The city of Sicyon, as soon as it had fallen away from its pure Doric form of aristocracy (which was now like a harmony dissolved) and had become a prey to factions and the ambitious schemes of demagogues, was without cease distempered and agitated, and kept changing one tyrant for another, until, after the murder of Cleon, Timocleides and Cleinias were chosen chief magistrates, men of the highest repute and influence among the citizens.
But no sooner did the government appear to be somewhat settled than Timocleides died, and Abantidas the son of Paseas, attempting to make himself tyrant, slew Cleinias,1
and, of the friends and kinsmen of Cleinias, banished some and killed others. He tried to kill also the son of Cleinias, Aratus, left fatherless at the age of seven.
But in the confusion which prevailed about the house the boy made his escape with the fugitives, and wandering about in the city, full of fear and helpless, by chance got unnoticed into the house of a woman who was a sister of Abantidas, but had married Prophantus the brother of Cleinias. Her name was Soso. This woman, who was of a noble nature, and thought it a divine dispensation that the boy had taken refuge with her, hid him in the house, and at night sent him secretly off to Argos.