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When Pythodorus was archon at Athens, the Romans elected as consuls Quintus Publius and Tiberius Aemilius Mamercus, and the one hundred and eleventh celebration of the Olympic Games took place, in which Cleomantis of Cleitor won the foot-race.2 [2] In this year, King Philip, installed as leader by the Greeks, opened the war with Persia by sending into Asia as an advance party Attalus and Parmenion,3 assigning to them a part of his forces and ordering them to liberate the Greek cities, while he himself, wanting to enter upon the war with the gods' approval, asked the Pythia whether he would conquer the king of the Persians. She gave him the following response:“ Wreathed is the bull. All is done. There is also the one who will smite him.
4 [3]

Now Philip found this response ambiguous but accepted it in a sense favourable to himself, namely that the oracle foretold that the Persian would be slaughtered like a sacrificial victim. Actually, however, it was not so, and it meant that Philip himself in the midst of a festival and holy sacrifices, like the bull, would be stabbed to death while decked with a garland. [4] In any event, he thought that the gods supported him and was very happy to think that Asia would be made captive under the hands of the Macedonians.

Straightway he set in motion plans for gorgeous sacrifices to the gods joined with the wedding of his daughter Cleopatra, whose mother was Olympias; he had given her in marriage to Alexander king of Epirus, Olympia's own brother.5 [5] He wanted as many Greeks as possible to take part in the festivities in honour of the gods, and so planned brilliant musical contests and lavish banquets for his friends and guests. [6] Out of all Greece he summoned his personal guest-friends and ordered the members of his court to bring along as many as they could of their acquaintances from abroad. He was determined to show himself to the Greeks as an amiable person and to respond to the honours conferred when he was appointed to the supreme command with appropriate entertainment.

1 336/5 B.C.

2 The archon's name was Pythodelus, and his term ran from July 336 to June 335 B.C. The Olympic Games were held in midsummer, 336. The consuls of 339 B.C. were Ti. Aemilius Mamercinus and Q. Publilius Philo (Broughton, 1.137).

3 Continued from chap. 89. For these events cp. Justin 9.5.8-9.

4 The oracle is cited in the same form by Paus. 8.7.6.

5 Justin 9.6.1.

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