Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology/Oenanthe

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2251340Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology — Oenanthe1870Various Authors

OENANTHE (Οἰνάνθη), mother of Agathocles, the infamous minister of Ptolemy Philopator, and Agathoclea, his equally infamous mistress. Oenanthe seems to have introduced her children to the king, and through them she possessed, until his death, the greatest influence in the government. When, after the accession of the young Epiphanes, the people rose up against Agathocles and his party, Oenanthe fled for refuge to the Thesmophorium (the temple of Demeter and Persephone), and here she implored the aid of the goddesses with superstitious enchantments, and drove away with threats and curses some noble ladies who had come to console her. On the next day she was dragged from the altar, and, having been brought naked on horseback into the stadium, was delivered up, with the rest of the family of Agathocles, to the fury of the multitude, by whom they were torn in pieces. (Polyb. xiv. 11, xv. 29, 33; Plut. Cleom. 33; Just. xxx. 2; Athen. vi. p. 251, e.) [ E. E. ]