This Nectanebo was skilled in the art of magic, and by its use overcame all peoples and thus lived in peace. If ever a hostile power came against him, he did not prepare armies, nor build engines of war nor construct transport wagons, he did not trouble his officers with military exercises, but took a bowl and carried out a divination by water. He filled the bowl with spring water and with his hands moulded ships and men of wax, and placed them in the bowl. Then he robed himself in the priestly robes of a prophet and took an ebony staff in his hand. Standing erect, he called on the so-called 3 gods of spells and the airy spirits and the demons below the earth, and by the spell the wax figures came to life. Then he sank the ships in the bowl, and straightaway, as they sank, so the ships of the enemy which were coming against him perished. All this came about because of the man’s great experience in the magic art. And thus his kingdom continued in peace.”

The Greek Alexander Romance (Classics) by Richard Stoneman