), a citizen of Rhegium, who was chosen by his countrymen to be their general, when the city was besieged by the elder Dionysius, B. C. 388.
He animated the Rhegians to the most vigorous defence, and displayed all the qualities and resources of an able general, as well as a brave warrior; and it was in great measure owing to him that the siege was protracted for a space of more than eleven months.
At length, however, the besieged were compelled by famine to surrender, and the heroic Phyton fell into the hands of the tyrant, who, after treating him with the most cruel indignities, put him to death, together with his son and all his other relations (Diod. 14.108
). Diodorus tells us that the virtues and unhappy fate of Phyton were a favourite subject of lamentation with the Greek poets, but none of these passages have come down to us.
The only other author now extant who mentions the name of Phyton is Philostratus (Vit. Apoll.
1.35, 7.2), who appears to have followed a version of his story wholly different from that of Diodorus.
According to this, Phyton was an exile from Rhegium, who had taken refuge at the court of Dionysius, and enjoyed high favour with the tyrant, but on discovering his designs against Rhegimn gave information of them to his countrymen, and was put to death by Dionysius in consequence.