Diodorus Siculus 17.100.1-101.6

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[100] Alexander recovered from his wound, sacrificed to the gods, and held a great banquet for his Friends. 2 In the course of the drinking a curious event occurred which is worth mention.81 Among the king's companions there was a Macedonian named Coragus, strong in body, who had distinguished himself many times in battle. His temper was sharpened by the drink, and he challenged to single combat Dioxippus the Athenian, an athlete who had won a crown in the foremost games. 3 As you would expect, the guests at the banquet egged them on and Dioxippus accepted. The king set a day for the contest, and when the time came, many myriads of men gathered to see the spectacle. 4 The Macedonians and Alexander backed Coragus because he was one of them, while the Greeks favored Dioxippus. The two advanced to the field of honor, the Macedonian clad in his expensive armor 5 but the Athenian naked, his body oiled, carrying a well-balanced club.

Both men were fine to look upon with their magnificent physiques and their ardor for combat. Everyone looked forward, as it were, to a battle of gods. By his carriage and the brilliance of his arms, the Macedonian inspired terror as if he were Ares, while Dioxippus excelled in sheer strength and condition; still more because of his club he bore a certain resemblance to Heracles.

6 As they approached each other, the Macedonian flung his javelin from a proper distance, but the other inclined his body slightly and avoided its impact. Then the Macedonian poised his long lance and charged, but the Greek, when he came within reach, struck the spear with his club and shattered it. 7 After these two defeats, Coragus was reduced to continuing the battle with his sword, but as he reached for it, the other leaped upon him and seized his sword hand with his left, while with his right the Greek upset the Macedonian's balance and made his lose his footing. 8 As he fell to the earth, Dioxippus placed his foot upon his neck and, holding his club aloft, looked to the spectators.

[101] The crowd was in an uproar because of the stunning quickness and superiority of the man's skill, and the king signed to let Coragus go, then broke up the gathering and left. He was plainly annoyed at the defeat of the Macedonian. 2 Dioxippus released his fallen opponent, and left the field winner of a resounding victory and bedecked with ribands by his compatriots, as having brought a common glory to all Greeks. Fortune, however, did not allow him to boast of his victory for long.

3 The king continued more and more hostile to him, and Alexander's friends and all the other Macedonians about the court, jealous of the accomplishment, persuaded one of the butlers to secrete a golden cup under his pillow; then in the course of the next symposium they accused him of theft, and pretending to find the cup, placed Dioxippus in a shameful and embarrassing position. 4 He saw that the Macedonians were in league against him and left the banquet. After a little he came to his own quarters, wrote Alexander a letter about the trick that had been played on him, gave this to his servants to take to the king, and then took his own life. He had been ill-advised to undertake the single combat, but he was much more foolish to make an end of himself in this way. 5 Hence many of those who reviled him, mocking his folly, said that it was a hard fate to have great strength of body but little sense.

6 The king read the letter and was very angry at the man's death. He often mourned his good qualities, and the man whom he had neglected when he was alive, he regretted when he was dead. After it was no longer of use, he discovered the excellence of Dioxippus by contrast with the vileness of his accusers.


  • משווה בין המתחרים להרקלס וארס; אלכסנדר חש עוינות הולכת וגוברת לדיוקסיפוס לאחר הקרב; היו אלה חבריו של אלכסנדר שהעלימו את גביע הזהב והפלילו את דיוקסיפוס; במכתבו דיוקסיפוס האשים גם את אלכסנדר; אלכסנדר הרגיש חרטה גדולה על יחסו של דיוקסיפוס לאחר מותו של האחרון.

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