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[63] Thus Seleucus died at the age of seventy-three,
B.C. 280
having reigned forty-two years. It seems to me that the oracle hit the mark in his case when it said to him, "Do not hurry back to Europe; Asia will be much better for you," for Lysimacheia is in Europe, and he then crossed over to Europe for the first time after leaving it with the army of Alexander. It is said also that once when he consulted an oracle in reference to his own death he received this answer:--

"If you keep away from Argos you will reach your allotted year, but if you approach that place you will die before your time."

There is an Argos in Peloponnesus, another in Amphilochia, another in Orestea (whence come the Macedonian Argeadæ), and the one on the Ionian sea, said to have been built by Diomedes during his wanderings, -- all these, and every place named Argos in every other country, Seleucus inquired about and avoided. While he was advancing from the Hellespont to Lysimacheia a splendid great altar presented itself to his view, which he was told had been built either by the Argonauts on their way to Colchis, or by the Achæans who besieged Troy, for which reason the people in the neighborhood still called it Argos, either by a corruption of the name of the ship Argo, or from the native place of the sons of Atreus. While he was learning these things he was killed by Ptolemy, who stabbed him in the back. Philetzerus, the prince of Pergamus, bought the body of Seleucus from Ceraunus for a large sum of money, burned it, and sent the ashes to his son Antiochus. The latter deposited them at Seleucia-by-the-Sea, where he erected a temple to his father on consecrated ground, to which ground he gave the name of Nicatoreum.


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