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Monday, January 16, 2017

029 - The First Greco-Punic War

In this episode, part 2 of 2 on the Greco-Etruscan-Carthaginian relations during the 6th/5th centuries BC, we discuss the tyrannies that arose and fell in Sicily in the first half of the 5th century BC at Rhegium/Zancle (Messana), Himera, Syracuse, Gela, and Akragas; the First Greco-Punic War and its aftermath/legacy; the decline of Etruscan power in Campania; the changes in the Carthaginian constitution following the war; and finally, the sea explorations of Himilco (northwest Europe) and Hanno the Navigator (western Africa)

507 BC - Cleander becomes tyrant of Gela
498 BC - Cleander dies and his son, Hippocrates, succeeds him as tyrant of Gela
494 BC - Samian fugitives (following their failed revolt against Persia) flee westwards and seize the city of Zancle (Messana) at the behest of Anaxillas, the tyrant of Rhegium
491 BC - Anaxillas changes his mind and kicks the Samians out of Zancle, repopulates the city, and rules as tyrant over it along with Rhegium
491 BC - Hippocrates dies and Gelon overthrows his sons to become tyrant of Gela
488 BC - Theron becomes tyrant of Akragas
485 BC - The Syracusan people force the Gamori (their aristocratic class) out of the city; they seek assistance from Gelon who uses his military to take Syracuse for himself; Gelon then makes himself tyrant of Syracuse and his brother, Hieron, takes over as tyrant of Gela
483 BC - Gelon forcibly removes the inhabitants of Kamarina and Megara Hyblaea to Syracuse; Gelon and Theron make an alliance
481/0 BC - Representatives from Athens arrive at the court of Gelon, seeking aid in their upcoming clash with Persia, but Gelon declines
480 BC - The Greek forces of Himera, Akragas, Syracuse, and Gela (all led by Gelon) defeat Hamilcar and Carthaginians in the Battle of Himera (Hamilcar loses his life); in commemoration, a Temple of Victory is built at Himera and afterwards Gelon and Akragas begin to beautify Syracuse and Akragas with new monuments of their own
478 BC - Gelon dies and his brother, Hieron, becomes tyrant of Syracuse; their brother, Polyzalos, takes over as tyrant of Gela
476 BC - Anaxillas dies and Micythus acts as regent tyrant of Rhegium
474 BC - Hieron and Cumaean Greeks defeat the Etruscans in a naval battle near Cumae; Etruscan power effectively eliminated in Campania (relegated to north Tyrrhenian Sea)
473 BC - Rhegians and Tarentines are defeated by Iapygians
472 BC - Theron dies and his son, Thrasydaeus, becomes tyrant of Akragas
471 BC - Thrasydaeus tries to attack Hieron but is routed in battle and forced to flee to Megara, where he was arrested and publicly executed; Micythus founds colony of Pyxus
467 BC - The two young sons of Anaxillas retake the throne of Rhegium; Micythus steps down peacefully; Hieron dies and his brother, Thrasybolous, becomes tyrant of Syracuse
466 BC - Thrasybolous was ousted as tyrant of Syracuse
461 BC - Leophron was ousted as tyrant of Rhegium and Zancle
ca. 460 BC - The Sicilian Greek cities had all broken away from the dominions of Gelon and Theron and had overthrown the tyrants’ heirs

Primary Sources:

Video/History of Syracuse - Part 2 - The Tyranny of Hieron (Ancient History Guy)

Photo/Rhegian Coins Commemorating Chariot-Racing Victory at Olympic Games

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