But after the libations and the customary prayers, the moon was eclipsed. Now, to Dion this was nothing astonishing, for he knew that eclipses recurred at regular intervals, and that the shadow projected on the moon was caused by the interposition of the earth between her and the sun.
But since the soldiers, who were greatly disturbed, needed some encouragement, Miltas the seer stood up amongst them and bade them be of good cheer, and expect the best results; for the divine powers indicated an eclipse of something that was now resplendent; but nothing was more resplendent than the tyranny of Dionysius, and it was the radiance of this which they would extinguish as soon as they reached Sicily.
This interpretation, then, Miltas made public for all to know; but that of the bees, which were seen settling in swarms upon the sterns of Dion's transports, he told privately to him and his friends, expressing a fear that his undertakings would thrive at the outset, but after a short season of flowering would wither away. It is said that Dionysius also had many portentous signs from Heaven.
An eagle snatched a lance from one of his body-guards, carried it aloft, and then let it drop into the sea. Furthermore, the water of the sea which washed the base of the acropolis was sweet and potable for a whole day, as all who tasted it could see. Again, pigs were littered for him which were perfect in their other parts, but had no ears.
This the seers declared to be a sign of disobedience and rebellion, since, as they said, the citizens would no longer listen to the commands of the tyrant; the sweetness of the sea-water indicated for the Syracusans a change from grievous and oppressive times to comfortable circumstances; an eagle, moreover, was servant of Zeus, and a spear, an emblem of authority and power, wherefore this prodigy showed that the greatest of the gods desired the utter dissolution of the tyranny. Such, at all events, is the account which Theopompus has given.