Perseus an Example of the Impermanence of Fortune
Then Aemilius Paulus speaking once more in Latin bade
Perseus, being brought a prisoner before Aemilius Paulus and his council,
refuses to reply to his questions. Paulus addresses the king in Greek and then his council in Latin. Livy, 45, 8.
the members of his council, "With such a sight
before their eyes,"—pointing to Perseus,—"not
to be too boastful in the hour of success, nor to
take any extreme or inhuman measures against
any one, nor in fact ever to feel confidence in
the permanence of their present good fortune.
Rather it was precisely at the time of greatest
success, either private or public, that a man
should be most alive to the possibility of a
reverse. Even so it was difficult for a man to
exhibit moderation in good fortune. But the distinction
between fools and wise was that the former only learnt by their
own misfortunes, the latter by those of others." . . .