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

by John S. White

January, 2001  [Etext #2484]

Project Gutenberg The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch by John S. White
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The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch
Being Parts of The "Lives" of Plutarch
Edited for Boys and Girls With Introductions
By John S. White, LL.D.
Head-Master Berkeley School

Table of Contents

Life of Theseus
Life of Romulus
Comparison of Theseus and Romulus
Life of Lycurgus
Life of Solon
Life of Themistocles
Life of Camillus
Life of Pericles
Life of Demosthenes
Life of Cicero
Comparison of Demosthenes and Cicero
Life of Alcibiades
Life of Coriolanus
Comparison of Alcibiades and Coriolanus
Life of Aristides
Life of Cimon
Life of Pompey
The Engines of Archimedes; from the Life of Marcellus
Description of Cleopatra; from the Life of Antony
Anecdotes from the Life of Agesilaus
The Brothers; from the Life of Timoleon
The Wound of Philopoemen
A Roman Triumph; from the Life of Paulus Aemilius
The Noble Character of Caius Fabricius; from the Life of Pyrrhus
From the Life of Quintus Fabius Maximus
The Cruelty of Lucius Cornelius Sylla
The Luxury of Lucullus
From the Life of Sertorius the Roman, who endeavored to establish
a separate Government for himself in Spain
The Scroll; from the Life of Lysander
The Character of Marcus Cato
The Sacred Theban Band; from the Life of Pelopidas
From the Life of Titus Flamininus, Conqueror of Philip
Life of Alexander the Great
The Death of Caesar


As geographers crowd into the edges of their maps parts of the
world which they do not know about, adding notes in the margin to
the effect that beyond this lies nothing but sandy deserts full of
wild beasts, unapproachable bogs, Seythian ice, or frozen sea, so,
in this great work of mine, in which I have compared the lives of
the greatest men with one another, after passing through those
periods which probable reasoning can reach to and real history
find a footing in, I might very well say of those that are farther
off, Beyond this there is nothing but prodigies and fictions; the
only inhabitants are the poets and inventors of fables; there is
no credit, or certainty any farther. Yet, after publishing an
account of Lycurgus the lawgiver and Numa the king, I thought I
might, not without reason, ascend as high as to Romulus, being
brought by my history so near to his time. Considering therefore
with myself

Whom shall I set so great a man face to face?
Or whom oppose? Who's equal to the place?

(as Aeschylus expresses it), I found none so fit as he who peopled
the beautiful and far-famed city of Athens, to be set in
opposition with the father of the invincible and renowned city of
Rome. Let us hope that Fable may, in what shall follow, so submit
to the purifying processes of Reason as to take the character of
exact history. We shall beg that we may meet with candid readers,
and such as will receive with indulgence the stories of antiquity.

Theseus seemed to me to resemble Romulus in many particulars. Both
of them had the repute of being sprung from the gods.

Both warriors; that by all the world's allowed.

Both of them united with strength of body an equal vigor of mind;
and of the two most famous cities of the world, the one built in
Rome, and the other made Athens be inhabited. Neither of them
could avoid domestic misfortunes nor jealousy at home; but toward
the close of their lives are both of them said to have incurred
great odium with their countrymen, if, that is, we may take the
stories least like poetry as our guide to truth.

Theseus was the son of Aegeus and Aethra. His lineage, by his
father's side, ascends as high as to Erechtheus and the first
inhabitants of Attica. By his mother's side, he was descended of
Pelops, who was the most powerful of all the kings of

When Aegeus went from the home of Aethra in Troezen to Athens, he
left a sword and a pair of shoes, hiding them under a great stone
that had a hollow in it exactly fitting them; and went away making
her only privy to it, and commanding her that, if, when their son
came to man's estate, he should be able to lift up the stone and
take away what he had left there, she should send him away to him
with those things with all secrecy, and with injunctions to him as
much as possible to conceal his journey from everyone; for he
greatly feared the Pallantidae, who were continually mutinying
against him, and despised him for his want of children, they
themselves being fifty brothers, all sons of Pallas, the brother
of Aegeus.

When Aethra's son was born, some say that he was immediately named
Theseus, from the tokens which his father had put under the stone;
others that he received his name afterwards at Athens, when Aegeus
acknowledged him for his son. He was brought up under his
grandfather Pittheus, and had a tutor and attendant set over him
named Connidas, to whom the Athenians, even to this time, the day
before the feast that is dedicated to Theseus, sacrifice a ram,
giving this honor to his memory upon much juster grounds than to
Silanio and Parrhasius, for making pictures and statues of
Theseus. There being then a custom for the Grecian youth, upon
their first coming to a man's estate, to go to Delphi and offer
firstfruits of their hair to the god, Theseus also went thither,
and a place there to this day is yet named Thesea, as it is said,
from him. He clipped only the fore part of his head, as Homer says
the Abantes did. And this sort of tonsure was from him named
Theseis. The Abantes first used it, not in imitation of the
Arabians, as some imagine, nor of the Mysians, but because they
were a warlike people, and used to close fighting, and above all
other nations, accustomed to engage hand to hand; as Archilochus
testifies in these verses:

Slings shall not whirl, nor many arrows fly,
When on the plain the battle joins; but swords,
Man against man, the deadly conflict try,
As is the practice of Euboea's lords
Skilled with the spear.-

Therefore, that they might not give their enemies a hold by their
hair, they cut it in this manner. They write also that this was
the reason why Alexander gave command to his captains that all the
beards of the Macedonians should be shaved, as being the readiest
hold for an enemy.

Aethra for some time concealed the true parentage of Theseus, and
a report was given out by Pittheus that he was the son of Neptune;
for the Troezenians pay Neptune the highest veneration. He is
their tutelar god, to him they offer all their firstfruits, and in
his honor stamp their money with a trident.

Theseus displaying not only great strength of body, but equal
bravery, and a quickness alike and force of understanding, his
mother Aethra, conducting him to the stone, and informing him who
was his true father, commanded him to take from thence the tokens
that Aegeus had left, and to sail to Athens. He without any
difficulty set himself to the stone and lifted it up; but refused
to take his journey by sea, though it was much the safer way, and
though his mother and grandfather begged him to do so. For it was
at that time very dangerous to go by land on the road to Athens,
no part of it being free from robbers and murderers. That age
produced a sort of men, in force of hand, and swiftness of foot,
and strength of body, excelling the ordinary rate, and wholly
incapable of fatigue; making use, however, of these gifts of
nature to no good or profitable purpose for mankind, but rejoicing
and priding themselves in insolence, and taking the benefit of
their superior strength in the exercise of inhumanity and cruelty,
and in seizing, forcing, and committing all manner of outrages
upon everything that fell into their hands; all respect for
others, all justice, they thought, all equity and humanity, though
naturally lauded by common people, either out of want of courage
to commit injuries or fear to receive them, yet no way concerned
those who were strong enough to win for themselves. Some of these
Hercules destroyed and cut off in his passage through these
countries, but some, escaping his notice, while he was passing by,
fled and hid themselves, or else were spared by him in contempt of
their abject submission; and after that Hercules fell into
misfortune, and, having slain Iphitus, retired to Lydia, and for a
long time was there slave to Omphale, a punishment which he had
imposed upon himself for the murder. Then, indeed, Lydia enjoyed
high peace and security, but in Greece and the countries about it
the like villainies again revived and broke out, there being none
to repress or chastise them. It was therefore a very hazardous
journey to travel by land from Athens to Peloponnesus; and
Pittheus, giving him an exact account of each of these robbers and
villains, their strength, and the cruelty they used to all
strangers, tried to persuade Theseus to go by sea. But he, it
seems, had long since been secretly fired by the glory of
Hercules, held him in the highest estimation, and was never more
satisfied than in listening to any that gave an account of him;
especially those that had seen him, or had been present at any
action or saying of his. So that he was altogether in the same
state of feeling as, in after ages, Themistocles was, when he said
that he could not sleep for the trophy of Miltiades; entertaining
such admiration for the virtues of Hercules that in his dreams
were all of that hero's actions, and in the day a continual
emulation stirred him up to perform the like. Besides, they were
related, being born of own cousins. For Aethra was daughter of
Pittheus, and Alcmena of Lysidice; and Lysidice and Pittheus were
brother and sister, children of Hippodamia and Pelpos. He thought
it therefore a dishonorable thing, and not to be endured, that
Hercules should go out everywhere, and purge both land and sea
from the wicked men, and he should fly from the like adventures
that actually came his way; not showing his true father as good
evidence of the greatness of his birth by noble and worthy
actions, as by the tokens that he brought with him, the shoes and
the sword.

With this mind and these thoughts, he set forward with a design to
do injury to nobody, but to repel and avenge himself of all those
that should offer any. And first of all, in a set combat he slew
Periphtes, in the neighborhood of Epidaurus, who used a club for
his arms, and from thence had the name of Corynetes, or the club-
bearer; who seized upon him, and forbade him to go forward in his
journey. Being pleased with the club, he took it, and made it his
weapon, continuing to use it as Hercules did the lion's skin, on
whose shoulders that served to prove how huge a beast he had
killed; and to the same end Theseus carried about him this club;
overcome indeed by him, but now, in his hands, invincible.

Passing on further towards the Isthmus of Peloponnesus, he slew
Sinnis, often surnamed the Bender of Pines, after the same manner
in which he himself had destroyed many others before. And this he
did without having either practiced or ever learnt the art of
bending these trees, to show that natural strength is above all
art. This Sinnis had a daughter of remarkable beauty and stature,
called Perigune, who, when her father was killed, fled, and was
sought after everywhere by Theseus; and coming into a place
overgrown with brushwood, shrubs, and asparagus-thorn, there, in a
childlike, innocent manner, prayed and begged them, as if they
understood her, to give shelter, with vows that if she escaped she
would never cut them down nor burn them. But Theseus calling upon
her, and giving her his promise that he would use her with
respect, and offer no injury, she came forth. Whence it is a
family usage amongst the people called Ioxids, from the name of
her grandson, Ioxus, both male and female, never to burn either
shrubs or asparagus-thorn, but to respect and honor them.

The Crommyonian sow, which they called Phaea, was a savage and
formidable wild beast, by no means an enemy to be despised.
Theseus killed her, going out of his way on purpose to meet and
engage her, so that he might not seem to perform all his great
exploits out of mere necessity; being also of opinion that it was
the part of a brave man to chastise villainous and wicked men when
attacked by them, but to seek out and overcome the more noble wild
beasts. Others relate that Phaea was a woman, a robber full of
cruelty, that lived in Crommyon, and had the name of Sow given her
from the foulness of her life and manners, and afterwards was
killed by Theseus. He slew also Sciron, upon the borders of
Megara, casting him down from the rocks, being, as most report, a
notorious robber of all passengers, and, as others add, accustomed
out of insolence and wantonness, to stretch forth his feet to
strangers, commanding them to wash them, and then while they did
it, with a kick to send them down the rock into the sea.

In Eleusis he killed Cercyon, the Arcadian, in a wrestling match.
And going on a little farther, in Erineus, he slew Damastes,
otherwise called Procrustes, forcing his body to the size of his
own bed, as he himself was used to do with all strangers; this he
did in imitation of Hercules, who always returned upon his
assailants the same sort of violence that they offered to him;
sacrificed Busiris, killed Antaeus in wrestling, and Cycnus in
single combat, and Termerus by breaking his skull in pieces
(whence, they say, comes the proverb of "a Termerian mischief"),
for it seems Termerus killed passengers that he met by running
with his head against them. And so also Theseus proceeded with the
same violence from which they had inflicted upon others, justly
suffering after the same manner of their own injustice.

As he went forward on his journey, and was come as far as the
River Cephisus, some of the race of the Phytalidae met him and
saluted him, and upon his desire to use the purifications, then in
custom, they performed them with all the usual ceremonies, and
having offered propitiatory sacrifices to the gods, invited him
and entertained him at their house, a kindness which, in all his
journey hitherto, he had not met.

On the eighth day of Cronius, now called Hecatombaeon, he arrived
at Athens, where he found the public affairs full of all
confusion, and divided into parties and factions. Aegeus also, and
his whole private family, laboring under the same distemper; for
Medea, having fled from Corinth, was living with him. She was
first aware of Theseus, whom as yet Aegeus did not know, and he
being in years, full of jealousies and suspicions, and fearing
everything by reason of the faction that was then in the city, she
easily persuaded him to kill him by poison at a banquet, to which
he was to be invited as a stranger. He, coming to the
entertainment, thought it not fit to discover himself at once,
but, willing to give his father the occasion of first finding him
out, the meat being on the table, he drew his sword as if he
designed to cut with it; Aegeus, at once recognizing the token,
threw down the cup of poison, and, questioning his son, embraced
him, and, having gathered together all his citizens, owned him
publicly before them, who, on their part, received him gladly for
the fame of his greatness and bravery.

The sons of Pallas, who were quiet, upon expectation of recovering
the kingdom after Aegeus's death, who was without issue, as soon
as Theseus appeared and was acknowledged the successor, highly
resenting that Aegeus first, as adopted son only of Pandion, and
not at all related to the family of Erechtheus, should be holding
the kingdom, and that after him, Theseus, a visitor and stranger,
should be destined to succeed to it, broke out into open war. And,
dividing themselves into two companies, one part of them marched
openly from Sphettus, with their father, against the city; the
other, hiding themselves in the village of Gargettus, lay in
ambush, with a design to set upon the enemy on both sides. They
had with them a crier of the township of Agnus, named Leos, who
discovered to Theseus all the designs of the Pallentidae. He
immediately fell upon those that lay in amuscade, and cut them all
off; upon tidings of which Pallas and his company fled and were

From hence they say is derived the custom among the people of the
township of Pallene to have no marriages or any alliance with the
people of Agnus, nor to suffer the criers to pronounce in their
proclamations the words used in all other parts of the country,
Acouete Leoi (Hear ye people), hating the very sound of Leo,
because of the treason of Leos.

Theseus, longing to be in action, and desirous also to make
himself popular, left Athens to fight with the bull of Marathon,
which did no small mischief to the inhabitants of Tetrapolis. And,
having overcome it, he brought it alive in triumph through the
city, and afterwards sacrificed it to the Delphian Apollo. The
story of Hecale, also, of her receiving and entertaining Theseus
in this expedition, seems to be not altogether void of truth; for
the townships round about, meeting upon a certain day, used to
offer a sacrifice, which they called Hecalesia, to Jupiter
Hecaleius, and to pay honor to Hecale, whom, by a diminutive name,
they called Hecalene, because she, while entertaining Theseus, who
was quite a youth, addressed him, as old people do, with similar
endearing diminutives; and having made a vow to Jupiter that he
was going to the fight, that, if he returned in safety, she would
offer sacrifices in thanks of it, and dying before he came back,
she had these honors given her by way of return for her
hospitality, by the command of Theseus, as Philochorus tells us.

Not long afterwards came the third time from Crete the collectors
of the tribute which the Athenians paid them upon the following
occasion. Androgeus having been treacherously murdered in the
confines of Attica, not only Minos, his father, put the Athenians
to extreme distress by a perpetual war, but the gods also laid
waste their country; both famine and pestilence lay heavy upon
them, and even their rivers were dried up. Being told by the
oracle that if they appeased and reconciled Minos, the anger of
the gods would cease and they should enjoy rest from the miseries
they labored under, they sent heralds, and with much supplication
were at last reconciled, entering into an agreement to send to
Crete every nine years a tribute of seven young men and as many
virgins, as most writers agree in stating; and the most poetical
story adds that the Minotaur destroyed them, or that, wandering in
the Labyrinth, and finding no possible means of getting out, they
miserably ended their lives there, and that this Minotaur was (as
Euripides hath it)

A mingled form, where two strange shapes combined,
And different natures, bull and man, were joined.

Now when the time of the third tribute was come, and the fathers
who had any young men for their sons were to proceed by lot to the
choice of those that were to be sent, there arose fresh
discontents and accusations against Aegeus among the people, who
were full of grief and indignation that he, who was the cause of
all their miseries, was the only person exempt from the
punishment; adopting and setting his kingdom upon a foreign son,
he took no thought, they said, of their destitution and loss of
their lawful children. These things sensibly affected Theseus,
who, thinking it but just not to disregard, but rather partake of,
the sufferings of his fellow citizens, offered himself for one
without any lot. All else were struck with admiration for the
nobleness, and with love for the goodness, of the act; and Aegeus,
after prayers and entreaties, finding him inflexible and not to be
persuaded, proceeded to the choosing of the rest by lot.
Hellanicus, however, tells us that the Athenians did not send the
young men and virgins by lot, but that Minos himself used to come
and make his own choice, and pitched upon Theseus before all
others; according to the conditions agreed upon between, namely,
that the Athenians should furnish them with a ship, and that the
young men who were to sail with him should carry no weapon of war;
but that if the Minotaur was destroyed the tribute should cease.

On the two former occasions of the payment of the tribute,
entertaining no hopes of safety or return, they sent out the ship
with a black sail, as to unavoidable destruction; but now, Theseus
encouraging his father and speaking greatly of himself, as
confident that he should kill the Minotaur, he gave the pilot
another sail, which was white, commanding him, as he returned, if
Theseus were safe, to make use of that; but if not, to sail with
the black one, and to hang out that sign of his misfortune.
Simonides says that the sail which Aegeus delivered to the pilot
was not white, but

Scarlet, in the juicy bloom
Of the living oak-tree steeped.

The lot being cast, and Theseus having received out of the
Prytaneum those upon whom it fell, he went to the Delphinium, and
made an offering for them to Apollo of his suppliant's badge,
which was a bough of a consecrated olive tree, with white wool
tied about it.

Having thus performed his devotion, he went to sea, the sixth day
of Munychion, on which day even to this time the Athenians send
their virgins to the same temple to make supplication to the gods.
It is farther reported that he was commanded by the oracle at
Delphi to make Venus his guide, and to invoke her as the companion
and conductress of his voyage, and that, as he was sacrificing a
she goat to her by the seaside, it was suddenly changed into a he,
and for this cause that goddess had the name of Epitragia.

When he arrived at Crete, as most of the ancient historians as
well as poets tell us, having a clue of thread given him by
Ariadne, who had fallen in love with him, and being instructed by
her now to use it so as to conduct him through the windings of the
Labyrinth, he escaped out of it and slew the Minotaur, and sailed
back, taking along with him Ariadne and the young Athenian
captives. Pherecydes adds that he bored holes in the bottom of the
Cretan ships to hinder their pursuit. Demon writes that Taurus,
the chief captain of Minos, was slain by Theseus at the mouth of
the port, in a naval combat, as he was sailing out for Athens. But
Philochorus gives us the story thus: That at the setting forth of
the yearly games by King Minos, Taurus was expected to carry away
the prize, as he had done before; and was much grudged the honor.
His character and manners made his power hateful, and he was
accused, moreover, of too near familiarity with Pasiphae, for
which reason, when Theseus desired the combat, Minos readily
complied. And as it was a custom in Crete that the women also
should be admitted to the sight of these games, Ariadne, being
present, was struck with admiration of the manly beauty of
Theseus, and the vigor and address which he showed in combat,
overcoming all that encountered with him. Minos, too, being
extremely pleased with him, especially because he had overthrown
and disgraced Taurus, voluntarily gave up the young captives to
Theseus, and remitted the tribute to the Athenians.

There are yet many traditions about these things, and as many
concerning Ariadne, all inconsistent with each other. Some relate
that she hung herself, being deserted by Theseus. Others that she
was carried away by his sailors to the isle of Naxos, and married
to Oenarus, priest of Bacchus; and that Theseus left her because
he fell in love with another,

"For Aegle's love was burning in his breast."

Now Theseus, in his return from Crete, put in at Delos, and,
having sacrificed to the god of the island, dedicated to the
temple the image of Venus which Ariadne had given him, and danced
with the young Athenians a dance that., in memory of him, they say
is still preserved among the inhabitants of Delos, consisting in
certain measured turnings and returnings, imitative of the
windings and twistings of the Labyrinth. And this dance, as
Dicaearchus writes, is called among the Delians, the Crane. This
he danced round the Ceratonian Altar, so called from its
consisting of horns taken from the left side of the head. They
also say that he instituted games in Delos, where he was the first
that began the of giving a palm to the victors.

When they were come near the coast of Attica, so great was the joy
for the happy success of their voyage, that neither Theseus
himself nor the pilot remembered to hang out the sail which should
have been the token of their safety to Aegeus, who, in despair at
the sight, threw himself headlong from a rock, and perished in the
sea. But Theseus, being arrived at the port of Phalerum, paid
there the sacrifices which he had vowed to the gods at his setting
out to sea, and sent a herald to the city to carry the news of his
safe return. At his entrance, the herald found the people for the
most part full of grief for the loss of their king, others, as may
well be believed, as full of joy for the tidings that he brought,
and eager to welcome him and crown him with garlands for his good
news, which he indeed accepted of, but hung them upon his herald's
staff; and thus returning to the seaside before Theseus had
finished his libation to the gods, he stayed apart for fear of
disturbing the holy rites, but, as soon as the libation was ended,
went up and related the king's death, upon the hearing of which,
with great lamentations and a confused tumult of grief, they ran
with all haste to the city. And from hence, they say, it comes
that at this day, in the feast of Oschoporia, the herald is not
crowned, but his staff, and all who are present at the libation
cry out "eleleu, iou, iou," the first of which confused sounds is
commonly used by men in haste, or at a triumph, the other is
proper to people in consternation or disorder of mind.

Theseus, after the funeral of his father, paid his vows to Apollo
the seventh day of Pyanepsion; for on that day the youth that
returned with him safe from Crete made their entry into the city.
They say, also, that the custom of boiling pulse at this feast is
derived from hence; because the young men that escaped put all
that was left of their provision together, and, boiling it in one
common pot, feasted themselves with it, and ate it all up
together. Hence, also, they carry in procession an olive branch
bound about with wool (such as they then made use of in their
supplications), which they call Eiresione, crowned with all sorts
of fruits, to signify that scarcity and barrenness was ceased,
singing in their procession this song:

Eiresione brings figs, and Eiresione brings loaves;
Bring us honey in pints, and oil to rub on our bodies,
And a strong flagon of wine, for all to go mellow to bed on.

The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned had
thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the
time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as
they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place,
insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the
philosophers, for the logical question as to things that grow; one
side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other
contending that it was not the same.

Now, after the death of his father Aegeus, forming in his mind a
great and wonderful design, he gathered together all the
inhabitants of Attica into one town, and made them one people of
one city, whereas before they lived dispersed, and were not easy
to assemble upon any affair, for the common interest. Nay, the
differences and even wars often occurred between them, which he by
his persuasions appeased, going form township to township, and
from tribe to tribe. And those of a more private and mean
condition readily embracing such good advice, to those of greater
power he promised a commonwealth without monarchy, a democracy, or
people's government, in which he should only be continued as their
commander in war and the protector of their laws, all things else
being equally distributed among them;--and by this means brought
a part of them over to his proposal. The rest, fearing his power,
which was already grown very formidable, and knowing his courage
and resolution, chose rather to be persuaded than forced into a
compliance. He then dissolved all the distant state-houses,
council halls, and magistracies, and built one common state-house
(the Prytaneum) and council hall on the site of the present upper
town, and gave the name of Athens to the whole state, ordaining a
common feast and sacrifice, which he called Panathenaea, or the
sacrifice of all the united Athenians. He instituted also another
sacrifice, called Metoecia, or Feast of Migration, which is yet
celebrated on the sixteenth day of Hecatombaeon. Then, as he had
promised, he laid down his regal power and proceeded to order a
commonwealth, entering upon this great work not without advice
from the gods. For having sent to consult the oracle of Delphi
concerning the fortune of his new government and city, he received
this answer:

Son of the Pitthean maid,
To your town the terms and fates
My father gives of many states.
Be not anxious or afraid:
The bladder will not fail to swim
On the waves that compass him.

Which oracle, they say, one of the sibyls long after did in a
manner repeat to the Athenians, in this verse:

The bladder may be dipt, but not be drowned.

Farther yet designing to enlarge his city, he invited all
strangers to come and enjoy equal privileges with the natives, and
it is said that the common form, "Come hither all ye people," was
the words that Theseus proclaimed when he thus set up a
commonwealth, in a manner, for all nations. Yet he did not suffer
his state, by the promiscuous multitude that flowed in, to be
turned into confusion and be left without any order or degree, but
was the first that divided the commonwealth into three distinct
ranks, the noblemen, the husbandmen, and artificers. To the
nobility he committed the care of religion, the choice of
magistrates, the teaching and dispensing of the laws, and
interpretation and direction in all sacred matters; the whole city
being, as it were, reduced to an exact equality, the nobles
excelling the rest in honor, the husbandmen in profit, and the
artifices in number. And that Theseus was the first, who, as
Aristotle says, out of an inclination to popular government,
parted with the regal power, Homer also seems to testify, in his
catalogue of ships, where he gives the name of "People" to the
Athenians only.

He also coined money, and stamped it with the image of an ox,
either in memory of the Marathonian bull, or of Taurus, whom he
vanquished, or else to put his people in mind to follow husbandry;
and from this coin came the expression so frequent among the
Greeks, as a thing being worth ten or a hundred oxen. After this
he joined Megara to Attica, and erected that famous pillar on the
isthmus, which bears an inscription of two lines, showing the
bounds of the two countries that meet there. On the east side the
inscription is,-"Peloponnesus there, Ionia here," And on the west
side,-"Peloponnesus here, Ionia there."

He also instituted the games, in emulation of Hercules, being
ambitious that as the Greeks, by that hero's appointment,
celebrated the Olympian games to the honor of Jupiter, so, by his
institution, they should celebrate the Isthmian to the honor of
Neptune. At the same time he made an agreement with the
Corinthians, that they should allow those that came from Athens to
the celebration of the Isthmian games as much space of honor
before the rest to behold the spectacle in as the sail of the ship
that brought them thither, stretched to its full extent, could
cover; so Hellenicus and Andro of Halicarnassus have established.

Concerning his voyage into the Euxine Sea, Philochorus and some
others write that he made it with Hercules, offering him his
service in the war against the Amazons, and had Antiope given him
for the reward of his valor; but the greater number, of whom are
Pherecides, Hellanicus, and Herodorus, with a navy under his own
command, and took the Amazon prisoner,--the more probable story,
for we do not read that any other, of all those that accompanied
him in this action, took any Amazon prisoner. Bion adds, that, to
take her, he had to use deceit and fly away; for the Amazons, he
says, being naturally lovers of men, were so far from avoiding
Theseus when he touched upon their coasts, that they sent him
presents to his ship; but he, having invited Antiope, who brought
them, to come aboard, immediately set sail and carried her away.
An author named Menecrates, that wrote the History of Nicaea in
Bithynia, adds, that Theseus, having Antiope aboard his vessel,
cruised for some time about those coasts, and that there were in
the same ship three young men of Athens, that accompanied him in
his voyage, all brothers, whose names were Euneos, Thoas, and
Soloon. The last of these fell desperately in love with Antiope;
and escaping the notice of the rest, revealed the secret only to
one of his most intimate acquaintance, and employed him to
disclose his passion to Antiope. She rejected his pretences with a
very positive denial, yet treated the matter with much gentleness
and discretion, and made no complaint to Theseus of anything that
had happened; but Soloon, the thing being desperate, leaped into a
river near the seaside and drowned himself. As soon as Theseus was
aquainted with his death, and his unhappy love that was the cause
of it, he was extremely distressed, and, in the height of his
grief, an oracle which he had formerly received at Delphi came
into his mind; for he had been commanded by the priestess of
Apollo Pythius, that, wherever in a strange land he was most
sorrowful and under the greatest affliction, he should build a
city there, and leave some of his followers to be governors of the
place. For this cause he there founded a city, which he called,
from the name of Apollo, Pythopolis, and, in honor of the
unfortunate youth, he named the river that runs by it Soloon, and
left the two surviving brothers intrusted with the care of the
government and laws, joining with them Hermus, one of the nobility
of Athens, from whom a place in the city is called the House of
Hermus; though by an error in the accent it has been taken for the
House of Hermes, or Mercury, and the honor that was designed to
the hero, transferred to the god.

This was the origin and cause of the Amazonian invasion of Attica,
which would seem to have been no slight or womanish enterprise.
For it is impossible that they should have placed their camp in
the very city, and joined battle close by the Pnyx and the hill
called Museum, unless, having first conquered the country round
about, they had thus with impunity advanced to the city. That they
made so long a journey by land, and passed the Cimmerian Bosphorus
when frozen, as Hellanicus writes, is difficult to be believed.
That they encamped all but in the city is certain, and may be
sufficiently confirmed by the names that the places thereabout yet
retain, and the graves and the monuments of those that fell the
battle. Both armies being in sight, there was a long pause and
doubt on each side which should give the first onset; at last
Theseus, having sacrificed to Fear, in obedience to the command of
an oracle he had received, gave them battle, in which action a
great number of the Amazons were slain. At length, after four
months, a peace was concluded between them by the mediation of
Hippolyta (for so this historian calls the Amazon whom Theseus
married, and not Antiope), though others write that she was slain
with a dart by Molpadia, while fighting by Theseus's side, and
that the pillar which stands by the temple of Olympian Earth was
erected to her honor. Nor is it to be wondered at, that in events
of such antiquity, history should be in disorder. This is as much
as is worth telling concerning the Amazons.

The celebrated friendship between Theseus and Pirithous is said to
have been begun as follows: The fame of the strength and valor of
Theseus being spread through Greece, Pirithous was desirous to
make a trial and proof of it himself, and to this end seized a
herd of oxen which belonged to Theseus, and was driving them away
from Marathon, and, when news was brought that Theseus pursued him
in arms, he did not fly, but turned back and went to meet him. But
as soon as they had viewed one another, each so admired the
gracefulness and beauty, and was seized with such a respect for
the courage of the other, that they forgot all thoughts of
fighting; and Pirithous, first stretching out his hand to Theseus,
bade him be judge in this case himself, and promised to submit
willingly to any penalty he should impose. But Theseus not only
forgave him all, but entreated him to be his friend and brother in
arms; and they ratified their friendship by oaths. After this
Pirithous married Deidamia, and invited Theseus to the wedding,
entreating him to come and see his country, and make acquaintance
with the Lapithae; he had at the same time invited the Centaurs to
the feast, who, growing hot with wine and beginning to be insolent
and wild, the Lapithae took immediate revenge upon them, slaying
many of them upon the place, and afterwards, having overcome them
in battle, drove the whole race of them out of their country,
Theseus all along taking the part of the Lapithae, and fighting on
their side.

Theseus was now fifty years old, as Hellanicus states, when he
carried off Helen, who was yet too young to be married. Some
writers, to take away this accusation of one of the greatest
crimes laid to his charge, say that he did not steal away Helen
himself, but that Idas and Lynceus brought her to him, and
committed her to his charge, and that, therefore, he refused to
restore her at the demand of Castor and Pollux; or, indeed, they
say her own father, Tyndarus, had sent her to be kept by him, for
fear of Enarophorus, the son of Hippocoon, who would have carried
her away by force when she was yet a child. But the most probable
account, and that which has witnesses on its side, is this:
Theseus and Pirithous went both together to Sparta, and, having
seized the young lady as she was dancing in the temple of Diana
Orthia, fled away with her. There were presently men in arms sent
to pursue, but they followed no farther than to Tegea; and Theseus
and Pirithous being now out of danger, having passed through
Peloponnesus, made an agreement between themselves, that he to
whom the lot should fall should have Helen to his wife, but should
be obliged to assist in procuring another for his friend. The lot
fell upon Theseus, who conveyed her to Aphidnae, not being yet
marriageable, and delivered her to one of his allies, called
Aphidnus, and having sent his mother, Aethra, after to take care
of her, desired him to keep them so secretly that none might know
where they were; which done, to return the same service to his
friend Pirithous, he accompanied him in his journey to Epirus, in
order to steal away the king of the Molossians' daughter. The
king, his own name being Aidoneus, or Pluto, called his wife
Proserpina, and his daughter Cora, and a great dog which he kept
Cerberus, with whom he ordered all that came as suitors to his
daughter to fight, and promised her to him that should overcome
the beast. But having been informed that the design of Pirithous
and his companion was not to court his daughter, but to force her
away, he caused them both to be seized, and threw Pirithous to be
torn to pieces by the dog, and put Theseus into prison, and kept

About this time Menetheus, the son of Peteus, grandson of Orneus,
and great-grandson to Erechtheus, the first man that is recorded
to have affected popularity and ingratiated himself with the
multitude, stirred up and exasperated the most eminent men of the
city, who had long borne a secret grudge to Theseus, conceiving
that he had robbed them of their several little kingdoms and
lordships, and, having pent them all up in one city, was using
them as his subjects and slaves. He put also the meaner people
into commotion, telling them, that, deluded with a mere dream of
liberty, though indeed they were deprived both of that and their
proper homes and religious usages, instead of many good and
gracious kings of their own, they had given themselves up to be
lorded over by a newcomer and a stranger. Whilst he was thus
busied in infecting the minds of the citizens, the war that Castor
and Pollux brought against Athens came very opportunity to farther
the sedition he had been promoting, and some say that he by his
persuasions was wholly the cause of their invading the city. At
their first approach they committed no acts of hostility, but
peaceably demanded their sister Helen; but the Athenians returning
answer that they neither had her nor knew where she was disposed
of, they prepared to assault the city, when Academus, having, by
whatever means, found it out, disclosed to them that she was
secretly kept at Aphidnea. For which reason he was both highly
honored during his life by Castor and Pollux, and the
Lacedaemonians, when often in after times they made excursions
into Attica, and destroyed all the country round about, spared the
Academy for the sake of Academus.

Hercules, passing by the Molossians, was entertained in his way by
Aidoneus the king, who, in conversation, accidentally spoke of the
journey of Theseus and Pirithous into his country, of what they
had designed to do, and what they were forced to suffer. Hercules
was much grieved for the inglorious death of the one and the
miserable condition of the other. As for Pirithous, he thought it
useless to complain; but begged to have Theseus released for his
sake, and obtained that favor from the king. Theseus, being thus
set at liberty, returned to Athens, where his friends were not
wholly suppressed, and dedicated to Hercules all the sacred places
which the city had set apart for himself, changing their names
from Thesea to Herculea, four only excepted, as Philochorus
writes. And wishing immediately to resume the first place in the
commonwealth, and manage the state as before, he soon found
himself involved in factions and troubles; those who long had
hated him had now added to their hatred contempt; and the minds of
the people were so generally corrupted, that, instead of obeying
commands with silence, they expected to be flattered into their
duty. He had some thoughts to have reduced them by force, but was
overpowered by demagogues and factions. And at last, despairing of
any good success of his affairs in Athens, he sent away his
children privately to Euboea, commending them to the care of
Elephenor, the son of Chalcodon; and he himself, having solemnly
cursed the people of Athens in the village of Gargettus, in which
there yet remains the place called Araterion, or the place of
cursing, sailed to Scyros, where he had lands left him by his
father, and friendship, as he thought, with those of the island.
Lycomedes was then king of Scyros. Theseus, therefore, addressed
himself to him, and desired to have his lands put into his
possession, as designing to settle and dwell there, though others
say that he came to beg his assistance against the Athenians. But
Lycomedes, either jealous of the glory of so great a man, or to
gratify Menestheus, having led him up to the highest cliff of the
island, on pretense of showing him from thence the lands that he
desired, threw him headlong down from the rock and killed him.
Others say he fell down of himself by a slip of his foot, as he
was walking there, according to his custom, after supper. At that
time there was no notice taken, nor were any concerned for his
death, but Menestheus quietly possessed the kingdom of Athens. His
sons were brought up in a private condition, and accompanied
Elephenor to the Trojan war, but, after the decease of Menestheus
in that expedition, returned to Athens, and recovered the
government. But in succeeding ages, beside several other
circumstances that moved the Athenians to honor Theseus as a
demigod, in the battle which was fought at Marathon against the
Medes, many of the soldiers believed they saw an apparition of
Theseus in arms, rushing on at the head of them against the
barbarians. And after the Median war, Phaedo being archon of
Athens, the Athenians, consulting the oracle at Delphi, were
commanded to gather together the bones of Theseus, and, laying
them in some honorable place, keep them as sacred in the city. But
it was very difficult to recover these relics, or so much as to
find out the place where they lay, on account of the inhospitable
and savage temper of the barbarous people that inhabited the
island. Nevertheless, afterwards, when Cimon took the island (as
is related in his life), and had a great ambition to find the
place where Theseus was buried, he, by chance, spied an eagle upon
a rising ground pecking with her beak and tearing up the earth
with her talons, when on the sudden it came into his mind, as it
were by some divine inspiration, to dig there, and search for the
bones of Theseus. There were found in that place a coffin of a man
of more than ordinary size, and a brazen spear-head, and a sword
lying by it, all which he took aboard his galley and brought with
him to Athens. Upon which the Athenians, greatly delighted, went
out to meet and receive the relics with splendid procession and
with sacrifices, as if it were Theseus himself returning alive to
the city. He lies interred in the middle of the city, near the
present gymnasium. His tomb is a sanctuary and refuge for slaves,
and all those of mean condition that fly from the persecution of
men in power, in memory that Theseus while he lived was an
assister and protector of the distressed, and never refused the
petitions of the afflicted that fled to him. The chief and most
solemn sacrifice which they celebrate to him is kept on the eighth
day of Pyanepsion, on which he returned with the Athenian young
men from Crete. Besides which, they sacrifice to him on the eighth
day of every month, either because he returned from Troezen the
eighth day of Hecatombaeon, as Diodorus the geographer writes, or
else thinking that number to be proper to him, because he was
reputed to be born of Neptune, because they sacrifice to Neptune
on the eighth day of every month. The number eight being the first
cube of an even number, and the double of the first square, seemed
to be am emblem of the steadfast and immovable power of this god,
who from thence has the names of Asphalius and Gaeiochus, that is,
the establisher and stayer of the earth.


From whom, and for what reason, the city of Rome, a name so great
in glory, and famous in the mouths of all men, was so first
called, authors do not agree.

But the story which is most believed and has the greatest number
of vouchers in general outline runs thus: the kings of Alba
reigned in lineal descent from Aeneas, and the succession devolved
at length upon two brothers, Numitor and Amulius. Amulius proposed
to divide things into two equal shares, and set as equivalent to
the kingdom the treasure and gold that were brought from Troy.
Numitor chose the kingdom; but Amulius, having the money, and
being able to do more with that than Numitor, took his kingdom
from with great ease, and, fearing lest his daughter might have
children who would supplant him, made her a Vestal, bound in that
condition forever to live a single and maiden life. This lady some
call Ilia, others Rhea, and others Silvia; however, not long
after, contrary to the established laws of the Vestals, she had
two sons of more than human size and beauty, whom Amulius,
becoming yet more alarmed, commanded a servant to take and cast
away; this man some call Faustulus, others say Faustulus was the
man who brought them up. He put the children, however, in a small
trough, and went towards the river with a design to cast them in;
but seeing the waters much swollen and coming violently down, was
afraid to go nearer, and, dropping the children near the bank,
went away. The river overflowing, the flood at last bore up the
trough, and, gently wafting it, landed them on a smooth piece of
ground, which they now call Cermanus, formerly Germanus, perhaps
from "Germani," which signifies brothers.

While the infants lay here, history tells us, a she-wolf nursed
them, and a woodpecker constantly fed and watched them. These
creatures are esteemed holy to the god Mars; the woodpecker the
Latins still especially worship and honor. Which things, as much
as any, gave credit to what the mother of the children said, that
their father was the god Mars.

Meantime Faustulus, Amulius's swineherd, brought up the children
without any man's knowledge; or, as those say who wish to keep
closer to probabilities, with the knowledge and secret assistance
of Numitor; for it is said, they went to school at Gabii, and were
well instructed in letters, and other accomplishments befitting
their birth. And they were called Romulus and Remus (from "ruma",
the dug), because they were found suckling the wolf. In their very
infancy, the size and beauty of their bodies intimated their
natural superiority; and when they grew up, they both proved brave
and manly, attempting all enterprises that seemed hazardous, and
showing in them a courage altogether undaunted. But Romulus seemed
rather to act by counsel, and to show the sagacity of a statesman,
and in all his dealings with their neighbors, whether relating to
feeding of flocks or to hunting, gave the idea of being born
rather to rule than to obey. To their comrades and inferiors they
were therefore dear; but the king's servants, his bailiffs and
overseers, as being in nothing better men than themselves, they
despised and slighted, nor were the least concerned at their
commands and menaces. They used honest pastimes and liberal
studies, not esteeming sloth and idleness honest and liberal, but
rather such exercises as hunting and running, repelling robbers,
taking of thieves, and delivering the wronged and oppressed from
injury. For doing such things, they became famous.

A quarrel occurring betwixt Numitor's and Amulius's cowherds, the
latter, not enduring the driving away of their cattle by the
others, fell upon them and put them to flight, and rescued the
greatest part of the prey. At which Numitor being highly incensed,
they little regarded it, but collected and took into their company
a number of needy men and runaway slaves,--acts which looked like
the first stages of rebellion. It so happened, that when Romulus
was attending a sacrifice, being fond of sacred rites and
divination, Numitor's herdsmen, meeting with Remus on a journey
with few companions, fell upon him, and, after some fighting, took
him prisoner, carried him before Numitor, and there accused him.
Numitor would not punish him himself, fearing his brother's anger,
but went to Amulius and desired justice, as he was Amulius's
brother and was affronted by Amulius's servants. The men of Alba
likewise resenting the thing, and thinking he had been
dishonorably used, Amulius was induced to deliver Remus up into
Numitor's hands, to use him as he thought fit. He therefore took
and carried him home, and, being struck with admiration of the
youth's person, in stature and strength of body exceeding all men,
and perceiving in his very countenance the courage and force of
his mind, which stood unsubdued and unmoved by his present
circumstances, and hearing further that all the enterprises and
actions of his life were answerable to what he saw of him, but
chiefly, as it seemed, a divine influence aiding and directing the
first steps that were to lead to great results, out of the mere
thought of his mind, and casually, as it were, he put his hand
upon the fact, and, in gentler terms and with a kind aspect, to
inspire him with confidence and hope, asked him who he was, and
whence he was derived. He, taking heart, spoke thus: "I will hide
nothing from you, for you seem to be of a more princely temper
than Amulius, in that you give a hearing and examine before you
punish, while he condemns before the cause is heard. Formerly,
then, we (for we are twins) thought ourselves the sons of
Faustulus and Larentia, the king's servants; but since we have
been accused and aspersed with calumnies, and brought in peril of
our lives here before you, we hear great things of ourselves, the
truth of which my present danger is likely to bring to the test.
Our birth is said to have been secret, our fostering and nurture
in our infancy still more strange; by birds and beasts, to whom we
were cast out, we were fed--by the milk of a wolf, and the
morsels of a woodpecker, as we lay in a little trough by the side
of the river. The trough is still in being, and is preserved, with
brass plates round it, and an inscription in letters almost
effaced, which may prove hereafter unavailing tokens to our
parents when we are dead and gone." Numitor, upon these words, and
computing the dates by the young man's looks, slighted not the
hope that flattered him, but considered how to come at his
daughter privately (for she was still kept under restraint), to
talk with her concerning these matters.

Faustulus, hearing Remus was taken and delivered up, called on
Romulus to assist in his rescue, informing him then plainly of the
particulars of his birth--not but he had before given hints of it
- and told as much as an attentive man might make no small
conclusions from; he himself, full of concern and fear of not
coming in time, took the trough, and ran instantly to Numitor; but
giving a suspicion to some of the king's sentry at his gate, and
being gazed upon by them and perplexed with their questions, he
let it be seen that he was hiding the trough under his cloak. By
chance there was one among them who was at the exposing of the
children, and was one employed in the office; he, seeing the
trough and knowing it by its make and inscription, guessed at the
business, and, without further delay, telling the king of it,
brought in the man to be examined. Faustulus, hard beset, did not
show himself altogether proof against terror; nor yet was he
wholly forced out of all: confessed indeed the children were
alive, but lived, he said, as shepherds, a great way from Alba; he
himself was going to carry the trough to Ilia, who had often
greatly desired and handle it, for a confirmation of her hopes of
her children. As men generally do who are troubled in mind and act
either in fear or passion, it so fell out Amulius now did; for he
sent in haste as a messenger, a man, otherwise honest and friendly
to Numitor, with commands to learn from Numitor whether any
tidings were come to him of the children's being alive. He, coming
and seeing how little Remus wanted of being received into the arms
and embraces of Numitor, both gave him surer confidence in his
hope, and advised them, with all expedition, to proceed to action;
himself too joining and assisting them, and indeed, had they
wished it, the time would not have let them demur. For Romulus was
now come very near, and many of the citizens, out of fear and
hatred of Amulius, were running out to join him; besides, he
brought great forces with him, dividing into companies, each of an
hundred men, every captain carrying a small bundle of grass and
shrubs tied to a pole. The Latins call such bundles "manipuli,"
and from hence it is that in their armies still they call their
captains "manipulares." Remus rousing the citizens within to
revolt, and Romulus making attacks from without, the tyrant, not
knowing either what to do, or what expedient to think of for his
security, in this perplexity and confusion was taken and put to
death. This narrative, for the most part given by Fabius and
Diocles of Peparethos, who seem to be the earliest historians of
the foundation of Rome, is suspected by some because of its
dramatic and fictitious appearance; but it would not wholly be
disbelieved, if men would remember what a poet Fortune sometimes
shows herself, and consider that the Roman power would hardly have
reached so high a pitch without a divinely ordered origin,
attended with great and extraordinary circumstances.

Amulius now being dead and matters quietly disposed, the two
brothers would neither dwell in Alba without governing there, nor
take the government into their own hands during the life of their
grandfather. Having therefore delivered the dominion up into his
hands, and paid their mother befitting honor, they resolved to
live by themselves, and build a city in the same place where they
were in their infancy brought up. This seems the most honorable
reason for their departure; though perhaps it was necessary,
having such a body of slaves and fugitives collected about them,
either to come to nothing by dispersing them, or if not so, then
to live with them elsewhere. For that the inhabitants of Alba did
not think fugitives worthy of being received and incorporated as
citizens among them plainly appears from the matter of the women,
an attempt made not wantonly, but of necessity, because they could
not get wives by good-will. For they certainly paid unusual
respect and honor to those whom they thus forcibly seized.

Not long after the first foundation of the city, they opened a
sanctuary of refuge for all fugitives, which they called the
temple of the god Asylaeus, where they received and protected all,
delivering none back, neither the servant to his master, the
debtor to his creditor, nor the murderer into the hands of the
magistrate, saying it was a privileged place, and they could so
maintain it by an order of the holy oracle; insomuch that the city
grew presently very populous, for, they say, it consisted at first
of no more than a thousand houses. But of that hereafter.

Their minds being fully bent upon building, there arose presently
a difference about the place where. Romulus chose what was called
Roma Quadrata, or the Square Rome, and would have the city there.
Remus laid out a piece of ground on the Aventine Mount, well
fortified by nature, which was from him called Remonium, but now
Rignarium. Concluding at last to decide the contest by a
divination from a flight of birds, and placing themselves apart at
some distance, Remus, they say, saw six vultures, and Romulus
double the number; others say Remus did truly see his number, and
that Romulus feigned his, but, when Remus came to him, that then
he did, indeed, see twelve. Hence it is that the Romans, in their
divinations from birds, chiefly regard the vulture, though
Herodorus Ponticus relates that Hercules was always very joyful
when a vulture appeared to him upon any occasion. For it is a
creature the least hurtful of any, pernicious neither to corn,
fruit-tree, nor cattle; it preys only on carrion, and never kills
or hurts any living thing; and as for birds, it touches not them,
though they are dead, as being of its own species, whereas eagles,
owls, and hawks mangle and kill their own fellow-creatures; yet,
as Aeschylus says,--

What bird is clean that preys on fellow bird?

Besides, all other birds are, so to say, never out of our eyes;
they let themselves be seen of us continually; but a vulture is a
very rare sight, and you can seldom meet with a man that has seen
their young; their rarity and infrequency has raised a strange
opinion in some, that they come to us from some other world; as
soothsayers ascribe a divine origination to all things not
produced either of nature or of themselves.

When Remus knew the cheat, he was much displeased; and as Romulus
was casting up a ditch, where he designed the foundation of the
city wall, he turned some pieces of the work to ridicule, and
obstructed others: at last, as he was in contempt leaping over it,
some say Romulus himself struck him, others Celer, one of his
companions; he fell, however, and in the scuffle Faustulus also
was slain, and Plistinus, who, being Faustulus's brother, story
tells us, helped to bring up Romulus. Celer upon this fled
instantly into Tuscany, and from him the Romans call all men that
are swift of foot Celeres; and because Quintus Metellus, at his
father's funeral, in a few days' time gave the people a show of
gladiators, admiring his expedition in getting it ready, they gave
him the name of Celer.

Romulus, having buried his brother Remus, together with his two
foster-fathers, on the mount Remonia, set to building his city;
and sent for men out of Tuscany, who directed him by sacred usages
and written rules in all the ceremonies to be observed, as in a
religious rite. First, they dug a round trench about that which is
now the Comitium, or Court of Assembly and into it solemnly threw
the first-fruits of all things either good by custom or necessary
by nature; lastly, every man taking a small piece of earth of the
country from whence he came, they all threw them in promiscuously
together. This trench they call, as they do the heavens, Mundus;
making which their centre, they described the city in a circle
round it. Then the founder fitted to a plough, a bronze
ploughshare, and, yoking together a bull and a cow, drove himself
a deep line or furrow round the bounds; while the business of
those that followed after was to see that whatever earth was
thrown up should be turned all inwards towards the city, and not
to let any clod lie outside. With this line they described the
wall, and called it, by a contradiction, Pomoerium, that is, "post
murum," after or beside the wall; and where they designed to make
a gate, there they took out the share, carried the plough over,
and left a space; for which reason they consider the whole wall as
holy, except where the gates are; for had they adjudged them also
sacred, they could not, without offence to religion, have given
free ingress and egress for the necessaries of human life, some of
which are in themselves unclean.

As for the day they began to build the city, it is universally
agreed to have been the twenty-first of April, and that day the
Romans annually keep holy, calling it their country's birthday. At
first, they say, they sacrificed no living creatures on this day,
thinking it fit to preserve the feast of their country's birthday
pure and without stain of blood. Yet before ever the city was
built, there was a feast of herdsmen and shepherds kept on this
day, which went by the name of Palilia. The Roman and Greek months
have now little or no agreement; they say, however, the day on
which Romulus began to build was quite certainly the thirtieth of
the month, at which time there was an eclipse of the sun which
they conceive to be that seen by Antimachus, the Teian poet, in
the third year of the sixth Olympiad. In the times of Varro the
philosopher, a man deeply read in Roman history, lived one
Tarrutius, his familiar acquaintance, a good philosopher and
mathematician, and one, too, that out of curiosity had studied the
way of drawing schemes and tables, and was thought to be a
proficient in the art; to him Varro propounded to cast Romulus's
nativity, even to the first day and hour, making his deductions
from the several events of the man's life which he should be
informed of, exactly as in working back a geometrical problem; for
it belonged, he said, to the same science both to foretell a man's
life by knowing the time of his birth, and also to find out his
birth by the knowledge of his life. This task Tarrutius undertook,
and first looking into the actions and casualties of the man,
together with the time of his life and manner of his death, and
then comparing all these remarks together, he very confidently and
positively pronounced that Romulus was born the twenty-first day
of the month Thoth, about sun-rising; and that the first stone of
Rome was laid by him the ninth day of the month Pharmuthi, between
the second and third hour. For the fortunes of cities as well as
of men, they think, have their certain periods of time prefixed,
which may be collected and foreknown from the position of the
stars at their first foundation. But these and the like relations
may perhaps not so much take and delight the reader with their
novelty and curiosity as offend him by their extravagance.

The city now being built, Romulus enlisted all that were of age to
bear arms into military companies, each company consisting of
three thousand footmen and three hundred horse. These companies
were called legions, because they were the choicest and most
select of the people for fighting men. The rest of the multitude
he called the people; an hundred of the most eminent he chose for
counselors; these he styled patricians, and their assembly the
senate, which signifies a council of elders.

In the fourth month after the city was built, as Fabius writes,
the adventure of stealing the women was attempted. It would seem
that, observing his city to be filled by a confluence of
foreigners, few of whom had wives, and that the multitude in
general, consisting of a mixture of mean and obscure men, fell
under contempt, and seemed to be of no long continuance together,
and hoping farther, after the women were appeased, to make this
injury in some measure an occasion of confederacy and mutual
commerce with the Sabines, Romulus took in his hand this exploit
after this manner. First, he gave it out that he had found an
altar of a certain god hid under ground, perhaps the equestrian
Neptune, for the altar is kept covered in the Circus Maximus at
all other times, and only at horse-races is exposed to public
view. Upon discovery of this altar, Romulus, by proclamation,
appointed a day for a splendid sacrifice, and for public games and
shows, to entertain all sorts of people; many flocked thither, and
he himself sat in front, amidst his nobles, clad in purple. Now
the signal for their falling on was to be whenever he rose and
gathered up his robe and threw it over his body; his men stood all
ready armed, with their eyes intent upon him, and when the sign
was given, drawing their swords and falling on with a great shout,
they stole away the daughters of the Sabines, the men themselves
flying without any let or hindrance. Some say there were but
thirty taken, and from Curiae or Fraternities were named; but
Valerius Antias says five hundred and twenty seven, Juba, six
hundred and eighty-three.

It continues a custom at this very day for the bride not of
herself to pass her husband's threshold, but to be lifted over, in
memory that the Sabine virgins were carried in by violence, and
did not go in of their own free will. Some say, too, the custom of
parting the bride's hair with the head of a spear was in token
their marriages began at first by war and acts of hostility.

The Sabines were a numerous and martial people, but lived in
small, unfortified villages, as it befitted, they thought, a
colony of the Lacedaemonians to be bold and fearless;
nevertheless, seeing themselves bound by such hostages to their
good behavior, and being solicitous for their daughters, they sent
ambassadors to Romulus with fair and equitable requests, that he
would return their young women and recall that act of violence,
and afterwards, by persuasion and lawful means, seek friendly
correspondence between both nations. Romulus would not part with
the young women, yet proposed to the Sabines to enter into an
alliance with them; upon which point some consulted and demurred
long, but Acron, king of the Ceninenses, a man of high spirit and
a good warrior, who had all along a jealousy of Romulus's bold
attempts, and considering particularly from this exploit upon the
women that he was growing formidable to all people, and indeed
insufferable, were he not chastised, first rose up in arms, and
with a powerful army advanced against him. Romulus likewise
prepared to receive him; but when they came within sight and
viewed each other, they made a challenge to fight a single duel,
the armies standing by under arms, without participation. And
Romulus, making a vow to Jupiter, if he should conquer, to carry
himself, and dedicate his adversary's armor to his honor, overcame
him in combat, and, a battle ensuing, routed his army also, and
then took his city; but did those he found in it no injury, only
commanded them to demolish the place and attend him to Rome, there
to be admitted to all the privileges of citizens. And indeed there
was nothing did more advance the greatness of Rome, than that she
did always unite and incorporate those whom she conquered into
herself. Romulus, that he might perform his vow in the most
acceptable manner to Jupiter, and withal make the pomp of it
delightful to the eye of the city, cut down a tall oak which he
saw growing in the camp, which he trimmed to the shape of a
trophy, and fastened on it Acron's whole suit of armor disposed in
proper form; then he himself, girding his clothes about him, and
crowning his head with a laurel-garland, his hair gracefully
flowing, carried the trophy resting erect upon his right shoulder,
and so marched on, singing songs of triumph, and his whole army
following after, the citizens all receiving him with acclamations
of joy and wonder. The procession of this day was the origin and
model of all after triumphs. But the statues of Romulus in triumph
are, as may be seen in Rome, all on foot.

After the overthrow of the Ceninensians, the other Sabines still
protracting the time in preparations, the people of Fidenae,
Crustumerium, and Antemna, joined their forces against the Romans;
they in like manner were defeated in battle, and surrendered up to
Romulus their cities to be seized, their lands and territories to
be divided, and themselves to be transplanted to Rome. All the
lands which Romulus acquired he distributed among the citizens,
except only what the parents of the stolen virgins had; these he
suffered to possess their own. The rest of the Sabines, enraged
thereat, choosing Tatius their captain, marched straight against
Rome. The city was almost inaccessible, having for its fortress
that which is now the Capitol, where a strong guard was placed,
and Tarpeius their captain. But Tarpeia, daughter to the captain,
coveting the golden bracelets she saw them wear, betrayed the fort
into the Sabines' hands, and asked, in reward of her treachery,
the things they wore on their left arms. Tatius conditioning thus
with her, in the night she opened one of the gates and received
the Sabines in. And truly Antigonus, it would seem, was not
solitary in saying he loved betrayers, but hated those who had
betrayed; nor Caesar, who told Rhymitalces the Thracian that he
loved the treason, but hated the traitor; but it is the general
feeling of all who have occasion for wicked men's services, as
people have for the poison of venomous beasts; they are glad of
them while they are of use, and abhor their baseness when it is
over. And so did Tatius behave towards Tarpeia, for he commanded
the Sabines, in regard to their contract, not to refuse her the
least part of what they wore on their left arms; and he himself
first took his bracelet off his arm, and threw that, together with
his buckler, at her; and all the rest following, she, being borne
down and quite buried with the multitude of gold and their
shields, died under the weight and pressure of them; Tarpeius also
himself, being prosecuted by Romulus, was found guilty of treason,
and that part of the Capitol they still call the Tarpeian Rock,
from which they used to cast down malefactors.

The Sabines being possessed of the hill, Romulus, in great fury,
bade them battle, and Tatius was confident to accept it. There
were many brief conflicts, we may suppose, but the most memorable
was the last, in which Romulus having received a wound on his head
by a stone, and being almost felled to the ground by it, and
disabled, the Romans gave way, and, being driven out of the level
ground, fled towards the Palatium. Romulus, by this time
recovering from his wound a little, turned about to renew the
battle, and, facing the fliers, with a loud voice encouraged them
to stand and fight. But being overborne with numbers, and nobody
daring to face about, stretching out his hands to heaven, he
prayed to Jupiter to stop the army, and not to neglect but
maintain the Roman cause, now in extreme danger. The prayer was no
sooner made than shame and respect for their king checked many;
the fears of the fugitives changed suddenly into confidence. The
place they first stood at was where now is the temple of Jupiter
Stator (which may be translated the Stayer); there they rallied
again into ranks, and repulsed the Sabines to the place called now
Regia, and to the temple of Vesta; where both parties, preparing
to begin a second battle, were prevented by a spectacle, strange
to behold, and defying description. For the daughters of the
Sabines, who had been carried off, came running, in great
confusion, some on this side, some on that, with miserable cries
and lamentations, like creatures possessed, in the midst of the
army, and among the dead bodies, to come at their husbands and
their fathers, some with their young babes in their arms, others
their hair loose about their ears, but all calling, now upon the
Sabines, now upon the Romans, in the most tender and endearing
words. Hereupon both melted into compassion, and fell back, to
make room for them betwixt the armies. The sight of the women
carried sorrow and commiseration upon both sides into the hearts
of all, but still more their words, which began with expostulation
and upbraiding, and ended with entreaty and supplication.

"Wherein," say they, "have we injured or offended you, as to
deserve such sufferings, past and present? We were ravished away
unjustly and violently by those whose now we are; that being done,
we were so long neglected by our fathers, our brothers, and
countrymen, that time, having now by the strictest bonds united us
to those we once mortally hated, has made it impossible for us not
to tremble at the danger and weep at the death of the very men who
once used violence to us. You did not come to vindicate our honor,
while we were virgins, against our assailants; but do come now to
force away wives from their husbands and mothers from their
children, a succor more grievous to its wretched objects than the
former betrayal and neglect of them. Which shall we call the
worst, their love-making or your compassion? If you were making
war upon any other occasion, for our sakes you ought to withhold
your hands from those to whom we have made you fathers-in-law and
grandsires. If it be for our own cause, then take us, and with us
your sons-in-law and grandchildren. Restore to us our parents and
kindred, but do not rob us of our children and husbands. Make us
not, we entreat you, twice captives." Having spoken many such
words as these, and earnestly praying, a truce was made, and the
chief officers came to a parley; the women, in the meantime,
brought and presented their husbands and children to their fathers
and brothers; gave those that wanted, meat and drink, and carried
the wounded home to be cured, and showed also how much they
governed within doors, and how indulgent their husbands were to
them, in demeaning themselves towards them with all kindness and
respect imaginable. Upon this, conditions were agreed upon, that
what women pleased might stay where they were, exempt from all
drudgery and labor but spinning; that the Romans and Sabines
should inhabit the city together; that the city should be called
Rome, from Romulus; but the Romans, Quirites, from the country of
Tatius; and that they both should govern and command in common.
The place of the ratification is still called Comitium, from
"coire," to meet.

The city thus being doubled in number, an hundred of the Sabines
were elected senators, and the legions were increased to six
thousand foot and six hundred horse; then they divided the people
into three tribes: the first, from Romulus, named Ramnenses; the
second, from Tatius, Tatienses; the third, Luceres, from the
"lucus," or grove, where the Asylum stood, whither many fled for
sanctuary, and were received into the city. And that they were
just three, the very name of "tribe" and "tribune" seems to show.
Then they constituted many things in honor to the women, such as
to give them the way wherever they met them; to speak no ill word
in their presence; that their children should wear an ornament
about their necks called the "bulla" (because it was like a
bubble), and the "praetexta," a gown edged with purple.

The princes did not immediately join in council together, but at
first each met with his own hundred; afterwards all assembled
together. Tatius dwelt where now the temple of Moneta stands, and
Romulus, close by the steps, as they call them, of the Fair Shore,
near the descent from the Mount Palatine to the Circus Maximus.
There, they say, grew the holy cornel tree, of which they report
that Romulus once, to try his strength, threw a dart from the
Aventine Mount, the staff of which was made of cornel, which
struck so deep into the ground that no one of many that tried
could pluck it up; and the soil, being fertile, gave nourishment
to the wood, which sent forth branches, and produced a cornel-
stock of considerable bigness. This did posterity preserve and
worship as one of the most sacred things; and therefore, walled it
about; and if to any one it appeared not green nor flourishing,
but inclining to pine and wither, he immediately made outcry to
all he met, and they, like people hearing of a house on fire, with
one accord would cry for water, and run from all parts with
bucketfuls to the place. But when Gaius Caesar. they say, was
repairing the steps about it, some of the laborers digging too
close, the roots were destroyed, and the tree withered.

The Sabines adopted the Roman months, of which whatever is
remarkable is mentioned in the Life of Numa. Romulus, on the other
hand, adopted their long shields, and changed his own armor and
that of all the Romans, who before wore round targets of the
Argive pattern. Feasts and sacrifices they partook of in common,
not abolishing any which either nation observed before, and
instituting several new ones. This, too, is observable as a
singular thing in Romulus, that he appointed no punishment for
real parricide, but called all murder so, thinking the one an
accursed thing, but the other a thing impossible; and for a long
time, his judgement seemed to have been right; for in almost six
hundred years together, nobody committed the like in Rome; Lucius
Hostius, after the wars of Hannibal, is recorded to have been the
first parricide. Let thus much suffice concerning these matters.

In the fifth year of the reign of Tatius, some of his friends and
kinsmen, meeting ambassadors coming from Laurentum to Rome,
attempted on the road to take away their money by force, and, upon
their resistance, killed them. So great a villany having been
committed, Romulus thought the malefactors ought at once to be
punished, but Tatius shuffled off and deferred the execution of
it; and this one thing was the beginning of an open quarrel
betwixt them; in all other respects they were very careful of
their conduct, and administered affairs together with great
unanimity. The relations of the slain, being debarred of lawful
satisfaction by reason of Tatius, fell upon him as he was
sacrificing with Romulus at Lavinium, and slew him; but escorted
Romulus home, commending and extolling him for just a prince.
Romulus took the body of Tatius, and buried it very splendidly in
the Aventine Mount.

The Roman cause daily gathering strength, their weaker neighbors
shrunk away, and were thankful to be left untouched; but the
stronger, out of fear or envy, thought they ought not to give away
to Romulus, but to curb and put a stop to his growing greatness.
The first were the Veientes, a people of Tuscany, who had large
possessions, and dwelt in a spacious city; they took occasion to
commence a war, by claiming Fidenae as belonging to them. But
being scornfully retorted upon by Romulus in his answers, they
divided themselves into two bodies; with one they attacked the
garrison of Fidenae, the other marched against Romulus; that which
went against Fidenae got the victory, and slew two thousand
Romans; the other was worsted by Romulus, with the loss of eight
thousand men. A fresh battle was fought near Fidenae, and here all
men acknowledge the day's success to have been chiefly the work of
Romulus himself, who showed the highest skill as well as courage,
and seemed to manifest a strength and swiftness more than human.
But what some write, that, of fourteen thousand that fell that
day, above half were slain by Romulus's own hand, verges too near
to fable, and is, indeed, simply incredible: since even the
Messenians are thought to go too far in saying that Aristomenes
three times offered sacrifices for the death of a hundred enemies,
Lacedaemonians, slain by himself. The army being thus routed,
Romulus, suffering those that were left to make their escape, led
his forces against the city; they, having suffered such great
losses, did not venture to oppose, but, humbly suing him, made a
league and friendship for an hundred years; surrendering also a
large district of land called Septempagium, that is, the seven
parts, as also their salt-works upon the river, and fifty noblemen
for hostages. He made his triumph for this on the Ides of October,
leading, among the rest of his many captives, the general of the
Veientes, an elderly man, but who had not, it seemed, acted with
the prudence of age; whence even now, in sacrifices for victories,
they led an old man through the market-place to the Capitol,
appareled in purple, with a bulla, or child's toy, tied to it, and
the crier cries, "Sardians to be sold;" for the Tuscans are said
to be a colony of the Sardians, and the Veientes are a city of

This was the last battle Romulus ever fought; afterwards he, as
most, nay all men, very few excepted, do, who are raised by great
and miraculous good-haps of fortune to power and greatness, so, I
say, did he: relying upon his own great actions and growing of a
haughtier mind, he forsook his popular behavior for kingly
arrogance, odious to the people; to whom in particular the state
which he assumed was hateful. For he dressed in scarlet, with the
purple-bordered robe over it; he gave audience on a couch of
slate, having always about him some young men called "Celeres,"
from their swiftness in doing commissions. He suddenly disappeared
on the Nones of July, as they call the month which was then
Quintilis, leaving nothing of certainty to be related of his
death; the senators suffered the people not to search, or busy
themselves about the matter, but commanded them to honor and
worship Romulus as one taken up to the gods, and about to be to
them, in the place of a good prince, now a propitious god. The
multitude, hearing this, went away believing and rejoicing in
hopes of good things from him; but there were some, who,
canvassing the matter in a hostile temper, accused the patricians,
as men that persuaded the people to believe ridiculous tales, when
they were the murderers of the king.

Things being in this disorder, one, they say, of the patricians,
of noble family and approved good character, and a faithful and
familiar friend of Romulus himself, having come with him from
Alba, Julius Proculus by name, presented himself in the forum; and
taking a most sacred oath, protested before them all, that, as he
was travelling on the road, he had seen Romulus coming to meet
him, looking taller and comelier than ever, dressed in shining and
flaming armor; and he, being affrighted at the apparition, said,
"Why, O king, or for what purpose, have you abandoned us to unjust
and wicked surmises, and the whole city to bereavement and endless
sorrow?" and that he made answer, "It pleased the gods, O
Proculus, that we, who came from them, should remain so long a
time amongst men as we did; and, having built a city to be the
greatest in the world for empire and glory, should again return to
heaven. But farewell; and tell the Romans, that, by the exercise
of temperance and fortitude, they shall attain the height of human
power; we will be to you the propitious god Quirinus." This seemed
credible to the Romans, upon the honesty and oath of the relator,
and laying aside all jealousies and detractions, they prayed to
Quirinus and saluted him as a god.

This is like some of the Greek fables of Aristeas the
Proconnesian, and Cleomedes the Astypalaean; for they say Aristeas
died in a fuller's workshop, and his friends, coming to look for
him, found his body vanished; and that some presently after,
coming from abroad, said they met him travelling towards Croton.
And that Cleomedes, being an extraordinarily strong and gigantic
man, but also wild and mad, committed many desperate freaks; and
at last, in a schoolhouse, striking a pillar that sustained the
roof with his fist, broke it in the middle, so that the house fell
and destroyed the children in it; and being pursued, he fled into
a great chest, and, shutting to the lid, held it so fast that many
men, with their united strength, could not force it open;
afterwards, breaking the chest to pieces, they found no man in it
alive or dead.

And many such improbabilities do your fabulous writers relate,
deifying creatures naturally mortal; for though altogether to
disown a divine nature in human virtue were impious and base, so
again to mix heaven with earth is ridiculous. Let us believe with
Pindar, that

All human bodies yield to Death's decree:
The soul survives to all eternity.

For that alone is derived from the gods, thence comes, and thither

It was in the fifty-fourth year of his age and the thirty-eighth
of his reign that Romulus, they tell us, left the world.

Comparison of Theseus and Romulus

Both Theseus and Romulus were by nature meant for governors; yet
neither lived up to the true character of a king, but fell off,
and ran, the one into popularity, the other into tyranny, falling
both into the same fault out of different passions. For a ruler's
first end is to maintain his office, which is done no less by
avoiding what is unfit than by observing what is suitable. Whoever
is either too remiss or too strict is no more a king or a
governor, but either a demagogue or a despot, and so becomes
either odious or contemptible to his subjects. Though certainly
the one seems to be the fault of easiness and good-nature, the
other of pride and severity.

But Romulus has, first of all, one great plea, that his
performances proceeded from very small beginnings; for both the
brothers, being thought servants and the sons of swineherds,
before becoming freemen themselves gave liberty to almost all the
Latins, obtaining at once all the most honorable titles, as,
destroyers of their country's enemies, preservers of their friends
and kindred, princes of the people, founders of cities; not
removers, like Theseus, who raised and compiled only one house out
of many, demolishing many cities bearing the names of ancient
kings and heroes. Romulus, indeed, did the same afterwards,
forcing his enemies to deface and ruin their own dwellings, and to
sojourn with their conquerors; but at first, not by removal, or
increase of an existing city, but by foundation of a new one, he
obtained himself lands, a country, a kingdom, wives, children, and
relations. And, in so doing, he killed or destroyed nobody, but
benefited those that wanted houses and homes, and were willing to
be of a society and become citizens. Robbers and malefactors he
slew not; but he subdued nations, he overthrew cities, he
triumphed over kings and commanders. As to Remus, it is doubtful
by whose hand he fell; it is generally imputed to others. His
mother he clearly retrieved from death, and placed his
grandfather, who was brought under base and dishonorable
vassalage, on the ancient throne of Aeneas, to whom he did
voluntarily many good offices, but never did him harm even
inadvertently. But Theseus, in his forgetfulness and neglect of
the command concerning the flag, can scarcely, methinks, by any
excuses, or before the most indulgent judges, avoid the imputation
of parricide. And, indeed, one of the Attic writers, perceiving it
to be very hard to make an excuse for this, feigns that Aegeus, at
the approach of the ship, running hastily to the Acropolis to see
what news there was, slipped and fell down; as if he had no
servants, or none would attend him on his way to the shore.


Those authors who are most worthy of credit deduce the genealogy
of Lycurgus, the lawgiver of Sparta, as follows:

Polydectes by his first wife. Lycurgus by Dionassa his second.

Sous certainly was the most renowned of all his ancestors, under
whose conduct the Spartans made slaves of the Helots, and added to
their dominions, by conquest, a good part of Arcadia. There goes a
story of this king Sous, that, being besieged by the Clitorians in
a dry and stony place so that he could come at no water, he was at
last constrained to agree with them upon these terms, that he
would restore to them all his conquests, provided that himself and
all his men should drink of the nearest spring. After the usual
oaths and ratifications, he called his soldiers together, and
offered to him that would forbear drinking, his kingdom for a
reward; and when not a man of them was able to forbear, in short,
when they had all drunk their fill, at last comes king Sous
himself to the spring, and, having sprinkled his face only,
without swallowing one drop, marches off in the face of his
enemies, refusing to yield up his conquests, because himself and
all his men had not, according to the articles, drunk of their

Although he was justly had in admiration on this account, yet his
family was not surnamed from him, but from his son Eurypon (of
whom they were called Eurypontids); the reason of which was that
Eurypon relaxed the rigor of the monarchy, seeking favor and
popularity with the many. They, after this first step, grew
bolder; and the succeeding kings partly incurred hatred with their
people by trying to use force, or, for popularity's sake and
through weakness, gave way; and anarchy and confusion long
prevailed in Sparta, causing, moreover, the death of the father of
Lycurgus. For as he was endeavoring to quell a riot, he was
stabbed with a butcher's knife, and left the title of king to his
eldest son Polydectes.

He, too, dying soon after, the right of succession (as every one
thought) rested in Lycurgus; and reign he did for a time, but
declared that the kingdom belonged to the child of his sister-in-
law the queen, and that he himself should exercise the regal
jurisdiction only as his guardian; the Spartan name for which
office is prodicus. Soon after, an overture was made to him by the
queen, that she would herself in some way destroy the infant, upon
condition that he would marry her when he came to the crown.
Abhorring the woman's wickedness, he nevertheless did not reject
her proposal, but, making show of closing with her, despatched the
messenger with thanks and expressions of joy, with orders that
they should bring the boy baby to him, wheresoever he were, and
whatsoever doing. It so fell out that when he was at supper with
the principal magistrates, the queen's child was presented to him,
and he, taking him into his arms, said to those about him, "Men of
Sparta, here is a king born unto us;" this said, he laid him down
in the king's place, and named him Charilaus, that is, the joy of
the people; because that all were transported with joy and with
wonder at his noble and just spirit. His reign had lasted only
eight months, but he was honored on other accounts by the
citizens, and there were more who obeyed him because of his
eminent virtues, than because he was regent to the king and had
the royal power in his hands. Some, however, envied and sought to
impede his growing influence while he was still young; chiefly the
kindred and friends of the queen-mother, who pretended to have
been dealt with injuriously. Her brother Leonidas, in a warm
debate which fell out betwixt him and Lycurgus, went so far as to
tell him to his face that he was well assured that ere long he
should see him king; suggesting suspicions and preparing the way
for an accusation of him, as though he had made away with his
nephew, if the child should chance to fail, though by a natural
death. Words of the like import were designedly cast abroad by the
queen-mother and her adherents.

Troubled at this, and not knowing what it might come to, he
thought it his wisest course to avoid their envy by a voluntary
exile, and to travel from place to place until his nephew came to
marriageable years, and, by having a son, had secured the
succession. Setting sail, therefore, with this resolution, he
first arrived at Crete, where, having considered their several
forms of government, and got an acquaintance with the principal
men amongst them, some of their laws he very much approved of, and
resolved to make use of them in his own country; a good part he
rejected as useless. Amongst the persons there the most renowned
for their learning and their wisdom in state matters was one
Thales, whom Lycurgus, by importunities and assurances of
friendship, persuaded to go over to Lacedaemon; where, though by
his outward appearance and his own profession he seemed to be no
other than a lyric poet, in reality he performed the part of one
of the ablest lawgivers in the world. The very songs which he
composed were exhortations to obedience and concord, and the very
measure and cadence of the verse, conveying impressions of order
and tranquillity, had so great an influence on the minds of the
listeners that they were insensibly softened and civilized,
insomuch that they renounced their private feuds and animosities,
and were reunited in a common admiration of virtue. So that it may
truly be said that Thales prepared the way for the discipline
introduced by Lycurgus.

From Crete he sailed to Asia, with design, as is said, to examine
the difference betwixt the manners and rules of life of the
Cretans, which were very sober and temperate, and those of the
Ionians, a people of sumptuous and delicate habits, and so to form
a judgment; just as physicians do by comparing healthy and
diseased bodies. Here he had the first sight of Homer's works, in
the hands, we may suppose, of the posterity of Creophylus; and,
having observed that the few loose expressions and actions of ill
example which are to be found in his poems were much outweighed by
serious lessons of state and rules of morality, he set himself
eagerly to transcribe and digest them into order, as thinking they
would be of good use in his own country. They had, indeed, already
obtained some slight repute amongst the Greeks, and scattered
portions, as chance conveyed them, were in the hands of
individuals; but Lycurgus first made them really known.

The Egyptians say that he took a voyage into Egypt, and that,
being much taken with their way of separating the soldiery from
the rest of the nation, he transferred it from them to Sparta; a
removal from contact with those employed in low and mechanical
occupations giving high refinement and beauty to the state. Some
Greek writers also record this. But as for his voyages into Spain,
Africa, and the Indies, and his conferences there with the
Gymnosophists, the whole relation, as far as I can find, rests on
the single credit of the Spartan Aristocrates, the son of

Lycurgus was much missed at Sparta, and often sent for, "For kings
indeed we have," they said, "who wear the marks and assume the
titles of royalty, but as for the qualities of their minds, they
have nothing by which they are to be distinguished from their
subjects;" adding that in him alone was the true foundation of
sovereignty to be seen, a nature made to rule, and a genius to
gain obedience. Nor were the kings themselves averse to see him
back, for they looked upon his presence as a bulwark against the
insolencies of the people.

Things being in this posture at his return, he applied himself,
without loss of time, to a thorough reformation, and resolved to
change the whole face of the commonwealth; for what could a few
particular laws and a partial alteration avail? He must act as
wise physicians do, in the case of one who labors under a
complication of diseases,--by force of medicines reduce and
exhaust him, change his whole temperament, and then set him upon a
totally new regimen of diet. Having thus projected things, away he
goes to Delphi to consult Apollo there; which having done, and
offered his sacrifice, he returned with that renowned oracle, in
which he is called beloved of God, and rather God than man: that
his prayers were heard, that his laws should be the best, and the
commonwealth which observed them the most famous in the world.
Encouraged by these things, he set himself to bring over to his
side the leading men of Sparta, exhorting them to give him a
helping hand in his great undertaking: he broke it first to his
particular friends, and then by degrees gained others, and
animated them all to put his design in execution. When things were
ripe for action, he gave order to thirty of the principal men of
Sparta to be ready armed at the market-place at break of day, to
the end that he might strike a terror into the opposite party.
Hermippus hath set down the names of twenty of the most eminent of
them: but the name of him whom Lycurgus most confided in, and who
was of most use to him both in making his laws and putting them in
execution, was Arthmiadas. Things growing to a tumult, king
Charilaus, apprehending that it was a conspiracy against his
person, took sanctuary in the temple of Athena of the Brazen
House; but, being soon after undeceived, and having taken an oath
of them that they had no designs against him, he quitted his
refuge, and himself also entered into the confederacy with them;
of so gentle and flexible a disposition he was, to which
Archelaus, his brother-king, alluded, when, hearing him extolled
for his goodness, he said: "Who can say he is anything but good?
he is so even to the bad."

Amongst the many changes and alterations which Lycurgus made, the
first and of greatest importance was the establishment of the
senate, which, having a power equal to the kings' in matters of
great consequence, and, as Plato expresses it, allaying and
qualifying the fiery genius of the royal office, gave steadiness
and safety to the commonwealth. For the state, which before had no
firm basis to stand upon, but leaned one while towards an absolute
monarchy, when the kings had the upper hand, and another while
towards a pure democracy, when the people had the better, found in
this establishment of the senate a central weight, like ballast in
a ship, which always kept things in a just equilibrium; the
twenty-eight always adhering to the kings so far as to resist
democracy, and, on the other hand, supporting the people against
the establishment of absolute monarchy. As for the determinate
number of twenty-eight, Aristotle states that it so fell out
because two of the original associates, for want of courage, fell
off from the enterprise; but Sphaerus assures us that there were
but twenty-eight of the confederates at first; perhaps there is
some mystery in the number, which consists of seven multiplied by
four, and is the first of perfect numbers after six, being, as
that is, equal to all its parts. For my part, I believe Lycurgus
fixed upon the number of twenty-eight, that, the two kings being
reckoned amongst them, they might be thirty in all. So eagerly set
was he upon this establishment, that he took the trouble to obtain
an oracle about it from Delphi; and the Rhetra (or sacred
ordinance) runs thus: "After that you have built a temple to
Jupiter Hellanius, and to Minerva Hellania, and after that you
have phyle'd the people into phyles, and obe'd them into obes, you
shall establish a council of thirty elders, the leaders included,
and shall, from time to time, assemble the people betwixt Babyca
and Cnacion, there propound and put to the vote. The commons have
the final voice and decision." By phyles and obes are meant the
divisions of the people; by the leaders, the two kings; Aristotle
says Cnacion is a river, and Babyca a bridge. Betwixt this Babyca
and Cnacion, their assemblies were held, for they had no council-
house or building to meet in. Lycurgus was of opinion that
ornaments were so far from advantaging them in their councils,
that they were rather an hindrance, by diverting their attention
from the business before them to statues and pictures, and roofs
curiously fretted, the usual embellishments of such places amongst
the other Greeks. The people then being thus assembled in the open
air, it was not allowed to any one of their order to give his
advice, but only either to ratify or reject what should be
propounded to them by the king or senate.

After the creation of the thirty senators, his next task, and,
indeed, the most hazardous he ever undertook, was the making of a
new division of their lands. For there was an extreme inequality
amongst them, and their state was overloaded with a multitude of
indigent and necessitous persons, while its whole wealth had
centred upon a very few. To the end, therefore, that he might
expel from the state arrogance and envy, luxury and crime, and
those yet more inveterate diseases of want and superfluity, he
obtained of them to renounce their properties, and to consent to a
new division of the land, and that they should live all together
on an equal footing; merit to be their only road to eminence, and
the disgrace of evil, and credit of worthy acts, their one measure
of difference between man and man.

Upon their consent to these proposals, proceeding at once to put
them into execution, he divided the country of Laconia in general
into thirty thousand equal shares, and the part attached to the
city of Sparta into nine thousand; these he distributed among the
Spartans, as he did the others to the country citizens. A lot was
so much as to yield, one year with another, about seventy bushels
of grain for the master of the family, and twelve for his wife,
with a suitable proportion of oil and wine. And this he thought
sufficient to keep their bodies in good health and strength;
superfluities they were better without. It is reported, that, as
he returned from a journey shortly after the division of the
lands, in harvest time, the ground being newly reaped, seeing the
stacks all standing equal and alike, he smiled, and said to those
about him, "Methinks all Laconia looks like one family estate just
divided among a number of brothers."

Not contented with this, he resolved to make a division of their
movables too, that there might be no odious distinction or
inequality left amongst them; but finding that it would be very
dangerous to go about it openly, he took another course, and
defeated their avarice by the following stratagem: he commanded
that all gold and silver coin should be called in, and that only a
sort of money made of iron should be current, a great weight and
quantity of which was worth but very little; so that to lay up a
hundred or two dollars there was required a pretty large closet,
and, to remove it, nothing less than a yoke of oxen. With the
diffusion of this money, at once a number of vices were banished
from Lacedaemon; for who would rob another of such a coin? Who
would unjustly detain or take by force, or accept as a bribe, a
thing which it was not easy to hide, nor a credit to have, nor
indeed of any use to cut in pieces? For when it was just red-hot,
they quenched it in vinegar, and by that means spoilt it, and made
it almost incapable of being worked.

In the next place, he declared an outlawry of all needless and
superfluous arts; but here he might almost have spared his
proclamation; for they of themselves would have gone with the gold
and silver, the money which remained being not so proper payment
for curious work; for, being of iron, it was scarcely portable,
neither, if they should take the pains to export it, would it pass
amongst the other Greeks, who ridiculed it. so there was now no
more means of purchasing foreign goods and small wares; merchants
sent no shiploads into Laconian ports; no rhetoric-master, no
itinerant fortune-teller, or gold or silversmith, engraver, or
jeweler, set foot in a country which had no money; so that luxury,
deprived little by little of that which fed and fomented it,
wasted to nothing, and died away of itself. For the rich had no
advantage here over the poor, as their wealth and abundance had no
road to come abroad by, but were shut up at home doing nothing.
And in this way they became excellent artists in common necessary
things; bedsteads, chairs, and tables, and such like staple
utensils in a family, were admirably well made there; their cup,
particularly, was very much in fashion, and eagerly sought for by
soldiers, as Critias reports; for its color was such as to prevent
water, drunk upon necessity and disagreeable to look at, from
being noticed; and the shape of it was such that the mud stuck to
the sides, so that only the purer part came to the drinker's
mouth. For this, also, they had to thank their lawgiver, who, by
relieving the artisans of the trouble of making useless things,
set them to show their skill in giving beauty to those of daily
and indispensable use.

The third and most masterly stroke of this great lawgiver, by
which he struck a yet more effectual blow against luxury and the
desire of riches, was the ordinance he made that they should all
eat in common, of the same bread and same meat, and of kinds that
were specified, and should not spend their lives at home, laid on
costly couches at splendid tables, delivering themselves up into
the hands of their tradesmen and cooks, to fatten them in corners,
like greedy brutes, and to ruin not their minds only but their
very bodies, which, enfeebled by indulgence and excess, would
stand in need of long sleep, warm bathing, freedom from work, and,
in a word, of as much care and attendance as if they were
continually sick. It was certainly an extraordinary thing to have
brought about such a result as this, but a greater yet to have
taken away from wealth, as Theophrastus observes, not merely the
property of being coveted, but its very nature of being wealth.
For the rich, being obliged to go to the same table with the poor,
could not make use of or enjoy their abundance, nor so much as
please their vanity by looking at or displaying it. So that the
common proverb, that Plutus, the god of riches, is blind, was
nowhere in all the world literally verified but in Sparta. There,
indeed, he was not only blind, but, like a picture, without either
life or motion. Nor were they allowed to take food at home first,
and then attend the public tables, for everyone had an eye upon
those who did not eat and drink like the rest, and reproached them
with being dainty and effeminate.

This last ordinance in particular exasperated the wealthier men.
They collected in a body against Lycurgus, and from ill words came
to throwing stones, so that at length he was forced to run out of
the market-place, and make to sanctuary to save his life; by good-
hap he outran all excepting one Alcander, a young man otherwise
not ill accomplished, but hasty and violent, who came up so close
to him, that, when he turned to see who was near him, he struck
him upon the face with his stick, and put out one of his eyes.
Lycurgus, so far from being daunted and discouraged by this
accident, stopped short and showed his disfigured face and eye
beat out to his countrymen; they, dismayed and ashamed at the
sight, delivered Alcander into his hands to be punished, and
escorted him home, with expressions of great concern for his ill
usage. Lycurgus, having thanked them for their care of his person,
dismissed them all, excepting only Alcander; and, taking him with
him into his house, neither did nor said anything severe to him,
but dismissing those whose place it was, bade Alcander to wait
upon him at table. The young man, who was of an ingenuous temper,
did without murmuring as he was commanded; and, being thus
admitted to live with Lycurgus, he had an opportunity to observe
in him, beside his gentleness and calmness of temper, an
extraordinary sobriety and an indefatigable industry, and so, from
an enemy, became one of his most zealous admirers, and told his
friends and relations that Lycurgus was not that morose and ill-
natured man they had formerly taken him for, but the one mild and
gentle character of the world. And thus did Lycurgus, for
chastisement of his fault, make of a wild and passionate young man
one of the discreetest citizens of Sparta.

In memory of this accident, Lycurgus built a temple to Minerva.
Some authors, however, say that he was wounded, indeed, but did
not lose his eye from the blow; and that he built the temple in
gratitude for the cure. Be this as it will, certain it is, that,
after this misadventure, the Lacedaemonians made it a rule never
to carry so much as a staff into their public assemblies.

But to return to their public repasts. They met by companies of
fifteen, more or less, and each of them stood bound to bring in
monthly a bushel of meal, eight gallons of wine, five pounds of
cheese, two pounds and a half of figs, and some very small sum of
money to buy flesh or fish with. Besides this, when any of them
made sacrifice to the gods, they always sent a dole to the common
hall; and, likewise, when any of them had been a-hunting, he sent
thither a part of the venison he had killed; for these two
occasions were the only excuses allowed for supping at home. The
custom of eating together was observed strictly for a great while
afterwards; insomuch that king Agis himself, after having
vanquished the Athenians, sending for his commons at his return
home, because he desired to eat privately with his queen, was
refused them by the polemarchs; and when he resented this refusal
so much as to omit next day the sacrifice due for a war happily
ended, they made him pay a fine.

They used to send their children to these tables as to schools of
temperance; here they were instructed in state affairs by
listening to experienced statesmen; here they learnt to converse
with pleasantry, to make jests without scurrility, and take them
without ill humor. In this point of good breeding, the
Lacedaemonians excelled particularly, but if any man were uneasy
under it, upon the least hint given there was no more to be said
to him. It was customary also for the eldest man in the company to
say to each of them, as they came in, "Through this" (pointing to
the door), "no words go out." When any one had a desire to be
admitted into any of these little societies, he was to go through
the following probation: each man in the company took a little
ball of soft bread, which they were to throw into a deep basin,
that a waiter carried round upon his head; those that liked the
person to be chosen dropped their ball into the basin without
altering its figure, and those who disliked him pressed it betwixt
their fingers, and made it flat; and this signified as much as a
negative voice. And if there were but one of these flattened
pieces in the basin, the suitor was rejected, so desirous were
they that all the members of the company should be agreeable to
each other. The basin was called caddichus, and the rejected
candidate had a name thence derived. Their most famous dish was
the black broth, which was so much valued that the elderly men fed
only upon that, leaving what flesh there was to the younger.

They say that a certain king of Pontus, having heard much of this
black broth of theirs, sent for a Lacedaemonian cook on purpose to
make him some, but had no sooner tasted it than he found it
extremely bad, which the cook observing, told him, "Sir, to make
this broth relish, you should have bathed yourself first in the
river Eurotas."

After drinking moderately, every man went to his home without
lights, for the use of them was, on all occasions, forbid, to the
end that they might accustom themselves to march boldly in the
dark. Such was the common fashion of their meals.

Lycurgus would never reduce his laws into writing; nay, there is a
Rhetra expressly to forbid it. For he thought that the most
material points, and such as most directly tended to the public
welfare, being imprinted on the hearts of their youth by a good
discipline, would be sure to remain, and would find a stronger
security, than any compulsion would be, in the principles of
action formed in them by their best lawgiver, education.

One, then, of the Rhetras was, that their laws should not be
written; another is particularly leveled against luxury and
expensiveness, for by it it was ordained that the ceilings of
their houses should only be wrought by the axe, and their gates
and doors smoothed only the saw. Epaminondas's famous dictum about
his own table, that "Treason and a dinner like this do not keep
company together," may be said to have been anticipated by
Lycurgus. Luxury and a house of this kind could not well be
companions. For a man must have a less than ordinary share of
sense that would furnish such plain and common rooms with silver-
footed couches and purple coverlets and gold and silver plate.
Doubtless he had good reason to think that they would proportion
their beds to their houses, and their coverlets to their beds, and
the rest of their goods and furniture to these. It is reported
that King Leotychides, the first of that name, was so little used
to the sight of any other kind of work, that, being entertained at
Corinth in a stately room, he was much surprised to see the timber
and ceilings so finely carved and paneled, and asked his host
whether the trees grew so in his country.

A third ordinance or Rhetra was that they should not make war
often, or long, with the same enemy, lest they should train and
instruct them in war, by habituating them to defend themselves.
And this is what Agesilaus was much blamed for a long time after;
it being thought that, by his continual incursions into Boeotia,
he made the Thebans a match for the Lacedaemonians; and therefore
Antalcidas, seeing him wounded one day, said to him that he was
very well paid for taking such pains to make the Thebans good
soldiers, whether they would or no. These laws were called the
Rhetras, to intimate that they were divine sanctions and

In order to the good education of their youth (which, as I said
before, he thought the most important and noblest work of a
lawgiver), he took in their case all the care that was possible;
he ordered the maidens to exercise themselves with wrestling,
running, throwing the quoit, and casting the dart, to the end that
they might have strong and healthy bodies.

It was not in the power of the father to dispose of his child as
he thought fit; he was obliged to carry it before certain "triers"
at a place called Lesche; these were some of the elders of the
tribe to which the child belonged; their business it was carefully
to view the infant, and, if they found it stout and well made,
they gave order for its rearing, and allotted to it one of the
nine thousand shares of land above mentioned for its maintenance;
but if they found it puny and ill-shaped, ordered it to be taken
to what was called the Apothetae, a sort of chasm under Taygetus;
as thinking it neither for the good of the child itself, nor for
the public interest, that it should be brought up, if it did not,
from the very outset, appear made to be healthy and vigorous. Upon
the same account, the women did not bathe the new-born children
with water, as is the custom in all other countries, but with
wine, to prove the temper and complexion of their bodies; from a
notion they had that epileptic and weakly children faint and waste
away upon their being thus bathed, while, on the contrary, those
of a strong and vigorous habit acquire firmness and get a temper
by it like steel. There was much care and art, too, used by the
nurses; they had no swaddling bands; the children grew up free and
unconstrained in limb and form, and not dainty and fanciful about
their food; nor afraid in the dark, or of being left alone;
without any peevishness or ill humor or crying. Upon this account,
Spartan nurses were often bought up, or hired by people of other

Lycurgus was of another mind; he would not have masters bought out
of the market for his young Spartans, nor such as should sell
their pains; nor was it lawful, indeed, for the father himself to
raise his children after his own fancy; but as soon as they were
seven years old they were to be enrolled in certain companies and
classes, where they all lived under the same order and discipline,
doing their exercises and taking their play together. Of these he
who showed the most conduct and courage was made captain; they had
their eyes always upon him, obeyed his orders, and underwent
patiently whatsoever punishment he inflicted; so that the whole
course of their education was one continued exercise of a ready
and perfect obedience. The old men, too, were spectators of their
performances, and often raised quarrels and disputes among them,
to have a good opportunity of finding out their different
characters, and of seeing which would be valiant, which a coward,
when they should come to more dangerous encounters. Reading and
writing they gave them, just enough to serve their turn; their
chief care was to make them good subjects, and to teach them to
endure pain and conquer in battle. To this end, as they grew in
years, their discipline was proportionally increased; their heads
were close-clipped; they were accustomed to go barefoot, and for
the most part to play naked.

After they were twelve years old they were no longer allowed to
wear any under-garment; they had one coat to serve them a year;
their bodies were hard and dry, with but little acquaintance of
baths and unguents; these human indulgences they were allowed only
on some few particular days in the year. They lodged together in
little bands upon beds made of the rushes which grew by the banks
of the river Eurotas, which they were to break off with their
hands without a knife; if it were winter, they mingled some
thistledown with their rushes, which it was thought had the
property of giving warmth.

Besides all this, there was always one of the best and most honest
men in the city appointed to undertake the charge and governance
of them; he again arranged them into their several bands, and set
over each of them for their captain the most temperate and bold of
those they called Irens, who were usually twenty years old, two
years out of boyhood; and the eldest of the boys, again, were
Mell-Irens, as much as to say, "who would shortly be men." This
young man, therefore, was their captain when they fought, and
their master at home, using them for the offices of his house;
sending the oldest of them to fetch wood, and the weaker and less
able, to gather salads and herbs, and these they must either go
without or steal; which they did by creeping into the gardens, or
conveying themselves cunningly and closely into the eating-houses;
if they were taken in the act, they were whipped without mercy,
for thieving so ill and awkwardly. They stole, too, all other meat
they could lay their hands on, looking out and watching all
opportunities, when people were asleep or more careless than
usual. If they were caught, they were not only punished with
whipping, but hunger, too, being reduced to their ordinary
allowance, which was but very slender, and so contrived on
purpose, that they might set about to help themselves, and be
forced to exercise their energy and address.

So seriously did the Lacedaemonian children go about their
stealing, that a youth, having stolen a young fox and hid it under
his coat, suffered it to tear out his very bowels with its teeth
and claws, and died upon the place, rather than let it be seen.
What is practised to this very day in Lacedaemon is enough to gain
credit to this story, for I myself have seen several of the youths
endure whipping to death at the foot of the altar of Diana
surnamed Orthia.

The Iren, or under-master, used to stay a little with them after
supper, and one of them he bade to sing a song, to another he put
a question which required an advised and deliberate answer; for
example, Who was the best man in the city? What he thought of such
an action of such a man? They accustomed them thus early to pass a
right judgment upon persons and things, and to inform themselves
of the abilities or defects of their countrymen. If they had not
an answer ready to the question, Who was a good or who an ill-
reputed citizen? they were looked upon as of a dull and careless
disposition, and to have little or no sense of virtue and honor;
besides this, they were to give a good reason for what they said,
and in as few words and as comprehensive as might be; he that
failed of this, or answered not to the purpose, had his thumb bit
by his master.

They taught them, also, to speak with a natural and graceful
raillery, and to comprehend much matter of thought in few words.
For Lycurgus, who ordered, as we saw, that a great piece of money
should be but of an inconsiderable value, on the contrary would
allow no discourse to be current which did not contain in few
words a great deal of useful and curious sense; children in
Sparta, by a habit of long silence, came to give just and
sententious answers; for, indeed, loose talkers seldom originate
many sensible words. King Agis, when some Athenian laughed at
their short swords, and said that the jugglers on the stage
swallowed them with ease, answered him, "We find them long enough
to reach our enemies with;" and as their swords were short and
sharp, so, it seems to me, were their sayings. They reach the
point and arrest the attention of the hearers better than any
others. Lycurgus himself seems to have been short and sententious.
if we may trust the anecdotes of him; as appears by his answer to
one who by all means would set up democracy in Lacedaemon. "Begin,
friend," said he, "and set it up in your family." Another asked
him why he allowed of such mean and trivial sacrifices to the
gods. He replied, "That we may always have something to offer to
them." Being asked what sort of martial exercises or combats he
approved of, he answered, "All sorts, except that in which you
stretch out your hands."

Of their dislike to talkativeness, the following apophthegms are
evidence. King Leonidas said to one who held him in discourse upon
some useful matter, but not in due time and place, "Much to the
purpose, sir, elsewhere." King Charilaus, the nephew of Lycurgus,
being asked why his uncle had made so few laws, answered, "Men of
few words require but few laws." When one blamed Hecataeus the
sophist because that, being invited to the public table, he had
not spoken one word all supper-time, Archidamidas answered in his
vindication, "He who knows how to speak, knows also when."

The sharp, and yet not ungraceful, retorts which I mentioned may
be instanced as follows. Demaratus, being asked in a troublesome
manner by an importunate fellow, Who was the best man in
Lacedaemon? answered at last," He, sir, that is the least like
you." Some, in company where Agis was, much extolled the Eleans
for their just and honorable management of the Olympic games;
"Indeed," said Agis, "they are highly to be commended if they can
do justice one day in five years."

We may see their character, too, in their very jests. For they did
not throw them out at random, but the very wit of them was
grounded upon something or other worth thinking about. For
instance, one, being asked to go hear a man who exactly
counterfeited the voice of a nightingale, answered, "Sir, I have
heard the nightingale itself." Another, having read the following
inscription upon a tomb,----

Seeking to quench a cruel tyranny,
They, at Selinus, did in battle die,

said, it served them right; for instead of trying to quench the
tyranny they should have let it burn out. A lad, being offered
some game-cocks that would die upon the spot, said he cared not
for cocks that would die, but for such as would live and kill
others. In short, their answers were so sententious and pertinent,
that one said well that intellectual, much more truly than
athletic, exercise was the Spartan characteristic.

Nor was their instruction in music and verse less carefully
attended to than their habits of grace and good breeding in
conversation. And their very songs had a life and spirit in them
that inflamed and possessed men's minds with an enthusiasm and
ardor for action; the style of them was plain and without
affectation; the subject always serious and moral; most usually it
was in praise of such men as had died in defence of their country,
or in derision of those that had been cowards; the former they
declared happy and glorified; the life of the latter they
described as most miserable and abject. There were also vaunts of
what they would do, and boasts of what they had done, varying with
the various ages, as, for example, they had three choirs in their
solemn festivals, the first of the old men, the second of the
young men, and the last of the children; the old men began thus:

We once were young, and brave and strong;

the young men answered them, singing,

And we're so now, come on and try;

the children came last and said,

But we'll be strongest by and by.

Before they engaged in battle, the Lacedaemonians abated a little
the severity of their manners in favor of their young men,
suffering them to curl and adorn their hair, and to have costly
arms, and fine clothes; and were well pleased to see them, like
proud horses, neighing and pressing to the course. And therefore,
as soon as they came to be well grown, they took a great deal of
care of their hair, to have it parted and trimmed, especially
against a day of battle, pursuant to a saying recorded of their
lawgiver, that a large head of hair added beauty to a good face,
and terror to an ugly one.

The senate, as I said before, consisted of those who were
Lycurgus's chief aiders and assistants in his plan. The vacancies
he ordered to be supplied out of the best and most deserving men
past sixty years old. The manner of their election was as follows:
the people being called together, some selected persons were
locked up in a room near the place of election, so contrived that
they could neither see nor be seen, but could only hear the noise
of the assembly without; for they decided this, as most other
affairs of moment, by the shouts of the people. This done, the
competitors were not brought in and presented all together, but
one after another by lot, and passed in order through the assembly
without speaking a word. Those who were locked up had writing-
tables with them, in which they recorded and marked each shout by
its loudness, without knowing in favor of which candidate each of
them was made, but merely that they came first, second, third, and
so forth. He who was found to have the most and loudest
acclamations was declared senator duly elected.

When he perceived that his more important institutions had taken
root in the minds of his countrymen, that custom had rendered them
familiar and easy, that his commonwealth was now grown up and able
to go alone, then, as Plato somewhere tells us the Maker of the
world, when first he saw it existing and beginning its motion,
felt joy, even so Lycurgus, viewing with joy and satisfaction the
greatness and beauty of his political structure, now fairly at
work and in motion, conceived the thought to make it immortal too,
and as far as human forecast could reach, to deliver it down
unchangeable to posterity. He called an extraordinary assembly of
all the people, and told them that he now thought everything
reasonably well established, both for the happiness and the virtue
of the state; but that there was one thing still behind, of the
greatest importance, which he thought not fit to impart until he
had consulted the oracle; in the meantime, his desire was that
they would observe the laws without even the least alteration
until his return, and then he would do as the god should direct
him. They all consented readily, and bade him hasten his journey;
but, before he departed, he administered an oath to the two kings,
the senate, and the whole commons, to abide by and maintain the
established form of polity until Lycurgus should come back. This
done, he set out for Delphi, and, having sacrificed to Apollo,
asked him whether the laws he had established were good and
sufficient for a people's happiness and virtue. The oracle
answered that the laws were excellent, and that the people, while
it observed them, should live in the height of renown. Lycurgus
took the oracle in writing, and sent it over to Sparta, and,
having sacrificed a second time to Apollo, and taken leave of his
friends and his son, he resolved that the Spartans should not be
released from the oath they had taken, and that he would, of his
own act, close his life where he was. He was now about that age in
which life was still tolerable, and yet might be quitted without
regret. Everything, moreover, about him was in a sufficiently
prosperous condition. He, therefore, made an end of himself by a
total abstinence from food; thinking it a statesman's duty to make
his very death, if possible, an act of service to the state, and
even in the end of his life to give some example of virtue and
effect some useful purpose. Nor was he deceived in his
expectations, for the city of Lacedaemon continued the chief city
of all Greece for the space of five hundred years, in strict
observance of Lycurgus's laws; in all which time there was no
manner of alteration made, during the reign of fourteen kings,
down to the time of Agis, the son of Archidamus.

King Theopompus, when one said that Sparta held up so long because
their kings could command so well, replied, "Nay, rather because
the people know so well how to obey." For people do not obey,
unless rulers know how to command; obedience is a lesson taught by
commanders. A true leader himself creates the obedience of his own
followers; as it is the greatest attainment in the art of riding
to make a horse gentle and tractable, so is it of the science of
government to inspire men with a willingness to obey.

It is reported that when the bones were brought home to Sparta his
tomb was struck with lightning, an accident which befell no
eminent person but himself and Euripides. But Aristocrates, the
son of Hipparchus, says that he died in Crete, and that his Cretan
friends, in accordance with his own request, when they had burned
his body, scattered the ashes into the sea, for fear lest, if his
relics should be transported to Lacedaemon, the people might
pretend to be released from their oaths, and make innovations in
the government.


SOLON, as Hermippus writes, when his father had ruined his estate
in doing benefits and kindnesses to other men, though he had
friends enough that were willing to contribute to his relief, yet
was ashamed to be beholden to others, since he was descended from
a family who were accustomed to do kindnesses rather than receive
them; and therefore applied himself to merchandise in his youth;
though others assure us that he traveled rather to get learning
and experience than to make money. It is certain that he was a
lover of knowledge, for when he was old he would say that he

Each day grew older, and learnt something new.

But that he accounted himself rather poor than rich is evident
from the lines,

Some wicked men are rich, some good are poor,
We will not change our virtue for their store;
Virtue's a thing that none can take away,
But money changes owners all the day.

It is stated that Anacharsis and Solon and Thales were familiarly
acquainted, and some have quoted parts of their discourse; for,
they say, Anacharsis, coming to Athens, knocked at Solon's door
and told him that he, being a stranger, was come to be his guest,
and contract a friendship with him; and Solon replying; "It is
better to make friends at home," Anacharsis replied, "Then you
that are at home make friendship with me." Solon, somewhat
surprised at the readiness of the repartee, received him kindly,
and kept him some time with him, being already engaged in public
business and the compilation of his laws; which when Anacharsis
understood, he laughed at him for imagining the dishonesty and
covetousness of his countrymen could be restrained by written
laws, which were like spiders' webs, and would catch, it is true,
the weak and poor, but easily be broken by the mighty and rich. To
this Solon rejoined that men keep their promises when neither side
can get anything by the breaking of them; and he would so fit his
laws to the citizens, that all should understand it was more
eligible to be just than to break the laws. But the event rather
agreed with the conjecture of Anacharsis than Solon's hope.
Anacharsis, being once at the assembly, expressed his wonder that
in Greece wise men spoke and fools decided.

Now, when the Athenians were tired with a tedious and difficult
war that they conducted against the Megarians for the island
Salamis, and made a law that is should be death for any man, by
writing or speaking, to assert that the city ought to endeavor to
recover it, Solon, vexed at the disgrace, and perceiving thousands
of the youth wished for somebody to begin, but did not dare to
stir first for fear of the law, counterfeited a distraction, and
by his own family it was spread about the city that he was mad. He
then secretly composed some elegiac verses, and getting them by
heart, that it might seem extempore, ran out into the market-place
with a cap upon his head, and, the people gathering about him, got
upon the herald's stand, and sang that elegy which begins thus:--

I am a herald come from Salamis the fair,
My news from thence my verses shall declare.

The poem is called "Salamis"; it contains a hundred verses, very
elegantly written. When it had been sung, his friends commended
it, and especially Pisistratus exhorted the citizens to obey his
directions; insomuch that they recalled the law, and renewed the
war under Solon's conduct. The popular take is, that with
Pisistratus he sailed to Colias, and, finding the women, according
to the custom of the country there, sacrificing to Ceres, he sent
a trusty friend to Salamis, who should pretend himself a renegade,
and advise them, if they desired to seize the chief Athenian
women, to come with him at once to Colias; the Megarians presently
sent off men in the vessel with him, and Solon, seeing it put off
from the island, commanded the women to be gone, and some
beardless youths, dressed in their clothes, their shoes, and caps,
and privately armed with daggers, to dance and play near the shore
till the enemies had landed and the vessel was in their power.
Things being thus ordered, the Megarians were allured with the
appearance, and, coming to the shore, jumped out, eager who should
first seize a prize, so that not one of them escaped; and the
Athenians set sail for the island and took it.

For this Solon grew famed and powerful; but his advice in favor of
defending the oracle at Delphi, to give aid, and not to suffer the
Cirrhaeans to profane it, but to maintain the honor of the god,
got him most repute among the Greeks: for upon his persuasion the
Amphictyons undertook the war.

Now the Cylonian pollution had a long time disturbed the
commonwealth, ever since the time when Megacles the archon
persuaded the conspirators with Cylon that took sanctuary in
Athena's temple to come down and stand to a fair trial. And they,
tying a thread to the image, and holding one end of it, went down
to the tribunal; but when they came to the temple of the Furies,
the thread broke of its own accord, upon which, as if the goddess
had refused them protection, they were seized by Megacles and the
other magistrates; as many as were without the temples were
stoned, those that fled for sanctuary were butchered at the altar,
and only those escaped who made supplication to the wives of the

The Athenians, now the Cylonian sedition was over and the polluted
gone into banishment, fell into their old quarrels about the
government, there being as many different parties as there were
diversities in the country. The Hill quarter favored democracy;
the Plain, oligarchy; and those that lived by the Sea-side stood
for a mixed sort of government, and so hindered either of the
parties from prevailing. And the disparity of fortune between the
rich and the poor at that time also reached its height; so that
the city seemed to be in a truly dangerous condition, and no other
means for freeing it from disturbances and settling it to be
possible but a despotic power.

Then the wisest of the Athenians, perceiving Solon was of all men
the only one not implicated in the troubles, that he had not
joined in the exactions of the rich, and was not involved in the
necessities of the poor, pressed him to succor the commonwealth
and compose the differences. Solon, reluctantly at first, engaged
in state affairs, being afraid of the pride of one party and the
greediness of the other; he was chosen archon, however, after
Philombrotus, and empowered to be an arbitrator and lawgiver; the
rich consenting because he was wealthy, the poor because he was
honest. There was a saying of his current before the election,
that when things are even there never can be war, and this pleased
both parties, the wealthy and the poor; the one conceiving him to
mean, when all have their fair proportion; the other, when all are
absolutely equal. Thus, there being great hopes on both sides, the
chief men pressed Solon to take the government into his own hands,
and, when he was once settled, manage the business freely and
according to his pleasure; and many of the commons, perceiving it
would be a difficult change to be effected by law and reason, were
willing to have one wise and just man set over the affairs; and
some say that Solon had this oracle from Apollo:

Take the mid-seat, and be the vessel's guide;
Many in Athens are upon your side.

From which it is manifest that he was a man of great reputation
before he gave his laws. The several mocks that were put upon him
for refusing the power, he records in these words:

Solon surely was a dreamer, and a man of simple mind;
When the gods would give him fortune, he of his own will declined;
When the new was full of fishes, over-heavy thinking it,
He declined to haul it up, through want of heart and want of wit.
Had but I that chance of riches and of kingship for one day,
I would give my skin for flaying, and my house to die away.

Thus he makes the many and the low people speak of him. Yet,
though he refused the government, he did not show himself mean and
submissive to the powerful, nor make his laws to pleasure those
that chose him. For the first thing which he settled was, that
what debts remained should be forgiven, and no man, for the
future, should engage the body of his debtor for security. Though
some, as Androtion, affirm that the debts were not canceled, but
the interest only lessened, which sufficiently pleased the people;
so that they named this benefit the Seisacthea, together with the
enlarging of their measures, and raising the value of their money;
for he made a pound, which before passed for seventy-three
drachmas, go for a hundred; so that, though the number of pieces
in the payment was equal, the value was less; which proved a
considerable benefit to those that were to discharge great debts,
and no loss to the creditors.

While he was designing this, a most vexatious thing happened; for
when he had resolved to take off the debts, and was considering
the proper form and fit beginning for it, he told some of his
friends, Conon, Clinias, and Hipponicus, in whom he had a great
deal of confidence, that he would not meddle with the lands, but
only free the people from their debts; upon which, they, using
their advantage, made haste and borrowed some considerable sums of
money, and purchased some large farms; and when the law was
enacted, they kept the possessions, and would not return the
money; which brought Solon into great suspicion and dislike, as if
he himself had not been abused, but was concerned in the
contrivance. But he presently stopped this suspicion, by releasing
his own debtors of five talents (for he had lent so much),
according to the law; others, as Polyzelus the Rhodian, say

Soon becoming sensible of the good that was done, the people laid
by their grudges, made a public sacrifice, and chose Solon to new-
model and make laws for the commonwealth, giving him the entire
power over everything, their magistracies, their assemblies,
courts, and councils; that he should appoint the number, times of
meeting, and what estate they must have that could be capable of
these, and dissolve or continue any of the present constitutions,
according to his pleasure.

First, then, he repealed all Draco's laws, except those concerning
homicide, because they were too severe and the punishments too
great; for death was appointed for almost all offences, insomuch
that those that were convicted of idleness were to die, and those
that stole a cabbage or an apple to suffer even as villains that
committed sacrilege or murder. So that Demades, in after time, was
thought to have said very happily, that Draco's laws were written
not with ink, but blood; and he himself, being once asked why he
made death the punishment of most offences, replied: "Small ones
deserve that, and I have no higher for the greater crimes."

Next, Solon, being willing to continue the magistracies in the
hands of the rich men, and yet receive the people into the other
part of the government, took an account of the citizens' estates,
and those that were worth five hundred measures of fruits, dry and
liquid, he placed in the first rank; those that could keep a
horse, or were worth three hundred measures, were made the second
class; those that had two hundred measures, were in the third; and
all the other were called Thetes, who were not admitted to any
office, but could come to the assembly, and act as jurors; which
at first seemed nothing, but afterward was found an enormous
privilege, as almost every matter of dispute came before them in
this latter capacity. Besides, it is said that he was obscure and
ambiguous in the wording of his laws, on purpose to increase the
honor of his courts; for since their differences could not be
adjusted by the letter, they would have to bring all their causes
to the judges, who thus were in a manner masters of the laws. Of
this equalization he himself makes mention in this manner:

Such power I gave the people as might do,
Abridged not what they had, now lavished new.
Those that were great in wealth and high in place,
My counsel likewise kept from all disgrace.
Before them both I held my shield of might,
And let not either touch the other's right.

When he had constituted the Areopagus of those who had been yearly
archons, of which he himself was a member therefore, observing
that the people, now free from their debts, were unsettled and
imperious, he formed another council of four hundred, a hundred
out of each of the four tribes, which was to inspect all matters
before they were propounded to the people, and to take care that
nothing but what had been first examined should be brought before
the general assembly. The upper council, or Areopagus, he made
inspectors and keepers of the laws, conceiving that the
commonwealth, held by these two councils like anchors, would be
less liable to be tossed by tumults, and the people be more at
quiet. Such is the general statement that Solon instituted the

Amongst his other laws, one is very peculiar and surprising, which
disfranchises all who stand neuter in a sedition; for it seems he
would not have any one remain insensible and regardless of the
public good, but at once join with the good party and those that
have the right upon their side, assist and venture with them,
rather than keep out of harm's way and watch who would get the

Another commendable law of Solon's is that which forbids men to
speak evil of the dead.

Since the country has but few rivers, lakes, or large springs, and
many used wells which they had dug, there was a law made, that,
where there was a public well within a hippicon, that is, four
furlongs, all should draw at that; but then it was farther off,
they should try and procure a well of their own; and, if they had
dug ten fathoms deep and could find no water, they had liberty to
fetch a pitcherful of four gallons and a half in a day from their
neighbors'; for he thought it prudent to make provision against
want, but not to supply laziness. He showed skill in his orders
about planting, for any one that would plant another tree was not
to set it within five feet of his neighbor's field; but if a fig
or an olive, not within nine, for their roots spread farther, nor
can they be planted near all sorts of trees without damage, for
they draw away the nourishment, and in some cases are noxious by
their effluvia. He that would dig a pit or a ditch was to dig it
at the distance of its own depth from his neighbor's ground; and
he that would raise stocks of bees was not to place them within
three hundred feet of those which another had already raised.

He permitted only oil to be exported, and those that exported any
other fruit, the archon was solemnly to curse, or else pay an
hundred drachmas (a drachma was about twenty cents.) himself; and
this law was written in his first table, and, therefore, let none
think it incredible, as some affirm, that the exportation of figs
was once unlawful. He made a law also, concerning hurts and
injuries from beasts, in which he commands the master of any dog
that bit a man to deliver him up with a log about his neck four
and a half feet long-a happy device for men's security.

All his laws he established for an hundred years, and wrote them
on wooden tables or rollers, named axones, which might be turned
round in oblong cases; some of their relics were in my time still
to be seen in the Prytaneum, or common hall, at Athens. These, as
Aristotle states, were called cyrbes, and there is a passage of
Cratinus the comedian,

By Solon, and by Draco, if you please,
Whose Cyrbes make the fires that parch our peas.

But some say those are properly cyrbes, which contain laws
concerning sacrifices and the rites of religion, and all the other
axones. The council all jointly swore to confirm the laws, and
every one of the Thesmothetae vowed for himself at the stone in
the market-place, that, if he broke any of the statutes, he would
dedicate a golden statue, as big as himself, at Delphi.

Now when these laws were enacted, and some came to Solon every
day, to commend or dispraise them, and to advise, if possible, to
leave out, or put in something, and many criticised, and desired
him to explain, and tell the meaning of such and such a passage,
he, to escape all displeasure, it being a hard thing, as he
himself says,

In great affairs to satisfy all sides,

As an excuse for traveling, bought a trading vessel and, having
obtained leave for ten years' absence, departed, hoping that by
that time his laws would have become familiar.
	His first voyage was for Egypt, and he lived, as he himself

Near Nilus' mouth, by fair Canopus' shore,

And spent some time in study with Psenophis of Heliopolis, and
Sonchis the Saite, the most learned of all the priests; from whom,
as Plato says, getting knowledge of the Atlantic story, he put it
into a poem, and proposed to bring it to the knowledge of the
Greeks. From thence he sailed to Cyprus, where he was made much of
by Philocyprus, one of the kings there, who had a small city built
by Demophon, Theseus's son, near the river Clarius, in a strong
situation, but incommodious and uneasy of access. Solon persuaded
him, since there lay a fair plain below, to remove, and build
there a pleasanter and more spacious city. And he stayed himself,
and assisted in gathering inhabitants, and in fitting it both for
defence and convenience of living; insomuch that many flocked to
Philocyprus, and the other kings imitated the design; and,
therefore, to honor Solon, he called the city Soli.

That Solon should discourse with Croesus, some think not agreeable
with chronology; but I cannot reject so famous and well-attested a
narrative, and, what is more, so agreeable to Solon's temper, and
so worthy his wisdom and greatness of mind, because, forsooth, it
does not agree with some chronological canons, which thousands
have endeavored to regulate, and yet, to this day, could never
bring their differing opinions to any agreement. They say,
therefore, that Solon, coming to Croesus at his request, was in
the same condition as an inland man when first he goes to see the
sea; for as he fancies every river he meets with to be the ocean,
so Solon, as he passed through the court, and saw a great many
nobles richly dressed, and proudly attended with a multitude of
guards and footboys, thought every one to be the king, till he was
brought to Croesus, who was decked with every possible rarity and
curiosity, in ornaments of jewels, purple, and gold, that could
make a grand and gorgeous spectacle of him. Now when Solon came
before him, and seemed not at all surprised, nor gave Croesus
those compliments he expected, but showed himself to all
discerning eyes to be a man that despised the gaudiness and petty
ostentation of it, he commanded them to open all his treasure
houses, and carry him to see his sumptuous furniture and luxuries,
though Solon did not wish it; he could judge of him well enough by
the first sight of him; and, when he returned from viewing all,
Croesus asked him if ever he had known a happier man than he. And
when Solon answered that he had known one Tellus, a fellow-citizen
of his own, and told him that this Tellus had been an honest man,
had had good children, a competent estate, and died bravely in
battle for his country, Croesus took him for an ill-bred fellow
and a fool, for not measuring happiness by the abundance of gold
and silver, and preferring the life and death of a private and
mean man before so much power and empire. He asked him however,
again, if, besides Tellus, he knew any other man more happy. And
Solon replying, Yes, Cleobis and Biton, who were loving brothers,
and extremely dutiful sons to their mother, and, when the oxen
delayed her, harnessed themselves to the wagon, and drew her to
Juno's temple, her neighbors all calling her happy, and she
herself rejoicing; then, after sacrificing and feasting, they went
to rest, and never rose again, but died in the midst of their
honor a painless and tranquil death. "What," said Croesus,
angrily, "and dost not thou reckon us amongst the happy men at
all?" Solon, unwilling either to flatter or exasperate him more,
replied, "The gods, O king, have given the Greeks all other gifts
in moderate degree; and so our wisdom, too, is a cheerful and a
homely, not a noble and kingly, wisdom; and this, observing the
numerous misfortunes that attend all conditions, forbids us to
grow insolent upon our present enjoyments, or to admire any man's
happiness that may yet, in course of time, suffer change. For the
uncertain future has yet to come, with every possible variety of
fortune; and him only to whom the divinity has continued happiness
unto the end, we call happy; to salute as happy one that is still
in the midst of life and hazard, we think as little safe, and
conclusive as to crown and proclaim as victorious the wrestler
that is yet in the ring." After this, he was dismissed, having
given Croesus some pain, but no instruction.

Aesop, who wrote the fables, being then at Sardis upon Croesus's
invitation, and very much esteemed, was concerned that Solon was
so ill-received, and gave him this advice: "Solon, let your
converse with kings be either short or seasonable." "Nay, rather,"
replied Solon, "either short or reasonable." So at this time
Croesus despised Solon; but when he was overcome by Cyrus, had
lost his city, was taken alive, condemned to be burnt, and laid
bound upon the pile before all the Persians and Cyrus himself, he
cried out as loud as he possibly could three times, "O Solon!" and
Cyrus being surprised, and sending some to inquire what man or god
this Solon was, whom alone he invoked in this extremity, Croesus
told him the whole story, saying, "He was one of the wise men of
Greece, whom I sent for, not to be instructed, or to learn
anything that I wanted, but that he should see and be a witness of
my happiness; the loss of which was, it seems, to be a greater
evil than the enjoyment was a good; for when I had them they were
goods only in opinion, but now the loss of them has brought upon
me intolerable and real evils. And he, conjecturing from what then
was, this that now is, bade me look to the end of my life, and not
rely and grow proud upon uncertainties." When this was told Cyrus,
who was a wiser man than Croesus, and saw in the present example
Solon's maxim confirmed, he not only freed Croesus from
punishment, but honored him as long as he lived; and Solon had the
glory, by the same saying, to save one king and instruct another.

When Solon was gone, the citizens began to quarrel; Lycurgus
headed the Plain; Megacles, the son of Alcmaeon, those of the Sea-
side; and Pisistratus the Hill-party, in which were the poorest
people, the Thetes, and greatest enemies to the rich; insomuch
that, though the city still used the new laws, yet all looked for
and desired a change of government, hoping severally that the
change would be better for them, and put them above the contrary
faction. Affairs standing thus, Solon returned, and was reverenced
by all, and honored; but his old age would not permit him to be as
active, and to speak in public, as formerly; yet, by privately
conferring with the heads of the factions, he endeavored to
compose the differences, Pisistratus appearing the most tractable;
for he was extremely smooth and engaging in his language, a great
friend to the poor, and moderate in his resentments; and what
nature had not given him, he had the skill to imitate; so that he
was trusted more than the others, being accounted a prudent and
orderly man, one that loved equality, and would be an enemy to any
that moved against the present settlement. Thus he deceived the
majority of people; but Solon quickly discovered his character,
and found out his design before any one else; yet did not hate him
upon this, but endeavored to humble him, and bring him off from
his ambition, and often told him and others, that if any one could
banish the passion for preeminence from his mind, and cure him of
his desire of absolute power, none would make a more virtuous man
or a more excellent citizen. Thespis, at this time, beginning to
act tragedies, and the thing, because it was new, taking very much
with the multitude, though it was not yet made a matter of
competition, Solon, being by nature fond of hearing and learning
something new, and now, in his old age, living idly, and enjoying
himself, indeed, with music and with wine, went to see Thespis
himself, as the ancient custom was, act; and after the play was
done, he addressed him, and asked him if he was not ashamed to
tell so many lies before such a number of people; and Thespis
replying that it was no harm to say or do so in play, Solon
vehemently struck his staff against the ground: "Ay," said he, "if
we honor and commend such play as this, we shall find it some day
in our business."

Now when Pisistratus, having wounded himself, was brought into the
market-place in a chariot, and stirred up the people, as if he had
been thus treated by his opponents because of his political
conduct, and a great many were enraged and cried out, Solon,
coming close to him, said, "This, O son of Hippocrates, is a bad
copy of Homer's Ulysses; you do, to trick your countrymen, what he
did to deceive his enemies." After this, the people were eager to
protect Pisistratus, and met in an assembly, where one Ariston
made a motion that they should allow Pisistratus fifty clubmen for
a guard to his person. Now, the people, having passed the law,
were not nice with Pisistratus about the number of his clubmen,
but took no notice of it, though he enlisted and kept as many as
he would, until he seized the Acropolis. When that was done, and
the city in an uproar, Megacles, with all his family, at once
fled; But Solon, though he was now very old, and had none to back
him, yet came into the market-place and made a speech to the
citizens, partly blaming their inadvertency and meanness of
spirit, and in part urging and exhorting them not thus tamely to
lose their liberty; and likewise then spoke that memorable saying,
that, before, it was an easier task to stop the rising tyranny,
but now the greater and more glorious action to destroy it, when
it was begun already, and had gathered strength. But all being
afraid to side with him, he returned home, and, taking his arms,
he brought them out and laid them in the porch before his door,
with these words: "I have done my part to maintain my country and
my laws," and then be busied himself no more.

But Pisistratus, having got the command, so extremely courted
Solon, so honored him, obliged him, and sent to see him, that
Solon gave him his advice, and approved many of his actions; for
he retained most of Solon's laws, observed them himself, and
compelled his friends to obey. And he added other laws, one of
which is that the maimed in the wars should be maintained at the
public charge, following Solon's example in this, who had decreed
it in the case of one Thersippus, that was maimed.

Solon lived after Pisistratus seized the government a long time.
But the story that his ashes were scattered about the island
Salamis is too strange to be easily believed, or be thought
anything but a mere fable; and yet it is given, among other good
authors, by Aristotle the philosopher.


The birth of Themistocles was somewhat too obscure to do him
honor. His father, Neocles, was not of the distinguished people of
Athens, but of the township of Phrearrhi; and by his mother's
side, as it is reported, he was low-born.

"I am not of the noble Grecian race,
I'm poor Abrotonon, and born in Trace;
Let the Greek women scorn me, if they please,
I was the mother of Themistocles."

From his youth he was of a vehement and impetuous nature, of a
quick apprehension, and a strong and aspiring bent for action and
great affairs. the holidays and intervals in his studies he did
not spend in play or idleness, as other children, but would be
always inventing or arranging some oration or declamation to
himself, the subject of which was generally the excusing of
accusing of his companions, so that his master would often say to
him, "You, my boy, will be nothing small,, but great one way or
other, for good and else for bad." he received reluctantly and
carelessly instructions given him to improve his manners and
behavior, or to teach him any pleasing or graceful accomplishment,
but whatever was said to improve him in sagacity, or in management
of affairs, he would give attention to beyond one of years, from
confidence in his natural capacities for such things.

In the first essays of his youth he was not regular nor happily
balanced; he allowed himself to follow mere natural character,
which, without the control of reason and instruction, is apt to
hurry, upon either side, into sudden and violent courses, and very
often to break away and determine upon the worst; as he afterwards
owned himself, saying that the wildest colts make the best
horses, if they only get properly trained and broken in.

Yet it is evident that his mind was early imbued with the keenest
interest in public affairs, and the most passionate ambition for
distinction. It is said that Themistocles was so transported with
the thoughts of glory, and so inflamed with the passion for great
actions, that, though he was still young when the battle of
Marathon was fought against the Persian, upon the skillful conduct
of the general, Miltiades, being everywhere talked about, he was
observed to be thoughtful and reserved; he passed the nights
without sleep, and avoided all his usual places of recreation, and
to those how wondered at the change, and inquired the reason of
it, he gave the answer that "the trophy of Miltiades would not let
him sleep." And when others were of opinion that the battle of
Marathon would be an end to the war, Themistocles thought that it
was but the beginning of far greater conflict, and for these, to
the benefit of Greece, he kept himself in continual readiness, and
his city also in proper training, foreseeing from far before what
would happen.

And, first of all, the Athenians being accustomed to divide
amongst themselves the revenue proceeding from the silver mines at
Laurium, he was the only man that durst propose to the people that
this distribution should cease, and that with the money, ships
should be built to make war against the Aeginetans, who were the
most flourishing people in all Greece, and by the number of their
ships held the sovereignty of the sea; and Themistocles thus,
little by little, turned and drew the city down towards the sea,
in the belief that, whereas by land they were not a match for
their next neighbors, with their ships they might be able to repel
the Persian and command Greece; thus, as Plato says, from steady
soldiers he turned them into mariners and seamen tossed about the
sea, and gave occasion for the reproach against him, that he took
away from the Athenians the spear and the shield, and bound them
to the bench and the oar. He was well liked by the common people,
would salute every particular citizen by his own name, and always
showed himself a just judge in questions of business between
private men; he said to Simonides, the poet of Ceos, who desired
something of him when he was commander of the army that was no
reasonable, "Simonides, you would be no good poet if you wrote
false measure, nor should I be a good magistrate if for favor I
made false law."

Gradually growing to be great, and winning the favor of the
people, he at last gained the day with his faction over that of
Aristides, and procured his banishment by ostracism. When the kind
of Persia was now advancing against Greece, and sent messengers
into Greece, with an interpreter, to demand earth and water, as an
acknowledgement of subjection, Themistocles, by the consent of the
people, seized upon the interpreter, and put him to death, for
presuming to publish the barbarian orders and decrees in the Greek
language; and having taken upon himself the command of the
Athenian forces, he immediately endeavored to persuade the
citizens to leave the city, and to embark upon their galleys, and
meet with the Persians at a great distance from Greece.

When the contingents met at the straits of Artemisium, the Greeks
would have the Lacedaemonians to command, and Eurybiades to be
their admiral; but the Athenians, who surpassed all the rest
together in number of vessels, would not submit to come after any
other, till Themistocles, perceiving the danger of this contest,
yielded his own command to Eurybiades, and got the Athenians to
submit, persuading them that if in this war they behaved
themselves like men, he would answer for it after that, that the
Greeks, of their own will, would submit to their command.

Though the fights between the Greeks and Persians in the straits
of Euboea were not so important as to make any final decision of
the war, yet the experience which the Greeks obtained in them was
of great advantage; for thus, by actual trial and in real danger,
they found out, that neither number of ships, or riches and
ornaments, nor boasting shouts, nor barbarous songs of victory,
were any way terrible to men that knew how to fight, and were
resolved to come hand to hand with their enemies. This, Pindar
appears to have seen, and says justly enough of the fight at
Artemisium, that

There the sons of Athens set
 The stone that freedom stands on yet.

For the first step towards victory undoubtedly is to gain courage.
Artemisium is in Euboea, beyond the city of Histiaea, a sea-beach
open to the north; there is small temple there, dedicated to
Diana, surnamed of the Dawn, and trees about it, around which
again stand pillars of white marble; and if rub them with your
hand, they send forth both the smell and color of saffron.

But when news came from Thermopylae to Artemisium, informing that
that king Leonidas was slain, and that Xerxes had made himself
master of all the passages by land, they returned back to the
interior of Greece. Xerxes had already passed through Doris and
invaded the country of Phocis, and was burning and destroying the
cities of the Phocians, yet the Greeks sent them no relief; and,
though the Athenians earnestly desired them to meet the Persians
in Boeotia, before they could come into Attica, as they themselves
had come forward by sea at Artemisium, they gave no ear to their
request, being wholly intent upon Peloponnesus, and resolved to
gather all their forces together within the Isthmus, and to build
a wall from sea to sea in that narrow neck of land; so that the
Athenians were enraged to see themselves betrayed, and at the same
time afflicted and dejected at their own destitution. For to fight
alone against such a numerous army was to no purpose, and the only
expedient now left them was to leave their city and cling to their
ships; which the people were very unwilling to submit to,
imagining that it would signify little now to gain a victory, and
not understanding how there could be deliverance any longer after
they had once forsaken the temples of their gods and exposed the
tombs and monuments of their ancestors to the fury of their

Themistocles, being at a loss, and not able to draw the people
over to his opinion by any human reason, set his machines to work,
as in a theatre, and employed prodigies and oracles. The serpent
of Athena, kept in the inner part of her temple, disappeared; the
priests gave it out to the people and declared, by the suggestion
of Themistocles, that the goddess had left the city, and taken her
flight before them towards the sea. And he often urged them with
the oracle which bade them "trust to walls of wood," showing them
that walls of wood could signify nothing else but ships; and that
the island of Salamis was termed in it not miserable or unhappy,
but had the epithet of divine, for that it should one day be
associated with a great good fortune of the Greeks. At length his
opinion prevailed, and he obtained a decree that the city should
be committed to the protection of Athena, "queen of Athens"; that
they who were of age to bear arms should embark, and that each
should see to sending away his children, women, and slaves where
he could. This decree being confirmed, most of the Athenians
removed their parents, wives, and children to Troezen, where they
were received with eager good-will by the Troezenians, who passed
a vote that they should be maintained at the public charge.

Among the great actions of Themistocles at this crisis, the recall
of Aristides was not the least, for, before the war, he had been
ostracized by the party which Themistocles headed, and was in
banishment; but now, perceiving that the people regretted his
absence, and were fearful that he might go over to the Persians to
revenge himself, and thereby ruin the affairs of Greece,
Themistocles proposed a decree that those who were banished for a
time might return again, to give assistance by word and deed to
the cause of Greece with the rest of their fellow citizens.

Eurybiades, by reason of the greatness of Sparta, was admiral of
the Greek fleet, but yet was faint-hearted in time of danger, and
willing to weigh anchor and set sail for the Isthmus of Corinth,
near which the land army lay encamped; which Themistocles,
resisted; and this was the occasion of the well-known words, when
Eurybiades, to check his impatience, told him that at the Olympic
games they that start up before the rest are lashed. "And they,"
replied Themistocles, "that are left behind are not crowned." Some
say that while Themistocles was thus speaking things upon the
deck, an owl was seen flying to the right hand of the fleet, which
came and sat upon the top of the mast; and this happy omen so far
disposed the Greeks to follow his advice, that they presently
prepared to fight. Yet, when the enemy's fleet was arrived at the
haven of Phalerum, upon the coast of Attica, and with the number
of their ships concealed all the shore, and when they saw the king
himself in person come down with his land army to the sea-side,
with all his forces united, then the good counsel of Themistocles
was soon forgotten, and the Peloponnesians cast their eyes again
towards the Isthmus, and took it very ill if any one spoke against
their returning home; and, resolving to depart that night, the
pilots had order what course to steer.

Themistocles, in great distress that the Greeks should return, and
lost the advantage of the narrow seas and strait passage, and slip
home very one to his own city, considered with himself, and
contrived that stratagem which was carried out by Sicinnus. this
Sicinnus was a Persian captive, but a great lover of Themistocles,
and the attendant of his children. Upon this occasion he sent him
privately to Xerxes, commanding him to tell the king that
Themistocles, the admiral of the Athenians, having espoused his
interest, wished to be the first to inform him that the Greeks
were ready to make their escape, and that he counseled him to
hinder their flight, to set upon them while they were in this
confusion and at a distance from their land army, and thereby
destroy all their forces by sea. Xerxes was very joyful at this
message, and received it as from one who wished him all that was
good. and immediately issued instructions to the commanders of his
ships that they should instantly set out with two hundred galleys
to encompass all the islands, and enclose all the straits and
passages, that none of the Greeks might escape, and that they
should afterward follow with the rest of their fleet at leisure.
This being done, Aristides, the son of Lysimachus, was the first
man that perceived it, and went to the test of Themistocles, not
out of any friendship, for he had been formerly banished by his
means, as has been related, but to inform him how they were
encompassed by their enemies. Themistocles, knowing the generosity
of Aristides, and much struck by his visit at that time, imparted
to him all that he had transacted by Sicinnus, and entreated him
that, as he would be more readily believed among the Greeks, he
would make use of his credit to help to induce them to stay and
fight their enemies in the narrow seas. Aristides applauded
Themistocles, and went to the other commanders and captains of the
galleys and encouraged them to engage; yet they did not perfectly
assent to him till a galley of Tenos, which deserted from the
Persians, of which Panaetius was commander, came in, while they
were still doubting, and confirmed the news that all the straits
and passages were beset; and then their rage and fury, as well as
their necessity, provoked them all to fight.

As soon as it was day, Xerxes placed himself high up, to view his
fleet, as Acestodorus writes, in the confines of Megara, upon
those hills which are called the Horns, where he sat in a chair of
gold, with many secretaries about him to write down all that was
done in the fight.

The number of the enemy's ships the poet Aeschylus gives in his
tragedy called the Persians, as on his certain knowledge, in the
following words:

Xerxes, I know, did into battle lead
 One thousand ships; of more than usual speed
 Seven and two hundred. So is it agreed.

The Athenians had a hundred and eighty; in every ship eighteen men
fought upon the deck, four of whom were archers and the rest men-

As Themistocles had fixed upon the most advantageous place, so,
with no less sagacity, he chose the best time of fighting; for he
would not run the prows of his galleys against the Persians, nor
begin the fight till the time of day was come when there regularly
blows in a fresh breeze from the open sea, and brings in with it a
strong swell into the channel; this was no inconvenience to the
Greek ships, which were low-built, and little above the water, but
did much hurt to the Persians, which had high sterns and lofty
decks, and were heavy and cumbrous in their movements, as it
presented them broadside to the quick charges of the Greeks, who
kept their eyes upon the motions of Themistocles, as their best
example, and more particularly because, opposed to his ship,
Ariamenes, admiral to Xerxes, a brave man, and by far the best and
worthiest of the king's brothers, was seen throwing darts and
shooting arrows from his huge galley, as from the walls of a
castle. Aminias the Decelean and Sosicles the Pedian, who sailed
in the same vessel, upon the ships meeting stem to stem, and
transfixing each the other with their brazen prows, so that they
were fastened together, when Ariamenes attempted to board theirs,
ran at them with their pikes, and thrust him into the sea; his
body, as it floated amongst other shipwrecks, was discovered by
Artemisia, and carried to Xerxes.

The first man that took a ship was Lycomedes the Athenian, captain
of a galley, who cut down its ensign, and dedicated it to Apollo
the Laurel-crowned. And as the Persians fought in a narrow sea,
and could bring but part of their fleet to fight, and fell foul of
one another, the Greeks thus equaled them in strength, and fought
with them till the evening, forced them back, and obtained, as
says Simonides, that noble and famous victory, than which neither
amongst the Greeks nor barbarians was ever known more glorious
exploit on the seas; by the joint valor, indeed, and zeal of all
who fought, but most by the wisdom and sagacity of Themistocles.

After this sea-fight, Xerxes, enraged at his ill-fortune,
attempted, by casting great heaps of earth and stones into the
sea, to stop up the channel and to make a dam, upon which he might
lead his land forces over into the island of Salamis.

Themistocles, being desirous to try the opinion of Aristides, told
him that he proposed to set sail for the Hellespont, to break the
bridge of ships, so as to shut up, he said, Aisa a prisoner within
Europe; but Aristides, disliking the design, said: "We have
hitherto fought with an enemy who has regarded little else but his
pleasure and luxury; but if we shut him up within Greece, and
drive him to necessity, he that is master of such great forces
will no longer sit quietly with an umbrella of gold over his head,
looking upon the fight for his pleasure; but he will be resolute,
and attempt all things. Therefore, it is noways our interest,
Themistocles," he said, "to take away the bridge that is already
made, but rather to build another, if it were possible, that he
might make his retreat with the more expedition." To which
Themistocles answered: "If this be requisite, we must immediately
use all diligence, art, and industry, to rid ourselves of him as
soon as may be;" and to this purpose he found out among the
captives one named Arnaces, whom he sent to the king, to inform
him that the Greeks, being now victorious by sea, had decreed to
sail to the Hellespont, where the boasts were fastened together,
and destroy the bridge; but that Themistocles, being concerned for
the king, revealed this to him, that he might hasten toward the
Asiatic seas, and pass over into his own dominions; and in the
meantime would cause delays, and hinder the confederates from
pursuing him. Xerxes no sooner heard this than, being very much
terrified, he proceeded to retreat out of Greece with all speed.
The prudence of Themistocles and Aristides in this was afterward
more fully understood at the battle of Plataea, where Mardonius,
with a very small fraction of the forces of Xerxes, put the Greeks
in danger of losing all.

Herodotus writes that, of all the cities of Greece, Aegina was
held to have performed the best service in the war; while all
single men yielded to Themistocles, though, out of envy,
unwillingly; and when they returned to the entrance of
Peloponnesus, where the several commanders delivered their
suffrages at the altar, to determine who was most worthy, every
one gave the first vote for himself and the second for
Themistocles. The Lacedaemonians carried him with them to Sparta,
where, giving the rewards of valor to Eurybiades, and of wisdom
and conduct to Themistocles, they crowned him with olive,
presented him with the best chariot in the city, and sent three
hundred young men to accompany him to the confines of their
country. And at the next Olympic games, when Themistocles entered
the course, the spectators took no further notice of those who
were competing for the prizes, but spent the whole day in looking
upon him, showing him to the strangers, admiring him, and
applauding him by clapping their hands, and other expressions of
joy, so that he himself, much gratified, confessed to his friends
that he then reaped the fruit of all his labors for the Greeks.

He was, indeed, by nature, a great lover of honor, as is evident
from the anecdotes recorded of him. When chosen admiral by the
Athenians, he would not quite conclude any single matter of
business, either public or private, but deferred all till the day
they were to set sail, that, by dispatching a great quantity of
business all at once, and having to met a great variety of people,
he might make an appearance of greatness and power. Viewing the
dead bodies cast up by the sea, he perceived bracelets and
necklaces of gold about them, yet passed on, only showing them to
a friend that followed him, saying, "Take you these things, for
you are not Themistocles." He aid to Antiphates, a handsome young
man, "Time, young man, has taught us both a lesson." He said that
the Athenians did not honor him or admire him, but made, as it
were, a sort of plane-tree of him; sheltered themselves under him
in bad weather, and as soon as it was fine, plucked his leaves and
cut his branches. When a Seriphian told him that he had not
obtained this honor by himself, but by the greatness of his city,
he replied: "You speak truth; I should never have been famous if I
had been of Seriphus; nor you, had you been of Athens." Laughing
at his own son, who got his mother, and by his mother's means, his
father also to indulge him, he told him that he had the most power
of any one is Greece: "For the Athenians command the rest of
Greece, I command the Athenians, your mother commands me, and you
command your mother." Of the two who made love to his daughter, he
preferred the man of worth to the one who was rich, saying he
desired a man without riches, rather than riches without a man.

When the citizens of Athens began to listen willingly to those who
traduced and reproached him, he was forced, with somewhat
obnoxious frequency, to put them in mind of the great services he
had performed. And he yet more provoked the people by building a
temple to Diana with the epithet of Aristobule, or Diana of Best
Counsel; intimating thereby that he had given the best counsel,
not only to the Athenians, but to all Greece. At length the
Athenians banished him, making use of the ostracism to humble his
eminence and authority, as they ordinarily did with all whom they
thought too powerful, or, by their greatness, disproportionate to
the equality thought requisite in a popular government. For the
ostracism was instituted, not so much to punish the offender as to
mitigate and pacify the violence of the envious, who delighted to
humble eminent men, and who, by fixing this disgrace upon them,
might vent some part of their rancor.

Themistocles being banished from Athens, while he stayed at Argos
the detection of Pausanias happened. And after Pausanias was put
to death, letters and writings were found which rendered
Themistocles suspected, and his enemies among the Athenians
accused him. In answer to the malicious detractions of his
enemies, he merely wrote to the citizens urging that he who was
always ambitious to govern, and not of a character or a
disposition to serve, would never sell himself and his country
into slavery to a barbarous and hostile nation.

Notwithstanding this, the people, being persuaded by his accuser,
set officers to take him and bring him away to be tried before a
council of the Greeks; but, having timely notice of it, he passed
over into the island of Corcyra, where the state was under
obligations to him; for, being chosen as arbitrator in a
difference between them and the Corinthians, he decided the
controversy by ordering the Corinthians to pay down twenty
talents, and declaring the town and island of Leucas a joint
colony from both cities. From thence he fled into Epirus, and, the
Athenians and Lacedaemonians still pursuing him, he threw himself
upon chances of safety that seemed all but desperate. For he fled
fro refuge to Admetus, kind of the Molossians, who had formerly
made some request to the Athenians when Themistocles was in the
height of his authority, and had been disdainfully used and
insulted by him, and had let it appear plain enough that could he
lay hold of him he would take his revenge. Yet in this misfortune,
Themistocles, fearing the recent hatred of his neighbors and
fellow-citizens more than the old displeasure of the king, put
himself at his mercy, and became an humble suppliant to Admetus,
after a peculiar manner, different from the custom of other
countries. For taking the king's son, who was then a child, in his
arms, he laid himself down at his hearth, this being the most
sacred and only manner of supplication, among the Molossians,
which was not to be refused.

Thucydides says, that, passing over land to the Aegean Sea, he
took shop at Pydna in the bay of Thermae, not being known to any
one in the ship, till, being terrified to see the vessel driven by
the winds near to Naxos, which was then besieged by the Athenians,
he made himself known to the master and pilot, and, partly
entreating them, partly threatening, he compelled them to bear off
and stand out to sea, and sail forward toward the coast of Aisa.

When he arrived at Cyme, and understood that all along the coast
many laid in wait for him (the king of Persia having offered by
public proclamation two hundred talents to him that should take
him), he fled to Aegae, a small city of the Aeolians, where no one
knew him but only his host Nicogenes, who was the richest man in
Aeolia, and well known to the great men of Inner Asia. There
Themistocles, going to bed, dreamed that he saw a snake coil
itself up upon his belly, and so creep to his neck; then, as soon
as it touched his face, it turned into an eagle, which spread its
wings over him, and took him up and flew away with him a great
distance; then there appeared a herald's golden wand, and upon
this at last it set him down securely, after infinite terror and

His departure was effected by Nicogenes by the following artifice:
the barbarous nations, and among them the Persians especially, are
extremely jealous, severe, and suspicious about their wives, whom
they keep so strictly that no one ever sees them abroad; they
spend their lives shut up within doors, and, when they take a
journey, are carried in close tenets, curtained in on all sides,
and set upon a wagon. Such a traveling carriage being prepared for
Themistocles, they hid him in it, and carried him on his journey,
and told those whom they met or spoke with upon the road that they
were conveying a young Greek woman out of Ionia to a nobleman at

When he was introduced to the king, and had paid his reverence to
him, he stood silent, till the king commanding the interpreter to
ask him who he was, he replied: "O king, I am Themistocles the
Athenian, driven into banishment by the Greeks. The evils I have
done to the Persians are numerous; but my benefits to them yet
greater, in withholding the Greeks from pursuit, so soon as the
deliverance of my own country allowed me to show kindness also to
you. I come with a mind suited to my present calamities; prepared
alike for favors and for anger; to welcome your gracious
reconciliation, and to deprecate your wrath. Take my own
countrymen for witnesses of the services I have done for Persia,
and make use of this occasion to show the world your virtue,
rather than to satisfy your indignation. If you save me, you will
save your suppliant; if otherwise, you will destroy an enemy of
the Greeks."

In the morning, calling together the chief of his court, he had
Themistocles brought before him, who expected no good of it. Yet,
when he came into the presence, and again fell down, the king
saluted him, and spake to him kindly, telling him he was now
indebted to him two hundred talents; for it was just and
reasonable that he should receive the reward which was proposed to
whosoever should bring Themistocles; and promising much more, and
encouraging him, he commanded him to speak freely what he would
concerning the affairs of Greece. Themistocles replied, that a
man's discourse was like to a rich Persians carpet, the beautiful
figures and patterns of which can only be shown by spreading and
extending it out; when it is contracted and folded up, they are
obscured and lost; and, therefore, he desired time. The king being
pleased with the comparison, and bidding him take what time he
would, he desired a year; in which time, having learnt the Persian
language sufficiently, he spoke with the king by himself without
the help of an interpreter; the king invited him to partake of his
own pastimes and recreations both at home and abroad, carrying him
with him a-hunting, and made him his intimate so far that he
permitted him to see the queen-mother, and converse frequently
with her. By the king's command, he also was made acquainted with
the Magian learning.

They relate, also, how Themistocles, when he was in great
prosperity, and courted by many, seeing himself splendidly served
at his table, turned to his children and said: "Children, we had
been undone if we had not been undone." Most writers say that he
had three cities given him--Magnesia, Myus and Lampsacus--to
maintain him in bread, meat and wine; and some add two more, the
city of Palaescepsis, to provide him with clothes, and Percote,
with bedding and furniture for his house.

He lived quietly in his own house in Magnesia, where for a long
time he passed his days in great security, being courted by all,
and enjoying rich presents, and honored equally with the greatest
persons in the Persian empire; the king, at that time, not minding
his concerns with Greece, being taken up with the affairs of Inner

But when Egypt revolted, being assisted by the Athenians, and the
Greek galleys roved about as far as Cyprus and Cilicia, and Cimon
had made himself master of the seas, the king turned his thoughts
thither, and, bending his mind chiefly to resist the Greeks, and
to cheek the growth of their power against him, began to raise
forces, and send out commanders, and to dispatch messengers to
Themistocles at Magnesia, to put him in mind of his promise, and
to summon him to act against the Greeks. Yet this did not increase
his hatred nor exasperate him against the Athenians, but, being
ashamed to sully the glory of his former great actions, and of his
many victories and trophies, he determined to put a conclusion to
his life, agreeable to its previous course. He sacrificed to the
gods, and invited his friends; and having entertained them and
shaken hands with them, drank bull's blood, as is the usual story;
as others state, a poison, producing instant death; and ended his
days in the city of Magnesia, having lived sixty-five years, most
of which he had spent in politics and in the wars, in government
and command. The king, being informed of the cause and manner of
his death, admired him the more than ever, and continued to show
kindness to his friends and relations.

The Magnesians possess a splendid sepulchre of Themistocles,
placed in the middle of their market-place. And various honors and
privileges were granted to the kindred of Themistocles at
Magnesia, which were observed down to our times, and were enjoyed
by another Themistocles of Athens, with whom I had an intimate
acquaintance and friendship in the house of Ammonius the


Among the many remarkable things that are related of Furius
Camillus, it seems singular that he, who continually was in the
highest commands, and obtained the greatest successes, was five
times chosen dictator, triumphed four times, and was styled a
second founder of Rome, yet never was so much as once consul. The
reason of which was the state and temper of the commonwealth at
that time; for the people, being at dissension with the senate,
refused to return consuls, but they instead elected other
magistrates, called military tribunes, who acted, indeed, with
full consular power, but were thought to exercise a less obnoxious
amount of authority, because it was divided among a larger number.

The house of the Furii was not, at that time, of any considerable
distinction; he, by his own acts, first raised himself to honor,
serving under Postumius Tubertus, dictator, in the great battle
against the Aequians and Volscians. For, riding out from the rest
of the army, and in the charge receiving a would in his thigh, he
for all that did not quit the fight, but, letting the dart drag in
the would, and engaging with the bravest of the enemy, put them to
flight; for which action, among other rewards bestowed on him, he
was created censor, an office in those days of great repute and
authority. During his censorship one very good act of his is
recorded, that, whereas the wars had made many widows, he obliged
such as had no wives, some by fair persuasion, others by
threatening to set fines on their heads, to take them in marriage;
another necessary one, in causing orphans to be rated, who before
were exempted from taxes, the frequent wars requiring more than
ordinary expenses to maintain them. What, however, pressed them
most was the siege of Veii. Some call this people Veientani. This
was the head city of Tuscany, not inferior to Rome either in
number of arms or multitude of soldiers, insomuch that, presuming
on her wealth and luxury, and priding herself upon her refinement
and sumptuousness, she engaged in many honorable contests with the
Romans for glory and empire. But now they had abandoned their
former ambitious hopes, having been weakened by great defeats, so
that, having fortified themselves with high and strong walls, and
furnished the city with all sorts of weapons offensive and
defensive, as likewise with corn and all manner of provisions,
they cheerfully endured a siege, which, though tedious to them,
was no less troublesome and distressing to the besiegers. For the
Romans, having never been accustomed to stay away from home except
in summer, and for no great length of time, and constantly to
winter at home, were then first compelled by the tribunes to build
forts in the enemy's country, and, raising strong works about
their camp, to join winter and summer together. And now the
seventh year of the war drawing to an end, the commanders began to
be suspected as too slow and remiss in driving on the siege,
insomuch that they were discharged and others chosen for the war,
among whom was Camillus, then second time tribune. But at present
he had no hand in the siege, the duties that fell by lot to him
being to make war upon the Faliscans and Capenates, who, taking
advantage of the Romans being occupied on all hands, had carried
ravages into their country, and through all the Tuscan war, given
them much annoyance, but were now reduced by Camillus, and with
great loss shut up within their walls.

And now, in the very heat of the war, a strange phenomenon in the
Alban lake, which, in the absence of any known cause and
explanation by natural reasons, seemed as great a prodigy as the
most incredible that are reported, occasioned great alarm. It was
the beginning of autumn, and the summer now ending had, to all
observation, been neither rainy nor much troubled with southern
winds; and of the many lakes, brooks, and springs of all sorts
with which Italy abounds, some were wholly dried up, others had
very little water in them; all the rivers, as is usual in summer,
ran in a very low and hollow channel. But the Alban lake, which is
fed by no other waters but its own, and is on all sides encircled
with fruitful mountains, without any cause, unless it were divine,
began visibly to rise and swell, increasing to the feet of the
mountains, and by degrees reaching the level of the very tops of
some of them, and all this without any waves or agitation. At
first it was the wonder of shepherds and herdsmen; but when the
earth, which, like a great dam, held up the lake from falling into
the lower grounds, through the quantity and weight of water was
broken down, and in a violent stream it ran through the ploughed
fields and plantations to discharge itself in the sea, it not only
struck terror into the Romans, but was thought by all the
inhabitants of Italy to portend some extraordinary event. But the
greatest talk of it was in the camp that besieged Veii, so that in
the town itself, also, the occurrence became known.

As in long sieges it commonly happens that both parties on both
sides meet often and converse with one another, so it chanced that
a Roman had gained much confidence and familiarity with one of the
besieged, a man versed in ancient prophecies, and of repute for
more than ordinary skill in divination. The Roman, observing him
to be overjoyed at the story of the lake, and to mock at the
siege, told him that this was not the only prodigy that of late
had happened to the Romans; others more wonderful yet than this
had befallen them, which he was willing to communicate to him,
that he might the better provide for his private interests in
these public distempers. The man greedily embraced the proposal,
expecting to hear some wonderful secrets; but when, little by
little, he had led him on in conversation, and insensibly drawn
him a good way from the gates of the city, he snatched him up the
middle, being stronger than he, and, by the assistance of others
who came running from the camp, seized and delivered him to the
commanders. The man, reduced to this necessity, and sensible now
that destiny was not to be avoided, discovered to them the secret
oracle of Veii, that it was not possible the city should be taken
until the Alban lake, which now broke forth and had found out new
passages, was drawn back from that course, and so diverted that it
could not mingle with the sea. The senate, having heard and
satisfied themselves about the matter, decreed to send to Delphi,
to ask counsel of the god. The messengers returned with the answer
that the Alban water, if possible, they should keep from the sea,
and shut it up in its ancient bounds; but if that was not to be
done, then they should carry it off by ditches and trenches into
the lower grounds, and so dry it up; which message being
delivered, the priests performed what related to the sacrifices,
and the people went to work and turned the water.

And now the senate, in the tenth year of the war, taking away all
other commands, created Camillus dictator, who chose Cornelius
Scipio for his general of horse, and, having made vows, marched
into the country of the Faliscans, and in a great battle overthrew
them and the Capenates, their confederates; afterwards he turned
to the siege of Veii, and finding that to take it by assault would
prove a difficult and hazardous attempt, proceeded to cut mines
under ground, the earth about the city being easy to break up, and
allowing such depth for the works as would prevent their being
discovered by the enemy. This design going on in a hopeful way, he
openly gave assaults to the enemy, to keep them to the walls,
until they that worked underground in the mines might, without
being perceived, arrive within the citadel, close to the temple of
Juno, which was the greatest and most honored in all the city. It
is said that the prince of the Tuscans was at that very time at
sacrifice, and that the priest, after he had looked into the
entrails of the beast, cried out with a loud voice that the gods
would give the victory to those that should complete those
offerings; and that the Romans who were in the mines, hearing the
words, immediately pulled down the floor, and, ascending with
noise, and clashing of weapons, frightened away the enemy, and,
snatching up the entrails, carried them to Camillus. But this may
look like a fable. The city, however, being taken by storm, and
the soldiers busied in pillaging and gathering an infinite
quantity of riches and spoil, Camillus, from the high tower
viewing what was done, at first wept for pity; and when the
bystanders congratulated him upon his success, he lifted up his
hands to heaven, and broke out into this prayer: "O most mighty
Jupiter, and ye gods that are judges of good and evil actions, ye
know that not without just cause, but constrained by necessity, we
have been forced to revenge ourselves on the city of our
unrighteous and wicked enemies. But if, the the vicissitude of
things, there by any calamity due, to counter-balance this great
felicity, I beg that it may be diverted from the city and army of
the Romans, and fall, with as little hurt as may be, upon my own
head." Having said these words, and just turning about (as the
custom of the Romans is to turn to the right after adoration or
prayer), he stumbled and fell, to the astonishment of all that
were present. But, recovering himself presently from the fall, he
told them that he had received what he had prayed for, a small
mischance, in compensation for the greatest good fortune.

Camillus, however, whether puffed up with the greatness of his
achievement in conquering a city that was the rival of Rome, and
held out a ten years' siege, or exalted with the felicitations of
those that were about him, assumed to himself more than became a
civil and legal magistrate; among other things, in the pride and
haughtiness of triumph, driving through Rome in a chariot drawn
with four white horses, which no general either before or since
ever did; for the Romans consider such a mode of conveyance to be
sacred and specially set apart to the king and father of the gods.
This alienated the hearts of his fellow-citizens, who were not
accustomed to such pomp and display.

The second pique they had against him was his opposing the law by
which the city was to be divided; for the tribunes of the people
brought forward a motion that the people and senate should be
divided into two parts, one of which should remain at home, the
other, as the lot should decide, remove to the new-taken city. By
which means they should not only have much more room, but, by the
advantage of two great and magnificent cities, be better able to
maintain their territories and their fortunes in general. The
people, therefore, who were numerous and indigent, greedily
embraced it, and crowded continually to the forum, with tumultuous
demands to have it put to the vote. But the senate and the noblest
citizens, judging the proceedings of the tribunes to tend rather
to a destruction than a division of Rome, greatly averse to it,
went to Camillus for assistance, who, fearing the result if it
came to a direct contest, contrived to occupy the people with
other business, and so staved it off. He thus became unpopular.

And now the tribunes of the people again resuming their motion for
the division of the city, the war against the Faliscans luckily
broke out, giving liberty to the chief citizens to choose what
magistrates they pleased, and to appoint Camillus military
tribune, with five colleagues; affairs then requiring a commander
of authority and reputation, as well as experience. And when the
people had ratified the election, he marched with his forces into
the territories of the Faliscans, and laid siege to Falerii, a
well-fortified city, and plentifully stored with all necessaries
of war. And although he perceived it would be so small work to
take it, and no little time would be required for it, yet he was
willing to exercise the citizens and keep them abroad, that they
might have no leisure, idling at home, to follow the tribunes in
factions and seditions: a very common remedy, indeed, with the
Romans, who thus carried off, like good physicians, the ill humors
of their commonwealth. The Falerians (The Falerians, in this
narrative, are the people of the town; the Faliscans, the nation
in general.), trusting in the strength of their city, which was
well fortified on all sides, made so little account of the siege,
that all, with the exception of those that guarded the walls, as
in times of peace, walked about the streets in their common dress;
the boys went to school, and were led by their master to play and
exercise about the town walls; for the Falerians, like the Greeks,
used to have a single teacher for many pupils, wishing their
children to live and be brought up from the beginning in each
others company.

This schoolmaster, designing to betray the Falerians by their
children, led them out every day under the town wall, at first but
a little way, and, when they had exercised, brought them home
again. Afterwards by degrees he drew them farther and farther,
till by practice he had made them bold and fearless, as if no
danger was about them; and at last, having got them all together,
he brought them to the outposts of the Romans, and delivered them
up, demanding to be led to Camillus. Where being come, and
standing in the middle, he said that he was the master and teacher
of these children, but, preferring his favor before all other
obligations, he had come to deliver up his charge to him, and, in
that, the whole city. When Camillus had heard him out, he was
astounded at the treachery of the act, and, turning to the
standers-by observed that, "War, indeed, is of necessity attended
with much injustice and violence! Certain laws, however, all good
men observe even in war itself, nor is victory so great an object
as to induce us to incur for its sake obligations for base and
impious acts. A great general should rely on his own virtue, and
not other men's vices." Which said, he commanded the officers to
tear off the man's clothes, and bind his hands behind him and give
the boys rods and scourges, to punish the traitor and drive him
back to the city. By this time the Falerians had discovered the
treachery of the schoolmaster, and the city, as was likely, was
full of lamentations and cries for their calamity, men and women
of worth running in distraction about the walls and gates; when,
behold, the boys came whipping their master on, naked and bound,
calling Camillus their preserver and god and father; so that it
struck not only the parents, but the rest of the citizens, with
such admiration and love of Camillus's justice, that, immediately
meeting in assembly, they sent ambassadors to him, to resign
whatever they had to his disposal. Camillus sent them to Rome,
where, being brought into the senate, they spoke to this purpose:
that the Romans, preferring justice before victory, had taught
them rather to embrace submission than liberty; they did not so
much confess themselves to be inferior in strength as they must
acknowledge them to be superior in virtue. The senate remitted the
whole matter to Camillus, to judge and order as he thought fit;
who, taking a sum of money of the Falerians, and making a peace
with the whole nation of Faliscans, returned home.

But the soldiers, who had expected to have the pillage of the
city, when they came to Rome empty-handed railed against Camillus
among their fellow-citizens, as a hater of the people, and one
that grudged all advantage to the poor. The People were
exasperated against him. Gathering, therefore, together his
friends and fellow-soldiers, and such as had borne command with
him, a considerable number in all, he besought them that they
would not suffer him to be unjustly overborne by shameful
accusations, and left the mock and scorn of his enemies. His
friends, having advised and consulted among themselves, made
answer, that, as to the sentence, they did not see how they could
help him, but that they would contribute to whatsoever fine should
be set upon him. Not able to endure so great an indignity, he
resolved in his anger to leave the city and go into exile; and so,
having taken leave of his wife and son, he went silently to the
gate of the city, and, there stopping and turning round, stretched
out his hands to the Capitol, and prayed to the gods, that if,
without any fault of his own, but merely through the malice and
violence of the people, he was driven out into banishment, the
Romans might quickly repent of it; and that all mankind might
witness their need for the assistance, and desire for the return,
of Camillus.

And there is not a Roman but believes that immediately upon the
prayers of Camillus a sudden judgment followed, and that he
received a revenge for the injustice done unto him, which was very
remarkable, and noised over the whole world: such a punishment
visited the city of Rome, an era of such loss and danger and
disgrace so quickly succeeded; whether it thus fell out by
fortune, or it be the office of god not to see injured virtue go

The first token that seemed to threaten some mischief to ensure
was the death of the censor Julius; for the Romans have a
religious reverence for the office of a censor, and esteem it
sacred. The second was, that, just before Camillus went into
exile, Marcus Caedicius, a person of no great distinction, nor of
the rank of senator, but esteemed a good and respectable man,
reported to the military tribunes a thing worthy their
consideration: that, going along the night before in the street
called the New Way, and being called by somebody in a loud voice,
he turned about, but could see no one, but heard a voice greater
than human, which said these words, "Go, Marcus Caedicius, and
early in the morning tell the military tribunes that they are
shortly to expect the Gauls." But the tribunes made a mock and
sport with the story, and a little after came Camillus's

The Gauls are of the Celtic race, and are reported to have been
compelled by their numbers to leave their country, which was
insufficient to sustain them all, and to have gone in search of
other homes. And being, many thousands of them, young men able to
bear arms, and carrying with them a still greater number of women
and young children, some of them, passing the Riphaean mountains,
fell upon the Northern Ocean, and possessed themselves of the
farthest parts of Europe; others, seating themselves between the
Pyrenean mountains and the Alps, lived there a considerable time,
near to the Senones and Celtorii; but, afterwards tasting wine,
which was then first brought them out of Italy, they were all so
much taken with the liquor, and transported with the hitherto
unknown delight, that, snatching up their arms and taking their
families along with them, they marched directly to the Alps, to
find out the country which yielded such fruit, pronouncing all
others barren and useless. He that first brought wine among them
and was the chief instigator of their coming into Italy is said to
have been one Aruns, A Tuscan, a man of noble extraction.

At their first coming they at once possessed themselves of all
that country which anciently the Tuscans inhabited, reaching from
the Alps to both the seas, as the names themselves testify; for
the North of Adriatic Sea is named from the Tuscan city Adria, and
that to the south the Tuscan Sea simply. The whole country is rich
in fruit trees, has excellent pasture, and is well watered with
river. It had eighteen large and beautiful cities, well provided
with all the means for industry and wealth, and all the enjoyments
and pleasures of life. The Gauls cast out the Tuscans, and seated
themselves in them.

The Gauls at this time were besieging Clusium, a Tuscan city. The
Clusinians sent to the Romans for succor, desiring them to
interpose with the barbarians by letters and ambassadors. The
Romans, perceiving that Brennus, the leader of the Gauls, was not
to be treated with, went into Clusium and encouraged the
inhabitants to make a sally with them upon the barbarians, which
they did either to try their strength or to show their own. The
sally being made, and the fight growing hot about the walls, one
of the Fabii, Quintus Ambustus, who had come as an ambassador,
being well mounted, and setting spurs to his horse, made full
against a Gaul, a man of huge bulk and stature, whom he saw riding
out at a distance from the rest. At the first he was not
recognized, through the quickness of the conflict and the
glittering of the armor, that precluded any view of him; but when
he had overthrown the Gaul, and was going to gather the spoils,
Brennus knew him; and invoking the gods to be witnesses that,
contrary to the known and common law of nations, which is holily
observed by all mankind, he who had come as an ambassador had now
engaged in hostility against him, he drew off his men, and,
bidding Clusium farewell, led his army directly against Rome.

Whilst the barbarians were hastening with all speed, the military
tribunes brought the Romans into the field to be ready to engage
them, being not inferior to the Gauls in number (for they were no
less than forty thousand foot), but most of them raw soldiers, and
such as had never handled a weapon before. Besides, they had
wholly neglected all religious usages, had not obtained favorable
sacrifices, nor made inquiries of the prophets, natural in danger
and before battle. No less did the multitude of commanders
distract and confound their proceedings; frequently before, upon
less occasions, they had chosen a single leader, with the title of
dictator, being sensible of what great importance it is in
critical times to have the solders united under one general with
the entire and absolute control placed in his hands. Add to all,
the remembrance of Camillus's treatment, which made it now seem a
dangerous thing for officers to command without humoring their
solders. In this condition they left the city, and encamped by the
river Allia, about ten miles from Rome, and not far from the place
where it falls into the Tiber; and here the Gauls came upon them,
and, after a disgraceful resistance, devoid of order and
discipline, they were miserably defeated. The left wing was
immediately driven into the river, and there destroyed; the right
had less damage by declining the shock, and from the low ground
getting to the tops of the hills, from whence most of them
afterwards dropped into the city; the rest, as many as escaped,
the enemy being weary of the slaughter, stole by night to Veii,
giving up Rome and all that was in it for lost.

This battle was fought about the summer solstice, the moon being
at full, the very same day in which the sad disaster of the Fabii
had happened, when three hundred of that name were at one time cut
off by the Tuscans.

And now, after the battle, had the Gauls immediately pursued those
that fled, there had been no remedy but Rome must have wholly been
ruined, and all those who remained in it utterly destroyed; such
was the terror that those who escaped the battle brought with them
into the city, and with such distraction and confusion were they
themselves in turn infected. But the Gauls, not imagining their
victory to be so considerable, and overtaken with the present joy,
fell to feasting and dividing the spoil, by which means they gave
leisure to those who were for leaving the city to make their
escape, and to those that remained, to anticipate and prepare for
their coming.

On the third day after the battle, Brennus appeared with his army
at the city, and, finding the gates wide open and no guards upon
the walls, first began to suspect it was some design or stratagem,
never dreaming that the Romans were in so desperate a condition.
But when he found it to be so indeed, he entered at the Colline
gate, and took Rome, in the three hundred and sixtieth year, or a
little more, after it was built.

Brennus having taken possession of Rome, set a strong guard about
the Capitol, and, going himself down into the forum, was there
struck with amazement at the sight of so many men sitting in such
order and silence, observing that they neither rose at his coming,
nor so much as changed color or countenance, but remained without
fear or concern, leaning upon their staves, and sitting quietly,
looking at each other. The Gauls, for a great while, stood
wondering at the strangeness of the sight, not daring to approach
or touch them, taking them for an assembly of superior beings. But
when one, bolder than the rest, drew near to Marcus Papirius, and,
putting forth his hand, gently touched his chin and stroked his
long beard, Papirius with his staff struck him a severe blow on
the head; upon which the barbarian drew his sword and slew him.
This was the introduction to the slaughter; for the rest,
following his example, set upon them all and killed them, and
dispatched all others that came in their way; and so went on to
the sacking and pillaging of the houses, which they continued for
many days ensuing.

Camillus then sojourned in the city of Ardea, having, ever since
his leaving Rome, sequestered himself from all business, and taken
to a private life; but now he began to rouse up himself, and
consider not how to avoid or escape the enemy, but to find out an
opportunity to be revenged upon them. And perceiving that the
Ardeatians wanted not men, but rather enterprise, through the
inexperience and timidity of their officers, he began to speak
with the young men, first to the effect that they ought not to
ascribe the misfortune of the Romans to the courage of their
enemy, nor attribute the losses they sustained by rash counsel to
the conduct of men who had no title to victory: the event had been
only an evidence of the power of fortune. When he found the young
men embraced the thing, he went to the magistrates and council of
the city, and, having persuaded them also, he mustered all that
could bear arms, and drew them up within the the walls, that they
might not be perceived by the enemy, who was near; who, having
scoured the country, and now returned heavy laden with booty, lay
encamped in the plains in a careless and negligent posture, so
that, with the night ensuing upon debauch and drunkenness, silence
prevailed through all the camp. When Camillus learned this from
his scouts, he drew out the Ardeatians, and in the dead of the
night, passing in silence over the ground that lay between, came
up to their works, and, commanding his trumpets to sound and his
men to shout and halloo, he struck terror into them from all
quarters; while drunkenness impeded and sleep retarded their
movements. A few whom fear had sobered, getting into some order,
for awhile resisted; and so died with their weapons in their
hands. But the greatest part of them, buried in wine and sleep,
were surprised without their arms, and dispatched; and as many of
them as by the advantage of the night got out of the camp were the
next day found scattered abroad and wandering in the fields, and
were picked up by the horse that pursued them.

The fame of this action soon flew through the neighboring cities,
and stirred up the young men from various quarters to come and
join themselves with him. But none were so much concerned as those
Romans who escaped in the battle of Allia, and were now at Veii,
thus lamenting with themselves, "O heavens, what a commander has
Providence bereaved Rome of, to honor Ardea with his actions! And
that city, which brought forth and nursed so great a man, is lost
and gone, and we, destitute of a leader and shut up within strange
walls, sit idle, and see Italy ruined before our eyes. Come, let
us send to the Ardeatians to have back our general, or else, with
weapons in our hands, let us go thither to him." To this they all
agreed, and sent to Camillus to desire him to take the command;
but he answered that he would not until they that were in the
Capitol should legally appoint him. When this answer was returned,
they admired the modesty and tempter of Camillus; but they could
not tell how to find a messenger to carry the intelligence to the
Capitol, or rather, indeed, it seemed altogether impossible for
any one to get to the citadel whilst the enemy was in full
possession of the city. But among the young men there was one
Pontius Cominius, of ordinary birth, but ambitious of honor, who
proffered himself to run the hazard, and took no letters with him
to those in the Capitol, lest, if he were intercepted, the enemy
might learn the intentions of Camillus; but, putting on a poor
dress and carrying corks under, he boldly traveled the greatest
part of the way by day, and came to the city when it was dark; the
bridge he could not pass, as it was guarded by the barbarians; so
that taking his clothes, which were neither many nor heavy, and
binding them about his head, he laid his body upon the corks, and,
swimming with them, got over to the city. And avoiding those
quarters where he perceived the enemy was awake, which he guessed
at by the lights and noise, he went to the Carmental gate, where
there was greatest silence, and where the hill of the Capitol is
steepest, and rises with craggy and broken rock. By this way he
got up, though with much difficulty, by the hollow of the cliff,
and presented himself to the guards, saluting them, and telling
them his name; he was taken in, and carried to the commanders. And
a senate being immediately called, he related to them in order the
victory of Camillus, which they had not heard of before, and the
proceedings of the soldiers, urging them to confirm Camillus in
the command, as on him alone all their fellow-countrymen outside
the city would rely. Having heard and consulted of the matter, the
senate declared Camillus dictator, and sent back Pontius the same
way that he came, who, with the same success as before, got
through the enemy without being discovered, and delivered to the
Romans outside the decision of the senate, who joyfully received
it. Camillus, on his arrival, found twenty thousand of them ready
in arms; with which forces, and those confederates he brought
along with him, he prepared to set upon the enemy.

But at Rome some of the barbarians passing by chance near the
place at which Pontius by night had got into the Capitol, spied in
several places marks of feet and hands, where he had laid hold and
clambered, and places where the plants that grew to the rock had
been rubbed off, and the earth had slipped, and went accordingly
and reported it to the king, who, coming in person, and viewing
it, for the present said nothing, but in the evening, picking out
such of the Gauls as were nimblest of body, and by living in the
mountains were accustomed to climb, he said to them, "The enemy
themselves have shown us a way how to come at them; where it was
easy for one man to get up, it will not be hard for many, one
after another; nay, when many shall undertake it, they will be aid
and strength to each other. Rewards and honors shall be bestowed
on every man as he shall acquit himself."

When the king had thus spoken, the Gauls cheerfully undertook to
perform it, and in the dead of night a good party of them
together, with great silence, began to climb the rock, clinging to
the precipitous and difficult ascent, which yet upon trial offered
a way to them, and proved less difficult than they had expected.
So that the foremost of them having gained the top of all, and put
themselves into order, they all but surprised the outworks, and
mastered the watch, who were fast asleep; for neither man nor dog
perceived their coming. But there were sacred geese kept near the
temple of Juno, which at other times were plentifully fed, but
now, by reason that corn and all other provisions were grown
scarce for all, were in but a poor condition. The creature is by
nature of quick sense, and apprehensive of the least noise, so
that these, being moreover watchful through hunger, and restless,
immediately discovered the coming of the Gauls, and, running up
and down with the noise and cackling, they raised the whole camp;
while the barbarians, on the other side, perceiving themselves
discovered, no longer endeavored to conceal their attempt, but
with shouting and violence advanced to the assault. The Romans,
every one in haste snatching up the first weapon that came to
hand, did what they could on the sudden occasion. Manlius, a man
of consular dignity, of strong body and great spirit, was the
first that made head against them, and, engaging with two of the
enemy at once, with his sword cut off the right arm of one just as
he was lifting up his blade to strike, and, running his target
full in the face of the other, tumbled him headlong down the steep
rock; then mounting the rampart, and there standing with others
that came running to his assistance, drove down the rest of them,
who, indeed, to begin with, had not been many, and did nothing
worthy of so bold an attempt. The Romans, having thus escaped this
danger, early in the morning took the captain of the watch and
flung him down the rock upon the heads of their enemies, and to
Manlius for his victory voted a reward, intended more for honor
than advantage, bringing him, each man of them, as much as he
received for his daily allowance, which was half a pound of bread
and one eighth of a pint of wine.

Henceforward, the affairs of the Gauls were daily in a worse and
worse condition; they wanted provisions, being withheld from
foraging through fear of Camillus, and sickness also was amongst
them, occasioned by the number of carcasses that lay in heaps
unburied. Neither, indeed, were things on that account any better
with the besieged, for famine increased upon them, and despondency
with not hearing anything of Camillus, it being impossible to send
any one to him, the city was so guarded by the barbarians. Things
being in this sad condition on both sides, a motion of treaty was
made at first by some of the outposts, as they happened to speak
with one another; which being embraced by the leading men,
Sulpicius, tribune of the Romans, came to a parley with Brennus,
in which it was agreed that the Romans laying down a thousand
weight of gold, the Gauls upon the receipt of it should
immediately quit the city and territories. The agreement being
confirmed by oath on both sides, and the gold brought forth, the
Gauls used false dealing in the weights, secretly at first, but
afterwards openly pulled back and disturbed the balance; at which
the Romans indignantly complaining, Brennus in a scoffing and
insulting manner pulled off his sword and belt, and threw them
both into the scales; and when Sulpicius asked what that meant,
"What should it mean," says he, "but woe to the conquered?" which
afterwards became a proverbial saying.

Whilst this difference remained still unsettled, both amongst
themselves and with the Gauls, Camillus was at the gates with his
army; and, having learned what was going on, commanded the main
body of his forces to follow slowly after him in good order, and
himself with the choicest of his men hastening on, went at once to
the Romans; where all giving way to him, and receiving him as
their sole magistrate, with profound silence and order, he took
the gold out of the scales, and delivered it to his officers, and
commanded the Gauls to take their weights and scales and depart;
saying that is was customary with the Romans to deliver their
country with iron, not with gold. And when Brennus began to rage,
and say that he was unjustly dealt with in such a breach of
contract, Camillus answered that it was never legally made, and
the agreement of no force or obligation; for that himself being
declared dictator, and there being no other magistrate by law, the
engagement had been made with men who had no power to enter into
it; but now they might say anything they had to urge, for he had
come with full power by law to grant pardon to such as should ask
it, or inflict punishment on the guilty, if they did not repent.
At this, Brennus broke into violent anger, and an immediate
quarrel ensued; both sides drew their swords and attacked, but in
confusion, as could not otherwise be amongst houses, and in narrow
lanes and places where it was impossible to form any order. But
Brennus, presently recollecting himself, called off his men, and,
with the loss of a few only, brought them to their camp; and,
rising in the night with all his forces, left the city, and
advancing about eight miles, encamped upon the way to Gabii. As
soon as day appeared, Camillus came up with him, splendidly armed
himself, and his soldier full o courage and confidence; and there
engaging with him in a sharp conflict, which lasted a long while,
overthrew his army with great slaughter, and took their camp. Of
those that fled, some were presently cut off by the pursuers;
other, and these were the greatest number, dispersed hither and
thither, and were despatched by the people that came sallying out
from the neighboring towns and villages.

Thus Rome was strangely taken, and more strangely recovered,
having been seven whole months in the possession of the
barbarians, who entered her a little after the Ides of July, and
were driven out about the Ides of February following. Camillus
triumphed, as he deserved, having saved his country that was lost,
and brought the city so to say, back again to itself. For those
that had fled abroad, together with their wives and children,
accompanied him as he rode in; and those who had been shut up in
the capitol, and were reduced almost to the point of perishing
with hunger, went out to meet him, embracing each other as they
met, and weeping for joy, and, though the excess of the present
pleasure, scarcely believing in its truth.

It was a hard task, amidst so much rubbish, to discover and re-
determine the consecrated places; but by the zeal of Camillus, and
the incessant labor of the priest, it was at last accomplished.
But when it came also to rebuilding the city, which was wholly
demolished, despondency seized the multitude, and a backwardness
to engage in a work for which they had no materials. The senate,
therefore, fearing a sedition, would not suffer Camillus, though
desirous, to lay down his authority within the year, though no
other dictator had ever held it above six months.

Camillus thought good to refer the matter of rebuilding to general
deliberation, and himself spoke largely and earnestly in behalf of
his country, as also may others. At last, calling to Lucius
Lucretius, whose place it was to speak first, he commanded him to
give his sentence, and the rest as they followed, in order.
Silence being made, and Lucretius just about to begin, by chance a
centurion, passing by outside with his company of the day-guard,
called out with a loud voice to the ensign-bearer to halt and fix
his standard, for this was the best place to stay in. This voice,
coming in that moment of time, and that crisis of uncertainty and
anxiety for the future, was taken as a direction what was to be
done; so that Lucretius, assuming an attitude of devotion, gave
sentence in concurrence with the gods, as he said, as likewise did
all that followed. Even among the common people it created a
wonderful change of feeling: every one now cheered and encouraged
his neighbor, and set himself to the work, proceeding in it,
however, not by any regular lines or divisions, but every one
pitching upon that plot of ground which came next to hand, or best
pleased his fancy; by which haste and hurry in building they
constructed their city in narrow and ill-designed lanes, and with
houses huddled together one upon another; for it is said that
within the compass of the year the whole city was raised up anew,
both in its public walls and private buildings.

And now they had scarcely got a breathing time from their trouble
when a new war came upon them;a and the Aequians, and the Tuscans
besieged Sutrium, their confederate city. Camillus, being the
third time chosen dictator, armed not only those under, but also
those over, the age of service; and taking a large circuit around
the mountain Maecius, undiscovered by the enemy, lodged his army
on their rear, and then by many fires gave notice of his arrival.
The besieged, encouraged by this, prepared to sally forth and join
battle; but the Latins and Volscians, fearing this exposure to any
enemy on both sides, drew themselves within their works, and
fortified their camp with a strong palisade of trees on every
side, resolving to wait for more supplies from home, and
expecting, also, the assistance of the Tuscans, their confederate.
Camillus, detecting their object, and fearing to be reduced to the
same position to which he had brought them, namely, to be besieged
himself, resolved to lose no time; and finding their rampart was
all of timber, and observing that a strong wind constantly at sun-
rising blew off from the mountains, after having prepared a
quantity of combustibles, about break of day he drew forth his
forces, commanding a part with their missiles to assault the enemy
with noise and shouting on the other quarter, whilst he, with
those that were to fling in the fire, went to that side of the
enemy's camp to which the wind usually blew, and there waited his
opportunity. When the skirmish was begun, and the sun risen, and a
strong wind set in from the mountains, he gave the signal of
onset; and, heaping in an immense quantity of fiery matter, filled
all their rampart with it, so that the flame being fed by the
close timber and wooden palisades, went on and spread into all
quarters. The Latins, having nothing ready to keep it off or
extinguish it, when the camp was now almost full of fire, were
driven back within a very small compass, and at last forced by
necessity to come into their enemy's hands, who stood before the
works ready armed and prepared to receive them; of these very few
escaped, while those that stayed in the camp were all a prey to
the fire, until the Romans, to gain the pillage, extinguished it.

These things performed, Camillus, leaving his son Lucius in the
camp to guard the prisoners and secure the booty, passed into the
enemy's country, where, having taken the city of the Aequians and
reduced the Volscians to obedience, he then immediately led his
army to Sutrium, not having heard what had befallen the Sutrians,
but making haste to assist them, as if they were still in danger
and besieged by the Tuscans. They, however, had already
surrendered their city to their enemies, and destitute of all
things, with nothing left but their clothes, and bewailing their
misfortune. Camillus himself was struck with compassion, and
perceiving the soldiers weeping, and commiserating their case,
while the Sutrians hung about and clung to them, resolved not to
defer revenge, but that very day to lead his army to Sutrium;
conjecturing that the enemy, having just taken a rich and
plentiful city, without an enemy left within it, nor any from
without to be expected, would be found abandoned to enjoyment, and
unguarded. Neither did his opinion fail him: he not only passed
through their country without discovery, but came up to their very
gates and possessed himself of the walls, not a man being left to
guard them, but their whole army scattered about in the houses,
drinking and making merry. Nay, when at last they did perceive
that the enemy had seized the city, they were so overloaded with
meat and wine that few were able so much as to endeavor to
escape,but either waited shamefully for their death within
doors,or surrendered themselves to the conqueror. Thus the city of
the Sutrians was twice taken in one day; and they who were in
possession lost it, and they who had lost regained it, alike by
the means of Camillus. For all which actions he received a triumph
which brought him no less honor and reputation than the two former
ones; for those citizens who before most regarded him with an evil
eye, and ascribed his successes to a certain luck rather than real
merit, were compelled by these last acts of his to allow the whole
honor to his great abilities and energy.

Of all he adversaries and enviers of his glory, Marcus Manlius was
the most distinguished, he who first drove back the Gauls when
they made their night attack upon the Capitol, and who for that
reason had been named Capitolinus. This man, affecting the first
place in the commonwealth, and not able by noble ways to outdo
Camillus's reputation, took that ordinary course toward usurpation
of absolute power, namely, to gain the multitude, those of them
especially that were in debt; defending some by pleading their
causes against their creditors, rescuing others by force, and not
suffering the law to proceed against them; insomuch that in a
short time he got great numbers of indigent people about him,
whose tumults and uproars in the forum struck terror into the
principal citizens. After that Quintius Capitolinus, who was made
dictator to suppress these disorders, had committed Manlius to
prison, the people immediately changed their apparel, a thing
never done but in great and public calamities, and the senate,
fearing some tumult, ordered him to be released. He, however,when
set at liberty, changed not his course, but was rather the more
insolent in his proceedings,filling the whole city with faction
and sedition. They chose, therefore, Camillus again military
tribune; and a day being appointed for Manlius to answer to his
charge, the prospect from the place where his trial was held
proved a great impediment to his accusers; for the very spot where
Manlius by night fought with the Gauls overlooked the forum from
the Capitol, so that, stretching forth his hands that way, and
weeping, he called to their remembrance his past actions, raising
compassion in all that beheld him. Insomuch that the judges were
at a loss what to do, and several times adjourned the trial,
unwilling to acquit him of the crime, which was sufficiently
proved, and yet unable to execute the law while his noble action
remained, as it were, before their eyes. Camillus, considering
this, transferred the court outside the gates to the Peteline
Grove, from whence there is no prospect of the Capitol Here his
accuser went on with his charge, and his judges were capable of
remembering the duly resenting his guilty deeds. He was convicted,
carried to the Capitol, and flung headlong from the rock; so that
one and same spot was thus the witness of his greatest glory, and
monument of his most unfortunate end. The Romans, besides, razed
his house, and built there a temple to the goddess they call
Moneta, ordaining for the future that none of the patrician order
should ever dwell on the Capitoline.

And now Camillus, being called to his sixth tribuneship, desired
to be excused, as being aged, and perhaps not unfearful of the
malice of fortune, and those reverses which seem to ensue upon
great prosperity. But the most apparent pretence was the weakness
of his body, for he happened at that time to be sick; the people,
however, would admit of no excuses, but, crying that they wanted
not his strength for horse or for foot service, but only his
counsel and conduct, constrained him to undertake the command, and
with one of his fellow-tribunes to lead the army immediately
against the enemy. These were the Praenestines and Volscians, who,
with large forces, were laying waste the territory of the Roman
confederates. Having marched out with his army, he sat down and
encamped near the enemy, meaning himself to protract the war, or
if there should come any necessity or occasion of fighting, in the
meantime to regain his strength. but Lucius Furius, his colleague,
carried away with the desire of glory, was not to e held in, but,
impatient to give battle, inflamed the inferior officers of the
army with the same eagerness; so that Camillus, fearing he might
seem out of envy to be wishing to rob the young man of the glory
of a noble exploit, consented, though unwillingly, that he should
draw out the forces, whilst himself, by reason of weakness, stayed
behind with a few in the camp. Lucius, engaging rashly, was
discomfited, when Camillus, perceiving the Romans to give ground
and fly, could not contain himself, but, leaping from his bed,
with those he had about him ran to meet them at the gates of the
camp, making his way through the flyers to oppose the pursuers; so
that those who had got within the camp turned back at once and
followed him, and those that came flying from without made head
again and gathered about him, exhorting one another not to forsake
their general. Thus the enemy, for that time, was stopped in his
pursuit. The next day Camillus, drawing out his forces and joining
battle with them, overthrew them by main force, and, following
close upon them, entered pell-mell with them into their camp, and
took it, slaying the greatest part of them. Afterwards, having
heard that the city of Satricum was taken by the Tuscans, and the
inhabitants, all Romans, put to the sword, he sent home to Rome
the main body of his forces and heaviest-armed, and, taking with
him the lightest and most vigorous soldiers, set suddenly upon the
Tuscans, who were in the possession of the city, and mastered
them, slaying some and expelling the rest; and so, returning to
Rome with great spoils, gave signal evidence of their superior
wisdom, who, not mistrusting the weakness and age of a commander
endowed with courage and conduct, had rather chosen him who was
sickly and desirous to be excused, than young men who were forward
and ambitious to command.

When, therefore, the revolt of the Tusculans was reported, they
gave Camillus the charge of reducing them, choosing one of his
five colleagues to go with him. And when every one was eager for
the place, contrary to the expectation of all, he passed by the
rest and chose Lucius Furius, the very same man who lately,
against the judgment of Camillus, had rashly hazarded and nearly
lost a battle; willing, at it should seem, to dissemble that
miscarriage, and free him from the shame of it. The Tusculans,
hearing of Camillus's coming against them, made a cunning attempt
at revoking their act of revolt; their fields, as in times of
highest peace, were full of ploughmen and shepherds; their gates
stood wide open, and their children were being taught in the
schools; of the people, such as were tradesmen, he found in their
workshops, busied about their several employments, and the better
sort of citizens walking in the public places in their ordinary
dress; the magistrates hurried about to provide quarters for the
Romans, as if they stood in fear of no danger and were conscious
of no fault. Which arts, though they could not dispossess Camillus
of the conviction he had of their treason, yet induced some
compassion for their repentance; he commanded them to go to the
senate and deprecate their anger, and joined himself as an
intercessor in their behalf, so that their city was acquitted of
all guilt and admitted to Roman citizenship. These were the most
memorable actions of his sixth tribuneship.

After these things, Licinius Stolo raised a great sedition in the
city, and brought the people to dissension with the senate,
contending, that of two consuls one should be chosen out of the
commons, and not both out of the patricians. Tribunes of the
people were chosen, but the election of consuls was interrupted
and prevented by the people. And as this absence of any supreme
magistrate was leading to yet further confusion, Camillus was the
fourth time created dictator by the senate, sorely against the
people's will, and not altogether in accordance with his own; he
had little desire for a conflict with men whose past services
entitles them to tell him that he had achieved far greater actions
in war along with them than in politics with the patricians, who,
indeed, had only put him forward now out of envy; that, if
successful, he might crush the people, or, failing, be crushed
himself. However, to provide as good a remedy as he could for the
present, knowing the day on which the tribunes of the people
intended to prefer the law, he appointed it by proclamation for a
general muster, and called the people from the forum into the
Campus, threatening to set heavy fines upon such as should not
obey. On the other side, the tribunes of the people met his
threats by solemnly protesting they would fine him fifty thousand
drachmas of silver, if he persisted in obstructing the people from
giving their suffrages for the law. Whether it were, then, that he
feared another banishment or condemnation, which would ill become
his age and past great actions, or found himself unable to stem
the current of the multitude, which ran strong and violent, he
betook himself, for the present, to his house, and afterwards, for
some days together, professing sickness, finally laid down his
dictatorship. The senate created another dictator; who, choosing
Stolo, leader of the sedition, to be his general of horse,
suffered that law to be enacted and ratified, which was most
grievous to the patricians, namely that no person whatsoever
should possess above five hundred acres of land. Stolo was much
distinguished by the victory he had gained; but, not long after
was found himself to possess more than he had allowed to others,
and suffered the penalties of his own law.

And now the contention about election of consuls coming on (which
was the main point and original cause of the dissension, and had
throughout furnished most matter of division between the senate
and the people), certain intelligence arrived, that the Gauls
again, proceeding from the Adriatic Sea, were marching in vast
number upon Rome. On the very heels of the report followed
manifest acts also of hostility; the country through which they
marched was all wasted, and such as by flight could not make their
escape to Rome were dispersing and scattering among the mountains.
The terror of this war quieted the sedition; nobles and commons,
senate and people together, unanimously chose Camillus the fifth
time dictator; who, though very aged, not wanting much of
fourscore years, yet, considering the danger and necessity of his
country, did not, as before, pretend sickness, or depreciate his
own capacity, but at once undertook the charge, and enrolled
soldiers. And, knowing that the great force of the barbarians lay
chiefly in their swords, with which they laid about them in a rude
and inartificial manner, hacking and hewing the head and
shoulders, he caused head-pieces entire of iron to be made for
most of his men, smoothing and polishing the outside, that the
enemy's swords, lighting upon them, might either slide off or be
broken; and fitted also their shields with a little rim of brass,
the wood itself not being sufficient to bear off the blows.
Besides, he taught his soldiers to use their long javelins in
close encounter, and, by bringing them under their enemy's swords,
to receive their strokes upon them.

When the Gauls drew near, about the river Anio, dragging a heavy
camp after them, and loaded with infinite spoil, Camillus drew
forth his forces, and planted himself upon a hill of easy ascent,
and which had many dips in it, with the object that the greatest
part of his army might lie concealed, and those who appeared might
be thought to have betaken themselves, through fear, to those
upper grounds. And the more to increase this opinion in them, he
suffered them, without any disturbance, to spoil and pillage even
to his very trenches, keeping himself quiet within his works,
which were well fortified; till, at last, perceiving that part of
the enemy were scattered about the country foraging, and that
those that were in the camp did nothing day and night but drink
and revel, in the night time he drew up his lightest-armed men,
and sent them out before to impede the enemy while forming into
order, and to harass them when they should first issue out of the
their camp; and early in the morning brought down his main body,
and set them in battle array in the lower round, numerous and
courageous army, not, as the barbarians had supposed, an
inconsiderable and fearful division. The first thing that shook
the courage of the Gauls was, that their enemies had, contrary to
their expectation, the honor of being aggressors. In the next
place, the light-armed men, falling upon them before they could
get into their usual order or range themselves in their proper
squadrons, so disturbed and pressed upon them, that they were
obliged to fight at random, without any order at all. But at last,
when Camillus brought on his heavy-armed legions, the barbarians,
with their swords drawn, went vigorously to engage them; the
Romans, however, opposing their javelins, and receiving the force
of their blows on those parts of the defences which were well
guarded with steel, turned the edge of their weapons, beingmade of
a soft and ill-tempered metal, so that their swords bent and
doubled up in their hands; and their shields were pierced through
and through, and grew heavy with the javelins that stuck upon
them. And thus forced to quit their own weapons, they endeavored
to take advantage of those of their enemies, laid hold of the
javelins with their hands, and tried to pluck them away. But the
Romans, perceiving them now naked and defenceless, betook
themselves to their swords, which they so well used, that in a
little time great slaughter was made in the foremost ranks, while
the rest fled over all parts of the level country; the hills and
upper grounds Camillus had secured beforehand, and their camp they
knew it would not be difficult for the enemy to take, as, through
confidence of victory, they had left it unguarded. This fight, it
is stated, was thirteen years after the sacking of Rome; and from
henceforward the Romans took courage, and surmounted the
apprehensions they had hitherto entertained of the barbarians,
whose previous defeat they had attributed rather to pestilence and
a concurrence of mischances than to their own superior valor. And,
indeed, this fear had been formerly so great, that they made a
law, that priests should be excused from service in war, unless in
an invasion from the Gauls.

This was the last military action that Camillus ever performed;
for the voluntary surrender of the city of the Velitrani was but a
mere accessory to it. But the greatest of all civil contests, and
the hardest to be managed, was still to be fought out against the
people; who, returning home full of victory and success, insisted,
contrary to established law, to have one of the consuls chosen out
of their own body. The senate strongly opposed it, and would not
suffer Camillus to lay down his dictatorship, thinking, that,
under the shelter of his great name and authority, they should be
better able to contend for the power of the aristocracy. But when
Camillus was sitting upon the tribunal, dispatching public
affairs, an officer, sent by the tribunes of the people, commanded
him to rise and follow him, laying his and upon him, as ready to
seize and carry him away; upon which, such a noise and tumult as
was never heard before, filled the whole forum; some that were
about Camillus thrusting the officer from the bench, and the
multitude below calling out to him to bring Camillus down. Being
at a loss what to do in these difficulties, he yet laid not down
his authority, but, taking the senators along with him, he went to
the senate-house; but before he entered, besought the gods that
they would bring these troubles to a happy conclusion, solemnly
vowing, when the tumult was ended, to build a temple to Concord. A
great conflict of opposite opinions arose in the senate; but, at
last, the most moderate and most acceptable to the people
prevailed, and consent was given, that of two consuls, one should
be chosen from the commonalty. When the dictator proclaimed this
determination of the senate to the people, at the moment pleased
and reconciled with the senate, as they could not well otherwise
be, they accompanied Camillus home with all expressions and
acclamations of joy; and the next day, assembling together, they
voted a temple of Concord to be built, according to Camillus's
vow, facing the assembly and the forum; and to the feasts, called
the Latin holidays, they added one day more, making four in all;
and ordained that, on the present occasion the whole people of
Rome should sacrifice with garlands on their heads.

In the election of consuls held by Camillus, Marcus Aemilius was
chosen of the patricians, and Lucius Sextius the first of the
commonalty; and this was the last of all Camillus's actions. In
the year following, a pestilential sickness infected Rome, which,
besides an infinite number of the common people, swept away most
of the magistrates, among whom was Camillus; whose death cannot be
called premature, if we consider his great age, or greater
actions, yet was he more lamented than all the rest put together
that then died of that distemper.


We are inspired by acts of virtue with an emulation and eagerness
that may lead on to imitation. In other things there does not
immediately follow upon the admiration and liking of the thing
done, any strong desire of doing the like. Nay, many times, on the
very contrary, when we are pleased with the work, we slight and
set little by the workman or artist himself, as, for instance, in
perfumes and purple dyes, we are taken with the things themselves
well enough, but do not think dyers and perfumers otherwise than
low and sordid people. It was not said amiss by Antisthenes, when
people told him that one Ismenias was an excellent piper, "It may
be so, but he is a wretched human being, otherwise he would not
have been an excellent piper." And King Philip, to the same
purpose, told his son Alexander, who once at a merry meeting
played a piece of music charmingly and skillfully, "Are you not
ashamed, my son, to play so well?" For it is enough for a king or
prince to find leisure sometimes to hear others sing, and he does
the muses quite honor enough when he pleases to be but present,
while others engage in such exercises and trials of skill.

He who busies himself in mean occupations produces, in the very
pains he takes about things of little or no use, an evidence
against himself of his negligence and indisposition to what is
really good. Nor did any generous and ingenuous young man, at the
sight of the statue of Jupiter at Pisa, ever desire to be a
Phidias, or, on seeing that of Juno at Argos, long to be a
Polycletus, or feel induced by his pleasure in their poems to wish
to be an Anacreon or Pliletas or Archilochus. But virtue, by the
bare statement of its actions, can so affect men's minds as to
create at once both admiration of the things done and desire to
imitate the doers of them. The goods of fortune we would possess
and would enjoy; those of virtue we long to practice and exercise;
we are content to receive the former from others, the latter we
wish others to experience from us.

And so we have thought fit to spend our time and pains in writing
of the lives of famous persons; and have composed this tenth book
upon that subject, containing the life of Pericles, and that of
Fabius Maximus, who carried on the war against Hannibal, men
alike, as in their other virtues and good parts, so especially in
their mild and upright temper and demeanor, and in that capacity
to bear the cross-grained humors of their fellow-citizens and
colleagues in office which made them both most useful and
serviceable to the interests of their countries. Whether we take a
right aim at our intended purpose, it is left to the reader to
judge by what he shall find here.

Pericles was of the tribe of Acamantis, and the township
Cholargus, of the noblest birth both on his father's and mother's
side. Xanthippus, his father, who defeated the king of Persia's
generals in the battle at Mycale, took to Wife Agariste, the
grandchild of Clisthenes, who drove out the sons of Pisistratus,
and nobly put and end to their tyrannical usurpation, and moreover
made a body of laws, and settled a model of government admirably
tempered and suited for the harmony and safety of the people.

Pericles in other respects was perfectly formed physically, only
his head was somewhat longish and out of proportion. For which
reason almost all the images and statues that were made of him
have the head covered with a helmet, the workmen not apparently
being willing to expose him. The poets of Athens called him
"Schinocephalos," or squill-head, from "schinos," a squill, or

Pericles was a hearer of Zeno, the Eliatic, who treated of natural
philosophy in the same manner as Parmenides did, but had also
perfected himself in an art of his own for refuting and silencing
opponents in argument; as Timon of Phlius describes it,--

Also the two-edged tongue of mighty Zeno, who,
Say what one would, could argue it untrue.

But he saw most of Pericles, and furnished him most especially
with a weight and grandeur of sense, superior to all arts of
popularity, and in general gave him his elevation and sublimity of
purpose and of character, was Anaxagoras of Clazomenae; whom the
men of those times called by the name of Nous, that is mind, or
intelligence, whether in admiration of the great and extraordinary
gift he displayed for the science of nature, or because he was the
first of the philosophers who did not refer the first ordering of
the world to fortune or chance, nor to necessity or compulsion,
but to a pure, unadulterated intelligence, which in all other
existing mixed and compound things acts as a principle of
discrimination, and of combination of like with like.

For this man, Pericles entertained an extraordinary esteem and
admiration, and, filling himself with this lofty and, as they call
it, up-in-the-air sort of thought, derived hence not merely, as
was natural, elevation of purpose and dignity of language, raised
far above the base and dishonest buffooneries of mob-eloquence,
but, besides this, a composure of countenance, and a serenity and
calmness in all his movements, which no occurrence whilst he was
speaking could disturb, a sustained and even tone of voice, and
various other advantages of a similar kind, which produced the
greatest effect on his hearers. Once, after being reviled and ill-
spoken of all day long in his own hearing by some abandoned fellow
in the open market-place where he was engaged in the despatch of
some urgent affair, he continued his business in perfect silence,
and in the evening returned home composedly, the man still dogging
him at the heels, and pelting him all the way with abuse and foul
language; and stopping into his house, it being by this time dark,
he ordered one of hi servants to take a light and to go along with
the man and see him safe home.

Nor were these the only advantages which Pericles derived from
Anaxagoras's acquaintance; he seems also to have become, by his
instructions, superior to that superstition with which an ignorant
wonder at appearances, for example, in the heavens, possesses the
minds of people unacquainted with their causes, eager for the
supernatural, and excitable through an inexperience which the
knowledge of natural causes removes, replacing wild and timid
superstition by the good hope and assurance of an intelligent

There is a story that once Pericles had brought to him from a
country farm of his, a ram's head with one horn, and that Lampon,
the diviner, upon seeing the horn grow strong and solid out of the
midst of the forehead, gave it as his judgement that, there being
at that time two potent factions, parties, or interests in the
city, the one of Thucydides and the other of Pericles, the
government would come about to that one of them in whose ground or
estate this token or indication of fate had shown itself. But that
Anaxagoras, cleaving the skull in sunder, showed to the bystanders
that the brain had not filled up its natural place, but being
oblong, like an egg, had collected from all parts of the vessel
which contained it, in a point to that place from whence the root
of the horn took its rise. And that, for the time, Anaxagoras was
much admired for his explanation by those that were present; and
Lampon no less a little while after, when Thucydides was
overpowered, and the whole affairs of the state and government
came into the hands of Pericles.

Pericles, while yet but a young man, stood in considerable
apprehension of the people, as he was thought in face and figure
to be very like the tyrant Pisitratus, and those of great age
remarked upon the sweetness of his voice, and his volubility and
rapidity in speaking, and were struck with amazement at the
resemblance. But when Aristides was now dead, and Themosticles
driven out, and Cimon was for the most part kept abroad by the
expeditions he made in parts out of Greece, Pericles, seeing
things in this posture, now advanced and took his side, not with
the rich and few, but with the many and poor, contrary to his
natural bent, which was far from democratical; but, most likely,
fearing he might fall under suspicion of aiming at arbitrary
power, and seeing Cimon on the side of the aristocracy, and much
beloved by the better and more distinguished people, he joined the
party of the people, with a view at once both to secure himself
and procure means against Cimon.

He immediately entered, also, on quite a new course of life and
management of his time. For he was never seen to walk in any
street but that which led to the market-place and the council-
hall, and he avoided invitations of friends to supper, and all
friendly visits and intercourse whatever; in all the time he had
to do with the public, which was not a little, he was never known
to have gone to any of his friends to a supper, except that once
when his near kinsman Euryptolemus married, he remained present
till the ceremony of the drink-offering, and then immediately rose
from the table and went his way. For these friendly meetings are
very quick to defeat any assumed superiority, and in intimate
familiarity an exterior of gravity is hard to maintain. Real
excellence, indeed, is best recognized when most openly looked
into; and in really good men, nothing which meets the eyes of
external observers so truly deserves their admiration, as their
daily common life does that of their nearer friends. Pericles,
however, to avoid any feeling of commonness, or any satiety on the
part of the people, presented himself at intervals only, not
speaking on every business, nor at all times coming into the
assembly, but, as Critoaus says, reserving himself, like the
Salaminian galley, for great occasions, while matters of lesser
importance were despatched by friends or other speakers under his
direction. And of this number we are told Ephialtes made one, who
broke the power of the council of Areopagus, giving the people,
according to Plato's expression, so copious and so strong a
draught of liberty, that, growing wild and unruly, like an
unmanageable horse, it, as the comic poets say, -

"--got beyond all keeping in,
Champing at Euboea, and among the islands leaping in."

The style of speaking most consonant to his form of life and the
dignity of his views he found, so to say, in the tones of that
instrument with which Anaxagoras had furnished him; of his
teaching he continually availed himself, and deepened the colors
of rhetoric with the dye of natural science.

A saying of Thucydides, the son of Melesias, stands on record,
spoken by him by way of pleasantry upon Pericles's dexterity.
Thucydides was one of the noble and distinguished citizens, and
had been his greatest opponent; and, when Archidamus, the king of
the Lacedaemonians, asked him whether he or Pericles were the
better wrestler, he made this answer: "When I," said he, "have
thrown him and given him a fair fall, he by persisting that he had
no fall, gets the better of me, and makes the bystanders, in spite
of their own eyes, believe him."

The rule of Pericles has been described as an aristocratical
government, that went by the name of a democracy, but was, indeed,
the supremacy of a single great man; while many say, that by him
the common people were first encouraged and led on to such evils
as appropriations of subject territory, allowances for attending
theatres, payments for performing public duties, and by these bad
habits were, under the influence of his public measures, changed
from a sober, thrifty people, that maintained themselves by their
own labors, to lovers of expense, intemperance, and license.

At the first, as has been said, when he set himself against
Cimon's great authority, he did caress the people. Finding himself
come short of his competitor in wealth and money, by which
advantages the other was enabled to take care of the poor,
inviting every day some one or other of the citizens that was in
want to supper, and bestowing clothes on the aged people, and
breaking down the hedges and enclosures of his grounds, that all
that would might freely gather what fruit they pleased. Pericles,
thus outdone in popular arts, turned to the distribution of the
public moneys; and in a short time having bought the people over,
what with moneys allowed for shows and for service on juries, and
what with the other forms of pay and largess, he made use of them
against the council of Areopagus, and directed the exertions of
his party against this council with such success, that most of
those causes and matters which had been formerly tried there, were
removed from its cognizance; Cimon, also, was banished by
ostracism as a favorer of the Lacedaemonians and a hater of the
people, though in wealth and noble birth he was among the first,
and had won several most glorious victories over the barbarians,
and had filled the city with money and spoils of war. So vast an
authority had Pericles obtained among the people.

The ostracism was limited by law to ten years; but the
Lacedaemonians, in the meantime, entering with a great army into
the territory of Tanagra, and the Athenians going out against the,
Cimon, coming from his banishment before his time was out, put
himself in arms and array with those of his fellow-citizens that
were of his own tribe, and desired by his deeds to wipe off the
suspicion of his favoring the Lacedaemonians, by venturing his own
person along with his countrymen. But Pericles's friends,
gathering in a body, forced him to retire as a banished man. For
which cause also Pericles seems to have exerted himself more than
in any other battle, and to have been conspicuous above all for
his exposure of himself to danger. All Cimon's friends, also, to a
man, fell together side by side, whom Pericles had accused with
him of taking part with the Lacedaemonians. Defeated in this
battle on their own frontiers, and expecting a new and perilous
attack with return of spring, the Athenians now felt regret and
sorrow for the loss of Cimon, and repentance for their expulsion
of him. Pericles, being sensible of their feelings, did not
hesitate or delay to gratify it, and himself made the motion for
recalling him home. He, upon his return, concluded a peace betwixt
the two cities; for the Lacedaemonians entertained as kindly
feelings towards him as they did the reverse towards Pericles and
the other popular leaders.

Cimon, while he was admiral, ended his days in the Isle of Cyprus.
And the aristocratical party, seeing that Pericles was already
before this grown to be the greatest and foremost man of all the
city, but nevertheless wishing there should be somebody set up
against him, to blunt and turn the edge of his power, that it
might not altogether prove a monarchy, put forward Thucydides of
Alopece, a discreet person, and a near kinsman of Cimon's, to
conduct the opposition against him. And so Pericles, at that time
more than at any other, let loose the reins to the people, and
made his policy subservient to their pleasure, contriving
continually to have some great public show or solemnity, some
banquet, or some procession or other in the town to please them,
coaxing his countrymen like children, with such delights and
pleasures as were not, however, unedifying. Besides that, every
year he sent out threescore galleys, on board of which there went
numbers of the citizens, who were in pay eight months, at the same
time learning and practicing the art of seamanship.

He sent, moreover, a thousand of them into the Chersonese as
planters, to share the land among them by lot, and five hundred
more into the isle of Naxos, and half that number to Andros, a
thousand into Thrace to dwell among the Bisaltae, and others into
Italy, when the city Sybaris, which now was called Thurii, was to
be repeopled. And this he did to ease and discharge the city of an
idle, and, by reason of their idleness, a busy, meddling crowd of
people; and at the same time to meet the necessities and restore
the fortunes of the poor townsmen, and to intimidate, also, and
check their allies from attempting any change, by posting such
garrisons, as it were, in the midst of them.

That which gave most pleasure and ornament to the city of Athens,
and the greatest admiration and even astonishment to all
strangers, and that which now is Greece's only evidence that the
power she boasts of and her ancient wealth are no romance or idle
story, was his construction of the public and sacred buildings.

The materials were stone, brass, ivory, gold, ebony, and cypress-
wood; the artisans that wrought and fashioned them were smiths and
carpenters, moulders, founders and braziers, stone-cutters, dyers,
goldsmiths, ivory-workers, painters, embroiderers, turners; those
again that conveyed them to the town for use, merchants and
mariners and ship-masters by sea; and by land, cartwrights,
cattle-breeders, wagoners, rope-makers, flax-workers, shoe-makers
and leather-dressers, road-makers, miners. And every trade in the
same nature, as a captain in an army has his particular company of
soldiers under him, had its own hired company of journeymen and
laborers belonging to it banded together as in array, to be as it
were the instrument and body for the performance of the service of
these public works distributed plenty through every age and

As then grew the works up, no less stately in size than exquisite
in form, the workmen striving to outvie the material and the
design with the beauty of their workmanship, yet the most
wonderful thing of all was the rapidity of their execution.
Undertakings, any one of which singly might have required, they
thought, for their completion, several successions and ages of
men, were every one of them accomplished in the height and prime
of one man's political service. Although they say, too, that
Zeuxis once, having heard Agatharchus, the painter, boast of
despatching his work with speed and ease, replied, "I take a long
time." For ease and speed in doing a thing do not give the work
lasting solidity or exactness of beauty; the expenditure of time
allowed to a man's pains beforehand for the production of a thing
is repaid by way of interest with a vital force for its
preservation when once produced. For which reason Pericles's works
are especially admired, as having been made quickly, to last long.
For every particular piece of his work was immediately, even at
that time, for its beauty and elegance, antique; and yet in its
vigor and freshness looks to this day as if it were just executed.
There is a sort of bloom of newness upon those works of his,
preserving them from the touch of time, as if they had some
perennial spirit and undying vitality mingled in the composition
of them.

Phidias had the oversight of all the works, and was surveyor-
general, though upon the various portions other great masters and
workmen were employed. For Callicrates and Ictinus built the
Parthenon; the chapel at Eleusis, where the mysteries were
celebrated, was begun by Coroebus, who erected the pillars that
stand upon the floor or pavement, and joined them to the
architraves; and after his death Metagenes of Xypete added the
frieze and the upper line of columns; Xenocles of Cholargus roofed
or arched the lantern on the top of the temple of Castor and
Pollux; and the long wall, which Socrates says he himself heard
Pericles propose to the people, was undertaken by Callicrates.

The Odeum, or music-room, which in its interior was full of seats
and ranges of pillars, and outside had its roof made to slope and
descend from one single point at the top, was constructed, we are
told, in imitation of the king of Persia's Pavilion; this likewise
by Pericles's order; which Cratinus again, in his comedy called
The Thracian Women, made an occasion of raillery, -

So, we see here,
Jupiter Long-pate Pericles appear,
Since ostracism time he's laid aside his head,
And wears the new Odeum in its stead.

Perils, also eager for distinction, then first obtained the decree
for a contest in musical skill to be held yearly at the
Panathenaea, and he himself, being chosen judge, arranged the
order and method in which the competitors should sing and play on
the flute and the harp. And both at that time, and at other times
also, they sat in this music-room to see and hear all such trials
of skill.

The propylaea, or entrances to the Acropolis, were finished in
five years' time, Mnesicles being the principal architect. A
strange accident happened in the course of building, which showed
that the goddess was not averse to the work, but was aiding and
co-operating to bring it to perfection. One of the artificers, the
quickest and the handiest workmen among them all, with a slip of
his foot, fell down from a great height, and lay in a miserable
condition, the physician having no hopes of his recovery. When
Pericles was in distress about this, Athenia appeared to him at
night in a dream, and ordered a course of treatment which he
applied, and in a short time, and with great ease, cured the man.
And upon this occasion it was that he set up a brass statue of
Athena, surnamed Health, in the citadel near the altar, which they
say was there before. But it was Phidias who wrought the goddess's
image in gold, and he has his name inscribed on the pedestal as
the workman of it; and indeed the whole work in a manner was under
his charge, and he had, as we have said already, the oversight
over all the artists and workmen, through Pericles's friendship
for him.

When the orators, who sided with Thucydides and his party, were at
one time crying out, as their custom was, against Pericles, as one
who squandered away public money and made havoc of the state
revenues, he rose in the open assembly and put the question to the
people, whether they thought that he had laid out much; and
saying, "Too much, a great deal," "Then," said he, "since it is
so, let the cost not go to your account, but to mine; and let the
inscription upon the buildings stand in my name." When they heard
him say thus, whether it were out of a surprise to see the
greatness of his spirit, or out of emulation of the glory of the
works, they cried aloud, bidding him to spend on, and lay out what
he thought fit from the public purse, and to spare no cost, till
all were finished.

At length, coming to a final contest with Thucydides, which of the
two should ostracize the other out of the country, and, having
gone through this peril, he threw his antagonist out, and broke up
the confederacy that had been organized against him. So that now
all schism and division being at an end, and the city brought to
evenness and unity, he got all Athens and all affairs that
pertained to the Athenians into his own hands, their tributes,
their armies and their galleys, the islands, the sea, and their
wide-extended power, partly over other Greeks and partly over
barbarians, and all that empire which they possessed, founded and
fortified upon subject nations and royal friendships and

After this he was no longer the same man he had been before, nor
as tame and gentle and familiar as formerly with the populace, so
as readily to yield to their pleasures and to comply with the
desires of the multitude, as a steersman shifts with the winds.
Quitting that loose, remiss, and, in some cases, licentious court
of the popular will, he turned those soft and flowery modulations
to the austerity of aristocratical and regal rule; but, employing
this uprightly and undeviatingly for the country's best interests,
he was able generally to lead the people along, with their own
will and consent, by persuading and showing them what was to be

The source of this predominance was not barely his power of
language, but, as Thucydides the historian assures us, the
reputation of his life, and the confidence felt in his character;
his manifest freedom from every kind of corruption, and
superiority to all considerations of money. Notwithstanding he had
made the city of Athens, which was great of itself, as great and
rich as can be imagined, and though he were himself in power and
interest more than equal to many kings and absolute rulers, who
some of them also bequeathed by will their power to their
children, he for his part, did not make the patrimony his father
left him greater than it was by one drachma.

Teleclides says the Athenians had surrendered to him -

The tributes of the cities, and, with them, the cities, too, to do
with them as he pleases, and undo;
To build up, if he likes, stone walls around a town; and again, if
so he likes, to pull them down;
Their treaties and alliances, power, empire, peace, and war, their
wealth and their success forevermore.

Nor was all this the luck of some happy occasion; nor was it the
mere bloom and grace of a policy that flourished for a season; but
having for fifty-five years together maintained the first place
among statesmen, in the exercise of one continuous unintermitted
command in the office, to which he was annually reelected, of
General, he preserved his integrity unspotted; though otherwise he
was not altogether idle or careless in looking after his pecuniary
advantage; his paternal estate, which of right belonged to him, he
so ordered that it might neither through negligence be wasted or
lessened, nor yet, being so full of business as he was, cost him
any great trouble or time with taking care of it; and put it into
such a way of management as he thought to be most easy for
himself, and the most exact. All his yearly products and profits
he sold together in a lump, and supplied his household needs
afterward by buying everything that he or his family wanted out of
the market. Upon which account, his children, when they grew to
age, were not well pleased with his management; since there was
not there, as is usual in a great family and a plentiful estate,
anything to spare, or over and above; but all that went out or
came in, all disbursements and all receipts, proceeded as it were
by number and measure. His manager in all this was a single
servant, Evangelus by name, a man either naturally gifted or
instructed by Pericles so as to excel every one in this art of
domestic economy.

The Lacedaemonians beginning to show themselves troubled at the
growth of the Athenian power, Pericles, on the other hand, to
elevate the people's spirit yet more, and to raise them to the
thought of great actions, proposed a decree to summon all the
Greeks in what part soever, whether of Europe or Asia, every city,
little as well as great, to send their deputies to Athens to a
general assembly or convention, there to consult and advise
concerning the Greek temples which the barbarians had burnt down;
and also concerning the navigation of the sea, that they might
henceforward all of them pass to and fro and trade securely, and
be at peace among themselves.

Nothing was effected, nor did the cities meet by their deputies,
as was desired; the Lacedaemonians, as it is said, crossing the
design underhand, and the attempt being disappointed and baffled
first in Peloponnesus. I thought fit, however, to introduce the
mention of it, to show the spirit of the man and the greatness of
his thoughts.

In his military conduct he gained a great reputation for wariness;
he would not by his good-will engage in any fight which had much
uncertainty or hazard; he did not envy the glory of generals whose
rash adventures fortune favored with brilliant success, however
they were admired by others; nor did he think them worthy his
imitation, but always used to say to his citizens that, so far as
lay in his power, they should continue immortal, and live forever.
Seeing Tolmides, the son of Tolmaeus, upon the confidence of his
former successes, and flushed with the honor his military actions
had procured him, making preparation to attack the Boeotians in
their own country, when there was no likely opportunity, and that
he had prevailed with the bravest and most enterprising of the
youth to enlist themselves as volunteers in the service, who
besides his other force made up a thousand, he endeavored to
withhold him, and advised him against it in the public assembly,
telling him in a memorable saying of which still goes about, that,
if he would not take Pericles's advice, yet he would not do amiss
to wait and be ruled by time, the wisest counselor of all. This
saying, at that time, was but slightly commended; but, within a
few days after, when news was brought that Tolmides himself had
been defeated and slain in battle near Coronea, and that many
brave citizens had fallen with him, it gained him great repute as
well as good-will among the people, for wisdom and for love of his

But of all his expeditions, that to the Chersonese gave most
satisfaction and pleasure, having proved the safety of the Greeks
who inhabited there. For not only by carrying along with him a
thousand fresh citizens of Athens he gave new strength and vigor
to the cities, but also by belting the neck of land, which joins
the peninsula to the continent, with bulwarks and forts from sea
to sea, he put a stop to the inroads of the Thracians, who lay all
about the Chersonese, and closed the door against a continual and
grievous war, with which that country had been long harassed,
lying exposed to the encroachments and influx of barbarous
neighbors, and groaning under the evils of a predatory population
both upon and within its borders.

Entering also the Euxine Sea with a large and finely equipped
fleet, he obtained for the Greek cities any new arrangements they
wanted, and entered into friendly relations with them; and to the
barbarous nations, and kings and chiefs round about them,
displayed the greatness of the power of the Athenians, their
perfect ability and confidence to sail wherever they had a mind,
and to bring the whole sea under his control. He left the
Sinopians thirteen ships of war, with soldiers under the command
of Lamachus, to assist them against Timesileus the tyrant; and,
when he and his accomplices had been thrown out, obtained a decree
that six hundred of the Athenians that were willing should sail to
Sinope and plant themselves there with the Sinopians, sharing
among them the houses and land which the tyrant and his party had
previously held.

But in other things he did not comply with the giddy impulses of
the citizens, nor quit his own resolutions to follow their
fancies, when, carried away with the thought of their strength and
great success, they were eager to interfere again in Egypt, and to
disturb the king of Persia's maritime dominions. Nay, there were a
good many who were, even then, possessed with that unblest and
unauspicious passion for Sicily, which afterward the orators of
Alciabes's party blew up into a flame. There were some also who
dreamt of Tuscany and of Carthage, and not without plausible
reason in their present large dominion and the prosperous course
of their affairs.

But Pericles curbed this passion for foreign conquest, and
unsparingly pruned and cut down their ever-busy fancies for a
multitude of undertakings, and directed their power for the most
part to securing and consolidating what they had already got,
supposing it would be quite enough for them to do, if they could
keep the Lacedaemonians in check; to whom he entertained all along
a sense of opposition; which, as upon many other occasions, he
particularly showed by what he did in the time of the holy war.
The Lacedaemonians, having gone with an army to Delphi, restored
Apollo's temple, which the Phocians had got into their possession,
to the Delphians; immediately after their departure, Pericles,
with another army, came and restored it to the Phocians. And the
Lacedaemonians having engraven the record of their privilege of
consulting the oracle before others, which the Delphians gave
them, upon the forehead of the brazen wolf which stands there, he,
also, having received from the Phocians the like privilege for the
Athenians, had it cut upon the same wolf of brass, on his right

When Pericles, in giving up his accounts, stated a disbursement of
ten talents, as laid out upon fit occasion, the people, without
any question, nor troubling themselves to investigate the mystery,
freely allowed it. And some historians, in which number is
Theophtastus the philosopher, have given it as a truth that
Pericles every year used to send privately the sum of ten talents
to Sparta, with which he complimented those in office, to keep off
the war; not to purchase peace either, but time, that he might
prepare at leisure, and be the better able to carry on war

After this, having made a truce between the Athenians and
Lacedaemonians for thirty years, he ordered, by public decree, the
expedition against the Isle of Samos, on the ground, that, when
they were bid to leave off their war with the Milesians, they had
not complied. For the two states were at war for the possession of
Priene; and the Samians, getting the better, refused to lay down
their arms and to have the controversy betwixt them decided by
arbitration before the Athenians. Pericles, therefore, fitting out
a fleet, went and broke up the oligarchal government at Samos,
and, taking fifty of the principal men of the town as hostages,
and as many of their children, sent them to the Isle of Lemnos,
there to be kept, though he had offers, as some relate, of a
talent apiece for himself from each one of the hostages, and of
many other presents from those who were anxious not to have a
democracy. Moreover, Pissuthnes the Persian, one of the king's
lieutenants, bearing some good-will to the Samians, sent him ten
thousand pieces of gold to excuse the city. Pericles, however,
would receive none of all this; but after he had taken that course
with the Samians which he thought fit, and set up a democracy
among them, sailed back to Athens.

But they, however, immediately revolted, Pissuthnes having privily
got away their hostages for them, and provided them with means for
war. Whereupon Pericles came out with a fleet a second time
against them, and found them not idle nor slinking away, but
manfully resolved to try for the dominion of the sea. The issue
was, that, after a sharp sea-fight about the island called Tragia,
Pericles obtained a decisive victory, having with forty-four ships
routed seventy of the enemy's, twenty of which were carrying

Together with his victory and pursuit, having made himself master
of the port, he laid siege to the Samians, and blocked them up,
who yet, one way or other, still ventured to make sallies, and
fight under the city walls. But after another greater fleet from
Athens had arrived, and the Samians were now shut up with a close
leaguer on every side, Pericles, taking with him sixty galleys,
sailed out into the main sea, with the intention, as most authors
give the account, to meet a squadron of Phoenician ships that were
coming for the Samians' relief, and to fight them at as great a
distance as could be from the island; but, as Stesimbrotus says,
with a design of putting over to Cyprus; which does not seem to be
probable. But whichever of the two was his intent, it seems to
have been a miscalculation. For on his departure, Melissus, the
son of Ithagenes, a philosopher, being at that time general in
Samos, despising either the small number of ships that were left
or the inexperience of the commanders, prevailed with the citizens
to attack the Athenians. And the Samians having won the battle and
taken several of the men prisoners, and disabled several of the
ships, were masters of the sea, and brought into port all
necessities they wanted for the war, which they had not before.
Aristotle says, too, that Pericles himself had been once before
this worsted by the Milissus in a sea-fight.

The Samians, that they might requite an affront which had before
been put upon them, branded the Athenians whom they took
prisoners, in their foreheads, with the figure of an owl. For so
the Athenians had marked them before with a Samaena, which is a
sort of ship, low and flat in the prow, so as to look snub-nosed,
but wide and large and well-spread in the hold, by which it both
carries a large cargo and sails well. And so it was called,
because the first of that kind was seen at Samos, having been
built by order of Polycrates the tyrant. These brands upon the
Samians' foreheads, they say, are the allusion in the passage of
Aristophanes, where he says, --

For, oh, the Samians are a lettered people.

Pericles, as soon as news was brought to him of the disaster that
had befallen his army, made all the haste he could to come in to
their relief, and having defeated Melissus, who bore up against
him, and put the enemy to flight, he immediately proceeded to hem
them in with a wall, resolving to master them and take the town,
rather with some cost and time than with the wounds and hazards of
his citizens. But as it was a hard matter to keep back the
Athenians, who were vexed at the delay, and were eagerly bent to
fight, he divided the whole multitude into eight parts, and
arranged by lot that that part which had the white bean should
have leave to feast and take their ease, while the other seven
were fighting. And this is the reason, they say, that people, when
at any time they have been merry, and enjoyed themselves, call it
white day, in allusion to this white bean.

Ephorus, the historian, tells us besides, that Pericles made use
of engines of battery in this siege, being much taken with the
curiousness of the invention, with the aid and presence of Artemon
himself, the engineer, who, being lame, used to be carried about
in a litter, where the works required his attendance, and for that
reason was called Periphoretus. But Heraclides Ponticus disproves
this out of Anacreon's poems, where mention is made of this
Artemon Periphoretus several ages before the Samian war, or any of
these occurrences. And he says that Artemon, being a man who loved
his ease, and had a great apprehension of danger, for the most
part kept close within doors, having two of his servants to hold a
brazen shield over his head, that nothing might fall upon him from
above; and if he were at any time forced upon necessity to go
abroad, that he was carried about in a little hanging-bed, close
to the very ground, and that for this reason he was called

In the ninth month, the Samians surrendering themselves and
delivering up the town, Pericles pulled down their walls, and
seized their shipping, and set a fine of a large sum upon them,
part of which they paid down at once, and they agreed to bring in
the rest by a certain time, and gave hostages for security.
Pericles, however, after the reduction of Samos, returning back to
Athens, took care that those who died in the war should be
honorably buried, and made a funeral harangue, as the custom is,
in their commendation at their graves, for which he gained great
admiration. As he came down from the stage on which he spoke, all
the women except Elpinice, the aged sister of Cimon, came out and
complimented him, taking him by the hand, and crowning him with
garlands and ribbons, like a victorious athlete in the games.

After this was over, the Peloponnesian war beginning to break out
in full tide, he advised the people to send help to the
Corcyraeans, who were attacked by the Corinthians, and to secure
to themselves an island possessed of great naval resources, since
the Peloponnesians were already all but in actual hostilities
against them. Archidamus, the king of the Lacedaemonians,
endeavoring to bring the greater part of the complaints and
matters in dispute to a fair determination, and to pacify and
allay the heats of the allies, it is very likely that the war
would not upon any other grounds of quarrel have fallen upon the
Athenians, could they have been prevailed upon to be reconciled
with the inhabitants of Megara.

The true occasion of the quarrel is not easy to find out. The
worst motive of all, which is confirmed by most witnesses, is to
the following effect. Phidias the Moulder had, as has before been
said, undertaken to make the statue of Athena. Now he, being
admitted to friendship with Pericles, and a great favorite of his,
had many enemies upon this account, who envied and maligned him;
and they, to make trial in a case of his what kind of judges the
commons would prove, should there be occasion to bring Pericles
himself before them, having tampered with Menon, one who had been
a workman with Phidias, stationed him in the marketplace, with a
petition desiring public security upon his discovery and
impeachment of Phidias. The people admitting the man to tell his
story, and, the prosecution proceeding in the assembly, there was
nothing of theft or cheat proved against him; for Phidias, from
the very first beginning, by the advice of Pericles, had so
wrought and wrapt the gold that was used in the work about the
statue, that they might take it all off and make out the just
weight of it, which Pericles at that time bade the accusers do.
But the repudiation of his works was what brought envy upon
Phidias, especially that where he represents the fight of the
Amazons upon the goddesses' shield, he had introduced a likeness
of himself as a bald old man holding up a great stone with both
hands, and had put in a very fine representation of Pericles
fighting with an Amazon. And the position of the hand, which holds
out the spear in front of the face, was ingeniously contrived to
conceal in some degree the likeness, which, meantime, showed
itself on either side.

Phidias then was carried away to Prison, and there died of a
disease; but, as some say, of poison administered by the enemies
of Pericles, to raise a slander, or a suspicion at least, as
though he had procured it. The informer Menon, upon Glycon's
proposal, the people made free from payment of taxes and customs,
and ordered the generals to take care that nobody should do him
any hurt. And Pericles, finding that in Phidias's case he had
miscarried with the people, being afraid of impeachment, kindled
the war, which hitherto had lingered and smothered, and blew it up
into a flame; hoping, by that means, to disperse and scatter these
complaints and charges, and to allay their jealousy; the city
usually throwing herself upon him alone, and trusting to his sole
conduct, upon the urgency of great affairs and public dangers, by
reason of his authority and the sway he bore.

These are given out to have been the reasons which induced
Pericles not to suffer the people of Athens to yield to the
proposals of the Lacedaemonians; but their truth is uncertain.

The Lacedaemonians, therefore, and their allies, with a great
army, invaded the Athenian territories, under the conduct of king
Archidamus, and laying waste the country, marched on as far as
Acharnae, and there pitched their camp, presuming that the
Athenians would never endure that, but would come out and fight
them for their country's and their honor's sake. But Pericles
looked upon it as dangerous to engage in battle, to the risk of
the city itself, against sixty thousand men-at-arms of
Peloponnesians and Boeotians; for so many they were in number that
made the inroad at first; and he endeavored to appease those who
were desirous to fight, and were grieved and discontented to see
how things went, and gave them good words, saying, that "trees,
when they are lopped and cut, grow up again in a short time, but
men, being once lost, cannot easily be recovered." He did not
convene the people into an assembly, for fear lest they should
force him to act against his judgement; and many of his enemies
threatened and accursed him for doing as he did, and many made
songs and lampoons upon him, which were sung about the town to his
disgrace, reproaching him with the cowardly exercise of his office
of general, and the tame abandonment of everything to the enemy's

Cleon, also, already was among his assailants, making use of the
feeling against him as a step to the leadership of the people, as
appears in the anapaestic verses of Hermippus.

Satyr-king, instead of swords,
Will you always handle words?
Very brave indeed we find them,
But a Teles lurks behind them. (Teles was apparently some
notorious coward.)
Yet to gnash your teeth you're seen,
When the little dagger keen,
Whetted every day anew,
Of sharp Cleon touches you.

Pericles, however, was not at all moved by any attacks, but took
all patiently, and submitted in silence to the disgrace they threw
upon him and the ill-will they bore him; and, sending out a fleet
of a hundred galleys to Peloponnesus, he did not go along with it
in person, but stayed behind, that he might watch at home and keep
the city under his own control, till the Peloponnesians broke up
their camp and were gone. Yet to soothe the common people, jaded
and distressed with the war, he relieved them with distributions
of public moneys, and ordained new divisions of subject land. For
having turned out all the people of Aegina, he parted the island
among the Athenians, according to lot. Some comfort, also, and
ease in their miseries, they might receive from what their enemies
endured. For the fleet, sailing round the Peloponnesus, ravaged a
great deal of the country, and pillaged and plundered the towns
and smaller cities; and by land he himself entered with an army
the Megarian country, and made havoc of it all. Whence it is clear
that the Peloponnesians, though they did the Athenians much
mischief by land, yet suffering as much themselves from them by
sea, would not have protracted the war to such a length, but would
quickly have given it over, as Pericles at first foretold they
would, had not some divine power crossed human purposes.

In the first place, the pestilential disease, or plague, seized
upon the city, and ate up all the flour and prime of their youth
and strength. Upon occasion of which the people, distempered and
afflicted in their souls, as well as in their bodies, were utterly
enraged like madmen against Pericles, and, like patients grown
delirious, sought to lay violent hands on their physician, or, as
it were, their father.

Finding the Athenians ill affected and highly displeased with him,
he tried and endeavored what he could to appease and re-encourage
them. But he could not pacify or allay their anger nor persuade or
prevail with them anyway, til they freely passed their votes upon
him, resumed their power, took away his command from him, and
fined him in a sum of money.

After this, public troubles were soon to leave him unmolested; the
people, so to say, discharged their passion in their stroke, and
lost their stings in the wound. But his domestic concerns were in
an unhappy condition, many of his friends and acquaintance having
died in the plague time, and those of his family having long since
been in disorder and in a kind of mutiny against him. For the
eldest of his sons, Xanthippus by name, being naturally prodigal,
and marrying a young and expensive wife, was highly offended at
his father's economy in making him but a scanty allowance, by
little and little at a time. He sent therefore, to a friend one
day, and borrowed some money of him in his father Pericles's name,
pretending it was by his order. The man coming afterward to demand
the debt, Pericles was so far from yielding to pay it, that he
entered an action against him. Upon which the young man,
Xanthippus, thought himself so ill used and disobliged, that he
openly reviled his father; telling first, by way of ridicule,
stories about his conversations at home, and the discourses he had
with the sophists and scholars that came to his house. As for
instance, how one who was a practicer of the five games of skill,
* having with a dart or javelin unawares against his will struck
and killed Epitimus the Pharsalian, his father spent a whole day
with Protagoras in a serious dispute, whether the javelin, or the
man that threw it, or the masters of the games who appointed these
sports, were, according to the strictest and best reason, to be
accounted the cause of this mischance. And in general, this
difference of the young man's with his father, in the breach
betwixt them, continued never to be healed or made up til his
death. For Xanthippus died in the plague time of the sickness. At
which time Pericles also lost his sister, and the greatest part of
his relations and friends, and those who had been most useful and
serviceable to him in managing the affairs of state. However, he
did not shrink or give in on these occasions, nor betray or lower
his high spirit and even the greatness of his mind under all his
misfortunes; he was not even so much as seen to weep or to mourn,
or even attend the burial of his friends or relations, till at
last he lost his only remaining son. Subdued by this blow, yet
striving still, as far as he could, to maintain his principle, and
yet to preserve and keep up the greatness of his soul, when he
came, however, to perform the ceremony of putting a garland of
flowers on the head of the corpse, he was vanquished by his
passion at the sight, so that he burst into exclamations, and shed
copious tears, having never done any such thing in all his life

The city having made trial of other generals for the conduct of
war, and orators for business of state, when they found there was
no one who was of weight enough for such a charge, or of authority
sufficient to be trusted with so great a command, regretted the
loss of him, and invited him again to address and advise them, and
to resume the office of general. He, however, lay at home in
dejection and mourning; but was persuaded by Alcibiades and others
of his friends to come abroad and show himself to the people; who
having, upon his appearance, made their acknowledgements, and
apologized for their untowardly treatment of him, he undertook the
public affairs once more.

About this time, it seems, the plague seized Pericles, not with
sharp and violent fits, as it did others that had it, but with a
dull and lingering distemper, attended with various changes and
alterations, leisurely, by little and little, wasting the strength
of his body, and undermining the noble faculties of his soul.

When he was now near his end, the best of citizens and those of
his friends who were left alive, sitting about him, were speaking
of the greatness of his merit, and his power, and reckoning up his
famous actions and the number of his victories; there were no less
than nine trophies which, as their chief commander and conqueror
of their enemies, he had set up, for the honor of the city. They
talked thus among themselves, as though he were unable to
understand or mind what they said, but had now lost his
consciousness. He had listened, however, all the while, and
attended to all, and speaking out among them, said, that he
wondered they should commend and take notice of things which were
as much owing to fortune as to anything else, and had happened to
many other commanders, and, at the same time, should not speak or
make mention of that which was the most excellent and greatest
thing of all. "For," said he, "no Athenian through my means, ever
wore mourning."

He was indeed a character deserving our high admiration, not only
for his equable and mild temper, which all along, in the many
affairs of his life, and the great animosities which he incurred,
he constantly maintained; but also for the high spirit and feeling
which made him regarded the noblest of all his honors, that, in
the exercise of such immense power, he never had gratified his
envy or his passion, nor ever had treated any enemy as
irreconcilably opposed to him. And to me it appears that this one
thing gives an otherwise childish and arrogant title a fitting and
becoming significance; so dispassionate a temper, a life so pure
and unblemished, in the height of power and place, might well be
called "Olympian," in accordance with our conceptions of divine
beings, to whom, as the natural of all good and of nothing evil,
we ascribe the rule and government of the world.

The course of public affairs after his death produced a quick and
speedy sense of the loss of Pericles. Those who, while they live,
resented his great authority, as that which eclipsed themselves,
presently after quitting the stage, making trial of other orators
and demagogues, readily acknowledged that there never had been in
nature such a disposition as his was, more moderate and reasonable
in the height of that state he took upon him, or more grave and
impressive in the mildness which he used.


Whoever it was, Sosius, that wrote the poem in honor of
Alcibiades, upon his winning the chariot-race at the Olympian
Games, whether it was Euripedes, as is most commonly thought, or
some other person he tells us, that to a man's being happy it is
pre-eminently requisite that he should be born in "some famous

But if anybody undertakes to write a history, that has to be
collected from materials gathered by observation and the reading
of works not easy to be got in all places, nor written always in
his own language, but many of them foreign and dispersed in other
hands, for him, undoubtedly, it is above all things most
necessary, to reside in some city of good note, devoted to liberal
arts, and populous; where he may have plenty of all sorts of
books, and upon inquiry may hear and inform himself of such
particulars as, having escaped the pens of writers, are more
faithfully preserved in the memories of men.

But for me, I live in a little town, where I am willing to
continue, lest it should grow less; and having had no leisure,
while I was in Rome and other parts of Italy, to practice myself
in the Roman language, on account of public business and of those
who came to be instructed by me in philosophy, it was very late,
and in the decline of my age, before I applied myself to the
reading of Latin authors. But to appreciate the graceful and ready
pronunciation of the Roman tongue, to understand the various
figures and connection of words, and such other ornaments, in
which the beauty of speaking consists, is, I doubt not, an
admirable and delightful accomplishment; but it requires a degree
of practice and study which is not easy, and will better suit
those who have more leisure, and time enough yet before them for
the occupation.

And so in this book of my Parallel Lives, in giving an account of
Demosthenes and Cicero, my comparison of their natural
dispositions and their characters will be formed upon their
actions and their lives as statesmen, and I shall not pretend to
criticise their orations one against the other, to show which of
the two was the more charming or the more powerful speaker. For
there, as Ion says,

We are but like a fish upon dry land.

The divine power seems originally to have designed Demosthenes and
Cicero upon the same plan, giving them many similarities in their
natural characters, as their passion for distinction and their
love of liberty in civil life, and their want of courage in
dangers and war, and at the same time also to have added many
accidental resemblances. I think there can hardly be found two
other orators, who, from small and obscure beginnings, became so
great and mighty; who both contested with kings and tyrants; both
lost their daughters, were driven out of their country, and
returned with honor; who, flying from thence again, were both
seized upon by their enemies, and at last ended their lives with
the liberty of their countrymen. So that if we were to suppose
that there had been a trial of skill between nature and fortune,
as there is sometimes between artists, it would be hard to judge,
whether that succeeded best in making them alike in their
dispositions and manners, or this, in the coincidences of their
lives. We will speak of the eldest first.

Demosthenes, the father of Demosthenes, was a citizen of good rank
and quality, as Theopompus informs us, surnamed the Sword-maker,
because he had a large workhouse, and kept servants skilful in
that art at work. Demosthenes, when only seven years old, was left
by his father in affluent circumstances, the whole value of his
estate being little short of fifteen talents, but was wronged by
his guardians, part of his fortune being embezzled by them, and
the rest neglected; insomuch that even his teachers were defrauded
of their salaries. This was the reason that he did not obtain the
liberal education that he should have had; besides that on account
of weakness and delicate health, his mother would not let him
exert himself, and his teachers forebore to urge him. He was
meagre and sickly from the first, and hence had the nickname of
Batalus, given him, it is said, by the boys, in derision of his
appearance; Batalus being a certain enervated flute-player, in
ridicule of whom Antiphanes wrote a play.

The first occasion of his eager inclination to oratory, they say,
was this. Callistratus, the orator, was to plead in open court for
Oropus, and the expectation of the issue of that cause was very
great, as well for the ability of the orator, who was then at the
height of his reputation, as also for the fame of the action
itself. Therefore, Demosthenes, having heard the tutors and
schoolmasters agreeing among themselves to be present at this
trial, with much importunity persuades his tutor to take him along
with him to the hearing; who, having some acquaintance with the
doorkeepers, procured a place where the boy might sit unseen, and
hear what was said. Callistratus having got the day, and being
much admired, the boy began to look upon his glory with emulation,
observing how he was courted on all hands, and attended on his way
by the multitude; but his wonder was more than all excited by the
power of his eloquence, which seemed able to subdue and win over
any thing. From this time, therefore, bidding farewell to other
sorts of learning and study, he now began to exercise himself, and
to take pains in declaiming, as one that meant to be himself also
an orator. He made use of Isaeus as his guide to the art of
speaking, though Isocrates at that time was giving lessons;
whether, as some say, because he was an orphan, and was not able
to pay Isocrates his appointed fee of ten minae, or because he
preferred Isaeus's speaking, as being more business-like and
effective in actual use.

As soon, therefore, as he was grown up to man's estate, he began
to go to law with his guardians, and to write orations against
them; who, in the meantime, had recourse to various subterfuges
and pleas for new trials, and Demosthenes, though he was thus, as
Thucydides says, taught his business in dangers, and by his own
exertions was successful in his suit, was yet unable for all this
to recover so much as a small fraction of his patrimony. He only
attained some degree of confidence in speaking, and some competent
experience in it. And having got a taste of the honor and power
which are acquired by pleadings, he now ventured to come forth,
and to undertake public business. And, as it is said of Laomedon,
the Orchomenian, that by advice of his physician, he used to run
long distances to keep off some disease of his spleen, and by that
means having, through labor and exercise, framed the habit of his
body, he betook himself to the great garland games, and became one
of the best runners at the long race; so it happened to
Demosthenes, who, first venturing upon oratory for the recovery of
his own private property, by this acquired ability in speaking,
and at length, in public business, as it were in the great games,
came to have the pre-eminence of all competitors in the assembly.
But when he first addressed himself to the people, he met with
great discouragements, and was derided for his strange and uncouth
style, which was cumbered with long sentences and tortured with
formal arguments to a most harsh and disagreeable excess. Besides,
he had, it seems, a weakness in his voice, a perplexed and
indistinct utterance and a shortness of breath, which, by breaking
and disjointing his sentences, much obscured the sense and meaning
of what he spoke. So that in the end, being quite disheartened, he
foresook the assembly; and as he was walking carelessly and
sauntering about the Piraeus, Eunomus, the Thriasian, then a very
old man, seeing him, upbraided him, saying that his diction was
very much like that of Pericles, and that he was wanting to
himself through cowardice and meanness of spirit, neither bearing
up with courage against popular outcry, nor fitting his body for
action, but suffering it to languish through mere sloth and

Another time, when the assembly had refused to hear him, and he
was going home with his head muffled up, taking it very heavily,
they relate that Satyrus, the actor followed him, and being his
familiar acquaintance, entered into conversation with him. To whom
Demosthenes bemoaned, that although he had been the most
industrious of all the pleaders, and had spent almost the whole
strength and vigor of his body in that employment, he could not
yet find any acceptance with the people, while drunken sots,
mariners, and illiterate fellows were heard, and had the hustings
for their own. "You say true, Demosthenes," replied Satyrus, "but
I will quickly remedy the cause of all this, if you will repeat to
me some passage out of Euripides or Sophocles." When Demosthenes
had pronounced one, Satyrus presently taking it up after him, gave
the same passage, in his rendering of it, such a new form, by
accompanying it with the proper mien and gesture, that to
Demosthenes it seemed quite another thing. By this being convinced
how much grace and ornament language acquires from action, he
began to esteem it a small matter, and as good as nothing for a
man to exercise himself in declaiming, if he neglected enunciation
and delivery. Hereupon he built himself a place under ground to
study in (which was still remaining in our time), and hither he
would come constantly every day to form his action, and to
exercise his voice; and here he would continue, oftentimes without
intermission, two or three months together, shaving one half of
his head, so that for shame he might not go abroad, though he
desired it never so much.

Nor was this all, but he also made his conversation with people
abroad, his common speech, and his business, subservient to his
studies, taking from hence occasions and arguments as matter to
work upon. For as soon as he was parted from his company, down he
would go at once into his study, and run over everything in order
that had passed, and the reasons that might be alleged for and
against it. Any speeches, also, that he was present at, he would
go over again with himself, and reduce into periods; and whatever
others spoke to him, or he to them, he would correct, transform,
and vary in several ways. Hence it was, that he was looked upon as
a person of no great natural genius, but one who owed all the
power and ability he had in speaking to labor and industry. He was
very rarely heard to speak off-hand, but though he were by name
frequently called upon by the people, as he sat in the assembly,
yet he would not rise unless he had previously considered the
subject, and come prepared for it. So that many of the popular
pleaders used to make it a jest against him; and Pytheas once,
scoffing at him, said that his arguments smelt of the lamp. To
which Demosthenes gave the sharp answer, "It is true, indeed,
Pytheas, that your lamp and mine are not conscious of the same
things." To others, however, he would not deny it, but would admit
frankly enough, that he neither entirely wrote his speeches
beforehand, nor yet spoke wholly extempore. And he would affirm,
that it was the more truly popular act to use premeditation, such
preparation being a kind of respect to the people.

How then, some may say, was it, that Aeschines speaks of him as a
person much to be wondered at for his boldness in speaking? And,
when Lamachus, the Myrinaean, had written a panegyric upon king
Philip and Alexander, in which he uttered many things in reproach
of the Thebans and Olynthians, and at the Olympic Games recited it
publicly, Demosthenes, then rising up, and recounting historically
and demonstratively what benefits and advantages all Greece had
received from the Thebans and Chalcidians, and on the contrary,
what mischiefs the flatterers of the Macedonians had brought upon
it, so turned the minds of all that were present that the sophist,
in alarm at the outcry against him, secretly made his way out of
the assembly. But Demosthenes, it would seem, regarded the reserve
and sustained manner of Pericles, and his forbearing to speak on
the sudden, or upon every occasion, as being the things to which
he principally owed his greatness, and this he followed, and
endeavored to imitate, neither wholly neglecting the glory which
present occasion offered, nor yet willing too often to expose his
faculty to the mercy of chance. For, in fact, the orations which
were spoken by him had much more of boldness and confidence in
them than those that he wrote. Eratosthenes says that often in his
speaking he would be transported into a kind of ecstasy, and
Demetrius, that he uttered the famous metrical adjuration to the

By the earth, the springs, the rivers, and the streams,

as a man inspired, and beside himself. One of the comedians calls
him a rhopoperperethras--a loud declaimer about petty matters;
from rhopos, small wares, and perperos, a loud talker; and another
scoffs at him for the use of antithesis: --

And what he took, took back; a phrase to please
The very fancy of Demosthenes.

Unless, indeed, this also is meant by Antiphanes for a jest upon
the speech on Halonesus, which Demosthenes advised the Athenians
not to take at Philip's hands, but to take back.

All, however, used to consider Demades, in the mere use of his
natural gifts, an orator impossible to surpass, and that in what
he spoke on the sudden, he excelled all the study and preparation
of Demosthenes. And Ariston, the Chian, has recorded a judgment
which Theophrastus passed upon the orators; for being asked what
kind of orator he accounted Demosthenes, he answered, "Worthy of
the city of Athens;" and then, what he thought of Demades, he
answered, "Above it." And the same philosopher reports, that
Polyeuctus, the Sphettian, one of the Athenian politicians about
that time, was wont to say that Demosthenes was the greatest
orator, but Phocion the ablest, as he expressed the most sense in
the fewest words. And, indeed, it is related, that Demosthenes
himself, as often as Phocion stood up to plead against him, would
say to his acquaintance, "Here comes the knife to my speech." Yet
it does not appear whether he had this feeling for his powers of
speaking, or for his life and character, and meant to say that one
word or nod from a man who was really trusted, would go further
than a thousand lengthy periods from others.

Demetrius, the Phalerian, tells us, that he was informed by
Demosthenes himself, when old, that the ways he made use of to
remedy his natural bodily infirmities and defects were such as
these: his inarticulate and stammering pronunciation he overcame
and rendered more distinct by speaking with pebbles in his mouth;
his voice he disciplined by declaiming and reciting speeches or
verses when he was out of breath, while running or going up steep
places; and that in his house he had a large looking-glass, before
which he would stand and go through his exercises. It is told that
some one once came to request his assistance as a pleader, and
related how he had been assaulted and beaten. "I am sure," said
Demosthenes, "nothing of the kind can have happened to you." Upon
which the other, raising his voice, exclaimed loudly, "What,
Demosthenes, nothing has been done to me?" "Ah," replied
Demosthenes, "now I hear the voice of one that has been injured
and beaten." Of so great consequence towards the gaining of belief
did he esteem the tone and action of the speaker. When a thief,
who had the nickname of the Brazen, was attempting to upbraid him
for sitting up late, and writing by candlelight, "I know very
well," said he, "that you had rather have all lights out; and
wonder not, O ye men of Athens, at the many robberies which are
committed, since we have thieves of brass and walls of clay."

His first entering into public business was about the time of the
Phocian war. But the object which he chose for himself in the
commonwealth was noble and just, the defence of the Greek against
Philip; and in this he behaved himself so worthily that he soon
grew famous, and excited attention everywhere for his eloquence
and courage in speaking. He was admired through all Greece, the
king of Persia courted him, and by Philip himself he was more
esteemed than all the other orators. His very enemies were forced
to confess that they had to do with a man of mark; for such a
character even Aeschines and Hyperides give him, where they accuse
and speak against him.

Demosthenes would never turn aside or prevaricate, either in word
or deed. Panaetius, the philosopher, said, that most of his
orations were written, as if they were to prove this one
conclusion: that only what is honest and virtuous is to be chosen;
as that of the Crown, that against Aristocrates, that for the
Immunities, and the Philippics; in all which he persuades his
fellow-citizens to pursue not that which seems most pleasant,
easy, or profitable; but declares over and over again, that they
ought in the first place to prefer that which is just and
honorable, before their own safety and preservation.

Excepting only Phocion, he far surpassed, even in his life and
manners, the other orators of his time. None of them addressed the
people so boldly; he attacked the faults, and opposed himself to
the unreasonable desires of the multitude, as may be seen in his
orations. Theopompus writes, that the Athenians having by name
selected Demosthenes, and called upon him to accuse a certain
person, he refused to do it; upon which the assembly being all in
an uproar, he rose up and said, "Your counselor, whether you will
or no, O ye men of Athens, you shall always have me; but a
sycophant or false accuser, I shall never be." And his conduct in
the case of Antiphon was perfectly aristocratical; whom, after he
had been acquitted in the assembly, he took and brought before the
court of Areopagus, and, setting at naught the displeasure of the
people, convicted him there of having promised Philip to burn the
arsenal; whereupon the man was condemned by that court, and
suffered for it. He accused, also, Theoris, the priestess, among
other misdemeanors, of having instructed and taught the slaves to
deceive and cheat their masters, for which the sentence of death
was passed upon her, and she was executed.

It was evident, even in time of peace, what course Demosthenes
would steer in the commonwealth; for whatever was done by the
Macedonian, he criticised and found fault with, and upon all
occasions was stirring up the people of Athens, and inflaming them
against him. Therefore, in the court of Philip, no man was so much
talked of, or of so great account as he; and when he came thither,
as one of the ten ambassadors who was sent into Macedonia, his
speech was answered with most care and exactness. But in other
respects, Philip entertained him not so honorably as the rest,
neither did he show him the same kindness and civility with which
he applied himself to the party of Aeschines and Philocrates. So
that, when the others commended Philip for his able speaking, his
beautiful person, nay, and also for his good companionship in
drinking, Demosthenes could not refrain from cavilling at these
praises; the first, he said, was a quality which might well enough
become a rhetorician, the second a woman, and the last was only
the property of a sponge; no one of them was the proper
commendation of a prince.

Not long after, he undertook an embassy through the States of
Greece, which he solicited and so far incensed against Philip,
that a few only excepted, he brought them all into a general
league. So that, besides the forces composed of the citizens
themselves, there was an army consisting of fifteen

thousand foot and two thousand horse, and the money to pay these
strangers was levied and brought in with great cheerfulness. On
which occasion it was, says Theophrastus, on the allies requesting
that their contributions for the war might be ascertained and
stated, Crobylus, the orator, made use of the saying, "War can't
be fed at so much a day." Now was all Greece up in arms, and in
great expectation what would be the event. The Euboeans, the
Achaeans, the Corinthians, the Megarians, the Leucadians, and
Corcyraeans, their people and their cities, were all joined
together in a league. But the hardest task was yet behind, left
for Demosthenes, to draw the Thebans into this confederacy with
the rest. Their country bordered next upon Attica, they had great
forces for the war, and at that time they were accounted the best
soldiers of all Greece, but it was no easy matter to make them
break with Philip, who by many good offices, had so lately obliged
them in the Phocian war; especially considering how the subjects
of dispute and variance between the two cities were continually
renewed and exasperated by petty quarrels, arising out of the
proximity of their frontiers.

But after Philip, puffed up with his good success at Amphissa, on
a sudden surprised Elatea and possessed himself of Phocis, the
Athenians were in a great consternation, none durst venture to
rise up to speak, all were at a loss, and the whole assembly was
in silence and perplexity. In this extremity of affairs,
Demosthenes was the only man who appeared, his counsel to them
being alliance with the Thebans. And having in other ways
encouraged the people, and, as his manner was, raised their
spirits up with hopes, he, with some others was sent ambassador to
Thebes. To oppose him, as Marsyas says, Philip also sent thither
his envoys. Now the Thebans, in their consultations, were well
enough aware what suited best with their own interest, but every
one had before his eye the terrors of war, and their losses in the
Phocian troubles were still recent: but such was the force and
power of the orator, fanning up their courage, and firing their
emulation, that, casting away every thought of prudence, fear, or
obligation, in a sort of divine possession, they chose the path of
honor, to which his words invited them. And this success, thus
accomplished by an orator, was thought to be so glorious and of
such consequence, that Philip immediately sent heralds to treat
and petition for a peace: all Greece was aroused, and up in arms
to help. And the commanders-in-chief, not only of Attica, but of
Boeotia, applied themselves to Demosthenes, and observed his
directions. He managed all the assemblies of the Thebans, no less
than those of the Athenians; he was beloved both by the one and by
the other, and exercised the same supreme authority with both; and
that not by unfair means, or without just cause, but it was no
more than was due to his merit.

But there was, it should seem, some divinely-ordered fortune,
commissioned, in the revolution of things, to put a period at this
time to the liberty of Greece, which opposed and thwarted all
their actions, and by many signs foretold what should happen. Such
were the sad predictions uttered by the Pythian priestess, and
this old oracle cited out of the Sibyl's verses:

The battle on Thermodon that shall be
Safe at a distance I desire to see,
Far, like an eagle, watching in the air.
Conquered shall weep, and conqueror perish there.

This Thermodon, they say, is a little rivulet here in our country
in Chaeronea, running into the Cephisus. But we know of none that
is so called at the present time; and can only conjecture that the
streamlet which is now called Haemon, and runs by the Temple of
Hercules, where the Greeks were encamped, might perhaps in those
days be called Thermodon.

But of Demosthenes it is said, that he had such great confidence
in the Greek forces, and was so excited by the sight of the
courage and resolution of so many brave men ready to engage the
enemy, that he would by no means endure they should give any heed
to oracles, or hearken to prophecies, but gave out that he
suspected even the prophetess herself, as if she had been tampered
with to speak in favor of Philip. He put the Thebans in mind of
Epaminondas, the Athenians of Pericles, who always took their own
measures and governed their actions by reason, looking upon things
of this kind as mere pretexts for cowardice. Thus far, therefore,
Demosthenes acquitted himself like a brave man. But in the fight
he did nothing honorable, nor was his performance answerable to
his speeches. For he fled, deserting his place disgracefully, and
throwing away his arms, not ashamed, as Pytheas observed, to belie
the inscription written on his shield, in letters of gold, "With
good fortune."

In the meantime Philip, in the first moment of victory, was so
transported with joy, that he grew extravagant, and going out,
after he had drunk largely, to visit the dead bodies, he chanted
the first words of the decree that had been passed on the motion
of Demosthenes,

The motion of Demosthenes, Demosthenes's son,

dividing it metrically into feet, and marking the beats.

But when he came to himself, and had well considered the danger he
was lately under, he could not forbear from shuddering at the
wonderful ability and power of an orator who had made him hazard
his life and empire on the issue of a few brief hours. The fame of
it also reached even to the court of Persia, and the king sent
letters to his lieutenants, commanding them to supply Demosthenes
with money, and to pay every attention to him, as the only man of
all the Greeks who was able to give Philip occupation and find
employment for his forces near home, in the troubles of Greece.

At this time, however, upon the ill success which now happened to
the Greeks, those of the contrary faction in the commonwealth
turned upon Demosthenes, and took the opportunity to frame several
informations and indictments against him. But the people not only
acquitted him of these accusations, but continued towards him
their former respect, and when the bones of those who had been
slain at Chaeronea were brought home to be solemnly interred,
Demosthenes was the man they chose to make the funeral oration.
The speech, therefore, was spoken by Demosthenes. But the
subsequent decrees he would not allow to be passed in his own
name, but made use of those of his friends, one after another,
looking upon his own as unfortunate and inauspicious; till at
length he took courage again after the death of Philip, who did
not long outlive his victory at Chaeronea. And this, it seems, was
that which was foretold in the last verse of the oracle,

Conquered shall weep, and conqueror perish there.

Demosthenes had secret intelligence of the death of Philip, and
laying hold of this opportunity to prepossess the people with
courage and better hopes for the future, he came into the assembly
with a cheerful countenance, pretending to have had a dream that
presaged some great good fortune for Athens; and, not long after,
arrived the messengers who brought the news of Philip's death. No
sooner had the people received it, but immediately they offered
sacrifice to the gods, and decreed that Pausanias should be
presented with a crown. Demosthenes appeared publicly in a rich
dress, with a chaplet on his head, though it were but the seventh
day since the death of his daughter, as is said by Aeschines, who
upbraids him upon this account, and rails at him as one void of
natural affection towards his children. Whereas, Aeschines rather
betrays himself to be of a poor spirit, if he really means to make
wailings and lamentation the only signs of a gentle and
affectionate nature. I must commend the behavior of Demosthenes,
who leaving tears and lamentations and domestic sorrows to the
women, made it his business to attend to the interests of the

But now to return to my narrative. The cities of Greece were
inspirited once more by the efforts of Demosthenes to form a
league together. The Thebans, whom he had provided with arms, set
upon their garrison, and slew many of them; the Athenians made
preparations to join their forces with them; Demosthenes ruled
supreme in the popular assembly, and wrote letters to the Persian
officers who commanded under the king in Asia, inciting them to
make war upon the Macedonian, calling him child and simpleton. But
as soon as Alexander had settled matters in his own country, and
come in person with his army into Boeotia, down fell the courage
of the Athenians, and Demosthenes was hushed; the Thebans,
deserted by them, fought by themselves, and lost their city. After
which, the people of Athens, all in distress and great perplexity,
resolved to send ambassadors to Alexander, and amongst others,
made choice of Demosthenes for one; but his heart failing him for
fear of the king's anger, he returned back from Cithaeron, and
left the embassy. In the mean time, Alexander sent to Athens,
requiring eight of the orators to be delivered up to him,--
Demosthenes, Polyeuctus, Ephialtes, Lycurgus, Moerocles, Demon,
Callisthenes, and Charidemus. It was upon this occasion that
Demosthenes related to them the fable in which the sheep are said
to deliver up their dogs to the wolves; himself and those who with
him contended for the people's safety, being, in his comparison,
the dogs that defended the flock, and Alexander "the Macedonian
arch wolf." He further told them, "As we see corn-dealers sell
their whole stock by a few grains of wheat which they carry about
with them in a dish, as a sample of the rest, so you, by
delivering up us, who are but a few, do at the same time unawares
surrender up yourselves all together with us." The Athenians were
deliberating, and at a loss what to do, when Demades, having
agreed with the persons whom Alexander had demanded, for five
talents, undertook to go ambassador, and to intercede with the
king for them; and, whether it was that he relied on his
friendship and kindness, or that he hoped to find him satiated, as
a lion glutted with slaughter, he certainly went, and prevailed
with him both to pardon the men, and to be reconciled to the city.

So he and his friends, when Alexander went away, were great men,
and Demosthenes was quite put aside. Yet when Agis, the Spartan,
made his insurrection, he also for a short time attempted a
movement in his favor; but he soon shrunk back again, as the
Athenians would not take any part in it, and, Agis being slain,
the Lacedaemonians were vanquished. During this time it was that
the indictment against Ctesiphon, concerning the Crown, was
brought to trial. The action was commenced a little before the
battle in Chaeronea, when Chaerondas was archon, but it was not
proceeded with till about ten years after, Aristophon being then
archon. Never was any public cause more celebrated than this,
alike for the fame of the orators, and for the generous courage of
the judges, who, though at that time the accusers of Demosthenes,
were in the height of power, and supported by all the favor of the
Macedonians, yet would not give judgment against him, but
acquitted him so honorably, that Aeschines did not obtain the
fifth part of their suffrages on his side, so that, immediately
after, he left the city, and spent the rest of his life in
teaching rhetoric about the island of Rhodes, and upon the
continent in Ionia.

It was not long after that Harpalus fled from Alexander, and came
to Athens out of Asia; knowing himself guilty of many misdeeds
into which his love of luxury had led him, and fearing the king,
who was now grown terrible even to his best friends. Yet this man
had no sooner addressed himself to the people, and delivered up
his goods, his ships, and himself to their disposal, but the other
orators of the town had their eyes quickly fixed upon his money,
and came in to his assistance, persuading the Athenians to receive
and protect their suppliant. Demosthenes at first gave advice to
chase him out of the country, and to beware lest they involved
their city in a war upon an unnecessary and unjust occasion. But
some few days after, as they were taking an account of the
treasure, Harpalus, perceiving how much he was pleased with a cup
of Persian manufacture, and how curiously he surveyed the
sculpture and fashion of it, desired him to poise it in his hand,
and consider the weight of the gold. Demosthenes, being amazed to
feel how heavy it was asked him what weight it came to. "To you,"
said Harpalus, smiling, "it shall come with twenty talents." And
presently after, when night drew on, he sent him the cup with so
many talents. Harpalus, it seems, was a person of singular skill
to discern a man's covetousness by the air of his countenance, and
the look and movement of his eyes. For Demosthenes could not
resist the temptation, but admitting the present, like an armed
garrison, into the citadel of his house, he surrendered himself up
to the interest of Harpalus. The next day he came into the
assembly with his neck swathed about with wool and rollers, and
when they called on him to rise up and speak, he made signs as if
he had lost his voice. But the wits, turning the matter to
ridicule, said that certainly the orator had been seized that
night with no other than a silver quinsy. And soon after, the
people, becoming aware of the bribery, grew angry, and would not
suffer him to speak, or make any apology for himself, but ran him
down with noise; and one man stood up and cried out, "What, ye men
of Athens, will you not hear the cup-bearer?" So at length they
banished Harpalus out of the city; and fearing lest they should be
called to account for the treasures which the orators had
purloined, they made a strict inquiry, going from house to house.

Demosthenes resisted the inquisition, and proposed a decree to
refer the business to the court of Areopagus, and to punish those
whom that court should find guilty. But being himself one of the
first whom the court condemned, when he came to the bar, he was
fined fifty talents, and committed to prison; where, out of shame
of the crime for which he was condemned, and through the weakness
of his body, growing incapable of supporting the confinement, he
made his escape, by the carelessness of some and by the connivance
of others of the citizens. He did not show much fortitude in his
banishment, spending his time for the most part in Aegina and
Troezen, and, with tears in his eyes, looking towards the country
of Attica. The young men that came to visit and converse with him,
he deterred from meddling with state affairs, telling them, that
if at first two ways had been proposed to him, the one leading to
the speaker's stand and the assembly, the other going direct to
destruction, and he could have foreseen the many evils which
attend those who deal in public business, such as fears, envies,
calumnies, and contentions, he would certainly have taken that
which led straight on to his death.

But now happened the death of Alexander, while Demosthenes was in
this banishment which we have been speaking of. And the Greeks
were once again up in arms, encouraged by the brave attempts of
Leosthenes, who was then drawing a circumvallation about
Antipater, whom he held close besieged in Lamia. Pytheas,
therefore, the orator, and Callimedon, called the Crab, fled from
Athens, and taking sides with Antipater, went about with his
friends and ambassadors to keep the Greeks from revolting and
taking part with the Athenians. But, on the other side,
Demosthenes, associating himself with the ambassadors that came
from Athens, used his utmost endeavors and gave them his best
assistance in persuading the cities to fall unanimously upon the
Macedonians, and to drive them out of Greece. With this conduct
the people of Athens were so well pleased, that they decreed the
recall of Demosthenes from banishment. The decree was brought in
by Demon the Paeanian, cousin to Demosthenes. So they sent him a
ship to Aegina, and he landed at the port of Piraeus, where he was
met and joyfully received by all the citizens, not so much as an
Archon or a priest staying behind. And Demetrius, the Magnesian,
says, that he lifted up his hands towards heaven, and blessed this
day of his happy return, as far more honorable than that of
Alcibiades; since he was recalled by his countrymen, not through
any force or constraint put upon them, but by their own good-will
and free inclinations. There remained only his pecuniary fine,
which, according to law, could not be remitted by the people. But
they found out a way to elude the law. It was a custom with them
to allow a certain quantity of silver to those who were to furnish
and adorn the altar for the sacrifice of Jupiter Soter. This
office, for that turn, they bestowed on Demosthenes, and for the
performance of it ordered him fifty talents, the very sum in which
he was condemned.

Yet it was no long time that he enjoyed his country after his
return, the attempts of the Greeks being soon all utterly
defeated. And in the month of Pyanepsion following Demosthenes
died after this manner.

Upon the report that Antipater was coming to Athens, Demosthenes
with his party took their opportunity to escape privily out of the
city; but sentence of death was, upon the motion of Demades,
passed upon them by the people. They dispersed themselves, flying
some to one place, some to another; and Antipater sent about his
soldiers into all quarters to apprehend them. Archias, formerly an
actor, was their captain, and was thence called the exile-hunter.
This Archias finding Hyperides the orator, Aristonicus and
Himeraeus in Aegina, took them by force out of the temple of
Aeacus, whither they had fled for safety, and sent them to
Antipater, and put them all to death; and Hyperides, they say, had
his tongue cut out.

Demosthenes, he heard, had taken sanctuary at the temple of
Neptune at Calauria, and, crossing over thither in some light
vessels, as soon as he had landed himself, and the Thracian spear-
men that came with him, he endeavored to persuade Demosthenes to
accompany him to Antipater, as if he should meet with no hard
usage from him. But Demosthenes, in his sleep the night before,
had a strange dream. It seemed to him that he was acting a
tragedy, and contended with Archias for the victory; and though he
acquitted himself well, and gave good satisfaction to the
spectators, yet for want of better furniture and provision for the
stage, he lost the day. And so, while Archias was discoursing to
him with many expressions of kindness, he sat still in the same
posture, and looking up steadfastly upon him, said: "O Archias, I
am as little affected by your promises now as I used formerly to
be by your acting." Archias at this beginning to grow angry and to
threaten him, "Now," said Demosthenes, "you speak like the genuine
Macedonian oracle; before you were but acting a part. Therefore
forebear only a little, while I write a word or two home to my
family." Having thus spoken, he withdrew into the temple, and
taking a scroll, as if he meant to write, he put the reed into his
mouth, and biting it, as he was wont to do when he was thoughtful
or writing, he held it there for some time. Then he bowed down his
head and covered it. The soldiers that stood at the door,
supposing all this to proceed from want of courage and fear of
death, in derision called him effeminate, and faint-hearted, and
coward. And Archias, drawing near, desired him to rise up, and
repeating the same kind things he had spoken before, he once more
promised him to make his peace with Antipater. But Demosthenes,
perceiving that now the poison had pierced and seized his vitals,
uncovered his head, and fixing his eyes upon Archias, "Now," said
he, "as soon as you please you may commence the part of Creon in
the tragedy, and cast out this body of mine unburied. But, O
gracious Neptune, I, for my part, while I am yet alive, arise up
and depart out of this sacred place; though Antipater and the
Macedonians have not left so much as thy temple unpolluted." After
he had thus spoken and desired to be held up, because already he
began to tremble and stagger, as he was going forward, and passing
by the altar, he fell down, and with a groan gave up the ghost.

Ariston says that he took the poison out of a reed, as we have
shown before. And Eratosthenes also says that he kept the poison
in a hollow ring, which he wore about his arm. There are various
other statements made by the many authors who have related the
story, but there is no need to enter into their discrepancies; yet
I must not omit what is said by Demochares, the relation of
Demosthenes, who is of opinion, it was not by the help of poison
that he met with no sudden and so easy a death, but that by the
singular favor and providence of the gods he was thus rescued from
the cruelty of the Macedonians. He died on the sixteenth of
Pyanepsion, the most sad and solemn day of the Thesmophoria, which
the women observe by fasting in the temple of the goddess.

Soon after his death, the people of Athens bestowed on him such
honors as he had deserved. They erected his statue of brass; they
decreed that the eldest of his family should be maintained in the
Prytaneum; and on the base of his statue was engraven the famous

Had you for Greece been strong, as wise you were,
The Macedonian had not conquered her.

A little before we went to Athens, the following incident was said
to have happened. A soldier, being summoned to appear before his
superior officer, and answer to an accusation brought against him,
put a little gold which he had into the hands of Demosthenes's
statue. The fingers of this statue were folded one within another,
and near it grew a small plane-tree, from which many leaves,
either accidentally blown thither by the wind, or placed so on
purpose by the man himself, falling together, and lying round
about the gold, concealed it for a long time. In the end, the
soldier returned, and found his treasure entire, and the fame of
this incident was spread abroad. And many ingenious persons of the
city competed with each other, on this occasion, to vindicate the
integrity of Demosthenes, in several epigrams which they made on
the subject.

As for Demades, he did not long enjoy the new honors he now came
in for, divine vengeance for the death of Demosthenes pursuing him
into Macedonia, where he was justly put to death by those whom he
had basely flattered.


It is generally said that Helvia, the mother of Cicero, was well
born; but of his father nothing is reported but in extremes. For
whilst some would have him the son of a fuller, and educated in
that trade, others carry back the origin of his family to Tullus
Attius, an illustrious king of the Volscians, who waged war not
without honor against the Romans. However, he who first of that
house was surnamed Cicero seems to have been a person worthy to be
remembered; since those who succeeded him not only did not reject,
but were fond of that name, though vulgarly made a matter of
reproach. For the Latins call a vetch Cicer, and a nick or dent at
the tip of his nose, which resembled the opening in a vetch, gave
him the surname of Cicero.

Cicero, whose story I am writing, is said to have replied with
spirit to some of his friends, who recommended him to lay aside or
change the name when he first stood for office and engaged in
politics, that he would make it his endeavor to render the name of
Cicero more glorious than that of the Scauri and Catuli. And when
he was quaestor in Sicily, and was making an offering of silver
plate to the gods, and had inscribed his two names, Marcus and
Tullius, instead of the third, he jestingly told the artificer to
engrave the figure of a vetch by them.

Cicero was born on the third of January, the same day on which now
the magistrates of Rome pray and sacrifice for the emperor. As
soon as he was of an age to begin to have lessons, he became so
distinguished for his talent, and got such a name and reputation
amongst the boys, that their fathers would often visit the school,
that they might see young Cicero, and might be able to say that
they themselves had witnessed the quickness and readiness in
learning for which he was renowned. And the more rude among them
used to be angry with their children, to see them, as they walked
together, receiving Cicero with respect into the middle place. And
being, as Plato would have the scholar-like and philosophical
temper, eager for every kind of learning, and indisposed to no
description of knowledge or instruction, he showed, however, a
more peculiar propensity to poetry; and there is a poem now
extant, made by him when a boy, in tetrameter verse, called
Pontius Glaucus. And afterwards, when he applied himself more
curiously to these accomplishments, he had the name of being not
only the best orator, but also the best poet of Rome. And the
glory of his rhetoric still remains, notwithstanding the many new
modes in speaking since his time; but his verses are forgotten and
out of all repute, so many ingenious poets have followed him.

Leaving his juvenile studies, he became an auditor of Philo the
Academic, whom the Romans, above all the other scholars of
Clitomachus, admired for his eloquence and loved for his
character. He also sought the company of the Mucii, who were
eminent statesmen and leaders in the senate, and acquired from
them a knowledge of the laws. For some short time he served in
arms under Sylla, in the Marsian war. But perceiving the
commonwealth running into factions, and from faction all things
tending to an absolute monarchy, he betook himself to a retired
and contemplative life, and conversing with the learned Greeks,
devoted himself to study, till Sylla had obtained the government.

At this time, Chrysogonus, Sylla's emancipated slave, having laid
an information about an estate belonging to one who was said to
have been put to death by proscription, had bought it himself for
two thousand drachmas. And when Roscius, the son and heir of the
dead, complained, and demonstrated the estate to be worth two
hundred and fifty talents, Sylla took it angrily to have his
actions questioned, and preferred a process against Roscius for
the murder of his father, Chrysogonus managing the evidence. None
of the advocates durst assist him, but fearing the cruelty of
Sylla, avoided the cause. The young man, being thus deserted, came
for refuge to Cicero. Cicero's friends encouraged him, saying he
was not likely ever to have a fairer and more honorable
introduction to public life; he therefore undertook the defence,
carried the cause, and got much renown for it.

But fearing Sylla, he traveled into Greece, and gave it out that
he did so for the benefit of his health. And indeed he was lean
and meagre, and had such a weakness in his stomach that he could
take nothing but a spare and thin diet, and that not till late in
the evening. His voice was loud and good, but so harsh and ill-
managed that in vehemence and heat of speaking he always raised it
to so high a tone, that there seemed to be reason to fear for his

At Athens, he became a hearer of Antiochus of Ascalon, with whose
fluency and elegance of diction he was much taken, although he did
not approve of his innovations in doctrine. And Cicero made up his
mind that if he should be disappointed of any employment in the
commonwealth, to retire from pleading and politics, and pass his
life quietly in the study of philosophy.

But after he had received the news of Sylla's death, and his body,
strengthened again by exercise, had grown vigorous, and his voice
was rendered sweet and full to the ear, his friends at Rome
earnestly solicited him by letters to return to public affairs.
He, therefore, again prepared for use his orator's instrument of
rhetoric, and summoned into action his political faculties,
diligently exercising himself in declamations, and attending the
most celebrated rhetoricians of the time. He sailed from Athens
for Asia and Rhodes. Among the Asian masters, he conversed with
Xenocles of Adramyttium, Dionysius of Magnesia, and Menippus of
Caria; at Rhodes, he studied oratory with Apollonius, the son of
Molon, and philosophy with Posidonius. Apollonius, we are told,
not understanding Latin, requested Cicero to declaim in Greek. He
complied willingly, thinking that his faults would thus be better
pointed out to him. After he finished, all his other hearers were
astonished, and vied with each other in praising him, but
Apollonius showed no signs of excitement while he was hearing him,
and now, when he had finished, sat musing for some time, without
any remark. And when Cicero was discomposed at this, he said, "You
have my praise and admiration, Cicero, and Greece my pity and
commiseration, since those arts and that eloquence which are the
only glories that remain to her, will now be transferred by you to

And now when Cicero, full of expectation, was again bent upon
political affairs, a certain oracle blunted the edge of his
inclination; for consulting the god of Delphi how he should attain
most glory, the Pythoness answered, "By making your own genius and
not the opinion of the people the guide of your life;" and
therefore at first he passed his time in Rome cautiously, and was
very backward in pretending to public offices, so that he was at
that time in little esteem, and had got the names, so readily
given by low and ignorant people in Rome, of Greek and Scholar.
But when his own desire of fame and the eagerness of his father
and relations had made him take in earnest to pleading, he made no
slow or gentle advance to the first place, but shone out in full
lustre at once, and far surpassed all the advocates at the bar. At
first, it is said, he as well as Demosthenes, was defective in his
delivery, and on that account paid much attention to the
instructions, sometimes of Roscius, the comedian, and sometimes of
Aesop, the tragedian. They tell of this Aesop, that while
representing in the theatre Atreus deliberating the revenge of
Thyestes, he was so transported beyond himself in the heat of
action, that he struck with his sceptre one of the servants, who
was running across the stage, so violently, that he laid him dead
upon the place. And such afterwards was Cicero's delivery, that it
did not a little contribute to render his eloquence persuasive. He
used to ridicule loud speakers, saying that they shouted because
they could not speak, like lame men who get on horseback because
they cannot walk. And his readiness and address in wit and sarcasm
were thought to suit a pleader well.

He was appointed quaestor in a great scarcity of corn, and had
Sicily for his province, where, at first, he displeased many, by
compelling them to send in their provisions to Rome, yet after
they had had experience of his care, justice, and clemency, they
honored him more than ever they did any of their governors before.
It happened, also, that some young Romans of good and noble
families, charged with neglect of discipline and misconduct in
military service, were brought before the praetor in Sicily.
Cicero undertook their defence, which he conducted admirably, and
got them acquitted. So returning to Rome with a great opinion of
himself for these things, a ludicrous incident befell him, as he
tells us himself. Meeting an eminent citizen in Campania, whom he
accounted his friend, he asked him what the Romans said and
thought of his actions, as if the whole city had been filled with
the glory of what he had done. His friend asked him in reply,
"Where is it you have been, Cicero?" Utterly mortified and cast
down, he perceived that the report of his actions had sunk into
the city of Rome as into an immense ocean, without any visible
effect or result in reputation.

On beginning to apply himself more resolutely to public business,
he remarked it as unreasonable that artificers, using vessels and
instruments inanimate, should know the name, place, and use of
every one of them, and yet the statesman, whose instruments for
carrying out public measures are men, should be negligent and
careless in the knowledge of persons. And so he not only
acquainted himself with the names, but also knew the very place
where every one of the more eminent citizens dwelt, what lands he
possessed, his friends and his neighbors, and when he traveled on
any road in Italy, he could readily name and show the estates and
seats of his acquaintances. Having a small competency for his own
expenses, it was much wondered at that he took neither fees nor
gifts from his clients, and especially, that he did not do so when
he undertook the prosecution of Verres. This Verres, who had been
praetor of Sicily, and stood charged by the Sicilians with many
evil practices during his government there, Cicero succeeded in
getting condemned, not by speaking, but, as it were, by holding
his tongue. For the praetors, favoring Verres, had deferred the
trial by several adjournments to the last day, in which it was
evident there could not be sufficient time for the advocates to be
heard, and the cause brought to an issue. Cicero, therefore, came
forward, and said there was no need of speeches; and after
producing and examining witnesses, he required the judges to
proceed to sentence. Many witty sayings are on record, as having
been used by Cicero on the occasion. When a man named Caecilius,
one of the freed slaves, who was said to be given to Jewish
practices, would have put by the Sicilians, and undertaken the
prosecution of Verres himself, Cicero asked, "What has a Jew to do
with swine?" verres being the Roman word for a boar. And when
Verres began to reproach Cicero with effeminate living, "You
ought," replied he, "to use this language at home, to your sons;"
Verres having a son who had fallen into disgraceful courses.
Hortensius, the orator, not daring directly to undertake the
defence of Verres, was yet persuaded to appear for him at the
laying on of the fine, and received an ivory sphinx for his
reward; and when Cicero, in some passage of his speech, obliquely
reflected on him, and Hortensius told him he was not skilful in
solving riddles, "No," said Cicero, "and yet you have the Sphinx
in your house!"

Verres was thus convicted; though Cicero, who set the fine at
seventy-five myriads, lay under the suspicion of being corrupted
by bribery to lessen the sum. But the Sicilians, in testimony of
their gratitude, came and brought him all sorts of presents from
the island, when he was aedile; of which he made no private profit
himself, but used their generosity only to reduce the public price
of provisions.

He had a very pleasant seat at Arpi, he had also a farm near
Naples, and another near Pompeii, but none were of any great
value. The portion of his wife, Terentia, amounted to ten myriads,
and he had a bequest valued at nine myriads of denarii: upon these
he lived in a liberal but temperate style, with the learned Greeks
and Romans that were his familiars. He rarely, if at any time, sat
down to meat till sunset, and that not so much on account of
business as for his health and the weakness of his stomach. He was
otherwise in the care of his body nice and delicate, appointing
himself, for example, a set number of walks and rubbings. And
after this manner managing the habit of his body, he brought it in
time to be healthful, and capable of supporting many great
fatigues and trials. His father's house he made over to his
brother, living himself near the Palatine Hill, that he might not
give the trouble of long journeys to those that made suit to him.
And, indeed, there were not fewer daily appearing at his door, to
do their court to him, than there were that came to Crassus for
his riches, or to Pompey for his power among the soldiers, these
being at that time the two men of the greatest repute and
influence in Rome. Nay, even Pompey himself used to pay court to
Cicero, and Cicero's public actions did much to establish Pompey's
authority and reputation in the state.

Numerous distinguished competitors stood with him for the
praetor's office; but he was chosen before them all, and managed
the decision of causes with justice and integrity. It is related
that Licinius Macer, a man himself of great power in the city, and
supported also by the assistance of Crassus, was accused before
him of extortion, and that, in confidence on his own interest and
the diligence of his friends, whilst the judges were debating
about the sentence, he went to his house, where hastily trimming
his hair and putting on a clean gown, as already acquitted, he was
setting off again to go to the Forum; but at his hall door meeting
Crassus, who told him that he was condemned by all the votes, he
went in again, threw himself upon his bed, and died immediately.
This verdict was considered very creditable to Cicero, as showing
his careful management of the courts of justice.

Yet he was preferred to the consulship no less by the nobles than
the common people for the good of the city; and both parties
jointly assisted his promotion, for the following reasons. The
change of government made by Sylla, which at first seemed a
senseless one, by time and usage had now come to be considered by
the people no unsatisfactory settlement. But there were some that
endeavored to alter and subvert the whole present state of
affairs, not from any good motives, but for their own private
gain; and Pompey being at this time employed in the wars with the
kings of Pontus and Armenia, there was no sufficient force at Rome
to suppress any attempts at a revolution. These people had for
their head a man of bold, daring, and restless character, Lucius
Catiline, who was accused, besides other great offences, of
killing his own brother; and fearing to be prosecuted at law, he
persuaded Sylla to set his brother down, as though he were yet
alive, amongst those that were to be put to death by proscription.
This man the profligate citizens choosing for their captain, gave
faith to one another, amongst other pledges, by sacrificing a man
and eating of his flesh; and a great part of the young men of the
city were corrupted by him, he providing for every one pleasures
and drink, and profusely supplying the expense of their debauches.
Etruria, moreover, had all been excited to revolt, as well as a
great part of Gaul within the Alps. But Rome itself was in the
most dangerous inclination to change on account of the unequal
distribution of wealth and property, those of highest rank and
greatest spirit having impoverished themselves by shows,
entertainments, running for office, and sumptuous buildings, and
the riches of the city had thus fallen into the hands of mean and
low-born persons. So that it required but a slight impetus to set
all in motion, it being in the power of any daring man to overturn
a sickly commonwealth.

Catiline, however, being desirous of procuring a strong position
to carry out his designs, stood for the consulship, and had great
hopes of success, thinking he should be appointed, with Caius
Antonius as his colleague, who was a man fit to lead neither in a
good cause nor in a bad one, but might be a valuable accession to
another's power. The greater part of the good and honest citizens
apprehending these things, put Cicero upon standing for the
consulship; whom the people readily receiving, Catiline was put
by, so that he and Caius Antonius were chosen, although amongst
the competitors he was the only man descended from the father of
the equestrian, and not of the senatorial, order.

Though the designs of Catiline were not yet publicly known, yet
considerable trouble immediately followed Cicero's entrance upon
the consulship. For, on the one side, those who were disqualified
by the laws of Sylla from holding any public offices, being
neither inconsiderable in power nor in number, came forward as
candidates and entreated the people; on the other hand, the
tribunes of the people proposed laws to the same purpose,
constituting a commission of ten persons, with unlimited powers,
in whom as supreme governors should be vested the right of selling
the public lands of all Italy and Syria and Pompey's new
conquests, of judging and banishing whom they pleased, of planting
colonies, of taking money out of the treasury, and of levying and
paying what soldiers should be though needful. And several of the
nobility favored this law, but especially Caius Antonius, Cicero's
colleague, in hopes of being one of the ten. But what gave the
greatest fear to the nobles was, that he was thought privy to the
conspiracy of Catiline, and not to dislike it because of his great

Cicero, endeavoring in the first place to provide a remedy against
this danger, procured a decree assigning to Antonius the province
of Macedonia, he himself declining that of Gaul, which was offered
to him. And this piece of favor so completely won over Antonius,
that he was ready to second, like a hired player, whatever Cicero
said for the good of the country. And now, having made his
colleague tame and tractable, he could with greater courage attack
the conspirators. Therefore, in the senate, making an oration
against the law of the ten commissioners, he so confounded those
who proposed it, that they had nothing to reply.

For Cicero, it may be said, was the one man, above all others, who
made the Romans feel how great a charm eloquence lends to what is
good, and how invincible justice is if it be well presented. An
incident occurred in the theatre, during his consulship, which
showed what his speaking could do. Formerly the knights of Rome
were mingled in the theatre with the common people, and took their
places amongst them just as it happened; but when Marcus Otho
became praetor he distinguished them from the other citizens, and
appointed them special seats, which they still enjoy as their
place in the theatre. This the common people took as an indignity
done to them, and, therefore, when Otho appeared in the theatre
they hissed him; the knights, on the contrary, received him with
loud clapping. The people repeated and increased their hissing;
the knights continued their clapping. Upon this, turning upon one
another, they broke out into insulting words, so that the theatre
was in great disorder. Cicero, being informed of it, came himself
to the theatre, and summoning the people into the temple of
Bellona, he so effectually chid and chastised them for it, that,
again returning into the theatre, they received Otho with loud
applause, contending with the knights as to who should give him
the greatest demonstrations of honor and respect.

The conspirators with Catiline, at first cowed and disheartened,
began presently to take courage again. And assembling together,
they exhorted one another boldly to undertake the design before
Pompey's return. But the old soldiers of Sylla were Catiline's
chief stimulus to action. They had been disbanded all about Italy,
but the greatest number and the fiercest of them lay scattered
among the cities of Etruria entertaining themselves with dreams of
new plunder and rapine among the hoarded riches of Italy. These,
having for their leader Manlius, who had served with distinction
in the wars under Sylla, joined themselves to Catiline, and came
to Rome to assist him with their suffrages at the election. For he
again aspired for the consulship, having resolved to kill Cicero
in a tumult at the elections. The divine powers seemed to give
intimation of the coming troubles, by earthquakes, thunderbolts
and strange appearances. Nor was human evidence wanting, certain
enough in itself, though not sufficient to convict the noble and
powerful Catiline. Therefore Cicero, deferring the day of
election, summoned Catiline into the senate, and questioned him as
to the charges made against him. Catiline, believing there were
many in the senate desirous of change, and to give a specimen of
himself to the conspirators present, returned an audacious answer.
"What harm," said he, "when I see two bodies, the one lean and
consumptive with a head, the other one great and strong without
one, if I put a head to that body which wants one?" This covert
representation of the senate and the people excited yet greater
apprehensions in Cicero. He put on armor, and was attended from
his house by the noble citizens in a body; and a number of the
young men went with him into the Plain. Here, designedly letting
his tunic slip partly off from his shoulders, he showed his armor
underneath, and discovered his danger to the spectators, who,
being much moved at it, gathered around about him for his defence.
At length, Catiline was by general suffrage again put by, and
Silanus and Murena chosen consuls.

Not long after this, Catiline's soldiers got together in a body in
Etruria, and began to form themselves into companies, the day
appointed for the design being near at hand. About midnight, some
of the principal and most powerful citizens of Rome, Marcus,
Crassus, Marcus Marcellus, and Scipio Metellus went to Cicero's
house, where, knocking at the gate, and calling up the porter,
they commanded him to awake Cicero, and tell him they were there.
The business was this: Crassus's porter after supper had delivered
to him letters brought by an unknown person. Some of them were
directed to others, but one to Crassus, without a name; this only
Crassus read, which informed him that there was a great slaughter
intended by Catiline, and advised him to leave the city. The
others he did not open, but went with them immediately to Cicero,
being affrighted at the danger, and to free himself of the
suspicion he lay under for his familiarity with Catiline. Cicero,
considering the matter, summoned the senate at break of day. The
letters he brought with him, and delivered them to those to whom
they were directed, commanding them to read them publicly; they
all alike contained an account of the conspiracy. And when Quintus
Arrius, a man of praetorian dignity, recounted to them, how
soldiers were collecting in companies in Etruria, and Manlius was
stated to be in motion with a large force, hovering about those
cities, in expectation of intelligence from Rome, the senate made
a decree to place all in the hands of the consuls, who should
undertake the conduct of everything, and do their best to save the
state. This was not a common thing, but only done by the senate in
cases of imminent danger.

After Cicero had received this power, he committed all affairs
outside to Quintus Metellus; but the management of the city he
kept in his own hands. Such a numerous attendance guarded him
every day when he went abroad that the greater part of the forum
was filled with his train when he entered it. Catiline, impatient
of further delay, resolved himself to break forth and go to
Manlius; but he commanded Marcius and Cethegus to take their
swords and go early in the morning to Cicero's gates, as if only
intending to salute him, and then to fall upon him and slay him. A
noble lady, Fulvia, coming by night, discovered this to Cicero,
bidding him beware of Cethegus and Marcius. They came by break of
day, and being denied entrance, made an outcry and disturbance at
the gates, which excited all the more suspicion. But Cicero, going
forth, summoned the senate into the temple of Jupiter Stator,
which stands at the end of the Sacred Street, going up to the
Palatine. And when Catiline with others of his party also came, as
though intending to make his defence, none of the senators would
sit by him, but all of them left the bench where he had placed
himself. And when he began to speak, they interrupted him with
outcries. At length, Cicero, standing up, commanded him to leave
the city; for, since one governed the commonwealth with words, the
other with arms, it was necessary that there should be a wall
betwixt them. Catiline, therefore, immediately left the town, with
three hundred armed men; and assuming, like a magistrate, the
rods, axes, and military ensigns, he went to Manlius, and having
got together a body of near twenty thousand men, with these he
marched to the several cities, endeavoring to persuade or force
them to revolt. It being now come to open war, Antonius was sent
forth to fight him.

The remainder of those in the city whom he had corrupted,
Cornelius Lentulus kept together and encouraged. He had the
surname Sura, and was a man of a noble family, but a dissolute
liver, who for his debauchery was formerly turned out of the
senate, and was now holding the office of praetor for the second
time, as the custom is with those who desire to regain the dignity
of senator. It is said that he got the surname Sura upon this
occasion; being quaestor in the time of Sylla, he had lavished
away and consumed a great quantity of the public moneys, at which
Sylla, being provoked, called him to give an account in the
senate. He appeared with great coolness and contempt, and said he
had no account to give, but they might take this, holding up the
calf of his leg, as boys do at ball, when they have missed. Upon
which he was surnamed Sura, sura being the Roman word for the calf
of the leg. Being at another time prosecuted at law, and having
bribed some of the judges, he escaped by only two votes, and
complained of the needless expense he had gone to in paying for a
second, as one would have sufficed to acquit him. This man, such
in his own nature, and now inflamed by Catiline, false prophets
and fortune-tellers had also corrupted with vain hopes, quoting to
him fictitious verses and oracles, and proving from the Sibylline
prophecies that there were three of the name Cornelius designed by
fate to be monarchs of Rome; two of whom, Cinna and Sylla, had
already fulfilled the decree, and that divine fortune was now
advancing with the gift of monarchy for the remaining third
Cornelius; and that therefore he ought by all means to accept it,
and not lose opportunity by delay, as Catiline had done.

Lentulus, therefore, designed no mean or trivial matter, for he
had resolved to kill the whole senate, and as many other citizens
as he could, to fire the city, and spare nobody, except Pompey's
children, intending to seize and keep them as pledges of his
reconciliation with Pompey. For there was then a common report
that Pompey was on his way homeward from his great expedition. The
night appointed for the design was one of the Saturnalia; swords,
flax, and sulphur they carried and hid in the house of Cethegus;
and providing one hundred men, and dividing the city into as many
parts, they had allotted to every one singly his proper place, so
that in a moment, many kindling the fire, the city might be in a
flame all together. Others were appointed to stop up the
aqueducts, and to kill those who should endeavor to carry water to
put it out. While these plans were preparing, it happened that
there were two ambassadors from the Allobroges staying in Rome; a
nation at that time in a distressed condition, and very uneasy
under the Roman government. These Lentulus and his party, judging
useful instruments to move Gaul to revolt, admitted into the
conspiracy, and they gave them letters to their own magistrates,
and letters to Catiline; in those they promised liberty, in these
they exhorted Catiline to set all slaves free, and to bring them
along with him to Rome. They sent also to accompany them to
Catiline, one Titus, a native of Croton, who was to carry those
letters to him.

These counsels of inconsidering men, who conversed together over
their wine, Cicero watched with sober industry and forethought,
and with most admirable sagacity, having several emissaries
abroad, who observed and traced with him all that was done, and
keeping also a secret correspondence with many who pretended to
join in the conspiracy. He thus knew all the discourse which
passed between them and the strangers; and lying in wait for them
by night, he took the Crotonian with his letters, the ambassadors
of the Allobroges acting secretly in concert with him.

By break of day, he summoned the senate into the temple of
Concord, where he read the letters and examined the informers.
Junius Silanus further stated that several persons had heard
Cethegus say that three consuls and four praetors were to be
slain; Piso, also, a person of consular dignity, testified other
matters of like nature; and Caius Sulpicius, one of the praetors,
being sent to Cethegus's house, found there a quantity of darts
and of armor, and a still greater number of swords and daggers,
all recently whetted. At length, the senate, decreeing indemnity
to the Crotonian upon his confession of the whole matter, Lentulus
was convicted, abjured his office (for he was then praetor), and
put off his robe edged with purple in the senate, changing it for
another garment more agreeable to his present circumstances. He,
thereupon, with the rest of his confederates present, was
committed to the charge of the praetors in free custody.

It being evening, and the common people in crowds expecting
without, Cicero went forth to them, and told them what was done,
and then, attended by them, went to the house of a friend and near
neighbor; for his own was taken up by the women, who were
celebrating with secret rites the feast of the goddess whom the
Romans call the Good, and the Greeks, the Women's goddess. For a
sacrifice is annually performed to her in the consul's house,
either by his wife or mother, in the presence of the vestal
virgins. And having got into his friend's house privately, a few
only being present, he began to deliberate how he should treat
these men. The severest and the only punishment fit for such
heinous crimes, he was somewhat shy and fearful of inflicting, as
well from the clemency of his nature, as also lest he should be
thought to exercise his authority too insolently, and to treat too
harshly men of the noblest birth and most powerful friendships in
the city; and yet, if he should use them more mildly, he had a
dreadful prospect of danger from them. For there was no likelihood
that, if they suffered less than death, they would be reconciled,
but, rather, adding new rage to their former wickedness, they
would rush into every kind of audacity, while he himself, whose
character for courage already did not stand very high with the
multitude, would be thought guilty of the greatest cowardice and
want of manliness.

While Cicero was in doubt what course to take, a portent happened
to the women in their sacrificing. For on the altar, where the
fire seemed wholly extinguished, a great and bright flame issued
forth from the ashes of the burnt wood; at which others were
affrighted, but the holy virgins called to Terentia, Cicero's
wife, and bade her hasten to her husband, and command him to
execute what he had resolved for the good of his country, for the
goddess had sent a great light to the increase of his safety and
glory. Terentia, therefore, as she was otherwise in her own nature
neither tender-hearted nor timorous, but a woman eager for
distinction (who, as Cicero himself says, would rather thrust
herself into his public affairs than communicate her domestic
matters to him), told him these things, and excited him against
the conspirators. So also did Quintus his brother, and Publius
Nigidius, one of his philosophical friends, whom he often made use
of in his most weighty affairs of state.

The next day, a debate arising in the senate about the punishment
of the men, Silanus, being the first who was asked his opinion,
said, it was fit that they should be all sent to prison, and there
suffer the utmost penalty. With him all agreed in order till it
came to Caius Caesar, who was afterwards dictator. He was then but
a young man, and only at the outset of his career, but had already
directed his hopes and policy to that course by which he
afterwards changed the Roman state into a monarchy.

When it came Caesar's turn to give his opinion, he stood up and
proposed that the conspirators should not be put to death, but
their estates confiscated, and their persons confined in such
cities in Italy as Cicero should approve, there to be kept in
custody till Catiline was conquered. To this sentence, as it was
the most moderate, and he that delivered it a most powerful
speaker, Cicero himself gave no small weight, for he stood up and,
turning the scale on either side, spoke in favor partly of the
former, partly of Caesar's sentence. And all Cicero's friends,
judging Caesar's sentence most expedient for Cicero, because he
would incur the less blame if the conspirators were not put to
death, chose rather the latter; so that Silanus, also, changing
his mind, retracted his opinion, and said he had not declared for
capital, but only the utmost punishment, which to a Roman senator
is imprisonment. The first man who spoke against Caesar's motion
was Catulus Lutatius. Cato followed, and so vehemently urged in
his speech the strong suspicion about Caesar himself, and so
filled the senate with anger and resolution, that a decree was
passed for the execution of the conspirators. But Caesar opposed
the confiscation of their goods, not thinking it fair that those
who had rejected the mildest part of his sentence should avail
themselves of the severest. And when many insisted upon it, he
appealed to the tribunes, but they would do nothing; till Cicero
himself yielding, remitted that part of the sentence.

After this, Cicero went out with the senate to the conspirators;
they were not all together in one place, but the several praetors
had them, some one, some another, in custody. And first he took
Lentulus from the Palatine, and brought him by the Sacred Street,
through the middle of the market-place, a circle of the most
eminent citizens encompassing and protecting him. The people,
affrighted at what was doing, passed along in silence, especially
the young men; as if, with fear and trembling, they were
undergoing a rite of initiation into some ancient, sacred
mysteries of aristocratic power. Thus passing from the market-
place, and coming to the gaol, he delivered Lentulus to the
officer, and commanded him to execute him; and after him Cethegus,
and so all the rest in order, he brought and delivered up to
execution. And when he saw many of the conspirators in the market-
place, still standing together in companies, ignorant of what was
done, and waiting for the night, supposing the men were still
alive and in a possibility of being rescued, he called out in a
loud voice, and said, "They did live"; for so the Romans, to avoid
inauspicious language, name those that are dead.

It was now evening, when he returned from the market-place to his
own house, the citizens no longer attending him with silence, nor
in order, but receiving him, as he passed, with acclamations and
applauses, and saluting him as the savior and founder of his
country. A bright light shone through the streets from the lamps
and torches set up at the doors, and the women showed lights from
the tops of the houses, to honor Cicero, and to behold him
returning home with a splendid train of the principal citizens;
amongst whom were many who had conducted great wars, celebrated
triumphs, and added to the possessions of the Roman empire, both
by sea and land. These, as they passed along with him,
acknowledged to one another, that though the Roman people were
indebted to several officers and commanders of that age for
riches, spoils, and power, yet to Cicero alone they owed the
safety and security of all these, for delivering them from so
great and imminent a danger. For though it might seem no wonderful
thing to prevent the design, and punish the conspirators, yet to
defeat the greatest of all conspiracies with so little
disturbance, trouble, and commotion, was very extraordinary. For
the greater part of those who had flocked in to Catiline, as soon
as they heard of the fate of Lentulus and Cethegus, forsook him,
and he himself, with his remaining forces, joining battle with
Antonius, was destroyed with his army.

And yet there were some who were very ready both to speak ill of
Cicero, and to do him hurt for these actions; and they had for
their leaders some of the magistrates of the ensuing year, as
Caesar, who was one of the praetors, and Metellus and Bestia, the
tribunes. These, entering upon their office some few days before
Cicero's consulate expired, would not permit him to make any
address to the people, but, throwing the benches before the
Rostra, hindered his speaking, telling him he might, if he
pleased, make the oath of withdrawal from office, and then come
down again. Cicero, accordingly, accepting the conditions, came
forward to make his withdrawal; and silence being made, he recited
his oath, not in the usual, but in a new and peculiar form,
namely, that he had saved his country, and preserved the empire;
the truth of which oath all the people confirmed with theirs.
Caesar and the tribunes, all the more exasperated by this,
endeavored to create him further trouble, and for this purpose
proposed a law for calling Pompey home with his army, to put an
end to Cicero's usurpation. But it was a very great advantage for
Cicero and the whole commonwealth that Cato was at that time one
of the tribunes. For he, being of equal power with the rest, and
of greater reputation, could oppose their designs. He easily
defeated their other projects, and, in an oration to the people,
so highly extolled Cicero's consulate, that the greatest honors
were decreed him, and he was publicly declared the Father of his
Country, which title he seems to have obtained, the first man who
did so, when Cato applied it to him in this address to the people.

At this time, therefore, his authority was very great in the city;
but he created himself much envy, and offended very many, not by
any evil action, but because he was always lauding and magnifying
himself. For neither senate, nor assembly of the people, nor court
of judicature could meet, in which he was not heard to talk of
Catiline and Lentulus. Indeed, he filled his books and writings
with his own praises, to such an excess as to render a style, in
itself most pleasant and delightful, nauseous and irksome to his
hearers. This ungrateful humor, like a disease, always clove to
him. Still, though fond of his own glory, he was very free from
envying others, but was, on the contrary, most liberally profuse
in commending both the ancients and his contemporaries, as any one
may see in his writings. He called Aristotle a river of flowing
gold, and said of Plato's Dialogues, that if Jupiter were to
speak, it would be in language like theirs. He used to call
Theophrastus his special luxury. And being asked which of
Demosthenes's orations he liked best, he answered, "The longest."
And as for the eminent men of his own time, either in eloquence or
philosophy, there was not one of them whom he did not, by writing
or speaking favorably of him, render more illustrious.

An example of his love of praise is the way in which sometimes, to
make his orations more striking, he neglected decorum and dignity.
When Munatius, who had escaped conviction by his advocacy,
immediately prosecuted his friend Sabinus, he said in the warmth
of his resentment, "Do you suppose you were acquitted for your own
merits, Munatius, or was it not that I so darkened the case, that
the court could not see your guilt?" When from the Rostra he had
made a eulogy on Marcus Crassus, with much applause, and within a
few days after again as publicly reproached him, Crassus called to
him, and said, "Did not you yourself two days ago, in this same
place, commend me?" "Yes," said Cicero, "I exercised my eloquence
in declaiming upon a bad subject." At another time, Crassus had
said that no one of his family had ever lived beyond sixty years
of age, and afterwards denied it, and asked, "What should put it
into my head to say so?" "It was to gain the people's favor,"
answered Cicero; "you knew how glad they would be to hear it."
When Vatinius, who had swellings in his neck, was pleading a
cause, he called him the tumid orator; and having been told by
some one that Vatinius was dead, on hearing soon after that he was
alive, he said, "may the rascal perish, for his news not being

Upon Caesar's bringing forward a law for the division of the lands
in Campania amongst the soldiers, many in the senate opposed it;
amongst the rest, Lucius Gellius, one of the oldest men in the
house, said it should never pass whilst he lived. "Let us postpone
it," said Cicero, "Gellius does not ask us to wait long." There
was a man of the name of Octavius, suspected to be of African
descent. He once said, when Cicero was pleading, that he could not
hear him; "yet there are holes," said Cicero, "in your ears." When
Metellus Nepos told him that he had ruined more as a witness than
he had saved as an advocate, "I admit," said Cicero, "that I have
more truth than eloquence." To a young man who was suspected of
having given a poisoned cake to his father, and who talked largely
of the invectives he meant to deliver against Cicero, "Better
these," replied he, "than your cakes." Publius Sextius, having
amongst others retained Cicero as his advocate in a certain cause,
was yet desirous to say all for himself, and would not allow
anybody to speak for him; when he was about to receive his
acquittal from the judges, and the ballots were passing, Cicero
called to him, "make haste, Sextius, and use your time; to-morrow
you will be nobody." He cited Publius Cotta to bear testimony in a
certain cause, one who affected to be thought a lawyer, though
ignorant and unlearned; but when Cotta had said, "I know nothing
at all about the matter," Cicero answered: "You think, perhaps, we
are asking you about a point of law." When Marcus Appius, in the
opening of some speech in a court of justice, said that his friend
had desired him to employ industry, eloquence, and fidelity in
that cause, Cicero asked, "And how have you had the heart not to
accede to any one of his requests?"

One Clodius, whom Cicero had vehemently opposed in an important
trial, having got himself chosen one of the tribunes, immediately
attacked Cicero, endeavoring to incite everybody against him. The
common people he gained over with popular laws; to each of the
consuls he decreed large provinces, to Piso, Macedonia, and to
Gabinius, Syria. Of the three men then in greatest power, Crassus
was Cicero's open enemy, Pompey indifferently made advances to
both, and Caesar was going with an army into Gaul. To him, though
not his friend, Cicero applied, requesting an appointment as one
of his lieutenants in the province. Caesar accepted him, and
Clodius, perceiving that Cicero would thus escape his tribunician
authority, professed to be inclinable to a reconciliation, made
always a favorable mention of him, and addressed him with kind
expressions, as one who felt no hatred or ill-will, but who merely
wished to urge his complaints in a moderate and friendly way. By
these artifices, he so freed Cicero of all his fears, that he
resigned his appointment to Caesar, and betook himself again to
political affairs. At which Caesar being exasperated, joined the
party of Clodius against him, and wholly alienated Pompey from
him; he also himself declared in a public assembly of the people,
that he did not think Lentulus and Cethegus, with their
accomplices, were fairly and legally put to death without being
brought to trial. And this, indeed, was the crime charged upon
Cicero, and this impeachment he was summoned to answer. And so, as
an accused man, and in danger for the result, he changed his
dress, and went round with his hair untrimmed, in the attire of a
suppliant, to beg the people's grace. But Clodius met him in every
corner, having a band of abusive and daring fellows about him, who
derided Cicero for his change of dress and his humiliation, and
often, by throwing dirt and stones at him, interrupted his
supplication to the people.

However, first of all, almost the whole equestrian order changed
their dress with him, and no less than twenty thousand young
gentlemen followed him with their hair untrimmed, and supplicating
with him to the people. And then the senate met, to pass a decree
that the people should change their dress as in time of public
sorrow. But the consuls opposing it, and Clodius with armed men
besetting the senate-house, many of the senators ran out, crying
aloud and tearing their clothes. But this sight moved neither
shame nor pity; Cicero must either fly or determine it by the
sword with Clodius. He entreated Pompey to aid him, who on purpose
had gone out of the way, and was staying at his country-house in
the Alban hills; and first he sent his son-in-law Piso to
intercede with him, and afterwards set out to go himself. But
Pompey being informed, would not stay to see him, being ashamed at
the remembrance of the many conflicts in the commonwealth which
Cicero had undergone in his behalf, and how much of his policy he
had directed for his advantage. But being now Caesar's son-in-law,
at his instance he had set aside all former kindness, and,
slipping out at another door, avoided the interview. Thus being
forsaken by Pompey, and left alone to himself, he fled to the
consuls. Gabinius was rough with him, as usual, but Piso spoke
more courteously, desiring him to yield for a while to the fury of
Clodius, and to await a change of times, and to be now, as before,
his country's savior from the peril of these troubles and
commotions which Clodius was exciting.

Cicero, receiving this answer, consulted with his friends.
Lucullus advised him to stay, as being sure to prevail at last;
others to fly, because the people would soon desire him again,
when they should have enough of the rage and madness of Clodius.
This last Cicero approved. But first he took a statue of Minerva,
which had been long set up and greatly honored in his house, and
carrying it to the capitol, there dedicated it, with the
inscription, "To Minerva, Patroness of Rome." And receiving an
escort from his friends, about the middle of the night he left the
city, and went by land through Lucania, intending to reach Sicily.

But as soon as it was publicly known that he was fled, Clodius
proposed to the people a decree of exile, and by his own order
interdicted him fire and water, prohibiting any within five
hundred miles in Italy to receive him into their houses. Most
people, out of respect for Cicero, paid no regard to this edict,
offering him every attention, and escorting him on his way. But at
Hipponium, a city of Lucania, now called Vibo, one Vibius, a
Sicilian by birth, who, amongst may other instances of Cicero's
friendship, had been made head of the state engineers when he was
consul, would not receive him into his house, sending him word
that he would appoint a place in the country for his reception.
Caius Vergilius, the praetor of Sicily, who had been on the most
intimate terms with him, wrote to him to forbear coming into
Sicily. Cicero, thoroughly disheartened at these things, went to
Brundusium, whence he put forth with a prosperous wind, but a
contrary gale blowing from the sea carried him back to Italy the
next day. He put again to sea, and having reached Dyrrachium, on
his coming to shore there, it is reported that an earthquake and a
convulsion in the sea happened at the same time, signs which the
diviners said intimated that his exile would not be long, for
these were prognostics of change. Although many visited him with
respect, and the cities of Greece contended with each other in
honoring him, he yet continued disconsolate, like an unfortunate
lover, often casting his looks back upon Italy; and, indeed, he
had become more humiliated and dejected by his misfortunes than
any one could have expected in a man who had devoted so much of
his life to study and learning. And yet he often desired his
friends not to call him orator, but philosopher, because he had
made philosophy his business, and had only used rhetoric as an
instrument for attaining his objects in public life.

Clodius, having thus driven away Cicero, fell to burning his farm-
buildings and villas, and afterwards his city house, and built on
the site of it a temple to Liberty. The rest of his property he
exposed for sale by daily proclamation, but nobody came to buy. By
this course he became formidable to the noble citizens, and, being
followed by the commonalty, whom he had filled with insolence and
licentiousness, he began at last to try his strength against
Pompey, some of whose arrangements in the countries he conquered,
he attacked. The disgrace of this made Pompey begin to reproach
himself for his cowardice in deserting Cicero, and, changing his
mind, he now wholly set himself with his friends to contrive his
return. And when Clodius opposed it, the senate made a vote that
no public measure should be ratified or passed by them till Cicero
was recalled. But when Lentulus was consul, the commotions grew so
high upon this matter, that the tribunes were wounded in the
Forum, and Quintus, Cicero's brother, was left as dead, lying
unobserved amongst the slain. The people began to change in their
feelings; and Annius Milo, one of their tribunes, was the first
who had the courage to summon Clodius to trial for acts of
violence. Many of the common people in Rome and the neighboring
cities formed a party with Pompey, who headed them in person,
drove Clodius out of the Forum, and summoned the people to pass
their vote. And, it is said, the people never passed any suffrage
more unanimously than this. The senate, also, striving to outdo
the people, sent letters of thanks to those cities which had
received Cicero with respect in his exile, and decreed that his
house and his country-places, which Clodius had destroyed, should
be rebuilt at the public charge.

Thus Cicero returned sixteen months after his exile, and the
cities were so glad, and the people so zealous to meet him, that
his boast, that Italy had brought him on her shoulders home to
Rome, was rather less than the truth. And Crassus himself, who had
been his enemy before his exile, went voluntarily to meet him, and
was reconciled, as he said, to please his son Publius, who was
Cicero's affectionate admirer.

Cicero had not been long at Rome, when, taking the opportunity of
Clodius's absence, he went, with a great company, to the capitol,
and there tore and defaced the tribunician tables, in which were
recorded the acts done in the time of Clodius. And on Clodius
calling him in question for this, he answered, that he, being of
the patrician order, had obtained the office of tribune against
the law, and, therefore, nothing done by him was valid. Cato was
displeased at this, and opposed Cicero, not that he commended
Clodius, but rather disapproved of his whole administration; yet,
he contended, that it was an irregular and violent course for the
senate to vote the illegality of so many decrees and acts,
including those of Cato's own government in Cyprus and at
Byzantium. This occasioned a breach between Cato and Cicero,
which, though it did not come to open enmity, made a more reserved
friendship between them.

After this, Milo killed Clodius, and, being arraigned for the
murder, he procured Cicero for his advocate. The senate, fearing
lest the questioning of so eminent and high-spirited a citizen as
Milo might disturb the peace of the city, committed the
superintendence of this and of the other trials to Pompey, who
should undertake to maintain the security alike of the city and of
the courts of justice. Pompey, therefore, went in the night, and
occupying the high grounds about it, surrounded the Forum with
soldiers. Milo, fearing lest Cicero, being disturbed by such an
unusual sight, should conduct his cause the less successfully,
persuaded him to come in a litter into the Forum, and there rest
till the judges had taken their seats, and the court was filled.
For Cicero, it seems, not only wanted courage in arms, but, in his
speaking also, began with timidity, and in many cases scarcely
left off trembling and shaking when he had got thoroughly into the
current and the substance of his speech. Once when he had to
defend Licinius Murena against the prosecution of Cato, being
eager to outdo Hortensius, who had made his plea with great
applause, he took so little rest the night before, and was so
disordered with thought and over-watching, that he spoke much
worse than usual. And so now, on quitting his litter to commence
the cause of Milo, at the sight of Pompey, encamped, as it were,
with his troops, and seeing arms shining round about the Forum, he
was so confounded that he could hardly begin his speech, for the
trembling of his body and hesitancy of his tongue; whereas Milo,
meantime, was so bold and intrepid in his demeanor, that he
disdained either to let his hair grow, or to put on the mourning
habit. And this, indeed, seems to have been the principal cause of
his condemnation. And Cicero was thought not so much to have shown
timidity for himself, as anxiety about his friend.

When the outbreak between Caesar and Pompey came, Cicero wavered
painfully between both, for he writes in his epistles, "To which
side should I turn? Pompey has the fair and honorable plea for
war; and Caesar, on the other hand, has managed his affairs
better, and is more able to secure himself and his friends. So
that I know whom I should fly from, not whom I should fly to." But
when Trebatius, one of Caesar's friends, by letter signified to
him that Caesar thought it was his most desirable course to join
his side, but if he considered himself too old a man for this, he
would do better to retire into Greece, and stay quietly there, out
of the way of either party, Cicero, wondering that Caesar had not
written himself, replied angrily that he should do nothing
unbecoming his past life.

But as soon as Caesar had marched into Spain, he immediately
sailed away to join Pompey. And he was welcomed by all but Cato;
who, taking him privately aside, chid him for coming to Pompey. As
for himself, he said, it would have been indecent to forsake that
part in the commonwealth which he had chosen from the beginning;
but Cicero might have been more useful to his country and friends,
if, remaining neutral, he had attended and used his influence to
moderate the result, instead of coming hither to make himself,
without reason or necessity, an enemy to Caesar, and a partner in
such great dangers. By this language, Cicero's feelings were
altered, and partly, also, because Pompey made no great use of
him. Although he was himself really the cause of it, by his not
denying that he was sorry he had come, by his deprecating Pompey's
resources, finding fault underhand with his counsels, and
continually indulging in jests and sarcastic remarks on his

After the battle of Pharsalia was over, at which he was not
present for want of health, and Pompey had fled, Cato, having
considerable forces and a great fleet at Dyrrachium, would have
had Cicero commander-in-chief, according to law, and the
precedence of his consular dignity. But on his refusing the
command, and wholly declining to take part in their plans for
continuing the war, he was in the greatest danger of being killed,
young Pompey and his friends calling him traitor, and drawing
their swords upon him; only that Cato interposed, and with
difficulty rescued and brought him out of the camp.

Afterwards, arriving at Brundusium, he tarried there some time in
expectation of Caesar, who was delayed by his affairs in Asia and
Egypt. And when it was told him that he had arrived at Tarentum,
and was coming thence by land to Brundusium, he hastened towards
him, not altogether without hope, and yet in some fear of making
experiment of the temper of an enemy and conqueror in the presence
of many witnesses. But there was no necessity for him either to
speak or do anything unworthy of himself; for Caesar, as soon as
he saw him coming a good way before the rest of the company, went
forward to meet him, saluted him, and, leading the way, conversed
with him alone for some furlongs. And from that time on he
continued to treat him with honor and respect, so that, when
Cicero wrote an oration in praise of Cato, Caesar, in writing an
answer to it, took occasion to commend Cicero's own life and
eloquence, comparing him to Pericles and Teramenes. Cicero's
oration was called "Cato"; Caesar's, "Anti-Cato."

So also, it is related that when Quintus Ligarius was prosecuted
for having been in arms against Caesar, and Cicero had undertaken
his defence, Caesar said to his friends, "Ligarius, without
question, is a wicked man and an enemy. But why might we not as
well once more hear a speech from Cicero?" yet when Cicero began
to speak, he wonderfully moved him, and proceeded in his speech
with such varied pathos, and such a charm of language, that the
color of Caesar's countenance often changed, and it was evident
that all the passions of his soul were in commotion. And when at
length, the orator touched upon the Pharsalian battle, he was so
affected that his whole frame trembled and some of the papers he
held dropped out of his hands. And thus he was overpowered, and
acquitted Ligarius.

Henceforth, the commonwealth being changed into a monarchy, Cicero
withdrew himself from public affairs, and employed his leisure in
instructing those young men that wished, in philosophy; and by the
near intercourse he thus had with some of the noblest and highest
in rank, he again began to possess great influence in the city.
The work which he set himself to do was to compose and translate
philosophical dialogues and to render logical and physical terms
into the Roman idiom. For he it was, as it is said, who first or
principally gave Latin names to technical Greek terms, which,
either by metaphors or other means of accommodation, he succeeded
in making intelligible to the Romans. For his recreation, he
exercised his dexterity in poetry, and when he was set to it,
would make five hundred verses in a night. He spent the greatest
part of his time at his country-house near Tusculum.

He had a design, it is said, of writing the history of his
country, combining with it much of that of Greece, and
incorporating in it all the stories and legends of the past that
he had collected. But his purposes were interfered with by various
public and various private unhappy occurrences and misfortunes;
for most of which he was himself in fault. For first of all, he
put away his wife, Terentia, by whom he had been neglected in the
time of the war, and sent away destitute of necessaries for his
journey; neither did he find her kind when he returned into Italy,
for she did not join him at Brundusium, where he staid a long
time, and would not allow her young daughter, who undertook so
long a journey, decent attendance, or the requisite expenses;
besides, she left him a naked and empty house, and yet had
involved him in many and great debts. These were alleged as the
fairest reasons for the divorce. But Terentia, who denied them
all, had the most unmistakable defence furnished her by her
husband himself, who not long after married a young maiden for the
love of her beauty, as Terentia upbraided him; or as Tiro, his
emancipated slave, has written, for her riches, to discharge his
debts. For the young woman was very rich, and Cicero had the
custody of her estate, being left guardian in trust; and being in
debt many myriads of money, he was persuaded by his friends and
relations to marry her, notwithstanding their disparity of age,
and to use her money to satisfy his creditors. Antony, who
mentions this marriage in his answer to the Phillippics,
reproaches him for putting away a wife with whom he had lived to
old age; adding some happy strokes of sarcasm on Cicero's
domestic, inactive, unsoldier-like habits. Not long after this
marriage, his daughter died at Lentulus's house, to whom she had
been married after the death of Piso, her former husband. The
philosophers from all parts came to comfort Cicero; for his grief
was so excessive, that he put away his newly-married wife, because
she seemed to be pleased at the death of Tullia.

He had no concern in the design that was now forming to kill
Caesar, although, in general, he was Brutus's confidant.

But as soon as the act was committed by Brutus and Cassius, and
the friends of Caesar had assembled, so that there was danger of
another civil war, Antony, being consul, convened the senate, and
made a short address recommending concord. And Cicero, following
with various remarks such as the occasion called for, persuaded
the senate to imitate the Athenians, and decree an amnesty for
what had been done in Caesar's case, and to bestow provinces on
Brutus and Cassius. But neither of these things took effect. For
as soon as the common people, who were naturally inclined to pity,
saw the dead body of Caesar borne through the market-place, and
Antony showing his clothes stained with blood, and pierced through
in every part with swords, they were enraged to such a degree of
frenzy, that they made a search for the murderers, and with
firebrands in their hands ran to their houses to burn them.

Antony at this was in exultation, and every one was alarmed at the
prospect that he would make himself sole ruler, and Cicero more
than any one else. For Antony, seeing his influence reviving in
the commonwealth, and knowing how closely he was connected with
Brutus, was ill-pleased to have him in the city. Besides, there
had been some former jealousy between them, occasioned by the
difference of their manners. Cicero, fearing the event, was
inclined to go as lieutenant with Dolabella into Syria. But
Hirtius and Pansa, consuls-elect as successors of Antony, good men
and lovers of Cicero, entreated him not to leave them, undertaking
to put down Antony if he would stay in Rome. And he, neither
distrusting wholly, nor trusting them, let Dolabella go without
him, promising Hirtius that he would go and spend his summer at
Athens, and return again when he entered upon his office. So he
set out on his journey; but some delay occurring in his passage,
new intelligence, as often happens, came suddenly from Rome, that
Antony had made an astonishing change, and was managing the public
affairs in harmony with the will of the senate, and that there
wanted nothing but his presence to bring things to a happy
settlement. Therefore, blaming himself for his cowardice, he
returned to Rome, and was not deceived in his hopes at the
beginning. For such multitudes flocked out to meet him, that the
compliments and civilities which were paid him at the gates, and
at this entrance into the city, took up almost a whole day's time.

On the morrow, Antony convened the senate, and summoned Cicero
thither. But he kept his bed, pretending to be ill from his
journey; but the true reason seemed to be the fear of some design
against him, upon a suspicion and intimation given him on his way
to Rome. Antony, however, showed great offence at the affront, and
sent soldiers, commanding them to bring him or burn his house; but
many interceding and supplicating for him, he was contented to
accept sureties. Ever after when they met, they passed one another
in silence, and continued on their guard, till the younger Caesar
(Augustus), coming from Apollonia, entered on the first Caesar's
inheritance, and was engaged in a dispute with Antony about two
thousand five hundred myriads of money, which Antony detained from
the estate.

Upon this, Philippus, who married the mother, and Marcellus, who
married the sister of young Caesar, came with the young man to
Cicero, and agreed with him that Cicero should give them the aid
of his eloquence and political influence with the senate and
people, and Caesar give Cicero the defence of his riches and arms.
For the young man had already a great party of the soldiers of
Caesar about him. And Cicero's readiness to join him was founded,
it is said, on some yet stronger motives; for it seems, while
Pompey and Caesar were yet alive, Cicero, in his sleep, had
fancied himself engaged in calling some of the sons of the
senators into the capitol, Jupiter, according to the dream, being
about to declare one of them the chief ruler of Rome. The
citizens, running up with curiosity, stood about the temple, and
the youths, sitting in their purple-bordered robes, kept silence.
On a sudden the doors opened, and the youths, arising one by one
in order, passed round the god, who reviewed them all, and, to
their sorrow, dismissed them; but when this one was passing by,
the god stretched forth his right hand and said, "O ye Romans,
this young man, when he shall be lord of Rome, shall put an end to
all your civil wars." It is said that Cicero formed from his dream
a distinct image of the youth, and retained it afterwards
perfectly, but did not know who it was. The next day, going down
into the Campus Martius, he met the boys returning from their
gymnastic exercises, and the first was he, just as he had appeared
to him in his dream. Being astonished at it, he asked him who were
his parents. And it proved to be this young Caesar, whose father
was a man of no great eminence, Octavius, and his mother, Attia,
Caesar's sister's daughter; for which reason, Caesar, who had no
children, made him by will the heir of his house and property.
From that time, it is said that Cicero studiously noticed the
youth whenever he met him, and he as kindly received the civility;
and by fortune he happened to be born when Cicero was consul.

These were the reasons spoken of; but it was principally Cicero's
hatred of Antony, and a temper unable to resist honor, which
fastened him to Caesar, with the purpose of getting the support of
Caesar's power for his own public designs. For the young man went
so far in his court to him, that he called him Father; at which
Brutus was so highly displeased, that, in his epistles to Atticus
he reflected on Cicero saying, it was manifest, by his courting
Caesar for fear of Antony, he did not intend liberty to his
country, but an indulgent master to himself. Notwithstanding,
Brutus took Cicero's son, then studying philosophy at Athens, gave
him a command, and employed him in various ways, with a good
result. Cicero's own power at this time was at the greatest height
in the city, and he did whatsoever he pleased; he completely
overpowered and drove out Antony, and sent the two consuls,
Hirtius and Pansa, with an army, to reduce him; and, on the other
hand, persuaded the senate to allow Caesar the lictors and ensigns
of a praetor, as though he were his country's defender. But after
Antony was defeated in battle, and the two consuls slain, the
armies united, and ranged themselves with Caesar. And the senate,
fearing the young man, and his extraordinary fortune, endeavored
by honors and gifts, to call off the soldiers from him, and to
lessen his power; professing there was no further need of arms,
now Antony was put to flight.

This gave Caesar a fright, and he privately sent friends to
entreat Cicero to procure the consular dignity for them both
together; saying that he should manage the affair as he pleased,
should have the supreme power, and govern the young man who was
only desirous of name and glory.

And now, more than at any other time, Cicero let himself be
carried away and deceived, though an old man, by the persuasions
of a boy. He joined him in soliciting votes, and procured the
good-will of the senate, not without blame at the time on the part
of his friends; and he, too, soon enough after, saw that he had
ruined himself, and betrayed the liberty of his country. For the
young man, once established, and possessed of the office of
consul, bade Cicero farewell; and reconciling himself with Antony
and Lepidus, joined his power with theirs, and divided the
government, like a piece of property, with them. Thus united, they
made a schedule of above two hundred persons who were to be put to
death. But the greatest contention in all their debates was on the
question of Cicero's case. Antony would come to no conditions,
unless he should be the first man to be killed. Lepidus held with
Antony, and Caesar opposed them both. They met secretly and by
themselves, for three days together, near the town of Bononia. The
spot was not far from the camp, with a river surrounding it.
Caesar, it is said, contended earnestly for Cicero the first two
days; but on the third day he yielded, and gave him up. The terms
of their mutual concessions were these; that Caesar should desert
Cicero, Lepidus his brother Paulus, and Antony, Lucius Caesar, his
uncle by his mother's side. Thus they let their anger and fury
take from them the sense of humanity, and demonstrated that no
beast is more savage than man, when possessed with power
proportioned to his rage.

While these things were contriving, Cicero was with his brother at
his country-house near Tusculum; whence, hearing of the
proscriptions, they determined to pass to Astura, a villa of
Cicero's near the sea, and to take shipping from there for
Macedonia to Brutus, of whose strength in that province news had
already been heard. They traveled together in their separate
litters, overwhelmed with sorrow; and often stopping on the way
till their litters came together, condoled with one another. But
Quintus was the more disheartened, when he reflected on his want
of means for his journey; for, as he said, he had brought nothing
with him from home. And even Cicero himself had but a slender
provision. It was judged therefore most expedient that Cicero
should make what haste he could to fly, and Quintus return home to
provide necessaries, and thus resolved, they mutually embraced,
and parted with many tears.

Quintus, within a few days after, was betrayed by his servants to
those who came to search for him, and slain, together with his
young son. But Cicero was carried to Astura, where, finding a
vessel, he immediately went on board of her, and sailed as far as
Circaeum with a prosperous gale; but when the pilots resolved
immediately to set sail from there, whether he feared the sea, or
did not wholly lose faith in Caesar, he went on shore, and passed
by land a hundred furlongs, as if he was going to Rome. But losing
resolution and changing his mind, he again returned to the sea,
and there spent the night in fear and perplexity. Sometimes he
resolved to go into Caesar's house privately, and there kill
himself upon the altar of his household gods, to bring divine
vengeance upon him; but the fear of torture restrained him. And
after passing through a variety of confused and uncertain
counsels, at last he let his servants carry him by sea to Capitae,
where he had a house, an agreeable place to retire to in the heat
of summer, when the Etesian winds are so pleasant.

There was at that place a chapel of Apollo, not far from the sea-
side, from which a flight of crows rose with a great noise, and
made towards Cicero's vessel as it rowed to land, and lighting on
both sides of the yard, some croaked, others pecked the ends of
the ropes. This was looked upon by all as an evil omen; and,
therefore, Cicero went again ashore, and entering his house, lay
down upon his bed to compose himself at rest. Many of the crows
settled about the window, making a dismal cawing; but one of them
alighted upon the bed where Cicero lay covered up, and with its
bill, little by little pecked off the clothes from his face. His
servants, seeing this, blamed themselves that they should stay to
be spectators of their master's murder, and do nothing in his
defence, while the brute creatures came to assist and take care of
him in his undeserved affliction; and therefore, partly by
entreaty, partly by force, they took him up, and carried him in
his litter toward the sea-side.

But in the meantime the assassins had come with a band of
soldiers--Herennius, a centurion, and Popillius, a tribune, whom
Cicero had formerly defended when prosecuted for the murder of his
father. Finding the door shut, they broke them open, and when
Cicero did not appear and those within said they did not know
where he was, it is stated that a youth, who had been educated by
Cicero in the liberal arts and sciences, an emancipated slave of
his brother Quintus, Philologus by name, informed the tribune that
the litter was on its way to the sea through the close and shady
walks. The tribune, taking a few with him, ran to the place where
he was to come out. And Cicero, perceiving Herennius running in
the walks, commanded his servants to set down the litter; and
stroking his chin, as he used to do, with his left hand, he looked
steadfastly upon his murderers, his person covered with dust, his
beard and hair untrimmed, and his face worn with his troubles. So
that the greatest part of those that stood by covered their faces
whilst Herennius slew him. And thus was he murdered, stretching
forth his neck out of the litter, being now in his sixty-fourth
year. Herennius cut off his head, and, by Antony's command, his
hands also, by which his Philippics were written; for so Cicero
styled those orations he wrote against Antony, and so they are
called to this day.

When these members of Cicero were brought to Rome, Antony was
holding an assembly for the choice of public officers; and when he
heard it, and saw them, he cried out, "Now let there be an end of
our proscriptions." He commanded his head and hands to be fastened
up over the Rostra, where the orators spoke; a sight which the
Roman people shuddered to behold, and they believed they saw there
not the face of Cicero, but the image of Antony's own soul.

A long time after, Augustus, when visiting one of his daughter's
sons, found him with a book of Cicero's in his hand. The boy for
fear endeavored to hide it under his gown; but Caesar took it from
him, and turning over a great part of the book standing, gave it
to him again, and said, "My child, this was a learned man, and a
lover of his country." And immediately after he had vanquished
Antony, being then consul, he made Cicero's son his colleague in
the office; and, under that consulship, the senate took down all
the statues of Antony, and abolished all the other honors that had
been given him, and decreed that none of that family should
thereafter bear the name of Marcus; and thus the final acts of the
punishment of Antony were, by the divine powers, devolved upon the
family of Cicero.


These are the most memorable circumstances recorded in history of
Demosthenes and Cicero which have come to our knowledge. But,
omitting an exact comparison of their respective faculties in
speaking, yet this seems fit to be said: That Demosthenes, to make
himself a master in rhetoric, applied all the faculties he had,
natural or acquired, wholly that way; that he far surpassed in
force and strength of eloquence in political and judicial speaking
all his contemporaries, in grandeur and majesty all the
panegyrical orators, and in accuracy and science all the logicians
and rhetoricians of his day; that Cicero was highly educated, and
by his diligent study became a most accomplished general scholar
in all these branches, having left behind him numerous
philosophical treatises of his own on Academic principles; as,
indeed, even in his written speeches, both political and judicial,
we see him continually trying to show his learning by the way. And
one may discover the different temper of each of them in their
speeches. For Demosthenes's oratory was, without all embellishment
and jesting, wholly composed for real effect and seriousness; not
smelling of the lamp, as Pytheas scoffingly said, but of the
temperance, thoughtfulness, austerity, and grave earnestness of
his temper. Whereas, Cicero's love of mockery often ran him into
scurrility; and in his love of laughing away serious arguments in
judicial cases by jests and facetious remarks, with a view to the
advantage of his clients, he paid too little regard to what was
decent. We are told that Cicero, being consul, undertook the
defence of Murena against Cato's prosecution; and, by way of
bantering Cato, made a long series of jokes upon the absurd
paradoxes, as they are called, of the Stoic sect. When loud
laughter passed from the crowd to the judges, Cato, with a quiet
smile, said to those that sat next to him, "My friends, what an
amusing consul we have."

And, indeed, Cicero was by natural temper very much disposed to
mirth and pleasantry, and always appeared with a smiling and
serene countenance. But Demosthenes had constant care and
thoughtfulness in his look, and a serious anxiety which he seldom,
if ever, laid aside; and, therefore, was accounted by his enemies,
as he himself confessed, morose and ill-mannered.

Also, it is very evident, out of their several writings, that
Demosthenes never touched upon his own praises but decently and
without offence when there was need of it, and for some weightier
end. But Cicero's immeasurable boasting of himself in his orations
argues him guilty of an uncontrollable appetite for distinction,
his cry being evermore that "Arms should give place to the gown,
and the soldier's laurel to the tongue." And at last we find him
extolling not only his deeds and actions, but his orations, as
well those that were only spoken, as those that were published.

It is necessary for a political leader to be an able speaker; but
it is an ignoble thing for any man to admire the glory of his own
eloquence. And, in this matter, Demosthenes had a more than
ordinary gravity and magnificence of mind, for he considered his
talent in speaking nothing more than a mere accomplishment and
matter of practice, the success of which must depend greatly on
the good-will and candor of his hearers, and regarded those who
pride themselves on such accounts to be men of a low and petty

The power of persuading and governing the people did, indeed,
equally belong to both, so that those who had armies and camps at
command stood in need of their assistance; as Chares, Diopithes,
and Leosthenes did that of Demosthenes, and Pompey and young
Caesar of Cicero's, as the latter himself admits in his Memoirs
addressed to Agrippa and Maecenas. But what are thought and
commonly said most to demonstrate and try the tempers of men,
namely, authority and place, by moving every passion, and
discovering every frailty, these are things which Demosthenes
never received; nor was he ever in a position to give such proof
of himself, having never obtained any eminent office, nor led any
of those armies into the field against Philip which he raised by
his eloquence. Cicero, on the other hand, was sent quaestor into
Sicily, and proconsul into Cilicia and Cappadocia, at a time when
avarice was at the height, and the commanders and governors who
were employed abroad, as though they thought it a mean thing to
steal, set themselves to seize by open force; so that it seemed no
heinous matter to take bribes, but he that did it most moderately
was in good esteem. And yet he, at this time, gave the most
abundant proofs alike of his contempt of riches and of his
humanity and good-nature. And at Rome, when he was created consul
in name, but indeed received sovereign and dictatorial authority
against Catiline and his conspirators, he attested the truth of
Plato's prediction, that then only would the miseries of states be
at an end, when by a happy fortune supreme power, wisdom, and
justice should be united in one.

It is said, to the reproach of Demosthenes, that his eloquence was
mercenary; that he privately made orations for Phormion and
Apollodorus, though adversaries in the same cause; that he was
charged with moneys received from the king of Persia, and
condemned for bribes from Harpalus. And should we grant that all
those (and they are not few) who have made these statements
against him have spoken what is untrue, yet we cannot assert that
Demosthenes was not the character to look without desire on the
presents offered him out of respect and gratitude by royal
persons. But that Cicero refused, from the Sicilians when he was
quaestor, from the king of Cappadocia when he was proconsul, and
from his friends at Rome when he was in exile, many presents,
though urged to receive them, has been said already.

Moreover, Demosthenes's banishment was infamous, upon conviction
for bribery; Cicero's very honorable, for ridding his country of a
set of villains. Therefore, when Demosthenes fled from his
country, no man regarded it; for Cicero's sake the senate changed
their habit, and put on mourning, and would not be persuaded to
make any act before Cicero's return was decreed. Cicero, however,
passed his exile idly in Macedonia. But the very exile of
Demosthenes made up a great part of the services he did for his
country; for he went through the cities of Greece, and everywhere,
as we have said, joined in the conflict on behalf of the Greeks,
driving out the Macedonian ambassadors, and approving himself a
much better citizen than Themistocles and Alcibiades did in a
similar fortune. And, after his return, he again devoted himself
to the same public service, and continued firm in his opposition
to Antipater and the Macedonians. Whereas Laelius reproached
Cicero in the senate for sitting silent when Caesar, a beardless
youth, asked leave to come forward, contrary to the law, as a
candidate for the consulship; and Brutus, in his epistles, charges
him with nursing and rearing a greater and more heavy tyranny than
that they had removed.

Finally, Cicero's death excites our pity; for an old man to be
miserably carried up and down by his servants, flying and hiding
himself from that death which was, in the course of nature, so
near at hand; and yet at last to be murdered. Demosthenes, though
he seemed to supplicate a little at first, yet, by his preparing
and keeping the poison by him, demands our admiration; and still
more admirable was his using it. When the temple of the god no
longer afforded him a sanctuary, he took refuge, as it were, at a
mightier altar, freeing himself from arms and soldiers, and
laughing to scorn the cruelty of Antipater.


Alcibiades, it is supposed, was descended from Ajax, by his
father's side; and by his mother's side from Alcmaeon. Dinomache,
his mother, was the daughter of Megacles. His father (Clinias)
having fitted out a galley at his own expense, gained great honor
in the seafight at Artemisium, and was afterwards slain in the
battle of Coronea, fighting against the Boeotians. The friendship
which Socrates felt for him has much contributed to his fame; and
though we have no account from any writer concerning the mother of
Nicias or Demosthenes, of Lamachus or Phormion, of Thrasybulus or
Theramenes, notwithstanding these were all illustrious men of the
same period, yet we know even the nurse of Alcibiades, that her
country was Lacedaemon, and her name Amycla; and that Zopyrus was
his teacher and attendant; the one being recorded by Antisthenes,
and the other by Plato.

It is not, perhaps, material to say anything of the beauty of
Alcibiades, only that it bloomed with him in all the ages of his
life, in his infancy, in his youth, and in his manhood; and, in
the peculiar character becoming to each of these periods, gave
him, in every one of them a grace and a charm.
What Euripides says, that
"Of all fair things the autumn, too, is fair,"
is by no means universally true. But it happened so with
Alcibiades, amongst few others, by reason of his happy
constitution and natural vigor of body. It is said that his
lisping, when he spoke, became him well, and gave a grace and
persuasiveness to his rapid speech. Aristophanes takes notice of
it in the verses in which he jests at Theorus: "How like a colax
he is," says Alcibiades, meaning a corax*; on which it is
"How very happily he lisped the truth,"
(*This fashionable Attic lisp, or careless articulation, turned
the sound r into l. Colax, a flatterer; corax, a crow.)

His conduct displayed many inconsistencies, not unnaturally, in
accordance with the many wonderful vicissitudes of his fortunes;
but, among the many strong passions of his real character, the
most powerful of all was his ambition for superiority, which
appears in several anecdotes told of him while he was a child.
Once being hard pressed in wrestling, and fearing to be thrown, he
got the hand of his antagonist to his mouth, and bit it with all
his force; and when the other loosed his hold presently, and said,
"You bite, Alcibiades, like a woman." "No," replied he, "like a
lion." Another time, when playing at dice in the street, being
then only a child, a loaded cart came that way, just as it was his
turn to throw; at first he called to the driver to stop, because
he was about to throw in the way over which the cart would pass;
but when the man paid him no attention, and was driving on, the
rest of the boys divided and sprang away; but Alcibiades threw
himself on his face before the cart, and, stretching himself out,
bade the carter pass on now if we would. The man was so startled
that he put back his horses, while all that saw it were terrified,
and, crying out, ran to assist Alcibiades. When he began to study,
he obeyed all his other masters fairly well, but refused to learn
upon the flute, as a thing unbecoming a free citizen; saying that
to play upon the lute or the harp does not in any way disfigure a
man's body or face, but one is hardly to be known by his most
intimate friends, when playing on the flute. Besides, one who
plays on the harp may speak or sing at the same time; but the use
of the flute stops the mouth, intercepts the voice, and prevents
all articulation. "Therefore," said he, "let the Theban youths
pipe, who do not know how to speak, but we Athenians, as our
ancestors have told us, have Athena for our patroness, and Apollo
for our protector, one of whom threw away the flute, and the other
stripped the Flute-player of his skin." Thus, between raillery and
good earnest, Alcibiades kept not only himself but others from
learning, as it presently became the talk of the young boys, how
Alcibiades despised playing on the flute, and ridiculed those who
studied it. In consequence of which, it ceased to be reckoned
amongst the liberal accomplishments, and became generally

It was manifest that the many well-born persons who were
continually seeking his company, and making court to him, were
attracted and captivated by his extraordinary beauty only. But the
affection which Socrates entertained for him is a great evidence
of the natural noble qualities and good disposition of the boy,
which Socrates, detected under his personal beauty; and fearing
that his wealth and station, and the great number both of
strangers and Athenians who flattered and caressed him, might at
last corrupt him, resolved, if possible, to interpose, and
preserve so hopeful a plant from perishing in the flower, before
its fruit came to perfection. For never did fortune surround a man
with so many of those things which we vulgarly call goods, or so
protect him from every weapon of philosophy, and fence him from
every access of free and searching words, as she did Alcibiades;
who, from the beginning, was exposed to the flatteries of those
who sought merely his gratification, such as might well unnerve
him, and indispose him to listen to any real adviser or
instructor. Yet such was the happiness of his genius, that he
selected Socrates from the rest, and admitted him, while he drove
away the wealthy and the noble who made court to him. In a little
time, they grew intimate and Alcibiades, listening now to language
entirely free from every thought of unmanly fondness and silly
displays of affection, found himself with one who sought to la
open to him the deficiencies of his mind and repress his vain and
foolish arrogance, and
"Dropped like the craven cock his conquered wing."
He esteemed these endeavors of Socrates as most truly a means
which the gods made use of for the care and preservation of youth,
and it was a matter of general wonder, when people saw him joining
Socrates in his meals and his exercises, living with him in the
same tent, while he was reserved and rough to all others who made
their addresses to him.

He behaved in the same manner to all others who courted him,
except one stranger, who, as the story is told, having but a small
estate, sold it all for about a hundred staters, which he
presented to Alcibiades, and besought him to accept. Alcibiades,
smiling and well pleased at the thing, invited him to supper, and,
after a very kind entertainment, gave him his gold again,
requiring him, moreover, not to fail to be present the next day,
when the public revenue was offered to farm, and to outbid all
others. The man would have excused himself, because the contract
was so large, and would cost many talents; but Alcibiades, who at
that time a private pique against the existing farmers of the
revenue threatened to have him beaten if he refused. The next
morning, the stranger, coming to the market-place, offered a
talent more that the existing rate; upon which the farmers,
enraged and consulting together, called upon him to name his
sureties, concluding that he could find none. The poor man, being
startled at the proposal, began to retire; but ALCIBAIDES,
standing at a distance, cried out to the magistrates, "Set my name
down, he is a friend of mine; I will be security for him." When
the other bidders heard this, they perceived that all their
contrivance was defeated; for their way was, with the profits for
the second year to pay the rent for the year preceding; so that,
not seeing any other way to extricate themselves out of the
difficulty, they began to treat with the stranger, and offered him
a sum of money. Alcibiades would not suffer him to accept of less
than a talent; but when that was paid down, he commanded him to
relinquish the bargain, having by this device relieved his

Though Socrates had many power rivals, yet the natural good
qualities of Alcibiades gave his affection the mastery. His words
overcame him so much, as to draw tears from his eyes, and to
disturb his very soul. Yet sometimes he would abandon himself to
flatteries, when they proposed to him varieties of pleasure, and
would desert Socrates; who, then, would pursue him, as if he had
been a fugitive slave. He despised every one else, and had no
reverence or awe for any but him. But as iron which is softened by
the fire grows hard with the cold, and all its parts are closed
again; so, as often as Socrates observed Alcibiades to be misled
by luxury or pride he reduced and corrected him by his addresses,
and made him humble and modest, by showing him in how many things
he was deficient, and how very far from perfection in virtue.

When he was past his childhood, he went once to a grammar-school,
and asked the master for one of Homer's books; and when he made
answer that he had nothing of Homer's, Alcibiades gave him a blow
with his fist, and went away. Another schoolmaster telling him
that he had a copy of Homer corrected by himself; "Why?" said
Alcibiades, "do you employ your time in teaching children to read?
You, who are able to amend Homer, may well undertake to instruct

When he was very young, he was a soldier in the expedition against
Potidaea, where Socrates lodged in the same tent with him, and
stood next to him in battle. Once there happened a sharp skirmish,
in which they both behaved with signal bravery; but Alcibiades
receiving a wound, Socrates threw himself before him to defend
him, and beyond any question saved him and his arms from the
enemy, and so in all justice might have challenged the prize of
valor. But the generals appearing eager to adjudge the honor to
Alcibiades, because of his rank, Socrates, who desired to increase
his thirst after glory of a noble kind, was the first to give
evidence for him, and pressed them to crown, and to decree to him
the complete suit of armor. Afterwards, in the battle of Delium,
when the Athenians were routed and Socrates with a few others was
retreating on foot, Alcibiades, who was on horseback, observed it,
and would not pass on, but stayed to shelter him from the danger,
and brought him safely off, though the enemy pressed hard upon
them, and cut off many.

He gave a box on the ear to Hipponicus, the father of Callias,
whose birth and wealth made him a person of great influence and
repute. And this he did unprovoked by any passion or quarrel
between them, but only because, in a frolic, he had agreed with
his companions to do it. People were justly offended at this
insolence, when it became known through the city; but early the
next morning, Alcibiades went to his house and knocked at the
door, and, being admitted to him, took off his outer garment, and
presenting his naked body, desired him to scourge and chastise him
as he pleased. Upon this Hipponicus forgot all his resentment, and
not only pardoned him, but soon after gave him his daughter
Hipparete in marriage.

Alcibiades had a dog which cost him seventy minas, and was very
large and handsome. His tail, which was his principal ornament, he
caused to be cut off, and an acquaintance exclaiming at him for
it, and telling him that all Athens was sorry for the dog, and
cried out against him for this action, he laughed and said, "Just
what I wanted has happened, then, I wished the Athenians to talk
about this, that they might not say something worse of me."

It is said that the first time he came into the assembly was upon
occasion of a largess of money which he made to the people. This
was not done by design, but as he passed along he heard a shout,
and inquired the cause; and having learned that there was a gift-
making to the people, he went in among them and gave money also.
The multitude thereupon applauding him, and shouting, he was so
transported at it, that he forgot a quail which he had under his
robe, and the bird, being frightened at the noise,, flew off; upon
which the people made louder acclamations than before, and many of
them started up to pursue the bird; and Antiochus, a pilot, caught
it and restored it to him, for which he was ever after a favorite
with Alcibiades.

He had great advantages for entering public life; his noble birth,
his riches, the personal courage he had shown in divers battles,
and the multitude of his friends and dependents, threw open, so to
say, folding doors for his admittance. But he did not consent to
let his power with the people rest on any thing, rather than on
his own gift of eloquence. That he was a master in the art of
speaking, the comic poets bear him witness; and the most eloquent
of public speakers, in his oration against Midias, allows that
Alcibiades, among other perfections, was a most accomplished

His expenses in horses kept for the public games, and in the
number of his chariots, were matters of great observation; never
did any one but he, either private person king, send seven
chariots to the Olympic games. And to have carried away at once
the first, the second, and the fourth prize, as Thucydides says,
or the third, as Euripides relates it, outdoes every distinction
that was ever thought of in that kind.

The emulation displayed by the deputations of various states, in
the presents which they made to him, rendered this success yet
more illustrious. The Ephesians erected a tent for him, adorned
magnificently; the city of Chios furnished him with provender for
his horses and with great numbers of beasts for sacrifice; and the
Lesbians sent him wine and other provisions for the many
entertainments which he made.

As soon as he began to intermeddle in the government, which was
when he was very young, he quickly lessened the credit of all who
aspired to the confidence of the people, except Phaeax and Nicias,
who alone could contest with him. Nicias was arrived at a mature
age, and was esteemed their first general. Phaeax was but a rising
statesman like Alcibiades; he was descended from noble ancestors,
but was his inferior in many other things, but principally in

Alcibiades was not less disturbed at the distinction which Nicias
gained among the enemies of Athens, than at the honors which the
Athenians themselves paid to him. It was commonly said in Greece,
that the war in the Peloponnesus was begun by Pericles, and that
Nicias made an end of it, and the peace was generally called the
peace of Nicias. Alcibiades was extremely annoyed at this, and
being full of envy, set himself to break the league. First,
therefore observing that the Argives as well out of fear as hatred
to the Lacedaemonians, sought for protection against them, he gave
them a secret assurance of alliance with Athens. He exclaimed
fiercely against Nicias, and accused him of many things, which
seemed probable enough: as that, when he was general, he made no
attempt himself to capture their enemies that were shut up in the
isle of Sphacteria, but, when they were afterwards made prisoners
by others, he procured their release and sent them back to the
Lacedaemonians, only to get favor with them.

It happened, at the very time when Nicias was by these arts
brought into disgrace with the people, that ambassadors arrived
from Lacedaemon, who, at their first coming, said what seemed very
satisfactory, declaring that they had full powers to arrange all
matters in dispute upon fair and equal terms. The council received
their propositions, and the people was to assemble on the morrow
to give them audience. Alcibiades grew very apprehensive of this,
and contrived to gain a secret conference with the ambassadors.
When they were met, he said: "What is it you intend, you men of
Sparta? If you expect to obtain equal terms from the Athenians,
and would not have things extorted from you contrary to your
inclinations, begin to treat with he people upon some reasonable
articles, not avowing yourselves plenipotentiaries; and I will be
ready to assist you, out of good-will to the Lacedaemonians." When
he had said this, he gave them his oath for the performance of
what he promised, and by this way drew them from Nicias to rely
entirely upon himself, and left them full of admiration of the
discernment and sagacity they had seen in him. the next day, when
the people were assembled and the ambassadors introduced,
Alcibiades, with great apparent courtesy, demanded of them: With
what powers they had come? They made answer that they had not come
as plenipotentiaries.

Instantly upon that, Alcibiades, with a loud voice, as though he
had received and not done the wrong, began to call them dishonest
prevaricators, and to urge that such men could not possibly come
with a purpose to say or do anything that was sincere. The council
was incensed, the people were in a rage, and Nicias, who knew
nothing of the deceit and the imposture, was in the greatest
confusion, equally surprised and ashamed at such a change in the
men. so thus the Lacedaemonian ambassadors were utterly rejected,
and Alcibiades was declared general, who presently united the
Argives, the Eleans, and the people of Mantinea, into a
confederacy with the Athenians.

No man commended the method by which Alcibiades effected all this,
yet it was a great political feat thus to divide and shake almost
all Peloponnesus, and to combine so many men in arms against the
Lacedaemonians in one day before Mantinea; and, moreover, to
remove the war and the danger so far from the frontier of the
Athenians, that even success would profit the enemy but little,
should they be conquerors, whereas, if they were defeated, Sparta
itself was hardly safe.

But with all these words and deeds, and with all this sagacity and
eloquence, he intermingled exorbitant luxury and wantonness in his
eating and drinking and dissolute living; wore long purple robes
like a woman, which dragged after him as he went through the
market-place; caused the planks of his galley to be cut away, that
so he might lie the softer, his bed not being placed on the
boards, but hanging upon girths. His shield, again, which was
richly gilded, had not the usual ensigns of the Athenians, but a
Cupid, holding a thunderbolt in his hand, was painted upon it. The
sight of all this made the people of good repute in the city feel
disgust and abhorrence and apprehension also, at his free-living,
and his contempt of law, as things monstrous in themselves, and
indicating designs of usurpation. Aristophanes has well expressed
the people's feeling towards him:--

	"They love, and hate, and cannot do without him."

And still more strongly, under a figurative expression,

	"Best rear no lion in your state, 't is true;
	 But treat him like a lion if you do."

The truth is, his liberalities, his public shows, and other
munificence to the people, which were such as nothing could
exceed, the glory of his ancestors, the force of his eloquence,
the grace of his person, his strength of body, joined with his
great courage and knowledge in military affairs, prevailed upon
the Athenians to endure patiently his excesses, to indulge him in
many things, and, according to their habit, to give the softest
names to his faults, attributing them to youth and good nature.
As, for example, he kept Agatharcus, the painter, a prisoner till
he had painted his whole house, but then dismissed him with a
reward. He publicly struck Taureas, who exhibited certain shows in
opposition to him, and contended with him for the prize. When
Aristophon, the artist, had drawn Nemea sitting and holding
Alcibiades in her arms, the multitude seemed pleased with the
piece, and thronged to see it, but elder people did not relish it,
but looked on these things as enormities, and movements toward
tyranny. So that it was not said amiss by Archestratus, that
Greece could not support a second Alcibiades. Once, when
Alcibiades succeeded well in an oration which he made, and the
whole assembly attended upon him to do him honor, Timon, the
misanthrope, did not pass slightly by him, nor avoid him, as he
did others, but purposely met him, and, taking him by the hand,
said, "Go on boldly, my son, and increase in credit with the
people, for thou wilt one day bring them calamities enough." Some
that were present laughed at the saying, and some reviled Timon;
but there were others upon whom it made a deep impression.

The Athenians, even in the lifetime of Pericles, had already cast
a longing eye upon Sicily; but did not attempt any thing till
after his death. Then, under pretence of aiding their
confederates, they sent succor upon all occasions to those who
were oppressed by the Syracusans, preparing the way for sending
over a greater force. But Alcibiades was the person who inflamed
this desire of theirs to the height, and prevailed with them no
longer to proceed secretly, and little by little, in their design,
but to sail out with a great fleet, and undertake at once to make
themselves masters of the island. He possessed the people with
great hopes, and he himself entertained yet greater; and the
conquest of Sicily, which was the utmost bound of their ambition,
was but the mere outset of his expectation. Nicias endeavored to
divert the people from the expedition, by representing to them
that the taking of Syracuse would be a work of great difficulty;
but Alcibiades dreamed of nothing less than the conquest of
Carthage and Libya and by the accession of these conceiving
himself at once made master of Italy and of Peloponnesus, seemed
to look upon Sicily as little more than a magazine for the war.
The young men were soon elevated with these hopes, and listened
gladly to those of riper years, who talked wonders of the
countries they were going to; so that you might see great numbers
sitting in the wrestling grounds and public places, drawing on the
ground the figure of the island and the situation of Libya and

Together with Alcibiades, Nicias, much against his will, was
appointed general: and he endeavored to avoid the command, not the
less on account of his colleague. But the Athenians thought the
war would proceed more prosperously, if they did not send
Alcibiades free from all restraint, but tempered his heat with the
caution of Nicias. This they chose the rather to do, because
Lamachus, the third general, though he was of mature years, yet in
several battles had appeared no less hot and rash than Alcibiades
When all things were fitted for the voyage, many unlucky omens
appeared. The mutilation of the images of Mercury, most of which,
in one night, had their faces all disfigured, terrified many
persons who were wont to despise most things of that nature. Alike
enraged and terrified at the thing, looking upon it to proceed
from a conspiracy of persons who designed some commotions in the
state, the council, as well as the assembly of the people, which
was held frequently in a few days' space, examined diligently
every thing that might administer ground for suspicion. During
this examination, Androcles, one of the demagogues, produced
slaves and strangers before them, who accused Alcibiades and some
of his friends of defacing other images in the same manner, and of
having profanely acted the sacred mysteries at a drunken meeting.
The people were highly exasperated and incensed against Alcibiades
upon this accusation. But when they perceived that all the seamen
designed for Sicily were for him, and the soldiers declared that
they had undertaken this distant maritime expedition for the sake
of Alcibiades, and that, if he was ill-used, they would all go
home; they let him set sail at once, and decided that when the war
should be at an end, he might then in person make his defence
according to the laws.

Alcibiades perceived the malice of this postponement, and,
appearing in the assembly, represented that it was monstrous for
him to be sent with the command of so large an army, when he lay
under such accusations and calumnies. But he could not prevail
with the people, who commanded him to sail immediately. So he
departed, together with the other generals, having with them near
140 galleys, 5,100 men at arms, and about 1,300 archers, slingers,
and light-armed men, and all the other provisions corresponding.

Arriving on the coast of Italy, he landed at Rhegium, and there
stated his views of the manner in which they ought to conduct the
war. He was opposed by Nicias; but Lamachus being of his opinion,
they sailed for Sicily forthwith, and took Catana. This was all
that was done while he was there, for he was soon after recalled
by the Athenians to abide his trial. At first, as we before said,
there were only some slight suspicions advanced against
Alcibiades. But afterwards, in his absence, his enemies attacked
him more violently, and confounded together the breaking the
images with the profanation of the mysteries, as though both had
been committed in pursuance of the same conspiracy for changing
the government. The truth is, his accusers alleged nothing against
him which could be positively proved. One of them, being asked how
he knew the men who defaced the images, replied, that he saw them
by the light of the moon, making a palpable misstatement, for it
was just new moon when the act was committed. This made all men of
understanding cry out upon the thing; but the people were as eager
as ever to receive further accusations. And, in conclusion, they
sent the galley named the Salaminian to recall Alcibiades. But
they expressly commanded those that were sent, to use no violence,
nor seize upon his person, but address themselves to him in the
mildest terms, requiring him to follow them to Athens in order to
abide his trial, and clear himself before the people. For they
feared mutiny and sedition in the army in an enemy's country,
which indeed it would have been easy for Alcibiades to effect, if
he had wished it. For the soldiers were dispirited upon his
departure, expecting for the future tedious delays, and that the
war would be drawn out into a lazy length by Nicias, when
Alcibiades, who was the spur to action, was taken away. For though
Lamachus was a soldier, and a man of courage, poverty deprived him
of authority and respect in the army. Alcibiades, just upon his
departure, prevented Messena from falling into the hands of the
Athenians. There were some in that city who were upon the point of
delivering it up, but he, knowing the persons, gave information to
some friends of the Syracusans, and so defeated the whole
contrivance. When he arrived at Thurii, he went on shore, and
concealing himself there, escaped those who searched after him.
But to one who knew him, and asked him if he durst not trust his
own native country, he made answer, "In every thing else, yes; but
in a matter that touches my life, I would not even my own mother,
lest she might by mistake throw in the black ball instead of the
white." When, afterwards, he was told that the assembly had
pronounced judgment of death against him, all he said was "I will
make them feel that I am alive."

The information against him was framed in this form:--
"Thessalus lays information that Alcibiades has committed a crime
against the goddesses Ceres and Proserpine, by representing in
derision the holy mysteries, and showing them to his companions in
his own house."

He was condemned as contumacious upon his not appearing, his
property confiscated, and it was decreed that all the priests and
priestesses should solemnly curse him.

Alcibiades, lying under these heavy decrees and sentences, when he
fled from Thurii, passed over into Peloponnesus, and remained some
time at Argos. But being there in fear of his enemies and seeing
himself utterly hopeless of return to his native country, he sent
to Sparta, desiring safe conduct, and assuring them that he would
make them amends by his future services for all the mischief he
had done them while he was their enemy. The Spartans giving him
the security he desired, he went eagerly, was well received, and,
at his very first coming, succeeded in inducing them, without any
further caution or delay, to send aid to the Syracusans; and so
roused and excited them, that they forthwith despatched Gylippus
into Sicily, to crush the forces which the Athenians had in
Sicily. A second point was, to renew the war upon the Athenians at
home. But the third thing, and the most important of all, was to
make them fortify Decelea, which above everything reduced and
wasted the resources of the Athenians.

The renown which he earned by these public services was equaled by
the admiration he attracted to his private life; he captivated and
won over everybody by his conformity to Spartan habits. People who
saw him wearing his hair close cut, bathing in cold water, eating
coarse meal, and dining on black broth, doubted, or rather could
not believe, that he ever had a cook in his house, or had ever
seen a perfumer, or had worn a mantle of Milesian purple. For he
had, as it was observed, this peculiar talent for gaining men's
affections, that he could at once comply with and really enter
into their habits and ways of life, and change faster than the
chameleon. One color, indeed, they say the chameleon cannot
assume; it cannot make itself appear white; but Alcibiades,
whether with good men or with bad, could adapt himself to his
company, and equally wear the appearance of virtue or vice. At
Sparta, he was devoted to athletic exercises, was frugal and
reserved; in Ionia, luxurious, gay, and indolent; in Thrace,
always drinking; in Thessaly, ever on horseback; and when he lived
with Tissaphernes, the Persian satrap, he exceeded the Persians,
themselves in magnificence and pomp. Not that his natural
disposition changed so easily, nor that his real character was so
very variable, but whenever he was sensible that by pursuing his
own inclinations he might give offence to those with whom he had
occasion to converse, he transformed himself into any shape and
adopted any fashion, that he observed to be most agreeable to
them. So that to have seen him at Lacedaemon, a man, judging by
the outward appearance, would have said, "'T is not Achilles' son,
but he himself, the very man" that Lycurgus designed to form.

After the defeat which the Athenians received in Sicily,
ambassadors were despatched to Sparta at once from Chios and
Lesbos and Cyzicus, to signify their purpose of revolting from the
Athenians. But the Lacedaemonians, at the persuasion of
Alcibiades, chose to assist Chios before all others. He himself,
also, went instantly to sea, procured the immediate revolt of
almost all Ionia, and, co-operating with the Lacedaemonian
generals, did great mischief to the Athenians. But King Agis was
his enemy, and impatient of his glory, as almost every enterprise
and every success was ascribed to Alcibiades. Others, also, of the
most powerful and ambitious amongst the Spartans, were possessed
with jealousy of him, and, at last, prevailed with the magistrates
in the city to send orders into Ionia that he should be killed.
Alcibiades, however, had secret intelligence of this, and, in
apprehension of the result, while he communicated all affairs to
the Lacedaemonians, yet took care not to put himself into their
power. At last he retired to Tissaphernes, the satrap of the king
of Persia, for his security, and immediately became the first and
most influential person about him. For this barbarian, not being
himself sincere, but a lover of guile and wickedness, admired his
address and wonderful subtlety. And, indeed, the charm of daily
intercourse with him was more than any character could resist or
any disposition escape. Even those who feared and envied him could
not but have a sort of kindness for him, when they saw him and
were in his company. So that Tissaphernes, otherwise a cruel
character, and, above all other Persians, a hater of the Greeks,
was yet so won by the flatteries of Alcibiades, that he set
himself even to exceed him in responding to them.
The most beautiful of his parks, containing salubrious streams and
meadows, where he had built pavilions, and places of retirement
royally and exquisitely adorned, received by his direction the
name of Alcibiades, and was always so called and so spoken of.

Thus Alcibiades, quitting the interests of the Spartans, whom he
could no longer trust, because he stood in fear of Agis,
endeavored to do them ill offices, and render them odious to
Tissaphernes, who, by his means, was hindered from assisting them
vigorously, and from finally ruining the Athenians. For his advice
was to furnish them but sparingly with money, and so wear them
out, and consume them insensibly; when they had wasted their
strength upon one another, they would both become ready to submit
to the king.

At that time the whole strength of the Athenians was in Samos.
Their fleet maintained itself here, and issued from these head-
quarters to reduce such as had revolted, and protect the rest of
their territories; in one way or other still contriving to be a
match for their enemies at sea. What they stood in fear of, was
Tissaphernes and the Phoenician fleet of one hundred and fifty
galleys, which was said to be already under sail; if those came,
there remained then no hopes for the commonwealth of Athens.
Understanding this, Alcibiades sent secretly to the chief men of
the Athenians, who were then at Samos, giving them hopes, that he
would make Tissaphernes their friend; he was willing, he implied,
to do some favor, not to the people, nor in reliance upon them,
but to the better citizens, if only, like brave men, they would
make the attempt to put down the insolence of the people, and, by
taking upon them the government, would endeavor to save the city
from ruin. All of them gave a ready ear to the proposal made by
Alcibiades, except Phrynichus of the township of Dirades,
despatched Pisander to Athens to attempt a change of government,
and to encourage the aristocratical citizens to take upon
themselves the government, and overthrow the democracy,
representing to them, that, upon these terms, Alcibiades would
procure them the friendship and alliance of Tissaphernes.

Those who were at Samos set sail for the Piraeus; and, sending for
Alcibiades declared him general. He, however, in that juncture did
not, as it might have been thought a man would, on being suddenly
exalted by the favor of a multitude, think himself under an
obligation to gratify and submit to all the wishes of those who,
from a fugitive and an exile, had created him general of so great
an army and given him the command of such a fleet. But, as became
a great captain, he opposed himself to the precipitate resolutions
which their rage led them to, and, by restraining them from the
great error they were about to commit, unequivocally saved the
commonwealth. For if they had then sailed to Athens, all Ionia and
the islands and the Hellespont would have fallen into the enemies'
hands without opposition, while the Athenians, involved in civil
war, would have been fighting with one another within the circuit
of their own walls. It was Alcibiades alone, or, at least,
principally, who prevented all this mischief; for he not only used
persuasion to the whole army, and showed them the danger, but
applied himself to them, one by one, entreating some, and
constraining others. He was much assisted, however, by Thrasybulus
of Stiria, who, having the loudest voice, as we are told, of all
the Athenians, went along with him and cried out to those who were
ready to go. A second great service which Alcibiades did for them
was his undertaking that the Phoenician fleet, which the
Lacedaemonians expected to be sent to them by the king of Persia,
should either come in aid of the Athenians, or otherwise should
not come at all. And now the people in the city not only desired,
but commanded Alcibiades to return home from his exile. He,
however, desired not to owe his return to the mere grace and
commiseration of the people, and resolved to come back, not with
empty hands, but with glory and after some service done. To this
end, he sailed from Samos with a few ships, and cruised on the sea
of Cnidos and about the isle of Cos; but receiving intelligence
there that Mindarus, the Spartan admiral, had sailed with his
whole army into the Hellespont, and that the Athenians had
followed him, he hurried back to succor the Athenian commanders,
and, by good fortune, arrived with eighteen galleys at a critical
time. For both the fleets having engaged near Abydos, the fight
between them had lasted till night, the one side having the
advantage on one quarter, and the other on another. Upon his first
appearance, both sides formed a false impression; the enemy was
encouraged, and the Athenians terrified. But Alcibiades suddenly
raised the Athenian ensign in the admiral ship, and fell upon
those galleys of the Peloponnesians which had the advantage and
were in pursuit. He soon put these to flight, and followed them so
close that he forced them on shore, and broke the ships in pieces,
the sailors abandoning them and swimming away, in spite of all the
efforts of Pharnabazus, who had come down to their assistance by
land, and did what he could to protect them from the shore. In
fine, the Athenians, having taken thirty of the enemy's ships, and
recovered all their own, erected a trophy. After the gaining of so
glorious a victory his vanity made him eager to show himself to
Tissaphernes, and, having furnished himself with gifts and
presents, and an equipage suitable to his dignity, he set out to
visit him. But the thing did not succeed as he had imagined, for
Tissaphernes had long been suspected by the Lacedaemonians, and
was afraid to fall into disgrace with his king upon that account,
therefore thinking that Alcibiades had arrived very opportunely,
he immediately caused him to be seized and sent away prisoner to
Sardis; fancying, by this act of injustice, to clear himself from
all former imputations.

But about thirty days after, Alcibiades escaped from his keepers,
and, having got a horse, fled to Clazomenae, where he procured
Tissaphernes additional disgrace by professing that he was a party
to his escape. From there he sailed to the Athenian camp, and,
being informed that Mindarus and Pharnabazus were together at
Cyzicus, he made a speech to the soldiers, telling them that sea-
fighting, land-fighting, and, by the gods, fighting against
fortified cities too, must be all one for them, as, unless they
conquered everywhere, there was no money for them. As soon as he
got them on ship-board, he hastened to Proconnesus and gave
command to seize all the small vessels they met, and guard them
safely in the interior of the fleet, that the enemy might have no
notice of his coming; and a great storm of rain, accompanied with
thunder and darkness, which happened at the same time, contributed
much to the concealment of his enterprise. Indeed, it was not only
undiscovered by the enemy, but the Athenians themselves were
ignorant of it, for he commanded them suddenly on board, and set
sail when they had abandoned all intention of it. As the darkness
presently passed away, the Peloponnesian fleet were seen riding
out at sea in front of the harbor of Cyzicus. Fearing, if they
discovered the number of his ships, they might endeavor to save
themselves by land, he commanded the rest of the captains to
slacken, and follow him slowly, whilst he, advancing with forty
ships, showed himself to the enemy and provoked them to fight. The
enemy, being deceived as to their numbers, despised them, and,
supposing they were to contend with those only, made ready and
began the fight. But as soon as they were engaged, they perceived
the other part of the fleet coming down upon them, at which they
were so terrified that they fled immediately. Upon that,
Alcibiades, breaking through the midst of them with twenty of his
best ships, hastened to the shore, disembarked, and pursued those
who abandoned their ships and fled to land, and made a great
slaughter of them. Mindarus and Pharnabazus, coming to their
succor were utterly defeated. Mindarus was slain fighting
valiantly; Pharnabazus saved himself by flight. The Athenians slew
great numbers of their enemies, won much spoil, and took all their
ships. They also made themselves masters of Cyzicus, which was
deserted by Pharnabazus, and destroyed its Peloponnesian garrison,
and thereby not only secured to themselves the Hellespont, but by
force drove the Lacedaemonians out of all the rest of the sea.
They intercepted some letters written to the ephors, which gave an
account of this fatal overthrow, after their short, Iaconic
manner. "Our hopes are at an end. Mindarus is slain. The men are
starving. We know not what to do."

And now Alcibiades began to desire to see his native country
again, or rather to show his fellow-citizens a person who had
gained so many victories for them. He set sail for Athens, the
ships that accompanied him being adorned with great numbers of
shields and other spoils, and towing after them many galleys taken
from the enemy, and the ensigns and ornaments of many others which
he had sunk and destroyed; all of them together amounting to two
hundred. Little credit, perhaps, can be given to what Duris the
Samian, who professed to be descended from Alcibiades, adds, that
Chrysogonus, who had gained a victory at the Pythian games, played
upon his flute for the galleys, whilst the oars kept time with the
music; and that Callippides, the tragedian, attired in his
buskins, his purple robes, and other ornaments used in the
theatre, gave the word to the rowers, and that the admiral's
galley entered into the port with a purple sail. It is not
credible, that one who had returned from so long an exile, and
such a variety of misfortunes, should come to his countrymen in
the style of revelers breaking up from a drinking-party. On the
contrary, he entered the harbor full of fear, nor would he venture
to go on shore, till, standing on the deck, he saw Euryptolemus,
his cousin, and others of his friends and acquaintance, who were
ready to receive him, and invited him to land. As soon as he was
landed, the multitude who came out to meet him scarcely appeared
to see any of the other captains, but came in throngs about
Alcibiades, and saluted him with loud acclamations, and followed
him; those who could press near him crowned him with garlands, and
they who could not come up so close yet stayed to behold him afar
off, and the old men pointed him out to the young ones.
Nevertheless, this public joy was mixed with some tears, and the
present happiness was diminished by the remembrance of the
miseries they had endured. They made reflections, that they could
not have so unfortunately miscarried in Sicily, if they had left
the management of their affairs and the command of their forces,
to Alcibiades, since, upon his undertaking the administration,
when they were absolutely driven from the sea, and could scarcely
defend the suburbs of their city by land, and at the same time,
were miserably distracted with intestine factions, he had raised
them up from this low and deplorable condition, and had not only
restored them to their ancient dominion of the sea, but had also
made them everywhere victorious over their enemies on land.

The people being summoned to an assembly, Alcibiades came in among
them, and first bewailed and lamented his own sufferings, and, in
general terms complaining of the usage he had received, imputed
all to his hard fortune, and some ill genius that attended him:
then he spoke at large of their prospects, and exhorted them to
courage and good hope. The people crowned him with crowns of gold,
and created him general, both at land and sea, with absolute
power. They also made a decree that his estate should be restored
to him, and that the Eumolpiadae and the holy heralds should
absolve him from the curses which they had solemnly pronounced
against him by the sentence of the people. All the rest obeyed,
but Theodorus, the high-priest, excused himself, "For," said he,
"if he is innocent, I never cursed him."

Certainly, if ever man was ruined by his own glory, it was
Alcibiades. For his continual success had produced such an idea of
his courage and conduct, that, if he failed in anything he
undertook, it was imputed to his neglect, and no one would believe
it was through want of power. For they thought nothing was too
hard for him, if he went about it in good earnest. Now, having
departed with a fleet of one hundred ships for the reduction of
Chios, and of the rest of Ionia, the people grew impatient that
things were not effected as fast and as rapidly as they could wish
for them. They never considered how extremely money was wanting,
and that, having to carry on war with an enemy who had supplies of
all things from a great king, he was often forced to quit his
armament, in order to procure money and provisions for the
subsistence of his soldiers. This very thing gave occasion for the
last accusation which was made against him. For Lysander, being
sent from Lacedaemon with a commission to be admiral of their
fleet, and being furnished by Cyrus with a great sum of money,
gave every sailor four obols a day, whereas before thy had but
three. Alcibiades could hardly allow his men three obols, and
therefore was obliged to go into Caria to furnish himself with
money. He left the care of the fleet, in his absence, to
Antiochus, an experienced seaman, but rash and inconsiderate, who
had express orders from Alcibiades not to engage, though the enemy
provoked him. But he slighted and disregarded these directions to
such a degree that, having made ready his own galley and another,
he stood for Ephesus, where the enemy lay, and, as he sailed
before the heads of their galleys, used every provocation
possible, both in words and deeds. Lysander manned out a few ships
and pursued him. But all the Athenian ships coming in to his
assistance, Lysander, also, brought up his whole fleet, which
gained an entire victory. He slew Antiochus himself, took many men
and ships, and erected a trophy.

As soon as Alcibiades heard this news, he returned to Samos, and
loosing from thence with his whole fleet, came and offered battle
to Lysander. But Lysander, content with the victory he had gained,
would not stir. Amongst others in the army who hated Alcibiades,
Thrasybulus, the son of Thrason, was his particular enemy, and
went purposely to Athens to accuse him, and to exasperate his
enemies in the city against him. Addressing the people, he
represented that Alcibiades had ruined their affairs and lost
their ships by mere self-conceited neglect of his duties,
committing the government of the army, in his absence, to men who
gained his favor by drinking and scurrilous talking, whilst he
wandered up and down at pleasure to raise money, giving himself up
to every sort of luxury in Abydos and Ionia, at a time when the
enemy's navy were on the watch close at hand. It was also objected
to him, that he had fortified a castle near Bisanthe in Thrace,
for a safe retreat for himself, as one that either could not, or
would not, live in his own country. The Athenians gave credit to
these informations, and showed the resentment and displeasure
which they had conceived against him, by choosing other generals.

As soon as Alcibiades heard of this, he immediately forsook the
army, afraid of what might follow; and, collecting a body of
mercenary soldiers, made war upon his own account against those
Thracians who called themselves free, and acknowledged no king. By
this means he amassed for himself considerable treasure, and, at
the same time, secured the bordering Greeks from the incursions of
the barbarians. Tydeus, Menander, and Adimantus, the newly made
generals, were at that time posted at Aegospotami, with all the
ships which the Athenians had left. Whence they used to go out
every morning, offer battle to Lysander, who lay near Lampsacus,
and, returning back again, lie all the rest of the day, carelessly
and without order, in contempt of the enemy. Alcibiades, who was
not far off, did not think so lightly of their danger, nor neglect
to let them know it, but, mounting his horse, came to the
generals, and represented to them that they had chosen a very
inconvenient station, where there was no safe harbor, and where
they were distant from any town; so that they were constrained to
send for their necessary provisions as far as Sestos. He also
pointed out to them their carelessness in suffering the soldiers,
when they went ashore, disperse and wander up and down at their
pleasure, while the enemy's fleet under the command of one
general, and strictly obedient to discipline, lay so very near
them. He advised them to remove the fleet to Sestos. But the
admirals not only disregarded what he said, but Tydeus, with
insulting expressions, commanded him to be gone saying, that now
not he, but others, had the command of the forces. The event, soon
made it evident how rightly he had judged of the errors which the
Athenians were committing. For Lysander fell upon them on a
sudden, when they least suspected it, with such fury that Conon
alone, with eight galleys, escaped him; all the rest, about two
hundred, he took and carried away, together with three thousand
prisoners, whom he put to death. And within a short time after, he
took Athens itself, burnt all the ships which he found there,
demolished their long walls, and established the rule of the
Thirty Tyrants.

After this, Alcibiades, standing in dread of the Lacedaemonians,
who were now masters both at sea and land, retired into Bithynia.
He sent there great treasure before him, took much with him, but
left much more in the castle where he had before resided. But he
lost a great part of his wealth in Bithynia, being robbed by some
Thracians who lived in those parts, and thereupon determined to go
to the court of Artaxerxes, not doubting but that the king, if he
would make trial of his abilities, would find him not inferior to
Themistocles, besides being recommended by a more honorable cause.
For he went, not as Themistocles did, to offer his service against
his fellow-citizens, but against their enemies, and to implore the
king's aid for the defence of his country. The Athenians, in the
meantime, miserably afflicted at their loss of empire and liberty,
acknowledged and bewailed their former errors and follies, and
judged this second ill-usage of Alcibiades to be of all the most
inexcusable. For he was rejected, without any fault committed by
himself; and only because they were incensed against his
subordinate for having shamefully lost a few ships, they were much
more shamefully deprived the commonwealth of its most valiant and
accomplished general.

Critias finally represented to Lysander that the Lacedaemonians
could never securely enjoy the dominion of Greece, till the
Athenian democracy was absolutely destroyed; and though now the
people of Athens seemed quietly and patiently to submit to so
small a number of governors, yet so long as Alcibiades lived, the
knowledge of this fact would never suffer them to acquiesce in
their present circumstances.

Yet Lysander could not be prevailed upon by these representation,
till at last he received secret orders from the magistrates of
Lacedaemon, expressly requiring him to get Alcibiades despatched:
whether it was that they feared his energy and boldness in
undertaking what was hazardous, or that it was done to gratify
king Agis. Upon receipt of this order, Lysander sent a messenger
away to Pharnabazus, desiring him to put it in execution.
Alcibiades resided at that time in a small village in Phrygia.
Those who were sent to assassinate him had not courage enough to
enter the house, but surrounded it first, and set it on fire.
Alcibiades, as soon as he perceived it, wrapped his cloak about
his left arm, and holding his naked sword in his right, cast
himself into the middle of the fire, and escaped securely through
it, before his clothes were burnt. The barbarians, as soon as they
saw him, retreated, and none of them durst engage with him, but
standing at a distance, they slew him with their darts and arrows.


The patrician house of the Marcii in Rome produced many men of
distinction, and among the rest, Ancus Marcius, grandson to Numa
by his daughter, and king after Tulus Hostillus. Of the same
family were also Publius and Quintus Marcius, which two conveyed
into the city the best and most abundant supply of water they have
at Rome. But Caius Marcius, of whom I now write, being left an
orphan, and brought up under the widowhood of his mother, has
shown us by experience, that, although the early loss of a father
may be attended with other disadvantages, yet it can hinder none
from being either virtuous or eminent in the world, and that it is
no obstacle to true goodness and excellence. Those who saw with
admiration how proof his nature was against pleasure, hardships,
and the allurements of gain, while allowing to that universal
firmness of his the respective names of temperance, fortitude, and
justice, yet, in the life of the citizen and the statesman, could
not but be offended at the severity and ruggedness of his
deportment, and with his overbearing, haughty, and imperious

Those were times at Rome in which that kind of worth was most
esteemed which displayed itself in military achievements; one
evidence of which we find in the Latin word for virtue, which is
properly equivalent to many courage. But Marcius, having a more
passionate inclination than any of that age for feats of war,
began from his very childhood to handle arms; and feeling that
adventitious implements and artificial arms would be of small use
to such as have not their natural weapons well prepared for
services, he so exercised and inured his body to all sorts of
activity and accouter, that, besides the lightness of a racer, he
had a weight in close seizures and wrestlings with an enemy, from
which it was hard for anybody to disengage himself; so that his
competitors at home in displays of bravery, loath to own
themselves inferior in that respect, were wont to ascribe their
deficiencies to his strength of body, which they said no
resistance and no fatigue could exhaust.

The first time he went out to the wards, being yet a stripling,
was when Tarquinius Superbus, who had been king of Rome and was
afterwards expelled, after many unsuccessful attempts now entered
upon his last effort, and proceeded to hazard all as it were upon
a single throw. A great number of the Latins and other people of
Italy joined their forces, and were marching with him toward the
city, to procure his restoration; not, however, so much out of a
desire to serve and oblige Tarquin, as to gratify their own fear
and envy at the increase of the Roman greatness, which they were
anxious to check. The armies met and engaged in a decisive battle,
in the vicissitudes of which, Marcius, while fighting bravely in
the dictator's presence, saw a Roman soldier struck down at a
little distance, and immediately stepped in before him, and slew
his assailant. The general, after having gained the victory,
crowned him for this act with a garland of oak branches; it being
the Roman custom thus to adorn those who had saved the life of a
citizen; whether the law intended some special honor to the oak,
in memory of the Arcadians, a people the oracle had made famous by
the name of acorn-eaters; or, the oak wreath, being sacred to
Jupiter, the guardian of the city, might, therefore be thought a
proper ornament for one who preserved a citizen. And the oak, in
truth, is the tree which bears the most and the prettiest of any
that grow wild, and is the strongest of all that are under
cultivation; its acorns were the principal diet of the first
mortals, and the honey found in it gave them drink.

In this battle it is stated that Castor and Pollux appeared, and,
immediately after the battle, were seen at Rome just by the
fountain where their temple now stands, with their horses foaming
with sweat, and told the news of the victory of the people in the
Forum. The fifteenth of July, being the day of this conquest,
became consequently a solemn holiday sacred to the Twin Brothers.

It may be observed, in general, that when young men arrive early
at fame and repute, if they are of a nature but slightly touched
with emulation, this early attainment is apt to extinguish their
thirst and satiate their small appetite; whereas the first
distinctions of more solid and weighty characters only stimulate
and quicken them, and take them away, like a wind, in the pursuit
of honor; they look upon these marks and testimonies to their
virtue not as a recompense received for what they have already
done, but as a pledge given by themselves of what they will
perform hereafter, ashamed now to forsake or underlive the credit
they have won, or, rather, not to exceed and obscure all that is
gone before by the lustre of their following actions. Marcius,
having a spirit of this noble make, was ambitious always to
surpass himself, and did nothing, how extraordinary soever, but he
thought he was bound to outdo it at the next occasion; and ever
desiring to give continual fresh instances of his prowess, he
added one exploit to another, and heaped up trophies upon
trophies, so as to make it a matter of contest also among his
commanders, the latter still vying with the earlier, which should
pay him the greatest honor and speak highest in his commendation.
Of all the numerous wars and conflicts in those days, there was
not one from which he returned without laurels and rewards. And,
whereas others made glory the end of their daring, the end of his
glory was his mother's gladness; the delight we took to hear him
praised and to see him crowned, and her weeping for joy in his
embraces, rendered him, in his own thoughts, the most honored and
most happy person in the world. Epaminondas is similarly said to
have acknowledged his feeling, that it was the greatest felicity
of his whole life that his father and mother survived to hear of
his successful generalship and his victory at Leuctra. And he had
the advantage, indeed, to have both his parents partake with him,
and enjoy the pleasure of his good fortune. But Marcius, believing
himself bound to pay his mother Volumnia all that gratitude and
duty which would have belonged to his father, had he also been
alive, could never satiate himself in his tenderness and respect
to her. He took a wife, also, at her request and wish, and
continued, even after he had children, to live with his mother,
without parting families.

The repute of his integrity and courage had, by this time, gained
him considerable influence and authority in Rome, when the senate,
favoring the wealthier citizens, began to be at variance with the
common people, who made sad complaints of the rigorous and inhuman
usage they received from the money-lenders.

There had been frequent assemblies of the whole senate within a
small compass of time about this difficulty, but without any
definite result; the poor commonality, therefore, perceiving there
was likely to be no redress of their grievances, collected in a
body, and, encouraging each other in their resolution, forsook the
city with one accord, and seizing the hill which is now called the
Holy Mount, sat down by the river Anio, without committing any
sort of violence or seditious outrage, but merely exclaiming, as
they went along, that they had this long time past been expelled
from the city by the cruelty of the rich; that Italy would
everywhere afford them the benefit of air and water and a place of
burial, which was all they could expect in the city, unless it
were perhaps, the privilege of being wounded and killed in time of
war for the defence of their creditors. The senate apprehending
the consequences, sent the most moderate and popular men of their
own order to treat with them.

Menenius Agrippa, their chief spokesman, after much entreaty to
the people, concluded, at length, with this celebrated fable: "It
once happened, that all the other members of a man mutinied
against the stomach, which they accused as the only idle,
uncontributing part in the whole body, while the rest were put to
hardships and the expense of much labor to minister to its
appetites. The stomach, however, merely ridiculed the silliness of
the members, who appeared not to be aware that the stomach
certainly does receive the general nourishment, but only to return
it again, and redistribute it amongst the rest. Such is the case,"
he said, "citizens, between you and the senate. The counsels and
plans that are there duly digested, secure to all of you, your
proper benefit and support."

A reconciliation ensued, the senate acceding to the request of the
people for the annual election of five protectors for those in
need of succor, the same that are now called the tribunes of the
people; and the first two they pitched upon were Junius Brutus and
Sicinnius Vellutus, their leaders in the secession.

The city being thus united, the commons stood presently to their
arms, and followed their commanders.

The Romans were now at war with the Volscian nation, whose
principal city was Corioli; when, therefore, Cominius the consul
had invested this important place, the rest of the Volscians,
fearing it would be taken, mustered up whatever force they could
from all parts, to relieve it, designing to give the Romans battle
before the city, and so attack them on both sides. Cominius, to
avoid this inconvenience, divided his army, marching himself with
one body to encounter the Volscians on their approach from
without, and leaving Titus Lartius, one of the bravest Romans of
his time, to command the other and continue the siege. Those
within Corioli, despising now the smallness of their number, made
a sally upon them, and prevailed at first, and pursued the Romans
into their trenches. Here it was that Marcius, flying out with a
slender company, and cutting those in pieces that first enraged
him, obliged the other assailants to slacken their speed; and
then, with loud cries, called upon the Romans to renew the battle.
For he had, what Cato thought a great point in a soldier, not only
strength of hand and stroke, but also a voice and look that of
themselves were a terror to an enemy. Some of his own party now
rallying and making up to him, the enemies soon retreated; but
Marcius, not content to see them draw off and retire, pressed hard
upon the rear, and drove them, as they fled away in haste, to the
very gates of their city; where, perceiving the Romans to fall
back from their pursuit, beaten off by the multitude of darts
poured in upon them from the walls, and that none of his followers
had the hardiness to think of falling in pell-mell among the
fugitives and so entering a city full of enemies in arms, he,
nevertheless, stood and urged them to the attempt, crying out,
that fortune had not opened Corioli, not so much to shelter the
vanquished, as to receive the conquerors. Seconded by a few that
were willing to venture with him, he bore along through the crowd,
made good his passage, and thrust himself into the gate through
the midst of them, nobody at first daring to resist him. But when
the citizens, on looking about, saw that a very small number had
entered, they now took courage, and came up and attacked them. A
combat ensued of the most extraordinary description, in which
Marcius, by strength of hand, swiftness of foot, and daring of
soul, overpowered every one that he assailed, succeeded in driving
the enemy to seek refuge, for the most part, in the interior of
the town, while the remainder submitted, and threw down their
arms; thus affording Lartius abundant opportunity to bring in the
rest of the Romans with ease and safety.

Corioli being thus surprised and taken, the greater part of the
soldiers employed themselves in spoiling and pillaging it, while
Marcius indignantly reproached them, and exclaimed that it was a
dishonorable and unworthy thing, when the consul and their fellow-
citizens had now perhaps encountered the other Volscians, and were
hazarding their lives in battle, basely to mis-spend the time in
running up and down for booty, and, under a pretence of enriching
themselves, keep out of danger. Few paid him any attention, but,
putting himself at the head of these, he took the road by which
the consul's army had marched before him, encouraging his
companions, and beseeching them, as they went along, not to give
up, and praying often to the gods, too, that he might be so happy
as to arrive before the fight was over, and come seasonably up to
assist Cominius, and partake in the peril of the action.

It was customary with the Romans of that age, when they were
moving into battle array, and were on the point of taking up their
bucklers, and girding their coats about them, to make at the same
time an unwritten will, or verbal testament, and to name who
should be their heirs, in the hearing of three or four witnesses.
In this precise posture Marcius found them at his arrival, the
enemy having advanced within view.

They were not a little disturbed by his first appearance, seeing
him covered with blood and sweat, and attended with a small train;
but when he hastily made up to the consul with gladness in his
looks, giving him his hand, and recounting to him how the city had
been taken, and when they saw Cominius also embrace and salute
him, every one took fresh heart; those that were near enough
hearing, and those that were at a distance guessing, what had
happened; and all cried out to be led to battle. First, however,
Marcius desired to know of him how the Volscians had arrayed their
army, and where they had placed their best men, and on his
answering that he took the troops of the Activates in the centre
to be their prime warriors, than would yield to none in bravery,
"Let me then demand and obtain of you," said Marcius, "that we may
be posted against them." The consul granted the request, with much
admiration of his gallantry. And when the conflict began by the
soldiers darting at each other, and Marcius sallied out before the
rest the Volscians opposed to him were not able to make head
against him; wherever he fell in, he broke their ranks, and made a
lane through them; but the parties turning again, and enclosing
him on each side with their weapons, the consul, who observed the
danger he was in, despatched some of the choicest men he had for
his rescue. The conflict then growing warm and sharp about
Marcius, and many falling dead in a little space, the Romans bore
so hard upon the enemies, and pressed them with such violence,
that they forced them at length to abandon their ground, and to
quit the field. And, going now to prosecute the victory, they
besought Marcius, tired out with his toils, and faint and heavy
through the loss of blood, that he would retire to the camp. He
replied, however, that weariness was not for conquerors, and
joined with them in the pursuit. The rest of the Volscian army was
in like manner defeated, great numbers killed, and no less taken

The day after, when Marcius, with the rest of the army, presented
themselves at the consul's tent, Cominius rose, and having
rendered all due acknowledgment to the gods for the success of
that enterprise, turned next to Marcius, and first of all
delivered the strongest encomium upon his rare exploits, of which
he had partly been an eye-witness himself, in the late battle, and
had partly learned from the testimony of Lartius. And then he
required him to choose a tenth part of all the treasure and horses
and captives that had fallen into their hands, before any division
should be made to others; besides which, he made him the special
present of a horse with trappings and ornaments, in honor of his
actions. The whole army applauded; Marcius, however, stepped
forth, and declaring his thankful acceptance of the horse and his
gratification at the praises of his general, said, that all other
things which he could only regard rather as mercenary advantages
than any significations of honor, he must waive, and should be
content with the ordinary proportion of such rewards. "I have
only," said he "one special grace to beg, and this I hope you will
not deny me. There was a certain hospitable friend of mine among
the Volscians, a man of probity and virtue, who is become a
prisoner, and from former wealth and freedom is now reduced to
servitude. Among his many misfortunes let my intercession redeem
him from the one of being sold as a common slave." Such a refusal
and such a request on the part of Marcius were followed with yet
louder acclamations; and he had many more admirers of this
generous superiority to avarice, than of the bravery he had shown
in battle. The very persons who conceived some envy and despite to
see him so specially honored, could not but acknowledge, that one
who so nobly could refuse reward, was beyond others worth to
receive it; and were more charmed with that virtue which made him
despise advantage, than with any of those former actions that had
gained him his title to it. It is a higher accomplishment to use
money well than to use arms; but not to need it is more noble than
to use it.

When the noise of approbation and applause ceased, Cominius,
resuming, said, "It is idle, fellow-soldiers, to force those other
gifts of ours on one who is unwilling to accept them; let us,
therefore, give him one of such a kind that he cannot well reject
it; let us pass a vote, I mean, that he shall hereafter be called
Coriolanus, unless you think that his performance at Corioli has
itself anticipated any such resolution." Hence, therefore, he had
his third name of Coriolanus, making it all the plainer that Gaius
was a personal proper name, and the second, or surname, Marcius,
one common to his house and family; the third being a subsequent
addition which used to be imposed either from particular act or
fortune, bodily characteristic, or good quality of the bearer.

Not long after Marcius stood for the consulship. It was usual for
candidates for office to solicit personally the citizens,
presenting themselves in the forum with the toga on alone, and no
tunic under it; either to promote their supplications by the
humility of their dress, or that such as had received wounds might
more readily display those marks of their fortitude.

Marcius, therefore, as the fashion of candidates was, showing the
scars and gashes that were still visible on his body, from the
many conflicts in which he had signalized himself during a service
of seventeen years together, the people were affected at this
display of merit, and told one another that they ought in common
modesty to create him consul. But when the day of election had
come, and Marcius appeared in the forum with a pompous train of
senators attending him, and the patricians all seemed to be
exerting greater effort than they had ever done before on a
similar occasion, the commons then fell off again from the
kindness they had conceived for him, and in the place of their
late benevolence, began to feel something of indignation and envy;
passions assisted by the fear they entertained, that if a man of
such aristocratic temper, and so influential among the patricians,
should be invested with the power which that office would give
him, he might employ it to deprive the people of all that liberty
which was yet left them. In conclusion, they rejected Marcius. Two
other names were announced, to the great mortification of the
senators, who felt as if the indignity reflected rather upon
themselves than on Marcius. He, for his part, could not bear the
affront with any patience. He had always indulged his temper, and
had regarded the proud and contentious element of human nature as
a sort of nobleness and magnanimity; reason and discipline had not
imbued him with that solidity and equanimity which enter so
largely into the virtues for the statesman. He had never learned
how essential it is for any one who undertakes public business,
and desires to deal with mankind, to avoid above all things that
self-will, which, as Plato says, belongs to the family of
solitude; and to pursue, above all things, that capacity so
generally ridiculed, of submission to ill-treatment. Marcius,
straightforward and direct, stand together, and come in to their
assistance. The assembly met, and soon became tumultuous. The sum
of what Marcius had spoken, having been reported to the people,
excited them to such fury, that they were ready to break in upon
the senate. The tribunes prevented this, by laying all the blame
on Coriolanus, and they accordingly cited him to come before them,
and defend himself.

He came, therefore, as it were, to make his apology, and clear
himself; in which belief the people kept silence, and gave him a
quiet hearing. But when instead of the submissive and deprecatory
language expected from him, he began to use not only an offensive
kind of freedom, seeming rather to accuse than apologize, but as
well by the tone of his voice as the expression of his
countenance, displayed a security that was not far from disdain
and contempt of them, the whole multitude then became angry, and
gave evident signs of impatience and disgust; and Sicinnius, the
most violent of the tribunes, after a little private conference
with his colleagues, proceeded solemnly to pronounce before them
all, that Marcius was condemned to die by the tribunes of the
people, and bid the Aediles take him to the Tarpeian rock, and
without delay throw him headlong from the precipice. When they,
however, in compliance with the order, came to seize upon his
body, many, even of the plebeian party, felt it to be a horrible
and extravagant act; the patricians, meantime, wholly beside
themselves with distress and horror, hurried with cries to the
rescue; and persuaded them not to despatch him by any sudden
violence, but refer the cause to the general suffrage of the
people. But when the people met together, the tribunes, contrary
to all former practice, extorted first, that votes should be
taken, not by centuries, but tribes; a change, by which the
rabble, that had no respect for honesty and justice, would be sure
to carry it against those who were rich and well known, and
accustomed to serve the state in war. In the next place, whereas
they had engaged to prosecute Marcius upon no other head but that
of tyranny, which could never be made out against him, they
relinquished this plea, and urged instead, his language in the
senate against an abatement of the price of corn, and for the
overthrow of the tribunician power; adding further, as a new
impeachment, the distribution that was made by him of the spoil
and booty he had taken from the Antiates, when he overran their
country, which he had divided among those that had followed him,
whereas it ought rather to have been brought into the public
treasure; which last accusation did, they say, more discompose
Marcius than all the rest, as he had not anticipated he should
ever be questioned on that subject, and, therefore, was less
provided with any satisfactory answer to it on the sudden. And
when, by way of excuse, he began to magnify the merits of those
who had been partakers with him in the action, those that had
stayed at home, being more numerous than the other, interrupted
him with the outcries. In conclusion, when they came to vote, a
majority of three tribes condemned him; the penalty being
perpetual banishment.

Marcius himself, was neither stunned nor humiliated. In mien,
carriage, and countenance, he bore the appearance of entire
composure, and while all his friends were full of distress, seemed
the only man that was not touched with his misfortune. On his
return home, after saluting his mother and his wife, who were in
tears and full of loud lamentations, and exhorting them to
moderate the sense they had of his calamity, he proceeded at once
to the city gates, whither all the nobility came to attend him;
and not taking anything with him, or making any request to the
company, he departed from them, having only three or four clients
with him. He continued solitary for a few days in a place in the
country, distracted with a variety of counsels, such as rage and
indignation suggested to him; and proposing to himself no
honorable or useful end, but only how he might best satisfy his
revenge on the Romans, he resolved at length to arouse a heavy war
against them from their nearest neighbors. He determined, first to
make trial of the Volscians, whom he knew to be still vigorous and
flourishing, both in men and treasure, and he imagined their force
and power was not so much abated, as their spite and anger
increased, by the late overthrows they had received from the

There was a man of Antium, called Tullus Aufidius, who, for his
wealth and bravery and the splendor of his family, had the respect
and privilege of a king among the Volscians, but whom Marcius knew
to have a particular hostility to himself, above all other Romans.
Frequent menaces and challenges had passed in battle between them,
and those exchanges of defiance to which their hot and eager
emulation is apt to prompt young soldiers had added private
animosity to their national feelings of opposition. Yet for all
this, considering Tullus to have a certain generosity of temper,
and knowing that no Volscian, so much as he, desired an occasion
to requite upon the Romans the evils they had done, he put on a
dress which completely disguised him and thus, like Ulysses,--

He entered the town of his mortal foes.

His arrival at Antium was about evening, and though several met
him in the streets, yet he passed along without recognition, and
went directly to the house of Tullus, and entering undiscovered,
went up to the fire-hearth, and seated himself there without
speaking a work, covering up his head. Those of the family could
not but wonder, and yet they were afraid either to raise or
question him, for there was a certain air of majesty both in his
posture and silence, but they recounted to Tullus, then at supper,
the strangeness of this accident. He immediately rose from table
and came in, and asked him who he was, and for what business he
came there; and then Marcius, unmuffling himself, and pausing
awhile said, "If you cannot yet call me to mind, Tullus, or do not
believe your eyes concerning me, I must of necessity be my own
accuser. I am Gaius Marcius, the author of so much mischief to the
Volscians; of which, were I seeking to deny it, the surname of
Coriolanus I now bear would be a sufficient evidence against me.
The one recompense I received for all the hardships and perils I
have gone through, was the title that proclaims my enmity to your
nation, and this is the only thing which is still left me. Of all
other advantages, I have been stripped and deprived by the envy of
the Roman people, and the cowardice and treachery of the
magistrates and those of my own order. I am driven out as an
exile, and become an humble suppliant at your hearth, not so much
for safety and protection (should I have come hither, had I been
afraid to die?), as to seek vengeance against those that expelled
me; which, methinks, I have already obtained, by putting myself
into your hands. If, therefore, you have really a mind to attack
your enemies, make use of that affliction you see me in to assist
the enterprise, and convert my personal infelicity into a common
blessing to the Volscians; as I am likely to be more serviceable
in fighting for than against you, with the advantage, which I now
possess, of knowing all the secrets of the enemy that I am

Tullus, on hearing this, was extremely rejoiced, and giving him
his right hand, exclaimed, "rise, Marcius, and be of good courage;
it is a great happiness you bring to Antium, in the present you
make us of yourself; expect everything that is good from the
Volscians." he then proceeded to feast and entertain him with
every display of kindness, and for several days after they were in
close deliberation together on the prospects of a war.

Although the Volscians had sworn to a truce of arms for the space
of two years, the Romans themselves soon furnished them with a
pretence, by making proclamation, out of some jealousy or
slanderous report, at an exhibition of games, that all the
Volscians who had come to see them should depart from the city
before sunset. some affirm that this was a contrivance of Marcius,
who sent a man privately to the consuls, falsely to accuse the
Volscians of intending to fall upon the Romans during the games,
and to set the city on fire. This public affront aroused their
hostility to the Romans; and Tullus, perceiving it, took advantage
of it, aggravating the fact, and working on their indignation,
till he persuaded them, at last, to despatch ambassadors to Rome,
requiring the Romans to restore that part of their country and
those towns which they had taken from the Volscian in the late
war. When the Romans heard the message, they indignantly replied,
that the Volscians were the first that took up arms, but the
Romans would be the last to lay them down. This answer being
brought back, Tullus called a general assembly of the Volscians;
and the voted passing for a war, he then proposed that they should
call in Marcius, laying aside the remembrance of former grudges,
and assuring themselves that the services they should now receive
from him as friend and associate, would abundantly outweigh any
harm or damage he had done them when he was their enemy. Marcius
was accordingly summoned, and having made his entrance, and spoken
tot he people, won their good opinion of his capacity, his skill,
counsel, and boldness, not less by his present words than by his
past actions. They joined him in commission with Tullus, to have
full power as general of their forces in all that related to the
war. And he, fearing lest the time that would be requisite to
bring all the Volscians together in full preparation might be so
long as to lose him the opportunity of action, left order with the
chief persons and magistrates for the city to provide other
things, while he himself, prevailing upon the readiest to assemble
and march out with him as volunteers without staying to be
enrolled, made a sudden inroad into the Roman confines, when
nobody expected him, and possessed himself of so much booty, that
the Volscians found they had more than they could either carry
away or use in the camp. The abundance of provision which he
gained, and the waste and havoc of the country which he made,
were, however, the smallest results of that invasion; the great
mischief he intended, and his special object in all, was to
increase at Rome the suspicions entertained of the patricians, and
to make them upon worse terms with the people. With this view,
while despoiling all the fields and destroying the property of
other men, he took special care to preserve their farms and lands
untouched, and would not allow his soldiers to ravage there, or
seize upon any thing which belonged to them. Hence the quarrels
broke out afresh, and rose to a greater height than ever; the
senators reproaching those of the commonalty with their late
injustice to Marcius; while the plebeians, on their side, did not
hesitate to accuse them of having, out of spite and revenge,
solicited him to this enterprise, and thus, when others were
involved in the miseries of a war by their means, they sat like
unconcerned spectators furnished with a guardian abroad of their
fortunes, in the very person of the public enemy. After this
incursion and exploit, which was of great advantage to the
Volscians, since they learned by it to be more courageous and to
despise their enemy, Marcius drew them off, and returned in

But when the whole strength of the Volscians was brought together
into the field, with great expedition, it appeared so considerable
a body, that they agreed to leave part in garrison, for the
security of their towns, and with the other part to march against
the Romans. Marcius now desired Tullus to choose which of the two
charges would be most agreeable to him. Tullus answered, that
since he knew Marcius to be equally valiant with himself, and far
more fortunate, he would have him take the command of those that
were going out to the war, while he made it his care to defend
their cities at home, and provide all conveniences for the army
abroad. Marcius thus reinforced, and much stronger than before,
moved first towards the city called Circaeum, a Roman colony. He
received its surrender, and did the inhabitants no injury; passing
thence, he entered and laid waste the country of the Latins, where
he expected the Romans would meet him, as the Latins were their
confederates and allies, and had often sent to demand succor from
them. the people, however, on their part, showing little
inclination for the service, and the consuls themselves being
unwilling to run the hazard of a battle, when the time of their
office was almost ready to expire, they dismissed the Latin
ambassadors without any effect; so that Marcius, finding no army
to oppose him, marched up to their cities, and, having taken by
force Toleria, Lavici, Peda, and Bols, all of which offered
resistance, not only plundered their houses, but made a prey
likewise of their persons. Meantime, he showed particular regard
for all such as came over to his party, and, for fear they might
sustain any damage against his will, encamped them at the greatest
distance he could, and wholly abstained from their property.

After, however, he had made himself master of Bols, a town not
above ten miles from Rome, where he found great treasure, and put
almost all the adults to the sword; the other Volscians that were
ordered to stay behind and protect their cities, hearing of his
achievements and success, had not patience to remain any longer at
home, but came hastening in their arms to Marcius, saying that he
alone was their general and the sole commander they would own;
with all this, his name and renown spread throughout all Italy,
and universal wonder prevailed at the sudden and mighty revolution
in the fortunes for two nations which the loss and the accession
of a single man had effected.

All at Rome was in great disorder; they were utterly averse from
fighting, and spent their whole time in cabals and disputes and
reproaches against each other; until news was brought that the
enemy had laid close siege to Lavinium, where were the images and
sacred things of their tutelar gods, and whence they derived the
origin of their nations, that being the first city which Aeneas
built in Italy. These tidings produced a change as universal as it
was extraordinary in the thoughts and inclinations of the people,
but occasioned a yet stranger revulsion of feeling among the
patricians. The people now were for repealing the sentence against
Marcius, and calling him back into the city; whereas the senate,
being assembled to consider the decree, opposed and finally
rejected the proposal, either out of the mere humor of opposing
the people in whatever they should desire, or because they were
unwilling, perhaps, that he should owe his restoration to their
kindness. When Marcius heard of this, he was more exasperated than
ever, and, quitting the siege of Lavinium, marched furiously
towards Rome, and encamped at a place called the Cluilian ditches,
about five miles from the city. The nearness of his approach did,
indeed, create much terror and disturbance, yet it also ended
their dissensions for the present; as nobody now, whether consul
or senator, durst any longer contradict the people in their design
of recalling Marcius.

It was therefore, unanimously agreed by all parties, that
ambassadors should be despatched, offering him return to his
country, and desiring him to free them from the terrors and
distresses of ;the war. The persons sent by the senate with this
message were chosen out of his kindred and acquaintance, who
naturally expected a very kind reception at their first interview;
in which, however, they were much mistaken. Being led through the
enemy's camp, they found him sitting in state amid the chief men
of the Volscians, looking insupportably proud ;and arrogant. He
bade them declare the cause of their coming, which they did in the
most gently terms, and with a behavior suitable to their language.
When they had made an end of speaking, he returned them a sharp
answer, full of bitterness and angry resentment, as to what
concerned himself, and the ill usage he had received from them;
but as general of the Volscians, he demanded restitution of the
cities and the lands which had been seized upon during the late
war, and that the same rights and franchises should be granted
them at Rome, which had been before accorded to the Latins; since
there could be no assurance that a peace would be firm and lasting
without just conditions on both sides. He allowed them thirty days
to consider and resolve.

The ambassadors having departed; he withdrew his forces from the
Roman territory. Those of the Volscians who had long envied his
reputation, and could not endure to see the influence he had with
the people, laid hold of this as a matter of complaint against
him. Among them was Tullus himself, not for any wrong done him
personally by Marcius, but through the weakness incident to human
nature. He could not help feeling mortified to find his own glory
totally obscured, and himself overlooked and neglected now by the
Volscians, who had so great an opinion of their new leader. Yet
Marcius spent no part of the time idly, but attacked the
confederates of the enemy, ravaged their land, and took from them
seven great and populous cities in that interval. The Romans, in
the meanwhile, durst not venture out to their relief; but were
utterly fearful, and showed no more disposition or capacity for
action, than if their bodies had been struck with a palsy, and
become destitute of sense and motion. But when the thirty days
were expired, and Marcius appeared again with his whole army, they
sent another embassy to beseech him that he would moderate his
displeasure, and would withdraw the Volscian army, and then make
any proposals he thought best for both parties, but if it were his
opinion that the Volscians ought to have any favor shown them,
upon laying down their arms they might obtain all they could in
reason desire.

The reply of Marcius was, that he should make no answer to this as
a general of the Volscians, but in the quality still for a roman
citizen, he would advise them to return to him before three days
were at an end, with a ratification of his previous demands.

When the ambassadors came back, and acquainted the senate with the
answer, seeing the whole state now threatened as it were by a
tempest, a decree was made, that the whole order of their priests
should go in full procession to Marcius with their pontifical
array, and the dress and habit which they respectively used in
their several functions, and should urge him, as before, to
withdraw his forces, and then treat with his countrymen in favor
of the Volscians. He granted nothing at all, nor so much as
expressed himself more mildly; but without capitulating or
receding, bade them once for all choose whether they would yield
or fight, since the old terms were the only terms of peace. In
this great perplexity, the roman women went, some to other
temples, but the greater part, and the ladies of highest rank, tot
he altar of Jupiter Capitolinus. Among these suppliants was
Valeria, sister to the great Poplicola, who happily lighting, not
without divine guidance, on the right expedient, rose, and bade
the others rise, and went directly with them to the house of
Volumnia, the mother of Marcius. And coming in and finding her
sitting with her daughter-in-law, and with her little
grandchildren on her lap, Valeria, then surrounded by her
companions, spoke in the name of them all:--

"We, O Volumnia, and Vergilia, are come as women to women, to
request a thing on which our own and the common safety depends,
and which, if you consent to it, will raise our glory above that
of the daughters of the Sabines, who won over their fathers and
their husbands from mortal enmity to peace and friendship. Arise
and come with us to Marcius; join in our supplication, for your
country's sake."

The words of Valeria were seconded by the acclamations of the
other women, to which Volumnia made answer:-

"I and Vergilia, my countrywomen, have an equal share with you all
in the common miseries, and we have the additional sorrow, which
is wholly ours, that we have lost the merit and good fame of
Marcius, and see his person confined, rather than protected by the
arms of the enemy. Make use, however, of our service; and lead us,
if you please, to him; we are able, if nothing more, at least to
spend our last breath in making suit to him for our country."

Having spoken thus, she took Vergilia by the hand, and the young
children, and so accompanied them to the Volscian camp. so
lamentable a sight much affected the enemies themselves, who
viewed them in respectful silence. Marcius, seeing the party of
women advance, came down hastily to meet them, saluting his mother
first, and embracing her a long time, and then his wife and
children, sparing neither tears nor cares, but suffering himself
to be borne away and carried headlong, as it were, but the
impetuous violence of his passion.

when he had satisfied himself, and observed that his mother
Volumnia was desirous to say something, the Volscian council being
first called in, he heard her to the following effect: "Our dress
and our very persons, my son, might tell you, though we should say
nothing ourselves, in how forlorn a condition we have lived at
home since your banishment and absence from us; and now consider
with yourself, whether we may not pass for the most unfortunate of
all women, to have that sight, which should be the sweetest that
we could see, converted, through I know not what fatality, to one
of all others the most formidable and dreadful, --Volumnia to
behold her son, and Vergilia her husband, in arms against the
walls of Rome. As for myself, if I cannot prevail with you to
prefer amity and concord to quarrel and hostility, and to be the
benefactor to both parties, rather than the destroyer of one of
them, be assured of this, that you shall not be able to reach your
country, unless you trample first upon the corpse of her that
brought you into life. For it will be ill in me to loiter in the
world till the day com wherein I shall see a child of mine, either
led in triumph by his own countrymen, or triumphing over them."

Marcius listened to his mother while she spoke, without answering
her a word; and Volumnia, seeing him stand mute also for a long
time after she had ceased, resumed: "O my son, what is the meaning
of this silence? Is it wrong to gratify a mother in a request like
this? You have punished your country already; you have not yet
paid your debt to me." Having said this, she threw herself down at
his feet, as did also his wife and children; upon which Marcius,
crying out, "O mother! what is it you have done to me?" raised her
from the ground, and pressing her right hand with more than
ordinary vehemence said, "You have gained a victory, fortunate
enough for the Romans, but destructive to your son; whom you,
though none else, have defeated." And after a little private
conference with his mother and his wife, he went them back again
to Rome, as they desired of him.

the next morning, he broke up his camp, and led the Volscians
homeward, variously affected with what he had done. None, however,
opposed his commands; they all obediently followed him, though
rather from admiration of his virtue, than any regard they now had
to his authority. The Roman people, meantime began to crown
themselves with garlands and prepare for sacrifice, as they were
wont to do upon tidings brought of an signal victory. But the joy
and transport of the whole city was chiefly remarkable in the
honors and marks of affection paid to the women, as well by the
senate as the people in general; every one declaring that they
were, beyond all question, the instruments of the public safety.
And the senate having passed a decree that whatsoever they would
ask in the way of an a favor or honor should be allowed and done
for them by the magistrates, they demanded simply that a temple
might be erected to the Goddess Fortuna, the expense of which they
offered to defray out of their own contributions, if the city
would be at the cost of sacrifices, and other matters pertaining
to the due honor of the gods, out of the common treasury. The
senate, much commending their public spirit, caused the temple to
be built and a statue set up in it at the public charge; they
however, made up a sum among themselves, for a second image of
Fortune, which the Romans say utter these words as they were putt
it up "Blessed of ;the gods, O women, is your gift."

When Marcius came back to Antium, Tullus, who thoroughly hated and
greatly feared him, proceeded at once to contrive how he might
immediately despatch him; as, if he escaped now, he was never
likely to give him such another advantage. Having, therefore, got
together and suborned several partisans against him, he required
Marcius to resign his charge, and give the Volscians an account of
his administration.

An assembly was called, and popular speakers, as had been
concerted, came forward to exasperate and incense the multitude;
but when Marcius stood up to answer, even the most tumultuous part
of the people became quiet on a sudden, and out of reverence
allowed him to speak without the least disturbance; while all the
better people, and such as were satisfied with a peace, made it
evident by their whole behavior, that they would give him a
favorable hearing, and judge and pronounce according to equity.

For these reasons, the conspirators judged it prudent not to test
the general feeling; but the boldest of their faction fell upon
Marcius in a body, and slew him there, none of those that were
present offering to defend him. But it quickly appeared that the
action was in nowise approved of by the majority of the Volscians,
who hurried out of their several cities to show respect to his
corpse; to which they gave honorable interment, adorning his
sepulchre with arms and trophies, as the monument of a noble hero
and a famous general. When the Romans heard tidings of his death,
they gave no other signification either of honor or of anger
toward him, but simply granted the request of the women, that they
might put themselves into mourning and bewail him for ten months,
as the usage was upon the loss of a father or a son or a brother;
that being the period fixed for the longest lamentation by the
laws of Numa Pompilius.

Marcius was no sooner deceased, than the Volscians felt the need
of his assistance. They quarreled first with the Aequians, their
confederates and friends, about the appointment of the general of
their joint forces, and carried their dispute to the length of
bloodshed and slaughter; and were then defeated by the Romans in a
pitched battle, where not only Tullus lost his life, but the
flower of their whole army was cut to pieces; so that they were
forced to submit and accept of peace upon very dishonorable terms,
becoming subjects of Rome, and pledging themselves to submission.


Having described all their actions that seem to deserve
commemoration, their military ones, we may say, incline the
balance very decidedly upon neither side. They both, in pretty
equal measure, displayed on numerous occasions the daring and
courage of the soldier, and the skill and foresight of the
general; unless, indeed, the fact that Alcibiades was victorious
and successful in many contests both by sea and land, ought to
gain him the title of a more complete commander. That so long as
they remained and held command in their respective countries, they
eminently sustained, and when they were driven into exile, yet
more eminently damaged the fortunes of those countries, is common
to both. All the sober citizens felt disgust at the petulance, the
low flattery, and base seductions which Alcibiades, in his public
life, allowed himself to employ with the view of winning the
people's favor; and the ungraciousness, pride, and oligarchical
haughtiness which Marcius, on the other hand, displayed in his,
were the abhorrence of the Roman populace.

Marcius, according to our common conceptions of his character, was
undoubtedly simple and straightforward; Alcibiades, unscrupulous
as a public man, and false. He is more especially blamed for the
dishonorable and treacherous way in which, as Thucydides relates,
he imposed upon the Lacedaemonian ambassadors, and disturbed the
continuance of the peace. yet this policy, which engaged the city
again in way, nevertheless placed it in a powerful and formidable
position, by the accession, which Alcibiades obtained for it, of
the alliance of Argos and Mantinea. And Coriolanus also, Dionysius
relates, used unfair means to excite war between the Romans and
the Volscians, in the false report which he spread about the
visitors at the Games; and the motive of this action seems to make
it the worse for the two; since it was not done, like the other,
out of ordinary political jealousy, strife and competition. simply
to gratify anger, from which as Ion says, no one ever yet got any
return, he threw whole districts of Italy into confusion, and
sacrificed to his passion against his country numerous innocent
cities. It is true, indeed, that Alcibiades, by his resentment,
was the occasion of great disasters to his country, but he
relented as soon as he found their feelings to be changed; and
after he was driven out a second time, so far from taking pleasure
in the errors and inadvertencies of their commanders, or being
indifferent to the danger they were thus incurring, he did the
very thing that Aristides is so highly commended for doing to
Themistocles: he came to the generals who were his enemies, and
pointed out to them what they ought to do. Coriolanus, on the
other hand, first all attacked the whole body of his countrymen,
though only one portion of them had done him any wrong, while the
other, the better and nobler portion, had actually suffered, as
well as sympathized, with him. And, secondly, by the obduracy with
which he resisted numerous embassies and supplications, addressed
in propitiation of his person anger, he showed that it had been to
destroy and overthrow, not to recover and regain his country, that
he had excited bitter and implacable hostilities against. There
is, indeed, one distinction that may be drawn. Alcibiades, it may
be said, was not safe among the Spartans, and had the inducements
at once of fear and of hatred to lead him again to Athens; whereas
Marcius could not honorably have left the Volscians, when they
were behaving so well to him: he, in the command of their forces
and the enjoyment of their entire confidence, was in a very
different position from Alcibiades, whom the Lacedaemonians did
not so much wish to adopt into their service, as to use, and then
abandon. Driven about from house to house in the city, and from
general to general in the camp, the latter had no resort but to
place himself in the hands of Tissaphernes; unless we are to
suppose that his object in courting favor with him was to avert
the entire destruction of his native city, whither he wished
himself to return.

As regards money, Alcibiades, we are told, was often guilty of
procuring it by accepting bribes, and spent it in luxury and
dissipation. Coriolanus declined to receive it, even when pressed
upon him by his commanders as an honor; and one great reason for
the odium he incurred with the populace in the discussions about
their debts was, that he trampled upon the poor, not for money's
sake, but out of pride and insolence.

Antipater, in a letter written upon the death of Aristotle the
philosopher, observes, "Amongst his other gifts he had that of
persuasiveness," and the absence of this in the character of
Marcius made all his great actions and noble qualities
unacceptable to those whom they benefited: pride, and self-will,
the consort, as Plato calls it, of solitude, made him
insufferable. With the skill which Alcibiades, on the contrary,
professed to treat every one in the way most agreeable to him, we
cannot wonder that all his successes were attended with the most
exuberant favor and honor; his very errors, at times, being
accompanied by something of grace and felicity. And so, in spite
of great and frequent hurt that he had done the city, he was
repeatedly appointed to office and command; while Coriolanus stood
in vain for a place which his great services had made his due.

Alcibiades never professed to deny that it was pleasant to him to
be honored and distasteful to him to be overlooked; and,
accordingly, he always tried to place himself upon good terms with
all that he met; Coriolanus' pride forbade him to pay attentions
to those who could have promoted his advancement, and yet his love
of distinction made him feel hurt and angry when he was
disregarded. Such are the faulty parts of his character, which in
all other respects was a noble one. For his temperance,
continence, and probity, he might claim to be compared with the
best and purest of the Greeks; not in any sort of kind with
Alcibiades, the least scrupulous and most entirely careless of
human beings in all these points.


Aristides, the son of Lysimachus, was of the tribe Antiochis, and
township of Alopece. Being the friend and supporter of that
Clisthenes, who settled the government after the expulsion of the
tyrants, and emulating and admiring Lycurgus the Lacedaemonian
above all politicians, he adhered to the aristocratical principles
of government; and had Themistocles, son to Neocles, his adversary
on the side of the populace. Some say that, when boys together,
they were always at variance in all their words and actions,
serious as well as playful. One was ready, venturesome, and
subtle, engaging readily and eagerly in everything; the other of a
staid and settled temper, intent on the exercise of justice, not
admitting any degree of falsity, indecorum, or trickery, even at
his play. Ariston of Ceos says that the first origin of enmity
which rose to so great a height, was a love affair; they were
rivals for the affection of the beautiful Stesilaus of Ceos, and
were passionate beyond moderation, and did not lay aside their
animosity when the beauty that had excited it passed away; but
carried their heats and differences into public business.

Themistocles joined an association of partisans, and fortified
himself with considerable strength; so that when some one told him
that if he were impartial, he would make a good magistrate, "I
wish," replied he, "I may never sit on that tribunal where my
friends shall not plead a greater privilege than strangers."

But Aristides walked alone on his path in politics being unwilling
to go with associates in ill doing, or to cause them vexation by
not gratifying their wishes.

When he had once opposed Themistocles in some measures that were
expedient, and had got the better of him, he could not refrain
from saying, when he left the assembly, that unless they sent
Themistocles and himself to the barathrum,(a pit into which the
dead bodies of malefactors were thrown) there could be no safety
for Athens. Another time, when urging some proposal upon the
people, although there was much opposition to it, yet he was
gaining the day; but just as the president of the assembly was
about to put it to the vote, perceiving by what had been said in
debate the inexpediency of his advice, he let it fall. He often
brought in his bills by other persons, lest Themistocles, thought
party spirit against him, should be any hindrance to the good of
the public.

In all the vicissitudes of public affairs, the constancy he showed
was admirable, not being elated with honors, and demeaning himself
sedately in adversity. Once, at the recital of these verses of
Aeshcylus in the theatre, relating to Amphiaraus,

For not at seeming just, but being so
He aims; and from his depth of soil below,
Harvest of wise and prudent counsels grow,

the eyes of all the spectators were turned upon Aristides, as if
this virtue in an especial manner belonged to him.

He was a most determined champion of justice, not only against
feelings of friendship and favor, but wrath and malice.

Thus it is reported of him that prosecuting one who was his enemy,
when the judges after accusation refused to hear the criminal, and
were proceeding immediately to pass sentence upon him, he rose in
haste from his seat and joined in petition with him for a hearing,
and that he might enjoy the privilege of the law. Another time,
judging between two private persons, when the one declared his
adversary had very much injured Aristides; "Tell me rather, good
friend," he said, "what wrong he has done you: for it is your
cause, not my own, which I now sit judge of." Being chosen to the
charge of the public revenue, he made it appear, that not only
those of his time, but the preceding officers, had alienated much
treasure, and especially Themistocles:

Well known he was an able man to be,
But with his fingers apt to be too free.

Therefore, Themistocles associating several persons against
Aristides, and impeaching him when he gave in his accounts, caused
him to be condemned of robbing of the public; so Idomeneus states;
but the best and chief men of the city much resented it, so that
he was not only exempted from the fine imposed upon him, but again
called to the same employment. Pretending now to repent of his
former practice, and carrying himself with more remissness, he
became acceptable to such as pillaged the treasury, by not
detecting or calling them to an exact account. So that those who
had their fill of the public money began highly to applaud
Aristides, and sued to the people, to have him once more chosen
treasurer. But when they were upon the point of election, he
reproved the Athenians in these words: "When I discharged my
office well and faithfully, I was insulted and abused; but now
that I have countenanced the public thieves in a variety of
malpractices, I am considered an admirable patriot. I am more
ashamed, therefore, of this present honor than of the former
sentence; and I pity your condition, with whom is more
praiseworthy to oblige bad men than to preserve the revenue of
public. "

When Datis was sent by Darius under pretense of punishing the
Athenians for their burning of Sardis, but in reality to reduce
the Greeks under his dominion, and had landed at Marathon and laid
waste the country, among the ten commanders appointed by the
Athenians for the war, Miltiades was of the greatest name; but the
second place, both for reputation and power, was possessed by
Aristides: and when his opinion to join battle was added to that
of Miltiades, it did much to incline the balance. Every leader by
his day having the command in chief, when it came to Aristides'
turn, he delivered it into the hands of Miltiades, showing his
fellow officers, that it is not dishonorable to obey and follow
wise and able men, but, on the contrary, noble and prudent. So
appeasing their rivalry, and bringing them to acquiesce in the
best advice, he confirmed Miltiades in the strength of undivided
and unmolested authority. And now every one, yielding his day of
command, looked for orders only to him. During the fight the main
body of the Athenians being the hardest pressed, the barbarians,
for a long time, making opposition there against the tribes
Leontis and Antiochis, Themistocles and Aristides being ranged
together, fought valiantly; the one being of the tribe Leontis,
the other of the Antiochis. But, after they had beaten the
barbarians back to their ships, and perceived that they did sail
for the isles, but were driven in by the force of se and wind
towards the country of Attica, fearing lest they should take the
city, they hurried away thither with nine tribes, and reached it
the same day.

Of all the virtues of Aristides, the common people were most
affected with his justice, because of its continual and common
use; and thus, although of mean fortune and ordinary birth, he
possessed himself of the most kingly and divine appellation of
Just; which kings, however, and tyrants have never sought after;
but have taken delight to be surnamed besiegers of cities,
thunderers, conquerors, eagles and hawks; affecting, it seems, the
reputation which proceeds from power and violence, rather than
that of virtue.

Aristides, therefore, had at first the fortune to be beloved for
this surname, but at length envied. Especially when Themistocles
spread a rumor amongst the people, that, by determining and
judging all matters privately, he had destroyed the courts of
judicature, and was secretly making way for a monarchy in his own
person, without the assistance of guards. Moreover, the spirit of
the people, now grown high, and confident with their late victory,
naturally entertained feelings of dislike to all of more than
common fame and reputation. Coming together, therefore, from all
parts into the city, they banished Aristides by the ostracism,
giving their jealousy of his reputation the name of fear of
tyranny. For ostracism was not the punishment of any criminal act,
but was speciously said to be the mere depression and humiliation
of excessive greatness and power; and was in fact a gentle relief
and mitigation of envious feeling, which was thus allowed to vent
itself in inflicting no intolerable injury, only a ten years'
banishment. But after it came be exercised upon base and
villainous fellows, they desisted from it; Hyperbolus, being the
last whom they banished by the ostracism.

The cause of Hyperbolus's banishment is said to have been this.
Alcibiades and Nicias, men that bore the greatest sway in the
city, were of different factions. As the people, therefore, were
about to vote the ostracism, and obviously to decree it against
one of them, consulting together and uniting their parties, they
contrived the banishment of Hyperbolus. Upon which the people,
being offended, as if some contempt or affront was put upon the
thing, left off and quite abolished it. It was performed, to be
short, in this manner. Every one taking an ostracon, that is, a
sherd, a piece of earthenware, wrote upon it the citizen's he
would have banished, and carried it to a certain part of the
market-place surrounded with wooden rails. First, the magistrates
numbered all the sherds in gross (for if there were less than six
thousand, the ostracism was imperfect); then, laying every name by
itself, they pronounced him whose name was written by the largest
number, banished for ten years, with the enjoyment of his estate.
As, therefore, they were writing the names on the sherds, it is
reported that an illiterate clownish fellow, giving Aristides his
sherd, supposing him a common citizen, begged him write Aristides
upon it; and he being surprised and asking if Aristides had ever
done him any injury, "None at all," said he, "neither know I the
man; but I am tired of hearing him everywhere called the Just."
Aristides, hearing this, is said to have made no reply, but
returned the sherd with his own name inscribed. At his departure
from the city, lifting up his hands to heaven, he made a prayer
(the reverse, it would seem, of that of Achilles), that the
Athenians might never have any occasion which should constrain
them to remember Aristides.

But three years afterwards, when Xerxes was marching through
Thessaly and Boeotia into the country of Attica, they repealed the
law, and decreed the return of the banished: chiefly fearing lest
Aristides might join himself to the enemy, and bring over many of
his fellow-citizens to the party of the barbarians; much mistaking
the man, who, already before the decree, was exerting himself to
excite and encourage the Greeks to the defense of their liberty.

After the battle of Salamis, Xerxes, much terrified, immediately
hastened to the Hellespont. But Mardonius was left with the most
serviceable part of the army, about three hundred thousand men,
and was a formidable enemy, confident in his infantry, and writing
messages of defiance to the Greeks: "You have overcome by sea men
accustomed to fight on land and unskilled at the oar; but there
lies now the open country of Thessaly; and the plains of Boeotia
offer a broad and worthy field for brave men, either horse or
foot, to contend in."

But he sent privately to the Athenians, both by letter and word of
mouth from the king, promising to rebuild their city, to give them
a vast sum of money, and constitute them lords of all Greece on
condition they would not engage in the war. The Lacedaemonians
receiving news of this, and fearing, dispatched an embassy to the
Athenians, entreating that they would send their wives and
children to Sparta, and receive support from them for their
superannuated. For, being despoiled both of their city and
country, the people were suffering extreme distress. Having given
audience to the ambassadors, they returned an answer, upon the
motion of Aristides, worthy of the highest admiration; declaring,
that they forgave their enemies if they thought all things
purchasable by wealth, than which they knew nothing of greater
value; but that they felt offended at the Lacaemonians, for
looking only to their present poverty, without any remembrance of
their valor and magnanimity, and offering them their victuals, to
fight in the cause of Greece. Aristides made this proposal,
brought back the ambassadors into the assembly, and charged them
to tell the Lacaemonians that all the treasure on earth or under
it was of less value with the people of Athens than the liberty of
Greece. And, showing the sun to those who came from Mardonius," as
long as that retains the same course, so long," said he, "shall
the citizens of Athens wage war with the Persians for the country
which has been wasted, and the temples that have been profaned and
burnt by them." Moreover, he proposed a decree, that the priests
should anathematize him who sent any herald to the Medes, or
deserted the alliance of Greece.

When Mardonius made a second incursion into the country of Attica,
the people passed over again into the isle of Salamis. Aristides
himself went to Lacedaemon, and reproved them for the delay and
neglect in abandoning Athens once more to the barbarians; and
demanded their assistance for that part of Greece which was not
yet lost. The Ephori, hearing this, made show of sporting all day,
and of carelessly keeping holy day (for they were then celebrating
the Hyacinthian festival), but in the night, selecting five
thousand Spartans, each of whom was attended by seven Helots, they
sent them forth unknown to those from Athens. And when Aristides
again reprehended them, they told him in derision that he either
doted or dreamed, for the army was already at Oresteum, in their
march towards the strangers; as they called the Persians.
Aristides answered that they jested unreasonably, deluding their
friends, instead of their enemies.

Being chosen general for the war, he repaired to Plataea, with
eight thousand Athenians, where Pausanias, general-issimo of all
Greece, joined him with the Spartans; and the forces of the other
Greeks came in to them. The encampment of the barbarians extended
all along the bank of the river Asopus, their numbers being so
great, there was no enclosing them all, but their baggage and most
valuable things were surrounded with a square bulwark, each side
of which was the length of ten furlongs.

The Tegeatans, contesting the post of honor with the Athenians,
demanded, that according to custom, the Lacedaemonians being
ranged on the right wing of the battle, they might have the left,
alleging several matters in commendation of their ancestors. The
Athenians being indignant at the claim, Aristides came forward and
said: "To contend with the Tegeatans for noble descent and valor,
the present time permits not: but this we say to you, O you
Spartans, and you the rest of the Greeks, that place neither takes
away nor contributes courage: we shall endeavor by maintaining the
post you assign us, to reflect no dishonor on our former
performances. For we are come, not to differ with our friends, but
to fight our enemies; not to extol our ancestors, but to behave as
valiant men. This battle will manifest how much each city,
captain, and private soldier is worth to Greece." The council of
war, upon this address, decided for the Athenians, and gave them
the other wing of the battle.

At this juncture, Mardonius made trial of the Grecian courage, by
sending his whole number of horse, in which he thought himself
much the stronger, against them, while they were all, except the
Megarians, encamped at the foot of Mount Cithaeron, in strong and
rocky places. They being three thousand in number, had pitched
their tents on the plain, where the cavalry charged and made
inroads upon them from all sides. They sent, therefore, in haste
to Pausanias, demanding relief, not being able alone to sustain
the great numbers of the barbarians. Pausanias, hearing this, and
perceiving the tents of the Megarians almost hidden by the
multitude of darts and arrows, and themselves driven together into
a narrow space, was at a loss how to aid them with his battalions
of heavy-armed Lacedaemonians. He asked, therefore, as a test of
emulation and love of distinction, to the commanders and captains
who were around him, if any would voluntarily take upon the
defense and succor of the Megarians.

The rest being backward, Aristides undertook the enterprise for
the Athenians, and sent Olympiodorus, the most valiant of his
inferior officers, with three hundred chosen men and some archers
under his command. These were soon in readiness, and running upon
the enemy, as soon as it was perceived by Masistius, who commanded
the cavalry of the barbarians, a man of wonderful courage and of
extraordinary bulk and comeliness of person, he turned his steed
and made towards them. They sustained the shock and joined battle
with him, as though by this encounter they were to try the success
of the whole war. But after Masistius's horse received a wound,
and flung him, and he falling, could hardly raise himself through
the weight of his armor, the Athenians pressed upon him with
blows, but could not easily get at his person, armed as he was,
breast, head, and limbs all over, with gold and brass and iron;
but one of them at last, running a javelin under the visor of his
helmet, slew him; and the rest of the Persians, leaving the body,
fled. The greatness of the Greek success was known, not by the
multitude of the slain, (for an inconsiderable number were
killed), but by the sorrow the barbarians expressed. For they
shaved themselves, their horses, and mules for the death of
Masistius, and filled the plain with howling and lamentation;
having lost a person, who, next to Mardonius himself, was by far
the chief among them, both for valor and authority.

After this skirmish of the horse, they kept from fighting a long
time; for the soothsayers, by the sacrifices, foretold the victory
both to Greeks and Persians, if they stood upon the defensive part
only, but if they became aggressors, the contrary. At length
Mardonious, when he had but a few days' provision, and the Greek
forces were increasing continually, impatient of delay, determined
to lie still no longer, but passing Asopus by daybreak, to fall
unexpectedly upon the Greeks. This he signified the night before
to the captains of his host. But about midnight, a certain
horseman stole into the Greek camp, and coming to the watch,
desired them to summon Aristides, the Athenian, to him. He came
speedily, and the stranger said: "I am Alexander, king of the
Macedonians, and have come here through the greatest danger in the
world for the goodwill I bear you, lest a sudden onset should
dismay you, so as to behave in the fight worse than usual. For to-
morrow Mardonius will give you battle, urged, not by any hope of
success or courage, but by want of victuals: for the prophets
prohibit him from the battle, the sacrifices and oracles being
unfavorable; but the army is in despondency and consternation; and
necessity forces him to try his fortune, or sit still and endure
the last extremity of want." Alexander, thus saying, entreated
Aristides to take notice and remember him, but not tell any other.
But he replied that it was not fair conceal to the matter from
Pausanias (because he was general); as for any others he would
keep it secret from them till the battle was fought; but if the
Greeks obtained the victory, that then no one should be ignorant
of Alexander's goodwill and kindness towards them. After this, the
king of the Macedonians rode back again, and Aristides went to
Pausanias's tent and told him; and they sent for the rest of the
captains and gave orders that the army should be in battle array.

Meantime, day came upon them; and Mardonious having his army in
array, fell upon the Lacedaemonians with great shouting and noise
of barbarous people, as if they were not about to join battle, but
crush the Greeks in their flight- a thing which very nearly came
to pass. For Pausanius, perceiving what was done, made a halt, and
commanded every one to put themselves in order for the battle; but
through the disturbance he was in, on account of the sudden
approach of the enemy, he forgot to give the signal to the Greeks
in general. Whence it was, that they did not come immediately, or
in a body, to their assistance, but by small companies and
straggling, when the fight was already begun. Pausanias, offering
sacrifice, could not procure favorable omens, and so commanded the
Lacedaemonians to set down their shields at their feet and wait
quietly await for his directions, making no resistance to any of
their enemies. At this time, Callicrates, who, we are told, was
the most comely man in the army, being shot with an arrow and upon
the point of expiring, said that he did not lament his death (for
he came from home to lay down his life in defense of Greece) but
that he died without action. While Pausanias was thus in the act
of supplication, the sacrifices appeared propitious, and the
soothsayers foretold victory. The word being given, the
Lacedaemonian battalion of foot seemed, on the sudden, like some
fierce animal, setting up his bristles, and betaking himself to
the combat; and the barbarians perceived that they encountered
with men who would fight to the death. Therefore, holding their
wicker shields before them, they shot their arrows amongst the
Lacedaemonians. But they, keeping together in the order of a
phalanx, and falling upon their enemies forced their shields out
of their hands, and, striking with their pikes at the breasts and
faces of the Persians, overthrew many of them; they, however, fell
neither unrevenged nor without courage. For taking hold of the
spears with their bare hands, they broke many of them, and betook
themselves with effect to the sword; and making use of their
falchions and scimitars, and wresting the Lacedaemonians' shields
from them, and grappling with them, for a long time stood their

Meanwhile, the Athenians were standing still, waiting for the
Lacedaemonians to come up. But when they heard a great noise as of
men engaged in fight, and a messenger came from Pausanias to
inform them of what was going on, they made haste to their
assistance. And as they passed through the plain to the place
where the noise was, the recreant Greeks, who took part with the
enemy, came upon them. Aristides, as soon as he saw them, going a
considerable space before the rest, cried out to them, by the
guardian gods of Greece, not to enter the fight, and be no
impediment to those who were going to succor the defenders of
Greece. But when he perceived that they gave no attention to him,
and had prepared themselves for the battle, then turning from the
present relief of the Lacedaemonians, he engaged with them, being
five thousand in number. But the greatest part soon gave way and
retreated, as the barbarians were also put to flight.

The battle being thus divided, the Lacedaemonians first beat off
the Persians; and a Spartan, named Arimnestus, slew Mardonius by a
blow on the head with a stone, as the oracle in the temple of
Amphiaraus had foretold to him. For Mardonius sent a Lydian
thither, and another person, a Carian, to the cave of Trophonius.
The latter, the priest of the oracle answered in his own language.
But to the Lydian sleeping in the temple of Amphiaraus, it seemed
that a minister of the divinity stood before him and commanded him
to be gone; and on his refusing to do it, flung a great stone at
his head, so that he thought himself slain with the blow. Such is
the story.

Of three hundred thousand of the enemy, forty thousand only are
said to have escaped with Artabazus; while on the Greeks' side
there perished in all thirteen hundred and sixty; of whom fifty-
two were Athenians, all of the tribe Aeantis, that fought, says
Clidemus, with the greatest courage of all; and for this reason
the men of this tribe used to offer sacrifice for the victory, as
enjoined by the oracle, at the public expense; ninety-one were
Lacedaemonians, and sixteen Tegeatans. They engraved upon the
altar this inscription:

The Greeks, when by their courage and their might,
They had repelled the Persian in the fight,
The common altar of freed Greece to be,
Reared this to Jupiter who guards the free.

The battle of Plataea was fought on the fourth day of the month
Boedromion, on which day there is still a convention of the Greeks
at Plataea, and the Plateans still offer sacrifice for the victory
to "Jupiter of freedom."

After this, the Athenians, not yielding the honor of the day to
the Lacedaemonians, nor consenting that they should erect a
trophy, peace was well-nigh destroyed by a dissension among the
armed Greeks; but Aristides, by soothing and counseling the
commanders, especially Leocrates and Myronides, pacified and
persuaded them to leave the thing to the decision of the Greeks.
Cleocritus of Corinth rising up, made people think he would ask
the palm for the Corinthians (for next to Sparta and Athens,
Corinth was in greatest estimation); but he delivered his opinion,
to the general admiration, in favor of the Plataeans; and
counseled to take away all contention by giving them the reward
and the glory of the victory, whose being honored could be
distasteful to neither party. This being said, first Aristides
gave consent in the name of the Athenians, and Pausanias then, for
the Lacedaemonians. So, being reconciled, they set apart eighty
talents for the Plateans, with which they built the temple and
dedicated the image to Minerva, and adorned the temple with
pictures, which even to this very day retain their lustre. But the
Lacedaemonians and Athenians each erected a trophy apart by
themselves. On their consulting the oracle about offering
sacrifice, Apollo answered that they should dedicate an altar to
Jupiter of freedom, but should not sacrifice till they had
extinguished the fires throughout the country, as having been
defiled by the barbarians, and had kindled unpolluted fire at the
common altar at Delphi. The magistrates of Greece, therefore, went
forthwith and compelled such as had fire to put it out; and
Euchidas, a Plataean, promising to fetch fire with all possible
speed, from the altar of the god, ran to Delphi, and having
sprinkled and purified his body, crowned himself with laurel; and
taking the fire from the altar ran back to Plataea, arriving
before sunset, and performing in one day a journey of a thousand
furlongs; and saluting his fellow-citizens and delivering them the
fire, he immediately fell down and a short time after expired.
Then the Plataeans, taking him up, interred him in the temple of
Diana Euclia, setting this inscription over him: "Euchidas ran to
Delphi and back again in one day."

A general assembly of all the Greeks being called, Aristides
proposed a decree, that the deputies and religious representatives
of the Greek states should assemble annually at Plataea, and every
fifth year celebrate the Eleutheria, or games of freedom. And that
there should be a levy upon all Greece, for the war against the
barbarians, of ten thousand spearmen, one thousand horse, and a
hundred sail of ships; but the Plateans to be exempt, and sacred
to the service of the gods, offering sacrifice for the welfare of
Greece. These things being ratified, the Plateans undertook the
performance of annual sacrifice to such as were slain and buried
in that place; which they still perform in the following manner.
On the sixteenth day of Maemacterion they make their procession,
which, beginning by break of day, is led by a trumpeter sounding
for onset; then follow chariots loaded with myrrh and garlands;
and then a black bull; then come the young men of free birth
carrying libations of wine and milk in large two-handed vessels,
and jars of oil and precious ointments, none of servile condition
being permitted to have any hand in this ministration, because the
men died in defense of freedom; after all comes the chief
magistrate of Plataea (for whom it is unlawful at other times for
him either to touch iron, or wear any other colored garment but
white), at that time appareled in a purple robe; and taking a
water-pot out of the city record-office, he proceeds, bearing a
sword in his hand, through the middle of the town to the
sepulchres. Then drawing water out of a spring, he washes and
anoints the monuments, and sacrificing the bull upon a pile of
wood, and making supplication to Jupiter and Mercury of the earth,
invites those valiant men who perished in the defense of Greece,
to the banquet and the libations of blood. After this, mixing a
bowl of wine, and pouring out for himself, he says, "I drink to
those who lost their lives for the liberty of Greece." These
solemnities the Plataeans observe to this day.

Theophrastus tells us that Aristides was, in his own private
affairs, and those of his own fellow-citizens, rigorously just,
but that in public matters he acted often in accordance with his
country's policy, which demanded, sometimes, not a little
injustice. It is reported of him that he said in a debate, upon
the motion of the Samians for removing the treasure from Delos to
Athens, contrary to the league, that the thing indeed was not
just, but was expedient.

In fine, having established the dominion of his city over so many
people, he himself remained indigent; and always delighted as much
in the glory of being poor, as in that of his trophies; as is
evident from the following story. Callias, the torch-bearer was
related to him: and was prosecuted by his enemies in a capital
cause, in which, after they had slightly argued the matters on
which they indicted him, they proceeded, beside the point, to
address the judges: "You know," said they, "Aristides, the son of
Lysimachus, who is the admiration of all Greece. In what a
condition do you think his family is at his house, when you see
him appear in public in such a threadbare cloak? Is it not
probable that one, who, out of doors, goes thus exposed to the
cold, must want food and other necessaries at home? Callias, the
wealthiest of the Athenians, does nothing to relieve either him or
his wife and children in their poverty, though he is his own
cousin, and has made use of him in many cases, and often reaped
advantage by his interest with you." But Callias, perceiving that
the judges were particularly moved by this, and were exasperated
against him, called in Aristides, who testified that when Callias
offered him divers presents, and entreated him to accept them, he
had refused, answering, that it became him better to be proud of
his poverty than Callias of his wealth. On Aristides deposing
these facts in favor of Callias, there was not one who heard them
that went way desirous rather to be poor like Aristides, than rich
as Callias. Thus Aeschines, the scholar of Socrates, writes. But
Plato declares, that of all the great and renowned men in the city
of Athens, he was the only one worthy of consideration; for while
Themistocles, Cimon, and Pericles filled the city with porticoes,
treasure, and many other vain things, Aristides guided his public
life by the rule of justice. He showed his moderation very plainly
in his conduct toward Themistocles himself. For though
Themistocles had been his adversary in all his undertakings, and
was the cause of his banishment, yet when he afforded a similar
opportunity of revenge, being accused by the city, Aristides bore
him no malice; but while Alcmaeon, Cimon, and many others were
prosecuting and impeaching him, Aristides alone, neither did, nor
said any evil against him, and no more triumphed over his enemy in
his adversity, than he had envied him his prosperity.

Some say Aristides died in Pontus, during a voyage upon the
affairs of the public. Others say that he died of old age at
Athens, being in great honor and veneration among his fellow-

His monument is to be seen at Phalerum, which they say was built
for him by the city, he not having left enough even to defray
funeral charges. And it is stated, that his two daughters were
publicly married out of the prytaneum, or state-house, by the
city, which decreed each of them three thousand drachmas for her
portion; and that upon his son Lysimachus, the people bestowed a
hundred minas of money, and as many acres of planted land, and
ordered him besides, upon the motion of Alcibiades, four drachmas
a day.


Cimon was the son of Miltiades and Hegesipyle, who was by birth a
Thracian, and daughter to the king Olorus. By this means the
historian Thucydides was his kinsman by the mother's side; for his
father's name also, in remembrance of this common ancestor, was
Olorus, and he was the owner of the gold mines in Thrace, and met
his death, it is said, by violence, in Scapte Hyle, a district of
Thrace. Cimon was left an orphan very young, with his sister
Elpinice, who was also young and unmarried. And at first he had
but an indifferent reputation, being looked upon as disorderly in
his habits, fond of drinking, and resembling his grandfather, also
called Cimon, in character, whose simplicity got him the surname
of Coalemus the simpleton. Stesimbrotus of Thasos, who lived about
the same time with Cimon, reports of him that he had little
acquaintance either with music, or any of the other liberal
studies and accomplishments, then common among the Greeks; that he
had nothing whatever of the quickness and the ready speech of his
countrymen in Attica; that he had great nobleness and candor in
his disposition, and in his character in general, resembled rather
a native of Peloponnesus, than of Athens; as Euripides describes
Hercules: --

 ----Rude And unrefined, for great things, well-endued;

for this may fairly be added to the character which Stesimbrotus
has given of him.

Almost all the points of Cimon's character were noble and good. He
was as daring as Miltiades, and not inferior to Themistocles in
judgment, and was incomparably more just and honest than either of
them. Fully their equal in all military virtues, in the ordinary
duties of a citizen at home he was immeasurably their superior.
And this, too, when he was very young, his years not strengthened
by any experience. For when Themistocles, upon the Median
invasion, advised the Athenians to forsake their city and their
country, and to carry all their arms on shipboard, and fight the
enemy by sea, in the straits of Salamis; when all the people stood
amazed at the confidence and rashness of this advice, Cimon was
seen, the first of all men, passing with a cheerful countenance
through the Ceramics, on his way with his companions to the
citadel, carrying a bridle in his hand to offer to the goddess,
intimating that there was no more need of horsemen now, but of
mariners. There, after he had paid his devotions to the goddess,
and offered up the bridle, he took down one of the bucklers that
hung upon the walls of the temple, and went down to the port; by
this example giving confidence to many of the citizens. He was
also of a fairly handsome person, according to the poet Ion, tall
and large, and let his thick and curly hair grow long. After he
had acquitted himself gallantly in this battle of Salamis, he
obtained great repute among the Athenians, and was regarded with
affection, as well as admiration. He had many who followed after
him, and bade him aspire to actions not less famous than his
father's battle of Marathon. And when he came forward in political
life, the people welcomed him gladly, being now weary of
Themistocles; in opposition to whom, and because of the frankness
and easiness of his temper, which was agreeable to every one, they
advanced Cimon to the highest employments in the government. The
man that contributed most to his promotion was Aristides, who
early discerned in his character his natural capacity, and
purposely raised him, that he might be a counterpoise to the craft
and boldness of Themistocles. After the Medes had been driven out
of Greece, Cimon was sent out as admiral, when the Athenians had
not yet attained their dominion by sea, but still followed
Pausanias and the Lacedaemonians; and his fellow-citizens under
his command were highly distinguished, both for the excellence of
their discipline, and for their extraordinary zeal and readiness.
And further, perceiving that Pausanias was carrying on secret
communications with the barbarians, and writing letters to the
king of Persia to betray Greece, and, puffed up with authority and
success, was treating the allies haughtily, and committing many
wanton injustices, Cimon, taking advantage, by acts of kindness to
those who were suffering wrong, and by his general humane bearing,
robbed him of the command of the Greeks, before he was aware, not
by arms, but by his mere language and character. Cimon,
strengthened with the accession of the allies, went as general
into Thrace. For he was told that some great men among the
Persians, of the king's kindred, being in possession of Eion, a
city situated upon the river Strymon, infested the neighboring
Greeks. First he defeated these Persians in battle, and shut them
up within the walls of their town. Then he fell upon the Thracians
of the country beyond the Strymon, because they supplied Eion with
victuals, and driving them entirely out of the country, took
possession of it as conqueror, by which means he reduced the
besieged to such straits, that Butes, who commanded there for the
king, in desperation set fire to the town, and burned himself, his
goods, and all his relations, in one common flame. By this means,
Cimon got the town, but no great booty; as the barbarians had not
only consumed themselves in the fire, but the richest of their
effects. However, he put the country into the hands of the
Athenians, a most advantageous and desirable situation for a
settlement. For this action, the people permitted him to erect the
stone Mercuries, upon the first of which was this inscription:--

Of bold and patient spirit, too, were those Who, where the Strymon
under Eion flows, With famine and the sword, to utmost need
Reduced at last the children of the Mede.

Upon the second stood this:--

The Athenians to their leaders this reward For great and useful
service did accord; Others hereafter, shall, from their applause,
Learn to be valiant in their country's cause.

And upon the third, the following:--

With Atreus' sons, this city sent of yore Divine Menestheus to the
Trojan shore; Of all the Greeks, so Homer's verses say, The ablest
man an army to array; So old the title of her sons the name Of
chiefs and champions in the field to claim.

Though the name of Cimon is not mentioned in these inscriptions,
yet his contemporaries considered them to be the very highest
honors to him; as neither Miltiades nor Themistocles ever received
the like. When Miltiades claimed a garland, Sochares of Decelea
stood up in the midst of the assembly and opposed it, using words
which, though ungracious, were received with applause by the
people. "When you have gained a victory by yourself, Miltiades,
then you may ask to triumph so too."

One mark of Cimon's great favor with the people, was the judgment,
afterwards so famous upon the tragic poets. Sophocles, still a
young man, had just brought forward his first plays; opinions were
much divided, and the spectators had taken sides with some heat.
So, to determine the case, Apsephion, who was at that time Archon,
would not cast lots who should be judges; but when Cimon, and his
brother commanders with him, came into the theatre, after they had
performed the usual rites to the god of the festival, he would not
allow them to retire, but came forward and made them swear, being
ten in all, one from each tribe, the usual oath; and so being
sworn judges, he made them sit down to give sentence. The
eagerness for victory grew all the warmer, from the ambition to
get the suffrages of such honorable judges. And the victory was at
last adjudged to Sophocles, which Aeschylus is said to have taken
so ill, that he left Athens shortly after, and went in anger to
Sicily, where he died, and was buried near the city of Gela.

Ion relates that when he was a young man, and had recently come
from Chios to Athens, he chanced to sup with Cimon, at Laomedon's
house. After supper, when they had, according to custom, poured
out wine to the honor of the gods, Cimon was desired by the
company to give them a song, which he did with sufficient success,
and received the commendations of the company, who remarked on his
superiority to Themistocles, who, on a like occasion, had declared
he had never learnt to sing, or to play, and only knew how to make
a city rich and powerful. After talking of things incident to such
entertainments, they entered upon the particulars of the several
actions for which Cimon had been famous. And when they were
mentioning the most signal, he told them they had omitted one,
upon which he valued himself most for address and good
contrivance. He gave this account of it. When the allies had taken
a great number of the barbarians prisoners in Sestos and
Byzantium, they gave him the preference to divide the booty; he
accordingly put the prisoners in one lot, and the spoils of their
rich attire and jewels in the other. This the allies complained of
as an unequal division; but he gave them their choice to take
which lot they would, saying that the Athenians should be content
with that which they refused. Herophytus of Samos advised them to
take the ornaments for their share, and leave the slaves to the
Athenians; and Cimon went away, and was much laughed at for his
ridiculous division. For the allies carried away the golden
bracelets, and armlets, and collars, and purple robes, and the
Athenians had only the naked bodies of the captives, which they
could make no advantage of, being unused to labor. But a little
while after, the friends and kinsmen of the prisoners coming from
Lydia and Phrygia, redeemed every one his relations at a high
ransom; so that by this means Cimon got so much treasure that he
maintained his whole fleet of galleys with the money for four
months; and yet there was some left to lay up in the treasury at

Cimon now grew rich, and what he gained from the barbarians with
honor, he spent yet more honorably upon the citizens. For he
pulled down all the enclosures of his gardens and grounds, that
strangers, and the needy of his fellow-citizens, might gather of
its fruits freely. At home, he kept a table, plain, but sufficient
for a considerable number, to which any poor townsman had free
access, and so might support himself without labor, with his whole
time left free for public duties. Aristotle states, however, that
this reception did not extend to all the Athenians, but only to
his own fellow townsmen, the Laciadae.* Besides this, he always
went attended by two or three young companions, very well clad;
and if he met with an elderly citizen in a poor habit, one of
these would change clothes with the decayed citizen, which was
looked upon as very nobly done. He enjoined them, likewise, to
carry a considerable quantity of coin about them, which they were
to convey silently into the hands of the better class of poor men,
as they stood by them in the market-place. This, Cratinus, the
poet, speaks of in one of his comedies, the Archilochi:--

For I, Metrobius too, the scrivener poor,
Of ease and comfort in my age secure,
By Greece's noblest son in life's decline,
Cimon, the generous-hearted, the divine,
Well-fed and feasted hoped till death to be,
Death which, alas! has taken him ere me.

Gorgias the Leontine gives him this character, that he got riches
that he might use them, and used them that he might get honor by
them. And Critias, one of the thirty tyrants, makes it, in his
elegies, his wish to have

The Scopads' wealth, and Cimon's nobleness,
And king Agesilaus's success.

Lichas, we know, became famous in Greece, only because on the days
of the sports, when the young boys ran naked, he used to entertain
the strangers that came to see these diversions. But Cimon's
generosity outdid all the old Athenian hospitality and good-
nature. For though it is the city's just boast that their
forefathers taught the rest of Greece to sow corn, and how to use
springs of water, and to kindle fire, yet Cimon, by keeping open
house for his fellow-citizens, and giving travelers liberty to eat
the fruits which the several seasons produced in his land, seemed
to restore to the world that community of goods, which mythology
says existed in the reign of Saturn. Those who object to him that
he did this to be popular, and gain the applause of the vulgar,
are confuted by the constant tenor of the rest of his actions,
which all ended to uphold the interests of the nobility and the
Spartan policy, of which he gave instances, when, together with
Aristides, he opposed Themistocles, who was advancing the
authority of the people beyond its just limits, and resisted
Ephialtes, who to please the multitude, was for abolishing the
jurisdiction of the court of Areopagus. And when all the men of
his time, except Aristides and Ephialtes, enriched themselves out
of the public money, he still kept his hands clean and untainted,
and to his last day never acted or spoke for his own private gain
or emolument. They tell us that Rhoesaces, a Persian, who had
traitorously revolted from the king his master, fled to Athens,
and there, being harassed by sycophants who were still accusing
him to the people, he applied himself to Cimon for redress, and to
gain his favor, laid down in his doorway two cups, the one full of
gold, and the other of silver Darics. Cimon smiled and asked him
whether he wished to have Cimon's hired service or his friendship.
He replied, his friendship. "If so," said he, "take away these
pieces, for being your friend, when I shall have occasion for
them, I will send and ask for them."

The allies of the Athenians began now to be weary of war and
military service, willing to have repose, and to look after their
husbandry and traffic. For they saw their enemies driven out of
the country, and did not fear any new vexations from them. They
still paid the tax they were assessed at, but did not send men and
galleys, as they had done before. This the other Athenian generals
wished to constrain them to, and by judicial proceedings against
defaulters, and penalties which they inflicted on them, made the
government uneasy, and even odious. But Cimon practiced a contrary
method; he forced no man to go that was not willing, but of those
that desired to be excused from service he took money and vessels
unmanned, and let them yield to the temptation of staying at home,
to attend to their private business. Thus they lost their military
habits, and luxury and their own folly quickly changed them into
unwarlike husbandmen and traders; while Cimon, continually
embarking large numbers of Athenians on board his galleys,
thoroughly disciplined them in his expeditions, and ere long made
them the lords of their own paymasters. The allies, whose
indolence maintained them, while they thus went sailing about
everywhere, and incessantly bearing arms and acquiring skill,
began to fear and flatter them, and found themselves after a while
allies no longer, but unwittingly become tributaries and slaves.

Nor did any man ever do more than Cimon did to humble the pride of
the Persian king. He was not content with ridding Greece of him;
but following close at his heels, before the barbarians could take
breath and recover themselves, what with his devastations, and his
forcible reduction of some places and the revolts and voluntary
accession of others, in the end, from Ionia to Pamphylia, all Asia
was clear of Persian soldiers. Word being brought him that the
royal commanders were lying in wait upon the coast of Pamphylia,
with a numerous land army, and a large fleet, he determined to
make the whole sea on this side the Chelidonian islands so
formidable to them that they should never dare to show themselves
in it; and setting off from Cnidos and the Triopian headland, with
two hundred galleys, which had been originally built with
particular care by Themistocles, for speed and rapid evolutions,
and to which he now gave greater width and roomier decks along the
sides to move to and fro upon, so as to allow a great number of
full-armed soldiers to take part in the engagements and fight from
them, he shaped his course first of all against the town of
Phaselis, which, though inhabited by Greeks, yet would not quit
the interests of Persia, but denied his galleys entrance into
their port. Upon this he wasted the country, and drew up his army
to their very walls; but the soldiers of Chios, who were then
serving under him, being ancient friends to the Phaselites,
endeavoring to propitiate the general in their behalf, at the same
time shot arrows into the town, to which were fastened letters
conveying intelligence. At length he concluded peace with them,
upon the conditions that they should pay down ten talents, and
follow him against the barbarians. The Persian admiral lay waiting
for him with the whole fleet at the mouth of the river Eurymedon,
with no design to fight, but expecting a reinforcement of eighty
Phoenician ships on their way from Cyprus. Cimon, aware of this,
put out to sea, resolved, if they would not fight a battle
willingly, to force them to it. The barbarians, seeing this,
retired within the mouth of the river to avoid being attacked; but
when they saw the Athenians come upon them, notwithstanding their
retreat, they met them with six hundred ships, as Phanodemus
relates, but according to Ephorus, with three hundred and fifty.
However, they did nothing worthy such mighty forces, but
immediately turned the prows of their galleys toward the shore,
where those that came first threw themselves upon the land, and
fled to their army drawn up thereabout, while the rest perished
with their vessels, or were taken. By this, one may guess at their
number, for though a great many escaped out of the fight, and a
great many others were sunk, yet two hundred galleys were taken by
the Athenians.

When their land army drew toward the seaside, Cimon was in
suspense whether he should venture to try and force his way on
shore; as he should thus expose his Greeks, wearied with slaughter
in the first engagement, to the swords of the barbarians, who were
all fresh men, and many times their number. But seeing his men
resolute, and flushed with victory, he bade them land, though they
were not yet cool from their first battle. As soon as they touched
ground, they set up a shout and ran upon the enemy, who stood firm
and sustained the first shock with great courage, so that the
fight was a hard one, and some of the principal men of the
Athenians in rank and courage were slain. At length, though with
much ado, they routed the barbarians, and killing some, took
others prisoners, and plundered all their tents and pavilions,
which were full of rich spoil. Cimon, liked a skilled athlete at
the games, having in one day carried off two victories, wherein he
surpassed that of Salamis by sea, and that of Plataea by land, was
encouraged to try for yet another success. News being brought that
the Phoenician succors, in number eighty sail, had come in sight
at Hydrum, he set off with all speed to find them, while they as
yet had not received any certain account of the larger fleet, and
were in doubt what to think; so that thus surprised, they lost all
their vessels, and most of their men with them. This success of
Cimon so daunted the king of Persia, that he presently made that
celebrated peace, by which he engaged that his armies should come
no nearer the Grecian sea than the length of a horse's course; and
that none of his galleys or vessels of war should appear between
the Cyanean and Chelidonian isles. In the collection which
Craterus made of the public acts of the people, there is a draft
of this treaty given.

The people of Athens raised so much money from the spoils of this
war, which were publicly sold, that, besides other expenses, and
raising the south wall of the citadel, they laid the foundation of
the long walls, not, indeed, finished till at a later time, which
were called the Legs. And the place where they built them being
soft and marshy ground, they were forced to sink great weights of
stone and rubble to secure the foundation, and did all this out of
the money Cimon supplied them with.

It was he, likewise, who first embellished the upper city with
those fine and ornamental places of exercise and resort, which
they afterward so much frequented and delighted in. He set the
market-place with plane trees; and the Academy, which was before a
bare, dry, and dirty spot, he converted into a well-watered grove,
with shady alleys to walk in, and open courses for races.

When the Persians who had made themselves masters of the
Chersonese, so far from quitting it, called in the people of the
interior of Thrace to help them against Cimon, whom they despised
for the smallness of his forces, he set upon them with only four
galleys, and took thirteen of theirs; and having driven out the
Persians, and subdued the Thracians, he made the hole Chersonese
the property of Athens. Next, he attacked the people of Thasos,
who had revolted from the Athenians; and, having defeated them in
a fight at sea, where he captured thirty-three of their vessels,
he took their own by siege, and acquired for the Athenians all the
mines of gold on the opposite coast, and the territory dependent
on Thasos.

This opened him a fair passage into Macedon, so that he might, it
was thought, have acquired a good portion of that country, and
because he neglected the opportunity, he was suspected of
corruption, and of having been bribed off by king Alexander. So,
by the combination of his adversaries, he was accused of being
false to his country. In his defence he told the judges, that he
had always shown himself in his public life the friend, not, like
other men, of rich Ionians and Thessalonians, to be courted, and
to receive presents, but of the Lacedaemonians; for as he admired,
so he wished to imitate, the plainness of their habits, their
temperance, and simplicity of living, which he preferred to any
sort of riches; but that he always had been, and still was proud
to enrich his country with the spoils of her enemies. Pericles
proved the mildest of his prosecutors, and rose up but once all
the while, almost as a matter of form, to plead against him. Cimon
was acquitted.

In his public life after this, he continued, while at home, to
control the common people, who would have trampled upon the
nobility, and drawn all the power and sovereignty to themselves.
But when he afterwards was sent out to war, the multitude broke
loose, as it were, and overthrew all the ancient laws and customs
they had hitherto observed, and, chiefly at the instigation of
Ephialtes, withdrew the cognizance of almost all causes from the
Areopagus; so that all jurisdiction now being transferred to them,
the government was reduced to a perfect democracy, and this by the
help of Pericles, who was already powerful, and had pronounced in
favor of the common people.

He was indeed a favorer of the Lacedaemonians even from his youth,
and gave the names of Lacedaemonius and Eleus to his two sons,

Cimon was countenanced by the Lacedaemonians in opposition to
Themistocles, whom they disliked; and while he was yet very young,
they endeavored to raise and increase his credit in Athens. This
the Athenians perceived at first with pleasure, and the favor the
Lacedaemonians showed him was in various ways advantageous to them
and their affairs; as at that time they were just rising to power,
and were occupied in winning the allies to their side. So they
seemed not at all offended with the honor and kindness showed to
Cimon, who then had the chief management of all the affairs of
Greece, and was acceptable to the Lacedaemonians, and courteous to
the allies. But afterwards the Athenians, grown more powerful,
when they saw Cimon so entirely devoted to the Lacedaemonians,
began to be angry, for he would always in speeches prefer them to
the Athenians, and upon every occasion, when he would reprimand
them for a fault, or incite them to emulation, he would exclaim,
"The Lacedaemonians would not do thus." This raised the
discontent, and got him in some degree the hatred of the citizens;
but that which ministered chiefly to the accusation against him
fell out upon the following occasion.

In the fourth year of the reign of Archidamus, the son of
Zeuxidamus, king of Sparta, there happened in the country of
Lacedaemon, the greatest earthquake that was known in the memory
of ma; the earth opened into chasms, and the mountain Taygetus was
so shaken that some of the rocky points of it fell down, and
except five houses, all the town of Sparta was shattered to
pieces. They say that a little before any motion was perceived, as
the young men and the boys just grown up were exercising
themselves together in the middle of the portico, a hare, of a
sudden, started out just by them, which the young men, though all
naked and daubed with oil, ran after for sport. No sooner were
they gone from the place, than the gymnasium fell down upon the
boys who had stayed behind, and killed them all. Their tomb is to
this day called Sismatias.* Archidamus, by the present danger made
apprehensive of what might follow, and seeing the citizens intent
upon removing the most valuable of their goods out of their
houses, commanded an alarm to be sounded, as if an enemy were
coming upon them, in order that they should collect about him in a
body, with arms. It was this alone that saved Sparta at that time,
for the Helots had come together from the country about, with
design of surprising the Spartans, and overpowering those whom the
earthquake had spared. But finding them armed and well prepared,
they retired into the towns and openly made war with them, gaining
over a number of the Laconians of the country districts; while at
the same time the Messenians, also, made an attack upon the
Spartans, who therefore despatched Periclidas to Athens to solicit
succor, of whom Aristophanes says in mockery that he came and

In a red jacket, at the altars seated,
With a white face, for men and arms entreated.

This Ephialtes opposed, protesting that they ought not to raise up
or assist a city that was a rival to Athens; but that being down,
it were best to keep her so, and let the pride and arrogance of
Sparta be trodden under. But Cimon, as Critias says, preferring
the safety of Lacedaemon to the aggrandizement of his own country,
so persuaded the people, that he soon marched out with a large
army to their relief. Ion records, also, the most successful
expression which he used to move the Athenians. "They ought not to
suffer Greece to be lamed, nor their own city to be deprived of
her yoke fellow."

In his return from aiding the Lacedaemonians, he passed with his
army through the territory of Corinth; whereupon Lachartus
reproached him for bringing his army into the country, without
first asking leave of the people. For he that knocks at another
man's door ought not to enter the house till the master gives him
leave. "But you, Corinthians, O Lachartus," said Cimon, "did not
knock at the gates of the Cleonaeans and Megarians, but broke them
down and entered by force, thinking that all places should be open
to the stronger." And having thus rallied the Corinthian, he
passed on with his army. Some time after this, the Lacedaemonians
sent a second time to desire succor of the Athenians against the
Messenians and Helots, who had seized upon Ithome. But when they
came, fearing their boldness and gallantry, of all that came to
their assistance, they sent them only back, alleging that they
were designing innovations. The Athenians returned home, enraged
at this usage, and vented their anger upon all those who were
favorers of the Lacedaemonians; and seizing some slight occasion,
they banished Cimon for ten years, which is the time prescribed to
those that are banished by the ostracism. In the mean time, the
Lacedaemonians, on their return after freeing Delphi from the
Phocians, encamped their army at Tanagra, whither the Athenians
presently marched with design to fight them.

Cimon also, came thither armed and ranged himself among those of
his own tribe, which was the Oeneis, desirous of fighting with the
rest against the Spartans; but the council of five hundred being
informed of this, and frightened at it, his adversaries crying out
that he would disorder the army, and bring the Lacedaemonians to
Athens, commanded the officers not to receive him. Wherefore Cimon
left the army, conjuring Euthippus, the Anaphylstian, and the rest
of his companions, who were most suspected as favoring the
Lacedaemonians, to behave themselves bravely against their
enemies, and by their actions make their innocence evident to
their countrymen. These, being in all a hundred, took the arms of
Cimon, and followed his advice; and making a body by themselves,
fought so desperately with the enemy, that they were all cut off,
leaving the Athenians deep regret for the loss of such brave men,
and repentance for having so unjustly suspected them. Accordingly,
they did not long retain their severity toward Cimon, partly upon
remembrance of his former services, and partly, perhaps, induced
by the juncture of the times. For being defeated at Tanagra in a
great battle, and fearing the Peloponnesians would come upon them
at the opening of the spring, they recalled Cimon by a decree, of
which Pericles himself was author. So reasonable were men's
resentments in those times, and so moderate their anger, that it
always gave way to the public good. Even ambition, the least
governable of all human passions, could then yield to the
necessities of the State.

Cimon, as soon as he returned, put an end to the war, and
reconciled the two cities. Peace thus established, seeing the
Athenians impatient of being idle, and eager for the honor and
aggrandizement of war, lest they should set upon the Greeks
themselves, or with so many ships cruising about the isles and
Peloponnesus, they should give occasions for intestine wars, or
complaints of their allies against them, he equipped two hundred
galleys, with design to make an attempt upon Egypt and Cyprus;
purposing, by this means, to accustom the Athenians to fight
against the barbarians, and enrich themselves honestly by
despoiling those who were the natural enemies to Greece. But when
all things were prepared, and the army ready to embark, Cimon had
this dream. It seemed to him that there was a furious female dog
barking at him, and, mixed with the barking, a kind of human voice
uttered these words:

Come on, for thou shalt shortly be
A pleasure to my whelps and me.

 This dream was hard to interpret, yet Astyphilus of Posidonia, a
man skilled in divinations, and intimate with Cimon, told him that
his death was presaged by this vision, which he thus explained. A
dog is enemy to him he barks at; and one is always most a pleasure
to one's enemies, when one is dead; the mixture of human voice
with barking signifies the Medes, for the army of the Medes is
mixed up of Greeks and barbarians. After this dream, as he was
sacrificing to Bacchus, and the priest cutting up the victim, a
number of ants, taking up the congealed particles of the blood,
laid them about Cimon's great toes. This was not observed for a
good while, but at the very time when Cimon spied it, the priest
came and showed him the liver of the sacrifice imperfect, wanting
that part of it called the head. But he could not then recede from
the enterprise, so he set sail. Sixty of his ships he sent toward
Egypt; with the rest he went and fought the king of Persia's
fleet, composed of Phoenician and Cilician galleys, recovered all
the cities thereabout, and threatened Egypt; designing no less
than the entire ruin of the Persian empire. And the more because
he was informed that Themistocles was in great repute among the
barbarians, having promised the king to lead his army, whenever he
should make war upon Greece. But Themistocles, it is said,
abandoning all hopes of compassing his designs, very much out of
the despair of overcoming the valor and good-fortune of Cimon,
died a voluntary death. Cimon, intent on great designs, which he
was now to enter upon, keeping his navy about the isle of Cyprus,
sent messengers to consult the oracle of Jupiter Ammon upon some
secret matter. For it is not known about what they were sent, and
the god would give them no answer, but commanded them to return
again, for Cimon was already with him. Hearing this, they returned
to sea, and as soon as they came to the Grecian army, which was
then about Egypt, they understood that Cimon was dead; and
computing the time of the oracle, they found that his death had
been signified, he being then already with the gods.

He died, some say, of sickness, while besieging Citium, in Cyprus;
according to others, of a wound he received in a skirmish with the
barbarians. When he perceived that he was going to die, he
commanded those under his charge to return, and by no means to let
the news of his death be known by the way; this they did with such
secrecy that they all came home safe, and neither their enemies
nor the allies knew what had happened. Thus, as Phanodemus
relates, the Grecian army was, as it were, conducted by Cimon
thirty days after he was dead. But after his death there was not
one commander among the Greeks that did any thing considerable
against the barbarians, and instead of uniting against their
common enemies, the popular leaders and partisans of war animated
them against one another to such a degree, that none could
interpose their good offices to reconcile them. And while, by
their mutual discord, they ruined the power of Greece, they gave
the Persians time to recover breath, and repair all their losses.
It is true, indeed, Agesilaus carried the arms of Greece into
Asia, but it was a long time afterwards; there were some brief
appearances of a war against the king's lieutenants in the
maritime provinces, but they all quickly vanished; before he could
perform any thing of moment, he was recalled by fresh civil
dissensions and disturbances at home. So that he was forced to
leave the Persian king's officers to impose what tribute they
pleased on the Greek cities in Asia, the confederates and allies
of the Lacedaemonians. Whereas, in the time of Cimon, not so much
as a letter-carrier, or a single horseman, was ever seen to come
within four hundred furlongs of the sea.

The monuments, called Cimonian to this day, in Athens, show that
his remains were conveyed home, yet the inhabitants of the city
Citium pay particular honor to a certain tomb which they call the
tomb of Cimon, according to Nausicrates the rhetorician, who
states that in a time of famine, when the crops of their land all
failed, they sent to the oracle, which commanded them not to
forget Cimon, but give him the honors of a superior being.


The people of Rome appear, from the first, to have been affected
towards Pompey, much in the same manner as Prometheus, in
Aeschylus, was towards Hercules, when after that hero had
delivered him from his chains, he says--

The sire I hated, but the son I loved.

For never did the Romans entertain a stronger and more rancorous
hatred for any general than for Strabo, the father of Pompey.
While he lived, indeed, they were afraid of his abilities as a
soldier, for he had great talents for war; but upon his death,
which happened by a stroke of lightning, they dragged his corpse
from the bier, on the way to the funeral pile, and treated it with
the greatest indignity. On the other hand, no man ever experienced
from the same Romans an attachment more early begun, more
disinterested in all the stages of his prosperity, or more
constant and faithful in the decline of his fortune, than Pompey.

The sole cause of their aversion to the father was his insatiable
avarice; but there were many causes of their affection for the
son; his temperate way of living, his application to martial
exercises, his eloquent and persuasive address, his strict honor
and fidelity, and the easiness of access to him upon all
occasions; for no man was ever less importunate in asking favors,
or more gracious in conferring them. When he gave, it was without
arrogance; and when he received, it was with dignity.

In his youth he had a very engaging countenance, which spoke for
him before he opened his lips. Yet that grace of aspect was not
attended with dignity, and amidst his youthful bloom there was a
venerable and princely air. His hair naturally curled a little
before; which, together with the shining moisture and quick turn
of his eye, produced a stronger likeness to Alexander the Great
than that which appeared in the statues of that prince.

As to the simplicity of his diet, there is a remarkable saying of
his upon record. In a great illness, when his appetite was almost
gone, the physician ordered him a thrush. His servants, upon
inquiry, found there was not one to be had for money, for the
season was passed. They were informed, however, that Lucullus had
them all the year in his menageries. This being reported to
Pompey, he said, "Does Pompey's life depend upon the luxury of
Lucullus?" Then, without any regard to the physician, he ate
something that was easy to be had.

After the death of Cinna, Carbo, a tyrant still more savage, took
the reins of government. It was not long, however, before Sylla
returned to Italy, to the great satisfaction of most of the
Romans, who, in their present unhappy circumstances, thought the
change of their master no small advantage.

Pompey, at the age of twenty-three, without a commission from any
superior authority, erected himself into a general; and having
placed his tribunal in the most public part of the great city of
Auximum, enlisted soldiers and appointed tribunes, centurions, and
other officers, according to the established custom. He did the
same in all the neighboring cities; for the partisans of Carbo
retired and gave place to him; and the rest were glad to range
themselves under his banners. So that in a little time he raised
three complete legions, and furnished himself with provisions,
beasts of burden, carriages; in short, with the whole apparatus of

In this form he moved towards Sylla, not by hasty marches, nor as
if he wanted to conceal himself; for he stopped by the way to
harass the enemy; and attempted to draw off from Carbo all the
parts of Italy through which he passed. At last, three generals of
the opposite party, Carinna, Caelius, and Brutus, came against him
all at once, not in front, or in one body, but they hemmed him in
with their three armies, in hopes to demolish him entirely.

Pompey, far from being terrified, assembled all his forces, and
charged the army of Brutus at the head of his cavalry. The Gaulish
horse on the enemy's side sustained the first shock; but Pompey
attacked the foremost of them, who was a man of prodigious
strength, and brought him down with a push of his spear. The rest
immediately fled and threw the infantry into such disorder that
the whole was soon put to flight. This produced so great a quarrel
among the three generals, that they parted and took separate
routes. In consequence of which, the cities, concluding that the
fears of the enemy had made them part, adopted the interest of

Not long after, Scipio the consul advanced to engage him. But
before the infantry were near enough to discharge their lances,
Scipio's soldiers saluted those of Pompey, and came over to them.
Scipio, therefore, was forced to fly. At last, Carbo sent a large
body of cavalry against Pompey, near the river Arsis. He gave them
so warm a reception, that they were soon broken, and in the
pursuit drove them upon impracticable ground; so that finding it
impossible to escape, they surrendered themselves with their arms
and horses.

Sylla had not yet been informed of these transactions; but upon
the first news of Pompey's being engaged with so many adversaries,
and such respectable generals, he dreaded the consequence, and
marched with all expedition to his assistance. Pompey, having
intelligence of his approach, ordered his officers to see that the
troops were armed and drawn up in such a manner as to make the
handsomest and most gallant appearance before the commander-in-
chief. For he expected great honours from him, and he obtained
greater. Sylla no sooner saw Pompey advancing to meet him, with an
army in excellent condition, both as to age and size of the men,
and the spirits which success had given them, than he alighted;
and upon being saluted of course by Pompey as Imperator, he
returned his salutation with the same title: though no one
imagined that he would have honoured a young man not yet admitted
into the senate with a title for which he was contending with the
Scipios and the Marii. The rest of his behavior was as respectable
as that in the first interview. He used to rise up and uncover his
head, whenever Pompey came to him; which he was rarely observed to
do for any other, though he had a number of persons of distinction
about him.

While Pompey was in Sicily, he received a decree of the senate,
and letters from Sylla, in which he was commanded to cross over to
Africa and to carry on the war with the utmost vigor against
Domitius, who had assembled a much more powerful army than that
which Marius carried not long before from Africa to Italy, when he
made himself master of Rome, and from a fugitive became a tyrant.
Pompey soon finished his preparation for this expedition; and
leaving the command in Sicily to Memmius, his sister's husband, he
set sail with one hundred and twenty armed vessels, and eight
hundred store-ships, laden with provisions, arms, money, and
machines of war. Part of his fleet landed at Utica, and part at
Carthage: immediately after which seven thousand of the enemy came
over to him; and he had brought with him six legions complete.

On his arrival he met with a whimsical adventure. Some of his
soldiers, it seems, found a treasure, and rest of the troops
concluded that the place was full of money, which the
Carthaginians had hid there in some time of public distress.
Pompey, therefore could make no use of them for several days, as
they were searching for treasures; and he had nothing to do but
walk about and amuse himself with the sight of so many thousands
digging and turning up the ground. At last, they gave up the
point, and bade him lead them wherever be pleased, for they were
sufficiently punished for their folly.

Domitius advanced to meet him, and put his troops in order of
battle. There happened to be a channel between them, craggy and
difficult to pass. Moreover, in the morning it began to rain, and
the wind blew violently; insomuch that Domitius, not imagining
there would be any action that day, ordered his army to retire.
But Pompey looked upon this as his opportunity, and he passed the
defile with the utmost expedition. The enemy stood upon their
defence, but it was in a disorderly and tumultuous manner, and the
resistance they made was neither general nor uniform. Besides the
wind and rain beat in their faces. The storm incommoded the
Romans, too, for they could not well distinguish each other. Nay,
Pompey himself was in danger of being killed by a soldier, who
asked him the pass-word, and did not receive a speedy answer. At
length, however, he routed the enemy with great slaughter; not
above three thousand of them escaping out of twenty thousand. The
soldiers then saluted Pompey, Imperator, but he said he would not
accept that title while the enemy's camp stood untouched;
therefore, if they chose to confer such an honor upon him, they
must first make themselves masters of the intrenchments.

At that instant they advanced with great fury against them. Pompey
fought without his helmet, for fear of such an accident as he had
just escaped. The camp was taken, and Domitius slain; in
consequence of which most of the cities immediately submitted, and
rest were taken by assault. He took Iarbas, one of the
confederates of Domitius, prisoner, and bestowed his crown on
Hiempsal. Advancing with the same tide of fortune, and while his
army had all the spirits inspired by success, he entered Numidia,
in which he continued his march for several days, and subdued all
that came in his way. Thus he revived the terror of the Roman
name, which the barbarians had begun to disregard. Nay, he chose
not to leave the savage beasts in the deserts without giving them
a specimen of the Roman valor and success. Accordingly he spent a
few days in hunting lions and elephants. The whole time he passed
in Africa, they tell us, was not above forty days; in which he
defeated the enemy, reduced the whole country, and brought the
affairs of its kings under proper regulations, though he was only
in his twenty-fourth year.

Upon his return to Utica, he received letters from Sylla, in which
he was ordered to send home the rest of his army, and to wait
there with one legion only for a successor. This gave him a great
deal of uneasiness, which he kept to himself, but the army
expressed their indignation aloud; insomuch that when he entreated
them to return to Italy, they launched out into abusive terms
against Sylla, and declared they would never abandon Pompey, or
suffer him to trust a tyrant. At first, he endeavored to pacify
them with mild representations; and when he found those had no
effect, he descended from the tribunal, and retired to his tent in
tears. However, they went and took him thence, and paced him again
upon the tribunal, where they spent a great part of the day; they
insisting that he should stay and keep the command, and he in
persuading them to obey Sylla's orders, and to form no new
faction. At last, seeing no end of their clamors and importunity,
he assured them, with an oath, that he would kill himself, if they
attempted to force him. And even this hardly brought them to

The first news that Sylla heard was, that Pompey had revolted;
upon which he said to his friends, "Then it is my fate to have to
contend with boys in my old age." This he said, because Marius,
who was very young, had brought him into so much trouble and
danger. But when he received true information of the affair, and
observed that all the people flocked out to receive Pompey to
conduct him home with marks of great regard, he resolved to exceed
them in his regards, if possible. He, therefore, hastened to meet
him, and embracing him in the most affectionate manner, saluted
him aloud by the surname of Magnus, or The Great; at the same time
he ordered all about him to give him the same appellation. Others
say, it was given him by the whole army in Africa, but did not
generally obtain till it was authorized by Sylla. It is certain,
he was the last to take it himself, and he did not make use of it
till a long time after, when he was sent into Spain with the
dignity of pro-consul against Sertorius. Then he began to write
himself in his letters in all his edicts, Pompey the Great; for
the world was accustomed to the name, and it was no longer
invidious. In this respect we may justly admire the wisdom of the
ancient Romans, who bestowed on their great men such honorable
names and titles, not only for military achievements, but for the
great qualities and arts which adorn civil life.

When Pompey arrived at Rome, he demanded a triumph, in which he
was opposed by Sylla. The latter alleged that the laws did not
allow that honor to any person who was not either consul or
praetor. Hence it was that the first Scipio, when he returned
victorious from greater wars and conflicts with the Carthaginians
in Spain, did not demand a triumph; for he was neither consul nor
praetor. He added, that if Pompey, who was yet little better than
a beardless youth, and who was not of age to be admitted into the
senate, should enter the city in triumph, it would bring an odium
both upon the dictator's power, and those honors of his friend.
These arguments Sylla insisted on, to show him that he would not
allow of his triumph, and that, in case he persisted, he would
chastise his obstinacy.

Pompey, not in the least intimidated, bade him consider, that more
worshiped the rising than the setting sun; intimating that his
power was increasing, and Sylla's upon the decline. Sylla did not
hear well what he said, but perceiving by the looks and gestures
of the company that they were struck with the expression, he asked
what it was. When he was told it, he admired the spirit of Pompey
and cried, "Let him triumph! Let him triumph!"

There is no doubt that he might then have been easily admitted a
senator, if he had desired it; but his ambition was to pursue
honor in a more uncommon track. It would have been nothing
strange, if Pompey had been a senator before the age fixed for it;
but it was a very extraordinary instance of honor to lead up a
triumph before he was a senator. And it contributed not a little
to gain him the affections of the multitude; the people were
delighted to see him, after his triumph, class with the equestrian

The power of the pirates had its foundation in Cilicia. Their
progress was the more dangerous, because at first it was little
taken notice of. In the Mithridatic war they assumed new
confidence and courage, on account of some services they had
rendered the king. After this, the Romans being engaged in civil
wars at the very gates of their capital, the sea was left
unguarded, and the pirates by degrees attempted higher things;
they not only attacked ships, but islands, and maritime towns.
Many persons, distinguished for their wealth, their birth, and
their capacity, embarked with them, and assisted in the
depredations, as if their employment had been worthy the ambition
of men of honor. They had in various places arsenals, ports, and
watch-towers, all strongly fortified. Their fleets were not only
extremely well manned, supplied with skillful pilots, and fitted
for their business by their lightness and celerity; but there was
a parade of vanity about them more mortifying than their strength,
in gilded sterns, purpose canopies, and plated oars; as if they
took a pride and triumphed in their villainy. Music resounded, and
drunken revels were exhibited on every coast. Here generals were
made prisoners; there the cities the pirates had taken were paying
their ransom; all to the great disgrace of the Roman power. The
number of their galleys amounted to one thousand, and the cities
they were masters of to four hundred.

Temples which had stood inviolably sacred till that time, they
plundered. They ruined the temple of Apollo at Claros, that of the
Cabiri in Samothrace, of Ceres at Hermione, of Aesculapius at
Epidaurus, those of Neptune in the Isthmus, at Taenarus and in
Calauria, those of Apollo at Actium and in the isle of Leucas,
those of Juno at Samos, Argos, and the promontory of Lacinium.

They likewise offered strange sacrifices; those of Olympus I mean;
and they celebrated certain secret mysteries, among which those of
Mithra continue to this day, being originally instituted by them.
They not only insulted the Romans at sea but infested the great
roads, and plundered the villas near the coast; they carried off
Sextilius and Bellinus, two praetors, in their purple robes, which
all their servants and lictors. They seized the daughter of
Antony, a man who had been honored with a triumph, as she was
going to her country house, and he was forced to pay a large
ransom for her.

But the most contemptible circumstance of all was, that when they
had taken a prisoner, and he cried out that he was a Roman, and
told them his name, they pretended to be struck with terror, smote
their thighs, and fell upon their knees to ask him pardon. The
poor man, seeing them thus humble themselves before him, thought
them in earnest, and said he would forgive them; for some were so
officious as to put on his shoes, and others to help him on with
his gown, that his quality might no more be mistaken. When they
had carried on this farce, and enjoyed it for some time, they let
a ladder down into the sea, and bade him go in peace; and if he
refused to do it, they pushed him off the deck, and drowned him.

Their power extended over the whole Tuscan sea, so that the Romans
found their trade and navigation entirely cut off. The consequence
of which was, that their markets were not supplied, and they had
reason to apprehend a famine. This at last led them to send Pompey
to clear the sea of pirates. Gabinius, one of Pompey's intimate
friends, proposed the decree, which created him not admiral, but
monarch, and invested him with absolute power. The decree gave him
the empire of the sea as far as the Pillars of Hercules, and of
the land for 400 furlongs from the coasts. There were few parts of
the Roman empire which this commission did not take in; and the
most considerable of the barbarous nations, and most powerful
kings, were moreover comprehended in it. Besides this he was
empowered to choose out of the senators fifteen lieutenants, to
act under him in such districts, and with such authority as he
should appoint. He was to take from the quaestors, and other
public receivers, what money he pleased, and equip a fleet of two
hundred sail. The number of marine forces, of mariners and rowers,
was left entirely to his discretion.

When this decree was read in the assembly, the people received it
with inconceivable pleasure. The most respectable part of the
senate saw, indeed, that such an absolute and unlimited power was
above envy, but they considered it as a real object of fear. They
therefore all, except Caesar, opposed its passing into a law. He
was for it, not out of regard for Pompey, but to insinuate himself
into the good graces of the people, which he had long been
courting. The rest were very severe in the expressions against
Pompey; and one of the consuls venturing to say, "If he imitates
Romulus, he will not escape his fate," was in danger of being
pulled in pieces by the populace.

It is true, when Catulus rose up to speak against the law, out of
reverence for his person they listened to him with great
attention. After he had freely given Pompey the honor that was his
due, and said much in his praise, he advised them to spare him,
and not to expose such a man to so many dangers; "for where will
you find another," said he, "if you lose him?" They answered with
one voice, "Yourself." Finding his arguments had no effect, he
retired. Then Roscius mounted the rostrum, but not a man would
give ear to him. However he made signs to them with his fingers,
that they should not appoint Pompey alone, but give him a
colleague. Incensed at the proposal, they set up such a shout,
that a crow, which was flying over the forum, was stunned with the
force of it, and fell down among the crowd. Hence we may conclude,
that when birds fall on such occasions, it is not because the air
is so divided with the shock as to leave a vacuum, but rather
because the sound strikes them like a blow, when it ascends with
force, and produces so violent an agitation.

The assembly broke up that day without coming to any resolution.
When the day came that they were to give their suffrages, Pompey
retired into the country; and, on receiving information that the
decree was passed, he returned to the city by night, to prevent
the envy which the multitudes of people coming to meet him would
have excited. Next morning at break of day he made his appearance,
and attended the sacrifice. After which, he summoned an assembly,
and obtained a grant of almost as much more as the first decree
had given him. He was empowered to fit out 500 galleys, and to
raise an army of 120,000 foot, and 5,000 horse. Twenty-four
senators were selected, who had all been generals or praetors, and
were appointed his lieutenants; and he had two quaestors given
him. As the price of provisions fell immediately, the people were
greatly pleased, and it gave them occasion to say that the very
name of Pompey had terminated the war.

However, in pursuance of his charge, he divided the whole
Mediterranean into thirteen parts, appointing a lieutenant for
each, and assigning him a squadron. By thus stationing his fleet
in all quarters, he enclosed the pirates as it were in a net, took
great numbers of them, and brought them into harbor. Such of their
vessels as had dispersed and made off in time, or could escape the
general chase, retired to Cilicia, like so many bees into a hive.
Against these he proposed to go himself, with sixty of his best
galleys; but first he resolved to clear the Tuscan sea, and the
coasts of Africa, Sardinia, Corsica, and Sicily, of all piratical
adventurers; which he effected in forty days, by his own
indefatigable endeavors and those of his lieutenants. But, as the
consul Piso was indulging his malignity at home, in wasting his
stores and discharging his seamen, he sent his fleet round to
Brundusium, and went himself by land through Tuscany to Rome.

As soon as the people were informed of his approach, they went in
crowds to receive him, in the same manner as they had done a few
days before, to conduct him on his way. Their extraordinary joy
was owing to the speed with which he had executed his commission,
so far beyond all expectation, and to the superabundant plenty
which reigned in the markets. For this reason Piso was in danger
of being deposed from the consulship, and Gabinius had a decree
ready drawn up for that purpose; but Pompey would not suffer him
to propose it. On the contrary, his speech to the people was full
of candor and moderation; and when he had provided such things as
he wanted, he went to Brundusium, and put to sea again. Though he
was straightened for time, and in his haste sailed by many cities
without calling, yet he stopped at Athens. He entered the town and
sacrificed to the gods; after which he addressed the people, and
then prepared to reembark immediately. As he went out of the gate
he observed two inscriptions, each comprised in one line.

That within the gate was:

But know thyself a man, and be a god.

That without:

We wish'd, we saw; we loved, and we adored.

Some of the pirates, who yet traversed the seas, made their
submission; and as he treated them in a humane manner, when he had
them and their ships in his power, others entertained hope of
mercy, and avoiding the other officers, surrendered themselves to
Pompey, together with their wives and children. He spared them
all; and it was principally by their means that he found out and
took a number who were guilty of unpardonable crimes, and
therefore had concealed themselves.

Still, however, there remained a great number, and indeed the most
powerful part of these corsairs, who sent their families,
treasures, and all useless hands, into castles and fortified towns
upon Mount Taurus. Then they manned their ships, and waited for
Pompey at Coracesium, in Cilicia. A battle ensued, and the pirates
were defeated; after which they retired into the fort. But they
had not been long besieged before they capitulated, and
surrendered themselves, together with the cities and islands which
they had conquered and fortified, and which by their works as well
as situation were almost impregnable. Thus the war was finished,
and whole force of the pirates destroyed, within three months at
the farthest.

Besides the other vessels, Pompey took ninety ships with beaks of
brass; and the prisoners amounted to 20,000. He did not choose to
put them to death, and at the same time he thought it wrong to
suffer them to disperse, because they were not only numerous, but
warlike and necessitous, and therefore would probably knit again
and give future trouble. He reflected, that man by nature is
neither a savage nor an unsocial creature; and when he becomes so,
it is by vices contrary to nature; yet even then he may be
humanized by changing his place of abode, and accustoming him to a
new manner of life; as beasts that are naturally wild put off
their fierceness when they are kept in a domestic way. For this
reason he determined to remove the pirates to a great distance
from the sea, and bring them to taste the sweets of civil life, by
living in cities, and by the culture of the ground. He placed some
of them in the little towns of Cilicia, which were almost
desolate, and which received them with pleasure, because at the
same time he gave them an additional proportion of lands. He
repaired the city of Soli, which had lately been dismantled and
deprived of its inhabitants by Tigranes, king of Armenia, and
peopled it with a number of these corsairs. The remainder, which
was a considerable body, he planted in Dyma, a city of Achaia,
which, though it had a large and fruitful territory, was in want
of inhabitants.

Pompey, having secured the sea from Phoenicia to the Bosphorus,
marched in quest of Mithridates, who had an army of 30,000 foot
and 2,000 horse, but durst not stand an engagement. That prince
was in possession of a strong and secure post upon a mountain,
which he quitted upon Pompey's approach, because it was destitute
of water. Pompey encamped in the same place; and conjecturing,
from the nature of the plants and the crevices in the mountain,
that springs might be found, he ordered a number of wells to be
dug, and the camp was in a short time plentifully supplied with
water. He was not a little surprised that this did not occur to
Mithridates during the whole time of his encampment there.

After this, Pompey followed him to his new camp, and drew a line
of circumvallation round him. Mithridates stood a siege of forty-
five days, after which he found means to steal off with his best
troops, having first killed all the sick, and such as could be of
no service. Pompey overtook him near the Euphrates, and encamped
over against him; but fearing he might pass the river unperceived,
he drew out his troops at midnight. At that time Mithridates is
said to have had a dream prefigurative of what was to befall him.
He thought he was upon the Pontic Sea, sailing with a favorable
wind, and in sight of the Bosphorus; so that he felicitated his
friends in the ship, like a man perfectly safe, and already in
harbor. But suddenly he beheld himself in the most destitute
condition, swimming upon a piece of wreck. While he was in all the
agitation which this dream produced, his friends awaked him, and
told him that Pompey was at hand. He was now under a necessity of
fighting for his camp, and his generals drew up the forces with
all possible expedition.

Pompey, seeing them prepared, was loth to risk a battle in the
dark. He thought it sufficient to surround them, so as to prevent
their flight; and what inclined him still more to wait for
daylight, was the consideration that his troops were much better
than the enemy's. However, the oldest of his officers entreated
him to proceed immediately to the attack, and at last prevailed.
It was not indeed very dark; for the moon, though near her
setting, gave light enough to distinguish objects. But it was a
great disadvantage to the king's troops, that the moon was so low,
and on the backs of the Romans; because she projected their
shadows so far before them, that the enemy could form no just
estimate of the distances, but thinking them at hand, threw their
javelins before they could do the least execution.

The Romans, perceiving their mistake, advanced to the charge with
all the alarm of voices. The enemy were in such a consternation,
that they made not the least stand, and, in their flight, vast
numbers were slain. They lost above 10,000 men, and their camp was
taken. As for Mithridates, he broke through the Romans with 800
horses, in the beginning of the engagement. That corps, however,
did not follow him far before they dispersed, and left him with
only three of his people.

The pursuit of Mithridates was attended with great difficulties;
for he concealed himself among the nations settled about the
Bosphorus and the Palus Maeotis. Besides, news was brought to
Pompey that the Albanians had revolted, and taken up arms again.
The desire of revenge determined him to march back, and chastise
them. But it was with infinite trouble and danger that he passed
the Cyrnus again, the barbarians having fenced it on their side
with palisades all along the banks. And when he was over, he had a
large country to traverse, which afforded no water. This last
difficulty he provided against by filling 10,000 bottles; and
pursuing his march, he found the enemy drawn up on the banks of
the river Abas, to the number of 60,000 foot and 12,000 horse, but
many of them ill-armed, and provided with nothing of the defensive
kind but skins of beasts.

They were commanded by the king's brother, named Cosis; who, at
the beginning of the battle, singled out Pompey, and rushing in
upon him, struck his javelin into the joints of his breastplate.
Pompey in return run him through with his spear, and laid him dead
on the spot. It is said that the Amazons came to the assistance of
the barbarians from the mountains near the river Thermodon, and
fought in this battle. The Romans, among the plunder of the field,
did, indeed, meet with bucklers in the form of a half-moon, and
such buskins as the Amazons wore; but there was not the body of a
woman found among the dead. They inhabit that part of Mount
Caucasus which stretches toward the Hyrcanian Sea, and are not
next neighbors to the Albanians; for Gelae and Leges lie between;
but they meet that people, and spend two months with them every
year on the banks of the Thermodon; after which they retire to
their own country.

Pompey had advanced near to Petra, and encamped, and was taking
some exercise on horseback without the trenches, when messengers
arrived from Pontus; and it was plain they brought good news,
because the points of their spears were crowned with laurel. The
soldiers seeing this, gathered about Pompey, who was inclined to
finish his exercise before he opened the packet; but they were so
earnest in their entreaties, that they prevailed upon him to
alight and take it. He entered the camp with it in his hand; and
as there was no tribunal ready, and the soldiers were too
impatient to raise one of turf, which the common method, they
piled a number of pack-saddles one upon the other, upon which
Pompey mounted, and gave them this information: "Mithridates is
dead. He killed himself upon the revolt of his son Pharnaces. And
Pharnaces has seized all that belonged to his father; which he
declares he has done for himself and Romans."

At this news the army, as might be expected, gave a loose rein to
their joy, which they expressed in sacrifices to the gods, and in
reciprocal entertainments, as if 10,000 of their enemies had been
slain in Mithridates. Pompey having thus brought the campaign and
the whole war to a conclusion so happy, and so far beyond his
hopes, immediately quitted Arabia, traverses the provinces between
that and Galatia with great rapidity, and soon arrived at Amisus.
There he found many presents from Pharnaces, and several corpses
of the royal family, among which was that of Mithridates. As for
Pompey, he would not see the body, but to propitiate the avenging
Nemesis, sent it to Sinope. However, he looked upon and admired
the magnificence of his habit, and the size and beauty of his
arms. The scabbard of his sword cost four hundred talents, and the
diadem was of most exquisite workmanship.

Pompey having thoroughly settled the affairs of Asia, hoped to
return to Italy the greatest and happiest of men.

People talked variously at Rome concerning his intentions. Many
disturbed themselves at the thought that he would march with his
army immediately to Rome and make himself sole and absolute master
there. Crassus took his children and money, and withdrew; whether
it was that he had some real apprehensions, or rather that he
chose to countenance the calumny, and add force to the sting of
envy; the latter seems the more probable. But Pompey had no sooner
set foot in Italy, than he called an assembly of his soldiers,
and, after a kind and suitable address, ordered them to disperse
in their respective cities, and attend to their own affairs till
his triumph, on which occasion they were to repair to him again.

Pompey's triumph was so great, that though it was divided into two
days, the time was far from being sufficient for displaying what
was prepared to be carried in procession; there remained still
enough to adorn another triumph. At the head of the show appeared
the titles of the conquered nations: Pontus, Armenia, Cappadocia,
Paphlagonia, Media, Colchis, the Iberians, the Albanians, Syria,
Cilicia, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Palestine, Judaea, Arabia, the
pirates subdued both by sea and land. In these countries, it was
mentioned that there were not less than 1,000 castles and 900
cities captured, 800 galleys taken from the pirates, and 39
desolate cities repeopled. On the face of the tablets it appeared
besides, that whereas the revenues of the Roman empire before
these conquests amounted but to 50,000,000 drachmas, by the new
acquisitions they were advanced to 85,000,000; and that Pompey had
brought into the public treasury in money, and in gold and silver
vessels, the value of 20,000 talents; besides what he had
distributed among the soldiers, of whom he that received least had
1,500 drachmas to his share. The captives who walked in the
procession (not the mention the chiefs of the pirates) were the
son of Tigranes, king of Armenia, together with his wife and
daughter; Zosima, the wife of Tigranes himself; Aristobulus, king
of Judaea; the sister of Mithridates, with her five sons, and some
Scythian women. The hostages of the Albanians and Iberians, and of
the king of Commagene also appeared in the train; and as many
trophies were exhibited as Pompey had gained victories, either in
person or by his lieutenants, the number of which was not small.

But the most honorable circumstance, and what no other Roman could
boast, was that his third triumph was over the third quarter of
the world, after his former triumphs had been over the other two.
Others before him had been honored with three triumphs; but his
first triumph was over Africa, his second over Europe, and his
third over Asia; so that the three seemed to declare him conqueror
of the world.

Those who desire to make the parallel between him and Alexander
agree in all respects, tell us he was at this time not quite
thirty-four, whereas, in fact, he was entering upon his fortieth
year. (It should be the forty-sixth year. Pompey was born in the
beginning of the month of August, in the year of Rome 647, and his
triumph was in the same month in the year of Rome 692.) Happy it
had been for him, if he had ended his days while he was blessed
with Alexander's good fortune! The rest of his life, every
instance of success brought its proportion of envy, and every
misfortune was irretrievable.

In the meantime the wars in Gaul lifted Caesar to the first sphere
of greatness. The scene of action was at a great distance from
Rome, and he seemed to be wholly engaged with the Belgae, the
Suevi, and the Britons; but his genius all the while was privately
at work among the people of Rome, and he was undermining Pompey in
his most essential interests. His war with the barbarians was not
his principal object. He exercised his army, indeed, in those
expeditions, as he would have done his own body, in hunting and
other diversions of the field, by which he prepared them for
higher conflicts, and rendered them not only formidable but

The gold and silver, and other rich spoils which he took from the
enemy in great abundance, he sent to Rome; and by distributing
them freely among the aediles, praetors, consuls, and their wives,
he gained a great party. Consequently when he passed the Alps and
wintered at Lucca, among the crowd of men and women, who hastened
to pay their respects to him, there were two hundred senators,
Pompey and Crassus of the number; and there were no fewer than one
hundred and twenty proconsuls and praetors, whose faces were to be
seen at the gates of Caesar. He made it his business in general to
give them hopes of great things, and his money was at their
devotion; but he entered into a treaty with Crassus and Pompey, by
which it was agreed that they should apply for the consulship, and
that Caesar should assist them, by sending a great number of his
soldiers to vote at the election. As soon as they were chosen,
they were to share the provinces, and take the command of armies,
according to their pleasure, only confirming Caesar in the
possession of what he had for five years more.

Crassus, upon the expiration of his consulship, repaired to his
province. Pompey remaining at Rome, opened his theatre; and to
make the dedication more magnificent, exhibited a variety of
gymnastic games, entertainments of music, and battles with wild
beasts, in which were killed 500 lions; but the battle of
elephants afforded the most astonishing spectacle. (Dio says the
elephants fought with armed men. There were no less than eighteen
of them; and he adds, that some of them seemed to appeal, with
piteous cries to the people; who, in compassion, saved their
lives. If we may believe him, an oath had been taken before they
left Africa, that no injury should be done them.) These things
gained him the love and admiration of the public; but he incurred
their displeasure again, by leaving his provinces and armies
entirely to his friends and lieutenants, and roving about Italy
with his wife from one villa to another. The strong attachment of
Julia appeared on the occasion of an election of aediles. The
people came to blows, and some were killed so near Pompey that he
was covered with blood, and forced to change his clothes. There
was a great crowd and tumult about his door, when his servants
went home with a bloody robe; and Julia, happening to see it,
fainted away and was with difficulty restored. Shortly after Julia
died, and the alliance which had rather covered than restrained
the ambition of the two great competitors for power was now no
more. To add to the misfortune, news was brought soon after that
Crassus was slain by the Parthians; and in him another great
obstacle to a civil war was removed. Out of fear of him, they had
both kept some measures with each other. But when fortune had
carried off the champion who could take up the conqueror, we may
say with the comic poet--

High spirits of emprise
Elates each chief; they oil their brawny limbs,
and dip their hands in dust.

So little able is fortune to fill the capacities of the human
mind; when such a weight of power, and extent of command, could
not satisfy the ambition of two men. They had heard and read that
the gods had divided the universe into three shares,
(Plutarch alludes here to a passage in the fifteenth book of the
where Neptune says to Iris--
Assign'd by lot our triple rule we know;
Infernal Pluto sways the shades below;
O'er the wide clouds, and o'er the starry plain,
Ethereal Jove extends his high domain;
My court beneath the hoary waves I keep,
And hush the roarings of the sacred deep.)

and each was content with that which fell to his lot, and yet
these men could not think the Roman empire sufficient for two of
them. Such anarchy and confusion took place that numbers began to
talk boldly of setting up a dictator. Cato, now fearing he should
be overborne, was of opinion that it were better to give Pompey
some office whose authority was limited by law, than to intrust
him with absolute power. Bibulus, though Pompey's declared enemy,
moved in full senate, that he should be appointed sole consul.
"For by that means," said he, "the commonwealth will either
recover from her disorder, or, if she must serve, will serve a man
of the greatest merit." The whole house was surprised at the
motion; and when Cato rose up, it was expected he would oppose it.
A profound silence ensued, and he said, he should never have been
the first to propose such an expedient, but as it was proposed by
another, he thought it advisable to embrace it; for he thought any
kind of government better than anarchy, and knew no man fitter to
rule than Pompey, in a time of so much trouble. The senate came
into his opinion, and a decree was issued, that Pompey should be
appointed sole consul, and that if he should have need of a
colleague, he might choose one himself, provided it were not
before the expiration of two months.

Pompey being declared sole consul by the Interrex Sulpitius, made
his compliments to Cato, acknowledged himself much indebted to his
support, and desired his advice and assistance in the cabinet, as
to the measures to be pursued in his administration. Cato made
answer, that Pompey was not under the least obligation to him; for
what he had said was not out of regard to him, but to his country.
"If you apply to me," continued he, "I shall give you my advice in
private; if not, I shall inform you of my sentiments in public."
Such was Cato, and the same on all occasions.

Pompey then went into the city, and married Cornelia, the daughter
of Metellus Scipio. She was a widow, having been married, when
very young, to Publius the son of Crassus, who was lately killed
in the Parthian expedition. This woman had many charms beside her
beauty. She was well versed in polite literature; she played upon
the lyre, and understood geometry; and she had made considerable
improvements by the precepts of philosophy. What is more, she had
nothing of that petulance and affectation which such studies are
apt to produce in women of her age. And her father's family and
reputation were unexceptionable.

Pompey's confidence made him so extremely negligent, that he
laughed at those who seemed to fear the war. And when they said if
Caesar should advance in a hostile manner to Rome, they did not
see what forces they had to oppose him, he bade them, with an open
and smiling countenance, give themselves no pain: "For, if in
Italy," said he, "I do but stamp upon the ground, an army will

Meantime Caesar was exerting himself greatly. He was now at no
great distance from Italy, and not only sent his soldiers to vote
in the elections, but by private pecuniary applications, corrupted
many of the magistrates. Paulus the consul was of the number, and
he had one thousand five hundred talents for changing sides. So
also was Curio, one of the tribunes of the people, for whom he
paid off an immense debt, and Mark Antony, who, out of friendship
for Curio, had stood engaged with him for the debt.

It is said, that when one of Caesar's officers, who stood before
the senate-house, waiting the issue of the debates, was informed
that they would not give Caesar a longer term in his command, he
laid his hand on his sword, and said, "But this shall give it."
Indeed, all the preparations of his general tended that way;
though Curio's demands in behalf of Caesar seemed more plausible.
He proposed, that either Pompey should likewise be obliged to
dismiss his forces, or Caesar suffered to keep his. "If they are
both reduced to a private station," said he, "they will agree upon
reasonable terms; or, if each retains his respective power, they
will be satisfied. But he who weakens the one, without doing the
same by the other, must double that force which he fears will
subvert the government."

But now news was brought that Caesar was marching directly towards
Rome with all his forces. The last circumstance, indeed, was not
true. He advanced with only three hundred horse and five thousand
foot; the rest of his forces were on the other side of the Alps,
and he would not wait for them, choosing rather to put his
adversaries in confusion by a sudden and unexpected attack, than
to fight them when better prepared. When he came to the river
Rubicon, which was the boundary of his province, he stood silent a
long time, weighing with himself the greatness of his enterprise.
At last, like one who plunges down from the top of a precipice
into a gulf of immense depth, he silenced his reason, and shut his
eyes against the danger; and crying out in the Greek language,
"The die is cast," he marched over with his army.

Upon the first report of this at Rome, the city was in greater
disorder and astonishment than had ever been known.

All Italy was in motion, with the stir of the coming storm. Those
who lived out of Rome fled to it from all quarters, and those who
lived in it abandoned it as fast. These saw, that in such a
tempestuous and disorderly state of affairs, the well disposed
part of the city wanted strength, and that the ill disposed were
so refractory that they could not be managed by the magistrates.
The terrors of the people could not be removed, and no one would
suffer Pompey to lay a plan of action for himself. According to
the passion wherewith each was actuated, whether fear, sorrow, or
doubt, they endeavored to inspire him with the same; insomuch that
he adopted different measures the same day. He could gain no
certain intelligence of the enemy's motions, because every man
brought him the report he happened to take up, and was angry if it
did not meet with credit.

Pompey at last caused it to be declared by a formal edict, that
the commonwealth was in danger, and no peace was to be expected.
After which, he signified that he should look upon those who
remained in the city as the partisans of Caesar; and then quitted
it in the dusk of the evening. The consuls also fled, without
offering the sacrifices which their customs required before a war.
However, in this great extremity, Pompey could not but be
considered as happy in the affections of his countrymen. Though
many blamed the war, there was not a man who hated the general.
Nay, the number of those who followed him, out of attachment to
his person, was greater than that of the adventurers in the cause
of liberty.

A few days after, Caesar arrived at Rome. When he was in
possession of the city, he behaved with great moderation in many
respects, and composed in a good measure the minds of its
remaining inhabitants.

Pompey, who was the master of Brundusium, and had a sufficient
number of transports, desired the consuls to embark without loss
of time, and sent them before him with thirty cohorts to
Dyrrhachium. But at the same time he sent his father-in-law Scipio
and his son Cnaeus into Syria, to provide ships of war. He had
well secured the gates of the city, and planted the lightest of
his slingers and archers upon the walls; and having now ordered
the Brundusians to keep within doors, he caused a number of
trenches to be cut, and sharp stakes to be driven into them, and
then covered with earth, in all the streets, except two which led
down to the sea. In three days all his other troops were embarked
without interruption; and then he suddenly gave the signal to
those who guarded the walls; in consequence of which, they ran
swiftly down to the harbor, and got on board. Thus having his
whole complement, he set sail, and crossed the sea to Dyrrhachium.

When Caesar came and saw the walls left destitute of defence, he
concluded that Pompey had taken to flight, and in his eagerness to
pursue, would certainly have fallen upon the sharp stakes in the
trenches, had not the Brundusians informed him of them. He then
avoided the streets, and took a circuit round the town, by which
he discovered that all the vessels had weighed anchor, except two
that had not many soldiers aboard.

This manoeuvre of Pompey was commonly reckoned among the greatest
act of generalship. Caesar, however, could not help wondering,
that his adversary, who was in possession of a fortified town, and
expected his forces from Spain, and at the same time was master of
them, should give up Italy in such a manner.

Caesar thus made himself master of all Italy in sixty days without
the least bloodshed, and he would have been glad to have gone
immediately in pursuit of Pompey. But as he was in want of
shipping, he gave up that design for the present, and marched to
Spain, with an intent to gain Pompey's forces there.

In the meantime Pompey assembled a great army; and at sea he was
altogether invincible. For he had five hundred ships of war, and
the number of his lighter vessels was still greater. As for his
land forces, he had seven thousand horse, the flower of Rome and
Italy, all men of family, fortune, and courage. His infantry,
though numerous, was a mixture of raw, undisciplined soldiers; he
therefore exercised them during his stay at Beroea, where he was
by no means idle, but went through the exercises of a soldier, as
if he had been in the flower of his age. It inspired his troops
with new courage, when they saw Pompey the Great, at the age of
fifty-eight, going through the whole military discipline, in heavy
armor, on foot; and then mounting his horse, drawing his sword
with ease when at full speed, and as dexterously sheathing it
again. As to the javelin, he threw it not only with great
exactness, but with such force that few of the young men could
dart it to a greater distance.

Many kings and princes repaired to his camp; and the number of
Roman officers who had commanded armies was so great, that it was
sufficient to make up a complete senate. Labienus, who had been
honored with Caesar's friendship, and served under him in Gaul,
now joined Pompey.

Caesar had now made himself master of Pompey's forces in Spain,
and though it was not without a battle, he dismissed the officers,
and incorporated the troops with his own. After this, he passed
the Alps again, and marched through Italy to Brundusium, where he
arrived at the time of the winter solstice. There he crossed the
sea, and landed at Oricum; from whence he dispatched Vibullius,
one of Pompey's friends, whom he had brought prisoner thither,
with proposals of a conference between him and Pompey, in which
they should agree to disband their armies within three days, renew
their friendship, confirm it with solemn oath, and then both
return to Italy. Pompey took this overture for another snare, and
therefore drew down in haste to the sea, and secured all the forts
and places of strength for land forces, as well as all the ports
and other commodious stations for shipping; so that there was not
a wind that blew, which did not bring him either provisions, or
troops, or money. On the other hand, Caesar was reduced to such
straits, both by sea and land, that he was under the necessity of
seeking a battle. Accordingly, he attacked Pompey's intrenchments,
and bade him defiance daily. In most of these attacks and
skirmishes he had the advantage; but one day was in danger of
losing his whole army. Pompey fought with so much valor, that he
put Caesar's whole detachment to flight, after having killed two
thousand men upon the spot; but was either unable or afraid to
pursue his blow, and enter their camp with them. Caesar said to
his friends on this occasion, "This day the victory had been the
enemy's had their general known how to conquer."

Pompey's troops, elated with this success, were in great haste to
come to a decisive battle. Nay, Pompey himself seemed to give in
to their opinions by writing to the kings, the generals, and
cities, in his interest, in the style of a conqueror. Yet all this
while he dreaded the issue of a general action, believing it much
better, by length of time, by famine and fatigue, to tire out men
who had been ever invincible in arms, and long accustomed to
conquer when they fought together. Besides, he knew the
infirmities of age had made them unfit for the other operations of
war, for long marches and countermarches, for digging trenches and
building forts, and that, therefore, they wished for nothing so
much as a battle. Pompey, with all these arguments, found it no
easy matter to keep his army quiet.

After this last engagement, Caesar was in such want of provisions,
that he was forced to decamp, and he took his way through
Athamania into Thessaly. This added so much to the high opinion
Pompey's soldiers had of themselves, that it was impossible to
keep them within bounds. They cried out with one voice, "Caesar is
fled." Some called upon the general to pursue; some to pass over
into Italy. Others sent their friends and servants to Rome, to
engage homes near the forum, for the convenience of soliciting the
great offices of state. And not a few went of their own accord to
Cornelia, who had been privately lodged in Lesbos, to congratulate
her upon the conclusion of the war.

While he thus softly followed the enemy's steps, a complaint was
raised against him, and urged with much clamor, that he was not
exercising his generalship upon Caesar, but upon the Senate and
the whole commonwealth, in order that he might forever keep the
command in his hands, and have those for his guards and servants
who had a right to govern the world. Domitius Aenobarbus, to
increase the odium, always called him Agamemnon, or king of kings.
Favonius piqued him no less with a jest, than others by their
unseasonable severity; he went about crying, "My friends, we shall
eat no figs in Tusculum this year."

These and many other like sallies of ridicule had such an effect
upon Pompey, who was ambitious of being spoken well of by the
world, and had too much deference for the opinions of his friends,
that he gave up his own better judgment, to follow them in the
career of their false hopes and prospects. A thing which would
have been unpardonable in the pilot or master of a ship, much more
in the commander-in-chief of so many nations and such numerous
armies. He had often commended the physician who gives no
indulgence to the whimsical longings of his patients, and yet he
humored the sickly cravings of his army, and was afraid to give
them pain, though necessary for the preservation of their life and
being. For who can say that army was in a sound and healthy state,
when some of the officers went about the camp canvassing for the
offices of consul and praetor; and others, namely, Spinther,
Domitius, and Scipio, were engaged in quarrels and cabals about
Caesar's high-priesthood, as if their adversary had been only a
Tigranes, a king of Armenia, or a prince of the Nabathaeans; and
not that Caesar and that army who had stormed one thousand cities,
subdued above three hundred nations, gained numberless battles of
the Germans and Gauls, taken one million prisoners, and killed as
many fairly in the field. Notwithstanding all this, they continued
loud and tumultuous in their demands of a battle; and when they
came to the plains of Pharsalia, forced Pompey to call a council
of war. Lebienus, who had the command of the cavalry, rose up
first, and took an oath, that he would not return from the battle,
till he had put the enemy to flight. All the other officers swore
the same.

The night following, Pompey had this dream. He thought he entered
his own theatre, and was received with loud plaudits; after which,
he adorned the temple of Venus the Victorious with many spoils.
This vision, on one side, encouraged him, and on the other alarmed
him. He was afraid that Caesar, who was a descendant of Venus,
would be aggrandized at his expense. Besides, a panic (A Panic was
so called, from the terror which the god Pan is said to have
struck the enemies of Greece with, at the battle of Marathon.)
fear ran through the camp, the noise of which awakened him. And
about the morning watch, over Caesar's camp, where everything was
perfectly quiet, there suddenly appeared a great light, from which
a stream of fire issued in the form of a torch, and fell upon that
of Pompey. Caesar himself says he saw it as he was going his

Caesar was preparing, at break of day, to march to Scotusa; his
soldiers were striking their tents, and the servants and beasts of
burden were already in motion, when his scouts brought
intelligence that they had seen arms handed about in the enemy's
camp, and perceived a noise and bustle, which indicated an
approaching battle. After these, others came and assured him that
the first ranks were drawn up.

Upon this Caesar said: "The long-wished day is come, on which we
shall fight with men, and not with want and famine." Then he
immediately ordered the red mantle to be put up before his
pavilion, which, among the Romans, is the signal of a battle. The
soldiers no sooner beheld it, than they left their tents as they
were, and ran to arms with loud shouts, and every expression of
joy. And when the officers began to put them in order of battle,
each man fell into his proper rank as quietly, and with as much
skill and ease, as a chorus in a tragedy.

Pompey placed himself in his right wing over against Antony, and
his father-in-law, Scipio, in the centre, opposite Domitius
Calvinus. His left wing was commanded by Lucius Domitius, and
supported by the cavalry; for they were almost all ranged on that
side, in order to break in upon Caesar, and cut off the tenth
legion, which was accounted the bravest in his army, and in which
he used to fight in person. Caesar, seeing the enemy's left wing
so well guarded with horse, and fearing the excellence of their
armor, sent for a detachment of six cohorts from the body of the
reserve, and placed them behind the tenth legion, with orders not
to stir before the attack, lest they should be discovered by the
enemy; but when the enemy's cavalry had charged, to make up
through the foremost ranks, and then not to discharge their
javelins at a distance, as brave men generally do in their
eagerness to come to sword in hand, but to reserve them till they
came to close fighting, and to push them forward into the eyes and
faces of the enemy. "For those fair young dancers," said he, "will
never stand the steel aimed at their eyes, but will fly to save
their handsome faces."

While Caesar was thus employed, Pompey took a view on horseback of
the order of both armies; and finding that they enemy kept their
ranks with the utmost exactness, and quietly waited for the signal
of battle, while his own men, for want of experience, were
fluctuating and unsteady, he was afraid they would be broken up on
the first onset. He therefore commanded the vanguard to stand firm
in their ranks, and in that close order to receive the enemy's
charge. Caesar condemned this measure, as not only tending to
lessen the vigor of the blows, which is always greatest in the
assailants, but also to damp the fire and spirit of the men;
whereas those who advance with impetuosity, and animate each other
with shouts, are filled with an enthusiastic valor and superior

Caesar's army consisted of twenty-two thousand men, and Pompey's
was something more than twice that number. When the signal was
given on both sides, and the trumpets sounded a charge, each
common man attended only to his own concern. But some of the
principal Romans and Greeks, who only stood and looked on, when
the dreadful moment of action approached, could not help
considering to what the avarice and ambition of two men had
brought the Roman Empire. The same arms on both sides, the troops
marshalled in the same manner, the same standards; in short, the
strength and flower of one and the same city turned upon itself!
What could be a stronger proof of the blindness and infatuation of
human nature, when carried away by its passions? Had they been
willing to enjoy the fruits of their labors in peace and
tranquillity, the greatest and best part of the world was their
own. Or, if they must have indulged their thirst of victories and
triumphs, the Parthians and Germans were yet to be subdued.
Scythia and India yet remained; together with a very plausible
color for their lust of new acquisitions, the pretence of
civilizing barbarians. And what Scythian horse, what Parthian
arrows, what Indian treasures, could have resisted seventy
thousand Romans, led on by Pompey and Caesar, with whose names
those nations had long been acquainted! Into such a variety of
wild and savage countries had these two generals carried their
victorious arms! Whereas now they stood threatening each other
with destruction; not sparing even their own glory, though to it
they sacrificed their country, but prepared, one of them, to lose
the reputation of being invincible, which hitherto they had both
maintained. So that the alliance which they had contracted by
Pompey's marriage to Julia, was from the first only an artful
expedient; and her charms were to form a self-interested compact,
instead of being the pledge of a sincere friendship.

The plain of Pharsalia was now covered with men, and horses and
arms; and the signal of battle being given on both sides, the
first on Caesar's side who advanced to the charge was Caius
Crastinus, who commanded a corps of one hundred and twenty men,
and was determined to make good his promise to his general. He was
the first man Caesar saw when he went out of the trenches in the
morning; and upon Caesar's asking him what he thought of the
battle, he stretched out his hand, and answered in a cheerful
tone, "You will gain a glorious victory, and I shall have your
praise this day, either alive or dead." In pursuance of this
promise, he advanced the foremost, and many following to support
him, he charged into the midst of the enemy. They soon took to
their swords, and numbers were slain; but as Crastinus was making
his way forward, and cutting down all before him, one of Pompey's
men stood to receive him, and pushed his sword in at his mouth
with such force, that it went through the nape of his neck.
Crastinus thus killed, the fight was maintained with equal
advantage on both sides.

Pompey did not immediately lead on his right wing, but often
directed his eyes to the left, and lost time in waiting to see
what execution his cavalry would do there. Meanwhile they had
extended their squadrons to surround Caesar, and prepared to drive
the few horse he had placed in front, back upon the foot. At that
instant Caesar gave the signal; upon which his cavalry retreated a
little; and the six cohorts, which consisted of 3000 men, and had
been placed behind the tenth legion, advanced to surround Pompey's
cavalry; and coming close up to them, raised the points of their
javelins, as they had been taught, and aimed them at the face.
Their adversaries, who were not experienced in any kind of
fighting, and had not the least previous idea of this, could not
parry or endure the blows upon their faces, but turned their
backs, or covered their eyes with their hands, and soon fled with
great dishonor. Caesar's men took no care to pursue them, but
turned their force upon the enemy's infantry, particularly upon
that wing, which, now stripped of its horse, lay open to the
attack on all sides. The six cohorts, therefore, took them in
flank, while the tenth legion charged them in front; and they, who
had hoped to surround the enemy, and now, instead of that, saw
themselves surrounded, made but a short resistance, and then took
to a precipitate flight.

By the great dust that was raised, Pompey conjectured the fate of
his cavalry; and it is hard to say what passed in his mind at that
moment. He appeared like a man moonstruck and distracted; and
without considering that he was Pompey the Great, or speaking to
any one, he quitted the ranks, and retired step by step toward his
camp--a scene which cannot be better painted than in these verses
of Homer: (In the eleventh book of the Iliad, where he is speaking
of the flight of Ajax before Hector.)

But partial Jove, espousing Hector's part,
Shot heaven-bred horror through the Grecian's heart;
Confused, unnerv'd in Hector's presence grown,
Amazed he stood with terrors not his own.
O'er his broad back his moony shield he threw,
And, glaring round, by tardy steps withdrew.

In this condition he entered his tent, where he sat down, and
uttered not a word, till at last, upon finding that some of the
enemy entered the camp with the fugitives, he said, "What! Into my
camp, too!" After this short exclamation, he rose up, and dressing
himself in a manner suitable to his fortune, privately withdrew.
All the other legions fled; and a great slaughter was made in the
camp, of the servants and others who had the care of the tents.
But Asinius Pollio, who then fought on Caesar's side, assures us,
that of the regular troops there were not above six thousand men
killed. (Caesar says, that in all there were fifteen thousand
killed, and twenty-four thousand taken prisoners.)

Upon the taking of the camp, there was a spectacle which showed,
in strong colors, the vanity and folly of Pompey's troops. All the
tents were crowned with myrtle; the beds were strewn with flowers;
the tables covered with cups, and bowls of wine set out. In short,
everything had the appearance of preparations for feasts and
sacrifices, rather than for men going out to battle. To such a
degree had their vain hopes corrupted them, and with such a
senseless confidence they took to the field!

When Pompey had got at a little distance from the camp, he quitted
his horse. He had very few people about him; and, as he saw he was
not pursued, he went softly on, wrapped up in such thoughts as we
may suppose a man to have, who had been used for thirty-four years
to conquer and carry all before him, and now in his old age first
came to know what it was to be defeated and to fly. We may easily
conjecture what his thoughts must be, when in one short hour he
had lost the glory and the power which had been growing up amidst
so many wars and conflicts; and he who was lately guarded with
such armies of horse and foot, and such great and powerful fleets,
was reduced to so mean and contemptible an equipage, that his
enemies, who were in search of him, could not know him.

He passed by Larissa, and came to Tempe, where, burning with
thirst, he threw himself upon his face, and drank out of the
river; after which, he passed through the valley, and went down to
the sea-coast. There he spent the remainder of the night in a poor
fisherman's cabin. Next morning, about break of day, he went on
board a small river-boat, taking with him such of his company as
were freemen. The slaves he dismissed, bidding them go to Caesar,
and fear nothing.

As he was coasting along, he saw a whip of burden just ready to
sail; the master of which was Peticius, a Roman citizen, who,
though not acquainted with Pompey, knew him by sight. Therefore,
without waiting for any further application, he took him up, and
such of his companions as he thought proper, and then hoisted
sail. The persons Pompey took with him, were the two Lentuli and
Favonius; and a little after, they saw king Deiotarus beckoning to
them with great earnestness from the shore, and took him up
likewise. The master of the ship provided them with the best
supper he could, and when it was almost ready, Pompey, for want of
a servant, was going to wash himself, but Favonius, seeing it,
stepped up, and both washed and anointed him. All the time he was
on board, he continued to wait upon him in all the offices of a
servant, even to the washing of his feet and providing his supper;
insomuch, that one who saw the unaffected simplicity and sincere
attachment with which Favonius performed these offices, cried out-

The generous mind adds dignity
To every act, and nothing misbecomes it.

Pompey, in the course of his voyage, sailed by Amphipolis, and
from thence steered for Mitylene, to take up Cornelia and his son.
As soon as he reached the island, he sent a messenger to the town
with news far different from what Cornelia expected. For, by the
flattering accounts which many officious persons had given her,
she understood that the dispute was decided at Dyrrhachium, and
that nothing but the pursuit of Caesar remained to be attended to.
The messenger, finding her possessed with such hopes, had not
power to make the usual salutations; but expressing the greatness
of Pompey's misfortunes by his tears rather than words, only told
her she must make haste if she had a mind to see Pompey with one
ship only, and that not his own.

At this news Cornelia threw herself upon the ground, where she lay
a long time insensible and speechless. At last, coming to herself,
she perceived there was no time to be lost in tears and
lamentations, and therefore hastened through the town to the sea.
Pompey ran to meet her, and received her to his arms as she was
just going to fall. While she hung upon his neck, she thus
addressed him: "I see, my dear husband, your present unhappy
condition is the effect of my ill fortune, and not yours. Alas!
how are you reduced to one poor vessel, who, before your marriage
with Cornelia, traversed the sea with 500 galleys! Why did you
come to see me, and not rather leave me to my evil destiny, who
have loaded you, too, with such a weight of calamities? How happy
had it been for me to have died before I heard that Publius, my
first husband, was killed by the Parthians! How wise, had I
followed him to the grave, as I once intended! What have I lived
for since, but to bring misfortunes upon Pompey the Great?"

Such, we are assured, was the speech of Cornelia; and Pompey
answered: "Till this moment, Cornelia, you have experienced
nothing but the smiles of fortune; and it was she who deceived
you, because she stayed with me longer than she commonly does with
her favorites. But, fated as we are, we must bear this reverse,
and make another trial of her. For it is no more improbable that
we may emerge from this poor condition and rise to great things
again, than it was that we should fall from great things into this
poor condition."

Cornelia then sent to the city for her most valuable movables and
her servants.

As soon as his wife and his friends were embarked, he set sail,
and continued his course without touching at any port, except for
water and provisions, till he came to Attalia, a city of
Pamphylia. There he was joined by some Cilician galleys; and
beside picking up a number of soldiers, he found in a little time
sixty senators about him. When he was informed that his fleet was
still entire, and that Cato was gone to Africa with a considerable
body of men which he had collected after their flight, he lamented
to his friends his great error, in suffering himself to be forced
into an engagement on land, and making no use of those forces, in
which he was confessedly stronger; nor even taking care to fight
near his fleet, that, in case of his meeting with a check on land,
he might have been supplied from the sea with another army,
capable of making head against the enemy. Indeed, we find no
greater mistake in Pompey's whole conduct, nor a more remarkable
instance of Caesar's generalship, than in removing the scene of
action to such a distance from the naval force.

However, as it was necessary to undertake something with the small
means he had left, he sent to some cities, and sailed to others
himself, to raise money, and to get a supply of men for his ships.
But knowing the extraordinary celerity of the enemy's motions, he
was afraid he might be beforehand with him, and seize all that he
was preparing. He, therefore, began to think of retiring to some
asylum, and proposed the matter in council. They could not think
of any province in the Roman empire that would afford a safe
retreat; and when they cast their eyes on the foreign kingdoms,
Pompey mentioned Parthia as the most likely to receive and protect
them in their present weak condition, and afterwards to send them
back with a force sufficient to retrieve their affairs. Others
were of opinion it was proper to apply to Africa, and to Juba in
particular. But Theophanes of Lesbos observed it was madness to
leave Egypt, which was distant but three days' sail. Besides,
Ptolemy, who was growing towards manhood, had particular
obligations to Pompey on his father's account. As so it was
determined that they should seek for refuge in Egypt. Being
informed that Ptolemy was with his army at Pelusium, where he was
engaged in war with his sister, he proceeded thither, and sent a
messenger before him to announce his arrival, and to entreat the
king's protection.

Ptolemy was very young, fourteen years of age, and Photinus, his
prime minister, called a council of his ablest officers; though
their advice had no more weight than he was pleased to allow it.
He ordered each, however, to give his opinion. But who can,
without indignation, consider that the fate of Pompey the Great
was to be determined by the wretch Photinus, by Theodotus, a man
of Chios, who was hired to teach the prince rhetoric, and by
Achillas, an Egyptian? For among the king's chamberlains and
tutors these had the greatest influence over him and were the
persons he most consulted. Pompey lay at anchor at some distance
from the place waiting the determination of this respectable
board; while he thought it beneath him to be indebted to Caesar
for his safety. The council were divided in their opinions, some
advising the prince to give him an honorable reception, and others
to send him an order to depart. But Theodotus, to display his
eloquence, insisted that both were wrong. "If you receive him,"
said he, "you will have Caesar for your enemy, and Pompey for your
master. If you order him off, Pompey may one day revenge the
affront and Caesar resent your not having put him in his hands:
the best method, therefore, is to send for him and put him to
death. By this means you will do Caesar a favor, and have nothing
to fear from Pompey." He added with a smile, "Dead men do not

This advice being approved of, the execution of it was committed
to Achillas. In consequence of which he took with him Septimius,
who had formerly been one of Pompey's officers, and Salvius, who
had also acted under him as a centurion, with three or four
assistants, and made up to Pompey's ship, where his principal
friends and officers had assembled to see how the affair went on.
When they perceived there was nothing magnificent in their
reception, nor suitable to the hopes which Theophanes had
conceived, but that a few men only in a fishing-boat came to wait
upon them, such want of respect appeared a suspicious
circumstance, and they advised Pompey, while he was out of the
reach of missive weapons, to get out to the main sea.

Meantime, the boat approaching, Septimius spoke first, addressing
Pompey in Latin by the title of Imperator. Then Achillas saluted
him in Greek, and desired him to come into the boat, because the
water was very shallow towards the shore, and a galley must strike
upon the sands. At the same time they saw several of the king's
ships getting ready, and the shore covered with troops, so that if
they would have changed their minds it was then too late; besides,
their distrust would have furnished the assassins with a pretence
for their injustice. He therefore embraced Cornelia, who lamented
his sad exit before it happened; and ordered two centurions, one
of his enfranchised slaves, named Philip, and a servant called
Scenes, to get into the boat before him. When Achillas had hold of
his hand, and he was going to step in himself, he turned to his
wife and son, and repeated that verse of Sophocles--

Seek'st thou a tyrant's door? Then farewell freedom!
Though FREE as air before.

These were the last words he spoke to them.

As there was a considerable distance between the galley and the
shore, and he observed that not a man in the boat showed him the
least civility, or even spoke to him, he looked at Septimius, and
said, "Methinks, I remember you to have been my fellow-soldier;"
but he answered only with a nod, without testifying any regard or
friendship. A profound silence again taking place, Pompey took out
a paper, in which he had written a speech in Greek that he
designed to make to Ptolemy, and amused himself with reading it.

When they approached the shore, Cornelia, with her friends in the
galley, watched the event with great anxiety. She was a little
encouraged, when she saw a number of the king's great officers
coming down to the strand, in all appearance to receive her
husband and do him honor. But the moment Pompey was taking hold of
Philip's hand, to raise him with more ease, Septimius came behind,
and ran him through the body; after which Salvius and Achillas
also drew their swords. Pompey took his robe in both hands and
covered his face, and without saying or doing the least thing
unworthy of him, submitted to his fate, only uttering a groan,
while they despatched him with many blows. He was then just fifty-
nine years old, for he was killed the day after his birthday.

Cornelia, and her friends in the galley, upon seeing him murdered,
gave a shriek that was heard to the shore, and weighed anchor
immediately. Their flight was assisted by a brisk gale, as they
got out more to sea; so that the Egyptians gave up their design of
pursuing them. The murderers having cut off Pompey's head, threw
the body out of the boat naked, and left it exposed to all who
were desirous of such a sight. Philip stayed till their curiosity
was satisfied, and then washed the body with sea-water, and
wrapped it in one of his own garments, because he had nothing else
at hand. The next thing was to look out for wood for the funeral
pile; and casting his eyes over the shore, he spied the old
remains of a fishing-boat; which, though not large, would make a
sufficient pile for a poor naked body that was not quite entire.

While he was collecting the pieces of plank and putting them
together, an old Roman, who had made some of his first campaigns
under Pompey, came up and said to Philip, "Who are you that are
preparing the funeral of Pompey the Great?" Philip answered, "I am
his freedman." "But you shall not," said the old Roman, "have this
honor entirely to yourself. As a work of piety offers itself, let
me have a share in it; that I may not absolutely repent my having
passed so many years in a foreign country; but, to compensate many
misfortunes, may have the consolation of doing some of the last
honors to the greatest general Rome ever produced." In this manner
was the funeral of Pompey conducted.

Such was the end of Pompey the Great. As for Caesar, he arrived
not long after in Egypt, which he found in great disorder. When
they came to present the head, he turned from it, and the person
that brought it, as a sight of horror. He received the seal, but
it was with tears. The device was a lion holding a sword. The two
assassins, Achillas and Photinus, he put to death; and the king,
being defeated in battle, perished in the river. Theodotus, the
rhetorician, escaped the vengeance of Caesar, by leaving Egypt;
but he wandered about a miserable fugitive, and was hated wherever
he went. At last, Marcus Brutus, who killed Caesar, found the
wretch, in his province of Asia, and put him to death, after
having made him suffer the most exquisite tortures. The ashes of
Pompey were carried to Cornelia, who buried them in his lands near
Alba. (Langhorne has well remarked that Pompey has, in all
appearance, and in all consideration of his character, had less
justice done him by historians than any other man of his time. His
popular humanity, his military and political skills, his prudence
(which he sometimes unfortunately gave up), his natural bravery
and generosity, his conjugal virtues, which (though sometimes
impeached) were both naturally and morally great; his cause, which
was certainly, in its original interests, the cause of Rome; all
these circumstances entitled him to a more distinguished and more
respectable character than any of his historians have thought
proper to afford him.)

The Engines of Archimedes from the life of Marcellus

Marcellus now moved with his whole army to Syracuse, and, camping
near the wall, proceeded to attack the city both by land and by
sea. The land forces were conducted by Appius: Marcellus, with
sixty galleys, each with five rows of oars, furnished with all
sorts of arms and missiles, and a huge bridge of planks laid upon
eight ships chained together, upon which was carried the engine to
cast stones and darts, assaulted the walls, relying on the
abundance and magnificence of his preparations, and on his own
previous glory; all which, however, were, it would seem, but
trifles for Archimedes and his machines.

These machines he had designed and contrived, not as matters of
any importance, but as mere amusements in geometry; in compliance
with King Hiero's desire and request, some little time before,
that he should reduce to practice some part of his admirable
speculations in science, and by accommodating the theoretical
truth to sensation and ordinary use, bring it more within the
appreciation of people in general. Eudoxus and Archytas had been
the originators of this far-famed and highly prized art of
mechanics, which they employed as an elegant illustration of
geometrical truths, and as a means of sustaining experimentally,
to the satisfaction of the senses, conclusions too intricate for
proof by words and diagrams. As, for example, to solve the
problem, so often required in constructing geometrical figures,
given the two extreme, to find the two mean lines of a proportion,
both these mathematicians had recourse to the aid of instruments,
adapting to their purpose certain curves and sections of lines.
(The 'mesolabes or mesalabium, was the name by which this
instrument was commonly known.) But what with Plato's indignation
at it, and his invectives against it as the mere corruption and
annihilation of the one good of geometry,--which was thus
shamefully turning its back upon the unembodied objects of pure
intelligence to recur to sensation, and to ask help (not to be
obtained without haste subservience and depravation) from matter;
so it was that mechanics came to be separated from geometry, and,
being repudiated and neglected by philosophers, took its place as
a military art. Archimedes, however, in writing to King Hiero,
whose friend and near relation he was, had stated, that given the
force, any weight might be moved, and even boasted, we are told,
relying on the strength of demonstration, that if there were
another earth, by going into it he could remove this. Hiero being
struck with amazement at this, and entreating him to make good
this problem by actual experiment, and show some great weight
moved by a small engine, he fixed accordingly upon a ship of
burden out of the king's arsenal, which could not be drawn out of
the dock without great labor and many men; and, loading her with
many passengers and a full freight, sitting himself the while far
off, with no great endeavor, but only holding the head of the
pulley in his hand and drawing the cord by degrees, he drew the
ship in a straight line, as smoothly and evenly as if she had been
in the sea. The king, astonished at this, and convinced of the
power of the art, prevailed upon Archimedes to make him engines
accommodated to all the purposes, offensive and defensive, of a
siege. These the king himself never made use of, because he spent
almost all his life in a profound quiet, and the highest
influence. But the apparatus was, in a most opportune time, ready
at hand for the Syracusans, and with it also the engineer himself.

When, therefore, the Romans assaulted the walls in two places at
once, fear and consternation stupefied the Syracusans, believing
that nothing was able to resist that violence and those forces.
But when Archimedes began to ply his engines, he at once shot
against the land forces all sorts of missile weapons, and immense
masses of stone that came down with incredible noise and violence,
against which no man could stand; for they knocked down those upon
whom they fell, in heaps, breaking all their ranks and files. In
the mean time huge poles thrust out from the walls over the ships,
sunk some by the great weights which they let down from on high
upon them; others they lifted up into the air by an iron hand or
beak like a crane's beak, and, when they had drawn them up by the
prow, and set them on end upon the poop, they plunged them to the
bottom of the sea; or else the ships, drawn by engines within, and
whirled about, were dashed against steep rocks that stood jutting
out under the walls, with great destruction of the soldiers that
were aboard them. A ship was frequently lifted up to a great
height in the air (a dreadful thing to behold), and was rolled to
and fro, and kept swinging, until the mariners were all thrown
out, when at length it was dashed against the rocks, or let fall.
In the meantime, Marcellus himself brought up his engine upon the
bridge of ships, which was called "Sambuca," from some resemblance
it had to an instrument of music, but while it was as yet
approaching the wall, there was discharged at it a piece of rock
of ten talents' weight, then a second and a third, which, striking
upon it with immense force and with a noise like thunder, broke
all its foundations to pieces, shook out all its fastenings, and
completely dislodged it from the bridge. So Marcellus, doubtful
what counsel to pursue, drew off his ships to a safer distance,
and sounded a retreat to his forces on land. They then took a
resolution of coming up under the walls, if it were possible, in
the night; thinking that as Archimedes used ropes stretched at
length in playing his engines, the soldiers would now be under the
shot, and the darts would, for want of sufficient distance to
throw them, fly over their heads without effect. But he, it
appeared, had long before framed for such occasion engines
accommodated to any distance, and shorter weapons; and had made
numerous small openings in the walls, through which, with engines
of a shorter range, unexpected blows were inflicted on the
assailants. Thus, when they who thought to deceive the defenders
came close up to the walls, instantly a shower of darts and other
missile weapons was again cast upon them. And when stones came
tumbling down perpendicularly upon their heads, and, as it were,
the whole wall shot out arrows at them, they retired. And now,
again, as they were going off, arrows and darts of a longer range
inflicted a great slaughter among them, and their ships were
driven one against another; while they themselves were not able to
retaliate in any way; for Archimedes had fixed most of his engines
immediately under the wall. The Romans, seeing that infinite
mischiefs overwhelmed them from no visible means, began to think
they were fighting with the gods.

Yet Marcellus escaped unhurt, and, deriding his own artificers and
engineers, exclaimed "What! Must we give up fighting with this
geometrical Briareus, who plays pitch and toss with our ships,
and, with the multitude of darts which he showers at a single
moment upon us, really outdoes the hundred-handed giants of
mythology?" The rest of the Syracusans were but the body of
Archimedes' designs, one soul moving and governing all; for,
laying aside all other arms, with his alone they infested the
Romans, and protected themselves. In fine, when such terror had
seized upon the Romans, that, if they did but see a little rope or
a piece of wood from the wall, they instantly cried out, "There it
is again! Archimedes is about to let fly another engine at us,"
and turned their backs and fled, Marcellus desisted from conflicts
and assaults, putting all his hope in a long siege. Yet Archimedes
possessed so high a spirit, so profound a soul, and such treasures
of scientific knowledge, that though these inventions had now
obtained him the renown of more than human sagacity, he yet would
not deign to leave behind him any commentary or writing on such
subjects; but, repudiating as sordid and ignoble the whole trade
of engineering, and every sort of art that lends itself to mere
use and profit, he placed his whole affection and ambition in
those purer speculations where there can be no reference to the
vulgar needs of life; studies, the superiority of which to all
others is unquestioned, and in which the only doubt can be,
whether the beauty and grandeur of the subjects examined, or the
precision and cogency of the methods and means of proof, most
deserve our admiration. It is not possible to find in all geometry
more difficult and intricate questions, or more simple and lucid
explanations. Some ascribe this to his natural genius; while
others think that incredible effort and toil produced these
apparently easy and unlabored results. No amount of investigation
of yours would succeed in attaining the proof, and yet, once seen,
you immediately believe you would have discovered it; by so smooth
and so rapid a path he leads you to the conclusion required. And
thus it ceases to be incredible that (as is commonly told of him),
the charm of his familiar and domestic Siren made him forget his
food and neglect his person, to such a degree that when he was
occasionally carried by absolute violence to bathe, or have his
body anointed, he used to trace geometrical figures in the ashes
of the fire, and diagrams in the oil on his body, being in a state
of entire preoccupation, and, in the truest sense, divinely
possessed with his love and delight in science. His discoveries
were numerous and admirable; and he is said to have requested his
friends and relations that when he was dead, they would place over
his tomb a cylinder containing a sphere, inscribing it with the
ratio of three to two which the containing solid bears to the

Description of Cleopatra from the Life of Antony

When Antony was making preparation for the Parthian war, he sent
to command Cleopatra to make her personal appearance in Cilicia,
to answer the accusation, that she had given great assistance, in
the late wars, to Cassius. Dellius, who was sent on this message,
had no sooner seen her face, and remarked her adroitness and
subtlety in speech, than he felt convinced that Antony would not
so much as think of giving any molestation to a woman like this;
on the contrary, she would be the first in favor with him. So he
set himself at once to pay his court to the Egyptia, and gave her
his advice, "to go," in the Homeric style, to Cilicia, "in her
best attire," and bade her fear nothing from Antony, the gentlest
and the kindest of soldiers. She had some faith in the words of
Dellius, but more in her own attractions, which, having formerly
recommended her to Caesar and the young Gnaeus Pompey, she did not
doubt might prove yet more successful with Antony. Their
acquaintance was with her when a girl, young, and ignorant of the
world, but she was to meet Antony in the time of life when women's
beauty is most splendid, and their intellects are in full
maturity, for she was now about twenty-eight years of age. She
made great preparation for her journey, of money, gifts, and
ornaments of value, such as so wealthy a kingdom might afford, but
she brought with her her surest hopes in her own magic arts and

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

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

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

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

Anecdotes from the Life of Agesilaus, King of Sparta

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

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

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

The Brothers from the Life of Timoleon

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

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

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

The Wound of Philopoemen

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

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

A Roman Triumph from the Life of Paulus Aemilius

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

* * * *

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

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

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

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

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

The Noble Character of Caius Fabricius from the life of Pyrrhus

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

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

From The Life of Quintus Fabius Maximus

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

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

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

The Cruelty of Lucius Cornelius Sylla

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

Sylla is a mulberry sprinkled o'er with meal.

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

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

The Luxury of Lucullus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Scroll-From the Life of Lysander

The scroll is made up thus: when the Ephors send an admiral or
general on his way, they take two round pieces of wood, both
exactly of a length and thickness, and cut even to one another;
they keep one themselves, and the other the give to the person
they send forth; and these pieces of wood they call Scytales.
When, therefore, they have occasion to communicate any secret or
important matter, making a scroll of parchment long and narrow
like a leathern thong, they roll it about their own staff of wood,
leaving no space void between, but covering the surface of the
staff with the scroll all over. When they have done this, they
write what they please on the scroll, as it is wrapped about the
staff; and when they have written, they take off the scroll, and
send it to the general without the wood. He, when he has received
it, can read nothing of the writing, because the words and letters
are not connected, but all broken up; but taking his own staff, he
winds the slip of the scroll about it, so that this folding,
restoring all the parts into the same order that they were in
before, and putting what comes first into connection with what
follows, brings the whole consecutive contents to view round the
outside. And this scroll is called a _staff_, after the name of
the wood, as a thing measured is by the name of the measure.

The Character of Marcus Cato

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sacred Theban Band from the Life of Pelopidas.

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

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

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

From the Life of Titus Flamininus, The Conqueror of Philip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The bridle and the rudder too,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Death of Caesar

The place destined for the scene of this murder, in which the
senate met that day, was the same in which Pompey's statue stood,
and was one of the edifices which Pompey had raised and dedicated
with his theatre to the use of the public, plainly showing that
there was something of a supernatural influence which guided the
action, and ordered it to that particular place. Cassius, just
before the act, is said to have looked towards Pompey's statue,
and silently implored his assistance, though he had been inclined
to the doctrines of Epicurus. But this occasion and the instant
danger, carried him away out of all his reasonings, and filled him
for the time with a sort of inspiration. As for Antony, who was
firm to Caesar, and a strong man, Brutus Albinus kept him outside
the house, and delayed him with a long conversation contrived on
purpose. When Caesar entered, the senate stood up to show their
respect to him, and of Brutus's confederates, some came about his
chair and stood behind it, others met him, pretending to add their
petitions to those of Tillius Cimber, in behalf of his brother,
who was in exile; and they followed him with their joint
supplications till he came to his seat. When he had sat down, he
refused to comply with their requests, and upon their urging him
further, began to reproach them severally for their importunities,
when Tillius, laying hold of his robe with both his hands, pulled
it down from his neck, which was the signal for the assault. Casca
gave him the first cut, in the neck, which was not mortal nor
dangerous, coming, as it did, from one who at the beginning of
such a bold action was probably very much disturbed. Caesar
immediately turned about, and laid his hand upon the dagger and
kept hold of it. And both of them at the same time cried out, he
that received the blow, in Latin, "Vile Casca, what does this
mean?" and he that gave it, in Greek, to his brother, "Brother,
help!" Upon this first onset, those who were not privy to the
design were astounded, and their horror and amazement at what they
saw were so great, that they durst not fly nor assist Caesar, nor
so much as speak a word. But those who came prepared for the
business inclosed him on every side, with their naked daggers in
their hands. Which way soever he turned, he met with blows, and
saw their swords leveled at his face and eyes, and was
encompassed, like a wild beast in the toils, on every side. For it
had been agreed that they should each make a thrust at him, and
flesh themselves with his blood; for which reason Brutus also gave
him one stab in the groin. Some say that he fought and resisted
all the rest, shifting his body to avoid the blows, and calling
out for help, but that when he saw Brutus's sword drawn, he
covered his face with his robe and submitted, letting himself
fall, whether it were by chance, or that he was pushed in that
direction by his murderers, at the foot of the pedestal on which
Pompey's statue stood, and which was thus wet with his blood. So
that Pompey himself seemed to have presided, as it were, over the
revenge done upon his adversary, who lay here at his feet, and
breathed out his soul through his multitude of wounds, for they
say he received three and twenty. And the conspirators themselves
were many of them wounded by each other, whilst they all leveled
their blows at the same person.

When Caesar's will was opened, and it was found that he had left a
considerable legacy to each one of the Roman citizens, and when
his body was seen carried through the marketplace all mangled with
wounds, the multitude could no longer contain themselves within
the bounds of tranquility and order, but heaped together a pile of
benches, bars, and tables, upon which they placed the corpse, and
setting fire to it, burnt it on them. Then they took brands from
the pile, and ran some to fire the conspirators, others up and
down the city, to find out the men and tear them to pieces, but
met, however, with none of them, they having taken effectual care
to secure themselves.

Caesar died in his fifty-sixth year, not having survived Pompey
above four years. That empire and power which he had pursued
through the whole course of his life with so much hazard, he did
at last with much difficulty compass, but reaped no other fruits
from it than the empty name and invidious glory. But the great
genius which attended him through his lifetime, even after his
death remained as the avenger of his murder, pursuing through
every sea and land all those who were concerned in it, and
suffering none to escape, but reaching all who in any sort or kind
were either actually engaged in the fact, or by their counsels any
way promoted it.

The most remarkable of mere human coincidences was that which
befell Cassius, who, when he was defeated at Philippi, killed
himself with the same dagger which he had made use of against
Caesar. The most signal preternatural appearances were the great
comet, which shone very bright for seven nights after Caesar's
death, and then disappeared, and the dimness of the sun, whose orb
continued pale and dull for the whole of that year, never showing
its ordinary radiance at its rising, and giving but a feeble heat.
The air consequently was damp and gross, for want of stronger rays
to open and rarefy it. The fruits, for that reason, never properly
ripened, and began to wither and fall off for want of heat, before
they were fully formed.

End of Project Gutenberg The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch by John S. White


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