Ancient Medieval Literature

A history of classical scholarship / Vol. 3 by John Sandys, Sir

By John Sandys, Sir

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112. Luraghi 2013a: 19 argues that the image of the good basileus is created by reversing that of the tyrant, and he attributes its first formulation to Socrates or Xenophon, but this does not do enough justice to the Hesiodic picture. 32. 33. Introduction | 15 prominent intervention at Delphi and Olympia by dedication of war spoils and by the construction of monuments commemorating athletic and military victory. Gelon was an important player in the intensification of a culture of emulation at the panhellenic sanctuaries, and he would be followed by Hieron as he too sought to promote the recognition of his own triumphs in war and at the games.

38. A point Lefkowitz (1976: 104) also made in her reading of the odes. 39. Fearn 2009: 26–31. 36. 37. 22 | Introduction CHAPTER 2 The Deinomenids and Syracuse Introduction Hieron ruled over Syracuse at a time of great change and great possibilities. He inherited from his brother the greatest city in Sicily and hoped to found a ruling dynasty of his own. He founded a city, defeated the Etruscans in battle, made splendid dedications in panhellenic sanctuaries, and filled his court with the greatest poets and intellectuals of his day.

16 Gelon had a successful tyrant’s flair for opportunism, one that will be seen in action in his dedications on the Greek mainland after his victory at Himera. One conclusion is, however, certain: no matter what the decision is about the historicity of the embassy (and I am inclined to think it historical), Herodotus’ narrative makes it clear that by the late fifth century, and in all probability directly after the Persian Wars, there was intense debate about Gelon’s actions and motives. Was he or was he not a medizer?

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