It was now growing dark, and not only were all other things uncertain, but even where they could guard him with sufficient safety even for the ensuing night.
They had been awed by the greatness of his former success and courage, and neither did they dare to receive him into their own homes for guarding nor were they satisfied to entrust the guardianship of him to any one man.
Then someone reminded them that there was a public treasury underground, walled in by hewn stones.1
Bound, he was let down into it and a great stone by which it was closed placed by machinery over it.
So, thinking that they should trust the place, rather than any man, to keep him safe, they waited for the coming morning.
The next day the whole multitude, mindful of his former services to the state, considered that he should be spared and that through him remedies should be sought out for their present troubles:
the authors of the revolt, who had the administration in' their hands, held a secret consultation, and all were agreed upon his death. But it was not agreed whether they should act at once or delay.
The faction that was more insistent on punishment prevailed, and a [p. 379]
man was sent to take him the poison. Receiving the2
cup, he asked only if Lycortas —he was the other commander3
of the Achaeans —was safe and if the cavalry had escaped.
When he was assured that they were safe, he said “it is well,” and courageously draining the cup perished no long time afterwards. The persons responsible for this act of cruelty had no great time in which to rejoice in his death.
For Messenê, being conquered in the war, at the demand of the Achaeans handed over the guilty persons, and the bones of Philopoemen were given back and he was buried by the whole Achaean League, all human distinctions being heaped upon him to such a degree that they did not even refrain from divine honours.
Greek and Latin historians pay such tribute to this man that some of them have put it on record, as if it were a conspicuous brand of infamy set against this year, that three famous generals died during this year —Philopoemen, Hannibal, Publius Scipio:
on terms of such equality have they placed him with the greatest commanders of the two most. powerful nations.4