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I. SICILY, 367 TO 330 BC


ON the death of Dionysius I in the spring of 367 his empire passed to his eldest son, who bore his name. The succession met with no opposition from the people of Syracuse and of other cities: what danger there was lay within the ruling house itself. We are told that, when Dionysius seemed likely to die, Dion, the husband of his daughter Arete and brother of his wife Aristomache, tried to influence Dionysius to designate as his successors Hipparinus and Nysaeus, the children of Dionysius and Aristomache. These were probably not yet of age, and, if Dion had had his way, the power would doubtless have remained in his own hands. But the court-physicians denied him access to Dionysius’ sick-bed, and are said to have hastened the tyrant’s end in order to ingratiate themselves with the heir. This story, however, is very likely groundless and invented some years later, after the younger Dionysius had quarrelled with Dion. If he had already shown himself disaffected in this way, it is improbable that the new ruler would have kept him in the position of a trusted minister, as he did for some months.

Dionysius II kept his power for ten years; but unfortunately the record of his actions during those years has almost completely vanished. We possess one or two scraps of information about his foreign and domestic policy and some general remarks on his character. But all that we know in any detail about his rule is the manner in which he lost it. In fact what we possess is really an account of the exploits of Dion, who overthrew him. The account exists partly in the biographies written by Plutarch and Nepos, partly in the history of Diodorus. It is in no way surprising that we should have these biographies, for Dion lived for nine years in Greece, where he became a well-known figure and in particular formed a close connection with the Platonic Academy, whose members did much to preserve his memory. What is more curious and disappointing is that the account of Diodorus hardly adds anything, and is written from the same standpoint; the Sicilian historian has scarcely a word to say of events In Sicily between the exile of Dion, which seems to have occurred little more than a year after Dionysius’ accession, and his return in the guise of liberator in 357 BC. If, as we must suppose, he found nothing of interest to extract from Timaeus’ record of these years, the inference is that they were in the main peaceful and uneventful.

What we are told of the character and actions of Dionysius confirms this. He was weak, dissolute, and unenterprising; in the eyes of Plato and the Academy he was crafty and treacherous, and utterly belied the fair hopes which they had conceived of him. Rigidly debarred during his father's lifetime from playing any part in affairs, he had taken up carpentry as a hobby; and on coming into power when less than thirty years of age his policy, so far as he had one, was to preserve and enjoy his inheritance. Peace was soon made with Carthage on the basis of the status quo, later also with the Lucanians after a war which had dragged on indecisively for some months. Two colonies were founded on the coast of Apulia, to protect the commerce of the southern Adriatic from pirates; Rhegium was restored under the name of Phoebia, and Tauromenium received as an addition to its mixed population the Naxians expelled by the elder Dionysius. This last act is described by Diodorus, who assigns it to the year 358—7 BC, as being wholly the work of an eminent and wealthy citizen, Andromachus, father of the historian Timaeus; but it is plain that filial piety has exaggerated and that the new settlement was an act of the Syracusan state, that is to say, of the tyrant. We also hear of the return of political exiles and the remission of taxation. All these acts are best interpreted as measures designed to increase the tyrant's security and popularity. For a time they were successful; but we may believe that throughout these ten years hatred of the tyranny smouldered in the breasts of the Syracusans and the subjects of other Sicilian cities that had once been proud of freedom. The power of the elder Dionysius had been tolerated so long principally because he was a conqueror and a champion against the Punic foe; now that the danger from Carthage seemed at an end, the hatred of tyranny revived. Hence when a liberator, real or pretended, appeared in the person of a member of the tyrant's own family, he was welcomed with boundless enthusiasm, and his intentions were for the moment unquestioned.

When quite a young man Dion had met Plato on the occasion of the philosopher’s first visit to Sicily in 389—8, and an attachment had sprung up between the two men which had not weakened twenty years later. Fired with enthusiasm for Plato’s political ideas, Dion saw in the young Dionysius the possibility of fulfilling that essential condition without which, as Plato had declared, his Republic could not come into being: the king should turn philosopher. It was of course a necessary antecedent to this conversion that the tyrant should turn king, that is to say, constitutional monarch; and in this lay the real crux of the matter, as the sequel was to show.

A pressing invitation from the tyrant, seconded by Dion himself, could not well be refused by Plato, ageing though he already was and reluctant to quit the professor’s chair. If we may believe the evidence of the seventh Platonic letter, his decision to go to Syracuse was due not so much to any hopes of realizing Dion’s aspirations as to his fear of being held untrue to his own philosophy. There were passages in his writings which seemed to contemplate just such a situation as had now arisen at Syracuse, if indeed Dion’s account of the possibilities of reforming the young tyrant through education were true. Dion did not minimize the need of such reform; but he represented that it was still possible to remedy the evils due to the tyrant’s upbringing, and he had himself begun to prepare the way. In truth Dionysius himself, who was athirst if not for philosophy at all events for a philosophical reputation, was eager to have Plato at his court; and for a time all seemed to go according to Dion’s plan. In conformity with the regular Academic course the pupil was started on the study of mathematics, and geometry became the fashion at court. To this no one could object; but Plato's ethical and political teaching was not so harmless. We hear that on one occasion when sacrifice was being offered in the domestic chapel and the customary prayer for the safe continuance of the tyranny was recited, the tyrant, to the great consternation of his ministers, exclaimed “Stop cursing us”. Philosophy then, it seemed, meant the end of the tyranny and the abasement of all who throve thereon. It is not surprising that Dion’s plan aroused opponents, who prevailed upon the tyrant to recall from exile the historian Philistus, who had for many years been living at Hadria.

Philistus, in spite of his banishment, was still a strong supporter of the tyranny, which as we have seen he had helped to create; he set himself deliberately to thwart and discredit Dion. Rumours were spread that Dionysius was being induced to give up power, which would be assumed by Dion himself as regent for his nephews, the sons of Dionysius I and Aristomache; alarm was created by the suggestion that the national safety was beinsr endangered by plans for military and naval disarmament. Finally a letter from Dion to the Carthaginian Government was intercepted: the peace had not yet been concluded and Dion had written urging that his own presence should be insisted upon at any peace conference. This advice doubtless implied no disloyalty but the letter was invaluable to Philistus and his party, who convinced Dionysius that It meant that Dion was treacherously promising to secure better terms for the enemy in order to strengthen his position by foreign support. Without an opportunity of defence Dion was at once expelled from Sicily, probably before the end of 366.

But though expelled Dion was not yet openly disgraced. His friends and supporters were too numerous to be disregarded, and they prevailed with the tyrant to allow Dion to continue to enjoy the Income from his estates, which were considerable, and to forward his movable property to Greece. He was thus enabled to support a magnificent establishment in Athens, which became his home for the next nine years (366—57). He kept in close touch with the Academy, and was particularly intimate with Speusippus its future head, to whom, on his return to Sicily in 357, he left an estate which he had bought in Attica. He also travelled to other cities, where his wealth and culture won him numerous friends. Amongst other marks of esteem he received the most unusual honour of Spartan citizenship, although Sparta was at this time In alliance with Dionysius, who had in 365 sent a contingent to assist her against Thebes; it is however possible that Plutarch has misdated this event, and that Dion had received Spartan citizenship before his banishment, perhaps before the death of the elder Dionysius.

The reports which reached Syracuse of Dion’s mode of life soon began to arouse the tyrant's suspicions; not unnaturally the connections that he was continually forming with prominent statesmen were interpreted as hostile to Dionysius. How far this interpretation was just It Is hard to say, but It does not seem probable that Dion was from the first deliberately planning to recover his position by force of arms; he was a man of many interests, and doubtless his association with the Academy and with men of culture elsewhere was maintained for its own sake, and not merely as a means of disguising political plans. But it was Inevitable that the sympathy and admiration so universally manifested towards the exile should foster resentment at his injuries, and awaken in him a sense that he was called to be the liberator of his countrymen; doubtless, too, these feelings were accompanied by the desire for power. Meanwhile the conduct of Dionysius constantly afforded further provocation; he postponed fulfillment of the assurance given to Plato that Dion should be recalled, he held back the revenue from Dion’s property and sold part of it, he proposed to find his wife Arete another husband.

Plato, who had remained for a while at the Syracusan court after Dion’s expulsion, had been vainly endeavoring to act as mediator. The attitude of Dionysius to Plato presents a curious mixture of sentiments: while admiring the philosopher, he disliked and distrusted the friend of Dion; and although Plato was unable to heal the ever-widening breach, yet his personal relatio­ship to the two men had the effect of postponing the inevitable conflict. Dionysius feared that if he went to extremes in his treatment of Dion he would lose his hold on Plato, and this he wished to avoid, principally from motives of personal vanity. He believed himself proficient in philosophy, and it was his ambition to prove himself so; he even went to the length of composing a sort of metaphysical handbook purporting to give the substance of Plato's doctrine.

Plato had taken his measure after a very brief acquaintance; he knew that he had no real capacity for philosophy, and that his professions in favour of political reform were only the froth of an impulsive temperament; his sole reason for continuing to maintain relations with Dionysius was the belief that he might contrive the restoration of Dion. Hence, after one refusal, he was prevailed upon to make a second visit to Syracuse, early in 361, accompanied by Speusippus and other members of the Academy. Dionysius sent a trireme to fetch him, and when he arrived treated him at first with marked respect and deference. But he found the Syracusan court, with its atmosphere of suspicion and intrigue and its shallow culture, fully as uncongenial as he had expected. Particularly distasteful must have been the presence of Aristippus, the so-called Socratic who had twisted the teaching of his master into a theory of more or less refined hedonism. Aristippus had gone to Syracuse frankly to get anything he could out of a munificent patron of learning; he had found high favour with Dionysius, and now resented the higher favour accorded to Plato, whose refusal of the tyrant's bounties merely increased his rival's jealousy. Plato was unable even to raise the question of Dion's recall, and his repeated attempts to do so soon began to annoy Dionysius. The increasing estrangement was hailed with delight by Aristippus and other rival philosophers at the court; it is recorded that, when an eclipse of the sun had been predicted by Helicon of Cyzicus, Aristippus remarked that he too had a prediction to make; and that, on being asked what this was, he replied “I predict that there will soon be a breach between Dionysius and Plato”.

Plato’s visit was in fact quite useless, and in the end the wayward tyrant came to treat him virtually as a prisoner; indeed it needed the intercession of Archytas, the ruler of Tarentum, to procure his escape. Meanwhile Dionysius’ conduct towards Dion had grown even more hostile: he sold the remainder of his property and gave Arete in marriage to Timocrates. It must be admitted that there were some grounds for this hostility. Speusippus had been sounding the populace, and predisposing them in Dion’s favour, while Heracleides, a friend of Dion who co-operated in his subsequent enterprise, was suspected of engineering a mutiny of mercenaries which occurred during Plato's visit.




By the summer of 360 BC, when Plato met Dion at Olympia, it was clear, at least to Dion, that no satisfaction could be procured save by an appeal to arms, and we may believe Plutarch’s statement that it was now that Dion definitely contemplated this course; the indignities to which the aged philosopher had been subjected perhaps turned the scale. Speusippus, who had taken pains to discover the sentiments of the Syracusans, had found them longing for Dion to come as their deliverer. With the aid of Heracleides, who had escaped arrest and fled from Sicily, Dion now set about collecting mercenaries, but it is probable that he found this a more difficult task than he had anticipated: he got together a force of 3000, and took three years in doing so. It was not until August 357 that the expedition was ready to sail; only 1500 accompanied Dion, the rest being left to follow later with Heracleides: the reason no doubt lay in difficulties of commissariat. Several prominent members of the Academy accompanied the force, but Plato himself held aloof, feeling perhaps that a private quarrel did not justify the spilling of Syracusan blood.

The destination had been kept secret: it was not until the last moment that the troops, at their rendezvous on the island of Zacynthus, learnt against whom they were to serve. Their dismay at the discovery was not unnatural, and they were only with difficulty reassured by being told that the whole Syracusan population was ready to rise, and that they themselves would be used mainly as officers.

The enemy however, was well informed. Philistus, the admiral of Dionysius, was cruising off the coast of Iapygia, ready to intercept Dion, whom he expected to take the ordinary route across the Adriatic and down the coast of Italy. Dion, however, wisely sailed direct to Sicily, and after a hazardous voyage landed at Heraclea Minoa, the Carthaginian outpost on the south coast. The resistance offered by the garrison was only nominal: Dion, doubtless, had an understanding with its Greek commander. After a short rest the troops started for Syracuse, leaving behind their surplus baggage and arms. Dion had counted upon greatly increasing his numbers on the march, and his expectations were amply fulfilled. Volunteers flocked to his standards from Acragas, Gela. and Camarina; Sicels too and Sicans, even it is said men from Messana and the cities of Italy; their number it is impossible to give, for Plutarch represents that on the way to Syracuse the original force had been increased by no more than 5000 recruits, while Diodorus makes them as many as 50,000; it is plain that nothing approaching the latter number could have been equipped, but Plutarch perhaps under-estimates in order to heighten the glory of his hero's achievement.

As they drew nearer Syracuse the inhabitants of the rural districts added their quotas. The last halt was made at the old Syracusan outpost of Acrae, about twenty miles west of the city. While encamped there, Dion received a welcome piece of news : the Campanian mercenaries, drawn from Aetna and Leontini, who guarded the fort of Euryalus had quitted their post, owing to a rumour spread by Dion's agents to the effect that his first objects of attack would be their own two cities. Dion was now able to enter Syracuse without opposition, amidst the acclamations of the citizens who welcomed their deliverer with divine honors. Only the Island fortress was held by the troops of Dionysius; the tyrant himself chanced to be absent on a visit to his Italian colony of Caulonia, and a dispatch sent to him by Timocrates, whom he had left behind as his deputy, had miscarried, so that it was not until six days later that he returned to Ortygia. Timocrates meanwhile, after vainly attempting to prevent the desertion of the Campanians on Epipolae, had found it impossible to rejoin the garrison and had fled.

The festal entry culminated in a mass meeting of the liberated populace in front of the five gates which gave access to the Island from Achradina. Taking his stand on the sundial which Dionysius had erected on this spot, Dion harangued the assembly, exhorting them to grasp their liberty and select their leaders. The first cries were for Dion himself and his brother Megacles to act under the title of “generals with full power”; such, in fact, was the faith of the masses that they had no hesitation in conferring on the liberators the office which had clothed the tyranny with a semblance of constitutional authority. But Dion was unwilling to accept a position which would in effect concentrate all power in his own single person; and his refusal must surely be interpreted as evidence that he had not returned, as some have supposed, simply to expel Dionysius and take his place. As a convinced adherent of Plato he could tolerate neither tyranny nor democracy; the alternatives were constitutional monarchy and aristocracy, and it is probable that the ‘freedom’ which he had come to win for Syracuse was intended ultimately to take the form of an aristocratic constitution. But he must have realized that for the present executive power must remain in the hands of a few- persons upon whom he could rely. It was therefore arranged that, in addition to Dion and Megacles, twenty generals should be appointed, of whom ten were selected from the fellow-exiles of Dion who had returned with him; who the other ten were we are not told. No doubt the whole twenty were in fact selected by Dion himself rather than by the massed citizens. How far Dion really meant them to have a share in the government it is impossible to say: but they appear in the event to have been mere ciphers.

So far everything had been easy; but from the military point of view Dion’s task was as yet hardly begun. The freedom of Syracuse was wholly illusory so long as Dionysius held the Island with his mercenaries and the sea with his fleet. Dion’s first measure was to build a wall from the greater to the lesser harbour, barring off the Island from the rest of the city. Plainly, defensive action alone was possible on land: the only chance of defeating Dionysius effectively was by sea, and for this Dion had to wait until Heracleides should arrive with the second force. During the winter the Syracusans were active in building triremes, of which they had as many as 60 at their disposal in the sea-fight which ensued in the summer of 356 BC.

Meanwhile Dion’s difficulties were increasing. After the first outburst of enthusiasm his popularity rapidly waned: an aristocrat in behavior, he lacked the arts of the popular leader, nor did he care to acquire them; the necessities of defence compelled him to act arbitrarily, to disregard his nominal colleagues, in fact to act to all intents and purposes as a tyrant. In these circumstances Dionysius was quick to seize every opportunity to increase his enemy’s unpopularity. He first tried secret negotiations with Dion personally instead of through the Syracusan people, intending no doubt to repudiate his proposals after Dion had compromised himself by replying to them; but in this he was foiled, as Dion told him to address himself to the people; in other words, to make his proposals public. The tyrant’s next trick was to send a letter purporting to come from Dion’s son, in which he reminded Dion of his zealous services on behalf of tyranny, and suggested that it would be wiser for him to assume the tyranny now himself rather than abolish it: only so would he be safe from the vengeance of those who remembered him as the prop of tyrants. The contents of this clever document somehow became known to the populace, as was of course intended by the writer, and convinced many that the deliverer was playing false. To supplement propaganda by force, an attack was launched on Dion’s cross-wall, but was repulsed after sharp fighting in which Dion himself was wounded and showed conspicuous bravery.

It was at this moment that Heracleides arrived with his ships. His arrival was a great encouragement to the Syracusans, but a considerable embarrassment for Dion, whose opponents found Heracleides very ready to side with them. He accepted from the assembly nomination as admiral, but Dion insisted that this appointment was an infringement of his own position as c general with full powers; we hear nothing at this point of Dion’s twenty colleagues. In his contention Dion had precedent to go upon, for under the regime of the elder Dionysius the office of admiral had undoubtedly been subordinate to that of the General from whom he received the appointment. The precedent was indeed the precedent of tyranny, yet Dion can hardly be blamed for resisting a measure which was plainly designed to undermine his position. Another assembly was convened in which Dion himself appointed Heracleides to the command at sea; in truth he had no choice but to do so, for the warships were already under Heracleides’ orders.

In the naval battle which ensued in the early summer of 356 BC a decisive victory was won by the patriots; the ship of the enemy admiral Philistus was captured, and in his despair the aged warrior took his own life. The virulence of hatred which made civil warfare so horrible in Syracuse, as indeed in all Greek cities, is brought home to us when we read how the corpse was subjected to outrage and mutilation; such conduct was unhappily very common throughout antiquity, but it comes as something of a shock to find the gentle and philosophical Plutarch remarking that it was perhaps pardonable that those who had been wronged by Philistus should thus exact their vengeance.

Dionysius had suffered a severe blow. Not only had he lost a capable and trusty servant, but, what was even more serious, he had lost the command at sea and therewith the possibility of indefinitely sustaining the siege. He therefore offered to surrender the Island, together with his mercenaries and munitions, on condition that he should be allowed to retire to Italy in the enjoyment of the revenues from his private estate in Syracusan territory. This offer was however refused. Dionysius now cared for little but his personal safety, and contrived to get away by sea with a few friends and some of his possessions; he reached Locri, eluding the vigilance of Heracleides’ fleet, and left his son Apollocrates to hold the Island. A storm of indignation burst upon Heracleides for his negligence, and in order to save himself he lent his sanction to the demands of the extremists amongst the opponents of Dion, the doctrinaire republicans who clamored for equality—by which they meant a redistribution of land—as the complement of liberty. With the support of Heracleides this measure was carried in the assembly, and further it was decided to discontinue the pay of Dion’s mercenaries, and to elect new generals in place of the existing nominees of Dion. Thus was the liberator's advice to the people to grasp their liberty accepted in full measure. The reaction from despotism is apt to be violent: to the newly freed, liberty may mean anarchy. So Dion had found to his cost. He had no choice but to withdraw from Syracuse with his mercenaries, to the number of more than 3000. They came to Leontini, where Dion was received with honor and the soldiers were given citizen rights.

The garrison of Ortygia had by this time almost exhausted its provisions and had begun negotiations for surrender, when an unexpected relief appeared. Dionysius, who perhaps saw a chance of recovering his position now that Dion was gone, had contrived to secure a body of mercenaries, under the command of one Nypsius, a Campanian soldier of fortune. These were dispatched to Syracuse together with food and money for the starving garrison, and were accompanied by some triremes, sufficient In number to have a chance of coping with the Syracusan ships guarding the entrance to the harbour. The arrival of this force was a complete surprise to Heracleides and his colleagues, and men and stores were landed without opposition. The Syracusan admiral, anxious to atone for his negligence, went out to give battle; four of the enemy's triremes were captured, and in exultation over this success the whole population gave Itself up to revelry. Discipline under the regime of the triumphant democrats was despised, and danger disregarded. In the night that followed, Nypsius’ men carried Dion’s wall and were let loose upon the city, sacking, plundering and murdering. In their extremity the miserable Syracusans had no choice but to send a deputation to Leontini, to implore aid from the men whom they had driven out. And they did not plead in vain. Dion and his 3000 men came back; we are told that they came slowly, that their advance was delayed by fresh messages from Syracuse. Nypsius had called back his troops to the Island at nightfall, and the democratic leaders, Imagining that the worst was over, repented of their haste in agreeing to call upon Dion, whose attitude towards themselves they might well expect to be pitiless. It needed a second night of terror to convince them that it was better to trust to the doubtful mercies of a fellow-citizen than to abandon themselves, their women and children and all that they had, to the savagery of blood-thirsty barbarians. How great was the havoc wrought by fire and sword on that second night we cannot say, but we know that Nypsius, acting presumably on orders from Dionysius anticipating such a situation, sent forth his men not to conquer or to capture, but to burn and kill. It is to be supposed that some quarters of the city, probably Upper Achradina and Epipolae, escaped, and that some of the population In the lower town fled thither; otherwise there would have been none for Dion to save.

On the third day the brother and uncle of Heracleides, who himself was wounded, appeared as suppliants before Dion, now eight miles distant; in hot haste Dion advanced at the head of his men and re-entered the burning city; through blood and fire and the masses of dead lying in the streets they fought their way, and at last overpowered the enemy, most of whom, however, escaped into their fortress.

It might have been expected that the position of Dion, now that he had rescued Syracuse a second time, would be secure, and that his democratic opponents would be permanently silenced. His biographers fail to give any adequate explanation why this was not so; but it seems plain that the leniency which he displayed on the morrow of the victory was a grave error of judgment. All the prominent demagogues had taken to flight except Heracieides and Theodotes, and Dion would have been amply justified in executing these two, as his friends advised, or at the least in expelling them from Sicily.

The beau geste of a free pardon was certain, as he might have realized, to have deplorable results. It was interpreted, naturally, as a sign of weakness, as in fact it was; but if we are surprised at this action it is indeed amazing to find Dion soon afterwards consenting to the restoration or continuance of Heracleides’ command at sea. We can hardly believe that Dion still preserved any faith in Heracleides, nor that a desire to conciliate the popular party could by itself have induced him to consent to the appointment. The probability is that the crews of the triremes were masters of the situation, and would tolerate no other commander: they had presumably not suffered like the townsfolk in the recent sack of Syracuse. While he gave way on this point, Dion insisted on the repeal of the popular decree for redistribution of land; and the odium which this aroused was sufficient to encourage Heracleides to resume his machinations.

The relations of Dion and Heracleides were now complicated by the momentary appearance of two enigmatic figures from Sparta, Pharax and Gaesylus who, perhaps in Dionysius’ interest, sought to use against Dion the prestige of Sparta. The only result of their intervention was that Heracleides, who had intrigued with them in turn, was once more discomfited, and that Dion now felt strong enough to insist on demobilizing the crews of the triremes, probably immediately after the capitulation of Apollocrates in 355 BC. The son of Dionysius was at length starved out and his mercenaries were mutinying: he was allowed to depart with five triremes, but surrendered all his munitions and equipment.

Even now, when the deliverance from tyranny was completed, the dissensions amongst the Syracusan population continued with melancholy persistence and wearisome reiteration. Dion still fails to conciliate his opponents, and seeks advice and support from Corinth in his endeavor to establish his aristocratic constitution; Heracleides still intrigues until at last Dion connives at his assassination. According to the account of Nepos, financial difficulties forced him to impose heavy taxes upon the richer citizens, and consequently he lost their support. In the end he was murdered. In June 354, as the result of a plot devised by his former friend of the Platonic Academy, Callippus.

Dion had failed, as he himself fully realized before the end. His connivance at the murder of Heracleides was the act of one disillusioned and half distraught. Considering the provocation that he had suffered, we cannot blame him overmuch; but the action was fatal to his prospects, for It convinced all men that they had only exchanged one tyrant for another. Dion had Indeed become a tyrant In spite of himself. His tragedy is the tragedy of an Idealist who wholly lacks the ability to accommodate his ideals to the realities of time and place. Syracuse was not a favorable ground for the establishment of aristocratic government, for owing to the numerous changes of population which it had suffered it lacked a genuine aristocracy of birth. No one at Syracuse sincerely wished to realize the political Ideals of Dion and of Plato, and hence Dion could never have formed a strong party to support his projects, even If he had been born with the gifts of a party leader. Moreover, generous, high-minded and patriotic as he certainly was, he could not win the affections of his fellow-citizens, for he was handicapped both by his kinship with tyrants and by his spiritual affinity with the philosopher who had for the common people nothing but contempt.

The murderer of Dion affected to be a liberator, and was the hero of the hour; but there is no reason to suppose him to have been anything but an adventurer who had seized his opportunity. After ruling thirteen months he succeeded in establishing a tyranny at Catana, but only at the cost of losing Syracuse, where he was displaced in 352 by Hipparinus, the elder son of Dionysius I and Aristomache. After two years the new tyrant met his end in a drunken quarrel, and his place was taken by his brother Nysaeus. Of the character of Nysaeus and his rule we know nothing, but the fact that he maintained himself for five years proves that he was a man of some ability. Finally in 347 he was expelled by Dionysius himself, who thus regained his power ten years after he had lost it. During all these years, since the murder of Dion, the condition of Syracuse seems to have been miserable In the extreme. A large proportion of the population had perished in the constant civil strife, poverty and destitution were wide­spread, and there seemed no escape from the series of hated tyrants.

Dionysius, who during his ten years’ exile had ruled at Locri, had there displayed all the worst features of the despot, and his second period of power at Syracuse proved so intolerable that the despairing citizens appealed for aid to Hicetas, a Syracusan by birth, who now ruled at Leontini. At the same time danger threatened from abroad, for a Carthaginian force had made its appearance in Sicily, and it seemed likely that the last traces of Greek freedom would be obliterated. Indeed the condition of the Island as a whole at this date was pitiable. The majority of the Greek cities had either been devastated and depopulated, or were crowded with Italian mercenaries who had been brought in by the tyrants and who constituted their effective support. So extensive had been the settlements of these foreigners that according to a contemporary writer there seemed a real danger of the Greek language falling out of use, and being replaced by the tongue of the Oscan or of the Carthaginian.




It was in these circumstances that an appeal was made, probably early in 345 BC, by the Syracusans to Corinth, their mother-city; we may suppose that it was made from Leontini, whither the followers of Dion, who had most to fear from the returned Dionysius, had fled for refuge. The selection of Corinth was natural, not only because she had a reputation for befriending her colonies but also because Dion himself had sought the help of Corinthians in his legislative reforms; Sparta, on the other hand, was mistrusted in view of the conduct of Pharax and of Gaesylus. It is not clear whether Syracuse expected or asked for troops or war­ships : in view of the disturbed state of Greece at the time it could hardly be thought likely that Corinth would be willing or able to supply troops in any numbers, but the main requirement was a commander who would inspire confidence and could not be suspected of harbouring personal ambitions.

According to Plutarch, it was the fear of an attack by the Carthaginians that occasioned this appeal. This may very well be true, and it might be expected that assistance would more readily be granted against a barbarian attack than against a Greek tyrant. Nevertheless there was pressing need also for help against domestic foes; for Hicetas was known or believed to be intriguing with Carthage. He supported the appeal, but not in good faith; for while ready enough to help the Svracusans to get rid of Dionysius. he intended to fill the vacant position himself. Doubtless he felt, and not altogether without reason, that freedom and democracy m contemporary Syracuse were vain dreams, and that he had as good a right as any other to rule; any commander sent from Corinth could only appear to him a rival or an impediment. It is doubtful whether he seriously contemplated enlisting Carthaginian help before the appeal to Corinth was suggested; in any case, it was the threat of the interference of old Greece in Sicilian affairs that moved Carthage to respond. Apart from that, it seems likely that she would have preserved the non-aggressive policy that she had followed since her conclusion of peace with Dionysius II in 367 BC. She had on that occasion acquiesced in the Halycus frontier, and the little that we know of Carthaginian history between 367 and 345 suggests that mercantile interests now dominated her policy rather than schemes for territorial expansion. In 348 BC she concluded the second treaty with Rome, which, on the one hand, reiterated her claim to a mare clausum, going beyond the first treaty by excluding Rome from trade in Sardinia and the whole of Libya except Carthage itself, and, on the other, embodied clauses for the restriction of piracy. And at some time between these dates, or possibly a little later, she had to suppress a dangerous attempt by Hanno to overthrow the constitution and seize supreme power. The failure of Hanno’s coup may perhaps be interpreted as a triumph of the commercial and peace-loving party over the landed aristocracy which had come into prominence during the past century and favored an imperialistic policy.

The presence of a Punic army in the island in 345 BC was a lucky accident from Hicetas’ point of view: it was occasioned, so far as we can judge, simply by the need of defensive or repressive action in the Carthaginian province. It would seem that the town of Entella, occupied since the time of the elder Dionysius by Campanian settlers, was heading an anti-Carthaginian movement in the province, and endeavoring to gain support from without its borders also. The attempt proved a complete failure: the Carthaginians laid siege to Entella, and a contingent of 1000 men, sent by the Sicels of Galaria, a town near the western slopes of Mt Aetna, was annihilated before reaching its goal. Help had been promised also by the Campanians of Aetna, but on the news of the Galarians' defeat their efforts were abandoned. It is probable that Entella thereupon capitulated: at all events we find the town once more in Carthaginian possession three years later.

Hicetas, who, as we have seen, joined in the Syracusan appeal to Corinth, seems to have expected that it would not meet with success; and he may have reflected that, in that case, his policy of calling in the national enemy might be acquiesced in by the Syracusans as the only remaining alternative to the tyranny of Dionysius. But his calculations were wrong.

On reaching Corinth the Syracusan envoys were sympathetically received, and the magistrates at once invited candidates for the honorable commission to submit their names for election by a popular assembly. Amongst others the name of Timoleon, son of Timodemus, was put forward, not by himself but by a humble admirer: it was received with acclamation and Timoleon was elected. The choice was abundantly justified by the event, but it was a strange one. Timoleon was a man of good birth possessed of sagacity and courage, but for the past twenty years he had lived under a cloud; his brother Timophanes, in or about the year 365, had abused his position as commander of a mercenary force employed by the city to make a bid for tyranny, and Timoleon, unable to deter him, had either slain him with his own hands or contrived his assassination. It was an act of pure patriotism, but men’s minds were divided between admiration for a tyrannicide and detestation of a brother’s murderer. Ever since, Timoleon had lived in mourning and seclusion; his response to the call from Syracuse was, we may conjecture, inspired by the feeling that divine favour now offered him an opportunity for wiping out the memory of the past. We are told that after his election a prominent citizen named Teleclides observed in the Assembly that if Timoleon should be successful in his enterprise his fellow-citizens would account him a tyrannicide, if he should fail, a fratricide.

The choice of Corinth must have seemed a curious one to the Syracusans; Timoleon, though his bravery in war was proved, had no reputation as a general: and a man long withdrawn from public life was likely to be a stranger to the diplomacies and duplicities necessary for securing the goodwill of the Sicilians and for coping with a Dionysius: in fact his reception when he first arrived in Sicily was far from enthusiastic. The task which he had set himself was formidable; it was not to be confined to securing the freedom of Syracuse; that was of course his first and main purpose, but other Greek cities had associated themselves with the Syracusan appeal, and Timoleon aimed at freeing the whole Island from tyranny. To accomplish this he must of course mainly rely upon the Sicilians themselves, and it was by no means certain that he would inspire confidence or win active support: so dubious and complex were the political conditions in Sicily that the appeal which had reached Corinth could by no means be taken as representing a universal sentiment. Timoleon, however, set about his task with energy, uplifted by a belief in divine protection manifested in visible signs from the outset, and In a trust In his own good luck, a trust which was amply borne out by subsequent events and to which he gave expression in later days by building a shrine to a strangely impersonal goddess, Automatia.

The force with which Timoleon sailed In the spring of 344 consisted only of seven triremes supplied by Corinth, together with one from Leucas and one from Corcyra, sister colonies of Syracuse, and of some 1000 mercenary troops, most of whom had been recently employed by the Phocians in the Sacred War. Unlike Dion, he took the ordinary route down the Italian coast instead of making direct to Sicily across the open sea. On arriving at Metapontum he was met by a Carthaginian trireme and warned to proceed no farther. Carthage, taught by Hicetas, saw in Timoleon the would-be restorer of Dionysius’ empire, the opponent of that particularism In Sicily which suited her policy. Hicetas had shown his hand before Timoleon left Corinth, and had sent a letter to the Corinthians urging them to lend no support to Timoleon’s venture; he had, he said, been forced by their delay in sending help to have recourse to the Carthaginians, and the latter would not allow Timoleon’s force to approach Sicily. The threat had no effect save to increase the enthusiasm of the Corinthian people for Timoleon’s venture. Disregarding the warning given him at Metapontum, the deliverer proceeded down the coast to Rhegium, now a democratic state. In their readiness to aid the cause of freedom, and in their cordial dislike of the Carthaginians as neighbors, the men of Rhegium had promised Timoleon assistance, and it was due to them that Timoleon now found it possible to elude the Carthaginians and cross over to Sicily. Twenty Punic triremes had sailed into the straits, and envoys from Hicetas were on board: their message was that Timoleon himself might if he wished give Hicetas the benefit of his counsel, but that, since the war against Dionysius was well-nigh finished, his ships and troops should be sent back to Corinth, more especially as the Carthaginians would not permit their crossing the straits. Timoleon affected compliance, but proposed that their compact should be made before witnesses, in the assembly of the Rhegines. His ruse, concerted with the Rhegine authorities, was to detain the Punic envoys by lengthy speeches, during the delivery of which Timoleon’s ships should put to sea one by one. Waiting until news was brought to him that all his ships except one had got safely away. Timoleon slipped unnoticed through the crowd and put off on the remaining ship. To the Carthaginians, indignantly protesting at the trick that had been played upon them, the men of Rhegium expressed their astonishment that any Phoenician should be displeased at guile.

It was to Tauromenium, the newly refounded city just outside the Straits, that Timoleon’s squadron sailed. Andromachus now ruled there, with the authority, it would seem, of a constitutional king rather than of a tyrant; the picture drawn by Plutarch of this monarch, the friend of liberty and bitter enemy of tyrants, may reflect something of the partiality of his son, the historian Timaeus; but the facts remain that Tauromenium was the only Sicilian city that had promised Timoleon support before his arrival, and that it was likewise the only one left under the control of a single ruler when Timoleon’s work was done. To the Carthaginian envoy who now appeared and demanded the expulsion of the Corinthians Andromachus returned a spirited and defiant answer; and so for a time Tauromenium became Timoleon’s head­quarters. At first he could see little prospect of success. In the message from Hicetas which reached him at Rhegium there was this much truth, that Hicetas had three days earlier defeated Dionysius and become master of the whole of Syracuse except the Island of Ortygia, where the tyrant was now blockaded. He had now induced the Carthaginian fleet to enter the great harbour, so that in any attempt on Syracuse Timoleon was confronted by a threefold enemy. From the numerous tyrants that ruled in the other cities, such as Hippo of Messana, Mamercus of Catana, and Leptines of Apollonia he could only expect opposition. If any of the victims of these tyrants' oppressions had joined in the in­vitation which brought Timoleon to Sicily, they showed no sign of supporting him now that he had come. He might, they felt, after all be only another adventurer like Pharax or Callippus, or a half-genuine liberator like Dion.

But during the summer of this same year, 344, Timoleon won a success which completely changed his prospects. In the small town of Adranum it was felt that the citizens must choose between Hicetas and the Carthaginians on one side, and Timoleon on the other: opposite counsels were favored by opposite parties, and in the end each made Its appeal. Hicetas and Timoleon were both prompt to respond, and reached the vicinity of Adranum at the same time. But Timoleon took Hicetas by surprise, and though his force is said to have numbered only 1200—one-fifth of his opponent’s—he was completely successful, taking a large number of prisoners and capturing the enemy's camp. The pro-Carthaginian party at Adranum must have been extinguished by this event, for Timoleon now established his headquarters there. By what was accounted, and indeed almost was, a miracle, he escaped assassination at the hands of an agent of Hicetas, and the general belief in a special providence that watched over him gained ground. It was perhaps in part due to this belief that several cities now declared their adherence to his cause: amongst these were Tyndaris on the north coast, and Catana, where Mamercus was tyrant; It is doubtful however whether Mamercus was sincere in his profession of a change even for the moment; in any case he did not long remain so.

But the most important result of Timoleon’s victory was the surrender of Dionysius. This came as a great surprise to Timoleon, but from the tyrant’s point of view it was undoubtedly a wise and natural proceeding. He could not sustain a siege indefinitely, and he preferred to surrender to Timoleon rather than to Hicetas. The reason which Plutarch (and perhaps Timaeus) assigns for this preference is that he despised Hicetas for his recent defeat, and admired Timoleon; but we may guess that a more cogent reason influenced the tyrant’s choice. He realized that his career in Sicily was now finally closed, and that the only chance of saving his life was to escape to Greece; Hicetas, even supposing him to be willing to accept anything less than unconditional surrender, had no ships at his disposal; nor. If he had, would his Carthaginian allies have tolerated an arrangement guaranteeing Dionysius a safe passage out of the harbour; but to Timoleon the possession of the Island without a struggle would seem so desirable that he might be expected to accept the offer on condition of facilitating the tyrant’s escape. The details of that escape are not recorded; but it was of course by sea, and must have been on a ship provided by Timoleon. The risk of capture by the Carthaginian ships had to be faced, but it was probably not great, nor was this the first time that Dionysius had been successful in running a blockade. Accompanied by a few friends he reached Timoleon’s camp, which had probably been transferred to Catana since the adherence of Mamercus; thence he was sent to Corinth to end his days in beggary and to provide innumerable anecdotes for historians and moralists.

The surrender of the Island had taken place within fifty days of Timoleon’s landing in Sicily, that is to say, towards the end of the summer of 344 BC. Timoleon had good cause to congratulate himself and to confirm his belief in his automatic deity: immense quantities of war material came into his possession, together with 2000 mercenaries. Best of all, he had justified the choice of the Corinthian people, who hastened to dispatch reinforcements to the number of 2000 foot-soldiers and 200 horsemen. Nevertheless his task was still considerable, with the Island blockaded on the land side by Hicetas and on the sea by the Carthaginians. His first measure was to smuggle in by sea, in small detachments, 400 of his own troops to take over the fortress and the munitions: without this step he would of course have no security for the fidelity of the surrendered mercenaries. But the great difficulty was to feed the large garrison; provisions had to be brought in small fishing boats from Catana, which found it possible, especially in stormy weather, to make their way through the wide gaps in the enemy’s line of ships. All through the winter of 344—3 BC. Timoleon labored at this task, which must have become still more formidable when (probably in the spring) the Carthaginians greatly increased their fleet in the harbour. It is said that Hicetas induced Mago to bring up his whole fleet, to the number of 150 triremes, and at the same time to disembark 50,000 or 60,000 troops in the city. These numbers must be greatly exaggerated, but it is plain that Timoleon had to face heavy odds. Nevertheless, in spite of the despair with which the Syracusans witnessed the spectacle of their city converted into a barbarian camp, their deliverer in his camp at Catana, and Neon, the Corinthian commander of the garrison in the Island, did not lose heart. Before long the carelessness of their enemies supplied them with an opportunity that they were prompt to seize. Mago and Hicetas rightly decided that they must capture Timoleon’s base at Catana; but, while their best troops were withdrawn on this expedition, the vigilance of those left at Syracuse was relaxed, and Neon in a successful sally captured Achradina, the defences of which he forthwith strengthened and united with those of the Island. The Corinthian garrison now had ample supplies of grain, and no attempt was made to dislodge them by Mago and Hicetas, who had returned In hot haste, abandoning the attack on Catana.

Meanwhile Timoleon was awaiting the reinforcement from Corinth. We are not told how soon after Dionysius’ capitulation they were dispatched, but it Is unlikely that they left before the spring of 343; and their journey was beset with obstacles. On reaching Thurii they found that their advance by sea was rendered unsafe by a Carthaginian squadron patrolling the coast. They therefore proceeded by land, meeting with some opposition from the Bruttians, a people previously subject to the Lucanians whose yoke they had recently (356 BC) shaken off. So they came to Rhegium; but they might have found it hard to cross the Straits in safety had not the Carthaginian admiral been inspired with a foolish conceit. Believing that the Corinthian troops would not dare to attempt the passage—a storm was raging, but it seems to have had no terror for the Carthaginians—he dashed off to Syracuse to display to the garrison of Ortygia his ships decked with bunting and Greek shields, an exhibition intended to persuade Neon that the Corinthian reinforcements had been captured in the Straits, so that he might as well surrender the Island without more ado. This puerile ruse had an effect very different from that intended; for meanwhile the storm had suddenly subsided and the troops had crossed at their ease in fishing-boats. Timoleon was waiting them; he promptly united his forces and marched on Syracuse, encamping by the Anapus. And now there ensued the most extraordinary piece of good fortune in Timoleon’s fortunate career; suddenly the Carthaginians embarked their whole host and sailed away. No adequate explanation is given for this remarkable action: Diodorus ascribes it simply to fear of Timoleon’s army: Plutarch has a not Improbable story of fraternization between the Greek mercenaries in the service of Timoleon and those of Hicetas, which came to the ears of Mago and caused him to suspect Hicetas of treachery; a modern historian suggests that Mago intended to have a hand in the revolutionary attempt of Hanno at Carthage. The only point that is clear is that the withdrawal was not ordered by the authorities at Carthage; it was a personal decision of Mago’s. He killed himself to escape judgment and his fellow-countrymen crucified his corpse. Hicetas, thus deserted, could offer no directive resistance. Timoleon attacked the city from three sides simultaneously —from Achradina and from the north and south sides of Epipolae, and was completely successful, though we can hardly believe Plutarch’s statement that he lost not a single man killed or wounded. Hicetas, however, escaped to Leontini, where for the time being he continued to rule unmolested.




It was now late in the summer of 343; Timoleon’s first object, the deliverance of Syracuse from tyranny, was achieved. There was formidable work still before him in the extirpation of tyrants in other cities; there was the possibility, if not the certainty, of a further Carthaginian menace; and there was the resettlement of Syracuse. The last was perhaps the hardest task of the three, and it was to this that he now addressed himself. Would he succeed where Dion had failed ? That question was assuredly in the mind of every citizen of Syracuse. Two things at least were in his favor: Dion’s experience taught him what to avoid, and he had no past record as a tyrant’s henchman to live down. Moreover the recent presence of a Carthaginian army in the streets of Syracuse, and the likelihood of its return, might be expected to revive a national spirit and to quench the passions of party hatred. The first step was to repopulate the depleted city. Allowing for some exaggeration in Plutarch’s description of streets and market-place overgrown with dense grass where horses were pastured, we cannot doubt that during the recent period of civil disorder the population of Syracuse had very considerably diminished: some had met a violent end, some were in exile, thousands must have been forced to seek other homes after the night when Nypsius had sacked and burnt. It was but proper that the invitation to new settlers should be issued from the city of Timoleon and of Archias, the first founder of Syracuse2; the Corinthians gave the greatest pos­sible publicity to Timoleon’s appeal, and from all quarters of the Greek world men came together to live as free citizens of the restored Syracuse. Of 60,000 immigrants, excluding women and children, it is said that 5000 came from Corinth itself, and as many as 50,000 from Italy and Sicily; Diodorus adds that 10,000 were also settled in his own native town of Agyrium. The process of resettlement must have been a gradual one, and Agyrium at least cannot have received its immigrants until, some five years later, Timoleon had expelled its tyrant Apollomades. At Syracuse a redistribution of land took place amongst old and new citizens alike, while the houses were sold so that the old inhabitants had a chance of purchasing their dwellings; a thousand talents were thus realized for the treasury, which was so depleted that it was found necessary to sell the public statues by auction, that of Gelon alone being excepted. Meanwhile Timoleon had lost no time in obliterating the outward and visible signs of despotism: the palace of Dionysius and his two strongholds on the Island were demolished, and courts of justice were erected in their place.

Our information as to the constitution established by Timoleon is meager. His advisers in the work were two Corinthians, Cephalus and Dionysius. It is not likely that any Corinthian would contemplate an unlimited democracy, and the statement that the old laws of the democrat Diocles were emended to suit the needs of the time doubtless points to some form of restriction. All we can say is that Syracuse remained a genuine democracy down to the time of Agathocles’ tyranny, although the influence of the wealthy made itself increasingly felt. When we come to resume the history of Sicily after the gap of about twenty years which follows the retirement of Timoleon we shall find an oligarchical club of 600 referred to in such terms as to suggest that organized opposition to Timoleon’s constitution very soon made its appearance. The chief executive power was vested in the priest or Amphipolos of Olympian Zeus, whose sacrosanct person would be a check upon revolutionary plotters; he was to be chosen yearly by a mixture of election and lot, and it would seem that he must be a member of one of the three leading families. Military control remained in the hands of a college of generals, but we hear of a resolution to the effect that in any war against barbarians a generalissimo should be imported from Corinth. It is probable that the same type of constitution was established in the other Sicilian cities when Timoleon had freed them. A loose federation or alliance bound them together, but Syracuse does not appear to have been accorded any kind of hegemony: she would nevertheless be felt as the predominant partner, for her population must have far outnumbered that of any other city.

It was probably in the summer of 342 that Timoleon undertook a campaign against Hicetas, who after his escape from Syracuse had resumed his rule of Leontini. But his attack was unsuccessful, and he next marched against Leptines who controlled a number of Sicel towns in the north. Leptines surrendered and was sent to share the fate of Dionysius at Corinth. Returning to Syracuse, Timoleon dispatched troops to the Carthaginian province, and succeeded in detaching Entella and some other towns from the Carthaginians: considerable spoils accrued from this expedition, which was probably undertaken after news had arrived that Carthage was preparing another attack on a large scale.

Disgusted at the failure of Mago and Hanno, the Carthaginians had determined to abandon half-measures and to rely no more upon the co-operation of Greek tyrants; it is said that they were resolved to drive the Greeks out of Sicily altogether, but this perhaps does no more than reflect the exasperation which they felt at the moment against Hicetas and such other rulers as had supported or feigned to support them in the previous campaign. The force, 70,000 foot and 10,000 horse, with 200 warships, was not exceptionally large, but it was notable as including 2500 Carthaginian citizens, belonging to the so-called Sacred Band. It was seldom that Carthage allowed the blood of her own sons to be spilt in her wars, and the presence of the Sacred Band attests the serious view which was taken of this campaign; it was felt that the Carthaginian hold on Sicily was gravely menaced. For the rest, the troops were recruited from Libya, Spain, Gaul and Liguria: the commanders were Hasdrubal and Hamilcar. In May or early June of the year 341 the troops were disembarked at Lilybaeum, where they heard of Timoleon’s raid; and the news determined their generals to attack with all speed. It is not clear whether they resolved to march upon Syracuse, or first to chastise the raiders, assuming that these were still in the west: in any case the site of the battle was decided by Timoleon’s rapid march into the enemy’s country. The total force of the Corinthians, as our authorities call them, was no more than 12,000, and of these only 3000 were Syracusans. Plutarch (or his source) ascribes this small figure to the terror felt at Syracuse in face of the formidable enemy, but it is perhaps more reasonable to believe that the resettlement of the city had not as yet gone far enough to increase its population very considerably. Other cities no doubt furnished some citizen troops—Diodorus says that all the Greek cities and many Sicel and Sican cities also readily put themselves under Timoleon’s orders after his capture of Entella—but the greater part of the remainder were probably mercenaries. In the course of the march Timoleon was embarrassed by a mutiny of the mercenary troops, one thousand of whom were suffered to return to Syracuse, to be dealt with later. The battle was fought on the bank of the Crimisus, not far from Segesta. It resulted In a decisive victory for the Greeks, which was due to several causes: the presence of a heavy mist enabled Timoleon to surprise the enemy by an attack from high ground; a violent thunderstorm came on, which drove rain and hail straight in the face of the Carthaginians; and the heavily- armed warriors of the Sacred Band, who bore the brunt of the fighting, found themselves at a great disadvantage in face of the superior mobility of the Greek infantry; the torrent of rain rendered their equipment still heavier, and as the plain rapidly became a morass owing to the overflowing of the river and to the swollen streams which swirled down from the hillside they found It increasingly difficult to move. Large numbers were swept away downstream, the rest were slain or put to flight. As many as 10,000 are said to have fallen, including the whole of the Sacred Band; heaven, In a very literal sense, had aided the Corinthian leader In this great battle, which was fought in mid-June, 341: the spoils of the enemy’s armor were very rich, and fine trophies were sent to adorn the temples of Corinth and to add to her renown.

The remnants of the defeated host took refuge within the walls of Lilybaeum. The Punic fleet still rode the waters off the west coast, and it was therefore out of the question for Timoleon to attempt the siege of that stronghold, or of Heraclea or Panormus; without a naval victory it was impossible to drive the Carthaginians out of Sicily. Timoleon therefore left some troops to plunder enemy territory, and himself returned to Syracuse, where his first act was the expulsion from Sicily of the thousand mercenaries that had deserted him; they are said to have crossed to Italy and been cut to pieces by the Bruttians.

It says much for the tenacity and spirit of the Carthaginians that after this crushing defeat they did not abandon the war. It says much moreover for their adaptability that they returned at once to their former policy of co-operating with Greek tyrants, Mamercus of Catana, who had become an adherent of Timoleon after the battle of Adranum, Hicetas who had supplied him with troops at the Crimisus, and Hippo of Messana now reverted to their previous allegiance; all were mere opportunists In their alliances, and whereas they had recently thought their positions endangered by the Carthaginian Invasion they had now more to fear from Timoleon.

The Carthaginians now recalled Gescon, a son of the revolutionary Hanno, from the exile to which he had been sentenced for complicity in his father’s designs, and put him in command of a fleet of 70 ships which entered the harbour of Messana probably during the summer of 340 BC. Troops were disembarked, consisting of Greek mercenaries, for Carthage had profited by the experience of the Crimisus. At first they met with some success, Timoleon’s troops suffering one defeat near Messana and a second at Ietae in the west of the island; Hicetas even ventured on a raid into Syracusan territory, but was routed by Timoleon at the river Damyrias, probably near Camarina; he fled to Leontini, but was pursued by Timoleon, surrendered by his own people, and executed as a traitor to the national cause. His wife and daughters were condemned to death by a vote of the Syracusan assembly; this is the one event in Timoleon’s career which Plutarch, his biographer, deplores, but it is probable that he had no constitutional means of preventing it. Soon after this Catana was surrendered by Mamercus’ own comrades, and he fled for refuge to Hippo of Messana. Timoleon laid siege to the town, and when Hippo tried to escape by sea he was captured by the Messanians and executed in their theatre, where even the school-children were admitted to witness the joyous spectacle. Mamercus then surrendered, and after a public trial at Syracuse was crucified like a brigand. With the expulsion of the tyrants of Centuripa and Agyrium in 338—7 the emancipation of Sicily from despotism was now complete, though one monarch, Andromachus of Tauromenium, still ruled his people as a constitutional king.

Carthage meanwhile had not waited for the complete overthrow of the tyrants, but had made overtures for peace in 339 after Timoleon’s victories at the Damyrias and at Catana. It was agreed that the Halycus should remain the boundary of the Punic province, that Carthage should recognize the Independence of all Greek cities east of that river, and allow any Greeks in her own province to migrate to Syracuse if they wished. Further, she gave an undertaking to refrain in future from alliances with Sicilian tyrants. Thus Selinus and Himera remained subject to Carthage, who also appears to have retained Heraclea Minoa, although this town stood on the east bank of the Halycus. It is at first sight surprising that terms so favorable to the defeated enemy should have been granted: the explanation is partly that the peace was made while the tyrants, though defeated, were still at large, and Timoleon was willing to pay a considerable price to detach the Carthaginians from their alliance; but it must also be recognized that the victory of the Crimisus, glorious as it was, had been due to favorable circumstances, and hardly represented a real superiority of the Sicilian Greeks over any strength that Carthage might put forth. It is possible too that the defeat at Ietae was more serious than our Greek authorities admit, and that it involved a reconquest of the whole Carthaginian province.

About two years after concluding this peace Timoleon withdrew from public life. His principal work during these years was the resettlement of Gela and Acragas, the famous cities which since their destruction by Carthage in 406 BC had only revived on a very small scale; now that Carthage had renounced all claim to south-west Sicily it was possible to restore both to some degree of importance and prosperity. Camarina too, which had suffered under Punic dominion, received a fresh body of settlers, but the population of Leontini—presumably descendants of the mercenaries settled there by the elder Dionysius—were transplanted to Syracuse. The Campanian mercenaries of Aetna were expelled, and, as we may suppose, replaced by Greeks.

How long Timoleon lived after his retirement we do not know. His last years were clouded by the loss of his eyesight, but he retained the confidence and veneration of the people of Syracuse, and occasionally spoke in the Assembly when specially important measures were under consideration. To his funeral flocked many thousands from all parts of Sicily: the proclamation over his pyre recorded by Plutarch, tells in words of simple dignity what he had done:  “The Syracusan people here gives burial to Timoleon, son of Timodemus, of Corinth, at a cost of two hundred minae, and honors him for all time with musical, equestrian, and athletic contests, because he put down the tyrants, conquered the barbarians in war, resettled the greatest of the devastated cities, and restored to the Siceliotes their laws”. There were few perhaps amongst those that came to do honor to their country’s saviour who guessed how soon his work was to be undone.




The course of events in southern Italy during these years offers a parallel to that in Sicily. Just as in the Island the dissolution of the empire of the elder Dionysius had ultimately involved the renewal of the struggle with Carthage, so on the peninsula the Greek cities had to contend against the attack of native Italian peoples. But there is this difference to be noted, that whereas in Sicily Carthage had held her hand until the security of her own province in the north-west was deemed to be endangered by the support proffered to Syracuse by Corinth, in Italy the barbarians’ advance was definitely aggressive and unprovoked. The most formidable of the aggressors were the Lucanians and the Bruttians. The Lucanians, as we have seen, had combined with Dionysius I in an attack upon the people of Thurii and had decisively defeated them at Laus in 389 BC. But although the Syracusan tyrant had been ready enough to use barbarian help in his warfare against the Italiotes he was nevertheless alive to the danger of allowing Greek civilization to be submerged by a barbarian flood. His project of a wall across the isthmus of Scylletium in order to meet this danger had never been carried out, but it would seem that so long as the Syracusan Empire stood firm the Lucanians felt it unsafe to attack the Greek cities. It was not until 356, after the expulsion of Dionysius II, that the first attack came: and it came not from the Lucanians but from the Bruttians. It was probably a false etymology that represented this people as consisting of the fugitive slaves of the Lucanians; they seem rather to represent a number of tribes previously subject to the Lucanians who now seized the opportunity presented by the weakening of the Syracusan power to throw off the Lucanian yoke, uniting themselves under a common name, perhaps that of the strongest tribe, with a federal capital which they named Consentia. Terina, Hipponium, the Sybarite settlement on the river Traeis and a number of other Greek towns fell rapidly into their power. From the Siris to the isthmus of Scylletium the Bruttians were for the next twenty years or more the dominant power: we have seen that in 343 BC they opposed the passage of Timoleon’s reinforcements from Thurii to Rhegium.

Farther north, Tarentum had to resist the attacks of the Lucanians and Messapians, and, like Syracuse, she turned for help to her mother-city, Sparta. It was probably in 342, two years after Timoleon had come to Sicily, that Archidamus, king of Sparta, crossed to Tarentum with a force of mercenaries, mainly drawn, like Timoleon’s, from the survivors of the Phocian army in the Sacred War. Just as his more famous father Agesilaus had in his old age fought for the revolted subjects of the Persian Empire in the hope of restoring Sparta’s prestige and replenishing her treasury, so now Archidamus in the same adventurous spirit responded to the offer of Tarentine gold. Nor was the son more successful than the father: he seems to have struggled for some three years, only to be decisively defeated and killed in 338 BC, on the very day, it was said, of the battle of Chaeronea. The final battle was fought at a place called Mandonium in Lucania.

About five years later the Tarentines were again constrained to seek help from old Greece. From Sparta nothing more could be expected, for she had been brought under the heel of Macedon, but a powerful champion was found in the person of Alexander, king of Epirus, the brother of Olympias and uncle of Alexander the Great. It was his ambition to emulate in the West the exploits of his nephew in the East, and for a while that ambition seemed in a fair way to be realized. He first attacked the Messapians and Iapygians, carrying his victorious arms as far north as Arpi and Sipontum: then turning against the Lucanians, he advanced to Paestum on the western sea, and defeated the united forces of the Lucanians and Samnites. Farther south he captured the Bruttian capital at Consentia, and recovered Terina. In short, he gained for a brief space the control of a great part of southern Italy, and perhaps the most notable evidence of his power is the alliance into which he entered with the Romans, who had by now been brought into conflict with the Samnites. It is possible that his designs extended to Sicily also1. It soon became plain to the men of Tarentum that instead of a protector they had in fact called in a conqueror. Unable to recognize the plain fact that the Lucanian advance could only be permanently stayed by the establishment of a strong military power such as that formed by Alexander, they preferred to defend their independence and turned against him. Supported by the lesser Italian cities, such as Thurii and Metapontum, Alexander coped successfully with the new enemy and captured the Tarentine colony of Heraclea. But naturally the Lucanians and Bruttians seized the opportunity for attack, and in a battle at Pandosia, in the valley of the Crathis, the Epirote king was completely defeated and stabbed in the back by a Lucanian exile serving in his own army; this was probably in the winter of 331-302.

Although Alexander’s far-reaching designs had thus been shattered, yet the Italiote cities were for the present relieved from further barbarian pressure. This was mainly due to the outbreak of the great Samnite war (327-304), into which the Lucanians were drawn as Rome’s allies. Tarentum was to make two more bids for Independence, under the championship first of Cleonymus of Sparta, secondly of Pyrrhus, before she became subject to the great power which as early as at the death of Alexander was fast advancing towards the control of all Italy.