Alexander, then, since he had now become sensitive to indications of the divine will and perturbed and apprehensive in his mind, converted every unusual and strange occurrence, were it never so insignificant into a prodigy and portent; and sacrificers, purifiers, and diviners filled his palace.
So, you see, while it is a dire thing to be incredulous towards indications of the divine will and to have contempt for them, superstition is likewise a dire thing, which, after the manner of water ever seeking the lower levels, filled with folly the Alexander who was now become a prey to his fears. Notwithstanding, in consequence of oracular responses regarding Hephaestion which were brought him, he laid aside his grief and betook himself once more to sacrifices and drinking-bouts.
He gave a splendid entertainment to Nearchus, and then, although he had taken his customary bath before going to bed, at the request of Medius he went to hold high revel with him;
and here, after drinking all the next day, he began to have a fever. This did not come upon him after he had quaffed a ‘bowl of Heracles,’ nor after he had been seized with a sudden pain in the back as though smitten with a spear; these particulars certain writers felt obliged to give, and so, as it were, invented in tragic fashion a moving finale for a great action.
But Aristobulus says that he had a raging fever, and that when he got very thirsty he drank wine, whereupon he became delirious, and died on the thirtieth day of the month Daesius.