Agapios' first son was a man of around twenty and eager to prove himself in martial skill. Ever persistent the first son pleaded with his father to let him leave home to seek out a mentor in Thebes or Thessaly. One who could train the boy to properly hold a spear and hoplon, to ride a horse and wrestle even a Spartan and come out the victor. The harvest that year had already surpassed the last and a spare pair of hands could easily be found so with small hesitance Agapios granted his son the wish knowing that a good father shouldn't keep his son as a slave. The life of the family continued much the same only with one less voice. The rains came, the crops grew, Agapios and his family worshiped the gods as best they could and the seasons continued.
Some time later the second and third sons, brothers close in age, desired to make their fortune as merchants. Lured by the talk of several Egyptians following a hard night of wine, the sons of Agapios suddenly looked upon their life and became disgusted. To live and die on the same farm became as horrid to the sons as living under a Persian ruler. They desired more. To see the world, to make their mark, these were the things they said to their doubtful father. The harvest was good and there was surely no shortage of hands willing to work on a good plot of land. Thinking of his first son and how happy he was to finally become a man his way, Agapios relented to the two brothers giving them a large sum of money and horses to make their way to Athens. Time continued much as before only the house was more silent and the mother would weep in the mornings. Agapios, unsure of the source to her sadness, redoubled his sacrifices to the gods in hopes to sooth her spirit.
A number of years passed with no word from the two sons who became merchants or the one seeking to become a warrior of acclaim. It was during this time that a noble from Athens, a rich man with much voice in the assembly, made his way to Thria on a matter of business to increase his already sizeable wealth. He heard of the farmer Agapios and his two remaining sons and the good land so hard to find in Greece. This noble was named Iason. Agapios welcomed the noble with an open house and a banquet. There was food of all kinds and wine enough for even a Macedonian. It was the fourth son of Agapios that caught the nobles eye however. Iason remarked that the boy was beautiful. His face and body hairless. Iason said he would take the boy on as his ward to show him the moral path of a righteous man. Agapios thought on this knowing that his fourth son had a gift for words and swaying people. He would make a fine politician and to be an eromenos to such a man as Iason would bring honor to the whole family. Agreeing with much enthusiasm, Agapios told his son of Iason's wishes and ordered him to make ready for Athens the coming morning. Whispering, Agapios asked his son to look for his brothers as well and to send word home if he could. Flush with pride, Agapios soon ceased to work his own land hiring out more hands to do the work for him. Things continued in much the same way for a number of years.
Agapios' last son was born with the curse of the gods over his head. He did not speak, did not work. He merely was. The other sons were successful, Agapios mused, they had all found their way or had it provided for them. What was he to do with his last son? This child does nothing! He eats without growing, takes without creating, he spends all his time with his mother learning how to be a woman! The last son was disgraceful. An effeminate waste. Why had the gods cursed him so? Agapios traveled to the nearby temples performing sacrifices of great display and invoking the gods to intercede on his behalf. The fifth son must be made into a man and only the gods had the strength, Agapios believed.
The gods heard the cries of anguish from Agapios and thought. This man has many things yet he demands more? Does he think himself a god? Growing more angry at the thought the gods cursed the house of Agapios, made his wife barren, the land to become black, and the trees to wilt.
The help that Agapios came to depend on left much inflamed at the turn in Agapios' luck. His wife soon fell ill and passed. The fifth son could not take the constant torment Agapios gave him and left taking the best horse and a good deal of gold with him fleeing northwards. Word soon reached Agapios about the fate of his other sons as well. The first was killed not long after entering Thessaly. His mentor was a great fighter, but brutal as well. The mentor killed the first son on a drunken evening with no idea who he was stabbing through the heart. The two brothers who wished to become merchants of fantastic wealth were captured by a horde of pirates while on passage to Egypt. They were soon thrown into the waters of the Aegean when the pirates found they had spent their gold already on wine and women. The fourth son was still alive in Athens, but found the role of eromenos much too pleasurable succumbing to his desires. He became a prostitute seen as little more than a foreigner by most Athenians including Iason.
Agapios called out to the gods and asked them why? Had he not worshipped them enough? The gods remained silent and Agapios soon became a wanderer of Greece. Moving from place to place with not a coin to his withered hands.