And now that his enterprise had been so successful, he thought it not right to enjoy his present good fortune before distributing thanks to his friends, rewards to his allies, and particularly to his Athenian associates and to his mercenaries some mark of kindness and honour, his generosity leading him beyond his resources.
But as for himself, he lived with simplicity and moderation on what he had, and men wondered at him because, while his successes drew upon him the eyes not only of Sicily and Carthage, but also of all Hellas, and while he was regarded by the people of that time as the greatest of living men, and was thought to be blessed with courage and good fortune beyond any other commander, he was nevertheless so modest in his dress, his attendance, and his table, just as though he were messing with Plato in the Academy, and not living among captains of mercenaries and paid soldiers, who find in their daily feastings, and other enjoyments, a solace for their toils and perils.
Plato, indeed, wrote to him1
that the eyes of all the world were now fixed upon him alone, but Dion himself, as it would seem, kept his eyes fixed upon one spot in one city, namely, the Academy, and considered that his spectators and judges there admired neither great exploits nor boldness nor victories, but watched to see only whether he made a discreet and decorous use of his good fortune, and showed himself modest in his high estate.
Nevertheless, he made it a point not to remit or relax at all the gravity of his manners or his haughtiness in dealing with the people, although his situation called for a gracious demeanour, and although Plato, as I have said,2
wrote and warned him that self-will was
‘a companion of solitude.’ But he seems to have been of a temper naturally averse to graciousness, and, besides, he was ambitious to curb the Syracusans, who were given to excessive license and luxury.