Lives of Imminent Commanders by Nepos
Cornelius Nepos 110 - 25 BC 85
Lives of Imminent Commanders


Lost chapters: Miltiades, Themistocles, Aristides, Pausanias, Cimon, Lysander, Alcibiades, Thrasybulus, Conon, Dion, Iphicrates, Chabrias, Timotheus,

Page Data
Total 13,098 52.4 5:20
Chapters 7
Pages per chapter 7.5 6:30
1 Datames. 120 3,250 11.5 9:35

I. Datames was born to a Carian father, Camisares, and a Scythian mother and was the foremost of the soldiers at the court of Artaxerxes who protected the kingdom. His father Camisares had been discovered to be strong-handed, restless in war, and loyal to the king on many occasions, and had therefore received the part of Cilicia next to Cappadocia, which the Leucosyrians inhabit, as a province. Datames first performed military service and showed what sort of man he was in the war which the king waged against the Cadusians. For, though several thousand of the king's men had been killed, his service was that of a great man. As a result, when Camisares died, his father's province was passed on to him.

II. Subsequently, he showed equal valour when Autophradates made war by order of the king on those who had rebelled. Through his efforts, the enemies, who had entered a fortification, were overwhelmed and the rest of the king's army was preserved. Because of this, he began to receive command of greater things. At this time, there was a man called Thuys, who was the dynast of Paphlagonia, of an old family, descended from that Pylaemenes who Homer says was killed by Patroclus in the Trojan War. He was not listening to the word of the king. For this reason, the king decided to make war against him and he put Datames in charge of this matter although he was a relative of the Paphlagonian (since their parents were brother and sister). For this reason, Datames wanted to try to return him to his duty without fighting first. When he came to meet him without a bodyguard, fearing no treachery from his friend, he nearly died because Thuys wanted to kill him secretly. Datames' mother, who was the Paphlagonian's aunt, was with him. She realised what was planned and warned her son. He escaped the danger by flight and declared war on Thuys. In this war he was abandoned by Ariobarzanes, the prefect of Lydia, Ionia, and all Phrygia, but continued nevertheless and captured Thuys alive with his wife and children.

III. He took care that report of his deed reached the king no sooner than he himself did. Thus, he came to the place where the king was without anyone being aware of it, and the next day he took Thuys, who was a man with a massive body and a terrifying appearance, because he was black with long hair and a full beard, and he clothed him in the best clothes, which royal satraps customarily wore and then he decorated him with a torc and golden bracelets and other royal equipment. Datames himself put on a rustic double cloak and a rough tunic, wearing a hunting cap on his head, with a club in his right hand and a rope in his left, with which he led the defeated Thuys before him, as if he was leading a wild beast which he had captured. When everyone saw him, a great crowd gathered because of his novel outfit and his unrecognisable form, there was someone who recognised Thuys and announced it to the king. At first he did not believe it, so he sent Pharnabazus to investigate. When he learnt from him what had happened, he ordered him to be admitted immediately, exceptionally delighted at the deed and the presentation, especially since a noble king had come into his power unexpectedly. So he rewarded Datames splendidly and sent him to the army which was being assembled at that time by the generals Pharnabazus and Tithraustes for war against Egypt and he ordered that he would have the same authority as them. Subsequently in fact the king recalled Pharnabazus and supreme command was entrusted to Datames.

IV. When he had prepared the army with the greatest care and was ready to set out for Egypt, suddenly he received letters from the king, ordering him to march on Aspis, who held Cataonia (these people are located above Cilicia, on the Cappadocian border). For Aspis, who dwelt in a wooded region, fortified with strongholds, not only ignored the king's commands, but even raided the bordering regions and stole what was being taken to the king. Although Datames was far from these regions and was being pulled away from a greater task by the king, he thought that the will of the king must be done voluntarily. So, he boarded a ship with a few men, but brave ones, thinking (correctly, as it turned out) that he would more easily crush a surprised enemy with a small force than a prepared enemy however large his army might be. He landed this force in Cilica, set out from there, and crossed the Taurus in a journey of a day and a night, and arrived in the place which he had set his sights on. He inquired where Aspis was. He learnt that he was not far away and had set out on a hunt. While he was waiting for him, the sign of his approach was recognised. The Pisidians in the force which he had with him, prepared to withstand Aspis. When Datames heard this, he put on his armour, he ordered his men to follow, he himself spurred his horse and rode towards the enemy. When Aspis noticed him in the distance, he was terrified that he was coming for him, was deterred from attempting to resist, and surrendered. Datames had him bound and entrusted Mithridates with taking him to the king. 

V. While he was doing this, Artaxerxes realised that he had sent his foremost commander from such a great war to such a small matter and regretted his decision, so he sent Aces as a messenger to the army to say that Datames should not set out to do what he had said and should not leave the army. Before he had reached the place he had been sent, he ran into the man who was bringing Aspis to the king. When Datames received great gifts from the king for this speed, he became the object of a great deal of emnity among the courtiers because they saw that he alone had achieved more than all of them. For this reason, they all agreed to crush him. Pandantes, who was keeper of the royal treasury and a friend of Datames, sent an account of this to him, in which he informed him that he would be in great danger, if anything happened to go badly in Egypt while he was in command. For he said that royal practice was to attribute adverse events to men and successful ones to their own good fortune, as a result of which they were easily spurred to the destruction of those under whose command unsuccessful ventures happened to be reported, but that he would be in a greater danger than this, since his greatest enemies were the men the king listened to the most. Once he had read such letters and then met with the worried Aces, he heeded these correct statements and decided to depart from the king. But he did not do anything unworthy of his trust. For he put Mandrocles the Magnesian in commande of his army; he himself departed to Cappadocia with his men and seized the part of Paphlagonia bordering this, hiding the reason why he was going against the king. Secretly he formed a friendship with Ariobarzanes, prepared a troop, assigned fortified cities to his men to protect.

VI. But this proceeded with limited success because of the wintery weather. He heard that the Pisidians had equipped themselves as hostile forces. He sent his son Arsideus with an army; the boy fell in battle. His father marched forth with a rather small force, hiding the scale of the injury he had suffered, because he wanted to reach the enemy before rumour of the failure reached his men, in case his soldiers' resolve was weakened by knowledge of his son's death. He reached the place he had set out for and placed his camp in such a place that he could not be surrounded by a large number of enemies or prevented from keeping his force ready for battle. There was a man with him, Mithrobarzanes, his father-in-law and commander of the cavalry. Since his son-in-law's situation was hopeless, he fled to the enemy. When Datames heard this, he realised that if it got out that he had been abandoned by such an essential man, other advisors would follow. To the masses he proclaimed that Mithrobarzanes had set out on his command, as if fleeing, so that he might be taken in more easily and kill the enemies. Therefore, he said that it would not be right to abandon him; all should follow at once, and if they did this with a vigourous spirit, the adversaries would not be able to resist when they were attacked both inside their palisade and outside it. When they approved this, he led the army out and followed right after Mithrobarzanes. When he reached the enemy, Datames gave the order to attack. The Pisidians were shaken by this sudden event and led to believe that the defectors had acted in bad faith and duplicitously, in order to bring a greater disaster upon them once they had been admitted. They attacked the defectors first. Since they were unaware of what had been done or why it had happened, they were forced to fight with those to whom they had defected and to stand with those they had abandoned. Since neither side spared them, they were quickly cut down. Datames charges the remaining Pisidian resistors. He strikes with the first blow, he chases them down, he kills many, he takes the camp of the enemy. So, through this plan he simultaneously thwarted the traitors and crushed the enemy, and transformed an event that had been thought to be his doom into his salvation. We have read of no act of any other commander that was ever planned more cleverly or executed more quickly than this. 

VII. But Sysinas, his oldest son, separated from him, went to the king and accused his father of rebellion. When this was announced, Artaxerxes was shaken and sent Autophrodates into Cappadocia because he understood that this was serious business with a strong and clever man, who acted boldly when he had made a plan and was accustomed to plan before he acted. To prevent him from entering the pass where the Cilician Gates are located, Datames was eager to occupy them first. But he could not assemble his forces so rapidly. As a result he was pushed back, with the force which he had assembled, and chose a place that could not be surrounded by enemies and that an enemy could not pass without being pressed on both sides, where, if he chose to fight, a large number of enemies could not harm his small force much.

VIII. Although Autophrodates saw this, he decided to attack, rather than fleeing with such a big force or stay put for too long in the same place. He had twenty thousand barbarian cavalry, a hundred thousand infantry, which they called Cardacae, three thousand slingers of the same race, as well as eight thousand Cappadocians, ten thousand Armenians, five thousand Paphlagonians, ten thousand Phrygians, five thousand Lydians, around three thousand Aspendians and Pisidians, two thousand Cilicians, the same number of Captians,[1] and three thousand hirelings from Greece - mostly lightly armed. Against these forces, Datames' only hope lay in himself and his location; for he had not a twentieth part of these soldiers. Relying on these things, he joined battle and slew many thousands of his opponents, while in his own army he had lost not more than a thousand men. For this reason, he erected a trophy the next day at the place where the fighting had taken place the previous day. He had moved his camp from this spot and he had always come out inferior in numbers but superior in every battle, because he never engaged a contingent unless he had trapped his opponents in constricted places, which often happened to him because he was familiar with the region and planned cunningly. Therefore, since he seemed to have made war more to the ruin of the king than the enemies, Autophrodates encouraged him to return to the king's grace. Although he did not think that this would prove trustworthy, he accepted the terms and said that he would send envoys to Artaxerxes. Thus the war which the king had undertaken against Datames was settled. Autophrodates withdrew to Phrygia.

IX. Yet, because the king had developed an implacable hatred of Datames, since he realised that he could not be crushed by war, he sought to kill him using schemes - many of which he thwarted. Thus, when it was announced to him that some men were scheming against him, who included a number of his friends (which he though he must neither believe nor ignore, since enemies had reported this to him), he wanted to determine whether what was reported to him was true or false. So he proceeded along the route on which they said he would be ambushed. But he chose a man who was similar in build and height to him, gave him his clothes, and ordered him to go to the place where he had determined, while he himself began the journey among his bodyguards in the clothes and insignia of a soldier. Yet when the column came to the place, the plotters were tricked by the arrangement and the clothing and made an attack against him - against the substitute, that is. But Datames had told the men with whom he was making the journey to be prepared to the same thing that they saw him do. When he realised that the plotters were attacking in a group, he cast arrows into their midst. Since everyone did this same thing, the men who sought to attack him were struck and killed before they reached him.

X. Yet although he was so clever, he was at last caught in a trap by Mithridates, son of Ariobarzanes. For this man promised the king that he would kill him, if the king allowed him to do whatever he wanted with impunity and he gave surety of this thing by offering his right hand, as is Persian custom. As he received this from the king, he prepared a force and made friends with Datames from a distance, raided the provinces of the king, conquered strongholds, took a lot of booty, some of which he distributed to his men and some of which he sent to Datames. In the same way, he handed over plenty of strongholds to him. By doing this for a long time, he persuaded the man that he had undertaken an unending war against the king, with nothing more and in order that he not give any grounds for suspecting a trap, he did not ask to speak with him or seek to come into his sight. Thus he forged a friendship with him from far away, since they seemed to be held together not by mutual favours, but by shared hatred, since they had undertaken to oppose the king.

XI. When Mithridates considered that he had proved himself sufficiently, he made Datames more sure that it was time for greater armies to be prepared and war to be undertaken against the king himself, and said that if it seemed good to him, he would come to discuss this matter, in whatever location he chose. After considering the matter, a time for the discussion was selected and a place where they would meet. Mithridates came there with one man, whom he had the greatest faith in, a few days early and buried swords in a number of different places and carefully noted their locations. So on the day of the conference itself, both of them sent men who explored the location and carefully examined their persons; then they approached one another. They had had a discussion for quite a long time, left in different directions, and Datames was already quite a way off, but before he had reached his army, in order that he not develop some suspicion, Mithridates returned to the same place and sat down again in a spot where an arrow was buried as if he wanted to rest as a result of tiredness. Then he called Datames back, pretending that he had forgotten something when they were discussing. In the meanwhile, he pulled up the arrow which he had hidden and clothed the naked blade with a cloth scabbard. As Datames approached, he said that he had noticed a spot as he was going away, which was within sight, which was suitable for the installation of a camp. He pointed to it with his finger and when Datames turned to look, he stabbed him with the blade and killed him before anyone could come to the rescue. So this man, who had captured many men through planning and an enemy through treachery, was himself captured by a faked friendship.

2 Eumenes.

I. Eumenes the Cardian. If he had been given fortune equal to his virtue, he would not have been a greater man, although far more illustrious and even more honoured, because we measure men's greatness by their virtue, not their fortune. For in the times when his life began, the Macedonians were prospering, and he was deprived of a lot as a result of living among them, because he was from a foreign community and he lacked nothing other than a noble lineage. Even though he was from the highest local family, the Macedonians were indignant whenever he was preferred to one of them and they would not submit to him, although he defeated them all in care, vigliance, patience, cunning, and speed of genius. When he was a very young man he entered into the friendship of Philip, Amyntas' son,[1] and for a short time was on intimate terms with him, since he glowed in his youth from his innate virtue. Thus, he kept him at hand in the role of scribe, which is a far more honourable role among the Greeks than among the Romans. For, among us, in actual fact, scribes are considered mere hirelings, but among them on the contrary no one is admitted to this office if they are not of honourable rank, with recognised faithfulness and industry, because he must participate in every council. Eumenes held this position of friendship under Philip for seven years.[2] After he died, Eumenes remained at the same rank under Alexander for thirteen years.[3] At a very late point [in the reign], he even commanded a wing of the cavalry, which were called Hetaerice.[4] He was alway present in the councils of both kings and was accustomed to take part in all affairs. 

II. After Alexander died, kingdoms were distributed to individual friends of his and the highest oversight of affairs was handed to the one to whom Alxander had given his ring when he was dying: Perdiccas (from whom everyone sought to be installed in a kingdom, for as long as Alexander's children remained under his guardianship), since Crateros[5] and Antipater,[6] who seemed to outrank him, were not present, while Hephaestio,[7] whom it could clearly be seen that Alexander had made the foremost of the multitude. At this time, Cappadocia was given to Eumenes, or so it was said, for it was then under enemy control. Perdiccas linked him to himself with great effort, because he saw the great faithfulness and industry in the man, not doubting that, if he seduced him, he would be very useful in the things which he was planning. For he planned, as nearly everyone in great power desires, to snatch and seize everyone's portions. In fact, he was not alone in this, but all the others who had been friends of Alexander [had the same plan]. First, Leonnatus planned to take Macedonia befoure anyone else. With many great promises he tried to persuade Eumenes to desert Perdiccas and make an alliance with him. When he was not able to prevail, he attempted to kill him and would have done it, if Eumenes had not fled his camp secretly in the night.

III. Meanwhile, the war flared up, which had been brought to general destruction after Alexander's death, and everyone joined together to attack Perdiccas. Although he seemed to be weak, because he alone was forced to resist everyone, Eumenes did not desert his friend and did not value his safety over faithfulness. Perdiccas established him in his part of Asia, which stretched from the Taurus mountains to the Hellespont and left him alone to face his European enemies. He himself marched to besiege Egypt, in opposition to Ptolemy. Eumenes' forces were neither big nor firm, because they were untrained and had been enlisted only a short time earlier, but it was said that Antipater and Crateros were approaching and had crossed the Hellespont with a large army of Macedonians, men who were foremost with brilliance in the practice of war at that time (In fact Macedonian soldiers were then as famous as Roman ones are now: since those who acquire the greatest power are always held to be the bravest men). Eumenes understood that if his forces found out whom they were being led to fight, not only would they refuse to go, they would slip away as soon as it was announced. Accordingly, this was his very wise move: he led the soldiers by isolated routes where they could not hear the truth and convinced them that they were marching against some barbarians. And he kept to this cover story and led the army into the breach and began the battle before the soldiers worked out whom they were attacking. He even succeeded in occupying the field first, so that he contended with cavalry - in which he was stronger - rather than with infantry - of which he had less. 

IV. When the battle had been going on with bitter fighting for much of the day, Crateros the General fell and Neoptolemus, his second in command. Eumenes himself encountered the latter. They grabbed onto each other and fell from their horses onto the ground, so that they could clear be seen to have clashed with vicious intent and to have fought with their souls more than their bodies, and they were not separated until life left one of them. In the process, Eumenes was struck with many wounds, yet he did not retreat from battle, but pursued the enemy sharply. With the horsemen in flight, General Crateros dead, and especially many of the noblemen captured, the infantry force, which had been brought to a point where it could not escape from Eumenes against his will, sought peace from him. When they had received this, they did not rely on the promise for long, but returned to Antipater as soon as they could. Crateros had been pulled from the battle half dead and Eumenes tried to revive him; when he could not, he held a splendid funeral because of the man's dignity and because of their former friendship (for he had been on friendly terms with him when Alexander was alive), and sent his bones to his wife and children in Macedonia.

V. While this was happening near the Hellespont, Perdiccas was killed near the Nile by Seleucus and Antigenes, and supreme power passed to Antipater. Those who served him condemned those who were absent to death, including Eumenes, by a vote of the army. Struck by this blow, he did not surrendur and carried on the war even so. But although the dire straits did not break his spirits, they did diminish them. Since Antigonus, who was persuing him had a lot of every kind of force, he often harried him on the march and never allowed him to fight a battle except in those places where a few men could resist many. But eventually, when he could not be won over by negotiation, he was surrounded by the multitude. From this he escaped with many of his friends and fled to a castle in Phrygia which is called Nora. When he was beseiged on all sides and feared that while staying there he would lose the army's horses because there was no space to exercise them, this was the clever means by which he was able to fire the horses up and exercise them so that they were happy and fed and the movement of their bodies did not become strange to them. He tied them up so high that they could not properly touch the round with the front legs, then from behind he used whips to force them to jump and pull up their feet. Through this movement they shook out as much sweat as if they had been running in a space. By this act, which seemed bizarre to everyone, he was able to bring the animals out of the castle after they had been under siege for several months, as healthy as if he had been keeping them in training grounds. During this siege, he burnt and destroyed the equipment and supplies of Antigonus whenever he wanted, but he remained there all through winter, because he would not have been able to maintain a camp in the open air. Spring approached: He pretended to surrender and while he was discussing the terms, he tricked Antigonus' commanders and extracted himself and his men with everyone unharmed. 

VI. When Olympias, who had been Alexander's mother, sent letters and envoys to him in Asia to advise whether she should go into Macedonia to regain her property (for she was residing in Epirus at the time) and take control of those things, he encouraged her not to make a move and to wait until Alexander's son achieved the kingship, but if by some chance she was brought to Macedonia, to forget every injury and not inflict excessively harsh authority on anyone. She did neither of these things: for she went into Macedonia and there she behaved cruelly. However she sought from the absent Eumenes that he not allow the greatest enemies of Philip's house and family to kill even his descendents and that he bring prosperity to the children of Alexander. She asked if he would do her the favour of raising an army and bringing it to help her, and she said that, in order that he might achieve this more easily, she had sent letters to all the commanders who remained in office instructing them to obey him and follow his decisions. Eumenes was persuaded by these things, considering that it was better to die (if fate brought it to that) while repaying his debts to those who deserved it than to live indebted. 

VII. So he gathered forces, he prepared for war against Antigonus. Because there were many noble Macedonians in the one location, such as Peucestes, who had been a bodyguard of Alexander and then received Persis, and Antigenes, who had command of a phalanx of Macedonians, Eumenes was afraid of their envy (which he could not escape), since he - a foreigner - held the highest command rather than one of the multitude of Macedonians who were there, so he set up a tent for Alexander among the leaders and he ordered a golden chair with a sceptre and a diadem to be placed in it and for everyone to gather there everyday to take counsel about important matters, believing that he would decrease the envy if it seemed that the war was being administered by a form of the command of Alexander and a pretence of his name. That is what happened. For when they gathered not at the general's tent of Eumenes but at the royal tent and discussed matters there, he was concealed in a way, but everything was accomplished by him alone.

VIII. Eumenes clashed with Antigonus in Paraetacae,[8] not drawn up in battle-array, but while on the march, and since he did poorly he was forced to retire to Media to spend the winter there. He split up his forces for the winter in the border region with Persis, not as he wished, but as he was forced to by the soldiers' wishes. For the phalanx of Alexander the Great, which had traversed Asia and conquered the Persians, had grown old with glory but also with such independence that it did not obey its leaders, but wished to command, just as our veterans do now. Thus there was a risk that they would do what they actually ended up doing, as a result of their intemperence and excessive independence: destroy everything, including those who fought alongside them, rather than those whom they fought against. If one of these veterans were to look at their deeds, they would recognise that they were equal to their own and judge that nothing except time separated them. But I shall return to them. They had spent the winter not on matters of war, but on their own relaxation, and had been split up for a long time. When Antigonus had learnt this and understood that he was not the equal of his prepared enemies, he decided that some new plan had to be adopted by him. There were two roads by which he could travel from Media (where he was spending the winter) to his enemies' winter quarters. The shorter of these passed through a deserted area which no one inhabited because of the lack of water, but it took barely ten days; meanwhile, the road which everyone used had a circuitous route and was much longer than the other one, but was fertile and had plenty of everything. If he took this route, he knew that his enemies would know about his approach, before he had completed a third of the journey, but if he marched through the deserted area, he expected that he would take the enemy by surprise. In order to achieve this thing, he ordered his troops to prepare many bags and water-skins, then fodder and cooked rations for ten days, so that there would be as little fire in the camp as possible. In this way, he would hide everyone. Prepared in this way, as he had ordered, he sets out.

IX. He had almost made it halfway across the distance, when the smoke from his camp caused Eumenes to suspect that an enemy was approaching. The leaders convened: it was asked, what ought to be done. Everyone understood that their forces ould not be gathered as quickly as it seemed Antigonus was approaching. While everyone was faltering and despairing about important matters, Eumenes said that if they were willing to employ speed and do what they were commanded, as they had not done before, he would resolve the matter. For he said that although the enemy could cross the distance in five days, he would make it so that the period was delayed by no less than that many days. Thus, they would be able to go around, each gathering his forces. To rein in Antigonus' attack, then, he employed this plan. He sent some men to low mountains which were along the enemy's route and he instructed them that when night first came (over the widest area they could) they should make fires, as big as they could, and they should reduce these at the second watch, and let them almost go out at the third watch. By simulating the appearance of a camp in this way, he intended that they would create suspicion among the enemies, that there was a camp in this location and that their approach had been revealed in advance. They were to do the same thing on the next night. The men who were commanded to do this, followed his instructions diligently. When it got dark, Antigonus noticed the fires. He believed that his enemies had heard about his approach and had gathered their forces there. He changed his plan and since he could not attack them unawares, he bends his route and takes the longer route of the well-supplied road. There he delayed one day for relaxation, to molify the troops and restore the pack-animals, so that he might decide the issue with a fresher army.

X. Thus Eumenes defeated a shrewd commander with his plan and impeded his speed, but he did not accomplish much. For by the envy of the leaders with him and the treachery of the Macedonian veterans, he was betrayed to Antigonus, after he had been victorious in battle, although the army had sworn to him previously on three separate occasions that it would defend him and never desert him. For asmall group's disparagement of his virtue was so great that they preferred to break their oath than for him to survive. And Antigonus would have kept him safe, even though he had been his most dangerous enemy, if his forces had allowed it, for he knew that he could be supported better by no one in those matters, which appeared to everyone to be impending at that moment. For Seleucus, Lysimachus, and Ptolemy were becoming threatening, now that they were rich, and he would have to fight with them for power. But the men who were around him did not allow it, because they saw that, if Eumenes was brought into Antigonus' service, everyone would be subservient to him. Antigonus himself was so angry that he could not have been calmed, except by a great prospect of the greatest successes. 

XI. Therefore, when he had put Eumenes under guard and the chief of the guards had asked how he should be kept, Antigonus said, "like the fiercest lion or the most ferocious elephant:" for he had not yet decided whether he would preserve him or not. But both sorts of person went to Eumenes: those who out of hatred intended to take joy from seeing his state and those who out of former friendships wanted to speak with him and console him. Many more were eager to know what he looked like, what sort of man he was, whom they had feared so much for so long, in whose destruction they had placed hope of victory. But Eumenes, when he had been in chains for a long time, said to Onomarchus, who held the highest command over the guard, that he was amazed that ti was now the third day that he had been held in this way: for it was not in accordance with Antigonus' prudence to abuse a defeated enemy in this way, when he should order him to be killed or to be released. Since he seemed to Onomarchus to have spoken fiercely, he said, "What? If you had this intention, why didn't you fall in battle rather than coming into the power of your enemy?" Eumenes responded, "If only it had turned out that way! But it did not happen, because I never met anyone strong enough: For I did not bring my weapons against anyone who did not succumb to me. For it was not by the courage of my enemies, but my friends' treachery that I fell." And this was not a lie < * * * > For he had a noble dignity and firm power for doing work, and not so much a large body as a pleasant figure.

  1. Jump up ↑ Philip II of Macedon (r. 359-336), father of Alexander the great.
  2. Jump up ↑ Roughly from 343-336 BC
  3. Jump up ↑ Alexander the Great, who reigned from 336-323 BC; Eumenes thus remained in the same role for his entire reign
  4. Jump up ↑ i.e. ἑταιρική (hetairike), "companion cavalry" - the elite cavalry unit of the Macedonian army.
  5. Jump up ↑ Commander of Alexander's army from 330-323 BC, he was leading some of Alexander's troops back to Macedonia at the time of Alexander's death.
  6. Jump up ↑ An aged general who had been left in command of Macedonia for Alexander's entire reign.
  7. Jump up ↑ Alexander's closest friend
  8. Jump up ↑ Usually referred to as Paraetacene
3 Phocion.

I. Phocion the Athenian, although he often led armies and held the highest magistracies, is nevertheless more famed for the integrity of his lifestyle than his work in military affairs. Accordingly, the latter is remembered by no one, but the fame of former is great, from which he was called by the sobriquet "the Good." For he was always poor, although he could have been exceptionally rich from the honours regularly conferred on him and the great powers which were given to him by the people. When he rejected gifts of large amounts of money from King Philip[1] and the envoys called on him to accept gifts, advising him that, even if he could do without the gifts easily, he should still think of his children, for whom it would be difficult to maintain their father's glory in great poverty, he said "If they are like me, they too will be maintained by this little field, which has brought me to this dignity; but if they are different, then I do not want to nourish and increase their luxury once they have expended my property."

II. And when he had nearly reached his eightieth year of flourishing fortune, in difficult times he encountered great hatred from his fellow citizens, firstly because he had agreed with Demades that the city should be handed over to Antipater and, as a result of this advice, Demosthenes and others who were considered to have benefited the state were driven into exile by a decree of the people. Nor had he only offended in this because he had advised the fatherland badly, but also because he had not preserved the bond of friendship. Although he had been supported and aided by Demosthenes, he climbed up to that same which the latter had held when he had encited him against Charetes: in court, when he had faced capital charges, he had been defended by Demosthenes several times, and had gone away a free man. Not only did he fail to defend Demosthenes when he was in danger, but he actually betrayed him. But Phocion fell into a massive crime, because when the highest command of the people was invested in him and he was warned by Dercylus that Nicanor, the prefect of Cassander, was planning to attack the Piraeus of the Athenians and Dercylus asked him to ensure that the community was not stripped of its supply route, Phocion denied that there was any danger, in an assembly of the people, and promised that he himself would be a surety of this thing. But not much later, Nicanor made himself master of the Piraeus, without which Athens was utterly unable to exist. When the people armed themselves and assembled in order to retake it, he did not call anyone at all to arms, nor was he willing to command those who were armed.

III. There were two factions in Athens at this time, one of which pursued the cause of the people, the other that of the aristocrats. Phocion and Demetrius of Phaleron were in the latter. Each of these had protectors among the Macedonians: for the people's faction favoured Polyperchon, while the aristocrats looked to Cassander. At this time, Cassander was defeated by Polyperchon in Macedonia. For this reason, the people grew stronger and immediately condemned the leaders of the opposing faction to death and drove them out of the fatherland - Phocion and Demetrius of Phaleron among them - and they sent messengers to Polyperchon about this matter, requesting that he confirm this by decree. Phocion was brought before him. When he came he was ordered to plead his case ostensibly before king Philip[2] but actually before Polyperchon: for he was then in charge of the king's affairs. Phocion was accused by Hagnon of having betrayed the Piraeus to Nicanor, and as a result of the judgement of the council, he was taken into custody and taken to Athens so that he could receive a trial there on this charge under the laws.

IV. When he arrived there, since he was no longer healthy enough to go on foot as a result of his age and he was conveyed by cart, a very large crowd formed. Although some recalled his old fame and had pity on account of his age, most were actually sharpened by their anger on account of the suspicion that he had betrayed the Piraeus and especially because he had stood against the prosperity of the people in his old age. For this reason, the opportunity to give a speech and plead his case was not granted to him. Thus he was convicted in court by the lawfully appointed people and handed over to the Eleven men, whom the condemned are customarily handed over to for punishment under the state custom of the Athenians. As he was led to his death, Euphiletus met him on his way, a good friend of his. When he cried "Oh, what an indignity who are suffering, Phocion!" the latter responded, "but not unexpected, for the Athenians have given this end to many a brilliant man." At this time he was held insuch great hatred by the multitude that no free man dared to bury him. So he was buried by slaves.

4 Timoleon.

I. Timoleon the Corinthian. Without doubt, this man was the greatest of all in justness. For it fell to him alone (at least I know of no other) to free the country in which he was born, when it was oppressed by a tyrant, and to destory the long-established slavery of the Syracusans, whom he was sent to assist, and to restore the whole of Sicily, which had been tormented by war and oppressed by barbarians for many years, to its former state on his arrival. But in these things he was afflicted by a fate which was not straightforward, and (what is considered more difficult) he bore his good fortune with as much wisdom as his bad fortune. For when his brother Timophanes, who had been chosen as commander by the Corinthians, took up a tyranny using mercenary soldiers and he could have been a partner in his realm, he was so far from friendship with evil that he prefered the freedom of his community to the health of his brother and he considered it better to obey the laws than to rule his fatherland. With this attitude, along with a haruspex and a mutual relative who had been married to his full sister, he had his brother the tyrant killed. He himself not only did not lay hands on him, but would not even look upon his brother's blood. For while the thing was carried out, he was on watch at a distance, so that none of the attendants would be able to rescue him. This exceptionally glorious deed of his was not viewed the same way by everyone: for not a few thought that piety had been violated by him and out of malice they crushed the praise of his courage. In fact, after this deed, his mother never again let her son into her house or even looked at him, except to reproach him with curses as an impious fratricide. He was so disturbed by these things that not infrequently he wished to make an end of his life and escape through death from the sight of the ungrateful people.

II. Meanwhile, since Dion had been killed in Syracuse, Dionysius had taken power in Syracuse again. His opponents sought aid from the Corinthians and asked for a commander to employ in war. Timoleon was sent for this and, by incredible fortune, he drove Dionysius out of all Sicily. Although he could have killed him, he did not want to and he organised for him to travel safely to Corinth, because the Corinthians had often been aided by both of the Dionysii and he wanted the memory of that kindness to endure and because he held the noble victory to be one in which there was more clemency than cruelty, and finally so that it would not just be heard by ear, but known by sight, whom he had brought down from so great a kingdom to such a fate. After the departure of Dionysius, he warred with Hicetas, who had been opposed to Dionysios. That he had not differed with him out of hatred of tyranny but desire for it was proven by the fact that he was not willing to renounce his command once Dionysius had been expelled. Once this man was overcome, Timoleon routed the massive forces of the Karthaginians at the Crinissus river and forced them to be satisfied if they were allowed to possess Africa, although they had had possession of Sicily for many years at this point. He also capured Mamercus, the Italian leader, a powerful and warlike man, who had come to Sicily to assist the tyrants.

III. After he had accomplished these things, since not just the countryside but even the cities appear deserted as a result of the long duration of the war, he first gathered together all the Sicilians he could, then summoned colonists from Corinth, since Syracuse had been founded by them in the first place. He restored the old citizens to their property and distributed the property that had been emptied by war to the new ones. He rebuilt the cities' ruined walls and deserted sanctuaries. He restored laws and liberty to the communities. In place of the largest war, he brought about such great peace in the whole island that he was considered the founder of these cities, not the men who originally established them. He razed the citadel in Syracuse, which had been fortified in order to place the city under siege, down to its foundations. He demolished the other bulwarks of the tyranny and exerted himself so that as little as possible remained of the many vestiges of their slavery. Although he had so much power that he could have commanded without consent, yet was so loved by all the Sicilians that he could have established a kingdom without opposition, he preferred to be loved than feared. Thus, as soon as he was able, he renounced his command and lived at Syracuse as a private citizen for the rest of his life. Nor did he do this awkwardly, for what other kings had controlled by command he held by goodwill. No honour was withheld from him and thereafter nothing official was done in Syracuse until it had been determined that Timoleon's opinion was in favour. No one else's advice was ever preferred in any way, in fact it was not even compared. This was done out of prudence as much as goodwill. 

IV. Since he was now of advanced age, he lost the light of his eyes without any illness. He bore this misfortune so moderately that no one ever heard him complain, nor was he any less involved in private and public affairs. On the contrary, he would come into the theatre when the people held assemblies there, brought by a pair of draught animals on account of his health and he would say what seemed right to him from the cart. Nor did anyone treat this as a sign of arrogance, for nothing excessive or extravagent ever left his lips. In fact, whenever he heard praise of himself proclaimed, he never said anything except that he gave the greatest thanks to the gods for this thing and that he held that, when they had decided to restore Sicily, they had considered him the most capable commander to do it. For he thought that no human affairs are done without the approval of the gods. Thus he established a shrine of Automatia[1] in his house and tended it very piously.

V. Because of the exceptional goodness of the man, miraculous events happened to him. For he led all his greatest battles on his birthday, as a result of which the whole of Sicily celebrated his birthday as a festival. When Laphystius, an impudent and ungrateful man wanted to impose bail on him, because he intended to take him to court, and a large number of people ran forward to punish the impudence of the man by force, Timoleon begged them all not to do it, since he had faced the largest labours and greatest dangers so that Laphystius and anyone else might be allowed to do this. For he said that this was the beauty of liberty: that anyone who wanted to was allowed to have recourse to the law. Again, when somone similar to Laphystius, named Damaenetus, began to disparage his deeds in an assembly of the people and let fly several words against Timoleon himself, he said that now at last he had to fulfill his vow, for he had always prayed to the immortal gods that he might restore such liberty to the Syracusans that anyone might be allowed to say whatever he wanted with impunity. When he had reached his final day, he was buried at public expense by the Syracusans in the gymnasium which is called the Timoleonteum, with all Sicily honouring him.

5 Kings.

I. These were basically all the generals of the Greek race who seem worthy of memory, except for the ings: for we did not want to deal with them because the deeds of all of them have been related separately. But there are not all that many of them. Moreover, the Lacedaemonian named Agesilaus was not a king in authority, just like the other Spartans. Truly, of those who achieved control by command, the most excellent were, as we judge it, the Persians Cyrus and Darius the son of Hystaspus, both of whom were regular individuals who gained a kingdom through their capability. The former fell in battle among the Massagetae; Darius reached his final day in old age. There are three more of this race: Xerxes and two Artaxerxae, nicknamed Macrochir[1] and Mnemon. Xerxes is extremely famous because with the largest army in human memory he brought war on land and sea to Greece. But Macrochir had the pinnacle of praise for his exceptional and beautiful bodily form, which he decorated with incredible capability in war: for indeed, no Persian had a stronger hand than him. But Mnemon flourished through his reputation for justice. For although he lost his wife through his mother's wickedness, he indulged his grief only as far as piety allowed him. Of these, the two with the same name returned their debt to nature by disease, the third was slain with iron by Artabanus his prefect.

II. But from the race of the Macedonians, two far exceeded the others in the glory of their deeds: Philippus, son of Amyntas and Alexander the Great. The latter wasted away from sickness in Babylon; Philippus was killed by Pausanias near the theatre at Aegiae when he was going to watch the games. There was one Epirote, Pyrrhus, who waged war against the Roman people. When he was besieging the town of Argos in the Peloponnesus, he was struck by a rock and died. There was also one Sicilian, Dionysius the Elder. For he had a strong hand and was skilled at war, and (unlike most tyrants) he was barely interested in pleasure, not interested in luxury, not greedy - he desired nothing except sole and perpetual command and to achieve that he was cruel: for while he devoting himself to fortifying it, he spared the life of no one who he thought was setting an ambush against him. After he had created his tyranny through his own capability, he held onto it with great good fortune: for he was over sixty years old when he died and left a flourishing kingdom. And in all those years, he saw no death in his family, although he had had children by three wives and many grandsons were born to him. 

III. There were, moreover, great kings from the friends of Alexander the Great, who took commands after his death, among whom were Antigonus and his son Demetrius, Lysimachus, Seleucus and Ptolemaeus. Of these, Antigonus was killed in battle when he bore arms agains Seleucus and Lysimachus. The same end was inflicted on Lysimachus by Seleucus: for when their alliance collapsed they waged war against each other. And Demetrius, when he had gave his daughter to Seleucus in marriage but had been no more able by this means to maintain a loyal frendship between them, was captured in battle and died as a father-in-law imprisoned by his son-in-law, from sickness. Not much later, Seleucus was assassinated by Ptolemaeus Ceraunus,[2] whom he had taken in after he was expelled from Alexandrea by his father and was in need of the help of strangers. But Ptolemaeus himself, handed his kingdom over to his son while still living and is said to have been deprived of life by that same son. Since we think that enough has been said about these men, it seems convenient not to pass over Hamilcar and Hannibal who are established to have exceeded all others born in Africa in greatness and shrewdness of mind.

6 Hamilcar.

I. Hamilcar, son of Hannibal, nicknamed Barca, the Karthaginian, in the first Punic War (but in its latest stages), while still a young man, began to command an army in Sicily. Although before his arrival things were going badly for the Karthaginians both on land and on sea, once he was present, he never gave way to the enemy nor gave them a chance to do harm. Often, on the contrary he attacked, when given an opportunity, and he always departed victorious. By this conduct, although the Phoenicians[1] had lost almost everything in Sicily, he defended Eryx so well that the war did not seem to be happening there. In the meanwhile, the Karthaginians were defeated at sea near the Aegatean islands by C. Lutatius, a consul of the Romans, so they decided to put an end to the war and entrusted this matter to Hamilcar's discretion. Although he burnt with desire for making war, he realised that he must serve peace, because he understood that his fatherland had been exhausted by exactions and could not bear the disasters of war for too long, so he determined that, if things were repaired a little bit, it would be possible to renew the war and persue the Romans with weapons, until either they conquered through manly virtue or were conquered and surrendured. With this intention he procured peace, he who was so fierce that, when Catulus refused to settle the war unless he and his men who held Eryx abandoned their weapons and left Sicily, he said that he would rather his fatherland fall and he perish than to return home so shamefully, for it was not part of his manly virtue to betray weapons taken from the fatherland against enemies. To this obstinancy, Catulus gave way.

II. But when he returned to Karthage, he realised that the state's condition was very different from what he had expected. For after such a long period of external war, a civil war flared up - Karthage would never face a more serious danger until it was destroyed. First, the mercenary troops, who<m they had used> against the Romans, revolted; they numbered twenty thousand. These mercenaries deprived them of the whole of Africa, besieged Karthage itself. The Phoenicians were so terrified by these enemies that they even requested military support from the Romans and they received this. But in the end, when they had almost given up hope, they made Hamilcar commander. He not only rebuffed the enemies from the walls of Karthage, when they were more than a hundred thousand soldiers, but herded them in such a way that they were shut in by the difficulty of the terrain and more died from hunger than from iron. All the lost towns, which included Utica and Hippo, the most valuable in all Africa, he restored to his fatherland. Nor was he satisfied with this, but he even extended the borders of the empire, returned all Africa to such peace that it seemed there had been no war there for many years.

III. After these things had been accomplished through his intelligence, he assumed an attitude which was confident and hostile to the Romans and, in order to more easily find a cause for war, he organised for himself to be sent to Hispania with an army as commander and he took his son Hannibal, who was nine years old, with him. There was also a brilliant, beautiful young man with him, Hasdrubal, whom not a few said was loved more dishonourably than was right by Hamilcar - for slanderers were not able to stay away from so great a man. As a result, Hasdrubal was forbidden to be with him by the prefect of traditional customs, so Hamilcar married his daughter to him, because it was not possible to keep a father-in-law from a son-in-law on the grounds of customs. We make mention of this man because, after Hamilcar was killed, he led the army and achieved great things and as leader he transgressed the most ancient customs of the Karthaginians in his corruption, and after his own death Hannibal received the command from the army.

IV. But after Hamilcar crossed the sea and entered Hispania, he accomplised great things with the support of fortune: He conquered the greatest and most warlike peoples, with horses, arms, men, money, he enriched all Africa. When he was considering bringing war to Italy, in the ninth year since he came to Hispania, he was killed fighting in battle against the Vettones. His eternal hatred for the Romans seems to have been the main cause of the second Punic war. For by his unremitting nagging, Hannibal was brought up so that he prefered to die than to leave the Romans untested.

7 Hannibal.

I. Hannibal, son of Hamilcar, the Carthaginian. If it is true, which no one doubts, that the Roman people exceed all races in virtue, it must not be denied that Hannibal surpassed other commanders in prudence by as much as the Roman people exceed all nations in fortitude. For whenever battle was met with him in Italy, he always came out on top. If he had not been debilitated by the envy of his own citizens at home, it seems that he could have overcome the Romans. But he maintained his father's hatred for the Romans (as if he had received it as an inheritance) so much that he would lay down his life before it. In fact, even when he had been expelled from his homeland and was reliant on the resources of others, he never ceased to wage war with the Romans in his mind.

II. For putting Philip to one side,[1] whom Hannibal turned into an enemy of the Romans without even meeting him, the most powerful king of that time was Antiochus.[2] Hannibal inflamed him with such a desire for waging war that he attempted to bring arms all the way from the Red Sea to Italy. When Roman envoys came to him to find out about his disposition and tried to use secretive stratagems to bring Hannibal into the suspicion of the king, as if he had been corrupted by them and thought differently from before, they did not labour in vain and Hannibal realised this and saw that he had been excluded from the inner council, so, when an opportunity presented itself, he went up to the king. When he had reminded him of many examples of his loyalty and of his hatred of the Romans, he added this: "my father, Hamilcar, when I was a little boy, not more than nine years old, set out for Spain as commander and made a sacrifice to Jupiter the Best and Greatest at Carthage. While he was carrying out this sacred thing, he asked me whether I wanted to go out into the field with him. When I accepted enthusiastically and started begging him not to hesitate to take me, then he said "I will take you, if you give me the proof of your dedication which I ask of you." At the same time, he led me up to the altar, were he had performed the sacrifice and, when everyone else had left, he ordered me to take hold of the altar and swear that I would never enter into friendship with the Romans. This formal oath,[3] given to my father, I have maintained up to this time, such that there ought to be no doubt for anyone whether I will be in the same mind for the rest of time. Why, if you are thinking anything amicably towards the Romans, you would not act imprudently if you hid this from me, while, on the other hand, if you were preparing for war, you would only thwart yourself if you did not put me in charge of it. 

III. So, at the age which I have stated, he set out to Spain with his father. After the latter's death, Hasdrubal succeeded as commander and Hannibal was placed in command of all the cavalry. When Hasdrubal was also killed, the army transmitted the supreme command to him. When this was reported at Carthage, it was publicly confirmed. So Hannibal, when he was less than twenty-five years old was made commander and in the next three years he subjugated all the races of Spain by war; Saguntum, an allied community, he conquered by force; he gathered up three very large armies. Of these, he sent one to Africa, he left another with his brother Hasdrubal in Spain, and he took the third with him into Italy. He crossed a Pyrenean mountain pass. Wherever he travelled, he came into conflict with all the inhabitants: he did not leave any enemy unconquered. After this he came to the Alps, which separate Italy from Gaul, which no one had ever crossed with an army before, except Hercules the Greek - for which reason this pass is today called "the Greek." He cut through the inhabitants of the Alps who tried to prevent him from crossing, he threw the way open, secured the routes, made it so that an armoured elephant could go where a single unarmed man could scarcely sneak through before. In this way he led his forces over and brought them into Italy. 

IV. They joined battle near the Rhone with Publius Cornelius Scipio, the consul,[4] and beat him. He clashed decisively with the same man at Clastidum, near the Po, wounded him and then sent him fleeing away.[5] For a third time, Scipio came against him with his colleague Tiberius Longus, near the Trebia.[6] He joined the melee with them and put them to flight. Then he crossed the Apennines through Ligurian territory, making for Etruria. On this journey, he was afflicted with a disease of the eyes, so serious that afterwards his right eye never fully recovered. Even as he was suffering from this state of health and had to be carried in a litter, he surrounded Gaius Flaminius the consul near Trasimene with his army and killed him in an ambush,[7] then, not much later, killed Gaius Centenius the praetor as well, who had occupied the woods with a picked band. From here he continued into Apulia. There two consuls came to block his progress: Gaius Terentius and Lucius Aemilius.[8] He routed both of their armies in a single battle, killed the consul Paulus[9] and some former consuls, including Gnaeus Servilius Geminus, who had been consul the year before. 

V. After this fight had been fought, he advanced on Rome with no one resisting him. In the mountains near the city he was held up. After he had maintained a camp there for a few days and then turned back towards Capua, Quintus Fabius Maximus, Roman Dictator, put himself in his way at Ager Falernus.[10] Hannibal, constricted by the narrowness of the place, extracted himself by night without any harm to his army and escaped Fabius, who was a very rash commander. For, when night fell, he tied sticks around the horns of bullocks, set them on fire and sent out a great number of these in all directions. With this unexpected sight placed before them, he struck so much fear into the army of the Romans that none of them dared to go out beyond the walls of their encampment. Not very many days after he had done this, he brought Marcus Minucius Rufus, master of the horse, who had authority equal even to the dictator, to battle by a trick and routed him. He lured Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, who was consul again,[11] into an ambush in Lucanian territory and destroyed him - without even being present. He killed Marcus Claudius Marcellus, consul for a fifth time, near Venosa, in the same way.[12] It would take too long to list all the battles. So this one statement will be enough to understand how great he was: the whole time he was in Italy, no one defeated him in battle, no one placed any army in the field against him after the Battle of Cannae.

VI. Then, he was recalled, undefeated, to defend his fatherland and waged war against Publius Scipio,[13] the son of the man whom he had routed first by the Rhone, then by the Po and for a third time by the Trebbia. Since the resources of his fatherland were now exhausted, he wanted to end the war with him for the time being, so that he might re-engage more stongly later. He met to negotiate, but their demands did not meet. A few days after this happened, Hannibal clashed with him near Zama.[14] Knocked back, amazingly, in two days and two nights he made it to Hadrumetum, which is about three hundred thousand paces from Zama.[15] During this escape, the Numidians who had withdrawn from battle with him, turned on him. He didn't just drive them off, he crushed them. At Hadrumetum, he gathered the remaining men from the escape; with new levies, he gathered together many men in a few days. 

VII. While he was so ardently occupied with preparations, the Carthaginians ended the war with the Romans. Afterwards he was no less in charge of the army and carried on in Africa until the year when Publius Sulpicius and Gaius Aurelius were consuls.[16] For when they were magistrates, Carthaginian envoys came to Rome, who gave thanks to the Roman senate and people for making peace with them and gave them a gold crown for this; at the same time, they asked that the hostage Carthaginians be kept at Fregellae and that the Carthaginian prisoners of war be returned. A decree from the Senate responded that their gift was appreciated and accepted, the hostages would be kept at the location they had requested, but that the prisoners of war would not be returned, because even now they retained Hannibal, the greatest enemy to the Roman name, whose action had caused the war, in command of an army - and his brother Mago too. When they received this response, the Carthaginians summoned Hannibal and Mago home. When he returned, he was made king, after he had been praetor for twenty-two years. For two kings are appointed each year in Carthage, like the consuls in Rome. Hannibal devoted himself to this magistracy with same diligence as he had given to the war. By means of new taxes, he not only ensured that there was money, for the fine which the Romans had charged in the peace treaty, but even that there was a surplus, which he placed in the treasury. Then, when Marcus Claudius and Lucius Furius were consuls,[17] envoys came to Carthage from Rome. Since Hannibal thought they had been sent to have him delivered up, he boarded a ship and escaped to Antiochus in Syria before an audience with the senate could be given to them. When this became known, the Carthaginians sent two ships which were to arrest him if they were able to catch him, they confiscated his property, razed his house to the ground and declared him an exile. 

VIII. But in the third year after he had fled his home, when Lucius Cornelius and Quintus Minucius were consuls,[18] Hannibal came into Africa to the Cyrenaican border [with Carthage], to see if perhaps he could bring the Carthaginians into the war by hope and faith in Antiochus, whom he had now convinced to advance into Italy with an army. He summoned his brother Mago to this place. When the Phoenicians[19] learnt this they inflicted the same punishment on Mago, as they had on his brother, in absentia. They gave up on this venture, untied their ships and opened their sails to the wind, and Hannibal travelled to Antiochus. About the death of Mago, two different stories are recorded. For some have left a written record that he was killed in a shipwreck and others that he was killed by his own servants. And as for Antiochus, if he had been as willing to rely on Hannibal's advice in the conduct of the war as he had been determined in his enthusiasm for it, then he would have contended for ultimate authority nearer to the Tiber than Thermopylae.[20] Although Hannibal saw that [Antiochus] had acted very foolishly, he did not spare any effort. He led the few ships that he had ordered to bring to Asia[21] from Syria, brought them into battle with the Rhodians' fleet in the sea off Pamphylia. Although they bested him as a result of the size of their forces, he was victorious on the wing where he commanded.

IX. When Antiochus had fled, Hannibal feared that he would be betrayed, which no doubt would have happened, if he had given him the opportunity, so he went to Crete, to the Gortynians,[22] in order to consider where to direct himself. But, as the most cunning of all men, he saw that he would be in great danger, unless he took precautions, on account of the greed of the Cretans. For he had a lot of money with him and he knew that rumours about this would get out. So he made this plan: he filled many amphorae with lead and covered it over on top with gold and silver. He deposited these in the temple of Diana, with the leaders present, pretending that he was entrusting his fortune to their faithfulness. Once they had been tricked, he filled some bronze statues, which he had brought with him, with all his money and left them out in the open at his house. The Gortynians guarded the temple with the greatest care, not so much from other people as from Hannibal, to ensure that he did not remove [his money] and take it away with him without their knowledge.

X. Having kept his things safe and tricked all the Cretans, the Phoenician[19] travelled to Prusias in Pontus.[23] At his court, he maintained the same attitude towards Italy and worked to achieve nothing other than to arm the king and campaign against the Romans. When he saw that Prusias' domestic resources were less than firm, he made overtures to the other kings; he added war-like peoples. The Pergamene king Eumenes, a very good friend of the Romans,[24] opposed him and war was waged between them on land and sea. But on both, Eumenes did better on account of his alliance with the Romans. For this reason, Hannibal wanted to crush him even more, judging that if he removed him, everything else would be easier for him. In order to kill him, he initiated this plan. They were a few days away from having a naval battle. He was at a disadvantage in the number of ships; the battle was to be fought by a trick, since he was not a match for him in forces. He commanded that a great number of live venemous snakes be collected and stuffed into earthen jars. When he had produced a great number of these (on the same day on which he intended to have the naval battle), then he called together the captains and instructed them all to rush at the one ship of King Eumenes and that they should consider it enough just to defend themselves against the other ships. He promised that they would easily achieve this by means of the great number of snakes, but that he would ensure that they knew which ship the king was in, and that, if they captured him or killed him, there would be a great reward for them. 

XI. After the exhortation of the troops, the fleets were led into battle by both sides. When they were drawn up in a line, before the sign was given to attack, in order to make clear to his forces where Euemenes was, sent out a letter-carrier with an official staff in a dinghy. When he reached the enemies' ships, he showed them a letter, claimed that he was seeking the king and was immediately led to the king, because no one suspected that it was anything other than a letter about peace. When the the ship of the commander had been indicated to them, the letter-carrier withdrew to place he had set out from. But when the letter was opened, Eumenes found nothing in it, except things intended to enrage him. And yet he did not wonder about the reason for this or realise what it was; instead he did not hesitate to join battle immediately. In accordance with Hannibal's instruction, the Bithynians charged at Eumenes' ship alogether in a rush. Since the king could not withstand the power of their assault, he sought safety by flight, which he would not have achieved, had he not withdrawn into his encampment, which was located on the nearby shore. When the rest of the Pergamene ships were pressing heavily on their enemies, suddenly the earthen jars which we made mention of above began to be thrown into their midst. When these were thrown, at first, they spurred the combatants to laughter, since they could not understand why they had done this. But then they realised that their ships were full of snakes. They were completely terrified by this unprecedented thing and, since they did not know what was the most important thing to avoid, they turned tail and withdrew to their naval base. Thus Hannibal overcame the forces of the Pergamenes by a strategem, and not just on that occasion, but often at other times he defeated enemies with land forces by means of similar tactical skill.

XII. While these things were being done in Asia, it happened by chance that envoys of Prusias at Rome had dinner in the house of Titus Quinctius Flamininus the ex-consul,[25] and when Hannibal was mentioned there, one of them said that he was in Prusias' kingdom. The next day, Flamininus reported this to the senate. The conscript fathers,[26] who considered that they would never be free from plots while Hannibal was alive, sent envoys to Bithynia, including Flamininus among them, to demand that he stop hosting their greatest enemy and give him to them. Prusias did not dare to deny them: he objected that they were asking something of him which was contrary to the law of hospitality and that they should arrest him themselves, if the could, saying that they could easily discover the place where he was. For Hannibal maintained himself at one location, in a castle, which had been given to him by the king as a gift and which he had renovated so that there were exits in all parts of the building, clearly fearing that what happened would occur. When the Roman envoys reached this place and had surrounded his home with a lage number of troops, a slave looked out the door and told Hannibal that more soldiers than usual had appeared. He ordered him to go round all the doors of the building and report to him quickly whether he was besieged in this way on all sides. When the slave quickly reported back that it was so and he had made clear that all the exits were blocked, Hannibal sensed that this was not by chance, that he was under attack and that not much more time was left for him to live. Rather than surrender his life to the judgement of another and mindful of traditional virtues, he drank the poison which he had always had with him.

XIII. Thus the bravest man, having completed many different deeds, passed on in his seventieth year. Who the consuls were when he died is not agreed. For Atticus[27] recorded in his Annals that he died when Marcus Claudius Marcellus and Quintus Fabius Labeo where consuls,[28] but Polybius[29] says Lucius Aemilius Paulus and Gnaeus Baebius Tamphilius were consuls,[30] and Sulpicius Blitho says Publius Cornelius Cethegus and Marcus Baebius Tamphilus were consuls.[31] And although such a great man and occupied in such great wars, he did not give no time to literature. For there are several books of his, written in the Greek language, including To the Rhodians about the deeds of Gnaeus Manlius Volso in Asia. Many published records of his military deeds, but two of them who were with him in the castle and also survived, as long as fate allowed, were Silenus and Sosylus the Lacedaemonian.[32] Hannibal also employed this Sosylus as a tutor in Greek literature. But it is time for us to make an end of this book and recount the commanders of the Romans, so that, with the acts of both placed side-by-side, it can more easily be judged which men ought to be most esteemed.