THE TWO BROTHERS
 THE city of Corinth stood upon the narrow isthmus that
joined the mainland of Greece to the Peloponnesian
peninsula. She had two harbours, a large fleet, and
she carried on a prosperous trade with other countries.
As the city grew strong and populous, she began to
plant colonies in other lands. One of the wealthiest
of these colonies was the town of Syracuse in Sicily.
In 346 B.C. Syracuse was in the power of a tyrant named
Dionysius. The other cities in Sicily would have been
in the same plight had their inhabitants not fled to a
neighbouring town, and sought the aid of a powerful
prince named Icetes. Icetes had a large army, and with
its help they hoped to be able to overthrow Dionysius.
But trouble after trouble overtook the people, for the
Carthaginians had sailed from Africa and had reached
their shores. Sicily was in despair lest they should
conquer the island and make it their own.
In their distress, the Sicilians sent messengers to
Corinth, their mother-city, to beg her to help them to
get rid of both the Carthaginians and Dionysius.
Icetes pretended to approve of this, but no sooner had
the ambassadors set out for Corinth than he made
friends with the Carthaginians. He hoped that if they
drove Dionysius away, he himself would become tyrant of
In Corinth, about twenty years earlier, there dwelt two
brothers of noble birth—one was named Timophanes, the
other Timoleon. Never were two brothers more unlike
 save that both were brave. Timophanes was cruel and
ambitious, while Timoleon was gentle and content. Yet
under his quiet ways Timoleon had one strong passion
and that was the love he bore his country.
Timophanes was a captain in the Corinthian army; his
brother served in the ranks.
Once when the captain was sent against a
neighbouring state, he was thrown from his horse, which
had been wounded. He fell close to the enemy and his
men fled, leaving him in danger of being taken
Timoleon saw what had happened, and rushing from the
ranks, he stood over Timophanes with his shield, and
defended him from the spears which were being hurled at
him by the enemy. Although he himself was sorely
wounded, he never flinched. But at length his comrades
rushed to his aid and drove off the foe. Timoleon had
saved his brother's life.
Not long after this, Timophanes was given the command
of four hundred foreign soldiers. This pleased the
captain, but to the dismay of the citizens he used the
troops to make himself tyrant of the city.
All who dared to oppose him he put to death, while he
ruled so harshly that he was hated and feared by
Timoleon was ashamed of his brother's behaviour. He
begged him to treat the people more kindly, and if he
must rule at least to rule with justice. But
Timophanes first mocked at his brother's words, and
then he grew angry and refused to listen to them.
Gentle as Timoleon was, he could be strong when there
was need to be so. In a short time he went again to
his brother, taking with him two friends who used to
Together the three men besought the tyrant to give up
the power he had so wrongfully seized, and to serve his
country in an upright way.
Again Timophanes laughed at his friends, but when they
persisted in their entreaties he grew angry, and rudely
 them begone. Then Timoleon hid his face in his cloak
and wept, while the others put his brother to death.
The Corinthians, for the most part, praised Timoleon
because he loved his country so well that he sacrificed
his brother for her sake. But there were some citizens
who blamed Timoleon for allowing his brother to be put
to death before his eyes. His mother refused to see
him and called down upon him the curses of the gods.
This pained Timoleon more than anything else, and he
begged her to see him, if it were but once. But she
would not allow him to enter her house.
Timoleon loved his mother, and her treatment made him
so sad that he refused either to eat or to drink. He
resolved to starve himself to death rather than endure
his mother's reproaches.
His friends did all they could to comfort him, and at
length they succeeded in persuading him to eat. But
his sorrow was too great to let him stay in Corinth, so
he left the city, and for several years he lived by
himself. Even when he returned to Corinth, he still
refused to take part in any public business.
Timoleon was fifty years old when in 346 B.C. the
Syracusans sent to the Corinthians to beg for help
against the Carthaginians.
The Corinthians determined to send an army to Sicily to
help their fellow-countrymen, but they could find no
one willing to go at its head.
Some one proposed that Timoleon should be made
commander of the force that had been raised, and he was
at once appointed.
Perhaps Timoleon thought that it was now time that he
should do something for his country; in any case he
undertook the task that was given him with goodwill.
One worthy citizen bade Timoleon act "like a man of
worth and gallantry. For," said he, "if you do bravely
in this service we shall believe that you delivered us
from a tyrant; but if otherwise, that you killed your