Plutarch's lives : in six volumes : translated from the Greek (Volume 2) online

. (page 25 of 42)
Online LibraryPlutarchPlutarch's lives : in six volumes : translated from the Greek (Volume 2) → online text (page 25 of 42)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

u pared for whatever misfortunes may happen to counter-
u balance this day's fuccefs." ^milius having ipoke
much more to the fame purpoie, difmified the young men,
feafonably chaftifed by this grave difcourfe which like a
bridle had curbed their arrogance and vain- glory.-

When this was done, (9) he fent his army into quarters
of refrefhment, while he went to vifit Greece ; where he
fpent his time both with great honour to himfelf, and ad-
vantage to the Grecians. For as he pafied through the ci-
ties he eafed the peoples grievances, reformed their


lius fent Tubero his fon-in-law to Perfeus threw hi'mfeif at his feet,

meet him. Perfeus in, a mourn- but the conful raifed him from

ing habit entered the camp with the ground, and would not fuffer

his fon Philip ^niilius when he him to embrace his knees.

was m fight role fnm his feat, (9) He firft fent his 1 jn Fabiu*

and ftrctcbed his hand out to him j Maximus, who wasreturned from



government, and beftowed gifts upon them ; to forne com,
to others oil, out of the King's flore-houfes, in which (they
report) there were fuch vafl quantities laid up, that the
number of thofe who received and wanted it was too
fmall to exhauft the whole. In Delphi he found a great
fquare pillar of white marble, defigned for the pedcftal
of a golden ftatue of Perfeus, on which he commanded his
own to be placed ; alledging, that it was but juft, that
the conquered fhould give place to the conqueror. In
Olympia he is faid to have uttered that fo celebrated
fpeech, (i) " This Jupiter of Phidias is the very Jupiter
" of Hcmer." When the ten commiffjoners for fettling
the affairs of Macedonians arrived from Rome, hedeliver-
ed up again to the Macedonia their cities and country,
permitting them to live at liberty, and according to
their own laws, and only required of them the tribute of
a hundred talents to the Romans ; whereas they were
wont to pay more than doable that fum to their Kings.
Then he celebrated all manner of {"hows, and games,
and facrifices to the Gods, and made great entertain-
ments and feafts ; the charge of all which he liberally
defrayed out of the King's treafury ; and he mowed that
he underftood the ordering and placing of his guefts,
and how every man mould be received according to his
rank and quality, with fuch exactnefs, that the Greeks
were furprized to find him fo expert and careful even
about trifles, and that a man engaged in fo many weighty
affairs fhould be felicitous to obferve a decorum in fuch
little matters. That which gave him the greatdt fa-
tisfatlion was, that amidft fuch magnificent ar.d fplen-
did preparations, he himfelf was always the rnoft plea-
fing fight to thofe he entertained. And he told them
who feemed to wonder at his diligence, " That the
" fame kind of talents were required in the difpofition of

" a banquet

Rome, and L. Pofthumius, each ftance in the foliov.'ing manner,
xwirVi fpnurarp narn'es. to reduce ' Olvmniam afcendit. ubr & a la

with feparate parties, to reduce
fome places that held out, and at
his departure left the command of
the camp with Sulpitius Gaba.
(i) Liry mentions this circurn-

Olympiam afcendit, ubl & a ia
' qusedam fpeftanda vifa, & Jo-
vem, velut praefentem intuens
motus animo eft. He wentup to
' OJympia where he faw many
" things

P A U L .U S ^E M I L I U S. 273

" a banquet and of an army, to render the one moft dreadful
" to the enemy, the other moft acceptable to the guefls."
Nor did men lefs praife his liberality and difintereftednefs,
than his other virtues ; for he would not fo much as fee
thofe great quantities of filver and gold, which were
collected out of the King's palaces, but delivered them
to the queflors, to be put into the public treafuryi
He only permitted his own fens, who were great lovers
of learning, to take the King's books; and when he
diftributed fuch rewards as were due to extraordinary
valour, he gave his .ion-in-law /Elius Tubero, only a
bowl that weighed five pounds. This is that Tubero we
have already mentioned, who was one of the fixteen re-
lations that lived together, and were all maintained out
of one little farm, it is faid that this v/as the firft filver
veffel that ever entered the houfe of the /Elians, and
this was brought thither, as a reward of virtue ; for
before this time, neither they nor their wives would
ever make life either of filver or gold.

After he had made every proper regulation^ taken
his leave of the Grecians, and exhorted the Macedonians
to be mindful of that liberty they had received from
the Romans, and endeavour to maintain it, by their
obedience to the laws, and by concord amongft them-,
ielves, he departed for Epire ; for he had orders from
the fenate, to give the foldiers that followed him in the
war againft Perfeus, the pillage of the cities of that
country (2). Wherefore, that he might furprize and
fet upon them all at once, he fummoned ten of the
principal men out of every city, whom he commanded
on an appointed day, to bring all the gold and filver
they had either in their private houfes or temples ^ and
with every one of thele, as if it were for this very pur-
pofe, and under a pretence of fearching for and receiv-

" thing worth feeing, but upon it was carved fitting and placed

" beholding the ftatue of Jupiter in a very lofty temple, yet it al-

" he was ftruck with awe as if the moft touched rhe cieling

" God himfelf had been prefent." (2) They had revolted from the

This ftatue was of ivory, and Romans and joined with Perfeus.
t Co prodigious afize that chough

VOL. II. S (3) Ac:ord-

LIFE of.

ing the gold, he fent a centurian, and a guard of fol-
diers, who, the fet day being come, rofe all at once,
and began to plunder and feize the inhabitants ; fo that
in the tpace of one hour 150,000 perfons were made
{laves, and feventy cities lacked. Yet what was given
to each foldier, out of the pillage after fo vaft a deftruc-
tion and utter ruin, amounted to no more than eleven
drachms ; fo that all men were mocked at the iiTue of
that war, when the wealth of a whole nation, thus divid-
ed, turned to fo little advantage to each particular man.
When /Emilius had executed this order fo contrary to
his natural mildnefs and humanity, he went down to
Oricum, where he embarked his army and palled over
into Italy. He failed up the river Tiber in the King's
galley, which had fixteen ranks of oars, and was richly
adorned with the armour of the prifoners, and with
cloths of purple and fcarlet : fo that the veflels mov-
ing flowly againfl the dream, the Romans that crouded
on the more to meet him, had a tafte of his following
triumph. But the foldiers who had cad a covetous eye
on the treafures of Perfeus, when they could not obtain
what they thought they fo well deferved, were not only
fecretly enraged at ^Emilius for it, but openly com-
plained, that he had been a fevere and tyrannical com-
mander over them ; nor were they fo defirous of a
triumph as might have been expected. When this was
known to Servius Galba, who was yEmilius's enemy,
.though he had commanded as a military tribune under
him, he had the boldnefs to declare openly, that a
triumph was not to be allowed him. He fowed divers
calumnies among the foldiers, which yet further in-
creafed their ill-will towards JEmilius ; and he defired
the tribunes of the people, becaufe the four hours that
were remaining of the day could not fuffice for the accu-
fation, that they would put it off to another time. But
when the tribunes commanded him to fpeak then, if he
had any thing to fay, he began a long oration, filled with
all manner of reproaches, in which he fpent the remaining
part of the day ; and the tribunes, when it was dark,
difmifled die ailembly. The foldiers growing more


PAULUS -ffi M I L I U S. 275

vehement by this, all thronged about Galba, and enter-
ing into a confpiracy, early in the morning again befet
the capitol, where the tribunes had appointed the follow-
ing affembly to be held. As foon as it was day, it was put
to the vote, and the firfl tribe refufed to grant the tri-
umph. When this was underftood by the reft of the af-
fembly and the fenate, the common people declared them-
felves very much grieved, that /Emilius mould meet with
fuch ignominy ; but their words had no effect; The chief
of the fenate exclaimed againft it as a fcandalous action,
and excited one another to reprefs the boldnefs and info-
lence of the fbldiers, who if not oppofed in their attempt
to deprive ./Emilius of a triumph, would in a while be-
come quite ungovernable. Wherefore prefiing through
the croud, they came up in a body, and defired the tri-
bunes to defer polling; till they had delivered what they
had to fay to the people. All things being thus fufpend-
ed, and filence being obtained, Marcus Servilius flood up,
a man of confular dignity, and who had killed twenty-three
enemies in fingle combat. " I am now, faid he, convinced
" more than ever, that Paulus ^milius is an able Genera^,
" fmcehehas performed fuch great exploits, with an army
" ib full of fedition and iicentioulnefs ; but I can never e-
" nough admire how a people that feerred to glory in the
"triumphs over the Illyrians and Ligurians, can now
" through envy refufe to fee the Macedonian King led cap-
" tive, and all the glory of Philip and Alexander fubdued
" by the Roman power. For is it notaftrange ''thing for you,
<c who upon a flight rumour of victory that came by chance
" into the city, offered facrifices, ancl put up your requefts
"to the Gods that you might fee the report verified, now,
" when the General is returned with an undoubted conqueft
<c to defraud the Gods of the honour, and yourfelves of the
"joy, as if you were afraid to fee how great the conqueft is,
"or were willing to fpare the King that difgrace? And, in-
" deed of the two, it were much better to put a flop to the
"triumph, out of pity to him, than out of envy to your
" General. But fo great is the malignity and infolence cf
" fome amongft you, that he who has never received a

S z wound,

276 We L I F E of

" wound, and whofebody is (leek and delicate witheaieand
" indulgence, dares to talkofgehei <>.'s and triumphs be fore
<c you, who have learned from your wounds to judge ot the
" valour or the cowardice of your commanders." At the
lame time putting afide his garment, he mowed an incre-
dible number of tears upon his bread, and in turning about
happened to difcover thofe parts which are not decent to
be expoied. Then applying himfelf to Galba, who fell a
laughing when he faw them; (welled, " Thou, (fays he) de-
" rideft me for thefe fwellings, in which I glory before my
"fellow citizens, for it is in their iervice in which I rode
" inccflantly night and day, that I received them but go
"on to collect the votes, whiift I follow after, and note
" the bafe and unerateftjL, and fcch as chufe rather to o-

O *

" bey the rabble in war, than to be commanded by their
" General." It is faid this fpeech fo (topped the' foldiers
mouths, and altered their minds, that all the tribes de-
creed a triumph for ^milius ; which was performed af-
ter this manner.

The people erected fcaffblds in the Forum, in the
theatres where the horfe-races were ufually performed
(which they call Circus's,) and in all other parts of the
city, where they could belt behold the proceffion. The
fpectators were clad in white garments, all the temples
were open, and full of garlands and perfumes, and the
ways were cleared by a great many officers who removed
fuch as thronged the pafiages, or draggled up and down.
This triumph laded three days. On the firft, which
was fcarce long enough for the fight, were exhibited to
view the images, pictures and cololfean frames, which
were taken from the enemy, drawn upon 250 chariots.
On the fecond, was carried in a great number of wag-
gons the richeft and mofl beautiful armour of the Ma-
cedonians both of brafs and fteel, all. bright and newly
polifhed ; which although piled up with the greatefl art
and order, yet Itemed to be tumbled on heaps. carelefly
and by chance ; helmets were thrown upon fnields,


(3) According to Plutarch's ac- ami as gold was then only ten
count there were 2250 talents of times the valueof fiiver, the whole
fiiver coin, and 231 of gold coin ; funi was kfs than 900,000!.


P A U L U S JE M I L I U S. 277

coats of mail upon greaves, Cretan targets, Thracian
bucklers, and quivers of arrows, lay huddled amongfl
the horfes bits, and through thefe there appeared the points
of naked fwords( intermixed with long fpears. All thefe
arms were tied together with fuch a j lift liberty, that they
knocked againft one another as they were drawn along, and
made aharfh and terrible noife, ib that the very fpoilsof the
conquered could not be beheld without dread. After thefe
waggons loaden with armour, there followed 3000 men,
v/ho carried the filver that was coined, in 750 vefiels, each
of which contained the weight of three talents, and was
borne by four men. Others brought filver bowls, and gob-
lets, and cups, all difpofed in fuch order as to make the belt
fhow, and all valuable, as well for their fize as the thicknefs
of their engraved work. On the third day early in the
morning, firft came the trumpeters, who did not found
fuch airs. as they were wont in a proceffion or folemn entry,
but fuch as the Romans ufe when they encourage their fol-
diers to fight. Next followed 1 20 flailed oxen with their
horns gilded and their heads adorned with ribbons and gar-
lands ; the young men wko led them to the facrifice were
girt with rich belts of curious workmanfhip ; and they were
followed by boys whocarriedthe facrificing veflels of filver
and gold. After this was brought the gold coin, which
was divided into veflels that contained three talents, like
thofe which contained the filver ; they were in number
feventy-feven (3). Thefe w r ere followed by thofe who
brought the confecrated bowl, which ^milius had caufed
to be made, and which weighed ten talents, and was fet
with precious flones. Then were expofed to view the
cups of A-Qtigonus and Seleucus, and fuch as w r ere made
after thefafhion invented by Thericles, and all the gold
plate that was uied at Perfeus's table. Next to thefe
came Perfeus's chariot, in which his armour was placed,
and on that his diadem. And after a little intermifiion,
the King's children were led captives, and with them a
train of nurfes, matters and governors, who all wept
and flretcht forth their hands to the fpectators, and


According to Valerius Antias it final! ; and Velieiits Paterculus
amounted to fomewhat more; but makes it almoft twice as much.
Livy thinks his computation too 83 (4) Plutarch

i 7 S Me LIFE of

taught the children to implore their compaflion. There
were two fons ar;d a daughter, who by reafon of their
tender age were altogether infenfible of the greatnefs of
their mifery, which infenfibility of their condition, ren-r
dered it much more deplorable ; infomuch that Perfeus
himfelf was fcarce regarded as he went along, whilfl
pity had fixed the eyes of the Romans upon the infants,
and many of them could not forbear tears ; all beheld
the fight with a mixture of fbrrow and joy, until the
children were paft. After his children and their attend-
ants, came Perfeus himfelf, clad all in black, and wear-
ing flippers after the fafhion of his country : he looked
like one altogether aftonifhed and deprived of reafon,
through the greatnefs of his misfortunes. Next fol-
lowed a great many of his friends, and favourites, whofe
countenances were disfigured with grief, and who tefli-
fied to all that beheld them, by fixing their weeping
eyes continually upon Perfeus, that it was his hard for-
tune they fo much lamented, and that they were regard-
lefs of their own. Perfeus had fent to ALmilius to in-
treat that he might not be led in triumph and expofedas
a publick fpectacle ; -^milius in derifion of his cowar-
dice and fondnefs for life, fent him thi anfwer, " What
" he afks of me was before and is now in his own power ;"
giving him to underfland that this difgrace was to be pre-
vented by killing himfelf; but this he had not the courage
to do, for by indulging vain empty hopes he had deftroyed
all the vigour and relblutio-n of his mind, and fo became
a part of his own fpoils. After thefe were carried 400
golden crowns, which had been fent from various cities
by their ambafladors to ^Emilius, as a reward due to his
valour. Then carne ^Emiliushimfelf in a chariot magnifi-
cently adorned, (a man worthy to be beheld and admired,
even without this additional pomp and fplendor.) He
was clad in a garment of purple interwoven with gold,
and held out a laurel branch in his right hand. All the
army in like manner with boughs of laurel in their hands,


(4) Plutarch has here in view are two veffels (landing, one on
that paflage in the laft book of the each fide of the throne of Jupiter ;
Iliad, where Homer fays, there that one of thefe is filled with


P A U L U S M M I L I U S. 279

divided into bands and companies, followed the chariot
of their commander ^ fome finging odes (according to the
ufual cuflom) mingled with raillery; other fongs of tri-
umph, and the praife of ^milius's exploits, who wasad-
vnired and accounted happy by all, and unenvied by every
good man. But it feerns to be the province of fome jea-
lous Being, to leiTen that happinefs which is exceffive, and
fo to mingle the affairs of human life, that no one fhall
be entirely exempt from calamities ; fo that, as Homer
fays, thofe mould think themfelves happy, (4) to v.hom
fortune has given an equal lhare of good and evil.

jEmilius had four fons, two of whom Scipius and Fa-
bius (as is already related) were adopted into other fami-
lies j the other two, whom he had by a fecond wife, and who
were yet but young, he brought up in his own houie.
One of thefe died at fourteen years of age, five days
before his fathers triumph ; the other at twelve, three
days after it. So that there was not a Roman who did
not (hare in his grief, and every one was {truck with
horror at the cruelty of fortune, who did not fcruple to
bring fo much forrow into a houfe filled with joy and
happinefs, with feafcs and facrifices, and to intermingle'
tears and lamentations with fongs of victory and triumph.
But .flimili us wifely confidered that courage and refokuion
was not only requifite to refill fwordsand fpears, butalfo
to withfland all the mocks of ill fortune ; therefore he
fo mixed and tempered the feveral accidents which had
befallen him at that time, as to overbalance the evil by
the good, and his private concerns by thofe of the pub-
lick that nothing might appear which feemed to leflen
the importance, or fully the dignity of his vidtory. For,
as foon as he had buried the firftof his fons, (as we have
already faid) he triumphed ; and the fecond dying almoft
as foon as his triumph was over, he called an aiTembly of
the people, and made an oration to them, not like a man
who flood in need of comfort from others, but as one who
was defirous to alleviate the grief which his fellow-citi^


evil, and the other with good ; that they are the moft happy for

that they are unfortunate whofe whom Jupiter provides an equal

portion is all taken out of the firft ; njixture out of both ; and that the

S 4 good

The LIFE cf

zensfelt for his misfortunes. " I, (faidhe,) who never yet
" feared any thing merely human, am'ongil fuch tilings as
" are divine always had a dread of fortune as faithlefs and
"irteohflantj and the extraordinary fuccefs which attend-
" ed me during the courfe of this war, greatly increafed
" my apprehensions ;' I imagined that fome tempeft or ad-
" verie wind would certainly follow fb favourable a gaie..
" For in one day I palled the Ionian fea, and arrived from
"Brundufiumat Corcyra ; in five more I facrificed at Dei-
" phi, and in other five days came up to my forces in Ma-
" cedoni^ , where, after I had finifhed the ufual facrifices
" for purifying the army, I entered upon a&ion, and in the
" fpace of fifteen days put an honourable period to the
" war. But when I ftill had ajealoufy of fortune, even
" from the fmooth current of my affairs, and faw myfelf
" fecuie from the danger of any enemy, I then feared that
" fome ill accident would befai me during my voyage, as
" I brought home with me fo great and victorious an ar~
" my, fuch vafl fpoils, and kings themfelves captives.
"Nay more, after I was returned to you fafe, and
" faw the city full of joy, congratulations, and fa-
"orifices, yet dill did I fufpect fortune, as well know-
"ing that (he never conferred any benefits that
"were fuicere and without fome allay. Nor could my
" mind which was perpetually as it were ia labour,
"and in continual apprehcnfion of fome publick cala-
" mity, free itfelf, from that fear, until this great mis-
" fortune befel me in my own family, and in the midft
"of thofe days which were fet apart for triumph, Icar-
" ried two of the beft of fons, my only heirs, one after a-
"nother to their funerals. Now therefore I myfelf am
4 ' fafe from danger, at lead as to what was my great-
"eft care-, and I am verily perfuaded, that for the
"time to come, fortune will prove conflant and haim-
<c lefs unto you ; for file has fufficently wreaked her
" envy at our fuccerfes on me and mine ^ nor is the
"conqueror a lefs confpicuous example of human


good without alloy is referyed on- by the fenate to remove Perfeus

ly for the Gods. " and Ills fon Alexander to Alba,

(5) Quinrus Caffius was ordered where he was attended by a guard


P A U.L U S IE M I L I U S. 281

"' frailty than the man he led in triumph, with this only
fcC difference, that Perfeus, though conquered, does yet
" enjoy his children, and the conqueror JEmilius is depriv-
" ed of his." This is the generous fpeech which ymilius
is laid to have made to the people from a heart truly fin^
cere, and free from all artifice.

Although he very much pitied Perfeus's condition, and
ftudied to befriend him as far as he was able, yet could
he procure no other favour than his (5) removal from the
common prifon, into a more cleanly and comfortable place
of fecurity, where (it is generally faid) he flarved himfelf
to death. Bat the manner of his death, as it is related by
ibme, was very ftrange and cruel ; they fay that the fol-
diers who guarded him, having conceived a fpite and ha-
tred againft him for fome certain reafons, and finding no
other way to torment him, prevented him from fleeping,
difturbed him when he was difpofed to reft, and found
out contrivances to keep him continually awake ; by which
means at length he was quite tired out, and fo expired.
Two of his children alfo died foon after him ; the third,
who was named Alexander, they fay, proved an exquifite
artift in turning and graving in miniature and having
perfectly learned to fpeak and write the Roman language,
he was employed as a clerk by the magiftrates, and be-
haved himfelf in his office with great (kill and conduct.
They afcribe to ./Emilius's conqueft in Macedonia, this
advantage which was extremely acceptable to the people,
that he brought fo vafl a quantity of money into the
publick treafury, that they never paid any taxes till
Hirtius and Panfa were confuls, which was in the firft
war between Anthony and Auguftus (6). This was pecu-
liar and remarkable in ^milus, that though he was ex-
tremely beloved and honoured by the people, yet he
always fided with the patricians, nor would he either
fay or do any thing to ingratiate himfelf with the vulgar,
but conftantly adhered to the nobility, and men of the


but was fupplied with money, wait upon and ferve him.

and all other conveniences, and (6) That is, during the fpace

had proper perfons appointed to of 425 years,

(7) *

232 Me L I F E -of

firil rank, in all matters of government. This conduct
of his was afterwards urged by way of reproach againfl
Scipio African us by Appius ; for thefe two were in their
time the mod confiderable men in the city, and flood
in competition for the office of Cenfor. The one had
on his fide the nobles and the fenate, (to which party
the family of the Appii always adhered) the other, al-
though he was himfelf fo great, yet had always folicited
the favour and love of the people. When therefore
Appius favv Scipio come into the Forum furrounded with
men of mean rank, and fuch as were but newly made

Online LibraryPlutarchPlutarch's lives : in six volumes : translated from the Greek (Volume 2) → online text (page 25 of 42)