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IN RECTO DECVS
Earliest Account of Time.
V OL. IX.
CH A P. II. SECT. VI.
HE death of Alexander had well nigh proved the diffo-
every body hindered them from paying a proper respect the death to public affairs; and when these high transports of amiction of Alexanwere over, their feuds and jealousies had almost occafioned the der. Thedding a deluge of Macedonian blood round the dead body of their king (A). A day or two after the death of the king, his friends assembled in the council-room, and summoned thither all the principal commanders of the army; but the foldiers and people, who were not summoned, and who neither ought, nor with any propriety could have any share in such confultations, came in vaft crowds, and so blocked up the palsages, that many of the great officers could not get in. Proclamation was then made by a herald, that none should
presume to approach the assembly, or to remain there, but luch
(A) The want of an historian veil of obscurity over this part who might be depended on, and of our history ; which from the the having many on whose works best materials we have, and in we cannot so well rely, have the best manner we can, we will concurred in throwing a dark endeavour to remove.
as were called by name; which proclamation however was very little regarded; and we mention this as a remarkable infrance of the difference between authority and power. Those who had commanded this proclamation to be made, had afsumed the administration; but the people presuming on their own power, and knowing that these governors had none but what they could think fit to lend them, gave little heed. to their commands; but, on the contrary, made them give way to their own curiosity, so that numbers of mean-rank
and little consideration remained at present in the council. Perdiccas
Perdiccas, as soon as filence could be obtained, ordered the resigns the
chair of Alexander to be brought forth, and having placed ring
the robes and regalia upon it, laid upon them the royal ring, declaring, that he most willingly resigned any authority that
might be intended him by the king when this ring was deliverSeveral
ed to him. However, he proposed it as a thing not only expemitions
dient, but necessary, that the empire should have a head; and maili, and
when he had demonstrated this by proper arguments, he told fuccellors
them, that Roxana was with child, and that, it she brought proposed in the coun- forth a fon, he ought to be acknowledged his father's succeflor. cil.
Nearchus applauded the design of preserving the regal dignity in the family of Alexander ; but said, it would be too long to wait for Roxana's delivery, elpecially as it would be attended with uncercainty. He therefore put them in mind of Hercules the son of Alexander by Barfina. The foldiers fignified their dislike of this by the clangour of their arms. Ptolomy then propounded, that the chair of Alexander should retain the shadow of fovereignty, and that the state Thould be governed by a council of officers; but this being disliked, a motion was made in favour of Perdiccas ; but he, out of modesty, refused it. At last somebody mentioned Aridaus the brother of
Alexander, who had always accompanied the king, and was Aridaus
wont to sacrifice with him. The Macedonian phalanx, closed appointed immediately with this proposition, and called for Aridæus. to succeed
Perdiccas, Ptolomy and most of the horse officers, were exhis brother
tremely averse to this measure ; and they carried their obftiAlexander
nacy so far, as to retire from the assembly, and even to quit the city. However Meleager at the head of the phalanx, sup: ported vigorously their first resolution, and threatned loudly to shed the blood of those who affected to rule over their equals, and to assume a kingdom which no way belonged to them. Aridaus they arrayed in royal robes, put on him the arms of Alexander, and faluted him by the name of Philip, that he might be rendered more popular 4,
a Curr. lib. x. DIODOR. Sicul. lib. xviii. JUSTIN. lib. xiii. Cros. lib. iii. PLUT. in vit. Alex. & Eumen.
While things remained in this situation, Melager managed affairs about the new-created king, and Perdiccas transacted all things for the other party. Both pretended vast concern for the public, yet, at the bottom, intended nothing so much as their own private advantage, each having formed a scheme of ingrofling the administration, under colour of ferving the interests of those they had drawn, not to favour them personally, but their specious pretences. In order to apprehend these things clearly, let us view all these great ones in their proper lights.
Perdiccas was a man of high birthi, had a fupreme com- The chamand in the army, was much in favour with Alexandir, and racters of Itrongly confided in by the nobility. Melenger hud rendered Perdiccas, himself formidable by uniting the Macedonians who composed Meleager, the phalanx in one opinion, and by raising one to the king- & o. dom who was wholly under his direction. Aridaus was, as we have heretofore thewn, the son of Philip, by a dancer named Phillina ; he was of small parts, not by nature, but by the practices of Olympias, who by poisonous draughts had taken care to weaken both his constitution and his mind. He had however for his wife Eurydice his cousin, as we shall see hereafter, by whose assistance he was able to manage pretty well. At present alone, and without counsellors, he acted as the times required, he did what Meleager would have him, but he declared that whatever he did was by the advice of Meliager, so that he made his minister accountable for his own schemes, and no way endangered himself. The Macedonians besides their affection for the royal house, began to entertain a personal love for Arideus, now called Philip, on account of his mildness and moderation,
Bysides these who were the principal characters on the Eumenes: stage at this time, there was another who through modefty declined public notice, and was not withstanding a prime instrument in adjusting the differences that were now on foot, and made a most inining figure in public affairs afterwards. This was Eumenes the Cardion, the late king's secretary. He was, as far as we find, little distinguished by birth, though his father could not have been a waggoner, as some report, because he was Philip of Macedon's host, who taking a fancy to his fon, retained him about his person, and having tried his fidelity; at length made him his secretary, in which post Alexander found and continued him. This poft alone would have rendered him very considerable, but the king bad raised him beside to the highest military commands, he being one of in
Plut. in vit. Ejmen. Dion. Curt. ubi fupra. CARRIAN apud Puot. Biblio!n. Cod. xcii. JUSTIN. Curi. ubi fupra.