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Headword: Περσεὺς Μακεδών
Adler number: pi,1371
Translated headword: Perseus of Macedon, Perseus the Macedonian
Vetting Status: high
"Perseus, having already regaining courage little by little after [his] flight, wickedly killed Nicias and Andronicus whom he had sent for the drowning of his money and the burning of his ships.[1] For, having saved both ships and money for himself, he considered them witnesses of [his] shameful panic and [likely] to report [it] to others; and from this [point] he immediately changed, becoming fierce and reckless to all. Nothing sane or prudent was still in him, but rather the man [who was] the most persuasive in judgment, clever in calculation, and the bravest in battle — as much as he was foiled because of [his] inexperience — then all at once and unreasonably turned to cowardice and thoughtlessness. Suddenly he became fickle and clumsy in all things, as fortune had begun leaving him. Wherefore one can see many becoming more irrational than their [sc. previous] selves when change comes."[2]
"Perseus' ship was lavishly equipped in many respects, particularly in having the oarage made for 17 rows."[3]
Greek Original:
Περσεὺς Μακεδών: ὅτι Περσεὺς ἀναθαρρῶν ἤδη κατ' ὀλίγον μετὰ τὴν φυγὴν Νικίαν καὶ Ἀνδρόνικον, οὓς ἐπὶ τὸν καταποντισμὸν τῶν χρημάτων καὶ τὸν ἐμπρησμὸν τῶν νεῶν ἐπεπόμφει, περιποιήσας αὑτῷ καὶ τὰς ναῦς καὶ τὰ χρήματα, συνίστορας ἡγούμενος αἰσχροῦ φόβου καὶ ἑτέροις ἐξαγγέλλειν, ἀπέκτεινεν ἀθεμίστως: καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦδε εὐθὺς ἐκ μεταβολῆς ὠμὸς καὶ εὐχερὴς ἐς ἅπαντας ἐγένετο, καὶ οὐδὲν ὑγιὲς οὔτε εὔβουλόν οἱ ἔτι ἦν, ἀλλ' ὁ πιθανώτατος ἐς εὐβουλίαν καὶ λογίσασθαι δεξιὸς καὶ εὐτολμότατος ἐς μάχας, ὅσα γε μὴ σφάλλοιτο δι' ἀπειρίαν, ἀθρόως τότε καὶ παραλόγως ἐς δειλίαν καὶ ἀλογιστίαν ἐτρέπετο καὶ ταχὺς καὶ εὐμετάθετος ἄφνω καὶ σκαιὸς ἐς πάντας ἐγίνετο, ἀρχομένης αὐτὸν ἐπιλείπειν τῆς τύχης, ὅπερ ἐστὶ πολλοὺς ἰδεῖν μεταβολῆς προϊούσης ἀλογωτέρους γενομένους ἑαυτῶν. ὅτι ἡ τοῦ Περσέως ναῦς τά τε ἄλλα ἐξήσκητο μεγαλοφυῶς καὶ τὴν εἰρεσίαν ἐπὶ ιζ# στοίχων εἶχε πεποιημένην.
For this individual see already pi 1370 and the notes there. The present entry draws on two sources: see below.
[1] The Suda manuscripts, Adler notes, have 'drowning' twice; 'burning' comes from the source (see next note).
[2] Appian, Macedonica fr. 16; again in part at sigma 1582. This highly unfavourable portrait of Perseus relates specifically to the end of his reign. For discussion see N.G.L. Hammond and F.W. Walbank, A History of Macedonia, iii (Oxford 1988) 532-3.
[3] John of Antioch fr.134 Roberto (via Constantine Porphyrogenitus, Excerpts on the Virtues). The figure of '17' looks very dubious and may well be corrupt, as transmitted numerals so easily are. See generally, on the elephantine warships of the Hellenistic era, Lionel Casson, Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World (Baltimore 1995) 99-116.
Keywords: biography; economics; ethics; historiography; history; military affairs; science and technology; trade and manufacture
Translated by: Philip Forness on 29 February 2012@08:16:24.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 29 February 2012@09:53:51.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 1 March 2012@01:30:20.
David Whitehead (typo) on 4 March 2012@04:09:29.
David Whitehead (cosmetics; raised status) on 30 September 2013@07:16:45.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr; another note; cosmetics) on 10 April 2014@05:38:33.
David Whitehead (expanded n.3) on 30 January 2015@03:48:10.
David Whitehead (coding) on 23 May 2016@04:20:42.


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