Anthologia Palatina/IX/482 Agathias Scholasticus

Anthologia Palatina by Agathias
IX - 482

We Mortals of no account, even if we perform great deeds, do not survive long in the memory of anyone ; but as for the great, if they do nothing, if they only breathe, as the Libyan said, it is engraved in adamant. For instance Zeno, the lord and emperor of our city, while in the middle of a game played with the capricious dice, found himself in this complicated position : when of the white men who were on their way back, the sixth line contained seven, the ninth one, and the tenth and summus two each, while the line after the summus had two, and the last piece was on the divus. Black had two on the eighth line, and as many on the eleventh ; on the twelfth were two, and one on the thirteenth. There were two on Antigonus and also on the fifteenth and eighteenth, and the fourth line from the last (the twentieth) also had two. It was the king's turn to play for White, and not seeing the trap in store for him, he cast the three dice from the wooden box with its hidden ladder, and threw two, six, and five, so that at once he had eight single pieces in all which had formerly been next others. Avoid tabula, as the king himself did not escape from its blind chance.