previous next
70. But Alexander, after returning from the funeral pyre and assembling many of his friends and officers for supper, proposed a contest in drinking neat wine, the victor to be crowned. Well, then, the one who drank the most, Promachus, got as far as four pitchers; 1 he took the prize, a crown of a talent's worth, but lived only three days afterwards. And of the rest, according to Chares, forty-one died of what they drank, a violent chill having set in after their debauch.

[2] At Susa he brought to pass the marriage of his companions, took to wife himself the daughter of Dareius, Stateira, assigned the noblest women to his noblest men, and gave a general wedding feast for those of his Macedonians who had already contracted other marriages. At this feast, we are told, nine thousand guests reclined at supper, to each of whom a golden cup for the libations was given. All the other appointments too, were amazingly splendid, and the host paid himself the debts which his guests owed, the whole outlay amounting to nine thousand eight hundred and seventy talents. 2 [3] Now Antigenes, the One-eyed, had got himself enrolled as a debtor fraudulently and, on producing somebody who affirmed that he had made a loan to him at the bank, the money was paid over; then his fraud was discovered, and the king, in anger, drove him from his court and deprived him of his command. Antigenes, however, was a splendid soldier, and while he was still a young man and Philip was besieging Perinthus, though a bolt from a catapult smote him in the eye, he would not consent to have the bolt taken out nor give up fighting until he had repelled the enemy and shut them up within their walls. [4] Accordingly, he could not endure with any complacency the disgrace that now fell upon him, but was evidently going to make away with himself from grief and despondency. So the king, fearing this, put away his wrath and ordered him to keep the money.

1 The ‘chous,’ or pitcher, held about three quarts.

2 Alexander also paid the debts of all his soldiers, amounting to 20,000 talents (Arrian, Anab. vii. 5, 1-3), unless this is the donation which Plutarch has here erroneously connected with the great wedding feast. Cf. Athenaeus, xii. pp. 538 ff.

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 (Bernadotte Perrin, 1919)
hide References (8 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: