The War with Philip
WHEN the time appointed arrived, Philip put to sea from
Congress at Nicaea in Locris, winter of B. C. 198-197. Coss. Titus Quinctius Flamininus, Sext. Aelius Paetus Catus.
Demetrias and came into the Melian Gulf, with
five galleys and one beaked war-ship (pristis),
on the latter of which he himself was sailing.
There met him the Macedonian secretaries
Apollodorus and Demosthenes, Brachylles from
Boeotia, and the Achaean Cycliadas, who had
been driven from the Peloponnese for the
reasons I have already described. With Flamininus came king Amynandras, and Dionysodorus,
legate of king Attalus.
The commissioners from cities and nations were
Aristaenus and Xenophon from the Achaeans; Acesimbrotus
the navarch from the Rhodians; Phaeneas their Strategus
from the Aetolians, and several others of their statesmen with
him. Approaching the sea near Nicaea, Flamininus and those
with him took their stand upon the very edge of the beach,
while Philip, bringing his ship close to shore, remained afloat.
Upon Flamininus bidding him disembark, he stood up on
board and refused to leave his ship. Flamininus again asked
him what he feared, he said that he feared no one but the
gods, but he distrusted most of those who were there, especially
the Aetolians. Upon the Roman expressing his surprise, and
remarking that the danger was the same to all and the risk
common, Philip retorted that "He was mistaken in saying that:
for that, if anything happened to Phaeneas, there were many
who would act as Strategi for the Aetolians; but if Philip were
to perish at the present juncture, there was no one to be king of
the Macedonians." Though all thought this an unconciliatory
way of opening the discussion, Flamininus nevertheless bade
him speak on the matters he had come to consider.
however said that "The word was not with himself but with
Flamininus; and therefore begged that he would
state clearly what he was to do in order to have
peace." The Roman consul replied that" What
he had to say was simple and obvious: it was to bid him
evacuate Greece entirely; restore the prisoners and deserters
in his hands to their several states; hand over to the Romans
those parts of Illyricum of which he had become possessed since
the peace of Epirus; and, similarly, to restore to
Ptolemy all the cities which he had taken from
him since the death of Ptolemy Philopator.
Congress of Nicaea
Having said this Flamininus refrained from any further
speech of his own; but turning to the others he bade them deliver
what they had been severally charged to say by those who sent
them. And first Dionysodorus, the envoy of
Attalus, took up the discourse by declaring that
"Philip ought to restore the king's ships which
had been captured in the battle at Chios and their crews with
them; and to restore also the temple of Aphrodite to its
original state, as well as the Nicephorium, both of which he had
He was followed by the Rhodian
navarch Acesimbrotus, who demanded "That
Philip should evacuate Peraea, which he had taken from them;
withdraw his garrisons from Iasus, Bargylia, and Euromus;
restore the Perinthians to their political union with Byzantium;
and evacuate Sestos, Abydos, and all commercial ports and
harbours in Asia."
Following the Rhodians the
Achaeans demanded "The restoration of Corinth
and Argos uninjuired."
Then came the Aetolians, who first demanded, like the Romans, that "Philip should
entirely evacuate Greece; and, secondly, that
he should restore to them uninjured all cities
formerly members of the Aetolian league."
Speech of Alexander Isius
When Phaeneas the Aetolian strategus had delivered this
Speech of Alexander Isius.
demand, a man called Alexander Isius, who
had the reputation of being an able politician
and good speaker, said that "Philip was neither
sincere at the present moment in proposing terms, nor bold in
his manner of making war, when he had to do that. In conferences and colloquies he was always setting ambushes and
lying in wait, and using all the practices of war, but in actual
war itself took up a position at once unjust and ignoble: for
he avoided meeting his enemies face to face, and, as he fled
before them, employed himself in burning and plundering the
cities; and by this policy, though himself beaten, he spoilt the
value of the victor's reward. Yet former kings of Macedonia
had not adopted this plan, but one exactly the reverse: for
they were continually fighting with each other in the open
field, but rarely destroyed and ruined cities. This was shown
clearly by Alexander's war in Asia against king Darius;
and again in the contentions between his successors, when
they combined to fight Antigonus for the possession of Asia.
So too had the successors of these kings followed the same policy
down to the time of Pyrrhus: they had been prompt to war
against each other in the open field, and to do everything they
could to conquer each other in arms, but had spared the cities,
that they might rule them if they conquered, and be honoured
by their subjects. But that a man should abandon war, and
yet destroy that for which the war was undertaken, seemed an
act of madness, and madness of a very violent sort. And this
was just what Philip was doing at that moment; for he had
destroyed more cities in Thessaly, on his rapid march from the
pass of Epirus, though he was a friend and ally of that country,
than any one who had ever been at war with the Thessalians."
After a good deal more to the same effect he ended by
asking Philip, "On what grounds he was holding the town of
Lysimacheia with a garrison, having expelled the strategus sent
by the Aetolian league, of which it was a member? Also
on what grounds he had enslaved the Ciani who were also in
alliance with the Aetolians? Lastly, on what plea he was in
actual occupation of Echinus, Phthiotid Thebes, Pharsalus,
When Alexander had concluded his speech, Philip came
somewhat nearer to the shore than he was
before, and, rising on board his ship, said that
"Alexander had composed and delivered a
speech in the true Aetolian and theatrical style. For every one
knew quite well that nobody willingly destroys his own allies,
but that, at times of special danger, military commanders are
compelled to do many things contrary to their natural feelings."
While the king was still speaking, Phaeneas, who was very
short-sighted, interrupted him by saying, "You are trifling with
us; you must either fight and conquer, or obey the commands
of the stronger." Philip, in spite of the unfortunate position of
his affairs, could not refrain from his habitual humour:
turning towards Phaeneas he said, "Even a blind man could
see that." Such a knack had he of cutting repartee. Then he
turned to Alexander again and said, "You ask me, Alexander,
why I took possession of Lysimacheia. I reply, in order that it
might not by your neglect be devastated by Thracians, as it has
now actually been; because I was compelled by this war to remove my soldiers, who indeed were no hostile garrison, as you
say, but were there for its protection. As for the Ciani, I did
not go to war with them, but only assisted Prusias to take them
who was at war with them. And of this you yourselves were the
cause. For though I sent envoy after envoy to you desiring
that you would repeal the law which allows you the privilege of
taking 'spoil from spoil,' you replied that rather than abolish
this law you would remove Aetolia from Aetolia."
Philip Retorts On His Accusers
When Flamininus expressed some wonder at what he
Philip explains the peculiar law of the Aetolians.
meant by this, the king tried to explain it to him
by saying that "The Aetolian custom was this.
They not only plundered those with whom
they were at war, and harried their country; but, if certain
other nations were at war with each other, even though both
were friends and allies of the Aetolians, none the less the
Aetolians might, without a formal decree of the people, take
part with both combatants and plunder the territory of both.
The result was that in the eyes of the Aetolians there were no
defined limits of friendship or enmity, but they were ready to
be the enemies and assailers of all who had a dispute on anything.
"How then," he added, "have they any right to blame
me if, while on terms of friendship with the Aetolians, I did
anything against the Ciani in support of my own allies? But
the most outrageous part of their conduct is that they try to
rival Rome, and bid me entirely evacuate Greece! The
demand in itself is sufficiently haughty and dictatorial: still, in
the mouths of Romans, it is tolerable, but in that of Aetolians
quite intolerable. What is this Greece, pray, from which ye
bid me depart? How do you define it? Why, most of the
Aetolians themselves are not Greeks; for neither the Agrai,
nor the Apodoti, nor the Amphilochi are counted as Greek.
Do you then give up those tribes to me?"
Philip's Answer to the Rhodians and Attalus
Upon Flamininus laughing at these words, Philip proceeded: "Well, enough said to the Aetolians!
But to the Rhodians and Attalus I have to say
that, in the eyes of a fair judge, it would be held
more just that they should restore to me the ships captured,
than I to them. For I did not begin the attack upon Attalus
and the Rhodians, but they upon me, as everybody acknowledges. However, at your instance, Titus, I restore Peraea to
the Rhodians, and to Attalus his ships and as many of the
men as are still alive. As for the destruction of the Nicephorium and the grove of Aphrodite, I am not able to do
anything else towards their restoration, but I will send plants
and gardeners to attend to the place and the growth of the
trees that have been cut down."
Flamininus once more
laughing at the king's sarcastic tone, Philip
turned to the Achaeans, and first went through
the list of benefactions received by them from Antigonus and
himself; then quoted the extraordinary honours Antigonus and
he had received from them; and concluded by reading their
decree for abandoning him and joining Rome. Taking this for
his text, he expatiated at great length on the fickleness and ingratitude of the Achaeans. Still he said he would restore Argos
to them, and as to Corinth would consult with Flamininus.
A Retort of Flamininus
Having thus concluded his conversation with the other
envoys, he asked Flamininus, observing that
the discussion was really confined to himself
and the Romans, "Whether he considered that
he was bound to evacuate only those places in Greece which
he had himself acquired, or those also which he had inherited
from his ancestors?" On Flamininus making no answer,
Aristaenus for the Achaeans, and Phaeneas for the Aetolians,
were on the point of replying. But as the day was closing in,
time prevented them from doing so; and Philip demanded
that they should all hand into him a written statement of the
terms on which peace was to be granted: for being there
alone he had no one with whom to consult; and therefore
wished to turn their demands over in his own mind. Now
Flamininus was much amused at Philip's sarcastic banter; but
not wishing the others to think so, he retaliated on him by a
sarcasm also, saying: "Of course you are alone, Philip: for
you have killed all the friends likely to give you the best
advice! "The king smiled sardonically, but said nothing.
And for the present, all having handed in the written statements of their demands as aforesaid, the conference broke up,
after appointing to meet again next day at Nicaea. But next
morning, though Flamininus came to the appointed place and
found the others there, Philip did not arrive.
The Dispute Referred To the Senate
When the day, however, had nearly come to an end,
Second day's conference, Philip comes late.
and Titus and the others had almost given him
up, Philip appeared accompanied as before,
and excused himself by saying that he had
spent the whole day in perplexity and doubt, caused by the
severity of the demands made upon him. But every one else
thought that he had acted thus from a wish to prevent, by the
lateness of the hour, the delivery of invectives by the Achaeans
and Aetolians: for he saw, as he was going away on the previous
evening, that both were ready to attack him and state grievances.
Therefore, as soon as he approached the meeting this time,
he demanded that "The Roman Consul should discuss the
matter with him in private; that they might not have a mere
war of words on both sides, but that a definite settlement
should be come to on the points in dispute." On his several
times repeating this request and pressing it strongly, Flamininus asked those present what he ought to do. On their
bidding him meet the king and hear what he had to say, he
took with him Appius Claudius, at that time a military Tribune,
and telling the others to retire a short way from the sea and
remain there, he himself bade Philip disembark. Accordingly
the king, attended by Apollodorus and Demosthenes, left his
ship, and, joining Flamininus, conversed with him for a considerable time. What was said by the one and the other on
that occasion it is not easy to state.
when Philip and he had parted, Flamininus,
in explaining the king's views to the others,
said that he consented to restore Pharsalus and Larisa to the
Aetolians, but not Thebes: and that to the Rhodians he
surrendered Peraea, but not Iasus and Bargylia: to the
Achaeans he gave up Corinth and Argos: to the Romans he
promised that he would surrender Illyricum and all prisoners:
and to Attalus the ships, and as many of the men captured in
the sea-fights as survived.
They Agree to Send Envoys to the Roman Senate
All present expressed their dissatisfaction at these terms,
Dissatisfaction of the Congress.
and alleged that it was necessary before all that
he should perform the general injunction, that,
namely, of evacuating all Greece: otherwise
these particular concessions were vain and useless. Observing
that there was an animated discussion going on among them,
and fearing at the same time that they would indulge in
accusations against himself, Philip requested Flamininus to
adjourn the conference till next day, as the evening was
closing in; and promised that he would then either persuade
them to accept his terms or submit to theirs. Flamininus
consenting, they separated, after appointing to meet next day
on the beach near Thronium.
Next day all came to the appointed place in good time.
Third day's conference. A reference to the Senate agreed on.
Philip in a short speech called on all, and
especially on Flamininus, "Not to break off the
negotiation for peace now that by far the
greater number were inclined to come to some
arrangement; but, if possible, to come to an understanding by
themselves on the points in dispute; or, if that could not be,
to send envoys to the Senate, and either convince it as to this
controversy, or submit to whatever it enjoined."
On this proposition of the king, all the others declared that
they preferred war to such a demand. But the Roman Consul
said that "He was quite aware that it was improbable that
Philip would submit to any of their demands, yet, as it did
not in the least stand in the way of such action as they
chose to take to grant the favour demanded by the king, he
would concede it. For not one of the proposals actually made at
present could be confirmed without the authority of the Senate;
and besides the season now coming on was a favourable one
for ascertaining its opinion; for, even as things were, the
armies could do nothing owing to the winter: it was therefore
against no one's interests, but, on the contrary, very convenient
for them all, to devote this time to a reference to the Senate
on the present state of affairs."
Pleadings Before the Senate
Seeing that Flamininus was not averse to referring the
matter to the Senate, all the others presently
consented, and voted to allow Philip to send
envoys to Rome, and that they too should
severally send envoys of their own to plead their cause before
the Senate, and state their grievances against Philip.
The business of the conference having thus been concluded
in accordance with his views and the opinions he had originally expressed, Flamininus at once set about carefully securing
his own position, and preventing Philip from taking any
undue advantage. For though he granted him three months'
suspension of hostilities, he stipulated that he should complete
his embassy to Rome within that time, and insisted on his
immediately removing his garrisons from Phocis and Locris.
He was also very careful to insist on behalf of the Roman
allies, that no act of hostility should be committed against
them during this period by the Macedonians. Having made
these terms in writing with Philip, he immediately took the
necessary steps himself to carry out his own policy. First, he
sent Amynandrus to Rome at once, knowing that he was a
man of pliable character, and would be easily persuaded by
his own friends in the city to take any course they might
propose; and at the same time would carry with him a certain
prestige, and rouse men's curiosity and interest by his title of
royalty. Next to him he sent as personal envoys his wife's
nephew Quintus Fabius, Quintus Fulvius, and Appius Claudius
Nero. From the Aetolians went Alexander Isius, Damocritus
of Calydon, Dicaearchus of Trichonium, Polemarchus of
Arsinoe, Lamius of Ambracia, Nicomachus of Acarnania,—
one of those who had fled from Thurium and settled in
Ambracia,—and Theodotus of Pherae, an exile from Thessaly
who settled in Stratus: from the Achaeans Xenophon of
Aegium: from King Attalus only Alexander: and from the
Athenian people Cephisodorus and his colleagues.
The Greeks Ask for Help Against Philip
Now these envoys arrived in Rome before the Senate
The speeches of the Greek envoys in the Senate.
had settled the provinces of the Consuls appointed for this year, and whether it would be
necessary to send both to Gaul, or one of them
against Philip. But the friends of Flamininus having assured themselves that both Consuls would remain in Italy
owing to the threat of an attack from the Celts, all the
ambassadors appeared and bluntly stated their grievances
against Philip. The bulk of their accusations was to the
same effect as what they had before stated to the king himself;
but they also endeavoured carefully to instil this idea in the
minds of the Senators, "That so long as Chalcis, Corinth, and
Demetrias were subject to Macedonia, it was impossible for the
Greeks to think of liberty; for Philip himself had spoken the
exact truth when he called these places the 'fetters of Greece.'
For neither could the Peloponnese breathe while a royal garrison was stationed in Cornith, nor the Locrians, Boeotians,
and Phocians feel any confidence while Philip was in occupation of Chalcis and the rest of Euboea; nor indeed could the
Thessalians or Magnesians raise a spark of liberty1
Philip and the Macedonians held Demetrias. That, therefore,
Philip's offer to evacuate the other places was a mere pretence
in order to escape the immediate danger; and that on the
very first day he chose he would with ease reduce the Greeks
again under his power, if he were in possession of these places."
They accordingly urged the Senate "either to force Philip to
evacuate the cities they had named, or to stand by the policy
they had begun, and vigorously prosecute the war against
him. For in truth the most difficult part of the war was
already accomplished, the Macedonians having already been
twice defeated, and most of their resources on land already
They concluded by beseeching the Senate "not to beguile
the Greeks of their hopes of liberty, nor deprive themselves
of the most glorious renown." Such, or nearly so, were the
arguments advanced by the Greek envoys. Philip's envoys
were prepared to make a long speech in reply: but they were
stopped at the threshold. For being asked whether they were
prepared to evacuate Chalcis, Corinth, and Demetrias, they
declared that they had not any instructions as to those towns.
They were accordingly rebuked by the Senate and obliged to
discontinue their speech.
Greece Assigned to Flamininus
The Senate then, as I have said before, assigned Gaul
B. C. 197 Coss. G. Cornelius Cathagus, Q. Minucius Rufus.
to both the consuls as their province, and
ordered that the war against Philip should go
on, assigning to Titus Flamininus the entire
control of Greek affairs. These decrees
having been quickly made known in Greece, Flamininus
found everything settled to his mind, partly no doubt by the
assistance of chance, but for the most part by his own foresight in the management of the whole business. For he
was exceedingly acute, if ever Roman was. The skill and
good sense with which he conducted public business and
private negotiations could not be surpassed, and yet he was
quite a young man, not yet more than thirty, and the first
Roman who had crossed to Greece with an army.
Wise Patriots or Traitors?
It has often and in many cases occurred to me to
Was Aristaenus a traitor or a wise Opportunist?
wonder at the mistakes men make; but none
seems to me so surprising as that of traitors.
I wish, therefore, to say a word in season on
the subject. I know very well that it is one which does not
admit of easy treatment or definition. For it is not at all
easy to say whom we ought to regard as a real traitor. Plainly
all those, who at a time of tranquillity make compacts with
kings or princes, cannot be reckoned such off hand; nor, again,
those who in the midst of dangers transfer their country from
existing friendships and alliances to others. Far from it.
For such men have again and again been the authors of manifold advantages to their own countries. But not to go any
further for example, my meaning can be made clear by the
circumstances of the present case. For, if Aristaenus had not
at this time opportunely caused the Achaeans to leave their
alliance with Philip and join that of Rome, it is clear that the
whole league would have been utterly ruined. But as it was,
this man and this policy were confessedly the sources, not only
of security to individual Achaeans at the time, but of the
aggrandisement of the whole league. Therefore he was not
looked upon as a traitor, but universally honoured as a benefactor and saviour of the country. The same principle will
hold good in the case of all others who regulate their policy
and measures by the necessities of the hour.
Comparison with Philip II and Demosthenes
From this point of view fault might be found
Comparison of the policy of the Achaeans and other
Peloponnesians towards Philip V. with that recommended by Demosthenes towards Philip II.
with Demosthenes, admirable as he is in
many respects, for having rashly and indiscriminately launched an exceedingly bitter
charge at the most illustrious Greeks. For he
asserted that in Arcadia, Cercidas, Hieronymus,
and Eucampidas were traitors to Greece for
making an alliance with Philip; in Messene
the sons of Philiades, Neon and Thraylochus;
in Argos, Mystis, Teledamus, one Mnaseas; in Thessaly,
Daochus and Cineas; in Boeotia, Theogeiton and Timolas:
and many more besides he has included in the same category,
naming them city by city; and yet all these men have a
weighty and obvious plea to urge in defence of their conduct,
and above all those of Arcadia and Messene.2
For it was by
their bringing Philip into the Peloponnese, and humbling the
Lacedaemonians, that these men in the first place enabled all
its inhabitants to breathe again, and conceive the idea of
liberty; and in the next place, by recovering the territory and
cities which the Lacedaemonians in the hour of prosperity had
taken from the Messenians, Megalopolitans, Tegeans, and
Argives, notoriously raised the fortunes of their own countries.3
In return for this they were bound not to make war
on Philip and the Macedonians, but to do all they could to
promote his reputation and honour. Now, if they had been
doing all this, or if they had admitted a garrison from Philip
into their native cities, or had abolished their constitutions
and deprived their fellow-citizens of liberty and freedom of
speech, for the sake of their own private advantage or power,
they would have deserved this name of traitor. But if, while
carefully maintaining their duty to their countries, they yet
differed in their judgment of politics, and did not consider
that their interests were the same as those of the Athenians,
it is not, I think, fair that they should have been called traitors
on that account by Demosthenes. The man who measures
everything by the interests of his own particular state, and
imagines that all the Greeks ought to have their eyes fixed
upon Athens, on the pain of being styled traitors, seems to me
to be ill-informed and to be labouring under a strange delusion, especially as the course which events in Greece took at
that time has borne witness to the wisdom, not of Demosthenes,
but of Eucampidas, Hieronymus, Cercidas, and the sons of
For what did the Athenians eventually get by their
opposition to Philip? Why, the crowning disaster of the defeat at Chaeronea. And had it not
been for the king's magnanimity and regard for his own reputation, their misfortunes would have gone even further, thanks
to the policy of Demosthenes. Whereas, owing to the men I
have mentioned, security and relief from attacks of the Lacedaemonians were obtained for Arcadia and Messenia generally,
and many advantages accrued to their states separately.
The Fate of Traitors
It is not easy then to define to whom one may properly
The true traitor is the man who acts with personal objects or from party spirit.
apply this name. The nearest approach to truth
would be to assign it to those who in times of
public danger, either for the sake of personal
security or advantage, or to retaliate upon political opponents, put their cities into the hands
of the enemy: or indeed to those who, by admitting a foreign
garrison, and employing external assistance to carry out private
aims and views, bring their country under the direction of a
All such men as these one might include in
the category of traitors with perfect reasonableness. Such men,
indeed, gain neither profit nor honour, but the reverse, as
every one acknowledges.
And this brings me
back to my original observation, that it is difficult
to understand with what object, and supported
by what reasoning, men rush upon such a disastrous position.
For no one ever yet betrayed his city or camp or fort without
being detected; but even if a man here and there managed
to conceal it at the moment of his crime, yet all have been
detected in the course of time. Nor when known has any
such ever had a happy life; but, as a rule, they meet with the
punishment they deserve from the very persons in whose
favour they act.
For, indeed, though generals and princes
constantly employ traitors for their own purposes; yet when
they have got all they can out of them, they
treat them thenceforth as traitors, as Demosthenes says; very naturally considering that
those, who have put their country and original friends into the
hands of their enemies, are never likely to be really loyal or
to keep faith with themselves. Nay, even though they escape
violence at the hands of these, yet they do not easily avoid
the vengeance of those whom they betrayed. Or if, finally,
they manage to evade the designs of both the one and the
other, yet all over the world fame dogs their footsteps with
vengeance to their lives' end, suggesting to their imaginations
night and day numberless terrors, false and true; helping and
hounding on all who design any evil against them; and, finally,
refusing to allow them even in sleep to forget their crimes, but
forcing them to dream of every kind of plot and disaster,
because they are aware of the universal loathing and hatred
which attend them. Yet, though all this is true, nobody who
wanted one was ever at a loss for a traitor, except in the rarest
cases. From which one might say with some plausibility that
man, reputed the most cunning of animals, gives considerable
grounds for being regarded as the stupidest. For the other
animals, which obey their bodily appetites alone, can be
deceived by these alone; while man, though he has reason
to guide him, is led into error by the failure of that reason no
less than by his physical appetites. . . .
Attalus in Sicyon
King Attalus had for some time past been held in
Attalus in Sicyon, B. C. 198.
extraordinary honour by the Sicyonians, ever
since the time that he ransomed the sacred
land of Apollo for them at the cost of a large
sum of money; in return for which they set up the colossal
statue of him, ten cubits high, near the temple of Apollo in
the market-place. But on this occasion, on his presenting
them with ten talents and ten thousand medimni of wheat,
their devotion to him was immensely increased; and they
accordingly voted him a statue of gold, and passed a law to
offer sacrifice in his honour every year. With these honours,
then, Attalus departed to Cenchreae.4
. . .
Attalus and the Boeotians
The tyrant Nabis, leaving Timocrates of Pellene at
The cruelty of Apega, wife of Nabis.
Argos,—because he trusted him more than any
one else and employed him in his most important undertakings,—returned to Sparta: and
thence, after some few days, despatched his wife with instructions to go to Argos and raise money. On her arrival she far
surpassed Nabis himself in cruelty. For she summoned women
to her presence either privately or in families, and inflicted
every kind of torture and violence upon them, until she had
extorted from almost all of them, not only their gold ornaments,
but also the most valuable parts of their clothing. . . .
In a speech of considerable length Attalus
King Attalus before the assembled Boeotians. See Livy, 33, 2.
reminded them of the ancient valour of their
ancestors. . . .
Roman and Greek Palisading
Flamininus being unable to ascertain where the enemy
were encamped, but yet being clearly informed
that they had entered Thessaly, gave orders
to all his men to cut stakes to carry with them,
ready for use at any moment. This seems impossible
to Greek habits, but to those of Rome it is easy.
The methods of forming palisades among the Greeks and Romans.
the Greeks find it difficult to hold even their
sarissae on the march, and can scarcely bear
the fatigue of them; but the Romans strap
their shields to their shoulders with leathern
thongs, and, having nothing but their javelins in their hands,
can stand the additional burden of a stake. There is also
a great difference between the stakes employed by the two
peoples. The Greeks hold that the best stake is that which
has the largest and most numerous shoots growing round the
stem; but the Roman stakes have only two or three side shoots,
or at most four; and those are selected which have these
shoots on one side only. The result is that their porterage is
very easy (for each man carries three or four packed together),
and they make an exceedingly secure palisade when put
into use. For the Greek palisading, when set in the front of
the camp, in the first place can easily be pulled down; for
since the part that is firm and tightly fixed in the ground is
single, while the projecting arms of it are many and large, two
or three men can get hold of the same stake by its projecting
arms, and easily pull it up; and directly that is done, its
breadth is so great that a regular gateway is made: and because
in such a palisade the stakes are not closely interlaced or
interwoven with each other, when one is pulled up the part
next to it is made insecure. With the Romans it is quite
different. For as soon as they fix their stakes, they interlace
them in such a manner that it is not easy to know to which of
the stems fixed in the ground the branches belong, nor on
which of these branches the smaller shoots are growing.
Moreover, it is impossible to insert the hand and grasp them,
owing to the closeness of the interlacing of the branches and
the way they lie one upon another, and because the main
branches are also carefully cut so as to have sharp ends. Nor,
if one is got hold of, is it easy to pull up: because, in the first
place, all the stakes are sufficiently tightly secured in the
ground to be self-supporting; and, in the second place, because
the man who pulls away one branch must, owing to the close
interlacing, be able to move several others in its train; and it is
quite unlikely that two or three men should happen to get hold
of the same stake. But even if, by the exertion of enormous
force, a man has succeeded in pulling one or another up, the
gap is scarcely perceptible. Considering, therefore, the vast
superiority of this method, both in the readiness with which
such stakes are found, the ease with which they are carried,
and the security and durability of the palisade made with
them, it is plain, in my opinion, that if any military operation
of the Romans deserves to be admired and imitated, it is this.
Flamininus and Philip Nearing Each Other
After providing for contingencies by these preparations,
Flamininus marches to Pherae in Thessaly.
Flamininus advanced with his whole force at a moderate pace,
and, having arrived at about fifty stades from Pherae, pitched
a camp there; and next morning, just before
the morning watch, sent out some reconnoitring
parties to see whether they could get any opportunity of discovering the position and movements of the
enemy. Philip, at the same time, being informed that the
Romans were encamped near Thebes, started
with his whole force from Larisa in the direction of Pherae.
When about thirty stades from
that town, he pitched his camp there, and gave orders for all
his men to make their preparations early next morning, and
about the morning watch got his troops on the march. The
division whose usual duty it was to form the advance guard he
sent forward first, with instructions to cross the heights above
Pherae, while he personally superintended the main army's
advance from the camp as the day was breaking. The
advanced guards of the two armies were within a very little of
coming into collision in the pass; for the darkness prevented their seeing each other until they
were quite a short distance apart.
The advanced guards of the two armies meet.
halted, and sent speedy intelligence to their respective leaders
of what had happened, and asking for instructions. . . .
[The generals decided] to remain in their intrenchments,
and recall these advanced guards. Next morning both sent
out about three hundred cavalry and light infantry to reconnoitre, among which Flamininus also sent two squadrons of
Aetolians, because they were acquainted with the country.
These opposing reconnoitring parties fell in with each other
on the road between Pherae and Larisa, and joined battle
with great fury. The men under Eupolemus the Aetolian
fighting gallantly, and urging the Italian troops to do the
same, the Macedonians were repulsed; and, after skirmishing for a long while, both parties retired to their respective
Both Sides Advance on Scotusa
Dissatisfied with the country near Pherae, as being
Autumn of B. C. 197 Both Philip and Flamininus advance towards Scotusa, on opposite sides of a range of hills.
thickly wooded and full of walls and gardens,
both parties broke up their camps next day.
Philip directed his march towards Scotusa, because he desired to supply himself with provisions from that town, and thus, with all his
preparations complete, to find a district more
suitable to his army: while Flamininus,
divining his intention, got his army on the march at the
same time as Philip, in great haste to anticipate him in
securing the corn in the territory of Scotusa. A range
of hills intervening between their two lines of march, the
Romans could not see in what direction the Macedonians were
marching, nor the Macedonians the Romans. Both armies,
however, continued their march during this day, Flamininus to
Eretria in Phthiotis, and Philip to the river Onchestus; and
there they respectively pitched their camps. Next day they
advanced again, and again encamped: Philip at Melambium
in the territory of Scotusa, and Flamininus at the temple of
Thetis in that of Pharsalus, being still ignorant of each other's
whereabouts. A violent storm of rain and thunder coming
on next day, the whole atmosphere descended from the clouds
to the earth about the time of the morning watch, so that the
darkness was too dense to see even those who were quite
close. In spite of this, Philip was so eager to accomplish his
object, that he started with his whole army; but finding himself
much embarrassed on the march by the mist, after accomplishing a very small distance he again encamped; but he sent
his reserve back, with instructions to halt upon the summit of
the intervening hills.5
The Macedonians Send for Help
Flamininus, in his camp near the temple of Thetis,
being uncertain as to the position of the enemy,
sent out ten troops of cavalry and a thousand
light infantry in advance, with instructions to
keep a careful look-out as they traversed the country.
Another skirmish between detached parties.
these men were approaching the ridge of the hills they came
upon the Macedonian reserve without expecting it, owing to
the dimness of the light. After a short interval of mutual
alarm, both sides began irregular attacks on each other, and
both despatched messengers to their respective chiefs to give
information of what had occurred; and when the Roman
began to get the worst of it in the encounter, and to suffer
heavily at the hands of the Macedonian reserve, they sent to
their camp begging for supports. Flamininus accordingly
despatched the Aetolians under Archedamus and Eupolemus,
as well as two of his own tribunes, with a force altogether of
five hundred cavalry and two thousand infantry, after properly
exhorting them to do their duty. On their arrival to the
support of the skirmishing party already engaged, the aspect of
affairs was promptly changed. For the Romans, inspired by
the hope which this reinforcement gave, renewed the contest
with redoubled spirit; while the Macedonians, though offering
a gallant defence, were now in their turn hard pressed, and
being forced to make a general retreat, retired to the highest
points in the hills, and despatched messengers to the king for
Skirmishes Before the Main Battle
But Philip, who had not expected, for reasons indicated above, that a general engagement would
take place on that day, happened to have sent
a considerable part of his troops out of camp
foraging. But when informed of what was taking place by
these messengers, the mist at the same time beginning to lift,
he despatched, with due exhortation, Heracleides of Gyrton,
the commander of his Thessalian cavalry; Leon, the general
of his Macedonian horse; and Athenagoras, with all the mercenaries except those from Thrace. The reserve being joined
by these troops, and the Macedonian force having thus become
a formidable one, they advanced against the enemy, and in
their turn drove the Romans back from the heights. But what
prevented them, more than anything else, from entirely routing
the enemy was the gallantry of the Aetolian cavalry, which
fought with desperate fury and reckless valour.
Valour of the Aetolian cavalry.
For the Aetolians are as superior to the rest of
the Greeks in cavalry for fighting in skirmishing
order, troop to troop, or man to man, as they are inferior
to them both in the arms and tactics of their infantry for the
purpose of a general engagement. The enemy being held in
check therefore by these troops, the Roman were not forced
back again quite on to the level ground, but, after retiring to a
short distance, faced round and halted.
Cynoscephalae. Flamininus offers battle, which Philip, against his better judgment, accepts.
when Flamininus saw that not only had the
cavalry and light infantry retired, but that,
owing to them, his whole force was rendered
uneasy, he drew out his entire army and got
them into order of battle close to the hills. Meanwhile one
man after another of the Macedonian reserve ran towards
Philip shouting out, "King, the enemy are flying: do not let
slip the opportunity. The barbarians cannot stand before us:
now is the day for you to strike: now is your opportunity!"
The result was that he was induced to fight in spite of his dissatisfaction with the ground. For these hills, which are
called Cynoscephalae, are rough, precipitous, and of considerable height; and it was because he foresaw
the disadvantages of such a ground, that he was originally disinclined to
accept battle there; but, being excited now by the extravagantly sanguine reports of these messengers, he gave the order
for his army to be drawn out of camp.
Flamininus Rouses His Troops
Having got his main body into order, Flamininus gave
Flamininus addresses his men, and advances to the attack.
his attention at the same time to relieving his
advanced guard, and to going along the ranks
to encourage his men. His exhortation was
short, but clear and intelligible to the hearers:
for, pointing to the enemy with his hand, he said to his soldiers: "Are not these the Macedonians, my men, whom, when
occupying in their own country the pass to Eordaea, you routed
in open battle, under the command of Sulpicius, and drove to
take refuge on the hills with the loss of many of their comrades? Are not these the Macedonians whom, when defended
by what seemed an impassable country in Epirus, you dislodged
by sheer valour, and forced to throw away their shields
and fly right into Macedonia? Why then should you feel any
hesitation when you are to fight the same men on equal
ground? Why look anxiously to the past, rather than let that
past minister courage to you for the present? Therefore, my
men, rouse each other by mutual exhortations, and hasten in
your might to the struggle! For, with God's will, I am persuaded that this battle will quickly have the same issue as the
contests in the past." With these words he ordered his right
wing to remain where they were, and the elephants in front of
them; while with his left, supported by the
light infantry, he advanced in gallant style to
attack the enemy.
The advanced guard are encouraged.
And the Roman troops
already on the field, finding themselves thus reinforced by
the legions on their rear, once more faced round and charged
The Battle of Cynoscephalae
Meanwhile, when he had seen the main part of his
Philip also advances and occupies the hills.
army in position outside the camp, Philip himself advanced with his peltasts and the right
wing of his phalanx, commencing the ascent of
the hills with great rapidity, and having left instructions with
Nicanor, surnamed the Elephant, to see that the rest of the
army followed at once. As soon as his first files reached the
summit, he deployed his men into line by the left, and occupied
the range of high ground: for the Macedonians who had
been sent in advance had forced the Romans a considerable
distance down the other side of the hills, and therefore he
found the ridges unoccupied by the enemy. But while he
was still engaged in getting the right wing of his army into line,
his mercenaries came on the ground, having been decisively
repulsed by the enemy. For when the Roman light infantry
found themselves supported by the heavy, as I said just now,
with their assistance, which they regarded as turning the scale
in their favour, they made a furious charge on the enemy, and
killed a large number of them.
Philip's advanced guard defeated.
When the king first came on
the ground, and saw that the fighting between
the light armed was going on near the enemy's
camp, he was delighted: but when, on the
other hand, he saw his own men giving ground and requiring
support, he was compelled to give it, and allow the necessities
of the moment to decide the fortunes of the whole day, in
spite of the fact that the greater part of his phalanx was still
on the march and engaged in mounting the hills. Receiving
therefore the men who had been already engaged, he massed
them all upon his right wing, both infantry and cavalry;
while he ordered the peltasts and heavy armed to double their
depth and close up to the right. By the time this was effected
the enemy were close at hand; and, accordingly, the word was
given to the phalanx to lower spears and charge; to the light
infantry to cover their flank. At the same time Flamininus
also, having received his advanced party into the intervals between his maniples, charged the enemy.
The charge was made with great violence and loud
shouting on both sides: for both advancing
parties raised their war cry, while those who
were not actually engaged shouted encouragement to those
that were; and the result was a scene of the wildest excitement,
terrible in the last degree.
Philip's right wing repulse the Roman left.
wing came off brilliantly in the encounter, for
they were charging down hill and were superior
in weight, and their arms were far more suited for the actual
conditions of the struggle: but as for the rest of the army, that
part of it which was in the rear of the actual fighters did not get
into contact with the enemy; while the left wing, which had
but just made the ascent, was only beginning to show on the
Successful advance of the Roman right.
Seeing that his men were unable to stand the charge
of the phalanx, and that his left wing was losing ground, some
having already fallen and the rest slowly retiring, but that
hopes of saving himself still remained on the
right, Flamininus hastily transferred himself to
the latter wing; and when he perceived that
the enemy's force was not well together—part being in contact
with the actual fighters, part just in the act of mounting the
ridge, and part halting on it and not yet beginning to descend,6
keeping the elephants in front he led the maniples of his right
against the enemy. The Macedonians having no one to give
them orders, and unable to form a proper phalanx, owing to
the inequalities of the ground and to the fact that, being
engaged in trying to come up with the actual combatants, they
were still in column of march, did not even wait for the Romans
to come to close quarters: but, thrown into confusion by the
mere charge of the elephants, their ranks were disordered and
they broke into flight.
Philip's Defeat and Flight
The main body of the Roman right followed and
The Macedonian phalanx outflanked.
slaughtered the flying Macedonians. But one
of the tribunes, with about twenty maniples,
having made up his mind on his own account
what ought to be done next, contributed by his action very
greatly to the general victory. He saw that the division
which was personally commanded by Philip was much farther
forward than the rest of the enemy, and was pressing hard
upon the Roman left by its superior weight; he therefore left
the right, which was by this time clearly victorious, and directing his march towards the part of the field where a struggle
was still going on, he managed to get behind the Macedonians
and charge them on the rear. The nature of the phalanx is
such that the men cannot face round singly and defend themselves: this tribune, therefore, charged them and killed all he
could get at; until, being unable to defend themselves, they
were forced to throw down their shields and fly; whereupon
the Romans in their front, who had begun to yield, faced round
again and charged them too.
The king quits the field and flies.
At first, as I have said, Philip,
judging from the success of his own division, felt certain of a
complete victory; but when he saw his Macedonians all on a
sudden throwing away their shields, and the enemy close upon
their rear, he withdrew with a small body of foot
and horse a short distance from the field and
took a general survey of the whole battle: and
when he observed that the Romans in their pursuit of his left
wing were already approaching the tops of the hills, he rallied as
many Thracians and Macedonians as he could at the moment,
and fled. As Flamininus was pursuing the fugitives he came
upon the lines of the Macedonian left, just as they were scaling
the ridge in their attempt to cross the hills, and at first halted
in some surprise because the enemy held their spears straight
up, as is the custom of the Macedonians when surrendering
themselves or intending to pass over to the enemy. Presently,
having had the reason of this movement explained to him, he
held his men back, thinking it best to spare the lives of those
whom fear had induced to surrender. But whilst he was still
reflecting on this matter, some of the advanced guard rushed
upon these men from some higher ground and put most of
them to the sword, while the few survivors threw away their
shields and escaped by flight.
Philip Retreats, the Romans Plunder
The battle was now at an end in every part of the
Philip retreats to Tempe.
field; the Romans everywhere victorious; and Philip in full
retreat towards Tempe. The first night he
passed at what is called Alexander's tower; the
next day he got as far as Gonni, on the pass
into Tempe, and there remained, with a view of collecting the
survivors of the battle.
But the Romans, after following the fugitives for a certain
The Romans soon abandon pursuit and devote themselves to the plunder.
distance, returned; and some employed themselves in stripping
the dead; others in collecting the captives;
while the majority hurried to the plunder of the
enemy's camp. But there they found that the
Aetolians had been beforehand with them; and
thinking, therefore, that they were deprived of
their fair share of the booty, they began grumbling at the
Aetolians and protesting to their general that "he imposed the
dangers upon them, but yielded the spoil to others." For the
present, however, they returned to their own camp, and passed
the night in their old quarters: but next morning they employed themselves in collecting the prisoners and the remainder
of the spoils, and then started on the march towards Larisa.
The losses on both sides.
In the battle the Romans lost seven hundred
men; the Macedonians eight thousand killed,
and not less than five thousand taken prisoners.
Such was the result of the battle at Cynoscephalae in
Thessaly between the Romans and Philip.
The Macedonian Phalanx
In my sixth book I made a promise, still unfulfilled, of
taking a fitting opportunity of drawing a comparison between
the arms of the Romans and Macedonians, and their respective system of tactics, and pointing out how they differ
for better or worse from each other. I will now endeavour by
a reference to actual facts to fulfil that promise. For since in
former times the Macedonian tactics proved themselves by
experience capable of conquering those of Asia and Greece;
while the Roman tactics sufficed to conquer the nations of
Africa and all those of Western Europe; and since in our
own day there have been numerous opportunities of comparing the men as well as their tactics,—it will be, I think, a
useful and worthy task to investigate their differences, and discover why it is that the Romans conquer and carry off the
palm from their enemies in the operations of war: that we may
not put it all down to Fortune, and congratulate them on their
good luck, as the thoughtless of mankind do; but, from a
knowledge of the true causes, may give their leaders the tribute
of praise and admiration which they deserve.
Now as to the battles which the Romans fought with Hannibal,
The Roman defeats in the Punic wars were not from inferior tactics, but owing to the genius of Hannibal.
and the defeats which they sustained in them, I need say no
more. It was not owing to their arms or their
but to the skill and genius of Hannibal
that they met with those defeats: and that I made
quite clear in my account of the battles themAnd my contention is supported by
two facts. First, by the conclusion of the war:
for as soon as the Romans got a general of ability comparable with that of Hannibal, victory was not long in following
their banners. Secondly, Hannibal himself, being dissatisfied
with the original arms of his men, and having immediately after
his first victory furnished his troops with the arms of the
Romans, continued to employ them thenceforth to the end.7
Pyrrhus, again, availed himself not only of the arms, but also
of the troops of Italy, placing a maniple of Italians and a
company of his own phalanx alternately, in his battles against
the Romans. Yet even this did not enable him to win; the
battles were somehow or another always indecisive.
It was necessary to speak first on these points, to anticipate
any instances which might seem to make against my theory.
I will now return to my comparison.
A Well-Formed Phalanx is Irresistible
Many considerations may easily convince us that, if
only the phalanx has its proper formation and strength, nothing
can resist it face to face or withstand its charge. For as a man
in close order of battle occupies a space of three feet; and as
the length of the sarissae is sixteen cubits according to the
original design, which has been reduced in practice to fourteen;
and as of these fourteen four must be deducted, to allow for
the distance between the two hands holding it, and to balance
the weight in front; it follows clearly that each hoplite will have
ten cubits of his sarissae projecting beyond his body, when he
lowers it with both hands, as he advances against the enemy:
hence, too, though the men of the second, third, and fourth
rank will have their sarissae projecting farther beyond the front
rank than the men of the fifth, yet even these last will have two
cubits of their sarissae beyond the front rank; if only the
phalanx is properly formed and the men close up properly both
flank and rear, like the description in Homer8
“"So buckler pressed on buckler; helm on helm;
And man on man: and waving horse-hair plumes
In polished head-piece mingled, as they swayed
In order: in such serried rank they stood."
And if my description is true and exact, it is clear that in front
of each man of the front rank there will be five sarissae projecting
to distances varying by a descending scale of two cubits.
Roman Soldiers in More Open Order
With this point in our minds, it will not be difficult to
imagine what the appearance and strength of the whole phalanx
is likely to be, when, with lowered sarissae, it advances to the
charge sixteen deep. Of these sixteen ranks, all above the fifth
are unable to reach with their sarissae far enough to take actual
part in the fighting. They, therefore, do not lower them, but
hold them with the points inclined upwards over the shoulders
of the ranks in front of them, to shield the heads of the whole
phalanx; for the sarissae are so closely serried, that they repel
missiles which have carried over the front ranks and might fall
upon the heads of those in the rear. These rear ranks, however,
during an advance, press forward those in front by the
weight of their bodies; and thus make the charge very forcible,
and at the same time render it impossible for the front ranks
to face about.
Such is the arrangement, general and detailed, of the
The Roman more open order compared with the phalanx.
phalanx. It remains now to compare with it
the peculiarities and distinctive features of the
Roman arms and tactics. Now, a Roman
soldier in full armour also requires a space of
three square feet. But as their method of fighting admits of
individual motion for each man—because he defends his body
with a shield, which he moves about to any point from which
a blow is coming, and because he uses his sword both for
cutting and stabbing,—it is evident that each man must have
a clear space, and an interval of at least three feet both on
flank and rear, if he is to do his duty with any effect. The
result of this will be that each Roman soldier will face two of
the front rank of a phalanx, so that he has to encounter and
fight against ten spears, which one man cannot find time even
to cut away, when once the two lines are engaged, nor force
his way through easily—seeing that the Roman front ranks are
not supported by the rear ranks, either by way of adding weight
to their charge, or vigour to the use of their swords. Therefore
it may readily be understood that, as I said before, it is impossible to confront a charge of the phalanx, so long as it
retains its proper formation and strength.
Cumbrous Nature of the Phalanx
Why is it then that the Romans conquer? And what is
it that brings disaster on those who employ the
phalanx? Why, just because war is full of uncertainties both as to time and place; whereas
there is but one time and one kind of ground in which a
phalanx can fully work. If, then, there were anything to compel the enemy to accommodate himself to the time and place
of the phalanx, when about to fight a general engagement, it
would be but natural to expect that those who employed the
phalanx would always carry off the victory. But if the enemy
finds it possible, and even easy, to avoid its attack, what
becomes of its formidable character? Again, no one denies
that for its employment it is indispensable to have a country
flat, bare, and without such impediments as ditches, cavities,
depressions, steep banks, or beds of rivers: for all such
obstacles are sufficient to hinder and dislocate this particular
formation. And that it is, I may say, impossible, or at any rate
exceedingly rare to find a piece of country of twenty stades, or
sometimes of even greater extent, without any such obstacles,
every one will also admit. However, let us suppose that such
a district has been found. If the enemy decline to come
down into it, but traverse the country sacking the towns and
territories of the allies, what use will the phalanx be? For if
it remains on the ground suited to itself, it will not only fail
to benefit its friends, but will be incapable even of preserving
itself; for the carriage of provisions will be easily stopped by
the enemy, seeing that they are in undisputed possession of
the country: while if it quits its proper ground, from the wish
to strike a blow, it will be an easy prey to the enemy. Nay,
if a general does descend into the plain, and yet does not risk
his whole army upon one charge of the phalanx or upon
one chance, but manœuvres for a time to avoid coming to
close quarters in the engagement, it is easy to learn what will
be the result from what the Romans are now actually doing.
How the Romans Fight Against a Phalanx
For no speculation is any longer required to test the
accuracy of what I am now saying: that can be done by referring to accomplished facts.
The Romans do not, then, attempt to extend their front to
equal that of a phalanx, and then charge directly upon it with
their whole force: but some of their divisions are kept in reserve, while others join battle with the enemy at close quarters.
Now, whether the phalanx in its charge drives its opponents
from their ground, or is itself driven back, in either case its
peculiar order is dislocated; for whether in following the
retiring, or flying from the advancing enemy, they quit the
rest of their forces: and when this takes place, the enemy's
reserves can occupy the space thus left, and the ground which
the phalanx had just before been holding, and so no longer
charge them face to face, but fall upon them on their flank
and rear. If, then, it is easy to take precautions against the
opportunities and peculiar advantages of the phalanx, but impossible to do so in the case of its disadvantages, must it not
follow that in practice the difference between these two systems is
enormous? Of course those generals who employ the phalanx
must march over ground of every description, must pitch
camps, occupy points of advantage, besiege, and be besieged,
and meet with unexpected appearances of the enemy: for all
these are part and parcel of war, and have an important and
sometimes decisive influence on the ultimate victory. And
in all these cases the Macedonian phalanx is difficult, and
sometimes impossible to handle, because the men cannot act
either in squads or separately.
Flexibility of the Roman order.
The Roman order on the
other hand is flexible: for every Roman, once
armed and on the field, is equally well equipped
for every place, time, or appearance of the
enemy. He is, moreover, quite ready and needs to make no
change, whether he is required to fight in the main body, or
in a detachment, or in a single maniple, or even by himself.
Therefore, as the individual members of the Roman force are
so much more serviceable, their plans are also much more
often attended by success than those of others.
I thought it necessary to discuss this subject at some
length, because at the actual time of the occurrence many
Greeks supposed when the Macedonians were beaten that it
was incredible; and many will afterwards be at a loss to
account for the inferiority of the phalanx to the Roman
system of arming.
Philip's Conduct After the Battle
Philip having thus done all he could in the battle,
Prudent conduct of Philip.
but having been decisively beaten, after taking
up as many of the survivors as he could, proceeded through Tempe into Macedonia. On
the night previous to his start he sent one of his guard to
Larisa, with orders to destroy and burn the king's correspondence. And it was an act worthy of a king to retain, even in
the midst of disaster, a recollection of a necessary duty. For
he knew well enough that, if these papers came into the possession of the Romans, they would give many handles to the
enemy both against himself and his friends. It has, perhaps,
been the case with others that in prosperity they could not use
power with the moderation which becomes mortal men, while in
disaster they displayed caution and good sense; but certainly
this was the case with Philip. And this will be made manifest
by what I shall subsequently relate. For as I showed without
reserve the justice of his measures at the beginning of his
reign, and the change for the worse which they subsequently
underwent; and showed when and why and how this took
place, with a detailed description of the actions in this part of
in the same way am I bound to set forth his
repentance, and the dexterity with which he changed with his
change of fortune, and may be said to have shown the highest
prudence in meeting this crisis in his affairs.
As for Flamininus, having after the battle taken the
necessary measures as to the captives and the rest of the
spoils, he proceeded to Larisa. . . .
Flamininus and the Aetolians At Odds
Flamininus was much annoyed at the selfishness displayed by the Aetolians in regard to the spoils;
Estrangement of Aetolians.
and had no idea of leaving them to be masters
of Greece after he had deprived Philip of his
supremacy there. He was irritated also by their braggadocio,
when he saw that they claimed all the credit of the victory,
and were filling Greece with the report of their valour.
Wherefore, wherever he met them he behaved with hauteur,
and never said a word on public business, but carried out all
his measures independently or by the agency of his own
friends. While the relations between these two were in this
strained state, some few days after the battle
Demosthenes, Cycliadas, and Limnaeus came
on a mission from Philip; and, after considerable discussion with them, Flamininus granted an immediate
armistice of fifteen days, and agreed to have a personal interview also with Philip in the course of them to discuss the state of
Flamininus grants fifteen days' truce to Philip.
And this interview being conducted in a courteous and
friendly manner, the suspicions entertained of Flamininus by the
Aetolians blazed forth with double fury. For as corruption, and
the habit of never doing anything without a bribe, had long been
a common feature in Greek politics, and as this was the acknowledged characteristic of the Aetolians, they could not believe
that Flamininus could so change in his relations with Philip
without a bribe. They did not know the habits and principles
of the Romans on this subject; but judging from themselves
they concluded that there was every probability of Philip in
his present position offering a large sum of money, and of
Flamininus being unable to resist the temptation.
Comparative Incorruptibility of Romans
If I had been speaking of an earlier period, and expressing what was generally true, I should have had
The disinterestedness of the Romans generally as to money.
no hesitation in asserting of the Romans as a
nation that they would not be likely to do such
a thing,—I mean in the period before they engaged in wars beyond the sea, and while they retained their
own habits and principles uncontaminated.10
the present times I should not venture to say this of them all; still,
as individuals, I should be bold to say of the majority of the
men of Rome that they are capable of preserving their honesty
in this particular: and as evidence that I am making no impossible assertion, I would quote two names which will command
general assent,—I mean first, Lucius Aemilius
who conquered Perseus, and won the kingdom of
In that kingdom, besides all the
other splendour and wealth, there was found in the treasury
more than six thousand talents of gold and silver: yet he was
so far from coveting any of this, that he even refused to see it,
and administered it by the hands of others; though he was far
from being superfluously wealthy himself, but, on the contrary,
was very badly off. At least, I know that on his death, which
occurred shortly after the war, when his own sons Publius
Scipio and Quintus Maximus wished to pay his wife her dowry,
amounting to twenty-five talents, they were reduced to such
straits that they would have been quite unable to do so if they
had not sold the household furniture and slaves, and some of
the landed property besides. And if what I say shall appear
incredible to any one, he may easily convince himself on the
subject: for though there are many controversies at Rome,
and especially on this particular point, arising from the antagonistic parties among them, yet he will find
that what I have just said about Aemilius is
acknowledged by every one.
Publius Cornelius, Scipio Africanus Minor.
Scipio, son by blood of this Aemilius, and son by adoption
of Publius called the Great, when he got possession of Carthage, reckoned the wealthiest city in the world,
took absolutely nothing from it for his own private use, either by purchase or by any other manner of acquisition whatever, although
he was by no means a very rich man, but very moderately so
for a Roman. But he not only abstained from the wealth of
Carthage itself, but refused to allow anything from Africa at
all to be mixed up with his private property. Therefore, in
regard to this man once more, any one who chooses to inquire
will find that his reputation in this particular is absolutely
undisputed at Rome. I shall, however, take a more suitable
opportunity of treating this subject at greater length.
Congress at Tempe Begins
Titus then having appointed Philip a day for the congress, immediately wrote to the allies announcing when they were to appear; and a few days
The congress of Tempe, B. C. 197.
afterwards came himself to the pass of Tempe at the appointed
time. When the allies had assembled, and the congress met,
the Roman imperator rose and bade each say on what terms
they ought to make peace with Philip.
Speech of King Amynandros.
then delivered a short and moderate speech,
merely asking that "they would all have some
consideration for him, to prevent Philip, as soon
as the Romans left Greece, from turning the whole weight of his
anger upon him; for the Athamanes were always an easy prey
to the Macedonians, because of their weakness and the close
contiguity of their territory."
When he had finished, Alexander the Aetolian rose and complimented Flamininus for "having assembled the allies in that
congress to discuss the terms of peace; and,
above all, for having on the present occasion called on each
to express his opinion. But he was deluded and mistaken,"
he added, "if he believed that by making terms with Philip
he would secure the Romans peace or the Greeks freedom. For
neither of these was possible. But if he desired to accomplish both the design of his own government and his own
promises, which he had given to all the Greeks, there was one
way, and one only, of making terms with Macedonia, and that
was to eject Philip from his throne; and this could easily be
done if he did not let slip the present opportunity."
After some further arguments in support of this view he sat down.
Debate In the Congress At Tempe
Flamininus here took up the argument, and said that
"Alexander was mistaken not only as to the policy
of Rome, but also as to the object which he proposed to himself, and above all as to the true
interests of Greece. For it was not the Roman way to utterly
destroy those with whom they had been at open war. A proof of
his assertion might be found in the war with Hannibal and the
Carthaginians; for though the Romans had received the severest provocation at their hands, and afterwards had it in their
power to do absolutely what they pleased to them, yet they
had adopted no extreme measures against the Carthaginians.
For his part, moreover, he had never entertained the idea that
it was necessary to wage an inexpiable war with Philip; but on
the contrary had been prepared before the battle to come to
terms with him, if he would have submitted to the Roman
demands. He was surprised, therefore, that those who had
taken part in the former peace conference should now adopt a
tone of such irreconcilable hostility. Have we not conquered?
(say they). Yes, but this is the most senseless of arguments. For
brave men, when actually at war, should be terrible and full of
fire; when beaten, undaunted and courageous; when victorious, on the other hand, moderate, placable, and humane. But
your present advice is the reverse of all this. Yet, in truth, to
the Greeks themselves it is greatly to their interest that Macedonia should be humbled, but not at all so that she should
be destroyed. For it might chance thereby that they would
experience the barbarity of Thracians and Gauls, as has been
the case more than once already." He then added that" the
final decision of himself and Roman colleagues was, that, if
Philip would consent to fulfil all the conditions formerly enjoined by the allies, they would grant him peace, subject, of
course, to the approval of the Senate: and that the Aetolians
were free to take what measures they chose for themselves."
Upon Phaeneas attempting to reply that "Everything done
hitherto went for nothing; for if Philip managed to extricate himself from his present difficulties, he would at once
find some other occasion for hostilities,"—Flamininus sprang
at once from his seat, and said, with some heat, "Cease this
trifling, Phaeneas! For I will so settle the terms of the peace
that Philip will be unable, even if he wished it, to molest the
Philip Comes to the Conference
After this they separated for that day. On the next the
On the third day of the conference Philip appears.
king arrived: and on the third, when all the
delegates were met for discussion, Philip entered, and with great skill and tact diverted
the anger which they all entertained against him. For he
said that "He conceded the demands made on the former
occasion by the Romans and the allies, and remitted the decision on the remaining points to the Senate." But Phaeneas,
one of the Aetolians present, said: "Why then, Philip, do
not you restore to us Larisa Cremaste, Pharsalus, Phthiotid
Thebes, and Echinus?" Whereupon Philip bade them take
The Aetolians checkmated by Flamininus.
But Flamininus here interposed,
and forbade the Aetolians to take over any of
the towns except Phthiotid Thebes; "for upon
his approaching this town with his army, and summoning it to
submit to the Roman protection, the Thebans had refused;
and, as it had now come into his hands in the course of war,
he had the right of taking any measures he chose regarding it."
Phaeneas and his colleagues indignantly protested at this, and
asserted that it was their clear right to recover the towns previously members of their league, "first on the ground that
they had taken part in the recent war; and secondly in virtue
of their original treaty of alliance, according to which the movable property of the conquered belonged to the Romans, the
towns to the Aetolians." To which Flamininus answered that
"they were mistaken in both points; for their treaty with
Rome had been annulled when they abandoned the Romans,
and made terms with Philip: and, even supposing that treaty
to be still in force, they had no right to recover or take over
such cities as had voluntarily put themselves under the protection of Rome, as the whole of the cities in Thessaly had done,
but only such as were taken by force.11
Peace Terms Agreed On
The other members of the congress were delighted
The terms of the peace settled. Winter of B. C. 197.
at this speech of Flamininus. But the Aetolians listened with indignation; and what proved
to be the beginning of serious evils was
engendered. For this quarrel was the spark
from which, not long afterwards, both the war with the Aetolians and that with Antiochus flamed out. The principal
motive of Flamininus in being thus forward in coming to
terms was the information he had received that Anticchus
had started from Syria with an army, with the intention of
crossing over into Europe. Therefore he was anxious lest
Philip, catching at this chance, should determine to defend
the towns and protract the war; and lest meanwhile he should
himself be superseded by another commander from home, on
whom the honour of all that he had achieved would be
diverted. Therefore the terms which the king asked were
granted: namely, that he should have four months' suspension
of hostilities, paying Flamininus at once the two hundred
talents; delivering his son Demetrius and some others of his
friends as hostages; and sending to Rome to submit the
decision on the whole pacification to the Senate. Flamininus
and Philip then separated, after interchanging mutual pledges
of fidelity, on the understanding that, if the treaty were not
confirmed, Flamininus was to restore to Philip the two hundred
talents and the hostages. All the parties then sent ambassadors to Rome, some to support and others to oppose the
settlement. . . .
Why is it that, though deceived again and again by the
same things and persons, we are unable to abandon our blind folly? For this particular kind
of fraud has often been committed before now,
and by many. That other men should allow themselves to
be taken in is perhaps not astonishing; but it is wonderful
that those should do so who are the authors and origin of the
same kind of malpractice. But I suppose the cause is the
absence of that rule so happily expressed by Epicharmus:
"Cool head and wise mistrust are wisdom's sinews." . . .
Asia: King Attalus I
[They endeavoured] to prevent Antiochus from sailing along their coast, not from enmity to him, but from a
suspicion that by giving support to Philip he would become
an obstacle in the way of Greek liberty. . . .
King Antiochus was very desirous of possessing Ephesus,
owing to its extremely convenient position; for it appeared to
occupy the position of an Acropolis for expeditions by land
and sea against Ionia and the cities of the Hellespont, and to
be always a most convenient base of operations for the kings
of Asia against Europe. . . .
Of King Attalus, who now died, I think I ought to
Death of King Attalus,
who had fallen ill at Thebes, before the battle of Cynoscephalae, and had been brought home
to die at Pergamum, autumn, B. C. 197. Livy, 33, 21.
speak a suitable word, as I have done in the
case of others. Originally he had no other
external qualification for royalty except money
alone, which, indeed, if handled with good
sense and boldness, is of very great assistance
in every undertaking, but without these qualities
is in its nature the origin of evil, and, in fact,
of utter ruin to very many. For in the first
place it engenders envy and malicious plots,
and contributes largely to the destruction of body and soul.
For few indeed are the souls that are able by the aid of
wealth to repel dangers of this description. This king's greatness of mind therefore deserves our admiration, because he
never attempted to use his wealth for anything else but the
acquisition of royal power,—an object than which none greater
can be mentioned. Moreover he made the first step in this
design, not only by doing services to his friends and gaining
their affection, but also by achievements in war. For it was
after conquering the Gauls, the most formidable and warlike
nation at that time in Asia, that he assumed this rank and
first puts himself forward as king. And though he obtained
this honour, and lived seventy-two years, of which he reigned
forty-four, he passed a life of the utmost virtue and goodness
towards his wife and children; kept faith with all allies and
friends; and died in the midst of a most glorious campaign,
fighting for the liberty of the Greeks; and what is more
remarkable than all, though he left four grown-up sons, he so well
settled the question of succession, that the crown was handed
down to his children's children without a single dispute. . . .
Italy: Treaty with Philip Confirmed
After Marcus Marcellus had entered upon the consulship the ambassadors from Philip, and from
B. C. 196. Coss. L. Funius Purpureo, M. Claudius Marcellus. The treaty with Philip is confirmed.
Flamininus and the allies, arrived at Rome to
discuss the treaty with Philip; and after a
lengthened hearing the confirmation of the
terms was decreed in the Senate. But on the
matter being brought before the people, Marcus
Claudius, who was ambitious of being himself sent to Greece,
spoke against the treaty, and did his best to get it rejected.
The people however ratified the terms, in accordance with the
wish of Flamininus; and, upon this being settled, the Senate
immediately despatched a commission of ten men of high
rank to arrange the settlement of Greece in conjunction with
Flamininus, and to confirm the freedom of the Greeks.
Among others Damoxenus of Aegium and his colleagues,
envoys from the Achaean league, made a proposal in the
Senate for an alliance with Rome; but as some opposition
was raised to this at the time, on account of a counter-claim of
the Eleians upon Triphylia, and of the Messenians, who were
at the time actually in alliance with Rome, upon Asine and
Pylus, and of the Aetolians upon Heraea,—the decision was
referred to the commission of ten. Such were the proceedings
in the Senate. . . .
Greece: Murder of Brachylles
After the battle of Cynoscephalae, as Flamininus was
Philip allows his Boeotian followers to return home.
wintering at Elateia, the Boeotians, being anxious
to recover their citizens who had served in
Philip's army, sent an embassy to Flamininus
to try and secure their safety. Wishing to encourage the loyalty
of the Boeotians to himself, because he was already anxious
as to the action of Antiochus, he readily assented to their
petition. These men were promptly restored from Macedonia,
and one of them named Brachylles the Boeotians at once
elected Boeotarch; and in a similar spirit honoured and promoted,
as much as before, such of the others as were thought
to be well disposed to the royal house of Macedonia.
Zeuxippus and Peisistratus, heads of the Romanising party, determine to get rid of Brachylles, B. C. 196.
also sent an embassy to Philip to thank him for the return
of the young men, thus derogating from the favour done them
by Flamininus,—a measure highly disquieting
to Zeuxippus and Peisistratus, and all who were
regarded as partisans of Rome; because they
foresaw what would happen to themselves and
their families, knowing quite well that if the
Romans quitted Greece, and Philip remained
closely supporting the political party opposed to themselves, it
would be unsafe for them to remain citizens of Boeotia. They
therefore agreed among themselves to send an embassy to
Flamininus in Elateia: and having obtained an interview
with him, they made a lengthy and elaborate statement on
this subject, describing the state of popular feeling which was
now adverse to themselves, and discanting on the untrustworthiness of democratic assemblies. And finally, they
ventured to say that "Unless they could overawe the common
people by getting rid of Brachylles, there could be no security
for the party in favour of Rome as soon as the legions departed."
After listening to these arguments Flamininus replied that
"He would not personally take any part in such a measure,
but he would not hinder those who wished to do so." Finally,
he bade them speak to Alexamenus the Strategus of the
Aetolians. Zeuxippus and his colleagues accepted the suggestion,
and communicated with Alexamenus, who at once consented; and agreeing to carry out their proposal sent three
Aetolians and three Italians, all young men, to assassinate
Brachylles. . . .
There is no more terrible witness, or more
Zeuxippus condemned by his own conscience. See Livy, 33, 28.
formidable accuser, than the conscience which
resides in each man's breast. . . .
Decree of the Senate on the Peace with Philip
About this same time the ten commissioners arrived
from Rome who were to effect the settlement
of Greece, bringing with them the decree of
the Senate on the peace with Philip. The
main points of the decree were these: "All other Greeks,
whether in Asia or Europe, to be free and enjoy their own
laws; but that Philip should hand over to the Romans those
at present under his authority, and all towns in which he had
a garrison, before the Isthmian games; and restore Eurōmus,
Pedasa, Bargylia, Iasus, Abydos, Thasus, Marinus, and Perinthus to freedom, and remove his garrisons from them. That
Flamininus should write to Prusias commanding him to
liberate Cius, in accordance with the decree of the Senate.
That Philip should restore to the Romans within the same
period all captives and deserters; and likewise all decked
ships, except three and his one sixteen-banked vessel; and
should pay a thousand talents, half at once, and half by
instalments spread over ten years."
The Freedom of Greece
Upon this decree being published in Greece, it created
Objections of the Aetolians.
a feeling of confidence and gratification in all
the communities except the Aetolians. These
last were annoyed at not getting all they expected, and attempted to run down the decree by saying that
it was mere words, without anything practical in it; and they
based upon the clauses of the decree itself some such arguments as follow, by way of disquieting those who would listen
to them. They said "That there were two distinct clauses in
the decree relating to the cities garrisoned by Philip: one
ordering him to remove those garrisons and to hand over the
cities to the Romans; the other bidding him withdraw his
garrisons and set the cities free. Those that were to be set
free were definitely named, and they were towns in Asia; and
it was plain, therefore, that those which were to be handed
over to the Romans were those in Europe, namely, Oreus,
Eretria, Chalcis, Demetrias, and Corinth. Hence it was
plain that the Romans were receiving the 'fetters of Greece'
from the hands of Philip, and that the Greeks were getting,
not freedom, but a change of masters."
These arguments of the Aetolians were repeated ad
But, meanwhile, Flamininus left Elateia with the
The commissioners sit at Corinth, and declare all Greek cities free, except the Acrocorinthus, Demetrias, and Chalcis.
ten commissioners, and having crossed to Anticyra, sailed
straight to Corinth, and there sat in council with the commissioners, and considered the whole settlement to be made.
But as the adverse comments of the Aetolians
obtained wide currency, and were accepted by
some, Flamininus was forced to enter upon
many elaborate arguments in the meetings of
the commission, trying to convince the commissioners that if they wished to acquire unalloyed praise from the Greeks, and to establish
firmly in the minds of all that they had originally come into
the country not to gain any advantage for Rome, but simply
to secure the freedom of Greece, they must abandon every
district and free all the cities now garrisoned by Philip. But
this was just the point in dispute among the commissioners;
for, as to all other cities, a decision had been definitely arrived
at in Rome, and the ten commissioners had express instructions; but about Chalcis, Corinth, and Demetrias they had
been allowed a discretion on account of Antiochus, in order
that they might take such measures as they thought best from
a view of actual events. For it was notorious that this king
had for some time past been meditating an interference in
Europe. However, as far as Corinth was concerned, Flamininus prevailed on the commissioners to free it at once and
restore it to the Achaean league, from respect to the terms of
the original agreement; but he retained the Acrocorinthus,
Demetrias, and Chalcis.
Proclamation At the Isthmian Games
When these decisions had been come to, the time for
The Isthmian games, July B. C. 196.
the celebration of the Isthmian games arrived.
The expectation of what would happen there
drew the men of highest rank from nearly every
quarter of the world; and there was a great deal of talk on the
subject from one end of the assembled multitude to the
other, and expressed in varied language. Some said that
from certain of the places and towns it was impossible that
the Romans could withdraw; while others asserted that they
would withdraw from those considered most important, but
would retain others that were less prominent, though capable
of being quite as serviceable. And such persons even took
upon themselves in their ingenuity to designate the precise
places which would be thus treated. While people were still
in this state of uncertainty, all the world being assembled on
the stadium to watch the games, the herald came forward,
and having proclaimed silence by the sound of a trumpet,
delivered the following proclamation: "The senate of Rome
and Titus Quintus, proconsul and imperator,
having conquered King Philip and the Macedonians in war, declare the following peoples
free, without garrison, or tribute, in full enjoyment of the laws
of their respective countries: namely, Corinthians, Phocians,
Locrians, Euboeans, Achaeans of Phiotis, Magnesians, Thessalians, Perrhaebians."
Proclamation of the freedom of the Greek cities.
Now as the first words of the proclamation were the signal
for a tremendous outburst of clapping, some of
the people could not hear it at all, and some
wanted to hear it again; but the majority feeling incredulous,
and thinking that they heard the words in a kind of dream, so
utterly unexpected was it, another impulse induced every one
to shout to the herald and trumpeter to come into the middle
of the stadium and repeat the words: I suppose because the
people wished not only to hear but to see the speaker, in their
inability to credit the announcement. But when the herald,
having advanced into the middle of the crowd, once more, by
his trumpeter, hushed the clamour, and repeated exactly the
same proclamation as before, there was such an outbreak of clapping as is difficult to convey to the imagination of my readers
at this time. When at length the clapping ceased, no one paid
any attention whatever to the athletes, but all were talking to
themselves or each other, and seemed like people bereft of
their senses. Nay, after the games were over, in the extravagance of their joy,
they nearly killed Flamininus by the exhibition of their gratitude. Some wanted to look him in
the face and call him their preserver; others were eager
to touch his hand; most threw garlands and fillets upon him;
until between them they nearly crushed him to death. But
though this expression of popular gratitude was thought to
have been extravagant, one might say with confidence that it fell
short of the importance of the actual event. For that the Romans
and their leader Flamininus should have deliberately incurred
unlimited expense and danger, for the sole purpose of freeing
Greece, deserved their admiration; and it was also a great thing
that their power was equal to their intention. But the greatest
thing of all is that Fortune foiled their attempt by none of her
usual caprices, but that every single thing came to a successful issue at the same time: so that all Greeks, Asiatic and
European alike, were by a single proclamation become "free,
without garrison or tribute, and enjoying their own laws."
The Commissioners Make Detailed Arrangements
The Isthmian festival having come to an end, the
Answer of commissioners to King Antiochus.
first persons with whom the commissioners
dealt were the ambassadors from Antiochus.
They instructed them that "Their master must
abstain from attacking those cities in Asia which were autonomous, and go to war with none of them; and must evacuate
those that had been subject to Ptolemy or Philip. In addition to this they forbade him to cross over into Europe with
an army; for no Greek henceforth was to be attacked in war
or to be enslaved to any one. Finally, they said that some of
their own number would go to visit Antiochus." With this
answer Hegesianax and Lysias returned to Antiochus.
next summoned the representatives of all the
nations and cities, and declared to them the
decisions of the commissioners. The Macedonian tribe of the Orestae, on the ground of their having
joined Rome during the war, they declared autonomous; the
Perrhaebians, Dolopes, and Magnesians they declared to be free.
To the Thessalians, in addition to their freedom, they assigned
the Phiotid Achaeans, with the exception, however, of Phthiotid
Thebes and Pharsalus: for the Aetolians made such a point
of their claim to Pharsalus, as also to Leucas, on the ground
of the rights secured them by the original treaty, that the
commissioners referred the consideration of their demand in
regard to these places back again to the Senate, but allowed
them to retain Phocis and Locris as members of their league,
as they had been before. Corinth, Triphylia, and Heraea
they handed over to the Achaeans. Oreus and Eretria the
majority wished to give to King Eumenes, but on the instance
of Flamininus this design was not confirmed; and, accordingly,
a short time afterwards these towns, with Carystus, were declared free by the Senate. To Pleuratus they assigned Lychnis
and Parthus in Illyria, towns which had been subject to
Philip; and Amynandros they allowed to retain all such strongholds as he had taken from Philip during the war.
The Commissioners Carry Word Throughout Greece
This business completed, the commissioners separated
The commissioners separate and go to various parts of Greece.
in various directions: Publius Lentulus sailed
to Bargylia and announced its freedom; Leucius
Stertinius did the same to Hephaestia, Thasus,
and the cities in Thrace; while Publius Ventilius and Lucius Terentius started to visit
Antiochus; and Gnaeus Cornelius with his
colleagues went to king Philip.
Two go to Antiochus and others to Philip.
They met him
near Tempe, and after speaking with him on the other
matters about which they had instructions, they advised him to
send an embassy to Rome, to ask for an alliance, in order to
obviate all suspicion of being on the watch for an opportunity
in expectation of the arrival of Antiochus.
Gnaeus Cornelius at the congress of the Aetolian league.
agreeing to follow this advice, Cornelius left
him and went to the league congress at Thermus;
and coming into the public assembly urged the
Aetolians in a lengthy speech to abide by the
policy they had adopted, from the first, and maintain their good
disposition towards the Romans. Many rose to answer: of
whom some expressed dissatisfaction with the Romans in
moderate and decorous language, for not having used their good
fortune with sufficient regard to their joint interests, and for
not observing the original compact; while others delivered
violent invectives, asserting that the Romans would never have
set foot on Greece or conquered Philip if it had not been for
them. Cornelius disdained to answer these speeches in detail,
but he advised them to send ambassadors to Rome, for they
would get full justice in the Senate: which they accordingly
did. Such was the conclusion of the war with Philip. . . .
Asia: Roman Envoys To Antiochus
Whenever they are reduced to the last extremity, as the
phrase goes, they will fly to the Romans for protection and
commit themselves and their city to them.12
. . .
Conference Between Roman Legates and Antiochus
Just when the designs of Antiochus in Thrace were succeeding to his heart's desire, Lucius Cornelius
Antiochus in the Chersonesus and Thrace, B. C. 196.
and his party sailed into Selybria. These were
the envoys sent by the Senate to conclude a
peace between Antiochus and Ptolemy. And at the same
time there arrived Publius Lentulus from Bargylia, Lucius
Terentius and Publius Villius from Thasus, three of the ten
commissioners for Greece. Their arrival having been promptly
announced to Antiochus, they all assembled within the next
few days at Lysimacheia; and it so happened that Hegesianax
and Lysias, who had been on the mission to Flamininus,
arrived about the same time. The private intercourse between
the king and the Romans was informal and friendly; but when
presently they met in conference to discuss public affairs,
things took quite another aspect.
Speech of Lucius Cornelius.
Lucius Cornelius demanded that Antiochus should
evacuate all the cities subject to Ptolemy which
he had taken in Asia; while he warned him in solemn and
emphatic language that he must do so also to the cities subject
to Philip, "for it was ridiculous that Antiochus should come in
and take the prizes of the war which Rome had waged with
Philip." He also admonished him to abstain from attacking
autonomous cities, and added that "He was at a loss to conjecture with what view Antiochus had crossed over to Europe
with such a powerful army and fleet; for if it were not with
the intention of attacking the Romans, there was no explanation left that any reasonable person could accept."
With these words the Romans ceased speaking.
The King's Reply
The king began his reply by saying that "He did not
understand by what right the Romans raised a
controversy with him in regard to the cities in
Asia. They were the last people in the world
who had any claim to do so." Next he claimed that "They
should refrain entirely from interfering in the affairs of Asia,
seeing that he never in the least degree interposed in those of
Italy. He had crossed into Europe with his army to recover
his possessions in the Chersonese and the cities in Thrace;
his right to the government of these places being superior to
that of any one in the world. For this was originally the
principality of Lysimachus; and as Seleucus waged war with
and conquered that prince, the whole domain
of Lysimachus passed to Seleucus:13
owing to the multifarious interests which distracted the attention of his predecessors, first
Ptolemy and then Philip had managed to wrest this country
from them and secure it for themselves.
Lysimachus conquered by of Seleucus Nicanor, B. C. 281.
He had not then
availed himself of Philip's difficulties to take it, but had recovered
possession of it in the exercise of his undoubted rights.
It was no injury to the Romans that he should now be
restoring to their homes, and settling again in their city, the
people of Lysimacheia who had been expelled by an unexpected
raid of the Thracians. He was doing this, not from any intention of attacking the Romans, but to prepare a place of
residence for his son Seleucus. As for the autonomous cities
of Asia, they must acquire their freedom by his free grace, not
by an injunction from Rome. As for Ptolemy, he was about
to settle matters amicably with him: for it was his intention
to confirm their friendship by a matrimonial alliance."
Antiochus Demands a Rhodian Court
But upon Lucius expressing an opinion that they ought
Antiochus refuses to acknowledge the Romans as arbitrators.
to call in the representatives of Lampsacus and
Smyrna and give them a hearing, this was done.
The envoys from Lampsacus were Parmenio
and Pythodorus, and from Smyrna Coeranus.
These men expressing themselves with much openness, Philip
was irritated at the idea of defending himself against accusers
before a tribunal of Romans, and interrupting Parmenio, said:
"A truce to your long speeches: I do not choose to have my
controversies with you decided before a Roman but before a
Rhodian court." Thereupon they broke up the conference
very far from pleased with each other. . . .
Egypt: Fall of Scopas
Many people have a yearning for bold and glorious
undertakings, but few dare actually attempt them.
Yet Scopas had much fairer opportunities for a
hazardous and bold career than Cleomenes.
For the latter, though circumvented by his
enemies, and reduced to depend upon such forces as his
servants and friends could supply, yet left no chance untried,
and tested every one to the best of his ability, valuing an
honourable death more highly than a life of disgrace. But
Scopas, with all the advantages of a formidable body of
soldiers and of the excellent opportunity afforded by the youth
of the king, by his own delays and halting counsels allowed
himself to be circumvented. For having ascertained that he
was holding a meeting of his partisans at his own house, and
was consulting with them, Aristomenes sent some of the royal
bodyguards and summoned him to the king's council.
Whereupon Scopas was so infatuated that he was neither bold
enough to carry out his designs, nor able to make up his mind
to obey the king's summons,—which is in itself the most
extreme step,—until Aristomenes, understanding the blunder
he had made, caused soldiers and elephants to surround his
house, and sent Ptolemy son of Eumenes in with some young
men, with orders to bring him quietly if he would come, but, if
not, by force. When Ptolemy entered the house and informed Scopas that the king summoned him, he refused at
first to obey, but remained looking fixedly at Ptolemy, and for
a long while preserved a threatening attitude as though he
wondered at his audacity; and when Ptolemy came boldly
up to him and took hold of his chlamys, he called on the bystanders to help him. But seeing that the number of young
men who had accompanied Ptolemy into the house was large,
and being informed by some one of the military array surrounding it outside, he yielded to circumstances,
and went, accompanied by his friends, in obedience to the summons.
Scopas and Dicaearchus Punished
On his entering the council chamber the king was the first
Scopas before the council.
to state the accusation against him, which he did
briefly. He was followed by Polycrates lately
arrived from Cyprus; and he again by Aristomenes. The charges made by them all were much to the
same effect as what I have just stated; but there was now
added to them the seditious meeting with his friends, and his
refusal to obey the summons of the king. On these charges
he was unanimously condemned, not only by the members of
the council, but also by the envoys of foreign nations who
were present. And when Aristomenes was about to commence
his accusation he brought in a large number of other Greeks
of rank also to support him, as well as the Aetolian ambassadors who had come to negotiate a peace, among whom
was Dorimachus son of Nicostratus. When these speeches
had been delivered, Scopas endeavoured to put forward certain
pleas in his defence: but gaining no attention from any one,
owing to the senseless nature of his proceedings, he was taken
along with his friends to prison. There after nightfall Aristomenes caused Scopas and his family to be put to death by poison;
but did not allow Dicaearchus to die until he had had him
racked and scourged, thus inflicting on him a punishment which
he thoroughly deserved in the name of all Greece.
For this was
the Dicaearchus whom Philip, when he resolved
upon his treacherous attack on the Cyclades
and the cities of the Hellespont, appointed
leader of the whole fleet and the entire enterprise: who being
thus sent out to perform an act of flagrant wickedness, not
only thought that he was doing nothing wrong, but in the
extravagance of his infatuation imagined that he would strike
terror into the gods as well as man. For wherever he
anchored he used to build two altars, to Impiety and Lawlessness, and, offering sacrifice upon these altars, worshipped them
as his gods. Therefore in my opinion he met with a just
retribution both from gods and men: for as his life had been
spent in defiance to the laws of nature, his end was properly
also one of unnatural horror. All the other Aetolians who
wished to depart were allowed by the king to go in possession
of their property.
Anacleteria of Ptolemy Epiphanes
As in the lifetime of Scopas his love of money had
Enormous wealth collected by Scopas.
been notorious, for his avarice did in fact surpass
that of any man in the world, so after his death
was it made still more conspicuous by the
enormous amount of gold and other property found in his
house; for by the assistance of the coarse manners and
drunken habits of Charimortus he had absolutely pillaged the
Having thus settled the Aetolian business to their liking,
The anacleteria of Ptolemy Epiphanes, B. C. 176. Aet. 14.
the courtiers turned their attention to the ceremony of instituting the king into the management of his office, called the Anacleteria. His
age was not indeed yet so far advanced as to
make this necessary; but they thought that the kingdom
would gain a certain degree of firmness and a fresh impulse
towards prosperity, if it were known that the king had assumed
the independent direction of the government. They then made
the preparations for the ceremony with great splendour, and
carried it out in a manner worthy of the greatness of the
kingdom, Polycrates being considered to have contributed very
largely to the accomplishment of their efforts. For this man
had enjoyed even during his youth, in the reign of the late
king, a reputation second to no one in the court for fidelity
and practical ability; and this reputation he had maintained
during the present reign also. For having been entrusted with
the management of Cyprus and its revenues, when its affairs
were in a critical and complicate state, he not only preserved
the island for the young king, but collected a very considerable
sum of money, with which he had just arrived and had paid to the
king, after handing over the government of Cyprus to Ptolemy
of Megalopolis. But though he obtained great applause by
this, and a large fortune immediately afterwards, yet, as he
grew older, he drifted into extravagant debauchery and
scandalous indulgence. Nor was the reputation of Ptolemy,
son of Agesarchus very different in the later part of his life.
But in regard to these men, when we come to the proper time,
I shall not shrink from stating the circumstances which disgraced their official life. . . .