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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



11243
Xenophon, On Household Management, 4.19


nanI think you have one clear proof of a ruler’s excellence, when men obey him willingly Mem III. iii. 9. and choose to stand by him in moments of danger. Now his friends all fought at his side and fell at his side to a man, fighting round his body, with the one exception of Ariaeus, whose place in the battle was, in point of fact, on the left wing. Anabasis, I. ix. 31. Ariaeus fled when he saw that Cyrus had fallen.


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1. Herodotus, Histories, 1.59.6, 3.17-3.25, 5.74-5.78 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.59.6. These rose with Pisistratus and took the Acropolis; and Pisistratus ruled the Athenians, disturbing in no way the order of offices nor changing the laws, but governing the city according to its established constitution and arranging all things fairly and well. 3.17. After this Cambyses planned three expeditions, against the Carchedonians, against the Ammonians, and against the “long-lived” Ethiopians, who inhabit that part of Libya that is on the southern sea. ,He decided after consideration to send his fleet against the Carthaginians and a part of his land army against the Ammonians; to Ethiopia he would first send spies, to see what truth there was in the story of a Table of the Sun in that country, and to spy out all else besides, under the pretext of bringing gifts for the Ethiopian king. 3.18. Now the Table of the Sun is said to be something of this kind: there is a meadow outside the city, filled with the boiled flesh of all four-footed things; here during the night the men of authority among the townsmen are careful to set out the meat, and all day whoever wishes comes and feasts on it. These meats, say the people of the country, are ever produced by the earth of itself. Such is the story of the Sun's Table. 3.19. When Cambyses determined to send the spies, he sent for those Fish-eaters from the city of Elephantine who understood the Ethiopian language. ,While they were fetching them, he ordered his fleet to sail against Carthage . But the Phoenicians said they would not do it; for they were bound, they said, by strong oaths, and if they sailed against their own progeny they would be doing an impious thing; and the Phoenicians being unwilling, the rest were inadequate fighters. ,Thus the Carthaginians escaped being enslaved by the Persians; for Cambyses would not use force with the Phoenicians, seeing that they had willingly surrendered to the Persians, and the whole fleet drew its strength from them. The Cyprians too had come of their own accord to aid the Persians against Egypt . 3.20. When the Fish-eaters arrived from Elephantine at Cambyses' summons, he sent them to Ethiopia, with orders what to say, and bearing as gifts a red cloak and a twisted gold necklace and bracelets and an alabaster box of incense and an earthenware jar of palm wine. These Ethiopians, to whom Cambyses sent them, are said to be the tallest and most handsome of all men. ,Their way of choosing kings is different from that of all others, as (it is said) are all their laws; they consider that man worthy to be their king whom they judge to be tallest and to have strength proportional to his stature. 3.21. When the Fish-eaters arrived among these men, they gave the gifts to their king and said: “Cambyses, the king of the Persians, wishing to become your friend and ally, sent us with orders to address ourselves to you; and he offers you as gifts these things which he enjoys using himself.” ,But the Ethiopian, perceiving that they had come as spies, spoke thus to them: “It is not because he values my friendship that the Persian King sends you with gifts, nor do you speak the truth (for you have come to spy on my realm), nor is that man just; for were he just, he would not have coveted a land other than his own, nor would he try to lead into slavery men by whom he has not been injured. Now, give him this bow, and this message: ,‘The King of the Ethiopians advises the King of the Persians to bring overwhelming odds to attack the long-lived Ethiopians when the Persians can draw a bow of this length as easily as I do; but until then, to thank the gods who do not incite the sons of the Ethiopians to add other land to their own.’” 3.22. So speaking he unstrung the bow and gave it to the men who had come. Then, taking the red cloak, he asked what it was and how it was made; and when the Fish-eaters told him the truth about the color and the process of dyeing, he said that both the men and their garments were full of deceit. ,Next he inquired about the twisted gold necklace and the bracelets; and when the Fish-eaters told him how they were made, the king smiled, and, thinking them to be fetters, said: “We have stronger chains than these.” ,Thirdly he inquired about the incense; and when they described making and applying it, he made the same reply as about the cloak. But when he came to the wine and asked about its making, he was vastly pleased with the drink, and asked further what food their king ate, and what was the greatest age to which a Persian lived. ,They told him their king ate bread, showing him how wheat grew; and said that the full age to which a man might hope to live was eighty years. Then, said the Ethiopian, it was no wonder that they lived so few years, if they ate dung; they would not even have been able to live that many unless they were refreshed by the drink—signifying to the Fish-eaters the wine—for in this, he said, the Persians excelled the Ethiopians. 3.23. The Fish-eaters then in turn asking of the Ethiopian length of life and diet, he said that most of them attained to a hundred and twenty years, and some even to more; their food was boiled meat and their drink milk. ,The spies showed wonder at the tale of years; whereupon he led them, it is said, to a spring, by washing in which they grew sleeker, as though it were of oil; and it smelled of violets. ,So light, the spies said, was this water, that nothing would float on it, neither wood nor anything lighter than wood, but all sank to the bottom. If this water is truly such as they say, it is likely that their constant use of it makes the people long-lived. ,When they left the spring, the king led them to a prison where all the men were bound with fetters of gold. Among these Ethiopians there is nothing so scarce and so precious as bronze. Then, having seen the prison, they saw what is called the Table of the Sun. 3.24. Last after this they viewed the Ethiopian coffins; these are said to be made of alabaster, as I shall describe: ,they cause the dead body to shrink, either as the Egyptians do or in some other way, then cover it with gypsum and paint it all as far as possible in the likeness of the living man; ,then they set it within a hollow pillar of alabaster, which they dig in abundance from the ground, and it is easily worked; the body can be seen in the pillar through the alabaster, no evil stench nor anything unpleasant proceeding from it, and showing clearly all its parts, as if it were the man himself. ,The nearest of kin keep the pillar in their house for a year, giving it of the first-fruits and offering it sacrifices; after which they bring the pillars out and set them round about the city. 3.25. Having seen everything, the spies departed again. When they reported all this, Cambyses was angry, and marched at once against the Ethiopians, neither giving directions for any provision of food nor considering that he was about to lead his army to the ends of the earth; ,being not in his right mind but mad, however, he marched at once on hearing from the Fish-eaters, ordering the Greeks who were with him to await him where they were, and taking with him all his land army. ,When he came in his march to Thebes , he detached about fifty thousand men from his army, and directed them to enslave the Ammonians and burn the oracle of Zeus; and he himself went on towards Ethiopia with the rest of his host. ,But before his army had accomplished the fifth part of their journey they had come to an end of all there was in the way of provision, and after the food was gone, they ate the beasts of burden until there was none of these left either. ,Now had Cambyses, when he perceived this, changed his mind and led his army back again, he would have been a wise man at last after his first fault; but as it was, he went ever forward, taking account of nothing. ,While his soldiers could get anything from the earth, they kept themselves alive by eating grass; but when they came to the sandy desert, some did a terrible thing, taking by lot one man out of ten and eating him. ,Hearing this, Cambyses feared their becoming cannibals, and so gave up his expedition against the Ethiopians and marched back to Thebes , with the loss of many of his army; from Thebes he came down to Memphis, and sent the Greeks to sail away. 5.74. Cleomenes, however, fully aware that the Athenians had done him wrong in word and deed, mustered an army from the whole of the Peloponnesus. He did not declare the purpose for which he mustered it, namely to avenge himself on the Athenian people and set up Isagoras, who had come with him out of the acropolis, as tyrant. ,Cleomenes broke in as far as Eleusis with a great host, and the Boeotians, by a concerted plan, took Oenoe and Hysiae, districts on the borders of Attica, while the Chalcidians attacked on another side and raided lands in Attica. The Athenians, who were now caught in a ring of foes, decided to oppose the Spartans at Eleusis and to deal with the Boeotians and Chalcidians later. 5.75. When the armies were about to join battle, the Corinthians, coming to the conclusion that they were acting wrongly, changed their minds and departed. Later Demaratus son of Ariston, the other king of Sparta, did likewise, despite the fact that he had come with Cleomenes from Lacedaemon in joint command of the army and had not till now been at variance with him. ,As a result of this dissension, a law was made at Sparta that when an army was despatched, both kings would not be permitted to go with it. Until that time they had both gone together, but now one of the kings was released from service and one of the sons of Tyndarus too could be left at home. Before that time, both of these also were asked to give aid and went with the army. ,So now at Eleusis, when the rest of the allies saw that the Lacedaemonian kings were not of one mind and that the Corinthians had left their host, they too went off. 5.76. This was the fourth time that Dorians had come into Attica. They had come twice as invaders in war and twice as helpers of the Athenian people. The first time was when they planted a settlement at Megara (this expedition may rightly be said to have been in the reign of Codrus), the second and third when they set out from Sparta to drive out the sons of Pisistratus, and the fourth was now, when Cleomenes broke in as far as Eleusis with his following of Peloponnesians. This was accordingly the fourth Dorian invasion of Athens. 5.77. When this force then had been ingloriously scattered, the Athenians first marched against the Chalcidians to punish them. The Boeotians came to the Euripus to help the Chalcidians and as soon as the Athenians saw these allies, they resolved to attack the Boeotians before the Chalcidians. ,When they met the Boeotians in battle, they won a great victory, slaying very many and taking seven hundred of them prisoner. On that same day the Athenians crossed to Euboea where they met the Chalcidians too in battle, and after overcoming them as well, they left four thousand tet farmers on the lands of the horse-breeders. ,Horse-breeders was the name given to the men of substance among the Chalcidians. They fettered as many of these as they took alive and kept them imprisoned with the captive Boeotians. In time, however, they set them free, each for an assessed ransom of two minae. The fetters in which the prisoners had been bound they hung up in the acropolis, where they could still be seen in my time hanging from walls which the Persians' fire had charred, opposite the temple which faces west. ,Moreover, they made a dedication of a tenth part of the ransom, and this money was used for the making of a four-horse chariot which stands on the left hand of the entrance into the outer porch of the acropolis and bears this inscription: quote type="inscription" l met="dact" Athens with Chalcis and Boeotia fought, /l lBound them in chains and brought their pride to naught. /l lPrison was grief, and ransom cost them dear- /l lOne tenth to Pallas raised this chariot here. /l /quote 5.78. So the Athenians grew in power and proved, not in one respect only but in all, that equality is a good thing. Evidence for this is the fact that while they were under tyrannical rulers, the Athenians were no better in war than any of their neighbors, yet once they got rid of their tyrants, they were by far the best of all. This, then, shows that while they were oppressed, they were, as men working for a master, cowardly, but when they were freed, each one was eager to achieve for himself.
2. Isocrates, Nicocles, 24 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

3. Plato, Laws, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4. Xenophon, On Horsemanship, 6.4 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

5. Xenophon, Hiero, 10.3 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

6. Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus, 1.1.3, 1.2.1-1.2.16, 8.7.13 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1.1.3. Thus, as we meditated on this analogy, we were inclined to conclude that for man, as he is constituted, it is easier to rule over any and all other creatures than to rule over men. But when we reflected that Cyrus a king of men there was one Cyrus, the Persian, who reduced to obedience a vast number of men and cities and nations, we were then compelled to change our opinion and decide that to rule men might be a task neither impossible nor even difficult, if one should only go about it in an intelligent manner. At all events, we know that people obeyed Cyrus willingly, although some of them were distant from him a journey of many days, and others of many months; others, although they had never seen him, and still others who knew well that they never should see him. Nevertheless they were all willing to be his subjects. 1.2.1. The father of Cyrus is said to have been His parentage Cambyses, king of the Persians: this Cambyses belonged to the stock of the Persidae, and the Persidae derive their name from Perseus. His mother, it is generally agreed, was Mandane; and this Mandane was the daughter of Astyages, sometime king of the Medes. And even to this day the barbarians tell in story and in song that Cyrus was most handsome in person, most generous of heart, most devoted to learning, and most ambitious, so that he endured all sorts of labour and faced all sorts of danger for the sake of praise. 1.2.2. Such then were the natural endowments, physical and spiritual, that he is reputed to have had; but he was educated in conformity with the laws of the Persians; and these laws appear in their care for the common weal not to start from the same point as they do in most states. For most states permit every one to train his own children just as he will, and the older people themselves to live as they please; and then they command them not to steal and not to rob, not to break into anybody’s house, not to strike a person whom they have no right to strike, not to commit adultery, not to disobey an officer, and so forth; and if a man transgress anyone one of these laws, they punish him. 1.2.3. They have their so-called Free Square, where the royal palace and other government buildings are located. The hucksters with their wares, their cries, and their vulgarities are excluded from this and relegated to another part of the city, in order that their tumult may not intrude upon the orderly life of the cultured. 1.2.6. The boys go to school and spend their time in Its method and curriculum: A. Boys learning justice; and they say that they go there for this purpose, just as in our country they say that they go to learn to read and write. And their officers spend the greater part of the day in deciding cases for them. For, as a matter of course, boys also prefer charges against one another, just as men do, of theft, robbery, assault, cheating, slander, and other things that naturally come up; and when they discover any one committing any of these crimes, they punish him 1.2.9. Now the young men in their turn live as follows: B. Youths for ten years after they are promoted from the class of boys they pass the nights, as we said before, about the government buildings. This they do for the sake of guarding the city and of developing their powers of self-control; for this time of life, it seems, demands the most watchful care. And during the day, too, they put themselves at the disposal of the authorities, if they are needed for any service to the state. Whenever it is necessary, they all remain about the public buildings. But when the king goes out hunting, he takes out half the garrison; and this he does many times a month. Those who go must take bow and arrows and, in addition to the quiver, a sabre or bill The oriental bill was a tool or weapon with a curved blade, shorter than a sabre and corresponding very closely to the Spanish-American machete. in its scabbard; they carry along also a light shield and two spears, on to throw, the other to use in case of necessity in a hand-to-hand encounter. 1.2.11. When they go out hunting they carry along a lunch, The Greeks ate but two meals a day: the first, ἄριστον, toward midday, the other, δεῖπνον, toward sun-down. more in quantity than that of the boys, as is proper, but in other respects the same; but they would never think of lunching while they are busy with the chase. If, however, for some reason it is necessary to stay longer on account of the game or if for some other reason they wish to continue longer on the chase, then they make their dinner of this luncheon and hunt again on the following day until dinner time; and these two days they count as one, because they consume but one day’s provisions. This they do to harden themselves, in order that, if ever it is necessary in war, they may be able to do the same. Those of this age have for relish the game that they kill; if they fail to kill any, then cresses. Now, if any one thinks that they do not enjoy eating, when they have only cresses with their bread, or that they do not enjoy drinking when they drink only water, let him remember how sweet barley bread and wheaten bread taste when one is hungry, and how sweet water is to drink when one is thirsty. 1.2.12. The divisions remaining at home, in their turn, pass their time shooting with the bow and hurling the spear and practising all the other arts that they learned when they were boys, and they continually engage in contests of this kind with one another. And there are also public contests of this sort, for which prizes are offered; and whatever division has the greatest number of the most expert, the most manly, and the best disciplined young men, the citizens praise and honour not only its present chief officer but also the one who trained them when they were boys. And of the youths who remain behind, the authorities employ any that they may need, whether for garrison duty or for arresting criminals or for hunting down robbers, or for any other service that demands strength or dispatch. Such, then, is the occupation of the youths. And when they have completed their ten years, they are promoted and enrolled in the class of the mature men. 1.2.13. And when they have completed the five-and-twenty years, they are, as one would expect, somewhat more than fifty years of age; and then they come out and take their places among those who really are, as they are called, the elders. 1.2.14. Now these elders, in their turn, no longer perform D. Elders military service outside their own country, but they remain at home and try all sorts of cases, both public and private. They try people indicted for capital offences also, and they elect all the officers. And if any one, either among the youths or among the mature men, fail in any one of the duties prescribed by law, the respective officers of that division, or any one else who will, may enter complaint, and the elders, when they have heard the case, expel the guilty party; and the one who has been expelled spends the rest of his life degraded and disfranchised. 1.2.15. Now, that the whole constitutional policy The constitutional policy of Persia of the Persians may be more clearly set forth, I will go back a little; for now, in the light of what has already been said, it can be given in a very few words. It is said that the Persians number about one hundred and twenty thousand men This number is meant to include the nobility only, the so-called peers ὁμότιμοι, and not the total population of Persia . ; and no one of these is by law excluded from holding offices and positions of honour, but all the Persians may send their children to the common schools of justice. Still, only those do send them who are in a position to maintain their children without work; and those who are not so situated do not. And only to such as are educated by the public Each class a prerequisite to the one above it teachers is it permitted to pass their young manhood in the class of the youths, while to those who have not completed this course of training it is not so permitted. And only to such among the youths as complete the course required by law is it permitted to join the class of mature men and to fill offices and places of distinction, while those who do not finish their course among the young men are not promoted to the class of the mature men. And again, those who finish their course among the mature men without blame become members of the class of elders. So, we see, the elders are made up to those who have enjoyed all honour and distinction. This is the policy by the observance of which they think that their citizens may become the best. 1.2.16. There remains even unto this day evidence of their moderate fare and of their working off by exercise what they eat: for even to the present time it is a breach of decorum for a Persian to spit or to blow his nose or to appear afflicted with flatulence; it is a breach of decorum also to be seen going apart either to make water or for anything else of that kind. And this would not be possible for them, if they did not lead an abstemious life and throw off the moisture by hard work, so that it passes off in some other way. This, then, is what we have to say in regard to the Persians in general. Now, to fulfil the purpose with which our narrative was begun, we shall proceed to relate the history of Cyrus from his childhood on. 8.7.13. As for you, Cambyses, you must also know His words of counsel—(1) to Cambyses; that it is not this golden sceptre that maintains your empire; but faithful friends are a monarch’s truest and surest sceptre. But do not think that man is naturally faithful; else all men would find the same persons faithful, just as all find the other properties of nature the same. But every one must create for himself faithfulness in his friends; and the winning of such friends comes in no wise by compulsion, but by kindness.
7. Xenophon, Memoirs, 3.3.9, 4.6.12 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

3.3.9. Well, I suppose you know that under all conditions human beings are most willing to obey those whom they believe to be the best. Cyropaedia III. i. 20. Thus in sickness they most readily obey the doctor, on board ship the pilot, on a farm the farmer, whom they think to be most skilled in his business. Yes, certainly. Then it is likely that in horsemanship too, one who clearly knows best what ought to be done will most easily gain the obedience of the others. 4.6.12. Kingship and despotism, in his judgment, were both forms of government, but he held that they differed. For government of men with their consent and in accordance with the laws of the state was kingship; while government of unwilling subjects and not controlled by laws, but imposed by the will of the ruler, was despotism. And where the officials are chosen among those who fulfil the requirements of the laws, the constitution is an aristocracy: where rateable property is the qualification for office, you have a plutocracy: where all are eligible, a democracy.
8. Xenophon, On Household Management, 4.4-4.18, 4.20-4.25 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4.4. But what arts, pray, do you advise us to follow, Socrates ? Need we be ashamed of imitating the king of the Persians? For they say that he pays close attention to husbandry and the art of war, holding that these are two of the noblest and most necessary pursuits. 4.5. And do you really believe, Socrates , exclaimed Critobulus on hearing this, that the king of the Persians includes husbandry among his occupations? Perhaps, Critobulus, the following considerations will enable us to discover whether he does so. We allow that he pays close attention to warfare, because he has given a standing order to every governor of the nations from which he receives tribute, to supply maintece for a specified number of horsemen and archers and slingers and light infantry, that they may be strong enough to control his subjects and to protect the country in the event of an invasion; and 4.6. apart from these, he maintains garrisons in the citadels. Maintece for these is supplied by the governor charged with this duty, and the king annually reviews the mercenaries and all the other troops ordered to be under arms, assembling all but the men in the citadels at the place of muster, as it is called: he personally inspects the men who are near his residence, and sends trusted agents to review those who live far away. 4.7. The officers, whether commanders of garrisons or of regiments or viceroys, who turn out with a full complement of men and parade them equipped with horses and arms in good condition, he promotes in the scale of honour and enriches with large grants of money; but those officers whom he finds to be neglecting the garrisons or making profit out of them he punishes severely, and appoints others to take their office. These actions, then, seem to us to leave no room for question that he pays attention to warfare. 4.8. As for the country, he personally examines so much of it as he sees in the course of his progress through it; and he receives reports from his trusted agents on the territories that he does not see for himself. To those governors who are able to show him that their country is densely populated and that the land is in cultivation and well stocked with the trees of the district and with the crops, he assigns more territory and gives presents, and rewards them with seats of honour. Cyropaedia, VIII. i. 39. Those whose territory he finds uncultivated and thinly populated either through harsh administration or through contempt or through carelessness, he punishes, and appoints others to take their office. 4.9. By such action, does he seem to provide less for the cultivation of the land by the inhabitants than for its protection by the garrisons? Moreover, each of these duties is entrusted to a separate class of officers; one class governs the residents and the labourers, and collects tribute from them, the other commands the men under arms and the garrisons. 4.10. If the commander of a garrison affords insufficient protection to the country, the civil governor and controller of agriculture denounces the commander, setting out that the inhabitants are unable to work the farms for want of protection. If, on the other hand, the commander brings peace to the farms, and the governor nevertheless causes the land to be sparsely populated and idle, the commander in turn denounces the governor. 4.11. For, roughly speaking, where cultivation is inefficient, the garrisons are not maintained and the tribute cannot be paid. Wherever a viceroy is appointed, he attends to both these matters. At this point Critobulus said: 4.12. Well, Socrates , if the Great King does this, it seems to me that he pays as much attention to husbandry as to warfare. 4.13. Yet further, continued Socrates , in all the districts he resides in and visits he takes care that there are paradises, as they call them, full of all the good and beautiful things that the soil will produce, and in this he himself spends most of his time, except when the season precludes it. 4.14. Then it is of course necessary, Socrates , to take care that these paradises in which the king spends his time shall contain a fine stock of trees and all other beautiful things that the soil produces. 4.15. And some say, Critobulus, that when the king makes gifts, he first invites those who have distinguished themselves in war, because it is useless to have broad acres under tillage unless there are men to defend them; and next to them, those who stock and cultivate the land best, saying that even stout-hearted warriors cannot live without the aid of workers. 4.16. There is a story that Cyrus , lately the most illustrious of princes, once said to the company invited to receive his gifts, I myself deserve to receive the gifts awarded in both classes; for I am the best at stocking land and the best at protecting the stock. 4.17. Well, if Cyrus said that, Socrates , he took as much pride in cultivating and stocking land as in being a warrior. 4.18. Yes, and, upon my word, if Cyrus had only lived, it seems that he would have proved an excellent ruler. One of the many proofs that he has given of this is the fact that, when he was on his way to fight his brother for the throne, it is said that not a man deserted from Cyrus to the king, whereas tens of thousands deserted from the king to Cyrus . 4.20. Further, the story goes that when Lysander came to him bringing the gifts form the allies, this Cyrus showed him various marks of friendliness, as Lysander himself related once to a stranger at Megara , adding besides that Cyrus personally showed him round his paradise at Sardis . 4.21. Now Lysander admired the beauty of the trees in it, the accuracy of the spacing, the straightness of the rows, the regularity of the angles and the multitude of the sweet scents that clung round them as they walked; and for wonder of these things he cried, Cyrus , I really do admire all these lovely things, but I am far more impressed with your agent’s skill in measuring and arranging everything so exactly. 4.22. Cyrus was delighted to hear this and said: Well, Lysander , the whole of the measurement and arrangement is my own work, and I did some of the planting myself. 4.23. What, Cyrus ? exclaimed Lysander, looking at him, and marking the beauty and perfume of his robes, and the splendour of the necklaces and bangles and other jewels that he was wearing; did you really plant part of this with your own hands? 4.24. Does that surprise you, Lysander? asked Cyrus in reply. I swear by the Sun-god that I never yet sat down to dinner when in sound health, without first working hard at some task of war or agriculture, or exerting myself somehow. 4.25. Lysander himself declared, I should add, that on hearing this, he congratulated him in these words: I think you deserve your happiness, Cyrus, for you earn it by your virtues.
9. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 34.17 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

10. Plutarch, Cato The Younger, 9.9-9.10 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

11. Plutarch, Lycurgus, 30 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

12. Plutarch, Pyrrhus, 8.2 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

13. Tacitus, Annals, 5.3-5.4, 15.57 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5.3.  In any case, there followed from now onward a sheer and grinding despotism: for, with Augusta still alive, there had remained a refuge; since deference to his mother was ingrained in Tiberius, nor did Sejanus venture to claim precedence over the authority of a parent. But now, as though freed from the curb, they broke out unrestrained, and a letter denouncing Agrippina and Nero was forwarded to Rome; the popular impression being that it was delivered much earlier and suppressed by the old empress, since it was publicly read not long after her death. Its wording was of studied asperity, but the offences imputed by the sovereign to his grandson were not rebellion under arms, not meditated revolution, but unnatural love and moral depravity. Against his daughter-in‑law he dared not fabricate even such a charge, but arraigned her haughty language and refractory spirit; the senate listening in profound alarm and silence, until a few who had nothing to hope from honesty (and public misfortunes are always turned by individuals into stepping-stones to favour) demanded that a motion be put — Cotta Messalinus being foremost with a drastic resolution. But among other leading members, and especially the magistrates, alarm prevailed: for Tiberius, bitter though his invective had been, had left all else in doubt. 5.4.  There was in the senate a certain Julius Rusticus, chosen by the Caesar to compile the official journal of its proceedings, and therefore credited with some insight into his thoughts. Under some fatal impulse — for he had never before given an indication of courage — or possibly through a misapplied acuteness which made him blind to dangers imminent and terrified of dangers uncertain, Rusticus insinuated himself among the doubters and warned the consuls not to introduce the question — "A touch," he insisted, "could turn the scale in the gravest of matters: it was possible that some day the extinction of the house of Germanicus might move the old man's penitence." At the same time, the people, carrying effigies of Agrippina and Nero, surrounded the curia, and, cheering for the Caesar, clamoured that the letter was spurious and that it was contrary to the Emperor's wish that destruction was plotted against his house. On that day, therefore, no tragedy was perpetrated. There were circulated, also, under consular names, fictitious attacks upon Sejanus: for authors in plenty exercised their capricious imagination with all the petulance of anonymity. The result was to fan his anger and to supply him with the material for fresh charges:— "The senate had spurned the sorrow of its emperor, the people had forsworn its allegiance. Already disloyal harangues, disloyal decrees of the Fathers, were listened to and perused: what remained but to take the sword and in the persons whose effigies they had followed as their ensigns to choose their generals and their princes?


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
accession (imperial) Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
advisers Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
agriculture Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
ahuramazda Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
asia, europe and Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
athens and athenians, in persian war era Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
athens and athenians, tyranny and Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
authors see also writers Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
bodyguard Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
brother Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
citizens, & citizen body Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
civilisation/civilization Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
cleisthenes Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
commodus Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
croesus, fall of Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
cruelty Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
cyrus (the great) Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
cyrus (the younger) Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
cyrus the great Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
darius i Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
earth (gaea) Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
economics, epicurean, economics, philodemus account of Yona, Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire (2018) 36
egyptian, art Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
egyptian, artworks Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
egyptians Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
fear Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
flattery Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
goodwill (εὔνοια) Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
greek, authors Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
hedonic calculus, and acquisition of wealth/property Yona, Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire (2018) 36
herodotus, on sovereignty Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
herodotus, on tyranny Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
hippias of athens Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
intertextuality Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
lamentation and grief Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
leader(ship) Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
lysander Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
mangoni, cecilia Yona, Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire (2018) 36
marcus aurelius Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
memory Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
moderation Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
nero Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
odes (horace), publication date Yona, Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire (2018) 36
omens Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
persia and persians, religion of Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
persia and persians, sovereignty claimed by Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
persian, laws Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
persian, system of court education Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
persian, the (persian) king Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
philodemus of gadara, on economics Yona, Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire (2018) 36
pseudo-theophrastus Yona, Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire (2018) 36
readers, active engagement/response Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
songs Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
sparta and spartans Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
speech(es) Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
tacitus Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
thomsen, rudi Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
tiberius Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
tyrannicides Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
tyranny, greek attitudes towards Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
tyranny, theology of' Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239
tyranny/tyrants Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
utopias, communities Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
utopias Papadodima, Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II (2022) 21
violence Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
virtues Chrysanthou, Reconfiguring the Imperial Past: Narrative Patterns and Historical Interpretation in Herodian’s History of the Empire (2022) 66
wealth, acquisition/labor balance Yona, Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire (2018) 36
xenophon of athens, on persians Munn, The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia: A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion (2006) 239