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blind avarice led him to sacrifice all these advan­tages. Even when he was compelled to advance 300 talents to Gentius, in order to secure his co­operation, he contrived basely to defraud his ally of the greater part of the money. [gentius]. (Liv. xliv. 14, 23—27; Plut. Aemil 12,13; Polyb. xxviii. 8. 9, xxix. 2, 3, Exc. Vat. p. 427—431 ; Diod. xxx. Exc. Vales, p. 580, Exc. Vat. p. 73, 74 ; Dion Cass. Fr. 73; Appian. Mac. Exc. 16.)

While Perseus was thus compelled by his own ill-timed avarice to carry on the contest against Rome single-handed, the arrival of the new consul, L. Aemilius Paulus, who took the command of the Roman army early in the summer of 168, speedily changed the face of affairs. Finding the position of Perseus on the bank of the Enipeus so strong as to be unassailable in front, he dexterously turned its flank by sending Scipio Nasica with 8000 men across the mountain pass of Pythium, and thus compelled the Macedonian king to fall back upon Pydna. Here the latter was at length induced to await the approach of the enemy, and it was in the plain near that town that the battle was fought which decided the fate of the Mace­donian monarchy (June 22, b.c. 168*). For a time the serried ranks of the phalanx seemed likely to carry every thing before them, but its order was soon broken by the inequalities of the ground ; and the Romans rushing in, made a fearful carnage of the Macedonian infantry, of whom not less than 20,000 were slain, while the cavalry fled from the field almost without striking a blow. Perseus himself was among the foremost of the fugitives: he at first directed his flight to Pella, but finding himself abandoned by his friends, he hastened from thence to Amphipolis, accom­panied only by three foreign officers and 500 Cretan mercenaries. With these few followers, and the treasures which had been collected at Amphi­polis, he threw himself for safety into the sacred island of Samothrace. (Liv. xliv. 32—46; Plut. Aemil. 13—23; Polyb. xxix. 6; Zonar. ix. 23; Eutrop. iv. 7 ; Oros. iv. 20 ; Veil. Pat. i. 9.)

Here he was quickly blockaded by the praetor Cn. Octavius with the Roman fleet, and though the latter did not venture to violate the sanctuary in which the king had taken refuge, Perseus found himself abandoned, in succession, by his few re­maining followers ; and after an ineffectual attempt to escape by sea to Thrace, was at length compelled to surrender himself and his children into the hands of the Roman praetor. When brought be­fore Aemilius, he is said to have degraded himself by the most abject supplications: but he was treated with kindness and courtesy by the Roman general, who allowed him every degree of liberty compatible with his position. The following year he was carried to Italy, where he was com­pelled to adorn the splendid triumph of his con­queror (Nov. 30. b.c. 167), and afterwards cast into a dungeon, from whence, however, the inter­cession of Aemilius procured his release, and he was permitted to end his dajTs in an honourable captivity at Alba. He survived his removal thither during a period which is variously stated at from two to five years (Diod. Exc. Phot. p. 516 ; Veil. Pat. i. 11 ; Porphyr. ap. Euseh. Arm. p. 158); and died, according to some accounts, by voluntary

* Concerning this date, see Clinton, F. H. vol.



starvation, while others—fortunately with less pro­bability—represent him as falling a victim to the cruelty of his guards, who deprived him of sleep. (Liv. xlv. 4—9, 28, 35, 42; Plut. Aemil. 26, 27, 34, 37 ; Diod. xxx. Exc. Vat. p. 78; Exc. Vales. p. 581, Exc. Phot. p. 516 ; Dion Cass. Fr. 74, 75 ; Zonar. ix. 23, 24 ; Eutrop. iv. 7, 8 ; Oros. I. c.; Val. Max. v. 1. § 1 ; Justin. xxxiii. 2.)

The character of Perseus has been represented in the most unfavourable light by the Roman his­torians, who have sought, by blackening his name, to palliate the gross injustice by which the republic forced him into the war that ended in his ruin. But with every allowance for this partiality, it is impossible not to regard him as at once odious and despicable. Polybius, indeed, tells us (xxvi. 5), that at the beginning of his reign he con­ciliated the minds of his subjects by the mildness of his rule, and that the temperance of his private life presented a strong contrast to that of his father. But it is clear, from the words of the historian, that these fair appearances did not last long. Avarice appears to have been his ruling passion ; and to this, as we have seen, he sacrificed even­tually his kingdom and his life. But there are many other yet darker stains upon his character: his perfidy to his friends, and the mean jealousy with which he sought to avenge upon others the consequences of his own misconduct, are enough to condemn his name to infamy. The weakness of his character is glaringly conspicuous throughout the whole history of his life: and his conduct of the war displays the same vacillating uncertainty of purpose which he had evinced during the transactions that had preceded it. Even if the cowardice of which he is accused at Pydna be ex­aggerated by his enemies (see Plut. Aemil. 19), the panic terror with which he had abandoned his strong position in the preceding campaign, and the abject meanness of his conduct before Paullus, are sufficient evidences of his pusillanimity.

A history of the reign and life of Perseus was written by a Greek author of the name of Posido-nius, who is repeatedly cited by Plutarch (Aemil. 19, 21), as a contemporary and ejre-witness of the events which he related. Among modern writers Flathe (Gescliiclite Macedoniens, vol. ii. p. 533— 566) has entered into a laborious vindication of the Macedonian king.


Perseus had been twice married ; the name of his first wife, whom he is said to have killed with his own hand in a fit of passion (Liv. xlii. 5) is not recorded ; his second, Laodice, has been al­ready mentioned. He left two children; a son, alexander, and a daughter, both apparently by his second marriage, as they were mere children when carried to Rome. Besides these, he had adopted his younger brother Philip, who appears

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