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Thus do men prevail through Virtue. Ascribe to Fortune, if you will, Arbela and the Cilician victory and his other deeds of violence and war : Fortune battered down the walls of Tyre1 for him ; Fortune opened the way to Egypt2; through Fortune Halicarnassus fell, and Miletus was captured, and Mazaeus3 left the Euphrates unguarded, and the Babylonian plain was strewn with corpses. But at least it was not in any way Fortune's gift that he was temperate, nor was it because of Fortune that he was self-controlled, nor did Fortune lock his soul and keep it impregnable to pleasure and invulnerable to desire ; in fact, these were the qualities by which he defeated Darius himself. The rest were but defeats of arms and horses, battles, slaughters, and routs of men. But the truly great and indisputable defeat Darius suffered : he yielded in virtue and greatness of soul, in prowess and Justice, and marvelled at Alexander's invincibility in pleasure, in toil, in the bestowal of favours. It is true that Tarrias,4 son of [p. 455] Deinomenes, and Antigenes of Pallenê, and Philo t as, the son of Parinenion, were also invincible at least amid shields, pikes, battle-cries, and the clash of arms; but towards pleasures and women and gold and silver they were no better than their captives. In fact, when Alexander was freeing the Macedonians from debt5 and paying creditors for everybody, Tarrias said falsely that he was a debtor, and produced at the bank a person who asserted that he was Tarrias s creditor ; later, when he was detected, he was ready to commit suicide had not Alexander, coming to know of this, exculpated him, and allowed him to keep the money ; for the king remembered that when Philip was assaulting Perinthus, Tarrias, although his eye was pierced by a missile, would not submit nor suffer the shaft to be extracted until they had routed the enemy. Antigenes6 joined himself with those who were being sent back to Macedonia because of sickness or wounds,7 and had himself enrolled among them ; but when, however, it was discovered that he had nothing wrong with him, but was feigning some infirmity, and it was seen that he was a stout fighting man whose body was covered with wounds, the matter vexed Alexander. When he asked the reason for such conduct, Antigenes confessed that he was in love with Telesippa, and was accompanying her to the sea, since he could not be left behind if she went away. ‘Whose is she?’ asked Alexander, ‘and to whom must we speak?’ Antigenes replied that she was [p. 457] free-born. ‘Then,’ said Alexander, ‘let us persuade her with promises and presents to remain behind.’ So ready was he with an excuse for every lover rather than for himself. And further, Philotas,8 the son of Parmenion, had in his licentiousness the nurse, as it were, of all his ills. For among the captives taken at Damascus was a courtesan from Pella, by name Antigona. Ere this she had crossed over to Samothrace, and there had been taken captive by Autophradates. She was comely enough to look upon and, after Philotas had attached himself to her, she had complete possession of him. Indeed that man of iron9 was so softened that he was not in control of his reasoning powers amid his pleasures, but unlocked and brought forth many of his secrets for the woman : ‘What was that famed Philip, were it not for Parmenion? What was this Alexander, were it not for Philotas? Where his Ammon, and where his serpents,10 if we do not wish it so?’ These words Antigona reported to an intimate friend of hers among the women, and she reported them to Craterus ; Craterus brought Antigona herself secretly to Alexander, who did not touch her person, but restrained himself and, working secretly through her, he discovered the whole of Philotas's plans. And for a period of more than seven years Alexander never revealed his suspicion ; not in his cups, the reputed drunkard I not in anger, this [p. 459] man of fiery temper! not to a friend, this man who trusted Hephaestion in everything and shared everything with him! In fact it is recorded11 that once, when he had broken the seal of a confidential letter from his mother and was reading it silently12 to himself, Hephaestion quietly put his head beside Alexander's and read the letter with him; Alexander could not bear to stop him, but took off his ring and placed the seal on Hephaestion's lips.
1 Cf. Life of Alexander, chap. xxv. (679 a); Arrian, Anabasis, ii. 23.
2 Cf. 326 f, supra.
3 Cf. Arrian, Anabasis, iii. 7. 2.
4 Tarrias is elsewhere unknown; the stories here related of him are told of Antigenes in Life of Alexander, chap. lxx. (703 e-f).
5 Cf. 343 d, infra; Arrian, Anabasis, vii. 5. 1-3.
6 Repeated in Moralia, 181 a; but told of Eurylochus in Life of Alexander, chap. xli. (689 b).
7 Cf. Life of Alexander, chap. lxxi. (704 b).
8 Cf. Life of Alexander, chaps. xlviii., xlix. (692 a-693 a).
9 The Doric form suggests quotation from some poem or drama.
10 A reference, perhaps, to Ammon (i.e. Zeus) in the form of a serpent, seen with Olympias, as told in Life of Alexander, chap. iii. (665 d); or perhaps to the expedition to the oracle of Ammon, cf. Arrian, Anabasis, iii. 3. 5.
11 Cf. 333 a, supra.
12 ‘Silently,’ for reading was generally done aloud.