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This webpage reproduces a portion of
The Library of History

Diodorus Siculus

published in Vol. VI
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1954

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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(Vol. VI) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

(Book XIV, continued)

 p267  97 1 At the close of the year, in Athens Nicoteles was archon, and in Rome the consular magistracy was administered by three military tribunes, Marcus Furius and Gaius Aemilius.​1 After these magistrates had entered office, the philo-Lacedaemonians among the Rhodians rose up against the party of the people and expelled from the city the partisans of the Athenians. 2 When these banded together under arms and endeavoured to maintain their interests, the allies of the Lacedaemonians got the upper hand, slaughtered many, and formally banished those who escaped. They also at once sent ambassadors to Lacedaemon to get aid, fearing that some of the citizens would rise in revolt. 3 The Lacedaemonians dispatched to them seven triremes and three men to take charge of affairs, Eudocimus,​2 Philocodus, and Diphilas. They first reached Samos and brought that city over from the Athenians, and then they put in at Rhodes and assumed the oversight of affairs there. 4 The Lacedaemonians, now that their affairs were  p269 prospering, resolved to get control of the sea, and after gathering a naval force they again little by little began to get the upper hand over their allies. So they put in at Samos and Cnidus and Rhodes; and gathering ships from every place and enrolling the choicest marines, they equipped lavishly twenty-seven triremes.

5 Agesilaüs,​3 the king of the Lacedaemonians, on hearing that the Argives were engaged about Corinth, led forth the Lacedaemonians in full force with the exception of one regiment. He visited every part of Argolis, pillaged the homesteads, cut down the trees over the countryside, and then returned to Sparta.

98 1 In Cyprus Evagoras of Salamis, who was of most noble birth, since he was descended from the founders of the city,​4 but had previously been banished because of some factional quarrels and had later returned in company with a small group, drove out Abdemon of Tyre, who was lord of the city and a friend of the King of the Persians. When he took control of the city, Evagoras was at first king only of Salamis, the largest and strongest of the cities of Cyprus; but when he soon acquired great resources and mobilized an army, he set out to make the whole island his own. 2 Some of the cities he subdued by force and others he won over by persuasion. While he easily gained control of the other cities, the peoples of Amathus,  p271 Soli, and Citium resisted him with arms and dispatched ambassadors to Artaxerxes the King of the Persians to get his aid. They accused Evagoras of having slain King Agyris, an ally of the Persians, and promised to join the King in acquiring the island for him. 3 The King, not only because he did not wish Evagoras to grow any stronger, but also because he appreciated the strategic position of Cyprus and its great naval strength whereby it would be able to protect Asia in front, decided to accept the alliance. He dismissed the ambassadors and for himself sent letters to the cities situated on the sea and to their commanding satraps to construct triremes and with all speed to make ready everything the fleet might need; and he commanded Hecatomnus, the ruler of Caria, to make war upon Evagoras. 4 Hecatomnus traversed the cities of the upper satrapies and crossed over to Cyprus in strong force.

5 Such was the state of affairs in Asia. In Italy the Romans concluded peace with the Falisci and waged war for the fourth time on the Aequi; they also sent a colony to Sutrium but were expelled by the enemy from the city of Verrugo.

99 1 At the close of this year Demostratus was archon in Athens, and in Rome the consuls Lucius Lucretius and Servilius​5 took office. At this time Artaxerxes sent Struthas as general to the coast with an army to make war on the Lacedaemonians, and the Spartans, when they learned of his arrival, dispatched  p273 Thibron as general to Asia. Thibron seized the stronghold of Ionda and a high mountain, Cornissus,​6 forty stades from Ephesus. 2 He then advanced with eight thousand soldiers together with the troops gathered from Asia, pillaging the King's territory. Struthas, with a strong force of barbarian cavalry, five thousand hoplites, and more than twenty thousand light-armed troops, pitched his camp not far from the Lacedaemonians. 3 Eventually, when Thibron once set out with a detachment of his troops and had seized much booty, Struthas attacked and slew him in battle, killed the larger number of his troops, and took captive others. A few found safety in Cnidinium, an outpost.

4 Thrasybulus, the Athenian general, went with his fleet from Lesbos to Aspendus and moored his triremes in the Eurymedon River. Although he had received contributions from the Aspendians, some of the soldiers, nevertheless, pillaged the countryside. When night came, the Aspendians, angered at such unfairness, attacked the Athenians and slew both Thrasybulus and a number of the others; whereupon the captains of the Athenian vessels, greatly alarmed, speedily manned the ships and sailed off to Rhodes. 5 Since this city was in revolt, they joined the exiles who had seized a certain outpost and waged war on the men who held the city. When the Athenians learned of the death of their general Thrasybulus, they sent out Agyrius as general.

Such was the state of affairs in Asia.

 p275  100 1 In Sicily Dionysius, the tyrant of the Syracusans, with intent to annex the Greeks of Italy as well to the overlord­ship that he held in the island, postponed the general war against them to another time. He judged rather that it was good policy to attack first the city of the Rhegians, because it was the advanced bastion of Italy, and so set out from Syracuse with his army. 2 He had twenty thousand infantry, a thousand cavalry, and one hundred and twenty ships of war. He crossed with his troops to the borders of Locris and from there made his way through the interior, cutting down the trees and burning and destroying the territory of the Rhegians. His fleet sailed along to the other districts​7 upon the sea and he encamped with his entire army at the Strait. 3 When the Italians learned that Dionysius had crossed the sea to attack Rhegium, they dispatched sixty ships from Croton, with intent to hand them over to the Rhegians. While this fleet was cruising on the high sea, Dionysius sailed against them with fifty ships, and when the fleet fled to land, he pressed his attack no less vigorously and began to make fast and haul off the ships that were lying off-shore. 4 Since the sixty triremes were in danger of being captured, the Rhegians came to their aid in full force and held Dionysius off from the land by the multitude of their missiles. When a heavy storm arose, the Rhegians hauled up the ships high and dry on the land, but Dionysius lost seven ships in the  p277 heavy gale and together with them no fewer than fifteen hundred men. 5 Since the sailors were cast ashore together with their ships on Rhegian territory, many of them were taken prisoner by the Rhegians. Dionysius, who was on a quinquereme and many times narrowly escaped foundering, about midnight barely found safety in the harbour of Messenê. Since the winter season had already come, he drew up terms of alliance with the Leucani and led his forces back to Syracuse.

101 1 After this, when the Leucanians overran the territory of Thurii, the Thurians sent word to their allies to gather to them speedily under arms. For the Greek cities of Italy had an agreement among themselves to the effect that if any city's territory was being plundered by the Leucanians, they should all come to its aid, and that if any city's army did not take up a position to give aid, the generals of that city should be put to death. 2 Consequently, when the Thurians dispatched messengers to the cities to tell of the approach of the enemy, they all made ready to march. But the Thurians, who were first off the mark in their actions, did not wait for the troops of their allies, but set forth against the Leucanians with above fourteen thousand infantry and about one thousand cavalry. 3 The Leucanians, on hearing of the approach of the enemy, withdrew to their own territory, and the Thurians, falling in haste upon Leucania, captured the first outpost and gathered much booty, thus taking the bait, as it were, for their own destruction.  p279 For having become puffed with pride at their success, they advanced with light concern through some narrow and sheer paths, in order to lay siege to the prosperous city of Laüs. 4 When they had arrived at a certain plain surrounded by lofty hills and precipitous cliffs, thereupon the Leucanians with their entire army cut them off from retreat to their native soil. Making their appearance, which was quite unexpected and unconcealed, on the height, they filled the Greeks with dismay, both because of the great size of the army and because of the difficulty of the terrain; for the Leucanians had at the time thirty thousand infantry and no less than four thousand cavalry.

102 1 When the Greeks were to their surprise caught in such hopeless peril as we have described, the barbarians descended into the plain. A battle took place and there fell of the Italian Greeks, overwhelmed as they were by the multitude of the Leucanians, more than ten thousand men, since the Leucanians gave orders to save no one alive. Of the survivors some fled to a height on the sea, and others, seeing warships sailing toward them and thinking they belonged to the Rhegians, fled in a body to the sea and swam out to the triremes. 2 The approaching fleet belonged to Dionysius the tyrant, under the command of his brother Leptines, and had been sent to the aid of the Leucanians. Leptines received the swimmers kindly, set them on land, and persuaded the Leucanians to accept a mina​8 of silver for each  p281 captive, the number of whom was over a thousand. 3 Leptines went surety for the ransom money, reconciled the Italian Greeks with the Leucanians, and persuaded them to conclude peace. He won great acclaim among the Italian Greeks, having settled the war, as he had, to his own advantage, but without any profit to Dionysius. For Dionysius hoped that, if the Italian Greeks were embroiled in war with the Leucanians, he might appear and easily make himself master of affairs in Italy, but if they were rid of such a dangerous war, his success would be difficult. Consequently he relieved Leptines of his command​9 and appointed Thearides, his other brother, commander of the fleet.

4 Subsequent to these events the Romans portioned out in allotments the territory of the Veians, giving each holder four plethra, but according to other accounts, twenty-eight.​10 The Romans were at war with the Aequi and took by storm the city of Liphlus;​11 and they began war upon the people of Velitrae, who had revolted. Satricum also revolted from the Romans; and they dispatched a colony to Cercii.

103 1 When the year had ended, in Athens Antipater was archon, and in Rome Lucius Valerius and Aulus Mallius administered the consular magistracy. This year Dionysius, the lord of the Syracusans, openly indicated his design of an attack on Italy and set forth from Syracuse with a most formidable force. 2 He had more than twenty thousand infantry, some  p283 three thousand cavalry, forty ships of war, and not less than three hundred vessels transporting food supplies. On arriving at Messenê on the fifth day he rested his troops in the city, while he dispatched his brother Thearides with thirty ships to the islands of the Liparaeans, since he had learned that ten ships of the Rhegians were in those waters. 3 Thearides, sailing forth and coming upon the ten Rhegian ships in a place favourable to his purpose, seized the ships together with their crews and speedily returned to Dionysius at Messenê. Dionysius threw the prisoners in chains and turned them over to the custody of the Messenians; then he transported his army to Caulonia, laid siege to the city, advanced his siege-engines, and launched frequent assaults.

4 When the Greeks of Italy learned that the armaments of Dionysius were starting to move across the strait which separated them, they in turn mustered their forces. Since the city of the Crotoniates was the most heavily populated and had the largest number of exiles from Syracuse, they gave over to them the command of the war, 5 and the people of Croton gathered troops from every quarter and chose as general Heloris the Syracusan. Since this man had been banished by Dionysius and was considered by all to possess action and enterprise, it was believed that he could be best trusted, because of his hatred, to lead a war against the tyrant. When all the allies had gathered in Croton, Heloris disposed them to his liking and advanced with the entire army toward Caulonia. 6 He calculated that he would by his appearance at the same time both relieve the siege and also  p285 be in combat with the enemy worn out by their daily assaults. In all he had about twenty-five thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry.

104 1 The Italian Greeks had accomplished the major part of their march and were encamped on the Eleporus River, when Dionysius drew off from the city and advanced to meet them. Now Heloris was in the van of his army with five hundred of choicest troops and Dionysius, at it happened, was encamped forty stades from the enemy. On learning from his scouts that the enemy was near, he roused his army at early light and led it forward. 2 Meeting at daybreak the troops of Heloris, who were few in number, he engaged them in unexpected battle, and since he had his army ready for combat, he gave the enemy not a moment to recover themselves. 3 Though Heloris found himself in desperate straits, he withstood the attackers with what troops he had, while he sent some of his friends to the camp, urging them to rush up the main body of soldiers. These speedily carried out their orders, and when the Italian Greeks learned of the danger fa­cing their general and his troops, they came to their aid on the run. Meanwhile Dionysius, with his troops in close order, surrounded Heloris and his men and slew them almost to a man, though they offered a gallant resistance. 4 Since the Italian Greeks in their haste entered the fighting in scattered groups, the Sicilian Greeks, who kept their lines intact, experienced no difficulty in overcoming the enemy. Nevertheless, the Greeks of Italy maintained the fight for some time, although they saw their comrades falling in great numbers. But when  p287 they learned of the death of their general, while being greatly hampered as they fell foul of one another in their confusion, then at last they completely lost spirit and turned in flight.

105 1 Many were killed in their rout across the plain; but the main body made a safe retreat to a hill, which was strong enough to withstand a siege but had no water and could be easily contained by the enemy. Dionysius invested the hill and bivouacked under arms that day and through the night, giving careful attention to the watches. The next day the beleaguered suffered severely from the heat and lack of water. 2 They then sent a herald to Dionysius inviting him to accept ransom; he, however, did not preserve moderation in his success but ordered them to lay down their arms and put themselves at the disposal of their conqueror. This was a harsh order and they held out for some time; but when they were overborne by physical necessity, they surrendered about the eighth hour, their bodies being now weakened. 3 Dionysius took a staff and struck it on the ground while numbering the prisoners as they descended, and they amounted to more than ten thousand. All men were apprehensive of his brutality, but on the contrary he showed himself most kindly; 4 for he let the prisoners go subject to no authority without ransom, concluded peace with most of the cities, and left them independent. In return for this he received the approval of those he had favoured and was honoured with gold crowns; and  p289 men believed that this would probably be the finest act of his life.

106 1 Dionysius now advanced against Rhegium and prepared to lay siege to the city with his army because of the slight he had received in connection with his offer of marriage.​12 Deep distress gripped the Rhegians, since they had neither allies nor an army that was a match for him in battle, and they knew, furthermore, that if the city were taken, neither pity nor entreaty would be left them. 2 Therefore they decided to dispatch ambassadors to entreat him to deal moderately with them and to urge him to make no decision against them beyond what became a human being. 3 Dionysius required three hundred talents of them, took all their ships, which amounted to seventy, and ordered the delivery of one hundred hostages. When all these had been turned over, he set out against Caulonia. The inhabitants of this city he transplanted to Syracuse, gave them citizen­ship, and allowed them exemption from taxes for five years; he then levelled the city to the ground and gave the territory of the Cauloniates to the Locrians.

4 The Romans, after taking the city of Liphoecua from the people of the Aequi, held, in accordance with the vows of the consuls, great games in honour of Zeus.

107 1 At the close of the year, in Athens Pyrgion was archon and in Rome four military tribunes took over the consular magistracy, Lucius Lucretius, Servius Sulpicius, Gaius Aemilius, and Gaius Rufus,13  p291 and the Ninety-eighth Olympiad was celebrated, that in which Sosippus of Athens was the victor.​14 2 When these men had entered office, Dionysius, the lord of the Syracusans, advanced with his army to Hipponium, removed its inhabitants to Syracuse, razed the city to the ground, and apportioned its territory to the Locrians. 3 For he was continuously set upon doing the Locrians favours for the marriage they had agreed to, whereas he studied revenge upon the Rhegians for their affront with respect to the offer of kinship. For on the occasion when he sent ambassadors to them to ask them to grant him in marriage a maiden of their city, the Rhegians replied to the ambassadors by action of the people, we are told, that the only maiden they would agree to his marrying would be the daughter of their public executioner. 4 Angered because of this and believing that he had been grossly insulted, he was bent on getting revenge upon them. Indeed the peace he had concluded with them in the preceding year had come from no hankering on his part for friendly relations, but was designed to strip them of their naval water, which consisted of seventy triremes. For he believed that if the city were cut off from aid by sea he could easily reduce it by siege. 5 Consequently, while loitering in Italy, he kept seeking a plausible excuse whereby he might seem to have broken the truce without prejudice to his own standing.

108 1 Dionysius now led his forces to the Strait and made preparations to cross over. And first he asked the Rhegians to provide him with supplies for sale,  p293 promising that he would promptly return from Syracuse what they had given. He made this request in order that men should think that, if they did not provide the food, he would be justified in seizing the city, whereas if they did, he believed their food would run out and by sitting down before the city he would speedily master it by starvation. 2 The Rhegians, suspecting nothing of this, at first supplied them lavishly with food for several days; but when he kept extending his stay, at one time claiming illness and at another offering other excuses, they suspected what he had in mind and no longer furnished his army with supplies. 3 Dionysius, pretending now to be angered at this, returned the hostages to the Rhegians, laid siege to the city, and launched daily assaults upon it. He also constructed a great multitude of siege weapons of unbelievable size by which he rocked the walls in his determination to take the city by storm. 4 The Rhegians chose Phyton as general, armed all who could bear arms, gave close concern to their watches, and, as opportunity arose, sallied out and burned the enemy's siege engines. 5 Fighting brilliantly as they did for their fatherland on many occasions before the walls, they roused the anger of the enemy, and although they lost many of their own troops, they also slew no small number of the Sicilian Greeks. 6 And it happened that Dionysius himself was struck by a lance in the groin and barely escaped death, recovering with difficulty from the wound. The siege wore on because of the unsurpassable zeal the Rhegians displayed to maintain their freedom;  p295 but Dionysius held his armaments to the daily assaults and would not give up the task he had originally proposed to himself.

109 1 The Olympic Games were at hand and Dionysius dispatched to the contest several four-horse teams, which far surpassed all others in swiftness, and also pavilions for the festive occasion, which were interwoven with gold and embellished with expensive cloth of gay and varied colours. He also sent the best professional reciters that they might present his poems in the gathering and thus win glory for the name of Dionysius, for he was madly addicted to poetry. 2 In charge of all this he sent along his brother Thearides. When Thearides arrived at the gathering, he was a centre of attraction for the beauty of the pavilions and the large number of four-horse teams; and when the reciters began to present the poems of Dionysius, at first the multitude thronged together because of the pleasing voices of the actors and all were filled with wonder. But on second consideration, when they observed how poor his verses were, they laughed Dionysius to scorn and went so far to their rejection that some of them even ventured to rifle the tents. 3 Indeed the orator Lysias,​15 who was at that time in Olympia urged the multitude not to admit to the sacred festival the representatives from a most impious tyranny; and at this time he delivered his Olympiacus.​16 4 In the course of the contest chance  p297 brought it about that some of Dionysius' chariots left the course and others collided among themselves and were wrecked. Likewise the ship which was on its way to Sicily carrying the representatives from the games was wrecked by strong winds near Taras​17 in Italy. 5 Consequently the sailors who got safe to Syracuse spread the story throughout the city, we are told, that the badness of the verses caused the ill-success, not only of the reciters, but of the teams and of the ship with them. 6 When Dionysius learned of the ridicule that had been heaped upon his verses, his flatterers told him that every fair accomplishment is first an object of envy and then of admiration. He therefore did not give up his devotion to writing.

7 The Romans fought a battle at Gurasium with the Volscians and slew great numbers of the enemy.

110 1 At the conclusion of these events the year came to an end, and among the Athenians Theodotus was archon and in Rome the consular my was held by six military tribunes, Quintus Caeso Sulpicius, Aenus Caeso Fabius, Quintus Servilius, and Publius Cornelius.​18 2 After these men had entered office, the Lacedaemonians, who were hard put to it by their double war, that against the Greeks and that against the Persians, dispatched their admiral Antalcidas to Artaxerxes to treat for peace. 3 Antalcidas discussed as well as he could the circumstances of the mission and the King agreed to make peace on the following terms: "The Greek cities of Asia are subject to the King, but all the other Greeks shall be  p299 independent; and upon those who refuse compliance and do not accept these terms I shall make war through the aid of those who consent to them."​19 4 Now the Lacedaemonians consented to the terms and offered no opposition, but the Athenians and Thebans and some of the other Greeks were deeply concerned that the cities of Asia should be left in the lurch. But since they were not by themselves a match in war, they consented of necessity and accepted the peace.

5 The King, now that his difference with the Greeks was settled, made ready his armaments for the war great Cyprus. For Evagoras had got possession of almost the whole of Cyprus and gathered strong armaments, because Artaxerxes was distracted by the war against the Greeks.

111 1 It was about the eleventh month of Dionysius's siege of Rhegium, and since he had cut off relief from every direction, the inhabitants of the city were faced by a terrible dearth of the necessities of life. We are told, indeed, that at the time a medimnus of wheat among the Rhegians cost five minas.​20 2 So reduced were they by lack of food that at first they ate their horses and other beasts of burden, then fed upon boiled skins and leather, and finally they would go out from the city and eat the grass near the walls like so many cattle. To such an extent did the demand of nature compel the wants of man to turn for their satisfaction to the food of dumb animals. 3 When Dionysius learned what was taking place, far  p301 from showing mercy to those who were perforce suffering beyond man's endurance, on the contrary he brought in cattle to clear the place of the green-stuff, with the result that it was completely stripped. 4 Consequently the Rhegians, overcome by their excessive hardships, surrendered their city to the tyrant, giving him complete power over their lives. Within the city Dionysius found heaps of dead who had perished from lack of food, and the living too whom he captured were like dead men and weakened in body. He got together more than six thousand captives and the multitude he sent off to Syracuse with orders that those who could pay as ransom a mina of silver should be freed, but to sell as slaves those who were unable to raise that sum.

112 1 Dionysius seized Phyton, the general of the Rhegians, and drowned his son in the sea, but Phyton himself he at first bound on his loftiest siege engines, wreaking a vengeance upon him such as is to be seen upon the stage of tragedy. He also sent one of his servants to tell him that Dionysius had drowned his son in the sea the day before; to whom Phyton replied, "He has been more fortunate than his father by one day." 2 After this Dionysius had him led about the city under flogging and subjected to every indignity, a herald accompanying him and announcing that Dionysius was inflicting this unusual vengeance upon the man because he had persuaded the city to undertake the war. 3 But Phyton, who had shown himself a brave general during the siege and had won approval for all his other qualities, endured his mortal punishment with no low-born spirit. Rather  p303 he preserved his spirit undaunted and cried out that he was punished because he would not betray the city to Dionysius, and that heaven would soon visit such punishment upon Dionysius himself. The courage of the man aroused sympathy even among the soldiers of Dionysius, and some of them began to protest. 4 Dionysius, fearing that some of the soldiers might make bold to snatch Phyton out of his hands, ceased to punish him and drowned the unfortunate man at sea together with his near of kin. 5 So this man suffered monstrous tortures unworthy of his merits. He won many of the Greeks to grieve for him at the time and many poets to lament the sad story of his reversal of fortune thereafter.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Livy (5.26) gives six names including these two.

2 Called Ecdicus in Xenophon, Hell. 4.8.20.

3 This was more likely Agesipolis (Xenophon, Hell. 4.7.3).

4 Evagoras traced his ancestry to Teucer, the founder of Salamis (Pausanias, 1.3.2; 8.15.7). In addition to the further facts of Evagoras' career given by Diodorus (chap. 110.5; Book 15.2‑4, 8‑9, 47), this distinguished king and faithful friend of Athens is well known from the panegyric bearing his name composed by Isocrates about 365 B.C.

5 Servilius Sulpicius Camerinus (Livy, 5.29).

6 Ionda should be Isinda, and Cornissus is more likely Solmissus; so B. D. Meritt, Athenian Tribute Lists, p493.

7 i.e. of Rhegian territory not touched by Dionysius who was advancing through the interior. But the Greek is suspect.

8 c. $18.00.

9 Leptines later went into exile for a time with the Thurians, who naturally showed him every courtesy (Book 15.7.3‑4).

10 A plethrum is 10,000 sq. ft., slightly less than one-quarter of an acre.

11 Otherwise unknown.

12 See chaps. 44‑45; 107.3‑4.

13 Gaius Rufus is deleted by most editors and is probably a mistake.

14 In the "stadion."

15 Of Athens.

16 Enough of the oration is preserved (Lysias, Orat. 33) to show that Lysias urged the Greeks to unite against their two great enemies, the Persian King and Dionysius. Plutarch (Themistocles, 25), on the authority of Theophrastus, tells a similar story of c. 470 B.C. when Hiero of Syracuse is represented as sending chariot horses and a costly pavilion to Olympia and Themistocles as urging that the pavilion be torn down and the horses prevented from competing. The story is clearly a pure fabrication based on this account of Diodorus (see Walker in Camb. Anc. Hist. 5, p36).

17 Tarentum.

18 As so often, the names are most uncertain and the variance with those of the fasti and of Livy.

19 This famous Peace of Antalcidas is given in a little fuller form in Xenophon, Hell. 5.1.31.

20 About $60 a bushel.

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