The history of Polybius, the Megalopolitan : containing a general account of the transactions of the world, and principally of the Roman people, during the first and second Punick wars (Volume 2) online

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3tol*tt JUrams












The Megalopolitan:


A General Account





And Principally of the


During the Firfl: and Second Punick Wars, &c.
Tranflated by Sir H. S.

v o l. n. in.

Ci)e ^econD tfftitton.

Printed for Samuel Brifcoe, at the Corner of Charles-
Street, in Covent-Garden. M DC XC VIII.





I flic Pl*M3 mentioned

Jui Falvbious

JJ§iy S r M. S.


General 3|i(to$





Vol. II. Book IV.

IN out foregoing Book we have related the
Caufes of the Second War that fell out
between the Romans and Carthaginians:
We have delivered the Particulars of
HannibaPs March, and Invafion of Italy ; and
have recounted the Adventures of the two
Armies, to the Time of the Battle that was
fought on the Banks of the River Aufidus)

A '&$&£

POLYBlllS'j General Hiftory Vol II.
near Canna. Now the Occurrences of Greece,
* during the fame Period of time, lhall be the
Subjecft of our Pains. But we have thought
it neceflary to remind the Reader briefly:
Firft, Of what hath been already obfervM of
the Greeks in our fecond Book, and princi-
pally of the JchaiafSi Inafmuch as it hath
io come to pafs, thar in the fhort fpace of ours
and our Fathers Days, that Republick hath
•grown to a marvellous Greatnds. For being
founded by Tifamenes, one of the Sons of
Oreftes, we have obferv'd that the Achxims
were firft governed by Kings, who fprang
from him in a continued Line of Succeflion
to the Reign of Ogyges : From whole time,
the fupreme Power being tranfiated to the
People, became eftablilhM in an excellent
form of Government : Which was afterward
firft broken and diflblv'd by the Kings of Ma-
cedon, when the Cities and Towns there-
of became independent ; each governing accor-
ding to their own Rules, without any com-
mon Subjection to a fupreme general Tri-
bunal, to which they might have recourfe.
After this 'Revolution, we Ihcw'd how they
came to unite and incorporate into one Body ;
at what time it was that they came to this
Refolution ; and who they were that gave the
Occafion. In ihort, we have related by what
Means and Counfcls the Towns being drawn
to unite, the whole People of Peloponnefus
grew to have one common Appellation, and


Book IV. of the World.
to be under one and the lame Form of Com-
mon-wealth. After having treated in gene-
ral of that Enterprize, and laid fomething in
particular touching the Adtions of the Acbxi-
ansj we purfu'd the Story down to the time,
that Cleomenes King of the Lacedemonians was
deipoiled of his Government. Then we gave
a brief Recapitulation of general Occurrences
to the Death of Antigonns^ Seleucw; and Pto*
lemy, who all dy'd about the fame time ; ha-
ving promised to begin our Hiftory at that
Period, which gave an end to thole Matters
we have now laft recited.

In conclufion, I determin'd, that I could
not any where better begin than from thence :
Firft, In regard that there Aratm finiiheth
his Commentaries, fo that by continuing
the Thread of his Difcourle, we fliall there-
by make the relation of the Greek Affairs,
as far as we propofe to touch them, all of
a piece ; and then it will come to pafs, than
the time fucceeding, and that which lhall
compote our Hiftosy, will be fo united to the
foregoing Period, that in part what lhall be
related of our own, and the Tranfa&ions of
our Fathers Days, will be compriz'd in one
Body. For as I have been a Witnefs to a
good part of what lhall be delivered, and
compos'd the reft from the Relations of fuch
as could yield me the like certain Teftimony $
fo I have fliun'd the delivering of remotef

A 2 Og*

POLYBIUS'5 General Htjiory Vol. \\.
Occurrences, through the Doubts to which
they are fubje&ed : And have thought no-
thing worthy of an Hiftorian's Pen beyond
rhat Period. Nor indeed can Truth farther
fairly be fhown, nor men confequently fafely
judge of any thing they hear otherwife delive-
red. A farther particular Motive we had for
taking our beginning from thence was, that
Fortune feemedat that time to have made an
univerfal Revolution, and given a new Face
to the Affairs of the World.

Tho Philip, Son of Demetrius y were yet a
Child, neverthelels he fbon came to fway the
Scepter of Mace don. Achaus, who governed
the Countries of Afia on this fide Moun$ Jftuz-
rus, did not only bear the Port of a Piince,
but was in effedt vefted with Sovereign Au-
thority. Antiochusy firnamed the Great, a
little before focceeded his Brother in the
Kingdom of Syria ; he being then but very
young. And Ariarathes took pofTeffion at
the fame time of the Kingdom of Cappadocia,
which was delivered into his Hands. About
the fame time Ptolemy Philopater reduced £-
gypt to his Obedience. And a little after Ly-
curgus became eftablifhed King of the Lacede-
monians. The Carthaginians on that fide had
newly made Hannibal their General, in order
to thofe Attempts we have already recounted.
So that the Government, as one may lay, of
the World being put into new hands, it could
not by the Law of Nature but beget new


Book IV. of the World.
Confels, and produce new Things. The
Romans then entered upon the War we have
related. Antiochus and Ptolemy were foon in
Hoftility one againft the other, for the Do-
minion of the Lower Syria. And the Achat-
am and Philip joined in a War againft the
Lacedemonians , and thofe of JEtolia : The
Reafons of which War we lhall now deli-

The JEtolians had been Jong weary of
Peace, which obliged them to live honeflly
at their own Expence, who had been ufed
heretofore tp fubfift on Spoil and Rapine.
And whofoever hath led that Sort of Life,
Without profped of other Profit than what
arifeth from the Damage of another, after the
manner of lavage Beafts, are without any
Senfe of Friendihip or Alliance ; reckon all
their Enemies they can prey on ; and believe
they have a right to any thing they^can take
away. Neverthelefs, during the Life of An-^
tigonus, the Fear the JEtolians were under of
the Lacedemonians, withheld them a while
from Violence ; but he was no fooner dead,
and Philip, then very young, come to the
Crown, when, fetting little by his Youth,
they meditated by what Means or Pretexts
they might make War on the Peloponefians ;
whom after their antient Cuftom tfiey had a
mind to plunder ; and believed they had a
better right to make War on the Achaians,
than any other People whatfoever. Whiie

A 3 they

6 POLYBIUS'5 General Hi/lory Vol. II.

they were thus confulting, there happened an
accident that furthered their purpofe, and
which in ftiort, they made ufe of to colour
it. Dorimachus of Trichoma was Son of A 7 /-
coflratus, who had acfted b perfidious a part
in the AfTembly of the Bceotians. This Do-
rimacbus, a turbulent young Man, and every
way an Mtolian, (and after their manner)
looking with a covetous Eye on other Mens
Pofleffions, was employed by publick Autho-
rity to Phigdia, a Town of PeLoj)onnefus y un-
der a fhew of taking care for the Security and
Defence of the Town and Territory ; but in-
deed his Commifiion was to male Gbfervati-
ons from thence of the Transections of Pelo-
fonnejas. Soon after his arrival there drew a
. numerous confluence thither from fundry
Quarters, of loofe piratical People, who re-
ported ;to him, then rcfiding in that Town,
which was a Confederate of the ALtoliws,
and fituate on the Frontiers of the MejfenUns ;
and he, not being able to gratify thele Rob-
bers with the Prey they hunted after, (the
Peace of Antigonus as yet fubfifting among
the Greeks') and, in fliort, having no better
way to entertain them, permitted them to
fpoil the Meffenidns of their Cattel, who were
alio Friends J and Confederates of the Jltoli-
ans. Who beginning on the Skirts of their
Frontiers, driving away their Herds from
thence, their Inlolence grew at length to at-
tempt fach of their Habitations by Night, as


Book IV. of the World.
lay at any diftance difpers'd about the Coun-
try. The Meffenians were thereupon urg'd to
difpatch their Deputies with Complaints of
thofe Outrages to Dorimachus, and to demand
reparation of the wrongs they had received ;
who did not only not incline to redrefs them,
but feem'd rather to incourage thofe who
bare Arms under him, and indeed to inrich
hirnfelf by fliaring a good proportion of all
their Booty. But at length being prefs'd by
new and frequent Importunities, his People
continuing to ad: every day new Villanies, he
told the Deputies he would come hirnfelf to
Meffina, and do right to thofe, who had coru-
plain'd of Injuries done them by the JEtoli-
Ans. But upon his coming, and the Appli-
cation of thofe who had been thus molefted,
fome he difmifsM with Scoffs, others by ad-
ding further Injuries to thofe they had fu£
tain ; d, and terrifying others with hard and
menacing Language. In ihort, it fo happened,
that while Dorimachus remained at Meffina,
this leud Rabble approaching near the Town
in the Night, rifled a certain Country-Houfe
calFd Cbyron ; where killing all that made re-
fiftance, they bound the reft in Chains, and
carry'd them away, together with the Cattle.
Whereupon the Meffenians, who had long
lain under the refentment of this barbarous
Treatment, and the little account Dorimachus
feem'd to make of their Complaints, cited
him to appear before their Affembly. Sciron
• A 4 * hap-

POLYBIUSV General Hijlory Vol II.
happened to be at this time their chief Magit
trate, of whom for his Vertue his Fellow-Ci-
tizens had a Angular Efteem. ' He was of o-
pinion that Donmachus fhould be held under
Reftraint till Reparation were made of the
Damages they had fuffer'd, and the Authors
of the Slaughter that had been committed
were delivered into their hands ; which Coun-
fel was thought but juft, and had the ready
Concurrence of the AfTembly. Dorimachus,
enraged at this Proceeding, angrily told them,
That they fhewed themfelves but weak in fuck
a Determination, if they could not diftinguifli
that thereby they did not affront him, but
the whole Mtolian People ; that their Pro-
ceeding was unaccountable ; and that it would
not be long ere it was reveng'd. There was
at this time a cettain ridiculous Fellow in Mef-
fwa calPd Babyrtas, who was every way fb
liKe Dorimachus, that had he been habited
like him, the Refemblance both in Perfon,
Countenance, and Voice was fo great, that it
would have been difficult to know them a-
lunder. Hereof too Dorimachus had been in-
form-d : Who, on occafion, treating the Mef-
fenians after his infolent and menacing man-
ner, Sciron a little tranfported ; How now,.
Babyrtas, faith he, do you think that you or
your Threats can awe the Meffenians ? To this
Affront Dorimachus made no Reply, and not
able now othervvife to avoid it, yeilded that
the' Meffenians ihould purfue the Reparation


Book IV. of the World.
of the Injuries that had been done them, and
the Punilhment of thofe who were found
Guilty. But he was no Iboner teturned to his
Country, when this Outrage they frad done
him fo wrought upon his mind, that without
any other known Motive, he prevailed with
the JEtolians to make War on the Mejfe-

Ariflon was at that time Prsetor of the JEL-
tolians ; whofe Infirmities did not permit him
to be at the Head of their Army : to him Do*
rimachus was ally ed, as likewife one Scopas :
To Dorimachm then he committed, in a man*
ner,' the entire Execution of his Authority ;
who neverthelefs did not adventure in their
Publick Aflemblies to perfuade thern to this
War with the Meffemans, not being furnifVd
with Matter fufficient to determine them to
fuch a Refolution ; and he knew moreover,
that his Meaning would be too well under-
ftood ; and that his Revenge and his Profit
were the true Motives to iuch Counfels. So
that forbearing to prefs it publickly, he la-
boured to win Scopas to affift him in hisDe-
figns againfl: the Mef[emans. Telling him,
there was nothing to be feared from the Ma-
cedonians, while the Authority was in fach
raw hands; Philip not having attained the
Age of feventeen Years. He further added
that the Eleans were the JEtolians faft Friends,
and in Alliance with them, and concluded
there could be no Hazard ftom thence, in


io POLYBIUSV General Hi/lory Vol. II.

breaking the Peace with the MeffenUns. But
the. Argument that weighed moft with Sccpas,
as an jEtolzav, was the great Profit and
Plunder that would arife thereby ; for that
their Country was rich, naked, and unguard-
ed, and might be eafily furpriz'd : And in a
word, he promised himfelf greater Advantage,
by how much that in the Cleomenic War, that
Territory alone had efcap'd the Rapine and
Violence of the Soldiers ; and had felt none
of thofe Evils of War by which the whole
Counrry befide had been wafted. He further,
and above all things, endeavourM to perfuade
him, that nothing could fall out more agree-
able to the ALtolians. And for what could
happen with refpedt to the Achazans, if they
fliould chance to oppofe their march, they
could have no. juft fubjedt of Complaint,
while they did no other than barely repel
Force by Force ; and in cafe they attempted
nothing, that then the execution of what they
had projected would be lb much the more
feafible. That after all that had been laid,
there were not wanting fair Pretexts to take
up Arms againft the Mejfenians^ who had long
given occafion enough, by their entring in-
ro Security to the Macedonians and Achazans,
to take part with them in all their Enterprizes.
Thus he prevailed with Scopas, and his Friends,
and wrought lb far upon them, that without
attending the Refolution of a general Con-
vention of the JEXolUns\ or lb muth as im-

Book IV. of the World. 1 1

Earring their Purpofe to the Magiftrates in
eing, or making any one ftep according to
antient Cuftom ; they did at once, and of their
own Heads, in efFed:, declare War againft the
Mejfeniavs, Epirots, Aehaians^ Acamanians,
and Macedonians.

At the fame time they fent out their Fleet
of Pilferers to infeft the adjacent Seas ; who
meeting with a Ship of the Kings of Macedon
off 'of Cythera, made Prize of her, and carry-
ing her into Port, fold both the Ship and her
Company. In fhort, they proceeded to plun-
der all along the Coaft of Epirus, imploying
for that fervice Veflels of Cepbalenia, and
made an attempt on Thyrea , a Town of Acar-
nania. Afterwards dilpatching Troops by fe-
cret ways into Peloponnefus, they furpriz'd
and kept pofleffion of a Fortrefs calPd Clari-
urn, in the heart of the Megalopolitan Terri-
tory ; which they made ufe of for a Retreat,
and place of Refuge, and to lodge and fecure
their Plunder : But fome time after they loft
it again to Timoxenus, Prxtor of the Achat-
ans y affifted by Taurion \ who had been left
by Antigonus on his departure out of Pelo-
fonneftiS) to adminifter the Affairs of the Kings
of Mace don in thofe Parts. For Antigonus was
in pofleffion of Corinth, which he took and
held by the confent of the Achaians, during
the Reign of Cleomenes\ and had not reftor'd
Orchomenus, which he had taken by force,
but on the contrary kept it £1111 in his Hands,


1 2 POLYBIUSV General Hiftory Vol. II.

and held it for his own. His Motive, it may
be prefumed, for fo doing being not only to
preferve by that means an eafy Ingrefs into
Poleponefm ; but to be able by keeping a
Garifbn in Orchomenus to Jecure and awe the
neibouring Territory to better Obedience.

Dorimacbus and Scopas then chufing their
Time, when the Praetor Timbxems was upon
refigning up his Charge, and Jratus who was
to fucceed him, not yet inverted in the Autho-
rity, calPd an Aflembly of thsMtolimsm Rhi-
um, and having given their Orders to have the
CephaBentAn Vends in a Readinefs, they em-
barked their Troops, and tranfported them in-
to Peloponefus, taking their March towards
Me{Jtna y and paffing through the Territories
of Patr^ Pbar* y . and Trit&&, they made
Ihow to the Ach&Uns of having no Defign to
% moleft them in their Paflage. Howbeit the
covetous Soldiers withheld not their Hands,
bnt plundered and fpoiPd the Country every
where as they went till they came to Plriga-
lea. This Town they made their Place of
Arms, and the Seat of the War, and from
hence made their Inroads on the Lands of the
* Mejfemansy without any Regard to the Right
of Nations, and the antient Friendfhip and
Alliance that had been made and continued
between them. ; but led by their Avarice a-
gainfl all Rules of Honour or Equity, robb'd
and lpoiFd the Country with Impunity, the


Book IV. of the World. 1 5

'MeffenUns not finding themfelves of Strength
iufficient to adventure out againft them.

The Achat Ms, in the mean time, accor-
ding to cuftom, afleinbled at Mgimn^ where
the Patraans and Pharaans preferred their
Complaints of the Damages that had been
done them by the JEtol'uns in their March
through their Country. The Meffeniaus like-
wife complained of their Outrages and perfi-
dious Dealing, and fend their Deputies to pray
fpeedy Succours. After the AfTembly had de-
liberated on thefe Matters, it was concluded,
That the Refentment of thofe of Patr* and
Phara was juft, and ought to be profecuted ;
and that the Cafe of the MeffenUns was to be
commiferated : And it was efpecially agreed,
That the State in general had been affronted
by this infolent Proceeding of the /Etclians ,
who had preliimed in hoftile manner to enter
xvpoT&JLchaia, not only without their Permit
fion, but againft the Treaty of Peace. Where-
upon, juftly provoked by thefe Infractions,
they reiolved fo fend Succours to the Meffeni-
<w$ ; and that as foon as the Prsetor fliould
have put them in Arms 3 they would then
proceed further to execute what ihould be
thought expedient by the AfTembly. Timo*
serins^ who was yet in the Praetorfhip, was not
very well pleafed with the Expedition, nor
confequently with the Decree of the AfTem-
bly ; for his Authority being not yet expired,
he had no mind to the Command, as having


1 4 POLYBIUS'j General Hijlory Vol. II.
but a doubtful Opinion of the Achrim Mi-
litia, which had been long unexercised in
Arms. For after the expulfion of Cleomenes,
the Pelojfonnefians, weary of former Wars, and
believing the prefent peaceable pofture of their
Affairs was likely to endure, had totally re-
linquilhM the Trade of Warfare, and neg-
lected the ufe of Arms. But Ar&tus, provok'd
at the Indignities they had fiifferM by the au-
dacious JEtolims y purfu'd the matter with ano-
ther Spirit ; nor was this the firft occafion he
had conceived of averfion to that People.
Wherefore he loft no time in putting the A-
chaians under Arms, but determined to come
fpeedily to a Battel with the Mtolians. In a
word, five Days before he was to enter on his
Charge, (Timoxenus delivering up the Seal)
he dilpatch'd his Orders to all the Towns and
Cities, afligning them a Day when all their
young Men, fit to carry Arms, fhould afTem-
ble at Megalopolis. And here we have thought
it a Debt due to the Merit of Aratus^ to fay
lbmething of him in particular.

Aratm was endu'd with almoft all the
good Qualities, that could be wiih'd, to com-
pofe a Man for great and publick Employ-
ments : He was able in the Art of Perfuafion ;
conceiv'd rightly, and readily executed ; and
when it was prudent to be filent, he very well
knew how to hold his peace. He had not his
Equal in fupporting with conftancy the DiC-
fenfions of his fellow Citizens; fecond to


Book IV. of the World. i j

none in compofing them, and artful in ac-
quiring Friends and Confederates. He was
fubtileto contrive and conceal his leer et Prac-
tices, and none better at devifing Stratagems,
and laying Ambufhes againft an Enemy. And
in a word, he compafs'd the moft difficult En-
terprizes by Patience and Application: Where-
of manifold Inftances may be enumerated;
namely and principally, his furprizing of 57-
cyon and Marttinaea; his expelling the. ALtoli-
ans out of Pellene ; and his getting pofleffion
of Acre-Corinth by intelligence. And yet af-
ter all, it is as true, that at the Head of an
Army in the Field he was quite another Man :
for as he was too flow in his Refblutions, fo
he was too backward in Danger j and wanted
aflurance to look on any Attempt, that bore
the leaft appearance of Terror ; which were
defers that gave occafion of great advantage
to the Enemy, who fpoil'd and pillag'd the
whole Country of Pelofonnefus ; and coming
once to know his unguarded part, they never
faiPd of fucceeding when they attack'd him
there. So true it is that Nature hath not on-
ly diverfify'd Men in their Bodies and Minds ;
but triumphs in diflimilitude of Mind in one
and the lame Man, who will be found not only
capable and inefficient in things that are
divers, but in the felf-fame things ; we ihall
lee him Wife and Weak, Brave and a Cow-
ard by fits. Nor is there any thing new in
what we remark on this Subjeft, or remote


POLYBIUS'j General Hiflory Vol. ft

from common Obfervation and Experience, if
we but confider with Attention. Some Men
in heat of the Chace will boldly attack a
wild Bead, and do as bravely in fingle Com-
bats, yet cannot endure the Dangers of a Bat-
tle, and are not to be trufted in any Solemn
Occafion in the Field. Thus the Thejfalian
Horfe are not to be broken or refitted, when
form'd into a Body in a Line of Battle ; but
fingly and man to man they are but a flight
People. The contrary whereof is found of
the ALtolians. The Candiots are wonderful
in their way, by Sea and Land ; their Dexte-
rity in Ambulhes, Piracies, Surprizes, At-
tempts by Night, and beating up of Quarters ;
and, in fhort, in every thing that requires Sub-
tilty and Addrefs, wherein they are fuperiour
ro all others : But in a pitched Field they are
hardly to be brought to look an Enemy in the
face. While it is found quite otherwife with
the Achaians and Macedonians.

We have taken occafion of this Digreffion,
to the end the Credit of our Hiftory may un-
dergo no Blemifh with the Reader, when he
lhall chance to find the Charaders/)f the lame
Men fb inconfiftent with themfelves, and fee
them a&ing different Parts ft on the lame Sub-
ject. After the Achaians, purfuant to the
Decree, had aflembled all their able Men for
the Service of the War j the Mejfenians repea*
ted their Supplications by their Deputies, that
they might not be abandoned to the Mercy


Book IV. of the World. \y

of the Enemy, and dedar'd their willingnefs
to be admitted into the League ; but the Achat-
an Minifters demurr cl to the receiving them
into the Confederacy.withouttheConcurrence
firft obtain'd of King Philip, and the reft of
the Allies. For the general Treaty that was
made by the procurement of Antignnus* du-
ring the Reign of ' Cleomenes, between the A-
chaians, Epirots y Fkocians, and Macedonians^
Boeotians ^ Arcadians \ and Theffalians ; had
been continued yet without infra&ion. Ne-
verthelefs the Meffenians had leave to hope,
that as foon as their Troops were form'd, a
fupply of Succours fhould be given them ; on
condition they fent the Sons oTtheir Principal
Citizens to be kept as Hoftages at Lacedcemon %
whereby to give Security to the Allies, that
they fhould not come to any Accord with the
sEtol/ans without their Concurrence. The
Lacedemonians were at this time with an Ar-
my on the Frontiers of the Mega/opolitans,
purfuant to the Conditions of the Treaty, but
in effed more to obferve from thence the E-
vent of thefe Agitations, than to aft the part
of honed Allies. And now the Affairs of the
Mejfenians being concluded, Aratus fent to
the JEtolians to let them know what had
been determin'd ; to require them to depart
out of the Territory of Mejfenia % and not to
march into Achaia on peril of being treated
as Enemies. When Scopas and Dorimachus
had receiv'd this Refolution of the Achaiam*

B and

1 8 POLYBIUS'* Gentral Biftory Vol. II.

3nd underftood they were now in Arms, and
drawn together at the place of Rendezvous $
they concluded together, that it was their
bed courfe to yield to their Demaflds, and
thereupon difpatch'd Meflengers to Cyllene^
and to Arifton the JEtolian Praetor, defiring
them to take up all the Merchant Veflels
they could procure in thofe parts, and fend

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

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