previous next

Now that all the city had put on the garb of freedom in exchange for that of slavery and that fortune had changed the sullen looks of the tyranny to festival gaiety, every house was filled with sacrificing and rejoicing, as the citizens burnt incense on their own hearths, thanked the gods for their present blessings, and offered hopeful prayers for blessings to come. The women too raised great shouts of joy for the unexpected good fortune and gathered together in throngs throughout the whole city. [2] There was no freeman, no slave, no stranger who did not hasten to gaze upon Dion, and all applauded the man's valour in terms too exalted for a mere mortal.1 And they had good reason for such feelings because of the magnitude and unexpected nature of the change; for after having experienced fifty years2 of slavery and forgotten the meaning of freedom through the lapse of time, they were suddenly released from their misfortune by the valour of a single man. [3]

Dionysius himself at this time chanced to be sojourning near Caulonia3 in Italy, and he sent for Philistus4 his general, who was cruising the Adriatic, to come with his fleet and ordered him to sail to Syracuse. Both men made haste to reach the same spot, but Dionysius arrived seven days after the return of Dion. [4] Immediately, then, on his arrival, desirous of outmanoeuvring the Syracusans, he sent an embassy to make peace, and gave many indications that he would surrender his power as tyrant to the people and would accept of the people's government important privileges in exchange. He requested them to dispatch envoys to him so that he might sit in conference with them and bring the war to an end.5 [5] The Syracusans, accordingly, elated with hopes, dispatched as envoys the most important of their men; but Dionysius, having placed them under guard, postponed the conference and, observing that the Syracusans because of their hope of peace were lax in the matter of garrisons and unprepared for a battle, suddenly opened the gates of the citadel on the Island,6 and issued forth with his army in battle array.

1 ὥσπερ ἱεράν τινα καὶ θεοπρεπῆ πομπήν (Plut. Dion 28.3) and προστρεπομένων ὥσπερ θεὸν κατευχαῖς (Plut. Dion 29.1).

2 Forty-eight in Plut. Dion 28.3, 405-357 B.C.

3 See chap. 10.2 and note.

4 This is the historian (see Book 15.89.3 and 94.4) who aided Dionysius the Elder to secure his tyranny (Book 13.91.4), was driven into exile by him and presently recalled (Book 15.7.3-4).

5 See Plut. Dion 30.1-3.

6 The island of Ortygia, which is actually attached to the mainland, stretches south, leaving a narrow passage of twelve hundred yards as the mouth of the Great Harbour between itself and Plemmyrium. Ortygia had been strongly fortified by Dionysius the Elder.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1989)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (9 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: