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PERSEUS.

goddess. Hereupon Perseus went to Argos, accom­panied by Cyclopes, skilled in building (Schol. ad Eurip. Or. 953), by Danae, and Andromeda. Acrisius, remembering the oracle, escaped to La-rissa, in the country of the Pelasgians ; but Perseus followed him, in order to persuade him to return (Paus. ii. 16. § 6). Some writers state that Perseus, on his return to Argos, found Proetus who had expelled his brother Acrisius, in posses­sion of the kingdom (Ov. Met. v. 236, &c.) ; Per­seus slew Proetus, and was afterwards killed by Megapenthes, the son of Proetus, who avenged the death of his father. (Hygin. Fab. 244.) Some again relate that Proetus was expelled, and went to Thebes. (Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 1109.) But the common tradition goes on thus : when Teuta-midas, king of Larissa, celebrated games in honour of his guest Acrisius, Perseus, who took part in them, accidentally hit the foot of Acrisius, and thus killed him. Acrisius was buried outside the city of Larissa, and Perseus, leaving the kingdom of Argos to Megapenthes, the son of Proetus, re­ceived from him in exchange the government of Tiryns. According to others, Perseus remained in Argos, and successfully opposed the introduction of the Bacchic orgies. (Paus. ii. 20. § 3, 22. § 1 ; comp. Nonn. Dionys. xxxi. 25.) Perseus is said to have founded the towns of Mideia and Mycenae. (Paus. ii. 15. § 4.) By Andromeda he became the father of Alcaeus, Sthenelus, Heleius, Mestor, Ehctryon, Gorgophone, and Autochthe, (Apolled, ii. 4. §§ 1—5 ; Tzetz. ad Lye. 494, 838 ; Ov. Met. iv. 606, &c. ; Schol. ad Apollon. JRliod. iv. 1091.) Perseus was worshipped as a hero in several places, e. g. between Argos and Mycenae, in Seriphos, and at Athens, where he had an altar in common with Dictys and Clymene. (Paus. ii. 18. § 1.) Herodotus (ii. 91) relates that a temple and a statue of Perseus existed at Chemnis in Egypt, and that the country was blessed whenever he appeared.

2. A son of Nestor and Anaxibia. (Horn. Od. iii. 414 ; Apollod. i. 9. § 9.)

3. A ruler of Dardanus, who, with his wife Philobia, assisted Laodice in forming a recon­ ciliation with Acamas. (Parthen. Erot. 16; comp. acamas and laodice.) [L. S.]

PERSEUS orPERSES* (Hf/wreik), the last king of Macedonia, was the eldest son of Philip V. According to some of the Roman writers he was the offspring of a concubine, and consequently not of legitimate birth. (Liv. xxxix. 53, xl. 9, &c.) Plutarch, on the contrary (Aemil. 8), represents him as a supposititious child, and not the son of Philip at all: but it is probable that both these tales were mere inventions of his enemies: at least it is clear that he was from the first regarded both by his father and the whole Macedonian na­tion as the undoubted heir to the throne. He was early trained to arms, and was still a mere boy when he was appointed by his father to command the army destined to guard the passes of Pelagonia against the Illyrians, b. c. 200 (Liv. xxxi. 28). In b.c. 189 we again find him leading an army into Epeirus, where he besieged Amphilochia, but was compelled by the Aetolians to retire. (Id. xxxviii. 5. 7.) The favour shown by the Romans to his younger brother Demetrius had the effect

* Concerning this latter form see Niebuhr, Led. on Rom. Hist. vol. i. p. 272, ed Schmitz.

PERSEUS.

of exciting the jealousy of Perseus, who suspected that the Roman senate intended to set up De­metrius as a competitor for the throne on the death of Philip: and the popularity of the young prince among the Macedonians themselves was ill calculated to allay these apprehensions. Perseus in consequence set to work to effect the ruin of his brother, and at length by a long train of ma­chinations and intrigues [demetrius] succeeded in convincing Philip that Demetrius entertained a treasonable correspondence with the Romans, and thus prevailed on him to order the execution of the unhappy prince. (Liv. xxxix. 53, xl. 5—15, 20—24 ; Polyb. xxiv. 3, 7, 8 ; Diod. xxix. Ex-c. Vales, p. 576 ; Justin. xxxii. 2 ; Zonar. ix. 22 ; Plut. Aemil. 8.) It is said that Philip subse­quently detected the treachery of Perseus, and had even determined to exclude him from the throne, but his own death, which was brought on by the grief and remorse caused by this discovery, prevented the execution of his designs, b.c. 179. Perseus instantly assumed the sovereign power, and his first act was to put to death Antigonus, to whose counsels he ascribed the hostile intentions of his father. (Liv. xl. 54—56, 57 ; Justin. xxxii. 3 ; Zonar. ix. 22.)

The latter years of the reign of Philip had been spent in preparations for a renewal of the war with Rome, which he foresaw to be inevitable: and when Perseus ascended the throne, he found himself amply provided both with men and money for the impending contest. But, whether from a sincere desire of peace, or from irresolution of character, he sought to avert an open rupture as long as possible ; and one of the first acts of his reign was to send an embassy to Rome to obtain the recognition of his own title to the throne, and a renewal of the treaty concluded with his father. This embassy was the more necessary as he had already by his hostilities with a Thracian chief, named Abrupolis, who was nominally in alliance with Rome, afforded a pretext to the jealousy of that power ; but for the moment this cause of offence was overlooked, Perseus was acknow­ledged as king, and the treaty renewed on the same terms as before. (Diod. xxix. Eocc. Vatic, p. 71 ; Appian. Mac. ix. 3 ; Polyb. xxii. Exc. Vat. p. 413 ; Liv. xli. 24, xlii. 13, 40, 41.) It is probable that neither party was sincere in the con­clusion of this peace ; at least neither could enter­tain any hope of its duration ; yet a period of seven years elapsed before the mutual enmity of the two powers broke out into actual hostilities. Meanwhile Perseus was not idle: and his first measures were of a liberal and judicious character. He secured the attachment of his own subjects by rescinding the unpopular acts of his father's reign, by recalling all exiles and publishing a general act of amnesty. (Polyb. xxvi. 5.) At the same time he sought to conciliate the favour of the Greeks, many of whom were inclined to his cause in pre­ference to that of Rome ; and entered into ex­tensive relations with the Thracian, Illyrian, and Celtic tribes, by which his kingdom was sur­rounded. Nor did he neglect to cultivate the friendship of the Asiatic princes, who on their part (with the exception of Eumenes) seem to have eagerly sought his alliance. Seleucus IV Philopator gave him his daughter Laodice in mar­riage, while Prusias king of Bithynia gladly ac­cepted the hand of his sister, (Liv. xlii. 12 ; Po

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