For instance Dionysius at
once selected such citizens as were without property but bold in spirit, more than a thousand
in number, provided them with costly arms, and buoyed them up with extravagant promises; the
mercenaries also he won to himself by calling them to him and conversing with them in friendly
fashion. He made changes also in the military posts, conferring their commands upon his most
faithful followers; and Dexippus the Lacedaemonian he dismissed to Greece, for he was
suspicious of this man lest he should seize a favourable opportunity and restore to the
Syracusans their liberty.
He also called to himself the
mercenaries in Gela and gathered from all quarters the exiles and impious, hoping that in these
men the tyranny would find its strongest support. While in Syracuse, however, he took up his
quarters in the naval station, having openly proclaimed himself tyrant. Although the Syracusans
were offended, they were compelled to keep quiet; for they were unable to effect anything now,
since not only was the city thronged with mercenary soldiers but the people were filled with
fear of the Carthaginians who possessed such powerful armaments.
Now Dionysius straightway married the daughter of Hermocrates, the conqueror of the
and gave his
sister in marriage to Polyxenus, the brother of Hermocrates' wife. This he did out of a desire
to draw a distinguished house into relationship with him in order to make firm the tyranny.
After this he summoned an assembly and had his most influential opponents, Daphnaeus and
Demarchus, put to death.
Dionysius, from a scribe and ordinary private citizen, had become tyrant of the largest city of
the Greek world2
; and he maintained his dominance until his death, having ruled
as tyrant for thirty-eight years.3
But we shall give a detailed account of his deeds
and of the expansion of his rule in connection with the appropriate periods of time; for it
seems that this man, single-handed, established the strongest and longest tyranny of any
recorded by history.
Carthaginians, after their capture of the city,4
transferred to Carthage both the votive offerings and statues and every other
object of greatest value, and when they had burned down the temples and plundered the city,
they spent the winter there. And in the springtime they made ready every kind of engine of war
and of missile, planning to lay siege first to the city of the Geloans.