Thus falling in upon the country destitute of defense, they wasted it on all sides. Marius was presently sent for to the city; where, when he arrived, every one supposing he would triumph, the senate, too, unanimously voting it, he himself did not think it convenient; whether that he were not willing to deprive his soldiers and officers of their share of the glory, or that to encourage the people in this juncture, he would leave the honor due to his past victory on trust, as it were, in the hands of the city and its future fortune; deferring it now, to receive it afterwards with the greater splendor. Having left such orders as the occasion required, he hastened to Catulus, whose drooping spirits he much raised, and sent for his own army from Gaul: and as soon as it came, passing the river Po, he endeavored to keep the barbarians out of that part of Italy which lies south of it.
They professed they were in expectation of the Teutones, and, saying they wondered they were so long in coming, deferred the battle; either that they were really ignorant of their defeat, or were willing to seem so. For they certainly much maltreated those that brought them such news, and, sending to Marius, required some part of the country for themselves and their brethren, and cities fit for them to inhabit. When Marius inquired of the ambassadors who their brethren were, upon their saying, the Teutones, all that were present began to laugh; and Marius scoffingly answered them, "Do not trouble yourselves for your brethren, for we have already provided lands for them, which they shall possess forever." The ambassadors, understanding the mockery, broke into insults, and threatened that the Cimbri would make him pay for this, and the Teutones, too, when they came. "They are not far off," replied Marius, "and it will be unkindly done of you to go away before greeting your brethren." Saying so, he commanded the kings of the Teutones to be brought out. as they were, in chains; for they were taken by the Sequani among the Alps, before they could make their escape. This was no sooner made known to the Cimbri, but they with all expedition came against Marius, who then lay still and guarded his camp.
It is said, that against this battle, Marius first altered the construction of the Roman javelins. For before, at the place where the wood was joined to the iron, it was made fast with two iron pins; but now Marius let one of them alone as it was, and pulling out the other, put a weak wooden peg in its place, thus contriving, that when it was driven into the enemy's shield, it should not stand right out, but the wooden peg breaking, the iron should bend, and so the javelin should hold fast by its crooked point, and drag. Boeorix, king of the Cimbri, came with a small party of horse to the Roman camp, and challenged Marius to appoint the time and place, where they might meet and fight for the country. Marius answered, that the Romans never consulted their enemies when to fight; however, he would gratify the Cimbri so far; and so they fixed upon the third day after, and for the place, the plain near Vercellae, which was convenient enough for the Roman horse, and afforded room for the enemy to display their numbers.
They observed the time appointed, and drew out their forces against each other. Catulus commanded twenty thousand three hundred, and Marius thirty-two thousand, who were placed in the two wings, leaving Catulus the center. Sylla, who was present at the fight, gives this account; saying, also, that Marius drew up his army in this order, because he expected that the armies would meet on the wings, since it generally happens that in such extensive fronts the center falls back, and thus he would have the whole victory to himself and his soldiers, and Catulus would not be even engaged. They tell us, also, that Catulus himself alleged this in vindication of his honor, accusing, in various ways, the enviousness of Marius. The infantry of the Cimbri marched quietly out of their fortifications, having their flanks equal to their front; every side of the army taking up thirty furlongs. Their horse, that were in number fifteen thousand, made a very splendid appearance. They wore helmets, made to resemble the heads and jaws of wild beasts, and other strange shapes, and heightening these with plumes of feathers, they made themselves appear taller than they were. They had breastplates of iron, and white glittering shields; and for their offensive arms, every one had two darts, and when they came hand to hand, they used large and heavy swords.
The cavalry did not fall directly upon the front of the Romans, but, turning to the right, they endeavored to draw them on in that direction by little and little, so as to get them between themselves and their infantry, who were placed in the left wing. The Roman commanders soon perceived the design, but could not contain the soldiers; for one happening to shout out that the enemy fled, they all rushed to pursue them, while the whole barbarian foot came on, moving like a great ocean. Here Marius, having washed his hands, and lifting them up towards heaven, vowed an hecatomb to the gods; and Catulus, too, in the same posture, solemnly promised to consecrate a temple to the "Fortune of that day." They say, too, that Marius, having the victim showed to him as he was sacrificing, cried out with a loud voice, "the victory is mine."
However, in the engagement, according to the accounts of Sylla and his friends, Marius met with what might be called a mark of divine displeasure. For a great dust being raised, which (as it might very probably happen) almost covered both the armies, he, leading on his forces to the pursuit, missed the enemy, and having passed by their array, moved, for a good space, up and down the field; meanwhile the enemy, by chance, engaged with Catulus, and the heat of the battle was chiefly with him and his men, among whom Sylla says he was; adding, that the Romans had great advantage of the heat and sun that shone in the faces of the Cimbri. For they, well able to endure cold, and having been bred up, (as we observed before,) in cold and shady countries, were overcome with the excessive heat; they sweated extremely, and were much out of breath, being forced to hold their shields before their faces; for the battle was fought not long after the summer solstice, or, as the Romans reckon, upon the third day before the new moon of the month now called August, and then Sextilis. The dust, too, gave the Romans no small addition to their courage, inasmuch as it hid the enemy. For afar off they could not discover their number; but every one advancing to encounter those that were nearest to them, they came to fight hand to hand, before the sight of so vast a multitude had struck terror into them. They were so much used to labor, and so well exercised, that in all the heat and toil of the encounter, not one of them was observed either to sweat, or to be out of breath; so much so, that Catulus himself, they say, recorded it in commendation of his soldiers.
Here the greatest part and most valiant of the enemies were cut in pieces; for those that fought in the front, that they might not break their ranks, were fast tied to one another, with long chains put through their belts. But as they pursued those that fled to their camp, they witnessed a most fearful tragedy; the women, standing in black clothes on their wagons, slew all that fled, some their husbands, some their brethren, others their fathers; and strangling their little children with their own hands, threw them under the wheels, and the feet of the cattle, and then killed themselves. They tell of one who hung herself from the end of the pole of a wagon, with her children tied dangling at her heels. The men, for want of trees, tied themselves, some to the horns of the oxen, others by the neck to their legs, that so pricking them on, by the starting and springing of the beasts, they might be torn and trodden to pieces. Yet for all they thus massacred themselves, above sixty thousand were taken prisoners, and those that were slain were said to be twice as many.
The ordinary plunder was taken by Marius's soldiers, but the other spoils, as ensigns, trumpets, and the like, they say, were brought to Catulus's camp; which he used for the best argument that the victory was obtained by himself and his army. Some dissensions arising, as was natural, among the soldiers, the deputies from Parma being then present, were made judges of the controversy; whom Catulus's men carried about among their slain enemies, and manifestly showed them that they were slain by their javelins, which were known by the inscriptions, having Catulus's name cut in the wood. Nevertheless, the whole glory of the action was ascribed to Marius, on account of his former victory, and under color of his present authority; the populace more especially styling him the third founder of their city, as having diverted a danger no less threatening than was that when the Gauls sacked Rome; and every one, in their feasts and rejoicings at home with their wives and children, made offerings and libations in honor of "The Gods and Marius;" and would have had him solely have the honor of both the triumphs. However, he did not do so, but triumphed together with Catulus, being desirous to show his moderation even in such great circumstances of good fortune, besides, he was not a little afraid of the soldiers in Catulus's army, lest, if he should wholly bereave their general of the honor, they should endeavor to hinder him of his triumph.
Marius was now in his fifth consulship, and he sued for his sixth in such a manner as never any man before him, had done, even for his first; he courted the people's favor and ingratiated himself with the multitude by every sort of complaisance; not only derogating from the state and dignity of his office, but also belying his own character, by attempting to seem popular and obliging, for which nature had never designed him. His passion for distinction did, indeed, they say, make him exceedingly timorous in any political matters, or in confronting public assemblies; and that undaunted presence of mind he always showed in battle against the enemy, forsook him when he was to address the people; he was easily upset by the most ordinary commendation or dispraise. It is told of him, that having at one time given the freedom of the city to one thousand men of Camerinum who had behaved valiantly in this war, and this seeming to be illegally done, upon some one or other calling him to an account for it, he answered, that the law spoke too softly to be heard in such a noise of war; yet he himself appeared to be more disconcerted and overcome by the clamor made in the assemblies. The need they had of him in time of war procured him power and dignity; but in civil affairs, when he despaired of getting the first place, he was forced to betake himself to the favor of the people, never caring to be a good man, so that he were but a great one.
He thus became very odious to all the nobility; and, above all, he feared Metellus, who had been so ungratefully used by him, and whose true virtue made him naturally an enemy to those that sought influence with the people, not by the honorable course, but by subservience and complaisance. Marius, therefore, endeavored to banish him from the city, and for this purpose he contracted a close alliance with Glaucia and Saturninus, a couple of daring fellows, who had the great mass of the indigent and seditious multitude at their control; and by their assistance he enacted various laws, and bringing the soldiers, also, to attend the assembly, he was enabled to overpower Metellus. And as Rutilius relates, (in all other respects a fair and faithful authority, but, indeed, privately an enemy to Marius,) he obtained his sixth consulship by distributing vast sums of money among the tribes, and by this bribery kept out Metellus, and had Valerius Flaccus given him as his instrument, rather than his colleague, in the consulship. The people had never before bestowed so many consulships on any one man, except on Valerius Corvinus only, and he, too, they say, was forty-five years between his first and last; but Marius, from his first, ran through five more, with one current of good fortune.
In the last, especially, he contracted a great deal of hatred, by committing several gross misdemeanors in compliance with the desires of Saturninus; among which was the murder of Nonius, whom Saturninus slew, because he stood in competition with him for the tribuneship. And when, afterwards, Saturninus, on becoming tribune, brought forward his law for the division of lands, with a clause enacting that the senate should publicly swear to confirm whatever the people should vote, and not to oppose them in anything, Marius, in the senate, cunningly feigned to be against this provision, and said that he would not take any such oath, nor would any man, he thought, who was wise; for if there were no ill design in the law, still it would be an affront to the senate, to be compelled to give their approbation, and not to do it willingly and upon persuasion. This he said, not that it was agreeable to his own sentiments, but that he might entrap Metellus beyond any possibility of escape. For Marius, in whose ideas virtue and capacity consisted largely in deceit, made very little account of what he had openly professed to the senate; and knowing that Metellus was one of a fixed resolution, and, as Pindar has it, esteemed Truth the first principle of heroic virtue; he hoped to ensnare him into a declaration before the senate, and on his refusing, as he was sure to do, afterwards to take the oath, he expected to bring him into such odium with the people, as should never be wiped off. The design succeeded to his wish. As soon as Metellus had declared that he would not swear to it, the senate adjourned. A few days after, on Saturninus citing the senators to make their appearance, and take the oath before the people, Marius stepped forth, amidst a profound silence, every one being intent to hear him, and bidding farewell to those fine speeches he had before made in the senate, said, that his back was not so broad that he should think himself bound, once for all, by any opinion once given on so important a matter; he would willingly swear and submit to the law, if so be it were one, a proviso which he added as a mere cover for his effrontery. The people, in great joy at his taking the oath, loudly clapped and applauded him, while the nobility stood by ashamed and vexed at his inconstancy; but they submitted out of fear of the people, and all in order took the oath, till it came to Metellus's turn. But he, though his friends begged and entreated him to take it, and not to plunge himself irrecoverably into the penalties which Saturninus had provided for those that should refuse it, would not flinch from his resolution, nor swear; but, according to his fixed custom, being ready to suffer anything rather than do a base, unworthy action, he left the forum, telling those that were with him, that to do a wrong thing is base, and to do well where there is no danger, common; the good man's characteristic is to do so, where there is danger.
Hereupon Saturninus put it to the vote, that the consuls should place Metellus under their interdict, and forbid him fire, water, and lodging. There were enough, too, of the basest of people ready to kill him. Nevertheless, when many of the better sort were extremely concerned, and gathered about Metellus, he would not suffer them to raise a sedition upon his account, but with this calm reflection left the city, "Either when the posture of affairs is mended and the people repent, I shall be recalled, or if things remain in their present condition, it will be best to be absent." But what great favor and honor Metellus received in his banishment, and in what manner he spent his time at Rhodes, in philosophy, will be more fitly our subject, when we write his life.
Marius, in return for this piece of service, was forced to connive at Saturninus, now proceeding to the very height of insolence and violence, and was, without knowing it, the instrument of mischief beyond endurance, the only course of which was through outrages and massacres to tyranny and the subversion of the government. Standing in some awe of the nobility, and, at the same time, eager to court the commonalty, he was guilty of a most mean and dishonest action. When some of the great men came to him at night to stir him up against Saturninus, at the other door, unknown to them, he let him in; then making the same presence of some disorder of body to both, he ran from one party to the other, and staying at one time with them and another with him, he instigated and exasperated them one against another. At length when the senate and equestrian order concerted measures together, and openly manifested their resentment, he did bring his soldiers into the forum, and driving the insurgents into the capitol, and then cutting off the conduits, forced them to surrender by want of water. They, in this distress, addressing themselves to him, surrendered, as it is termed, on the public faith. He did his utmost to save their lives, but so wholly in vain, that when they came down into the forum, they were all basely murdered. Thus he had made himself equally odious both to the nobility and commons, and when the time was come to create censors, though he was the most obvious man, yet he did not petition for it; but fearing the disgrace of being repulsed, permitted others, his inferiors, to be elected, though he pleased himself by giving out, that he was not willing to disoblige too many by undertaking a severe inspection into their lives and conduct.
There was now an edict preferred to recall Metellus from banishment; this he vigorously, but in vain, opposed both by word and deed, and was at length obliged to desist. The people unanimously voted for it; and he, not able to endure the sight of Metellus's return, made a voyage to Cappadocia and Galatia; giving out that he had to perform the sacrifices, which he had vowed to Cybele; but actuated really by other less apparent reasons. For, in fact, being a man altogether ignorant of civil life and ordinary politics, he received all his advancement from war; and supposing his power and glory would by little and little decrease by his lying quietly out of action, he was eager by every means to excite some new commotions, and hoped that by setting at variance some of the kings, and by exasperating Mithridates, especially, who was then apparently making preparations for war, he himself should be chosen general against him, and so furnish the city with new matter of triumph, and his own house with the plunder of Pontus, and the riches of its king. Therefore, though Mithridates entertained him with all imaginable attention and respect, yet he was not at all wrought upon or softened by it, but said, "O king, either endeavor to be stronger than the Romans, or else quietly submit to their commands." With which he left Mithridates astonished, as he indeed had often heard the fame of the bold speaking of the Romans, but now for the first time experienced it.
When Marius returned again to Rome, he built a house close by the forum, either, as he himself gave out, that he was not willing his clients should be tired with going far, or that he imagined distance was the reason why more did not come. This, however, was not so; the real reason was, that being inferior to others in agreeableness of conversation and the arts of political life, like a mere tool and implement of war, he was thrown aside in time of peace. Amongst all those whose brightness eclipsed his glory, he was most incensed against Sylla, who had owed his rise to the hatred which the nobility bore Marius; and had made his disagreement with him the one principle of his political life. When Bocchus, king of Numidia, who was styled the associate of the Romans, dedicated some figures of Victory in the capitol, and with them a representation in gold, of himself delivering Jugurtha to Sylla, Marius upon this was almost distracted with rage and ambition, as though Sylla had arrogated this honor to himself, and endeavored forcibly to pull down these presents; Sylla, on the other side, as vigorously resisted him; but the Social War then on a sudden threatening the city, put a stop to this sedition, when just ready to break out. For the most warlike and best-peopled countries of all Italy formed a confederacy together against Rome, and were within a little of subverting the empire; as they were indeed strong, not only in their weapons and the valor of their soldiers, but stood nearly upon equal terms with the Romans, as to the skill and daring of their commanders.
As much glory and power as this war, so various in its events and so uncertain as to its success, conferred upon Sylla, so much it took away from Marius, who was thought tardy, unenterprising, and timid, whether it were that his age was now quenching his former heat and vigor, (for he was above sixty-five years old,) or that having, as he himself said, some distemper that affected his muscles, and his body being unfit for action, he did service above his strength. Yet, for all this, he came off victor in a considerable battle, wherein he slew six thousand of the enemies, and never once gave them any advantage over him; and when he was surrounded by the works of the enemy, he contained himself, and though insulted over, and challenged, did not yield to the provocation. The story is told that when Publius Silo, a man of the greatest repute and authority among the enemies, said to him, "If you are indeed a great general, Marius, leave your camp and fight a battle," he replied, "If you are one, make me do so." And another time, when the enemy gave them a good opportunity of a battle, and the Romans through fear durst not charge, so that both parties retreated, he called an assembly of his soldiers and said, "It is no small question whether I should call the enemies, or you, the greater cowards, for neither did they dare to face your backs, nor you to confront theirs." At length, professing to be worn out with the infirmity of his body, he laid down his command.
Afterwards, when the Italians were worsted, there were several candidates suing, with the aid of the popular leaders, for the chief command in the war with Mithridates. Sulpicius, tribune of the people, a bold and confident man, contrary to everybody's expectation, brought forward Marius, and proposed him as proconsul and general in that war. The people were divided; some were on Marius's side, others voted for Sylla, and jeeringly bade Marius go to his baths at Baiae, to cure his body, worn out, as himself confessed, with age and catarrhs. Marius had, indeed, there, about Misenum, a villa more effeminately and luxuriously furnished than seemed to become one that had seen service in so many and great wars and expeditions. This same house Cornelia bought for seventy-five thousand drachmas, and not long after Lucius Lucullus, for two million five hundred thousand; so rapid and so great was the growth of Roman sumptuosity. Yet, in spite of all this, out of a mere boyish passion for distinction, affecting to shake off his age and weakness, he went down daily to the Campus Martius, and exercising himself with the youth, showed himself still nimble in his armor, and expert in riding; though he was undoubtedly grown bulky in his old age, and inclining to excessive fatness and corpulency.
Some people were pleased with this, and went continually to see him competing and displaying himself in these exercises; but the better sort that saw him, pitied the cupidity and ambition that made one who had risen from utter poverty to extreme wealth, and out of nothing into greatness, unwilling to admit any limit to his high fortune, or to be content with being admired, and quietly enjoying what he had already got: why, as if he still were indigent, should he at so great an age leave his glory and his triumphs to go into Cappadocia and the Euxine Sea, to fight Archelaus and Neoptolemus, Mithridates's generals? Marius's pretenses for this action of his seemed very ridiculous; for he said he wanted to go and teach his son to be a general.
The condition of the city, which had long been unsound and diseased, became hopeless now that Marius found so opportune an instrument for the public destruction as Sulpicius's insolence. This man professed, in all other respects, to admire and imitate Saturninus; only he found fault with him for backwardness and want of spirit in his designs. He, therefore, to avoid this fault, got six hundred of the equestrian order about him as his guard, whom he named anti-senators; and with these confederates he set upon the consuls, whilst they were at the assembly, and took the son of one of them, who fled from the forum, and slew him. Sylla, being hotly pursued, took refuge in Marius's house, which none could suspect, by that means escaping those that sought him, who hastily passed by there, and, it is said, was safely conveyed by Marius himself out at the other door, and came to the camp. Yet Sylla, in his memoirs, positively denies that he fled to Marius, saying he was carried thither to consult upon the matters to which Sulpicius would have forced him, against his will, to consent; that he, surrounding him with drawn swords, hurried him to Marius, and constrained him thus, till he went thence to the forum and removed, as they required him to do, the interdict on business.
Sulpicius, having thus obtained the mastery, decreed the command of the army to Marius, who proceeded to make preparations for his march, and sent two tribunes to receive the charge of the army from Sylla. Sylla hereupon exasperating his soldiers, who were about thirty-five thousand full-armed men, led them towards Rome. First falling upon the tribunes Marius had sent, they slew them; Marius having done as much for several of Sylla's friends in Rome, and now offering their freedom to the slaves on condition of their assistance in the war; of whom, however, they say, there were but three who accepted his proposal. For some small time he made head against Sylla's assault, but was soon overpowered and fled; those that were with him, as soon as he had escaped out of the city, were dispersed, and night coming on, he hastened to a country-house of his, called Solonium. Hence he sent his son to some neighboring farms of his father-in-law, Mucius, to provide necessaries; he went himself to Ostia, where his friend Numerius had prepared him a ship, and hence, not staying for his son, he took with him his son-in-law Granius, and weighed anchor.
Young Marius, coming to Mucius's farms, made his preparations; and the day breaking, was almost discovered by the enemy. For there came thither a party of horse that suspected some such matter; but the farm steward, foreseeing their approach, hid Marius in a cart full of beans, then yoking in his team and driving toward the city, met those that were in search of him. Marius, thus conveyed home to his wife, took with him some necessaries, and came at night to the sea-side; where, going on board a ship that was bound for Africa, he went away thither. Marius, the father, when he had put to sea, with a strong gale passing along the coast of Italy, was in no small apprehension of one Geminius, a great man at Terracina, and his enemy; and therefore bade the seamen hold off from that place. They were, indeed, willing to gratify him, but the wind now blowing in from the sea, and making the waves swell to a great height, they were afraid the ship would not be able to weather out the storm, and Marius, too, being indisposed and seasick, they made for land, and not without some difficulty reached the shore near Circeium.
The storm now increasing and their victuals failing, they left their ship and wandered up and down without any certain purpose, simply as in great distresses people shun the present as the greatest evil, and rely upon the hopes of uncertainties. For the land and sea were both equally unsafe for them; it was dangerous to meet with people, and it was no less so to meet with none, on account of their want of necessaries. At length, though late, they lighted upon a few poor shepherds, that had not anything to relieve them; but knowing Marius, advised him to depart as soon as might be, for they had seen a little beyond that place a party of horse that were gone in search of him. Finding himself in a great straight, especially because those that attended him were not able to go further, being spent with their long fasting, for the present he turned aside out of the road, and hid himself in a thick wood, where he passed the night in great wretchedness. The next day, pinched with hunger, and willing to make use of the little strength he had, before it were all exhausted, he traveled by the seaside, encouraging his companions not to fall away from him before the fulfillment of his final hopes, for which, in reliance on some old predictions, he professed to be sustaining himself. For when he was yet but very young, and lived in the country, he caught in the skirt of his garment an eagle's nest, as it was falling, in which were seven young ones, which his parents seeing and much admiring, consulted the augurs about it, who told them that he should become the greatest man in the world, and that the fates had decreed he should seven times be possessed of the supreme power and authority. Some are of opinion that this really happened to Marius, as we have related it; others say, that those who then and through the rest of his exile heard him tell these stories, and believed him, have merely repeated a story that is altogether fabulous; for an eagle never hatches more than two; and even Musaeus was deceived, who, speaking of the eagle, says that, —
"She lays three eggs, hatches two, and rears one."
However this be, it is certain Marius, in his exile and greatest extremities, would often say, that he should attain a seventh consulship.
When Marius and his company were now about twenty furlongs distant from Minturnae, a city in Italy, they espied a troop, of horse making up toward them with all speed, and by chance, also, at the same time, two ships under sail. Accordingly, they ran every one with what speed and strength they could to the sea, and plunging into it, swam to the ships. Those that were with Granius, reaching one of them, passed over to an island opposite, called Aenaria; Marius himself whose body was heavy and unwieldy, was with great pains and difficulty kept above the water by two servants, and put into the other ship. The soldiers were by this time come to the seaside, and from thence called out to the seamen to put to shore, or else to throw out Marius, and then they might go whither they would. Marius besought them with tears to the contrary, and the masters of the ship, after frequent changes, in a short space of time, of their purpose, inclining, first to one, then to the other side, resolved at length to answer the soldiers, that they would not give up Marius. As soon as they had ridden off in a rage, the seamen, again changing their resolution, came to land, and casting anchor at the mouth of the river Liris, where it overflows and makes a great marsh, they advised him to land, refresh himself on shore, and take some care of his discomposed body, till the wind came fairer; which, said they, will happen at such an hour, when the wind from the sea will calm, and that from the marshes rise. Marius, following their advice, did so, and when the sea-men had set him on shore, he laid him down in an adjacent field, suspecting nothing less than what was to befall him. They, as soon as they had got into the ship, weighed anchor and departed, as thinking it neither honorable to deliver Marius into the hands of those that sought him, nor safe to protect him.
He thus, deserted by all, lay a good while silently on the shore; at length collecting himself, he advanced with pain and difficulty, without any path, till, wading through deep bogs and ditches full of water and mud, he came upon the hut of an old man that worked in the fens, and falling at his feet besought him to assist and preserve one who, if he escaped the present danger, would make him returns beyond his expectation. The poor man, whether he had formerly known him, or were then moved with his superior aspect, told him that if he wanted only rest, his cottage would be convenient; but if he were flying from anybody's search, he would hide him in a more retired place. Marius desiring him to do so, he carried him into the fens and bade him hide himself in an hollow place by the river side, where he laid upon him a great many reeds, and other things that were light, and would cover, but not oppress him. But within a very short time he was disturbed with a noise and tumult from the cottage, for Geminius had sent several from Terracina in pursuit of him; some of whom, happening to come that way, frightened and threatened the old man for having entertained and hid an enemy of the Romans. Wherefore Marius, arising and stripping himself, plunged into a puddle full of thick muddy water; and even there he could not escape their search, but was pulled out covered with mire, and carried away naked to Minturnae, and delivered to the magistrates. For there had been orders sent through all the towns, to make public search for Marius, and if they found him to kill him; however, the magistrates thought convenient to consider a little better of it first, and sent him prisoner to the house of one Fannia.
This woman was supposed not very well affected towards him upon an old account. One Tinnius had formerly married this Fannia; from whom she afterwards being divorced, demanded her portion, which was considerable, but her husband accused her of adultery; so the controversy was brought before Marius in his sixth consulship. When the cause was examined thoroughly, it appeared both that Fannia had been incontinent, and that her husband knowing her to be so, had married and lived a considerable time with her. So that Marius was severe enough with both, commanding him to restore her portion, and laying a fine of four copper coins upon her by way of disgrace. But Fannia did not then behave like a woman that had been injured, but as soon as she saw Marius, remembered nothing less than old affronts; took care of him according to her ability, and comforted him. He made her his returns and told her he did not despair, for he had met with a lucky omen, which was thus. When he was brought to Fannia's house, as soon as the gate was opened, an ass came running out to drink at a spring hard by, and giving a bold and encouraging look, first stood still before him, then brayed aloud and pranced by him. From which Marius drew his conclusion, and said, that the fates designed him safety, rather by sea than land, because the ass neglected his dry fodder, and turned from it to the water. Having told Fannia this story, he bade the chamber door to be shut and went to rest.
Meanwhile the magistrates and councilors of Minturnae consulted together, and determined not to delay any longer, but immediately to kill Marius; and when none of their citizens durst undertake the business, a certain soldier, a Gaulish or Cimbrian horseman, (the story is told both ways,) went in with his sword drawn to him. The room itself was not very light, that part of it especially where he then lay was dark, from whence Marius's eyes, they say, seemed to the fellow to dart out flames at him, and a loud voice to say, out of the dark, "Fellow, darest thou kill Caius Marius?" The barbarian hereupon immediately fled, and leaving his sword in the place rushed out of doors, crying only this, "I cannot kill Caius Marius." At which they were all at first astonished, and presently began to feel pity, and remorse, and anger at themselves for making so unjust and ungrateful a decree against one who had preserved Italy, and whom it was bad enough not to assist. "Let him go," said they, "where he please to banishment, and find his fate somewhere else; we only entreat pardon of the gods for thrusting Marius distressed and deserted out of our city."
Impelled by thoughts of this kind, they went in a body into the room, and taking him amongst them, conducted him towards the sea-side; on his way to which, though everyone was very officious to him, and all made what haste they could, yet a considerable time was likely to be lost. For the grove of Marica, (as she is called,) which the people hold sacred, and make it a point of religion not to let anything that is once carried into it be taken out, lay just in their road to the sea, and if they should go round about, they must needs come very late thither. At length one of the old men cried out and said, there was no place so sacred, but they might pass through it for Marius's preservation; and thereupon, first of all, he himself, taking up some of the baggage that was carried for his accommodation to the ship, passed through the grove, all the rest immediately, with the same readiness, accompanying him. And one Belaeus, (who afterwards had a picture of these things drawn, and put it in a temple at the place of embarkation,) having by this time provided him a ship, Marius went on board, and, hoisting sail, was by fortune thrown upon the island Aenaria, where meeting with Granius, and his other friends, he sailed with them for Africa. But their water failing them in the way, they were forced to put in near Eryx, in Sicily, where was a Roman quaestor on the watch, who all but captured Marius himself on his landing, and did kill sixteen of his retinue that went to fetch water. Marius, with all expedition loosing thence, crossed the sea to the isle of Meninx, where he first heard the news of his son's escape with Cethegus, and of his going to implore the assistance of Hiempsal, king of Numidia.
With this news, being somewhat comforted, he ventured to pass from that isle towards Carthage. Sextilius, a Roman, was then governor in Africa; one that had never received either any injury or any kindness from Marius; but who from compassion, it was hoped, might lend him some help. But he was scarce got ashore with a small retinue, when an officer met him, and said, "Sextilius, the governor, forbids you, Marius, to set foot in Africa; if you do, he says, he will put the decree of the senate in execution, and treat you as an enemy to the Romans." When Marius heard this, he wanted words to express his grief and resentment, and for a good while held his peace, looking sternly upon the messenger, who asked him what he should say, or what answer he should return to the governor? Marius answered him with a deep sigh: "Go tell him that you have seen Caius Marius sitting in exile among the ruins of Carthage;" appositely applying the example of the fortune of that city to the change of his own condition.
In the interim, Hiempsal, king of Numidia, dubious of what he should determine to do, treated young Marius and those that were with him very honorably; but when they had a mind to depart, he still had some presence or other to detain them, and it was manifest he made these delays upon no good design. However, there happened an accident that made well for their preservation. The hard fortune which attended young Marius, who was of a comely aspect, touched one of the king's concubines, and this pity of hers, was the beginning and occasion of love for him. At first he declined the woman's solicitations, but when he perceived that there was no other way of escaping, and that her offers were more serious than for the gratification of intemperate passion, he accepted her kindness, and she finding means to convey them away, he escaped with his friends and fled to his father. As soon as they had saluted each other, and were going by the sea-side, they saw some scorpions fighting, which Marius took for an ill omen, whereupon they immediately went on board a little fisher-boat, and made toward Cercina, an island not far distant from the continent. They had scarce put off from shore when they espied some horse, sent after them by the king, with all speed making toward that very place from which they were just retired. And Marius thus escaped a danger, it might be said, as great as any he ever incurred.
At Rome news came that Sylla was engaged with Mithridates's generals in Boeotia; the consuls, from factious opposition, were fallen to downright fighting, wherein Octavius prevailing, drove Cinna out of the city for attempting despotic government, and made Cornelius Merula consul in his stead; while Cinna, raising forces in other parts of Italy, carried the war against them. As soon as Marius heard of this, he resolved, with all expedition, to put to sea again, and taking with him from Africa some Mauritanian horse, and a few of the refugees out of Italy, all together not above one thousand, he, with this handful, began his voyage. Arriving at Telamon, in Etruria, and coming ashore, he proclaimed freedom for the slaves; and many of the countrymen, also, and shepherds thereabouts, who were already freemen, at the hearing his name flocked to him to the sea-side. He persuaded the youngest and strongest to join him, and in a small time got together a competent force with which he filled forty ships. Knowing Octavius to be a good man and willing to execute his office with the greatest justice imaginable, and Cinna to be suspected by Sylla, and in actual warfare against the established government, he determined to join himself and his forces with the latter. He, therefore, sent a message to him, to let him know that he was ready to obey him as consul.
When Cinna had joyfully received his offer, naming him proconsul, and sending him the fasces and other ensigns of authority, he said, that grandeur did not become his present fortune; but wearing an ordinary habit, and still letting his hair grow as it had done, from that very day he first went into banishment, and being now above threescore and ten years old, he came slowly on foot, designing to move people's compassion; which did not prevent, however, his natural fierceness of expression from still predominating, and his humiliation still let it appear that he was not so much dejected as exasperated, by the change of his condition. Having saluted Cinna and the soldiers, he immediately prepared for action, and soon made a considerable alteration in the posture of affairs. He first cut off the provision ships, and plundering all the merchants, made himself master of the supplies of corn; then bringing his navy to the seaport towns, he took them, and at last, becoming master of Ostia by treachery, he pillaged that town, and slew a multitude of the inhabitants, and, blocking up the river, took from the enemy all hopes of supply by the sea; then marched with his army toward the city, and posted himself upon the hill called Janiculum.
The public interest did not receive so great damage from Octavius's unskillfulness in his management of affairs, as from his omitting needful measures, through too strict observance of the law. As when several advised him to make the slaves free, he said that he would not give slaves the privilege of the country from which he then, in defense of the laws, was driving away Marius. When Metellus, son to that Metellus who was general in the war in Africa, and afterwards banished through Marius's means, came to Rome, being thought a much better commander than Octavius, the soldiers, deserting the consul, came to him and desired him to take the command of them and preserve the city; that they, when they had got an experienced valiant commander, should fight courageously, and come off conquerors. But when Metellus, offended at it, commanded them angrily to return to the consul, they revolted to the enemy. Metellus, too, seeing the city in a desperate condition, left it; but a company of Chaldaeans, sacrificers, and interpreters of the Sibyl's books, persuaded Octavius that things would turn out happily, and kept him at Rome. He was, indeed, of all the Romans the most upright and just, and maintained the honor of the consulate, without cringing or compliance, as strictly in accordance with ancient laws and usages, as though they had been immutable mathematical truths; and yet fell, I know not how, into some weaknesses, giving more observance to fortune-tellers and diviners, than to men skilled in civil and military affairs. He therefore, before Marius entered the city, was pulled down from the rostra, and murdered by those that were sent before by Marius; and it is reported there was a Chaldaean writing found in his gown, when he was slain. And it seemed a thing very unaccountable, that of two famous generals, Marius should be often successful by the observing divinations, and Octavius ruined by the same means.
When affairs were in this posture, the senate assembled, and sent a deputation to Cinna and Marius, desiring them to come into the city peaceably and spare the citizens. Cinna, as consul, received the embassy, sitting in the curule chair, and returned a kind answer to the messengers; Marius stood by him and said nothing, but gave sufficient testimony by the gloominess of his countenance, and the sternness of his looks, that he would in a short time fill the city with blood. As soon as the council arose, they went toward the city, where Cinna entered with his guards, but Marius stayed at the gates, and, dissembling his rage, professed that he was then an exile and banished his country by course of law; that if his presence were necessary, they must, by a new decree, repeal the former act by which he was banished; as though he were, indeed, a religious observer of the laws, and as if he were returning to a city free from fear or oppression. Hereupon the people were assembled, but before three or four tribes had given their votes, throwing up his pretenses and his legal scruples about his banishment, he came into the city with a select guard of the slaves who had joined him, whom he called Bardyaei. These proceeded to murder a number of citizens, as he gave command, partly by word of mouth, partly by the signal of his nod. At length Ancharius, a senator, and one that had been praetor, coming to Marius, and not being resaluted by him, they with their drawn swords slew him before Marius's face; and henceforth this was their token, immediately to kill all those who met Marius and saluting him were taken no notice of, nor answered with the like courtesy; so that his very friends were not without dreadful apprehensions and horror, whensoever they came to speak with him.
When they had now butchered a great number, Cinna grew more remiss and cloyed with murders; but Marius's rage continued still fresh and unsatisfied, and he daily sought for all that were any way suspected by him. Now was every road and every town filled with those that pursued and hunted them that fled and hid themselves; and it was remarkable that there was no more confidence to be placed, as things stood, either in hospitality or friendship; for there were found but a very few that did not betray those that fled to them for shelter. And thus the servants of Cornutus deserve the greater praise and admiration, who, having concealed their master in the house, took the body of one of the slain, cut off the head, put a gold ring on the finger, and showed it to Marius's guards, and buried it with the same solemnity as if it had been their own master. This trick was perceived by nobody, and so Cornutus escaped, and was conveyed by his domestics into Gaul.
Marcus Antonius, the orator, though he, too, found a true friend, had ill-fortune. The man was but poor and a plebeian, and as he was entertaining a man of the greatest rank in Rome, trying to provide for him with the best he could, he sent his servant to get some wine of neighboring vintner. The servant carefully tasting it and bidding him draw better, the fellow asked him what was the matter, that he did not buy new and ordinary wine as he used to do, but richer and of a greater price; he, without any design, told him as his old friend and acquaintance, that his master entertained Marcus Antonius, who was concealed with him. The villainous vintner, as soon as the servant was gone, went himself to Marius, then at supper, and being brought into his presence, told him, he would deliver Antonius into his hands. As soon as he heard it, it is said he gave a great shout, and clapped his hands for joy, and had very nearly risen up and gone to the place himself; but being detained by his friends, he sent Annius, and some soldiers with him, and commanded him to bring Antonius's head to him with all speed. When they came to the house, Annius stayed at the door, and the soldiers went up stairs into the chamber; where, seeing Antonius, they endeavored to shuffle off the murder from one to another; for so great it seems were the graces and charms of his oratory, that as soon as he began to speak and beg his life, none of them durst touch or so much as look upon him; but hanging down their heads, every one fell a weeping. When their stay seemed something tedious, Annius came up himself and found Antonius discoursing, and the soldiers astonished and quite softened by it, and calling them cowards, went himself and cut off his head.
Catulus Lutatius, who was colleague with Marius, and his partner in the triumph over the Cimbri, when Marius replied to those that interceded for him and begged his life, merely with the words, "he must die," shut himself up in a room, and making a great fire, smothered himself. When maimed and headless carcasses were now frequently thrown about and trampled upon in the streets, people were not so much moved with compassion at the sight, as struck into a kind of horror and consternation. The outrages of those that were called Bardyaei, was the greatest grievance. These murdered the masters of families in their own houses, abused their children, and ravished their wives, and were uncontrollable in their rapine and murders, till those of Cinna's and Sertorius's party, taking counsel together, fell upon them in the camp and killed them every man.
In the interim, as if a change of wind was coming on, there came news from all parts that Sylla, having put an end to the war with Mithridates, and taken possession of the provinces, was returning into Italy with a great army. This gave some small respite and intermission to these unspeakable calamities. Marius and his friends believing war to be close at hand, Marius was chosen consul the seventh time, and appearing on the very calends of January, the beginning of the year, threw one Sextus Lucinus, from the Tarpeian precipice; an omen, as it seemed, portending the renewed misfortunes both of their party and of the city. Marius, himself now worn out with labor and sinking under the burden of anxieties, could not sustain his spirits, which shook within him with the apprehension of a new war and fresh encounters and dangers, the formidable character of which he knew by his own experience. He was not now to hazard the war with Octavius or Merula, commanding an inexperienced multitude or seditious rabble; but Sylla himself was approaching, the same who had formerly banished him, and since that, had driven Mithridates as far as the Euxine Sea.
Perplexed with such thoughts as these, and calling to mind his banishment, and the tedious wanderings and dangers he underwent, both by sea and land, he fell into despondency, nocturnal frights, and unquiet sleep, still fancying that he heard some one telling him, that
— the lion's lair Is dangerous, though the lion be not there.
Above all things fearing to lie awake, he gave himself up to drinking deep and besotting himself at night in a way most unsuitable to his age; by all means provoking sleep, as a diversion to his thoughts. At length, on the arrival of a messenger from the sea, he was seized with new alarms, and so what with his fear for the future, and what with the burden and satiety of the present, on some slight predisposing cause, he fell into a pleurisy, as Posidonius the philosopher relates, who says he visited and conversed with him when he was sick, about some business relating to his embassy. Caius Piso, an historian, tells us, that Marius, walking after supper with his friends, fell into a conversation with them about his past life, and after reckoning up the several changes of his condition, that from the beginning had happened to him, said, that it did not become a prudent man to trust himself any longer with fortune; and, thereupon, taking leave of those that were with him, he kept his bed seven days, and then died.
Some say his ambition betrayed itself openly in his sickness. and that he ran into an extravagant frenzy, fancying himself to be general in the war against Mithridates, throwing himself into such postures and motions of his body as he had formerly used when he was in battle, with frequent shouts and loud cries. With so strong and invincible a desire of being employed in that business had he been possessed through his pride and emulation. Though he had now lived seventy years, and was the first man that ever was chosen seven times consul, and had an establishment and riches sufficient for many kings, he yet complained of his ill fortune, that he must now die before he had attained what he desired. Plato, when he saw his death approaching, thanked the guiding providence and fortune of his life, first, that he was born a man and a Grecian, not a barbarian or a brute, and next, that he happened to live in Socrates's age. And so, indeed, they say Antipater of Tarsus, in like manner, at his death, calling to mind the happiness that he had enjoyed, did not so much as omit his prosperous voyage to Athens; thus recognizing every favor of his indulgent fortune with the greatest acknowledgments, and carefully saving all to the last in that safest of human treasure chambers, the memory. Unmindful and thoughtless persons, on the contrary, let all that occurs to them slip away from them as time passes on. Retaining and preserving nothing, they lose the enjoyment of their present prosperity by fancying something better to come; whereas by fortune we may be prevented of this, but that cannot be taken from us. Yet they reject their present success, as though it did not concern them, and do nothing but dream of future uncertainties; not indeed unnaturally; as till men have by reason and education laid good foundation for external superstructures, in the seeking after and gathering them they can never satisfy the unlimited desires of their mind.
Thus died Marius on the seventeenth day of his seventh consulship, to the great joy and content of Rome, which thereby was in good hopes to be delivered from the calamity of a cruel tyranny; but in a small time they found, that they had only changed their old and worn-out master for another young and vigorous; so much cruelty and savageness did his son Marius show in murdering the noblest and most approved citizens. At first, being esteemed resolute and daring against his enemies, he was named the son of Mars, but afterwards, his actions betraying his contrary disposition, he was called the son of Venus. At last, besieged by Sylla in Praeneste, where he endeavored in many ways, but in vain, to save his life, when on the capture of the city there was no hope of escape, he killed himself with his own hand.
The treasure-chamber of the Acanthians at Delphi has this inscription: "The spoils which Brasidas and the Acanthians took from the Athenians." And, accordingly, many take the marble statue, which stands within the building by the gates, to be Brasidas's; but, indeed, it is Lysander's, representing him with his hair at full length, after the old fashion, and with an ample beard. Neither is it true, as some give out, that because the Argives, after their great defeat, shaved themselves for sorrow, that the Spartans contrariwise triumphing in their achievements, suffered their hair to grow; neither did the Spartans come to be ambitious of wearing long hair, because the Bacchiadae, who fled from Corinth to Lacedaemon, looked mean and unsightly, having their heads all close cut. But this, also, is indeed one of the ordinances of Lycurgus, who, as it is reported, was used to say, that long hair made good-looking men more beautiful, and ill-looking men more terrible.
Lysander's father is said to have been Aristoclitus, who was not indeed of the royal family, but yet of the stock of the Heraclidae. He was brought up in poverty, and showed himself obedient and conformable, as ever anyone did, to the customs of his country; of a manly spirit, also, and superior to all pleasures, excepting only that which their good actions bring to those who are honored and successful; and it is accounted no base thing in Sparta for their young men to be overcome with this kind of pleasure. For they are desirous, from the very first, to have their youth susceptible to good and bad repute, to feel pain at disgrace, and exultation at being commended; and anyone who is insensible and unaffected in these respects is thought poor spirited and of no capacity for virtue. Ambition and the passion for distinction were thus implanted in his character by his Laconian education, nor, if they continued there, must we blame his natural disposition much for this. But he was submissive to great men, beyond what seems agreeable to the Spartan temper, and could easily bear the haughtiness of those who were in power, when it was any way for his advantage, which some are of opinion is no small part of political discretion. Aristotle, who says all great characters are more or less atrabilious, as Socrates and Plato and Hercules were, writes, that Lysander, not indeed early in life, but when he was old, became thus affected. What is singular in his character is that he endured poverty very well, and that he was not at all enslaved or corrupted by wealth, and yet he filled his country with riches and the love of them, and took away from them the glory of not admiring money; importing amongst them an abundance of gold and silver after the Athenian war, though keeping not one drachma for himself. When Dionysius, the tyrant, sent his daughters some costly gowns of Sicilian manufacture, he would not receive them, saying he was afraid they would make them look more unhandsome. But a while after, being sent ambassador from the same city to the same tyrant, when he had sent him a couple of robes, and bade him choose which of them he would, and carry to his daughter: "She," said he, "will be able to choose best for herself," and taking both of them, went his way.
The Peloponnesian war having now been carried on a long time, and it being expected, after the disaster of the Athenians in Sicily, that they would at once lose the mastery of the sea, and erelong be routed everywhere, Alcibiades, returning from banishment, and taking the command, produced a great change, and made the Athenians again a match for their opponents by sea; and the Lacedaemonians, in great alarm at this, and calling up fresh courage and zeal for the conflict, feeling the want of an able commander and of a powerful armament, sent out Lysander to be admiral of the seas. Being at Ephesus, and finding the city well affected towards him, and favorable to the Lacedaemonian party, but in ill condition, and in danger to become barbarized by adopting the manners of the Persians, who were much mingled among them, the country of Lydia bordering upon them, and the king's generals being quartered there a long time, he pitched his camp there, and commanded the merchant ships all about to put in thither, and proceeded to build ships of war there; and thus restored their ports by the traffic he created, and their market by the employment he gave, and filled their private houses and their workshops with wealth, so that from that time, the city began, first of all, by Lysander's means, to have some hopes of growing to that stateliness and grandeur which now it is at.
Understanding that Cyrus, the king's son, was come to Sardis, he went up to talk with him, and to accuse Tisaphernes, who, receiving a command to help the Lacedaemonians, and to drive the Athenians from the sea, was thought, on account of Alcibiades, to have become remiss and unwilling, and by paying the seamen slenderly to be ruining the fleet. Now Cyrus was willing that Tisaphernes might be found in blame, and be ill reported of, as being, indeed, a dishonest man, and privately at feud with himself. By these means, and by their daily intercourse together, Lysander, especially by the submissiveness of his conversation, won the affections of the young prince, and greatly roused him to carry on the war; and when he would depart, Cyrus gave him a banquet, and desired him not to refuse his good-will, but to speak and ask whatever he had a mind to, and that he should not be refused anything whatsoever: "Since you are so very kind," replied Lysander, "I earnestly request you to add one penny to the seamen's pay, that instead of three pence, they may now receive four pence." Cyrus, delighted with his public spirit, gave him ten thousand darics, out of which he added the penny to the seamen's pay, and by the renown of this in a short time emptied the ships of the enemies, as many would come over to that side which gave the most pay, and those who remained, being disheartened and mutinous, daily created trouble to the captains. Yet for all Lysander had so distracted and weakened his enemies, he was afraid to engage by sea, Alcibiades being an energetic commander, and having the superior number of ships, and having been hitherto, in all battles, unconquered both by sea and land.
But afterwards, when Alcibiades sailed from Samos to Phocaea, leaving Antiochus, the pilot, in command of all his forces, this Antiochus, to insult Lysander, sailed with two galleys into the port of the Ephesians, and with mocking and laughter proudly rowed along before the place where the ships lay drawn up. Lysander, in indignation, launched at first a few ships only and pursued him, but as soon as he saw the Athenians come to his help, he added some other ships, and, at last, they fell to a set battle together; and Lysander won the victory, and taking fifteen of their ships, erected a trophy. For this, the people in the city being angry, put Alcibiades out of command, and finding himself despised by the soldiers in Samos, and ill spoken of, he sailed from the army into the Chersonese. And this battle, although not important in itself, was made remarkable by its consequences to Alcibiades.
Lysander, meanwhile, inviting to Ephesus such persons in the various cities as he saw to be bolder and haughtier-spirited than the rest, proceeded to lay the foundations of that government by bodies of ten, and those revolutions which afterwards came to pass, stirring up and urging them to unite in clubs, and apply themselves to public affairs, since as soon as ever the Athenians should be put down, the popular governments, he said, should be suppressed, and they should become supreme in their several countries. And he made them believe these things by present deeds, promoting those who were his friends already to great employments, honors, and offices, and, to gratify their covetousness, making himself a partner in injustice and wickedness. So much so, that all flocked to him, and courted and desired him, hoping, if he remained in power, that the highest wishes they could form would all be gratified. And therefore, from the very beginning, they could not look pleasantly upon Callicratidas, when he came to succeed Lysander as admiral; nor, afterwards, when he had given them experience that he was a most noble and just person, were they pleased with the manner of his government, and its straightforward, Dorian, honest character. They did, indeed, admire his virtue, as they might the beauty of some hero's image; but their wishes were for Lysander's zealous and profitable support of the interests of his friends and partisans, and they shed tears, and were much disheartened when he sailed from them. He himself made them yet more disaffected to Callicratidas; for what remained of the money which had been given him to pay the navy, he sent back again to Sardis, bidding them, if they would, apply to Callicratidas himself, and see how he was able to maintain the soldiers. And, at the last, sailing away, he declared to him that he delivered up the fleet in possession and command of the sea. But Callicratidas, to expose the emptiness of these high pretensions, said, "In that case, leave Samos on the left hand, and, sailing to Miletus, there deliver up the ships to me; for if we are masters of the sea, we need not fear sailing by our enemies in Samos." To which Lysander answering, that not himself, but he, commanded the ships, sailed to Peloponnesus, leaving Callicratidas in great perplexity. For neither had he brought any money from home with him, nor could he endure to tax the towns or force them, being in hardship enough. Therefore, the only course that was to be taken was to go and beg at the doors of the king's commanders, as Lysander had done; for which he was most unfit of any man, being of a generous and great spirit, and one who thought it more becoming for the Greeks to suffer any damage from one another, than to flatter and wait at the gates of barbarians, who, indeed, had gold enough, but nothing else that was commendable. But being compelled by necessity, he proceeded to Lydia, and went at once to Cyrus's house, and sent in word, that Callicratidas, the admiral, was there to speak with him; one of those who kept the gates replied, "Cyrus, O stranger, is not now at leisure, for he is drinking." To which Callicratidas answered, most innocently, "Very well, I will wait till he has done his draught." This time, therefore, they took him for some clownish fellow, and he withdrew, merely laughed at by the barbarians; but when, afterwards, he came a second time to the gate, and was not admitted, he took it hardly and set off for Ephesus, wishing a great many evils to those who first let themselves be insulted over by these barbarians, and taught them to be insolent because of their riches; and added vows to those who were present, that as soon as ever he came back to Sparta, he would do all he could to reconcile the Greeks, that they might be formidable to barbarians, and that they should cease henceforth to need their aid against one another. But Callicratidas, who entertained purposes worthy a Lacedaemonian, and showed himself worthy to compete with the very best of Greece, for his justice, his greatness of mind and courage, not long after, having been beaten in a sea-fight at Arginusae, died.
And now affairs going backwards, the associates in the war sent an embassy to Sparta, requiring Lysander to be their admiral, professing themselves ready to undertake the business much more zealously, if he was commander; and Cyrus, also, sent to request the same thing. But because they had a law which would not suffer any one to be admiral twice, and wished, nevertheless, to gratify their allies, they gave the title of admiral to one Aracus, and sent Lysander nominally as vice-admiral, but, indeed, with full powers. So he came out, long wished for by the greatest part of the chief persons and leaders in the towns, who hoped to grow to greater power still by his means, when the popular governments should be everywhere destroyed.
But to those who loved honest and noble behavior in their commanders, Lysander, compared with Callicratidas, seemed cunning and subtle, managing most things in the war by deceit, extolling what was just when it was profitable, and when it was not, using that which was convenient, instead of that which was good; and not judging truth to be in nature better than falsehood, but setting a value upon both according to interest. He would laugh at those who thought that Hercules's posterity ought not to use deceit in war: "For where the lion's skin will not reach, you must patch it out with the fox's." Such is the conduct recorded of him in the business about Miletus; for when his friends and connections, whom he had promised to assist in suppressing popular government and expelling their political opponents, had altered their minds, and were reconciled to their enemies, he pretended openly as if he was pleased with it, and was desirous to further the reconciliation, but privately he railed at and abused them, and provoked them to set upon the multitude. And as soon as ever he perceived a new attempt to be commencing, he at once came up and entered into the city, and the first of the conspirators he lit upon, he pretended to rebuke, and spoke roughly, as if he would punish them; but the others, meantime, he bade be courageous, and to fear nothing now he was with them. And all this acting and dissembling was with the object that the most considerable men of the popular party might not fly away, but might stay in the city and be killed; which so fell out, for all who believed him were put to death.
There is a saying, also, recorded by Androclides, which makes him guilty of great indifference to the obligations of an oath. His recommendation, according to this account, was to "cheat boys with dice, and men with oaths," an imitation of Polycrates of Samos, not very honorable to a lawful commander, to take example, namely, from a tyrant; nor in character with Laconian usages, to treat gods as ill as enemies, or, indeed, even more injuriously; since he who overreaches by an oath admits that he fears his enemy, while he despises his God.
Cyrus now sent for Lysander to Sardis, and gave him some money, and promised him some more, youthfully protesting in favor to him, that if his father gave him nothing, he would supply him of his own; and if he himself should be destitute of all, he would cut up, he said, to make money, the very throne upon which he sat to do justice, it being made of gold and silver; and, at last, on going up into Media to his father, he ordered that he should receive the tribute of the towns, and committed his government to him, and so taking his leave, and desiring him not to fight by sea before he returned, for he would come back with a great many ships out of Phoenicia and Cilicia, departed to visit the king.
Lysander's ships were too few for him to venture to fight, and yet too many to allow of his remaining idle; he set out, therefore, and reduced some of the islands, and wasted Aegina and Salamis; and from thence landing in Attica, and saluting Agis, who came from Decelea to meet him, he made a display to the land-forces of the strength of the fleet, as though he could sail where he pleased, and were absolute master by sea. But hearing the Athenians pursued him, he fled another way through the islands into Asia. And finding the Hellespont without any defense, he attacked Lampsacus with his ships by sea; while Thorax, acting in concert with him with the land army, made an assault on the walls; and so, having taken the city by storm, he gave it up to his soldiers to plunder. The fleet of the Athenians, a hundred and eighty ships, had just arrived at Elaeus in the Chersonese; and hearing the news, that Lampsacus was destroyed, they presently sailed to Sestos; where, taking in victuals, they advanced to Aegos Potami, over against their enemies, who were still stationed about Lampsacus. Amongst other Athenian captains who were now in command was Philocles, he who persuaded the people to pass a decree to cut off the right thumb of the captives in the war, that they should not be able to hold the spear, though they might the oar.
Then they all rested themselves, hoping they should have battle the next morning. But Lysander had other things in his head; he commanded the mariners and pilots to go on board at dawn, as if there should be a battle as soon as it was day, and to sit there in order, and without any noise, expecting what should be commanded, and in like manner that the land army should remain quietly in their ranks by the sea. But the sun rising, and the Athenians sailing up with their whole fleet in line, and challenging them to battle, he, though he had had his ships all drawn up and manned before daybreak, nevertheless did not stir. He merely sent some small boats to those who lay foremost, and bade them keep still and stay in their order; not to be disturbed, and none of them to sail out and offer battle. So about evening, the Athenians sailing back, he would not let the seamen go out of the ships before two or three, which he had sent to espy, were returned, after seeing the enemies disembark. And thus they did the next day, and the third, and so to the fourth. So that the Athenians grew extremely confident, and disdained their enemies, as if they had been afraid and daunted. At this time, Alcibiades, who was in his castle in the Chersonese, came on horseback to the Athenian army, and found fault with their captains, first of all that they had pitched their camp neither well nor safely, on an exposed and open beach, a very bad landing for the ships, and, secondly, that where they were, they had to fetch all they wanted from Sestos, some considerable way off; whereas if they sailed round a little way to the town and harbor of Sestos, they would be at a safer distance from an enemy, who lay watching their movements, at the command of a single general, terror of whom made every order rapidly executed. This advice, however, they would not listen to; and Tydeus angered disdainfully, that not he, but others, were in office now. So Alcibiades, who even suspected there must be treachery, departed.
But on the fifth day, the Athenians having sailed towards them, and gone back again as they were used to do, very proudly and full of contempt, Lysander sending some ships, as usual, to look out, commanded the masters of them that when they saw the Athenians go to land, they should row back again with all their speed, and that when they were about half-way across, they should lift up a brazen shield from the foredeck, as the sign of battle. And he himself sailing round, encouraged the pilots and masters of the ships, and exhorted them to keep all their men to their places, seamen and soldiers alike, and as soon as ever the sign should be given, to row up boldly to their enemies. Accordingly when the shield had been lifted up from the ships, and the trumpet from the admiral's vessel had sounded for battle, the ships rowed up, and the foot soldiers strove to get along by the shore to the promontory. The distance there between the two continents is fifteen furlongs, which, by the zeal and eagerness of the rowers, was quickly traversed. Conon, one of the Athenian commanders, was the first who saw from the land the fleet advancing, and shouted out to embark, and in the greatest distress bade some and entreated others, and some he forced to man the ships. But all his diligence signified nothing, because the men were scattered about; for as soon as they came out of the ships, expecting no such matter, some went to market, others walked about the country, or went to sleep in their tents, or got their dinners ready, being, through their commanders' want of skill, as far as possible from any thought of what was to happen; and the enemy now coming up with shouts and noise, Conon, with eight ships, sailed out, and making his escape, passed from thence to Cyprus, to Evagores. The Peloponnesians falling upon the rest, some they took quite empty, and some they destroyed while they were filling; the men, meantime, coming unarmed and scattered to help, died at their ships, or, flying by land, were slain, their enemies disembarking and pursuing them. Lysander took three thousand prisoners, with the generals, and the whole fleet, excepting the sacred ship Paralus, and those which fled with Conon. So taking their ships in tow, and having plundered their tents, with pipe and songs of victory, he sailed back to Lampsacus, having accomplished a great work with small pains, and having finished in one hour, a war which had been protracted in its continuance, and diversified in its incidents and its fortunes to a degree exceeding belief, compared with all before it. After altering its shape and character a thousand times, and after having been the destruction of more commanders than all the previous wars of Greece put together, it was now put an end to by the good counsel and ready conduct of one man.
Some, therefore, looked upon the result as a divine intervention, and there were certain who affirmed that the stars of Castor and Pollux were seen on each side of Lysander's ship, when he first set sail from the haven toward his enemies, shining about the helm; and some say the stone which fell down was a sign of this slaughter. For a stone of a great size did fall, according to the common belief, from heaven, at Aegos Potami, which is shown to this day, and had in great esteem by the Chersonites. And it is said that Anaxagoras foretold, that the occurrence of a slip or shake among the bodies fixed in the heavens, dislodging any one of them, would be followed by the fall of the whole of them. For no one of the stars is now in the same place in which it was at first; for they, being, according to him, like stones and heavy, shine by the refraction of the upper air round about them, and are carried along forcibly by the violence of the circular motion by which they were originally withheld from falling, when cold and heavy bodies were first separated from the general universe. But there is a more probable opinion than this maintained by some, who say that falling stars are no effluxes, nor discharges of ethereal fire, extinguished almost at the instant of its igniting by the lower air; neither are they the sudden combustion and blazing up of a quantity of the lower air let loose in great abundance into the upper region; but the heavenly bodies, by a relaxation of the force of their circular movement, are carried by an irregular course, not in general into the inhabited part of the earth, but for the most part into the wide sea; which is the cause of their not being observed. Daimachus, in his treatise on Religion. supports the view of Anaxagoras. He says, that before this stone fell, for seventy-five days continually, there was seen in the heavens a vast fiery body, as if it had been a flaming cloud, not resting, but carried about with several intricate and broken movements, so that the flaming pieces, which were broken off by this commotion and running about, were carried in all directions, shining as falling stars do. But when it afterwards came down to the ground in this district, and the people of the place recovering from their fear and astonishment came together, there was no fire to be seen, neither any sign of it; there was only a stone lying, big indeed, but which bore no proportion, to speak of, to that fiery compass. It is manifest that Daimachus needs to have indulgent hearers; but if what he says be true, he altogether proves those to be wrong who say that a rock broken off from the top of some mountain, by winds and tempests, and caught and whirled about like a top, as soon as this impetus began to slacken and cease, was precipitated and fell to the ground. Unless, indeed, we choose to say that the phenomenon which was observed for so many days was really fire, and that the change in the atmosphere ensuing on its extinction was attended with violent winds and agitations, which might be the cause of this stone being carried off. The exacter treatment of this subject belongs, however, to a different kind of writing.
Lysander, after the three thousand Athenians whom he had taken prisoners were condemned by the commissioners to die, called Philocles the general, and asked him what punishment he considered himself to deserve, for having advised the citizens as he had done, against the Greeks; but he, being nothing cast down at his calamity, bade him not accuse him of matters of which nobody was a judge, but to do to him, now he was a conqueror, as he would have suffered, had he been overcome. Then washing himself, and putting on a fine cloak, he led the citizens the way to the slaughter, as Theophrastus writes in his history. After this Lysander, sailing about to the various cities, bade all the Athenians he met go into Athens, declaring that he would spare none, but kill every man whom he found out of the city, intending thus to cause immediate famine and scarcity there, that they might not make the siege laborious to him, having provisions sufficient to endure it. And suppressing the popular governments and all other constitutions, he left one Lacedaemonian chief officer in every city, with ten rulers to act with him, selected out of the societies which he had previously formed in the different towns. And doing thus as well in the cities of his enemies, as of his associates, he sailed leisurely on, establishing, in a manner, for himself supremacy over the whole of Greece. Neither did he make choice of rulers by birth or by wealth, but bestowed the offices on his own friends and partisans, doing everything to please them, and putting absolute power of reward and punishment into their hands. And thus, personally appearing on many occasions of bloodshed and massacre, and aiding his friends to expel their opponents, he did not give the Greeks a favorable specimen of the Lacedaemonian government; and the expression of Theopompus, the comic poet, seemed but poor, when he compared the Lacedaemonians to tavern women, because when the Greeks had first tasted the sweet wine of liberty, they then poured vinegar into the cup; for from the very first it had a rough and bitter taste, all government by the people being suppressed by Lysander, and the boldest and least scrupulous of the oligarchical party selected to rule the cities.
Having spent some little time about these things, and sent some before to Lacedaemon to tell them he was arriving with two hundred ships, he united his forces in Attica with those of the two kings Agis and Pausanias, hoping to take the city without delay. But when the Athenians defended themselves, he with his fleet passed again to Asia, and in like manner destroyed the forms of government in all the other cities, and placed them under the rule of ten chief persons, many in every one being killed, and many driven into exile; and in Samos, he expelled the whole people, and gave their cities to the exiles whom he brought back. And the Athenians still possessing Sestos, he took it from them, and suffered not the Sestians themselves to dwell in it, but gave the city and country to be divided out among the pilots and masters of the ships under him; which was his first act that was disallowed by the Lacedaemonians, who brought the Sestians back again into their country. All Greece, however, rejoiced to see the Aeginetans, by Lysander's aid, now again, after a long time, receiving back their cities, and the Melians and Scionaeans restored, while the Athenians were driven out, and delivered up the cities.
But when he now understood they were in a bad case in the city because of the famine, he sailed to Piraeus, and reduced the city, which was compelled to surrender on what conditions he demanded. One hears it said by Lacedaemonians that Lysander wrote to the Ephors thus: "Athens is taken;" and that these magistrates wrote back to Lysander, "Taken is enough." But this saying was invented for its neatness' sake; for the true decree of the magistrates was on this manner: "The government of the Lacedaemonians has made these orders; pull down the Piraeus and the long walls; quit all the towns, and keep to your own land; if you do these things, you shall have peace, if you wish it, restoring also your exiles. As concerning the number of the ships, whatsoever there be judged necessary to appoint, that do." This scroll of conditions the Athenians accepted, Theramenes, son of Hagnon, supporting it. At which time, too, they say that when Cleomenes, one of the young orators, asked him how he durst act and speak contrary to Themistocles, delivering up the walls to the Lacedaemonians, which he had built against the will of the Lacedaemonians, he said, "O young man, I do nothing contrary to Themistocles; for he raised these walls for the safety of the citizens, and we pull them down for their safety; and if walls make a city happy, then Sparta must be the most wretched of all, as it has none."
Lysander, as soon as he had taken all the ships except twelve, and the walls of the Athenians, on the sixteenth day of the month Munychion, the same on which they had overcome the barbarians at Salamis, then proceeded to take measures for altering the government. But the Athenians taking that very unwillingly, and resisting, he sent to the people and informed them, that he found that the city had broken the terms, for the walls were standing when the days were past within which they should have been pulled down. He should, therefore, consider their case anew, they having broken their first articles. And some state, in fact, the proposal was made in the congress of the allies, that the Athenians should all be sold as slaves; on which occasion, Erianthus, the Theban, gave his vote to pull down the city, and turn the country into sheep-pasture; yet afterwards, when there was a meeting of the captains together, a man of Phocis, singing the first chorus in Euripides's Electra, which begins,
Electra, Agamemnon's child, I come Unto thy desert home,
they were all melted with compassion, and it seemed to be a cruel deed to destroy and pull down a city which had been so famous, and produced such men.
Accordingly Lysander, the Athenians yielding up everything, sent for a number of flute-women out of the city, and collected together all that were in the camp, and pulled down the walls, and burnt the ships to the sound of the flute, the allies being crowned with garlands, and making merry together, as counting that day the beginning of their liberty. He proceeded also at once to alter the government, placing thirty rulers in the city, and ten in the Piraeus: he put, also, a garrison into the Acropolis, and made Callibius, a Spartan, the governor of it; who afterwards taking up his staff to strike Autolycus, the athlete, about whom Xenophon wrote his "Banquet," on his tripping up his heels and throwing him to the ground, Lysander was not vexed at it, but chid Callibius, telling him he did not know how to govern freemen. The thirty rulers, however, to gain Callibius's favor, a little after killed Autolycus.
Lysander, after this, sails out to Thrace, and what remained of the public money, and the gifts and crowns which he had himself received, numbers of people, as might be expected, being anxious to make presents to a man of such great power, who was, in a manner, the lord of Greece, he sends to Lacedaemon by Gylippus, who had commanded formerly in Sicily. But he, it is reported, unsewed the sacks at the bottom, took a considerable amount of silver out of every one of them, and sewed them up again, not knowing there was a writing in every one stating how much there was. And coming into Sparta, what he had thus stolen away he hid under the tiles of his house, and delivered up the sacks to the magistrates, and showed the seals were upon them. But afterwards, on their opening the sacks and counting it, the quantity of the silver differed from what the writing expressed; and the matter causing some perplexity to the magistrates, Gylippus's servant tells them in a riddle, that under the tiles lay many owls; for, as it seems, the greatest part of the money then current, bore the Athenian stamp of the owl. Gylippus having committed so foul and base a deed, after such great and distinguished exploits before, removed himself from Lacedaemon.
But the wisest of the Spartans, very much on account of this occurrence, dreading the influence of money, as being what had corrupted the greatest citizens, exclaimed against Lysander's conduct, and declared to the Ephors, that all the silver and gold should be sent away, as mere "alien mischiefs." These consulted about it; and Theopompus says, it was Sciraphidas, but Ephorus, that it was Phlogidas, who declared they ought not to receive any gold or silver into the city; but to use their own country coin which was iron, and was first of all dipped in vinegar when it was red hot, that it might not be worked up anew, but because of the dipping might be hard and unpliable. It was also, of course, very heavy and troublesome to carry, and a great deal of it in quantity and weight was but a little in value. And perhaps all the old money was so, coin consisting of iron, or in some countries, copper skewers, whence it comes that we still find a great number of small pieces of money retain the name of obolus, and the drachma is six of these, because so much may be grasped in one's hand. But Lysander's friends being against it, and endeavoring to keep the money in the city, it was resolved to bring in this sort of money to be used publicly, enacting, at the same time, that if anyone was found in possession of any privately, he should be put to death, as if Lycurgus had feared the coin, and not the covetousness resulting from it, which they did not repress by letting no private man keep any, so much as they encouraged it, by allowing the state to possess it; attaching thereby a sort of dignity to it, over and above its ordinary utility. Neither was it possible, that what they saw was so much esteemed publicly, they should privately despise as unprofitable; and that everyone should think that thing could be nothing worth for his own personal use, which was so extremely valued and desired for the use of the state. And moral habits, induced by public practices, are far quicker in making their way into men's private lives, than the failings and faults of individuals are in infecting the city at large. For it is probable that the parts will be rather corrupted by the whole if that grows bad; while the vices which flow from a part into the whole, find many correctives and remedies from that which remains sound. Terror and the law were now to keep guard over the citizens' houses, to prevent any money entering into them; but their minds could no longer be expected to remain superior to the desire of it, when wealth in general was thus set up to be striven after, as a high and noble object. On this point, however, we have given our censure of the Lacedaemonians in one of our other writings.
Lysander erected out of the spoils brazen statues at Delphi of himself, and of every one of the masters of the ships, as also figures of the golden stars of Castor and Pollux, which vanished before the battle at Leuctra. In the treasury of Brasidas and the Acanthians, there was a trireme made of gold and ivory, of two cubits, which Cyrus sent Lysander in honor of his victory. But Alexandrides of Delphi writes in his history, that there was also a deposit of Lysander's, a talent of silver, and fifty-two minas, besides eleven staters; a statement not consistent with the generally received account of his poverty. And at that time, Lysander, being in fact of greater power than any Greek before, was yet thought to show a pride, and to affect a superiority greater even than his power warranted. He was the first, as Duris says in his history, among the Greeks, to whom the cities reared altars as to a god, and sacrificed; to him were songs of triumph first sung, the beginning of one of which still remains recorded: —