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[152] Both of them despised the prodigies relating to themselves, but they did not deal harshly with the sooth-sayers who predicted their death; for more than once the very same prodigies confronted both, pointing to the same end. Twice in the case of each the victims were without a liver, and the first time it indicated a doubtful danger. It happened to Alexander when he was among the Oxydracæ and while he was leading his Macedonians in scaling the enemy's wall. The ladder broke, leaving him alone on the top. Taking counsel of his courage, he leaped inside the town against his enemies, and was struck severely in the breast and on the neck by a very heavy club, so that he fell down, and was rescued with difficulty by the Macedonians, who broke down the gates in their alarm for him. It happened to Cæsar in Spain while his army was in great fear of young Pompey, and hesitated to join battle. Cæsar dashed in advance of all into the space between the armies, and received 200 darts on his shield until his army, moved by shame and fear for his safety, rushed forward and rescued him. Thus in the case of each the first victims without livers presaged danger of death; the second presaged death itself. As Peithagoras, the soothsayer, was inspecting the entrails, he told Apollodorus, who was in fear of Alexander and Hephestion, not to be afraid of them, because they would both be out of the way very soon. Hephestion died immediately, and Apollodorus, being apprehensive lest some conspiracy might exist against Alexander, communicated the prophecy to him. Alexander smiled, and asked Peithagoras himself what the prodigy meant. When the latter replied that it meant fatality, he smiled again. Nevertheless, he commended Apollodorus for his good-will and the soothsayer for his freedom of speech.

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