Computer Wargame | Ancient Armies
Jan 30, 2012 · Dawn Hugies E
XII. While these transactions were taking place in Asia, it happened accidentally at Rome that certain ambassadors from Prusias took supper at the house of Lucius Quintius Flamininus, one of the consuls; and there, as mention was made of Hannibal, one of them observed that he was in the dominions of Prusias. This information Flamininus communicated the next day to the senate. The conscript fathers, who thought that they would never be free from plots as long as Hannibal was alive, sent ambassadors to Bithynia, and among them Flamininus, to request the king not to keep their bitterest enemy with him, but to deliver him up to them. To this embassy Prusias did not dare to give a refusal; he made some opposition, however, to one point, begging themnot to require of him what was contrary to the rights of hospitality, saying that they themselves might make Hannibal prisoner, if they could, as they would easily find out the place where he was. Hannibal indeed confined himself to one place, living in a fortress which had been given him by the king; and this he had so constructed that it had outlets on every side of the building, always fearing lest that should happen which eventually came to pass. When the Roman ambassadors had gone thither, and had surrounded his house with a number of men, a slave, looking out at a gate, told Hannibal that several armed men were to be seen, contrary to what was usual. Hannibal desired him to go round to all the gates of the castle, and bring him word immediately whether it was beset in the same way on all sides. The slave havingsoon reported how it was, and informed him, that all the passages were secured, he felt certain that it was no accidental occurrence, but that his person was menaced, and that his life was no longer to be preserved. That he might not part with it, however, at the pleasure of another, and dwelling on the remembrance of his past honours, he took poison, which he had been accustomed always to carry with him.
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XI. When he thought that he had sufficiently established this notion, he gave intimation to Datames that it was time for greater armies to be raised, and an attack to be made on the king himself; and that, with reference to this subject, he might, if he pleased, come to a conference with himin any place that he might choose. The proposal being accepted, a time was fixed for the conference, and a place in which they were to meet. To this spot Mithridates came some days previously, in company with a person in whom he had the greatest confidence, and buried swords in several different places, carefully marking each spot. On the day of the conference, each of them brought people to examine the place, and to search Datames and Mithridates themselves. They then met, and after they had spent some time in conference, and parted in different directions, and Datames was some distance off, Mithridates, before he went back to his attendants (lest he should excite any suspicion), returned to the same place, and sat down, as if he wished to rest from weariness, on one of the spots in which a sword had been concealed, and, at the same time, called back Datames, pretending that he had forgotten something at their conference. In the mean time he drew out the sword that was hid, and concealed it, unsheathed, under his garment, and observed to Datames, as he was returning, that he had noticed, when going off, that a certain place, which was in sight, was suitable for pitching a camp. While he was pointing this out with his finger, and the other was looking towards it, he ran him through, as his back was turned, with the sword, and put an end to his life before any one could come to his assistance. Thus a man who had gained the mastery over many by prudence, over none by treachery, was ensnared by pretended friendship.