The tyrannies in the Greek cities of Sicily, 505-466 BC
This thesis will examine the tyrants that ruled Gela and Syracuse during the early fifth century BC. It will approach the subject in a thematic manner, considering several aspects of the tyrants' rule which warrant particular attention. The first chapter will be concerned with our sources of information on the subject, with particular focus on the Bibliotheke of Diodorus Siculus. Being our main source of information, it is crucial that we understand Diodorus' work, especially since it has provoked much criticism in modern scholarship. Chapter two will be concerned with the tyrants' foreign policy, in particular we will examine the tyrants' relationship with other Greeks in Sicily and Southern Italy, and then their brief encounter with the Carthaginians. Chapter three is concerned with the tyrants' recruitment of mercenaries, an important subject given the militaristic nature of the tyranny, as well as a dominant theme in Classical Sicilian history. Next, the unusual subject of the `refounding' of already existing cities will be discussed. A phenomenon peculiar to Sicily, the four case studies give many clues regarding the nature of the tyranny in general. The way in which the tyrants, particularly Hieron, were presented to the rest of the Greek world, and to their own citizens, will be discussed next, considering evidence provided by the tyrants themselves as well as others. Finally, the impact of the tyranny on Sicily during the next century will be considered, with emphasis on the subjects already discussed in previous chapters, in order to conclude on the importance of the tyrants of Sicily in antiquity.