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Further Intrigues of Apelles

Apelles however by no means abandoned his policy. He began undermining the position of Taurion also, who had been placed in command of the Peloponnese by Antigonus, not indeed openly attacking him, but rather praising his character, and asserting that he was a proper person to be with the king on a campaign; his object being to get some one else appointed to conduct the government of the Peloponnese. This was indeed a novel method of defamation,—to damage one's neighbours, not by attacking, but by praising their characters; and this method of wreaking one's malice, envy, and treachery may be regarded as primarily and specially the invention of the jealousy and selfish ambition of courtiers. In the same spirit he began making covert attacks upon Alexander, the captain of the bodyguard, whenever he got an opportunity; being bent on reconstituting by his own authority even the personal attendants of the king, and on making a clean sweep of all arrangements left existing by Antigonus. For as in his life Antigonus had managed his kingdom and his son with wisdom, so at his death he made wise provisions for every department of the State. For in his will he explained to the Macedonians the nature of these arrangements; and also gave definite instructions for the future, how and by whom each of these arrangements was to be carried out: being desirous of leaving no vantage-ground to the courtiers for mutual rivalry and strife. Among these arrangements was one selecting Apelles from among his companions in arms to be one of the guardians of his son; Leontius to command the peltasts; Megaleas to be chief secretary; Taurion to be governor of the Peloponnese; and Alexander to be captain of the bodyguard. Apelles had already got Leontius and Megaleas completely under his influence: and he was now desirous to remove Alexander and Taurion from their offices, and so to control these, as well as all other departments of the government, by the agency of his own friends. And he would have easily succeeded in doing so, had he not raised up an opponent in the person of Aratus. As it was, he quickly reaped the fruits of his own blind selfishness and ambition; for that which he purposed inflicting on his neighbours he had to endure himself, and that within a very brief space. How and by what means this was brought about, I must forbear to tell for the present, and must bring this book to an end: but in subsequent parts of my work I will endeavour to make every detail of these transactions clear.

For the present, after concluding the business which I have described, Philip returned to Argos, and there spent the rest of the winter season with his friends, while he sent back his forces to Macedonia.

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