Hiero Defeates the Mamertines
He noticed that among the Syracusans the despatch of
Secures support of Leptines by marrying his daughter.
troops, and of magistrates in command of them, was always the
signal for revolutionary movements of some sort or another.
He knew, too, that of all the citizens Leptines
enjoyed the highest position and credit, and that
among the common people especially he was
by far the most influential man existing. He
accordingly contracted a relationship by marriage with him, that
he might have a representative of his interests left at home at
such times as he should be himself bound to go abroad with
the troops for a campaign. After marrying the daughter of
this man, his next step was in regard to the
His device for getting rid of mutinous mercenaries.
He observed that they were
disaffected and mutinous: and he accordingly
led out an expedition, with the ostensible purpose of attacking the foreigners who were in occupation of
. He pitched a camp against the enemy near
Centuripa, and drew up his line resting on the
But the cavalry and infantry, which consisted of citizens, he kept together under his
personal command at some distance, on pretence of intending
to attack the enemy on another quarter: the mercenaries he
thrust to the front and allowed them to be completely cut to
pieces by the foreigners; while he seized the moment of their
rout to affect a safe retreat for himself and the citizens into
. This stroke of policy was skilful and successful. He
had got rid of the mutinous and seditious element in the army;
and after enlisting on his own account a sufficient body of mercenaries, he thenceforth carried on the business of the government in security.
Hiero next attacks the Mamertines and defeats them near Mylae, B. C. 268.
But seeing that the Mamertines were encouraged by their success to
greater confidence and recklessness in their
excursions, he fully armed and energetically
drilled the citizen levies, led them out, and
engaged the enemy on the Mylaean plain near
the River Longanus. He inflicted a severe defeat upon them:
took their leaders prisoners: put a complete end to their
audacious proceedings: and on his return to Syracuse
himself greeted by all the allies with the title of King.