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MARCELLUS, xx. 1-5

and, in a word, of civil virtues, they had given no
proofs, and at this time Marcellus seems to have been
the first to show the Greeks that the Romans were
the more observant of justice. For such w r as his
treatment of those who had to do with him, and so
many were the benefits which he conferred both
upon cities and private persons, that, if the people of
Enna or Megara or Syracuse met with any indignities,
the blame for these was thought to belong to the
sufferers rather than to the perpetrators. And I
will mention one instance out of many. There is a
city of Sicily called Engyium, not large, but very
ancient, and famous for the appearance there of
goddesses, who are called Mothers. 1 The temple is
said to have been built by Cretans, and certain spears
were shown there, and bronze helmets ; some of
these bore the name of Meriones, and others that of
Ulysses (that is, Odysseus), who had consecrated
them to the goddesses. This city, which most
ardently favoured the Carthaginian cause, Nicias, its
leading citizen, tried to induce to go over to the
Romans, speaking openly and boldly in the assemblies
and arguing the unwisdom of his opponents. But
they, fearing his influence and authority, planned to
arrest him and deliver him up to the Carthaginians.
Nicias, accordingly, becoming aware at once of their
design and of their secret watch upon him, gave
utterance in public to unbecoming speeches about
the Mothers, and did much to show that he re-
jected and despised the prevalent belief in their
manifestations, his enemies meanwhile rejoicing
that he was making himself most to blame for his
coming fate. But just as they were ready to arrest

1 Magna Mater, the Cretan Rhaea, often confounded with
the Phrygian Cybele. Cf. Diodorus, iv. 70, 5-7.



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viroTpofJiw fywvf) KOI ftapela, Kara


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MARCELLUS, xx. 5-xxi. i

him, an assembly of the citizens was held, and here
Nicias, right in the midst of some advice that he was
giving to the people, suddenly threw himself upon
the ground, and after a little while, amid the silence
and consternation which naturally prevailed, lifted
his head, turned it about, and spoke in a low and
trembling voice, little by little raising and sharpening
its tones. And when he saw the whole audience
struck dumb with horror, he tore oft' his mantle, rent
his tunic, and leaping up half naked, ran towards
the exit from the theatre, crying out that he was
pursued by the Mothers. No man venturing to lay
hands upon him or even to come in his way, out of
superstitious fear, but all avoiding him, he ran out to
the gate of the city, freely using all the cries and
gestures that would become a man possessed and
crazed. His wife also, who was privy to his scheme,
taking her children with her, first prostrated herself
in supplication before the temples of the gods, and
then, pretending to seek her wandering husband, no
man hindering her, went safely forth out of the city.
Thus they all escaped to Marcellus at Syracuse.
But when Marcellus, after many transgressions and
insults on the part of the men of Engyium, came and
put them all in chains in order to punish them, then
Xicias, standing by, burst into tears, and finally,
clasping the hands and knees of Marcellus, begged
the lives of his fellow citizens, beginning with his
enemies. Marcellus relented, set them all free, and
did their city no harm ; he also bestowed upon Nicias
ample lands and many gifts. At any rate, this story
is told by Poseidonius the philosopher.

XXI. When Marcellus was recalled by the Romans
to the war in their home territories, he carried back
with him the greater part and the most beautiful <>i'

49 i


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v, TCL /JLeyiGT* [email protected], 1

' ayaQov with Coraes, as in the Cimon, iv. 4 :
/j.fyiar<i re ayaQov.


MARCELLUS, xxi. 1-5

the dedicatory offerings in Syracuse, that they might
grace his triumph and adorn his city. For before
this time Rome neither had nor knew about such
elegant and exquisite productions, nor was there any
love there for such graceful and subtle art ; but filled
full of barbaric arms and bloody spoils, and crowned
round about with memorials and trophies of triumphs,
she was not a gladdening or a reassuring sight, nor
one for unwarlike and luxurious spectators. Indeed,
as Epaminondas called the Boeotian plain a "dancing-
floor of Ares," and as Xenophon 1 speaks of Ephesus
as a "work-shop of war/' so, it seems to me, one
might at that time have called Rome, in the lan-
guage of Pindar, "a precinct of much-warring
Ares." 2 Therefore with the common people Mar-
cellus won more favour because he adorned the citv
with objects that had Hellenic grace and charm and
fidelity ; but with the elder citizens Fabius Maximus
was more popular. For he neither disturbed nor
brought away anything of this sort from Tarentum,
when that city was taken, but while he carried off
the money and the other valuables, he suffered the
statues to remain in their places, adding the well-
known saying : " Let us leave these gods in their
anger for the Tarentines." 3 And they blamed Mar-
ellus, first, because he made the city odious, in
that not only men, but even gods were led about in
her triumphal processions like captives ; and again,
because, when the people was accustomed only to
war or agriculture, and was inexperienced in luxury
and ease, but, like the Heracles of Euripides, was

" Plain, unadorned, in a great crisis brave and true," 4

1 Nell. iii. 4, 17. 2 Pyth. ii. 1 f.

3 Cf. the Fabius Maxim MX, xxii. 5.

4 A fragment of the lost Licymniu* of Euripides (Xauek,
Tray. Grcec. Fray. z p. 507).




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/cat Sta \6yov Trdvra Oe^voL^ /caXw?, otoz^

Coraes and Bekker, following Stephanus, have
OI';TO?S (agreed with them).



he made them idle and full of glib talk about arts
and artists, so that they spent a great part of the
day in such clever disputation. Notwithstanding such
censure, Marcellus spoke of this with pride even to
the Greeks, declaring that he had taught the igno-
rant Romans to admire and honour the wonderful
and beautiful productions of Greece.

XXII. But when the enemies of Marcellus opposed
his triumph, because something still remained to be
done in Sicily and a third triumph would awaken
jealousy, he consented of his own accord to conduct
the complete and major triumph to the Alban mount,
but to enter the city in the minor triumph ; this
is called "eua" by the Greeks, and "ova" by the
Romans. 1 In conducting it the general does not
mount upon a four-horse chariot, nor wear a wreath
of laurel, nor have trumpets sounding about him ;
but he goes afoot with shoes on, accompanied by the
sound of exceeding many flutes, and wearing a
wreath of myrtle, so that his appearance is unwarlike
and friendly rather than terrifying. And this is the

> fj

strongest proof to my mind that in ancient times the
two triumphs were distinguished, not by the magni-
tude, but by the manner, of the achievements which
they celebrated. For those who w r on the mastery by
fighting and slaying their enemies celebrated, as it
would seem, that martial and terrible triumph, after
wreathing their arms and their men with abundant
laurel, just as they were wont to do when they
purified their armies with lustral rites ; while to
those generals who had had no need of war, but had
brought everything to a good issue by means of con-
ference, persuasion, and argument, the law awarded

1 Cf. the Crassus, xi. 8. Tlie later Latin name was



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XXIII. Tou Be Map/ceXXoL' TO TeTapTov vira-
TCVOVTOS ol e^Opol TOI)? ZiVpaKovcriov? dveireicrav
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TT/OO? TVJV avy/cXijTov co? Beivd /cal TrapdaTrovBa


MARCELLUS, xxn. 3-xxni. i

the privilege of conducting, like a paean of thanks-
giving, this unwarlike and festal procession. For
the flute is an instrument of peace, and the myrtle is
a plant of Aphrodite, who more than all the other
gods abhors violence and wars. And this minor
triumph is called "ova," not from the Greek "euas-
mos," as most think (since they conduct the major
triumph also with songs and cries of " eua ! "), but
the name has been wrested by the Greeks into con-
formity with their speech, since they are persuaded
that something of the honour has to do with Diony-
sus also, whom they call Euius and Thriambus.
This, however, is not the true explanation ; but it
was the custom for commanders, in celebrating the
major triumph, to sacrifice an ox, whereas in the minor
triumph they sacrificed a sheep. Now, the Roman
name for sheep is "ova," and from this circumstance
the lesser triumph is called ova. 1 And it is worth
our Avhile to notice that the Spartan lawgiver
appointed his sacrifices in a manner opposite to that
of the Romans. For in Sparta a returning general
who had accomplished his plans by cunning decep-
tion or persuasion, sacrificed an ox ; he who had won
by fighting, a cock. For although they were most
warlike, they thought an exploit accomplished by
means of argument and sagacity greater and more
becoming to a man than one achieved by violence
and valour. How the case really stands, I leave an
open question.

XXIII. While Marcellus was serving as consul for
the fourth time, 2 his enemies induced the Syracusans
to come to Rome and accuse and denounce him
before the senate for terrible wrongs which they

1 It is hardly necessary to say that Plutarch's etj'mology,
as often, is worthless. s In 210 B.C.



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Tas, aXXa redrceivovs eVt TW 7ro\/uiv


MARCELLUS, xxm. 1-5

liad suffered contrary to the terms of surrender. It
chanced, then, that Mareellus was performing a
sacrifice on the Capitol, but, the senate being still in
session, the Syracusans hurried before it and begged
that they might have a hearing and justice. The
colleague of Marcellus tried to have them expelled,
angrily explaining that Marcellus was not present ;
but Marcellus, when he heard of it, came at once.
And first, sitting as consul in his curule chair, he
transacted the routine business ; then, when this was
all ended, coming down from his curule chair and
taking his stand as a private citizen in the place
where men under accusation usually plead their
cause, he gave the Syracusans opportunity to press
their charge. But they were terribly confounded by
his dignity and confidence, and thought him yet
more formidable and hard to confront in his robe of
purple than he had been irresistible in arms. How-
ever, being encouraged by the rivals of Marcellus,
they began their denunciation and rehearsed their
demands for justice, which were mingled with much
lamentation. The gist of their plea was that,
although they were allies and friends of the Romans,
they had suffered at the hands of Marcellus what
other generals allowed many of their enemies to
escape. To this Marcellus made answer that in
return for many injuries which they had done to the
Romans, they had suffered nothing except what men
whose city has been taken by storm in war cannot
possibly be prevented from suffering ; and that their
city had been so taken was their own fault, because
they had refused to listen to his many exhortations
and persuasions. For it was not by their tyrants that
they had been forced into war, nay, they had elected
those very tyrants for the purpose of going to war.



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1 UTT' tufivov, *x eiv bracketed by Bekker.

MAIU'KLIA'S, XMII. 5-xxiv. 2

\\lien the speeches were ended, and the Syra-
cusans, as the custom was, withdrew from the senate,
Marcellus went forth with them, after giving to his
colleague the presidency of the senate, and lingered
before the doors of the senate-house, allowing no
change in his accustomed demeanour either because
he feared the sentence, or was angry with the Syra-
eusans, but with complete gentleness and decorum
awaiting the issue of the case. And when the votes
had been cast, and he was proclaimed not guilty, the
Syracusans fell at his feet, begging him with tears to
remit his wrath against the embassy there present,
and to take pity on the rest of the city, which always
was mindful of favours conferred upon it and grateful
for them. Marcellus, accordingly, relented, and was
reconciled with the embassy, and to the rest of the
Syracusans was ever afterwards constant in doing
good. The freedom, also, which he had restored to
them, as well as their laws and what was left of their
possessions, the senate confirmed to them. Where-
fore Marcellus received manv surpassing honours
from them, and particularly they made a law that
whenever he or any one of his descendants should set


foot in Sicily, the Syracusans should wear garlands
and sacrifice to the gods.

XXIV. After this he moved at once against Han-
nibal. And although almost all the other consuls
and commanders, after the disaster at Cannae, made
the avoidance of all fighting their sole plan of cam-
paign against this antagonist, and no one had the
courage to engage in a pitched battle with him,
Marcellus himself took the opposite course, thinking
that before the time thought necessary for destroying
Hannibal had elapsed, Italv would insensibly be
worn out by him. He thought, too, that Fabius, by
making safety his constant aim, was not taking the




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right course to heal the malady of the country, since
the extinction of the war for which he waited would
be coincident with the exhaustion of Rome, just as
physicians who are timid and afraid to apply reme-
dies, consider the consumption of the patient's
powers to be the abatement of the disease. First,
then, he took the large cities of the Samnites which
had revolted, and got possession of great quantities ot
grain which had been stored in them, besides money,
and the three thousand soldiers of Hannibal who
were guarding them. Next, after Hannibal had
slain the proconsul Gnaeus Fulvius himself in Apulia,
together with eleven military tribunes, and had cut
to pieces the greater part of his army, Marcellus sent
letters to Rome bidding the citizens be of good
courage, for that he himself was already on the
march to rob Hannibal of his joy. Livy says l that
when these letters were read, they did not take
away the grief of the Romans, but added to their
fear ; for they thought their present danger as much
greater than the past as Marcellus was superior to
Fulvius. But Marcellus, as he had written, at once
pursued Hannibal into Lucania, and came up with
him, and as he found him occupying a secure position
on heights about the city of Numistro, he himself
encamped in the plain. On the following day he
was first to array his forces when Hannibal came


down into the plain, and fought a battle with him
which, though indecisive, was desperate and long ;
for their engagement began at the third hour, and
was with difficulty ended when it was already dark.
But at daybreak Marcellus led his army forth again,

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