And Harpalus the Macedonian, who robbed Alexander of vast sums of money and then fled to Athens, being in love with Pythionica, spent an immense deal of money on her; and she was a courtesan. And when she died he erected a monument to her which cost him many talents. And as he was carrying her out to burial, as Posidonius tells us in the twenty-second book of his History, he had the body accompanied with a band of the most eminent artists of all kinds, and with all sorts of musical instruments and songs. And Dicæarchus, in his Essay on the Descent to the Cave of Trophonius, says,—“And that same sort of thing may happen to any one who goes to the city of the Athenians, and who proceeds by the road leading from Eleusis, which is called the Sacred Road; for, if he stops at that point from which he first gets a sight of Athens, and of the temple, and of the citadel, he will see a tomb built by the wayside, of such a size that there is none other near which can be compared with it for magnitude. And at first, as would be natural, he would pronounce it to be the tomb, beyond all question, of Miltiades, or Cimon, or Pericles, or of some other of the great men of Athens. And above all, he would feel sure that it had been erected by the city at the public expense; or at all events by some public decree; and then, again, when he heard it was the tomb of Pythionica the courtesan, what must be his feelings?” And Theopompus also, in his letter to Alexander, speaking reproachfully of the profligacy of Harpalus, says,—“But just consider and listen to the truth, as you may hear from the people of Babylon, as to the manner in which he treated Pythionica when she was dead; who was originally the slave of [p. 950] Bacchis, the female flute-player. And Bacchis herself had been the slave of Sinope the Thracian, who brought her establishment of harlots from Aegina to Athens; so that she was not only trebly a slave, but also trebly a harlot. He, however, erected two monuments to her at an expense exceeding two hundred talents. And every one marvelled that no one of all those who died in Cilicia, in defence of your dominions and of the freedom of the Greeks, had had any tomb adorned for them either by him or by any other of the governors of the state; but that a tomb should be erected to Pythionica the courtesan, both in Athens and in Babylon; and they have now stood a long time. For a man who ventured to call himself a friend to you, has dared to consecrate a temple and a spot of ground to a woman whom everybody knew to have been common to every one who chose at the same fixed price, and to call both the temple and the altar those of Pythionica Venus; and in so doing, he despised also the vengeance of the Gods, and endeavoured to insult the honours to which you are entitled.” Philemon also mentions these circumstances, in his comedy called the Babylonian, where he says—
You shall be queen of Babylon if the FatesAlexis also mentions her in his Lyciscus.
Will but permit it. Sure you recollect
Pythionica and proud Harpalus.