Orosius, Book 3

      Chapters 1-14 :   388 to 327 B.C.  

Adapted from the translation by I.W. Raymond (1936). Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each chapter.   

Book 2

[Preface] L   In an earlier book I began my argument and now, in accordance with your instructions, I must resume the story of the struggles of bygone ages. I cannot here relate in full detail everything that has happened and how it came to pass, since many authors have already written at great length about innumerable matters of importance. These historians, however, came to no agreement in their interpretations despite the fact that they had at their disposal the same materials; for they were describing wars, whereas I for my part am more concerned with the miseries caused by wars. 2 Moreover, the very abundance of the subject matter - and I do lament this  - is in itself the cause of a dilemma, and I am limited by the rather knotty problem which it presents. If I strive to be brief and omit some things, people will think either that I do not have the materials at hand or else that the events never took place. But if I strive to include everything without describing it, restricting myself to a treatment entirely too brief, I shall not then make matters sufficiently clear. Many people will say that I have hardly touched upon events, 3 especially since from my point of view I am concerned with preserving for posterity the meaning of events rather than their description. But brevity and obscurity, or rather brevity, as it is ever obscure, though aiding one to grasp easily the picture of occurrences, does prevent a genuine comprehension of their meaning. Since I know that both of these faults should be avoided, I shall attempt so to deal with my subject that the one may be somewhat tempered by the other. In this way I shall appear neither to have omitted too much nor to have been unduly brief in my treatment.

[1] L   The three hundred and sixty-fourth year of the City was a year which Rome felt to be just as disastrous as Greece considered it glorious; for Rome was in a state of bondage which she had never before experienced, whereas Greece was enjoying an unaccustomed period of peace. At this time the Gauls held and sold the city of Rome, which they had captured and burned. This was also the time when the Persian king Artaxerxes sent envoys to warn all Greece to lay arms aside and be at peace, proclaiming that he himself would make war upon anyone who broke the peace. 2 The Greeks could have been as firm in defying his orders as they had often been brave in winning victories over him, but they gladly seized any opportunity, whatever its source, to attain the peace they had been so eagerly desiring. 3 In this way they showed how grievously and wretchedly they had hitherto been carrying on wars which now they ended so readily and on such discreditable terms. For what can be so base as for free and brave men to lay down their arms and to remain in peace at the command of a king who is far away, who has been frequently defeated, who has hitherto been an enemy, and who even now continues to threaten them? The Greeks could not have acted as they did, had not all inclination for war melted away in their hearts. Indeed they were already weary of war when they first heard the proclamation of peace, which brought them an unexpected respite from war and gave them a taste of peace while they were still bewildered and stupefied after their hardships and long vigils. So great, in fact, was their war-weariness that they proceeded to enjoy the peace even before formal deliberation could bring about this respite. 4 I shall now set forth as briefly as possible the origin of this great fatigue which oppressed the minds and bodies of all peoples throughout Greece and which persuaded their fierce spirits to accept an inactivity hitherto unknown to them.

5 The Lacedaemonians exhibited an attitude characteristic of mankind in general and of the Greeks in particular: the more they had, the more they coveted. When they had become masters of the Athenians, they turned their eyes greedily on Asia in the hope of acquiring dominion over all that country. 6 After stirring up war in the entire East, they chose  Hircylides as leader for this campaign. When Hircylides saw that he would have to fight against Pharnabazus and Tissaphernes, two of the most powerful satraps of Artaxerxes, the Persian king, he took counsel for the moment to consider how he might avoid the consequences of fighting against two men at the same time. He declared war and attacked one of them, but held the other off by making a treaty with him. 7 Pharnabazus brought Tissaphernes before Artaxerxes, to whom at that time they both owed allegiance, and accused him of being a traitor, charging him specifically with negotiating a treaty in time of war. Pharnabazus then urged the king to appoint in the traitor's place, as chief of naval operations, Conon, an Athenian citizen who happened at that time to be living as an exile in Cyprus. Pharnabazus then summoned Conon to appear, gave him five hundred silver talents, and put him in command of the fleet.

8 When the Lacedaemonians learned of this, they themselves sent envoys to seek assistance from the Egyptian king Hercynio for the prosecution of the naval war; they received from him one hundred fully equipped triremes and six hundred thousand modii of grain. From every side they likewise gathered together huge auxiliary forces which were contributed by their allies. 9 By common agreement they decreed that Agesilaus was to be their general in this campaign; he was lame, but in such a crisis as this they preferred that their king, rather than their kingdom, should limp.

Rarely if ever have generals in the same war been so nearly equal in every activity. Exhausted in turn by bitter conflicts and covered with blood, they parted as if each were undefeated. 10 Conon, upon receiving a second payment from the Great King, returned to the fleet, invaded the territory of the enemy, took citadels, fortresses, and other defences by storm, and like a cloudburst laid low everything he struck. 11 Beset by troubles at home, the Lacedaemonians now ceased to concern themselves with foreign affairs and, when threatened by an uprising of their slaves, they gave up the hope of expansion. Agesilaus, whom they had sent with an army into the province of Asia, was recalled to the defence of his native land.

12 In the meantime Pisander, who had been left in command at Sparta by King Agesilaus, had equipped a great and powerful fleet. Desiring to emulate the courageous example of Agesilaus, who at that time was engaged in an infantry expedition, he on his part sailed about making naval raids along the sea coast. After undertaking the campaign, 13 Conon, who owed obligations to his allies as well as loyalty to his own country, began to weigh his twofold responsibility: how he might show himself true to the latter and how he might furnish an example of his industry to the former. In this instance, he was more inclined to be on the side of his fellow citizens, because it was to ensure their peace and liberty that he was about to imperil the blood of foreigners and to contend against most arrogant enemies. In this war the king would bear all the risks, but the advantages would accrue to his own native land. 14 A naval encounter then took place. The Persians were led by Conon and the Spartans by Pisander. Soldiers, rowers, and even generals themselves were one and all seized with the same desire to kill. 15 The position of the Lacedaemonians, growing weaker as it did from this time on, reveals how great and how severe that war was. Thereafter the hopes of the Spartans seemed to ebb and, shrinking backwards, receded until Sparta, finally exhausted by a great effort to rise again and by a second wretched collapse, lost both power and reputation. 16 Indeed for the Athenians this battle marked the beginning of the restoration of power, just as for the Lacedaemonians it had signified the loss of power.

The Thebans were the first to take advantage of this situation. Relying upon the support of the Athenians and filled with confidence because of the courage and energy of their general Epaminondas, under whose leadership they thought they could easily win dominion over all Greece, they advanced against the Spartans. The latter were still suffering from the blow of their earlier defeat and consequently were demoralised. 17 A land battle took place, which the Thebans won without great difficulty. In this engagement Lysander was defeated and killed. Pausanias, the other Lacedaemonian leader, was accused of treason and driven into exile.

18 After winning this victory the Thebans collected their entire army and hastened to Sparta, thinking that they could easily enter a city devoid of defenders. For they had already destroyed almost all the Spartan forces together with their king, and they saw, too, that the Spartans had been deserted by their allies. 19 The Lacedaemonians became alarmed by the danger threatening their city and after making a levy of untrained troops from whatever sources available, they advanced to meet the enemy. When these levies had once been defeated, the Spartans then had neither the courage nor the spirit to offer further resistance to the victors. 20 The slaughter was almost wholly confined to one side. But suddenly and unexpectedly King Agesilaus, who had been summoned from the province of Asia, appeared on the field of battle. He at once attacked the Thebans who had now become rather overconfident and careless as the result of their double victory. He therefore had no trouble at all in defeating them, especially since he had kept the strength of his own forces unimpaired up to this time. Agesilaus himself, however, was seriously wounded.

21 Learning that the Lacedaemonians were encouraged by their unexpected victory, the Athenians became much alarmed; for they feared that they themselves might return to their former state of servitude, from the effects of which they had only just begun to recover. They therefore assembled their own army and united it as an auxiliary force to that of the Boeotians. The army was entrusted to the leadership of Iphicrates, who, though a very young man (he was not quite twenty years old), possessed a mature mind which compensated for the instability characteristic of youth.

22 Conon, an Athenian but also the leader of the Persian army, upon hearing of the return of Agesilaus, turned back to lay waste the territory of the Lacedaemonians. The Spartans, shut up within their own walls and terrified by the clamour that the enemy was raising on all sides, became utterly despondent. When 23 Conon grew weary of the campaign of devastation that he had visited far and wide upon the enemy's soil, he proceeded to Athens where he was joyfully acclaimed by the citizens; but he himself became sad when he saw the city, once most famous for her people and her culture, now reduced to a state of misery, squalor, ruin, and desolation. 24 As a great testimonial of his affection and pity, he undertook the work of restoring the city. He used spoils taken from the Lacedaemonians to replace what the Lacedaemonians had plundered; and he employed Persian artisans to rebuild what Persian incendiaries had reduced to ashes.

25 In the meantime the Persian king Artaxerxes, as has been mentioned above, sent envoys to command all the peoples of Greece to lay down their arms and to remain at peace. He did so not because he was aroused by pity for their state of exhaustion, but in order that no invasion of his own kingdom might be attempted while he was engaged in carrying on war in Egypt.

[2] L   The peace which the Greeks had so earnestly desired now made them weak, and leisure at home led to sluggishness. Taking advantage of this, the Lacedaemonians, who were restless rather than strenuous, and irresistible through their impetuosity rather than their courage, embarked upon a clandestine war after they had supposedly given up warfare. 2 When they observed that the Arcadians were away, they made a sudden attack upon their citadel and broke into it. Aroused by this unlawful act, the Arcadians, with the assistance of the Thebans who had joined them, sought to regain by arms what had been lost through this sly manoeuvre on the part of the Lacedaemonians. 3 In the battle that followed Archidamus, the leader of the Lacedaemonians, was wounded. Seeing that his men were defeated and were beginning to be slaughtered, he sent a herald to ask permission to bury the bodies of the dead. Among the Greeks this action is wont to be considered as an acknowledgment of defeat. 4 Content with this admission, the Thebans gave the signal to cease fighting and thus brought the struggle to an end.

5 After a few intervening days of armistice, the Lacedaemonians turned their attention to other wars. The Thebans, under the leadership of Epaminondas, then placed their reliance in an attack upon Sparta during a time, as they thought, it was quiet and deserted. Silently and in the dead of night they came to the city, but they did not find it as much off guard and as defenceless as they had expected. 6 The old men and those who were too young to fight, having armed themselves in anticipation of the arrival of the enemy, had stationed themselves in the very entrances of the gates. Although barely one hundred strong, the old men, despite the feebleness due to their years, rushed forth against fifteen thousand soldiers. While they were bearing the brunt of the fighting, the young men arrived on the scene and decided without delay to engage the Thebans in the open. 7 Defeat faced the Lacedaemonians when suddenly the Theban general Epaminondas was wounded while exposing himself recklessly in the fight. The Thebans were at once filled with anxiety as a result of their grievous loss, but the Spartans were overcome with joy. Both sides then withdrew from battle as if by common consent. 8 When Epaminondas, who was seriously wounded, received the news that his men had been victorious, he kissed his shield. Then removing his hand with which he had closed up the wound, he opened wide a passage for the flow of his blood and an avenue leading to death. The ruin of the Thebans themselves followed so closely upon his death that they seemed not only to have lost their leader but to have perished with him.

9 I have woven together strands of unrelated events into a historical wickerwork that cannot be unravelled, and following the evidence closely, I have worked in a description of the uncertain cycles of wars waged here and there with uncontrolled fury. I have done this because, as I see it, the more I retained the order of events, the more my account became disordered. 10 Who can arrange either by number, chronology, or logic the disturbances springing from every kind of hatred, and the numerous causes of strife which the Lacedaemonians's wicked lust for conquest has brought to numerous and important peoples, cities, and provinces? The Lacedaemonians, it is true, are reported to have been afflicted by the disorders arising out of wars no less than by the wars themselves. 11 Indeed when this war had lasted several years without interruption, the Athenians, Lacedaemonians, Arcadians, Boeotians, Thebans, and finally, Greece, Asia, Persia, Egypt together with Libya, and the largest islands, all became involved in an endless series of conflicts on land and sea. Even if I enumerated the wars, I could not record the thousands of slaughters suffered by mankind.

12 But now let those rail at our times and extol the past who do not know that all the inhabitants of those cities and provinces mentioned are at the present time wasting their declining strength attending the games and theatres as their sole occupation, just as in former days they exhausted their energies for the most part in camps and battles. 13 That very flourishing Lacedaemonian state, which in those times was striving for the mastery of the whole East, could muster barely one hundred old men. Beset as she was by unending troubles, she miserably expended the lives of her youth. 14 And at the present time we hear the complaints of men whose cities, filled with children and old men, are growing rich as their young men travel safely in foreign lands and acquire from peaceful pursuits the funds for their pleasures at home! Or possibly the explanation is - according to the fickle human habit of holding all present achievements of no account - that even life itself has become boring to those who itch to do and to hear new things.

[3] L   In the three hundredth year of the City, a violent earthquake shook all Achaia; two cities, Ebora and Helice, were swallowed up by fissures rent in the ground.

2 But I myself could tell of similar happenings in our own day at Constantinople, which is now equally the first city of the world  - happenings, it is true, predicted and under way, but not completed. After a terrible intimation and a acknowledgment of the evil it (bore), the earth below trembled and was shaken to its depths. Above, a flame, spreading from the sky, was suspended until God, moved by the prayers of the emperor Arcadius and the Christian population, averted the imminent catastrophe, 3 proving that He alone was the preserver of the meek as well as the punisher of the wicked. But I should admit (a concession to modesty) that I have merely mentioned these events rather than set them forth at any length, so that whoever knows them may recall them and whoever does not know them may investigate them further.

4 In the meantime, the Romans, who had been harassed for seventy years by the city of the Volsci and by the cities of the Falisci, Aequi, and Sutrini, and who had been worn down by constant warfare, were exhausted. Despite this, however, during the period mentioned above, under the leadership of Camillus, they finally captured these cities and put an end to the struggle when it had broken out anew. In a battle at the Allia River, under the leadership of T. Quintius, they defeated the Praenestini who, fighting and slaughtering as they went, had come to the very gates of Rome.

[4] L   In the three hundred and eighty-fourth year of the City, during the consulship of L. Genucius and Q. Servilius {365 B.C.}, a great plague gripped the entire city of Rome. 2 Instead of the usual variations that differ more or less from the norm of the seasons, that is, untimely dryness in winter, sudden heat in spring, unseasonable moisture in summer, and the varied seductions of a fruitful autumn, a breeze laden with destruction swept in from the pastures of Calabria, carrying in its wake a violent epidemic that spread rapidly through the land. 3 Unlike a common plague, it was severe, of long duration, and had no regard for either sex or age. For two years without interruption it destroyed everything, so that even those whose lives it did not take were left exhausted, despondent, and horribly emaciated.

4 Those who disparage the Christian era would complain at this point, I believe, were I to pass over in silence the ceremonies with which the Romans at that time sought to placate their gods and to allay the epidemic. 5 When the plague grew worse day by day, it was decided, upon the advice of the pontifices, to give dramatic plays in honour of the gods who coveted such rites. In order to purge their bodies of a plague that was only temporary, the Romans summoned to their souls a disease that was eternal. 6 I have now indeed a rich opportunity of expressing my grief and reproach, but where your reverence has already exercised your zeal for wisdom and truth, it is not proper for me to venture further. Let it suffice that I have reminded the reader and have turned his attention from any other opinion to your complete account {"Augustine, de Civ. Dei, 1.32"}.

[5] L   In the next year, a very ill-boding prodigy followed this wretched plague and its even more wretched expiation. Suddenly in the middle of the City the earth shook and a chasm opened and exposed the lower regions of the earth. 2 This impudent chasm with its open abyss long remained a spectacle and an object of terror to all. According to the interpreters of the gods, it demanded that a man be buried alive - an abominable rite. 3 M. Curtius, a mounted knight in armour, satiated its wicked jaws by throwing himself in headlong and thus gave satisfaction to the cruel earth, which was not content to receive in graves those who had died from the effects of the great plague, but must also swallow the living in its open chasm.

[6] L   In the three hundred and eighty-eighth year of the City, the Gauls again overflowed the land in a terrible invasion and encamped by the side of the Anio River at the fourth milestone from the City. Without doubt the Gauls would have easily overwhelmed the City, which was thrown into a panic by their great numbers and by their reputation for courage, had they not become sluggish as a result of ease and inactivity. 2 Manlius Torquatus began the very fierce struggle by engaging in single combat. The dictator T. Quintus brought it to an end only after a battle that caused much blood to flow. Many of the Gauls who had been put to flight in this battle later renewed the struggle after they had rested. They rushed into battle but were overcome by the dictator Sulpicius. 3 After a short time there followed the battle fought under C. Marcius against the Etruscans. I leave you to imagine how many men were killed when eight thousand of the Etruscans were captured.

4 For the third time during these days the Gauls, in order to obtain booty, overran the maritime regions and the fields that lay beneath the Alban Mountains. After a new levy had been held and ten legions had been conscripted, sixty thousand Romans advanced against them. The Latins refused to come to the aid of the Romans. 5 M. Valerius ended this battle with the aid of a crow and for that reason was later called Corvinus. The Gallic challenger was killed; the enemy scattered and fled in terror, sustaining heavy losses.

[7] L   Among other evils I think I should also count the treaty made with the Carthaginians - it was the first ever made with them - especially since so serious troubles followed its conclusion that they seem to have had their origin in it. 2 In the four hundred and second year after the founding of the City, ambassadors sent by Carthage to Rome concluded the treaty. 3 The trustworthy accounts of historians, the ill-omened character of the places, and the horror of the days in which these things happened all testify that the entrance of the Carthaginians into Italy was destined to be followed by a hailstorm of evils and perpetual night of uninterrupted ills. 4 At that time, moreover, night seemed to last into the greater part of the next day and a storm, raining stones instead of hail, came down from the clouds and lashed the earth. 5 Also there was born in those days Alexander the Great, a veritable whirlpool of evils and a hurricane that swept the whole East in its fury.

6 At that time, too, Ochus, who was also called Artaxerxes, after completing a long and severe war in Egypt, forced many of the Jews to migrate and ordered them to make their home in Hyrcania near the Caspian Sea. 7 They have remained there even to the present day and have greatly increased their numbers. It is the common belief that some day they will be forced to leave because of the pressure caused by overpopulation. 8 At the time of this war, Ochus, as he was passing through the land, also destroyed Sidon, the richest city of the province of Phoenicia and, despite an earlier defeat, now brought Egypt under his control, a land previously subdued and crushed by the sword of the Persians.

[8] L   Immediately after this, the Romans, on behalf of the Campanians and Sidicinians, began a war against the Samnites, a people mighty in arms and rich in resources. The conduct of the Samnite War, which so far had been waged with indecisive results, was taken over by Pyrrhus, the bitterest enemy of the Roman people. The Punic War followed close upon the war fought against Pyrrhus. 2 Indeed the ever-open gates of Janus indicate that never after the time of Numa's death had there been any cessation of the disasters of war; but from that time on misfortune pressed upon the Romans with the same intensity as the glowing heat that is kindled in the whole vault of heaven by the noonday sun. 3 Furthermore, after the Punic War had once begun, let anyone who thinks Christian times should be decried, inquire, discover, and proclaim in public whether wars, massacres, destruction, and all kinds of horrible deaths ever ceased except during the reign of Caesar Augustus. 4 With the exception of that one year during the Punic wars, which passed as swiftly as a bird's flight, the Romans were but once deluded by the briefest indication of peace and then only by the closing of the gates of Janus during a period when fevers and diseases raged in the republic. The situation reminds one how a sick person, by taking a sip of cold water, merely increases his fever and makes his suffering more violent and more difficult to bear.

5 It is settled beyond dispute, however, that it was under Augustus Caesar and after peace had been made with the Parthians that the whole world first laid down arms and brought to an end the causes of dissension. The world was then in a state of universal peace and quiet hitherto unknown. It rendered obedience to the Roman laws, preferred Roman justice to its own, arms, and chose Roman judges in place of its despised leaders. 6 There also existed a single will to preserve peace by the zealous exercise of a free and honest spirit, and to plan for the common welfare of all nations, entire provinces, innumerable cities and countless peoples - in fact of the whole world. This was a condition that not even one city nor any group of citizens, nay, what is more, not one household of brothers, had previously ever been able to enjoy in common. 7 If we agree that all these things came to pass during the reign of Caesar, it is then most clearly proved and evident that the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ had begun to illuminate the world in his reign. 8 Men, though prompted to blasphemy by hatred, are unwillingly forced to recognise and to concede that this quiet, serenity, and peace throughout the entire world has come not from the greatness of Caesar, but by the power of the Son of God, Who appeared in the time of Caesar; also that they have obeyed, according to general knowledge, not the ruler of one city but the Creator of the whole universe itself, a Creator who, like the rising sun which bathes the day with light, mercifully clothed the world in prolonged peace at His advent. How this came to be will be discussed more fully in the proper place when the Lord wills it.

[9] L   In the four hundred and ninth year after the founding of the City, during the consulship of Manlius Torquatus and Mus {340 B.C.}, the Romans declared war against the Latins who were in rebellion. In this war one consul was killed while the other survived by committing a parricide. 2 For Manlius Torquatus killed his own son, who was a young man, a conqueror, and the slayer of Maecius Tusculanus, a well-known member of the equestrian order and an especially provoking and abusive enemy. 3 The second consul, Decius Mus, when the conflict had been renewed, upon seeing that the wing which he commanded was being slaughtered and overwhelmed, went forth alone into the dense ranks of the enemy and was killed. 4 Although Manlius was the victor, nevertheless, triumphing as he did by committing a parricide, he did not receive the welcome that the noble youths of Rome customarily tendered to conquerors in accordance with the provisions of the law. 5 In the following year Minucia, a Vestal Virgin, confessed that she had committed incest. She was condemned and buried alive in the field which is now called Campus Sceleratus  {"Polluted"}.

[10] L   And truly do I shudder when I refer to what happened a few years later. In the consulship of Claudius Marcellus and Valerius Flaccus {331 B.C.}, some Roman matrons were frenzied by an incredible madness and a love of crime. 2 It was that same horrible year of the plague when everywhere corpses were heaped up in piles and carted away. At first it was the general belief that the pestilence came from poisoned air. Later, however, a certain maidservant turned informer and proved beyond doubt what had really happened. Many matrons were compelled to drink the poisons that they themselves had mixed for others; and as soon as they had drunk the potions, they died. 3 So great was the number of the matrons involved in these crimes that three hundred and seventy of them, according to report, were condemned at one time.

[11] L   In the four hundred and twenty-second year of the City, Alexander, the king of the Epirots and the maternal uncle of Alexander the Great, transported his forces to Italy and made preparations for war against the Romans. In his eagerness for war he tried his best to strengthen his own army and auxiliaries either by bringing the cities near Rome over to his own side or by detaching them from the enemy. In a great battle in Lucania, however, he was defeated and killed by the Samnites who were bringing assistance to a Lucanian tribe.

2 I have indeed progressed somewhat on my course by reviewing the disasters which befell the Romans, but since I am particularly moved by the mention of this Alexander, I shall bring together in the smallest possible space, by retracing a few years, the great events which took place under Philip. He was that Macedonian king who had married Olympias, the sister of Alexander of Epirus and the mother of Alexander the Great.

[12] L   In the four hundredth year of the City, Philip, the son of Amyntas and the father of Alexander, obtained possession of the Macedonian crown and held it for twenty-five years. During this period he was responsible for the storing up of much bitterness and for a great number of wicked deeds. 2 Philip first was sent by his brother Alexander as a hostage to the Thebans among whom for three years he was educated in the company of Epaminondas, an extraordinarily vigorous commander-in-chief and also a most distinguished philosopher. 3 Alexander subsequently was murdered by his mother Eurydice who, although she had already committed adultery, previously killed another son, and made a widow of her daughter, contracted a marriage with her cousin upon the death of her husband. The people now forced Philip to accept the throne for which he had been acting as regent in behalf of the little son of his murdered brother.

4 Philip was harassed abroad by the attacks of enemies who rose up on all sides, while at home he was troubled by the fear of plots which, however, he usually detected. In the midst of all this, he waged his first war against the Athenians. 5 When he had defeated them, he directed his arms against the Illyrians and, after killing thousands of the enemy, captured the celebrated city of Larissa. 6 He next invaded Thessaly, not so much because he loved conquest as because he wanted to obtain the Thessalian cavalry, the strength of which he might add to his own army. 7 He took the Thessalians by surprise and brought them under his control. By incorporating the strongest divisions and forces of their cavalry and infantry he formed an almost invincible army. 8 When the Athenians had been defeated and the Thessalians subjugated, he married Olympias, the sister of Arubas, who was king of the Molossians. This Arubas supposed that he could enlarge his own empire because he was contracting a Macedonian alliance through his new relationship to the king. He was deceived in this expectation, however, and having failed in his attempt, passed his declining years as a private citizen in exile. 9 Later, while storming the city of Methone, Philip was struck by an arrow and lost an eye. Nevertheless he quickly took the city by assault.

10 Although his designs had been anticipated, Philip and his forces subdued almost all Greece. In fact, while each one of the Greek states was eager to extend its own control over other states, all lost their empire; and while they were recklessly rushing to a common ruin, they realised, only after they had been defeated and enslaved, that what each one had lost individually was lost to them all. 11 Philip, looking, as it were, from a watchtower and observing their foolish attempts to save themselves, always brought assistance to the weaker side. An adroit contriver of trickery, he fostered disputes, the kindling wood of war, and reduced to his rule conquered and conquerors alike.

12 But the unbridled rule of the Thebans gave Philip an opportunity to obtain political control over all Greece. The Thebans had defeated the Lacedaemonians and Phocians, who had been completely exhausted by repeated slaughter and plundering. Then at the common council of Greece they burdened them with more debt than they could possibly pay and thus forced them to take up arms. 13 The Phocians were led by Philomelus and were reinforced by Lacedaemonian and Athenian auxiliaries. They joined battle with the Thebans, put them to flight, and captured their camp. In a later battle, amid heavy casualties on both sides, Philomelus was slain. In his place the Phocians elected Oenomaus as their leader.

14 The Thebans and Thessalians did not hold a levy of their citizens, but willingly invited Philip, the Macedonian king, to be their leader. This was the king whom earlier they had striven hard to repel as an enemy. When battle was joined, the Phocians were butchered almost to the last man and Philip gained the victory. 15 When the Athenians learned the outcome of this battle, they occupied the passes of Thermopylae in order to prevent him from entering Greece. In so doing they were motivated by the same reason as that which they had acted upon in the past when the Persians were drawing near.

16 When Philip saw that his entrance into Greece would be barred at Thermopylae, which had now been rendered impassable, he directed the war intended for the enemy against his own allies. His armies attacked and cruelly plundered states of which but a short time before he had been the leader and which were now ready to receive him with open arms and to give him a hearty welcome. 17 Completely putting aside all sense of honour in regard to his alliance with them, he sold their wives and children into slavery and destroyed and plundered all their temples. And as if the gods showed no resentment at his actions, never once in twenty-five years did he suffer defeat.

18 After these deeds, Philip crossed into Cappadocia, where he waged war with equal perfidy. By employing deception he captured the neighbouring kings and put them to death; thus he brought all Cappadocia under Macedonian rule. 19 After visiting slaughter, conflagration, and robbery upon the cities of his allies, he turned to parricide. Fearing his brothers as co-heirs of the kingdom, since they were children of his father and his stepmother, he attempted to kill them. 20 When he had slain one of them, the other two fled for refuge to Olynthus. Philip at once made a hostile attack upon this ancient and flourishing city, overwhelming it with blood and slaughter, and emptying it of its wealth and men. He carried off his brothers, tortured them, and put them to death.

21 Elated by the destruction of his allies and by the murder of his brothers, Philip then began to think that it was lawful for him to do everything that he had planned. He seized the gold mines in Thessaly and the silver mines in Thrace. In order not to allow any law, human or divine, to remain unbroken, he seized control of the sea, dispatched his boats in different directions, and began to engage in piracy. 22 Furthermore, when two brothers, who were kings in Thrace, agreed to appoint him as arbiter in their dispute over the boundaries of the kingdom, he acted with his customary cunning. Advancing to the arbitration with an army drawn up as for war, he deprived the unsuspecting young men of their lives and their kingdom.

23 Despite all these acts, the Athenians, who had earlier blocked the advance of Philip by fortifying Thermopylae, now of their own free will sought peace with him and impressed upon the mind of their very deceitful enemy the careless character of their watch over the pass. 24 Other Greek states also, in order to devote themselves more fully to civil wars, voluntarily subjected themselves to the control of a foreign power in the form of a treaty of peace and an alliance. 25 Their principal reason for doing this at that time was that the Thessalians and Boeotians were asking Philip to present and acknowledge himself as their leader in the war which they had undertaken against the Phocians, who, supported by the Athenians and Lacedaemonians, were trying by payments and entreaties either to defer or to avert the war.

26 Philip secretly made different promises to both sides. To the Phocians he gave assurance under oath that he would grant them peace and forgiveness, but at the same time he solemnly promised the Thessalians that he would soon appear with his army. Having forbidden both sides to prepare for war, 27 he then drew up his own forces and entered the passes of Thermopylae in perfect safety. He fortified these passes by stationing garrisons at intervals. 28 At this moment not only the Phocians but also all the peoples of Greece for the first time saw that they had been deceived. Philip, contrary to his pledge and in defiance of his oath, inflicted a terrible massacre upon the foremost Phocians. He then ravaged all their cities and territories and made his bloody presence so dreaded that he was feared even when he was absent.

29 When Philip had returned to his own kingdom, following the custom of the shepherds who lead their flocks now to summer and now to winter pasture, he transplanted, according to his capricious whims, cities and populations to other districts as he deemed it necessary to people them or leave them desolate. 30 Everywhere the country presented a pitiable sight, and people suffered from the most dreadful forms of misery - destruction without hostile invasion, captivity without war, exile without punishment, and domination without victory. 31 Fear spread abroad and oppressed a wretched people already tortured by the wrongs they had endured. Their distress was increased by its very concealment and the more it increased the less were the terrified people able to express their feelings, lest their very tears be taken as an indication of stubborn resistance. 32 Philip tore some populations from their homesteads and settled them in hostile territory; he placed others at the extreme frontiers of the kingdom; and still others, because he was jealous of their strength, he distributed among the deserted cities in order to increase the population there. 33 Thus that magnificent structure of Greece, once so prosperous, crumbled when its liberty disappeared into many mutilated fragments.

[13] L   When Philip had carried out these measures in a large number of Greek cities and was striking fear into the hearts of them all, he began to calculate the wealth of all the cities on the basis of the booty taken from a few. He decided that if he were to be successful in bringing equal devastation upon all alike it was necessary to control a maritime city. He concluded that the famous city of Byzantium would prove a suitable base for operations on land as well as on sea. When the city resisted him, he immediately surrounded and besieged it. 2 Now this was the same Byzantium which was founded by Pausanias, king of the Spartans, in days gone by, but which was later enlarged by Constantine, the Christian emperor, and renamed Constantinople. At present it is the capital of our most glorious empire and the leading city of the entire East.

3 The siege was long and fruitless. Philip finally turned pirate and sought by plundering to regain the wealth that he had exhausted in the siege. He sold a hundred and seventy captured ships loaded with merchandise and thus relieved a little of his pressing poverty. 4 In order to obtain booty and at the same time conduct the siege, he divided his army. Setting out in person with the bravest of his men, he captured many cities of the Chersonese, crushed the inhabitants, and carried off their wealth. He and his son Alexander also crossed to Scythia with the intention of plundering that country. 5 Atheas was then reigning over the Scythians. When he was hard pressed in his war with the Istriani, he had sought assistance from Philip through the people of Apollonia; but as soon as the king of the Istriani had died, feeling free from any threat of war and need of assistance, he broke the treaty of alliance he had made with Philip. 6 Philip at once abandoned the siege of Byzantium, marshalled all his forces, and began war against the Scythians. When battle was joined, the Scythians, though they outnumbered him and exhibited greater courage, were defeated by trickery. 7 In that battle twenty thousand Scythian women and children were captured, a great number of cattle were carried off, but no gold or silver was discovered; this was what first demonstrated the poverty of the Scythians. Twenty thousand fine mares were sent to Macedonia to improve the breed. 8 When Philip was returning, the Triballi barred his way and made war upon him. During the fighting Philip was wounded in the thigh in such a way that the horse on which he was riding was killed by the weapon which had passed through his own body. Thinking that Philip had been killed, everyone turned to flight and abandoned the booty.

For a short time, while convalescing from his wound, Philip remained at peace, 9 but as soon as he had recovered he declared war against the Athenians, who, when faced with this great crisis, accepted the Lacedaemonians, their former enemies, as allies. The Athenians wearied all the cities of Greece by sending embassies to induce them to attack the common enemy with united forces. Several cities did ally themselves with the Athenians, but the dread of war led others to go over to Philip. 10 When battle was joined, the Athenians, although superior in numbers, were defeated by the Macedonians, whose courage had been steeled by unceasing warfare. 11 The consequence of this battle proved it to have been far severer than any of those preceding. For this day brought to an end the renowned empire and the glorious and ancient liberty of all Greece.

[14] L   Later Philip completed his triumph over the Thebans and Lacedaemonians by cruel and bloody measures. He beheaded some of the leading men of these peoples, drove others into exile, and deprived all of their property. 2 He restored to their native land those who had recently been banished by the citizens and appointed three hundred of these exiles as judges and officials. These men, in order to heal their old resentment through an exercise of their new authority, would not allow the unhappy and oppressed people to entertain the hope of regaining their liberty. 3 Besides this, Philip also made a great levy of soldiers from all parts of Greece to support his arrangements. Just before departing for his Persian expedition against Asia he drew up in battle array two hundred thousand foot soldiers and fifteen thousand cavalry of the Macedonian army, together with a countless number of barbarian tribes. 4 He selected three leaders, Parmenion, Amyntas, and Attalus, with the intention of sending them to Persia in advance of the main army.

While these forces were assembling from Greece, Philip decided to marry his daughter Cleopatra to Alexander. This Alexander was the brother of Philip's wife Olympias, and he later was overthrown by the Sabines in Lucania. Philip had earlier made him king of Epirus in redress for the disgraceful indignities he had inflicted upon him. 5 When someone asked Philip on the day before he was killed what end was most to be desired by man, he is said to have answered that the happiest lot which could befall a brave man was to reign in peace, enjoying a lifelong reputation for virtue, and then to die by a sudden stroke of the sword, without suffering any bodily illness and without having any mark of dishonour on his soul. This soon turned out to be his own fate. 6 Nor could the angry gods whom he had always held in low esteem, and whose altars, temples, and shrines he had destroyed, prevent him from meeting his death in the way that seemed to him most desirable. 7 For, on the day set for the wedding, as he was walking unattended by guards between the two Alexanders, his son and his son-in-law, on his way to the games that had been prepared on a magnificent scale, he was waylaid in a narrow passageway and slain by Pausanias, a young Macedonian noble.

8 My adversaries may now assert and loudly proclaim that these were glorious deeds and successful achievements of brave men. Indeed the bitterest calamities of others become pleasant tales to these opponents of mine so long as they themselves are not tormented from time to time by injuries which they must needs relate with sadness and bitter tears. 9 But if my adversaries are willing, when their troubles are reported to others, to receive sympathy only from those who have suffered from the same events, first let them compare, not the past with the present, but events with events, and let judges decide both cases as if they were listening to strangers. 10 During twenty-five years a single king's deceit, brutality, and tyranny brought about the burning of cities, the ruin of war, enslavement of provinces, slaughter of men, plundering of wealth, pillage of flocks, robbery of the dead, and slavery of the living.

following chapters (15-23)

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