Justinus: Epitome of Pompeius Trogus' Philippic Histories

    - books 7 to 10

Translated by Rev. J.S.Watson (1853). See key to translations for an explanation of the format.

← previous books (3-6)


[7.1]   L  Macedonia was formerly called Emathia, from the name of king Emathion, of whose prowess the earliest proofs are extant in those parts. 2 As the origin of this kingdom was but humble, so its limits were at first extremely narrow. 3 The inhabitants were called Pelasgi, the country Paeonia. 4 But in process of time, when, through the ability of their princes and the exertions of their subjects, they had conquered, first of all, the neighbouring tribes, and afterwards other nations and peoples, their dominions extended to the utmost boundaries of the east. 5 In the region of Paeonia, which is now a portion of Macedonia, is said to have reigned Pelegonus, the father of Asteropaeus, whose name we find, in the Trojan war, among the most distinguished defenders of the city. 6 On the other side a king named Europus held the sovereignty in a district called Europa.

7 But Caranus, accompanied by a great multitude of Greeks, having been directed by an oracle to seek a settlement in Macedonia, and having come into Emathia, and followed a flock of goats that were fleeing from a tempest, possessed himself of the city of Edessa, before the inhabitants, on account of the thickness of the rain and mist, were aware of his approach; 8 and being reminded of the oracle, by which he had been ordered "to seek a kingdom with goats for his guides," he made this city the seat of his government, 9 and afterwards religiously took care, whithersoever he led his troops, to keep the same goats before his standards, that he might have those animals as leaders in his enterprises which he had had as guides to the site of his kingdom. 10 He changed the name of the city, in commemoration of his good fortune, from Edessa to Aegeae, and called the inhabitants Aegeatae. 11 Having subsequently expelled Midas (for he also occupied a part of Macedonia), and driven other kings from their territories, he established himself, as sole monarch, in the place of them all, 12 and was the first that, by uniting tribes of different people, formed Macedonia as it were into one body, and laid a solid foundation for the extension of his growing kingdom.

[7.2]   L  After him reigned Perdiccas, whose life was distinguished, and the circumstances of whose death, as if ordered by an oracle, were worthy of record; 2 for when he was old and at the point of death, he made known to his son Argaeus a place in which he wished to be buried, and directed that not only his own bones, but those of the kings that should succeed him, should be deposited in the same spot; 3 signifying that, "as long as the relics of his posterity should be buried there, the crown would remain in his family;" 4 and the people believe, in consequence of this superstitious notion, that the line came to be extinct in Alexander, because he changed the place of burial. 5 Argaeus, having governed the kingdom with moderation, and gained the love of his subjects, left his son Philippus his successor, who, being carried off by an untimely death, made Aeropus, then quite a boy, his heir.

6 The Macedonians had perpetual contests with the Thracians and Illyrians, and, being hardened by their arms, as it were by daily exercise, they struck terror into their neighbours by the splendour of their reputation for war. 7 The Illyrians, however, despising the boyhood of a king under age, attacked the Macedonians, 8 who, being worsted in the field, brought out their king with them in his cradle, and, placing him behind the front lines, renewed the fight with greater vigour, 9 as if they had been defeated before, because the fortune of their prince was not with them in the battle, 10 and would now certainly conquer, because, from this superstitious fancy, they had conceived a confidence of victory; 11 while compassion for the infant, also, moved them, as, if they were overcome, they seemed likely to transform him from a king into a captive. 12 Engaging in battle, therefore, they routed the Illyrians with great slaughter, and showed their enemies, that, in the former encounter, it was a king, and not valour, that was wanting to the Macedonians. 13 To Aeropus succeeded Amyntas, a prince eminently distinguished, both for his own personal valour, and for the excellent abilities of his son Alexander, 14 who had from nature such remarkable talents of every kind, that he contended for the prize in various species of exercises at the Olympic games.

[7.3]   L  About this time Darius king of Persia, having been forced to quit Scythia in dishonourable flight, but not wishing to be thought everywhere contemptible from losses in war, despatched Megabazus, with a portion of his army, to subdue Thrace, and other kingdoms in those parts; to which Macedonia, he thought, would fall as an unimportant addition. 2 Megabazus, speedily executing the king's orders, and sending deputies to Amyntas king of Macedonia, demanded that hostages should be given him as a pledge of future peace. 3 The deputies, being liberally entertained, asked Amyntas, as their intoxication increased in the progress of a banquet, "to add to the magnificence of his board the privileges of friendship, by sending for his and his sons' wives to join the feast; a practice which is deemed, among the Persians, a pledge and bond of hospitality." 4 The women having entered, and the Persians laying hands upon them too freely, Alexander, the son of Amyntas, begged his father, from regard to his age and dignity, to leave the banqueting-room, engaging that he himself would moderate the frolicsome spirit of their guests. 5 Amyntas having withdrawn, Alexander called the women from the apartment for a while, under pretext of having them dressed in better style, and bringing them back with greater attractions. 6 But in their place he put young men, clad in the habit of matrons, and ordered them to chastise the insolence of the deputies with swords which they were to carry under their garments. 7 All of them being thus put to death, Megabazus, not knowing what had happened, but finding that the deputies did not return, sent Bubares to Macedonia with a detachment of his forces, as to an easy and trifling contest; 8 disdaining to go himself, that he might not be disgraced by an encounter with so despicable a people. 9 But Bubares, before he came to an engagement, fell in love with the daughter of Amyntas; breaking off hostilities, he celebrated a marriage, and, all thoughts of war being abandoned, entered into bonds of affinity with the king.

[7.4]   L  Soon after the departure of Bubares from Macedonia, king Amyntas died; but his relationship with Bubares not only secured to his son and successor, Alexander, peace during the reign of Darius, but also such favour with Xerxes, that, when that monarch overspread Greece like a tempest, he conferred upon him the sovereignty of all the country between the mountains of Olympus and Haemus. 2 But Alexander enlarged his dominions not less by his own valour than through the munificence of the Persians. 3 The throne afterwards descended, by the order of succession, to Amyntas, the son of his brother Menelaus. 4 This prince was remarkable for his application to business, and was endowed with all the accomplishments of a great general. 5 By his wife Eurydice he had three sons, Alexander, Perdiccas, and Philippus, the father of Alexander the Great, and one daughter, named Eurynoe; he had also by Gygaea Archelaus, Aridaeus, and Menelaus. 6 Subsequently he had formidable contests with the Illyrians and Olynthians. 7 He would have been cut off by a plot of his wife Eurydice, who, having engaged to marry her son-in-law, had undertaken to kill her husband, and to put the government into the hands of her paramour, had not her daughter betrayed the intrigue and atrocious intentions of her mother. 9 Having escaped so many dangers, he died at an advanced age, leaving the throne to Alexander, the eldest of his sons.

[7.5]   L  Alexander, at the very beginning of his reign, purchased peace from the Illyrians with a sum of money, giving his brother Philippus to them as a hostage. 2 Sometime after, too, he made peace with the Thebans by giving the same hostage; a circumstance which afforded Philippus fine opportunities of improving his extraordinary abilities; 3 for, being kept as a hostage at Thebes three years, he received the first rudiments of education in a city distinguished for strictness of discipline, and in the house of Epaminondas, an eminent philosopher, as well as commander. 4 Not long afterwards Alexander fell by a plot of his mother Eurydice, 5 whom Amyntas, when she was convicted of a conspiracy against him, had spared for the sake of their children, little imagining that she would one day be the destroyer of them. 6 Perdiccas, also, the brother of Alexander, was taken off by similar treachery. 7 Horrible, indeed, was it, that children should have been deprived of life by a mother, to gratify her lust, whom a regard for those very children had saved from the punishment of her crimes. 8 The murder of Perdiccas seemed the more atrocious from the circumstance that not even the prayers of his little son could procure him pity from his mother. 9 Philippus, for a long time, acted, not as king, but as guardian to this infant; 10 but when dangerous wars threatened, and it was too long to wait for the co-operation of a prince who was yet a child, he was forced by the people to take the government upon himself.

[7.6]   L  When he took possession of the throne, great hopes were formed of him by all, both on account of his abilities, which promised that he would prove a great man, and on account of certain old oracles respecting Macedonia, 2 which had foretold that "when one of the sons of Amyntas should be king, the state of the country would be extremely flourishing:" to fulfil which expectations the wickedness of his mother had left only him. 3 At the commencement of his reign, when, on the one hand, the murder of his brother, so atrociously put to death, and the dread of treachery; on the other, a multitude of enemies, and the poverty of his kingdom, exhausted by a series of wars, bore hard upon the young king's immature age, 4 thinking it proper to make distinct arrangements as to the wars, which, as if by a common conspiracy to crush Macedonia, rose around him from different nations and several quarters at the same time, to all of which he could not at once make resistance, 5 he put an end to some by offers of peace, and bought off others, but attacked such of his enemies as seemed easiest to be subdued, that, by a victory over them, he might confirm the wavering minds of his soldiers, and alter any feelings of contempt with which his adversaries might regard him. 6 His first conflict was with the Athenians, whom he surprised by a stratagem, but, though he might have put them all to the sword, he yet, from dread of a more formidable war, allowed them to depart uninjured and without ransom. 7 Afterwards, leading his army against the Illyrians, he killed several thousand of his enemies; and (?) he captured the famous city of Larissa. 8 He then fell suddenly on Thessaly (when it apprehended anything rather than war), not from desire of spoil, but because he wished to add the strength of the Thessalian cavalry to his own troops; 9 and he thus incorporated a force of horse and foot in one invincible army. 10 His undertakings having been thus far successful, he married Olympias, daughter of Neoptolemus, afterwards king of the Molossians. 11 Her cousin Arrybas, then king of that nation, who had brought up the young princess, and had married her sister Troas, promoted the union; but this proceeding proved the cause of his ruin, and the beginning of all the evils that afterwards befell him;12 for while he hoped to strengthen his kingdom by this affinity with Philippus, he was by that monarch deprived of his crown, and spent his old age in exile.

13 After these proceedings, Philippus, no longer satisfied with acting on the defensive, boldly attacked even those who gave him no molestation. 14 While he was besieging Methone, an arrow, shot from the walls at him as he was passing by, struck out his right eye; 15 but by this wound he was neither rendered less active in the siege, nor more resentful towards the enemy; 16 so that, some days after, he granted them peace on their application for it, and was not only not severe, but even merciful, to the conquered.


[8.1]   L  The states of Greece, while each sought to gain the sovereignty of the country for itself, lost it as a body. 2 Striving intemperately to ruin one another, they did not perceive, till they were oppressed by another power, that what each lost was a common loss to all; 3 for Philippus, king of Macedonia, looking, as from a watch-tower, for an opportunity to attack their liberties, and fomenting their contentions by assisting the weaker, obliged victors and vanquished alike to submit to his royal yoke. 4 The Thebans were the cause and origin of this calamity, who, obtaining power, and having no steadiness of mind to bear prosperity, insolently accused the Lacedaemonians and Phocians, when they had conquered them in the field, before the common council of Greece, as if they had not been sufficiently punished by the slaughters and depredations that they had suffered. 5 It was laid to the charge of the Lacedaemonians, that they had seized the citadel of Thebes during a time of truce, and to that of the Phocians, that they had laid waste Boeotia, 6 as if the Thebans themselves, after their conduct in the field, had left themselves any ground for resorting to law. 7 But as the cause was conducted according to the will of the more powerful, the Phocians were sentenced to pay such a fine as it was impossible for them to raise, 8 and in consequence, despoiled of their lands, children, and wives, and reduced to desperation, they seized, under the leadership of one Philomelus, on the temple of Apollo at Delphi, as if they were enraged at the god. 9 Being hence enriched with gold and treasure, and hiring mercenary troops, they made war upon the Thebans. 10 This proceeding of the Phocians, though all expressed detestation at the sacrilege, brought more odium upon the Thebans, by whom they had been reduced to such necessity, than on the Phocians themselves; 11 and aid was in consequence despatched to them both by the Athenians and Lacedaemonians. 12 In the first engagement, Philomelus drove the Thebans from their camp; 13 but in the next he was killed, fighting in front among the thickest of the enemy, and paid the penalty of his sacrilege by the effusion of his impious blood. 14 Onomarchus was made general in his stead.

[8.2]   L  To oppose Onomarchus, the Thebans and Thessalians chose as general, not one of their own people, lest they should not be able to endure his rule if he should conquer, 2 but Philippus, king of Macedonia, voluntarily submitting to that power from a foreigner which they dreaded in the hands of their own countrymen. 3 Philippus, as if he were the avenger of the sacrilege, not the defender of the Thebans, ordered all his soldiers to assume crowns of laurel, and proceeded to battle as if under the leadership of the god. 4 The Phocians, seeing these symbols of the deity, and burdened with the consciousness of guilt, threw down their arms and fled, receiving punishment for their violation of religion by the bloodshed and slaughter that they suffered. 5 This affair brought incredibly great glory to Philippus in the opinion of all people, 6 who called him "the avenger of the god, and the defender of religion," and said that "he alone had arisen to require satisfaction for what ought to have been punished by the combined force of the world, 7 and was consequently worthy to be ranked next to the gods, as by him the majesty of the gods had been vindicated."

8 The Athenians, hearing the result of the conflict, and fearing that Philippus would march into Greece, took possession of the straits of Thermopylae, as they had done on the invasion of the Persians, but by no means with like spirit, or in a similar cause; 9 for then they fought on behalf of the liberty of Greece, now, on behalf of public sacrilege; then to defend the temples of the gods from the ravages of an enemy, now, to defend the plunderers of temples against the avengers of their guilt, 10 acting as advocates of a crime of which it was dishonourable to them that others should have been the punishers, 11 and utterly unmindful that, in their dangers, they had often had recourse to this deity as a counsellor; that, under his guidance, they had entered on so many wars with success, had founded so many cities auspiciously, and had acquired so extensive a dominion by sea and land: and that they had never done anything, either of a public or private nature, without the sanction of his authority. 12 Strange that a people of such ability, improved by every kind of learning, and formed by the most excellent laws and institutions, should have brought such guilt upon themselves as to leave nothing with which they could afterwards justly upbraid barbarians.

[8.3]   L  Nor did Philippus distinguish himself by more honourable conduct towards his allies; 2 for, as if he was afraid of being surpassed by his opponents in the guilt of sacrilege, he seized and plundered, like an enemy, cities of which he had just before been captain, which had fought under his auspices, and which had congratulated him and themselves on their victories; 3 he sold the wives and children of the inhabitants for slaves; 4 he spared neither the temples of the gods, nor other sacred structures, nor the penates, public or private, before whom he had recently presented himself as a guest; 5 so that he seemed not so much to avenge sacrilege as to seek a license for committing it.

6 In the next place, as if he had done everything well, he crossed over into Chalcidice, where, conducting his wars with equal perfidy, and treacherously capturing or killing the neighbouring princes, he united the whole of the province to the kingdom of Macedonia. 7 Afterwards, to throw a veil over his character for dishonesty, for which he was now deemed remarkable above other men, he sent persons through the kingdoms and the richest of the cities, 8 to spread a report that king Philippus was ready to contract, at a vast sum, for the re-building of the walls, temples, and sacred edifices, in the several towns, and to invite contractors by public criers; 9 but when those who were willing to undertake these works went to Macedonia, they found themselves put off with various excuses, and, from dread of the king's power, returned quietly to their homes. 10 Soon after he fell upon the Olynthians, because, after the death of one of his brothers, they had, from pity, afforded a refuge to two others, whom, being the sons of his step-mother, Philippus would gladly have cut off, as pretenders to a share in the throne. 11 For this reason he destroyed an ancient and noble city, consigning his brothers to the death long before destined for them, and delighting himself at the same time with a vast quantity of booty, and the gratification of his fratricidal inclinations. 12 Next, as if everything that he meditated was lawful for him to do, he seized upon the gold mines in Thessaly, and the silver ones in Thrace, 13 and, to leave no law or right unviolated, proceeded to engage in piracy. 14 While such was his conduct, it happened that two brothers, princes of Thrace, chose him as arbitrator in their disputes, not, indeed, from respect for his justice, but because each dreaded that he would unite his strength to that of the other. 15 Philippus, in accordance with his practice and disposition, came unexpectedly upon the brothers with an army in full array, not apparently to try a cause, but to fight a battle, and spoiled them both of their dominions, not like a judge, but with the perfidy and baseness of a robber.

[8.4]   L  During the course of these transactions, ambassadors came to him from the Athenians to ask for peace. 2 Having listened to their request, he despatched ambassadors to Athens with terms, and a peace was concluded there to the advantage of both parties. 3 Embassies came to him also from other states of Greece, not from inclination for peace, but for fear of war; 4 for the Thessalians and Boeotians, with reviving wrath, entreated that he would prove himself the leader of Greece, as he had professed to be, against the Phocians; 5 such being the hatred with which they were inflamed towards that people, that they chose rather to perish themselves, than not to destroy them, and to submit to the known cruelty of Philippus, rather than spare their enemies.6 On the other hand, ambassadors from the Phocians (the Lacedaemonians and Athenians joining with them) endeavoured to avert the war, forbearance from which they had thrice before purchased from Philippus. 7 It was a shameful and miserable sight, to behold Greece, even then the most distinguished country in the world for power and dignity, a country that had constantly been the conqueror of kings and nations, and was still mistress of many cities, waiting at a foreign court to ask or deprecate war;8 that the champions of the world should place all their hopes on assistance from another, and should be reduced, by their discords and civil feuds, to such a condition as to flatter a power which had lately been a humble portion of their dependencies; 9 and that the Thebans and Lacedaemonians should especially do this, who were formerly rivals for sovereignty, but now for the favour of a sovereign. 10 Philippus, to show his importance, assumed an air of disdain for these great cities, and deliberated to which of the two he should vouchsafe his favour. 11 Having heard both embassies privately, he promised to the one security from war, binding them by an oath to reveal his answer to nobody; to the other he engaged himself to come and bring them assistance. He charged them both neither to prepare for war, nor to fear it. 12 Different replies being thus given to each, he seized, while they were all free from apprehension, on the pass of Thermopylae.

[8.5]   L  The Phocians in consequence, finding themselves overreached by the cunning of Philippus, were the first, in great trepidation, to take arms. 2 But there was no time to make due preparation for war, or to collect auxiliaries, and Philippus, unless a surrender should be made, threatened their destruction. 3 Overcome, accordingly, by necessity, they submitted, stipulating only for their lives. 4 But this stipulation was just as faithfully observed by Philippus as his promises had been respecting the war which they had deprecated. 5 They were everywhere put to the sword, or made prisoners; children were not left to their parents, nor wives to their husbands, nor the statues of the gods in the temples. 6 The sole comfort of the wretched people was, that as Philippus had defrauded his allies of their share of the spoil, they saw none of their property in the hands of their enemies.

7 On his return to his kingdom, as shepherds drive their flocks sometimes into winter, sometimes into summer pastures, so he transplanted people and cities hither and thither, according to his caprice, as places appeared to him proper to be peopled or left desolate. 8 The aspect of things was everywhere wretched, like that of a country ravaged by an enemy. 9 There was not, indeed, that terror of a foe, or hurrying of troops through the cities, or seizure of property and prisoners, which are seen during a hostile invasion; but there prevailed a sorrow and sadness not expressed in words, 10 the people fearing that even their very tears would he thought signs of discontent 11 Their grief was augmented by the very concealment of it, sinking the deeper the less they were permitted to utter it. 12 At one time they contemplated the sepulchres of their ancestors, at another their old household gods, at another the homes in which they had been born, and in which they had had families; 13 lamenting sometimes their own fate, that they had lived to that day, and sometimes that of their children, that they were not born after it.

[8.6]   L  Some people he planted upon the frontiers of his kingdom to oppose his enemies; others he settled at the extremities of it. Some, whom he had taken prisoners in war, he distributed among certain cities to fill up the number of inhabitants; 2 and thus, out of various tribes and nations, he formed one kingdom and people. 3 When he had settled and put in order the affairs of Macedonia, he reduced the Dardanians and others of his neighbours, who were overreached by his treacherous dealings. 4 Nor did he keep his hands even from his own relations; for he resolved on expelling Arrybas, king of Epirus, who was nearly related to his wife Olympias, out of his kingdom; 5 and he invited Alexander, a step-son of Arrybas, and brother of his wife Olympias (a youth of remarkable beauty), into Macedonia, in his sister's name, 6 and engaged him, after earnestly tempting him with hopes of his father's throne, and pretending violent love for him, in a criminal intercourse, thinking to find greater submission from him, whether through shame on account of his guilt, or through obligation for a kingdom conferred upon him. 7 When he was twenty years of age, accordingly, he took the kingdom from Arrybas, and gave it to the youth, acting a base part towards both, 8 for he disregarded the claims of kinship in him from whom he took the kingdom, and corrupted him to whom he gave it before he made him a king.


[9.1]   L  When Philippus had once come into Greece, allured by the plunder of a few cities, and had formed an opinion, from the spoil of such towns as were of less note, how great must be the riches of all its cities put together, he resolved to make war upon the whole of Greece. 2 Thinking that it would greatly conduce to the promotion of his design, if he could get possession of Byzantium, a noble city and seaport, which would be a station for his forces by land and sea, he proceeded, as it shut its gates against him, to lay close siege to it. 3 This city had been founded by Pausanias, king of Sparta, and held by him for seven years, but afterwards, as the fortune of war varied, it was regarded as at one time belonging to the Athenians, and at another to the Lacedaemonians; 4 and this uncertainty of possession was the cause that, while neither party supported it as its own, it maintained its liberty with the greater determination. 5 Philippus, exhausted by the length of the siege, had recourse to piracy for a supply of money, 6 and having captured a hundred and seventy ships, and sold off the cargoes, he was enabled for a while to relieve his craving wants. 7 But that so great an army might not be wasted in the siege of a single city, he marched away with his best troops, and stormed some towns of the Chersonese. 8 He also sent for his son Alexander, who was then eighteen years of age, to join him, and learn the rudiments of war in the camp of his father. 9 He made an expedition, too, into Scythia, to get plunder, that, after the practice of traders, he might make up for the expenses of one war by the profits of another.

[9.2]   L  The king of the Scythians at that time was Atheas, who, being distressed by a war with the Istrians, sought aid from Philippus through the people of Apollonia, on the understanding that he would adopt him for his successor on the throne of Scythia. 2 But in the meantime, the king of the Istrians died, and relieved the Scythians both from the fear of war and the want of assistance. 3 Atheas, therefore, sending away the Macedonians, ordered a message to be sent to Philippus, that "he had neither sought his aid, nor proposed his adoption; 4 for the Scythians needed no protection from the Macedonians, to whom they were superior in the field, nor did he himself want an heir, as he had a son living." 5 When Philippus heard this, he sent ambassadors to Atheas to ask him to defray at least a portion of the expense of the siege, that he might not be forced to raise it for want of money; 6 "a request," he said, "with which he ought the more readily to comply, as, when he sent soldiers to his assistance, he had not even paid their expenses on the march, to say nothing of remuneration for their service." 7 Atheas, alluding to the rigour of their climate and the barrenness of their soil, which, far from enriching the Scythians with wealth, scarcely afforded them sustenance, replied, that "he had no treasury to satisfy so great a king, 8 and that he thought it less honourable to do little than to refuse altogether; 9 but that the Scythians were to be estimated by their valour and hardiness of body, not by their possessions." 10 Philippus, mocked by this message, broke up the siege of Byzantium, and entered upon a war with the Scythians, first sending ambassadors to lull them into security, by telling Atheas that "while he was besieging Byzantium, he had vowed a statue to Hercules, 11 which he was going to erect at the mouth of the Ister, requesting an unobstructed passage to pay his vow to the god, since he was coming as a friend to the Scythians." 12 Atheas desired him, "if his object was merely to fulfil his vow, to let the statue be sent to him," promising that "it should not only be erected, but should remain uninjured," but refusing "to allow an army to enter his territories," 13 and adding that, "if he should set up the statue in spite of the Scythians, he would take it down when he was gone, and turn the brass of it into heads for arrows." 14 With feelings thus irritated on both sides, a battle was fought. Though the Scythians were superior in courage and numbers, they were defeated by the subtlety of Philippus. 15 Twenty thousand young men and women were taken, and a vast number of cattle, but no gold or silver. This was the first proof which they had of the poverty of Scythia. 16 Twenty thousand fine mares were sent into Macedonia to raise a breed.

[9.3]   L  But as Philippus was returning from Scythia, the Triballi met him, and refused to allow him a passage, unless they received a share of the spoil. 2 Hence arose a dispute, and afterwards a battle, in which Philippus received so severe a wound through the thigh, that his horse was killed by it; 3 and while it was generally supposed that he was dead, the booty was lost. Thus the Scythian spoil, as if attended with a curse, had almost proved fatal to the Macedonians.

4 But as soon as he recovered from his wound, he made war upon the Athenians, of which he had long dissembled his intention. 5 The Thebans espoused their cause, fearing that if the Athenians were conquered, the war, like a fire in the neighbourhood, would spread to them. 6 An alliance being accordingly made between the two cities, which were just before at violent enmity with each other, they wearied Greece with embassies, stating that "they thought the common enemy should be repelled by their common strength, 7 for that Philippus would not rest, if his first attempts succeeded, until he had subjugated all Greece." 8 Some of the cities were moved by these arguments, and joined themselves to the Athenians; but the dread of a war induced some to go over to Philippus. 9 A battle being brought on, though the Athenians were far superior in number of soldiers, they were conquered by the valour of the Macedonians, which was invigorated by constant service in the field. 10 They were not, however, in defeat, unmindful of their ancient valour; for, falling with wounds in front, they all covered the places which they had been charged by their leaders to defend, with their dead bodies. 11 This day put an end to the glorious sovereignty and ancient liberty of all Greece.

[9.4]   L  Philippus' joy for this victory was artfully concealed. He abstained from offering the usual sacrifices on that day; he did not smile at table, or mingle any diversions with the entertainment; he had no chaplets or perfumes; and, as far as was in his power, he so managed his conquest that none might think of him as a conqueror. 2 He desired that he should not be called king, but general of Greece; 3 and conducted himself with such prudence, between his own secret joy on the one hand and the grief of the enemy on the other, that he neither appeared to his own subjects to rejoice, nor to the vanquished to insult them. 4 To the Athenians, whom he had found to be his bitterest enemies, he both sent back their prisoners without ransom, and gave up the bodies of the slain for burial; exhorting them to convey the relics of their dead to the sepulchres of their ancestors. 5 He also sent Alexander his son with his friend Antipater to Athens, to establish peace and friendship with them. 6 The Thebans, however, he compelled to purchase their prisoners, as well as the liberty of burying their dead. 7 Some of the chief men of their city, too, he put to death; others he banished, seizing upon the property of them all. 8 Afterwards, he reinstated in their country those that had been unjustly banished, of whom he made three hundred judges and governors of the city, 9 before whom when the most eminent citizens were arraigned on this very charge, that of having banished them unjustly, they had such spirit that they all acknowledged their participation in the fact, and affirmed that it was better with the state when they were condemned than when they were restored. 10 A wonderful instance of courage! They passed sentence, as far as they could, on those who had the disposal of them for life or death, and set at naught the pardon which their enemies could give them; and, as they could not avenge themselves by deeds, they manifested their boldness of spirit by words.

[9.5]   L  War being at an end in Greece, Philippus directed deputies from all the states to be summoned to Corinth, to settle the condition of affairs. 2 Here he fixed terms of peace for the whole of Greece, according to the merits of each city; and chose from them all a council, to form a senate as it were for the country. 3 But the Lacedaemonians, standing alone, showed contempt alike for the terms and the king; regarding the state of things, which had not been agreed upon by the cities themselves, but forced upon them by a conqueror, as a state, not of peace, but of slavery. 4 The number of troops to be furnished by each state was then determined, whether the king, in case of being attacked, was to be supported by their united force, or whether war was to be made on any other power under him as their general. 5 In all these preparations for war it was not to be doubted that the kingdom of Persia was the object in view. 6 The sum of the force was two hundred thousand infantry and fifteen thousand cavalry. 7 Exclusive of this number there was also the army of Macedonia, and the adjacent barbarians of the conquered nations.

8 In the beginning of the next spring, he sent forward three of his generals into that part of Asia which was under the power of the Persians, Parmenion, Amyntas, and Attalus, 9 whose sister he had recently married, having divorced Olympias, the mother of Alexander, on suspicion of adultery.

[9.6]   L  In the meantime, while the troops were assembling from Greece, he celebrated the marriage of his daughter Cleopatra with Alexander, whom he had made king of Epirus. 2 The day was remarkable for the pomp displayed on it, suitable to the magnificence of the two princes, him that gave his daughter in marriage, and him that married her. 3 Magnificent games were also celebrated, and as Philippus was going to view them, unattended by his guards, walking between the two Alexanders, his son and son-in-law, 4 Pausanias, a noble Macedonian youth, without being suspected by any one, posting himself in a narrow passage, killed him as he was going through it, and caused a day appointed for joy to be over-clouded with mourning for a death. 5 Pausanias, in the early part of his youth, had suffered gross violence at the hands of Attalus, to the indignity of which was added this further affront, 6 that Attalus had exposed him, after bringing him to a banquet and making him drunk, not only to insults from himself, but also to those of the company, as if he had been a common object for ill-treatment, and rendered him the laughing-stock of those of his own age. 7 Being impatient under this ignominy, Pausanias had often made complaints to Philippus, 8 but being put off with various excuses, not unattended with ridicule, and seeing his adversary also honoured with a general's commission, he turned his rage against Philippus himself, and inflicted on him, as an unjust judge, that revenge which he could not inflict on him as an adversary.

[9.7]   L  It is even believed that he was instigated to the act by Olympias, Alexander's mother, and that Alexander himself was not ignorant that his father was to be killed; 2 as Olympias had felt no less resentment at her divorce, and the preferment of Cleopatra to herself, than Pausanias had felt at the insults which he had received. 3 As for Alexander, it is said that he feared his brother by his step-mother as a rival for the throne; and hence it happened that he had previously quarrelled at a banquet, first with Attalus, and afterwards with his father himself, 4 insomuch that Philippus pursued him even with his drawn sword, and was hardly prevented from killing him by the entreaties of his friends. 5 Alexander had in consequence retired with his mother into Epirus, to take refuge with his uncle, and from thence to the king of the Illyrians, 6 and was with difficulty reconciled to his father when he recalled him, and not easily induced by the prayers of his relations to return. 7 Olympias, too, was instigating her brother, the king of Epirus, to go to war with Philippus, and would have prevailed upon him to do so, had not Philippus, by giving him his daughter in marriage, disarmed him as a son-in-law. 8 With these provocations to resentment, both of them are thought to have encouraged Pausanias, when complaining of his insults being left unpunished, to so atrocious a deed. 9 Olympias, it is certain, had horses prepared for the escape of the assassin; 10 and, when she heard that the king was dead, hastening to the funeral under the appearance of respect, she put a crown of gold, the same night that she arrived, on the head of Pausanias, as he was hanging on a cross; an act which no one but she would have dared to do, as long as the son of Philippus was alive. 11 A few days after, she burnt the body of the assassin, when it had been taken down, upon the remains of her husband, and made him a tomb in the same place; she also provided that yearly sacrifices should be performed to his manes, possessing the people with a superstitious notion for the purpose. 12 Next she forced Cleopatra, for whose sake she had been divorced from Philippus, to hang herself, having first killed her daughter in her lap, and enjoyed the sight of her suffering this vengeance, to which she had hastened by procuring the death of her husband. 13 Last of all she consecrated the sword, with which the king had been killed, to Apollo, under the name of Myrtale, which was Olympias's own name when a child. 14 And all these things were done so publicly, that she seems to have been afraid lest it should not be evident enough that the deed was promoted by her.

[9.8]   L  Philippus died at the age of forty-seven, after having reigned twenty-five years. 2 He had, by a dancing girl of Larissa, a son named Aridaeus, who reigned after Alexander. 3 He had also many others by several wives, as is not unusual with princes, some of whom died a natural death, and others by the sword. 4 As a king, he was more inclined to display in war, than in entertainments; 5 and his greatest riches were means for military operations. He was better at getting wealth than keeping it, 6 and, in consequence, was always poor amidst his daily spoliations. 7 Clemency and perfidy were equally valued by him; and no road to victory was, in his opinion, dishonourable. 8 He was equally pleasing and treacherous in his address, promising more than he could perform. He was well qualified either for serious conversation or for jesting. 9 He maintained friendships more with a view to interest than good faith. It was a common practice with him to pretend kindness where he hated, and to counterfeit dislike where he loved; to sow dissension among friends, and try to gain favour from both sides. 10 With such a disposition, his eloquence was very great, his language full of point and studied effect; so that neither did his facility fall short of his art, nor his invention of his facility, nor his art of his invention.

11 To Philippus succeeded his son Alexander, a prince greater than his father, both in his virtues and his vices. 12 Each of the two had a different mode of conquering; the one prosecuted his wars with open force, the other with subtlety; the one delighted in deceiving his enemies, the other in boldly repulsing them. 13 The one was more prudent in council, the other more noble in feeling. 14 The father would dissemble his resentment and often subdue it; when the son was provoked, there was neither delay nor bounds to his vengeance. 15 They were both too fond of wine, but the ill effects of their intoxication were totally different; the father would rush from a banquet to confront the enemy, fight with him, and rashly expose himself to dangers; the son vented his rage, not upon his enemies, but his friends. 16 A battle often sent away Philippus wounded; Alexander often left a banquet stained with the blood of his companions. 17 The one wished to reign with his friends, the other to reign over them. The one preferred to be loved, the other to be feared. 18 To literature both gave equal attention. The father had more cunning, the son more honour. 19 Philippus was more staid in his words, Alexander in his actions. 20 The son felt readier and nobler impulses to spare the conquered; the father showed no mercy even to his allies. The father was more inclined to frugality, the son to luxury. 21 By the same course by which the father laid the foundations of the empire of the world, the son consummated the glory of conquering the whole world.


[10.1]   L  Artaxerxes, king of Persia, had a hundred and fifteen sons by his concubines, but only three begotten in lawful wedlock, Darius, Ariarathes, and Ochus. 2 Of these the father, from paternal fondness, made Darius king during his own lifetime, contrary to the usage of the Persians, among whom the king is changed only by death; 3 for he thought nothing taken from himself that he conferred upon his son, and expected greater enjoyment from having progeny, if he saw the insignia of royalty adorning his son while he lived. 4 But Darius, after such an extraordinary proof of his father's affection, conceived the design of killing him. 5 He would have been bad enough, if he had meditated the parricide alone, but he became so much the worse, by enticing fifty of his brothers to a participation in his crime, and making them parricides in intention as well as himself. 6 It was certainly a kind of prodigy, that, among so great a number, the assassination should not only have been plotted, but concealed, and that of fifty children there should not have been found one, whom either respect for their father's dignity, or reverence for an old man, or gratitude for paternal kindness, could deter from so horrible a purpose. 7 Was the name of father so contemptible among so many sons, that he who should have been secured even against enemies by their protection, should be beset by their treason, and find it easier to defend himself against his foes than his children?

[10.2]   L  The cause of the intended parricide was even more atrocious than the crime itself; 2 for after Cyrus was killed in the war against his brother, of which mention has been previously made, Artaxerxes had married Aspasia, the concubine of Cyrus; 3 and Darius had required that his father should resign her to him as he had resigned the kingdom. Artaxerxes, from fondness for his children, said at first that he would do so, 4 but afterwards, from a change of mind, and in order plausibly to refuse what he had inconsiderately promised, made her a priestess of the sun, an office which obliged her to perpetual chastity. 5 The young Darius, being incensed at this proceeding, broke out at first into reproaches against his father, and subsequently entered into this conspiracy with his brothers. But while he was meditating destruction for his father, he was discovered and apprehended with his associates, and paid the penalty of his guilt to the gods who avenge paternal authority. 6 The wives of them all, too, together with their children, were put to death, that no memorial of such execrable wickedness might be left. 7 Soon after Artaxerxes died of a disease contracted by grief, having been happier as a king than as a father.

[10.3]   L  Possession of the throne was given to Ochus, who, dreading a similar conspiracy, filled the palace with the blood and dead bodies of his kinsmen and the nobility, being touched with compassion neither for consanguinity, nor sex, nor age, lest, apparently, he should be thought less wicked than his brothers that had meditated parricide.

2 Having thus, as it were, purified his kingdom, he made war upon the Cadusii; 3 in the course of which one Codomannus, followed by applause from all the Persians, engaged with one of the enemy that offered himself for single combat, and, having killed his antagonist, regained the victory for his fellow soldiers, as well as the glory which they had almost lost. 4 For this honourable service Codomannus was made governor of Armenia. 5 Sometime after, on the death of Ochus, he was chosen king by the people from regard to his former merits, and, that nothing might be wanting to his royal dignity, honoured with the name of Darius. 6 He maintained a long war, with various success, but with great efforts, against Alexander the Great. 7 But being at last overcome by Alexander, and slain by his relations, he terminated his life and the kingdom of the Persians together.

Following books (11-12) →

Attalus' home page   |   15.12.16   |   Any comments?