Read LIFE OF TITUS FLAMININUS of Plutarch's Lives‚ Volume II, free online book, by Aubrey Stewart & George Long, on ReadCentral.com.

Those who wish to know what Titus Quintius Flamininus, whom we have selected as a parallel to Philopoemen, was like, may see his brazen statue in Rome, which stands beside the great statue of Apollo from Carthage, opposite to the Circus, with a Greek inscription upon it. His temper is said to have been warm, both in love and in anger, though he was ever moderate and placable in inflicting punishment, while he was never weary in conferring favours, and was always eager to help those upon whom he had bestowed some benefit, preserving and protecting them as though they were the most precious of his possessions. Being ambitious and eager to distinguish himself, he wished to take the leading part in everything, and consequently preferred those who hoped to receive to those who were able to confer favours, because the former were his assistants and the latter his rivals in the struggle for honour.

He received a military training, being born at a time when Rome was engaged in most important wars, and when young men learned how to act as officers not by theory but by actual service in the field. He first served as military tribune under the consul Marcellus in the war with Hannibal. Marcellus perished in an ambuscade, but Titus was made governor of Tarentum after its recapture, and of the surrounding territory. In this government, he won as great a reputation for justice as for courage, so that when the Romans sent colonists to the two cities of Narnia and Cossa, he was appointed to lead them and act as founder of the colonies.

II. This so elated him that he at once aspired to the consulship, passing over all the usual steps of AEdile, Tribune, or Praetor, by which young men generally rose to that office. When the day of election arrived, he appeared with a strong following of devoted partisans from those two towns. When the tribunes of the people, Fulvius and Manius, came forward and protested against a young man taking the highest office in the state by storm, contrary to the laws, and being as it were uninitiated in the very elements of the constitution, the Senate referred the matter to the votes of the people, who elected him consul together with Sextus AElius, although he was not yet thirty years old. In casting lots for provinces the war with Philip of Macedon fell to his share, greatly to the advantage of the Romans, because in that war they needed a general who would deal with the enemy not entirely by main force, but also win them over by persuasion and diplomacy. The kingdom of Macedonia was amply sufficient for Philip, if he only fought once with the Romans; but to maintain the cost of a long war, to supply his troops, and afford him necessary resources, the co-operation of Greece was essential to him. Unless therefore Greece could be detached from his alliance, the war could not be decided by a single battle. Greece at this time had been brought but little into contact with the Romans, who then for the first time interfered in her politics. Unless, therefore, the Roman general had been a man of high character, willing to act by diplomacy rather than by war, and combining affability of address with a strict sense of justice, the Greeks would have been unwilling to throw off their allegiance to their former masters in order to place themselves under the new and untried dominion of Rome. Of these honourable traits in Titus’s character many instances will be found in his acts.

III. He learned that his predecessors, Sulpicius and Publius, had both invaded Macedonia when the season was far advanced, had begun warlike operations too late, and had failed because Philip occupied the strong places in the country and harassed them by constant attacks upon their communications and foraging parties. Flamininus did not wish to follow their example, and, after wasting a year at home in the enjoyment of the consular dignity, and in taking part in the politics of Rome, to set out late in the year to begin his campaign, although by this means he might have extended his command over two years, by acting as consul in the first, and carrying on the war as proconsul during the second. He preferred to throw the weight of his power as consul into the conduct of the war, cared not to display the insignia of his office at Rome, but obtained from the Senate the appointment of his brother Lucius to the command of the fleet which was to co-operate with him, took as the nucleus of his army three thousand of the strongest of those veterans who under Scipio had beaten Hasdrubal in Spain and Hannibal in Africa, and safely crossed over with them into Epirus. Here he found Publius, with his army, watching that of Philip, which held the passes near the river Apsus, but unable to effect anything on account of the enemy being so strongly posted. After taking over the army from Publius, whom he superseded in its command, he reconnoitred the position. Its strength is as great as that of the vale of Tempe, although it wants the lovely meadows and groves of trees for which the latter is celebrated. The river Apsus runs in a deep ravine between vast and lofty mountains, like the Peneus in appearance and swiftness, and beside it, at the foot of the mountains, runs one narrow and rocky path, along which it is difficult for an army to proceed even if unmolested, and utterly impossible if it be held by an enemy.

IV. Titus was advised by some to turn Philip’s flank, marching through the Dassaretid country along the Lykus, which would offer no such difficulties; but he feared to march far from the coast lest, like his predecessors, he should become entangled in a country which could furnish no supplies, be unable to force Philip to fight, and be obliged to retreat to the sea again from want of the means of subsistence. He determined to force his way through the mountains in front, and as these were held by Philip with his main body, the phalanx, his flanks being secured by archers and light armed troops, skirmishes took place between him and the Romans daily, with considerable loss on both sides, but without any result, until some of the natives of the country informed him of a path, neglected by the enemy, by which they undertook to lead his army, and on the third day at the latest to place it upon the heights. As a guarantee of their good faith they referred the Romans to Charops, the chief of the Epirot tribes, who was friendly to the Romans, and co-operated with them secretly, being afraid of Philip. Titus trusting in this man’s word sent one of the military tribunes with four thousand infantry and three hundred cavalry. They were guided by these peasants, who were strictly guarded, and marched by night, resting by day in woods and sheltered places: for the moon was full. Titus, after he had despatched this force, rested his army, only skirmishing slightly with the enemy lest they should entertain any suspicion, until the day upon which the turning party was expected to appear on the summit of the mountain range. On that morning he got his whole force under arms, light and heavy armed alike, and dividing it into three parts himself led one body in column up to the attack of the narrowest part of the pass beside the river, while the Macedonians shot at him from above and disputed every inequality of the ground, while on his right and left the other detachments likewise vigorously attacked the position. The sun rose while they were thus engaged, and a light cloud of smoke, not distinct, but like a mountain mist, rose from the captured heights. It was unnoticed by the enemy, being behind their backs, but kept the Romans, while they fought, in a state of hopeful excitement and suspense. When however it grew thicker and blacker, and rising in a cloud proved itself without doubt to be the looked-for signal, they rushed forward with a shout and drove the enemy into their innermost places of refuge, while those on the rocks above echoed their warlike clamour.

V. A headlong flight now took place, but the enemy lost only two thousand men, for the difficulties of the ground made it hard to pursue. The Romans, however, made themselves masters of their baggage, tents, and slaves, and marched through Epirus in such an orderly and well-disciplined fashion that, although the soldiers were far from their ships, had not had their monthly allowance of provisions served out to them, and were not often near a market, they nevertheless abstained from plundering a country which was abounding in riches. Indeed Titus had learned that Philip passed through Thessaly like a fugitive, driving the inhabitants of the city to fly to the mountains for refuge, burning the cities and giving all the property which could not be carried away to his soldiers as plunder.

As Philip therefore had given up the country to the Romans, Titus besought his soldiers to march through it taking as much care of it as if it were their own. This good discipline was not long in bearing fruit; for as soon as the Romans entered Thessaly the cities surrendered themselves to Titus, while the Greeks beyond Thermopylae were excited and eager for him to come to them, and in Peloponnesus the Achaean league threw off allegiance to Philip, and agreed to wage war against him in conjunction with the Romans. The Opuntian Lokrians also sent for Titus and delivered themselves up to him, although they had been pressed by the AEtolians, who were allies of the Romans, to allow them to take charge of their city. It is said that king Pyrrhus, when from a mountain watch-tower he first saw the Roman army drawn up in regular order, said: “These barbarians have nothing barbarous in their military discipline.” And in truth all those who met Titus were compelled to echo these words. They heard from the Macedonians that the leader of a barbarian army was coming to destroy everything and to reduce everyone to slavery: and then meeting a young and pleasant looking man, who was a thorough Greek in language and address, and a man of really noble character, they were marvellously fascinated by him, and on leaving him filled their cities with his praises, saying that at length they had found a champion for the liberties of Greece. After he had proposed to Philip, as terms of peace, that he should withdraw his garrisons and leave Greece independent, which Philip refused to do, then even those who had previously been on the side of Philip admitted that the Romans had not come to fight against the Greeks, but to fight with the Greeks against the Macedonians.

VI. The whole of Greece came to terms with him without a struggle, Thebes being the first city to send a deputation to welcome him as he peacefully marched through Boeotia. It was Brachyllus who had kept the Thebans loyal to Philip, but now they desired to show their admiration and esteem for Flamininus, being, as they imagined, on terms of amity with both parties. Titus received them with great courtesy, and walked gently forwards with them, conversing with them and asking them questions, until his soldiers, who were marching some distance behind, came up with him. Then he walked into the city in the company of the Thebans, not altogether to their satisfaction, although they did not like to attempt to keep him out, as he was accompanied by a good many soldiers. Yet, as if the town were not entirely at his mercy, he made them a speech, urging them to side with the Romans, while King Attalus spoke to the same effect, encouraging the Thebans to rally to the Roman cause. Attalus, indeed, over-exerted himself in his speech, considering his great age, and in consequence of a sudden dizziness or faintness fell down in a fit. He was shortly afterwards conveyed by sea to Asia Minor, and died there. However, the Boeotians accepted the Roman alliance.

VII. Philip now sent an embassy to Rome; and Flamininus also sent thither to beg the Senate to allow him to retain his office of consul, in case they should continue the war, or if they decided otherwise, to permit him to have the honour of concluding a peace with Philip; for his ambitious spirit could not endure to be superseded by another commander. His friends succeeded in obtaining the rejection of Philip’s demands, and his own continuance in office. As soon as he received this intelligence, he started, full of hope, to attack Philip in Thessaly, with an army of more than twenty-six thousand men, of which the AEtolians supplied six thousand infantry and four hundred cavalry. The army of Philip was of nearly equal numbers, and they began to march towards one another until they both drew near the city of Skotussa, where they determined to fight a decisive battle. When the two armies found themselves so near each other they felt no fear, as one might have expected, but each was confident of victory. The Romans were eager for the honour of overcoming the Macedonians, who had gained such glory under Alexander the Great; while the Macedonians, admitting the Romans to be very different soldiers to the Persians, swelled with pride at the thought that if they could conquer them, they would prove their king Philip to be even more invincible than Alexander himself. Titus also encouraged his soldiers to quit them like men, pointing out that they were about to fight in Greece, a noble theatre in which to display deeds of daring, and against worthy antagonists; while Philip, either by chance, or not noticing what he was doing in his haste, mounted upon a large sepulchre outside his camp, and from it began to make the usual speech to his men to encourage them for the coming struggle, but at length observing the evil omen was much disheartened by it, broke off in confusion, and would not fight that day.

VIII. On the following morning about dawn, as the night had been warm and damp, the whole plain was covered with fog, and a thick mist poured down from the neighbouring hills; which rendered it impossible to distinguish any object. The parties which were sent out by each army to reconnoitre fell in with one another and fought near the place called Kynoskephalae, that is, Dogs’ Heads, which is so named because a number of small hills near together have something of this appearance. In the combat, as usually happens in such rough ground, each side alternately had the advantage, and as each gave way they were reinforced from the respective camps. Now the fog lifted, and the two commanders resolved upon a general engagement. Philip’s right wing, on which the phalanx charged down-hill with all its weight, was victorious, the Romans being unable to stand before that hedge of spears, or break through that closely-locked array of shields. But on the left the Macedonians were unable to maintain their line, because of the inequalities of the ground, and Titus, seeing that his left was hopelessly routed, rode quickly to his own right, and suddenly attacked the enemy, who, because of the uneven nature of the ground, were unable to form their phalanx with its deep ranks, in which lies the peculiar strength of that order of battle, while the soldiers of which it is composed are armed in an unwieldy fashion which renders them helpless in a hand-to-hand fight. For the Macedonian phalanx is like some huge beast of invincible strength so long as it remains one body, close locked together in serried ranks; but when broken up it loses even the advantage of each individual soldier’s strength, because of the fashion in which they are armed, as they can only act together, not separately. When this body was routed some of the Romans pursued the fugitives, while others charged the victorious Macedonians in flank, soon forcing them to break up their array and fly in confusion, throwing away their arms. There fell no less than eight thousand of them, and five thousand were taken prisoners. The AEtolian cavalry were blamed for letting Philip escape, because they betook themselves to plundering the camp of the Macedonians even before the Romans ceased their pursuit, so that on their return they found that nothing had been left for them.

IX. From this there arose quarrels between the AEtolians and the Romans; and afterwards they exasperated Titus by taking to themselves the credit of the victory, and being the first to spread abroad that report among the Greeks so that they received all the honours due to victors, and were mentioned first in all the poems and ballads written about the battle. Of these, that which was most in vogue was the following:

“Unwept, unburied, on this mountain high,
Stranger, Thessalians thirty thousand lie;
They fell before AEtolia’s sons in war.
And Romans, brought by Titus from afar.
AEmathia weeps their loss. Bold Philip too,
Flies like a deer, and knows not what to do.”

This was written by Alkaeus to insult Philip, exaggerating the number of the slain; but when it came to be repeated many times and by many men, it vexed Titus more than Philip. The latter indeed parodied it in the following lines.

“Unshaped, unpolished, stands a gibbet strong,
Upon this hill to hang Alkaeus on.”

But Titus, who felt that the eyes of Greece were upon him, was wonderfully vexed by these incidents. For this reason he conducted the operations which followed without in the least degree consulting the AEtolians. They were angry at this neglect, and when Titus began negotiations with Philip, and received an embassy from him to treat for peace, they spread it abroad throughout Greece that Titus was being bribed by Philip into making peace, when he had it in his power to utterly cut off and destroy that power which first destroyed the independence of Greece. Philip himself however put an end to this suspicion, by placing himself and all his resources in the hands of Titus and the people of Rome. So now Titus brought the war to a close. He restored Philip to his kingdom of Macedonia, but forbade him to interfere in the affairs of Greece. He also imposed upon him a fine of a thousand talents, took away all but ten of his ships of war, and sent one of his two sons, Demetrius, to Rome as a hostage for the fulfilment of these conditions. In their making terms with Philip Titus showed himself wise and provident: for Hannibal the Carthaginian, who was at that time an exile, was already at the court of King Antiochus, urging him to follow up his good fortune and increase his empire. Antiochus had already been so successful as to have gained the surname of ‘the Great,’ and was now aiming at universal dominion. He especially intended to attack the Romans, and unless Titus had foreseen this, and granted favourable terms of peace, Philip would have been his ally, the two most powerful kings of the age would have been arrayed against the Romans, and a struggle no less important than that of Rome against Hannibal would have begun. As it was, Titus interposed this peace between the two wars, finishing the one before he began the other; by which means he took from one of the kings his last, and from the other his first hope.

X. The ten commissioners, whom the Senate despatched to assist Titus in settling the affairs of Greece, advised him to leave it free and independent, only keeping garrisons in Corinth, Chalkis, and Demetrias, for safety against Antiochus. Upon this the AEtolians threw off all disguise, openly urged these cities to revolt, and called upon Titus to loose the chains of Greece, as Philip was wont to call these three cities. They asked the Greeks whether they were pleased at their present bonds, which were heavier, though smoother than before; and whether they still thought Titus to be their benefactor because he had removed the fetters from the feet of Greece and fastened them round her throat. Titus was much grieved at these imputations, and at length by his representations induced the Senate to desist from its design of placing garrisons in these three cities, in order that the liberty which he was about to bestow upon Greece might be unclogged by any conditions.

When the Isthmian games were being celebrated, a great number of people were assembled in the arena witnessing the gymnastic contests, as was natural now that wars had ceased throughout Greece, and the people could attend their national festivals in safety. Proclamation was now suddenly made by the sound of a trumpet that every man should keep silence; and a herald coming forward into the midst of the assembly announced that the Senate of Rome, and Titus Quintius their consul and general, having overcome King Philip and the Macedonians, did now henceforth give liberty to the Corinthians, Lokrians, Phokians, Euboeans, Achaeans of Phthia, Magnetes, Thessalians, and Perrhaebians, with exemption from garrisons and tribute, and permission to govern themselves by their hereditary laws. At first all did not clearly hear the proclamation, and there was a disorderly tumult in the assembly, as men wondered at the words, asked one another their meaning, and called upon the herald to repeat them. But when silence had again been obtained, and the herald, exerting his voice to the utmost, repeated the proclamation, such a shout was raised that it was heard as far as the sea coast, and all the spectators rose from their seats, caring nothing more for the games, but rushing with one accord to greet, with transports of delight, the saviour and protector of Greece. On this occasion was observed what is often mentioned as an example of the power of human voices; some crows, which were flying over the racecourse at that moment, fell down among the people. The reason of this is that the air is broken and cut asunder by the vehemence and strength of the voices, so as not to have its natural power to support the birds, which, fell down just as if they were flying through a place where there was no air at all; unless indeed it was the violence of the cry that struck the birds like a shot, and so caused them to fall down dead. It may be also that the air is driven round in whirlpools by such shouts, as we observe happens in violent disturbances of the sea.

XI. As for Titus, unless he had escaped betimes when the assembly broke up and rushed towards him, it is thought that he could not have survived the pressure of so great a multitude. The crowd surrounded his tent, shouting and applauding until nightfall, when they dispersed: but as they went, if they met any of their kin, their friends, or fellow-citizens, they kissed and embraced them for joy, and then supped and made merry together. We may well think that they had no other talk at the table but of the great and terrible wars which Greece had fought for her liberty, and that nevertheless she never had obtained so perfect and delightful a state of freedom as that which had been won for her by other men’s labours, almost without any blood of her own being spilt. It is indeed rare to find bravery and wisdom combined in any man, but it is even rarer to find a perfectly just man. Agesilaus and Lysander, Nikias and Alkibiades knew well how to wage war and win battles both by land and by sea, but they never could make their victories yield any honourable benefit to others, or true glory to themselves. Indeed with the exception of Marathon and Salamis, Plataea and Thermopylae, and the campaigns of Kimon on the Eurymedon and in Cyprus, all the other battles of Greece have been fought against herself, to bring about her slavery, and every trophy has been a misfortune, and a monument of shame rather than glory, arising chiefly from the rivalry between the leading cities. Yet a strange nation, from which it was inconceivable that Greece should receive any benefit, with scarcely any glimmering embers, as it were, of a common origin, had nevertheless, with great risk and hard fighting, rescued Greece from her harsh tyrants and oppressors.

XII. These were the thoughts which occupied men’s minds: and the events which took place were all in conformity with the proclamation. Titus had at the same time sent Lentulus to Asia Minor to free the Bargylians, and Stertinius to Thrace to remove the garrisons of Philip from the towns and islands in that quarter, while Publius Villius set sail to treat with Antiochus about the freedom of the Greeks in his dominions. Titus himself proceeded to Chalkis, and thence he took ship for Magnesia, where he removed the foreign garrisons from the cities and re-established a democratic constitution in them. After this he was elected President of the Nemean games at Argos, where he made admirable arrangements for the conduct of the festival, and made a herald repeat his proclamation to the Greeks assembled there. He now made a progress through the cities of Greece, in which he established tranquillity and good laws, encouraged them to regard each other with good will, put an end to faction, and brought back exiles, taking no less pride in acting as counsellor and mediator to the Greeks than he did in having conquered the Macedonians, so that liberty seemed to be the least of the benefits which he had bestowed on the Greeks.

It is said that when at Athens Lykurgus the orator had rescued Xenokratos the philosopher from the tax-gatherers who were taking him to prison for non-payment of the tax upon resident aliens, and had them punished for their insolent conduct towards him, Xenokrates, afterwards meeting the sons of Lykurgus, said, My children, I am making your father an honourable return for his kindness, he has the praises of the whole people for what he did for me. Flamininus and the Romans, however, not only obtained the praise of the Greeks in return for the benefits which they had conferred upon them, but also gained the trust and confidence of all mankind by their noble acts. Not only cities, but even kings who had been wronged by other kings came to them for redress, so that in a short space of time, with the assistance, no doubt, of the divine favour, all the world became subject to them. Flamininus especially prided himself on having liberated the Greeks, and when he dedicated at Delphi silver shields and his own Roman buckler, he wrote upon them the following verses:

“To you, the Twins, delighting in the chase,
Great Zeus’s sons, of Sparta’s royal race,
This offering gives the Roman Titus, he
Who set the children of fair Hellas free.”

He also dedicated a golden wreath to Apollo, with the inscription

“To thee, Latona’s child, this chaplet fair
Doth Titus, leader of Rome’s army, send;
The crown will well beseem thy glorious hair;
Do thou the donor from all ill defend.”

Indeed it was in the city of Corinth that this favour has twice been bestowed upon the Greeks, for it was in Corinth that Titus made the proclamation of which we have spoken, and Nero again, in our own time, in nearly the same manner, during the Isthmian games, declared the Greeks free and independent, except that Titus proclaimed it by means of a herald, while Nero mounted upon a platform in the market place and made the announcement himself. However, this took place long afterwards.

XIII. Titus now began a war against that most hateful and lawless of despots, Nabis of Lacedaemon, but betrayed the confidence of the Greeks; for when he had the opportunity of destroying him he would not do so, but made terms with him, leaving Sparta in a shameful bondage. Either he was afraid that if the war went on for any length of time some new commander would be sent from Rome who would gain the credit of it, or else he was jealous of the honours which were paid to Philopoemen, who was by far the greatest warrior in Greece at that period, and who surpassed himself in acts of bravery and strategy during the campaign against Nabis. The homage which was paid Philopoemen in all public assemblies by the Achaeans vexed Flamininus, who felt angry that a mere Arcadian, who had gained some credit as a leader in obscure border warfare, should be treated with as much respect as the Roman consul, who was acting as the protector of all the peoples of Greece. The excuse which Titus himself made for terminating the war was that he saw that the despot could not be dethroned without causing great suffering to the other Spartans. Though the Achaeans passed many decrees in his honour he cared for none of them except one gift which they bestowed upon him, which was as follows. Many of the Romans who had been taken prisoners in the war with Hannibal had been sold for slaves, and were in servitude in different countries. In Greece there were twelve hundred of them, men who were in any case much to be pitied for their misfortune, but especially now, when as may be supposed, they met their sons, brothers, and relations, who were free Roman soldiers, while they themselves were slaves. Titus, though grieved at their lot, did not take them forcibly from their owners, but the Achaeans paid a ransom of five minae for each man, collected them into one body, and just as Titus was about to set sail for home, presented them to him, so that he left the scene of his glorious labours having received an honourable reward, and one which well befitted so great and patriotic a man, besides being the most glorious ornament of his triumph: for these men of their own accord, like ordinary slaves who have been emancipated, shaved their heads, put on felt skull caps, and followed in the train at his triumph.

XIV. A more splendid spectacle was afforded by the spoils of war, the Greek helmets, Macedonian shields, and long sarissae, or pikes used by the phalanx, which were carried along in the procession. There was also no inconsiderable sum of money, for Tuditanus tells us that in this triumph there were displayed three thousand seven hundred and thirteen pounds of gold coin, forty-three thousand two hundred and seventy pounds of silver coin, and fourteen thousand five hundred and fourteen gold coins of King Philip, besides the thousand talents which he owed. These, however, the Romans, at the instance of Flamininus, forgave him, and released his son who had been kept as a hostage for their payment.

XV. When Antiochus entered Greece with a large naval and military force, many of the Greek states joined him, especially the AEtolians, who eagerly espoused his cause because of their old quarrel with Rome. They gave out as a pretext for beginning the war, that they intended to restore freedom to the Greeks, who required nothing of the sort, being free already. This, however, was merely said because it was the most plausible excuse for their conduct, for which they could not assign any creditable reason. The Romans were much alarmed at the importance of this insurrection. They sent Manius Acilius as consul and commander-in-chief to conduct the war, and dispatched Titus Flamininus on a diplomatic mission to the cities of Greece. The mere sight of him confirmed the wavering loyalty of some of these states, while his personal influence induced many which had taken the first steps towards revolt, to return to their allegiance. Some few, however, were hopelessly lost to the Roman cause, having been previously won over by the AEtolians; yet, vexed and exasperated as he was by their conduct, he took care, after the victory had been won, that even these should not be destroyed. Antiochus, it is well known, was defeated at Thermopylae, and at once set sail for Asia Minor, while the consul Manius besieged some of the AEtolian strongholds himself, and arranged for others to be taken by King Philip of Macedon. But when the towns in Dolopia, Magnesia, and Aperantia were being despoiled by Philip, and the consul Manius had taken Heraklea and was besieging Naupaktus, an AEtolian fortress, Flamininus, pitying the Greeks, left Peloponnesus and sailed to the consul at Naupaktus. At first he reproached him with conquering Antiochus, and then allowing Philip to reap all the advantages of his victory, and with wasting time in besieging one city out of pique, while the Macedonians were adding tribes and kingdoms to their empire. After this, as the besieged, when they saw him, called upon him by name from the walls, and stretched out their hands to him with tears and entreaties, he made no answer to them but turned away and wept. Afterwards, however, he reasoned with Manius, and persuaded him to put aside his resentment, and to grant the AEtolians a truce, and time to send an embassy to Rome to arrange reasonable terms of peace.

XVI. He was given most trouble of all by the petitions of the Chalkidians to Manius for peace. These people were especially obnoxious to the Romans because Antiochus, at the commencement of the war, had married the daughter of a citizen of Chalkis. The match was both unseasonable in point of time, and unequal in respect of age, as he was an elderly man when he fell in love with the girl, who was the daughter of one Kleoptolemus, and is said to have been of exceeding beauty. This marriage caused the Chalkidians to become eager partizans of King Antiochus, and even to offer him their city for his headquarters during the war. After his defeat he retreated at once to Chalkis, and then, taking his bride, his treasure, and his friends with him, set sail for Asia. Manius at once marched upon Chalkis in a rage, but Flaminius accompanied him, and by his entreaties at length calmed and pacified him. The people of Chalkis, after this narrow escape, dedicated the largest and most magnificent of all their public buildings to Titus, the inscriptions on which may be read even at the present day. “The people dedicate this gymnasium to Herakles and to Titus. And on the other side of the road we read The people dedicate the Delphinium to Apollo and to Titus. Moreover even in our own times a priest of Titus is chosen by show of hands, who offers sacrifice to him. After the libations they sing a specially-written poem, too long for quotation from which we extract the following verses:

“Sing, maidens, sing,
Of Rome’s good faith that keeps its oath,
And gentle Titus full of truth,
Our city’s saviour, Titus and Apollo sing.”

XVII. He also received honours from the Greeks at large, and that which gives reality to honours, great goodwill from all for his kindly disposition. For though indeed he had some slight differences with Philopoemen, and again with Diophanes when chief of the Achaean league, he was not rancorous, and never acted under the impulse of anger, but soon laid aside his displeasure. He was harsh to no one, but was thought by most men to be clever and witty, and the pleasantest of companions. When the Achaeans were endeavouring to gain for themselves the island of Zakynthus, he discouraged their enterprise by saying that if they proceeded so far from Peloponnesus they would be in the same danger as the tortoise when he stretches his head out beyond his shell.

When Philip first met him to discuss terms of peace, and observed that Titus had come with a large suite, while he was alone, Titus answered, “You by your own act have made yourself lonely, by having killed all your friends and relations.” Once at Rome Deinokrates the Messenian got drunk and danced in women’s clothes, and on the next day begged Titus to assist him in his design of detaching Messenia from the Achaean league. Titus answered that he would consider the matter, but that he wondered that a man engaged in such important designs should sing and dance over his wine. When the ambassadors of Antiochus were telling the Achaeans the number of the king’s army and were enumerating the various forces of which it was composed under various designations, Titus remarked that when dining with his host he had been surprised at the variety of meats, and had expressed his wonder as to how he had been able to obtain so many different kinds; but his host informed him that it was all nothing more than pork disguised by various sauces and cooked in various ways. “So now,” continued he, “men of Achaea, do not be alarmed at the power of Antiochus when you hear these catalogues of spearmen and lance-bearers and foot-guards; for they are all nothing more than Syrians disguised with different kind of arms.”

XVIII. After the pacification of Greece and the end of the war with Antiochus, Flamininus was elected censor, which is the highest office at Rome, and is as it were the goal of political life. His colleague was Marcellus, the son of him that was five times consul. They ejected from the Senate four men of no reputation, and admitted into it all the candidates who were of free birth, being forced to do so by the tribune of the people Terentius Culeo, who by his invectives against the patricians had induced the people to pass a decree to that effect.

The two most prominent men in Rome at this time were Scipio Africanus and Marcus Cato. Of these Titus appointed Scipio to be President of the Senate, as being the first man in the state, but he quarrelled with Cato for the following reason. Titus had a brother, Lucius Flamininus, who was very unlike himself in disposition, being licentious in his pleasures and careless of his reputation. He had a favourite whom he always took with him even when he was in command of an army or governor of a province. This boy once at a wine party said that he was so greatly attached to Lucius, that he left a show of gladiators before he had seen a man killed, to please him. Lucius, delighted at this proof of affection, said, “That is easily remedied; I will gratify your wish.” He ordered a condemned criminal to be brought, sent for the executioner, and bade him strike off the man’s head in the banquetting chamber. Valerius of Antium says that Lucius did this to please a female, not a male favourite. But Livy says that in Cato’s own speech on the subject we are told that Lucius, to gratify his favourite, slew with his own hand a Gaulish deserter who came with his wife and children to the door, and whom he had himself invited into the banquetting chamber. It is probable that Cato added these particulars to exaggerate the horror of the story, for Cicero the Orator, who gives the story in his book ‘On Old Age,’ and many other writers, say that the man was not a deserter, but a criminal, and condemned to death.

XIX. In consequence of this, Cato, when censor, removed Lucius from the Senate, although he was of consular rank, and although his degradation affected his brother as well as himself. Both of them now presented themselves before the people poorly clad and in tears, and appeared to be making a very reasonable demand in begging Cato to state the grounds upon which he had cast such ignominy upon an honourable family. Cato, however, not in the least affected by this, came forward with his colleague and publicly demanded of Titus whether he was acquainted with what happened at the banquet. When Titus answered that he knew nothing of it, Cato related the circumstances, challenging Lucius to contradict him if he spoke untruly. As Lucius remained silent, the people saw that his degradation had been deserved, and Cato retired in triumph. Titus, vexed at what had befallen his brother, now joined the party of Cato’s enemies, objected to all purchases, lettings, and sales by the Senate of public property which had been made by Cato, and carried his point so far as to have them all declared void. Thus he, I cannot say justly, became the violent opponent of a legally constituted official and an excellent citizen, for the sake of a man who, though his brother, was a worthless character and had only met with his deserts. Nevertheless, on one occasion, when the Roman people were witnessing some spectacle in the theatre, the Senate, as is customary, sitting in the best place in great state, they were filled with compassion on seeing Lucius Flamininus sitting on the back benches in a mean dress, and the people became so excited that they could not restrain their cries to him to resume his former seat, until at length he did so, and was welcomed by the other consulars.

XX. The ambitious character of Titus gained him much glory, while he was in the prime of life, in the wars of which we have made mention: for after his consulship he again served in the army as military tribune; but when he retired from public life, being an elderly man, he often incurred the blame of his countrymen from his desire to distinguish himself. For instance, his conduct in regard to Hannibal made him much disliked at Rome. Hannibal after his escape from Carthage, joined king Antiochus, but when Antiochus, after his defeat in Phrygia, was glad to accept terms of peace from the Romans, he again became an exile, and after many wanderings, at length settled at the court of Prusias, king of Bithynia. Every one at Rome knew that he was there, but no one wished to meddle with him because of his age and weakness, as he appeared to be deserted by fortune. However, Titus was sent to Prusias on an embassy about certain other matters, and seeing Hannibal there took offence at his being alive, and would not accede to the prayers and entreaties of Prusias on behalf of his suppliant. There was, it seems, a certain oracle which ends with this verse:

“Libyssa’s earth shall cover Hannibal.”

Now Hannibal himself took this to mean Libya, and that he should be buried at Carthage; but in Bithynia there is a shingly tract by the seashore near which is a large village named Libyssa, in which Hannibal was living. As he mistrusted the weakness of Prusias and feared the Romans, he had previously to this arranged seven ways of escape leading from his own room into different subterranean passages, all of which led into the open air by concealed apertures. When then he heard that Titus insisted upon his death he endeavoured to escape by one of those passages, but finding every outlet watched by the soldiers of Prusias he determined to die by his own hand. Some say that he destroyed himself by winding his cloak round his neck, and ordered a slave to place his knee in the small of his back and pull the cloak violently until he choked; while some tell us that he imitated Themistokles and Midas, by drinking bull’s blood. Livy says that he prepared some poison which he kept by him ready for such an emergency, and that as he was about to drink it he said: “Let us set the Roman people free from their terrible anxiety, since they think it long to wait for the death of the old man whom they hate. However, Titus will not gain a glorious victory, or one worthy of his ancestors, who sent to bid Pyrrhus beware of poison, although he was their enemy and actually at war with them.”

XXI. Thus is Hannibal said to have perished. When the news was brought to the Senate many thought that Titus had acted officiously and cruelly in putting Hannibal to death, when he was living unharmed and helpless, merely in order to obtain the credit of having killed him. When they reflected upon the mildness and magnanimity of Scipio Africanus they wondered yet more, for Scipio, after vanquishing the terrible and unconquered Hannibal in Libya, did not drive him into exile, or insist upon his countrymen delivering him up. He actually met him on friendly terms before the battle, and when he made a treaty with him after his victory he did not bear himself unseemly or insult his rival’s misfortune. It is related that they met again in Ephesus, and that as they walked together Hannibal took the place of honour, while Africanus walked contentedly beside him. Their conversation turned upon great generals, and when Hannibal stated his opinion that the best of generals was Alexander, next to him Pyrrhus, and next himself, Scipio, with a quiet smile, asked him: “What would you have said, if I had not conquered you?” “In that case, Scipio,” answered Hannibal, “I should not have reckoned myself third but first of generals.” The people remembering this cried shame upon Titus, for having laid hands upon a man whom another had slain. Some few, however, praised the deed, thinking that Hannibal, as long as he lived, was a fire which might easily be fanned into a destructive conflagration. They pointed out that even when he was in the prime of life it was not his bodily strength or personal prowess that made him so terrible to the Romans, but his intellect and skill, together with his inveterate hatred of Rome, none of which had been diminished by age, but that his natural gifts remained the same, while also fortune was wont to change, and so those who had any permanent cause of enmity with another nation were ever encouraged by hopes of success to make new attacks. Indeed subsequent events seemed to prove Titus right, as Aristonikus, the son of the harp-player, in his admiration for Eumenes, filled the whole of Asia with revolt and revolution, while Mithridates, after his tremendous losses at the hands of Sulla and Fimbria, again gathered together such great forces both by land and sea to oppose Lucullus. Yet Hannibal did not fall so low as Caius Marius. The former was to the last the friend of a king, and spent his time in sailing in ships, riding on horseback, and in the study of how to keep a military force efficient; whereas the Romans, who had laughed Marius to scorn as he wandered a beggar in Africa, soon licked the dust before him while he flogged and slaughtered them in Rome. Thus no one of our present circumstances can be said to be either important or trifling, great or small, in comparison with what is to come, but we only cease to change when we cease to exist.

For this reason some say that Titus did not effect this of his own free will, but that he was sent with Lucius Scipio as a colleague on an embassy whose sole object was the death of Hannibal. Now, as after these events we know of no other acts of Titus either as a warrior or statesman, and as he died a peaceful death, it is time to begin our comparison.