Dionysius(redirected from Denis, St)
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Dionysius I the Elder. Born circa 432 B.C. in Syracuse; died there circa 367. Tyrant beginning in 406. After advancing his career as the leader of a detachment of mercenaries during the war against Carthage (408-405), Dionysius I seized power, retaining the national assembly and the council for demogogic purposes. He relied on the mercenary army, the new aristocracy of officials, and to some degree on the strata of tradespeople, artisans, and the poor. He pursued a policy of conquest in the territories of Sicily, Corsica, and Italy. Dionysius I the Elder enjoyed the support of reactionary elements throughout Greece, and he rendered assistance, for example, to Sparta in its struggle against the Boeotian League. During his reign Syracuse was transformed into a major cultural center. Dionysius I was the author of a number of tragedies, poems, and songs.
Dionysius II the Younger. Years of birth and death unknown. Tyrant from 367 to 357 and 346 to 344 B.C. Eldest son of Dionysius I. Like his father, Dionysius II considered the army his chief support, and after becoming tyrant he created a strong and large army. By declaring an amnesty, abolishing taxes for three years, and implementing other measures, he won the poor people over to his side. Around 357 he waged a war in southern Italy against the Greek cities of Rhegium and Caulonia and against the Lucanians. At this time, power in Syracuse was seized by Dion, a relative of Dionysius II. However, in 346, Dionysius II regained power in Syracuse. In 344, besieged by Hiketas, the ruler of the city of Leontini, and the Corinthian general Timoleon, he surrendered the fortress to Timokon. Dionysius II was exiled to Corinth, where he became a priest of the goddess Cybele and died in extreme poverty.
REFERENCESFrolov, E. D. “Vystuplenie i prikhod k vlasti Dionisiia Starshego.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1971, no. 3.
Stroheker, K. Dionysios I: Gestalt und Geschichte des Tyrannen von Syrakus. Wiesbaden, 1958.
S. S. SOLOV’EVA