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Antiochus In Armenia

And, indeed, when at daybreak the king's friends assembled as usual at his tent, and saw this strange spectacle, they too felt emotions very like those of the king; while extreme astonishment made them almost disbelieve the evidence of their senses. However the council met, and a long debate ensued as to what punishment they were to inflict upon Achaeus. Finally, it was resolved that his extremities should be cut off, his head severed from his body and sewn up in the skin of an ass, and his body impaled. When this sentence had been carried out, and the army learnt what had happened, there was such excitement in the ranks and such a rush of the soldiers to the spectacle, that Laodice on the acropolis, who alone knew that her husband had left it, guessed what had happened from the commotion and stir in the camp. And before long a herald arrived, told Laodice what had happened to Achaeus, and ordered her to resign the command and quit the acropolis.
The citadel of Sardis surrendered.
At first any answer was prevented by an outburst of sorrow and overpowering lamentation on the part of the occupants of the acropolis; not so much from affection towards Achaeus, as from the suddenness and utter unexpectedness of the catastrophe. But this was succeeded by a feeling of hesitation and dismay; and Antiochus, having got rid of Achaeus, never ceased putting pressure on the garrison of the acropolis, feeling confident that a means of taking it would be put into his hands by those who occupied it, and most probably by the rank and file of the garrison. And this is just what did finally happen: for the soldiers split up into factions, one joining Ariobazus, the other Laodice. This produced mutual distrust, and before long both parties surrendered themselves and the acropolis. Thus Achaeus, in spite of having taken every reasonable precaution, lost his life by the perfidy of those in whom he trusted. His fate may teach posterity two useful lessons,—not to put faith in any one lightly; and not to be over-confident in the hour of prosperity, knowing that, in human affairs, there is no accident which we may not expect. . . .

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), PORTA
    • Smith's Bio, Camby'lus
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