Ophelas and Heraclides

When Agathocles, tyrant of Syracuse, moved against Carthage, he offered to Ophellas the governorship of Carthage in exchange for troops and service.  However, he intended to betray him, and he accomplished this in the following way.  Agathocles’s son, Heraclides, was a very handsome youth, and Ophellas had a taste for young boys.  Agathocles therefore sent an embassy to Ophellas, which included his son as a hostage, and told his son to hold out against Ophellas’s solicitations.  Ophellas lusted after the boy, and, distracted, failed to give the proper attention to military matters.  Agathocles attacked Ophellas, slew him, and recovered Heraclides untouched.  He afterwards recruited Ophellas’s soldiers, now abandoned in North Africa, into his own army.  With this combined force, he threatened Carthage so greatly that the city was forced to withdraw its troops from their siege of Syracuse.


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  1. Pingback: Diary 05/17/2012 | Love, Sex, and Thermonuclear War

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