), a Syracusan, son of Deinomenes and brother of Gelon, the tyrant of Syracuse. His name was inscribed together with those of his three brothers on the tripods dedicated by Gelon to commemorate his victory at Himera, B. C. 480, whence we may conclude that Polyzelus himself bore a part in the success of that memorable day. (Schol. ad Pind. pyth.
At his death, in B. C. 478, Gelon left the sovereign power to his brother Hieron, but bequeathed the hand of his widow Demarete. the daughter of Theron, together with the command of the army, to Polyzelus, who by this means obtained a degree of power and influence, which quickly excited the jealousy of Hieron.
The latter in consequence deputed his brother to assist the Crotoniats, who had applied to him for support against the Sybarites, in hopes that he might perish in the war. Polyzelus, according to one account, refused to comply, and was, in consequence, driven into exile; but other authors state that he undertook the enterprise, and brought the war to a successful termination, but by this means only inflamed the jealousy of Hieron still more. and was ultimately compelled to quit Syracuse in consequence.
He took refuge at the court of his father-in-law Theron, who readily espoused his cause, and even took up arms for the purpose of restoring Polyzelus to his country; but the war between Theron and Hieron was brought to a close by the intervention of the poet Simonides, and a reconciliation effected between the two brothers, in pursuance of which Polyzelus returned to Syracuse, and was restored to all his former honours.
He appears after this to have continued on friendly terms with Hieron during the remainder of his life; the date of his death is not mentioned, but it is evident that he must have died before Hieron, as the latter was succeeded by his youngest brother Thrasybulus. (Diod. 11.48
; Schol. ad Pind. Ol. H.
init. and ib. 29; Ael. VH 9.1
The above circumstances are narrated with considerable variations by Diodorus and the scholiast, who has himself given more than one account, but the preceding version. which rests mainly on the authority of Tinmaeis, appears the most consistent and probable.