Plutarch, Lives. Galba

LCL 103: 206-207

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Plutarch's Lives


I. Ὁ μὲν Ἀθηναῖος Ἰφικράτης τὸν μισθοφόρον 1053 ἠξίου στρατιώτην καὶ φιλόπλουτον εἶναι καὶ φιλήδονον, ὅπως ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις χορηγίαν ἐπιζητῶν ἀγωνίζηται παραβολώτερον, οἱ δὲ πλεῖστοι, καθάπερ ἐρρωμένον σῶμα, τὸ στρατιωτικὸν ἀξιοῦσιν ἰδίᾳ μηδέποτε χρώμενον ὁρμῇ συγκινεῖσθαι 2τῇ τοῦ στρατηγοῦ. διὸ καὶ Παῦλον Αἰμίλιον λέγουσι τὴν ἐν Μακεδονίᾳ δύναμιν παραλαβόντα λαλιᾶς καὶ περιεργίας, οἷον διαστρατηγοῦσαν, ἀνάπλεων, παρεγγυῆσαι τὴν χεῖρα ποιεῖν ἑτοίμην καὶ τὴν μάχαιραν ὀξεῖαν ἕκαστον, αὐτῷ δὲ 3τῶν ἄλλων μελήσειν. ὁ δὲ Πλάτων οὐδὲν ἔργον ὁρῶν ἄρχοντος ἀγαθοῦ καὶ στρατηγοῦ στρατιᾶς μὴ σωφρονούσης μηδὲ ὁμοπαθούσης, ἀλλὰ τὴν πειθαρχικὴν ἀρετὴν ὁμοίως τῇ βασιλικῇ νομίζων φύσεως γενναίας καὶ τροφῆς φιλοσόφου δεῖσθαι, μάλιστα τῷ πρᾴῳ καὶ φιλανθρώπῳ τὸ θυμοειδὲς καὶ δραστήριον ἐμμελῶς ἀνακεραννυμένης, ἄλλα τε πάθη πολλὰ καὶ τὰ Ῥωμαίοις συμπεσόντα μετὰ τὴν Νέρωνος τελευτὴν ἔχει μαρτύρια καὶ παραδείγματα τοῦ μηδὲν εἶναι φοβερώτερον ἀπαιδεύτοις




I. Iphicrates the Athenian used to think that the mercenary soldier might well be fond of wealth and fond of pleasure, in order that his quest for the means to gratify his desires might lead him to fight with greater recklessness; but most people think that a body of soldiers, just like a natural body in full vigour, ought to have no initiative of its own, but should follow that of its commander. Wherefore Paulus Aemilius, as we are told, finding that the army which he had taken over in Macedonia was infected with loquacity and meddlesomeness, as though they were all generals, gave out word that each man was to have his hand ready and his sword sharp, but that he himself would look out for the rest.2 Moreover, Plato3 sees that a good commander or general can do nothing unless his army is amenable and loyal; and he thinks that the quality of obedience, like the quality characteristic of a king, requires a noble nature and a philosophic training, which, above all things, blends harmoniously the qualities of gentleness and humanity with those of high courage and aggressiveness. Many dire events, and particularly those which befell the Romans after the death of Nero, bear witness to this, and show plainly that an empire has nothing more fearful to

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plutarch-lives_galba.1926