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Dionysius, the tyrant of the Syracusans, after he had made peace with the Carthaginians and had got free of the uprisings in the city, was eager to attach to himself the neighbouring cities of the Chalcidians,1 [2] namely, Naxos, Catane, and Leontini. He was eager to be lord of them because they lay on the borders of Syracuse and possessed many advantages for further increase of his tyrannical power. First of all, then, he encamped near Aetne and won the fortress, the exiles there being no match for an army of such size; [3] and after this he advanced to Leontini and pitched his camp near the city along the river Teria. Then he at first led out his army in battle-order and dispatched a herald to the Leontines, commanding them to surrender the city and believing that he had struck terror into the inhabitants. [4] But when the Leontines paid no attention to him and had made every preparation to withstand a siege, Dionysius, having no engines of war, gave up the siege for the time being, but plundered their entire territory. [5] From there he set out against the Siceli, pretending that he was engaging in war against them in order that the Catanians and the Naxians might become slacker in the defence of their cities. [6] And while he was tarrying in the neighbourhood of Enna, he persuaded Aeimnestus, a native of the city, to make a bid for tyranny, promising to aid him in the undertaking. [7] But when Aeimnestus had succeeded in his design and then did not admit Dionysius into the city, Dionysius in anger changed sides and urged the Ennaeans to overthrow the tyrant. These streamed into the market-place with their arms, contending for their freedom, and the city was filled with tumult. [8] Dionysius, on learning of the strife, took his light-armed troops, speedily broke through an unoccupied place into the city, seized Aeimnestus, and handed him over to the Ennaeans to be punished. He himself, refraining from all injustice, departed from the city. This he did, not so much because he had regard for right as because he wanted to encourage the other cities to put faith in him.

1 i.e. colonies of Chalcis.

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