these events were taking place, in Sicily Dionysius, the tyrant of the Syracusans, resolved to
plant cities on the Adriatic Sea. His idea in doing this was to get control of the Ionian
in order that he might make the route to Epeirus safe and have there
his own cities which could give haven to ships. For it was his intent to descend unexpectedly
with great armaments upon the regions about Epeirus and to sack the temple at Delphi, which was
filled with great wealth.
Consequently he made an alliance
with the Illyrians with the help of Alcetas the Molossian, who was at the time an exile and
spending his days in Syracuse. Since the Illyrians were at war, he dispatched to them an allied
force of two thousand soldiers and five hundred suits of Greek armour. The Illyrians
distributed the suits of armour among their choicest warriors and incorporated the soldiers
among their own troops.
Now that they had gathered a large
army, they invaded Epeirus and would have restored Alcetas to the kingship over the Molossians.
But when no one paid any attention to them, they first ravaged the country, and after that,
when the Molossians drew up against them, there followed a sharp battle in which the Illyrians
were victorious and slew more than fifteen thousand Molossians. After such a disaster befell
the inhabitants of Epeirus, the Lacedaemonians, as soon as they had learned the facts, sent a
force to give aid to the Molossians, by means of which they curbed the barbarians' great
While these events
were taking place, the Parians, in accordance with an oracle, sent out a colony to the
Adriatic, founding it on the island of Pharos, as it is called, with the co-operation of the
tyrant Dionysius. He had already dispatched a colony to the Adriatic not many years previously
and had founded the city known as Lissus.
From this as his
base Dionysius . . .2
Since he had the leisure, he built dockyards with a capacity for two hundred triremes and threw
about the city a wall of such size that its circuit was the greatest possessed by any Greek
city. He also constructed large gymnasia along the Anapus River,3
and likewise temples
of the gods and whatever else would contribute to the growth and renown of the city.