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Sosi'stratus

2. A Syracusan who, together with THOENON or THYNION, for a time held the supreme power in his native city, during the interval of confusion which preceded the arrival of Pyrrhus. After the expulsion of Hicetas (about B. C. 279), Thynion alone is mentioned as succeeding him in the chief direction of affairs, but we soon after find Sosistratus dividing with him the power. Our imperfect accounts however give us very little idea of the real state of affairs. It appears that Sosistratus and Thynion both relied upon the support of foreign mercenaries : and were engaged in civil war with one another, in which the former had the advantage, and occupied the city of Syracuse, while Thynion fortified himself in the island citadel. Sosistratus was also master of Agrigentum and not less than thirty other cities, and found himself at the head of a force of 10.000 troops, so that he would probably have crushed his rival, had it not been for the arrival of the Carthaginians, who laid siege to Syracuse both by sea and land. Thus oppressed at once by civil dissensions and external enemies, both parties implored the assistance of Pyrrhus, and on his arrival Sosistratus surrendered the city into his hands, and Thynion the citadel. A reconciliation was now effected between the rivals, who thenceforth supported Pyrrhus with their joint efforts; and Sosistratus placed all the cities and troops at his disposal in the hands of the king, while he assisted him in recovering Agrigentum, which had fallen into the hands of the Carthaginians. For these services however, he met with no gratitude; the arrogance of Pyrrhus having alienated the minds of all the Sicilians and rendered the king in return suspicious of all the leading men among them, he took an opportunity to put Thynion to death, and Sosistratus narrowly escaped sharing the same fate. His name is not again mentioned.


Further Information

Diod. xxii. Exc. Hoeschel. p. 495-497; Dionys. Exc. 19.6-8. pp. 2360-2362, ed Reiske; Plut. Pyrrh. 23.


Sostratus vs. Sosistratus

The name is written Sostratus in many manuscripts and editions, but the form Sosistratus appears to be the more correct.

[E.H.B]

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279 BC (1)
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