Aristonicus was one of the eunuchs of Ptolemy, king
Character of Aristonicus. See above, ch. 7.
of Egypt, and had been brought up from childhood with the king. As he grew up he displayed more manly courage and tastes than are
generally found in an eunuch. For he had a natural predilection
for a military life, and devoted himself almost exclusively to that
and all that it involved. He was also skilful in dealing with
men, and, what is very rare, took large and liberal views, and
was naturally inclined to bestow favours and kindnesses. . . .