When Lysanias was archon in Athens
Romans elected as consuls Appius Claudius and Titus Quinctius Capitolinus. During this year
Thrasybulus, the king of the Syracusans, was driven from his throne, and since we are writing a
detailed account of this event, we must go back a few years and set forth clearly the whole
story from the beginning.
Gelon, the son of Deinomenes, who far excelled all other men in valour and strategy and
out-generalled the Carthaginians, defeated these barbarians in a great battle, as has been
; and since he treated the
peoples whom he had subdued with fairness and, in general, conducted himself humanely toward
all his immediate neighbours, he enjoyed high favour among the Sicilian Greeks.
Thus Gelon, being beloved by all because of his mild rule, lived in
uninterrupted peace until his death. But Hieron, the next oldest among the brothers,3
who succeeded to the throne, did not rule over his subjects in the same
for he was avaricious and violent and, speaking
generally, an utter stranger to sincerity and nobility of character. Consequently there were a
good many who wished to revolt, but they restrained their inclinations because of Gelon's
reputation and the goodwill he had shown towards all the Sicilian Greeks.
After the death of Hieron, however, his brother Thrasybulus, who
succeeded to the throne, surpassed in wickedness his predecessor in the kingship. For being a
violent man and murderous by nature, he put to death many citizens unjustly and drove not a few
into exile on false charges, confiscating their possessions into the royal treasury; and since,
speaking generally, he hated those he had wronged and was hated by them, he enlisted a large
body of mercenaries, preparing in this way a legion with which to oppose the citizen soldiery.
And since he kept incurring more and more the hatred of the
citizens by outraging many and executing others, he compelled the victims to revolt.
Consequently the Syracusans, choosing men who would take the lead, set about as one man to
destroy the tyranny, and once they had been organized by their leaders they clung stubbornly to
When Thrasybulus saw that the whole city was in
arms against him, he at first attempted to stop the revolt by persuasion; but after he observed
that the movement of the Syracusans could not be halted, he gathered together both the
colonists whom Hieron had settled in Catana
other allies, as well as a multitude of mercenaries, so that his army numbered all told almost
fifteen thousand men.
Then, seizing Achradine, as it is
called, and the Island,4
which was fortified,5
and using them as bases, he began a war upon the