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T I M L E O N. 205

"obliged themfelves to in theprefence of fo many witneffes,"
The defign of all this was, only to amufe them, while he
got an opportunity of flipping through their fleet : a con-
trivance that all the principal Rhegians were privy and
aflifting to, who had a great defire that the affairs of Si-
cily mould fall into Corinthian hands, but dreaded the
confequence of a Punick neighbourhood. An alTembly
was therefore called, and the gates fhut, that the citizens
might be prevented from going out and applying them-
felves to other bufmefs. Being met together, they made
tedious harangues, aud fpoke one by one upon the fame
argument, purpofely prolonging the time, till the Corin-
thian gallies mould get clear of the haven, the Carthagi-
nian commanders being detained there without any fufpi-
eion, becaufe Timoleon was ftill prefent, and gave figns
as if he were juft preparing to make an oration. But up-
on (2) fecret notice that the reft of the galleys were al-
ready gone off, and that his only remained waiting for
him, by the help of thofe Rhegians who furrounded ,the
Roftrum and concealed him amoug them, he flipt unob-
ferved through the crowd, and running down to the
port, hoifled fail with all fpeed ; and having reached
his other veffels, they came all fafe to Tauromenium in
Sicily, whither they had 'been formerly invited, and
where they were now kindly received by Andromachus
the Governor of that city. This man was father of
Timaeus the hiflorian, and incomparably the beft of all
thofe. who bore fway in Sicily at that time; for he go-
verned his citizens according to law and juftice, and had
ever openly profefled' an averfion and enmity to all ty-
rants ; upon which account he gave Timoleon leave to
mufler his troops there, and to make that city a place
of arms, perfuading the inhabitants to join with the Co-
rinthian forces, and aflift them in the defign of de-
livering Sicily.

The Carthaginians who were left in Rhegium perceiv-
ing, upon the breaking up of the afiembly, that Timo-

city, and that thofe nine gallies carry Timoleon to Icetes's army
were going back to Corinth, and at Syrafcufr.
that the tenth was left behind, ro

(3) For

206 .^Tbe L I F E of

leon had efcaped were not a little vexed to fee them-
felves outwitted ; and it occafioned no fmall diverfion to
the Rhegians, to hear Phoenicians complain of fraud and
treachery (3). However they difpatched a meffenger a-
board one of their galleys to Tauromenium ; who after a
long difcourfe full of barbarick pride and infolence,
flretching out his hand with the palm upward, and then
turning it down r again, faid to Andromachus, " Thus mall
" your city be turned upfide down, unlefsyou inftantly
" difmifs the Corinthians." Andromachus laughing, made
no other reply, only ftretching out his hand and turn-
ing it as the other had done, advifed him inftantly to
depart, unlefs he had a mind to fee his fhip turned up-
fide down in the fame manner. Icetes being certified
that Timoleon had made good his paflage, was in great
fear of the confequence, and lent for a confiderable
number of the Carthaginian galleys. And now it was
that the Syracufans began wholly to defpair of fafety,
feeing the Carthaginians pofTefled of their haven, Icetes
matter of the city and Dionyfius commanding in the for-
trefs ; whereas Timoleon had as yet but a very flender
footing in Sicily, which he only held as it were by the
border in that fmall city of the Tauromenians, with a
feeble hope, and inconfiderable force ; for he had but
1000 foldiers at the rnoft, and no more fupplies than
were juft neceflary for the maintenance of that number.
Nor did the other towns of Sicily confide in him, having
been lately over-run with violence and outrage, and being
exafperated againfl all cammanders in general, chiefly on
account of the perfidy of Callippus an Athenian, and Pha-
rax a Lacedaemonian captain ; for both of them having
given out, that the defign of their coming was to in-
troduce liberty, and depofe tyrants, they fo tyrannized
themfelves, that the reign of former oppreflbrs feemed
to be a golden age ; and the Sicilians reckoned them
to be far more happy who expired in fervitude, than any
that had lived to fee fuch a difmal freedom ; fo that
looking for no better ufage from this Corinthian gene-
ral, but imagining that the fame artifices were now


(')Forthe Phoenicians were reckoned the greateft cheats in



again employed to allure them by fair hopes and kind
promifes into the obedience of a new mailer, they all
in general (except the people of Adranum) fufpected his
defigns and refufed to comply with the propcfals that
were made them in his name. Adranum was a fmall
city confecrated to Adranus a certain God that was in
high veneration throughout Sicily ; the inhabitants were
then at variance among themfelves, infomuch that one
party called in Jcetes and the Carthaginians to afrift
them, while the other fent addrefles to Timoleon, that
he would come and efpoufe their quarrel. It happened
that thefe auxiliaries, ftriving who mould be there
fooneft, both arrived at Adranum about the fame time ;
Icetes brought with him 5000 fighting men; Timoleon
had no more than 1 200 : with theie he marched out
of Tauromenium, which was above forty-two miles di-
ilant from that city. The firft day he moved but
ilowly, and took up his quarters betimes after a fhort
march ; but the day following he quickened his pace ;
and having pafied through many difficult places, to-
wards evening he received advice that Icetes was newly
come to Adranum and lay encamped before it : Upon
which intelligence, his officers caufed the vanguard to
make a halt, that the army after being refrefhed, and
having repofed a while, might engage the enemy with
greater alacrity. But Timoleon coming up in hafte,
defired them not to flop for that reafon, but rather ufe
all poilible diligence to fur prize the enemy, whom
probably they would now find in dilbrder, as being
juft come off their march, and taken up at prefent in
creeling tents, and preparing fupper ; which he had
no fboner faid, but laying hold on his buckler, and
putting himfelf in the front, he led them on as it were
to a certain victory, they all refolutely following him.
They were now within lefs than thirty furlongs of
Adranum ^as loon as they arrived they immediately fell
upon the enemy, who were feized with confufion, and
began to retire at their firft approach, fo that there
were not many more than 300 (lain, and about twice

the world, infomuqh that their treachery became proveibial.

(4 Bv)

208 ttc LIFE of

the number made prifoners, but their camp and bag-
gage was all taken. The Adranites upon this opened
their gates, and embraced the intereft of Timoleon. They
recounted to him with great terror and aftonifhment that
at the very inflant of his beginning the engagement, the
doors of their temple flew open of their own accord,
that the javelin which their God held in his hand was
obferved to make all over, and that drops of fweat had
been feen running down his face. Thefe omens were not
only a prefage of the victory that was then obtained, but
alfo of Timoleon's future exploits and fuccefles, to which
the felicity of this action gave him fo fair an entrance.
For now all the neighbouring cities fent deputies im-
mediately to feek his friendfhip, and tender him their
fervice. Among the reft, (4) Mamercus, the tyrant of
Catana, a very wealthy Prince, and eminent for his mi-
litary talents, made an alliance with him ; and, what
was of greater importance flill, Dionyfius himfelf being
now grown defperate, and well nigh forced to fur-
render, began to defpife Icetes, as one fhamefully baf-
fled , but much admiring the valour of Timoleon, lent
to him, offering to deliver up himfelf and the citadel
into the hands of the Corinthians. Timoleon, gladly em-
bracing this unlooked for advantage, fent away Eucli-
des and Telemachus, two Corinthian captains, with 400
men, to feize the caftle. They had directions to enter
not all at once, or in open view for that was not to be
done while -the enemy kept a guard upon the haven)
but only by Health, and in fmall companies. Thus
they took poilefTion of the fortrefs, and the palace of
Dionyfius, with all the ftores and ammunition he had
laid up for the war ; they found in it a good number
of horfes and all manner of engines, and a vaft quan-
tity of darts, with arms fufficient for 70000 men, which
had been the magazine of old, befide 2000 ioldiers


(4) By this place of Plutarch Dionyfius was born and bred to

we ought to correct that of Dio- abfolute power, whereas moft ty-

dorus Siculus where he calls this rants were once privatemean per-

tyrant of Catana, Marcus inftead fons, who from a low and ab-

ofMemercus. jec~t condition rofe to that height

(c) Plutarch fays this, becaufe of power.

(6) For

T I M O L E O N. aop

who were then with him, and whom he furrendered
with every thing elfe to Timoleon. But Dionyfius him-
felf taking with him fome treafure and a few friends
failed away without the knowledge of Icetes ; and ar-
riving at the camp of Timoleon, he there appeared for
the firfl time (5) in the lowly garb and equipage of a pri-
vate perfon, and was fhortly after fent to Corinth with
a fingle mip, and a fmall fum of money ; he who had
been born and educated in a mod fplendid court, and
the mod absolute monarchy that ever was. He held
it for the fpace of (6) ten years before Dion took arms
againft him ; he fpent twelve years more in a perpetual
ftate of war, and great viciflitudes of fortune. The
mifchiefs w'u'ch he cauied during his reign were abun-
dantly re :' apenled upon him, by the calamities which
he then 1 u_:ered ; for he lived to fee the funeral of his
Ib;i5, who died in the prime and vigour of their age j
he faw his daughters defloured, and his own fifter (who
was alfo his wife) expofed to all the luft of his ene-
mies, and then murdered with her children, and call in-
to fea ; the particulars whereof I have more exactly re-
lated in the life of Dion.

Upon the fame of his landing at Corinth, there was
hardly a man in Greece who had not the curiofity to
come and view the late formidable tyrant, and difcourfe
with him. Some rejoicing at his difafters, were led
thither out of mere malignity and hatred, that they
might have the pleafure of feeing him in fuch a defpi-
cable Irate, and of trampling on the ruins of his broken
fortune ; but others were touched with companion at
the fight of fo affecting a change, and looked upon it
as a manifefl proof of that influence which a divine
and invifible power has on the fluctuating affairs of
men. For neither nature nor art (7) did in that age
produce any thing comparable to this wonderful turn


(6) For he began his reign in and was fent to Corinth, in the

the firft year of the hundred and firft year of the hundred and

third Olympiad. And Dion took ninth.

arms againft: him in the fourth (7) He adds, nor art, to let us

year of the hundred and fifth, underftand that none of the tra-

and he delivered up tne citadd, sick writers had reprefcnted fo

VOL II. O fignai

2io fbe LIFE of

of fortune, which fhowed the very fame man, who was
not long before fupreme monarch of Sicily, holding
coflverfation now in the market, or fitting whole days
in a perfumer's (hop, or drinking the diluted wine of
taverns, or fquabling in the ftreet with lewd women, or
inftrudting the fingers in their art, and ferioufly difpu-
ting with them, about the meafure and harmony of cer-
tain airs that were fung in the theatre. This behaviour
of his met with different cenfures ; for being lewd and
vicious in himfelf, and of a licentious difppfition, he was
thought by many to do this out of pure compliance
with his own natural inclinations : but others were of
opinion, that his defign was to render himfelf de'fpica-
ble, that the Corinthians might not fufpect or dread
him, as if. he could ill brook fuch a viciiiltude of for-
tune, and were fecretly contriving ways to undermine
the ftate, or advance h'mfelf to his former dignity; for
prevention of which furmifes, he a&ed a part contrary to
his nature, in feeming to be delighted with low and vul-
gar .amufements. However it be, there are certain fay-
ings of his left Mill upon record, which Efficiently declare,
that he did not want .fortitude to accommodate himfelf
to his prefentcircumftances. When he arrived atLeucas,
which was a Corinthian colony as well as Syracufe, he
told the inhabitants, " That he was in a fituation like
" that of young men who had been guilty of fome mif-
" demeanor ; for as they chearfully converted among their
<c brethren, but were aifhamed to come into their father's
" prefence ; Ib likewife mould he gladly refide with them,
<; but that he had a certain awe upon his mind, which
" made him fearfully decline the fight of Corinth, which
" was a common mother to them both." Another time
when a certain ftranger at Corinth derided him in a
very rude and fcornful manner, about the conferences


fignal and terrible a cataftrophe, cle had foretold that he fhould die

as fortune had fiiown in the life " whenever he overcame tfrofe

ofDionyfius. "that were better than himfelf."

(S) Dionyfius the elder valued This he applied to the Carthagi-

himfelf on his poetry, but was the nians, and for that reafon would

vvorft poet in the world. The Of a- never make ufe of his whole


T I M O L E O N. 211

he ufed to have with philofophers, whofe company had
been fo delightful to him while yet a monarch, and at
laft demanded what he was the better now for all thofe
wife and learned difcourfes of Plato ? " Do you think, fays
" he, I have made no advantage of his philofophy, when
" you fee me bear the late alteration in my fortune, with
" fuch an even temper ?" And when Ariftoxenus the mil-
fician, and feveral others, defire to know what was the
ground of his difpleafure againft Plato, he made anfwer,
" That the condition of fovereign princes, being attended
" with many other misfortunes, had this great infelicity a-
" boveall the reft, that none of thofe who were accounted
" their friends, would venture to {peak freely, or tell them
" the truth, and that it was owing to them that he had
" been deprived of Plato's friendship." At another time,
one of thofe who .affect to be thought men of wit and plea-
fantry, came to the chamber of Dionyfius, and as if he was
approaching a tyrant, fhook his cloak when he entered the
room to mow that he had no concealed weapons about
him. But Dionyfius retorted the jefl by bidding him ra-
ther (hake his cleak when he went out of the room, to
mow that he had taken nothing away with him. When
Philip of Macedon, as they two were drinking together,
began to talk in an ironical manner about (8) the verfes
and tragedies which Dionyfius the elder had left behind
him, and pretended to wonder how he could get any time
from his other bufmefs, to compofe works of that kind ;
Dionyfius well replied, " He ufed to fpend that time in
" writing, which fuch clever fellows as you and I fpent
" in getting drunk." Plato did not fee Dionyfius at Co-
rinth, being already dead before he came thither.
Diogenes of Sinope, at their firfr. meeting in the ftreet there,
faid to him, " O Dionyfius, how little doft thou deferve to
u live thus !" Upon which Dionyfius flopped, and replied,


ftrength againft them. But having Dionyfius was fo full of joy at
compofed a tragedy, he fent it to this great fuccefs, that he pre-
Athens, to lay claim to the pared a fumptuous entertainment,
prize ; and the Athenians, out of at which he made fo great a de-
fordid flattery, adjudged it to bauch, that he fell fick and
him, and declared h'im conqueror, died.

O 2 (9) There

212 Tfo LIFE of

" I am much obliged to you, Diogenes, for the concern
11 you exprefs for my misfortunes. Doft thou imagine
" then, fays Diogenes, that I condole with thee for what
" has happened, and am not rather heartily vexed, that
" fuch a (lave as thou, who if thou hadft thy due, fhouldft
" have been let alone to grow old, and die in the wretched
" ftate of tyranny, as thy father did before thee, fhould
" now enjoy the quietnefsand eafe of private per ions, and
*' be here at thy own difpofal, to fport and frolick in our
" fociety ?" So that when I compare with the words of this
philofopher, the doleful exclamations of the hiflorian Phi-
liflus concerning the daughters of Leptines, whom he
commiferates, " as fallen from all the bieflings and advan-
" tages of power and greatnefs to the miferies of an hum-
" ble life ;" they leem to me like the lamentations of a
woman who had loft her box of ointment, her purple robe
and her golden trinkets. The particulars I have juft no\r
related will not, I prefume, be thought ufelefs or foreign
to my defign in writing thefe lives, by fuch readers as are
not too much hafle, or taken up with other concerns.

But if the unhappinefs of Dionyfius appear ftrange and
extraordinary, we have no lefs reafon to admire the
good fortune of Timoleon, who within fifty days after
his landing in Sicily, both recovered the citadel of Syr
racufe, and lent Dionyfius an exile into Peloponnefus. This
lucky beginning fo animated the Corinthians, that they
ordered him a fupply of 2000 foot and 200 horfe, who
being come as far as Thurium, intended to crofs over
thence into Sicily ; but finding all befet with the Cartha-
ginian fhips, which rendered the paflage impracticable,
they were conflrained to ftop there and 'watch t their op-
portunity. Their time however was employed in a no-
ble action ; for the Thurians going out to war againft
the Brutians, left their city in charge with thefe Corin-
thian ftrangers, who defended it with as much care and
fidelity as if it had been their own country.

Icetes in the interim continued ftill to befiege the cita-
del, and hindered all provifions from coming in by
fea, to relieve the Corinthians that were in it. He had


T I M O L E O N. 213

engaged alfo, and difpatched towards Adranum, two
foreign foldiers to aflailinate Timoleon, who at other
times did not ufe to have any (landing guard about his
perfon, and was then altogether fecure, diverting him-
felf without jealoufy or fufpicion among the citizens of
that place, through the confidence he had in the pro-
tection of their God Adranus. The villains that were
fent upon this enterprize, having cafually heard that
Timoleon was about to facrifice, came directly into the
temple with poinards under their cloaks, and prefiing
in among the crowd, by little and little got up clofe
to the altar; but as they were juft looking for a fign
from each other to begin the attempt, a third perfon
ftruck one of them on the head with a fword, who fud-
denly falling down, neither he that gave the blow,
nor the companion of him that received it, kept their
ftations any longer ; the former with his fword in his
hand, fled to the top of a high rock, while the other
laying hold of the altar, befought Timoleon to fpare his
life, promifing to reveal the whole confpiracy. His
pardon being granted, he confeffed, that both himfelf
and his dead companion were fent thither purpofely to
murder him. While this difcovery was making, he
that had killed the other confpirator, was brought
back from the rock, and loudly protefted that there
was no injuftice in the fact, for he only took righte-
ous vengeance for his father's blood, of a man that had
murdered him before in the city of Leontium ; and for
the truth of this he appealed to feveral that were there
prefent, who all attefled the fame, and could never
enough admire that wonderful art by which fortune,
making one thing fpring from another, and bringing
together the moft diftant incidents, and fuch as feem
to have no relation or agreement, compofes one regu-
lar feries of events clofely linked together, and depen-
dent on each ether. The Corinthians rewarded the man
with a prefent of ten Minae, becaufe his juft indigna-
tion had co-operated with the guardian genius of Ti-
moleon, and fortune had not fuffered him before to fa-
tiate his revenge, but referved the execution of it till

O 3 vengeance

2 14 ?hc LIFE cf

vengeance for his private wrongs fecured the life of
their general.

But this fb fortunate an efcape had effects and con-
fequences beyond the prefent , for it infpired the Corin-
thians with high expectations of Timoleon, a when they faw
the people now reverence and protect him as a facred
perfon, and one fent by the gods to revenge and redeem
Sicily. Icetes having miffed of his aim in this enter-
prize, and perceiving alfo that many went of and fided
with Timoleon, began to reproach himfelf, that when fo
confiderable a force of the Carthaginians lay ready to be
commanded by him, he mould employ them hitherto,
by degrees and in fmall numbers, as it were by ftealth,
and as if he had been afhamed of the action. There-
fore he fent for Mago their admiral, with his whole
navy, who prefently fet fail, and feized upon the port
with a formidable fleet of 150 veflels, and landing there
60000 foot, took up his quarters in the city. So
that in all mens opinion, the time anciently talked of,
and long expected, when Sicily mould be over-run
by a barbarous people, was now arrived ; for in all
their preceding wars, and their many defperate con-
flicts with the Sicilians, the Carthaginians had never
been able to take Syracufe ; but Icetes then receiv-
ing them, and putting the city into their hands, it
became now the camp of thefe barbarians. By this
means the Corinthian foldiers that kept the citadel, found
themfelves brought into great danger and difficulty ; for
befide that they began to be in want of provifion, be-
caufe the havens v/ere flridtly guarded and blocked up,
the enemy harafled them continually with Ikirmimes
and combats about their walls, and they were obliged
to divide themfelves and be prepared for aiTaults of
every kind, and to fuftain the mock of all thofe forcible
machines and battering engines which are made ufe of
in fieges.

Timoleon however found means to relieve them in thefe


(9) There were four j the ifle little diftance from the citadel ;
or the citadel, which was between Tyche, fo called from the temple of
fhe two ports ; Achradir+a, at a fortune , and Neopolis, or the new


T I M O L E O N.

ilraights, by fending corn from Catana in fmali fifher-
boats a,;d little fkiffs, which tak ng the advantage of
bad weather commonly got a paflage through the Car-
thaginian galleys, which at the fame time were driven
about ard difperfed by the temped. When this was
obferved by Mago and Icetes, they agreed to fall upon
Catana, from whence theie fupplies were brought in to
the befieged, and accordingly put off from Syracufe,
taking with them the choiceil part of their army. Leo
the Corinthian (who commanded in the citadel) taking
notice that the enemies which ftaid behind, were very
negligent in keeping guard', made a iudden fally upon
them as they lay fcattered, wherein killing fome, and
putting the others to flight, he took poflellion of that
quarter which they call Achr adina, and which was efleemed
the ftrongeft part of the city and had fuffered lead from
the enemy ; for Syracufe is compofed of feveral (9)
towns joined together. Having thus llored himfelf with
corn and money, he did not abandon the place, nor
retire agair into the cattle, but fortifying the precincts
of Achradina, and joining it by certain works to the cita-
del, he undertook the defence of both. Mago and Icetes
were now come near to Ca>ana, when a horfeman dif-
patched from Syracufe, brought them tidings that Achra-
dina was taken ; upon which they returned in great hurry
and confufion, having neither been able to reduce the
city they went againft, nor to preferve that they were
matters of before.

In this action the Corinthians feem to have owed lefs to
fortune than to their own courage and conduct, whereas
in that which follows the whole glory may juflly be
afcribed to fortune-, for the Corinthian foldiers who
flaid at Thurium, partly for fear of the Carthiginian
galleys, which lay in wait for them under the command
of Hanno, and partly becaufe of the .tempeftuous weather
which had lafled for many days, took a refblution to
march by land over the Haitian territories ; and what


city. Livy, Diodorus, Plutarch, this reafon Strabo writes that Br-
and other authors add a fifth, racufe was aacieattiy conipofed of

Online LibraryPlutarchPlutarch's lives : in six volumes : translated from the Greek (Volume 2) → online text (page 19 of 42)