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. . . .