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BOOK XXII.

THE

HISTORY OF SYRACUSE.

This twenty-second book contains the conclusion of the history of Syracuse. It may be divided into three parts. The first includes the long reign of HIERO II. The second, the short reign of his grandson, HIERONYMUS, the troubles of Syracuse occasioned by it, with the siege and taking of that city by MARCELLUS. The third is a concise abridgment of the history of Syracuse, with some reflections on the government and character of the Syracusans, and on ARCHIMEDES.

ARTICLE I.

Sect. I. lliero the Second chosen captain-general by the Syracusans, and soon after

appointed king. lle makes an alliance with the Romans in the beginning of the first Punic war. A. M. 3700.

HJERO II. was descended from the family of Ant. J. C. 304.

Gelon, who had formerly reigned in Syracuse.* As his mother was a slave, his father, Hierocles, according to the barbarous custom of those times, caused him to be exposed soon after his birth; believing that the infant dishonoured the nobility of his race. If Justin's fabulous account may be believed, the bees nourished him several days with their honey. Thcoracle declaring, that so singular an event was a certain presage of his future greatnese, Hierocles caused him to be brought back to his house, and took all possible care of his education.

The child derived from this education all the benefit that could be expected. He distinguished himself carly above all those of his years, by liis address in military exercises, and his courage in battle. He acquired the esteem of Pyrrlnus, and received several rewards from his hands. He was of a beautiful aspect, tall stature, and robust complexion. In his conversationt he was affable and polite, in

Justin. I.

in alioquio blandus, in negotio justus, In imperio noderatus: prorsus ue nithe ci regiunı desse prætcr regnuin, rideretur. Justin.

VOL. VIII.

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A. M. 3727.

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business just, and moderate in command; so that he wanted nothing but the title of king, as he already possessed all the qualities that adorn that rank.

Discord having arisen between the citizens of Ant. J. C. 277.

Syracuse and their troops,* the latter, who were in the neighbourhood, raised Artemidorus and Hiero to the supreme command, which comprehended all authority, civil and military. The latter was at that time very young, but displayed a prudence and maturity that gave promise of a great kiug. Honoured with this command, by the help of some friends he entered the city; and having found means to bring over the adverse party, who were inent upon nothing but raising disorders, he behaved with so much mildness and greatness of mind, that the Syracusans, though highly dissatisfied with the liberty assumed by the soldiers, of choosing their officers, were, however, unanimous in conferring upon him the title and power of captain-general.

From his first measures it was easy to judge that the new magistrate aspired at something more than that office. In fact, observing that the troops no sooner quitted the city, than Syracuse was involved in new troubles by seditious spirits and lovers of innovation, he perceived how important it was, in the absence of himself and the army, to have somebody upon whom he might rely for keeping the citizens within the bounds of their duty. Leptines seemed very fit for that purpose, as being a man of integrity, and one who had great influence with the people. Hiero attached him to himself for ever, by espousing his daughter, and by the same alliance secured the public tranquillity, during the time he should be obliged to remove from Syracuse, and march at the head of the armies.

Another much bolder, though far less just, stroke of policy, established his security and repose. He had every thing to fear from the foreign soldiers, turbulent, malignant men, void of respect for their commanders, and of affection for a state of which they made no part, solely actuated by the desire of luck, and always ready for a revolt; who having been bold enough to assume a right in the election of magistrates, which did not belong to them, were capable, upon the least discontent, of attempting any thing against himself. He easily comprehended, that he should never have the mastery over them, as they were too well united amongst them. selves; that, if he undertook to punish the most criminal, their chastisement would not fail to provoke the rest; and that the only means to put an end to the troubles they occasioned, was utterly to exterminate this factious body of troops, whose licentiousness and rebellious disposition were only fit to corrupt others, and incline them to pernicious excesses. Deceived by a false zeal and blind love for the public good, and sensibly affected also with the prospect of the dangers to which he was perpetually exposed, he

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A. M, 3733. Ant, J. C. 271.

thought it incumbent on him, for the safety of his country and security of his person, to proceed to this cruel and sad extreinity, very contrary to his natural character, but which seemed necessary to him in the present conjuncture. He therefore took the field un. der pretext of marching against the Mamertines.* When he came within view of the enemy, he divided his army into two parts: on the one side he posted such of the soldiers as were Syracusans; on the other, the mercenaries. He put himself at the head of the first, as if he intended an attack; and left the others exposed to the Mamertines, who cut them in pieces; after which he returned quietly to the city with the Syracusan troops.

The army being thus purged of all who might excite disorders and sedition, he raised à sufficient number of new troops, and afterwards discharged the duties of his function in peace. The Mamertines, elate with their success, advancing into the country, he marched against them with the Syracusan troops, whom he had armed and disciplined well, and gave them battle in the plain of Mylæ. A great part of the enemies were left upon the field, and their generals made prisoners. At his return he was declared

king by all the citizens of Syracuse, and after

wards by all the allies. This happened seven years after his being raised to the supreme authority.

It would be difficult to justify the manner in which he attained that eminence. Whether he put the foreign soldiers in motion himself, which seems probable enough, or only lent himself to their zeal, it was a criminal infidelity to his country and the public authority, to which his example gave a mortal wound. It is true, the irregularity of his entrance upon office was somewhat amended

by the consent which the people and allies afterwards gave to it. But can we suppose, that in such a conjuncture their consent was perfectly free? As to his being elected king, there was nothing of compulsion in that; if his secret ambition had any part in it, that fault was well atoned for by his wise and disinterested conduct through the long duration of his reign and life.

The loss of the battle we have spoken of entirely disconcerted the affairs of the Mamertines. Some of them had recourse to the Carthaginians, to whom they surrendered their citadel; others re solved to abandon the city to the Romans, and sent to desire their aid. Hence arose the first Punic war, as I have explained more at large elsewhere.t

Appius Claudius the consul put to sea, in order to aid the Mamertines. Not being able to pass the strait of Messina, of which the Carthaginians had possessed themselves, he made a feint of aban. doning that enterprise, and of returning towards Rome with all the

* They were originaliy troops from Campania, whom Agathocles had taken into him pay, and who afterwards seized Mesaina, having first put the principal inhabitants to the swoni. "yo!. 5. l!istory of the Carthaginians. Frontin. Subias. l. 1. c. 4.

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A. M. 3739 Ant. J.C. 265.

troops he had on board his fleet. Upon this news the enemy, who olocked up Messina on the side next the sea, having retired, as if there had been nothing farther to apprehend, Appius tacked about, and passed the strait without danger.

The Mamertines,* partly through menaces and partly through surprise, having driven out of the citadel the officer who commanded in it for the Carthaginians, called in Appius, and opened the gates of their city to hira. The Carthaginians soon after formed the siege of it, and made a treaty of alliance with Hiero, who joined his troops to theirs. The Roman consul thought fit to venture a battle, and attack the Syracusans first. The fight was warm. Hiero showed all possible courage, but could not resist the valour of the Romans, and was obliged to give way, and retire to Syracuse. Claudius, having obtained a like victory over the Carthaginians, saw himself master of the field, advanced to the walls of Syracuse, and even designed to have besieged it.

When the news of Appius's good success arriv

ed at Rome, it occasioned great joy.f In order to make the most of it, it was thought proper to use new efforts. The two consuls lately elecfed, Manius Otacilius and Manius Valerius, were ordered into Sicily. Upon their arrival, several of the Carthaginian and Syracusan cities surrendered at discretion.

The consternation of Sicily, joined to the number and force of the Roman legions, made Hiero conceive what was likely to be the event of this new war. That prince was sensible, that he might rely upon a more faithful and constant amity on the side of the Romans. He knew that the Carthaginians had not renounced the design they had anciently formed, of possessing themselves of all Sicily; and if they made themselves masters of Messina, he rightly judged his power would be very insecure in the neighbourhood of such dangerous and formidable enemies. He saw no other expedient for the preservation of his kingdom, than to leave the. Carthaginians engaged with the Romans; well assured that the war would be long and obstinate between these two republics, whose strength was equal; and that as long as they should be contending, he should have no reason to apprehend being distressed either by the one or the other. He, therefore, sent ambassadors to the con. suls to treat of peace and alliance. They were far from refusing those offers. They were too much afraid, that the Carthaginians, being masters at sea, might cut off all passage for provisions ; which fear was the better founded, as the troops who had first passed the strait had suffered extremely by famine. An alliance with Hiero secured the legions in that respect, and was immediately con, cluded. The conditions were, that the king should restore to the Romans, without ransom, all the prisoners he had taken from them, and pay thom 4 hundred talents in monøyet

Polyb. 1. 10 l

B.

4. A 15 16.

* A hundred Housand crowne

From thenceforth Hiero, constantly attached to the Romans, to whom he sent supplies when occasion required, reigned peaceably at Syracuse, as a king who had no view nor ambition but the esteem and love of his people. No prince was ever more successful in that point, nor longer enjoyed the fruits of his wisdom and prudence For more than fifty years that he lived after being clected king, whilst all things were in fames around him, occasioned by the cruel wars which the two most potent states of the world made against each other, he was so prudent and happy as to be no more than a spectator of them, and only to hear the noise of those arms which shook all the neighbouring regions, whilst himself and his people retained a profound peace.

The Romans perceived, * on more than one occasion, during the first Punic war, and especially at the siege of Agrigentum, with which it was in a manner opened, the importance of their alliance with Hiero, who abundantly supplied them with provisions, at times when the Roman army without his aid would have been exposed to excessive famine.

The interval between the end of the first Punic war and the commencement of the second, which was about five-and-twenty years, was a time of peace and tranquillity to Hiero, in which the aetions of that prinçe are little spoken of.

Polybiust only informs us, that the Carthagi

nians, in the unhappy war they were obliged to support against the strangers, or mercenaries, which was called the African war, finding themselves extremely pressed, had recourse to their allies, and especially to king Hiero, who granted them all they asked of him. That prince perceived, that to support himself in Sicily, it was necessary that the Carthaginians shonld overcomo in this war; lest the strangers, who had already obtained many advantages over the Carthaginians, in case of entire success, should find no farther obstacles to their projects, and should form designs of bringing their victorious arms into Sicily. Perhaps, also, as he was an excellent politician, he thought it incumbent on him to be upon his guard against the too great power of the Romans, who would become absolute masters, if the Carthaginians should be entirely ruined in the war against the revolters.

Hiero's sole application during this long interval of peace, was to make his subjects happy, and to redress the evils which the unjust government of Agathocles, who preceded bim some years, and the intestine divisions which ensued, had occasioned; an employment worthy of a king. There was a levity and inconstancy in the character of the Syracusans, which often inclined them to excessive and violent resolutions; but at bottom they were humane and equitable, and no enemies to a just and reasonable obedience. The proof of which is, that when they were governed with wisdom and inodera

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A. M. 3763. Ant. J. C. 241.

Ibid. p. 84

• Polyb. I. I. p. 18.

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