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Character of Hiero II

For, in the first place, Hiero gained the sovereignty of
Character of Hiero II., King of Syracuse, from B. C. 269 to B. C. 215.
Syracuse and her allies by his own unaided abilities without inheriting wealth, or reputation, or any other advantage of fortune. And, in the second place, was established king of Syracuse without putting to death, banishing, or harassing any one of the citizens,—which is the most astonishing circumstance of all. And what is quite as surprising as the innocence of his acquisition of power is the fact that it did not change his character. For during a reign of fifty-four years he preserved peace for the country, maintained his own power free from all hostile plots, and entirely escaped the envy which generally follows greatness; for though he tried on several occasions to lay down his power, he was prevented by the common remonstrances of the citizens. And having shown himself most beneficent to the Greeks, and most anxious to earn their good opinion, he left behind him not merely a great personal reputation but also a universal feeling of goodwill towards the Syracusans. Again, though he passed his life in the midst of the greatest wealth, luxury, and abundance, he survived for more than ninety years, in full possession of his senses and with all parts of his body unimpaired; which, to my mind, is a decisive proof of a well-spent life. . . .

Gelo, his son, in a life of more than fifty years

Gelo, son of Hiero II., associated with his father in the kingdom, B. C. 216. See 5, 88, Livy, 23, 30
regarded it as the most honourable object of ambition to obey his father, and to regard neither wealth, nor sovereign power, nor anything else as of higher value than love and loyalty to his parents. . . .

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    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 23, 30
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