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But Polycletus of Larissa, in the eighth book of his History, says that Alexander used to sleep on a golden couch, and that flute-playing men and women followed him to the camp, and that he used to drink till daybreak. And Clearchus, in his treatise on Lives, speaking of Darius who was dethroned by Alexander, says, “The king of the Persians offered prizes to those who could invent pleasures for him, and by this conduct allowed his whole empire and sovereignty to be subverted by pleasures. Nor was he aware that he was defeating himself till others had wrested his sceptre from him and had been proclaimed in his place.” And Phylarchus, in the twenty-third book of his History, and Agatharchides of Cnidus, in the tenth book of his History of Asia, say that the companions also of Alexander gave way to the most extravagant [p. 863] luxury. And one of them was a man named Agnon, who used to wear golden studs in his sandals and shoes. And Cleitus, who was surnamed The White, whenever he was about to transact business, used to converse with every one who came to him while walking about on a purple carpet. And Perdiccas and Craterus, who were fond of athletic exercises, had men follow them with hides fastened together so as to cover a place an entire stadium in extent; and then they selected a spot within the encampment which they had covered with these skins as an awning; and under this they practised their gymnastics.

They were followed also by numerous beasts of burden, which carried sand for the use of the palæstra. And Leonnatus and Menelaus, who were very fond of hunting, had curtains brought after them calculated to enclose a space a hundred stadia in circumference, with which they fenced in a large space and then practised hunting within it. And as for the golden plane-trees, and the golden vine—having on it bunches of grapes made of emeralds and Indian carbuncles, and all sorts of other stones of the most costly ad magnificent description, under which the kings of Persia used often to sit when transacting business,—the expense of all this, says Phylarchus, was far less than the daily sums squandered by Alexander; for he had a tent capable of containing a hundred couches, and fifty golden pillars supported it. And over it were spread golden canopies wrought with the most superb and costly embroidery, to shade all the upper part of it. And first of all, five hundred Persian Melophori stood all round the inside of it, clad in robes of purple and apple-green; and besides them there were bowmen to the number of a thousand, some clad in garments of a fiery red, and others in purple; and many of them had blue cloaks. And in front of them stood five hundred Macedonian Argyraspides; and in the middle of the tent was placed a golden chair, on which Alexander used to sit and transact business, his body-guards standing all around. And on the outside, all round the tent, was a troop of elephants regularly equipped, and a thousand Macedonians, having Macedonian dresses; and then ten thousand Persians: and the number of those who wore purple amounted to five hundred, to whom Alexander gave this dress for them to wear. And though he had such a numerous [p. 864] retinue of friends and servants, still no one dared to approach Alexander of his own accord; so great was his dignity and the veneration with which they regarded him. And at that time Alexander wrote letters to the cities in Ionia, and to the Chians first of all, to send him a quantity of purple; for he wished all his companions to wear purple robes. And when his letter was read among the Chians, Theocritus the philosopher being present, said—

He fell by purple1 death and mighty fate.

1 πορφύρεος is a common epithet of death in Homer. Liddell and Scott say—“The first notion of πορφύρεος was probably of the troubled sea, v.πορφύρω,”—and refer the use of it in this passage to the colour of the blood, unless it be = μέλας θάνατος.

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