aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Nepos, On Kings 2.2

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An excerpt from Nepos’ brief biographical run-down of some famous kings.

unus Epirotes, Pyrrhus, qui cum populo Romano bellavit. is cum Argos oppidum oppugnaret in Peloponneso, lapide ictus interiit. unus item Siculus, Dionysius prior. nam et manu fortis et belli peritus fuit et, id quod in tyranno non facile reperitur, minime libidinosus, non luxuriosus, non avarus, nullius denique rei cupidus nisi singularis perpetuique imperii ob eamque rem crudelis. nam dum id studuit munire, nullius pepercit vitae, quem eius insidiatorem putaret.

There was one king of Epirus, Pyrrhus, who went to war with the Roman people. When he was attacking the town of Argos in the Peloponnese, he was struck by a rock and died. Likewise there was one king of Sicily [i.e. who went to war with the Roman people], the first Dionysius. For he was both strong of hand and skilled in war, and – something not easily found in a tyrant – he was not in the least libidinous, not extravagant, not greedy, desirous of nothing, in fact, apart from his sole and perpetual power; for this reason was he cruel. For during the time when he was keen to maintain his power, he spared the life of no one whom he thought to be a conspirator.

Written by aleatorclassicus

August 9, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Nepos

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