had spent a considerable part of his life before he saw and tasted the pleasures of the city; having passed previously in Cirrhaeaton, a village of the territory of Arpinum, a life, compared with city delicacies, rude and unrefined, yet temperate, and conformable to the ancient Roman severity. He first served as a soldier in the war against the Celtiberians, when Scipio Africanus besieged Numantia; where he signalized himself to his general by courage far above his comrades, and, particularly, by his cheerfully complying with Scipio’s reformation of his army, before almost ruined by pleasures and luxury. It is stated, too, that he encountered and vanquished an enemy in single combat, in his general’s sight. In consequence of all this he had several honors conferred upon him; and once when at an entertainment a question arose about commanders, and one of the company (whether really desirous to know, or only in complaisance) asked Scipio where the Romans, after him, should obtain such another general, Scipio, gently clapping Marius on the shoulder as he sat next him, replied, “Here, perhaps.” So promising was his early youth of his future greatness, and so discerning was Scipio to detect the distant future in the present first beginnings. It was this speech of Scipio, we are told, which, like a divine admonition, chiefly emboldened Marius to aspire to a political career. He sought, and by the assistance of Caecilius Metellus, of whose family he as well as his father were dependents, obtained the office of tribune of the people. In which place, when he brought forward a bill for the regulation of voting, which seemed likely to lessen the authority of the great men in the courts of justice, the consul Cotta opposed him, and persuaded the senate to declare against the law, and call Marius to account for it. He, however, when this decree was prepared, coming into the senate, did not behave like a young man newly and undeservedly advanced to authority, but, assuming all the courage that his future actions would have warranted, threatened Cotta unless he recalled the decree, to throw him into prison. And on his turning to Metellus, and asking his vote, and Metellus rising up to concur with the consul, Marius, calling for the officer outside, commanded him to take Metellus into custody. He appealed to the other tribunes, but not one of them assisted him; so that the senate, immediately complying, withdrew the decree. Marius came forth with glory to the people and confirmed his law, and was henceforth esteemed a man of undaunted courage and assurance, as well as a vigorous opposer of the senate in favor of the commons. But he immediately lost their opinion of him by a contrary action; for when a law for the distribution of corn was proposed, he vigorously and successfully resisted it, making himself equally honored by both parties, in gratifying neither, contrary to the public interest.

After his tribuneship, he was candidate for the office of chief aedile; there being two orders of them, one the curules, from the stool with crooked feet on which they sat when they performed their duty; the other and inferior, called aediles of the people. As soon as they have chosen the former, they give their voices again for the latter. Marius, finding he was likely to be put by for the greater, immediately changed and stood for the less; but because he seemed too forward and hot, he was disappointed of that also. And yet though he was in one day twice frustrated of his desired preferment, (which never happened to any before,) yet he was not at all discouraged, but a little while after sought for the praetorship, and was nearly suffering a repulse, and then, too, though he was returned last of all, was nevertheless accused of bribery.

Cassius Sabaco’s servant, who was observed within the rails among those that voted, chiefly occasioned the suspicion, as Sabaco was an intimate friend of Marius; but on being called to appear before the judges, he alleged, that being thirsty by reason of the heat, he called for cold water, and that his servant brought him a cup, and as soon as he had drunk, departed; he was, however, excluded from the senate by the succeeding censors, and not undeservedly either, as was thought, whether it might be for his false evidence, or his want of temperance. Caius Herennius was also cited to appear as evidence, but pleaded that it was not customary for a patron, (the Roman word for protector,) to witness against his clients, and that the law excused them from that harsh duty; and both Marius and his parents had always been clients to the family of the Herennii. And when the judges would have accepted of this plea, Marius himself opposed it, and told Herennius, that when he was first created magistrate he ceased to be his client; which was not altogether true. For it is not every office that frees clients and their posterity from the observance due to their patrons, but only those to which the law has assigned a curule chair. Notwithstanding, though at the beginning of the suit it went somewhat hard with Marius, and he found the judges no way favorable to him; yet, at last, their voices being equal, contrary to all expectation, he was acquitted.

In his praetorship he did not get much honor, yet after it he obtained the further Spain; which province he is said to have cleared of robbers, with which it was much infested, the old barbarous habits still prevailing, and the Spaniards, in those days, still regarding robbery as a piece of valor. In the city he had neither riches nor eloquence to trust to, with which the leading men of the time obtained power with the people, but his vehement disposition, his indefatigable labors, and his plain way of living, of themselves gained him esteem and influence; so that he made an honorable match with Julia, of the distinguished family of the Caesars, to whom that Caesar was nephew who was afterwards so great among the Romans, and, in some degree, from his relationship, made Marius his example, as in his life we have observed.

Marius is praised for both temperance and endurance, of which latter he gave a decided instance in an operation of surgery. For having, as it seems, both his legs full of great tumors, and disliking the deformity, he determined to put himself into the hands of an operator; when, without being tied, he stretched out one of his legs, and silently, without changing countenance, endured most excessive torments in the cutting, never either flinching or complaining; but when the surgeon went to the other, he declined to have it done, saying, “I see the cure is not worth the pain.”

The consul Caecilius Metellus. being declared general in the war against Jugurtha in Africa, took with him Marius for lieutenant; where, eager himself to do great deeds and services that would get him distinction, he did not, like others, consult Metellus’s glory and the serving his interest, and attributing his honor of lieutenancy not to Metellus, but to fortune, which had presented him with a proper opportunity and theater of great actions, he exerted his utmost courage. That war, too, affording several difficulties, he neither declined the greatest, nor disdained undertaking the least of them; but surpassing his equals in counsel and conduct, and matching the very common soldiers in labor and abstemiousness, he gained great popularity with them; as indeed any voluntary partaking with people in their labor is felt as an easing of that labor, as it seems to take away the constraint and necessity of it. It is the most obliging sight in the world to the Roman soldier to see a commander eat the same bread as himself, or lie upon an ordinary bed, or assist the work in the drawing a trench and raising a bulwark. For they do not so much admire those that confer honors and riches upon them, as those that partake of the same labor and danger with themselves; but love them better that will vouchsafe to join in their work, than those that encourage their idleness.

Marius thus employed, and thus winning the affections of the soldiers, before long filled both Africa and Rome with his fame, and some, too, wrote home from the army that the war with Africa would never be brought to a conclusion, unless they chose Caius Marius consul. All which was evidently unpleasing to Metellus; but what more especially grieved him was the calamity of Turpillius. This Turpillius had, from his ancestors, been a friend of Metellus, and kept up constant hospitality with him; and was now serving in the war, in command of the smiths and carpenters of the army. Having the charge of a garrison in Vaga, a considerable city, and trusting too much to the inhabitants, because he treated them civilly and kindly, he unawares fell into the enemy’s hands. They received Jugurtha into the city; yet, nevertheless, at their request, Turpillius was dismissed safe and without receiving any injury; whereupon he was accused of betraying it to the enemy. Marius, being one of the council of war, was not only violent against him himself, but also incensed most of the others, so that Metellus was forced, much against his will, to put him to death. Not long after the accusation proved false, and when others were comforting Metellus, who took heavily the loss of his friend, Marius, rather insulting and arrogating it to himself, boasted in all companies that he had involved Metellus in the guilt of putting his friend to death.

Henceforward they were at open variance; and it is reported that Metellus once, when Marius was present, said, insultingly, “You, sir, design to leave us to go home and stand for the consulship, and will not be content to wait and be consul with this boy of mine?” Metellus’s son being a mere boy at the time. Yet for all this Marius being very importunate to be gone, after several delays, he was dismissed about twelve days before the election of consuls; and performed that long journey from the camp to the seaport of Utica, in two days and a night, and there doing sacrifice before he went on shipboard, it is said the augur told him, that heaven promised him some incredible good fortune, and such as was beyond all expectation. Marius, not a little elated with this good omen, began his voyage, and in four days, with a favorable wind, passed the sea; he was welcomed with great joy by the people, and being brought into the assembly by one of the tribunes, sued for the consulship, inveighing in all ways against Metellus, and promising either to slay Jugurtha or take him alive.

He was elected triumphantly, and at once proceeded to levy soldiers, contrary both to law and custom, enlisting slaves and poor people; whereas former commanders never accepted of such, but bestowed arms, like other favors, as a matter of distinction, on persons who had the proper qualification, a man’s property being thus a sort of security for his good behavior. These were not the only occasions of ill-will against Marius; some haughty speeches, uttered with great arrogance and contempt, gave great offense to the nobility; as, for example, his saying that he had carried off the consulship as a spoil from the effeminacy of the wealthy and high-born citizens, and telling the people that he gloried in wounds he had himself received for them, as much as others did in the monuments of dead men and images of their ancestors. Often speaking of the commanders that had been unfortunate in Africa, naming Bestia, for example, and Albinus, men of very good families, but unfit for war, and who had miscarried through want of experience, he asked the people about him, if they did not think that the ancestors of these nobles had much rather have left a descendant like him, since they themselves grew famous not by nobility, but by their valor and great actions? This he did not say merely out of vanity and arrogance, or that he were willing, without any advantage, to offend the nobility; but the people always delighting in affronts and scurrilous contumelies against the senate, making boldness of speech their measure of greatness of spirit, continually encouraged him in it, and strengthened his inclination not to spare persons of repute, so he might gratify the multitude.

As soon as he arrived again in Africa, Metellus, no longer able to control his feelings of jealousy, and his indignation that now when he had really finished the war, and nothing was left but to secure the person of Jugurtha, Marius, grown great merely through his ingratitude to him, should come to bereave him both of his victory and triumph, could not bear to have any interview with him; but retired himself, whilst Rutilius, his lieutenant, surrendered up the army to Marius, whose conduct, however, in the end of the war, met with some sort of retribution, as Sylla deprived him of the glory of the action, as he had done Metellus. I shall state the circumstances briefly here, as they are given at large in the life of Sylla. Bocchus was king of the more distant barbarians, and was father-in-law to Jugurtha, yet sent him little or no assistance in his war, professing fears of his unfaithfulness, and really jealous of his growing power; but after Jugurtha fled, and in his distress came to him as his last hope, he received him as a suppliant, rather because ashamed to do otherwise, than out of real kindness; and when he had him in his power, he openly entreated Marius on his behalf, and interceded for him with bold words, giving out that he would by no means deliver him. Yet privately designing to betray him, he sent for Lucius Sylla, quaestor to Marius, and who had on a previous occasion befriended Bocchus in the war. When Sylla, relying on his word, came to him, the African began to doubt and repent of his purpose, and for several days was unresolved with himself, whether he should deliver Jugurtha or retain Sylla; at length he fixed upon his former treachery, and put Jugurtha alive into Sylla’s possession. Thus was the first occasion given of that fierce and implacable hostility which so nearly ruined the whole Roman empire. For many that envied Marius, attributed the success wholly to Sylla; and Sylla himself got a seal made on which was engraved Bocchus betraying Jugurtha to him, and constantly used it, irritating the hot and jealous temper of Marius, who was naturally greedy of distinction, and quick to resent any claim to share in his glory, and whose enemies took care to promote the quarrel, ascribing the beginning and chief business of the war to Metellus, and its conclusion to Sylla; that so the people might give over admiring and esteeming Marius as the worthiest person.

But these envyings and calumnies were soon dispersed and cleared away from Marius, by the danger that threatened Italy from the west; when the city, in great need of a good commander, sought about whom she might set at the helm, to meet the tempest of so great a war, no one would have anything to say to any members of noble or potent families who offered themselves for the consulship, and Marius, though then absent, was elected.

Jugurtha’s apprehension was only just known, when the news of the invasion of the Teutones and Cimbri began. The accounts at first exceeded all credit, as to the number and strength of the approaching army; but in the end, report proved much inferior to the truth, as they were three hundred thousand effective fighting men, besides a far greater number of women and children. They professed to be seeking new countries to sustain these great multitudes, and cities where they might settle and inhabit, in the same way as they had heard the Celti before them had driven out the Tyrrhenians, and possessed themselves of the best part of Italy. Having had no commerce with the southern nations, and traveling over a wide extent of country, no man knew what people they were, or whence they came, that thus like a cloud burst over Gaul and Italy; yet by their gray eyes and the largeness of their stature, they were conjectured to be some of the German races dwelling by the northern sea; besides that, the Germans call plunderers Cimbri.

There are some that say, that the country of the Celti, in its vast size and extent, reaches from the furthest sea and the arctic regions to the lake Maeotis eastward, and to that part of Scythia which is near Pontus, and that there the nations mingle together; that they did not swarm out of their country all at once, or on a sudden, but advancing by force of arms, in the summer season, every year, in the course of time they crossed the whole continent. And thus, though each party had several appellations, yet the whole army was called by the common name of Celto-Scythians. Others say that the Cimmerii, anciently known to the Greeks, were only a small part of the nation, who were driven out upon some quarrel among the Scythians, and passed all along from the lake Maeotis to Asia, under the conduct of one Lygdamis; and that the greater and more warlike part of them still inhabit the remotest regions lying upon the outer ocean. These, they say, live in a dark and woody country hardly penetrable by the sunbeams, the trees are so close and thick, extending into the interior as far as the Hercynian forest; and their position on the earth is under that part of heaven, where the pole is so elevated, that by the declination of the parallels, the zenith of the inhabitants seems to be but little distant from it; and that their days and nights being almost of an equal length, they divide their year into one of each. This was Homer’s occasion for the story of Ulysses calling up the dead, and from this region the people, anciently called Cimmerii, and afterwards, by an easy change, Cimbri, came into Italy. All this, however, is rather conjecture than an authentic history.

Their numbers, most writers agree, were not less, but rather greater than was reported. They were of invincible strength and fierceness in their wars, and hurried into battle with the violence of a devouring flame; none could withstand them; all they assaulted became their prey. Several of the greatest Roman commanders with their whole armies, that advanced for the defense of Transalpine Gaul, were ingloriously overthrown, and, indeed, by their faint resistance, chiefly gave them the impulse of marching towards Rome. Having vanquished all they had met, and found abundance of plunder, they resolved to settle themselves nowhere till they should have razed the city, and wasted all Italy. The Romans, being from all parts alarmed with this news, sent for Marius to undertake the war, and nominated him the second time consul, though the law did not permit any one that was absent, or that had not waited a certain time after his first consulship, to be again created. But the people rejected all opposers; for they considered this was not the first time that the law gave place to the common interest; nor the present occasion less urgent than that when, contrary to law, they made Scipio consul, not in fear for the destruction of their own city, but desiring the ruin of that of the Carthaginians.

Thus it was decided; and Marius, bringing over his legions out of Africa on the very first day of January, which the Romans count the beginning of the year, received the consulship, and then, also, entered in triumph, showing Jugurtha a prisoner to the people, a sight they had despaired of ever beholding, nor could any, so long as he lived, hope to reduce the enemy in Africa; so fertile in expedients was he to adapt himself to every turn of fortune, and so bold as well as subtle. When, however, he was led in triumph, it is said that he fell distracted, and when he was afterwards thrown into prison, where some tore off his clothes by force, and others, whilst they struggled for his golden ear-ring, with it pulled off the tip of his ear, and when he was, after this, cast naked into the dungeon, in his amazement and confusion, with a ghastly laugh, he cried out, “O Hercules! how cold your bath is!” Here for six days struggling with hunger, and to the very last minute desirous of life, he was overtaken by the just reward of his villainies. In this triumph was brought, as is stated, of gold three thousand and seven pounds weight, of silver bullion five thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, of money in gold and silver coin two hundred and eighty-seven thousand drachmas. After the solemnity, Marius called together the senate in the capitol, and entered, whether through inadvertency or unbecoming exultation with his good fortune, in his triumphal habit; but presently observing the senate offended at it, went out, and returned in his ordinary purple-bordered robe.

On the expedition he carefully disciplined and trained his army whilst on their way, giving them practice in long marches, and running of every sort, and compelling every man to carry his own baggage and prepare his own victuals; insomuch that thenceforward laborious soldiers, who did their work silently without grumbling, had the name of “Marius’s mules.” Some, however, think the proverb had a different occasion; that when Scipio besieged Numantia, and was careful to inspect not only their horses and arms, but their mules and carriages too, and see how well equipped and in what readiness each one’s was, Marius brought forth his horse which he had fed extremely well, and a mule in better case, stronger and gentler than those of others; that the general was very well pleased, and often afterwards mentioned Marius’s beasts; and that hence the soldiers, when speaking jestingly in the praise of a drudging, laborious fellow, called him Marius’s mule.

But to proceed; very great good fortune seemed to attend Marius, for by the enemy in a manner changing their course, and falling first upon Spain, he had time to exercise his soldiers, and confirm their courage, and, which was most important, to show them what he himself was. For that fierce manner of his in command, and inexorableness in punishing, when his men became used not to do amiss or disobey, was felt to be wholesome and advantageous, as well as just, and his violent spirit, stern voice, and harsh aspect, which in a little while grew familiar to them, they esteemed terrible not to themselves, but only to their enemies. But his uprightness in judging, more especially pleased the soldiers, one remarkable instance of which is as follows. One Caius Lusius, his own nephew, had a command under him in the army, a man not in other respects of bad character, but shamefully licentious with young men. He had one young man under his command called Trebonius, with whom notwithstanding many solicitations he could never prevail. At length one night, he sent a messenger for him, and Trebonius came, as it was not lawful for him to refuse when he was sent for, and being brought into his tent, when Lusius began to use violence with him, he drew his sword and ran him through. This was done whilst Marius was absent. When he returned, he appointed Trebonius a time for his trial, where, whilst many accused him, and not any one appeared in his defense, he himself boldly related the whole matter, and brought witness of his previous conduct to Lusius, who had frequently offered him considerable presents. Marius, admiring his conduct and much pleased, commanded the garland, the usual Roman reward of valor, to be brought, and himself crowned Trebonius with it, as having performed an excellent action, at a time that very much wanted such good examples.

This being told at Rome, proved no small help to Marius towards his third consulship; to which also conduced the expectation of the barbarians at the summer season, the people being unwilling to trust their fortunes with any other general but him. However, their arrival was not so early as was imagined, and the time of Marius’s consulship was again expired. The election coming on, and his colleague being dead, he left the command of the army to Manius Aquilius, and hastened to Rome, where, several eminent persons being candidates for the consulship, Lucius Saturninus, who more than any of the other tribunes swayed the populace, and of whom Marius himself was very observant, exerted his eloquence with the people, advising them to choose Marius consul. He playing the modest part, and professing to decline the office, Saturninus called him traitor to his country, if, in such apparent danger, he would avoid command. And though it was not difficult to discover that he was merely helping Marius in putting this presence upon the people, yet, considering that the present juncture much required his skill, and his good fortune too, they voted him the fourth time consul, and made Catulus Lutatius his colleague, a man very much esteemed by the nobility, and not unagreeable to the commons.

Marius, having notice of the enemy’s approach, with all expedition passed the Alps, and pitching his camp by the river Rhone, took care first for plentiful supplies of victuals; lest at any time he should be forced to fight at a disadvantage for want of necessaries. The carriage of provision for the army from the sea, which was formerly long and expensive, he made speedy and easy. For the mouth of the Rhone, by the influx of the sea, being barred and almost filled up with sand and mud mixed with clay, the passage there became narrow, difficult, and dangerous for the ships that brought their provisions. Hither, therefore, bringing his army, then at leisure, he drew a great trench; and by turning the course of great part of the river, brought it to a convenient point on the shore where the water was deep enough to receive ships of considerable burden, and where there was a calm and easy opening to the sea. And this still retains the name it took from him.

The enemy dividing themselves into two parts, the Cimbri arranged to go against Catulus higher up through the country of the Norici, and to force that passage; the Teutones and Ambrones to march against Marius by the sea-side through Liguria. The Cimbri were a considerable time in doing their part. But the Teutones and Ambrones with all expedition passing over the interjacent country, soon came in sight, in numbers beyond belief, of a terrible aspect, and uttering strange cries and shouts. Taking up a great part of the plain with their camp, they challenged Marius to battle; he seemed to take no notice of them, but kept his soldiers within their fortifications, and sharply reprehended those that were too forward and eager to show their courage, and who, out of passion, would needs be fighting, calling them traitors to their country, and telling them they were not now to think of the glory of triumphs and trophies, but rather how they might repel such an impetuous tempest of war, and save Italy.

Thus he discoursed privately with his officers and equals, but placed the soldiers by turns upon the bulwarks to survey the enemy, and so made them familiar with their shape and voice, which were indeed altogether extravagant and barbarous, and he caused them to observe their arms, and way of using them, so that in a little time what at first appeared terrible to their apprehensions, by often viewing, became familiar. For he very rationally supposed, that the strangeness of things often makes them seem formidable when they are not so; and that by our better acquaintance, even things which are really terrible, lose much of their frightfulness. This daily converse not only diminished some of the soldiers’ fear, but their indignation warmed and inflamed their courage, when they heard the threats and insupportable insolence of their enemies; who not only plundered and depopulated all the country round, but would even contemptuously and confidently attack the ramparts.

Complaints of the soldiers now began to come to Marius’s ears. “What effeminacy does Marius see in us, that he should thus like women lock us up from encountering our enemies? Come on, let us show ourselves men, and ask him if he expects others to fight for Italy; and means merely to employ us in servile offices, when he would dig trenches, cleanse places of mud and dirt, and turn the course of rivers? It was to do such works as these, it seems, that he gave us all our long training; he will return home, and boast of these great performances of his consulships to the people. Does the defeat of Carbo and Caepio, who were vanquished by the enemy, affright him? Surely they were much inferior to Marius both in glory and valor, and commanded a much weaker army; at the worst, it is better to be in action, though we suffer for it like them, than to sit idle spectators of the destruction of our allies and companions.” Marius, not a little pleased to hear this, gently appeased them, pretending that he did not distrust their valor, but that he took his measures as to the time and place of victory from some certain oracles.

And, in fact, he used solemnly to carry about in a litter, a Syrian woman, called Martha, a supposed prophetess, and to do sacrifice by her directions. She had formerly been driven away by the senate, to whom she addressed herself, offering to inform them about these affairs, and to foretell future events; and after this betook herself to the women, and gave them proofs of her skill, especially Marius’s wife, at whose feet she sat when she was viewing a contest of gladiators, and correctly foretold which of them should overcome. She was for this and the like predictings sent by her to Marius and the army, where she was very much looked up to, and, for the most part, carried about in a litter. When she went to sacrifice, she wore a purple robe lined and buckled up, and had in her hand a little spear trimmed with ribbons and garlands. This theatrical show made many question, whether Marius really gave any credit to her himself, or only played the counterfeit, when he showed her publicly, to impose upon the soldiers.

What, however, Alexander the Myndian relates about the vultures, does really deserve admiration; that always before Marius’s victories there appeared two of them, and accompanied the army, which were known by their brazen collars, (the soldiers having caught them and put these about their necks, and so let them go, from which time they in a manner knew and saluted the soldiers,) and whenever these appeared in their marches, they used to rejoice at it, and thought themselves sure of some success. Of the many other prodigies that then were taken notice of, the greater part were but of the ordinary stamp; it was, however, reported that at Ameria and Tuder, two cities in Italy, there were seen at nights in the sky, flaming darts and shields, now waved about, and then again clashing against one another, all in accordance with the postures and motions soldiers use in fighting; that at length one party retreating, and the other pursuing, they all disappeared westward. Much about the same time came Bataces, one of Cybele’s priests, from Pesinus, and reported how the goddess had declared to him out of her oracle, that the Romans should obtain the victory. The senate giving credit to him, and voting the goddess a temple to be built in hopes of the victory, Aulus Pompeius, a tribune, prevented Bataces, when he would have gone and told the people this same story, calling him impostor, and ignominiously pulling him off the hustings; which action in the end was the main thing that gained credit for the man’s story, for Aulus had scarce dissolved the assembly, and returned home, when a violent fever seized him, and it was matter of universal remark, and in everybody’s mouth, that he died within a week after.

Now the Teutones, whilst Marius lay quiet, ventured to attack his camp; from whence, however, being encountered with showers of darts, and losing several of their men, they determined to march forward, hoping to reach the other side of the Alps without opposition, and, packing up their baggage, passed securely by the Roman camp, where the greatness of their number was especially made evident by the long time they took in their march, for they were said to be six days continually going on in passing Marius’s fortifications; they marched pretty near, and revilingly asked the Romans if they would send any commands by them to their wives, for they would shortly be with them. As soon as they were passed and had gone on a little distance ahead, Marius began to move, and follow them at his leisure, always encamping at some small distance from them; choosing also strong positions, and carefully fortifying them, that he might quarter with safety. Thus they marched till they came to the place called Sextilius’s Waters, from whence it was but a short way before being amidst the Alps, and here Marius put himself in readiness for the encounter.

He chose a place for his camp of considerable strength, but where there was a scarcity of water; designing, it is said, by this means, also, to put an edge on his soldiers’ courage; and when several were not a little distressed, and complained of thirst, pointing to a river that ran near the enemy’s camp: “There,” said he, “you may have drink, if you will buy it with your blood.” “Why, then,” replied they, “do you not lead us to them, before our blood is dried up in us?” He answered, in a softer tone, “let us first fortify our camp,” and the soldiers, though not without repining, proceeded to obey. Now a great company of their boys and camp-followers, having neither drink for themselves nor for their horses, went down to that river; some taking axes and hatchets, and some, too, swords and darts with their pitchers, resolving to have water though they fought for it. These were first encountered by a small party of the enemies; for most of them had just finished bathing, and were eating and drinking, and several were still bathing, the country thereabouts abounding in hot springs; so that the Romans partly fell upon them whilst they were enjoying themselves, and occupied with the novel sights and pleasantness of the place. Upon hearing the shouts, greater numbers still joining in the fight, it was not a little difficult for Marius to contain his soldiers, who were afraid of losing the camp-servants; and the more warlike part of the enemies, who had overthrown Manlius and Caepio, (they were called Ambrones, and were in number, one with another, above thirty thousand,) taking the alarm, leaped up and hurried to arms.

These, though they had just been gorging themselves with food, and were excited and disordered with drink, nevertheless did not advance with an unruly step, or in mere senseless fury, nor were their shouts mere inarticulate cries; but clashing their arms in concert, and keeping time as they leapt and bounded onward, they continually repeated their own name, “Ambrones!” either to encourage one another, or to strike the greater terror into their enemies. Of all the Italians in Marius’s army, the Ligurians were the first that charged; and when they caught the word of the enemy’s confused shout, they, too, returned the same, as it was an ancient name also in their country, the Ligurians always using it when speaking of their descent. This acclamation, bandied from one army to the other before they joined, served to rouse and heighten their fury, while the men on either side strove, with all possible vehemence, the one to overshout the other.

The river disordered the Ambrones; before they could draw up all their army on the other side of it, the Ligurians presently fell upon the van, and began to charge them hand to hand. The Romans, too, coming to their assistance, and from the higher ground pouring upon the enemy, forcibly repelled them, and the most of them (one thrusting another into the river) were there slain, and filled it with their blood and dead bodies. Those that got safe over, not daring to make head, were slain by the Romans, as they fled to their camp and wagons; where the women meeting them with swords and hatchets, and making a hideous outcry, set upon those that fled as well as those that pursued, the one as traitors, the other as enemies; and, mixing themselves with the combatants, with their bare arms pulling away the Romans’ shields, and laying hold on their swords, endured the wounds and slashing of their bodies to the very last, with undaunted resolution. Thus the battle seems to have happened at that river rather by accident than by the design of the general.

After the Romans were retired from the great slaughter of the Ambrones, night came on; but the army was not indulged, as was the usual custom, with songs of victory, drinking in their tents, and mutual entertainments, and (what is most welcome to soldiers after successful fighting) quiet sleep, but they passed that night, above all others, in fears and alarm. For their camp was without either rampart or palisade, and there remained thousands upon thousands of their enemies yet unconquered; to whom were joined as many of the Ambrones as escaped. There were heard from these, all through the night, wild bewailings, nothing like the sighs and groans of men, but a sort of wild-beastlike howling and roaring, joined with threats and lamentations rising from the vast multitude, and echoed among the neighboring hills and hollow banks of the river. The whole plain was filled with hideous noise, insomuch that the Romans were not a little afraid, and Marius himself was apprehensive of a confused tumultuous night engagement. But the enemy did not stir either this night or the next day, but were employed in disposing and drawing themselves up to the greatest advantage.

Of this occasion Marius made good use; for there were beyond the enemies some wooded ascents and deep valleys thickly set with trees, whither he sent Claudius Marcellus, secretly, with three thousand regular soldiers, giving him orders to post them in ambush there, and show themselves at the rear of the enemies, when the fight was begun. The others, refreshed with victuals and sleep, as soon as it was day he drew up before the camp, and commanded the horse to sally out into the plain, at the sight of which the Teutones could not contain themselves till the Romans should come down and fight them on equal terms, but hastily arming themselves, charged in their fury up the hill-side. Marius, sending officers to all parts, commanded his men to stand still and keep their ground; when they came within reach, to throw their javelins, then use their swords, and, joining their shields, force them back; pointing out to them that the steepness of the ground would render the enemy’s blows inefficient, nor could their shields be kept close together, the inequality of the ground hindering the stability of their footing.

This counsel he gave them, and was the first that followed it; for he was inferior to none in the use of his body, and far excelled all in resolution. The Romans accordingly stood for their approach, and, checking them in their advance upwards, forced them little by little to give way and yield down the hill, and here, on the level ground no sooner had the Ambrones begun to restore their van into a posture of resistance, but they found their rear disordered. For Marcellus had not let slip the opportunity; but as soon as the shout was raised among the Romans on the hills, he, setting his men in motion, fell in upon the enemy behind, at full speed, and with loud cries, and routed those nearest him, and they, breaking the ranks of those that were before them, filled the whole army with confusion. They made no long resistance after they were thus broke in upon, but having lost all order, fled.

The Romans, pursuing them, slew and took prisoners above one hundred thousand, and possessing themselves of their spoil, tents, and carriages, voted all that was not purloined to Marius’s share, which, though so magnificent a present, yet was generally thought less than his conduct deserved in so great a danger. Other authors give a different account, both about the division of the plunder and the number of the slain. They say, however, that the inhabitants of Massilia made fences round their vineyards with the bones, and that the ground, enriched by the moisture of the putrefied bodies, (which soaked in with the rain of the following winter,) yielded at the season a prodigious crop, and fully justified Archilochus, who said, that the fallows thus are fattened. It is an observation, also, that extraordinary rains pretty generally fall after great battles; whether it be that some divine power thus washes and cleanses the polluted earth with showers from above, or that moist and heavy evaporations, steaming forth from the blood and corruption, thicken the air, which naturally is subject to alteration from the smallest causes.

After the battle, Marius chose out from amongst the barbarians’ spoils and arms, those that were whole and handsome, and that would make the greatest show in his triumph; the rest he heaped upon a large pile, and offered a very splendid sacrifice. Whilst the army stood round about with their arms and garlands, himself attired (as the fashion is on such occasions) in the purple-bordered robe, taking a lighted torch, and with both hands lifting it up towards heaven, he was then going to put it to the pile, when some friends were espied with all haste coming towards him on horseback. Upon which every one remained in silence and expectation. They, upon their coming up, leapt off and saluted Marius, bringing him the news of his fifth consulship, and delivered him letters to that effect. This gave the addition of no small joy to the solemnity; and while the soldiers clashed their arms and shouted, the officers again crowned Marius with a laurel-wreath, and he thus set fire to the pile, and finished his sacrifice.

But whatever it be, which interferes to prevent the enjoyment of prosperity ever being pure and sincere, and still diversifies human affairs with the mixture of good and bad, whether fortune or divine displeasure, or the necessity of the nature of things, within a few days Marius received an account of his colleague, Catulus, which as a cloud in serenity and calm, terrified Rome with the apprehension of another imminent storm. Catulus, who marched against the Cimbri, despairing of being able to defend the passes of the Alps, lest, being compelled to divide his forces into several parties, he should weaken himself, descended again into Italy, and posted his army behind the river Adige; where he occupied the passages with strong fortifications on both sides the river, and made a bridge, that so he might cross to the assistance of his men on the other side, if so be the enemy, having forced their way through the mountain passes, should storm the fortresses. The barbarians, however, came on with such insolence and contempt of their enemies, that to show their strength and courage, rather than out of any necessity, they went naked in the showers of snow, and through the ice and deep snow climbed up to the tops of the hills, and from thence, placing their broad shields under their bodies, let themselves slide from the precipices along their vast slippery descents.

When they had pitched their camp at a little distance from the river, and surveyed the passage, they began to pile it up, giant-like, tearing down the neighboring hills; and brought trees pulled up by the roots, and heaps of earth to the river, damming up its course; and with great heavy materials which they rolled down the stream and dashed against the bridge, they forced away the beams which supported it; in consequence of which the greatest part of the Roman soldiers, much affrighted, left the large camp and fled. Here Catulus showed himself a generous and noble general, in preferring the glory of his people before his own; for when he could not prevail with his soldiers to stand to their colors, but saw how they all deserted them, he commanded his own standard to be taken up, and running to the foremost of those that fled, he led them forward, choosing rather that the disgrace should fall upon himself than upon his country, and that they should not seem to fly, but, following their captain, to make a retreat. The barbarians assaulted and took the fortress on the other side the Adige; where much admiring the few Romans there left, who had shown extreme courage, and had fought worthily of their country, they dismissed them upon terms, swearing them upon their brazen bull, which was afterwards taken in the battle, and carried, they say, to Catulus’s house, as the chief trophy of victory.

Thus falling in upon the country destitute of defense, they wasted it on all sides. Marius was presently sent for to the city; where, when he arrived, every one supposing he would triumph, the senate, too, unanimously voting it, he himself did not think it convenient; whether that he were not willing to deprive his soldiers and officers of their share of the glory, or that to encourage the people in this juncture, he would leave the honor due to his past victory on trust, as it were, in the hands of the city and its future fortune; deferring it now, to receive it afterwards with the greater splendor. Having left such orders as the occasion required, he hastened to Catulus, whose drooping spirits he much raised, and sent for his own army from Gaul: and as soon as it came, passing the river Po, he endeavored to keep the barbarians out of that part of Italy which lies south of it.

They professed they were in expectation of the Teutones, and, saying they wondered they were so long in coming, deferred the battle; either that they were really ignorant of their defeat, or were willing to seem so. For they certainly much maltreated those that brought them such news, and, sending to Marius, required some part of the country for themselves and their brethren, and cities fit for them to inhabit. When Marius inquired of the ambassadors who their brethren were, upon their saying, the Teutones, all that were present began to laugh; and Marius scoffingly answered them, “Do not trouble yourselves for your brethren, for we have already provided lands for them, which they shall possess forever.” The ambassadors, understanding the mockery, broke into insults, and threatened that the Cimbri would make him pay for this, and the Teutones, too, when they came. “They are not far off,” replied Marius, “and it will be unkindly done of you to go away before greeting your brethren.” Saying so, he commanded the kings of the Teutones to be brought out. as they were, in chains; for they were taken by the Sequani among the Alps, before they could make their escape. This was no sooner made known to the Cimbri, but they with all expedition came against Marius, who then lay still and guarded his camp.

It is said, that against this battle, Marius first altered the construction of the Roman javelins. For before, at the place where the wood was joined to the iron, it was made fast with two iron pins; but now Marius let one of them alone as it was, and pulling out the other, put a weak wooden peg in its place, thus contriving, that when it was driven into the enemy’s shield, it should not stand right out, but the wooden peg breaking, the iron should bend, and so the javelin should hold fast by its crooked point, and drag. Boeorix, king of the Cimbri, came with a small party of horse to the Roman camp, and challenged Marius to appoint the time and place, where they might meet and fight for the country. Marius answered, that the Romans never consulted their enemies when to fight; however, he would gratify the Cimbri so far; and so they fixed upon the third day after, and for the place, the plain near Vercellae, which was convenient enough for the Roman horse, and afforded room for the enemy to display their numbers.

They observed the time appointed, and drew out their forces against each other. Catulus commanded twenty thousand three hundred, and Marius thirty-two thousand, who were placed in the two wings, leaving Catulus the center. Sylla, who was present at the fight, gives this account; saying, also, that Marius drew up his army in this order, because he expected that the armies would meet on the wings, since it generally happens that in such extensive fronts the center falls back, and thus he would have the whole victory to himself and his soldiers, and Catulus would not be even engaged. They tell us, also, that Catulus himself alleged this in vindication of his honor, accusing, in various ways, the enviousness of Marius. The infantry of the Cimbri marched quietly out of their fortifications, having their flanks equal to their front; every side of the army taking up thirty furlongs. Their horse, that were in number fifteen thousand, made a very splendid appearance. They wore helmets, made to resemble the heads and jaws of wild beasts, and other strange shapes, and heightening these with plumes of feathers, they made themselves appear taller than they were. They had breastplates of iron, and white glittering shields; and for their offensive arms, every one had two darts, and when they came hand to hand, they used large and heavy swords.

The cavalry did not fall directly upon the front of the Romans, but, turning to the right, they endeavored to draw them on in that direction by little and little, so as to get them between themselves and their infantry, who were placed in the left wing. The Roman commanders soon perceived the design, but could not contain the soldiers; for one happening to shout out that the enemy fled, they all rushed to pursue them, while the whole barbarian foot came on, moving like a great ocean. Here Marius, having washed his hands, and lifting them up towards heaven, vowed an hecatomb to the gods; and Catulus, too, in the same posture, solemnly promised to consecrate a temple to the “Fortune of that day.” They say, too, that Marius, having the victim showed to him as he was sacrificing, cried out with a loud voice, “the victory is mine.”

However, in the engagement, according to the accounts of Sylla and his friends, Marius met with what might be called a mark of divine displeasure. For a great dust being raised, which (as it might very probably happen) almost covered both the armies, he, leading on his forces to the pursuit, missed the enemy, and having passed by their array, moved, for a good space, up and down the field; meanwhile the enemy, by chance, engaged with Catulus, and the heat of the battle was chiefly with him and his men, among whom Sylla says he was; adding, that the Romans had great advantage of the heat and sun that shone in the faces of the Cimbri. For they, well able to endure cold, and having been bred up, (as we observed before,) in cold and shady countries, were overcome with the excessive heat; they sweated extremely, and were much out of breath, being forced to hold their shields before their faces; for the battle was fought not long after the summer solstice, or, as the Romans reckon, upon the third day before the new moon of the month now called August, and then Sextilis. The dust, too, gave the Romans no small addition to their courage, inasmuch as it hid the enemy. For afar off they could not discover their number; but every one advancing to encounter those that were nearest to them, they came to fight hand to hand, before the sight of so vast a multitude had struck terror into them. They were so much used to labor, and so well exercised, that in all the heat and toil of the encounter, not one of them was observed either to sweat, or to be out of breath; so much so, that Catulus himself, they say, recorded it in commendation of his soldiers.

Here the greatest part and most valiant of the enemies were cut in pieces; for those that fought in the front, that they might not break their ranks, were fast tied to one another, with long chains put through their belts. But as they pursued those that fled to their camp, they witnessed a most fearful tragedy; the women, standing in black clothes on their wagons, slew all that fled, some their husbands, some their brethren, others their fathers; and strangling their little children with their own hands, threw them under the wheels, and the feet of the cattle, and then killed themselves. They tell of one who hung herself from the end of the pole of a wagon, with her children tied dangling at her heels. The men, for want of trees, tied themselves, some to the horns of the oxen, others by the neck to their legs, that so pricking them on, by the starting and springing of the beasts, they might be torn and trodden to pieces. Yet for all they thus massacred themselves, above sixty thousand were taken prisoners, and those that were slain were said to be twice as many.

The ordinary plunder was taken by Marius’s soldiers, but the other spoils, as ensigns, trumpets, and the like, they say, were brought to Catulus’s camp; which he used for the best argument that the victory was obtained by himself and his army. Some dissensions arising, as was natural, among the soldiers, the deputies from Parma being then present, were made judges of the controversy; whom Catulus’s men carried about among their slain enemies, and manifestly showed them that they were slain by their javelins, which were known by the inscriptions, having Catulus’s name cut in the wood. Nevertheless, the whole glory of the action was ascribed to Marius, on account of his former victory, and under color of his present authority; the populace more especially styling him the third founder of their city, as having diverted a danger no less threatening than was that when the Gauls sacked Rome; and every one, in their feasts and rejoicings at home with their wives and children, made offerings and libations in honor of “The Gods and Marius;” and would have had him solely have the honor of both the triumphs. However, he did not do so, but triumphed together with Catulus, being desirous to show his moderation even in such great circumstances of good fortune, besides, he was not a little afraid of the soldiers in Catulus’s army, lest, if he should wholly bereave their general of the honor, they should endeavor to hinder him of his triumph.

Marius was now in his fifth consulship, and he sued for his sixth in such a manner as never any man before him, had done, even for his first; he courted the people’s favor and ingratiated himself with the multitude by every sort of complaisance; not only derogating from the state and dignity of his office, but also belying his own character, by attempting to seem popular and obliging, for which nature had never designed him. His passion for distinction did, indeed, they say, make him exceedingly timorous in any political matters, or in confronting public assemblies; and that undaunted presence of mind he always showed in battle against the enemy, forsook him when he was to address the people; he was easily upset by the most ordinary commendation or dispraise. It is told of him, that having at one time given the freedom of the city to one thousand men of Camerinum who had behaved valiantly in this war, and this seeming to be illegally done, upon some one or other calling him to an account for it, he answered, that the law spoke too softly to be heard in such a noise of war; yet he himself appeared to be more disconcerted and overcome by the clamor made in the assemblies. The need they had of him in time of war procured him power and dignity; but in civil affairs, when he despaired of getting the first place, he was forced to betake himself to the favor of the people, never caring to be a good man, so that he were but a great one.

He thus became very odious to all the nobility; and, above all, he feared Metellus, who had been so ungratefully used by him, and whose true virtue made him naturally an enemy to those that sought influence with the people, not by the honorable course, but by subservience and complaisance. Marius, therefore, endeavored to banish him from the city, and for this purpose he contracted a close alliance with Glaucia and Saturninus, a couple of daring fellows, who had the great mass of the indigent and seditious multitude at their control; and by their assistance he enacted various laws, and bringing the soldiers, also, to attend the assembly, he was enabled to overpower Metellus. And as Rutilius relates, (in all other respects a fair and faithful authority, but, indeed, privately an enemy to Marius,) he obtained his sixth consulship by distributing vast sums of money among the tribes, and by this bribery kept out Metellus, and had Valerius Flaccus given him as his instrument, rather than his colleague, in the consulship. The people had never before bestowed so many consulships on any one man, except on Valerius Corvinus only, and he, too, they say, was forty-five years between his first and last; but Marius, from his first, ran through five more, with one current of good fortune.

In the last, especially, he contracted a great deal of hatred, by committing several gross misdemeanors in compliance with the desires of Saturninus; among which was the murder of Nonius, whom Saturninus slew, because he stood in competition with him for the tribuneship. And when, afterwards, Saturninus, on becoming tribune, brought forward his law for the division of lands, with a clause enacting that the senate should publicly swear to confirm whatever the people should vote, and not to oppose them in anything, Marius, in the senate, cunningly feigned to be against this provision, and said that he would not take any such oath, nor would any man, he thought, who was wise; for if there were no ill design in the law, still it would be an affront to the senate, to be compelled to give their approbation, and not to do it willingly and upon persuasion. This he said, not that it was agreeable to his own sentiments, but that he might entrap Metellus beyond any possibility of escape. For Marius, in whose ideas virtue and capacity consisted largely in deceit, made very little account of what he had openly professed to the senate; and knowing that Metellus was one of a fixed resolution, and, as Pindar has it, esteemed Truth the first principle of heroic virtue; he hoped to ensnare him into a declaration before the senate, and on his refusing, as he was sure to do, afterwards to take the oath, he expected to bring him into such odium with the people, as should never be wiped off. The design succeeded to his wish. As soon as Metellus had declared that he would not swear to it, the senate adjourned. A few days after, on Saturninus citing the senators to make their appearance, and take the oath before the people, Marius stepped forth, amidst a profound silence, every one being intent to hear him, and bidding farewell to those fine speeches he had before made in the senate, said, that his back was not so broad that he should think himself bound, once for all, by any opinion once given on so important a matter; he would willingly swear and submit to the law, if so be it were one, a proviso which he added as a mere cover for his effrontery. The people, in great joy at his taking the oath, loudly clapped and applauded him, while the nobility stood by ashamed and vexed at his inconstancy; but they submitted out of fear of the people, and all in order took the oath, till it came to Metellus’s turn. But he, though his friends begged and entreated him to take it, and not to plunge himself irrecoverably into the penalties which Saturninus had provided for those that should refuse it, would not flinch from his resolution, nor swear; but, according to his fixed custom, being ready to suffer anything rather than do a base, unworthy action, he left the forum, telling those that were with him, that to do a wrong thing is base, and to do well where there is no danger, common; the good man’s characteristic is to do so, where there is danger.

Hereupon Saturninus put it to the vote, that the consuls should place Metellus under their interdict, and forbid him fire, water, and lodging. There were enough, too, of the basest of people ready to kill him. Nevertheless, when many of the better sort were extremely concerned, and gathered about Metellus, he would not suffer them to raise a sedition upon his account, but with this calm reflection left the city, “Either when the posture of affairs is mended and the people repent, I shall be recalled, or if things remain in their present condition, it will be best to be absent.” But what great favor and honor Metellus received in his banishment, and in what manner he spent his time at Rhodes, in philosophy, will be more fitly our subject, when we write his life.

Marius, in return for this piece of service, was forced to connive at Saturninus, now proceeding to the very height of insolence and violence, and was, without knowing it, the instrument of mischief beyond endurance, the only course of which was through outrages and massacres to tyranny and the subversion of the government. Standing in some awe of the nobility, and, at the same time, eager to court the commonalty, he was guilty of a most mean and dishonest action. When some of the great men came to him at night to stir him up against Saturninus, at the other door, unknown to them, he let him in; then making the same presence of some disorder of body to both, he ran from one party to the other, and staying at one time with them and another with him, he instigated and exasperated them one against another. At length when the senate and equestrian order concerted measures together, and openly manifested their resentment, he did bring his soldiers into the forum, and driving the insurgents into the capitol, and then cutting off the conduits, forced them to surrender by want of water. They, in this distress, addressing themselves to him, surrendered, as it is termed, on the public faith. He did his utmost to save their lives, but so wholly in vain, that when they came down into the forum, they were all basely murdered. Thus he had made himself equally odious both to the nobility and commons, and when the time was come to create censors, though he was the most obvious man, yet he did not petition for it; but fearing the disgrace of being repulsed, permitted others, his inferiors, to be elected, though he pleased himself by giving out, that he was not willing to disoblige too many by undertaking a severe inspection into their lives and conduct.

There was now an edict preferred to recall Metellus from banishment; this he vigorously, but in vain, opposed both by word and deed, and was at length obliged to desist. The people unanimously voted for it; and he, not able to endure the sight of Metellus’s return, made a voyage to Cappadocia and Galatia; giving out that he had to perform the sacrifices, which he had vowed to Cybele; but actuated really by other less apparent reasons. For, in fact, being a man altogether ignorant of civil life and ordinary politics, he received all his advancement from war; and supposing his power and glory would by little and little decrease by his lying quietly out of action, he was eager by every means to excite some new commotions, and hoped that by setting at variance some of the kings, and by exasperating Mithridates, especially, who was then apparently making preparations for war, he himself should be chosen general against him, and so furnish the city with new matter of triumph, and his own house with the plunder of Pontus, and the riches of its king. Therefore, though Mithridates entertained him with all imaginable attention and respect, yet he was not at all wrought upon or softened by it, but said, “O king, either endeavor to be stronger than the Romans, or else quietly submit to their commands.” With which he left Mithridates astonished, as he indeed had often heard the fame of the bold speaking of the Romans, but now for the first time experienced it.

When Marius returned again to Rome, he built a house close by the forum, either, as he himself gave out, that he was not willing his clients should be tired with going far, or that he imagined distance was the reason why more did not come. This, however, was not so; the real reason was, that being inferior to others in agreeableness of conversation and the arts of political life, like a mere tool and implement of war, he was thrown aside in time of peace. Amongst all those whose brightness eclipsed his glory, he was most incensed against Sylla, who had owed his rise to the hatred which the nobility bore Marius; and had made his disagreement with him the one principle of his political life. When Bocchus, king of Numidia, who was styled the associate of the Romans, dedicated some figures of Victory in the capitol, and with them a representation in gold, of himself delivering Jugurtha to Sylla, Marius upon this was almost distracted with rage and ambition, as though Sylla had arrogated this honor to himself, and endeavored forcibly to pull down these presents; Sylla, on the other side, as vigorously resisted him; but the Social War then on a sudden threatening the city, put a stop to this sedition, when just ready to break out. For the most warlike and best-peopled countries of all Italy formed a confederacy together against Rome, and were within a little of subverting the empire; as they were indeed strong, not only in their weapons and the valor of their soldiers, but stood nearly upon equal terms with the Romans, as to the skill and daring of their commanders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“She lays three eggs, hatches two, and rears one.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— the lion’s lair
Is dangerous, though the lion be not there.

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But when he now understood they were in a bad case in the city because of the famine, he sailed to Piraeus, and reduced the city, which was compelled to surrender on what conditions he demanded. One hears it said by Lacedaemonians that Lysander wrote to the Ephors thus: “Athens is taken;” and that these magistrates wrote back to Lysander, “Taken is enough.” But this saying was invented for its neatness’ sake; for the true decree of the magistrates was on this manner: “The government of the Lacedaemonians has made these orders; pull down the Piraeus and the long walls; quit all the towns, and keep to your own land; if you do these things, you shall have peace, if you wish it, restoring also your exiles. As concerning the number of the ships, whatsoever there be judged necessary to appoint, that do.” This scroll of conditions the Athenians accepted, Theramenes, son of Hagnon, supporting it. At which time, too, they say that when Cleomenes, one of the young orators, asked him how he durst act and speak contrary to Themistocles, delivering up the walls to the Lacedaemonians, which he had built against the will of the Lacedaemonians, he said, “O young man, I do nothing contrary to Themistocles; for he raised these walls for the safety of the citizens, and we pull them down for their safety; and if walls make a city happy, then Sparta must be the most wretched of all, as it has none.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Sylla is a mulberry sprinkled o’er with meal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There were immediately dispatched to Nola tribunes, to receive the army, and bring it to Marius; but Sylla having got first to the camp, and the soldiers, upon hearing of the news, having stoned the tribunes, Marius, in requital, proceeded to put the friends of Sylla in the city to the sword, and rifled their goods. Every kind of removal and flight went on, some hastening from the camp to the city, others from the city to the camp. The senate, no more in its own power, but wholly governed by the dictates of Marius and Sulpicius, alarmed at the report of Sylla’s advancing with his troops towards the city, sent forth two of the praetors, Brutus and Servilius, to forbid his nearer approach. The soldiers would have slain these praetors in a fury, for their bold language to Sylla; contenting themselves, however, with breaking their rods, and tearing off their purple-edged robes, after much contumelious usage they sent them back, to the sad dejection of the citizens, who beheld their magistrates despoiled of their badges of office, and announcing to them, that things were now manifestly come to a rupture past all cure. Marius put himself in readiness, and Sylla with his colleague moved from Nola, at the head of six complete legions, all of them willing to march up directly against the city, though he himself as yet was doubtful in thought, and apprehensive of the danger. As he was sacrificing, Postumius the soothsayer, having inspected the entrails, stretching forth both hands to Sylla, required to be bound and kept in custody till the battle was over, as willing, if they had not speedy and complete success, to suffer the utmost punishment. It is said, also, that there appeared to Sylla himself in a dream, a certain goddess, whom the Romans learnt to worship from the Cappadocians, whether it be the Moon, or Pallas, or Bellona. This same goddess, to his thinking, stood by him, and put into his hand thunder and lightning, then naming his enemies one by one, bade him strike them, who, all of them, fell on the discharge and disappeared. Encouraged by this vision, and relating it to his colleague, next day he led on towards Rome. About Picinae being met by a deputation, beseeching him not to attack at once, in the heat of a march, for that the senate had decreed to do him all the right imaginable, he consented to halt on the spot, and sent his officers to measure out the ground, as is usual, for a camp; so that the deputation, believing it, returned. They were no sooner gone, but he sent a party on under the command of Lucius Basillus and Caius Mummius, to secure the city gate, and the walls on the side of the Esquiline hill, and then close at their heels followed himself with all speed. Basillus made his way successfully into the city, but the unarmed multitude, pelting him with stones and tiles from off the houses, stopped his further progress, and beat him back to the wall. Sylla by this time was come up, and seeing what was going on, called aloud to his men to set fire to the houses, and taking a flaming torch, he himself led the way, and commanded the archers to make use of their fire-darts, letting fly at the tops of houses; all which he did, not upon any plan, but simply in his fury, yielding the conduct of that day’s work to passion, and as if all he saw were enemies, without respect or pity either to friend, relations, or acquaintance, made his entry by fire, which knows no distinction betwixt friend or foe.

In this conflict, Marius being driven into the temple of Mother-Earth, thence invited the slaves by proclamation of freedom, but the enemy coming on he was overpowered and fled the city.

Sylla having called a senate, had sentence of death passed on Marius, and some few others, amongst whom was Sulpicius, tribune of the people. Sulpicius was killed, being betrayed by his servant, whom Sylla first made free, and then threw him headlong down the Tarpeian rock. As for Marius, he set a price on his life, by proclamation, neither gratefully nor politicly, if we consider into whose house, not long before he put himself at mercy, and was safely dismissed. Had Marius at that time not let Sylla go, but suffered him to be slain by the hands of Sulpicius, he might have been lord of all; nevertheless he spared his life, and a few days after, when in a similar position himself, received a different measure.

By these proceedings, Sylla excited the secret distaste of the senate; but the displeasure and free indignation of the commonalty showed itself plainly by their actions. For they ignominiously rejected Nonius, his nephew, and Servius, who stood for offices of state by his interest, and elected others as magistrates, by honoring whom they thought they should most annoy him. He made semblance of extreme satisfaction at all this, as if the people by his means had again enjoyed the liberty of doing what seemed best to them. And to pacify the public hostility, he created Lucius Cinna consul, one of the adverse party, having first bound him under oaths and imprecations to be favorable to his interest. For Cinna, ascending the capitol with a stone in his hand, swore solemnly, and prayed with direful curses, that he himself, if he were not true to his friendship with Sylla, might be cast out of the city, as that stone out of his hand; and thereupon cast the stone to the ground, in the presence of many people. Nevertheless Cinna had no sooner entered on his charge, but he took measures to disturb the present settlement, and having prepared an impeachment against Sylla, got Virginius, one of the tribunes of the people, to be his accuser; but Sylla, leaving him and the court of judicature to themselves, set forth against Mithridates.

About the time that Sylla was making ready to put oft with his forces from Italy, besides many other omens which befell Mithridates, then staying at Pergamus, there goes a story that a figure of Victory, with a crown in her hand, which the Pergamenians by machinery from above let down on him, when it had almost reached his head, fell to pieces, and the crown tumbling down into the midst of the theater, there broke against the ground, occasioning a general alarm among the populace, and considerably disquieting Mithridates himself, although his affairs at that time were succeeding beyond expectation. For having wrested Asia from the Romans, and Bithynia and Cappadocia from their kings, he made Pergamus his royal seat, distributing among his friends riches, principalities, and kingdoms. Of his sons, one residing in Pontus and Bosporus held his ancient realm as far as the deserts beyond the lake Maeotis, without molestation; while Ariarathes, another, was reducing Thrace and Macedon, with a great army, to obedience. His generals, with forces under them, were establishing his supremacy in other quarters. Archelaus, in particular, with his fleet, held absolute mastery of the sea, and was bringing into subjection the Cyclades, and all the other islands as far as Malea, and had taken Euboea itself. Making Athens his head-quarters, from thence as far as Thessaly he was withdrawing the States of Greece from the Roman allegiance, without the least ill success, except at Chaeronea. For here Bruttius Sura, lieutenant to Sentius, governor of Macedon, a man of singular valor and prudence, met him, and, though he came like a torrent pouring over Boeotia, made stout resistance, and thrice giving him battle near Chaeronea, repulsed and forced him back to the sea. But being commanded by Lucius Lucullus to give place to his successor, Sylla, and resign the war to whom it was decreed, he presently left Boeotia, and retired back to Sentius, although his success had outgone all hopes, and Greece was well disposed to a new revolution, upon account of his gallant behavior. These were the glorious actions of Bruttius.

Sylla, on his arrival, received by their deputations the compliments of all the cities of Greece, except Athens, against which, as it was compelled by the tyrant Aristion to hold for the king, he advanced with all his forces, and investing the Piraeus, laid formal siege to it, employing every variety of engines, and trying every manner of assault; whereas, had he forbore but a little while, he might without hazard have taken the Upper City by famine, it being already reduced to the last extremity, through want of necessaries. But eager to return to Rome, and fearing innovation there, at great risk, with continual fighting and vast expense, he pushed on the war. Besides other equipage, the very work about the engines of battery was supplied with no less than ten thousand yoke of mules, employed daily in that service. And when timber grew scarce, for many of the works failed, some crushed to pieces by their own weight, others taking fire by the continual play of the enemy, he had recourse to the sacred groves, and cut down the trees of the Academy, the shadiest of all the suburbs, and the Lyceum. And a vast sum of money being wanted to carry on the war, he broke into the sanctuaries of Greece, that of Epidaurus and that of Olympia, sending for the most beautiful and precious offerings deposited there. He wrote, likewise, to the Amphictyons, at Delphi, that it were better to remit the wealth of the god to him, for that he would keep it more securely, or in case he made use of it, restore as much. He sent Caphis, the Phocian, one of his friends, with this message, commanding him to receive each item by weight. Caphis came to Delphi, but was loath to touch the holy things, and with many tears, in the presence of the Amphyctyons, bewailed the necessity. And on some of them declaring they heard the sound of a harp from the inner shrine, he, whether he himself believed it, or was willing to try the effect of religious fear upon Sylla, sent back an express. To which Sylla replied in a scoffing way, that it was surprising to him that Caphis did not know that music was a sign of joy, not anger; he should, therefore, go on boldly, and accept what a gracious and bountiful god offered.

Other things were sent away without much notice on the part of the Greeks in general, but in the case of the silver tun, that only relic of the regal donations, which its weight and bulk made it impossible for any carriage to receive, the Amphictyons were forced to cut it into pieces, and called to mind in so doing, how Titus Flamininus, and Manius Acilius, and again Paulus Aemilius, one of whom drove Antiochus out of Greece, and the others subdued the Macedonian kings, had not only abstained from violating the Greek temples, but had even given them new gifts and honors, and increased the general veneration for them. They, indeed, the lawful commanders of temperate and obedient soldiers, and themselves great in soul, and simple in expenses, lived within the bounds of the ordinary established charges, accounting it a greater disgrace to seek popularity with their men, than to feel fear of their enemy. Whereas the commanders of these times, attaining to superiority by force, not worth, and having need of arms one against another, rather than against the public enemy, were constrained to temporize in authority, and in order to pay for the gratifications with which they purchased the labor of their soldiers, were driven, before they knew it, to sell the commonwealth itself, and, to gain the mastery over men better than themselves, were content to become slaves to the vilest of wretches. These practices drove Marius into exile, and again brought him in against Sylla. These made Cinna the assassin of Octavius, and Fimbria of Flaccus. To which courses Sylla contributed not the least; for to corrupt and win over those who were under the command of others, he would be munificent and profuse towards those who were under his own; and so, while tempting the soldiers of other generals to treachery, and his own to dissolute living, he was naturally in want of a large treasury, and especially during that siege.

Sylla had a vehement and an implacable desire to conquer Athens, whether out of emulation, fighting as it were against the shadow of the once famous city, or out of anger, at the foul words and scurrilous jests with which the tyrant Aristion, showing himself daily, with unseemly gesticulations, upon the walls, had provoked him and Metella.

The tyrant Aristion had his very being compounded of wantonness and cruelty, having gathered into himself all the worst of Mithridates’s diseased and vicious qualities, like some fatal malady which the city, after its deliverance from innumerable wars, many tyrannies and seditions, was in its last days destined to endure. At the time when a medimnus of wheat was sold in the city for one thousand drachmas, and men were forced to live on the feverfew growing round the citadel, and to boil down shoes and oil-bags for their food, he, carousing and feasting in the open face of day, then dancing in armor, and making jokes at the enemy, suffered the holy lamp of the goddess to expire for want of oil, and to the chief priestess, who demanded of him the twelfth part of a medimnus of wheat, he sent the like quantity of pepper. The senators and priests, who came as suppliants to beg of him to take compassion on the city, and treat for peace with Sylla, he drove away and dispersed with a flight of arrows. At last, with much ado, he sent forth two or three of his reveling companions to parley, to whom Sylla, perceiving that they made no serious overtures towards an accommodation, but went on haranguing in praise of Theseus, Eumolpus, and the Median trophies, replied, “My good friends, you may put up your speeches and be gone. I was sent by the Romans to Athens, not to take lessons, but to reduce rebels to obedience.”

In the meantime news came to Sylla that some old men, talking in the Ceramicus, had been overheard to blame the tyrant for not securing the passages and approaches near the Heptachalcum, the one point where the enemy might easily get over. Sylla neglected not the report, but going in the night, and discovering the place to be assailable, set instantly to work. Sylla himself makes mention in his Memoirs, that Marcus Teius, the first man who scaled the wall, meeting with an adversary, and striking him on the headpiece a home stroke, broke his own sword, but, notwithstanding, did not give ground, but stood and held him fast. The city was certainly taken from that quarter, according to the tradition of the oldest of the Athenians.

When they had thrown down the wall, and made all level betwixt the Piraic and Sacred Gate, about midnight Sylla entered the breach, with all the terrors of trumpets and cornets sounding, with the triumphant shout and cry of an army let loose to spoil and slaughter, and scouring through the streets with swords drawn. There was no numbering the slain; the amount is to this day conjectured only from the space of ground overflowed with blood. For without mentioning the execution done in other quarters of the city, the blood that was shed about the marketplace spread over the whole Ceramicus within the Double-gate, and, according to most writers, passed through the gate and overflowed the suburb. Nor did the multitudes which fell thus exceed the number of those, who, out of pity and love for their country, which they believed was now finally to perish, slew themselves; the best of them, through despair of their country’s surviving, dreading themselves to survive, expecting neither humanity nor moderation in Sylla. At length, partly at the instance of Midias and Calliphon, two exiled men, beseeching and casting themselves at his feet, partly by the intercession of those senators who followed the camp, having had his fill of revenge, and making some honorable mention of the ancient Athenians, “I forgive,” said he, “the many for the sake of the few, the living for the dead.” He took Athens, according to his own Memoirs, on the calends of March, coinciding pretty nearly with the new moon of Anthesterion, on which day it is the Athenian usage to perform various acts in commemoration of the ruins and devastations occasioned by the deluge, that being supposed to be the time of its occurrence.

At the taking of the town, the tyrant fled into the citadel, and was there besieged by Curio, who had that charge given him. He held out a considerable time, but at last yielded himself up for want of water, and divine power immediately intimated its agency in the matter. For on the same day and hour that Curio conducted him down, the clouds gathered in a clear sky, and there came down a great quantity of rain and filled the citadel with water.

Not long after, Sylla won the Piraeus, and burnt most of it; amongst the rest, Philo’s arsenal, a work very greatly admired.

In the mean time Taxiles, Mithridates’s general, coming down from Thrace and Macedon, with an army of one hundred thousand foot, ten thousand horse, and ninety chariots, armed with scythes at the wheels, would have joined Archelaus, who lay with a navy on the coast near Munychia, reluctant to quit the sea, and yet unwilling to engage the Romans in battle, but desiring to protract the war and cut off the enemy’s supplies. Which Sylla perceiving much better than himself, passed with his forces into Boeotia, quitting a barren district which was inadequate to maintain an army even in time of peace. He was thought by some to have taken false measures in thus leaving Attica, a rugged country, and ill suited for cavalry to move in, and entering the plain and open fields of Boeotia, knowing as he did the barbarian strength to consist most in horses and chariots. But as was said before, to avoid famine and scarcity, he was forced to run the risk of a battle. Moreover he was in anxiety for Hortensius, a bold and active officer, whom on his way to Sylla with forces from Thessaly, the barbarians awaited in the straits. For these reasons Sylla drew off into Boeotia. Hortensius, meantime, was conducted by Caphis, our countryman, another way unknown to the barbarians, by Parnassus, just under Tithora, which was then not so large a town as it is now, but a mere fort, surrounded by steep precipices, whither the Phocians also, in old time, when flying from the invasion of Xerxes, carried themselves and their goods and were saved. Hortensius, encamping here, kept off the enemy by day, and at night descending by difficult passages to Patronis, joined the forces of Sylla, who came to meet him. Thus united they posted themselves on a fertile hill in the middle of the plain of Elatea, shaded with trees and watered at the foot. It is called Philoboeotus, and its situation and natural advantages are spoken of with great admiration by Sylla.

As they lay thus encamped, they seemed to the enemy a contemptible number, for they were not above fifteen hundred horse, and less than fifteen thousand foot. Therefore the rest of the commanders, overpersuading Archelaus, and drawing up the army, covered the plain with horses, chariots, bucklers, targets. The clamor and cries of so many nations forming for battle rent the air, nor was the pomp and ostentation of their costly array altogether idle and unserviceable for terror; for the brightness of their armor, embellished magnificently with gold and silver, and the rich colors of their Median and Scythian coats, intermixed with brass and shining steel, presented a flaming and terrible sight as they swayed about and moved in their ranks, so much so that the Romans shrunk within their trenches, and Sylla, unable by any arguments to remove their fear, and unwilling to force them to fight against their wills, was fain to sit down in quiet, ill-brooking to become the subject of barbarian insolence and laughter. This, however, above all advantaged him, for the enemy, from contemning of him, fell into disorder amongst themselves, being already less thoroughly under command, on account of the number of their leaders. Some few of them remained within the encampment, but others, the major part, lured out with hopes of prey and rapine, strayed about the country many days journey from the camp, and are related to have destroyed the city of Panope, to have plundered Lebadea, and robbed the oracle without any orders from their commanders.

Sylla, all this while, chafing and fretting to see the cities all around destroyed, suffered not the soldiery to remain idle, but leading them out, compelled them to divert the Cephisus from its ancient channel by casting up ditches, and giving respite to none, showed himself rigorous in punishing the remiss, that growing weary of labor, they might be induced by hardship to embrace danger. Which fell out accordingly, for on the third day, being hard at work as Sylla passed by, they begged and clamored to be led against the enemy. Sylla replied, that this demand of war proceeded rather from a backwardness to labor than any forwardness to fight, but if they were in good earnest martially inclined, he bade them take their arms and get up thither, pointing to the ancient citadel of the Parapotamians, of which at present, the city being laid waste, there remained only the rocky hill itself, steep and craggy on all sides, and severed from Mount Hedylium by the breadth of the river Assus, which running between, and at the bottom of the same hill falling into the Cephisus with an impetuous confluence, makes this eminence a strong position for soldiers to occupy. Observing that the enemy’s division, called the Brazen Shields, were making their way up thither, Sylla was willing to take first possession, and by the vigorous efforts of the soldiers, succeeded. Archelaus, driven from hence, bent his forces upon Chaeronea. The Chaeroneans who bore arms in the Roman camp beseeching Sylla not to abandon the city, he dispatched Gabinius, a tribune, with one legion, and sent out also the Chaeroneans, who endeavored, but were not able to get in before Gabinius; so active was he, and more zealous to bring relief than those who had entreated it. Juba writes that Ericius was the man sent, not Gabinius. Thus narrowly did our native city escape.

From Lebadea and the cave of Trophonius there came favorable rumors and prophecies of victory to the Romans, of which the inhabitants of those places give a fuller account, but as Sylla himself affirms in the tenth book of his Memoirs, Quintus Titius, a man of some repute among the Romans who were engaged in mercantile business in Greece, came to him after the battle won at Chaeronea, and declared that Trophonius had foretold another fight and victory on the same place, within a short time. After him a soldier, by name Salvenius, brought an account from the god of the future issue of affairs in Italy. As to the vision, they both agreed in this, that they had seen one who in stature and in majesty was similar to Jupiter Olympius.

Sylla, when he had passed over the Assus, marching under the Mount Hedylium, encamped close to Archelaus, who had entrenched himself strongly between the mountains Acontium and Hedylium, close to what are called the Assia. The place of his entrenchment is to this day named from him, Archelaus. Sylla, after one day’s respite, having left Murena behind him with one legion and two cohorts to amuse the enemy with continual alarms, himself went and sacrificed on the banks of Cephisus, and the holy rites ended, held on towards Chaeronea to receive the forces there and view Mount Thurium, where a party of the enemy had posted themselves. This is a craggy height running up in a conical form to a point, called by us Orthopagus; at the foot of it is the river Morius and the temple of Apollo Thurius. The god had his surname from Thuro, mother of Chaeron, whom ancient record makes founder of Chaeronea. Others assert that the cow which Apollo gave to Cadmus for a guide appeared there, and that the place took its name from the beast, Thor being the Phoenician word for a cow.

At Sylla’s approach to Chaeronea, the tribune who had been appointed to guard the city led out his men in arms, and met him with a garland of laurel in his hand; which Sylla accepting, and at the same time saluting the soldiers and animating them to the encounter, two men of Chaeronea, Homoloichus and Anaxidamus, presented themselves before him, and offered, with a small party, to dislodge those who were posted on Thurium. For there lay a path out of sight of the barbarians, from what is called Petrochus along by the Museum, leading right down from above upon Thurium. By this way it was easy to fall upon them and either stone them from above, or force them down into the plain. Sylla, assured of their faith and courage by Gabinius, bade them proceed with the enterprise, and meantime drew up the army, and disposing the cavalry on both wings, himself took command of the right; the left being committed to the direction of Murena. In the rear of all, Galba and Hortensius, his lieutenants, planted themselves on the upper grounds with the cohorts of reserve, to watch the motions of the enemy, who with numbers of horse and swift-footed, light-armed infantry, were noticed to have so formed their wing as to allow it readily to change about and alter its position, and thus gave reason for suspecting that they intended to carry it far out and so to enclose the Romans.

In the meanwhile, the Chaeroneans, who had Ericius for commander by appointment of Sylla, covertly making their way around Thurium, and then discovering themselves, occasioned a great confusion and rout amongst the barbarians, and slaughter, for the most part, by their own hands. For they kept not their place, but making down the steep descent, ran themselves on their own spears, and violently sent each other over the cliffs, the enemy from above pressing on and wounding them where they exposed their bodies; insomuch that there fell three thousand about Thurium. Some of those who escaped, being met by Murena as he stood in array, were cut off and destroyed. Others breaking through to their friends and falling pell-mell into the ranks, filled most part of the army with fear and tumult, and caused a hesitation and delay among the generals, which was no small disadvantage. For immediately upon the discomposure, Sylla coming full speed to the charge, and quickly crossing the interval between the armies, lost them the service of their armed chariots, which require a consider able space of ground to gather strength and impetuosity in their career, a short course being weak and ineffectual, like that of missiles without a full swing. Thus it fared with the barbarians at present, whose first chariots came feebly on and made but a faint impression; the Romans repulsing them with shouts and laughter, called out as they do at the races in the circus, for more to come. By this time the mass of both armies met; the barbarians on one side fixed their long pikes, and with their shields locked close together, strove so far as in them lay to preserve their line of battle entire. The Romans, on the other side, having discharged their javelins, rushed on with their drawn swords, and struggled to put by the pikes to get at them the sooner, in the fury that possessed them at seeing in the front of the enemy fifteen thousand slaves, whom the royal commanders had set free by proclamation, and ranged amongst the men of arms. And a Roman centurion is reported to have said at this sight, that he never knew servants allowed to play the masters, unless at the Saturnalia. These men by their deep and solid array, as well as by their daring courage, yielded but slowly to the legions, till at last by slinging engines, and darts, which the Romans poured in upon them behind, they were forced to give way and scatter.

As Archelaus was extending the right wing to encompass the enemy, Hortensius with his cohorts came down in force, with intention to charge him in the flank. But Archelaus wheeling about suddenly with two thousand horse, Hortensius, outnumbered and hard pressed, fell back towards the higher grounds, and found himself gradually getting separated from the main body and likely to be surrounded by the enemy. When Sylla heard this, he came rapidly up to his succor from the right wing, which as yet had not engaged. But Archelaus, guessing the matter by the dust of his troops, turned to the right wing, from whence Sylla came, in hopes to surprise it without a commander. At the same instant, likewise, Taxiles, with his Brazen Shields, assailed Murena, so that a cry coming from both places, and the hills repeating it around, Sylla stood in suspense which way to move. Deciding to resume his own station, he sent in aid to Murena four cohorts under Hortensius, and commanding the fifth to follow him, returned hastily to the right wing, which of itself held its ground on equal terms against Archelaus; and, at his appearance, with one bold effort forced them back, and, obtaining the mastery, followed them, flying in disorder to the river and Mount Acontium. Sylla, however, did not forget the danger Murena was in; but hasting thither and finding him victorious also, then joined in the pursuit. Many barbarians were slain in the field, many more were cut in pieces as they were making into the camp. Of all the vast multitude, ten thousand only got safe into Chalcis. Sylla writes that there were but fourteen of his soldiers missing, and that two of these returned towards evening; he, therefore, inscribed on the trophies the names of Mars, Victory, and Venus, as having won the day no less by good fortune than by management and force of arms. This trophy of the battle in the plain stands on the place where Archelaus first gave way, near the stream of the Molus; another is erected high on the top of Thurium, where the barbarians were environed, with an inscription in Greek, recording that the glory of the day belonged to Homoloichus and Anaxidamus. Sylla celebrated his victory at Thebes with spectacles, for which he erected a stage, near Oedipus’s well. The judges of the performances were Greeks chosen out of other cities; his hostility to the Thebans being implacable, half of whose territory he took away and consecrated to Apollo and Jupiter, ordering that out of the revenue compensation should be made to the gods for the riches himself had taken from them.

After this, hearing that Flaccus, a man of the contrary faction, had been chosen consul, and was crossing the Ionian Sea with an army, professedly to act against Mithridates, but in reality against himself, he hastened towards Thessaly, designing to meet him, but in his march, when near Melitea, received advices from all parts that the countries behind him were overrun and ravaged by no less a royal army than the former. For Dorylaus, arriving at Chalcis with a large fleet, on board of which he brought over with him eighty thousand of the best appointed and best disciplined soldiers of Mithridates’s army, at once invaded Boeotia, and occupied the country in hopes to bring Sylla to a battle, making no account of the dissuasions of Archelaus, but giving it out as to the last fight, that without treachery so many thousand men could never have perished. Sylla, however, facing about expeditiously, made it clear to him that Archelaus was a wise man, and had good skill in the Roman valor; insomuch that he himself, after some small skirmishes with Sylla near Tilphossium, was the first of those who thought it not advisable to put things to the decision of the sword, but rather to wear out the war by expense of time and treasure. The ground, however, near Orchomenus, where they then lay encamped, gave some encouragement to Archelaus, being a battle field admirably suited for an army superior in cavalry. Of all the plains in Boeotia that are renowned for their beauty and extent, this alone, which commences from the city of Orchomenus, spreads out unbroken and clear of trees to the edge of the fens in which the Melas, rising close under Orchomenus, loses itself, the only Greek river which is a deep and navigable water from the very head, increasing also about the summer solstice like the Nile, and producing plants similar to those that grow there, only small and without fruit. It does not run far before the main stream disappears among the blind and woody marsh-grounds; a small branch. however, joins the Cephisus, about the place where the lake is thought to produce the best flute-reeds.

Now that both armies were posted near each other, Archelaus lay still, but Sylla employed himself in cutting ditches from either side; that if possible, by driving the enemies from the firm and open champain, he might force them into the fens. They, on the other hand, not enduring this, as soon as their leaders allowed them the word of command, issued out furiously in large bodies; when not only the men at work were dispersed, but most part of those who stood in arms to protect the work fled in disorder. Upon this, Sylla leaped from his horse, and snatching hold of an ensign, rushed through the midst of the rout upon the enemy, crying out aloud, “To me, O Romans, it will be glorious to fall here. As for you, when they ask you where you betrayed your general, remember and say, at Orchomenus.” His men rallying again at these words, and two cohorts coming to his succor from the right wing, he led them to the charge and turned the day. Then retiring some short distance and refreshing his men, he proceeded again with his works to block up the enemy’s camp. They again sallied out in better order than before. Here Diogenes, step-son to Archelaus, fighting on the right wing with much gallantry, made an honorable end. And the archers, being hard pressed by the Romans, and wanting space for a retreat, took their arrows by handfuls, and striking with these as with swords, beat them back. In the end, however, they were all driven into the entrenchment and had a sorrowful night of it with their slain and wounded. The next day again, Sylla, leading forth his men up to their quarters, went on finishing the lines of entrenchment, and when they issued out again with larger numbers to give him battle, fell on them and put them to the rout, and in the consternation ensuing, none daring to abide, he took the camp by storm. The marshes were filled with blood, and the lake with dead bodies, insomuch that to this day many bows, helmets, fragments of iron, breastplates, and swords of barbarian make, continue to be found buried deep in mud, two hundred years after the fight. Thus much of the actions of Chaeronea and Orchomenus.

At Rome, Cinna and Carbo were now using injustice and violence towards persons of the greatest eminence, and many of them to avoid this tyranny repaired, as to a safe harbor, to Sylla’s camp, where, in a short space, he had about him the aspect of a senate. Metella, likewise, having with difficulty conveyed herself and children away by stealth, brought him word that his houses, both in town and country, had been burnt by his enemies, and entreated his help at home. Whilst he was in doubt what to do, being impatient to hear of his country being thus outraged, and yet not knowing how to leave so great a work as the Mithridatic war unfinished, there comes to him Archelaus, a merchant of Delos, with hopes of an accommodation, and private instructions from Archelaus, the king’s general. Sylla liked the business so well as to desire a speedy conference with Archelaus in person, and a meeting took place on the sea-coast near Delium, where the temple of Apollo stands. When Archelaus opened the conversation, and began to urge Sylla to abandon his pretensions to Asia and Pontus, and to set sail for the war in Rome, receiving money and shipping, and such forces as he should think fitting from the king, Sylla, interposing, bade Archelaus take no further care for Mithridates, but assume the crown to himself, and become a confederate of Rome, delivering up the navy. Archelaus professing his abhorrence of such treason, Sylla proceeded: “So you, Archelaus, a Cappadocian, and slave, or if it so please you, friend, to a barbarian king, would not, upon such vast considerations, be guilty of what is dishonorable, and yet dare to talk to me, Roman general and Sylla, of treason? as if you were not the selfsame Archelaus who ran away at Chaeronea, with few remaining out of one hundred and twenty thousand men; who lay for two days in the fens of Orchomenus, and left Boeotia impassable for heaps of dead carcasses.” Archelaus, changing his tone at this, humbly besought him to lay aside the thoughts of war, and make peace with Mithridates. Sylla consenting to this request, articles of agreement were concluded on. That Mithridates should quit Asia and Paphlagonia, restore Bithynia to Nicomedes, Cappadocia to Ariobarzanes, and pay the Romans two thousand talents, and give him seventy ships of war with all their furniture. On the other hand, that Sylla should confirm to him his other dominions, and declare him a Roman confederate. On these terms he proceeded by the way of Thessaly and Macedon towards the Hellespont, having Archelaus with him, and treating him with great attention. For Archelaus being taken dangerously ill at Larissa, he stopped the march of the army, and took care of him, as if he had been one of his own captains, or his colleague in command. This gave suspicion of foul play in the battle of Chaeronea; as it was also observed that Sylla had released all the friends of Mithridates taken prisoners in war, except only Aristion the tyrant, who was at enmity with Archelaus, and was put to death by poison; and, above all, ten thousand acres of land in Euboea had been given to the Cappadocian, and he had received from Sylla the style of friend and ally of the Romans. On all which points Sylla defends himself in his Memoirs.

The ambassadors of Mithridates arriving and declaring that they accepted of the conditions, only Paphlagonia they could not part with; and as for the ships, professing not to know of any such capitulation, Sylla in a rage exclaimed, “What say you? Does Mithridates then withhold Paphlagonia? and as to the ships, deny that article? I thought to have seen him prostrate at my feet to thank me for leaving him so much as that right hand of his, which has cut off so many Romans. He will shortly, at my coming over into Asia, speak another language; in the mean time, let him at his ease in Pergamus sit managing a war which he never saw.” The ambassadors in terror stood silent by, but Archelaus endeavored with humble supplications to assuage his wrath, laying hold on his right hand and weeping. In conclusion he obtained permission to go himself in person to Mithridates; for that he would either mediate a peace to the satisfaction of Sylla, or if not, slay himself. Sylla having thus dispatched him away, made an inroad into Maedica, and after wide depopulations returned back again into Macedon, where he received Archelaus about Philippi, bringing word that all was well, and that Mithridates earnestly requested an interview. The chief cause of this meeting was Fimbria; for he having assassinated Flaccus, the consul of the contrary faction, and worsted the Mithridatic commanders, was advancing against Mithridates himself, who, fearing this, chose rather to seek the friendship of Sylla.

And so met at Dardanus in the Troad, on one side Mithridates, attended with two hundred ships, and land forces consisting of twenty thousand men at arms, six thousand horse, and a large train of scythed chariots; on the other, Sylla with only four cohorts, and two hundred horse. As Mithridates drew near and put out his hand, Sylla demanded whether he was willing or no to end the war on the terms Archelaus had agreed to, but seeing the king made no answer, “How is this?” he continued, “ought not the petitioner to speak first, and the conqueror to listen in silence?” And when Mithridates, entering upon his plea, began to shift off the war, partly on the gods, and partly to blame the Romans themselves, he took him up, saying that he had heard, indeed, long since from others, and now he knew it himself for truth, that Mithridates was a powerful speaker, who in defense of the most foul and unjust proceedings, had not wanted for specious presences. Then charging him with and inveighing bitterly against the outrages he had committed, he asked again whether he was willing or no to ratify the treaty of Archelaus? Mithridates answering in the affirmative, Sylla came forward, embraced and kissed him. Not long after he introduced Ariobarzanes and Nicomedes, the two kings, and made them friends Mithridates, when he had handed over to Sylla seventy ships and five hundred archers, set sail for Pontus.

Sylla, perceiving the soldiers to be dissatisfied with the peace, (as it seemed indeed a monstrous thing that they should see the king who was then bitterest enemy, and who had caused one hundred and fifty thousand Romans to be massacred in one day in Asia, now sailing off with the riches and spoils of Asia, which he had pillaged, and put under contribution for the space of four years,) in his defense to them alleged, that he could not have made head against Fimbria and Mithridates, had they both withstood him in conjunction. Thence he set out and went in search of Fimbria, who lay with the army about Thyatira, and pitching his camp not far off, proceeded to fortify it with a trench. The soldiers of Fimbria came out in their single coats, and, saluting his men, lent ready assistance to the work; which change Fimbria beholding, and apprehending Sylla as irreconcilable, laid violent hands on himself in the camp.

Sylla imposed on Asia in general a tax of twenty thousand talents, and despoiled individually each family by the licentious behavior and long residence of the soldiery in private quarters. For he ordained that every host should allow his guest four tetradrachms each day, and moreover entertain him, and as many friends as he should invite, with a supper; that a centurion should receive fifty drachmas a day, together with one suit of clothes to wear within doors, and another when he went abroad.

Having set out from Ephesus with the whole navy, he came the third day to anchor in the Piraeus. Here he was initiated in the mysteries, and seized for his use the library of Apellicon the Teian, in which were most of the works of Theophrastus and Aristotle, then not in general circulation. When the whole was afterwards conveyed to Rome, there, it is said, the greater part of the collection passed through the hands of Tyrannion the grammarian, and that Andronicus the Rhodian, having through his means the command of numerous copies, made the treatises public, and drew up the catalogues that are now current. The elder Peripatetics appear themselves, indeed, to have been accomplished and learned men, but of the writings of Aristotle and Theophrastus they had no large or exact knowledge, because Theophrastus bequeathing his books to the heir of Neleus of Scepsis, they came into careless and illiterate hands.

During Sylla’s stay about Athens, his feet were attacked by a heavy benumbing pain, which Strabo calls the first inarticulate sounds of the gout. Taking, therefore, a voyage to Aedepsus, he made use of the hot waters there, allowing himself at the same time to forget all anxieties, and passing away his time with actors. As he was walking along the sea-shore, certain fishermen brought him some magnificent fish. Being much delighted with the gift, and understanding, on inquiry, that they were men of Halaeae, “What,” said he, “are there any men of Halaeae surviving?” For after his victory at Orchomenus, in the heat of a pursuit, he had destroyed three cities of Boeotia, Anthedon, Larymna, and Halaeae. The men not knowing what to say for fear, Sylla with a smile bade them cheer up and return in peace, as they had brought with them no insignificant intercessors. The Halaeans say that this first gave them courage to reunite and return to their city.

Sylla, having marched through Thessaly and Macedon to the sea-coast, prepared, with twelve hundred vessels, to cross over from Dyrrhachium to Brundisium. Not far from hence is Apollonia, and near it the Nymphaeum, a spot of ground where, from among green trees and meadows, there are found at various points springs of fire continually streaming out. Here, they say, a satyr, such as statuaries and painters represent, was caught asleep, and brought before Sylla, where he was asked by several interpreters who he was, and, after much trouble, at last uttered nothing intelligible, but a harsh noise, something between the neighing of a horse and crying of a goat. Sylla, in dismay, and deprecating such an omen, bade it be removed.

At the point of transportation, Sylla being in alarm, lest at their first setting foot upon Italy, the soldiers should disband and disperse one by one among the cities, they of their own accord first took an oath to stand firm by him, and not of their good-will to injure Italy; then seeing him in distress for money, they made, so to say, a freewill offering, and contributed each man according to his ability. However Sylla would not accept of their offering, but praising their good-will, and arousing up their courage, put over (as he himself writes) against fifteen hostile generals in command of four hundred and fifty cohorts; but not without the most unmistakable divine intimations of his approaching happy successes. For when he was sacrificing at his first landing near Tarentum, the victim’s liver showed the figure of a crown of laurel with two fillets hanging from it. And a little while before his arrival in Campania, near the mountain Hephaeus, two stately goats were seen in the daytime, fighting together, and performing all the motions of men in battle. It proved to be an apparition, and rising up gradually from the ground, dispersed in the air, like fancied representations in the clouds, and so vanished out of sight. Not long after, in the selfsame place, when Marius the younger, and Norbanus the consul, attacked him with two great armies, without prescribing the order of battle, or arranging his men according to their divisions, by the sway only of one common alacrity and transport of courage, he overthrew the enemy, and shut up Norbanus into the city of Capua, with the loss of seven thousand of his men. And this was the reason, he says, that the soldiers did not leave him and disperse into the different towns, but held fast to him, and despised the enemy, though infinitely more in number.

At Silvium, (as he himself relates it,) there met him a servant of Pontius, in a state of divine possession, saying that he brought him the power of the sword and victory from Bellona, the goddess of war, and if he did not make haste, that the capitol would be burnt, which fell out on the same day the man foretold it, namely, on the sixth day of the month Quintilis, which we now call July.

At Fidentia, also, Marcus Lucullus, one of Sylla’s commanders, reposed such confidence in the forwardness of the soldiers, as to dare to face fifty cohorts of the enemy, with only sixteen of his own; but because many of them were unarmed, delayed the onset. As he stood thus waiting, and considering with himself, a gentle gale of wind, bearing along with it from the neighboring meadows a quantity of flowers, scattered them down upon the army, on whose shields and helmets they settled, and arranged themselves spontaneously, so as to give the soldiers, in the eyes of the enemy, the appearance of being crowned with chaplets. Upon this, being yet further animated, they joined battle, and victoriously slaying eight thousand men, took the camp. This Lucullus was brother to that Lucullus who in after-times conquered Mithridates and Tigranes.

Sylla, seeing himself still surrounded by so many armies, and such mighty hostile powers, had recourse to art, inviting Scipio, the other consul, to a treaty of peace. The motion was willingly embraced, and several meetings and consultations ensued, in all which Sylla, still interposing matter of delay and new pretences, in the meanwhile debauched Scipio’s men by means of his own, who were as well practiced as the general himself, in all the artifices of inveigling. For entering into the enemy’s quarters and joining in conversation, they gained some by present money, some by promises, others by fair words and persuasions; so that in the end, when Sylla with twenty cohorts drew near, on his men saluting Scipio’s soldiers, they returned the greeting and came over, leaving Scipio behind them in his tent, where he was found all alone and dismissed. And having used his twenty cohorts as decoys to ensnare the forty of the enemy, he led them all back into the camp. On this occasion, Carbo was heard to say, that he had both a fox and a lion in the breast of Sylla to deal with, and was most troubled with the fox.

Some time after, at Signia, Marius the younger, with eighty-five cohorts, offered battle to Sylla, who was extremely desirous to have it decided on that very day; for the night before he had seen a vision in his sleep, of Marius the elder, who had been some time dead, advising his son to beware of the following day, as of fatal consequence to him. For this reason, Sylla, longing to come to a battle, sent off for Dolabella, who lay encamped at some distance. But because the enemy had beset and blocked up the passes, his soldiers got tired with skirmishing and marching at once. To these difficulties was added, moreover, tempestuous rainy weather, which distressed them most of all. The principal officers therefore came to Sylla, and besought him to defer the battle that day, showing him how the soldiers lay stretched on the ground, where they had thrown themselves down in their weariness, resting their heads upon their shields to gain some repose. When, with much reluctance, he had yielded, and given order for pitching the camp, they had no sooner begun to cast up the rampart and draw the ditch, but Marius came riding up furiously at the head of his troops, in hopes to scatter them in that disorder and confusion. Here the gods fulfilled Sylla’s dream. For the soldiers, stirred up with anger, left off their work, and sticking their javelins into the bank, with drawn swords and a courageous shout, came to blows with the enemy, who made but small resistance, and lost great numbers in the flight. Marius fled to Praeneste, but finding the gates shut, tied himself round by a rope that was thrown down to him, and was taken up on the walls. Some there are (as Fenestella for one) who affirm that Marius knew nothing of the fight, but, overwatched and spent with hard duty, had reposed himself, when the signal was given, beneath some shade, and was hardly to be awakened at the flight of his men. Sylla, according to his own account, lost only twenty-three men in this fight, having killed of the enemy twenty thousand, and taken alive eight thousand.

The like success attended his lieutenants, Pompey, Crassus, Metellus, Servilius, who with little or no loss cut off vast numbers of the enemy, insomuch that Carbo, the prime supporter of the cause, fled by night from his charge of the army, and sailed over into Libya.

In the last struggle, however, the Samnite Telesinus, like some champion, whose lot it is to enter last of all into the lists and take up the wearied conqueror, came nigh to have foiled and overthrown Sylla before the gates of Rome. For Telesinus with his second, Lamponius the Lucanian, having collected a large force, had been hastening towards Praeneste, to relieve Marius from the siege; but perceiving Sylla ahead of him, and Pompey behind, both hurrying up against him, straightened thus before and behind, as a valiant and experienced soldier, he arose by night, and marching directly with his whole army, was within a little of making his way unexpectedly into Rome itself. He lay that night before the city, at ten furlongs distance from the Colline gate, elated and full of hope, at having thus out-generalled so many eminent commanders. At break of day, being charged by the noble youth of the city, among many others he overthrew Appius Claudius, renowned for high birth and character. The city, as is easy to imagine, was all in an uproar, the women shrieking and running about, as if it had already been entered forcibly by assault, till at last Balbus, sent forward by Sylla, was seen riding up with seven hundred horse at full speed. Halting only long enough to wipe the sweat from the horses, and then hastily bridling again, he at once attacked the enemy. Presently Sylla himself appeared, and commanding those who were foremost to take immediate refreshment, proceeded to form in order for battle. Dolabella and Torquatus were extremely earnest with him to desist awhile, and not with spent forces to hazard the last hope, having before them in the field, not Carbo or Marius, but two warlike nations bearing immortal hatred to Rome, the Samnites and Lucanians, to grapple with. But he put them by, and commanded the trumpets to sound a charge, when it was now about four o’clock in the afternoon. In the conflict which followed, as sharp a one as ever was, the right wing where Crassus was posted had clearly the advantage; the left suffered and was in distress, when Sylla came to its succor, mounted on a white courser, full of mettle and exceedingly swift, which two of the enemy knowing him by, had their lances ready to throw at him; he himself observed nothing, but his attendant behind him giving the horse a touch, he was, unknown to himself, just so far carried forward, that the points, falling beside the horse’s tail, stuck in the ground. There is a story that he had a small golden image of Apollo from Delphi, which he was always wont in battle to carry about him in his bosom, and that he then kissed it with these words, “O Apollo Pythius, who in so many battles hast raised to honor and greatness the Fortunate Cornelius Sylla, wilt thou now cast him down, bringing him before the gate of his country, to perish shamefully with his fellow-citizens?” Thus, they say, addressing himself to the god, he entreated some of his men, threatened some, and seized others with his hand, till at length the left wing being wholly shattered, he was forced, in the general rout, to betake himself to the camp, having lost many of his friends and acquaintance. Many, likewise, of the city spectators who had come out, were killed or trodden underfoot. So that it was generally believed in the city that all was lost, and the siege of Praeneste was all but raised; many fugitives from the battle making their way thither, and urging Lucretius Ofella, who was appointed to keep on the siege, to rise in all haste, for that Sylla had perished, and Rome fallen into the hands of the enemy.

About midnight there came into Sylla’s camp messengers from Crassus, to fetch provision for him and his soldiers; for having vanquished the enemy, they had pursued him to the walls of Antemna, and had sat down there. Sylla, hearing this, and that most of the enemy were destroyed, came to Antemna by break of day, where three thousand of the besieged having sent forth a herald, he promised to receive them to mercy, on condition they did the enemy some mischief in their coming over. Trusting to his word, they fell foul on the rest of their companions, and made a great slaughter one of another. Nevertheless, Sylla gathered together in the circus, as well these as other survivors of the party, to the number of six thousand, and just as he commenced speaking to the senate, in the temple of Bellona, proceeded to cut them down, by men appointed for that service. The cry of so vast a multitude put to the sword, in so narrow a space, was naturally heard some distance, and startled the senators. He, however, continuing his speech with a calm and unconcerned countenance, bade them listen to what he had to say, and not busy themselves with what was doing out of doors; he had given directions for the chastisement of some offenders. This gave the most stupid of the Romans to understand, that they had merely exchanged, not escaped, tyranny. And Marius, being of a naturally harsh temper, had not altered, but merely continued what he had been, in authority; whereas Sylla, using his fortune moderately and unambitiously at first, and giving good hopes of a true patriot, firm to the interests both of the nobility and commonalty, being, moreover, of a gay and cheerful temper from his youth, and so easily moved to pity as to shed tears readily, has, perhaps deservedly, cast a blemish upon offices of great authority, as if they deranged men’s former habits and character, and gave rise to violence, pride, and inhumanity. Whether this be a real change and revolution in the mind, caused by fortune, or rather a lurking viciousness of nature, discovering itself in authority, it were matter of another sort of disquisition to decide.

Sylla being thus wholly bent upon slaughter, and filling 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, 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 not 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. “Why then,” said he, “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 of the 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 son’s 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 of 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 dispatched 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, his own host 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. What Lucius Catilina did was thought to exceed all other acts. For having, before matters came to an issue, made away with his brother, he besought Sylla to place him in the list of proscription, as though he had been alive, which was done; and Catiline, to return the kind office, assassinated a certain Marcus Marius, one of the adverse party, and brought the head to Sylla, as he was sitting in the forum, and then going to the holy water of Apollo, which was nigh, washed his hands.

There were other things, besides this bloodshed, which gave offense. For Sylla had declared himself dictator, an office which had then been laid aside for the space of one hundred and twenty years. There was, likewise, an act of grace passed on his behalf, granting indemnity for what was passed, and for the future entrusting him with the power of life and death, confiscation, division of lands, erecting and demolishing of cities, taking away of kingdoms, and bestowing them at pleasure. He conducted the sale of confiscated property after such an arbitrary, imperious way, from the tribunal, that his gifts excited greater odium even than his usurpations; women, mimes, and musicians, and the lowest of the freed slaves had presents made them of the territories of nations, and the revenues of cities; and women of rank were married against their will to some of them. Wishing to insure the fidelity of Pompey the Great, by a nearer tie of blood, he bade him divorce his present wife, and forcing Aemilia, the daughter of Scaurus and Metella, his own wife, to leave her husband, Manius Glabrio, he bestowed her, though then with child, on Pompey, and she died in childbirth at his house.

When Lucretius Ofella, the same who reduced Marius by siege, offered himself for the consulship, he first forbade him; then, seeing he could not restrain him, on his coming down into the forum with a numerous train of followers, he sent one of the centurions who were immediately about him, and slew him, himself sitting on the tribunal in the temple of Castor, and beholding the murder from above. The citizens apprehending the centurion, and dragging him to the tribunal, he bade them cease their clamoring and let the centurion go, for he had commanded it.

His triumph was, in itself, exceedingly splendid, and distinguished by the rarity and magnificence of the royal spoils; but its yet greatest glory was the noble spectacle of the exiles. For in the rear followed the most eminent and most potent of the citizens, crowned with garlands, and calling Sylla savior and father, by whose means they were restored to their own country, and again enjoyed their wives and children. When the solemnity was over, and the time come to render an account of his actions, addressing the public assembly, he was as profuse in enumerating the lucky chances of war, as any of his own military merits. And, finally, from this felicity, he requested to receive the surname of Felix. In writing and transacting business with the Greeks, he styled himself Epaphroditus, and on his trophies which are still extant with us, the name is given Lucius Cornelius Sylla Epaphroditus. Moreover, when his wife had brought him forth twins, he named the male Faustus, and the female Fausta, the Roman words for what is auspicious and of happy omen. The confidence which he reposed in his good genius, rather than in any abilities of his own, emboldened him, though deeply involved in bloodshed, and though he had been the author of such great changes and revolutions of State, to lay down his authority, and place the right of consular elections once more in the hands of the people. And when they were held, he not only declined to seek that office, but in the forum exposed his person publicly to the people, walking up and down as a private man. And contrary to his will, certain bold man and his enemy, Marcus Lepidus, was expected to become consul, not so much by his own interest, as by the power and solicitation of Pompey, whom the people were willing to oblige. When the business was over, seeing Pompey going home overjoyed with the success, he called him to him and said, “What a politic act, young man, to pass by Catulus, the best of men, and choose Lepidus, the worst! It will be well for you to be vigilant, now that you have strengthened your opponent against yourself.” Sylla spoke this, it may seem, by a prophetic instinct, for, not long after, Lepidus grew insolent, and broke into open hostility to Pompey and his friends.

Sylla, consecrating the tenth of his whole substance to Hercules, entertained the people with sumptuous feastings. The provision was so much above what was necessary, that they were forced daily to throw great quantities of meat into the river, and they drank wine forty years old and upwards. In the midst of the banqueting, which lasted many days, Metella died of disease. And because that the priest forbade him to visit the sick, or suffer his house to be polluted with mourning, he drew up an act of divorce, and caused her to be removed into another house whilst alive. Thus far, out of religious apprehension, he observed the strict rule to the very letter, but in the funeral expenses he transgressed the law he himself had made, limiting the amount, and spared no cost. He transgressed, likewise, his own sumptuary laws respecting expenditure in banquets, thinking to allay his grief by luxurious drinking parties and revelings with common buffoons.

Some few months after, at a show of gladiators, when men and women sat promiscuously in the theater, no distinct places being as yet appointed, there sat down by Sylla a beautiful woman of high birth, by name Valeria, daughter of Messala, and sister to Hortensius the orator. Now it happened that she had been lately divorced from her husband. Passing along behind Sylla, she leaned on him with her hand, and plucking a bit of wool from his garment, so proceeded to her seat. And on Sylla looking up and wondering what it meant, “What harm, mighty Sir,” said she, “if I also was desirous to partake a little in your felicity?” It appeared at once that Sylla was not displeased, but even tickled in his fancy, for he sent out to inquire her name, her birth, and past life. From this time there passed between them many side glances, each continually turning round to look at the other, and frequently interchanging smiles. In the end, overtures were made, and a marriage concluded on. All which was innocent, perhaps, on the lady’s side, but, though she had been never so modest and virtuous, it was scarcely a temperate and worthy occasion of marriage on the part of Sylla, to take fire, as a boy might, at a face and a bold look, incentives not seldom to the most disorderly and shameless passions.

Notwithstanding this marriage, he kept company with actresses, musicians, and dancers, drinking with them on couches night and day. His chief favorites were Roscius the comedian, Sorex the arch mime, and Metrobius the player, for whom, though past his prime, he still professed a passionate fondness. By these courses he encouraged a disease which had begun from some unimportant cause; and for a long time he failed to observe that his bowels were ulcerated, till at length the corrupted flesh broke out into lice. Many, were employed day and night in destroying them, but the work so multiplied under their hands, that not only his clothes, baths, basins, but his very meat was polluted with that flux and contagion, they came swarming out in such numbers. He went frequently by day into the bath to scour and cleanse his body, but all in vain; the evil generated too rapidly and too abundantly for any ablutions to overcome it. There died of this disease, amongst those of the most ancient times, Acastus, the son of Pelias; of later date, Alcman the poet, Pherecydes the theologian, Callisthenes the Olynthian, in the time of his imprisonment, as also Mucius the lawyer; and if we may mention ignoble, but notorious names, Eunus the fugitive, who stirred up the slaves of Sicily to rebel against their masters, after he was brought captive to Rome, died of this creeping sickness.

Sylla not only foresaw his end, but may be also said to have written of it. For in the two and twentieth book of his Memoirs, which he finished two days before his death, he writes that the Chaldeans foretold him, that after he had led a life of honor, he should conclude it in fullness of prosperity. He declares, moreover, that in vision he had seen his son, who had died not long before Metella, stand by in mourning attire, and beseech his father to cast off further care, and come along with him to his mother Metella, there to live at ease and quietness with her. However, he could not refrain from intermeddling in public affairs. For, ten days before his decease, he composed the differences of the people of Dicaearchia, and prescribed laws for their better government. And the very day before his end, it being told him that the magistrate Granius deferred the payment of a public debt, in expectation of his death, he sent for him to his house, and placing his attendants about him, caused him to be strangled; but through the straining of his voice and body, the imposthume breaking, he lost a great quantity of blood. Upon this, his strength failing him, after spending a troublesome night, he died, leaving behind him two young children by Metella. Valeria was afterwards delivered of a daughter, named Posthuma; for so the Romans call those who are born after the father’s death.

Many ran tumultuously together, and joined with Lepidus, to deprive the corpse of the accustomed solemnities; but Pompey, though offended at Sylla, (for he alone of all his friends, was not mentioned in his will,) having kept off some by his interest and entreaty, others by menaces, conveyed the body to Rome, and gave it a secure and honorable burial. It is said that the Roman ladies contributed such vast heaps of spices, that besides what was carried on two hundred and ten litters, there was sufficient to form a large figure of Sylla himself, and another, representing a lictor, out of the costly frankincense and cinnamon. The day being cloudy in the morning, they deferred carrying forth the corpse till about three in the afternoon, expecting it would rain. But a strong wind blowing full upon the funeral pile, and setting it all in a bright flame, the body was consumed so exactly in good time, that the pyre had begun to smolder, and the fire was upon the point of expiring, when a violent rain came down, which continued till night. So that his good fortune was firm even to the last, and did as it were officiate at his funeral. His monument stands in the Campus Martius, with an epitaph of his own writing; the substance of it being, that he had not been outdone by any of his friends in doing good turns, nor by any of his foes in doing bad.


Comparison of Lysander with Sylla

Having completed this Life also, come we now to the comparison. That which was common to them both, was that they were founders of their own greatness, with this difference, that Lysander had the consent of his fellow-citizens, in times of sober judgment, for the honors he received; nor did he force anything from them against their good-will, nor hold any power contrary to the laws.

In civil strife e’en villains rise to fame.

And so then at Rome, when the people were distempered, and the government out of order, one or other was still raised to despotic power; no wonder, then, if Sylla reigned, when the Glauciae and Saturnini drove out the Metelli, when sons of consuls were slain in the assemblies, when silver and gold purchased men and arms, and fire and sword enacted new laws, and put down lawful opposition. Nor do I blame anyone, in such circumstances, for working himself into supreme power, only I would not have it thought a sign of great goodness, to be head of a State so wretchedly discomposed. Lysander, being employed in the greatest commands and affairs of State, by a sober and well-governed city, may be said to have had repute as the best and most virtuous man, in the best and most virtuous commonwealth. And thus, often returning the government into the hands of the citizens, he received it again as often, the superiority of his merit still awarding him the first place. Sylla, on the other hand, when he had once made himself general of an army, kept his command for ten years together, creating himself sometimes consul, sometimes proconsul, and sometimes dictator, but always remaining a tyrant.

It is true Lysander, as was said, designed to introduce a new form of government; by milder methods, however, and more agreeably to law than Sylla, not by force of arms, but persuasion, nor by subverting the whole State at once, but simply by amending the succession of the kings; in a way, moreover, which seemed the naturally just one, that the most deserving should rule, especially in a city which itself exercised command in Greece, upon account of virtue, not nobility. For as the hunter considers the whelp itself, not the bitch, and the horse-dealer the foal, not the mare, (for what if the foal should prove a mule?) so likewise were that politician extremely out, who, in the choice of a chief magistrate, should inquire, not what the man is, but how descended. The very Spartans themselves have deposed several of their kings for want of kingly virtues, as degenerated and good for nothing. As a vicious nature, though of an ancient stock, is dishonorable, it must be virtue itself, and not birth, that makes virtue honorable. Furthermore, the one committed his acts of injustice for the sake of his friends; the other extended his to his friends themselves. It is confessed on all hands, that Lysander offended most commonly for the sake of his companions, committing several slaughters to uphold their power and dominion; but as for Sylla, he, out of envy, reduced Pompey’s command by land, and Dolabella’s by sea, although he himself had given them those places; and ordered Lucretius Ofella, who sued for the consulship as the reward of many great services, to be slain before his eyes, exciting horror and alarm in the minds of all men, by his cruelty to his dearest friends.

As regards the pursuit of riches and pleasures, we yet further discover in one a princely, in the other a tyrannical disposition. Lysander did nothing that was intemperate or licentious, in that full command of means and opportunity, but kept clear, as much as ever man did, of that trite saying,

Lions at home, but foxes out of doors;

and ever maintained a sober, truly Spartan, and well disciplined course of conduct. Whereas Sylla could never moderate his unruly affections, either by poverty when young, or by years when grown old, but would be still prescribing laws to the citizens concerning chastity and sobriety, himself living all that time, as Sallust affirms, in lewdness and adultery. By these ways he so impoverished and drained the city of her treasures, as to be forced to sell privileges and immunities to allied and friendly cities for money, although he daily gave up the wealthiest and greatest families to public sale and confiscation. There was no end of his favors vainly spent and thrown away on flatterers; for what hope could there be, or what likelihood of forethought or economy, in his more private moments over wine, when, in the open face of the people, upon the auction of a large estate, which he would have passed over to one of his friends at a small price, because another bid higher, and the officer announced the advance, he broke out into a passion, saying, “What a strange and unjust thing is this, O citizens, that I cannot dispose of my own booty as I please!” But Lysander, on the contrary, with the rest of the spoil, sent home for public use even the presents which were made him. Nor do I commend him for it, for he perhaps, by excessive liberality, did Sparta more harm, than ever the other did Rome by rapine; I only use it as an argument of his indifference to riches. They exercised a strange influence on their respective cities. Sylla, a profuse debauchee, endeavored to restore sober living amongst the citizens; Lysander, temperate himself, filled Sparta with the luxury he disregarded. So that both were blameworthy, the one for raising himself above his own laws, the other for causing his fellow citizens to fall beneath his own example. He taught Sparta to want the very things which he himself had learned to do without. And thus much of their civil administration.

As for feats of arms, wise conduct in war, innumerable victories, perilous adventures, Sylla was beyond compare. Lysander, indeed, came off twice victorious in two battles by sea; I shall add to that the siege of Athens, a work of greater fame, than difficulty. What occurred in Boeotia, and at Haliartus, was the result, perhaps, of ill fortune; yet it certainly looks like ill counsel, not to wait for the king’s forces, which had all but arrived from Plataea, but out of ambition and eagerness to fight, to approach the walls at disadvantage, and so to be cut off by a sally of inconsiderable men. He received his death-wound, not as Cleombrotus at Leuctra, resisting manfully the assault of an enemy in the field; not as Cyrus or Epaminondas, sustaining the declining battle, or making sure the victory; all these died the death of kings and generals; but he, as it had been some common skirmisher or scout, cast away his life ingloriously, giving testimony to the wisdom of the ancient Spartan maxim, to avoid attacks on walled cities, in which the stoutest warrior may chance to fall by the hand, not only of a man utterly his inferior, but by that of a boy or woman, as Achilles, they say, was slain by Paris in the gates. As for Sylla, it were hard to reckon up how many set battles he won, or how many thousands he slew; he took Rome itself twice, as also the Athenian Piraeus, not by famine, as Lysander did, but by a series of great battles, driving Archelaus into the sea. And what is most important, there was a vast difference between the commanders they had to deal with. For I look upon it as an easy task, or rather sport, to beat Antiochus, Alcibiades’s pilot, or to circumvent Philocles, the Athenian demagogue,

Sharp only at the inglorious point of tongue,

whom Mithridates would have scorned to compare with his groom, or Marius with his lictor. But of the potentates, consuls, commanders, and demagogues, to pass by all the rest who opposed themselves to Sylla, who amongst the Romans so formidable as Marius? what king more powerful than Mithridates? who of the Italians more warlike than Lamponius and Telesinus? yet of these, one he drove into banishment, one he quelled, and the others he slew.

And what is more important, in my judgment, than anything yet adduced, is that Lysander had the assistance of the State in all his achievements; whereas Sylla, besides that he was a banished person, and overpowered by a faction, at a time when his wife was driven from home, his houses demolished, and adherents slain, himself then in Boeotia, stood embattled against countless numbers of the public enemy, and endangering himself for the sake of his country, raised a trophy of victory; and not even when Mithridates came with proposals of alliance and aid against his enemies, would he show any sort of compliance, or even clemency; did not so much as address him, or vouchsafe him his hand, until he had it from the king’s own mouth, that he was willing to quit Asia, surrender the navy, and restore Bithynia and Cappadocia to the two kings. Than which action, Sylla never performed a braver, or with a nobler spirit, when, preferring the public good to the private, and like good hounds, where he had once fixed, never letting go his hold, till the enemy yielded, then, and not until then, he set himself to revenge his own private quarrels. We may perhaps let ourselves be influenced, moreover, in our comparison of their characters, by considering their treatment of Athens. Sylla, when he had made himself master of the city, which then upheld the dominion and power of Mithridates in opposition to him, restored her to liberty and the free exercise of her own laws; Lysander, on the contrary, when she had fallen from a vast height of dignity and rule, showed her no compassion, but abolishing her democratic government, imposed on her the most cruel and lawless tyrants. We are now qualified to consider, whether we should go far from the truth or no, in pronouncing that Sylla performed the more glorious deeds, but Lysander committed the fewer faults, as, likewise, by giving to one the preeminence for moderation and self-control, to the other, for conduct and valor.



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