XV[15arg] That it is recorded in literature and handed down by tradition, that great and unexpected joy has brought sudden death to many, since the breath of life was stifled and could not endure the effects of an unusual and strong emotion.
ARISTOTLE the philosopher relates 1 that Polycrita, a woman of high rank in the island of Naxos, on suddenly and unexpectedly hearing joyful news, breathed her last. Philippides too, a comic poet of no little repute, when he had unexpectedly won the prize in a contest of poets at an advanced age, and was rejoicing exceedingly, died suddenly in the midst of his joy. The story also of Diogoras of Rhodes is widely known. This Diogoras had three young sons, one a boxer, the second a pancratist, 2 and the third a wrestler. He saw them all victors [p. 287] and crowned at Olympia on the same day, and when the three young men were embracing him there, and having placed their crowns on their father's head were kissing him, and the people were congratulating him and pelting him from all sides with flowers, there in the very stadium, before the eyes of the people, amid the kisses and embraces of his sons, he passed away. Moreover, I have read in our annals that at the time when the army of the Roman people was cut to pieces at Cannae, 3 an aged mother was overwhelmed with grief and sorrow by a message announcing the death of her son; but that report was false, and when not long afterwards the young man returned from that battle to the city, the aged mother, upon suddenly seeing her son, was overpowered by the flood, the shock, and the crash, so to speak, of unlooked-for joy descending upon her, and gave up the ghost.