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54. This, then, according to Hermippus, is the story which Stroebus, the slave who read aloud for Callisthenes, told to Aristotle, and he says that when Callisthenes was aware of the alienation of the king, twice or thrice, as he was going away from him, he recited the verse:
Dead is also Patroclus, a man far braver than thou

What Aristotle said, then, would seem to have been no idle verdict, namely, that Callisthenes showed great ability as a speaker, but lacked common sense. [2] But in the matter of the obeisance, at least, by refusing sturdily and like a philosopher to perform the act, and by standing forth alone and rehearsing in public the reasons for the indignation which all the oldest and best of the Macedonians cherished in secret, he delivered the Greeks from a great disgrace, and Alexander from a greater, by leading him not to insist upon the obeisance; but he destroyed himself, because he was thought to use force rather than persuasion with the king.

[3] Chares of Mitylene says that once at a banquet Alexander, after drinking, handed the cup to one of his friends, and he, on receiving it, rose up so as to face the household shrine, and when he had drunk, first made obeisance to Alexander, then kissed him, and then resumed his place upon the couch. [4] As all the guests were doing this in turn, Callisthenes took the cup, the king not paying attention, but conversing with Hephaestion, and after he had drunk went towards the king to kiss him; but Demetrius, surnamed Pheido, cried: ‘O King, do not accept his kiss, for he alone has not done thee obeisance.’ So Alexander declined the kiss, at which Callisthenes exclaimed in a loud voice: ‘Well, then, I'll go away the poorer by a kiss.’ 2

1 Achilles to Hector, Iliad, xxi. 107.

2 Cf. Arrian, Anab. iv. 12.

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