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Why Agathocles Died As He Did

I am quite aware of the miraculous occurrences and
The contemptible character of Agathocles.
embellishments which the chroniclers of this event have added to their narrative with a view of producing a striking effect upon their hearers, making more of their comments on the story than of the story itself and the main incidents. Some ascribe it entirely to Fortune, and take the opportunity of expatiating on her fickleness and the difficulty of being on one's guard against her. Others dwell upon the unexpectedness of the event, and try to assign its causes and probabilities. It was not my purpose, however, to treat this episode in this way, because Agathocles was not a man of conspicuous courage or ability as a soldier; nor particularly successful or worth imitating as a statesman; nor, lastly, eminent for his acuteness as a courtier or cunning as an intriguer, by which latter accomplishments Sosibius and many others have managed to keep one king after another under their influence to the last day of their lives. The very opposite of all this may be said of this man. For though he obtained high promotion owing to Philopator's feebleness as a king; and though after his death he had the most favourable opportunity of consolidating his power, he yet soon fell into contempt, and lost his position and his life at once, thanks to his own want of courage and vigour.

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