|The Story of Greece|
|by Mary Macgregor|
| Stories from the history of ancient Greece beginning with mythical and legendary stories of gods and heroes and ending with the conquests of Alexander the Great. Gives short accounts of battles and sieges, and of the men who made Greece a great nation. Ages 10-14 |
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
 and that he had sent the Carthaginians with twenty
warships to Rhegium to keep the Corinthians from
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
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
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
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
The Corinthian officers begged Timoleon to order a
 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
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
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
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.
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