At this same time, Alexander stumbled into a base action which was quite foreign to
his goodness of nature.1
One of the king's Friends named Dimnus2
found fault with him for some reason, and in a rash fit of anger formed a plot
He had a beloved named Nicomachus and persuaded
him to take part in it. Being very young, the boy disclosed the plan to his brother
who, however, was terrified lest one of the conspirators
should get ahead of the rest in revealing the plot to the king, and decided himself to be the
He went to the court,
met Philotas and talked with him, and urged him to tell the whole story to the king as quickly
as he could. It may be that Philotas was actually a party to the plot4
; he may merely have been slow to act. At all events, he
heard Cebalinus with indifference, and although he visited Alexander and took part in a long
conversation on a variety of subjects, said no word about what had just been told him.
When he returned to Cebalinus, he said that he had not found
a suitable occasion to mention it, but would surely see the king alone the next day and tell
him everything. Philotas did the same thing on the next day also, and Cebalinus, to insure
himself against someone else betraying the plot and putting him in danger, dropped Philotas and
accosted one of the royal pages, telling him all that had happened and begging him to report it
to the king immediately.
page brought Cebalinus into the armoury and hid him there,5
went on in to the king as he was bathing and told him the story, adding that
he had Cebalinus concealed in the vicinity. The king's reaction was sharp. He arrested Dimnus
at once and learned everything from him; then he sent for Cebalinus and Philotas.
The whole story was investigated and the fact established. Dimnus
stabbed himself on the spot,6
but Philotas, while
acknowledging his carelessness, nevertheless denied that he had had any part in the plot and
agreed to leave judgement concerning him to the Macedonians.