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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 73



the Romane, he sent an ambassador, one of his chief men, whose name was Cineas, to propose peace on equal terms, provided Pyrrhus might be left m possession of that portion of Italy which he occupied with his army. Cineas, his ambassador, the very next day after he arrived in Rome, addressed the whole order of the knights and all the senators by their names.5 The peace, however, which he proposed was not agreed to, and he was sent back to Pyrrhus by the senate, with the answer, that there could be no peace between hka and the Romans unless he withdrew from Italy. Then the Romans ordered all the prisoners whom Pyrrhus had restored, to be accounted infamous for having permitted themselves to be taken prisoners with arms in their hands, and decreed that they should not be restored to their former condition, till they had brought back victorious spoils from enemies whom they had slain. And so the ambassador of Pyrrhus returned, and when Pyrrhus asked him what sort of place he had found Rome, Cineas, the ambassador, replied that " he had seen a country of kings, and that nearly every one there was equal to what Pyrrhus alone was thought in Epirus and the rest of Greece." So an army was again sent against Pyrrhus, under Publius Sulpicius and Decius the consuls. A battle took place, in which he was wounded, some of his elephants killed, twenty thousand of the enemy slain, and five thousand of the Romans. Pyrrhus was driven back to Tarentum. After an interval of a year, Fabricius, who had formerly rejected the offers o f Pyrrhus when he tried to bribe him with a fourth part of hie kingdom, was sent against Pyrrhus. And as he and king Pyrrhus had pitched their camps near one another, the physician o f Pyrrhus came to him by night, offering to take off Pyrrhus by poison if he would promise him a reward. But Fabricius put him in chains, and ordered him to be led back to his master king Pyrrhus, and ordered the king to be informed o f what his traitorous physician had offered against his life. On which the king, struck with admiration, is reported to have exclaimed, " Fabricius is a man whom it is more difficult to * This fact is alluded to by Cicero,Tusc. Disp.i. 24,where he is speaking of the memory of Cineas, and is expressly mentioned by Seneca, who, however, substitutes for " the knights/' " every one of the common people of the city that flocked round him," " Omnium urbanam circumfusam plebem."—Contrw. Proœm.


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