Orosius: Book 3

THE THIRD BOOK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Without holding any election by their citizens, the Thebans and Thessalians willingly invited Philip, the Macedonian king, to be their leader. This was the king whom earlier they had striven hard to repel as an enemy. Battle was joined and the Phoceans were butchered almost to the last man. Philip gained the victory. When the Athenians learned the outcome of this battle, they occupied the passes of Thermopylae in order to prevent him from entering Greece. In so doing they were motivated by the same reason as that which they had acted upon in the past when the Persians were drawing near.

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

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

Elated by the destruction of his allies and by the murder of his brothers, Philip then began to think that it was lawful for him to do everything that he had planned. He seized the gold mines in Thessaly and the silver mines in Thrace. In order not to allow any law, human or divine, to remain unbroken, he seized control of the sea, dispatched his boats in

different directions, and began to engage in piracy. Furthermore, when two brothers, who were kings in Thrace, agreed to appoint him as arbiter in their dispute over the boundaries of the kingdom, he acted with his customary genius. Advancing to the court of justice with an army drawn up as for war, he deprived the unsuspecting young men of their lives and their kingdom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15. These deeds of Philip, which have made an impression upon our minds, would suffice as examples of calamities even if Alexander had not succeeded him on the throne. But for the time being I shall omit Alexander's wars, or rather the evils that afflicted the world following his wars, in order to keep the proper sequence of events, and I shall bring forward at this point a discussion of the Roman wars.

In the four hundred and twenty-sixth year of the City, the Romans suffered a signal disgrace that made the Caudine Forks  not only celebrated but notorious. In a previous war twenty thousand of the Samnites fell in a cavalry battle in which Fabius, master of the horse, had engaged them. The Samnites, more cautious and better equipped, then established themselves at the Caudine Forks where their armed forces blocked the passes and shut in the consuls Veturius and Postumius  and all the Roman troops. Their leader Pontius was so certain of victory that he thought he ought to consult his father Herennius whether he should slay those whom he had surrounded or should spare them after he had subdued them. He decided to grant the survivors their lives but to dishonor them. The Romans in the past had very frequently been defeated and slaughtered, but never could they be captured or compelled to surrender. When the Samnites had gained a victory, they therefore ordered the entire Roman army—it had ignominiously surrendered and had been stripped of its arms and even of its clothing so that individuals had not the wherewithal to cover their nakedness—to be sent under the yoke, to be reduced to slavery, and to take their places at the head of the long line in the public procession. The Samnites took six hundred Roman knights as hostages and sent back the consuls empty-handed and utterly disgraced.

Why should I, who would have preferred to remain silent, struggle to find words to enlarge upon the stigma of this most disgraceful treaty? The Romans today either would not exist at all or else would be slaves under Samnite domination, if, after their defeat at the hands of the Samnites, they had honestly upheld the sanctity of a treaty, a policy which they now wish to be observed by those whom they themselves have conquered.

In the following year, the Romans broke the pact which they had made with the Samnites and drove them into a war. This war, begun at the insistence of the consul Papirius,caused great disasters to both peoples. The combatants on one side were angered by their recent disgrace while the others were spurred on by the glory of their last victory. The Romans, however, finally conquered by their determination to fight to the death. They continued to slay and be slain until, after defeating the Samnites and capturing their leader, they at last replaced the yoke. Papirius then stormed Satricum, expelled its Samnite garrison, and captured the city. Papirius enjoyed at that time a great reputation among the Romans for valor and energy in war; so much so that when Alexander the Great was reported to be arranging an expedition from the East to occupy Africa and thence to cross to Italy, the Romans considered Papirius the best fitted of all generals in the Republic to withstand his attack.

16. In the four hundred and twenty-sixth year of the City, Alexander succeeded his father Philip on the throne. He gave the first proof of his spirit and courage by quickly suppressing the rebellions of the Greeks. Under the leadership of the orator Demosthenes, who had been bribed by Persian gold, the Greeks had revolted in order to free themselves from Macedonian rule. In response to the entreaties of the Athenians, Alexander gave up his war against them and thereby relieved them of their anxiety. He then wiped out the Thebans after uprooting their city; he sold the survivors into slavery and made other cities of Achaia and Thessaly pay tribute to him. Shortly thereafter he transferred the war from this territory and conquered both the Illyrians and the Thracians. Then, just as he was about to start out for the Persian War, he killed all his relatives and next of kin. In his army there were thirty-two thousand infantry, four thousand five hundred cavalry, and in addition he had one hundred and eighty ships. With so small a force as this it is uncertain whether Alexander is more to be admired for conquering the whole world or for daring to begin his expedition.

When he first encountered King Darius there were six hundred thousand Persians in battle array. Their defeat and flight was as much due to the strategy of Alexander as to the courage of the Macedonians. This was indeed a great disaster for the Persians. In the army of Alexander one hundred and twenty cavalrymen and only nine infantrymen were lost. Alexander next blockaded, stormed, captured, and gave over to pillage the Phrygian city of Gordie, which is now called Sardis. There he was informed of the arrival of Darius accompanied by a great body of troops. Fearing the narrowness of the passes through which he had entered, Alexander crossed the Taurus Range with remarkable speed, covering five hundred stadia within one day, and came to Tarsus. There, while overheated, he plunged into the icy waters of the Cydnus. He was seized with cramps and nearly died.

In the meantime Darius with three hundred thousand infantry and a hundred thousand cavalry advanced to battle. The vast numbers of the enemy alarmed even Alexander, principally because his forces were so limited. Earlier, however, when he had defeated six hundred thousand of the enemy with just as small a number, he had declared that not only did he not fear battle but even hoped for victory. The armies took their stand within spear range and tensely awaited the signal for battle. Both generals went rapidly to and fro, arousing their hosts by promising all sorts of advantages. Thus both sides began the conflict in high spirits.

The two kings, Alexander and Darius, were both wounded in this battle. The issue of the battle long hung in the balance until Darius fled. The slaughter of the Persians then followed. Eighty thousand infantry and ten thousand cavalry were slain; forty thousand were captured. The losses of the Macedonians amounted to one hundred and thirty infantry and one hundred and fifty cavalry. In the camp of the Persians much gold and other rich booty were discovered; and among the captives taken were the mother of Darius, his wife, who was also his sister, and two of his daughters. Though he offered one-half of his kingdom, Darius could not obtain their ransom. He therefore assembled all the Persian forces and the auxiliaries of his allies and renewed the war for the third time.

While Darius was thus engaged, Alexander sent Parmenio with troops to attack the Persian fleet. He himself went to Syria, where many kings, wearing fillets on their heads, came voluntarily to meet him. Some he accepted as allies, some he removed from their thrones, and others he had put to death. Then he overpowered and captured the ancient and flourishing city of Tyre which, trusting in the support of its kinsmen the Carthaginians, opposed him. Next he visited his unrelenting fury upon Cilicia, Rhodes, and Egypt. From there he proceeded to the Temple of Jupiter Ammon, where, in order to blot out the ignominy of his uncertain paternity and the infamy arising from the adultery of his mother, he fabricated a falsehood appropriate to the occasion. For the historians who speak of these events tell us that Alexander summoned the high priest of the sanctuary to his side and secretly instructed him what answers he wished to have made when he consulted him. Thus Alexander was certain, and he has handed his opinion down to us (since the gods themselves are both deaf and dumb), that either the high priest had the power to frame what answer he wished or else the petitioner might will to hear what answer he desired. While he was returning from Ammon to the Third Persian War, Alexander founded Alexandria in Egypt.

17. After Darius had given up all hope of peace, he offered battle at Tarsus to Alexander who was on his way back from Egypt. Darius had four hundred thousand infantry and one hundred thousand cavalry. The battle began quickly and everyone, blinded by fury, rushed to the sword. The Macedonians were undaunted in the presence of an enemy whom they had time and again defeated, while the Persians preferred death to defeat. Rarely in any battle was so much blood spilled. When Darius saw that his men were being defeated, he himself was prepared to die while fighting, but his men prevailed over him and compelled him to flee. As a result of this battle, the military forces and the kingdoms of Asia declined in power and the entire East came under the control of Macedon. The morale of the Persians was so completely shattered that thereafter none dared to rebel. And they who had enjoyed supremacy for so many years now patiently accepted the yoke of servitude.

Alexander spent thirty-four consecutive days counting the booty of the camp. He then attacked Persepolis, the capital of the Persian kingdom and the most renowned and opulent city in the whole world. But when he learned that Darius was being held by his own relatives and had been bound in golden fetters, he decided to hasten to the king's side. Accordingly, after giving orders for his army to follow, he himself set out with six thousand cavalry and came upon Darius, who had been deserted and abandoned by the roadside. Darius, who had been wounded many times, was now breathing his last as the result of his injuries. In a spirit of specious pity, Alexander ordered the corpse to be carried back and buried in the sepulchre of the Persian kings. Alexander held in cruel captivity not only the mother and wife of Darius but even his little daughters.

To speak the truth in the midst of so vast a number of evils is most difficult. In three battles in as many years five million infantry and cavalry were destroyed; and this loss was inflicted upon the same kingdom and upon those same armies of whom more than one million, nine hundred thousand are said to have been destroyed a few years earlier. In addition to these disasters and during these same three years the greatest states of Asia were crushed, Syria was completely devastated, Tyre uprooted, Cilicia exhausted, Cappadocia subdued, and Egypt enslaved; the island of Rhodes voluntarily submitted, fearful of slavery; and a great number of provinces that lie near the Taurus, and the Taurian Range itself, were subdued, conquered, and forced to accept the yoke that they had so long refused.

18. Let no one by chance think at this point that the East, which had been subdued by the forces of Alexander, or Italy, which had been worn out by the ruthlessness of Rome, were the only sufferers. For at that time war was in progress in Greece with Agis, the king of the Spartans, in Lucania with Alexander, the king of Epirus, and in Scythia with Zopyrion, the prefect. Agis, the Lacedaemonian, aroused all Greece to join him in a rebellion. He then encountered the bravest troops of Antipater. He lost his own life amid the general slaughter wrought upon both armies. In Italy, Alexander, who was striving after the rule of the West and vying with Alexander the Great, was overcome and killed by the Bruttians and Lucanians after he had fought many severe battles in those lands. His body was redeemed for burial. Zopyrion, the prefect of Pontus, assembled an army of thirty thousand and was so foolhardy as to declare war upon the Scythians. His whole army was slaughtered almost to the last man and it disappeared from the scene along with its leader.

After the death of Darius, Alexander the Great brought the Hyrcani and the Mardi into subjection. While he was in their lands as eager for war as ever, the bold Amazon Thalestris, or Minothea, with three hundred women in her train, came to meet him because she was desirous of conceiving offspring by him. Afterward Alexander entered into battle with the Parthians whom, despite a protracted resistance, he destroyed almost as soon as he had defeated them. Then he subdued the Drangae, Evergetae, Parimae, Paropamisadae, Adaspii, and other peoples living at the foot of the Caucasus, and established, on the banks of the Tanai's River, the city of Alexandria.

His cruelty to his friends was no less intense than his insane rage against his enemies. The story is that he slew his cousin Amyntas, put to death his stepmother and her brothers, and murdered Parmenio and Philotas. Attalus, Eurylochus, Pausanius, and many leading men of Macedonia also lost their lives at his hands. Cleitus, too, heavy with years and enjoying a friendship of long standing, was heinously done to death at a banquet when, trusting to his friendship with the king, he defended the reputation of Philip against Alexander, who was claiming that his own deeds surpassed those of his father. The king, angry without adequate cause, pierced him with his hunting spear. As he died, the blood of Cleitus stained the entire banquet hall. Alexander, insatiable as he was for human blood, whether of his enemies or of his own allies, was always thirsty for fresh slaughter. He rushed forward to battle and after a hard-driven attack received the surrender of the Chorasmi and of the Dahae heretofore never vanquished. He also put to death Callisthenes, a philosopher, who was a fellow student under Aristotle, because Callisthenes would not honour him as a god with the prescribed salutation. Likewise he killed a great many other leading men.

19. Next Alexander attacked India so that his empire might be bounded by the Ocean and the extreme parts of the East. He led his troops against the city of Nysa and then extended his sway over the Daedalian Mountains and the realms of Queen Cleophidis, who surrendered and redeemed her kingdom by becoming his concubine. After he had entered and made himself master of India, Alexander came to a rocky eminence of remarkably uneven formation and height to which many people had fled for refuge. He learned that Hercules had been prevented by an earthquake from capturing it. Moved by a spirit of rivalry to surpass the exploits of Hercules, Alexander, after great exertion and danger, made himself master of the rock and received the surrender of all the local tribes. He fought a very bloody battle with Porus, the most powerful king of the Indians. In this battle Alexander encountered Porus himself in personal combat. Alexander was hurled from his dead horse but escaped death for the moment by the rallying of his bodyguard about him. Porus was wounded many times and captured. As a testimonial to his courage, Alexander restored Porus to his kingdom and then founded the two cities of Nicaea and Bucephale. The latter city he ordered to be so named after his horse.

The Macedonians then cut to pieces the armies of the Adrestae, Catheni, Praesidae, and Gangaridae, and subdued them. On arriving at Cofides, they joined battle with two hundred thousand of the enemy's cavalry. Worn out by the heat as they now were, their spirits depressed, and their strength exhausted, they barely managed to win the victory. As a memorial they founded a camp of more than usual magnificence.

From there Alexander proceeded to the Acesines River, on which he took ship to the Ocean; he overcame the Gesonae and Sibi, who are mentioned by Hercules. Thence he sailed to the land of the Mandri and Subagrae, where the tribes rose up in arms and attacked him with eighty thousand infantry and sixty thousand cavalry. The battle was bloody and the issue was long in doubt, but it finally ended in a victory for Alexander. This victory, however, proved almost disastrous. For, after scattering the troops of the enemy, Alexander led his army against a city. There he was the first to scale the wall and, thinking that the city was deserted, he leaped down inside alone. The fierce enemy surrounded him on every side. Incredible as it may seem, he was not at all terrified by the number of the enemy, by the great show of weapons, or by the loud shouting of his assailants, for alone in the past he had killed and put to flight many thousands. When he saw, however, that he was being overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the numbers that surrounded him, he defended himself in a corner with his back to the wall. There he held his assailants quite easily in check until his entire army entered the city through a breach in the wall. This action endangered Alexander and at the same time caused the enemy to shout with dismay. During the fighting, Alexander was struck in the chest by an arrow, but resting on one knee he fought on until he had killed the man who had wounded him. He next embarked and sailed along the shores of the Ocean until he came to a certain city over which Ambira ruled as king. In storming the city he lost a large number of his army who were struck by poisoned arrows. But he and others were cured by drinking herbs, a remedy which had been revealed to him in a dream. He later carried the city by storm and captured it.

20. Afterward, when, as it were, he had driven his chariot around the turning post, Alexander entered the Indus River from the Ocean and quickly returned to Babylon, where ambassadors from the terror-stricken provinces of the whole world awaited him. There were ambassadors from the Carthaginians, from all the states of Africa, also from the Spanish provinces, the Gallic provinces, Sicily, Sardinia, and from the greater part of Italy. So great a fear of the acknowledged leader of the most distant East had gripped the peoples of the farthest West that legations were present from countries that one would hardly believe could even have heard of Alexander's name. But Alexander, ever thirsty for blood, was poisoned and died at Babylon. Thus was his wicked appetite punished by the treachery of a servant.

O callous soul of man, and heart ever inhuman! Did not my eyes fill with tears as I reviewed the past in order to prove that calamities have recurred in cycles throughout all ages; did I not weep as I spoke of evils so great that the entire world trembled from death itself or from fear of death? Was not my heart torn with grief? As I pondered over all this, did I not make the tarrible experiences of my ancestors my own, seeing in them the common lot of man? And yet, if I may speak of my own story, how for the first time I saw the strange barbarians, how I avoided my enemies and flattered those in authority, how I guarded myself against the pagans, fled from those who lay in wait for me, and how finally, enveloped by a sudden mist, I slipped through the clutches of those who with stones and spears pursued me over the sea, I would that I could move all my audience to tears. I would grieve in silence for those who were unmoved, attributing their apathy to the callousness of men who, never having undergone suffering themselves, were insensible to the suffering of others.

The Spaniards and Morini voluntarily went to Babylon to humble themselves before Alexander. That he might not regard them as enemies, these ambassadors sought the bloody over-lord throughout Assyria and India, visiting the ends of the earth and to their misfortune becoming acquainted with both oceans. Yet the memory of their sad plight either has become dim with age or has passed into oblivion. Can we really imagine for a moment that some thief will win everlasting fame because he has despoiled a single corner of the world, leaving the greater part of it untouched? It is as if peace were sought from the Goths and the Suebi by an Indian or an Assyrian, to say nothing of the reverse, and even by the Spaniard himself, who is now being attacked. Let judgment be passed whether the days of Alexander should be praised on account of his valor in conquering the world or be accursed because of the ruin he brought upon mankind. Many people will be found today who think the present good because they themselves have overcome obstacles and because they consider the miseries of others their own good fortune. Yet someone may say: "the Goths are enemies of the Roman world." We shall reply: "the whole East in those days thought the same of Alexander, and so, too, have the Romans appeared to others when they attacked distant and harmless peoples." The destruction wrought by an enemy is one thing, the reputation of a conqueror another. The Romans and Alexander formerly harried with wars peoples whom they later received into their empires and ruled by their laws. The Goths as enemies are now throwing into disorder lands which, if they should ever succeed in mastering (which God forbid) they would attempt to govern by their own code. Posterity will call mighty kings those whom we now regard as our most savage enemies. By whatever names such deeds as these are known, whether as sufferings or acts of bravery, when compared with former times, both are less numerous in our own age. In either case comparison with the times of Alexander and the Persians points to our advantage. If "bravery" is the proper word, the valour of the enemy is less marked; if "suffering" is the word to use, the distress of the Roman is less acute.

21. In the four hundred and fiftieth year of the City, during the consulship of Fabius Maximus (consul for the fifth time) and Decius Mus (consul for the fourth time), four of the strongest and most flourishing peoples of Italy made an alliance and formed one army. For the Etruscans, Umbrians, Samnites, and Gauls conspired together and attempted to destroy the Romans. The latter were in a state of fear and trembling at the prospect of this war, and their confidence in themselves was severely shaken. They did not dare to rely fully upon their troops, but separated the enemy by strategy, thinking it safer to engage in many small battles than in a few great ones. By sending some troops in advance into Umbria and Etruria to ravage hostile territories, the Romans compelled the army of the Umbrians and Etruscans to return in order to protect their own lands. The Romans then hastened to start a war against the Samnites and Gauls. In this war the Romans were hard pressed by an attack of the Gauls, and the consul Decius was killed. Fabius, however, finally won the battle despite the wholesale slaughter of the Decian division. In that battle forty thousand Samnites and Gauls lost their lives, but the Romans are reported to have lost only seven thousand, and these from the division of the slain Decius. Livy, however, states that, excluding the Etruscans and Umbrians whom the Romans had craftily diverted from this campaign, the losses of, the Gauls and Samnites amounted to 140,330 infantry and 47,000 cavalry, and that a thousand armored chariots opposed the Roman line of battle.

It has often been said that the domestic peace of the Romans was always being interrupted by foreign wars and that their foreign ventures were made more difficult by internal disorders. This was so true that their colossal arrogance was completely held in check from all sides. A pestilence in the city in this case climaxed their bloody and tragic victory. Funeral corteges met and violated the sanctity of the triumphal processions. There was no rejoicing over the triumph, for the entire state was grieving for the sick and the dead.

22. A year followed in which, after the resumption of the Samnite War, the Romans were defeated and fled to their camp. Later the Samnites, assuming a new garb and new spirit (they had covered their arms and clothing with silver and had prepared their minds for death if they did not conquer), dedicated themselves to the war. The consul Papirius was sent against them with an army. Although forbidden to advance by the Augures Pullarii who predicted adverse results, he laughed at them and ended the war as successfully as he had resolutely undertaken it. In this battle  twelve thousand of the enemy were slain and three thousand are reported to have been captured. But disease suddenly broke out and ruined his truly praiseworthy victory, a victory which false auspices had not been able to prevent. So great and so unbearable; a pestilence then swept the City, for the sake of allaying it by any means whatsoever, the Romans thought that they should consult the Sibylline Books. They even brought in the famous and dreadful Epidaurian snake and the very statue of Aesculapius, as if, in truth, pestilence had never died out in the past and would not spring up again in the future.

During the following year the consul Fabius Gurgesfought without success against the Samnites. He was defeated, lost his army, and, fled back to the city. While the Senate was deliberating whether to remove him from office, his father Fabius Maximus, although detesting the ignoble behavior of his son, offered to go as his legate provided his son were given an opportunity of wiping out the disgrace and of renewing the war. His request was granted and battle was joined. The pious old man suddenly saw his son, the consul, hard pressed in combat with the Samnite, leader Pontius and surrounded by the enemy's spears poised for the throw. He at once rode his horse into the middle of the line of battle. Inspired by this deed, the Romans stood fast along the entire battle front. After they had destroyed the army of the enemy, they finally captured its leader Pontius, who had been defeated and utterly crushed. In that battle twenty thousand Samnites were slain, and four thousand, including their king, were captured. Thus the Samnite War, which had been carried on for forty-nine years with much disaster to the Romans, was at last ended by the capture of the Samnite leader.

The next year the consul Curius  waged a war against the Sabines. In this war the consul himself tells us how many thousand men were killed and captured. When in the Senate he wished to report the amount of the land acquired from the Sabines and the number of their inhabitants captured, he was not able to give exact figures.

In the four hundred and sixty-third year of the City and during the consulship of Dolabella and Domitius, the Lucanians, Bruttians, and Samnites made an alliance with the Etruscans and Senonian Gauls, who were attempting to renew war against the Romans. The Romans sent ambassadors to dissuade the Gauls from joining this alliance, but the Gauls killed the envoys. The praetor Caecilius was sent with an army to avenge their murder and to crush the uprising of the enemy. He was, however, overwhelmed by the Etruscans and Gauls, and perished. Seven military tribunes were also slain in that battle, many nobles were killed, and thirty thousand soldiers likewise met their death.

Thus just as often as the Gauls became inflamed, the entire wealth of Rome was reduced. During the present invasion of the Goths we should therefore do well to remember the Gauls.

23. I shall turn back now to relate the wars which the Macedonian leaders waged among themselves and recall how each of the generals upon the death of Alexander obtained certain provinces by lot and how they then destroyed one another in wars. These events occurred at the same time that the Romans were enduring the disasters mentioned above. I seem to see this tumultuous age as if looking from a watch-tower out into the night upon an immense camp where I can distinguish nothing in the great expanse of the field except innumerable campfires. Thus throughout the kingdom of Macedonia, that is, throughout all Asia, the greater part of Europe and most of Libya, the terrible fires of war suddenly burst into flame. The fires laid waste those places in which they had flared up and the news of these conflagrations, spreading like a cloud of smoke, terrified and threw into confusion all other lands. But I shall not set forth the wars and defeats of these great kings and kingdoms until I have first discussed the kingdoms themselves and their rulers.

For twelve years Alexander oppressed with the sword a world which trembled beneath him. His generals rent it asunder for fourteen years more. Just as whelps greedily tear to pieces a rich prize brought to earth by a full-grown lion, these generals, stirred to rivalry by the prize, threw themselves upon one another. By the first lot, Egypt, Africa, and part of Arabia fell to Ptolemy. Laomedon of Mytilene was allotted Syria, which bordered on Ptolemy's province: Philotas received Cilicia; Philo, the Illyrians; and Atropates was put in command of Greater Media. The father-in-law of Perdiccas was given Lesser Media. The people of Susiana were assigned to Scynus, and Greater Phrygia to Antigonus, the son of Philip. Nearchus drew Lycia and Pamphylia; Cassander, Caria; and Menander, Lydia. Leonnatus received Lesser Phrygia; Thrace and the regions bordering on the Pontic Sea fell by lot to Lysimachus; and Cappadocia, together with Paphlagonia, was assigned to Eumenes. The chief command of the camp fell by lot to Seleucus, the son of Antiochus; and Cassander, the son of Antipater, was placed in command of the Bodyguards and Companions of the King. In Further Bactriana and the regions of India, the former prefects, who had taken office under Alexander, kept their posts. Taxiles received the Seres who were settled between the Hydaspes and Indus rivers. Peithon, the son of Agenor, was sent to the colonies in India. Oxyartes was assigned to the Paropamisadae at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains. The Arachossi and Cedrosi were awarded to Sibyrtius. Stasander obtained the inhabitants of Drangiana and of Aria; Amyntas was allotted the Bactriani; Scythaeus, the Sogdiani; Stasanor, the Parthi; Philip, the Hyrcani; Phrataphernes, the Armenii; Tlepolemus, the Persians; Peucestas, the Babylonians; Archon, inhabitants of Pella; and Archelaus, Mesopotamia.

Now the immediate cause of the wars was the letter of King Alexander in which he ordered all exiles to be restored to freedom in their native lands. The powerful cities of Greece, apprehensive lest these exiles revenge themselves after they had recovered their freedom, revolted against Macedonian rule. The foremost Athenians assembled an army of thirty thousand men and two hundred ships and made war upon Antipater, to whom Greece had fallen by lot. With the aid of Demosthenes, an orator like his namesake, they allied themselves with Sicyon, Argos, Corinth, and other states. They then surrounded and besieged Antipater. Their leader Leosthenes was pierced by a spear hurled from the walls and was killed. The Athenians then encountered Leonnatus, who was bringing help to Antipater, and after overwhelming his forces, put him to death.

Perdiccas, on the other hand, declared war against Ariarathes, the king of the Cappadocians, and conquered him. Nothing came of that victory except wounds and dangers. For before the assault on their city all the citizens had set fire to their homes and to all their possessions and had perished with them.

After these events, war arose between Antigonus and Perdiccas. These generals most severely ravaged many provinces and islands regardless of whether the inhabitants refused or agreed to furnish auxiliary troops. It was long in doubt whether they would transfer the war to Macedonia or carry it on in Asia. Perdiccas himself finally led a huge army against Egypt. Macedonia, with its leaders separated into two parties, was thus armed against itself. Ptolemy, supported by the forces of Egypt and by the Cyrenean troops, prepared to wage war against Perdiccas. While these events were taking place, Neoptolemus and Eumenes contended fiercely against each other in a most bloody battle. Neoptolemus was defeated and, fleeing to Antipater, urged him to make a surprise attack upon Eumenes. The latter, however, anticipated this move and overcame the plotters by the use of a stratagem. In that battle Polyperchon was killed while Neoptolemus and Eumenes suffered wounds which they had inflicted upon each other; Neoptolemus, indeed, died, but Eumenes, who had been victorious, escaped. Perdiccas now engaged in a very bitter war with Ptolemy, lost his forces, and was himself killed. Eumenes, Peithon, Illyrius, and Alcetas, the brother of Perdiccas, were publicly proclaimed enemies by the Macedonians, and the conduct of the war against them was assigned to Antigonus.

After each had assembled mighty armies, Eumenes and Antigonus met on the field of battle. Eumenes was defeated and fled to a certain strongly fortified citadel. From here he sent legates to beg assistance from Antipater who was at this time very powerful. But not even then did Eumenes feel absolutely confident and assured of his own safety. Therefore as a final measure he summoned to his assistance the Silver Shields, that is, the soldiers who fought under Alexander and who were so named from their arms which were covered with silver. They were disdainful of following the plans which their leader had made for the battle and as a result were defeated by Antigonus. They were deprived of their camp and lost their wives and children as well as everything they had gained under Alexander. Later, through legates, they most shamefully requested their conqueror to return what they had lost. Antigonus promised that he would do so but only on the condition that they should hand over to him Eumenes bound in chains. Won over by the inducement of recovering their property and most shamefully betraying the leader under whose standards they had served a little while before, they led him forth in chains as a prisoner. These soldiers, now completely humiliated and disgraced, were at once distributed among the army of Antigonus.

In the meantime Eurydice, the wife of the Macedonian king Arridaeus, acting in the name of her husband, committed many crimes. She was helped by Cassander with whom she had formed a most shameful alliance and whom she had advanced through all the grades of honour to the highest rank. Out of his lust for a woman, Cassander harassed many states of Greece. Olympias, the mother of King Alexander, was at this time coming from Epirus to Macedonia with the Molossian king  Aeacides attending her. Eurydice barred her from the territories. Acting on the advice of Polyperchon, Olympias ordered the execution of King Arridaeus and Eurydice. The Macedonians supported her in this demand. Nevertheless, she herself immediately suffered a just punishment for her cruelty; for even as she was causing the slaughter of many nobles, acting with the foolhardiness characteristic of women, she heard of the approach of Cassander. As the Macedonians distrusted her, she withdrew to the city of Pydna with her daughter-in-law Roxane and her grandson Hercules: there she was soon captured and killed by Cassander. The son of Alexander the Great was sent with his mother to the citadel of Amphipolis for safe keeping.

With the slaughter of Perdiccas, Alcetas, Polyperchon, and a number of other generals of the opposing party too many to mention, the wars among the successors of Alexander seemed about to come to an end. But Antigonus, inflamed with the desire to be lord and master, pretended that it was necessary to resort to war in order to free Hercules, the son of the king, from his imprisonment. When his activities became known, Ptolemy and Cassander entered into an alliance with Lysimachus and Seleucus and prepared strenuously for war on land and sea. In this war Antigonus and his son Demetrius were defeated.

When Cassander, whom Ptolemy had made a partner in the victory, was returning to Apollonia, he came upon the Avieniatae. They had left the land of their forefathers and emigrated from their ancient habitations because they could not bear the enormous number of frogs and mice, and they were seeking to find new homes while peace prevailed. But Cassander, knowing the reputation of this people for courage and numbers, received them into an alliance and settled them on the farthest boundaries of Macedonia. He was afraid that under the pressure of necessity they would invade Macedonia and ruin the land by warfare. When Hercules, the son of Alexander, had reached his fourteenth year, Cassander, fearing that everyone would prefer Hercules as the legitimate king, took care to have him and his wife secretly put to death.

Ptolemy engaged in a second battle with Demetrius, a naval battle in which he lost almost his entire fleet and army. After his defeat he fled to Egypt. Antigonus, elated by this victory, ordered that both he and his son Demetrius be called king. The other generals followed this example, each assuming the name and authority of king. When Ptolemy and Cassander saw that Antigonus was deceiving the leaders of the other faction one by one, they communicated with one another by letters, agreed upon a time and place for meeting, and prepared their common forces to war against him. Cassander, who was involved in war with his neighbors, sent Lysimachus, the most renowned of all his generals, with a huge force to assist his allies in his stead. Seleucus, arriving from Greater Asia, added a new enemy to those who were hostile to Antigonus. Indeed, this Seleucus took part in most of the great wars throughout the East among the allies of the Macedonian kingdom. At the beginning of the war, he stormed and captured Babylon. He then subdued the Bactriani who had risen in new revolts. Next he made a journey to India, whose people, after the death of Alexander, had killed his prefects. Rising in revolt and seeking to win their freedom under the leadership of a certain Sandrocottus, they had thrown off his yoke from their necks. Later Sandrocottus, acting with great cruelty toward the citizens whom he had saved from foreign domination, oppressed them with slavery. Seleucus, although he had waged bitter wars against Sandrocottus, finally withdrew from the country after concluding a pact with him and arranging the terms by which the latter should hold the kingdom.

As soon as the forces of Ptolemy and his allies united, battle began. Here was an instance in which the mightier the armaments, the more disastrous was the slaughter; for at that time the forces of almost the whole Macedonia kingdom fell in battle. Antigonus was slain. But the end of this war was only the beginning of another. The victors could not agree about the booty and again split into two factions, Seleucus joining forces with Demetrius and Ptolemy with Lysimachus. After the death of Cassander, Philip succeeded to the throne. New wars, as if taking a fresh start, arose to trouble Macedonia.

Although Thessalonice, his own mother and the wife of Cassander, pleaded pitifully for her life, Antipater pierced her with his own sword. His brother Alexander, while preparing for war against him to avenge his mother, was surrounded and slain by Demetrius, whose assistance he had sought. Lysimachus, hard pressed in an extremely dangerous war with Dromichaetes, king of the Thracians, was not able to fight against Demetrius. Elated by the conquest of Greece and all Macedonia, Demetrius now prepared to cross into Asia. Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Lysimachus, however, having learned from experience in the earlier struggle how much strength there was in union, once more formed an alliance, united their armies, and transferred to Asia the war against Demetrius. Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus, joined them as their companion and ally, hoping to drive Demetrius out of Macedonia. Nor was this hope in vain; for after Demetrius had been abandoned by his army and forced to flee, Pyrrhus invaded the kingdom of Macedonia. Lysimachus killed his son-in-law Antipater, claiming that the latter was plotting against him; he then slew his own son Agathocles, whom he hated with a hate unnatural to man.

In these days a most terrible earthquake overthrew the city of Lysimachia; its population was destroyed and the city became a cruel tomb. Moreover, all the allies of Lysimachus deserted him because he was staining himself with blood by his repeated murders. They joined Seleucus, a king already engaged in the struggle for the crown, and encouraged him to declare war against Lysimachus. It was a shameful spectacle. The two kings (Lysimachus was seventy-four years old and Seleucus seventy-seven), standing in battle line and bearing arms, were striving to deprive each other of the kingdom. To be sure this was the last war among Alexander's companions, but it was one which has been reserved as an example of human misery. Even when they alone held the world, after the destruction of the thirty-four generals of Alexander, they took no thought of the approaching end of their lives, now so nearly finished. Rather they continued to regard the ends of the entire world as too-narrow boundaries for their empire. In that battle Lysimachus was the last to be killed. His fifteen children either had been sent away or killed before this battle had begun. Thus the death of Lysimachus proved to be the end of the Macedonian War. But Seleucus did not rejoice with impunity; for he himself did not enjoy a natural and peaceful death after seventy-seven years of life. Rather he died before his time in circumstances which were most unhappy. While he was resisting the attack of Ptolemy, whose sister had married Lysimachus, he was treacherously assassinated.

Such are the ties of blood and fellowship between parents, sons, brothers, and friends. Such is the importance they attach to heavenly and earthly bonds! Let the people of this generation blush with shame over the recollection of these past events. They now realize that it is only by the intervention of the Christian faith and by means of the sworn oath that they live at all with their enemies and suffer no injury. This proves beyond question that now barbarians and Romans, no longer after the ancient manner, when "with the sacrifice of a sow they made a treaty,"  but calling their Creator and Lord to witness, assure one another such loyalty by the oath taken on the Gospels, as nature was unable in those days to ensure even between fathers and sons.

Now let this book conclude with the end of the Macedonian War, especially since the wars of Pyrrhus begin just at this point and the Punic wars follow directly.

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