[Including Book XL, of Dindorf's Text.]
Variety Is Pleasing
I AM fully aware that some will be found to criticise my
A defence of the historian's method of parallel histories of several countries, each kept up to date.
work, on the ground that my narrative of events
is incomplete and disconnected; beginning, for
instance, the story of the siege of Carthage, and
then leaving it half told, and interrupting the
stream of my history, I pass over to Greek
affairs, and from them to Macedonian or
Syrian, or some other history; whereas students require continuity, and desire to hear the end of a subject; for the combination of pleasure and profit is thus more completely secured.
But I do not think this: I hold exactly the reverse. And as
a witness to the correctness of my opinion I might appeal to
nature herself, who is never satisfied with the same things
continuously in any of the senses, but is ever inclined to
change; and, even if she is satisfied with the same things,
wishes to have them at intervals and in diversity of circumstance. This may be illustrated first by the sense of hearing,
which is never gratified either in music or recitations by a continuance of the same strains or subjects; it is the varied style,
and, in a word, whatever is broken up into intervals and has the
most marked and frequent changes, that gives it pleasurable
excitement. Similarly one may notice that the palate can
never remain gratified by the same meats, however costly, but
grows to feel a loathing for them, and delights in changes of
diet, and often prefers plain to rich food merely for the sake of
variety. The same may be noticed as to the sight: it is quite
incapable of remaining fixed on the same object, but it is a
variety and change of objects that excites it. And this is more
than all the case with the mind; for changes in the objects of
attention and study act as rests to laborious men.
Digressions in History
Accordingly the most learned of the ancient historians
have, as it seems to me, taken intervals of rest in this way:
some by digressions on myths and tales, and others by
digressions on historical facts,—not confining themselves to
Greek history, but introducing disquisitions on points of foreign
history as well. As, for instance, when, in the course of a history
of Thessaly and the campaigns of Alexander of Pherae, they
introduce an account of the attempts of the Lacedaemonians
in the Peloponnese; or those made by the Athenians; or actions
which took place in Macedonia or Illyria: and then break off
into an account of the expedition of Iphicrates into Egypt, and
the iniquitous deeds of Clearchus in the Pontus. This will
show you that these historians all employ this method; but,
whereas they employ it without any system, I do so on a
regular system. For these men, after mentioning, for instance,
that Bardylis, king of the Illyrians, and Cersobleptes, king
of the Thracians, established their dynasties, neither go on
continuously with the stories nor return to them after an
interval to take them up where they left off, but, treating them
like an episode in a poem, they go back to their original subject.
But I made a careful division of all the most important countries
in the world and the course of their several histories; pursued
exactly the same plan in regard to the order of taking the several
divisions; and, moreover, arranged the history of each year in
the respective countries, carefully keeping to the limits of the
time: and the result is that I have made the transition backwards and forwards between my continuous narrative and the
continually recurring interruptions easy and obvious to students,
so that an attentive reader need never miss anything. . . .
After various operations during the autumn of B. C. 147, the
upshot of which was to put the whole of the open country in
Roman hands, in the beginning of spring B. C. 146, Scipio delivered
his final attack on Carthage, taking first the quarter of the merchants' harbour, then the war harbour, and then the market-place.
There only remained the streets leading to the Byrsa and the
Byrsa itself. Appian, Pun. 123-126. Livy, Ep. 51.
Scipio Intends to Fight
Having got within the walls, while the Carthaginians
The fall of Carthage, B. C. 146 (spring). Scipio within the walls of Carthage.
still held out on the citadel, Scipio found that
the arm of the sea which intervened was not
at all deep; and upon Polybius advising him to
set it with iron spikes or drive sharp wooden stakes into it, to
prevent the enemy crossing it and attacking the
he said that, having taken the walls
and got inside the city, it would be ridiculous
to take measures to avoid fighting the enemy. . . .
Fall of Carthage
The pompous Hasdrubal threw himself on his knees
before the Roman commander, quite forgetful of his proud
language. . . .
When the Carthaginian commander thus threw himself as a
suppliant at Scipio's knees, the proconsul with a glance at those
present said: "See what Fortune is, gentlemen! What an
example she makes of irrational men! This is the Hasdrubal
who but the other day disdained the large favours which I offered
him, and said that the most glorious funeral pyre was one's
country and its burning ruins. Now he comes with suppliant
wreaths, beseeching us for bare life and resting all his hopes on
us. Who would not learn from such a spectacle that a mere
man should never say or do anything presumptuous?" Then
some of the deserters came to the edge of the roof and begged
the front ranks of the assailants to hold their hands for a
little; and, on Scipio ordering a halt, they began abusing
Hasdrubal, some for his perjury, declaring that he had sworn
again and again on the altars that he would never abandon
them, and others for his cowardice and utter baseness: and
they did this in the most unsparing language, and with the
bitterest terms of abuse. And just at this moment Hasdrubal's
wife, seeing him seated in front of the enemy with Scipio,
advanced in front of the deserters, dressed in noble and dignified
attire herself, but holding in her hands, on either side, her two
boys dressed only in short tunics and shielded under her own
First she addressed Hasdrubal by his name, and when
he said nothing but remained with his head bowed to the ground,
she began by calling on the name of the gods, and next thanked
Scipio warmly because, as far as he could secure it, both she
and her children were saved.3
And then, pausing for a short
time, she asked Hasdrubal how he had had the heart to secure
this favour from the Roman general for himself alone, . . .
and, leaving his fellow-citizens who trusted in him in the most
miserable plight, had gone over secretly to the enemy? And
how he had the assurance to be sitting there holding suppliant
boughs, in the face of the very men to whom he had frequently
said that the day would never come in which the sun would see
Hasdrubal alive and his native city in flames. . . .
Hasdrubal's wife finally threw herself and children from the
citadel into the burning streets. Livy, Ep. 51.
After an interview with [Scipio], in which he was kindly
treated, Hasdrubal desired leave to go away from the town. . . .
Diaeus Succeeds Critolaus
At the sight of the city utterly perishing amidst the
flames Scipio burst into tears, and stood long reflecting on the
inevitable change which awaits cities, nations, and dynasties,
one and all, as it does every one of us men. This, he
thought, had befallen Ilium, once a powerful city, and the
once mighty empires of the Assyrians, Medes, Persians, and
that of Macedonia lately so splendid. And unintentionally or
purposely he quoted,—the words perhaps escaping him unconsciously,—4
“"The day shall be when holy Troy shall fall
And Priam, lord of spears, and Priam's folk."
And on my asking him boldly (for I had been his tutor) what
he meant by these words, he did not name Rome distinctly,
but was evidently fearing for her, from this sight of the
mutability of human affairs. . . .
Another still more remarkable saying of his I may record. . .
[When he had given the order for firing the town] he immediately
turned round and grasped me by the hand and said:
"O Polybius, it is a grand thing, but, I know not how, I feel
a terror and dread, lest some one should one day give the same
order about my own native city." . . . Any observation more
practical or sensible it is not easy to make. For in the midst
of supreme success for one's self and of disaster for the enemy,
to take thought of one's own position and of the possible reverse
which may come, and in a word to keep well in mind in the
midst of prosperity the mutability of Fortune, is the characteristic of a great man, a man free from weaknesses and worthy
to be remembered. . . .
After the rejection of the orders conveyed by the legates of
Metellus (38, 11), Critolaus collected the Achaean levies at
Corinth, under the pretext of going to war with Sparta; but he
soon induced the league to declare themselves openly at war with
Rome. He was encouraged by the adhesion of the Boeotarch
Pytheas, and of the Chalcidians. The Thebans were the readier
to join him because they had lately been ordered by Metellus, as
arbiter in the disputes, to pay fines to the Phocians, Euboeans,
and Amphissians. When news of these proceedings reached
Rome in the spring of B. C. 146, the consul Mummius was ordered
to lead a fleet and army against Achaia. But Metellus in
Macedonia wished to have the credit of settling the matter himself; he therefore sent envoys to the Achaeans ordering them to
release from the league the towns already named by the Senate
viz. Sparta, Corinth, Argos, Heracleia, and Orchomenus in
Arcadia, and advanced with his army from Macedonia through
Thessaly by the coast road, skirting the Sinus Maliacus.
Critolaus was already engaged in besieging Heraclea Oetea, to
compel it to return to its obedience to the league, and when his
scouts informed him of the approach of Metellus, he retreated to
Scarphea on the coast of Locris, some miles south of the pass of
Thermopylae. But before he could get into Scarphea Metellus
caught him up, killed a large number of his men, and took one
thousand prisoners. Critolaus himself disappeared; Pausanias
seems to imagine that he was drowned in the salt marshes of
the coast, but Livy says that he poisoned himself. Pausanias, 7.14-15. Livy, Ep. 52. Orosius, 5, 3.
Character of Pytheas
Pytheas was a brother of Acatidas the runner, and son
Character of the Boeotarch Pytheas.
of Cleomenes. He had led an evil life, and
was reported to have wasted the flower of his
youth in unnatural debauchery. In political life
also he was audacious and grasping, and had been supported
by Eumenes and Philataerus for these very reasons. . . .
Diaeus Becomes Strategus
Critolaus the Achaean Strategus being dead, and the law
On the death of Critolaus (spring of B. C. 146) Diaeus succeeds as Strategus.
providing that, in case of such an event befalling the existing Strategus, the Strategus of the
previous year should succeed to the office until
the regular congress of the league should meet,
it fell to Diaeus to conduct the business of the
league and take the head of affairs. Accordingly, after sending
forward some troops to Megara,5
he went himself to Argos;
and from that place sent a circular letter to all
the towns ordering them to set free their slaves
who were of military age, and who had been
born and brought up in their houses, and send them furnished
with arms to Corinth.
He orders the arming of 10,000 slaves,
He assigned the numbers to be furnished
by the several towns quite at random and without any regard
to equality, just as he did everything else. Those who had
not the requisite number of home-bred slaves were to fill up
the quota imposed on each town from other slaves.
a special contribution by the rich,
seeing that the public poverty was very great,
owing to the war with the Lacedaemonians, he
compelled the richer classes, men and women
alike, to make promises of money and furnish separate contributions.
and a general levy of the freemen of military age.
At the same time he ordered a levy en
masse at Corinth of all men of military age. The
result of these measures was that every city was
full of confusion, commotion, and despair: they
deemed those fortunate who had already perished in the war,
and pitied those who were now starting to take part in it; and
everybody was in tears as though they foresaw only too well
what was going to happen. They were especially annoyed at
the insolent demeanour and neglect of their duties on the part
of the slaves,—airs which they assumed as having been recently
liberated, or, in the case of others, because they were excited
by the prospect of freedom. Moreover the men were compelled
to make their contribution contrary to their own views, according to the property they were reputed to possess; while the
women had to do so, by taking the ornaments of their own
persons or of their children, to what seemed deliberately meant
for their destruction.
Confusion and Terror in Greece
As these measures came all at once, the dismay caused
by the hardship of each individually prevented people from
attending to or grasping the general question; or they must
have foreseen that they were all being led on to secure the
certain destruction of their wives and children. But, as though
caught in the rush of some winter torrent and carried on by
its irresistible violence, they followed the infatuation and
madness of their leader.
The Eleians and Messenians do not move.
The Eleians and
Messenians indeed did not stir, in terror of the
Roman fleet; for nothing could have saved them
if the storm had burst when it was originally intended.
people of Patrae, and of the towns which were
leagued with it, had a short time before suffered
disasters in Phocis;6
and their case was much the most pitiable
one of all the Peloponnesian cities: for some of them sought
a voluntary death; others fled from their towns through deserted
parts of the country, with no definite aim in their wanderings, from
the panic prevailing in the towns. Some arrested and delivered
each other to the enemy, as having been hostile to Rome; others
hurried to give information and bring accusations, although no
one asked for any such service as yet; while others went to
meet the Romans with suppliant branches, confessing their
treason, and asking what penance they were to pay, although as
yet no one was asking for any account of such things.
The distracted state of Greece.
whole country seemed to be under an evil spell:
everywhere people were throwing themselves
down wells or over precipices; and so dreadful
was the state of things, that as the proverb has it "even an
enemy would have pitied" the disaster of Greece. For in
times past the Greeks had met with reverses or indeed complete
disaster, either from internal dissensions or from treacherous
attacks of despots; but in the present instance it was from
the folly of their leaders and their own unwisdom that they
experienced the grievous misfortunes which befell them.
Thebans also, abandoning their city en masse,
left it entirely empty; and among the rest
Pytheas retired to the Peloponnese, with his
wife and children, and there wandered about the country.7
. . .
He came upon the enemy much to his surprise. But to my
mind the proverb, "the reckonings of the foolish are foolishness"
applies to him. And naturally to such men things clear as
day come as a surprise. . . .
He was even forming plans for getting back home, acting
very like a man who, not having learnt to swim and being
about to plunge into the sea, should not consider the question
of taking the plunge; but, having taken it, should begin to
consider how he is to swim to land. . . .
Having secured Boeotia, Metellus advanced to Megara, where
the Achaean Alcamenes had been posted by Diaeus with five
thousand men. Alcamenes hastily evacuated Megara and rejoined Diaeus at Corinth, the latter having meanwhile been reelected Strategus. Pausanias, 7, 15, 10.
Diaeus Rejects Metellus's Offers
Diaeus having recently come to Corinth after being
Diaeus at Corinth rejects all offers sent by Metellus, August, B. C. 146,
appointed Strategus by the vote of the people,
Andronidas and others came from Caecilius
Metellus. Against these men he spread a report
that they were in alliance with the enemy, and
gave them up to the mob, who seized on them with great violence
and threw them into chains. Philo of Thessaly also came
bringing many liberal offers to the Achaeans. And on hearing
them, certain of the men of the country attempted to secure
their acceptance; among whom was Stratius, now a very old
man, who clung to Diaeus's knees and entreated him to yield to
the offers of Metellus. But he and his party would not listen
to Philo's proposals. For the fact was that they did not believe
that the amnesty would embrace them with the rest; and, as
they regarded their own advantage and personal security as of
the highest importance, they spoke as they did, and directed
all their measures on the existing state of affairs
to this end: although, as a matter of fact, they
failed entirely to secure these objects.
because he and his party do not believe that they will ever be amnestied with the rest.
For as they
understood quite clearly the gravity of what they
had done, they could not believe they would obtain any mercy from Rome; and as to enduring
nobly whatever should befall on behalf of their country and the
safety of the people, that they never once took into consideration; yet that was the course becoming men who cared for
glory, and professed to be the leaders of Greece. But indeed
how or whence was it likely that such a lofty idea should occur
to these men? The members of this conclave were Diaeus
and Damocritus, who had but recently been recalled from exile
owing to the disturbed state of the times, and with them
Alcamenes, Theodectes and Archicrates; and of these last I
have already stated at length who they were, and have described their character, policy, and manner of life.
Safety In Swift Ruin
Such being the men with whom the decision rested,
Cruel death of Sosicrates.
the determination arrived at was what was to
be expected. They not only imprisoned Andronidas and Lagius and their friends, but even
the sub-Strategus Sosicrates, on the charge of his having
presided at a council and given his voting for sending an
embassy to Caecilius Metellus, and in fact of having been the
cause of all their misfortunes. Next day they empanelled
judges to try them; condemned Sosicrates to death; and
having bound him racked him till he died, without however
inducing him to say anything that they expected: but they
acquitted Lagius, Andronidas and Archippus, partly because
the people were scared at the lawless proceeding against
Sosicrates, and partly because Diaeus got a talent from
Andronidas and forty minae from Archippus; for this man
could not relax his usual shameless and abandoned principles
in this particular even "in the very pit,"8
as the saying is. He
had acted with similar cruelty a short time before also in
regard to Philinus of Corinth. For on a charge of his holding
communication with Menalcidas9
and favouring the Roman
cause, he caused Philinus and his sons to be flogged and
racked in each other's sight, and did not desist until the boys
and Philinus were all dead. When such madness and ferocity
was infecting everybody, as it would not be easy to parallel even
among barbarians, it would be clearly very natural to ask why
the whole nation did not utterly perish.
Greece is saved by the rapidity of her ruin.
part, I think that Fortune displayed her resources
and skill in resisting the folly and madness of
the leaders; and, being determined at all hazards to save the
Achaeans, like a good wrestler, she had recourse to the only
trick left; and that was to bring down and conquer the Greeks
quickly, as in fact she did. For it was owing to this that the
wrath and fury of the Romans did not blaze out farther; that
the army of Libya did not come to Greece; and that these
leaders, being such men as I have described, did not have an
opportunity, by gaining a victory, of displaying their wickedness
upon their countrymen. For what it was likely that they
would have done to their own people, if they had got any
ground of vantage or obtained any success, may be reasonable inferred from what has already been said. And indeed
everybody at the time had the proverb on his lips, "had we
not perished quickly we had not been saved."10
. . .
Fall of Corinth
Aulus Postumius deserves some special notice from us
Character of Aulus Postumius Albinus.
here. He was a member of a family and gens
of the first rank, but in himself was garrulous and wordy, and exceedingly ostentatious.
From his boyhood he had a great leaning to Greek studies
and literature: but he was so immoderate and affected in
this pursuit, that owing to him the Greek style became
offensive to the elder and most respectable men at Rome.
Finally he attempted to write a poem and a formal history
in Greek, in the preface to which he desired his readers
to excuse him if, being a Roman, he could not completely
command the Greek idiom or method in the handling
of the subject. To whom M. Porcius Cato made a very
pertinent answer. "I wonder," said he, "on what grounds
you make such a demand. If the Amphictyonic council had
charged you to write the history, you might perhaps have been
forced to allege this excuse and ask for this consideration.
But to write it of your own accord, when there was no compulsion to do so, and then to demand consideration, if you
should happen to write had Greek, is quite unreasonable. It
is something like a man entering for the boxing match or
pancratium in the public games, and, when he comes into the
stadium, and it is his turn to fight, begging the spectators to
pardon him 'if he is unable to stand the fatigue or the blows.'
Such a man of course would be laughed at and condemned at
And this is what such historiographers should experience, to prevent them spoiling a good thing by their rash presumption. Similarly, in the rest of his life, he had imitated all the
worst points in Greek fashions; for he was fond of pleasure and
averse from toil. And this may be illustrated from his conduct
in the present campaign: for being among the first to enter
Greece at the time that the battle in Phocis took place, he retired
to Thebes on the pretence of illness, in order to avoid taking
part in the engagement; but, when the battle was ended, he
was the first to write to the Senate announcing the victory,
entering into every detail as though he had himself been
present at the conflict. . . .
On the arrival of the Consul Mummius, Metellus was sent
back into Macedonia. Mummius was accompanied by L. Aurelius Orestes, who had been
nearly murdered in the riot at Corinth (38, 7),
and, pitching his camp in the Isthmus, was joined
by allies who raised his army to three thousand five
hundred cavalry and twenty-six thousand infantry. The
Achaeans made a sudden attack upon them and gained a
slight success, which was a few days afterwards revenged
by a signal defeat. Instead of retiring into Corinth, and
from that stronghold making some terms with Mummius,
Diaeus fled to Megalopolis, where he poisoned himself, after first
killing his wife. The rest of the beaten Achaean army took
refuge in Corinth, which Mummius took and fired on the third
day after the battle with Diaeus. Then the commissioners were
sent from Rome to settle the whole of Greece. Pausanias, 7,
16-17; Livy, Ep. 52.
B. C. 146. Coss. Cn. Cornelius Lentulus, L. Mummius.
Destruction of Art in Corinth
The incidents of the capture of Corinth were melancholy. The soldiers cared nothing for the
The destruction of the works of art in Corinth, September, B. C. 146.
works of art and the consecrated statues. I
saw with my own eyes pictures thrown on the
ground and soldiers playing dice on them; among
them was a picture of Dionysus by Aristeides—in reference
to which they say that the proverbial saying arose, "Nothing
to the Dionysus,"—and the Hercules tortured by the shirt of
Deianeira. . . .
Respect for Philopoemen
Owing to the popular reverence for the memory of
Philopoemen, they did not take down the statues of him in
the various cities. So true is it, as it seems to me, that every
genuine act of virtue produces in the mind of those who
benefit by it an affection which it is difficult to efface. . . .
One might fairly, therefore, use the common saying: "He
has been foiled not at the door, but in the road." . . .12
There were many statues of Philopoemen, and many
erections in his honour, voted by the several
cities; and a Roman at the time of the disaster
which befell Greece at Corinth, wished to abolish
them all and to formally indict him, laying an information
against him, as though he were still alive, as an enemy and illwisher to Rome. But after a discussion, in which Polybius
spoke against this sycophant, neither Mummius nor the commissioners would consent to abolish the honours of an illustrious man. . . .
Polybius, in an elaborate speech, conceived in the spirit of
Speech of Polybius defending the memory of Philopoemen.
what has just been said, maintained the cause of
Philopoemen. His arguments were that "This
man had indeed been frequently at variance with
the Romans on the matter of their injunctions,
but he only maintained his opposition so far as to inform and
persuade them on the points in dispute; and even that he did
not do without serious cause. He gave a genuine proof of his
loyal policy and gratitude, by a test as it were of fire, in the
periods of the wars with Philip and Antiochus. For, possessing
at those times the greatest influence of any one in Greece, from
his personal power as well as that of the Achaeans, he preserved
his friendship for Rome with the most absolute fidelity, having
joined in the vote of the Achaeans in virtue of which, four
months before the Romans crossed from Italy, they levied
a war from their own territory upon Antiochus and the
Aetolians, when nearly all the other Greeks had become
estranged from the Roman friendship." Having listened to
this speech and approved of the speaker's view, the ten commissioners granted that the complimentary erections to Philopoemen in the several cities should be allowed to remain.
Acting on this pretext, Polybius begged of the Consul the
statues of Achaeus, Aratus, and Philopoemen, though they
had already been transported to Acarnania from the Peloponnese: in gratitude for which action people set up a marble
statue of Polybius himself.13
. . .
Roman Settlement of Greece
After the settlement made by the ten commissioners
Polybius will have no confiscated goods.
in Achaia, they directed the Quaestor, who was
to superintend the selling of Diaeus's property, to
allow Polybius to select anything he chose
from the goods and present it to him as a free gift, and to
sell the rest to the highest bidders. But, so far from accepting any such present, Polybius urged his friends not to covet
anything whatever of the goods sold by the Quaestor anywhere:—for he was going a round of the cities and selling the
property of all those who had been partisans of Diaeus, as
well of such as had been condemned, except those who left
children or parents. Some of these friends did not take his
advice; but those who did follow it earned a most excellent
reputation among their fellow-citizens.
Polybius Supports the Constitution
After completing these arrangements in six months,
B. C. 145. The commissioners return in the spring, leaving instructions with Polybius to explain the new constitutions.
the ten commissioners sailed for Italy, at the
beginning of spring, having left a noble monument of Roman policy for the contemplation of
all Greece. They also charged Polybius, as
they were departing, to visit all the cities and to
decide all questions that might arise, until such
time as they were grown accustomed to their
constitution and laws. Which he did: and after a while
caused the inhabitants to be contented with the constitution
given them by the commissioners, and left no difficulty connected with the laws on any point, private or public, unsettled.
[Wherefore the people, who always admired and honoured
Note by a friend of Polybius as to the effect of his careful fulfilment of his commission.
this man, being in every way satisfied with the
conduct of his last years and his management
of the business just described, honoured him
with the most ample marks of their respect both
during his life and after his death. And this
universal verdict was fully justified. For if he had not
elaborated and reduced to writing the laws relating to the
administration of justice, everything would have been in a
state of uncertainty and confusion. Therefore we must look
upon this as the most glorious of the actions of Polybius.] . . .
Mummius in Greece
The Roman Proconsul, after the commissioners
Mummius acted in Greece with clean hands and great moderation.
had left Achaia, having restored the holy
places in the Isthmus and ornamented the
temples in Olympia and Delphi, proceeded to
make a tour of the cities, receiving marks of
honour and proper gratitude in each. And indeed he
deserved honour both public and private, for he conducted
himself with self-restraint and disinterestedness, and administered his office with mildness, although he had great
opportunities of enriching himself, and immense authority in
Greece. And in fact in the points in which he was thought to
have at all overlooked justice, he appears not to have done it
for his own sake, but for that of his friends. And the most
conspicuous instance of this was in the case of the Chalcidian
horsemen whom he put to death.14
. . .
Ptolemy, king of Syria,15
died from a wound received
Death of Ptolemy Philometor in a war in Syria in support of Demetrius
the younger against Alexander Balas, See above, 33, 18.
in the war: a man who, according to some,
deserved great praise and abiding remembrance, and according to others the reverse. If
any king before him ever was, he was mild and
benevolent; a very strong proof of which is that
he never put any of his own friends to death on
any charge whatever; and I believe that not a
single man at Alexandria either owed his death
to him. Again, though he was notoriously ejected from his
throne by his brother, in the first place, when he got a clear
opportunity against him in Alexandria, he granted him a
complete amnesty; and afterwards, when his brother once
more made a plot against him to seize Cyprus, though he got
him body and soul into his hands at Lapethus, he was so far
from punishing him as an enemy, that he even made him grants
in addition to those which formerly belonged to him in virtue
of the treaty made between them, and moreover promised him
his daughter. However, in the course of a series of successes
and prosperity, his mind became corrupted; and he fell a prey to
the dissoluteness and effeminacy characteristic of the Egyptians:
and these vices brought him into serious disasters. . . .
Conclusion of the History
Having accomplished these objects, I returned home
from Rome, having put, as it were, the finishing-stroke to my
whole previous political actions, and obtained a worthy return
for my constant loyalty to the Romans. Wherefore I make my
prayers to all the gods that the rest of my life may continue in
the same course and in the same prosperity; for I see only
too well that Fortune is envious of mortals, and is most apt to
show her power in those points in which a man fancies that he
is most blest and most successful in life.
Such was the result of my exertions. But having now
arrived at the end of my whole work, I wish
to recall to the minds of my readers the
point from which I started, and the plan which
I laid down at the commencement of my history, and then
to give a summary of the entire subject. I announced then at
starting that I should begin my narrative at the point where
Timaeus left off, and that going cursorily over the events in
Italy, Sicily, and Libya—since that writer has only composed a
history of those places,—when I came to the time when Hannibal took over the command of the Carthaginian army; Philip
son of Demetrius the kingdom of Macedonia; Cleomenes of
Sparta was banished from Greece; Antiochus succeeded to the
kingdom in Syria, and Ptolemy Philopator to that in Egypt,—I
promised that starting once more from that period, namely the
139th Olympiad, I would give a general history of the world:
marking out the periods of the Olympiads, separating the
events of each year, and comparing the histories of the several
countries by parallel narratives of each, up to the capture of
Carthage, and the battle of the Achaeans and Romans in the
Isthmus, and the consequent political settlement imposed on
the Greeks. From all of which I said that students would
learn a lesson of supreme interest and instructiveness. This
was to ascertain how, and under what kind of polity, almost
the whole inhabited world came under the single authority of
Rome, a fact quite unparalleled in the past. These promises
then having all been fulfilled, it only remains for me to state
the periods embraced in my history, the number of my books,
and how many go to make up my whole work. . . .