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When the year had ended, in Athens Antipater was archon, and in Rome Lucius Valerius and Aulus Mallius administered the consular magistracy. This year Dionysius, the lord of the Syracusans, openly indicated his design of an attack on Italy and set forth from Syracuse with a most formidable force. [2] He had more than twenty thousand infantry, some three thousand cavalry, forty ships of war, and not less than three hundred vessels transporting food supplies. On arriving at Messene on the fifth day he rested his troops in the city, while he dispatched his brother Thearides with thirty ships to the islands of the Liparaeans, since he had learned that ten ships of the Rhegians were in those waters. [3] Thearides, sailing forth and coming upon the ten Rhegian ships in a place favourable to his purpose, seized the ships together with their crews and speedily returned to Dionysius at Messene. Dionysius threw the prisoners in chains and turned them over to the custody of the Messenians; then he transported his army to Caulonia, laid siege to the city, advanced his siege-engines, and launched frequent assaults. [4]

When the Greeks of Italy learned that the armaments of Dionysius were starting to move across the strait which separated them, they in turn mustered their forces. Since the city of the Crotoniates was the most heavily populated and had the largest number of exiles from Syracuse, they gave over to them the command of the war, [5] and the people of Croton gathered troops from every quarter and chose as general Heloris the Syracusan. Since this man had been banished by Dionysius and was considered by all to possess action and enterprise, it was believed that he could be best trusted, because of his hatred, to lead a war against the tyrant. When all the allies had gathered in Croton, Heloris disposed them to his liking and advanced with the entire army toward Caulonia. [6] He calculated that he would by his appearance at the same time both relieve the siege and also be in combat with the enemy worn out by their daily assaults. In all he had about twenty-five thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry.

1 389 B.C.

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