This is attested by many credible authors, and if what those of Alexandria tell us, relying upon the authority of Heraclides, be true, Homer was neither an idle, nor an unprofitable companion to him in his expedition. For when he was master of Egypt, designing to settle a colony of Grecians there, he resolved to build a large and populous city, and give it his own name.
The whole subject of the Menippean satires is brilliantly treated in Mommsen's History of Rome, and Riese's edition of the satires, to both which, if he desire further information, we refer the reader. The genius of Varro, however, more and more inclined him to prose. The model for these was furnished by Heraclides Ponticus, a friend and pupil of Plato, and after his death, of Aristotle.
Getting therefore together in an irregular assembly, they chose Heraclides their admiral; but when Dion came forward, and told them, that conferring this trust upon Heraclides was in effect to withdraw that which they had granted him, for he was no longer their generalissimo if another had the command of the navy, they repealed their order, and, though much against their wills, canceled the new appointment.
But the mob of sailors and handicraftsmen would not yield that Heraclides should lose his command of the navy; believing him, if otherwise an ill man, at any rate to be more citizenlike than Dion, and readier to comply with the people. Dion therefore submitted to them in this, and consented Heraclides should continue admiral.
However, the Syracusans, not regarding all this, elected five and twenty captains, and, among the rest, Heraclides; and underhand tampered with Dion's men, promising, if they would desert him, and enlist themselves in their service, to make them citizens of Syracuse, with all the privileges of natives.
But he, leaving his eldest son, Apollocrates, to defend the castle, and putting on board his ships the persons and the property that he set most value upon, took the opportunity of a fair wind, and made his escape, undiscovered by the admiral Heraclides and his fleet.
And he added other laws, one of which is that the maimed in the wars should be maintained at the public charge; this Heraclides Ponticus records, and that Pisistratus followed Solon's example in this, who had decreed it in the case of one Thersippus, that was maimed; and Theophrastus asserts that it was Pisistratus, not Solon, that made that law against laziness, which was the reason that the country was more productive, and the city tranquiller.
The Syracusans, in distress, then sent to Leontini to invoke the aid of Dion, who returned as victor, drove Nypsius into his fortress, and saved Syracuse. He also magnanimously pardoned Heraclides, and prosecuted the blockade of Ortygia, and was again named general. Still Heraclides, who was allowed to command the fleet, continued his intrigues, and frustrated the operations against Dionysius.
Now knowing that Heraclides would be his most considerable adversary, and that in all ways he was a turbulent, fickle, and factious man, he gave way to some whom formerly he hindered when they designed to kill him, who, breaking in, murdered Heraclides in his own house. His death was much resented by the citizens.
Amongst these a youth of noble parentage, Heraclides by name, having ventured out beyond the rest, an Athenian ship pursued and wellnigh took him.
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