And at once there came to him ambassadors from both the cities and rulers which had
formerly opposed him, asking forgiveness for their past mistakes and promising for the future
to carry out his every command. With all of them he dealt equitably and concluded alliances,
bearing his good fortune as men should, not toward them alone but even toward the
Carthaginians, his bitterest foes.
For when the ambassadors
who had been dispatched from Carthage
came to him
and begged him with tears to treat them humanely, he granted them peace, exacting of them the
expense he had incurred for the war, two thousand talents of silver, and requiring them further
to build two temples in which they should place copies of the treaty.
The Carthaginians, having unexpectedly gained their deliverance, not only agreed to all
this but also promised to give in addition a gold crown to Damarete, the wife of Gelon. For
Damarete at their request had contributed the greatest aid toward the conclusion of the peace,
and when she had received the crown of one hundred gold talents from them, she struck a coin
which was called from her a Damareteion.
This was worth ten Attic drachmas and was
called by the Sicilian Greeks, according to its weight, a pentekontalitron.1
Gelon treated all men fairly,
primarily because that was his disposition, but not the least motive was that he was eager to
make all men his own by acts of goodwill. For instance, he was making ready to sail to
with a large force and to join the Greeks in
their war against the Persians.
And he was already on the
point of setting out to sea, when certain men from Corinth
put in at Syracuse
brought the news that the Greeks had won the sea-battle at Salamis
and that Xerxes and a part of his armament had retreated from Europe
. Consequently he stopped his preparations for departure,
while welcoming the enthusiasm of the soldiers; and then he called them to an assembly, issuing
orders for each man to appear fully armed. As for himself, he came to the assembly not only
with no arms but not even wearing a tunic and clad only in a cloak, and stepping forward he
rendered an account of his whole life and of all he had done for the Syracusans;
and when the throng shouted its approval at each action he mentioned and
showed especially its amazement that he had given himself unarmed into the hands of any who
might wish to slay him, so far was he from being a victim of vengeance as a tyrant that they
united in acclaiming him with one voice Benefactor and Saviour and King.2
After this incident Gelon built noteworthy temples to Demeter
out of the spoils, and making a
of sixteen talents value he set
it up in the sacred precinct at Delphi
thank-offering to Apollo. At a later time he purposed to build a temple to Demeter at
, since she had none in that place; but he did
not complete it, his life having been cut short by fate.
Of the lyric poets Pindar was in his prime in this period.
Now these are in general the most notable events which took place in this year.