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336 Dionysius and Sicily. [Chap, xxitt.

other African tribes. Hannibal, grandson of Hamilcnr, dis-
tinguished himself in an invasion of Sicily, b. c. 410, and
with a large army, of one hundred thousand men, stormed
and took Selinus, and killed one hundred and sixty thousand
of the inhabitants, and carried away captive five thousand
more. He then laid siege to Him era, which he also took, and
slaughtered three thousand of the inhabitants, in expiation
of the memory of his grandfather. These were Grecian cities,
and the alarm throughout Greece was profound for this new
enemy. These events took place about the time that Hermo-
crates was banished for an unsuccessful maritime war. Her-
mocrates afterward attempted to enter Syracuse, but was
defeated and slain.

At this period Dionysius appears upon the stage — for the
next generation the most formidable name in the Grecian
Dionysius at world. He had none of the advantages of family
Syracuse. or wea ^] 1 — b ut was we ]i e( j uca ted, and espoused the
cause of Hermocrates, and rose to distinction during the
intestine commotions which resulted from the death of Her-
mocrates and the banishment of Diodes, the lawgiver.

In 406 b. c, Sicily was again invaded by a large force from
Carthagin- Carthage, estimated bv some writers as high as

jans invade °

Sicily. three hundred thousand men, who were chiefly

mercenaries. Hannibal was the leader of these forces. All
the Greek cities now prepared for vigorous war. The Syra-
cusans sent to Sparta and the Italian Greek cities for aid.
Agrigentum was most in danger, and most alarmed of the
Greek Sicilian cities. It was second only to Syracuse in
numbers and wealth, having a population of eight hundred
thousand people, though this is probably an exaggeration.
It was rich in temples and villas and palaces ; its citizens
were wealthy, luxurious, and hospitable.

The army of Hannibal advanced against this city, which
was sti'ongly fortified, and re-enforced by a strong body of
troops from Syracuse, under Daphneus. He defeated the
Iberian mercenaries, but did not preserve his victory, so that
the Carthaginians were enabled to take and plunder Agri-

Chap, xxiii.] Dionysius accepts Peace. 337

gentum. There was, of course, bitter complaint against the
Syracusan. generals, who might have prevented this calamity.
In the discontent which succeeded, Dionysius was elevated
to the command. He procured a vote to restore R . se of
the Hermocratean exiles, and procured, also, a body Dionysius.
of paid guards, and established himself as despot of Syracuse ;
and he arrived at this power by demagogic arts, allying him-
self with the ultra democratic party.

Soon after his elevation, the Carthaginians advanced, under
Imolco, to attach Gela, which was relieved by Dionysius
with a force of fifty thousand men. Intrenching himself
between Gela and the sea, opposite the Carthaginians, he
resolved to attack the invaders, but was defeated Defeated by
and obliged to retreat, so that Gela fell into the grans'.
hands of the Carthaginians, who perpetrated their usual
cruelties. This defeat occasioned a mutiny at Syracuse, and
his house was plundered of the silver and gold and valuables
which he had already collected. But he rapidly returned
to Syracuse, and punished the mutineers, and became master
of the city, driving away the rich citizens who had vainly
obstructed his elevation. He abolished every remnant of
freedom, and ruled despotically with the aid of his mercen-
aries, and the common people who rallied to his standard.

It was fortunate for him that the Carthaginians, although
victors at Gela, made proposals of peace, which Cartbagini-

. . ans make

were accepted. Dionysius accepted a peace, the peace.
terms of which were favorable to Carthage, in order to se-
cure his own power. He betrayed the interests of Sicily to
an enemy from selfish and unworthy motives. The whole
south of Sicily w r as consigned to the Carthaginians, and
Syracuse to Dionysius.

Dionysius now concentrated all his efforts to centralize
and maintain his power. He greatly strengthened the forti-
fications of Syracuse. He constructed a new Dionysius

n • 1 1 r> Tii t centralizes

wall, with lofty towers and elaborate defenses, out- Ws power.
side the mole which connected the islet Ortygia with Sicily.
He also erected a citadel. He then had an impregnable


338 Dionysius and Sicily. [Chap, xxiii.

stronghold, powerful for attack and defense. The fortress
he erected in the islet of Ortygia he filled with his devoted
adherents, consisting mostly of foreigners, to whom he as-
signed a permanent support and residence. He distributed
anew the Syracusan territory, reserving the best lands for
his friends, who thus became citizens. By this wholesale
confiscation he was enabled to support ten thousand mer-
cenary troops, devoted to him and his tyranny. The con-
tributions he extorted were enormous, so that in five years
twenty per cent of the whole property of Syracuse was paid
into his hands.

Having thus strengthened his power in Syracuse, he
Marches marched against the Sikels, in the interior of the

aeainst the . .

Sikels. island, but his absence was taken advantage of

by the discontented citizens, who attempted to regain their
freedom. He returned at once to Syracuse, and intrenched
himself in his fortress, where he was besieged by the insur-
gents. The tyrant Avas now driven to desperation, and
nothing saved him but the impregnable fortifications which
His critical ne ^ ac ^ erected. But his situation was so desperate
condition. ^^ ^-g a( ]i ieren t s melted away, and he began to

abandon all hope of retaining his position. As a last re-
source, he purchased the aid of a body of Campanian cavalry,
in the Carthaginian service, which was stationed at Gela,
while he amused the Syracusans, to gain time, by a pretended
submission. They agreed to allow him to depart with five
triremes, and relaxed the siege, supposing him already sub-
dued. Meanwhile the Carthaginian mercenaries arrived and
defeated the Syracusans, already dispersed and divided.
Dionysius, finding himself rescued and re-established in his
dominions, strengthened the fortifications of Ortygia, and
employed his forces, now that Syracuse was subdued, in
conquering the Grecian cities of Naxos, Catana, and Leon-
tini. Strengthened at home and in the interior, Dionysius
then prepared to attack the Carthaginians, but previously
took measures to insure the defensibility of Syracuse. Six
thousand persons were employed on a wall three and a half

Chap, xxtil] Marriage of Dionysius. 339

miles in length, from the fort of Trogilus to Euryalus, the
summit of the slope of Epipoke, a high cliff, which strengthens
commanded the roads to the city. Six thou- ti^of flca "
sand teams of oxen were employed in draw- Svracuse '
ing the stones from the quarries. This wall was not like
Ortygia, a guard-house against the people of Syracuse, but
a defense against external enemies. As it was a great pub-
lic work of defense, the citizens worked with cheerfulness
and vigor, and so enthusiastically did they labor, that the
work was completed in twenty days. The city being now
impregnable, he commenced preparations for offensive war,
and changed his course toward the citizens, pursuing a mild
and conciliatory policy. He made peace with Messene and
Rhegium, and married a lady from Locri. He collected all
the best engineers, mechanics, and artisans from His vast
Sicily and Italy, constructed immense machines, j^pS
provided arms from every nation around the Medi- tlons-
terranean, so that he collected or fabricated one hundred and
forty thousand shields and fourteen thousand breastplates,
destined for his body-guard and officers, together with a
vast number of helmets, spears, and daggers. All these were
accumulated in his impregnable fortress of Ortygia. His
naval preparations were equally stupendous. The docks of
Syracuse were filled with workmen, and two hundred tri-
remes were added to the one hundred and ten which already
were housed in the docks. The trireme was the largest ship
of war which for three hundred years had sailed in the
Grecian or Mediterranean waters. But Dionysius con-
structed triremes with five banks of oars, and had a navy
vastly superior to what Athens ever possessed. He now
hired soldiers from every quarter, enlisting Syracusans and
the inhabitants of the cities depending upon her. He sent
envoys to Italy and the Peloponnesus for recruits, offering
the most liberal pay.

When all his preparations were completed, he married, on
the same day, two wives — the Locrian (Doris), and His
the Syracusan (Aristomache), and both of these mama s e -

340 Dionysius and Sicily. [Chap. xxiil

women lived with him at the same table in equal dignity.
He had three children by Doris, the eldest of whom was
Dionysius the Younger, and four by Aristomache. Wheii
his nuptials had been celebrated with extraordinary magnifi-
cence, and banquets, and fetes, in which the whole popula-
tion shared, he convoked a public assembly, and exhorted
the citizens to war against Carthage, as the common enemy
of Greece, b. c. 397. He then granted permission to plunder
the Carthaginian ships in the harbor, and shortly after
Marches marched out from Syracuse with an ai'my against
cirtha^ni- tne Carthaginians in Sicily, consisting of eighty
ans - thousand men, while a fleet of two hundred triremes

and five hundred transports accompanied its march along
the coast — the largest military force hitherto assembled un-
der Grecian command.

The first place he attacked was Motya, north of Cape
Lilybseum, in the western extremity of the island, all the
Grecian cities under Carthaginian leadership having revolted.
This city was both populous and wealthy, built on an islet,
„. which was separated from Sicily by a narrow

His success. .

strait two-thirds of a mile in width, bridged over
by a narrow mole. The Motyans, seeing the approach of
so formidable an army, broke up their mole, and insulated
themselves from Sicily. The Carthaginians sent a large fleet
to assist Motya, under Imilco, but being inferior to that of
Dionysius, it could not venture on a pitched battle. Motya
made a desperate defense, but a road aci-oss the strait being
built by the besiegers, the new engines of war carried over
it were irresistible, the town was at length carried and
plundered, and the inhabitants slaughtered or sold as slaves.
The siege occupied the summer, and Dionysius, trium-
He returns phant, returned to Syracuse. But Imilco being
to Syracuse. e i ev ated to the chief magistracy of Carthage,
brought over to Sicily an overwhelming force, collected from
all Africa and Iberia, amounting to one hundred thousand
men, afterward re-enforced by thirty thousand more, at the
lowest estimate, with four hundred ships and six hundred

Chap. XXIII.] Siege of Syracuse. 341

transports. This army disembarked at Panormns, on the
northwestern side of the island (Palermo) retook Motya,
regained Eryx, then marched east and captured Messene, at
the extreme eastern part of the island near Italy, which
prevented Dionysius from getting aid from Italy. The
Sikels also rebelled, and Dionysius, greatly disquieted by the
loss of all his conquests, and by approaching dangers,
strengthened the fortifications of Syracuse, to which he had
retired, and made preparations to resist the enemy. He had
still a force of thirty thousand foot and three thousand horse,
and one hundred and eighty ships of war. He sent also to
Sparta for aid. He then advanced to Catana. His naval

n» i • • • ' -T i defeat at

A naval battle took place oft this city, gained by Catana.
the Carthaginians, from superior numbers. One hundred
of the Syracusan ships were destroyed, with twenty thousand
men, b. c. 395.

After this defeat, Dionysius retreated to Syracuse with his
land' forces, amid great discontent, and invoked the aid
of Sparta and Corinth. Imilco advanced also to imiicoiays

... • -i i siege to

Syracuse, while his victorious fleet occupied the Syracuse,
great harbor — a much more imposing armament than that
the Athenians had at the close of the Persian war. The
total number of vessels was two thousand. Imilco estab.
lished his head-quarters at the temple of Zeus Olympius, one
mile and a half from the city, and allowed his troops thirty
days for plunder over the Syracusan territory ; then he
established fortified posts, and encircled his camp with a
wall, and set down in earnest to reduce* the city to famine.
But as he was not master of Epipolce, as Nicias was,
Syracuse was able to communicate with the country around,
both west and north, and also found means to secure supplies
by sea.

Meanwhile the Syracusans defeated a portion of the Car-
thaginian fleet, and a terrific pestilence overtook Disasters of

o ' i the Car-

the army before the city. The military strength thagimans.
of the Carthaginians was prostrated by the terrible malady,
which swept away one hundred and fifty thousand persons

342 Dionysius and Sicily. [Chap, xxill.

in the camp. When thus weakened and demoralized, the
Carthaginians were attacked by the Syracusans, and were
completely routed. The fleet was also defeated and set on
fire, and the conflagration reached the camp, which was thus
attacked by pestilence, fire, and sword. The disaster was
fatal to the Carthaginians, and retreat was necessary.
Imilco dispatched a secret envoy to Dionysius, offering
three hundred talents if the fleet was allowed to sail away
unmolested to Africa. This could not be permitted, but
They retire Imilco and the native Carthaginians were allowed

from Syra- . . .

cuse. to retire. The remaining part of the army, de-

prived of their head, was destroyed, with the exception of
the Sikels, who knew the roads, and made good their

This immense disaster, greater than that the Athenians
had suffered under Nicias, produced universal mourning and
distress at Carthage, while the miserable Imilco vainly
Death of endeavoring to disarm the wrath of his country-
imiico. men, shut himself up in his house, and starved

himself to death. This misfortune led also to a revolt of the
African allies, which was subdued with difficulty, while the
power of Carthage in Sicily was reduced to the lowest ebb.
Dionysius was now left to push his conquests in other direc-
tions, and Syracuse was rescued from impending ruin.

Dionysius had now reigned eleven years, with absolute
power. The pestilence, and the treachery of Imilco, had
freed him of the Carthaginians. But a difficulty arose as to
Financial the payment of his mercenaries, which he compro-
ments'of 8 " mised by giving them the rich territory of Leontini,
Dionysius. g0 ^^ ten thousand quitted Syracuse, and took
up their residence in the town. The cost of maintaining a
large standing army was exceeding burdensome, and we
only wonder how the tyrant found means to pay it, and
prosecute at the same time such great improvements.

He now directed his attention to the Sikels, in the in-
Makes him- terior of the island, and took several of their

self master .

of Messene. towns, but iroin one ol them he met with desperate

Chap. XXTTL] Dionysius invades Sicily. 313

resistance, and came near losing his life from a wound by a
spear which penetrated his cuirass. This repulse caused the
Carthaginians to rally in the west of the island, under Magon,
with an army of eighty thousand. But he was repulsed by
Dion y sins, and concluded a truce with him, which gave the
latter leisure to make himself master of Messene and Tau-
rominium — the two most important maritime posts on the
Italian side of Sicily, and thus prepare for the invasion of
the Greek cities in the south of Italy, b. c. 391.

Dionysius departed from Syracuse, b. c. 389, with a power-
ful force, to subdue the Italiot Greeks, and laid Invades
siege to Caulonia. He defeated their army, and Ita1 ^-
slew their general. The victor treated the defeated Greeks
with lenity, and then laid siege to Rhegium, to which he
granted peace on severe terms. Caulonia and Hipponium,
two cities whose territory occupied the breadth of the Cala-
briari peninsula, fell into his hands. Rhegium sui-rendered
after a desperate defense, and Phyton, who commanded the
town, was treated with brutal inhumanity. The town was
dismantled, and all the territory of Southern Calabria was
united to Locri. It was at this time that the peace of Antal-
cidas took place, which put an end to the Spartan wars in
Asia Minor. The ascendant powers of Greece were now
Sparta and Syracuse, each fortified by alliance with the

Croton, the largest city in Magna Grecia, was now conquer-
ed by Dionysius, who plundered the temple of Here, conquers
near Cape Lacinium, and among its treasure was a Crot<m -
splendid robe, decorated in the most costly manner, which
the conqueror sold to the Carthaginians, which long re-
mained one of the ornaments of their city. The value and
beauty of the robe may be estimated at the price paid for it
— one hundred and twenty talents, more than one hundred
thousand dollars.

He now undertook a maritime expedition along the coast
of Latium and Etruria, and pillaged the rich temple at
Agylla, stripping it of gold and ornaments to the value of

344 Dlonysius and Sicily. [Chap, xxiii.

one thousand talents. So great was the celebrity he acquir-
ed, that the Gauls of Northern Italy, who had recently
Becomes sacked Rome, proffered their alliance and aid.
southern Master of Sicily and Southern Italy, he inspired, by
Italy. liis unscrupulous plundering of temples, the great-

est terror and dislike throughout Central Greece. He then
entered as competitor at the festivals of Greece for the prize
of tragic poetry. But so contemptible were his poems, they
were disgracefully hissed and ridiculed. Especially those
Kissedatthe poems which were recited at Olympeia — where he

Grecian x . . .

games. sent legations decked in the richest garments, fur-

nished with gold and silver, and provided with splendid
tents — were received with a storm of hisses, which plunged
him in an agony of shame and grief, and drove him nearly
mad, and made him conscious of the deep hatred which
everywhere existed toward him. All his rich displays,
which surpassed every thing that had ever before been seen
in that holy plain, were worse than a failure — because they
came from him. Not all his grandeur in Syracuse could save
him from the disgrace and insults which he had received in

It was at this time, b. c. 387, that Plato visited Sicily on

a voyage of inquiry and curiosity, chiefly to see Mount

-52tna, and was introduced to Dion, then a young

Dion - ■ C. 1 1 1 • 1 ^- •

man in Syracuse, and brother-in-law to Dionysius.
Dion was so impressed with the conversation of Plato, that
he invited the tyrant to talk with him also. Plato discours-
ed on virtue and justice, showing that happiness belonged
only to the virtuous, and that despots could not lay claim
even to the merit of true courage — most unpalatable doctrine
to the tyrant, who became bitterly hostile to the philoso-
pher. He even caused Plato to be exposed in the market as
a slave, and sold for twenty minse, which his friends paid
and released him. On his voyage home, through the in-
fluence of the tyrant, he was again sold at Egina, and again
repurchased, and set at liberty. So bitter are tyrants
of the virtues which contrast with their misdeeds ; and

Chap, xxiii.] Death of Dionysius. 345

bo vindictive especially was the despot who reigned at

Dionysius was now occupied by the new defenses and for-
tifications of his capital, so that the whole slope of Power and

. 1 ' r . wealth of

Epipolae was bordered and protected by massive Dionysius.
walls and towers, and five divisions of the city had each its
separate fortifications, so that it was the largest fortified city
in all Greece — larger than Athens herself.

The plunder the tyrant had accumulated enabled him to
make new preparations for a war with Carthage. But he
was defeated in a ^reat battle at Cronium, with Defeated in a

a ' -war with

terrible loss, by the youthful son of Magon, which Carthage,
compelled him to make peace, and cede to Carthage all the
territory of Sicily west of the river Halycus, and pay a tri-
bute of one thousand talents.

Very little is recorded of Dionysius after this peace, b. c. 382,
for -thirteen years, during which the Spartans had made them-
selves master of Thebes, and placed a garrison in Cadmea.
In the year 368 he made war again with Carthage, but was
defeated near Lilybaeum, and forced to return to Ao . ain defeat .
Syracuse. In the year 367 it would seem that he ed -
was at last successful with his poems, for he gained the prize of
tragedy at the Lensean festival at Athens, which so intoxi-
cated him with joy, that he invited his friends to a splendid
banquet, and died from the effects of excess and Gains a prize

o .,,,.., -, - ,- for poetry

wine, after a reign or thirty-eight years. He was dies from a
a man of restless energy and unscrupulous ambi- bauchery.
tion. His personal bravery was great, and he was vigilant
and long sighted — a man of great abilities, sullied by cruelty
and jealousy. In his spare time he composed tragedies to
compete for prizes. No other Greek had ever arrived at so
great power from a humble position, or achieved so striking
exploits abroad, or preserved his grandeur so unimpared at
his death. But he was greatly favored by fortune, espe-
cially when the pestilence destroyed the hosts of „. .

J " J His charac-

Imilco. He maintained his power by intimidation ter -

of his subjects, careful organization, and liberal pay to his

SiQ Dionysius and Sicily. [Chap. XXIII.

mercenaries. He cared nothing for money excepting as a
means to secure dominion. His exactions were exorbitant,
and his rapacity boundless. He trusted no one, and his sus-
picion was, extended even to his wives. He allowed no one
to shave him, and searched his most intimate friends for con-
cealed weapons before they were allowed in his presence.
He made Syracuse a great fortress, to the injury of Sicily and
Italy, and fancied that he left his dominions fastened by
chains of adamant. He could point to Ortygia with its
impregnable fortifications, to a large army of mercenaries —
to four hundred ships of war, and to vast magazines of arms
and military stores.

He left no successor competent to rivet the chains he had
forged. His son Dionysius succeeded to his
throne at the age of twenty-five. His brother-in-
law Dion was the next prominent member of his family, and
possessed a fortune of one hundred talents — a man of great
capacity, ambitious, luxurious, but fond of literature and
philosophy. He was, however, so much influenced by Plato,
whose Socratic talk and democratic principles enchained and
fascinated him, that his character became essentially modi-
fied, and he learned to hate the despotism under which he
grew up, and formed large schemes for political reform. He
aspired to cleanse Syracuse of slavery, and clothe her in the
dignity of freedom, by establishing an improved constitu-
tional polity, with laws which secured individual rights.
He exchanged his luxurious habits for the simple fare of a
philosopher. Never before had Plato met with a pupil who
so profoundly and earnestly profited from his instructions.
The harsh treatment which Plato received from the tyrant
was a salutary warning to Dion. He saw that patience was
imperatively necessary, and he so conducted as to maintain
the favor of Dionysius.

Dionysius II. was twenty-five years old when his father

Dionysius died, and though he possessed generous impulses,

• was both weak and vain, given to caprice, and

insatiate of praise. He had been kept from business from the

Chap. XXIII.] Dionysius II. 347

excessive jealousy of his father, and his life had been passed
in idleness and luxury at the palace of Ortygia. His father's
taste for poetry had introduced guests to his table whose
conversation opened his mind to generous sentiments, but
the indecision of his character prevented his profit- His feeble
ing from any serious studies. Dion supported chaiaclel -
this feeble novice on the throne of his father, and tried to
gain influence over him, and frankly suggested the measures
to be adopted, and Dionysius listened at first to his wise
counsels. Dion wished to make Syracuse a free city, with
good laws, to expel the Carthaginians from Sicily, and

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