Cleander was a man of high birth and great power in the city of Mantinea, but by the chances of the time happened to be driven from thence. There being an intimate friendship betwixt him and Craugis, the father of Philopoemen, who was a person of great distinction, he settled at Megalopolis, where, while his friend lived, he had all he could desire. When Craugis died, he repaid the father's hospitable kindness in the care of the orphan son; by which means Philopoemen was educated by him, as Homer says Achilles was by Phoenix, and from his infancy molded to lofty and noble inclinations. But Ecdemus and Demophanes had the principal tuition of him, after he was past the years of childhood. They were both Megalopolitans; they had been scholars in the academic philosophy, and friends to Arcesilaus, and had, more than any of their contemporaries, brought philosophy to bear upon action, and state affairs. They had freed their country from tyranny by the death of Aristodemus, whom they caused to be killed; they had assisted Aratus in driving out the tyrant Nicocles from Sicyon; and, at the request of the Cyreneans, whose city was in a state of extreme disorder and confusion, went thither by sea, and succeeded in establishing good government and happily settling their commonwealth. And among their best actions they themselves counted the education of Philopoemen, thinking they had done a general good to Greece, by giving him the nurture of philosophy. And indeed all Greece (which looked upon him as a kind of latter birth brought forth, after so many noble leaders, in her decrepit age) loved him wonderfully; and, as his glory grew, increased his power. And one of the Romans, to praise him, calls him the last of the Greeks; as if after him Greece had produced no great man, nor who deserved the name of Greek.
His person was not, as some fancy, deformed; for his likeness is yet to be seen at Delphi. The mistake of the hostess of Megara was occasioned, it would seem, merely by his easiness of temper and his plain manners. This hostess having word brought her, that the General of the Achaeans was coming to her house in the absence of her husband, was all in a hurry about providing his supper. Philopoemen, in an ordinary cloak, arriving in this point of time, she took him for one of his own train who had been sent on before, and bid him lend her his hand in her household work. He forthwith threw off his cloak, and fell to cutting up the fire-wood. The husband returning, and seeing him at it, "What," says he, "may this mean, O Philopoemen?" "I am," replied he in his Doric dialect, "paying the penalty of my ugly looks." Titus Flamininus, jesting with him upon his figure, told him one day, he had well-shaped hands and feet, but no belly: and he was indeed slender in the waist. But this raillery was meant to the poverty of his fortune; for he had good horse and foot, but often wanted money to entertain and pay them. These are the common anecdotes told of Philopoemen.
The love of honor and distinction was, in his character, not unalloyed with feelings of personal rivalry and resentment. He made Epaminondas his great example, and came not far behind him in activity, sagacity, and incorruptible integrity; but his hot contentious temper continually carried him out of the bounds of that gentleness, composure, and humanity which had marked Epaminondas, and this made him thought a pattern rather of military than of civil virtue. He was strongly inclined to the life of a soldier even from his childhood, and he studied and practiced all that belonged to it, taking great delight in managing of horses, and handling of weapons. Because he was naturally fitted to excel in wrestling, some of his friends and tutors recommended his attention to athletic exercises. But he would first be satisfied whether it would not interfere with his becoming a good soldier. They told him, as was the truth, that the one life was directly opposite to the other; the requisite state of body, the ways of living, and the exercises all different: the professed athlete sleeping much, and feeding plentifully, punctually regular in his set times of exercise and rest, and apt to spoil all by every little excess, or breach of his usual method; whereas the soldier ought to train himself in every variety of change and irregularity, and, above all, to bring himself to endure hunger and loss of sleep without difficulty. Philopoemen, hearing this, not only laid by all thoughts of wrestling and contemned it then, but when he came to be general, discouraged it by all marks of reproach and dishonor he could imagine, as a thing which made men, otherwise excellently fit for war, to be utterly useless and unable to fight on necessary occasions.
When he left off his masters and teachers, and began to bear arms in the incursions which his citizens used to make upon the Lacedaemonians for pillage and plunder, he would always march out the first, and return the last. When there was nothing to do, he sought to harden his body, and make it strong and active by hunting, or laboring in his ground. He had a good estate about twenty furlongs from the town, and thither he would go every day after dinner and supper; and when night came, throw himself upon the first mattress in his way, and there sleep as one of the laborers. At break of day he would rise with the rest, and work either in the vineyard or at the plow; from thence return again to the town, and employ his time with his friends, or the magistrates in public business. What he got in the wars, he laid out on horses, or arms, or in ransoming captives; but endeavored to improve his own property the justest way, by tillage; and this not slightly, by way of diversion, but thinking it his strict duty, so to manage his own fortune, as to be out of the temptation of wronging others.
He spent much time on eloquence and philosophy, but selected his authors, and cared only for those by whom he might profit in virtue. In Homer's fictions his attention was given to whatever he thought apt to raise the courage. Of all other books he was most devoted to the commentaries of Evangelus on military tactics, and also took delight, at leisure hours, in the histories of Alexander; thinking that such reading, unless undertaken for mere amusement and idle conversation, was to the purpose for action. Even in speculations on military subjects it was his habit to neglect maps and diagrams, and to put the theorems to practical proof on the ground itself. He would be exercising his thoughts, and considering, as he traveled, and arguing with those about him of the difficulties of steep or broken ground, what might happen at rivers, ditches, or mountain-passes, in marching in close or in open, in this or in that particular form of battle. The truth is, he indeed took an immoderate pleasure in military operations and in warfare, to which he devoted himself, as the special means for exercising all sorts of virtue, and utterly contemned those who were not soldiers, as drones and useless in the commonwealth.
When he was thirty years of age, Cleomenes, king of the Lacedaemonians, surprised Megalopolis by night, forced the guards, broke in, and seized the marketplace. Philopoemen came out upon the alarm, and fought with desperate courage, but could not beat the enemy out again; yet he succeeded in effecting the escape of the citizens, who got away while he made head against the pursuers, and amused Cleomenes, till, after losing his horse and receiving several wounds, with much ado he came off himself, being the last man in the retreat. The Megalopolitans escaped to Messene, whither Cleomenes sent to offer them their town and goods again. Philopoemen perceiving them to be only too glad at the news, and eager to return, checked them with a speech, in which he made them sensible, that what Cleomenes called restoring the city, was, rather, possessing himself of the citizens, and through their means securing also the city for the future. The mere solitude would, of itself, erelong force him away, since there was no staying to guard empty houses and naked walls. These reasons withheld the Megalopolitans, but gave Cleomenes a pretext to pillage and destroy a great part of the city, and carry away a great booty.
Awhile after king Antigonus coming down to succor the Achaeans, they marched with their united forces against Cleomenes; who, having seized the avenues, lay advantageously posted on the hills of Sellasia. Antigonus drew up close by him, with a resolution to force him in his strength. Philopoemen, with his citizens, was that day placed among the horse, next to the Illyrian foot, a numerous body of bold fighters, who completed the line of battle, forming, together with the Achaeans, the reserve. Their orders were to keep their ground, and not engage till from the other wing, where the king fought in person, they should see a red coat lifted up on the point of a spear. The Achaeans obeyed their order, and stood fast; but the Illyrians were led on by their commanders to the attack. Euclidas, the brother of Cleomenes, seeing the foot thus severed from the horse, detached the best of his light-armed men, commanding them to wheel about, and charge the unprotected Illyrians in the rear. This charge putting things in confusion, Philopoemen, considering those light-armed men would be easily repelled, went first to the king's officers to make them sensible what the occasion required. But they not minding what he said, but slighting him as a hare-brained fellow, (as indeed he was not yet of any repute sufficient to give credit to a proposal of such importance,) he charged with his own citizens, and at the first encounter disordered, and soon after put the troops to flight with great slaughter. Then, to encourage the king's army further, to bring them all upon the enemy while he was in confusion, he quitted his horse, and fighting with extreme difficulty in his heavy horseman's dress, in rough uneven ground, full of watercourses and hollows, had both his thighs struck through with a thonged javelin. It was thrown with great force, so that the head came out on the other side, and made a severe, though not a mortal, wound. There he stood awhile, as if he had been shackled, unable to move. The fastening which joined the thong to the javelin made it difficult to get it drawn out, nor would any about him venture to do it. But the fight being now at the hottest, and likely to be quickly decided, he was transported with the desire of partaking in it, and struggled and strained so violently, setting one leg forward, the other back, that at last he broke the shaft in two; and thus got the pieces pulled out. Being in this manner set at liberty, he caught up his sword, and running through the midst of those who were fighting in the first ranks, animated his men, and set them afire with emulation. Antigonus, after the victory, asked the Macedonians, to try them, how it happened the horse had charged without orders before the signal? They answering, that they were against their wills forced to it by a young man of Megalopolis, who had fallen in before his time: "that young man," replied Antigonus, smiling, "did like an experienced commander."
This, as was natural, brought Philopoemen into great reputation. Antigonus was earnest to have him in his service, and offered him very advantageous conditions, both as to command and pay. But Philopoemen, who knew that his nature brooked not to be under another, would not accept them; yet not enduring to live idle, and hearing of wars in Crete, for practice' sake he passed over thither. He spent some time among those very warlike, and, at the same time, sober and temperate men, improving much by experience in all sorts of service; and then returned with so much fame, that the Achaeans presently chose him commander of the horse. These horsemen at that time had neither experience nor bravery, it being the custom to take any common horses, the first and cheapest they could procure, when they were to march; and on almost all occasions they did not go themselves, but hired others in their places, and staid at home. Their former commanders winked at this, because, it being an honor among the Achaeans to serve on horseback, these men had great power in the commonwealth, and were able to gratify or molest whom they pleased. Philopoemen, finding them in this condition, yielded not to any such considerations, nor would pass it over as formerly; but went himself from town to town, where, speaking with the young men, one by one, he endeavored to excite a spirit of ambition and love of honor among them, using punishment also, where it was necessary. And then by public exercises, reviews, and contests in the presence of numerous spectators, in a little time he made them wonderfully strong and bold, and, which is reckoned of greatest consequence in military service, light and agile. With use and industry they grew so perfect, to such a command of their horses, such a ready exactness in wheeling round in their troops, that in any change of posture the whole body seemed to move with all the facility and promptitude, and, as it were, with the single will of one man. In the great battle, which they fought with the Aetolians and Eleans by the river Larissus, he set them an example himself. Damophantus, general of the Elean horse, singled out Philopoemen, and rode with full speed at him. Philopoemen awaited his charge, and, before receiving the stroke, with a violent blow of his spear threw him dead to the ground: upon whose fall the enemy fled immediately. And now Philopoemen was in everybody's mouth, as a man who in actual fighting with his own hand yielded not to the youngest, nor in good conduct to the oldest, and than whom there came not into the field any better soldier or commander.
Aratus, indeed, was the first who raised the Achaeans, inconsiderable till then, into reputation and power, by uniting their divided cities into one commonwealth, and establishing amongst them a humane and truly Grecian form of government; and hence it happened, as in running waters, where when a few little particles of matter once stop, others stick to them, and one part strengthening another, the whole becomes firm and solid; so in a general weakness, when every city relying only on itself, all Greece was giving way to an easy dissolution, the Achaeans, first forming themselves into a body, then drawing in their neighbors round about, some by protection, delivering them from their tyrants, others by peaceful consent and by naturalization, designed at last to bring all Peloponnesus into one community. Yet while Aratus lived, they depended much on the Macedonians, courting first Ptolemy, then Antigonus and Philip, who all took part continually in whatever concerned the affairs of Greece. But when Philopoemen came to command, the Achaeans, feeling themselves a match for the most powerful of their enemies, declined foreign support. The truth is, Aratus, as we have written in his life, was not of so warlike a temper, but did most by policy and gentleness, and friendships with foreign princes; but Philopoemen being a man both of execution and command, a great soldier, and fortunate in his first attempts, wonderfully heightened both the power and courage of the Achaeans, accustomed to victory under his conduct.
But first he altered what he found amiss in their arms, and form of battle. Hitherto they had used light, thin bucklers, too narrow to cover the body, and javelins much shorter than pikes. By which means they were skillful in skirmishing at a distance, but in a close fight had much the disadvantage. Then in drawing their forces up for battle, they were never accustomed to form in regular divisions; and their line being unprotected either by the thick array of projecting spears or by their shields, as in the Macedonian phalanx, where the soldiers shoulder close and their shields touch, they were easily opened, and broken. Philopoemen reformed all this, persuading them to change the narrow target and short javelin, into a large shield and long pike; to arm their heads, bodies, thighs, and legs; and instead of loose skirmishing, fight firmly and foot to foot. After he had brought them all to wear full armor, and by that means into the confidence of thinking themselves now invincible, he turned what before had been idle profusion and luxury into an honorable expense. For being long used to vie with each other in their dress, the furniture of their houses, and service of their tables, and to glory in outdoing one another, the disease by custom was grown incurable, and there was no possibility of removing it altogether. But he diverted the passion, and brought them, instead of these superfluities, to love useful and more manly display, and, reducing their other expenses, to take delight in appearing magnificent in their equipage of war. Nothing then was to be seen in the shops but plate breaking up, or melting down, gilding of breastplates, and studding bucklers and bits with silver; nothing in the places of exercise, but horses managing, and young men exercising their arms; nothing in the hands of the women, but helmets and crests of feathers to be dyed, and military cloaks and riding-frocks to be embroidered; the very sight of all which quickening and raising their spirits, made them contemn dangers, and feel ready to venture on any honorable dangers. Other kinds of sumptuosity give us pleasure, but make us effeminate; the tickling of the sense slackening the vigor of the mind; but magnificence of this kind strengthens and heightens the courage; as Homer makes Achilles at the sight of his new arms exulting with joy, and on fire to use them. When Philopoemen had obtained of them to arm, and set themselves out in this manner, he proceeded to train them, mustering and exercising them perpetually; in which they obeyed him with great zeal and eagerness. For they were wonderfully pleased with their new form of battle, which, being so knit and cemented together, seemed almost incapable of being broken. And then their arms, which for their riches and beauty they wore with pleasure, becoming light and easy to them with constant use, they longed for nothing more than to try them with an enemy, and fight in earnest.
The Achaeans at that time were at war with Machanidas, the tyrant of Lacedaemon, who, having a strong army watched all opportunities of becoming entire master of Peloponnesus. When intelligence came that he was fallen upon the Mantineans, Philopoemen forthwith took the field, and marched towards him. They met near Mantinea, and drew up in sight of the city. Both, besides the whole strength of their several cities, had a good number of mercenaries in pay. When they came to fall on, Machanidas, with his hired soldiers, beat the spearmen and the Tarentines whom Philopoemen had placed in the front. But when he should have charged immediately into the main battle, which stood close and firm, he hotly followed the chase; and instead of attacking the Achaeans, passed on beyond them, while they remained drawn up in their place. With so untoward a beginning the rest of the confederates gave themselves up for lost; but Philopoemen, professing to make it a matter of small consequence, and observing the enemy's oversight, who had thus left an opening in their main body, and exposed their own phalanx, made no sort of motion to oppose them, but let them pursue the chase freely, till they had placed themselves at a great distance from him. Then seeing the Lacedaemonians before him deserted by their horse, with their flanks quite bare, he charged suddenly, and surprised them without a commander, and not so much as expecting an encounter, as, when they saw Machanidas driving the beaten enemy before him, they thought the victory already gained. He overthrew them with great slaughter, (they report above four thousand killed in the place,) and then faced about against Machanidas, who was returning with his mercenaries from the pursuit. There happened to be a broad deep ditch between them, along side of which both rode their horses for awhile, the one trying to get over and fly, the other to hinder him. It looked less like the contest between two generals than like the last defense of some wild beast, brought to bay by the keen huntsman Philopoemen, and forced to fight for his life. The tyrant's horse was mettled and strong; and feeling the bloody spurs in his sides, ventured to take the ditch. He had already so far reached the other side, as to have planted his fore-feet upon it, and was struggling to raise himself with these, when Simmias and Polyaenus, who used to fight by the side of Philopoemen, came up on horseback to his assistance. But Philopoemen, before either of them, himself met Machanidas; and perceiving that the horse with his head high reared, covered his master's body, he turned his own a little, and holding his javelin by the middle, drove it against the tyrant with all his force, and tumbled him dead into the ditch. Such is the precise posture in which he stands at Delphi in the brazen statue which the Achaeans set up of him, in admiration of his valor in this single combat, and conduct during the whole day.
We are told that at the Nemean games, a little after this victory, Philopoemen being then General the second time, and at leisure on the occasion of the solemnity, first showed the Greeks his army drawn up in full array as if they were to fight, and executed with it all the maneuvers of a battle with wonderful order, strength, and celerity. After which he went into the theater, while the musicians were singing for the prize, followed by the young soldiers in their military cloaks and their scarlet frocks under their armor, all in the very height of bodily vigor, and much alike in age, showing a high respect to their general; yet breathing at the same time a noble confidence in themselves, raised by success in many glorious encounters. Just at their coming in, it so happened, that the musician Pylades, with a voice well suited to the lofty style of the poet, was in the act of commencing the Persians of Timotheus,
Under his conduct Greece was glorious and was free.
The whole theater at once turned to look at Philopoemen, and clapped with delight; their hopes venturing once more to return to their country's former reputation; and their feelings almost rising to the height of their ancient spirit.
It was with the Achaeans as with young horses, which go quietly with their usual riders, but grow unruly and restive under strangers. The soldiers, when any service was in hand, and Philopoemen not at their head, grew dejected and looked about for him; but if he once appeared, came presently to themselves, and recovered their confidence and courage, being sensible that this was the only one of their commanders whom the enemy could not endure to face; but, as appeared in several occasions, were frighted with his very name. Thus we find that Philip, king of Macedon, thinking to terrify the Achaeans into subjection again, if he could rid his hands of Philopoemen, employed some persons privately to assassinate him. But the treachery coming to light, he became infamous, and lost his character through Greece. The Boeotians besieging Megara, and ready to carry the town by storm, upon a groundless rumor that Philopoemen was at hand with succor, ran away, and left their scaling ladders at the wall behind them. Nabis, (who was tyrant of Lacedaemon after Machanidas,) had surprised Messene at a time when Philopoemen was out of command. He tried to persuade Lysippus, then General of the Achaeans, to succor Messene: but not prevailing with him, because, he said, the enemy being now within it, the place was irrecoverably lost, he resolved to go himself, without order or commission, followed merely by his own immediate fellow-citizens who went with him as their general by commission from nature, which had made him fittest to command. Nabis, hearing of his coming, though his army quartered within the town, thought it not convenient to stay; but stealing out of the furthest gate with his men, marched away with all the speed he could, thinking himself a happy man if he could get off with safety. And he did escape; but Messene was rescued.
All hitherto makes for the praise and honor of Philopoemen. But when at the request of the Gortynians he went away into Crete to command for them, at a time when his own country was distressed by Nabis, he exposed himself to the charge of either cowardice, or unseasonable ambition of honor amongst foreigners. For the Megalopolitans were then so pressed, that, the enemy being master of the field and encamping almost at their gates, they were forced to keep themselves within their walls, and sow their very streets. And he in the mean time, across the seas, waging war and commanding in chief in a foreign nation, furnished his ill-wishers with matter enough for their reproaches. Some said he took the offer of the Gortynians, because the Achaeans chose other generals, and left him but a private man. For he could not endure to sit still, but looking upon war and command in it as his great business, always coveted to be employed. And this agrees with what he once aptly said of king Ptolemy. Somebody was praising him for keeping his army and himself in an admirable state of discipline and exercise: "And what praise," replied Philopoemen, "for a king of his years, to be always preparing, and never performing?" However, the Megalopolitans, thinking themselves betrayed, took it so ill, that they were about to banish him. But the Achaeans put an end to that design, by sending their General, Aristaeus, to Megalopolis, who, though he were at difference with Philopoemen about affairs of the commonwealth, yet would not suffer him to be banished. Philopoemen finding himself upon this account out of favor with his citizens, induced divers of the little neighboring places to renounce obedience to them, suggesting to them to urge that from the beginning they were not subject to their taxes, or laws, or any way under their command. In these pretenses he openly took their part, and fomented seditious movements amongst the Achaeans in general against Megalopolis. But these things happened a while after.
While he stayed in Crete, in the service of the Gortynians, he made war not like a Peloponnesian and Arcadian, fairly in the open field, but fought with them at their own weapon, and turning their stratagems and tricks against themselves, showed them they played craft against skill, and were but children to an experienced soldier. Having acted here with great bravery, and great reputation to himself, he returned into Peloponnesus, where he found Philip beaten by Titus Quintius, and Nabis at war both with the Romans and Achaeans. He was at once chosen general against Nabis, but venturing to fight by sea, met, like Epaminondas, with a result very contrary to the general expectation, and his own former reputation. Epaminondas, however, according to some statements, was backward by design, unwilling to give his countrymen an appetite for the advantages of the sea, lest from good soldiers, they should by little and little turn, as Plato says, to ill mariners. And therefore he returned from Asia and the Islands without doing any thing, on purpose. Whereas Philopoemen, thinking his skill in land-service would equally avail at sea, learned how great a part of valor experience is, and how much it imports in the management of things to be accustomed to them. For he was not only put to the worst in the fight for want of skill, but having rigged up an old ship, which had been a famous vessel forty years before, and shipped his citizens in her, she foundering, he was in danger of losing them all. But finding the enemy, as if he had been driven out of the sea, had, in contempt of him, besieged Gythium, he presently set sail again, and, taking them unexpectedly, dispersed and careless after their victory, landed in the night, burnt their camp, and killed a great number.
A few days after, as he was marching through a rough country, Nabis came suddenly upon him. The Achaeans were dismayed, and in such difficult ground where the enemy had secured the advantage, despaired to get off with safety. Philopoemen made a little halt, and, viewing the ground, soon made it appear, that the one important thing in war is skill in drawing up an army. For by advancing only a few paces, and, without any confusion or trouble, altering his order according to the nature of the place, he immediately relieved himself from every difficulty, and then charging, put the enemy to flight. But when he saw they fled, not towards the city, but dispersed every man a different way all over the field, which for wood and hills, brooks and hollows was not passable by horse, he sounded a retreat, and encamped by broad daylight. Then foreseeing the enemy would endeavor to steal scatteringly into the city in the dark, he posted strong parties of the Achaeans all along the watercourses and sloping ground near the walls. Many of Nabis's men fell into their hands. For returning not in a body, but as the chance of flight had disposed of every one, they were caught like birds ere they could enter into the town.
These actions obtained him distinguished marks of affection and honor in all the theaters of Greece, but not without the secret ill-will of Titus Flamininus, who was naturally eager for glory, and thought it but reasonable a consul of Rome should be otherwise esteemed by the Achaeans, than a common Arcadian; especially as there was no comparison between what he, and what Philopoemen had done for them, he having by one proclamation restored all Greece, as much as had been subject to Philip and the Macedonians, to liberty. After this, Titus made peace with Nabis, and Nabis was circumvented and slain by the Aetolians. Things being then in confusion at Sparta, Philopoemen laid hold of the occasion, and coming upon them with an army, prevailed with some by persuasion, with others by fear, till he brought the whole city over to the Achaeans. As it was no small matter for Sparta to become a member of Achaea, this action gained him infinite praise from the Achaeans, for having strengthened their confederacy by the addition of so great and powerful a city, and not a little good-will from the nobility of Sparta itself, who hoped they had now procured an ally, who would defend their freedom. Accordingly, having raised a sum of one hundred and twenty silver talents by the sale of the house and goods of Nabis, they decreed him the money, and sent a deputation in the name of the city to present it. But here the honesty of Philopoemen showed itself clearly to be a real, uncounterfeited virtue. For first of all, there was not a man among them who would undertake to make him this offer of a present, but every one excusing himself, and shifting it off upon his fellow, they laid the office at last on Timolaus, with whom he had lodged at Sparta. Then Timolaus came to Megalopolis, and was entertained by Philopoemen; but struck into admiration with the dignity of his life and manners, and the simplicity of his habits, judging him to be utterly inaccessible to any such considerations, he said nothing, but pretending other business, returned without a word mentioned of the present. He was sent again, and did just as formerly. But the third time with much ado, and faltering in his words, he acquainted Philopoemen with the good-will of the city of Sparta to him. Philopoemen listened obligingly and gladly; and then went himself to Sparta, where he advised them, not to bribe good men and their friends, of whose virtue they might be sure without charge to themselves; but to buy off and silence ill citizens, who disquieted the city with their seditious speeches in the public assemblies; for it was better to bar liberty of speech in enemies, than friends. Thus it appeared how much Philopoemen was above bribery.
Diophanes being afterwards General of the Achaeans, and hearing the Lacedaemonians were bent on new commotions, resolved to chastise them; they, on the other side, being set upon war, were embroiling all Peloponnesus. Philopoemen on this occasion did all he could to keep Diophanes quiet and to make him sensible that as the times went, while Antiochus and the Romans were disputing their pretensions with vast armies in the heart of Greece, it concerned a man in his position to keep a watchful eye over them, and dissembling, and putting up with any less important grievances, to preserve all quiet at home. Diophanes would not be ruled, but joined with Titus, and both together falling into Laconia, marched directly to Sparta. Philopoemen, upon this, took, in his indignation, a step which certainly was not lawful, nor in the strictest sense just, but boldly and loftily conceived. Entering into the town himself, he, a private man as he was, refused admission to both the consul of Rome, and the General of the Achaeans, quieted the disorders in the city, and reunited it on the same terms as before to the Achaean confederacy.
Yet afterwards, when he was General himself, upon some new misdemeanor of the Lacedaemonians, he brought back those who had been banished, put, as Polybius writes, eighty, according to Aristocrates three hundred and fifty, Spartans to death, razed the walls, took away a good part of their territory and transferred it to the Megalopolitans, forced out of the country and carried into Achaea all who had been made citizens of Sparta by tyrants, except three thousand who would not submit to banishment. These he sold for slaves, and with the money, as if to insult over them, built a colonnade at Megalopolis. Lastly, unworthily trampling upon the Lacedaemonians in their calamities, and gratifying his hostility by a most oppressive and arbitrary action, he abolished the laws of Lycurgus, and forced them to educate their children, and live after the manner of the Achaeans; as though, while they kept to the discipline of Lycurgus, there was no humbling their haughty spirits. In their present distress and adversity they allowed Philopoemen thus to cut the sinews of their commonwealth asunder, and behaved themselves humbly and submissively. But afterwards in no long time, obtaining the support of the Romans, they abandoned their new Achaean citizenship; and as much as in so miserable and ruined a condition they could, reestablished their ancient discipline.
When the war betwixt Antiochus and the Romans broke out in Greece, Philopoemen was a private man. He repined grievously, when he saw Antiochus lay idle at Chalcis, spending his time in unseasonable courtship and weddings, while his men lay dispersed in several towns, without order or commanders, and minding nothing but their pleasures. He complained much that he was not himself in office, and said he envied the Romans their victory; and that if he had had the fortune to be then in command, he would have surprised and killed the whole army in the taverns.
When Antiochus was overcome, the Romans pressed harder upon Greece, and encompassed the Achaeans with their power; the popular leaders in the several cities yielded before them; and their power speedily, under the divine guidance, advanced to the consummation due to it in the revolutions of fortune. Philopoemen, in this conjuncture, carried himself like a good pilot in a high sea, sometimes shifting sail, and sometimes yielding, but still steering steady; and omitting no opportunity nor effort to keep all who were considerable, whether for eloquence or riches, fast to the defense of their common liberty.
Aristaenus, a Megalopolitan of great credit among the Achaeans, but always a favorer of the Romans, saying one day in the senate, that the Romans should not be opposed, or displeased in any way, Philopoemen heard him with an impatient silence; but at last, not able to hold longer, said angrily to him, "And why be in such haste, wretched man, to behold the end of Greece?" Manius, the Roman consul, after the defeat of Antiochus, requested the Achaeans to restore the banished Lacedaemonians to their country, which motion was seconded and supported by all the interest of Titus. But Philopoemen crossed it, not from ill-will to the men, but that they might be beholden to him and the Achaeans, not to Titus and the Romans. For when he came to be General himself, he restored them. So impatient was his spirit of any subjection, and so prone his nature to contest everything with men in power.
Being now threescore and ten, and the eighth time General, he was in hope to pass in quiet, not only the year of his magistracy, but his remaining life. For as our diseases decline, as it is supposed, with our declining bodily strength, so the quarreling humor of the Greeks abated much with their failing political greatness. But fortune or some divine retributive power threw him down the in close of his life, like a successful runner who stumbles at the goal. It is reported, that being in company where one was praised for a great commander, he replied, there was no great account to be made of a man, who had suffered himself to be taken alive by his enemies.
A few days after, news came that Dinocrates the Messenian, a particular enemy to Philopoemen, and for his wickedness and villanies generally hated, had induced Messene to revolt from the Achaeans, and was about to seize upon a little place called Colonis. Philopoemen lay then sick of a fever at Argos. Upon the news he hasted away, and reached Megalopolis, which was distant above four hundred furlongs, in a day. From thence he immediately led out the horse, the noblest of the city, young men in the vigor of their age, and eager to proffer their service, both from attachment to Philopoemen, and zeal for the cause. As they marched towards Messene, they met with Dinocrates, near the hill of Evander, charged and routed him. But five hundred fresh men, who, being left for a guard to the country, came in late, happening to appear, the flying enemy rallied again about the hills. Philopoemen, fearing to be enclosed, and solicitous for his men, retreated over ground extremely disadvantageous, bringing up the rear himself. As he often faced, and made charges upon the enemy, he drew them upon himself; though they merely made movements at a distance, and shouted about him, nobody daring to approach him. In his care to save every single man, he left his main body so often, that at last he found himself alone among the thickest of his enemies. Yet even then none durst come up to him, but being pelted at a distance, and driven to stony steep places, he had great difficulty, with much spurring, to guide his horse aright. His age was no hindrance to him, for with perpetual exercise it was both strong and active; but being weakened with sickness, and tired with his long journey, his horse stumbling, he fell encumbered with his arms, and faint, upon a hard and rugged piece of ground. His head received such a shock with the fall, that he lay awhile speechless, so that the enemy, thinking him dead, began to turn and strip him. But when they saw him lift up his head and open his eyes, they threw themselves all together upon him, bound his hands behind him, and carried him off, every kind of insult and contumely being lavished on him who truly had never so much as dreamed of being led in triumph by Dinocrates.
The Messenians, wonderfully elated with the news, thronged in swarms to the city gates. But when they saw Philopoemen in a posture so unsuitable to the glory of his great actions and famous victories, most of them, struck with grief and cursing the deceitful vanity of human fortune, even shed tears of compassion at the spectacle. Such tears by little and little turned to kind words, and it was almost in everybody's mouth that they ought to remember what he had done for them, and how he had preserved the common liberty, by driving away Nabis. Some few, to make their court to Dinocrates, were for torturing and then putting him to death as a dangerous and irreconcilable enemy; all the more formitable to Dinocrates, who had taken him prisoner, should he after this misfortune, regain his liberty. They put him at last into a dungeon underground, which they called the treasury, a place into which there came no air nor light from abroad; and, which, having no doors, was closed with a great stone. This they rolled into the entrance and fixed, and placing a guard about it, left him. In the mean time Philopoemen's soldiers, recovering themselves after their flight, and fearing he was dead when he appeared nowhere, made a stand, calling him with loud cries, and reproaching one another with their unworthy and shameful escape; having betrayed their general, who, to preserve their lives, had lost his own. Then returning after much inquiry and search, hearing at last that he was taken, they sent away messengers round about with the news. The Achaeans resented the misfortune deeply, and decreed to send and demand him; and, in the meantime, drew their army together for his rescue.
While these things passed in Achaea, Dinocrates, fearing that any delay would save Philopoemen, and resolving to be beforehand with the Achaeans, as soon as night had dispersed the multitude, sent in the executioner with poison, with orders not to stir from him till he had taken it. Philopoemen had then laid down, wrapt up in his cloak, not sleeping, but oppressed with grief and trouble; but seeing light, and a man with poison by him, struggled to sit up; and, taking the cup, asked the man if he heard anything of the horsemen, particularly Lycortas? The fellow answering, that the most part had got off safe, he nodded, and looking cheerfully upon him, "It is well," he said, "that we have not been every way unfortunate;" and without a word more, drank it off, and laid him down, again. His weakness offering but little resistance to the poison, it dispatched him presently.
The news of his death filled all Achaea with grief and lamentation. The youth, with some of the chief of the several cities, met at Megalopolis with a resolution to take revenge without delay. They chose Lycortas general, and falling upon the Messenians, put all to fire and sword, till they all with one consent made their submission. Dinocrates, with as many as had voted for Philopoemen's death, anticipated their vengeance and killed themselves. Those who would have had him tortured, Lycortas put in chains and reserved for severer punishment. They burnt his body, and put the ashes into an urn, and then marched homeward, not as in an ordinary march, but with a kind of solemn pomp, half triumph, half funeral, crowns of victory on their heads, and tears in their eyes, and their captive enemies in fetters by them. Polybius, the general's son, carried the urn, so covered with garlands and ribbons as scarcely to be visible; and the noblest of the Achaeans accompanied him. The soldiers followed fully armed and mounted, with looks neither altogether sad as in mourning, nor lofty as in victory. The people from all towns and villages in their way, flocked out to meet him, as at his return from conquest, and, saluting the urn, fell in with the company, and followed on to Megalopolis; where, when the old men, the women and children were mingled with the rest, the whole city was filled with sighs, complaints, and cries, the loss of Philopoemen seeming to them the loss of their own greatness, and of their rank among the Achaeans. Thus he was honorably buried according to his worth, and the prisoners were stoned about his tomb.
Many statues were set up, and many honors decreed to him by the several cities. One of the Romans in the time of Greece's affliction, after the destruction of Corinth, publicly accusing Philopoemen, as if he had been still alive, of having been the enemy of Rome, proposed that these memorials should all be removed. A discussion ensued, speeches were made, and Polybius answered the sycophant at large. And neither Mummius nor the lieutenants would suffer the honorable monuments of so great a man to be defaced, though he had often crossed both Titus and Manius. They justly distinguished, and as became honest men, betwixt usefulness and virtue, -- what is good in itself, and what is profitable to particular parties, -- judging thanks and reward due to him who does a benefit, from him who receives it, and honor never to be denied by the good to the good. And so much concerning Philopoemen.
What Titus Quintius Flamininus, whom we select as a parallel to Philopoemen, was in personal appearance, those who are curious may see by the brazen statue of him, which stands in Rome near that of the great Apollo, brought from Carthage, opposite to the Circus Maximus, with a Greek inscription upon it. The temper of his mind is said to have been of the warmest both in anger and in kindness; not indeed equally so in both respects; as in punishing, he was ever moderate, never inflexible; but whatever courtesy or good turn he set about, he went through with it, and was as perpetually kind and obliging to those on whom he had poured his favors, as if they, not he, had been the benefactors: exerting himself for the security and preservation of what he seemed to consider his noblest possessions, those to whom he had done good. But being ever thirsty after honor, and passionate for glory, if anything of a greater and more extraordinary nature were to be done, he was eager to be the doer of it himself; and took more pleasure in those that needed, than in those that were capable of conferring favors; looking on the former as objects for his virtue, and on the latter as competitors in glory.
Rome had then many sharp contests going on, and her youth betaking themselves early to the wars, learned betimes the art of commanding; and Flamininus, having passed through the rudiments of soldiery, received his first charge in the war against Hannibal, as tribune under Marcellus, then consul. Marcellus, indeed, falling into an ambuscade, was cut off. But Titus, receiving the appointment of governor, as well of Tarentum, then retaken, as of the country about it, grew no less famous for his administration of justice, than for his military skill. This obtained him the office of leader and founder of two colonies which were sent into the cities of Narnia and Cossa; which filled him with loftier hopes, and made him aspire to step over those previous honors which it was usual first to pass through, the offices of tribune of the people, praetor and aedile, and to level his aim immediately at the consulship. Having these colonies, and all their interest ready at his service, he offered himself as candidate; but the tribunes of the people, Fulvius and Manius, and their party, strongly opposed him; alleging how unbecoming a thing it was, that a man of such raw years, one who was yet, as it were, untrained, uninitiated in the first sacred rites and mysteries of government, should, in contempt of the laws, intrude and force himself into the sovereignty.
However, the senate remitted it to the people's choice and suffrage; who elected him (though not then arrived at his thirtieth year) consul with Sextus Aelius. The war against Philip and the Macedonians fell to Titus by lot, and some kind fortune, propitious at that time to the Romans, seems to have so determined it; as neither the people nor the state of things which were now to be dealt with, were such as to require a general who would always be upon the point of force and mere blows, but rather were accessible to persuasion and gentle usage. It is true that the kingdom of Macedon furnished supplies enough to Philip for actual battle with the Romans; but to maintain a long and lingering war, he must call in aid from Greece; must thence procure his supplies; there find his means of retreat; Greece, in a word, would be his resource for all the requisites of his army. Unless, therefore, the Greeks could be withdrawn from siding with Philip, this war with him must not expect its decision from a single battle. Now Greece (which had not hitherto held much correspondence with the Romans, but first began an intercourse on this occasion) would not so soon have embraced a foreign authority, instead of the commanders she had been inured to, had not the general of these strangers been of a kind gentle nature, one who worked rather by fair means than force; of a persuasive address in all applications to others, and no less courteous, and open to all addresses of others to him; and above all bent and determined on justice. But the story of his actions will best illustrate these particulars.
Titus observed that both Sulpicius and Publius, who had been his predecessors in that command, had not taken the field against the Macedonians till late in the year; and then, too, had not set their hands properly to the war, but had kept skirmishing and scouting here and there for passes and provisions, and never came to close fighting with Philip. He resolved not to trifle away a year, as they had done, at home in ostentation of the honor, and in domestic administration, and only then to join the army, with the pitiful hope of protracting the term of office through a second year, acting as consul in the first, and as general in the latter. He was, moreover, infinitely desirous to employ his authority with effect upon the war, which made him slight those home-honors and prerogatives. Requesting, therefore, of the senate, that his brother Lucius might act with him as admiral of the navy, and taking with him to be the edge, as it were, of the expedition three thousand still young and vigorous soldiers, of those who, under Scipio, had defeated Asdrubal in Spain, and Hannibal in Africa, he got safe into Epirus; and found Publius encamped with his army, over against Philip, who had long made good the pass over the river Apsus, and the straits there; Publius not having been able, for the natural strength of the place, to effect anything against him. Titus therefore took upon himself the conduct of the army, and, having dismissed Publius, examined the ground. The place is in strength not inferior to Tempe, though it lacks the trees and green woods, and the pleasant meadows and walks that adorn Tempe. The Apsus, making its way between vast and lofty mountains which all but meet above a single deep ravine in the midst, is not unlike the river Peneus, in the rapidity of its current, and in its general appearance. It covers the foot of those hills, and leaves only a craggy, narrow path cut out beside the stream, not easily passable at any time for an army, but not at all when guarded by an enemy.
There were some, therefore, who would have had Titus make a circuit through Dassaretis, and take an easy and safe road by the district of Lyncus. But he, fearing that if he should engage himself too far from the sea in barren and untilled countries, and Philip should decline fighting, he might, through want of provisions, be constrained to march back again to the seaside without effecting anything, as his predecessor had done before him, embraced the resolution of forcing his way over the mountains. But Philip, having possessed himself of them with his army, showered down his darts and arrows from all parts upon the Romans. Sharp encounters took place, and many fell wounded and slain on both sides, and there seemed but little likelihood of thus ending the war; when some of the men, who fed their cattle thereabouts, came to Titus with a discovery, that there was a roundabout way which the enemy neglected to guard; through which they undertook to conduct his army, and to bring it within three days at furthest, to the top of the hills. To gain the surer credit with him, they said that Charops, son of Machatas, a leading man in Epirus, who was friendly to the Romans, and aided them (though, for fear of Philip, secretly), was privy to the design. Titus gave their information belief, and sent a captain with four thousand foot, and three hundred horse; these herdsmen being their guides, but kept in bonds. In the daytime they lay still under the covert of the hollow and woody places, but in the night they marched by moonlight, the moon being then at the full. Titus, having detached this party, lay quiet with his main body, merely keeping up the attention of the enemy by some slight skirmishing. But when the day arrived, that those who stole round, were expected upon the top of the hill, he drew up his forces early in the morning, as well the light-armed as the heavy, and, dividing them into three parts, himself led the van, marching his men up the narrow passage along the bank, darted at by the Macedonians, and engaging, in this difficult ground, hand to hand with his assailants; whilst the other two divisions on either side of him, threw themselves with great alacrity among the rocks. Whilst they were struggling forward, the sun rose, and a thin smoke, like a mist, hanging on the hills, was seen rising at a distance, unperceived by the enemy, being behind them, as they stood on the heights; and the Romans, also, as yet under suspense, in the toil and difficulty they were in, could only doubtfully construe the sight according to their desires. But as it grew thicker and thicker, blackening the air, and mounting to a greater height, they no longer doubted but it was the fire-signal of their companions; and, raising a triumphant shout, forcing their way onwards, they drove the enemy back into the roughest ground; while the other party echoed back their acclamations from the top of the mountain.
The Macedonians fled with all the speed they could make; there fell, indeed, not more than two thousand of them; for the difficulties of the place rescued them from pursuit. But the Romans pillaged their camp, seized upon their money and slaves, and, becoming absolute masters of the pass, traversed all Epirus; but with such order and discipline, with such temperance and moderation, that, though they were far from the sea, at a great distance from their vessels, and stinted of their monthly allowance of corn, and though they had much difficulty in buying, they nevertheless abstained altogether from plundering the country, which had provisions enough of all sorts in it. For intelligence being received that Philip making a flight, rather than a march, through Thessaly, forced the inhabitants from the towns to take shelter in the mountains, burnt down the towns themselves, and gave up as spoil to his soldiers all the property which it had been found impossible to remove, abandoning, as it would seem, the whole country to the Romans. Titus was, therefore, very desirous, and entreated his soldiers that they would pass through it as if it were their own, or as if a place trusted into their hands; and, indeed, they quickly perceived, by the event, what benefit they derived from this moderate and orderly conduct. For they no sooner set foot in Thessaly, but the cities opened their gates, and the Greeks, within Thermopylae, were all eagerness and excitement to ally themselves with them. The Achaeans abandoned their alliance with Philip, and voted to join with the Romans in actual arms against him; and the Opuntians, though the Aetolians, who were zealous allies of the Romans, were willing and desirous to undertake the protection of the city, would not listen to proposals from them; but, sending for Titus, entrusted and committed themselves to his charge.
It is told of Pyrrhus, that when first, from an adjacent hill or watchtower which gave him a prospect of the Roman army, he descried them drawn up in order, he observed, that he saw nothing barbarian-like in this barbarian line of battle. And all who came near Titus, could not choose but say as much of him, at their first view. For they who had been told by the Macedonians of an invader, at the head of a barbarian army, carrying everywhere slavery and destruction on his sword's point; when in lieu of such an one, they met a man, in the flower of his age, of a gentle and humane aspect, a Greek in his voice and language, and a lover of honor, were wonderfully pleased and attracted; and when they left him, they filled the cities, wherever they went, with favorable feelings for him, and with the belief that in him they might find the protector and asserter of their liberties. And when afterwards, on Philip's professing a desire for peace, Titus made a tender to him of peace and friendship, upon the condition that the Greeks be left to their own laws, and that he should withdraw his garrisons, which he refused to comply with, now after these proposals, the universal belief even of the favorers and partisans of Philip, was, that the Romans came not to fight against the Greeks, but for the Greeks, against the Macedonians.
Accordingly, all the rest of Greece came to peaceable terms with him. But as he marched into Boeotia, without committing the least act of hostility, the nobility and chief men of Thebes came out of their city to meet him, devoted under the influence of Brachylles to the Macedonian alliance, but desirous at the same time to show honor and deference to Titus; as they were, they conceived, in amity with both parties. Titus received them in the most obliging and courteous manner, but kept going gently on, questioning and inquiring of them, and sometimes entertaining them with narratives of his own, till his soldiers might a little recover from the weariness of their journey. Thus passing on, he and the Thebans came together into their city not much to their satisfaction; but yet they could not well deny him entrance, as a good number of his men attended him in. Titus, however, now he was within, as if he had not had the city at his mercy, came forward and addressed them, urging them to join the Roman interest. King Attalus followed to the same effect. And he, indeed, trying to play the advocate, beyond what it seems his age could bear, was seized, in the midst of his speech, with a sudden flux or dizziness, and swooned away; and, not long after, was conveyed by ship into Asia, and died there. The Boeotians joined the Roman alliance.
But now, when Philip sent an embassy to Rome, Titus dispatched away agents on his part, too, to solicit the senate, if they should continue the war, to continue him in his command, or if they determined an end to that, that he might have the honor of concluding the peace. Having a great passion for distinction, his fear was, that if another general were commissioned to carry on the war, the honor even of what was passed, would be lost to him; and his friends transacted matters so well on his behalf, that Philip was unsuccessful in his proposals, and the management of the war was confirmed in his hands. He no sooner received the senate's determination, but, big with hopes, he marches directly into Thessaly, to engage Philip; his army consisting of twenty-six thousand men, out of which the Aetolians furnished six thousand foot and four hundred horse. The forces of Philip were much about the same number. In this eagerness to encounter, they advanced against each other, till both were near Scotussa, where they resolved to hazard a battle. Nor had the approach of these two formidable armies the effect that might have been supposed, to strike into the generals a mutual terror of each other; it rather inspired them with ardor and ambition; on the Romans' part, to be the conquerors of Macedon, a name which Alexander had made famous amongst them for strength and valor; whilst the Macedonians, on the other hand, esteeming of the Romans as an enemy very different from the Persians, hoped, if victory stood on their side, to make the name of Philip more glorious than that of Alexander. Titus, therefore, called upon his soldiers to play the part of valiant men, because they were now to act their parts upon the most illustrious theater of the world, Greece, and to contend with the bravest antagonists. And Philip, on the other side, commenced an harangue to his men, as usual before an engagement, and to be the better heard, (whether it were merely a mischance, or the result of unseasonable haste, not observing what he did,) mounted an eminence outside their camp, which proved to be a burying-place; and much disturbed by the despondency that seized his army at the unluckiness of the omen, all that day kept in his camp, and declined fighting.
But on the morrow, as day came on, after a soft and rainy night, the clouds changing into a mist filled all the plain with thick darkness; and a dense foggy air descending, by the time it was full day, from the adjacent mountains into the ground betwixt the two camps, concealed them from each other's view. The parties sent out on either side, some for ambuscade, some for discovery, falling in upon one another quickly after they were thus detached, began the fight at what are called the Cynos Cephalae, a number of sharp tops of hills that stand close to one another, and have the name from some resemblance in their shape. Now many vicissitudes and changes happening, as may well be expected, in such an uneven field of battle, sometimes hot pursuit, and sometimes as rapid a flight, the generals on both sides kept sending in succors from the main bodies, as they saw their men pressed or giving ground, till at length the heavens clearing up, let them see what was going on, upon which the whole armies engaged. Philip, who was in the right wing, from the advantage of the higher ground which he had, threw on the Romans the whole weight of his phalanx, with a force which they were unable to sustain; the dense array of spears, and the pressure of the compact mass overpowering them. But the king's left wing being broken up by the hilliness of the place, Titus observing it, and cherishing little or no hopes on that side where his own gave ground, makes in all haste to the other, and there charges in upon the Macedonians; who, in consequence of the inequality and roughness of the ground, could not keep their phalanx entire, nor line their ranks to any great depth, (which is the great point of their strength,) but were forced to fight man for man under heavy and unwieldy armor. For the Macedonian phalanx is like some single powerful animal, irresistible so long as it is embodied into one, and keeps its order, shield touching shield, all as in a piece; but if it be once broken, not only is the joint-force lost, but the individual soldiers also who composed it; lose each one his own single strength, because of the nature of their armor; and because each of them is strong, rather, as he makes a part of the whole, than in himself. When these were routed, some gave chase to the flyers, others charged the flanks of those Macedonians who were still fighting, so that the conquering wing, also, was quickly disordered, took to flight, and threw down its arms. There were then slain no less than eight thousand, and about five thousand were taken prisoners; and the Aetolians were blamed as having been the main occasion that Philip himself got safe off. For whilst the Romans were in pursuit, they fell to ravaging and plundering the camp, and did it so completely, that when the others returned, they found no booty in it.
This bred at first hard words, quarrels, and misunderstandings betwixt them. But, afterwards, they galled Titus more, by ascribing the victory to themselves, and prepossessing the Greeks with reports to that effect; insomuch that poets, and people in general in the songs that were sung or written in honor of the action, still ranked the Aetolians foremost. One of the pieces most current was the following epigram: --
Naked and tombless see, O passer-by, The thirty thousand men of Thessaly, Slain by the Aetolians and the Latin band, That came with Titus from Italia's land: Alas for mighty Macedon! that day, Swift as a roe, king Philip fled away.
This was composed by Alcaeus in mockery of Philip, exaggerating the number of the slain. However, being everywhere repeated, and by almost everybody, Titus was more nettled at it than Philip. The latter merely retorted upon Alcaeus with some elegiac verses of his own: --
Naked and leafless see, O passer-by, The cross that shall Alcaeus crucify.
But such little matters extremely fretted Titus, who was ambitious of a reputation among the Greeks; and he, therefore, acted in all after-occurrences by himself, paying but very slight regard to the Aetolians. This offended them in their turn; and when Titus listened to terms of accommodation, and admitted an embassy upon the proffers of the Macedonian king, the Aetolians made it their business to publish through all the cities of Greece, that this was the conclusion of all; that he was selling Philip a peace, at a time when it was in his hand to destroy the very roots of the war, and to overthrow the power which had first inflicted servitude upon Greece. But whilst with these and the like rumors, the Aetolians labored to shake the Roman confederates, Philip, making overtures of submission of himself and his kingdom to the discretion of Titus and the Romans, puts an end to those jealousies, as Titus by accepting them, did to the war. For he reinstated Philip in his kingdom of Macedon, but made it a condition that he should quit Greece, and that he should pay one thousand talents; he took from him also, all his shipping, save ten vessels; and sent away Demetrius, one of his sons, hostage to Rome; improving his opportunity to the best advantage, and taking wise precautions for the future. For Hannibal the African, a professed enemy to the Roman name, an exile from his own country, and not long since arrived at king Antiochus's court, was already stimulating that prince, not to be wanting to the good fortune that had been hitherto so propitious to his affairs; the magnitude of his successes having gained him the surname of the Great. He had begun to level his aim at universal monarchy, but above all he was eager to measure himself with the Romans. Had not, therefore, Titus upon a principle of prudence and foresight, lent all ear to peace, and had Antiochus found the Romans still at war in Greece with Philip, and had these two, the most powerful and warlike princes of that age, confederated for their common interests against the Roman state, Rome might once more have run no less a risk, and been reduced to no less extremities than she had experienced under Hannibal. But now, Titus opportunely introducing this peace between the wars, dispatching the present danger before the new one had arrived, at once disappointed Antiochus of his first hopes, and Philip of his last.
When the ten commissioners, delegated to Titus from the senate; advised him to restore the rest of Greece to their liberty, but that Corinth, Chalcis, and Demetrias should be kept garrisoned for security against Antiochus; the Aetolians, on this, breaking out into loud accusations, agitated all the cities, calling upon Titus to strike off the shackles of Greece, (so Philip used to term those three cities,) and asking the Greeks, whether it were not matter of much consolation to them, that, though their chains weighed heavier, yet they were now smoother and better polished than formerly, and whether Titus were not deservedly admired by them as their benefactor, who had unshackled the feet of Greece, and tied her up by the neck? Titus, vexed and angry at this, made it his request to the senate, and at last prevailed in it, that the garrisons in these cities should be dismissed, that so the Greeks might be no longer debtors to him for a partial, but for an entire, favor. It was now the time of the celebration of the Isthmian games; and the seats around the racecourse were crowded with an unusual multitude of spectators; Greece, after long wars, having regained not only peace, but hopes of liberty, and being able once more to keep holiday in safety. A trumpet sounded to command silence; and the crier, stepping forth amidst the spectators, made proclamation, that the Roman senate, and Titus Quintius, the proconsular general, having vanquished king Philip and the Macedonians, restored the Corinthians, Locrians, Phocians, Euboeans, Achaeans of Phthiotis, Magnetians, Thessalians, and Perrhaebians to their own lands, laws, and liberties; remitting all impositions upon them, and withdrawing all garrisons from their cities. At first, many heard not at all, and others not distinctly, what was said; but there was a confused and uncertain stir among the assembled people, some wondering, some asking, some calling out to have it proclaimed again. When, therefore, fresh silence was made, the crier raising his voice, succeeded in making himself generally heard; and recited the decree again. A shout of joy followed it, so loud that it was heard as far as the sea. The whole assembly rose and stood up; there was no further thought of the entertainment; all were only eager to leap up and salute and address their thanks to the deliverer and champion of Greece. What we often hear alleged, in proof of the force of human voices, was actually verified upon this occasion. Crows that were accidentally flying over the course, fell down dead into it. The disruption of the air must be the cause of it; for the voices being numerous, and the acclamation violent, the air breaks with it, and can no longer give support to the birds; but lets them tumble, like one that should attempt to walk upon a vacuum; unless we should rather imagine them to fall and die, shot with the noise as with a dart. It is possible, too, that there may be a circular agitation of the air, which, like marine whirlpools, may have a violent direction of this sort given to it from the excess of its fluctuation.
But for Titus, the sports being now quite at an end, so beset was he on every side, and by such multitudes, that had he not, foreseeing the probable throng and concourse of the people, timely withdrawn, he would scarce, it is thought, have ever got clear of them. When they had tired themselves with acclamations all about his pavilion, and night was now come, wherever friends or fellow-citizens met, they joyfully saluted and embraced each other, and went home to feast and carouse together. And there, no doubt, redoubling their joy, they began to recollect and talk of the state of Greece, what wars she had incurred in defense of her liberty, and yet was never perhaps mistress of a more settled or grateful one that this which other men's labors had won for her: almost without one drop of blood, or one citizen's loss to be mourned for, she had this day had put into her hands the most glorious of rewards, and best worth the contending for. Courage and wisdom are, indeed, rarities amongst men, but of all that is good, a just man it would seem is the most scarce. Such as Agesilaus, Lysander, Nicias, and Alcibiades, knew how to play the general's part, how to manage a war, how to bring off their men victorious by land and sea; but how to employ that success to generous and honest purposes, they had not known. For should a man except the achievement at Marathon, the sea-fight at Salamis, the engagements at Plataea and Thermopylae, Cimon's exploits at Eurymedon, and on the coasts of Cyprus, Greece fought all her battles against, and to enslave, herself; she erected all her trophies to her own shame and misery, and was brought to ruin and desolation almost wholly by the guilt and ambition of her great men. A foreign people, appearing just to retain some embers, as it were, some faint remainders of a common character derived to them from their ancient sires, a nation from whom it was a mere wonder that Greece should reap any benefit by word or thought, these are they who have retrieved Greece from her severest dangers and distresses, have rescued her out of the hands of insulting lords and tyrants, and reinstated her in her former liberties.
Thus they entertained their tongues and thoughts; whilst Titus by his actions made good what had been proclaimed. For he immediately dispatched away Lentulus to Asia, to set the Bargylians free, Titillius to Thrace, to see the garrisons of Philip removed out of the towns and islands there, while Publius Villius set sail, in order to treat with Antiochus about the freedom of the Greeks under him. Titus himself passed on to Chalcis, and sailing thence to Magnesia, dismantled the garrisons there, and surrendered the government into the people's hands. Shortly after, he was appointed at Argos to preside in the Nemean games, and did his part in the management of that solemnity singularly well; and made a second publication there by the crier, of liberty to the Greeks; and, visiting all the cities, he exhorted them to the practice of obedience to law, of constant justice, and unity, and friendship one towards another. He suppressed their factions, brought home their political exiles; and, in short, his conquest over the Macedonians did not seem to give him a more lively pleasure, than to find himself prevalent in reconciling Greeks with Greeks; so that their liberty seemed now the least part of the kindness he conferred upon them.
The story goes, that when Lycurgus the orator had rescued Xenocrates the philosopher from the collectors who were hurrying him away to prison for non-payment of the alien tax, and had them punished for the license they had been guilty of, Xenocrates afterwards meeting the children of Lycurgus, "My sons," said he, "I am nobly repaying your father for his kindness; he has the praises of the whole people in return for it." But the returns which attended Titus Quintius and the Romans, for their beneficence to the Greeks, terminated not in empty praises only; for these proceedings gained them, deservedly, credit and confidence, and thereby power, among all nations, for many not only admitted the Roman commanders, but even sent and entreated to be under their protection; neither was this done by popular governments alone, or by single cities; but kings oppressed by kings, cast themselves into these protecting hands. Insomuch that in a very short time (though perchance not without divine influence in it) all the world did homage to them. Titus himself thought more highly of his liberation of Greece than of any other of his actions, as appears by the inscription with which he dedicated some silver targets, together with his own shield, to Apollo at Delphi: --
Ye Spartan Tyndarids, twin sons of Jove, Who in swift horsemanship have placed your love, Titus, of great Aeneas' race, leaves this In honor of the liberty of Greece.
He offered also to Apollo a golden crown, with this inscription: --
This golden crown upon thy locks divine, O blest Latona's son, was set to shine By the great captain of the Aenean name. O Phoebus, grant the noble Titus fame!
The same event has twice occurred to the Greeks in the city of Corinth. Titus, then, and Nero again in our days, both at Corinth, and both alike at the celebration of the Isthmian games, permitted the Greeks to enjoy their own laws and liberty. The former (as has been said) proclaimed it by the crier; but Nero did it in the public meeting place from the tribunal, in a speech which he himself made to the people. This, however, was long after.
Titus now engaged in a most gallant and just war upon Nabis, that most profligate and lawless tyrant of the Lacedaemonians, but in the end disappointed the expectations of the Greeks. For when he had an opportunity of taking him, he purposely let it slip, and struck up a peace with him, leaving Sparta to bewail an unworthy slavery; whether it were that he feared, if the war should be protracted, Rome would send a new general who might rob him of the glory of it; or that emulation and envy of Philopoemen (who had signalized himself among the Greeks upon all other occasions, but in that war especially had done wonders both for matter of courage and counsel, and whom the Achaeans magnified in their theaters, and put into the same balance of glory with Titus,) touched him to the quick; and that he scorned that an ordinary Arcadian, who had but commanded in a few re- encounters upon the confines of his native district, should be spoken of in terms of equality with a Roman consul, waging war as the protector of Greece in general. But, besides, Titus was not without an apology too for what he did, namely, that he put an end to the war only when he foresaw that the tyrant's destruction must have been attended with the ruin of the other Spartans.
The Achaeans, by various decrees, did much to show Titus honor: none of these returns, however, seemed to come up to the height of the actions that merited them, unless it were one present they made him, which affected and pleased him beyond all the rest; which was this. The Romans, who in the war with Hannibal had the misfortune to be taken captives, were sold about here and there, and dispersed into slavery; twelve hundred in number were at that time in Greece. The reverse of their fortune always rendered them objects of compassion; but more particularly, as well might be, when they now met, some with their sons, some with their brothers, others with their acquaintance; slaves with their free, and captives with their victorious countrymen. Titus, though deeply concerned on their behalf, yet took none of them from their masters by constraint. But the Achaeans, redeeming them at five pounds a man, brought them altogether into one place, and made a present of them to him, as he was just going on shipboard, so that he now sailed away with the fullest satisfaction; his generous actions having procured him as generous returns, worthy a brave man and a lover of his country. This seemed the most glorious part of all his succeeding triumph; for these redeemed Romans (as it is the custom for slaves, upon their manumission, to shave their heads and wear felt-hats) followed in that habit in the procession. To add to the glory of this show, there were the Grecian helmets, the Macedonian targets and long spears, borne with the rest of the spoils in public view, besides vast sums of money; Tuditanus says, 3,713 pounds weight of massy gold, 43,270 of silver, 14,514 pieces of coined gold, called Philippics, which was all over and above the thousand talents which Philip owed, and which the Romans were afterwards prevailed upon, chiefly by the mediation of Titus, to remit to Philip, declaring him their ally and confederate, and sending him home his hostage son.
Shortly after, Antiochus entered Greece with a numerous fleet, and a powerful army, soliciting the cities there to sedition and revolt; abetted in all and seconded by the Aetolians, who for this long time had borne a grudge and secret enmity to the Romans, and now suggested to him, by way of a cause and pretext of war, that he came to bring the Greeks liberty. When, indeed, they never wanted it less, as they were free already, but, in lack of really honorable grounds, he was instructed to employ these lofty professions. The Romans, in the interim, in great apprehension of revolutions and revolt in Greece, and of his great reputation for military strength, dispatched the consul Manius Acilius to take the charge of the war, and Titus, as his lieutenant, out of regard to the Greeks; some of whom he no sooner saw, but he confirmed them in the Roman interests; others, who began to falter, like a timely physician, by the use of the strong remedy of their own affection for himself, he was able to arrest in the first stage of the disease, before they had committed themselves to any great error. Some few there were whom the Aetolians were beforehand with, and had so wholly perverted that he could do no good with them; yet these, however angry and exasperated before, he saved and protected when the engagement was over. For Antiochus, receiving a defeat at Thermopylae, not only fled the field, but hoisted sail instantly for Asia. Manius, the consul, himself invaded and besieged a part of the Aetolians, while king Philip had permission to reduce the rest. Thus while, for instance, the Dolopes and Magnetians on the one hand, the Athamanes and Aperantians on the other, were ransacked by the Macedonians, and while Manius laid Heraclea waste, and besieged Naupactus, then in the Aetolians' hands, Titus, still with a compassionate care for Greece, sailed across from Peloponnesus to the consul; and began first of all to chide him, that the victory should be owing alone to his arms, and yet he should suffer Philip to bear away the prize and profit of the war, and sit wreaking his anger upon a single town, whilst the Macedonians overran several nations and kingdoms. But as he happened to stand then in view of the besieged, they no sooner spied him out, but they call to him from their wall, they stretch forth their hands, they supplicate and entreat him. At the time, he said not a word more, but turning about with tears in his eyes, went his way. Some little while after, he discussed the matter so effectually with Manius, that he won him over from his passion, and prevailed with him to give a truce and time to the Aetolians, to send deputies to Rome to petition the senate for terms of moderation.
But the hardest task, and that which put Titus to the greatest difficulty was, to entreat with Manius for the Chalcidians, who had incensed him on account of a marriage which Antiochus had made in their city, even whilst the war was on foot; a match noways suitable in point of age, he an elderly man being enamored with a mere girl; and as little proper for the time, in the midst of a war. She was the daughter of one Cleoptolemus, and is said to have been wonderfully beautiful. The Chalcidians, in consequence, embraced the king's interests with zeal and alacrity, and let him make their city the basis of his operations during the war. Thither, therefore, he made with all speed, when he was routed, and fled; and reaching Chalcis, without making any stay, taking this young lady, and his money and friends with him, away he sails to Asia. And now Manius's indignation carrying him in all haste against the Chalcidians, Titus hurried after him, endeavoring to pacify and to entreat him; and, at length, succeeded both with him and the chief men among the Romans.
The Chalcidians, thus owing their lives to Titus, dedicated to him all the best and most magnificent of their sacred buildings, inscriptions upon which may be seen to run thus to this day: THE PEOPLE DEDICATE THIS GYMNASIUM TO TITUS AND TO HERCULES; so again: THE PEOPLE CONSECRATE THE DELPHINIUM TO TITUS AND TO HERCULES; and what is yet more, even in our time, a priest of Titus was formally elected and declared; and after sacrifice and libation, they sing a set song, much of which for the length of it we omit, but shall transcribe the closing verses: --
The Roman Faith, whose aid of yore, Our vows were offered to implore, We worship now and evermore. To Rome, to Titus, and to Jove, O maidens, in the dances move. Dances and Io-Paeans too Unto the Roman Faith are due, O Savior Titus, and to you.
Other parts of Greece also heaped honors upon him suitable to his merits, and what made all those honors true and real, was the surprising good-will and affection which his moderation and equity of character had won for him. For if he were at any time at variance with anybody in matters of business, or out of emulation and rivalry, (as with Philopoemen, and again with Diophanes, when in office as General of the Achaeans,) his resentment never went far, nor did it ever break out into acts; but when it had vented itself in some citizen-like freedom of speech, there was an end of it. In fine, nobody charged malice or bitterness upon his nature, though many imputed hastiness and levity to it; in general, he was the most attractive and agreeable of companions, and could speak too, both with grace, and forcibly. For instance, to divert the Achaeans from the conquest of the isle of Zacynthus, "If," said he, "they put their head too far out of Peloponnesus, they may hazard themselves as much as a tortoise out of its shell." Again, when he and Philip first met to treat of a cessation and peace, the latter complaining that Titus came with a mighty train, while he himself came alone and unattended, "Yes," replied Titus, "you have left yourself alone by killing your friends." At another time, Dinocrates the Messenian, having drunk too much at a merry-meeting in Rome, danced there in woman's clothes, and the next day addressed himself to Titus for assistance in his design to get Messene out of the hands of the Achaeans. "This," replied Titus, "will be matter for consideration; my only surprise is that a man with such purposes on his hands should be able to dance and sing at drinking parties." When, again, the ambassadors of Antiochus were recounting to those of Achaea, the various multitudes composing their royal master's forces, and ran over a long catalog of hard names, "I supped once," said Titus, "with a friend, and could not forbear expostulating with him at the number of dishes he had provided, and said I wondered where he had furnished himself with such a variety; 'Sir,' replied he, 'to confess the truth, it is all hog's flesh differently cooked.' And so, men of Achaea, when you are told of Antiochus's lancers, and pikemen, and foot guards, I advise you not to be surprised; since in fact they are all Syrians differently armed."
After his achievements in Greece, and when the war with Antiochus was at an end, Titus was created censor; the most eminent office, and, in a manner, the highest preferment in the commonwealth. The son of Marcellus, who had been five times consul, was his colleague. These, by virtue of their office, cashiered four senators of no great distinction, and admitted to the roll of citizens all freeborn residents. But this was more by constraint than their own choice; for Terentius Culeo, then tribune of the people, to spite the nobility, spurred on the populace to order it to be done. At this time, the two greatest and most eminent persons in the city, Africanus Scipio and Marcus Cato, were at variance. Titus named Scipio first member of the senate; and involved himself in a quarrel with Cato, on the following unhappy occasion. Titus had a brother, Lucius Flamininus, very unlike him in all points of character, and, in particular, low and dissolute in his pleasures, and flagrantly regardless of all decency. He kept as a companion a boy whom he used to carry about with him, not only when he had troops under his charge, but even when the care of a province was committed to him. One day at a drinking-bout, when the youngster was wantoning with Lucius, "I love you, Sir, so dearly," said he, "that, preferring your satisfaction to my own, I came away without seeing the gladiators, though I have never seen a man killed in my life." Lucius, delighted with what the boy said, answered, "Let not that trouble you; I can satisfy that longing," and with that, orders a condemned man to be fetched out of the prison, and the executioner to be sent for, and commands him to strike off the man's head, before they rose from table. Valerius Antias only so far varies the story as to make it woman for whom he did it. But Livy says that in Cato's own speech the statement is, that a Gaulish deserter coming with his wife and children to the door, Lucius took him into the banqueting-room, and killed him with his own hand, to gratify his paramour. Cato, it is probable, might say this by way of aggravation of the crime; but that the slain was no such fugitive, but a prisoner, and one condemned to die, not to mention other authorities, Cicero tells us in his treatise On Old Age, where he brings in Cato, himself, giving that account of the matter.
However, this is certain; Cato during his censorship, made a severe scrutiny into the senators' lives in order to the purging and reforming the house, and expelled Lucius, though he had been once consul before, and though the punishment seemed to reflect dishonor on his brother also. Both of them presented themselves to the assembly of the people in a suppliant manner, not without tears in their eyes, requesting that Cato might show the reason and cause of his fixing such a stain upon so honorable a family. The citizens thought it a modest and moderate request. Cato, however, without any retraction or reserve, at once came forward, and standing up with his colleague interrogated Titus, as to whether he knew the story of the supper. Titus answering in the negative, Cato related it, and challenged Lucius to a formal denial of it. Lucius made no reply, whereupon the people adjudged the disgrace just and suitable, and waited upon Cato home from the tribunal in great state. But Titus still so deeply resented his brother's degradation, that he allied himself with those who had long borne a grudge against Cato; and winning over a major part of the senate, he revoked and made void all the contracts, leases, and bargains made by Cato, relating to the public revenues, and also got numerous actions and accusations brought against him; carrying on against a lawful magistrate and excellent citizen, for the sake of one who was indeed his relation, but was unworthy to be so, and had but gotten his deserts, a course of bitter and violent attacks, which it would be hard to say were either right or patriotic. Afterwards, however, at a public spectacle in the theater, at which the senators appeared as usual, sitting, as became their rank, in the first seats, when Lucius was spied at the lower end, seated in a mean, dishonorable place, it made a great impression upon the people, nor could they endure the sight, but kept calling out to him to move, until he did move, and went in among those of consular dignity, who received him into their seats.
This natural ambition of Titus was well enough looked upon by the world, whilst the wars we have given a relation of afforded competent fuel to feed it; as, for instance, when after the expiration of his consulship, he had a command as military tribune, which nobody pressed upon him. But being now out of all employ in the government, and advanced in years, he showed his defects more plainly; allowing himself, in this inactive remainder of life, to be carried away with the passion for reputation, as uncontrollably as any youth. Some such transport, it is thought, betrayed him into a proceeding against Hannibal, which lost him the regard of many. For Hannibal, having fled his country, first took sanctuary with Antiochus; but he having been glad to obtain a peace, after the battle in Phrygia, Hannibal was put to shift for himself, by a second flight, and, after wandering through many countries, fixed at length in Bithynia, proffering his service to king Prusias. Every one at Rome knew where he was, but looked upon him, now in his weakness and old age, with no sort of apprehension, as one whom fortune had quite cast off. Titus, however, coming thither as ambassador, though he was sent from the senate to Prusias upon another errand, yet, seeing Hannibal resident there, it stirred up resentment in him to find that he was yet alive. And though Prusias used much intercession and entreaties in favor of him, as his suppliant and familiar friend, Titus was not to be entreated. There was an ancient oracle, it seems, which prophesied thus of Hannibal's end: --
Libyssan shall Hannibal enclose.
He interpreted this to be meant of the African Libya, and that he should be buried in Carthage; as if he might yet expect to return and end his life there. But there is a sandy place in Bithynia, bordering on the sea, and near it a little village called Libyssa. It was Hannibal's chance to be staying here, and having ever from the beginning had a distrust of the easiness and cowardice of Prusias, and a fear of the Romans, he had, long before, ordered seven underground passages to be dug from his house, leading from his lodging, and running a considerable distance in various opposite directions, all undiscernible from without. As soon, therefore, as he heard what Titus had ordered, he attempted to make his escape through these mines; but finding them beset with the king's guards, he resolved upon making away with himself. Some say that wrapping his upper garment about his neck, he commanded his servant to set his knee against his back, and not to cease twisting and pulling it, till he had completely strangled him. Others say, he drank bull's blood, after the example of Themistocles and Midas. Livy writes that he had poison in readiness, which he mixed for the purpose, and that taking the cup into his hand, "Let us ease," said he, "the Romans of their continual dread and care, who think it long and tedious to await the death of a hated old man. Yet Titus will not bear away a glorious victory, nor one worthy of those ancestors who sent to caution Pyrrhus, an enemy, and a conqueror too, against the poison prepared for him by traitors."
Thus venous are the reports of Hannibal's death; but when the news of it came to the senators' ears, some felt indignation against Titus for it, blaming as well his officiousness as his cruelty; who, when there was nothing to urge it, out of mere appetite for distinction, to have it said that he had caused Hannibal's death, sent him to his grave when he was now like a bird that in its old age has lost its feathers, and incapable of flying is let alone to live tamely without molestation.
They began also now to regard with increased admiration the clemency and magnanimity of Scipio Africanus, and called to mind how he, when he had vanquished in Africa the till then invincible and terrible Hannibal, neither banished him his country, nor exacted of his countrymen that they should give him up. At a parley just before they joined battle, Scipio gave him his hand, and in the peace made after it, he put no hard article upon him, nor insulted over his fallen fortune. It is told, too, that they had another meeting afterwards, at Ephesus, and that when Hannibal, as they were walking together, took the upper hand, Africanus let it pass, and walked on without the least notice of it; and that then they began to talk of generals, and Hannibal affirmed that Alexander was the greatest commander the world had seen, next to him Pyrrhus, and the third was himself; Africanus, with a smile, asked, "What would you have said, if I had not defeated you?" "I would not then, Scipio," he replied, "have made myself the third, but the first commander." Such conduct was much admired in Scipio, and that of Titus, who had as it were insulted the dead whom another had slain, was no less generally found fault with. Not but that there were some who applauded the action, looking upon a living Hannibal as a fire, which only wanted blowing to become a flame. For when he was in the prime and flower of his age, it was not his body, nor his hand, that had been so formidable, but his consummate skill and experience, together with his innate malice and rancor against the Roman name, things which do not impair with age. For the temper and bent of the soul remains constant, while fortune continually varies; and some new hope might easily rouse to a fresh attempt those whose hatred made them enemies to the last. And what really happened afterwards does to a certain extent tend yet further to the exculpation of Titus. Aristonicus, of the family of a common musician, upon the reputation of being the son of Eumenes, filled all Asia with tumults and rebellion. Then again, Mithridates, after his defeats by Sylla and Fimbria, and vast slaughter, as well among his prime officers as common soldiers, made head again, and proved a most dangerous enemy, against Lucullus, both by sea and land. Hannibal was never reduced to so contemptible a state as Caius Marius; he had the friendship of a king, and the free exercise of his faculties, employment and charge in the navy, and over the horse and foot, of Prusias; whereas those who but now were laughing to hear of Marius wandering about Africa, destitute and begging, in no long time after were seen entreating his mercy in Rome, with his rods at their backs, and his axes at their necks. So true it is, that looking to the possible future, we can call nothing that we see either great or small; as nothing puts an end to the mutability and vicissitude of things, but what puts an end to their very being. Some authors accordingly tell us, that Titus did not do this of his own head, but that he was joined in commission with Lucius Scipio, and that the whole object of the embassy was, to effect Hannibal's death. And now, as we find no further mention in history of anything done by Titus, either in war or in the administration of the government, but simply that he died in peace; it is time to look upon him as he stands in comparison with Philopoemen.
COMPARISON OF PHILOPOEMEN WITH FLAMININUS
First, then, as for the greatness of the benefits which Titus conferred on Greece, neither Philopoemen, nor many braver men than he, can make good the parallel. They were Greeks fighting against Greeks, but Titus, a stranger to Greece, fought for her. And at the very time when Philopoemen went over into Crete, destitute of means to succor his besieged countrymen, Titus, by a defeat given to Philip in the heart of Greece, set them and their cities free. Again, if we examine the battles they fought, Philopoemen, whilst he was the Achaeans' general, slew more Greeks than Titus, in aiding the Greeks, slew Macedonians. As to their failings, ambition was Titus's weak side, and obstinacy Philopoemen's; in the former, anger was easily kindled, in the latter, it was as hardly quenched. Titus reserved to Philip the royal dignity; he pardoned the Aetolians, and stood their friend; but Philopoemen, exasperated against his country, deprived it of its supremacy over the adjacent villages. Titus was ever constant to those he had once befriended, the other, upon any offense, as prone to cancel kindnesses. He who had once been a benefactor to the Lacedaemonians, afterwards laid their walls level with the ground, wasted their country, and in the end changed and destroyed the whole frame of their government. He seems, in truth, to have prodigalled away his own life, through passion and perverseness; for he fell upon the Messenians, not with that conduct and caution that characterized the movements of Titus, but with unnecessary and unreasonable haste.
The many battles he fought, and the many trophies he won, may make us ascribe to Philopoemen the more thorough knowledge of war. Titus decided the matter betwixt Philip and himself in two engagements; but Philopoemen came off victorious in ten thousand encounters, to all which fortune had scarcely any presence, so much were they owing to his skill. Besides, Titus got his renown, assisted by the power of a flourishing Rome; the other flourished under a declined Greece, so that his successes may be accounted his own; in Titus's glory Rome claims a share. The one had brave men under him, the other made his brave, by being over them. And though Philopoemen was unfortunate certainly, in always being opposed to his countrymen, yet this misfortune is at the same time a proof of his merit. Where the circumstances are the same, superior success can only be ascribed to superior merit. And he had, indeed, to do with the two most warlike nations of all Greece, the Cretans on the one hand, and the Lacedaemonians on the other, and he mastered the craftiest of them by art and the bravest of them by valor. It may also be said that Titus, having his men armed and disciplined to his hand, had in a manner his victories made for him; whereas Philopoemen was forced to introduce a discipline and tactics of his own, and to new-mold and model his soldiers; so that what is of greatest import towards insuring a victory was in his case his own creation, while the other had it ready provided for his benefit. Philopoemen effected many gallant things with his own hand, but Titus none; so much so that one Archedemus, an Aetolian, made it a jest against him that while he, the Aetolian, was running with his drawn sword, where he saw the Macedonians drawn up closest and fighting hardest, Titus was standing still, and with hands stretched out to heaven, praying to the gods for aid.
It is true, Titus acquitted himself admirably, both as a governor, and as an ambassador; but Philopoemen was no less serviceable and useful to the Achaeans in the capacity of a private man, than in that of a commander. He was a private citizen when he restored the Messenians to their liberty, and delivered their city from Nabis; he was also a private citizen when he rescued the Lacedaemonians, and shut the gates of Sparta against the General Diophanes, and Titus. He had a nature so truly formed for command that he could govern even the laws themselves for the public good; he did not need to wait for the formality of being elected into command by the governed, but employed their service, if occasion required, at his own discretion; judging that he who understood their real interests, was more truly their supreme magistrate, than he whom they had elected to the office. The equity, clemency, and humanity of Titus towards the Greeks, display a great and generous nature; but the actions of Philopoemen, full of courage, and forward to assert his country's liberty against the Romans, have something yet greater and nobler in them. For it is not as hard a task to gratify the indigent and distressed, as to bear up against, and to dare to incur the anger of the powerful. To conclude, since it does not appear to be easy, by any review or discussion, to establish the true difference of their merits, and decide to which a preference is due, will it be an unfair award in the case, if we let the Greek bear away the crown for military conduct and warlike skill, and the Roman for justice and clemency?