16 Alexander, when he died, was thirty-three years and one month old. He was a man endowed with powers of mind far beyond ordinary human capacity. His mother Olympias, the night in which she conceived him, dreamed that she was entwined with a huge serpent; nor was she deceived by her dream; for she certainly bore in her womb a conception superior to mortality; and though her descent from the Aeacidae, a family of the remotest antiquity, and the royal dignity of her father, brother, husband, and indeed of all her ancestors, conferred sufficient splendour upon her, yet by no one’s influence was she rendered more illustrious than that of her son. Some omens of his future greatness appeared at his birth. Two eagles sat the whole of the day on which he was born on the top of his father’s palace, giving indication of his double empire over Europe and Asia. The very same day, too, his father received the news of two victories, one in the war with the Illyrians, the other in the Olympic games, to which he had sent some four-horse chariots; an omen which portended to the child the conquest of the world. As a boy, he was ably instructed in elementary learning; and, when his boyhood was past, he improved himself, for five years, under his famous instructor Aristotle.15 On taking possession of the throne, he gave orders that he should be styled “King of all the earth and of the world;” and he inspired his soldiers with such confidence in him, that, when he was present, they feared the arms of no enemy, though they themselves were unarmed. He, in consequence, never engaged with any enemy whom he did not conquer, besieged no city that he did not take, and invaded no nation that he did not subjugate. He was overcome at last, not by the prowess of any enemy, but by a conspiracy of those whom he trusted, and the treachery of his own subjects.
1 Luxuria destructa.] Graevius, not knowing what to make of destructa, conjectures restricta. Wetzel explains the words thus: “Lest, as the empire of the Persians was destroyed, the luxury of the Persians should seem also to be destroyed.” I incline to think with Graevius that the word is corrupt.
2 That is, with a kind of prostration. See Corn. Nep. Con. c. 3; Justin, vi. 2. PROSKUNE/EIN TO\N BASILE/A PROSPI/PTONTAS, Herod. vii
136; see also i. 134. On the question about paying adoration to Alexander, see Arrian, iv. 11.
3 Explosa.] Scheffer conjectures expulsa, which Lemaire approves.
4 From A)/RGUROS, silver, and A)SPI\S, a shield.
5 Montes Daedalos.] Quintus Curtius, viii. 10, has Regio quae Daedala vocatur; but there is no allusion to the name in any other author.
6 Cicatricibus exhausta.] Exhausta cannot surely have been Justin’s word. Faber conjectures distincta.
7 Bongarsius conjectures Acesinae, as taking their name from the neighbouring river.
8 For Ambros et Sigambros, Fabricius, from Arrian, and Curtius, ix. 4, proposes Mallos et Oxydracas, which some editors have adopted.
9 Crimen regis.] Crimen, in this place, has not the ordinary signification of crime, but means simply opprobrium, a reproach, dishonour.Faber.
10 In the original there is no grammatical construction. Either the text has been mutilated, or Justin commenced his sentence in one way, and proceeded with it in another.
11 Intra trigesimum annum.] Yet he himself had passed his thirtieth year. However intra will not bear any other signification.
12 Son of Barsine. See xi. 10; xiii. 2; xiv. 6.
13 See ix. 8, init.; xiii. 2; xiv. 5.
14 Daughter of Oxyartes, king of the Bactrians, Diod. Sic. xviii. 3. She afterwards gave birth to Alexander Aegus, Comp. Q. Curt. x. 3, 13 ; Justin, xiii. 2, 6; xv. 2.
15 Sub Aristotele doctore inclyto [omnium philosophorum]. The words in brackets, condemned by Faber, Scheffer, and Wetzel, I have omitted in the translation. They are unsatisfactory, both as regards sense and construction; for if we connect them with doctore, we make Justin say what was not true; and if with inclyto, we give that adjective a government to which it has no right.