Deinomenid Tyranny SICILY, Syracuse.
Syracuse. Deinomenid Tyranny. 485 - 466 v.Chr.
Tetradrachm, (17.16 g.), 485-466 BC. AR Tetradrachm Struck under Gelon, circa 485-480 BC. Charioteer driving quadriga right; above, Nike flying right, crowning horses SURAKOSION/ Diademed head of Arethusa right; four dolphins swimming around. Boehringer 120
The Deinomenid tyranny began in Gela. Cleandrus became tyrant in 505. He was an important and wealthy man and led the opposition to the ruling oligarchs. In 498 he was murdered, and Hippocrates took over. He engaged in military exploits in Sicily but died in 491. When Hippocrates died in 491 BCE, Gelon (with the army's loyalty) seized power and undertook a quiet rule from 491-485--when he intervened in Syracuse. The gomoroi (oligarchs) had lost control in Syracuse about 490. A democracy was established, but it remained disorganized. The Gomoroi, who had retreated to the interior of Sicily, appealed to Gelon in 485. He overpowered the democrats, gained control of Syracuse, and made the city his base. Gelon increased his power, developed a large army and navy, and gained control of half of Sicily. This led him into direct conflict with Carthage which, under Hamilcar, invaded Sicily but was completely defeated by Gelon in 480. This marked the end of Carthaginian intervention in Sicily for 70 years. Gelon died in 478; his reign was viewed as a period of prosperity and happiness. Gelon's brother Hieron succeeded.