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Agathocles Not a Good Example of Mutability of Fortune

To such a story then no such dissertation is required, as was in place, for instance, in the case of the Sicilian monarchs, Agathocles and Dionysius, and certain others who have administered governments with reputation.
See 12. 15.
For the former of these, starting from a plebeian and humble position—having been, as Timaeus sneeringly remarks, a potter—came from the wheel, clay, and smoke, quite a young man to Syracuse. And, to begin with, both these men in their respective generations became tyrants of Syracuse, a city that had obtained at that time the greatest reputation and the greatest wealth of any in the world; and afterwards were regarded as suzerains of all Sicily, and lords of certain districts in Italy. While, for his part, Agathocles not only made an attempt upon Africa, but eventually died in possession of the greatness he had acquired. It is on this account that the story is told of Publius Scipio, the first conqueror of the Carthaginians, that being asked whom he considered to have been the most skilful administrators and most distinguished for boldness combined with prudence, he replied, "the Sicilians Agathocles and Dionysius." Now, in the case of such men as these, it is certainly right to try to arrest the attention of our readers, and, I suppose, to speak of Fortune and the mutability of human affairs, and in fact to point a moral: but in the case of such men as we have been speaking of, it is quite out of place to do so.

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