Curtius Rufus 4.1.15-26
15 In Phoenicen deinde descendit et oppidum Byblon traditum recepit. Inde ad Sidona ventum est, urbem vetustate famaque conditorum inclitam.
16 Regnabat in ea Strato, Darei opibus adiutus . . . . Sed quia deditionem magis popularium quam sua sponte fecerat, regno visus indignus Hephaestionique permissum, ut, quem eo fastigio e Sidoniis dignissimum arbitraretur, constitueret regem.
17 Erant Hephaestioni duo hospites, clari inter suos iuvenes: qui facta ipsis potestate regnandi negaverunt, quemquam patrio more in id fastigium recipi, nisi regia stirpe ortum.
18 Admiratus Hephaestione magnitudinem animi spernentis, quod alii per ignes ferrumque peterent, 'Vos quidem macti virtute', inquit, 'estote, qui primi intellexistis, quanto maius esset regnum fastidire quam accipere. Ceterum date aliquem regiae stirpis, qui meminerit a vobis acceptum habere se regnum.'
19 Atque illi, cum multos imminere tantae spei cernerent singulis amicorum Alexandri ob nimiam regni cupiditatem adulantes, statuunt neminem esse potiorem quam Abdalonymum quendam, longa quidem cognatione stirpi regiae adnexum, sed ob inopiam suburbanum hortum exigua colentem stipe.
20 Causa ei paupertatis sicut plerisque probitas erat: intentusque operi diurno strepitum armorum, qui totam Asiam concusserat, non exaudiebat.
21 Subito deinde, de quibus ante dictum est, cum regiae vestis insignibus hortum intrant, quem forte steriles herbas eligens Abdalonymus repurgabat.
22 Tum rege eo salutato alter ex his, 'Habitus', inquit, 'hic vestis, quem cernis in meis manibus, cum isto squalore permutandus tibi est. Ablue corpus inluvie tetrisque sordibus squalidum: cape regis animum et in eam fortunam, qua dignus es, istam continentiam perfer. Et cum in regali solio residebis, vitae necisque omnium civium dominus, cave obliviscaris habitus, in quo accipis regnum, immo, hercule, propter quem.' Somnio similis res Abdalonymo videbatur: interdum, satisne sani essent, qui tam proterve sibi inluderent, percontabatur.
23 Sed ut cunctanti squalor ablutus est et iniecta vestis purpura auroque distincta et fides a iurantibus facta, serio iam rex iisdem comitantibus in regiam pervenit.
24 Fama deinde, ut solet, strenue tota urbe discurrit. Aliorum studium, aliorum indignatio eminebat: divitissimus quisque humilitatem inopiamque eius apud amicos Alexandri criminabatur.
25 Admitti eum rex protinus iussit diuque contemplatus, 'Corporis', inquit, 'habitus famae generis non repugnat: sed libet scire, inopiam qua patientia tuleris?' Tum ille, 'Utinam', inquit, 'eodem animo regnum pati possim! hae manus suffecere desiderio meo: nihil habenti nihil defuit.'
26 Magnae indolis specimen ex hoc sermone Abdalonymi cepit. Itaque non Stratonis modo regiam supellectilem attribui ei iussit, sed pleraque etiam ex Persica praeda, regionem quoque urbi adpositam dicioni eius adiecit.
Then Alexander marched down into Phoenicia and received the town of Byblos in surrender. From there he came to Sidon, a city renowned for its antiquity and fame if its founders. (16) In it Straton was ruling, supported by the power of Darius; but because he had surrendered rather at the desire of the people than of his own accord, he was deemed unworthy to rule and Hephaestion was allowed to choose as king from among the Sidonians the one whom he thought most worthy of this high station.
(17) Hephaestion was the guest of two young men distinguished among their countrymen; when they were offered the privilege of ruling, they said that according to the custom of their country no one was admitted to that eminence unless born of Royal stock. (18) Hephaestion, admiring the lofty spirit that declined what others sought by fire and sword, said "Accept my congratulations, since you have been the first to appreciate how much greater it is to disdain Royal power than to receive it. But name someone of royal descent, who will remember that he is holding a sovereignty that was conferred by you."
(19) And they, although they were aware that many, eager for so great a prospect, were already courting various friends of Alexander from excessive longing for the throne, decided that no one was preferable to a certain Abdalonymus, a man who had, it is true, a distant connexion with the Royal family, but who, because of narrow means, was cultivating a garden in the suburbs at scanty profit. (20) The reason for his poverty, as it true of many men, was his honesty, and intent as he was on his daily toil, he did not hear the din of arms which had shaken all Asia. (21) Unexpectedly then the young men who were mentioned before came with the insignia of the Royal dress into the garden, which, as it chanced, Abdalonymus was engaged in clearing up, by plucking out the useless weeds.
(22) Then, after hailing him as king, one of them said: "You must change that mean garb of yours for the apparel which you see in my hands; wash yourself, stained as you are by the dirt and filth of the earth; take on the spirit of a king and carry on your self-control into that fortune of which you are worthy. And when you sit upon the Royal throne, master of the life and death of all citizens, do not forget the condition in which – nay, by Heaven! Because of which – you are receiving the crown."
(23) It all seemed to Abdalonymus like a dream; from time to time he kept asking those who were so saucily making sport of him were altogether sane. But when, as he hesitated, the dirt was washed from his body and a robe adorned with purple and gold was put upon him, and the good faith of the messengers was confirmed by oaths, now a king in earnest, attended by the same youths, he entered the palace.
(24) Then Rumour, as is her wont, busily ran about through the whole city; the approval of some, the indignation of others, was manifest, all the richest citizens appeared before Alexander's friends and protested against the new king's low condition and his poverty. (25) Alexander at once ordered that he be given audience, and after gazing at him for a long time said: "Your bearing does not belie the report of your origin, but I am glad to know of the patience with which you have endured privation." Then the new king replied: "I only hope that I may be able to endure sovereignty with the same spirit! These hands have been able to satisfy my desires; having nothing, I have lacked nothing."
(26) From these words of Abdalonymus the king gained an impression of his high character. Accordingly he gave orders that not only the regal equipment of Straton should be assigned to him, but also many articles from the Persian booty; he also added to his dominion a territory adjacent to the city.