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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 old mercenaries.
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 Messene. He pitched a camp against the enemy near Centuripa, and drew up his line resting on the River Cyamosorus.
Fiume Salso.
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 Syracuse. 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 was himself greeted by all the allies with the title of King.

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268 BC (1)
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