The Senate Breaks its Alliance with Ptolemy Philometor
THIS year Comanus and his brother arrived at Rome on
B. C. 161. The Senate break off relations with Ptolemy Philometor, and encourage Ptolemy Physcon in his claim on Cyprus.
their mission from the younger Ptolemy, and
Menyllus of Alabanda from the elder. Their
interview with the Senate was the occasion of
many mutual recriminations expressed with great
bitterness; and when Titus Torquatus and
Gnaeus Merula gave evidence in favour of the
younger king, and supported him with great
earnestness, the Senate voted that Menyllus
and his colleagues should leave Rome within five days, and
that the treaty of alliance with the elder Ptolemy should be
annulled; but that they should send envoys to the younger
to inform him of the decree of the Senate. Publius Apustius
and Gaius Lentulus were appointed to this service, who
immediately sailed to Cyrene, and with great despatch announced to Physcon the decree of the Senate. Greatly
elated by this, Ptolemy began collecting mercenaries, and
devoted his whole attention and energies to the acquisition of
Cyprus. This was what was going on in Italy. . . .
Massanissa Harasses the Carthaginians
Not long before this period Massanissa resolved to try
Between the second and third Punic wars Massanissa constantly encroached on Carthaginian territory. Both sides refer to Rome,
his strength with the Carthaginians. He saw
how numerous the cities built along the lesser
Syrtis were, and noticed the excellence of the
district which they call Emporia, and he had
long been casting an envious eye upon the
revenues which those places produced. He
quickly possessed himself of the open part of
the country, because the Carthaginians were
always averse from service in the field, and were
at that time completely enervated by the long peace, But he
was unable to get possession of the towns, because they were
carefully guarded by the Carthaginians.
and the Romans invariably support Massanissa.
Both parties then referring their case to the Roman Senate, and frequent embassies
coming to Rome from both sides, it always happened that
the Carthaginians got the worst of it in the
judgment of the Romans, not on the merits
of the case, but because the judges were convinced that such a decision was in
not many years before this Massanissa was himself at the head of an army in pursuit of Aphther,
who had revolted from him, and asked permission of the Carthaginians to go through this territory, which
they refused on the ground that it had nothing to do with him.
Owing, however, to the decisions given at Rome during this
period, the Carthaginians were put into such difficulties that
they not only lost the cities and territory, but had to pay
besides five hundred talents as mesne profits from the district.
And this was the origin of the present controversy.1
. . .
Prusias Accuses Eumenes
Prusias sent envoys to Rome with some Gauls to accuse
Further complaints against Eumenes by Prusias and the Gauls. See 31, 4, B. C. 161.
Eumenes; and Eumenes in his turn sent his
brother Attalus to rebut the accusations. Ariarathes sent a present of ten thousand gold
pieces, and envoys to inform the Senate of the
reception given to Tiberius Gracchus; and
generally to ask for their commands, and to
assure them that he would do anything they told him. . . .
Demetrius and Ariarathes
When Menochares arrived in Antioch to visit Demetrius,
Demetrius induces Tiberius Gracchus to salute him as king.
and informed the king2
of the conversation he
had had with the commission under Tiberius
Gracchus in Cappadocia, the king, thinking it a
matter of the most urgent necessity to get these
men on his side as much as he could, devoted
himself, to the exclusion of every other business, to sending
messages to them, first to Pamphylia, and then to Rhodes,
undertaking to do everything the Romans wished; till at last
he extracted their acknowledgment of him as king. The fact
was that Tiberius was very favourably disposed to him; and,
accordingly, materially contributed to the success of his
attempt, and to his acquisition of the royal
Surrenders the murderer of Octavius.
Demetrius took advantage of this to
send envoys to Rome, taking with them a
complimentary crown, the murderer of Gnaeus Octavius, and
with them Isocrates the critic. . . .
Ambassadors from Ariarathes
At this time came ambassadors from Ariarathes, bringing
a complimentary present of ten thousand gold
pieces, and announcing the king's faithful attachment to Rome; and of this they appealed to
Tiberius and his colleagues as witnesses. Tiberius and his
colleagues confirmed their statements: whereupon the Senate
accepted the present with warm thanks, and sent back
in return presents, which with them are the most honourable they can give—a sceptre and ivory chair. These
ambassadors were dismissed at once by the Senate before the
Attalus again in Rome early in B. C. 160. Coss. L. Anicius Gallus, M. Cornelius Cathegus.
But after them arrived Attalus when the
new Consuls had already entered on their office;
as well as the Gauls who had accusations against
him, and whom Prusias had sent, with as many
more from Asia. After giving all a hearing,
the Senate not only acquitted Attalus of all
blame, but dismissed him with additional marks of their favour
and kindness: for their friendship for and active support of
Attalus was in the same proportion as their hostility and
opposition to king Eumenes. . . .
Isocrates Comes to Rome as Ambassador
The ambassadors with Menochares arrived in Rome from
Reception of the ambassadors of Demetrius.
Demetrius, bringing the present of ten thousand
gold pieces, as well as the man who had assassinated Gnaeus Octavius. The Senate was for a long
time doubtful what to do about these matters. Finally they received the ambassadors and accepted the present, but declined
to receive the men who were thus brought prisoners. Yet
Demetrius had sent not only Leptines, the actual assassin of
Octavius, but Isocrates as well. The latter was a grammarian
Previous career of Isocrates.
and public lecturer; but being by nature garrulous, boastful,
and conceited, he gave offence even to the
Greeks, Alcaeus and his friends being accustomed to direct their wit against him and hold
him up to ridicule in their scholastic discussions.3
arrived in Syria, he displayed contempt for the
people of the country; and not content with
lecturing on his own subjects, he took to speaking on politics, and maintained that "Gnaeus Octavius had
been rightly served: and that the other ambassadors ought to
be put to death also, that there might be no one left to report
the matter to the Romans; and so they might be taught to
give up sending haughty injunctions and exercising unlimited
power." By such random talk he got into this trouble.
Isocrates the Grammarian
And there is a circumstance connected with both these
The boldness of Leptines.
men that is worth recording. After assassinating
Gnaeus, Leptines immediately went openly about
Laodicea, asserting that what he had done was
just, and that it had been effected in accordance with the will
of the gods. And when Demetrius took possession of the
government, he went to the king exhorting him to have no
fear about the murder of Gnaeus, nor to adopt any measures
of severity against the Laodiceans: for that he would himself
go to Rome and convince the Senate that he had done this
deed in accordance with the will of the gods. And finally,
thanks to his entire readiness and even eagerness to go, he
was taken without chains or a guard.
Extraordinary conduct of Isocrates.
But directly Isocrates
found himself included under this charge, he
went entirely beside himself with terror: and,
after the collar and chain were put on his neck,
he would rarely touch food, and completely neglected all
care of his body. He accordingly arrived at Rome a truly
astonishing spectacle, sufficient to convince us that nothing
can be more frightful than a man, in body and soul alike,
when once divested of his humanity. His aspect was
beyond all measure terrifying and savage, as might be expected in a man who had neither washed the dirt from
his body, nor pared his nails, nor cut his hair, for a year.
The wild glare and rolling of his eyes also showed such inward
horror, that any one who saw him would have rather approached
any animal in the world than him. Leptines, on the contrary,
maintained his original view: was ready to appear before the
Senate; owned plainly to all who conversed with him what he
had done; and asserted that he would meet with no severity
at the hands of the Romans. And eventually his expectation was
The Senate decide to keep the question of the murder open.
For the Senate, from
the idea, I believe, that, if it received and
punished the guilty men, the populace would
consider that full satisfaction had been taken
for the murder, refused almost outright to receive them; and
thus kept the charge in reserve, that they might have the power
of using the accusation whenever they chose. They therefore
confined their answer to Demetrius to these words: "He shall
find all favour at our hands, if he satisfy the Senate in accordance with the obedience which he owed to it before." . . .
There came also ambassadors from the Achaeans, headed
Fruitless embassy from Achaia
on behalf of Polybius and the other Achaean detenus, B. C. 160.
by Xenon and Telecles, in behalf of their accused
compatriots, and especially in behalf of Polybius
and Stratius; for lapse of time had now brought
an end to the majority, or at any rate to those
of any note. The ambassadors came with
instructions couched in a tone of simple entreaty, in order to avoid anything like a contest with the Senate.
But when they had been admitted and delivered their commission in proper terms, even this humble tone failed to gain their
end, and the Senate voted to abide by their resolve. . . .
Legacy of L. Aemilius Paulus
The strongest and most honourable proof of the integrity
The small property left by Aemilius Paulus at his death is a proof of his disinterestedness.
of Lucius Aemilius Paulus was made public
after his death. For the character which he
enjoyed while alive was found to be justified at
his death, than which there can be no clearer
proof of virtue. No one of his contemporaries
brought home more gold from Iberia than he; no
one captured such enormous treasures as he did in Macedonia;
and yet, though in both these countries he had the most unlimited authority, he left so small a private fortune, that his
sons could not pay his wife's jointure wholly from the sale of
his personalty, and were obliged to sell some of his real estate
also to do so, a fact of which I have already
spoken in some detail.
This forces us
to acknowledge that the fame of the men who have been admired
in Greece in this respect suffers by a comparison. For if to
abstain from appropriating money, entrusted to a man for the
benefit of the depositor, deserves our admiration,—as is said
to have happened in the case of the Athenian Aristeides and
the Theban Epaminondas,—how much more admirable is it
for a man to have been master of a whole kingdom, with
absolute authority to do with it as he chose, and yet to have
coveted nothing in it! And if what I say appears incredible
to any of my readers, let them consider that the
present writer was fully aware that Romans, more
than any other people, would take his books into
their hands,—because the most splendid and
numerous achievements recorded therein belong to them; and
that with them the truth about the facts could not possibly be unknown, nor the author of a falsehood expect any
Polybius has the fear of Roman critics before his eyes.
No one then would voluntarily expose himself to
certain disbelief and contempt. And let this be kept in mind
throughout the whole course of my work, when I seem to be
making a startling assertion about the Romans.
Scipio the Younger and Polybius
As the course of my narrative and the events of the
The origin of the friendship between Scipio Aemilianus and Polybius.
time have drawn our attention to this family, I
wish to carry out fully, for the sake of students,
what was left as a mere promise in my previous
book. I promised then that I would relate
the origin and manner of the rise and unusually early glory of
Scipio's reputation in Rome; and also how it came about that
Polybius became so attached to and intimate with him, that the
fame of their friendship and constant companionship was not
merely confined to Italy and Greece, but became known to
more remote nations also. We have already shown that the
acquaintance began in a loan of some books and the conversation about them. But as the intimacy went on, and the Achaean
detenus were being distributed among the various cities, Fabius
and Scipio, the sons of Lucius Aemilius Paulus,4
their influence with the praetor that Polybius might be allowed
to remain in Rome. This was granted: and the intimacy was
becoming more and more close, when the
following incident occurred.
Young Scipio opens his heart to Polybius.
One day, when
they were all three coming out of the house of
Fabius, it happened that Fabius left them to go to the Forum,
and that Polybius went in another direction with Scipio. As
they were walking along, in a quiet and subdued voice, and
with the blood mounting to his cheeks, Scipio said, "Why is
it, Polybius, that though I and my brother eat at the same
table, you address all your conversation and all your questions
and explanations to him, and pass me over altogether? Of
course you too have the same opinion of me as I hear the rest
of the city has. For I am considered by everybody, I hear,
to be a mild effete person, and far removed from the true
Roman character and ways, because I don't care for pleading in
the law courts. And they say that the family I come of requires
a different kind of representative, and not the sort that I am.
That is what annoys me most."
Polybius Responds to Scipio's Speech
Polybius was taken aback by the opening words of
Scipio Aemilianus, b. B.C. 185.
the young man's speech (for he was only
just eighteen), and said, "In heaven's name,
Scipio, don't say such things, or take into
your head such an idea. It is not from any want of appreciation of you, or any intention of slighting you, that I have acted
as I have done: far from it! It is merely that, your brother
being the elder, I begin and end my remarks with him, and
address my explanations and counsels to him, in the belief
that you share the same opinions. However, I am delighted
to hear you say now that you appear to yourself to be somewhat less spirited than is becoming to members of your family:
for you show by this that you have a really high spirit, and I
should gladly devote myself to helping you to speak or act in
any way worthy of your ancestors. As for learning, to which
I see you and your brother devoting yourselves at present with
so much earnestness and zeal, you will find plenty of people
to help you both; for I see that a large number of such
learned men from Greece are finding their way into Rome at
the present time. But as to the points which you say are just
now vexing you, I think you will not find any one more fitted
to support and assist you than myself." While Polybius was
still speaking the young man seized his right hand with both of
his, and pressing it warmly, said, "Oh that I might see the day
on which you would devote your first attention to me, and join
your life with mine.
Polybius is some what alarmed at the responsibility.
From that moment I shall think myself
worthy both of my family and my ancestors."
Polybius was partly delighted at the sight of
the young man's enthusiasm and affection, and
partly embarrassed by the thought of the high position of his
family and the wealth of its members. However, from the hour
of this mutual confidence the young man never left the side of
Polybius, but regarded his society as his first and dearest object.
Character of the Younger Scipio
From that time forward they continually gave each
Scipio's high character for continence as a young man.
other practical proof of an affection which recalled the relationship of father and son, or of
kinsmen of the same blood. The first impulse
and ambition of a noble kind with which he was
inspired was the desire to maintain a character for chastity,
and to be superior to the standard observed in that respect
among his contemporaries.
The deterioration in Roman morals and its causes.
This was a glory which, great and
difficult as it generally is, was not hard to gain
at that period in Rome, owing to the general
deterioration of morals. Some had wasted
their energies on favourite youths; others on mistresses; and
a great many on banquets enlivened with poetry and wine, and
all the extravagant expenditure which they entailed, having
quickly caught during the war with Perseus the dissoluteness
of Greek manners in this respect. And to such monstrous
lengths had this debauchery gone among the young men, that
many of them had given a talent for a young favourite. This
dissoluteness had as it were burst into flame at this period: in
the first place, from the prevalent idea that, owing to the
destruction of the Macedonian monarchy, universal dominion
was now secured to them beyond dispute; and in the second
place, from the immense difference made, both in public and
private wealth and splendour, by the importation of the riches
of Macedonia into Rome. Scipio, however, set his heart on a
different path in life; and by a steady resistance to his
appetites, and by conforming his whole conduct to a consistent
and undeviating standard, in about the first five years after
this secured a general recognition of his character for goodness
Scipio's Generosity to his Mother
His next object was to cultivate lofty sentiments in
Scipio's liberality to his mother.
regard to money, and to maintain a higher standard of disinterestedness than other people. In this respect he had an
excellent start in his association with his natural father (L.
Aemilius): but he also had good natural impulses towards the
right; and chance contributed much to his success in this
particular aim. For he first lost the mother of his adoptive
father, who was the sister of his natural father Lucius, and
wife of his adoptive grandfather, Scipio the Great. She left a
large fortune, to which he was heir, and which gave him the
first opportunity of giving a proof of his principles. Aemilia,
for that was this lady's name, was accustomed to attend the
women's processions in great state, as sharing the life and
high fortune of Scipio. For besides the magnificence of her
dress and carriage, the baskets, cups, and such implements for
the sacrifice, which were carried in her train, were all of silver
or gold on great occasions; and the number of
maid-servants and other domestics that made
up her train was in proportion to this splendour.
All this establishment, immediately after Aemilia's funeral,
Scipio presented to his own mother, who had long before been
divorced by his father Lucius, and was badly off considering
the splendour of her birth.5
She had therefore in previous
years refrained from taking part in grand public processions;
but now; as there chanced to be an important state sacrifice,
she appeared surrounded with all the splendour and wealth
which had once been Aemilia's using among other things the
same muleteers, pair of mules, and carriage. The ladies, therefore, who saw it were much impressed by the kindness and
liberality of Scipio, and all raised their hands to heaven and
prayed for blessings upon him. This act, indeed, would be
thought honourable anywhere, but at Rome it was quite astonishing: for there no one ever thinks of giving any of his
private property to any one if he can help it. This was the
beginning of Scipio's reputation for nobility of character,
and it spread very widely,—for women are talkative and prone
to exaggeration whenever they feel warmly.
The next instance was his conduct to the daughters
Scipio's liberality to his cousins, sisters to his adoptive father.
of the Great Scipio, sisters to his adoptive
When he took the inheritance he was bound to pay them their portion. For their
father covenanted to give each of his two
daughters a marriage portion of fifty talents. Half of this their
mother paid down at once to their husbands, but left the
other half undischarged when she died. Now, the Roman
law enjoins the payment of money due to women as dowry
in three annual instalments, the personal outfit having been
first paid within ten months according to custom.7
Scipio instructed his banker at once to pay the twenty-five
talents to each within the ten months. When, therefore,
Tiberius Gracchus and Scipio Nasica, for they were the
husbands of these ladies, called on the banker at the expiration
of the ten months, and asked whether Scipio had given
him any instructions as to the money, he told them they
might have it at once, and proceeded to enter the transfer of
twenty-five talents to each.8
They then said that he had made
a mistake, for they had no claim for the whole as yet, but only
took a third according to the law; and upon the banker answering that such were his instructions from Scipio, they could not
believe him, and went to call on the young man, supposing
him to have made a mistake. And, indeed, their feelings
were natural: for at Rome, so far from paying fifty talents
three years in advance, no one will pay a single talent before
the appointed day; so excessively particular are they about
money, and so profitable do they consider time. However,
when they reached Scipio and asked him what instructions he
had given his banker, on his replying, "To pay both sisters the
whole sum due to them," they told him he had made a mistake;
and with a show of friendly regard pointed out to him that,
according to the laws, he had the use of the money for a considerable time longer. But Scipio replied that he was quite aware
of all that; but that close reckoning and legal exactness were
for strangers; with relations and friends he would do his best
to behave straightforwardly and liberally. He therefore bade
them draw on the banker for the whole sum. When Tiberius
and Nasica heard this they returned home in silence, quite
confounded at the magnanimity of Scipio, and condemning
themselves for meanness, though they were men of as high a
character as any at Rome.
Two years afterwards, when his natural father, Lucius
The liberality of Scipio to his brother and sisters, B. C. 160.
Aemilius, died, and left him and his brother
Fabius joint heirs to his property, he did an act
honourable to himself and worthy to be recorded. Lucius died without children in the
eyes of the law, for the two elder had been adopted into other
families, and the other sons, whom he was bringing up to be
the successors to himself and to continue his family, all died;9
he therefore left his property to these two. But Scipio, perceiving that his brother was worse off than himself, renounced
the whole of his share of the inheritance, though the property
was valued altogether at over sixty talents, with a view of thus
putting Fabius on an equality with himself in point of wealth.
This was much talked about; but he afterwards gave a still
clearer proof of his liberality. For when his brother wished
to give some gladiatorial games in honour of his father, but
was unable to support the expense, because of the enormous
costliness of such things, Scipio contributed half of this also
from his own pocket. Now the cost of such an exhibition,
if it is done on a large scale, does not amount in all to less
than thirty talents. While the fame of his liberality to his
mother was still fresh, she died; and so far from taking back
any part of the wealth he had recently bestowed on her, of
which I have just spoken, Scipio gave it and the entire
residue of his mother's property to his sisters,10
had no legal claim at all upon it. Accordingly his sisters
again adopted the splendour and retinue which Aemilia had
employed in the public processions; and once more the
liberality and family affection of Scipio were recalled to the
minds of the people.
With such recommendations dating from his earliest years,
Publius Scipio sustained the reputation for high morality and
good principles, which he had won by the expenditure of
perhaps sixty talents, for that was the sum which he bestowed
from his own property. And this reputation for goodness did
not depend so much on the amount of the money, as on
the seasonableness of the gift and the graciousness with which
it was bestowed. By his strict chastity, also, he not only
saved his purse, but by refraining from many irregular pleasures
he gained sound bodily health and a vigorous constitution,
which accompanied him through the whole of his life and
repaid him with many pleasures, and noble compensations for
the immediate pleasures from which he had formerly abstained.
Courage, however, is the most important element of
Scipio's physical strength and courage were confirmed by the exercise
of hunting in Macedonia, and his taste continued after his return to Rome, and was encouraged by Polybius.
character for public life in every country, but
especially in Rome: and he therefore was bound
to give all his most serious attention to it. In this
he was well seconded by Fortune also. For as
the Macedonian kings were especially eager
about hunting, and the Macedonians devoted
the most suitable districts to the preservation of game,
these places were carefully guarded during all the war time,
as they had been before, and yet had not been hunted the
whole of the four years owing to the public disturbances: the
consequence was that they were full of every kind of animal.
But when the war was decided, Lucius Aemilius, thinking that
hunting was the best training for body and courage his young
soldiers could have, put the royal huntsmen under the charge
of Scipio, and gave him entire authority over all matters connected with
the hunting. Scipio accepted the duty, and, looking upon himself as in a quasi-royal position, devoted his whole
time to this business, as long as the army remained in
Macedonia after the battle of Pydna. Having then ample
opportunity for following this kind of pursuit,
and being in the very prime of his youth and
naturally disposed to it, the taste for hunting which he acquired became permanent.
Accordingly when he returned to Rome, and
found his taste supported by a corresponding
enthusiasm on the part of Polybius, the time that other young
men spent in law courts and formal visits,11
haunting the Forum
and endeavouring thereby to ingratiate themselves with the
people, Scipio devoted to hunting; and, by continually displaying brilliant and memorable acts of prowess, won a greater
reputation than others, whose only chance of gaining credit was
by inflicting some damage on one of their fellow-citizens,—for
that was the usual result of these law proceedings. Scipio, on
the other hand, without inflicting annoyance on any one,
gained a popular reputation for manly courage, rivalling
eloquence by action. The result was that in a short time he
obtained a more decided superiority of position over his contemporaries, than any Roman is remembered to have done;
although he struck out a path for his ambition which, with a
view to Roman customs and ideas, was quite different from
that of others.
Scipio's Success Due to his Character
I have spoken somewhat at length on the character of
Scipio's subsequent success, therefore, was the natural result of his early conduct, and not the off-spring of chance.
Scipio, because I thought that such a story
would be agreeable to the older, and useful to
the younger among my readers. But especially
because I wished to make what I have to tell
in my following books appear credible; that
no one may feel any difficulty because of the
apparent strangeness of what happened to this man; nor
deprive him of the credit of achievements which were the
natural consequences of his prudence, and attribute them to
Fortune and chance. I must now return from this digression
to the regular course of my history. . . .
Athens, Delos, Dalmatia, And Aetolia
Thearidas and Stephanus conducted a mission from
The Delians having been allowed to leave their island with "all their property,"
found many occasions of legal disputes with the Athenians, to whom the island was granted.
See 30, 21. They remove to Achaia, and sue the Athenians under the Achaean convention. Roman decision against Athens.
Athens and the Achaeans on the matter of the
reprisals. For when the Delians were ordered, in
answer to an embassy to Rome after Delos had
been granted to Athens, to depart from the island,
but to take all their goods with them, they removed to Achaia; and having been enrolled as
citizens of the league, wished to have their claims
upon the Athenians decided, according to the
convention existing between the Achaeans and
Athens. But, on the Athenians denying that
they had any right to plead under that agreement, the Delians demanded from the Achaeans
license to make reprisals on the Athenians.
The latter, therefore, sent an embassy to Rome
on these points, and were answered that decisions
made by the Achaeans according to their laws concerning the
Delians were to be binding. . . .
Issa Complains of Raids by the Dalmations
The people of Issa having often sent embassies to
Piracies of the Dalmatians on the island of Issa, B. C. 158.
Rome, complaining that the Dalmatians damaged
their territory and the cities subject to them,—
meaning thereby Epetium and Tragyrium,—and
the Daorsi also bringing similar complaints, the
Senate sent a commission under Gaius Fannius to inspect
the state of Illyria, with special reference to the Dalmatians.
This people had been subject to Pleuratus as long as he was
alive; but when he died, and was succeeded on the throne
by Genthius, they revolted, overran the bordering territories,
and reduced the neighbouring cities, some of which even paid
them a tribute of cattle and corn. So Fannius and his colleague started on their mission. . . .
Death of Lyciscus
Lyciscus the Aetolian was a factious turbulent agitator, and directly he was killed the Aetolians
from that hour lived harmoniously and at peace
with each other, simply from the removal of
one man. Such decisive influence has character in human
affairs, that we find not only armies and cities, but also
national leagues and whole divisions of the world, experiencing
the greatest miseries and the greatest blessings through the
vice or virtue of one man. . . .
Though he was a man of the worst character, Lyciscus
ended his life by an honourable death; and accordingly, most
people with some reason reproach Fortune for sometimes
giving to the worst of men what is the prize of the good—an
easy death. . . .
Tyranny of Charops in Epirus
There was a great change for the better in Aetolia
Death of Charops, B. C. 157.
when the civil war was stopped after the death of Lyciscus;
and in Boeotia when Mnasippus of Coronea died; and similarly
in Acarnania when Chremas was got out of the way. Greece
was as though purified by the removal from
life of those accursed pests of the country.
For in the same year Charops of Epirus
chanced to die at Brundisium.
The tyranny of Charops in Epirus
Affairs in Epirus had been
still in disorder and confusion as before, owing
to the cruelty and tyranny of Charops, ever
since the end of the war with Perseus.
after the battle of Pydna, B. C. 168-157.
Lucius Anicius having condemned some of the
leading men in the country to death, and transported all others to Rome against whom there was the slightest
suspicion, Charops at once got complete power to do what he
chose; and thereupon committed every possible act of cruelty,
sometimes personally, at others by the agency of his friends:
for he was quite a young man himself, and was quickly joined
by a crowd of the worst and most unprincipled persons, who
gathered round him for the sake of plunder from other people.
But what protected him and inclined people to believe that he
was acting on a fixed design, and in accordance with the will
of the Romans, was his former intimacy with them, and the support of the old man Myrton and his son Nicanor. These two
had the character of being men of moderation and on good
terms with the Romans; but though up to that time they had
been widely removed from all suspicion of injustice, they now
gave themselves up wholly to support and share in the lawless
acts of Charops. This man, after murdering some openly in
the market-place, others in their own houses, others by sending secret assassins to waylay them in the fields or on the
roads, and selling the property of all whom he had thus
killed, thought of another device.
He extorts money from the rich under threat of exile.
He put up
lists of such men and women as were rich, condemning them to exile; and having held out
this threat, he extracted money out of them,
making the bargain himself with the men, and by the
agency of his mother Philotis with the women; for this lady
was well suited to the task, and for any act of violence was
even more helpful than could have been expected in a
Charops of Epirus
When he and his mother had thus got all the money
The people of Phoenice terrified or cajoled into supporting him.
they could out of these persons, they none the
less caused all the proscribed to be impeached
before the people; and the majority in Phoenice, partly from fear and partly induced by
the baits held out by Charops and his friends, condemned
all thus impeached, for being ill-disposed to Rome, to death
instead of banishment. These men, however, fled while
Charops visited Rome, whither he went with money, and
accompanied by Myrton and Nicanor, wishing to get a seal of
approval put to his wickedness by means of the Senate.
Charops goes to Rome, but is forbidden by the leading nobles to enter their houses,
that occasion a very honourable proof was given
of Roman principles; and a spectacle was displayed exceedingly gratifying to the Greeks
residing in Rome, especially the detenus.
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, who was Pontifex
Maximus and Princeps Senatus, and Lucius Aemilius, the
conqueror of Perseus, a man of the highest credit and influence, learning what had been done by Charops in Epirus,
refused to admit him into their houses. This becoming
much talked about, the foreign residents in Rome were exceedingly rejoiced, and observed with pleasure that the
Romans discountenanced evil.
and repudiated by the Senate.
And on Charops
being afterwards admitted to the Senate-house,
the Senate refused to consent to his demands,
but answered that "They would give instructions to commissioners to examine into what had taken place."
He suppresses the reply of the Senate.
Charops returned home he entirely suppressed
this reply; and having written one to suit his
own ideas, gave out that the Romans approved
of what had been done by him. . . .
Character of Eumenes
King Eumenes was entirely broken in bodily strength,
Death and character of Eumenes, B. C. 159.
but still maintained his brilliancy of mind. He
was a man who in most things was the equal of
any king of his time; and in those which were
the most important and honourable, was greater and more
illustrious than them all.
He raised his kingdom to the first rank;
First, he succeeded his father in a kingdom reduced to a
very few insignificant cities; and he raised it to
the level of the largest dynasties of his day. And it was not
chance which contributed to this, or a mere sudden catastrophe, it was his own acuteness, indefatigable industry, and
was exceedingly bountiful;
Again, he was exceedingly
ambitious of establishing a good reputation,
and showed it by doing good services to a very
large number of cities, and enriching privately a great many
men. And in the third place, he had three brothers grown
up and active, and he kept all four of them loyal to himself,
and acting as guards of his person and preservers
of the kingdom: and that is a thing of which
there are very rare instances in history. . . .
and was loyally served by four brothers.
On succeeding his brother Eumenes on the throne, Attalus
Attalus restores Ariarathes.
at once gave a specimen of his principles and activity by restoring Ariarathes to his kingdom.12
. . .
War With the Dalmatians
When the envoys under Fannius returned from Illyria,
Fannius and his colleagues roughly treated by the Dalmatians, B. C. 157.
and reported that, so far from the Dalmatians
making any restitution to those who asserted
that they were being continually wronged by
them, they refused even to listen to the commissioners at all, saying that they had nothing
to do with the Romans. Besides, they reported that no
lodging or entertainment of any sort had been supplied to
them; but that the very horses, which they had procured from
another city, the Dalmatians had forcibly taken from them;
and would have laid violent hands upon themselves, if they
had not yielded to necessity and retired as quietly as they
The Senate decide on declaring war with the Dalmatians.
The Senate listened attentively to the
report; they were exceedingly angry at the
disobedience and rudeness of the Dalmatians,
but their prevailing feeling was that the present time was a
suitable one for declaring war against this people for more
reasons than one. For, in the first place, the coasts of Illyria
towards Italy had been entirely neglected by them ever since
they had expelled Demetrius of Pharos; and, in the next
place, they did not wish their own citizens to become enervated by a long-continued peace; for it was now the twelfth
year since the war with Perseus and the campaigns in Macedonia.
They therefore planned
that, by declaring war against the Dalmatians, they would at
once renew as it were the warlike spirit and enterprise of their
own people, and terrify the Illyrians into obedience to their
injunctions. Such were the motives of the Romans for going
to war with the Dalmatians. But to the world at large they
gave out that they had determined on war owing to the insults
offered to their legates. . . .
Ariarathes Arrives in Rome
King Ariarathes arrived in Rome in the course of the
B. C. 157. Coss. Sext. Julius Caesar, L. Aurelius Orestes.
And when Sextus Julius Caesar and
his colleague had entered on their consulship,
the king visited them privately, presenting in his
personal appearance a striking picture of the
dangers with which he was surrounded.
Ambassadors also arrived from Demetrius, headed by
Miltiades, prepared to act in two capacities—to defend the
conduct of Demetrius in regard to Ariarathes, and to accuse
that king with the utmost bitterness. Orophernes also had
sent Timotheus and Diogenes to represent him, conveying a
crown for Rome, and charged to renew the friendship and
alliance of Cappadocia with the Romans; but, above all, to
confront Ariarathes, and both to answer his accusations and
bring their own against him. In these private interviews
Diogenes and Miltiades and their colleagues made a better
show, because they were many to one in the controversy;
besides their personal appearance was better than that of
Ariarathes, for they were at present on the winning side
and he had failed. They had also the advantage of him, in
making their statement of the case, that they were entirely
unscrupulous, and cared nothing whatever about the truth of
their words; and what they said could not be confuted,
because there was no one to take the other side. So their
lying statements easily prevailed, and they thought everything
was going as they wished. . . .
Orophernes, Attalus, And Prusias
After reigning for a short time in Cappadocia in utter contempt of the customs of his
The evil rule of Orophernes.
country, Orophernes introduced the organised
debaucheries of Ionia.14
. . .
It has happened to not a few, from the desire for increasing their wealth, to lose their life along with their money. It
was from being captivated by such passions that Orophernes,
king of Cappadocia, perished and was expelled from his kingdom. But having briefly narrated the restoration of this king
(Ariarathes), I will now bring back my narrative to its regular
course; for at present I have, to the exclusion of Greek
affairs, selected from those of Asia the events connected with
Cappadocia out of their proper order, because it was impossible to separate the voyage of Ariarathes from Italy from
his restoration to his kingdom.15
I will therefore now go back
to the history of Greece during this period, in which a peculiar
and extraordinary affair took place in regard to the city of
Oropus, of which I will give the whole story from beginning
to end, going both backward and forward in point of time,
that I may not render the history of an episode which was
made up of separate events, and was not on the whole important, still more insignificant and indistinct by relating it
under different years. For when an event as a whole does
not appear to readers to be worth attention, I cannot certainly
expect a student to follow its details scattered at intervals
through my history.16
. . .
For the most part when things go well men generally get
on together; but in times of failure, in their annoyance at
events, they become sore and irritable with their friends. And
this is what happened to Orophernes, when his affairs began
to take a wrong turn in his relations with Theotimus,—both
indulging in mutual recriminations. . . .
The Senate Receives Ambassadors from Epirus
Ambassadors having arrived from Epirus about this
B. C. 156. Coss. L. Cornelius Lentulus, C. Marcius Figulus II.
time, sent both from those who were in actual
possession of Phoenice and from those who
had been banished from it; and both parties
having made their statement in presence of
each other, the Senate answered that they would
give instructions on this point to the commissioners that were
about to be sent into Illyria with Gaius Marcius the Consul.17
. . .
Prusias Destroys the Nicephorium
After defeating Attalus, and advancing to Pergamum,
Prusias, king of Bithynia, attacks Attalus of Pergamum.
Prusias prepared a magnificent sacrifice and
brought it to the sacred enclosure of Asclepius,
and after offering the victims, and having
obtained favourable omens, went back into his
camp for that day; but on the next he directed his forces
against the Nicephorium, and destroyed all the temples and
sacred enclosures, and plundered all the statues of men and
the marble images of the gods. Finally he carried off the
statue of Asclepius also, an admirably executed work of
Phyromachus, and transferred it to his own country,—the
very image before which the day before he had poured
libations and offered sacrifice; desiring, it would seem, that
the god might in every way be propitious and
favourable to him.
I have spoken of such
proceedings before, when discoursing on Philip, as sheer
insanity. For at one time to offer sacrifice, and endeavour to
propitiate heaven by their means, worshipping and uttering the
most earnest prayers before holy tables and altars, as Prusias
was wont to do, with bendings of the knee and effeminate
prostrations, and at the same time to violate these sacred
objects and to flout heaven by their destruction,—can we ascribe
such conduct to anything but a mind disordered and a spirit lost
to sober reason? I am sure this was the case with Prusias:
for he led his army off to Elaea, without having performed a
single act of manly courage in the course of his attempts on
Pergamum, and after treating everything human and divine
with petty and effeminate spite.
Elaea on the Casius, the port of Pergamum.
He attempted to take Elaea,
and made some assaults upon it; but being
unable to effect anything, owing to Sosander,
the king's foster-brother, having thrown himself
into the town with an army and repelling his assaults, he
marched off towards Thyateira. In the course of his march,
he plundered the temple of Artemis in the Holy village; and
the sacred enclosure of Apollo Cynneius at Temnus18
he not only plundered but destroyed by fire. After these
achievements he returned home, having waged war against
the gods as well as against men. But Prusias's infantry also
suffered severely from famine and dysentery on their return
march, so that the wrath of heaven appears to have quickly
visited him for these crimes.19
. . .
Prusias and Attalus
After his defeat by Prusias Attalus appointed his
Attalus sends his brother to Rome.
brother Athenaeus to accompany Publius Lentulus to Rome to inform the Senate of what
had happened. At Rome they had not paid
much attention when a previous messenger named Andronicus
had come from Attalus, with news of the original invasion;
because they suspected that Attalus wished to attack Prusias
himself, and was therefore getting up a case against him beforehand, and trying to prejudice him in their eyes by these
accusations; and when Nicomedes and some
ambassadors from Prusias, headed by Antiphilus, arrived and protested that there was not
a word of truth in the statement, the Senate
was still more incredulous of what had been
said about Prusias.
Prusias had sent his son Nicomedes and some ambassadors to represent his case at Rome.
But when after a time the real truth was
made known, the Senate still felt uncertain,
and sent Lucius Apuleius and Gaius Petronius
to investigate what was the state of the case in
regard to these two kings.
The Senate send fresh commissioners to investigate.