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Polyaenus: Stratagems

    - BOOK 5, Chapters 16-48

Adapted from the translation by R.Shepherd (1793). See key to translations for an explanation of the format.


CONTENTS:   ← Previous Chapters (1-15) 16 Pammenes ; 17 Heracleides ; 18 Agathostratus ; 19 Lycus ; 20 Menecrates ; 21 Athenodorus ; 22 Diotimus ; 23 Tynnichus ; 24 Cleitarchus ; 25 Timarchus ; 26 Eudocimus ; 27 Pausistratus ; 28 Theognis ; 29 Diocles ; 30 Chileus ; 31 Cypselus ; 32 Telesinicus ; 33 Pompiscus ; 34 Nicon ; 35 Nearchus ; 36 Dorotheus ; 37 Sosistratus ; 38 Diognetus ; 39 Archebius ; 40 Aristocrates ; 41 Aristomachus ; 42 Charimenes ; 43 Calliades ; 44 Memnon ; 45 Philomelus ; 46 Democles ; 47 Panaetius ; 48 Pyraechmes


[16]   Pammenes.

When Pammenes was marching his army through Phocis to Thebes, he found the enemy in charge of a fort called Philoboeotus, to which there were two narrow approaches; one was defended by a strong position which the enemy had secured, but the other was more open. Pammenes ordered his army to march to the right, as if intending to force their way through the latter approach, with the front of their line contracted, but with their formation deepened. The enemy collected all their forces to oppose him, and even abandoned the position which they had occupied, in order to defend the other pass. This was what Pammenes hoped for, and he immediately sent a body of troops to take possession of the deserted position. Then he marched his army without loss, through the approach which it commanded.

2   Pammenes was strong in cavalry, but in infantry very inferior to the enemy, who outnumbered him particularly in peltasts, . He posted the few peltasts he had, and some of his light infantry, against the strongest part of the enemy's army; and he ordered them after a short skirmish to turn to flight, and thereby to draw the peltasts of the enemy away from the main body of their army. When this turned out as he hoped, he advanced at the head of a body of cavalry from the other wing, and charged furiously at their rear, while the troops, who before had fled, turned around to face them. In this way he surrounded the enemy, and either took them prisoners, or cut them to pieces. [see also: Frontinus, Str.2.3.3]

3   Pammenes wished to make himself master of the harbour of Sicyon, which was then under the protection of the Thebans. At the same time as he advanced against the city by land, he manned a merchant ship with soldiers, and stationed it at the mouth of the harbour. Towards the evening, some of these soldiers, without arms, went on shore in the guise of merchants, to make purchases and see the market. When the evening was well advanced, and the ship had entered the harbour, with a great and confused noise Pammenes attacked the city. All the inhabitants ran to the district, where the attack was being made. Even the men who lived by the beach left it, and ran to the assistance of their friends in the city. In the meantime, the armed troops from the ship went on shore, and made themselves masters of the harbour without opposition. [see also: Frontinus, Str.3.2.10]

4   Pammenes ordered his men to follow the orders of the trumpet, in a manner completely opposite to their usual meaning. As soon as they heard the retreat sounded, they were instructed to attack; and when the trumpet sounded an attack, they were told to retreat. And he used both of these devices successfully.

5   Pammenes, with a small force, was surprised by the enemy, who were very superior in numbers. He sent a spy into their camp, who discovered their password, and on his return he disclosed it to Pammenes. At midnight he attacked their camp; and while the enemy in the dark could not recognise each other, and could not distinguish their friends from their foes, who also knew the password, he obtained a complete victory.

[17]   Heracleides.

When Demetrius undertook an expedition into Lydia, he left Heracleides in charge of Athens in his absence. The Athenian generals sought to take advantage of this opportunity. They tried to persuade Hierocles of Caria, the general of the mercenaries, to open the gates by night, and admit the Athenian troops; the Athenians would then murder Heracleides, and make themselves masters of the place. This conspiracy, in which the generals Hipparchus and Mnesidemus took the lead, was formed at Ilissus, where the lesser mysteries were celebrated. However Hierocles, who remained true to Heracleides and to his duty, informed him of the hostile plot. Heracleides arranged with Hierocles to admit the Athenians, by opening only a part of the gates. Accordingly, four hundred and twenty men were let in during the night, under the leadership of Mnesidemus, Polycles, Callisthenes, Theopompus, Satyrus, Onetorides, Sthenocrates and Pythion. As soon as they had entered, Heracleides attacked them with two thousand soldiers, who methodically cut down all the conspirators.

2   Heracleides, the Tarentine architect, promised to Philippus, the father of Perseus, that he would with his own hand destroy the Rhodian fleet. When he left the royal palace, he showed the people the marks of the king's cruel treatment of him, and took refuge at the altars. The Macedonians expressed great compassion for him, and with their support he got into a boat, and escaped to Rhodes. "I come to you," he said to the Rhodians, "for refuge from the cruel treatment which I have experienced at the hands of Philippus, only because I prevented an unjust war he planned against you. As proof of the truth of what I say, here is his letter, addressed to the Cretans, in which he expressly declares his intention of making war upon the Rhodians." The letter seemed to confirm his story beyond doubt; the Rhodians therefore welcomed him, and thought that he could assist them against Philippus. Then, taking advantage of a rough and windy night, he set fire to all their docks. Thirteen of them were entirely destroyed, with all the ships that were in them. As soon as he saw the fire take hold, Heracleides got into a boat and escaped. He crossed over to Macedonia, where he afterwards held the first place among Philippus' friends.

[18]   Agathostratus.

The Rhodians were engaged in a war with Ptolemaeus, whose fleet then lay at Ephesus. Chremonides, Ptolemaeus' admiral, embarked and put to sea, with the intention of bringing the Rhodians to battle. Agathostratus sailed with the Rhodians (?) on a single ship; and having shown himself to the enemy, returned to port, as if avoiding battle. The enemy gave a general cheer, at seeing the Rhodians retreat, and themselves also returned to port. Then Agathostratus put to sea again as quickly as possible, and in a close compact line bore down upon the enemy, just as they were landing at the temple of Aphrodite. He attacked them vigorously, while they were so unprepared for action, and obtained a complete victory.

[19]   Lycus.

Aenetus, the general of Demetrius, was left in charge of Ephesus, and he gave shelter there to a number of pirates, who committed great depredations in the neighbouring countries. Lycus, the general of Lysimachus, managed to bribe Andron, the pirate-chief, to betray Ephesus to him, and the plot was carried out as follows. The pirate admitted into the city a body of Lycus' troops, who were unarmed, in their coats and cloaks, and bound as prisoners. As soon as they had advanced up to the citadel, he ordered them to draw their swords, which they carried concealed under their arms. After slaying the sentinels and guards, they gave the pre-arranged signal to Lycus. Lycus forced his way to them with the rest of his army, took Aenetus prisoner, and made himself master of Ephesus. But after paying the pirates, according to their agreement, he expelled them from the city; because he rightly concluded that he could not depend on their loyalty to him, when they had been so very unfaithful to their former friends. [see also: Frontinus, Str.3.3.7]

[20]   Menecrates.

When Menecrates attacked Salamis in Cyprus, his men were twice driven from the walls and fled to their ships. He renewed the attacked a third time, and gave orders to the masters of the vessels to weigh anchor and sail away to a promontory nearby, behind which they were to anchor and lie concealed. The soldiers, after preparing their engines and ladders, again attacked the walls, and were again beaten off; but when they could see none of their ships, and found no hope of safety left to them, except in victory, they returned to the fight. They acquired fresh courage from despair, drove the defenders from the walls, and made themselves masters of Salamis.

[21]   Athenodorus.

After Athenodorus, the king's general, had been defeated by Phocion at Atarneus, and forced to retreat, he made all his officers and soldiers take an oath, that they would continue to fight as long as they were able to stand. Then he led them to the same spot, and renewed the fight. The conquered, under the constraint of their oath, became victorious; and the victors fled.

[22]   Diotimus.

While Diotimus was escorting some transport ships with ten triremes, he was intercepted by the Lacedaemonians with a fleet a twenty ships at Chios. Keeping close by his transports, he maintained a running fight; and, by separately attacking the enemy's ships, as they came up to him, he defeated a fleet of double his size without any loss, through his courage and excellent tactics.

2   Diotimus with ten ships advanced against a Lacedaemonian fleet of the same number; but they were conscious of the Athenians' superior seamanship, and he could not bring them to a battle. He afterwards joined his ships together, two by two, hosting the sails of only one of the pair, and thus put to sea. The Lacedaemonians, by the appearance of the sails, discerned only five ships, and, on the assumption that the enemy's force was as small as that, they immediately bore down upon them. As soon as they had advanced too near to escape from him, Diotimus untied his ships and confronted their fleet with an equal force. And the Athenians were so superior to the enemy in seamanship, that they sank six of their ships, and captured the other four.

3   Diotimus, the Athenian admiral, was put in command of an expedition, that needed to be completed quickly. He secretly informed the captains of the fleet, that he intended to take with him only the fastest vessels, which could keep up with him. He said this, not because he intended to leave any of them behind, but in order to make them exert themselves, and therefore give vigour to the expedition by their promptness and speed.

4   When Diotimus wanted to invade an enemy's country, he landed a small party from each ship by night, and formed them into an ambush. Early in the morning, he approached that part of the shore, near which he had planted the ambush. He ordered the soldiers on board to prepare for action, and he gave the appearance of intending to put some boats, with armed men on them, on shore. The enemy advanced to the place, to dispute the landing. When a signal was given, the troops sallied out from their ambush, and fell upon the enemy's rear. They slew many of them, and put the rest to flight. Diotimus then landed his army without further opposition.

[23]   Tynnichus.

When Theudosia, a city of Pontus, was besieged by the neighbouring tyrants, and in danger of being captured, Tynnichus relieved the city with one transport ship and one warship. Taking with him as many soldiers as he could, with three trumpets, and some canoes, he arrived near the town in the night. He posted each trumpeter in a separate canoe, and ordered them to advance at a good distance from each other, and to sound their instrument not separately, but together, and at regular intervals; so that it might appear to be the sound, not of a single trumpet, but of several. The besiegers supposed that a large fleet was arriving, and abandoned their position, thinking themselves lucky to have made their escape. They left Tynnichus in possession of the port, and he was able to send reinforcements into the town.

[24]   Cleitarchus.

When the enemy advanced against Cleitarchus, to avoid being blocked up by them in the town, he marched out his forces. Then he ordered the gates to be locked, and the keys to be thrown over the walls. He took the keys, and showed them to his soldiers, who, finding that all hope of a retreat was thus removed, fought bravely, and by their courage defeated the enemy.

[25]   Timarchus.

When Timarchus the Aetolian had landed his forces in a densely populated part of Asia, so that his men should not be deterred from carrying out the enterprise by the great numbers which the enemy might bring to confront them, he set fire to his ships, and thus removed all hope of effecting a safe retreat. His army, seeing no alternative but death or victory, fought valiantly and obtained the victory.

[26]   Eudocimus.

When some disputes arose in his camp, Eudocimus was unable to compose them, and the rival groups were on the point of deciding their differences by arms. Eudocimus ordered some couriers to appear, as if they had just arrived, and to announce that the enemy was approaching, and that they had even begun to destroy the palisades. The news of the enemy's approach immediately composed the internal strife; and every soldier ran to his post for the common good.

[27]   Pausistratus.

When Pausistratus, the Rhodian admiral, found that a great quantity of weapons had been lost, he ordered his men on board, each carrying his own weapons. As soon as they were all on board, he commanded every man to disarm; and certain officers, whom he had appointed for this purpose, took care that no weapons were carried back on shore.

[28]   Theognis.

In order to put an end to disputes which were forming in the Athenian army about the battle positions of companies and units, Theognis dispatched a body of cavalry and officers by night; with orders to stop in a conspicuous position a little distance away, where they might be seen by the army, and taken for the enemy. When they appeared in that position, Theognis, in a pretended hurry and confusion, ordered the army to form up immediately, and everyone to fall into their ranks, as if the enemy were actually in arms and advancing against them. The fear of attack left no time for contention, but each soldier readily posted himself in his old position. Theognis then told them, that the pretended enemy were in fact there friends and fellow soldiers. "But," he said, "in future let us have no more disputes about positions; each of you should maintain the post, which you now have taken." [see also: Frontinus, Str.4.1.8]

2   When Theognis suspected that spies had infiltrated into the camp, he posted guards on the outside of the trenches, and then ordered every man to take his station by his own weapons. In consequence of this order, the spies became easy to distinguish; either because they moved away, or because they had no weapons by which to post themselves.

[29]   Diocles.

When Diocles, the Athenian general, was marching in the enemy's country, he could not make his men keep their ranks, or carry their weapons. Therefore he continually changed the password; from which the men concluded that the enemy were not far off. This made them take up their weapons, and preserve their ranks.

[30]   Chileus.

Chileus the Arcadian, when he was staying at Lacedaemon, learned that the Spartans were planning to fortify the Isthmus, and to withdraw from the general alliance of the Athenians and the other Greeks, who lived outside the Peloponnese. Chileus observed to them, that if the Athenians and other Greeks should ever enter into friendship with the Persians, the barbarians would find a thousand ways to cross into the Peloponnese. The Lacedaemonians felt the force of his observations; they thought no more about the Isthmus, but joined the general alliance of the Greeks.

[31]   Cypselus.

After he had sent the most eminent of the Bacchiades to consult the oracle at Delphi about some public business of the Corinthians, Cypselus forbade them to return to Corinth. Thus, by getting rid of the most powerful family in the state, he easily established himself as tyrant.

[32]   Telesinicus.

Telesinicus the Corinthian fought against the Athenians in front of the harbour of Syracuse. When the battle had continued for most of the day, and both sides were exhausted, Telesinicus sent a light vessel to the city, with orders to bring provisions down to the beach. When they had done this, though the battle was still undecided, at a given signal the Corinthian fleet retreated into port. After the Corinthians had left, the Athenians also returned to land; the men went on shore, and were employed in various tasks for the preparation of dinner. Meanwhile, Telesinicus' men had eaten a short and hasty meal, and he put to sea again. He covered his decks with marksmen and archers, and suddenly attacked the Athenians, who ran to their ships from their different tasks in tumult and confusion. Telesinicus bore down on their sterns, before they had time to turn around, and he obtained a complete and easy victory.

2   Telesinicus observed the enemy ate when he did, and copied him in all their movements. He ordered some of his best sailing vessels to take their meal early in the morning; and at the usual time, he gave the signal for the rest of the fleet to eat. When the enemy did the same, those Syracusans, who had already taken their meals, boarded their ships and attacked the enemy, who were unprepared and in disorder, and destroyed many of their triremes.

[33]   Pompiscus.

Pompiscus the Arcadian made it a general rule, whenever he encamped, to fortify the roads leading to his camp with both palisades and trenches; and also to make new roads behind them. In this way, any scouts or spies, who tried to enter the camp by night, would fall into the trenches; and when they turned around, they would be unable to find their way back.

2   When Pompiscus perceived that the enemy, because they were stationed very close by, could observe his signals and orders, he secretly instructed his men, to do the exact opposite of the signals they were given.

3   Pompiscus had so formed his camp, that it almost surrounded the city he was besieging, but in a single area he deliberately left it open. He ordered that the approach to the city in that direction should be safe and free for all, who might have occasion to use it; and he ordered his marauding parties not to attack anyone who was found there, whether they were going to the city, or coming away from it. The citizens, finding that they could use that route without harm, went into the country as their concerns required, and passed backwards and forwards without any precautions. When his scouts informed him, that great numbers of the inhabitants were in that area, Pompiscus suddenly attacked them, and made them prisoners.

4   Finding that he could not capture a town by force, Pompiscus bribed a deserter to inform the enemy, that the Arcadians had recalled him, and that he had been ordered to raise the siege. The inhabitants rejoiced at the news, and when soon afterwards they saw the enemy strike their tents, and retreat, they fully believed what the deserter had told them. They came out of the city in crowds, to seize whatever they could find that was worth carrying off from the enemy's camp; but Pompiscus suddenly returned, and fell upon them. Thus he captured both the men themselves, and their city.

5   In order to capture the enemy's scouts, Pompiscus always had only a few roads leading to his camp, which were open and exposed; and he ordered his marauding parties to leave and return by side-roads. The scouts, who did not dare to use the open roads, used to travel by the side-roads; and thus they soon fell into the foragers' hands.

6   Pompiscus used to employ as scouts persons, who were not acquainted with each other; so that they might be less likely to group together, and give in false reports. He also ordered them not to communicate in any way with anyone within the camp; so that no-one would be able, by talking to them, to inform the enemy of their errands.

[34]   Nicon.

In order to pass by the enemy's triremes without being noticed, Nicon of Samos painted his ship in the same manner as theirs; and he chose some of the ablest and most expert hands he had on board, to work on the oars. Then he headed straight past the enemy; his crew, as soon as they came near enough, saluted by signs the sailors of the other fleet, who were taken by surprise. It was not until the ship had got to their rear, and from there had set out on a different course, that they realised that it was an enemy ship, and by that time it had got out of their reach.

[35]   Nearchus.

Nearchus the Cretan made himself master of Telmessus, which was then in the hands of Antipatrides, by the following stratagem. When he sailed into the harbour, Antipatrides, who was an old acquaintance of his, came out of the fort towards him, and asked if he was on any particular business, and whether he was in need of anything. The Cretan told him, that he had some girl musicians on board, and also some slaves in fetters, that he would be glad to leave on shore with him; and Antipatrides readily agreed to this. The women were accordingly conducted into the fort; and the slaves accompanied them, carrying their instruments and baggage. But small swords were hidden in the flutes, and shields were hidden in the baskets; and, as soon as they had entered the fort, the attendants immediately seized the weapons, and took possession of the fort; in this way, they made Nearchus master of Telmessus.

[36]   Dorotheus.

When Dorotheus of Leucas, in a single ship, was pursued by two enemy ships, he steered towards a harbour. Slipping by the mouth of it, he suddenly tacked around, and promptly bore down on the vessel which was first in the pursuit. That ship, supposing that he intended to enter the harbour, had set all its sails in that direction, and before it had time to change its course and face him, he sank it at the first attack. The other ship, seeing the fate of its companion, immediately sailed away.

[37]   Sosistratus.

Sosistratus persuaded the Syracusans to pass a general decree for the banishment of all those, with their families, who had any connection with Agathocles, or who were in any degree instrumental in raising him to power. These men were accordingly conducted out of the city by a body of a thousand men, consisting partly of cavalry, who fell upon them and slew most of them. Sosistratus afterwards proscribed those who had escaped, and confiscated the property of the exiles, which he used to hire Greek and barbarian mercenaries. He liberated the men who had been condemned to the quarries, and took them also into his service; they became his bodyguard, and by their assistance he became ruler of Syracuse.

[38]   Diognetus.

When Diognetus the Athenian had advanced against a city, he planted an ambush during the night, and the next day he openly attacked the city with a naval force. Upon his approach, the enemy immediately marched out of the city, to dispute his landing; but then the men came out of their ambush, and easily took possession of the city, which was left defenceless and open. The enemy were bewildered and dubious, whether to dispute the landing of the invaders, or to attempt to recover their city. Diognetus took advantage of their confusion; he landed his troops, and defeated the force that advanced against him.

[39]   Archebius.

Archebius of Heracleia, when the enemy were perpetually harassing the country with raids against the coasts, fastened together some fishing boats, and secured them with ropes run through their keels; then he posted himself with a body of troops in ambush nearby. A trumpeter was placed in a tree, in order to observe the enemy, and as soon as he saw them steering towards the coast with a small boat and two transport ships, he gave a signal to the men in the ambush. After the enemy had landed, and some of them were engaged in plundering the countryside, and others in loosing the boats, the men suddenly sallied out, attacked them, and cut them to pieces. Archebius captured the small boat and transports, and brought them into the harbour.

[40]   Aristocrates.

When Aristocrates of Athens captured a Lacedaemonian ship, he manned it with his own crew, and a considerable military force, and he steered to a city which was in alliance with the Lacedaemonians. The men who were in charge of the harbour readily admitted him, as a friend and ally. But as soon as the men had landed, they fell upon the inhabitants and guards, who were casually walking on the beach. They slew ten, who tried to resist them, and carried off twenty five prisoners, for whom Aristocrates afterwards received a considerable ransom.

[41]   Aristomachus.

When Aristomachus captured some triremes of the Cardians, he placed his own rowers at their oars, and decorated them with the colours and standards of his own ships, which he towed after him as if in triumph. In the evening he entered the harbour, with music playing, and the Cardians flocked out of the city, to see their victorious fleet. When Aristomachus' troops landed, they made a dreadful slaughter of them.

[42]   Charimenes.

When Charimenes the Milesian fled to Phaselis, and was closely pursued by some warships of Pericles the Lycian, he put to shore and, changing his clothes, travelled on foot through the dominions of Pericles.

[43]   Calliades.

Calliades, the master of a ship, was overtaken by a warship before he could reach port. Calliades so managed his rudder, as to receive upon it the oars of the enemy's first bench, and thereby he broke the force of their attacks upon his stern. By this means, he kept them away for some time, and under cover of night he succeeded in escaping.

[44]   Memnon.

Memnon had decided to make war on Leucon tyrant of the Bosphorus. In order to acquaint himself with Leucon's forces, and the population of the country, he dispatched Archibiades of Byzantium on a trireme, as his ambassador to Leucon, as if to arrange an alliance with him. And with him he sent an eminent citharode, Aristonicus of Olynthus, the most celebrated artist of his day in Greece; in order that whatever towns he touched at in his journey, Aristonicus might publicly entertain them with his musical abilities. When the inhabitants of course crowded to the theatres to hear him, the ambassador was able, from the number of men he saw there, to form some estimate of the population of the respective places.

2   Memnon, when encamped on a plain before the enemy, to decoy them from an advantageous post they had taken, retreated to a greater distance from them; and drew up only a part of his army, to make the enemy believe that some disaster had occurred in his camp. And to support such a suspicion, he at the same time dispatched a deserter over to them, to inform them that a mutiny had taken place in his army; and that, because he could not trust his troops, he had for fear of an attack from the enemy retreated to a greater distance. His retreat, and the diminished appearance of his army, combined to persuade the enemy of the truth of the deserter's story. They therefore decided to leave their position, and offered him battle. Then the army of Memnon, instead of being divided by mutinies, marched out in one firm body; they attacked the enemy, and obtained a complete victory. [see also: Frontinus, Str.2.5.18]

3   When Chares besieged Aristonymus in Methymna, Memnon sent an embassy to him, asking him to desist from any further hostilities against Aristonymus, who was his father's friend and ally. He said that, if Chares persisted in the siege, he would relieve Aristonymus with a powerful force during the next night. Chares ridiculed the embassy's message; supposing that it was impossible to transport so large an army so far, by the next night. But Memnon, as soon as he had dispatched the embassy, marched his forces five stades, and embarked twelve hundred men; with orders as soon as ever they were landed at the citadel, to kindle a fire, and attack the enemy. Such an unexpected attack in the dark, with a fire at the same time blazing, persuaded Chares to make a precipitate retreat, because he supposed that Memnon had taken possession of the citadel with all the force that he had pretended to send.

4   Memnon with a body of four thousand troops advanced against Magnesia; and he pitched and fortified his camp at the distance of forty stades from the city, which was defended by Parmenion and Attalus with a force of ten thousand men. Then he led his forces out; but, when the enemy advanced against him, he sounded a retreat; and marched his army back into the camp. The enemy retreated in the same manner. Memnon again drew up his army, and as soon as the enemy advanced against him, he again retreated. The enemy continued to copy his movements; they advanced to battle when he marched out, and retreated when he retreated. At last, after the enemy had retreated from the field, put off their arms, and were at dinner, Memnon immediately returned and attacked them. They rose up hastily from their meal, some without weapons, others hastily snatching them up, and all in great confusion; and before they had time to form themselves in a phalanx, he attacked them and secured a victory. Many of them were cut to pieces, and many taken prisoners; those, who escaped, fled for refuge to Magnesia.

5   When Memnon advanced against Cyzicus, he put a Macedonian cap upon his head, and made all his army do the same. The generals of Cyzicus, observing their appearance from the walls, supposed that Chalcus the Macedonian, their friend and ally, was marching to their assistance with a body of troops; and opened their gates to receive him. However they discovered their error just soon enough to correct it, and shut their gates against him; Memnon had to content himself with ravaging their country. [see also: Diodorus, 17.7]

[45]   Philomelus.

When the Phocians were attacked by the united forces of Thebes and Thessaly, Philomelus promised that he would bring the war to a successful conclusion, if the Phocians would make him their commander. They readily agreed to this, and he was enabled to hire a body of mercenaries. But instead of employing them against the common enemy, he bribed them with the money from the sanctuaries, and by their assistance he established himself as tyrant, instead of general.

[46]   Democles.

Democles, who was sent on an embassy by Dionysius the tyrant, was accused by the other ambassadors of neglecting the tyrant's interests. When this was reported to Dionysius, and he expressed his resentment, Democles said: "Our quarrels originated merely in this: after supper, they wanted sing the paeans of Stesichorus and Pindarus, and I wanted to sing your paeans." And at the same time, he recited some of Dionysius' verses. The tyrant was so pleased with his taste, that he paid no more attention to the accusations.

[47]   Panaetius.

Panaetius was appointed general of Leontini, in a war against Megara concerning the boundaries of their respective territories. The first use he made of his authority was to stir up the camp servants and the infantry against the merchants and the cavalry, because the latter had every advantage in war, while they themselves struggled under every hardship that attended it. He then ordered them all to disarm themselves, and to pile up their weapons at the gate of the camp, so that an account could be made of them, and their condition could be examined. He ordered the servants to take the horses, and feed them. He had six hundred peltasts, who were ready to fight and devoted to his interests; and he ordered their commanding officer to make an account of the weapons. Then he withdrew to the trees, where the servants and horses were stationed, as if to enjoy the shade a little; and there he persuaded the servants to attack their masters. The servants accordingly mounted the horses, and seized the weapons, taking them from the peltasts, who were aware of his intentions. Then they fell upon their masters, while they were defenceless and unarmed, and cut them to pieces. The peltasts, who had joined in the slaughter, immediately marched to the city and took possession of it; and in this way, Panaetius became tyrant of the city.

[48]   Pyraechmes.

A sling has a longer range than a bow; as was proved when Pyraechmes, who was armed with a sling, was victorious in single combat against Aeschines, who was armed with a bow. [see also: Strabo, 8.357(3.33)]


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