Saturday, January 21, 2023


Body Double

Diodorus Siculus 19.5.1-3 (tr. Robin Waterfield):
[1] Some time later, when Acestoridas of Corinth had been elected General in Syracuse, Agathocles was suspected of aspiring to tyranny, and he had to use his wits to escape with his life. Acestoridas was reluctant to do away with Agathocles openly, because he did not want to provoke civil unrest, so he ordered him to leave the city and sent men out at night to kill him on the road. [2] But Agathocles had guessed what Acestoridas was planning, and he selected from among his slaves the one who most closely resembled himself in height and general appearance. By giving this slave his own suit of armour, horse, and clothing, he tricked the men who had been sent to kill him. [3] As for himself, he dressed in rags and travelled across country. So the assassins, judging from the armour and other tokens that the slave was Agathocles, and prevented by the darkness from seeing clearly, did indeed commit murder—but they failed to carry out their mission.

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