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ἴσα ἔτεα: for seven years, 498-491 B. C.

There were in Sicily three towns called Hybla all originally Sicel. The first was superseded by the Greek colony Megara (Strabo 268), on the coast ten miles north of Syracuse; the Sicel town stood on a little height north of the hill of Megara. Thucydides calls the town Megara (vi. 49, 94), and H. its citizens Megarians (ch. 156. 2); both record its destruction by Gelo in 483 B. C. (ch. 156; Th. vi. 4). The second, called by Thucydides (vi. 62) Γελεᾶτις, was in his time still a Sicel town (vi. 94); it is called by Pausanias (v. 23. 4) Γερεᾶτις, and by Steph. Byz. s. v. and Cicero (de Div. i. 20, 39) apparently Γαλεῶτις. It lay in the territory of Catana (Paus. l. c.), between Catana and Centuripa (Thuc. vi. 94), and may be placed at Paterno, where an inscription has been found, ‘Veneri victrici Hyblensi.’ The third, called Ἡραία, on the road between Gela and Syracuse (Itin. Anton. p. 89), may be placed at or near Ragusa; almost certainly it is the place here meant. Cf. further Holm, G. S. i. 363, 365; Freeman, S. i, pp. 512f.

Σικελούς: cf. ch. 170. 1.


γαμόροι. The name, Doric in form, clearly comes from local Sicilian sources. Like the γεωμόροι of Samos (Thuc. viii. 21), they were a land-holding aristocracy. Probably the earliest settlers secured for themselves exclusive possession of the full rights of citizenship, and especially of holding land (ἔγκτησις γῆς). Their holdings were cultivated by serfs (δοῦλοι), probably the relics of the old native population reduced to a position of villeinage.

The Κυλλύριοι or Καλλικύριοι, who drove out their masters the Γαμόροι (Timaeus, fr. 56; F. H. G. i. 204), were compared by Aristotle in his Syracusan constitution to the Helots, the Penestae in Thessaly, and the Clarotae in Crete (F. H. G. i. 170). The γαμόροι formed a high court of justice like the comitia at Rome (Diod. viii. 11). The fall of the γαμόροι is connected by Aristotle (Pol. v. 4. 1, 1303 b 20) and Plutarch (Mor. 825 C) with a private feud. It probably took place but a few years before Gelo mastered Syracuse, perhaps only after the defeat of the Syracusans on the Helorus (ch. 154). Clearly the excluded Demos, the town population mainly of Greek origin, joined with native serfs against their masters (cf. Dionys. Hal. vi. 62; Ar. Pol. v. 3, 5, 1302 b 32; and in general Freeman, S. ii. pp. 11-15, 436-9).

Κασμένης, or Casmenae, founded from Syracuse in 645 B. C. (Thuc. vi. 5); it is to be placed probably at Spaccaforno (Freeman, S. ii. 25, 26).

ἔσχε. Gelo reigned seven years (Ar. Pol. v. 12, 1315 b 36); probably 485-478 B. C. He is still called Geloan on his offering for victory at Olympia in 488-487 B. C. (Paus. vi. 9. 4). Hence Pausanias' statement that he became lord of Syracuse in 491 B. C. is a confusion between the beginning of his rule at Syracuse and his first attainment of tyranny at Gela (cf. Busolt, ii. 779 n. 3).

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Aristotle, Politics, 5.1302b
    • Aristotle, Politics, 5.1315b
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 6.9.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.94
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.21
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