Polybius, The Histories

LCL 138: 554-555

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The Histories of Polybius

12τοῦ Ταύρου πάσης. δοκῶν δὲ τότε καὶ ταῖς αὑτοῦ δυνάμεσι καὶ ταῖς τῶν ὑπεναντίων ἐν ὀχυρωτάτῳ τόπῳ τῆς οἰκουμένης διατρίβειν, ἐκάθητο δεδεμένος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, ὑποχείριος γενόμενος τοῖς ἐχθροῖς, οὐδέπω γινώσκοντος οὐθενὸς ἁπλῶς τὸ γεγονὸς πλὴν τῶν πραξάντων.

21. Οὐ μὴν ἀλλ᾿ ἅμα τῷ φωτὶ συναθροιζομένων τῶν (23)φίλων εἰς τὴν σκηνὴν κατὰ τὸν ἐθισμόν, καὶ τοῦ πράγματος ὑπὸ τὴν ὄψιν θεωρουμένου, τὸ παραπλήσιον τῷ βασιλεῖ συνέβαινε πάσχειν καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους· θαυμάζοντες γὰρ τὸ γεγονὸς ἠπίστουν τοῖς 2ὁρωμένοις. καθίσαντος δὲ τοῦ συνεδρίου, πολλοὶ μὲν ἐγίνοντο λόγοι περὶ τοῦ τίσι δεῖ κατ᾿ αὐτοῦ χρήσασθαι 3τιμωρίαις· ἔδοξε δ᾿ οὖν πρῶτον μὲν ἀκρωτηριάσαι τὸν ταλαίπωρον, μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀποτεμόντας αὐτοῦ καὶ καταρράψαντας εἰς ὄνειον ἀσκὸν ἀνασταυρῶσαι τὸ σῶμα. γενομένων δὲ τούτων, 4καὶ τῆς δυνάμεως ἐπιγνούσης τὸ συμβεβηκός, τοιοῦτος ἐνθουσιασμὸς ἐγένετο καὶ παράστασις τοῦ στρατοπέδου παντὸς ὥστε τὴν Λαοδίκην ἐκ τῆς ἄκρας μόνον συνειδυῖαν τὴν ἔξοδον τἀνδρός, τεκμήρασθαι τὸ γεγονὸς ἐκ τῆς περὶ τὸ στρατόπεδον ταραχῆς καὶ 5κινήσεως. ταχὺ δὲ καὶ τοῦ κήρυκος παραγενομένου πρὸς τὴν Λαοδίκην καὶ διασαφοῦντος τὰ περὶ τὸν Ἀχαιόν, καὶ κελεύοντος τίθεσθαι τὰ πράγματα καὶ 6παραχωρεῖν τῆς ἄκρας, τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἀναπόκριτος οἰμωγὴ καὶ θρῆνοι παράλογοι κατεῖχον τοὺς περὶ τὴν ἀκρόπολιν, οὐχ οὕτως διὰ τὴν πρὸς τὸν Ἀχαιὸν εὔνοιαν

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Book VIII

sovereign of all Asia on this side of the Taurus; and now when he was supposed by his own forces and those of the enemy to be dwelling secure in the strongest fortress in the world, he was actually sitting on the ground bound hand and foot and at the mercy of his enemies, not a soul being aware of what had happened except the actual perpetrators of the deed.

21. But when at dawn the king’s friends flocked to his tent, as was their custom, and saw the thing with their own eyes, they were in the same case as the king himself had been; for they were so astonished that they could not credit their senses. At the subsequent sitting of the Council, there were many proposals as to the proper punishment to inflict on Achaeus, and it was decided to lop off in the first place the unhappy prince’s extremities, and then, after cutting off his head and sewing it up in an ass’s skin, to impale47 his body. When this had been done, and the army was informed of what had happened, there was such enthusiasm and wild excitement throughout the whole camp, that Laodice, who was alone aware of her husband’s departure from the citadel, when she witnessed the commotion and disturbance in the camp, divined the truth. And when soon afterward the herald reached her, announcing the fate of Achaeus and bidding her come to an arrangement and withdraw from the citadel, there was at first no answer from those in the citadel but loud wailing and extravagant lamentation, not so much owing to the affection

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.polybius-histories.2010