Page images
PDF
EPUB

the services they had rendered the state, should receive a sum of money equivalent to that they had deposited in the public treasury. This, indeed, was an amiable contest between generosity and glory, and one is at a loss to know, to which of the antagonists to ascribe the victory. Where shall we now find men, who devote theinselves, in such a manner, to the public good, without any interested expectations of a return; and who enter upon employments in the state, without the least view of enriching themselves ? But let me add too, where shall we find states and princes, who know how to esteem and recompence merit in this manner? We may observe here, says an historian', three fine models set before us, in the noble liberality of Ptolemy, the disinterested spirit of the ambassadors, and the grateful equity of the Romans.

merce.

Sect. VIII. Athens besieged and taken by Anti

gonus. The just punishment inflicted on Sotades, á satyric poet. The revolt of Magas from Philadelphus. The death of Philateres, founder of the kingdom of Pergamus. The death of Antiochus Soter. He is succeeded by his son Antiochus, surnamed Theus. The wise measures taken by Ptolemy for the improvement of coma

An accommodation effected between Ma. gas and Philadelphus. The death of the former The war between Antiochus and Ptolemy. The revolt of the East against Antiochus. Peace restored between the two kings. The death of Pto.

lemy Philadelphus. THE Greeks, after they had been subjected by the Macedonians, and rendered dependent on their authority, seemed, by losing their liberty, to have been also divested of that courage, and greatness of

[ocr errors]

Valerius Maximus.

soul, by which they had been till then so eminently distinguished from other people. They appeared entirely changed, and to have lost all similitude to their ancient character. Sparta that was once so bold and imperious, and in a manner possessed of the sovereignty of all Greece, patiently bowed down her neck, at last, beneath a foreign yoke; and we shall soon behold her subjected to domestic tyrants, who will treat her with the utmost cruelty. We shall see Athens, once so jealous of her liberty, and so fo:"

midable to the most powerful kings, running head-long into slavery, and, as she changes her masters, successively paying them the homage of the basest and most abject adulation. Each of these cities will, from time to time, make some efforts, to reinstate themselves in their ancient liberties, but

impetuously, and without success. A. M.

Antigonus Gonatus, King of Macedonia, be. Ant. J. C. came very powerful, some years after the death of 268. Pyrrhus, and thereby formidable to the states of

Greece: the Lacedæmonians, therefore, entered into a league with the Athenians against him, and engaged Ptolemy Philadelphus to accede to it. Antigonus, in order to frustrate the confederacy which these two states had formed against him, and to prevent the consequences that night result from it, immediately began hostilities with the siege of Athens; but Ptolemy soon sent a fleet thither, under the command of Patroclus, one of his

gene rals; while Areus, king of Lacedæmon, put himself at the head of an army to succour that city by land. Patroclus, as soon as he arrived before the place, ad. vised Areus to attack the enemy, and promised to make a descent, at the same time, in order to assault them in the rear. This counsel was very judicious, and could not have failed of success, had it been carried into execution; but Areus, who wanted

3736.

Justin. l. xxvi. . 2. Pausan. in Lacop. p. 168, et in Attic,

[ocr errors]

provisions for his troops, thought it more adviseable to return to Sparta. The fleet, therefore, being incapable of acting alone, sailed back to Egypt, without doing any thing. This is the usual inconvenience to which troops of different nations are exposed, when they are commanded by chiefs who have neither any subordination nor good intelligence between them. Athens, thus abandoned by her allies, became a prey to Antigonus, who put a garrison into it.

'Patroclus happened, in his return, to stop at A.M. Caunus, a maritime city of Caria, where he met

3737

Ant. J. C. with Şotades, a poet universally decried for the un- 267. bounded licence both of his muse and his manners. His satyric poetry never spared either his best friends, or the most worthy persons; and even the sacred characters of kings were not exempted from his malignity. When he was at the court of Lysimachus, he affected to blacken the reputation of Ptolemy by atrocious calumny; and when he was entertained by this latter, he traduced Lysimachus in the same

He had composed a virulent satyr against Ptolemy, wherein he inserted many cutting reflections on his marriage with Arsinoe, his own sister; he afterwards fled from Alexandria, to save himself from the resentment of that prince. Patroclus thought it his duty to make an example of a wretch who had affronted his master in such an insolent manner; he accordingly caused a weight of lead to be fastened to his body, and then ordered him to be thrown into the sea. The generality of poets, who profess satyr, are a dangerous and detestable race of men, who have renounced all probity and shame, and whose quill, dipped in the bitterest gall, respects neither rank nor virtue.

* The affairs of Ptolemy were greatly perplexed by A.M. a revolt excited in Egypt, by a prince from whom 3739.

Ant. J. C.

265. Athen. I. xiv. p. 620, 621.

m Pausan. in Att. p. 12, 13,

manner.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

he never suspected any such treatment. Magas, governor of Cyrenaica and Lihya, having set up the standard of rebellion against Ptolemy his master and benefactor, caused himself to be proclaimed king of those provinces. Ptolemy and he were brothers by the same mother; for the latter was the son of Berenice and Philip, a Macedonian officer, who was her husband before she was espoused to Ptolemy Soter. Her solicitations, therefore, obtained for him this government when she was advanced to the ho. nours of a crown, upon the death of Ophellas, as I have formerly observed. Magas had so well established himself in his government by long posses, sion, and by his marriage with Apamia, the daughter of Antiochus Soter, King of Syria, that he endeavoured to render himself independent; and as ambition is a boundless passion, his pretensions rose still higher. He was not contented with wresting from his brother the two provinces he governed, but formed a resolution to dethrone bim. With this view he advanced into Egypt, at the head of a great army, and, in his march towards Alexandria made himself master of Paretonion, a city of Marmorica.

The intelligence he received of the revolt of the * Marmarides in Libya, prevented him from proceed

ing any farther in this expedition; and he immediately returned to regulate the disorders in his provinces. Ptolemy, who had marched an army to the frontiers, had now a favourable opportunity of attacking him in his retreat, and entirely defeating his troops: but a new danger called him to another quarter. He detected a conspiracy which had been formed against him, by four thousand Gauls, whom he had taken into his pay, and who intended no less than to drive him out of Egypt, and seize it for theinselves. In order, therefore, to frustrate their design, he found himself obliged to return to Egypt, where he drew the conspirators into an island in the Nile, and shut them up so effectually there, that they all perished by famine, except those who chose

rather to destroy one another, than languish out their lives in that miserable manner.

Magas, as soon as he had calmed the troubles A. M. which occasioned his return, renewed his designs on 3740. Egypt, and, in order to succeed more effectually, en

Ant. j.c.

264. gaged his father-in-law, Antiochus Soter, to enter into his plan: it was then resolved, that Antiochus should attack Ptolemy on one side, while Magas in. vaded him on the other ; but Ptolemy, who had secret intelligence of his treaty, prevented Antiochus in his design, and gave him so much employment in all his maritime provinces, by repeated descents, and the devastations made by the troops he sent into those parts, that this prince was obliged to continue in his own dominions, to concert measures for their des fence; and Magas, who expected a diversion to be made in his favour by Antiochus, thought it not adviseable to enter upon any action, when he per: ceived his ally had not made the effort on which he depended. : * Philateres, who founded the kingdom of Per: A. M. gamus, died the following year, at the age of four. 3741.

Ant. J.C. score. He was an eunuch, and originally a servant

263. of Docimus, an officer in the army of Antigonus ; who having quitted that prince, to enter into the service of Lysimachus, was soon followed by Philateres. Lysimachus, finding him a person of great capacity, made him his treasurer, and entrusted him with the government of the city of Pergamus, in which his treasures were deposited. He served Lysimachus very faithfully in this post for several years: but his attachment to the interest of Agathocles, the eldest son of Lysimachus, who was destroyed by the in. trigues of Arsinoe the younger, daughter of Ptolemy Soter, as I have formerly related; and the affliction he testified at the tragical death of that prince, caused him to be suspected by the young queen,

Strab, l. xiii. p. 623, 624. Pausan, in Att, pi 13 & 18.

« PreviousContinue »