previous next

Isocrates Comes to Rome as Ambassador

The ambassadors with Menochares arrived in Rome from
Reception of the ambassadors of Demetrius.
Demetrius, bringing the present of ten thousand gold pieces, as well as the man who had assassinated Gnaeus Octavius. The Senate was for a long time doubtful what to do about these matters. Finally they received the ambassadors and accepted the present, but declined to receive the men who were thus brought prisoners. Yet Demetrius had sent not only Leptines, the actual assassin of Octavius, but Isocrates as well. The latter was a grammarian
Previous career of Isocrates.
and public lecturer; but being by nature garrulous, boastful, and conceited, he gave offence even to the Greeks, Alcaeus and his friends being accustomed to direct their wit against him and hold him up to ridicule in their scholastic discussions.1
His conduct in Syria.
When he arrived in Syria, he displayed contempt for the people of the country; and not content with lecturing on his own subjects, he took to speaking on politics, and maintained that "Gnaeus Octavius had been rightly served: and that the other ambassadors ought to be put to death also, that there might be no one left to report the matter to the Romans; and so they might be taught to give up sending haughty injunctions and exercising unlimited power." By such random talk he got into this trouble.

1 ἐν ταῖς συγκρίσεσιν. But it is very doubtful what the exact meaning of this word is. Alcaeus seems to be the Epicurean philosopher who, among others, was expelled from Rome in B. C. 171. See Athenaeus, xii. 547, who however calls him Alcios. See also Aelian, V. Hist. 9, 12.

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.

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.
171 BC (1)
hide References (4 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: