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date: 27 November 2022

Dionysius (2) IIlocked

, tyrant of Syracuse, 367–357 bce

Dionysius (2) IIlocked

, tyrant of Syracuse, 367–357 bce
  • Brian M. Caven

Extract

Dionysius (2) II, tyrant of *Syracuse (367–357 bce); born c. 396, eldest son of *Dionysius (1) I and Doris; married half-sister Sophrosyne. Unwarlike and short-sighted, he was estranged from his father, who is said (perhaps falsely) to have excluded him from public life and encouraged his debauchery. Inheriting an empire ‘secured with bonds of adamant’, he ruled successfully for ten years; making peace with *Carthage (Halycus frontier), assisting Sparta (365), resisting the *Lucanians, combating piracy in the Adriatic, and restoring *Rhegium (mod. Reggio), renaming it Phoebia (honouring his suppositious father, *Apollo). Encouraged by *Dion and *Plato (1) himself, he conceived a passion for philosophy, which split his court between the ‘reformers’ and the ‘old guard’, led by the historian *Philistus, and led to a rupture with Dion and eventually (360) with Plato. During his absence in Italy (357), Dion liberated Syracuse and dissolved his empire.

Subjects

  • Greek History and Historiography

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