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Philopoemen's Disinterestedness

The Spartans could not find one of their own citizens
The Spartans wish to offer Philopoemen the palace of Nabis, as a reward, and as an inducement to defend their liberty. Plutarch, Philop. 15.
willing to address Philopoemen on this subject. To men who for the most part undertake work for what they can get by it there are plenty of people to offer such rewards, and to regard them as the means of founding and consolidating friendship: but in the case of Philipoemen no one could be found willing to convey this offer to him at all. Finally, being completely at a loss, they elected Timolaus to do it, as being his ancestral guest-friend and very intimate with him. Timolaus twice journeyed to Megalopolis for this express purpose, without daring to say a word to Philopoemen about it. But having goaded himself to making a third attempt, he at length plucked up courage to mention the proposed gifts. Much to his surprise Philopoemen received the suggestion with courtesy; and Timolaus was overjoyed by the belief that he had attained his object. Philopoemen, however, remarked that he would come to Sparta himself in the course of the next few days; for he wished to offer all the magistrates his thanks for this favour. He accordingly came, and, being invited to attend the Senate, he said: "He had long been aware of the kindness with which the Lacedaemonians regarded him; but was more convinced than ever by the compliments and extraordinary mark of honour they now offered him. But while gratefully accepting their intention, he disliked the particular manner of its exhibition. They should not bestow such honour and rewards on their friends, the poison of which would indelibly infect the receiver, but rather upon their enemies; that the former might retain their freedom of speech and the confidence of the Achaeans when proposing to offer assistance to Sparta; while the latter, by swallowing the bait, might be compelled either to support their cause, or at any rate to keep silence and do them no harm. . . ."

The remaining events of the war against Antiochus in this year are related by Livy, 36, 41-45. Acilius was engaged for two months in the siege of Naupactus: while the Roman fleet under Gaius Livius defeated that of Antiochus, under his admiral Polyxenidas, off Phocaea.

To see an operation with one's own eyes is not like merely hearing a description of it. It is, indeed, quite another thing; and the confidence which such vivid experience gives is always greatly advantageous. . . .

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 35.37
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SOCII
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 36, 41
    • Plutarch, Philopoemen, 15
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