Cornelius Nepos

viventi, quod alienae erat civitatis, neque aliud huic 3defuit quam generosa stirps. Etsi ille domestico summo genere erat, tamen Macedones eum sibi aliquando anteponi indigne ferebant, neque tamen non patiebantur; vincebat enim omnes cura, vigilantia, patientia, calliditate et celeritate ingenii.

4Hic peradulescentulus ad amicitiam accessit Philippi, Amyntae filii, brevique tempore in intimam pervenit familiaritatem; fulgebat enim iam in 5adulescentulo indoles virtutis. Itaque eum habuit ad manum scribae loco, quod multo apud Graios honorificentius est quam apud Romanos. Namque apud nos, re vera sicut sunt, mercennarii scribae existimantur; at apud illos e contrario1 nemo ad id officium admittitur nisi honesto loco, et fide et industria cognita, quod necesse est omnium consiliorum 6eum esse participem. Hunc locum tenuit amicitiae apud Philippum annos septem. Illo interfecto, eodem gradu fuit apud Alexandrum annos tredecim. Novissimo tempore praefuit etiam alterae equitum alae, quae Hetaerice appellabatur. Utrique autem in consilio semper adfuit et omnium rerum habitus est particeps.

2. Alexandro Babylone mortuo, cum regna singulis familiaribus dispertirentur et summa tradita esset tuenda eidem cui Alexander moriens anulum suum 2dederat, Perdiccae—ex quo omnes coniecerant eum


XVIII. Eumenes

greatly to his disadvantage that he was a native of a foreign state; for he lacked nothing except noble descent.1 Although he was of the highest rank in his own country, yet the Macedonians were indignant that he was sometimes preferred to them; but they were obliged to put up with it, since he excelled them all in diligence, in watchfulness and in endurance, as well as in skill and mental alertness.

Eumenes, when very young, became the friend of342 b.c. Philip, son of Amyntas, and soon grew very intimate with the king, being conspicuous even in his youth for his high character. Therefore Philip kept him near his person, in the capacity of secretary, a position much more highly honoured among the Greeks than with the Romans. With us, indeed, scribes are considered hirelings, as in fact they are; in Greece, on the contrary, no one is accepted for such a position unless he is of respectable family and of proven fidelity and ability, since he is necessarily acquainted with all his superior’s plans.2 This position of friendship with Philip Eumenes held for seven years. When Philip was assassinated, he held the same rank with Alexander for thirteen years. During the latter336–323 b.c. part of that time3 he commanded one of the two corps of cavalry known as “The Band of Comrades.” Moreover, he was always asked for his advice by both kings and given a share in all their affairs.

2. When Alexander died at Babylon, his provinces323 b.c. were divided among his friends and the supreme power was committed to the care of Perdiccas, to whom Alexander on his death-bed had given his ring. From this act of Alexander’s all had inferred that he

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.cornelius_nepos-book_great_generals_foreign_nations_eumenes.1929