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Philip, Alexander, And the Diadochi

Who would not disapprove of such bitterness and intemperance of language in an historian? It is not only because his words contradict his opening statement that he deserves stricture; but also because he has libelled the king and his friends; and still more because his falsehood is expressed in disgusting and unbecoming words. If he had been speaking of Sardanapalus, or one of his associates, he could hardly have ventured to use such foul language; and what that monarch's principles and debauchery were in his lifetime we gather from the inscription on his tomb, which runs thus: “"The joys I had from love or wine
Or dainty meats—those now are mine."
” But when speaking of Philip and his friends, a man ought to be on his guard, not so much of accusing them of effeminacy and want of courage, or still more of shameless immorality, but on the contrary lest he should prove unequal to express their praises in a manner worthy of their manliness, indefatigable energy, and the general virtue of their character.
The vigorous characters of the Diadochi.
It is notorious that by their energy and boldness they raised the Macedonian Empire from a most insignificant monarchy to the first rank in reputation and extent. And, putting aside the achievements of Philip, what was accomplished by them after his death, under the rule of Alexander, has secured for them a reputation for valour with posterity universally acknowledged. For although a large share of the credit must perhaps be given to Alexander, as the presiding genius of the whole, though so young a man; yet no less is due to his coadjutors and friends, who won many wonderful victories over the enemy; endured numerous desperate labours, dangers and sufferings; and, though put into possession of the most ample wealth, and the most abundant means of gratifying all their desires, never lost their bodily vigour by these means, or contracted tastes for violence or debauchery. On the contrary, all those who were associated with Philip, and afterwards with Alexander, became truly royal in greatness of soul, temperance of life, and courage. Nor is it necessary to mention any names: but after Alexander's death, in their mutual rivalries for the possession of various parts of nearly all the world, they filled a very large number of histories with the record of their glorious deeds. We may admit then that the bitter invective of the historian Timaeus against Agathocles, despot of Sicily, though it seems unmeasured, has yet some reason in it,—for it is directed against a personal enemy, a bad man, and a tyrant; but that of Theopompus is too scurrilous to be taken seriously.

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