2. Tyrant of Cumae in Campania, a contemporary of Tarquinius Superbus. His history is related at great length by Dionysius.
He was of a distinguished family, and surnamed Μαλακός
,--respecting the meaning of which the ancients themselves are not agreed.
By his bravery and popular arts, he gained the favour of the people; and having caused many of the nobles to be put to death, or sent into exile, he made himself tyrant of Cumae, B. C. 502.
He secured his usurped power by surrounding himself with a strong body-guard, by disarming the people, removing the male descendants of the exiled nobles from the town, and compelling them to perform servile labour in the country.
In addition to this, the whole of the young generation of Cumae were educated in an effeminate and enervating manner.
In this way he maintained himself for several years, until at last the exiled nobles and their sons, supported by Campanians and mercenaries, recovered the possession of Cumae, and took cruel vengeance on Aristodemus and his family. (Dionys. vii. p. 418, &c., ed. Sylb.; Diod. Fragm. lib.
vii. in the "Excerpt. de Virt. et Vit.;" Suidas, s. v. Ἀριστόδημος
According to Plutarch (de Virt. Mulier.
p. 261), he assisted the Romans against the Etruscans, who endeavoured to restore the Tarquins.
According to Livy (2.21
), Tarquinius Superbus took refuge at the court of this tyrant, and died there. (Comp. Niebuhr, Hist. of Rome,
i. p. 553, &c.)