A Proper Kind of Madness

Diodoros, Excerpta de virtutibus et vitiis 305.19–27 [=BNJ 87 F 108]

“There was another rebellion of fugitive slaves and a resistance of some renown. For a certain Cleon, a Cilician from the area near Tauros, was accustomed since childhood to a life of robbery. When he became a shepherd in Sicily, there was no end to his attacks on travelers and his constant murders. Once he heard of Eunous’ success and the achievement of his rebellion, he created his own revolt and convinced many nearby to join his madness. They took over the city of Akragas and all of the land nearby.”

(2.43) Ὅτι καὶ ἄλλη τις ἐγένετο ἀπόστασις δραπετῶν καὶ σύστημα ἀξιόλογον. Κλέων γάρ τις Κίλιξ ἐκ τῶν περὶ τὸν Ταῦρον τόπων συνήθης ὢν ἐκ παίδων τῶι ληιστρικῶι βίωι καὶ κατὰ τὴν Σικελίαν νομεὺς γεγονὼς ἱπποφορβίων οὐ διέλιπεν ὁδοιδοκῶν καὶ παντοδαποὺς φόνους ἐπιτελούμενος ὃς πυθόμενος τὴν κατὰ τὸν Εὐνουν προκοπὴν καὶ τὰς <τῶν> μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ δραπετῶν εὐημερίας ἀποστάτης ἐγένετο καί τινας τῶν πλησίον οἰκετῶν πείσας συναπονοήσασθαι κατέτρεχε τὴν πόλιν τῶν ᾽Ακραγαντίνων καὶ τὴν πλησιόχωρον πᾶσαν.

Achilles ambushing Troilus (to the left on the vase). Laconian black-figured dinos, 560–540 BC.

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