Thus was Aratus stolen away from the peril that threatened him, and at once that vehement and glowing hatred of tyrants for which he was noted became a part of his nature and grew with his growth. He was reared in liberal fashion among the guests and friends of his father's house at Argos, and since he saw that his bodily growth promised high health and stature, he devoted himself to the exercises of the palaestra, going so far as to win wreaths of victory in contesting the pentathlum.1
And indeed even his statues have plainly an athletic look, and the sagacity and majesty of his countenance do not altogether disown the athlete's full diet and wielding of the mattock. Wherefore his cultivation of oratory was perhaps less intense than became a man in public life; and yet he is said to have been a more ornate speaker than some think who judge from the Commentaries which he left; these were a bye-work, and were composed in haste, off-hand, and in the words that first occurred to him in the heat of contest.
Some time after the escape of Aratus, Abantidas was slain by Deinias and Aristotle the logician. The tyrant was wont to attend all their public disputations in the market-place and to take part in them; they encouraged him in this practice, laid a plot, and took his life. Paseas also, the father of Abantidas, after assuming the supreme power, was treacherously slain by Nicocles, who then proclaimed himself tyrant.
This man is said to have borne a very close resemblance to Periander the son of Cypselus, just as Orontes the Persian did to Alcmaeon the son of Amphiaraüs, and as the Spartan youth mentioned by Myrtilus did to Hector. Myrtilus tells us that when the throng of spectators became aware of this resemblance, the youth was trampled underfoot.