BOOK XVIII - The Library of History

Bibliotheca historica
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Page 574

BOOK XVIII.

PYthagoras the Samian, and some others of the ancient Natural Philosophers, held that the Souls of Men were immortal; and that to foretell future Events at the very point of Death, when the Soul is even parting with the Body, is the Effect and Consequent of this Truth. To which Homer witnesses, when he brings in Hector, when he was even breathing his last, telling Achilles that he should die within a very short time afterwards. The same is attested of many others of later Times, and confirm'd especially by the Death of Alexander the Macedonian, who dying at Babylon, and being ask'd by his Commanders and those about him, at the time he was giving up his last Breath, Who should succeed him? he answer'd The most Worthy ; For I foresee, says he, that great and grievous Quarrels amongst my Friends, will be the Sacrifices to me after my Funeral. Which hapend accordingly; for the Chiefest of his Commanders fell together by the Ears about the Principality; and great Wars, after the Death of Alexander, broke forth amongst them: Whose Actions are contain'd in this Book; which will clearly evidence, to the studious Reader, the Truth of what is now said:

The former comprehended all the things done by Alexander, to the time of his Death. This present Book, relating the Actions of those who succeeded, ends with the Year next before the Reign of Agathocles, which makes an History of Seven Years.

CHAP. I.

Quarrels about a Successor to Alexander. Arideus made King. The Provinces divided amongst the Chief Commanders. Matters contain'd in Alexander's Note-Books. Meleager executed by Perdiccas. The Grecians revolt. A Description of Asia. Pithon sent against the revolting Grecians, who were all cut off. The Lamian War; The cause of it. Alexander's Epistle to the Exiles. Leosthenes the Athenian General. Lamia besieg'd. Leosthenes kill'd: Antiphilus plac'd in his room.

WHen Cephisodorus was Chief Magistrate of Athens, the Romans created Lucius Furius and Decius Jovius Consuls: About which time, Alexander being now dead without Issue, and so the Government without a Head, there arose great Dissentions and Differences about the Empire. For the Foot were for setting up of Arideus the Son of Philip, a weak-spirited Man, labouring under many natural Infirmities: But the Chiefest of the Nobility and Esquires of the Body met together in Council; and being join'd with the Squadron of Horse call'd the Social, they resolv'd to try it out with the Macedonian Phalanx.

Therefore they sent the most eminent Commanders (among whom Meleager was the Chief, to the Foot, to require them to observe Commands. But Meleager (who was the most Eminent Man of the Phalanx) as soon as he came to the Battalion which was of the greatest Account and Esteem in the Army, he said nothing at all of the Business for which they were sent; but, on the contrary, highly commended them for their Choice, and stirr'd them up against the Opposers. Whereupon the Macedonians created Meleager their Captain, and with their Arms made out against the contrary Party. Those of the King's Life-guard and Esquires of the Body, march'd likewise out of Babylon in order to fight; but the most Interested and Popular Men amongst them, endeavour'd all they could to make Peace on both sides. Upon which it was presently agreed, that Arideus the Son of Philip should be made King, and call'd Philip, and that Perdiccas, to whom the late King, when he was upon the point of death, deliver'd his Ring, should be invested with the Executive Power of the Kingdom; and order'd that the Esquires of the Body and the Chief Commanders should govern the Provinces, and all be observant to the Commands of the King and Perdiccas.



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