54. Such was the life and such the nature of the elder Aratus, as history tells us; and as for his son, he was deprived of his reason by Philip, who had an abominable nature and added savage cruelty to his wanton exercise of power. He gave the young man poisons which did not kill, but crazed, and thus made him a prey to strange and dreadful impulses, under which he grasped at absurd activities, and experiences not only shameful but destructive, so that death came to him, although he was young and in the flower of his life, not as a calamity, but as release from evils, and salvation. [2] For this unholy deed, however, Philip paid ample penalties to Zeus, the guardian of hospitality and friendship, as long as he lived. For after being subdued by the Romans and putting his fortunes in their hands, he was stripped of most of his dominions, surrendered all his ships but five, agreed to pay a thousand talents besides, gave up his son to serve as hostage, and only out of pity obtained Macedonia and its tributaries. But he was for ever putting to death the noblest of his subjects and his nearest kin, and thus filled his whole kingdom with horror and hatred of him. [3] One piece of good fortune only was his, amid so many ills, and that was a son of surpassing excellence; but this son he killed, out of envy and jealousy of the honour paid him by the Romans, and left his kingdom to his other son, Perseus, who was not legitimate, as we are told, but supposititious, the child of a sempstress, Gnathaenion.1 This king graced the triumph of Aemilius, and with him ended the royal line of the Antigonids; whereas the descendants of Aratus were living at Sicyon and Pellene in my time.

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