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." . . .1
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.2
. . .