In looks he was not, as some suppose, ill-favoured; for a statue of him is still to be seen at Delphi; and the mistake of his Megarian hostess was due, as we are told, to a certain indifference and simplicity on his part. This woman, learning that the general of the Achaeans was coming to her house, in great confusion set about preparing supper; besides, her husband chanced to be away from home.
Just then Philopoemen came in, wearing a simple soldier's cloak, and the woman, thinking him to be one of his servants who had been sent on in advance, invited him to help her in her housework. So Philopoemen at once threw off his cloak and fell to splitting wood. Then his host came in, and seeing him thus employed, said:
‘What does this mean, Philopoemen?’
‘What else,’ said Philopoemen in broad Doric,
‘than that I am paying a penalty for my ill looks?’
And once Titus Flamininus, making fun of certain parts of his figure, said:
‘Philopoemen, what fine arms and legs thou hast; but belly thou hast not’; for Philopoemen was quite slender at the waist. This piece of fun, however, was aimed the rather at his resources. For though he had excellent men-at-arms and horsemen, he was often at a loss for money. However, these stories are told of Philopoemen in the schools of philosophy.