Moreover, Demetrius was also exceedingly fond of his father; and from his devotion to his mother it was apparent that he honoured his father also from genuine affection rather than out of deference to his power. On one occasion, when Antigonus was busy with an embassy, Demetrius came home from hunting; he went up to his father and kissed him, and then sat down by his side just as he was, javelins in hand.
Then Antigonus, as the ambassadors were now going away with their answers, called out to them in a loud voice and said:
‘O men, carry back this report also about us, that this is the way we feel towards one another,’ implying that no slight vigour in the royal estate and proof of its power were to be seen in his harmonious and trustful relations with his son.
So utterly unsociable a thing, it seems, is empire, and so full of ill-will and distrust, that the oldest and greatest of the successors of Alexander could make it a thing to glory in that he was not afraid of his son, but allowed him near his person lance in hand. However, this house was almost the only one which kept itself pure from crimes of this nature for very many generations, or, to speak more definitely, Philip was the only one of the descendants of Antigonus who put a son to death.1
But almost all the other lines afford many examples of men who killed their sons, and of many who killed their mothers and wives; and as for men killing their brothers, just as geometricians assume their postulates, so this crime came to be a common and recognized postulate in the plans of princes to secure their own safety.