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When messages were brought from Gela requesting the dispatch of additional troops, Dionysius got a favourable means of accomplishing his own purpose. Having been dispatched with two thousand infantry and four hundred cavalry, he arrived speedily at the city of the Geloans, which at that time was under the eye of Dexippus, the Lacedaemonian, who had been put in charge by the Syracusans. [2] And when Dionysius on arrival found the wealthiest citizens engaged in strife with the people, he accused them in an assembly and secured their condemnation, whereupon he put them to death and confiscated their possessions. With the money thus gained he paid the guards of the city under the command of Dexippus the wages which were owing them, while to his own troops who had come with him from Syracuse he promised he would pay double the wages which the city had determined. [3] In this manner he won over to himself the loyalty not only of the soldiers in Gela but also of those whom he had brought with him. He also gained the approval of the populace of the Geloans, who believed him to be responsible for their liberation; for in their envy of the most influential citizens they stigmatized the superiority these men possessed as a despotism over themselves. [4] Consequently they dispatched ambassadors who sang his praises in Syracuse and reported decrees in which they honoured him with rich gifts. Dionysius also undertook to persuade Dexippus to associate himself with his design, and when Dexippus would not join with him, he was on the point of returning with his own troops to Syracuse. [5] But the Geloans, on learning that the Carthaginians with their entire host were going to make Gela the first object of attack, besought Dionysius to remain and not to stand idly by while they suffered the same fate as the Acragantini. Dionysius replied to them that he would return speedily with a larger force and set forth from Gela with his own soldiers.

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), GELA
    • Smith's Bio, Dexippus
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