'While everyone was wondering as to what to do, Dionysos, son of Hermocrates, taking the floor, on one hand accused the generals for betraying the cause to Carthaginians, on the other excited the crowds for their punishment, asking them not to wait for the futile outcome in accordance with the laws, but to pass judgement immediately by raising the hands. And when the archons fined Dionysos according to the laws as heckler, Philistos who wrote the histories afterwards, owning great wealth, paid the fines and called on Dionysos to say whatever he chose, adding that if they wanted to fine him all day long, he would pay the fines.' From Diodoros' of Sicily Library of History. Book 13:91(3-4).
I am pleasantly surprised by your interesting and useful comment, Atlas11.
I found the following text, in Google Books: A classical dictionary by John Lempriere.
“Dionysius, 1st, or the elder, was son of Hermocrates.... He never trusted his head to a barber, but always burnt his beard. He made a subterraneous cave in a rock, said to be still extant, in the form of a human ear, which measured 80 feet in height and 250 in length. It was called the ear of Dionysius. The sounds of this subterraneous cave were all necessarily directed to one common tympanum, which had a communication with an adjoining room, where Dionysius spent the greatest part of his time to hear whatever was said by those whom his suspicion and cruelty had confined in the apartments above. The artists that had been employed in making this cave were all put to death by order of the tyrant, for fear of their revealing to what purposes a work of such uncommon construction was to be appropriated. His impiety and sacrilege were as conspicuous as his suspicious credulity.... He died of an indigestion in the 63d year of his age, B. C. 368, after a reign of 38 years. Authors, however, are divided about the manner of his death, and some are of opinion that he died a violent death...."
Your comment regarding the history of the ear of Dionysos is a great complement to your photo. I am interested in the original sources the author used for this account.
Now about the death of Dionysos this is what Diodoros of Sicily, who had access to all the literature of the time said:
'Dionysos having produced some tragic play at the Lenaea competition of the Atheneans and won, one of the singers in the chorus taking that he will be splendidly rewarded if he announced the victory himself, sailed to Corinth and there, boarded on a ship sailing to Sicily.Having favorable winds, speedily sailed to Syracuse and announced the victory to the tyrant. And Dionysos honored him while himself sacrificed to the gods because of the greal news, set dinking bouts and great feasts. Hosting his friends lavishly, during the drinking bout committed himself to drunkness and fell violently ill because of the quantity of the consumed liquids. Having at this time a word from the gods that he will die when he defeated his betters, he assumed that the oracle applied to the Carthaginians, understanding that the were his betters. For this reason while he got used to defeat them frequently, he avoided the victories and was losing the battles on purpose, so that he would not seem to become better than most powerful. He could not by his ruse outwit the end the fate had destined, for being a bad poet and judged in Athens, he won over the better poets. Appropriately, having won over the betters in accordance with the oracle, followed was the end of his life.' From Diodoros' of Sicily Library of History Book 15:74(1-4).
Diodoros of Sicily is one source for the life of the tyrant Dionysos John Lempriere used. As I do not have this book, I could not identify the other sources he used, with the exception of Xenophon's Historia Graeca. No doubt they will be given in the reference section of the book, A classical dictionary.
Hello Pasjoesja; This seems to be a valuable reference book. I found it in the Amazon and I ordered it.
that's great, :), greetings.
For the time being, the origin of this information is unknown because John Lempriere did not cite a single historical source in his dictionary.
J.L. does not quote, but he does refer to the texts of classical authors he used, at the end of every entry, doesn't he?
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Photo taken in Parco Archeologico della Neapolis, 96100 Syracuse, Italy
Misplaced? Suggest new location