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Growing Hatred of Agathocles

Moreover, an action of Agathocles himself served to heighten the anger of the multitude and of Tlepolemus. For he took Danae, the latter's mother-in-law, from the temple of Demeter, dragged her through the middle of the city unveiled, and cast her into prison. His object in doing this was to manifest his hostility to Tlepolemus; but its effect was to loosen the tongues of the people. In their anger they no longer confined themselves to secret murmurs: but some of them in the night covered the walls in every part of the city with pasquinades; while others in the day time collected in groups and openly expressed their loathing for the government.

Seeing what was taking place, and beginning to fear the

Terror of Agathocles.
worst, Agathocles at one time meditated making his escape by secret flight; but as he had nothing ready for such a measure, thanks to his own imprudence, he had to give up that idea. At another time he set himself to drawing out lists of men likely to assist him in a bold coup d'état, by which he should put to death or arrest his enemies, and then possess himself of absolute power. While still meditating these plans he received information that Moeragenes, one of the body-guard, was betraying all the secrets of the palace to Tlepolemus, and was co-operating with him on account of his relationship with Adaeus, at that time the commander of Bubastus. Agathocles immediately ordered his secretary Nicostratus to arrest Moeragenes, and extract the truth from him by every possible kind of torture.
Arrest of Moeragenes.
Being promptly arrested by Nicostratus, and taken to a retired part of the place, he was at first examined directly as to the facts alleged; but, refusing to confess anything, he was stripped. And now some of the torturers were preparing their instruments, and others with scourges in their hands were just taking off their outer garments, when just at that very moment a servant ran in, and, whispering something in the ear of Nicostratus, hurried out again. Nicostratus followed close behind him, without a word, frequently slapping his thigh with his hand.

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