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public affairs has, like other things, its proper term, and
statesmen, as well as wrestlers, will break down, when
strength and youth fail. But Crassus and Pompey, on the
other hand, laughed to see Lucullus abandoning himself
to pleasure and expense, as if luxurious living were not a
thing that as little became his years as government of affairs
at home, or of an army abroad.

And, indeed, Lucullus's life, like the Old Comedy, pre-
sents us at the commencement with acts of policy, and of
war, at the end offering nothing but good eating and drink-
ing, feastings, and revellings, and mere play. For I give
no higher name to his sumptuous buildings, porticos,
and baths, still less to his paintings and sculptures, and all
his industry about these curiosities, which he collected
with vast expense, lavishly bestowing all the wealth and
treasure which he got in the war upon them, insomuch
that even now, with all the advance of luxury, the Lucullean
gardens are counted the noblest the emperor has. Tubero



158 PLUTARCH'S LIVES.

the stoic, when he saw his buildings at Naples, where he
suspended the hills upon vast tunnels, brought in the sea
for moats and fish-ponds round his house, and built pleas-
ure-houses in the waters, called him Xerxes in a gown.
He had also fine seats in Tusculuni, belvederes, and large
open balconies for men's apartments, and porticos to walk
in, where Pompey coming to see him, blamed him for
making a house which would be pleasant in summer, but
uninhabitable in winter ; whom he answered with a smile,
" You think me, then, less provident than cranes and storks,
not to change my home with the season." When a praetor,
with great expense and pains, was preparing a spectacle
for the people, and asked him to lend him some purple
robes for the performers in a chorus, he told him he would
go home and see, and if he had got any, would let him have
them ; and the next day asking how many he wanted, and
being told that a hundred would suffice, bade him to take
twice as many : on which the poet Horace observes, that a
house is but a poor one, where the valuables unseen and
unthought of do not exceed all those that meet the eye.

Lucullus's daily entertainments were ostentatiously ex-
travagant, not only with purple coverlets, and plate adorned
with precious stones, and dancings, and interludes, but
with the greatest diversity of dishes and the most elaborate
cookery, for the vulgar to admire and envy. It was a
happy thought of Pompey in his sickness, when his physician
prescribed a thrush for his dinner, and his servants told
him that in summer-time thrushes were not to be found
anywhere but in Lucullus's fattening coops, that he would
not suffer them to fetch one thence, but observing to his
physician, " So if Lucullus had not been an epicure, Pompey
had not lived," ordered something else that could easily
be got to be prepared for him. Cato was his friend and
connection, but, nevertheless, so hated his life and habits,
that when a young man in the senate made a long and
tedious speech in praise of frugality and temperance, Cato



LUCULLUS. 153

got up and said, " How long do you mean to go on making
money like Crassus, living like Lucullus and talking like
Cato ? " There are some, however, who say the words
were said, but not by Cato.

It is plain from the anecdotes on record of him, that Lu-
cullus was not only pleased with, but even gloried in his
way of living. For he is said to have feasted several Greeks
upon their coming to Rome day after day, who of a true
Grecian principle, being ashamed, and declining the invita-
tions, where so great an expense was every day incurred for
them, he with a smile told them, " Some of this, indeed, my
Grecian friends, is for your sakes, but more for that of Lu-
cullus." Once when he supped alone, there being only one
course, and that but moderately furnished, he called his
steward and reproved him, who professing to have supposed
that there would be no need of any great entertainment,
when nobody was invited, was answered, "What, did not
you know, then, that to-day Lucullus dines with Lucullus ? "
Which being much spoken of about the city, Cicero and
Pompey one day met him loitering in the forum, the former
his intimate friend and familiar, and, though there had been
some ill-will between Pompey and him about the command
in the war, still they used to see each other and converse on
easy terms together. Cicero accordingly saluted him, and
asked him whether to-day were a good time for asking a favor
of him, and on his answering, " Very much so," and beg-
ging to hear what it was, " Then," said Cicero, " we should like
to dine with you to-day, just on the dinner that is prepared
for yourself." Lucullus being surprised, and requesting a
day's time, they refused to grant it, neither suffered him
to talk with his servants, for fear he should give order for
more than was appointed before. But thus much they
consented to, that before their faces he might tell his serv-
ants, that to-day he would sup in the Apollo (for so one
of his best dining-rooms was called), and by this evasion
he outwitted his guests. For every room, as it seems, hai



100 PLUTARCH'S LIVES.

its own assessment of expenditure, dinner at such a price,
and all else in accordance ; so that the servants, on know-
ing where he would dine, knew also how much was to be
expended, and in what style and form dinner was to be
served. The expense for the Apollo was fifty thousand
drachmas, and thus much being that day laid out, the
greatness of the cost did not so much amaze Pompey and
Cicero, as the rapidity of the outlay. One might believe
Lucullus thought his money really captive and barbarian,
so wantonly and contumeliously did he treat it.

His furnishing a library, however, deserves praise and
record, for he collected very many choice manuscripts;
and the use they were put to was even more magnificent
than the purchase, the library being always open, and the
Walks and reading-rooms about it free to all Greeks, whose
delight it was to leave their other occupations and hasten
thither as to the habitation of the Muses, there walking
about, and diverting one another. He himself often passed
his hours there, disputing with the learned in the walks,
and giving his advice to statesmen who required it, inso-
much that his house was altogether a home, and in a
manner a Greek prytaneum for those that visited Rome.
He was fond of all sorts of philosophy, and was well-read
and expert in them all. But he always from the first
specially favored and valued the Academy; not the New
one, which at that time under Philo flourished with the
precepts of Carneades, but the Old one, then sustained and
^presented by Antiochus of Ascalon, a learned and elo-
quent man. Lucullus with great labor made him his friend
and champion, and set him up against Philo's auditors,
among whom Cicero was one, who wrote an admirable
treatise in defence of his sect, in which he puts the argu-
ment in favor of comprehension in the mouth of Lucullus,
and the opposite argument in his own. The book is called
Lucullus. For, as has been said, they were great friends,
and took the same side in politics. For Lucullus did not



LUCULLUS. 161

wholly retire from the republic, but only from ambition,
and from the dangerous and often lawless struggle for
political pre-eminence, which he left to Crassus and Cato,
whom the senators, jealous of Pompey's greatness, put for-
ward as their champions, when Lucullus refused to head
them. For his friends' sake he came into the forum and
into the senate, when occasion offered to humble the ambi-
tion and pride of Pompey, whose settlement, after his
conquests over the kings, he got cancelled, and, by the as-
sistance of Cato, hindered a division of lands to his soldiers,
which he proposed. So Pompey went over to Crassus and
Caesar's alliance, or rather conspiracy, and filling the city
with armed men, procured the ratification of his decrees
by force, and drove Cato and Lucullus out of the forum.
Which being resented by the nobility, Pompey's party
produced one Vettius, pretending they apprehended him
in a design against Pompey's life. Who in the senate-
house accused others, but before the people named Lucul-
lus, as if he had been suborned by him to kill Pompey.
Nobody gave heed to what he said, and it soon appeared
that they had put him forward to make false charges and
accusations. And after a few days the whole intrigue
became yet more obvious, when the dead body of Vettius
was thrown out of the prison, he being reported, indeed,
to have died a natural death, but carrying marks of a
halter and blows about him, and seeming rather to have
been taken off by those Avho suborned him. These things
kept Lucullus at a greater distance from the republic.

But when Cicero was banished the city, and Cato sent to
Cyprus, he quitted public affairs altogether. It is said,
too, that before his death, his intellects failed him by
degrees. But Cornelius Nepos denies that either age or
sickness impaired his mind, which was rather affected by
a potion, given him by Callisthenes, his freedman. The
potion was meant by Callisthenes to strengthen his affection
for him, and was supposed to have that tendency, but it



1 62 PL UTA ECWS LIVES.

stood quite otherwise, and so disabled and unsettled his
mind, that while he was yet alive, his brother took charge
of his affairs. At his death, as though it had been the
death of one taken off in the very height of military and
civil glory, the people were much concerned, and flocked
together, and would have forcibly taken his corpse, as it
was carried into the market-place by young men of the
highest rank, and have buried it in the field of Mars, where
they buried Sylla. Which being altogether unexpected,
and necessaries not easily to be procured on a sudden, his
brother, after much entreaty and solicitation, prevailed
upon them to suffer him to be buried on his Tusculan
estate as had been appointed. He himself survived him but
a short time, coming not far behind in death, as he did in
age and renown, in all respects, a most loving brother.



COMPARISON OP LUCULLUS WITH CIMON,



ONE might bless the end of Lucullus, which was so
timid as to let him die before the great revolution, which
fate, by intestine wars, was already effecting against the
established government, and to close his life in a free,
though troubled commonwealth. And in this, above all
other things, Cimon and he are alike. For he died also
when Greece was as yet undisordered, in its highest
felicity ; though in the field at the head of his army, not
recalled, nor out of his mind, nor sullying the glory of his
wars, engagements, and conquests, by making feastings
and debauches seem the apparent end and aim of them all ;
as Plato says scornfully of Orpheus, that he makes ao
eternal debauch hereafter, the reward of those who lived
well here. Indeed, ease and quiet, and the study of
pleasant and speculative learning, to an old man retiring



COMPARISON OF LUCULLU8 WITH CIMON, 163

from command and office, is a most suitable and becoming
solace ; but to misguide virtuous actions to pleasure as
their utmost end, and as the conclusion of campaigns and
commands, to keep the feast of Venus, did not become the
noble Academy, and the follower of Xenocrates, but rather
one that inclined to Epicurus. And this is one surprising
point of contrast between them ; Cimon's youth was ill
reputed and intemperate, Lucullus's well disciplined and
sober. Undoubtedly we must give the preference to the
change for good, for it argues the better nature, where vice
declines and virtue grows. Both had great wealth, but
employed it in different ways ; and there is no comparison
between the south wall of the acropolis built by Cimon,
and the chambers and galleries, with their sea- views, built
at Naples by Lucullus, out of the spoils of the barbarians.
Neither can we compare Cimon's popular and liberal table
with the sumptuous oriental one of Lucullus, the former
receiving a great many guests every day at small cost, the
latter expensively spread for a few men of pleasure, unless
you will say that different times made the alteration. For
who can tell but that Cimon, if he had retired in his old age
from business and war to quiet and solitude, might have lived
a more luxurious and self-indulgent life, as he was fond of
wine and company, and accused, as has been said, of laxity
with women ? The better pleasures gained in successful
action and effort leave the baser appetites no time or place,
and makes active and heroic men forget them. Had but
Lucullus ended his days in the field, and in command, envy
and detraction itself could never have accused him. So
much for their manner of life.

In war, it is plain they were both soldiers of excellent
conduct, both at land and sea. But as in the games they
honor those champions who on the same day gain the gar-
land, both in wrestling and in the pancratium, with the
aame of ** Victors and more," so Cirnon, honoring Greece
vith a sea and land victory on the same day, may claim a



164 PL UTARCH 8 L1VJSSL

certain pre-eminence among commanders. Lucullus
ceived command from his country, whereas Cimon brought
it to his. He annexed the territories of enemies to her,
who ruled over confederates before, but Cimon made his
country, which when he began was a mere follower of
others, both rule over confederates, and conquer enemies
too, forcing the Persians to relinquish the sea, and induc-
ing the Lacedaemonians to surrender their command. If it
be the chiefest thing in a general to obtain the obedience
of his soldiers by good- will, Lucullus was despised by his
own army, but Cimon highly prized even by others. His
soldiers deserted the one, the confederates came over to
the other. Lucullus came home without the forces which
he led out ; Cimon, sent out at first to serve as one confed-
erate among others, returned home with authority even
over these also, having successfully effected for his city
three most difficult services, establishing peace with the
enemy, dominion over confederates, and concord with Lace-
daemon. Both aiming to destroy great kingdoms, and
subdue all Asia, failed in their enterprise, Cimon by a
simple piece of ill-fortune, for he died when general, in the
height of success ; but Lucullus no man can wholly acquit
of being in fault with his soldiers, whether it were he did
not know, or would not comply with the distastes and com-
plaints of his army, which brought him at last into such
extreme unpopularity among them. But did not Cimon
also suffer like him in this ? For the citizens arraigned
him, and did not leave off till they had banished him, that,
as Plato says, they might not hear him for the space of ten
years. For high and noble minds seldom please the vul-
gar, or are acceptable to them ; for the force they use to
straighten their distorted actions gives the same pain aa
surgeons' bandages do in bringing dislocated bones to their
natural position. Both of them, perhaps, come off pretty
much with an equal acquittal on this count.
Lucullus very much outwent him in war, being the first



COMPARISON OF LUCULLUS WITH CIMON. 165

Roman who carried an army over Taurus, passed the
Tigris, took and burned the royal palaces of Asia in the
sight of the kings, Tigranocerta, Cabira, Sinope, and
Nisibis, seizing and overwhelming the northern parts as
far as the Phasis, the east as far as Media, and making the
South and Red Sea his own through the kings of the Ara-
bians. He shattered the power of the kings, and narrowly
missed their persons, while like wild beasts they fled away
into deserts and thick and impassable woods. In demon-
stration of this superiority, we see that the Persians, as if
no great harm had befallen them under Cimon, soon after
appeared in arms against the Greeks, and overcame and
destroyed their numerous forces in Egypt. But after Lu-
cullus, Tigranes and Mithridates were able to do nothing ;
the latter, being disabled and broken in the former wars,
never dared to show his army to Pompey outside the
camp, but fled away to Bosporus, and there died. Tigranes
threw himself, naked and unarmed, down before Pompey,
and taking his crown from his head, laid it at his feet,
complimenting Pompey with what was not his own, but,
in real truth, the conquest already effected by Lucullus.
And when he received the ensigns of majesty again, he was
well pleased, evidently because he had forfeited them
before. And the commander, as the wrestler, is to be
accounted to have done most who leaves an adversary
almost conquered for his successor. Cimon moreover,
when he took the command, found the power of the king
broken, and the spirits of the Persians humbled by their
great defeats and incessant routs under Themistocles, Pau
sanias, and Leontychides, and thus easily overcame the
bodies of men whose souls were quelled and defeated before-
hand. But Tigranes had never yet in many combats been
beaten, and was flushed with success when he engaged with
Lucullus. There is no comparison between the numbers,
which came against Lucullus, and those subdued by Cimon.
All which things being rightly considered, it is t\ harj



1GG PLUTAECU'S LIVES.

matter to give judgment. For supernatural favor also
appears to have attended both of them, directing the one
what to do, the other what to avoid, and thus they have,
both of them, so to say, the vote of the gods, to declare
them noble and divine characters.



NICIAS.

CRASSUS, in my opinion, may most properly be set
against Nicias, and the Parthian disaster compared with
that in Sicily. But here it will be well for me to entreat
the reader, hi all courtesy, not to think that I contend with
Thucydides in matters so pathetically, vividly, and elo-
quently, beyond all imitation, and even beyond himself,
expressed by him ; nor to believe me guilty of the like folly
with Timseus, who, hoping in his history to surpass Thucy-
dides in art, and to make Philistus appear a trifler and a
novice, pushes on in his descriptions, through all the
battles, sea-fights, and public speeches, in recording which
they have been most successful, without meriting so much
as to be compared, in Pindar's phrase, to

One that on his feet.

Would with the Lydian cars compete.

He simply shows himself all along a half-lettered, childish
writer ; in the words of Diphilus,

of wit obese,

CHerlarded with Sicilian grease.

Often he sinks to the very level of Xenarchus, telling us
that he thinks it ominous to the Athenians, that their gen-
eral, who had victory in his name, was unwilling to take
command in the expedition ; and that the defacing of the
Hermse was a divine intimation that they should suffer



NIVIAS. 167

touch in the war by Hermocrates, the son of Hermon ; and,
moreover, how it was likely that Hercules should aid the
Syracusans for the sake of Proserpine, by whose means he
took Cerberus, and should be angry with the Athenians for
protecting the Egesteans, descended from Trojan ancestors,
whose city he, for an injury of their king Laomedon, had
overthrown. However, all these may be merely other in-
stances of the same happy taste that makes him correct
the diction of Philistus, and abuse Plato and Aristotle.
This sort of contention and rivalry with others in matter
of style, to my mind, in any case, seems petty and pedantic,
but when its objects are works of inimitable excellence, it
is absolutely senseless. Such actions in Nicias's life as
Thucydides and Philistus have related, since they cannot
be passed by, illustrating as they do most especially his
character and temper, under his many and great troubles,
that I may not seem altogether negligent, I shall briefly
run over. And such things as are not commonly known,
and lie scattered here and there in other men's writings, or
are found amongst the old monuments and archives, I
shall endeavor to bring together ; not collecting mere use-
less pieces of learning, but adducing what may make his
disposition and habit of mind understood.

First of all, I would mention what Aristotle has said of
Nicias, that there had been three good citizens eminent
above the rest for their hereditary affection and love to the
people, Nicias the son of Niceratus, Thucydides the son of
Melesias, and Theramenes the son of Hagnon, but the last
less than the others ; for he had his dubious extraction cast
in his teeth, as a foreigner from Ceos, and his inconstancy,
which made him side sometimes with one party, sometimes
with another, in public life, and which obtained him the
nickname of the Buskin.

Thucydides came earlier, and, on the behalf of the nobil-
ity, was a great opponent of the measures by which Pjri
cles courted the favor of the people.



108 PLUTARC1TS LIVES.

Nicias wag a younger man, yet was in some reputation
even whilst Pericles lived ; so much so as to have been his
colleague in the office of general, and to have held command
by himself more than once. But on the death of Pericles,
he presently rose to the highest place, chiefly by the favor
of the rich and eminent citizens, who set him up for their
bulwark against the presumption and insolence of Cleon ;
nevertheless, he did not forfeit the goodwill of the com-
monalty, who, likewise, contributed to his advancement.
For though Cleon got great influence by his exertions

to please

The old men, who trusted him to find them fees.

Yet even those, for whose interest and to gain whose favor
he acted, nevertheless observing the avarice, the arrogance,
and the presumption of the man, many of them supported
Nicias. For his was not that sort of gravity which is harsh
and offensive, but he tempered it with a certain caution and
deference, winning upon the people, by seeming afraid of
them. And being naturally diffident and unhopeful in war,
his good fortune supplied his want of courage, and kept it
from being detected, as in all his commands he was con-
stantly successful. And his timorousness in civil life, and
his extreme dread of accusers, was thought very suitable in
a citizen of a free State ; and from the people's goodwill to-
wards him, got him no small power over them, they being
fearful of all that despised them, but willing to promote
one who seemed to be afraid of them ; the greatest com-
pliment their betters could pay them being not to contemn
them.

Pericles, who by solid virtue and the pure force of argu-
ment ruled the commonwealth, had stood in need of no dis-
guises nor persuasions with the people. Nicias, inferior in
these respects, used his riches, of which he had abundance,
to gain popularity. Xeither had he the nimble wit of Cleon,
to win the Athenians to his purposes by amusing them with
bold jests ; unprovided with such qualities, he courted them



NICIAS 169

rith dramatic exhibitions, gymnastic games, and other
public shows, more sumptuous and more splendid than had
been ever known in his or in former ages. Amongst his
religious offerings, there was extant, even in our days, the
small figure of Minerva in the citadel, having lost the gold
that covered it ; and a shrine in the temple of Bacchus, un-
der the tripods, that were presented by those who won the
prize in the shows or plays. For at these he had often
carried off the prize, and never once failed. We are told
that on one of these occasions, a slave of his appeared in the
character of Bacchus, of a beautiful person and noble stature,
and with as yet no beard upon his chin ; and on the Athe-
nians being pleased with the sight, and applauding a long
time, Nicias stood up, and said he could not in piety keep
as a slave one whose person had been consecrated to rep-
resent a god. And forthwith he set the young man free.
His performances at Delos are, also, on record, as noble and
magnificent works of devotion. For whereas the choruses
which the cities sent to sing hymns to the god were wont to
arrive in no order, as it might happen, and, being there met
by a crowd of people crying out to them to sing, in their
hurry to begin, used to disembark confusedly, putting on
their garlands, and changing their dresses as they left the
ships, he, when he had to convoy the sacred company, dis-
embarked the chorus at Rhenea, together with the sacrifice,
and other holy appurtenances. And having brought along
with him from Athens a bridge fitted by measurement for
tiie purpose, and magnificently adorned with gilding and
coloring, and with garlands and tapestries : this he laid in
the night over the channel betwixt Rhenea and Delos, being



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