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Polyaenus- Alexander's generals and others

Antipater : Parmenio : Antigonus : Demetrius

4.4 Antipater


(1) Antipater, in the Thracian war, having advanced into the country of the Tetrachoritae, ordered fire to be set to the horses’ hay, which lay before his pavilion. And as soon as it flamed out, the trumpets sounded the charge; when the Macedonians repaired to the royal pavilion, with their spears all raised on high. The Tetrachoritae, struck with terror at such marks of frantic desperation, made a precipitate retreat; leaving to Antipater a cheap and easy victory.

(2) When Antipater attempted to cross the Sperchius, and found the Thessalian cavalry drawn up on the other side, ready to dispute his passage; he retreated to his camp: and ordered the Macedonians to rest on their arms, and not to unbridle their horses. The Thessalians, left without an enemy, directed their horses with all speed to Lamia, to dine at their own houses. Antipater in the mean time by an expeditious march advanced to the river, crossed it without opposition, and afterwards took Lamia by surprise.

(3) To impress the Thessalians with an opinion, that his cavalry was very numerous, Antipater advanced with a number of asses and mules; which he mounted with men, armed as troopers: but the first line of every troop he formed of his real cavalry. The enemy seeing so formidable an appearance, and supposing not only the front lines, but all the rest, to be cavalry, abandoned themselves to flight. This stratagem Agesilaus also employed against Aeropus in Macedonia; and Eumenes against Antigonus in Asia.

4.5 Parmenio

Parmenio, after the battle at Issus, having been detached by Alexander to Damascus, to escort the baggage, fell in with a body of heavy-armed troops. Apprehensive that the Barbarians, who had the care of the baggage, might, during the action, through fear desert their charge, and run away, he dispatched three troops of horse to them, with injunctions to proclaim, that whoever of them did not hold his horses with his own hands, should be put to death. This proclamation had its effect: the Barbarians all held their horses, and took good care of the baggage.

4.6 Antigonus

(1) Antigonus made himself master of Corinth by the following stratagem. While Alexander was in possession of the fort, he died: and left Nicaea a widow, who was then not very young. Antigonus proposed a marriage between her and his son Demetrius: to which the splendour of royalty easily obtained her consent. A sacrifice was offered, and all the previous ceremonies of marriage, according to the Grecian institution were performed. A great concourse of people were assembled on the occasion: and the guards attended Nicaea, dressed in royal robes, and wantoning in affected state to the theatre. But the bride had no sooner entered it, than Antigonus, no longer solicitous about the nuptial ceremonies, made a vigorous attack upon the fort, and carried it with ease; while the guards were chiefly employed on the festivity of the royal nuptials. Thus Antigonus possessed himself of all Corinth: and so terminated the proposed nuptials.

(2) Antigonus, in treating with an embassy, used previously to inform himself from the public records, who were the persons that composed the last embassy from the same quarter, the subject of it, and every particular relative to it. With all these circumstances he, in the course of conversation, would usually entertain the ambassadors: and by these means wormed himself into a degree of familiarity with them; and at the same time impressed them with an idea of his extraordinary memory.

(3) At the siege of Megara, Antigonus brought his elephants into the field: among which the Megarensians, after having daubed their swine with pitch, and set fire to it, let them loose. The animals grunting and crying under the torture of the fire, sprung forwards as hard as they could among the elephants: who confused and frightened broke their ranks, and ran different ways. Antigonus order the Indians ever after, in training up their elephants, to bring up swine among them: that the beasts might thus become accustomed to the sight of them, and to their noise.

(4) Antigonus by a device once saved Antipater from being stoned by the Macedonians. Through the midst of the camp ran a rapid river, over which was a bridge. On one side were the Macedonians, on the other Antigonus with his own horse. The soldiers were instant and clamorous for their pay; and threatened Antipater with death, if he any longer trifled with them, and did not immediately comply with their demands. Unable to make good to them their arrears, and alarmed at the danger that threatened his disappointment of them, he consulted Antigonus, who advised him to leave the camp; and undertook to favour his escape. Antigonus accordingly passed the bridge in full armour, and rode directly through the phalanx, thereby dividing it; and turned first to one division, and then to the other, as if he was going to harangue them. The Macedonians paid every attention due his rank and character; and followed him with great solicitude to hear what he had to offer. As soon as they formed around him, he began a long harangue in defense of Antipater; promising, assuring, and urging every consideration to induce them to acquiesce; till he should be in a situation that might enable him to satisfy their demands. During this prolix harangue, Antipater passed the bridge with a party of horse; and escaped the soldiers’ resentment.

(5) Antigonus, when in force superior to the enemy, always engaged coolly; but if inferior, attacked with all possible vigour: esteeming a glorious death preferable to an ignominious life.

(6) While Antigonus wintered in Cappadocia, three thousand heavy-armed Macedonians revolted from him: and having advantageously posted themselves on the mountains, they ravaged Lycaonia, and Phrygia. Antigonus thought it cruel, to put such a number of men to death; and yet was afraid, lest they should join the enemy, who were commanded by Lacetas. He therefore put into execution the following stratagem. He dismissed Leonidas, one of his generals; who immediately went over to the revolters, and offered to join them. His offer they readily embraced; and appointed him their general. The first step he took, was to prevail on them not to attach themselves to any party: which eased Antigonus of his apprehensions. He contrived afterwards to draw them from the mountains to a place, where cavalry might act, of which they were destitute. There Antigonus with a detachment of horse surprised them, and seized Holcias and two of the principals in the revolt; who threw themselves upon his mercy, and begged their lives: which he granted, on condition, that they would without tumult and confusion quit the camp, and return into Macedonia. They accepted the terms: and Leonidas was dispatched to conduct them to Macedonia, and deliver them of their respective homes.

(7) As Antigonus was in full march after Attalus, Alcetas, and Docimus, three able generals of the Macedonians; and in hopes of surprising their camp in the straights of Pisidia: the elephants gave mouth, and apprised the Macedonians of his approach; for he only in his army used those beasts. Alcetas with the heavy-armed troops immediately endeavoured to gain the summit of the steep and craggy mountains. Instead of following him, Antigonus wheeled round the mountain; with all possible expedition directing his march to the quarter where the army was encamped: whom he surprised, and surrounded before they had time to form; and thus obtained a victory without slaughter, the enemy surrendering themselves prisoners of war.

(8) Antigonus fitted a fleet of a hundred and thirty sail, the command of which he gave to Nicanor: who engaged the fleet of Polysperchon, which was commanded by Clitus. The battle was fought in the Hellespont; when Nicanor, whose inexperience engaged the enemy with the swell of the tide against him*, lost seventy ships. The victory became decisive on the part of the enemy: when just at even Antigonus reached the fleet. Undaunted at the defeat he had received, he ordered the sixty ships that remained, to be ready to renew the action the next morning: and on board each of them posted some of the bravest and most resolute men of his own guards; whom he commanded to threaten death to all, who would not bear boldly down upon the enemy. And Byzantium, then in alliance with him, being situated near at hand, he ordered from thence light-armed, and heavy-armed troops, and archers, of each a thousand; whom he posted on the shore, in order to support the fleet, by annoying the enemy with javelins and arrows. This was all effected in a single night. At day break a shower of javelins and arrows was poured upon the enemy; who just turning out, and scarcely awake, were desperately wounded before they well knew the quarter from whence they were attacked. Some cut their cables, and others weighed their anchors; while nothing prevailed but noise and confusion. Antigonus at the same time ordered the sixty ships to bear down upon them: when, thus attacked from the sea quarter, and from land, the conquerors were obliged to resign their victory to the conquered.
*When it is considered, that ships of war, though not wholly destitute of sails, were chiefly rowed with oars, and especially in engagements; that they might be more able to tack about upon any advantage, and approach the enemy on his weakest side: where there was a flux of the tide, it may be easily conceived to have been a matter of great consequence to gain it.

(9) After the naval victory in the Hellespont, Antigonus ordered his fleet to cruise towards Phoenicia: while the sailors were adorned with chaplets, and the ships decorated with the ornaments of the enemy’s fleet. And his captains he ordered to sail as near as they could to the harbours, and cities, they passed; that so the victory might be published throughout all Asia. The Phoenician ships, bound for Rosium, a port of Cilicia, and charged with great sums of money from Eumenes, were under the conduct of Sosigenes: and while he was observing the tides at Orthiomagis, the crews of the Phoenician vessels, when they saw the victorious fleet splendidly adorned, seized the treasures they carried, and leaped on board the vessels of Antigonus; who thereby became possessed both of great treasures and an addition of hands.

(10) After an engagement between Antigonus and Eumenes, in which the victory was undecided; Eumenes sent a herald to Antigonus, to treat with him for mutual consent to bury their slain. Antigonus having been informed, his own loss exceeded that of the enemy, to conceal the fact, detained the herald, till his own slain had been all burnt. And after they were buried, he dismissed the herald, and acceded to the proposal.

(11) [15] While Antigonus lay in winter quarters at Gadamertes, a city of the Medes, Eumenes blocked him up there: having posted a cordon of troops to the extent of a thousand furlongs. The roads on which the troops were posted, lay over the mountains. Below was a level plain, that boasted nothing but sulphur mines, and stinking bogs, barren and uninhabited; as affording neither water, nor grass, nor wood, nor plant. Through this plain Antigonus determined to march, thereby escaping the force that was posted on the road; and passing through the midst of the generals, whose station was on either side of the plain. For this purpose he ordered ten thousand casks to be got ready and filled with water, and provision for ten days; with barley for the horses, and what fodder they might have occasion for. As soon as these preparations were made, he in the night began his march through the inhospitable plain; strictly forbidding any fires to be lighted, lest those, who were posted at the feet of the mountains should observe them, and by that means discover their march. Nor indeed would it have been discovered at all, had his orders been exactly complied with. But on a night particularly cold, some of the soldiers lighted fires: the flames of which the enemy observing, discovered his movement, just as he had cleared the plain; and falling upon his rear, did some execution there. But that affects not the stratagem, which was so happily conceived; that had it been as properly executed, not a man would have been lost.

(12) Antigonus, having posted himself on the side of a mountain, and observing Eumenes’s ranks, drawn up on the plain, to be very weak, ordered some troops of horse to wheel round, and fall upon his rear: which they did, and brought off a considerable part of his baggage.

(13) Antigonus engaged Eumenes at Gabiae. The soil of the plain, on which they fought, was light and sandy: and two great armies engaging on it, raised such clouds of dust, as prevented both armies from discovering each other’s movements. They fought hand to hand; when Antigonus, having learned that the baggage of the enemy was left at a little distance behind, with which were their wives, and children, mistresses, slaves, gold, and silver, and whatever of value they, who had followed the fortunes of Eumenes, had brought from the army of Alexander, detached some choice troops of horse to seize the baggage, and bring it off to his own camp. They accordingly, while the armies were closely engaged, wheeled round, and, their movement concealed by a cloud of dust, executed their orders, and brought off the baggage. After the battle was over, it appeared that Antigonus had lost five thousand men, and Eumenes only three hundred. The latter therefore retreated to their camp in high spirits on the decided success of the day. But as soon as they discovered their baggage was carried off, and every thing lost, that was dear to them; the palm of victory became shaded with mourning, and every expression of grief: with which they were so far transported, the more they reflected on their loss, that many of them sent a deputation to Antigonus, with a tender of their service. Finding the effect that the loss of their baggage had on Eumenes’s army, Antigonus followed it up with a proclamation; that he would restore without ransom to every soldier his property. Numbers upon this proclamation immediately revolted to him; not only Macedonians, but also ten thousand Persians under the command of Peucestes. For as soon as he saw the Macedonians incline to Antigonus, he followed their example. And in short such a change of sentiment and fortune did this circumstance produce, that his own guards* delivered up Eumenes a prisoner to Antigonus; who became monarch of all Asia.
*The royal guards, styled Argyraspides, from their silver shields.

(14) Having heard that Python, governor of Media, had raised a foreign army to support him in a revolt, Antigonus dissembled his belief of it: observing to those who had given him the information, “I can give no credit to this report of Python; for I intended myself to furnish him with five thousand armed Macedonians and Thracians, and a thousand guards.” Python informed of this, and giving full credit to the regard Antigonus had expressed for him, immediately waited on him to receive the intended supplies. When introducing Python to the Macedonians, he signified to them his crimes, and ordered him to execution.

(15) The Argyraspides, that had delivered up to him Eumenes as his prisoner, Antigonus liberally rewarded. But to guard against a similar act of perfidy in them to himself, he ordered a thousand of them to serve under Sibyrtius governor of Arabia. Others he disposed of in garrisons, in remote and uncultivated countries. And thus he very soon got rid of them all.

(16) When Antigonus besieged Rhodes, he committed the conduct of the siege to his son Demetrius; proclaiming safety to the Rhodians, both as to their persons and property. And also to all merchants about Syria, Phoenicia, Cilicia, Pamphylia, and even to those of Rhodes who had concerns on the sea, he gave leave to trade securely on any sea, provided they never touched at Rhodes. That, thus deprived of all foreign assistance and supplies, the city might be the more easily reduced; the auxiliaries Ptolemy had sent them not being able to hold out long against Demetrius.

(17) Antigonus, having taken into pay some Gallic mercenaries under the command of Biderius, at the rate of a gold Macedonic, gave up to them, as hostages in security of payment, some men and boys of rank and family. The enemy, against whom the Gauls were engaged by Antigonus, brought him to action: after which the mercenaries demanded their pay. But when Antigonus directed payment to be made to all, that bore arms, according to his agreement; the Gauls demanded pay for all that attended the army, whether they bore arms, or not, even women and children: alleging, that the agreement was to every Gaul a gold Macedonic. The sum to be paid, if only every soldier received pay, would amount to thirty talents; but, if paid to all indiscriminately, to a hundred. On Antigonus’s refusal to comply with their unreasonable demands, they retired to their camp, vowing vengeance against the hostages. Fearing they might proceed to acts of cruelty, he sent a deputation to them; informing them, that rather than they should be dissatisfied, he would comply with their demands: and directed them to send some they could confide in, to receive the money. Overjoyed at this compliance of Antigonus, and the prospect of so great riches, some Gallic chiefs were dispatched to settle the business, and receive the money: whom, as soon as they arrived at the Macedonian camp, Antigonus seized; and informed the Gauls, they should never be given up until he had first received his own hostages. The Gauls found it in vain to contend, therefore gave up the Macedonians; and in return received their own chiefs, and thirty talents.

(18) Antigonus, determined to crush Apollodorus tyrant of the Cassandrensians, invested Cassandria: but, after a ten month’s blockade, was obliged to raise the siege. He then applied to the famous pirate Aminias; whom he found means to prevail on, to second his designs. Aminias accordingly proceeded to cultivate the good opinion of Apollodorus; undertook to reconcile Antigonus to him, and to compromise the dispute between them: as also to supply him with provisions and wine. The tyrant, satisfied with the friendly professions of Aminias, and presuming on the absence of Antigonus, became less strict in his discipline and duty on the walls. Aminias in the mean time directed ladders to be privately constructed, as high as the walls: and at an advanced post, not far from them, called Bolus, he concealed two thousand men; and with them ten Aetolian pirates under the command of Melotas. These at daybreak, observing the walls thinly guarded, crept secretly to the parapet between the towers; and, as soon as they had fixed the ladders, gave the signal. Aminias with the two thousand men immediately advanced, mounted the ladders, and made themselves masters of the place. Antigonus, on notice of his success, returned to Cassandria, and dispossessed the tyrant.

(19) Antigonus, being encamped opposite to the enemy who were commanded by Eumenes, and with an inferior force, while frequent embassies passed between the two camps, directed that, as soon as the next embassy arrived, a soldier should abruptly introduce himself, panting, and covered with dust; and inform him, the allies were at hand. Antigonus, hearing this, jumped up in an affected transport of joy, and dismissed the ambassadors. The next day he extended the front of his army twice its former length, and advanced beyond the trenches. The enemy apprised by their ambassadors of the arrival of the allies, and observing the phalanx so much extended, which they supposed had a proportionable depth, did not dare to hazard an engagement, but made a precipitate retreat.

(20) Antigonus, in order to make himself master of Athens on as easy terms as possible, concluded a peace with the Athenians in the autumn. After which they sowed their corn, and reserved for their own use only as much of their old stock as would serve them till their next crop was reaped. But as soon as the corn was near ripe, Antigonus made an irruption into Attica. When, having nearly finished the stock they had in their granaries, and finding themselves prevented from reaping the crop then on the ground, they opened their gates to Antigonus, and complied with all his demands.

4.7 Demetrius

(4) Demetrius, having failed on an expedition to Caria, left Diodorus captain of his guards in charge of Ephesus: which he engaged to betray to Lysimachus for fifty talents. Of this compact Demetrius gained intelligence: when attended by a few small vessels he steered directly to Ephesus, ordering the rest of the fleet to disembark at the place of destination. When he approached Ephesus; in one of the small vessels with Nicanor he entered the Ephesian haven: and concealed himself in the body of the ship: while Nicanor sent for Diodorus to come on board him, as if to receive some orders from him concerning the disbanding of a part of his forces. Diodorus, supposing Nicanor to be alone, in a little wherry immediately attended him. But as soon as ever he reached the ship, Demetrius springing from the place of his concealment, leaped into the boat, and overset it, with the men on board; that were all taken up except Diodorus, who was left to perish in the water. Thus was Ephesus secured in his possession, the execution of the plot being timely prevented.

(7) With a hundred and eighty ships Demetrius sailed against Salamis in Cyprus, which was possessed and defended by Menelaus, a general of Ptolemy, who lay by with fifty ships, in constant expectation of being joined by Ptolemy himself with a hundred and forty sail more. Not thinking himself able to engage two hundred ships at once, Demetrius directed his course round a neck of land above Salamis; where he concealed himself, and debarking his land forces, planted an ambuscade. Ptolemy soon appeared; and having fixed upon an open, level, and convenient part of the shore for landing, disembarked his troops. The army of Demetrius immediately attacked them on the first confusion of landing; and, almost as soon as they engaged, secured the victory. While Demetrius, unexpectedly bearing down upon his fleet, obliged Ptolemy to consult his safety by flight; in which Menelaus, who had sailed from Salamis to his assistance, was forced to attend him.

4.8 Eumenes
(1) Eumenes, closely pursued by the Galatians, and at the same time so indisposed in health, as to be carried on a litter, when he found it impracticable to escape their pursuit, and was near being overtaken, directed those that carried his litter, to stop at a hill which he saw near the road, and there to place it. The Barbarians, who had closely pursued him, not supposing he would have halted, unless in dependence of a body of troops in reserve he might have posted there in ambush, gave up the pursuit.

(2) Intimation had been given to Eumenes, that the Argyraspides were meditating innovations; the principals in which cabal were Antigenes and Teutamates: who behaved with rudeness to him, and seldom attended his pavilion. Having convened the generals, he told them a dream, which had twice occurred; and in which it was threatened that on paying a proper regard to it their common safety depended. The dream was this, “Alexander the king sat in his pavilion in the midst of the camp, holding his scepter in his hand, and distributing justice: when he commanded his generals to transact no public business of any kind except in the royal pavilion; which he ordered to be called the pavilion of Alexander.” The Macedonians, who adored the memory of Alexander, out of the royal treasures erected a magnificent pavilion; in which was raised a golden throne, ornamented with the insignia of royalty, and on it was placed a crown of gold with the royal diadem. Beside the throne were arms, and in the midst of them a scepter: before it a golden table, with frankincense on it and perfumes. There were also silver benches for the generals, that might attend in council on public affairs. Next to Alexander’s pavilion Eumenes pitched his own: and the other generals theirs in order. Eumenes, after all was completed, received the generals not in his own, but Alexander’s pavilion: and among the rest Antigenes and Teutamates attended, in fact upon Eumenes; in appearance, to do honour to Alexander.

(3) Eumenes, when in Persia he was apprehensive of his army by bribes and largesses being won over to the interests of Peucestes, and that there was a design of placing him on the throne, produced a letter in Syriac characters, as if written by Orontes, a satrap of Armenia, to this purport: Olympias, with a son of Alexander, hath left Epire, and advanced into Macedonia; of which she has by force possessed herself, having slain Cassander, who had usurped the throne. The Macedonians, hearing this, thought no more of Peucestes; but with infinite joy proclaimed the mother and son of Alexander his heirs to the throne.

(4) Antigonus having heard, that Eumenes when in Persia had sent his troops into winter quarters, immediately advanced against him: who, being informed by Peucestes of his march, directed his officers, with their children, in the night to take fire with them to the highest and most exposed places, and there ride about at the distance of seventy furlongs. Then leaving a space of about twenty furlongs, he ordered them to set a great quantity of wood on fire; making the outward fires very large, another range of fires less, and a third still smaller, in imitation of a real camp. Antigonus’s army from this appearance suspecting that Eumenes had embodied his forces, ventured not to attack him; but filed off another way, on purpose to avoid the supposed superiority of the enemy.

(5) When Eumenes found he could not by any arguments divert his soldiers from their intention of plundering the enemy’s baggage; he contrived to furnish the adversary with private intelligence of their design: in consequence of which he placed a stronger guard upon it, which the soldiers of Eumenes observing, dropped their intention.

4.9 Seleucus
(1) In an engagement between Seleucus and Antigonus, the evening put an end to the undecided action; and both armies retreated to their respective camps, determined to renew the conflict the next day. The soldiers of Antigonus in the mean time put off their arms, and entertained themselves in their tents. But Seleucus ordered his men to sup, and sleep in their arms, and lie down in order of battle: that they might be ready for action, whenever the charge was founded. At break of day the army of Seleucus rose; and ready armed, and formed, immediately advanced against Antigonus: whole troops unarmed, and unformed, afforded an early victory to the enemy.

(2) Seleucus and Demetrius were encamped against each other: the former in high spirits, but the latter diffident of success. Demetrius therefore determined to fall upon the enemy in the night: placing his hopes of victory on a vigorous attack. The army readily embraced his plan, and were sanguine in their expectations of surprising Seleucus. At the time appointed they rose, and armed: when two Aetolian youths, of Demetrius’s army, applied to the advanced guard of Seleucus’s camp, and demanded to be immediately introduced to the king. As soon as they informed him of the preparations making in the enemy’s camp for action, Seleucus, fearing lest he should be attacked before he was in a position of defence, ordered the trumpets immediately to sound the charge. The whole camp was instantly in alarm; each questioning the other about the suddenness of the order, and hastily lighting his faggot. Demetrius, when he saw the troops standing round the fires, and heard the trumpets sound the charge, supposed them ready for battle, and therefore declined the intended attack.

(3) Seleucus, learning that the soldiers of Demetrius were much dispirited, selected a body of picked men from his guards; which with eight elephants he posted in his front, in a narrow pass, flanking the enemy; and, advancing before them, threw off his helmet, and called aloud: “How long will ye be so mad, as to follow the fortunes of a freebooter, who is almost famished; when your merits will find their reward with a king, who reigns in affluence: and you will partake with him of a kingdom, not depending on hope, but in actual possession.” Influenced by this harangue, many threw aside their swords and spears, and, clapping their hands, revolted to Seleucus.

(4) When the charge of the tower of Sardis, with the royal treasures, was by Lysimachus committed to Theodotus; which, such was the strength of its fortification, Seleucus despaired of carrying by storm: he ordered proclamation to be made, that he would give an hundred talents to any one who would kill Theodotus. As the lure of such a sum might be supposed of weight to influence some or other of the soldiers, Theodotus became suspicious and afraid of them; and for that reason seldom exposed himself in public. The army on the other hand resented his suspicions of them. In this unpleasant situation, one party alarmed by suspicion, and the other warmed by resentment, Theodotus determined to be beforehand with his troops; and therefore in the night himself opened the gates, introduced Seleucus, and delivered up to him the treasures.

(5) Demetrius had encamped under mount Taurus; when Seleucus, apprehensive lest he should secretly make his escape into Syria, detached Lysias with a body of Macedonians to secure the pass of the Amanidian mountains, through which he must be obliged to march; and there to kindle a number of fires. By this judicious movement Demetrius saw his intended rout cut off, and his escape precluded.

[6] Seleucus, after an unsuccessful engagement with the Barbarians, fled towards Cilicia: and to conceal himself, in those circumstances, even from his own troops, attended only by a few friends, he passed for the amour-bearer of Amaction, general of the royal forces, and assumed his habit. But as soon as a number of horse and foot, the shattered remains of his army, had shewn themselves; he reassumed his royal robe, discovered himself to his army, and again put himself at their head.

4.10 Perdiccas

[1] In a war between the Illyrians and Macedonians, many of the Macedonians having been taken prisoners, and others acquitted themselves very indifferently on dependence of being ransomed in case they were taken, Perdiccas directed the deputation, that was sent to treat for the ransom of the prisoners, on their return to declare; that the Illyrians would receive no ransom, but had determined to put the prisoners to death. All hopes of ransom being thus precluded, the Macedonians in future fought with more resolution; finding that their only hopes of safety were placed in victory.

[2] Perdiccas, in his war with the Chalcidensians, when his coffers were low, struck a coin of brass mixed with tin; with which he paid his army. The money, bearing the royal impression, the sutlers took as currency: and, as it bore no value beyond the king’s dominions, he took it of them again in payment for corn and the product of the country.

4.11 Cassander

[1] Cassander, knowing Nicanor, governor of Munichia, to be ill-affected to him, artfully over-reached and got rid of him. He pretended that he was going to embark, an express, according to his own instructions, arrived with pretended letters from his friends in Macedonia to this effect: that the Macedonians invited him to assume the throne, universally dissatisfied as they were with the government of Polysperchon. On reading those letters, Cassander appeared in high spirits; and embracing Nicanor, who attended him, he congratulated him as a friend on the participation of his own greatness: “And, now,” says he, “other business requires our attention; the settling of an empire’s concerns demands our common cares.” Thus saying, he took him aside to a neighboring house; as if to confer in private with him on business of importance: when he was immediately seized by a party of guards, who had been previously posted there for that purpose. Cassander then convened an assembly of the people; and gave to leave any one, who had any thing to offer against Nicanor, to urge it. And while accusations from different quarters were preferring against him; he secured Munichia. And Nicanor, who was convicted of many acts of injustice, was sentenced to death.

[2] At the same time that Cassander had besieged Salamis, he also engaged the Athenians by sea, and defeated them. All the Salaminians, he had taken in the action with the Athenians, he liberated and sent to Salamis without ransom: which had that effect on the people, that, in consequence of such an act of favour and humanity, they voluntarily surrendered themselves to Cassander.

[3] While Cassander besieged Pydna, a town in Macedonia, in which Olympias was shut up; Polysperchon dispatched a sloop with orders to land close by the town in the night: of which he by letter apprised Olympias, and desired her to embark on board it. The courier was intercepted, and carried before Cassander; to whom he confessed his errand. As soon as he had read the letter, he closed it and again affixed on it Polysperchon’s seal; directing the courier to deliver the letter, but not to inform her that he had seen it. The letter was accordingly delivered: and Cassander took care to intercept the sloop. Olympias, agreeably to the purport of the letter, came out of the city in the night, in expectation of finding the vessel at the place appointed: when piqued at her disappointment, and thinking herself deceived by Polysperchon, she surrendered both herself and the city to Cassander.

[4] When Cassander returned from Illyrium, at the distance of a day’s march from Epidamnum, he planted in ambush a body of horse and foot; and after that set on fire the villages on the most exposed situations in the extremity of the territories of Illyria and Atintanis. Supposing Cassander had entirely evacuated the country, the Illyrians ventured out of the city, and went abroad to different parts, as their different business required their attention. The ambuscade, then sallying out, took prisoners not less than a thousand men; and, the gates of the city being thrown open, Cassander made himself master of Epidamnum.

4.12 Lysimachus

[1] Lysimachus apprehensive lest the Autariatae, who had been plundered of their baggage in an engagement with Demetrius, barbarians as they were*, and stripped of their property, should mediate a mutiny or revolt, summoned them without the trenches, on pretence of receiving a donation of corn: and on a signal given, ordered every man to be cut to pieces. Their number amounted to six hundred.
* A man, civilized to a every great and good purpose of humanity, feels with indignation the distinction of barbarism applied to every nation but his own by such a monster of cruelty and treachery, as Lysimachus.

[2] After Lysimachus had taken Amphipolis by the treachery of Andragathus, he loaded him with presents, and promised him still greater, if he would attend him into Asia. But as soon as they arrived at the straits of Thrace, he not only stripped him of all he possessed; but, after exposing him to the torture, put him to death.

[3] Lysimachus, conducted Ariston, son of Autoleon to his father’s kingdom in Paeonia: under pretence that the royal youth might be acknowledged by his subjects, and treated with due respect. But as soon as he had bathed in the royal baths in the river Arisbus, and they had set before him an elegant repast, according to the custom of his country; Lysimachus ordered his guards to arm: upon which, Ariston, instantly mounting his horse, escaped to Sardis; and left Lysimachus in possession of Paeonia.

4.13 Craterus

The Tyrians having with advantage attacked the Macedonians, while employed on their works, Craterus ordered a retreat. But after the Tyrians, who had continued eagerly to pursue them, had considerably fatigued themselves; he gave the signal to face about, and charge. The colour of the action was immediately changed: they who had pursued, now began to fly; and the fugitives became the pursuers.

4.14 Polysperchon

Polysperchon, to spirit up his men against the Peloponnesians, who were in possession of a pass between the mountains, put on an Arcadian cap, and double vest; and taking a staff in his hand, “Such,” says he, “are the men, against whom we are now engaged.” Then, throwing his Arcadian dress aside, and taking up his own arms, “and such,” added he, “my fellow soldiers, are the men, who engage them; men, who in great and various battles have won glorious victories.” This short harangue so animated his troops, that they unanimously requested him to lead them instantly to the charge.

4.19 Ptolemy

When Perdiccas had marched down to the river Memphis, with intention to cross it; Ptolemy tied his baggage to a number of goats, swine, and oxen, and left the herdsmen with some of his horse to drive them. The baggage thus dragged along the ground by those animals raised a prodigious dust; and exhibited in appearance the march of a numerous army. With the rest of his cavalry Ptolemy pursued the enemy, and came up with them as they were crossing the river, part having already passed it: who, from the dust, suspecting a numerous army in their rear, some fled, others perished in the river, and a great number were taken prisoners.

4.20 Attalus
[My Note: Compare this to Frontinus 1.11.14 which tells the same tale about Alexander]

Attalus, previous to an engagement with the Gauls, to whom he was very inferior in force, to animate his men against the superiority of the enemy, offered a sacrifice; Sudinus a Chaldaen priest performing the ceremony. Upon his hand, in the black juice of the oak apple, the king inscribed, “The king’s victory,” in inverted letters, not from the left to the right, but from the right to the left. And when he emboweled the victim, he placed his hand under a warm and spongy part; which took from it the impression. The priest then turning over the rest of the parts, the gall, the lungs, and the stomach, and observing the omens to be drawn from them, turned to the part which contained the inscription of the king’s victory: which exulting with joy he showed to all the soldiers. This they eagerly read; and assuming confidence, as if Heaven had assured them of victory, unanimously requested to be immediately led against the barbarians: whom they charged with such extraordinary vigour; and obtained the victory they had been taught to expect.

5.18 Agathostratus

The Rhodians being engaged in a war with Ptolemy, whose fleet then lay at Ephesus; Chremonidas, Ptolemy’s admiral, embarked, and put to sea, intending to give the Rhodians battle. Agathostratus sailed with the Rhodian fleet as far as Melia: and having shewn himself to the enemy, as if declining an action, returned into port. The enemy gave a general cheer, at seeing the Rhodians retreat, and returned also into port. When Agathostratus with all expedition putting to sea again, in a close compact line bore down upon them, just as they were landing at the temple of Venus; and vigorously attacking them thus unprepared for action, obtained a complete victory.

5.35 Nearchus

Nearchus the Cretan made himself master of Telmissus, then in the hands of Antipatridas, by the following stratagem. He sailed into the harbour: when Antipatridas, who was an old acquaintance of his, came out from the fort to him, and asked him if he was on particular business; and whether he was in want of any thing. The Cretan told him, he had some music girls on board, and some slaves that were in irons, whom he should be glad to leave on shore with him: which Antipatridas readily granted. The women were accordingly conducted into the fort; and the slaves carrying their instruments and baggage attended them. In the flutes were concealed small swords, and targets in the baskets: which, as soon as they had entered the castle, those, who had attended them thither, immediately laid hold on; possessed themselves of the fort, and made Nearchus master of Telmissus.

5.44 Memnon

[1] Memnon, having determined on a war with Leucon tyrant of the Bosphorus, in order to acquaint himself with his force, and the population of the country, dispatched Archibiades in a vessel to Byzantium, as his ambassador to Leucon, to treat with him of an alliance. And with him he sent an eminent musician, an Olynthian, Aristonicus by name, the most celebrated artist of his day: that whatever towns he touched at in his passage, Aristonicus might publicly entertain them with his musical abilities; and, the inhabitants of course crowding to the theatres to hear him, the ambassador might be enabled from the number of men he saw there to form some estimate of the population of the respective places.

[2] Memnon, when encamped on a plain before the enemy, to decoy them from an advantageous post they had taken, retreated to a greater distance from them; and drew up only a part of his army, to induce the enemy to suspect some disaster in his camp. And to support such suspicion, he at the same time dispatched a revolter over to them, to inform them a mutiny had taken place in his army; and that not venturing to trust his troops, he had for fear of an attack from the enemy retreated to a greater distance. His retreat, and the diminished appearance of his army, conspired to confirm the information of the revolter: they ventured therefore to quit their post, and offered him battle. When the army of Memnon, instead of being divided by mutinies, in one firm body marched out, attacked the enemy, and obtained a complete victory.

[3] Chares having besieged Aristonymus in Methymna, Memnon sent an embassy to him, desiring him to desist from any further hostilities against Aristonymus, who was his father’s friend and ally; and whom he should, if he persisted in the siege, the next night with a powerful force relieve. Chares ridiculed an embassy of that import: supposing it impossible by the next night to transport so far an army of the magnitude he pretended. But Memnon, as soon as he had dispatched the embassy, marched his forces five furlongs, and embarked twelve hundred men: with orders as soon as ever they were landed at the fort, to kindle a fire, and attack the enemy. Such an unexpected attack in the dark, and a fire at the same time blazing, induced Chares to make a precipitate retreat; supposing Memnon had with all the force pretended possessed himself of the citadel.

[4] Memnon with a body of five thousand troops advanced against Magensia; and, at the distance of forty furlongs from the city which was defended by Parmenio and Attalus with a force of ten thousand men, pitched his camp; and fortified it. This done, he led his forces out: but, on the enemy’s advance, sounded a retreat; and marched back his army into the camp. The enemy retreated in the same manner. Memnon again drew up his army, and as soon as the enemy advanced against him, he again retreated. The enemy also according to his movements regulated their own: advancing to the field when he marched out, and retreating when he retreated. At last, after the enemy had retreated from the field, put off their arms, and were at dinner, Memnon immediately returned and attacked them. Rising hastily from their meal, some without arms, others hastily snatching them up, and all in great confusion, before they had time to form their phalanx, he had secured a victory: many being cut to pieces, and many taken prisoners; and those, who escaped, fled for refuge to the city.

[5] When Memnon advanced against Cyzicum, he put a Macedonian cap upon his head, and made all his army do the same. The Cyzicenian generals, observing from the walls their appearance, supposed it to be Chalcus the Macedonian, their friend and ally, marching with a body of troops to their assistance; and had opened their gates to receive him. They however discovered their error just soon enough to correct it, and shut their gates against him: when Memnon contented himself with ravaging their country.

6.48 Mentor

Mentor, having got Hermaeus into his power, wrote letters in his name to all the cities, that were under his authority; ordering them to receive as their governor the person, whom he had charged with the delivery of the respective letters: which he sealed with Hermaeus’s seal. Knowing his seal, in obedience to the mandate of the letters, the people surrendered their several cities into the hands of Mentor’s officers.

6.49 Anaxagoras

Anaxagoras, Codrus, and Diodorus, sons of Echeonax, slew Hegesias, tyrant of Ephesus: when Philoxenus, governor of Ionia under Alexander, demanded them to be given up by the Ephesians. But the people not complying with his requisition, he entered the town with a body of troops; apprehended the three brothers, threw them into chains, and imprisoned them in the tower of Sardis. After a long and severe imprisonment, with a file, that had been conveyed to them by a friend, they liberated themselves from their chains; and, habited in servile dresses, escaped as servants out of the prison in the night: then cutting their clothes into long pieces, they used them instead of ropes; and let themselves down by them from the walls. Diodorus unfortunately fell down from the top of the walls; and laming himself, was obliged to lie where he fell: till he was taken up by the Lydians, and sent to Alexander to be punished according to his pleasure. But Alexander dying at Babylon, he was sent to Perdiccas at Ephesus, to take his trial there. In the meantime Anaxagoras and Codrus, who had got clear off, arrived at Athens: and; hearing of Alexander’s death, returned to Ephesus; and set their brother at liberty.

7.25 Dromichaetes

Dromichaetes was king of Thrace, and Lysimachus of Macedon: when the Macedonian made war on Thrace; against whom Dromichaetes employed the following stratagem. Aethis, his general, pretended to resent some insult of the Thracian prince; and deserted to Lysimachus: who trusting to his fidelity, gave himself up to his direction; till he had brought the Macedonian army into such a situation, that they had at once to contend with famine, thirst, and a powerful enemy. Dromichaetes in this situation took his opportunity to attack them: defeated the Macedonians with great slaughter, and took Lysimachus prisoner. The Macedonian army is reported to have amounted to a hundred thousand men.

7.43 The Thracians

The Thracians engaged the Boeotians at the lake Copais, and were defeated: they then retreated to Helicon; and made a truce with the Boeotians for a certain number of days, to give time for settling the conditions of peace. In reliance on their late victory, and the faith of the truce, the Boeotians celebrated a sacrifice in honour of Minerva Itonia. But at night while intent on their ceremony, and engaged in the entertainment, the Thracians armed, and attacked them; cut many of them to pieces, and took a great number of prisoners. The Boeotians afterwards charged them with a breach of the truce: which the Thracians denied; asserting that the terms of the truce expressed a certain number of days, but not a syllable concerning the nights.


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