), tyrant of HERACLEIA on the Euxine.
He was a son of Clearchus, who had assumed the tyranny in his native place, and was succeeded by his son Timotheus.
After the death of the latter, Dionysius succeeded in the tyranny, about the time of the battle of Chaeroneia, B. C. 338.
After the destruction of the Persian empire by Alexander the Great, Dionysius attempted to extend his dominions in Asia.
In the meantime, some of the citizens of Heracleia, who had been driven into exile by their tyrants, applied to Alexander
to restore the republican government at Heracleia, but Dionysius, with the assistance of Alexander's
sister, Cleopatra, contrived to prevent any steps being taken to that effect.
But still he does not appear to have felt very safe in his position, as we may conjecture from the extreme delight with which he received the news of Alexander's
death, in consequence of which he erected a statue of εὐφυμία
, that is, joy or peace of mind.
The exiled Heracleans now applied to Perdiccas, against whom Dionysius endeavoured to secure himself by joining his enemies. Dionysius therefore married Amastris, the former wife of Craterus, who secured to him considerable advantages.
A friendship with Antigonus was formed by assisting him in his war against Asander, and Ptolemy, the nephew of Antigonus, married Dionysius's daughter by his first wife. Dionysius thus remained in the undisturbed possession of the tyranny for many years. In B. C. 306, when the surviving generals of Alexander
assumed the title of kings, Dionysius followed their example, but he died soon after.
He was an unusually fat man, which increased at length to such a degree that he could take no food, which was therefore introduced into his stomach by artificial means.
At last, however, he was choked by his own fiat.
He is said to have been the mildest and justest of all the tyrants that had ever lived.
He was succeeded by his son Zathras, and, after the death of the latter, by his second son Clearchus II.
The death of Dionysius must have taken place h B. C. 306 or 305, as, according to Diodorus, he died at the age of 55, and after a reign of 32 years, for which others say 33 years. (Diod. 16.88
; Athen. 12.549
; Aelian, Ael. VH 9.13
; Memnon, apud Phot. Cod.