Dionysius I (432–367 BCE)
Published Online: 13 NOV 2011
Copyright © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
The Encyclopedia of War
How to Cite
Bearzot, C. 2011. Dionysius I (432–367 BCE). The Encyclopedia of War.
- Published Online: 13 NOV 2011
Dionysius, son of Hermocritus and member of the faction of his father-in-law Hermocrates, the Syracusan oligarchic leader and aspiring tyrant who died in 407 BCE, was a cultivated, talented, and ambitious man. He turned into a tyrant in 406/5 when the assembly granted him the title of strategos autokrator for the war against the Carthaginians who were menacing Syracuse. Assisted by mercenaries, Dionysius transformed the office of strategos into a form of tyranny characterized by strong military support and by a direct relationship with the population and the army. As common in the tradition of the Siceliots ever since the Dinomenids, Dionysius employed mercenaries on a large scale, whose service he won by his charisma as a military leader, by awarding them lands (taken from the Chalcidian cities of Naxos, Leontini, and Catana), and by allowing citizenship rights.
Keywords: Ancient History; Greek History