Plutarch: Sayings of kings and commanders

Pages 172 - 184

Although it was probably not written by Plutarch himself, this entertaining collection of sayings shares his desire to illustrate the character of great men. It contains quotations gathered from the Parallel Lives, as well as many from other sources.

Translated by F.C. Babbitt (1931).  Click on ** to go to the translator's footnotes.   The page numbers in the Greek text are shown in red. Click on the   G symbols to go to the Greek text of each section.

Contents: Persians -   Memnon -   Egyptians -   Thracians -   Scythians -   Sicilians -   Macedonians -   Eumenes -   Pyrrhus -   Antiochus -   Athenians -   Spartans -   Thebans -   Romans (3rd century B.C.) -   Romans (2nd century) -   Romans (1st century)


[172]  Artaxerxes, the king of the Persians, O Trajan, Emperor Most High and Monarch Supreme, used to think that, as compared with giving large gifts, it was no less the mark of a king and a lover of his fellow-men to accept small gifts graciously and with a ready goodwill ; and so, on a time when he was riding by, and a simple labourer, possessed of nothing else, took up water from the river in his two hands and offered it to the king, he accepted it pleasantly and with a cheerful smile, measuring the favour by the ready goodwill of the giver and not by the service rendered by the gift. **  

 Lycurgus made the sacrifices in Sparta very inexpensive, ** so that people might be able always to honour the gods readily and easily from what they had at hand. And so, with some such thought in mind, I likewise offer to you trifling gifts and tokens of friendship, the common offerings of the first-fruits that come from philosophy, ** and I beg that you will be good enough to accept, in conjunction with the author's ready goodwill, the utility which may be found in these brief notes, if it so be that they contain something suitable for the true understanding of the characters and predilections of men in high places, which are better reflected in their words than in their actions. True it is that a work of mine comprises the lives also of the most noted rulers, lawgivers, and monarchs among the Romans and the Greeks ;  but their actions, for the most part, have an admixture of chance, whereas their pronouncements and unpremeditated utterance in connexion with what they did or experienced or chanced upon afford an opportunity to observe, as in so many mirrors, the workings of the mind of each man. In keeping herewith is the remark of Seiramnes the Persian who, in answer to those who expressed surprise because, while his words showed sense, his actions were never crowned with success, said that he himself was master of his words, but chance, together with the King, was master of his actions. **

 In the Lives the pronouncements of the men have the story of the men's actions adjoined in the same pages, and so must wait for the time when one has the desire to read in a leisurely way ; but here the remarks, made into a separate collection quite by themselves, serving, so to speak, as samples and characteristic elements of the men's lives, will not, I think, be any serious tax on your time, and you will get in brief compass an opportunity to pass in review many men who have proved themselves worthy of being remembered. 



  1. The Persians are enamoured of hook-nosed persons, because of the fact that Cyrus, the best loved of their kings, had a nose of that shape. **   

  2. Cyrus said that those who are unwilling to procure good things for themselves must of necessity procure them for others. He also said that no man has any right to rule who is not better than the people over whom he rules. **  

   3. When the Persians wished to acquire a level and tractable land in place of their own, which was mountainous and rugged, Cyrus would not allow them to do so, saying that both the seeds of plants and the lives of men are bound to be like the land of their origin. ** 



  1. Darius, the father of Xerxes, said in praise of himself that in battles and in the face of formidable dangers he became more cool and collected. **  

  2. After fixing the amount of the taxes which his subjects were to pay, he sent for the leading men of the provinces, and asked them if the taxes were not perhaps heavy ; and when the men said that the taxes were moderate, he ordered that each should pay only half as much. **   

  [173] 3. As Darius was opening a big pomegranate, someone inquired what there was of which he would like to have as many in number as the multitude of seeds in the pomegranate, and he replied, "Men like Zopyrus. " ** Zopyrus was a brave man and a friend of his. 

  4. Zopyrus, by disfiguring himself with his own hands and cutting off his nose and ears, tricked the Babylonians, and by winning their confidence succeeded in handing over the city to Darius. Many a time Darius said that he would not take an hundred Babylons as the price of not having Zopyrus unscathed. ** 


  Semiramis ** caused a great tomb to be prepared for herself, and on it this inscription :  "Whatsoever king finds himself in need of money may break into this monument and take as much as he wishes." Darius accordingly broke into it, but found no money ; he did, however, come upon another inscription reading as follows : "If you were not a wicked man with an insatiate greed for money, you would not be disturbing the places where the dead are laid." 


  XERXES   G  

  1. Ariamenes, the brother of Xerxes son of Darius, was on his way down from the Bactrian country to contest Xerxes' right to the kingdom. Xerxes accordingly sent him gifts, bidding those who offered them to say, "With these gifts Xerxes your brother now honours you ;  and if he be proclaimed king, you shall be the highest at his court." When Xerxes was designated as the king, Ariamenes at once paid homage to him, and placed the crown upon his brother's head, and Xerxes gave him a rank second only to himself. **

  2. Angered at the Babylonians, who had revolted, ** he overpowered them, and then ordained that henceforth they should not bear arms, but should play the lyre and flute, keep public prostitutes, engage in petty trade, and wear long flowing garments. **  

  3. He said he would not eat figs from Attica which had been imported for sale, but would eat them when he had obtained possession of the land that bore them. **   

  4. When he caught Greek spies in his camp, he did them no injury, but, after bidding them observe his army freely,  let them go. ** 



  1. Artaxerxes, the son of Xerxes, called 'Longhand,' because of his having one hand longer than the other, ** used to say that it is more kingly to give to one who has than to take away.   

  2. He was the first to issue an order that any of his companions in the hunt who could and would might throw their spears without waiting for him to throw first. **

  3. He was the first to ordain this form of punishment for those of the ruling class who offended : Instead of having their bodies scourged and the hair plucked from their heads, they took off their outer garments and these were scourged, and put off their head-dress and this was plucked. **   

   4. Satibarzanes, his chamberlain, made a dishonourable request of him, and it came to his knowledge that the man was doing this for thirty thousand darics ; whereupon he directed his treasurer to bring him thirty thousand darics, and, as he gave the money to his chamberlain, he said, "Take this, Satibarzanes ; for if I make you this gift I shall not be poorer, but if I do that deed I shall be more dishonourable !" 



  Cyrus the younger, in urging the Spartans to ally themselves with him, said that he had a stouter heart than his brother, and that he could drink more strong wine than his brother could and carry it better; moreover, that at hunts his brother could hardly stay on his horse,  and at a time of terror not even on his throne. Cyrus urged the Spartans to send him men, promising to give horses to the foot-soldiers, chariots to those who had horses, villages to those who owned farms, and to make those who had villages the masters of cities ; and as for gold and silver there should be no counting, but weighing instead. **


  1. Artaxerxes, Cyrus's brother, called Mnemon, ** not only granted audience freely to those who wished to speak with him, but also bade his wife draw aside the curtains from her carriage so that those who desired might speak with her on the road. **   

  [174] 2. A poor man brought to him an apple of extraordinary size which he accepted with pleasure, and at the same time he remarked, "By Mithras I swear it seems to me that this man would make a big city out of a small one if it were entrusted to his charge." **   

  3. Once in a precipitate retreat his baggage was plundered, and as he ate dry figs and barley-bread he exclaimed, "What a pleasure is this which has never been mine before !" **   


  Parysatis, the mother of Cyrus and Artaxerxes, advised that he who was intending to talk frankly with the king should use words of softest texture. 


   ORONTES    G   

  Orontes, the son-in-law of King Artaxerxes, became involved in disgrace because of an accusation, **  and, when the decision was given against him, he said that, as mathematicians' fingers are able to represent tens of thousands at one time, and at another time only units, ** so it was the same with the friends of kings : at one time they are omnipotent and at another time almost impotent. ** 


  MEMNON    G   

  Memnon, who was waging war against Alexander on the side of King Darius, when one of his mercenary soldiers said many libellous and indecent things of Alexander, struck the man with his spear,  saying, "I pay you to fight Alexander, not to malign him." 



  The kings of the Egyptians, in accordance with a rule of their own, used to require their judges to swear that, even if the king should direct them to decide any case unfairly, they would not do so. **


  POLTYS    G   

  Poltys, king of the Thracians at the time of the Trojan War, when once both the Trojans and the Greeks sent deputations to him at the same time, bade Alexander restore Helen and accept a couple of beautiful women from him. 


   TERES    G   

  Teres, the father of Sitalces, used to say that whenever he had nothing to do and was not in the field with his army he felt that there was no difference between himself and his grooms. ** 


  COTYS   G   

  Cotys was once presented with a leopard, and he presented the donor with a lion in return. He was by nature very irascible and prone to punish severely any lapses in service. On a time when a friend from abroad brought him some vessels of earthenware, very fragile and delicate, wrought with figures in relief in a realistic and highly artistic manner, he gave presents to the friend, but broke all the vessels in pieces, "so that I,"  as he said, "may not in anger punish too severely those that break them." 



  Idanthyrsus, the king of the Scythians, against whom Darius crossed the Danube, tried to persuade the despots of the Ionians to break up the bridge that spanned the river, and then withdraw. But when they were not willing to do so because of their plighted word to Darius, he called them good slaves who would never run away. ** 


  ATEAS    G   

  Ateas wrote to Philip : "You are the ruler of the Macedonians who have learned to fight against men ;  but I am ruler of the Scythians who are able to fight against both hunger and thirst."   

  While he was engaged in currying his horse he asked the ambassadors who had come from Philip whether Philip did this.   

  Having captured in battle Ismenias, the very best of flute-players, he bade him play a tune. Everybody else was filled with admiration, but Ateas swore that it gave him more pleasure to hear his horse neigh. **



  Scilurus, who left eighty sons surviving him, when he was at the point of death handed a bundle of javelins to each son in turn and bade him break it. After they had all given up, he took out the javelins one by one and easily broke them all, thereby teaching the young men that, if they stood together, they would continue strong, but that they would be weak if they fell out and quarrelled. ** 


  GELON   G   

  [175] 1. Gelon, the despot, after vanquishing the Carthaginians off Himera, forced them, when he made peace with them, to include in the treaty an agreement to stop sacrificing their children to Cronus. **   

  2. He often led out the Syracusans to plant their fields, as if it had been for a campaign, so that the land should be improved by being worked, and the men should not deteriorate by being idle.   

  3. He asked for money from the citizens, and, when they began to murmur, he said that he was asking for it with the intent to repay, and he did repay it when the war was over.   

   4. At a party a lyre was passed around, and the others, one after the other, tuned it and sang, but the king ordered his horse to be led in, and nimbly and easily leapt upon its back. **


  HIERON   G   

  1.  Hieron, who succeeded Gelon as despot, used to say that not one of the persons who spoke frankly to him chose the wrong time.   

  2. He felt that those who divulged a secret committed a serious offence also against those to whom they divulged it ; for we hate, not only those who divulge such things, but also those who hear what we do not wish them to hear.   

  3. On being reviled by someone for his offensive breath, he blamed his wife for never having told him about this ;  but she said, "I supposed that all men smelled so." **    

  4. In answer to Xenophanes of Colophon, who had said that he could hardly maintain two servants, Hieron said, "But Homer, whom you disparage, maintains more than ten thousand, although he is dead."    

  5. He caused Epicharmus the comic poet to be punished because he made an indecent remark in the presence of his wife. 



  1. Dionysius the Elder, when the speakers who were to address the people were drawing by lot the letters of the alphabet to determine their order of speaking, drew the letter M ;  and in answer to the man who said, "Muddle-head you are, Dionysius," he replied, "No ! Monarch I am to be," and after he had addressed the people he was at once chosen general by the Syracusans. **   

  2. When, at the beginning of his rule, he was being besieged as the result of a conspiracy against him among the citizens, his friends advised him to abdicate unless he wished to be overpowered and put to death. But, on seeing that an ox slaughtered by a cook fell instantly, he said, "Is it not then distasteful that we, for fear of death which is so momentary, should forsake such a mighty sovereignty ? " **   

  3. Learning that his son, to whom he was intending to bequeath his empire,  had debauched the wife of a free citizen, he asked the young man, with some heat, what act of his father's he knew of like that ! And when the youth answered, "None, for you did not have a despot for a father."   "Nor will you have a son," was the reply, "unless you stop doing this sort of thing."    

  4. At another time he went into his son's house, and, observing a vast number of gold and silver drinking-cups, he exclaimed, "There is no despot in you, for with all the drinking-cups which you are always getting from me you have not made for yourself a single friend."   

  5. He levied money on the Syracusans, and later, when he saw them lamenting and begging and protesting that they had none,  he ordered a second levy, and this he did twice or thrice. ** But when, after calling for still more, he heard that they laughed and jeered as they went about in the market-place, he ordered a halt in the proceeding ; "For now they really have nothing," said he, "since they hold us in contempt."   

  6. When his mother, who was well on in years, wanted to get married, he said that he had the power to violate the laws of the State, but not the laws of Nature. **   

  7. While he punished relentlessly all other malefactors, he was very lenient with the footpads, so that the Syracusans should stop their dining and drinking together.    

  8. A stranger professed that he would tell him privately and instruct him how to know beforehand those who were plotting against him, and Dionysius bade him speak ; [176] whereupon the stranger came close to him and said, "Hand me a talent that you may give the impression that you have heard about the plotters' secret signs ;" and Dionysius gave it, pretending that he had heard, and marvelling at the man's clever tactics. **   

  9. To the man who inquired if he were at leisure he said, "I hope that may never happen to me !" **   

  10. Hearing that two young men at a drinking party had said much that was slanderous about him and his rule, he invited them both to dinner. And when he saw that the one drank much and talked freely, and the other indulged in drink sparingly and with great circumspection,  he let the former go free, holding him to be by nature a hard drinker and a slanderous talker when in his cups, but the latter he caused to be put to death, holding that this man was disaffected and hostile as the result of deliberate choice.    

  11. When some blamed him for honouring and advancing a bad man who was loathed by the citizens, he said, "But it is my wish that there shall be somebody more hated than myself."   

  12. When ambassadors from Corinth ** declined his proffered gifts because of the law, which did not allow members of an embassy to receive gifts from a potentate, he said that they were playing a scurvy trick in taking away the only advantage possessed by despotism, and teaching that even a favour from a despot is a thing to be feared.   

  13. Hearing that one of the citizens had some gold buried at his house  he ordered the man to bring it to him. But when the man succeeded in keeping back a part of it, and later removed to another city and bought a farm, Dionysius sent for him, and bade him take the whole amount belonging to him, since he had now begun to use his wealth, and was no longer making a useful thing useless. 



  1. The Younger Dionysius used to say that he gave bed and board to many learned men, not because he felt any admiration for them, but because he wished through them to gain admiration for himself.   

  2. When Polyxenus, ** who was skilled in argumentation, asserted that he had confuted the king,  the latter said, "Yes, very likely by your words, but by your deeds I confute you ; for you forsake your own affairs, and pay court to me and mine."   

  3. He was compelled to abdicate, and when a man said to him, "What help have Plato and philosophy given to you ?" his answer was : "The power to submit to so great a change of fortune without repining." **    

  4. On being asked how his father, who was a poor man and a private citizen, had gained control over the Syracusans, and how he, who held control, and was the son of a despot, had come to lose it, he said, "My father embarked upon his venture at a time when democracy was hated, but I at a time when despotism was odious."   

   5. Being asked this same question by another man, ** he said, "My father bequeathed to me his kingdom, but not his luck." 



  1. Agathocles was the son of a potter. After he had made himself master of Sicily, and had been proclaimed king, he used to have drinking-cups of pottery placed beside those of gold, and as he pointed these out to the young men he would say, "That is the sort of thing which I used to do formerly, but this is what I do now because of my diligence and fortitude." **    

  2. When he was besieging a city, some of the people on the wall reviled him, saying, "Potter,  how are you going to pay your soldiers' wages ? " But he, unruffled and smiling, said, "If I take this town." And after he had taken it by storm he sold the captives as slaves, and said, "If you revile me again, what I have to say will be said to your masters." **   

  3. When the people of Ithaca complained of his sailors because they had put in at the island and had forcibly carried off some of the animals, he said, " But your king came to us, and not only took our flocks, but also blinded their shepherd, and went his way." ** 


  DION    G   

  When Dion, who expelled Dionysius from his kingdom, heard that a plot against him was being set on foot by Callippus, in whom he placed the greatest trust above all other friends, both those at home and those from abroad, he could not bring himself to investigate, [177] but said, "It is better to die than to live in a state of continual watchfulness not only against one's enemies but also against one's friends." ** 



  1. When Archelaus, at a convivial gathering, was asked for a golden cup by one of his acquaintances of a type not commendable for character, he bade the servant give it to Euripides ; and in answer to the man's look of astonishment, he said, "It is true that you have a right to ask for it, but Euripides has a right to receive it even though he did not ask for it."   

  2. When a garrulous barber asked him, "How shall I cut your hair ? " he said, "In silence." **   

  3. When Euripides threw his arms around the fair Agathon in the midst of an evening party and kissed him, for all that Agathon was already bearded,  Archelaus said to his friends, " Do not be astonished ; for even the autumn of the fair is fair." **   

  4. When Timotheus the harp-player had hopes of receiving a goodly sum, but received less, he plainly showed that he felt resentful towards Archelaus ; and, once, as he was singing this brief line :   
   "Over the earth-born silver you rave." ** 
he directed it towards Archelaus ; whereupon Archelaus retorted upon him with this,   
    "That, however, is what you crave."   

  5. When somebody had thrown water upon him, and he was incited by his friends against the man, he said, "But it was not upon me that he threw it, but upon the man he thought me to be." 



  1 . Theophrastus has recorded that Philip, the father of Alexander, was not only great among kings, but, owing to his fortune and his conduct, proved himself still greater and more moderate. **   

  2. He said that he must congratulate the Athenians on their happy fortune if they could find ten men every year to elect as generals ; for he himself in many years had found only one general, Parmenion.   

  3. When several happy events were reported to him within a single day, he said, "O Fortune, do me some little ill to offset so many good things like these !" **    

  4. After his victory over the Greeks, when some were advising him to hold the Greek cities in subjection by means of garrisons,  he said that he preferred to be called a good man for a long time rather than a master for a short time.   

  5. When his friends advised him to banish from his court a man who maligned him, he said he would not, so that the man should not go about speaking ill of him among more people. **   

  6. When Smicythus remarked maliciously of Nicanor that he was always speaking ill of Philip, and Philip's companions thought that he ought to send for Nicanor and punish him, Philip said, "But really Nicanor is not the worst of the Macedonians. We must investigate therefore whether something is not happening for which we are responsible." When he learned therefore that Nicanor was hard pressed by poverty, and had been neglected by him, he directed that a present be given to the man. So when again Smicythus said  that Nicanor was continually sounding the praises of Philip to everybody in a surprising way, Philip said, "You all see that we ourselves are responsible for the good and the ill that is said of us." **    

  7. He said that he felt very grateful to the popular leaders of the Athenians, because by maligning him they made him better both in speech and in character, "For I try both by my words and by my deeds to prove that they are liars."   

  8. When all the Athenians who had been taken captive at Chaeroneia were set free by him without ransom, ** but asked for the return of their clothing and bedding besides, and complained against the Macedonians,  Philip laughed and said to his men, "Does it not seem to you that the Athenians think they have been beaten by us in a game of knucklebones ?"    

  9. When the keybone of his shoulder had been broken in battle, ** and the attending physician insistently demanded a fee every day, he said, "Take as much as you wish ; for you have the key in your charge !" **   

  10. Of two brothers, Both and Each, he observed that Each was sensible and practical, and Both was silly and foolish, and he remarked that Each was both and Both was neither !   

  [178] 11. Those who counselled him to treat the Athenians harshly he said were silly in urging a man who did everything and underwent everything for the sake of repute to throw away his chance to exhibit it.   

  12. Being called upon to decide a suit between two knaves, he ordered the one to flee from Macedonia, and the other to pursue him.   

  13. When he was about to pitch his camp in an excellent place, he learned that there was no grass for the pack-animals. "What a life is ours," he said, "if we must live to suit the convenience of the asses !" **   

   14. When he was desirous of capturing a certain stronghold, his scouts reported that it was altogether difficult and quite impregnable, whereupon he asked if it were so difficult that not even an ass laden with money could approach it. **   

  15. When the men associated with Lasthenes, the Olynthian, complained with indignation because some of Philip's associates called them traitors, he said that the Macedonians are by nature a rough and rustic people who call a spade a spade. **  

  16. He recommended to his son that he associate with the Macedonians so as to win their favour, and thus acquire for himself influence with the masses while another was reigning and while it was possible for him to be humane. **   

   17. He also advised him that, among the men of influence in the cities, he should make friends of both the good and the bad, and that later he should use the former and abuse the latter.   

  18. Philon ** the Theban had been his benefactor and host during the time he spent as a hostage in Thebes, but later would not accept any gift from him ; whereupon Philip said to him, "Do not deprive me of my invincibility by letting me be outdone in benefactions and favours."   

  19- On a time when many prisoners had been taken, Philip was overseeing their sale, sitting with his tunic pulled up in an unseemly way. So one of the men who were being sold cried out, "Spare me, Philip, for I am a friend of your father's." And when Philip asked,- "Where, sirrah, and how came you to be such ?"  the man said, "I wish to tell you privately, if I may come near you." And when he was brought forward, he said, "Put your cloak a little lower, for you are exposing too much of yourself as you are sitting now." And Philip said, "Let him go free, for it had escaped me that he is a truly loyal friend."   

  20. Once when he was on the march, and was invited to dinner by a man of the land, he took a good many persons with him ; and when he saw that his host was much perturbed, since the preparations that had been made were inadequate, he sent word in advance to each of his friends, and told them to "leave room for cake."  They took his advice and, expecting more to follow, did not eat much, and thus there was enough for all. **    

  21. When Hipparchus of Euboea died, ** it was plain that Philip took it much to heart ; and when somebody remarked, "But, as a matter of fact, his death has come in fullness of time," Philip said, "Yes, in fullness of time for him, it is true, but swiftly for me, for he came to his end too soon to receive from me, as he ought, favours worthy of our friendship."   

  22. Learning that Alexander complained against him because he was having children by other women besides his wife, he said, "Well then, if you have many competitors for the kingdom, prove yourself honourable and good,  so that you may obtain the kingdom not because of me, but because of yourself." He bade Alexander give heed to Aristotle, and study philosophy, "so that," as he said, "you may not do a great many things of the sort that I am sorry to have done." **    

  23. He appointed one of Antipater's friends to the position of judge, but later, on learning that the man dyed his beard and hair, he removed him, at the same time remarking that he did not believe that a man who was untrustworthy in the matter of hair was fit to be trusted in actions. **  

  24. While he was hearing the case of Machaetas, he was near falling asleep, and did not give full attention to the rights of the case, but decided against Machaetas. And when Machaetas exclaimed that he appealed from the decision, Philip, thoroughly enraged, said, "To whom ?" And Machaetas replied, "To you yourself, Your Majesty, if you will listen awake and attentive." [179] At the time Philip merely ended the sitting, but when he had gained more control of himself and realized that Machaetas was treated unfairly, he did not reverse his decision, but satisfied the judgement with his own money. **   

  25. When Harpalus, acting in behalf of his kinsman and intimate friend Crates, who was under condemnation for wrongdoing, proposed as a fair solution that Crates should pay the fine, but be absolved from the adverse judgement so that he should not be subject to reproach, Philip said, "It is better that the man himself, rather than that we because of him, should be ill spoken of."   

  26. When his friends were indignant because the people of the Peloponnese hissed him at the Olympic games, although they had been treated well,  he said, "Well, what if they should be treated ill !" **   

  27. Once on a campaign he slept for an unusually long time, and later, when he arose, he said, "I slept safely, for Antipater was awake." **   

  28. On another occasion when he was asleep in the daytime, and the Greeks who had gathered at his doors were indignant and complaining, Parmenion said, " Do not be astonished that Philip is asleep now ; for while you were asleep he was awake." **  

  29. When he desired to correct a harp-player at dinner, and to discuss the playing of this instrument, the harp-player said, "God forbid, Your Majesty, that you should ever fall so low as to have a better knowledge of these matters than I." **   

   30. At a time when he was at odds with Olympias, his wife, and with his son, Demaratus of Corinth arrived, and Philip inquired of him how the Greeks were feeling towards one another. And Demaratus said, "Much right have you to talk about the harmony of the Greeks when the dearest of your own household feel so towards you !" Philip, taking the thought to heart, ceased from his anger, and became reconciled with them. **   

  31. When a poor old woman insisted that her case should be heard before him, and often caused him annoyance, he said he had no time to spare, whereupon she burst out, "Then give up being king."  Philip, amazed at her words, proceeded at once to hear not only her case but those of the others. ** 


  1 . While Alexander was still a boy and Philip was winning many successes, he was not glad, but said to his playmates, "My father will leave nothing for me to do."   "But," said the boys, "he is acquiring all this for you."   "But what good is it," said Alexander, "if I possess much and accomplish nothing ?" **   

  2. Being nimble and swift of foot, he was urged by his father to run in the foot-race at the Olympic games. "Yes, I would run," said he, "if I were to have kings as competitors." **   

   3. A girl was brought to him late in the evening with the intent that she should spend the night with him, and he asked her, "Why at this time ?" She replied, "I had to wait to get my husband to go to bed" ; whereupon Alexander bitterly rebuked his servants, since, owing to them, he had so narrowly escaped becoming an adulterer.   

  4. On a time when he was offering incense to the gods with lavish hand, and often taking up handfuls of the frankincense, Leonidas, who had been his attendant in boyhood, happening to be present, said, "My boy, you may offer incense thus lavishly when you have made yourself master of the land that bears it." And so, when Alexander had become master of it, he sent a letter to Leonidas :  "I have sent to you a hundred talents of frankincense and cassia, so that you may never again count any petty cost in dealing with the gods, since you know that we are now masters of the land that bears these fragrant things." **   

  5. Just before he fought the battle at Granicus he urged the Macedonians to eat without stint, and to bring out all they had, since on the morrow they should dine from the enemy's stores.   

  6. When Perillus, one of his friends, asked him for dowry for his girls, Alexander bade him accept fity talents. He said that ten would be enough ; but Alexander said, "Enough for you to accept, but not enough for me to give." **   

  7. He bade his manager give to Anaxarchus, the philosopher, as much as he asked for ; and when the manager said that he asked for a hundred talents, Alexander said, "He does well, [180] for he knows that he has a friend who is both able and willing to make such presents." **   

  8. When he saw in Miletus many statues of athletes who had won victories in the Olympic and the Pythian games, he said, "Where were the men with bodies like these when the barbarians were besieging your city ?" **    

  9. Ada, queen of the Carians, made it a point of honour to be always sending to him fancy dishes and sweetmeats prepared in unusual ways by the hands of artists and chefs, but he said he had better fancy cooks - his night marches for his breakfast, and for his dinner his frugal breakfast. **   

  10. Once, when all preparations had been made for battle,  his generals asked him whether there was anything else in addition to what they had done. "Nothing," said he, "except to shave the Macedonians' beards." And as Parmenion expressed his surprise, Alexander said, "Don't you know that in battles there is nothing handier to grasp than a beard ?" **  

  11. When Darius offered him ten thousand talents, and also offered to share Asia equally with him, Parmenion said, "I would take it if I were Alexander."   "And so indeed would I," said Alexander, "if I were Parmenion." But he made answer to Darius that the earth could not tolerate two suns, nor Asia two kings. **   

   12. When he was about to risk everything at Arbela against a million men arrayed against him, his friends came to him and accused the soldiers of talking together and making agreements in their tents that they would hand over none of the spoil to the royal treasury, but would keep everything for themselves. And he smiling said, "You bring good news ; for I hear in this the talk of men prepared to conquer and not to flee." And many of the soldiers came to him and said, "Be of good cheer, Sire, and do not fear the great numbers of the enemy ; for they will not be able to stand the very smell of goat that clings to us."   

  13. As the army was being drawn up for battle, he saw one of the soldiers  fitting the thong to his javelin, and he shoved him out of the line as a useless man who was making ready at this time when he ought to be using his weapons.   

  14. As he was reading a letter from his mother, which contained secret slanders against Antipater, Hephaestion, as usual, was reading it with him. Alexander did not prevent Hephaestion from reading it, but, when he had finished the reading, he took off his ring, and placed the seal on Hephaestion's lips. **   

  15. In the shrine of Ammon he was hailed by the prophetic priest as the son of Zeus. "That is nothing surprising," said he ; "for Zeus is by nature the father of all, and he makes the noblest his own." **   

   16. When he was hit in the leg by an arrow, and many of those who were oftentimes wont to hail him as a god hurried up to him, he, relaxing his countenance, said, "This is blood, as you see, and not ichor, like that which flows from the wounds of the blessed Immortals." **   

  17. When some commended the frugality of Antipater, who, they said, lived a plain and simple life, he remarked, "Outwardly Antipater is plain white, but within he is all purple." **   

  18. When one of his friends was entertaining him in the cold of winter, and brought in a small brazier with a little fire in it, Alexander bade him bring in either firewood or incense.   

   19. When Antipatrides brought to dinner a beautiful harp-player, Alexander, stirred to love at the sight of her, asked Antipatrides whether he happened to be at all in love with the girl ; and when he admitted that he was, Alexander said, "You abominable wretch ! Please take her away from here at once."   

  20. On another occasion Cassander forced Python, beloved by Evius the flute-player , ** to kiss him, and Alexander, seeing that Evius was vexed, leapt up in anger against Cassander, exclaiming "It isn't allowable even to fall in love with anybody, because of you and people like you."   

  21. When he was sending away to the sea those of the Macedonians who were sick or incapacitated, [181] a man was reported to have put down his name in the list of the sick although there was nothing the matter with him. When therefore the man was brought before Alexander and examined, he admitted that he had employed this ruse because of love for Telesippa, who was departing for the sea ; and Alexander asked, "With whom must one talk concerning Telesippa ?" And when he learned that she was not a slave, he said, "Then let us, Antigenes, try to persuade Telesippa to stay with us : for to coerce her, a free woman, is not within our right." **   

  22. When Greek mercenaries serving on the enemy's side came into his hands, he would order the Athenians among them to be kept in chains,  because, while they could live at the expense of the State, they were serving as mercenaries, and so also the Thessalians, because, although they owned the very best land, they did not till it. But the Thebans he let go free, saying that these alone, because of us, have neither city nor land left to them.   

  23. When he had taken captive the man who had the greatest repute for marksmanship among the Indians, of whom it was said that he could send an arrow through a finger-ring, Alexander bade him show his skill, and when he would not, the king in anger decreed his execution. The man, as he was being led away, said to those who were taking him that he had not practised for many days, and was afraid of failing ; and when this came to the ears of Alexander, he marvelled and let the man go with many gifts because he preferred to suffer himself to be put to death rather than to show himself unworthy of his reputation.    

   24. When Taxiles, king of the Indians, met Alexander, he charged him not to fight or make war, but, if he were inferior, to accept favours, and, if he were superior, to bestow them. To this Alexander replied that this was the very issue between them, to determine which could outdo the other in bestowing favours. **   

  25. When he was told concerning the 'Birdless Rock,' as it is called, in India, that the place was extremely difficult to capture, but that the man who held it was a coward, he said, "In that case it is easy to capture." **    

  26. When another man who held a seemingly impregnable rock surrendered himself together with his stronghold to Alexander,  Alexander bade him to continue to rule, and gave him additional country to govern, saying that "this person seems to me to show sense in trusting himself to a good man rather than to a strong place."   

  27. After the capture of the rock his friends were saying that he had surpassed Heracles in his deeds, but he remarked, "No, I do not feel that my deeds, with my position as commander, are to be weighed against one word of Heracles." **   

  28. Learning that in gambling with dice some of his friends did not enter into the game as a sport, he punished them. **   

  29. Of his foremost and most influential friends he seems to have honoured Craterus most and to have loved Hephaestion best. "For," said he, "Craterus is fond of the king, but Hephaestion is fond of Alexander." **    

   30. He sent fifty talents to Xenocrates the philosopher, but when Xenocrates would not accept them, and said he had no need of them, Alexander asked whether Xenocrates had not a single friend. "For, in my case," said he, "the wealth of Darius was hardly enough for my friends." **   

  31. Porus, after the battle, was asked by Alexander, "How shall I treat you ?"   "Like a king," said he. Asked again if there were nothing else, he said, "Everything is included in those words." Marvelling at his sagacity and manliness, Alexander added to his kingdom more land than he had possessed before. **    

   32. Learning that he was being maligned by a certain man, he said, "It is kingly to be ill spoken of for doing good." **   

  33. As he was dying, he said, looking towards his companions, "I see that my funeral rites will be imposing." **    

  34. When he had come to his end, Demades the orator said that the army of the Macedonians, because of its lack of leadership, looked like the Cyclops after his eye had been put out. ** 



  Ptolemy, son of Lagus, used, as a rule, to dine and sleep at his friends' houses ; and if ever he gave a dinner, he would send for their dishes and linen and tables, and use them for the occasion. He himself owned no more than were required for everyday use ; and he used to say that it was more kingly to enrich than to be rich. ** 



  [182] 1. Antigonus was persistent in his demands for money, and when somebody said, "But Alexander was not like this," he replied, "Very naturally ; for he reaped Asia, and I am picking up the straws."   

  2. Seeing some of his soldiers playing ball in their breastplates and helmets, he was much pleased and sent for their officers, wishing to commend them. But when he heard that they were engaged in drinking, he gave their positions to their soldiers.   

   3. When all were astonished because, after he had grown old, he handled matters with mildness and gentleness, he said, "Time was when I craved power, but now I crave repute and goodwill among men."   

  4. To his son Philippus, who inquired in the presence of numerous persons, When are we going to break camp ?" he said, "What are you afraid of? That you alone may not hear the bugle ?" **   

  5. When the young man was determined to take up his quarters at the house of a widow who had three handsome daughters, he called the quartermaster and said, "Will you not get my son out of his crowded quarters ?" **   

  6. He suffered a long illness, and when he had recovered his strength he said, " 'Twas nothing so very bad ; for the illness has reminded us not to feel too proud, since we are but mortal." **   

   7. When Hermodotus in his poems wrote of him as "The Offspring of the Sun," he said, "The slave who attends to my chamber-pot is not conscious of that !" **    

  8. When somebody remarked that all things are honourable and righteous for kings, he said, "Yes indeed, for kings of the barbarians ; but for me only the honourable things are honourable and the righteous righteous."   

  9. When Marsyas his brother had a lawsuit, and claimed the right to have the trial held at his house, Antigonus said, "It shall be in the agora and with everybody listening to see whether we do any injustice."    

  10. Once upon a time in the winter when he had forced a halt in regions lacking provisions, and some of the soldiers were cursing him, not knowing that he was near,  he poked open his tent with his stick, and said, "You'll be sorry if you don't go farther off to curse me." **   

  11. When Aristodemus, one of his friends, who, it was whispered, was the son of a cook, advised him to curtail his expenditures and his giving of presents, he said, "Aristodemus, your words have the stink of a kitchen apron."    

  12. When the Athenians admitted to citizenship a slave of his, held in much esteem, and enrolled him as a free man, he said, "I could wish that one Athenian had not been flogged by me !"   

  13. A young man, one of the pupils of Anaximenes the orator, pronounced before him a very carefully prepared oration,  and he, wishing to gain some further information, asked a question. But when the young man relapsed into silence, he remarked, "What is your answer ? Or - 
    Is this the content of the written page ?" **   

  14. Hearing another orator say that the season had been snowy, ** and so had caused a lack of herbage in the land, he said, "Please stop treating me as you treat a common crowd."   

  15. When Thrasyllus the Cynic asked him for a drachma, he said "That is not a fit gift for a king to give." And when Thrasyllus said, "Then give me a talent," he retorted, "But that is not a fit gift for a Cynic to receive." **   

  16. When he sent Demetrius his son, with many ships and forces, to make the Greeks a free people,  he said that his repute, kindled in Greece as on a lofty height, would spread like beacon-fires throughout the inhabited world. **  

  17. While Antagoras the poet was cooking a conger-eel, and was shaking the skillet with his own hand, Antigonus stepped up behind him and said, "Antagoras, do you imagine that Homer cooked a conger while he was writing of the exploits of Agamemnon ? " To which Antagoras retorted, "And do you, Your Majesty, believe that Agamemnon, while he was performing those exploits, was overmuch concerned if anybody in the army cooked a conger ?" **   

  [183] 18. In a dream he saw Mithridates reaping a golden harvest, and thereupon planned to kill him. He told Demetrius his son, and bound him by an oath to silence. But Demetrius took Mithridates to walk with him beside the sea, and with the butt of his spear wrote in the sand, "Flee, Mithridates." And Mithridates, understanding the purport, fled to Pontus and reigned there until his end. ** 



  1. When Demetrius was besieging the Rhodians he seized in one of the suburbs a painting of the artist Protogenes in which he portrayed Ialysus.  The Rhodians sent a herald to him and besought him to spare the painting. He replied that he would sooner destroy the statues and portraits of his father than that painting. ** And coming to terms with the Rhodians, he left his great siege-engine, the City-taker, with them to serve as a token of his prowess and of their courage. **  

  2. The Athenians revolted, and when he had taken their city, which was already in serious straits from lack of food, an assembly of the people was immediately summoned by him, and he made them a present of grain. ** In speaking about this before them he lapsed into a barbarism.  One of those sitting there repeated the phrase as it should have been spoken, and he said, "For this correction, then, I give you five thousand medimni more." 



  1. When Demetrius, the father of Antigonus the Second, had been taken captive, he sent one of his friends and urged Antigonus to pay no attention if he should write anything under compulsion of Seleucus, and not to withdraw from the cities ; but Antigonus of his own accord wrote to Seleucus resigning to him his whole kingdom and offering to surrender himself as a hostage on condition that his father Demetrius be released. **  

  2. When Antigonus was about to engage in a naval battle against Ptolemy's generals,  the pilot said that the ships of the enemy far outnumbered their own. "But," said Antigonus, "how many ships do you think my own presence here is equivalent to ? " **   

  3. Once when he was withdrawing before the advance of the enemy, he said that he was not fleeing, but was following up his advantage, which lay in the rear.    

  4. When a young man, son of a brave father, but not himself having any reputation for being a good soldier, suggested the propriety of his receiving his father's emoluments, Antigonus said, "My boy, I give pay and presents for the excellence of a man, not for the excellence of his father."   

  5. When Zenon of Citium died, whom he admired most among the philosophers, he said that the audience to hear of his exploits had been taken away. ** 



  1. Lysimachus was overpowered by Dromichaetes in Thrace, and because of thirst surrendered himself and his army ; and when he drank after he had been made a prisoner, he said, "My God, for what a little pleasure have I made myself a slave from being a king ! " **    

  2. To Philippides the comic poet who was his friend and intimate he said, "What of mine shall I share with you ? " And the other replied, "What you will, except your secrets." ** 



   1. Antipater, hearing of the death of Parmenion at the hands of Alexander, said, "If Parmenion plotted against Alexander, who is to be trusted ? And if he did not, what is to be done ?"   

  2. Of Demades the orator, who had already become an old man, he said that he was like an animal which had been eaten at a sacrificial feast ; there was left only the belly and the tongue. ** 



  1. Antiochus the Third wrote to the cities that, if he should write ordering anything to be done contrary to the laws, they should pay no attention, assuming that he had acted in ignorance.   

  2. Seeing the priestess of Artemis surpassingly beautiful in her appearance, he straightway marched forth from Ephesus, ** for fear that even against his will he might be constrained to commit some unholy act. 



  Antiochus who was nicknamed the Hawk {Hierax} was warring against his brother Seleucus for the kingdom. [184] But when Seleucus, vanquished by the Galatians, could nowhere be found, but, to all appearances, had been cut down in battle, Antiochus laid aside his purple and assumed a dark robe. But after a little time, learning that his brother was safe and sound, he offered sacrifices to the gods to celebrate the good tidings, and made the people in the cities under him to wear garlands. ** 


  EUMENES   G   

  Eumenes, plotted against by Perseus, was reputed to be dead. When the story was brought to Pergamon,  Attalus his brother put on the crown, married his wife, and assumed the rule. But upon learning that his brother was approaching alive, he went to meet him, attended, as was his wont, by his bodyguards, and holding a short spear. Eumenes greeted him kindly and whispered in his ear,   
    "Haste not to marry ere you see him dead," **   
  and neither said nor did anything else during his whole lifetime to arouse suspicion, but when he died he left to Attalus his wife and his kingdom. As a requital, Attalus reared no child of his own, although many were born, but while still living he transferred the kingdom to Eumenes' son when the boy became of age. ** 


1. The sons of Pyrrhus, when they were children asked their father to whom he intended to leave the kingdom ; and he said, "To that one of you who keeps his sword sharper." **   

  2. Being asked whether Python or Caphisias were the better flute-player he said, "Polysperchon is the better general." **    

  3. When he was twice victorious in conflict with the Romans, but lost many of his friends and commanders, he said. "If we are victorious over the Romans in one more battle, we are lost ! " **   

  4. As he was sailing away from Sicily after his failure there, he turned to look back, and said to his friends, "What a field of conflict are we leaving behind us  for the Romans and Carthaginians to wrestle in !" **  

  5. When the soldiers addressed him as 'Eagle,' he said, "Why not an eagle, when I am borne aloft on the swift wings of your weapons ?" **   

  6. Hearing that some young men had made many defamatory remarks about him while in their cups, he ordered that they should all be brought before him the next day. When they were brought, he asked the first whether they had said these things about him. And the young man replied, "Yes, Your Majesty ; and we should have said more than that if we had had more wine." **



  1. Antiochus, who made his next ** campaign against the Parthians, in a hunt and chase wandered away from his friends and servants,  and entered the hut of some poor people without being recognised. At dinner he brought in the subject of the king, and heard that, in general, he was a decent man, but that he entrusted most matters to friends who were scurvy fellows, and overlooked and often disregarded matters that were imperative through being too fond of hunting. At the time he said nothing ; but at daybreak some of his bodyguards arrived at the hut, and his identity was disclosed when the purple and the crown were brought to him. "Howbeit," said he, "since the day when I donned you, yesterday was the first time that I heard true words about myself."   

   2. The Jews, when he was besieging Jerusalem, asked for an armistice of seven days for their most important festival, and he not only granted this, but he also made ready bulls with gilded horns, and a great quantity of incense and spices, and brought all these in solemn procession as far as the gates. Then, having transferred the offering to the hands of their priests, he returned to his camp. The Jews were amazed, and immediately after the festival placed themselves in his hands. ** 

Following pages (185-196)


1.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Artaxerxes, chap. v. (1013 bc), and Aelian, Varia Historia, i. 32. 

2.   Plutarch repeats this statement in Moralia, 228 d, Life of Lycurgus, chap. xix. (p. 52 a), and Commentary on Hesiod, 26 (Works and Days, 336). Cf. also Plato, Alcibiades II, p. 149 a-c. 

3.   Cf Plato, Protagoras, p. 343 b.

4.   Diodorus Siculus, xv. 41, represents this remark as made by Pharnabazus, the Persian satrap, to Iphicrates, the Athenian general.

5.   Cf. Moralia, 821 e.  

6.   Cf. Xenophon, Cyropaedia, i. 6. 8, and vii. 5. 83. The sentiment is not novel, and may be found in other writers.  

7.   Plutarch probably took this from Herodotus, ix. 122, who in turn may have drawn upon Hippocrates ; cf. Airs, Waters, and Places, chap. xxiv. Cf. also Plato, Laws, p. 695 a ; Livy, xxix. 25. The idea is not novel, and may be found in other writers. It was again repeated in 1926 by Calvin Coolidge in regard to the rugged hills of Vermont.  

8.   Cf. Moralia, 792 c.  

9.   The same story with variations may be found in Polyaenus. Strategemata, vii. 11.3. Nothing to this effect is to be found in Herodotus's account of Darius's taxation, iii. 86-95.   

10.   The same story is found in Herodotus, iv. 143, but with the name of Megabazus instead of Zopyrus.  

11.   Herodotus, iii. 154-160 ; cf. Polyaenus, Strategemata, vii. 13.   

12.   Herodotus, i. 187, says that Nitocris built the tomb above the gates of Babylon. Stobaeus, x, 53, copies Plutarch word for word.   

13.   Plutarch tells the story with more details in Moralia, 488 d-f. The tradition which Plutarch follows is quite different from that of Herodotus, vii. 1-4.  

14.   The usual tradition is that Babylon revolted from Darius ; Herodotus, iii. 150.  

15.   Cyrus is said to have employed this device against the Lydians ; Herodotus, i. 156 ; Polyaenus, Strategemata, vii. 6. 4 ; Justin, Hist. Philip., i. 7. For two other instances cf. the scholia on Sophocles, Oedipus Col. 329, and Dionysius Hal. Antiq. Rom. vii. 9.  

16.   Cf Athenaeus, p. 653 b.  

17.   The story is told in Herodotus, vii. 146-147.  

18.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Artaxerxes , chap. i. (1011 e).

19.   Xenophon (Cyropaedia, i. 4. 14) attributes this innovation to the elder Cyrus ; but cf. Ctesias, Persica, frag. 40.   

20.   Cf Moralia, 35 e and 565 a, and Wyttenbach's note on the latter passage.  

21.   The content of the passage agrees, in the main, with that of Plutarch's Life of Artaxerxes, chap. vi. (1013 f) ; but there he says, "not counting but measuring out."  

23.   Because of his good memory.  

24.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Artaxerxes, chap. v. (1013 d-e).  

25.   Ibid. chap. iv. (1013 b).  

26.   Ibid. chap. xii. (1017 b) is a similar story regarding stale water.   

27.   Against Tiribazus according to Diodorus, xv. 10-11, where the story is told at length.  

28.   Cf. Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyclopadie, ii. p. 1068.  

29.   A similar remark is attributed to Solon by Diogenes Laertius, i. 59.   

31.   Cf. Diodorus, i. 71.  

33.   In Moralia, 792 c, this remark is attributed to Ateas, king of the Scythians.  

35.   Cf. Herodotus, iv. 142.   

36.   The story is repeated in nearly the same words in Moralia, 334 b and 1095 f. The fame of Ismenias is several times referred to by ancient writers. It may suffice to mention Plutarch, Moralia, 632 c.  

38.   Cf Moralia, 511 c.  

40.   Cf Moralia, 171 (and the note), and 552 a. According to Diodorus, xx. 14, the practice was revived in 310 B.C., even if it had not persisted during the intervening years. Cf G. F. Moore in the Journal of Biblical Literature, xvi. (1897), p. 161. Cronus is the Semitic El, Moloch, or Baal.  

41.   Cf. Themistocles' boast, to which he resorted in self-defence under similarly embarrassing circumstances, in Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chap. ii. (112 c).  

43.   Cf. Moralia, 90 b, and Lucian, Hermotimus, 34. Aristotle tells the same story of Gelon according to Stobaeus, Florilegium, v. 83.   

45.   Cf, Diodorus, xiii. 91 -92.  

46.   Cf. Moralia, 783 c-d ; Diodorus, xiv. 8 ; Aelian, Varia Historia, iv. 8 ; Polyaenus, v. 7.  

47.   Cf. Aristotle, Politics, v. ii., and the Aristotelian Oeconomica, ii. 20, and Polyaenus, Strategemata, v. 19.   

48.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Solon, chap. xx. (89 d).  

48.   Cf. Polyaenus, v. 2. 3, and Stobaeus, Florilegium, iii. 65.  

50.   Cf. Moralia, 792 c.  

51.   Cf. Diodorus, xv. 70.  

52.   Cf. Plato's Letters, ii. p. 314 c.   

53.   Cf Plutarch, Life of Timoleon, chap. xv. (243 a).  

54.   By Philip of Macedon, according to Aelian, Varia Historia, xii. 60.  

56.   Cf. Moralia, 544 b, where the story is repeated in slightly different words.   

57.   Cf. Moralia> 458 f, where, however, the last remark is attributed to Antigonus the "One-eyed."  

59.   The shepherd is the Cyclops - Homer, Od. ix. 375. Cf Moralia, 557 b, where the story is repeated in fewer words.   

60.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Dion, chap. lvi. (982 d). The story of the plot and the death of Dion is in chaps. liv.-lvii. Cf. also Valerius Maximus, iii. 8, Ext. 5.  

62.   Cf. Moralia, 509 a.  

63.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Alcibiades, chap. i. (192 a); Moralia, 770 c ; and Aelian, Varia Historia, xiii. 4. In all three places the remark is attributed to Euripides.  

64.   Cf. Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec. iii. p. 624, Timotheus, No. 14, or Edmonds, Lyra Graeca (in L.C.L.), iii. p. 330, No. 28. Plutarch repeats the story in Moralia, 334 b.  

66.   Cf. Cicero, De Officiis, i. 26 (90).  

67.   Repeated in Moralia, 105 a and 666 a.  

68.   A similar story is told of Pyrrhus in Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus, chap. viii. (387 e).  

69.   Cf. Themistius, Oration vii. 95 b, and Frontinus, Strategemata, iv. 7. 37.   

70.   Cf. Polybius, v. 10, and Diodorus, xvi. 87.  

71.   Cf. Demosthenes, Oration xviii. (De Corona), 67 (p. 247), and Aulus Gellius, ii. 27.   

72.   The pun depends on the fact that κλείς means both "key" and "collar-bone."  

73.   Cf. Moralia, 790 b ; also Eunapius, Frag. 56 in Dindorf, Historici Graeci Minores, i. p. 249.   

74.   Cf. Cicero, Letters to Atticus, i. 16. 12 ; Diodorus, xvi. 54. 6.   

75.   Cf. Moralia, 97 d. The saying refers to a line from an unknown comic poet quoted by Lucian, Iupiter Tragoedus, 32. Cf. also Lucian, Historia quomodo conscribenda sit, 41, and Kock, Com, Att. Frag. iii. p. 451, Adespota no. 227.  

76.   Cf. Moralia, 806 b, Cicero, De Officiis, ii. 14 (48).  

77.   Probably the man mentioned by Demosthenes, Oration xix. 140 (p. 384).   

78.   The story is repeated in Moralia, 123 f and 707 b.  

79.   Hipparchus, with two others, was set up by Philip as tyrant in Eretria about 343 B.C. See Demosthenes, Oration ix. 53 (p. 125), and Oration xviii. 295 (p. 324).  

80.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. ix. (669 a).   

81.   The sentiment is attributed to Archidamus regarding a man from Chios, in Aelian, Varia Historic vii. 20 ; cf. Stobaeus, Florilegium, xii. 20.  

82.   Of an old woman in Stobaeus, Florilegium, xiii. 29 (quoted from Serenus) and Valerius Maximus, vi. 2, ext. 1 ; in the latter place is the more familiar appeal from "Philip drunk to Philip sober."  

83.   Cf. Moralia, 143 f and 457 

84.   A similar remark of Pausanias is quoted in Moralia, 230 n.

85.   Cf. Athenaeus, p. 435 d.   

86.   Something remotely like this is told of Alexander in Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. xxxi. (683 e).  

87.   The story is found also in Moralia, 67 f, 334 d, and 634 d.  

88.   Cf. Moralia, 70 b (which omits the conclusion) and Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. ix. (669 c).  

89.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. v. (666 f). Many of the stories about Alexander are repeated in Zonaras, Epitome of History, iv. 8-15.  

90.   Cf. Moralia, 331 b, and Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. iv. (666 d).   

91.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. xxv. (679 c) ; Pliny, Natural History, xii. 32 (62).   

92.   Stories of this type about kings have long been popular and often repeated.  

93.   Xenocrates seems to have been the lucky recipient, while Anaxarchus received high esteem, according to Moralia, 331 e, and Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. viii. (668 e).  

94.   Cf. in Aristophanes, Plutus, 1003, and Athenaeus, 523 f, the proverb, "Once were the Milesians stout and strong."   

95.   This story with slight variations is found also in Moralia, 127 b, 1099 c, and the Life of Alexander, chap. xxii. (677 b).  

96.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Theseus, chap. iii. (3 a) ; Athenaeus, 565 a.   

97.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. xxix. (681 r): Arrian, Anabasis, ii. 25 ; Diodorus, xvii. 54; Longinus, De sublimitate, ix. 4 ; Valerius Maximus, vi. 4, ext. 3.  

98.   Cf. Moralia, 332 f and 340 a, and Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap, xxxix. (688 a).  

99.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap, xxvii. (680 f).  

100.   The story is often repeated : cf for example, Moralia, 341 b ; Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap, xxviii. (681 b) ; Diogenes Laertius, ix. 60 ; Dio Chrysostom, Oration xliv. (p. 498) ; Seneca, Epistulae Moral. vi. 7. 12.  

101.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap. xxix. (754 e).  

102.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Eumenes, chap. ii. (503 d).  

103.   Cf. Moralia, 339 c, and Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. xli. (689 b).  

104.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. lix. (698 b).  

106.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. lviii. (697 e) ; Arrian, Anabasis, iv. 28 ; Diodorus, xvii. 85 ; Quintus Curtius, Hist. Alexandri, viii. 11.  

107.   Arrian, Anabasis, v. 26. 5, represents Alexander as boasting over the capture of the rock, which Heracles had failed to capture.   

108.   Alexander himself, when he was ill, spent the whole day in throwing dice with Medius, according to Plutarch, Life of Alexander, chap, lxxvi (706 d).  

109.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap, xlvii. (691 f), and Diodorus, xvii. 114.  

110.   Moralia, 331 e and 333 b, and Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. viii. (668 e).  

111.   Cf. Moralia, 332 e and 458 b ; Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. lx. (699 c) ; Arrian, Anabasis, v. 19. 2.   

112.   An oft-repeated aphorism ; cf. for example, Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. xli. (688 e) ; Pro Nobilitate, 19 (Bernardakis ed. vii. p. 268) ; Diogenes Laertius, vi. 3 ; Epictetus, Discourses, iv. 6 ; Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, vii. 36 ; Dio Chrysostom, Oration xlvii., last sentence.  

113.   Cf. Arrian, Anabasis, vii. 26. 3 ; Diodorus, xvii. 117. 4 ; Quintus Curtius, Hist. Alexandri, x. 5. 5 ; Justinus, Historiae Phillippicae, xii. 15.  

114.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Galba, chap. i. (1053 c), which also gives Demades as the author ; but in Moralia, 336 f, the saying is attributed to Leosthenes. Cf. also Demetrius Phalereus, De elocutione, 284.   

116.   Cf, Aelian, Varia Historia, xiii. 13.  

118.   Cf. Moralia, 506 c ; Plutarch's Life of Demetrius, chap, xxviii. (902 c), when the remark is addressed to Demetrius. The same remark is attributed to Crassus by Frontinus, Strategemata, i. 1. 13.  

119.   Repeated by Plutarch in his Life of Demetrius, chap xxiii. (899 c), and more fully by Frontinus, Strategemata, iv. 1. 10.   

120.   Attributed to Alexander by Stobaeus, Florilegium, xxi. 15.   

121.   Cf. Moralia, 360 c.   

122.   Repeated in Moralia, 457 e, and Seneca, De Ira, iii. 22. 2.  

124.   Euripides, Iphigeneia among the Taurians, 787.  

125.   This could hardly refer (as some think) to the unseasonably cold weather in the spring (of 307 B.C. ?) recorded in Plutarch's Life of Demetrius, chap. xii. (894 c).  

126.   The story is told more fully in Moralia, 551 e, and by Seneca, De beneficiis, ii. 17. 1.   

127.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Demetrius, chap. viii. (892 b), where the phraseology is slightly different.   

128.   Cf Moralia, 668 c, and Athenaeus, 340 f, who quotes as his authority Hegesander.  

129.   Plutarch tells the story at length in his Life of Demetrius, chap. iv. (890 c) ; cf also Appian, Roman History, Mithridatic Wars, 9. Mithridates became the founder of the line of Pontic kings, which lasted until 63 B.C., when Mithridates VI. was conquered by Pompey.  

132.   The painting was seen by Cicero (Orator, 2 (5)) at Rhodes ; later it was carried to Rome and placed in the temple of Peace (Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxxv. 36 (102)).  

134.   The story is told by Plutarch in his Life of Demetrius, chap. xxii. (898 e) ; Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxxv. 36 (105) ; and Aulus Gellius, xv. 31.  

135.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Demetrius, chap, xxxiv. (905 b).  

137.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Demetrius, chap. li. (914 d).   

138.   Cf Moralia, 545 b, and Plutarch's Life of Pelopidas, chap. ii. (278 d), both showing variation in wording and details ; also Athenaeus, 209 e, and Gulick's note in the L.C.L., vol. ii. p. 447.  

139.   Cf. Diogenes Laertius, vii. 15.    

142.   The story is repeated with slight variations in Moralia, 126 e and 555 d ; the capture of Lysimachus is recorded in Plutarch's Life of Demetrius, chap, xxxix. (908 b) ; Polyaenus, Strategemata, vii. 25 ; Diodorus, xxi. 12.   

143.   Repeated with slight variations in Moralia, 508 c and 517 b.   

145.   Cf. Moralia, 525 c and Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap. i. (741 e). Pytheas (quoted in Athenaeus, 44 f) speaks of Demades' protruding belly and ranting tongue.   

147.   In 196 B.C. presumably, when he wintered in Ephesus (Livy, xxxiii. 38).   

149.   Cf. Moralia, 489 a.  

151.   Apparently a parody of a line of Sophocles adapted to fit the situation. See Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Sophocles, No. 601.  

152.   The story is told also in Moralia, 489 e. Cf. also W. S. Ferguson, "The Premature Deification of Eumenes II.," in Classical Philology, i. p. 231.

154.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus, chap. ix. (388 a).   

155.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus, chap. viii. (387 d).  

156.   The details may be found ibid. chap. xxii. (397 b). The "Pyrrhic victory" is like the "Cadmean victory," Moralia, 10 a.   

158.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus, chap, xxiii. (398 f).  

159.   Ibid. chap. x. (388 b).  

160.   Told with more details by Plutarch in his Life of Pyrrhus, chap. viii. (387 f), and Valerius Maximus, v. 1, ext. 3. Cf. also Quintilian, vi. 3. 10.

162.   The first campaign was against Jerusalem in 133 B.C.  

163.   The same facts are narrated by Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, xiii. 8. 2.

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