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By Plutarch

(legendary, reigned 197 B.C.E. - ca. 160 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

Duris reports that Eumenes, the Cardian, was the son of a poor wagoner
in the Thracian Chersonesus, yet liberally educated, both as a scholar
and a soldier; and that while he was but young, Philip, passing through
Cardia, diverted himself with a sight of the wrestling matches and
other exercises of the youth of that place, among whom Eumenes performing
with success, and showing signs of intelligence and bravery, Philip
was so pleased with him as to take him into his service. But they
seem to speak more probably who tell us that Philip advanced Eumenes
for the friendship he bore to his father, whose guest he had sometime
been. After the death of Philip, he continued in the service of Alexander,
with the title of his principal secretary, but in as great favour
as the most intimate of his familiars, being esteemed as wise and
faithful as any person about him, so that he went with troops under
his immediate command as general in the expedition against India,
and succeeded to the post of Perdiccas, when Perdiccas was advanced
to that of Hephaestion, then newly deceased. And therefore, after
the death of Alexander, when Neoptolemus, who had been captain of
his life-guard, said that he had followed Alexander with shield and
spear, but Eumenes only with pen and paper, the Macedonians laughed
at him, as knowing very well that, besides other marks of favour,
the king had done him the honour to make him a kind of kinsman to
himself by marriage. For Alexander's first mistress in Asia, by whom
he had his son Hercules, was Barsine the daughter of Artabazus; and
in the distribution of the Persian ladies amongst his captains, Alexander
gave Apame, one of his sisters, to Ptolemy, and another, also called
Barsine, to Eumenes. 

Notwithstanding, he frequently incurred Alexander's displeasure, and
put himself into some danger, through Hephaestion. The quarters that
had been taken up for Eumenes, Hephaestion assigned to Euius, the
flute-player. Upon which, in great anger, Eumenes and Mentor came
to Alexander and loudly complained, saying that the way to be regarded
was to throw away their arms and turn flute-players or tragedians;
so much so that Alexander took their part and chid Hephaestion; but
soon after changed his mind again, and was angry with Eumenes, and
accounted the freedom he had taken to be rather an affront to the
king than a reflection upon Hephaestion. Afterwards, when Nearchus,
with a fleet, was to be sent to the Southern Sea, Alexander borrowed
money of his friends, his own treasury being exhausted, and would
have had three hundred talents of Eumenes, but he sent a hundred only,
pretending that it was not without great difficulty he had raised
so much from his stewards. Alexander neither complained nor took the
money, but gave private orders to set Eumenes's tent on fire, designing
to take him in a manifest lie, when his money was carried out. But
before that could be done the tent was consumed, and Alexander repented
of his orders, all his papers being burnt; the gold and silver, however,
which was melted down in the fire, being afterwards collected, was
found to be more than one thousand talents; yet Alexander took none
of it, and only wrote to the several governors and generals to send
new copies of the papers that were burnt, and ordered them to be delivered
to Eumenes. 

Another difference happened between him and Hephaestion concerning
a gift, and a great deal of ill language passed between them, yet
Eumenes still continued in favour. But Hephaestion dying soon after,
the king, in his grief, presuming all those that differed with Hephaestion
in his lifetime were now rejoicing at his death, showed much harshness
and severity in his behaviour with them, especially towards Eumenes,
whom he often upbraided with his quarrels and ill language to Hephaestion.
But he, being a wise and dexterous courtier, made advantage of what
had done him prejudice, and struck in with the king's passion for
glorifying his friend's memory, suggesting various plans to do him
honour, and contributing largely and readily towards erecting his

After Alexander's death, when the quarrel broke out between the troops
of the phalanx and the officers, his companions, Eumenes, though in
his judgment he inclined to the latter, yet in his professions stood
neuter, as if he thought it unbecoming him, who was a stranger, to
interpose in the private quarrels of the Macedonians. When the rest
of Alexander's friends left Babylon, he stayed behind, and did much
to pacify the foot-soldiers, and to dispose them towards an accommodation.
And when the officers had agreed among themselves, and, recovering
from the first disorder proceeded to share out the several commands
and provinces, they made Eumenes governor of Cappadocia and Paphlagonia,
and all the coast upon the Pontic Sea as far as Trebizond, which at
that time was not subject to the Macedonians, for Ariarathes kept
it as king, but Leonnatus and Antigonus, with a large army, were to
put him in possession of it. 

Antigonus, already filled with hopes of his own, and despising all
men, took no notice of Perdiccas's letter; but Leonnatus with his
army came down into Phrygia to the service of Eumenes. But being visited
by Hecataeus, the tyrant of the Cardians, and requested rather to
relieve Antipater and the Macedonians that were besieged in Lamia,
he resolved upon that expedition, inviting Eumenes to a share in it,
and endeavouring to reconcile him to Hecataeus. For there was an hereditary
feud between them, arising out of political differences, and Eumenes
had more than once been known to denounce Hecataeus as a tyrant, and
to exhort Alexander to restore the Cardians their liberty. Therefore
at this time, also, he declined the expedition proposed, pretending
that he feared lest Antipater, who already hated him, should for that
reason, and to gratify Hecataeus, kill him. Leonnatus so far believed
as to impart to Eumenes his whole design, which, as he had pretended
and given out, was to aid Antipater, but in truth was to seize the
kingdom of Macedon; and he showed him letters from Cleopatra, in which,
it appeared, she invited him to Pella, with promises to marry him.
But Eumenes, whether fearing Antipater, or looking upon Leonnatus
as a rash, headstrong, and unsafe man, stole away from him by night,
taking with him all his men, namely, three hundred horse, and two
hundred of his own servants armed, and all his gold, to the value
of five thousand talents of silver, and fled to Perdiccas, discovered
to him Leonnatus's design, and thus gained great interest with him,
and was made of the council. Soon after, Perdiccas, with a great army,
which he led himself, conducted Eumenes into Cappadocia, and, having
taken Ariarathes prisoner, and subdued the whole country, declared
him governor of it. He accordingly proceeded to dispose of the chief
cities among his own friends, and made captains of garrisons, judges,
receivers, and other officers, of such as he thought fit himself,
Perdiccas not at all interposing. Eumenes, however, still continued
to attend upon Perdiccas, both out of respect to him, and a desire
not to be absent from the royal family. 

But Perdiccas, believing he was able enough to attain his own further
objects without assistance, and that the country he left behind him
might stand in need of an active and faithful governor, when he came
into Cilicia dismissed Eumenes, under colour of sending him to his
command, but in truth to secure Armenia, which was on its frontier,
and was unsettled through the practices of Neoptolemus. Him, a proud
and vain man, Eumenes exerted himself to gain by personal attentions;
but to balance the Macedonian foot, whom he found insolent and self-willed,
he contrived to raise an army of horse, excusing from tax and contribution
all those of the country that were able to serve on horseback, and
buying up a number of horses, which he distributed among such of his
own men as he most confided in, stimulating the courage of his new
soldiers by gifts and honours, and inuring their bodies to service
by frequent marching and exercising; so that the Macedonians were
some of them astonished, others overjoyed to see that in so short
a time he had got together a body of no less than six thousand three
hundred horsemen. 

But when Craterus and Antipater, having subdued the Greeks, advanced
into Asia, with intentions to quell the power of Perdiccas, and were
reported to design an invasion of Cappadocia, Perdiccas, resolving
himself to march against Ptolemy, made Eumenes commander-in-chief
of all the forces of Armenia and Cappadocia, and to that purpose wrote
letters, requiring Alcetas and Neoptolemus to be obedient to Eumenes,
and giving full commission to Eumenes to dispose and order all things
as he thought fit. Alcetas flatly refused to serve, because his Macedonians,
he said were ashamed to fight against Antipater, and loved Craterus
so well, they were ready to receive him for their commander. Neoptolemus
designed treachery against Eumenes, but was discovered; and being
summoned, refused to obey, and put himself in a posture of defence.
Here Eumenes first found the benefit of his own foresight and contrivance,
for his foot being beaten, he routed Neoptolemus with his horse, and
took all his baggage; and coming up with his whole force upon the
phalanx while broken and disordered in its flight, obliged the men
to lay down their arms and take an oath to serve under him. Neoptolemus,
with some few stragglers whom he rallied, fled to Craterus and Antipater.
From them had come an embassy to Eumenes, inviting him over to their
side, offering to secure him in his present government and to give
him additional command, both of men and of territory, with the advantage
of gaining his enemy Antipater to become his friend, and keeping Craterus
his friend from turning to be his enemy. To which Eumenes replied
that he could not so suddenly be reconciled to his old enemy Antipater,
especially at a time when he saw him use his friends like enemies,
but was ready to reconcile Craterus to Perdiccas, upon any and equitable
terms; but in case of any aggression, he would resist the injustice
to his last breath, and would rather lose his life than betray his

Antipater, receiving this answer, took time to consider upon the whole
matter; when Neoptolemus arrived from his defeat and acquainted them
with the ill success of his arms, and urged them to give him assistance,
to come, both of them if possible, but Craterus at any rate, for the
Macedonians loved him so excessively, that if they saw but his hat,
or heard his voice, they would all pass over in a body with their
arms. And in truth Craterus had a mighty name among them, and the
soldiers after Alexander's death were extremely fond of him, remembering
how he had often for their sakes incurred Alexander's displeasure,
doing his best to withhold him when he began to follow the Persian
fashions, and always maintaining the customs of his country, when,
through pride and luxuriousness, they began to be disregarded. Craterus,
therefore, sent on Antipater into Cilicia, and himself and Neoptolemus
marched with a large division of the army against Eumenes; expecting
to come upon him unawares, and to find his army disordered with revelling
after the late victory. Now that Eumenes should suspect his coming,
and be prepared to receive him, is an argument of his vigilance, but
not perhaps a proof of any extraordinary sagacity, but that he should
contrive both to conceal from his enemies the disadvantages of his
position, and from his own men whom they were to fight with, so that
he led them on against Craterus himself, without their knowing that
he commanded the enemy, this, indeed, seems to show peculiar address
and skill in the general. He gave out that Neoptolemus and Pigres
were approaching with some Cappadocian and Paphlagonian horse. And
at night, having resolved on marching, he fell asleep, and had an
extraordinary dream. For he thought he saw two Alexanders ready to
engage, each commanding his several phalanx, the one assisted by Minerva,
the other by Ceres; and that after a hot dispute, he on whose side
Minerva was, was beaten, and Ceres, gathering ears of corn, wove them
into a crown for the victor. 

This vision Eumenes interpreted at once as boding success to himself,
who was to fight for a fruitful country, and at that very time covered
with the young ears, the whole being sown with corn, and the fields
so thick with it that they made a beautiful show of a long peace.
And he was further emboldened when he understood that the enemy's
password was Minerva and Alexander. Accordingly he also gave out as
his Ceres and Alexander, and gave his men orders to make garlands
for themselves, and to dress their arms with wreaths of corn. He found
himself under many temptations to discover to his captains and officers
whom they were to engage with, and not to conceal a secret of such
moment in his own breast alone, yet he kept to his first resolutions,
and ventured to run the hazard of his own judgment. 

When he came to give battle, he would not trust any Macedonian to
engage Craterus, but appointed two troops of foreign horse, commanded
by Pharnabazus, son to Artabazus, and Phoenix of Tenedos, with order
to charge as soon as ever they saw the enemy, without giving them
leisure to speak or retire, or receiving any herald or trumpet from
them. For he was exceedingly afraid about his Macedonians, lest, if
they found out Craterus to be there, they should go over to his side.
He himself, with three hundred of his best horse, led the right wing
against Neoptolemus. When having passed a little hill they came in
view, and were seen advancing with more than ordinary briskness, Craterus
was amazed, and bitterly reproached Neoptolemus for deceiving him
with hopes of the Macedonians' revolt, but he encouraged his men to
do bravely, and forthwith charged. 

The first engagement was very fierce, and the spears being soon broken
to pieces, they came to close fighting with their swords; and here
Craterus did by no means dishonour Alexander, but slew many of his
enemies and repulsed many assaults, but at last received a wound in
his side from a Thracian, and fell off his horse. Being down, many
not knowing him went past him, but Gorgias, one of Eumenes's captains,
knew him, and alighting from his horse kept guard over him as he lay
badly wounded and slowly dying. In the meantime Neoptolemus and Eumenes
were engaged; who, being inveterate and mortal enemies, sought for
one another, but missed for the two first courses, but in the third
discovering one another, they drew their swords, and with loud shouts
immediately charged. And their horses striking against one another
like two galleys, they quitted their reins, and taking mutual hold
pulled at one another's helmets, and at the armour from their shoulders.
While they were thus struggling, their horses went from under them,
and they fell together to the ground, there again still keeping their
hold and wrestling. Neoptolemus was getting up first, but Eumenes
wounded him in the ham, and got upon his feet before him. Neoptolemus
supporting himself upon one knee, the other leg being disabled, and
himself undermost, fought courageously, though his blows were not
mortal, but receiving a stroke in the neck he fell and ceased to resist.
Eumenes, transported with passion and his inveterate hatred to him,
fell to reviling and stripping him, and perceived not that his sword
was still in his hand. And with this he wounded Eumenes under the
bottom of his corslet in the groin, but in truth more frightened than
hurt him; his blow being faint for want of strength. Having stript
the dead body, ill as he was with the wounds he had received in his
legs and arms, he took horse again, and hurried towards the left wing
of his army, which he supposed to be still engaged. Hearing of the
death of Craterus, he rode up to him, and finding there was yet some
life in him, alighted from his horse and wept, and laying his right
hand upon him, inveighed bitterly against Neoptolemus, and lamented
both Craterus's misfortune and his own hard fate, that he should be
necessitated to engage against an old friend and acquaintance, and
either do or suffer so much mischief. 

This victory Eumenes obtained about ten days after the former, and
got great reputation alike for his conduct and his valour in achieving
it. But, on the other hand, it created him great envy both among his
own troops and his enemies that he, a stranger and a foreigner, should
employ the forces and arms of Macedon to cut off the bravest and most
approved man among them. Had the news of this defeat come timely enough
to Perdiccas, he had doubtless been the greatest of all the Macedonians;
but now, he being slain in a mutiny in Egypt, two days before the
news arrived, the Macedonians in a rage decreed Eumenes's death, giving
joint commission to Antigonus and Antipater to prosecute the war against

Passing by Mount Ida, where there was a royal establishment of horses,
Eumenes took as many as he had occasion for, and sent an account of
his doing so to the overseers, at which Antipater is said to have
laughed, calling it truly laudable in Eumenes thus to hold himself
prepared for giving in to them (or would it be taking from them?)
strict account of all matters of administration. Eumenes had designed
to engage in the plains of Lydia, near Sardis, both because his chief
strength lay in horse, and to let Cleopatra see how powerful he was.
But at her particular request, for she was afraid to give any umbrage
to Antipater, he marched into the upper Phrygia, and wintered in Celaenae;
when Alcetas, Polemon, and Docimus disputing with him who should command
in chief, "You know," said he, "the old saying: That destruction regards
no punctilios." Having promised his soldiers pay within three days,
he sold them all the farms and castles in the country, together with
the men and beasts with which they were filled; every captain or officer
that bought received from Eumenes the use of his engines to storm
the place, and divided the spoils among his company, proportionably
to every man's arrears. By this Eumenes came again to be popular,
so that when letters were found thrown about the camp by the enemy
promising one hundred talents, besides great honours, to any one that
should kill Eumenes, the Macedonians were extremely offended, and
made an order that from that time forward one thousand of their best
men should continually guard his person, and keep strict watch about
him by night in their several turns. This order was cheerfully obeyed,
and they gladly received of Eumenes the same honours which the kings
used to confer upon their favourites. He now had leave to bestow purple
hats and cloaks, which among the Macedonians is one of the greatest
honours the king can give. 

Good fortune will elevate even petty minds, and give them the appearance
of a certain greatness and stateliness, as from their high place they
look down upon the world; but the truly noble and resolved spirit
raises itself, and becomes more conspicuous in times of disaster and
ill fortune, as was now the case with Eumenes. For having by the treason
of one of his own men lost the field to Antigonus at Orcynii, in Cappadocia,
in his flight he gave the traitor no opportunity to escape to the
enemy, but immediately seized and hanged him. Then in his flight,
taking a contrary course to his pursuers, he stole by them unawares,
returned to the place where the battle had been fought, and encamped.
There he gathered up the dead bodies and burnt them with the doors
and windows of the neighbouring villages, and raised heaps of earth
upon their graves; insomuch that Antigonus, who came thither soon
after, expressed his astonishment at his courage and firm resolution.
Falling afterwards upon the baggage of Antigonus, he might easily
have taken many captives, both bond and freemen, and much wealth collected
from the spoils of so many wars; but he feared lest his men, overladen
with so much booty, might become unfit for rapid retreat, and too
fond of their ease to sustain the continual marches and endure the
long waiting on which he depended for success, expecting to tire Antigonus
into some other course. But then considering it would be extremely
difficult to restrain the Macedonians from plunder, when it seemed
to offer itself, he gave them order to refresh themselves, and bait
their horses, and then attack the enemy. In the meantime he sent privately
to Menander, who had care of all this baggage, professing a concern
for him upon the score of old friendship and acquaintance; and therefore
advising him to quit the plain and secure himself upon the sides of
the neighbouring hills, where the horse might not be able to hem him
in. When Menander, sensible of his danger, had speedily packed up
his goods and decamped, Eumenes openly sent his scouts to discover
the enemy's posture, and commanded his men to arm and bridle their
horses, as designing immediately to give battle; but the scouts returning
with news that Menander had secured so difficult a post it was impossible
to take him, Eumenes, pretending to be grieved with the disappointment,
drew off his men another way. It is said that when Menander reported
this afterwards to Antigonus, and the Macedonians commended Eumenes,
imputing it to his singular good-nature, that having it in his power
to make slaves of their children and outrage their wives he forbore
and spared them all, Antigonus replied, "Alas, good friends, he had
no regard to us, but to himself, being loath to wear so many shackles
when he designed to fly." 

From this time Eumenes, daily flying and wandering about, persuaded
many of his men to disband, whether out of kindness to them, or unwillingness
to lead about such a body of men as were too few to engage and too
many to fly undiscovered. Taking refuge at Nora, a place on the confines
of Lycaonia and Cappadocia, with five hundred horse and two hundred
heavy-armed foot, he again dismissed as many of his friends as desired
it, through fear of the probable hardships to be encountered there,
and embracing them with all demonstrations of kindness gave them licence
to depart. Antigonus, when he came before this fort, desired to have
an interview with Eumenes before the siege; but he returned answer
that Antigonus had many friends who might command in his room; but
they whom Eumenes defended had nobody to substitute if he should miscarry;
therefore, if Antigonus thought it worth while to treat with him,
he should first send him hostages. And when Antigonus required that
Eumenes should first address himself to him as his superior, he replied,
"While I am able to wield a sword, I shall think no man greater than
myself." At last, when, according to Eumenes's demand, Antigonus sent
his own nephew Ptolemy to the fort, Eumenes went out to him, and they
mutually embraced with great tenderness and friendship, as having
formerly been very intimate. After long conversation, Eumenes making
no mention of his own pardon and security, but requiring that he should
be confirmed in his several governments, and restitution be made him
of the rewards of his service, all that were present were astonished
at his courage and gallantry. And many of the Macedonians flocked
to see what sort of person Eumenes was, for since the death of Craterus
no man had been so much talked of in the army. But Antigonus, being
afraid lest he might suffer some violence, first commanded the soldiers
to keep off, calling out and throwing stones at those who pressed
forwards. At last, taking Eumenes in his arms, and keeping off the
crowd with his guards, not without great difficulty, he returned him
safe into the fort. 

Then Antigonus, having built a wall round Nora, left a force sufficient
to carry on the siege, and drew off the rest of his army; and Eumenes
was beleaguered and kept garrison, having plenty of corn and water
and salt, but no other thing, either for food or delicacy; yet with
such as he had, he kept a cheerful table for his friends, inviting
them severally in their turns, and seasoning his entertainment with
a gentle and affable behaviour. For he had a pleasant countenance,
and looked not like an old and practised soldier, but was smooth and
florid, and his shape as delicate as if his limbs had been carved
by art in the most accurate proportions. He was not a great orator,
but winning and persuasive, as may be seen in his letters.

The greatest distress of the besieged was the narrowness of the place
they were in, their quarters being very confined, and the whole place
but two furlongs in compass; so that both they and their horses fed
without exercise. Accordingly, not only to prevent the listlessness
of such inactive living, but to have them in condition to fly if occasion
required, he assigned a room one-and-twenty feet long, the largest
in all the fort, for the men to walk in, directing them to begin their
walk gently, and so gradually mend their pace. And for the horses,
he tied them to the roof with great halters, fastening which about
their necks, with a pulley he gently raised them, till standing upon
the ground with their hinder feet, they just touched it with the very
ends of their forefeet. In this posture the grooms plied them with
whips and shouts, provoking them to curvet and kick out with their
hind legs, struggling and stamping at the same time to find support
for their forefeet, and thus their whole body was exercised, till
they were all in a foam and sweat; excellent exercise, whether for
strength or speed; and then he gave them their corn already coarsely
ground, that they might sooner despatch and better digest it.

The siege continuing long, Antigonus received advice that Antipater
was dead in Macedon, and that affairs were embroiled by the differences
of Cassander and Polysperchon, upon which he conceived no mean hopes,
purposing to make himself master of all, and, in order to his design,
thought to bring over Eumenes, that he might have his advice and assistance.
He, therefore, sent Hieronymus to treat with him, proposing a certain
oath, which Eumenes first corrected, and then referred himself to
the Macedonians themselves that besieged him, to be judged by them,
which of the two forms was the most equitable. Antigonus in the beginning
of his had slightly mentioned the kings as by way of ceremony, while
all the sequel referred to himself alone; but Eumenes changed the
form of it to Olympias and the kings, and proceeded to swear not to
be true to Antigonus, only, but to them, and have the same friends
and enemies, not with Antigonus, but with Olympias and the kings.
This form the Macedonians thinking the more reasonable, swore Eumenes
according to it, and raised the siege, sending also to Antigonus that
he should swear in the same form to Eumenes. Meantime, all the hostages
of the Cappadocians Eumenes had in Nora he returned, obtaining from
their friends war-horses, beasts of carriage, and tents in exchange.
And collecting again all the soldiers who had dispersed at the time
of his flight, and were now wandering about the country, he got together
a body of near a thousand horse, and with them fled from Antigonus,
whom he justly feared. For he had sent orders not only to have him
blocked up and besieged again, but had given a very sharp answer to
the Macedonians for admitting Eumenes's amendment of the oath.

While Eumenes was flying, he received letters from those in Macedonia,
who were jealous of Antigonus's greatness, from Olympias, inviting
him thither to take the charge and protection of Alexander's infant
son, whose person was in danger, and other letters from Polysperchon
and Philip the king, requiring him to make war upon Antigonus, as
general of the forces in Cappadocia, and empowering him out of the
treasure at Quinda to take five hundred talents' compensation for
his own losses, and to levy as much as he thought necessary to carry
on the war. They wrote also to the same effect to Antigenes and Teutamus,
the chief officers of the Argyraspids; who, on receiving these letters,
treated Eumenes with a show of respect and kindness; but it was apparent
enough that they were full of envy and emulation, disdaining to give
place to him. Their envy Eumenes moderated by refusing to accept the
money, as if he had not needed it; and their ambition and emulation,
who were neither able to govern nor willing to obey, he conquered
by help of superstition. For he told them that Alexander had appeared
to him in a dream, and showed him a regal pavilion richly furnished,
with a throne in it; and told him if they would sit in council there,
he himself would be present, and prosper all the consultations and
actions upon which they should enter in his name. Antigenes and Teutamus
were easily prevailed upon to believe this, being as little willing
to come and consult Eumenes as he himself was to be seen waiting at
other men's doors. Accordingly, they erected a tent royal, and a throne,
called Alexander's, and there they met to consult upon all affairs
of moment. 

Afterwards they advanced into the interior of Asia, and in their march
met with Peucestes, who was friendly to them and with the other satraps,
who joined forces with them, and greatly encouraged the Macedonians
with the number and appearance of their men. But they themselves,
having since Alexander's decease become imperious and ungoverned in
their tempers, and luxurious in their daily habits, imagining themselves
great princes, and pampered in their conceit by the flattery of the
barbarians, when all these conflicting pretensions now came together,
were soon found to be exacting and quarrelsome one with another, while
all alike unmeasurably flattered the Macedonians, giving them money
for revels and sacrifices, till in a short time they brought the camp
to be a dissolute place of entertainment, and the army a mere multitude
of voters, canvassed as in a democracy for the election of this or
that commander. Eumenes, perceiving they despised one another, and
all of them feared him, and sought an opportunity to kill him, pretended
to be in want of money, and borrowed many talents, of those especially
who most hated him, to make them at once confide in him and forbear
all violence to him for fear of losing their own money. Thus his enemies'
estates were the guard of his person, and by receiving money he purchased
safety, for which it is more common to give it. 

The Macedonians, also, while there was no show of danger, allowed
themselves to be corrupted, and made all their court to those who
gave them presents, who had their body-guards, and affected to appear
generals-in-chief. But when Antigonus came upon them with a great
army, and their affairs themselves seemed to call out for a true general,
then not only the common soldiers cast their eyes upon Eumenes, but
these men, who had appeared so great in a peaceful time of ease, submitted
all of them to him, and quietly posted themselves severally as he
appointed them. And when Antigonus attempted to pass the river Pasitigris,
all the rest that were appointed to guard the passes were not so much
as aware of his march; only Eumenes met and encountered him, slew
many of his men, and filled the river with the dead, and took four
thousand prisoners. But it was most particularly when Eumenes was
sick that the Macedonians let it be seen how in their judgment, while
others could feast them handsomely and make entertainments, he alone
knew how to fight and lead an army. For Peucestes, having made a splendid
entertainment in Persia, and given each of the soldiers a sheep to
sacrifice with, made himself sure of being commander-in-chief. Some
few days after the army was to march, and Eumenes having been dangerously
ill was carried in a litter apart from the body of the army, that
any rest he got might not be disturbed. But when they were a little
advanced, unexpectedly they had a view of the enemy, who had passed
the hills that lay between them, and was marching down into the plain.
At the sight of the golden armour glittering in the sun as they marched
down in their order, the elephants with their castles on their backs,
and the men in their purple, as their manner was when they were going
to give battle, the front stopped their march, and called out for
Eumenes, for they would not advance a step but under his conduct;
and fixing their arms in the ground gave the word among themselves
to stand, requiring their officers also not to stir or engage or hazard
themselves without Eumenes. News of this being brought to Eumenes,
he hastened those that carried his litter, and drawing back the curtains
on both sides, joyfully put forth his right hand. As soon as the soldiers
saw him they saluted him in their Macedonian dialect, and took up
their shields, and striking them with their pikes, gave a great shout;
inviting the enemy to come on, for now they had a leader.

Antigonus understanding by some prisoners he had taken that Eumenes
was out of health, to that degree that he was carried in a litter,
presumed it would be no hard matter to crush the rest of them, since
he was ill. He therefore made the greater haste to come up with them
and engage. But being come so near as to discover how the enemy was
drawn up and appointed, he was astonished, and paused for some time;
at last he saw the litter carrying from one wing of the army to the
other, and, as his manner was, laughing aloud, he said to his friends,
"That litter there, it seems, is the thing that offers us battle;"
and immediately wheeled about, retired with all his army, and pitched
his camp. The men on the other side, finding a little respite, returned
to their former habits, and allowing themselves to be flattered, and
making the most of the indulgence of their generals, took up for their
winter quarters near the whole country of the Gabeni, so that the
front was quartered nearly a thousand furlongs from the rear; which
Antigonus understanding, marched suddenly towards them, taking the
most difficult road through a country that wanted water; but the way
was short though uneven; hoping, if he should surprise them thus scattered
in their winter quarters, the soldiers would not easily be able to
come up in time enough and join with their officers. But having to
pass through a country uninhabited, where he met with violent winds
and severe frosts, he was much checked in his march, and his men suffered
exceedingly. The only possible relief was making numerous fires, by
which his enemies got notice of his coming. For the barbarians who
dwelt on the mountains overlooking the desert, amazed at the multitude
of fires they saw, sent messengers upon dromedaries to acquaint Peucestes.
He being astonished and almost out of his senses with the news, and
finding the rest in no less disorder, resolved to fly, and collect
what men he could by the way. But Eumenes relieved him from his fear
and trouble, undertaking so to stop the enemy's advance that he should
arrive three days later than he was expected. Having persuaded them,
he immediately despatched expresses to all the officers to draw the
men out of their winter quarters and muster them with all speed. He
himself, with some of the chief officers, rode out, and chose an elevated
tract within view, at a distance, of such as travelled the desert;
this he occupied and quartered out, and commanded many fires to be
made in it, as the custom is in a camp. This done, and the enemies
seeing the fire upon the mountains, Antigonus was filled with vexation
and despondency, supposing that his enemies had been long since advertised
of his march, and were prepared to receive him. Therefore, lest his
army, now tired and wearied out with their march, should be immediately
forced to encounter with fresh men, who had wintered well and were
ready for him, quitting the near way, he marched slowly through the
towns and villages to refresh his men. But meeting with no such skirmishes
as are usual when two armies lie near one another, and being assured
by the people of the country that no army had been seen, but only
continual fires at that place, he concluded he had been outwitted
by a stratagem of Eumenes, and, much troubled, advanced to give open

By this time, the greater part of the forces were come together to
Eumenes, and admiring his sagacity, declared him alone commander-in-chief
of the whole army; upon which Antigenes and Teutamus, the commanders
of the Argyraspids, being very much offended, and envying Eumenes,
formed a conspiracy against him; and assembling the greater part of
the satraps and officers, consulted when and how to cut him off. When
they had unanimously agreed, first to use his service in the next
battle, and then to take an occasion to destroy him, Eudamus, the
master of the elephants, and Phaedimus gave Eumenes private advice
of this design, not out of kindness or good-will to him, but lest
they should lose the money they had lent him. Eumenes, having commended
them, retired to his tent, and telling his friends he lived among
a herd of wild beasts, made his will, and tore up all his letters,
lest his correspondents after his death should be questioned or punished
on account of anything in his secret papers. 

Having thus disposed of his affairs, he thought of letting the enemy
win the field, or of flying through Media and Armenia and seizing
Cappadocia, but came to no resolution while his friends stayed with
him. After turning to many expedients in his mind, which his changeable
fortune had made versatile, he at last put his men in array, and encouraged
the Greeks and barbarians; as for the phalanx and the Argyraspids,
they encouraged him, and bade him be of good heart, for the enemy
would never be able to stand them. For indeed they were the oldest
of Philip's and Alexander's soldiers, tried men, that had long made
war their exercise, that had never been beaten or foiled; most of
them seventy, none less than sixty years old. And so when they charged
Antigonus's men, they cried out, "You fight against your fathers,
you rascals," and furiously falling on, routed the whole phalanx at
once, nobody being able to stand them, and the greatest part dying
by their hands. So that Antigonus's foot was routed, but his horse
got the better, and he became master of the baggage through the cowardice
of Peucestes, who behaved himself negligently and basely; while Antigonus
used his judgment calmly in the danger, being aided moreover by the
ground. For the place where they fought was a large plain, neither
deep nor hard under foot, but, like the seashore, covered with a fine
soft sand which the treading of so many men and horses in the time
of battle reduced to a small white dust, that like a cloud of lime
darkened the air, so that one could not see clearly at any distance,
and so made it easy for Antigonus to take the baggage unperceived.

After the battle, Teutamus sent a message to Antigonus to demand the
baggage. He made answer, he would not only restore it to the Argyraspids,
but serve them further in the other things if they would but deliver
up Eumenes. Upon which the Argyraspids took a villainous resolution
to deliver him up alive into the hands of his enemies. So they came
to wait upon him, being unsuspected by him, but watching their opportunity,
some lamenting the loss of the baggage, some encouraging him as if
he had been victor, some accusing the other commanders, till at last
they all fell upon him, and seizing his sword, bound his hands behind
him with his own girdle. 

When Antigonus had sent Nicanor to receive him he begged he might
be led through the body of the Macedonians, and have liberty to speak
to them, neither to request nor deprecate anything, but only to advise
them what would be for their interest. A silence being made, as he
stood upon a rising ground, he stretched out his hands bound, and
said, "What trophy, O ye basest of all the Macedonians, could Antigonus
have wished for so great as you yourselves have erected for him in
delivering up your general captive into his hands? You are not ashamed,
when you are conquerors, to own yourselves conquered, for the sake
only of your baggage, as if it were wealth, not arms, wherein victory
consisted; nay, you deliver up your general to redeem your stuff.
As for me I am unvanquished, though a captive, conqueror of my enemies,
and betrayed by my fellow-soldiers. For you, I adjure you by Jupiter,
the protector of arms, and by all the gods that are the avengers of
perjury, to kill me here with your own hands; for it is all one; and
if I am murdered yonder it will be esteemed your act, nor will Antigonus
complain, for he desires not Eumenes alive, but dead. Or if you withhold
your own hands, release but one of mine, it shall suffice to do the
work; and if you dare not trust me with a sword, throw me bound as
I am under the feet of the wild beasts. This if you do I shall freely
acquit you from the guilt of my death, as the most just and kind of
men to their general." 

While Eumenes was thus speaking, the rest of the soldiers wept for
grief, but the Argyraspids shouted out to lead him on, and give no
attention to his trifling. For it was no such great matter if this
Chersonesian pest should meet his death, who in thousands of battles
had annoyed and wasted the Macedonians; it would be a much more grievous
thing for the choicest of Philip's and Alexander's soldiers to be
defrauded of the fruits of so long service, and in their old age to
come to beg their bread, and to leave their wives three nights in
the power of their enemies. So they hurried him on with violence.
But Antigonus, fearing the multitude, for nobody was left in the camp,
sent ten of his strongest elephants with divers of his Mede and Parthian
lances to keep off the press. Then he could not endure to have Eumenes
brought into his presence, by reason of their former intimacy and
friendship; but when they that had taken him inquired how he would
have him kept, "As I would," said he, "an elephant, or a lion." A
little after, being moved with compassion, he commanded the heaviest
of his irons to be knocked off, one of his servants to be admitted
to anoint him, and that any of his friends that were willing should
have liberty to visit him, and bring him what he wanted. Long time
he deliberated what to do with him, sometimes inclining to the advice
and promises of Nearchus of Crete and Demetrius his son, who were
very earnest to preserve Eumenes, whilst all the rest were unanimously
instant and importunate to have him taken off. It is related that
Eumenes inquired of Onomarchus, his keeper, why Antigonus, now he
had his enemy in his hands, would not forthwith despatch or generously
release him? And that Onomarchus contumeliously answered him, that
the field had been a more proper place than this to show his contempt
of death. To whom Eumenes replied, "And, by heavens, I showed it there;
ask the men else that engaged me, but I could never meet a man that
was my superior." "Therefore," rejoined Onomarchus, "now you have
found such a man, why don't you submit quietly to his pleasure?"

When Antigonus resolved to kill Eumenes, he commanded to keep his
food from him, and so with two or three days' fasting he began to
draw near his end; but the camp being on a sudden to remove, an executioner
was sent to despatch him. Antigonus granted his body to his friends,
permitted them to burn it, and having gathered his ashes into a silver
urn, to send them to his wife and children. 

Eumenes was thus taken off and Divine Providence assigned to no other
man the chastisement of the commanders and soldiers that had betrayed
him; but Antigonus himself, abominating the Argyraspids as wicked
and inhuman villains, delivered them up to Sibyrtius, the governor
of Arachosia, commanding him by all ways and means to destroy and
exterminate them, so that not a man of them might ever come to Macedon,
or so much as within sight of the Greek Sea. 



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Translation of "The Deeds of the Divine Augustus" by Augustus is
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