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He decked her with her royal jewelry and restored her to her previous dignity, with its proper honours. He made over to her all the former retinue of servants which she had been given by Dareius and added more in addition not less in number than the preceding. He promised to provide for the marriage of the daughters even more generously than Dareius had promised and to bring up the boy as his own son and to show him royal honour. [2] He called the boy to him and kissed him, and as he saw him fearless in countenance and not frightened at all, he remarked to Hephaestion that at the age of six years the boy showed a courage beyond his years and was much braver than his father.1 As to the wife of Dareius, he said that he would see that her dignity should be so maintained that she would experience nothing inconsistent with her former happiness. [3]

He added many other assurances of consideration and generosity, so that the women broke out into uncontrolled weeping, so great was their unexpected joy. He gave them his hand as pledge of all this and was not only showered with praises by those who had been helped, but won universal recognition through out his own army for his exceeding propriety of conduct. [4] In general I would say that of many good deeds done by Alexander there is none that is greater or more worthy of record and mention in history than this. [5] Sieges and battles and the other victories scored in war are due for the most part either to Fortune or valour, but when one in a position of power shows pity for those who have been overthrown, this is an action due only to wisdom.2 [6] Most people are made proud by their successes because of their good fortune3 and becoming arrogant in their success, are forgetful of the common weakness of mankind. You can see how very many are unable to bear success, just as if it were a heavy burden. [7] Although Alexander lived many generations before our time, let him continue to receive in future ages also the just and proper praise for his good qualities.4

1 Curtius 3.12.26.

2 This was a well-known cliche in later Greek literature; cp. Plut. Per. 38.4; Plut. De Fortuna aut Virtute Alexandri 1.7.329d; 11.332c; 2.7.339a-b.

3 The words "because of their good fortune" are out of place here, and may belong after "a position of power" three lines before.

4 If we follow the manuscript reading here (ἱστορίαις for ἀρεταῖς) we should translate, "he should receive from future writers also just praise proper to their narrative." Arrian. 2.12.8 is not sure that this incident occurred, but approves it if so. It is praised by Curtius 3.12.18-23 and Plut. Alexander 21.4-5.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (6):
    • Plutarch, Pericles, 38.4
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 21.4
    • Plutarch, De Alexandri magni fortuna aut virtute, 1
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 2.12.8
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 3.12.1
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 3.12.2
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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