« PreviousContinue »
consequently ought to have a share in that kingdom. Pyrrhus, who, in this conjuncture, was not entirely certain of the fidelity of the Macedonians, readily acquiesced in the pretensions of Lysimachus, and the cities and provinces were accordingly shared between them: but this agreement was so far from uniting them with each other, that it rather led them into a constant train of animosities and divisions: for, as Plutarch observes, when neither seas nor mountains, nor uninhabitable deserts, could suffice as barriers to the avarice and ambition of these princes; and when their desires were not to be bounded by those limits which separate Europe from Asia, how could they possibly continue in a state of tranquillity, and refrain from the injustice of invading domains so near, and which might prove so commodious to them: this was a moderation not to be expected; and a perpetual war between them became inevitable from the malignant seeds of envy and usurpation that had taken root in their minds. The names of peace and war were considered by them as two species of coin; to which they themselves had given curreney, merely for their own interest, and without the least regard to justice. Again, continues the same author, do they act more laudably, when they engage in an open war, than when they use the sacred names of justice, friendship, and peace, for what, in reality, is no more than a truce, or transient suspension of their unjust views?
The whole history of Alexander's successors justifies these reflections of Plutarch. Never were more treaties and alliances made, and never were they violated with less disguise, and more impunity. May heaven grant that those complaints be never applicable to any princes or times but those we are treating of at present!
Pyrrhus finding the Macedonians more tractable and submissive, when he led them to war, than they were when he permitted them to enjoy a state of
"repose; and being himself not much addicted to tranquillity, nor capable of satisfaction in the calm of a long peace, was daily forming new enterprises, without much regard to sparing either bis subjects or allies. Lysimachus took advantage of the army's disgust of Pyrrhus, and enflamed them still more by his emissaries, who artfully insinuated that they had acted most shamefully in choosing a stranger for their master, whom interest, and not affection, had attached to Macedonia. These reproaches drew in the
greatest part of the soldiers; upon which Pyrrhus, who feared the consequences of this alienation, retired with his Epirots, and the troops of his allies, and lost Macedonia in the same manner he had gained it.
He greatly complained of the inconstancy of this people, and their disaffection to his person; but, as Plutarch again observes, Kings have no reason to blame other persons for sometimes changing their party according to their interest, as in acting so, they only imitate their own example, and practise the lessons of infidelity and t reason, which they have learned from their whole conduct, which upon all occasions demonstrates an utter disregard for justice, veracity, and faith, in the observance of engage
With respect to the affairs of Demetrius, that prince, when he found bimself deserted by his troops, retired to the city of Cassandria*, where his cansort Plila resided : this lady was so afflicted at the cala
state in wbich she beheld her husband, and was so terrified at the misfortunęs to which she herself was exposed by the declension of bis affairs, that she had recourse to a draught of poison, by which she ended a life that was become more insup, portable to her than death itself.
° Plut. in Demetr. p. 910, 911. A city on the frontiers of Thrace, and in Upper Macedonia.
Demetrius thinking to gather up some remains of his shattered fortune, returned to Greece, where several cities still continued devoted to him; and when he had disposed his affairs in the test order he was able, he left the government of those places to his son Antigonus; and assembling all the troops he could raise in that country, which amounted to about eleven thousand men, he embarked for Asia, with a resolution to try whether despair would not bring forth good fortune. Eurydice, the fifter of his late wife Phila, received him at Miletus, where she lived with the Princess Ptolemaida, her daughter by Ptolemy, whose marriage with Demetrius had been agreed upon by the mediation of Seleucus. Eurydice accordingly presented the princess to him, and this alliance gave birth to Demetrius, who afterwards reigned in Cyrene.
P Demetrius, soon after the celebration of his nuptials, entered Caria and Lydia, where he took several places from Lysimachus, and considerably augmented his forces; by which means he at last made himself master of Sardis: but, as soon as Agathocles, the son of Lysimachus, appeared at the head of an army, he abandoned all his conquests, and marched into the East. His design in taking this route was to surprise Armenia and Media; but Agathocles, who followed him close, cut off his provisions and forage so effectually, that a sickness spread through his army, and weakened it extremely; and when he at last made an attempt to march over mount Taurus, with the small remains of his troops, he found all the passes guarded by the enemies, which obliged him to march for Tarsus in Cilicia.
From thence he represented to Seleucus, to whom that city belonged, the melancholy situation of his affairs, and intreated him, in a very moving manner, to afford him the necessary subsistence for himself
Plat. in Demetr. p. 912-915.
and the remainder of his troops. Seleucus was touched with compassion at first, and dispatched orders to his lieutenants, to furnish him with all he should want.
But when remonstrances were afterwards made to him upon the valour and abilities of Demetrius, his genius for resource and stratagem; and intrepidity in the execution of his designs, whenever the least opportunity for acting presented itself; he thought it impossible to re-instate a prince of that character, without incurring many disadvantages himself.
For which reason, instead of continuing to support him, he resolved upon his de. struction, and immediately placed himself at the head of a numerous arniy, with an intention to attack him. Demetrius, who had received intelligence of these measures, posted his troops in those parts of mount Taurus, where he imagined it would be very difficult to force them, and sent to Seleucus a second time, to implore his permission to pass into the East, in order to establish himself in some country belonging to the Barbarians, where he might end his days in tranquillity: but if he should not be inclined to grant him that favour, he intreated his consent to take up his winter-quarters in his dominions ; and begged that prince not to expose him to famine, and the rigours of the season, as that would be delivering him
defenceless to the discretion of his enemies.
Seleucus was so prejudiced against the design he had formed against the East, that this proposal only tended to increase bis diffidence; and he consented to nothing more, than his taking winter-quarters in Cataonia, a province adjacent to Cappadocia, during the two severest months of that season; after which he was immediately to evacuate that country. Seleucus, during this negociation, bad placed strong guards at all the passes from Cilicia into Syria, which obliged Demetrius to have recourse to arms, in order to disengage himself. He accordingly made such a vigorous attack on the troops who guarded the passes
in the mountains, that he dislodged them from thence, and opened himself a passage into Syria, which he immediately entered.
His own courage, and the hopes of his soldiers, reviving from this success, he took all possible mea sures for making a last effort for the re establishment of his affairs; but he had the misfortune to be sud, denly seised with a severe distemper, which disconcerted all his measures. During the forty days that he continued sick, most of his soldiers deserted; and when he at last recovered his health, so as to be ca, pable of action, he found himself reduced to the desperate necessity of attempting to surprise Se. Jeucus in his camp by night, with the handful of men who still continued in bis service. A deserter gave Seleucus intelligence of this design, time enough to prevent its effect; and the desertion of Demetrius's troops increased upon this disappointment, He then endeavoured, as his last resource, to regain the mountains, and join his fleet; but he found the passes so well guarded, that he was obliged to conceal himself in the woods; from whence he was soon dislodged by hunger, and compelled to surrender himself to Scleucus, who caused him to be conducted under a strong guard to the Chersonesus of Syria near Laodicea, where he was detained prisoner. He, however, was allowed the liberty of a park for hunting, and all the conveniences of life in abundance.
When Antigonus received intelligence of his father's captivity, he was affected with the utmost sorrow; and wrote to all the Kings, and even to Seleucus himself, to obtain his release, offering, at the same time, his own person as an hostage for him, and consenting to part with all his remaining dominions, as the price of his liberty. Several cities, and a great number of princes, joined their solicitations in favour of the captive prince; but Lysima. chus offered a large sum of money to Seleucus, provided he would cause his prisoner to be put to