Death of Agron of Illyria
This was a most unexpected relief to the Medionians.
They met in public assembly and deliberated on the whole
business, and especially as to the inscribing the arms reserved
for dedication. They decided, in mockery of the Aetolian
decree, that the inscription should contain the name of the
Aetolian commander on the day of battle, and of the candidates
for succession to his office. And indeed Fortune seems, in what
happened to them, to have designed a display of her power to
the rest of mankind. The very thing which these men were
in momentary expectation of undergoing at the hands of their
enemies, she put it in their power to inflict upon those
enemies, and all within a very brief interval. The unexpected
disaster of the Aetolians, too, may teach all the world not to
calculate on the future as though it were the actually existent,
and not to reckon securely on what may still turn out quite
otherwise, but to allow a certain margin to the unexpected.
And as this is true everywhere and to every man, so is it
especially true in war.
When his galleys returned, and he heard from his officers
Death of Agron, who is succeeded by his wife Teuta, B. C. 231.
the events of the expedition, King Agron was
so beside himself with joy at the idea of having
conquered the Aetolians, whose confidence in
their own prowess had been extreme, that, giving
himself over to excessive drinking and other similar indulgences,
he was attacked by a pleurisy of which in a few days he died.
His wife Teuta succeeded him on the throne; and managed
the various details of administration by means of friends whom
she could trust. But her woman's head had been turned by
the success just related, and she fixed her gaze upon that, and
had no eyes for anything going on outside the country. Her
first measure was to grant letters of marque to privateers,
authorising them to plunder all whom they fell in with; and
she next collected a fleet and military force as large as the
former one, and despatched them with general instructions to
the leaders to regard every land as belonging to an enemy.