But when Dion replied that it was only fair to surrender to
the Syracusans the acropolis with the reservation of certain property and privileges, Dionysius
was ready to surrender the citadel to the people on the condition that he took his mercenaries
and his property and went abroad to Italy, and Dion counselled the Syracusans to accept his
offer. But the people, persuaded by their inopportune demagogues, refused, believing that they
could forcibly make the tyrant surrender by siege.
Dionysius left the best of his mercenaries to guard the citadel, while he himself, putting his
possessions and all his royal paraphernalia on board ship, sailed off secretly and put ashore
But the Syracusans were divided into two factions,
some being of the opinion that they should entrust the generalship and supreme power in the
state to Heracleides because it was believed that he would never aim at tyrannical power, and
the others declaring that Dion should have the supremacy over the entire government.
Furthermore, large sums for wages were due to the Peloponnesian mercenaries who had liberated
Syracuse and the city was short of funds, so the mercenaries, deprived of their money, banded
together in excess of three thousand, and since all had been selected for meritorious conduct
and because of their training in actual warfare were hardened veterans, they were far more than
a match for the Syracusans in valour.
As for Dion, when he was
asked by the mercenaries to join their revolt and to take vengeance upon the Syracusans as a
common enemy, he at first refused, but later, under compulsion of the critical circumstances,
he accepted the command of the mercenaries, and with them marched off to Leontini.
The Syracusans in a body set out to pursue the mercenaries, and, having
engaged them on the way and lost many men,1
Dion, who had defeated them in a brilliant battle, harboured no grudge toward the Syracusans,
for when they sent him a herald to arrange for the removal of the dead he granted them
permission and set free without ransom the captives, who were numerous. For many who were on
the point of being slain in their flight declared that they were on Dion's side and all for
this reason escaped death.2