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Philopoemen of Megalopolis

Euryleon, the Strategus of the Achaeans, was a man of
Euryleon Achaean Strategus, B.C. 210-209.
timid character, and quite unsuited for service in the field. But as my history has now arrived at a point at which the achievements of Philopoemen begin, I think it only proper that, as I have attempted to describe the habits and characters of the other men of eminence with whom we have had to deal, I should do the same for him. It is strangely inconsistent in historians to record in elaborate detail the founding of cities, stating when and how and by whom they were established, and even the circumstances and difficulties which accompanied the transaction, and yet to pass over in complete silence the characteristics and aims of the men by whom the whole thing was done, though these in fact are the points of the greatest value. For as one feels more roused to emulation and imitation by men that have life, than by buildings that have none, it is natural that the history of the former should have a greater educational value. If I had not therefore already composed a separate account of him, clearly setting forth who he was, his origin, and his policy as a young man, it would have been necessary to have given an account now of each of these particulars. But since I have done this in a work in three books, unconnected with my present history, detailing the circumstances of his childhood and his most famous achievements, it is clear that in my present narrative my proper course will be to remove anything like details from my account of his youthful characteristics and aims; while I am careful to add details to the story of the achievements of his manhood, which in that treatise were only stated summarily. I shall thus preserve the proper features of both works. The former being in the nature of a panegyric demanded an account of his actions, put briefly and in a style deliberately intended to enhance their merits; my present work, which is history, and therefore absolutely uncommitted to praise or blame, requires only a true statement, which puts the facts clearly, and traces the policy which dictated the several actions.

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Megalopolis (Greece) (1)

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