Differences Between Kingship and Tyranny: Aelian, 2.20

“They say that Antigonus the king was popular and mild. It is possible for anyone who has the time to study about him to examine the very sources about the man. He will discover there that he was altogether kind and inoffensive, as I am about to explain. Antigonus, when he saw his son treating their subjects rather violently and rashly, said “Don’t you know, child, that our kingdom is merely a glorified slavery?” This word from Antigonos to his child was rather kind and humane. To whomever this is not the case, he seems to me to know neither what is kingly or political, but rather to have lived under a tyranny”

᾿Αντίγονόν φασι τὸν βασιλέα δημοτικὸν καὶ πρᾶον γενέσθαι. καὶ ὅτῳ μὲν σχολὴ τὰ κατ’ αὐτὸν εἰδέναι καὶ αὐτὰ ἕκαστα ἐξετάζειν ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἀνδρός, εἴσεταιἑτέρωθεν• εἰρήσεται δ’ οὖν αὐτοῦ καὶ πάνυ πρᾶον καὶ ἄτυφον ὃ μέλλω λέγειν. ὁ ᾿Αντίγονος οὗτος ὁρῶν τὸν υἱὸν τοῖς ὑπηκόοις χρώμενον βιαιότερόν τε καὶ θρασύτερον ‘οὐκ οἶσθα’ εἶπεν, ‘ὦ παῖ, τὴν βασιλείαν ἡμῶν ἔνδοξον εἶναι δουλείαν;’ καὶ τὰ μὲν τοῦ
᾿Αντιγόνου πρὸς τὸν παῖδα πάνυ ἡμέρως ἔχει καὶ φιλανθρώπως• ὅτῳ δὲ οὐ δοκεῖ ταύτῃ, ἀλλ’ ἐκεῖνός γε οὐ δοκεῖ μοι βασιλικὸν ἄνδρα εἰδέναι οὐδὲ πολιτικόν, τυραννικῷ δὲ συμβιῶσαι μᾶλλον.

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