|The Story of the Greeks|
|by Helene A. Guerber|
| Elementary history of Greece, made up principally of stories about persons, giving at the same time a clear idea of the most important events in the ancient world and calculated to enforce the lessons of perseverance, courage, patriotism, and virtue that are taught by the noble lives described. Beginning with the legends of Jason, Theseus, and events surrounding the Trojan War, the narrative moves on to present the contrasting city-states of Sparta and Athens, the war against Persia, their conflicts with each other, the feats of Alexander the Great, and annexation by Rome. Ages 10-14 |
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
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