Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted. — Vladimir Lenin

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber

Death of Dion

Now, after suffering so much under Dionysius and his father, the Syracusans had learned to hate the very name of tyrant; and ever since Dion had come into the city, and taken the lead, they had loudly said they would never stand such a ruler again.

As soon as the letter was ended, Dionysius tied it to a stone, and threw it over the wall. Of course, it was carried to Dion, who read it aloud, little suspecting its contents, or the effect it would produce upon his followers.

The people began to frown and look angry, and Heraclides boldly seized this opportunity to poison their minds against Dion. He urged them to drive their new leader out of the city, and to give the command of the army to him instead.

The people, ever ready for a change, gladly listened to this advice, and, after banishing Dion, made Heraclides their chief. Dionysius cleverly managed to escape from the citadel; and his general, Nypsius, only then becoming aware of the revolution, took his place there, and by a sudden sally won back the greater part of the city.

As Heraclides was taken by surprise at this move, and greatly feared the wrath of Dionysius, he now wrote to Dion, begging him to come back and save those who had upheld him.

The appeal was not made in vain. Dion generously forgave the treachery of Heraclides, and, marching into the city once more, drove Nypsius back into the citadel, where this general died.

The people of Syracuse were ashamed of having so suddenly turned against Dion after their first warm welcome to him, and they now fell at his feet, begging his pardon, which he freely granted to them all.

In spite of this kindness, which they had not deserved, Heraclides and many others went on plotting secretly against Dion, until his friends, weary of such double dealing put Heraclides to death.

Dion was sorry for this, reproved his friends for committing such a crime, and said that he knew the Syracusans would in time lay the murder at his door, and try to punish him for it.

He was right in thinking thus, for the friends of Heraclides soon began plotting against him; and, entering his country house one day when he was alone, they fell upon him and killed him.

As soon as Dionysius heard that Dion was dead, he hastened back to Syracuse, where he ruled more cruelly than ever, and put so many people to death that the citizens rose up against him once more. With the help of a Corinthian army, they then freed their city, and sent Dionysius to Corinth, where he was forced to earn his living by teaching school.

The people all hooted.

As Dionysius was a cross and unkind teacher, the children would neither love nor obey him; and whenever he passed down the street, clad in a rough mantle instead of a jewel-covered robe, the people all hooted, and made great fun of him.


Front Matter

Early Inhabitants of Greece
The Deluge of Ogyges
Founding of Important Cities
Story of Deucalion
Daedalus and Icarus
The Adventures of Jason
Theseus Visits the Labyrinth
The Terrible Prophecy
The Sphinx's Riddle
Death of Oedipus
The Brothers' Quarrel
The Taking of Thebes
The Childhood of Paris
Muster of the Troops
Sacrifice of Iphigenia
The Wrath of Achilles
Death of Hector and Achilles
The Burning of Troy
Heroic Death of Codrus
The Blind Poet
The Rise of Sparta
The Spartan Training
The Brave Spartan Boy
Public Tables in Sparta
Laws of Lycurgus
The Messenian War
The Music of Tyrtaeus
Aristomenes' Escape
The Olympic Games
Milo of Croton
The Jealous Athlete
The Girls' Games
The Bloody Laws of Draco
The Laws of Solon
The First Plays
The Tyrant Pisistratus
The Tyrant's Insult
Death of the Conspirators
Hippias Driven out of Athens
The Great King
Hippias Visits Darius
Destruction of the Persian Host
Advance of the Second Host
The Battle of Marathon
Miltiades' Disgrace
Aristides the Just
Two Noble Spartan Youths
The Great Army
Preparations for Defense
Leonidas at Thermopylae
Death of Leonidas
The Burning of Athens
Battles of Salamis and Plataea
The Rebuilding of Athens
Death of Pausanias
Cimon Improves Athens
The Earthquake
The Age of Pericles
Teachings of Anaxagoras
Peloponnesian War Begins
Death of Pericles
The Philosopher Socrates
Socrates' Favorite Pupil
Youth of Alcibiades
Greek Colonies in Italy
Alcibiades in Disgrace
Death of Alcibiades
Overthrow of Thirty Tyrants
Accusation of Socrates
Death of Socrates
The Defeat of Cyrus
Retreat of the Ten Thousand
Agesilaus in Asia
A Strange Interview
The Peace of Antalcidas
The Theban Friends
Thebes Free Once More
The Battle of Leuctra
Death of Pelopidas
The Battle of Mantinea
The Tyrant of Syracuse
Damon and Pythias
The Sword of Damocles
Dion and Dionysius
Civil War in Syracuse
Death of Dion
Philip of Macedon
Philip Begins His Conquests
The Orator Demosthenes
Philip Masters Greece
Birth of Alexander
The Steed Bucephalus
Alexander as King
Alexander and Diogenes
Alexander's Beginning
The Gordian Knot
Alexander's Royal Captives
Alexander at Jerusalem
The African Desert
Death of Darius
Defeat of Porus
Return to Babylon
Death of Alexander
Division of the Realm
Death of Demosthenes
Last of the Athenians
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Battle of Ipsus
Demetrius and the Athenians
The Achaean League
Division in Sparta
Death of Agis
War of the Two Leagues
The Last of the Greeks
Greece a Roman Province