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[57]

Assus is by nature strong and well-fortified; and the ascent to it from the sea and the harbor is very steep and long, so that the statement of Stratonicus the citharist in regard to it seems appropriate:“Go to Assus, in order that thou mayest more quickly come to the doom of death.
1 The harbor is formed by a great mole. From Assus came Cleanthes, the Stoic philosopher who succeeded Zeno of Citium as head of the school and left it to Chrysippus of Soli. Here too Aristotle tarried, because of his relationship by marriage with the tyrant Hermeias. Hermeias was a eunuch, the slave of a certain banker;2 and on his arrival at Athens he became a pupil of both Plato and Aristotle. On his return he shared the tyranny with his master, who had already laid hold of the districts of Atarneus and Assus; and then Hermeias succeeded him and sent for both Aristotle and Xenocrates and took care of them; and he also married his brother's daughter to Aristotle. Memnon of Rhodes, who was at that time serving the Persians as general, made a pretence of friendship for Hermeias, and then invited him to come for a visit, both in the name of hospitality and at the same time for pretended business reasons; but he arrested him and sent him up to the king, where he was put to death by hanging. But the philosophers safely escaped by flight from the districts above-mentioned, which were seized by the Persians.

1 A precise quotation of Hom. Il. 6.143 except that Homer's ἆσσον ("nearer") is changed to Ἄσσον ("to Assus").

2 Eubulus.

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