What is called matriarchy is simply moral anarchy, in which the mother alone remains fixed because all the fathers are fugitive and irresponsible. — G. K. Chesterton

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




Civil War in Syracuse

When Dion was exiled from Syracuse by Dionysius, he went to Greece, where he was unhappy only because he could not see the wife and child he loved so dearly.

When he heard that the tyrant had forced his wife to belong to another husband, he vowed he would punish Dionysius for this crime. Plato vainly tried to persuade Dion not to return to Syracuse. The young man refused to listen to his advice, and, gathering together a small army, he set sail without delay.

He landed boldly, although he was in exile, and was welcomed with great joy by all the people, who were very weary of their ruler. When he told them that he had come to punish the tyrant, they all joined him, and marched with him up to the palace.

As Dionysius was out of town at the time, they had no trouble whatever in getting into the royal dwelling. This was hastily deserted by the tyrant's few friends, who took refuge in the citadel.

Some time after, when Dionysius came back to the city, he found the harbor blocked by a great chain stretched across it to prevent the entrance of any ship; and he was forced to retreat into the citadel, where the angry Syracusans came to besiege him.

Now, Dion had a great many friends, and, as everybody knew that he was truthful and well-meaning, the people all fought on his side. He was so strict with himself, however, that he treated his subjects also with great rigor, and exacted such obedience and virtue that they soon grew weary of his reign.

Then, too, while he was always ready to reward the good, Dion punished the wicked with such severity that he soon made many enemies. One of these was the courtier Heraclides, who, instead of showing his dislike openly, began to plot against him in secret.

Dionysius, besieged in the citadel, was in sore straits by this time, and almost dying of hunger; for the Syracusans, afraid that he would escape, had built a wall all around the citadel, and watched it night and day, to prevent any one from going in or out, or smuggling in any food.

As Dionysius had no army, and could not win back his throne by force, he made up his mind to do so, if possible, by a trick. He therefore wrote a letter, in which he offered Dion the tyranny in exchange for his freedom. This message was worded so cleverly that it sounded as if Dion had asked to be made tyrant of Syracuse.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

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