Plutarch: Sayings of kings and commanders

Pages 185 - 196

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.

Previous pages (172-184)       


  1 . Themistocles while yet in his youth abandoned himself to wine and women. ** But after Miltiades, commanding the Athenian army, had overcome the barbarians at Marathon, [185] never again was it possible to encounter Themistocles misconducting himself. To those who expressed their amazement at the change in him, he said that "the trophy of Miltiades does not allow me to sleep or to be indolent." **   

  2. Being asked whether he would rather have been Achilles or Homer, he said, "How about you yourself ? Would you rather be the victor at the Olympic games or the announcer of the victor ?" **   

  3. When Xerxes was descending upon Greece with his mighty armament, Themistocles was afraid of Epicydes the popular leader, unscrupulous and cowardly, lest possibly he might, by being elected general, bring about the ruin of the State ; and so he bribed Epicydes to withdraw from his attempt to gain the command. **   

  4. When Adeimantus lacked the courage to risk a naval battle, and said to Themistocles,  who was exhorting and urging on the Greeks, "Themistocles, in the games they always scourge the runners who start before the signal is given," Themistocles replied, " Yes, Adeimantus, but they do not crown those who are left behind in the race." **   

  5. When Eurybiades lifted his cane as though to strike him, he said, "Strike but listen." **   

  6. Unable to persuade Eurybiades to engage the enemy's ships in the narrows, he sent a secret message to the barbarian telling him not to be afraid of the Greeks, who were running away. And when the barbarian, by taking this advice, was vanquished in the battle because he fought where the Greeks had the advantage, Themistocles again sent a message to him,  bidding him flee to the Hellespont by the speediest route, since the Greeks were minded to destroy the bridge. In this his purpose was, while saving the Greeks, to give the king the impression that he was saving him. **    

  7. When the man from Seriphus said to him that it was not because of himself but because of his country that he was famous, Themistocles remarked, "What you say is true enough ; but if I were from Seriphus, I should not have become famous, nor would you if you were from Athens." **   

  8. Antiphates, the handsome youth of whom Themistocles was enamoured, avoided him in the earlier days, and looked down upon him, but, after Themistocles had acquired great repute and power, kept coming to him and trying to flatter him. "My boy," said Themistocles, "it has taken time, but now we have both come to have sense." **   

   9. To Simonides, who petitioned for a legal decision which was not just, he said that Simonides would not be a good poet if he sang out of tune, nor should he himself be a useful official if he gave a decision out of tune with the law. **    

  10. Of his son, who was pert towards his mother, he said that the boy wielded more power than anybody else in Greece ; for the Athenians ruled the Greeks, he himself ruled the Athenians, the boy's mother ruled himself, and the boy ruled the mother. **   

   11. Of the suitors for his daughter's hand he esteemed the man of promise higher than the man of wealth, saying that he was looking for a man that was in need of money rather than for money that was in need of a man. **   

  12. When he offered a plot of land for sale, he ordered the announcement to be made that it also had a good neighbour. **   

  13. When the Athenians treated him with contumely, he said, "Why do you grow tired of being well served many times by the same men ?" He also likened himself to the plane-trees, beneath which men hasten when overtaken by a storm, but, when fair weather comes, they pluck the leaves as they pass by and break off the branches. **  

  14. The Eretrians, he said humorously, were like cuttle-fish in having a sword ** but no heart. **  

  15. After his banishment from Athens first, and later from Greece, he went to the Persian king, and, when he was bidden to speak, he said that speech is like rugs woven with patterns and figures ; for speech, like the rugs, when it is extended, displays its figures,  but, when it is rolled into a small compass, it conceals and spoils them. (16) He asked for time so that, when he should have learned the Persian tongue, he might conduct his interview through his own self and not through another. **  

  17. Being held deserving of many gifts, and speedily becoming rich, ** he said to his sons, "Boys, we should be ruined now if we had not been ruined before !" ** 



  Myronides, conducting a campaign against the Boeotians, gave orders to the Athenians for an invasion of the enemy's territory. When the hour was near, and the captains said that not all were present as yet, [186] he said, "All are present that intend to fight." And, leading them into battle before their ardour had cooled, he won a victory over the enemy. ** 



  1. Aristeides the Just was always an independent in politics, and avoided political parties, on the ground that influence derived from friends encourages wrongdoing. **  

  2. At one time when the Athenians had impetuously determined to vote on ostracism, an ignorant country fellow, holding his potsherd, approached him and bade him write on it the name of Aristeides. "Why," said he, "do you know Aristeides ?"  And when the man said that he did not know him, but was irritated at his being called ' the Just,' Aristeides said never a word more, but wrote the name on the potsherd, and gave it back to him. **   

  3. He was hostile to Themistocles, ** and once, when he was sent as ambassador in his company, he said, "Are you willing, Themistocles, that we should leave our hostility behind us at the boundaries ? And then, if it be agreeable, we will take it up again on our return." **  

  4. When he had fixed the contributions that the Greeks were to pay, he returned poorer by exactly as much as he spent on his journey. **   

  5. Aeschylus ** wrote referring to Amphiaraus, 
    His wish is not to seem, but be, the best, **
    Reaping the deep-sown furrow of his mind 
     In which all goodly counsels have their root.   
  And as these words were spoken all looked towards Aristeides. 



  1. Whenever Pericles was about to take command of the army, as he was donning his general's cloak, he used to say to himself, "Take care, Pericles ; you are about to command free-born men who are both Greeks and Athenians." **  

  2. He bade the Athenians remove Aegina, "that sore on the eye of the Piraeus." **   

  3. To a friend who wanted him to bear false witness, which included also an oath, he answered that he was a friend as far as the altar. **  

   4. On his death-bed he accounted himself happy in that no Athenian, because of him, had ever put on a black garment. **  


  1. Alcibiades, while still a boy, was caught in a fast hold in a wrestling-school, and, not being able to get away, he bit the arm of the boy who had him down. The other boy said, "You bite like a woman." "No indeed," said Alcibiades, "but like a lion." **   

  2. He owned a very beautiful dog, for which he had paid seven thousand drachmas, and he cut off its tail, "so that," as he said, "the Athenians may tell this about me, and may not concern themselves too much with anything else." **   

   3. Coming upon a schoolroom, he asked for a book of the Iliad, and when the teacher said that he had nothing of Homer's, Alcibiades hit him a blow with his fist and passed on. **   

  4. He came to Pericles' door, and upon learning that Pericles was not at liberty, but was considering how to render his accounting to the Athenians, he said, "Were it not better that he should consider how not to render it ?" **   

  5. Summoned from Sicily by the Athenians to be tried for his life, he went into hiding, saying that it is silly for a man under indictment to seek a way to get off when he can get away. **   

  6. When somebody said, "Don't you trust your fatherland to decide about you ?"  he replied, "Not I ; nor would I trust even my mother, lest in a moment of thoughtlessness she unwittingly cast a black ballot instead of a white one." **   

  7. Hearing that sentence of death had been passed upon him and his companions, he said, "Let us show them, then, that we are alive," and turning to the Spartan side he started the Decelean war against the Athenians. ** 



  Lamachus reprimanded one of his captains who had made a mistake, and when the man vowed he would never do it again, Lamachus said, "In war there is no room for two mistakes." 



  1. Iphicrates, who was reputed to be the son of a shoemaker, was looked down upon. [187]  The first occasion on which he won repute was when, wounded himself, he picked up one of the enemy alive, armour and all, and bore him to his own trireme.   

  2. Encamping in a friendly and allied country, he threw up a palisade and dug a ditch with all care, and to the man who said, "What have we to fear ?" he replied that the worst words a general could utter were the familiar "I never should have thought it." **   

  3. As he was disposing his army for battle against the barbarians he said he feared that they did not know the name of Iphicrates with which he was wont to strike terror to the hearts of his other foes. **  

  4. When he was put on trial for his life ** he said to the informer, "What are you trying to do, fellow?  At a time when war is all around us, you are persuading the State to deliberate about me instead of with me."   

  5. In reply to Harmodius, descendant of the Harmodius of early days, who twitted him about his lowly birth, he said, "My family history begins with me, but yours ends with you." **   

  6. A certain speaker interrogated him in the assembly: "Who are you that you are so proud? Are you cavalryman or man-at-arms or archer or targeteer ?"   "None of these," he replied, " but the one who understands how to direct all of them." **



  1. Timotheus was popularly thought to be a lucky general, and some who were jealous of him painted pictures of cities entering into a trap of their own accord  while he was asleep. ** Whereupon Timotheus said, "If I capture such cities as those while I am asleep, what do you think I shall do when I am awake? "   

  2. When one ** of the foolhardy generals was exhibiting to the Athenians a wound he had received, Timotheus said, "But I was ashamed when, at the time I was commanding you in Samos, a missile from a catapult fell near me."   

  3. When the prominent speakers brought forward Chares, and insisted that the general of the Athenians ought to be a man like him, Timotheus said, "Not the general, but the man who carries the general's bedding !" ** 



   1. Chabrias used to say that those men commanded an army best who best knew what the enemy were about.    

  2. When he was under indictment for treason along with Iphicrates, ** Iphicrates rebuked him because, while he was in jeopardy, he went to the gymnasium, and spent the usual time at his luncheon. His answer was, "You may go unwashed and unfed, and I may have had my luncheon and a bath and rub-down, but you may rest assured that, if the Athenians reach any adverse decision regarding us, they will put us both to death."   

  3. He was wont to say that an army of deer commanded by a lion is more to be feared than an army of lions commanded by a deer. **



   Hegesippus, nicknamed 'Topknot,' ** in a public address was inciting the Athenians against Philip, when someone in the assembly commented audibly, "You are bringing on war."   "Yes, by Heaven, I am," said he, "and black clothes and public funerals and orations over the graves of the dead, if we intend to live as free men, and not to do what is enjoined upon us by the Macedonians." 


  PYTHEAS   G   

  Pytheas, while still young, came forward in the assembly to oppose the resolutions proposed in honour of Alexander. When someone said, "Have you the audacity, young as you are, to speak about such important matters ?" he replied, "As a matter of fact, Alexander, whom your resolutions declare to be a god, is younger than I am." **



   1. Phocion the Athenian was never seen by anyone to laugh or cry. **   

  2. At a meeting of the assembly someone said to him, "You seem to be thinking, Phocion."   "You guessed right," said he, " for I am thinking whether I can leave out any part of what I am going to say to the Athenians." **   

  3. An oracle was given to the Athenians declaring that there was one man in the city opposed to the opinions of all, whereupon they ordered that search be made to find him, and were very vociferous. But Phocion said that the man was himself, for he was the only one who did not like a single thing of all that the multitude did and said. **   

  [188] 4. Once, when he expressed an opinion before the people, he won acclaim, and saw that all alike accepted the view he had expressed, whereupon he turned to his friends and said, "Does it not look as if I had unwittingly said something bad ? " **   

  5. When the Athenians were asking for contributions towards a public sacrifice and feast, and all the rest were contributing, he, being importuned to give, said, "I should be ashamed to make a contribution to you and not make restitution to this man," and, as he said this, he pointed to a man who had lent him money. **  

  6. Demosthenes, the orator, said to him, "The Athenians will put you to death if they go mad."   "Yes," he replied, "me if they go mad, but you if they keep their senses. " **   

   7. Aristogeiton, the informer, was about to be put to death in prison, sentence having been passed upon him, and he wanted Phocion to come to him ; but Phocion's friends were averse to his going to see such a wicked man. "And where," said he, "could anyone converse with Aristogeiton with greater pleasure ?" **   

  8. The Athenians were enraged at the people of Byzantium because they had not received Chares in their city when he had been sent with a force to help them against Philip. But when Phocion said that they must not be enraged at those of their allies who distrusted, but at those of their own generals who were distrusted, he was himself chosen general ; and he, being trusted by the people of Byzantium,  made Philip withdraw without accomplishing his purpose. **   

  9. When Alexander the king sent him a hundred talents as a present, he asked those who brought the money why it was that, when there were so many Athenians, Alexander offered this to him only. They replied that their king considered him only to be upright and honourable. " Then," said he, " let him suffer me both to seem and to be such." **  

  10. When Alexander made a demand for triremes, and the people called for Phocion by name to come forward and advise them, he arose and said, "Well then, I advise you either to be conquerors yourselves by force of arms, or else to be the friends of the conquerors." **   

   11. When word suddenly came, quite unauthenticated, of the death of Alexander, and the orators immediately leaped to the platform, already urgent that there be no delay, but war at once, Phocion insisted that they wait a while, and learn the facts. "For," said he, "if Alexander is dead to-day, he will be dead to-morrow also, and the day after." **   

  12. When Leosthenes plunged the State into war, elated as it was by brilliant hopes to aspire to the distinction of freedom and leadership, Phocion likened his words to the cypress-trees. "For," said he, "they are beautiful and tall, but they bear no fruit." However, the first attempts were successful, and, when the State was offering sacrifices to celebrate the good tidings, Phocion was asked whether he wished that these deeds had been done by himself.  "Yes," said he, " these deeds done, but that advice given." **   

  13. When the Macedonians invaded Attica, and were devastating the land near the sea, he led out the men of military age. Soon many were thronging about him and strongly urging him to "take possession of that hill over there," to "draw up his forces here."   "Great Heavens," he said, "how many generals do I see and how few soldiers !" Nevertheless, he engaged the enemy, and overcame them, and slew Micion the Macedonian commander. **   

  14. After a little time the Athenians were overcome in the war,  and compelled by Antipater to submit to receiving a garrison. Menyllus, the commander of the garrison, offered money to Phocion, who said with indignation that Menyllus was no whit better than Alexander, and the ground for his receiving money was not so good as before, since he had not accepted it then. **  

  15. Antipater said that he had two good friends at Athens ; and of the two he had never persuaded Phocion to accept a gift, nor ever sated Demades by giving. **    

  16. When Antipater required as his right that Phocion do a certain act of unrighteousness, he said, "Antipater, you cannot use Phocion both as a friend and as a flatterer." **   

  [189] 17. The death of Antipater was followed by a democratic government at Athens, and sentence of death was passed in assembly on Phocion and his friends. The others were led away weeping, but Phocion was proceeding in silence when one of his enemies met him and spat in his face. He looked toward the officers and said, "Will not somebody make this man stop his bad manners ? " **   

  18. When one of the men who were to die with him wept and cursed, he said, "Are you not content, Thudippus, that you are to die with Phocion ?" **   

  19. When the cup of hemlock was already being handed to him, he was asked if he had any message for his son. "I charge and exhort him," said he,  "not to cherish any ill feeling against the Athenians." ** 



  1. Peisistratus, the despot of the Athenians, on a time when some of his friends had revolted and taken possession of Phyle, came to them carrying a bundle of bedding. When they asked what he meant by this, he said, "To persuade you and get you away from here, or, if I cannot persuade you, to stay with you ; that is why I have come prepared."   

  2. It was whispered to him regarding his mother that she was in love with a certain young man, and had secret meetings with him, but that the young man was afraid and generally asked to be excused. Whereupon Peisistratus invited him to dinner, and after he had dined asked him, "How was it ?" And when the young man said, "Very pleasant," Peisistratus said,  "You shall have this pleasure every day if you are agreeable to my mother."   

  3. When Thrasybulus, who was in love with the daughter of Peisistratus, kissed her one day on meeting her, Peisistratus, when incited by his wife against the man, said, "If we hate them that love us, what shall we do to them that hate us ?" And thereupon he gave the maiden as wife to Thrasybulus. **   

  4. Some revellers fell in with his wife, and did and said a good many ribald things. The next day when they besought Peisistratus with many tears, he said, "As for you, do you try to conduct yourselves in a seemly manner hereafter, but as for my wife, she did not go out at all yesterday." **  

   5. When he was bent on marrying a second wife, his children inquired whether he had any fault to find with them. "By no means," he said, " but only praise - and the desire to have other children like you." **



  Demetrius of Phalerum recommended to Ptolemy the king to buy and read the books dealing with the office of king and ruler. "For," as he said, "those things which the kings' friends are not bold enough to recommend to them are written in the books." 



  1. Lycurgus, the Spartan, introduced the custom among his citizens of wearing their hair long, saying that it made the beautiful more comely and the ugly more frightful. **    

  2. To the man who urged him to create a democracy in the State his answer was, "Do you first create a democracy in your own house." **   

  3. He ordered that the people build their houses with saw and axe only ; for he knew that men are ashamed to bring into simple houses costly vessels, rugs, and tables. **   

  4. He prohibited boxing and prize-fighting so that the people might not even in sport get the habit of crying off. **  

   5. He prohibited making war upon the same people many times, so that they should not make their opponents too belligerent. And it is a fact that years later, when Agesilaus was wounded, Antalcidas said of him that he was getting a beautiful return from the Thebans for the lessons he had taught them in habituating and teaching them to make war against their will. **



  1. Charillus the king, being asked why Lycurgus enacted so few laws, replied that people who used few words had no need of many laws. **   

  2. When one of the helots conducted himself rather boldly towards him, he said, "By Heaven, I would kill you if I were not angry." **   

  3. In answer to the man who inquired why he and the rest wore their hair long, he said that of all ornaments this was the least expensive. ** 


  [190] TELECLUS   G   

  Teleclus the king answered his brother, who complained against the citizens because they conducted themselves with less consideration towards him than towards the king, by saying, "The reason is that you do not know how to submit to injustice." ** 



  When Theopompus was in a certain city, a man pointed out the wall to him and inquired if it seemed to him to be beautiful and high, and he replied, "It isn't a dwelling-place for women, is it ?" ** 



  When the allies said in the Peloponnesian War it was only right that Archidamus set a limit to their contributions, he said, "War does not feed on fixed rations." ** 


   BRASIDAS   G   

  1. Brasidas caught a mouse among some dry figs, and, getting bitten, let it go. Then, turning to those who were present, he said. "There is nothing so small that it cannot save its life, if it has the courage to defend itself against those who would lay hand on it." **    

  2. In a battle he was wounded by a spear which pierced his shield, and, pulling the weapon out of the wound, with this very spear he slew his foe. Asked how he got his wound, he said, " 'Twas when my shield turned traitor." **   

  3. When it came to pass that he fell while trying to win independence for the Greeks who were living within the borders of Thrace, and the envoys sent to Sparta approached his mother, **  her first question was whether Brasidas had died honourably. And when the Thracians spoke of him in the highest terms, and said that there would never be another like him, she said, "You know nothing about it, being from abroad ; for Brasidas was indeed a good man, but Sparta has many a better man than him." ** 


  AGIS **   G  

  1. Agis the king said that the Spartans do not ask how many are the enemy, but where are they.     

  2. At Mantineia, when efforts were made to dissuade him from risking a battle with the enemy who outnumbered his own men, he said, "He who would rule over many must fight with many." **   

  3. When the Eleans were commended for conducting the Olympic games honourably, he said, "What wonderful feat is it if they practise justice on one day in four years ?"  And when these same persons were persistent in their commendation, he said, "What wonder if they practise honourably an honourable thing, that is, justice ?" **   

  4. To a base man, who asked him many times who was the best of the Spartans, he replied, "The one most unlike you." **   

  5. When another man inquired about the number of the Spartans, he said, "Enough to keep away all bad men." **    

  6. When another asked the same question, he said, " You will think they are many, if you see them fight." 



   1. When Dionysius, the despot, sent garments of a very costly kind for Lysander's daughters, Lysander would not accept them, saying that he was afraid that the girls would appear more ugly because of them. **  

  2. To those who found fault with him for accomplishing most things through deception ( a procedure which they asserted was unworthy of Heracles ) he used to say in reply that where the lion's skin does not reach it must be pieced out with the skin of the fox. **    

  3. When the Argives seemed to make out a better case than the Spartans about the territory in dispute, he drew his sword, and said to them, "He who is master of this talks best about boundaries of land." **   

  4. Seeing that the Spartans were reluctant to carry on the battle against the walls of the Corinthians, he said, as he saw a hare leap out of the moat, "Are you afraid of such enemies as these,  in whose walls hares go to sleep because of the men's inaction ?" **    

  5. When a man from Megara used frank speech towards him in the general council, he said, "Your words need a country to back them." ** 



  1. Agesilaus used to say that the inhabitants of Asia Minor were poor freemen, but good slaves. **  

  2. Regarding their custom of calling the king of the Persians the Great King, he said, "In what respect is he greater than I, unless he is more upright and self-restrained ?" **  

  3. When he was questioned about bravery and uprightness and asked which was the better, he said, "We have no need of bravery if we are all upright." **   

  [191] 4. When he was about to break camp in haste by night to leave the enemy's country, and saw his favourite youth, owing to illness, being left behind all in tears, he said, "It is hard to be merciful and sensible at the same time." **   

  5. Menecrates the physician, who was addressed by the title of 'Zeus' wrote in a letter to him : "Menecrates Zeus to King Agesilaus, health and happiness." Agesilaus wrote in reply : "King Agesilaus to Menecrates, health and sanity !" **  

  6. The Spartans won a victory over the Athenians and their allies at Corinth, and when he learned the number of the enemy's dead he exclaimed,  "Alas for Greece which by her own hands has destroyed so many men, in number enough to conquer all the barbarians !" **    

  7. He received an oracle from Zeus at Olympia such as he wished, and thereupon the ephors commanded him to ask the Pythian god about the same matter. So, when he arrived at Delphi, he asked the god if his opinion was the same as his father's. **   

  8. In interceding with Idrieus of Caria for one of his friends he wrote : "If Nicias has done no wrong, let him go free ; if he has done wrong, let him go as a favour to me ; but let him go anyway." **   

  9. Being urged to hear a man who gave an imitation of the nightingale's voice, he said,"I have heard the bird itself many a time." **   

   10. After the Battle of Leuctra, since the law decrees that all who run away in battle shall lose their citizenship, and the ephors saw that the State was destitute of men, they, wishing to abrogate this penalty, invested Agesilaus with authority to revise the laws. He came forward into their midst, and ordered that beginning with the morrow all laws should be in full force. **  

  11. He was sent as an ally to the king of the Egyptians, and was shut up in camp, together with the king, besieged by hostile forces which many times outnumbered their own. As the enemy were digging a ditch around the encampment,  the king urged a sally and a decisive battle, but Agesilaus refused to hinder the enemy in their desire to put themselves on an equal footing with the defending force. When the ends of the ditch almost met, he drew up his men at this gap, and contending with equal numbers against equal numbers won a victory. **  

  12. When he was dying he gave orders that his friends have no 'plaster or paint' used, for this was the way he spoke of statues and portraits. "For," said he, "if I have done any noble deed, that is my memorial ; but if none, then not all the statues in the world avail." ** 



   Archidamus, the son of Agesilaus, on seeing the missile shot by a catapult, which had been brought then for the first time from Sicily, cried out, "Great Heavens ! Man's valour is no more !" **



  1. The Younger Agis, referring to the assertion of Demades that jugglers use the Spartan swords for swallowing because of their small size, said, "But it is a fact that the Spartans, above all men, reach their enemies with their swords." **   

  2. When the ephors ordered him to turn over soldiers to a traitor to lead, he said that he did not entrust another's men to the man that betrayed his own. ** 



  Somebody promised to give to Cleomenes cocks that would die fighting,  but he retorted, "No, don't, but give me those that kill fighting." ** 


  PAEDARETUS **    G   

  When Paedaretus was not chosen to be one of the three hundred, ** an honour which ranked highest in the State, he departed, cheerful and smiling, with the remark that he was glad if the State possessed three hundred citizens better than himself. ** 



  When Damonidas was assigned to the last place in the chorus by the director, he said, "Good ! You have discovered a way by which even this place may come to be held in honour." ** 



  [192] Nicostratus, the general of the Argives, was urged by Archidamus to betray a certain stronghold, his reward to be a large sum of money and marriage with any Spartan woman he wished, save only the royal family ; but his reply was that Archidamus was not descended from Heracles, for Heracles, as he went about, punished the bad men, but Archidamus made the good men bad. 



  1. Eudamidas, seeing Xenocrates, already well on in years, discussing philosophy with his pupils in the Academy, and being informed that he was seeking after virtue, said, "And when will he make use of it ?" **   

   2. At another time, after he had listened to a philosopher who argued that the wise man is the only good general, he said, "The speech is admirable, but the speaker has never been amid the blare of trumpets." ** 



  Antiochus, when he was an ephor, heard that Philip had given to the Messenians their land, whereupon he asked whether Philip had also given them the power to prevail in fighting to keep it. ** 



  1. Antalcidas, retorting to the Athenian who called the Spartans unlearned, said, "At any rate, we alone have learned no evil from you Athenians." **     

   2. When another Athenian said to him, " You cannot deny that we have many a time put you to rout from the Cephisus," he said, "But we have never put you to rout from the Eurotas !" **   

  3. When a lecturer was about to read a laudatory essay on Heracles, he said, "Why, who says anything against him ?" **



  1. While Epameinondas the Theban was general, panic never fell upon his troops.   

  2. He used to say that the most beautiful death was death in war.   

  3. He used to declare that the heavy-armed soldier ought to have his body trained not only by athletic exercises but by military drill as well. **  For this reason he always showed a repugnance towards fat men, and one such man he expelled from the army, saying that three or four shields would scarce serve to protect his belly, because of which he could not see a thing below it. **  

  4. He was so frugal in his manner of living that once, when he was invited to dinner by a neighbour, and found there an elaborate display of cake and pastry and other dishes, and perfumes as well, he left at once, saying, " I thought this was to be a meal and not a display of arrogance." **   

  5. When the cook rendered his accounts to Epameinondas and his fellow-officers of the expenses for several days, Epameinondas showed indignation only at the great amount of olive oil.  As his fellow-officers expressed their surprise, he said it was not the matter of expense that worried him, but that he had taken into his body so much oil.   

  6. While the city was keeping holiday, and all were busy with drinking and social enjoyment, Epameinondas, as he was walking along unwashed and absorbed in thought, met one of his intimate friends, who inquired in surprise why it was that he alone was going about in that state. "So that all of you," said he, "may get drunk and have a holiday." **    

  7. A worthless fellow, who was guilty of one of the minor offences, he would not let off at the request of Pelopidas, but, when the man's mistress pleaded for him, he let him off, saying that such favours may properly be received by strumpets,  but not by generals. **   

  8. When the Spartans threatened an invasion, and oracles were reported to the Thebans, of which some told of defeat and others of victory, he ordered that these be placed at the right of the speakers' platform, and those at the left. When they had all been so placed, he arose and said, "If you are willing to obey your officers, and come to close quarters with the enemy, these are the oracles for you," and he pointed to those of good omen ; "but if you are going to play the cowards in the face of danger, then those," and he glanced at those of ill omen.   

  9. On another occasion, when he was leading his troops against the enemy, there came a thunderstroke, and, when those about him inquired what he thought the god meant to signify by this, [193] he replied, "That the enemy have been thunder-struck out of all sense because, when such places as those are near at hand, they pitch their camp in places such as these." **   

  10. He used to say that of all the fair and goodly fortune that had fallen to his lot the thing that gave him the greatest gratification was that his victory over the Spartans at Leuctra came while his father and mother were still living. **   

  11. It was his habit to appear at all times with a well-groomed body and a cheerful countenance, but on the day after that battle he went forth unwashed and with a look of dejection. When his friends asked if anything distressing had befallen him, he said, "Nothing ; but yesterday I found myself feeling a pride greater than is well. Therefore to-day I am chastising  my immoderate indulgence in rejoicing."   

  12. Knowing that the Spartans were wont to conceal such calamities as this, and wishing to bring out clearly the magnitude of their disaster, he did not grant them leave to remove their dead all together, but separately by cities, so that it was seen that the Spartan dead numbered over a thousand. **   

  13. When Jason, monarch of Thessaly, arrived at Thebes as an ally, he sent two thousand pieces of gold to Epameinondas, who was then sadly in want. Epameinondas did not take the money, but with a steadfast look at Jason said, "You are beginning wrong." Then he borrowed fifty drachmas from one of his fellow-citizens  to meet his personal expenses in the campaign, and invaded the Peloponnese. **   

  14. On a later occasion, when the king of the Persians sent thirty thousand darics to him, he assailed Diomedon bitterly because he had made such a long voyage to corrupt Epameinondas ; and he bade him say to the king that if the king should hold views conducive to the good of the Thebans, he should have Epameinondas as his friend for nothing ; but if the reverse, then as his enemy. **   

  15. When the Argives entered the Theban alliance, ambassadors of the Athenians arrived at Arcadia and accused both nations ; and when Callistratus, the chief speaker,  held up Orestes and Oedipus as a reproach to their respective cities, Epameinondas, rising to reply, said, "We admit that we have had a parricide among us, and the Argives a matricide ; but we expelled from our land those who did these deeds, and the Athenians received them !" **   

  16. When the Spartans accused the Thebans of a long list of serious offences, he retorted, "These Thebans, however, have put a stop to your brevity of speech !" **   

  17. When the Athenians took as a friend Alexander, the despot of Pherae, who was an enemy of the Thebans,  and he promised to supply the Athenians with meat to be sold at half an obol for a mina, Epameinondas said, "But we will supply them with wood to cook their meat for nothing ; for we will cut down everything in their land, if they make any trouble."   

  18. The Boeotians, relaxed by leisure, he was always desirous of keeping continually under arms, and whenever he was chosen boeotarch he used to urge his advice upon the people, saying, "Bethink yourselves once more, men, for, if I am general, you will have to serve in my army." And he used to call their country, which was flat and exposed, 'the dancing-floor of War,' ** intimating that they could not hold their power over it if they did not keep a grip on the handles of their shields.   

   19. Chabrias, in the vicinity of Corinth, having struck down some few Thebans whose eagerness led them to carry the fighting to the foot of the walls, set up a trophy. ** Epameinondas, ridiculing it, said, "In that place should stand, not a trophy, but a Hecate " ; for it was in keeping to set up an image of Hecate, as they used to do, at the meeting of three ways in front of the gates.   

  20. When somebody reported that the Athenians had sent an army, decked out with novel equipment, into the Peloponnese, he said, "Why should Antigenidas cry if Tellen has a new flute or two ?" (Tellen was the worst of flute-players, and Antigenidas the best. ** )   

  [194] 21 . Learning that his shield-bearer had received a great deal of money from a man who had been taken captive in the war, he said to him, "Give me back my shield, and buy yourself a tavern in which to spend the rest of your days ; for you will no longer be willing to face danger as before, now that you have become one of the rich and prosperous." **    

  22. Being asked whether he regarded himself or Chabrias or Iphicrates as the better general, he said, "It is hard to decide while we are alive."   

  23. Upon his return from Laconia he was put on trial for his life, together with his fellow-generals, for having added, contrary to the law, four months to his term of office as boeotarch He bade his fellow-officers to put the responsibility on him, as if their action had been dictated by him, and said that he himself had not any words to speak better than his deeds ; but if he absolutely must make a statement to the judges, he required from them as his just due, if they put him to death, to inscribe their sentence upon his tombstone, so that the Greeks might know that Epameinondas had compelled the Thebans against their will to lay waste Laconia with fire and sword, which for five hundred years ** had been unravaged ; and that he had repopulated Messene after a space of two hundred and thirty years, and had organized the Arcadians and united them in a league, and had restored self-government to the Greeks. As a matter of fact, all these things had been accomplished in that campaign. Thereupon the judges left the court-room with hearty laughter,  and did not even take up their ballots to cast against him. **  

  24. When in his last battle he had been wounded and carried into a tent, he called for Daiphantus, and next after him for Iolaidas, and, learning that the men were dead, he bade the Thebans to make terms with the enemy, since no general was left to them. And the facts bore out his words, for he best knew his fellow-citizens. ** 



  1. Pelopidas, the associate of Epameinondas in command, in reply to his friends who told him that he was neglecting a very necessary business,  the amassing of money, said, "Yes, on my word, money is necessary - for Nicodemus here !" ** as he pointed to a lame and crippled man.   

  2. As he was leaving home for the field of battle, his wife begged him to have a care for his life. "This advice," said he, "should be kept for others, but for a commander and general the advice should be to have a care for the lives of the citizens." **  

  3. When one of his soldiers said, "We have fallen among the enemy," he said, "Why any more than they among us ?" **    

  4. When he fell a victim to the treachery of Alexander, despot of Pherae, and was put in bonds, he upbraided Alexander ; and when the despot said, "Are you so eager to die," he replied, "Yes, I certainly am, so that the Thebans may become the more exasperated, and you may get your deserts the sooner." **    

  5. Thebe, the despot's wife, came to Pelopidas and said that she was amazed because he was so cheerful in his bonds. Pelopidas replied that he was even more amazed at her because she without being in bonds could abide Alexander. **  

   6. After Epameinondas had obtained his general's release, Pelopidas said that he felt grateful to Alexander ; for by actual test he had now found himself more than ever to be of good courage not only in facing war but also in facing death. 





  1. When some complained against Manius Curius because he apportioned to each man but a small part of the land taken from the enemy, and made the most of it public land, he prayed that there might never be a Roman who would regard as small the land that gave him enough to live on. **   

   2. When the Samnites came to him after their defeat and offered him money, he happened to be cooking turnips in pots. He made answer to the Samnites that he had no need of money when he could make his dinner from this sort of food ; and for him it was better than having money to hold sway over those who had it. ** 



  1. Gaius Fabricius, upon learning of the defeat of the Romans by Pyrrhus, said, "Pyrrhus has defeated Laevinus, but the Epirotes have not defeated the Romans." **    

  2. When he came to see Pyrrhus about ransoming the prisoners of war, Pyrrhus offered him much money, but he would not accept it. [195] On the following day Pyrrhus made ready his biggest elephant, all unknown to Fabricius, to appear and trumpet suddenly behind his back ; and when this plan had been carried out, Fabricius turned and said with a smile, "Neither your money yesterday nor your beast to-day has astounded me." **    

  3. Pyrrhus urged Fabricius to stay with him and be the second in command, but Fabricius said, "But there is no advantage in this for you ; for if the Epirotes come to know us both, they will prefer to be ruled by me rather than by you." **   

  4. When Fabricius was consul, Pyrrhus's physician sent a letter to him,  offering, if he should give the word, to kill Pyrrhus by poison. Fabricius sent the letter to Pyrrhus, bidding him note the reason why he was the worst possible judge both of friends and of foes. **    

  5. Pyrrhus, having thus discovered the plot, caused his physician to be hanged, and gave back the prisoners of war to Fabricius without ransom. Fabricius, however, would not accept them as a gift, but gave an equal number in return, lest he should give the impression that he was getting a reward. "For," as he said, "it was not to win favour with Pyrrhus that he had disclosed the plot, but that the Romans might not have the repute of killing through treachery, as if they could not win an open victory." ** 


  1. Fabius Maximus wished to avoid a battle with Hannibal, but, in time, to wear out his force, which was in need of both money and food ; and so he followed close after him, taking a parallel route, through rough and mountainous places. When most people laughed at him, and called him a slave in attendance on Hannibal, he paid little attention, and continued to follow his own counsels. To his friends he said that he thought the man who feared gibes and jeers was more of a coward than the one who ran away from the enemy. **  

  2. When his colleague in command, Minucius, laid low some of the enemy, and there was much talk of him as a man worthy of Rome,  Fabius said that he felt more afraid over Minucius's good luck than over any bad luck he might have. And not long after, Minucius fell into an ambush and was in great danger of being destroyed together with his forces, when Fabius came to his aid, slew many of the enemy, and rescued him. Whereupon Hannibal said to his friends, "Did I not often prophesy to you regarding that cloud upon the mountains, that some day it would let loose a storm upon us ?" **   

  3. After the misfortune which befell the state at Cannae he was chosen consul with Claudius Marcellus, a man possessed of daring and spoiling for a fight with Hannibal. Fabius hoped, if nobody fought with Hannibal, that Hannibal's forces, being under continual strain, would soon give out. Therefore Hannibal said that he had more to fear from Fabius who would not fight  than from Marcellus who would. **   

  4. A certain Lucanian soldier was accused of wandering often from the camp at night for love of a young woman. Fabius, on hearing the accusation, ascertained that in other respects the man was an admirable man-at-arms, and he ordered that they secretly seize the man's mistress and bring her to him. When she was brought, he sent for the man,  and said to him, "Your being away at night, contrary to the regulations, has not passed unnoticed, nor, on the other hand, your good service in the past. Therefore let your offences be atoned for by your brave and manly deeds, and in future you will be with us, for I have a surety." And leading forward the girl he presented her to him. **   

  5. Hannibal kept the Tarentines in subjection by a garrison - all the city except the acropolis. Fabius drew him away a very long distance by a trick, and captured and sacked the city. When his secretary asked him what decision he had reached in regard to the sacred images, he said, "Let us leave behind for the Tarentines their angered gods." **   

  6. Marcus Livius, who had all the time held the acropolis with his garrison, said that it was because of him that the city had been taken. The others laughed at him, [196] but Fabius said, "You are quite right ; for, if you had not lost the city, I should not have recaptured it." **   

  7. When he was already an elderly man, his son was consul, and was attending to the duties of his office in public in the presence of a large number of people. Fabius, mounted, was advancing on horseback. When the young man sent a lictor, and ordered his father to dismount, the others were thrown into consternation, but Fabius, leaping from his horse, ran up more nimbly than his years warranted, and, embracing his son, said, "Well done, my boy ; you show sense in that you realize whose official you are, and what a high office you have taken upon you." ** 

Following pages (196-208)



165.   Cf. Moralia, 552 b ; Athenaeus, pp. 533 d and 576 c.   

166.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chap. iii. (113 b); Moralia, 84 b, 92 c, 800 b ; Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, iv. 19 (44); and Valerius Maximus, viii. 14, ext. 1.  

167.   The remark is attributed to Alexander by Dio Chrysostom, Oration ii. (22 M., 79 R.).   

168.   The story is told more fully in Plutarch's Life of Themistocles , chap. vi. (114 d).  

169.   Adeimantus is the speaker here, as in Herodotus, viii. 59 ; but in Plutarch's Life of Themistocles , chap. xi. (117 d), the remark is attributed not to the Corinthian Adeimantus, but to Eurybiades the Spartan, who was in command of the fleet.  

170.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chap. xi. (117 e); Aelian, Varia Historia, xiii. 40 ; Diogenes Laertius, vi. 21   

171.   The details may be found in Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chaps, xii.-xvi. (118 b-120 c). The story comes from Herodotus, viii. 75 and 110. Cf. also Polyaenus, Strategemata, i. 30. 3 and 4.  

172.   In almost the same words in Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chap, xviii. (121 b), but the story goes back to Herodotus, viii. 125, where Timodemus is the speaker, and Themistocles names the island of Belbina. The man from Seriphus is found first in Plato, Republic, 329 e and persists thereafter, as in Plutarch and in Cicero, De senectute, 3 (8), and in Origen, Against Celsus, i. 29 (347 e).  

173.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chap, xviii. (121 a).  

174.   Cf. Moralia, 534 e and 807 b.   

175.   Cf. Moralia, 1 c ; Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chap, xviii. (121 b) ; and Life of Cato Major, chap. viii. (340 b).  

176.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chap, xviii. (121 c) : Cicero, De officiis, ii. 20 (71); Valerius Maximus, vii. 2, ext. 9. A somewhat similar remark is attributed to Pericles by Stobaeus, Florilegium, lxx. 17, and to a Spartan (on the authority of Serenus), lxxii. 15.   

177.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chap, xviii. (121c).  

178.   Life of Themistocles, chap, xviii. (121 a), and chap. xxii. (123 a) ; cf. also Aelian, Varia Historic ix. 18.  

179.   The "bone" of the cuttle-fish; cf. Aristotle, Historia Animalium, iv. 1. 12.  

180.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chap. xi. (118 a).  

181.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chap. xxix. (126 c); Thucydides, i. 137.  

182.   Cf. ibid. i. 138.  

183.   Cf. Moralia, 328 f and 602 a ; Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, chap. xxix. (p. 126 f) ; Polybius, xxxix. 11 (=xl. 5).  

185.   At Oenophyta in Boeotia, 457 (?) B.C. (Thucydides, i. 108). Cf. also Moralia, 345 d ; Diodorus, xi. 31. A similar remark is attributed to Leonidas by Plutarch, Moralia> 225 d, and to Timotheus by Polyaenus, Strategemata, iii. 10. 3.   

187.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Aristeides, chap. ii. (319 f).   

188.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Aristeides, chap, vii (323 a) ; Cornelius Nepos, Aristeides, i. 3.  

189.   Herodotus, viii. 79 ; Plutarch's Life of Aristeides, chap. viii. (323 c).   

190.   Cf Moralia, 809 b ; Polyaenus, Strategemata, i. 31 ; and the following (from a newspaper in 1929) : "Paying a tribute to Senator Robinson, the Democratic member of the conference delegation, Senator Reed said ; 'I can say for him that when his ship sails from New York he quits being a Democrat, just as I quit becoming a Republican, leaving politics behind us at the American shore.' "   

191.   In 478-477 B.C. Aristeides, because of his reputation for fairness, was chosen to determine the initial contribution which each member of the confederacy of Delos should make to the common cause. Cf. Plutarch's Life of Aristeides, chap. xxiv. (333 c) ; Aelian, Varia Historia, xi. 9.  

192.   Aeschylus, Seven against Thebes, 592 ; Plutarch quotes the lines also in whole or in part in Moralia, 32 d, 88 b, and Life of Aristeides , chap. iii. (320 b).  

193.   On account of the reading δίκαιος in the Life of Aristeides it has been thought that the actor who spoke the words may have substituted "the Just" for "the best" when he saw Aristeides in the audience.  

195.   Cf. Moralia, 620 c and 813 d.  

196.   Ibid. 803 a ; Plutarch's Life of Pericles, chap. viii. (156 d) and Life of Demosthenes, chap. i. (846 c) : Aristotle, Rhetoric, iii. 10. Athenaeus (9D d) attributes the expression to Demades, an Athenian orator. The people of Aegina, who were Dorian, had been hostile towards the Athenians   

197.   Cf. Moralia, 531 c and 808 a, and Aulus Gellius, i. 3.  

198.   Given with more details in Moralia, 543 c, and Plutarch's Life of Pericles, chap, xxxviii. (173 c), and Julian, Oration iii. 128 d.   

200.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alcibiades, chap. i. (192 c). The same story is told of a Spartan in Moralia, 234 e.  

201.   In quite different words in Plutarch's Life of Alcibiades, chap. ix. (195 d).  

202.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alcibiades, chap. vii. (194 d), and Aelian, Varia Historia, xiii. 38.   

203.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alcibiades, chap. vii. (194 e) ; Diodorus, xii.38 ; Valerius Maximus, iii. 1, ext. 1.  

204.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alcibiades, chap. xxi. (202 c) ; Aelian, Varia Historia, xiii. 38.  

205.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alcibiades, chap. xxii. (202 d) and Aelian, xiii. 38.   

206.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alcibiades, chap. xxii. (202 d) and Aelian, xiii. 38 ; cf. also Polyaenus, Strategemata, i. 40. 6.  

209.   Cf. Polyaenus, Strategemata, iii. 9. 17. The saying is attributed to Scipio Africanus by Valerius Maximus, vii. 2, and to Fabius by Seneca, De ira, ii. 31. 4. Cicero, De officiis, i. 23 (81) states it as a general maxim.  

210.   Cf. Polyaenus, Strategemata, iii. 9. 25.  

211.   Together with Timotheus, for thinking it best not to fight at the Hellespont in 356 B.C. (Diodorus, xvi. 21).  

212.   Cf. De nobilitate, 21, in Moralia, vol. vii. p. 272 of Bernardakis's edition.  

213.   The story is found also in Moralia, 99 e and 440 b.  

215.   Cf. the many repetitions of this story it may suffice to refer to Plutarch's Life of Sulla, chap. vi. (454 b) ; Moralia, 856 b ; Aelian, Varia Historia, xiii. 43.  

216.   Chares, according to Plutarch in his Life of Pelopidas, chap. ii. (278 d).   

218.   Cf Moralia, 788 d.  

220.   With Callistratus, rather than Iphicrates, in the year 366 B.C. Cf. Demosthenes, Against Meidias, 65.  

221.   Ascribed to Philip by Stobaeus, Florilegium, liv. 61.  

223.   Because of his affectation in wearing his hair in a knot on the top of his head, in the very old-fashioned manner. Aeschines the orator regularly uses this name in speaking of him. For the "crobylus" see F. Studniczka, in the Appendix to Classen's edition of Thucydides, i. 6. 3.  

225.   Cf. Moralia, 804 b. Similar derisive remarks about the deification of Alexander are attributed to other sharp-tongued Greeks. Cf. Diogenes Laertius, vL 8 and vi. 63 ; Aelian, Varia Historia, ii. 19 and v. 12 ; Valerius Maximus, vii. 2, ext. 13.  

227.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap. iv..  

228.   Ibid. chap. v.  

229.   Ibid. chap. viii.  

230.   Ibid. Cf. similar remarks of Antisthenes, in Diogenes Laertius, vi. 5 and 8 ; and of Hippomachus, in Aelian, Varia Historia, ii. 6.  

231.   Repeated in Moralia, 533 a and 822 e, and in Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap. ix.  

232.   Ibid. chap. ix. In Moralia, 811 a, Demades is substituted for Demosthenes.  

233.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap. x.  

234.   Ibid. chap. xiv ; the date was 339 b.c   

235.   Ibid. chap, xviii. (749 e); cf also Aelian, Varia Historia, xi. 9.   

236.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap. xxi.   

237.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap. xxii, also Moralia, 451 f.   

238.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap, xxiii. ; Valerius Maximus, iii. 8, ext. 2.  

240.   In the Lamian war, 322 B.C. Cf Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap. xxv.  

241.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap, xxviii, and chap. xxx.  

242.   Ibid. chap. xxx.   

243.   Repeated by Plutarch in Moralia, 64 c, 142 b, 533 a; Life of Phocion, chap. xxx. ; Life of Agis, chap. ii.   

244.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap, xxxvi.  

245.   Ibid. ; cf Moralia, 541 c, and Aelian, Varia Historia, xiii. 41.   

246.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Phocion, chap, xxxvi.; Aelian, Varia Historia, xii. 49.   

248.   Cf. Valerius Maximus, v. 1, ext. 2. Plutarch also refers to the incident in Moralia, 457 f.   

249.   Musonius in Stobaeus, Florilegium, xix. 16, records a similar action on the part of Phocion.   

250.   Cf. Moralia, 480 d. Plutarch in his Life of Cato Major, chap. xxiv. (351 b), says that Cato as well as Peisistratus made his remark.   

253.   Cf. Moralia, 228 f, infra ; Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus,   

254.   Repeated in Moralia, 155 d, 228 d, and Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xix. (52 a).  

255.   Cf Moralia, 227 b, infra, and Life of Lycurgus, chap, xiii. (47 b).   

256.   See Moralia, 228 d, infra, and cf Life of Lycurgus, chap. xix. (52 a), and Seneca, De Beneficiis, v. 3.   

257.   Cf. Moralia, 213 f, 217 e, 227 c, infra ; Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xiii. (47 d) ; Life of Pelopidas, chap. xv. (285 d); Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxvi. (610 d); Polyaenus, Strategemata, i. 16. 2.  

259.   Cf. Moralia, 232 b, infra, and Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xx. (52 d).   

260.   Cf. Moralia, 232 d, infra.  

261.   Attributed to Nicander, Moralia, 230 b, and to Agesilaus by Stobaeus, Florilegium, lxv. 10.  

263.   Repeated in Moralia, 232 b, infra ; cf. also the similar remark of Chilon reported in Diogenes Laertius, i. 68, and the general statement in Menander's Farmer, Kock, Com. Att. Frag. iii. p. 29, Menander no. 95.   

265.   Cf. Moralia, 221 f. The remark in varied form is attributed to Agesilaus in Moralia, 212 e ; to Agis in Moralia, 215 d ; and to Panthoidas in Moralia, 230 c ; and to an unnamed Spartan by Valerius Maximus, iii. 7, ext. 8.  

267.   Repeated in Moralia, 219 a, and in Plutarch's Life of Crassus, chap. ii. (544 b) ; and Life of Cleomenes, chap, xxvii. (817 e). In his Life of Demosthenes, chap. xvii. (853 e), the saying is put in the mouth of "Crobylus" (i.e. Hegisippus the Athenian orator). See the note on Moralia, 187 e, supra.  

269.   Repeated in Moralia, 79 e and 219 c, and with some variation, 208 f.   

270.   Cf. Moralia, 219 c, infra, and 548 b.  

271.   Argileonis (Moralia, 219 d, 270 c, infra).  

272.   Repeated in Moralia, 219 d and 240 c, and in Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xxv. (55 d).  

273.   Son of Archidamus. There were two kings of Sparta of this name : Agis II., 437-401 b.c, and Agis III., 338- 331 b.c, and there is some confusion as to which said which ! Cf. Moralia, 215 c ff., infra.  

274.   Cf Moralia, 215 d, infra.  

275.   Ibid. 215 f, and Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xx. (52 c).   

276.   Life of Lycurgus and Moralia, 216 c.  

277.   Cf Moralia, 21 5 d ; (5) infra ; Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xx. (52 d).   

279.   Cf. Moralia, 141 d, 229 a, and Plutarch's Life of Lysander, chap. ii. (434 c). The same story is told of Archidamus in Moralia, 218 e.  

280.   Cf. Moralia, 229 b ; Plutarch's Life of Lysander, chap, vii. (437 a), Leutsch and Schneidewin, Paroemiographi Graeci, i. p. 30.   

281.   Cf. Moralia, 229 c ; Life of Lysander, chap. xxii. (445 d).   

282.   Cf. Moralia, 229 d ; Life of Lysander , chap. xxii. (445 d).   

283.   Cf. Moralia, 71 e and 229 c; Life of Lysander, chap, xxii. (445 d). A similar remark is attributed to Agesilaus in Moralia, 212 e.   

285.   Cf. Moralia, 213 c infra. The remark is attributed to Callicratidas, Moralia, 222 e, infra. Cf. also the similar sentiment recorded in Herodotus, iv. 142.   

286.   Cf Moralia, 78 d, 213 c, 545 a ; Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap, xxiii. (608 f) ; also Xenophon, Agesilaus, 8. 4. A similar remark of Socrates is found in Plato, Gorgias, 470 e.   

287.   Cf. Moralia, 213 c, infra, and Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap, xxiii. (608 f).  

288.   Cf Moralia, 209 f, infra, and Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xiii. (603 b).  

289.   The story is repeated in Moralia, 213 a, and in Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxi. (607 e). Aelian, Varia Historia, xii. 51, and Athenaeus, 289 b, say that it was Philip of Macedon who thus replied to Menecrates.   

291.   In 394 B.C. Cf. Moralia, 211 e, infra ; Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xvi. (604 f) ; Cornelius Nepos, Agesilaus, 5. 2. The source is probably Xenophon, Agesilaus, 7. 4.  

293.   Cf. Moralia, 208 f, when the oracle at Dodona is mentioned instead of Olympia. It is probable that this story, which was related of Agesipolis by Xenophon, Hellenica, iv. 7. 2, and by Aristotle, Rhetoric, ii. 23 (mss. Hegisippus), has been transferred to Agesilaus.  

294.   Cf. Moralia, 209 e and 807 f ; and Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xiii. (603 b).  

295.   Cf. Moralia, 212 f and 213 c, infra ; Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxi. (607 e) ; and Life of Lycurgus, chap, xx. (52 e).   

296.   Cf. Moralia, 214 b, infra ; Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxx. (612 f) ; Comparison of Agesilaus and Pompey, chap. ii. (662 e) ; and Polyaenus, Strategemata, ii. 1. 13.   

297.   Cf. Moralia, 214 f, infra ; Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap, xxxix. (618a); Polyaenus, Strategemata, ii. 1. 22; Diodorus, xv. 93.   

298.   Cf. Moralia, 215 a, infra ; Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. ii. (596 f) ; Xenophon, Agesilaus, ii. 7 ; Dio Chrysostom, Oration xxxv. (466 M., 127 R.); Cicero, Letters, v. 12. 7.  

300.   Cf. Moralia, 219 a, infra.  

302.   Cf Moralia, 216 c, infra, and Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xix. (51 e).  

303.   Attributed to Agis II. in Moralia, 215 c.  

305.   Cf. Moralia, 224 b, infra, and Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xx. (52 e).  

306.   Spartan general at the time of the Peloponnesian war ; also spelled Paedaritus (and Pedaritus ?).  

307.   Cf. Herodotus, vii. 205, and viii. 124 ; Thucydides, v. 72 ; Xenophon, Constitution of Sparta, 4. 3.  

308.   Cf. Moralia, 231 b, and Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xxv. (55 c).   

309.   Cf. Moralia, 149 a and 219 e. A similar remark is attributed to Agesilaus in Moralia, 208 d, and the idea is also accredited to Aristippus by Diogenes Laertius, ii. 73   

312.   Cf. Moralia, 220 d.  

313.   Ibid. 220 d infra.  

314.   Repeated ibid. 217 f.  

316.   Cf. Moralia, 217 d. The saying is attributed to Pleistoanax in Moralia, 231 d, and in Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus, chap. xx. (52 d).   

317.   Cf Moralia, 217 d and 810 f, Plutarch's Life of Agesilaus, chap. xxxi. (613 d). The Cephisus was a river near Athens, and the Eurotas a river near Sparta.   

318.   Cf Moralia, 217 d.  

319.   Famous Theban general and statesman, 420-362 B.C. These sayings were doubtless incorporated in Plutarch's Life of Epameinondas, now lost. A collection of stories about Epameinondas will be found in Polyaenus, Strategemata, ii. 3.   

320.   Cf. Cornelius Nepos, Epaminondas, xv. 2. 4 and 5.  

321.   Cf Plutarch's Life of M. Cato, chap. ix. (341 c).   

322.   Cf Moralia, 1099 c, and perhaps Diogenes Laertius, vi. 28.   

323.   Cf Themistius, Oration vii. 88 c.  

324.   Cf Moralia, 808 e.  

325.   Cf. Polyaenus, Strategemata, ii. 3. 3.   

326.   Cf. Moralia, 786 d and 1098 b, and Plutarch's Life of Coriolanus, chap. iv. (215c).  

327.   The story is told with slightly more details by Pausanias, ix. 13. 11 and 12.   

328.   Cf. Moralia, 583 f, and Aelian, Varia Historia, xi. 9.  

329.   Cf. Cornelius Nepos, Epaminondas, xv. 4, where the same story is told in more words, and Aelian, Varia Historia, v. 5, where the fact is recorded in very few words.   

331.   Cf. Moralia, 810 f, and Cornelius Nepos, Epaminondas, xv. 6. 1-3.   

332.   Cf. Moralia, 545 a.   

333.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Marcellus, chap. xxi. (310 b), where two other picturesque expressions of similar meaning are quoted.   

334.   Cf Diodorus, xv. 69.  

335.   There are many references to the skill of Antigenidas ; it must suffice here to refer only to Moralia, 335 a.   

336.   Cf. Aelian, Varia Historia, xi. 9 ; Themistius, Oration vii., 88 c.  

338.   Plutarch in his Life of Agestlaus, chap. xxxi. (613 b), says "not less than six hundred" ; one is probably as correct as the other.   

339.   There are many references to this story, and it was even used as a corpus vile for argumentation in the schools, to judge from Cicero, De inventione, i. 33 (55-56) and 38 (69). The story is repeated in Moralia, 540 d and 799 e ; Aelian, Varia Historia, xiii. 42 ; Pausanias, ix. 14. 5-7 ; Cornelius Nepos, Epaminondas, xv. 7. 3-8. 5. Appian, Roman History, Syrian Wars, 40-41, compares the action of Epameinondas with the similar action of Scipio Africanus Major (Moralia, 196 f); and this suggests the probability that Appian had before him Plutarch's Parallel Lives of Epameinondas and Scipio, now lost.   

341.   At Mantineia, in 362 b.c Cf Aelian, Varia Historian xii. 3. Other authors lay stress on the fortitude with which he met his end. Cf. Diodorus, xv. 87 ; Cornelius Nepos, Epaminondas, xv. 9 ; Valerius Maximus, iii. 2, ext. 5 ; Justin, Historiae Philippicae, vi. 8.   

342.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Pelopidas, chap. iii. (279 c) Aelian, Varia Historia, xi. 9.  

343.   Cf. the Life of Pelopidas, chap. xix. (288 c).   

344.   Repeated in the Life of Pelopidas, chap. xvii. (286 d). A similar remark is attributed to Leonidas, Moralia, 225 b, infra, and to an unnamed Spartan, 234 b, infra.  

345.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Pelopidas, chap, xxviii. (293 a).  

346.   Ibid. (293 b).   

348.   Cf. Pliny, Natural History, xviii. 4 (18) ; Columella, i. 3. 10 ; Valerius Maximus, iv. 3. 5 ; Frontinus, Strategemata, iv. 3. 12.   

349.   There are many references to this incident as typical of the simple life; cf. for example Plutarch's Life of Cato Major, chap. ii. (337 a) ; Athenaeus, 419 a ; Cicero, De Republican iii. 28 (40) ; Pliny, Natural History, xix. 26 (87) ; Valerius Maximus, iv. 3. 5. Frontinus, Strategemata, iv. 3. 2, and Aulus Gellius, i. 14, strangely enough, attribute the remark to Fabricius.

351.   Cf Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus, chap, xviii. (394 c). The defeat of Laevinus was in 280 B.C.  

352.   Ibid. chap. xx. (395 e).  

353.   Ibid. chap. xx. (396 a).   

355.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus, chap. xxi. (396 b) ; Cicero, De officiis, i. 13 (4-0), and iii. 2-2 (86) ; Valerius Maximus, vi. 5. 1 ; Aulus Gellius, iii. 8 ; Frontinus, Strategemata 9 iv. 4. 2.   

356.   Cf, Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus, chap. xxi. (396 d).

358.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Fabius Maximus, chap. v. (177 a) ; Diodorus, xxvi. 3. 1.  

359.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Fabius Maximus, chaps, viii., xi., and xii. (179 a, 180 d, and 181 c) ; Livy, xxii. 25.  

361.   Plutarch's Life of Fabius Maximus, chap. xix. (185 a-c).  

362.   Ibid. chap. xx. (186 a-c). Cf also Valerius Maximus, vii. 3. 7.   

363.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Fabius Maximus, chap. xxii. (187 a-c) ; Livy, xxvii. 16.   

364.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Fabius Maximus, chap, xxiii. (187 e) ; Cicero, De oratore, ii. 67 (273), and De senectute, 4(11).   

365.   Cf. Plutarch's Life of Fabius Mcucimus, chap. xxiv. (188 a); Livy, xxiv, 44; Valerius Maximus, ii. 2. 4; Aulus Gellius, ii. 2.   

Following pages (196-208)

Attalus' home page   |   01.03.21   |   Any comments?