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MoagĕTes of Cibyra

Moagĕtes was Tyrant of Cibyra, a cruel and crafty man, whose career deserves somewhat more than a passing reference. . . .

When Cnaeus Manlius was approaching Cibyra and had

Coss. Cn. Manlius Vulso, M. Fulvius Nobilior, B. C. 189; Moagĕtes reduced to submission.
sent Helvius to find out the intentions of Moagĕtes, the latter begged him by ambassadors not to damage the country, because he was a friend of Rome, and ready to do anything that was required of him; and, at the same time, he offered Helvius a compliment of fifteen talents. In answer to this, Helvius said that he would refrain from damaging the territory; but that as to the general question Moagĕtes must communicate with the Consul, for he was close behind with his army. Moagĕtes accordingly sent ambassadors to Cnaeus, his own brother being one of them. When the Consul met them in the road, he addressed them in threatening and reproachful terms, asserting that "Not only had Moagĕtes shown himself the most determined enemy of Rome, of all the princes in Asia, but had done his very best to overthrow their empire, and deserved punishment rather than friendship."1 Terrified by this display of anger, the ambassadors abstained from delivering the rest of the message with which they were charged, and merely begged him to have an interview with Moagĕtes: and when Cnaeus consented they returned to Cibyra. Next morning the Tyrant came out of the town accompanied by his friends, displaying his humility by a mean dress and absence of all pomp; and, in conducting his defence, descanted in melancholy terms on his own helplessness and the poverty of the towns under his rule (which consisted of Cibyra, Syleium, and the town in the Marsh), and entreated Cnaeus to accept the fifteen talents. Astonished at his assurance, Cnaeus made no answer, except that, "If he did not pay five hundred talents, and be thankful that he was allowed to do so, he would not loot the country, but he would storm and sack the city." In abject terror Moagĕtes begged him not to do anything of the sort; and kept adding to his offer little by little, until at last he persuaded Cnaeus to take one hundred talents, and one thousand medimni of corn, and admit him to friendship.2 . . .

1 The Greek text is corrupt. The sense is given from Livy, 38, 14.

2 The dynasty lasted until the time of the Mithridatic wars. The last Moagĕtes being deposed by Muraena, when Cibyra was joined to Lycia. Strabo, 13.4.71.

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189 BC (1)
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    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 38, 14
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