On Divination


But let us now treat of those dreams which term clear and definite, such as that of the Arcadian whose friend was killed by the inn-keeper at Megara, or that of Simonides, who was warned not to set sail by an apparition of a man whose interment he had kindly superintended. The history of Alexander presents us with another instance of this kind, which I wonder you did not cite, who, after his friend Ptolemy had been wounded in battle by a poisoned arrow, and when he appeared to be dying of the wound, and was in great agony, fell asleep while sitting by his bed, and in his slumber is said to have seen a vision of the serpent which his mother Olympias cherished, bringing a root in his mouth, and telling him that it grew in a spot very near at hand, and that it possessed such medicinal virtue, that it would easily cure Ptolemy if applied to his wound. On awaking, Alexander related his dream, and messengers were sent to look for that plant, which, when it was found, not only cured Ptolemy, but likewise several other soldiers, who during the engagement, had been wounded by similar arrows. — II. LXVI


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