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him in getting himself chosen Tagusi Soon after this, probably in b. c. 374, Jason was elected to the office in question, and proceeded to settle the contingent of cavalry and heavy-armed troops which each Thessalian city was to furnish, and the amount of tribute to be paid by the irepioLKoi, or subject people. He also entered into an alliance with Amyntas II., king of Macedonia. (Xen. Hell. vi. 1. §§ 2—19; Diod. xv. 60 ; Plut. Pol. Praec. 24, Reg. et Imp. Apopli. Epam. 13.). In b. c. 373 Jason and Alcetas I., king of Epeirus, came to Athens, with which they were both in alliance at the time, to intercede on behalf of Ti-motheus, who was acquitted, on his trial, in a great measure through their influence. (Dem. c. Tim. pp. 1187, 1190; Corn. Nep. Tim. 4; comp. Rehdantz, Vit. IpMcr., Chabr., Tim. p. 91.) In b. c. 371, after the battle of Leuctra, the Thebans sent intelligence of it to Jason, as their ally,, requesting his aid. Accordingly, he manned some triremes, as if he meant to go to the help of the Thebans by sea ; and having thus thrown the Phocians off their guard, marched repidly through their country, and arrived safely at Leuctra. Here the Thebans were anxious that he should join them in pressing their victory over the enemy ; but Jason (who had no wish to see Thebes any more than Sparta in a commanding position) dissuaded them, by setting forth the danger of driving the Lacedaemonians to despair. The latter he persuaded to accept a truce, which would enable them to secure their safety by a retreat, representing himself as actuated by a kindly feeling towards them, as his father had been on terms of friendship with their state, and he himself still stood to them in the relation of proxenus. Such is the account of Xenophon. (Hell. vi. 4. § 20, &c.) According to that of Diodorus, Jason arrived before the battle, and prevailed on both parties to agree to a truce, in consequence of which the Spartan king, Cleom-brotus, drew off his army ; but Archidamus had been sent to his aid with a strong reinforcement, and the two commanders, having united their forces, returned to Boeotia, in defiance of the compact, and were then defeated at Leuctra. (Diod. xv. 54.) This statement, however, cannot be depended on. (See Wess. ad Diod. 1. c.; Thirlwall's Greece, vol. v. p. 78, note ; comp. Schneid. ad Xen. Hell. vi. 4. § 5.) On his return through Phocis, Jason took Hyampolis and ravaged its land, leaving the rest of the country undisturbed. He also demolished the fortifications of the Lacedaemonian colony of Heracleia in Trachinia, which commanded the passage from Thessaly into southern Greece, evidently (says Xenophon) entertaining no fear of an attack on his own country, but wishing to keep open a way for himself should he find it expedient to march to the south. (Xen. Hell. vi. 4. § 27; comp. Diod. xv. 57, who refers the demolition of Heracleia to B. c. 370.) Jason was now in a position which held out to him every prospect of becoming master of Greece. The Pythian games were approaching, and he proposed to march to Delphi at the head of a body of Thessalian troops, and to preside aft the festival. Magnificent preparations were made for this, and much alarm and suspicion appear to have been excited throughout Greece. . The, Delphians, fearing for the safety of the sacred treasures, consulted the oracle on the subject, and received for answer that the god himself would take care of them. (Comp. Herod, viii.
36; Suid. s. v. l/*oi fj.e\tf<r€i Tavra nal \cvkcus K6pats.) Jason, having made all his preparations, had one day reviewed his cavalry, and was sitting in public to give audience to all comers, when he was murdered by seven youths, according to Xenophon and Ephorus, who drew near under pretence of laying a private dispute before him. Two of the assassins were slain by the body guard, the rest escaped, and were received with honour in all the Grecian cities to which they came—a sufficient proof of the general fear which the ambitious designs of Jason had excited. The fact, however, that his dynasty continued after his death shows how fully he had consolidated his power in Thes-saly. (Xen. Hell. vi. 4. §§ 28—32.) It does not clearly appear what motive his murderers had for the deed. Ephorus (ap. Diod. xv. 60) ascribed it to the desire of distinction, which seems to point to a strong political feeling against his rule ; and this is confirmed by the anecdote of a former attempt to assassinate him, which accidentally saved his life by opening an impostume from which he was suffering, and on which his physicians had tried their skill in vain. (Cic. de Nat. Dear. iii. 28 ; Val. Max. i. 8. Ext. 6; comp. Xeri. Hell, vi, 1. § 14; Diod. xv. 57.) Valerius Maximus (ix. 10, Ext. 2) tells us that the youths who murdered him were excited by revenge because they had been punished with blows for an assault on one Taxillus, a gymnasiarch. According to Diodorus (xv. 60), some accounts mentioned Jason's own brother and successor, Polydorus, as his murderer.-An insatiable appetite for power—to use his own metaphor—was Jason's ruling passion (Arist. Pol. iii. 4, ed. Bekk. e^vj tt^iv^v ore ^7) rvpavvoi) ; and
to gratify this, he worked perseveringly and with out the incumbrance of moral scruples, by any and every means. With the chief men in the several states of Greece, as e. g. with Timotheus and Pelo- pidas (Plut. Pelop. 28), he cultivated friendly rela tions ; and the story told by Plutarch and Aelian of the rejection of his presents by Epaminondas, shows that he was ready to resort to corruption, if he saw or thought he saw an opportunity. (Plut. de Gen. Soc. 14, Apopli. Reg. et Imp. Epam. 13 ; Ael. V. H. xi. 9.) We find also on record a maxim of his, that a little wrong is justifiable for the sake of a great good. (Arist. Rhet. i. 12. § 31; Plut. Pol. Praec. 24.) He is represented as having all the qualifications of a great general and diplo matist— as active, temperate, prudent, capable of enduring much fatigue, and no less skilful than The- mistocles in concealing his own designs and pene trating those of his enemies. (Xen. Hell. vi. 1. § 6; Diod. xv. 60; Cic. de Off. i. 30.) Pausanias tells us that he was an admirer of the rhetoric of Gorgias ; and among his friends he reckoned Iso- crates, whose cherished vision of Greece united against Persia made him afterwards the dupe of Philip. (Paus. vi. 17 ; Isocr. Ep. ad Jas. Fit. p. 418.) ^ [E.E.]
JASON (TaVw^), literary. 1. Of Gyrene, an Hellenist Jew, wrote the history of the Maccabees, and of the wars of the Jews against Antiochus Epiphanes and his son Eupator, in five books. He must therefore have written after b. c. 162. The second book of Maccabees, in the Apocrypha, with the exception of the two spurious epistles at the beginning, is an abridgement of the work of Jason. (2 Maccab. ii. 21—24 ; Prideaux, Connection, vol. iii. pp. 264,265, ed. 1729.)