Diodorus Siculus

BOOK XIV - The Library of History

Page 364


Dionysius his Actions in Sicily. The Oropians subdu'd by the Thebans. The Lacedaemonians quarrel with the Eleans. Dionysius fortifies the Epipodae.

AS soon as Dionysius the Tyrant of Syracuse, after his Peace made with the Carthaginians, had quieted all at home, he prepar'd to bring all the Towns and Cities of the Chalcideans into his Power; that is to say, Naxus, Catana, and Leontiúm. And he was the more earnest to gain these, because they lay near unto Syracuse, and would much facilitate the Enlargement of his Dominions. To this end he marches with his Forces to Enna, and takes the Castle, the Exiles there not being able to resist so great an Army.

Thence he goes against the Leontines, and encamps at the River Tyria, not far from the City, where he presently draws out his Army, and sends a Trumpet to the Town, commanding them to surrender the Place, supposing that out of Fear they would submit. But when he perceiv'd the Leontines slighted his Commands, and prepar'd to furnish themselves with all things necessary for a Siege; having not then with him his Engines of Battery, he drew off for the present, and wasted and spoil'd the Country round about.

Thence he march'd against the Siculi, pretending these were the People he chiefly aim'd at in the War, thereby to make the Naxians and Cataneans the more secure. When he lay near to Enna, he persuaded Acimnestus of Enna to take upon him the Sovereignty, promising to assist him. This Acimnestus accomplish'd. But when he would not receive Dionysius into the City, he began to storm, and change his Measures, and stirr'd up the Enneans to throw off his Authority. Upon this, toregain their Liberty, they suddenly ran together arm'd into the Market place; and now the City was full of Tumult and Confusion; at which instant Dionysius hearing of the Sedition, and getting together his trustiest Friends, he advanc'd to a Place where was no Guard, and there on a sudden rushing into the City, takes Acimnestus, and delivers him up to the Wills of the Enneans, and return'd without doing any hurt to the Place. Not that he did this either out of Love to Justice, or to them; but that he might be trusted for the future by the rest of the Cities.

Removing from thence, he besieg'd the City of Erbita; but not succeeding there, he made Peace with them, and led away his Army against Catana; for Arcesilaus the Governor had promis'd to betray it: And in accomplishment of his Treachery, about midnight let him in within the Walls, and so he gain'd the City. Then he disarm'd all the Citizens, and plac'd there a sufficient Garison. Afterwards Procles the General of the Naxians (won over by Promises of great Rewards) betray'd the City to Dionysius. When he had rewarded the Traitor, and set all his Kindred at liberty, he raz'd the City, and gave the Spoil thereof to his Soldiers, and carry'd away all the rest of the Citizens as Slaves. He dealt not better with the Inhabitants of Catana, whom he sold for Slaves to the Syracusians. The Country of the Naxians he gave to the neighbouring Sicilians, but the City of Catana he bestow'd upon the Campanians for an Habitation.

From thence he again mov'd to Leontum and besieg'd it with all his Forces, and by his Messengers requir'd them to submit to his Government, and join themselves as one Body to the City of Syracuse. The Leontines seeing no hope of Relief, and considering the ruine of the Naxians and Cataneans, were seiz'd with great terror, lest they themselves should be swallow'd up in the like destruction, therefore they concluded it most advisable to yield to the present time, and so submitted to the Conditions offered, and left their Country, and went to Syracuse.

Archonide, Prince of the Erbitans (after the People of Erbita had made peace with Dionysius determin'd to build a new City, for he had many Mercenaries, and a mixt multitude of Strangers who fled thither for fear of the War by Dionysius; and many likewise of Erbita freely gave up their Names to follow him to this new intended Colony. With this multitude he possess'd himself of a little Hill, Eight Stages or Furlongs from the Sea, and there laid the foundation of the City Alesa: But because there were other Cities in Sicily that bore that name, he added to it, as it were, a Sirname, and call'd it from himself Alesa Archonidis. In process of time when the City abounded in wealth, partly by reason of its Traffick by Sea, and Priviledges granted to it by the Romans:

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