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The Present Philip Compared to his Ancestors

Take again the case of Philip, the founder of the
B. C. 338.
family splendour, and the first of the race to establish the greatness of the kingdom. The success which he obtained, after his victory over the Athenians at Chaeronea, was not due so much to his superiority in arms, as to his justice and humanity. His victory in the field gave him the mastery only over those immediately engaged against him; while his equity and moderation secured his hold upon the entire Athenian people and their city. For he did not allow his measures to be dictated by vindictive passion; but laid aside his arms and warlike measures, as soon as he found himself in a position to display the mildness of his temper and the uprightness of his motives. With this view he dismissed his Athenian prisoners without ransom, and took measures for the burial of those who had fallen, and, by the agency of Antipater, caused their bones to be conveyed home; and presented most of those whom he released with suits of clothes. And thus, at small expense, his prudence gained him a most important advantage. The pride of the Athenians was not proof against such magnanimity; and they became his zealous supporters, instead of antagonists, in all his schemes.

Again in the case of Alexander the Great. He was so

B. C. 335.
enraged with the Thebans that he sold all the inhabitants of the town into slavery, and levelled the city itself with the ground; yet in making its capture he was careful not to outrage religion, and took the utmost precautions against even involuntary damage being done to the temples, or any part of their sacred enclosures. Once more, when he crossed into Asia, to avenge on the Persians the impious outrages which they had inflicted on the Greeks, he did his best to exact the full penalty from men, but refrained from injuring places dedicated to the gods; though it was in precisely such that the injuries of the Persians in Greece had been most conspicuous. These were the precedents which Philip should have called to mind on this occasion; and so have shown himself the successor and heir of these men,—not so much of their power, as of their principles and magnanimity.
The subsequent decline in Philip's character.
But throughout his life he was exceedingly anxious to establish his relationship to Alexander and Philip, and yet took not the least pains to imitate them. The result was that, as he advanced in years, as his conduct differed from theirs, so his general reputation came to be different also.

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    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 33-34, commentary, 33.46
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