Study Notes prepared for the AmblesideOnline Curriculum by Anne White, 2015 using Thomas North's text. If you wish to use this Study Guide as a teacher's edition, text-only version of this Life (without the Study Guide) is also available to print for your student. Read Intro to these study guides here.
"It is a very rare thing amongst men, to find a man very valiant, and wise withal: but yet of all sorts of valiant men, it is harder to find a just man." Plutarch, Life of Titus Flamininus
Titus Quintius Flamininus was a consul and general of Rome, who lived from approximately 227 to 174 B.C. He is also called Titus Quinctius Flamininus, and Thomas North sometimes refers to him as "T. Quintius." Books and websites will sometimes refer to Plutarch's Life of Titus. (See the Spelling note as well.)
If you've done the previous study, Philopoemen, you've already met Titus Flamininus as well. If you haven't, I would suggest reading Plutarch's Life of Philopoemen first. That way you are already familiar with the time period: the "old age" of ancient Greece and the rapid growth of the Roman Republic, around 200 B.C. In 146 B.C., Greece finally became a Roman province (called Athens); but Rome had been involved in Greek and Macedonian affairs for some time before the final takeover.
Flamininus (pronounced with a long I sound for the second I) is sometimes spelled Flaminius by early writers, including Thomas North. I have used "Flamininus" here, but the spelling issue is worth noting as it does come up both ways.
Who was Philip of Macedon?
It's important to get some dates straight, to be clear on which Philip fought against Titus Flamininus. Students may be familiar with Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, who ruled from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. The King Philip in this story is Philip V, father of Perseus (studied in Plutarch's Life of Aemilius Paulus). He ruled from from 221 to 179 BC. In the passage for Lesson Four, North translates a phrase as "to make King Philip more famous in the world, than ever was Alexander his father," but it means more like "forefather." Dryden leaves it out altogether: "to make the name of Philip more glorious than that of Alexander."
I would suggest finding a map of ancient Greece to look at as you read. You will be looking not only for Rome, Greece and Macedon but also for places such as Epirus, Thessaly, Chalcis, and Thebes . . .
If you are interested in reading about these events in a history text or encyclopedia, look under the First and Second Macedonian Wars.
Do you think you could look at a class photograph and pick out the leaders of tomorrow? How would you choose?
Plutarch often starts out his Lives by giving someone's family story or the details of his childhood or education. Titus Flamininus is introduced as a young man going through the usual Roman military training--but with unusual speed and determination. By the time Tiitus was almost thirty, he had been elected to one of the top positions in the government of the Roman Republic.
beholden to him: owing him a debt
Hannibal: General of Carthage; studied in Plutarch's Life of Fabius
Narnia and Cossa: two cities that the Romans wanted to "inhabit" at that time. Narnia (also called Narni) was named after the river Nar. When C.S. Lewis was young, he saw "Narni" in an atlas, and remembered it later when he needed a name for his fictional land.
mean offices: low positions
aedile, tribune, praetor, consul: positions of increasing authority in the Roman Republic
the inferior offices of the commonwealth: the lower positions of government (which most people would have to work their way through before attaining a higher rank)
the Senate preferred it wholly to the voices of the people: the Roman Senate let the citizens decide the matter with a vote
pronounced him consul openly, with Sextus Ælius: two consuls were elected to serve together for one year at a time
it was all against themselves: it would have been a mistake, they would have been acting against their interests
victuals: food (for the army)
Howbeit that may more plainly appear, by declaring of his acts: However, we will see that more clearly when we look at his actions.
It is easy to see Titus Quintius Flamininus' form, and stature, by Philopoemen's statue of brass, to whom we compare him: the which [that is, the statue of T.Q. Flamininus] is now set up at Rome, near to great Apollo that was brought from Carthage, and is placed right against the coming in to the showplace [the Circus Maximus], under which there is an inscription in Greek letters.
But for his nature and conditions, they say of him thus: he would quickly be angry, and yet very ready to pleasure men again. For, if he did punish any man that hath angered him, he would do it gently, but his anger did not long continue with him. He did good also to many, and ever loved them whom he had once pleasured, as if they had done him some pleasure: and was ready to do for them still whom he found thankful, because he would ever make them beholden to him, and thought that as honourable a thing, as he could purchase to himself, because he greatly sought honour above all things, when any notable service was to be done, he would do it himself, and no man should take it out of his hand. He would ever be rather with them that needed his help, than with those that could help him, or do him good. For, the first he esteemed as a mean[s] to exercise his virtue with: the other, he took them as his fellows and followers of honour with him.
He came to man's [e]state, when the city of Rome had greatest wars and trouble. At that time all the youth of Rome, which were of age to carry weapons, were sent to the wars to learn to trail the pike [basic training], and how to become good captains. Thus was he entered into martial affairs, and the first charge he took, was in the war against Hannibal of Carthage, where he was made colonel of a thousand footmen, under Marcellus the consul: who being slain by an ambush Hannibal had laid for him between the cities of Bancia, and Venusa, then they did choose Titus Quintius Flamininus governor of the province and city of Tarentum, which was now taken again the second time.
In this government of his, he won the reputation as much of a good and just man, as he did of an expert and skillful captain. By reason whereof, when the Romans were requested to send men to inhabit the cities of Narnia and Cossa, he was appointed the chief leader of them, which chiefly gave him heart and courage to aspire at the first to the consulship, passing over all other mean offices, as to be aedile, tribune, or praetor, by which (as by degrees) other young men were wont to attain the consulship. Therefore when the time came that the consuls should be elected, he did present himself among other[s], accompanied with a great number of those he had brought with him, to inhabit the two new towns, who did make earnest suit for him. But the two tribunes, Fulvius and Manlius, spake against him, and said: it was out of all reason, that so young a man should in such manner press to have the office of the highest dignity, against the use and custom of Rome, before he had passed through the inferior offices of the commonwealth. Nevertheless, the Senate preferred it wholly to the voices of the people: who presently pronounced him consul openly, with Sextus Ælius, although he was not yet thirty years old.
Afterwards, dividing the offices of the state by lot: it fell upon T. Quintius to make war with Philip king of Macedon. In the which methinks Fortune greatly favoured the Romans' affairs, that made such a man general of wars: for, to have [ap]pointed a General that by force and violence would have sought all things at the Macdonians' hands, that were a people to be won rather by gentleness and persuasions, than by force and compulsion: it was all against themselves. Philip, to maintain the brunt of a battle against the Romans, had power enough of his own in his realm of Macedon: but to make war any long time, to furnish himself with money and victuals, to have a place and cities to retire unto, and lastly, to have all other necessaries for his men and army: it stood him upon to get the force of Greece [to help him]. And had not the force of Greece been politically cut from him, the wars against him [would have] not been ended with one battle. Moreover, Greece (which never before bare the Romans any great goodwill) would not have dealt then so [quickly] in friendship with them, had not their general [Titus] been (as he was) a gentle person, lowly, and tractable, that won them more by his wisdom, than by his force, and could both eloquently utter his mind to them, and courteously also hear them speak, that had to do with him, and chiefly ministered justice and equity to every man alike. For it is not to be thought that Greece would otherwise so soon have withdrawn themselves from the rule of those with whom they were acquainted, and governed: and have put themselves under the rule of strangers, but that they saw great justice and lenity in them. Howbeit that may more plainly appear, by declaring of his acts.
Narration and Discussion
How was it that Titus rose so quickly through the Roman ranks, in fact jumping over most of the lower positions?
Why was Titus a fortunate choice to lead the Roman army against the Macedonians?
Setting: The Battle of the Aous, 198 B.C.
Imagine that you work for a big company, and that you've just been promoted to president, with your own secretary and a fancy private office. Since you're the president now, you have your choice of how you spend your days: should you call a big company meeting with your bothersome board of directors; or stay in your office and order lunch? Go on a business trip to negotiate with someone who's ruthlessly taking over a lot of smaller companies (and who doesn't want you to interfere); or spend the week planning a party? Titus decides he prefers the active approach.
Who were the Ætolians?
Kings Philip and Antiochus may seem to have been the enemies of Titus, but if he had a real, ongoing collective enemy, it was the Ætolians. If you like Star Trek, they might be the Klingons. And yet they were not a race of evil monsters--just a confederation of unhappy Greeks.
(You don't have to use the Æ character; it is often just written Aetolia.)
to take some strait, or to cut off victuals: to capture a small passage or harass the other army a bit; Titus thought these were rather puny achievements, "trifles."
their army by sea: their navy
to keep the strait and passage which is the entry into Epirus: Philip's army was guarding the passage or entry point to Epirus; Titus wanted to take control of it.
"very unhandsome for an army to pass that way, though they found not a man to keep the passage": Dryden translates this "not easily passable at any time for an army, but not at all when guarded by an enemy."
the enemies kept not: the enemies left unguarded
he favoured them but underhand: he was friendly, but secretly
so quietly, and with so great abstinence: without causing trouble or seizing food as they went (unusual behaviour for armies at the time)
unhandsome carriage thereof: the awkwardness of carrying it off
Titus was informed, that the generals before him [who had been] sent to the war in Macedon (as Sulpitius, and Publius Julius) used to come thither about the later end of the year, and made but cold wars, and certain light skirmishes, as sometime in one place, and sometime in another against Philip, and all to take some strait, or to cut off victuals: which he thought was not his way to follow their example. For they, tarrying at home, consumed the most of their consulship at Rome, in matters of government, and so enjoyed the honour of their office. Afterwards in the end of their year, they would set out to the wars, of intent to get another year over their heads in their office, that spending one year in their consulship at home, they might employ the other in the wars abroad. But Titus not minding to trifle out the half of his consulship at Rome, and the other abroad in the wars: did willingly leave all his honours and dignities he might have enjoyed by his office at Rome, and besought the Senate that they would appoint his brother Lucius Quintius lieutenant of their army by sea.
Furthermore, he took with himself about three thousand old soldiers of those that had first overthrown Asdrubal in Spain, and Hannibal afterwards in Africa, under the conduct of Scipio, which yet were able to serve, and were very willing to go with him in this journey, to be the strength of his army. With this company he passed the seas without danger, and landed in Epirus, where he found Publius Julius encamped with his army before King Philip, who of long time had lain in camp about the mouth of the river of Apsus, to keep the strait and passage which is the entry into Epirus. So that Publius Julius had lain still there, and done nothing, by reason of the natural force and hardness of the place. Then Titus took the army of him, and sent him to Rome.
Afterwards, [he] himself went in person to view and consider the nature of the country, which was in this sort. It is a long valley walled on either side with great high mountains, as those which shut in the valley of Tempe in Thessaly. Howbeit it had no such goodly woods, nor green forests, nor fair meadows, nor other like places of pleasure, as the other side had: but it was a great deep marsh or quagmire, through the midst whereof the river called Apsus did run, being in greatness and swiftness of stream, very like to the river of Peneus. The river did occupy all the ground at the feet of the mountains, saving a little way that was cut out of the main rock by man's hand, and a narrow straight path by the waterside, very unhandsome for an army to pass that way, though they found not a man to keep the passage.
There were some in the army that counselled Titus to fetch a great compass about by the country of Dassaretide, and by the city of Lyncus, where the country is very plain, and the way marvellous easy. Howbeit he stood in great fear he should lack victuals, if he stayed far from the sea, and happily if he fell into any barren or lean country, (Philip refusing the battle, and purposing to flee) he should be constrained in the end to return again towards the sea, without doing anything, as his predecessor had done before. Wherefore he determined to cross the mountains to set upon his enemy, and to prove if he could win the passage by force.
Now Philip kept the top of the mountains with his army, and when the Romans forced [their way] up the hills, they were received with darts, slings, and shot, that lighted amongst them here and there: insomuch as the skirmish was very hot for the time it lasted, and many were slain and hurt on either side. But this was not the end of the war.
For in the meantime there came certain neatherds of the country unto Titus (who did use to keep beasts on these mountains) and told him they could bring him a way which they knew the enemies kept not: by the which they promised to guide his army so, that in three days at the furthest, they would bring them on the top of the mountain. And because they might be assured that their words were true, they said they were sent to him by Charops, the son of Machatas. This Charops was the chiefest man of the Epirots, who loved the Romans very well, yet he favoured them but underhand, for fear of Philip. Titus gave credit unto them, and so sent one of his captains with them, with four thousand footmen, and three hundred horsemen. The herdmen that were their guides, went before still, fast bound: and the Romans followed after. All the day time the army rested in thick woods, and marched all night by moonlight, which was then by good hap at the full.
Titus, having sent these men away, rested all the rest of his camp: saving that some days he entertained them with some light skirmishes to occupy the enemy withal. But the same day, when his men that fetched a compass about, should come unto the top of the mountain above the camp of his enemies, he brought all his army out of the camp by break of day, and divided them into three troops. With the one of them he himself went on that side of the river where the way is straitest, making his bands to march directly against the side of the hill. The Macedonians again, they shot lustily at them from the height of the hill, and in certain places amongst the rocks they came to the sword. At the selfsame time, the two other troops on either hand of him did their endeavour likewise to get up the hill, and as it were envying one another, they climbed up with great courage against the sharp and steep hanging of the mountain.
When the sun was up, they might see afar off as it were, a certain smoke, not very bright at the beginning, much like to the mists we see commonly rise from the tops of the mountains. The enemies could see nothing, because it was behind them, and that the top of the mountain was possessed with the same. The Romans, though they were not assured of it, did hope being in the midst of the fight, that it was their fellows they looked for. But when they saw it increased still more, and more, and in such sort, that it darkened all the air: then they did assure themselves it was certainly the token their men did give them that they were come. Then they began to cry out, climbing up the hills with such a lusty courage, that they drave their enemies up the hill still, even unto the very rough and hardest places of the mountain. Their fellows also that were behind the enemies, did answer them with like loud cries from the top of the mountain: wherewith the enemies were so astoni[sh]ed, that they fled presently upon it. Nothwithstanding, there were not slain above two thousand of them, because the hardness and straitness of the place did so guard them, that they could not be chased.
But the Romans spoiled their camp, took all that they found in their tents, took also their slaves, and won the passage into the mountains, by the which they entered the country of Epirus: and did pass through it so quietly, and with so great abstinence, that though they were far from their ships and the sea, and lacked their ordinary portion of corn which they were wont to have monthly, and that victuals were very scant with them at that time, yet they never took anything of the country, though they found great store and plenty of all riches in it. For Titus was advertised, that Philip passing by Thessaly, and flying for fear, had caused the inhabitants of the cities to get them to the mountains, and then to set fire on their houses, and to leave those goods they could not carry away, by reason of the weight and unhandsome carriage thereof, to the spoil of his soldiers: and so (as it seemed) he left the whole country to the conquest of the Romans.
Whereupon Titus looking considerately to his doings, gave his men great charge to pass through the country without doing any hurt or mischief, as the same which their enemies had now left to them as their own.
Narration and Discussion
How did the Romans take the passage to Epirus? Give evidence that Titus was a different sort of general from those that had come before.
Discuss the conduct of the Roman soldiers under Titus. Why did he not allow them to rob or molest the civilians, although they did loot Philip's camp?
If you were told that your country was being invaded by barbarians, what would you expect them to look like? How would you expect them to act?
The Greeks were surprised when they met this young, well-mannered Roman general named Titus Flamininus, and they decided to trust him.
Who was Pyrrhus?
Pyrrhus was the king of Epirus from 307 to 302 B.C. and again from 295 to 272 B.C. He is the subject of Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus.
forbearing: restraint, letting alone
he prayed audience: he asked for the chance to speak publicly
prolong his time there: give him authority to continue his "mission" in Greece (to lead the war against Macedon)
neither King Philip attained that he prayed: Philip did not get what he wanted
So they tarried not long to enjoy the benefit of their orderly and wise forbearing of the country.
For, so soon as they were entered Thessaly, the cities willingly yielded themselves unto them: and the Grecians inhabiting beyond the country of Thermopyles, did marvellously desire to see Titus, asking no other thing, but to put themselves into his hands. The Achaians also on the other side, did renounce the league and alliance they had made with Philip: and furthermore did determine in their council, to make war with him [Philip] on the Romans' side. And although the Ætolians were at that time friends and confederates with the Romans, and that they did shew themselves very loving to take their part in these wars: nevertheless when they desired the Opuntians that they would put their city into their hands, and were offered that it should be kept and defended from Philip: they would not hearken thereto, but sent for Titus, and put themselves and their goods wholly into his protection.
They say, that when King Pyrrhus first saw the Romans' army range in order of battle from the top of a hill, he said: This order of the barbarous people, setting of their men in battle [ar]ray, was not done in a barbarous manner. And those also that never had seen Titus before, and came for to speak with him: were compelled in a manner to say as much. For where they had heard the Macedonians say, that there came a captain of the barbarous people that destroyed all before him by force of arms, and subdued whole countries by violence: they said to the contrary, that they found him a man, indeed young of years, howbeit gentle, and courteous to look on, and that spake the Greek tongue excellently well, and was a lover only of true glory. By reason whereof they returned home marvellous glad, and filled all the cities and towns of Greece with goodwill towards him, and said: they had seen Titus the captain, that would restore them to their ancient liberty again. Then it much more appeared, when Philip shewed himself willing to have peace, and that Titus also did offer it him, and the friendship of the people of Rome, with these conditions: that he [Philip] would leave the Grecians their whole liberties, and remove his garrisons out of their cities and strongholds: which Philip refused to do. And thereupon all Greece, and even those which favoured Philip, said with one voice: that the Romans were not come to make wars with them, but rather with the Macedonians in favour of the Grecians. Whereupon all Greece came in, and offered themselves unto Titus without compulsion.
And as he passed through the country of Boeotia, without any shew at all of wars, the chiefest men of the city of Thebes went to meet him: who though they took part with [Philip] the king of Macedon, because of a private man called Brachylelis, yet they would honour Titus, as those which were contented to keep league and friendship with either side. Titus embraced them, and spake very courteously unto them, going on his way still fair and softly, entertaining them sometime with one matter, and sometime with another, and kept them [talking on purpose], to the end his soldiers being wearied with journeying, might in the meantime take good breath: and so marching on, by little and little, he entered into the city with them.
Wherewith the Lords of Thebes were not greatly pleased, but yet they durst not refuse him, though he had not at that time any number of soldiers about him. When he was within Thebes, he prayed audience, and began to persuade the people (as carefully as if he had not had the city already) that they would rather take part with the Romans, than with the king of Macedon.
And to further Titus' purpose, King Attalus being by chance at that time in the assembly, did help to exhort the Thebans very earnestly, that they would do as Titus persuaded them. But Attalus was more earnest than became a man of his years, for the desire he had (as was imagined) to shew Titus his eloquence: who did so strain and move himself withal, that he sounded suddenly in the midst of his oration, whereby the rheum fell down so fast upon him, that it took away his senses, so as he fell in a trance before them all, and few days after was conveyed again by sea into Asia, where he lived not long after. [Dryden: And he, indeed, trying to play the advocate, beyond what it seems his age could bear, was seized, in the midst of his speech, with a sudden flux or dizziness, and swooned away; and, not long after, was conveyed by ship into Asia, and died there.]
In the meantime, the Boeotians came into the Romans, and took their part. And Philip having sent ambassadors to Rome, Titus also sent thither [some] of his men to solicit for him, in two respects. The one, if wars continued against Philip, that then they would prolong his time there. The other, if the Senate did grant him peace: that they would do him the honour, as to make and conclude it with Philip. For Titus of his own nature being very ambitious, did fear lest they would send a successor to continue those wars, who should take the glory from him, and make an end of them. But his friends made such earnest suit for him, that neither King Philip attained that he prayed: neither was there sent any other general in Titus' place, but he still continued his charge in these wars.
Narration and Discussion
"A Greek in his voice and language, and a lover of honour." Explain what was meant by this.
Explain the situation with the men of Thebes. How did Titus deal with them?
Why did Titus want to continue the war, and more importantly, to continue to be at the center of it himself?
Setting: The Battle of Cynoscephalae, 197 B.C.
Philip of Macedon was now in Thessaly, and refused to leave the Greeks alone, so Titus marched out to fight him. The armies were equal in numbers, but the Macedonians discovered a problem with their famous phalanx formation: it only worked on level ground.
the goodliest theater of the world: "theater" is used in its military sense, meaning a large geographical area where "military operations" (battles etc.) are being carried out.
charnel house: crypt or burial mound: see Plutarch's explanation which follows
did of himself defer to give battle that day: decided to hold off fighting
amain: quickly, at full speed
unfurnished in many places: sparsely guarded
which doth stay up one another: which supports each other
Wherefore, so soon as he [Titus] had received his commission and authority from the Senate, he went straight towards Thessaly with great hope to overcome Philip. For he had in his army above six and twenty thousand fighting men, whereof the Ætolians made six thousand footmen, and three thousand horsemen. King Philip's army on the other side was no less in number, and they began to march one towards the other, until at the length they both drew near the city of Scotusa, where they determined to try the battle. So, neither they nor their men were afraid, to see themselves one so near another: but rather to the contrary, the Romans on the one side took greater heart and courage unto them, desiring to fight, as thinking with themselves what great honour they should win to overcome the Macedonians, who were so highly esteemed for their valiantness, by reason of the famous acts that Alexander the Great did by them. And the Macedonians on the other side also, taking the Romans for other manner of soldiers than the Persians, began to have good hope if they might win the field, to make King Philip more famous in the world, than ever was Alexander his father.
Titus then calling his men together, spake, and exhorted them to stand to it like men, and to show themselves valiant soldiers in this battle, as those which were to shew the proof of their valiantness in the heart of Greece: the goodliest theater of the world, and against their enemies of most noble fame. Philip then by chance, or forced to it by the speed he made, because they were both ready to join: did get up un[a]wares upon a charnel house (where they had buried many bodies, being a little hill raised up above the rest, and near the trenches of his camp), and there began to encourage his soldiers, as all generals do before they give battle. Who when he saw them all discouraged, for they took it for an ill sign that he was gotten up on the top of a grave to speak unto them: he of a conceit at the matter, did of himself defer to give battle that day.
The next morning, because the night was very wet by reason the south winds had blown, the clouds were turned to a mist, and filled all the valley with a dark gross thick air, coming from the mountains thereabouts, which covered the field between both camps with a mist all the morning: by reason whereof the scouts on both sides that were sent to discover what the enemies did, in very short time met together, and one gave charge upon another in a place they call the Dogs' Heads, which are points of rocks placed upon little hills one before another, and very near one unto another, which have been called so, because they have had some likeness of it. In this skirmish there were many changes, as commonly falleth out when they fight in such ill-favoured stony places. For sometime the Romans fled, and the Macedonians chased them: another time the Macedonians that followed the chase, were glad to fly themselves, and the Romans who fled before, now had them in chase. This change and alteration came, by sending new supplies still from both camps, to relieve them that were distressed and driven to flee.
Now began the mist to break up, and the air to clear, so that both generals might see about them what was done in either camp: by reason whereof both of them drew on their army to the field and battle. So Philip had the vantage on the right wing of his army, which was placed on the height of an hanging hill, from which they came so amain to set upon the Romans, and with such a fury, that the strongest and valiantest that could be, had never been able to abide the front of their battle, so closely were they joined together, and their wall of pikes was so strong. But on his left wing it was not so, because the ranks of his battle could not join so near, nor close target to target, the place being betwixt the hills and the rocks where the battle was coming, so as they were compelled by reason of the straitness and unevenness of the ground, to leave it open, and unfurnished in many places.
Titus finding that disadvantage, went from the left wing of his battle which he saw overlaid by the right wing of his enemies, and going suddenly toward the left wing of King Philip's battle, he set upon the Macedonians on that side, where he saw they could not close their ranks in the front, nor join them together in the midst of the battle (which is the whole strength and order of the Macedonian fight) because the field was uphill and downhill: and to fight hand to hand they were so pestered behind, that one thronged and overlaid another. For the battle of the Macedonians hath this property, that so long as the order is kept close and joined together, it seemeth as it were but the body of a beast of a force invincible. But also after that it is once open, and that they are sundered and not joined together, it doth not only lose the force and power of the whole body, but also of every private soldier that fighteth: partly by reason of the diversity of the weapons wherewith they fight, and partly for that their whole strength consisteth most, in the disposing and joining together of their ranks and orders which doth stay up one another, more than doth every private soldier's strength.
So when this left wing of the Macedonians was broken, and that they ran their way: one part of the Romans followed the chase, and the other ran to give a charge upon the flanks of the right wing which fought yet, and they made great slaughter of them.
Narration and Discussion
Why is it that "neither they nor their men were afraid, to see themselves one so near another?"
Compare the speeches that Titus and Philip made.
Consider the description of the phalanx. "For the battle of the Macedonians hath this property, that so long as the order is kept close and joined together, it seemeth as it were but the body of a beast of a force invincible. But also after that it is once open, and that they are sundered and not joined together, it doth not only lose the force and power of the whole body, but also of every private soldier that fighteth: partly by reason of the diversity of the weapons wherewith they fight, and partly for that their whole strength consisteth most, in the disposing and joining together of their ranks and orders which doth stay up one another, more than doth every private soldier's strength." Dryden translates this as " . . . irresistible so long as it is embodied into one, and keeps its order, shield touching shield, all as in a piece; but if it be once broken, not only is the joint-force lost, but the individual soldiers also who composed it; lose each one his own single strength, because of the nature of their armour; and because each of them is strong, rather, as he makes a part of the whole, than in himself." Do you see any similarity to the Body of Christ?
Who really won the battle?
And what would you do if you really, really wanted to annoy Titus?
And had not the fault been in the Ætolians, Philip had not saved himself by flying as he did: the Ætolians were blamed for letting Philip get away (because they were busy looting).
tarried: lingered too long
without making account of the Ætolians: without including them in his plans
Whereupon they now which before had the vantage [the Macedonians who had been in a better position to fight], began to stagger and break, and in the end ran away as fast as the other [Macedonians] did, throwing down their weapons: insomuch as there were slain of them eight thousand in the field, and five thousand taken prisoners in the chase.
And had not the fault been in the Ætolians, Philip had not saved himself by flying as he did. For whilst the Romans had their enemies in chase, the Ætolians tarried, and rifled all King Philip's camp, so as they had left the Romans nothing to spoil at their return. Whereupon there grew great quarrel, and hot words between them, and one with another. But afterwards they angered Titus worse, challenging the honour of this victory to themselves, because they gave it out through Greece, that they alone had overthrown King Philip in the battle.
So that in the songs and ballads the poets made in praise of this victory, which every country and townsman had in his mouth: they always put the Ætolians before the Romans, as in this that followeth, which was currently sung in every place:
Oh friend, which passest by: here lie we wretched fears
Without honour of the grave, without lamenting tears.
We thirty thousand were, which ended have our days:
In cruel coasts of Thessaly, which caused our decays.
We have been overthrown by the Ætolians' men of war:
And by the Latin crews likewise, whom Titus led from far.
Even out of Italy, to Macedonie land,
Us to destroy, he (captain like) did come with mighty band.
And Philip stout, therewhiles for all his proud fierce face:
Is fled more swift than hearts do run which are pursued in chase.
"Naked and tombless see, O passer-by,
The thirty thousand men of Thessaly,
Slain by the Aetolians and the Latin band,
That came with Titus from Italia's land;
Alas for mighty Macedon! that day,
Swift as a roe, King Philip fled away."]
The Poet was Alcæus that made these verses for to sing, who did them in disgrace of King Philip, falsely increasing the number of his men which died in the battle, only to shame and spite him the more: howbeit he spited Titus thereby, more than Philip, because it was sung in every place.
For Philip laughed at it, and to encounter him again with the like mock, he made a song to counterfeit his, as followeth:
This gibbet on this hill which passersby may mark:
Was set to hang Alcæus up, withouten leaves or bark.
"Naked and leafless see, O passer-by,
The cross that shall Alcæus crucify."]
But Titus took it grievously, who chiefly desired to be honoured amongst the Grecians, by reason whereof from that time forwards he dealt in the rest of his matters alone, without making account of the Ætolians: wherewith they were marvellous angry, and specially when he received an ambassador from Philip, and gave ear unto a treaty of peace which he offered. For then they were so nettled against him, that they gave it out through all Greece, that Titus had sold peace unto Philip, when he might altogether have ended the war, and utterly have destroyed Philip's whole power and empire, who had first brought Greece into bondage. These slanderous reports and false tales which the Ætolians spread thus abroad, did much trouble the Romans' friends and confederates: but Philip [him]self pulled this suspicion out of their heads, when he came in person to require peace, and did submit himself wholly to the discretion of Titus and the Romans.
Narration and Discussion
"The Poet was Alcæus that made these verses for to sing, who did them in disgrace of King Philip, falsely increasing the number of his men which died in the battle, only to shame and spite him the more: howbeit he spited Titus thereby, more than Philip, because it was sung in every place." Why did the verses cause more "spite" against Titus than they did against Philip? (Writing idea: write an "elegiac verse" that Titus might have composed about the Ætolians.)
"For then they were so nettled against him, that they gave it out through all Greece, that Titus had sold peace unto Philip, when he might altogether have ended the war, and utterly have destroyed Philip's whole power and empire, who had first brought Greece into bondage." Was this true?
The Greeks seemed somewhat puzzled about what the Roman victory meant for them, and things weren't helped by the constant agitations of the Ætolians.
Antiochus: Antiochus II (the Great) of Syria; reigned 223-187 B.C.
whom he put in the head: to whom he suggested
with good garrison: keeping a Roman military presence (a fort) there
delivered from garrison: having the fort and soldiers removed from those cities
bruit and tumult: noise and confusion
in such audible wise: so loudly
letting the games alone: forgetting about the sports
betimes: in good time, early
Titus then granted him [Philip] peace, and delivered to him his realm of Macedon, and commanded him he should give over all that he held in Greece, and besides, that he should pay one thousand talents for tribute, taking from him all his army by sea, saving only ten ships: and for assurance of this peace, he took one of his sons for hostage, whom he sent to Rome. Wherein Titus certainly did very well, and wisely did foresee the time to come.
For then Hannibal of Carthage, (the great enemy of the Romans) was banished out of his country, and came to King Antiochus, whom he put in the head, and earnestly moved, to follow his good fortune, and the increase of his Empire. Whom Hannibal so followed with these persuasions, that King Antiochus at length was come to it. And trusting to his former good success, and notable acts, whereby in the wars before he had attained the surname of Great: he began now to aspire to the monarchy of the whole world, and sought how to find occasion to make wars with the Romans.
So that if Titus (foreseeing that afar off) had not wisely inclined to peace, but that the wars of Antiochus had fallen out together with the wars of King Philip, and that these two, the mightiest princes of the world, had joined together against the city of Rome: then it had been in as great trouble and danger, as ever it was before, in the time of their wars against Hannibal. Howbeit Titus having haply thrust in this peace between both wars, he cut off the war that was present, before the other that was coming: by which means he took from one of the kings his last, and from the other his first hope. In the meantime, the ten commissioners that were sent by the Senate from Rome to Titus, to aid and assist him in the order of the affairs of Greece: did counsel him to set all the rest of Greece at liberty, and only to keep in their hands with good garrison, the cities of Chalcide, of Corinth, and of Demetriade, to make sure that by practise they should not enter into league and alliance with Antiochus.
Then the Ætolians (that were the common slanderers of Titus' proceedings) began openly to make these cities to rebel, and did summon Titus to loose the chains of Greece: for so did King Philip call these three cities. Then they asked the Grecians in mockery, whether they were willing now to have heavier fetters on their legs, than before, being somewhat brighter and fairer than those they had been shackled with: and also whether they were not greatly behold[en] to Titus for taking of the fetters from the Grecians' legs, and tying them about their necks. Titus being marvellously troubled and vexed with this, moved the ten counsellors so earnestly, that he made them grant his request in the end, that those three cities also should be delivered from garrison: because the Grecians thenceforth might no more complain, that his grace and liberality was not thoroughly performed, and accomplished in every respect on them all.
Wherefore, when the feast called Isthmia was come, there were gathered together an infinite multitude of people come to see the sport of the games played there: for Greece having been long time troubled with wars, they seeing themselves now in sure peace, and in very good hope of full liberty, looked after no other thing, but delighted only to see games, and to make merry. Proclamation was then made by sound of trumpet in the assembly, that every man should keep silence. That done, the herald went forward, and thrust into the midst of the multitude, and proclaimed out aloud: That the Senate of Rome, and Titus Quintius Flamininus, consul of the people of Rome (now that they had overthrown King Philip and the Macedonians in battle) did thenceforth discharge from all garrisons, and set at liberty from all taxes, subsidies, and impositions for ever, to live after their old ancient laws, and in full liberty: the Corinthians, the Locrians, those of Phocide, those of the Isle of Euboea, the Achaians, the Phthiotes, the Magnesians, the Thessalians, and the Perrhaebeians.
At the first time of the proclamation, all the people could not hear the voice of the herald, and the most part of those that heard him, could not tell distinctly what he said: for there ran up and down the showplace where the games were played, a confused bruit and tumult of the people that wondered, and asked what the matter meant, so as the herald was driven again to make the proclamation.
Whereupon after silence made, the herald putting out his voice far louder than before, did proclaim it in such audible wise, that the whole assembly heard him: and then rose there such a loud shout and cry of joy through the whole people, that the sound of it was heard to the sea. Then all the people that had taken their places, and were set to see the swordplayers play, rose up all on their feet, letting the games alone, and went together with great joy to salute, to embrace, and to thank Titus the recoverer, protector, and patron of all their liberties of Greece.
Then was seen (which is much spoken of) the power of men's voices: for crows fell down at that present time among the people, which by chance flew over the show place at that time that they made the same out-shout. This came to pass, by reason the air was broken and cut asunder, with the vehemency and strength of the voices, so as it had not his natural power in it, to keep up the flying of the birds: which were driven of necessity to fall to the ground, as flying through a void place where they lacked air. Unless we will rather say, that it was the violence of the cry, which struck the birds passing through the air, as they had been hit with arrows, and so made them fall down dead to the earth. It may be also, that there was some hurling wind in the air, as we do see sometime in the sea, when it riseth high, and many times turneth about the waves, by violence of the storm. So it is, that if Titus had not prevented the whole multitude of people which came to see him, and that he had not got him away betimes, before the games were ended: he [would have] hardly [e]scaped from being stifled amongst them, the people came so thick about him from every place. But after that they were weary of crying, and singing about his pavilion until night, in the end they went their way: and as they went, if they met any of their kin, friends or citizens, they did kiss and embrace one another for joy, and so supped, and made merry together.
In their more rejoicing yet, as we may think full well, they had no other talk at the table, but of the wars of Greece, discoursing amongst them what sundry great wars they had made, what they had endured heretofore, and all to defend and recover their liberty. And yet for all that, they could never so joyfully nor more assuredly obtain it, than they did even at that present, receiving the honourablest reward, and that which deserved greatest fame through the world: that by the valiantness of strangers who fought for the same (without any spilt blood of their own in comparison, or that they lost the life of any one man, whose death they had cause to lament) they were so restored to their ancient freedom and liberty.
Narration and Discussion
Explain why it was so important for Titus to make peace with Philip right then.
The Greeks were asked "whether they were willing now to have heavier fetters on their legs, than before, being somewhat brighter and fairer than those they had been shackled with . . ." Dryden translates it "whether it were not matter of much consolation to them, that, though their chains weighed heavier, yet they were now smoother and better polished than formerly." Is that a fair description of life under Roman rule? If you had to be "chained," which would you prefer?
Something to think about: why was it hard for Titus to see Roman rule from that perspective? What kind of image might he have preferred to use? What did he do to prove that (from his viewpoint), he really did have the best interests of Greece at heart?
Titus continued to dismantle the Macedonian fortifications, and to act as the "liberator" of Greece.
fell out against themselves: decreased their power more than they helped; came back to bite them later. Dryden says, "Greece fought all her battles against, and to enslave, herself."
a strange nation: a foreign nation
at one self time: all at once
out of the which he took all the garrisons of the cities: he removed the enemy forts
judge and rector of the games: the one who presides over them
Zenocrates: Xenocrates of Chalcedon, who lived from c. 396-314 B.C. This story is given to show the benefits of mercy, not as something that happened during the life of Flamininus.
It is a very rare thing amongst men, to find a man very valiant, and wise withal: but yet of all sorts of valiant men, it is harder to find a just man. For Agesilaus, Lysander, Nicias, Alcibiades, and all other the famous captains of former times, had very good skill to lead an army, and to win the battle, as well by sea as by land: but to turn their victories to any honourable benefit, or true honour among men, they could never skill of it. And if you do except the battle against the barbarous people in the plain of Marathon, the battle of Salamina [Salamis], the journey of Plataes, the battle of Thermopyles, the battle Cimon fought about Cyprus, and upon the river of Eurymedon: all the other wars and battles of Greece that were made, fell out against themselves, and did ever bring them into bondage: and all the tokens of triumph which ever were set up for the same, was to their shame and loss. So that in the end, Greece was utterly destroyed and overthrown, and that chiefly through the wickedness and self will of her governors and captains of the cities, one envying another's doing. Where[as] a strange nation, the which (as it should seem) had very small occasion to move them to do it (for that they have had no great familiarity with ancient Greece, and through the counsel and good wisdom of the which it should seem very strange that Greece could receive any benefit) have notwithstanding with dangerous battles and infinite troubles, delivered it from oppression, and servitude, of violent lords and tyrants.
This, and such like talk, did at that time occupy the Grecians' heads: and moreover, the deeds following did answer and perform the words of the proclamation. For at one self time, Titus sent Lentulus into Asia, to set the Bargylians at liberty, and Titillius into Thracia, to remove the garrisons out of the isles and cities which Philip had kept there: and Publius Julius was sent also into Asia, unto King Antiochus, to speak unto him to set the Grecians at liberty which he kept in subjection. And as for Titus, he went himself unto the city of Chalcide [Chalcis], where he took sea, and went into the province of Magnesia, out of the which he took all the garrisons of the cities, and redelivered the government of the commonwealth unto the citizens of the same.
Afterwards when time came, that the feast of Nemea was celebrated in the city of Argos in the honour of Hercules, Titus was chosen judge and rector of the games that were played there: where, after he had set all things in very good order, pertaining unto the solemnity of the feast, he caused again solemn proclamation to be made openly, for the general liberty of all Greece. Furthermore, visiting the cities, he did [e]stablish very good laws, reformed justice, and did set the inhabitants and citizens of every one of them in good peace, amity, and concord one with another: and did call home also all those that were outlaws and banished men, and pacified all old quarrels and dissensions among them. The which did no less please and content him, that by persuasions he could bring the Grecians to be reconciled one with the other: than if he had by force of arms overcome the Macedonians. Insomuch, as the recovery of the liberty which Titus had restored unto the Grecians, seemed unto them the least part of the goodness they had received at his hands.
They say, that Lycurgus the orator, seeing the collectors of taxes carry Zenocrates the Philosopher one day to prison, for lack of payment of a certain imposition, which the strangers inhabiting within the city of Athens were to pay: he rescued him from them by force, and moreover prosecuted law so hard against them, that he made them pay a fine for the injury they had done unto so worthy a person. And they tell, how the same philosopher afterwards meeting Lycurgus' children in the city, said unto them: I do well requite your father's good turn he did me: for I am the cause that he is praised and commended of every man, for the kindness he shewed on my behalf.
So the good deeds of the Romans, and of Titus Quintius Flamininus unto the Grecians, did not only reap this benefit unto them, in recompense that they were praised and honoured of all the world: but they were cause also of increasing their dominions and empire over all nations, and that the world afterwards had great affiance and trust in them, and that most justly. So that the people and cities [of Greece] did not only receive the captains and governors the Romans sent them: but they also went to Rome unto them, and procured them to come, and did put themselves into their hands. And not only the cities and communalities, but kings and princes also (which were oppressed by others more mighty than themselves) had no other refuge, but to put themselves under their [Roman] protection: by reason whereof in a very short time (with the favour and help of the gods as I am persuaded) all the world came to submit themselves to their obedience, and under the protection of their Empire.
Narration and Discussion
Discuss these sentences:
"It is a very rare thing amongst men, to find a man very valiant, and wise withal: but yet of all sorts of valiant men, it is harder to find a just man."
"So that in the end, Greece was utterly destroyed and overthrown, and that chiefly through the wickedness and self will of her governors and captains of the cities, one envying another's doing."
Would you say that the Greeks' newfound trust in Titus (or in Rome) was wise, or were they taken in? Did they have any choice? (Does Plutarch go a bit overboard in praising Rome here?)
Before you start, review what you know of Titus so far. What key words characterize his personality and his leadership?
In this passage, Titus engaged in "a goodly and just war against Nabis, the cursed and wicked tyrant of Lacedaemon." (Obviously Plutarch was not planning on writing a Life of Nabis.)
Philopoemen: see Plutarch's Life of Philopoemen
Titus' suit and intercession: the influence and persuasion of Titus
Titus also did glory more, that he had restored Greece again unto liberty, than in any other service or exploit he had ever done. For when he offered up unto the temple of Apollo in the city of Delphes [Delphi], the targets of silver with his own shield, he made these verses to be graven upon them, in effect as followeth:
O noble twins Tyndarides, Dan Jove his children dear:
Throw out loud shouts of joy and mirth, rejoice and make good cheer.
O noble kings of Spartan soil, which take delight to ride
Your trampling steeds, with foamy bit, and trappings by their side:
Rejoice you now, for Titus, he, the valiant Roman knight,
These gifts so great to you hath got, even by his force and might.
That having taken clean away from off the Greekish necks
The heavy yoke of servitude, which held them thrall to cheeks,
Unto their former liberty he hath restored them free,
Which altogether perished was, as men might plainly see.
"Ye Spartan Tyndarids, twin sons of Jove,
Who in swift horsemanship have placed your love,
Titus, of great Aeneas's race, leaves this
In honour of the liberty of Greece."]
He gave a crown of massy gold unto Apollo, upon the which he made this inscription to be written:
A valiant Roman knight, even Titus by his name,
A captain worthy by desert, of high renown and fame:
To thee (Apollo god) this crown of pure fine gold
Hath given thy godhead to adorn, with jewels manifold.
Therefore let it thee please (Apollo god of grace).
With favour to requite this love to him and to his face:
That his renowned fame and virtue may be spread,
And blazed through the world so wide, to shew what life he led.
This golden crown upon thy locks divine,
O blest Latonia's son, was set to shine
By the great captain of the Aenean name.
O Phoebus, grant the noble Titus fame!]
So hath the city of Corinth enjoyed this good hap, that the Grecians have been twice proclaimed to be set at liberty: the first time by Titus Quintius Flamininus, and the second time, by Nero in our time, and [both] at the selfsame instant when they solemnly kept the feast called Isthmia. Howebeit the first proclamation of their liberty (as we have told ye before) was done by the voice of a herald: and the second time it was done by Nero himself, who proclaimed it in an oration he made unto the people in open assembly, in the marketplace of the city of Corinth. But it was a long time after.
Furthermore, Titus began then a goodly and just war against Nabis, the cursed and wicked tyrant of Lacedaemon. Howebeit in the end he deceived the expectation of Greece. For when he might have taken him, he would not do it, but made peace with him, forsaking poor Sparta unworthily oppressed under the yoke of bondage: either because he was afraid that if the war held on, there should come a successor unto him from Rome, that tyrant should carry the glory away to end the same, or else he stood jealous and envious of the honour they did unto Philopoemen. Who having shewed himself in every place as excellent a captain as ever came in Greece, and having done notable acts and famous service, both of great wisdom, and also of valiantness, and specially in the Achaians' war, he was as much honoured and reverenced of the Achaians, in the theaters and common assemblies, even as Titus was. Whereat Titus was marvellously offended, for he thought it unreasonable, that an Arcadian who had never been general of an army, but in small little wars against his neighbours, should be as much esteemed and honoured, as a consul of Rome, that was come to make wars for the recovery of the liberty of Greece. But Titus alleged reasonable excuse for his doings, saying that he saw very well he could not destroy this tyrant Nabis, without the great loss and misery of the other Spartans.
Furthermore, of all the honours the Achaians ever did him (which were very great) methinks there was none that came near any recompense of his honourable and well deserving, but one only present they offered him, and which he above all the rest most esteemed: and this it was. During the second wars of Africa, which the Romans had against Hannibal, many Romans were taken prisoners in the sundry battles they lost, and being sold here and there, remained slaves in many countries: and amongst other[s], there were dispersed in Greece to the number of twelve hundred, which from time to time did move men with pity and compassion towards them, that saw them in so miserable change and state of fortune. But then much more was their misery to be pitied, when these captives found in the Romans' army, some of them their sons, other their brethren, and the rest their fellows and friends, free, and conquerors, and themselves slaves and bondmen. It grieved Titus much to see these poor men in such miserable captivity, notwithstanding he would not take them by force from those that had them. Whereupon the Achaians redeemed and bought them for five hundred pence a man, and having gathered them together into a troop, they presented all the Roman captives unto Titus, even as he was ready to take ship to return into Italy: which present made him return home with greater joy and contentation, having received for his noble deeds so honourable a recompense, and worthy of himself, that was so loving a man to his citizens and country.
And surely, that only was the ornament (in my opinion) that did most beautify his triumph. For these poor redeemed captives did that, which the slaves are wont to do on that day when they be set at liberty: to wit, they shave their heads, and do wear little hats upon them. The Romans that were thus redeemed, did in like manner: and so followed Titus' chariot, on the day of his triumph and entry made into Rome in the triumphing manner.
It was a goodly sight also, to see the spoils of the enemies, which were carried in the show of this triumph: as, store of helmets after the Grecians' fashion, heaps of targets, shields, and pikes after the Macedonian manner, with a wonderful sum of gold and silver. For Itanus the historiographer writeth, that there was brought a marvellous great mass of treasure in nuggets of gold, of three thousand seven hundred and thirteen pound weight, and of silver, of forty three thousand, two hundred, three score and ten pound weight, and of gold ready coined in pieces called "Philips" fourteen thousand, five hundred, and fourteen, besides the thousand talents King Philip should pay for a ransom. The which sum, the Romans afterwards forgave him, chiefly at Titus' suit and intercession, who procured that grace for him, and caused him to be called a friend and confederate of the people of Rome, and his son Demetrius to be sent unto him again, who remained before as an hostage at Rome.
Narration and Discussion
The big question here: why did Titus let Nabis go and make peace with him instead of destroying him? What are the three possible reasons that Plutarch suggests?
Sometimes we can't seem to get enough of the things we want most. Some people crave thrills and excitement to the point that even hang gliding becomes boring. Some people will do almost anything for love and affection. What is it that Titus just couldn't get enough of? How could that desire begin to be a problem for him?
Antiochus of Syria (aided by the Ætolians) arrived in Greece, trying to stir things up against Rome, and to liberate the Greeks from their liberators. Titus was not consul at this point, but he returned as lieutenant to the current consul. His presence seemed to ease some of the tension, reminding the Greeks of the trust they had established. ("If you won't do it for Rome, at least do it for Titus.")
Thermopyles, Thermopylae: not the famous battle of 480 B.C. with the Greeks vs. the Persians; this battle at Thermopylae was fought by the Romans against Syria
"but for that they had no just cause to make war, they taught him to cloak it the honestest way he could": Dryden translates this "in lack of really honourable grounds, he was instructed to employ these lofty professions."
Manius Acilius: Manius Acilius Glabrio was a consul of the Roman Republic in 191 B.C.
to flee out, and to shrink into Greece, from them: to escape the situation (and the Romans)
being overcome in the country of Thermopyles: having lost this later battle of Thermopylae
Shortly after, King Antiochus went out of Asia into Greece with a great fleet of ships, and a very puissant army, to stir up the cities to forsake their league and alliance with the Romans, and to make a dissension amongst them. To further this his desire and enterprise, the Ætolians did aid and back him, which of long time had borne great and secret malice against the Romans, and desired much to have had wars with them. So they taught King Antiochus to say, that the war which he took in hand, was to set the Grecians at liberty, whereof they had no need, because they did already enjoy their liberty: but for that they had no just cause to make war, they taught him to cloak it the honestest way he could.
Wherefore the Romans fearing greatly the rising of the people, and the rumour of the power of this great king, they sent thither Manius Acilius their general, and Titus, [acting as] one of his lieutenants, for the Grecians' sakes. Which arrival did the more assure them that already bare good will to the Romans, after they had once seen Manius and Titus; and the rest that began to flee out, and to shrink into Greece, from them, those Titus kept in obedience from starting, remembering them of the friendship and goodwill they had borne him, even like a good skilful physician that could give his patient physic to preserve him from a contagious disease. Indeed there were some (but few of them) that left him, which were won and corrupted before by the Ætolians: and though he had just cause of offence towards them, yet he saved them after the battle. For King Antiochus being overcome in the country of Thermopyles, fled his way, and in great haste took the sea to return into Asia.
And the consul Manius following his victory, entered into the country of the Ætolians, where he took certain towns by force, and left the other for a prey unto King Philip. So Philip king of Macedon on the one side, spoiled and sacked the Dolopians, the Magnesians, the Athamanians, and the Aperantines: and the consul Manius on the other side, destroyed the city of Heraclea, and laid siege to the city of Naupactum, which the Ætolians kept. But Titus taking compassion of them, to see the poor people of Greece thus spoiled and turned out of all: went out of Peloponnesus (where he was then) unto Manius Acilius' camp, and there reproved him for suffering King Philip to usurp the benefit and reward of his honourable victory, still conquering many people, kings, and countries, whilst he continued siege before a city, and only to wreak his anger upon them. Afterwards, when they that were besieged saw Titus from their walls, they called him by his name, and held up their hands unto him, praying him he would take pity upon them: but he gave them never a word at that time, and turning his back unto them, he fell a-weeping.
Afterwards he spake with Manius, and appeasing his anger, got him to grant the Ætolians truce for certain days, in which time they might send ambassadors to Rome, to see if they could obtain grace and pardon of the Senate.
Narration and Discussion
What kind of a role did Titus have during this time when he had been replaced as consul? Can you see any signs that his being out of office bothered him?
How did Titus show compassion (magnanimity) for Greece, and especially for the Ætolians, after the defeat of Antiochus at Thermopylae? Was this unexpected?
Why did Titus turn his back on those who were besieged?
In this passage we have examples both of the honour shown to Titus, and of his ironic sense of humour. (This was a high point for Titus: the last two lessons take a slightly different turn.)
the Chalcidians were much affected unto King Antiochus: Dryden translates this, "The Chalcidians, in consequence, embraced the king's interests with zeal and alacrity . . ."
passing fair: quite pretty
lie upon him: try to coax him
superscriptions: inscriptions written over the doors
for emulation of honour: desiring the most honoured place
but he ever ended the heat of his words, in council and assemblies, where he uttered his mind frankly to them both: Dryden's translation: "but when it had vented itself in some citizen-like freedom of speech, there was an end of it."
and did number them by many diverse names: Dryden translates this "a long catalogue of hard names"
But the most trouble and difficulty he had, was to entreat for the Chalcidians, with whom the Consul Manius was more grievously offended, than with all the rest: because that King Antiochus, after the war was begun, had married his wife in their city, when he was past years of marriage, and out of all due time. For he was now very old, and in the midst of his wars, he fell in [love] with a young gentlewoman, the daughter of Cleoptolemus, the fairest woman that was at that time in all Greece. Therefore the Chalcidians were much affected unto King Antiochus, and did put their city into his hands, to serve him in this war, for a strong and safe retiring place.
Whereupon, when Antiochus had lost the battle [at Thermopylae], he came thither [to Chalcide, or Chalcis] with all possible speed, and taking from thence with him his passing fair young queen which he had married, and his gold, his silver, and friends, he took the seas incontinently, and returned into Asia.
For this cause the consul Manius, having won the battle, did march straight with his army towards the city of Chalcide in a great rage and fury. But Titus that followed him, did always lie upon him to pacify his anger, and did so much entreat him, together with the other Romans of state and authority in council: that in the end, he got him to pardon them of Chalcide also.
Who, because they were preserved from peril by his means, they, to recompense this fact of his, did consecrate unto him, all their most stately and sumptuous buildinges and common works in their city, as appeareth yet by the superscriptions remaining to be seen at this day. As in the showplace of exercises: The people of Chalcide did dedicate this showplace of exercises. unto Titus and Hercules. And in the temple called Delphinium: The people of Chalcide did consecrate this temple unto Titus, and unto Apollo. And furthermore, unto this present time, there is a priest chosen by the voice of the people, purposely to do sacrifice unto Titus: in which sacrifice, after that the thing sacrificed is offered up, and wine poured upon it, the people standing by, do sing a song of triumph made in praise of him. But because it were too long to write it all out, we have only drawn in brief the latter end of the same: and this it is:
The clear unspotted faith, of Romans we adore.
And vow to be their faithful friends, both now and ever more.
Sing out you Muses nine, to love's eternal fame.
Sing out the honour due to Rome, and Titus' worthy name.
Sing out (I say) the praise, of Titus and his faith:
By whom you have preserved been, from ruin, dole, and death.
"The Roman Faith, whose aid of yore
Our vows were offered to implore,
We worship now and evermore.
To Rome, to Titus, and to Jove,
O maidens, in the dances move.
Dances and Io-Paeans too
Unto the Roman Faith are due,
O Saviour Titus, and to you."]
Now the Chalcidians did not alone only honour and reverence Titus, but he was generally honoured also by the Grecians as he deserved, and was marvellously beloved for his courtesy and good nature: which argueth plainly that they did not feignedly honour him, or through compulsion, but even from the heart. For though there was some jar betwixt him and Philopoemen at the first about service, for emulation of honour, and after betwixt him and Diophanes also, both generals of the Achaians: yet he never bare them any malice in his heart, neither did his anger move him at any time to hurt them any way, but he ever ended the heat of his words, in council and assemblies, where he uttered his mind frankly to them both.
Therefore none thought him ever a cruel man, or eager of revenge: but many have thought him rash, and hasty of nature. Otherwise, he was as good a companion in company as possibly could be, and would use as pleasant wise mirth as any man.
[Here are some stories about Titus's sense of humour.] As when he said to the Achaians, on a time, who would needs unjustly usurp the isle of the Zacynthians, to dissuade them from it: My Lords of Achaia, if ye once go out of Peloponnesus, you put yourselves in danger, as the tortoises do, when they thrust their heads out of their shell. And the first time he parled with Philip to treat of peace: when Philip said unto him, you have brought many men with you, and I am come alone. Indeed it is true you are alone, said [Titus], because you made all your friends and kin to be slain.
In the council of the Achaians, King Antiochus' ambassadors being come thither, to move them to break their league with the Romans, and to make alliance with the king their master, they made a marvellous large discourse of the great multitude of soldiers that were in their master's army, and did number them by many diverse names. Whereunto Titus answered, and told how a friend of his having bidden him one night to supper, and having served so many dishes to his board, as he was angry with him for bestowing so great cost upon him, as wondering how he could so suddenly get so much store of meat, and of so diverse kinds. My friend said to me again, that all was but pork dressed so many ways, and with so sundry sauces. And even so (quoth Titus) my Lords of Achaia, esteem not King Antiochus' army the more, to hear of so many men of arms, numbered with their lances, and of such a number of footmen with their pikes: for they are all but Syrians, diversely armed, only with ill favoured little weapons.
Narration and Discussion
"But Titus that followed him, did always lie upon him to pacify his anger, and did so much entreat him, together with the other Romans of state and authority in council: that in the end, he got him to pardon them of Chalcide also." Why did Titus care about pardoning the Chalcidians?
Was it appropriate for Titus to sometimes exercise the "heat of his words?" How did he keep his inclination to speak out from going too far? (Ephesians 4:26: Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.)
The story continues with themes of personal bitterness and revenge.
Who annoyed whom first?
The structure of this passage is a bit confusing. Titus was elected censor in 189 BC. Marcus Cato the Elder was censor in 184 BC. So Titus (as censor) first annoyed Cato by passing him over for leader of the Senate; and then five years later, Cato "cleaned house" in the Senate and expelled Titus's brother Lucius.
censor: see notes for Marcus Cato the Censor
tribune of the people: a representative of the commoners in the Roman Senate
Marcus Porcius Cato: see Plutarch's Life of Marcus Cato the Censor
prince of the Senate: first member of the Senate
redound: reflect (badly) on him
the marketplace: the Roman Forum
the pulpit for orations: the place for public speaking
by practise he procured of the Senate: he arranged it
were called in, and made void: cancelled
Furthermore, after Titus had done these things, and that the war with Antiochus was ended, he was chosen censor at Rome, with the son of that same Marcellus, who had been five times consul. This office is of great dignity, and as a man may say, the crown of all the honours that a citizen of Rome can have in their commonwealth. They put of the Senate, four men only: but they were not famous. They did receive all into the number of citizens of Rome, that would present themselves to be enrolled in their common register: with a proviso, that they were born free by father and mother. They were compelled to do it, by Terentius Culeo, tribune of the people, who to despite the nobility, persuaded the people of Rome to command it so.
Now at that time, two of the noblest and most famous men of Rome were great enemies one against another: Publius Scipio African[us], and Marcus Porcius Cato. Of these two, Titus named Publius Scipio African[us], to be prince of the Senate, as the chiefest and worthiest person in the city: and got the displeasure of the other, which was Cato, by this mishap. Titus had a brother [a member of the Senate] called Lucius Quintius Flamininus, nothing like unto him in condition at all: for he was so dissolutely and licentiously given over to his pleasure, that he forgot all comeliness and honesty. [His extreme misbehaviour is omitted here.]
Howsoever it was, Marcus Cato [when he was later] chosen censor, and cleansing the Senate of all unworthy persons, he [also expelled] Lucius Quintius Flamininus, although he had been consul: which disgrace did seem to redound to his brother Titus Quintius Flamininus also. Whereupon both the brethren came weeping with all humility before the people, and made a petition that seemed very reasonable and civil: which was that they would command Cato to come before them, to declare the cause openly why he had with such open shame defaced so noble a house as theirs was. Cato then without delay, or shrinking back, came with his companion [the other consul] into the marketplace, where he asked Titus out aloud, if he knew nothing of the [unspeakable event]. Titus answered, he knew not of it. Then Cato opened all the whole matter as it was, and in the end of his tale, he bade Lucius Quintius swear openly, if he would deny that [what] he had said was true. Lucius answered not a word. Whereupon the people judged the shame was justly laid upon him: and so to honour Cato, they did accompany him from the pulpit for orations, home unto his own house. But Titus being much offended at the disgrace of his brother, became enemy to Cato [i.e. more than he was before], and fell in with those that of long time had hated him. And so by practise he procured of the Senate, that all bargains of leases, and all deeds of sales made by Cato during his [previous] office, were called in, and made void: and caused many suits also to be commenced against him. Wherein, I cannot say he did wisely or civilly, to become mortal enemy to an honest man, a good citizen, and dutiful in his office, for his year, [for an] unworthy kinsman, who had justly deserved the shame laid upon him.
Notwithstanding, shortly after when the people were assembled in the theater to see games played, and the Senators were set according to their custom, in the most honourable places: Lucius Flamininus came in also, who in lowly and humble manner went to sit down in the furthest seats of the theater, without regard of his former honour: which when the people saw, they took pity of him, and could not abide to see him thus dishonoured. So they cried out to have him come and sit among the other Senators and consuls, who made him place, and received him accordingly.
Narration and Discussion
"Wherein, I cannot say he did wisely or civilly, to become mortal enemy to an honest man, a good citizen, and dutiful in his office, for his year, [for an] unworthy kinsman, who had justly deserved the shame laid upon him." How far should we go to defend a relative or a close friend, if he or she deserves punishment? (Two Bible passages to think about: David's reaction to the death of his traitorous son Absalom; and Abraham's intercession for his nephew Lot.)
Some thought Titus a little crazy to take on the "youthful violence" of battle at his advanced age. But it seemed that former glories were not enough to satisfy him, especially when there was the chance of capturing an old enemy.
far unmeet: quite unsuitable
Hannibal: (247-183/182/181 BC) was a famous Punic Carthaginian military commander, and an old enemy of Titus Flamininus.
faint heart: fickleness towards him
privy caves and vaults: secret tunnels!
all the vents out, had watch and ward upon them: all the ways out (that no-one was supposed to know about) were being guarded
Pyrrhus: King of Epirus from 307-302 and 295-272 B.C.
he parled with him of peace: he had peace talks with him
So divers greatly commending the goodly sayings and deeds of Scipio: So with many people greatly commending, etc.
in discharge of Titus: in clearing him of blame
Aristonicus: the pretender to the throne of Pergamon; the name he took as king was Eumenes III. The former king had bequeathed (left) his kingdom to the Romans, but the Romans were slow to secure their claim, and Aristonicus stepped in.
Mithridates: Mithridates V of Pontus
But to return again to Titus. The natural ambition and covetous greedy mind he had of honour, was very well taken and esteemed, so long as he had any occasion offered him to exercise it in the wars, which we have spoken of before. For, after he had been consul, of his own seeking he became a colonel of a thousand footmen, not being called to it by any man. So when he began to stoop for age, and that he had given over as a man at the last cast, to bear office any longer in the state: they saw plainly he was ambitious beyond measure, to suffer himself in old age to be overcome with such youthful violence, being far unmeet for any of his years. For methinks his ambition was the only cause that moved him to procure Hannibal's death, which bred him much disliking and ill opinion with many.
For, after Hannibal had fled out of his own country, he went first unto king Antiochus: who, after he lost the battle in Phrygia, was glad the Romans granted him peace with such conditions as themselves would. Wherefore Hannibal fled again from him, and after he had long wandered up and down, at the length he came to the realm of Bithynia, and remained there about King Prusias, the Romans knowing it well enough: and because Hannibal was then an old broken man, of no force nor power, and one whom fortune had spurned at her feet, they made no more reckoning of him. But Titus being sent Ambassador by the Senate, unto Prusias king of Bithynia, and finding Hannibal there, it grieved him to see him alive. So that notwithstanding Prusias marvellously entreated him, to take pity upon Hannibal, a poor old man, and his friend who came to him for succour: yet he could not persuade Titus to be content he should live. Hannibal long before had received answer of his death from an oracle, to this effect:
The land of Libya, shall cover under mould,
The valiant corpse of Hannibal, when he is dead and cold.
So Hannibal understood that of Libya, as if he should have died in Africa, and been buried in Carthage.
There is a certain sandy country in Bithynia near to the seaside, where there is a little village called Libyssa, and where Hannibal remained continually. He, mistrusting King Prusias' faint heart, and fearing the Romans' malice also, had made seven privy caves and vaults under ground long before, that he might secretly go out at either of them which way he would, and every one of them came to the main vault where himself did lie, and could not be discerned outwardly. When it was told him that Titus had willed Prusias to deliver him into his hands, he sought then to save himself by those means: but he found that all the vents out, had watch and ward upon them by the king's commandment. So then he determined to kill himself.
Now some say, that he wound a linen towel hard about his neck, and commanded one of his men he should set his knee upon his buttock, and weighing hard upon him, holding the towel fast he should pull his neck backward with all the power and strength he could, and never [stop] pressing on him, till he had strangled him. Other say that he drank bull's blood, as Midas and Themistocles had done before him. But Titus Livius writeth, that he had poison which he kept for such a purpose, and tempered it in a cup he held in his hands, and before he drank, he spake these words: Come on, let us deliver the Romans of this great care, since my life is so grievous to them, that they think it too long to tarry the natural death of a poor old man, whom they hate so much: and yet Titus by this shall win no honourable victory, nor worthy the memory of the ancient Romans, who advertised King Pyrrhus their enemy, even when he made wars with them, and had won battles of them, that he should beware of poisoning which was intended towards him. And this was Hannibal's end, as we find it written.
The news whereof being come to Rome unto the Senate, many of them thought Titus too violent and cruel, to have made Hannibal kill himself in that sort, when extremity of age had overcome him already, and was as a bird left naked, her feathers falling from her for age: and so much the more, because there was no instant occasion offered him to urge him to do it, but a covetous mind of honour, for that he would be chronicled to be the cause and author of Hannibal's death.
And then in contrariwise they did much honour and commend the clemency and noble mind of Scipio Africanus. Who having overcome Hannibal in battle, in Africa [him]self, and being then indeed to be feared, and had been never overcome before: yet he did not cause him to be driven out of his country, neither did ask him of the Carthaginians, but both then, and before the battle, when he parled with him of peace, he took Hannibal courteously by the hand, and after the battle, in the conditions of peace he gave them, he never spake word of hurt to Hannibal's person, neither did he shew any cruelty to him in his misery. And they tell how afterwards they met again together in the city of Ephesus, and as they were walking, that Hannibal took the upper hand of Scipio: and that Scipio bare it patiently, and left not of walking for that, neither shewed any countenance of misliking. And in entering into discourse of many matters, they descended in the end to talk of ancient captains: and Hannibal gave judgement, that Alexander the Great was the famousest captain, Pyrrhus the second, and himself the third. Then Scipio smiling, gently asked him: What wouldst thou say then, if I had not overcome thee? Truly, quoth Hannibal, I would not then put myself the third man, but the first, and above all the captains that ever were.
So divers greatly commending the goodly sayings and deeds of Scipio, did marvellously mislike Titus, for that he had (as a man may say) laid his hands upon the death of another man. Other[s] to the contrary again said, it was well done of him, saying, that Hannibal so long as he lived, was a fire to the Empire of the Romans, which lacked but one to blow it [into a dangerous fire]: and that when he was in his best force and lusty age, it was not his hand nor body that troubled the Romans, so much, but his great wisdom and skill he had in the wars, and the mortal hate he bare in his heart towards the Romans, which neither years, neither age would diminish or take away. For men's natural conditions do remain still, but fortune doth not always keep in a state, but changeth still, and then quickeneth up our desires to set willingly upon those that war against us, because they hate us in their hearts.
The things which fell out afterwards, did greatly prove the reasons brought out for this purpose, in discharge of Titus.
For one Aristonicus, son of a daughter of a player upon the zither, under the fame and glory of Eumenes, whose [illegitimate son] he was, filled all Asia with war and rebellion, by reason the people rose in his favour. Again Mithridates, after so many losses he had received against Sylla and Fimbria, and after so many armies overthrown by battle and wars, and after so many famous captains lost and killed: did yet recover again, and came to be of great power both by sea and land against Lucullus.
Truly Hannibal was no lower brought than Caius Marius had been. For he had a king to his friend, that gave him entertainment for him and his family, and made him Admiral of his ships, and general of his horsemen and footmen in the field. Marius also went up and down Africa a-begging for his living, insomuch as his enemies at Rome mocked him to scorn: and soon after notwithstanding they fell down at his feet before him, when they saw they were whipped, murdered, and slain within Rome by his commandment.
Thus we see no man can say certainly he is mean or great, by reason of the uncertainty of things to come: considering there is but one death, and change of better life. Some say also, that Titus did not [do] this act alone, and of his own authority: but that he was sent Ambassador with Lucius Scipio to no other end, but to put Hannibal to death, by what means soever they could. Furthermore after this ambassade, we do not find any notable thing written of Titus worthy of memory, neither in peace, nor in wars. For he died quietly of natural death at home in his country.
Narration and Discussion
To what extent was Titus responsible for the death of Hannibal? Should old men still be considered potentially dangerous?
The inclusion of the stories about Aristonicus and Mithridates is a little puzzling, especially at this point in the life of Titus and in the middle of the discussion of Hannibal. I think they are there to illustrate the way that enemies can somehow find supporters and increase in power. You may be able to see other connections.
Do you find the end, focusing more on Hannibal than on Titus, somewhat disappointing or anticlimactic? Even Lesson Eleven ended with people cheering for Titus's brother rather than himself. Your assignment: go back through the Life, and choose two or three quotes that describe the best of Titus Quintius Flamininus. Be prepared to explain why you chose the ones you did.
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