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When this year had come to an end, Ithycles was archon in Athens and in Rome five military tribunes were established in place of the consuls, Lucius Julius, Marcus Furius, Marcus Aemilius, Gaius Cornelius, and Caeso Fabius. Dionysius, the tyrant of the Syracusans, as soon as the major part of the task of making arms and building a fleet was completed, turned at once to the gathering of soldiers. [2] From the Syracusans he enrolled those who were fit for military service in companies and from the cities subject to him he summoned their able men. He also gathered mercenaries from Greece, and especially from the Lacedaemonians, for they, in order to aid him in building up his power, gave him permission to enlist as many mercenaries from them as he might wish. And, speaking generally, since he made a point of gathering his mercenary force from many nations and promised high pay, he found men who were responsive. [3]

Since Dionysius was going to raise up a great war, he addressed himself to the cities of Sicily with courtesy, eliciting their goodwill. He saw that the Rhegians and Messenians who dwelt on the Strait2 had a strong army mobilized and he feared that, when the Carthaginians crossed over to Sicily, they would join the Carthaginians; for these cities would add no little weight to the side with which they allied themselves for the war. [4] Since these considerations were the cause of great concern to Dionysius, he made a present to the Messenians of a large piece of territory on their borders, binding them to him by such a benefaction; and to the Rhegians he dispatched ambassadors, urging them to form a connection by marriage and to give him in marriage a maiden who was a citizen of theirs; and he promised that he would win for them a large section of neighbouring territory and do all that was in his power to add to the strength of their city. [5] For since his wife, the daughter of Hermocrates, had been slain at the time the cavalry revolted,3 he was eager to beget children, in the belief that the loyalty of his offspring would be the strongest safeguard of his tyrannical power. Nevertheless, when an assembly of the people was held in Rhegium to consider Dionysius' proposal, after much discussion the Rhegians voted not to accept the marriage connection.4 [6] Now that Dionysius had failed of this design, he dispatched his ambassadors for the same purpose to the people of the Locrians.5 When they voted to approve the marriage connection, Dionysius sued for the hand of Doris, the daughter of Xenetus, who at that time was their most esteemed citizen. [7] A few days before the marriage he sent to Locri a quinquereme, the first one he had built, embellished with silver and gold furnishings; on this he had the maiden conveyed to Syracuse, where he led her into the acropolis. [8] And he also sought in marriage from among the people of his city the most notable maiden among them, Aristomache,6 for whom he dispatched a chariot drawn by four white horses to bring her to his own home.

1 398 B.C.

2 The Strait of Messina.

3 Cp. Book 13.112.4.

4 More on the reply in chap. 107.

5 The Epizephyrian Locrians in the "toe" of Italy.

6 Daughter of Hipparinus and sister of the famous Dion (Book 16.6).

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