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Among the Acragantini of that time perhaps the richest man was Tellias, who had in his mansion a considerable number of guest-chambers and used to station servants before his gates with orders to invite every stranger to be his guest. There were also many other Acragantini who did something of this kind, mingling with others in an old-fashioned and friendly manner; consequently also Empedocles1 speaks of them as“ Havens of mercy for strangers, unacquainted with evil.
2 [2]

Indeed once when five hundred cavalry from Gela arrived there during a wintry storm, as Timaeus says in his Fifteenth Book, Tellias entertained all of them by himself and provided them all forthwith from his own stores with outer and under garments. [3] And Polycleitus3 in his Histories describes the wine-cellar in the house as still existing and as he had himself seen it when in Acragas as a soldier; there were in it, he states, three hundred great casks hewn out of the very rock, each of them with a capacity of one hundred amphoras,4 and beside them was a wine-vat, plastered with stucco and with a capacity of one thousand amphoras, from which the wine flowed into the casks. [4] And we are told that Tellias was quite plain in appearance but wonderful in character. So once when he had been dispatched on an embassy to the people of Centoripa and came forward to speak before the Assembly, the multitude broke into unseemly laughter as they saw how much he fell short of their expectation. But he, interrupting them, said, "Don't be surprised, for it is the practice of the Acragantini to send to famous cities their most handsome citizens, but to insignificant and most paltry cities men of their sort."

1 The famous fifth-century physical philosopher, a native of Acragas.

2 The third line of the opening lines of his work On Purifications which run (Frag. 112 Diels[5]):“ φίλοι, οἳ μέγα ἄστυ κατὰ ξανθοῦ Ἀκράγαντος
ναίετ᾽ ἀν᾽ ἄκρα πόλεος, ἀγαθῶν μελεδήμονες ἔργων,
ξείνων κτλ.
” ("My friends, who make your homes in the great settlement which forms golden Acragas, up on the heights of the city, ye who are careful to perform good deeds," then the line Diodorus quotes.).

3 A native of Larissa and probably of the generation of Alexander the Great.

4 An amphora was about nine gallons.

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