Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

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


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.


  • Greek History and Historiography

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription