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When Lysanias was archon in Athens, the 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. [2]

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 told2; 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. [3] 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 manner; [4] 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. [5] 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. [6] 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 their freedom. [7] 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 and his other allies, as well as a multitude of mercenaries, so that his army numbered all told almost fifteen thousand men. [8] 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 revolting citizens.

1 466 B.C.

2 Cp. chaps. 21 ff.

3 Deinomenes had four sons, Gelon, Hieron, Polyzelus, and Thrasybulus.

4 Achradine was the height north of the city and the Island is Ortygia, on which the palace and public buildings were located.

5 As a matter of fact Achradine also was fortified.

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