Amempton

Ἔτι δὲ μᾶλλον ἠδόξησε Τάχῳ τῳ Αἰγυπτίῳ στρατηγὸν ἐπιδοὺς ἑαυτόν. οὐ γὰρ ἠξίουν ἄνδρα τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἄριστον κεκριμένον καὶ δόξης ἐμπεπληκότα τὴν οἰκουμένην, ἀποστάτῃ βασιλέως, ἀνθρώπῳ βαρβάρῳ, χρῆσαι τὸ σῶμα καὶ τοὔνομα καὶ τὴν δόξαν ἀποδόσθαι χρημάτων, ἔργα μισθοφόρου καὶ ξεναγοῦ διαπραττόμενον. κεἰ γὰρ ὑπὲρ ὀγδοήκοντα γεγονὼς ἔτη καὶ πᾶν ὑπὸ τραυμάτων τὸ σῶμα κατακεκομμένος ἐκείνην αὖθις ἀνεδέξατο τὴν καλὴν καὶ περίβλεπτον ἡγεμονίαν ὑπὲρ τῆς τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἐλευθερίας, οὐ πάμπαν ἄμεμπτον εἶναι τὴν φιλοτιμίαν· τοῦ γὰρ καλοῦ καιρὸν οἰκεῖον εἶναι καὶ ὥραν, μᾶλλον δὲ ὅλως τὰ καλὰ τῶν αἰσχρῶν τῷ μετρίῳ διαφέρειν.
(Plutarch, Bios Agesilaou 36.1-2)

He* lost still more reputation by offering to take a command under Tachos the Egyptian. For it was thought unworthy that man who had been judged noblest and best in Hellas, and who had filled the world with his fame, should furnish a rebel against the Great King, a mere Barbarian, with his person, his name, and his fame, and take money for him, rendering the service of a hired captain of mercenaries. For even if, now that he was past eighty years of age and his whole body was disfigured with wounds, he had taken up again his noble and conspicuous leadership in behalf of the freedom of the Hellenes, his ambition would not have been altogether blameless, as men thought. For honourable action has its fitting time and season; nay, rather, it is the observance of due bounds that constitutes an utter difference between honourable and base actions.

* Agesilaus II of Sparta

(tr. Bernadotte Perrin)

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