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In Sicily Dionysius, the tyrant of the Syracusans, with intent to annex the Greeks of Italy as well to the overlordship that he held in the island, postponed the general war against them to another time. He judged rather that it was good policy to attack first the city of the Rhegians, because it was the advanced bastion of Italy, and so set out from Syracuse with his army. [2] He had twenty thousand infantry, a thousand cavalry, and one hundred and twenty ships of war. He crossed with his troops to the borders of Locris and from there made his way through the interior, cutting down the trees and burning and destroying the territory of the Rhegians. His fleet sailed along to the other districts1 upon the sea and he encamped with his entire army at the Strait. [3] When the Italians learned that Dionysius had crossed the sea to attack Rhegium, they dispatched sixty ships from Croton, with intent to hand them over to the Rhegians. While this fleet was cruising on the high sea, Dionysius sailed against them with fifty ships, and when the fleet fled to land, he pressed his attack no less vigorously and began to make fast and haul off the ships that were lying off-shore. [4] Since the sixty triremes were in danger of being captured, the Rhegians came to their aid in full force and held Dionysius off from the land by the multitude of their missiles. When a heavy storm arose, the Rhegians hauled up the ships high and dry on the land, but Dionysius lost seven ships in the heavy gale and together with them no fewer than fifteen hundred men. [5] Since the sailors were cast ashore together with their ships on Rhegian territory, many of them were taken prisoner by the Rhegians. Dionysius, who was on a quinquereme and many times narrowly escaped foundering, about midnight barely found safety in the harbour of Messene. Since the winter season had already come, he drew up terms of alliance with the Leucani and led his forces back to Syracuse.

1 i.e. of Rhegian territory not touched by Dionysius who was advancing through the interior. But the Greek is suspect.

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