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A slight success on the part of the Carthaginian fleet at Utica (14, 10) had been more than outweighed by the capture of Syphax by Laelius [Livy, 39, 11]. Negotiations for peace followed, and an armistice, in the course of which occurred the incident referred to in the first extract of this book.


Speech of Roman Envoys At Carthage

THE Carthaginians having seized the transports as prizes
Some transports under Cn. Octavius wrecked in the Bay of Carthage, and taken possession of by the Carthaginians in spite of the truce. Autumn of B.C. 203. See Livy, 30, 24.
of war, and with them an extraordinary quantity of provisions, Scipio was extremely enraged, not so much at the loss of the provisions, as by the fact that the enemy had thereby obtained vast supply of necessaries; and still more at the Carthaginians having violated the sworn articles of truce, and commenced the war He therefore at once selected Lucius Sergius, Lucius Baebius, and Lucius Fabius to go to Carthage, to remonstrate on what had taken place, and at the same time to announce that the Roman people had ratified the treaty; for he had lately received a despatch from home to that effect. Upon their arrival in Carthage these envoys first had an audience of the Senate, and then were introduced to a meeting of the people.
Speech of the Roman envoys
On both occasions they spoke with great freedom on the situation of affairs, reminding their hearers that "Their ambassadors who had come to the Roman camp at Tunes, on being admitted to the council of officers, had not been content with appealing to the gods and kissing the ground, as other people do, but had thrown themselves upon the earth, and in abject humiliation had kissed the feet of the assembled officers; and then, rising from the ground, had reproached themselves for breaking the existing treaty between the Romans and Carthaginians, and acknowledged that they deserved every severity at the hands of the Romans; but intreated to be spared the last severities, from a regard to the vicissitudes of human fortune, for their folly would be the means of displaying the generosity of the Romans. Remembering all this, the general and the officers then present in the council were at a loss to understand what had encouraged them to forget what they then said, and to venture to break their sworn articles of agreement.
Hannibal leaves Italy, 23d June, B.C. 203.
Plainly it was this—they trusted in Hannibal and the forces that had arrived with him. But they were very ill advised. All the world knew that he and his army had been driven these two years past from every port of Italy, and had retreated into the neighbourhood of the Lacinian promontory, where they had been so closely shut up and almost besieged, that they had barely been able to get safe away home. Not that, even if they had come back," he added, "as conquerors, and were minded to engage us who have already defeated you in two consecutive battles, ought you to entertain any doubt as to the result, or to speculate on the chance of victory. The certainty of defeat were a better subject for your reflections: and when that takes place, what are the gods that you will summon to your aid? And what arguments will you use to move the pity of the victors for your misfortunes? You must needs expect to be debarred from all hope of mercy from gods and men alike by your perfidy and folly."


Treacherous Attempt on the Lives of the Roman Envoys

After delivering this' speech the envoys retired. Some
Treacherous attempt on the lives of the Roman envoys.
few of the citizens were against breaking the treaty; but the majority, both of the politicians and the Senate, were much annoyed by its terms, and irritated by the plain speaking of the envoys; and, moreover, could not make up their minds to surrender the captured transports and the provisions which were on board them. But their main motive was a confident hope that they might yet conquer by means of Hannibal. The people therefore voted to dismiss the envoys without an answer. Moreover, the political party, whose aim it was to bring on the war at all hazards, held a meeting and arranged the following act of treachery. They gave out that it was necessary to make provision for conducting the envoys back to their camp in safety. They therefore at once caused two triremes to be got ready to convoy them; but at the same time sent a message to the Navarch Hasdrubal to have some vessels ready at no great distance from the Roman camp, in order that, as soon as the convoys had taken leave of the Roman envoys, he might bear down upon their ships and sink them; for the Carthaginian fleet was stationed at the time close under Utica. Having made this arrangement with Hasdrubal, they despatched the envoys, with instructions to the officers of the convoys to leave them and return, as soon as they had passed the mouth of the River Macara; for it was from this point that the enemy's camp came into sight. Therefore, according to their instructions, as soon as they had passed this point, the officers of the convoys made signs of farewell to the Roman envoys and returned. Lucius and his colleagues suspected no danger, and felt no other annoyance at this proceeding than as regarding it as a mark of disrespect. But no sooner were they left thus alone, than three Carthaginian vessels suddenly started out to attack them, and came up with the Roman quinquereme. They failed, indeed, to stave her in, because she evaded them; nor did they succeed in boarding her, because the men resisted them with great spirit. But they ran up alongside of the vessel, and kept attacking her at various points, and managed to wound the marines with their darts and kill a considerable number of them; until at last the Romans, observing that their forage parties along the shore were rushing down to the beach to their assistance, ran their ships upon land. Most of the marines were killed, but the envoys had the unexpected good fortune to escape with their lives.


Last Year of the Second Punic War

This was the signal for the recommencement of the war
Renewal of hostilities.
in a fiercer and more angry spirit than before. The Romans on their part, looking upon themselves as having been treated with perfidy, were possessed with a furious determination to conquer the Carthaginians; while the latter, conscious of the consequences of what they had done, were ready to go all lengths to avoid falling under the power of the enemy. With such feelings animating both sides, it was quite evident that the result would have to be decided on the field of battle.
Hannibal's cavalry reinforced by Tychaeus.
Consequently everybody, not only in Italy and Libya, but in Iberia, Sicily, and Sardinia, was in a state of excited expectation, watching with conflicting feelings to see what would happen. But meanwhile Hannibal, finding himself too weak in cavalry, sent to a certain Numidian named Tychaeus, who was a friend of Syphax, and was reputed to possess the most warlike cavalry in Libya, urging him "to lend his aid, and not let the present opportunity slip; as he must be well aware that, if the Carthaginians won the day, he would be able to maintain his rule; but if the Romans proved victorious, his very life would be in danger, owing to the ambition of Massanissa." This prince was convinced by these arguments, and joined Hannibal with two thousand horsemen.


Scipio Sends the Envoys Home

Having secured his fleet, Scipio left Baebius in
B.C. 202. Scipio traverses the Carthaginian territory, and summons Massanissa to his aid.
command of it in his place, while he himself went a round of the cities. This time he did not admit to mercy those who voluntarily surrendered, but carried all the towns by force, and enslaved the inhabitants, to show his anger at the treachery of the Carthaginians. To Massanissa he sent message after message, explaining to him how the Punic government had broken the terms, and urging him to collect the largest army he was able and join him with all speed. For as soon as the treaty had been made, Massanissa, as I have said, had immediately departed with his own army and ten Roman cohorts, infantry and cavalry, accompanied by some commissioners from Scipio, that he might not only recover his own kingdom, but secure the addition of that of Syphax also, by the assistance of the Romans. And this purpose was eventually effected.

It happened that just at this time the envoys from Rome

Scipio orders the Carthaginian envoys to be released.
arrived at the naval camp. Those of them who had been sent by the Roman government, Baebius at once caused to be escorted to Scipio, while he retained those who were Carthaginians. The latter were much cast down, and regarded their position as one of great danger; for when they were informed of the impious outrage committed by their countrymen on the persons of the Roman envoys, they thought there could be no doubt that the vengeance for it would be wreaked upon themselves. But when Scipio learnt from the recently-arrived commissioners that the senate and people accepted with enthusiasm the treaty which he had made with the Carthaginians, and were ready to grant everything he asked, he was highly delighted, and ordered Baebius to send the envoys home with all imaginable courtesy. And he was very well advised to do so, in my opinion. For as he knew that his countrymen made a great point of respecting the rights of ambassadors, he considered in his own mind, not what the Carthaginians deserved to have done to them, but what it was becoming in Romans to inflict. Therefore, though he did not relax his own indignation and anger at what they had done, he yet endeavoured, in the words of the proverb, "to maintain the good traditions of his sires." The result was that, by this superiority in his conduct, a very decided impression was made upon the spirits of the Carthaginians and of Hannibal himself.


Both Sides Prepare For Battle

When the people of Carthage saw the cities in their territory being sacked, they sent a message to Hannibal begging him to act without delay, to come to close quarters with the enemy, and bring the matter to the decision of battle. He bade the messengers in answer "to confine their attention to other matters, and to leave such things to him, for he would choose the time for fighting himself." Some days afterwards he broke up his quarters at Adrumetum, and pitched his camp near ZAMA, a town about five days' march to the west of Carthage.
Hannibal moves to Zama.
From that place he sent spies to ascertain the place, nature, and strength of the Roman general's encampment. These spies were caught and brought to Scipio, who, so far from inflicting upon them the usual punishment of spies, appointed a tribune to show them everything in the camp thoroughly and without reserve; and when this had been done, he asked the men whether the appointed officer had been careful to point out everything to them. Upon their replying that he had, he gave them provisions and an escort, and despatched them with injunctions to be careful to tell Hannibal everything they had seen. On their return to his camp, Hannibal was so much struck with the magnanimity and high courage of Scipio, that he conceived a lively desire for a personal interview with him. With this purpose he sent a herald to say that he was desirous of a parley to discuss the matters at issue. When the herald had delivered his message, Scipio at once expressed his consent, and said that he would himself send him a message when it suited him to meet, naming the time and place. The herald returned to Hannibal with this answer. Next day Massanissa arrived with six thousand infantry and about four thousand cavalry.
Arrival of Massanissa.
Scipio received him with cordiality, and congratulated him on having added to his sway all those who had previously been subject to Syphax. Thus reinforced, he removed his camp to Naragara: selecting it as a place which, among other advantages, enabled him to get water within a javelin's throw.


Meeting of Hannibal and Scipio

From this place he sent to the Carthaginian general, informing him that he was ready to meet him, and discuss matters with him. On hearing this, Hannibal moved his quarters to within thirty stades of Scipio, and pitched his camp on a hill, which seemed a favourable position for his present purpose, except that water had to be fetched from a considerable distance, which caused his soldiers great fatigue.

Next day both commanders advanced from their camps

Meeting of Scipio and Hannibal.
attended by a few horsemen. Presently they left these escorts and met in the intervening space by themselves, each accompanied by an interpreter. Hannibal was the first to speak, after the usual salutation.
Hannibal's speech.
He said that "He wished that the Romans had never coveted any possession outside Italy, nor the Carthaginians outside Libya; for these were both noble empires, and were, so to speak, marked out by nature. But since," he continued, "our rival claims to Sicily first made us enemies, and then those for Iberia; and since, finally, unwarned by the lessons of misfortune, we have gone so far that the one nation has endangered the very soil of its native land, and the other is now actually doing so, all that there remains for us to do is to try our best to deprecate the wrath of the gods, and to put an end, as far as in us lies, to these feelings of obstinate hostility. I personally am ready to do this, because I have learnt by actual experience that Fortune is the most fickle thing in the world, and inclines with decisive favour now to one side and now to the other on the slightest pretext, treating mankind like young children.


Conclusion of Hannibal's Speech

"But it is about you that I am anxious, Scipio. For you are still a young man, and everything has succeeded to your wishes both in Iberia and Libya, and you have as yet never experienced the ebb tide of Fortune; I fear, therefore, that my words, true as they are, will not influence you. But do look at the facts in the light of one story, and that not connected with a former generation, but our own. Look at me! I am that Hannibal who, after the battle of Cannae, became master of nearly all Italy; and presently advancing to Rome itself, and pitching my camp within forty stades of it, deliberated as to what I should do with you and your country; but now I am in Libya debating with you, a Roman, as to the bare existence of myself and my countrymen. With such a reverse as that before your eyes, I beg you not to entertain high thoughts, but to deliberate with a due sense of human weakness on the situation; and the way to do that is among good things to choose the greatest, among evils the least. What man of sense, then, would deliberately choose to incur the risk which is now before you. If you conquer, you will add nothing of importance to your glory or to that of your country; while, if you are worsted, you will have been yourself the means of entirely cancelling all the honours and glories you have already won. What then is the point that I am seeking to establish by these arguments? It is that the Romans should retain all the countries for which we have hitherto contended—I mean Sicily, Sardinia, and Iberia; and that the Carthaginians should engage never to go to war with Rome for these; and also that all the islands lying between Italy and Libya should belong to Rome. For I am persuaded that such a treaty will be at once safest for the Carthaginians, and most glorious for you and the entire people of Rome."


Scipio's reply

In reply to this speech of Hannibal, Scipio said "That neither in the Sicilian nor Iberian war were the Romans the aggressors, but notoriously the Carthaginians, which no one knew better than Hannibal himself. That the gods themselves had confirmed this by giving the victory, not to those who struck the first and unprovoked blow, but to those who only acted in self-defence. That he was as ready as any one to keep before his eyes the uncertainty of Fortune, and tried his best to confine his efforts within the range of human infirmity. But if," he continued, "you had yourself quitted Italy before the Romans crossed to Libya with the offer of these terms in your hands, I do not think that you would have been disappointed in your expectation. But now that your departure from Italy has been involuntary, and we have crossed into Libya and conquered the country, it is clear that matters stand on a very different footing. But above all, consider the point which affairs have reached now. Your countrymen have been beaten, and at their earnest prayer we arranged a written treaty, in which, besides the offer now made by you, it was provided that the Carthaginians should restore prisoners without ransom, should surrender all their decked vessels, pay five thousand talents, and give hostages for their performance of these articles. These were the terms which I and they mutually agreed upon; we both despatched envoys to our respective Senates and people,—we consenting to grant these terms, the Carthaginians begging to have them granted. The Senate agreed: the people ratified the treaty. But though they had got what they asked, the Carthaginians annulled the compact by an act of perfidy towards us. What course is left to me? Put yourself in my place and say. To withdraw the severest clauses of the treaty? Are we to do this, say you, not in order that by reaping the reward of treachery they may learn in future to outrage their benefactors, but in order that by getting what they ask for they may be grateful to us? Why, only the other day, after obtaining what they begged for as suppliants, because your presence gave them a slender hope of success, they at once treated us as hated foes and public enemies. In these circumstances, if a still severer clause were added to the conditions imposed, it might be possible to refer the treaty back to the people; but, if I were to withdraw any of these conditions, such a reference does not admit even of discussion. What then is the conclusion of my discourse? It is, that you must submit yourselves and your country to us unconditionally, or conquer us in the field."


Dispositions For the Battle of Zama

After these speeches Hannibal and Scipio parted without
The momentous issues depending on the battle of Zama, B. C. 202.
coming to any terms; and next morning by daybreak both generals drew out their forces and engaged. To the Carthaginians it was a struggle for their own lives and the sovereignty of Libya; to the Romans for universal dominion and supremacy. And could any one who grasped the situation fail to be moved at the story? Armies more fitted for war than these, or generals who had been more successful or more thoroughly trained in all the operations of war, it would be impossible to find, or any other occasion on which the prizes proposed by destiny to the combatants were more momentous. For it was not merely of Libya or Europe that the victors in this battle were destined to become masters, but of all other parts of the world known to history,—a destiny which had not to wait long for its fulfilment.

Scipio placed his men on the field in the following order:

Scipio's order of battle.
the hastati first, with an interval between their maniples; behind them the principes, their maniples not arranged to cover the intervals between those of the hastati as the Roman custom is, but immediately behind them at some distance, because the enemy was so strong in elephants. In the rear of these he stationed the triarii. On his left wing he stationed Gaius Laelius with the Italian cavalry, on the right Massanissa with all his Numidians. The intervals between the front maniples he filled up with maniples of velites, who were ordered to begin the battle; but if they found themselves unable to stand the charge of the elephants, to retire quickly either to the rear of the whole army by the intervals between the maniples, which went straight through the ranks, or, if they got entangled with the elephants, to step aside into the lateral spaces between the maniples.


Scipio's Speech to his Men

These dispositions made, he went along the ranks delivering an exhortation to the men, which, though short, was much to the point in the circumstances in which they were placed. He called upon them, "Remembering their former victories, to show themselves to be men of mettle and worthy their reputation and their country. To put before their eyes that the effect of their victory would be not only to make them complete masters of Libya, but to give them and their country the supremacy and undisputed lordship of the world. But if the result of the battle were unfavourable, those who fell fighting gallantly would have the record of having died for their country, while those that saved themselves by flight would spend the rest of their days as objects of pitying contempt and scorn. For there was no place in Libya which could secure their safety if they fled; while, if they fell into the hands of the Carthaginians, no one who looked facts in the face could doubt what would happen to them. May none of you," he added, "learn that by experience! Since, then, Fortune puts before us the most glorious of rewards, in whichever way the battle is decided, should we not be at once the most mean-spirited and foolish of mankind if we abandon the most glorious alternative, and from a paltry clinging to life deliberately choose the worst of misfortunes? Charge the enemy then with the steady resolve to do one of two things, to conquer or to die! For it is men thus minded who invariably conquer their opponents, since they enter the field with no other hope of life."


Hannibal's Preparations and Speech

Such was Scipio's address to his men. Meanwhile
Hannibal's order of battle.
Hannibal had put his men also into position. His elephants, which numbered more than eighty, he placed in the van of the whole army. Next his mercenaries, amounting to twelve thousand, and consisting of Ligurians, Celts, Baliarians, and Mauretani; behind them the native Libyans and Carthaginians; and on the rear of the whole the men whom he had brought from Italy, at a distance of somewhat more than a stade. His wings he strengthened with cavalry, stationing the Numidian allies on the left wing, and the Carthaginian horsemen on the right. He ordered each officer to address his own men, bidding them rest their hopes of victory on him and the army he had brought with him; while he bade their officers remind the Carthaginians in plain terms what would happen to their wives and children if the battle should be lost. While these orders were carried out by the officers, Hannibal himself went along the lines of his Italian army and urged them "to remember the seventeen years during which they had been brothers-inarms, and the number of battles they had fought with the Romans, in which they had never been beaten or given the Romans even a hope of victory.
Hannibal's speech to the "army of Italy."
Above all, putting aside minor engagements and their countless successes, let them place before their eyes the battle of the River Trebia against the father of the present Roman commander; and again the battle in Etruria against Flaminius; and lastly that at Cannae against Aemilius, with none of which was the present struggle to be compared, whether in regard to the number or excellence of the enemy's men. Let them only raise their eyes and look at the ranks of the enemy; they would see that they were not merely fewer, but many times fewer than those with whom they had fought before, while, as to their soldierly qualities, there was no comparison. The former Roman armies had come to the struggle with them untainted by memories of past defeats: while these men were the sons or the remnants of those who had been beaten in Italy, and fled before him again and again. They ought not therefore," he said, "to undo the glory and fame of their previous achievements, but to struggle with a firm and brave resolve to maintain their reputation of invincibility."

Such were the addresses of the two commanders.


The Battle of Zama Begins

All arrangements for the battle being complete, and
A stampede of the elephants.
the two opposing forces of Numidian cavalry having been for some time engaged in skirmishing attacks upon each other, Hannibal gave the word to the men on the elephants to charge the enemy. But as they heard the horns and trumpets braying all round them, some of the elephants became unmanageable and rushed back upon the Numidian contingents of the Carthaginian army; and this enabled Massanissa with great speed to deprive the Carthaginian left wing of its cavalry support. The rest of the elephants charged the Roman velites in the spaces between the maniples of the line, and while inflicting much damage on the enemy suffered severely themselves; until, becoming frightened, some of them ran away down the vacant spaces, the Romans letting them pass harmlessly along, according to Scipio's orders, while others ran away to the right under a shower of darts from the cavalry, until they were finally driven clear off the field.
Flight of the Carthaginian cavalry.
It was just at the moment of this stampede of the elephants, that Laelius forced the Carthaginian cavalry into headlong flight, and along with Massanissa pressed them with a vigorous pursuit. While this was going on, the opposing lines of heavy infantry were advancing to meet others with deliberate step and proud confidence, except Hannibal's "army of Italy," which remained in its original position. When they came within distance the Roman soldiers charged the enemy, shouting as usual their war-cry, and clashing their swords against their shields: while the Carthaginian mercenaries uttered a strange confusion of cries, the effect of which was indescribable, for, in the words of the poet,1 the “"voice of all was not one —
nor one their cry:
But manifold their speech as was their race."


Cowardice of the Carthaginians

The whole affair being now a trial of strength between
The fight of the heavy infantry.
man and man at close quarters, as the combatants used their swords and not their spears, the superiority was at first on the side of the dexterity and daring of the mercenaries, which enabled them to wound a considerable number of the Romans. The latter, however, trusting to the steadiness of their ranks and the excellence of their arms, still kept gaining ground, their rear ranks keeping close up with them and encouraging them to advance; while the Carthaginians did not keep up with their mercenaries nor support them, but showed a thoroughly cowardly spirit. The result was that the foreign soldiers gave way: and, believing that they had been shamelessly abandoned by their own side, fell upon the men on their rear as they were retreating, and began killing them; whereby many of the Carthaginians were compelled to meet a gallant death in spite of themselves. For as they were being cut down by their mercenaries they had, much against their inclination, to fight with their own men and the Romans at the same time; and as they now fought with desperation and fury they killed a good many both of their own men and of the enemy also. Thus it came about that their charge threw the maniples of the hastati into confusion; whereupon the officers of the principes caused their lines to advance to oppose them. However, the greater part of the mercenaries and Carthaginians had fallen either by mutual slaughter or by the sword of the hastati. Those who survived and fled Hannibal would not allow to enter the ranks of his army, but ordered his men to lower their spears and keep them back as they approached; and they were therefore compelled to take refuge on the wings or make for the open country.


Victory of Scipio and Flight of Hannibal

The space between the two armies that still remained
Final struggle between Hannibal's reserves, his "army of Italy," and the whole Roman infantry.
in position was full of blood, wounded men, and dead corpses; and thus the rout of the enemy proved an impediment of a perplexing nature to the Roman general. Everything was calculated to make an advance in order difficult,—the ground slippery with gore, the corpses lying piled up in bloody heaps, and with the corpses arms flung about in every direction. However Scipio caused the wounded to be carried to the rear, and the hastati to be recalled from the pursuit by the sound of a bugle, and drew them up where they were in advance of the ground on which the fighting had taken place, opposite the enemy's centre. He then ordered the principes and triarii to take close order, and, threading their way through the corpses, to deploy into line with the hastati on either flank. When they had surmounted the obstacles and got into line with the hastati, the two lines charged each other with the greatest fire and fury.
The battle is decided by the
Being nearly equal in numbers, spirit, courage, and arms, the battle was for a long time undecided, the men in their obstinate valour falling dead without giving way a step; until at last the divisions of Massanissa and Laelius, returning from the pursuit, arrived providentially in the very nick of time.
return of the Roman and Numidian cavalry.
Upon their charging Hannibal's rear, the greater part of his men were cut down in their ranks; while of those who attempted to fly very few escaped with their life, because the horsemen were close at their heels and the ground was quite level. On the Roman side there fell over fifteen hundred, on the Carthaginian over twenty thousand, while the prisoners taken were almost as numerous.


Hannibal Did All He Could

Such was the end of this battle, fought under these famous commanders: a battle on which everything depended, and which assigned universal dominion to Rome. After it had come to an end, Scipio pushed on in pursuit as far as the Carthaginian camp, and, after plundering that, returned to his own.
Hannibal escapes to Adrumetum.
Hannibal, escaping with a few horsemen, did not draw rein until he arrived safely at Adrumetum. He had done in the battle all that was to be expected of a good and experienced general. First, he had tried by an interview with his opponent to see what he could do to procure a pacification; and that was the right course for a man, who, while fully conscious of his former victories, yet mistrusts Fortune, and has an eye to all the possible and unexpected contingencies of war. Next, having accepted battle, the excellence of his dispositions for a contest with the Romans, considering the identity of the arms on each side, could not have been surpassed. For though the Roman line is hard to break, yet each individual soldier and each company, owing to the uniform tactic employed, can fight in any direction, those companies, which happen to be in nearest contact with the danger, wheeling round to the point required. Again, the nature of their arms gives at once protection and confidence, for their shield is large and their sword will not bend: the Romans therefore are formidable on the field and hard to conquer.


Hannibal's Tactics Sound

Still Hannibal took his measures against each of these difficulties in a manner that could not be surpassed. He provided himself with those numerous elephants, and put them in the van, for the express purpose of throwing the enemy's ranks into confusion and breaking their order. Again he stationed the mercenaries in front and the Carthaginians behind them, in order to wear out the bodies of the enemy with fatigue beforehand, and to blunt the edge of their swords by the numbers that would be killed by them; and moreover to compel the Carthaginians, by being in the middle of the army, to stay where they were and fight, as the poet says2— “"That howsoe'er unwilling fight he must."
” But the most warlike and steady part of his army he held in reserve at some distance, in order that they might not see what was happening too closely, but, with strength and spirit unimpaired, might use their courage to the best advantage when the moment arrived. And, if in spite of having done everything that could be done, he who had never been beaten before failed to secure the victory now, we must excuse him. For there are times when chance thwarts the plans of the brave; and there are others again, when a man “"Though great and brave has met a greater still."3
” And this we might say was the case with Hannibal on this occasion. . . .


Scipio Unmoved by Carthaginian Laments

Manifestations of emotion which go beyond what is
Scipio's answer to the envoys from Carthage after Zama, who made extravagant displays of sorrow.
customary among a particular people, if they are thought to be the result of genuine feeling evoked by extraordinary disasters, excite pity in the minds of those who see or hear them; and we are all in a manner moved by the novelty of the spectacle. But when such things appear to be assumed for the purpose of taking in the spectators and producing a dramatic effect, they do not provoke pity, but anger and dislike. And this was the case in regard to the Carthaginian envoys. Scipio deigned to give a very brief answer to their prayers, saying that "They, at any rate, deserved no kindness at the hands of the Romans, since they had themselves confessed that they were the aggressors in the war, by having, contrary to their treaty obligations, taken Saguntum and enslaved its inhabitants, and had recently been guilty of treachery and breaking the terms of a treaty to which they had subscribed and sworn. It was from a regard to their own dignity, to the vicissitudes of Fortune, and to the dictates of humanity that the Romans had determined to treat them with lenity and behave with magnanimity. And of this they would be convinced if they would take a right view of the case. For they ought not to consider it a hardship if they found themselves charged to submit to any punishment, to follow a particular line of conduct, or to give up this or that; they ought rather to regard it as an unexpected favour that any kindness was conceded to them at all; since Fortune, after depriving them of all right to pity and consideration, owing to their own unrighteous conduct, had put them in the power of their enemies." After this preamble he mentioned the concessions to be made to them, and the penalties to which they were to submit.


Terms Made After the Battle of Zama

The following are the heads of the terms offered
Terms imposed on Carthage after the battle of Zama, B. C. 202-201.
them:—The Carthaginians to retain the towns in Libya, of which they were possessed before they commenced the last war against Rome, and the territory which they also heretofore held, with its cattle, slaves, and other stock: and from that day should not be subject to acts of hostility, should enjoy their own laws and customs, and not have a Roman garrison in their city. These were the concessions favourable to them. The clauses of an opposite character were as follows:—The Carthaginians to pay an indemnity to the Romans for all wrongs committed during the truce; to restore all captives and runaway slaves without limit of time; to hand over all their ships of war except ten triremes, and all elephants; to go to war with no people outside Libya at all, and with none in Libya without consent from Rome; to restore to Massanissa all houses, territory, and cities belonging to him or his ancestors within the frontiers assigned to that king; to supply the Roman army with provisions for three months, and with pay, until such time as an answer shall be returned from Rome on the subject of the treaty; to pay ten thousand talents of silver in fifty years, two hundred Euboic talents every year; to give a hundred hostages of their good faith, —such hostages to be selected from the young men of the country by the Roman general, and to be not younger than fourteen or older than thirty years.


Hannibal Persuades Carthage to Accept These Terms

This was the nature of Scipio's answer to the envoys,
A scene in the Carthaginian assembly. Hannibal persuades them to accept the treaty.
who hastened home and communicated its terms to their countrymen. It was then that the story goes that, upon a certain Senator intending to speak against accepting the terms and actually beginning to do so, Hannibal came forward and pulled the man down from the tribune; and when the other senators showed anger at this breach of custom, Hannibal rose again and "owned that he was ignorant of such things; but said that they must pardon him if he acted in any way contrary to their customs, remembering that he had left the country when he was but fourteen, and had only returned when now past forty-five. Therefore he begged them not to consider whether he had committed a breach of custom, but much rather whether he were genuinely feeling for his country's misfortunes; for that was the real reason for his having been guilty of this breach of manners. For it appeared to him to be astonishing, and, indeed, quite unaccountable, that any one calling himself a Carthaginian, and being fully aware of the policy which they had individually and collectively adopted against the Romans, should do otherwise than adore the kindness of Fortune for obtaining such favourable terms, when in their power, as a few days ago no one—considering the extraordinary provocation they had given—would have ventured to mention, if they had been asked what they expected would happen to their country, in case of the Romans proving victorious. Therefore he called upon them now not to debate, but unanimously to accept the terms offered, and with sacrifices to the gods to pray with one accord that the Roman people might confirm the treaty." His advice being regarded as both sensible and timely, they resolved to sign the treaty on the conditions specified; and the senate at once despatched envoys to notify their consent. . . .

The intrigues of Philip V. and Antiochus the Great to divide the dominions of the infant king of Egypt, Ptolemy Epiphanes, B. C. 204.


League Against Ptolemy Epiphanes

Is it not astonishing that while Ptolemy Philopator was alive and did not need such assistance, these two kings
Shameless ambition of Philip and Antiochus.
were ready with offers of aid, but that as soon as he was dead, leaving his heir a mere child, whose kingdom they were bound by the ties of nature to have defended, they then egged each other on to adopt the policy of partitioning the boy's kingdom between themselves, and getting rid entirely of the heir; and that too without putting forward any decent pretext to cover their iniquity, but acting so shamelessly, and so like beasts of prey, that one can only compare their habits to those ascribed to fishes, among which, though they may be of the same species, the destruction of the smaller is the food and sustenance of the larger. This treaty of theirs shows, as though in a mirror, the impiety to heaven and cruelty to man of these two kings, as well as their unbounded ambition. However, if a man were disposed to find fault with Fortune for her administration of human affairs, he might fairly become reconciled to her in this case; for she brought upon those monarchs the punishment they so well deserved, and by the signal example she made of them taught posterity a lesson in righteousness. For while they were engaged in acts of treachery against each other, and in dismembering the child's kingdom in their own interests, she brought the Romans upon them, and the very measures which they had lawlessly designed against another, she justly and properly carried out against them.
B. C. 197. B. C. 191.
For both of them, being promptly beaten in the field, were not only prevented from gratifying their desire for the dominions of another, but were themselves made tributary and forced to obey orders from Rome. Finally, within a very short time Fortune restored the kingdom of Ptolemy to prosperity; while as to the dynasties and successors of these two monarchs, she either utterly abolished and destroyed them, or involved them in misfortunes which were little short of that. . . .


Molpagoras of Cius

There was a certain man at Cius named Molpagoras,
The intrigues and tyranny of Molpagoras at Cius, in Bithynia.
a ready speaker and of considerable ability in affairs, but at heart a mere demagogue and selfish intriguer. By flattering the mob, and putting the richer citizens into its power, he either got them put to death right out, or drove them into exile and distributed their confiscated goods among the common people, and thus rapidly secured for himself a position of despotic power. . . .

The miseries which befell the Cians were not so much

The cause of the ruin of Cius.
owing to Fortune or the aggressions of their neighbours, as to their own folly and perverse policy. For by steadily promoting their worst men, and punishing all who were opposed to these, that they might divide their property among themselves, they seemed as it were to court the disasters into which they fell. These are disasters into which, somehow or another, though all men fall, they yet not only cannot learn wisdom, but seem not even to acquire the cautious distrust of brute beasts. The latter, if they have once been hurt by bait or trap, or even if they have seen another in danger of being caught, you would find it difficult to induce to approach anything of the sort again: they are shy of the place, and suspicious of everything they see. But as for men, though they have been told of cities utterly ruined by their policy, and see others actually doing so before their eyes, yet directly any one flatters their wishes by holding out to them the prospect of recruiting their fortunes at the cost of others, they rush thoughtlessly to the bait: although they know quite well that no one, who has ever swallowed such baits, has ever survived; and that such political conduct has notoriously been the ruin of all who have adopted it.


Philip Rouses the Enmity of the Greeks

Philip was delighted at taking the city, as though
Capture of Cius by Philip V. B. C. 202.4
he had performed a glorious and honourable achievement; for while displaying great zeal in behalf of his brother-in-law (Prusias), and overawing all who opposed his policy, he had secured for himself in fair warfare a large supply of slaves and money. But the reverse of this picture he did not see in the least, although it was quite plain. In the first place, that he was assisting his brother-inlaw, who, without receiving any provocation, was treacherously assailing his neighbours. In the second place, that by involving a Greek city without just cause in the most dreadful misfortunes, he was sure to confirm the report, which had been widely spread, of his severity to his friends; and by both of these actions would justly gain throughout Greece the reputation of a man reckless of the dictates of piety. In the third place, that he had outraged the envoys from the above-mentioned states,5 who had come with the hope of saving the Cians from the danger which threatened them, and who, after being day after day mocked by his professions, had been at length compelled to witness what they most abhorred. And lastly, that he had so infuriated the Rhodians, that they would never henceforth listen to a word in his favour: a circumstance for which Philip had to thank Fortune as well as himself.


The Rhodians Object to Philip's Treatment of Cius

For it happened that just when his ambassador was
The anger of the Rhodians at the fall of Cius.
defending his master before the Rhodians in the theatre,—enlarging on "the magnanimity of Philip," and announcing that "though already in a manner master of Cius, he conceded its safety to the wishes of the Rhodian people; and did so because he desired to refute the calumnies of his enemies, and to establish the honesty of his intentions in the eyes of Rhodes,"—just then a man entered the Prytaneum who had newly arrived in the island, and brought the news of the enslavement of the Cians and the cruelty which Philip had exercised upon them. The Prytanis coming into the theatre to announce this news, while the ambassador was absolutely in the middle of his speech, the Rhodians could scarcely make up their minds to believe a report which involved such monstrous treachery.

He had then betrayed himself quite as grossly as the

It causes a breach with the Aetolians.
Cians; and so blind or misguided had he become as to the principles of right and wrong, that he boasted of actions of which he ought to have been most heartily ashamed, and plumed himself upon them as though they were to his credit. But the people of Rhodes from that day forth regarded Philip as their enemy, and made their preparations with that view. And no less by this course had he gained the hatred of the Aetolians. He had but lately made terms with, and held out the hand of friendship to that nation: no excuse for a breach had arisen; and the Lysimachians, Calchedonians, and Cianians were friends and allies of the Aetolians. Nevertheless only a short time before he had separated Lysimachia from the Aetolian alliance, and induced it to submit to him: then he had done the same to Calchedon: and lastly he had enslaved the Cians, though there was an Aetolian officer actually in Cius and conducting the government. Prusias, however, in so far as his policy was accomplished, was delighted; but inasmuch as another was in possession of the prizes of the operations, while he himself got as his share nothing but the bare site of a city, was extremely annoyed, but was yet unable to do anything. . . .


Philip at Thasos

During his return voyage Philip engaged in one act of
Philip at Thasos, B. C. 202-201.
treachery after another, and among others put in about mid-day at the town of Thasos, and though it was on good terms with him, took it and enslaved its inhabitants. . . .

The Thasians answered Philip's general Metrodorus, that they would surrender their city, on condition that he would guarantee them freedom from a garrison, tribute, or billeting of soldiers, and the enjoyment of their own laws. Metrodorus having declared the king's consent to this, the whole assembly signified their approval of the words by a loud shout, whereupon they admitted Philip into the town. . . .

All kings perhaps at the beginning of their reign dangle the name of liberty before their subjects' eyes, and address as friends and allies those who combine in pursuing the same objects as themselves; but when they come to actual administration of affairs they at once cease to treat these as allies, and assume the airs of a master. Such persons accordingly find themselves deceived as to the honourable position they expected to occupy, though as a rule not as to the immediate advantage which they sought. But if a king is meditating undertakings of the greatest importance, and only bounding his hopes by the limits of the world, and has as yet had nothing to cast a damp upon his projects, would it not seem the height of folly and madness to proclaim his own fickleness and untrustworthiness in matters which are of the smallest consequence, and lie at the very threshold of his enterprise? . . .


Egypt


My plan being to narrate under each year all the events in the several parts of the world which were contemporary, it is clear that in some cases it will be necessary to mention the end before the beginning; when, that is to say, that particular part of the subject calls for mention, first as being in place in the general course of my narrative, and the events which embrace the end of an episode fit in sooner than those which belong to its beginning and first conception. . . .


Ptolemy Epiphanes Succeeds To the Crown

Sosibius, the unfaithful guardian of Ptolemy Epiphanes,
The previous career of Sosibius.
was a creature of extraordinary cunning, who long retained his power, and was the instrument of many crimes at court: he contrived first the murder of Lysimachus, son of Arsinoe, daughter of Ptolemy and Berenice; secondly, that of Maga, son of Ptolemy and Berenice the daughter of Maga; thirdly, that of Berenice the mother of Ptolemy Philopator; fourthly, that of Cleomenes of Sparta; and fifthly, that of Arsinoe the daughter of Berenice. . . .

Three or four days after the death of Ptolemy Philopator,

B. C. 205. The death of Ptolemy Philopator announced, and Epiphanes crowned.
having caused a platform to be erected in the largest court of the palace Agathocles and Sosibius summoned a meeting of the footguards and the household, as well as the officers of the infantry and cavalry. The assembly being formed, they mounted the platform, and first of all announced the deaths of the king and queen, and proclaimed the customary period of mourning for the people. After that they placed a diadem upon the head of the child, Ptolemy Epiphanes, proclaimed him king, and read a forged will, in which the late king nominated Agathocles and Sosibius guardians of his son. They ended by an exhortation to the officers to be loyal to the boy and maintain his sovereignty. They next brought in two silver urns, one of which they declared contained the ashes of the king, the other those of Arsinoe. And in fact one of them did really contain the king's ashes, the other was filled with spices. Having done this they proceeded to complete the funeral ceremonies. It was then that all the world at last learnt the truth about the death of Arsinoe. For now that her death was clearly established, the manner of it began to be a matter of speculation. Though rumours which turned out to be true had found their way among the people, they had up to this time been disputed; now there was no possibility of hiding the truth, and it became deeply impressed in the minds of all. Indeed there was great excitement among the populace: no one thought about the king; it was the fate of Arsinoe that moved them. Some recalled her orphanhood; others the tyranny and insult she had endured from her earliest days; and when her miserable death was added to these misfortunes, it excited such a passion of pity and sorrow that the city was filled with sighs, tears, and irrepressible lamentation. Yet it was clear to the thoughtful observer that these were not so much signs of affection for Arsinoe as of hatred towards Agathocles.

The first measure of this minister, after depositing the urns

Agathocles propitiates the army and gets rid of rivals.
in the royal mortuary, and giving orders for the laying aside of mourning, was to gratify the army with two months' pay; for he was convinced that the way to deaden the resentment of the common soldiers was to appeal to their interests. He then caused them to take the oath customary at the proclamation of a new king; and next took measures to get all who were likely to be formidable out of the country. Philammon, who had been employed in the murder of Arsinoe, he sent out as governor of Cyrene, while he committed the young king to the charge of Oenanthe and Agathocleia. Next, Pelops the son of Pelops he despatched to the court of Antiochus in Asia, to urge him to maintain his friendly relations with the court of Alexandria, and not to violate the treaty he had made with the young king's father. Ptolemy, son of Sosibius, he sent to Philip to arrange for a treaty of intermarriage between the two countries, and to ask for assistance in case Antiochus should make a serious attempt to play them false in any matter of importance.

He also selected Ptolemy, son of Agesarchus, as ambassador to Rome: not with a view of his seriously prosecuting the embassy, but because he thought that, if he once entered Greece, he would find himself among friends and kinsfolk, and would stay there; which would suit his policy of getting rid of eminent men. Scopas the Aetolian also he sent to Greece to recruit foreign mercenaries, giving him a large sum in gold for bounties. He had two objects in view in this measure: one was to use the soldiers so recruited in the war with Antiochus; another was to get rid of the mercenary troops already existing, by sending them on garrison duty in the various forts and settlements about the country; while he used the new recruits to fill up the numbers of the household regiments with new men, as well as the pickets immediately round the palace, and in other parts of the city. For he believed that men who had been hired by himself, and were taking his pay, would have no feelings in common with the old soldiers, with whom they would be totally unacquainted; but that, having all their hopes of safety and profit in him, he would find them ready to co-operate with him and carry out his orders.

Now all this took place before the intrigue of Philip, though it was necessary for the sake of clearness to speak of that first, and to describe the transactions which took place, both at the audience and the dispatch of the ambassadors.

To return to Agathocles: when he had thus got rid of the

The debauchery of Agathocles.
most eminent men, and had to a great degree quieted the wrath of the common soldiers by his present of pay, he returned quickly to his old way of life. Drawing round him a body of friends, whom he selected from the most frivolous and shameless of his personal attendants or servants, he devoted the chief part of the day and night to drunkenness and all the excesses which accompany drunkenness, sparing neither matron, nor bride, nor virgin, and doing all this with the most offensive ostentation. The result was a widespread outburst of discontent; and when there appeared no prospect of reforming this state of things, or of obtaining protection against the violence, insolence and debauchery of the court, which on the contrary grew daily more outrageous, their old hatred blazed up once more in the hearts of the common people, and all began again to recall the misfortunes which the kingdom already owed to these very men. But the absence of any one fit to take the lead, and by whose means they could vent their wrath upon Agathocles and Agathocleia, kept them quiet. Their one remaining hope rested upon Tlepolemus, and on this they fixed their confidence.

As long as the late king was alive Tlepolemus remained in

Tlepolemus, governor of Pelusium, determines to depose Agathocles, B. C. 205-204.
retirement; but upon his death he quickly propitiated the common soldiers, and became once more governor of Pelusium. At first he directed all his actions with a view to the interest of the king, believing that there would be some council of regency to take charge of the boy and administer the government. But when he saw that all those who were fit for this charge were got out of the way, and that Agathocles was boldly monopolising the supreme power, he quickly changed his purpose; because he suspected the danger that threatened him from the hatred which they mutually entertained. He therefore began to draw his troops together, and bestir himself to collect money, that he might not be an easy prey to any one of his enemies. At the same time he was not without hope that the guardianship of the young king, and the chief power in the state might devolve upon him; both because, in his own private opinion, he was much more fit for it in every respect than Agathocles, and because he was informed that his own troops and those in Alexandria were looking to him to put an end to the minister's outrageous conduct. When such ideas were entertained by Tlepolemus, it did not take long to make the quarrel grow, especially as the partisans of both helped to inflame it. Being eager to secure the adhesion of the generals of divisions and the captains of companies, he frequently invited them to banquets; and at these assemblies, instigated partly by the flattery of his guests and partly by his own impulse (for he was a young man and the conversation was over the wine), he used to throw out sarcastic remarks against the family of Agathocles. At first they were covert and enigmatic, then merely ambiguous, and finally undisguised, and containing the bitterest reflections. He proposed the health of the scribbler of pasquinades, the sackbut-girl and waiting-woman; and spoke of his shameful boyhood, when as cupbearer of the king he had submitted to the foulest treatment. His guests were always ready to laugh at his words and add their quota to the sum of vituperation.
Agathocles will anticipate him.
It was not long before this reached the ears of Agathocles: and the breach between the two thus becoming an open one, Agathocles immediately began bringing charges against Tlepolemus, declaring that he was a traitor to the king, and was inviting Antiochus to come and seize the government. And he brought many plausible proofs of this forward, some of which he got by distorting facts that actually occurred, while others were pure invention. His object in so doing was to excite the wrath of the common people against Tlepolemus. But the result was the reverse; for the populace had long fixed their hopes on Tlepolemus, and were only too delighted to see the quarrel growing hot between them. The actual popular outbreak which did occur began from the following circumstances. Nicon, a relation of Agathocles, was in the lifetime of the late king commander of the navy. . . .


Another Murder Committed by Agathocles


Another murder committed by Agathocles was that
A fragment from the earlier history of Agathocles.
of Deinon, son of Deinon. But this, as the proverb has it, was the fairest of his foul deeds. For the letter ordering the murder of Arsinoe had fallen into this man's hands, and he might have given information about the plot and saved the Queen; but at the time he chose rather to help Philammon, and so became the cause of all the misfortunes which followed; while, after the murder was committed, he was always recalling the circumstances, commiserating the unhappy woman, and expressing repentance at having let such an opportunity slip: and this he repeated in the hearing of many, so that Agathocles heard of it, and he met with his just punishment in losing his life. . . .


The Death of Agathocles and his Family


The first step of Agathocles was to summon a meeting of the Macedonian guards. He entered the
Agathocles pretends a plot of Tlepolemus against the king, B. C. 202.
assembly accompanied by the young king and his own sister Agathocleia. At first he feigned not to be able to say what he wished for tears; but after again and again wiping his eyes with his chlamys he at length mastered his emotion, and, taking the young king in his arms, spoke as follows: "Take this boy, whom his father on his death-bed placed in this lady's arms" (pointing to his sister) "and confided to your loyalty, men of Macedonia! That lady's affection has but little influence in securing the child's safety: it is on you that that safety now depends; his fortunes are in your hands. It has long been evident to those who had eyes to see, that Tlepolemus was aiming at something higher than his natural rank; but now he has named the day and hour on which he intends to assume the crown. Do not let your belief of this depend upon my words; refer to those who know the real truth and have but just come from the very scene of his treason." With these words he brought forward Critolaus, who deposed that he had seen with his own eyes the altars being decked, and the victims being got ready by the common soldiers for the ceremony of a coronation.

When the Macedonian guards had heard all this, far from

Anger of the populace and soldiers against Agathocles.
being moved by his appeal, they showed their contempt by hooting and loud murmurs, and drove him away under such a fire of derision that he got out of the assembly without being conscious how he did it. And similar scenes occurred among other corps of the army at their meetings. Meanwhile great crowds kept pouring into Alexandria from the up-country stations, calling upon kinsmen or friends to help the movement, and not to submit to the unbridled tyranny of such unworthy men. But what inflamed the populace against the government more than anything else was the knowledge that, as Tlepolemus had the absolute command of all the imports into Alexandria, delay would be a cause of suffering to themselves.


Growing Hatred of Agathocles

Moreover, an action of Agathocles himself served to heighten the anger of the multitude and of Tlepolemus. For he took Danae, the latter's mother-in-law, from the temple of Demeter, dragged her through the middle of the city unveiled, and cast her into prison. His object in doing this was to manifest his hostility to Tlepolemus; but its effect was to loosen the tongues of the people. In their anger they no longer confined themselves to secret murmurs: but some of them in the night covered the walls in every part of the city with pasquinades; while others in the day time collected in groups and openly expressed their loathing for the government.

Seeing what was taking place, and beginning to fear the

Terror of Agathocles.
worst, Agathocles at one time meditated making his escape by secret flight; but as he had nothing ready for such a measure, thanks to his own imprudence, he had to give up that idea. At another time he set himself to drawing out lists of men likely to assist him in a bold coup d'état, by which he should put to death or arrest his enemies, and then possess himself of absolute power. While still meditating these plans he received information that Moeragenes, one of the body-guard, was betraying all the secrets of the palace to Tlepolemus, and was co-operating with him on account of his relationship with Adaeus, at that time the commander of Bubastus. Agathocles immediately ordered his secretary Nicostratus to arrest Moeragenes, and extract the truth from him by every possible kind of torture.
Arrest of Moeragenes.
Being promptly arrested by Nicostratus, and taken to a retired part of the place, he was at first examined directly as to the facts alleged; but, refusing to confess anything, he was stripped. And now some of the torturers were preparing their instruments, and others with scourges in their hands were just taking off their outer garments, when just at that very moment a servant ran in, and, whispering something in the ear of Nicostratus, hurried out again. Nicostratus followed close behind him, without a word, frequently slapping his thigh with his hand.


Moeragenes Escapes

The predicament of Moeragenes was now indescribably strange. There stood the executioners
Moeragenes rouses the soldiers.
by his side on the point of raising their scourges, while others close to him were getting ready their instruments of torture: but when Nicostratus withdrew they all stood silently staring at each other's faces, expecting him every moment to return; but as time went on they one by one slipped away, until Moeragenes was left alone. Having made his way through the palace, after this unhoped-for escape, he rushed in his half-clothed state into a tent of the Macedonian guards which was situated close to the palace. They chanced to be at breakfast, and therefore a good many were collected together; and to them he narrated the story of his wonderful escape. At first they would not believe it, but ultimately were convinced by his appearing without his clothes. Taking advantage of this extraordinary occurrence, Moeragenes besought the Macedonian guards with tears not only to help him to secure his own safety, but the king's also, and above all their own. "For certain destruction stared them in the face," he said, "unless they seized the moment when the hatred of the populace was at its height, and every one was ready to wreak vengeance on Agathocles. That moment was now, and all that was wanted was some one to begin."


A Revolt Decided Upon By the Army

The passions of the Macedonians were roused by these words, and they finally agreed to do as Moeragenes advised. They at once went round to the tents, first those of their own corps, and then those of the other soldiers; which were all close together, facing the same quarter of the city. The wish was one which had for a long time been formed in the minds of the soldiery, wanting nothing but some one to call it forth, and with courage to begin. No sooner, therefore, had a commencement been made than it blazed out like a fire: and before four hours had elapsed every class, whether military or civil, had agreed to make the attempt.

At this crisis, too, chance contributed a great deal to the

Agathocles despairs.
final catastrophe. For a letter addressed by Tlepolemus to the army as well as some of his spies, had fallen into the hands of Agathocles. The letter announced that he would be at Alexandria shortly, and the spies informed Agathocles that he was already there. This news so distracted Agathocles that he gave up taking any measures at all or even thinking about the dangers which surrounded him, but departed at his usual hour to his wine, and kept up the carouse to the end in his usual licentious fashion.
Oenanthe in the temple of Demeter.
But his mother Oenanthe went in great distress to the temple of Demeter and Persephone, which was open on account of a certain annual sacrifice; and there first of all she besought the aid of those goddesses with bendings of the knee and strange incantations, and then sat down close to the altar and remained motionless. Most of the women present, delighted to witness her dejection and distress, kept silence: but the ladies of the family of Polycrates, and certain others of the nobility, being as yet unaware of what was going on around them, approached Oenanthe and tried to comfort her. But she cried out in a loud voice: "Do not come near me, you monsters! I know you well! Your hearts are always against us; and you pray the goddess for all imaginable evil upon us. Still I trust and believe that, God willing, you shall one day taste the flesh of your own children." With these words she ordered her female attendants to drive them away, and strike them with their staves if they refused to go. The ladies availed themselves of this excuse for quitting the temple in a body, raising their hands and praying that she might herself have experience of those very miseries with which she had threatened her neighbours.


A Mob Assembles

The men having by this time decided upon a revolution, now that in every house the anger of the women was added to the general resentment, the popular hatred blazed out with redoubled violence. As soon as night fell the whole city was filled with tumult, torches, and hurrying feet. Some were assembling with shouts in the stadium; some were calling upon others to join them; some were running backwards and forwards seeking to conceal themselves in houses and places least likely to be suspected. And now the open spaces round the palace, the stadium, and the street were filled with a motley crowd, as well as the area in front of the Dionysian Theatre. Being informed of this, Agathocles roused himself from a drunken lethargy,—for he had just dismissed his drinking party,—and, accompanied by all his family, with the exception of Philo, went to the king. After a few words of lamentation over his misfortunes addressed to the child, he took him by the hand, and proceeded to the covered walk which runs between the Maeander garden and the Palaestra, and leads to the entrance of the theatre. Having securely fastened the two first doors through which he passed, he entered the third with two or three bodyguards, his own family, and the king. The doors, however, which were secured by double bars, were only of lattice work and could therefore be seen through.

By this time the mob had collected from every part of the city in such numbers, that, not only was every foot of ground occupied, but the doorsteps and roofs also were crammed with human beings; and such a mingled storm of shouts and cries arose, as might be expected from a crowd in which women and children were mixed with men: for in Alexandria, as in Carthage, the children perform as conspicuous a part in such commotions as the men.


The King Surrendered To the Soldiers

Day now began to break and the uproar was still a
Cries for the king.
confused babel of voices; but one cry made itself heard conspicuously above the rest, it was a call for THE KING. The first thing actually done was by the Macedonian guard: they left their quarters and seized the vestibule which served as the audience hall of the palace; then, after a brief pause, having ascertained whereabouts in the palace the king was, they went round to the covered walk, burst open the first doors, and, when they came to the next, demanded with loud shouts that the young king should be surrendered to them. Agathocles, recognising his danger, begged his bodyguards to go in his name to the Macedonians, to inform them that "he resigned the guardianship of the king, and all offices, honours, or emoluments which he possessed, and only asked that his life should be granted him with a bare maintenance; that by sinking to his original situation in life he would be rendered incapable, even if he wished it, of being henceforth oppressive to any one." All the bodyguards refused except Aristomenes, who afterwards obtained the chief power in the state.

This man was an Acarnanian, and, though far advanced in

Aristomenes.
life when he obtained supreme power, he is thought to have made a most excellent and blameless guardian of the king and kingdom. And as he was distinguished in that capacity, so had he been remarkable before for his adulation of Agathocles in the time of his prosperity. He was the first, when entertaining Agathocles at his house, to distinguish him among his guests by the present of a gold diadem, an honour reserved by custom to the kings alone; he was the first too who ventured to wear his likeness on his ring; and when a daughter was born to him he named her Agathocleia.

But to return to my story. Aristomenes undertook the

The guards insist on the surrender of the king.
mission, received his message, and made his way through a certain wicket-gate to the Macedonians. He stated his business in few words: the first impulse of the Macedonians was to stab him to death on the spot; but some of them held up their hands to protect him, and successfully begged his life. He accordingly returned with orders to bring the king or to come no more himself. Having dismissed Aristomenes with these words, the Macedonians proceeded to burst open the second door also. When convinced by their proceedings, no less than by the answers they had returned, of the fierce purpose of the Macedonians, the first idea of Agathocles was to thrust his hand through the latticed door,—while Agathocleia did the same with her breasts which she said had suckled the king,—and by every kind of entreaty to beg that the Macedonians would grant him bare life.


The King Conducted to the Stadium

But finding that his long and piteous appeals produced no effect, at last he sent out the young king with the bodyguards. As soon as they had got the king, the Macedonians placed him on a horse and conducted him to the stadium. His appearance being greeted with loud shouts and clapping of hands, they stopped the horse, and dismounting the child, ushered him to the royal stall and seated him there. But the feelings of the crowd were divided: they were delighted that the young king had been brought, but they were dissatisfied that the guilty persons had not been arrested and met with the punishment they deserved. Accordingly, they continued with loud cries to demand that the authors of all the mischief should be brought out and made an example. The day was wearing away, and yet the crowd had found no one on whom to wreak their vengeance, when Sosibius, who, though a son of the elder Sosibius, was at that time a member of the bodyguard, and as such had a special eye to the safety of the king and the State,—seeing that the furious desire of the multitude was implacable, and that the child was frightened at the unaccustomed faces that surrounded him and the uproar of the crowd, asked the king whether he would "surrender to the populace those who had injured him or his mother." The boy having nodded assent, Sosibius bade some of the bodyguard announce the king's decision, while he raised the young child from his seat and took him to his own house which was close by to receive proper attention and refreshment. When the message from the king was declared, the whole place broke out into a storm of cheering and clapping of hands. But meanwhile Agathocles and Agathocleia had separated and gone each to their own lodgings. Without loss of time soldiers, some voluntarily and others under pressure from the crowd, started in search of them.


The Massacre of Agathocles and Family

The beginning of actual bloodshed, however, was
Death of Agathocles, his sister, and Oenanthe.
this. One of the servants and flatterers of Agathocles, whose name was Philo, came out to the stadium still flustered with wine. Seeing the fury of the multitude, he said to some bystanders that they would have cause to repent it again, as they had only the other day, if Agathocles were to come there. Of those who heard him some began to abuse him, while others pushed him about; and on his attempting to defend himself, some tore his cloak off his back, while others thrust their spears into him and wounded him mortally. He was dragged into the middle of the crowd breathing his last gasp; and, having thus tasted blood, the multitude began to look impatiently for the coming of the other victims. They had not to wait long. First appeared Agathocles dragged along bound hand and foot. No sooner had he entered than some soldiers rushed at him and struck him dead. And in doing so they were his friends rather than enemies, for they saved him from the horrible death which he deserved. Nicon was brought next, and after him Agathocleia stripped naked, with her two sisters; and following them the whole family. Last of all some men came bringing Oenanthe, whom they had torn from the temple of Demeter and Persephone, riding stripped naked upon a horse. They were all given up to the populace, who bit, and stabbed them, and knocked out their eyes, and, as soon as any one of them fell, tore him limb from limb, until they had utterly annihilated them all: for the savagery of the Egyptians when their passions are roused is indeed terrible. At the same time some young girls who had been brought up with Arsinoe, having learnt that Philammon, the chief agent in the murder of that Queen, had arrived three days before from Cyrene, rushed to his house; forced their way in; killed Philammon with stones and sticks; strangled his infant son; and, not content with this, dragged his wife naked into the street and put her to death.

Such was the end of Agathocles and Agathocleia and their kinsfolk.


Why Agathocles Died As He Did

I am quite aware of the miraculous occurrences and
The contemptible character of Agathocles.
embellishments which the chroniclers of this event have added to their narrative with a view of producing a striking effect upon their hearers, making more of their comments on the story than of the story itself and the main incidents. Some ascribe it entirely to Fortune, and take the opportunity of expatiating on her fickleness and the difficulty of being on one's guard against her. Others dwell upon the unexpectedness of the event, and try to assign its causes and probabilities. It was not my purpose, however, to treat this episode in this way, because Agathocles was not a man of conspicuous courage or ability as a soldier; nor particularly successful or worth imitating as a statesman; nor, lastly, eminent for his acuteness as a courtier or cunning as an intriguer, by which latter accomplishments Sosibius and many others have managed to keep one king after another under their influence to the last day of their lives. The very opposite of all this may be said of this man. For though he obtained high promotion owing to Philopator's feebleness as a king; and though after his death he had the most favourable opportunity of consolidating his power, he yet soon fell into contempt, and lost his position and his life at once, thanks to his own want of courage and vigour.


Agathocles Not a Good Example of Mutability of Fortune

To such a story then no such dissertation is required, as was in place, for instance, in the case of the Sicilian monarchs, Agathocles and Dionysius, and certain others who have administered governments with reputation.
See 12. 15.
For the former of these, starting from a plebeian and humble position—having been, as Timaeus sneeringly remarks, a potter—came from the wheel, clay, and smoke, quite a young man to Syracuse. And, to begin with, both these men in their respective generations became tyrants of Syracuse, a city that had obtained at that time the greatest reputation and the greatest wealth of any in the world; and afterwards were regarded as suzerains of all Sicily, and lords of certain districts in Italy. While, for his part, Agathocles not only made an attempt upon Africa, but eventually died in possession of the greatness he had acquired. It is on this account that the story is told of Publius Scipio, the first conqueror of the Carthaginians, that being asked whom he considered to have been the most skilful administrators and most distinguished for boldness combined with prudence, he replied, "the Sicilians Agathocles and Dionysius." Now, in the case of such men as these, it is certainly right to try to arrest the attention of our readers, and, I suppose, to speak of Fortune and the mutability of human affairs, and in fact to point a moral: but in the case of such men as we have been speaking of, it is quite out of place to do so.


Agathocles Was Not An Important Person

For these reasons I have rejected all idea of making too much of the story of Agathocles. But another and the strongest reason was that all such wonderful and striking catastrophes are only worth listening to once; not only are subsequent exhibitions of them unprofitable to ear and eye, but elaborate harping upon soon becomes simply troublesome. For those who are engaged on representing anything either to eye or ear can have only two objects to aim at,—pleasure and profit; and in history, more than in anything else, excessive prolixity on events of tragic interest fails of both these objects. For, in the first place, who would wish to emulate extraordinary catastrophes? And next, no one likes to be continually seeing and hearing things that are unnatural and beyond the ordinary conceptions of mankind. We are, indeed, eager to see and hear such things once and for the first time, because we want to know that a thing is possible which was supposed to be impossible: but when once convinced on that point no one is pleased at lingering on the Unnatural; but in fact would rather not come across it at all oftener than need be. In fact, the dwelling upon misfortunes which exceed the ordinary limits is more suitable to tragedy than to history. But perhaps we ought to make allowances for men who have studied neither nature nor universal history. They think, I presume, that the most important and astonishing events in all history are those which they happen to have come across themselves or to have heard from others, and they therefore give their attention exclusively to those. They accordingly do not perceive that they are making a mistake in expatiating on events which are neither novel,—for they have been narrated by others before,— nor capable of giving instruction or pleasure. So much on this point. . . .


Antiochus

King Antiochus, at the beginning of his reign, was
Disappointments as to the character of Antiochus the Great.
thought to be a man of great enterprise and courage, and great vigour in the execution of his purposes; but as he grew older his character evidently deteriorated in itself, and disappointed the expectation of the world. . . .

1 Homer, Iliad, 4, 437.

2 Homer, Iliad, 4, 300.

3 A line of which the author is unknown; perhaps it was Theognis.

4 See Livy, 31, 31; Strabo, 12, c. 4. Philip handed over Cius to Prusias.

5 That is, from Rhodes and other states.

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