By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. — Confucius

Story of Greece - Mary Macgregor




Timoleon Sends Dionysius to Corinth

Timoleon was ready to sail to Sicily with a fleet of seven vessels and a force of about one thousand men, when a message from Icetes reached the Corinthians.

The traitor told them it was useless to try to help the people of Sicily, for he had joined the Carthaginians, and their combined army would easily crush any force that was sent against them.

This made the Corinthians so angry that they at once added two hundred soldiers to Timoleon's small army, as well as three vessels to his fleet.

Even so, Timoleon's task seemed hopeless. Athens, with hundreds of ships and with tens of thousands of men, had failed to take Syracuse. How then could the Corinthian hope to do so with his handful of men and his small fleet?

Before he sailed, Timoleon journeyed to Delphi to offer sacrifices to Apollo. As he prayed in the temple, a wreath slipped from its place and fell upon his head. It seemed to Timoleon that Apollo was already crowning him with victory.

At length all was ready, and the army embarked and set sail with a favourable wind. Suddenly a bright flame leaped out from the sky and hovered over the ship in which Timoleon sailed. The flame soon changed into a torch which guided the ships until they reached Rhegium, a town in Sicily.

Here Timoleon learned that Icetes had already defeated Dionysius, who was now shut up in the citadel of Syracuse, and that he had sent the Carthaginians with twenty warships to Rhegium to keep the Corinthians from reaching Sicily.

Timoleon had only ten vessels, and he knew it would be impossible to leave Rhegium unless he could in some way cheat the enemy.

So he pretended to agree to Icetes' demands, and then begged the Carthaginian generals to go with him to the assembly to tell the people what they had agreed. Meanwhile he had given orders to his fleet to be ready to sail the moment he returned.

In the assembly the generals and the people of Rhegium began to talk, and they grew so interested in what they were saying that they paid very little attention to Timoleon. The generals indeed forgot all about him, which was just what the Corinthians had hoped would happen.

By and by when the conversation seemed most engrossing, Timoleon slipped quietly out of the hall and hastened to the harbour. The moment he was on board his ship, the fleet set sail and before long reached Sicily in safety.

Without their generals, the Carthaginians had not known what to do, and while they had hesitated Timoleon had escaped. But when the Carthaginian generals found out how they had been tricked, their indignation knew no bounds.

Not far from the small town at which the Corinthians landed was a city named Adranum, where there was a temple consecrated to the god Adranus. This deity was reverenced throughout the whole island.

The city was divided into two parties, one of which sent for Icetes, the other for Timoleon, to help them each against the other.

Both generals at once set out for Adranum, Icetes with five thousand, Timoleon with only twelve hundred men. On the second day the Corinthians found that in spite of all their haste they had been outstripped by the army of Icetes. It was already encamped close to the city.

The Corinthian officers begged Timoleon to order a halt, as there seemed no need for further haste, and their men needed food and rest after their hurried march.

But Timoleon wished to take the enemy by surprise. He thought that if they did not delay they would reach Icetes and his men while they were putting up their tents and preparing supper. So instead of listening to his officers, he seized his shield, and going to the head of his army he bade them follow him and he would lead them to victory. The enemy's camp was still three and a half miles away, but the Corinthians marched on bravely.

As Timoleon had hoped, he reached the camp of the enemy while the men were getting ready a meal and were unprepared to fight.

Before they were aware of his approach, Timoleon had fallen upon them and put them to flight, taking the camp as well as many prisoners.

The people of Adranum at once opened their gates to the victorious general, and told him that when the battle began, the doors of their temple suddenly opened of their own accord. On the threshold stood their god, holding his javelin in his hand. It was trembling as though the god was weary with its weight.

Other cities, when they heard of the victory of the Corinthians, gladly entered into alliance with them.

Meanwhile Dionysius, shut up in Syracuse by Icetes, was growing tired of his position, and food was becoming scarce in the citadel. He, too, thought it would be well to make terms with Timoleon.

So he sent to the Corinthian general to offer to surrender the citadel if he would promise to send him in safety to Corinth.

When Timoleon heard this he felt more than ever sure that the gods were on his side. He gladly accepted the tyrant's offer, and at once sent two of his officers and a company of men to receive the keys of the citadel.

Dionysius treated the Corinthians well, leaving to them a number of horses, a store of weapons and two thousand soldiers. He himself escaped from the city and fled to the camp of Timoleon. Soon afterwards he set sail for Corinth.

Tidings of his arrival was sent before him, and as the ship drew near to the harbour, the people gathered there in excited groups. They had often shuddered at the tale of the cruel deeds of the man who was now coming to their city, shorn of his power. They were eager to see him.

A few weeks later they wondered if this man had really been as cruel as they had been told. They saw him contentedly loitering in the market-place or spending long hours in the shops of the perfumers, and it seemed to them as though he must always have been as harmless as he was now. In later years the tyrant is said to have taught the boys and girls of Corinth to read, and he also trained those who wished to sing in public.

Timoleon had not been fifty days in Sicily before Dionysius was on his way to Corinth. The Corinthians were so pleased with their general that they determined to send him reinforcements, both of cavalry and infantry. But it was some time before the fresh troops reached Timoleon, for the Carthaginian fleet was waiting near the coast of Italy to bar the way.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

Wonderland
The Great God Pan
The Six Pomegranate Seeds
The Birth of Athene
The Two Weavers
The Purple Flowers
Danae and Her Little Son
The Quest of Perseus
Andromeda and Sea-Monster
Acrisius Killed by Perseus
Achilles and Briseis
Menelaus and Paris Do Battle
Hector and Andromache
The Horses of Achilles
The Death of Hector
Polyphemus the Giant
Odysseus Escapes from Cave
Odysseus Returns to Ithaca
Argus the Hound Dies
The Bow of Odysseus
The Land of Hellas
Lycurgus and His Nephew
Lycurgus Returns to Sparta
Training of the Spartans
The Helots
Aristomenes and the Fox
The Olympian Games
The Last King of Athens
Cylon Fails to be Tyrant
Solon Frees the Slaves
Athenians Take Salamis
Pisistratus Becomes Tyrant
Harmodius and Aristogiton
The Law of Ostracism
The Bridge of Boats
Darius Rewards Histiaeus
Histiaeus Shaves His Slave
Sardis Is Destroyed
Sandal Sewn by Histiaeus
Earth and Water
Battle of Marathon
Miltiades Sails to Paros
Aristides is Ostracised
The Dream of Xerxes
Xerxes Scourges the Hellespont
Bravest Men of All Hellas
Battle of Thermopylae
Battle of Artemisium
Themistocles at Salamis
Themistocles Tricks Admirals
Battle of Salamis
Battle of Plataea
Delian League
Themistocles Deceives Spartans
Themistocles is Ostracised
Eloquence of Pericles
Pericles and Elpinice
The City of Athens
Great Men of Athens
Thebans Attack Plataeans
Attica Invaded by Spartans
Last Words of Pericles
Siege of Plataea
The Sentence of Death
Brasidas Loses His Shield
The Spartans Surrender
Brasidas the Spartan
Amphipolus Surrenders
Alcibiades the Favourite
Socrates the Philosopher
Alcibiades Praises Socrates
Images of Hermes Destroyed
Alcibiades Escapes to Sparta
The Siege of Syracuse
Athenian Army is Destroyed
Alcibiades Returns to Athens
Antiochus Disobeys Alcibiades
Walls of Athens Destroyed
March of the Ten Thousand
Pelopidas and Epaminondas
Seven Conspirators
Battle of Leuctra
Death of Epaminondas
The Two Brothers
Timoleon exiles Dionysius
Icetes Attacks Timoleon
Battle of Crimisus
Demosthenes' Wish
Greatest Orator of Athens
The Sacred War
Alexander and Bucephalus
Alexander and Diogenes
Battle of Granicus
The Gordian Knot
Darius Gallops from Battle
Tyre Stormed by Alexander
Battle of Gaugamela
Alexander Burns Persepolis
Alexander Slays Foster-Brother
Porus and His Elephant
Alexander Is Wounded
The Death of Alexander
Demosthenes in the Temple