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philosopher Xenokrates[643] as an additional ambassador, because his
virtue, wisdom, and intellectual power was so renowned that they
imagined that no man's heart could be so arrogant, cruel, and savage
as not to be touched by some feeling of reverence and awe at the sight
of Xenokrates.

However, their expectations were entirely disappointed by the
ignorance and hatred of good men displayed by Antipater. In the first
place, though he shook hands with the others, he bestowed no greeting
upon Xenokrates; upon which Xenokrates is said to have remarked that
Antipater did well in showing that he felt shame before him for the
treatment which he was about to inflict upon the city. After this
Xenokrates began to make him a speech, but Antipater would not suffer
him to proceed, and by rude interruptions reduced him to silence.
After Phokion and Demades had spoken, Antipater stated his willingness
to make peace and become an ally of the Athenians, if they would
deliver up Demosthenes, Hypereides, and some other orators to
him,[644] re-establish their original government, in which the
magistrates were chosen according to property, receive a garrison in
Munychia, and pay the whole expenses of the war, besides a fine. The
ambassadors thought that they ought to be contented and thankful for
these terms, with the exception of Xenokrates, who said, "If Antipater
looks upon us as slaves, the terms are moderate; if as free men, they
are severe."[645] When Phokion earnestly begged Antipater not to send
a garrison to Athens, he is said to have said in reply, "Phokion, I am
willing to grant you any request you please, unless it be one which
would be fatal both to you and to myself." Some say that this is not
the true version of the incident, but that Antipater enquired of
Phokion whether, if he did not place a garrison in Athens, Phokion
would guarantee that the city would abide by the terms of the peace,
and not intrigue with a view of regaining its independence: and as
Phokion was silent and hesitated how to reply, Kallimedon, surnamed
'the crab' a man of a fierce and anti-democratical temper, exclaimed:
"If, Antipater, this man should talk nonsense, will you believe him,
and not do what you have decided upon?"

XXVIII. Thus it came to pass that the Athenians received into their
city a Macedonian garrison, whose commander was Menyllus, an amiable
man and a friend of Phokion himself. It was thought that the sending
of the garrison was a mere piece of arrogance on Antipater's part, and
to be more due to an insolent desire to show the extent of his power
than to any real necessity. The time, too, at which it was sent,
rendered its arrival especially galling to the Athenians: for it was
during the celebration of the mysteries, on the twentieth day of the
month Bœdromion, that the garrison entered the city. On that day,
Iacchus used to be carried in procession from Athens to Eleusis, but
now the whole ritual was marred, and the Athenians sadly contrasted
this celebration of the mysteries with those of former years. In
earlier times,[646] when the city was powerful and flourishing, the
splendid spectacle of the celebration of the mysteries used to strike
awe and terror into the hearts of the enemies of Athens, but now at
these same rites the gods seemed to look on unmoved at the disasters
of Greece, while the most sacred season was desecrated, and that which
had been the pleasantest time of the year now served merely to remind
them of their greatest misfortunes. A few years before this, the
priestesses of Dodona had sent an oracular warning to Athens, bidding
the Athenians guard the extremities of Artemis. In those days the
fillets which are wound round the couches of the gods which are
carried in the mysteries were dyed of a yellow instead of a crimson
colour, and presented a corpse-like appearance, and, what was more
remarkable, the fillets dyed by private persons at the same time, all
were of the same colour. One of the initiated also, while washing a
little pig in the harbour of Kantharus,[647] was seized by a shark,
who swallowed all the lower part of his body. By this portent, Heaven
clearly intimated to the Athenians that they were to lose the lower
part of their city, and their command of the sea, but to keep the
upper part. As for the Macedonian garrison, Menyllus took care that
the Athenians suffered no inconvenience from it; but more than twelve
thousand of the citizens were disfranchised under the new
constitution, on account of their poverty. Of these men, those who
remained in Athens were thought to have been shamefully ill treated,
while those who left the city in consequence of this measure and
proceeded to Thrace, where Antipater provided them with a city and
with territory, looked like the inhabitants of a town which has been
taken by storm.

XXIX. The deaths of Demosthenes at Kalauria, and of Hypereides at
Kleonæ, which I have recounted elsewhere, very nearly led the
Athenians to look back with regret upon the days of Alexander and
Philip. In later times, after Antigonus had been assassinated, and his
murderers had begun a career of violence and extortion, some one
seeing a countryman in Phrygia digging in the ground, asked him what
he was doing, the man replied with a sigh, "I am seeking for
Antigonus." Just so at this time it recurred to many to reflect on the
noble and placable character of those princes, and to contrast them
with Antipater, who, although he pretended to be only a private
citizen, wore shabby clothes, and lived on humble fare, really
tyrannized over the Athenians in their distress more grievously than
either of them.

Phokion, however, managed to save many from exile, by supplicating
Antipater on their behalf, and in the case of the exiles he obtained
this much favour, that they were not transported quite out of Greece,
beyond the Keraunian mountains and Cape Tænarus, as were the exiles
from the other Greek cities, but were settled in Peloponnesus. Among
these was Hagnonides, the informer. Phokion now devoted his attention
to the management of the internal politics of Athens in a quiet and
law-abiding fashion. He contrived to have good and sensible men always
appointed as magistrates, and by excluding the noisy and revolutionary
party from the public offices, made them less inclined to create a
disturbance, and taught them to be content with their country as it
was, and to turn their minds to agricultural pursuits. When he saw
Xenokrates paying his tax as a resident alien, he wished to enrol him
as a citizen; but Xenokrates refused, saying that he would not put
himself under the new constitution after he had gone on an embassy to
prevent its being established.

XXX. When Menyllus offered him presents, Phokion replied that he did
not consider him to be a better man than Alexander, and saw no greater
reason why he should accept a present now than when Alexander offered
it to him. As Menyllus begged his son Phokus to accept it, Phokion
said, "If Phokus alters his nature, and becomes frugal, his father's
property will be enough for him; but, as it is, nothing will satisfy

He gave a sharp reply to Antipater, who asked him to perform some
disgraceful service for him. "I cannot," said he, "be Antipater's
friend and his toady at the same time."

Antipater himself is said to have remarked that he had two friends at
Athens, Phokion and Demades, the one of whom he could not persuade to
take a bribe, while the other took bribes and never was satisfied.
Phokion indeed considered it a great proof of his virtue that he had
grown old in poverty, after having so many times been elected general
of the Athenians, and having been the friend of kings; while Demades
openly prided himself both upon his wealth and his contempt for the
laws. Although there was a law in force at Athens at that period,
which forbade foreigners to appear in a chorus, and imposed a fine of
one thousand drachmas upon the choragus who allowed them to do so,
Demades exhibited a chorus of one hundred foreigners, and publicly
paid in the theatre a fine of a thousand drachmas for each of them. On
the occasion of the marriage of his son Demeas, he said, "My boy, when
I married your mother, our next-door neighbours heard nothing of it;
but kings and potentates shall attend your nuptials."

Although the Athenians tormented Phokion with requests that he would
use his influence with Antipater to get the Macedonian garrison
withdrawn, he always contrived to postpone making this application,
either because he knew that it would not be granted, or because he
thought that the fear of the Macedonian troops compelled the Athenians
to live in a quiet and orderly fashion; but, on the other hand, he
induced Antipater to postpone indefinitely his demand for money from
the city. The Athenians now betook themselves to Demades, who eagerly
promised his services, and, together with his son, started for
Macedonia, to which country it seems as if he was brought by the
direct agency of the gods at a time when Antipater was on a sick bed,
and Kassander, who was now at the head of affairs, had discovered a
letter addressed by Demades to Antigonus in Asia, inviting him to
cross over into Greece and Macedonia, and free them from their
dependence on an old and rotten warp[648] -by which expression he
meant to sneer at Antipater. As soon as Kassander saw Demades arrive
in Macedonia he had him arrested, and first led his son close to him
and then stabbed him, so that his robe was covered with his son's
blood, and then, after bitterly upbraiding him with his ingratitude
and treason, killed him also.

XXXI. Antipater on his death-bed appointed Polysperchon to the supreme
command, and gave Kassander the post of chiliarch, or general of the
body guard. Kassander, however, instantly began to plot against
Polysperchon, and taking time by the forelock, sent Nikanor in haste
to supersede Menyllus, before the news of the death of Antipater
became publicly known, with orders to make himself master of
Munychia. This was done, and when after a few days the Athenians heard
that Antipater was dead they blamed Phokion, insinuating that he had
been told of the death of Antipater, but said nothing about it, and so
encouraged the designs of Nikanor. Phokion took no notice of this
scandalous talk, but put himself in communication with Nikanor, and
prevailed upon him to treat the Athenians with mildness, and even
induced him to act as president of the games, in the performance of
which office he took considerable pride and incurred some expense.

XXXII. Meanwhile Polysperchon, who was now regent of the Macedonian
empire, and had put down Kassander, sent a letter to the Athenians to
the effect that "the king restored the democracy at Athens, and bade
the Athenians govern themselves according to the customs of their
fathers." This was merely a trick to ruin Phokion, for Polysperchon,
whose design, as his acts shortly afterwards proved, was to gain over
the city of Athens to his side, had no hopes of succeeding in this
unless Phokion were driven out of Athens; while he expected that
Phokion would be driven out when all the exiled citizens returned, and
when the informers and mob orators again occupied the bema. As the
Athenians were excited at this intelligence, Nikanor desired to
discuss the matter with them, and appeared at a conference held in
Peiræus, having received from Phokion a pledge for his personal
safety. Derkyllus, the local commander, tried to seize him, but
Nikanor escaped, and at once began to take measures for the defence of
Peiræus against the Athenians. Phokion, when blamed for having
permitted Nikanor to escape, answered that he felt confidence in
Nikanor, and did not expect that he would do any harm; and even if he
did, he preferred suffering wrong to doing it. This was no doubt a
most magnanimous sentiment; but when a man on such grounds risks the
freedom of his country, especially when he is acting as general, I am
inclined to think that he breaks an older and more important law,
that, namely, of his duty to his fellow-citizens. We cannot argue that
Phokion refrained from seizing Nikanor because he feared to involve
his country in war, and it was absurd of him to plead that good faith
and justice demanded that Nikanor should be left alone, on the
understanding that he would feel bound to abstain from any acts of
violence. The real truth seems to have been that Phokion had a firm
belief in Nikanor's honesty, since he refused to believe those who
told him that Nikanor was plotting the capture of Peiræus, and had
sent Macedonian soldiers into Salamis, and had even corrupted some of
the inhabitants in Peiræus itself. Even when Philomelus of Lamptra
moved a resolution that all Athenians should get under arms and be
ready to follow their general Phokion, he refused to act, until
Nikanor marched his troops out of Munychia and fortified Peiræus with
a trench and palisade.

XXXIII. When this took place Phokion, who was now quite willing to
lead the Athenians to attack Nikanor, was insulted and treated with
contempt; and now Alexander the son of Polysperchon arrived with a
military force, nominally with the intention of assisting the citizens
against Nikanor, but really meaning if possible to make himself master
of the city while it was divided against itself. The exiled Athenians
who accompanied him at once entered the city, and as the disfranchised
inhabitants joined them, a disorderly and informal assembly was held,
in which Phokion was removed from his office, and other men were
appointed generals. Had it not been that Alexander and Nikanor were
observed to hold frequent conferences together alone outside the
walls, the city could not have been saved. Hagnonides the informer now
at once began to accuse Phokion and his party of treason; upon which
Charikles and Kallimedon left the city in terror, while Phokion and
those of his friends who stood by him proceeded to Polysperchon
himself. They were accompanied, out of regard for Phokion, by Solon of
Platæa and Deinarchus of Corinth, who were thought to be intimate
friends of Polysperchon. As Deinarchus was sick, they waited for some
days at Elatea, and in the meantime, at the instigation of Hagnonides,
although Archestratus brought forward the motion for it in the
assembly, the Athenians sent an embassy to the court of Macedonia to
accuse Phokion of treason. Both met Polysperchon at the same time, as
he with the king[649] was passing through a village of Phokis named
Pharyges, which lies at the foot of the Akrousian mountain, now called
Galate. Here Polysperchon set up the throne with the gilt ceiling,
under which he placed the king and his friends. He ordered Deinarchus
at once to be seized, tortured, and put to death, but he allowed the
Athenians to plead their cause before him. They however made a great
disturbance by contradicting and abusing one another, so that
Hagnonides said, "Pack us all into one cage and send us back to Athens
to be tried." At this the king laughed, but the Macedonians and others
who were present wished to hear what each side had to say, and bade
the two embassies state their case. They were not, however, fairly
treated, for Polysperchon several times interrupted Phokion during his
speech, until at last he struck the ground with his staff in a rage
and held his peace. When Hegemon[650] too said that Polysperchon
himself knew him to be a friend to the people of Athens, Polysperchon
angrily exclaimed "Do not slander me to the king." At this the king
himself leaped to his feet, and would have struck Hegemon with a
spear, but was quickly seized by Polysperchon, upon which the court
broke up.

XXXIV. Phokion and his companions were now taken into custody: upon
which such of his friends as saw this from a distance covered their
faces with their cloaks and made their escape. Kleitus conducted the
prisoners back to Athens, nominally to be tried there, but really
already under sentence of death. The procession was a sad one, as they
were brought in carts through the Kerameikus to the theatre, where
Kleitus kept them until the archons had convened the assembly. From
this assembly neither slaves, foreigners, nor disfranchised citizens
were excluded, but every one, men and women alike, were allowed to be
present and to address the people. After the king's letter was read,
in which he said that he was convinced that these men were traitors,
but sent them to Athens for trial because that city was free and
independent, Kleitus brought in the prisoners. At the sight of Phokion
the better class of citizens covered their faces and silently wept,
and one of them had the courage to rise and say that, as the king had
allowed the Athenian people to conduct so important a trial, all
slaves and foreigners ought to leave the assembly. The populace,
however, would not hear of this, but cried, "Down with the oligarchs
who hate the people." As no other friend of Phokion dared to speak, he
himself, after obtaining a hearing with difficulty, asked "Do you wish
to condemn us to death justly or unjustly?" As some answered "justly,"
he said, "How can you be sure of this, if you will not hear us?" As
however the people paid no more attention to him, he came nearer to
them and said, "For my own part, I admit that I have done wrong, and I
consider that my political acts deserve to be punished with death;
but, men of Athens, why will you kill these others, who have done no
wrong?" When many voices answered, "Because they are your friends,"
Phokion retired and held his peace. Hagnonides now read the motion
which he was about to put to the meeting which called upon the people
to decide by a show of hands whether the men were guilty or not; and
in case they were found guilty, to put them to death.

XXXV. When this decree was read some wished to add to it that they
should be put to death with torture, and bade Hagnonides send for the
rack and the executioners; but Hagnonides, seeing that even the
Macedonian Kleitus was disgusted at this proposal, and thought it a
savage and wicked action, said, "Men of Athens, when we catch the
villain Kallimedon, we will put him to the torture; but I will make no
such proposal in the case of Phokion." Upon this one of the better
class cried out, "And quite right too; for if we torture Phokion, what
shall we do to you?" When the decree was passed by show of hands, no
one sat still, but the whole people, many of them wearing garlands of
flowers, rose and voted for the death of the accused. These, besides
Phokion, consisted of Nikokles, Thodippus, Hegemon, and Pythokles:
while sentence of death in their absence was passed against Demetrius
Phalereus, Kallimedon, Charikles, and some others.

XXXVI. When after the assembly broke up the condemned men were being
taken to prison, the others threw themselves into the arms of their
friends and relations, and walked along with tears and lamentations;
but when they saw that the countenance of Phokion was as calm as when
he used as general to be conducted in state out of the assembly, they
wondered at his composure and greatness of soul. His enemies
accompanied him and abused him, and one even came up to him and spat
in his face. At this outrage it is said that Phokion looked towards
the archons, and said, "Will no one make this fellow behave himself?"
As Thodippus in prison, when he saw the hemlock being prepared,
bewailed his fate, and said that he did not deserve to perish with
Phokion, Phokion said, "Are you not satisfied then to die in Phokion's
company?" When one of his friends asked him if he had any message for
his son Phokus, he answered, "Yes, tell him not to bear any malice
against the Athenians." When Nikokles, the most trusty of his friends,
begged to be allowed to drink the poison before him, he answered,
"Your request is one which it grieves me to grant; but, as I have
never refused you anything in your life, I agree even to this." When
all his friends had drunk, the poison ran short, and the executioner
refused to prepare any more unless he were paid twelve drachmas, the
price of that weight of hemlock. After a long delay, Phokion called
one of his friends to him, and, saying that it was hard if a man could
not even die gratis at Athens, bade him give the man the money he

XXXVII. The day of Phokion's death was the nineteenth of the month
Munychion,[651] and the knights rode past the prison in solemn
procession to the temple of Zeus. Some of them took off their garlands
from their heads, while others came in tears to the gates of the
prison and looked in. All whose better feelings were not utterly
overpowered by passion and hatred agreed in thinking it a very
indecent proceeding not to have waited one day for the execution, and
so to have avoided the pollution of the festival by the death of the
prisoners. Moreover, the enemies of Phokion, as if they had not even
yet satisfied their spite, passed a decree excluding his body from
burial, and forbidding any Athenian to furnish fire to burn it. In
consequence of this, no one of his friends dared to touch the body,
but one Konopion, a man who was accustomed to deal with such cases for
hire, conveyed the body beyond Eleusis, obtained fire from Megara over
the Attic frontier, and burned it. Phokion's wife, who was present
with her maids, raised an empty tomb[652] on the spot, placed the
bones in her bosom, and carried them by night into her own house,
where she buried them beside the hearth, saying, "To thee, dear
hearth, I entrust these remains of a good man; do you restore them to
his fathers' tomb when the Athenians recover their senses."

XXXVIII. After a short time, however, when circumstances had taught
them what a protector and guardian of virtue they had lost, the
Athenians set up a brazen statue of Phokion, and gave his remains a
public burial. They themselves condemned and executed Hagnonides,
while Phokion's son followed Epikurus and Demophilus, who fled the
country, discovered their place of refuge, and avenged himself upon
them. He is said to have been far from respectable in character; and
once, when attached to a common prostitute, who was the slave of a
brothel-keeper, he happened to attend one of the lectures of
Theodorus, who was surnamed "the atheist," in the Lyceum. As he heard
him say that "if it be noble to ransom one's male friends from
captivity, it must be equally so to ransom one's female friends; and
that, if it be right for a man to set free the man whom he loves, it
must be his duty to do likewise to the woman whom he loves," he
determined to use this argument for the gratification of his own
passion, and to conclude that the philosopher bade him purchase the
freedom of his mistress.

The treatment of Phokion reminded the Greeks of that of Sokrates, as
both the crime and the misfortune of the city in both cases was almost
exactly the same.


[Footnote 622: Cic. ad Att. ii. 1. Dicit enim tanquam in Platonis
[Greek: politeia] πολιτέιᾳ non tanquam in fæce Romuli sententiam. I
have translated Plutarch literally, though I have no doubt that the
occasion to which he alludes (which is not mentioned by Cicero, l.c.)
is that of the election to the prætorship, B.C. 55, when the worthless
adventurer Vatinius was preferred to Cato. M. Cato in petitione
præturæ, prælato Vatinio, repulsam tulit. Liv. Epit. cv. See also Val.
Max. vii. 5, and Merivale's 'History of the Romans,' vol. i. ch. ix.

The word [Greek: hupateia] ὑπατεία is always used by Plutarch as the
Greek equivalent for the Roman title of consul.]

[Footnote 623: This saying of his is mentioned in the 'Life of
Demosthenes," c. 10.]

[Footnote 624: He was elected no less than forty-five times to the
annual office of Strategus or General of the city - that is, one of the
Board of Ten so denominated, the greatest executive function at
Athens. - Grote, 'Hist. of Greece,' Part ii. ch. lxxxvii.]

[Footnote 625: Meaning, why do you affect to be a Spartan, and yet
speak like an Athenian? See vol. iii. 'Life of Kleomenes,' ch. ix.]

[Footnote 626: Grote observes, in commenting on this passage, that
"Plutarch has no clear idea of the different contests carried on in
Eubœa. He passes on, without a note of transition, from this war in
the island (in 349-348 B.C.) to the subsequent war in 341 B.C. Nothing
indeed can be more obscure and difficult to disentangle than the
sequence of Eubœan transactions." - 'Hist. of Greece,' Part ii., ch.

[Footnote 627: From Plutarch's narrative one would imagine that the

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