“Rule your Egyptian slaves; but as for me,

I neither care for you, nor fear your wrath

And angry Threats.”{16}{this is a parody on Hom. Il. 1.180, where Agamemnon speaks to Achilles.}

(126) For noble souls have something authoritative within them, and do not allow their brilliancy to be obscured by the injustice of fortune, but their spirit encourages them to contend on equal terms with those who are very high in rank and very proud, pitting their freedom of spirit against the insolence of the others. (127) It is said that Theodorus, who was surnamed the Atheist, when he was banished from Athens, and had come to the court of Lysimachus, when one of those in power there reproached him with his banishment, mentioning the cause of it too, namely, that he had been expelled because he had been condemned for atheism and for corrupting the youth, replied, “I have not been banished, but the same thing has befallen me which befell Hercules, the son of Jupiter; (128) for he also was put ashore by the Argonauts, without having done anything wrong, but only because as he himself was both crew and ballast enough for a vessel, so that he burdened the ship, and caused fear to his fellow voyagers lest the vessel should become water-logged; and I too have been driven from my country because the bulk of the citizens at Athens were unable to keep pace with the loftiness and greatness of my mind, and therefore I was envied by them.” (129) And when, after this reply, Lysimachus asked him, “Were you also banished from your native land through envy?” he replied a second time, “Not indeed through envy, but because of the exceedingly high qualities of my nature, which my country could not contain; (130) for as when Semele, at the time that she was pregnant with Bacchus, was unable to bear her offspring until the appointed time for her delivery, Jupiter pitied her, and saved from the flames the offspring which she bore in her womb, being as yet imperfect, and granted it equal honours with the heavenly deities, so also some deity, or some god, has made me leave my country by reason of its being too narrow to contain the ample burden of a philosophic mind, and decided on transporting me to a place more fortunate than Athens, and settling me there.”