702 δεισιδαιμονία (“superstition”) is an elastic term which, when used negatively suggests something both excessive and “irrational” (see Martin 2004). The criteria for judgment depend, of course, on cultural constructions of “rationality”; for Agatharchides’ understanding of reason, see note to “loss” at 1.211. That Stratonice was a woman and caused her own death made the label easy to apply in this case. For Roman readers the story could evoke mixed opinions on the validity of dreams as means of telling the future. A stout philosophical defence could be made, on the grounds that the soul in sleep is more receptive to the divine. But hefty criticisms could also be made, and Cicero suggests that many people considered the notion of dream-messages a superstition entertained only by weak minds and old women ( Div. 2.125, 141, 148; for the defence, see Div. 1.39-71; for critique, Div. 2.122-47). Josephus can afford to be non-commital in this context, but it would suit him if some Roman readers took exception to Agatharchides’ mocking tone.