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where he reinforced their garrisons, and furnished them with all things necessary for a vigorous defence; by which means the intention of Seleucus to take them from him was rendered ineffectual at that time. This proceeding of Seleucus was very conformable to the rules of political interest, but had such an odious aspect, with reference to the maxims of honour, that it shocked all mankind, and was universally condemned: for as his dominions were of such a vast extent as to include all the countries between India and the Mediterranean, how insatiable was that rigor and avidity which would not permit him to leave his father in law the peaceable enjoyment of the shattered remains of his fortune !
Cassander died, about this time, of a dropsy, after having governed Macedonia for the space of nine years, from the death of his father, and six or seven from the last partition. He left three sons by Thessalonica, one of the sisters of Alexander the Great. Philip, who succeeded him, and died soon after, left his crown to be contested by his two brothers.
m Pyrrhus, the famous king of Epirus, had espoused Antigone, a relation of Ptolemy, in Egypt. This young prince was the son of Eacides, whom the Molossians, in a revolt, had expelled from the throne ; and it was with great difficulty, that Pyrrhus himself, then an infant at the breast, was preserved from the fury of the revolters, who pursued him with intent to destroy him. After various adventures, he was conducted to the court of king Glaucias, in Illyria, where he was taken into the protection of that prince. Cassander, the mortal enemy of Eacides, solicited the king to
m Plut. in Pyrrh. p. 383–385,
" A. M. 3707. Ant. J. C. 297. VOL. 6.
deliver the young prince into his hands, and offered him two hundred talents on that occasion. Glaucias, however, was struck with horror at such a proposal, and, when the infant had attained the twelfth year of his age, he conducted him in person into Epirus with a powerful army, and reinstated him in his do. minions; by which means the Molossians were compelled to submit to force. Justin tells us, that their hatred being softened into compassion, they themselves recalled him, and assigned him guardians to govern the kingdom till he should be of age himself; but there seems to be no great probability in his account.
When he had attained his seventeenth year, he began to think himself sufficiently established on the throne, and set out from his capital city for Illyria, in order to be present at the nuptials of one of the sons of Glaucias, with whom he had been brought up. The Molossians, taking advantage of his absence, revolted a second time, drove all his friends out of the kingdom, seized all his treasures, and conferred the crown on Neoptolemus, his great uncle. Pyrrhus being thus divested of his dominions, and finding himself destitute of all succours, retired to his brother in law Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, who had espoused his sister Deidamia.
This young prince distinguished himself among the bravest, in the battle that was fought on the plains of Ipsus, and would not forsake Demetrius, even after he was defeated. He also preserved for him those Grecian cities which that prince had confided to him ; and when a treaty of peace was concluded between Ptolemy and Demetrius, by the mediation of Selencus, Pyrrhus went into Egypt as an hostage for his brother in law,
During his continuance at the court of Ptolemy, he gave sufficient proofs of his strength, address, and extraordinary patience, in hunting exercises, and all other labours. Observing, that of all the wives of Ptolemy, Berenice had the greatest ascendant over him, and that she surpassed the others in prudence, as well as beauty, he attached himself to her in particular ; for as he was already an able politician, he neglected no opportunity of making his court to those on whom his fortune depended, and was studious to ingratiate himself with such persons as were capable of being useful to him. His noble and engaging demeanour procured him such a share in Ptolemy's esteem, that he gave him Antigone, the daughter of Berenice his favourite consort, in preference of several young princes who demanded her in marriage. This lady was the daughter of Berenice, by Philip her first husband, who was a Macedonian lorid, little known with respect to any other particular. When Pyrrhus had espoused Antigone, the queen had so much influence over her consort, as to induce him to grant his son in law a fleet, with a supply of money, which enabled him to repossess himself of his dominions. Here began the fortune of an exiled prince, who was afterwards esteemed the greatest general of his age ; . and it must be acknowledged, that every instance of his early conduct denoted extraordinary merit, and raised great expectations of his future glory.
* Athens, as we have already observed, revolted from Demetrius, and shut her gates against him. But when that prince thought he had sufficiently provided for the security of his territories in Asia, he marched against that rebellious and ungrateful city, with a resolution to punish her as she deserved. The first year was employed in the reduction of the Messenians, and the conquest of some other cities who had quitted his party ; but he returned the next season to Athens, which he closely blocked up, and reduced to the last extremity, by cutting off all communication of provisions. A fleet of an hundred and fifty sail, sent by king Ptolemy, to succour the Athenians, and which appeared on the coasts of Egina, afforded them but a transient joy ; for when this naval force saw a strong fleet arrive from Peloponnesus to the assistance of Demetrius, besides a great number of other vessels from Cyprus, and that the whole amounted to three hun. dred, they weighed anchor, and fled.
Although the Athenians had issued a decree, by which they made it capital for any person even to mention a peace with Demetrius, the extreme necessity to which they were reduced, obliged them to open their gates to him. When he entered the city, he commanded the inhabitants to assemble in the theatre, which he surrounded with armed troops, and posted his guards on each side of the stage where the dramatic pieces were performed; and then descending from the upper part of the theatre, in the manner usual with the actors, he showed himself to the multi.
* A. M. 5708. Ant. J. C. 296. Plut. in Demetr. p. 904, 905.
• A. M. 3709. Ant. J. C. 295.
tude, who seemed rather dead than living, and waited for the event in inexpressible terror, expecting it would prove the sentence for their destruction; but he dissipated their apprehensions by the first expressions he uttered; for he did not raise his voice like a man affected with the emotions of rage, nor deliver himself in any passionate or insulting language, but softened the tone of his voice, and only addressed himself to them in gentle complaints and amicable expostulations. He pardoned their offence, and restored them to his favour ; presenting them, at the same time, with one hundred thousand measures of corn, and reinstating such magistrates as were most agreeable to them. The joy of this people may be easily conceived from the terrors with which they were before affected ; and how glorious must such a prince be, who could always support so glorious, so admirable a character !
When he had regulated the state of affairs in Athens, he determined to reduce the Lacedemonians. Archidamus, their king, advanced as far as Mantinea to meet him;. but Demetrius defeated him in a great battle, and obliged him to have recourse to fight; after which he advanced into Laconia, and fought another battle in the very sight of Sparta. He was again victorious; five hundred of the enemies were made prisoners, and two hundred killed upon the spot, so that he was already considered as master of the city which had never been taken before.
In that important moment he received two pieces of intelligence, which affected him in quite a different manner. The first was, that Lysimachus had lately divested him of all his territories in Asia; and the