Gelon, Tyrant of Gelon
Reigned 491 BC - 478
100 years of the period of settlement of Greek
cities in Sicily, the cities had prospered enough to begin consolidating
into a structure of city-states. In Agrigento, Phalaris seized the title
of Tyrant, c. 570 BC. He soon added Himera to his domain, then extended
his rule over substantially all of Greek Sicily, before being deposed
and slain in a torture device that he had introduced himself.
In the following century Gelon managed a more lasting rise to power.
Upon the death of Hippocrates, Tyrant of Gela, in 491 BC, Gelon, his
commander of cavalry, seized the throne. Six years later he allied with
the Gamori, who had been deposed as oligarchic rulers of Syracuse. He
quickly added Syracuse to his domain and transferred the center of his
activities to that city. Under his leadership Syracuse became the richest
and most powerful of the Greek cities of Sicily, but a powerful challenge
arose quickly with invasion of Sicily by Carthage.
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1999 C. I. Gable