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With such swiftness did Fortune work a change in the affairs of the Carthaginians, and point out to all mankind that those who become elated above due measure quickly give proof of their own weakness. [2] For they who had in their hands practically all the cities of Sicily with the exception of Syracuse and expected its capture, of a sudden were forced to be anxious for their own fatherland; they who overthrew the tombs of the Syracusans gazed upon one hundred and fifty thousand dead lying in heaps and unburied because of the plague; they who wasted with fire the territory of the Syracusans now in their turn saw their own fleet of a sudden go up in flames; they who so arrogantly sailed with their whole armada into the harbour and flaunted their successes before the Syracusans had little thought that they were to steal away by night and leave their allies at the mercy of their enemy. [3] The general himself, who had taken the temple of Zeus for his headquarters and the pillaged wealth of the sanctuaries for his own possession, slipped away in disgrace to Carthage with a few survivors, in order that he might not by dying and paying a debt to nature go unscathed for his acts of impiety, but should in his native land lead a life that was notorious, while reproaches were heaped on him on every hand. [4] Indeed, so calamitous was his lot that he went about the temples of the city in the cheapest clothing, charging himself with impiety and offering acknowledged retribution to heaven for his sins against the gods. In the end he passed sentence of death upon himself and starved himself to death. And he bequeathed to his fellow citizens a deep respect for religion, for straightway Fortune heaped upon them the other calamities of war as well.

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