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Character of Prusias II

King Prusias was exceedingly repulsive in personal appearance, though his reasoning powers were somewhat superior: but externally he seemed only half a man, and was cowardly and effeminate in all matters pertaining to war. For not only was he timid, but he was averse to all hardships, and in a word was utterly unmanned in mind and body throughout his whole life; qualities which all the world object to in kings, but the Bithynians above all people. Moreover, he was also exceedingly dissolute in regard to sensual pleasures; was completely without education or philosophy, or any of the knowledge which they embrace; and had not the remotest idea of what virtue is. He lived the barbaric life of a Sardanapallus day and night. Accordingly, directly his subjects got the least hope of being able to do so, they conceived an implacable resolution not only to throw off allegiance to the king, but to press for vengeance upon him.1 . . .

1 Prusias was killed at Pergamum by his son Nicomedes with the connivance of Attalus (Livy, Ep. 50).

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