Dionysius seized Phyton, the
general of the Rhegians, and drowned his son in the sea, but Phyton himself he at first bound
on his loftiest siege engines, wreaking a vengeance upon him such as is to be seen upon the
stage of tragedy. He also sent one of his servants to him to tell him that Dionysius had
drowned his son in the sea the day before; to whom Phyton replied, "He has been more fortunate
than his father by one day."
After this Dionysius had him led
about the city under flogging and subjected to every indignity, a herald accompanying him and
announcing that Dionysius was inflicting this unusual vengeance upon the man because he had
persuaded the city to undertake the war.
But Phyton, who had
shown himself a brave general during the siege and had won approval for all his other
qualities, endured his mortal punishment with no low-born spirit. Rather he preserved his
spirit undaunted and cried out that he was punished because he would not betray the city to
Dionysius, and that heaven would soon visit such punishment upon Dionysius himself. The courage
of the man aroused sympathy even among the soldiers of Dionysius, and some of them began to
Dionysius, fearing that some of the soldiers might
make bold to snatch Phyton out of his hands, ceased to punish him and drowned the unfortunate
man at sea together with his near of kin.
So this man suffered
monstrous tortures unworthy of his merits. He won many of the Greeks to grieve for him at the
time and many poets to lament the sad story of his reversal of fortune thereafter.