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enemy might still be offering resistance. Here he heard of the death
of Kraterus, and rode up to where he lay. Finding that he was still
alive and conscious, Eumenes dismounted, and with tears and
protestations of friendship cursed Neoptolemus and lamented his hard
fate, which had forced him either to kill his old friend and comrade
or to perish at his hands.

VIII. This victory was won by Eumenes about ten days after his former
one. He gained great glory from this double achievement, as he
appeared to have won one battle by courage and the other by
generalship. Yet he was bitterly disliked and hated both by his own
men and by the enemy, because he, a stranger and a foreigner, had
vanquished the most renowned of the Macedonians in fair fight. Now if
Perdikkas had lived to hear of the death of Kraterus, he would have
been the chief Macedonian of the age; but the news of his death
reached the camp of Perdikkas two days after that prince had fallen in
a skirmish with the Egyptians, and the enraged Macedonian soldiery
vowed vengeance against Eumenes. Antigonus and Antipater at once
declared war against him: and when they heard that Eumenes, passing by
Mount Ida where the king[171] used to keep a breed of horses, took as
many as he required and sent an account of his doing so to the Masters
of the Horse, Antipater is said to have laughed and declared that he
admired the wariness of Eumenes, who seemed to expect that he would be
called upon to give an account of what he had done with the king's
property. Eumenes had intended to fight a battle on the plains of
Lydia near Sardis, because his chief strength lay in his cavalry, and
also to let Kleopatra[172] see how powerful he was; but at her
particular request, for she was afraid to give umbrage to Antipater,
he marched into Upper Phrygia, and passed the winter in the city of
Kelainæ. While here, Alketas, Polemon, and Dokimus caballed against
him, claiming the supreme command for themselves. Hereupon Eumenes
quoted the proverb, "No one reflects that he who rules must die."

He now promised his soldiers that in three days he would give them
their pay, and accomplished this by selling the various fortified
villages and castles in the neighbourhood to them, all of which were
full of human beings to sell for slaves, and of cattle. The officers
who bought these places from Eumenes were supplied by him with
siege-artillery to take them, and the proceeds of the plunder were set
off against the arrears of pay due to the soldiers. This proceeding
made Eumenes very popular with his army, indeed, when a proclamation
was distributed in his camp by contrivance of the enemy, in which a
reward of a hundred talents and special honours were offered to the
man who would kill Eumenes, the Macedonians were greatly enraged, and
determined that a body-guard of one thousand men, of the best families
in Macedonia, should watch over his safety day and night. The soldiers
obeyed him with alacrity and were proud to receive from his hands the
same marks of favour which kings are wont to bestow upon their
favourites. Eumenes even took upon himself to give away purple hats
and cloaks, which is accounted the most royal present of all by the

IX. Success exalts even mean minds, and men always appear to have a
certain dignity when in high station and power; but the truly great
man proves his greatness more by the way in which he bears up against
misfortunes and endures evil days, as did Eumenes. He was defeated by
Antigonus in Southern Cappadocia by treachery, but when forced to
retreat he did not allow the traitor who had betrayed him to make good
his escape to Antigonus, but took him and hanged him on the spot. He
managed to retreat by a different road to that on which the enemy were
pursuing, and then suddenly turning about, encamped on the
battle-field of the day before. Here he collected the dead bodies,
burned them with the timber of the houses in the neighbouring
villages, and raised separate barrows over the remains of the officers
and the men - monuments of his hardihood and presence of mind which
excited the admiration of Antigonus himself when he again passed that
way. The two armies were still sometimes so near each other, that
Eumenes once had an opportunity of making himself master of the whole
of the enemy's baggage, which would have enriched his troops with an
immense booty. He feared that the possession of such wealth would
render them eager to quit his toilsome and perilous service, and sent
secret warning under the pretext of private friendship to Menander,
the general who had been left in charge of the baggage, and enabled
him to withdraw into an unassailable position. This seemingly generous
action excited the gratitude of the Macedonians, whose wives and
children it had saved from slavery and dishonour, till Antigonus
pointed out to them that Eumenes had spared them only that he might
not encumber himself.[173] X. After this, Eumenes, who was being
constantly pursued by a superior force, recommended the greater part
of his men to return to their homes. This he did either because he was
anxious for their safety, or because he did not wish to drag about
with him a force which was too small to fight, and too large to move
with swiftness and secrecy. He himself took refuge in the impregnable
fortress of Nora, on the borders of Cappadocia and Lycaonia, with five
hundred horse and two hundred foot soldiers, and dismissed from thence
with kind speeches and embraces, all of his friends who wished to
leave the fortress, dismayed by the prospect of the dreary
imprisonment which awaited them during a long siege in such a place.
Antigonus when he arrived summoned Eumenes to a conference before
beginning the siege, to which he answered, that Antigonus had many
friends and officers, while he had none remaining with him, so that
unless Antigonus would give him hostages for his safety, he would not
trust himself with him. Upon this Antigonus bade him remember that he
was speaking to his superior. "While I can hold my sword," retorted
Eumenes, "I acknowledge no man as my superior." However, after
Antigonus had sent his cousin Ptolemæus into the fortress, as Eumenes
had demanded, he came down to meet Antigonus, whom he embraced in a
friendly manner, as became men who had once been intimate friends and
comrades. They talked for a long time, and Eumenes astonished all the
assembly by his courage and spirit; for he did not ask for his life,
and for peace, as they expected, but demanded to be reinstated in his
government, and to have all the grants which he had received from
Perdikkas restored to him. The Macedonians meanwhile flocked round
him, eager to see what sort of man this Eumenes was, of whom they had
heard so much; for since the death of Kraterus no one had been talked
of so much as Eumenes in the Macedonian camp. Antigonus began to fear
for his safety; he ordered them to keep at a distance, and at last
throwing his arms round the waist of Eumenes conducted him back
through a passage formed by his guards to the foot of the fortress.

XI. After this Antigonus invested the place with a double wall of
circumvallation, left a force sufficient to guard it, and marched
away. Eumenes was now closely besieged. There was plenty of water,
corn, and salt in the fortress, but nothing else to eat or to drink.
Yet he managed to render life cheerful, inviting all the garrison in
turn to his own table, and entertaining his guests with agreeable and
lively conversation. He himself was no sturdy warrior, worn with toil
and hardships, but a figure of the most delicate symmetry, seemingly
in all the freshness of youth, with a gentle and engaging aspect. He
was no orator, but yet was fascinating in conversation, as we may
partly learn from his letters. During this siege, as he perceived that
the men, cooped up in such narrow limits and eating their food without
exercise, would lose health, and also that the horses would lose
condition if they never used their limbs, while it was most important
that, if they were required for a sudden emergency, they should be
able to gallop, he arranged the largest room in the fort, fourteen
cubits in length, as a place of exercise for the men, and ordered them
to walk there, gradually quickening their pace, so as to combine
exercise with amusement. For the horses, he caused their necks to be
hoisted by pulleys fastened in the roof of their stable, until their
fore feet barely touched the ground. In this uneasy position they were
excited by their grooms with blows and shouts until the struggle
produced the effect of a hard ride, as they sprung about and stood
almost erect upon their hind legs till the sweat poured off them, so
that this exercise proved no bad training either for strength or
speed. They were fed with bruised barley, as being more quickly and
easily digested.

XII. After this siege had lasted for some time, Antigonus learned that
Antipater had died in Macedonia, and that Kassander and Polysperchon
were fighting for his inheritance. He now conceived great hopes of
gaining the supreme power for himself, and desired to have Eumenes as
his friend and assistant in effecting this great design. He sent
Hieronymus of Kardia, a friend of Eumenes, to make terms with him.
Hieronymus proffered a written agreement to Eumenes, which Eumenes
amended, and thus appealed to the Macedonians who were besieging him
to decide between the two forms, as to which was the most just.
Antigonus for decency's sake had mentioned the names of the royal
family of Macedonia in the beginning of his agreement, but at the end
of it demanded that Eumenes should swear fealty to himself. Eumenes
corrected this by inserting the names of Queen Olympias and all the
royal family, and then took a solemn oath of fealty, not to Antigonus
alone, but to Olympias and all the royal house of Macedonia. This form
was thought more reasonable by the Macedonians, who swore Eumenes
according to it, raised the siege, and sent to Antigonus that he also
might swear in the same form as Eumenes. After this Eumenes delivered
up all the Cappadocian hostages in Nora, soon collected a force of
little less than a thousand men, from his old soldiers who were still
roaming about that country, and rode off with them, as he very rightly
distrusted Antigonus, who as soon as he heard of what had happened,
sent orders to the Macedonians to continue the siege, and bitterly
reproached them for allowing Eumenes to amend the form of oath
tendered to him.

XIII. While Eumenes was retreating he received letters from the party
in Macedonia opposed to Antigonus, in which Olympias begged him to
come and take the son of Alexander, whose life was threatened, under
his protection; while Polysperchon and Philip, the king, bade him take
the command of the army in Cappadocia and make war against Antigonus,
empowering him out of the treasure at Quinda to take five hundred
talents, as compensation for his own losses, and to make what use he
pleased of the remainder for the expenses of the war. He was also
informed that orders had been sent to Antigenes and Teutamus the
commanders of the Argyraspides, the celebrated Macedonian regiment
with the silver shields, to put him in possession of the treasure
which they had brought from Susa, and to place themselves with their
troops under his command.

Antigenes and Teutamus, on receiving these orders, received Eumenes
with all outward manifestations of friendship, but were really full of
concealed rage at being superseded by him. He, however, judiciously
allayed their wrath by refusing to take the money, which he said he
did not need, while as they wore both unwilling to obey and unable to
command, he called in the aid of superstition, and declared that
Alexander himself had appeared to him in a dream, as when alive,
arrayed in the ensigns of royalty, seated in his tent, and despatching
affairs of state, and he proposed that they should erect a magnificent
tent, should place a golden throne in the centre, on which should be
laid a diadem, sceptre and royal apparel, and that there they should
transact business as in the presence of the king. Antigenes and
Teutamus willingly agreed to this proposal, which flattered their
self-love by seeming to place them on an equality with Eumenes.

As they marched up the country they were met by Peukestas, a friend of
Eumenes, and by several other satraps, or provincial governors, who
came accompanied by considerable bodies of troops, whose numbers and
excellent equipment and discipline gave great encouragement to the
Macedonian soldiery.

But these satraps, since the death of Alexander, had become dissolute,
licentious, and effeminate princes, with all the vices of Eastern
despots. They perpetually intrigued and quarrelled with one another,
while they courted the Macedonians by profuse liberality, providing
them with magnificent banquets and unlimited wine, until they entirely
ruined the discipline of their camp, and led them to meditate choosing
their leaders by a popular vote, as is done in republican cities.
Eumenes, perceiving that the satraps mistrusted one another, but that
they all agreed in hating and fearing himself, and only wanted an
opportunity for having him assassinated, pretended to be in want of
money, and borrowed large sums from those whom he chiefly suspected of
designs against his person, so that he secured the safety of his
person by taking other men's money, an object which most people are
glad to attain by giving their own.

XIV. While the peace lasted, the Macedonian soldiery willingly
listened to the flattering promises of the satraps, each of whom
wished to raise a force and make war upon the others; but when
Antigonus moved to attack them with a large army, and a real general
was imperatively demanded to meet him, then not only the soldiers
implicitly obeyed Eumenes, but even those princes who during the peace
had affected such airs of independence lowered their tone and each
without a murmur proceeded to his appointed duty. When Antigonus was
endeavouring to cross the river Pasitigris, none of the confederates
except Eumenes perceived his design, but he boldly withstood him, and
in a pitched battle slew many men, filled the stream with corpses, and
took four thousand prisoners. And also, when Eumenes fell sick, the
Macedonians clearly proved that they knew that the others could give
them banquets and fair promises, but that he alone could lead them to

When the army was in Persia, Peukestas magnificently entertained all
the soldiers, giving each man a victim for sacrifice, and thought that
by this liberality he had quite won their hearts; but a few days
afterwards, when they came into the presence of the enemy, Eumenes
happened to be ill, and was being carried in a litter apart from the
noise of the march in order to obtain rest. As the army gained the
crest of some low hills they suddenly saw the enemy's troops marching
down into the plain below. As soon as they saw the head of the column,
with its gilded arms flashing in the sun, and the elephants with their
towers and purple trappings, ready for instant attack, the Macedonians
halted, grounded their arms, and refused to proceed until Eumenes
should put himself at their head, plainly telling their officers that
they dared not risk a battle without him for their leader. Eumenes at
once came to the front at full speed in his litter, of which he caused
the curtains on both sides to be drawn back, while he waved his hand
to them in delight. They, in return, greeted him in the Macedonian
fashion by shouts and the clash of their arms, and at once took up
their shields and levelled their lances with a loud cry, challenging
the enemy to come and fight them, for they now had a general to lead
them on.

XV. Antigonus, who had learned from prisoners that Eumenes was sick
and travelling in a litter, imagined that it would not be difficult to
overcome the others, and therefore hastened his march, hoping to bring
on a battle while Eumenes was still unable to command. When, however,
as he rode along the enemy's line he observed their admirable order
and arrangement, he hesitated to attack. At last he perceived the
litter proceeding from one wing to the other. Then, with a loud laugh,
as was his habit when joking with his friends, he exclaimed, "It is
that litter, it seems, that is manœuvring against us." Saying this,
he at once withdrew his forces and encamped at some little distance.
The army of Eumenes, however, soon afterwards, needing refreshment and
repose, forced their generals to place them in cantonments for the
winter in the district of Gabiene. These were so scattered, that the
whole army was spread over a distance of a thousand stades (or a
hundred and twenty-five English miles). Antigonus, hearing this,
marched suddenly to attack them by a very difficult road, on which no
water was to be found, but which nevertheless was very short and
direct. He hoped to fall upon the enemy while scattered in their
winter quarters, and defeat them before their generals could rally
them into a compact mass. But as he marched through a desert region
his army met with strong winds and bitter cold, so that the men were
forced to light large fires to warm themselves, and these gave notice
of their arrival to the enemy; for the natives who inhabited the
mountains near the line of Antigonus's march, when they saw the
numerous fires lighted by his troops, sent messengers on swift camels
to tell Peukestas what they had observed. He was much alarmed at the
news, and, noticing that the rest of the satraps shared his fears,
proposed to retreat to the opposite extremity of the province, where
they might at least reassemble a part of their force before the enemy
came up. Eumenes, however, calmed their fears by promising that he
would stop the progress of Antigonus, and prevent his coming to attack
them until three days after they expected him. His counsels prevailed,
and he at once despatched messengers to call the troops together out
of their winter quarters, and collect all the available force, while
he himself with the other generals rode to the front, and selecting a
spot which was plainly visible to those crossing the desert, ordered
fires to be lighted at intervals, as though an army were encamped
along the frontier awaiting the attack of Antigonus. The latter,
observing the heights covered with watch-fires, was filled with rage
and mortification, imagining that the enemy must long ago have known
his plans. Fearing to fight with his wearied troops against men who
were fresh and had been living in comfort, he turned aside from the
desert, and refreshed his army among some neighbouring villages.
When, however, he saw no enemy, or any signs of a hostile army being
near, and learned from the natives that no troops had been seen by
them, but only a large number of fires, he perceived that he had been
out-manœuvred by Eumenes, and marched forward in anger, determined to
settle their disputes by a pitched battle.

XVI. Meanwhile the greater part of the army of Eumenes had assembled,
and, admiring his stratagem, declared that he alone was fit to be
their leader. This so vexed the officers in command of the
Argyraspids, Antigenes, and Teutamus, that they determined to make
away with him, and they held a council with most of the satraps and
officers of the army to determine how best they might rid themselves
of him. They all agreed that it would be wisest to make use of his
talents in the approaching battle, and immediately after the battle to
assassinate him. This result of their deliberations was at once
betrayed to Eumenes by Eudamus, the officer in command of the
elephants, and Phædimus, not from any love they bore to him, but
through fear of losing the money which they had lent him. Eumenes
thanked them for their kindness, and afterwards observed to the few
friends whom he could trust, that he was living amongst a herd of
savage beasts. He withdrew to his tent, made his will, and destroyed
all his private papers, not wishing after his death to involve any one
in danger. After having made these arrangements, he thought of
allowing the enemy to win the victory, or of escaping through Armenia
and Media into Cappadocia. He came to no decided resolution while his
friends were present, but merely discussed the various chances which
presented themselves to his versatile intellect, and then proceeded to
array his troops in order of battle, uttering words of encouragement
to them all, whether Greek or barbarian, while he himself was received
with cheerful and confident shouts by the Argyraspids, who bade him be
of good cheer, as the enemy never could abide their onset. These men
were the oldest of the soldiers of Philip and Alexander, and had
remained unconquered in battle up to that time, although many of them
were seventy and none of them were less than sixty years old. They
now called out, as they moved to attack the troops of Antigonus, "Ye
are fighting against your fathers, ye unnatural children." Charging
with fury, they broke down all opposition, for no one could stand
before them, though most of the enemy died where they stood. On this
side Antigonus was utterly defeated, but his cavalry were victorious;
and through the base and unsoldierly conduct of Peukestas the whole of
the baggage fell into his hands, by his own great presence of mind and
the nature of the ground. This was a vast plain, not dusty, and yet
not hard, but like a sea-beach, composed of a light loose sand,
covered with a salt crust. Upon this the trampling of so many horses
and men soon raised a cloud of dust through which no object could be
seen, as it whitened the whole air and dazzled the eyes. Through this
Antigonus dashed unnoticed, and made himself master of the baggage,
together with the wives and children of the army of Eumenes.

XVII. When the battle was over, Teutamus at once sent to offer terms
for the recovery of the baggage. As Antigonus promised that he would
deliver everything up to the Argyraspids, and that their wives and
children should be kindly treated, if Eumenes were placed in his
hands, the Macedonians were treacherous and wicked enough to resolve
to deliver him alive into the hands of his enemies. With this intent
they drew near to him, on various pretexts, some lamenting their loss,
some encouraging him because of the victory he had won, and some
preferring charges against the other generals. Suddenly they fell upon
him, snatched away his sword, and bound his hands. When Nikanor was
sent to conduct him to Antigonus, he asked, while he was passing
through the ranks of the Macedonians, to be permitted to address them,
not with any intention of begging his own life, but that he might
clearly point out to them what was to their own advantage. Silence was
enforced, and Eumenes, standing on a hillock, held forth his fettered
hands, and spoke as follows: - "Basest of Macedonians, could Antigonus
ever have erected such a monument of your disgrace as you have set up
yourselves by surrendering your general to him? Is it not shameful for
you, who have conquered in the battle, to acknowledge yourselves
defeated because of your baggage, as though victory lay more in money
than in arms, so that you should ransom your baggage by delivering up
your general? I indeed am now being carried off captive, an
unconquered man, who has overcome his foes, but has been ruined by his
friends; but I beseech you in the name of the Zeus that protects
armies, and the gods who watch over the true keeping of oaths, kill me
here with your own hands; for I shall be slain by you no less when I
am put to death in the enemy's camp. Antigonus cannot complain of this
action of yours, for he wishes to receive Eumenes dead, and not alive.
If you are chary of your own hands to do the deed, one of mine will
suffice if you will loose it from its bonds. Or if you will not trust
me with a sword, then cast me, bound as I am, to be trampled on by the
elephants. If you will act thus I will acquit you of all blame, and
will declare that you have dealt with your general as became
honourable men."

XVIII. When Eumenes had spoken thus, all the army was grieved and
lamented his fate, but the Argyraspids called out that he must be
carried away, and no attention paid to his talk; for, they said, it
mattered little what fate befel a pestilent fellow from the
Chersonese, who had involved the Macedonians in endless wars and
troubles, but that it was not to be borne that the bravest of the
soldiers of Philip and Alexander, after their unheard-of exploits,

Online Library46 PlutarchPlutarch's Lives Volume III → online text (page 14 of 55)