The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

329

PHILOTA3.

of his father Parmenion. But besides this special command, which he held without interruption, from the first landing in Asia until after the defeat and death of Dareitis, we frequently find him en­trusted with a more extensive authority, and placed in command of several independent bodies of troops. In this manner we find him rendering important services not only in the battles of the Granicus and Arbela, but at the sieges of Miletus and Halicarnassus, in the march through Cilicia, and again at the passage of the Pylae Persicae (Diod. xvii. 17, 57 ; Arr. Anab. i. 14, 19, 21, ii. 5, iii. 11, 18 ; Curt. v. 4. §§ 20, 30, vi. 9. § 26). The estimation in which Alexander held his mili­tary talents is sufficiently attested by these facts: nor does it appear that any thing had occurred up to this time to interrupt the familiar and friendly intercourse between them: though according to Plutarch (Al&v. 48) information had been secretly given to the king at a much earlier period that Philotas was holding seditious language, if not en­tertaining treasonable designs, against him (see also Arrian, Anab. iii. 26. § 1). On the advance into Bactria (b. c. 330) Philotas was left behind with a detachment to pay funeral honours to his brother Nicanor, while Alexander himself pushed forward in pursuit of Bessus (Curt. vi. 6. § 19), but he soon rejoined the main army. It was not long after this, during the halt in Drangiana. that the events occurred which led to his destruction.

It appears certain that a plot had been at this time organised by a Macedonian named Dimnus, against the life of Alexander, though what was really its extent or nature it is now impossible to determine. Information of this conspiracy was accidentally brought in the first instance to Phi-Iotas by one cebalinus ; but he treated the whole matter with contempt on account of the character of the parties concerned, and neglected for two days to apprize the king of the intelli­gence. Alexander having subsequently become acquainted with this fact was indignant with Philotas for his carelessness, and the enemies of the latter, especially Craterus, took advantage of the opportunity to inflame the resentment of the king, and persuaded him that Philotas could not possibly have concealed so important a communi­cation, had he not been himself implicated in the plot. Alexander yielded to their suggestions, and caused Philotas to be arrested in the night. The next day he was brought before the assembled Macedonian army, and vehemently accused by the king himself, who asserted that Parmenion was likewise an accomplice in the meditated treason. No proof, however, of the guilt either of Philotas or his father was brought forward, for Dimnus had put an end to his own life, and Nicomachus, who had originally revealed the existence of the conspiracy, had not mentioned the name of Phi-Iotas among those supposed to be concerned in it. But in the following night a confession was wrung from the unhappy Philotas by the torture, in which, though he at first denied any knowledge of the plot of Dimnus, he admitted that he had previously joined with his father in entertaining treasonable designs against the king ; and ulti­mately, overcome by the application of fresh tor­tures, he was brought to acknowledge his parti­cipation in the conspiracy of Dimnus also. On the strength of this confession he was the next day again brought before the assembled troops,

PHILOTAS.

and stoned to death after the Macedonian custom (Curt. vi. 7—11 ; Arr. Anab. iii. 26 ; Plut. Aiex. 48, 49 ; Diod. xvii. 79, 80 ; Justin xii. 5). It is difficult to pronounce with certainty upon the guilt or innocence of Philotas, especially as we know not what authorities were followed by Cur-tius, the only author who has left us a detailed account of his trial ; but there seems little doubt that he fell a victim to the machinations of his rivals and enemies among the Macedonian ge­nerals, at the head of whom was Craterus, whose conduct throughout the transaction presents itself in the darkest colours. That Alexander should have lent so ready an ear to their representations, will ever be a reproach to the memory of the great king : but it is clear that his mind had been already alienated from Philotas by the haughty and arrogant demeanour of the latter, and the boastful manner in which he assumed to himself a large share in the merits of Alexander's exploits. Similar defects of character had also it appears ren­dered Philotas unpopular with the army, and thus disposed the Macedonians to listen readily to the charges against him (Curt. vi. 8. § 3, 11. § 1—8 ; Plut. Alex. 48). Nor is it unlikely that in com­mon with Cleitus aud others of the elder Macedo­nians, he looked with disapprobation upon the course that Alexander was taking after the death of Dareius ; but of his direct participation in any plots against the king's life, there is certainly no sufficient evidence. Among the tales subsequently circulated was one that represented him as holding communications with Callisthenes, which were in­terpreted as having reference to the assassination of Alexander. (Arr. Anab. iv. 10.)

3. A Macedonian officer who commanded the garrison in the Cadmeia, at the time of the revolt of the Thebans against Alexander the Great, b. c. 335. Though closely blockaded in the citadel, and vigorously besieged by the citizens, he was able to hold out until the arrival of Alexander, and the capture of the city, when he contributed greatly to the discomfiture of the Thebans, by a vigorous sally from the citadel. (Diod. xvii. 8, 12.)

4. Son of Carsis, a Thracian, was one of the pages in the service of Alexander the Great, who were induced by Hermolaus and Sostratus to join in the conspiiacy against the king's life [hermo­laus]. He was put to death together with the other accomplices. (Arr. Anab. iv. 13 ; Curt, viii. 6. § 9.)

5. A Macedonian officer in the service of Alex­ander the Great, who commanded one taxis or division of the phalanx during the advance into Sogdiana and India. (Arr. Anab. iii. 29, iv. 24.) It seems probable that he is the same per­son mentioned by Curtius (v. 2. § 5), as one of those rewarded by the king at Babylon (b. c. 331) for their distinguished services. There is little doubt also, that he is the same to whom the go­vernment of Cilicia was assigned in the distribu­tion of the provinces after the death of Alexander, b. c. 323 (Arrian ap. Phot. p. 69, a ; Dexippus, ibid. p. 64, a ; Curt. x. 10. § 2 ; Justin. xiii. 4 ; Diod. xviii. 3 ; who, however, in a subsequent pas­sage (ib. 12), appears to speak of him as holding the lesser Phrygia, which was in fact given to Leonnatus. See Droysen, Hellenism, vol. i. p. 68, note). In b. c. 321, he was deprived of his go­vernment by Perdicccas and replaced by Philo-

Pages
About | First

327

328

329
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.