The crowds of persons disposed to hear and credit these insinuations which flowed into Syracuse from every quarter increased daily, and afforded hopes, not only to Epicydes but to Andranodorus also, of effecting a revolution.
The latter, wearied at length by the importunities of his wife, who warned him, “that now was the favourable time for seizing the government, while every thing was in confusion in consequence of liberty being recent and not yet regularly established; while a soldiery supported by the royal pay was to be met with, and while generals sent by Hannibal and accustomed to the soldiery might forward the attempt;” he communicated his design with Themistus, who had married the daughter of Gelon, and a few days afterwards incautiously disclosed it to a certain tragic actor, named Ariston, to whom he was in the habit of committing other secrets. He was a man of reputable birth and fortune, nor did his profession disgrace them, for among the Greeks no pursuit of that kind was considered dishonourable. He therefore discovered the plot to the praetors, from a conviction that his country had a superior claim upon his fidelity.
These having satisfied themselves that his statement was not false by indubitable proofs, took
the advice of the elder senators, and with their sanction, having placed a guard at the doors, slew Themistus and Andranodorus as soon as they had entered the senate-house.
A disturbance arising in consequence of this act, which, as none but the praetors knew the cause of it, wore an appearance of atrocity, the praetors, having at length procured silence, introduced the informer into the senate-house; and after he had in a regular manner detailed to the senate every particular, showing that the conspiracy owed its origin to the marriage of Harmonia, the daughter of Gelon, with Themistus;
that the African and Spanish auxiliaries had been prepared to murder the praetors and others of the nobility;
that it had been given out that their goods were to be the booty of the assassins; that already a band of mercenaries accustomed to obey the command of Andranodorus had been procured for the reoccupation of the island;
and having then distinctly represented to them the several parts which the persons implicated in the transaction were performing, and having [p. 926]
brought under their view the entire plot prepared for execution with men and arms; it seemed to the senate that they had fallen as justly as Hieronymus had.
A shout was raised before the senate-house by a crowd of people variously disposed and uncertain of the facts; but as they were conducting themselves in a furious and menacing manner, the bodies of the conspirators in the vestibule of the senate-house restrained them with such alarm, that they silently followed the more discreet part of the commons to an assembly.
Sopater was the person commissioned by the senate and his colleague to explain the affair.