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The Fall of Philopoemen

Philopoemen rose1 and proceeded on his way, though he
The death of Philopoemen, B.C. 183, or perhaps early in B.C. 182.
was oppressed at once by illness and the weight of years, being now in the seventieth year of his age. Conquering his weakness, however, by the force of his previous habits he reached Megalopolis, from Argos, in one day's journey. . . .

He was captured, when Achaean Strategus, by the Messenians

Philopoemen was murdered by the Messenians, who had abandoned the league and were at war with it. See Livy, 39, 49-50.
and poisoned. Thus, though second to none that ever lived before him in excellence, his fortune was less happy; yet in his previous life he seemed ever to have enjoyed her favour and assistance. But it was, I suppose, a case of the common proverb, "a man may have a stroke of luck, but no man can be lucky always." We must, therefore, call our predecessors fortunate, without pretending that they were so invariably—for what need is there to flatter Fortune by a meaningless and false compliment? It is those who have enjoyed Fortune's smiles in their life for the longest time, and who, when she changes her mind, meet with only moderate mishaps, that we must speak of as fortunate. . . .

Philopoemen was succeeded by

Character of Philopoemen. He is succeeded by Lycortas as Strategus.
Lycortas,2 . . . and though he had spent forty years of an active career in a state at once democratic and composed of many various elements, he had entirely avoided giving rise to the jealousy of the citizens in any direction: and yet he had not flattered their inclinations, but for the most part had used great freedom of speech, which is a case of very rare occurrence. . . .

1 He was ill with fever. Plutarch, Phil. 18.

2 Livy (39, 50) speaks of Lycortas at the time of Philopoemen's death as “alter imperator Achaeorum.” If he had been the ὑποστρατηγός we know that he would not by law have succeeded on the death of the Strategus. Plutarch, Phil. 21, seems to assert that an election was held at once, but not the ordinary popular election.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 31-32, commentary, 31.25
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (4):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 49
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 50
    • Plutarch, Philopoemen, 18
    • Plutarch, Philopoemen, 21
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