previous next

His Birth and Education

Philopoemen, then, to begin with, was of good birth,
Birth, parentage, and education of Philopoemen b. B.C. 252
descended from one of the noblest families in Arcadia. He was also educated under that most distinguished Mantinean, Cleander, who had been his father's friend before, and happened at that time to be in exile. When he came to man's estate he attached himself to Ecdemus and Demophanes, who were by birth natives of Megalopolis, but who having been exiled by the tyrant, and having associated with the philosopher Arcesilaus during their exile, not only set their own country free by entering into an intrigue against Aristodemus the tyrant, but also helped in conjunction with Aratus to put down Nicocles, the tyrant of Sicyon. On another occasion also, on the invitation of the people of Cyrene, they stood forward as their champions and preserved their freedom for them. Such were the men with whom he passed his early life; and he at once began to show a superiority to his contemporaries, by his power of enduring hardships in hunting, and by his acts of daring in war. He was moreover careful in his manner of life, and moderate in the outward show which he maintained; for he had imbibed from these men the conviction, that it was impossible for a man to take the lead in public business with honour who neglected his own private affairs; nor again to abstain from embezzling public money if he lived beyond his private income.

Being then appointed Hipparch by the Achaean league at

Elected Hipparch, B.C. 210. Cp. Plut. Phil. 7, συχνὸς χρόνυς after the battle of Sallasia, B.C. 222.
this time, and finding the squadrons in a state of utter demoralisation, and the men thoroughly dispirited, he not only restored them to a better state than they were, but in a short time made them even superior to the enemy's cavalry, by bringing them all to adopt habits of real training and genuine emulation. The fact is that most of those who hold this office of Hipparch, either, from being without any genius themselves for cavalry tactics, do not venture to enforce necessary orders upon others; or, because they are aiming at being elected Strategus, try all through their year of office to attach the young men to themselves and to secure their favour in the coming election: and accordingly never administer necessary reprimands, which are the salvation of the public interests, but hush up all transgressions, and, for the sake of gaining an insignificant popularity, do great damage to those who trust them. Sometimes again, commanders, though neither feeble nor corrupt, do more damage to the soldiers by intemperate zeal than the negligent ones, and this is still oftener the case with regard to the cavalry. . . .

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Sicyon (Greece) (1)
Megalopolis (Greece) (1)
Cyrene (Libya) (1)
Arcadia (Greece) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
252 BC (1)
222 BC (1)
210 BC (1)
hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Plutarch, Philopoemen, 7
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: