This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
It happened to be the time for the lustration of the army. The following is a description of the ceremony. The body of a bitch was divided in the middle, the forepart with the head was placed on the right side of the road and the hinder part with the entrails on the left, and the troops marched between them.  In front of the column were borne the insignia of all the kings of Macedonia from its remotest origin; then followed the king and his children;  next to them the king's own cohort and his bodyguard, the Macedonian phalanx bringing up the rear.  The two princes rode on either side of their father; Perseus was now thirty years old and Demetrius five years his junior, the former in the prime of manhood, the latter in the flower of youth. The father would have been fortunate in his maturer offspring if only he had been wise and sensible.  When the purificatory rite was completed it was the custom for the army to go through maneuvers and after being formed into two divisions to engage in a sham-fight.  The two princes were appointed to command in this mimic contest, but there was no make-believe about the fighting, it looked like a struggle for the crown, so fiercely did they engage. Many wounds were caused by their staves and nothing was wanting but swords to give the actual appearance of war.  The division which Demetrius commanded was by far the better one. Perseus was intensely annoyed, but his wiser friends were delighted. That circumstance in itself, they said, would afford grounds for incriminating the young man.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.