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Aemilius Paulus
By Plutarch

(legendary, died 160 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

Almost all agree that the Aemilii were one of the ancient and patrician
houses in Rome; and those authors who affirm that King Numa was pupil
to Pythagoras tell us that the first who gave name to his posterity
was Mamercus, the son of Pythagoras, who, for his grace and address
in speaking, was called Aemilius. Most of this race that have risen
through their merit to reputation also enjoyed good fortune: and even
the misfortune to Lucius Paulus at the battle of Cannae gave testimony
to his wisdom and valour. For not being able to persuade his colleague
not to hazard the battle, he, though against his judgment, joined
with him in the contest, but was no companion in his flight: on the
contrary, when he that was so resolute to engage deserted him in the
midst of danger he kept the field and died fighting. This Aemilius
had a daughter named Aemilia, who was married to Scipio the Great,
and a son Paulus, who is the subject of my present history.

In his early manhood, which fell at a time when Rome was flourishing
with illustrious characters, he was distinguished for not attaching
himself to the studies usual with the young men of mark of that age,
nor treading the same paths to fame. For he did not practise oratory
with a view to pleading causes, nor would he stoop to salute, embrace,
and entertain the vulgar, which were the usual insinuating arts by
which many grew popular. Not that he was incapable of either, but
he chose to purchase a much more lasting glory by his valour, justice,
and integrity, and in these virtues he soon oustripped all his equals.

The first honourable office he aspired to was that of aedile, which
he carried against twelve competitors of such merit that all of them
in process of time were consuls. Being afterwards chosen into the
number of priests called augurs, appointed amongst the Romans to observe
and register divinations made by the flight of birds or prodigies
in the air, he so carefully studied the ancient customs of his country,
and so thoroughly understood the religion of his ancestors, that this
office which was before only esteemed a title of honour and merely
upon that account sought after, by this means rose to the rank of
one of the highest arts, and gave a confirmation to the correctness
of the definition, which some philosophers have given of religion,
that it is the science of worshipping the gods. When he performed
any part of his duty, he did it with great skill and utmost care,
making it, when he was engaged in it, his only business, not omitting
any one ceremony, or adding the least circumstance, but always insisting,
with his companions of the same order, even on points that might seem
inconsiderable, and urging upon them, that though they might think
the Deity was easily pacified, and ready to forgive faults of inadvertency,
yet any such laxity was a very dangerous thing for a commonwealth
to allow; because no man ever began the disturbance of his country's
peace by a notorious breach of its laws; and those who are careless
in trifles give a precedent for remissness in important duties. Nor
was he less severe in requiring and observing the ancient Roman discipline
in military affairs; not endeavouring, when he had the command, to
ingratiate himself with his soldiers by popular flattery, though this
custom prevailed at that time amongst many, who, by favour and gentleness
to those that were under them in their first employment, sought to
be promoted to a second; but, by instructing them in the laws of military
discipline with the same care and exactness a priest would use in
teaching ceremonies and dreadful mysteries, and by severity to such
as transgressed and contemned those laws, he maintained his country
in its former greatness, esteeming victory over enemies itself but
as an accessory to the proper training and disciplining of the citizens.

Whilst the Romans were engaged in war with Antiochus the Great, against
whom their most experienced commanders were employed, there arose
another war in the west, and they were all up in arms in Spain. Thither
they sent Aemilius, in the quality of praetor, not with six axes,
which number other praetors were accustomed to have carried before
them, but with twelve; so that in his praetorship he was honoured
with the dignity of a consul. He twice overcame the barbarians in
battle, thirty thousand of whom were slain: successes chiefly to be
ascribed to the wisdom and conduct of the commander, who by his great
skill in choosing the advantage of the ground, and making the onset
at the passage of a river, gave his soldiers an easy victory. Having
made himself master of two hundred and fifty cities, whose inhabitants
voluntarily yielded, and bound themselves by oath to fidelity, he
left the province in peace, and returned to Rome, not enriching himself
a drachma by the war. And, indeed, in general, he was but remiss in
making money; though he always lived freely and generously on what
he had, which was so far from being excessive, that after his death
there was barely enough left to answer his wife's dowry.

His first wife was Papiria, the daughter of Maso, who had formerly
been consul. With her he lived a considerable time in wedlock, and
then divorced her, though she had made him the father of noble children;
being mother of the renowned Scipio and Fabius Maximus. The reason
of this separation has not come to our knowledge; but there seems
to be a truth conveyed in the account of another Roman's being divorced
from his wife, which may be applicable here. This person being highly
blamed by his friends, who demanded, Was she not chaste? was she not
fair? was she not fruitful? holding out his shoe, asked them, Whether
it was not new? and well made? Yet, added he, none of you can tell
where it pinches me. Certain it is, that great and open faults have
often led to no separation; while mere petty repeated annoyances,
arising from unpleasantness or incongruity of character, have been
the occasion of such estrangement as to make it impossible for man
and wife to live together with any content. 

Aemilius, having thus put away Papiria, married a second wife, by
whom he had two sons, whom he brought up in his own house, transferring
the two former into the greatest and the most noble families of Rome.
The elder was adopted into the house of Fabius Maximus, who was five
times consul; the younger by the son of Scipio Africanus, his cousin-german,
and was by him named Scipio. 

Of the daughters of Aemilius, one was married to the son of Cato,
the other to Aelius Tubero, a most worthy man, and the one Roman who
best succeeded in combining liberal habits with poverty. For there
were sixteen near relations, all of them of the family of the Aelii,
possessed of but one farm, which sufficed them all, whilst one small
house, or rather cottage, contained them, their numerous offspring,
and their wives; amongst whom was the daughter of our Aemilius, who,
although her father had been twice consul, and had twice triumphed,
was not ashamed of her husband's poverty, but proud of his virtue
that kept him poor. Far otherwise it is with the brothers and relations
of this age, who, unless whole tracts of land, or at least walls and
rivers, part their inheritances, and keep them at a distance, never
cease from mutual quarrels. History suggests a variety of good counsel
of this sort, by the way, to those who desire to learn and improve.

To proceed: Aemilius, being chosen consul, waged war with the Ligurians,
or Ligustines, a people near the Alps. They were a bold and warlike
nation, and their neighbourhood to the Romans had begun to give them
skill in the arts of war. They occupy the further parts of Italy ending
under the Alps, and those parts of the Alps themselves which are washed
by the Tuscan sea and face toward Africa, mingled there with Gauls
and Iberians of the coast. Besides, at that time they had turned their
thoughts to the seas and sailing as far as the Pillars of Hercules
in light vessels fitted for that purpose, robbed and destroyed all
that trafficked in those parts. They, with an army of forty thousand,
waited the coming of Aemilius, who brought with him not above eight
thousand, so that the enemy was five to one when they engaged; yet
he vanquished and put them to flight, forcing them to retire into
their walled towns, and in this condition offered them fair conditions
of accommodation; it being the policy of the Romans not utterly to
destroy the Ligurians, because they were a sort of guard and bulwark
against the frequent attempts of the Gauls to overrun Italy. Trusting
wholly therefore to Aemilius, they delivered up their towns and shipping
into his hands. He, at the utmost, razed only the fortifications and
delivered their towns to them again, but took away all their shipping
with him, leaving them no vessels bigger than those of three oars,
and set at liberty great numbers of prisoners they had taken both
by sea and land, strangers as well as Romans. These were the acts
most worthy of remark in his first consulship. 

Afterwards he frequently intimated his desire of being a second time
consul, and was once candidate; but meeting with a repulse and being
passed by, he gave up all thought of it, and devoted himself to his
duties as augur, and to the education of his children, whom he not
only brought up, as he himself had been, in the Roman and ancient
discipline, but also with unusual zeal in that of Greece. To this
purpose he not only procured masters to teach them grammar, logic,
and rhetoric, but had for them also preceptors in modelling and drawing,
managers of horses and dogs, and instructors in field sports, all
from Greece. And, if he was not hindered by public affairs, he himself
would be with them at their studies, and see them perform their exercises,
being the most affectionate father in Rome. 

This was the time, in public matters, when the Romans were engaged
in war with Perseus, King of the Macedonians, and great complaints
were made of their commanders, who, either through their want of skill
or courage, were conducting matters so shamefully, that they did less
hurt to the enemy than they received from him. They that not long
before had forced Antiochus the Great to quit the rest of Asia, to
retire beyond Mount Taurus, and confine himself to Syria, glad to
buy his peace with fifteen thousand talents; they that not long since
had vanquished King Philip in Thessaly, and freed the Greeks from
the Macedonian yoke; nay, had overcome Hannibal himself, who far surpassed
all kings in daring and power- thought it scorn that Perseus should
think himself an enemy fit to match the Romans, and to be able to
wage war with them so long on equal terms, with the remainder only
of his father's routed forces; not being aware that Philip after his
defeat had greatly improved both the strength and discipline of the
Macedonian army. To make which appear, I shall briefly recount the
story from the beginning. 

Antigonus, the most powerful amongst the captains and successors of
Alexander, having obtained for himself and his posterity the title
of king, had a son named Demetrius, father to Antigonus, called Gonatas,
and he had a son Demetrius, who, reigning some short time, died and
left a young son called Philip. The chief men of Macedon, fearing
great confusion might arise in his minority, called in Antigonus,
cousin-german to the late king, and married him to the widow, the
mother of Philip. At first they only styled him regent and general,
but when they found by experience that he governed the kingdom with
moderation and to general advantage, gave him the title of king. This
was he that was surnamed Doson, as if he was a great promiser and
a bad performer. To him succeeded Philip, who in his youth gave great
hopes of equalling the best of kings, and that he one day would restore
Macedon to its former state and dignity, and prove himself the one
man able to check the power of the Romans, now rising and extending
over the whole world. But, being vanquished in a pitched battle by
Titus Flaminius near Scotussa, his resolution failed, and he yielded
himself and all that he had to the mercy of the Romans, well contented
that he could escape with paying a small tribute. Yet afterwards,
recollecting himself, he bore it with great impatience, and though
he lived rather like a slave that was pleased with ease, than a man
of sense and courage, whilst he held his kingdom at the pleasure of
his conquerors; which made him turn his whole mind to war, and prepare
himself with as much cunning and privacy as possible. To this end,
he left his cities on the high roads and sea-coast ungarrisoned, and
almost desolate, that they might seem inconsiderable; in the meantime,
collecting large forces up the country, and furnishing his inland
posts, strongholds, and towns, with arms, money, and men fit for service,
he thus provided himself for war, and yet kept his preparations close.
He had in his armoury arms for thirty thousand men; in granaries,
in places of strength, eight millions of bushels of corn, and as much
ready money as would defray the charge of maintaining ten thousand
mercenary soldiers for ten years in defence of the country. But before
he could put these things into motion, and carry his designs into
effect, he died for griefs and anguish of mind, being sensible he
had put his innocent son Demetrius to death, upon the calumnies of
one that was far more guilty. Perseus, his son that survived, inherited
his hatred to the Romans as well as his kingdom, but was incompetent
to carry out his designs, through want of courage and the viciousness
of a character in which, among faults and diseases of various sorts,
covetousness bore the chief place. There is a statement also of his
not being true-born; that the wife of King Philip took him from his
mother, Gnathaenion (a woman of Argos, that earned her living as a
seamstress), as soon as he was born, and passed him upon her husband
as her own. And this might be the chief cause of his contriving the
death of Demetrius, as he might well fear that, so long as there was
a lawful successor in the family, there was no security that his spurious
birth might not be revealed. 

Notwithstanding all this, and though his spirit was so mean and temper
so sordid, yet trusting to the strength of his resources, he engaged
in a war with the Romans, and for a long time maintained it; repulsing
and even vanquishing some generals of consular dignity, and some great
armies and fleets. He routed Publius Licinius, who was the first that
invaded Macedonia, in a cavalry battle, slew twenty-five hundred practiced
soldiers, and took six hundred prisoners; and surprising their fleet
as they rode at anchor before Orens he took twenty ships of burden
with all their lading, sunk the rest that were freighted with corn,
and, besides this, made himself master of four galleys with five banks
of oars. He fought a second battle with Hostilius, a consular officer,
as he was making his way into the country at Elimiae, and forced him
to retreat; and, when he afterwards by stealth designed an invasion
through Thessaly challenged him to fight, which the other feared to
accept. Nay more, to show his contempt to the Romans, and that he
wanted employment, as a war by the by, he made an expedition against
the Dardanians, in which he slew ten thousand of those barbarian people,
and brought a great spoil away. He privately, moreover, solicited
the Gauls (also called Basternae), a warlike nation and famous for
horsemen, dwelling near the Danube; and incited the Illyrians, by
the means of Genthius their king, to join with him in the war. It
was also reported that the barbarians, allured by promise of rewards,
were to make an irruption into Italy, through the lower Gaul by the
shore of the Adriatic Sea. 

The Romans, being advertised of these things, thought it necessary
no longer to choose their commanders by favour or solicitation, but
of their own motion to select a general of wisdom and capacity for
the management of great affairs. And such was Paulus Aemilius, advanced
in years, being nearly threescore, yet vigorous in his own person,
and rich in valiant sons and sons-in-law, besides a great number of
influential relations and friends, all of whom joined in urging him
to yield to the desires of the people, who called him to the consulship.
He at first manifested some shyness of the people and withdrew himself
from their importunity, professing reluctance to hold office; but,
when they daily came to his doors, urging him to come forth to the
place of election, and pressing him with noise and clamour, he acceded
to their request. When he appeared amongst the candidates, it did
not look as if it were to sue for the consulship, but to bring victory
and success, that he came down into the Campus; they all received
him there with such hopes and such gladness, unanimously choosing
him a second time consul; nor would they suffer the lots to be cast,
as was usual, to determine which province should fall to his share,
but immediately decreed him the command of the Macedonian war. It
is told, that when he had been proclaimed general against Perseus,
and was honourably accompanied home by great numbers of people, he
found his daughter Tertia, a very little girl, weeping, and taking
her to him asked her why she was crying. She, catching him about the
neck and kissing him, said, "O father, do you not know that Perseus
is dead?" meaning a little dog of that name that was brought up in
the house with her; to which Aemilius replied, "Good fortune, my daughter;
I embrace the omen." This Cicero, the orator, relates in his book
on divination. 

It was the custom for such as were chosen consuls, from a stage designed
for such purposes, to address the people, and return them thanks for
their favour. Aemilius, therefore, having gathered an assembly, spoke
and said that he sued for the first consulship, because he himself
stood in need of such honour; but for the second, because they wanted
a general; upon which account he thought there was no thanks due:
if they judged they could manage the war by any other to more advantage,
he would willingly yield up his charge; but, if they confided in him,
they were not to make themselves his colleagues in his office, or
raise reports, and criticize his actions, but, without talking, supply
him with means and assistance necessary to the carrying on of the
war; for if they proposed to command their own commander they would
render this expedition more ridiculous than the former. By this speech
he inspired great reverence for him amongst the citizens and great
expectations of future success; all were well pleased that they had
passed by such as sought to be preferred by flattery, and fixed upon
a commander endued with wisdom and courage to tell them the truth.
So entirely did the people of Rome, that they might rule, and become
masters of the world, yield obedience and service to reason and superior

That Aemilius, setting forward to the war, by a prosperous voyage
and successful journey, arrived with speed and safety at his camp
I attribute to good fortune; but, when I see how the war under his
command was brought to a happy issue, partly by his own daring boldness,
partly by his good counsel, partly by the ready administration of
his friends, partly by his presence of mind and skill to embrace the
most proper advice in the extremity of danger, I cannot ascribe any
of his remarkable and famous actions (as I can those of other commanders)
to his so much celebrated good fortune; unless you will say that the
covetousness of Perseus was the good fortune of Aemilius. The truth
is, Perseus' fear of spending his money was the destruction and utter
ruin of all those splendid and great preparations with which the Macedonians
were in high hopes to carry on the war with success. For there came
at his request ten thousand horsemen of the Basternae, and as many
foot, who were to keep pace with them, and supply their places in
case of failure; all of them professed soldiers, men skilled neither
in tilling of land, nor in navigation of ships, nor able to get their
living by grazing, but whose only business and single art and trade
it was to fight and conquer all that resisted them. When these came
into the district of Maedica, and encamped and mixed with the king's
soldiers, being men of great stature, admirable at their exercises,
great boasters, and loud in their threats against their enemies, they
gave new courage to the Macedonians, who were ready to think the Romans
would not be able to confront them, but would be struck with terror
at their looks and motions, they were so strange and so formidable
to behold. When Perseus had thus encouraged his men, and elevated
them with these great hopes, as soon as a thousand gold pieces were
demanded for each captain, he was so amazed and beside himself at
the vastness of the amount, that out of mere stinginess he drew back
and let himself lose their assistance, as if he had been some steward,
not the enemy of the Romans, and would have to give an exact account
of the expenses of the war to those with whom he waged it. Nay, when
he had his foes as tutors, to instruct him what he had to do, who,
besides their other preparations, had a hundred thousand men drawn
together and in readiness for their service; yet he that was to engage
against so considerable a force, and in a war that was maintaining
such numbers as this, nevertheless doled out his money, and put seals
on his bags, and was as fearful of touching it, as if it had belonged
to some one else. And all this was done by one, not descended from
Lydians or Phoenicians, but who could pretend to some share of the
virtues of Alexander and Philip, whom he was allied to by birth; men
who conquered the world by judging that empire was to be purchased
by money, not money by empire. Certainly it became a proverb, that
not Philip, but his gold, took the cities of Greece. And Alexander,
when he undertook his expedition against the Indians, and found his
Macedonians encumbered and appear to march heavily with their Persian
spoils, first set fire to his own carriages, and thence persuaded
the rest to imitate his example, that thus freed they might proceed
to the war without hindrance. Whereas Perseus, abounding in wealth,
would not preserve himself, his children, and his kingdom, at the
expense of a small part of his treasure; but chose rather to be carried
away with numbers of his subjects with the name of the wealthy captive,
and show the Romans what great riches he had husbanded and preserved
for them. For he not only played false with the Gauls, and sent them
away, but also, after alluring Genthius, King of the Illyrians, by
the hopes of three hundred talents, to assist him in the war, he caused
the money to be counted out in the presence of his messengers, and
to be sealed up. Upon which Genthius, thinking himself possessed of
what he desired, committed a wicked and shameful act: he seized and
imprisoned the ambassadors sent to him from the Romans. Whence Perseus,
concluding that there was no need of money to make Genthius an enemy
to the Romans, but that he had given a lasting earnest of his enmity,
and by his flagrant injustice sufficiently involved himself in the
war, defrauded the unfortunate king of his three hundred talents,
and without any concern beheld him, his wife, and children, in a short
time after, carried out of their kingdom, as from their nest, by Lucius
Anicius, who was sent against him with an army. 

Aemilius, coming against such an adversary, made light indeed of him,
but admired his preparation and power. For he had four thousand horse,
and not much fewer than forty thousand full-armed foot of the phalanx;
and planting himself along the seaside, at the foot of Mount Olympus,
in ground with no access on any side, and on all sides fortified with
fences and bulwarks of wood, remained in great security, thinking
by delay and expense to weary out Aemilius. But he, in the meantime,
busy in thought, weighed all counsels and all means of attack, and
perceiving his soldiers, from their former want of discipline, to
be impatient of delay, and ready on all occasions to teach their general
his duty, rebuked them, and bade them not meddle with what was not
their concern, but only take care that they and their arms were in
readiness, and to use their swords like Romans when their commander
should think fit to employ them. Further, he ordered that the sentinels
by night should watch without javelins, that thus they might be more
careful and surer to resist sleep, having no arms to defend themselves
against any attacks of an enemy. 

What most annoyed the army was the want of water; for only a little,
and that foul, flowed out, or rather came by drops from a spring adjoining
the sea; but Aemilius, considering that he was at the foot of the
high and woody mountain Olympus, and conjecturing by the flourishing
growth of the trees that there were springs that had their course
underground, dug a great many holes and wells along the foot of the
mountain, which were presently filled with pure water escaping from
its confinement into the vacuum they afforded. Although there are
some, indeed, who deny that there are reservoirs of water lying ready
provided out of sight, in the places from whence springs flow, and
that when they appear, they merely issue and run out; on the contrary,
they say, they are then formed and come into existence for the first
time, by the liquefaction of the surrounding matter; and that this
change is caused by density and cold, when the moist vapour, by being
closely pressed together, becomes fluid. As women's breasts are not
like vessels full of milk always prepared and ready to flow from them;
but their nourishment being changed in their breasts, is there made
milk, and from thence is pressed out. In like manner, places of the
earth that are cold and full of springs, do not contain any hidden
waters or receptacles which are capable, as from a source always ready
and furnished, of supplying all the brooks and deep rivers; but by
compressing and condensing the vapours and air they turn them into
that substance. And thus places that are dug open, flow by that pressure,
and afford the more water (as the breasts of women do milk by their
being sucked), the vapour thus moistening and becoming fluid; whereas
ground that remains idle and undug is not capable of producing any
water, whilst it wants the motion which is the cause of liquefaction.
But those that assert this opinion give occasion to the doubtful to
argue, that on the same ground there should be no blood in living
creatures, but that it must be formed by the wound, some sort of spirit
or flesh being changed into a liquid and flowing matter. Moreover,
they are refuted by the fact that men who dig mines, either in sieges
or for metals, meet with rivers, which are not collected by little
and little (as must necessarily be, if they had their being at the
very instant the earth was opened), but break out at once with violence;
and upon the cutting through a rock, there often gush out great quantities
of water, which then as suddenly cease. But of this enough.

Aemilius lay still for some days, and it is said that there were never
two great armies so nigh that enjoyed so much quiet. When he had tried
and considered all things, he was informed that there was yet one
passage left unguarded, through Perrhaebia by the temple of Apollo
and the Rock. Gathering, therefore, more hope from the place being
left defenceless than fear from the roughness and difficulty of the
passage, he proposed it for consultation. Amongst those that were
present at the council, Scipio, surnamed Nasica, son-in-law to Scipio
Africanus, who afterwards was so powerful in the senate-house, was
the first that offered himself to command those that should be sent
to encompass the enemy. Next to him, Fabius Maximus, eldest son of
Aemilius, although yet very young, offered himself with great zeal.
Aemilius, rejoicing, gave them, not so many as Polybius states, but,
as Nasica himself tells us in a brief letter which he wrote to one
of the kings with an account of the expedition, three thousand Italians
that were not Romans, and his left wing consisting of five thousand.
Taking with him, besides these, one hundred and twenty horsemen, and
two hundred Thracians and Cretans intermixed that Harpalus had sent,
he began his journey towards the sea, and encamped near the temple
of Hercules, as if he designed to embark, and so to sail round and
environ the enemy. But when the soldiers had supped and it was dark,
he made the captains acquainted with his real intentions, and marching
all night in the opposite directions away from the sea, till he came
under the temple of Apollo, there rested his army. At this place Mount
Olympus rises in height more than ten furlongs, as appears by the
epigram made by the man that measured it:- 

"The summit of Olympus, at the site 
Where stands Apollo's temple, has a height 
Of full ten furlongs by the line, and more, 
Ten furlongs, and one hundred feet, less four. 
Eumelus's son, Xenagoras, reached the place. 
Adieu, O king, and do thy pilgrim grace." 

It is allowed, say the geometricians, that no mountain in height or
sea in depth exceeds ten furlongs, and yet it seems probable that
Xenagoras did not take his admeasurement carelessly, but according
to the rules of art, and with instruments for the purpose. Here it
was that Nasica passed the night. 

A Cretan deserted, who fled to the enemy during the march, discovered
to Perseus the design which the Romans had to encompass him: for he,
seeing that Aemilius lay still, had not suspected any such attempt.
He was startled at the news, yet did not put his army in motion, but
sent ten thousand mercenary soldiers, and two thousand Macedonians,
under command of Milo, with order to hasten and possess themselves
of the passes. Polybius relates that the Romans found these men asleep
when they attacked them; but Nasica says there was a sharp and severe
conflict on the top of the mountain, that he himself encountered a
mercenary Thracian, pierced him through with his javelin, and slew
him; and that the enemy being forced to retreat, Milo stripped to
his coat and fled shamefully without his armour, while he followed
without danger, and conveyed the whole army down into the country.

After this event, Perseus, now grown fearful, and fallen from his
hopes, removed his camp in all haste; he was under the necessity either
to stop before Pydna, and there run the hazard of a battle, or disperse
his army into cities, and there expect the event of the war, which,
having once made its way into his country, could not be driven out
without great slaughter and bloodshed. But Perseus, being told by
his friends that he was much superior in number, and that men fighting
in the defence of their wives and children must needs feel all the
more courage, especially when all was done in the sight of their king,
who himself was engaged in equal danger, was thus again encouraged;
and, pitching his camp, prepared himself to fight, viewed the country,
and gave out the commands, as if he designed to set upon the Romans
as soon as they approached. The place was a field fit for the action
of a phalanx, which requires smooth standing and even ground, and
also had divers little hills, one joining another, fit for the motions
whether in retreat or advance of light troops and skirmishers. Through
the middle ran the rivers Aeson and Leucus, which though not very
deep, it being the latter end of summer, yet were likely enough to
give the Romans some trouble. 

As soon as Aemilius had rejoined Nasica, he advanced in battle array
against the enemy; but when he found how they were drawn up, and the
number of their forces, he regarded them with admiration and surprise,
and halted, considering within himself. The young commanders, eager
to fight, riding along by his side, pressed him not to delay, and
most of all Nasica, flushed with his late success on Olympus. To whom
Aemilius answered with a smile: "So would I do were I of your age;
but many victories have taught me the ways in which men are defeated,
and forbid me to engage soldiers weary with a long march against an
army drawn up and prepared for battle." 

Then he gave command that the front of his army, and such as were
in sight of the enemy, should form as if ready to engage, and those
in the rear should cast up the trenches and fortify the camp; so that
the hindmost in succession wheeling off by degrees and withdrawing,
their whole order was insensibly broken up, and the army encamped
without noise or trouble. 

When it was night, and, supper being over, all were turning to sleep
and rest, on a sudden the moon, which was then at full and high in
the heavens, grew dark, and by degrees losing her light, passed through
various colours, and at length was totally eclipsed. The Romans, according
to their custom, clattering brass pans and lifting up fire-brands
and torches into the air, invoked the return of her light; the Macedonians
behaved far otherwise: terror and amazement seized their whole army,
and a rumour crept by degrees into their camp that this eclipse portended
even that of their king. Aemilius was no novice in these things, nor
was ignorant of the nature of the seeming irregularities of eclipses-
that in a certain revolution of time, the moon in her course enters
the shadow of the earth and is there obscured, till, passing the region
of darkness, she is again enlightened by the sun. Yet being a devout
man, a religious observer of sacrifices and the art of divination,
as soon as he perceived the moon beginning to regain her former lustre,
he offered up to her eleven heifers. At the break of day he sacrificed
as many as twenty in succession to Hercules, without any token that
his offering was accepted; but at the one-and-twentieth, the signs
promised victory to defenders. He then vowed a hecatomb and solemn
sports to Hercules, and commanded his captains to make ready for battle,
staying only till the sun should decline and come round to the west,
lest, being in their faces in the morning, it should dazzle the eyes
of his soldiers. Thus he whiled away the time in his tent, which was
open towards the plain where his enemies were encamped. 

When it grew towards evening, some tell us, Aemilius himself used
a stratagem to induce the enemy to begin the fight; that he turned
loose a horse without a bridle, and sent some of the Romans to catch
him, upon whose following the beast the battle began. Others relate
that the Thracians, under the command of one Alexander, set upon the
Roman beasts of burden that were bringing forage to the camp; that
to oppose these, a party of seven hundred Ligurians were immediately
detached; and that, relief coming still from both armies, the main
bodies at last engaged. Aemilius, like a wise pilot, foreseeing by
the present waves and motion of the armies the greatness of the following
storm, came out of his tent, went through the legions, and encouraged
his soldiers. Nasica, in the meantime, who had ridden out to the skirmishers,
saw the whole force of the enemy on the point of engaging. First marched
the Thracians, who, he himself tells us, inspired him with most terror;
they were of great stature, with bright and glittering shields and
black frocks under them, their legs armed with greaves, and they brandished,
as they moved, straight and heavily-ironed spears over their right
shoulders. Next the Thracians marched the mercenary soldiers, armed
after different fashions; with these Paeonians were mingled. These
were succeeded by a third division, of picked men, native Macedonians,
the choicest for courage and strength, in the prime of life, gleaming
with gilt armour and scarlet coats. As these were taking their places
they were followed from the camp by the troops in phalanx called the
Brazen Shields, so that the whole plain seemed alive with the flashing
of steel and the glistening of brass; and the hills also with their
shouts, as they cheered each other on. In this order they marched,
and with such boldness and speed, that those that were first slain
died at but two furlongs distance from the Roman camp. 

The battle being begun, Aemilius came in and found that the foremost
of the Macedonians had already fixed the ends of their spears into
the shields of his Romans, so that it was impossible to come near
them with their swords. When he saw this, and observed that the rest
of the Macedonians took the targets that hung on their left shoulders,
and brought them round before them, and all at once stooped their
pikes against their enemies' shields, and considered the great strength
of this wall of shields, and the formidable appearance of a front
thus bristling with arms, he was seized with amazement and alarm;
nothing he had ever seen before had been equal to it; and in aftertimes
he frequently used to speak both of the sight and of his own sensations.
These, however, he dissembled, and rode through his army without either
breastplate or helmet, with a serene and cheerful countenance.

On the contrary, as Polybius relates, no sooner was the battle begun,
but the Macedonian king basely withdrew to the city Pydna, under a
pretence of sacrificing to Hercules; a god that is not wont to regard
the faint offerings of cowards, or to fulfil unsanctioned vows. For
truly it can hardly be a thing that heaven would sanction, that he
that never shoots should carry away the prize; he triumph that slinks
from the battle; he that takes no pains meet with success, or the
wicked man prosper. But to Aemilius's petitions the god listened;
he prayed for victory with his sword in his hand, and fought while
entreating divine assistance. 

A certain Posidonius, who has at some length written a history of
Perseus, and professes to have lived at the time, and to have been
himself engaged in these events, denies that Perseus left the field
either through fear or pretence of sacrificing, but that, the very
day before the fight, he received a kick from a horse on his thigh;
that though very much disabled, and dissuaded by all his friends,
he commanded one of his riding-horses to be brought, and entered the
field unarmed; that amongst an infinite number of darts that flew
about on all sides, one of iron lighted on him, and though not with
the point, yet by a glance struck him with such force on his left
side that it tore his clothes and so bruised his flesh that the mark
remained a long time after. This is what Posidonius says in defence
of Perseus. 

The Romans not being able to make a breach in the phalanx, one Salius,
a commander of the Pelignians, snatched the ensign of his company
and threw it amongst the enemies; on seeing which, the Pelignians
(as amongst the Italians it is always thought the greatest breach
of honour to abandon a standard) rushed with great violence towards
the place, where the conflict grew very fierce and the slaughter terrible
on both sides. For these endeavoured to cut the spears asunder with
their swords, or to beat them back with their shields, or put them
by with their hands; and, on the other side, the Macedonians held
their long sarissas in both hands, and pierced those that came in
their way quite through their armour, no shield or corslet being able
to resist the force of that weapon. The Pelignians and Marrucinians
were thrown headlong to the ground, having without consideration,
with mere animal fury, rushed upon a certain death. Their first ranks
being slain, those that were behind were forced to give back; it cannot
be said they fled, but they retreated towards Mount Olocrus. When,
Aemilius saw this, Posidonius relates, he rent his clothes, some of
his men being ready to fly, and the rest not willing to engage with
a phalanx into which they could not hope to make any entrance- a sort
of palisade, as it were, impregnable and unapproachable, with its
close array of long spears everywhere meeting the assailant. Nevertheless,
the unequalness of the ground would not permit a widely extended front
to be so exactly drawn up as to have their shields everywhere joined;
and Aemilius perceived that there were a great many interstices and
breaches in the Macedonian phalanx, as it usually happens in all great
armies, according to the different efforts of the combatants, who
in one part press forward with eagerness, and in another are forced
to fall back. Taking, therefore, this occasion, with all speed he
broke up his men into their cohorts, and gave them order to fall into
the intervals and openings of the enemy's body, and not to make one
general attack upon them all, but to engage, as they were divided,
in several partial battles. These commands Aemilius gave to his captains,
and they to their soldiers; and no sooner had they entered the spaces
and separated their enemies, but they charged them, some on their
sides where they were naked and exposed, and others, making a circuit,
behind; and thus destroyed the force of the phalanx, which consists
in common action and close union. And now, come to fight man to man,
or in small parties, the Macedonians smote in vain upon firm and long
shields with their little swords, whilst their slight bucklers were
not able to sustain the weight and force of the Roman swords, which
pierced through all their armour to their bodies; they turned, in
fine, and fled. 

The conflict was obstinate. And here Marcus, the son of Cato, and
son-in-law of Aemilius, whilst he showed all possible courage, let
fall his sword. Being a young man carefully brought up and disciplined,
and, son of so renowned a father, bound to give proof of more than
ordinary virtue, he thought his life but a burden, should he live
and permit his enemies to enjoy this spoil. He hurried hither and
thither, and wherever he espied a friend or companion, declared his
misfortune, and begged their assistance; a considerable number of
brave men being thus collected, with one accord they made their way
through their fellows after their leader, and fell upon the enemy;
whom after a sharp conflict, many wounds, and much slaughter, they
repulsed, possessed the place that was now deserted and free, and
set themselves to search for the sword, which at last they found covered
with a great heap of arms and dead bodies. Overjoyed with this success,
they raised the song of triumph, and, with more eagerness than ever,
charged the foes that yet remained firm and unbroken. In the end,
three thousand of the chosen men, who kept their ground and fought
valiantly to the last, were all cut in pieces, while the slaughter
of such as fled was also very great. The plain and the lower part
of the hills were filled with dead bodies, and the water of the river
Leucus, which the Romans did not pass till the next day after the
battle, was then mingled with blood. For it is said there fell more
than twenty-five thousand of the enemy; of the Romans, as Posidonius
relates, a hundred; as Nasica, only fourscore. This battle, though
so great, was very quickly decided, it being three in the afternoon
when they first engaged, and not four when the enemy was vanquished;
the rest of the day was spent in pursuit of the fugitives, whom they
followed about thirteen or fourteen miles, so that it was far in the
night when they returned. 

All the others were met by their servants with torches, and brought
back with joy and great triumph to their tents, which were set out
with lights, and decked with wreaths of ivy and laurel. But the general
himself was in great grief. Of the two sons that served under him
in the war, the youngest was missing, whom he held most dear, and
whose courage and good qualities he perceived much to excel those
of his brothers. Bold and eager for distinction, and still a mere
child in age, he concluded that he had perished, whilst for want of
experience he had engaged himself too far amongst his enemies. His
sorrow and fears became known to the army; the soldiers, quitting
their suppers, ran about with lights, some to Aemilius's tent, some
out of the trenches, to seek him amongst such as were slain in the
first onset. There was nothing but grief in the camp, and the plain
was filled with the cries of men calling out for Scipio; for, from
his very youth, he was an object of admiration; endowed above any
of his equals with the good qualities requisite either for command
or counsel. At length, when it was late, and they almost despaired,
he returned from the pursuit with only two or three of his companions
all covered with the fresh blood of his enemies, having been, like
some dog of noble breed, carried away by the pleasure, greater than
he could control, of his first victory. This was that Scipio that
afterwards destroyed Carthage and Numantia, and was, without dispute,
the first of the Romans in merit, and had the greatest authority amongst
them. Thus Fortune, deferring her displeasure and jealousy of such
great success to some other time, let Aemilius at present enjoy this
victory, without any detraction or diminution. 

As for Perseus, from Pydna he fled to Pella with his cavalry, which
was as yet almost entire. But when the foot came up with them, and,
upbraiding them as cowards and traitors, tried to pull them off their
horses, and fell to blows, Perseus, fearing the tumult, forsook the
common road, and, lest he should be known, pulled off his purple,
and carried it before him, and took his crown in his hand and, that
he might the better converse with his friends, alighted from his horse
and led him. Of those that were about him, one stopped, pretending
to tie his shoe that was loose, another to water his horse, a third
to drink himself; and thus lagging behind, by degrees left him, they
having not so much reason to fear their enemies as his cruelty; for
he, disordered by his misfortune, sought to clear himself by laying
the cause of the overthrow upon everybody else. He arrived at Pella
in the night, where Euctus and Eudaeus, two of his treasurers, came
to him, and, what with their reflecting on his former faults, and
their free and ill-timed admonitions and counsels, so exasperated
him, that he killed them both, stabbing them with his own dagger.
After this, nobody stuck to him but Evander the Cretan, Archedemus
the Aetolian, and Neon the Boeotian. Of the common soldiers there
followed him only those from Crete, not out of any good-will, but
because they were as constant to his riches as the bees to their hive.
For he carried a great treasure with him, out of which he had suffered
them to take cups, bowls, and other vessels of silver and gold, to
the value of fifty talents. But when he was come to Amphipolis, and
afterwards to Galepsus, and his fears were a little abated, he relapsed
into his old and constitutional disease of covetousness, and lamented
to his friends that he had, through inadvertency, allowed some gold
plate which had belonged to Alexander the Great to go into the hands
of the Cretans, and besought those that had it, with tears in his
eyes, to exchange with him again for money. Those that understood
him thoroughly knew very well that he only played the Cretan with
the Cretans, but those that believed him, and restored what they had,
were cheated; as he not only did not pay the money, but by craft got
thirty talents more of his friends into his hands (which in a short
time after fell to the enemy), and with them sailed to Samothrace,
and there fled to the temple of Castor and Pollux for refuge.

The Macedonians were always accounted great lovers of their kings,
but now, as if their chief prop was broken, they all gave way together,
and submitted to Aemilius, and in two days made him master of their
whole country. This seems to confirm the opinion which ascribes whatever
he did to good fortune. The omen, also, that happened at Amphipolis
has a supernatural character. When he was. sacrificing there, and
the holy rites were just begun, on a sudden, lightning fell upon the
altar, set the wood on fire, and completed the immolation of the sacrifice.
The most signal manifestation, however, of preternatural agency appears
in the story of the rumour of his success. For on the fourth day after
Perseus was vanquished at Pydna, whilst the people at Rome were seeing
the horse-races, a report suddenly rose at the entrance of the theatre
that Aemilius had defeated Perseus in a great battle, and was reducing
all Macedonia under his power; and from thence it spread amongst the
people, and created general joy, with shoutings and acclamations for
that whole day through the city. But when no certain author was found
of the news, and every one alike had taken it at random, it was abandoned
for the present and thought no more of, until, a few days after, certain
intelligence came, and then the first was looked upon as no less than
a miracle, having, under an appearance of fiction, contained what
was real and true. It is reported also, that the news of the battle
fought in Italy, near the river Sagra, was conveyed into Peloponnesus
the same day, and of that at Mycale against the Medes, to Plataea.
When the Romans had defeated the Tarquins, who were combined with
the Latins, a little after there were seen at Rome two tall and comely
men, who professed to bring the news from the camp. They were conjectured
to be Castor and Pollux. The first man that spoke to them in the forum,
near the fountain where they were cooling their horses, which were
all of a foam, expressed surprise at the report of the victory, when,
it is said, they smiled, and gently touched his beard with their hands,
the hair of which from being black was, on the spot, changed to yellow.
This gave credit to what they said, and fixed the name of Ahenobarbus,
or Brazen-beard, on the man. And a thing which happened in our own
time will make all these credible. For when Antonius rebelled against
Domitian, and Rome was in consternation, expecting great wars from
the quarter of Germany, all on a sudden, and nobody knows upon what
account, the people spontaneously gave out a rumour of victory, and
the news ran current through the city, that Antonius himself was slain,
his whole army destroyed, and not so much as a part of it escaped;
nay, this belief was so strong and positive, that many of the magistrates
offered up sacrifice. But when, at length, the author was sought for,
and none was to be found, it vanished by degrees, every one shifting
it off from himself to another, and, at last, was lost in the numberless
crowd, as in a vast ocean, and, having no solid ground to support
its credit, was in a short time not so much as named in the city.
Nevertheless, when Domitian marched out with his forces to the war,
he met with messengers and letters that gave him a relation of the
victory; and the rumour, it was found, had come the very day it was
gained, though the distance between the places was more than twenty-five
hundred miles. The truth of this no man of our time is ignorant of.

But to proceed. Cnaeus Octavius, who was joined in command with Aemilius,
came to an anchor with his fleet under Samothrace, where, out of respect
to the gods, he permitted Perseus to enjoy the benefit of refuge,
but took care that he should not escape by sea. Notwithstanding, Perseus
secretly persuaded Oroandes of Crete, master of a small vessel, to
convey him and his treasure away. He, however, playing the true Cretan,
took in the treasure, and bade him come, in the night, with his children
and most necessary attendants, to the port by the temple of Ceres;
but, as soon as it was evening, set sail without him. It had been
sad enough for Perseus to be forced to let down himself, his wife,
and children through a narrow window by a wall- people altogether
unaccustomed to hardship and flying; but that which drew a far sadder
sigh from his heart was, when he was told by a man, as he wandered
on the shore, that he had seen Oroandes under sail in the main sea,
it being now about daybreak. So, there being no hopes left of escaping,
he fled back again to the wall, which he and his wife recovered, though
they were seen by the Romans, before they could reach them. His children
he himself had delivered into the hands of Ion, one that had been
his favourite, but now proved his betrayer, and was the chief cause
that forced him (beasts themselves will do so when their young ones
are taken) to come and yield himself up to those that had them in
their power. His greatest confidence was in Nasica, and it was for
him he called, but he not being there, he bewailed his misfortune,
and, seeing there was no possible remedy, surrendered himself to Octavius.
And here, in particular, he made it manifest that he was possessed
with a vice more sordid than covetousness itself, namely, the fondness
of life; by which he deprived himself even of pity, the only thing
that fortune never takes away from the most wretched. He desired to
be brought to Aemilius, who arose from his seat, and, accompanied
with his friends, went to receive him, with tears in his eyes, as
a great man fallen by the anger of the gods and his own ill-fortune;
when Perseus- the most shameful of sights- threw himself at his feet,
embraced his knees, and uttered unmanly cries and petitions, such
as Aemilius was not able to bear, nor would vouchsafe to hear: but
looking on him with a sad and angry countenance he said, "Why, unhappy
man, do you thus take pains to exonerate fortune of your heaviest
charge against her, by conduct that will make it seem that you are
not unjustly in calamity, and that it is not your present condition,
but your former happiness, that was more than your deserts? And why
depreciate also my victory, and make my conquests insignificant, by
proving yourself a coward, and a foe beneath a Roman? Distressed valour
challenges great respect, even from enemies; but cowardice, though
never so successful, from the Romans has always met with scorn." Yet
for all this he took him up, gave him his hand, and delivered him
into the custody of Tubero. Meantime, he himself carried his sons,
his sons-in-law, and others of chief rank, especially of the younger
sort, back with him into his tent, where for a long time he sat down
without speaking one word, insomuch that they all wondered at him.
At last, he began to discourse of fortune and human affairs. "Is it
meet," said he, "for him that knows he is but man, in his greatest
prosperity to pride himself, and be exalted at the conquest of a city,
nation, or kingdom, and not rather well to weigh this change of fortune,
in which all warriors may see an example of their common frailty,
and learn a lesson that there is nothing durable or constant? For
what time can men select to think themselves secure, when that of
victory itself forces us more than any to dread our own fortune? and
a very little consideration on the law of things, and how all are
hurried round, and each man's station changed, will introduce sadness
in the midst of the greatest joy. Or can you, when you see before
your eyes the succession of Alexander himself, who arrived at the
height of power and ruled the greatest empire, in the short space
of an hour trodden underfoot- when you behold a king, that was but
even now surrounded with so numerous an army, receiving nourishment
to support his life from the hands of his conquerors- can you, I say,
believe there is any certainty in what we now possess whilst there
is such a thing as chance? No, young men, cast off that vain pride
and empty boast of victory; sit down with humility, looking always
for what is yet to come, and the possible future reverses which the
divine displeasure may eventually make the end of our present happiness."
It is said that Aemilius, having spoken much more to the same purpose,
dismissed the young men properly humbled, and with their vainglory
and insolence thoroughly chastened and curbed by his address.

When this was done, he put his army into garrisons, to refresh themselves,
and went himself to visit Greece, and to spend a short time in relaxations
equally honourable and humane. For as he passed, he eased the people's
grievances, reformed their governments, and bestowed gifts upon them;
to some corn, to others oil out of the king's storehouses, in which,
they report, there were such vast quantities laid up, that receivers
and petitioners were lacking before they could be exhausted. In Delphi
he found a great square pillar of white marble, designed for the pedestal
of King Perseus's golden statue, on which he commanded his own to
be placed, alleging that it was but just that the conquered should
give place to the conquerors. In Olympia he is said to have uttered
the saying everybody has heard, that Phidias had carved Homer's Jupiter.
When the ten commissioners arrived from Rome, he delivered up again
to the Macedonians their cities and country, granting them to live
at liberty, and according to their own laws, only paying the Romans
the tribute of a hundred talents, double which sum they had been wont
to pay to their kings. Then he celebrated all manner of shows and
games, and sacrifices to the gods, and made great entertainments and
feasts; the charge of all which he liberally defrayed out of the king's
treasury; and showed that he understood the ordering and placing of
his guests, and how every man should be received, answerably to their
rank and quality, with such nice exactness, that the Greeks were full
of wonder, finding the care of these matters of pleasure did not escape
him, and that though involved in such important business, he could
observe correctness in these trifles. Nor was it least gratifying
to him, that, amidst all the magnificent and splendid preparations,
he himself was always the most grateful sight, and greatest pleasure
to those he entertained. And he told those that seemed to wonder at
his diligence, that there was the same spirit shown in marshalling,
a banquet as an army; in rendering the one formidable to the enemy,
the other acceptable to the guests. Nor did men less praise his liberality,
and the greatness of his soul, than his other virtues; for he would
not so much as see those great quantities of silver and gold, which
were heaped together out of the king's palaces, but delivered them
to the quaestors, to be put into the public treasury. He only permitted
his own sons, who were great lovers of learning, to take the king's
books; and when he distributed rewards due to extraordinary valour,
he gave his son-in-law, Aelius Tubero, a bowl that weighed five pounds.
This is that Tubero we have already mentioned, who was one of sixteen
relations that lived together, and were all maintained out of one
little farm; and it is said that this was the first plate that ever
entered the house of the Aelii, brought thither as an honour and reward
of virtue; before this time, neither they nor their wives ever made
use either of silver or gold. 

Having thus settled everything well, taking his leave of the Greeks,
and exhorting the Macedonians, that, mindful of the liberty they had
received from the Romans, they should endeavour to maintain it by
their obedience to the laws, and concord amongst themselves, he departed
for Epirus, having orders from the senate to give the soldiers that
followed him in the war against Perseus the pillage of the cities
of that country. That he might set upon them all at once by surprise
and unawares, he summoned ten of the principal men out of each, whom
he commanded, on such an appointed day, to bring all the gold and
silver they had either in their private houses or temples; and, with
every one of these, as if it were for this very purpose, and under
a pretence of searching for and receiving the gold, he sent a centurion
and a guard of soldiers; who, the set day being come, rose all at
once, and at the very self-same time fell upon them, and proceeded
to ransack the cities; so that in one hour a hundred and fifty thousand
persons were made slaves, and threescore and ten cities sacked. Yet
what was given to each soldier, out of so vast a destruction and utter
ruin, amounted to no more than eleven drachmas; so that men could
only shudder at the issue of a war, where the wealth of a whole nation
thus divided turned to so little advantage and profit to each particular

When Aemilius had done this- an action perfectly contrary to his gentle
and mild nature- he went down to Oricus, where he embarked his army
for Italy. He sailed up the river Tiber in the king's galley, that
had sixteen banks of oars, and was richly adorned with captured arms
and with cloths of purple and scarlet; so that, the vessel rowing
slowly against the stream, the Romans that crowded on the shore to
meet him had a foretaste of his following triumph. But the soldiers,
who had cast a covetous eye on the treasures of Perseus, when they
did not obtain as much as they thought they deserved, were secretly
enraged and angry with Aemilius for this, but openly complained that
he had been a severe and tyrannical commander over them; nor were
they ready to show their desire of his triumph. When Servius Galba,
who was Aemilius's enemy, though he commanded as tribune under him,
understood this, he had the boldness plainly to affirm that a triumph
was not to be allowed him; and sowed various calumnies amongst the
soldiers, which yet further increased their ill-will. Nay more, he
desired the tribunes of the people, because the four hours that were
remaining of the day could not suffice for the accusation, to let
him put it off till another. But when the tribunes commanded him to
speak then, if he had anything to say, he began a long oration, filled
with all manner of reproaches, in which he spent the remaining part
of the time, and the tribunes, when it was dark, dismissed the assembly.
The soldiers growing more vehement on this, thronged all to Galba,
and entering into a conspiracy, early in the morning beset the capitol,
where the tribunes had appointed the following assembly to be held.

As soon as it was day it was put to the vote, and the first tribe
was proceeding to refuse the triumph; and the news spread amongst
the people and to the senate. The people were indeed much grieved
that Aemilius should meet with such ignominy; but this was only in
words, which had no effect. The chief of the senate exclaimed against
it as a base action, and excited one another to repress the boldness
and insolence of the soldiers, which would ere long become altogether
ungovernable and violent, were they now permitted to deprive Aemilius
of his triumph. Forcing a passage through the crowd, they came up
in great numbers, and desired the tribunes to defer polling till they
had spoken what they had to say to the people. All things thus suspended,
and silence being made, Marcus Servilius stood up, a man of consular
dignity, and who had killed twenty-three of his enemies that had challenged
him in single combat. "It is now more than ever," said he, "clear
to my mind how great a commander our Aemilius Paulus is, when I see
he was able to perform such famous and great exploits with an army
so full of sedition and baseness; nor can I sufficiently wonder, that
a people that seemed to glory in the triumphs over Illyrians and Ligurians,
should now through envy refuse to see the Macedonian king led alive,
and all the glory of Philip and Alexander, in captivity to the Roman
power. For is it not a strange thing for you, who upon a slight rumour
of victory that came by chance into the city, did offer sacrifices
and put up your requests unto the gods that you might see the report
verified, now, when the general is returned with an undoubted conquest,
to defraud the gods of honour, and yourselves of joy, as if you feared
to behold the greatness of his warlike deed, or were resolved to spare
your enemy? And of the two, much better were it to put a stop to the
triumph, out of pity to him, than out of envy to your general; yet
to such a height of power is malice arrived amongst you, that a man
without one scar to show on his skin, that is smooth and sleek with
ease and homekeeping habits, will undertake to define the office and
duties of a general before us, who with our own wounds have been taught
how to judge of the valour or the cowardice of commanders." And, at
the same time, putting aside his garment, he showed an infinite number
of scars upon his breast, and, turning about, he exposed some parts
of his person which it is usual to conceal; and, addressing Galba,
said: "You deride me for these, in which I glory before my fellow-citizens,
for it is in their service, in which I have ridden night and day,
that I received them; but go collect the votes, whilst I follow after,
and note the base and ungrateful, and such as choose rather to be
flattered and courted than commanded by their general." It is said
this speech so stopped the soldiers' mouths, and altered their minds,
that all the tribes decreed a triumph for Aemilius; which was performed
after this manner. 

The people erected scaffolds in the forum, in the circuses, as they
call their buildings for horse-races, and in all other parts of the
city where they could best behold the show. The spectators were clad
in white garments; all the temples were open, and full of garlands
and perfumes; the ways were cleared and kept open by numerous officers,
who drove back all who crowded into or ran across the main avenue.
This triumph lasted three days. On the first, which was scarcely long
enough for the sight, were to be seen the statues, pictures, and colossal
images which were taken from the enemy, drawn upon two hundred and
fifty chariots. On the second was carried in a great many wagons the
finest and richest armour of the Macedonians, both of brass and steel,
all newly polished and glittering the pieces of which were piled up
and arranged purposely with the greatest art, so as to seem to be
tumbled in heaps carelessly and by chance: helmets were thrown upon
shields, coats of mail upon greaves; Cretan targets, and Thracian
bucklers and quivers of arrows, lay huddled amongst horses' bits,
and through these there appeared the points of naked swords, intermixed
with long Macedonian sarissas. All these arms were fastened together
with just so much looseness that they struck against one another as
they were drawn along, and made a harsh and alarming noise, so that,
even as spoils of a conquered enemy, they could not be beheld without
dread. After these wagons loaded with armour there followed three
thousand men who carried the silver that was coined, in seven hundred
and fifty vessels, each of which weighed three talents, and was carried
by four men. Others brought silver bowls and goblets and cups, all
disposed in such order as to make the best show, and all curious as
well for their size as the solidity of their embossed work.

On the third day, early in the morning, first came the trumpeters,
who did not sound as they were wont in a procession or solemn entry,
but such a charge as the Romans use when they encourage the soldiers
to fight. Next followed young men wearing frocks with ornamented borders,
who led to the sacrifice a hundred and twenty stalled oxen, with their
horns gilded, and their heads adorned with ribbons and garlands; and
with these were boys that carried basins for libation, of silver and
gold. After this was brought the gold coin, which was divided into
vessels that weighed three talents, like those that contained the
silver; they were in number seventy-seven. These were followed by
those that brought the consecrated bowl which Aemilius had caused
to be made, that weighed ten talents, and was set with precious stones.
Then were exposed to view the cups of Antigonus and Seleucus, and
those of the Thericlean make, and all the gold plate that was used
at Perseus's table. Next to these came Perseus's chariot, in which
his armour was placed, and on that his diadem. And, after a little
intermission, the king's children were led captives, and with them
a train of their attendants, masters, and teachers, all shedding tears,
and stretching out hands to the spectators, and making the children
themselves also beg and entreat their compassion. There were two sons
and a daughter, whose tender age made them but little sensible of
the greatness of their misery, which very insensibility of their condition
rendered it the more deplorable; insomuch that Perseus himself was
scarcely regarded as he went along, whilst pity fixed the eyes of
the Romans upon the infants; and many of them could not forbear tears,
and all beheld the sight with a mixture of sorrow and pleasure, until
the children were passed. 

After his children and their attendants came Perseus himself, clad
all in black, and wearing the boots of his country, and looking like
one altogether stunned and deprived of reason, through the greatness
of his misfortunes. Next followed a great company of his friends and
familiars, whose countenances were disfigured with grief, and who
let the spectators see, by their tears and their continual looking
upon Perseus, that it was his fortune they so much lamented, and that
they were regardless of their own. Perseus sent to Aemilius to entreat
that he might not be led in pomp, but be left out of the triumph;
who, deriding, as was but just, his cowardice and fondness of life,
sent him this answer, that as for that, it had been before, and was
now, in his own power; giving him to understand that the disgrace
could be avoided by death; which the faint-hearted man not having
the spirit for, and made effeminate by I know not what hopes, allowed
himself to appear as a part of his own spoils. After these were carried
four hundred crowns, all made of gold, sent from the cities by their
respective deputations to Aemilius, in honour of his victory. Then
he himself came, seated on a chariot magnificently adorned (a man
well worthy to be looked at, even without these ensigns of power),
dressed in a robe of purple, interwoven with gold, and holding a laurel
branch in his right hand. All the army, in like manner, with boughs
of laurel in their hands, divided into their hands and companies,
followed the chariot of their commander; some singing verses, according
to the usual custom, mingled with raillery; others, songs of triumph
and the praise of Aemilius's deeds; who, indeed, was admired and accounted
happy by all men, and unenvied by every one that was good; except
so far as it seems the province of some god to lessen that happiness
which is too great and inordinate, and so to mingle the affairs of
human life that no one should be entirely free and exempt from calamities;
but, as we read in Homer, that those should think themselves truly
blessed whom fortune has given an equal share of good and evil.

Aemilius had four sons, of whom Scipio and Fabius, as is already related,
were adopted into other families; the other two, whom he had by a
second wife, and who were yet but young, he brought up in his own
house. One of these died at fourteen years of age, five days before
his father's triumph, the other at twelve, three days after; so that
there was no Roman without a deep sense of his suffering, and who
did not shudder at the cruelty of fortune, that had not scrupled to
bring so much sorrow into a house replenished with happiness, rejoicing,
and sacrifices, and to intermingle tears and laments with songs of
victory and triumph. 

Aemilius, however, reasoning justly that courage and resolution was
not merely to resist armour and spears, but all the shocks of ill-fortune,
so met and so adapted himself to these mingled and contrasting circumstances,
as to outbalance the evil with the good, and his private concerns
with those of the public; and thus did not allow anything either to
take away from the grandeur, or sully the dignity of his victory.
For as soon as he had buried the first of his sons (as we have already
said), he triumphed; and the second dying almost as soon as his triumph
was over, he gathered together an assembly of the people, and made
an oration to them, not like a man that stood in need of comfort from
others, but one that undertook to support his fellow-citizens in their
grief for the sufferings he himself underwent. 

"I," he said, "who never yet feared anything that was human, have,
amongst such as were divine, always had a dread of Fortune as faithless
and inconstant; and, for the very reason that in this war she had
been as a favourable gale in all my affairs, I still expected some
change and reflux of things. In one day I passed the Ionian sea, and
reached Corcyra from Brundisium; thence in five more I sacrificed
at Delphi, and in other five days came to my forces in Macedonia,
where, after I had finished the usual sacrifices for the purifying
of the army, I entered on my duties, and, in space of fifteen days,
put an honourable period to the war. Still retaining a jealousy of
Fortune, even from the smooth current of my affairs, and seeing myself
secure and free from the danger of any enemy, I chiefly dreaded the
change of the goddess at sea, whilst conveying home my victorious
army, vast spoils, and a captive king. Nay, indeed, after I was returned
to you safe, and saw the city full of joy, congratulating, and sacrifices,
yet still I distrusted, well knowing that Fortune never conferred
any great benefits that were unmixed and unattended with probabilities
of reverse. Nor could my mind, that was still as it were in labour,
and always foreseeing something to befall this city, free itself from
this fear, until this great misfortune befell me in my own family,
and till, in the midst of those days set apart for triumph, I carried
two of the best sons, my only destined successors, one after another
to their funerals. Now, therefore, I am myself safe from danger, at
least as to what was my greatest care; and I trust and am verily persuaded
that for the time to come Fortune will prove constant and harmless
unto you; since she has sufficiently wreaked her jealousy at our great
success on me and mine, and has made the conqueror as marked an example
of human instability as the captive whom he led in triumph, with this
only difference, that Perseus, though conquered, does yet enjoy his
children, while the conqueror, Aemilius, is deprived of his." This
was the generous and magnanimous oration Aemilius is said to have
spoken to the people, from a heart truly sincere and free from all

Although he very much pitied the condition of Perseus, and studied
to befriend him in what he was able, yet he could procure no other
favour than his removal from the common prison, the Carcer, into a
more cleanly and humane place of security, where, whilst he was guarded,
it is said, he starved himself to death. Others state his death to
be of the strangest and most unusual character: that the soldiers
who were his guard, having conceived a spite and hatred against him
for some reason, and finding no other way to grieve and afflict him,
kept him from sleep, took pains to disturb him when he was disposed
to rest, and found out contrivances to keep him continually awake,
by which means at length he was utterly worn out, and expired. Two
of his children, also, died soon after him; the third, who was named
Alexander, they say proved an exquisite artist in turning and graving
small figures, and learned so perfectly to speak and write the Roman
language, that he became clerk to the magistrates, and behaved himself
in his office with great skill and conduct. 

They ascribed to Aemilius's conquest of Macedonia this most acceptable
benefit to the people, that he brought so vast a quantity of money
into the public treasury, that they never paid any taxes, until Hirtius
and Pansa were consuls, which was in the first war between Antony
and Caesar. This also was peculiar and remarkable in Aemilius, that
though he was extremely beloved and honoured by the people, yet he
always sided with the nobles; nor would he either say or do anything
to ingratiate himself with the multitude, but constantly adhered to
the nobility, in all political matters, which in aftertimes was cast
in Scipio Africanus's teeth by Appius; these two being in their time
the most considerable men in the city, and standing in competition
for the office of censor. The one had on his side the nobles and the
senate, to which party the Appii were always attached; the other,
although his own interest was great, yet made use of the favour and
love of the people. When, therefore, Appius saw Scipio come to the
market-place, surrounded with men of mean rank, and such as were but
newly made free, yet were very fit to manage a debate, to gather together
the rabble, and to carry whatsoever they designed by importunity and
noise, crying out with a loud voice: "Groan now," said he, "O Aemilius
Paulus, if you have knowledge in your grave of what is done above,
that your son aspires to be censor, by the help of Aemilius, the common
crier, and Licinius Philonicus." Scipio always had the goodwill of
the people, because he was constantly heaping favours on them; but
Aemilius, although he still took part with the nobles, yet was as
much the people's favourite as those who most sought popularity and
used every art to obtain it. This they made manifest, when, amongst
other dignities, they thought him worthy of the office of censor,
a trust accounted most sacred and of great authority, as well in other
things, as in the strict examination into men's lives. For the censors
had power to expel a senator, and enrol whom they judged most fit
in his room, and to disgrace such young men as lived licentiously,
by taking away their horses. Besides this, they were to value and
assess each man's estate, and register the number of the people. There
were numbered by Aemilius 347,452 men. He declared Marcus Aemilius
Lepidus first senator, who had already four times held that honour,
and he removed from their office three of the senators of the least
note. The same moderation he and his fellow-censor, Marcius Philippus,
used at the muster of the knights. 

Whilst he was thus busy about many and weighty affairs he fell sick
of a disease, which at first seemed hazardous; and although after
a while it proved without danger, yet was troublesome and difficult
to be cured: so that by the advice of his physicians he sailed to
Velia, in south Italy, and there dwelt a long time near the sea, where
he enjoyed all possible quietness. The Romans, in the meanwhile, longed
for his return, and oftentimes by their expressions in the theatres
gave public testimony of their great desire and impatience to see
him. When, therefore, the time drew nigh that a solemn sacrifice was
of necessity to be offered, and he found, as he thought, his body
strong enough, he came back again to Rome, and there performed the
holy rites with the rest of the priests, the people in the meantime
crowding about him and congratulating his return. The next day he
sacrificed again to the gods for his recovery; and, having finished
the sacrifice, returned to his house and sat down to dinner, when,
all on a sudden and when no change was expected, he fell into a fit
of delirium, and, being quite deprived of his senses, the third day
after ended a life in which he had wanted no manner of thing which
is thought to conduct to happiness. Nay, his very funeral pomp had
something in it remarkable and to be admired, and his virtue was graced
with the most solemn and happy rites at his burial; consisting, not
in gold and ivory, or in the usual sumptuousness and splendour of
such preparations, but in the goodwill, honour, and love, not only
of his fellow-citizens, but of his enemies themselves. For as many
Spaniards, Ligurians, and Macedonians as happened to be present at
the solemnity, that were young and of vigorous bodies, took up the
bier and carried it; whilst the more aged followed, called Aemilius
the benefactor and preserver of their countries. For not only at the
time of his conquest had he acted to all with kindness and clemency,
but, through the whole course of his life, he continued to do them
good and look after their concerns, as if they had been his familiars
and relations. They report that the whole of his estate scarce amounted
to three hundred and seventy thousand drachmas; to which he left his
two sons co-heirs; but Scipio, who was the youngest, being adopted
into the more wealthy family of Africanus, gave it all to his brother.
Such are said to have been the life and manners of Aemilius.



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