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Defeat and Death of Molon

When the two armies advanced to the battle, Molon's
Death of Molon and his fellow-conspirators.
right wing remained faithful to him, and vigorously engaged the division of Zeuxis; but the left wing no sooner came within sight of the king than it deserted to the enemy: the result of which was that Molon's army was thrown into consternation, while the king's troops were inspired with redoubled confidence. When Molon comprehended what had taken place, and found himself surrounded on every side, reflecting on the tortures which would be inflicted upon him if he were taken alive, he put an end to his own life. So too all who had taken part in the plot fled severally to their own homes, and terminated their lives in the same way. Neolaus escaped from the field and found his way into Persis, to the house of Molon's brother Alexander; and there first killed his mother and Molon's children and afterwards himself, having previously persuaded Alexander to do the same to himself. After plundering the enemy's camp, the king ordered the body of Molon to be impaled on the most conspicuous spot in Media: which the men appointed to the work immediately did; for they took it to Callonitis and impaled it close to the pass over Mount Zagrus. The king, after plundering the enemy's camp, rebuked the rebel army in a long speech; and finally receiving them back into favour by holding out his right hand to them, appointed certain officers to lead them back to Media and settle the affairs of that district; while he himself went down to Seleucia and made arrangements for the government of the Satrapies round it, treating all with equal clemency and prudence. But Hermeias acted with his usual harshness: he got up charges against the people of Seleucia, and imposed a fine of a thousand talents upon the city; drove their magistrates, called Adeiganes, into exile; and put many Seleucians to death with various tortures, by mutilation, the sword and the rack. With great difficulty, sometimes by dissuading Hermeias, and sometimes by interposing his own authority, the king did at length put an end to these severities; and, exacting only a fine of a hundred and fifty talents from the citizens for the error they had committed, restored the city to a state of order. This being done, he left Diogenes in command of Media, and Apollodorus of Susiana; and sent Tychon, his chief military secretary, to command the district along the Persian Gulf.

Thus was the rebellion of Molon and the rising in the upper Satrapies suppressed and quieted.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 102
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