21. Accordingly, when the report of his death reached the Achaeans, their cities were filled with general dejection and grief, and the men of military age, together with the members of the council, assembled at Megalopolis. With no delay whatsoever they proceeded to take revenge. They chose Lycortas general, invaded Messenia, and ravaged the country, until the Messenians with one consent received them into their city. [2] Deinocrates anticipated their vengeance by making away with himself, but all the others who had voted to put Philopoemen to death they slew, and as for those who would have had him tortured also, these Lycortas seized and held for a more excruciating death. Then they burned Philopoemen's body, collected his ashes in an urn, and set out for home, not in loose or promiscuous order, but with a blending of triumphal procession and funeral rites. [3] For their heads were wreathed with garlands while their eyes were full of tears, and they led their foes along with them in chains. The urn itself, almost hidden from sight by a multitude of fillets and wreaths, was borne by Polybius, the son of the Achaean general, and about him were the chief men of the Achaeans. The soldiers followed after, in full armour themselves, and with their horses decorated; they were neither dejected in view of their great affliction nor exultant over their victory. [4] Moreover, the people from the cities and villages on the way came to meet them, as if receiving Philopoemen on his return from an expedition; they laid their hands upon his urn, and accompanied him to Megalopolis. And so when they had been joined by the old men and by the women and children, a lamentation at once spread through the entire army and into the city, which longed for the presence of Philopoemen and was grievously cast down at his death, feeling that with him it had lost its supremacy among the Achaeans.

[5] He was buried, then, as was fitting, with conspicuous honours, and at his tomb the captive Messenians were stoned to death. Many statues of him were erected and many honours decreed him by the cities. All these a Roman, in the disastrous days of Greece following the fall of Corinth,1 attempted to have removed, and he attacked the memory of Philopoemen himself, accusing him, as if still alive, of having been a malevolent enemy of the Romans. [6] After the proposal had been discussed and Polybius had spoken in opposition to Philopoemen's detractor, neither Mummius nor the members of the commission2 would consent that the honours paid to an illustrious man should be obliterated, although he had made no little opposition to Flamininus and Manius. These judges distinguished, as it would appear, between virtue and necessity, between honour and advantage. They rightly and fitly considered that benefactors ought always to receive reward and gratitude from their beneficiaries, and good men honour from the good.

So much concerning Philopoemen.

1 In 146 B.C., at the close of Rome's war with the Achaean league.

2 A commission of ten, appointed by the Roman senate to settle the affairs of Greece. It was before this body that Philopoemen's memory was attacked and defended.

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