back

Justinus: Epitome of Pompeius Trogus' Philippic Histories

    - books 16-18

Translated by Rev. J.S.Watson (1853). See key to translations for an explanation of the format.


← previous books (13-15)

BOOK 16

[16.1]   L  After the deaths, in rapid succession, of Cassander and Philippus, queen Thessalonice, the wife of Cassander, was soon killed by her son Antipater, though she conjured him by the bosom of a mother to spare her life. 2 The cause of this matricide was that, in the division of the kingdom between the brothers, she seemed to have favoured Alexander. 3 This deed appeared the more atrocious to everyone, as there was no proof of injustice on the part of the mother; 4 although, indeed, in a case of matricide, no reason can be alleged sufficient to justify the crime. 5 Alexander, in consequence, resolving to go to war with his brother, to avenge his mother's death, solicited aid from Demetrius; 6 and Demetrius, in hopes of seizing the throne of Macedonia, made no delay in complying with his request. 7 Lysimachus, alarmed at his approach, persuaded Antipater, his son-in-law, rather to be reconciled to his brother than to allow his father's enemy to enter Macedonia. 8 Demetrius, therefore, finding that a reconciliation was commenced between the brothers, removed Alexander by treachery, 9 and, having seized on the throne of Macedonia, called an assembly of the army, to defend himself before them for the murder. 10 He alleged that "his life had been first attempted by Alexander, and that he had not contrived treachery , but prevented it; 11 and that he himself was the more rightful king of Macedonia, both from experience attendant on greater age, and from other considerations; 12 for that his father had been a follower of king Philippus, and of Alexander the Great, in the whole of their wars, 13 and afterwards an attendant on the children of Alexander, and a leader in the punishment of the revolters. 14 That Antipater, on the other hand, the grandfather of these young men, had always been more cruel as the governor of the kingdom than the kings themselves; 15 and that Cassander, their father, had been the extirpator of the king's family, sparing neither women nor children, and not resting till he had cut off the whole of the royal house. 16 That vengeance for these crimes, as he could not exact it from Cassander himself, had been inflicted on his children; 17 and that accordingly Philippus and Alexander, if the dead have any knowledge of human affairs, would not wish the murderers of them and their issue, but their avengers, to win the throne of Macedonia." 18 The people being pacified by these arguments, he was saluted king of Macedonia. 19 Lysimachus, too, being pressed with a war with Doricetes, king of Thrace, and not wishing to have to fight with Demetrius at the same time, made peace with him, resigning into his hands the other half of Macedonia, which had fallen to the share of his son-in-law Antipater.

[16.2]   L  When Demetrius, therefore, supported by the whole strength of Macedonia, was preparing to invade Asia, Ptolemaeus, Seleucus, and Lysimachus, having experienced in the former contest how great the power of unanimity was, formed an alliance a second time, and having joined their forces, carried the war against Demetrius, into Europe. 2 With these leaders Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, united himself, as a friend and sharer in the war, hoping that Demetrius might lose Macedonia not less easily than he had obtained it. 3 Nor were his expectations vain; for he himself, having corrupted Demetrius's army, and put him to flight, seized on the throne of Macedonia.

4 During the course of these transactions, Lysimachus put to death his son-in-law Antipater, who complained that he had been deprived of the throne of Macedonia by the treachery of his father-in-law, and put his daughter Eurydice, who had joined with him in his complaints, into prison; 5 and thus the whole house of Cassander made atonement to Alexander the Great, whether for killing himself or destroying his offspring. partly by violent deaths, partly by other sufferings, and partly by shedding the blood of one another.

6 Demetrius, surrounded by so many armies, preferred, when he might have fallen honourably to make an ignominious surrender to Seleucus. 7 At the termination of the war died Ptolemaeus, after having attained great glory by his military exploits. Contrary to the custom among nations, he had resigned his kingdom, before his illness, to the youngest of his sons, and had stated his reasons for that proceeding to the people, 8 who showed themselves no less indulgent in accepting the son for their king than the father had proved himself in delivering the kingdom to him. 9 Among other instances of mutual affection between the father and the son, the following had procured the young man favour from the people, that the father, having publicly resigned the throne to him, had done duty as a private soldier among his guards, thinking it more honour to be the father of a king than to possess any kingdom whatsoever.

[16.3]   L  But the evil of discord, constantly arising among equals, had produced a war between Lysimachus and King Pyrrhus, who had just before been allies against Demetrius. 2 Lysimachus, gaining the advantage, had expelled Pyrrhus, and made himself master of Macedonia. 3 He then made war on Thrace, and afterwards on Heracleia, a city of which the origin and the subsequent fortunes were objects of wonder ; 4 for when the Boeotians were suffering from a pestilence, the oracle at Delphi had told them, that "they must plant a colony in the country of Pontus, dedicated to Hercules. 5 But as, through dread of a long and dangerous voyage, and all the people preferring death in their own country, the matter was neglected, 6 the Phocians made war upon them; and after suffering from unsuccessful struggles with that people, they had recourse to the oracle a second time. The answer which they received was, that "what was a remedy for the pestilence would also be a remedy for the war." 7 Raising therefore a body of colonists, and sailing to Pontus, they built the city Heracleia ; and as they had been led to that settlement by the guidance of fate, they soon acquired great power. 8 In process of time the city had many wars with its neighbours, and many dissensions among its own people. Among other noble acts that they performed, the following is one of the most remarkable. 9 When the Athenians were at the height of power, and, after the overthrow of the Persians, had imposed a tax on Greece and Asia for the support of a fleet, and when all were promptly contributing to the maintenance of their safety, the Heracleans alone, from friendship for the kings of Persia, refused to pay. 10 Lamachus was accordingly despatched by the Athenians with an army to exact from them what was withheld; but leaving his ships on the coast, and going to ravage the lands of the Heracleans, he lost his fleet, with the greater part of his army, by shipwreck, in a tempest that came on suddenly. 11 As he was not able, therefore, to return by sea, from having lost his ships, and did not dare, with so small a body of men, to return by land through so many warlike nations, the Heracleans, thinking this a more honourable opportunity for kindness than for revenge, sent the invaders away with a supply of provisions and troops to protect them; 12 deeming the devastation of their lands no loss, if they could but make those their friends who had formerly been their enemies.

[16.4]   L  Among many other evils they endured also that of tyranny; 2 for when, on the populace violently clamouring for an abolition of debts, and a division of the lands of the rich, the subject was long discussed in the senate, and no settlement of it was devised, 3 they at last sought assistance against the commons, who were grown riotous by too long idleness, from Timotheus general of the Athenians, and afterwards from Epaminondas general of the Thebans. 4 As both, however, refused their request, they had recourse to Clearchus, whom they themselves had exiled; 5 such being the urgency of their distresses, that they recalled to the guardianship of his country him whom they had forbidden to enter his country. 6 But Clearchus, being rendered more desperate by his banishment, and regarding the dissension among the people as a means of securing to himself the government, 7 first sought a secret interview with Mithridates, the enemy of his countrymen, and made a league with him on the understanding that when he was re-established in his country, he should, on betraying the city into his hands, be made lieutenant-governor of it. 8 But the treachery which he had conceived against his countrymen, he afterwards turned against Mithridates himself; 9 for on returning from banishment, to be as it were the arbiter of the disputes in the city, he, at the time appointed for delivering the town to Mithridates, made Mithridates himself prisoner, with a party of his friends, and released him from captivity only on the receipt of a large sum of money. 10 And as, in this case, he suddenly changed himself from a friend into an enemy, so, in regard to his countrymen, he soon, from a supporter of the senate's cause, became a patron of the common people, 11 and not only inflamed the populace against those who had conferred his power upon him, and by whom he had been recalled into his country and established in the citadel, but even exercised upon his benefactors the most atrocious inflictions of tyrannic cruelty. 12 Summoning the people to an assembly, he declared that "he would no longer support the senate in their proceedings against the populace, but would even interpose his authority, if they persisted in their former severities; 13 and that, if the people thought themselves able to check the tyranny of the senate, he would retire with his soldiers, and take no further part in their dissensions; 14 but that, if they distrusted their ability to make resistance, he would not be wanting to aid them in taking revenge. 15 They might therefore," he added, "determine among themselves; they might bid him withdraw, if they pleased, or might request him to stay as a sharer in the popular cause." 16 The people, induced by these fair speeches, conferred on him the supreme authority, and, while they were incensed at the power of the senate, surrendered themselves, with their wives and children, as slaves to the power of a single tyrant. 17 Clearchus then apprehended sixty senators (the rest had taken flight), and threw them into prison. 18 The people rejoiced that the senate was overthrown, and especially that it had fallen by means of a leader among the senators, and that, by a reverse of fortune, their support was turned to their destruction. 19 Clearchus, by threatening all his prisoners with death, made the price offered for their ransom the higher; 20 and, after receiving from them large sums of money, as if he would secretly withdraw them from the violence threatened by the people, despoiled those of their lives whom he had previously despoiled of their fortunes.

[16.5]   L  Learning, soon after, that war was prepared against him by those who had made their escape (several cities being moved by pity to espouse their cause), he gave freedom to their slaves; 2 and that no affliction might be wanting to distress the most honourable families, he obliged their wives and daughters to marry their slaves, threatening death to such as refused, that he might thus render the slaves more attached to himself, and less reconcileable to their masters. 3 But such marriages were more intolerable to the women than immediate death; 4 and many, in consequence, killed themselves before the nuptial rites were celebrated, and many in the midst of them, first killing their new husbands, and delivering themselves from dishonourable sufferings by a spirit of noble virtue. 5 A battle was then fought, in which the tyrant, being victorious, dragged such of the senators as he took prisoners before the faces of their countrymen in triumph. 6 Returning into the city, he threw some into prison, stretched others on the rack, and put others to death; and not a place in the city was unvisited by the tyrant's cruelty. 7 Arrogance was added to severity, insolence to inhumanity. 8 From a course of continued good fortune, he sometimes forgot that he was a man, sometimes called himself the son of Jupiter. 9 When he appeared in public, a golden eagle, as a token of his parentage, was carried before him; 10 he wore a purple robe, buskins like kings in tragedies, and a crown of gold. 11 His son he named Ceraunos, to mock the gods, not only with false statements, but with impious names. 12 Two noble youths, Chion and Leonides, incensed that he should dare to commit such outrages, and desiring to deliver their country, formed a conspiracy to put him to death. 13 They were disciples of Plato the philosopher, and being desirous to exhibit to their country the virtue in which they were daily instructed by the precepts of their master, placed fifty of their relations, as if they were their attendants, in ambush; 14 while they themselves, in the character of men who had a dispute to be settled, went into the citadel to the tyrant. 15 Gaining admission, as being well known, the tyrant, while he was listening attentively to the one that spoke first, was killed by the other. 16 But as their accomplices were too late in coming to their support, they were overpowered by the guards; 17 and hence it happened that though the tyrant was killed, their country was not liberated. 18 Satyrus, the brother of Clearchus, made himself tyrant in a similar way; and for many years, with various successive changes, the Heracleans continued under the yoke of tyrants.

BOOK 17

[17.1]   L  About the same time there was an earthquake in the regions round the Hellespont and the Chersonese; 2 but the chief effect of it was, that the city of Lysimachia, founded two and twenty years before by king Lysimachus, was sunk in ruins; 3 a prodigy which portended disasters to Lysimachus and his family, destruction to his kingdom, and calamity to the disturbed provinces. 4 Nor was fulfilment wanting to these omens; for, in a short time after, conceiving towards his son Agathocles ( whom he had appointed to succeed him on the throne, and through whose exertions he had managed several wars with success), a hatred unnatural in him not only as a father but as a man, he took him off by poison, using as his agent in the affair his step-mother Arsinoe. 5 This was the first commencement of his calamities, the prelude to approaching ruin; 6 for executions of several great men were added to the murder of his son, who were put to death for expressing concern at the young prince's fate; 7 and, in consequence, both those about the court who escaped this cruelty, and those who were in command of the troops, 8 began at once to desert to Seleucus, and incite him to make war upon Lysimachus; an enterprise to which he was already inclined from a desire to emulate his glory. 9 This was the last contest between the fellow soldiers of Alexander; and the two combatants were reserved, as it were, for an example of the influence of fortune. 10 Lysimachus was seventy-four years old; Seleucus seventy-seven. 11 But at this age they both had the fire of youth, and an insatiable desire of power; 12 for though they alone possessed the whole world, they yet thought themselves confined within narrow limits, and measured their course of life, not by their length of years, but by the extent to which they carried their dominion.

[17.2]   L  In this war, Lysimachus (who had previously lost, by various chances of fortune, fifteen children) died, with no small bravery, and crowned the ruin of his family. 2 Seleucus, overjoyed at such a triumph, and what he thought greater than the triumph, that he alone survived of all Alexander's staff, the conqueror of conquerors, boasted that " this was not the work of man, but a favour from the gods," 3 little thinking that he himself was shortly after to be an instance of human instability; 4 for in the course of about seven months, he was treacherously surprised by Ptolemaeus, whose sister Lysimachus had married, and put to death, 5 losing the kingdom of Macedonia, which he had taken from Lysimachus, together with his life.

6 Ptolemaeus, being ambitious to please his subjects, both for the honour of the memory of the great Ptolemaeus his father, and for the sake of palliating the revenge which he had taken on behalf of Lysimachus, 7 resolved, in the first place, to conciliate the sons of Lysimachus, and sought a marriage with their mother Arsinoe, his sister, promising to adopt the young men, 8 so that, when he should succeed to the throne of their father, they might not venture, through respect for their mother, or the influence of the name of father, to attempt anything against him. 9 He solicited, too, by letter, the friendship of his brother the king of Egypt, professing that " he laid aside all feelings of resentment at being deprived of his father's kingdom, and that he would no longer ask that from a brother which he had more honourably obtained from his father's enemy." 10 He also in every way flattered Nicomedes, that as he was about to have a war with Antigonus, the son of Demetrius, and Antiochus the son of Seleucus, he might not come upon him as a third enemy. 11 Nor was Pyrrhus of Epirus neglected by him, a king who would be of great assistance to whichsoever side he attached himself, 12 and who, while he desired to spoil them one by one, sought the favour of all. 13 On going to assist the Tarentines, therefore, against the Romans, he desired of Antigonus the loan of vessels to transport his army into Italy; of Antiochus, who was better provided with wealth than with men, a sum of money; and of Ptolemaeus, some troops of Macedonian soldiers. 14 Ptolemaeus, who had no excuse for holding back for want of forces, supplied him with five thousand infantry, four thousand cavalry, and fifty elephants, but for not more than two years' service. 15 In return for this favour, Pyrrhus, after marrying the daughter of Ptolemaeus, appointed him guardian of his kingdom in his absence; lest, on carrying the flower of his army into Italy, he should leave his dominions a prey to his enemies.

[17.3]   L  But since I have come to speak of Epirus, a few particulars should be premised concerning the rise of that kingdom. 2 The first rulers of this country were the Molossians. 3 Afterwards Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles, having been deprived of his father's dominions during his absence in the Trojan war, settled in these parts; the inhabitants of which were first called Pyrrhidae, and afterwards Epirots. 4 This Pyrrhus, going to the temple of Jupiter at Dodona to consult the oracle, seized there by force Lanassa, the grand-daughter of Hercules, and by a marriage with her had eight children. 5 Of his daughters he gave some in marriage to the neighbouring princes, and by means of these alliances acquired great power. 6 He gave to Helenus, the son of King Priamus, for his eminent services, the kingdom of the Chaonians, and Andromache the widow of Hector in marriage, after she had been his own wife, he having received her at the division of the Trojan spoil. 7 Shortly after he was slain at Delphi, at the very altar of Apollo, by the treachery of Orestes the son of Agamemnon. 8 His successor was his son Piales. 9 The throne afterwards passed in regular descent to Arrybas, 10 over whom, as he was an orphan, and the only survivor of a noble family, guardians were publicly appointed, the concern of all being so much the greater to preserve and educate him. 11 He was also sent to Athens for the sake of instruction; and, as he was more learned than his predecessors, so he became more popular with his subjects. 12 He was the first, accordingly, that established laws, a senate, annual magistrates, and a regular form of government; 13 and as a settlement was found for the people by Pyrrhus, so a more civilized way of life was introduced by Arrybas. 14 A son of this king was Neoptolemus; the father of Olympias (mother of Alexander the great), 15 and of Alexander, who occupied the throne of Epirus after him, and died in Italy in a war with the Bruttii. 16 On the death of Alexander his brother Aeacides became king, who, by wearying his people with constant wars against the Macedonians, incurred their dislike, 17 and was in consequence driven into exile, leaving his little son Pyrrhus, about two years old, in the kingdom. 18 The child, too, being sought for by the populace to be put to death, through their hatred to the father, was concealed and carried off into Illyricum, 19 and delivered to Beroe, who was the wife of king Glaucias, and of the family of the Aeacidae, to be brought up. 20 This king, moved either by pity for the boy's misfortunes, or by his infantine caresses, protected him for a long time against Cassander, king of Macedonia, who demanded him with menaces of war, having the kindness also to adopt him for his better security. 21 The Epirots, being moved by these acts, and turning their hatred into pity, brought him back, when he was eleven years old, into the kingdom, appointing him guardians to keep the throne for him till he became of age. 22 When he grew up he engaged in many wars, and, by a train of success, attained such eminence as a leader, that he was the only man who was thought capable of defending the Tarentines against the Romans.

BOOK 18

[18.1]   L  Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, therefore, being solicited by a second embassy from the Tarentines, to which were added the entreaties of the Samnites and Lucanians, who likewise needed assistance against the Romans, was induced to comply, not so much by the prayers of the suitors, as by the hope of making himself master of Italy, and promised to come to them with an army. 2 When his thoughts, indeed, were once directed to that enterprise, the examples of his predecessors began to impel him violently towards it, in order that he might not appear inferior to his uncle Alexander, whom the Tarentines had had for a defender against the Bruttii, or to have less spirit than Alexander the Great, who had subdued the east in so distant an expedition from his native country. 3 Having left his son Ptolemaeus, therefore, who was but fifteen years old, as guardian of his kingdom, he landed his army in the harbour of Tarentum, taking with him his two younger sons, Alexander and Helenus, as a comfort to him in so long a voyage. 4 The Roman consul, Valerius Laevinus, hearing of his arrival, and hastening to come to battle with him before the forces of his allies were assembled, led forth his army into the field. 5 Nor did the king, although he was inferior in number of forces, hesitate to engage. 6 But as the Romans were getting the advantage, the appearance of the elephants, previously unknown to them, made them at first stand amazed, and afterwards quit the field; and the strange monsters of the Macedonians at once conquered the conquerors. 7 The triumph of the enemy, however, was not bloodless; for Pyrrhus himself was severely wounded, and a great number of his soldiers killed; and he had more glory from his victory than pleasure. 8 Many cities of Italy, moved by the result of this battle, surrendered to Pyrrhus; 9 among others also Locri, betraying the Roman garrison, revolted to him. 10 Of the prisoners, Pyrrhus sent back two hundred to Rome without ransom, that the Romans, after experiencing his valour, might experience also his generosity. 11 Some days after, when the forces of his allies had come up, he fought a second battle with the Romans, of which the event was similar to that of the former.

[18.2]   L  In the meantime, Mago, general of the Carthaginians, being sent to the aid of the Romans with a hundred and twenty ships, went to the senate, saying that " the Carthaginians were much concerned that they should be distressed by war in Italy from a foreign prince; 2 and that for this reason he had been despatched to assist them; that, as they were attacked by a foreign enemy, they might be supported by foreign aid." 3 The thanks of the senate were given to the Carthaginians, and the succours sent back. 4 But Mago, with the cunning of a Carthaginian, went privately, a few days after, to Pyrrhus, as if to be a peacemaker from the people of Carthage, but in reality to discover the king's views with regard to Sicily, to which island it was reported that he was sent for; 5 since the Carthaginians had the same reason for sending assistance to the Romans, namely that Pyrrhus might be detained by a war with that people in Italy, and prevented from crossing over into Sicily. 6 During the course of these transactions, Fabricius Luscinus, being commissioned by the senate of Rome, had made peace with Pyrrhus. 7 To ratify the treaty, Cineas was sent to Rome by Pyrrhus with valuable presents, but found nobody's house open for their reception. 8 To this instance of Roman incorruptibility, another, very similar, happened about the same time. 9 Certain ambassadors, who were sent by the senate into Egypt, haying refused some costly presents offered them by Ptolemaeus, and being invited to supper some days after, golden crowns were sent to them, which, from respect to the king, they accepted, but placed them the next day on the king's statues. 10 Cineas, bringing word that " the treaty with the Romans was broken off by Appius Claudius," and being asked by Pyrrhus "what sort of city Rome was," replied that " it appeared to him a city of kings." 11 Soon after, ambassadors from the Sicilians arrived, to offer Pyrrhus the dominion of the whole island, which was harassed by constant wars with the Carthaginians. 12 Leaving his son Alexander, therefore, at Locri, and securing the cities of his allies with strong garrisons, Pyrrhus transported his army into Sicily.

[18.3]   L  Since I come to speak of the Carthaginians, a short account shall be given of their origin, tracing back, to some extent, the history of the Tyrians, whose misfortunes were much to be pitied. 2 The nation of the Tyrians was founded by the Phoenicians, 3 who, suffering from an earthquake, and abandoning their country, settled at first near the Syrian lake, and afterwards on the coast near the sea, 4 where they built a city, which, from the abundance of fish, they named Sidon, for so the Phoenicians call a fish in their language. 5 Many years after, their city being stormed by the king of the Ascalonians, sailing away to the place where Tyre stands, they built that city the year before the fall of Troy. 6 Here, harassed for a long time, and in various ways, by attacks from the Persians, they resisted, indeed, successfully, but, as their strength was exhausted, they suffered the most cruel treatment from their slaves, who were then extraordinarily numerous. 7 These traitors, having entered into a conspiracy, killed their masters and all the free people of the city, and thus, becoming masters of the place, took possession of the houses of their owners, assumed the government, appropriated wives to themselves, and begot, what they themselves were not, freemen. 8 Out of so many thousands of slaves, there was one who was moved to compassion by the mild disposition of his aged master and the hard fortune of his little son, and looked upon them, not with savage fierceness, but with humanity, affection, and pity. 9 He put them out of the way, therefore, as if they had been killed; and when the slaves came to deliberate about the condition of their government, and had resolved that a king should be elected from their own body, and that he should be preferred, as most acceptable to the gods, who should first see the rising sun, he mentioned the matter to Strato (for that was the name of his master), who was then in concealment. 10 Being instructed by him, and proceeding with the rest, about the middle of the night, to a certain plain, he alone, when they were all looking towards the east, kept his eye directed towards the west. 11 This at first seemed madness to the others, to look in the west for the rising sun; 12 but when day began to advance, and the rising luminary to shine on the highest eminences of the city, he, while all the rest were watching to see the sun itself, was the first to point out to them the sunshine on the loftiest pinnacle of the town. 13 This thought seemed above the wit of a slave; and when they asked him who had put it into his head, he confessed that it was his master. 14 It was then seen how far the abilities of freemen surpass those of slaves, who, though they may be first in viciousness, are not first in wisdom. 15 The old man and his son were therefore spared; and the slaves, thinking that they had been preserved by the interposition of some deity, made Strato king. 16 After his death, the throne descended to his son, and subsequently to his grandsons. 17 This atrocity of these slaves was much noticed, and was a terrible example to the whole world. 18 Alexander the Great, when he was prosecuting his wars, some time after, in the east, having taking the city, crucified, as an avenger of the general safety, and in memory of the former massacre, all those who survived the siege; 19 preserving from injury only the family of Strato, and restoring the throne to his descendants; and sending to the island, at the same time, inhabitants that were free-born and guiltless, that, as the race of slaves was extirpated, an entirely new generation might be established in the city.

[18.4]   L  The Tyrians, being thus settled under the auspices of Alexander, quickly grew powerful by frugality and industry.

2 Before the massacre of the masters by the slaves, when they abounded in wealth and population, they sent a portion of their youth into Africa, and founded Utica. 3 Meanwhile their king (?) Mutto died at Tyre, appointing his son Pygmalion and his daughter Elissa, a maiden of extraordinary beauty, his heirs. 4 But the people gave the throne to Pygmalion, who was quite a boy. 5 Elissa married Acerbas, her uncle, who was priest of Hercules, a dignity next to that of the king. 6 Acerbas had great but concealed riches, having laid up his gold, for fear of the king, not in his house, but in the earth; 7 a fact of which, though people had no certain knowledge of it, report was not silent. 8 Pygmalion, excited by the account, and forgetful of the laws of humanity, murdered his uncle, who was also his brother-in-law, without the least regard to natural affection. 9 Elissa long entertained a hatred to her brother for his crime, but at last, dissembling her detestation, and assuming mild looks for the time, she secretly contrived a mode of flight, admitting into her confidence some of the leading men of the city, in whom she saw that there was a similar hatred of the king, and an equal desire to escape. 10 She then addressed her brother in such a way as to deceive him; pretending that "she had a desire to remove to his house, in order that the home of her husband might no longer revive in her, when she was desirous to forget him, the oppressive recollection of her sorrows, and that the sad remembrances of him might no more present themselves to her eyes." 11 To these words of his sister, Pygmalion was no unwilling listener, thinking that with her the gold of Acerbas would come to him. 12 But Elissa put the attendants, who were sent by the king to assist in her removal, on board some vessels in the early part of the evening, and sailing out into the deep, made them throw some loads of sand, put up in sacks as if it was money, into the sea. 13 Then, with tears and mournful ejaculations, she invoked Acerbas, entreating that "he would favourably receive his wealth which he had left behind him, and accept that as an offering to his shade, which he had found to be the cause of his death." 14 Next she addressed the attendants, and said that "death had long been desired by her, but as for them, cruel torments and a direful end awaited them, for having disappointed the tyrant's avarice of those treasures, in the hopes of obtaining which he had committed fratricide." 15 Having thus struck terror into them all, she took them with her as companions of her flight. Some bodies of senators, too, who were ready against that night, came to join her, and having offered a sacrifice to Hercules, whose priest Acerbas had been, proceeded to seek a settlement in exile.

[18.5]   L  Their first landing place was the isle of Cyprus, 2 where the priest of Jupiter, with his wife and children, offered himself to Elissa, at the instigation of the gods, as her companion and the sharer of her fortunes, stipulating for the perpetual honour of the priesthood for himself and his descendants. 3 The stipulation was received as a manifest omen of good fortune. 4 It was a custom among the Cyprians to send their daughters, on stated days before their marriage, to the sea-shore, to prostitute themselves, and thus procure money for their marriage portions, and to pay, at the same time, offerings to Venus for the preservation of their chastity in time to come. 5 Of these Elissa ordered about eighty to be seized and taken on board, that her men might have wives, and her city a population. 6 During the course of these transactions, Pygmalion, having heard of his sister's flight, and preparing to pursue her with unfeeling hostility, was scarcely induced by the prayers of his mother and the menaces of the gods to remain quiet; 7 the inspired augurs warning him that "he would not escape with impunity, if he interrupted the founding of a city that was to become the most prosperous in the world." By this means some respite was given to the fugitives; 8 and Elissa, arriving in a gulf of Africa, attached the inhabitants of the coast, who rejoiced at the arrival of foreigners, and the opportunity of bartering commodities with them, to her interest. 9 Having then bargained for a piece of ground, as much as could be covered with an ox-hide, where she might refresh her companions, wearied with their long voyage, until she could conveniently resume her progress, she directed the hide to be cut into the thinnest possible strips, and thus acquired a greater portion of ground than she had apparently demanded; whence the place had afterwards the name of Byrsa. 10 The people of the neighbourhood subsequently gathering about her, bringing, in hopes of gain, many articles to the strangers for sale, 11 and gradually fixing their abodes there, some resemblance of a city arose from the concourse. 12 Ambassadors from the people of Utica, too, brought them presents as relatives, and exhorted them "to build a city where they had chanced to obtain a settlement." 13 An inclination to detain the strangers was felt also by the Africans; 14 and, accordingly, with the consent of all, Carthage was founded, an annual tribute being fixed for the ground which it was to occupy. 15 At the commencement of digging the foundations an ox's head was found, which was an omen that the city would be wealthy, indeed, but laborious and always enslaved. It was therefore removed to another place, 16 where the head of a horse was found, which, indicating that the people would be warlike and powerful, portended an auspicious site. 17 In a short time, as the surrounding people came together at the report, the inhabitants became numerous, and the city itself extensive.

[18.6]   L  When the power of the Carthaginians, from success in their proceedings, had risen to some height, Hiarbas, king of the Maxitani, desiring an interview with ten of the chief men of Carthage, demanded Elissa in marriage, denouncing war in case of a refusal. 2 The deputies, fearing to report this message to the queen, acted towards her with Carthaginian artifice, saying that "the king asked for some person to teach him and his Africans a more civilized way of life, 3 but who could be found that would leave his relations and go to barbarians, and people that were living like wild beasts?" 4 Being then reproached by the queen, "in case they refused a hard life for the benefit of their country, to which, should circumstances require, their life itself was due," they disclosed the king's message, saying that "she herself, if she wished her city to be secure, must do what she required of others." 5 Being caught by this subtlety, she at last said (after calling for a long time with many tears and mournful lamentations on the name of her husband Acerbas), that "she would go whither the fate of her city called her." 6 Taking three months for the accomplishment of her resolution, and having raised a funeral pile at the extremity of the city, she sacrificed many victims, as if she would appease the shade of her husband, and make her offerings to him before her marriage; and then, taking a sword, she ascended the pile, 7 and, looking towards the people, said, that "she would go to her husband as they had desired her," and put an end to her life with the sword. 8 As long as Carthage remained unconquered, she was worshipped as a goddess. 9 This city was founded seventy-two years before Rome; 10 but while the bravery of its inhabitants made it famous in war, it was internally disturbed with various troubles, arising from civil differences. 11 Being afflicted, among other calamities, with a pestilence, they adopted a cruel religious ceremony, an execrable abomination, as a remedy for it; 12 for they immolated human beings as victims, and brought children (whose age excites pity even in enemies) to the altars, entreating favour of the gods by shedding the blood of those for whose life the gods are generally wont to be entreated.

[18.7]   L  In consequence of the gods, therefore, being rendered adverse by such atrocities, after they had long fought unsuccessfully in Sicily, and had transferred the war into Sardinia, they were defeated in a great battle with the loss of the greater part of their army; 2 a disaster for which they sentenced their general Malchus, under whose conduct they had both conquered a part of Sicily and achieved great exploits against the Africans, to remain in exile with the portion of his army that survived. 3 The soldiers, indignant at this sentence, sent deputies to Carthage, to beg, in the first place, permission for them to return, and pardon for their ill success in the field; and, in the second place, to announce that "what they could not obtain by entreaty, they would obtain by force of arms." 4 The prayers and threats of the deputies being alike slighted, the troops, after some days, went on board ship, and came under arms to the city, 5 when they called gods and men to witness that "they were not come to overthrow, but to recover their country; and that they would show their countrymen that it was not valour, but fortune, that had failed them in the preceding war." 6 By stopping the supplies, and besieging the city, they reduced the Carthaginians to the greatest despair. 7 At this time Cartalo, the son of Malchus the exiled general, returning by his father's camp from Tyre (whither he had been sent by the Carthaginians, to carry the tenth of the plunder of Sicily, which his father had taken, to Hercules), and being desired by his father to wait on him, replied that "he would discharge his religious duties to the public, before those of merely private obligation." 8 His father, though he was indignant at his conduct, was nevertheless afraid to obstruct him in the performance of his religious offices. 9 Some days after, Cartalo, having obtained leave of absence from the people, and returning to his father, presented himself before all the people, dressed in the purple and fillets of his sacerdotal dignity, 10 when his father took him aside, and said, "Hast thou dared, most unnatural wretch, to appear before so many of thy miserable countrymen, thus arrayed in purple and gold, and to enter, with all the marks of peaceful prosperity about thee, and exulting as it were in triumph, into this sad and mournful camp? Couldst thou display thyself nowhere else to thy fellow creatures? 12 Was no place fitter for it than where the misery of thy father, and the distress of his unhappy banishment, were to be seen? 13 I have to add, too, that when thou wast summoned a short time ago, thou proudly despisedst, I do not say thy father, but certain]y the general of thy countrymen. And what else dost thou exhibit in that purple and those crowns, but the titles of my victories? 14 Since thou, therefore, acknowledgest nothing in thy father but the name of an exile, I also will assume the character, not of a father, but of a general, and will make such an example of thee, that no one may hereafter dare to sport with the miseries and sorrows of a parent." 15 He accordingly ordered him to be nailed, in all his finery, on a high cross within view of the city. 16 A few days after he took Carthage, and assembling the people, complained of the injustice of his banishment, pleaded necessity as his excuse for making war upon them, and added that "being content with his victory, and the punishment of the authors of their country's misery, he granted a free pardon for his unjust banishment to all the rest." 17 Having accordingly put ten senators to death, he left the city to the government of its laws. 18 But being accused himself, shortly after, of aspiring to be king, he paid the penalty of his twofold cruelty to his son and his country. 19 He was succeeded, as commander-in-chief, by Mago, by whose exertions the power of Carthage, the extent of its territories, and its military glory, was much increased.

Following books (22-24) →




Attalus' home page   |   27.02.14   |   Any comments?