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Philip's Response

When Alexander had concluded his speech, Philip came
The rejoinder of Philip.
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."

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 32.34
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