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[17] Why, there are no limits to his impudence. He persuaded Agatharchus, the artist, to accompany him home,1 and then forced him to paint; and when Agatharchus appealed to him, stating with perfect truth that he could not oblige him at the moment because he had other engagements, Alcibiades threatened him with imprisonment, unless he started painting straight away. And he carried out his threat. Agatharchus only made his escape three months later, by slipping past his guards and running away as he might have done from the king of Persia. But so shameless is Alcibiades that he went to Agatharchus and accused him of doing him a wrong; instead of apologizing for his violence, he uttered threats against him for leaving his work unfinished. Democracy, freedom went for nothing: Agatharchus had been put in chains exactly like any acknowledged slave.

1 Plutarch also mentions this episode (Plut. Alc. 16) but adds that Alcibiades sent Agatharchus away with a reward.

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