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[135] My conclusion is that obscure messages by means of dreams are utterly inconsistent with the dignity of gods.

66. "Let us now consider dreams that are clear and direct, like the dream of the man who was killed by the innkeeper at Megara;1 or like that of Simonides who was warned by the man he had buried not to sail; and also like Alexander's dream, which, to my surprise, my dear Quintus, you passed by without notice: Alexander's intimate friend, Ptolemaeus, had been struck in battle by a [p. 523] poisoned arrow and was at the point of death from his wound and suffering the most excruciating agony. Alexander, while sitting by the bedside of his friend, fell fast asleep. Thereupon, so the story goes, he dreamed that the pet serpent of his mother Olympias appeared to him carrying a root in its mouth and, at the same time, gave him the name of a place close by where it said the root grew. This root, the serpent told him, was of such great virtue that it would effect the speedy cure of Ptolemaeus. As soon as Alexander awoke he related his dream to his friends and men were sent to find the root. It is said that when the root was found it worked the cure not only of Ptolemaeus, but also of many soldiers who had been wounded by the same kind of arrow.

1 Cf. i. 27. 57.

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load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
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